Saturday, April 26, 2014

Stupid Bird & Other Things

Earlier this week my husband and I came home and parked our truck in front of the white park truck, and right away noticed this robin going after his reflection in the mirror. Pecking away, fluttering his wings until he had to stop and roost on the mirror. Okay, this was funny at first. But this bird has been at it from sunrise (or before) until sunset each and every day of this week. We've tried moving the trucks--that wasn't a good idea because then he went after our truck, so that was no good. We tried scaring it off, but it merely comes back. The stupid thing has a fixation on his image either in the mirror or in the glass--it doesn't seem to matter. He wants to fight it. I keep hoping he'd find a lady bird to get his mind off this, but we see him fighting his image  all day with only a few breaks in between to go and eat. Dumb bird!

My husband is still not upset about this stupid bird. He said he wanted to name it. I suggested "Stupid", but he didn't go for it at first. I think now it's fitting to call him "Stupid". I've had ideas floated out to him about curtailing this bird's activities--all which would keep him away or block its view, but he's afraid it would simply go after our truck--which is black and bird poop doesn't wash away easily. At this juncture he realizes he will have to scrub the park truck, and I'm wondering at what point he'll break and do something about "Stupid". Well, I've decided to not allow this to be my problem. He can deal with it himself.

In other things. I've finished the baby afghan, and don't you know it, as soon as I do Hobby Lobby has a sale on exactly the yarn I was using. WTF.

I've finished the first read-through of the fourth book, Vampire Caprice, and need to let it rest and do another sweep. Hope to get this out in May. Since I had to do a few outdoor things while weather holds, and did my walks, finally, in the park, I've had other things going on, and filling my day. But I want to ask if anyone would want to have me guest post on their blog in May or June, even, or mention it on their blog in the very least, I would thank thee.

I'm losing weight on my diet (Atkins), steadily. Boy did I gain pounds over the winter! But I've tried other ways to lose weight, but nothing else works like this one. Getting away from excessive carbs is the only way I've ever been able to lose consistently. I am a carb addict! My goal is to get down 35 pounds. I've already lost a total of 10 pounds in the last 2 weeks, and the first week I wasn't really on it totally, I was eliminating certain high-carb foods, including bread, and I changed to almond milk--finding I like it enough to continue drinking it for a while. I don't weigh again until tomorrow morning. I have to stay on this first phase for another week after this one--at least that's where it stands--until I'm within 15 pounds of my goal weight of 125. I'm on a 20 carb a day phase. Eventually, in the next phases, I will trade carbs for different foods, and then begin to add to my carb totals weekly.

 A lot of people think all we eat is meat and eggs. No. We eat a lot of veggies, and try to have enough of those to equal 12-15 carbs in the daily total. Eventually I'll have lots of other choices, but bread will not be one of them, and only whole wheat pasta, and brown rice will be allowed. It's all a matter of not over-doing it, and counting the carbs will eventually come naturally. Which I don't mind doing, really. It was hard to find the right combinations of foods, watching the carbs, but I've stayed on task. And I've got a long summer ahead of me. I'll be driving the bus for 6 hours, instead of 4, and thankfully the various Atkins snack, food, and treat bars, shakes will help me through my day. I've found that the high protein--some are 10-15--are what keeps me from feeling hungry. The meal bar was 15 grams of protein, so that worked wonderfully one day when we had to go to the store right after work. I wasn't starving when we got home and just had some broccoli and celery with ranch dressing. Last night I had one of the frozen meals (my husband had a small pizza), beef and broccoli in Merlot sauce. The meat actually looked and tasted like beef you get from a post roast (instead of something out of a can of dog food). It was the best frozen meal I've ever had! I wanted to lick my plate!

There's a few recipes that I've found and want to try. These Chocolate Ganache Macarons look good! Made with almond flour.


One sad note, my niece died earlier this week. Boy, to learn it in an email was shocking. She lives in Florida, so the funeral is down there. No. I'm not going. That's a bit of a drive and I can only get one day off for such things. I can't imagine how my sister, Lot (Val's mother), is taking this. Lot's husband died last December. I used to take care of the four kids while my sister went to work--she's about 13 years older than me. I became an aunt when I was 10! My niece wasn't very old. I don't have details on her, or what happened, but hope to learn as time goes by.

Well, that's my up-dates for now. I'm waiting for April to get over with before I begin posting about this up-coming book. Every one's into the A-Z thing, and I don't want to try to compete for attention around that.

Once again, if anyone is willing to host me/my book "Vampire Caprice" that will be out some time in May, I'd greatly appreciate it.


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Harsh Winter = Weight Gain... Here's What I'm Doing About It

Okay, as pretty much all of you know we had a very rough, very cold, very snowy winter. As a result most of us just wanted to stay warm and eat comfort foods. I'm one of them. I'm also one who can't stick to any exercise program, or diet, so I've got some pounds to loose. I've tried everything--save having the fat sucked out of my body. I've tried the Low Fat diet... it really doesn't work. And you know the pill ads where they claim you'll loose lots of weight. Sure, and then once you quit them, you gain it back and more. I've tried the shakes--same thing. I lost the weight, but I'm not willing to keep on buying the shakes. And the more popular shakes on the shelves, but they don't keep me satisfied. So, I gave up.

But now I've gotten to the point where I can't stand being this heavy, so I've decided to do something I know works. It worked for me before when I tried it. Atkins. 
Atkins Diet plans-follow my links

It worked for me back in 2003/04 when I tried this. I watched the weight shed from me in a matter of a few weeks to a month and into the next month. I got rid of 20 extra pounds and I felt great! But, back then, I didn't have the actual diet plan. I had a recipe book, and in the beginning pages it told basically how to do it, but not enough details for me to know when and how to add more carbs, and certain foods I could eat.

But now that I can go on-line, I've found the actual phases--there's 4 (the 4th one you stay on for life), and I know I can follow this easier than before. Especially since they now have the snack bars, candy, drinks, and frozen meals (although I can't think of why I'd need to buy any frozen meals, as I can make my own salads, breakfasts and dinners).

I think you've seen the ads with Sharon Osborn, and they're funny, but effective. I tried this back when people really thought you were nuts for not accepting a bun with your hamburger. I got criticism from family, but they couldn't deny I lost weight and kept it off for a while, but slipped back because I didn't have the full plan, which you need in order to follow it until you've shed the pounds and can move on through each phase.

HOW IT WORKS:
In Phase One you have to make sure to keep your carbohydrate intake to 20--no more than 22, and no less than 18. You will have 3 meals, and 2 snacks a day. Never starve yourself, o go more than 3-4 hours without eating. If you want, you can break it up to 5-6 meals a day. You don't want yourself to become ravenously hungry. One of the things that I noticed with the low-fat diet, I was always hungry. Even if I consumed protein, I understand why they say that fats keep you feeling full. You need to have 12-15 carbs of "foundation vegetables". Nearly all of the carbs will come from the vegetables, and some from cheese and certain other products. Meat has none. Some cheese has none, but you do have to check labels.

Although you can eat eggs, and I will eat eggs, I'm going to substitute with "Egg Beaters" for the no cholesterol. And bacon is soooo expensive and greasy, I'll see if I can't use turkey bacon--but not the low-fat. You are not encouraged to use low-fat anything in this diet. There's the danger of lurking carbs inside such things. Any time they make a low-fat something, they add stuff in that maybe you shouldn't eat (like more sodium).

I've ordered my "starter kit" which includes three bars, but I have to wait for them, so I bought a box and I'm going to see how well these work for me. I need something to get me through my 4-hour shift driving a bus. Later on, in May, I'll have a 6-hour shift and I'll have to know how these bars and the drinks will work.

Like I've said, I've tried other ways to loose, but nothing really worked. The Atkins diet is something you can go on, work to get your metabolism back on track, and then gradually, over time, add a few more carbs, but you'll probably never eat bread again--which I can do with out. And so can my husband who has trouble with gluten.

Water is something you need to drink anyway, and 8 glasses of 8 oz. is what you need anyway. But you can substitute with a few cups of tea or coffee, and other drinks, but not fruit drinks. I've found a great tasting sparkling drink called ICE, it has no calories, and no carbs and they have plenty of flavors to choose from. I can't have any alcohol in this first phase, which is fine, and so I'll drink this instead.

Milk: I'm going to try almond milk. The carbs in milk are high, and when you only have 22 carbs to work with, you need to really cut out some things. Ketchup and dressings you really have to watch the carbs. I've settled on a couple, and believe it or not, Ranch dressing is very low in carbs so I can have that on salads, or for dipping.

I'm going to start this seriously in another week. I'll let you know how I do.
Have a great week, guys!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Achievements, Big and Small

My huge afghan is finished! It is on the bed and it's beautiful. Sorry, I don't have any way of posting a picture. But it is big enough to fit well over the sides of the queen bed, and probably cover a king--I haven't measured it yet.

My husband was determined to get a drippy faucet to stop dripping and it wound up him having to replace it. That took a couple of days, a new faucet, and lots of bruises, scratches and one burn from a light bulb, but he did it! No drips! There were places that were dripping underneath and he got those at the turn-off valve. I was proud of him. He didn't give up on it. Now we have a working sink--had to wash our hands in tub and I used an old basin to wash my face in.

We've got rain today, and some thunder as well. That's real different. Gonna rain next few days, and be wet and nasty. But, hey, it's not snow, so I don't care. Besides, the grass needs it to grow and become green so my husband can begin his other job out here at the forest preserve, and get off that stupid bus.


I'm still working on edits of this up-coming book, Vampire Caprice, and so I'm busy as ever. If you haven't seen me at your blog, that's why. I just don't have time to be hopping from blog to blog, or be on facebook much. I don't to blog hops because it takes up too much of my valuable time. Sure, it would be nice to get people to stop by and make comments on my posts, but I'd have to do the same thing, and wait for my slow Internet to bring up those people's windows. You have no idea how slow dial up is unless you're stuck with it like I am. I simply can't do the blog hops. It would take me hours away from what I need to do, and that's write.

Working on the book is more important to me. And I have two this year to work on, so I'm not going to waste my time doing any excessive blogging. I like to concentrate on the important things, and the book is important. People are waiting for it and I'm going to get it out by the end of this month. That's the plan, any way. And then I need to work on the ending of Dhampir Legacy.

Well, I've gotta get ready to get out there in this mess and drive the transit bus, deal with the weather. At least it isn't snow--that slows you down, but you still have to be careful of stupid drivers.

Thanks for stopping by. I don't know when I'll post again.