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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Back in the saddle.....

getting ready to fall off my horse......

I'm going to warn everyone up blogging may either be non existent or more than you can handle for the next ten days.
It all depends.
Don't say I didn't warn you.
You see, no sooner did I return from the city that never sleeps, I entered into a world that never sleeps.
I've moved lock, stock and barrel into my sister's home to be the primary caretaker for my father for the next ten days. Beginning RIGHT NOW!
In between all of that....yes, I have to go to work.
While my sisters and their families as well as my father's regular caretaker go to the beach.
Yeah, we didn't plan that too well....having everyone on vacation at the same time.... including his regular, wonderful, full time caretaker Mary Kay!
Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.
But, of course, they all need a break. Life gets very taxing.
I'm more than willing and happy to step in and cover all the duties that need attended to so that my sisters can dig their toes in the sand, enjoy some beach drinks, romp with their children and get a respite from everyday life. And, of course, if anyone needs a little vacation--it's his full time caregiver--Mary Kay. They all deserve it.
And, what's 10 days in my life anyhow?
I guess we are about to find out!
Thankfully, I won't be entirely on my own.
We managed to scramble a bit and scrape up some help.
Lovely blog reader and genuinely sweet girl Brittany stepped forward to make sure I can get out the door each morning and a myriad of friends and other generous folks have agreed to pitch hit so I can carry on life in Judiland. As much as I can....
Now, when I say a world that never sleeps, I am not kidding.
I'm counting on the activity brought on by people coming and going to keep my father alert and awake during the day hours so that he doesn't keep me up all night watching Pirate games that go into 19 innings, reruns of Walker Texas Ranger, the History Channel, non stop CNN or his tales of life. As much as those things can be enjoyable (ahhh....)....a girl needs her beauty sleep.
And, her sanity.
Oh, and to drive to work without falling asleep at the wheel.

Now, not to break away from the true thread of my Lapband, food, eating and my weight loss....I'd like to take this opportunity to give you a little insight into how that will all be integrated into my week of father sitting.
My father is on a diet.
Yes, my 91 year old father is on a mission to lose 20+ pounds.
There will no non stop Klondike eating.
Or so he says.
My sister has put him on strict orders to cut out the fun food, to eat healthy and to lose weight.
So, when my sister was still within a 10 mile radius of him, he informed me of the plan.
He was not smiling at all when he told me about it.
But, he said that he is committed.
Now that my sister is safely tucked away at the beach.....hundred of miles away....I wonder just how committed he will be.
Klondikes are on sale this week, you know.
Considering that my father gained 12 (yes 12!) pounds last summer when I took over the reigns of his care when my sisters escaped to the beach, this diet thing might be what puts me over the edge.
I have always counted on food to keep him happy and busy.
Maybe it's not him but me that needs to rewire my brain when it comes to food....

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New York! New York!

Here I come!
It's been a rough 24 hours but this girl is ready to go.
So, big, shiney city, you betta get ready.
These little town blues are melting away.......
I want to wake up in a city that never sleeps and find I'm A-number-one, top of the list, Queen of the hill......

The only thing standing between me and seeing the BIG APPLE and hanging with the Jerseyliscious crowd is a little thing called.....the road.

My bags aren't packed but I am ready to go.

I'll be back next week with a full report!
Until then....

These vagabond shoes are longing to stray

(and ooooh I've got some pretty great shoes for this little fact, I might have to decide between a few pretty amazing pairs....ugh...that's why I haven't packed yet!)

Right through the very heart of it, New York, New York!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Yes, it's hot here......

what a perfect day to be on a beach.....
Somewhere, anywhere.......

Okay, I am officially having some very serious beach withdraw.
Although we've had several lovely excursions and fun trips the past two years and we've been enjoying a lovely summer filled with places to go, people to see and things to do (so I feel like a total ingrate complaining), I am in serious need of a real beach vacation.
Serious. Need.
The kind of vacation that is all about the beach.
I'm feeling the loss down to the core of my soul.
I miss the sand.
I miss my beach chair.
I miss my beach drink.
I miss the sound of the waves.
I miss......oooh....shit....I just miss it all.
And, I want to wear my bathing suit.
Morning. Noon. And night.
There. I said it.
YES!!! I said I want to wear my bathing suit.
For the first time in many years, the idea that a bathing suit would be my complete vacation wardrobe actually sounds glorious. Not hideous.
But, it's not to be.
Unless I sneak in a little trip within the next few weeks., it's not going to happen.
Pardon me while I wipe my tears.
The summer goes way to0 fast.
Between now and September, we've got a few trips coming up, a few obligations we need to attend to and of course---there's the back to college stuff.
So, I'm going to do my best in making believe that I am at the beach.
As I dangle my feet from my office chair and sip my chai.

I don't have the beach but I do have chai.

Sometimes you just have to look on the bright side of life.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday morning, I sure looked fine..... was MONDAY MORNING.
After a full weekend of shopping, cooking, dancing, singing, pretending I was 17, houseworking, gardening
(which helped me realize I am not 17), martini-ing, wine-ing , ( both of which also helped me to realize I am not 17) sun soaking, laundrying, dad dutying....and not much sleeping....

Need I say more?

On to Tuesdaying.....

Sunday, July 17, 2011


and Scagged!

Rewind to the Fall of 1976.
The 6th Floor of a girls dormitory in a sleepy little college town.
The album was Silk Degrees.

We ate. We drank. We studied. We slept. We talked.
To. That. Album.
And, you those days it wasn't an easy thing to do.
You had to keep turning the album over and over.
Yes, life was rough in the 70's.

So, last night, me and a few thousand other college kids from the 70's spent a lovely night under the stars dancing and singing with Boz.
We just partied up a storm.
No Sloe Gin or joints.
We took it up a notch.
Gandy Dancer Saloon for pre concert martinis.
Sheraton Bar for post concert martinis.
Then, my front porch for late night smokes and drinks and reminiscing.
Yes, we've matured a bit since our days on the 6th Floor of Clyde Hall.
That accounts for my headache this morning.
And, for the fact that I can't just lay on the couch and nurse that headache.
No, I've got a big project going on this morning....a result of a little pre concert Estate Sale.
(Oh yeah, we go to Estate Sales on the way to concerts now! Aren't we wild girls?)
Then, after I finish up my project, we're off to a pool party.
After I put together my shish kabobs.
Lido.. woah oh oh oh................

Friday, July 15, 2011

Just when I think I've heard everything......

then, I read THIS ARTICLE.....
Should Government Remove Children From Families If They Become Obese?
Where will they send them?

I can't help but wonder then if it's also a good idea to just shoot any adult with a BMI over 40?
Shooting fat people might be a good idea.....don't ya think?

They would be great for target practice.....more area to aim at.
No one would ever miss a good shot at an obese person.

Thank God it's Friday.....I think I've had enough of the news this week.....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sometimes I just have to turn off the TV.......

because I don't like the headlines.... they NEVER tell the real story.....

Look at this headline.........

Lapbands fail at high rates.....

As soon as I heard the promo for this story, I couldn't wait to tune in.

The funny thing is that moments before I tuned in, I picked up my mail.
My mail contained a letter and a newsletter from the Lap Band study that I have been involved with for the past 4 years.

The study ---which included over 600 participants-- reported VERY DIFFERENT findings than that of the one reported on my local station...

This is the study that I have spent four years providing statistics and information for.
I have been extremely engaged in every aspect of this study.
There are thousands of folks just like me who are involved.
We have spent hours and hours under the microscope for this study.
We have worn the ankle bracelets they ask us to wear.
We have documented our eating.
We have logged our exercise.
We have underwent every test---physical and emotional--that they required.
We have filled out hundreds of questionaires.
We have completed hours of physical testing.
We have talked to every Tom, Dick and Mary they have on staff.
We have been weighed on multiple scales and we have been prodded with lots of needles and we have answered millions of questions.
We have been measured on every part of our bodies.
We have talked to psychiatrists, general pracitioners, surgeons, counselors and doctors.
Yes, the study covered all the bases.....
Because this is *REAL LIFE*.....

Sooooo.... in addition to everything else in my life....I have actively participated in this study.
I have been dedicated to it for FOUR YEARS.
Because I believe in academic research.
I subscribe to the belief that in order to go forward, we must know where we have been and where we are.
I embrace the concept that research is the only way to improve the future.

Forgive me if I get a little pissed off about the fact that the study my local news was touting was only talking about 82 patients.

My local news made the assumption that the Lap Band was not a good option based on ONLY 82 patients?
I just don't get it.....
the odds are not good!
My heart aches for anyone who was thinking about a Lapband and was listening to this story!!
I have one thing to say to anyone who is questioning their decision to get a Lap band
And, I am on this journey with YOU!

All of this makes me wonder if my local station (they used it for each promo) was only after the ratings.!!!
And, sadly, it makes me pretty pissed off that this article might scare folks off from getting a Lap Band!!!
Why is the world so judgmental when it comes to weight loss surgery????

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I couldn't even help the cause......

Even with one less obese person (ME!) in Pennsylvania, our state obesity numbers still climbed.....a staggering amount!!!!!


I tried.
But, I can't do it alone.
It takes a village.

It's all over the news.....Americans are getting fatter!
Check out where your home state ranked:
"F as in FAT"!

The other night as I watched a TV spot showing a video of obese folks--with close-ups of their stomachs, legs, butts-- walking about the streets of Pittsburgh, I couldn't help but worry that someone, somewhere in my hometown was sitting down in front of their TV and was catching a glimpse of themselves walking around downtown and being called OBESE on their local TV channel....for everyone to see.
Or...worse yet.....seeing himself or herself eating lunch on NATIONAL TV!
I shuddered at the thought.
That could have been me less than 5 years ago.
I just don't know what I would have done if I would have seen that....

It's one thing to know you've got a few pounds to lose.
It's another thing to willingly go on TV and talk about it.
It's a whole other matter when you are just innocently walking to your job or eating lunch or talking with a friend or shopping and you are profiled as being obese...being called a part of a growing FAT epidemic.
To add insult to injury-- they show a close up of your ass or your belly bulge!
I know, I know, it happens to the rich and famous all the time!!!
Celebrities and starlets( in their body baring bad fashion choices) being splashed across the tabloids and our TV sets is one thing.
It's not right but it's not like it's shocking in this day and age. There's something that feels a little less ugly about it than every day folks like you and me being unknowingly put on display and showing all the world our dirty BIG secrets.....

I know I talk about the Lap Band as being the next best thing to the Salk vaccine.
But, I am here to tell beloved Lap band is the only thing standing between me and being videotaped as I eat nachos in the park by a TV channel because I'm part of the FAT EPIDEMIC.....
And, I know you are all probably a little sick and tired of Judi singing Lap Band praises.
And, I know that it doesn't work for everyone.
But, when I read something like this--that obesity is on the rise--it makes me wonder.....when is someone going to do something about the obesity problem?
And I'm not talking about shutting down all the fast food restaurants on the planet.
I'm talking about the HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY!
When are they going to wake up? When are they going to see the light? When are they going to stop the madness?
Are they afraid that by covering weight loss surgery (or any type of weight loss support) that they will put the drug industry and the heart doctors and the chirpractors and the diabetes doctors and the chiropractors out of the business or make them a little less rich off of the obese folks of the world?
There are people out there who are obese and who are losing the war on their health and they really want a Lap band and their insurance companies won't pay for it.
Yet, their insurance companies will pay for their blood pressure pills, their cholesterol meds and their diabetes care and their knee replacements and their sleep studies and their chiropractic care and everything else they medically need due to their obesity!
And, of course, their insurance would not bat an eye if they have pay for their stays in the hospital when they have that heart attack or stroke....

I mean....really.
Doesn't this sound a little....ahhhh.....CRAZY MIXED UP???
If they are spending oodles of dollars doing studies, one would hope they are going to use those results of those studies to move forward!
Who is taking notice besides me and the poor person who spotted themselves on TV???
Why aren't health care companies covering weight loss support, medications, services and surgery?
It's just downright unacceptable, unbelievable and if you ask me.....very stupid.
Come to think of it--it's inexplicable! criminal! disgusting!

I mean really.......why aren't we screaming and yelling and causing a fuss about this?
I would gander to believe that a few million obese people could cause quite a stir.....don't you?
Imagine, a few thousand obese people stomping their feet, waving their arms, yelling and screaming and demanding action!
Think of the thunder. Hear the roar. It would sweep the nation. It would be heard.
Why not? Why hasn't this happened?
Where's the outrage folks?
It's not here. At least not enough.
Makes a girl wonder.....maybe it's because when you are obese, you don't want to be noticed.......obese people don't like to advertise their obesity.
Maybe that's why no one is forcing the government and the health care industry to sit up and take notice.
Now I think I get it.
It's time to get out of the corners of your life and come forward!!!
It's time to take action.....we all know healthy weight and well porportioned folks aren't going to do it!!!!
The obese people of this country have to stomp their feet and shake their fists and throw their weight around and be the achitects of change!
It's up to us to change the obesity numbers!!!
It's a cause we all have to take on.....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pants whispering....

Between you and me....
I think I figured out why I shopped so much......
Excuse me while I speak rather softly....
I often wondered why I never had a thing to wear when the seasons changed.
I never got it when I would compliment someone on an outfit and they would say "oh, I got this last year".....
Really? I mean.....really?
You got those pants last year and they fit this year? You are shittin' me....
I was in utter amazement that they had bought those pants last summer (or winter or fall or spring) and they still fit this summer (or winter or fall or spring).
Because for me---for a good portion of the past 30 years, nothing ever fit from the year before.
Oh sure, I had a few things I could make do with.
It was like I was a growing child!!!
What size does she wear this year?
Especially when it came to pants.
I always needed a whole new set of pants each season.
So, unless I wanted to go pantless.....I had to shop.
For pants.

It's no wonder that I have this ridiculous fear of putting on pants for the first time each season.
In fact, my affliction got so bad for several of those years that I didn't even bother to try on my pants from the year before! Why torture myself? I just went and bought new ones.
Whether I needed them or not.
So, believe me when I tell you---putting on a pair of pants from last year is a huge step for me.
A huge, huge step.
It was even worse this year.
Because last summer is when I saw myself get to a new low in pants sizes.
Never in my wildest imagination would I believe that I could wear that same low pants size two years in a row.
Therefore, last year, I took great pride in strutting in those pants.....trying to get the most out of them since I just could not imagine I'd ever wear them past the Summer of 2010.
But, you know what?
I'm wearing those pants this year.
(thank you Lapband!)
And, you know what else?
I think I might just go and buy more.
Just because I like that size.
Don't tell anyone that I haven't recovered from my shopoholic behavior.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Blowing in the wind.........

That's my plan for this week.......

Toni is off to the beach.
Carmen is off to Atlanta.
Vince is off doing what he does.
I'm off to work.......

But, in my head.....there are warm breezes blowing.
I need to feel the summer!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


at my house!!!
That's a reason for a party!!!!

Happy 20th Birthday Toni!

So, we celebrated last night.....
(only because my girl is leaving this morning for a beach trip with her friends! It's the first July 10th in 20 years that I am not spending with my girl! But, this is what I raised her to have fun with her friends!!!!)
But, I couldn't let her go with a little celebrating.....

We started with a little private party at home and then we had a wonderful night on the town!
I'll let the pictures tell the story......

YOU......Our BROWN EYED GIRL!!!!! We love you!!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Do you FEEL your fashion today?

Or are you FEELING yesterday's fashion?

A few months back, I decided I was going to figure out my clothing picks every night for the next day.
So, I'd come home from work each day and lay out my clothes, my shoes, my accessories....and even my undies for the next day.
I felt oh so organized and grown up doing that.
It was a good idea and definitely helped me out for a few months.
It made the morning so much smoother.
But, there were some mornings I woke up and didn't feel my outfit.
Sometimes I bit the bullet--for the sake of time--and just put it on.
But, all day long, I just wasn't feeling my fashion.
It made for a difficult day.
Other days, I just couldn't face the thought of not feeling one with my outfit.
So, I'd dive back into my piles of clothes and shoes and accessories and come up with a whole new look....a look I was feeling that day.
Chaotic and maniacal? Yes. But, it's what was needed.

After a few months, I abandoned my organized and grown up behavior and went back to my typical morning fashion crisis.....what look am I feeling today?
It's a tiring process....feeling your fashion.
I mean...first you have to assess your mood as it relates to color and heel height.
Then, you have to decide if you are feeling like super professional woman or super rocker gal.
Or somewhere in between.
Then, you have to try to remember what your office calendar looks wouldn't want to wear 4 inch heels when you're meeting with a 5'5" CEO or put on a huge jewel encrusted cross necklace if you are meeting with Ms. Earth Shoe Woman and you clearly don't want to wear those oh so great but uncomfortable shoes if you know you have to walk across town for a meeting....
And, damn, you definitely don't want to rock the room with your fashion if you're going to one of those meetings....
Mastering it all takes time and talent and a rock solid fashionucation.

No matter how fluffy fashion might be thought of, I am here to tell you it's of a higher profession than most even care to acknowledge.
Fashion can make you or break you.
And, I, my friends, never want to be broken by fashion.
So, each morning, my quest is the find the perfect outfit for that day.
I'm not organized about it. I'm not scientific about it. And, I'm not smart about it.
Most mornings I'm wading through my closet, tearing through my shoes, rifling through my jewelry boxes.
I'm throwing clothes, I'm digging through piles and I'm running around like a possessed woman.
But, damn, if I do it right--when I walk out my door, I feel my fashion.
As far as I am concerned that's the ultimate goal.
If I reach it, I've succeeded.
And, I've enriched everyone around me.
I've respected them, I've let them know they matter and most importantly--I have educated them just a wee bit about the importance of feeling your fashion in every situation.
Plus, when I feel my fashion, I feel better, I look better and I do better.
If I don't reach my goal, I've failed.
I lack the ability to do my best because I'm not feeling my best and I'm entirely too consumed by not feeling my fashion to do my best. Get that?
And, just as importantly, when I'm not feeling my fashion--I haven't shared myself fully, I haven't done justice to my environment, I haven't given the day or the occasion or the moment it's due and I may have even hindered the future fashion choices of those around me.
So, you see, the burden I carry each day is heavy.
I owe it to the world around me to make sure I feel my fashion each day.
It's a tough job but I am just the girl to take it on.
Most days.
Especially on Fridays.

Now, doesn't that make you just wanna feel your fashion today?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I hit the wall........

Sometimes a girl gets tired.
Exhausted is more like it.
I cannot even form a thought.
Or move a muscle.
Or do another dish.
Or clean up another mess.
Or think of another menu.
Or cook another thing.
Or even sneak outside to smoke a cigarette.
Yes, I'm that tired.
I might be able to shop for shoes.
But only if you force me.....with a gun.
Now you know that I really am exhausted.

Yes, the past week has finally caught up with me.
Just when I thought I really was Superwoman!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Once upon a time........(mega picture alert!)

Two little boys met on the streets of a little town tucked away in the South Hills of Pittsburgh and became best friends.
50 years later, those two little boys are still best friends.
Carmen and Kevin

As are their wives..........
Martha and I

......and their children.....
Toni and Brittany

Vince and Ashley

Through cases of beer and fireworks and engagements and break ups and bottles of wine and pot and new recipes and marriages and pregnancies and births and deaths and vacations and Halloweens and parties and nights-on-the-town and tears and laughter and Christmas' and concerts and picnics and Easters and graduations and sickness and health and Thanksgivings and heartbreak and excitement and good fortune and bad luck and nasty hangovers and wonderful meals and lousy hairdos and broken hearts and New Years' Eves and ordinary days and nights, in good times and in bad, in thinness and obesity .....we've shared it all.....and then some.
And, so this weekend.....we spent it sharing yet another important moment......celebrating the promise of happily ever after.
Ashley got married.
What a weekend of festivities it was.
Come along.....I'll share a few of the moments with you....

Toni and I...dressed up for the Rehearsal Dinner.....
My two wonderful children on their way to the rehearsal.....

Carmen and I at dinner.....held at one of our favorite local Italian places where Martha, Kevin, Carmen and I are all regulars.........DeBlasio's

A little night-before-the-wedding gathering at our house.....father-of-the-bride with "the kids"...

Wedding Day.....
As the Bridal Party got ready.....Carmen and I shared a little quiet time and a margarita....

Here I am....all dressed!
Yes,that's my SIZE 6 dress!!!
Thank You Sweet Lapband!
Don't you just love, love those shoes??? They are navy blue and silver stripes with a wicker platform and heel. Yum!!
Here's a sneak peak at our chariott......we took no chances getting to and from the wedding!
It was not a horse drawn carriage or a fancy limo but it was just what we needed for a major party night!

On our way to the our Designated Driver shuttle. We filled it with wedding-goers and just kept the party rolling.....

Carmen with his Welcome Aboard Martini......sippy cup style!

My darling nephew Andy and beautiful and tongue talented niece Alexa.....
My sisters Denise and Cathy and there's Andy again....

Carmen and I getting cozy in the shuttle....
Carmen and I with the most beautiful bridesmaid ever!

My fun little, love, love them!
My partying little sisters......Denise and Cathy. Got beer?

Here's our fun and wonderful extended family......sisters, brothers-in-laws, nieces and nephews...

Carmen and I with the absolutely beautiful, beaming, happy bride, Ashley......

Putting on a little show at the reception with Carmen, my sister-in-law Teresa and our sweet and lovely niece Rosa....

The happy, happy couple.....Frank and Ashley..... kept on going......

Here we are.....the Day after the informal, early evening dinner then off to the movies (saw the new Woody Allen movie....Midnight in Paris...our group gave it mixed reviews.....a few folks might have nodded off...)........

Carmen and I greeting the hungry, hungover masses....

Our gourmet griller and master brewer commanded the barbeque and the beer duties while I took charge of the kitchen and the bar......

After we closed out the Day after The Wedding.....Captain America and I headed out for a quick Fourth of July morning trip to Williams Sonoma for a few menu staples.....

Then, it was home to host brunch.......
Then, after a quick clean-up, it was off to my sister's for a few cocktails......
Then......dinner and fireworks with everyone........(although, I admit, we didn't see the fireworks.....but we did plan on it). We went here.......
And, the rain fell so hard, we just ordered another round.....thus explaining why we didn't realize it quit raining and they had the fireworks!

Oh didn't stop there......

A Good-bye Luncheon.
Seeing the sites of Pittsburgh on an incredibly beautiful day!
A little shopping and a few tears.
Then, a $9.25 glass of wine........

It might be the end of a beautiful and memorable weekend but it's not the end of the story.
The stories never end.

I started craving a grilled hot dog with ketchup on Sunday.
I think I might have one today.
It just feels like that kind of day.