Friday, January 30, 2015

Rationalization and Talking to Myself

It’s funny how humans rationalize things for themselves. Or maybe it’s just me?

I watch what I eat.

I watch what I eat only so I can smack your hand if you try to take any of it! Ha! No, just kidding, I watch what I eat in order to try to lose and/or maintain my weight. I always have, it’s a curse that I was born short so there’s not a lot of room for the weight to spread itself out. Trust me; if I were 5 foot 6 inches tall I’d be svelte and sleek! Like a panther! Ha again!

Being that I watch what I eat I bought this box of Mini Ice Cream Drumsticks.

Photo Credit - Nestles

I love Drumsticks, the crunchy peanuts that go everywhere when you pull it out of the wrapper, the yummy hard chocolate coating, and the creamy vanilla ice cream and then the luscious sugary cookie cone that you can munch on to the end. But as much as I love them, I don’t love the carbs and sugar in them.

I try…mind you I said I TRY, to keep my carbs in check and not eat more than 20 to 25 per day. One regular size drumstick has 33 grams of carbs in it. That means if I ate just one regular size drumstick I couldn't eat anymore carbs for the rest of the day!!!

But these yummy mini drumsticks have 18 grams of carbs per each one. So I rationalized to myself that it wouldn't kill me to eat just one mini one, as a treat, one in a while. Right?

So I bought the box.

 Last night I went to eat one and didn't realize the box has both the chocolate fudge and the vanilla caramel in them. I’m not a big fan of chocolate and even less of fudge so when I took the wrapper off and found out it was the fudge one I was bummed out. But I hate to be wasteful so I told myself, “Self, eat the fudge one today, it’s already open and you don’t want to be wasteful, tomorrow you can eat the vanilla caramel one!” So I ate it.

Photo Credit - Nestles

It was good, but it wasn't vanilla caramel good. An hour or so later, I started talking to myself again and said, “Self, it wasn't your fault that you didn't realize it was a variety pack. You don’t like chocolate, but you were a good girl to not waste it and throw it away, you deserve the vanilla caramel which is what you originally wanted, so be good to yourself, get the vanilla caramel one!” So I did!

Photo Credit - Nestles

And here’s why I need to have a guard with me 24/7 so that I have someone to talk to other than myself because I again started talking to myself, or my SELF started talking to me and it said “Self, you know if you had eaten a regular drumstick it would have been the size of three mini ones, so if you eat one more mini one it’s almost like you just ate a regular drumstick and then don’t eat anymore for the rest of the week!” My SELF needs to gain some SELF control…hahaha! Because I ate a third one! And I have only my SELF to blame!


Friday, January 23, 2015

The Journey...not the Destination - Part Tres

A continuation of a post about a trip my sister Lisa and I took to Lake Tahoe in October...yes, I know, I'm a slacker, but life keeps going even when I just want to sit and write! This is Part 3 and you can read Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE and then you'll be all caught up! Ready to head back to October of 2014? Let's go!

When last we left our intrepid heroines, they were just getting to their hotel in Lake Tahoe after a pleasant dinner and a brisk walk and after a long day of travelling 358 mile from their small hometown to South Lake Tahoe, California. We were bushed! We called it a night early and went to bed.

Now this was not a pleasure trip for my sister, nope...this was work for her. So the next morning she arose bright and early to get ready to meet the rest of her group for breakfast and then meetings and classes all day. I arose a bit later, got ready at a leisurely pace and then went down to meet the wives of all the men in my sisters group for breakfast and then a morning of shopping with the ladies!

This was the first picture I took that day and I love it still! It was breathtaking, and this was just the parking lot!

The ladies and I had a great time shopping. It was nice to just take my time browsing the stores. I bought quite a few things that I didn't need but had to have. The morning went by way too quickly and soon it was time to head back to the hotel to rest and wait for the working part of our group to be done with their meetings so we could go out to dinner.

My sister Lisa had requested that we go to a restaurant there that she loves called Fire and Ice Grill. I had never been there but she had on previous trips.

Fire and Ice is a very unique restaurant in that you line up and grab a bowl and head to their "market". The market has all kinds of raw vegetables, pastas, and legumes. I wish I had thought to take photos of that area but I was busy trying to get the lay of the land, but here's a very similar picture.

Photo Credit - Trip Advisor

Once you've filled your big bowl with veggies, you head on down the line to the proteins section. You can choose from scallops, steak, pork, chicken, sausage, name it and they had it. Then you choose a sauce from the myriad of sauces they had such as BBQ, Sweet Chile, Honey Ginger, so many I can't even remember.

I was bit confused and worried about putting raw meats on the vegetables that I was about to eat, but then Lisa guided me to the grill where the magic happened. Just watch this video and see the magic yourself.

It was so fun to watch and it tasted amazing. The only thing is that I put a ton of raw jalapeno on mine and of course when you cook jalapeno it just gets hotter....whoa Nelly that was some spicy stuff! I can't wait to go back again. I had scallops but I wasn't sure how they were going to get cooked and it just seemed wrong to throw a bunch of raw scallops on top of my veggies so I didn't get very many and they were so good that I could have had a whole plate of just scallops!

Here's one last photo of the grill. The cooks were amazing, how they kept track of every one's food just befuddled me! You can see all the different variations of veggies and proteins and that area smelled so good. If you ever have a chance to eat at a Fire and Ice Grill Restaurant I highly recommend it!

Again after that wonderful meal we took a long walk back to the hotel and went to bed. Hopefully I can write and post Part 4 before another couple of months go by.


Monday, January 19, 2015

From Left to Write - If I Fall, If I Die

"How was it that to give a child life was to, on that the very same day--even before you could lay eyes upon their slick, purple bodies--have already given them their death?"

This is a line from the book, If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie. I loved this line in the book as it's so true. I think there is nothing greater than a mothers love. To be a mother that suddenly becomes terrified of the outside, of life, of dealings with other human beings. How do you raise a child when you can't even handle life yourself? And as a child, how do you know that the way your mother is is not normal? Do you understand, or do you accept only what you do know?

I remember when my daughter April was born. I didn't work for two years after she was born, just stayed home and took care of her. At that time we lived in a mobile home, in a mobile home park. My husband worked two jobs to provide for us and when he came home he was tired and grumpy and we fought a lot and he didn't help much with the baby.

My mom, who was and still is my best friend lived 30 minutes away and I would talk to her every morning on the phone and again in the evening, but other than the communication with my mom and my grumpy husband I spoke to no one all day except my baby daughter.

Before you knew it she became my whole world and being home, in my sweet little two bedroom mobile home...well that became my whole world too. I can remember the UPS driver coming to the house one morning to deliver a package and I hid like the mafia was outside waiting to kidnap me and my daughter and take us away, peeking through slits in the curtains terrified. I was that much of a shut-in, I was that terrified of the outside world!

When I would go outside, to go to the grocery store or to a restaurant with either my mom or my husband I felt like I was watching myself from the outside, I didn't really feel part of the world. Kind of like taking NyQuil and not sleeping, just wandering around in a fog, always in a hurry to be back into the world I knew, the world inside my little mobile home with just myself and my daughter.

I often wonder what would have happened if I had stayed home to be a full-time wife and mother. Would I have become an agoraphobic? Would I have eventually refused to come outside at all, to be a part of the outside world? What would have happened to my daughter, growing up with a mom that refused to leave the safety of her home?

Fortunately for me when my daughter turned two I was offered a good job by a lady that had employed me in the past and my world opened up again. I met the people at the daycare center Penny Lane Preschool where I left my daughter each morning. I made friends with other mothers, I made friends with the ladies at my new job and I became acclimated to the outside world again.

When I became pregnant with my son four years later I was worried that I would go through that shut-in phase again, but that didn't happen as I still had to be a part of my daughters outside world. Had to attend school events and walk her to the bus stop, but it still scares me just a little bit how much I love being home and alone in my own little world, reading, watching TV, blogging. I worry about retiring and wonder if in my retirement maybe I'll become a shut-in? One never knows, but it's so easy to fall into it.

This post was inspired by the novel If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie,about a boy who's never been outside, thanks to his mother's agoraphobia, but ventures outside in order to solve a mystery. Join From Left to Write on January 22nd as we discuss If I Fall, If I Die. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


Monday, January 5, 2015

New Years Resolutions - To Make them or Not?

What is it about the start of a new year that makes us all sit down and reflect on the past year and how we can do better? How we can make resolutions to lose weight, take a class, be nicer, exercise more, you know the drill.

Why don't we look at the past year and at the things we've accomplished and build on them instead? Those are the resolutions I'm making for this next year. Not to say that losing weight isn't still going to be a part of my resolve in the new year, definitely after all the Tamales I ate on Christmas Eve and Day and the turkey with all the trimmings that I ate the day after Christmas.

......So sad! I started the above post on January 1st, with all the good intentions in my mind of getting this done and trying to post more often. Here it is the 5th of January and already I'm behind.

But just because I'm behind doesn't mean that I can't continue forward. For instance, there's this game that I play on Facebook called Puzzly Words. I love playing this game and I'm super addicted. So super addicted that I can play it for a couple of hours non-stop. Here's a print screen so you can see what I'm talking about.

So you see that there are 4 rounds and I have 60 seconds to make 3 words out of the letters shown. To the left you can see the smaller screen of the opponents I'm playing, Rob, Cookie and Sharon. I can see them out of the corner of my eye placing tiles and moving them around, but I can't see the actual letters so I don't know what words they are creating.

Now that I'm here, and there is no pressure and no little clock counting down, I can see the words EMERALD and EMERGE and MINERAL and OMNI and GALLON and RAINING...but of course, with no pressure it's much easier to see those words. This is what I came up with. I scored 15 points, Rob scored 22, Cookie scored 22 and Sharon scored 21. They all scored more than me!

You can see that I screwed up big time and placed the word LONED. I don't know what I was thinking, but I'll blame that error on the fact that I was trying to do print screen and save the game boards to show you so it slowed me down and messed up my concentration. Yeah...that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

The moral of the story here is that I could quit at this point. I probably can't catch up so why not just watch TV until the next three rounds go by and then try again in the next game. But instead I look at this and see the challenge and think to myself, " can catch up. You can not only catch up but you can beat these guys in the next three rounds! Don't quit, go for it!"

And you know what? Sometimes I do beat them and that feels great! But if I don't try, I will always be an underachiever, I will always be a loser. And even when I don't win, when I lose, like I did this time, well I know it's ok because I gave it my all and I have a chance in the next game to win! Right?

And so even though I didn't start my year like gang-busters just blogging like a maniac, I can do this one post, and maybe one tomorrow and I can get my writing mojo back in never know. But I will continue to build on this one post! Happy New Year my two faithful readers!

What about you? Did you make any New Years Resolutions?


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Books Read in 2014

I've been keeping track of the books I've read each year since 2009.

Now in 2009, 2010 and 2011 I just read to read and kept track all on my own and on my blog.

 In 2012 I signed up for Goodreads and they kept track for me. Not only did they keep track, but they also let me set a goal of how many books I wanted to try to read and how many I actually did read.

You can see I was sadly lacking in 2012 and 2013 and didn't reach my goal, so in 2014 I played it safe and only set a goal to read 20 books and far exceeded that amount! I'm an overachiever and they love overachievers!

Here are the books I read in 2014. I credit my online book club, From Left to Write in helping me to exceed my goal!

If I had to choose my three favorite books of the year I would choose The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, The Divorce Papers and The Underground Girls of Kabul.

So for 2015 it's time to set a new goal. Seeing as my goal before was always 30 books and I read 33 in 2014 I'm going to shoot for 35!

Can I do it? We shall see. Regardless I love reading, I love my online book club and I can't wait to see what great books I will read this year.

What about you? Have you set your challenge?

Happy New Year!
May 2015 be filled with books that take you on amazing journeys!