Follow me.......

Friday, August 28, 2009

The road trip that's been a life time in the making.......

(and weeks of shopping for and packing all things pink....).

we just didn't know it would come this soon.....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Come on....let's feel old together.....

You know very well what's been going on in my world....besides the weight loss and turning 50....I'm also sending my dearly beloved Toni--my youngest child---off to college. In less than 24 hours she will be joining the ranks of young adults just like herself--- leaving the confines of home where sometimes we are stuck in the 80's........

Here's how Toni and her classmates see the world....
(click it!)

So...which one surprised you the most?

I'm going with #73......because I have fallen and I can't get up......

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

We look exactly the same.....

as we look at each other through older eyes.....

Did you ever notice that when you see a friend from your childhood who you haven't seen in a very long time--they look exactly the same? As you go to embrace each other--both of you say--in unison-- "you haven't changed a bit!"
Does time really stand still when it comes to those friends who you played hide-n-seek and release with?

Last night I had to go to a funeral home for a friend's mother. Mari and I were constant companions for many years. But, as time went on and we went on to different colleges and boyfriends and husbands and children--our friendship became more of a running into each other and Christmas card type of friendship. Old friends with different lives....that's what we became.

My friend's mom who passed away was a dear friend of my aunt and uncle--my uncle and my Mari's late father were fraternity brothers and stayed "brothers" throughout life. Because of that, I picked up my aunt and uncle--who are both in their late 80's now-- to also go to the funeral home. As we were driving to the funeral home, my aunt wondered out loud "I wonder what Mari will say when she sees how much weight you lost! I can't wait to see her face when she sees you!" I didn't want to burst my aunt's bubble but I was pretty sure the last time I actually saw Mari--I was really not that heavy. So, Mari had no idea that #1-I was obese and #2--that I lost 100 pounds or that I even needed to. To Mari--I was that girl who she saw quite awhile back--who really wasn't all that heavy. Sure, I may have needed to lose a few pounds--but I was definitely not at my highest weight. But, my aunt seemed excited about the intrigue as we drove to the funeral home so I didn't bother to remind her that I wasn't always obese...a little overweight maybe but not always obese.

As we entered the funeral home--there stood Mari. Looking as trim and exoticly pretty as she always did. Her hair--the same. Her eyes--the same. Her lips--the same. She even moved her lips the exact same way as she always did as she talked. As we approached her--her eyes widened and a huge smile flashed cross her face. Before Mari and I could embrace--my aunt nudged me and whispered "See! She noticed!". I didn't want to disappoint my aunt by telling her that Mari was just showing her gratitude that I had come to the funeral home. From the look on my aunt's face-- I could tell that she was waiting for that big moment when Mari would say something like "you look wonderful" and then my aunt could swoop in and tell her something like "she just lost 100 pounds! doesn't she look great?". When that didn't happen within the first 5 seconds--my aunt leaned in towards Mari and said "doesn't Judi look good?"
"MY GOD YES! She looks exactly the same!" Mari told her.
"And you have not changed one bit!" I said as I took her into my arms to let her know how sorry I was---returning the favor--just as she had held me in sorrow when I was 14 and she was 15. Two motherless daughters holding on to each other as if time or distance or life or weight had never interfered. Two girls who look exactly the same. And, always will.
My aunt was still disappointed as we drove home that Mari didn't notice and she couldn't report my weight loss.

Yes, that served as a pause in the Toni-going-to-college tears here in Judiland.....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Our Brown-Eyed Girl

Here's a little rendition Carmen put together to serenade his little girl with......


Hey where did time go   

days playing at Dormont Pool
Catching a Ride

Going to that little Howe School
Standing in the sunlight laughing,

Hiding beneath that big mushroom,
Slipping and sliding with that big bright smile on you,   
Our brown eyed girl,        

You our brown eyed girl
Whatever happened to those days at Mellon school

Or fighting with your brother   

Forgettin’ about the Golden Rule
Laughin' and a runnin' hey,

Hey, skipping and a jumping
In the early morning sun with that/ big bright smile on you,   
Our brown eyed girl,        

You, our brown eyed girl

Do you remember when we used to sing 
Sha la la  la la la   la la  tee  da

just like that

Sha la la  la la la   la la  tee  da   la tee da  

So glad you found your way      

And you’re going on your own
All the way to I--UP,

My how you have grown

Cast my memory back there Lord  
Sometimes I'm overcome thinking 'bout   
Watching us all grow together

You, your mother, brother and me
Our brown eyed girl,

You our brown eyed girl
Do you remember when  we all used to sing 
Sha la la  la la la   la la  tee  da

everybody now
Sha la la  la la la   la la  tee  da    
Sha la la  la la la   la la  tee  da

Sha la la la la la la la tee da

 la tee da

Yes, it's Tuesday... the tears continue........

Monday, August 24, 2009 we are.....

it's Monday.......let's hope it drags on and on and on and on and on and on......

These past 18 years have went by in a blink of an eye. That's not fair. Listen, I'm as realistic as the next guy. If I have to send my youngest child off to college, that's fine. But, I want to make a deal---if we can just drag out this week and make it go sllllllooooooowwwww then I promise that I won't turn this blog into a whining and crying fest.
Who's with me?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday's best......

that's what today is all about....
I hope.

Because somehow yesterday missed the mark a little. I mean--on the surface, it was a good day. We got some things done, we spent some time shopping and hanging out in a nearby trendy neighborhood, we went to lunch at a popular eatery (and we didn't have to wait for a table!) and we even had some friends over for a few cocktails and a table full of munchies. I rocked Vince and Toni's favorite shrimp recipe--making them both so happy. Plus, I managed to sort the piles of off-to-college stuff that have been decorating my dining room table for going on 2 weeks now. The sun shined all day long and both of my kids were safely tucked in Judiland. But, then there was the boot on Vince's car (unpaid parking tickets from his undergrad days)--which sent Carmen into a rather shitty mood, me into fix-it mom mode and Toni into a bit of a stit. And then there was the lost martini shaker lid, the fact we reaized we didn't have olives at the last minute and the cash needed to unboot Vince's car. Besides that--I found out that I had been washing my hair with hair gel--not an expensive speciality shampoo--for going on a week. And, amid it all--I lost track of time and didn't get over to visit with my father as promised. By day's end--I think the time with our friends and the martinis helped somewhat. But, as I laid my head on the pillow--I found myself wanting to make today just a wee bit better. So, I'm working on a plan......

It's time for a trip to Starbuck's.......I definitely need an energy shot.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

This is it......

After all these years of being a WeekendSAHM....
This is my last one....
I will soon be a Weekend SAHM without kids to stay home with....
But, I'll still be a mom.....
Because that's my job....24/7.....with no weekends off.
No matter what.......I'm still a mom.
Because I said so!
Yes, because I said so.
Did you hear me?
Don't make me tell you again!
I don't care what your friends say.
That's just the way it is.
I raised you better than that!
Holy Mary Mother of God!
Good God in the Morning!
What I say goes!
Because I'm the mother, that's why!


P.S. Say your prayers and don't chew with your mouth open
P.S.S. Please don't embarrass your mother....

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I'm speechless.....
Read this and then go ahead....have a steak!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The shame of NOT going, going, going.....

and going, going, going, going, going, going, going, going,going, going, going, going, going, going, going, going,going, going, going, going, going, going, going, going....g o i n g, g o i n g,

The bragging rights of never sleeping, exercising at least 90 minutes a day, being over scheduled, always on call, forever working, never stopping.....has reached epic proportions. And, it's making us mortal folks feel like slackers. Even when we are doing our fair share...perhaps a little bit more. There's always a few in every crowd--whether it be in your office, your neighborhood or your family--they are there--the ones who say they do it and tell you all about it and judge you if you're not keeping pace with their maniacal pace. Their jobs are harder, they do a hell of a lot more and they care waaaay more than anyone else on the planet. They have no time for fashion or shopping or knowing what's on menus at trendy places. They don't go to movies for fun and when they do partake in alcohol--they don't waste themselves on low shelf stuff--only the finest wines and expensive spirits. As a matter of fact, people come to them when they want to know about selecting good wine and making classic martinis. They've climbed mountains in Bejing and crossed the desert in their bare feet--all the while jotting down notes on how to save the planet. They are never late on bills, they've saved more than they need for retirement, they never forget a special occasion (as long as it's a self-proclaimed important one) and never once have they considered taking a short cut. They are writing novels while baking bread and they just finished planning their family reunion for 300 people who are scattered around the globe. They say multi-tasking is for sissies--they are uber-taskers and don't take the time for the lowly things in life--like non-critical-to-life days off or non-productive vacations. They keep incredibly detailed journals and can find matching black socks in an instant. They grow prize winning tomatoes as well as world-renowned roses and they have immaculate homes and shit yeah they met the president of France. They come to work when they feel like shit, they go to funerals sick--and somehow manage to give eulogies worthy of praise , they complete triatholons even though they are steps away from their death beds and they somehow manage to cook exotic meals for world dignitaries at a moment's notice even though they have a fever of 104. Yes, they are exhausted. Of course they could use a vacation. And, they can't tell you the last time they had more than 4 hours of sleep. There's way too much to do, there's too many demands placed upon their time (because they are damn important) and after all--who in the hell would do all this if they didn't? It's all in a day's work for these super human folks. And, there we sit. What have we done lately?

It's time to take a stand against these self-important, I-am-God beings. They are messing up the universe and screwing with our heads. Plus, they are making us feel mighty bad about ourselves. There we are--working hard, running as fast as we can, doing everything we can do and then some, being good citizens and good parents and good partners and good friends and good colleagues and trying to keep our houses clean and our families fed and getting to work on time and not forgetting birthdays. Yet, one conversation with Mr. or Ms. Can-Do-It-All-And-Live-To-Tell-About-It and we feel like there's something seriously wrong with us. Asking them--"so what did you do this weekend?" can somehow backfire into making us feel like we had a hand in creating world hunger and in worsening the plight of the homeless. And, that's on a good day. Hell, if we catch these bigger than life folks with the stamina of a 17 year olds on speed on a day where they just held court with the most influential minds of our time and wooed them like they have never been wooed before--a quick conversation with them and we're ready to end our pitiful little lives for good. Somehow, amongst all their strengths and skills, they also have the innate ability to make us everyday human beings feel utterly useless and lazy. They are that good.
Blame on the world we live in or blame it on their 2nd grade teachers or blame it on their mothers. It doesn't matter. Blame is unimportant. Whatever it is that's got them thinking that a person is not worthy unless they are doing and having it all regardless of the consequences is not for us to figure out. Maybe they are just naturally born with a type of bulldozer behavior and that is that. Or, perhaps they really are just super human. But, I've got this theory---if they really were that smart and cared so much--we would know nothing of their great feats. Why? Because if they were so smart and caring, they would know that their constant bragging would make themselves unlikable. Even more importantly--they would know that by doing all that yapping about their constant perfectness and wonderfulness and daring life--they would tear down the good folks around them. Anyone who is smart and caring would not want that....not at all.
So, what stand do we take? How do we stop these I-think-I'm-great-and-you-should-too folks? I have absolutely no idea. Why? Because their humaness makes it futile to try to change them. Yes, friends--they are human. So, until I find out otherwise, I figure the best thing to do is this--as they spout off about their latest good deed or amazing undertaking--I will picture them in their underwear--which, of course, would make me smirk....which, of course--would make them wonder why I am smirking.

I think that's the best thing I could give the self-anointed superheros in my midst----the knowledge that in all their greatness and glory--they have no idea what I am thinking.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hi! It's Karen from Washington PA!

Today I honored and happy that I am visiting Judi's great blog as a guest blogger!
First, I will tell you about myself:
*I had Lap Band surgery one year ago! Happy Bandiversery to me!
*I lost 18 pounds on my pre-op diet and so far lost 64 pounds since surgery day. I need & want to lose another 30.
*I met Judi at a group for Lap Band support in 2007. I went to all the meetings with her but then lost my insurance a few weeks before my surgery because of my divorce so I could not be banded at that time. I saved up enough money and I went to Mexico and had the surgery done. I would be happy to tell anyone about that experience. If you have to pay cash, it is much less expensive there. My sister came with me and we did some vacationing for a week before and relaxing for a week after. With all that and paying for my sister's trip, I spent less money there all put together than what I would have had to pay up here out of my own pocked (approx 20K). I would do it again! If it were not for Judi, I do not know if I would have done it. She kept up with me after I had to stop the plans for my surgery and her friendship and support and encouragement and THIS BLOG was what kept me going when things got so difficult.
*I am 42 years old and living on my own for the first time since I was 20.
*I am a single mom with 3 children: Andrew is 20, Ashley is 18 and Aaron is 16. Andrew is a college student going into his final year and just spent a summer in England working and living with his girlfriend's family and he is majoring in Engineering. Ashley is entering her first year of college and just got back from 1 month working at a camp for special needs kids near Boston and wants to be a teacher. Aaron is a third year high school student and spent the summer with his father traveling in the midwest and he is my avid sports boy and wants to be a sports announcer. We moved to Washington PA from Virginia to be near my family after my divorce 2 years ago. Before that, we lived in San Fransisco, Chicago and Atlanta. I am happy to be back to Southwest PA. There's no place like home!
*I have an at-home marketing business and work part time for my family's restaurant as a hostess and a book keeper and also sell jewelry (Silpada). My background is in marketing and advertising and I spent 15 years working for firms around the country. For 4 years, I was a partner with my former husband in a publishing business. We just sold the business as well as our family home in VA last October so now I plan to return to school in January to finish my graduate degree. After that, I would like to open a business of my own here in town.

Now that I have told you all about me I want to tell you that all of that is better because of my Lap Band. I lived a very stressful but very financially secure life for many years and turned to food for entertainment and comfort. By the time my husband walked out the door on me with a new woman, I had gained almost 200 pounds since our wedding day. Now I finally have the courage and confidence to think about doing something more with my life. When I was 300+ pounds, all I wanted to do was collect a paycheck and hide. Even though money was never a problem, it could not improve my life or take the weight off compared to now when I have to work hard for a lesser lifestyle but I feel like I want to join the world! I can look in the mirror in the morning and like what I see and smile because it's good and it will keep getting better. It is not the misery and hopelessness that I felt for so long. When my marriage was going down the drain, I blamed my husband for everything. He was at fault for having other women but I did not see how much my weight was making me a miserable, desperate woman who was not easy to live with. The more my weight went up, the more I pulled away from everything but my job where I could hide in my office and work, work, work and reap the benefits of my work and feel okay.
I want other people to know that if they are thinking about a Lap band, PLEASE DO IT NOW. Do not waste any more time thinking about it or researching it. I am so happy I did and I know you will be too. 3 years ago, I wrote in my journal that I would die from obesity and have to be buried in an oversize casket. Now I don't even think that way because I want to live and be alive. Not just in a physical sense but in all ways. I think I might even take more chances than I ever thought possible. Judi is trying to sell me on and if she keeps at it, I might just do that.
If you read this posting, I hope I helped you with my story.
Thank you Judi for being an inspiration and a friend. The Lap Band and Judi's constant support and help through daily or more emails and even meeting me for coffee a few times and taking my calls is what I am thankful for.
Good luck to everyone!

Guess who's coming to dinner?

stop by later today to find out!

Monday, August 17, 2009

You know you've made it when you say......


Yesterday morning as I was getting ready to tackle my huge zucchini, I switched on the TV and found myself face-to-face with a man eating a hamburger and onion rings. It was one of those travel/food shows that features "the best" of something. The hamburger was huge...dripping with cheese, mayo, onions, ketchup, lettuce and tomato. The onion rings looked crisp and savory. As he ate, he declared it to be the finest burger and onion rings this side of the Mississippi. From looking at his face as he ate---he had me convinced.

This was a moment to savour. But...not for the reason you may think.

What once would have sent me into a frenzy to immediately go out and get myself a hamburger and onion rings instead repelled me. I couldn't imagine biting into that hamburger if my life depended on it! Chalk it up to the fact that my Lapband couldn't handle it or blame on my desire to maintain my weight or consider it a hard-won battle. Whatever it was....I was once again reminded of the many changes in my life these past 2 years. Changes as big as losing 100 pounds and as amazing as revolting against foods that once brought me to the brink of delirium! The mere fact that I found myself saying yuck instead of bolting to the door in search of that hamburger and onion rings is---as far as I am concerned---nothing short of a miracle.
I switched the channel and returned to my zucchini wrangling....with a thankful smile.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Let's talk tomorrow........

because today I have to deal with a huge zucchini......

Hope your Sunday is just as adventuresome as mine.....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Good Morning Saturday!

As much as I am dreading the count-down until Toni goes off to college and I do not want to wish time away, I am happy to see another Saturday arrive!
I need a major break. Yes, I know, I am just coming off of a wonderful 2 week vacation. But....let me be honest here--coming back from a major 2 week vacation is problematic in itself. There's just no easy way to ease back into real life. Last night, Carmen and I hung out at one of our fav dinner and drinks spots...Houlihans. Before going off with friends, Toni joined us for dinner and shared her pre-college anxiety--which she does not see as pre-college anxiety but more like "I don't want to go reality". (Yeah, well....I just paid the BIG BILL yesterday so you are going...that's reality!)
As Carmen and I sat at the bar drinking our martinis....we realized that someday very, very soon it will just be the 2 of us. We looked around and came to the conclusion that we might be okay with it. We need the drama to stop and to get Toni happily ensconced in her new world....

We have lots to do darling nephew Jared is arriving shortly, I'm busily making lists of what needs done for the Toni-goes-off-to-college plan--as in how many color-coordinated hangers does she really need--and then there's everything else that needs to in my bedroom is a disaster, my father wants company and there's laundry pouring out of the bedroom doors.
I suppose all of this is causing me major Lapband is telling me so. I haven't been able to eat much of anything. Stress is a very common cause of Lapband calesthenics. Which, in turn causes the stomach to contract and my Lapband to squeeze even tighter. Could this mean that I'll lose a few more pounds? OOOOH...that's my fat girl talking.....
It's time for a visit to Starbucks for a fat free chai latte with an energy shot and a protien shot. I clearly need to keep up my protein and my energy....
Once again....I am sending out a plea to your sympathic not let them do away with Starbucks energy them (here's the link) and beg them not to do this!!!! I've been emailing them daily......

Good Morning Saturday!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Finally, I read the magnet on my fridge......

It's only been there for 3 years.

And, here's what it said....

Happiness is not a destination, it's a journey....

For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin -- real life.
But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first,
some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid.
At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.
This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness.
Happiness is the way.
So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one.
Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

Just goes to show that a refrigerator is much more than a place for french onion dip, chocolate syrup and mayonnaise.....
Sometimes it saves you in other ways.....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Childbirth didn't hurt this much.....


Perhaps I should get out while there's still time.
Or, maybe I should just chug a bottle of Chardonnay every day and be done with it.
Or, what if I just take a long drive and get really lost?

Yeah, but....someone would find me....I'd leave a trail of receipts, I'm sure. As for the wino thing....those morning-after headaches are a bitch and those blood shot eyes don't work well with mascara.

Okay, about this--I call the high school and tell them that I'm ready to come clean....Toni should have never graduated and she needs to come back to re-do another few years. I could tell them that I did all her homework for her and texted her the answers to all of her tests for four solid years. Oh, and I could tell them that I lied about her being born in 1991 (just so that I could send her to kindergarten early)....she was really born in 1995.
I wonder if that plan would work.....

Go ahead....tell me that everything will be okay. Tell me that I'll really start to enjoy my new life. And, sure....tell me that she's only 75 miles away and she'll be home for weekends and breaks and holidays. I hear you. I really do. But, honestly,'s not helping me now as I cling on to the shreds of the daily mother-daughter bond that has carried me from obesity to Lapband surgery to fashion disasters...and everything in between.

I am not loving this college thing. Don't get me wrong--I'm all for higher education! And, I really believe that all young adults need to experience college....away from home. They need to go out and find themselves and be independent and make mistakes and do crazy things and forge new friendships and see all the opportunities that await them and connect their passions to their life and fall in love and get hurt and have to keep their bathroom clean and pull all-nighters before finals and eat cafeteria food and eat tuna and macaroni and cheese for a week straight and you all those things. Especially Toni. That's what I want for my daughter. Well....for all practical purposes and in theory.
Yeah, was great to visit all those campuses trying to decide on which school she would go to and it was exciting to stand by as she got acceptance letters in the mail and it's been tons of fun to pick out bedding and bathroom accessories and things for the walls and the kitchenette.
That was then. This is NOW.
Have you looked at the calendar, folks?

It's August 13, 2009.

I know you know that Toni going off to college has been tearing at my heart. But, I doubt that you know how much it's really getting to me. Hey...I didn't even know how hard it's been hitting me until yesterday. Two things happened---Toni went to Kennywood with her cousins and Vince did his presentation for his candidacy exam. Two very unrelated things. But, what they both had in common was this--I wasn't there for either of them. Kennywood--a summer ritual. A PhD candidacy exam presentation--a once-in-a-lifetime really big thing. I am their mother--I am always there for rituals and big things. But, I wasn't. Yes, I could have gone to Kennywood. But, I couldn't. As for the candidacy exam thing--I'm pretty sure a mom showing up would not be good. But still.....

The incredible aloneness and uneededness that I felt last night made me want to eat potato chips. And, that worries me. It was bad enough that I spent the entire day *THIS* close to tears! But...then I had to spend an entire night wanting something I could not have---because #1--we don't have any potato chips in the house and #2--my Lapband was so tight from all the sobbing (making my stomach contract) I did on the way home from work. But....I really wanted potato chips.

You know and I know that I will get over this. But, I guarantee you--not without a lot of tears and potato chip moments.
Once again, I am thankful for my Lapband.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm beginning to be a pest.....

I need you again......

Now that all the major hoopla is over with in Judiland and the only thing I really have going on in the next few weeks is something that I don't really want to have going on (Toni leaving for college), I need some self soothing. In the form of a gift. One that I give myself. And, not just any gift. Let's face it--I have enough clothes and shoes and accessories to outfit the entire state of Nebraska. So, as much as I could definitely go on a major shopping spree--that ain't what I am talking about. And, with the economy the way it is--that's clearly not what I should be doing. Well, at least that's what I hear...

No, what I need is something pretty darn special---to celebrate losing this 100 pounds and to get me through the tough days of empty nesting ahead. It has to be a gift that will make me smile, make me strutt and make me purr. Yeah, that's right....purrrr. And smile. And strutt. As much as a pair of to-die-for-shoes would do that for me--it ain't what I am talking about. Let's face it--anytime I find a to-die-for-pair-of-shoes--I buy them whether I am in need of a good smiling, a good strutting or a good purring. To-die-for-shoes are just too ordinary of a gift for the occasion and the situation. I need something more. Something to fullfill me.

Just yesterday, my rocking friend Professor H swooped by and scooped me up in her brand spanking new hybrid vehicle. And, there she sat--behind the wheel of her shiney new car with a pair of the most decadent red shades. These where the kind of shades that definitely made a statement. She was smitten with those shades--she was smiling ear to ear as I squealed with delight! Oh, you could just tell--she was in love with those shades! Not only that--they gave her a whole new cool vibe. Not that she needs one. But....ooooh...she had it. Super cool. Plus, they gave her a sense of madcap adventure---so much so that she was talking about us taking to the open road with just the 20 dollar bill I had stashed in my pocket and our cell phones. Not only that--she was walking just a little bit taller! And, I swear when she removed those shades--her eyes were filled with fire. When we walked into the Murray Avenue was very clear-- Professor H had arrived. This girl was fullfilled. Completely. And her red shades told the story.

That's the kind of gift I am talking about.
I'm looking for that kind of gift.

Any ideas?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Was that amazing or what?

Look WHO I found outside the Judiland Party Palace this morning?

Yes, it was none other than one of my Lapbanded (and thonged) friends!

Gee, I wonder what happened to her hat.....

Thank you all for taking time out of your busy lives to share your beautiful smiles, your sparkling personalities and your incredible hats!

The party continues.....right here at Stories from the road......
(because life IS just one big party.....)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Welcome to The 2nd Annual Bandiversary Gala! Live from Judiland

Good Evening!
I'm honored to be your host for tonight!
Welcome to the Second Annual Bandiversary Gala!
It promises to be a glitzy, rocking, celeb-packed night of PARTYING!

We're here to celebrate and commemorate and salutate!

Let's get this party started!!!!!!!!!

We're here at the Red Carpet waiting for the guests to arrive! It's a star-studded event folks! All the faces behind the personalities will be here! Soon, this place will be filled with all the glam stars you've come to know and love! From what we hear...we're in for some amazing millinary fashion finds from around the globe! At the moment, the celebs are snaking through the back streets in their limos. I'm sure the wine is flowing and the martinis are shaking! It's a huge night here in Judiland! Let's see what's happening inside......

Yep, that was Bruce gearing up for the big night! Oh, that Bruce! Word on the street is that he flew in on the red eye last night. The Boss and Judi go way back..... BRRRRRUUUUUUUCE!

Hold on, someone is slipping me a note..... Oh my Gosh! I just got word that a very special surprise guest just landed in her private jet just few miles down the road! Who could it be? Don't go away folks, we'll be right back after a word from the folks who got us here....

Yes, that was the commercial that made this all possible!

Alright....I see the first limo pulling up......
Look who it is!
It's the Mayor! Ms. Mayor, you look absolutely stunning tonight! Can you tell me a little bit about your hat?
Why's from a little shop in my kingdom...where I serve as Mayor.
So, Ms. Mayor, what brought you here tonight?
I was invited.
What are you most looking forward to tonight?
I'm pretty sure there's going to be vodka.
Thank you so much Ms. Mayor!
You are very welcome. Now, move aside!!

And, right behind the Mayor, I see another guest.... Oh my gosh, it's Gerry! Gerry! Gerry! Do you have a moment to chat?

Yes, but just a moment!
So, tell us about your's so stylish.
It was a gift from Judi from one of her previous parties. In her pre Lapbanded days, of course. She made us all wear these hats as a gesture of solidarity during a particularly vexing time. I thought it only fitting to wear it here tonight as a show of my support and friendship.
Oh my, Gerry, that is just so touching.
Yes, I'm very thoughtful and giving that way. Plus, I think this hat showcases my hair very well. Don't you?
Yes, I do! It's definitely you! Thank you so much for talking with us tonight! Have fun!
Thank you. I wish I could talk longer but I'm a bit concerned that The Mayor might drink all the vodka! Gotta go!

Oh, and look over there.... It's Jody! Hello Jody! How are you?
I'm great! Frank sends his regards!
Where is the big fella tonight?
Home wrestling with the boys!
Your hat is just gorgeous Jody!
Yes, it is. I know it. Only the best for tonight
So, I hear you are just coming off of an injury! How are you?
Oh, I'm doing okay. I'm a tough bitch from Jersey. Nothing keeps me down too long!
Well, you are looking wonderful. What's your secret?
My Lapband, pino grigio and lots of sex. Not in that order, of course. Can I make a shout out to my man Frank?
Of course...go right ahead!
Hey Frank....I LOVE YA, YOU ROCK MY SOCKS.....!
Well, have fun tonight Jody!
As long as there's PINO, I'm FINO!
You are a hoot girl!

This party is really rocking now! We just chatted with The Mayor, Gerry and Jody--all of them big time celebs here in Judiland!

Ohhhh....and look who it is......gliding down the aisle.....
OH MY HEAVENS! I think she is going to sing......

That was Stevie!

Stevie! Do you have a moment to chat?
Of course! I'm so excited to be here! I even wore a special hat!
What made you fly in for this event? This is just so surprising!
Well, it's an interesting story. I'm not sure if many people know this but Judi thought I wrote Landslide just for her. When I heard about it, naturally, I was touched! So, ever since then I've been working on a song especially for her. Which, of course, I will sing to her in private later this evening. It's called "100".
Wow! That is interesting!
Yes, it is a beautiful song. I hope she likes it. I've been working on it for two years.
Thank you so much for chatting with us Stevie! Have fun tonight!
Oh, I will. There's a certain drummer I want to hook up with to see if she can play back up when I serenade Judi.
I'll be sure to tell the drummer you're looking for her. What does she look like?
She will be wearing a hat.
Wow, that was Stevie Nicks folks!

Alright....look over there!
Who is that?

Oh my Gosh! It's Eileen from the Anger Management Girls!
Eileen! Eileen!
Hi! How are you? You look great!
You look amazing yourself! What a hat Eileen!
Yes, it's really something, isn't it? Honestly, I have to tell you, it was a last minute decision to wear this one. But it really makes a statement about who I am!
It most certainly does! So, tell me...what are you most looking forward to tonight?
Dancing on the tables!
You go girl!
I will! I most certainly will!
That Eileen, she is not angry at all!

Oh my....and look over there.....

It's Lucy from North Carolina!
Straight from her Lapband surgery!
What a woman!
Lucy, how are you?
Oh, I'm swell sweetie!
You look great! How's it going?
Oh, it's fabulous. I'm drinking lots of fun stuff! I sure hope they have good protein margaritas here!
I can't believe you came all the way from North Carolina for this event!
Oh, I wouldn't miss it for the world darling! It's time to shake my booty with Judi!

You go girl!
I will do that! Party on!

And, look who we have here! It's Molly from Texas! Another Lapbander! All the way from Texas! Molly! Molly! Over here!

Hey fine lady! How the hell are ya? I am so happy to be here! I am ready to PARTY!
You look amazing! Lovin' the martini shaker!
Well, I am amazing! Everything in Texas is amazing!
So, what have you been doing since you've been in town?
Shopping for hats, of course! Don't you love this one?
It's simply stunning! A perfect choice!
Yes, we Texans are something else, aren't we?
You sure are! So happy to see you here!
And I'm happier than a coyote drinking a sasparilla to be here!

And, over there....I see someone else coming up the red carpet! Oh, there's a bit of a buzz. Hold on. I have to wait until the crowd clears! Yep, I knew's Professor H!
I sure hope we can get a minute of her time. She looks pretty busy sharing wisdom with the masses over there.... Professor! You look fab tonight!
Yes, I'm wearing my new hat. It's something, ain't it?
Yes, it is! Tell us, what is in store for you tonight?
In celebration of this occasion, I'm presenting a mini shoecational workshop in the lounge--immediately before the Protein Highball demonstration
That sounds incredible!
Yes, I just finished doing the full version on the West Coast and it met with rave reviews. I'm turning it into a book in the very near future.
Can you tell us anything about it? Maybe an insider scoop.
Without giving too much away, I can tell you that it will be a spiritual guide as well as a leadership guide for shoeducators like myself. I'll draw from my own experiences as well as the experiences of the 1435 women who were involved in my dissertation research. I wouldn't be surprised if it wins a hell of a lot of awards. My mother is convinced I'll be a local hero--if nothing else. I come from a very shoe-obsessed hometown.
Sounds like I will have to buy that book!
Yes you will! And I want to be sure to tell all your listeners that all the proceeds from my book will go to Shoenation.
Shoenation? Please, Professor, enlighten us.
I apologize but I am in a bit of a hurry. Gerry just twittered me about some shoe and vodka issues that are happening inside. And, I have this very interesting text from someone who is asking me to come play back up on the drums. The life of a scholar-rocker like myself--- always on call! Forgive me, but I must go....
Yes, that was the infamous Professor H.....! I feel smarter already!

Oh, and comes that photoholic girl from Dormont!

Debbie! Wow! I can't believe I'm finally meeting you!
You do not look like a grandmother!!!
Well, I am! And, I have the most beautiful grandbaby on the planet!
Your hat is just wonderful!
Yes, my talented son Andy suggested I wear this for this special occasion
So, tell me, what are your plans for tonight?
I'm going to drink a lot
Well, this is the place to be!
I sure hope so. I'm very thirsty
Do you have any other plans for tonight?
I brought along my Barbies
Wow! Sounds like a fun night is in store for you!
Oh and I might screw Bruce Springsteen--if he's lucky
Very cool.
Yeah, you can take the girl out of Dormont but you can't take Dormont out of the girl.
Have fun Debbie!
There better be basil, strawberries and lemonade and vodka at this party!

Sounds like Debbie is planning a good time tonight!

Oh my....who is that running up the carpet? Is that Sue from Ohio????
Yep, that's Buckeye Sue with her famous cheery bucket hat! Wow! I am so excited to see her here!
Hey Sue! Love that hat!
I made it for my little Josie!
She let you wear it? What a sweetie!
Well, when she heard about this party, she made me wear it!
Smart girl! Any special plans for tonight?
It's hard to say! I might try to make it to the pastie making workshop.
Oh, that sounds very interesting
Yes, I enjoy crafts! And, I've always wanted pasties.
Well, then, you came to the right place!
I sure hope so! I mean, I traveled all the way from Ohio.....!

Oh boy folks....we certainly have a fab crowd of stars here tonight! What a night! From all the hooping and hollering and singing I am hearing from inside the Judiland Party Palace, I just know this is the place to be.....! Now, all we are missing is Judi. I wonder where she is.....

Psssst.....over here....

this party is for you....thanks for these 2 years and these 100 pounds....
I couldn't have done it without you.
Party on!

Bandiversary Blow Out-----

The hours are ticking away here friends.....

If you're coming to my mega party, to reserve your space.....your pix must arrive in my email by 7:30 pm EST sharp.
And, you better have a hat on......

Just in care you missed it.....
Here's the original invitation......

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A PIECE OF CAKE.........

So, was it really a piece of cake?
(talking about losing 100 pounds)
And no.

(but, please feel free to have a celebration of my 2nd Bandiversary)

Yeah, I know I'm so cool that I make losing 100 pounds easy.
Like it's a piece of cake.

The one thing that I can say for sure that cake has to do with my Lapband journey is this--I'm sure that there were many pieces of cake that contributed to me needing to get a Lapband.

As I sit here and look back over the past 2 years, I have to tell you--I am amazed--at both myself and the weight loss. Two years ago, if I would have known for sure that it would take me 2 years to lose this weight, I would have revolted---I would have run for the door, made a bee-line for the exit and called it quits. I'm very impatient like that. I know me. I wanted to get my Lapband and get thin--quick. Sure, I knew it wasn't going to happen overnight but I wanted it to. When I want something to be, I convince myself of it will be! Call it blind optimism or call it unreasonable but that's my m.o. At that point of my life (when I got my Lapband)--I was sick and tired of being fat. I wanted my fatness to be gone ASAP. And, I figured it would be.....because that's what I wanted.
Even though I read brochures that said it would take up to 2 years and I listened to testimonials that told me it would take up to 2 years and I went to workshops where they said over and over again that it would take up to 2 years and the doctor explained to me in plain English that it would take up to 2 years......I figured I could outsmart it. It wasn't going to take Judi 2 years! No way. No how. No. No. No. I'm special. I'm of a higher caliber than your typical Lapbander. I'm so much better than the rest. I'm a walking miracle.
2 years? For everyone else....but not for moi.

Well, friends....I'm here to tell you that it took me 2 years. The only thing I don't like about it is that I was wrong. I did not outsmart it. But now that I'm over the fact that I was wrong, I have to admit--I wouldn't have had it any other way. And, let's face it--2 years is not all that long. At least not when you're 50. Time goes pretty fast at this stage of the game. So, yeah, as I sit here on my Bandiversary Eve and reflect on my journey, I am happy to report that I'm glad that it took me 2 years.
I wouldn't have wanted to miss these 2 years.....
I know, I know....easy for me to say now that I'm sitting here 2 years later and having lost 100 pounds.

I think this all calls for a party.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Happy Blogoversary to me!!!!!!!!

Everything I learned, I learned from this moment on......
Thank you all for hanging out with me as I learned it.....

Morning martinis anyone?
  • 1 oz Chocolate Vodka
  • 1 oz Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 oz Bailey's Irish Cream

Pour each ingredient into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, strain into a martini glass, and serve.

That's the way...ah-ha-ah-ha...I like it!

Stay tuned for my mega-big-time-yippee-minus 100 pounds-yeah-I'm-a-hottie-wear-a-hat-bandiversary party!


Two days and counting.....

Friday, August 7, 2009

TGIF and all that jazz....

I'll be honest with you, as much as I simply adore going to the beach for 2 solid weeks, re-entry is a complete bitch. At this point, I don't even know why I'm looking forward to the weekend!! Why? Well....the time has come...I can make no more excuses about work or schedules or deadlines or projects--I have to face all of my miscalculations and sins!!! The way things look right now....I have a few too many commitments crammed into these next few days, I made way too many promises that I have no idea how I can keep and I'm pretty sure I have forgot something rather important--do I have an eye doctor appointment?
And, you heard it here friends--I am not completely unpacked or caught up with laundry from our trip. Even worse--I haven't quite finished the things I left undone before vacation! While I'm owning up to things, I might as well tell you that yes, those are remnants of Toni's birthday/ graduation party hidden under the dining room table! Oh, and yes...that odd array of pink stuff wedged into the corners--it's Toni-goes-to-college stuff....who knew she needed so much pink. As for that stack of envelopes, papers and magazines--that's 2 weeks worth of mail. So, yeah...if anyone sent me anything important these past 2 weeks--you can pretty much be assured I haven't seen it yet.....

Perhaps there's something to be said for shorter vacations.....

Yet, even with all of that being said....I'm still happy to have Friday here. I really do need a little extra sleep, a little less work day stress and just a tad more time to smell the roses and pull the weeds.

So, yeah, Happy Friday......

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gifts please!

That's right....!
I won't be shy!
I want gifts!

So, what does a girl who has closets full of clothes, huge piles of shoes, mountains of make up and enough junky jewelry to bling-out Liberace want?


No, not the magazine. Time as in--minutes and hours.
That's what I don't have enough of.

My 2nd Bandiversary is ONLY 4 days away! So, I think this is the perfect moment to tell you exactly how you can give me the perfect gift!

*I'm looking for guest bloggers who I can call on when I need a little extra time to do whatever it is that people do with extra time.
*No need to wrap it up all fancy-schmancy. Just say you will--either by email or in the comment section-- and I'll be in touch shortly!

*You can write your entry about anything you want!

Don't make me beg for gifts!

(it's not a good clashes with my lip gloss)

P.S. BTW--if you've been thinking about doing your own blog....this might be great way to get started! Once you're bitten by the blob bug, you might never turn back.....!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Unlikely angels in my path......

Michelle and Johnny walked into my life last night and possibly saved my life and definitely saved my sanity.

I haven't seen Michelle in years. I ran into her as I was quickly trying to pick up a few things at the store. I was headed someplace else. But, Michelle and I had so much to talk about.

In all the years I've known Carmen's cousin Johnny, he has never called me. He called me as I walked out of Starbucks. I was still trying to get to that someplace else. But, he wanted to ask me a few questions. So, I ducked into my car so we could chat.

For the most part--it was a typical Tuesday night in Judiland.
My mind was consumed by the usual things--work stuff and home stuff.
Carmen was at the house by the time I got home from work ---which is not usually the case. But, he had to be home to take care of a few things. He was stressed and cranky. He preferred to be home on his own and I was very happy to oblige.
So, Toni and I made a quick plan for the evening.
She wanted to go to the gym and I wanted to buy a gift and pick up a few large plastic containers at Big Lots. We figured we would stop for a quick dinner and then I wanted to head out to visit my father.
I dropped Toni off at the gym.
I had time on my hands to pick up the gift and to stop at Starbucks for a Chai Latte with an energy shot on my way to Big Lots
I made a quick stop at Marshall's to pick up the gift.
While there, I ran into Michelle--a friend from our days when we spent hours and hours at the dance studio with our daughters. By the time we finished talking, I was running a bit behind schedule. Still, I wanted my Chai Latte.
As I was running out of Starbucks, my phone rang and an unfamiliar male voice said "Judi, this is Johnny." Before I knew it, we were engrossed in a conversation and the time kept ticking away.
There was no time to get to Big Lots if I wanted to get back to the gym and pick up Toni on time.
Frustrated, hungry and running late, I raced to the gym, picked up Toni and we headed to a nearby place for dinner.
It was about 8:15 when we left the restaurant. Big Lots was right down the road. So, I figured we could make it there and I'd still have enough time to drop Toni off at home and get over to see my dad. But, as I was trying to get out of the restaurant parking lot, traffic was snarled. I could hear sirens in the distance. And, then, within moments--emergency vehicles and police cars raced by--lights flashing everywhere. I gave up trying to make the turn and opted to just drive home instead of trying to deal with a mess. As we were driving the short distance to our house, police cars and ambulances raced by us and I could hear helicopters flying overhead. Both Toni and I made jokes that perhaps they were somehow connected to Carmen's stressed-out mood.
As I made my way into the house for a quick bathroom break, my phone rang--it was my sister--frantic. She knew what my plans were for the evening and she was worried. Because the someplace else where I wanted to go.....was this complex.

No, it's not the gym that Toni goes to. But, many of her friends do. And, lots of our friends and neighbors belong as well. Because it's right down the road. By midnight last night, the phone lines in my little suburban hamlet--where things like this don't happen--were burning. Familiar names were being tossed around--everyone speculating who might have been there and what it was all about. Even as I sit here at this hour--looking out the window, I notice that many of my neighbors still have their TVs on.

I don't know if I overdosed on energy shots yesterday or if I'm just a little shell-shocked but I didn't sleep much.
But, that's okay.
I'll let you in on a little secret--for a long while--I was not looking forward to today.
That all changed last night.
Today is a gift.

God Bless the victims, their families and their friends and anyone who happened to be at the gym and the shopping center when this tragedy occurred.......