Friday, May 29, 2020

Sweet Dreams Sweet Puppy!

In a push to help Rayna's allergy situation and just because she needed new beds, she is now the proud(?) owner of three raised mesh/canvas beds. Now all the dander, dog hair, dirt, and / or bugs will fall to the floor rather than live and fester in the bedding. I can easily sweep / mop under her beds and throw the blankets I bought specifically for her in the wash.

She also got some good meds and medicated shampoo from the vet last Saturday and has been a much less itchy / scratchy canine. I'm not thrilled about bathing her three times a week, but it's doing what it's meant to, so I'll keep it up for another week before tapering off.'s Friday again. Another three-day weekend sure would be nice, wouldn't it?

Hope you enjoy the two days we're getting. Take care!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

So many things to celebrate...

First and foremost, the WIP is no longer a Work In Progress. It's DONE. It came in 6K words over the requirement but it doesn't look like I'll have to chop chop chop. Whew! I really didn't know what was choppable.

Now it's time to get some sort of outline and/or synopsis going for the next WIP. Oh, boy!

* * * * *

I put my red, white, and blue fairy lights up this past weekend and enjoyed having them on whenever I was in my office. And I have enough of them that they cover three of four walls even having to go up and over the window. There is no chair rail on the fourth wall so no need / desire for lights on that one...

* * * * *

The first carb-fast was a success. I lost about an inch around the hips, but not much at waist or bust, but that's okay. On the other hand, I've suddenly noticed over the last few days how loose many of my pants and shirts fit, so something's disappearing from somewhere. :0)

Reward day (Sunday) was all it was cracked up to be.

So, yes, I ate that pint of ice cream and the bag of licorice. I had one box of those yogurt covered cranberries and three pumpkin cupcakes with frosting. I also had a coffee thing from Starbucks and a steak lunch (below) courtesy of DD. It was a gluttonous day, but well worth it. I was back on the carb-fast wagon Monday morning however and will be going for three weeks this time. I've also added back in my targeted exercise routines.

* * * * *

Anyway, have a great rest of your week!!

Monday, May 25, 2020

In remembrance...

Friday, May 22, 2020

Snoopy Dancing!!

It's a three-day weekend. And I'm so happy to have it right now.

I'm looking forward to all those available writing hours ahead of me as well as to my weekly Zoom chat with my writer besties. I'm still not sure I'll be able to tell them the book is finished though. I worked on it this morning and I have tomorrow's hours prior to our call to make it happen, but I'm not sure I accomplished enough today. Maybe I'll spend some time with it during lunch today...

* * * * *

Several months ago, my mother-in-law gave me a wonderful counter-top oven. It works great and I love it. Thanks again, Mimi! But it has lived on my counter since then and it's the size of a large microwave. So between it and my actual microwave, well, the counters are full. And I just couldn't take it any longer, so I made a purchase yesterday. A kitchen cart to put this thing on. And it's awesome. The main part of the counters are now free off all the crap that had been conglomerating on it.

It's a little taller than I realized, and I'm debating relocating it, but otherwise it's great. Those things on the shelf were also on the counter, so I was glad to get them a new home. And of course, I didn't grab a picture of my lovely, open counters. Ah, well. But every time I walk into the kitchen, I smile.

* * * * *

My carb fast is supposed to end tomorrow (Saturday). Meaning I can enjoy my reward on Sunday. Or all my rewards. I've wondered if I should keep going for another week... On the other hand, my original deal with myself was two weeks. I can set the next stint at three weeks, right? Right; okay. That's settled. :0)

I almost gave up / cheated last night. DD asked for McDonald's while I was out and about picking up my cart on the way home, and I was soooo tempted to buy something for myself as well, but I resisted. I only have today and tomorrow to get through and I can make it and enjoy all the junk I want on Sunday.

Monday, it'll be back on the wagon. Gonna give it another go and add the additional targeted exercise back into the mix. I shouldn't have the side effects this time around.

* * * * *

And that is that, I guess. Y'all have a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Did you know...?

That Ludwig von Beethoven was completely deaf when he wrote his most famous works?

His piece de resistance, Symphony No. 9, aka Ode to Joy, was his last complete work and is a masterpiece that was so challenging that the musicians of the day struggled to play it. Even now, it's a challenge. From what I heard. I wouldn't know as I don't play an instrument. :0)

Anyway, I heard the tale via a podcast called "This Week In History." It's well worth a listen if you like podcasts and like history.

From another one of these episodes I learned that our building codes were a result of the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919.

* * * * *

Sooo... long weekend coming up and I'm very excited about that as I get an extra day for writing without having to stop my momentum to go to work.

I verbally pledged to my writer besties last Saturday that I would finish the book by this Saturday morning's Zoom chat--which I thought last Saturday I could do.

But all I've been doing is fleshing out on my way to the part that really needs finishing, so now I'm worried. But I'm almost to that part, so tomorrow morning's session should at least get me where I need to be, if not starting it. And with any luck, I can wrap it up during Friday's and Saturday's writing sessions.

There will be editing, of course, but come the weekend, I'll be turning my attention to the next book. A friend agreed to help me brainstorm / plot for a bit on Saturday, because I have to hit the ground running on the writing of it by June 1.

And in order to get the words flowing at the rate I need them to, I need a road map with accurate plot markers. As I've lamented often, I'm not great at plotting. Things seem to come together after the fact when I don't necessarily have a deadline and I can make pass after pass after pass and things occur to me. But that won't be acceptable now.

I traded the website work I'm doing now for editing in August, so that's taken care of. I just need to figure out what I want the cover to look like and get that commissioned. Then I'm ready to go and it's all on me to make the words happen.


* * * * *

And that's all I got, folks. Have a great rest of your week. See you (probably) Friday.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Adventures in Cooking

Since I have no carbs...I need flavor and I got a wild taste for chili. I grew up eating chili with beans and have always made it that way, as one often does with foods from childhood...

However, beans have a lot of carbs, so I searched for alternatives. Google suggested lima beans, which still have a lot of carbs but also have half as many fiber grams. Alas, still too many for me right now. I thought about chick peas aka garbanzo beans, but they have the same problem.

So I thought--I'm in Texas and beanless chili is a thing. But what could I add to add some bulk--as if beef wasn't enough--and I decided on kale. Of course, you have to enjoy kale for this to work, which I do, so I was off to the races. I bought a package of chili seasoning because I'm not good with that kind of thing and instead of plain old diced tomatoes, I bought a can of Ro-tel for an added kick.

This is what I ended up with:

The flavor was great. I enjoyed the kale. I'm not so fond of chunks of tomato, so next time, I'll probably run the Ro-tel through the food chopper a bit. But this ended up a winner of a Keto-friendly recipe and off the cuff too.

The other thing I made this weekend, which probably isn't that original, is Buffalo Chicken Poppers.

I'd made this Buffalo-flavored cream cheese chicken thing Saturday instead of the BBQ chicken the rest of family ate and it lacked a little something, which I'll have to pick a friends brain about later. It wasn't bad, just a little bland on its own, so I bought jalapenos to stuff and that was also very tasty.

Writing this up is making me hungry! But I still have a couple of hours before I can break my fast for the day, but rest assured, I will be eating one or the other of those items for my morning snack.

Hope you had a great weekend and here's to a productive week.

Friday, May 15, 2020

As the Body Adjusts...

So with the dearth of grain-based carbs and sugars, my body is making adjustments and I can feel the drain as it works harder. I've been a bit foggy in the brain a couple of mornings as well as feeling a little extra tired.

The articles I've read assure me that this is normal. My body is now utilizing other things in the body and converting them to the fuel I need, especially my brain. While I don't like feeling fuzzy-brained or tired, it's nice to have evidence that things seem to be working the way they're supposed to and that eventually my body will adjust and I'll be back to least as far as that goes.

We all know I'm not normal. :0)

I have been struggling with consuming enough calories though; more than I thought I would and as a result of that and the extra-tiredness, I've cut back on the exercising so I'm not burning so many. So more brainstorming as to how I can add calories. I've added back the meatloaf...

I'm eating pretty much all the things various articles have said I should be eating on a low/no carb diet except for one or two. As we know from previous posts, coconut oil has a lot of health benefits. Many articles say it adds a nice flavor to tea or coffee, and it's fairly high in calories, so I'm going to try that. I've also been craving a nice juicy hamburger, so guess what's going on the grocery list this week?

One of the perks of going keto, supposedly, is the loss of cravings for carbs...and I love carbs so much. So I'm toying with the notion of that reward of ice cream. Maybe I shouldn't. Of course, everything in moderation, right? If I splurge on a pint of ice cream every couple of months, what's it really going to hurt?

* * * * *

While I haven't exercised every day, I did take advantage of the time and spent it writing. I'm not done with the book as I'd hoped to be, but I'm soooo close. Maybe at the end of tomorrow morning's three hours, I'll be able to say it's done. *fingers crossed*

* * * * *

Oh--guess what I found / bought last week...?

Four brand-new strings of red/white/blue fairy lights!! Remember my old strands had burnt out? My theory on that was that the third strand was different from the first two and they somehow shorted out as a result. Anyway, as the country gears up for Memorial Day and subsequently the Fourth of July, the stores have their sections of holiday-related paraphernalia, and there they were. So I bought them because I'm a weak, weak woman.

Any-who, have a great weekend and I'll catch you on flip side. Maybe with good news, maybe with pictures...

Take care!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

I'm bored, life is boring...

The reason posts have been hit or miss lately is because life has been rather routine for the last six weeks or so... I'm not going anywhere, I'm not doing anything that warrants excitement or a blog post.

Now that the shine has worn off the pandemic and the shelter-in-place orders, I'm ready for the world to get back to normal.

I listened to a series of videos last week that painted a vastly different picture of the pandemic than the media has hyped for the last couple of months. Just so you understand, I'm not blaming Trump and I have never blamed Trump. He did what the experts told him to do. And he never got credit up front for banning travel from China when he did. The media and others poo-poo'd the decision in the beginning, but then never gave him credit when everyone decided it was a good thing to have done.


I don't mind my routines, but as I said, they don't make for interesting blog posts, so let's revisit the image archives once again...

Blast from the past! I have no idea how long it was that I weighed 145 lbs. But I've come a long way baby.

Supposedly the best fried chicken in Memphis. DH and I stopped here on our way to Nashville many moons ago. It was pretty good chicken.

Yeah, it was pretty some point in the past. Thank goodness it's no longer that cold.

Have a great week!

Monday, May 11, 2020

And so it begins...

The carb-fast started yesterday, so there's not much to report on that front just yet.

I did finally reach the weight window I wanted to be in, so I now have to add calories, i.e. additional snacks and/or meals, to the day. Which I have done. Might have to add more. I also cut back my time on the elliptical so as not to burn as many calories. Although, they're all in fat burn mode, which is actually the goal at this point--to burn the flab I have for energy, so that might not be the best course of action. But we'll see how it goes and fine tune later.

* * * * *

I should, with any luck, finish my WIP this week. Just as far as having the full story told and "on paper." It'll still need a good editing before I send it out to others, but the storytelling will be done. Then I can move on to the other project.

Speaking of the other project, after chatting with a friend and fellow writer, I'm going to have to issue a deadline for myself if I want to reach my goal of having this thing ready for publication in October. The sense of urgency may be helpful.

October because that's when my annual conference is held and, barring the complete closing of the hotel and/or the city, it is going on as planned. I will be there.

* * * * *

In some random hockey news, there's a new housing development being built in Las Vegas and the streets are all going to be named after the roster of the hockey team's inaugural year. I love the name I street I live on, but sign me up for hockey-related residential street names!!

* * * * *

Have a great week--

Friday, May 8, 2020

Have a Great Weekend--

That is all...

Monday, May 4, 2020

Feel the burn...

The legs are sore today! I found some lunges I could do, which happened Sunday morning and yowza. I'm feeling it today. Overall the targeting work outs are working, if only because they generally burn a goodly amount of calories on top of the elliptical/cardio workout. Visible results--i.e. less actual fat/flab on the body will take a little longer to see.

I'm easing into the carb fast this week by transitioning into some of the foods I'll be eating next week. Trying them out, see how they taste, see how they fill me up. I can already sense some adjustments coming.

* * * * *

Our state is lifting restrictions, but it'll be interesting to see how the COVID-19 curve does with all those people out in the world. I'll be holding off a little longer I guess. Not so much for my own health, but for those around me. I'd hate to transport it to someone at risk.

* * * * *

My trip to the grocery store yesterday was uneventful. Still no vitamin C and still no black thread, but everything else looked fine. Not always full shelves, but there was some product at least. I didn't check out the flour situation as I don't need any. I've stopped making banana bread / muffins since I don't need any more temptation than can be helped.

* * * * *

Progress is slow on the book file housekeeping project I started a couple of weeks ago. Creating the various files takes no time at all--it's reading through each book for word-smithing, finding any lingering typos, and standardizing things that takes the most time. I'll get at least one book a week done. Maybe two if I read shorter books.

* * * * *

Anyway, my weekend was pretty good. Hope yours was the same. Here's to a good and productive week.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Friday Once Again...

I mentioned the carb fasting last week and I've been doing my homework in regards to how many carbs are in the foods I regularly eat.

My 5-grams-or-less rule might have to modified for one food item: my Greek yogurt. Most flavors have 10 grams of carbs with 3 grams of fiber for a net carb count of 7 grams. I'm not willing to give up the yogurt right now, so I think that's going to be the exception item.

And I also mentioned, I'll be upping the veggie intake mostly via salads. Now it's time to research a few salad fixins'. Few people like a plain salad and kale salad definitely needs a bit of sprucing up. Plus I'll have some calories in general to work with since I'm also trading in the daily (Stouffer's delicious) meatloaf for tuna.

My targeted start date for this fast is either May 10th or May 17th at the latest, and my goal is to fast for two full weeks.

The targeted exercise routines are still in trial and error mode, but we're getting there. My goal is to have at least six, but hopefully nine exercises for each body area to mix and match from.

My reward for fasting for the full two weeks, no matter the results, will be this:

 Not a whole gallon, though--just a pint. I can't wait.

* * * * *

Last week's trip to the grocery store was mostly fine. I didn't run into any shortages food-wise, but was unable to find Vitamin C tablets. I'll try again this week. The thing that really floored me (but maybe shouldn't have, considering the COVID-19 mandates for masks) was the complete obliteration of the fabric section and thread. All I wanted was a roll of black thread for my sewing/mending kit as my spool finally ran out, but the thread rack was decimated too. *sigh*

* * * * *

The publishing admin as well as the writing is coming along. I've made progress everyday and I'm looking forward to at least three full uninterrupted hours of writing bliss tomorrow morning.

Have a wonderful weekend!