Sunday, March 17, 2013

LapBand Testimonial

I was invited recently to answer some questions regarding my experience with the lapband for my doctor's office. I'm told my response will be included in a newsletter type format handed out to new patients and to those struggling.

I'm glad to help and this might actually also help me to stay on track. If I'm held up as an example, it puts a little bit of pressure on me (the good kind) to maintain my loss. Here's the questions and my answers. I gave my nurse (who has become a friend over the past 4 years) permission to edit for length and clarity, so what the patients actually receive may be a little different.  

Which surgery & how long ago

 AGB (Adjustable Gastric Banding) on March 9, 2009. 4 years ago.

 Why did I choose to have bariatric surgery

I had been considering it for several years, but hesitant as my insurance situation is such that I am basically self pay. I felt really bad about needing to spend money on me for surgery, when losing weight and keeping it off is something I felt I should be able to do myself. I didn't feel worthy. I also did not know anyone who had had bariatric surgery, so it was a scary thought.

June of 2007 I had an appt with another doctor, and it so happened that they were a patient of Dr. B. and had been banded and were very happy with their results and recommended that I look into it. I started the process of the initial group meeting where Dr. B describes the different surgeries and then meets with everyone individually.

Not long after this initial meeting, it was discovered that I had very early cancer. Banding was put on the back burner while I had surgery and recovered physically and emotionally. Fortunately the cancer was found so early that surgery was the only treatment needed.

While cancer is a horrid thing, in my case, it had one fortunate outcome. The cancer surgery met my deductible so that my insurance covered my banding. So, it took me almost 2 years to get banded, but I finally got it done. Physically, I could've had it done earlier, but I needed time to recover emotionally from my cancer.

And lastly, I was beginning to get so large I would only be able to buy clothing via mailorder. Maybe this should be the first reason, as reaching this point really made me think. I'm one of the world's best at ignoring a problem.. when the largest clothing size in Catherine's is on the verge of being too small, that's hard to ignore.  

How much weight have I lost since beginning of process

I believe at pre-op I was 385, day of surgery 383. Last check up at Dr. B's I was 168. I've been as low as 155, but that was during training for a half marathon. I'd like to settle around 160 to 165 eventually. Which is still overweight for my height by the BMI, but I don't think the BMI should be the only gauge of a healthy weight. I probably have some poundage in extra skin, that if I ever decide to have reconstructive surgery, would get me closer to my goal.  

What has been the hardest part after the surgery

I really don't know how to answer this question, there are many things that are a challenge.. but hard? Being SMO (super morbidly obese) was hard. While this change in my life isn't a cake-walk, things are so much better in so many ways, I can't think of things as "hard". There's a quote I run across every now and then "Exercise is hard, Being Overweight is hard, Choose your hard". Life is hard. It just is.. deal with it.

That being said...things that were challenging were
1) remembering to take vitamins
2) learning new ways to prepare our favorite foods, making them healthier.
2a) giving up bread, potatoes, rice, pasta was hard initially, but it got easier.
3) getting myself up and out the door to walk..overcoming the inertia was hard.
4) Wanting to eat more because it tastes so dang good.. but I’m full. I still struggle with this. and
4a) missing the lower abdominal feeling full. REALLY miss that.

What is the best feeling of accomplishment since surgery

There are many, but the one I am proudest of is completing a half marathon. I took the whole 3 1/2 hours allowed, plus 1 extra minute, but I did it. I limped for a week afterwards and thought never again.. but I'm kinda thinking about another one now.

I can alllllmost touch my toes now, and I've NEVER been able to do that, even as a child. I can do a 45 minute spin class.

I can physically out perform younger family members.

I absolutely LOVE the fact that I am too small to shop at stores that cater to obese women now.

My daughter and I can wear the same size jeans. I can almost get into a size 11 that she wore in high school or maybe junior high. I could get into them if I get the plastic surgery I need, but am frightened of.  

Best advice for those considering surgery or those getting discouraged afterwards.

Make sure you are ready not only physically, but emotionally too.

Trust your surgery (and surgeon) to work. I remember early out thinking "why in the world didn't I chose RnY (Sleeves were not offered by Dr. B in 2009)", fretting and regretting. I finally gave myself a little peptalk .. "Lisa, uou chose banding for several reasons that were significant for you. It's done now, give the surgery a chance to work. Follow the guidelines you were given as best you can and see where it takes you. If it doesn't work, then we can regroup and discuss doing something else."

Be patient, we didn't get obese overnight, we won't lose overnight either. Stalls and plateaus happen. Take your measurements early on for a baseline. Take them again and compare to the original numbers during the times that the scales are not responding the way you would like. I had to do this when my loss slowed down. I measured once a month. It helped to see that although the scale wasn’t changing, my inches were.

Keep a food journal. It can be on paper, on the computer or on your phone, but it can't be just in your head. People who write down what they eat are much more successful in weight control. ABC (all bites count) and "if you bite it, write it". Yes, it can be a pain.. but so worth it.

Find a support group either in person or online. I didn't attend the support group offered by Dr. B's office for a while because of them being at night and I didn't like driving at night alone ( My husband cannot make it and I don't have any family close). I found support at SmartBandsters on yahoo groups. It was very helpful. I still don't like driving at night, but I have become more comfortable and now attend almost monthly at Dr. B's. But GET SUPPORT somewhere.

Move your body. The band can only reduce your appetite (once you get to the correct fill level for you). It really helps to become more active. Start where you are, don’t expect to run a marathon or lift a ton of weight right off the bat. At 385 lbs, I was doing good to walk down my driveway to my mailbox and back. The next day, I went to the mailbox and past it to the stump in my neighbors yard (an extra 10 steps or so). Third day, past the stump to the fence corner.. and so on. Every day bump it up just a little. Try to park far away as is safe from the store you're going into. When grocery shopping, take your own groceries out and return the buggy to the store. If you're allowed a clothesline, hang out your own clothes. Look for ways to make everyday activities less efficient so that you burn more calories.

Surround yourself with supportive people. You may find that some friends will be saboteurs, either because they miss their eating buddy or they're jealous or some other reason. If they can't be supportive, you may have to drop them or see them less often. Be aware that this can happen so that it doesn't blindside you.

Talk kindly to yourself. Don’t call yourself names. Treat yourself as you would treat your dearest friend.

If you make a bad choice and eat too much of something or make the wrong choice, don’t wait till tomorrow to fix it. You can start making better choices right away.

And this may seem counter-intuitive, but don't deprive yourself of every good tasting food. I find if I make things absolutely off-limits, I will eventually buy the item and go off the deep end and eat way too much of whatever it is. If you love potato chips, once in a great while allow yourself a few. Same thing with ice cream, chocolate or whatever. I'm not advocating keeping a huge amount in the house, but a few bites of a "bad food" now and then helps. It strengthens me to stay with my lean and green foods, if I know that I can have a tiny indulgence now and then. However.. if I can't stop with 3 bites or a single serving (100 calories or less) of the "bad food" then it is off my list of "rarely allowed foods" and put on the "never-never" list.

I could've gone on and on, but thought that was enough. I almost hesitate to make this public as I don't want to come off as perfect or as the guru of lapbanding. I've been very fortunate to have an excellent surgeon and wonderful nurses and a very supportive family and lots of supportive friends.

The gym I attend has also been wonderful and a big part of my success. I started there after losing the first 100lbs by walking and they've been nothing but encouraging. I was a bit scared to go at first (I hide my fear behind being outgoing, talking too much. Others are often surprised when I admit that I was scared at certain points or things), but ploughed through my fear and it turned out great.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bikram Yoga

I attended my first Bikram or "Hot" Yoga class yesterday.

I've been practicing Yoga (with a big emphasis on the practice part..hehe) for maybe 9 months or a year now, maybe even longer, and I've never had an experience like this before.

The room was very large and open with mirrors all across the front and a small platform or stage for the instructor. I thought it was strange that the room was carpeted but came to understand why as the class progressed.

I forgot my yoga mat at home, so they let me borrow one. It was different than any other yoga mat I had seen.. it was basically a large towel with some kind of backing.

The receptionist and the instructor kept telling me before the class started that my goal was to remain in the room. I thought that was strange, I told them I had done some yoga, but never Bikram. They just smiled and repeated my goal.

The room was heated to at least 80 degrees. It felt good to me as these days I'm almost always cold. It was mainly women, but there was one male in the class I attended. Most were dressed in shorts or capri's and either tanktops or sports bras. I had on capri's and ended up rolling them up to above the knee height. If I didn't have such saggy, baggy elephant looking legs, I would've done shorts. Maybe another time. :)

The instructor (Yogi??) stood on the platform and wearing a headset, talked us through the poses. She did not demonstrate, but described them. She was encouraging and if she noticed us having difficulty suggested some modifications. Told us that even if we couldn't do something now, with practice it would come.

The positions were somewhat familiar, but done in different orders than what I'm used to, and called different names. I made it about 1/2 way through the routine (with modifications for my body's abilities) before I had to start skipping some of the poses because I was wiped out by the heat. My mat was soaking wet by the time class was over and sweat was literally dropping off of me like rain. And it wasn't just me, others were that wet too. There were short breaks to drink water and the instructor didn't stop people from drinking at other times.

At the end of class, I was dizzy and had to stop and squat and put my head between my knees for a bit.

Will I do this class again? I'd love to, even though my husband says it sounds to him a bit on the verge of dangerous. I probably won't be able to do it often as this studio is a 45 minute drive from my home.

Would I recommend it for everyone? No, I think the individual should check with their physician to make sure that they can tolerate exercise for 90 minutes in a heated room. While there were no locks on the door, they don't want people to leave before class is over if it can be helped. To tell the truth, I was beginning to consider breaking etiquette towards the end of the class.

I felt completely drained at the end of class and had a headache from the dehydration. I had eaten at noonish, and by the time I got out of Yoga and we had picked up our daughter, it was 5:30ish and I felt like I really needed some protein. I talked my DH & DD into buying me supper. It was either that or I was going to eat my emergency Ostrim stick. ::grin:: I much preferred where we went.. and I got blackened catfish. yummy.

For the curious, this is the order of poses we went through:

detailed description of the poses @
but no pictures. For that I suggest googling the Hindu name of the pose. That's how I found out that Awkward Pose is the same as Chair Pose. :)

Pranayama Series
Standing Deep Breathing

Half Moon Pose

Hands To Feet Pose

Awkward Pose

Eagle Pose

Standing Head to Knee Pose

Standing Bow Pulling Pose

Balancing Stick

Standing Separate Leg Stretching Pose

Triangle Pose

Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee Pose

Tree Pose

Toe Stand Pose

Dead Body Pose

Wind Removing Pose

Cobra Pose

Locust Pose

Full Locust Pose

Bow Pose

Fixed Firm Pose

Half Tortoise Pose

Camel Pose

Rabbit Pose

Head to Knee Pose

Stretching Pose

Spine Twisting Pose

Kapalbhati in Vajrasana
Blowing in Firm Pose

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Hysterectomy???

I get so sick and tired of women who are enthusiastic about the results of their hysterectomy.

I am almost 5 years out now.. and I STILL GRIEVE over the loss of the center of my female being. I don't care if others feel good.. I miss being whole.

I miss the whole body orgasm I used to have.

It HURTS when others are so happy with their surgery.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cross Fit

One of my bariatric nurses is a cross fit enthusist. She encouraged me to give it a try. So, I found a crossfit facility in Tyler and emailed and got info, etc. I went yesterday.. here's an evaluation of my experience.

My Crossfit experience:

Crossfit was interesting and while challenging, it wasn't so difficult I couldn't do it. I got there early and had time to talk to the trainer. She explained that they scale or modify the exercise to the individual's ability.

We first ran 400 yards (or was it meters? I dunno.. it was a ways, but not too far). I managed to do all of it running without stopping to walk. It wasn't a race, just a jog. Then we came back to the gym and did some warmup exercises. Shoulder swings, side lunges and "good mornings" 10 each x 3.

Every day there is a different "workout of the day" which they call a WOD. The Wod's are all given female names. Today's was Cindy.

Then we did the WOD. Cindy consists of 5 pullups, 10 pushups and 15 deep squats. The goal was for each person to do as many circuits (5-10-15) as fast as they personally could while maintaining good form.

I cannot do a pull-up, my arms aren't strong enough. The trainer showed me how they work beginners up to doing pullups. They have giant rubberbands that you put your foot in and then you step off into space while holding onto a bar and the rubber-band gives you an assist. I've never been bungee jumping, but it made me think it might be similar.

The pushups were similar to tricep pushups, but we went all the way to the ground, picked our hands up for a moment and then put them down and pushed back up.

Squats were body weight only..and deep, below the knee. My right knee hurt last night so bad I had trouble laying down on the step for body pump and today it still hurts, so if I go back to cross-fit, I'll have to have a discussion about doing squats so deep. It's feeling some better today after working out in step.

I made the circuit 8 times. Not bad for the first time and the difficulty I had getting my foot in the rubberband. The trainer helped when she could, but she had more than me to assist.

Will I stop what I do at my gym and only do crossfit.. probably not. I love the Body Pump and Step and other things at my gym (Tans & Hands in Henderson, TX).

Will I go back to crossfit again? I think so. I enjoyed it and it was something different. Unfortunately, where I live, crossfit is a minimum 45 minute drive, so unless circumstances change, it won't be a frequent visit.

Would I recommend it to others? Give it a try, you might like it. I saw people of all ages and physical conditions there.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Advanced Ab workout..

I get tired just looking at this.

Good thing today is Sunday and my day off from exercise!! yeha!!

Healthy Recipes

Cruising the web this am, found a site called KIMf short for Keeping It Moving Fitness, and that led me to a site called Healthy Chomp, on which they have some awesome recipes.

Go check it out:

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Provida Labs Protein

First of all.. a disclaimer.. the claim "for fat loss" bugs me. I don't think anyone must drink protein to lose fat. I know I rarely have during my 3 years of losing weight. I don't think I'll be buying any of this because of the attempt to manipulate people with the "for fat loss" and the picture on the box. JMO.

A friend gave me a box of this because she didn't like it. Granted, I don't do liquid protein very much, but recently have needed it for various reasons. This is not too bad. I mixed it with almond milk, a few strawberries, some ice and a little splenda.

It's not purely whey protein isolate, it's also whey protein concentrate. Interesting review here:

Thursday, February 02, 2012


Wondering if I should revive this blog or just leave it to the dust & cobwebs of the interweb and start anew.

Pondering.. pondering....

Friday, July 29, 2011

Pumpkin Maple Sauce "snack"

I haven't made this yet, sticking it on my blog real quick so I don't loose it.

This is another quick treat when you are in a hurry. You can pack this and take it with you or have it as a fast pre or post-workout snack. Either way.

Pumpkin Maple Sauce "snack"

Makes 1 snack

■1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
■1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
■3/4 scoop Isopure Zero Carb vanilla protein powder
■1 stevia packet or to taste
■dash ginger
■dash nutmeg
■dash cinnamon
■1 tbs chopped or crushed pecans (optional - toast first)
■1/4 tsp maple extract (found in baking aisle)

1.Chop or crush pecans. To change the flavor a bit, you can toast them first (of course do this with a larger batch of nuts, so you're not having to toast 1 tbs at a time).
2.Place all ingredients with the exception of the pecans in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle with nuts, and enjoy.

■Calories 189
■Total Fat 6.49g
■Sodium 125.13mg
■Total Carbohydrate 14.2g
■Dietary Fiber 6.21g
■Sugars 7.08g
■Protein 21.53g


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sick of Spam comments

I (this blog) got on someone's spam list. Every time I post these days, I get hit with TONS of comments that are nothing to do with my post. And they ALL have hyperlinks to sexually provocative sites. (and NO, I'm not going to share the links with you my perverted readers (if the shoes fits, etc.).. get your own blog and spammers).

So, this is a rant and hopefully someone will read this and take me OFF THEIR SPAM list.. your comment will not get posted. I moderate all comments just for this reason. Go find some other sucker.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Melancholy Music

Pondering tonight why I am so drawn to melancholy songs... "Hurt", "Cumbersome", "Creep", "Save Yourself", "Haunting Me", "what do I have to do", "Box of Rain", "Shaking Hands (Soldier's Joy)"....etc. etc. etc.

I think my Daddy's sudden death in 1971 permanently scarred my psyche.... I've never completely recovered. The sad songs allow me to feel ..

I was so hurt by the loss of my father, my world turned upside down, that I shut off part of myself. I have a hard time getting close to people because I'm afraid of losing them.. being hurt again. I can't even show my children the depth of love I have for them.. sad sad sad.

Maybe one day I can peel back the layers before it's too late.

A box of rain will ease the pain and love will see you through.
Just a box of rain, wind and water
believe it if you need it
if you don't, just pass it on
sun and shower, wind and rain
in and out the window
like a moth before a flame.

And it's just a box of rain
I don't know who put it there
believe it if you need it
or need it if you dare

and it's just a box of rain
or a ribbon for your hair
such a long long time to be gone
and a short time to be there.

I miss you Daddy.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Eclectic Post

Just a variety of thoughts to journal...

I'm over at B&N pursuing books as they have a special right now.. spend at least 10.00 (on certain items) and get free shipping. So, somehow I end up reading a chapter from a book I remember from my childhood "Betsy, Tacy and Tib" by Maud Hart Lovelace.

I about fell over laughing at one of the sentences.."And Tacy's Mother had ten children, besides Tacy, so of course there wasn't much for Tacy to do." (this was in regards to housework) Um.. excuse me?? Not much housework with 10 kids??? I find it difficult to keep up with only 2 kids. Maybe it's different with lots of them, I don't know, but I found that statement amusing, amazing, and totally unreal.

A not so funny thing happened this week. Went back to the oncologist for a checkup and she found a place that needed a biopsy. OUCH. Not so fun to have a slice (even though very small) taken out of your sitting down parts. I got through it with some lidocaine (or it's equivalent) and some hand-holding by the resident working with her. Now I just feel like I'm sitting on a sandspur or a small pinecone. One week or so till I hear results. She doesn't think it's anything serious, but did the biopsy just to be sure.


Back to funny again....

This morning as my dh was leaving for work, he kissed me, said he loved me (awww). I asked with a smile in my voice, when he was going to show me how much he loved me. He said perhaps tonight, with a wink. I reminded him that he would need to "prime the pump" .. ya know women take longer to get ready in all things, not just getting dressed... And my smart-aleck, unbearably cheerful in the mornings, nerdy, geeky husband bent over and kissed my cheek a few times and whispered in my ear "3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19"

(For those who aren't math inclined.. those are examples of prime numbers.)

What a smart ass. And I have a son just like that.. only he's not a morning person.
I had to laugh.

Nerds make really good husbands btw..

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Braised Brussels Sprouts in Mustard Sauce

This is soooo good, and not that difficult.

The original recipe is here

I'm going to post what I did differently.


1 12oz package frozen brussels sprouts
Some vegetable oil spray (butter flavor if possible)
1/4 cup minced white onion
4 tbspns water, divided
1/4 cup plochmans mustard
2 tablespoons splenda


Microwave Sprouts 1/2 of the time suggested on package. I did 5 minutes, which was just a tad too long.

While sprouts are in microwave, chop onion. set aside.

Cut sprouts in half, then each half in half. If a really large sprout, cut each 1/2 in thirds. Repeat with all the sprouts.

Spray a large, heavy skillet with Pam type spray and heat over medium for 1 or 2 minutes. Add onions; sauté for 2 minutes.

Stir in sprouts, and 2 tablespoons water; spread everything evenly across the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, measure mustard, add splenda and remaining water into the same measuring cup and stir until blended. Once sprouts have cooked for 5 minutes, pour mustard mixture over them and stir. Reduce heat to low, cover, cook for 5 minutes, then stir. Remove from heat or, if you prefer, cook for 5 minutes more—the sprouts will get browner and more intensely flavored.

Serve hot or warm. We had them with little beef filets and portobello mushrooms. Made a wonderful dinner. DH had 3 servings of the sprouts.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Finally an update

I've neglected this blog for so long.. been incredibly busy.

I just finished an afghan.. didn't know who or what I was making it for, just wanted to make it. I got started because I bought some Vanna's choice to make a couple of squares for a comfortghan that someone else was going to put together, but once I got started.. I wanted to keep making squares.

I couldn't get enough of the same dyelot in two colors, so I did a hodgepodge of what I could get.. here's the results... (excuse the unmade bed.. I'm getting ready to strip it and wash sheets).

The square pattern I used is called "Winter's Dream" and is available here.

Vanna's Choice 12 inch Square Afghan.

Full view

Vanna's Choice 12 inch Square Afghan.

slightly closer

Vanna's Choice 12 inch Square Afghan.

The edging.

The edge is two rows of sc, then a repeat of the last two rows of the square. Right now it's tending to curl a little, but it hasn't been washed yet. I'm hoping that washing and drying will allow it to unfurl.

RedHeartFiesta Throw

And this is an afghan that I made back in November 2009 with Red Heart Fiesta that I found on clearance.. again not knowing why or who for.. and ended up giving it to a counselor at FSU who was so helpful to my daughter this past fall.

The pattern is called "Little Windows Granny Throw" and you can find it here. I didn't like the fringe, so didn't do it. I think I just went around the edges a few times with sc, but honestly don't recall exactly what I did.

I'm very pleased with how it turned out. I had never used Fiesta before, but quite like the results.

It seems that when I'm inspired to make something, but don't know why.. God eventually lets me know who it is for. Like the VC's afghan shown first.. I just found out one of the medical providers I've been seeing for about a year or so is getting married and moving away. I think maybe it's meant for her.

And last but not least.. is an snuggly blanket I made for myself at Christmastime 2008. I call it a Candy Cane ripple.

Candy Cane Ripple

It's made from RH light and lofty. It's so cozy, I love to sleep under it at night. I wish I had a better selection of the colors where I shop.

I don't remember where I found the ripple pattern, any simple ripple would make a similar blanket. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Celebrate Vitamins

I'm trying out the Celebrate Vitamins . They're vitamins designed specifically for bariatric patients. They sent me a trial package of their calcium and multis and iron with C.

I started taking them last night.. here's my eval so far.

Last night: Calcet creamy bite, Lemon creme. : Ok.. nothing to write home about, but not offensive either.

This morning: Blackberry multi: Pretty good. Actually better than the Bariatric advantage multi in Lemon that I've been taking.

CalciumPlus 500: Berries N Cream: bleah.. was ok until I got to the end and then it became chalky, gritty.

So far they are sitting on my stomach ok.. and this is major as I've had a mild GI bug for the past 2 days.

Will try to remember to talk about the other flavors as I go along.

If you want a sample, email Celebrate Vitamins at success AT celebratevitamins DOT com

(replace AT with @ and DOT with . and remove spaces).


Sunday, November 08, 2009


Very sad. Missing my daughter. Haven't heard from her directly for a month.

She doesn't call, doesn't reply to email. I do know she's alive in the world from 3rd hand sources.

It's very sad.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New schnauzer pics

This is was about a month ago and before grooming yesterday .. I'll try to get some current pics up soon.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Pain medication

When did accepting pain, not taking meds for it, become a virtue?

Was it in generations past when pain meds weren't very common, or the really only good pain medication was whiskey.. and nice women didn't drink?

I don't know.

My mom seemed to think that pain was just something to be endured.

Or is it the "good patient" syndrome.. where good patients don't complain of pain?

I am on a journey to get rid of the "good patient" syndrome within myself. I'm not a drug seeker...not one of those who is "allergic to everything except dilaudid". But I dont think it's my job either to make it easier on the physician by just grimacing and bearing it. *yes, I know the term is grin & bear it, but I think grimace is much more appropo*

Just rambling thoughts after talking to a friend who recently had surgery and is only taking their pain meds at night. And they wonder why they're having such a hard time during the day. Take some tylenol/acetaminohen during the day silly.. it won't make you sleepy and you'll feel so much better. No reason to suffer needlessly.. it doesn't make you a better person or earn more stars in your crown.

At least their doctor gave them good pain control. I've had docs who wouldn't give enough to keep a fly pain-free. :(

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around the neck than to face the punishment in store for harming one of these little ones. - Luke 17:2


Monday, September 21, 2009

Super Easy Homemade Split Pea Soup

Did you know that split peas don't have to be soaked b4 cooking? Fantastic item to keep on hand for those days that you don't know what to cook. I made this tonight and it was oh so good.

Here's my super easy recipe.

1/2 cup dry split peas
2-3 cups HOT water
1/4 cup diced ham (or other meat).
(I often use the Carl Buddig Quick Fix meats.. they're 2oz, 70 cal and ready to use, already diced. They come in Turkey & Ham. I've only used the ham, but I bet the turkey would work just as well)


2 T diced carrots
2 T diced Broccoli stems (peel them first)
2 T diced onion
2 T diced celery
2 T diced veggie of your choice (bell pepper, cauliflower, squash, etc. the only thing that I'm not sure would work would b mushrooms, but I could be wrong.. they might b wonderful)

Saute or stir-fry veggies for a few minutes in a wok or frying pan coated with spray veggie oil (such as canola or olive oil). If u don't have the spray kind, a scant teaspoon or 2 of oil would work. Use as little oil as possible.

Put everything together in a 2quart or larger saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook with a lid slightly ajar for 30 to 40 minutes or until done to your liking.


Serves 1 or 2 people.

Serving size: 1 generous cup (really 1& 1/4 cup or 303.5 grams or 10.69 ounces)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 138
Calories from Fat 13
Total Fat 1.4g
Saturated Fat 0.4g
Cholesterol 6mg
Sodium 166mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.8g
Dietary Fiber 9.0g
Sugars 3.5g
Protein 10.1g
Vitamin A 21%
Vitamin C 16%
Calcium 3%
Iron 9%

Nutrition information calculated at, based on the following ingredients:
1/2 cup dried split peas
3 cups HOT water
2 T carrots
2 T onion
2 T bell pepper
2 T celery
1/4 cup chopped ham

If you change it, of course your results will vary. go to the site above and put in your variation and see what you get.

If you want to make larger amounts.. for every Pound of dry peas (which is the usual size of the bag sold in regular grocery stores) you need 6 to 8 cups of HOT water. Since neither my ds or dh will eat split pea soup.. I use 1/2 cup peas & 2 cups hot water.. and end up adding another cup of water during cooking.

I think this would be great for the soft foods stage of wls.. and could run it through a blender or magic bullet if it wasn't smooth enough. Use chicken broth instead of water to up the protein. :)

Social Media

This was shared on twitter.. (do you twitter?).. and I found it VERY interesting.


Stress and the Lapband

I had a terrible time with being hungry this past Friday. I was getting hungry 1.5 to 2 hours after eating, and not just a little bit hungry.. ravenously so.

Then I found this article at cnn (well, I didn't find it, it was posted on a yahoo group called smarterbandsters) about why we eat to much.

Go ahead and read it, I'll wait.

Turns out there are 2 main stressors that cause us to overeat. 1) lack of sleep, and 2) stress. I suffered from both of those last week. Thursday night I only got 2 hours of sleep due to the stress. DUH.. no wonder I was extremely hungry.

Then.. one of the ways to combat the overeating.. is exercise. It's been raining almost everyday here.. and plus our new neighbor is ugly about one of our dogs. So the exercise I prefer, walking my dogs, has been practically non-existent.

Things have settled down some, my sleeping hours are still very odd, but I am getting at least 5 hours (I know I need more.. it will happen) and the cause of the stress is being addressed. Now if it will only stop raining.....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Walk from Obesity

Unless something goes terribly wrong.. on Saturday, September 26th, I'll be participating in my first Walk-a-thon (am I dating myself? they don't call them walk-a-thons any longer).

If you'd care to support me, click here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Loss Equivalents

Your weight loss =

1 pound = a Guinea Pig
1.5 pounds = a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed donuts
2 pounds = a rack of baby back ribs
3 pounds = an average human brain
4 pounds = an ostrich egg
5 pounds = a Chihuahua
6 pounds = a human’s skin
7.5 pounds = an average newborn
8 pounds = a human head
10 pounds= chemical additives an American consumes each year
11 pounds = an average housecat
12 pounds = a Bald Eagle
15 pounds = 10 dozen large eggs
16 pounds = a sperm whale’s brain
20 pounds = an automobile tire
23 pounds = amount of pizza an average American eats in a year
24 pounds = a 3-gallon tub of super premium ice cream
25 pounds = an average 2 year old
30 pounds = amount of cheese an average American eats in a year
33 pounds = a cinder block
36 pounds = a mid-size microwave
40 pounds = a 5-gallon bottle of water or an average human leg
44 pounds = an elephant’s heart
50 pounds = a small bale of hay
55 pounds = a 5000 BTU air conditioner
60 pounds = an elephant’s penis (yep, weights more than his heart!)
66 pounds = fats and oils an average American eats in a year
70 pounds = an Irish Setter
77 pounds = a gold brick
80 pounds = the World’s Largest Ball of Tape
90 pounds = a newborn calf
100 pounds = a 2 month old horse
111 pounds = red meat an average American eats in a year
117 pounds = an average fashion model (and she’s 5’11”)
118 pounds = the complete Encyclopedia Britannica
120 pounds = amount of trash you throw away in a month
130 pounds = a newborn giraffe
138 pounds = potatoes an average American eats in a year
140 pounds = refined sugar an average American eats in a year
144 pounds = an average adult woman (and she’s 5’4”)
150 pounds = the complete Oxford English Dictionary
187 pounds = an average adult man
200 pounds = 2 Bloodhounds
235 pounds = Arnold Schwarzenegger
300 pounds = an average football lineman
400 pounds = a Welsh pony

I'm somewhere between the worlds largest ball of tape and a newborn calf.

Ideally, I'd like to lose Arnold Schwarzenegger, but will settle for losing 2 bloodhounds.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

New neighbors suck

I want my old neighbors back. The ones that were Texas Highway Patrol.. and understood dogs and country life.

I walk for exercise. I have two schnauzers that I walk on a lead and a big German Shepard mix that is very shy and is scared of almost everything.. except something that runs.

We were on our way home from a walk and the new neighbors had a skinny female hound outside and we stopped at the edge of the yard (we didn't go past the counties easement) to say hello. Lady of the house came to the door to call the hound in. I called out "We're just making friends, if that's ok" She replied "It's making the dog in the house bark" .. weird, dogs do that naturally. And I happen to know that the other dog they have is a Pomeranian.. those dogs typically bark alot. If she didn't want a barking dog, why have a Pom??

Anyhow, the hound decided to run to her and my German Shepard decided to chase. Oh lordie.. and he will not respond to voice commands. I know, we should've trained him better, but at 9 years old, I think it's a bit late to learn.

Anyhow, the chasing upset the neighbor lady.. she yelled at me "You need to keep your dog on a leash or keep him home." "Keep your dog on a leash".

I didn't say anything.. didn't know what to say. I felt bad that my dog was chasing hers, but I couldn't stop it.. I had a schnauzer on a leash and a schnauzer puppy in a front carrier. I didn't have permission to go on her property. I knew my Shepard wouldn't harm her dog.. but she didn't know that. I can understand her feeling threatened.

I just wish we had our old neighbors back.. they were such great folks. They had two really big dogs, one breed I don't know what it was, and a Great Pyranees (spelling?). The Pyranees was a big baby.. would lie down anytime you got close to him and roll over for a belly rub.

I don't know what I'm going to do from now on.. I guess I'll have to check and see if neighbor is home b4 I walk my dogs any longer. Like being a prisoner in my own house. Good grief.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hurray for Pat Boone!!

A message I sent to the President and my elected representatives. I urge all citizens to do the same.

Dear Senator:

I did not give you permission to sign my name to any of the bailouts or “stimulus package” or appropriations bills – and certainly not a ten trillion dollar indebtedness!

You’re my elected public servant, and the public servant of all the citizens who sent you to Washington on our behalf. There are other solutions to our economic crises, ones that will directly help taxpayers, homeowners and ordinary citizens, including those who lose jobs in corporate bankruptcy or restructuring.

We weren’t consulted about these huge deficits and paper promises and trillion dollar debts – AND WE REJECT THEM!

Taxation without representation is tyranny! Have you heard that before? Well, we citizens of a democratic republic reject these draconian measures, and direct you to undo them on our behalf. We’re not wasting perfectly good tea this time; but the “tea parties” have begun all over this country, and you’d best get the message. We reject the tyranny of governmental control, taxation without representation, and the usurpation of our constitutional freedom and independence.

You now have lots of tea – but little time, and we have very little patience left.

Pat Boone
Hollywood, CA



Acorn Field Office

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Friday, September 11, 2009

Quotes for Patriots Day

someone should send this to Obama.

found at

On Respect.

* You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

* You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.

* You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

* You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

* You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.

* You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatreds.

* You cannot establish security on borrowed money.

* You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's initiative and independence.

* You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

--William J.H. Boetcker, 1916

When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect.

Adlai Stevenson

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Witchy or Improved Self Esteem ramble

I had a WONDERFUL time shopping yesterday. [/sarcasm]In my ongoing quest to find good walking shoes, I went to a shoe store in my small town.. trying to buy locally like they urge us to do.

There were two clerks working(?). One was checking out a customer and another was standing there twirling his keys around his finger watching. I had been in the store a good 5 or 10 minutes looking at shoes and being ignored. I finally went up and asked if he was working...or if he was just spending his day twirling keys!!

He said he was working, but didn't move to help me.. just continued twirling keys. I said something to the effect of "your store just lost a customer" and walked out.

Makes me soooooooo mad to receive poor service in this economy. I went home and wrote the store a love letter on their website.

My husband says "Don't make Lisa mad" as if this is a bad thing. I don't know. I'm finding I have much less tolerance for incompetence and poor service the older I get. On the other hand, perhaps it's improving self esteem from weight loss. I still have a long ways to go, but I also don't feel I have to be "nicey nice" any longer to make up for being fat.

Strangely enough, I rarely run into discrimination due to my obesity. I don't know if that's because I don't go out much in public (due to high gas prices) or if because I refuse to accept poor treatment. I'm not sure.

The PA at my doctors office said to me that I should learn to accept compliments.. I don't think I have trouble doing that. I think she was speaking from a one size fits all patients, she has only met me twice, I don't think she knows me very well.

I need to get busy with doing the mental work of weight loss too. Another thing to add to my schedule.. busy busy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

felting with I Love This Wool

Bag is Paton's Merino (black), HL's I Love This Wool (lavendar, pink & yellow), and a variegated wool blend, don't remember the name, but it's by Yarn Bee and is sold at Hobby Lobby.

Had to run through wash cycle twice.

I don't know why my post felting pics are so dim. Same room, same everything.. only about 30 minutes later. sorry bout that.

as always, click the pictures to see them bigger.


Prefelting. Bag is pretty big, almost covering the entire lid of my washer.


With magazine showing prefelting size.
About 18" tall, 22" wide near base & 14" wide near top.


showing the stitch detail


more stitch detail and handle edging.
I did the top edge the same way, just neglected to get a photo.


Stuffed and drying.


Bag didn't shrink much at all horizontally, but vertically it shrank about 5 inches.

I think I would compare ILTW to Lionbrand wool, but the colors are a little bit more subdued. It's ok to work with, but I still prefer Paton's Merino. Cost wise, unless Paton's goes up, I think they are comparable. I'm lucky to have a Michaels and a HL in the same town.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Free Our Health Care NOW

In one month, over 330,000 people have signed saying no, to government health care! We are now receiving between 15,000 - 20,000 signatures every day. We ask each of you to reach out to at least three friends this weekend, as time is of the essence. With your help we will have 1 million-plus signers to deliver the petition to the Congressional leaders and the White House.

For our 437 Tea Party Patriot chapter partners, we have prepared a health care power-point presentation with teacher's notes for your health care day, on Friday, July 17th. Every one of you can be an expert on free-market health care! Don't forget to ask everyone to sign the petition, and have their voices heard. Remember to return the completed petitions to us!

We are in the battle of our lives. President Obama and Congress want to force employers to pay for health insurance reform. Although the details aren't completely settled yet, the idea is to create a new federal mandate that would force employers to provide health insurance for their employees - or pay a penalty tax to the government. Of course, they don't actually use the dirty words "tax" or "mandate", rather the legislation uses words like "shared responsibility" and "contributions" to the government. Of special note, members of Congress, are going to vote for you and me to have a government-run plan, but not going to join us - they are going to keep their current taxpayer-funded plan.

If that doesn't get your attention, this will! The government is about to force employers to pay for employees' health insurance with an average cost of $12,000 per employee per year or $6.00 per hour. This new health care mandate will effectively increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $13.25 per hour. There will be massive layoffs and entire industries who employ hourly employees are at risk. This is a direct hit to small businesses, the job creating sector of our economy!

This is truly a partnership! If you have not signed, please do so! If you have signed, forward the petition to three friends who have not signed and let's move those numbers. You can keep track of our progress on our website - just click on the ticker link under the Eagle. 500,000 - 1 million, here we come! We are fighting for our freedom!

Jeanette Nordstrom
National Center for Policy Analysis

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Mandatory Volunteerism?

compulsory volunteerism was passed by house & senate and signed into law in april 2009.

Can anyone explain to me how being forced to volunteer is any different from slavery?

I had heard someone say that Obama hates the white man. At first I thought that was just fear-mongering. I'm beginning to wonder now if it wasn't truth.

Title 18, U.S.C., Sec. 1584, makes it a Federal crime or offense for anyone to willfully hold another person in involuntary servitude.

Where are the bloggers that used to post on how badly Bush sucked. They are all strangely silent now. Happy with your choice? I'm not. Cannot wait for an opportunity to vote the man out of office.


Just wondering why it is that blues speaks to my soul so strongly.

I'm sitting here making a playlist at and every song I can think of to put on the list is sorrowful, dark and full of emo.

Strange when I feel generally content and happy.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

It's so simple.. socialism does not work

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before but had once failed an entire class.

That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism. All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A. After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B.

The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F. The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Could not be any simpler than that.


I've lost one of my followers on this blog (a big 50% loss.. I only had two.. lol). I don't know if they don't agree with my political views, got tired of the lack of crochet content or what the issue is.. and whatever it is.. it's OK.

I'm just so very worried about the direction our country is taking that I don't have the urge to type about more fun things right now. I am feeling literally ill at times seeing what is happening. While people have their hearts in the right place.. the way things are being approached is wrong wrong wrong.

Just praying that we survive until the next election.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Third Fill

I went for my 3rd fill today. Got a very small one, only .25cc added.. but that's because I am losing still at a good rate, but am still having hunger issues 2 hours after eating a meal.

So I didn't need much added.. just a little fine tuning. And I'm glad only .25 was added.. I'm just a tiny bit sore on the inside.

I'll update this tomorrow.. I'm really tired and going to go lie down now.

Ok.. I'm finally rested up and here's the update......

As of July 1, 2009.. I've lost 56 lbs!!! That's about 14 lbs a month, or approx. 1/2 lb a day for the past 4 months.

Last appt was June 2nd.. between June 2nd and July 1 .. I lost 8lbs. And I didn't try all that hard.. just stayed with my 3 (sometimes 4) ounces of meat and 1/2 cup of veggies.

I am hoping to really WOW my oncologist when I go back in August.  I will
actually be able to be weighed on their scales!! She wasn't all that supportive
of me getting a band when I asked if I was healed enough to get one. She said
"if that's what you want to do to yourself". I'm thinking that maybe she was
confused and thinking I meant a different surgery.. but she's a normal weight,
so she's probably not well informed on this aspect of medicine.

Isn't the band amazing? I lost 8lbs and wasn't even trying all that hard. Even
fell off the "band-wagon" one night and ate about half a bag of flat-earth
chips. At least they were baked. I try not to keep such things in the house,
but we were having taco salad, and I really miss having SOMETHING crunchy/salty
to eat with that.

I'm not beating myself up over it.. but I keep thinking.. what would've the
numbers have been if I hadn't indulged in the chips. hmmm.. what a great
motivator for me.
I'm going to try and figure out how to get my walking ticker posted on here.. I'm trying to walk at least 20 min/day.. the past two days I've walked an hour each day, but that was shopping. I don't think the budget can stand me to shop daily.. lol.

It's so hot here.. heat index for the next two days is going to be from 105 to 109.. so exercise has become difficult if not impossible during the day. 3am walks.. here I come.

When I forget to time my walks.. I go by steps. Past two days I've done 4000 and 4500 steps. woohoo!! I'm on my way to another 8 (+ ??? I hope) lbs gone.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Political comment

I wanted to post a cartoon here, but can't seem to get it to fit the layout.. so I'll just redirect folks to the page (probably safer copywrongwise anyhow)
(copywrong.. all rights reversed..hehehe)

check it out:

And just read today about Letterman slandering Sarah Palin and her daughter Willow. And now the fool says he made a mistake, thinking it was Bristol with the Gov.. not her 14 y/o. WTF difference does that make!!! An apology is owed.. to Governor Palin, to Willow, to Bristol and to all women in america. How dare he!! If he had a daughter, maybe he'd think a little differently. Maybe. Some MCP's never change no matter what.

And I totally agree with Lou Pritchett (former vp of Proctor & Gamble) in his letter.. posted below.

Dear President Obama:

You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me.

You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.

You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.

You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.

You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.

You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don’t understand it at its core.

You scare me because you lack humility and ‘class’, always blaming others.

You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.

You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the ‘blame America’ crowd and deliver this message abroad.

You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.

You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.

You scare me because you prefer ‘wind mills’ to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.

You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.

You scare me because you have begun to use ‘extortion’ tactics against certain banks and corporations.

You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.

You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people.

You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.

You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.

You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs, Hannitys, O’Relllys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view.

You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.

Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.

Lou Pritchett

And for those who question whether Lou Pritchett really wrote the letter above.. yes, he did. Check it out at snopes.

Ok.. my venting is through for today. Off to pray that BHO is defeated in 4 years.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Second Fill

Went back to the Doc today for a consult and hopefully a second fill.

I have had a little trouble over the weekend with sliming (food getting stuck and then you produce massive amounts of saliva) due to eating too fast due to stress (from having a 20 y/o son who does boneheaded things from time to time). So I had to really talk alot to convince the nurse to give me a 1/2 cc fill.

I'm on full liquids till thursday then can eat what I want. I asked if I should do soft foods for a bit before moving back to hard solids, but she said it was up to me. hmmm I think I'll do at least 1 meal of soft foods...

The good news is I'm down 48 lbs since surgery. 48 Wow.. I can hardly believe it. But yet I can cause I'm already wearing smaller clothes. Things I couldn't wear last summer (like non stretch pants) I can wear now. AAMOF, things I bought last week are starting to be too big. yippee!!!

Life is good.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Wow.. it has been forever since I posted.

Weight loss continues to go well. I go back for my next fill on June 2nd.. so will talk about numbers and stuff on a post after that.

I finally felted a purse that I've had made for a while. I call this a pillow purse because I used a pillow pattern to make it.

Here's the good stuff:

Wrong side out.. prefelting

Right side out.. prefelting

Right side out.. with magazine to show size.. prefelting

Right side out.. prefelting.. showing D Ring handle attachment

Right side out.. POST felting.. drying over box.
(horrid lighting.. will try to get better pic up later)

Made with Lionbrand wool in black and scarlet. I've got a crafting date, so must run right now, but will post more details later.

Friday, May 01, 2009

rambling through current events

Hurray for Carrie Prejean for politely and without fear speaking her opinion. There may be those out there who disagree with her, but last time I looked, the United States still had freedom of speech. Or is it now only free speech when it's politically correct?

Ridiculous that being for traditional marriage makes you anti-gay, or being against Obama makes you racist. Has the world lost it's mind?

And what in the world is Perez Hilton doing judging a beauty contest anyway? What makes him qualified? His mouth and manners sure don't. Of course, he's probably brought up in a culture that thinks cussing is no big deal. News Flash: The flyover country doesn't talk like that and doesn't appreciate hearing it either.

I didn't walk today.. didn't even make it to the grocery store. I don't know why, but all my energy faded today. I got sleepy about 10am and since I had gotten up at 3, I took a nap. Since then the day has been downhill.

Finally got dressed at 5pm (ah the life of a country housewife).. and am now waiting for dh to get home before I go to the grocery store. Which is probably a mistake as I ate lunch at 3 and that will put me at the store at mealtime. rut roh.

Swine flu..aka h1n1 (p.c. again!!) has hit near hear.. about 50 miles away. Just hoping it doesn't come here although my son would love for his college to close down. One amusing thing I heard on the news a day or so ago was that a newscaster said "it wouldn't be a bad idea to buy a mask", but said nothing about actually wearing it. Yeah, yeah, I know it was implied.. but I still found it amusing. Any bit of humor in a dire time eh?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

One step at a time

I have so many things going through my mind as I type this.

I want to share my weight loss journey. When I went back for my two week check on March 23, I had lost about 18 lbs. By my next visit about a month later on April 20th, I had lost 28lbs.

Yesterday, I had lost 33lbs. Clothes are fitting better, and the seatbelt in the van isn't quite so tight.

And my dh came home yesterday and looked at me and said.. I'm starting to see your weight loss.. you definitely look thinner. What a sweetheart. I love that man so much!! He has almost never said anything negative about my weight over the 28 years we've been married ( I can count on my one hand the times I've heard him say something hurtful.. and over 28 years, that's not a lot). And he's so very supportive of my efforts. He eats my new cooking efforts without complaint.

Yesterday I made white chili from the website.. it was pretty darn good. And under 200 calories/cup. I had 1 cup of soup and 1/2 cup of mixed veggies and I was full. I could not have eaten so small a portion before surgery and be full.

My one complaint so far.. beyond the inadequate post0p pain that the Dr. I chose to do my WLS seems to be very very busy and I can't get in when I'm supposed to. I was supposed to return around May 20th and they can't get me in until June 2nd. Two weeks can be forever when you're hungry and trying to lose weight.

I'm also walking almost every day ( I took Monday and Tuesday off of this week because of huting feet and rain) and while I don't enjoy the walking, my dog sure does!! I can tell my stamina has increased.

More later, I need to go bring the dog in and take a shower.. I'm all stinky from walking.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

More Bernat Felt goodies

The first pic is to show the colors of the yarn, the second is to show the whole bag (lousy flourescent lighting) hanging to dry. I don't usually hang bags, but I want the handles on this to stretch some.

Felted Earth Bag 2
Felted Earth Bag

This is a variation of I felt the earth move bag . I didn't follow her pattern exactly, I did the decrease rounds where they looked right to me. I also crocheted in FLO (or maybe it was BLO.. i don't recall.. i was consistent tho whichever stitch I used). I think the yarn I used was much bulkier than hers, so I'm glad I made the changes. Otherwise the bag would've been humongous!!

And when it came to the handles.. I didn't feel like flipping the thing back and forth to make the handle, so I dug out my tunisian hooks and did them in the tunisian knit stitch. And devised a way to hook the handle to the other side instead of stitching.

One more thing I did differently was that I did a round of reverse sc all along the edges of the handles and the top of the bag. I like that effect.. think it gives a project a "finished" look.

This is almost all of the Bernat Felt yarn.. I had 13 skeins. Two left which I made a purse organizer out of and it's in the machine right now felting. Pictures soon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Time to get back to crochet

I've been felting quite a bit and now it's time to show some of the results.

Found a great buy on Bernat's Feltit in the color "Fresh Poppy" (i think they must be discontinuing this color) and bought TONS of it.. cleaned out the bin

I made my own pattern for this.. it's not even written up yet. But I did post the diagram for my idea on my pattern blog. I will eventually write up the numbers, but for those who are confident to proceed on their own.. this should give you a starting point.


Here's a purse I made for one of the nurses who took care of me during my latest surgery. Her first name is Lisa too. She admired the bags I had with me preop, so I made this for her while I was recovering. I haven't given it to her yet.. I don't know when or if I will see her again.



Drying over a woven basket


Finished. But it's VERY floppy, in this picture it has a tupperware bowl inside to give it some stability. I will either need to find something to give it more structure.. or felt it again.


This is a bag I made from the pattern available here.



Drying over a Wine Box.. lol


Showing finished size with a magazine


Finished and needing a shave


This last one I'm very pleased with. It's one I made from a stitch pattern I found. It didn't turn out exactly like I had planned, but it's great anyways.

The stitch is very yarn intensive, but makes for a very sturdy bag when felted. I would've made it bigger, but ran out of the dark teal.

Finished, with magazine behind it to show the size (still drying).


Here it is stuffed with plastic bags, drying.


Prefelting with the magazine lying on top of it to show size.


Right side out


Wrong side out.. which I also think looks attractive.


I have two or three more bags in progress.. hope it won't take me as long to finish and post about them as it did these.

Monday, April 13, 2009



Received this in email today and thought it was worth sharing.


In Florida, an atheist created a case against the upcoming Easter
and Passover holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case
against Christians, Jews and observances of their holy days.

The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such
recognized days. The case was brought before a judge. After listening to
the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his
gavel declaring, "Case dismissed!"

The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, "Your
honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have
Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and
Hanukkah, yet my client and all other atheists have no such holidays."

The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, "But you do. Your
client, counsel, is woefully ignorant."

The lawyer said, "Your Honor, we are unaware of any special
observance or holiday for atheists."

The judge said, "The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day.
Psalm 14:1 states, 'The fool says in his heart, there is no God.' Thus, it
is the opinion of this court, that if your client says there is no God,
then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned."

You gotta love a Judge that knows his scripture!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

sometimes it doesn't pay to be frugal

i got a boo-boo yesterday. i was going to turn out the light and wasn't paying attention and slammed my left hand into a wall. owie owie owie. i had to go get the frozen bag of peas we keep for an icepack and put it on my pinkie.

well, by bedtime it was hurting pretty good.. and all swollen. so i took two motrin and went to bed.

this morning, not only the pinkie was swollen, but my hand was swollen too. so off i go to the doc/hospital to get irradiated.

i broke a bone in my hand..not my pinkie. fortunately, it's only a hairline crack and not displaced at all, so it doesn't need a splint. doc said just don't hit it on anything else. i don't plan on that!!!

next time i will leave the light on. oh.. and i can't reach the shift key w/o a lot of pain.. so i'm all lower case for awhile.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Update on Banding

This started as a post to one of the many Lapband support groups on yahoo, but as I typed I realized that this was really more of a blog post than a message to the group.. so here goes.

I am 4 weeks out from surgery (March 9) and I keep reading where everyone says the first 6 to 8 weeks are for healing.

I'm not "pushing" myself at all, but I feel SO much better than I did at 2 weeks out, it's like I'm a whole different person. At 2 weeks, I couldn't sit at my computer more than about 20 minutes before I started having lots of pain.. and would have to go lie down.

I remember thinking.. I need to walk, but I hurt so much.. how can I walk? Even taking the glorified tylenol I was sent home with (Darvocet) didn't work. Only thing that did work was Motrin and that was supposedly a no-no.

I finally got back at 2 weeks for my first post-op visit on March 23rd.. and they were very surprised that I was still hurting. I did take a couple of Motrin before driving over because I just couldn't see driving an hour while in pain. I'm soooo very glad the pain is over.

But NEVER AGAIN WILL I EVER HAVE SURGERY (ESP. ABDOMINAL SURGERY) WITH ONLY DARVOCET AS POST-OP PAIN MEDS. And I told the nurses and Dr. B's PA the same thing. If this thing ever has to be revised and all he will provide is Darvocet.. well, I'll go to a different doctor. That's all there is to it. There's no need to fear that I will get addicted to narcotics.. I wean myself off as soon as I start feeling better. I've done it before when I had my hysterectomy.

But the GOOD news is that of March 23rd I had lost 15 lbs. I believe I'm even lighter now.. probably on the order of 20lbs total. I hope it's more, but as my scales and the doctor's scales are way off from each other.. I have trouble telling.

What is significant is that my clothes are fitting better. Things that were too tight, are now loose. Not to the point of falling off.. lol dream on dh...but definitely looser.

I've also found that turnips (really.. ) make a decent lower carb substitute for potatoes. It's surprising, but they work. Haven't been able to get them to crisp up like (oven fried) potatoes yet.. but I'm still in the learning stage.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tea'd Off (or what to do on April 15)

Dig Deep

Got the plumbers out yesterday.. turns out that the drain wasn't clogged.. the whole pipe near the cleanout near the house was BROKEN. From the riding mower going over it. sheesh. Time to make those lazy kids use a weed eater instead. The plumbers had to dig enough that it looks like I had a flower bed dug.. LOL

Maybe my son will listen now when I tell him not to drive his car over the field lines.

At least now I can wash clothes w/o worry about flooding the laundry room.

I'm getting so very tired of a full liquid diet.

Although this morning I made something very good. I took some fresh strawberries.. maybe 1/2 to 3/4 cup.. I didn't measure, I just used the ones that hadn't gone bad in the pint box and threw the rest in the trash.. lol. Dumped "some" (again didn't measure) plain non fat yogurt on top. Threw in a tablespoon of Flax Seeds and a dollop of 2% milk (to thin it down a bit) and 1 package of unjury strawberry sorbet flavor (for extra protein) and blended all of this together. Oh.. and 1 package of Stevia sweetening (because I thought it needed it.. ymmv). WOW.. is this stuff tasty.

I'm trying to keep my meals small and frequent right now as that seems to agree with my tummy the most, but this is so good I want more than the 2 oz I just ate. I'll give myself 20 minutes or so and if I'm still hungry and desiring more, I'll get some more.

I tried weighing again last night.. don't think I've lost any more, but don't think I've gained either, so this is a good thing. I have trouble with my scales.. I can't maintain my balance perfectly still long enough for it to register all the time. But the numbers that I did see come up didn't go above the last good reading (where I WAS able to remain still long enough).. so I'm hopeful.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's always something

The saturday before surgery (March 7) I was doing laundry and noticed that there was a little bit of water on the floor in front of the washer. Wasn't sure what was going on.. and really wanted to get things washed before I was put out of commission for a while.

So I went ahead and washed and prayed that it wasn't the hoses on the back of the machine. Must've hung out aleast 7 or 8 loads on the line. Wonderful day. Lots of exercise.

Surgery day came and went.. and I didn't worry about the washer for a week. Just put towels on the floor incase someone absolutely had to wash.

Tuesday of this week I finally found an appliance repair place.. and called them and they diagnosed the problem over the phone.. said it was probably the pump. Seems that nowadays they make the casing for the pump out of plastic and eventually the ball bearings overheat or bind up or something goes wrong and the plastic melts and lets water out on the floor.

Sure enough, when he took the machine apart, I could see where the plastic had melted and a semi-circular hole was in the casing. That's why the machine would still work, but was leaking.

Replacement costed a little over a 100.00, much cheaper than a new machine. But then, while he was testing the repair and then writing up my ticket.. we started hearing a strange noise.. chugga... chugga... chugga... then chugga...... chugga...... chugga...... then chugga............ chugga............ chugga............. slower and slower. Repair man says.. sounds like you have a back up in your drain line.. it's not bad yet, but if you don't get it snaked out soon, you'll have a flood in here, not just a leak.

So now I'm waiting on the plumbers to come out and snake out my washer drain line. Isn't life wonderful?

OTOH.. the back pain from my surgery is beginning to ease. It was never really bad, just constant. And lapbanders are supposed to avoid nsaids (aleve, aspirin, motrin) if possible and tylenol just wasn't very good. I was beginning to have greater empathy for those who are in chronic pain.. it's not the degree of pain so much as it NEVER stops!!! But this morning, miraculously, it's suddenly alot better. Not gone yet.. but better. Thank You Jesus. I needed that.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Got my samples of Unjury protein powder today.

I ordered the Strawberry Sorbet, Chocolate (gotta have chocolate!!) and the chicken soup flavor to try out. Everyone says the chicken soup is really good.. so I decided to mix it in with the remains of my cream of brocoli soup. Wow.. was that good.

The chicken flavor was a little intense, so maybe next time I'll mix it with a whole can of soup instead of half a can, but otherwise it was really good.

I've been missing crackers with my soup, but lately that has dyed down a little. I did give in a few days ago and put 4 goldfish in my cream of tomato soup and let them get really soggy and then mush them up to babyfood consistency in my mouth.

I also did the same with a bite of steak this past weekend. DH was having steak and he gave me what he considered two small bites. I cut one small bite off of one of the pieces and gave the rest back to him. I chewed all the juice out of the meat.. and masticated it till it was a paste in my mouth and swallowed. No repercussions from it, but won't push my luck.

I want my band to heal well. Healing is what the 2 weeks of full liquids is all about.

I'm down to using the Darvocet (glorified tylenol) only about every 8 to 12 hours now. I do wish the doc's office had given me something stronger and will complain about it when I go back next Monday. NEVER again will I submit to elective surgery with only Darvocet as post op pain coverage. Be better to just hit myself with a stick on the head. The pain from the stick will take my mind off the surgical pain better than the Darvocet would.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Eating O' The Green

I'm wearing green for St. Patricks.. and will also eat green. Today's soup will be cream of Brocoli. yum yum.

Still on full liquids and will be until next Monday at least. I didn't call the doctor, but have discovered that if I try to eat more than about 6oz at a time .. my belly complains at me. So I think it's a good idea to stay on liquids for now.

I might have lost about 9lbs since surgery. I don't trust my home scales.. but it seems that that is what they are saying. We'll see by next week when I weigh in at the doc's.