Psyching Up For a December Whole 30 Graduates


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I don't know a whole lot about either disease except that they are both in the same family of viral infections. I think sometimes the immunodeficiency viral antibodies can be transmitted to the kittens so even if they aren't infected, they might test positive and have to be retested later. From what little I've read, transmission of either infection to the kittens before they're born "is possible" so I think that sounds pretty encouraging. It sounds like your babies had a rough day. I was lucky enough to find a house call vet when we moved here so it's still traumatic but not as bad, especially since Maybelle was so panicky. I think they're going to be fine so, of all pages, don't take that one out of my book! I ran across an interesting article a few days ago about high-functioning anxiety and almost all of it described me. :o Much to think about there.

I can't believe it's been a year since you moved! Isn't it great to have your art hung where you want it and can enjoy it? I have three silk wall hangings on the wall at the head of our dining room table and they've totally faded over the years so they're almost the same color as the wall and I'm dying to replace them. I think I want to put some black and white photos up there so they don't compete with a big painting on the opposite wall over the fireplace. 

YUMM, rum cake! That was something my grandmother made around the holidays for her bridge ladies and I love, love it- boxed cake mix w crappy ingredients and all! The email address I used for Michelle Tam's newsletters got shut off on the 15th so I need to re-sign up even though I find many of the newsletters from her and some other people I used to follow to consist mainly of marketing stuff and I get really tired of it. I did try one of Mel Joulwan's holiday treats yesterday to see if I want to bring them to the party- spiced pecans. I left out the sugar and used ghee to toast them with the spices and they were really good- too good maybe. I love pecans anyway and have been thinking that I need to keep fewer of them in the house.

I haven't been very imaginative with my meals but they've all been compliant even if they haven't always fit the template- like last night I had spiced pecans and hot dogs. Not together! I was full, though so I didn't overeat just to make M3 fit the template- that's a NSV for me and one I've been working on. 

Hugs to your little girls; they're going to be fine!

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Oh, I would love to have a home-visit vet, that must be wonderful! I do love our vet, though. I think the blood draw hurt him as much as the kitties. Kitties are back to normal kitten behavior now. Thanks for the encouragement. I do have a dread and worry, but I think it's proportional to my love for them...maybe like a mama.

Yes, a year! Fast, eh? Your silk wall hangings sound so elegant, and a triptych, too...they must be special. I love textiles on the walls. Art and rugs are the soul of the home!

I'm so tired after a long day. All went well, just really jam packed. I brought home a lot of good food from Costco - more than usual, so the fridge is very well stocked. Tomorrow is our staff party, and then our friends visit on Saturday. All parties are encouraging me to relax about cooking, but I do want to enjoy having them here and returning the beautiful hospitality they have always shown me, so I'll just make some cold plates, and we'll visit, and then go out to the "good" restaurant in town that is beside their hotel. Looking forward to that....

The spiced pecans sound delicious - love that. I haven't made them in a long time, since pre-W30, with a bit of sugar. I'll bet they're fantastic without sugar. I brought home cashews and walnuts to go with the coconut and almonds and pepitas I already have to try my hand at chocolate cherry "granola" at some point this winter. Maybe I'll have them made to share as NY treats instead of Xmas!

To sleep now...oh, and I brought home a modest little cat cave for the kitties - did I mention they choose to sleep in the coldest part of the house, underneath the bed in the basement? Their little paw pads are always so cold when they come upstairs! I'm hoping to create a similarly cave-like place...but as my husband says, a cat is going to do what a cat is going to do! LOL.

Happy Day 26, you're almost there!!

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11 hours ago, LadyLisbette said:

a cat is going to do what a cat is going to do!

Isn't that the truth! So glad they snapped back to "normal" after the vet visit. I'd love to get Squeaky a heated, cushy cat bed but I'm pretty sure he'd turn his nose up at it in favor of his daytime favorite spot in the attic and nighttime favorite spot all over me.

I'm going to fly though Costco this afternoon with the hope that I'll miss the pre-Christmas crush. I just need a couple of things so I can start prepping for Saturday. I say this all the time but I'd like to actually do it this time and not work myself half to death before the party. I made a concentrated spiced hibiscus tea last night so I'll have something beautiful and delicious to drink Saturday. I'll just have to be careful not to spill it on myself; it's very deep magenta- maybe I should wear black!:lol: Oh, after I went on the great cherry hunt for Thanksgiving, I happened to see that Costco has frozen organic cherries. It hadn't even occurred to me to look for them there!

Are you cooking anything special for Christmas? We haven't really planned anything but I grabbed a couple of NY strips at the farmers' market Saturday so we have an emergency back-up. We pretty much go through the same routine every year: we say nahhh we don't need to do anything special then we start feeling Grinch-ish and, at the last minute, decide we do want to do something special. There's a well-to-do small town just south of us that has a really nice farmers' market with a meat vendor we love even if they do finish their cows on grain and there is an REI store down there, too. I need to return a pair of gloves to REI anyway so I might run down there Saturday morning to take care of that and see if there's a special cut of meat we might want to celebrate with. It'll suck up a couple of hours but might be worth it.

I have the house to myself again this evening and my goal is to do a Katy Bowman video and to NOT have pecans for dinner- pretty modest goals so lets see if I can accomplish them!

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Do you still have the cave-like bed, if I'm remembering it correctly that you got for sweet Maybelle, that she did eventually take a liking to? I would love a link to it some can wait til after the holidaze. Did you enjoy your evening-to-oneself and the video? What did you have for dinner, mm?

You've raised my curiosity about the hibiscus's been a long time since I brewed hibiscus tea, but I used to enjoy that. Around these parts I would probably have to really hunt to find the loose flowers, but maybe. How did you sweeten it to make it palatable? In college I had an Egyptian friend who taught our gang to make it, and he called it "calkedy" spelled phonetically...can't quickly find the right spelling online...anyway, super yum, and love that sour flavor and brilliant color. Good idea to wear black! You never know when a tipsy person will elbow you at the wrong moment!

It's been so busy I didn't even dawn on me what to cook for Christmas (like you guys, it's not a super big deal...until it is, "might as well") until I was strolling the aisles at Costco and I saw spiral cut ham. Not compliant, but what the heck. And a turkey breast. If I manage to get back down the hill before XMAS I should surprise Hubby with a duck. He really enjoyed that last year - it was our last holiday meal in the old house, and he semi-regularly asks for another one. I also picked up compliant lemongrass chicken, compliant chicken skewers (I'll make a sauce), clam chowder, some Mexican things for Hubs, and....pork tenderloins, grass fed sirloin, bacon, and also for Hubs cheese tortellini, and teriyaki udon...our Costco was pretty busy, but I've seen did you fare?

Also, how is your foot, and what by chance are you wearing to your party besides black? Pretty shoes, ....?

Ok, off to fill the car, er, Santa's sled with gift baskets and gifts...

Merry merry! xo

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It looks like the hibiscus tea is made the same way but I added allspice, cinnamon sticks and ginger (not enough) to mine and didn't sweeten it. It's a concentrate (1C hibiscus flowers:1 qt water) and it's pretty tart but very good and I'll dilute it with LaCroix or some other sparkling water. I ordered the hibiscus from Vitacost and it was around $15 for a 1 lb bag which should last a really long time. I bet there are hibiscus teas out there that you could find without having to buy a 1 lb bag, though. I've used it to flavor kombucha, too and really like it- tart on tart. Speaking of tart on tart, I have a bunch of cranberries and I got more frozen cherries yesterday so I'm thinking about doing a cran-cherry  kombucha this weekend. Did you get the lemongrass chicken at Costco? That sounds really good and it's nice to be able to get a little reprieve from ALL of the cooking.

I know I've brought this up before but when I was working on my cook-up last weekend I was having a conversation with myself about maybe NOT doing a cook-up all the time but then I thought about the consequences of it and didn't like the alternative. Even though I brought almost all of my meals to work almost all of the time for many years, since W30, I always bring them all the time and very, very rarely have to resort to the awful cafeteria food. Even when I do, it's only to get some stuff from the salad bar to supplement what I have but I just couldn't bring myself to eat that processed crap on a regular basis- or even an irregular basis! It's just not an option any more so I guess I'm all in for a lifetime of cook-ups. :D I rarely even use pre-prepared ingredients I guess because it seems like a waste to pay extra for someone else to chop my onions, cauli, whatever when I am perfectly capable of doing it myself. This week I decided to get some frozen, organic, chopped kale because it's that time of year when it's getting difficult to find any locally grown and I wasn't opposed to saving a bunch of prep time before the party. I'm so disappointed; it's so full of stems! I could use it for breakfast hash but I'd feel terrible serving it to other people. "If you want it done right you have to do it yourself" seems to apply here so now I have to either buy more of it (and it's a little pricey) and pick out all of the chunks of stem or try to find some fresh greens and do what I should have done from the beginning. That'll learn me!!

Yesterday afternoon was a win! We breezed though Costco, I did my video, did some prep (and found the kale stems:angry:) and made myself a nice dinner- pan seared sirloin and green beans followed by a few raspberries. I only ate 4 pecan pieces! It really made me feel good to get off my butt and get it all done and it wasn't even that much to do! I was eating dinner by 630 or so and didn't have to kill myself getting it all done. It's so nice when I have a plan and stick to it.

My foot is doing pretty well. I get an occasional twinge but it's becoming less frequent. I chose a video yesterday that looked like it wouldn't involve a lot of flexing so I worked on ankle, knee and hip flexibility and strength. She was relating all of the movements to what you would do hiking so that made it even more interesting. It turns out that the backs of my legs are pretty weak and I generally rely on my quads when stepping up. If you lean back a bit over your heels and don't lead with your torso, you engage more hamstring/glutes and less quads to help distribute the work over more muscle groups. Ah ha!

I wish I did have a pair of pretty shoes to wear but they're hard to find in barefoot shoes. I have a pair of black suede ballerina flats but they're not very comfortable and would push right on that sore spot on my foot so I'm not sure if I want to do that. My mom found a pair of black velvet pants last year that she said I HAD to have but I've never worn them. They're really pretty and comfy so I'm going to wear them with something sparkly (and dark colored). Thanks for asking; it made me go into my closet to check on everything and I noticed that the top I want to wear has a big white smudge on the shoulder. I'm guessing it's sheet rock dust from the great closet collapse of 2019!

Busy day today so I'd better get a move on...




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Your tea sounds divine. Did you use fresh ginger? Did you slice it or grate it? I'll bet Mel J would be very interested in your brew, with her love of Middle Eastern things and also all things GINGER. With more time I see that my friend's brew is called Karkadeh, I never looked up how to spell it...the idea of hibiscus in kombucha is very appealing. YUM.

I have also wrestled with the idea of regular cook-ups. When I don't, I don't do as well. It seems there is no going back. I'm sorry about all the stems in your kale - I guess you won't do that again! I like to prep, but I am also liking my pre-chopped cabbage coleslaw habit!!! I pick out the too-big pieces, and munch on them while I'm making the mayo, or ranch, and love the sweetness of the cabbage. I'm also enjoying snacking on the romaine ribs that I cut out in order to make the turkey bacon club wraps of late. I think this wrap will have me tempted to make bacon more often than I normally do...Hubs doesn't mind = )

Your evening-to-oneself sounds dreamy and lovely -- except for the kale. Peace. 

12 hours ago, hollysmokes said:

If you lean back a bit over your heels and don't lead with your torso, you engage more hamstring/glutes and less quads to help distribute the work over more muscle groups. Ah ha!

This is interesting...I'm going to play with this. In my mind, all movement comes from the core, so if I'm not leading with the core, please tell more about the mental focus. It reminds me of a tai chi exercise that I do sometimes when I'm in my morning practice, which I feel is on pause right now. I need to remember that 10 minutes a day is better than waiting until I have an tomorrow, 10 minutes it WILL BE!

The party was super fun, and everyone seems to have had a great time. Today we had an inventory crew in, and they were awesome and fast, and I'm very fond of them, but it is stressful because we are in each other's way, and it was busy with I'm bushed tonight. Our friends will visit tomorrow, and then I'll clean the store on Sunday, so there won't be much rest until Christmas Eve after 2 pm, and Christmas Day will be peaceful at home. Such is life, and a good life it is...I am grateful that my problems, if they are problems, are more blessings than serious problems. However, I left my cell phone at home this morning, and I still don't know where it is, so I'm going to sign off for now and go get in my pajamas and find my phone. My co-worker is bringing home an 8-week old kitten tonight and she promised to text photos!

Have a great time at your party, in your pretty velvet party pants - sounds elegant!!

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My party was also super fun! It was a long day and I'm super tired but it was a terrific night. As always, I tried to do too much but I thought I was going to have some help from my husband who wound up not lifting a finger to help until it was time to load the car :angry:. After all of the fuss about the the kale (I found more at Whole Food so now I have a ton of kale defrosted) I ran out of time and energy and didn't make the creamed kale. Oh well! More for me :P. Aside from the kale drama, I had horseradish drama, too, which is probably not a common event in most people's lives. I now have enough fresh horseradish for it to qualify as a chemical weapon! I couldn't find any locally so I finally resorted to Amazon and it was supposed to be here on the 19th. It spent three days in St. Louis, though, so on Friday, I found some at Whole Food and got it all processed and made my sauce yesterday. When we got home last night, it had been delivered so now I have a pint jar of regular horseradish sauce like you would get at the store plus I froze a bunch AND I have about 3 cups of the sour cream-based sauce I made for the party (it started off way too pungent so I had to add a bunch more sour cream so I wouldn't kill anybody!) AND 1 lb of fresh horseradish roots that got here while we were at the party.

There was an amazing amount of really good food and I was sorry not to be able to have some of it (homemade rolls) but everything I made was a hit and no one was any the wiser about what was or was not in it. I need to sit down and write out exactly what I did for the spinach artichoke stuffed mushrooms and the green bean casserole. My husband even commented on how good the green beans were and, since he wasn't around to see me make it, didn't realize that the "creamy" part was cauli puree! I wanted to make hasselback sweet potatoes but was worried about how difficult it would be for people to be able to serve themselves so I just sliced them on my mandolin and basted them with MJ's better butter-YUM!

My drinks were delicious, especially the hibiscus tea. I had sliced the ginger into it when I made it but I probably should have grated it because I knew I didn't have quite enough but it was still really good. I also brought some pomegranate/orange/ginger juice because I had a pomegranate and an orange that were getting tired and I needed to do something with them and that was really good but way sweeter than I'm used to. I had to go back and add more sparkling water to it. It was a much larger crowd than we usually have for wine tastings and there was so much going on that no one really noticed that I wasn't participating. 

I was standing for so many hours yesterday that I'm still really tired today. I'm planning on taking it pretty easy here on Day 30! We're going to go watch the Saints wup up on the Titans (hopefully) and its a noon game so I need to eat before we go and bring something to "spike" my soda water. Most places won't let you bring in outside food/beverages so I've been putting my drinking vinegars in a hot sauce bottle, keeping it in my jacket pocket and discretely shaking some into my soda. So far, no one has said anything and I get to enjoy a beverage that has some flavor. 

Did you find your phone? 

On 12/20/2019 at 9:47 PM, LadyLisbette said:

and a good life it is...I am grateful that my problems, if they are problems, are more blessings than serious problems.

Yes, yes, yes

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Your party sounds like so much fun! Two things that have neon light around them while reading are your hand-crafted, compliant DRINKS, gasp, they sound better and better to me the more I read. You are so creative and inventive, and also invested so much time into something that would give you pleasure! And also that no one noticed you weren't drinking, that is an experience I will tuck away for when I fret. Fretting is so often an event in our own minds, that bears no resemblance to whatever we are fretting over, eh? Yay!

Happy Day 30, Champion! I got a kick out of imagining you spiking your drink with "hot sauce", that's funny. If anyone saw you, they might just think they were imagining things, I'm guessing. I wonder if we can do that next time we go through security at Jazz Fest in place of a flask...who would doubt that jazz aficionados had a liking for their own brand of hot sauce?

Our friends were running a little late yesterday, so Hubs and I had a chance to sit and relax before they arrived. Our gifts to each other were, coincidentally, locally made pottery! (And a pound of fudge, which they always bring, and which we always re-gift...that I will ASAP re-gift to a neighboring merchant!!!!! HOT POTATO, AAAHHHH) The takeaway for me was that I don't socialize enough - I felt rusty, but enjoyed it so much. It is THE first time we have entertained as a couple in our new home. That aspect was very enjoyable, and I am mulling over ways to get more of that good medicine moving forward. My friend asked if I decorated the house myself, which struck me as a little odd because neither of us is the type who would hire someone to do that kind of thing, at least in my mind, and also because I am still getting used to how "finished" the art seems - apparently I did good! = ) For their arrival I added to the living room the matching chair that has been next to the tub. It looks so good with its mate in that sitting area that I now need to get a new chair for beside the tub, which makes a great dressing room chair. I also want to get a little wing back chair with wheels (or something) for my dining-room desk instead of the chair that actually goes with the table, so I might splurge at a local discount home goods store soon, and pick up a cat tree while I'm at it if I like what I see. That's all the home news - next post I will have food and cooking news:  that is my promise to myself! For now I am leaning on coffee...and now off to the store with my witch's vacuum cleaner, and a couple of errands...I will go to work tomorrow feeling so much better if I do this today - in terms of cleaning and bookkeeping, too, and it will be very busy between now and Christmas Eve at half-day closing...though I am enjoying the festivities, I can feel myself anticipating the little break that is coming, this week, and next week on NY Day. Aaahhh.

Speaking of NY, how will you and your hubby celebrate your 20th? I'm sorry, I think you said you're going to LA, right?

Cheers and CONGRATULATIONS on your kick-ass December W30!!!!! :D 

Imagining the head space of finishing a W30, it occurs to me that I am due for some journal writing to reflect and plan. Last night I thought out loud to hubs about my need to manage my time better in order to meet my goals...self care including training, gardening, home and work/all of it...and so it's time to get some clarity about my schedule and how I spend my time....



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Thanks! I felt like I was floundering about a bit yesterday without the rules, especially when I went into a Whole Foods-type store and wanted EVERYTHING, but I managed to (mostly) maintain. My breakfast and dinner were compliant but I splurged a little at lunch. I was running around town and grabbed a dark chocolate almond Primal Kitchen collagen bar (honey & monk fruit but only 2 g worth of added sugar so it's not much) paired with a Waterloo coconut sparkling water then I picked up a little piece of country pate (dairy & bourbon) when I stopped at the butcher shop and ate that with some blueberries when I got home. I want to keep my off-roading to a minimum so I'm thinking that an occasional bit of a non-compliant ingredient is acceptable but having it as the main ingredient (like pizza and deep-fried things) is not. I'll stay compliant today but may indulge a bit tomorrow. The group from Saturday night is brunching at a friend's new house around noon on Christmas Day so that will be fun. This is the first year we've had a Christmas party to attend and now we have two! Fun! I think I'm going to make smoked salmon deviled eggs. I have all of the ingredients and just need to make some mayo. I even grabbed some fresh dill yesterday so I can garnish them and make them pretty. 

I know what you mean about not socializing enough; it's so easy for me to just hole up at home. I saw this yesterday and it really resonated with me and reminded me that I really need to get out more: "Our comfort zone is both shrinkable and expandable, depending on our lifestyle and mindset choices. The less frequently you challenge your comfort zone, the more it shrinks. The smaller it gets, the more uncomfortable you become. The more comfort we seek from external conveniences, the less comfort we create from internal abilities." - Erwan Le Corre from The Practice of Natural Movement

Our Christmas dinner is going to be surf and turf. My husband wanted the "surf" part badly enough to fight the Costco crowd yesterday after I went there, circled the parking lot a couple of time and left! He got two lobster tails and a pound of scallops. We're going to do something with the scallops tonight then pair the lobster with a small but beautiful pork roast I picked up yesterday. I'm going to repeat the cran-cherry sauce to see if I can get more cherry flavor into it but still have it gel and we'll have something vegetable-y, too but I haven't decided what. The vegetable drawer is well stocked so I'll come up with of something- maybe the scalloped potatoes I was thinking about using stock instead of cream. I could put cheese on part of it for my hubby and leave some un-cheesed for me. Even though I'm not doing a formal re-intro this time, I'm not ready to add dairy back in yet.

I think we've decided to go to this really good, fun restaurant downtown on NYE but make it an early night to avoid the crowd and the drunks. Downtown Nashville has become the "get drunk and stupid" destination and is winding up like Bourbon Street; it stinks, it's crowded and the music sucks. We used to splurge on a hotel downtown every other year and would go to a show then go hit the honky tonks afterwards but it's not fun anymore. Our trip to LA isn't until February and it happens to be Mardi Gras. We were together for 5 years before we got married so our 25th anniversary of being together is that weekend and we're planning on eating everything while we're there so it's a good thing we'll only be there 2-3 days!!

Our Christmas present from the universe is a gorgeous day today. The high is supposed to be in the mid-upper 60's then it's going to rain all weekend so I want to get outside this afternoon. Do you have plans for your evening off today? Some time around the fire pit, perhaps? Whatever you do, even if it's nothing, enjoy!

Merry, Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas! Hubs is sleeping late, and I have been enjoying a quiet morning in the kitchen, with the kitties, and at my desk, and at my journal (aahhh!)...precious, spacious sense of time, on a holy day, to reflect and plan and dream, and take stock! Deep, happy sigh!

I think it's cool that you're not doing re-intros, and also it makes sense if you felt a little bit floundering without the W30 will come together in mind and habit, I am sure. I am telling mySELF that, too! LOL.  Your splurge sounds modest and in control, and enjoyable. Nice bike ride, there! Lovely to spend Christmas day with your friends, and smoked salmon deviled eggs sounds very festive and pretty and delicious!! That's a funny story about getting through the Costco insanity, between the two of you -- seems fair since you are the chef, that he would tough out the hunting/gathering. Good job, husband! It comes to me as a funny premise for a short animated film, say a middle-Paleolithic hunter-gatherer rides shotgun with a modern fellow as he navigates Costco during the holidays. Do you remember The Gods Must Be Crazy? Costco really is a wonder. I love it and hate it...mostly I'm grateful, especially lately b/c I got so many things there that I've never tried before (yes, the lemongrass chicken included, which we haven't tried yet but will soon.)

I wonder if lobster tail is traditional on Christmas? I'm not preparing it, myself, but another friend mentioned lobster tail and black spaghetti for her dinner gathering. She's an amazing cook and loves Italian cuisine. Hubs enjoys a Christmas morning tradition of his choice of sugary kids cereal on Christmas, as in, the whole box, with a spoon, dry, no milk -- I know, isn't that quirky? It started out as a hypothetical end-of-life thing, but turned into a once a year indulgence, and he is otherwise very careful about food and his waist-line. So, I always tell him to make sure he has an appetite for our brunch or early dinner, whatever it ends up being, because I want to share a nice meal with him. Later today that will be ham, and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, mashed potatoes, and a crunchy winter salad.

I love the Erwan Le Corre quotation - that's a good one. That resonates with me in terms of socializing, and also physical activity, and probably across the spectrum of risks that we can take as we challenge ourselves in work, and creative life, etc. I am psyching myself/journaling about what I will create in the new year, a process that I realize that we can do any time, not just at the new year, but here we are...and I know that what I create in the garden/s, which will put me way out of my comfort zone, will open up the world to me. So this quotation really dovetails with everything I'm writing about today, and thinking about for the year. The hiking too, will take me way out of my comfort zone, ha, all the way to 13,000 + feet above sea level, which is my normal, literal comfort zone. If things go the way we are planning, it will be a really empowering, expansive year, taking on challenges. 

Hope your good weather continues! Yesterday was a wonderful day at the store. It was buzzing like a beehive with merry shoppers, happy with what they were finding, and me watching all the risk-taking merchandise I'm trying out this year fly out the door with happy, grateful locals and visitors. In 4 hours we did a super-busy 8-hours worth of business, a really good one. Right before closing, our friends who visited swept back down through town after being in the mountains for two days, and they were so happy and glowing from their experiences up with the big trees. Nice to send them off, and it gave me a Christmas-y feeling. It rained a lot, and we had a lovely rainy evening.

An interesting observation of the cats...we have been in the habit of letting them cuddle and purr with us in bed until they turn playful and then gently put them outside the closed door to our room. Last night they stayed low-key ALL NIGHT, until right around dawn, one of them started playing soccer with my reading glasses, and I put them out. I wonder if it was a coincidence, or if they are learning that if they want to hang with us when we sleep they have to not jump around? Only the cats know, I think, but it bodes well for future bed-sharing, maybe. Oh, I did overlook a moment in the night where one moment I was sound asleep and the next moment, I took a claw swipe to my upper lip. WTF? I washed my face like a cat and went back to sleep. It must be love.

I'm sorry to hear about the changes in Nashville, but it sounds like you know how to make it work for you. It seems like if we are lucky enough to live a long life, we see our favorite cities change in ways we don't like...but we can still go there and enjoy what we can...that was my experience in SF. Isn't it lovely to have special occasions to look forward to? And this year is a big one for you guys! 

Merry and Bright!


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It really was merry and bright! Now, back to reality! Not that's that's a bad thing but it is definitely a thing today. I got up before my husband every day this long weekend and totally enjoyed the quietude before it was time to get things done. We had a pretty peaceful day yesterday. Brunch was nice but not much I wanted to eat. I had couple of small bites of ribs before realizing that even if I scraped the sauce off of them, they were sugar bombs. Thankfully, about half of the little piece I took was bone. I mostly ate my deviled eggs, some fruit and some almonds. I was almost tempted to try a friend's family recipe mandarin orange cake but when she said it was a doctored up box mix frosted in cool whip, that made it really easy to pass up. We came home, munched on a bunch of almonds and watched a movie while our little pork roast cooked. It came out great but the lobster wound up being a little under done and we had to give it a short, gentle nuking. It was good but not great but I'd do it again with some adjustments. I managed to put breakfasts and lunches together using leftovers so I was able to clean out the fridge a bit while I was at it. That's about all of the housework that's been done for the last few days, too! Keeping the kitchen from descending into chaos was about all I could keep up with.

We were able to take advantage of the fabulous weather and went for a little hike on Christmas eve. It was so nice then we came home and had scallops and green beans for dinner. My husband requested teriyaki-ish for the green beans but he realized that teriyaki sauce is, essentially, syrup. It's nice that he's become more aware of what's in the food he eats but he still eats it no matter what. Freezer to the rescue! I remembered that I had some of Michelle Tam's all-purpose stir fry sauce freezen so I just reduced it and added it to the green beans with some toasted almond slices (his idea again!). It was really good but a little too salty because I over-reduced it- oops but have to remember that!

Nothing like a sharp talon on your nose or lip in the middle of the night, huh? I had to put a spare pillow on my night table when Squeaky was younger to keep him off of it because he loved to chew on my glasses. The other thing he liked to chew on was the power cord for my computer. I had to replace it twice and Apple is pretty proud of those so I opted for a knock-off brand the second time, thinking that I'd probably have to get another one eventually but he's lost interest now that he's an old fart. He still likes to attack the toilet paper and grocery tote bags and boxes are all his if they're on the floor. 

Have you seen the Ken Burns documentary about jazz? That was the background for our scallop dinner- really nice. I think we'll take it easy tonight, watch another episode and have leftover pork roast and roasted vegetables for dinner. 

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A pillow on the night stand sounds very wise, I will have to try that. They made it again last night, all the way through to dawn, and then out they went. By then I was awake and got up shortly afterwards. This afternoon at a little antique mall I found the wing back chair of my dreams for next to the tub, and managed to get it inside by myself without the cats escaping. Hazel has had a taste of outside, and is showing great curiosity, so this is something we are being very careful about. Anyway, the chair is grand and comfortable, and burnt orange. It was reupholstered in the 70s and still in mint condition. I'm very pleased.

Your Christmas sounds wonderful, including the hike, and your husband's awareness of food! Our porky menu was good, too, and everything turned out well - I guess the mashed potatoes felt most like a treat as I hardly ever make them, and we both enjoyed it. No leftover potatoes for me, though. I'm back on game today. I had a cauliflower crust pizza with no cheese and loads of vegetables and chicken. Then a mediterranean salad with chicken kabobs and a tahini dressing, and I will fast the rest of the day. Tomorrow, I will roast the pork loins, and freeze some of it, along with half of the ham that also went to the freezer. (Yes! Freezer to the rescue LOL) There are lots of green things to eat, and so I won't have to cook much or shop for...  a week or so.

After my Xmas post I did get outside and do a ton of raking and sweeping. I had laid down a few layers of cardboard on one of the garden beds months ago, before the rains came and I discovered that it is perfect now (bendable like lasagna!) to lay out across the other beds, and easily tears in the shape I want. This was very encouraging. There are 5 beds that are flat and will be easy to sheet mulch in this way, and the leaves I raked up will mostly (I think) cover them. Huh, I thought I saw a black cat out of the corner of my eye...must have been Spooky!!!! I'll hire a local team to come in and help us make sense of our wacky sprinkler system that has so far been a HUGE headache. I might even get some winter planting done this year, and then wait until next fall to do the rest of the gardens. But getting out there gave me great momentum, and a mood boost. If I do some planting, I have from now and April to get the sprinklers sorted out, because even the natives will need a little water, and for sure those coastal redwoods do, also, and the pomegranate tree which really didn't get enough water and hardly produced any fruit. It's been a year, so now we know what we are dealing with! 

We really enjoyed the Ken Burns Jazz documentary! Yay! The interviews and photographs are amazing...of course, Ken Burns style.  Are you watching it from the beginning? Do you think you'll watch the whole thing? It took us several months of weekend viewing to get through all of it, and I think it is worth watching again. Recently the NYT ran a list of the top 50 (?) movies available on Netflix right now and we took note of some we want to see. 

Since it's post Xmas, and  I'm in early-to-bed/early-to-rise mode right now, no more messing around. I'm aiming to get out hiking tomorrow morning. Back to best practices! There's no elevator where we're hiking next year, so I'd better be ready.

How's your foot? Are you getting your mobility and stretching for your shoulder?

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Holy Smokes Lady's!  Hard to believe it's been almost a year since I created this post Whole-30 thread for us - I've been silent for many months but reading your posts often.  You gals are awesome for keeping the communication going!

I've just been 95% whole 30 mostly, my routine works for me and no new insights to share.  However, last two weeks I've indulged in more "crap" at holiday parties, and I can see the eczema on my foot and between my eyebrows; arthritic right ankle is inflamed; and mental acuity is a bit off.  Amazing how quickly I can see the effects.  I'm blessed with an easy work schedule the next week and plenty of healthy cook-ups in the works.  Wishing you both the best in 2020!


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Good morning @LadyLisbette! How was your hike? I managed to squeeze in four laps down the driveway and around the house- about 30 minutes worth- yesterday afternoon. I told my husband I was going out to unenthusiastically (spellcheck doesn't think that's a word) walk the driveway but by the time I finished I was pretty happy about it. I managed to do some hanging on each lap behind the house for some variety and was glad I got in some outside time before it goes to raining for the weekend. 

I've really been feeling what you said about reinventing yourself every so often and that seems to be my path heading into this new, big, celebratory year. I'm feeling fresh and renewed and more focused than I have in a while. When we did our short hike on Christmas Eve, I felt stronger and that was a real motivator. The little bit I've increased and improved my movement is making a difference and my W30 reset definitely made a difference. I don't think that doing a W30 is ever a bad idea, but it was certainly just the right thing at the right time for me. I'm about to go pick up my new glasses and just messaged my friend that cuts my hair about an appointment for a balayage- sprucing up the inside AND the outside!

I'm glad Spooky's keeping an eye on things. A couple of days ago I thought I heard a cry outside that sounded so much like Maybelle that I had to go look to see if there was a kitty out there. What do your squeakers (even though I imagine they're growing out of that phase about now) think of the cat cave? And have you gotten their test results back yet?

I'm loving the Jazz documentary. My husband watched it without me, much to my annoyance, but said he was more than willing to watch it again. We've seen the first two episodes so far. I'm familiar with a lot of the musicians but not so familiar with their life stories. This is a whole new world for my husband; he's responded by ordering a bunch of CD's and that doesn't break my heart- Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dave Brubeck and Art Tatum so far! I'm looking forward to the country music series, too. I'll have to check out that Netflix list. We've started Saturday Night at the Movies; do you remember that? Right now we're watching the new season of "The Fabulous Mrs. Maisel" but need to find a good movie for tomorrow night.

16 hours ago, LadyLisbette said:

There's no elevator where we're hiking next year


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Hi @Jim4884, wishing you the best in 2020, as well. It's good to get pretty much on the other side of the holiday temptations, isn't it? It sounds like you are plenty skilled and experienced with W30 ways to get right back on the bike! It seems there is no going back. A good thing! Hope your ailments clear up as quickly as they appeared.

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Hiya @hollysmokes! Oh, your morning routine sounds like exactly what I could do at my place sans the hanging bar. Good work, and so good to hear about your progress, sense of renewal, increased strength, self regard, and enthusiasm! Woo hoo! Today I did manage to get up at 6, but I have not been outside. Drat! Need to get the habit on. I read in my new chair (hubs is a bit bewildered by my choice, did I mention it's orange, but I LOVE. It.), then played with the cats and did nesting type chores until hubs got up (I love my house right now in such a new way), and now (or, next) I'm in get ready for work mode. Argh. Just need a little momentum. Maybe I'll make a date with a friend to get me out there the first time.  That worked before the holidays and for a few weeks I kept my date to myself to get hiking by 7 or 715...after just one date with a friend. Trying not to be excessively hard on myself. Thanks for keeping me accountable. Like you, more rain is coming...and it's cold, which was part of my inner-whining and (foolish) justifying, but once I get the momentum I don't mind because I know I'll warm up once I'm moving...

So great that you're both enjoying the jazz doc! So much rich history and good storytelling. Very exciting! I'm not familiar with the country music series, but will look for that! So funny you mentioned Saturday Night at the Movies. YES! Love it. In fact, the aging in place initiative I helped get started in our little town, agreed with me that we needed a movie program for seniors. Since there is no senior center, per se, we put on our own, hosted by the local retreat that I sometimes mention (my home away from home) and I named it Afternoon at the Movies. In April it will be 5 years of this monthly program. (big smile! so much fun for me and my main collaborator, and around 20 movie-goers each month) The Retreat built a $5 lunch around it, then with a grant, now offers a senior lunch every Monday, not just movie in effect we are building our own unique-to-our-town senior center, with activities that are springing up around those Monday lunches. Aren't you glad you asked? LOL.

The cats are playing in the cat cave, and hanging out there a little bit, but I don't think they're sleeping in it. Hubs tossed them out of our room at some point last night so we're back to Sq. 1. No news on their test results, which is probably good news! The vet said they would only call if there was bad news. Hm. Oh, Maybelle's voice! I sometimes think I can hear my mother's voice saying my name as if (she used to IRL) calling to me from across a distance (!) which gives me a host of mixed feelings and wonder if that's the right word. Weird creepy thing happened last night, as we sat at dinner, I was facing the window that looks on our driveway and Spooky's grave, and in the dark, a bright red and green light appeared, like a person on a hula hoop or a drone. Guess which one it was. Yeah, we became very alarmed and went outside to shake our fist, and it flew away. I'm very angry about it and the invasion of privacy etc etc angry etc.. I texted our neighbor friends a warning, and we meanwhile suspect it's the guests in the next door vacation rental playing with a new (red and green) Christmas toy. :angry: Just when I was pretty relaxed about the reasonableness of not having curtains in our little corner of mountain forest. Has anything like this ever happened to you?

Oh poop I'd better get going. I will stretch a little before I leave, but definitely need to get over this block.


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8 hours ago, LadyLisbette said:

Hi @Jim4884, wishing you the best in 2020, as well. It's good to get pretty much on the other side of the holiday temptations, isn't it? It sounds like you are plenty skilled and experienced with W30 ways to get right back on the bike! It seems there is no going back. A good thing! Hope your ailments clear up as quickly as they appeared.


9 hours ago, hollysmokes said:

Hey @Jim4884 glad to hear you've been doing well. Hopefully your flare-ups will recede as quickly as they appeared!

Thank you so much for the well wishes!  Yeah, I may have shared my story previously, but I think it can be inspirational, so I'll repeat the highlights.  I did my first Whole 30 in 2017, and it sorta turned into a Whole 45 because the first two weeks I was eating some added sugar, extremely low amounts (breakfast sausage for crying out loud, it does NOT need sugar!!) , but fairly often, so I decided to do 30 additional days.  My motivation was being diagnosed as pre-diabetic (and I was obese), and my doctor at Kaiser e-mailed me personally saying "You need to do something about this NOW or you WILL BE diabetic".  My personal joke is that if I had eaten one more cookie, I would have been diabetic.  Anyway, at the end of the 45 days, I had lost 40 pounds without increasing exercise or ever feeling hungry; my blood sugar became completely normal; I got off of blood pressure medication and my BP was lower than when I was on meds; the mentioned (mild but lifelong) eczema disappeared; my arthritic ankle which was so inflamed I literally could not run due to the pain cleared up - I still run now and then.  I resurrected my enjoyment of cooking and learned to LOVE vegetables.  I've maintained all these gains for two and a half years.  My quality of life is so improved, I cannot even fathom going back to how I used to eat.  I rarely miss the things I don't eat, as I am a pretty capable cook, and three key things are W30 compliant:  ALL spices, healthy fats, and char from oven roasting or grilling.  I've made Whole 30 compliant meals for people who have told me I should open a restaurant.

I recall going to lunch with a friend and ordering a salad with grilled shrimp and eliminating the tortilla strips and shredded cheese that normally came with it, and he said "oh, you're still doing that diet?"  and I explained it is a lifestyle change.  This is how I eat, period.  I've done two other complete whole 30's since, but I feel pretty comfortable with Melissa's term - "Food Freedom Forever".  

Again, all the best!

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Ugh, I'd rather have someone hula-hooping outside of my window than a drone! That is definitely creepy.  Thankfully, we've never had that problem and we don't have curtains either. I had to hang a long, thick curtain in the stairs to help dampen the echo in the living room and I hung a sheer in the bathroom window that overlooks the stairs to the front door but, other than that, we're open to the world. Someone would have to use binoculars or a telescope (or a drone:angry:) to get a look into the house and I figure they deserve what they get at that point! We're pretty rural out here and most people are pretty well armed. I think drones would have a pretty short lifespan out here and my husband is a good shot! We're outside of city limits, too, so it's legal to shoot firearms and lots of people target shoot at their houses. There's a preacher and his family across the street and they set up a table in their front yard and shoot full auto! That's pretty trippy!

I'm very glad I asked! :)I love how your afternoon movie program morphed into such a great resource. You should be proud.

Well, I think your orange chair sounds magnificent! What a cool find. I love fun pieces like that and it's even better when it's the piece that finishes a room. I know it took a year for you to get everything just right in the house but I think you have to live in it for a while to get a real feel for what each space needs to become your home. I never thought I would have a home like the one we're in now and sometimes I feel guilty that we have so much room for just two people but, except for the extra bedrooms that don't get used that often, we use it all. When we moved up here we wanted to make sure we had enough space for family to be able to evacuate for hurricanes but the reality is that they don't want to drive 8-12 hours to evacuate and will always go somewhere closer to home if they evacuate at all. Oh well, good intentions! It's a money pit but we truly love it. I'm sitting here writing, enjoying my coffee and watching the rain through the trees as it lightens up this morning. Ahhh a little peace and solitude before my husband wakes up.

I have no idea what I'm cooking up this weekend. I have a bunch of kale that needs to get used up and I defrosted some ground chicken so I guess that's going to be the basis for my breakfasts this week. Oh yeah, I keep forgetting we have a day off in the middle of the week, don't we? Do y'all close the store on NY? I need to go get some black-eyed peas. I think it's a Southern thing but you have to have black-eyed peas on NY for luck and cabbage for money. I haven't had any beans for a while now so I'm looking forward to them. I think my body knows my W30 is over even though I have barely strayed from the rules. I've been getting some good walking/movement in and the evil scale is not reflecting it. I refuse to be discouraged and will not let the numbers rule. I'm going to stay on plan, knowing that it's the right thing for me. I made my hair appointment yesterday but couldn't get one until the end of January AND I picked up my new glasses. I'm a little freaked out by the change- they're BLUE- and a little bigger than my old ones so it kinda freaks me out every time I see myself in the mirror. What have I done?! 

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A lovely post from your Saturday morning peaceful home-time! New year, new glasses! Are you getting used to them since your post? What sort of blue are they? I'll bet they're pretty! Where did you get them, did you have a chance to try them on first? I am only on my second-ever pair of glasses, but I don't like my frames, I mean, they'll do - I don't hate them, but they're not what I want so I'm getting new ones...a friend recommended ... It seems reasonable to give it some time...and equally reasonable after a certain period of time to try another frame that you can like or even LOVE when you look in the mirror! I'm hearing my mother's voice, "do you love it?" Copying the link to you is also the first time I've even looked at it, so I should take my advice and browse...maybe on NY Day.

I like the tradition of the black-eyed peas and cabbage for luck and money! Bring it on, right? Do you feel lucky? I'm not sure I believe in luck, but I sure do seem to have a charmed life, and maybe that is another word for luck. And for sure, a one pot dish (ish) sounds good in order to relax and enjoy the day. We had that kind of Sunday yesterday. So restful, so enjoyable. The little squeakers are passing into a new phase. One could call them thunder paws. They are bigger, faster, jumping higher, playing longer, and more entertaining than ever if that is possible. Yet when we lounged yesterday, they lounged with us. Did I mention they don't like the smell of my lady-lotions? It's become a joke in our house, "your hands stink" LOL. I need to get some unscented stuff - which is hard to wrap my brain around but there it is. I know your husband is sensitive to some of your EOs, what about Squeaky?

Your rural area sounds a lot like ours. Including the arms. We have a b.b. gun, and we talked about getting it out if we ever saw another drone, but hopefully it will never come to that. If I'm wrong I will find out if my husband is a good shot or not! We got it to harass the woodpeckers who were predating hummingbirds at our old house. I used to have 6 feeders that were abundant with shiny hummers, and in the spring the woodpeckers become carnivorous for their nestlings. Drove us crazy watching that violence.

I LOVE it that you bought a home with extra bedrooms for your family if they needed it in hurricane evacuation, that is awesome! Even if they don't use it for that, it reminds me of the loving tradition of setting an extra place at the table for a lost one. It is an invitation. When I Zillow homes for possible retirement re-location I think about getting extra bedroom/s for visiting family. Esp. my bro and his kids. Having a larger-than-needed place was very much on-topic the day of your post when a customer, who recently learned where we live, somewhat impolitely said, "you have a big operation up there, what you need such a big place for?" I had to process this and let it go as just an abrasive, not thoughtful thing to say, but it triggered me because I worry that we might be perceived as wealthy b/c we are merchants and potentially robbable by robber-types in our community. So I don't like the idea of where we live being a conversation topic by those whose business it is not. I replied that it's not as big as it seems from the road because it looms large over the hillside, or something to that effect. Argh. Do you think an alarm company sticker on the window would give a ne'er do well some pause? We have an alarm on the store, and I can get a sticker - I think it couldn't hurt. Though in recovery from drugs and a bit abrasive for sure, she is not a threat, but the person who pointed out where we live I do not like - a handyman for our neighbor. Deep breath, must let it go again!!! It all happens when I am feeling in love with house and home, and much to be protective of. Back to the knowing that I live a charmed life...

What did you cook? I think we'll have the lemongrass chicken tonight, and then on Tuesday I'll take off a little time to vacuum and roast those pork tenderloins.

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Oh, yeah! We know all about thunder paws. It sounds like a herd of elephants running through the house. My husband said that when he was in the basement he couldn't tell if it's me or cats coming down the stairs. Now that Maybelle isn't here for Squeaky to chase, it's a lot quieter, though. Squeaky is a sucker for citrus! if I peel an orange, he'll grab my hand with his paw and start licking the juice/oil off and he'll sniff very closely if I have a citrus EO on. Other than that he doesn't seem to care but I know some of the oils, like peppermint, are toxic to cats so I try not to pet him if I've just used them. It's probably silly but I also worry that if I pet him with EO on my hands, am I making him more of a target for predators because he's smelly? We had a long talk with one of our neighbors recently about the exploding coyote population so that definitely didn't make me feel any better.

That's awful about the woodpeckers! I had no idea they did that. We have pileated woodpeckers up here and they are huge but we don't see them as often as the regular ones. Before we put Hardie board on our house, they were destroying the house. The carpenter bees would drill into the cedar siding to lay their eggs then the woodpeckers would shred it to get to the bee larvae.

We worry about being burgled as well. All someone would have to do is pick up one of the billions of rocks laying around and break the glass in a window or door. No one is close enough to hear a thing and it's pretty well shielded from view even in winter. Half of the time, we treat our house like a convertible car: leave it unlocked so if someone tries try to steal stuff there will be less damage. After all of the construction last year with lots of strangers around (and a contractor that was already committing some very questionable acts) we started locking up more consistently. I know several people that have gotten the little yard signs from alarm companies and put them in their front yards as deterrents; it might not be a bad idea.

Luck has been the topic of discussion many times at our house! We are of the opinion that, for the most part, you make your own luck. When we were sailing, there would always be talk of so-an-so that did this or that different from the rest of the racing fleet and they won because they got lucky. The truth is that it usually involves a lot of work as well as the knowledge to take advantage of a wind shift (literally or figuratively) when it appears. Sitting around on your bum and waiting for something advantageous rarely happens! 

I had a wonderful and relaxing weekend, too. It involved a bunch of vacuuming and mopping, too, but we spread it out over two days and now the floors are all sparkly clean, laundry is caught up and we even super-cleaned the stove. I am making a resolution (not of the New Year's type) to wipe down the stove EVERY night with this great all-purpose spray cleaner I make so we don't have to spend an hour steaming baked on grease off of the stove. I made kimchi and got a pineapple vinegar started (new experiment!) and got a ginger bug started so I could make a batch of ginger beer. The ginger bug and the pineapple vinegar techniques are similar. You just put the pineapple skins (or ginger) in a jar with some water and a little sugar and swirl it around every day so all of the little lactobacilli can get to work fermenting the sugar. I didn't do much real cooking. We polished off some leftovers and I got breakfast done with lots of kale for today and tomorrow then pan fried some pork chops last night to go with a baked sweet potato. The original plan included sauteed asparagus but I lost motivation as the day went on and I started getting tired. Oh! Thanks for reminding me about the BLT wraps; that's what I had for lunch today and it was great!

Feeling good, sticking with the plan and moving forward!

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Happy New Year! And Happy 20th Anniversary to you and your husband! Did you go to your favorite restaurant? Was dinner delicious?

It looks like I will be starting a new journal with the new year because - gasp - I seem to have lost mine. I have never lost a journal before, and it is a strange feeling. It may turn up, but I am not counting on it. One thing leading to another...I had adopted an apparently bad habit of carrying my credit card in my hip pocket on shopping days so I could be free of a purse, and as a result misplaced a card and had to go through the whole burden of cancelling it and getting a new one. Naturally the card turned up on the closet floor after we received the new ones. Meanwhile I had sworn off the hip-pocket habit, and started carrying my favorite but small purse so that I could have my wallet easily accessible. That has been three weeks. But my journal doesn't fit in it so I occasionally just carry it in my arms like a school-girl with books....and I think that's how I lost it - being out of routine. I think last week when I carried it into a lunch place to write a bit...but they don't have it...Waah. Hubs was very present in my state of alarm a few hours ago and we talked through all the places it might be etc....with a heavy heart I am letting it go. And in the mash up of setting my intention for the new year, mulling over new habits with my writing etc...

Peppermint is toxic to cats! - eek, thank you for mentioning that. I've been studying up on all of the other EOs that are toxic for them, and here is a link I found that may be of interest ... I had so much leftover foot balm with peppermint and tea tree that I had been using it on my hands, too. No wonder they turned away from me - they don't like it for such a good reason! Also in cat news, we are looking at cat trees. Hazel the hunter has been climbing the narrow trim of the French doors that look out on birds and trees, which is pretty impressive to see! We're not making any decisions as we don't know how large or petite they might be when they are grown. Do you have any recommendations? Last night we were up way past their (and our) bed-time and it was amusing to have them so tired out on our laps in the hour or so after midnight.

I will spend the rest of the afternoon cooking and writing - tomorrow is my re-scheduled mammogram and my friend's chemo and errands...I think I'll dust off an old purse in the back of my closet that will fit the new journal. I think I want to just always carry it in my purse with everything else, something not too big or heavy!

Are you getting used to/enjoying the new frames?

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Our NY/anniversary plans changed due to procrastination but it wound up being a good thing! We waited too long to get reservations at the restaurant we wanted and I couldn't find anything else that appealed to me or wasn't booked up. I defrosted a beautiful grass-fed NY strip and we picked up some really nice shrimp and a bottle of champagne. After dinner we watched the third episode of the jazz documentary. It was quiet and peaceful and perfect! Yesterday we went to a friend's birthday party and that was really nice, too. I ate a little before we headed over there but had a couple of ribs that probably had a little sugar in the rub but didn't have any sauce so they weren't total sugar bombs. The guys that I mentioned a while back that were doing a W30 were there and they're starting a W60 today so it was fun talking W30 with them. I've tried to get them to join the forum but they're not really interested even though they participate in the W30 facebook thing. One of them got booted off of a "kinder, gentler" W30 FB page which doesn't sound like the real deal to me. He said it was all about people trying to twist the rules to fit what they wanted to do then looking for approval. He kept calling them out about not following the rules and telling them that what they were doing wasn't W30 and they kicked him out! It was pretty funny; as he described different scenarios, my husband kept chiming in saying, "That's not W30!" and "That's not compliant!"

So sorry to hear about your lost journal; that's awful! I hate carrying a purse and do it so rarely that I have to be really careful not to leave it somewhere. I got one of those little sleeves that stick on the back of your cell phone and have my driver's license, debit card and the all-important Costco card in it so if I lose my phone I'm really screwed! Anytime I try to change up my routine I always wind up getting things all sideways. Hopefully it will still turn up even though you've let go.

Thanks for the link. I knew about phenols but didn't know which oils contained phenolic compounds: citrus, ylang ylang and tee tree are all oils I use but mostly citrus so I'll have to be more careful even though he's never had any symptoms. I try not to pet him if I've just put lotion on my hands and haven't gotten a diffuser because it seemed like a bigger risk. We never did get a cat tree because we don't have a good place for one and we were never convinced that out fickle kids would like it. I think Maybelle actually would have like it because it would get her above Squeaky so he couldn't bully her.

I have an appointment with an allergist today to see if I can figure out the nighttime congestion thing. I'm still trying to improve my sleep one small piece at a time without resorting to prescription sleep-aids. They told me to plan on being there as long as 4 hours so it should be interesting. Since my appointment isn't until 10, that will include lunchtime so I'm trying to work around not getting a real lunch. My plan is to eat breakfast later than usual and I brought an RX bar and an Epic bar to eat there as well as a book and my earbuds so I can listen to music or a podcast or something to pass the time. I was going to take advantage of having most of the afternoon off and running some errand but we're supposed to get between 1 and 4 inches of rain today!

I can't remember if it was an email or an IG thing but Melissa U had a great quote that I really need to incorporate in to my every day:

Motivation doesn't always lead to action, but action leads to motivation. :)

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Your NY/Anniv evening sounds heavenly. There's no place like home, is there?

I like the quotation on motivation -- that rings true to me, and my life experience has shown that to be on the mark. We know it is implying that action leads to motivation and more action! I woke up in the middle of the night with a sore throat, and I knew it was more than my allergies because I was also yucky and snotty, so i did not hike. Oh, that's why I've been sneezing for a couple of days. I was cranky about it, and then the little terrors chased each other around and across the bed, including running right over my face, jumbling my reading glasses. I know I keep saying they are at an all time high speed and agility, and I guess that is the nature of growing beings. Fast and furious. I had the mammo today and 7 stops afterwards, so I pushed through it under the weather. Hope to make fast work of this thing because it will be a busy one at work next week. The good news is that yesterday's cook went well and I have lots of delicious food to eat, and soup fixings that I might put in the crock pot before turning in tonight.

How did your allergy appt go today?

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It was heavenly! 

So sorry you're under the weather; hopefully it will clear up quickly. I love having soup when my throat's sore- even sipping on bone broth feels so soothing and healing.

My allergy appointment went pretty much as I expected. I'm not really allergic to anything, just a slight reaction to cat & dog so it's essentially environmental sensitivities: humidity, barometric pressure, weather extremes, scents and irritants. I've been trying one of the steroid sprays so they want me to increase that and add an antihistamine spray- apparently they have a synergistic effect when used together- and rinse my sinuses every day. I was whining to my husband yesterday about the amount of time I'd spend in the bathroom doing everything the dentist wants me to do plus what the allergist wants me to do. I need to plan out a routine that breaks all of these things up throughout the day so I can stay on plan. I'm thinking sinus health when I come home after work and oral health after dinner as part of my nighttime routine. It helps me to think about it as all part of the same big plan as W30- decrease inflammation, improve sleep and all of the good things that go with those things!

Speaking of staying on plan, I have wiped down my cooktop every night since we did the deep cleaning on it and I'm proud of myself! I know it's just a little thing but it's one of those little things that turns into a big thing and it makes me smile to see it all shiny-clean. I fried up some bacon last night and had BLT wraps for dinner and packed some up for my lunch. I still haven't wrapped them in parchment but if I just munch on cherry tomatoes on the side instead of using slices of tomatoes, it's not messy at all. I was really dragging yesterday afternoon and really didn't want to cook or clean anything but I forced myself to put the wraps together, unloaded the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen. It wasn't much but it fed me and made me feel like I did "something" so I called that good enough.

I'm craving chili so I'm going to get a chuck roast this weekend and make a BIG pot of it. Other than that, I have no idea what I'm going to work on this weekend. How was the lemongrass chicken? I looked for it in Costco yesterday but didn't see it. Is it in the freezer section or with the refrigerated prepared foods? 

Lots of football this weekend :(so I'll have to figure out how I'm going to navigate that. I told my husband that I'd rather pay to upgrade Hulu for the month and invite people over to watch the games instead of going to a bar/restaurant to watch them and, no, I'm not going out to watch a 7PM game tomorrow night! I REALLY don't care about football but he really enjoys it so I try to participate but there's a limit.

Take it easy and feel better! You know that lying on the sofa with kitties make everything better!



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