Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year !!!

I'll be back in a couple days with a real post.  Until then.... Stay safe and have a great evening!

Happy New Year!

I'll be back in a few days with a real post - until then .... Stay safe and have a great evening!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Friend Makin' Monday (on Friday) - Christmas is Coming

Wooo, I've missed doing these!  Many thanks to Sara at for keeping this going!

Christmas is coming!

Here’s how it works: you copy the questions, answer them and post them to your own blog. Then you come back here, and in the comments, post the link to your blog post with your answers to this week’s questions. If you don’t have a blog of your own, just post your answers in the comments.

1. Do you celebrate Christmas?  Yes

2. What are your Christmas traditions?  Every other year (this is one of them) we drive to Arkansas and spend Christmas and New Years with my Mother In Law.  We get together with my crazy family before we leave to exchange gifts & hang out.  For the Michigan years, it's changed in the past couple years since Dad passed away, so I'm not even sure what they're doing anymore.  In my house, we also take an evening to go out to dinner at this little diner called chomp (yes - lowercase c) and walk up & down Main Street in nearby Rochester. The entire mile or so stretch is totally covered in lights.

3. Do you decorate for Christmas?  Yes!  I have a small collection of blowmolds for the front yard - for some reason I have no pictures - GASP !!!  I'll remedy that when we get home.  On the inside we have our tree with colored LED lights & I have a collection of over 100 nutcrackers so they are everywhere!

4. What was Christmas like for you when you were a child?  I'm the youngest of 5 so it was chaos.  It always looked so magical, coming down the stairs and seeing all those presents around the tree!!

5. Is there anyone on your Christmas list you don’t like buying gifts for? Why?  The hubby is a pain in the butt to buy for and so is the kid (she's 17).  Neither of them lack for anything. 

6. Is there anyone you particularly like buying gifts for?  Nope.  I was so disgusted this year that I threatened to give everyone in the family nutcrackers from my collection....and I did!  

7. Did you believe in Santa as a child? Do you remember when you found out he wasn’t real?  My brothers & sisters did a great job of not giving away that secret!  I found out the year I was probably 10 when I went into the basement ~ where I never went ~ and saw Mom with a pile of presents behind the couch.  Let me tell you I turned and ran back up those stairs!

8. I know Elf on the Shelf has only been around since 2005, but did your parents do anything similar when you were younger to make you behave during the holidays?  Nope.  

9. Speaking of Elf on the Shelf, do you have one?  No way - they are so creepy!

10. What is your dream Christmas (present/decorations/vacation/whatever)?  My dream present would be something thoughtful that I didn't have to suggest to someone or buy myself.  I actually broke down & cried while wrapping the presents this year since I wasn't looking forward to the annual disappointment (this includes Valentines & birthdays, too). And it was, too.  I didn't get the simple thing I suggested to the hubby because I didn't search for it online and send him a link to it and I didn't get the simple thing I suggested to the girl because her & the hubby didn't make time to go out shopping together before we left to come to Arkansas.  They thought I was kidding when I told them they both suck. 

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas !!

Merry Christmas from all of us at the Love Shaque!!

(Merry Christmas from the Family)

(Santa Claus is Coming to Town)

Merry Christmas !!!!

Merry Christmas from all of us at the Love Shaque!

Friday, December 19, 2014

The downward spiral continues!

Whew! Finally got a minute to sit down & finish this post!

I was up 1 lb last week, but after the company Christmas party & Mother Nature doing her thing, I really wasn't too upset. That made the 1.8 lb loss especially nice this week! I was hoping to just maintain, so very happy!

Total lazy last weekend! Just vegged around the house all day Saturday. Then Saturday night, Miss Angela had a "lock in' at the dance studio, basically a sleepover with usual girl stuff, movies, popcorn, games, dancing - just AT the dance studio. They have a ton of fun each year! So Randy & I dropped her off, then went out to dinner and walked up & down Main Street in nearby Rochester, looking at Christmas lights....

a good mile + stretch is covered like this! We strolled along, looking in shop windows & just enjoying ourselves, along with several gazillion other peoples.

I had a lousy sinus headache on Sunday and didn't want to do anything. I didn't even track!

I did finally go & get my knee checked out. I pulled a tendon and that's why it's been so wonky. The pain is never the same. Sometimes it'll be just fine and I walk OK, then a minute later I'll have shooting pains and can't put any weight on it. I actually went a couple days with it almost feeling normal, then I sat at the desk and had my foot up under me, like I like to sit - and that was a mistake. It didn't like being twisted and let me know! I did manage to get out for a couple walks with the dog, since it's been an oddly snow-less winter so far. Some days 45 degrees feels downright balmy!

So my plans for this weekend include getting my house presentable. We are going to be spending some time in Arkansas soon with the mother-in-law and either one or both of my sisters are stopping in to check on the cats while we're gone. So I prefer it to look somewhat decent for them! I also have a bunch of present wrapping to do and also present buying - the family gathering is Sunday. Ugh, I'd rather draw names and only have to worry about 1 person, but Nooooooooo, Mom & one sister already went crazy. I've joked about giving everyone a nutcracker from my collection (I have over 100 and won't miss a couple), but the more I think about it, the more I like that idea! Nutcrackers for everyone! And maybe a gift card geared toward each person's interests or likes.
Arkansas is going to be a challenge. 16 hours (2 days) to get there and the same coming back. A good week at MIL's house. And since it's just her, she doesn't ever have any kind of food selection in her house at all. I'll pack a cooler with snacks & water (since I tend to let myself dehydrate when in the car for long periods - I have to stop that!!) We will hit Kroger as soon as we get there so I'll be able to stock up on fruit & veggies & stuff. But there will be a lot of going out to eat. We will go to this seafood place to get catfish. I'll simply get it grilled instead of fried. We will go to Outback so Mom can get her coconut shrimpies. There are options there. We will go to Chic-Fil-A since we don't have them here and Randy & Angel have this idea that it's the most amazing fast food ever <<eye rolls>>. Pretty sure they have grilled chicken now. Cracker Barrel will happen, probably more than once. I know they have a lighter menu. And there will be a decent amount of walking. We will walk along the Promenade behind Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs. Angel & I are planning to take a 90 minute walking ghost tour one night. Angel wants her ears pierced again so that'll mean a trip to the mall. There's plenty of stuff to do to keep moving.

ON the plus side, I'm pretty sure Randy is going to renew my gym membership as a Christmas gift for me! Woohoo! Can't wait!

My WW leader gave us all little silver bells at the end of the meeting Wednesday - to remind us to believe - believe that we can conquer the holiday season! I put mine on a ribbon and will be wearing it daily.

Saturday, December 13, 2014


I had to get a post in today just so I could use that title!  Sadly I missed both 10:11 am and pm.  Oh well!

It was a lovely, totally useless day!  I had to get up with the dog at 7 am , then went back to bed.  I heard him stirring again at 9:30 but he didn't bother me, so I laid in bed and drifted in & out for a while.  I really wanted to go back to sleep but it didn't happen.  Around 2:30, we wandered into the living room and turned on the Army / Navy game to watch the Army get stomped for the 13th time in a row !  I admit to napping thru most of the first half - I'm not a football fan at all.
Then this evening I dropped Miss Angela off at the dance studio for their annual "Lock-In".  It's a fun sleepover in the studio - its supposed to give parents a chance to get Christmas stuff done but how much can you get done with drop off at 8??  I got her air mattress set up next to one of the choice spots - both by a friend and by an electrical outlet (to plug in the phone!) and was out of there by 8:02.

Randy & I went to have dinner at this adorable little diner called chomp and we walked up & down Main Street in Rochester, looking in shop windows & seeing the lights.

Of course there are tons of other people, but there's always someone willing to take a pic of you and I myself took a few of other people for them, too!

Then a stop at Tim Horton's for some hot chocolate and we are now in comfy lounge clothes and bed will probably happen soon.

Still haven't been in much of a mood to decorate.  I had a hard time finding places for my 100+ nutcrackers (probably closer to 120 now!), the cat decided she was going to climb the tree after never touching it for the past 2 years - a spank with a branch stopped that right quick!  But the 2 nativity scenes are out, the nutcrackers are settled in, the tree is decorated.  I think that's good enough!!  I haven't even felt the need to do any shopping, other than for actual presents, etc.

I finally got some suggestions from Randy, but no real ideas from the girl.  She wants her ears pierced again.  That's not anything I can wrap and put under the tree, ya know!  I'm going to make a coupon of sorts for her, she wants a North Face jacket, but I'm not sure what kind she wants, so the coupon will be for one of her choosing.   But I think she'll do OK. I told Randy I wanted a Red Wings nutcracker with a stick (good luck with that one!!!) and Angel I wanted a fuzzy steering wheel cover for my car. Normally I have to pick out and wrap my own presents, so hopefully I don't have to be disappointed this year.  That really kills the fun, not being surprised.

Let's see. Last weekend was my company Christmas party.  It was very nice. It's held at a fancy Italian restaurant that has incredible food.  We mingled for a bit.  Then ate, then the owner made a speech and there's some sort of cheesy entertainment - this year it was a game called "where am I?"  They showed a picture of something in the building and we had to guess where it was.  Most of us never have any reason of go into any of the higher-ups in the company's offices so we had no clue what they had!  Luckily, my boss Michelle was sitting at the table directly behind Randy and whispered answers to us. It's funny that 2 of the girls didn't recognize things in their own offices!  But I sure knew my funky turkey that sat on my desk all of November! My table guessed the most (thanks, Michelle!) and we each got a $50 bill!  Then they played some of those "Elf Yourself" videos and we all cracked up.  And we always get a bottle of wine that has a really pretty Christmas scene carved into it.  It was nice to get dressed up and go out.

The family was a bit cheesed, since that was also the weekend that Laurie chose for us to all get together & meet in Ohio to spend time with my brother.  Sorry - I had RSVPd to the party first!  So they went without us.  They met in Findlay this time.  Sorry - there just doesn't seem to be much to do in Ohio.  Plus I've been fighting a pulled ligament in my knee and I don't need to be anywhere near Terry, since he'd find a way to hurt me more!  He rough-houses way too much.

Hopefully tomorrow will be more of a productive day.  I need to get the house put together since we'll have someone coming in to check on the cats while we're in Arkansas, so I want it looking nice.  Monday & Tuesday will be busy at work.  I'm still not caught up from that week my coworker was off and she's gone again!  At least it was planned this time.  I need to get ahead as much as I can since I'll be gone almost 2 weeks!!  Thankfully most plants are shut down, so it shouldn't be too bad.

Ooo, gotta go so this'll post before midnight!  Later!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


I came, 
I saw, 
I kicked Thanksgiving's butt!  


Down 1.4 lbs this week!  
And last week when I had the WW meeting's travelling tracker?  
Down 2.4 lbs!

So looking at my progress reports this week - I made sure I tracked everything in my handy-dandy notebook (just like the traveling tracker) as well as on eTools.

This included going out to dinner on Wednesday and having "autumn chicken".  It's basically a chicken breast stuffed with cornbread and smothered in a maple cream sauce and sprinkled with dried cranberries.  Omnomnomnom.  It comes with the soup & salad bar (they had AMAZING mushroom soup that night) and mashed sweet potatoes, corn and a giant chunk of steamed carrot and 2 trees of broccoli.  51 points for the day.

Thursday we started out with my sister's breakfast casserole with who-knows-what all in it.  Hashbrowns & eggs & cheese for sure.  I did scarf a few chips with salsa & some Doritos during the day.  Thanksgiving dinner was all in moderation.  Turkey & gravy.  Mashed potatoes.  3 rolls (OK, I went overboard there, but I like bread!!), green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, a decent sized salad w/ lite dressing.  I only took a tiny spoonful of the stuffing, since for some reason my sister added walnuts to it and it was the most unappetizing shade of grayish black I'd ever seen on something that wasn't burnt.  I know she put all sorts of good stuff in it, since I saw her making it, but that little bite was so bland!  It was scary.  Anyhoo, then I had a half slice each of the apple & pumpkin pie with light Cool Whip and a couple bite-sized cream puffs.  And 1 margarita. I didn't even go back for seconds!  Another 51 points for the day.

Friday I had to work, so Randy & I came home Thursday night.  I was able to have a decent breakfast & lunch.    Friday after work, we met the family in Flint at Crossroads Village, etc.  Usual stuff there.  A lot of walking, considering my knee is still bothering me. And it was cold as crap!!  Afterwards we stopped at this coney island place and I had a half order of fish & chips.  They didn't have much to choose from!  But I got chicken noodle soup & of course fries.  It was OK.   Only 40 points today.

Saturday we had pancakes & way too many snausages, then later on after doing some shopping, I had a beef pasty & a salad for dinner. 44 points for the day.

So we did a bit of walking and such over the weekend.  All last week at work was insane - lots of laps around the room, to the fax machine, to the copier, distributing papers to certain people, etc, etc, etc.   Thursday I was up early & went out to take care of the horses.  We went for a walk.  Helped Laurie in the barn some more, cleaning stalls & scrubbing buckets, etc. .
Friday night was tons of walking at Crossroads Village.  Saturday we took the dogs for a walk again & then did some shopping.
We got home Saturday evening.  Sunday I was out putting Christmas decorations out, since it was in the 50s - got to take advantage of warm weather when it's December! I was so not in the mood.  It took much longer than it really needed to.      

 I was done by 3 pm, then had to take a break.  My knee was swelling again & I was just ready for a break.

So I'm extreme proud of myself for having a loss this week.  My next big challenge is this Saturday - the company Christmas party at this fancy Italian restaurant.  Last year I decided I was only going to eat 'special' things.  Like stay away from the lasagna, since we have it pretty often at home, things like that.  And since they always bring out a ton of food to each table, it's OK to just try a little bit of each - I know I won't go home hungry!

Challenge after that is Christmas.  We're going to Arkansas this year and the mother-in-law isn't known for having a lot of healthy stuff in her house.  We always go grocery shopping as soon as we get there.  Hope we can this time, since we'll get there Christmas Eve!  

It's about time to turn in, so Later!!