Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Boston Marathon

After Stephanie's we walked outside the surrounding neighborhood & stumbled upon the finish line for the Boston Marathon. I had no idea it had just taken place the weekend before our visit. I also didn't know it was the world's oldest annual marathon.
I had to take a picture of it of course! Pretty cool huh?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Stephanie's on Newbury Street

So Boston was everything I never expected. It's a small city with beautiful old architecture that seems wonderfully maintained. It was enough for us to walk everywhere around the Boston Park Plaza Hotel where we stayed.
The first day after checking in we ventured out for lunch & wound up at Stephanie's on Newbury Street. I know this sounds crazy, but I picked this place for lunch because I have an adorable niece with curly blond hair named Stephanie & I thought it just had to be good with a name like that and it was. My handsome better half had the soft shelled crab sandwich. I wanted to try it but had to close my eyes in order to do so. It's probably just me but I just think it's too freaky eating a batter dipped mini crab on a bun. You could actually see the complete shape of the crab. It looked as if they plucked it out of the water, dipped it in batter and I imagined- threw it into the deep fryer while it was still moving. It did taste good though-as long as I kept my eyes closed- that is!
I very much enjoyed the Pecan crusted warm goat cheese salad-delicioso.
I snapped this photo thinking of my niece. I love the initial S. It also happens to be one of my own initials as well.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Boston is a beautiful city

WOW! We had a great time. Last Wednesday we dropped our young teenager off at his school so he could travel with his classmates for an educational trip to Boston. And for the first time in 14 years my husband & I traveled alone to another city other than our own(Boston) and stayed two entire nights by ourselves in a beautiful hotel inside the city.
It's good to know that after all this time we still enjoy each others company. I mean, I knew that before we left of course...then again- until you are completely alone without any other distractions or escape routes, how do you really know? After all the parenting decisions, job issues, household responsibilities, family concerns, the daily clutter of everyday life, how do you know you are still there for each other the way you were in the first place?
I think we know because we are here everyday together. Waking up for breakfast, getting ready for our day, attending to what we are committed too. So it is so good to take a break from all that-just to be.
I am already planning our next trip...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

losing weight 3 weeks in a row!!!

Dare I say I think I am getting my mojo back? Certain people I live with may think I am jinxing myself. I have to be optimistic though because losing weight is a huge challenge! So I am celebrating. When I got on the scale I thought for sure it would be another .6 or .4 loss so when the person that was weighing me said," down 1.2 "-to say I was ecstatic is putting it mildly. An added bonus was I impressed my husband & he's not an easy person to impress. I've noticed people who grow up with more than 2 other siblings tend to be like that and my husband has seven.
The topic of today's meeting was exercise. My poor WW leader, she is so great- very inspiring but people just weren't responding like usual this morning. Maybe because it was 7AM on a Saturday morning. We had a few laughs though. She is very funny.

On a sad note a woman talked about her week & said her husband had just had a heart attack & is in the hospital. I have to bring this up because he really is lucky to be alive. Maybe by sharing this story someone reading this may realize they should get to the DR too. The man had been sweating & feeling like his heart was coming out of his chest. He laid down for a while & started feeling better. A few hours later the same thing happened again. Then he went to work. His boss told him to go home & called his wife telling her she better take him to the hospital. The wife said if he didn't get in the car she would be calling an ambulance. Please say a prayer for him and his family. This story makes me think about how difficult it can be to take care of ourselves-like exercising.
looking at the fallen petals of the Star Magnolia tree lying on the ground made me think of the weight I envision falling off of me. I think I have to love all of me- like I love these petals- before I can let go of the weight. Then I feel it may just fall away.

I like exercise so it's not hard for me to do it but I know that is not the case for most people. My leader said we should never say we hate exercising even if we do because then we are programing ourselves to fail. If we talk about loving food so much & hating exercise she asked us what we thought our fate might be? I love both so maybe I'll just be happy.

"You have to make sure that you're doing more things in life that make you happy-because when you're happy you are less likely to overeat."-Eileen, my weight watchers leader

Friday, April 18, 2008

Multitasking & Memory Loss

I just read on my health insurance statement that "... a study at the University of Michigan suggests multitasking could actually be doing us more harm than good." It states that stopping & starting things take twice as long & causes our brains to function at below optimal level. "Over time stress hormones from multi tasking can damage memory centers in the brain. The bottom line is to"... focus on one task at a time for better efficiency and memory."

Now the question is how did those smart people studying over at the university define multitasking? Some people may think brushing their teeth while taking a shower is multitasking. I've never felt an ounce of stress while doing this. Or what about talking on the phone while doing laundry or dishes? What if I am cleaning out paperwork or writing out a check while listening to the robot on the other end of the telephone go through their list of options before I can be put in touch with a real person. I think I might lose my mind if I didn't have something to distract me while listening. The only problem with this is when I space out & suddenly notice a super nice but creepy voice say- "to hear this message again, press 5." I guess this must be what they are talking about...

Otherwise I personally do like to give my complete attention to whatever it is I am doing.

mom, make sure you click on the purple number five!

Monday, April 14, 2008

"My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can."

-Cary Grant
I love this quote. Click on his name & you will be linked to a pretty cool website dedicated to Mr. Grant. I was looking for a quote about beds when I found this. It rings so true to me.

Today I bought a new bed for Priscilla-thankfully. Her old bed was fairly disgusting. Our old humidifier would mysteriously leak water and with her bed acting like a giant sponge...well you get the picture!
This new bed is so cozy looking, more like a giant pillow with paisley bright colored quilting. It's big & puffy too.
So acting like a pack mule entering the living room I inadvertently frighten Priscilla as I balance a large mirror, some new linens & Priscilla's bed. She wanted to come and greet me so badly but she trusted her instincts knowing that something about three times the size of her was making a lot of noise inside that plastic bag I was trying to negotiate.
Getting rid of the noisy plastic I figured she would go check out her new digs when I set it down where her old bed used to be. No such luck.
Actually, it's not the first time I have had to return a rejected pet bed. Though I have to say it was always our cat Sylvia who did the rejecting. And they were some plushy warm comfy looking cushiony beds too. Sylvia can be a bit of a control freak though, but that's another story.
Two hours later & Priscilla is still making a giant detour around her new bed every time she either enters or exits the living room. You can almost see her thinking... imagining to herself that if she got too close to that strange kind of psychedelic puffy cloud thing some weird portal may open up & suck her into the bed zone.
Then Ian comes home from school. Immediately seeing the new bed he shouts with glee,"I love this bed!" while promptly lying across it- perhaps reliving the days he used to pretend he was a dog. Right behind him was Priscilla running over quickly curling up into a ball as close to him as she could possibly get.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

"Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity."-Voltaire

Today marks my second week of weight loss in a row at my weight watchers meeting early this morning. Last week I lost .4 pounds. This week I lost .6 pounds. I like putting the word pounds after the number-it's like looking at the glass half full. Truthfully I was expecting a little more loss this week. I was so good filling out my food journal accurately & exercising regularly so I expected one or two pounds lost. It's OK though. Any weight loss is always good & always better than a gain.
I wake up at 6AM everyday for various reasons. On Saturday morning I get up at 6AM just for me. There is something so empowering about that. Maybe it's because I feel like I am being my own best friend by doing something positive for myself. I often hear people talk about getting up at five AM to go to the gym to make sure they get their exercise done. I use to think they were crazy. Now I think I can understand why they do it.
I heard someone at my meeting tell a story about her friend telling her she eats to live. What a positive spin to put on a good reason to eat healthy and moderately. I love food & I love eating healthy quality foods so I think I have an advantage when it comes to making good food choices. This is my strength and I have to recognize it to continue to empower myself-especially when my weaknesses surface. Weight Watchers has been a great way for me to retrain myself to take better care of myself. My WW leader talks about changing our behaviours. She also says it's not about the food. When someone shared about how she didn't do so hot this week telling us all about the foods she overate, our leader stopped her & asked her to tell the same story again but leave out all the parts about the food.
Sitting there taking this all in I noticed a poster with a diagram showing a four way approach.

  • Eat wisely
  • Think first
  • Move more
  • Attend weekly meetings

This makes a lot of sense. This week I have committed to working out everyday & making sure I eat 5 servings of fruit & vegetables. I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

This post is dedicated to my dear cousin Veronica

I never had a younger sibling...until I met Veronica. She is the little sister that I never had, only she is actually my cousin. Still, though- she seems like what I would think a sister would be-always there for me. We live very far apart now. We have lived far apart for years. In fact I rarely see her. But that doesn't seem to matter because when we pick up the phone and have one of our gabfests it is as if I saw her yesterday. I guess that is what happens when you have known someone since they were born. I remember looking at a home movie & seeing pictures of her as an infant. She looked precious. I was only about two in the film.
When she was older, her Mom had a big pool put in their backyard. Veronica was the best swimmer out of everyone. I can still see her diving off the side of the pool and splashing into the water. I can even say with some certainty that she figured out how to dive off the side of the pool before I did. And fast-she was an extremely fast swimmer indeed! She was the youngest out of all the cousins, but no one could keep up with her.

Veronica grew up to be one of the most caring people I know. Sometimes I just can't wrap my head around something and I know if I call her, she'll help me figure it out. But she just won't give advice. She'll look at it from a Christian perspective & she won't be afraid to talk about it on those terms either. I love that about her.

A few years ago I decided to visit her for her birthday. I hadn't seen her in years. When she called to tell me something a day or two before my trip my son overheard our conversation. When I got off of the phone he was smiling and laughing saying something like,"...Mom, you two sound just alike-you even laugh the same." I wonder how that could be. How could I be so lucky to have someone who treats me like what I would imagine a sister would.
Happy Birthday Veronica-I love you.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Still running, still losing...

but not that much. .4 pounds this last Saturday at my weight watchers meeting! So at least I am not gaining. I had a weird last part of winter this year with the whole weight loss thing. I am still following the plan-I just haven't been as good at it as I was the first 2 &1/2 months. I find I always gain weight the weeks I skip a meeting. Last week I set a goal to earn 35 activity points. I think I earned 25. Not too shabby. Earning those points for me would mean either walking a little over an hour or running for about 34 minutes five separate times. I definitely feel better because of it. Though running today was fairly brutal. Probably because I didn't get much sleep last night. I did have fun running on the beach with Ian yesterday. I'm going walking tomorrow.
It was very cold on the beach.

Please click on the photos to see more detail. The colors look cool.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

If you have waited patiently to hear this story, thank you.

& too my loyal readers, if you have heard this story before, I apologize!
The funniest thing about this story is that I don't even think I laughed when I witnessed it. Yet, every time I either think about it or retell it, it makes me laugh and smile. So here goes.

Remember Joe's Pizza I told you about yesterday? Well, back in February when my son and I stopped there for lunch it was so crowded it was like standing in the subway during rush hour. Picture yourself balancing a hot slice on a flimsy paper plate in the middle of a 10' x 12' room along with maybe 25-30 other people wearing winter coats & scarves carrying computers & grocery bags & pushing strollers. The child next to us actually had her wooden scooter wedged underneath the small table we were standing by. Seeing us standing there a kind mom with her two children offered to share her table with us. Considering their table was a tiny one it was a generous offer, so we were a little reluctant to take advantage. Desperately smiling we put our plates on the table and tried to act like we weren't taking up too much room. Acting as if I wasn't really there, I absorbed myself in my delicious pizza when I heard the kind mom say in a very patient but firm voice, "If you lick the table one more time, I am going to put you in your stroller." I had to look up and see who this was being told too. There before me in all her cuteness sat an approximately one year old tiny person. I'm pretty sure she was a girl. As she perched on her stool with her small head barely above the table she locked eyes with her mothers making sure her mom could see exactly what she was about to do. Slowly but quite steadily, and I wouldn't say defiantly because there was a look of wonder in her eyes as if she were compelled-she slowly licked the side of the table. With that her mother calmly rose up from her seat and at the same instant the little girl let out a small cry as if suddenly realizing, yes she would have to bear the consequences and please, please mommy, don't you see I just had to lick the table! Then it was over, her mother placed her in her stroller and there wasn't a peep out of her. In fact she looked quite content. Her mother went back to eating her pizza & her older sister continued to engage my son in conversation telling him she was three and a half. Five minutes later the almost 4 year old fished her scooter out from under the table and they were gone.
This mother & her two children were the ones who strolled by the window while we were eating our pizza at Joe's the other day. Ian got to see that it was indeed them.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Worldly Posessions

Click on this picture to see all the details, it was a sparkly day in Manhattan.

Dining at Joe's Pizza-home of one of our favorite places to get a slice over on Carmine Street in NYC-if you are lucky, you may get to sit by the window that looks directly out onto the sidewalk. It's like having front row seats at the theatre.
While enjoying the view, Ian & I actually saw a mom with her two kids stroll right past the window. I was in the middle of eating & couldn't speak to alert Ian. The reason why it was so important for me to point them out will have to wait till tomorrow. Please come back tomorrow to hear the full story. I'm sorry I can't write it now. It will take me too long and I must give it my best. See you tomorrow...hopefully!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Have you ever gotten the feeling there are messages inside what we see around us?

We were in Manhattan all day & as I was showing my son the sixth floor walk up apartment building we used to live at in Greenwich Village, he grabbed the camera & laughing to himself snapped this picture.

Looking for quotes about men & work I stumbled across a site that had some thought provoking ones. Check this one out.

"I see all this potential, and I see squandering... damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables—slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war . . . our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off."
Fight Club, 1999
I remember after seeing this movie I felt like it conveyed a very important message. I think this quote may sum it up a bit without having to endure the fight scenes.