Saturday, July 25, 2009

Off the Wagon AGAIN

Okay, so I fell of the wagon AGAIN! I cannot stop eating crappy food. I know how bad it is for me. I know how many calories it all has in it. I know the fat content of what I eat. I know it's clogging my arteries. I know it's going to make me gain weight. I know. I know. I know!

But I can't seem to stop. I am out of control.

I have had a chai latte from Starbucks 10 times in the past 2 weeks. Not only is that a lot of calories I don't need, at $3.22 each, that is way too much money to be spending on junk food!

Every Friday, in fact last week it was Thursday AND Friday, and this week it was Friday AND's an egg and cheese croissant from Dunkin' Donuts.

Last night it was a mushroom swiss black bean burger from Chilis and of course I had to get the Paradise Pie for dessert. That Paradise Pie is on the top ten list of the worst things you can eat. Doesn't it look just awesome though....and you should taste it...oh my word!!!!

What on earth is up? I never use to eat like this. I am just craving crap food right now, and have been for quite a while. This just isn't me and it isn't who I want to be.

So, here it is. I need to make a change....and I plan to start on Monday. No point in trying to start today. I still have 1/2 of my Paradise Pie left to eat, and I know I will eat it, and then tomorrow we are going to Michael and Bern's for the afternoon. I know I will eat whatever is put in front of me. Monday will be better. It's just me and the food with no outside influences....sort of.

I am going to try to go cold turkey with the chai lattes. I think that is the only way. To cut down won't help because I live for that chai every morning. If I have it one day....I will have it every day...guaranteed.

I will only bring good food to work...and that isn't hard to do and I usually do that. It's the cake and cookies and crap that other people bring to "share" that I can't keep my hands off of. I will try.

The weekends are sheer hell. I just eat whatever looks good and that has to stop. So, it will.

I am walking the dog one mile every's hard to do that at 5:30 a.m., but I can do it, and I said I was going to start doing my yoga and pilates after work. I really have to do that, but it is so darn hard to use that precious time for that when I have a million other things to do.

I once followed this awesome plan where you ate good all week and then you had one day where you could seriously eat anything you wanted. It was great and I did so well on it. I might give that a try again rather than deprive myself of every nasty food I love. The funny thing is that when that eat whatever you want day rolls around, you can only eat so much crap without feeling sick so you really don't eat all that much!

So, how do you do it? Do you eat good and exercise? Are you motivated? Do you stick with it or do you start and quit over and over and over again like I do? I am open to any and all

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Waiting Game

I had an appointment at the dermatologist yesterday at 3:40. I get off work at 3:30 and it's only a few minutes away. I was there early.

At 4:10 I finally got into the exam room. I was already fuming and trying not to, but I have so much to do right now that I just didn't want that to happen AGAIN. The last time I went I waited a total of 45 minutes past my appointment time before I saw the doctor. I answered all of the questions for the assistant and she leaves. I take off my jeans and t-shirt and put on the robe, climb onto the exam table and wait....and wait....and wait.

After about 20 minutes there is knock on the door. Nope, not the doctor. Just one of her assistants that needs something from the room. "She is just finishing up with a patient and you are next, so she should be right in." I waited, and waited and waited. Another 20 minutes passed and there is another knock on the door. This time it is my doctor. "So sorry to have kept you waiting. How are you?"

"How am I? How would you expect me to be? I have a ton of work waiting for me at home. My appointment was at 3:40 and it is almost 5:00. Do you realize how long it's going to take me to get home now? It's going to be the height of rush hour when I get out of here! I'm pissed! That's how I am. I am really, really pissed. This happened the last time I had a late afternoon appointment. What happened? Can you at least give me a reason why I had to wait so frickin' long? How am I? Such a stupid question!"

That is what I wanted to say.

Instead I said, "I'm good, how are you doing?"

I know, I know, but I try to be kind and give people the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she was having a horrible day. Does it really matter at this point that she was late or why? She apologized. What more could she do? Besides, I really like this doctor.

My boss recommended this doctor to me after mine moved to California., and I really like her a lot. She takes the time to listen to me. We laugh a lot and she understands where I'm coming from. I trust her, and that is important with any doctor, but especially when you have already had a serious health issue. I had melanoma in 1998, and when I go to the dermatologist, I'm literally putting my life in their hands.

So, I had my exam and I do need to have another mole removed. I have always hated it. It's been there for a long time, but it looks like my melanoma and I have always wished it was gone. Now it will be because she noticed a slight change in it.

I have to wait 3 months for the appointment, but she told me to be persistent and to call constantly and they will get me in when they have a cancellation. I was already on the phone with them at 8:15 this morning. Trust me, they will find me an appointment sooner because they will be so sick of hearing my voice first thing every morning.

So, what do you do when a doctor is really late? Have you ever walked out? Do you speak your mind? Just wondering.....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Man By The Trees

I have a really nice big window next to my desk at work. It looks out past the parking lot to the track and the basketball courts. Past that is a small grassy area, a line of trees and beyond that houses.

My Office Window
Many days when I glance out my window, I will see a man doing Tai Chi. He appears to be "older", he is small in stature and he dresses in the traditional baggy white pants and shirt. He usually starts in the grass by the trees and then he moves over to the basketball courts.

There are days when I almost have to close the blinds, because I am so distracted by this man....but in such an awesome way.

His continuous flow of movement reminds me of the constant motion of the sea. He'll do the same motion 30 or 40 times in repetition first on one side and then on the other. He bends and stretches, but rarely stops moving. The movements are gentle and controlled, and they look so natural as he works his way through his routine. He never seems to be in a hurry to finish.

Wikipedia Photo
I've never actually seen him arrive at the spot, and today was the first time I ever saw him leave. He just walked down the paved path that leads off of the school property.

I could sit and watch his entire "performance" if there weren't other people around. I find it so soothing and relaxing.

I'm guessing that what he does is wonderful for stress relief, balance, flexibility and it probably lowers blood pressure.

It reminds me of the ease of which yoga "guru" Rodney Yi moves so effortlessly through the poses on my yoga DVD.

Do you do yoga or Tai Chi? If not, have you ever really watched someone doing either of them?

Watching him today made me want to learn how to do that. I think I am going to add "Take Tai Chi" to my "Someday I want to..." list right below "Be on a Rowing Team" and "Take Ballet Lessons"!

Maybe some day.....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


When Irv and I kayak here in Illinois on the Fox is calm water. There are no waves, it's pretty straight and there are certainly no rapids. When Irv, Matt and I kayaked on the San Miguel River in Colorado, it wasn't always calm, it was wavy because of the rock walls and there were rapids! We had a blast!! I don't know if I'll ever be able to kayak the Fox River again.

We drove quite a ways to get to the river. The rock walls actually kind of hung over the road in spots with signs that said, "Watch for falling rock!" Yikes!

It was a very, very long dirt road, and poor Adam was so full of dust it was awful.

Once again Matt was a wonderful instructor and made sure to tell us what to do if we tipped over or if we lost our paddle. Matt is learning how to kayak in rough water. He goes and practices tipping over so he can practice flipping back up again.

Irv really enjoyed the day. When we came upon rough water, he always picked the toughest route.A friend of Matt's loaned us these awesome inflatable kayaks. The only thing I didn't like is that anytime you hit a little wave, your butt got wet! Then the water stayed there in the little seat so you were sitting in a puddle the whole day!

I took my hat off for this picture, but I was covered from head to toe with my sun screen pants and jacket and I globbed on the sunscreen many, many times while we were out there. We were actually close to the desert and it was darn hot and very sunny.

I followed Matt along one of these walls and almost got dumped. The water was moving really fast and I tried to use my paddle to keep myself from smashing into the wall. It was actually pretty funny once I realized I wasn't going for a swim!

If you enlarge this photo you will be able to see a couple of cars that flew off the side of the cliff. One is right about in the center, and then if you look at that tree on the left, you can kind of see the one that is wrapped around the tree. The road was way, way up there. There were actually three cars but you can't see the other one in this picture. Matt said that they are able to retrieve the bodies of the people in the cars, but often times they can't get the cars out.....and THAT is why I HATE those creepy mountain roads that don't have any guard rails!!!

This is where we took out. We had already left Matt's SUV there, so we just had to load everything up and then drive back to where we put in to get Adam.

I was perfectly happy on the way back to take some shots of the river from the road, but Matt decided that we needed better pictures. So he climbed out on some ridiculous little ledge...scaring the hell out of get this picture.

and last but not least....this little lizard was so funny. He would NOT let me take his picture. Every time I would get close he would run around to the other side of the rock. I told Matt to try and I stood in front of the lizard watching him. Matt came up from behind him. I think the lizard was entranced with my pink outfit and he never saw Matt behind him. Matt took about six pictures, each time getting closer and closer until he could almost touch the little guy. We were laughing so hard.

It was another great day in Colorado. Next time we visit...we will definitely kayak again!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Thank you so much everyone for the great comments and suggestions yesterday. I really appreciate it. Just to clarify something though....I am very happy with where FourDogDay and MyOtherShop are as far as sales go, and my two shows have both made a small profit. My concern isn't about lack of sales...of course I would love more, but that isn't my issue. It takes a long time to grow a successful business and that will come eventually. Right now I am still finding my way, and THAT is my issue. I'm not sure which way "my way" is.

I don't intend to rip my shops apart. I love my shops. What I need to do is decide on a "theme" for each shop...then make things I enjoy making that people want to buy....and all will be well in the world.

Yesterday I took my daughter's marketing tip and I repriced every item in both of my shops. It was quite a task. She suggested I get away from the $5, $10, $15 prices and even the $6, $12, and $16 etc. She said to stay under that number that takes you into the next price "bracket" whenever possible. I will be interested to see if it makes any difference.

I thought about all of this a lot last night and I realized that the answers will all come in their own time if I just stop concerning myself with the past, and I stop questioning the future. I can't do anything about either one of them.

What I plan to do is to keep making aprons, start making totes, reusable lunch and snack bags and then continue to work on the other things I enjoy the most or that attract the most attention. That would be my cake stands, the light switch covers, and I have some ideas for some really cute pillows.

I can only control this very moment in time, so at this very moment, I am going to go finish a really cute apron I started!

Chat with you soon and thanks are all so awesome!

Chee Hoo!

Sunday, July 19, 2009!!

I have spent a great deal of time lately thinking about what direction I want to go with my etsy shops. I started with cards and photos, dabbled in upcycled jewelry, added journals, and gift tags, started making cake stands, then wood and paper decor, then coasters and light switch plates, now aprons and soon tote bags and reusable lunch bags......

So, now what?

The cards don't really sell and I don't find them very rewarding to make. I could lower the price on them and see what happens. I charge $5.00 for them, but then by the time you add the shipping, that' a pretty pricey card. It's a nice card, but I don't think people want to pay that much for a card.

I might discontinue my cards and only carry the photos in FourDogDay. Our photos are not "fine art" prints...they aren't signed...they are just neat every day snapshots taken by untrained people that like to take pictures. We don't sell a lot of them, but I do love them.

MyOtherShop is starting to look like FourDogDay use to look, and I'm not happy with it. Too many unrelated things packed into one shop, but I am not opening another shop. I could have FourDogDay be things for the house, and MyOtherShop be things for you....but that wouldn't be until after I run out of business cards...and that will be a while. :)

I'm thinking about not making any more wood and paper stuff. Not a big seller on etsy or at the two shows I've done. It's fun to do, but it isn't "the thing" for me.

That would leave cake stands which I really enjoy. I love looking for old plates and would like to start finding more unusual things to use besides candlesticks for the base. People seem to like them and I enjoy making them.

My coasters are so darn cute, but I have sold so few. They are heavy and expensive to ship, but even at the craft shows they get looked at a lot, but they don't get bought very often. I priced them lower at the shows than in my shop and only sold a couple sets on Saturday. Any idea why that might be? Not sure what to do about them. Could I live without them....yes...but they do attract attention at the shows.

The light switch covers are a pain to make, but they are cute and people seem to like them. I don't sell many on etsy, but at the shows they also attract a lot of attention. I am thinking about expanding on those and making some double ones and some other styles. A number of people said they wanted one but they needed a double one, or a push button one. I did give them cards and told them to contact me and I can make whatever they want. Not sure if they will, but that was an indication to me that I need to expand that line.

I am really enjoying sewing and I think that is the direction I am leaning, but if I am going to continue with the aprons and add the tote bags and things I will eventually need a new machine.

I am at a crossroad right now and haven't quite decided what direction I am going to go. I know for a fact that I will be crafting I just have to decide what to craft and what not to craft.

I know it's all a matter of what I love to do, but what if I love to do a lot or what if I don't know what I love the most? Then what?

Have you ever hit that place? What did you do? I am open to any and all suggestions.....

When Your Head Is Spinning

Time to take a very deep breath....

We took coffee and bagels to Michael and Bernadette's new house this morning. Do you remember your first house? I sure do, because I still live in mine! They are so excited. They closed and moved in Friday and they already have everything unpacked and were hanging things on the walls when we were there. They removed a bar from the family room, tore out some built in stuff they didn't like and have a mental list a mile long of things they want to do.

I am going to go there next weekend to dig out a bunch of perennials that they do not want. Irv is going there tomorrow to cut down a bunch of awful looking bushes and an evergreen that was very poorly placed. Irv will be spending a bit of time there helping them to replace all of the interior doors! Irv loves helping the kids with stuff, so it should be a lot of fun!

The neighbor's dog already jumped their backyard fence to come and welcome them and Teagan! Michael looked out their back window the other day to see the neighbor chasing his dog around their back yard!

In addition to helping them with all of their new home owner fun things, I want to do some painting in my house this fall. I plan to redo my bedroom, the bathroom and the living room. Mostly just painting, except the bathroom needs a new sink and floor. I have no idea what colors I want, so today when we were at Menards, I came home with every little booklet they had with color ideas in it! I have a stack about two inches high, no kidding. I think I am going to buy fabric and make a shower curtain. Irv was also saying that we need to start thinking about siding our very old garage that is aging very ungracefully.

On top of all of that, I have two indoor craft shows coming up. One is in September and one is in October. One is an 8 x 10 space, one is a 10 x 10 space. Irv and I are trying to figure out what kind of booth we want that will be easy to transport, set up and take down...but can be used for both size booths and also be utilized for outdoor shows next spring. We would like to use slatwall, but we aren't sure how easy that will be to do. Irv is very handy, so I'm sure he'll figure it out. Plus I need to make more aprons and I am going to start making those tote bags, and reusable lunch and snack bags.

I plan to start walking Wrigley a mile each morning before work and then get back to my yoga and pilates after work.

Can you tell me how on earth I am going to manage all of this?

This is one of those times when most people would get really rattled and crumble. Not me...I see times like this as a challenge and I love challenges. It is going to be very interesting to figure out a way to fit it all in, but somehow, some way I will.

Tonight when I sit in bed with the news on, I will have my little clipboard in hand and I will be jotting down notes and ideas and schedules and I will be prioritizing for sure. I will have color charts all over my bed and sketches of my indoor booth.

What do you do when there are a dozen things you want to do and not enough time to do it all?

I yell, "Chee Hoo" and dig in!!

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