Sunday, August 31, 2008

On the fitness front*, spent most of the day cleaning both bathrooms, going to Acme, and generally running around. Stopped at a farmer's stand and got corn on the cob, squash, and peaches. For dinner, gave Pat chicken tenders cooked in a white wine sauce (no, I didn't make it myself, it was one of those Tyson dishes), and actually had a small portion myself, along with salad. Want to get salmon and flounder for dinner.
*Of course, that's aside from my daily mile-and-a-half brisk walk with Susan. That always starts my day; as a rule, the only time I'll mention it is when we don't go.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Met Dee for lunch in Ventnor and we went to "Barrels" in Margate. We both had what was called Caesar salad, but you couldn't prove it by me. It was just Romaine, bottled sauce, and a few minuscule shrimps thrown on top. I left most of it, but ordered a side of sweet potato fries for us to share and they were good.
Enjoyed my conversation with Dee. She told me she's taken the house in Ventnor off the market and will move there permanently with her sister-in-law.
Got home and went to Tucker Tom's for broccoli, zucchini, and a few other items. I want to make zucchini casserole today, using the tomatoes I bought right before Pat came home with the home-grown ones from Old George. I suggested we have George for dinner (sounds cannibalistic!) on Tuesday; if Pat doesn't see him at the bay, he'll call him.
Political Note: Saw that a former beauty queen and hockey mom whose beliefs are to the right of Attila the Hun will be nominated for the vice presidency . Incredible.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Staffed the Food Pantry (not "Food Bank," which denotes a central distribution site) with Leslie yesterday, and greatly enjoyed it.
The Pantry is a joint project of the churches in Tuckerton and Leslie goes as a member of First Presbyterian.
We had about ten drop-ins, a few elderly, others with young children in tow. One woman, who looked to be in her late fifties, is raising five grandchildren. She had three with her: a 3-year-old and twins about seven, all beautiful little girls; she mentioned two older grandsons. It was so nice to provide her with help and chat with her, but the task she's taken on is mind-boggling.
The Pantry is open weekdays from 2 to 4, and Leslie, along with our mutual neighbor, Barbara D., covers once a month. Barb wasn't able to be there yesterday, so I went. Told Leslie I'd be glad to fill in when needed.
Remotely donating money or goods to charity is fine, but it's so much more satisfying to deal face-to-face with fellow humans. We could easily be in their shoes, as Leslie and I agreed yesterday, and I want never to forget that.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Terrific time at the park in Freehold yesterday, especially in the "sprayground" for kids. Took lunch as described and everybody loved it. They devoured every crumb, and went into raptures over the blueberry buckle. I was happy with my salad and just fed myself on their enjoyment. As it turned out, I didn't need my bathing suit; just took off my shoes and socks to enjoy watching the children's antics.
The park offers more than water fun. The kids played on the swings and slides, and baby enjoyed the sandbox. Then the "big boys" played soccer, while Mommy and I ran after the little one, who likes to toddle around and try to steal other people's shoes and toys.
Got home by 5:30 and gave Pat scrapple and eggs for dinner. I had an omelet with Egg Beaters. Old George had sent home a bag of luscious tomatoes from his garden--so, so good. I put a few slices in my omelet and will invite Old George for dinner soon.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stocked up for today's picnic after taking Pat to the dermatologist. Will bring ham and cheese on rye, peanut butter and jelly on white, salad, crystal pickles, mixed fruit, and iced tea and diet soda (in cans left over from the anniversary party). I have plenty of throw-away tableware and will bring a tablecloth, too.
For dessert, I made a incredibly delicious blueberry buckle from the recipe I got from Susan. Gave Pat a square last night and he heartily approved it. I even took one (one bite, that is) myself. Oh, joy, was that good!
Found out we'll be at a water park, although I think that just means wading pools for the kids. Nevertheless, will bring my bathing suit, although it feels very cool this morning; hope it warms up.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Exciting cultural news: I discovered a blog by George Orwell!
It wasn't originally a blog, of course, it's Orwell's journal. The entries, which are posted daily as if he were actually writing them now, correspond exactly to 70 years ago--i.e., today's entry is August 26, 1938.
Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) moved around a lot in his too-short 49 years, but was living in the English countryside at the start of his journal on August 9. Right now, the news is all on the farming/nature front, but I understand he'll comment on politics and war in September.
The Orwell "blog" can be found here:
From the ridiculous to the sublime (well, vice versa, really): I ordered a recent biography of Mario Lanza. Watching "The Great Caruso" on Sunday rekindled my interest in this Philadelphia phenomenon.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Went to Tucker Tom's for a stash of treasures from the earth, including tomatoes, peaches, broccoli, and more blueberries. The Jerseys are long gone, so these are from Michigan, but any port in a storm...
Am lunching with Marge today. Am toying with the idea of going to SeaOaks for their fabulous Cobb salad, but it's pretty much calorie-laden and a Caesar would be okay.
Attended Sunday at the Opera yesterday at our clubhouse and a neighbor/slight acquaintance went into the "wow, you're thin, but don't lose any more" routine. Why IS IT that people believe they have the authority and knowledge to tell you that? I'm not sure if they think it's a compliment or if they see the face that--let's face it (heh, heh)--is now heavily lined what with the fat under it gone, in which case, it's an insult, it seems to me. As I always do (well, I never claimed not to be bitchy), I asked this person just how much weight I was "supposed" to lose. Of course, she didn't know and couldn't answer when I asked her to tell me why she thought I had lost "enough."
Here's my take on this: People have been encouraged too damn much to let it all hang out, express themselves, say whatever comes into their heads, and so on. Therefore, they think nothing of giving unsolicited advice, back-handed compliments, and downright insults when somebody has lost a lot. My favorite outrageous weight-loss one is, "Have you been sick?," for which I'd like to come back with "Have you been well? You sure are fat."
Geesh, if somebody loses a lot, he or she either has a wasting disease or did it on purpose at considerable cost in time, effort, and determination. So observers should say, "Wow! You look fabulous!" or shut their pie holes.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Happy Day! Weighed in this morning and lost exactly what I had gained last week: 1.8 pounds. That means I'm maintaining the 71 lb. loss and am back to 127.08. I think my plan to go to WW every two weeks--unless I gain, in which case I'll revert back to a weekly weigh-in--is a good one.
Wonder if my legion of readers (yeah, sure) think I'm concentrating too much on keeping my weight loss gains (you understand that, now don't you?). However, I believe such vigilance is absolutely essential to avoid back-sliding. I don't record what I eat or how much I exercise--I didn't even do that very conscientiously when I was on the WW regime--but I know I must continue to monitor the weight itself.
And don't gimme that "I haven't lost pounds, I've lost inches," which is just another fatty's excuse. Good grief, you can't "lose inches" indefinitely. Presumably, people mean they exercise enough to tighten up their skin or something. Hey, you'd have to train like an Olympian to do that at any age, and believe me, once you're over the half-century mark, no amount of exercise is going to eliminate the full-body sag. (I should know.)
Anyway, I'm pleased about the above. It may have been helped along by my baby-sitting for adorable kiddies. Actually, I shouldn't say either "baby" (one is 6) or "sitting," as I barely stood still, let alone sat all day (other's an active, inventive, and curious 1--'nuff said).
After their parents and their two friends left for A.C., we walked to the pool; none of us drowned, although baby may have tried to arrange that. Got home and changed, then zipped off to the library which has a nice children's area. Both boys loved the ramp, which they jumped off happily (one step high) into a pile of puffy animals.
We then went to the park. Baby refused to wear his sandals, so walked on the wood chips barefooted, but it didn't seem to bother him. It was after 5:00 then and I had to get Pat's medication, so we went back home. The little one took a short nap (thank heavens!) and big brother and I played Go Fish. After baby woke up, I gave the boys and Pat a quick, pulled-together dinner and had a Boca burger myself. The kids then pulled out most of the toys and we all played with various things, including a bizarre laughing doll that absolutely intrigued the little guy.
J., J., and entourage came in about 7:00 and stayed an hour or so, chatting, then pack up all the equipment (stroller, Port-A-Crib, high chair, bathing suits, diapers, wipes, etc., etc.) and we said goodbye.
I swear, if I was still my 204 pound self, I would have collapsed halfway into the day. As it was, I cleaned up (toys were strewn from one end of the house to the other), enjoyed my popcorn and wine, then happily went to bed.
Am I ready to do it again? Absolutely. Soon? Uh...I'll get back to you on that.

Friday, August 22, 2008

As it turned out, Dee and I had to postpone our lunch date to next Friday; she had to go to the doctor unexpectedly. Instead of lunch out, I spend the day inside cleaning the oven. Well, it's self-clean, of course, but I didn't want to leave while it was on and it takes more than four hours. The odor was horrible, but luckily, it was a beautiful breezy day and I turned off the air and threw up all the windows. Also used a fan to blow the air out.
Gave Pat Slymphie Stew for dinner, along with gorgeous, delectable, thoroughly artery-choking fried eggplant. I was only able to harvest two of them (the other plant grew, but didn't produce) and they were very small. I picked them because they hadn't grown recently and I figured that was as big as they were going to get. Pat said they were good and he ate all of them. I had broccoli, salad, and tuna fish.
I have some of the Slymphie Stew left and will heat it up for lunch when the little boys come today. At the end of the day watching a six- and one-year-old, I'll surely be ready for my precious glass of wine tonight!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Had a great time lunching Chinese with my high school friend, Janie. After sitting for a half hour on the A.C. Expressway (air show traffic), I picked her up a bit after noon.
I hadn't had Chinese food for ages, so was a little unsure what to order. Finally went with shrimp in a whitish, gelatinous sauce; can't remember the name. I realized when it came that I've had it before and am not crazy about the sauce, as it reminds me of the paste we used to make with flour and water. (The consistency reminds of something much grosser than that.) Picked out and ate most of the shrimp, but left the rest. Consumed a few spoonfuls of the won ton soup (didn't eat any of the noodles), and had about half the fried rice. Broke the deep-fried vegetable "roll" in half and was going to eat some, but while we talked, it got cold and I changed my mind.
To sum up: What with so thoroughly enjoying catching up with Jane and not particularly caring for the food, I didn't eat much. However, I satisfied my hunger (or appetite--it's hard to pinpoint which) and that was fine. Although I'm still uncomfortable wasting food--those starving children in Europe, you know*--I'm okay with eating only enough to be satisfied.
Stopped on my way home at Mary's, also a high school friend, and told her I'll call so we can arrange a day for her and Jane to come to our place for lunch. Am looking forward to that.
Again, I ate lightly at dinner. Had large bowls each of salad and broccoli and half a medium baked potato. Today, I'll pick up Dee (the woman who owns my childhood home) for lunch, but this time, will suggest we go to a general restaurant so I can revert back to my old standby, Caesar with chicken.
*I forgot! Children are no longer starving in Europe. In fact, they may suffer from obesity over there, too.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Had a heavily "plant day" yesterday, aside from breakfast, of course. Ate a large salad for lunch, plus a big bowl of beautiful broccoli. Later, during my 4:30 slump, I enjoyed a serving (10 or 12 ounces, I guess) of the Brussels sprouts I had just picked up at Tucker Tom's. Gave Pat a pork chop, applesauce, and corn for dinner, but decided for myself to take advantage of the lucious Jersey peaches I bought at Dawn's on Monday. Cut up two of them and combined them with a slice of comely cantaloupe (I'm getting sick of this alliteration!) and the fresh beets I had just roasted.
Hey, it wasn't a "balanced" (in the sense of including various food groups) meal, but looking at the day over all, it was nutritous (and delicious) vegetarian fare. As a half-hearted gesture toward protein, I interrupted Pat to cut off for myself just one small bite of his breaded pork chop. It was heavenly to taste, but so were my veggies and fruit.
Even more heavenly, of course, are my size 8 jeans...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Had a delicious, delightful time with baby Snooks yesterday--unfortunately, I also put some delicious, delightful stuff in my tummy. Took the kid to The Plum Tree for lunch. Trying to decide what he could eat, I ordered French fries along with my Greek salad. The place also offered mixed fruit and ham cooked in banana sauce (yes, I know it sounds weird), free with a meal. I gave the little angel only a small amount of fries, cut-up watermelon, and a few bits of feta cheese, then made the mistake of trying to spoon-feed him some of the sticky banana sauce. The kid insisted--loudly--in grabbing the bowl, dipping his whole hand in and happily eating the stuff, while smearing all over his face, shirt, the high chair tray, me. Well, I had to eat the rest of the French fries, didn't I? Later, I stopped at nearby Tootie's and got an Italian ice (geez, I went so international yesterday), which baby and I shared.
That wasn't so bad, but later, while adorable child napped, I prowled the apartment and managed to pack away cheese crackers, ice cream, a slice of bread with peanut butter, jelly beans--well, no sense in recording all of it. I just went nuts in the food department.
Didn't get home until almost 9:00, the time I usually go to bed. After getting Pat's evening medication and setting up for the morning, I figured the day was unsalvagable anyway, so accompanied my wine with the potato chips my recent visitors left. Well, might as well be hung for a goose as a gander (is that really the way the quote goes?), so I topped it all off with the rest of the rainbow sherbet in the freezer.
I hope and believe my sudden and unexpected ravenous appetite has been satisfied for a long time to come. Aside from realizing it was probably triggered by being outside my usual routine, I don't feel like analyzing it. It happened, it's over, and I'm going on from here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Getting ready to go up the road to take care of precious baby while his Mommy and Daddy take big brother to Great Adventure. On the food front, think I'll go to The Olive Tree (or Plum Tree or some kind of tree) for lunch. I assume I'll get plenty of exercise in running after the little one, who just turned one, but has been walking for two months.
On my way home, I'll replenish my supply of both veggies and blueberries. I do have a big salad already made* which I'll keep in reserve and will probably have for dinner.
*For the basics, I cut up or shred green-leaf lettuce and add small chunks of tomato and sliced onion, filling a large stainless steel bowl. I cover this with a piece of paper towel that I rinse and wring out, so the salad stays crisp and moist. When I'm ready to eat, I remove a portion of it and add kidney beans, beets, feta cheese, and no-cal dressing; if I happen to have mushrooms, I add them, too. Occasionally, will put in a sliced hard-boiled egg, cut up chicken, or tuna fish.
I eat this salad for either lunch, dinner, or a 4:00 snack about five days a week. At meals, it usually accompanies a Boca burger and/or broccoli, yams, or other veggies.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Have stuck to my "eating low on the food chain" resolve. Stopped at Tucker Tom's to get lots of veggies. Had salad and broccoli for lunch, shrimp, butternut squash, and Brussel sprouts for dinner (followed, of course, by wine and popcorn at 8:00). Also took a second walk yesterday; I want to increase my daily exercise.
This morning I'll find out just how much I've gained over the past month. I think it's no more than a few p0unds, as I can still easily button and zip my clothes. On that topic, I was pleased to see that the new Gloria Vanderbilt, size 8 short jeans I just bought fit like a glove.
Will record my progress (or lack thereof) when I get back from Weight Watchers in a few hours.
Later: Okay, I gained 1.8, about what I expected. That's not too bad, as I'm still in the one-twenties (but barely, at 129.6) and am still down an even 70 pounds. I do want to be vigilant, though, and will continue to eat heavy--no, no, light!--on the veggie side. May decide to get weighed in weekly, too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Took friend Mary Ann Van O. to SeaOaks for lunch. Instead of my usual, I splurged with the Cobb salad--oh, boy, and yummy-yum-yum! Of course, it's loaded with things I don't usually eat, including bacon, but I finished only half and took home the rest. Also had a Coors light.
It's funny that I have plenty of beer at home, but I never drink it there. It's not because I'm worried about the alcohol content, but I don't want to add to calorie intake. When I go out, though, I see no problem with a light one.
We stopped down the bay after to see Pat, then went to Parson's Seafood to see if they had flounder, but they didn't. Mary Ann came home with me and we chatted for an hour; she left as Pat came in.
I had the rest of the salad for dinner, along with a yam and was well satisfied. Gave Pat cube steak, but also made him potatoes Julianne. Think I'll go for flounder (him) and salmon (me) tonight.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

(Imagine musical notes): Back in the saddle again...back with my good veggie friends.... Okay, I'll stop.
Took Pat to the endocrinologist in Ventnor yesterday and stopped on the way home at good ol' Santori's. Practically filled the back seat with broccoli, lettuces, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, lemons, bananas, feta, and acorn and butternut squash. Was intrigued by, and bought, a bag of "high fiber mini-bagels" for only 100 calories each. I usually put my breakfast cottage cheese on regular whole wheat bread with the same "cost," so bought them and will try today.
Had the rest of my lunch salad and a big bowl of broccoli for dinner, as I'm "eating low," so to speak, until I get weighed on Saturday and am back into my routine. (Guess that means eating low on the food chain, a good idea for everybody.)
Mary Ann V. called last night to ask if I could go to lunch. We both have various commitments other days, so settled on tomorrow. I'll pick her up and it's my turn to decide where to go, so I'll have to think of somewhere. Hmm...what's a good Caesar salad venue?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Just got back from dropping off son and DIL in Toms River--(sob). They took us to Calloway's for dinner last night and I really pulled out all the stops. Had lobster tails (two of them), mashed potatoes, and a Coors Light--even indulged in a roll. Of course, there's no point in eating lobster if it isn't drenched in melted butter and I made sure to have every piece dripping. Geesh, it was great.
When we got home, I gave Pat his nightly bowl of ice cream (butter pecan), talked to Ellen on the web cam, then went to bed. Brought along three Hershey Kisses, so topped off my eating frenzy with a fittingly decadent finale.
But okay, NOW I'm back. Will resume my vegetable-and-exercise routine to return to the 71-pounds-off level. I had told Susan I wouldn't walk today because of going to Toms River, but I got back in time and have decided to stop for her. It's true I got up at 3:30, so have had only five hours sleep, but I'll make it up later. I don't want to give myself a pass on walking because it too easily becomes a habit.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

We had great fun at the Philadelphia Zoo yesterday, notwithstanding the incredibly dense traffic and enormous crowds. (Well, whaddya expect on a beautiful August Saturday?)
On the food front, I confined myself to what was called "Caesar salad" (possibly the worst I ever tasted, so I ate about an eighth of it), a "child-sized" (regular) Sprite, and a large soft pretzel. The stuff came with a little packet of two Oreos, and I ate them as we strolled around--figured they were minor empty calories.
We did, as usual, walk a lot--all day, in fact. We didn't sit down even to eat lunch, so we were essentially walking and standing for roughly four hours. Dropped son and wife off at bank before we went home, then stopped for cold cuts and we had them for dinner. Gave Pat soup and a cheese and tomato sandwiches and I had a Boca Burger on one piece of whole wheat. The Tokyo Twins stopped at the supermarket on the way home and got themselves enormous long rolls, which they enjoyed with sliced tomato, cucumber, and lettuce.
Still think I've gained and our guests are taking us out for dinner tonight. Oh, yes, I'll indulge again but no matter. I was able to button the white slacks I inherited from Alison (size 8 and too big for her), so the gain may not be significant. In any event, I'll deal with it.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Have been having an absolute ball with California daughter E. and Tokyo son and wife. Tearfully put former on the plane (well, I dropped her off at the airport) on Thursday, but we're still enjoying the other two.
On the weight front, I have some concern. My clothes still fit fine, but I'm pretty sure I've gained a few, as I've been deviating considerably from my usual. On Wednesday, daughter A. had us up for dinner (along with J., J., and the kiddies) and oh, yum-yum. I had more than one helping of maple and walnut salmon, teriaki chicken, corn on the cob, baked beans, and fresh string beans. What's more, after our anniversary party, I had frozen a large portion of the cake. I had planned at the time to share it with visiting children in August, so that's what I contributed that for dessert. We all enjoyed it, including yours truly. It was luscious, of course, but sinfully rich.
Son made catfish on Tuesday. He poached it with carrots, onions, and seasonings and I liked it a lot. However, he also made a delectable hummus and fresh chive concoction that we spread it on the dense bread they had bought. I ate plenty of that, too.
Earlier that day, we had gone to the aquarium in Atlantic City, then to Lucy the pachyderm in Margate. At son's insistance, we stopped at glorious Sacco Subs for lunch and I scarfed down "half of a half" of a regular sub, about the equivalent of four regular sandwiches and maybe six million calories. (Incrediably, very slender--about 5'8" and maybe 115 pounds--DIL ate her entire half and son--about 5'9" and maybe 135--ate a whole sub.)
Yesterday, we spent most of the day at the mall and supermarket and had lunch there. I had sushi (son and DIL ate Italian), so exercised okay damage control. However, son made his own version of fried rice for dinner, and DIL made chicken. I had both, and bread and butter, too, I'm afraid.
But, hey, I'm not terribly upset over all this. I have been over-eating, but also have gotten a lot of walking in. I am reconciled to being higher than I was at my last weigh-in, but I think by only a few pounds. As son and DIL will still be here tomorrow, I won't weigh in until next Saturday (and it will have been a month, I guess, since my last time) and I will have been back on the straight and narrow for five days, so no problem--I hope. If the gain is more than I like, I'll take it off in the coming weeks. In any event, will report it here.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Went way overboard at great-grandson's first birthday party yesterday. Washed down sausage, meatballs, pasta, and potato and corn salad with two and a half beers (well, they were light), and enjoyed every morsel. Also had two pieces of luscious birthday cake with not butter cream (delectable enough), but whipped cream icing--oh, yeah! However, ate only salad for dinner, had my usual wine and popcorn last night, and will resume normal eating habits today.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Met Viv at Calloway's for dinner last night. Had broiled flounder, "mixed vegetables" (I always think they just throw together the leftovers from lunch), and a baked potato. Skipped the rolls and butter, of course, but did enjoy a cup of corn chowder and a light beer.
It would have been a very pleasant evening catching up with each other's doings, except for the deafening noise of a child or children on the other side of the room, throwing tantrums and screaming almost throughout the entire time we were there. Kid(s) should have been taken out, but parents haughtily stared back at the amazed and annoyed diners who got up to look at them (including Viv and me).
Aside from that, we enjoyed our outing and will get together again. Went home to have popcorn and wine, of course, and will now pick Susan up for our walk.