Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blue Shirt Bookends

L to R: Shall we have a little fun writing captions for their poses?

Paul's Aunt Jane: "Okay, I'll look your camera, Zo. No one else is paying attention."

Paul: "Just get this over with, please."

Gerard: "I'm practicing for the casket."

Tony: "How many fingers am I holding up? I can't tell anymore."

Dave: "They told me and Paul to play the part of the Blue Shirt Bookends. "

See the family resemblance in the cheekbones?
It's uncanny. They all look like their mom who passed away 3 weeks before Paul and I got married. She looked very much like her sister, Jane, pictured above.

Paul with his
younger brother
Dave's grandson, Gareth.
Paul is the only
one of his brothers
who is not yet a
grandpa. But doesn't
he look like he'll be
a good one?

The pictures above were taken at the reception of...

Danny & Lisa's



I love their expressions
here. Of course, Danny's
head looks like it's attached
to the preacher's shoulders.
I wish I were gutsier
about taking pictures in
formal settings, especially
the once-in-a-lifetime ones.
But I feel so self-c0nscious.
I can "see" good shots, but
I fear I'm getting on people's
nerves when I move in/ around
to take them.

Anyway, congratulations again
to my nephew and his beautiful
new wife, Lisa. It was a long time
coming, that wedding, but gor-
geous on Rehoboth Beach.
Thanks for inviting us.
I look fat in all the pictures.
Check that. I AM fat in all
the pictures, so none of me
posted here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I thought this was a really cool photo. I don't remember
which one of us took it. They are Sarah's flip-flops, so maybe
she did?

Myrtle Beach, 2009.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Finished To-Do List in Verse

Woke up at seven to clear out the van
So my daughter could take it to work
And then to a concert two hours away,
"Put gas in the tank," I warned. "Don't shirk."

Ran to Walgreens for a few personal things
Drove right on by several yard sales.
We don't need more junk, so don't open the trunk
Just go home and polish your nails.

First put on gloves to tend to the gardens
You've neglected the blooms long enough.
So gardens I weeded till my strength was depleted
Then arranged a bouquet of picked stuff.

Took a nap for a smidge, then cleaned out the gross fridge,
Organized the pantry with Joel.
Then watched him bathe "Hermie" (his young hermit crab)
By dipping the chum in a bowl.

Rounded up paper for my hubby to make
Palm branches for his Sunday School lesson.
He's quite talented with a scissors and Elmer's,
His creations don't leave you a-guessin'.

He'll send for a donkey as the children wave
Branches and cry out, "Hosanna!"
He just better not tell them to coax the ass forward
By saying, "Go! Go now, Old Miss Zoanna!"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mental Meanderings

Nothing cohesive about what's been going on between my ears. Hence the title of this post. But I do enjoy the fact that God made our brains capable of both concentrating and also firing a hundred thoughts a minute in all directions.

Here are some of my mental meanderings just today.

1. I started the day reading I Peter 1: 17-19 (I think it was). I've been trying to journal this chapter in an expository way, meditating on just one or two or three verses at a time. Today I was dwelling on the part that says that for your sakes He was made manifest. To think again that He condescended to become human, and wasn't allowed to die a natural death, but was born to die a brutal death, but most importantly to be raised from the dead so that my faith and hope would be in God. I asked for Him to help me think of His suffering more than I do about my own and to remember his resurrection every time I remember His death. His glory didn't stop at the cross.

2. Figured out a mnemonic device yesterday to help me remember something. UTAP is the order in which 4 countries in the Middle East run north to south: Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan. No, it's not eternally significant, but it's helpful in the here in now, in case I ever end up in the Cash Cab or something. I shared this mnemonic device and it helped them nail their tests! I am so proud of how many of them knew the whole map of that area!

3. What cure is there for a bruised kneecap? I think that's what it is. It hurts to bend, but is fine extended. Ice and ibuprofen are my am/pm friends.

4. I am so ready for heaven.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook 9.22.09

I enjoyed Amy's Daybook entry at Lavender Sparkles . The original idea for this writing prompt as a slice of life comes from The Simple Woman's Daybook. So I decided to give it another whirl myself. I'm writing this at 12: 20 ish in the morning and have been grading papers for a couple of hours.

Outside my window...
Midnight has fallen. I hear a symphony of crickets in the deep woods.

I am thinking...
about how mysterious it is that God allows us, His children, to gaze into and understand the Bible, which is something the angels yearn to peer into but can't. (First Peter 1:12 and Rev 5 this morning prompted this meditation.)

I am thankful for...
knees that usually work. The right one is in serious pain now and I don't know what I did.

From the kitchen...
comes the aggravating hum that means the fan is frozen over again in the freezer.

I am wearing...
a red V-neck, a blue skirt, and a hair clip. Never changed after school, bum that I am.

I am creating...
nothing at the moment. Earlier today I drew a ziggurat for my art/history students as a model for their drawing.

I'm also trying to unmake messes I made in the office over the summer.

I am going...
to add a backache to my knee-ache if I sit here any longer.

I am reading...
Amazing Grace (biography of William Wilberforce) by John Piper when I'm in the bathroom, so it's slow goin'.

I am hoping...
to break the 20-pound weight loss mark by September 29.

I am hearing...
Stephen's itunes from his earphones while he's doing his homework (table squeaks when he erases). The dog sighing. Sarah asking how to make her Andy Warhol project photos lighter on the printer at home. She'll be teaching the first and second graders again. They're going to love this project, I think. Last week, Sarah said she didn't plan in enough time for telling them to please sit down and be quiet. She probably said it 21 times in 40 minutes.

Around the house...
we are trying a new system called "5 or 25," which means the adult children must each pitch in 5 hrs per week of housework/yardwork or pay 25 bucks a week.

One of my favorite things...
finding comments on my blogs or facebook.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
work out, give a couple bags o' stuff to charity, spend more time on writing than other subjects in class for a change.

A picture thought I am sharing...
will come soon.

Funny in Any Language

We got a laugh from the youngest comedian in the household yesterday. Read what tickled our funny bones at the Chinese restaurant.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Giving up

Why can't I get Blogger to save the changes to my html below? I can't figure out how to correct the problem between goal 1 and 2 in the post below. Goal 2 is supposed to start with "Start prayer walk" . Oh well, you'll get the idea and know that I'm technologically still very challenged and don't care enough to change.

A Look Back at my Summer Goals

1. Finish current Bible study, Believing God, by Beth Moore. Done. It was very good. I believe God more now. Start a group of prayer walkers (or go it alone) one evening a week for at least 8 weeks
2. Walked five times. Sometimes alone, but enjoyed company more. The most notable answers to the prayer appear to be: a) a healthy pregnancy/no miscarriage for my friend Leanne
b) sense of revival among some youth in our church and c) God's removal of my fear over a certain issue.

3. Lose 2 pounds a week on average. No. I've lost 18.6 since April 29. So much for lofty goals. I think when I told the staffer at WW that I wanted to lose 100 in a year and her response was "ain't gonna happen," it deeply discouraged me. I mean, I have since thought about the power of her words and have wondered how it is she is a weight-loss coach. It was just after her comment that my journey became a burden to my soul that hasn't lifted. She probably meant well and didn't want me to get my hopes dashed by real life; nonetheless I am wired to achieve with encouragement. I wasn't raised with discouragement that made me say, "I'll show you." I have had to realize that this last half of my life has been filled with more negativity than the first 22, including learning to believe that I can succeed even when I don't really have cheerleaders under my roof. Thank God for my girlfriends!

4. Get new glasses, new hairdo. Accomplished as of last update. I'm liking a tad bit longer hair. I can do more with it. Doesn't seem to matter to Paul how I wear it, as long as I don't look butch. "Hair is hair," he says. Does anyone else's husband have the same attitude?

5.Plan an exciting school year (world history, geog, grammar, writing, and art). Speaking for myself, having a good time in history and geography. I have yet to make grammar fun, but I am up for ideas! Art will be pretty cool most of the time, Lord willing. This week: clay sculpture, next week Andy Warhol.

6. Read a missionary biography. Not over the summer, but currently reading Amazing Grace (life of Wm Wilberforce) by John Piper.


7. Host missionaries Andrey and Valeria from Birobidzhan . Yes.
8. Meet Sarah's host family in PA . Yes. They were wonderful.

Home Improvements

9. Paint the basement. No, but I painted my office (one wall) myself. Botched it, but love the color!
10. Redecorate the little bathroom. Done, except for trim and hanging art. The art is framed and on display, though.


11. Reorganize my office. Pshaw! This room is the proverbial thorn in my side.
12. Declutter all kitchen cabinets. More have been done. Conclusion: kitchen is NEVER done!


13. Keep up with the veggie and flower gardens and enjoy their bounty . Bounty, good. Keeping up, not so good.

Decided to be Paul's helper when he decided he wanted to start teaching Kindergarten Sunday School. Next week is our first time. Nervous/excited about it. No more fear about what else I may be asked to do. I have peace, though I do think a storm may be coming.

Joel's Goals:
Learn to tie his shoes: not yet
Read 100 books: Probably. Lost track at 74.
Play with a friend at least once a week: no.
Spend time with Pappaw and Ima every week : No. Spent maybe 6 hours with them all summer. Crying shame when they live 15 minutes away.
Lose his first tooth lost: TWO.
Visit Sarah : Yes! It was fun! A summner highlight.
Play tennis with Dad and me : No.
Go to Sandy Cove 5 times a month . Got there once.

So, all in all, not the least or most productive summer we've ever had, nor the most memorable for me. But I am a believer in setting goals; you're more likely to accomplish them if they're made and written than if you never put them out there to begin with. I like the quote: "Anything worth doing is worth failing at." Though I hate the "at" at the end of it, the point remains.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Cart, the Horse, and the Glory of God

It was wonderful to sit in my Heavenly Father's lap this morning and have a conversation with Him. I had my Snickerdoodle coffee with cinnamon-vanilla creamer. I don't know what He had.

I've been talking to Him lately about restoring my joy. Oh, I can find a lot of things really funny and be tickled by the littlest thing, and can be made happy by shopping or having a great meal or getting a compliment, but deep down I have some relationships that pain me so much it causes spiritual backache and joylessness.

While contemplating doing a topical study on joy, I remembered what Pastor Arie had said once in a sermon: " 'Joyless Christian' is an oxymoron." Coming from him, it's easy to see. He is one of the most joyful people I know, and I'm sure it's because he has a handle on forgiveness--what it means to be forgiven, as well as practicing the difficult decision to forgive regularly.

Jesus endured the cross, forgave first, for the joy that was set before Him.
Forgive first.
Joy will follow.

My conversation with God went something like this:

"Will you forgive (so-and-so) today?" the Lord asked.

"Well...I'm just afraid I'll have to do it all over again tomorrow," I balked.

"Tomorrow has enough troubles of its own. I'm asking you about today."

"All I can hear are the words pain! pain! pain! when I think how I've been treated and may be treated again!" I admitted.

"Then think forgive! forgive! forgive!"

And in that instant, I heard the words "Joy! Joy! Joy!"

So I said to myself, "That's what I want--joy!"

The Lord said, "It's still about what you want?"

"Yes," I said, convicted. "I want joy. That's not such a bad desire, is it?"

"Not altogether, no. But what about My glory?"

"You're right, Lord. I want what I want more than I want what You want. Please forgive me."

And He did. He faithfully did.

And my joy returned, in part.

Enough to show me, once again,

how joy

is a byproduct

of forgiveness.

So I chose to forgive. And now my joy is complete.

For today.

Forgiveness is the horse.

Joy is the cart.

Father, help me remember to put the horse before the cart,

and to put Your glory before the horse!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Weight Weport # ??

Losing track is so much easier than losing weight, but I'm happy to report a small loss of 1.4 this week. Total is 18 and change, exactly half of what my WW partner, Karen, has achieved.

She is really burning her butt off up in the hinterlands. I ran into her for the first time in a long time at our WW meeting place, mostly because she and I can't make it at the same time every week anymore. Nonetheless, seeing her fly out the door while I flew in was a highlight in my day.

I need to get back to seriousness in my journey downward. I am nowhere near where I wanted to be when I started in April. I had hoped to have lost at least 30 by now. Mostly need to return to doing the things I was doing in the beginning--keeping track of points, exercising at least 4 times a week, reading uplifting material on the subject, planning for hunger, making menus, and shopping accordingly. The thought of doing this in Foodville reminds me to also return to the things that made my marriage stronger in the beginning, but that's a whole 'nother post.

Thank You, Lord, for this small victory, and for letting me rest in your mercy when I'm feeling defeated. Please help me stay the course for Your glory and my good.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I Was Gonna

I was gonna post my picture of the Chicken Chesapeake I made a couple weeks back. Before we sat down to eat it, I was so impressed with the tomato-wedge garnish presentation that I whipped out the camera, crouched in professional photo positions, peppered the corn cob just so, fussed with the green beans for a pleasing composition.

My poor family. The things they put up with.

"Come on, Mom. It's just food." says the tallest one.
"Zo, some of us are hungry??!" says the king of the manse.
"You gonna put this on your BLOG?" asks the Squirt.

I know.
I know.
And yes, that's my plan, I answer.

But when I uploaded the photo, with the slab of chicken smothered in glossy Swiss cheese and lumpy crab pieces and shiny mushroom slices, the first thought it my head was, "Gross! It looks like brain matter."

I was gonna post my recipe for it, but I'm not sure anyone really cares.

I was gonna enjoy a steak dinner at home with the family tonight, but Paul is at a business dinner instead, Stephen is at work, and that leaves a 2-man void at the table, which takes so much pleasure out of cooking. One thing I know about myself: I really would not enjoy cooking if there weren't people here to eat it with me. Maybe some people do it as a hobby, find it relaxing and creative, or don't mind the lack of "audience," but I have learned that I like to feed a full table's worth. If I can't feed at least four (appreciative) eaters at once, it really zaps my enthusiasm. Heaven help us when we're true empty nesters. We'll spend every evening at Panera sipping soup through our dentures.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Methodists, Mexicans, and Medicine

Because of a horrible mattress and having my dog be my personal trainer in our home gym, I screwed up my back big time. But with 400 mg ibuprofen in me, I headed out to a rummage sale at a local church.

The first room I hit was the jewelry room. I had birthday money from a friend to spend on my wardrobe or whatever, so I decided to accessorize. The moment I walked in, a barrage of "sales ladies" offered me ugly scarves, watches without batteries, and a Methodist lapel pin. (Don't know how my ensembles have survived this long without such a pin.)

Then it happened: I spotted a bright striped poncho with matching sombrero. The teacher in me pictured dressing up in it when we study Mexico. I made the mistake of asking how much they wanted for it. They said ten dollars.

"Sorry, I"m a teacher. Has to be less than five."

One said, "Okay, 4.99," and I smirked. Methodist humor.

A third took it upon herself to make me try it on, slipping it over my head, adjusting the hat, and pointing me to the mirror. "You look wonderful in it!" she flattered.

"Ya'll are desperate for a sale, aren't you?" I asked.

"We sure are," she said. "How about 4.50? This is brand new, never been worn," and I was almost sold. Nothing like knowing you're paying good money not to contract head lice.

"Okay, 4.50," I agreed, and forked over my cash.

I peeked into a room marked "Better Men's Clothes" and asked where the Better Men were. An old codger piped up, "Right here, ma'am. I'm a Better Man." Those Methodists. Gotta love 'em.

I looked around in the Great Hall, as they call it. More like a Great Junk Room. A few vintage purses tickled my fancy, but my back pain was taking my breath away. Wondered if I could buy a hot dog and Advil both at the concession stand.

Then I remembered: at noon everything is marked down to a quarter. It was 11:35. On any other day I could've easily held out for a bargain, but I was about to double over and do some "hee hee ho ho" breathing exercises to relieve my back pain.
I got in the car and drove home with my "ola, senora" costume that I paid 9 times too much for.

How do you say "BUMMER" in Spanish?

PS Just to clarify: That is not me in the picture. Only the legs and new costume belong to me.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

If Your Mom Trained You in Home Management

I don't recall doing much grocery shopping with my mother. She must've done it while we were in school, but we always had good food in stock. When I got my license, she sent me out for piddly stuff. (I begged to drive and it was very convenient for her.) So I can't say I learned how to plan menus, but I did learn to "hunt and gather" from her. I also learned that feeding one's family can be a joy. Her motto was, "If you're going to have to do it every day for the rest of your life, you might as well enjoy it."

Mama taught us how to clean the bathroom when we turned nine. It was a sort of rite of passage. Not that any of our friends were jealous to join in the ceremony or anything.

She was meticulous about laundry, sorting all the clothes by color, weight, and fabric content. She never stuffed the washing machine, which I think is the reason that her machine, which she bought used in 1972, lasted over 30 years. I don't do laundry the same way, but I learned how not to ruin clothes, and was prepared for living on my own by age 18. The thing she still loves about doing Daddy's laundry after 47 years of marriage is that Daddy is still alive to dirty it. And Daddy, bless his heart, positively beams when he sees a drawer full of clean underwear, all folded in crisp right angles, courtesy of his bride.

I'm curious what you other ladies learned from your mothers in terms of homekeeping. What "stuck" with you, and what methods have you altered, for good or ill?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wardrobe Malfunction on the First Day of School

Thankfully it wasn't mine this time, and thankfully it wasn't in public. But God saved the day, yet again.

Last week I had Joel try on all his old uniforms and the new shirt and pants I bought for him. Most of them still fit. (Any takers for his old uniforms?) His shoes were just fine, too.

The one item I had forgotten to think about was the belt. So last night at bedtime I made him try it on with his pants. Well, the buckle broke. One part appeared to have snapped off from the other. I freaked out. (Doesn't take much sometimes.) He told me to calm down and watch him screw the thing back together. Smart kid. It worked.

Temporarily. As in, worked last night at 9, but not this morning at five till 8. I really wanted him in full uniform for my obsessive photo shoot on the lawn, and to be properly attired for school, but the belt simply wouldn't do the job. I glanced into my closet, don't know why, didn't remember ever having an extra belt for him. Lo and behold, hanging in full view, was a small belt, just his size. "Praise the Lord!" I shouted. "How did this get in here? I don't remember that you ever had two belts."

So, we got the belt taken care of and he was good to go. Missed having a first-day-of-second-grade photo shoot, but I have no one to blame but myself.

As for his attitude toward school, I wish I could find a spare "happy
'tude" hanging in the closet. Some mornings there are worse things than not being able to find a piece of one's wardrobe.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Why My Son Now Wants to be a Dad

A few months ago, as you might recall, Joel informed me-- in his inimitable 7-year-old style-- that he didn't want to be a dad. Now he does. Read what made him change his mind.

Monday, September 07, 2009

"For Now" is Now

Are you anything like me when it comes to dealing with stuff? You set it or throw it somewhere "for now" and then realize, four months later, that "now" is an entity that has to be created--by you?

"Now" is now, today, in my house.

I started by having Ben move the sofa away from the wall so I could vacuum behind it. Oh, the dog hair that has amassed along the baseboard.

Vacuuming behind it led to "Faboloso-ing" the baseboards, which led to

dusting all the furniture, including the top off my Victorian organ which Paul had to lift off for me.

Next thing I knew I was wiping off Grandpa's old hymnals which reminded me of when he pastored an AME church in Kansas. and I thanked God for my Christian heritage.

Since I was at the piano, I decided to play the sheet music posed there--"Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." Well, it seemed a fount of grease had come to live on all 88 keys. So I degreased them and removed some stuck-on Scotch tape, put there by some 7-year-old (who may have been six or five when he did it, judging from how hard it was to remove). Once the ivories were as clean as the ebonies, I decided I liked less of everything, so...

I took some unwanted decorations to a give-away box in the garage, and while I was in the garage it occurred to me it would make a better place to house the bathroom mirror that had been set next to the piano "for now" (back in June!), so I hauled it from its old "by the piano" home to "by the spare freezer" home.

Once the mirror and decorative clutter were gone, I realized I didn't need to run a morgue for dead flies in my windowsills anymore. Dyson sucked them to their final resting place--well, not FINAL--I will see to it that the county landfill becomes their cemetery.

It was at the moment I was 92% finished with my living room that I konked out. I only meant to sit a spell and admire the clean, glowing space, but before long I was curled up in an oversized chair, asleep. Hope I didn't drool on my freshly vacuumed upholstery.

The only things that remain are books and magazines that need to be sorted. Not my favorite pastime, but doubtless some are begging to be taken back to the county library for a reunion with their less-dusty friends.

A brochure came in the mail last week that reads, "THE WRONG PEOPLE ARE CLEANING YOUR HOUSE!" and I thought, "No, that's not the problem. The problem is NO PEOPLE are cleaning my house."

Until today. And while I cleaned the living room, Paul fixed the garbage disposal and washed laundry .Joel swept the deck and cleaned baseboards in the foyer and Windexed windows. Sarah is deep cleaning her room, Ben is cutting the grass, and Stephen ran to Home Depot for his dad, cleaned up dishes and polished his brass cymbals.

A lot of work, yes, but rewarding, and the list (courtesy of the master of the manor) still contains a few items that have yet to be crossed off. I have to go through a bunch of papers, the kind that get tossed into a bag when people are coming over, and set in the shoe closet "for now."

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Quoting a Nationwide Commercial

I saw one of my students at church today and asked him if he was ready for school. He said, "Yes, but I could go for another month and a week of summer. Life comes at you fast."

Friday, September 04, 2009

I Caved

I said I wouldn't.
I declared it a huge waste of time (and it probably is).
I have a lovingly forthright person in my family who asked, "Your life really isn't THAT important, is it?" (that I would feel compelled to tell people what I had for dinner, where I went earlier today, my opinions of a bunch of stuff). Well, he's got a point. My life IS still too important to me. But then, my friends' lives are important to me, too, and I care about the little stuff in theirs) and I might just care what they had for dinner (and borrow the recipe if I'm so inclined). On the other hand, I have also found out from "caving" about the death of the mom of one of my friends who lives out of state. I have read single lines of "I miss my mom" and realize I miss my mom, too, only she is still alive; she is just very busy.

So how did I cave?

I got a Facebook account. I have now seen pictures of many of my "old" friends and now they have seen me. I look a lot different than I did in high school, believe me, but then again...so do they! My Aunt Linda, though, looks amazing and thus offers me hope that I just might look as good as she does in a dozen or so years.

Ah, technology. It seems to bring us together. Maybe it does. The verdict is still out on that, as far as I'm concerned.

Chesapeake Traders' Hours of Operation

I found hours of operation for Chesapeake Traders.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

If You Ache to Give

In yesterday's Weight Watchers meeting, our new leader quoted heartbreaking statistics. There are some 963 million people in the world who are chronically hungry. She said, "I don't know what that feels like. I know how I feel when I am really hungry--grouchy and irritable, and I know the bad headache that comes from going a couple hours too long without food, but I do not know chronic hunger and I pray I never will." She then said there are some 1.6 BILLION overweight people in the world.

Weight Watchers had a campaign for the hungry last year. If I'm remembering right, they agreed to match in dollars the amount of pounds lost by members nationwide, up to 1 million dollars, and give that much in food to the needy. (Members lost 4 million, WW gave 1 million.) They're doing it again this year.

Our individual group's leader is doing something more. She is really compassionate and very impressed with the community involvement of St. Matthew's Church, particularly their food pantry outreach. What Shirley is going to do is collect food every week at our meeting center from those of us who want to give, and take it to SMC herself.

Each week is a different "meal" for our group to bring food for. This coming week is nonperishable breakfast items.

It was a God-given reminder to me of something I had envisioned (but forgotten) when I first started my journey in April . I had in mind throwing a party next April, inviting people to come celebrate the goodness of God in my walk away from gluttony and in freedom by bringing food to donate to the hungry--and hoped our collective total would at least match my annual weight loss. So I am going to "up the ante" of my motivation by giving in pounds of food what I lost (or gained) the previous week during this campaign. For me, it'd be much to easier to just hand over a heavy bag of pancake mix and syrup, some cereal, granola bars, etc. What would help me lose more is to tie it to the amount I'm LIMITING myself to give away. See the attraction? I would feel much better losing AND giving away 2.4 pounds the same week than losing .8 and giving away a measly .8 pounds of food. On the flip side, I will get to see and feel what that weight in pounds is like if I've gained.

If you also ache to give to the needy and just haven't known of a local place that does (in particular) food outreaches, this may be your answer. I will gladly take your food donations to WW with me next Wednesday if you get it to me ahead of time. Remember nonperishable breakfast items this time. Don't worry, I won't feel unsupported if you don't; I just want to offer the opportunity.

Weight Weport at the 4-month Mark

Not much I want to say here. I went 3 weeks without accountability. The first week I missed on purpose because I had previously lost a respectable amount. The second week, though, we were on vacation. No accountability and a whole lotta eatin' going on. A whole lotta eatin' and a whole lotta nothin' else, too, like sleeping, sunbathing, reading, swimming (I did laps in the pool, some walking and biking, but not enough to counteract "vacation treats"), so...

I was not at all surprised to have gained weight. An ugly 2.4, to be exact. No "22 by 44" goal reached. (I had wanted to lose 22 pounds by my 44th birthday.) HowEVer, I did go shopping the last day there and bought jeans that are actually four sizes smaller than ones I wore this past year. I have not worn this size in nearly 9 years. So it was a celebration for me.

Speaking of weight, Joel had no choice but to attend my WW meeting with me y'day. The leader made us do something (as a group) that felt dumb and sounded corny. (I know, I should've felt right at home, but even I have my limits.)

Coming out of the meeting, Joel defined "corny" in a nearly-perfect way. Check it out.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

See What I Mean (Gourmet Food, Great Prices)

For those in the area who have heard about Chesapeake Traders but have never gone, I thought I'd print their food list for this week. It's not a grocery store, so it's not like you can just walk in whenever you want and be able to find unlimited quantities of everything. It's first come, first served. They take only cash or credit cards, not checks. Food comes from various distributors that sell to restaurants, not to grocers, so the quality is like what you'd find at white-tablecloth places or everyday restaurants (Ruby Tuesday, Cracker Barrel, etc) or convenience stores. It's also a great place to stock up on disposable cups, napkins, coffee, snack bars, and holiday quantity food. Check out pecan pies for THREE dollars. You can't buy pecans for 3 bucks. Anyway, take a peek and see and become a believer--er, member. Bring a cooler if you're not going straight home. They supply bags and boxes.

Food List 9/01


Tilapia Fillets – 3 lb bag - $10.00

Salmon Fillets – 5 oz - 2 for $5.00

Bay Scallops – 5 lb bag - $20.00

Breaded Butterfly Shrimp – 3 lb - $15.00

New England Clam Chowder - 8 lb bag - SPECIAL - $4.00

Gulf Shrimp

U-15 Shell-On – 5 lb box- $6.00 lb

16/20 Shell-On – 5 lb box - $5.50 lb

21/25 Shell-On – 5 lb box - $5.00 lb

21/25 Peeled & Deveined - 5 lb box - $5.00 lb

26/30 Shell-On – 5lb box - $4.00 lb

31/35 Shell-On – 5 lb box - $3.50 lb

41/50 Shell-On – 5 lb box - $3.00 lb

61/70 Peeled & Deveined - 5 lb box - $3.00 lb

71/90 Peeled & Deveined 5 lb box - $2.75 lb

91/110 Peeled & Deveined -5 lb box - $2.50 lb

Farm Raised Shrimp

2 lb bag – Peeled & Deveined Medium Shrimp - $7.00


Hickory Smoked large 4 to a pound hot dogs $8.00 for 5lb

Mini Monster Beef and Bean $3.00 a sheet

Ball Park All Beef Hot Dogs - 6 lb - $10.00

Chicago Strip Steaks 4 – 6oz steaks (nicely boxed) $9.00


5 lb bag raw, lightly breaded chicken wings, 1st and 2nd joint...Tyson brand $8.00

Jumbo raw Chicken Breast Cuts 20 lbs $20.00

5 lb bag individually wrapped 4 oz chicken breasts $8.00 GREAT DEAL!

Mini Monster Chicken and Cheese Rollers $3.00 a sheet

Chicken Chipolte and Cheese Roller Bites $5.00 case of 24

Full Muscle Chicken Patties (CB) - 5 lb - $10.00 GREAT DEAL!


Bacon 1 lb pkgs - 2 for $3.00

Tyson cooked maple/brown suger glazed ham slices $3.00

Bacon/egg breakfast sandwich $5.00 case

3 lb bag cooked sausage links $5.00

3 lb bag cooked sausage patties $5.00

Virginia Baked Ham sliced luncheon meat $2.00 pack

Sweet Italian Sausage - 5 lb - $10.00


CB Saw Mill Gravy $2.00

12 " Garlic Herb Wraps $1.00

Deep Dish Pizza 2 for $1.00

Veg Bean Soup - $4.00

3 lb cooked scrambled egg patties $3.00

Cooked Croissants - $1.00

DiGornio Pizza pepp, mushroom, sausage 2 for $5.00

Assorted Danish's, Muffins, Pastries $4.00 case

Burrito's .50 each

Cheezy Breads (4 mini packs for $1.00) served in the public schools

Bagel Bites (40 count box) $2.50

French Fries thin or steak fries $2.00 a bag or by the case

Meatballs, 1 oz - 5 lb - $10.00

Blueberry French Toast Stick - $3.00 bag

Spicy Smoked Sausage - 5/1 count - 5 lb - $10.00

Dry Goods

Luzianne Tea for brewers .25 per bag

Starbucks Coffee Decaff 1lb SPECIAL SALE PRICE THIS WEEK $4.00

Starter Lighter Fluid $2.50

Chick Peas/Garbanzo Beans 6lb Can SPECIAL SALE PRICE THIS WEEK $2.00

3 liter Large Bottle Pop Rite Cola SPECIAL SALE 3 bottles for $2.00

Ginger ale, orange and cranberry/lemonade liter bottles all $.75

Bagels $1.00

Apple Butter 120 oz containers Special Special Price $3.00

RoFo ER (generic gatorade) Special Sale Price 2 for $1.00

Windshield Wiper Fluid - 1 gal - $1.00

50/50 Pre-Mix Anti-Freeze - 1 gal - $5.00

Anti-Freeze - 1 gal - $7.00

Pringles Chips - $1.00

8 pk Fruit & Grain Bars - $1.00

Rage 16 oz Energy Drink 2 for $1.00

Gatorade - Purple - case of 12/32 oz for $7.00

Coffee - 10 "pot size" bags - $3.00


Corn 2 lb bag $2.00

Peas 2 lb bag $2.00

Sliced Carrots 2lb bag $2.00 (choice product)

Green Beans $2.00

Vegetable Medley 2lb $2.00

Spinach $1.00

Sofrito Blend Mixed Vegetables w/rice - $2.00 - Very unique blend!


Just in Milk and Cookies Cookie Dough whole case Chocolate Chip and Suger $15.00 (while supplies last)

Oreo Cookie Chocolate Cake Large cake with preforated slices $10.00

Luigis Frozen Vanilla Custard Cups 48 count $4.00

Blueberry Lattice Pie $5.00 (sliced and preforated )

Strawberry Cream Pie $5.00

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough $12.00 case

Chocolate chip cookie dough $15.00makes approximately 200 cookies

Suger cookie dough $15.00 makes approximately 200 cookies

Key Lime Pie $5.00

Dutch Apple Pie - $5.00

Blueberry Pie - $5.00

Rocky Road Cream Pie - $5.00

Pumpkin Pies $2.00

Pecan Pies $3.00

Cheesecake, Plain, 64 oz - $10.00

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Please Save These for Me

Dear Friends Who Live Near Me,

For the next month, would you please try to remember to save the following items for me to use in art classes?

-round lids (stiff plastic or smooth metal) between 2" and 8" in diameter (no soda or water bottle lids)
-expired gift cards (hey, I won't complain if you give me loaded ones, but...)
-yarn of various colors (skeins, not pieces)
-empty spools
-empty medicine bottles, preferably with lid (label removed or blacked out)
-useless keys
-nylon mesh (like from onion bags)
-sandpaper (used is fine)
-magazine pictures of any of the following:
animals, close-up faces, very tall models (modestly dressed), cityscapes, very large single foods (ie one big melon,
one gigantic grilled cheese sandwich, a big hot dog, etc--I'm looking for pictures that don't have clutter
or words printed through them); collections of color that are A) monochromatic --a bunch of green trees,
all red/pink hearts, etc . It would help me a lot if you could put one collection in a gallon size Ziploc bag
I can just hand a student a bag of say, all yellow pics or all blues, and not a whole magazine (Been there, done that,
not wise.

-anything you think would look cool on a junk sculpture (we're going to make an enormous animal of some sort as a whole class) Please, no toilet paper rolls. I can't stand the thought of recyling those. As a recycling artist, that's where I "draw the line."

I may think of things to add to this list, but that's it for now. Thanks for thinking of me. Please let me know by Sept 9 what you have so I can adjust my list. I appreciate it!

Menu Plan for Points

I checked in at Home Sanctuary after my long day putting up most of my bulletin board. (My friend Sacha came up with the graphic design after I gave her the main concept. She is SO good that way. But physically assembling bulletin boards always takes me a very. long. time. Sacha, if you're reading this, let me say, birthin' your baby has taken me four hours and I'm still pushing. Hope it's "delivered" tomorrow!)

Anyhow, all that to say I just came home and looked up what Small Thing I could do today to earn points in the home. Rachel's clever idea today is to follow a nursery rhyme to get certain things done.

I did the first four this morning without even knowing that they were my Small Things --One, two, buckle my shoe--get dressed to work seriously; three, four, knock on the door-- make the entryway look good; five, six, pick up sticks--straighten up the main living area; seven, eight,lay them straight--put crooked things in order; nine, ten, a big fat hen--plan a menu. Well, I did all but the menu plan before I went to school (including mopping the kitchen because it was horrible AND someone was coming over). The menu's been in my head, more or less since Saturday, but here it is written down:

Tonight: scallops, steamed spinach with baby carrots, and garlic herbed potatoes
Weds: pasta with meat sauce and salad
Thurs: filet mignon wrapped in bacon (don't be jealous; we shop at Chesapeake Traders and get restaurant quality food for a STEAL) , steamed broccoli and rice
Friday: San Francisco Chicken, mac 'n cheese, green beans
Saturday: leftovers or breakfast for dinner
Sunday: out for lunch, leftovers for dinner

Thar she blows. i earned m'self 110 whopping points for the day. Cool.

What's in YOUR kitchen tonight?