The Freshman 15

j0283604

When I entered my freshman year of college, I weighed a whopping 95 pounds, soaking wet.  Gaining weight had never been my strong suit, and try as I had through high school to keep my chicken-bone legs hidden, I was still teased mercilessly about “being so thin that if I had an extra Coke, I could be used for a thermometer.”

So I had no real thought of my body size ever really changing…and then…COLLEGE happened.  My diet basically consisted of yeast rolls and honey with an occasional meat patty or salad thrown in for variety.  I sat in the library and studied.  My exercise, other than the required PE electives, consisted of climbing the stairs to my 9th floor dorm room a couple times a week when I was too impatient to wait on the elevator.  I was entirely too busy to notice that by the time Christmas break came around, my clothes were a lot more form-fitting.  In fact, all this happened completely without my knowledge or assent – – I just turned around in a year’s time and BAM!!  I was almost exactly 15 pounds heavier! But having been so painfully thin throughout childhood and adolescence, I almost found this growth spurt endearing.

Cut to…2009.  Longer work hours at the computer, prescription meds with the obligatory side-effect of “ungodly possible weight gain”, and a nasty new habit of eating every time I walk into the kitchen has again put me right back into the circumstances of freshman year.  Packing on the pounds without even realizing what was happening!  And believe me, I’ve added the freshman 15 at least twice over now, and my clothes are a lot more than just snug.  “Endearing” is not quite the word I would use for my current feeling about my pear-shaped reflection in the mirror. 

I’ve definitely made some feeble efforst to battle the bulge, including a stab at the “S Diet”, which was working well until it wasn’t.  I’ve also had several bouts of consistent exercise, which was working well until it wasn’t. 

So now, the girl who used to be teased about her knobby knees and bony butt would give just about anything to be able to even DISTINGUISH those bones again.

Please, bloggy buddies, tell me what a computer-bound, spinelesss, stick-in-the-mud, pre-menopausal woman is to do to get back down to a healthy weight again!!

I’m not under the impression that I will ever be mistaken for my high-school self again, but I wouldn’t mind at least becoming recognizable to myself in the mirror again.

Feel free to insert words of advice or encouragement below……….                                         

Advertisements

Squee!!

Just had to pop into T-T tonight to brag about my baby.  (No not THAT kind of baby, silly!!  When my biological clock ticks, I just open a new website!!) 

The source of my pride is SecularHomeschool.com which just reached the 500 member mark today!!  I know that in web terms, that doesn’t sound like much, but if you’ve ever tried to find other secular homeschoolers, you’ll understand that getting 500 of them together in one place is much akin to winning the lottery TWICE…in one WEEK!!

Besides the growth in numbers, though, the forum activity has just exploded in recent weeks, which has been so fun to watch.  Everyone is so supportive and helpful to each other, too…it’s like a lovefest over there.  Plus, we got a brand new header makeover today and a new logo!!

Come join us, won’t you???  Why shouldn’t you get in on the excitement, and help us get closer to the 1000 mark?!

Butter My Butt and Call Me a Biscuit

Today was a FUN day.  I mean more fun than a lost dog in a meat market! I have no pictures to show for it, but that’s because I was having too much fun to remember to take them.  The temps in our area hovered around 90 degrees – – the first and only time I can ever remember that happening in April.  It was a day right out of a Joe Cocker song…”walking on a sidewalk hotter than a match head.” But did we care? No. We were playing in the “big city” today with friends and leaving our cares behind.

First stop…food.  A place called Barley’s which is famous for its beer and pizza.  Weirdly enough, I don’t care much for either, but the spinach salad was so good it made you want to swallow your tongue afterward just to get the last bit of juice off your taste buds. 

Second stop…Mast General store.  If you don’t live in North Carolina, then you don’t know about Mast General, which is as sad as a mule with a mouth full of bumblebees.  Mast General is just about my favorite place in the world to shop.  Each one is set up like an old general store – – right down to the barrels of old-fashioned candy that you purchase by the pound.  They sell everything from woven baskets to hiking boots and I could basically bookpitch my tent there and take up residence.

Third stop…the bookstore…where I purchased the book that inspired this blog post.  The one that has given rise to the terrific sayings (seen here in italic) that can only be homespun here in the south.  All I can say is that if you were to head over to Amazon and purchase your own copy, you’d be smarter than a tree full of owls.

Final stop…the chocolate lounge!!!   The part of the day I had looked forward to most. AND the place where I learned the most valuable lesson of all…teenage boys can never appreciate the finer things in life.  When three relatively sane boys scrunch their nose up in disgust over a wine glass full of sipping chocolate, you know that bringing them there was about as smart as trying to sling a hammock between two corn stalks.  We moms are already planning our next visit – – sans neanderthals.

It was a glorious summer-like spring outing in the city, and I hated to call it a day, but I guess (((sigh))) sometimes you simply have to pee on the fire and call in the dogs.

R-T’s Man Crush

I’m not a naturally jealous person.  Well, at least not in the sense of checking the hubster’s collar for lipstick stains, or foraging through his pockets for any stray hotel matchbooks. (I guess the mere fact that I used such clichéd examples of jealous wives shows that I’m not even green-eyed enough to figure out what it is wives are supposed to do these days when they suspect infidelity!)

However, even my unsuspecting personality has been on slightly higher alert the last couple weeks.  I mean a woman just KNOWS these things, whether or not there is any substantial evidence.

And R-T has been feeling slightly depressed ever since his doc temporarily quarantined him from his favorite hiking haunts.  So, I guess it’s not that surprising that he would seek out someone to make him feel alive again – – virile – – dangerous.  When one name started to come up more than once or twice a day in conversation, I admit my ears perked up.  Even worse, I actually caught him watching video covertly in the bedroom not once, but twice.

Finally, I just decided to confront my questions head on.

“Do you have a man-crush on Bear Grylls?”

Like any man, he avoided the question altogether at first.  “Did you know that he has skydived onto every continent on earth??  And was one of the youngest Britons to ever climb Mt. Everest?? And that was AFTER he broke his back in three places and doctors weren’t even sure if he would ever walk again!! Is that not freakin’ amazing??!!”

While I stood there with my mouth open, not able to find the words to respond, R-T got up the nerve to confess everything.

“I’m thinking of sending in an application to join him on his show.  He’s asking people to send in letters and videos and explain why they deserve to get to go on an adventure with him.  I really, REALLY want to go with him.  I think I would be the perfect candidate! Don’t you?”

Instead of breaking down or lashing out, though, I started trying to rationalize my husband’s disloyalty.

It had to be the pain medicine they gave him for the broken ribs – – that, and his recent restlessness and despair.  He’s hallucinating, of course.  Thinking that I would EVER let him go on an adventure with Bear Grylls – – he’s moved past depression and is now in full-blown psychosis!!

Rationalizing only gave me so much comfort, though.  Especially after I discovered the letter he wrote to Bear.  I’m including it, here, in case you had some lingering thoughts, dear readers, that perhaps I was paranoid and just imagining my husband’s man-crush.

Dear Bear,
I believe you should pick me to be your guest on one of your televised survival adventures. Americans have this whining thing down to an art form. I have no doubt you will be inundated with letters from this side of the Atlantic by very noble people who have selflessly overcome many challenges and probably deserve a chance to go adventuring with you. That stuff might work on Oprah, but not on someone like you who eats raw maggots from the rotting intestines of mountain goats. Let me be blunt. I don’t deserve it at all. Consider this: How would you feel if one of those noble, selfless candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize ended up croaking on one of your wild survival treks? Could you really live with that guilt? Why not take an ordinary guy like me and not risk years of emotional self-flagellation if I slip through one of those ice crevices? Instead of boring you with some really sad story about why I am the most deserving contestant I am going to cut right to the chase and appeal to your ego. Obviously, you have a massive ego. Anyone who breaks his back in two places and then goes on to become the youngest British person ever to climb Mt. Everest in order to write a book about it has to have an ego to match that lofty summit.
In trying to appeal to your ego, let me first just say what a cool name you have. It’s right up there with Crocodile Dundee. Americans rarely get named after ferocious animals and when they do it’s usually just a golfer named Tiger (although I recently heard he changed his named to Cheetah) or someone like that. Also, I must add that you have single-handedly restored my faith in British masculinity. Before Man vs. Wild, my opinion of your country had been largely formed by my wife’s obsession with Jane Austen’s Victorian England and those Notting-Hill-Love-Actually-Bridget-Jones movies that she is always watching. Based on those, I used to think that all British men ran around like Hugh Grant speaking in a posh accent while fretting over paper cuts or getting exercised about the bread crust on cucumber sandwiches. Then you came along, biting through the spinal cords of raw fish with your teeth, eating worms and drinking your own urine. Wow! You taught us what it means to be a real Brit of a man by showing us that when some of you say “bloody” it’s not just an expression, but an adjective that is going to describe supper on tonight’s episode of Man vs. Wild.
I also happened to notice that before you parachute out of planes or paraglide off the side of a helicopter you make the sign of the cross. So I suspect that if you are a religious man living in England that you must be an Anglican. What good fortune it is that I just happen to be an Episcopal clergy person. Having me on your show would help strengthen the Anglican Communion. There’s no question that it could use some of your survival skills. Now to be honest, those of us who are in the Anglican Communion really have no idea what that is other than to use one of our favorite phrases: “It’s a profound mystery.” However, like all good Anglicans, we believe that if it is really old then we must somehow work to preserve it. That is where you and I come in. Countless Archbishops and ecclesiastical hierarchs have held numerous conferences and drafted endless parliamentary resolutions seeking to ease the strain on the bonds of the Anglican Communion, but what it really needs to jump start the process is for an Episcopalian and a member of the C of E to go out and leap over a pit of rattlesnakes together or make our own zip line through a rain forest somewhere. I do not know the Archbishop of Canterbury personally, but I cannot help but think that you would earn some good will within Lambeth by doing your part to foster the Communion. You could even rename our joint episode and call it, “Man of the Cloth vs. Wild”.

Thank you for your consideration.
R-T

So, as you can see, I am completely justified in my jealousy.  I am not sure what recourse to take, at this point.  Do I give him an ultimatum??  Wild Man or Topsy??  or do I take the if-you-can’t-beat-em-join-em tactic and offer to go ahead and move with him to the mother country for the sake of the children??

Think of me, will you, as I ponder these things in my heart?  Who knew that a few broken ribs could also lead to a wife’s broken heart??

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

So I haven’t blogged about the hubby in a while, and after this week, I think it just may be high time. 

That’s because this week, Resistant-Techie has come front and center of the Topsy drama.  To explain why, though, I’ll need to backtrack just a bit and give you a little history.

Not only is R-T not the techiest tool in the shed, but he is actually quite proud of it, you see.  He makes it known far and wide that he don’t need no stinkin’ flashing lights and beeping sounds in his life.  No sir!  He is a man of the great outdoors!!

So, in keeping with his character, he has made it his life’s goal to see every known (and unknown) waterfall within a 100+ mile radius of where we live.  And let me tell you – – that is no small feat.

R-T hikes in good weather and bad weather.  Alone or in company.  He doesn’t care.  He just wants to explore falling water and take photos of his finds.  Right now I could basically keep every calendar company from here to Nantucket in business with all the incredible waterfall pics that are sitting on our hard drive. 

If R-T doesn’t get to hike at least once a week he gets antsy.  No, no, I mean really antsy.  Trust me…I love the man and he has definitely still got it and all, but I’m all for the hiking, capisce??

Anyhoo – – the hubster often has to hike alone.  That’s because if he always waited for the geek squad to join him, he would be twiddling his thumbs until he had a nasty case of carpal tunnel. So he heads out on his own.  The only requests I make of him are that he please let me know the general direction where he is going and that he please stay on the trail.  That way, if he does run into the inevitable bear, and ends up as Resistant-Techie pellets, I will have the DNA to produce for the life insurance peeps. 

But last week he got cockier than usual when his spidey-senses told him that there was an as-of-yet undiscovered waterfall just over the ridge from the trail he was on.  He WAS in the general direction where he told me, so I suppose he figured one out of two wasn’t bad. 

But it was.  Bad. And now I feel guilty because I should have been there.

Had I been with him, he would have never gone off trail.  And had I been with him, he would have never convinced himself he could walk across a log to get to the other side of a creek.  And had I been with him, he wouldn’t have slipped off that log and landed with his side slammed against it.  And had I been with him, he wouldn’t have a broken rib and three detached ones.

And now, poor hubby has been forbidden by his doc to go out traipsing through the woods for at least 2-4 weeks.  I’m figuring that is going to make him one ANTSY camper.

And me?  Well, let’s just say I SHOULD have been there.

Found While Blog-Hopping…

I find myself surfing further and further into the sea of homeschooling blogs, and it has become a rather fun new hobby.  Mostly because it brings me across gems like this one, that I read at Sardines in a Can this morning…

I like to visit homeschooling curriculum websites. It is kind of like rubbing your tongue on a mouth blister repeatedly to see if it still hurts…..visiting curriculum websites is how I make sure I still suck at homeschooling.

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…

LOVE it!!

Darling I Love You, But Give Me Main St. USA

I’m such a tree-hugger at heart, so it is really kind of weird to me that I didn’t end up out in the very edge of the boonies somewhere in a little cottage with a hammock on the front porch and a satellite dish larger than the living room just beyond the tree line.

citylife But I didn’t.  Instead, I’ve spent my entired married life living inside the limits of three different cities.  For the last fifteen years, we’ve lived within walking distance of our downtown, which isn’t a huge deal because the Main St. stretches out only about 9 city blocks, but it is the city, nevertheless. 

What’s even weirder is how much I have grown to enjoy city living.  For many of you, I’m sure that’s hard to comprehend, but let me tell you right now, it has its advantages…

  • Garbage pick-up – – hey…don’t underestimate the importance of having a nice gentleman not only pick up your weekly refuse, but scrape a half-flattened possum off the street in front of your house before it even begins to waft into your intake vents
  • Sidewalks – – those lovely flat sections of concrete that make you ALMOST forget that live at an altitude of 3,000 feet because all those hills in your neighborhood are actually walkable!
  • Snow Removal – – living in the city means (usually) that ours is one of the first roads to get scraped after a blizzard.  Now granted, the scraping usually happens just AFTER we clean the edge of our driveway and there is now a three-foot wall of snow to re-shovel, but nevertheless…it IS scraped
  • Book Access – – not everyone can say that they live a half mile from their county library, now can they??  An escapist afternoon through the latest stack of new fiction is barely a ten minute walk.

And the biggest boon of all?  The most adorable coffee house just opened up not three blocks from us.  Uber has breakfasted there for basically a week straight, and I’ve already spent two fun afternoons with friends cozied up on their sun porch with a steaming cup of chamomile-strawberry tea. 

There is just something about living in the city that makes you feel like you are “part of something.”  It’s an experience I never quite had at any of my homes in the country growing up.  Now don’t get me wrong…I love the fact that there are around 100 waterfalls within a 100 mile radius, and I take advantage of enjoying them whenever possible, but for day to day living, I guess I’m just a city girl after all.