Friday, April 29, 2011

A most perfect day

Yesterday was a perfect day spent in the company of a bus full of women on a day of shopping and theater.  Other than getting up at 4:30 to start this day it was sheer bliss.  At our stop at Mall of America,  my partner in crime and I jumped ship and went to Ikea.    


Shopping is not my idea of fun, so three hours at the Mall of Excess was daunting and I appreciated the diversion.  Ikea is very fun and if you have someone with you to keep you on the path or follow the map and arrows on the floor you're okay.  Otherwise you could get totally lost.  Which would be okay, because you could live there in one of many of the furniture displays while learning to speak Swedish.


Now that I am preparing food to stay on my Weight Watcher lifestyle, I find myself fascinated with kitchen tools.  I was never sure what that room was used for...that room we had to walk through from the computer room to the family room.  Now I get it!  Oh, and did we find fun things for the kitchen.  Then she dined on Swedish meatballs, of course, and I had a Greek salad which seemed out of place there, but was tasty.  


We had a little time so I stashed my new kitchen toys in the bus and we ventured into the Mall for a bit.  I managed to find a tiara which was sold to me by a girl named Tiara.  Too perfect.  The Queen has been needing a tiara for some time and I wanted to look good for the royal wedding the next day.  With surgical gloves on my hands (for the food handling...what were you thinking?) and a shiny tiara on my head I practiced my official queen wave on the bus to the commoners.


Then it was off to the Orpheum Theater where we learned the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons while enjoying the music.  There's something about a live performance that is just sheer magic. As much as I love movies, it can't touch watching it happen right before your eyes.


After leaving the theater we headed for the Dancing Ganesha for  Indian food and then walked the streets of downtown looking at the shops.  We ended our day in Macy's where I found the answer to my Panini press dilemma.  More on that later.  Not only was it on sale, but one of my new friends gave me her 25% off coupon so it was most affordable.  I can't wait to make a sandwich now!


The trip home was filled with the laughter and buzz of fifty one happy women (and three hapless men who were dragged along), which was further fueled by trays of decadent desserts and wine. I passed on the wine but didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings so had to sample one of each of the yummy items that had more calories than a double cheeseburger.  Sometimes a girl just has to do what a girl has to do. My garden group knows how to entertain and have a fine time, yes they do.  That really is our specialty...much more so than gardening. Then I donned my tiara and went down the aisle as the Queen of Trash...great fun.


The ride seemed very short with all the buzz...or perhaps being buzzed is the better description, and soon we were back at our cars.  Once home again I was greeted by an angry She Devil, but she was soon placated by tuna (it always works) and we stumbled off to bed for a little reading and both fell asleep.  The End.


Long Live the Queen of Good Times

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Five Pounds

Hmm, it sounds like a movie.  Today I weighed in at Weight Watchers and against all odds over Easter, I still managed to lose enough to achieve my first five pound sticker.  It's amazing what grown people will do for those stickers!




The first two weigh ins I lost over two pounds each time, then the last two have only been fractions of a pound.  Probably because I felt I had this figured out and didn't need to track the points anymore.  I guess I need to keep writing down each thing that goes into my mouth as that seems to work.


Many people I haven't seen for a while don't recognize me right away because my hair has grown longer.  If I can shed these fifty or sixty pounds and keep growing my hair I can transform myself into a new person.


Perhaps a new name would be fun also - I am very taken with "In Plain Sight" that starts up again May 1st about the Witness Protection Program.


Left Brain and I went to see Water for Elephants this afternoon.  It was done very nicely and followed the book as well as it could.  We then performed our own sequel and went home for the showing of "Tuna for Kitties" starring our very own She Devil.


Life is good....now all we need is some sunshine!


I'm off tomorrow for our bus trip to Mall of America and then to the Orpheum theatre for Jersey Boys.  A bus full of women all day long with snacks and wine....it doesn't get any better than this.


Long Live the Queen of Slimmer Every Week

Finished the series of Bloody Jack

It's like saying goodbye to an old friend.  The last in the Bloody Jack series is over until the next one is out.  If you have any young readers with a sense of adventure leaning towards Pirates of the Carribean style, this is a good series for them.  And as an older reader, I found it very fun also.  Left Brain is working his way through the last ones.  Aaah....Goodbye Jackie.

Written lies

Well, today I did something brand new for me.  I signed a document knowing it was not true.  My neighbor stopped by the house with a request to sign some kind of form and I figured it was just some political thing or a petition to get rid of one of our neighbors, you know...something normal.  But no!  She needed two witnesses to state she was thinking clearly and of sound mind and body.  I see the other signature was her husband, but then again he kind of has to sign it....and his grasp on reality is pretty loose anyway.  Hmmm.  Maybe that's why she came to me.


I signed it, of course, what's a friend to do?  But afterwards I started to remember all the craziness I had seen exhibited.  Like the time I brought back a tacky chandelier from my daughter's house when they remodeled and she proudly carried it up the valley to her house...with a glass of wine in the other hand.


And then there was the famous Apple Valley rubber ducky parade.  Well, it was just a parade of the two of us and of course the rubber ducky.  When we get rain in the valley the ditches become torrents of water gushing down the entire mile of our road.  I believe it was her idea to float something from one end of the valley to the other, and I had the rubber ducky, so off we went.


It was great fun watching it hurl downstream and go through the culverts.  At each driveway we would hold our breath and wait for it to emerge and then cheer and run to the next driveway.  When we got to Alice's house it did not emerge.  Alice then came out with a 10 foot pole, no questions asked, and we managed to free the ducky. She let us borrow her pole for the rest of our journey.  We resembled shepherds with our staff as we traversed down the valley.


It was such fun!  The further down the valley we got, the giddier we became and laughed more and more.  I noticed at this point that families out walking with their children would cross to the other side of the road, moving quickly, and always with a backward glance for their safety.


Finally the ducky went under and never came up again.  So sad.  I posted a reward poster in all the neighbors mailboxes with a reward, but it was never found.  Okay, maybe this was not such a good example of her insanity as it doesn't speak well for me either.


Long Live the Queen of the Rubber Ducky

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Family time

Over Easter we went to visit family that live out of town and I asked Left Brain to stop at McDonald's to get something to drink on the way.  Apparently he doesn't do as much fast food consumption as I do and after giving the order to the disembodied voice in the box he added..."to go".  Now, I try to be nice and not laugh right in a person's face...but this was just too rich to ignore.  "To go?" I asked.  We're in a car...at a drive through.  He agreed that last request was possibly redundant.
We were still chuckling over this as we approached the window to make payment and I leaned over and told the young girl "skip that part about having this to go...we're going to drink them in the car instead".  She was totally clueless as to what we were talking about, but it entertained us.
While sharing this with my cousin he was able to top the tale with his mother's attempt (Left Brain's sister) to give her order at the drive through...to the garbage can.  Maybe there's a fast food genetic glitch in his family.
Then I made the mistake of sharing the fact that I have tried to open the garage with my cell phone and he thought that was so funny that I decided not to tell him that I've also tried to use my cell phone to change channels.
Anyway, the whole fast food industry experience just reminded me of the statement "you are what you eat" and I cringed to think that that made me.....
Queen of the Fast, Cheap and Easy

Monday, April 25, 2011

I love this beer

Actually, I hate the taste of beer and while doing the Weight Watcher thing I refuse to allow any calories that are not chewed....I mean, what's the point?  Get it?  What's the point?  Oh, I just crack myself up sometimes.  It's from all those years of being an only child and being my own source of amusement.


Our neighbor provided us with these libations and I would have purchased them just for the names.  Both are HE'BREW - the chosen beer and the carton has "L'chaim!" printed on it, which matches our license plate.  One is called "Genesis Ale" and has "Chutzpah never tasted so good" on the handle.  The bottom of the carton states "Like your Bubbe's chicken soup, there's no preservatives (or gefilte fish) added.


The other carton shows the flavor as "Messiah Bold" with "It's the beer you've been waiting for" on the handle.  The bottom of this carton shows "Do not store fresh beer in the saddle bags of white donkey".
  
It's enough to make me want to drink beer.


Long Live the Queen of Beer'Sheba

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Keeping the old bag

Eavesdropping isn't nice, and can be quite frightening.  I learned that lesson the other day when I overheard Left Brain talking to Larry Boy on the phone.
"Yeah, I guess I will.  It sure would be nice to get a new one though."
Hmmm.  I wonder what he's up to now...so I listened some more.
"Yes, I've had a lot of good times with her, but let's face it..she's been around a long time now and is starting to show some wear."
Uh oh.  What IS he up to?
"She's still functional and does the job, but I think I'm ready for a newer model."
What!
"I'm just not sure..maybe I'll keep the old bag for a while yet, unless I see something newer that looks good to me."
How crass!  Well, I'll just give him a piece of my mind when he's off the phone. Old Bag indeed!  How dare he!  I've given him the best years of my life..well, maybe not the best of the best, but still...some pretty good ones.  I was still spitting and sputtering when he hung up.
"What was all that about?" I asked calmly while seething inside.
"Oh, Larry's getting a new golf bag and I was thinking about it, but I like the old one yet, so I'm gonna wait."
Struck dumb...speechless...and that doesn't happen to me very often.
"Would you like steak for supper tonight?" I asked.
"Wow, yeah, that'd be great?  Is it a special occasion?" he asked.
"No" I answered.  "I just thought you'd enjoy it."


Long Live the Queen of the Old Bags

Friday, April 22, 2011

Strange Dreams

She looks just like me!
The combination of reading pirate stories and eating more vegetables than humanly possible to enhance my odds of losing weight have taken their toll.  I had not consciously put these two thoughts together, but my dreams prove it is so.


Last night I dreamed I was sailing on the high seas in my two masted pirate ship in search of treasure and glory.  Through my spyglass I spotted the target of my desires and my crew swiftly overcame the ship carrying my prize.  Proudly I stood at the bow of my ship in my white pirate blouse, my long thin body encased in black leather pants and vest, my waist long curly black hair billowing in the wind.....  Hey, this is my dream after all - I'm not going to be standing there as a pudgy old seasick woman with her hair up in a clip wearing sweats. Now...get the correct visual back in your head and let me continue.


I gracefully swing from my ship to land on the deck and survey all its bounty.  The ship was a giant floating relish dish with every kind of vegetable imaginable. There were crates of baby carrots, baskets of broccoli and cauliflower and kegs of low fat dressing.


What!  I couldn't have landed on a giant slice of pizza with cheese causing an oil slick in the ocean?  Who writes this stuff!


Long Live the Queen of Vegetables

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Snow snow...go away



When you live on the shady side...of the street I mean.  What did you think I meant?  

Anyway, I digress...it takes the snow forever to leave. We were just catching up when Mother Nature in her infinite wisdom saw fit to pelt us one more time.  

My throne awaits me and it's just too nasty to get out there.  I had the entire yard cleaned and ready for spring.  Sigh.


Time to scrape off the hot tub...again.




I should be taking advantage of this little blip in my plans to clean the house and get all those indoor projects done.  




Yeah, right.  Like that's gonna happen.  I have found that housework will wait.  In fact, I know I used to get more done around here when I worked outside the home because my time was limited.  It's so easy to take that for granted and sometimes we forget that our time on earth is limited.  That lesson came home to me when I got the news that an old friend of mine was now living in a nursing home.  I knew this time would come, but I thought it would be when we were much, much older.


Long Live (please) the Queen





Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring? You call this stuff spring?

Springtime in Wisconsin with another glorious 8" of new snow with lighter flakes falling today instead of the giant honking ones from yesterday.  


I skipped the hot tub this morning as I was too discouraged to shovel a path to it and scrape it off....again.  


This is unfortunately normal...the children in this state start off the snow season by trick or treating in it and and end (hopefully) by finding Easter eggs under it. 

Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humor.






It seemed like just yesterday I was admiring the bloodroot, scilla and hellebores blooming in the back yard. 


Oh wait...it WAS yesterday.  This is what it looks like now.




I knew it was too early...darn.


Yesterday I was having a restless, I gotta get out of here day and escaped to the movies to watch Arthur.  


Not the greatest movie I've seen but Helen Mirren is always delightful to watch.  






Then I exited to wipe the snow off the car and feel the invigorating breeze full of sleet pelt me in the face.  It's enough to discourage anyone...it even got She Devil down in the mouth and she crawled back under the covers to wait it out.
I think I'll follow her clue and go back into hibernation.




Long Live the Queen of the Snowy Springtime Blues

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Day Late

Simcha loved her little couch
I see that I missed National Blah Blah Blah Day, that was on the 17th.  Today I cleaned up the cat beds that Simcha used to love so much and have stored them in the basement.  Maybe someday there will be new kitties that will enjoy them.  She Devil doesn't use any of them, preferring our chairs instead.


I've finished Rapture of the Deep and have started the last book in my Bloody Jack series.  I'm going to hate to see this end.  Usually by the end of the long series I'm getting bored and restless, but this keeps changing up in unexpected ways and keeps me guessing.  I will just have to amuse myself with something else until the last one is written.  I believe it is coming out this fall sometime...but of course, I don't remember.


Mr & Mrs Potato from early times
Earth Day will soon be upon us and I'm excited to see the new Big Cats movie to celebrate it.  Last Earth Day I was chosen by our local television station to be interviewed as an artist who uses recycled items in their creations.  So, in memory of this I have brought up my last grocery sack of vintage potato mashers to start to decorate for the show at the end of this month.  They are such fun to create with and I have some potato chip fabric that will work nicely for wings.  Hey don't laugh...these things are sure sellers.


Well, it's time to get up off my duff and walk into the studio and get to work.  Oh rats!  I see that it's snowing again.  This commute is a killer.


Long Live the Queen of Odd Creations

Monday, April 18, 2011

So What Makes This Day Any Different?

One of the dolls at the Textile Center
Today is National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day, but when you work at home this isn't really much of a change.  Left Brain is convinced I only buy groceries in small amounts so I have a need to shower and dress to run my errands, and he's partially right.
The last couple of days have been in trying to contain myself into finishing projects already in process before jumping into newly inspired ideas from this past weekend. 




The Queen holding court - Jester on the right
We spent last Friday night at the Rossing Ramada where I was able to enjoy my family and darling granddaughters.  This was after dining on Indian food for the first time.  Then we rested up for our whirlwind adventure on Saturday.



The doll I purchased from the Oddest Goddess


The American Craft Council was an incredible experience and my eyes were treated to visual creativity with every step.  I have been making notes and doing sketches to try to capture all the thoughts stirred up from this experience. We met some very fun and inspirational people, most notably the woman who invited my friend to the show...The Oddest Goddess.  This lady is so down to earth and nice, especially after learning her story.  She is the sole support for her husband (who has a brain tumor) and daughter (who also has a brain tumor, genetic), her husband and their child. The artist home schools the 12 year old, does all the cooking and housework due to the illness of the others and creates and sells her dolls.  All with a smile on her face.  


Barb Kobe is one of my favorite doll artists
After leaving that show we went to the Textile Center to catch the last day of the Figuratively Fiber exhibit with some awesome dolls. It was also the day of their garage sale so I left with a tiny harp and fiber renderings.  To say it was a good day is an understatement.


The Oddest Goddess had a doll on display as well as one of my favorite doll makers, Barb Kobe.  I was very inspired by seeing the use of fiber and texture in these creations and am itching to finish up the Kindle covers and such to get back to my main passion...the dolls!


Long Life the Queen of Impatience

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A busy and fulfilling weekend

Friday was much busier than desired, but it all worked out well.  The dryer was delivered and I managed to get most of the mess cleaned up before leaving for my weekend.  It feels so good to get that project wrapped up.
Then it was off to meet my traveling companion for the weekend.


This was a tad unsettling for me as I only really know her name and wave to her from the other side of shul. What might it be like spending that much time so close together?  After about five minutes in the car with her I was relieved to find she was as much a goof ball as I am (and I mean that in a good way) and I knew the weekend was going to be fun...but I had no idea just how much fun.
We got off to a good start and arrived in the cities earlier than I feared my daughter might like as they just got home and we're quite prepared for us to land yet.  So, we did what any good senior citizen does...we went out to supper at 5:00 PM. 
This was my first experience with Indian Cuisine and while I still can't pronounce any of the culinary delights that entered my mouth, I fell totally in love with the mixture of spices and taste sensations.  Since I'm cooking more of my own food now anyway I do believe I see a new cookbook in my future.  Barnes & Noble...here I come.
We spent a delightful evening playing Quelf with my granddaughters during which I was holding a spatula in my right hand and saying "izzle" at the end of each sentence.  My guess is the creators of this board game were quite inebriated at the time of its conception.  But then again, a lot of conceptions start out like that.  The children were then evicted from their bedrooms as we took over (to their delight) and we settled in for the night to get an early start in the morning on our venture to the American Craft Council.  
But, more on that later...I need to go buy a new cookbook and find a goat somewhere.
Long Live the Queen of Unpronouncable Culinary Delights

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Today is National Take a Wild Guess Day

I'm guessing that it's National Take a Wild Guess Day based on the fact it's the deadline for completing tax returns.  Ours have been done for a long time due to Left Brain's diligence.


Yesterday was the weight in at Weight Watchers and I'm down another 2.2 pounds.  Embarrassing as it is, it really helps to strip down naked on the scale.   


Well, today the dryer will be delivered and I have been busy washing walls, filling in nail holes from the cabinets Left Brain helped me remove and  scraping off the wallpaper border.  Whatever possessed me to put up panda bear wallpaper in the laundry room?  I'm sure it seemed like a good idea at the time. I managed to wrestle the old dryer out in the living room to allow some space 'cause I'm not the thin woman I hope to be just yet. While back there I removed the hickory nuts and mouse nest.  Yuck. Thankfully, they were not home and hopefully will not move back in.


After that job was done I changed clothes, fixed my hair as best I could and went off with The Divine Miss M to our garden club meeting.  This is a delightful group of nine women who know how to live...oh yeah, and garden of course.  Our leader is referred to as the Duchess instead of President and we all have a marvelous time eating and talking.  We left there at 10:30 PM and as soon as I was back I switched into my trashy clothes again and painted the area until midnight. Now I'm ready for the delivery of the new one.


The new look will feature cheerful yellow walls so doing laundry will be exciting and fun!  That and I had a surplus of yellow paint left over from the kitchen.  That should look nice with the white washer & dryer and black shelving to hold all my kitchen appliances that never get used because they were stored in the basement.  Stepford Wifes...look out!  Here I come!


Then it's off to the American Craft Council in the Cities with my friend and back on Saturday to continue the projects.  One of these days I need to get rolling again in the studio and finish things up.  So, there will be no new posts until Sunday as The Queen is on a road trip.  Hmmm.  I wonder if Queen trumps Duchess?


Long Live the Queen with yellow paint in her hair!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

And the yard is done!

It was not my plan to finish cleaning the gardens yesterday, but Left Brain was on a roll and was cleaning out the garage, the weather was perfect for it, and well...I simply couldn't find a good excuse.  So, on with the dirty gardening outfit from before and a clean pair of gloves and out the door I went.  I can wallow in substantial filth but cannot stand getting my hands dirty.  Yeah, I know...I'm an embarrassment to my master gardeners.


Left Brain was invaluable in his assistance in hauling away the leaves, withered old stalks, dead grass clippings and miscellaneous garden trash.  He made two loads with our little utility trailer (the size that would carry a motorcycle) to the town compost.  I do compost, but this is waaaay too much for my composter, even as large as it is.  There's still plenty that can be recruited for composting when it gets a bit warmer.  I have two major blisters on the base of my thumbs and muscles aching that I'd long forgotten about.  But it's done!  And that feeling is priceless.
I got so caught up in freshing up things that I decided the blog needed a face lift also.


It also felt good to work hard all day and not notice I'd missed lunch as I was having so much fun.  All I really wanted was water to drink  while working.  I did notice I was very hungry, but that's not an unusual feeling these days.  It was already 3:30 when I came in and by the time I scraped the filth off my body and washed my hair it was 4:00.  First I had to give She Devil her tuna and then I made a big salad for Left Brain and I.  We noshed on that while catching Oprah and then I went back into the kitchen to make the rest of our supper.


Being on Weight Watchers has made me a much better cook and hunger is a great motivator for trying new foods.  I toasted rye bread so it wouldn't get soggy and put some sauerkraut on them while nuking the turkey pastrami and low fat swiss cheese.  Plunked those down on the toast and topped it with my homemade dressing, just catsup, hot sauce and mayo made with olive oil.  It was divine!  And at 12 points it was an extremely filling sandwich and I still have 6 points to spare.  Hmmm.  Should I have the fruit yogurt parfait or a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich?  There is the weigh in tomorrow at noon, but I think I'm doing okay.


The best part of the Weight Watcher online tools is the points tracker.  You enter the foods and it prompts the question as to serving size and calculates the points.  It's very helpful to enter various food options in advance to know how many points will be used.  It makes it much easier and you can create your own recipes by entering the ingredients as well as scoping out restaurant menus in advance.


Long Live the Queen of the Points Plus Calculations

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Continuing on with the Bloody Jack Series

Well, I'm getting to the end of the series and still find them all interesting.  I just finished My Bonny Light Horseman and have started Rapture of the Deep.  I'm going to hate to see this end, I feel like I know these people now.


Left Brain has even referred to me as his own Jacky Faber.  I was quite impressed.  I'm feeling the need to create a pirate doll when I finish this series.  I did design a new cover for people who already have the cover they have purchased through Amazon.


Long Live the Queen of the Kindle



First day of spring clean up

trying to come up through the leaves
It's hot and sticky today and the ground is muddy.  In other words, it's a day tailor made for me.  When I come in from a day in the garden I resemble a driver in a mud rally.  How those other ladies manage in their cute little outfits and clean gloves I'll never figure out.



miniature daffodils
It was only sprinkling a tiny bit and I offered She Devil the opportunity to bask in the sun but after it sprinkles increased she made a bee-line to the door.  Wimp.  I kept rolling and pretty soon it stopped and it was truly glorious, but I couldn't convince her to try it again.  I think she saw the clippers and realized if she was outside I'd probably be clipping out her snags.  Little does she know I'm going to do that anyway - inside or out.


I swept off the deck and rounded up things that needed to be cleaned.  Like that head over there.  Definitely needs a shampoo and facial before she gets hidden in the foliage again.  I like to tuck heads, hands and legs here and there for shock value.


when the foliage grows up to cover
the pondlets it looks much better
Not being able to go out on the main lawn, I restricted my clean up to the areas near the paths, patios, boardwalks, etc.  But I simply had to get the waterfall running!  It was too nice not to do that and the sound is wonderful.  It went well and started right up, which makes me suspicious...but I could use something going right today, so I'll take it.


bloodroot
After showering and starting to write the blog I could hear thunder and a warning siren.  Hmm.  I  put the television on to see if there were any tornado or storm alerts just to be on the safe side.


Well, time for my mid afternoon orange to ward off the hunger pains and then into the kitchen for She Devil's tuna happy hour and to find something to eat with my remaining points.  All in all it's been a most delightful day.


Long Live the Queen of Spring Storms

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Today is National Take a Walk on the Wild Side

This is not me....keep reading.
Maybe it's not actually walking on the wild side, but I'm trying to be conscious of my need for more exercise and have started parking the car further way and therefore walking more.  However, yesterday got a little out of hand. 


No, this is not me on my walk...but I fear that it could be someday if I don't curb things soon.  Keep reading to the end to understand why she's gracing my blog.

the dryer that's leaving us
We recently bought a new front loading washer and I told Left Brain that when the dryer died I want to stack the new one, take the cupboards out of the laundry area and put in some shelving.  The cupboards look real nice, but being short, I mean vertically impaired (must remain PC in the blog) and leaning over a washer/dryer, I can only access the front of the bottom shelf.  If they were stacked I could then put in shelves on the side that I could actually access!  How cool would that be?!
the new washer


Now, Left Brain is a very intelligent man...but he doesn't always think before he speaks.  He said "I think Joe needs a washer, doesn't he?"  Hmmm.  I do recall his friend saying that when we were storing our R-Pod in his barn for the remainder of the winter.  So, I sent a text to my son and asked him and he said sure.  Thank you Joe!  So, now I'm off to buy a dryer and new shelving.


I knew the washer was coming from Home Depot as they had a 10% sale on all their appliances, but I wanted to check the shelving at Wal-Mart first.  So, I shuffled off to Wal-Mart and picked up some more tuna for She Devil (she'll only eat the Great Value brand) and checked out the shelving.  Ooooh.  A black metal one with five shelves for under $50.  That could be good.  But in my mind (weak as it is) I remembered Home Depot had a silver unit that was nice.  So, I headed over to Home Depot.  


After making the arrangements for the dryer I went to look at the shelving.  It was not as tall as I thought - they look much taller when they are raised up to eye level, and it cost more than the one at Wal-Mart.  So...back to Wally World to get the shelves.  Being tired and wanting to get on with it I went through the self check out. Or in this case...the shelf check out.  Hmm.  How to lift this large heavy box to scan it?  Perhaps this was not a good idea.  I got the scanner to beep and gratefully plucked it down in the cart again.  The young woman watching this came over and told me it failed to scan.  She pointed out the code I needed to run past the scanner, so I heisted it up again and dragged it across the scanner.  Finally it beeped, she said it was okay and I plunked it back into the cart.  Then she asked me if I needed any help getting it into the car.  This is where I needed Bill Engvall to step in and say "here's your sign".  She saw me lift it twice and now I might need help?  I declined any assistance and wrestled them into the car.  


Why I decided to check the receipt for the dryer at this moment I'm not sure, but it was a good thing.  I didn't get my 10% off!  So, hot and tired after bench pressing the box of shelving and the fact it hit 81 that day, I trudged back to Home Depot.  After talking to three different people that issued was resolved and the extra money credited back.  I felt a bit like one of those ducks in the carnival games that goes back and forth while people shoot at it.


Now my reward - lunch at Culver's.  I had spent about a half an hour calculating various menu options online before leaving on my expedition, so I was ready.  They were not featuring the stuffed green pepper soup I wanted today, so I had the single hamburger (no mayor or butter) with a side of green beans for a total of 11 points.  Kind of high (total points for the day are 29), but it worked.  I had had a banana as my mid morning treat so was doing okay.


Last stop of the day...Festival Foods for more fruit and my new friend, Greek yogurt.  I was nervous after being so hungry yesterday, but I think I figured out that I need to eat the fruit and veggie snacks that are zero points before I feel the hunger pains - that way my stomach is happier all the time and I don't feel so desperate.  If my stomach ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.


not her, but the same view
While shopping for my yogurt I noticed a heavy set lady (fatter than me, so that was satisfying) clad in an outfit better suited for Paris Hilton.  The top was very clingy and there was a lot to cling on to.  That was bad enough, but the skirt.  OMG!  The skirt (black, so it appeared more slimming I suppose) was so short that when she bent forward to place items in her cart it raised up enough to see some very fleshy buttocks.  I was being mooned right in the dairy aisle.
It was the same sort of phenomena where you drive past a car wreck  and you don't really want to look and yet you can't peel your eyes away.    Part of me wondered if she had no underwear or was wearing a thong and the other part of me was repulsed by either option.  


It was a very sobering wake up call.  I began chanting (silently...I hope)  "I will not exceed my points..I will not exceed my points"  as I grabbed my yogurt like it was a lifeline.  Maybe it was the shock to my corneas, but my vision was magically enhanced and I noticed that there were flavors of the Greek yogurt also, with fruit already in there.  Wow!  I took several kinds to try and pulled in my stomach (as much as possible) and proudly wheeled my cart of healthy choices to the check out.


Please don't feel badly about my comments regarding this lady.  I don't like to bad mouth people, but this was ridiculous.  I would never subject the sight of my flab to anyone else.  Hey...if I can't stand to look at it, why should you?  


Long Live the Queen of Greek Yogurt.

Monday, April 11, 2011

National Siblings Day

April 10th is National Siblings Day and although I don't have any myself, I know others do...so I've posted some sibling photos to enjoy.


This first one is a pair of green herons we saw in the nest while in Florida.  They just weren't getting along well at all...much bickering and fighting.  


That reminded me of my own dear grandchildren, who occasionally share a different point of view but mainly get along great.  Judging from the elbow in her sisters neck and unnatural smile I believe this shot just broke up a dispute over some food.  That's probably what those birds were locking beaks over also.


This isn't my photo, but is one of many from the vast data banks of the internet.  This shows sibling love at it's best.


Long Live the Queen of Only Children

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Memories...I think that's what it was...I forget

I'm sure many of you out there can relate to this song.  It's been out on You Tube for a while, but a friend of mine just shared it with me recently and I really enjoyed seeing it again.  I forgot what it had been like before....need I say more.  I've also saved it on one of my Pages below so you can view it any time.  Enjoy...




I'm hungry!

Give me more food and no one will get hurt!
So far my journey into the land of the thin has gone well.  I marveled at how at ease I am with the Weight Watcher point system, why...there's no hunger at all.  This is too easy!  Until today.  No amount of food I dump down my throat is satiating my desire for more.


Breakfast of dry Honey Nut cheerios went well, which is my normal fair.  I eat them dry because then I don't have to fend off She Devil in her attempt to overcome me and take off with the milk.  That and I don't care for milk much anyway, so it wasn't that hard.  It also allows me the ability to play computer games with my right hand while eating small bites of cheerios with the left hand.  




For lunch I went to Pickerman's, my favorite soup place in the whole world.  Hmmm.  They did have some low calorie options but I read the nutritional info and punched in the data on my trusty Weight Watcher points plus calculator and determined I would indeed treat myself to my usual.  I love all their soups and today was the potato cream cheese soup and yes, I had the multi hearth grain bread that comes with it.  Good fiber and all that.  I usually get a double chocolate cookie (or two or three) and I did manage to pass on that option. As I told the owner, "I can give up chocolate, pizza, french fries and ice cream...but do NOT try to step between me and my potato soup".  It was yummy and very satisfying.  Then I ran around looking for a dryer and some shelving, stopped at Hancock Fabrics and then got more groceries and went home.


My Lord but I'm hungry!  When I got home I prepared myself four stalks of celery with natural peanut butter and raisins for some 'ants on a log' snack.  That helped.  Then I counted out the 24 roasted almonds allowed as a single serving and that kind of helped.  But I'm still not satisfied.


I spent about an hour entering my daily intake in the online tracking provided by Weight Watchers and figured out how to add in my own recipes, which is pretty slick.  You put in the ingredients and select the amounts, tell it how many servings it makes and it computes the points.  Starting this system is a bit of an effort, but it will get easier as time goes on.  Yikes!  I only have 3 points left.


That amount correlates to my Yogurt parfait, so I ran out into the kitchen and prepared this, using up the last of my yogurt.  I've never liked yogurt and recall making some rather rash statements about things I'd rather eat than put that slime in my mouth.  Add to that my opinions of people who eat granola and this meal is a pretty humbling experience.  I mixed up my plain, non-fat Greek yogurt (because this has twice the protein of other yogurt) with a small amount of sugar to cut the bitterness and then added some blueberries and sliced banana and topped it off with my granola.  Nothing has ever tasted so good!  I've always loved Greek food, but never really considered this in that category.  Absolutely yummy and I've made it to 6:00.  


When I'm sleeping I don't think about food
When Left Brain got home from work I asked him to fix himself something for supper as I couldn't bear to look at more food that was off limits.  He heated up some of the spinach mushroom egg bake from the day before (only 150 calories) and was fine.  I went to bed about 8:00 and read my Kindle for an hour or so and then listened to the thunderstorm until I fell asleep.


My good friend, the Divine Miss M, sent this to me and I will be heeding it's advice: 
I figured out why I'm so fat! The shampoo I use in the shower that runs down my body says "for extra volume and body". I'm going to start using Dawn dish washing soap. It says "dissolves fat that is otherwise difficult to remove"


Long Live the Queen of Humble Pie, however many points THAT is.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Living at the WalMart

I found this You Tube video while living in our canned ham this winter in Florida.  Now I find myself humming it every time I go there...which is much less often than while camping.






Long Live Queen of the WalMart Shoppers

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Tote Bags are Done!

I've been working around the clock to finish up the inventory before the first show at the end of this month, and they are finally ready.  The first one you see here is done in a quilting theme.


I love making these, but I also love gardening season, so I'm happy to have them done.




Once the ground is hard enough to support my weight, I'm out there!  Hmmm...when I weigh less can I get outside earlier.  Now there's an incentive to lose the weight fast!


This bag is done primarily in black and white with splashes of red, green & yellow.  I call it "these are a few of my favorite things"


Each tote bag is quilted and lined with a coordinating color or theme.

Because I need lots of places to keep things, each one has two roomy inside pockets and one decorative outside pocket.

The inside pockets are also made of a coordinating four patch.


They are handy for just about anything from outings to hauling groceries.

This bag is perfect for wine lovers with all the wine and cork fabric used.

It's a good way for me to use my favorite fabrics as it only uses a 5" square in the construction.



I like to keep one by the back door to drag all my crap to and from the car.  They are especially nice for bus trips and the like to have everything close at hand.

This is done in a black and white with red theme to match my Kindle cover.  It's not the bag that I will be making to match the Kindle covers...those are much smaller.

This last bag is one of my simpler designs and has no inside pockets, but I wanted to show the possibilities here.  I did this tote bag as a commissioned order incorporating the artists painting of a bear with coordinating fabrics of her choice.  I then stitched over the photo fabric to add dimension to the picture.  It was a fun project and could be done with photos of children or pets also.


They are all constructed of 100% cotton with a heavy interfacing to keep their shape (if it were only that easy to keep one's shape) and are machine washable.

Long Live the Queen of Tote Bags
















Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lunch time for eagles



It's been so much fun watching the eagles with their new three chicks. After attending my second Weight Watcher meeting today I found I successfully lost 2.2 pounds. I was so nervous about doing the weigh in for fear I would not have lost anything and that would have felt devastating. I learned about the new Points Plus system of keeping track of what I eat and all I could think about while watching the eagle mom pull off chunks of dead fish and squirrel in the nest was how many points that might be.

Queen of the Weight Watchers

Oh, TODAY is National No Homework Day. Ooops!

Well!  That was embarrassing!  I posted todays topic yesterday because I couldn't remember what day it was. Dag nabbit!  Now I can't do my housework today, either.  Oh well...I'll just have to get by somehow.  


But, the Kindle covers are finished  and ready for their debut. Each one is heavily padded and has an inside pocket and decorative flap on the front to keep it secured. 




This is done in a red hat theme
The inside corners hold it in place.  Custom orders are available in whatever colors or special theme you might like.  








There will be carrying bags coming to coordinate or match that could double as a small purse. 






I know I enjoy taking mine with me to restaurants when I'm dining alone and all I need is a little cash and my keys.  Where did I put those keys again?




Cat theme in black and white...it's the cat's meow
Being forgetful is not an odd thing for me.  I had to ask someone in the checkout line yesterday if it was 2010 or 2011.  It kind of slipped my mind.  




Good gift for those quilters that love reading
When you're retired you lose track of things...the date, your keys, where the car is parked, did I put pants on before leaving the house...that kind of thing.






Another quilting theme
I only left the house once without pants, but that was while in the midst of a deep depression. Thank goodness I'd forgotten my keys and when I patted my pants pocket to see if they were there... I hit skin. 




Boy..I can just picture me explaining that to the nice officer when pulled over for speeding.  I like to always have a creative story ready in case it happens.  And in case Left Brain is reading this..it hasn't ever happened...hardly.


In case you are forgetful also, you can put an information card in the inside pocket.  In fact, I'll prepare one for you (if I remember) and have it ready for you.  That way, should you ever leave your Kindle behind, the card will enable the finder to locate you for it's safe return.


Long Live the Queen of...something...I forget