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Friday, July 31, 2009

7/31/09 SWA Notice

-------------------------- SAVE THE DATE! --------------------------
SWA (Scale Whores Anonymous)-------------------------- Semi Annual Meeting --------------------------
When: Friday, August 21st
Where: Right Here at LBT
Bring: Your Scale, Your Spreadsheets
or your mirror (Lena), and your adventures/tips to share

Alright all you SWA Members (and those that need to join), I'm getting ready for our semi-annual SWA Meeting. What? You don't know if you qualify? Well, here are the qualifications for becoming a member. You only need to say 'Yes' to last one* and 'Yes' to any one other item listed below, and you're in:

- Do you get on your scale often? This can be anywhere between every hour to more than once a week (I'm a daily girl myself). More often than that and you just need help and you're too afflicted even for us (Don't worry Spud.mama, getting on and off 3 times in a row to average doesn't count as too much…hope that new scale solved this horrific problem).

- Do you find yourself trying to wear (or naked) basically the same thing every time you weigh yourself (Julie.Ann…I've been wondering when you wash that one workout outfit for your Wii weigh-ins)?

- Do you weigh yourself, or your clothing/shoes (You know who you are weighing those shoes and it doesn't matter if you don't weigh at home!) before you go to the doctor so you can figure your exact weight (I've found myself going to the garage to get my shoes and weigh in with everything before leaving…and I'll even admit I won't go to the bathroom until they weigh me)?

- Do you somehow chart or spreadsheet your weight (Julie.ann & Sunshine2), or track it on your bathroom mirror (Lena)?

- Do you try to somehow predict what your weight will be in the future? Those with magic crystal balls need not apply (that's cheating and considered an unfair advantage…the rest of us are at the mercy of the Weight Loss Gods who take great pleasure in messing with our predictions daily).

- *Do you NOT want help for any of the above? Meaning you're secretly OK with the fact that you're a Scale Whore?

Then come out of the closet (or bathroom) and sign up to join us!

Can you believe our first meeting was way back in February (time flies when you're busy weighing yourself)? Meet me right here on LBT for our 2nd meeting. So shine up those scales and get your spreadsheets, charts, and mirrors (Lena) in order. Bring your tips to share (Julie.ann, please bring your three different spreadsheets to share as you'll be covering the OCD portion of the meeting along with Sunshine2) and be ready to commiserate with other SWA members! Oh, and Lena requests that you bring a yardstick for an extra fun chair rail craft project (photos afterwards, optional).

*Suggestions and Volunteers for agenda topics now being taken (you suggest it, you've volunteered)*

See you here! Have a great weekend all!

Here's a recap of our first meeting for those who missed it (let me tell you, it went on and on through other's blogs too…)
2/22/09 Scale Whore -
*In response to Comments:

You're all going to make great members LOL...I see we have some help with the OCD weighers! ...and Kathy, we're not here to help...well, we'll help you learn how to BUY A SCALE...LOL (and glad I didn't have to 'out you'...shoe weigher!).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

7/30/09 Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

7/29/09 Restriction; an Urban Legend?

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

7/28/09 Onederland!!!!

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Monday, July 27, 2009

7/27/09 Murphy and the Grad Party- Part II

Part II...
Nothing to be done, but to move on…I started prepping for the party…by Wednesday I had the garage tables all covered, skirted and set up and DS2 had all the decorations and streamers up. Oh, and being a 'visual' person I had all the chafing dishes out with sticky notes everywhere showing where each item would be (OK, I say 'visual', you say 'anal'…just remember, I now knew I had to get as ready as possible as the quilt was still waiting). I bought all the food I could early and then Thursday I cut and pinned as many pieces for the quilt as I could.

Sis arrived Friday at lunchtime and we got started on our "Quilting Bee". Thank God for her as we always have a fun time and can get each other laughing in the midst of a crisis (OK, not life and death, but I've set the bar people…a quilt is expected!). I sewed, she unpinned and kept me sane (translation = make sure none of the T-shirt were upside down...whe was amazed at all the math involved and how I figured this out without a pattern...math is not my subject). By Friday night we had all the T-shirts and white canvas together. We even took a break to prep some of the food and watch the Weather Channel…Oh yeah, Mr. Murphy (Murphy's Law) was messing with me again….(or you can skip this part and just know I'm doubly cursed and I'm a huge klutz)

- We'd of course been watching the weather all week and it went from bad to worse… '60% chance of pm thunderstorms'.

- DH was trying to make more room in the fridge for all the food, so he poured me an enormous glass of red wine to finish off the bottle. I took it in to work on the quilt (on the Dining Room table) while he and Sis went to rent a movie. I was sewing along when the doorbell rang and startled me, so I quickly got up to get the door….as I was leaving I caught a pin on my clothing and the quilt followed me…at the edge of the table…yep, the red wine! It fell and hit the seat of a wooden chair from the kitchen Sis had been using and broke. My poor neighbor at the front door (he was bringing me tables for the party) must have thought I was nuts as I answered the door in hysterical laughter (what else can you do but laugh). Luckily, the only fabric that got wine on it was a bit of the black framing and backing, so no harm done when I washed it off, but there was wine all over the Dining Room and up the walls.

- Sis laughed until she couldn't breathe when she got back and heard the story and scolded me for putting the wine on the table with the quilt 'What were you thinking?'…at that point I had no brain left 'I wasn't!' We called it a night.

- Saturday morning broke and it was the day of the party. I awoke at 4am with a migraine (stress and lack of sleep are a deadly combination). I couldn't even move until about 6am and by then DH was up and helped me out…I was able to choke down a piece of bread and took my medicine (can't take it on an empty stomach). Then I was violently vomiting, well, make that heaving hard with nothing coming up (one of my least favorite side effects of the LB, but it kept the medicine down so it was a positive). I went back up to lie in a dark room. Two hours later I was able to move again, but barely.

- The weather forecast had gotten even worse as they added 'Gale force winds and damaging hail possible.' to the thunderstorm forecast. We watched as the red Doppler was headed straight for us. We watched the 'local on the 8's' so many times we were soon reciting it with them...everyone now...'60% chance of pm thunderstorms with GALE FORCE WINDS AND DAMAGING HAIL POSSIBLE!'

- We got whatever setup and food prepped that we could and then went to frame and back the quilt. That's when I stepped on a piece of wine glass I'd missed the night before and cut my big toe. There were blood droplets all over the carpet and we couldn't get the bleeding to stop. I finally stuck my foot up on the table to raise it as I was still sewing… 'Quite the picture of determination! There's blood, sweat and tears in this quilt!' Sis said (I'm sending her a nice restaurant gift certificate as I would have thrown it away long ago without her).

- I got the framing done, batting in, and the back on. The opening on the back was only pinned together and the actual quilting stitching wasn't done, but no one knew the difference. I was just so relieved when we hung it on the garage wall.

- Our families started arriving around 1pm with the pouring rain and winds. At 5pm (party started at 6pm) we had a break in the rain and I decided to chance it and made the decision to set up outside (against the judgement of others in my family who thought I was doomed for a big storm...hey, I'm the eternal optimist remember...and I was figuring we could always ask people to grab a chair to bring in if it rained). Our families were great help in that last hour and we got all the food set up on heat or ice in the garage and everything else done outside..

The party was great. We had neighbors, family and lots of DS1's friends. I had balloons, decorations, the DVD going in the garage where the quilt was also hung. The buffet was huge (too much food as usual, please come over for leftovers or we'll be eating it for a month). DS1 has a sweet tooth and so besides my two tables of food we had a third table with the cake, a chocolate fountain with lots of things to dip and an ice cream sundae/cone bar. Outside we had lots of balloons and covered tables/chairs on our big drive and on the patio. We setup volleyball, baggo sets, and the football toss (that new string/rungs game). DS1's one request was for a cotton candy machine so we had one of those too.

It was all worth it when I saw DS1 watching the DVD with a group of his friends and caught him later in the evening reading all the messages his friends had been writing for him on the quilt. We were all amazed at what a hit the cotton candy machine was…he manned it many times during the night and the kids would line up for their cone of 'candy floss' (my 6 year old godson had 8)…DS1 was covered in sugar by the time he was done. As night fell we lit the tiki torches, candles everywhere even floating on the pone and the fire pit for s'mores. We only had a few sprinkles all night that lasted a few minutes each time, but not even bad enough to move inside, so the weather (and Murphy) was finally smiling on us and I got really lucky…it wasn't even windy…it was the perfect evening. I didn't have time to take a single pic, but I made sure others were doing this for me, so hopefully I can post a few soon.

My party outfit...

I'm exhausted, but DH and I got almost everything back to normal yesterday. I have survived and am victorious! Well, everything but the stupid weight…yep, still not in Onederland…I've been up and down the same two or three pounds for weeks now (201.5 today...grrr). Third fill tomorrow!!!!

*In response to Comments:

Thanks. The toe is now infected even though we put an antibiotic on it...probably because it bled for hours and I just put on a sock and slipper so I could keep moving LOL.

You'll start feeling more difference with each fill...I definitely had some restriction after the last one, but it's been gone the last few weeks. I'm expecting a big change this time. Good luck with your fill!

7/27/09 Murphy and the Grad Party- Part I

Sorry, I've been gone from here for 10 days, so it's a two part blog.

Murphy's Law: "If something can go wrong, it will"…seems to be the theme of my life the last few weeks. Nothing traumatic, just life picking on me again. I, however, have survived and am victorious…well, sort'a. As you know I've been preparing for DS1's HS graduation party yesterday…and you've heard me whining about trying to make the DVD slideshow of his pics. It was going slowly, but I was learning and slowly but surely I rummaged through my half-unorganized photos and managed to sort them by year (quite the feat), scan, crop, and individually save about 500 photos. Then Muphy's Law kicked in…it went something like this…(or you can skip this part and just know that I'm severely technologically impaired.).

- My program was an older version of the one my Sis (middle one) had and trained me on…this caused some great difficulties figuring it out and a few items my program couldn't do.

- Imported a large group of photos into the slideshow program (Movie Maker)…it mixed them all up…had to move them back into chronological order and by then the originals were back in the albums or boxes in a jumbled mess. Remember, I've got 'old-timers' (as my kids say) and I can't remember what I did 5 min. ago let alone what year a pic was taken…I'm sure I guessed some of the years wrong, but no baby pics in the teen years was 'close enough'.

- Set a group of about half the photos into a new folder after they were done, went back to the slideshow and the photos were now just big red "X's". After much hysterics…well…it took some undoing.

- After importing about 200 photos the slideshow program decided to slow down and continued to do so as I went…by number 500 there was a 30 second delay between each click on my mouse and when finalizing the transitions it would freeze the computer every 15 min. or so…VERY slow going.

Yes, I was ready to lose my mind, but I was determined to win the battle and finally, last weekend I finished…it was beautiful…13 pieces of music…500 pics…cool transitions…even a title and ending! Now, all that was left was to burn the DVD's! Murphy's Law again…

- I read the notes from the training with Sis, and realized I now needed to import the whole thing into yet another program…problem was, I didn't have the program. DH and I spent last Saturday downloading other programs online and trying to burn the DVD with them to no avail.

- I finally admitted defeat and called Sis. Three hours later and many attempts later we figured out my older version could burn straight from there, but my problem was I didn't have enough RAM to do this with such a big slideshow.

- I'll wrap this up by telling you that I had to save all the photos and copy them onto DS1's new college computer we bought him for graduation (after many promises that I wouldn't blow anything up). Then…yes…I had to REDO the whole slideshow program again from music to photo transitions. I'll just say that I had Sis in hysterics laughing at all the things that had gone wrong…the only thing that hadn't happened was the computer completely crashing.

The only thing that saved me from chucking the whole thing was the fact that DS1's computer is lightning fast and had the newer version of the program on it…well, that and the fact that I had a slideshow for DD's graduation (one where all I did was scan the pics and paid to have the rest done…money WELL spent folks) so of course DS1, and everyone else was expecting one.

On to the next fun part of my last week. My second big job for the party was the quilt…you know the one where I've been saving all my kids T-shirts from every sport/activity they've been in since they were a tot and made them into a quilt…I put bands of white canvas between the T-shirt squares and at the party everyone takes a sharpie and writes messages/signs the quilt there. Well, after the DVD's were finally burned last Monday morning I got back to working on this…thought I'd have weeks to do the quilt as the DVD was only going to take a few days after the scanning part…HA HA. I had most of the shirts cut and started piecing in the canvas. I was zipping along happily and was finally thinking that I'd be able to get caught up and finally start working on the food and other parts of the party. Yep, Murphy's Law again…(or you can skip this part and just know that I'm cursed).

- The belt that drives my 53 year old Brother sewing machine broke…well, it didn't just break…it looked like the rubber had been rotting slowly for years and now it was in pieces. Yes, I screamed...Did you hear me on Tuesday?

- Many phone calls later the only tidbit of help I got from any store was a name of a store about an hour away where they might be able to fix it if I brought it in and left it for their repair guy….but that would take at least a week.

- More phone calls to every friend and neighbor…do you realize that no one sews anymore? Not a single soul I could find had a portable sewing machine.

- I admitted defeat and called Sis again (more sympathetic laughter) and she agrees to pick up Mom's portable and bring it on Friday when she arrives a day early to help me with the party.

On to Part II....

Friday, July 17, 2009

7/17/09 Onederland is a Tease!

I've been super busy; I'm tired and there's no end in site. I haven't had my shower yet and I need more coffee. I'm getting ready for DS1's huge graduation party a week from Saturday and I'm running behind on things. It's been a super busy summer and I got a late start on things. The house is a wreck (I've been in the basement, so a tornado must have come through here…no other explanation) and I haven't started buying the food and supplies yet.

After finding out my DVD-slideshow lady is no longer in business I decided to tackle the project myself (with some tutoring from middle sister). The slideshow set to music runs in a loop in the garage where the buffet will be set up so people can view it for a short time or as long as they want while they're getting their food (It's almost ½ hour long…almost 500 pics). Yesterday I went downstairs right after breakfast to finish scanning pics and didn't come up until dinnertime (never could have skipped lunch before the band!). I even forgot to drink any water until the evening…I was 'in the zone'…gulped down three big glasses after dinner…yeah, I was up three times in the night. I do have the music all loaded, clipped and transitioned. Can't believe I still have some pics left to scan today. It would have helped if all the photos were organized and in albums, but only about ½ are…we still have some that are just on CD's and some that are sitting on our 5 scan discs…I hate all you scrapbookers that have every event in an album and with cute decorations too. My three sister's/Mom keep trying to get me sucked in with all their rolling bags filled with cute scrapbook stuff, but I'm avoiding that cult like the plague. I wouldn't be a good devotee as I can't even seem to get my pics developed.

As my neighbor friends have pointed out, I set the bar too high with DD's HS Grad Party. Why did I have to do the slideshow in chronological order (real fun when you have pics sitting in boxes unmarked). My sister was smart…pull a pic out and scan it, who cares what order or if you even miss a year? Why did I have to make a giant quilt for friends to writ messages/autograph (I use T-shirts I've been saving from each of them from every sport, workplace, event they were in and put white borders around the T-shirt squares for people to write messages…framed in black and quilted). I HAVEN'T EVEN BOUGHT THE FABRIC YET FOR DS1's!!! Stop snickering!!! I happen to hate sewing…no patience for it. So what am I doing here instead of getting busy on those pics? Well, one word…ONEDERLAND…I'm NOT there!

I've been up and down the same 3 pounds this week and I've been eating like a bird…probably too little, some days maybe too much, but I don't have time to track things right now. My next fill isn't for another week and a half so I'm just hanging in there. This morning was the kicker though…200.5…the closest I've gotten yet. I was thinking 'Comon! Give a girl a break, like I don't have enough stress! Can't you give a girl one measly pound?!'

I know, it's been another WhineFest…sorry. Off to finish the DVD….if you don't see me in a few days send a search party down to the basement computer as I've probably shriveled up and keeled over (Just let my friends here know I finally reached Onederland)!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

7/14/09 Dented

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Saturday, July 11, 2009

7/11/09 I'm OVERWEIGHT!!!

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Thursday, July 9, 2009

7/9/09 …and now, the Highs!

*Post Deleted For Lap Band Book

7/8/09 Highs and Lows

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

Monday, July 6, 2009

7/6/09 4th and 4

No, it's not a football stat…

We had a great long weekend back home with my family. We left Thursday night (DD had to work until 7pm) in the sedan rental car (my car still getting fixed from the accident) and it was tight quarters. We upgraded to a somewhat bigger car, but they had no vans/large cars available (we thought about taking 2 cars, but didn't want DD driving in the horrible holiday traffic; especially on the return Sunday). Three tall teenagers/21 year old cheek to cheek in the back seat did not make for the most pleasant ride. They're spoiled with riding in my minivan where they each get their own seat and a built in screen to watch videos or play games. We gave them DH's laptop and an earphone splitter so they could still watch movies, but DS2 in the middle had to hold it as still as he could and it gets hot on the bottom. DD kept saying "Kill me now!" every time one of the boys would whine.

I tried to entertain them with stories of how my Mom wrecked our station-wagon the morning we were leaving for a camping vacation and after a family vote, we squeezed the whole family of seven and the bare essentials of our week long camping trip (with a huge canvas tent) into a Dodge Dart and rode for 8 hours each way (3 in the front bench and 4 of us in the back seat). They weren't sympathetic. Then I tried to enlighten them on their comfy quarters with the tale of how when we drove to NY to visit my uncle's family once my parents caught the antiquing bug from them and bought a grandmother clock, several chairs and other assorted antiques. Yeah, we had the station wagon with the third flip up bench in the rear, but I still had to ride home 9 hours with my head through the rungs/seat of a chair…still, no sympathy (OK, suck it up…it's a 3.5 hour ride…they settled into the movie and all was quiet again).

We stopped at Phantom Fireworks once we got inside Ohio at about 11pm (along with half the state) and loaded up. We arrived around midnight and started dropping kids at different sister's homes and then we went on to stay at Mom and Dad's with my older sister and her two boys.

Friday we slept in and then I got to see all 4 siblings, two of whom I haven't seen in about a year (we went to lunch with them). We helped Mom and Dad get ready for the 4th and shopped a little and then we had a big family rib dinner.

*Portion of Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

We got ready on the 4th with finishing decorating the roofed golf cart my parents were riding through the parade with 3 of the grandchildren (as past parade chairmen – first ones). Then we were off to watch the parade at noon. DS1 carried the banner with his cousin for the street float. It was the nicest parade weather in years (it's usually fry-an-egg-on-the-pavement-hot).

I got choked up as usual as we all stood and clapped for the flag and the old veterans marching by. We all went to the street picnic for dinner and then lots of backyard fireworks before walking up to the golf course for the big show.

Sunday was just as busy as we ran to pick up food orders at several places for the 80th surprise birthday party my Mom was hosting for Dad at my youngest sister's home. We told him we were having brunch there before my sister from Chicago and my family departed for home (a normal thing we would do). There was a great turn out of about 75 people and he was so surprised…even their best friends surprised us all by coming from Indiana driving out and back Sunday for the event. He got all teared up, so I know he was happy. We arrived back home after a harrowing drive on packed roads last night.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

7/2/09 Happy 4th of July!

I remember how looooooong summer's seemed as a kid…as long as at least a couple of years of my life now…it's like the opposite of dog years, time was just on super-slow-mo as a kid. We'd spend the days running all through the neighborhood with the 'gang' of kids. Mom's generally had no clue exactly where you were, but weren't worried as long as you showed up for lunch…my Mom with 5 kids, she just knew we were together. The only time I had to ask permission to go somewhere was 'going to the creek' because it was a little further away in the woods down the hill.

My kids love hearing stories about all the 'now dangerous' things we did 'way back when'…they never seem to hear the end of some of the stories when we sometimes got injured, but only all the fun we had doing things I wouldn't allow them to do now…simple things like no bike helmets (I still have cinders in one knee) and no seatbelts (before there were seatbelts I broke the front windshield with my head as a child in an accident sitting in the front bench seat between my parents…I was fine), or products like metal lunch boxes (my left front tooth, now a cap, was chipped by a kid swinging one of those as we ran to line up after recess), and DH's 'Red Rider' B-B gun (looks like a rifle for a toddler…my kids and my middle sister's kids were never allowed to have even a plastic gun…my sister swears that's why her 2nd son is now becoming a police officer LOL). They love hearing all the stories…about how my oldest sister built a go-cart/soap box and rode it down our street; a very steep hill my parents still live on…it was her first and last trip down. The piece of wood she'd nailed in for a 'brake' popped off the second she touched it to the ground…she lost all six of her front teeth (now capped).

Our guys from the 'April Bunnies' group have tried this as well (good sports aren't they...getting stuck with the 'Bunnies', and good exercise)...they won the Derby!

Times were different then for kids…you'd never know it from the injuries, but it was a safer time (and no wonder I'm the 'safety police', right?).

We're off to Columbus for the 4th to be with my (foodie) family (yes, all the phone calls have been about what everyone is making for the different events and meals). The 4th is a HUGE deal for all of us. My parents have been in the same house for 43 years. They built a house in the first 'phase' of an enormous development built around a golf course…so large it has its own Elementary school. My parents have always been really involved in the community…Dad was President of the Civic Association and the PTA way back, and they started and were the first Chair's of the 4th of July parade that travels part of the main road through the neighborhood. They have entered a float for just our street every year which always involved months of planning and putting it together. Back in my youth we had engineers and welders who lived on the street and they concocted some pretty elaborate floats…one with a moving Ferris wheel and another with two turnstiles each with a center wall so 2 'scenes' with people on them turned. We loved riding in the parade. Now my kids have that tradition as well…they've ridden on the floats, they've decorated their bicycles and won trophies and t-shirts, they've ridden with their grandparents (as past parade chairs they do this every year) on the golf cart through the parade, they've been at the street picnic every 4th after the parade (every year some of the old 'gang' of kids I used to run with come back to the picnic), they've gone to the big neighborhood fireworks display and the even bigger one the night before downtown (I always cry start crying at the first patriotic song...that's what this is about after all!) and after we set off fireworks in my folks backyard (yeah, not so safe, but we keep the kids on the patio…and more importantly, of course they've heard all the stories of years ago when all the dad's had bottle rocket wars on the street with pop bottles armed with ammo aiming them at the enemy strongholds…yeah, until my youngest sister got one planted into her thigh). Yeah, we'll be stopping in Ohio for our fireworks enroute.

they've gone to the big carnival the day after at the Elementary school and played the carnival games and ridden the ponies.

My kids are really looking forward to it. Whenever I get together with my 4 siblings and parents the kids will always ask us to tell stories of all the crazy things we used to do (like the above), so there will always be several stories they've yet to hear each year. Apparently my middle-sister and I have the same laugh and when we get hysterical it gets to the point of no sound at all…just tears running down our faces and gasps now and then…the kids love to 'get us going'. It's going to be an extra special 4th weekend as Mom's (shhhhhhh) having a big surprise party for my Dad's 80th birthday on Sunday with over 60 guests.

So get your seat early for the parade and have a great 4th of July all!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

7/1/09 Redefining 'Full'

*Post Deleted for Lap Band Book

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