Follow me.......

Sunday, January 31, 2010

And then, the drunk man at the bar said......

you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my whole life.....

Sure, he slurred a few times and almost fell off his bar stool and told us he was 57--when he looked more like 77 and his eyes couldn't focus very well. But, that's what he said. Not just once. Several times. You can ask my spirited girlfriends. They'll tell ya. Ken told me....."you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my whole life."

Another weekend in Judiland.
Another January come and gone.
And yet, I remain, the most beautiful woman Ken has ever seen in his whole life.
Bring on February.....

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ushering out January......

with a night on the town........

As much as I am thrilled about a night on the town with my very spirited and gorgeous gal pals, let me tell you a little's really all about what I am wearing.
Or, more accurately--the size of what I am wearing....

Chico's Jacket--Size ZERO
Chico's Pants--Size ZERO-point-FIVE

Did you hear me? I mean.....did YOU hear me?

I can now officially declare that I have grown in and out of every size Chico's sells!! Whew. What an accomplishment!

Last weekend, during my little birthday jaunt, I made sure to include a visit to my favorite Chico's (in Happy Valley) on the planet. I was armed with coupons and a gift certificate and the great desire to buy myself something very birthday-girl worthy. The staff at this particular Chico's is wonderful.....helpful, honest, friendly and fun. They know their stuff and they know how to make you feel great.
What could be better?
As a matter of fact--this particular Chico's was the very first place that I found myself fitting into non plus size black pants. And, as I did my happy dance that day, they celebrated that moment with me! That is when I decided that Chico's is definitely the absolute best one on this planet!!! Even though I have my very own Chico's within 2 miles of my house.....
So, yeah, the Happy Valley Chico's is something pretty special.....
As evidenced by my visit last weekend......

I was shopping the sale rack, trying on jackets.....Chico Size 2
"Waaaaaay too big!" a lovely sales associate commented
"But, I like this jacket and you don't have it in a Size 1" I answered
"Let's see if we have it in a Size Zero!" she said, running off to find it before I could stop her and say "No, I could never wear a Zero!"
Moments later....she returned---not with the jacket that I was looking at but instead with another one.
"This would look great on you!" she said
"Is it a Size 1?" I asked
"No, it's a Zero!" she said, then added--when she noted my apprehension "YOU are a perfect Zero!"
When I doubted her, she pulled a Size 1 off the rack and handed it to me
"Just try this on for size" she told me
I tried it on.
"See, it fits great" I assured her
"Hmmm. Now, try the Size Zero on." she said thoughtfully
I complied.
A huge smile came across her face and she became very animated and excited.
"See! What did I tell you? THAT is your size! It fits so much better. Really shows off how small you are! The others are way too much material for you!" she exclaimed.
Then she motioned over to two other sales associates to come over
"Doesn't that look great on her?" she asked them
"She definitely wears a Zero, doesn't she? She has to quit wearing bigger things!" she went on.
"You know what that needs? Hold on! Oh my gosh, it is made for you! I know the perfect belt to show off that tiny waist....." one of the sales associates said, running towards the rack of belts.....

I felt like Cinderella going to the ball......
And, yeah, I bought it all....
(and a few more things....)

And, then at the counter as I was paying, another sales associate took my pants to ring them up and looked at me....
"Did you try these on? they are a Size 1." she said in a friendly-stern voice
"That's what I wear in pants here." I told her.
"No. Let me see them on you." she replied, directing me back to the dressing room....

A few moments later, as she assessed how I looked in the Chico's Size 1 black pants, she said
"You skinny girls just floor me! Why do you always hide your cute little bodies inside pants that a size too big for you? I am going to get you the zero.five! "

Now do you know why I just think that Chico's is the best one on the planet?

Let's get the party started......

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Running on empty.......

need to refuel, refresh and re-energize.

Winter doesn't really, really set in until mid January.
Mentally, that is.
That's when things go a little haywire and everything feels overwhelming and completely un-doable.
Maybe that's just in my world.

Morning comes and it's cold. The TV spouts off school closings and delays and road conditions and weather alerts. The car needs cleaned off. It's dark. The day ahead feels long. The evening's to-do lists look never ending. There's dishes in the sink, laundry falling out the doors and the damn Christmas tree is still standing. There's huge projects at work.
And, my eye brows need waxed.

So, I steal time and energy from other places of my life.
Lately, I've been hi-jacking blogging time.
In favor of a few extra moments of sleep.
Or, to catch up on emails and dishes.
Or, to fold laundry or do paperwork or clean up the living room or go to the grocery store....
Or, to just be.
I know. I know.
It's not right.
It happens.
We all do it.

Judi just has to get her groove back.....
If not that, I just need a few extra hours in the day, a truck load of energy shots and a tribe of eager and willing helper-bees......
And perhaps a new pair of amazing shoes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Girls Night Out......

( sister Denise, my life long friend and blog reader-- Debbie and me)


these 3 girls will gather around a bottle of wine......instead of a birdbath.......

Monday, January 25, 2010

It's Monday and I'm no longer 50......

I'm 51.....

In the words of my dear father......and it happened so quickly.....
And, to quote my beloved, late Uncle Patsy......the first 100 years are the hardest....
Those Carr boys always know/knew exactly what to say......

Funny how the years are counted.
There I was....just getting my 50 on and all of a I am.....I'm 51.
A few friends kindly reminded me that 51 means that I am in my 52nd year....which means that last week, I was in my 51st year.
What that means is that our age is actually a number that we are awarded only when we successfully complete a certain number of years.
Which, I suppose means that....well.....who in the hell cares?
It's all symantics.
And numbers.
Never liked symantics.
Never liked numbers.
I just like celebrations and parties and gifts and hoopla.
Oh, and shoes.
Let's not forget shoes.

You know....I guess there's something to be said for the way years are counted and birthdays are awarded....
Because....successful completion of anything is worthy of celebration.
So, no matter if you finish a 5 mile race, a tough project at work, a pile of laundry, a big weight loss or even a small one--a party should erupt.
We should revel in the fact that we did it.
Even successfully getting through an hour, a day, a week or a month should be looked at that way.
But, somehow, we tend to forget how to live in the moment and conclude by saying hey look at me, send up the fireworks, send in the clowns, give me a standing ovation!
And, of course, we'd be so busy celebrating and partying that we wouldn't have time for much else.....
Doesn't sound so bad....does it?
So, why aren't we doing it?
The problem, the way I see it, is that we are so busy getting on to the next thing or analyzing what we just accomplished that we either don't take the time to recognize the importance of it all or we don't think it's worthy enough of recognition. And, an even bigger problem is that we don't feel empowered enough to applaud ourselves!!!! We're led to believe that life has to be can't always be fun---we can't always be hi-fiving and bowing and shooting off fireworks and smiling and laughing and toasting ourselves!
What kind of a person spends all of their time celebrating and having a grand old time?
Just what kind a person does that?
(a person I'd like to be.....)

Birthdays are a bit different......
We get gifts, we get cards in the mail, we buy ourselves something special, we go on little jaunts, we go out with friends, we eat coconut cream pie, we drink wine, we drink martinis, we dance on tables, we get pedicures, we change our lip color....
We are supposed to celebrate birthdays......
It's very expected.
And, it's perfectly okay.
Completely acceptable.
So, that's just what I did.
No guilt. No excuses. No morning-after regret.

I'm thinking that I should start out my 52nd year by learning to celebrate everything......
Won't you please join me?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Taking Fifty-One on the road.......

while I'm on the road to 51........

Yes, sweet friends, I'm taking my birthday on the road.
That's what I'm going to do.
As soon as the 5 o'clock whistle blows....this 50 year old is heading out of town.
Out of town. And, out of 50. I come.....

Come back on Monday and I'll let you know what 51 feels like!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Don't ask.....don't tell......

The way I look at things--there are pieces of information that you just don't talk about.
For instance--I don't think it's proper to ask anyone or tell anyone how much money you make, how much you weigh, what your bank account looks like or how much you paid for your house or your car or if you've been arrested, served time in jail or in a mental instituion or how many people you've had sex with....
And, discussions on grades, test scores and rankings shouldn't be brought up either.
And, I'm not crazy about nosing into people's political views or religious beliefs or sexual orientations.
People are who they are and that's enough for me.
Everyone makes choices and decisions based on what they need and who they are.
People find their way in the world in ways that make them happy or in ways that work for them. Halleluiah!
If someone has more than me, makes more money than me, weighs less or more than me, is richer or poorer than me or is smarter than my kids or I, then so be it. If they choose to live differently than I do or pray in a different church or vote differently or feel differently than me on a subject---I'm cool with it all.
It's the balance of nature, it's what makes the world go 'round and damn--it's the way it should be.
I don't need to know someone's credentials, weight, QPA or credit score to love them, care about them or accept them.
Granted, some of those things can be figured out or found out if people are so inclined.
And, some of those topics can come up after a few glasses of wine, a few martinis or during a night out with the girls....
But, I don't think any of those things are topics that need to be discussed, judged or shared....among sober, sane folks....
It's just what I think.

So, why am I telling you all that?

In as much as I don't believe in talking about weight--it's what I do--everyday. Which, on the surface, I suppose makes me sound like a real hypocrit. Sure, I'm not asking who weighs what and I'm not making judgments on everyone's weights. But, I am throwing around in I lost 115 pounds. I guess it's okay since I'm talking about me.....right?
A conversation I was involved in the other day got me to thinking.....
It went like this....
LOVELY FRIEND OF JUDI (LFOJ): I really, really, really need to go on a diet! I've already blown my New Year's resolutions! Look how fat I am! I'm so disgusted!
ME: Oh, come on, don't be so hard on yourself!
LFOJ: Easy for you to say now that you lost all that weight! I don't know what to do! I'm always exhausted, my knees are killing me, my feet hurt all the time, everything in my closet is tight, I don't feel like doing a thing! You know I need to lose weight! I mean....don't you think I need to lose weight?
ME: Well.....if you really think losing weight would make you feel better then maybe you should check out some diet programs. Weight Watchers is great.
LFOJ: I just don't have the ambition or the energy for it! What would you do if you were me?
ME: I think that's pretty obvious what I would do.......
Yeah, that was the wrong answer.....
You see, by responding the way I did--I acknowledged the fact that LFOJ needed to lose weight. And, not only that--I told her that I thought she was so overweight that she needed a Lapband.
That is what she heard......'s how the conversation continued....
LFOJ: Well, that's you. I can't do that.
ME: No. No. No. I wasn't saying that.
LFOJ: Do you really think I need to lose as much as you did? I don't think I am THAT heavy! Am I?

Yeah, that didn't feel too good.
Here's what I heard....
She was saying that I looked much heavier than she does now!
Because, really.....I'm pretty sure she is just as heavy as I was before my Lapband.

So, yeah.....I'm now even more convinced that talking about weight is not a very good thing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How to really break the American economy........

if every woman in America would wake up every morning, look in the mirror and say...."I love myself just the way I am!"

Think about it.

Yep, I could be blamed for a lot of things but I'm pretty sure I couldn't be blamed for breaking the American economy......

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Coming into the home stretch......

of being 50........

Perhaps that's why I'm slowing down just a little, changing courses a bit and putting my foot on the savour these last few moments...of being 50.

Yes, that's the story I am going with!

No need to worry, dear friends, I am not bailing out on my blog or my healthier, smarter way of life!
I'm still thrilled to death with wearing smaller sizes and cuter shoes.
And, my Lapband is still the absolute best thing I ever did for myself.
I promise. Pinky swear.
As a matter of fact, my blog, my weight loss journey and my healthier life have been on my mind more than ever.
Because the time has come to declare the end of this journey.

And the beginning of another.......

What I'm saying is that my weight loss journey is over.
(I can't believe I'm saying this!!)

It's time for the next journey to begin......
(sure, my next journey might include weight loss....if I need to lose some weight.....but, let's hope I never have to lose 100 pounds again!)

That's what I've been thinking a lot about.

So, please don't worry, my blog and my chatter shall continue.
And, I will still be supporting Lapbanding and weight loss efforts and all that good stuff.
And, I will continue to share my life and thoughts.

But, I want to do more.

When I turn 51, I will do it......

But, until then.....I'm savouring these last moments of being 50.

That is my story.....

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm developing bad habits......

and they gotta stop.....

This is no way to kick off my birthday week.
Sleeping in a little.
Not eating a good breakfast.
Not doing my early morning blog.
What's become of me?

'tis January!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hitting the road.......

Christmas break is officially over.
Full-time motherhood is on hiatus....once again.
Toni and all her treasures are heading back to

I can't believe how overwhelmed with sadness I am.
Even more so than in September.
I really need to get out from underneath this feeling.

I really need to move on.....
But, for right now, the only place I'm going is back to college.....

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Respite from winter.........

here in my little suburban hamlet.....
It was a great day to shed my winter coat, hat, scarf and gloves and enjoy the above-freezing temps.
Thankfully, the weather cooperated fully because it was a day of getting all those last minute things done before it's time to load up the vehicle for the trip back to college.......
Yes, I'm sad. Will it ever get easier?
But, for right now, there's a pot of soup on the stove and a plan.....
Tonight is all about that pile of magazines on the counter, that soup on the stove and all those clothes and shoes that need packed.....
Another Saturday night in Judiland.

Friday, January 15, 2010


and yes I'm still doing the Sex-and-The-City-cheese-and-chocolate-thing......

I hope to be able to give it up soon.
But, for right now, it's working for me.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Still operating on a delayed blogging schedule,

a lousy sleep schedule and an even worse eating schedule......

I promise to get it all fixed up next week.
I'm just horribly out of whack.
For starters, it's still semi-Christmas around my house.
If you recall, I was in the middle of de-decorating when my Uncle took a turn for the worse and then passed away on Saturday.
So, I have bags and boxes piled on the dining room table, the Christmas tree is still dressed and standing in it's place and Santa is still hanging out on my porch---as are all the Merry Christmas signage, the lights, the reindeer and the garland.....
Then, there's the fact that I have paperwork galore to finish up......just waiting for me to get an hour or two to organize it and then do it.
Then, there's Toni. She's still home for a few more days. We need to get her packed up.
And, of course, I want to spend my extra time with her.
And, last but not least--I'm just sad.
A little more than sad, to be honest.
I'm feeling odd......anxious, scared, fearful.....I'm not sure how to describe it.
What I do know is that it's not a typical Judi-like feeling.
And, I don't like it.

When I get this way, I find myself turning to Cari, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte for help.
With a side of chocolate and cheese.
It gets me through.
Yes, I turn to my Sex And The City girlfriends......on demand
And, I dig out some chocolate and some cheese.
And we spend the whole night together--into the wee hours.
Until I pass out......

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Better late than never.........

that is what they say, isn't it?

This morning, this blog thing just wasn't going to happen. For starters, I got up a little later than usual. Then, I had to finish up my to-do list that I never finished yesterday and then I had to chase down a few addresses that I needed in order to get some paperwork done today. After that, I realized that I needed to download some forms for the paperwork I needed to finish. And, then, just when I thought I had everything under control--I realized I was missing a very critical piece of information for the paperwork I needed to finish today. And then I couldn't find my favorite white turtleneck. That's when the tears began......

I had thought I would blog all about the truly lovely and fitting send off we had for my uncle yesterday and share with you the many moving stories from the day. Because it was a good day. I found myself able to give some pretty good speeches and coax some wonderful stories out of my father. And, there were so many people who came with stories of their own to tell. Really, I did want to tell you about it all--from the special touches to the cherished words to the little miracles that were sprinkled throughout the day. But, that didn't happen.....

I lost my ability to blog this morning.......I was too busy feeling sorry for myself, trying not to look like I had been crying while I kept on crying and of course, working on finding a suitable substitute for the white turtleneck. It took all I had just to do those things. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I also ran out of my favorite winter time bath gel. I needed my Amber Romance! So, I cried......some more.

It's just been one of those days.
I'm hoping for a better tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


God answers: Who's there?

It's me, Patsy from Pittsburgh

God replies: We've been waiting for you Patsy!

Well, I wouldn't come until I was God damn sure you didn't have any laws against smoking in bars.

God replies: This is Heaven Patsy, not hell.

That's why I came!!

God replies: I didn't think you came for the food. Your mother's cooking hasn't improved since the last time she cooked for you.

The only thing she knew how to do with a frying pan was cook up bacon with lard or hit me with it when I came home with a few too get what I'm saying Lord?

God replies: No wonder she just ordered up a new frying pan!

Knock, knock, knockin' on Heaven's Door......

There's a party in's been going on for two days.
Now, it's time for a little celebration here on Earth as well.
We're burying my Uncle Patsy today.
And, we're doing it in grand Irish style.
Exactly as he would want.
On this cold January morn, we will forgo the pomp and circumstance of
a hearse to carry him to his parish.
In Irish custom, his chosen ballbearers will carry his casket through the cold streets of his neighborhood to the altar of his beloved parish--where they will lay him at the feet of his beloved saviour and
surrender him to his eternal home.

We've got ourselves an Irish priest and special blessings from the Bishop.
We've got pews filled with saints and sinners and politicians and nuns and dignitaries and drunks and judges and nieces and loved ones and neighbors and friends and shop keepers and doctors and
barbers and lawyers and bartenders....
We've got special prayers and meaningful music and eulogies
and readings and marches.
And when we are done, we shall take his body to rest--on
the windy hill of Calvary.
We shall lay his body next to his precious parents, alongside his cherished sister-in-law--my mother.
And, then, after we say our final good byes to his earthly image,
we shall put aside our sadness, drown out our sorrows and
raise our voices in song.
An Irish wake
for a true Irish gentleman.

I shall miss my Uncle Patsy all the days of my life.

Monday, January 11, 2010


of fatter days.....

Considering this blog is devoted to my journey with my Lapband, I do like to sneak the word Lapband in every so often. And, I do strive to talk about the Lapband itself and issues and topics related to it. Plus, I try to share whatever information I can about the entire process and my life with my Lapband. But, let's face it--no matter what I'm blogging about--my Lapband---or perhaps more appropriately my weight loss-- is involved. From career issues to recipes to shopping for shoes or decorating for Christmas--everything is lived and talked about from the vantage point of a girl with a Lapband who lost 100+ pounds. I realize it each and every day. So much so that I often ask myself--would I have done this/thought about this/been this way/talked about this/cared about this/wanted this 100+ pounds ago? You see--losing this weight changed every, every facet of my life---in ways that were expected--such as a better self image and improved health to ways that were not expected such as making it okay that my life doesn't include pasta and giving me the courage to rethink my career aspirations. It's made dashing up steps easier and wearing cute shoes a non issue. And it's helped me to understand what life is like when food and diets and weight do not take presidence over cooking good food, sharing a meal and enjoying the entire experience. It really has changed my world.
What it hasn't change my memories.
And, that's a good thing.
Especially now, as we go through family pictures and share stories about my uncle.
Memories are gifts. No matter how crazy or ridiculous they may be--they are ours forever.
Memories are what is left to us after it's all said and done.

And, so I thought I'd share this with you.....

As I may have already told you---my uncle had no children of his own. He had my 2 sisters and I--his blue-eyed nieces who he adored and spoiled beyond reason--partly because he took immense pride in the fact that we all managed to have Irish eyes and partly because he just loved us. And, we in turn, adored him--no matter what. We would be giddy with excitement when we knew he was coming. And, when he did walk in the door--our eyes and our hearts lit up like fireworks! We knew we were in for something wonderful. If not wonderful in the true sense--at least something pretty darn different than our daily suburban life. You see, my uncle was a bit of a playboy in his time--a madly handsome, party boy who could walk into any bar, any funeral home or any place at all and a party would begin. Yes, my Uncle Patsy took life up just another notch. He was a playfully naughty, sometimes downright naughty guy---but always naughty with a degree of sophistication and class. Just the right suit, the perfect shoes, every hair in place, tasteful jewelry, just the right car and always a breathless, adoring and glamorous girl dangling on his arm. He smoked his cigarettes with an air of sophistication, he held a pen with class, he even threw back his Irish whiskey in a way that made it look gallant. He sent gifts to our house in big trucks, delivered by men in suits, he chose jewelry and clothes for my mother that my father would never dream of and he would squire his three little nieces into clubby bars that only served men in suits who smoked cigars and he would proudly show us off to his AOH and Knights of Equity buddies at the St. Patrick's Day Parade. He loved my mother for dressing us in green. But, how he made her crazy with is antics--she would yell at him and lecture him, trying to hold back from smiling or laughing as her heart melted. He left her to deal with girlfriends he ducked out on, hearts he broke and even one time with the mother of a girl he whisked away to Atlantic City for a weekend date. Yet, my mother loved him like mad--her devil-may-care brother-in-law who rammed his car into her parents' front door the first day they met him. And, he worshipped her--his Italian, red-haired, green-eyed, hot-tempered sister-in-law who made his brother happy, cooked for his mother and gave him three little girls to love.
As I type this, I am just imagining their reunion in heaven....."Patsy, what the hell was that all about, what the hell were you thinking and why in the hell did you do that?"

Ah, the memories live this one:

Uncle Patsy is standing at the foot of my hospital bed with his side-kick Sarah, as I'm in labor (as it turned out, false labor) with Vince. "You look just like my mother lying there in that hospital bed. You look exactly like her! EXACTLY! I guess because you are so big. Fat like her. You know she died in this very same hospital. Can I smoke here?"

Sunday, January 10, 2010

'Tis you, 'tis you must go........

Patrick and Lois Carr--March 2006--still smiling after 6 years of marriage
(my uncle was a confirmed bachelor for most of his life.....
he married Lois when he was 78...I'll tell you that story some other time)

But come ye back when summer's in the meadow

Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow......
Oh, my Uncle Patsy, I love you so.

My beloved Uncle Patsy was called home last night at 10:06 pm. His smiling Irish eyes closed one last time before making his way to join all of those who waited for him beyond his earthly home. And, as he drew his last breath, a chapter of my life closed. A beautiful, adventure-filled 50 years and 351 days of being the beloved and adored niece of Patrick J. Carr. My reign as that special, can-do-nothing-wrong, God-damn beautiful and smart girl is over. And, I am sad. So sad that all I could think to do when I came home was to cook all night long. Chop and chop and stir and stir. Uncle Pat would say it was the Italian coming out in me....not the Irish. Because the Irish in me would have had me drinking all night long. But, I have to be clear headed today to deliver the news to my father--that his beloved little brother is gone. Wine and gin wouldn't help with that. And so, I just chopped and stirred and chopped and stirred some more---looking for the right words to tell him that his Padriac is gone.
I still haven't found those words but I can definitely feed him.

Uncle Patsy's story may be over but every moment of it will live on in my heart forever. The smiles those memories bring each day are the gifts that he has left me with.

......the pipes, the pipes are calling
from glen to glen,
and down the mountain side

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Excuse me while I de-decorate,

pack it up and put it all away.......
just the kitchen and the dining room, mind you...
The rest of the house (yes, I decorate every nook and cranny and hallway and toilet and bed post) will just have to wait....

I've been working on it since 5 am and have many more hours to go.....
Yes, I'm nuts, crazy, maniacal, out of mind, over the edge and....well.....crazy....

So, I know you'll forgive me for not chatting away today.
However I will leave you with my inner most thoughts......THIS SUCKS.
Although, on the bright side--it sucked a hell of a lot more 115 pounds ago.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The snow keeps falling......

as my head cold rages on and on and on and on......

Yes, wouldn't it be lovely to sit by a roaring fire, listening to some old Bruce, sipping a mug of hot chocolate with a splash of Frangelico, dreaming of a romantic beach getaway as the snow falls and the wind whips outside the window?
Yes, it would be.....
Instead, I have chosen to sit here bundled in flannel p.j.s and my robe, sipping theraflu, listening to the weather report and thinking about trudging out to clean the piles of snow off of my car and fighting my way through snarled traffic and snowy streets to get to the office.
Yes, that's exactly what I have chosen to do.....


Thursday, January 7, 2010


yesterday it was it's EXTRA-SMALL......

Geez, will I make up my mind already!

There was a sale.
A big one.
The kind of sale where things are thrown all over the table.
Turtlenecks that were once $59.95.
Now $9.95.
At one of my fav places......
I love turtlenecks. Don't you?

I needed a red one.
A white one.
A beige one.
An orange one.
Oh yeah.....and another black one (to add to my very ample black turtleneck collection).
Everyone was digging through them.
With that dazed this-is-an-absolutely-awesome-sale-I-need-everything look

check the sizes, check the sizes! I ordered my best all-time shopping partner

Whew, it was rough.
But, we found them a very respectable size MEDIUM....
Kinda sweet for a girl who once bought those same sweaters in a 3X, don't you think?

Yesterday morning called for a black turtleneck.
So, I pulled out my newly purchased on-sale black turtleneck and began snipping off the tags.
And, what to my wandering eyes did appear?
A tag that said......XS.
Do you know that XS means?
To be honest--the only reason why XS was ever in my vocabulary is because my fav shopping partner is just a petite little thing....

In our excitement and haste and the fever pitch created by the other sale shoppers pawing through the sweaters, we must have picked up an XS instead of a M.

It was 6 am.
It was cold.
The outfit that I had so carefully chosen needed that black turtleneck.
All...and I mean all.....of my other black turtlenecks were in the dirty laundry.
Red would not do.
White didn't cut it.
Orange was definitely a NO.
Beige would ruin the entire look.
It had to be black.
It had to be THAT black XS turtleneck.

I'll tell you, sweeties....there were sweat beads forming on the back of my neck as I starred down that XS turtleneck. Time stood still as I carefully hoisted it over my head and apprehensively slid it down over my body. I was waiting for my arms to feel it's snugness first. Then, I was sure it would not go over my boobs or get past my waist. Then, I was absolutely sure it would be a belly-baring shirt.....
None of that happened.
It fit.
That XS black turtleneck fit.
Gosh darn, holy moly, it fit.

I was EXTRA SMALL yesterday......on a day that I wanted to be BIG......

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


alright, there, I said it.....

I feel so much better.

You know how when you were a little girl, you would dream of being a princess or a queen or a cage dancer or Paul McCartney's wife or an actress or a model or a super hero or a Bond girl or Ken's girlfriend?
You remember that feeling...don't you?
I'll admit it, at one time or another, I wanted to be all of them....except maybe a superhero.....didn't like the outfits too much and I wasn't in to saving the world or rescuing cats in trees.
I wanted to be a writer.
Not just a writer.
A famous one.
A big time, famous writer.
For as long as I can remember.
Forever and ever.
But, I never really told anyone.
Not really.
I mean....I never really said it out loud.
I might have said I want to be a journalist.
That sounded a little more acceptable.
The idea that I wanted to just write sounded kinda kooky.

She's a writer?
What the hell does she write about?

People might have guessed that I wanted to be a writer.
And, I'm pretty sure I have scads of cousins and friends who are still a little surprised that I'm not a writer.
I had suitcases filled with notebooks with handwritten stories.
And little papers scribbled with thoughts were stuffed into drawers and under the bed.
And, people always asked me to write stuff--like thank you notes and social studies reports.
I guess when I became the editor of my high school paper, it might have been more apparent that I liked to write. Sort of. Even though I never liked that kind of writing.

Even when I went off to college....I didn't sign up to be a writing major.
Saying I was a writing major was just.....ahhhh.....too personal.
Like running on campus naked.....with my wacko thoughts and those stories in my head hanging out for everyone to see.
What does a writing major do? Write?
No, I would major in Communications.
Then, English.
Then English and Communications.
Then just English.
Never Writing.
But I wanted to write.
To be a writer.
A famous one.
But I was in love.
With a guy.
And shoes.
And clothes.
And I wanted to get married.
And do the white picket fence thing.
Two cars and two kids.
And a job.
After all, I needed to pay for that picket fence, the cars and the kids...and the shoes and the clothes.
It hasn't been a bad gig.
As a matter of fact--it's been a good gig.
Sure, it wasn't perfect 24/7/365/always.
It had it ups and downs. And backwards and forwards.
And, along the way....I did write.
In a journal.
Notes to teachers.
Letters to friends.
Work-related things.
Other people's letters to people they wanted to complain to or compliment or bitch at.
Cover letters.
So, yeah, I did write.

Then came my Lapband.
Then my blog.
Then you.

Then came my 50th birthday.
And then the empty nest thing.
Then the restless thing.
Then came some ah-ha/WTF? moments.
Big ones.

Then, just in the nick of time--came the soul searching.
And the dreaming.
And the thinking.

Every dream was the same.
Every soul searching moment arrived at the same discovery.
Every thought drifted back to the same vision.

Yes, I've spent the past year thinking about and dreaming about and discovering that I really want to become a famous writer.
I haven't come too far, have I?
Or, maybe I just came full circle.
Or, maybe I'm just a late bloomer.
Or, maybe it took losing 100+ pounds, turning 50, sending my youngest child off to college, my boss leaving, my other boss leaving, the new boss leaving and his boss leaving too....

My year of thinking about really being a famous writer is almost over.
So, I am telling you.
Owning up to it.
Admitting to it.
I want to be a famous writer.
Okay, I'll settle for a working writer.
A writer who can still buy shoes.

I don't have to be a mega star.
Maybe like a rockstar of choice to a nitch group of really great people.
Or maybe like a well-kept secret to a legion of ardent and loyal followers.
A guilty pleasure for suburban moms, closet smokers, people on diets, fashionistas and shoe lovers.
The go-to-girl for wine-drenched nights and morning-afters, fashion advice and soup recipes.
The place to land. To feel good. To be inspired. To tell you that you aren't really that bad.
To let you know you are not alone when you're thinking those things.
To let you know you are not alone when you're doing those things.....
where you are welcome to have a cigarette, a glass of wine with a martini chaser and say fuck....

I don't have to be on the cover of Time.
Or People.
Or Us.
Or even Vanity Fair.

I'm ready now.
To be a writer.

So, don't go anywhere.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The power of my Lapband........

did more than help me lose weight!

It's brought me many gifts! Some of them were wrapped up in ribbons and bows while others came in sweet words and heartfelt wishes! It connected me to a whole new world of friends around the globe.......people I would have never met if not for my Lapband...... who have inspired me and encouraged me and cheered me on! It's reconnected me with old friends, kept me in touch with dear ones, given me a new appreciation for what it means to have life long friends and blessed me with the comfort of knowing that technology and science are not just cold, impersonal trappings of a modern planet but warm and lovely avenues to the hearts and homes of some incredibly special folks!

I'm sending out a special thank you for all those gifts and giving a huge shout out to Jody for making my New Year's Eve just a little brighter and sweeter......
Yep, that edible arrangement arrived on my doorstep on New Year's Eve!
It was the star of my New Year's Day dessert buffet
.....and was enjoyed by all!!!!
Thank you just doesn't seem like quite enough........

Monday, January 4, 2010

What I did on my Christmas vacation.......

ah, the memories....that's just what I need this morning.....

I baked a little....
here's me in my very messy kitchen on my annual baking day....
I hung out with some of my favorite people......
here's Toni and I on Christmas Eve.....kicking off the holidays!
Here's Carmen and I on Christmas Eve....posing for the camera....

I enjoyed lots of RED.....
Welcome to my Christmas House!

I got dressed up in some of my finery from Christmases past (aka my niece's Ugly Sweater contest)
I took in the sites of Pittsburgh on Carmen's, my cute fella and my Chai Latte!

I wore a silly hat on New Year's Eve....
btw...ignore the big stain on Carmen's shirt.....
I made a yummy pomegranate punch on New Year's Day!

Yes, I survived another holiday season.......

Now, it's back to the real and my head cold!

Happy First Monday of 2010!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Baby it's cold outside......

as my head cold rages on......

It's the perfect day for...
smuggling an extra hot chai tea latte into a cozy little movie theater.....
catching a fun chick flick with some fun chicks....
taking in a little lunch at a fav little place.....
slurping some steamy soup...
sipping some lucsious wine....
having some girl talk......
and shutting out the wind and the cold and everything else.....if just for a little while.

Sounds like a good way to wind up the holidays and get ready for the onset of real life and to help with my inspiration quest on where to go from here.....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 2..........enjoying the peace and quiet of the New Year....

until the house wakes up....

And so....I'm here, sipping on my tea....gazing out into the darkness....starring at the snow that's piled on the trampoline in the backyard...wondering if it would be fun to just run out there in my fuzzy leopard robe, my furry red snowflake slippers with my hair askew and remnants of mascara flaking on my cheeks and jump on it.....
I wonder what it would be like.
Cold. I'm guessing.
Yes, cold.
I'm hoping the coldness is the only thing that is stopping me.
I'm hoping that I still have enough joy in my heart and fire in my soul that if the spirit moved me to really go out there and jump on the trampoline at 6 am, I'd matter what I looked like or what I was wearing.

Things are gonna change around here....for the better.I just know it.
Not that there's anything wrong with my home here on the Stories from the Road....
It's know....time for some redecorating and tweaking and foofing and fluffing.
The exact plans have not completely presented themselves to me....just yet.
They are still perculating.
I've been toying with a few ideas here and there.
Every once in awhile half thoughts would come to me and then get swept aside with the rigors of daily life.
This morning, I'm seeking inspiration.
And, wondering if I go out there and jump on the trampoline, something magical will happen to me.....
It's a New Year
Anything is possible.
Stay tuned.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Good Morning 2010.......

what do you have in store for me this year?

I suppose I should make some resolutions.
But, not today.
No. No. Not today.
It's a holiday.
I've got tables to set, pots to stir, concoctions to concoct and dishes to wash.
But, I promise between all of those things.....I'll be contemplating what comes next.
So, stay tuned, friends.
In between the garlic and the dishwashing liquid, I just know some big thoughts will be born.

Every new beginning comes from
some other beginnings end.

Semi Sonic- Closing Time

Happy New Year to my sparkling and fun blog reader friends!

Thank you for hanging out with me for another year
I look forward to blogging it out with you in 2010!

with love,