:: Much Ado About Nothing (at the stroke of midnight)::

lemmings

Well oh do I wish I were as clever as The Bard.

Maybe not.

As it were, I am getting on with a new position, weeding through false friends and cementing myself with associates.

I’m learning to set boundaries; stand up for myself (which is about time given my age); and hold myself accountable.

I’m giving permission to self to do the things which I enjoy, in moderation. In fact, right now I’m thinking that it’s okay to sit in my jammies and type this on an early Sunday morning. Why not? It’s downtime. Preparing food for the week can wait. (although I find that enjoyable, too)

I’m also teaching myself how to let go. Through mindfulness I can say: “There is enough of that in your day. Move on.”

So what next, during this time of year when we take an inventory of self?

A pad of paper and a nice pen close at hand can help me discern what really is important.

That and a visit to my local library!

Dating?

internet-dating-photo1

Ah, the dating scene. So weird. So unpredictable. So how it’s always has been….

Recently, I decided to give dating the old college try. Not the college try I would have given it while I was in college, because I was married with children and one of them was Autistic.  One simply gives college the standard try during such times in their life….college was my job and there was little fussing about it.

No, at this time in my life I decided that maybe, with some friends as great examples (think Teri and Kim), that I would just try to give up some of my reservations and, you know. Meet people.

My daughter had some great success from a free dating website and suggested I take a look at it. So, sometime around the beginning of this calendar year, I gave it the old college try. I joined up. So much for college tries, eh? That’s what I consider a college try. Doing lots of things at the spur of the moment and then wading through the mess.

Except this time there wasn’t much of a mess. I found out that these sites were full of online out of the country scammers who began messages like this:

 

How are you doing?I love your smile and your beauty has really captured my attention,I believe you are specially made by God.Well I’m honest and straight forward,i will really like to know more about you,Do you have a yahoo id so that we can connect over there. this is Mine *****@yahoo.com ..I will be looking forward to hear from you.Have a wonderful day dear,

Robert

Or, something like this:

I really admire your beauty, your beauty got me speechless and You have the sweetest, kindest eyes I’ve seen on a woman. They say, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words,’ but when I saw yours, I was speechless,,,my name is Danny Ricky and I was going through the site when your profile called my attention and I most confess you really look great with a cute smile,,,,I would really love to spend time knowing more about you. You really caught my eyes, they can’t be enough

Of course Word here corrected most of the grammar mistakes, many of them were uncapitalized personal pronouns. I love that. Not that this makes much of a difference, except to me of course, but my online handle at this dating website is “sapiophile” You know. Impress me with your intellect. And then I get short, choppy messages like the one above.

Or, worse yet, I get phishing messages from little squirts like the ones below:

  • Will you roll play a teacher for me?

 

  • Go stand in a corner.

 

  • Haha… Nice job 😉

 

 

No, not a nice job; you’re nineteen for crying out loud. I do not want to date outside of my stated interests. Kids are kids. I’m not a kid.

Worse yet are men that know what my handle means, are interesting and yet married; they are no-nos. I spent seventeen or eighteen messages into a fun conversation with a man before I realized what I was doing wasn’t in my parameters of what I was comfortable with. I guess I had to give it a try, you know?

Below is an excerpt of our conversations:

  • · That’s a very intriguing look in your picture, but I can tell almost nothing about you from your profile. Of course, I find it a little weird putting some of this stuff “out there” myself. I see you are “looking” for guys 31 – 82. Doesn’t just about every guy on OKC fit that criterion?

Sent on Feb 1

 

  • ·  I did have an extensive profile up, but after being hounded by outside-of-the-country-Lotharios, I yanked everything down and started over.Thanks for pointing that out, although I can tell by the way they pop off a form letter who is who now.

Sent on Feb 1

  • · 

Lothario – word for the day, and not one I hear used very often. OF course, the next question that springs to mind is whether the domestic Lotharios are better. Anyway, I see your point. But since I am new to this OKC thing, do people really pop off form letters?

Sent on Feb 1

  • · 

Unfortunately, yes they do. They start off with a compliment and then jump into something like:have you had any luck here, how long have you been on ********, I was just going to delete my account, I think you are my soulmate, I’m willing to move where you are, chat me up here:(blah blah). 

Not that I’ve had the next experience but for a couple of months (or whatever)there’s constant texting , phone calls (but they’re accents are thick) and after a short honeymoon period, bam(!) they need $35,000 for something. 

Pretty sad, huh? I tend to think we’re all complicit in what for on in our daily lives-good or bad.

Besides all that drama, does something similar not happen to guys here? (With women of course :))

Just curious. Not that I’m looking for a part time gig or anything like that.

So I’ve had my good and my bad. I actually met a guy who really chatted me up in the beginning.  He is nice, but definitely a man who is more used to work than relaxation.

  • ·  My dance card is also tricky. I have multiple jobs, and teach. 
    Looking for a woman to spend some of my time with, is a move to find sanity and balance.
     
    You just moved into a priority setting!
     
    Conveiniantly (for me); Wed am, Fri or Sat..your pick!, Sun eve, some Thurs evenings….like now.

Sent on Jan 30

  • · 

I was too interested in sharing a time that we could sit with a cup and chat. 
The phrasing came out bad. If you would permit me….
 
Hi, I’m Scott.
 
For the years that I have been on my own, I have supplemented any spare time with work.
 
I need to have a life outside of my work; to go to a movie, a meal out, hiking, and so on.
 
I cannot think of a better way to change my schedule, then to find someone who’s company I value, to share these activities with! This is what I ment by priority.
 
Give me a reason to get out of the shop, studio, classroom.
 
Not all of my intellectual conversation should concern art, design, and fabrication.
 
I look forward to a conversation with you!

 

We started to message each other a lot, met, and then took about a month off. He had things to do, and my home life suddenly took a turn for the deeper. I had things to do, not all of them fun and sunshine. We met again a week or so ago, for a documentary called “20 Feet From Stardom” at a local Beer and Movie place called Brewvies.

I’ve never been to Brewvies. Apparently he knew everyone there, from the owner of the place to the DJ’s from the local community based radio station, KRCL. It was a little daunting. I didn’t get introduced, but I did get eyeballed. Not a bad thing. I am familiar with being arm candy, I’m just getting a little old and I wasn’t appropriately dressed.

Just kidding.

I mean, really. How do you react when the business minded guy starts pitching his business to uninterested past customers? Ah well. He needs to learn to relax. He was fun at times, we have very similar outlooks on life, and relaxation is something I could relearn, too.

You get what you put into a thing, that’s a saying I really enjoy. I’m learning to put in, just a little more. Maybe.

Wish me luck. There’s a new one on the horizon and we seem to be equally matched. Oy Vay!

::When Scanning Lies::

Image

 

I’ve done my best here recently, to read and understand the Nutritional Label of any food I pick up. As a recent “enrollee” of Weight Watchers, I’m all gung-ho on recording what I’ve eaten planning ahead and walking around with a sack of apples over my shoulder for spontaneous munching.

And Tea. I have Tea everywhere. Four boxes of Tea at work, and about seven boxes here at home.

I’ve done well with this new plan. I’ve lost almost the whole amount in a week that I should’ve lost in a month.

Realizing my anal-retentiveness has paid off; I’m vowing to be more anal.

Why not, right?

Take some recent scanning of labels at my local organic grocery store. I take out this app that Weight Watcher has, open it, tap on ‘scan foods’ and with a barcode scanner, I scan the sku information and it’s supposed to tell me how many points the food has. Some foods aren’t in the data base (like foods that Sprouts has under their own labels) and you simply add in a couple of bits of information from that infamous Nutritional Label and go from there.

One of my favorite foods is yogurt. I’d been making my own but decided that with all this label-reading-interpretation-scanning, that perhaps simply buying some decent yogurt that I feel comfortable with the ingredients would be okay.

You know, snap and scan away while the weight rolls away.

But then, I started to wonder. Why is Chobani raspberry fat free yogurt 0 points when the Chobani strawberry fat free yogurt 3? This was all snapped and scanned information. If the data base shows it’s zero, why don’t I just go with it?

Image

Because I’m anal.

So, of course, I added the nutritional information into the calculator….and it was three points for the Chobani Raspberry Fat Free Yogurt. So I need to go with that. Something that has 16 grams of carbs per service can’t be zero points. Let’s be fair. I’m well beyond deluding myself at this stage in my life.

Image

 

Image

So, here’s to you, Chobani. And you, Sprouts. And you, too, Weight Watchers.

I just need to know what to do with a refrigerator full of Raspberry Yogurt. 

I guess I’ve got ten days of yogurt bliss-and the knowledge I need to put “3” on that little form. 

::Chilled Quinoa and Feta Greek Salad::

Image

Let’s face it! Who likes keeping track of portions? Who likes keeping track of each spoonful put into a recipe and then trying to figure out how much of it lands in your feeding bowl?

Not me.

And I bet, not you.

Recently I decided to try and replicate a quinoa salad a coworker found at a local food store called Sprouts.  It was absolutely gorgeous to look at; who wouldn’t turn their head as that lovely salad walked on by in a clear plastic container. Who? Red Bell Peppers, diced seductively and showing themselves off in a bed of feta cheese, winking out behind curly cute quinoa….

I took one proffered bite and immediately tried to ferret out the ingredients.

Quinoa. Check. Mmmmm.

Red Bell Peppers? Sprouts is selling two for a dollar!

Corn? Okay, let’s go with it.

Edamame. Owe yea, baby. I can do it. No questions there!

Sexy Feta cheese and Greek salad dressing? Of course. Always.

Image

So I came home and immediately pulled out the ingredients. To be fair, I had to buy the Feta Cheese and Greek Salad Dressing; they aren’t something I keep within arms’ reach. Quinoa, I have that by the buckets full, as well as those two for a dollar beautiful peppers. I thought that frozen vegetable mix (just an array of carrots, corn, peas and Lima beans, oh my!) would suffice for the corn.

Image

I cooked one cup of quinoa in two cups of chicken broth; in the meantime I diced two red bell peppers,  added two cups of frozen Edamame, a cup of Feta Cheese and a quarter cup of dressing into a bowl and mixed reverently, waiting for the quinoa to cool and set. Once it was done, I mixed it into the bowl and voila!

Image

It tastes as beautiful as it looks!

Image

When all the math was said and done, Weight Watchers and I figured out it is about five points for a serving that measures a generous (or heaping, depending on your outlook in life) cup.

Did I mention this is a chilled salad? Oops, I just did.

Enjoy. I am.

::Good Food, Just Less of It::

 

photo (19)

Howard used to say he never knew anyone who could drop twenty pounds as easily as I could.

That statement says oh, so many things. First, that I needed to drop twenty pounds rather frequently….

Secondly, that must have been during my younger days and when my metabolism was much quicker than now…

And thirdly, I didn’t learn my lesson about weight maintenance.

While I’ll agree to all of the above, I’ve been trying to approach health and food in a different manner. I’ve seen up close and personal what diet can do to a person, just look at my daughter. While she’s been getting good food going in, it wasn’t sticking around to do her any good.

In my own personal odyssey, I was much lighter a decade ago. Personal lifestyle choices and stress coupled with smoking cessation has kept about sixty pounds firmly wrapped around my ass. (It’s not all around my ass but frankly, in that general area.)

So for months now I’ve been keeping an eye on vegan, vegetarian and gluten free eating, and as it’s helped my digestion (Poop Like a Boss, Drink Kombucha), but I wasn’t really losing weight like I’d thought. I mean, fifteen pounds into it, I can keep it off, but it’s been since Thanksgiving and the dial on the scale hasn’t told me anything nicer than “you’re in the same spot, Kat” and while I’m not creeping upwards, I’m not going downwards which is what I really wanted to do.

So…. I put my big girl panties on and joined the Big W, W. Yep, you got it, Weight Watchers. At first, when I talked about it with a confidante, she told me, “Oh, it’s so expensive,” and while I’m a penny pincher extraordinaire, I thought about it for a whole month. Seriously.

And then it became clear. (No, it didn’t “hit me,” violence is so unacceptable) Forty two bucks to sign up for a three month stint, and then eighteen bucks a month after that. I already had a Weight Watchers cook book I found in a thrift store that had the Points and Points Plus system worked into the recipes…Why not? Why not already? Wasn’t there twenty bucks in my budget for this? Why wouldn’t there be? Am I not already a compulsive label reader? A picky produce poker? A lay-off-the-meat-and-eat-beans munch-er? Huh???

Of course I am struggling with some severe body images. I think, seriously, that I’m about four hundred pounds. I’m surprised every time there’s a full body photo of me taken. I’m surprised when I put on a pair of pants that actually fit (because I’ll buy them four to six sizes bigger than I need…I’m kind of a dunce in that regard)and then read the size on the label. I’m surprised when people notice my weight loss. I’m just surprised.

Now, admittedly, there are issues with body image that are just waiting for me to explore. I know that part of it is that I’m hiding. Weight keeps me safe… weight makes me physically strong….weight keeps me right here, where I am, comfortable. Weight keeps men away…it’s a very safe boundary, hiding in layers of flesh…you can’t hurt me, you can’t see me, you don’t want to be close to me (and if you do, there’s something wrong with you….). See? So many things.

So while I’m talking to a coach a couple of times a month (body image is just for a coach, no therapist allowed), I’m ready. Just putting fingers to keys on this keyboard and signing up for that program and downloading that app….I’m ready. I think it will be okay. I can learn to be comfortable. I can learn it’s safe and trust myself. I can do it.

I can fiddle with that app and scan barcodes and enter in information off of the nutrition label…I can do it. I can eat less stuff. Just  not less fruits and vegetables. Believe it or not, they don’t count towards my daily totals, as long as they’re fresh and raw. And of course, since yesterday, I’ve mowed through apples and oranges and bananas and cucumbers and green peppers….

No kidding.

And I can still read those labels. You’ll see me, standing in a grocery store aisle, holding a package close, lips moving, head shaking in disbelief…That’s me. 🙂

::When the Cook Feels Cheated::

Recently Katherine has been given a diagnosis that is auto-immune in nature. Her large intestines are sending lymphocytes to attack the microscopic lining, lymphocytic colitis. An interesting way to lose weight-painful and debilitating; I wouldn’t recommend it.

During this whole time, we went down a vegan and vegetarian path. It was difficult, but I think I’m up for a challenge in the kitchen. It turns out, I was.

So what happened?

A diagnosis that required a treatment of steroids did not require any specific dietary changes. I kind of felt cheated, like what I had researched (thank you Salt Lake Public Library) and studied and learned to do in the kitchen was all for nothing. In a way, on the surface, it was. But in the long term, I must say, it wasn’t useless.

About three weeks into eating (whatever omg) I had to admit my digestive system wasn’t what I had a few weeks earlier. I had quit making my homemade yogurt. I wasn’t drinking my Kombucha. My gallbladder wasn’t happy. When Momma’s gallbladder ain’t happy, I assure you, you ain’t gonna be happy, either…

 

Image

So I had to come back, maybe not full circle, but closer to center. Cornbread out of the oven is great. With an egg substitute and rice milk, not so great; but with an organic egg and organic (*gasp*) raw milk, (and organic butter), YUM. Yogurt is cooking away in the countertop yogurt maker. Two Mothers are combined and into one sun tea jar and eight ounces are consumed daily.

Get me closer to center. Not too far in either direction, please. 

:: When a Diagnosis Stops You in Your Tracks::

For about eight months now, my daughter has suffered with extreme diarrhea. We weren’t able to get help from her primary care doctor, a specialist, another primary care doctor…

In an effort to help her, we switched to some pretty restrictive eating/dieting. We followed both a Vegan and Vegetarian diet that was gluten free. This was one of the most challenging things I’ve done in my life (besides caring for a disabled child).

So here’s to good eating, just for the sake of good eating. Keep it clean, limit meat (maybe twice a week), and keep on keeping on.

Glad you’re better, kid. Glad you’re better.  

(lymphtocytic colitis) Image