Monday, November 28, 2011

The Old and the New

There seems to be this unspoken feeling that new editions of a given item are an improvement over the old.  And sometimes this is very true.  But more often, there is a trade off on features.  Some that we like may not be continued on the new item and others that offer us better options or functions are added.

I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when I upgraded my cell phone.  I was anxious to be done with my RIM Blackberry.  This company has had some innovative ideas but they seem to focus more on the businessman than the casual user.  It was sort of slow, the interfaces were boring and there weren't many apps, or not as many "fun" apps available.  I love my new Android phone and it is so much more readable to my old eyes.  It is even smart enough to conserve its battery and shut down when I'm not using it.  But I have to admit that I miss the little light that used to tell me if I had new email or a new message without turning the whole phone on.  And I'm still figuring out how to deal with the email rules on the new phone.

So, I definitely like the switch, but it was not without a few (minor) sacrifices.  And those are no big deals except for my expectation that I would get a lot of new features without giving up any of the old.  It's a bit like the "motherism" of "Appreciate what you have.  You'll miss it when it's gone."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Red Days

A lot has been written about the start of our Christmas season.  It is slowly starting sooner and sooner each year.  Thanksgiving gets pushed aside and lost in the shuffle.  Except for food, there is not much shopping surrounding Thanksgiving so merchents seem to slide from Halloween to Christmas preparations. And now, even Black Friday shopping is part of the creep.  This year stores seemed to be competing over who could open the earliest for Black Friday sales!

Call me old fashion (or maybe just old), but I like the way it was.  I was reminded while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year that the parade was a celebration of Thanksgiving itself and only at the end did Santa arrive to usher in the Christmas season.  Four weeks is plenty of time for the hype and preparations.  If we can't accomplish it in that time, perhaps we are making too much of this commercialized holiday.

More importantly though, we need to dig out our holiday garb.  You know....those Christmas shirts and sweaters that we love but truly can only wear for four weeks of each year!  I have a large collection of red.  Now, I know that I can wear red other times of the year, except for the ones with pointsettas or other decorations.  And February gives us a chance to wear red for Valentine's Day.  But, these are truly The Red Days!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Quick Blogging Thoughts and the Pirate Quilt

I still watch the stats for this blog.  I still (in almost a year) have yet to receive my first comment.  But one thing I have noticed is that my pirate quilt gets the bulk of the hits and searches.  So, I'm thinking:  What if I name each entry "Pirate Quilt" and then a consecutive number?  Just kidding - but apparently that is quite a draw.  Who would have guessed??

Secondly, I like to limit my posts to one per day, but sometimes I will have a bunch of ideas for posts, but try to hold back to spread out the publication.  By the time the next day comes around either I don't have an opportunity to post or just forget to write.  But, google in their wisdom has allowed me to schedule posts!  So now I can post my heart out and just schedule them each a day apart.  Thank you Google!

I've also discovered that even a hot number like "pirate quilt" comes up differently on different search engines.  I haven't devoted the time yet to figure out why my posts show up better on some search engines rather than others.  Perhaps that's a task for a long, cold, middle of winter day. 

So, for all you people who came to THIS post looking for my pirate quilt, sorry....try here.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Daytime TV

Here's a story I often told my boys when they were glued to the TV.  When I was growing up we had one TV.  It was only turned on after dinner.  We only had three channels and my parents decided what we were going to watch.  I was welcomed to join them, but they were in control of the programs.  When there was a special children's show that I was interested in they would turn that on, and my opinion was sometimes asked, but the ultimate TV decisions were made by my parents.  There was no DVR.  Everyone had to decide on one program and if you missed it, you had to wait for the reruns at the end of the season.  The only time I watched daytime TV was when I was sick or when there was a major news event like the launch of a spaceship or the assassination of a president.  Period.

I still don't watch daytime TV as a rule and a TV on in an empty room or when a group of people are visiting still drives me a little crazy.  But lately when I sew I've turned on the TV to have something to listen to.  And, I haven't missed much.  My life is not less rich for those years without daytime TV.  There are basically four kinds of daytime TV:

  1.   News shows - or sort of news shows.  Most of them are more like news magazines because lets face it, how much news REALLY happens?  And how much hype can you put on those happenings?
  2. Soap Operas - I don't even bother.  Too much to follow when I'm sewing.
  3. Talk shows -  These are basically a host trying to express outrage at people who are yelling at each other on the show. OR they have a group of people all talking at once over each other and making it really impossible to figure out what anyone is saying (ie: The View)
  4. Judge shows - Basically a judge trying to express outrage at people with mostly silly complaints. Honestly, these cases are almost unbelievable....but entertaining and the perfect compliment to sewing.
Here's what I've learned from my sporadic daytime TV watching:
  • If you accept a gift from a man he will think you like him and maybe even that your relationship with him is exclusive and when he finds out that it's not and you don't he will take you to Judge Judy or Judge Alex for leading him on.
  • Some defendants will plan there defense according to Google information on the judge's sexual orientation.
  • When parenting gets out of control, there are always judges to explain to your offspring that they are adults and DO need to pay you back.
  • And most of all, I've learned that Regis and Kelly really have been a bright spot in the dismal land of daytime TV.  I watched his last show and he will truly be missed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

133 Has Arrived!

I'm starting to see 133 pounds now and again on the scale!  As always, it's not consistent, but 135 seems to have been banished!  I'm very glad for the change since I feel like I'm approaching a dangerous phase of weight loss.  First of all, I've lost enough weight to feel good about the process and a bit like I've "arrived".  And indeed I HAVE arrived at the first goal, but not the ultimate weight loss goal.  But the feeling of accomplishment can make me less vigilant about the quality and quantity of my intake and cause a small backslide of sorts.  Actually an occasional look into those dressing room mirrors that always make me feel fat is a good thing about now to keep me motivated to continue to lose. Secondly, we're entering into the cold weather here.  There are two problems with winter weather:  I'm naturally less active and the cold seems to make one craze heavier, richer foods.  I also shy away from cold foods in the winter like fruit out of the refrigerator or salads.  I want to put something warm into my stomach on cold days.  So I'm not doing too well on the vegetable front lately.  I need to come up with some way to eat vegetables that is not a salad but is still healthy.  And perhaps I can counter the lower activity with a little time on my husband's treadmill.  I'm hoping to keep the momentum going through the next year.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Diet Blahs

It's time that I write about my dieting again.....which is sort of boring even to me.  On the good side, I'm not gaining weight.  On the bad side...I'm not sure that I'm still losing.  If I am, it is incredibly slow; too slow to be motivating.  I'm a fan of slow weight loss.  I truly believe that the best way to lose weight is through lifestyle changes and that it takes time for those changes to become established and add up to pounds lost.  And I know that I've made significant improvement in my overall health over the past 10 months.  But when I look in the mirror, particularly when I try on clothes, I see an overweight body.  Now, let me just say that I've always wondered why I look bigger in the dressing room.  It's as if those mirrors are from the carnival house and you would think that a dressing room would want you to look better, not worse.

I've read over some old posts about my dieting (and this, in truth was one of the reasons I started to have an account of this journey) and I was reminded about a few things.  I mentioned early on that 100 calories a day will equal 1 pound a month.  I think I've forgotten the importance of saying no to the "little nibble".   At first I reminded myself to only eat if I'm hungry.  That may sound basic, but sometimes I get so caught up in eating my 2 fruits or 2 vegetables that I forget that if I'm not hungry, just skip them.  If I AM hungry - go for the healthy food.  But even healthy food eaten when your not hungry is unhealthy.  I also need to get better about throwing food away.  We tend to accumulate leftovers and I somehow feel obligated to eat them.  The problem isn't the calories.  I don't overeat on leftovers, but it leaves me eating the same thing for days in a row which makes me want to add variety with something unhealthy.  I freeze what I can, but I have a hard time throwing perfectly good food away just because I don't want it.  I really need to get over that, but that is a pretty deep seated practice established when I was growing up and reinforced during my "poor days".  It's an area where I need to find balance.

So, I'm holding at 135 with an occasional reading of 134.  This is on my new scale, so if I was to compare that to the old readings, I would be right around the 131/130 area.  I'm only a few pounds from my original goal and I would love to get there by the year's end.  Realistically, we have the holidays sitting in the way and the winter season tends to be more sedentary, but I think if I keep just a few basics in mind, I can stay on track.