Monday, February 10, 2014

Another Post of Eclectic Ramblings.....

I love snow, but come on Ohio......

Since the start of the new year, I've learned to hate the color white. 
That's Maggie's trails in the
I don't think I'm alone on this either.  Ohioans, hell probably the whole Midwest and East coast combined, must now hate the color white.  Seriously, wherever you look, white.  Two feet of white in my front yard. 

Driving in my home town now brings back memories of riding with my kids in the little turnpike cars at Cedar Point.  You have to stay in the little grooves or your car would hit that strip in the middle and bounce you back.
Remember these?

I drove in a single lane alley the other day and had to really concentrate on those two tire tracks in the snow cause if I veered just a hair either way, my car would rub against the 4 foot drift of plowed snow on either side of me or the 6" band running under my car.                                                   

Maggie still loves it.

She jumps and runs and rolls in it, buries her nose in it, and with her belly dragging in the snow, chases her Frisbee where ever the wind carries it. 

My 12 year old baby:
Sweet Pea

This is the queen of the her eyes.  And she's never been outside so snow means nothing to her. 

She won't drink out of the right side of the water bowl.  If the left side is empty, she will lay there till I see her and refill it.  Weird!

In my head:

Last week I told my friend I was going to join the Senior Center.  Then I caught my breath and said "Did I just say that?"  I never thought I'd be old enough to join a senior center.  I mean I knew I would age but that was always in the future.  Well, guess what, the future is here. 

In my head I'm still reality I'm 65.
In my head I can still reality I look like a fool (but Maggie loves it)
In my head I can still sing reality I can't seem to carry a tune anymore.
In my head I can still play reality I suck at the angles
In my head I can still run and reality I can barely walk my dog around the block without my hip hurting.
In my head I can still roller reality I had to hold on to the rail for the first hour.  My kids did I...but in my head I wasn't.
In my head I'm still a size reality I have loved chocolate and ice cream too many times so I'm joining the senior center to use their exercise equipment.

So I need to get out of my head and enjoy the reality that I need to find other things I can still do because it could be a whole lot worse.

At least I woke up on the right side of the dirt.

"But I'm kind of comfortable with getting older because it's better than the other option, which is being dead. So I'll take getting older." ~ George Clooney

God Bless The Make-A-Wish Foundation:

Over the weekend I got to attend a University basketball game that honored my great-grandson.  Cooper has had two brain surgeries to remove a tumor but neither time could they get it all.  He has had multiple side-effects from his surgeries, one being some hearing loss, another being meningitis. 

Since the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to not just those children who have a terminal illness, but also those with life-threatening diagnoses, Cooper and his family are going to Disney World!!  The proceeds from the weekend game and another game last month are going towards this wish. 

The girls basketball team also gave him a new bike which brought a big smile to his face.  And the boys team let him lead the starters through the tunnel with his name and stats being broadcast.  It was a wonderful day!!!  Cooper had the time of his life. 

Quotes of the Day:

Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by it's ability to climb a tree,  it will live its whole life believing it is stupid. ~ /Albert Einstein

A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water. ~ Carl Reiner 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Just to Recap....

The Weekend Before Christmas Eve:

We made it through Christmas with just a few minor issues...the biggest being the FLOOD!! We should be used to it by now but it still is a shock to see how far the water can go when it overflows its banks. 
 It didn't used to flood this often or this badly but some years back the city decided to add a new subdivision in what was an area that the river would run into when it rained a lot.  And if that wasn't enough, then they built a WalMart on the other side of town in another area that the river favored when the banks would overflow.  You can tell from these pictures where the river now has decided to go.  All the additions including a new highway south of town has just made it so much worse for the residents of our little town.  So now, usually once or twice a year, this is what we have to put up with.

And then the waters receded....

And then came Christmas Eve:

We had a wonderful family Christmas Eve at my son and daughter-in-law's house and all but 7 of our family were able to make it.  Just thought I'd show off my family to my readers.

                               I am so proud to be the matriarch of this wonderful bunch of kids. 

 Looking Back:

Usually looking back at the end of the year means you're going back over the past 12 months and all that has stood out as important.  But I'd like to do something a little different.  A friend posted some pictures that brought back a lot of memories and I thought I'd share them. 

Are you old enough to remember any of these?

 Back in the 50's my mother would put my hair up in pin curls.  But it took so long that I'd get antsy and would wiggle around on the stool.  Eventually Mom would get ticked off and throw the hairbrush.  And every time she did, it broke.

We went through a lot of hairbrushes when I was little.

When I was in Jr. High (early 60's) my girlfriend and I would go to the local skating rink. 
It was the same rink my parents used to skate at  back in the 40's.  Mom and Dad were quite the skating couple. 

They did all that fancy stuff where Dad would pick Mom up over his head while skating around and they'd do tricks.  Too bad I didn't get to see that.  But I could imagine it.

A little secret that no one else knows?  That same girlfriend and I would sometimes collect tiny little toads and have races with them.  I has nothing to do with skating....just a random thought that came into my eclectic brain.

Does anyone remember these?  Metal glasses.  We had a set exactly like this when I was growing up.  I loved having Pepsi with lots of ice in mine. 

In fact, I liked these glasses so much that when I saw them in a retro catalog a few years ago, I had to have them.  I still love drinking Pepsi with lots of ice in them...haha

When I was in high school, in the 60's, this was the only way to dry hair. 
You had to roll your hair in curlers, usually big ones, then sit with this contraption on your head with the heat swirling around inside, probably causing brain least in my case... 

One Saturday I was getting ready to go out and meet some friends and I was in a hurry.  I had my bath ready (we didn't have a shower, just an old claw foot bathtub) and my hair was washed and set in curlers.  I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone so I put on the hair dryer and stepped into the tub. 

The shock I felt jolted through my entire body and I instinctively yanked off the dryer and threw it across the room.  What was I thinking? 

I guess I thought because the cap was plastic and the wires in the tube were covered in plastic, I would be safe.  Or more likely,  I just didn't think at all.  Yea, that's probably the real answer.

 This was the first job I had.  Yep, I was a car hop.  I hooked the tray with the food and drinks on the windows of cars.  No, I didn't have roller skates or sing or dance.  I just delivered food.  But I enjoyed it. 

We have a root beer stand, the BK, in our town where they still use these trays on the window and the root beer comes in icy glasses.

When I got a little older and started having my kids, we still used cloth diapers that had to be folded to fit the baby.  And then we used these horrible torture devices they called diaper pins.  I stuck my poor babies more times then I can count. 

My first 3 children all got poked with the pins but by the time my 4th child was born, someone had invented disposable diapers.  She lucked out...she just never realized it.

And my last little memory that I'm sharing today is one that I'm almost embarrassed to admit to.

 If you're too young to remember this, it is a tape recorder.  You could either put in a blank tape and record on it or you could put in a tape that had stuff on it and listen to it.  I was on the road every day with my job and would think of all kinds of things I wanted to remember.  So my Dad bought me a smaller version of this so I could talk into it and play it back when I was at home.  But the tape was tiny so I either had to erase what was on it to reuse it or buy more tapes.

That was many years ago.  I haven't had a tape recorder since.

One day, a couple years ago, I decided I needed one again so I went to Best Buy and asked the young sales clerk where I could find a tape recorder.  He had no idea what I was talking about.  So I had to describe what I wanted it take with me in the car, to talk into while I was driving and to listen to when I got home.  Oh, he said, you mean a voice recorder.  A what?  He showed me what he had and guess what?  No tapes...and it fit in my hand...but I guess I'm the only one that didn't know that.

And that's the end of my little trip down memory lane.  If you're old enough to remember any of these I hope the pictures brought back memories for you like they did for me.

Quotes of the Day:

"Remember, if Christmas isn’t found in your heart, you won’t find it under a tree.”
~ Charlotte Carpenter

“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”   ~  Karl Lagerfeld

If you don't do anything stupid when you're young, you won't remember something funny when you're old.  ~  Unknown

“We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they're called memories. Some take us forward, they're called dreams.” ~ Jeremy Irons


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas is Coming!!

Christmas brings lots of good things! 

Well, Mother Nature brought us a white Christmas and then some.  My little city had 6" dumped on us last weekend.  And I loved it!! 
 I'm so happy that I now have a really nice neighbor.  I shoveled his walk and mine in the morning, then he shoveled both at lunch.  Well, it was still snowing, so I shoveled both in the afternoon and then he shoveled for the last time around supper.  Lots of snow and lots of shoveling, but it's so beautiful...and it is Ohio after all.  We're sort of used to this.

Maggie loves the snow even more than I do.  So we spent most of these snow days playing Frisbee outside until I get so cold I can't stay out anymore.
I know she's covered in lots of hair, but for crying out loud, you'd think she'd get cold sometime...hahaha
The only thing that will bring her in willingly is when she gets snow balls stuck in her toes and the pads of her feet. 

Christmas Spirit at Work

I saw something last week that warmed my heart.  Something I haven't been able to stop thinking of.  I was in a line of bumper to bumper cars in the mall area...lots of Christmas shoppers.  Traffic wasn't traveling very fast.
This was a weekday and the roads were packed with cars.  Anyway, we were stopped at a light and I was in the inside lane.  I noticed an elderly man on the side of the road by the curb.  He was sitting in an old lawn chair in the snow with a sign.  I couldn't read the sign except for the word "food". 

We had been stopped at a light and when the traffic  started moving again, a truck in the curb lane stopped, holding up all the cars behind him, and waited as the man struggled to get out of the chair.  With a cane to help him, he hobbled over to the truck and I saw the person in the truck hand him some money, oblivious to the traffic he was holding up.  As he slowly moved his truck forward, the car behind him stopped and did the same thing.  My lane was moving but I could see this happening in my rear view mirror.  My chest filled with so much emotion...I wish I could have been in the curb lane...or thought to just get out of my car and give him something to help. 

I see this on TV, homeless people in the big cities, and I understand how great the need is.  And I know our little town has homeless people but they're not out in the open where we're reminded every day that our community isn't doing enough.  This elderly gentleman and the good Samaritans who were compelled to help has stuck with me.  I hope the next time, I'll be in a position to help too.  It was truly Christmas spirit at work and it warmed my heart.

But I live in Ohio...

Within just a matter of days, our temps rose, the snow melted and it began to rain...and rain...and rain.  More than 3" of rain fell in one day, which for most people wouldn't mean much.  But for those of us around the Blanchard means another, yes another, flood.  So as I type this, I'm waiting to hear how many roads are closed, how far over the banks the river has gone, how high will it be when it finally crests overnight tonight, and most important to me personally...I keep listening for my sump pump to kick back on.
This is a picture of our little town a few years back after a devastating flood.  Looking at this, maybe you can understand why the locals get a little antsy whenever a major rain is forecast...especially when there's 5" of snow to melt and run into the river too. 

And next week, temps in the 20's?  That can only mean freezing flood waters.  But then I live in NW Ohio, I'm sort of used to it...sigh.

Quotes of the Day:

A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water. - Carl Reiner

Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store. - Dr. Seuss
Weather forecast for tonight: Dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning. ~ George Carlin

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's Been Over A Year....Whoa!!

Well, hello again!

First I'd like to say that time has flown by so quickly that it doesn't seem like it's been over a year since I've posted.  I never meant for that much time to speed by...but it has...and to my regular readers...I'm sorry. 

I found myself caught up in my new business...carnival life...then working full time throughout the winter at a "regular job" and before I knew it, another season of festivals, crafts shows and fairs had started. 

Well, some things have changed and I am no longer working full-time through the winter so I can finally take a breath and get back to blogging.

To those of you who have continued to come to my page and read the random thoughts that run through my head...I thank you. 

Now down to business, or rather whatever random thoughts I have rattling in my head today.

Winter Blahs:

I spent the last week under the fact I was sooo under the weather I couldn't even get outside to enjoy the last couple of warm (30*?) days.  For 8 days I ached, coughed, blew my nose, moaned, whined and just generally was a miserable person.  I didn't even want to be around me.  But time and chicken soup and blankets and tissues took care of me and now I'm back to normal.  Just in time for the snow and temps in the teens. 
But that's okay cause I love the snow.  But with the chill factor 11* I couldn't throw the Frisbee for Maggie for very long.

Breaking down the past year:

A couple things have happened in the last year that I wanted to mention because they were good things and I love good things. 

In 2012 my daughter, Amy, helped me with the concession stand but with her work schedule she just couldn't commit to all the shows I wanted to sign up for.  I needed someone to help and help came
along.  My future son-in-law actually decided to go into business with me.  Now I have a partner. :) Plus he can do all the heavy things that I struggle with like lifting and hooking up the propane tanks, climbing on top of the trailer to set up the sign and lights and drive the big old truck...whew!  We had almost twice as many shows this past summer (2013) as we did the year before and we had so much fun. 

Another really good thing?  I finally was able to quit smoking! I've smoked since I was 14 yrs old so if you're trying to figure out what that means, it's been 51 years of being hooked on cigarettes.  I've been experiencing what I think are some symptoms of emphysema - lots of coughing, out of breath simply climbing the stairs and no energy.  I've tried cold turkey, the patch and Chantix twice, but nothing helped.  I enjoyed smoking so even with help I wasn't going to be able to quit without the right mindset.  Then I met a woman at one of our craft shows that was using an electronic cigarette.  After pumping her with all sorts of questions, I went right out the next day and bought the same one she was using.  Not one of the cheap ones in the drug stores but a good one. 
The Talon from

This is the kit I bought and it came with everything I needed to quit.  They matched me up with a liquid they thought would be similar to my brand.  From the first trial puff in the store, I knew this would work.  It tasted and felt like I was smoking my regular brand.  That was the first weekend in May and now, 7 months later, I'm still using it.  Since that first puff I haven't had one cigarette.
There is nicotine in the liquid that I've chosen (there are some without it) but I did my research and nicotine is not a carcinogen. It's the chemicals in the cigarettes that are the problem. 

Will I be hooked on this since it does have nicotine?  Probably, but this one's not going to kill me. So for those who enjoy smoking too much to be able to quit, this may just be the solution for you.

Okay, I'm getting down from my platform now and moving on...

Quotes of the Day:

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. ~ Groucho Marx

By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day. ~ Robert Frost

Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times. ~
Mark Twain

Friday, June 28, 2013

Coming back soon

Just stopping in to say that I'm going to be coming back...I promise.  To those of you who continue to find my blog and read and comment, I thank you.  And I will be answering you comments first thing.     

For now, please be patient and watch for my comeback.  It'll be sooner than you think.

But for's all folks! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My LIfe, My Grandkids and My Reading

A Bit Of Eclectic Rambling:
This week has been sort of busy. 

I ordered and picked up what food I think I'll need for the Coon Dog Trials this coming weekend....packed it in the freezer in the trailer...hooked it to the truck...then my (future) son-in-law and I were leaving town to set my trailer up at the fair grounds in Lima since all food vendors were to set up on Tuesday.  He was pulling the trailer and I was following.  Before we had gone a block, I noticed something strange with one of the trailer tires.  OMG!!  A huge bulge!  Okay, don't panic.  A quick trip to a tire place, impressed upon him the urgency, got 2 new tires and off again.  Two hours later...all set up for Friday.  After talking to some other vendors I may not have enough food...worrying a little.  But not panicking....

I visited with my youngest, 2 yr old, granddaughter and, because of all the events I'm scheduled to sell food in, it'll be about a month before I have another free weekend to spend with her.  I'm sure she'll grow even more by then.  Isn't she beautiful!!!

Then my other 2 granddaughters spent that last 2 nights with me.  Since their Mom had to work at 7am I was able to let them sleep in a little and then take them to school.  Little girls giggle so much and I love it!  And them!!!!

On the down side, I drained my sad.  This marks the end of summer for me.  No more lazy days of relaxing and floating  in the warm water....I will miss it.  Big tear running down my cheek....

I am itching to get back to my writing...really itching.  Scenarios are playing on fast forward in my mind.  I want to rewrite a little of my finished novel.  And Charlie is scratching and complaining because his story is still in the birthing process.  But my weeks are so busy with my new business until the middle of October that I just haven't had any time to put into working on either novel.  And I'm missing it too.  But come October, time will suddenly open up for me and you can bet I'll be right back where I was before my sudden impulse to change my life.  From October till April, I'll be free to write all  And I need it so much.

I have had a little time to read finally and these are the two I've finished recently....

Defending Jacob by William Landay: 
Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy. Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. Andy must. He’s his father. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble and the trial intensifies, as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own—between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive.

Award-winning author William Landay has written the consummate novel of an embattled family in crisis—a suspenseful, character-driven mystery that is also a spellbinding tale of guilt, betrayal, and the terrifying speed at which our lives can spin out of control.   

This is the premise of the story written on the Amazon books site.  But it doesn't touch the emotional impact this story had on me.  What will a parent do and how far will he go to protect and believe in his only child? 

I have had a few times over the course of raising my children where a parent will tell me something they think my child has done.  Of course I will stand by my child but I always made it clear that if my child did this, and I would find out, they would have to deal with me.  I was not the kind of parent that believed my children were infallible.  I knew they could make mistakes and wrong decisions.

But if someone would have ever accused one of my children of murder, I know I would have fought just as valiantly and believed just as strongly as Andy Barber did in this story. 

This is a must read for anyone and I promise you it will touch you in ways you never felt touched before.  And the ending...well, let me just say...not what I expected...not in my wildest dreams. 

Calico Joe by John Grisham:
Anyone who has ever heard of, or better yet, read any books by John Grisham, knows he's best known for his courtroom dramas.  An excellent writer who caught my eye with his first novel, A Time To Kill, which, by the way, is the best book of his that I've ever read.  And that was before the movie. 

But Calico Joe is so far removed from his normal writing that I almost didn't read it.  I am so glad I didn't listen to myself.  

This story takes place in 1973 when I was a die-hard Dodger fan.  Yep, I loved baseball.  But gradually when my favorite catcher was traded down to the minors because of knee problems and then my first baseman and my left fielder, well, my interest started to wane.  But when Tommy Lasorda retired, that pretty much ended my obsession with baseball. 

In Calico Joe, Grisham takes us back to that time with part truth-part fiction in the story of Joe Castle, a hero among baseball fans everywhere.  Let me add what Amazon has to say about this book: 

A surprising and moving novel of fathers and sons, forgiveness and redemption, set in the world of Major League Baseball…

In the summer of 1973 Joe Castle was the boy wonder of baseball, the greatest rookie anyone had ever seen. The kid from Calico Rock, Arkansas dazzled Cub fans as he hit home run after home run, politely tipping his hat to the crowd as he shattered all rookie records.

Calico Joe quickly became the idol of every baseball fan in America, including Paul Tracey, the young son of a hard-partying and hard-throwing Mets pitcher. On the day that Warren Tracey finally faced Calico Joe, Paul was in the stands, rooting for his idol but also for his Dad. Then Warren threw a fastball that would change their lives forever…

In John Grisham’s new novel the baseball is thrilling, but it’s what happens off the field that makes CALICO JOE a classic. 
I read this book in 2 days.  In fact, I didn't even have time to put it on my blog page in the "what I'm reading" section.  One reason was because its not a long book.  But reason 2 is because it held my attention till the very last page. 

Yes, there is a lot of reference to baseball and if you're not a fan, then this may turn you off.  But I encourage you to continue reading because, like the description above says, its what happens off the field that makes this a down right pleasure to read.   

Both of these books are highly recommended by none other than me, who most of you know usually only reads suspense and thrillers.
Quotes of the Day:
Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book. ~ Author Unknown  

A good book should leave you... slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it. ~ William Styron

Outside a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read. ~ Groucho Marx

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Neighborhood

Changes are coming:
Let me tell you about my neighborhood.  Normally its a nice, quiet place to live.  Not a rich neighborhood, just a simple tree-lined street with old 2-story homes that are kept reasonably nice.  Remember back in the day when neighbors chatted in their front yards or on their porches?  When everyone knew everyone else?  That's this neighborhood. 

A family with teenage girls, a few retirees, a couple single guys...and the house from hell next door.  Yep, next door to me is a house that the whole neighborhood shutters over.  From the day I moved in here, 7 or 8 years ago, there's been people in the house that seem intent on causing one problem or another.  And it's not just me that feels that way.  It's the steady, long-term folks who have been here for years that cringe at the comings and goings over there. 

When I moved in, it was owned and lived in by the neighborhood drunk.  Though he usually kept to himself, he was friendly, but he did love his beer...a little too much.  And his pot.  But he didn't really bother anybody though.  He had a good job with almost 30 years seniority.  He had a fishing boat he took out often and a nice truck.  Then he decided to help out a friend, let the friend move in, and she brought her crack and her customers.  And it became the "crack house".  She got him hooked in less than 6 months, had constant traffic coming and going and the ever-present visits from the police. 

My dog chased a few of their customers out of my yard when they would cut through from the alley on my other side.  A few of them woke me in the middle of the night pounding on his bedroom window wanting to make a buy.  I got vocal a few times ("he's not the only one you're waking up!!") called the police a few times, and cringed when the big white Cadillac from Detroit would show up (their big-time suppliers).  Long story short...he eventually lost his boat, his truck, his job of 30 years...and when he finally went to prison for 2 years, he lost his house too. just two years he lost everything he'd worked 30 years for...all because of crack.

Then the new owner of the house spent a lot of money fixing it up and rented it to a young girl who let her brother turn it into a party house with late night loud parties, fights, broken beer bottles and lots of visits from the police.  They were gone in less than a year. 

Thankfully, he now has another home. 
 And then....the owner rented to my present neighbors.  These are the same ones that had Bronson, the dog who was so badly neglected and the same ones who's bored 2 year old would throw all the toys out the bedroom window into my yard on a daily basis.  They have broken the windows, damaged the privacy fence between our yards, had numerous domestic disputes...aka... more police visits.  On one occasion, this mother of 6, climbed on her husband's car and jumped up and down on it screaming at him before locking herself in the house (with the kids outside and watching) while she screamed profanities at the police through the window.  They are now divorcing, she collects welfare, has an old man/boyfriend living with her and has trashed the house.  According to the landlord, the walls are damaged, the carpet needs replaced and when the toilet backed up...they pooped in buckets...yes, in buckets...before calling the landlord for a plumber.

She was given until the end of July to move out.  In August the landlord went to court.  Four days ago the police posted a notice on her door that she would have to vacate.  She's still there and she's not going easily.  They will drag her out kicking and screaming (she's known for that) and her kids will be the ones to suffer all this humiliation and either end up with their dead-beat dad or be homeless.  I feel bad for the kids but I have to admit that when she's gone, we can once again get back to our quiet, friendly neighborhood. 

And now the landlord's going to have to put a lot more money into this house to fix it up again...but, hopefully, in the future, he'll be more diligent about who he rents to.  He's a first-time landlord and I think he's learned his lesson.  He's even talked about selling but with the economy as bad as it is, I doubt it would sell quickly. 

So if you've ever considered being a landlord of a rental, please be careful who you rent to.  Do all the background and reference checks and know who you're renting to or you could be in the same position this poor guy is in.

The 2 neighbors across the street and I have all expressed our desire to do "happy dances" in the street the day she's gone.  Hopefully this doesn't make us bad people...just extremely excited ones to have our quiet street back again. 

And that, my friends, is my neighborhood.

Another Change:
This change is a happy one and also makes me want to do a happy dance  :)  I decided at the beginning of the year that I wanted to lose weight.  I tried blogging about it on page called "My Personal Track Record".  It was also where I was charting my struggle with smoking.  But both were going so badly that I ended up deleting the page. 

But I never stopped trying. 

Now please don't ask me how my smoking is going.  Even though I've cut it in half, I'm still not proud that I haven't been able to quit.

But my losing weight?  Well, that's been a slow and steady progress and I'm very happy to say that I've lost 20 lbs!  That may not sound like much over an 8 month period, but its sweet success to me.  I have never deprived myself of what I enjoy eating...I'm just not stuffing myself or eating my late night snacks anymore.  So for me it's all about portion control. 

And I swear, the work that goes into running the concession stand burns up bukoo calories, so that helps.  Plus, I'm walking Maggie a little more.  The arthritis in my hips makes long walks a little difficult but Advil helps some. 

Now for those of you who are scoffing at only 20 lbs...imagine a gallon of milk.  One weights about 4 lbs.  So that would be 5 gallons of milk...try lifting that.  Or two 10 lb bags of potatoes!  That's a lot of potatoes and I lost that much!  Now I'm not going to tell anyone what I weighed before but I have dropped a size in my jeans.  Hoping to drop another size by Christmas.  So happy we go!

Quotes of the Day:
A bad neighbor is as great a calamity as a good one is a great advantage. ~ Hesiod

Good fences make good neighbors. ~ Robert Frost

The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat are really good friends. ~Author Unknown

The Diet:
A blonde is terribly overweight, so her doctor puts her on a diet. I want you to eat regularly for two days, then skip a day, and repeat this procedure for two weeks. The next time I see you, you will have lost at least five pounds. When the blonde returns, she's lost nearly 20 pounds. "Why, that's amazing!" the doctor says. "Did you follow my instructions?" The blonde nods. "I'll tell you, though, I thought I was going to drop dead that third day." "From hunger, you mean?" asked the doctor. "No, from skipping." ~ Ray
(Sorry for the blonde just copy and paste...I don't make these up.)