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.


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. 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 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. 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???? 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......