Grillin’ Out and Walking This Way…

I was thinking of the Aerosmith song and not Monty Python. I was also thinking that we have a really long hike to the bathroom in our new office digs. I used my pedometer yesterday and it’s a 0.07 mile round trip, so I could get an entire mile in if I make fourteen bathroom trips in a day. Unfortunately, that would both impair my efficiency and make people think I have a serious problem, so I think I’ll have to take the loss on that one.

I’ve gotten a couple of requests from friends who are interested in my weight loss/general health success to know what I’m eating, so I’m going to document tomorrow and post everything Thursday. I would today, but we’re low on groceries, so today isn’t very pretty. I’m working on a larger post about the gluten free thing, but I will go ahead and tell you that I’ve lost TWENTY POUNDS. I’ve experienced a host of other improvements, but I want to devote an entire post to that topic, so suffice it to say that gluten free is definitely for me!

We’ve been cooking outside a good bit lately…our air conditioner is on its last legs, so we’re trying to avoid heating the house any more than necessary. Plus, we can keep Indy outside and wear her out some so she’s not quite such a terrorist in the house. Last week, we did some pretty righteous burgers and grilled corn…

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We used the Udi’s gluten free buns…they were extremely dense. It was nice to have something that resembled a traditional cheeseburger, but I’m not sure it was worth it, so I don’t know that we’ll bother with buns when it’s just us eating at home.

Yesterday, we made sausage with cabbage and onions (German food!)…no specific recipe. We bought some turkey sausage links at Aldi, so we sauteed those with onions in butter and then added a bag of shredded cabbage and cooked it all down until the cabbage was tender. We used a half cup or so of chicken stock to deglaze the pan and enjoyed it al fresco while watching the puppy get stuck in the bushes and pee in the yard.

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It ain’t pretty, but it was good. The after-effects? Not quite as good.

Also, yesterday was Shelli’s seventh adoptiversary. I can’t believe it’s been seven years. I still love her so much that it hurts. She’ll always be my first child. Joey got her a pressed catnip cigar, and she totally cracked out on it for half an hour or so until she decided that Indy’s toys were more interesting.

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I’ve started getting the itch to knit again…I’m lusting over yarn and project photos on my favorite knitting blogs. It’s time to pull something out to work on. I have a scarf that I started in March…I think I’ll finish that up and (finally) learn how to block. I’m also slowly working myself up to being brave enough to try socks.

I know. I’m a rebel.

I Am Camping My Butt Off!

We are enjoying our final camping “hurrah” of the year; I always take the week of Thanksgiving off from work for several reasons…it’s Joey’s and my anniversary week, it only requires three vacation days rather than the full five, and most of my coworkers like to take time off at Christmas and I like Thansgiving better anyway.

Joey and I usually try to plan a vacation of some sort during that week, ever since our honeymoon in 2002; it’s funny…we planned our wedding around Thanksgiving break since we were both still in college and needed to plan it around school vacation:).  We’ve always been practical, I suppose.

Anyway, with as much stress as we’ve had lately, between my recovery of the “mental holocaust” of 2011 and our various work-and-school related deadlines and drama, Joey and I really haven’t gotten any time to just rest.  So, we’ve packed up the camper and gone to Black Mountain for a little R&R.

Here’s my attempt at looking thuggish in my newly knitted Slouchy Hipster Hat which is a fantastic free pattern from one of my favorite knit-bloggers, Crazy Aunt Purl.  It’s a little big on me, so I’ll probably knit another one with smaller needles, but it’s very cute, and it has come in very handy with how chilly it’s been up here.

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A nighttime fire pic, as I take on every trip.  Everything smells like campfire right now, my clothes, my hair, the inside of the camper…everything, and it’s wonderful.  It’s like a little piece of heaven.

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From this morning, while we were getting the fire started back up to cook breakfast:

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Chef Joseph and the bacon:

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And a plate of goodness:  3 strips of bacon (I pulled off the fatty parts and tossed them in the fire), hash browns, two scrambled eggs, one piece of rye toast, and some coffee.  Food tastes better when cooked over an open fire.

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Yesterday, we found a funky local diner to have breakfast, it was called “Louise’s,” and it was definitely hipster-y grungy cool, but the food kind of sucked and the coffee came out of a pump caraffe, which is sign number one that the service and coffee are both going to be lackluster.  I’m not sure how much we spent, but I’m relatively sure it was too much.  But, it’s all good because that’s part of the adventure…finding little hole-in-the-wall places and new experiences.

I’m also bummed that we don’t have Ingle’s at home because it’s so much nicer than Harris Teeter.  We’re going to have to make our way out today because, among other things we’ve got to get, I forgot a hairbrush.  Yep.  a hairbrush.  The hat has gotten very liberal use as a result.

Now for a little chilling and doing this:

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Chuck Norris Meets Dante’s Inferno…

The highlight of my week?

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It doesn’t take much, eh?  I’ve been having to use a stupid infrared optical mouse for the last week or so because my old trackball died.  My new one finally came.

In other news, Joey is capable of doing PhD work while serving as a cat-nap surface.

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It’s been a strange week….lots of fires to put out at work (not literal ones.  Dad.), and I haven’t been very successful at it.  In happier news, the weather has finally cooled down enough that I can go down to the car and nap during lunch again:).

Or knit.

What I’m currently knitting:

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I LOVE this yarn color…it’s actually Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn! in some sort of autumny self-striping colorway.  Pretty sweet.

Progressively, I’ve been able to get myself back out to the outer rings of Hell, at least (hence the Dante comment)…as I definitely hit the Eighth Circle somewhere between Tuesday and Yesterday.  I’m currently sitting between the First and Second now, which I’ll accept.  Don’t worry…it’s all because of the afore-mentioned fires at work.

I wish Chuck Norris came in a pocket-sized version.  I’d love to take him with me wherever I go, to have him just in case I needed an impromptu can of WhoopAss to be opened.

Frustrated.

“The Dress” will be here soon.  I’m wracked with fear about it.  I am most assuredly not ready to go and be fitted for alterations, which I’m hoping won’t be a problem since the wedding still isn’t for eight months.  Weight loss has NEVER been this hard for me before, and it’s driving me slowly insane.  How on earth did I used to do this so easily before? How in the hell did I work for Weight Watchers for seven years and yet not have the sense instilled in me to do what I know to do? 

“Fat Girl Syndrome” sucks.  You know what I’m taking about…knowing what to do, but not wanting to do it, not putting forth the effort that you know will bring results.  It’s ridiculous.  And it starts this cycle of shame and eating because of the shame and being embarrassed because your skinny friends are silently judging you and then eating because you’re embarrassed and so on and so forth.  It’s this never-ending hamster wheel of hell.

I look at this

and wonder how it turned into this

I don’t want to be the fat bridesmaid.  But the flipside is that, no matter how much weight I lose, I’ll be the big bridesmaid, so I’m screwed either way.  I just want to feel like I’m not an embarrassment in this dress.

As much as self-help people try to convince us otherwise, our sense of self-worth is inextricably tied to how we look.  We can talk a big game about being accepted for who we are and feeling beautiful at any size, but the reality is that, more often than not, our sense of success and failure is dictated by our weight.  I am fat, therefore I am a failure.  When I am thin, I’ll be successful.  And, to a degree, that’s true…a local financial consultant who has a show on our talk radio station cited a statistics that connected salaries, promotions, and raises with physical fitness…the thinner the employee, the better his or her chances of advancement and increased salary.  So, even though these inspirational speakers tell you that your weight does not determine your worth, it actually *does*…at least, it does to your employer.

Man, all of this angst over a dress.  I must be cracking up.

Knitted Yarmulke, Baby Gifts, Camping Pictures, and Sob-Inducing Books

I knitted a yarmulke the other day.  It’s kind of awesome.

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I also finally finished my knitted gifts for my favorite blogger, Heather of Heather Eats Almond Butter.  I wanted to wait until I knew she’d gotten them before I posted pics of the finished objects.

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The Sleep Sack is Comfort Wool’s Owlie Sleep Sack.  It was my second attempt at cables, and it was amazingly easy…this is a great beginner pattern for someone looking to try their hand at cables…the cabled portion is short and sweet, just enough to push you out of your comfort zone, followed by ten inches of mindless stockinette, during which time you can silently rejoice over your conquering of the dreaded cable needle;).  The owls blocked out really well.  I used Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Cotton, which was insanely soft.  I’m totally going back to spend some green papers on more of that to make myself a sweater sometime in the near future.

And here are some camping pics…I intended to post these earlier but somehow didn’t feel like posting during my recent bout with the plague (come on, freaking left ear….pop already).  Here’s the campsite

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It was fabulous…secluded, wooded, spacious.  There was an elevated pad for the tent, which was nice…it rained on us Sunday, and if it had poured, the tent pad would have kept us from getting flooded.  Check out this fire ring…

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It was HUGE.  We could have put a whole tree trunk in there…Joey actually had a little trouble managing to fit the cooking grate in it.  You’re looking at our breakfast Saturday (9/25)…potatoes, leftover chili, and hot coffee.  Food is better cooked over a fire.  I don’t know why.  It’s just that way.

I’m leaving for NYC on Friday, to sing with the choir at this concert at Carnegie Hall.  My voice is starting to go (for some reason, that’s always the last thing to happen when I contract the plague.  Once, I lost my voice for three weeks).  I’m hopeful that I won’t end up lip-syncing during what’ll probably be my most outrageous singing experience ever (of course, I’ve said that before and here I am heading to NYC). 

I’ve re-discovered how much I hate shopping.  Before leaving, I needed:  a bag to carry around the city, a duffel bag for packing, a black top for the concert, new black shoes for the concert, and jeans (I only have one pair that I can get in right now).  I have been to EVERY (affordable) store in Charlotte.  And I hate it.  I’m a mercenary shopper…I run in, attack the racks, try things on in an insane frenzy of elbows and hair, sweating and ripping things back off and half-putting them on the hanger right.  But I’m finally done…four pairs of jeans from Goodwill, a bag from Burlington, black top from Belk (in the south, it’s “Belk’s”), and Aigner shoes from The Shoe Dept (on clearance for fifteen bucks!).  I don’t want to shop again for the rest of the year.

So, I’ve watched Criminal Minds, Joey’s watching a show on PBS about the Moral Majority and abortion…they totally just showed a clip from the 80s where Jerry Falwell was giving a speech about abortion and got a pie thrown at him.  Wow.  And I wish that I had remembered to get a decaf latte at Caribou when I met my parents after work.

Oh, and this week’s book for class, Our House in the Last World, by Oscar Hijuelos, reduced me to a snot-dripping, crying, basket case for half an hour this evening.  It’s a great book, but for once, I’d like to read one that doesn’t make me cry and wonder what’s happened to my life.  It also makes me want to write things that are that important.  But I don’t know if I really have anything that important to say.

Here’s the baby…sleeping soundly on Vellux.

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Love to all…