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23 September 2014

Wow! The past couple of days have been Wonderful!

Sunday I woke early and started arranging the living room for the sofa delivery; about an hour into it I had a mental meltdown worrying about getting it through the doors. Color me happy that it fit. I’ve truly enjoyed using it as well as it gave more seats for Blondie’s crew when they came over that evening.

All things food were really GREAT the past two days with several small victories.

When Blondie’s crew helped deliver the sofa to me I mentioned I’d cook dinner but then I had an energy sag and said ‘here’s cash, order pizza, bring me one’ but then the memory of joining the soon to start ‘no more binge eating’ challenge flashed in my head and I said ‘gimme the cash back, I’ll cook.’ My renewed mojo and I walked over to the store.

I served a pork roast, whole kernel corn, glazed baby carrots, mashed potatoes, flakey biscuits, brown gravy using the broth from the roast, and a homemade peach cobbler. I used my small plate (like I used when I was more mindful about my portions) and ATE slowly and did NOT overeat. Huge victory - eating with Blondie and not overeating. I did have a serving of the cobbler but sent the rest home with them.

No snacking at bedtime (two nights in a row now!) So happy about that because I’ve been really binge snacking in bed. After enduring horrid acid reflux Saturday night thanks to scarfing down not one but TWO huge cookies (500 cals!) Saturday night I am relieved. One day at a time. One night at a time.

I slow cooked spare ribs for dinner last night. They were so tender they fell off the bone. The side was broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and mushrooms stewed in the broth from the ribs. Blondie came over to watch a few episodes of The Blacklist with me and had some dinner too. I did not EAT constantly as I would have in the past with her here. An apple for dessert and that was it. No bedtime snacking again. Yay!

I’ve been adding more vegetables to the spinach protein smoothie I sip through the day. Last week I added celery and cucumbers. Yesterday I added carrots. It wasn’t as sweet but not intolerable.

I had a whole lightbulb moment on ‘playing by the numbers’ this past week. I knew after the acid reflux I’d been overeating, too much, too late, etc., and decided for extra punishment I’d weigh. I wasn’t stunned at the higher number and I told myself it was likely water weight in the leg muscles after all the dancing and walking. Sunday night after the mindful dinner and no unmindful snacking I dropped that water weight in the bathroom.

I'd been a little sad that my pants from last winter were uncomfortably tight but did not want to reach colder temperatures without a plan other than ‘starve & squeeze’; I wanted to be comfortable. I hate trying on clothes in store but noticed whether one size up or three all of the pants seemed the same when laid on top of each other. I took 3 different sizes.

In my usual ‘go ahead, punish yourself’ approach I tried on the largest pair first. They fit. I gave myself a ‘don’t lose your mind’ talk and moved on. Then I tried on the next pair a size smaller. They fit the same. Then the third pair 2 sizes down - same thing. Same Fit. Weird, right? So then I laid the smallest size on last years pants and there was a huge difference. Maybe they really did shrink after too many washings.

Spoiler alert: gal talk this paragraph. I like wearing a long line posture bra; it reminds me to stand straighter and suck in my stomach muscles giving them a workout. But the ones I had were starting to constrict me. More evidence of a mass gain in the abdomen? Regardless, as with the pants, I didn’t like that fit, so I reordered one but forgot to change to a larger size. Darned Amazon and easy reorder process. The new one in the old size arrived last week - it fits loose! So either they are making them larger or they are the same size and my old ones shrank; like the pants? I don’t know.

I guess this whole rambling is about not taking everything at face value or measurement of scales and tags. Be gentle, happy, comfortable and mindful of health and eating. I know and accept I have gained some ‘fat’ weight. I’m working to take that back off. But I want to be comfortable and clear headed as I proceed.

Some people may think Feng Shui is all hooey but I really felt so energized this morning walking out and seeing my living room look like a living room instead of a doctors waiting room (it only had three chairs when Cutty was alive; his, mine, and a very uncomfortable one so visitors wouldn’t tary. I added a fourth chair the past few months but HATED the look. I felt like any minute now someone would call my name and tell me ‘the Doctor will see you now’.

I’m so very happy with the feel and flow that I walked into my shop with renewed ambition. I decided to take The Money Pit off the market for now. I am going to start scheduling my own events out of it (collectables and craft shows) as well as promote it as available for renting.

Normally, on Thanksgiving, Cutty and I provided dinner for both shifts of the Police Department working that day. We (I) would contact the Chief, ask how many personnel scheduled each shift and would order meals at Cracker Barrell then I’d drop off prepaid gift cards so when they took their break they could go by and pick up their dinner.

I got it in my head to serve them myself this year. The venue I’m leasing for Cutty’s Memorial Service neighbors the Police Station. But the organizer wouldn’t give me a break on the fee even for the police department so I said ‘forget that; I’ll throw blankets on my display cases and serve them out of my shop.’

Then it occurred to me I could use the Money Pit. It would give all of us plenty of room to spread out down there even inviting some other friends and family as well as being available for the Police Officers when they stop by. I’m just excited. I feel energized and ambitious. This is the kind of stuff Cutty loved doing ~ creating little ideas for staying busy as well as making a little money. I feel like I’m channeling him… big time. I’m going to start accumulating linens and dishes whenever possible for the person renting the building for an event to use. I’m going to make some things HAPPEN this year.

The activity is generating more energy. I’m up to date on bills and have resumed balancing the checkbook twice weekly. Everything. Night and day compared to the past month. I feel totally on top of my game and pray gratitude many times a day to stay there a while.

However, I noticed 98 notifications unread as I logged in; so not totally on top of my FatSecret game. But that’s it for now. Thank you for stopping to visit with me. I’ll try to catch up on your journals tomorrow.

Bella

The Sofa:



20 September 2014

The past couple of days have been great emotionally, physically and mentally. Not so great Fat Secret-y though. Well, not horrid but things like that darned corndog that grabbed me by the nose and force fed me.

I think I may have chipped or cracked a lense on my Nikon when I dropped it yesterday. Crazy. You can see it in the top left corner:



I call this one ‘the worlds most stubborn butterfly’ because it would never spread it’s wings for a better shot



I love these roses - they have the most incredible fragrance



And this photo was for Kathy but I couldn’t figure out the two bumbles and Blondie said they were … well.. bee porn.



Yesterday was ‘Dance your Feet off Friday’ in Bellawood. I was cleaning and rearranging some things in the shop and had Paul Simon playing (yeah, I know.. I’m OLD) and really couldn’t control myself on ‘loves me like a rock’ or ‘kodachrome’. I was having a great time except my UPS driver wouldn’t dance with me. My USPS carrier did. So did a couple of customers. It was great.

The downtown festival kicked off last night. I walked it several times today - first time I was ever able to do it without rushing back to check on Cutty. I bought two small paintings and walked off my already danced off feet. I ran into several people I know including my Yoga teacher and we stopped into the winery and split a burger and a bottle of wine. Then she went to the auction with me. I won a Lane sofa for $75; it’s beautiful, NEW, and CLEAN (the nose knows!) I’m excited. Will get Blondie’s crew to help me go get it tomorrow.

Speaking of auctions and Blondie’s crew - a couple of journals back I mentioned buying a huge lot of jewelry for her at the auction to sell this weekend during the festival. She wouldn’t. Didn’t want to open, blah blah.

Well color me the ‘delighted deal maker’ because after pulling out at least 30 or so really interesting necklaces and pairs of earrings I stopped at the first vendor booth selling jewelry and asked if they’d be interested in buying it all. They were! I doubled my money from the auction and could still fill a huge jewelry box with the pieces I kept!

Maybe it was just having a day off, nice weather, and the smell of corn dogs in the air but it was a great day. My legs are aching but my heart is happy.

One last photo before I go. I cannot figure which I want to kiss the most… that mushed face or those precious feet. Dare you not to laugh or at least smile.



And that’s it. I’m getting sleepy. Thank you for stopping to visit with me.

Bells

PS - one last thing.. saw this the other day but don’t think I’ve posted it - very thought provoking (to me)













18 September 2014

Wow. It’s been less than 24 hours since my previous journal but feels like a week! I took a dietary supplement today claiming to contain green and red coffee bean and I have been zooming around like a pinball, channeling Robin Williams (manic, maniac) and talking faster than an auctioneer. Quite the day.



Blondie invited herself for lunch and the beans had me flying so I even sat a table with cloth & runner, napkins, flowers, a candle, etc. She was surprised and said she liked it. Scared her a little too - me being so nice. Heh!

I slow cooked the ribs off a prime rib roast and served it with a soup of Mediterranean mixed vegetables with mushrooms soup cooked in pork roast broth and cheddar broccoli biscuits. It was pretty good or so she said.

But I got a lot done in the shop including continuing to wade through and sort that auction jewelry hoard and hanging some recent photos and wall art. Up and down the ladder, back and forth. I probably did 20k steps today.

I even managed to compose the ‘what & where’ list for my lawyer. I’ve inserted it below if you want to know the kind of afternoon I was having.

So I’m going to slide down between the sheets now and close my eyes. This new sleeping pill I’m trying was created by the same company that made those dolls who’s eye’s closed when you lay them down. It doesn’t give me a heavy eyelid feeling but if I will just do my doll imitation it works. Valley of the Dolls. There, I said it.



Thank you for visiting with me.
Bella




Dear Lawyer,

You realize tasking me to list all this makes it impossible to deny my own mortality. Thanks for the downer. I'd planned for many years to leave my estate in a complete fuster cluck. Regardless, let me know how specific I need to be with accounts or title numbers representing the sad little accumulation of my life’s work listed below.

The will is in the grey safe; call a locksmith to pop the doors. I think when you wrote it Blondie gets it all. I probably need to go review it for changes now that my grandsons are older and I am the surviving widow.

I recognize this is likely why you are making me write all of this down. Time for me to finally deal with the reality of my current life status to develop my ‘hit by the bus’ plan.

My biggest concern is Mushy. If you take her you can’t make cracks about her weight anymore. I’m not kidding. If you don’t want her, call Stick. He’ll take her. He loves her.

In the category of the same reasoning why no one has keys to the door you’ll have to break for entry, I have no cosigners on my bank accounts. Problem?

The credit cards are paid and I may even have $35 in reward points on one of them. I also think I have a few credit points with Schwan food delivery. Must include that in the estate, right? Of all my survivors, Amazon will likely miss me the most. Their stock may drop.

The property files are in the safe. Or will be soon. If not, well, heck, just more billable hours for you while you go on an Easter Egg Hunt. Figure out what you can with Stick & Slick on The Money Pit and The Warehouse as I don't have any life insurance or credit life. I doubt Blondie will pay for them nor will I possess the ability to care if we reach that point. I am confident you’ll do a much better job settling those property ‘investments’ than I ever have.

The rancher is on a ten year lease with purchase option: she sends postdated checks and the payments for the rest of this year are in the check wallet in the top drawer beside a .38 special.

I have no other debts other than a handful of folks who want me to pay old medical bills because they wouldn’t bill it correctly. You let your conscience guide you on that one. The shop inventory is all paid in full. I know Cutty said take what you want and hopefully Blondie will do something with the rest besides blue jeans and bubble gum. This too falls under my inability to care scenario but I hope she’ll contact BCF to buy the inventory if no one wants to keep it open.

I have not made arrangements for dying. Well, I have but with each aging year I know my odds of being rejected increase. I am a living donor with Southwest Medical and they should come get me for free.

However, if that bus really does hit me and we have to go to plan B because SW won’t take my charred or mangled body have me cremated. I will try to stop by and prepay that before the end of this year.

My plan to have my ashes scattered over Brad Pitt is no longer viable as he married. I’ll try to think of a new target. I always wanted to go to Italy. Can you charge that as an executor fee to take your family over there to scatter a client’s ashes? If so, go for it.

Remind Blondie to not be too quick to call Hoarder’s Anonymous or The Salvation Army to sweep the joint. I've never trusted the safes that much.

Let me know if you need more details.
Sincerely,
Bella

17 September 2014

Bella rested her hands on the steering wheel as she stared straight ahead and greeted the Police Officer with, “Well, Hello Temptation.”

“Ma’am?”

“Believe it or not, Officer, I was on my way to the bar at the Best Western to have a drink. Or two. Probably too many. But on the way there I realized I don’t know anyone I could call to come drive me home. Which, was the reason I was headed there in the first place. I don’t have anyone.”

Bella continued as the officer shifted his weight from one leg to the other. “But I decided I’d just behave myself and go home. So that’s why I made a U-turn. I even announced out loud, ‘Temptation, get thee behind me’ and was feeling pretty good about my decision until I saw you behind me. And I thought ‘ahh, correction, temptation in front of me, and City’s Finest behind me.”

She handed him her license and insurance. She looked up at him and her reflection in his sunglasses displayed a pair of the saddest looking women in the world. She wondered if she’d be able to hold it together and not cry or go get drunk anyway if he wrote her a ticket.

“Go home Mrs. Bella. Next time, be more careful and wait for a legal turn.”


Okay, the truth is, I must have the hardest working Guardian Angel in Heaven because the U-turn to avoid the bar and quoting from the book of Matthew did happen but the police officer didn’t turn around to get me.

Thank you to my buddies for the journal nudge via PM’s. It’s been a heck of a week, seemingly endless without the weekend off, and it hadn’t occurred to me I was so far behind. Or as I explained in my response, “I have composed several in my mind but can’t seem to get the words out of my head onto the internet.’

All Things Food: huge fail last night but that's all. Daytime had been on track but at bedtime I went into full sugar zombie mode and ate the two or three servings of pineapple cake I’d saved for myself (after sending the rest over to Blondie's) followed by three 250 calorie chocolate chunk cookies. Calorically I did not exceed my RDI but if I were tracking sugar grams the pie chart would have exploded. Mmmmm… pie.

The trigger that had me driving toward the Best Western Bar was the conversation I’d had with my lawyer this afternoon. I’d updated him on the status of my latest business action (I’m a slumlord again! I rented one of my empty commercial buildings) and he commented I probably need to give him a list of ‘who to notify’ and ‘who has keys, etc’ in the event of .. well.. you know what.

I had to say to him, “No one has keys. Just break the door, pop the safes, and call Blondie when you’re finished taking whatever you want. She gets the rest. There is no one else.” That sort of hung in the air all sad and pathetic.

So I’m going to have to sit down tomorrow and list the ‘hit by a bus plan’ out for him. And I managed to make it through the evening a little sad but sober.

Otherwise, what else has been keeping me too busy to visit with my friends on FS? The trade show this weekend was slow but I did pick up a couple of customers so it was worth it. And as I buried a lead above, one of my commercial buildings leased today (coinciding with a great deal of misery with Blondie ...just roll your eyes and sigh and I’ll spare you those mind numbing details.)

The weather has cooled a little so I’ve been walking outside more. Mushy’s been enjoying it too. Last night I went to the country auction and was high bidder on 380 pieces of jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, earrings, watches, key fobs and pins) already on custom made display boards. It’s a ‘have jewelry, will travel’ type thing. It’s all costume and some of it will be bagged for those pinterest DIY folks but some of it was actually pricey.

I’d purchased it to inspire Blondie to reopen her resale shop that has been closed since Cutty passed. She continues to have one lame excuse after another. Even more frustrating to me is she won’t put the grandson’s in there and she could still rest in the back (she lives behind her store in the building she leases from me). There is a festival downtown this weekend and she’ll get a lot of foot traffic. But more excuses. That’s probably what led to the sugar attack. Yeah, that’s the story. That’s what I’ll blame. (Kidding.)

What else? Oh, I’ve decided to have a Memorial for Cutty on Nov 26th. This was decided for Blondie (before the building & jewelry debacle) because she has repeatedly told me she felt like she didn’t get closure. Yes, roll your eyes again. This isn’t about closure; it’s about the little drama queen wanting her moment in the spotlight. I’d apologize but it’s the truth. If you are new reading my journal please go back through the past couple of years where I’ve recorded some of her shenanigans before you call me out in comments.

But as my original plan for the Memorial this past January fell thru, I do want to go ahead and do it, period, for his family, friends, and business colleague friends. So Tuesday I began organizing it; not leaving it to anyone else after the screw up before. It’s ironic too. I truly love organizing things like this … you may recall the 65th birthday last year for him… and I keep thinking ‘oh, he’s gonna love that.. oh.. damn’. I feel like a ghoul as I’m enjoying planning a funeral of sorts. Weird.

Otherwise, I feel like I’m really on top of my game one minute; then everything shifts and I feel like someone else is at the wheel and I’m just sitting in the back seat wondering ‘where is this all going and are we there yet?’ I’d received a PM from a buddy here who reminded me I need to be a better friend to myself. It wasn’t voiced in that many words. It was more like ‘screw ups? what screwups?’ And I thought, “Now that, is a fantastic friend. I know they read and comment on my journal every time I post but can’t seem to remember the endless laundry list of screwups that have me feeling as if I’ve lost my mind these days.”

I found a website ‘The Art of a Beautiful Life’ and it has several different challenges. I printed out the 30 day challenge but haven’t made it past the first step. It’s a journaling challenge and the first was ‘how to be the magic in other’s lives’ and I’m stumped. I’m not asking for help with my homework (please don’t .. I’m trying to really answer the question) nor soliciting compliments. I do recognize I do nice things for people but ‘magic?’ So the challenge is indeed doing it’s job. Making me think. Now if only I could get Netflix to pay me for watching TV. My life would be complete.

So that’s the high and low lights of this week or forever how long I’ve been away. I’ll try to catch up with you all and thank you again for the PM’s.

Bells


12 September 2014

Well, it's Friday but I have a working weekend so I guess it's my Wednesday but I won't be off Monday so ... l sure can't call it a 'lost weekend' because that alludes a lot more fun than I'll be having.

All things food - rocking right along. Another emotional day yesterday.

It began with going online to balance my accounts and discovering I was overdrawn! Whaaaat? I recognize I'd had a bit of a 'the lights are on but nobody's home' month in August when I'd just let bills stack up around me ~ the money was there to pay them but I just didn't have the ambition to write the checks.

But then I paid them ALL and didn't balance the accounts ... duh. So I drove to the bank and deposited some cash to get that back in order and they were nice enough to reverse the two NSF fees as I've NEVER done that, at least, not at that bank. The whole time I could hear Cutty ranting at me for not taking care of business. Hey, I know it happens; that's why they have the whole process set up for handling it. But I was feeling like a child in trouble.

Then I had to leave work early to go to the doctor. I'm not sure if this has hit your state yet but the anti-anxiety med Xanax is now harder to get than heroin; or at least that's my joke as I've never bought heroin. Effective this month Texas requires the patient see the physician MONTHLY to get the prescription and with that extra copay cost as well as the emotional pain of sitting in a physician's waiting room every month I said 'time to get off this medicine.' So we'll be moving to something less controlled.

Regardless, by the time I got out of the office I was a bundle of nerves from all the waiting room flashbacks. It's not that I EVER forget Cutty ~ in fact, I'm waiting for the TV repairman to come today because the lamp on his (see, it's still HIS) big TV in the living room needs replacing.

Recalling how I had to relocate everything of his 'day life' to the bedroom for the 48 hours it was out last time, less than two years ago, has me reliving that painful memory. Seeing sick, older people in wheelchairs yesterday ... well, it's a miracle and a blessing I wasn't face down in Tequila or Tin Roof Sundae ice cream or both by sundown because that has been my usual mode of coping with pain in the past.



At the grocer I wanted 'something sweet' but not to the point of eating my emotions. After walking around the store and considering options I finally decided I wanted chocolate so I bought a package of 3 chunky cookies with the 'I don't want to have to throw away a huge bag of cookies' plan. I am very proud to report I only ate one of the cookies and not because I had to smash the other two into dust so double pitty-pat on my own back about that. Gold star Bella.



I'd slipped down in the bed snuggled w/Mushy and she wiggled away off to the foot of the bed and it so frustrated me, I felt so alone, I know, it sounds crazy but I was just aching for something warm against me. I patted the spot beside me for her to return but she just sniffed at me in contempt.

So in my completely irrational empty lonely sad pathetic crazy lady reaction I said 'FINE.... I'm going to go soak in the tub... stay here alone!' And I did... and that poor little baby obviously sensed my insanity in need of supervision because she came into the bathroom and lay beside the tub instead of staying curled up on the comfy bed.

The point of the story is .. I didn't eat. And I still had the other cookies plus the rest of the cheezy goldfish and heaven's know what else I could have concocted like waffles and pancakes and several bottles of wine and some rum and other such stuff in the kitchen.



I did something else to fill that empty, rejected, pathetic, pitiful loneliness: I 'Calgoned'.

Yes, I know that isn't a word. Blondie is developing a classic 'combo sigh and eye roll' because lately I've decided adding 'ing' or 'ed' to a noun makes it a verb or past verb. I natured, I went naturing. I photo albumed. I am busy photo albuming, and so on. It's kind of fun. Yep, I'm funning.

Nonetheless, I was doing my old historical reflection about the last time I lost weight, when it went off the rails, etc., this morning because I'm wondering about failing again. The voice that goes 'okay, you started in Nov04 and by Mar06 you'd lost down to 150 but somewhere in there you started going off the rails and whatever that blurry part of your memory is by Oct07 you were buying jeans on a road trip because what you had didn't fit and by ...' And then I did the comparison of now .. well, okay.. this time started Aug12 and since Aug13 I've been fairly stagnate on weight. A plus or minus factor of 10-15lbs but obviously more muscle this time because the clothing size is the same so ....

I guess it's the dreary weather of today, approaching the one year mourning point, and so on. I had to stare myself down in the mirror with the reminder 'uh, last time you were on phentermine... starving.. binging.. purging... drinking... raging... and so on...' and this time it's just been a one day at a time eating healthy and trying to move more. You may go up and down a few pounds and you may stay at this weight for ever but it's better than going up, up and up because your disordered eating tricks fail. Just get thru today. Worry about tomorrow later.

Interrupted sleep last night and ironic as it seems I feel much of it has to do w/telling my masseuse I wanted to change the schedule. I know, I am the customer. She's just such a sweet girl I felt guilty. But as I just finished journaling the above paragraphs I cleared enough emotion to feel strong enough to call and take care of that too. Whew.



So several emotions ~ not that mine are any more unique than anyone else's. All in a day. One day, one breath at a time.

Thank you for stopping to visit with me.

Bella

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