Saturday, December 31, 2011


It's New Year's Eve and while I don't make New Year's resolutions, I just happened to read an article this week that has given me information that I think will make 2012 a better year for me.

According to this lengthy - but definitely worth reading - article in the New York Times, once you've gained weight, and kept it on for a substantial length of time, your body alters metabolism in an attempt to regain the weight. You should read this...really...and then click through the slide show for the Bridges, a couple who goes to great lengths to maintain a healthy diet. The obsessive food measuring, calorie counting, and exercising? I've been there.

And everytime I'm NOT doing all of those things, the weight creeps back. Like...there is no "normal" for me where I can eat what I see thin people all around me eat, and not gain back every pound.

I have been a pescetarian or vegetarian for 20 years now. I don't eat fast food, much processed food or very many sweets (I rarely eat dessert and never drink sugared soda). I consume - because I've tracked it - about 1500 calories a day, (yes, including cocktails.) And while I don't exercise every single day anymore, the only times I have lost weight have been when I've been doing something significant (like walking five miles, five days a week or biking 10-12 miles a day, five days a week), I instantly gain 15 pounds. And there I am, back at the 40 pound total I'd like to lose.

That 40 pounds should not be the end of the world. I am a meticulous groomer, always always always made up and hair done, always well-dressed. Whether I've been a size 4, a size 16, or everything in between (and I've been up and down the rungs on that ladder a dozen times in the last 15 years), I've always looked the best I can for that size. I'm confident in that.

It's sister is a beautiful size 4...she's been an unhealthy 0 or 2 at times, but I think she is at a good, healthy weight now and on her very small frame, a 4 is fine. My Mom, even at my sister's thinnest, thought she looked great. But then, my Mother hasn't told me that I'm pretty or beautiful - not even on my wedding day - since I was in my early twenties. That is the last age at which I was effortlessly thin. She did tell me a few years ago that I looked better...that she wouldn't say I was "big" anymore. Before you think my Mother is cruel, please don't...she is just giving the the brutal facts that sometimes my Mom is (and my late dad was) famous for. It's okay. It's her truth and I don't have to wonder what she is thinking or if she is being honest...she is.

So, I guess my resolution for this year is to use the information in the article to get heather and thinner this year. I want to. I know I'd feel better about myself and I know I'd be healthier closer to my desired weight. I know it's going to mostly mean more exercise, and that it's not going to be a temporary thing.

But damn, it feels good knowing that I wasn't doing anything "wrong"...I am not a closet Ho-Ho eater! I'm not a slob or lazy. My body has just been fighting me. And now it's time to kick it's ass.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Here's to Ned!

This is the best news I've read in a long while.

Congratulations, Ms. Pants! Couldn't have happened to a more fabulous person...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nerf Car

We both want the same thing...we want to make this exchange quick and safe, short and sweet. We both want to get home in one piece.

Three times in the last two weeks, the exchange where 275 E becomes 75 N/S has generated seriously scary accidents. Like the kind where even someone like me - who pledges to not look at those cars and individuals involved - doesn't have a choice about looking, because the accident takes up three lanes, and you don't know until you're right up on it, because it's bumper-to-bumper, and you have to signal for five minutes until someone "kindly" lets you over, and while you're waiting, you are forced to look at the wreck while talking yourself out of an epileptic seizure from the flashing lights.

All while you're praying that everyone made it out of the collision alive.

Overhead, a giant electronic billboard - courtesy of Champion Windows - reminds us this week to be safe when we drive. "Allow a safe distance between your car and the next." "Don't eat while driving." "Drive friendly."

I guess all of these are more constructive and specific than the ones I'd put up. "Don't text while you drive." "Pay attention, Idiot." "Don't be a douche."

It makes me wonder about making cars of Nerf. Or rubber.

Consider hiring a cab if you're going to stay out with the masses for New Years Eve, 'kay? If people drive like this in the daylight, sober...

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Holidays

This is the kind of morning I love:

I have a big cup of gingerbread flavored coffee here. Houdini is sitting next to me, lobotomizing one of his Christmas presents (it badger or something similar). Steinvic, Young Man and Girlfriend are all still sacked out from a busy Christmas of running around between our families' houses.

I woke up early and couldn't sleep any longer, so here I am. I could have stayed in bed a little longer, but someone's pee meter was running (Houdini's, not mine) and since he's been on meds for a UTI, I figured I better get up and get him outside.'s cold but dry...we've had tons of strange, Spring-like weather the last few weeks, but the cold is beginning to settle in. Had all that rain been snow...yuck.

In a few minutes, I'll put on a pot of corn chowder, and sew while it cooks.

See how cozy this all is?

Christmas Eve had us doing Our Usual, which I'll never tire of - we went to our local, saw a few friends, gave extra nice tips and lottery cards to our favorite bartenders, then came home for drinks, appetizers, great music, and opening our gifts to each other (Steinvic went way above and beyond...I am spoiled.)

Christmas Day had Young Man and Girlfriend driving down from Cbus, then we all headed to my folks' house...dinner, music, visiting, and presents for all.

Then back here for opening gifts with the kids, and movies...then sleep.

Full day of family...can't beat it.

I hope your Holiday was just as sweet! Merry Christmas...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Another Product Endorsement For Which I Will Not Be Compensated - Nutra Nail Gel Perfect Nail Color

Hello! It's been a while since I have given a product a big thumbs up here, so it's about time, right?

Gel nails are all the rage around here right now - either Shellac or Gelish are applied at the salon for between $30 and $40, and last about 2-3 weeks. I loved acrylics, but would obsess about every little bit of growth, and found myself going to the salon too often for fill-ins. I felt like I was spending too much money on fingernails, and I'm frugal about my self expenses.

And the concept of gel nails is interesting to me. I like to have my nails painted, but since the whole Incoco deal (only available online and now more expensive than before) fell through for me, I don't have the time to paint them only to have chips within a day or two. At the same time, for the money...I'd rather have my nice, big, insanely long, decorated acrylics that were my signature look for so long. And since I know that isn't a good option for the above reasons, I considered investing in my own system to do gel nails at home. Red Carpet makes a great starter kit that costs about $60 at Meijer, with additional polish colors for $10 each.

I was actually considering treating myself to the kit when I saw the Nutra Nail Gel Perfect Nail Color display.

For $11, you can give yourself a gel manicure with no UV light needed (the most expensive part of purchasing any of the the at home versions)...and not for just one manicure, because you'd have the whole bottle of color to use for multiple times. From a cost factor, this seemed like a win, so I thought, I'm giving it a try.

In each kit, you get three small bottles of product - an activator, the color gel and a small container of cleaner to use between coats to keep the color brush from getting goopy.

I shaped my nails, pushed my cuticles back, and scrubbed my nails with a nailbrush and some grease fighting dish detergent. I've found that this really helps with manicures...getting the natural oil off my nails seems to help with adhesion. I then slicked on a thin, even coat of activator on one hand, then immediately went back to brush on the color gel coat as instructed. After, I wiped the color brush clean and dipped it in the cleaner. Then, I repeated the process on my other hand.

Then, did the whole process once more on each hand.

Even though it was my first attempt, I was blown away. It was COMPLETELY dry immediately. I'm not talking the kind of dry normal polishes promise, where it's kind of dry but not really, and you can easily dent your nails if you don't sit still for an hour or so. I'm talking like completely dry, go ahead and wash your car/fold the laundry/dig a hole for your new swimming pool dry.

I used Dahlia, a very dark shade, and after three days, I had a chip. Because I am a polish picker, I did what I usually do and picked. Had I not picked, the manicure would have lasted much longer. But I took that color off and replaced it with another shade on Thursday night (I think it's Orchid, but I'm too lazy to get up and check right now) and I have not had a chip or scratch or anything. Amazing!

I've read some semi-negative reviews online from people who were expecting this product to perform exactly the same as the salon versions. I wasn't expecting that, so for me, this is a great DIY alternative that is affordable and reasonable. If I get a week out of a manicure, I'm pleased, especially since the application is so speedy. Also, please note, right now there is a $2 off your next purchase in each box, and $1 off on the remover coupon in each box.

I think if you give it a try, you'll like it!

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Tuesday, Steinvic packed up and went to Cbus for work. And I went to work, and it was an ordinary day.

Tuesday night, we got our first snow. Light, wet, and short-lived, Houdini discovered yet another thing about the change in seasons: if Fall generates free treats in the form of leaves, Winter brings free treats in the form of delicious snow.

It was after 8 and I'd sent Steinvic (by phone) a photo of Houdini's paw prints in the snow and after a while, checked for a reply and I saw that he'd tried to call twice. My ringer was off.

I called him back. Twice. Straight to voicemail. Something told me that something was wrong. I called a third time and a woman's voice answered, "Hello?"

Whaaaaa??? What the... and then I realized it was his cousin, Kay. Kay was talking a mile a minute and I said, "Wait...slow down..." and then listened as she explained that Steinvic was in the emergency room. She and her husband had run into him at the local pub and Steinvic said he didn't feel good and hadn't for a few days. (He didn't mention this to me!) And now he really didn't feel right and was worried. After talking about his symptoms, they took him around the corner to the firehouse where Kay's husband works.

Talk about miracles...Kay's husband is an EMT and a firefighter. After giving Steinvic an EKG and checking his blood pressure, they found his BP was extremely high and they - and a friend at the firestation - convinced Steinvic to go to the emergency room. He didn't want to go at first...was worried I'd try to drive in the snow, thought he should just go to his other cousin's house (where he stays when he's in town) and rest...but they said that he HAD to go.

When Steinvic got to the ER, his blood pressure was 223/120. This is, as we learned from the kind doctors and nurses, is the point at which people stroke out, have heart attacks and die.

So...about 15 minutes after getting the scoop from Kay and Steinvic and freaking the hell out, I was in the car heading for Columbus. Meanwhile, my folks were on their way to our house to pick up Houdini. Steinvic said, "Don't come...there is nothing for you to do." He was worried about me driving in the night and weather. But there was something I could do...I could sit with my best friend, who hadn't spent a night in a hospital since birth.

You know, you can make it from West Chester to downtown Columbus in an hour and eleven minutes if you want to.

And there I found my husband, lying in a hospital bed in the ER, hooked up to machines. I said, "This is not something I ever want to have to see again." You see, once, long ago, Steinvic had a brief bout of gout. He'd never had it before, and hasn't since. But at the Urgent Care, the doctor told him his BP was elevated. Steinvic decided it was because he'd been in such pain, and dismissed the idea. So...really, this has been brewing for some time. Plus, there is family history of high BP and heart attack, so it's in his genes, too.

We are so lucky... so fortunate that Steinvic ran into Kay and her husband, that he agreed to go to the hospital, that he didn't have a stroke or a heart attack. Steinvic could have died. Every time I think of that, I can't believe it...

And he is fine now. Steinvic is a smart man. He filled his prescriptions, bought a BP meter for our home and has been checking and recording it every day, and made an appointment with a doctor here in town - he hasn't had a doctor in ages - for Monday.

He promised to get this taken care of and to look out for his health. Steinvic keeps his promises.

The doctors mentioned several times that high blood pressure is the silent killer. You can go about with high blood pressure and not notice much of anything until it's too late. Some of the warning signs are blurred vision, headaches, feeling light headed and feeling nauseous. Aside from the blurred vision, most of those symptoms are things you might feel with a common cold.

So, the next time you're in the drugstore or near a firehouse, consider getting your BP checked. Firehouses - and I didn't know this before - offer this service for free, and so do most Walgreens.

It only takes a minute, and it could save your life.

I don't know what this world would be like without Steinvic, and I pray with all my heart I never know.

Very, very fortunate...