Saturday, October 22, 2016

Fall in Ohio

Today, Hubs and I walked at a local park that we like to call "Our Park" because it is so close to home.  It is actually part of the Franklin County park system - Inniswood MetroPark.  This park has a large group of very dedicated volunteers who lovingly tend every little bud and leaf.  In October, they decorate for Halloween, and we happened to arrive this morning just as the decorating was being finished.  I hope you enjoy my photos of our stroll through an Ohio October.  I don't think we are at the peak of color here yet - at least not everywhere.

Thanks for joining us on this lovely walk!

I'll see you again soonly!


Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Odyssey Continues - Mid-Fall Report

Hello Friends,

Since it has been awhile, I decided it was time to give an Odyssey update. I have made some changes recently, and I also did some analysis today.

Let’s start with news for October:
  • On October 1, I saw the first new number on the scale in 4 months.  I started my day with 212 # on the scale.  The previous Nakey Morning Low was 214 # on May 29.  That is over 4 months with no numbers showing up on the scale.  EEK!
  • Today, I saw 211 # for the first time in this journey.  That puts me at a new low of -49 total loss since September 2015.  WHEE!

Here are some stats for those of you who are interested in that sort of thing:
  • From Sept 1 to March 20, I lost 40#.  
    • Sept = 10, Oct = 10, Nov/Dec = 10, Jan/Feb/Mar = 10
  • From March 20 to May 29, I lost 6#
  • June/July/Aug/Sept, I lost nothing - bounced around in the same 5 pound range.
  • Oct loss is 3#, so far.

The patterns shown here are very interesting to me.  The trend - that it takes longer and longer to lose - presents interesting challenges.  I
wasn’t really surprised that I didn’t lose over the summer because I was really off plan during vacations.  For the month of June when I had two vacations where I was eating in restaurants almost every day, I had a net gain of about 3-4 pounds, then I spent most of July losing that.  I really expected to gain more and to take longer losing it, so overall, I was pleased with the summer.  Once I went back to school, the routine helped a lot, and it was easy to be back on plan.  However, I expected to start losing again.  The fact that I didn’t scared me a bit, so it was a huge relief to finally start seeing new numbers.  

The frustration with my slow loss the last 2 months has led me to some soul searching.   As I was starting this journey, a big part of it for me was about understanding that this is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change.  Over the months of using the WW plan, I’ve learned how to make healthier choices for myself.  This is about food intake, certainly, but it is also about activity level, sleep, stress - in other words, the WHOLE me.  The fact that I’ve lost 49 pounds, is a huge accomplishment that I am proud of.  I am now about where I was in college - 35 years ago.  I have totally overhauled my wardrobe and am now in mostly all new clothes.  YAY!  My proud docs have reduced all of my meds.  YAY!  And Hey!  I can cross my legs again!  YAY!  I can now actually take pride in my appearance instead of always trying to hide myself.  Maybe I need to relax and enjoy what I’ve accomplished and not stress-out over the slow progress?  What if this is my body’s new normal, and it is happy here!  I think I can live with that!

Certainly, I want to keep going.  My big goal is to get below 200.  At this rate, it may take another year to get there.  I have no reason to believe I will regain what I have lost.  My new lifestyle is now part of how I define who I am.  

So, that’s the news for now.  I will keep you posted as things change…. Or not, as the case may be.

Thanks for your continued support!  My cheerleaders have been a huge help along the way!

Come back again soonly!

:) Amy

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Weird Dream

It is a joke in my house that I have a lot of weird dreams. Hubs calls them “AmyDreams” and notes that they often deal with things that frustrate or scare me. Last night I had the strangest dream I’ve had in a long time, and I really can't connect it to any personal frustrations or fears.

The setting was the bedroom of the house I lived in when I was growing up in Lima from age 7 to 16.  In this dream however, I was my adult self. As I awoke one sunny morning, I noticed a huge praying mantis on the inside of the window to the side of my bed. By “huge” I mean a body of maybe 2’ long. I reached out and touched it, and it waved a leg at me. This mantis was new to me, but I wasn't afraid of it. I was more curious than anything else.

As I watched this insect, it started walking slowly clockwise away from me. It moved across the drapes that hung beside the window to the wall and eventually it walked across my tall hutch where it stopped for a break.

With one eye on the large visitor, I started getting dressed. I also talked to it. I said, “I don't know if you have a name, so I’m going to call you George even though I don't even know if you are male or female.” Again, it waved a leg at me as if it could understand me.

Continuing its counter-clockwise movement, it crossed another set of drapes and the front window and headed toward the closet which I had left open. As I watched, it went to the shelf above the hanger rack and got in between some items about in the center. George then looked like he was settling in for a nap, so I left the room.

When I came back later, I looked into the closet, and in the place of the mantis was a small man sitting on the shelf. He was dressed in a little beige suit the same color as the mantis had been.  As I stood looking at him, he said, “My name is Christopher.”  About this time my husband entered the room and joined me to look at the miniature man.

Christopher told us that he appreciated our hospitality. He explained that he has been traveling the country staying with various relatives until they grow tired of him, and then he moves on. He said he didn't have long to live, and he was trying to see everyone one last time.

We left the room and then Hubs said to me that since Christopher was homeless, maybe we could let him live in our downtown apartment. (What?) I told him I didn't think that was a good idea. The next time we went into the room, we looked for Christopher on the shelf, but he was gone.  We looked all around the room and found no trace of our new little friend.

The End!

How totally weird is that?! At least it was entertaining and not upsetting! Maybe my muse was just getting me to write something creative in my blog to entertain my readers?  I hope you were entertained!

Thanks for visiting! Stay tuned for more, coming soon!

:) Amy

Thursday, September 8, 2016

It's Finished!!!

I can't even contain my excitement!  The Art Glass Doors were put up today.

TA DA.....

..... and that's all I've got to say!  I'm going to go sit and look at my magnificent art!


Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Odyssey Continues - End of Summer Update

Hello to all my Weight Loss Cheerleaders!

It is time for an update although I really don't have a lot do share.

When I finished the school year in May, I was very afraid of the effect being off for the summer would have on my weight loss journey.  Just after school was out, I logged my best-ever home weight at 214.  I went on 2 vacations in June during which I pretty much ate whatever I wanted to eat (within reason), but I also walked a lot on those vacations.  By the end of June, I had gained about 5 pounds = 219.

For the month of July, I was back home and back on program.  On Wed, July 20, I logged 215 pounds (-45 total) at the weekly WW meeting, and I was thrilled by that!  That was my new OFFICIAL WW low.  The month of August has not been good.  I've bounced around between 215-220 fairly liberally.  My Aug. 31 weigh-in at meeting was 217.

I guess, over-all, a net gain of 3 pounds for the summer isn't too bad considering what it could have been, and it is better than I feared.

Now that I am back in school, I feel like the routine is going to help me start losing again.  It is also going to help that the humidity is down so I can start walking outside again.  My goal is to get up to 1 hour a day - right now I'm typically at about 30 min a day of dedicated walking.  Today, Hubs and I walked to the park up the street, and I did 3000 steps in 30 min.  (Gosh, there were days on my Maine vacation when I EASILY did 15,000-18,000 steps!  Seriously! So, I know what I am capable of.)

My next big goal is 199 - Otherwise known as Onederful-99.  Can I make it by Jan.1?  Stay tuned!

I have to say that being part of the weekly WW support group and also having Cheerleaders who are not part of the group is a huge help to me.  Several of the women in the group see me as an inspiration.  One friend who started with the group in April has now lost 40 pounds in 4 months!  She looks AWESOME!  Knowing that I am an inspiration to others helps keep me motivated to continue my work.  Not only do I not want to let myself down, but I don't want to let others down either.  One thing I've learned is that a huge part of this journey is mental/emotional.  The pounds drop fairly quickly at first, which is motivational and fun, but once the losing gets harder, it is necessary to find motivation anywhere I can get it!  Thanks to all of you who are rooting for me!!

Thanks for reading - I'll be back again before you can say Chocolate Chip Cookie!


It's Done - Well.... Almost

Hello Friends!

I am pleased to announce that the big kitchen renovation is finally done!


The one thing left to do is put on the stained glass doors above the stove which I will not be able to pick up until Sept. 3 at the earliest.

However, aside from that, everything else is DONE!  Here we go... the big REVEAL...

TA DA!!!

Let's review the Before Pictures:

Wow! Is it really Sept. 4 already, and has it really been a month since I posted the last update? 

I actually had this post ready, and then saved it and forgot to put it live - DOH!  I now HAVE my stained-glass window doors, but they have not been put on yet.  That will be the next update!

Here you go!  Sorry for the delay!


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

It's BackSplash Day!

Hello Friends,

Today was backsplash day after giving the countertops a night to settle into their silicone caulk.

Keith started with the stove side.  He had previously smoothed out the wall with drywall mud in preparation for today.  My tile comes in sheets which makes for easier application than individual tiles.

Here is a before (old kitchen) photo:

Here is the wall after demolition with the new cabinets in place:
(The old tiles were individual squares)

Here is a photo of the prepped wall:

Here is today's work in progress:

This whole job has been a greatbighuge learning experience for me.  One thing I learned about tile is that even after you order your tile sheets, you will need some sort of finishing-edge product.  It could be bull-nose tiles, or it could be a border of some kind.  My Handyman Matters workers instructed me about this (I didn't learn about it from my kitchen designer).  They suggested I go to Home Depot or Lowe's and look at the options in the tile section.  I did that, and I found a metal strip that fits with my hardware theme.  Technically it is called Aluminum Tile Edging.  I chose one that is 3/8" in Brushed Antique Bronze.   It comes in 8' long pieces and then is cut to fit.  The back portion with the holes is fit into the mortar.  My tiles fit into a curve on the piece.  Here is what it looks like: 

Here is the workspace as it is today:  

The sink was also plumbed today. The Insinkerator is on the left side.  

Tomorrow, Keith will grout what has been put up.  He will finish everything after the 2 delayed upper cabinets come in (next week).  

That's it for today!  Thanks for visiting!


Monday, August 1, 2016

Kitchen Progress Is Being Made!

Hello Friends,

Since I have a number of friends who are watching progress on the kitchen remodel, I decided to post an update today, even though it isn't finished yet.

Today was a big day - Countertop Installation!

However before I get to that, let me give you some basic information and share that knobs and pulls have been installed since my last update.  Here is what those look like:

Brand: KraftMaid
Door Style: Amhurst
Wood:  Oak
Color: Fawn

Store:  Lowe's - special order online only
Brand: Hickory Hardware
Name: Craftsman 1-1/4"
Item #: P2170-Bl

Store: Lowe's - in store stock
Brand: Style Selections
Name: 3.78" Pull - Aged Bronze Finish
Item #: 0300920

Store: Home Depot - in store stock
Brand: Pfister
Name: Cantara - Pull-out 
Color: Tuscan Bronze Finish
Item #: F-534-7CRY

Store: The Anderson's
Brand: Karran
Material: Quartz 
Color: Beige
Style #: Q360R

Store:  Lang Stone 
Brand: Silestone 
Material:  Quartz
Color: Quasar

Lang Stone came out on July 14, after the base cabinets had been installed, and did a laser measurement for the countertops.  At that time we talked about the reveal over the sink, and the edge style I wanted.  They gave me an installation date of Monday, August 1, and they took the sink with them.  

This morning, my Handman Matters workman, Keith, came around 11 and disconnected the plumbing and removed the old countertop.  Promptly at 1 pm, the Lang Stone people arrived with my countertops.  

The first thing they did was install the sink, and lay the counters on the stove side.  Here is the rough-in of the sink:

I had misunderstood that the sink would be attached to the countertop because when they came to measure for the countertop, they took the sink with them.  In fact, it isn't hanging from the counter.  The sink is actually sitting on 2x4 pieces that were screwed into the inside walls of the sink cabinet.  

Next, the big countertop was laid in place, some shims were added to make it level, and then silicone caulk was used at several points to hold it in place.  There is no adhesive used because it is so heavy that it really doesn't need adhesive.  Here is what it looks like now:

The caulk has to set before the plumbing can be done, so that will happen tomorrow, and then work on the backsplash will begin.  Keith will start on the stove side, and then move to the sink side, but he can't finish that side until after the 2 missing upper cabinets are installed - which we HOPE will be next week.  

Stay tuned for info about the backsplash tomorrow!