Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas

Talked with Mom last night, and we decided it would probably be best if I stayed here for Christmas, since it would be such a long drive for such a short visit. I'm still on the Rice Diet, so I'll have Christmas dinner at the Rice House. I'm glad to be staying the course on my diet, but a little sad about not seeing Mom and Dad for Christmas. I will spend more time with George, who has agreed to join me for the Rice House Christmas dinner and church festivities.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Update

I ran in the Reindeer Romp 5K in Cary, NC, yesterday. Although I didn't improve my time like I'd hoped, I finished in about 52 minutes, not bad for me. It was a fun race, and my buddy Stephanie ran with me, which made it even more fun! It was a beautiful morning, to boot.

My niece, Laura, found out on Thursday that she got into Duke! I'm so excited for her! Looking forward to seeing her more, too.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Fun weekend

George and I had a wonderful day on Saturday, celebrating my birthday a little late. We started out at Doc Green's, a gourmet salad restaurant near Southpoint Mall, for lunch. After some window shopping at Lane Bryant and Omega Sports, I went to a nearby nail salon for a manicure and pedicure while George went next door to get his hair cut. George came back to visit with me while my nails were being done, and surprised me by paying for my spa-like treatment! Later, we went over to Southpoint Mall and had dinner at Firebirds Rocky Mountain Grill, where I had a yummy salmon dish cooked to order (the Rice Diet way). Afterward, we went to see the movie, "The Holiday," which was right cute!

It was a movie weekend, as we went to see the Borat movie Friday night. It was hilarious in spots, just crude in others! I'm glad we went to see it, though, as I'd been curious about it.

Yesterday, we joined George's brother and sister-in-law, as well as his mother, at the North Carolina Museum of Art, to celebrate my birthday too. :) We went to see the Monet in Normandy exhibit, which was wonderful! Afterward, I'd missed the lunch hours at the Rice House, so George's mom took us to lunch at the Applebee's in Raleigh, where I was able to get a salmon dish cooked to order again. I've come to love salmon!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Another 5K

I've signed up for another 5K road race, this one in Cary on December 16. It's called the New Balance Reindeer Romp, proceed of which will go to Girls on the Run of the Triangle. Since I'm up to 75 minutes on the elliptical, I'm hoping my endurance is better, and I know I'm a little lighter. I'm excited at the possiblity of improving my time.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Last weekend

George and I spent some extra time at our church, Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (which we call ERUUF for short), last weekend, as our new lead minister was installed. It was interesting to be a part of the celebration, which included a number of guest speakers. I was especially impressed by one lady in particular, Ginnie Courter, who is the current moderator of the Unitarian Universalist Association. She was very well spoken, energetic, funny, and sharp. I would love to have someone like her for a mentor.

We went to a panel discussion of 4 people on Saturday night on Unitarian Universalism Today and Tomorrow. The panel included not only the lady mentioned above, but the last lead minister of ERUUF as well. It was nice to meet him. The installation service was Sunday afternoon, followed by a reception. The food looked great, but I stuck to fresh fruit, which was tasty too.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Birthday

I had a really nice birthday, especially considering it was a Monday, and dinner was at the Rice House. I had a good visit with Mom and Dad, who brought cards and a couple of presents when they met me at the Rice House. Mom had already taken me clothes shopping a few days ago, when I got several cute items in the next size smaller!

Lisa and Craig sent a new iPod my way via Mom and Dad (who went to San Fransisco for Thanksgiving)! It's red and cute as a button! Craig and Marion loaded some songs on there already, over 1700! A lot of the music is right on, and some of it I've never heard before!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Tis the Season

I pulled down my Christmas card boxes this morning before I left for work, and put them on my breakfast table. I'm excited about doing Christmas cards this year, for some reason! I feel this need to reconnect with folks.

Meanwhile, today is my birthday. My parents are meeting me at the Rice House for dinner. I miss being taken out for my birthday, but it's not about the food, right?

Today I brought some dip and crackers (along with cute little Christmas plates) into work for everyone. Folks seem to like it. I just felt like helping folks cheer up on a cold Monday morning. Okay, so maybe a little bit of it was throwing myself a birthday party, without people knowing it's my birthday! A little strange, perhaps.

My old pal Angela called and left me a Happy Birthday message this morning! I can't wait to call her back later!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Weightloss Milestone

At check-in this morning, I lost 2.1 pounds and a total of 50.2 pounds since I started the Rice Diet! Woohoo! The past couple of weeks on the scales have been a little strange, so I'm glad to have made some good progress at last.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Cravings-Hotdogs

Recently, I saw a TV show about a hotdog restaurant (shaped like a hotdog!) in rural Colorado that has quite a reputation in the area. I think the show was on the Travel Channel, but may have been on the Food Network channel. Anyway, hotdogs are one thing I miss, being on the Rice Diet. They're meat, for starters, and the Rice Diet is a vegan diet. And then there's the sodium issue; hotdogs have lots of sodium!




The show got me thinking about some favorite hotdog places in my past. The first one that comes to mind is the Varsity in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, known for their orange drinks as well as the hotdogs! My favorites were the chili cheese dog and a frosted orange. I also remember all the TV screens, and being impressed that the employees could remember (sometimes complicated) customer orders to shout to their co-workers assembling the dogs.




The other favorite hot dog joint is a place called Yum Yum's, in the College Hill district of Greensboro, NC, near the UNC-G campus. Pretty unassuming on the outside, the hotdogs inside are good and inexpensive, and their ice cream is also yummy! (My favorite flavor was lemon custard.) I enjoyed grabbing a bite there while on campus.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Postcrossing

I checked my email today and learned that my first Postcrossing postcard sent has arrived in Germany! Pretty neat! Postcrossing is a worldwide postcard exchange coordinated on a website. It appealed to my love of travel and the penpals I used to have as a kid. Seems like a fun idea.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Back to work

I'm back at work today, with much to do! I guess that's the price I pay for being on vacation for a few days!

Thanksgiving Day was good. George joined me for lunch at the Rice House, then we went to visit his family in Cary.

Saturday, we went to the Duke-UNC football game, which Duke lost by 1 point! The final score, 45-44.

I tried some different approaches to exercise while on vacation, mostly walking in different locations. It was refreshing to get outside later in the week and get a change of scenery while exercising. I enjoyed being back in the gym this morning at my usual time, and that let me know that the change of routine was good for me.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ahhh, Vacation

It's a great feeling to be on Day #2 of vacation at home. I'm still getting things done around the apartment, but am enjoying a different schedule. My car is fixed now (big relief), and I've done some cleaning. Tomorow I may do some shopping. Taking it easy, though. Will continue to get my exercise in, hopefully a little extra. It's such a relief to be able to take it easy for a bit.

The only downside is that George is sick. :-(

Monday, November 20, 2006

Vacation Day

I'm off work today, but was up at my usual time to get ready to take my car to the dealership for repair. It turned out to be a faulty tumbler in the ignition. (My key was stuck in the ignition, couldn't get it out.) I was out around 10 AM, $160 poorer. Could've been worse, but could've been better.

George is also off today, but he's sick. :-( Hope he's all better soon!

It's going to be a cool and cloudy few days ahead, but I do have several books I've been wanting to finish. Looking forward to lots of R & R this week.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Fun party

George and I had a fun party last night, with 5 guests in all--a nice size for my apartment. Amy, Steph, Melissa, Mitch, and his finacee Katherine were there. (I'd never met Katherine, so it was nice to meet her.) We played a couple of games, Imaginiff and Scrabble. Imaginiff was a new game for me, and a fun one.

I tried three new recipes for the party, a salsa with interesting ingredients (including black-eyed peas), vegetarian chili, and an easy pimento cheese (few ingredients and easy to spiff up). I also got a veggie tray, and George got fruit, Ruby Tuesday sampler plates, nuts, chocolate, and drinks. It turned out to be quite a spread, with a good bit left over. I was glad we had enough food, though!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Getting more social

George and I decided to try to organize a games night/afternoon this weekend at my place, so here's great motivation to get my place in order. I'm also thinking about what kind of food to serve, being on the Rice Diet! At least this way I have some control over the food and can make sure there's something I can eat. I'll do a veggie tray for sure, maybe cook some (veggie) chili. Sweets, dunno. (Maybe fruit?) Chips, dunno. Drinks--sodas, alcohol? Maybe some wine. I want to keep it low key and not about the food, but I want to be a good hostess as well!

At any rate, I'm looking forward to having some people over and being a host/hostess along with George! I think it'll be fun!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Working on my apartment

Lately, I've been wanting to make my apartment a more comfortable place to be, both for myself and for entertaining. What I'm mainly working on now is cleaning and decluttering. Since time is short these days, especially with the Rice Diet and the extra exercise time, I'm doing what I can, knowing that every little bit helps. Sometimes, before I start, I try to look at my place through different eyes, try to get a different perspective.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What a Difference a Day Makes

Well, I definitely feel better than I did yesterday afternoon! I was getting a little down, then had an odd experience at the Rice House. But after talking with George some and relaxing a bit at home, I felt better!

I've had a good weight loss week on the Rice Diet, and that's been encouraging! I've lost 46 lbs so far, and still going strong.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Where is my life going?

I find myself getting more and more pensive about where my life is going, where I want my life to go, who I want to be. Some of my thoughts about it all make me happy and hopeful, while others make me feel a little sad. Making changes in my life can be both invigorating and scary, exciting and sad. What should I do?

Weekend

Had a pretty busy weekend, but a pretty good one. Saturday, George and I went to visit Papa and Bubby, and ended up having dinner with them. (Bubby cooked yummy salmon!) We dropped by to see Tina and Barry before going home.

Last night, I went to the Duke-Columbia basketball game, Duke's first of the season. They played well, and won pretty handily. It was fun to see the young Duke team in action!

I may some progress on cleaning my place, but didn't get as much reading done as I'd hoped.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Catching up

Mom and I had a fun time shopping on Saturday. I got three new items that were all a size smaller than what I've been wearing for several years! Yippee! Now, not everything I tried on was a good fit in the smaller size, but I was happy that some smaller things fit well.

Tomorrow evening, I'm meeting up with a couple of ladies who are wanting to get back into running too. We're going to meet at Whole Foods and go from there. I talked to Tayler on the phone over the weekend, and she sounded nice. She lives in Chapel Hill,and Denise lives in Raleigh. Looking forward to meeting both of them.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Weekend Plans

Tomorrow, Mom and I plan to go shopping. Tomorrow evening, George and I plan to go to the Duke-NC Central basketball game. Should be fun!

The Rice Diet is still going well. This week marks the beginning of my 4th month on the Program! I'm still exercising for an hour every morning before breakfast and work, and feeling so much better between the diet and the exercise! I'm relieved to be off of both insulin and blood pressure medicine.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Mountains

George and I had a fun time in the mountains this past weekend! We stayed in Hendersonville, and explored part of the state west of Asheville, down to Cherokee. We drove around Cherokee a little, stopped at a delightful park for lunch (at the recommendation of a man at the Visitors Center), and visited the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. It's a pretty touristy town, but I enjoyed it, nonetheless. Out of curiosity, we also drove into downtown Sylva, a quaint little town. George and I also enjoyed gem mining at Broad River Gem Mining, both on the way down and on the way back.

I miss that we didn't go on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but there just wasn't enough time. Perhaps next trip!

Although we'd planned to be away Friday to Sunday, Friday was a wash-out, rainy day, so we changed our reservations to Saturday-Monday. That worked out fine.

I took my Rice Diet meals with me, and boy, did I get tired out eating out of styrofoam! I'm glad I did it, though. I lost 2.5 lbs while I was gone! George took some healthy food from home as well, and I appreciated his company and support in eating. One night, we did go out to eat at China Palace in Asheville. I got steamed rice and vegetables, and the dish was yummy. It was nice to be served on china, to boot!

We saw some pretty scenery, and I took a number of pictures! I'll post them soon.

George and I make good travel partners, and I'm glad of that!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Going on vacation

Eventhough it's Thursday, today is my Friday at work! George and I are leaving for our long weekend vacation together after breakfast in the morning. We'd planned to go to the Outer Banks, but we're going to the NC mountains instead. We made reservations last night at our favorite hotel in Hendersonville, NC, and we're really looking forward to getting away together.

It'll be my first trip since starting the Rice Diet. I'm planning to take Rice Diet meals for the whole weekend. That'll make the food issue easy for me, but not so easy for George. We'll figure something out.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Preparing to Cook

Eventhough I'm still going to the Rice House for my Rice Diet meals, I find myself collecting recipes for things I'll be able to prepare and eat once I'm done at the Rice House. It's been an interesting search, and I'm looking forward to becoming a better cook. I've found quite a few cookbooks on Amazon.com that I'd love, but I'll have to choose! Perhaps I'll head to Barnes and Noble or Borders and actually take a look.

Meanwhile, I've started collecting yummy-looking recipes from various websites, and cutting/pasting them onto a couple of online cookbook websites, MyCookbook, and more recently, DesktopCookbook. Since I signed up for MyCookbook several years ago, they've added a limit to the number of recipes you can add, and now call that a free basic membership. To add more, I'd have to pay. I was glad to find DesktopCookbook, and am taking advantage of their resources now.

Dinner out

Supper at Bistro 64 went well last night. The salmon, steamed veggies and potatoes were all yummy, eventhough there was no seasoning! I enjoyed visiting with everyone, and Tina and Bubby were especially complimentary of how I look. The encouragement was nice. :-) The only downside was that we didn't get our entrees until after 9:00. I was relieved that I still lost .2 lbs when I got on the scales this morning.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Still hanging in there

So far, being insulin-free is going well! My blood sugars have ranged from 89 to 101, falling pretty close to normal. As I continue to lose weight, those numbers should improve. I'm amazed at how the Rice Diet and exercise have trasnformed my diabetes! And I'm thrilled to be free of injections for now. I'm glad to know I can self-inject when needed, but I really appreciate being able to take a break from it. I won't be taking my health for granted any time soon!

The official results from Saturday's Autism Ribbon Run were posted, and my gun time was 50:42, though my chip time was 50:09. I put myself near the back of the pack, as I know I'd get off to a slower start than most. The chip time started when I actually crossed the starting line., where the gun time started when the race started. My pace per mile was 16 minutes, 19 seconds.

The race was a pretty fun experience, and I'll likely run it again. The weather was great, and I liked the finish line, which was a decline for the last bit. There was a sign that read, 1/4 MILE TO GO. When I saw that, I noticed I could see the finish line ahead, and I was able to finish in a trot. :-) Timmy the Termidor Bug, about 6 feet of fur, was there at the finish line to give me a high five. LOL

I did miss hearing split times at the mile markers, especially since I didn't wear a watch. (Next time, I'll try to remember to wear one.)

My time in this 5K was 6 minutes faster than my last 5K back in April. Yay! Now I want to look for another 5K to work toward.

Thursday, I'm joining George's family at a favorite restaurant in Cary, NC, Bistro 64, formerly the Cosmopolitan. When I received the news from George about the family gathering, I was concerned that I might not be able to go because of my Rice Diet. I found the chef's address on the website, and emailed him yesterday about my dilemma. We've exchanged a couple of emails now, and he's been very accomodating! He's going to whip up some salmon, steamed vegetables and plain potatoes. I'm looking forward to seeing George's family and enjoying a meal out with them.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Another 5K Under My Belt!

I finished the Autism Ribbon Run in Raleigh on Saturday in 50 minutes, 45 seconds, 6 minutes faster than my last 5K back in April! I'm jazzed about the progress, and now I want to find another 5K to stretch toward.

Today is my first day of trying to go without insulin, but oral meds instead for my diabetes. (This is with the doctor's approval, of course!) I'm hoping things go well.

Friday, October 13, 2006

5K Road Race Tomorrow

I'm participating in the Autism Ribbon Run in Raleigh tomorrow morning. It'll be my first 5K since the Cary Road Race back in April, which I finished in 56 minutes, 45 seconds. I was the very last one to cross the finish line in that one. I'm shooting for improving my time in the race tomorrow, that's the most important thing to me. If I'm not last, that will be icing on the cake.

It's supposed to be cold in the morning! I'll have to warm up carefully.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

American Cities That Best Fit Me

According to a quiz I took on Blogthings this morning, Honolulu and Miami tie as the best US cities for me. I could live with either one! The quiz asked questions about various things like work, weather, transportation, and learning and fitness opportunities. I wouldn't call the quiz incredibly scientific, but kinda fun, nonetheless. I think I'd enjoy any of the cities that made my list.

American Cities That Best Fit You:
65% Honolulu
65% Miami
60% Austin
60% San Diego
55% Atlanta

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I'm a Joiner

I decided to join a local running club called the Carolina Godiva Track Club, and see where it leads. At the least, the monthly newsletters will offer some more information than I already have, especially about running at the local level. The club sponsors several weekly group training runs in the area, but right now the distance and pace of all the runs are out of my league. That tells me how far I have to go before I'm where I want to be, fitness-wise, which is a little mind-boggling right now. Oh, I know I'm making progress, but the carrot is still dangling pretty far ahead of me.

I have decided to do another 5K road race this weekend, the Autism Ribbon Run in Raleigh. I think that running in more local races will help me get to know other local runners, in addition to the running club. I've eyed several November races, and think I might try to do a 5K every month or so. Perhaps that's ambitious...we'll see how Saturday's race goes! When I participated in the Cary Road Race last April, it took me the rest of the weekend to recover, and I was sore into the following week. This weekend, I've got too much to do! Saturday night, George and I are joining our ERUUF Covenant Group to make and serve dinner at the homeless shelter. Sunday afternoon, George and I are meeting friends at the North Carolina State Fair.

From the Vault: Trip to Virginia, October 2004

This is one of my favorite pictures of George. We were visiting Natural Bridge, Virginia, in October of 2004, and stopped to take a break on a hike. It was a fun trip, which included sights around Lexington, VA, as well.

George and I enjoy travelling together. Later this month, we plan to go to the Outer Banks to celebrate our fourth anniversary. Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 09, 2006

Weekend activities

Saturday night, George and I went to the Varsity Theatre in Chapel Hill, and saw the movie, "The Science of Sleep." I didn't recognize any of the actors, but it was nice to see some fresh faces. It was an interesting movie, not one I'd see again, but glad I saw it once. And it was a nice date night with George.

Most of the rest of the weekend, I exercised and relaxed. On Saturday I exercised twice, and overdid it a bit. Did lighter workouts yesterday and this morning to let my muscles catch up a little.

George and I enjoyed some down time together as well. With a busy week ahead, it was nice to chill out together.

Last evening I rented and watched "The Pelican Brief." It's one of my favorite repeat movies. I like the Denzel Washington-Julia Roberts combo, the scenes of New Orleans, and the fact that it's a John Grisham story. I haven't kept up with Grisham's later works, but I really enjoyed his earlier books.

Friday, October 06, 2006

From the Vault: Sliding Rock, North Carolina

This picture of me was taken in May 2004 by George during our Memorial Day trip to the North Carolina mountains. I like this picture because it really shows off Sliding Rock, a natural waterslide in a cold, cold creek! It's a state recreational area in Pisgah National Forest, equipped with two lifeguards at the bottom (in a lifequard stand) and a changing area with restrooms. I remember going to Sliding Rock as a camper in Brevard. It is a lot of fun, though I remember adjusting to the cold water a lot more quickly as a child.

George and I return to the North Carolina mountains at least once a year. We just love it! Posted by Picasa

Plateau

I've hit a plateau with the weight loss, three days at the same weight! Rats! I talked with the doctor at the Rice Diet about it, and he said not the worry about it. My blood sugars are looking good, so I need to keep doing what I'm doing. He said it's probably not about the weight, but water retention, wearing heavier clothes, something like that. It's really frustrating, but I'm going to hang in there.

In other news, the Duke football team is playing against the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa tomorrow. I'm not even sure if Dad and Mom are going.

It's a rainy day here in Durham. Would love to be curled up on the couch next to George, with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate right now!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Good appointment

I enjoyed my appointment with the dietician yesterday. Her office was in the Endocrinology Clinic over in Duke South, which was convenient to work, and made sense long-term. I enjoyed telling her about the Rice Diet and showing her my weight loss results and blood work. Turns out she is also a certified diabetes educator. She had some good ideas about nutritional label reading and eating out, among other things. I would like to have another appointment with her later, after I've left the Rice Diet.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Learning better nutrition

This afternoon, I have an appointment with a Registered Dietician. The appointment was made before I started the Rice Diet, but I decided to go ahead and keep the appointment. Things I've read about diabetic health care suggest including a nutritionist or dietician on your health care team. Eventhough I know what I'm eating for the forseeable future, I'd like to meet with a dietician and see what it's like. It would be nice to develop a professional relationship with someone who can give good nutritional advice.

I was just looking at the American Dietetic Association website, and it's can be challenging to go through an accredited dietetic program in college, at least for the science-challenged like me! Several science courses required, not surprising. In a way I wish I could do it, though, take the courses and all. I've become much more interested in the chemistry of food and how it affects the body and health, since landing in the hospital back in July. Thankfully, the internet has lots of information, but that can also be a bad thing!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Happy Birthday, Chubby Checkers!

Today is Chubby Checker's birthday! He's 65 years old. In honor of his famous song, "The Twist," here's a list of songs (in no particular order) that make me happy when I hear them:




1. "The Twist," by Chubby Checkers


2. "Crocodile Rock," by Elton John


3. "September," by Earth, Wind, and Fire


4. "Old Days," by Chicago


5. "Your Smiling Face," by James Taylor


6. "Mockingbird," by Carly Simon and James Taylor


7. "Joy to the World," by Three Dog Night


8. "Dancing in the Streets," by Martha and the Vandellas


9. "Respect," by Aretha Franklin


10. "New Attitude," by Patti LaBelle

11. "Pink Cadillac" by Aretha Franklin

Monday, October 02, 2006

Cross country trail

Yesterday after dinner at the Rice House, I walked on the Duke Cross Country Trail for half an hour. It's soooo pretty there, lots of trees, a creek, and woodland sounds. It's a 5K trail in Duke Forest, which also goes by part of the Duke Golf Course at the Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club. I'm looking forward to being able to run the whole thing. There are some good hills on the course, a great workout and training for 5K and 10K road races.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Football

It was a beautiful day for a football game! I LOVE fall weather, and it was a wonderful day, weather-wise, here in Durham. But alas, it was not a pretty day on the Duke football field. The Belue Devils lost by 37 points. :-( I feel like one day the program will find the winning ticket, but Duke is now 0-3. Not there yet.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Weekend plans

Mom dropped off 2 extra tickets to the Duke-UVA football game that she and Dad won't be using tomorrow. I'd planned to stay close to home and clean tomorrow, but going to the game, for a while anyway, sounds like a nice way to spend part of the afternoon. The weather forecast looks great! Dad says that while the University of Virginia is expected to win, the spread is only 6 points, so we'll see how Duke does.

George and I will probably explore apartments in the area Sunday afternoon, after going to church at ERUUF in the morning.

Meanwhile, I need to continue working on my own apartment. I'm on a mission to clear the clutter, seen and unseen. (I must include clutter in the closets and drawers....that counts too! If I have to pack or toss it come next June when I move, I'm wanting to get a head start on it now.)

One Size Fits All

Last night, Mom brought me a nightshirt she bought me on their recent trip to Las Vegas. The tag inside said, "One Size Fits All." Well, guess what. I tried it on after she left, and it sure doesn't fit me yet! It's tight from my chest to my tail. *sigh* I'm so looking forward to being able to fit into normal clothes, and shop at normal stores rather than plus size stores.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Food obsession?

Okay, I think I've gotten a little obsessed with food.

Eventhough I'm still on the Rice Diet, and eating my meals at the Rice House, I've been scanning the web for area restaurants online, to see if there's anything I'll be able to eat once I'm away from the Rice House. I get a kick out of finding menus online. Asian restaurants may be my best bet overall, since several offer steamed rice as well as steamed vegetables. Today I looked up the menu for Red Robin, which is new to Durham. I used to enjoy the nearby High Point location a lot when I lived in Greensboro. Now, Red Robin is known for their burgers. I did find a grilled salmon burger on the menu, which could be interesting. There's also a veggie burger, and a vegetarian rice bowl dish on the entree side.

I am planning to eat at home most of the time, so I'm collecting recipes when I can. There are a lot of recipes out there on the internet, so I'm leaning heavy toward vegetarian and vegan ideas. One website I discovered today is My Vegetarian Recipe of the Day. I saw a yummy looking veggie jambalaya recipe on there, which I saved to an online cookbook I've created at My Cookbook on the internet. I've also added some low-sodium and veggie cookbooks to my wishlist on Amazon, so that I can remember the cookbooks I've come across that look good to me. I'm really looking forward to honing my cooking skills.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Next goal hit!

This morning at Rice Diet check-in, I found out I'm down 30 lbs! I'm excited about that, especially since, added to the weight I lost before I started the Rice Diet, I'm now down 50 lbs. Funny, I don't really see that much loss when I look at myself, but the scales don't lie. Some of my clothes are getting looser, but not enough to buy new clothes yet. One would think I'd be there already, but I bet the fact that most of my clothes are "stretchy" has something to do with it.

I got some extra sleep last night, and it's amazing how much more refreshed I feel today. George is on a kick to get to bed earlier on a regular basis, and I think he's on to something.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Food cravings

I was just reading the most recent journal entry for Steve Vaught, the man who walked across America last year to lose weight. He's back home now, and in his online journal entry from last week, he talks about how eating comfort food now makes you "feel better" in the short term, while eating responsibly doesn't always have that immediate "feel good" physical response. That's something I need to deal with as I cope with daily weigh-ins at the Rice House. The scales may not always do what I'd like, even with staying on the program and exercising. I need to keep the end goal in mind, even when that seems a long way away.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Rosh Hashanah

This morning, George and I joined his family at the synagogue in Raleigh for Rosh Hashanah. We didn't stay for the whole service, but got there in time for part of the readings, the blowing of the shofar, and the sermon. The new rabbi's sermon message was very good, and was a good speaker.

We enjoyed spending time with George's family Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Friday night was for supper, and I took my Rice Diet food with me, heated it up there and put it on the plate. Saturday afternoon was a lunch affair, but we hit it after everyone had eaten, but before anyone had left. Just right for me! It was great to visit with everyone.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Food choices

I received an email post from a Yahoo health-related group I belong to, and the poster mentioned that she was eating Chick-Fil-A while composing her email. It was interesting that she mentioned it and said she could eat anything she wanted, as long as it was in moderation. That statement made me realize how my thought processes have changed in the last six weeks. I used to agree with that sentiment, but I don't anymore. There are some foods that are triggers for me. I don't think I could eat just a little bit of some foods, so I'd rather just avoid them whenever possible now! Of course, I'm still eating at the Rice House, which makes it easier for now. Later, though, I think I'll be trying to stay away from meat and dairy as much as possible, and sweets and desserts--just don't need them! Not worth the calories. If I'm in a social situation where I have to eat something or somewhere I wouldn't pick myself, I'll just make the best choices I can, and eat at my new normal the rest of the time.

I'm looking at the Chick-Fil-A website now, and the nutritional information is enlightening! The classic chicken sandwich with a wheat bun 1370 mg of sodium, more sodium than I have in a whole day right now!The chicken salad sandwich has 880 mg of sodium, also more than I have in a day. A chicken filet without the bun has 990 mg of sodium--guess what! Even the Chicken Nuggets have more sodium than I'm eating in a day. I don't want to spend multiple days of sodium allowance at Chick-Fil-A! Not worth it!

TV-watching habits

I find that my TV watching habits have changed with my new weight-loss and exercise routine. I'm just not that interested in TV anymore, overall, and feel like I need to make higher quality choices in my limited time. Last night I decided to skip my night-time workout to rest (well, I WAS really tired!) and watch the second episode of the new "Survivor" season. I've rally enjoyed "Survivor" in the past, but I'm not hooked yet this season---and maybe I don't need to be! Anyway, that's what VCRs are for. I wish I'd taped it and gone on the gym, even for a light workout.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Outer Banks

George and I are planning a trip for our anniversary in late October, and are thinking about the Outer Banks. I've been doing some research on the internet, and it's transformed into a multi-sheet Excel spreadsheet! It'll be interesting to see how the spreadsheet and our trip develop. I may end of sharing the list with Triangle Friends, the Yahoo group I moderate.

Meanwhile, I'm glad to see another season of The Biggest Loser starting, especially since I've made such progress on my own diet and exercise program.

Monday, September 18, 2006

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

I came across this language quiz on Blogthings, and found it amusing! It reminded me of a conversation I had with my family a few weeks ago about the correct way to pronounce the word "caramel." I'm okay with caramel (in MY opinion, anyway!), but apparently I still have a lot of Dixie in my vocabulary!

Your Linguistic Profile:
45% General American English
40% Dixie
10% Yankee
0% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern

Football

I decided to pick a pro football team and try to learn more about football. In college football, I pull for Duke, but they've won few games in recent years. I will always pull for them, as long as they have a clean program, but....I decided to broaden my football horizons a bit! So, I picked the closest professional team to me, the Carolina Panthers. I watched part of their TV game yesterday afternoon. Just like the Duke Blue Devils, they have yet to post a win this season. :-( The Panthers have been a decent team in recent years, so I'm hopeful they'll turn things around. )

I have loved football season for as long as I remember. I love being outdoors on a crisp fall afternoon cheering for my favorite team! I used to enjoy the occasional tailgating, but will be on the lookout for healther food choices in the future.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Increasing exercise

George and I got up at 7 AM this morning to go to the gym! I exercised for an hour on the elliptical, and was wiped out but felt good. When I got to the check-in at the Rice House afterward, there was a note in the computer system from the doctor that he wants me to double my exercise efforts! Whew! So I'll be heading back to the gym tonight. I think I'll try to do my cadio workouts before work, and strength training at night, and see how that works.

After breakfast, George and I went to ERUUF. It had been a while since we'd been, so it was good to go and see people as well as soak up the service. I really like the new minister.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Feeling good

This morning, I got up and worked out a full hour before breakfast, as George and I have plans tonight to go to a public stargazing that the Duke Physics Department coordinates. (Looking forward to that!) It feels good to have all that exercise out of the way, in case I don't make it back to the gym tonight.

At check-in this morning, I was down in weight again (yippee!), but I thought my fasting blood suagrs would be a little lower for all the exercise. I'll stay focused, though, because all the exercise will help in the long run. Need to keep losing the weight!

I sat with Carrie from Portland at breakfast this morning, and we had a wonderful laugh together! :-) It was a great way to start the day!

I have an appointment with my primary care physician this afternoon. I'm looking forward to the appointment, as I think she'll be pleased with my progress.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Insights

This morning during my workout (yes, I made it tot he gym in time for a 45-minute workout on the elliptical), it really hit me that the temporary pleasure of straying off the Rice Diet is rarely worth the setback and hard work to recover. It's really important for me to stay focused here, because getting the weight off is key to my diabetes improving. Taking insulin is important for now, but it's a drag. I will do it faithfully as long as I need it, but I would love for my health to improve to the point that I can stop the injections.

At breakfast, I sat with four people I didn't know yet. The Ricers are a bit of a transient group, people are always coming for various times and returning home, so the dynamics are changing. The people I sat in classes with during my first week are leaving soon, if they're even still around, so that bonding experience is gone. I still try to glean what I can from others at meal time. One of my favorite questions at supper is, "Did you attend any of the classes today?" I try not to be judgemental, but ask for information's sake.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Whew!

I was relieved to step on the scales this morning and see I'd lost some weight! It's been an "interesting" few days on the Rice Diet, and I was starting to get a little discouraged. I'm feeling better about things today, though. Of course the weight loss helped. I also cut my workout short last night and went home and called a friend to catch up. She ran the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach over Labor Day Weekend, and I loved hearing about it! Hearing the story of her experience made me want to do the same thing!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Reading and such

Well, I decided to put The Sound and the Fury aside for now and concentrate on the several unfinished books I have around the apartment. After struggling through the first several sections, I decided I don't have the patience for Faulkner just yet. With my focus on the Rice Diet and exercise, I feel the need for a different kind of reading pleasure. I hate to call it fluff that I'm looking for, as I'm still searching for a new favorite book. I'm looking for a better diversion than TV (which still makes me want to eat while I watch), but a less intense diversion than Faulker for the moment. :D

One of the books I'm working on finishing is The Sign of the Book, by John Dunning. The protagonist is a former police detective turned antiquarian book dealer. Since I love mysteries and books, I've enjoyed this particular run of books by Dunning a lot.

In other news, I worked out twice yesterday with minimal results for my weigh-in today, but I have high hopes for tomorrow's weigh-in. I do get discouraged sometimes with the daily weigh-ins, but I appreciate the close monitor and tracking of my blood pressure and fasting blood sugars. The weight will continue to come off as long as I stay on track.

One of the ladies at the Rice House, Jeannie, is leaving in a couple days, so she's been going around taking pictures, and getting names and addresses. She's been here for 3-4 months, so I can understand. It's a great place to network and make friends, when you're eating most of your meals with the same folks. I miss eating lunch there during the work week.

Jeannie and a fellow blogger, Melissa, have inspired me to keep my digital camera in my bag. Now I need to get the courage to use it more. That sounds funny, I know. I would like to chronicle my life a bit more fully, though. I've been thinking of doing the scrapbook thing as a creative outlet, and pictures would help with that. Love the digital camera, for being able to take pictures and edit/delete as I wish.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Another early morning workout

I had another good pre-breakfast workout this morning. I'm proud of myself for getting up early this morning (being Monday and all) and going to the gym. My fasting blood sugar and blod sugar were really good at morning check-in, so I know it's helping. My weight was a little up this morning, but I know what that's all about. I got off the Rice Diet wagon after my workout last night and picked up a grilled veggie burrito from Qdoba in Chapel Hill. It was delightful, but I was sorry I got it afterward. Guilt aside, the edge has been taken off my desire for illicit food, and I'm back on track now.

I checked Qdoba's website this morning for nutrional information, and will make an even better choice next time I go there...which will be a while! I was first introduced to Qdoba while working in Winston-Salem, and then Greensboro got one. I'm glad to see they've expanded to Chapel Hill and Raleigh, and would be happy to see them open up a franshise in Durham. Of course, there would be competition from Cosmic Cantina.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Apartment hunting

This afternoon, George and I went to babdy Talia's first birthday party at Phil and Heather's house. I took my lunch with me, though I missed eating Heather's yummy spread. I want to be able to eat like normal people, but I guess I'm going to have to redefine normal for me. I know that yummy, healthy foods are out there.

On the way home, George and I stopped and looked at a couple of apartment complexes. It was an interesting experience. We liked both places, but we liked the first one the best. It has a better fitness room, a nice balcony, fireplaces in 2nd and 3rd floor apartments, and cheaper rent. Both are in the Research Triangle Park area, one with a Morrisville address (the 1st one we liked better) and the other with a Raleigh address. We will continue looking.

George and I are going to work out soon (this evening). I gained a tenth of a pound according to the scales this morning, so I'm going for a loss in the morning. So far, I'm down 24.1 lbs, looking forward to hitting the 25 lb. mark.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

More weight loss

After a week of little significant movement in my weight, I finally made some headway, down 2.7 lbs since yesterday, and down 24.2 since August8. I stopped to talk to Dr. Neelon about my progress, and he suggested taking my bedtime insulin down by 2 more units, yay! He's pleased with my progress, and showed me some nifty graphs charting my progress. My hemaglobin A1c is charting the perfect course, and he says that if I continue doing what I'm doing, that figure (which charts an average of my blod sugars over about three previous months) should be at normal in about 70 days! That should mean no more insulin, which would be fantastic!

I completed my third pre-breakfast workout of the week this morning, and I think that is helong too.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Morning workout

This morning, for the second time this week, I got up and worked out before breakfast. It felt good...once I got going! ;-) I hope I can continue with the morning, and hopefully twice daily workouts.

I'm glad the weekend is here, and I'm hopeful about getting some rest, as well as some things done.

Last night I spent about an hour cleaning my apartment before my workout, and it felt great. I went through a pile of mail and papers, and threw a bunch of stuff away. I would love to get rid of the rest of the clutter in my apartment.

Sunday, George and I are going to Phil and Heather's house in Apex for Talia's first birthday party. Looking forward to that.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Busy yesterday

Yesterday I ended up working out twice, 35 minutes in the morning, before work, and another 30 minutes after my Junior League meeting. I was exhausted by the time I got home (around 10), though it was midnight before I got to bed. Today I didn't get up early as planned to go work out. I needed sleep!

I was down almost a pound this morning, 22.4 lbs in all. Tonight I'll try a little less insulin before bed, at the doctor's request. :-)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Morning workout

This morning I woke up early and got a 35 minute workout in at the gym. It feels great to have part of my workout already under my belt, especially since I have a Junior League meeting tonight.

It's interesting at the Rice House these days, being an old timer of sorts. People have left and new faces have joined the program. Some of the new faces are actually old timers who are returning, and they've been interested to hear I'm starting my second month on the program. I enjoy hearing their stories, and telling them mine.

George and I decided this morning that it's high time we went out on a date. Our lives have gotten so busy lately!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Busy weekend

I enjoyed this Labor Day weekend, but I wish I could have one more day, just to hang out in bed and read, rest, and just be a little lazy! But alas, I'm back at work, and will continue my workout schedule this evening.

We enjoyed the cookout (for Phil's 30th birthday) at Lake Crabtree on Sunday, though I was craving a hot dog for the rest of the day! Yesterday I got a manicure as a treat to myself for resisting the temptation. :-) Mom took me shoe shopping yesterday, to boot, and now I've got two new pairs of shoes to sport around in.

I ended my first month of the Rice Diet yesterday down 21.5 lbs! Can't wait to hit the 25 lb mark, perhaps later this week.

I've signed up for an online course though Barnes and Noble's B&N University called "Simplify Your Life Now." I hope it'll help me learn strategies for feeling less hectic. The book for the course looks like it'll be an interesting read. Assignments start today.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Weekend update

George and I have had a pretty busy weekend. Last night we went to the Duke-Richmond football game. The evening weather was delightful (I can tell that fall weather is sneaking in, and I love it!), but Duke lost 13-0, a dissappointing start to teh season.

Today we went to Lake Crabtree in Cary, for Phil's 30th birthday party/cookout. It was a lovely day, and the food looked and smelled yummy! I took my Rice Diet lunch, which tasted fine, but I'm still feeling deprived of the hot dogs, hamburgers, and potato salad.

I have managed to exercise this weekend some this weekend, but not as much as usual. I missed working out on Friday altogether, but got in for 30 minutes yesterday. I'll work out more this evening. I'm still feeling deprived, but I need to get over it.

On the positive side, my hard work with the Rice Diet is paying off. I've lost 20.9 lbs so far, and the end of my first month is tomorrow. That's very encouraging, but I still have a long way to go.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Almost at another goal

This morning at check-in, I was down 19.9 lbs! If my body reacts in normal fashion, I wil stay the same tomorrow morning, or gain some of it back. Two days ago I was down 1.7 lbs, yesterday I gained 7/10 of a lb back, and today I was down 1.8 lbs from yesterday!

Meanwhile, I've started reading The Sound and the Fury. It's been a little hard to follow so far, but I hope to sink my teeth into it this weekend.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Reading List

I've been reading several non-fiction health related books lately, and have decided to expand into other forrays again. I took a look at the Modern Library 100 Best Books list this morning, and have checked out William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury. There are just too many classics I haven't read yet!

State of flux

This morning at weigh in, I gained .7 lbs from yesterday. :( I stayed on the diet, too, with some flexibility in choices. I didn't exercise my usual 60 minutes, but only 35 last night. Do I have to exercise an hour a day to lose weight? Wow.

Since starting and sticking to the Rice Diet, I do feel a little more invincible, like I can tackle harder tasks and do them with more confidence. I also feel a little more self-conscious about my feelings/emotions. I'm used to eating to sooth or celebrate, and I'm not doing that anymore.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Late workout

I didn't get to the gym until 9:30 last night, but was determined to get my hour of exercise in. It paid off, as I was down 1.7 lbs on the scales this morning, and 18.8 lbs overall. I'm determined that the combination of exercise and diet are helping me become healthier. My blood sugars continue to come down, and so do my doses on insulin. I'm becoming more and more convinced to stay the course with this vegan diet, though I may have to have some fish on occasion.

I get daily updates from one of my favorite websites, Hungry Girl, and there was a recommendation for Boca products in today's update. I've checked out their website, and the products--burgers, chili, lasagna, even pizza, sound yummy! Of course, I'll have to watch the sodium content.

George came over after my workout last night, and it was really nice to see him! It was so late, though, that we didn't have much time to catch up.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My car is well now

I got my car back yesterday, all well now. I missed driving it! I was thankful to have Dad's old Lincoln Town Car to get me around, but it is a pretty big (and long) car, a good bit bigger than I'm used to.

Last night, I only got 15 minutes of exercise in, better than nothing but not good enough. Tonight I have a strength training appointment with Heather, and will do cardio as well. I hope the scales will be kinder to me tomorrow morning.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Weekend update

I took my car in to be fixed on Saturday, but they couldn't fix it then, so I returned and left it to be fixed today. George helped coordinate so that I could pick up Dad's old car at the townhouse.

Yesterday, George and I had a relaxing day. We exercised first at Peak Fitness, and after lunch we went to MetroSport to enjoy the outdoor pool. Last night we watched "The Road to Wellville."

I finished the book Fat Like Us yesterday, and found it very insightful, especially about the diet culture here in Durham. Now I'm reading Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating, by Erik Marcus. I wonder if it'll help sway me to stick with the vegan diet I'n currently eating. I still miss cheese a lot, but it was the source of a good bit of my weight gain, I bet. I'm not opposed to leather, furs, and other products made from animals at this point, but the vegan diet definitely seems a lot healthier for me so far.

I'm down 17.1 lbs in 3 weeks on the vegan diet that is Phase I of the Rice Diet Program. Hoping to hit the 20 lb. loss mark by this time next week.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Sense of Adventure

An acquantaince of mine, Debbie, is on her way to China to teach English. I'm so impressed with her for taking the chance and moving to a country with a different culture, especially one where she doesn't know the language herself.

Laura spent 6 weeks in Mexico this summer through a program called AMIGOS, and says she had a great time and improved her Spanish in the mean time. I'm proud of her for doing that. Both Debbie and Laura have really stepped out of their comfort zones, in my book, to have neat and adventurous experiences.

It's made me yearn to improve on my sense of adventure. With working so hard on my recovery lately, I'm feeling very responsible and punctual, and all that good stuff. My new routines have helped me get better, I know. Now, what can I do that's adventurous? What would make a good story? Certainly, being in the hospital was an adventure, but not one I was looking for. Being part of the Rice Diet is an adventure, and a very good one, but it's driving a large part of my structured daily routine now. Hmmm......

Speaking of the Rice Diet, my food choices now are all vegan, and I've been thinking about continuing to be a vegan once I've stopped going to meals at the Rice House. Oh, how I love cheese, but it's been one of my downfalls. I've got a library book at home about becoming vegan, and some of the ethics involved. I'm looking forward to reading the book and learning more. It may give me more motivation to stick with the healthy eating, even though I don't really have an activist personality.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Next goal hit

I was excited at weigh-in this morning to have lost a pound and a half since yesterday. Now I've lost 15.2 lbs. Yay! Right now my goals are in 5 lb. increments, so now I'm reaching for the 20 pound mark. The average weight loss for women at the Rice Diet for one month is 19 lbs, and I'd like to have lost at least 20.

I'm really enjoying the book Fat Like Us. It's giving me interesting insights. I wish I had more time to read these days, but I'm making time, even if it's just a few pages here and there.

In fact, I was going to read during lunch today, as I sat outside to eat, but I ended up being joined by one coworker, then another. It was nice to have company for lunch.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ups and downs

Last night we have Covenant Group (our small discussion group of ERUUF members) at Jim's new house out in the countryside of Orange County. His house is just beautiful, and the drive out was very pretty. Everyone in the group was there last night, so it was fun to catch up, and we had an interesting discussion.

The only downside was getting home late (after 10 PM), so I opted not to go exercise after I got home. In the future, I should probably plan ahead and get up a little early in the morning for some exercise. This morning I was up a few tenths of a pound, but the nurse was encouraging. She said as long as I stay on the program, small increases may occur sometimes, but will be counteracted by bigger losses. Tonight, it's back to the gym for me!

Yesterday I found the book Fat Like Us in the library, and checked it out. I started reading it last night, and I think it'll be a good read. The author did the Rice Diet Program, and wrote this book about her experience.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Time on the treadmill

Spent 50 minutes on the treadmill for a change of pace last night. I'm a little sore this morning, but it paid off with a little more weight loss this morning. Down 14.3 lbs total now. It felt good to have the long walk, and I'm looking forward to training my body to go longer and faster.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Continuing to exercise

Yesterday afternoon, I survived on the elliptical for a whole hour, am excited about that! Hoping to exercise for an hour again tonight when George and I go to the gym tonight after supper. Unfortunately, the morning scales didn't reward me for yesterday's efforts, but hopefully tomorrow will show another loss. So far, I'm down 13.5 lbs in 13 days, nothing to sneeze at. And last night, I survived dinner at the Mellow Mushroom in Raleigh with George, Henry, and their cousin David. That was challenging, but I had saved my apple and ate it when their pizza arrived. Afterward, I was glad I did it.

After dinner, we went down the street to Comedy Worx, a favorite spot for George and me. It's team-on-team improv comedy, and it's very funny! No matter what my mood going in, I always feel better at the end. It was especially nice to enjoy the show last night after surviving the pizza dinner. (George ordered a saled, though, no pizza. I was impressed.)

This morning, I finished The Rice Diet Solution, was very insightful. I'm looking forward to trying some of the recipes when I get to the stage where I'm cooking my own meals.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Marching on....

I'm still with the Rice Diet, eating breakfast and dinner there, and taking my lunches to go during the work week. I'm glad to have survived this first week back at work, partly because of the extra coordination of the Rice Diet into "normal" life. I'm feeling less tired as well, though I'll definitely sleep well tonight.

I do miss the classes during the day at the Rice House. They were quite good. I've enjoyed telling people back at work about the Rice Diet, though. So far, I've lost 12.6 lbs. Can't wait to hit the 20 lb. mark.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Woohoo!

I hit my first weight loss goal, netting a 10.5 lb loss for the week at this morning's weigh-in at the Rice House. I'm back at work today, and am tired, but will survive the day okay. I look forward to crawling into bed this evening, that's for sure!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Getting closer to first goal

This morning at the medical check-in at the Rice Diet Program, I weighed in and am down 7.9 lbs since Tuesday. I'm looking forward to hitting the 10 lb. mark and beyond. I continue to be impressed with the program, and am enjoying talking to the other participants. I still have my cravings for things like pizza, pasta, and cheese (you'd think I'm Italian!), but so far I'm working through them.

I'm excited about getting back into my exercise program. For three days in a row, I've exercised for 40 minutes! Can't wait to do another 5K and improve on my time.

I'm returning to work on Monday, so this weekend I plan to work on cleaning my apartment and getting my ducks in a row.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The march continues

I've lost a total of 7 lbs now on the Rice Diet! That's since Tuesday. I wonder if I'll hit the 10 lb. mark by the end of my first week. Never thought I'd be eating a vegan diet, which is basically what this is, at least during Phase I.

Last night I returned to the gym and spent 40 minutes on the elliptical machine. I'm trying to work up to an hour of exercise a day, which is what they recommend here. That's a pretty big time commitment, but I need to do it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

More health progress

The Rice Diet continues to be a challenge, but a great one! At my check-in this morning, the numbers continued to come down. I enjoy meeting others on the program--they are very encouraging and inspiring.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Rice Diet

I've been on the Rice Diet for 24 hours now, and am already seeing results. I'm impressed with the variety of food choices, but I'm still getting hungry between meals. I hear that will change. I've lost 2.8 lbs so far. Since this is a low-sodium diet, some of that may be water weight. Looking forward to seeing more changes along the way. My blood pressure and fasting blood sugar were lower this morning at my first medical check-in!

Meanwhile, I made it back to the gym last evening, and that felt great! This morning, I've already done a yoga class, a very good stretch for me.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Getting better all the time.....

Wow, what a difference a week makes. This this time last week, I was waking up from my third night in the hospital, where I was admitted for pneumonia and diabetic ketoacidosis. I was feeling pretty bad when I went in, but and feeling much better now. I stayed at home this past week to recuperate some more, and to get accustomed to giving myself insulin shots for the remaining diabetes. I am hopeful that I can get off insulin in time, with more weight loss and a better diet. I'm almost certain I will start the Rice Diet next week. I'm both excited and nervous about that.

The trip to the hospital was my first trip in an ambulance. I went to my doctor for a bronchitis follow-up (I'd been to an Urgent Care place initially), and she decided to help expedite my admission to the hospital. (Otherwise, I nay have had to wait in the ER for a spell.)

George was really great, taking care of me before the trip to the hospital, and staying with me while there. His mom, Tina, came to sit with me periodically to give George a break. It was nice getting to know her better.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Has anyone else noticed.....

I stopped by the grocery store on my way to work this morning, and noticed (not for the first time) that there weren't any plastic baskets by the front door. All I saw were buggies, which now come in two sizes: big and bigger. Guess it's easier to buy more when you're not limited to what you can carry! :-P

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Image

I've been reflecting a good bit about image lately, and what all of that means on a personal level as well as a social one. What kind of image do I want to project? What image do people currently have about me--and is it accurate? It that image what I want it to be? There are things about me that I like, and other things I want to change. Some of those changes might happen quickly, others may take years.

I remember in my first job after college, one of the comments made from a co-worker was that some of the teens I worked with thought I was flighty. That came as a big surprise to me, because I was concerned that I was being too serious. Flighty was not an image (or reputation) I wanted. Honestly, I was a little offended for a while, but worked on my skills there, and it paid off.

Later, during my teaching days, a church I used to pass by on a semi-regular basis, had a marquis sign out front. One of the messages I still remember (after 10-15 years) is, "You can measure a person's character by what he does when no one's looking."

I know image and character aren't exactly the same, but they're a bit intertwined, in my book. I think both image and character take behind-the-scenes work, and you can backslide on both by what you do, whether or not anyone's watching.

Heatwave

My air conditioning is on the blink again, and surprisingly enough (or maybe not), so is George's. I called the maintenance dept. again (for the second time this month), and hope it will be the last call for a while.

I continue to be frustrated by this cough of mine, partly because my exercise routine has slowed down, and I miss that a lot. I'm not sleeping as well either, which isn't helping.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Training opportunity

I've gotten the go-ahead from my supervisor to apply for the Master Trainer program sponsored by the State Library. I'm excited about the chance to get the extra training, to be a better trainer. Eventhough I used to be a teacher, it's different teaching adults--and co-workers. All of the training would be in Raleigh, including a 5-day session in November. Wow!

Meanwhile, I have a lingering cough from my cold of a month or two ago. Almost hate going to the doctor for a cough, but it shouldn't be lasting this long. Between it and the heat, I've been wanting to go home and cocoon for the evening lately. I've been missing my exercise, not to mention a better sense of well-being. Blah!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Family History

I was relieved to find a floppy disk this past week that contains my genealogy backups. My home computer has been down since last November, but I made sure to back up my genealogy database before the computer fiddling began. I've saved my data online now, so when my computer getssx fixed (or I get a new one), I'll be good to go!

More than anything, I've missed working on my genealogy since my computer has been down. It's been an interesting hobby, fitting pieces of a puzzle together.

The McLamb reunion I've attended the past several summers was cancelled this year. I missed it, and even George asked about it. It has me wondering about organizing a family reunion on my own. When? Where? How?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Looking for a new favorite book

For several years now, the book The Secret History, by Donna Tart, has been my favorite. I read it because it landed in my mailbox, part of a book club I belonged to at the time. I was immediately enthralled. I'm on my second or third copy, because the others have fallen apart from rereading. It's a book I enjoy returning to, like a familiar friend you can pick right up with, no matter how long it's been since you've talked. When I pick it up to read, sometimes I start fom the beginning, and sometimes I find a certain passage and go from there. Most times, I pick up a tidbit I've missed or forgotten. Rumors have been circulating that the book will be made into a movie, but I almost hope it doesn't happen. Sometimes I try to figure out who would play which character, but I have yet to pick my entire cast of choice.

Now, I'm on a search for a "new best friend" among books. While The Secret History will always hold a special place on my bookshelf, there are just so many books out there. Working in acquisitions in a major research library, I should know! :-) If there's a new favorite book to be found, I'd love to find it. I'm sure the search will be filled with lots of interesting reading.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

100 Things About Me

Over the past couple of days, I've been trying to come up with 100 things about me to share. It was a little hard to come up with 100 things, so I almost gave up. I forged ahead to the end though, and include the list here. It turned out to be a combination of past, present, and future things about me. When I asked George what he thought about my list, his first two comments were that it's long, and that I seem to feel pretty good about myself! I'm hoping I don't come across as conceited or anything. My hope it that it will help visitors to my blog learn a bit more about me.

1. I have twin toes on both feet. The 2nd & 3rd toes only on each foot are webbed about halfway up. I think they're cute.
2. I taught elementary school for 6 years.
3. I worked at Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park one summer. I started out doing dishes and pots, before being promoted to the Employee Dining Room.
4. I've had one broken bone, my nose, which was broken in a JV basketball game, in which I played center.
5. I graduated from Duke University with a double major in history and religion, and a certificate in Judaic Studies.
6. I returned to school for a degree in Elementary Education from UNC-Greensboro.
7. I got a perm with one of my first FT-job paychecks. Huge mistake.
8. I took whitewater canoeing as one of my PE classes in college.
9. I graduated from an all-girls Episcopal boarding high school called St. Mary's.
10. I have one sibling, Lisa, who is married with two daughters. They live in the San Francisco Bay area.
11. I love Halloween, good ghost stories, and houses that are rumored to be haunted.
12. I participated in a 5K road race in April 2006. It was my first in about 20 years, and I finished last.
13. I was on track and tennis teams in high school. In college, I ran on the club cross country team.
14. I want to run a marathon someday.
15. I took piano and violin lessons growing up. I'd like to learn another musical instrument.
16. I took French, German, and Hebrew classes in college.
17. I audited a Portuguese class as an Duke employee.
18. I'd like to learn a foreign language fluently.
19. I was born in Atlanta.
20. I grew up being a Duke football fan, because my dad played football for Duke.
21. I worked as a camp counselor for two summers at Keystone Camp, where I went as a child.
22. Once, I was the only passenger on an airplane, traveling from Asheville to Charlotte.
23. I've been to Europe once, in 1980. I'd love to go back.
24. I helped my sister drive cross-country from Connecticut to California, with our mom and my sister's daughters, plus two cars.
25. While working at Yellowstone, I learned how to crack two eggs simultaneously.
26. The farthest I've run competitively is 6.2 miles (10K).
27. I love to read, and often gravitate toward the mysteries section of bookstore.
28. I have books signed by Reynolds Price, Margaret Maron, and Steven Kellogg. Kellogg's autograph is the most creative.
29. My first year of teaching, I taught 1st and 2nd grades in the same (unairconditioned) classroom.
30. I played in a handbell choir when I lived in Greensboro, NC.
31. I've been a member of the Junior League for 5 years.
32. My family had two different Chinese Pugs (Rachel, then Duchess) when I was growing up.
33. Other childhood pets included cats, fish, a turtle, a rabbit, and a white mouse.
34. I was Little Bo Peep in a kindergarten performance.
35. I taught archery during one summer as a camp counselor.
36. Genealogy is one of my favorite hobbies.
37. One of my hobbies growing up was collecting Beatrix Potter books and figurines.
38. I took a Beatrix Potter laundry bag to college.
39. I went to Hawaii with my family in 2001 to watch Duke in the Maui Invitational Basketball Tournament.
40. I've seen one professional sports team in action, the Atlanta Braves.
41. I'm a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant.
42. Occupations I wanted to be when I grew up: ambassador, teacher, doctor, lawyer, minister, writer, National Geographic photographer.
43. I sang with the Durham Chorale when I first moved to Durham.
44. George and I love to travel to the mountains.
45. I was on the debate team in high school. When I moved to Durham, I joined Toastmasters.
46. I would like to visit all 100 counties in North Carolina.
47. I love breakfast food. I could have breakfast at any meal.
48. I enjoy playing backgammon.
49. I like exploring old cemeteries.
50. I've tried water skiing once, on the Alabama River.
51. I've been snow skiing several times, and would love to go again.
52. My favorite soft drink is Diet Dr. Pepper.
53. My first snow skiing experience was in Alabama, at a ski resort north of Birmingham.
54. My driver's license indicates that I'm an organ donor.
55. I failed my first test for my driver's license.
56. I took a photography class in the Physics Dept. at UNC-Chapel Hill one summer during college. It was both challenging and fascinating.
57. My first library job was during that summer session at UNC. I worked in the library science school's library.
58. My first full-time library job was at the Professional Center Library at Wake Forest University.
59. My favorite book is The Secret History, by Donna Tartt.
60. I lost my voice for 6 weeks straight is 2005.
61. When eating out, my beverage of choice is Diet Coke with a lemon wedge.
62. My most recent concert was the Rolling Stones. They played in Wallace Wade Stadium, the football stadium at Duke. It's the only time I've seen the Duke football stadium full.
63. I wore braces on my teeth twice as a child.
64. I still have my wisdom teeth.
65. I used to be really good at playing Pong.
66. I'm a neat freak wannabe.
67. My first rock concert was Huey Lewis and the News, in Columbia, SC.
68. I love getting pedicures, though it always tickles me (uncomfortably so) when the nail tech scrubs my feet with the pumice or brush.
69. I attended the Presidential Debate between Al Gore and George W. Bush in October 2000, when they came to Wake Forest University. I happened to be working there at the time, and got in through a staff lottery.
70. I want to learn how to knit. I've had one lesson so far.
71. I talk to myself a lot.
72. I won a certificate for best advertising slogan at tennis camp the summer I was 14.
73. I used to love to drive. After commuting to work for most of the 1990s, I don't care for it as much, though I often appreciate the downtime I get in the car.
74. I was excited to get an invitation for a gmail email account, but now I hardly ever use that email address.
75. I've been in the wedding party of five weddings.
76. In college, I tried out to be the preacher on Student Preacher Sunday at Duke Chapel. I didn't win, but it was neat to stand in the pulpit during my audition.
77. George is going to teach me how to play chess.
78. I worked as a waitress while attending UNC-Greensboro.
79. My maternal grandmother created a nickname for me that combined her name and my parternal grandmother's name. It's on my Christmas stocking.
80. I like pineapple on pizza. (Thanks to my sister for introducing me to this.)
81. I've never liked okra, in any of its forms.
82. Wendy's in my favorite of the major fast food chains.
83. Twilight is my favorite time of day, especially after an amazing sunset.
84. Fall is my favorite season of the year.
85. M*A*S*H is one of my all-time favorite TV shows.
86. In choirs, I sing alto, as do my mom and my sister.
87. In addition to Huey Lewis and the News and the Rolling Stones, other concerts I've been to are Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, and James Taylor.
88. I'm a big "I Love Lucy" fan.
89. If I could have dinner with someone famous, three of my top choices would be Alan Alda, Carol Burnett, and Barbara Walters.
90. I would love to be on the Oprah Winfrey Show for doing something interesting or inspirational.
91. As much as I like to sing, I'm no soloist. I have a fantasy of singing the National Anthem courtside at a Duke basketball game.
92. My favorite color is usually blue, though I love to wear the color purple the most.
93. I've kept some form of diary or journal for over 30 years. I still have most of them.
94. I've visited 33 states and Washington, DC.
95. I've thought about joining the Peace Corps.
96. I would like to ride in a colorful hot air balloon someday.
97. On my drive to Yellowstone to work, Mom and I drove through the town of Lesley, Texas. It was a little out of the way, but fun to see.
98. I used to enjoy crosstiching, and would like to take it up again eventually.
99. My first college acceptance letter was from Agnes Scott College in Atlanta.
100. I've been whitewater rafting down the Snake, Eno, and French Broad Rivers.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

LInville Caverns visit during Memorial Day Weekend 2006

George and I went visited Linville Caverns during our Memorial Day Weekend visit to the North Carolina mountains back in May. The drips on our shirts (water dripping from the cave ceiling) are called "cave kisses," and are supposed to bring good luck. :-)

In case you're wondering about the sudden addition of pictures to my blog, I've recently discovered Picasa, another Google feature. It's fun to be able to add pictures. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sense of Community

This picture was taken in February of this year at one of our favorite restaurants, the Stonewood Grill in Cary. It was an outing of Triangle Friends, a group I moderate on Yahoo. The moderator title fell into my lap nearly 4 years ago, about the time I met George. The outing had a pretty good turnout--about 10 of us were there and we had a fun time! Interestingly enough, everyone who came knew someone there, so there weren't any totally new people there. One of the reasons most join Triangle Friends is because they want to make new friends, but I think there is a certain amount of need for a comfort zone.

Since becoming moderator of the group, life has gotten busier on several fronts, so my efforts in building and maintaining the group have been up and down. Still, I'd love to see the group become a way for people in the Triangle to connect and feel a sense of community.

There was a study published recently that a Duke professor participated in that said that Americans have fewer friends than we used to. It's been on my mind a lot lately, as I try to juggle everything and work on building relationships. It's definitely more challenging to build good friendships than it used to be, but it's worth the time. Posted by Picasa

Books I Finished and Started Over the Weekend


Yesterday morning I finished Predator, by Patricia Cornwell. I started reading her books about 10 years ago, through a recommendation made by someone I met on a temp assignment. It's one of the best reading recommendations I've ever received! I haven't read any Cornwell for a while, so I was eager to see what this book had to offer. I was a little sad to see the book come to an end, mostly because I wanted a little more character development. I enjoy the main characters in Cornwell's books, and she left several things unresolved. Perhaps that's a way for me to pick up the next book in the series (when it comes out), but still, I finished the book wanting a little more information now! Too many loose ends for me!

After that, I started reading the book Privilege, by Ross Gregory Douthay. He's a Harvard grad, and it's about his time there. The book came across my desk recently at work, and thought it might be an insightful read in light of the recent Duke lacrosse party incident here in Durham. I've been thinking a good bit about the relationship between Duke and Durham. Many think Duke is full of elite and privileged kids. Durham is thought of as poor and crime-ridden. It makes me sad, and it makes me want to build bridges.

Dinner and "Superman Returns"

I had a good dinner with George and his brothers, Henry and Phil, Phil's wife Heather and Baby Talia, and cousin Jacob, who was down from Boston. I especially enjoyed catching up with Heather, and hope to talk more with her by phone soon.

We went to see "Superman Returns" afterward. It as predictable and a little long, but good summer entertainment. I was especially fascinated by the shots of the sky and of the ocean, which weren't the point of the movie, but they are what drew me in and enveloped me.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Old and New friends

I think I made a new friend today. :-) I had a Mary Kay appointment with a lady named Mary today. We have a lot in common, including genealogy and a wish to take better care of ourselves. We talked of walking and setting goals, too. I hope to see her again.

This evening, I'm meeting George and some of his family for dinner and a movie, probably "Superman Returns." Will post my review next week.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Traditions

George and I have been missing our Thursday night dose of the show, "ER." While we like the drama, some of our favorite characters have come and gone. (Part of it, though, is having the tradition of watching it together, talking and cuddling during the commercials, and winding down together.) Not sure when it's coming back on for the next season. Meanwhile, I've recently become intrigued by the show, "The 4400," a show George has liked but I wasn't interested in until recently. We taped it last Sunday night, and were hoping to watch it last night during our normal ER-viewing time of 10:00-11:00, but I was too sleepy. We're going to try again tonight.

George and I also have a tradition of going to the mountains for our weekend vacations. I would love to build some other traditions together. Easier said than done, with our busy schedules. I've been contemplating building more routines into my own life, more for efficiency than tradition. Having personal traditions could be a good thing, though.....something to think about.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A restful night in

Whew, it felt good to stay in last night! I feel much more rested this morning.

George and I had a fun, but busy July 4th. We had lunch at the new house of our new friend, Steph. I actually met Steph a year or two ago, when she was leading a group for Duke's Run/Walk Club. Then we ran into each other at Eno River Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship, where Steph has been a member for a number of years, and George and I joined last fall.

After lunch, we went to Cary and watched the fireworks at Regency Park. The fireworks were pretty, and we had good seats on the grass by the lake. The fireworks were set off right across the lake from us, so it was a great view.

As predicted, the traffic afterward was heavy, so it took us a while to get on our way. It was a busy day and a late night for having work the next day, so I was dragging a little at work yesterday. I needed to go to the gym last night, but it felt great to stay home and cocoon. The introvert in me enjoyed the time to recharge.

One of the things I'm working on is how to balance getting out and being active and social versus taking time for myself. I'm glad we did what we did on the 4th, but I wonder how could I have done it all and still felt refreshed, or at least not so worn out, at work yesterday.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Home by Another Way

This blog was inspired by my desire to step out of my comfort zone and to be adventurous, but to remember where home is. "Home by Another Way" is one of my favorite songs by James Taylor, hence, the name of my new blog. Here, I will continue where I left off with my 2006 blog. I decided that keeping a blog for each year might get a little tedious, since I already have a couple other blogs for specific goals in my life.