Sunday, May 29, 2011

Plans and Reality

Now that I am aware of how this move from North Carolina to New Mexico is going to go I at least can breathe a little easier and get on with it. It’s not perfect how we have to do it, but it will work. Seems I am to stay behind a month (approximately two pay periods) to take care of the moving details. Terry will go ahead and report for work on his scheduled day of June 13. He will have to make the drive alone but he will have ample time to get there leaving June 8th or 9th.  He will have to tough it out in temporary housing.

I will be renting a PODS unit and loading it up on this end myself. The PODS people will pick the POD up, transport it to NM, and store it until we have picked out and acquired housing. I will have a garage sale on June 4th and hope to rid myself of a lot of clutter not needed. Then after that I will give anything I did not want to keep to Goodwill or Salvation Army. I am excited about having an opportunity (excuse) to purge. Even though the unit is a pretty good size (16’ by 8’ by 8’) It would not hold everything and I do not want to double the cost. In the past we have made moves where the company has arranged for and paid the movers for us. This was not a great thing to do because we dragged way too much stuff around the country. Now we have to budget and many things are just no longer needed. Of course I want to keep things like photos that are not yet scanned into digital format (a project that is worth taking on but will have to wait for after I get there). Now that we get to officially consider ourselves empty nesters (again) we do not need two thirds of what we have for our kitchen. We don’t need extra beds and furniture and I do hope to move into a smaller and easier to take care of place. More importantly I want a place that comfortably on fits two. Our children are all adults and though I adore each and every one of them I don’t really want to live with them anymore. Plus, they don’t need to live with parents and have parents disturbing there lifestyles. It isn’t right.
I am excited about the changes in our life. I get to explore a whole new part of the country and in doing so I will have much more to write about. I can’t complain about having income again either.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Anticipation is a feeling that can be fun to have or it can be dreadful to experience. Sometimes it can be a little bit of both. Knowing of our impending move across country fills me with anticipation.
First, there is the fact that I have less than two weeks to get everything ready for the move. I am still waiting for the relocation specialists to give us appointments. I expect that to happen today but one never knows what new delay can happen. I had expected to have that schedule two days ago.
Next, there is money of course. We do have the luxury of the company paying the moving bills so there is that at least. We still have to cover gas and at least one overnight but most likely two overnight stays in hotels to remain sane. I think it is wise to feed the vehicle we drive as well. Have you noticed gas prices lately? We have to feed ourselves and the pets traveling with us and adhere to a healthy diet. That will be fun. We are however, down to the wire in our bank account. We have enough to get there and to survive on but we will be very tight for about two months. It has been a long financial drought for us and all of our resources are tapped out. This job could not have come at a better time.
We have too much stuff. I want to rid myself of most of it. I feel it ties me down. To help address the money issue I will be taking advantage of a storage facility yard sale where we have much of our extraneous stuff stored. Granted much of this is stored because we have not lived in our own place for nearly two years now. Right after my husband was laid off from his job we moved in with our adult daughter. She had just purchased a house and made room for us in it. We stored about 70% of our things thinking it would just be a few months before finding another job. This turned into two years. Now I get to go through it all. Much of it we can sell and if I end the day with a few more dollars for the trip and a lot less stuff to ship I will be a happy woman. I just am not looking forward to being in the heat all day selling but it may be worth it.
Then, there is the eating healthy thing on the road. Can it be done? I am beginning to realize I have very odd eating habits. I may even have a borderline eating disorder. I would rather just have a protein drink that I have measured out and know exactly how many grams of protein and how many calories are in it, than to eat something at a restaurant.  I am picky about that protein drink too. It may be difficult to do this on the road. For three days I have agreed to try to eat real food. This scares the crap out of me. I will be stuck in a car all day long with 15 minute breaks every two hours to walk the Chihuahuas. Will this give me enough exercise to prevent gaining ten pounds? Yikes. I won’t have access to my scale either. Oh well I do know it will not kill me but again YIKES!!!!!!
I know this is going to happen; I just am not sure how it is going to happen. I can plan furiously but nothing ever quite sticks to the plan. I have books to listen to on the road. I even downloaded a couple of audiobooks my husband will enjoy. So we should be able to enjoy the trip even when we run out of things to discuss or are out of radio range. I will be relieved to get to the other side of this anticipation experience. Who wouldn't?

Monday, May 23, 2011

To Keep or not to Keep….That’s the Real Question

By the end of today I will have a move schedule for packing  and loading and then leaving. I get to think about prep right now and I have already taken a few small steps to prepare. I began of all places in the bathroom. It is time to toss all of those less than half full bottles of this and that. I am trying to use stuff up before the packers get here so I can toss the empties. I sorted through all of the hair stuff and am surprised at how much I have in the way of bands, elastics, brushes, and combs. I think most of that has to go. I experiment a lot with combs and brushes and end up with many I never use more than once or twice.
Next stop is the kitchen. The things I use the most in the kitchen are keepers of course.  I have a ton of things I haven’t nor has my husband used the whole time we have been in this home. Part of that is that this is our daughter’s house and we have been more or less extended stay guests for just shy of two years. She bought this house two years ago and we moved in using our things because our daughter is a single professional and has no kitchen items of her own at all. I will be spending this afternoon listening to an audio book and sorting through all of this stuff. There is more in storage too. Sigh!
We have living room furniture that has to go to the dump. I refuse to haul it nearly all the way across country in the state it is in. The couch and love seat has broken springs and could not support a feather much less this hardy body of mine much longer. It is definitely time to replace them and the city collectors are hauling them away on Friday. Yay!  Again, there is more unneeded furniture in storage to be addressed as well. I just don’t want to haul it over land from NC to NM. I will rid these things later this week when the DH and I go start sorting through the storage space. The things located in the rented storage space have not seen the light of day in the two years since we put them there. I barely remember what is actually there. I suspect we can divest of most of it with little pain. At least I can. There are some pictures and things I know I want to keep and some kitchen stuff I stored to keep out of harm’s way (my adult children are hard on my things). I am hoping this will be the lightest load we have ever had to move.
So wish me luck as I try to pare down what is a long life of accumulation. I hope I can let it go or be allowed to let it go since it is not all mine. The hubby is rather attached to a lot of things and we have always hauled it around. Don’t ask what these things are but there is a lot of it. LOL!

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Mexico Here We Come!

After a long two years of sending out hundreds and maybe even thousands of résumés my dear hubby finally landed a really good job. This recession we have all been experiencing has been difficult but we persevered and now we have finally gotten through it. Now our adventure begins. Health insurance comes with this adventure too. Oh boy!
We are moving to New Mexico and in less than four weeks. We have to have him there by the 13th. Fortunately, there will be movers involved and paid for by the company. Yeah!…..Yikes! I can deal. We have done this before. So, for the next week I will be organizing things to get them ready for packing. I will be going through our storage space and pitching like a mad woman. I even have the good fortune of our storage facility’s annual ‘yard’ sale happening on the 4th of June, so I might be able to sell some things and lighten the mover’s burden.
It will be so neat to go to a new place where no one will have known me as a fat woman. I will get involved with support there but outside of that I will meet people and they will all just see a somewhat normal looking person. Okay, once they get to know me they will certainly ascertain that I am far from normal but at least they won’t see me as fat. When I set up with dentists, doctors and other health care people I won’t get the dreaded eye rolling and lectures. For the first time in 30 years I will  not dread having to go get a physical, at least, not as much.
Next thing to deal with in this is a delay in finishing school. It is not that bad. I have to wait a year to get residency status to attend the college at the residency rate. I am allowed to take 6 or fewer credits hours a semester at the in-state rate so I can just take one or two classes for fall, spring and then summer and then be able to jump in full bore and take a full load beginning Fall 2012. I may be able to go right on in to the university after that year is done. There is a good degree program similar to what I was looking to complete here in NC. During that waiting period, I think I will work on learning Spanish. I have a start from taking it here in college so I might as well try to get better at it.
It is so nice to not be in limbo any longer. Now I feel I can begin to breathe again and start taking real action. I am looking forward to having new things to ponder and write about. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I Do Not Miss TV, What's With That?

A little over a month ago, my husband and I gave up television. We actually had even basic cable turned off except for our internet. I was sure it would be painful and found that it was not at all! I did want to catch up on episodes of Glee from the internet though so I went to the Fox website and sure enough the episodes I have missed were just sitting there for me to watch. The experience was not what I expected.
I used to just sit here on the couch in front of the TV and watch a show all the way through and I probably did not move other than to flip channels with the remote or to fast forward through the commercials. I found it very hard to sit through one show now. I did enjoy the episode of Glee I watched but I so wanted to get up and move around. Since it is a music show, I had on a headset so I would get the benefit of the stereo sound. I actually felt trapped. This was not nearly as much fun as I remembered TV watching to be.
Have I morphed into some kind of hyperactive creature that cannot sit still? I think I have. Normally I only sit still to read but I can put the book down when I get restless and move around to do other things and then pick it right back up anytime. Not so with a TV show it seems. It seems strange to have changed such an ingrained habit I have had all of my life in just a few short weeks. I guess now I enjoy other things so much better. Now I have more time to do other things I used to think I did not have time for. Who knew?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Waiting Game or AKA Limbo

I dislike waiting for anything. I am not a very patient person. To make matters worse I find myself waiting for several things and even though the end result will most likely be satisfactory, I just don’t like the edge of my seat feeling I am getting from this waiting.
First, I am waiting for my grades to be officially posted. I have a pretty good idea of what they are but until I see it in the actual can’t take it back transcript report in about two days from now I will absolutely drive myself crazy. I feel stuck in mud and cannot move forward. My family thinks I am a bit crazy because of this but it is my neurosis and dammit, I claim it as my own.
Second part of all this that is driving me a little crazy is, I do not know where I am going to school in the fall. I will not know for at least another week or so. My hubby has been out of work for the last two years and has had nearly zero interviews during most of that time.  Seems his industry has gotten a bit more productive and now his phone has not stopped ringing. He has interviews by phone set up with now several companies this week and two of them today alone. The locations include Utah. Oregon, New Mexico, here in NC, and Texas. Any one of these jobs would get us back on track and that is a good thing. It can take a month or more for the hiring process to complete so I feel I am limbo, not knowing where I will be living in two months and/or where to sign up for my classes. On top of that I have a great class schedule all lined up for fall right here so I do not want to drop those classes until I know what is next. I did drop my only two summer classes I had lined up though. No matter what happens, I am certain this summer will be way too crazy for school even if it is just an English and PE class. Still it breaks my heart a little to take this hiatus from classes for the summer. No matter what though, I will be back to it in the fall even if I have to pay out of state tuition.  Fortunately, for my dear hubby, he is a baby boomer and will be able to retire in just a few more years. I just want to complete my degree before he does so I can pay the bills with my degree.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Daughterhood and Motherhood

I am a daughter. My own mother is not a person I want to be around for very terrible personal reasons that no one wants to hear about. Suffice it to say I did not learn how to be a mommy from her. I do have a non biological Mom. We have not always gotten along but I did learn more about being true to one's self from her than from my own parents. I think she may have even given me the ability to be a very independent person in a way. I did get a lot from her and I am not even sure she realizes it. I have held her at a very long distance for a good many years but in a serious time of crisis many years ago she did step up and help. For that I am grateful to her. Then another person who I am not close too but wish I could have been is my late father's widow. She actually was a good step-mom to my youngest brother and I know she is special to him. When she came into the picture though I was a confused teenager and I don't think I was nice to her. Of course as a teen you don't have a real picture of the world yet though you believe that you do. I was full of opinions and beliefs that I no longer hold as life has taught me differently. And then there is my Grandmother. She was the dominant mother in my life and many of the traits I still display are due to her. I would love to believe I have the best of all three of these women and none of the less desirable traits. Maybe my flaws come from my biological mother. I know I can't be perfect but I think my best stuff is from the moms who really cared about me.
I have birthed six children and no two of them are even a bit alike. They survived my mothering somehow and are all healthy and for the most part thriving adults. Two of them have even given me lovely grandchildren. As a Mom I knew more about what not to do than about what to do. Some of the ways I chose to raise my babies came straight from my heart. I was a hands on baby cuddler. It was the best part of mothering and I enjoyed it the most. They all grew out of it though and became little people and as they grew they at varying degrees began to slip from my hugs and reach out to the world without me. I let them. Sometimes I chose to let them and other times it was out of my control completely. Either way they all found a sense of themselves and found who they were. They are all beautiful people and the ones with kids are developing new beautiful people. What more can a Mom expect from them right?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Food? What Food? I Have to Eat food?

I am not sure I would qualify as a Bariatric Bad Girl or not but since the ones I know best are asking us long timers to blog a typical day of eating I thought why not?
I should not be held up as an example of what is proper in the eating department I am not excited by food. I don’t experiment with recipes and I am not creative in the kitchen. Other than watching Alton Brown I hate cooking shows on TV.
My day starts at around 5:30 to 6 am. I have 12 ounces of a warm protein drink I make every morning before I eat or drink anything else. I also have my supplements at this time. This drink is the only creation in the kitchen I have ever come up with and I have tweaked it to perfection for my taste. I heat up 12 ounces of nonfat milk with a splash of SF vanilla syrup in the microwave. This has 12 grams of protein. After getting it to around 125 degrees, I stir in 3 or 4 packets of PurVia and two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa. I stir in one scoop of Unjury unflavored protein (20 grams protein). I top this off with canned whipped cream. This comes to under 250 calories. I am good to go with this for about 2 to 2.5 hours.
Between 7:30 and 8:30, I have breakfast and I make sure it is solid food even if I don’t feel like it. I always have one egg either scrambled or boiled. With this, I will have a piece of sausage or two slices of bacon. If that’s not available then the egg has to do.
Between 10 and 11 am, I will have a piece of fruit such as a cup of grapefruit or a banana. With it I will have either a RTD Isopure plus zero carb drink or a piece of cheese.
Around 1:30 or 2:00 I have another cocoa drink.
Around 4 pm I will have a V8 juice or an avocado. I may also have some cheese.
More often than not, I do not really eat any dinner. But, when I can I will have a piece of steak, as much as I can comfortably eat at around 6 to 7 pm. I may have a little veggie and rice with it. Or, maybe I have some chili if I have it available. But, I have to cook that and I don’t cook much. However, usually I just have another protein drink (yep the cocoa again). I make sure I have a minimum of 100 grams of protein a day.
Now to keep this honest and real, I have to let you know I am not compliant with all the rules. I will eat candy but pay for it so I don’t do it often. I will eat all kinds of treats but only small amounts lest there be a crash in my blood sugars. I drink those 5 hour energy drink things several times a week but no more than one in a day. I will buy a coke from time to time and sip from it a few ounces at a time over a week until it’s gone. (That would be a 20 ounce size and not diet.) I have given up biscuits completely because they aren’t worth the crappy feeling I get from them and other bread. I will eat crackers with cheese from time to time and I keep an emergency stash of peanut butter crackers around at all times but don’t snack on them because they are boring. They do serve a purpose though when my blood sugar tanks below 60. I am a total sucker for birthday cake and cupcakes with the piled up frosting and will eat them if they are around. I do have to deal with the consequences though and just accept it and eat it anyway. I will eat a little bit of brownie when my husband or kids make them but I don’t get too excited by them and find I can ignore them usually after a small square.
I do not choose to revolve my life around food and try to just eat what I have too to stay alive. Sugar was always my downfall and now still is but in a different way. Like many others, I have gone from being a Type II diabetic to being somewhat hypoglycemic. I eat to prevent to hypoglycemic feeling. If that didn’t happen I would not care to eat that much. As long as sugary foods are out of sight, I don’t think about having them. If they are around I will want to eat at least a little of it. My day is full of school, my dogs and homework. Food has become something I need but don’t really think about until I need it for the most part. It’s just the way I am. I don’t know what normal is but it is my new normal.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Walking for a Cause With My Dog and Friends and Other Rambling Thoughts

Yesterday I walked a 3.1 mile stretch of streets in a circuitous route here in Greensboro to raise money for The March of Dimes. This organization has been around all of my life. Its original mission was to overcome polio. Somehow that miracle happened and they took on an even more challenging mission of ending birth defects. Of course prevention is part of the solution and then treatment when they still happen is also necessary. This organization helps with research and in other areas. It was a great reason to walk.
I am a member of my school's Spanish club and some of the other members made up the team I was a part of. So the walk went very quickly since we were chatting all the way with one another. This is a good way to say goodbye to each other since it was technically our last meeting for the school year as well. They all were very nice to Loki my dog that joined me on my hike. She started out a little shy but once we got going her tail waved high behind her and she smiled all the way. She is a little thing. She weighs about 15 pounds and is half Chihuahua and half something else, possibly Italian Greyhound. Her vet calls her a 'fiest' or a squirrel dog which is a breed of dog common in the mountains of the Carolinas and West Virginia for hunting small game such as well, squirrels. It is not a breed recognized by the AKC. But when I adopted her I was led to believe she is a Chihuahua but it is clear she is not pure bred. So my youngest daughter dubbed her a 'Faux'huahua. Whatever she actually is doesn't really matter because she is my gentle little energetic Loki. When I get to do another walk of some kind I think she will be my companion from now on.
After the walk I dropped Loki off at home and then met my group at a Mexican restaurant. I enjoy the atmosphere of being in a restaurant with a group of friends and or family, however, I don't enjoy trying to figure out what to order and eat. I got lucky because the young man to my left had already gotten his plate (I was late because of getting mixed up in the directions) and his plate was filled with exactly the kind of food I can and like to eat so I ordered it as well. When my food arrived I had a sizzling plate of enough food to feed a small country. Then the second part of the dinner arrived with it. Oh well I ate what I could of it and packed up about 85 to 90% percent of it and took it home. My hubby of course was delighted to get a whole meal brought home for him. He got to it while I was in the shower before I could portion a bit more out to save for today. No biggie. What I did eat was delish and maybe I will order it again sometime with the hubby and just eat some and have him eat the rest. That doesn't usually work though because he likes to order different foods than I so he can have more later. So much for my being a cheap date. We don't go out to eat together much anymore anyway since I finally convinced him I don't enjoy eating out.
On this week's agenda, I am finishing up my semester. I have finals and final projects to turn in. Then I can turn my attention to planning my summer. I did decide to not attend school during this summer. I hope to get a job through the temp agency and work through the summer and then get back to classes in the fall. Another plan percolating in my head is to drive across country and stop at various relatives places for a couple of days at a time and then move to the next. I even mapped out a route and figured out the gas cost and everything. I just don't know if it is possible. I know it would be fun for me. I am not sure how much my family would enjoy me just dropping in and spending a couple of days with my three little dogs in tow. Still an adventure for the summer would be fun and it would give me stuff to write about. Hmmmmmm.............