Maine or bust!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Let's Get It Started!

I've had that song in my head for the last little while, so now you will too (all two of you who read this LOL). You're welcome.

When Rob took my measurements on Saturday night (they're coming - he just needs to send them to me with a progress pic), my waist and hip measurements were down, and I got psyched :) We're not even talking first thing in the morning here! It made me happy :) So now I have renewed motivation. I want to see 275 before my birthday (that will be 35 lbs down from my last birthday). I now have an Ab Rocker (I didn't buy it... someone moving out of my apartment building tossed it, and I grabbed it), a mini stair machine (also someone else's trash) and the treadmill, so no excuses.
This is the ab-rocker thingie.
I'm also continuing to use the stairs at work, and after the amount of walking I did on Sunday (two airports later...), I think I'm doing fairly well. I'd like to be able to use a bike by next summer. Can't right now, my lower abdomen gets in the way.

This is my treadmill - Tunturi T20 - I love this thing!

I didn't move yesterday. I was so sore from all the walking - and the 50 lb backpack I lugged around - that I just passed out on the couch after work. Tonight is groceries, and then I work my 2nd job (I just applied for a 3rd job - am I nuts???), but I'm going to try to fit some ab-rocker in to try it out tonight, and use the mini-stepper at least once or twice. I've done three floors worth of stairs up and down at work today (does that count as three flights or six? That's always confused me!) so at least I've been moving a fair bit. Add a salad for lunch, and I'm pretty proud of how today's gone! We won't talk about the pizza I had for breakfast....

This is the same mini-stepper I have. I removed the rubber cords because they were rotted.

Monday, August 29, 2011

STITCHES post-mortem

This past weekend, I attended STITCHES Midwest ( in Schaumburg, IL (a suburb of Chicago). I hadn't the money to sign up for any classes, and I knew that if I got the chance to go shopping, I wouldn't be bringing too much home. In fact, when I arrived, I didn't have two pennies to rub together. *sigh* So the only thing I attended was the Marketplace.

But that alone was worth going! I got to see all kinds of neat stuff (like the Fix-A-Stitch and the Roxy Em Yarn Tower) that knitters create - Rob was fascinated with the motorized "tower" winder that the creators of the Yarn Tower had had made in order to wind their spools quickly and quietly. I got to visit designers I've always admired, like Helen Hamann - who is not only a great designer, but also a very nice lady who has a lovely, well-behaved dog :) I got to visit the owners of some pretty great shops (Sophie's Toes Magic Balls are particularly impressive - if you google it, you'll find her etsy shop, but it's currently empty).

I was a tad disappointed that Fiddlehead Yarns didn't have a presence (they're a LYS in Kenosha, WI that I've been dying to frequent for years now), and EXTREMELY disappointed that Ravelry didn't even have a table, or a handout or anything. But most of us were ravellers, and just about everyone I spoke to managed to work it into the conversation ;)

The classes going on all around us in little partitioned rooms looked fantastic. Next year, I plan to sign up for some of the "Market Sessions" (short, 1-hour classes that focus on a particular technique or difficulty). I might make my way up eventually to the half-day or full-day classes, but for now, I think this will ease me into the whole thing. I also would have like to attend the pyjama party, but a) I don't own pyjamas and b) we were dead tired and weren't going to drive back to the Ren at 10pm. Maybe next year if some of the girls want to come along :)

I did manage to get a LOT of work done on my DROPS tank top. I'm nearing the half-way mark. It's amazing what some three-hour layovers can do. The flight home nearly didn't happen, as every airport on the Eastern Seabord was shut down because of Hurricane Irene. If Rob hadn't said, "But what about Detroit?" when the ticket agent was trying to rebook my ticket, I'd still be in Chicago (not that I'd mind, but my kids start school tomorrow!) As it is, a few flights got redirected to Toronto just after my plane touched down because of high winds all around Ottawa.

A great weekend, definitely to be repeated :) Measurements and a "current progress" pic to follow tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My bags are packed...

Okay, that's a bald-faced lie. I have my KNITTING packed. Everything else will have to be hastily shoved into a backpack tonight in between feeding the kids, showering, and working an evening shift. *sigh* At least there was room for the knitting, right? :)

So I'm headed to Stitches Midwest. I'm VERY excited about it! I've never been to a "knitting con" before. I'm also excited that I get to steal an unplanned weekend with Rob! Hey, when you live 850 miles apart, every minute counts. I haven't been posting much because I've been too busy, etc. Obviously I won't be posting much while I'm there. I'm also not planning on bringing my enormous camera (okay, JEFF'S enormous camera) with me. So there will be no pictures :(

That said, I'm really hoping the evening goes by quickly, because I'm SOOOO tired! So until my return, be good :)

Monday, August 22, 2011


First off, I'd like to offer my condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Jack Layton. You were a class act, sir, and I'm very sorry you'll never get your chance to captain the ship.

This weekend was an odd one. I never stopped moving, but I feel like I got absolutely nothing done. I didn't do any laundry or dishes or cleaning up (boo!). I barely slept, and I feel emotionally drained and worn out. I did manage to finish the stuffed Octopus I was making for a coworker's baby shower (which is tomorrow).
I also managed to start and finish a hat on Saturday for our Charity knit-along :) I started a second hat, but I've only gotten about half-way on that one.

I also managed to work a 3 hour shift on Saturday night / Sunday morning, lost most of my faith in humanity on the last call of the night, and hopefully made a few dollars in the process.

Yesterday was a major cluster. Jeff asked me to drive out to Barrhaven to pick him and the kids up. Okay, no problem. I had to hit Michaels for the safety eyes and polyfill anyway. I went to the Pinecrest Mall location (sorry Kit!) because it was on the way. They had NOTHING. No 16" circs, not a great selection of PolyFill (they had "heritage cotton filling" which was $20 for an 8oz bag - I don't think so!), no safety eyes. That, and it took me a full 30 minutes to get OUT of the parking lot once I returned to my car. I don't think I'll be going back to the Pinecrest Mall, like ever. Maybe when the kids go off to college, I'll buy them some Ikea furniture, but other than that? Forget it!

Then I headed to Barrhaven (late) and promptly got lost. I couldn't figure out what I'd done wrong until I realized that I came up from Greenbank when normally I'd go up Woodroffe to get there. Jeff got me back onto the right street eventually, and I found it from there. *sigh* Sometimes it's like my brain just shuts down and that's all there is to it.

Of course, having worked the 12-3am shift, I slept in, and was therefore unable to fall asleep last night. It was the first time it got cold enough for me to actually pull a blanket out of the closet! :D I love cool temperatures when I'm sleeping - that's the main thing Rob and I disagree on. He likes it warm and cozy. Yuck. ;) Good thing I'm not working tonight, so maybe we'll be able to get some cleaning done - I'd like to get the kitchen table cleared off before the kids start school. The boy has his own desk, but my daughter has to use the livingroom floor right now. We'll see how it goes.

So what did I accomplish? Not much, when all is said and done!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Ottawa Charity Knit-Along!!!

The Ravelry group I belong to, the Ottawa Area Ravellers, have organized a charity knit-along. We're hoping it will become an annual event! The organizer has chosen three local charities on which we'll concentrate, and we're to make lovely warm things for winter. I was so excited, I got started early. Here's what I did today:

I'm very excited about this challenge for two reasons. One, it's an excuse to knit stuff. (stuff that won't lie around the house afterward!). Two, I will use up SO much of my stash doing this. At least, that's my hope! I've been jonesing for some new yarn, but I have so bloody much of it, I can't justify buying any LOL Tomorrow, I need to finish my octopus (he is so cute!). I have to buy some safety eyes and some poly fill, and stuff him with filling and jingle bells :D (I'm still SO psyched about the jingle bells!)

Once the octopus is finished, I may allow myself a break by working on the tank top I started last week. Or I may start a woman's or child's hat. We'll have to see :) I'm playing it by ear. I'll bring the changing pad I'm making to Chicago with me, I think. I figure they're less likely to confiscate a blunt crochet hook than pointy knitting needles ;)

Tomorrow will be Octopus day, and PACKING! I also found the PERFECT gift bag for the blanket and octopus. They suit the recipient *perfectly*.

I'm going to go pass out now, since it's 4am, and I got off work an hour ago. *yawn* Good night, moon!

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Quiet Moment...

Friday weigh in: 281.

Do I care? Yes. Am I bummed? Oh yes. Do I feel guilty? heh. Don't even ask. I was raised Catholic.

Am I going to beat myself up about it? No.

I've had a hell of a week, what with my dad entering the hospital on Monday, continual financial crap causing me heartburn, generally feeling sad and headachy, and yeah, I made some poor food choices based on emotion-based laziness. I also came in to work TWICE with baked goods sitting on my desk (one day was leftover cake Isabella had left behind, and this morning, Judy's daughter had sent in some AMAZING cupcakes, one of which is currently residing in my thighs).

I'll fix it. No really, I will. Right now though, I'm just a bit too tired and worn out. I miss Rob and my head hurts, and I just really need a hug.

Did you know that the average person requires three hugs a day in order to be content? I think the last time I had a hug was last Friday. I am very much looking forward to seeing my girls at knitting tonight. I will knit octopus feet and drink Raspberry Tea Crush and be happy to be surrounded by friends. G'night, Gracie.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Drama Train Rolls On

Sorry for the lack of posts lately (I say to myself, since I'm the only one who reads this LOL). There has been a boatload of drama going on at my house.

First, my computer was in full mutiny, so I couldn't work my pizza shift on Saturday night. Then on Sunday, I arrived at my parents' house to find my father barely conscious and largely unresponsive, but my mother said he'd be fine, so I didn't think anything of it. There's more to it than that, but we won't go into it. I cooked a DELICIOUS batch of quinoa, which my mother took one bite of, went, "well, it's not my favorite" and left the rest on her plate. My brother, his wife, both kids and I (and their baby) DEVOURED our portions. It was FANTASTIC! Recipe below.

Went home with cranky-ass kids. My daughter has just turned ten, and seems to have taken this as permission to become a hormonal shrew. She bursts into tears for no reason, has massive tantrums (à la 2 year old) and has started snarking me on a regular basis.

Puberty. Joy.

My twelve-year-old has been a cranky-ass for at least a year now, but it's getting worse now. We've been trying to teach him that he can't speak to adults the way he speaks to his buddies on the playground. It's not sinking in. He has nothing but contempt for me, and it shows every time he opens his mouth. He starts junior high in two weeks. This should be interesting. Let's see how he reacts to being at the bottom of the food chain again ;)

Don't get me wrong, I love my kids. I wouldn't trade them for anything. (well, maybe some chocolate when they're behaving as above). They're pretty awesome most of the time. But then there are other times... like last night. My kids HATE going for groceries. We used to go while they were at karate class, but since they're no longer going to karate, they're home. Once or twice, we let them stay at Jeff's while we went shopping, but it's just easier and more convenient to bring them along. Yeah, right. As soon as we step into the store, the 10 year old decides she doesn't want to be there anymore. It's one tantrum after another, constant tears until we leave the store, and having to drag her along like a recalcitrant puppy. UGH. The other one just pokes at her and riles her up. They're so much fun to shop with.

Anyway, I'll just lightly touch on the drama bits, because I don't want to dwell, and more importantly, I don't want to get all pissed off again. Monday afternoon, I phoned my mother for something inane, and she tells me my father's in intensive care. Since 4:30 that morning. Um, WHAT???? When were you going to tell me this??? And she hasn't told my brother either, because "it's his first day back at work and I don't want to disturb him." WTF WOMAN????? I later found out that all the aunts and uncles already knew, as did most of my cousins LOL It was just the man's CHILDREN who didn't deserve to find out. Anyway, my brother and I visited him that afternoon, and while it's serious, it's not as bad as it sounded over the phone with half-assed information.

The second incident, I'm still pretty steamed about, and it happened at work, so I won't go into details. Suffice to say that if you're going to make someone stay late, it's not cool to pussyfoot around the subject and then waltz out the door at your usual time. Not cool at all.

That said, I've been making some awesome knitting progress the last few days, and I'm very happy with how the changing pad I'm crocheting is coming along as well! I will share pics when there's a bit more knitting to take pics of ;)

Forgot the Quinoa recipe!

1 cup quinoa (uncooked) - I actually use a package from President's Choice, not sure of the amount
2 cups water
2 envelopes of beef soup base
1 Tbsp canola oil
4 roma tomatoes (from my mom's garden! YAY!)
3 stalks celery
1 medium onion, diced
12 baby carrots, sliced
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp HP steak sauce
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Bring the 2 cups water to a boil, add the soup base and stir. Then add the quinoa and simmer for 15 minutes. In a nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Toss in the onions, celery and carrots, Stir to coat; cover, and let sit for 5 minutes or until celery and carrots have softened. Add diced tomatoes and sauce. Cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute to coat everything with sauce. I add a dash of steak spice, but you don't have to :) Stir the vegetables into the cooked quinoa and mix in the grated cheese. Serves 6-8 as a side dish.

©2011 Lynne Toll at

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Light Dawns on Marble Head...

To be honest, I haven't been all that impressed with my weight-loss progress over the last year or so. Yeah, I lost 30 lbs. (My highest was 310 about this time last year). Yeah, I was getting in better shape. But I didn't SEE any noticeable difference. Until today, that is.

I was looking at some pictures of myself from last summer, and holy CRAP, have I changed! I hadn't noticed without the photographic proof, because I still feel like a huge whale, and I'm still a lot bigger than I want to be. But I HAVE lost weight, and I can *see* it when I look at last summer's pics, or pics from my brother's wedding (three years ago now - happy anniversary, guys!) or from our trip to Arizona last summer. I was a balloon! I can't believe how huge I was!

I'm still huge, but I can see the change. I couldn't see it before, and it makes me really happy to see it now :) I mean, I knew I must be losing something, because none of my pants fit right anymore, but to be honest, I kind of felt like the numbers were all in my head. I looked at the pictures because I ran into a friend I hadn't seen for a couple of years on Thursday, and she immediately said, "You look great! You've lost weight, haven't you?" I figured that if someone I hadn't seen in a while could see it, then maybe the change had been too gradual for me to notice. I haven't got the first clue how to set the timer on this camera to take a current pic of myself (and I don't think there have been any recent pictures of me). But I promise I'll get Rob to take one when I go back to Chicago at the end of the month!

I'm a happy girl tonight, even though I haven't slept (thus the 5am update). Afternoon nap + too much caffeine = all night knitting session ;)

Friday, August 12, 2011

YEAH, BABY!!!!!!!!!!

Check this out! NO!!! Seriously!!!! CHECK IT!!!!!

PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF!!!! (for the record, it was 279.0 without the behemoth camera in my hands LOL). I even weighed myself SIX SEPARATE TIMES to make sure it didn't slide back up over 280. 280, I has broken you!!!! :D

Rob's lucky I didn't call him the second I did this (which, incidentally was at 5:20 when I got up to pee - weigh-in was post-pee, of course, not that you needed to know that). Yes, those are my ugly-ass feet, as evidenced by the gross marks on my left toe from the burns three weeks ago (healing slowly).

*ahem* okay, that's enough excitement. Carry on.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

It was a dark and stormy night...

Okay, it was a somewhat bright, yet stormy day. Yesterday, that is. And it seems that the clouds loved us so much, they're hanging around for an extended engagement today. I really wish I had a small camera I could keep in my purse. Maybe I'll buy myself one for Christmas. The big camera (Jeff's) is fantastic, but it's unwieldy and it's *ahem* not mine ;)

So anyway, the point is, I love storms. I mean, I really LOVE storms. I love watching them, I love hearing them, I love the surprise flash of lightning and the heart-stopping crashes of thunder. I love to hear the rain pattering against the windows or the roof. I'm not totally crazy about driving in them, but I can handle it. I have a pretty decent view up here on the 7th floor. One of these days I'll have to bring the camera in to show you what I see from my desk. Right now, over the apartment buildings and hundreds of trees, there are some lovely medium-grey clouds drifting by at a fairly decent speed. Some are lighter, some are darker, and there's a bluish band near the bottom with big fluffy white cumulos.

I walked out of my building yesterday to go home, and it was so cool and refreshing outside, I was immediately smiling. Yes, rain makes me happy. I love fall, because it's a lot of cool weather and fantastic storms. Yesterday was kind of a hint of what was to come in October and November, and I so needed that to get me through this week.

I also booked my plane ticket the other night, so I will definitely be going to Stitches Midwest! (more importantly, I will get to see Rob and spend most of the weekend with him!) It seems like we never see each other in winter, but in the summer, it's almost once a month. Can't complain, but I wish it was a shorter drive. I wouldn't mind doing it regularly if it was 8 hours, or even 10. But 14 hours is a bit much for just a weekend :( I'm not entirely sorry we can't move in together for the forseeable future though. Gives me time to get my life in order, get my degree, be independent. The apartment looks a little bit better every day, and the kids are starting to learn to pitch in without being asked.

Now if only the laundry can start doing itself, life will be peaches :) I'm off to take a walk in the cloudy outdoors!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

From my mother's garden...

Every Sunday, I gather my kids up and head to my parents' house for dinner. It's kind of expected. There are hidden bonuses beyond the time my kids get to spend with their grandparents or getting to cuddle my year-old nephew though. One of these hidden bonuses is my mom's garden. She doesn't grow a lot of different things, but what she does grow is fantastic. This week, I got to bring home a bag of roma tomatoes and I picked about half of her remaining rhubarb patch. Let me tell you, this rhubarb patch is something. I think there are two or three plants all coming from the same central root ball, and it's all intermingled and green and fragrant and lovely. I've been skimming from it all summer, and now that August is progressing, it's time to cut the patch down until next year.

The tomatoes will become either a salad or a pasta sauce of some sort. I might toss them into the chili I'm making for a friend's baby shower next weekend. The rhubarb? Well, there's so much of it (I chopped up ten cups last night alone), I've been freezing it in 2-cup baggies. Some of it will go into jam. Some of it will be stewed (thanks to my mother-in-law for teaching me about stewed rhubarb!). Most of it will be baked into the most wonderful rhubarb cake recipe. Whose recipe? My mom's, of course. My mom doesn't bake often, but the few recipes she uses are really good. This one is my favorite. I like to make it up as muffins, add a streusel topping, and freeze them individually as breakfast treats. This year the rhubarb is so plentiful that I may just be able to have some every couple of weeks or so!

Rhubarb Cake

½   cup shortening
1½ cups sugar (plus 1/4 cup, reserved)
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1½ cups rhubarb (chopped)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Cream shortening and sugar together. Add egg and mix until creamy. Stir in buttermilk. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and flour. Stir into wet ingredients with rhubarb and vanilla and mix just until combined. Pour into 9"x13" pan.  Mix reserved sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle on top of batter before baking.  Bake in 350° over for 45 minutes.

If you want to do this recipe as a loaf cake (quickbread), pour it in and bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until cake tester (fork) comes out clean.

If you want to do it as muffins, bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes, etc.

Mom uses splenda. I can't tell you how much I hate hate hate baking with splenda. It is NOT the same as baking with sugar. To be honest, diabetics, unless your blood sugar is wildly out of control, one of these muffins will not hurt you (ok, you might want to omit the sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top). UGH. I've never bought buttermilk in my life, so I tend to do the "1 tsp lemon juice (or vinegar) in a cup of milk" thing. I'm also not crazy about baking with shortening - I usually prefer to use butter. I haven't tried this recipe with butter though, so I can't attest to how it would react. I *can* tell you that this cake is the most fantastically moist, delicious stuff!

Give it a try and let me know how you liked it!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Crazy Days...

So I posted sometime during the day on Friday, and the rest of my day was not chronicled (horrors!).

I left work an hour later than usual, since I had been expecting my friend and her partner to come to knit night with me. They cancelled (which I'm fine with) so I ended up heading out by myself. I get there, and my friend S is knitting away. Seeing S always makes me happy. A few more people came in, none of whom I recognized. They all made themselves at home, which is pretty much par for the course with our group - all are welcome and the more the merrier. Turns out they were Ottawa Knitting Guild ladies who were friends with another one of our semi-regulars. New knitting friends - WIN! Oh, and I finished my coworker H's baby blanket! I decided to start knitting a stuffed octopus. The jury is out on this one, I have no idea if it will work. Pics of the blanket will follow after it's been washed.

Later on, another friend showed up after work, and the three of us chatted away until we decided we were hungry. Off we went to the pub for nachos, the girls graciously covering my sorry broke ass and feeding me nachos off their plates. I really hate living week-to-week, and I hate even more that having a bit of a rest (trip to Chicago) puts me so far in the hole that I can't even afford a night out at the end of the week. I'm working on that, though, and picking up as many shifts as I can at the second job until I'm hired on permanently at the day job. We had a great time bitching about life, chatting, talking about the stuff girls talk about (not boys, clothes and makeup, but everything ELSE). Drove S home, talked to Rob briefly on the phone and then crashed.

Saturday was Skye's birthday party. I ran all over town picking up cake, drinks, supplies etc. Got to the museum ten minutes before party time, her little friends showed up and very much fun was had by all. One of Skye's friends has a severe peanut allergy, so I got her cake at The Cake Shop on Greenbank in Nepean. 100% nut-free bakery! AWESOME! A bit pricey, but she does serve a niche market, and you definitely get what you pay for! Went home, took a nap, worked a half-shift at the second job until I started to feel really nauseous. Took some gravol and slept on the recliner.

Sunday was Skye's "family" birthday party :) Picked the kids up at Jeff's, drove to my mom's house and the kids had a blast in the pool. Right up until someone got hurt *sigh* (fortunately, that was after dinner). For some reason, Skye decided to kick Zachary in the throat. This results in a ban on swimming for the remainder of the summer. I'm debating modifying that to "no swimming TOGETHER", but somehow I think it would be worse for the adults to try to keep one kid out of the pool until their turn. Ban altogether is easier, and I plan on sticking to my guns on this one. I can NOT seem to get these two to understand that physical violence toward each other is not acceptable.

Of course, Mom bought an enormous slab cake for the six of us who eat it (six and a half if you count my year-old nephew). There was more than half a cake left, and guess who took it home. I was smart though. I left it in the car overnight (no cream or milk, so it wouldn't go bad) and brought it to work with me today. At 8:30am, I had one of the admin assistants announce that there was cake to be had in the kitchen, and it was gone before lunch time! I didn't even get a chance to sneak another little piece. HA! Take that, temptation! I has removed you!

I had a productive morning: filled a garbage bag and set the dishes going, culled all the questionable food from the fridge (filling the mini compost bin), and had the kids take out the compost and recycling.

I did see the magic number on the scale over the weekend, but I can't officially post about it until Friday (and god I hope it's still there on Friday! I will be busting my ass to make sure it is!). Today's breakfast was a v8 and banana nut oatmeal, lunch was tomato & herb soup with ritz cheese sandwich crackers (yeah, real healthy), and I had a couple of yogurts as snacks. If I get ravenously hungry between now and home time, I have a granny smith apple I can nibble on. Dinner tonight will be quinoa with sausages (PC Cheddar smokies) and brussel sprouts, I think. No work tonight, thank goodness! Laundry instead.

Tonight's goals: get Zack to change out the cat litter and take out the garbage, get Skye to help me with two loads of laundry, and get both kids to shower and clean up the livingroom floor so I can vacuum it tomorrow.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday weigh in: 283??? WTF???

I am thoroughly confused. I have been good this week. I have been exceedingly good. I've exercised, I've eaten right, and I'm UP 2.5 lbs? However, I'm not going to let this bother me too much. The first time I stepped on the scale, it said 240. The second time, it said 289. I picked the scale up, moved it to the flattest bit of floor in my kitchen (did I mention my apartment floors are crooked?) and tried again. 284. Oh no :( Tried again. 282. Seriously? I know weight fluctuates, but not that much! Tried a fifth and sixth time and finally got consistent readings: 283 both times. So that's what I'm going with.

I'm a bit disappointed, yeah, because I've been careful (although that frozen hot chocolate at Second Cup last night likely wasn't on the South Beach approved list). I'm not going to let it get me down though. I know my IUD has been causing all kinds of hormone fluctuations (to the point that I'm now starting day 16 of spotting and bleeding this month - ugh). I'm pretty sure that's also causing some kind of weirdness where weight is concerned. I am having it removed at the earliest opportunity and hopefully that will help solve the problem.

In other news, I had a fantastic time last night :) I walked into the coffee shop, and it was like NO time had passed. We sat down and started chatting, and it felt like we were both sixteen again. There was no awkwardness, no difficulty rebuilding a rapport. I ended up going to her place after coffee to meet her partner, and she was fantastic as well. We had a great time talking, and I eventually peeled myself away with the promise of seeing them again tonight (her partner's a knitter! How awesome is that? They're coming to knit night with me this evening!). I don't think we'll be letting each other drift away again any time soon. I was surprised and thrilled to discover that she had been as excited about this as I had. I timidly confessed when we sat down to coffee that I hadn't slept well last night because I was too excited, and she breathlessly said, "Me too! I was so looking forward to it!"

I had a bit of a shock when we got to her apartment though, and she mentioned that her partner doesn't speak French... um.... okay... We walk in, and suddenly, she's speaking FLUENT ENGLISH. This girl would NOT speak English when we were in school together unless it was absolutely necessary, and it was kind of surreal to then sit in her apartment and have a three-hour conversation with her IN ENGLISH. :) She's remarkably fluent and only has a minor accent as well. I'm very proud of her :)

And in yet other news, I have to announce the sad passing of one of my knitting projects. The Summer Sands Empire tank top I was knitting from one of the Creative Knits issues will not see the light of day. I had put it down for a couple of weeks, and when it came time to pick it up again, I just wasn't feeling it. I mean, I REALLY wasn't feeling it. I don't like the way the pattern is shaping up, I don't like that I have to pick up hundreds of stitches to do the arm and neck cuffs, and I don't like the yarn. I can't see myself wearing that yarn against my bare skin. It sheds too much. So off it goes to project heaven. The yarn will be unravelled and used for something else, and I will move on to bigger and better things.

Happy Friday, everybody! (all two of you who read this blog LOL)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I'm so excited!!!!!

For the last few days, I've been e-mailing back and forth with a woman who was my closest, best, most adored friend in high school. We drifted apart, as many friends do, when I dropped out of school and moved away. She started dating someone who wasn't overly fond of me, so calls and visits became less frequent until we lost track of each other. A couple of years ago, I found her on Facebook. I sent her a friend request. She didn't respond. A year later, she added me. I sent her messages and posted on her wall. She never replied. I thought she just added me as an afterthought and didn't really want to talk to me anymore.

Then, two days ago, she sent me a message out of the blue saying basically that she hates facebook, she never logs on, here's my e-mail. I immediately e-mailed her back, and today, THIS VERY AFTERNOON, we are going to meet at a coffee shop as soon as I'm off work :D I am so excited to see her, I can't concentrate on ANYTHING. I had trouble sleeping last night. I can not WAIT for 3:45 to get here so I can bugger off and find this coffee shop!

I have so many memories of her, and we had so much fun together :) It was one of those opposites-attract things. She was very quiet, withdrawn and proper, and I was kind of wild and chaotic. We both had stuff going on at home, and had some things to work through, but we were always there for each other, and for a year or two, we spent almost all our time together. She was the one person who saw my home life for what it was. Then she moved to France with her family. I was bummed, but I knew she'd be back in a year... when she got back, it just wasn't the same. Her parents were breaking up (and I was wishing mine would) and her brothers had become teenagers, and I had discovered boys. We still talked a lot, hung out every so often, but things had changed.

Last night when I talked to her on the phone, it was like we were sixteen again. No time had passed, she was the same girl I remembered, and she said I was as well. Of all the people who have come and gone in my life, I mourned losing her for years. I never really got over it. I always wanted to find her again and make it right (not that it ever went wrong, as I said, we just drifted apart). She was the one friend I've always missed having around when important things were going on in my life. When I got married, I was so sad I didn't know how to contact her to invite her. When Zachary was born, I was sad I couldn't share that with her. When I got separated, I missed having her shoulder to cry on.

It's been fifteen years, Sylvie, but I never stopped missing you or hoping I'd see you again one day. I'm so happy that I'll get to see you later today - I don't think I was this excited the day I got married!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Inspiration strikes

I actually managed to find some motivation to get on the treadmill last night. I even took the stairs at work! Now if I can just keep it going! I got home from the day job, took a nap, worked a short shift on the second job, then sat on the computer for a while. I knew I should get on the treadmill, but I couldn't quite get there. NO motivation whatsoever. Bleh. But then, as I sat there contemplating a snack, I decided that I'd never see 279 if I didn't get off my butt. So off my butt I got, and did an hour on the treadmill. Was I hot and uncomfortable? You betcha. Did my ankles/calves hurt after a while? Hell yeah. Was it worth it? Well, just how badly do I want to reach 279? I'm at 280.5 right now.... not far to go! I just need to break this plateau I've been perched on.

I went a little food crazy yesterday, craving just about every bloody thing I shouldn't be eating, but I managed to put the brakes on it and curbed my emotional eating into something more productive. That's the first time I've accomplished that, and I'm feeling a bit chuffed about it. SO! While it's not South Beach today, it's still pretty good. Rice Chex and a spicy v8 for breakfast. Orange jello for snack. I've got red lentil and vegetable soup with twelve grain bread for lunch, and then a strawberry yogurt for afternoon snack. I figure if I get really hungry, I can break down and have a granola bar. I'll have to do a better job with dinner than I did last night (which found me snacking on wheat thins at 10pm). I have a vegetable lasagna that I can pop in the oven.

Food-wise, I'm always uninspired in the summertime, because it's too bloody hot to cook! Well, I was at the store on Tuesday and actually found some inspiration. Zipperback shrimp were on sale, so I bought a few bags. Then I found some lovely avocados, and my brain started churning.... I picked up some canned button mushrooms (I can't find any small enough in the fresh produce) and I think I'm going to make myself a quinoa salad with shrimp, avocado and mushrooms! I was going to do pasta salad, but quinoa's a bit healthier and higher in fiber than white pasta (which I still have a ton of - my mom gave me a huge Costco package a few years ago, and I haven't even made a dent!).  That, and I can cook quinoa in the rice cooker, so no heating up the stove. I'll experiment a bit tonight and let you know what I come up with.

In the meantime, I've been picking up any shifts I can at the second job, which is messing with my sleep schedule (and my ability to fall asleep at all), so I'm a bit wonky and surviving on caffeine and as much water as I can get myself to swallow. Gotta pay for my next trip to Chicago somehow :)

Incidentally, if anyone in Ottawa (or anywhere along the 401) would like to attend Stitches Midwest (August 25-28) in Chicago... I can provide transportation and free accommodations. I would only ask $100 towards gas, any excess to be returned :) So if any of my knitting friends are interested, let me know! Poke me on facebook or call me on my cell!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters...

First of all, there was no weigh-in on Friday because Rob actually doesn't own a scale ;) However, this morning, 7 hours post-arrival home, I weighed in at 280.5. Not bad for nine days on vacation and two days on the road :)

Rob took my official measurements on Saturday night (after dinner, my bad), my new starting point:

Bust (under): 43.75 inches
Waist: 47 inches
Hips: 59 inches
Arms: 16.75 inches (upper arms, not forearms)
Thigh: 28.75 inches
Calf: 18.5 inches

Not great, but some have gone down a bit. All future measurements will be based on these, and they'll only be updated when I see Rob (since it's hard to measure one's own body accurately).

The drive home was exhausting, and the detour into downtown Toronto was long, but an adventure :) I'd never been down highway 403 before, and now I can say that I've traveled it from one end to the other!

Today was a bit crazy. My son's alarm clock, although unplugged, kept going off at odd hours. I got home at 2:30a.m., fell into bed, only to be awakened by his alarm clock going off at 3a.m. I thought it was the smoke detector out in the hall (its battery is dying and it beeps intermittently) so I ignored it until nearly 4a.m. when I couldn't stand it anymore. Then it went off again at 6a.m. (ugh) but I didn't hear it for awhile, so I'd like to apologize to my upstairs and downstairs neighbors, each of whom has a bedroom directly beneath my son's, who have had to hear this racket for four hours each morning (it goes for two hours each time) for the last nine days. I couldn't figure out how to reprogram the bloody thing, so it's been relocated to Jeff's house until Zachary can learn how to turn it off when he's not going to be home.

I finally got up a bit later, and immediately jumped into the shower for a solid 45 minutes. Why? Because I could. First of all, sharing a single shower with three other people is tricky, but even more so when the sewers are backing up due to excessive rainfall. Ahhhhhhhh.... mostly cold, of course, since I got myself a massive sunburn on my last day in Chicago (beach, water, no sunscreen... ow).

I spent the rest of the day doing errands (even managed to get out of the licensing bureau in less than 10 minutes!) and then we took Skye out for a quiet birthday dinner at East Side Mario's. Tomorrow, it's back to work. I'm actually looking forward to it. I've really missed everybody! (not that I minded spending nine days with Rob... it never does last long enough) So off to bed for me.