Dec 30

I guess I just want to help begin the new year on a happy note, so I thought we could all play a little game called “What is it about…?”  I’ll start and the rest of you can join in.

What is it about…Snow storms that make you crave a mug of hot chocolate?  or,

What is it about…Seeing any sleeping baby creature that makes you smile?

Your turn!!!  Be safe tomorrow however you celebrate the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010.

Dec 28
First report
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Diet and Fitness | icon4 12 28th, 2009| icon35 Comments »

Since starting the diet on Saturday, along with cleansing, I have lost 2.4 pounds bringing my weight down to 169.6.  At least it is below 170 once again.

Recipe for today:  Green Soup – a great filler for those times when you are starving but you are out of the food on that day’s list.  Also great for an appetizer to help fill you up so you don’t eat too much of the good stuff.  Serves 8.

1 medium onion chopped

3 cloves minced garlic

1-1/2 cups sliced carrots

6 cups fat free chicken broth

3 cups chopped cabbage

1-1/2 cups green beans (I used fresh when I can)

1t dried basil

3/4t dried basil

1-1/2 cup diced zucchini

In a Dutch oven, saute carrots, onion and garlic in a couple of tablespoons of broth until softened.  Add the rest of the broth and veggies except the zucchini, bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.  Add zucchini and simmer another 5 minutes or until zucchini is how you like it.  Salt to taste if you want.  About 50 calories per serving, but is wonderfully filling and warms you up nicely on these cold, winter days.

I’d love to hear if anyone else has started and what good recipes you have for low-cal, high veggie fillers.

Dec 27

Oh, yes…  I have to go to work tomorrow.  But I don’t care!

We went into Indianapolis this afternoon (Half Price Books was calling us with the 20% storewide sale) and while we were in town, it started snowing.  By the time we left, the snow was coming down hard and piling up quickly.  So rather than take the interstate home, we came home on the back roads and I am so glad we did!

The snow covered roads were purest white, the trees were covered and it was like driving through a Courier and Ives print with all the barns, cows, fences and homes covered with the fluffy stuff.  I don’t mind driving in the snow with Bettie Blueflame because PT Cruisers seem to have the knack of plowing through just about anything with nary a slip or slide.  The drive was so lovely, and I could almost hear those sleigh bells ringing.

When we got home, I parked my car at the end of the drive because it was starting to drift, and while Scott went to pull his car around front to park it behind my car, I ran up to get my camera.


Not quite too dark to take a picture of the house all covered with snow.  I wonder how much we’ll have by morning.  I plan to get up early to cook, so I’ll check road conditions before I leave for work.

And guess what happens if you try to take a picture of your house at dusk in a snow storm and have the flash turned on?


Kind of pretty isn’t it?  The flash caught the snow flakes falling and the camera captured them for all times.

So, now I’m off for a hot shower and bed with my knitting and an audio book so I can be well entertained while reading.  Too bad it’s too late for a cup of hot tea.  I don’t have any decaf tea and the real stuff would keep me up all night.

Dec 26

Today, Scott and I were determined to get the furniture moved into his room.  Also, we had intended to start organizing the closet and moving books onto shelves, but that’s not going to happen today.

So, to start, we cut the last piece of plywood for the mattress support on the bed.


Then I upholstered it with duck cloth to keep it from tearing up the bottom of the new mattress.


We got him a nice, firm, pillow-top Serta mattress.  He’ll sleep very comfortably tonight.

It is cold here in central Indiana – in the 20’s today, and the wind is blowing.  Since we live on the prairie, there is nothing really to stop the wind.  Scott complained about being cold the last two nights, so while we were out getting groceries, we made a couple of extra purchases for his bed.


A quilt, and…


…a comforter.  I am hoping he’ll be good and warm now.  If not, then he’ll have to pile a couple of the old comforters on top for the rest of the coldest part of the winter.


That Sunday we spent all that money at Lowe’s gained us an area rug that is the perfect color and fits the room with just a foot (+/-) on all four sides to spare.  The room I had for part of my youth was the parlor of an old farmhouse, and the wool rug was like this, showing off the hardwood flooring all around the edges of the room.  I fell in love with the look and was glad we could replicate it in here.


Scott’s family were wealthy farmers, doctors, teachers and builders of homes, duplexes and apartments in Indianapolis, so he has several really wonderful pieces of family furniture.  This oak secretary needs some minor repair work on the bottom right door, but it will be perfect to house his hardback, collector editions.  The desk part, too, will be handy for his laptop when he wants to write.


So we thought it would be lovely in his room, and we were right.  It fits in very well.


The main reason we started remodeling this room in the first place was that Scott really had no comfortable place to read, sketch or study.  So the past couple of months of work and all the new stuff really boils down to this corner.  The recliner belonged to his maternal grandfather, and Scott specifically wanted it in here.


Another reason for all of this was so Scott could have all his books and graphic novels in one place so he could see them all, get to the ones he was interested in reading, and keep them all nice.  And if two bookcases are good,…


…then three ought to be even better.  He’s afraid he’s going to run out of space to put all his books.  Good Lord, I hope not!!!

Getting all of that done today was enough.  We were both getting very tired, and my lower back started to cause me some problems, so we hit the showers.  The closet organization and getting the books in place can wait until one night this week.

Also, he wants to bring in all the artwork he has to see what he wants to hang in there and where.  Once I can get to the studio and my newly set up sewing room back into working order,  I’ll get his curtains and pillows made.  As we continue, I’ll keep you up with how we are progressing.

His cousin, Kermit “Tom” Thomas has a wonderful collection of art glass that he has passed part of over to Scott.  Scott loves art glass and could hardly wait to set up some of the pieces on the secretary.


I think he will sleep very well in there tonight.  Of course, those bookcases had books and things in them before we emptied them and took them downstairs to the den.  We are going to go through the books and get some ready to sell and others ready to be moved into the media room/library once we get it cleaned out and set up.  Not remodel, but rearrange, clean, shampoo the carpet, etc.

And last but not least.  Here I am in all my fat glory.


This is the obligatory “beginning” picture taken in a mirror.  Let’s get rid of those thighs and a chin or two, okay?

I have started on Phase I, and as busy as we were, I really never had time to think about getting hungry.  The cleansing has started today, too.

Don’t worry, this is not about to become a weight-loss blog.  On Mondays, I’ll discuss my weigh-in and share any recipes I have found to  be extra special.  When I have reached a certain goal (the first one will be 159 lbs), I’ll retake a picture so you can see any differences in my size.  Other than this, I’ll keep in touch with my Shedpoundpals via email.  For those of you who are joining me in this endeavor – good luck to us all and let’s see how many pounds between all of we can get rid of, eh?

Dec 25

I hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas Day!

Scott and I went down to his folks today, ate, visited, and played Banana.


Guess what I got for Christmas!  My own set of Banana.  I’m the type who loves word games, and even playing it by myself is fun.  I know.  I’m strange.  How can you play Banana by yourself?  Easy, you get all the tiles to yourself and see how many long and complicated words you can come up with while you dig through the letters.

I forgot to show you a necklace I made out of ring charms.


This represents all the things I am trying to draw into my own life, as well as give to those around me.  It also represents what I want more of in 2010.  Not resolutions, but goals.  Besides, it has a Celtic knot feel to it and I love Celtic knots.  Must be all that Irish and Scottish blood in me.

Have you ever really looked at the socks you are knitting (for those of you who knit socks)?  catfishsock

Have you ever noticed that when you are doing the decreases on the toe that it looks remarkably like a catfish?

Tomorrow is the day!  Health, here I come!!

Dec 24
On Your Mark,…
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Uncategorized | icon4 12 24th, 2009| icon35 Comments »

With the diet starting the day after tomorrow, today is the last of many things for a while.  My last smoothie for breakfast, for example.

On Christmas Eve, our office closes at noon and the staff and family go to Benihana’s for lunch – the full spread from salad and soup to dessert.  This is my last large meal.  At least I’m going out with a bang.

I am using today’s weight for my official “diet beginning weight.”  172 pounds.  I knew I’d gain a few over these weeks leading up to Christmas, but I am so more than ready to start this thing.  I hate feeling this fat, I hate the lack of energy, I hate waking myself up snoring, and I hate the way my clothes fit.  Time to fix it.

The unfortunate part is that I am banned from the treadmill for a while.  Remember when I fell a week ago Sunday?  Well, I really banged my lower spine, and my chiropractor took x-rays on Tuesday to assess the damage.  Not good, but fixable.  There’s a lot of inflammation at the moment, and that is why no treadmill until that calms down.  He’s hoping that I can start again next week, and I’ll find out more when I see him next Monday.

For those of you participating in the Last-Minute-Chirstmas-Shopping marathon, good luck and may the stores have what you want at 60% off.

Dec 21

Last night, Scott and I attended David Ackerman’s annual Christmas Concert.  We went to college with David and he has been a close friend of ours since…well since the early 1980’s.  His lovely wife has become a close friend as well, and they are one of the few couples who are as perfectly compatible as Scott and I are.  They are gems!


I Wonder as I Wander Click on this link for a short video I took.  It may take a couple of minutes to download, but it is worth it.  I wish I could show you some more, but the other files are too large.

Please go out to his site and listen to some more of his music.  He is a tenor with a voice that could melt honey.

Needless to say, Scott and I sang Christmas music all the way home, and I listened to David’s Green Christmas CD all day at work.  Remember the David Bowie/Bing Crosby special where they sang Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy?  Well, two years ago David and another college friend, John Stinchcomb, did this song, and you could see the audience sit in awed silence at it.  It was amazing.  That song is on the Green Christmas CD.  Classy all the way.

Now, for the other end of the class scale.  On the way to work this morning, this car merged in next to me from an exit, then slid in in front of me.  I happened to have my camera with me.  Once I got to see the other side as he moved over into the next lane, I realized what a bit of hard work this is.


Sorry for the blurriness of the picture, but we were moving and this is the best one I could get.  It is about 85% covered with beer caps.  Not only is it a lot of work to glue all of those onto the car, but someone had to drink all that beer!  You know how you hear a story about a stupid person doing something stupid and you say to yourself, “Had to have alcohol involved.”?  Well…  DUH!

Yesterday morning, I got up early and made a huge pot of chili, some Cajun burgers and a double batch of apple crisp.  The apple crisp was for the Open Studio at the art center.  Well, it must have been considered good because we brought about 1/2 cup home.  I was surprised!  Did I mention I love having a working oven once again?  Anyway, Scott can eat on the chili and burgers all week, and then, starting next Saturday, it’s off to South Beach — Phase I that is.

For all of you who are traveling this week for the Christmas holiday, please take care and have a safe trip.  Scott and I are staying at home this year, and I’m fine with that.  We may even go and see Sherlock Holmes.

Dec 19
Scott is ready to move in!!
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Work-in-progress | icon4 12 19th, 2009| icon33 Comments »

First of all, here in central Indiana, we woke up to this.




Not really bad at all.  The there was no wind, and the temps were around 32 degrees.  Just nice, white fluffy stuff coming down gently.  In fact, I went outside with just my sweats and a T-shirt on and found it pretty comfortable.

So, after breakfast of bacon, eggs, toast, hot tea and milk for me, and coffee for Scott, we started trimming and installing the flooring in his den.


We put the vent in place and laid a piece of trim against the wall to see how it was going to look.  We liked it!!

Then, we started to install the first vent, got the drill with the Philips bit in place, and sat down to screw it into place.  The drill wouldn’t work.  But it had worked just two minutes before when we tested it.  So, Scott went to see if we threw a breaker.  No…  We had no power at all.  Hmmm…  Did I ever mentioned we are the last house on our service, so if it goes out ANYplace before our house, we lose electricity.

Not to be flummoxed for too long, Scott got the battery powered screwdriver and installed both vents.  So, now what do we do with no power?  We can’t cut the baseboard.  So we hauled the rest of the flooring in and cut the piece for the laundry room.


Okay, that was done.

I was planning to make a pot of chili for lunch, but with no power, that was out.  So we went up to the next exit to McDonald’s and ate lunch.  On the way, we passed the Duke Energy truck working on the line, so we were pretty sure we’d have power by the time we got home.  And we did!

So we started cutting the baseboard and getting it nailed into place.


Almost done!!!!


All done!


Including the closet.

With the room ready to be moved into, Scott started reworking the Captain’s bed.


We replaced the boards where the mattress lays, and put in lots of braces to make it sturdy.  This was not an expensive bed when we bought it over 10 years ago, and it needed some work done on it.


Guess where Scott is sleeping tonight?


Uhhh…  Honey?  You might want to take a shower and put your PJ’s on first.  Just a suggestion, you know.

Dec 17
Misc. Catch Up
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Work-in-progress | icon4 12 17th, 2009| icon33 Comments »

It looks like there are three of us working together as weight-loss buddies.  Bety with Deep End of the Loom and Cindy of Delighted Hands are joining me in this and we will help support one another to reach our goals.  I can’t tell you how glad I am that I don’t have to do this alone and their assistance is very much appreciated.  If there are any of you wanting to join in, just let us know!

With my start date of December 26th just around the corner, I have started a “pre-diet” phase.  Beginning today, I am eliminating items with processed sugar in them, which I should have done a long time ago.  Then, on Saturday, the beginning of the last week, I’ll get back into the habit of walking on the treadmill each morning.  I laid off after falling Sunday night, but I think my backside is ready to exercise again.

Have you ever looked at Google Earth?  It’s a fun program and you can look at any place on earth.  The coolest thing is Mount Everest in 3D because you actually have to back away from it a bit to see the top of the mountain.  Then “grab” the top of the mountain and move the mouse.  It’s like a joystick and you actually feel vertigo from it.  The girls at the office got woozy from it, but I love vertigo and think it is neat.

So, I looked at my place from Google Earth.  The satellite pictures are all updated at the different times, and more populous places tend to get updated more often than rural areas, so mine was last updated on February 28, 2005, but it is still a pretty accurate picture.  The south “extra” drive way is gone now, though, as well as a couple of smaller trees.  But, here is my place from Google Earth’s site:


Isn’t that cool?

Lest you think I never do anything fiber-creative anymore, here is where I am on my current sock.


And, starting in January, I will be making a window-seat cushion for Sandy, and piecing the quilt tops for my brother’s 13-year-old twins.  And, if luck serves me well, I plan to get a couple of looms warped up and going – one at my house and one at Susan’s (the 50″ Cherry Norwood).  I am SO ready to dig in and make things again.

Saturday should see the finish of Scott’s den until I get the time to make his curtains.  We are both looking forward to seeing this project done.  Then Christmas weekend should see the finalization of my laundry room.  Needless to say, I want these done so I can have my studio back and don’t have to go to the laundromat anymore.

Dec 15
Want to help me?
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Taking it Personally | icon4 12 15th, 2009| icon35 Comments »

One thing I haven’t talked about much here is the fact that I have a weak heart and suffer from unstable angina.  Luckily, the angina part hasn’t bothered me much over the past three years (although I spent two years wearing a nitro patch 24/7).  My heart doctor told me almost 5 years ago that if I got down to 130 pounds, I should be able to get off my heart meds.  Considering how much this costs me each month, I am finally going to give it my all to lose this weight.

As of right now, I weigh 168 pounds at 5’2″.  Really, I’d like to get down to nearer 120 pounds, which is where I was about 10 years ago.  That is a loss of 48 pounds.  So, starting the day after Christmas (let’s face it – who in their right mind would start a diet a week before Christmas?) I will be starting The South Beach Diet – Phase I – and doing a body cleansing at the same time for two weeks.  Why?  Well, the cleansing diet is very nearly the same as Phase I on the South Beach diet so I might as well kill two birds with one stone.  I’ve used this particular cleansing kit and diet to very good effect in the past.

So, on December 26th, I will be putting myself through the necessary paces to lose 48 pounds.  I want to average a pound a week, which should be safe for my heart.  What I need from you is someone to be accountable to and some encouragement.

That and does anyone have any good ideas on how to cook green vegetables in a healthy, but tasty manner?  Also, besides the normal green beans, brussels sprouts, asparagus, green peppers, cabbage and salad greens, do you have any suggestions on what other green veggies are available out there?  The first two weeks of this is basically lean meat (which would be turkey and chicken for me because I detest fish), and all the green veggies I want.  I have a lovely recipe for a veggie soup that is a great between and before meal filler, but I’m very open to other ideas that I can use for this two weeks and take forward into a healthier eating plan.  Recipes, my friends!  I need recipes!

I will be weighing every Monday morning and I’ll take a before picture of me and an update picture every time I drop below a zero number – i.e. 159, 149, 139, etc.  Also, I have a chart made up that says I can walk over 2 million steps in 2010 just by averaging 5500 steps per day.  If I get on the treadmill for half an hour a day, this average will easy to reach.

So, are you up to the challenge of helping me get off my heart meds?  Anyone want to join me in this endeavor?  I’d love some buddies for this.  We can all help one another live healthier lives!

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