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Friday, July 31, 2009

Do you know the way to the beach?

I'm lost....

Heading to the beach is completely different on the very last day. My mind is not filled with an inventory of sunscreen and magazines and beach drinks. It's filled with to-do lists and plans and questions and wonder.
What will be waiting for me when I return?
Will all those things that I put off until after vacation still be there?
Will I feel overwhelmed by everything or rested up enough that I can tackle them with energy and renewed creativity and skill?
Did anything change so much in my absence that my life will be effected by it?
And, last but not least--will I be able to hold back all the tears as we count down the days until Toni goes off to college or will I just cry my way through August?
These are the things I am thinking about this morning as I feel the sun against my face and listen to the waves crash against the sand.
I need a GPS to travel this next phase of my journey.....
Can you give me the directions?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Aren't you coming to my party?

So far, below are the only RSVP's for my mega-amazing-fabulastic-big time-rocking-wear-a-hat 2nd Bandiversary party!

Honestly, I don't think I could party with just these girls.....
So, please....get your hats and your camera and send in those RSVP's.....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What's your porn?

Is it this?

Or is it this?
Maybe it's this.....

Or, perhaps it's this....
Or, maybe you are like me and it's this....

On some days....any one of the above could be considered my porn. Any one of them could cause arousal....for me. Any one of these foods could put me into a frenzy that could only be described as euphoric.....the pictures alone could cause me to crave it, desire it, go to great lengths to get it and then devour it in a state of complete satisfaction. And not want to stop. Until I could go no more.
I couldn't help myself.
My amygdala was making me do it.

These are the things I learn when my mind is free, my time is not scheduled and I can lounge in my bed watching Good Morning America without a care in the world. These are the pieces of information I can absorb when my life allows me to connect with the people and the places and the things that are always in my life but that I'm just not present enough to really do it.
Sure, Good Morning America is on my TV set every morning as I get ready for work. I really do listen to what they are saying as I glide on my lip gloss and choose my shoes. But, do I really connect to it? Do I really embrace the stories and the news and the information and see how it fits into my life? And, do I really put myself into the moment and grow as a person from what I am hearing?
Alright, I'm getting a little carried away here....
Only because I'm so much more connected to my feelings and my inner Judi.
But, still....
Hearing this story this morning gave me one more reason to love my Lapband.

Yes, vacations are so euphoric.....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Is REALITY real?

or have we scripted reality so much that even reality isn't real.....?
Yep, you guessed it....we had some rain. When there's rain at the beach and there's no projects to tackle or to-do lists to check off and no one feels like shopping, the TV goes on and everyone finds themselves sucked in by anything that appears on the screen. I mean, it's not like home when Carmen gets a hold of the remote and channel surfs until he clears the room. He does have some manners when he is in a group.....
So, we watch reality TV. Who knew there were so many reality TV shows? Everyone has one! Except me, of course. Unless you consider my blog somewhat of a reality show.

Interestingly--the fact that a blog is supposed to be a reality type of forum--supports my initial question--is REALITY real?

Let me set the record straight on that one---my blog is a reality show with some scripting and some limited peeping into my world. The reality is that I did lose 100 pounds and the people I talk about are real (and their names have not been changed to protect the innocent) and I do blog about things in my real life. For instance--I do love shoes and chai lattes and I do have a cache of contraband cigarettes. As for the scripted parts--I do have a loose outline of topics that I want to share that might not be what's on my mind on that particular day. And, every once in awhile, my entries are written ahead of time in case I don't have time to compose one. As for the limited parts--I don't tell you everything that goes on in my world. For one thing--a lot of it is mundane. And, for another--a girl has got to have some secrets. Plus, let's face it--this is my blog so this is MY REALITY.
And, I'm so glad you are here with me in my reality.
So, please keep coming back to peek into my world....

Speaking of Reality TV....don't forget to try and tune into
MORE TO LOVE tonight!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy Monday.....

yes, I mean it.....Happy Monday...

Oh what a glorious morning!!!!!!!! The best thing about it is that it's NOT FRIDAY!

The day awaits me. The sun is shining, the ocean is my front yard, a sparkling pool is my backyard and I have a very good internet connection. If the only Starbuck's in the Outer Banks weren't 15 miles away, I'd be deleriously happy. But, I did find a way around that. Creative girl that I am! I stocked up on my beloved Bolthouse Perfectly Protein Vanilla Chai Latte and I coerced a local barrista who once worked at Starbuck's to tell me what I could purchase over the counter to mimic Starbuck energy shots. It seems to be doing the trick. I mean, it's not exactly the same. I don't have a smiling guy or gal wearing a green hat and apron mixing it for me and I'm not paying $6 a pop for it. But, it's feeding my quasi-addiction and upping my protein intake at the same time. So, it all evens out. Which is a good thing.
In my vacation state of mind, it makes me realize that there's always a way to get what you need or want as well as make things just a little bit better. Which makes me take another look at all the other MONDAYS of the year when I'm cranky and moaning about how short the weekends are. Maybe there's another way to take on Mondays. Perhaps it's all a matter of mixing Mondays up with a few new ingredients, asking for a little bit of help to do it and see the good things about a day that I never feel too good about.
Alright, alright....maybe I have sun stroke. Or maybe all that wine and gin is killing my brain cells. Or, perhaps all the chemicals in my Ocean Potion
is making me woozy.....
But, really.....are Mondays really that bad?

From where I am sitting......Friday looks bad.
It's all a state of mind. I know it is.

Time to whip up my vacation morning addiction.................

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Let's talk FOOD AND SEX.....

Just a little break from talking about FOOD AND WINE......

Check this out....
Be sure to check out the best foods for the best sex.....


What about gin and wine?
Chai Latte?
Crab bisque?
Crab cakes?
Soft ice cream?

Back to the drawing board........

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Driving up the coast.......

Thus ends another year at the Village of Nags Head.
Where we spent 7 restful days.....dealing with a little bit of rain, a few storms and enough sunshine to keep us happy. As always, our stay was lovely---lounging at the Beach Club, cheering on the golfers, digging our toes in the sand, taking early morning water aerobics classes with Lisa and Mary, being chauffered by our all-time favorite shuttle bus guy--Tom Biggs (who donates all of his proceeds to the ALS Foundation after his wife died of the disease several years ago) and exploring the little shops and restaurants surrounding our beachy enclave. This year, we enjoyed some new gastronomic adventures. If you're ever visiting the's a few recommendations:
Barefoot Bernie's--the area's Pittsburgh bar! Yes, there's a Pittsburgh bar in every city across the world!
Red Drum ---be sure to try the Crab Bisque!
Mulligans--loving the crab cakes!
Taiko Sushi--where I fed my new found love of Sushi...try the tempura shrimp roll and the red spider roll....yum!

We also ventured out to the island of Manteo to soak up the history and culture of this picturesque area. For anyone planning a trip to OBX--be sure to include a day trip to Manteo! And, while you are there....please be sure to include a visit to Endless Possibilities! Check out their mission and their amazing woven clogs (good for the heart and the soul and the sole!)And, make sure to duck into all the quaint little shops on the side streets---where you will find a glorious little book store, some wonderful potters, jewelry makers and wood workers. Don't miss one storefront--from the antique shop to the aromatherapy boutique. You will find yourself in awe of the talent and expertise of the personable shop owners and feel inspired by their passion and creativity!
And, be sure to sneak in a little lunch or dinner at the delightful Full Moon Taphouse! Our beer aficionados were very pleased with their multitude of brews and accompanying taphouse inspired menu items. Although I wholeheartedly recommend that you try out their spicey lobster bisque with a refreshing glass of their Full Moon Blanc Vino. I promise you that it will be a fitting stop on your memorable tour of Manteo!

Next stop.........Corolla

See you there....

Friday, July 24, 2009

Who stole the cork to my lunch?

One of the many pleasures of vacation is taking the time to savor wine and spirits al fresco. The joy of sipping an oakey lush white wine while watching the waves lap against the shimmering sand or sipping a summery gin gimlet as the sun sinks into the bay in a blaze of glory is quite simply..... sublime. As far as I am concerned, it's all a fitting reward for surviving the stress of everyday life--from the shit days at work to the over scheduled weekends at home. These moments of sipping lovely libations wash away all the unpleasantness, all the stress and all the less-than-happy times in my not-so-perfect life. And, they make it all somehow very perfect.....
What do those folks do who don't partake in such pleasures do to bring perfection to their lives?
Don't answer that. I think I know.
I'm on vacation.
And life is perfect.
Gin and sunset awaits me.

But, before I go, I thought I'd share an absolutely incredible, band-friendly, sorta-healthy recipe that I scoured from the pages of August's Bon Apetit as I sat in my beach chair sipping today's white wine of choice.....a local chardonnay and sauvaignon blanc medly....

Grilled Portobello Parmesean

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed
  • 6 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed, gills scraped out
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 6 1/3-inch-thick heirloom tomato slices (from 2 very large tomatoes)
  • 7 to 8 ounces Fontina cheese, thinly sliced
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Whisk extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pressed garlic clove in small bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange portobello mushrooms on rimmed baking sheet, gill side up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon generous tablespoon dressing into each mushroom; swirl to coat. Stir ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil in small bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange tomato slices on plate; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place mushrooms on grill, gill side down. Grill until edges begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness of mushrooms. Transfer mushrooms to same baking sheet, gill side up. Nestle 1 tomato slice into each mushroom. Divide ricotta cheese mixture atop sliced tomatoes, spreading to cover, about 3 tablespoons per mushroom. Top with Fontina cheese slices, dividing equally. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese over each. Carefully return mushrooms to grill. Cover barbecue and cook until mushrooms are soft and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle remaining chopped fresh basil over. Place mushrooms on plates. Drizzle remaining dressing around mushrooms and serve.

Oh how I love vacation....when I can actually languish over each page of my fav foodie magazines and actually enjoy reading each and every recipe--taking in their flavours without even worrying about their fat content, their carbohydrates or how difficult they are to make or how much the ingredients will cost. Thus saving all my calories, all of my energy and money for the wine and gin....
See....I told life is perfect....

But, honestly....try this recipe.
And, have a libation with me as you grill........

Thursday, July 23, 2009

North of the free and home of the brave.....

I'm free! Here at the edge of the earth....just watching the waves hit the sand, sitting in my beach chair, reading magazines, sipping beach concoctions. Not struggling to get out of that beach chair, not dreading the walk back to the beach club and giving thanks that I can give thanks for those things.

And, in another enclave of North Carolina.....there sits Lucy. Lucy is brave! She is looking out into a future that begins....tomorrow. A thinner, healthier, happier future. She made a choice to get a Lapband. And, she thanks me for that. For that---I thank her.

Please join me in a big shout out to LUCY from North Carolina as she begins her journey! Welcome to BANDLAND LUCY!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Do nice girls finish fat?

That's the question I pondered all day.......

Even though I learned everything from how to get rid of a pimple overnight (apply Pepto Bismal to it) to how Klohe Kardashian shed 20 pounds, this is what lingers in my mind as I sit and stare out at the sun setting over the bay......

Here at the beach, I am catching up on my reading. At the moment--my day consists of pouring through my stacks of magazines, applying SPF 30 at consistent intervals and ordering the drink of the day from the wait staff that pass by (also at consistent intervals). It's become astonishingly clear to me that what I am no longer spending on big lunches, fried-food-filled happy hours and 7 course dinners, I am spending on magazines. After lugging a bag filled with them--that must weigh close to 20 pounds--down to the Beach Club, I've come to the conclusion that I'm a magazineaholic. And, my daughter happens to suffer from the same affliction. While everyone lounged on their beach chairs reading beachy novels, Toni and I leafed through our treasure trove of mags. And, there amongst all the tips and gossip, I came upon a brief little snippet on page 150 of Ladies Home Journal that asked:
-Do you go way out of your way to be helpful?
-Are you also a chronic overeater?
Yes and yes.
It seems as though they could be connected--so says therapist Karen R. Koenig, author of Nice Girls Finish Fat.
Her rationale is this--if you are nice to the extreme then you always put yourself last. Thus, always doing what others want and trying to fix their problems. She goes on to say that whether you are conscious of it or not, this may set you up for feeling cheated and could drive you to overeat. Feeding yourself may become the only form of self-care you practice.
Waitress....I need another.....
Geez, I wish I would have spent more time reading about the Pepto Bismal pimple miracle cure....
That was clearly some heavy stuff to lay on a girl who is just trying to forget about life for awhile.

But, it got me to thinking about how this pretains to me and my Lapband. You see, my Lapband prevents me from being a chronic overeater. So, essentially, I'm still a chronic overeater but I can't really overeat--because of my Lapband. Which is a mighty good thing. And, from what I can figure out---I'm just one of those people who happens to enjoy taking care of others and being nice. Well, I don't enjoy it all the time. It's just who I am. What does this all mean?

I guess I could read the book. But, I don't do deep books at the beach......
So, I won't be figuring this out any time soon.
Tomorrow I plan to spend the entire day with my decorating magazines.....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Let's get this party started........

It's time for Bandiversary Celebration Two!!!!!!!
And you are all invited!

I just can't have a Bandiversary Celebration without YOU!
And, this time, I want to see your party hats!
So, go ahead and grab those fancy toppers while I head out to the beach.
Don't be shy!!!! Put on that damn hat and say CHEESE!
Take a picture of you in your party hat and email it to me from my profile.
I need pictures of all of my guests for my blog!!!!
You don't want it to look like no one came to my you?
Make sure I get it by my Bandiversary---August 10!!!
That's the only way you'll get in the door to the biggest, most fab, rocking bandiversary party of the season!
There will be contests and prizes and giveaways and music to save your mortal soul! And, we will have lots of sweet treats and even a few surprises!

I can't wait to see YOU wearing your hat at my party! stop staring at this computer screen and go find your party hat and your camera and take that picture......!

Off to the beach.....

Friday, July 17, 2009

Return to the Beach......

Here's the girl who went to the beach in 2007..........

Here's the girl who went to the beach in 2008.............

Who is the girl that will be going to the beach in 2009?

Stay tuned........!!!

Hey friends....
I'm heading to the beach for 2 solid weeks!!!!
I can't promise I'll blog everyday! After all, there is a beach and the ocean and shopping and lots of wine and beach drinks and sand chairs and hot guys walking in front of my beach name a few things that might keep me from blogging.....
But, we do have to celebrate my 2 year Bandiversary!!!!
So, let's do it from the beach!!!!

Yep, I'm having a party....and you are all invited!
Let's get this party on ice!

Come on......we're taking this party on the road!!!!!
Don't get left behind!!!!!!!
I lost 100's gonna be a BIG party (100 pounds worthy!)

I'll see ya there........

P.S. Let's out give a big shout out to Debbie's her 52nd Birthday!!!!
Happy Birthday old pal!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Scenes from Judiland.......

Pictures! Pictures! Pictures!
Did someone ask for pictures?

A few pictures from Toni's Graduation
18th Birthday Celebration

The fireplace display! My wonderful sister Denise did the "This is Toni's Life" picture boards! All the surrounding decor was done by my talented nieces--Alexa & Rosa. And, it's also showcasing just a few of the cookie trays.....(we ran out of room on the "cookie table"....a staple of Pittsburgh Italian celebrations!)

Vince & Toni......don't ask me what "Free Jughed" means.....all I know is that Toni hates that shirt and so that's why her brother drove all the way from PhDland just to show up with it on at her party! Brothers!

Toni and her beau Andrew....
Toni and her cutie cuz Rosa....also a new high school grad!! We'll be seeing her at the beach soon!! Rosa is going off to my alma mater in the Fall! Yeah Rosa!
Toni and her long-time BFF Hillary......who is leaving next week for the ivy covered halls of Thiel College!
We'll miss ya Hill! Rock Thiel!

Some pictures from our wonderful "just the 4 of us!" evening spent on the North Shore of Pittsburgh
where we had an amazing and relaxing meal at Hyde Park (thanks to the recommendation of one my most spirited friends--Angela!) and enjoyed strolling along the river admiring Pittsburgh!
It couldn't have been lovelier!

Vince and Toni.....this time Vince is wearing a respectable shirt!
Carmen and you can see from his belt....this guy is always "on call"! That man needs a vacation!!! Yeah, we're going....if I get all the underwear washed and packed!!!!
Toni and I posing in front our beautiful city----where the water is always blue and the sun is always shining!!!!

Just me.....showing off my shoes!

Yep, there's always a reason to celebrate in Judiland!
(gotta remember that.....)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I'm going to the ends of the earth......

and I'm going to jump off......

(in reality.....I'm going to the beach....)

Yes, it's pre-vacation stress time. I've been so busy sneaking mini cream puffs from the freezer (to ward off the stress) that I haven't even begun to get us all ready. Nothing is packed. Nothing is even thought about. I haven't been able to unearth a bathing suit from my long-ago thinner days. Although, if I continue the clandestine cream puff eating, I might be back in my big girl floatation device swimwear before we even walk out the door.
Yes, I know, I didn't admit to the cream puffs yesterday when I told you about the thumbprints. Maybe that makes them not count.
Yes, I know. I have to stop eating the cream puffs. And those cute little chocolate eclairs too.
Yes, I have been eating those as well. Frozen, of course. Which I think cancels out calories and fat. I think I read that somewhere. I back to my fat girl eating behavior?
Alright, so I've made a few faux paux. Eating frozen baked goods is definitely not a classy thing. It doesn't look good with Size 10 pants, a new pedicure and my fun new shade of lip gloss. I get it. But, have you ever tasted a frozen cream puff or bit into a frozen eclair? The mini ones, of course. I mean...really....have you ever tasted them?
Alright, alright. I'm over it. I'm heading straight to the freezer right now and banishing those cute little morsels of goodness from my house. Yes, that's right.....I'm carrying them out to the curb and tossing them into the street. Right in front of where I live. There will be mini cream puffs and little chocolate eclairs scattered about.
Anyone need directions to my house?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The cookies are calling me........

Judi, Judi, look over we are. Open the lid! Hurry! Hurry! Come on girl friend.....

It's those cute little thumbprints my talented cookie-baking sister-in-law made! They seem to know the exact time of the day or night when they could help. For a bunch of cute little cookies--they sure are loud. As a matter of fact---just this morning, as I was lying there in bed fretting over to-do lists and things that need done at the office and empty nesting and being overwhelmed by packing for vacation and not having a bathing suit and needing to get the car inspected, those damn cookies started yapping again. Judi, Judi, we're here for you. Come on Judi. Get up and get some cookies!

And, last night, as I was reading a magazine, waiting up for my newly minted 18 year old daughter, trying to keep my eyes open---those damn cookies coerced me into the kitchen. Come on Judi. Don't you need a little sugar?

Thankfully, it's now all quiet here in Judiland. I had to shut them up. So, I ate them. Those naughty cookies. They got past my Lapband without even a whimper. At least I won't have to deal with all their noise anymore.....

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday morning came and went......

and I was spent.....!

Blogger was being uncooperative during my typical early morning blogging hour. I was completely exhausted from a weekend of....well....weekending. I was busy trying to get Vince out the door and on the road. I had party rentals to return and my favorite black capris were a little too baggy....which, in hindsight was not such a bad thing. But, I was rendered pantless...which at 5:30 a bad thing. And, to be quite honest---I was just cranky.
Even my chai latte with an energy shot didn't fix me up the way it usually does. As a matter of fact--when I think back on my day---my day felt overcaffienated and I felt underenergized--making my head explode. I guess that's what happens when a new boss comes on the scene and there's lots to do and not enough time to do it. At this point--leaving on Friday for 2 weeks at the beach feels overwhelming. I don't like it when even vacation feels stressful.
I really gotta get a grip. A glass of wine might help too.

So, I'm just going to leave you with these images......

Judi & Debbie--at Debbie's high school graduation party--1975
A 16 year old Judi and a 17 year old Debbie.......
look at Debbie...rocking those 70's aviators!!
don't you just love my hat?????...yes, it diverts the attention from my overplucked eyebrows and frosted overdone eyes!!!
Yes, we were soooooo 70's!!!!!

Debbie & Judi---at Toni's high school graduation party--2009
How old are we here? You do the math......
Finally, we grew up! But, we still manged to stay very stylish! In fact, I'm thinking we look even better!!! Don't ya think? you can see--I'm still lovin' the color RED! I could have used those red earrings from 1975....they would have looked smashing with my 2009 necklace. Gee....I wonder if Debbie remembers where I put them (she seems to remember EVERYTHING else!)!

Thanks to my forever girlfriend--Debbie (a devoted blog reader with the most adorable grand daughter on the planet!) for always being such a great picture taker and for sharing them with me!!!

Hopefully, I'll have more physical and mental energy tomorrow to BLOG!!!!

Now, for that glass of wine........

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Will the party ever end?

yes, I'm sure it will........

But, for now....there's remnants of Friday's 18th birthday/Graduation Celebration to deal with as well as gearing up for today's more intimate family dinner at Hyde Park. The dishwasher has been running non stop for the past 24 hours, I'm still boxing up mountains of cookies and packaging up all those leftovers. The dining room table is piled high with who knows what and I still have ice chests filled to the brim. As much as I'd love to say that I am one of those people who manages to regroup and get back to the business at hand after a rather major event--it isn't so. No, no, not at all. Imagine if I would have had the party at our house instead of at this lovely facility overlooking a pristine pool and just think if I wouldn't have had this wonderfully imaginative and super delicious caterer! It wouldn't have been pretty....
Yes, I can say one thing--if I would have done all of the cooking (as is my usual m.o.) and had it here at the house (which is what I usually do), I would be blogging from a hospital bed!! Trust me! Putting on a big party is no easy thing. Even for us seasoned party girls. But, I have tell you--I couldn't have done any of this 100 pounds ago. And, most likely I wouldn't have.....

Yet, I'm not alone in being totally wiped out from Friday's gala....
Yesterday, everyone here nursed their aching and tired bodies while I did some very minor errands, tried to make some sense of the madness that took over the house and worked on figuring out how in the hell I am going to get on with more pressing matters---packing us up for our annual 2 weeks at the beach (we leave on Friday!). Soon....I just gave up, grabbed a pile of pillows, laid down on the couch and joined the rest of my family for some TV bonding time. We were all passed out before 9 pm......

So, I'll get around to posting pictures and sharing more stories from the road as soon as I get to the bottom of my piles of to-do lists.
For's back to the kitchen for me!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

There's got to be a morning after......

And, to think....the things I worried about.....
not enough food....
so, where am I going to put all the leftovers?
the weather.......
sunshine and blue skies.....need I say more?

Now, the only problem is......
I'm exhausted.

Until tomorrow.....

Friday, July 10, 2009

She is 18.............

and I am 50......

You know how you do....when your kids are imagine what the future will be like. And, you figure out things like ages....when she's 5, I'll be 37, when she's 10, I'll be 42....when she's 18, I'll be 50.
Well, she's 18 and I'm 50.

Where did the time go?

Back to getting ready for the party.
We're never too old for a party....

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Counting down the hours.......

finishing up all that last minute stuff.....crossing my fingers.....saying a few prayers.....calling on my amazing entourage of friends who pledged their help and taking that leap into......

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I am a friend......

As far as friends go....I have to tell you---my luck has been incredible. I can't tell you the joy and comfort and happiness and inspiration and motivation and fun and love and adventure and laughter and confidence and compassion and care and oh the list could go on and friends bring to my life. There's not a day that is not touched by a friend. I mean, each and every day. Each and every day. It happens. Pretty great....isn't it? Yeah, I think so!
The other day, something occurred to me-- I'm so busy giving enormous thanks for what my friends bring to my life that I often don't stop to think about what my friendship brings to theirs. I guess I have to be reminded. It's not that they don't tell me. In fact, I've got the cards and notes and memories of conversations that do. But, still....even though I always hear sweet, supportive and encouraging words from my friends, I am so spoiled by their constant care that I don't really take in what they are saying. I hear their words and when I hear them...I do get it. But, when it really comes down to it--I don't really hear what my friendship gives to them.

However, this past weekend I really got it. Because it meant something just a little bit more. Why? Because it touched my life in a way that it never did before. It made me think about my child.... Toni. And, as we all know...when it touches our children....we get it.

Here's what happened....

At lunch with my dear sweet college roomie friend, Cheri---she gave Toni a graduation card. Inside the card was this message.....
Good luck to you at college! May you find a person who will make your college years memorable and wonderful and who will bring joy to your life forever. That's what happened to me when I met your mother! I hope there's a JC out there for you!

(BTW--JC is me!!!)

Toni read the card and smiled. Then, she handed it to me. Sensing my emotion, Cheri shook her head "you know how it is when you leave home for the first time", directing her comment to me. Yes, I did remember those first few weeks and months. "You need a very special friend," she told Toni. "Your mother was that friend for me." I laughed a little--to hold off the tears. In that very instant, I was overwhelmed with thanks that I was that person for my dear sweet Cheri. I just never knew. It felt so good to know I had given her that great gift.

It brought me back to
that moment I met the elevator on the 6th floor of Clyde we said good-bye to our parents. Both of us tearing up. We were an unlikely pair. She--in her yellow and white striped top, her worn Levi's and her Sewickley shoes. Me in my just-as-worn Levi's, my red Bruce Springsteen t-shirt and my red, cork platform clogs. She--with her Homecoming Queen blonde beauty looks with a zucchini bread in hand and me with my black eye liner, frosted blue eye shadow and pack of Salems. She wanted a cup of tea and I wanted a joint. Girls who would never be friends. And, yet....we became the best.
I opened a whole new wild world for Cheri and she gave me a world that felt safe. That is what I needed...even though I never knew it. My father often said...."if it wasn't for wouldn't have made it through." He saw her as my saviour from a life of being a wild child. It made me laugh at the time. Yet, I knew, in my heart that I adored Cheri so much that I did work harder to be as good as she. Interestingly...a few years back when I told her that--she laughed at the thought--telling me that she secretly wished she could be more "wild" like me because she knew she had it in her. At that, I reminded her that I saw her wild side a few times. And, that's when she reminded me that the only reason why her "wild side" came out was because she felt safe exploring it with me. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. But, she seemed pretty happy a few years back when I drove 8 hours...trapsed mud across her new white carpet (only because I was so excited to see her) the night before her wedding carrying a red nightie and a few other items in a pretty wrapped box....
I am not sure if we would have ever been friends or not if it wasn't for happenstance. But what I do know is that if it wasn't for our friendship... life would be so different. She would have never known about bongs. I would have never known about yellow roses.

So, on that Sunday in July 2009.....33 years later....2 unlikely friends sat sipping wine (me) and water (her) telling my daughter the many stories of our adventures at college. The G-rated versions, of course.

As I drove home--I found myself praying that Toni finds a friend like me.
A G-rated version, of course.

here's a pix of my dear sweet Cheri and I at lunch.....
(we look exactly the same as we did 30+ years ago!)
and here's Cheri with Toni.
A beautiful site indeed.

Oh, the circle of life and friendship.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Put Mary in the Freezer.......

I need your help......

face her backwards......could you please....

Yes, I know....crazy as it sounds!
But, it works. Ask any Catholic.
If you want good have to follow the rules.
Put Mary in the freezer....make sure she faces the back of the freezer.
Go and get your Blessed Mother statues and push aside that bag of peas.
You've got fair warning--I need good weather on Friday! (we're hosting Toni's 18th birthday/graduation celebration gala to end all galas)
Here's exactly what I need--not too hot, not too cold....let's say a pleasant 75 degrees, no humidity, no rain.
Did you get that?
I'm counting on you.........!

Monday, July 6, 2009


No. No. No.
I guess "just say no" doesn't work when it comes to Mondays, huh?

I'm not sure about anyplace else on the planet--but weekends in Judiland are not long enough. And, three day weekends are even shorter. Complaining won't get me anywhere. And, honestly, we had an enjoyable and productive weekend. But, seriously, folks.....I could use just a little more weekend and a little less week. Especially this week.
But, I say that every week, don't I?

Well, I guess if I have to do Monday, I might as well jump with both feet.
So, here's the plan---I'm going to close my eyes and take a shot at it.

Hello I come!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I admit it........

I just can't wait to show off!

Today, one of my dearest friends in the world is coming to Judiland. I haven't seen her in a few years. I just can't wait! And, she just can't wait to see me minus 100 pounds.
You know when you've got a real friend when she tells you---I can't wait to see my skinny friend and you can't wait for her to see her skinny friend.
And, gee, it's even better when that skinny friend is----ME!

Another beautiful day here in my little suburban hamlet....

Saturday, July 4, 2009

ReBorn In the USA..............

100 pounds lighter......

I hold these truths to be self-evident, that all of us are created equal, that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That pursuit, my what my journey is all about.
I have declared my independence from obesity.......

Happy 4th of July!

Friday, July 3, 2009

NEWS FLASH: I eat like a skinny girl!


My relationship with food has always been complex. But, I'm sure you already know that. Let's face it, I wouldn't have been declared obese if it wasn't. Looking back at it all--from where I am sitting today--I have to wonder--why in the hell did I eat all that food? Yes, it's a question worth pondering. But, I'm not going to do that today. Why? Well, to be quite honest--I do not want to know. Why I became obese, how I became obese and everything else that goes with it is in my past. It's Judi History. Someday....maybe....I will do some deep soul searching and analysis. But, that ain't happening today friends.

Nope, today I am going to publicly acknowledge and celebrate my new and improved relationship with food. It's a relationship that feels comfortable and rewarding. The best kind! I still LOVE food. That's never changed. But, now I love it differently. As a matter of fact--I might love food now more than I've ever loved it before. And, food is still at the center of many of my thoughts. But, I think about it differently.

For years, I often wondered how some of the most amazing cooks and chefs managed to stay slender and healthy. It always seemed like a contradiction to me. Didn't they eat their own food? Wasn't food at the center of their world? Weren't they always around wonderful, delicious foods? I could understand an overweight chef. But, not a fit and trim chef! You know the old adage--never trust a skinny cook? I truly believed that! It wasn't just a saying to me.....

Arriving at this place is not something I recognize everyday. But, every so often it occurs to me that something very profound has changed inside of me. Although every change can be directly linked back to my Lapband, not every change is physical. This change in my relationship with food has nothing to do with my weight loss--yet it has everything do with it. All of a sudden--I am, I am thrilled....with myself. Don't get me wrong--my life is far from perfect. If it has to be imperfect--I'd much rather it be imperfect at this weight than 100 pounds ago. Yet, it's not about the 100 pounds. In my past life, if I had lost 100 would not have signifcantly impacted my relationship with food. I would have still wanted it as much as I did before the 100 pounds. In fact, I would have celebrated the weight loss by eating food. Thus, setting off a course of events that would have put that 100 pounds right back where it came from---my body.

My Lapband has given me a gift that I never knew existed--the feeling of fullness. And, with that gift, I have found a new way of living in a world where I love food. It's no longer about going to a restaurant and ordering my very favorite soup plus a full entree and dessert. It's now about having my very favorite soup....enjoying, savouring it and allowing the reason why I love it so much be the reason why I am eating it. it's eat what I love and that's it.

What a plan!

Thursday, July 2, 2009's all so real.....

all of it......

We're fresh off of a very overwhelming and information overload Freshmen orientation.

On the work front--my new boss started yesterday.
On the home front--we are hosting a huge bash in 9 days.
And it keeps getting bigger
I have to tell the caterer.
But, what will I say?
I'm not sure if we will have to feed 88 or 200?

My car needs inspected by July 31.
I need my car every damn day until then.
Carmen thinks there has to be a day that I can give it up.
Oh, and, yeah, he ran out of contacts
And I think he is running out of high blood pressure pills.
Oh and yeah, he is definitely running out of those other pills he takes.
He needs appointments ASAP.
He is traveling non stop for the next two weeks.
Did I mention that we are hosting a huge bash in 8 days?
And, by the way, we are leaving for vacation on July 18.
Where's that suitcase?

A two ton bolder is slowly falling from the sky directly towards my head.
I am standing in quick sand.
I can't dodge it.
I just have to stand here.

Do you think because I lost 100 pounds it will crush me faster?
I could use a good crushing.....

Happy July!!!