Follow me.......

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Good bye to my March madness.....

I'm so looking forward to my April fantasies......

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sleeping on the blogging job......

Yes, that's just what happened this morning.....
Let's talk tomorrow!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Three words about life.....

it goes on......

If you're lucky....

Coming off a weekend spent physically (and emotionally) moving my father out of his assisted living facility....the life goes on mantra means more to me than it did yesterday....
Besides the fact that I'm tired and just a tad bit nervous and stressed and overwhelmed, I'm also a little wiser.
Yes, I know....with age, you gain wisdom.
But, what I found out is....with more age, you gain acceptance.
Thus making acceptance the ultimate wisdom.

Acceptance is what I saw in my father yesterday.
As he sat in his new home--my sister's house.
He accepted--
*a place he never lived all of his 89 years.
*a place he visited on holidays or birthdays or special occasions is now his home.
*his third home in less than a year.

As his daughters and son-in-laws scampered about--moving furniture and checking wiring and testing intercoms and figuring out TV remotes and going through emergency drills and confirming schedules and working out menus and his young grandsons played video games and his granddog Willy sat at his feet--I could see the acceptance in his blue eyes.
As the TV blared and his new world began to emerge, his lips were still.
When he did speak--it was only to remind us that it was his brother's birthday.
His dear little brother Patsy's 88th birthday.
The beloved brother he buried a little over 2 months ago.
I could tell in his voice that he had accepted the fact that Patsy is no longer here....

And, it got me to thinking....acceptance is a peaceful way to live.
Acceptance is not the act of settling or complacency.
It's the conscious act of being wise enough to understand what's really important in that that very moment.
It's the wisdom to appreciate the seemingly insignificant pleasure of a comfy chair, a warm afghan and a plump ottoman and a place to call home....

As the day went on and I busied myself with the tasks at hand, I couldn't help but give thanks that I am blessed with a father who has the ultimate wisdom to accept what life gives him.
And, I silently prayed that I inherited his acceptance genes.....

My father---accepting his new home and the comfy chair that is now his....

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's a sandwich generation......

and I'm pretty sure I'm the bologna.......

What the hell am I talking about?

Well, according to Wikipedia and Webster.....
The Sandwich Generation is a generation of people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children.

I was never a fan of bologna.
Many, many years ago, my mother and I had lunch at my Aunt Mary's house.
She was making bologna sandwiches.
My mother--knowing that I did not like bologna sandwiches--whispered to me "if you cut it up into small pieces, it will taste better".
She was right.
I mean, it wasn't great.
But, I could make the best of it.

I'm taking my mother's advice on this bologna sandwich too.....

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I'll probably need more than just one of these today.....
There's so much to do in Judiland in the next 48 hours....
But, since I'm just coming off a lovely Friday evening....spent at Il Pizz, sipping Pino and sharing Burrata with Carmen then coming home to listening to some classic Bruce......I think I can get through it all.
So, it's time to get my chai latte going, slide into on my Size 8 jeans, put on a comfy t-shirt, throw on my cute little jacket, slip into my trusty red Bernie Mevs, glide on my lip gloss and head out the door......
This weekend is all about moving my father from his assisted living residence into my sister's home and turning my 2 sisters and I into his caretakers......
That's what I am doing.
How about you?

Friday, March 26, 2010


And, I know exactly how I want to spend it.
So, I'm gearing up to wage an all out demonstration here in Judiland.
When Carmen walks through that door....I am going to be carrying a sign that says "Il Pizzaola OR BUST".
And, like a good demonstrator, I'll be chanting--
Take me to Il Pizz or I will go on a wife strike!
No more laundry. No more cleaning!
No more cooking!
No more you know what!

It's not a fancy place.
A little neighborhood-y, bistro-y, rustic-y kind of place.
It's what I am in the mood for tonight.
Sure, I love boisterous neighborhood bars, little local pubs and even around-the-corner divey spots .
Sometimes I even like romantic, dimly lit, cha-cha kind of places.
But, not tonight.

And, you know what?
Going to Il Pizz...for me....right now....has nothing to do with the food.
I can thank my Lap band for that....
Although the food is good.
Very good.
So, I'm sure I'll have a few morsels.
Last time we were there....I had this amazing appetizer called Il Pizz, they serve it caprese die for....and a Lapbander's dream food....

But, no....

Right now....for's all about the atmosphere and the ambiance.
Oh, and the wine.
They've got this lush Pino Grigio that goes so well with sitting there in that ambiance.
It's what I need right now.
I can feel it in my soul.
And, did I mention that Carmen loves their dirty martinis?
I need Carmen to have one of those. I like him so much better when he does....
Especially on Fridays....

It's just the perfect place.....for this moment in time.

No, there's nothing special about this moment.

Sure, I've got a few things on my mind.
And, yes, it's Friday.
But, my week wasn't horrible.
It was busy and tiring and draining and chaotic and overwhelming.
But, it wasn't horrible.
And, yes, I know, I haven't even planned for Easter.
Or shopped for Easter.
Or even made a list of what I need to do for Easter.
And, I haven't even decorated for Easter.
And I've got the whole family coming.
So, I do have Easter stress....
Oh, and, sure, this weekend is the start of a new chapter in my life (more on that later...nothing for you to worry about)
But, me wanting to go to Il Pizz isn't about any of that.
Or, maybe it's all about all of that.

All I know is---it's Friday.
And, I want to go to Il Pizz.

I'm all about--take me to Il Pizzailo or risk wearing dirty underwear for the rest of your life....


Thursday, March 25, 2010

My biological clock is ticking.....

yep, that's what happens when you're 51, you've sent your kids off to find their passions in life, you're way over your career, you've got 326 pair of shoes, you own more black pants than days in the week and you've lost 115 pounds....
You realize you've only got so much time to set the world on fire.....or just make your life worthwhile.....or wear a bikini.....

No need for panic.
I'm not having major issues.
I'm not contemplating anything crazy.
Or insane.
Or embarrassing to my children.

I'm just thinking.
As I have been doing for quite some time now.
You know that.....I know you do.

The other night I was reading one of those tabloid magazines and came upon an article talking about some young starlet who was feeling her biological clock ticking.
And, I got to thinking.....I can feel my biological clock ticking too.....
But, it's another biological clock......
The one I can't ignore.
You know what I'm talking about.

Do you think I'm having a mid-life crisis?

Wooo hooo....bring on the belly button ring and the stud-muffin-bad-boy on the Harley!
(tell the bad boy to bring me pack of Salem Lights)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I like to do it with the lights on.......

and I have this man to thank for it......

Yes, without Ben, my eyeliner would not be on straight, my mascara would be all over my face and my lipstick would be outside the lines!
Definitely not a good Judi-look.

Yes, even though I've lost 115 pounds, I still need make-up.
Trust me on that one.

We never realize how important electricity is until we lose it.
Yesterday, a major transformer blew up in my little suburban hamlet.
Right when it was time for me to get ready for my day.
In the wee hours.
On a cloudy, dark, rainy morning.

Where's a flashlight when you need it?
Why, it's all the way down in the basement......
In the dark and cluttered basement of Judiland.

Keep the lights on!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dear Kirstie.......

I watched your new show the other night. And, I wanted to tell you that I love your decorating style. Any chance you can tell me the color you used on your bedroom walls? And, oh, I really love your kitchen....I could definitely whip some heavenly meals in that place. OOOOH and those shoes you were tossing around when you were looking at dresses with your stylist--to die for...

Alright, enough of the small talk.....
Let me get right to the point....
Put down the cake for a moment, sweetie.
I want to tell you about my Lapband.
I promise you....this little convo won't hurt a bit.
I just have one teensy-eensy question:

Have you ever thought about getting a Lapband?

After I ooooh and aaah and jump up and down and tell you how
absolutely wonderful it is, I just want you to think about it.
No pressure here, girlfriend.

But, I'll bet my shiney new red danskos that once you hear about it, you'll want one of your very own.

Honey, I was just like you....well.... minus the mansion and the animals and the big boobs and the bigger big bank account and the stylists and the long hair and the handyman......
But, yeah, I went through all the diets---even Jenny Craig--and I lost all the weight....and gained it all back and then some....
Sure, I didn't have paparrazzi taking my pictures and taunting me with them on the covers of magazines.
But, hey--my brother-in-law took pictures of me on holidays and everyone in my family saw them.
So, yeah, I get it, girlfriend.
Obesity is no fun.
Constant dieting is no fun.
Gaining and losing and gaining and losing is no fun either.
No fun at all.

My Lapband made all the difference.
The *no fun* is over.

Being a mega star and all--I'm sure you can get a Lapband of your very own *just like that* (snapping my fingers).
And, I give you my solemn oath if do you get one, you can eat cake.
As much as you want.
As much as you want......Labbandstyle that is.......

Lots of Love,

P.S. there might be a reality show in it all
P.S.S. and just in case you need Lapbanders for your reality show--I'm your girl.....

Monday, March 22, 2010

The heart goes on......

even after it stops....
or breaks...

Yesterday, I got word that a blogger friend--Bethany--passed away from a massive heart attack on Friday night.

My heart is broken--for her family, for her friends and for all of us--for losing such a special, inspiring young woman.
Please join me in keeping her loved ones in your prayers.

Even though you don't know it--you know Bethany too.
Bethany has been one of my blog readers who regularly emailed me with questions, updates, observations and frustrations.
Many of my postings were inspired by Bethany's journey or by an email she sent me.
Bethany has been fighting obesity--trying to improve her health and waging a war on the health issues she faced.

Bethany was....
a young mother who loved her children and adored being a mother.
a young wife who cherished her life.
a gentle, compassionate, soulful woman who was trying to live the life she deserved.....

And, now, Bethany is.....
a woman who was called home by her saviour....where her struggles shall end and her blessed eternity shall begin.
The only pure-Bethany thing I can find some reason to smile about is the fact that she was called home while doing one of her favorite midnight pass times--shopping at Walmart. I don't know why-- but, at the moment--I find immense comfort in the fact that she was called home while doing that....

Please visit Bethany's blog and leave a word for her family.
Her blog shall live on.....something else to take comfort in.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

And, the calendar says it's Spring........

which means it's time to Spring clean.....

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Food beats out weather.......

as a topic of conversation.......

A few weeks back, we met a few friends for drinks at a quaint little local place.
Carmen is in love with their dirty martinis and I am ga-ga over their unique wine list.
That's why we suggested meeting at this particular little spot near our house--a hidden enclave behind a small stone-oven restaurant on the main drag of my little suburban hamlet-- the wine and martini bar behind Il Pizzaiolo on Washington Road.
Here's a recent description of the place:
This place is a cocoon made for cool nights. From the well-worn leather couch facing the fireplace to the backlit blue bar, this room is as suited for romantic couples as it is for a gaggle o'pals.

LET ME BE CLEAR--this particular outing at this quaint little place was all about boozing.
We were not meeting for dinner and we had no intention of having food.
This night out was all about having a few drinks.

Then, why is it that all we talked about was--FOOD?

An entire table filled with eight over-50- folks-- all of us talking over each other--about FOOD!

Honestly, with the kind of weather we had been having--it would have been perfectly understandable if we would have had snow stories or shoveling stories or driving-in-snow stories or being-snowed-in stories.....
Instead, we had FOOD STORIES.
Two solid hours, several martinis and many glasses of wine later---all we talked about was FOOD---recipes, cooking classes, restaurants, holiday meals, FoodTV, best meals.....
Oh, you name the food or the food event or anything food-related ......we talked about it.
No. No. No.
We didn't just talk about FOOD.....we had emotional, heart-to-heart, gut wrenching, secret-sharing, drop-to-your-knees discussions about FOOD!
We had just survived several historical snow storms.....yet all we could talk about was FOOD?

Yes, friends, this is my life.

But, I love it.
Food won't go matter how many drinks I consume!
(just like every other challenge or obstacle in life!)
That's why I love my Lapband.
That's why I need my Lapband.

Friday, March 19, 2010

All I want.....

is an umbrella in my drink.......


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Heading towards Spring........

and putting the Winter of 2010 in our memory banks.....

But, before I do that....I wanted to show you a few pictures.
Further proof that Judiland NEEDS!

Here's what we woke up to February 6, 2010--
the first of 3 major winter storms that blasted
my little suburban hamlet over a period of 2 weeks.

--This first picture was taken from my front porch looking across our street and down our lane. At this point, the municipality snow plows had not visited but a neighbor made a very narrow path on the side walk for any brave walkers

--This next picture is of our deck (the back yard, patio and detached garage in the background are barely visible). Because I could not get out the dining room doors (due to the snow) to take the picture, I snapped it from inside the glass doors.

after all of just kept on snowing and snowing and snowing and snowing......until we reached a grand total of 40+ inches for the shortest month of the year.....

The snow has finally melted.
I want to wear sandals......

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tis the day before St. Patrick's Day......

and all through the house......not a creature is stirring.....not even my spouse...

Yes, that's right friends, Judiland is empty and quiet once again.
Carmen is doing his usual death-defying, until-you-drop schedule.
The kids have returned to their posts at PhDland and Collegeland---doing what they are supposed to be doing.
And, I'm working on getting used to the tempo of life without life in the house.

Everyone is doing what they do---as they should be. As I want them to do.
And, I'm here--still trying to figure out what I am supposed to be doing.
I know, I know, I am becoming a broken record....
But, don't cry for me, blog friends.

Listen, I don't want anyone thinking I have nothing at all to do.....
Trust me, I have lists and lists of things that could take up lots and lots of time and I've got obligations and commitments that can definitely suck hours out of me--24/7....(and, many times those obligations and commitments do suck it all out of me!)

I'm pretty sure my issue is more about purpose than anything else.
But I don't want to talk about that right now.

The other day, I made a decision.
As I went through the emotional angst of knowing that the kids were headed back to their own little worlds, I decided that this year is my test year. Yes, I know, a little late in declaring this year would be my test year--especially considering that summer break for Toni is only 8 weeks away and I'll be back to having at least one child home for a few months. But, nonetheless, in between my irrational fear of not having a life after full-time motherhood and my panic over not having all the laundry done before the kids had to leave.....I acknowledged that I can no longer beat myself up and torture myself because I haven't fallen into a new rhythm of life or found a new purpose for myself. And, out of pure self-kindness and self-care, I made the test year idea retroactive back to September. And, one more thing--I also laid down the law with myself--because I have been in a test year since September.....all my stops and starts were just part of the test.
So, heard it here......I am going to stop beating myself up and torturing myself because I haven't fallen into a new rhythm of life or found a new purpose for myself.
I mean--what the hell do I expect?
I was doing the full-time mom thing for's going to take more than a few months to figure out how not to do it!
(readers: this the part of my blog where you agree with me)

In the meantime, as I'm going through this testing phase--I thought I'd take another look at how much my life has changed because of my weight loss and make a real effort to celebrate it and embrace it...... just a wee little bit more.
I'm not talking about standing up and cheering or taking a bow or sending up fireworks because I can fit into a Size 10 or 8......
No, I'm much deeper than that.....
What I am talking about is more of an academic exercise.....
With lists and stuff like that.....
An analysis.
A reflection.
Sounds very impressive....doesn't it?
Essentially, what I am talking about is taking a long hard look at where I came from, where I've been and where I'm going and how my life is changing......not because of my age or my empty nest status or my pants size.....but because of the fact that I am no longer obese.
And, with that thought in mind--I want to make a list of things that I can now do that I could not do before and wanted to do but did not do because of my weight or how I looked or how I felt.....
Did you follow that?
And, after I figure out what those things are.....I want to do them....assuming I really do want to do them.
Figuring out if I want to do them is another part of the process, I suppose.
(holy shit....this all sounds pretty complex....this might take awhile!)

First question:
Was my weight the only thing stopping me from being a cage dancer?

Monday, March 15, 2010

A historical look at the St. Patrick's Day Parade.....

also known as----

in Judiland

Here I am, waiting at the trolley stop....heading to the parade. This particular year, I had to run out at the last minute and get a green track suit---
I had outgrown my green duds from 2004.
Hmmm....I don't look too happy here...maybe the trolley was late?

There I am, smack in the middle of my petite niece and my thinner, younger sister!
I had lost a few pounds that year, had finally fit into a size 18 pair of jeans and thought I could tuck my shirt in. What was I thinking?
BTW....note my amazing St. Pat's Day jacket.....
I wore it for the 2006 and 2007 St. Patrick's Day seasons...
it was a size 3x and I personally embellished it over a string of
3 very late nights of heavy duty creative crafting

Here I am with our friend Kevin--closing out the night at the Saloon. At this point, I had made the decision to go Lapband and was slowly going through the pre-lapband process. I had to run out the night before to buy a new pair of jeans to wear--size 22......

2008 parade day was interrupted by a case of pneumonia and bronchitis. Although I made it to the parade (of course!) in a pair of size 16 jeans, I was not in the picture-taking mood!
Plus, I'm pretty sure I was home in bed by 4 pm that day.....

partying on a mix of Theraflu and Vicks Vapo Rub will to it to you everytime!

Parade day 2009 had me wearing a pair
of size 12 petite bright green jeans from Coldwater Creek!

check out Carmen....the 2 fisted green beer drinker....
gotta get the Irish in that Italian boy somehow!

Did someone say Size 8 boyfriend jeans from New York and Company?

Through pants broad and narrow, I was wearing big ones and little ones, alive, alive oh!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Made the scene with GREEN.......

and lived to tell about it......
But, for now, I'll have to let the pictures below tell you all about it....
Because today is all about doing the mom Spring Breakers are heading back....
So, there's laundry and packing and cooking up whatever favorite meals I didn't cook all week I gotta wash this green right outta my hair....!
This was not the day to lose an hour sleep....

Here's a few pix from yesterdays Irish eyes give a timeline of the day!

Here I am.....decked out and ready to Irish eyes are smiling....

And, there I am again....this time in my Irish biker chick look....getting ready to head out the door....covering up my Irish eyes with my new Betsy Johnson shades.....even though we were headed out into the pouring down rain. But, trust me, behind those shades, my Irish eyes were bright and gay.....

And, there I am with Kegs and Eggs. My Irish eyes are laughing....they've stolen his heart away!

Here we have my college buddies Katie and Rene and I outside of the Smithfield Street Irish eyes are definitely smilin' being with these 2......

And, here's Kate and I at Easy're starting to hear the angels sing in my Irish eyes...

And, here's Martha and was too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral time for these Irish EYES!

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Only my hair dresser knows for sure.....

Just in case you don't believe that my hair turns GREEN right around this time every year's a few shots from St. Patrick's Day Parade 2009.....

That's Carmen and I starting out our day at the Saloon's Kegs and Eggs......check out my GREEN hair!

Here's Martha and I..... enjoying hair is still GREEN (and there's a BUD LIGHT sign trying to compete with my look)!

That's Kate and I......with Rene in the background trying to get in the pix and Eileen O'Malley looking mighty serious for parade day! Everyone is trying to get close to my GREEN hair!!!

And that's Judy and I......singing along with Michael Gallagher at the River City! See, I even sing in my GREEN hair!

Yep, and there I am with my college buddies--- Katie and Rene---hanging out at the Smithfield Street Cafe! The GREEN hair rages on!

And, that's Vince and I......closing out a wonderful day with my GREEN hair......and looking forward to St. Patrick's Day Parade Day 2010.

And, now St. Patrick's Day Parade Day is here.....
Which means we must start out with a good breakfast.....
The table is set.....
The revelers are on their way......
It's time to get the food on the table!!!

What's on the menu?
Irish Coffee
Margaritas (because they are GREEN!)
Dubliner Cheese on wheat crackers with pear and apple preserves

Irish Toast Casserole


  • 1 loaf sourdough bread
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash salt
  • Praline Topping, recipe follows
  • Maple syrup


Slice bread into 20 slices, 1-inch each. Arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish in 2 rows, overlapping the slices. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a rotary beater or whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture. Spoon some of the mixture in between the slices. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread Praline Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.

Praline Topping:

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and blend well.

Irish Potato Casserole


  • 1 (2 pound) package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups crushed cornflakes cereal
  • 1/4 cup melted butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine hash browns, 1/2 cup melted butter, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, chopped onion, Cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Place mixture in a 3 quart casserole dish.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, saute cornflakes in 1/4 cup melted butter, and sprinkle the mixture over the top of the casserole.
  4. Bake covered in preheated oven for 40 minutes.


P.S. Now that I have my new computer, I should be able to share pictures from this year. Got my fingers crossed that I'll take lots of pictures!! The only thing that might stop me is the gin.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Getting my green on.......

gotta make the scene with green......tomorrow is parade day.....
It's the place is to be seen in green......

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Kids' day......

That's what today is all about.

I have chucked my working mom persona for the next two days and I'm playing at-home-mom to my adult children.
So, the first thing I have to do is a little cleaning up......since that's what at-home-moms have to do when they have kids at home.
As my dear cherubs peacefully slumber without a care in the world, I have to banish the remnants of their inhabitance and their messiness and their carelessness and their devil-may-care lifestyles....
There's dishes and books and papers and pillows and shoes flung about the house.
What lovely sights to see.....through my rose colored glasses.....
Check in on me a little later to see if I'm wearing blinders....

Once the house comes alive with their fitful stirrings and melodic's time for mom's famous French toast and hot chocolate.

After that, the chaos will begin.
Oh, I just love the sounds of that chaos.
As I sit here in my serene and quiet house.....I imagine that it will be music to my ears.
Check in on me later today to see if I'm rocking to the beat of the music or trying desperately to turn down the volume!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Are you on a diet?

come on, fess up........

Alright. Alright.
Before you throw your coffee cup at the computer screen and stick pins in your voodoo Judi doll.....let me try to redeem myself here.
I'm not trying to out anyone or mock anyone or pull a look-at-me-I-lost-115-pounds on you.
I'm not doing a na-na-na-na-na-na.
And, I'm most certainly not poking fun at anyone at all.

I'm just askin'........
Are you on a diet?

And, why in the hell am I asking if you are on a diet?

Let me explain.

As you know--us Lapbanded folks can't really eat that much.
So, unless you want to be pretty wasteful with both money and food, you have to adapt your eating--especially when going to restaurants. After awhile, it can become second nature--especially if you frequent the same restaurants over and over again. You can get to know the portion size and you know what you can eat and you know what you like.
That's the way it is with me--we tend to go to the same favorite restaurants over and over again. I don't even have to look at the menu to know what I am getting. For some people--that might not sound like all that much fun. But, for me--it's one of the happy results of my Lapbanded life. I get to order something I love and not worry at all about the calorie content. And, I can spend the time that I would normally spend reading the menu and trying to decide what to order, sipping my wine, enjoying the company and just relaxing. As far as I am concerned--it's a win-win.

Last week, while in another town, we made plans to have a leisurely lunch at a place that came highly recommended to us. Going to new restaurants and visiting little out-of-the-way places is something we have come to enjoy as empty-nesters. We have had some lovely times exploring wine lists and comparing martinis as well as experimenting with menu items. Other times, we go for a specific recipe that comes highly recommended. That is what happened with this little restaurant---I heard rave reviews about the polenta. And, if there's anything that I absolutely love--it's polenta. But, not all polenta is created equal. My mother's polenta was the best. So I guess you could say I've been trying to find a polenta that tastes like hers. Because of that, I typically do not order it if it is on the menu unless I have it on good authority that it is worth eating.

As it turned out--the polenta at this restaurant was heavenly.....just like my mother's. It was so close to what I remember of my mother's, it actually brought tears to my eyes. It was the absolute perfect consistency, smothered in a delectable sauce and dusted with just the right amount of superb quality romano cheese.

Oh, how I raved about that polenta.
Anyone within 20 feet of me could tell--I was smitten by my polenta.
I was madly in love and on the verge of orgasmic while eating it.
Paired with the lovely wine and the quaint surroundings, I was as content and at peace as a girl could be.
I was happy.
No, no. I was beyond happy.
I was ecstatic.

So, when the waitress came back to check on us, I just had to tell her--this polenta is the most amazing polenta I have tasted in 37 years.....
She told me that people come from miles around just for the polenta.
OOOOH, I can see why! I told her with gusto!
I could have sworn my mother was in that kitchen doing her polenta magic.
It was just a lovely moment in time.....savouring that polenta and thinking of my mother in her full apron stirring polenta.....

As our meal was winding down and we were gazing out the window at the snow-covered country side, sipping our wine, the waitress came to check on us. She looked down at my plate and noticed that a very large portion of the polenta was still sitting here.
"Is everything okay?" she asked.
"Yes...." I purred--satisfied and filled to the brim with the wonderful polenta.
"Oh...." she said with some measure of concern---looking at my plate once again.
It was then that I realized that she thought I didn't like my polenta.....
"OOOOH.....I just loved my polenta," I told her.
"Are you finished?" she asked, a bit surprised
"Yes, I think so. I just loved it!" I told her, trying to convince her that I loved it so much that I somehow left over 3/4 of it on my plate.
"Are you sure?" she asked again, this time, very perplexed--bordering on panic.
"Oh yes!" I told her with great enthusiasm, "I just don't eat all that much..." I said, searching for the right thing to say.....
Her mood brightened a little and she smiled with if she just figured it out!
"You're on a diet!" she said, knowingly shaking her head in understanding.
For a moment, I wanted to say "no, I am not!"
But, then I realized.....if I said that--I would have a little more explaining to do.
Or, at least that's how I thought about it!
"Yes," I told her, whispering a bit.
"How do you do it? Just eat a little bit? Especially this polenta!!" she said, searching for the secret to my will power.
I wasn't quite sure what to say.
" just make myself do it," I said, stumbling a bit.
I took a big sip of wine, trying to soothe my guilt.
(she was probably thinking "she might not eat a lot but she sure does like her wine..")
The wine did not ease my guilt.....because I knew exactly what the server was thinking!
I was once that girl.
I have no idea how anyone could NOT completely devour good food in abundance--especially if it is sitting right in front of them!!!
I am always baffled by will power and self restraint when it comes to eating something as amazingly delicious as exceptional food.
Perhaps that's why diets never worked for me.
And, the funny truth was---for years and years before my Lap band--I was always on a diet.
So, no matter when you would have asked me--the true answer was YES, I AM ON A DIET....even if I had just devoured an entire pizza with a 1/2 dozen garlic bread sticks as a chaser. I WAS ON A DIET!!

Yet, there I sat in front of an almost full plate of the most amazing polenta I had eaten in 37 years and I am not on a diet yet I am lying that I am on a diet.

Blows my mind.

So...... just to be clear.......I am not a diet.
Unless I'm going undercover as being on a diet.
Then, yes, I am on a diet.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Back on the road.......

me and my fast-as-lightning new computer!

I'm in the fast lane!!!

Who knew a computer could go this fast?
There I in the previous century, thinking my circa 1999 computer was fast enough....
I mean, it did everything I told it to do.....
It obeyed me when I told it to cut and paste or go to a website or check my bank balance....
It allowed me to blog and do emails and even look at pictures.
Sure, sometimes it took a few extra minutes to accomplish the tasks.
But, what's a few minutes between friends?
I was happy to wait for it to think a little or mosey a bit or rest for a few moments....
It did it's job.....
It might not have been the fastest little old computer on the block
It was leisurely......
It stopped to smell the daisies.
It paused to enjoy the moment.
But, it got the job done.
Sure, it was showing it's age.....some of the letters had worn off the keys.
But, I knew exactly which keys went with which letters.
And, it was a bit clunky.....some might say it was kinda fat....
Not nearly as sleek and rip-roaring as my new computer.....
And, I'll admit, it didn't fit very well on the desk....
But, I was used to my 1999 Aptiva and it's snug fit.
I was comfortable with it's purring noises and it's hard grindings when it trying to wake up.
And, I accepted the fact that it wouldn't load my pictures without some major effort.
As clunky and slow and underperforming as it was okay by me.

But, now that my new, sleeker, sassier version has arrived.....
I'm kicking that clunker to the curb......
It's a new day in Judiland!

Finally, my computer has caught up with me....
The sleeker, sassier version of me!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I'm taking a mini blogvacation........

my son, the almost-doctor says it's time......

My son...the Almost-Computer-Doctor...says it's time to ditch my trusty IBM APTIVA (circa 1999).
I can't believe my own son is saying this.
This computer is older than all of his fancy degrees from those big time schools.
THIS COMPUTER is a member of our family....

It seems like only yesterday when it arrived on our door step.....a surprise Christmas gift for the kids. The most-up-to-date computer in all the land!
It entered our life on December 14, 1999.
From that day forward---this computer changed our lives.
I remember that date so well.
It was the same day that the pizza delivery man rammed into my red mini van.

My Almost-Computer-Doctor comes home from PhdLand for Spring Break....and THIS is what happens?
Yes, I guess so.

Stay tuned dear blog friends........looks like I'll be blogging from a new computer very soon!

I'm getting oh so weepy.....this is officially my last posting on this computer......
Hide the Girl Scout cookies!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dear Children Of Mine,

please hurry home to eat the Do-si-do's!!!
Your poor mommy is having some issues.
She has had some not-so-pleasant do-si-doing going on.....
Save her from her torment and all the icky stuff that goes with it!

Just when I thought it was safe to take the remaining supply of Girl Scout cookies from my office to my home, I hit a major traffic jam.
Tail lights as far as the eye could see.
It was late. I wanted to get home.
I had a headache.
I was switching radio stations looking for some tunes to hold me over.
And, I really had to go to the bathroom.....

I needed some help.
Some major assistance.
And, there, sitting beside me was a bag filled to the brim with boxes of Girl Scout cookies. And, right on top.....the Do Si Dos.
Those darling little oatmeal, peanut butter filled sandwich absolute fav!
They promised salvation.
I swear they did.....

Four cookies and 2 blocks happened.
That awful, horrible, painful, disgusting feeling.
The Do-si-dos and my Lap band were wrestling.....
And, the Lap band was winning.....
And, I was at least 2 miles from the closest fast food joint...where I could use the bathroom.
Now, I really needed help.....

And, you think I would have learned.
When I got home.....dishes were piled in the sink.
My energy was zapped and dinner prospects were nil.
The trash needed emptied and the recycling was spilling out on the floor.
I knew I had to run to the store to get supplies for Spring Break......milk and cereal for Vince, apples and oatmeal for Toni
I was tired.
I needed energy.
A cup of tea sounded heavenly.
And, wouldn't a Do-si-do go really well with that tea?

Two Do-si-dos and a 1/4 cup of tea later......
Wrestling match #2 began.....

Hurry home Vince and Toni!!!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Consider the possibilities......

not the problems....

"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity.

The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty"

-Winston Churchill

Rock on Winston!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Love thyself......

give thyself gifts.......

I've been meaning to talk about this for a few weeks now....but, between the snow and the self exploration and the hair-do torment and all the other thrilling things I've been babbling about, I kinda forgot....
Thankfully, one of my perceptive blog readers emailed me yesterday, jogging my memory.
Thank you Bandlola!

Several weeks ago, Bandlola emailed me with a list of questions.
Bandlola is what we bandsters call a baby bander--she had surgery in January. She is new to the Lapbanded life!
She had your typical questions that all new banders have.
And, I was more than happy to share my experience with her and tell her what I knew that could help her along.
A day or two later, she emailed me back to tell me that she was having a very hard time staying in the moment of her Lapband.
Not quite sure what she meant, I responded with a question of my own--what do you mean?
She told me that she has been dieting all of her life and always found a way around each diet--aka cheating.
She found herself slipping back into that same diet behavior with her band.
For instance, she knew that her band would not reject ice cream so she was eating lots and lots of ice cream--with carmel and chocolate and whipped cream on top!
And, she knew that she could easily eat mashed potatoes and creamed corn and puddings and soft cakes.
So, she did!
She was stocking her fridge and her cupboards with foods she knew she could eat.....foods that would slide right past her band.
She realized she was doing this...... but she was doing it just the same.
She said she was working the band just like she worked every other diet in her life......she was not working WITH the band!
She was working against it.
And, she was fully aware that she was doing it!
She wanted to know if I had any suggestions.
My immediate reactions were to either give her a pep talk or to get stern with her and tell her to stop it right now!
But, not really knowing Bandlola all that well and having some empathy for her situation--I didn't feel right doing that.
So, I told her I would think about it for a little while.

Which I did.

Although I still went with the pep talk and some quasi-stern advice, I also told her something else---you really have to make your Lapband a piece of every part of your daily life.
It cannot be an afterthought.
I told Bandlola that she had to integrate her banded life into everything.
Especially in the early days.
And, I told her that the key is that she has to continue to remind herself that she is one with her Lap band.
And, I went on to tell her that sometimes it's the little things that matter most.
It might be as simple of putting a string on your finger or a post-it note on your computer or a message on your mirror or a reminder greeting on your cell phone.
But, you really do have to incorporate your Lapband into every thing you can think of.
For me---I do a lot of little things from the passwords I use to always having my first Lap band appointment card in my wallet amongst my dollar bills and having another appointment card tucked in the visor of my car....right above my head so I can see it each day as I drive along or as I sit in traffic.

After I hit SEND.....I remembered something else.

I had to tell Bandlola!
I had to tell her about the gifts!

Without even realizing what I was doing ....I gave myself gifts along the way--gifts that I wear everyday to remind me of my journey---where I have been, where I have come from and where I am.
Although I didn't plan the gifts to coincide with milestones--they came to represent those milestones.
For instance--sometime around the time that I had lost the first 50 pounds....I received a Brighton bracelet that said Live the Life You Love.
As soon as I got it, I put it on and I never took it off.
Then, around the time I lost the 100 pounds, I was shopping in a little boutique and came upon another bracelet---a crystal sparkley little number! I immediately fell in love with it. It was a bit pricier than I would have liked but I remember thinking that it would look so lovely next to my Brighton bracelet.
So, giving in to my bracelet-love and feeling quite wonderful that I had fit into a pair of size 10 jeans, I bought it, put it on immediately and never took it off.
Yes, I wear them to bed and in the shower...I never take them off.
And, even though these bracelets were not planned--when I look down at them--as I do oh so often throughout my days--I am reminded of my Lap band, my journey and my success.
And, most importantly, I am reminded that each day my Lap band is a part of me......
My bracelets have become as much a part of my Lapband journey as my Lapband itself.
Yes, I am one with the band.
And, I have 2 lovely bracelets to prove it.
So, in the end---my advice to Bandlola---
Go out and get yourself gifts.
YOU are so worth it.

Sometimes it's all in the jewelry.....

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A new do?

I'm not sure if I ever mentioned sister is my hairdresser.
Not that it matters much or that I thought you were just dying to find out who does my's just that I thought I'd tell you before I leaped into sharing the horrendous mental anguish I am suffering hair.
Anyway, I'm not sure if she tells all of her customers this but she does tell her family-customers--"these are scissors in my hands, not a magic wand...."
So, yes, my sister Denise owns a beauty shop and has been my hairdresser since....well....forever.
Before that, she was my Barbie Doll's hairdresser and our dog Flip's hairdresser.....anything that had hair--she cut....
I guess you could say she always wanted to be a hairdresser.....
Thankfully, she's living her dream, doing her dream job...

Around this time of the year, I always get this hankering for a new haircut.
It's tradition.
This year, my hankering has gone full-throttle ---I'm really really craving a whole new look. Chalk it up to my weight loss or the fact that I'm 51 or maybe it's because we had 40+ inches of snow in February or maybe it has something to do with empty nesting.....or.....well, you get the idea....whatever the reason is---I am seriously wrestling with the idea of going with a whole new look.
And, I want to start with my hair.
So, I keep telling Denise--when I see her--that I'm thinking about it.
I tell her when we are chatting on the phone--that I'm thinking about it.
I text her that I am thinking about it.
I tell her that I'm thinking about it on Facebook.
Pretty soon, I'll be sending her smoke signals...that I'm thinking about it.
Because, damn it, I am thinking about it.
No. No. No.
I'm struggling with it.
I'm tormented by it.
I'm stressing over it.
I'm thinking about it.....morning, noon and night.
And, it's not like I can go to my hairdresser and say "what do you think?" and expect to hear what she really thinks.
Because, after all, my sister still wants to be invited for Easter dinner....

Because what she really thinks is---what if she does cut it and I hate it?
What if I start crying and screaming and hole up in my bedroom.....
Besides the fact that there would be no Easter dinner.....she would have to listen to me every single day...forever.
So, instead of encouraging me to throw caution to the wind and go for a whole new look, my sister will give me her standard family line about the scissors-magic wand thing.....
Who could blame her?
She does it not only in self defense but also in self preservation......and she needs somewhere to go for Easter....

Anyway, I really really need to make some kind of decision since I do have to make an appointment to get my roots back to my natural color....
And, once I'm in the chair for one thing....I might as well go all the way.....

So, here's where I need your help......
I'm looking for a few styles.....

So far, I'm really loving Kris Jenner's look....

Do you have any celeb styles I should consider???

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hello March.......

please stop the madness......