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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's official!!

I am positively the Grand Prize Winner of the "This Old Gingerbread House" contest on the "This Old House" website.

Check it out - the picture of my gingerbread treehouse pops up immediately.

Cool, huh! I'm just pretty thrilled.

I won a major award! It's no leg lamp, but I'll take it! :-)

Thanks to everyone who voted for me.......especially those of you who voted more than once. ;-)

"You like me. You really like me!" - Sally Field, 1985 Academy Awards

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The diagnosis is grave......

......actually Grave's disease. Yeah, I've got Grave's disease. I told Tal yesterday when I called him after I left the endocrinologist's office, "You know, the name actually sounds worse than the disease really is!"

If you want an in-depth description about this ailment, go to www.mayoclinic.com or www.webmd.com. In a nutshell, my thyroid is overactive (hyperthyroidism). The course of treatment will be radioactive iodine. I will go to the Nuclear Medicine department at the Imaging Center, and a doctor will give me a pill to swallow that contains radioactive iodine. The iodine will be absorbed by the thyroid and the radioactive ions will kill the thyroid cells that are overactive. This will probably make me go the opposite direction - underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) which can be treated with medication to bring the thyroid levels back into balance.

Some of the indications of this treatment, according to a few websites I've read, is that I will have to avoid contact with pregnant women and small children, and stay within arm's length from everybody for no more than two hours - for 4-11 days. I won't even be able to sleep in the same bed with Tal for several days. I will have to have a separate set of tableware that I will have to wash separately, I will have to wash my clothes separate from Tal's, and I will have to flush 2-3 times after I use the bathroom and wash my hands thoroughly. This is all to minimize radioactive exposure to those around me until the iodine and radioactivity are all diminished in my body. I swear, you'd think I was exposing myself to cooties with all these precautions.

Tal asked me if the radiation is so dangerous to those around me, then how is it not dangerous to ME? I couldn't tell him, I don't know. If anyone has an explanation then SHARE, SHARE! :-)

As far as my lucky penny. Well, I guess it may be pretty lucky after all. I mean, I wasn't hurt in the car accident. I may have "diabetic neuropathy", but I don't have diabetes. I may have Grave's disease, but this is a very treatable condition, and it's not thyroid cancer which was one of the possibilities. And another stroke of luck - I got an email today that said I was the grand prize winner of the "This Old Gingerbread House" contest. Now, I won't be 100% convinced of this until tomorrow morning when they post the results to the website so I'm not telling a whole lot of folks, but I wanted to tell you guys! I just couldn't wait! Woo hoo!

So, check out the website on Wednesday- https://youroldhouse.thisoldhouse.com. Don't know when they'll post it, so watch for it!

I hope you all have a nice holiday!

-S.G.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

FINALLY!

Yay! I have finally hit 50! At yesterday's weigh-in, I had a loss of 2 pounds, giving me a total loss of 51 pounds even.

I was so hoping to hit 50 before Christmas, and I have. What a good feeling.

In other news, Friday's visit to the neurologist (after waiting 2 months for this appointment) found me to possibly have some sort of neuropathy, giving me that numbness to my toes. The doctor said that even though I am not diabetic, because I have been borderline diabetic I still could have developed diabetic neuropathy. Oooh, Fun! So, I get to go through more tests. I have to go get poked again to have more blood work done, and then next month I get to go have an Electromyogram (EMG) and a Nerve Conduction Test done. FUN! Nothing like lying on a table for an hour or so and getting electrocuted!

Even more fun - Monday I go to the endocrinologist to get the results from my previous bloodwork and thyroid scans to see what the heck my thyroid is trying to do.

Good news is that I don't think I have any injuries from the car accident the other day. Any aches and pains that I feel - well, they were present before Thursday. So, I'm pretty much convinced the only injuries sustained were to the SUV.

Tal posted that the two of us went to a blood drive yesterday. Tal was able to donate his pint (and they were actually asking if we could donate TWO pints at once!). Unfortunately, I was unable to make a donation this time. My iron levels were not at acceptable levels (mine was 11.6 and they have to have to be at least 12.5) so I was turned away. This was the second time I attempted to give and my iron was down. I guess I need to start getting more iron rich foods in my diet. Another suggestion on the paper that I was given on how to raise your iron levels was to cook your food in cast iron pots. I might try that!

That's it for now. I'll try to update on Monday the results from my endocrinologist appointment.

TTFN!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A brush with an Angel.

OR......"My lucky penny was defective!!"

I got rear-ended today by a guy named Angel......a week before Christmas. How's that for irony?

I'm OK, right now. I think. My neck and shoulders are feeling a bit stiff so we'll see how I feel in the morning. Rupert is OK, too. I think. He's got a few white paint scuffs and the edge of the tailpipe is slightly bent but who knows what's underneath the bumper? The guy whacked me pretty hard.... or so it felt!

The thing that really gets me, though, is the area in which this incident happened. More often than not, I've said that this stretch of road (Eisenhower Dr., between Abercorn St. and Hodgson Memorial) needs a turn lane. There's two lanes with no "suicide lane" in between. It's a very dangerous area - as Tal can attest. In fact, mere seconds before I got hit there were two cars sitting in the eastbound lane facing west as if they were in a turn lane, trying to get into the lane I was driving in and there was a car coming toward them! And then while I was sitting in the parking lot where we'd pulled over to, waiting for a police officer, there were nearly two more accidents! Will someone need to get killed before they do something?

There was a man in front of me in a red truck, I saw him turn his left signal on and brake. I slowed and had just come to a stop when I hear SCREEECH....SCREECH.....BAM! Yeah, there were two screeches. Angel said that when he braked, the van he was driving wouldn't stop and slid. He was towing a utility trailer and I'll betcha that didn't help. Been there, done that before!
(When I was about 11-12 my family and I were on a vacation and were towing a small camper behind our truck. It was raining (wasn't raining today - BTW) and we were about to go through an intersection when the light changed. Daddy tried to brake, but the trailer pushed us right on through the intersection. Scared the crap out of all of us.).

Before this all happened, I had just left work and was walking across the parking lot to Rupert when I spotted a heads-up penny on the ground and picked it up. If I'd only known......

Seraphim "Where's my neck brace?!?!" Wells

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So close....AUGHHH!!!!

After weeks and weeks of ups and downs, I'm finally in the black again as far as pounds removed. At this week's weigh-in, I was down 1.6 pounds to give me a total weight removal of 49.4 pounds.

49.4......... 6/10 of a pound away from 50. Darn it all. I really am not complaining too much, really. I mean, I'm at my lowest weight since I started WW. I just really was hoping to catch up with Tal and Kate/Susan. I mean, especially since they both started a month or so after I did! :-)

It's been a busy week for me. There has not been a day that my hiney has not been in a waiting room chair at some sort of medical facility or another.

Monday and Tuesday, I was set up to have a thyroid scan. Monday morning I had to go into take a dose of radioactive iodine and then go back in later that afternoon for the first scan. After the dose, I went over to the allergy doc's (which was just across the parking lot from the imaging center) for my allergy shot. (I though, what the check...since I'm here already and needed it since I had not had one since the Wed. before Thanksgiving!).

Tuesday, it was back for the second scan.

Wednesday morning, it was a 6-month follow up with my sleep doc. Good news is I don't have to see her again for a year, things are going pretty well. But she did tell me that if, as I lose weight, I find myself not needing the pressure on the machine that it is set at then I can come in. Otherwise I don't need to see her again until next Dec. Hopefully one day I won't even need to use a CPAP! YAY! Although, I am kind of sad that I won't be seeing her for a whole year. I just really like her as a doctor. She's super-smart and very personable. I can talk to her about everything, because it seems like a lot of things that are going on with me can also affect my sleep. Her husband is also super-nice, too. He was a candidate for our VP of Business and Finance (the division I work under) at the college earlier this year. I was so hoping he would get the job, but alas he didn't. (The previous VP resigned after an audit revealed some questionable purchases on his university purchasing card - tsk tsk. And this is the same guy who wouldn't pay me an extra $10 a month for me to do the department's monthly employee birthday cakes. He preferred to save the $10 and have the cafeteria do the cakes. The employees weren't so happy about that - they LOVED my cakes and couldn't stand the cafeteria's frozen-slab-and-icing-from-a-bucket cakes. Hmph!!!) But I digress.......

And today, Thursday, it's back to the allergy doc to get back on schedule with my allergy shots!

Friday.....what? No appointments? Wow. And all next week, with the exception of Thursday and my "OWIE" as I put on the board when I leave work to get my shot, no doctor appointments.

Monday, the 22nd, is when I see the endocrinologist for the results of the thyroid scans. I'm a bit nervous but optimistic to find out what the deal is with the thyroid. Talking with my sleep doc yesterday she feels like the endocrinologist will probably put me on thyroxin, and she said that will help me lose weight and also might give me more energy. Boy, I sure hope so.

I'm surprised that Tal hasn't mentioned our activity on Sunday evening! Wonder how many points standing around on a beach and freezing your butt off for 4 hours is??? :-)

Anyway, we were asked to be extras in the movie that Tal's co-worker, Eric, Eric's brother Nate, and their pal, Jody, are currently filming for their company, Perpombellar Productions. The movie is titled "Trumpet My Return". The scene we were shooting was at the Back River on the back edge of Tybee Island.

We got there at 5:00 PM and while the crew was setting up we got to witness the most beautiful sunset. After dark we started shooting the scene which involved about a dozen or so of us extras lined up on the shoreline. There were several "candles" floating in the water before us (as if we had just launched them) and we were to shout out the name of someone we loved and missed, and just do this over and over. Tal shouted Tiger's name, "Tiger, I love you son." He thought Tiger would think it cool that his name would be in part of the movie. And I know he truly does miss getting to be with him every day.

For some reason, I just couldn't think of anyone who I missed quite like that. I mean, I miss my mom and dad, and other people, but I keep in close contact with them so I don't quite miss them as badly. But then I had an idea of what to do:

I have a friend through a stepparent's email group that I've been on for a few years now. Her bio-son, Lee, has been missing since October 2007. Seems like he just walked off the face of the earth. His mom has been sick since his disapearance. His friends have been frantic - many of them have graduated and are away at college now, still with Lee in the backs of their minds and wishing he was going off to college with them. They don't know if he committed suicide, or maybe just staged it to look like he did. They found a copy of "Into The Wild" in his car, and feel maybe he did just what Christopher McCandless did. Divers searched the river and no body was found, that's why many feel he may have staged it this way to give him some extra time to get away. His family and friends are just puzzled as to why he left. What's driving them craziest is just wanting answers and not getting any.

And so, my shout was, "Please come home, Lee. We miss you so much." For Beth, Lee, and any other parent with a missing child, or anyone who has a loved one missing out there somewhere. I can't imagine in my deepest fears how having a child missing - not knowing if they are dead or alive, sick, suffering, or in danger - must feel.

I can't wait to see this movie once it's finished. I hope it wins as many awards as their first one, "The Street Cleaner" did!

Well, I think that's it for now. Things have been pretty busy since I last posted over a month ago but I think I've covered most of it!

Toodle-loo for now!

Seraphim "SuperStar!!" Gleck

Friday, November 07, 2008

Fun with highlighters

We ain't right. We just ain't right.

My boss and three other employees went to an annual conference yesterday and brought back some goodies to those of us who had to stay behind. Of which - a few of these highlighters.

I got the pink one, who we named Penelope - Penny for short. My other co-worker got the green one with orange hair, who we named Percival - Percy for short. There was an instant attraction between Penny and Percy:





Later, Penny was so giddy she did a Stevie Nicks impersonation in front of my desk fan:




(Isn't it just amazing what you can do with a cell phone video camera and nearly unlimited music files? LOL!)

I know what you're thinking......some people just have WAAAAY too much time on their hands! Well, it IS kinda slow at work right now!

Almost there!

Can anyone tell me how it took me only 2 weeks to gain 11.8 pounds and 4 weeks to lose it???

Last weigh-in I removed 3.4 pounds. Only .4 until I'm back where I was on October 2. That's do-able, I think. If I keep going at this rate, I will do that and possibly make 50 next week!

Tal's really close to 50, too. Wouldn't that be something if both of us reached 50 at the same weigh-in???

The thing is, I really don't know how I'm doing it. Confession time: I haven't really been sticking to the program very well, and haven't been tracking much except a little in my head. Wednesday evenings after WI, we go get pizza buffet and I eat what I want until I'm full. Not uncomfortable, just full. Thursdays, Tal has been working from home so I drive in by myself. I usually get breakfast drive-thru (Egg McMuffin, Ham, Egg, & Cheese Croissanwich, or something from the cafeteria at work) and at lunchtime I go get my allergy shot and either get Chinese, something from Moe's, or something from Mickey D's or Wendy's. Until last Thursday I had to teach cake classes in the evenings so I'd have a small snack after work before class and then grab something (most of the time a grilled chicken from CFA, sub from Subway, or chili and potato from Wendy's) on the way home.

And this week has been ridiculous with the Halloween candy, not to mention the Ultimate Coconut Cake that I made this past weekend because Rosie and I went absolutely ga-ga over it while watching Throwdown With Bobby Flay last weekend on Food Network. (Don't make it! It's BAD! BAD, I tell you! Not to mention expensive. Ingredients for it cost me $45!!)

Rosie wants me to tell you that it's not BAD, as in it tastes bad. It's BAD as in it's loaded with butter, sugar, heavy cream, cream cheese, and coconut - as well as the other cake ingredients. Now she thinks I need to make Bobby Flay's version of it. We also watched another Throwdown that Bobby had with Junior's Restaurant in NY, NY - who is world-renowned for cheesecake. Most famous one being the Devil's Food Cheesecake. And Rosie also thinks I need to work on an apple version of the cheesecake. I'm thinking an apple spice cake, apple filling, cheesecake, apple filling, apple spice cake, and some sort of a glaze maybe? I don't know. Something to think about - maybe glaze with cider in it? Hmmmm. Oh, Lord I've got to stop this!!!!

I need to dry the drool from my keyboard.........

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ghosties, Gabblins, and Things That Go Bump.....

Happy Halloween!

Today has been rather mild as far as holidays go. I did dress a little for work today: black pants, black shirt, black shoes, and purple and green-striped socks. I wore these items into work under my green fleece jacket, then added the black and orange-stripe witch hat and pentagram medallion necklace when I got into my office and put everything away. I also hung my "The witch is in and she's casting spells" sign in my doorway. And of course everyone thought I was wacky as usual. Then I took a black and white self-portrait:


I was trying to decide if I wanted to do the trick-or-treaters thing tonight, as Tal has gone to spend the weekend with Tiger and I would be on my own to greet the little candy beggars. I needed to open the garage up when I got home from work and put some things in the SUV to take to Rosie's for the yard sale we're doing, and figured that if I would probably have some visitors expecting treats if they saw me. So, I ran to Walgreen's during lunch for some goodies.

Around 6:15 I get home, unload all my stuff (purse, candy, Chinese food) and get things set up. I set up a small table and stool in front of the garage door and got my "fishing chair" and set that up next to it. Got my big purple bowl and filled it with the candy (mini Oreo snack packs and Cookies N' Creme tombstones), the camera, a Diet 7-Up, an afghan, my little metal pumpkin with a votive, the candle lighter, an my little motion-activated monster and took it all outside and set it up.

Oh, and I didn't have to greet the trick-or-treaters on my own - I had a sidekick:


Puddy and I were ready for the kids - bring it on!

So, we waited.........and waited..........and waited.....................


Finally! Here come some trick-or-treaters! YAY! A princess and that ugly ghost thing from "Scream". And *sigh* just as quickly they were gone.............


After an hour and a half and a total of 7 visitors, we decided to pack it in. I was told by one of the mothers that a few of the local churches were having Fall festivals and that's probably where everyone was. I can kind of see that - I mean, the way things are these days that kind of thing is probably safer even though our area seems pretty safe. I mean, there are only 7 registered sex offenders living in our town........

Well, that was pretty much our exciting evening! Hope you enjoyed your Halloween!

I took this picture before I blew out the votive in the pumpkin. It's kind of fuzzy, but I think it's a neat effect.

On that note......I bid you GOOOOOOOOOD EEEEEEEEEEEVENING!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Forget yo-yo's.....we're talking bungees here.

So, after an 11.8 pound gain in 2 weeks, I lost 4.4 last week and another 3.2 this week. I have another 3.8 to go before I am back where I was nearly a month ago. (10/2)

It's just puzzling, how this is happening and I can't wait until I get to see the endocrinologist so hopefully we can work out the thyroid and hormones - fun! Oh, and I get to add another doctor to my already long list of physicians - neurologist. I went back to my GP with the foot/toe issues. She tickled my toes with a little filament thingy and we discovered that the numbness in my toes is just localized to the bottoms. I could feel her touching the tops of my toes with the filament. She feels like it may be a nerve compression problem, undoubtedly from all these years of carrying around the bulk of my body weight.

Figures - now that I'm losing weight and wanting to get out and walk to help me get into shape I develop this problem. It's not really life-threatening (that I know of) but it's bothersome because when I do try to walk the numbness makes me stumble and is uncomfortable.

So, let's see - that's now 7 doctors I think. Regular doc, allergy doc, sleep doc, lady parts doc, urologist, endocrinologist, neurologist. I have a feeling I will probably be referred to an orthopedist or foot and ankle specialist for the Haglund's deformity. That'll be 8. Oh, and the dentist, which I am currently shopping for another.

I'm starting to feel like a real hypochondriac. What's next??

Enough of MY medical issues. I want to send get-well vibes to my nephew (12), who fractured his ankle yesterday playing basketball at school. Boogie apparently has a pretty high pain threshold - not sure where he gets that from......probably his mother. :-) And that's all I have to say about THAT.

Progress on the Gingerbread Project is slow. At this point, the most work I've done is the planning and strategy and painting the board to carry it on. Saturday, Rosie and I are having a yard sale at her place and then she and I are going to go have dinner at The Crab Shack. I found out that they are dog-friendly, so Puddy is going with us and maybe if we have time I'd like to take a short walk on the beach if it's not too cold. Actunity! Well....nevermind that. Apparently they don't allow dogs on Tybee's beach. Bummer.

Sunday, I plan to bake the pieces and do some fine-tuning of the other plans. This is going to be a great gingerbread house. Still trying not to reveal many details - not that I don't trust you guys but according to my little Sitemeter thingy I do have visitors other than my friends and family - I even had someone from Asheville, NC swing by last week! But I can tell you that of all the pictures of past entries, this is a design I have not yet seen. I think that I will do some video as I start pulling it all together. I really need to step-up the production. I only have a little over 2 weeks!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Divine justice??

You know me, I really don't take too much glee in the misfortune of others but I truly do love it when karma comes back and bites you in the butt.

I was being a good girl yesterday morning, driving along I-95 in the middle lane doing 70 MPH (only because there was someone going slower in the far right lane otherwise I would have been there) and this woman (I'll call her Zippy the Wonder Twit) in a black SUV cuts me off coming from the far left lane to the middle. I mean really, there was plenty of room and she could have waited 2 more seconds. So I flashed my lights at her and threw up my WTF? hands. And we continued on, me at 70, her at 80 or whatever she was doing.

We get off 95 and onto Hwy.204 - she is of course far ahead of me. Whatever, like I care by then. I get to this intersection and I stop even though the light is green because traffic is backed up to that point and if the light changed I'd be stuck in the intersection. Well, this guy (I'll call him Doofy) sails through the intersection in the right lane (I'm in the left) and quickly changes lanes nearly hitting the front of my car. He gets the flash and WTF?, too. By then several people from the intersecting lanes have turned onto 204 and are in front of me between me and Doofy and traffic starts moving. As we slowly top the hill, I see Zippy and Doofy moving onto the left shoulder. Doofy apparently rear-ended Zippy.

Finally.....Divine Justice has been served. It's like when you're doing the speed limit and somebody flies past you and then you see them pulled over on the side with a police car behind them.

Poor things looked miserable as they stood between the cars assessing the damage. SOMEbody, I'm not naming names, rolled down her window and as she passed them by said (yes, they heard), "HA, that's what you get." Thankfully, traffic was moving fast enough for a quick getaway.

I was so giddy when I got to work. I shouldn't have been, but you know - Zippy and Doofy were driving recklessly with no regard to my or any of the others' safety. Neither of them were hurt, and neither car looked too damaged, so their only real inconvenience was that they would be delayed. I think they got exactly what they deserved.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Unsolved mysteries, Indeed.

OK, so Tal managed to REMOVE weight while he was on vacation. We'll see if it catches up with him this week as he is expecting (hopefully it won't, because he's been doing so much better at keeping on program than I am!). Meanwhile, I had a phenomenal GAIN. When I say phenomenol, I mean the past two weigh-ins I've nearly fallen off the scale at the numbers: 5.6 on 10/8 and 6.2 on 10/15. That's a total of 11.8 pounds in 2 weeks.......WTF????

I admit - with Tal being away I did let go a little - taking in a few spots that I like that Tal doesn't care to go to, but I didn't think I did all that badly. Well, yeah I did. And then I had a huge cake to do - made of pound cake made from scratch and my favorite chocolate ganache frosting recipe - the weekend after Tal returned. Here's a pic of it:

That's two 9-inch and four 8-inch pound cake layers, crispy rice treats molded to make limbs, and quite a few strategically-placed dowel rods to keep everything in place during transport.

Of course, I had to carve the cake to a tree shape - and I guess I don't have to tell you what happened to the trimmings. Can you say 6.2 pounds????

So, here I am once again jumping back upon the wagon. I'm thinking that this gain was not only due to my lapse but also to the hormone/thyroid/whatever else will crop up issues. I've decided to go back on the patches, at least until I can see the endocrinologist in November to see about the thyroid stuff.

Speaking of November - the Grove Park Inn National Gingerbread Competition is less than a month away! I've been working on my plans and pulling together my supplies, getting ready to start it all this weekend. Oh, I'm just so stressed and so excited about this - especially when I found out who two of the judges are: Nicholas Lodge and Colette Peters!!!

OMG, I nearly turned myself inside-out when I heard that Colette was judging. For those who may not be familiar with her, if you've ever watched any of the cake challenges on the Food Network she has been the winner of several of them. So many of them, in fact, that I think they finally had to make her a judge just to give others a chance! I've been a fan of hers even before the Food Network days, and I have most all of her cake decorating books. Take a look at her work - she's amazing!

Nicholas Lodge is another favorite of mine. He teaches many cake decorating classes in Atlanta and is a wiz at gumpaste flowers. I hope upon hope to take a class or two from him one day. I believe he's judged a few Food Network competitions, too.

Ah...cake.....gingerbread....you see why I say my skill is also my kryptonite?!?!?!?!?!?! :-)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Thyroid Ultrasound Results

Well, my doctor's nurse called me a little while ago with the results of the ultrasound that I had done on Monday.

The diagnosis, "Diffuse enlargement but no dominant mass. Looks like it may be a goiter." Translated for the non-medical types like myself, means that there is no cancer - just an enlargement. And not a very big enlargement that I know of. If you look at my pictures a few posts back, you can't really tell - I mean, I've seen pictures of people with goiters and they look like they swallowed a whole orange that got stuck.

The good news is that since I'm being referred to an endocrinologist for the thyroid issue, he will be able to take a look at the total hormone issue - who knows, he might even be able to find a total hormonal balance that will help me see better results on the Weight Watchers scale! :-)

Monday, October 06, 2008

A tale of thyroids, dolphins, and earrings

It's been quite a nice weekend. I don't know quite where to begin so let's start with Friday:

I got a call at work from my doctor(actually, her nurse) with my test results on Friday. Good news is that I don't have diabetes, however she said my thyroid levels were pretty high and wants to have an ultrasound of my thyroid done. Puzzling - I've never had issues with my thyroid before and I've been tested time and time again since I was young due to my weight and female troubles. I've got this appointment today at 3:30. Maybe after this is all resolved (hopefully no big troubles there - fingers crossed) we can get back to the foot issues.

Saturday morning, Tal and I woke up early. Tal left to head for Birmingham around 5:00 a.m. I got dressed and headed to Wal-Mart - where I picked up some bait, tackle, and snacks - drove to Savannah and picked up my friend/co-worker Rosie (who likes to read my blog so let's give a shout-out to her!) and drove out to the Lazaretto Creek Pier for a day of crabbing and fishing. We didn't have much luck - by the end of the day (which for us was aroud 4:00-ish) we had caught one stone crab, several oyster toadfish (if you've ever seen one, it's an ugly little mother....they were sent back to the briny deep), and a croaker which we gave to another fisherman to use as bait. But it was a pleasant day. The sun was out, but the temperature was pleasant. Just as we were about ready to leave, a couple of shrimp boats came back in to dock with a herd of seagulls, penguins and dolphin trailing behind them. One of the boats docked right across the creek from where we were, and I got some good footage on the camcorder of the shrimpers feeding the dolphin. One of the dolphin tours came back in right about then, and so the shrimpers gave them a good show by holding fish up for the dolphin to jump out of the water and catch.

Finally, Rosie and I packed up and headed for home. I dropped Rosie off at her apartment and started to head back to my house when I decided I wanted to take a detour through downtown. As I was passing through, I decided take adantage of an "actunity", parked my car, and took a walk around downtown Savannah. I walked around to City Market and purused some of the shops. I stopped by "Kitchens on the Square", which is a store I've been wanting to visit. I found out while there that this is indeed a "you break, you buy" type store. As I was turning around, my purse caught a porcelain magnet that was on one of the shelves. It fell, and some of it got chipped. Coincidentally, the salesperson had some super glue and we were able to piece back together to almost perfect condition. I think perhaps it was fate that this magnet came to be mine.......it says, "Sexy Women Have Messy Kitchens". If you saw my kitchen these days.......

After I left "Kitchens..." I walked around the corner, passed by the lines outside of Lady and Sons across the street, and stopped by another favorite store, "Metal and Paint". It's a jewelry store that carries a lot of glass beads and silver. We discovered this store a few years ago while a group of us was waiting for a table at Lady and Sons. I've been back there a few times for Christmas gifts but never bought anything for myself before. SO, I decided to stop by and see if there was anything that interested me. I ended up buying three pairs of pretty earrings! By then my feet were starting to hurt so I decided to make my way back to the car. On the way, I stopped at Smoothie King for a delicious, low-fat smoothie. Then to my car, and back on the road home I was. I wanted to look for another place I'd heard about, but came across a BBQ restaurant I had read about, so I stopped there and got some BBQ for supper. Got home, ate supper, then went to the grocery store for some cake supplies and to stock up on ingredients for my gingerbread project. By the time I got home, I was wiped out. This was a good thing, because I slept well which is something I don't usually do when Tal is gone.

Sunday wasn't as eventful. I cleaned up a bit, and made a big pot of vegetable chili (Dan Good Chili from "Hungry Girl - Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-Free Eating in the Real World" - 2 points per cup and it's SO GOOD!!) and another pot of my favorite veggie soup, which is nothing more than a can of V-8, a bag of frozen mixed vegetables, and I threw in about 1/2 cup of orzo toward the end and a little garlic salt and black pepper. I haven't figured out the Points value for this yet, but it can't be much per cup. I've put both soups up in the freezer in 2-cup containers for easy portion-control! Yeah!

I love the Hungry Girl book and website (www. hungry-girl.com). The recipes in the book does have nutrition info but not the points value - but they're easy to figure. However, Lisa DID post all the Points values for the book's recipes online. When I have time I will actually go through and write all the PV's in the book. So many other recipes in there I want to try!

So now here we are back to Monday and a busy week ahead. I've got a tree-shaped cake (this one's going to be 3-D, not flat) to do for this coming weekend, cake classes on Tues. and Thurs nights, Weight Watchers on Wed. night (and Tal is coming back on Wed.!), and of course my full-time job (the one that helps pay the bills!) which thankfully is kinda slow right now. And still working on plans for the GB Project.

I still haven't cleaned the garage, which I've said I was going to do for the past two months! Ech. Oh well.

So, will post any results from the ultrasound, Wed. night's weigh-in, and pics of the tree cake as the week wears on!

Happy Monday, and have a great week! Life Is Wonderful! (clap-clap-clap-clap!!!)

-Seraphim "Hey - who emptied the coffee pot???? Oh...it was me....sorry." Gleck

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Another goal achieved!

Last night's weigh in showed me at a 1.6 pounds loss, which now has me at 349.6. I am very excited about this number. It now means I can go into any of my doctors' offices and instead of bypassing the standard medical scale that most of them have and muttering, "Sorry, I don't register on that scale." (max. weight for these scales is 350), I can hop right on!

Thinking back, I believe that the last time I was able to do that was probably around 10 or so years ago. I was going to the gym with my cousin and his girlfriend, and weighing myself every now and again on the gym's (350 pound max.) scale. I remember that I was hovering between 330 and 340 then.

Twenty years ago, January 1998, I weighed 316. I remember this, because that was my starting weight when I began seeing a bariatric specialist who started me on a vegetarian diet at first - where I lost 50 pounds in 10 months - and then decided I wasn't losing fast enough and put me on what they called a VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet). The VLCD consisted of five 100-calories packets of shake mix every day. Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and chicken. No, not a chicken shake - you could make soup out of it. That was pretty good, a cream of chicken soup consistency. And you could make a pudding out of the shake mixes, too, just by decreasing the amount of water added to it.

By Summer 1989, I was at 235. That is the lowest I have ever been in my adult life. That summer was also when my first major boyfriend broke up with me, sent me into a little tailspin, I fell off the wagon big time. I did make several attempts at weight loss over the next 20 years, but each time only lasted a few days before I was back to my old eating habits.

So......I've passed 350, my first big milestone. 316 and 235 are going to be the next big milestones to look for in the coming year or so!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Was going to post something today, BUT......

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Eureka!!!

Experiment complete, evidence conclusive. Results: possible overdose of estrogen?

Stepped on the scale this evening and the numbers came back in the negative (which is a positive for me!). 7.2 is what I am down - making the total loss of the last three weigh-ins -9.1 (-6, +4.1, -7.2).

And I know that this must be right because I have not been very good this past week, somewhat on purpose, and still lost a lot. I can't wait to see the doctor to discuss this with her. I've decided from this point on I will just go with one patch instead of two, changed twice a week, and see what happens until I see my doctor!

The proof is in the (sugar-free, fat-free) pudding!

If I didn't have any reassurances before that there has been a change in my appearance since I've been doing Weight Watchers, I've got it now.

We went over to have new school ID's made today. I just got mine renewed in March (about the same time I started WW) after about 5 years because I knew my old one was outdated and I was going to need to borrow some AV equipment from the library to use at my Grandmother's 90th birthday party.

So, here's the comparison - then and now:



I can tell that my face is a bit thinner, I actually have a neck, and instead of a double chin I've got a chin and a half! Hair looks better, too. I was obviously having a bad hair day back in March....... or hat hair.

Well, it's Wednesday - weigh-in day. I haven't plastered a patch on my body since Friday morning. And, according to the scale at home, I've dropped back to about the weight I was two weeks ago. So, I am thinking I may have proved my theory and will be talking to my lady stuff doc in Nov. about this. I'll report the actual results either this evening or tomorrow morning!

I also went for my Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) on Monday. I'm waiting on pins and needles to find out if I've crossed over the diabetes border or not. I vote NOT. I hope I hear something before the weekend.

Friday, September 19, 2008

See....I told ya!

Yep, as I predicted in my previous post, Wednesday night's weigh-in had me up 4.6 after my magnificent loss of 6 pounds last week. OK, so combined that's a 1.4 pound loss in 2 weeks so I really can't complain much.

So today starts the Big Experiment. I removed my "Patches" this morning and did not replace them. I am going to go all weekend without them, and we'll see if my theory holds water......or if *I* hold water. LOL.

I did go to my regular doctor yesterday, I felt I needed to because my blood levels for cholesterol, sugar, etc. has not been monitored as closely with this new doctor I had started seeing at the beginning of this year as my previous doctor (who would see me every three months) had been. I've also been having some foot issues lately that have had me concerned.

I have a bony growth on the back of my right heel that has been affecting my walking due to it being quite painful. My previous doctor said that I had plantar fasciitis and gave me some exercises to do to stretch my Achilles tendon. She didn't even LOOK at the "knot" at the back of my heel as I had mentioned to her. I asked my new doctor about it, she took a look at it, and right away said, "Do you know what that is? That is a condition called "Haglund's deformity." Which, in essence, is a bony protruberance at the back of the heel bone. There are some treatment options from simple exercises to surgical removal of the bony growth.

However, there is another concern that has taken precedent over my heel problem. The other foot issue has affected both my feet and could be a symptom of something more serious. I have been having some numbness in my toes, mainly when I am walking or have my feet on the ground when I am sitting. I mentioned this to my doctor yesterday, and she decided to have me tested for diabetes, as the toe numbness could be diabetic neuropathy - or nerve damage. I have been borderline (termed insulin-resistant or glucose-intolerant) for a long time. This is what had caused me to have PCOS which eventually led to the hysterectomy last summer.

SO, on Monday I go to the lab to have a 3-hour Glucose Tolerance Test done. I had this test done several years ago after Tal and I got married, which diagnosed my insulin resistance and PCOS. If you're not familiar with it, first they draw a blood sample, then you have to drink a glucose solution (think overly-sweetened uncarbonated Coke), then they draw blood samples at intervals for three hours. My doctor wanted to test to make sure that I had not "crossed over", or developed full-blown diabetes. Let's pray that has not happened.

If it is not diabetes or diabetic neuropathy, then it could possibly be nerve damage just from hauling my nearly 400-pound butt around. That's a lot of weight on these poor feet of mine! In any case, this has really bothered me. I've been trying to get more walking in, and it really has helped me to lose weight. But it's hard to walk when you can't feel your toes, so I end up stumbling a lot.

I love this new doctor - she's a little bit wacko, but she's MY kind of wacko. I mean, how many doctors give you a hug and kiss (on the cheek) when she's done with your exam. (Please.....don't answer that.....and get your mind out of the gutter.) She's sweet, and smart, and she also has a bit of meat on her bones so she certainly wouldn't be one to get preachy about one's weight. And, good grief, would you believe she's a big fan of Mr. Talmadge Q. Gleck??? I swear, at my very first visit with her, when she found out he was my husband she was so excited that she high-fived me. And then when I told her that he was planning to see her too, I thought she would just turn inside out!

Needless to say, Tal and I truly love having her as our healthcare provider. :-)

So, anyway, that's what been up with me this week. :-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

W....T......F.....?!?!?!?!

OK, I have the most puzzling thing going on. I think I MAY have figured it out, but then again it will take more experimenting and consulting with my doctor to prove my theory.

I have the most yo-yo'ing weight loss ever, it seems. I'm down one week, up the next, BAM! big weight loss then it's like, "Oh, wait, we accidentally took away too much weight and we're going to give you some back."

Saturday morning, my pre-shower Nekkidweight® was 352.6. Monday morning, it had crawled up to 358-ish and then this morning it was 357.2. I just can't figure it out - it's not like I went totally wild this weekend, I didn't eat any worse than I did the weekend before and I lost 6 pounds after last weekend.

Then I got to thinking, the last time I had a big drop (over 5 pounds) like that was after the weekend with my cousins in August. And then the next week I had a gain. What did the two weekends and subsequent weigh-ins have in common?

Well, see, after I had my reproductive plumbing removed last year, my doctor put me on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). I use the Vivelle Dot patch - 2 transdermal patches changed twice a week, worn on either the lower abdomen or lower back hip region and alternating sides with each change. My patches - I have this song that runs through my head as I pull the old ones off and replace them with new ones "Patches" by Clarence Carter......"Patches, I'm depending on you..." LOL.

But I digress. What the two weekends have in common is that I did not have my patches on. I probably removed them and forgot to replace them, and therefore went the entire weekend without. I'm just wondering if the lack of estrogen during that time is what caused the significant drop in weight? The patches supply estriadol, for whatever that's worth.

That's just a theory, which I am going to pose to my doctor when I see her again. Unfortunately I can't get an appointment until November. So, until then, I will experiment. I am going to try to go weekend or two without and see what happens. It may be that I am getting too much estrogen - I mean, two patches? And they are both of the highest dose available for Vivelle.

I welcome any insights into this theory if you have any.......... :-)

Seraphim "how the hell do you remove transdermal patch adhesive??" Gleck

Friday, September 12, 2008

Here comes Ike - let the party begin.

I was looking through the slideshow on Yahoo News at some of the pictures of people in Texas preparing for Ike's arrival. Most of the pictures were showing flooding in some areas where Ike is pushing the surf in, getting plywood, generators, etc. in preparation, etc. But there were a couple of pictures that really caught my attention:

This first picture is of a tow truck driving along a sea wall in Galveston - LOVE the sign. The second picture is captioned," Customers prepare for Hurricane Ike in Angleton, Texas on September 11." I love how they prepare. Look at what the middle guy is holding:

I don't know about you guys - but I'm totally with this guy, and his friend behind him holding the bags of Fritos (or Cheetos, I can't really tell). I mean, after all beer is the perfect survival essential, isn't it?. You've got your water for hydration, and the grain, hops, etc. provide nutrition. And the alcohol, well it just kind of makes you chill out so you don't freak so bad when you come home to find your car in your living room. In my perfect world, I imagine the guy at the counter is buying a bottle of Jack Daniels, a 3-liter of Diet Coke, and a box of Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies. Oh...and some boiled peanuts for Tal. Now THAT's a hurricane party. :-)

Seriously, though, let's pray that the folks in Ike's path fare the weather safely. It's been stated that if those living in the low-lying areas do not follow the mandatory evacuation orders, they will face certain death. Let's just hope they are smart enough to heed the warning.

Deja-PUKN

So I was leaving work yesterday, and parked 2 cars down from mine was the infamous "LIL PUKN" car. All I could do was roll my eyes as I passed it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Water you up to?

Yesterday, our WW leader mentioned that to achieve good weight loss you should take your weight number, divide it in half, and that is how many ounces of water you should drink every day.

OK....I now weigh(brace yourself, this is the first time I've actually revealed the true number) 353. Divide that in half - 176.5. How in the heck am I supposed to drink 176.5 ounces of water a day?? That's approx. 22 8-oz cups of water.........5 1/2 quarts......1 1/4 gallon.

The water bottle that I've been drinking from at work holds 36 ounces. I would have to drink 5 of those a day. I just finished the second - so that's 72 oz., plus the 16 I had this morning before I got to work - that's 88 oz. so far. I've been to the bathroom three times already before noon and looking at a 4th trip before I head out for lunch and owie (allergy shot - yay). And I feel bloated. Ugh. Good news is that I'm not hungry, so I guess that's the big benefit. :-)

I'm only 90% the woman I used to be!

Yay! Last night I finally reached my 10% weight loss goal. It took a little longer than I'd hoped to get there but I GOT THERE!!

Last week, after a 1.2 gain, I was hoping I would at least have lost that plus the 0.9 that would get me to my 10%. As I stepped on the scale, I told the receptionist, "Well, here's hoping that I at least get to my 10% goal." And she looked up at me and said, "Well, you did that plus some!" The scale showed that I'd dropped 6 pounds! That brings me to a total loss of 43.6!

I certainly didn't expect that, but it certainly was nice after a month and a half of yo-yo'ing. I was hoping to have lost 50 by Labor Day, but that didn't happen either. But that's OK....I'm still losing!

I hope that after such a big loss I don't start with the yo-yo'ing again. I'm not quite sure what I did right this past week - I did make sure to drink my water, tried to plan ahead and track ahead (I think that helped a LOT, I have noticed that on weeks that I was lax in my tracking is when I do my worst at weigh-in) and stick to what I tracked. Tal and I also did a good bit of walking last week.

I have been working really hard this week on my portion control. I also have started doing the "eat 1/2 and then see how I feel before I clean the plate" thing. That seems to be really working for me. For example, the elder Mrs. Gleck made spaghetti for supper Saturday evening. I did dish myself up a rather large plate of it, but then I only ate half. I also had a pretty big salad with Newman's Own lowfat Sesame and Ginger dressing. I did eat almost all the salad. But never fear, the remaining spaghetti did not go to waste - we had a very big and happy pup on our hands afterwards (Smokey - Tal's canine "brother").

And on Sunday, Tal and I stopped at Cracker Barrel on the way home from his parents' house this past weekend. I had the grilled chicken tenderloins with mashed potatoes and some white gravy on the side, baby carrots, corn, 2 corn muffins, and 2 biscuits with butter and apple butter. And I washed it down with some unsweet raspberry tea. I decided I would eat half of everything, and I did. Then I boxed up the rest and had it for breakfast (biscuit and apple butter w/ an orange) and lunch (the remaining half of the chicken, potatoes, corn, carrots, and corn muffin).

I did the same thing Monday night, only eating half of my meal and boxing the rest for lunch the next day. Tal is not practicing this method but then again he really doesn't have to because his method seems to be working well for him! :-)

Speaking of Tal and his weight loss - he and I did something rather unconventional last week in order to solve a problem that he had recently developed. Our wedding bands are the same type, and so I had an idea for us to exchange bands since mine was a couple sizes smaller than his and I have the engagement ring to hold the band in place. And so we did. As Tal stated, he has not removed his wedding band since the day we were married. I can't make that claim, as I have had a few surgeries that required me to remove all jewelry - and as a woman I am also known to slather hand cream on and don't want to get the rings all goopy with lotion. Tal has stated that the only time he would allow his ring to be removed, it would be removed by me and replaced by me. And so, upon exchanging our rings, we did so rather ceremoniously. I removed his ring and he removed mine and I placed my band on his hand and he placed his on mine. And so they will stay until both of us start having trouble keeping the rings on.....THEN we will take them to be re-sized. :-)

Next mini-goal: 1.4 pounds for next week. That will take me to 45 pounds removed!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I would do anything for cake.....

.....but I won't do THIS.

File this under "WTF were they thinking????".

That's just scary. What's next - exploding pinatas???

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Butter Spray (because Oleomargarine has WAY too many Points!)

Whew, what a week it's been. I can finally catch up on some blogging.

So, this week classes started at the good ol' university and we've been busy as all get-out selling books to the students so they can get learned good. Compliments of our employer, we got to wear the coolest T-shirts:
It says,"got receipt? (good. keep it. you'll need it!)" I'm not complaining about wearing the T-shirt - I think they're pretty cool, plus I've never been one to refuse a free T-shirt. It's just the principle of the thing that bugs me. We have the return policy printed on the back of the receipts when a student buys a book - and you have to have a receipt if you need to return the book within 2 weeks of buying it. This way we know that the person returning the book is actually the one who bought it, and not some person in the habit making a profitable business of returning books that don't belong to him/her. It's just the fact that we have to wear T-shirts with this printed across the front to put the return policy right in their faces. Another fine example of the dumbing down of America.

During this busy time, we are usually too busy to leave for lunch so we bring in potluck. Mostly sandwich stuff and other goodies. Since chocolate is the perfect energy food, I brought brownies. I also brought in some light white bread and Potluck Pasta Salad from the Weight Watchers website. It's very good - 3 points for one cup of the salad. The recipe calls for a couple of shapes of whole-wheat pasta, but in honor of "Rush Week" and our school mascot, the Pirates, I made Pirate Pasta Salad:
















I came across some Pirates of the Caribbean shaped pasta the week before in Kroger and thought I HAD to get it and make something. Although the picture is a little fuzzy, you might be able to see what some of the shapes are. There is a skull and crossbones (top left), a pirate (top right) - I suspect could be Captain Jack Sparrow but a co-worker said it could be Captain Barbosa. It's hard to tell. Oh, and bottom left is a ship - we'll call it The Black Pearl. :-)


The pasta salad was a good choice to do, and I managed to skip all the sandwich fixings and stuff. However, once I took a bite of brownie it was all over for me. And so Rush Week for me became a feeding frenzy - I was a total P.I.G. - PIG!!! Bagels with cream cheese, brownies, cookies, coconut cake, an assortment of pizza, and the huge red velvet cake I made for the boss's birthday. OK, so I took a short vacation from Weight Watchers. And today I made myself get back on track. I didn't post that I had gained .8 at my last weigh-in (8/11) and I haven't had a WI yet (missed Monday because of working late), so I don't know what the damage has been. Guess we'll find out next Wednesday - I've got a little less than a week to get in gear!

Last Thursday, I decided I wanted something different for lunch. Most days, I usually take my lunch and eat at my desk. But on Thursdays I have to go out and get my allergy shot at lunchtime so I'll usually just grab something on the way back to work. So this day I thought I'd give the Indian restaurant up the street a try. And discovered I'm not that fond of Indian food. I got a mixed vegetable curry with basmati rice. First few bites were pretty good, but after a while I just wasn't crazy about it. Maybe because it just looked funky to me:
Plus, it was really spicy. So I ended up filling up on water trying to put out the fire. So now I know....... :-) I'm glad I went with a vegetarian dish - especially after I saw the braised goat on the buffet bar. LOL.

I spotted this cute car in the parking lot at school the other day. We'd seen it on the road before - a bright orange Cooper Mini. Now, the car itself is memorable enough, but you just can't forget the tag:
Which is kind of how I felt after eating the Indian food. A co-worker suggested that perhaps the driver was bulimic. However, we just know it was a little Southern girl trying to be all cute but failing abysmally.

Well, I think I've just about caught up. I know I'll probably think of something later, and will post it as I can. So on that note I bid you good night!

Friday, August 08, 2008

But it's my birfday!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Wow!!!

Well, folks, as you can see by the Pound-O-Meter®, I'm down quite a few. At Monday night's weigh-in, I found that during last week I had somehow managed to remove 5.6 pounds!!

I'm not quite sure how I did it. I guess maybe I was REALLY good during the week, because I didn't do that great over the weekend. Well, I mean, maybe I wasn't as bad as I thought. Friday, I drove up to just north of Atlanta (Woodstock) to my cousin Coleen's house. I left work about 10-ish, stopping at Mickey D's for 2 Egg McMuffins. I had some water with me so I didn't get anything to drink. When I reached Dublin, I HAD to stop for one of my favorites - "trucker coffee"from Pilot. My recipe: Grab a 24-oz styrefoam cup from the dispenser, open six of those little individual servings of Coffee-Mate Hazelnut flavored non-dairy liquid creamer, fill the cup 1/2 way with super-extra-caffeine-charged mocha cappuccino, fill it the rest of the way with super-extra-caffeine-charged coffee. Did I mention that I'd only had about 4 hours of sleep the night before?

I sipped my "trucker's coffee" and munched on some fat-free pretzels through Macon, stopped in McDonough for gas and a Diet Coke. Spent 20 minutes in line at Chick-Fil-A before I got my grilled chicken sandwich, and ate that on the way to my Coleen's. I got there about 4:00-ish, visited with Coleen and her husband, Michael, and played with the kids. We ate dinner - Coleen made some Bertolli shrimp scampi and linguine and some edamame. (Yummy!) And then after dinner the little girls and I decorated the baby cakes I brought for them.









































And then they munched on their creations........
























And then we went and played with the Barbies and stuffed animals in their room.
After that, we were all tuckered out. So the kids went to bed and us big kids watched a bit of TV. I snacked on some of the fat-free pretzels and a bag of Right Bites Sandies. I started feeling the effects of the day's driving and frolicking with the munchkins, so I went to bed. I was put in the basement for the night (yes, they have a guest room down there - they weren't trying to hide me away!). I guess Friday wasn't too-too bad, foodwise. I mean I really didn't have a lot, and the worse thing I had was my "trucker's coffee". Plus, I did make a few trips up and down the stairs at Coleen's.

Saturday morning, I got up and made my way to Duluth for my meeting. They had blueberry and banana nut muffins and coffee at the registration table. I helped myself to a blueberry and some go-juice, then just before we got started I grabbed a banana-nut muffin. For lunch, we had a fajita and taco spread. I had some of the chicken fajita, skipped all the cheese sauces, rice, and refried beans, loaded up on salsa, tomatoes, and lettuce, and had a huge dollop of guacamole. Oh, and a couple of flour tortillas. We had unsweetened tea at the tables. All in all, a pretty healthy day so far. But then here's where it all went awry - for dessert we had key lime cheesecake AND coconut cake - I couldn't decide, so I had some of both. Oh, it was SO good.

For break later on, they served chocolate chip cookies, brownies, the leftover coconut cake, and an assortment of sodas and water. I had a Diet Coke. That's it. I was eyeballing the Right Bites Mini Fudge Stripe cookies I had in my purse, but decided that I wasn't really hungry.

After our meeting was over, and we all left loaded down with all our goodies (we LOVE the annual meetings because we get full-sized samples of some of the new products they came out with during the year!) and the small cakes we decorated, I headed back to Coleen's. I had passed by a Whole Foods store on the way to the meeting, and decided that I was going to stop on the way back since we don't have one of these in Savannah. But on the way back I was just ready to get there, plus I had the cake and stuff in the car. Didn't want it to melt, because it was SO HOT!!!

Once back to Coleen's, we had some pizza and I showed off the samples we'd gotten and presented Coleen with the cake I had made. Her birthday is in a couple of weeks, so I made her a small birthday cake. (sorry, don't have a picture handy - will add it later at home) After the kids were in bed, we started watching "True Lies" but I once again petered out early.

The next morning we got up and went to church. I ate a CocoaVia crunchy almond bar and more Right Bites Mini Fudge Stripe cookies after I got dressed. I rode with my cousin, Steve (Coleen's brother) and we parked way out in the parking lot and rode a trolley in. Yeah, the church is so big that they have a trolley system in place to cart the congregation to the church's door! My aunt (Coleen and Steve's mom) calls it "The Civic Center"! After the church service, Steve and I walked with Coleen and family to their mini-van. They had parked MUCH closer. Steve and I decided to hoof it back to his truck rather than catch a trolley. I almost regretted that - even Steve, who is a trainer at a local gym and in great shape, was huffing along with me as we hiked. Boy, I am glad that I wore sneakers! (yeah, I wore sneakers to church. Hey - there was a guy there in shorts and flips flops, and I saw a lady in a Harley Davidson T-shirt in the lobby!) We got in the truck, and Steve cranked up the A/C. Did I mention that it was HOT???

We met the family at Longhorn and had a good dinner. I had a tiny bit of the chili cheese fries they ordered as an appetizer and a slice of the multi-grain bread they serve. My meal was the Lafayette Chicken & Shrimp -Twin grilled chicken breasts topped with sautéed shrimp, onions, mushrooms, sweet red pepper strips, melted Pepper Jack cheese and a spicy Cajun cream sauce. And I had a side of steamed vegetables. It was delicious!

After dinner, Steve and I went over to his gym because he needed to pick something up, then we drove around and Steve showed me some of the million-dollar homes in the area. Whew, why would someone want a house so big?? I know - because they CAN!

Back at the house, the kids were getting ready for a nap, but waited up to say goodbye to me (awww). Before long, I was on the road again. I decided to go back the way I went the day before and hit Whole Foods, then get on I-85 into Atlanta. At Whole Foods, I got some cut watermelon, a small variety of yogurts that our stores don't carry, some water, and Odwalla juice. I left there, headed for Alpharetta and I-85. As I got into Alpharetta I decided I might need to top off the gas, and found a Wal-Mart with gas for $3.68. I also noticed a Carvel's Ice Cream shop across the street and was dying for a scoop (have I already mentioned that it was HOT???). After I gassed up, I got a scoop of Chocolate Explosion, and hit the Interstate. All was fine and good until I got closer to downtown HOTlanta and found that they were re-paving the three left lanes of I85-75. Let's just say that I spent the next hour and a half taking pictures of the Turner Broadcasting building and TBS, the Olympic Torch, the Ga Tech sign, the Varsity sign, and various and sundry street signs, including some that explained why were were stuck in this parking lot. By the time we were going more than 20MPH, I had polished off the juice and watermelon - oh and the green tea I had bought - and a package of the Right Bites Sandies.

Reaching Forsyth on I-75, I came across a DQ sign and decided that the Carvel's just didn't satisfy the ice cream yearnings. Plus, I was hungry for something non-sweet to go along. So DQ served me up a chili-cheese dog and a medium X-treme chocolate blizzard. Oh....MY.....GAWD. As I was licking the last of the chocolatey goodness off my lips, traffic came to another standstill as we made our way around a terrible accident between Forsyth and Macon, and then on to I-16 and home. I didn't make any more stops, and just drank my water the rest of the way. I put on the audio book I was listening to, and zoned out on what has GOT to be the most boring stretch of Interstate in the country! Although, it is nice that you can set your cruise control and get lost in the story you're listening to.

So, we went back to our house after work on Monday, and you KNOW Tal and I had to empty the ol' bladder and then hop on the scale to see what the home scale said in comparison to the WW scale. I can't remember what mine said, so I was completely bowled over when I saw the numbers on the WW scale - 5.6 pounds lost!

So, this brings me within 2.7 pounds away from my 10% goal! Fingers crossed that I make it on 8/11! Maybe I need to spend another weekend in Atlanta, LOL!

BTW, this morning my nekkid-before-my-shower weight showed me at 39.6 pounds lost - that .1 less than my 10% goal! Woo hoo! Now, if I can just improve on this over the weekend so that the WW scale will show this number!

- Seraphim "Melting Away" Gleck

What Kind of Cake Are You?

There are so many of these personality quizzes out there, but you KNOW I had to do THIS one......if I were a cake, what kind of cake would I be?




You Are a Chocolate Cake



Fun, comforting, and friendly.

You are a true classic, and while you're not super cutting edge, you're high quality.

People love your company - and have even been known to get addicted to you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

No gripes, either.

While Tal logged a loss this week, I wasn't quite so lucky. 1.2 pounds found me again. But I know it's my own durn fault. Too much "it's my birthday and therefore I'm entitled". OK, so I did enjoy my birthday - the free 1/2 rack of ribs and sides (potato salad and baked beans) from Sticky Fingers for lunch - of course since they were so generous with the free ribs and such (a $13.99 value) I felt almost obligated to purchase something - like, dessert. And the apple almond crumble with vanilla ice cream was delectable. HEY....it was fruit (apple) and whole grains (oats), so it couldn't have been TOO bad, right???

Then Friday night we went to Bennigan's. I was pretty good there. I had their Guinness-glazed grilled chicken and shrimp with mashed potatoes and green beans with unsweet tea. I had not eaten a lot that day for breakfast or lunch, either. But the bad part was when I got home and started decorating that cake. It was too easy to grab a bit of the chocolate cake bits that I'd cut off and dip them in a bit of the chocolate ganache frosting - especially when it was approaching 3-4 o'clock and I need a bit of a sugar rush to continue on. But I justified that with - "Hey, I walked a WHOLE HOUR Friday!!"

And Saturday - Logan's yeast rolls, steak, baked potato, and grilled veggie skewer. Still not so bad, I didn't think, so I got one of the little dessert things - nutter butter delight served in a teeny little pail that looks like the pails the peanuts come in. It wasn't that big, so it couldn't have been too bad, right? Oh, and the peanuts - I didn't have but maybe 4-5.

Couldn't have been the pint of Jack Daniels and Diet Coke I put away this weekend, could it? I mean, I drank it with Diet Coke for goodness sake! (Have I mentioned that I love Jack Daniels and Diet Coke?)

Then we had Chinese food Saturday night - steamed shrimp and veggies, little (1/2 cup?) container of white rice. And.....crab rangoon. With sweet and sour sauce.

OK....birthday is over. I let myself go a little nuts this weekend, but it's time to get it together again. I really do need to start planning ahead more. That's been my trouble. Just not planning ahead, planning things out, and I've been especially bad about tracking my points. I really do need to get it together.

So, we now know why I gained 1.2 instead of losing this week. And we know what to do this week to remove that 1.2 for next week. And I'm SO close to my 10% goal. I didn't reach my "39 by 39". My second goal was "Laboring for 50" - 50 pounds removed by Labor Day. That's in 5 weeks. 18.8 pounds in 5 weeks - 3 3/4 pounds per week. Not an impossible goal, but maybe a little unreachable at the rate I've been going. I may have to re-configure all my future goals!

But, you know, even though I did gain this week I'm really not letting it get me down. I mean, right now I weigh 31.2 pounds less than I did 3 months ago. I've lost an average of 7.8 pounds per month in the 4 months I've been on WW. That shows me that I HAVE done it, and I CAN continue to do it. As Annette put it so well, "Don't let a lapse become a collapse." And I won't. It's a minor setback, but setbacks only serve to steel my resolve. I WILL succeed at this. I'm too stubborn not to. No more excuses.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Watch out doughnuts.........

......there's a new pastry in town!

I think that the police department in Richmond Hill, GA and surrounding areas may give up their Krispy Kremes when they get a load of my latest creation:

















This was a groom's cake for a RHPD officer getting married today. I work at the college with his mother, and just so happened to walk into her office at school when she and another co-worker were discussing trying to find someone who could do a replica of his police cruiser. Here is a picture of what his car looks like:

I think I got it pretty close, eh? :-) There are some details on the actual car that I left off the cake, simply because by 4 a.m. Saturday morning I was just wanting to get this cake DONE and go to bed. I started on the decorating about 7-8-ish Friday evening. By 8:45 a.m. Saturday, I finally had the cake boxed and fell into bed, covered in chocolate icing, shortening, and icing coloring. Two hours later, I had to wake up to get ready to go deliver the cake to the church reception hall.

But I tell you....the lack of sleep, that's just part of my suffering for my art. It's amazing how quickly the fatigue melts away when you deliver that cake and how thrilled your customers are with it. I only wish I could have been there for the moment when the bride and groom saw the cake! Although, I was there when my co-worker called the bride in the cell phone and said, "The groom's cake is here and it looks GREAT!!" and could hear the bride squeal over the phone. I was promised lots of pictures of the big moment. Can't wait to see them!

After Tal and I delivered the cake, we went out to Logan's for a belated birthday dinner and then did a little shopping before I finally needed to go home and get some sleep (with a short stop at the little package shop at the county line). I promise you all that, when I finally get sober.....I mean, awake.........(have I ever mentioned that I LOVE Jack Daniels and Diet Coke?)......I'll catch up on my posting comments to you other folks "Memory MeMe's" since many of you posted such lovely memories to mine! (Just in case you were wondering why I had not done so yet. It's not that I don't love you, I just been otherwise preoccupied, ya know!) :-)

Man, I do love Jack Daniels and Diet Coke.

Hasta luego!

Seraphim "I Heart Cake......and Jack Daniels and Diet Coke........yeah, Talmadge, too." Gleck

Friday, July 25, 2008

A memory MeMe stolen from Susan, who stole from Manda.....

This is something a little different. Almost reminds me of the SLAM books we used to have in junior high.....only I hope you leave nice memories about me. :-)

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn’t matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It’s actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I’ll assume you’re playing the game and I’ll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don’t want to play on your blog, or if you don’t have a blog, I’ll leave my memory of you in my comments.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The irony was not lost on me.

In this day and age of $4/gallon gasoline, I am making an effort to slow down. I've developed a new motto - "Lower MPH = Higher MPG! Yeah, Baby!" I feel a little sanctimonious as I'm putting down the Interstate at the posted speed limit - 65 - as others whiz past me. "Nanny, nanny, boo, boo. I'm the one saving gas and $$$, not YOU!!" I even heard a report on the news yesterday that fatal traffic accident rates have been down, too, possibly due to the fact that people are either not out driving as much or slowing down. If there's at least ONE benefit to the higher gas prices, it's THAT!!!

So, anyway, this morning I was heading to work on the Interstate at my now-usual 65 MPH clip when I happen upon a Corona truck going just slightly slower than I was. I thought, "Good for you, just cruising on at a casual (and gas/life-saving pace)." There was a "How Am I Driving?" telephone number on the back of the truck and I thought for a moment of calling the number to commend the driver. That was the same moment I realized I had left my cell phone sitting on the counter at home - @*&$%#!!!!!

Since the Corona truck was going slower than the 65 MPH I had set my cruise control at and didn't want to mess with, I changed lanes to go around. I just so happened to glance in the rearview mirror after I changed lanes and noticed a brightly decorated van approaching at a breakneck speed in the left lane (I was in the middle lane). As it passed, I saw the letters and graphics on the side of the van......RED BULL. Apparently the driver had been sampling his product and got his wings.

So, for a very brief moment there I was, nestled between the RED BULL and the Corona vehicles with my styrofoam cup of coffee. I couldn't help but chuckle.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fishing with Father

My mom, dad, and grandmother came for a visit this past weekend. Mom, Sis, and the nephews were here the weekend before over the holiday, but Daddy couldn't come because he had to work.

It's been at least 2 years since Daddy and I had been out fishing and crabbing, so I had planned for the two of us to do so on Saturday. And so we did. It was a lovely morning, overcast and not too hot. We left the house around 7, I think, stopped by the Gate station for some coffee for us and ice for the coolers. We caught Tal coming in for a Diet Mountain Dew before departing for the wilds of Tuckfroy and I got to say a proper goodbye to him! (He was just stirring as Daddy and I were getting ready and leaving.)

I had decided to try a new fishing spot this time. My old favorite had been the Moon River pier on the way out to Skidaway Island. It's a nice, peaceful place - if you can tune out the cars whizzing by behind you on the bridge crossing the river (the piers run alongside the bridge as you can see in the picture below). I didn't have much luck the last time I was out there with my friend/co-worker Rosie, as you can see:

Yeah, that's a striped bass I believe. Too small to keep, but it got stuck in my crab net and died so I decided to keep it and use it for bait to hopefully catch a bigger fish. No such luck.

Anyway, since I had such rotten luck there I thought maybe we'd try a different location. I decided on the Lazaretto Creek fishing pier because it was right across from where they launch shrimp boats and dolphin tours, so I figured if the fish and crab weren't biting at least we'd have some entertainment. Little did I know WE would be providing some entertainment as well!

Here's the pier:
It's a bit of a hike from the parking area to the end of the pier, but the view is awesome. There are several big advantages this place has over the Moon River:

1) As you can see, the bridge is far enough away that the traffic passing over isn't as loud.

2) It has porta-potties!!! (they did install a porta-potty at the Moon River once upon a time. One fishing trip it was there and new and beautiful. Yes, I did use it. The next trip, I found nothing but a big puddle of melted green plastic where it once stood. Some butthead came along and burned it down. And stole the Moon River sign.) The Lazaretto potties are back near the parking area, so you DO have to hike a bit and hope you make it after 4 hours and a liter strawberry-flavored fizzy water. I almost didn't. And then when you get inside, it's like a big stinky sauna. By the time I got the pants to the ankles I was sweating so bad that I nearly slid off the potty seat (didn't help that the porta-potty was leaning forward slightly). TMI, I know, but I was sitting there giggling the whole time trying to do my business without sliding out the front door!

3) Dolphins are shrimp boat groupies. Pelicans, seagulls, and sea turtles are, too. I only saw one dolphin when we were out on the Moon River. And a few seagulls. At Lazaretto, we saw pods of dolphins following the boats passing by. A lady on a passing party barge was standing on the edge of the boat feeding them some bait fish, they were jumping up out of the water to get them. It was like being at Sea World! And the pelicans and seagulls....let's just say we could have filmed a sequel to "The Birds".

4) It's closer to the ocean, and I was hoping the bigger crabs would be, too.

So Daddy and I get there about 8:15-ish, after making a stop at a convenience store to go potty (not knowing whether or not there would be facilities, ya know). We drag all our equipment down to the end of the pier and get all set up, and get the nets and lines in the water, and wait for the first bite. Daddy spent the majority of the time trying to untangle fishing reels and replacing my hook/sinker setups a couple of times when they got hung up and lost to the briny deep.

It was fun even though we didn't catch much. I got 2 blue crabs and a stone crab, caught a small sting ray and a couple of those ugly dang dogfish. Daddy got a couple of croakers, an eel, and more of those ugly dogfish.

When I caught the sting ray, the guys around me were telling me to hold the line away from me so the tail wouldn't get me. I got it up on the pier, and one of guys grabbed a knife and cut its tail off then looks at me and says, "You want to keep it." I take a look at the now-tailless ray bleeding all over the pier at my feet and said, "I don't think so." So he kicks it and it's tail off the pier. I felt sorry for the little fella, swimming around out there with no tail - if it didn't bleed to death.

When he caught that eel, I was squealing like a tweeny girl at a Jonas Brothers concert! "Kill it, kill it! Hit it in the head with something.......but don't lose it, I want to use it as crab bait!" And he's going, "Hit it with what? I don't have anything to hit it with!" So he starts flinging it around like a whip, beating it on the deck while I'm running around squealing again and ducking. Finally, one of the guys out there fishing (after he picked himself up off the dock after falling out laughing at us...) came over with a towel and held the eel while Daddy took the hook out of its mouth. Then the guy took off with my eel saying something about it tasting like chicken. I was miffed because he took my crab bait, but Daddy said just let him have it if he wants to eat it. (GROSS!)

We finally had to pack it in, as it was getting late and Mama and Grandmother were waiting for us to get back so we could go out for supper. Good times, but now I'm peeling like a snake and have a monster fever blister from all that fun in the sun. Note to self: never buy that Target brand Sport Sunscreen again!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Frozen in time?

I know you've probably been wondering why the numbers on my Pound-O-Meter have not budged. I just decided that I would not change it until I'm actually BACK to that number again. Yeah, I went nutso again and gained 3.8 pounds after losing a total of 12.8 pounds the 2 previous 2 weigh-ins. Although, after the July 4th weekend, I was sure that I had gained but I actually managed to lose .2 pounds when I was SURE I had gained. And then last night's weigh showed I had lost 2.2. One more pound to go until I'm "Back In Black" - or am actually truthful on my Pound-O-Meter. :-)

I've been enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of my labor lately. I've got green peppers and tomatoes out the wazoo, and just this weekend picked the large eggplants that were ready and waiting. Sunday, I made eggplant parmigiana using the recipe on the WW website - to the sauce I added peppers, tomatoes, and ground turkey breast for a bit of substance and protein. OMG, it was YUMMY!! And I still have a lot of it left over in the freezer for lunches! Oh, and I've got a good couple of meals' worth of okra put up in the fridge.

For my cakes classes, when I start out a new Course 1 series, I usually bring in cake layers and show the students how to prepare the cake, level the layers, ice the cake, and a few decorating techniques. For last Tuesday night's class, I used an easy recipe that our WW leader had told us about - just one box of cake mix and a 12 oz. can of any flavor diet soda. I used yellow cake and one can of Fresca, and then I added 2 snack-packs of applesauce and some nutmeg and cinnamon. It smelled SOOOOO good. It made me think of the cinnamon pecans they sell as you walk into the Christmas Made In The South that we have here annually in early November.

I had to use the class buttercream recipe for the cake I used in class, and I did take a couple of small slices with me afterwards because it just smelled so good! But I left the rest of the cake for the store's staff to eat.

I'm going to make another cake like that for my birthday next week, but instead of using class buttercream icing I am going to mix together some fat-free cream cheese and Cool-Whip Free to make a cream cheese-like frosting for this cake. Yum! Will have to work on the Points Value to see what that turns out to be. Heck, I'm sure it would be a LOT better to have a big slice of that cake rather than just a sliver of a regular birthday cake, right?

I'm also going to try that brownie recipe I sent some of you. If I didn't send it to you - all you do is get a package of brownie mix and a can of black beans, drain and rinse the black beans and put them back into the can then refill the can with water until the beans are covered. You then pour the beans and water into a blender and puree them. Mix the bean puree and brownie mix together (do not add oil or eggs) , pour in a 9x9 brownie pan and bake according to the brownie mix package directions. Makes 20 servings (that seems like pretty small brownies - hmph) at 2 points apiece. Beans and chocolate seems like an odd (and gross) combination, but the people commenting on this particular message board raved about them! I guess I'll have to judge for myself! :-)

OK.....back to the grind. I'm still rooting for 39 by 39! I think I'll be pretty close, but I don't think I'll lose 9.1 pounds in the next 9 days. But, who knows? I mean, I DID lose 9.8 in one week last month and that was after yet another significant gain. :-)


Go 39 by 39!!! (Eccch....am I really going to be 39???)

Next.....we'll be "Laboring for 50". Going for 50 pounds removed by Labor Day!