I'm on a new journey to pay-it-forward & with the support of my Groupies/friends...

I'm writing a LAP BAND BOOK!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

12/16/11 LB Articles and a Tour: Dining Room (Without Food Porn!)

I mentioned earlier that I was asked, and am now writing articles (and answering patient questions) for a website (Bariatric Surgery Source).  Just a little about the site, since it wasn't around when I started my research;

- According to the Founder and Editor-In Chief, "After two short years, we are honored to have become the 2nd most trafficked bariatric-surgery-focused content site in the world." 
- It covers all types of WLS.
- The focus is mainly on giving information.  There's a lot of detailed, comprehensive information from causes of obesity to plastic surgery (and I'm hoping to add a few bits/changes to the LB sections).
- It's well linked together, generally by subjects, and to external sources.
- There's now a link to the site in my sidebar. 

I've committed to write at least monthly articles. For my first articles (he calls them blogs), I started with some inspiration and a WL tool; my 'Before/After' pics (yes, still hard to share, but I know how much seeing others helped me, and how much it's helped me in my journey, BDD and all the head stuff), and my second article is the theme of my book 'choices' (finding what works for YOU) and so I started that with the biggest choice I made in my journey; a lifestyle and not dieting anymore. 

You'll find them linked HERE (and I'd love for you to leave your comments on the bottom of the articles).

OK as requested, I'll start giving you the Christmas house tour (sorry if I repeat anything from past years, I can't remember) and hope this inspires someone to get crafty.  I'll start with the Dining Room (minus the food porn), since it's my favorite.  It really looks beautiful at dinner with all the candles lit all over the room.

This year, I added the three Lenox pierced ornaments (hanging on fishing line from the ceiling) above my pierced Leedsware plates (with some silk holly's on top).

What's easier than putting ornaments in a glass vase?  Well, buying a silk candle ring, cutting the ring and then just placing it anywhere around your lamp lamp base (holly ring).

Stick some ornaments upside down in any candle holder (or in this case, spools)...with the candles lit, they really sparkle.

My MIL started me on my Christmas Lenox Holiday china collection...on the buffet.

...And place settings on the table.  I always buy 'Christmas Crackers' to open at dessert time, and this year I found the ornament place card holders (TJ Maxx <$10).

DH's family's old Shiny Brite boxed sets on top and old cardboard Santa's.

I made the Apple/Pineapple (glue gunned to a Styrofoam) cone on a cake pedestal with a holly wreath (picks and more glue).  Fake greens swagged on the chandelier with some bows and ornaments hanging below.

I bought the premade berry wreaths and just pinned a piece of ribbon to the top of my valances and around the wreaths.  Tree toppers work great as 'finials' on the top corners of any furniture piece (or in candlesticks).

I brought out my Polish Pottery bells (on the bowl shelf) and ornaments (hanging).

And some glass bead garlands (Target) hung from the door casing with command hooks and add some bows.  This year I added one lighted bead garland (Home Depot)...looks cool at night).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12/14/11 Fa-la la-la AHHHHHHHH!!!

Yes, I've fallen off the face of the Earth. I'm not sure what happened this year, but I'm SO far behind in getting ready for the holiday.  I'm blaming it all on DD...since she moved out.  She was my biggest helper with all the decorating and shopping (my 'boys club' around here is useless for anything except hanging the outside decorations).

I've been running around like a crazy woman.  Quick 'note to self' NOT keep putting off all your annual Doctor visits because you are too busy...eventually you still have to go to use your insurance funds before the end of the year, and it will now be the BUSIEST time of the year (eye Doc yesterday, Dentist tomorrow...*sigh*).

It's going to be a CRAZY weekend.  We pick DS1 up from college Friday morning, company arrives Friday afternoon, and DD's lease is up and she's moving in with the BF that we love (yes, a very big step for her/them) so we'll be moving her across the city on Saturday (...and probably 'Barbie' girl has too many 'accessories' LOL). 

Somewhere in there I need to start making cookies, and start wrapping presents, and mail my 'Secret Santa' gifts, and...(OK, *deep breaths*...I'm getting hives just thinking about it all)...

Anyway, here's a brief moment as we were leaving for a holiday shindig.

I've been asked to share some decoration pics, so I'll try to take some pics around the house and post them soon.  For now, here's the front of the house this year (dag, another thing for my 'to do' list...I need to make some new bows for the railing swags).

And here's the front door (I added some battery powered lights to the fresh front door wreath this year)...

...and in case you're all done with your holiday to-do list (I hate you)'s a draft blog I wrote on the 6th (when I was still 'fa-la-laing'!) and got so busy I forgot to post it LOL...

12/6/11 Happy 'Shoe Day'!  She's Making A List...

What's better than a day to celebrate SHOES!  WHAT?  It's NOT about the shoes?  'Scuse ME?!  OK, OK, Happy St. Nicholas Day!!!

...and I hope you remembered to put your shoes out last night! 

Santa checked in at our house last night to see if we've been naughty or nice and to collect our letter's with Christmas wishes (ummm...nope, not really...I couldn't get DS2 to continue his '3 wishes' letters).

I've been

All this was SO much easier when the kiddos were young and I had those '3 wishes' for Santa letters with me.  My middle one, DS1, still has no clue what he wants for DD could give me a never ending list, and DS2 is getting a very expensive guitar as his main gift...that he already knows about...and lest you think we're spoilers...he saved all his birthday money from us/others, his work money, and we/others are paying the rest for Christmas (yes, it's that expensive...and he's that good at playing now, and is ready for it). 

So where is the Christmas magic?  Where are those kids that would squeal with delight on Christmas morning?  I've been busy making it...magic.

Yes, I've been busy shopping (hang on, I know that's not what Christmas is about...or all the magic, but some of the fun is in the giving).  We even took a trip out with the boys on Black Friday Thursday before midnight.  There's a big shopping plaza just minutes from our house and so we thought we'd take a drive down.  We enter the plaza uphill from the plaza's enormous parking lot (I'm talking thousands and thousands of parking spots)...we overlook the entire lot to see that it's just about full and people are parking alongside the islands.  We all gasp in surprise and from the back seat my boys start loudly singing Epic Music..."AHHH, AHHH.....a, AHH, AHH!!!..." (wish I was smart enough to find it for you on youTube).  DH and I were in hysterics laughing as they continued the choir act all the way down the hill.  We took a drive past the biggest stores (the line for Target was now about a thousand people...four stores down, almost to Kohl's...which also had a huge a$$ line). 

I have a strong aversion to crowds.  The reason we were, many times, the first family in line at EarlyCrack Of Dawn, Extra Magic Hour mornings at Walt Disney World (besides the bonus of getting to visit all the characters in peace and walk on every ride in Fantasyland) is because I HATE CROWDS!  Luckily my family feels the same way...We just laughed at all the shoppers as we circled around to drive immediately back home (NO way we were getting into that mess...What's next?!  Black Thanksgiving?!!...Oh yeah, I guess we WERE there on Thanksgiving...ughh)

We've been at the stores at 4am, Black Friday, quite a few times too (got some unbelievable deals over the years)...and we were back home in bed by the time the crowds got bad.  The boys couldn't believe how many people would stand in line now at midnight compared to the relatively few of us who would be there with coffee in hand at 4am in the past (the boys have been with us in recent years). 

DH went back down at around 8am and was still able to find the three high ticket 'door buster' items we were mainly shopping for (with no big crowds) we had another laugh.  I spent the next week online buying up more, from the comfort of my home (have I mentioned lately that I'm NOT a shopper?). 

I'm getting to know the FedEx guy really well.  He was commenting yesterday on all the heavy boxes I get, as I 'let' him bring the latest one into the foyer...apparently a put-together-yourself (furniture) big TV console makes for a very heavy box...I wouldn't know (I think I owe Mr. FedEx a fruitcake, or maybe a bottle of wine, when he's back today).  Yes, a new enormous flat screen also arrived for the basement rec room...FYI; Goodwill will take your old 65" projection TV (that we bought for our reward for finishing the basement by ourselves for 7 months) as long as it still works perfectly.  We had to rent a box truck this weekend and about killed ourselves (and the help of one neighbors, thanks!) getting that behemoth out of the basement and into the truck (Mr. FedEx would have been happy to see me breaking my back)...Thank G*d our Goodwill had a forklift to get it out of the truck...'biggest TV they've ever gotten'...glad we could halp set a new record...*sigh*...Men!...apparently, 'He who dies with the most/best TV's wins' (and isn't it amazing that the new LED TV cost about 1/2 what the projection one did 10 years ago!).

Christmas shopping is an 'almost OCD' person's nightmare.  I can't tell you the amount of time I've spent researching different items we're buying (Why does everyone on my list want electronics?  Don't they know I'm tech-challenged!)...First, I have to figure out which model we want (how do I know off-hand which camera, GPS, e-reader, TV, etc. is best?!)...then, I have to find the best price.  When it comes (thank you Mr. FedEx), I have to put it on my Christmas spreadsheet...yes, I'm serious...we spend an equal amount on each child and they will have the exact same number of gifts to open on Christmas morning...even if I have to stuff 10 things into one package (they'll have lots of other things to blame on me as an adult, but not that I wasn't fair).  I'm now sitting in a sea of boxes and bags...'I'm making a list, checking it twice...'.  Like I 'almost OCD' nightmare (like Christmas isn't stressful's a wonder that I LOVE Christmas so much!).

Yep, I've also been creating the real magic...I've been buying surprises, making gifts, collecting 'thanks for the memories' items, and making all my magical plans.

Here are a few of this years 'Holiday Exchange' gifts/door sprays (cut up some garland's from JoAnn's and made bows/added bells...easy).

Oh, and I also found a few items for me along the way...since my Shoe Fairy never showed up (no magic Fairy Godmother for me apparently).  My feet are a full size less than pre-op...I NEED new shoes!)'s the newest pair (I was looking for some heeled loafers all Fall...found these on the clearance shelf, and they'll do).

I'm off to my spreadsheet...the second snowfall is supposed to come this afternoon...fa, la, la, la...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

11/30/11 Meat Bigot and New LB Patents

Hey peeps!  Hope you all had a GREAT holiday week!  I know I did!  Exhausting, but fun!

It was nice to have DS1 home for the week...even though he's still on 'college time' (aka slept until noon), so we had limited hours of 'overlap'.  DS2 and he had a great night they were up until 5am playing the new video game.  DS2 even commented the day he left 'I miss my brother!  Who am I going to play (video) games with?!'  Ummm...remember me?...Many years ago, when you first started playing these, who was the one that figured out that you could actually get in and ride in those vehicles that you and your brother had been running right past for six months!!!

Thanksgiving was fun, but a little hectic.  I decided to try some new things in the cooking dept. this year...yeah, I hear you...'new' and 'Thanksgiving' shouldn't happen on the same day, let alone 'cooking' and 'BG'...but you know me, I'm always up for 'process improvement' and making things better...So I learned a few lessons some good, some like my LB journey (stay tuned for new LB/WLS patents).

- Lesson 1:  I made two, 11+ lb. turkey's instead of one huge one.  I was watching a show where they were discussing dark and white meat (apparently you're either a lover of one or the other, not both...there's a lot of turkey meat bigotry going on out there! Are you a meat bigot?), and someone mentioned cooking two birds to get more dark meat...well, 4 out of 5 of us are dark meat lovers (once you go...), so of course I'm a risk taker...settled.

When you buy two pretty large birds you need a pan the size of the two birds rack in your oven...nope, two pans would be even better!  It's kinda like a cup, no matter how large, just doesn't get the job done (especially true after WLS...*idea* I should invent a bra with wires or sticky tape all the way around to keep our saggy boobs/excess skin in place!  Anyone 'fallen out' yet?...not even sleeping on your side?...anyone? anyone?).  Note to self: buy pans before next enormous oval roasting pan was on overload...wing elbows had to be covered with foil (No burnt funny-bones in my house!! I need all the laughter I can get!), and there was no way to get to the juices easily to baste them.

-  Lesson 2: When you upgrade from the old dial style meat thermometer to a new digital one, try it out first, or at least move it to several places in the bird it around and test's like an infant with a fever...before calling the doc and getting him out of bed, test under the tongue, under the arm, and up the kazoo!

-  Lesson 3: Cooking two turkey's side by side is kinda like sunbathing side by side...the person next to you is shading you from the heat.  The point where the two turkeys were jammed came together cooked more slowly than the outside points (cutting the meat and a convection oven soon fixed the problem).  I believe the trick is to rotate the turkey's halfway through the cooking time (yes, even in two pans) least that's where I'm headed next year...that or a little suntan lotion on the outside parts.

- Lesson 4: Buying an 'injector' was a great new idea...even the white meat was full of juicy goodness (what's not to like about stock and more butter (4 sticks)?  Now, if I could just figure out how to inject bacon (what doesn't taste better with bacon LOL)!  I wonder if that needle would work in my port?...hey, *idea* I could invent 'flavored saline' for fills!...I wonder if the flavors would penetrate the plastic...not unheard of, as plastics do take in flavors/smells...this would be why perfumes and potpourri should never be stored in plastic...hey, don't believe me?...Just go smell/taste that tupperware that you always store your onions in!  Mmmm...chocolate flavored saline...mmm...I wonder if 'bacon' flavored saline would cause more head hunger or less? 

- Lesson 5: Be prepared to pay more, but two 'young' turkeys taste better than one large 'old' turkey...hmmm there's a LB analogy in there somewhere (yes, I know I'm old).

- Lesson 6: Just because you charge the batteries and have the camera and camcorder sitting ready to go does NOT mean the pictures will magically get taken (and G*d knows nobody in my family will just pick one up...Obese Mom = she's always been behind the cameras).  So EPIC FAIL!  I have NOT ONE PICTURE from Thanksgiving for the first time...ever (I almost cried).  And I'm telling you, it was a work of one sets up a buffet like I do (it actually tastes pretty good, but I know it looks even better).  And where are all the pics of my happy, stuffed family around the table?!!  I guess the upside here is that I'm getting used to tossing the camera to others and getting my photo taken...I just have to remember the toss. 

- Lesson 7: Mini pies were a great new idea (I bought a muffin pan with extra large rounds, because I couldn't find the individual tart ones).  DD brought the BF to dinner so it was easy to load them up with leftovers and some pies (made 2 kinds) to take, when you say 'I ate the whole pie!' it doesn't mean what it used to!!  OK, here's a pic of the leftover mini pies the next day...and please see that I also bought these three (aren't they cute?!) mini cake/pie pedestals (inexpensive @ TJMaxx and Marshall's) for my sideboard.

And did you notice the little pastry pumpkins I handmade for the center of each pumpkin pie?! OK, we won't talk about the pretty leaves I made for the chocolate chip pies...that sunk into the pies when they cooked (we never found them again) ...I told you, I'm WAY to creative to be a great cook!
OK, I've got my two new patents and now I need a few of you for my 'trials'...sign up now if you have saggy boobs that try to climb fall out of your bras...and here if you would like to 'taste' flavored saline at your next fill (chocolate, bacon, and potato chip flavors are now available...I'm also adding liver as my 'control' group...anyone? anyone?...perhaps it will cure the 'hungries' permanently?).

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

11/22/11 Name Change

Just a quickie...

To gain some consistency with the book title, and for ease of people searching for information, I've updated my blog name...actually, I just flip-flopped the title and description.  I'm now LAP BAND GROUPIE (tried to do the 'Lap' lower case or smaller on the home page, but I'm too tech impaired...I'll leave that to Jen, when she gives me a face lift here) At 'The Sweet Spot'.  Nothing much changes...still Band Groupie...BG here!

Hopefully I didn't screw anything up...didn't touch the URL...yet (I have to read up more on the various repercussions of that one).  You should still be a follower and still have me in your 'reading' list, just under the new title, but I'll now be listed under the "L's" (I joined and checked it).  Let me know though if you had any trouble.

As I planned this, I found this a little funny as I grew up being called something other than my name.  A little confusing but 5 siblings; boy and four girls and all the girls are named Mary 'Something' and we were to all go by the 'Something'...except me...'my Something' is my Mom's name and so they decided to call me a derivative of her name.  All this led to lots of confusion....when signing legal documents and we were confused with a sister and her bank accounts, and especially after I got married and added 'what I'm actually called' to my name...I now have four words in my full name...and I always have to check to see which name they have me listed as before signing anything...thanks Mom and Dad!

Long story your babies a favor and call them what you're naming them (yes, middle names are fine).

Monday, November 21, 2011

11/21/11 Walk Of (Sh)Fame

Busy weekend!  We were away to Columbus with all the kids, the BF and the GF for the game on Saturday.  It turned out to be a beautiful day and they all had a blast!  My family:
DS1 & GF (both attend PSU)...SO glad to have him home all week!

DS2 (acting goofy as usual), and DD's BF
Later, we celebrated 'early Christmas' with my family at my middle Sis' house (she had it all decorated for Christmas for us!).  I loved spending some quality time with the whole gang.  Me posing with a gift (my new Twiggy bag).

On a Band note...I'm thrilled to announce that HERE's the new (old 'SOB') Band Superstars Blog (thanks Sandy and Jen).  I'm so glad it's been resurrected for you to follow and learn different things from all the successful Banders out there!  I'm in the 'Walk Of Fame'..No, I did not say 'Shame'...although I've had to wear the 'LB Cone of Shame' a few times...most recently during my detox from the Halloween Candy.  Get reading folks!  I'm off to start my grocery many turkey' little time..

Thursday, November 17, 2011

11/17/11 Under Construction

Put on you hard hats now (yes, over that unfinished bedazzled headband), and take a seat, because stuff is going to fly (here, hand me the nail gun please, so I can get this all nailed down)!

I'm starting my new plan with all the grunt work 'they've'/the experts told me to alrighty then:
- I'm reconstructing my home Blogger page:
  • Copyright: Added to Home Page- Stop stealing my stupidity blonde moments sage advice and doodles priceless artwork.  Ask me first please.
  • Disclaimer: Added to Home Page- I'm not a Dr., I only play one on the Internet.
  • Post Pics: I moved the pics (have a day or so more work to go) that were still active from my original blog here (didn't know how to do it when I moved the blog.  See you can teach an old dog...).  I didn't move all the comments (since I don't have people's permission).
  • Archive: I cut the blogs/portions of blogs that have content/ideas relating to the first I started deleting them...until I realized (blonde, remember?) that I was also deleting all your helpful comments...and I may want to replace these post-book/no-book (I saved the posts if you need any, but you told me you were printing), so I left the shells/parts.  This was tedious (took almost a week) and I don't like the fact that a newbie may want to look back at some of them, but for now, I'll stick to the recommendations and believe that I'll be helping LOTS of newbies....*sigh*
  • Page Updates: I recently updated some of my pages and I've got a few things left to update.
  • New Content: I'm working on some ideas to make this more user friendly and to add some new content/pages. 
  • Product Reviews:  I'm still thinking on this one, and want your thoughts.  I've declined samples/product review requests from the beginning, but I'm considering the possibility of the things I already use or want to actually try (remember, I'll never be anything but honest...I'm the one that turned down the Realize national campaign...AP Brand here).  The companies also usually offer an extra item for giveaways you can offer to a reader/contest.  I know I've been turned off by some sites that I thought were good when I first found them, but I got sick of all the product reviews and haven't been back...pondering.
- New Audiences:
  • Guest Blogging: Once things settle out a little here, if you need a guest blogger, or know someone with a different audience that would, I'm up for it!  And I'll let you know when I start the articles on other WLS sites.
  • Speaking: When this is further along, I'm going to start trying to speak at some support groups/other venues.  Keep this in mind for later.
  • Facebook: I'm just going to put this out there...I'm taking the plunge.  I have no clue how to set this up, but I'll let you know if I figure it out (and DS2 who's here has no interest in this yet, so he's no help)...if I can figure this out, perhaps I'll even be tweeting about my potty habits someday...yay!
  • G? Mail:  I need another email account just for clue what gmail is, but I'm going to find out, since several of you suggested this a long time ago...OK, stop laughing at my tech-illiteracy!
- HELP!:
  • I know you are talented, helpful women (and men) and if you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them.
  • I have two family members in Marketing jobs (DH, DD) and I intend to use them.
  • I have one family member in IST major (DS1) and I intend to abuse him this summer (Tech for Moms-101).
  • Anyone have editing skills...I have a serious verbiage problem.
And tomorrow, some fun parts...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

11/16/11 Queen Kong

Alrighty then.

I'm back in business. 

I had a minor epiphany...I'm not sure you can call it an epiphany, since I knew was coming, I just didn't know how it would turn out.

I've been up nights with a 'monkey on my back'...yes, it used to be 100+ pounds, so who could complain about a little monkey...well, me.  You see, that 'lil monkey has turned into a gorilla...a big old greyback...only a girl one (OK, yes, you're right, I used to have a baboon as$$...the first thing anyone noticed when looking my way...take a peek at those 'befores' again, but you're off subject...).

Anyway, when you all finally talked me into the book, I was a bit naive.  I moved over to Blogger hoping to reach more Banders needing help, I decided the book might be a great way to pay-it-forward in a bigger way, I announced my intentions (thus committing me, and a proven way to keep me accountable, thank you), I started writing, and then I started research...

O. M. G....yes, I'm an 'almost OCD' researcher (I got my Dr's. license on the took me's framed), but O. M. G...If I told you all how involved and confusing the publishing piece of this is right now, I'd have to kill you...because your head would explode (maybe that explains the ramp up of migraines I've had this year).  You know I'm no sloucher, I'm not afraid of hard work...but if I got to eat one M&M for each hour I've spent on this, I'd still be severely obese...just ask my family how much time I've given this.  I thought I'd write a few sample chapters, send them off with a well written cover letter to an agent or some publishers and sit back and see what happened...I'd write and they'd handle the rest...naive.  

Sometimes 'naive' is a good when I didn't know what 'sliming' really was until I had to figure out what to do with the endless unbroken gooey strands of it hanging from my chin to the toilet bowl 3' below...but in this case...naive = O.M.G.  I now have huge lists of possible agent Co's., and then thesis papers figuring out which agent to send directly to (them's the rules), and templates on exactly how to write a query, and then how to write a huge proposal, and how to write the first chapters, the table of contents, and on and on and...OH, did you hear?  The economy is bad...AND...have you heard of ebooks?  Will there be any bookstores in the near future?  Will there be any libraries even?  Apparently the whole publishing industry is in a serious upheaval...most are in their own financial turmoil and most aren't even talking to new authors.  Well I stuck it out and sent off my letters to the top agents...rejections from a few and *crickets*  I just built back up my self-esteem for the past two years only to have it knocked down with this?  I felt like not only was I disappointing all the struggling Banders I was hoping to reach, but also all of you, because this book is as much your story as it is mine.  I no longer really believed this would ever happen...I think I lost faith in my ability...I doubted...Maybe they were just being supportive when they encouraged the book, maybe they think I'm crazy?  Writing was becoming more of a chore than a pleasure.  Should I just let it go (that would certainly be the easy thing), or recommit?
And that would be the gorilla...I know I have choices...I've got mad skills at business process improvement and I know there are always other choices...and there are...the thing's a lot more time and work and probably an investment (maybe one we can't make)...and basically starting over with different approaches (choice 1. ebooks + tech challenged blogger = big learning curve...and choice 2. I'd sell 50 self-published paperback you guys, because I'd be flashing those 'write a book' posts in your face...and then, good thing I've got DIY skills, because I'd be fashioning large furniture out of the 2,500 other books I had to prepay for...Etsy here I come!)...and there's still only a tiny chance that even with all that I'd reach my goal of not just publishing, but my real goal...actually reaching a bigger audience and paying-it-forward (or maybe that''s backward). 

So my epiphany has been coming for a little while now, I put things to the side while the kids were home and we enjoyed the busy summer, but I knew this Fall was coming.  I started getting signals again...I had another article interview for the LB site, and a request to be a featured writer on a big WLS site (thanks Lonicerna for the recommendation), and ongoing I, like most of you, get notes from Banders needing help, or newbies that have read your blog beginning to end (mine's way longer than any book...well, maybe, I seriously need an Editor), and I had a recent flood of those...they always talk about how important it is to hear all the new information from an actual always reinforces that there is a need for this book.  I've also found out that others (not here) are taking my thoughts...hey, if it's good enough to steal, shouldn't I believe it's a good enough message?  So I've decided to recommit.

I'm approaching this like a business plan...I'm taking all the tools I've learned and successes I've had, I'm setting deadlines and goals, and I'm going to continue giving this my best until the end of that plan and then I'll be proud to let it go, if need be.  Most importantly though, the real epiphany is believing in, I'm not the best writer, or the best, I didn't lose the most weight, or follow every, my story is certainly not the best one...but I have to start believing...that it's representative of all of us, it's all our story, I've written about all the choices they can make (what works for me, but also what works for you), and it's an opportunity to get information out there that would help a lot of people...I know I'm doing this for all the right reasons (and LOL, let's face it, I'm not working, I've got some time that you don't have, and I owe this to everyone who ever helped me...yes, that includes you), I need to believe it's an effort that others will truly benefit from...I need to keep the faith...

Thanks for sticking with me.  More about the beginnings of the new plans tomorrow...

Monday, November 7, 2011

11/7/11 My Blogiversary- A Case For Blogging

*Post Deleted for LB Book (Sorry, I'll be back to, not published yet...yes, still working on it)

Friday, November 4, 2011

11/4/11 Happy First Birthday!

It's my grand-kitten's first birthday! 

Well, at least we think so.  They were rescued kittens and we don't have an exact date...our vet narrowed it down to the week of Halloween last year, so DS2 picked a date.

I decided to make them a gift for their birthday!

They've taken to loving my large cabinet/folding counter in the laundry room because it has a window.  I got tired of finding them sitting on clean socks I left to sort (OK, so it's also a gift for almost OCD cleaner/me), so I finally put a beer box with a towel over it on the counter.  Of course they loved that, since they could now lay down and look out the window and bask in the sun...only one problem...two beer box...

...and then there were boxes...and not much folding space left on my counter (and no, I couldn't just close the's where the litter box lives).

So I made my present...from leftovers; a deep shelf and brackets (that came down from DS1's room last year), two pieces of leftover fancy trim (from framing that piece of ceiling tin for DD's room), some leftover 2" cushion foam (from that headboard I made DD), and the excess fleece from the kitten's 'pita-pocket' beds DS2 and I made them last year when we got the brother kittens...remember those (they still use these daily):
 Well, here's the upgrade/second bed for them...Viola...a cushioned kitty sleep shelf (yes, you knew I was nuts)! saw the flaw in my evil plan...I had to add back a box to the counter (but it's a skinny box, to the side, tethered down), as they were having trouble getting up to the deep shelf from the counter without a step (as DS2 explained to me 'It's not high Mom, but they don't have enough angle to jump up there.'...maybe I can get DS2 to build me a nicer looking step?).
Me thinks they like it!  Happy First Birthday babies!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

11/3/11 Charting Maintenance

*Post Deleted For Lap Band Book

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

11/2/11 Scary Sounds

Here's a short clip of Halloween as it ended the rain unfortunately (whoops, forgot to turn back on some of the electronic stuff; shaking ghost, flying bat, and spider that drops and crawls).  I always have the scary sounds going, but the best one was the door opening...LOL, guess we need to grease that up!

But the scariest sound of all?

At the end of the evening...the loud crinkling as I was picking up the giant pile of wrappers from all the candy I ate!   Five for for me...

In case we haven't met yet...Hello, I'm BG, and I'm a chocolate addict!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

11/1/11 What A Difference A Year Makes

No, it's not my Bandiversary...just another landmark in a year.

Here's my littlest one DS2 (15 then) last year going to hang with the other teens on Halloween as an angel (look, he even let me put some face paint on him...HEY, it's a boys-club here, I needed to play).

...and here he is this year (no, that's not even face paint)...

Hug your little boys now.

Monday, October 31, 2011

10/31/11 Post is up!

Sorry, I pushed 'enter' and my last post published while I was writing it...I didn't know it would show up here.  I couldn't get the time to change, but it's up now... HERE

10/31/11 Happy Halloween!!!! (WORKING NOW...Lots of pics)

Happy Halloween all!!!!  Sorry I pushed publish too soon and didn't realize it would show up...all working now.

Lots to catch up on, but I'll just focus on the 'Fall' stuff (since it's Halloween) that's been happening the last week.

First, Fall officially disappeared this week...We had big, wet, snow that covered everything.  Good for the kiddies that it melted and tonight looks cold, but clear.

We took our annual trip to the big pumpkin patch (one of those places that has a million kiddie things to do and booths of food everywhere).  Luckily this was a week ago and the weather was beautiful!

On the hayride out to the pumpkins...

OMG...I just realized this is the same raincoat I was wearing in France when I had my LB 'Moment' of revelation (OK, it's a great brand, it has a belt, and a zip out lining, so I saved it...hey, I didn't want to be naked in the pumpkin patch!)...

...let me just say that this pic of me from the back in Normandy (at the American Cemetary) with the same coat undone because I couldn't close it sums up how far I've come...100+ pounds more here...yes, that is NOT the wind blowing my coat is ALL my giant a$$ feet hurt just looking at this pic.

DD and DS2 picking out the largest pumpkins in the patch...they thought it was a good idea...until they had to carry them to the car.

DD and BF...

OK, I will admit here that DH said (after I gave DD, her BF, and DS2 tickets to enter the corn maze with strict instructions 'not to scare the little kids'...and with my camera) that 'These things are more fun with little kids.'  (...and hey...just look at those pretty, straight teeth we paid a fortune to our Orthodontist for!)

...and then one of my sisters said to me 'It's time for grand-babies when you start dressing up your grand-pets'...I'm too young for that (an it was DH who brought home costumes for the kitties)!

DD came to spend he night this week and carve her pumpkin early as she's had a big Halloween party this weekend (and I found her some great black feather accents to glue on her 'Black Swan' costume...and in her hair). 

I made my annual pumpkin seeds...that DS2 declared his 'favorite food ever' (my invented recipe...butter, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and garlic salt)...he had eaten them all by morning.

And I baked sheets of these 'scaredy cats' (decorated mint cookies ontop of iced chocolate chip brownies....I said I hate to cook...but I LOVE to's the artist in me) and sent a batch to DS1 for all the Frat brothers (got a thank you call today) and a batch to DD for the Halloween party. 
Now here are some vignette's around the house of Fall things I've made (and a few new ones)...

Acorn trees...

I don't usually like silk flowers, but I make an exception for holidays...

An easy idea...a 'funkin' (just traced and cut a 6" plastic pot size hole) with a real mum and a few cattails...and fall garlands are everywhere...on the chandelier...

...on the mantle with some lights, and a berry garland around a candle...and a giant bowl with all the gourds DS2 grows...

And every year I try to add something new, or replace something old.  I needed a wreath for inside the glass front door...couldn't be more simple...a grapevine wreath (same size as the oustside one you can see through the door), nine 'picks' (3 ea. of 3 different ones) of berries (didn't do any cutting even), some hot glue, and 10 minutes later it's done.

And I replaced the very old plastic ghost and pumpkin lights I had on the porch railing outside with some grapevine ball covered lights (on clearance right now at Target with all their summer outdoor lights), just took the old lights off the old grapevine garland and wrapped the new lights on, and I hot glued on some silk leaves I pulled off another garland.
And here's the front porch...

Happy Halloweeny!!!!
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