Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Breakup

A tear was hanging there in the corner of my eye and then slowly it tricked down my right cheek. I looked longingly at the building as I drove by on my way to work yesterday. I even thought I smelled a familiar aroma....but alas....I didn't. It was just my imagination playing tricks on me.

As I walked in to the office, I clutched the small Starbucks Chai Latte in my hand. I put down my tote bags and started to remove my food for the day....Total cereal, blueberries, strawberries, soy milk, leftover quinoa pasta with zucchini and spinach pasta sauce, raisins, celery and peanut butter. I placed the cold things in the fridge, left the rest in the bag and sat down at my desk. As I took a sip of my chai latte.....I smiled.

YOU DID IT KATHY!!! YOU REALLY DID IT!!!! It's Friday and you did NOT stop at Dunkin' Donuts, and you are NOT eating a fattening, salty, cholesterol filled egg and cheese croissant that is going to turn the pH of your blood upside down and make your body steal calcium from your precious little bones!!! Chee Hoo!!!!

Friends even though I feel like I broke up with the love of my life...if I can say NO to that egg and cheese croissant, I can say NO to most anything...and today that included cookies, candy and cake that filled our lunch table. I didn't have a single bite.

On the serious side...this change in diet is not easy. I feel hungry a lot. Before if I was hungry, I knew that I could reach in my tote bag for some chips or crackers. They would fill me up. They would make me happy.

Now when I am hungry and I reach in my bag, I find things like dried apricots. If I go to the fridge, I find things like carrots. Those things do NOT fill me up, nor do they make me happy.

After eating like I did my entire life, I think it just becomes a habit. I think you learn to love the taste of certain foods as well as that feeling of being just perfectly full. It has to be an emotional thing.

Now I am in the process of "unlearning" those habits and creating new ones. I have discovered that I can live without the sweets except for my chai and that's okay for now. What I am really missing are the salty, filling snacks. I love things like cheese, crackers, pita chips and corn chips. It's funny because I don't like my food salty. I even buy salt free soup and put in a little dash of my own salt....but salty snacks were my "thing".

Salt is bad, bad, bad for our bones, so I am trying to avoid it. That isn't to say I will never have another salty snack, because I will...just not every day like I was.

I really did an awesome job this week, but it was tough. So much thought has to go into what I'm buying and eating right now that I find it more like work. I am keeping up with my pilates and my yoga and my new treadmill is a dream come true. I am on that thing for 30 minutes every morning before work and I actually like it! I find it challenging and I love a challenge.

I hope that all of you are getting up and doing some walking or some kind of exercise. Making some small changes now might keep you from having to make major changes later.....besides your bones will love you for it!

Make it an awesome day for yourself!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Oh Those Dirty Dishes!

We were talking at work the other day about....dishwashers. Are you sitting down? I've never owned one!!!

When I had three kids at home, I might have liked one, but it really was never in the budget. Then when I could afford was just the two of us and we really didn't dirty all that many dishes.

I asked my co-workers if they had to rinse their dishes before putting them in the dishwasher and everyone said they didn't have to, but they did. I really don't see the point in that. If I'm going to rinse them, I might as well add a bit of soap and wash them....and save some water.

Then someone said that she liked it because it washes at such a high temperature that it kills germs. When I wash and rinse my dishes by they still have germs lurking on them? I don't think so. I will add that our manual dish washing family gets sick less than most of the families I know. (Knock on wood....I don't want to jinx us)

I remember when we use to eat over at Irv's parent's house years and years ago...if someone in the house was sick, his mom would throw a big pot of water on the stove and bring it to a nice boil. Then she would wash the glasses and silverware, hold each piece with tongs and give it a nice dip into the boiling water to kill the germs!

I tried that a couple of times when the kids were little and decided I would take my chances with the mean old germs.

The only time I kind of wish we had a dishwasher is on holidays, but that's really it. We've been offered used ones when our kids have upgraded and have always declined....besides, Irv does a darn good job on those dishes. Right Honey?

Am I the only woman out there without a dishwasher?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Shake, Rattle and Roll....

Well, I have a working computer. It isn't mine, but it works. If you read my blog yesterday, you know that my old Dell croaked on me yesterday morning. Michael had given us his old Dell desktop and we've been trying to connect it in the basement for Irv to play around on...and haven't been able to get it working. On my way home from work yesterday...I thought.....what if we brought up Michael's computer tower and hooked it up in my workshop. Well, I did it and it is working....for now. I still have to get someone to try to fix mine, but until then at least I can check e-mail and blog and stuff.

Yes, we had an 3.8 earthquake Wednesday morning at 4:03 a.m. I was sound asleep and I woke up to this really loud, loud noise. We were suppose to have very strong winds, so at first I thought it was that....but then the house started shaking and the utility wires on the outside of the house were banging against the house and the TV on the dresser started rattling. It was a bit creepy. It didn't last very long and then it was gone.

Sparky woke up and decided she needed to go out, and then we laid back down. When the alarm went off at 4:30...the radio came on and I heard them start talking about an earthquake and then I knew that was what we had felt.

We certainly don't have many earthquakes here in northern Illinois. There is a known fault and we had a small earthquake a few years ago, but I didn't even feel that one. I would be perfectly happy if we never had another one.

I had to laugh at how many of you knew what a Gentle Leader was yesterday, and how many of you might give it a try. I wouldn't hesitate if I were you. It makes walking those dogs such a joy.

Have a fantastic day today and please don't forget to do something nice for yourself. Go for a little's good for your bones! :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Gentle Leader

No, I'm not talking about my boss or the President. Maggie our rescue pup was ten months old when we adopted her. She came to us with no training whatsoever and a very sad past. She had no idea how to walk on a leash. Training a puppy to walk on a leash is one a ten month old Border Collie mix is quite another.

I tried to walk her with Wrigley. I tried to walk her without Wrigley. The result was always the same.....she dragged me down the street practically pulling my arm out of the socket! I tried everything I knew and none of it worked. I couldn't keep her at my side, and once she got in front of me she would zig and zag all over the place. I can't tell you how many times I almost ate the pavement.

Michael had a problem training his Aussie and he purchased a Gentle Leader head collar. We have a little family joke about it even. One time when we were watching Teagan for them, Michael drew us a picture of how to put the Gentle Leader on her. We laughed so hard at his drawing....the dog in the drawing looked more like an ant eater!!

Anyway, the idea behind the Gentle Leader is that it puts pressure on a dog's nose in the same manner in which a lead dog communicates with dogs lower in rank. The dog immediately understands her place and considers the owner her leader.

When it's time to walk each day, Maggie sits and waits for me to put the Gentle Leader on her. As soon as it's on her.....Irv and I start laughing because she stops moving. She sits and just stares straight ahead and won't even acknowledge you when you talk to her. It is so darn funny.

If you look closely at this picture, you can see it across the top of her nose, under her eyes. See how serious she looks?
We can now walk every day without any pulling, dragging or tripping. Three cheers for our Gentle Leader!!

(Added note: If I'm not around for a little while it's because my home computer died. Certainly not what I needed right now...but what are you going to do. I'm going to talk to someone at work here today and see what they think. If it ends up being a lost cause, I will need to get a new one. I'll be checking in occasionally while I'm at work. We did get 12 inches of snow last night and woke at 4:00 a.m. this morning because we were having a 4.3 earthquake! I'll tell you about it when I am up and running. Make it a good one!)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Snow, Snow the Wonderful Snow?

As I sit here writing this on Monday evening, a major snow storm is barreling our way with anywhere from 6-12 inches of snow. If this were December or January I would be Chee Hooing all over the place....but this not December or January and there are no Chee Hoos coming from my lips.

November and February are my least favorite months. They are the "in betweeners". November is long and cold and I can't wait for the snow and the Holidays to arrive. February is cold and I am done with winter and ready for spring.

Irv had all of his seed catalogs laid out on the kitchen table this weekend. Birds were chirping in the morning on Sunday and flitting around when I walked the dogs that afternoon. I saw a pair of squirrels scampering up a tree. It just felt like spring was not too far off. Unfortunately, spring weather doesn't arrive here until March or April! Do you feel my pain?

Irv loves being outside. He doesn't come in the house from the first warm day until it's too cold to stay outside. He enjoys working in the yard and growing his garden. Last year with the bigger garden, he really had a hard time keeping up with everything, so I told him this year we would share the yardwork.

The past two summer have been all about etsy and FourDogDay. I don't allow my business to run my life anymore...I make the decisions and I run my business. This summer I want to take part in the planting of the flowers again and the weeding and watering.

I am always into the yard and the flowers in the's so easy. Everything is so beautiful and fresh and new. I love spring...and then spring becomes summer and I always drop the ball. Watering takes sooooooo long and I hate the heat. I have to pile on the sunscreen, sunscreen clothes and a big hat so I don't get too much sun. I sweat and the bugs really bug me and I hate dirt under my finger nails and it's just so friggin' humid and.....

maybe that snow storm doesn't sound so bad after all!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

City Kitties

Sunday morning Irv and I were out the door at 7:00 and headed to Chicago. It's about an hour drive without traffic. We had to stop for gas and I decided to treat myself to a chai latte at Starbucks. I wanted to try it made with soy milk which would be a better option for me with my new bone building diet plan. The first few sips were yucka....the middle sips were acceptable....and the last sips were disgusting. I don't think that is going to be an option for me. Bummers!

Tresa and Chris are going to be putting their condo up for sale as soon as they make some minor improvements. They needed Irv's opinion on some things, so they asked us to come in. They treated us to a wonderful breakfast at a cute little cafe. I was wondering if it would be difficult to find something that fit in with my new diet....not at all! I had a wonderful egg white omelet with spinach, goat cheese and tomatoes! Man was it good!

We headed over to their condo and got to meet their newest kitty, Harley. They are always telling us what a bad, bad boy Harley is....and I think they are full of it. He is the cutest and sweetest little guy you would ever want to meet. He is charming and playful and just as happy as can be.

Their other kitty, Casey is such a pretty little Princess. She loves to just lay around, and only moves when she wants to move. She has a pretty normal kitty personality. :)

They have huge windows all along three sides of the condo and the view is awesome!

Irv went over a number of things with them and made some suggestions. They plan to purchase some things and we will head in again to give them a hand. Then it was back to the "country".

I managed to still find time to take the dogs for a nice little walk, do my yoga and walk for 25 minutes on the treadmill. I enjoy walking outside, but man was it nice to throw on some workout clothes, turn on some golf on the TV and walk! I think I am going to really enjoy it.

It was a busy day, but I had decided this morning that this would be one more day off from my etsy shop, FourDogDay. Instead of getting rattled because I didn't work in my shop all week, I told myself that I took a much deserved week off....that way there was no guilt, no stress and let me tell you....I had an awesome day today! Tomorrow I will be back in my workshop and I am so ready to start creating again!

Oh, and on a little side note...Michael and Bernadette have set March 6th for our next family get together. Michael said we are going bungee jumping...I wonder what we will REALLY be doing?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Million Thanks

I want to thank each and every one of you for all of the kind words and the encouragement this past week. I feel so lucky to have all of you as my friends. You are the best.

This was a huge week for me. With the Osteoporosis diagnosis, finding out it's Osteopenia, thinking I was going to have to take drugs I didn't want to take, having a wonderful book recommended to me by a super blog friend, learning about my disease, learning about treatment options, having a mini meltdown and getting started on some major lifestyle was one heck of a week! Whew!

Today I filled my fridge with all kinds of good things to eat. I went to the store with a list and knew what I was going to buy.

I will be making things like vegetable soup, fruit smoothies, ratatouille, roasted vegetables with tofu and salads.

I will be walking on my brand new treadmill too! Michael came over to help Irv get the treadmill downstairs. Those things are HUGE and there was no room for it upstairs in my tiny house. Maggie helped them as much as she could and before you know was all together! Thanks Irv and Michael!

We don't have an awesome finished basement, so Irv said he is going to go downstairs tomorrow and fix up a nice spot for me to do my "walking". How sweet is that? He's already looking in the catalogs for seeds to see what other kinds of great veggies he can grow for me this summer!

The more I think about this whole week...the more I realize how very lucky I am to have found out about my bone loss now when I can still possibly make the changes I need to in order to live a long healthy life....with nice strong bones.

Thanks again everyone. You truly are amazing!

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