Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1.  I read two "Ten on Tuesday" posts in my Google Reader today from people who hadn't posted for a long time.  It reminded me...I haven't posted in a long time. 

2.  It seems like a long summer, I think because Daylight Savings Time started so early.  Then the days became incredibly long with daylight from 5:00-ish a.m. until 9 p.m.  Now they're finally getting shorter, and it makes me sad.  I love long summer days.

3.  Loving long summer days aside...I hope we've seen the last of the 100-degree days for 2012. 

4.  I just got notified by My Fitness Pal that I have logged in now for 70 days in a row.  That's when I got disgusted with myself for how fat I am and started my 1,055th diet (or so it seems).  Actually, I should say "get healthy plan" instead of "diet" because that day, 70 days ago, I began with simply resolving to log my food every day and NOT CHEAT.  Baby steps.

5.  The Monday after I started logging my food again, I went for a walk.  (I start a lot of things on Mondays that I quit doing by Friday.)  This particular Monday (June 4th), I walked through a shopping center near my house and found StarFit Studio.  Something written on the door caught my eye ("small group training for women"), and I backed up...and went in.  It was a new fitness club (opened in November, 2011) which is just what it says it is - training for women, in small groups.  One trainer working with up to 4 women at a time.  The next day, I went there for a free trial, after which I signed up for a three-month period.  The next day after that, I began a new journey.

6.  Since June 6th, I have lost 15.6 pounds.

7.  I fully intend to continue at StarFit Studio beyond the three months.  I chose a short period to start with in order to see if I could stick with it.  I can.

8.  Losing weight at 57 years old is HARD.  Did I mention StarFit Studio has a nutrition counselor, though?  It does.  And she's awesome.  I have to follow 10 rules for eating, and they are mostly simple but of course, the hard ones are REALLY hard.

9.  Probably the thing that has helped me the most is trying to reduce my sodium intake to 1500 mg a day.  Because to do that, you have to cut out eating so much processed food.  Clever, that Michelle, NOT telling me to cut out processed food but instead telling me to cut my sodium down to 1500 mg a day.  See? that way, I figured out my own self to stop eating so much processed food!

10.  Sugar is still a problem for me, and Starbucks Frappuccinos (the ones in the bottle, not the ones made for you at Starbucks).  I have cut my consumption of Frappuccinos way down, though.  I am out of them right now, so am experimenting with making my own, lighter version.  It helps that my nieces gave me a milk frother for Mother's Day last year. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Take Twelve - May


MOTHER'S DAY 2012
01 - My dogwood tree is in bloom.  Last year, it was covered with blooms, but this year they are sparse. 
02 - Mailing my Mother's Day cards after midnight on May 9th/10th.  (They made it by the 12th!)
03 - Picture of my mom and me, ca. 1959, that I used for my Facebook banner this week.
04 - Bunny in my overgrown back yard.  I really need to mow the grass.  :-)
05 - A glimpse of my car, a red 2000 Honda CRV--which this week hit the 100,000 mile mark.
06 - The George Washington Masonic Temple happens to sit across from the King Street Amtrak station.  I was there 2x this week, dropping off and picking up.
07 & 08 - A lizard on the window screen provided much amusement for my cat, Ella, on Saturday.
09 & 10 - At the Burke Petco, where Hank the Cat (candidate for Virginia Senate) made an appearance on Mother's Day.  Hank has raised a lot of money for animal welfare groups, including Animal Allies, a group I volunteer for.
11 - Evening in my neighborhood.
12 - Watching the finale for Survivor One World on Sunday night.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Take Twelve - April

01-The azaleas in my back yard are in full bloom. Since they are only in bloom for about a week the entire year long, this is definitely a picture to include in this month's twelve.

02-Self-portrait in the mirror at Hot Bagel, where I had breakfast at 1 p.m. today (yes, breakfast).

03-Not pretty spring shoes but what I was wearing, nonetheless. It is chilly lately. And on the ground are pink petals that will soon multiply and cover my entire yard--the next-door neighbor's fully bloomed tree is losing leaves. I'm no gardener, so I don't know what it's called, but it's another of those lasts-only-about-a-week type of blooming tree that we have so much of around here.

04-Dogwood tree in front of my house. Just a week ago, the tree looked bare and the leaves were barely starting to bud. The green and foliage has sort of exploded this week.

05-The high school next door to my complex is selling flowers, as they do every year around this time.

06-At Nall's Produce, a vintage tractor is displayed along with old Radio Flyer wagons (for hauling plants to your car). I usually go to Nall's in the fall to photograph fall colors. First time I've done this in the spring.

07-Nall's had some fresh produce in, as well as preserves made from fruit grown locally. Screaming Hornets salsa and cherry salsa were items I had never seen before.

08-At Barnes & Noble, they had a display of Titanic books. This week marks 100 years since it sank. My cousin Sherri, whose birthday is April 15--the day of the sinking--is currently on a Titanic Memorial Cruise and is to have arrived at the crash site this evening at the exact time the Titanic went down. This is right up Sherri's alley, and I can't wait to hear about her trip when she gets back.

09-At Mount Calvary where I attend church, the sign announces this week's gospel concert featuring the Proclaimer's Quartet. We have gospel "singings" once a month, usually the first Friday--but we scheduled it this year the second week so as not to have it on Good Friday. As it was, we had a funeral held at our church on Good Friday.

10-In the little cemetery beside our church, this grave is new. An elderly member of our church died last week and was buried here.

11-A marker in the cemetery that looks summery--like an Easter basket.

12-Another self-portrait--me and my friend Kathy F.--now retired and living in another state. She has been visiting for a few days and staying with another friend. Tonight we all had dinner together before she has to return to her home on Saturday.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Take Twelve Challenge - March


What's this? TWO sets of March Take Twelve pictures? Er...yes. Except the top set was actually taken on the 14th, and that was the set I submitted to the Ella Publishing and Flickr Take Twelve sites.

I was disappointed in myself for the pictures I actually took on March 12th (bottom set). It was beautiful weather all week, and I didn't go anywhere except out to eat for lunch. Then I took some pictures of boarded-up houses near the place where I ate. (I wouldn't have even taken though if not for the Take Twelve challenge. Doubtful I'll ever be glad I took those, but we'll see.)

Anyway, on the 14th--which was the same kind of day, weather-wise, beautiful and 80 degrees--I drove to Huntley Meadows, a wetlands park near my home, and walked. It's a favorite place to walk, because walking can be boring--especially if you walk around your own housing development, over and over again. If you walk at Huntley Meadows over and over, though, it's rarely the same old thing. Different birds, reptiles, insects, etc., EVERY DAY. Occasionally, a deer or two. This time of year, the place is humming with activity. I should have gone there on the 12th, but I didn't. So I made up for it on the 14th, and I was WAY more pleased with those pictures.

All of the pictures at Huntley Meadows are of Huntley Meadows, but the others taken on the actual day of March 12th are as follows:

01 - My new Fitbit (fancy pedometer that also measures stairs and sleep! And chats with you!)
02 - It was in the 30's in the morning...
03 - Socks, mated up and ready for the laundry.
04 - Ella wants Missy's food.
05 - I had the Walker Grille to myself since I arrived at 1:35 p.m.
06 - Why I went to Walker Grille--buffalo chicken strips and blue cheese dressing. Yum!
07 - Boarded-up houses near the Walker Grille.
08 - Soon to be demolished house.
09- Tracking my daily food via My Fitness Plan - which syncs with my Fitbit.
10 - Missy, my foster kitty, is still with me (since September 2011).
11 - Reading "The Hunger Games" which I borrowed for free thanks to Amazon Prime.
12 - 30's in the morning, 70's in the afternoon. We're having a not-at-all-typical March!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Take Twelve Challenge - February


01 - Washington Post today: Whitney Houston has died.
02 - A dusting of snow...and animal prints on my deck.
03 - Comparing prints.
04 - Breakfast on the day after a birthday celebration.
05 - Men's chorus rehearsing before church.
06 - Some Valentines for the ladies at Sunday School.
07 - "Be Your Own Valentine"
08 - Don, the coffee man.
09 - Valentine's brunch after church.
10 - The men made waffles, sausage & bacon and served the ladies.
11 - Watching the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix.
12 - It was COLD all day today.

Take Twelve Challenge - January

01 - START-ing my day at the microwave.
02- Ella wants the blinds open.
03- Breakfast time - the vultures are circling.
04 - Blue skies today.
05 - Unpacking from kitchen remodeling.
06 - Grapefruit spoons going to thrift shop.
07 - Current foster kitty, Missy.
08 - Unseasonably warm in Alexandria today.
09 - From Amazon, my Project Life signature binders I ordered!
10 - This week's Project Life layout, in progress.
11 - Ella, playing in the partially refilled recycle bag.
12 - Sunset over Hayfield View.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Things



Last year, I participated (for a while) in a challenge called "New 52" where you tried something new every week and then blogged about it, with pictures. I think I got less than 10 before I stopped blogging them, but I continued to follow the blogs of some other participants--and occasionally, I did do new things; I just didn't blog them. I'm bad about that--when I get behind, I just don't do.

So this year instead of 52 new things, I'm just going to blog about new things. At the end of the year, we'll see how many I come up with. :-)

Today, I did TWO new things that I had been wanting to try for a long time:

1) I tried Ruby Tuesday's Sunday brunch. It was just okay. I wouldn't go there again unless they change their menu. They are ambitious--the menu items present well on the menu, but what I had (mini benedicts with steak) were, shall I say, bland? And they are still hyping their garlic-cheese biscuits--this time as the first course of a three-course brunch, and I HATE those. Ruby Tuesday's is the only restaurant I have ever gone to that has bread that is actually bad-tasting, and it is those garlic-cheese biscuits. Too garlicky, not cheesy enough, and they are dry. The hollandaise sauce tasted more like gravy. The scrambled eggs were bland. And there weren't enough breakfast-ey accompaniments, such as bacon, sausage, etc. Like, they would offer you the salad bar with French toast. Blech.

2) I went to National Harbor! The statue of "The Awakening" that was at Hains Point for so long was moved to National Harbor, and I've been wanting to see it in its new setting ever since I heard about it. (It was constantly under water at Hains Point whenever there were heavy rains.) It was 60 degrees today, and National Harbor is just over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. And my one little word is ACT!!!

I got a great metered parking space two blocks from the waterfront, and it was $3 to park for an hour, but my meter had 33 minutes left on it. I thought it might have been enough time but didn't want to risk it so I put money in--and it took credit cards! (Another new thing--I paid a meter with a credit card, LOL!) It's a good thing, though, because I was gone a good hour, at least, if not more. On the way back, I browsed in the Peeps store, and I bought 3 boxes of beanie Peeps! They will be great Easter basket stuffers, and the reason I didn't just come back closer to Easter to get them is because they were 40% off today! I also got some stickers and some sticky notes (with Peeps on them) for my Project Life album. All were 40% off.

Desktop Wallpaper for January 1, 2012


This is my kitchen on January 1, 2011.

Changes coming in 2012...and SOON, to this kitchen. Stay tuned. :-)

Happy New Year 2012!!!!

My one little word this year is "act", as in do - don't think about getting it done, act on it. And seeing this almost seven-year-old picture of myself that I am currently using as my Facebook profile picture, I think, ACT your age. LOL! (Is it wrong to wish I had some glowsticks right now?)

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Better luck next year?

Another blogger wrote an interesting end-of-year recap using just the first line of her blog posts from the first post of each month. I thought I would check and see what mine were...and there was only January, February, March, and October! My last post was on October 30th.

I'm not going to apologize for what I failed to write on my own blog, or for not keeping up...it IS "my" blog, so...it is what it is.

But I do like projects. I failed at last year's "New 52" project...er, sort of. I stopped doing it, but I am glad for the experience, and I did think about it throughout the year even when I wasn't actively still doing the projects. It made me more aware to try something new, and often.

So this year, I'm going to set a simple goal: write a blog post at least every month. That shouldn't be so hard, should it? But if it falls by the wayside, as so many previous attempts have, I may just give up on blogging altogether. Despite my love of journaling, keeping records, taking pictures, etc....I don't seem to have taken to blogging the way others have. I LOVE to read blogs and have a long list of them I read regularly in my Google Reader. But MY blog? It still doesn't know what it wants to be.