Thursday, September 29, 2011

all the news worth printing...

It's been a busy week here at the coop.

Glenco has been off all week as we work to convert the house from propane to natural gas....

This is the state of my front yard as I type this....

I was too shy to actually go out and photograph them working.
: -)
Yes, I am shy - I know you can't imagine that.

So really, that's been the week.
Home centers, new hot water heaters, conversion kits and
Season Three of Damages.

My pelvic pain is still quite annoying - and I was told by the Dr. that I had an ovarian cyst that apparently ruptured.  I go for an ultrasound tomorrow.

My weight is moving down nicely again as I continue to face the demons of food addiction, and how and why life seems incomplete without taffy apples and pumpkin scones.

I'm feeling rather quiet of late - and I'm sure it's reflected here.
Rest assured all is well -
I will possibly be gone the next two weeks or so...won't know until later today -

Missouri is calling - and a camping trip with Janie Fox is planned.
Can you imagine?
Lucy and Ethel - no joke!

I leave you with a great idea for a window box.

Swiss chard.
For real.
Isn't it glorious?

(Kelly - if you are reading this, please email me again!  Somehow I no longer have your email address!)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Why I Left Facebook....

I'm not sure if you'll notice me gone - but I am.
There one minute.
Gone the next.

It had nothing to do with the recent changes - I wasn't too happy with them - but I never did understand all the hoo ha about it - my take on it?
Get over it.

I left because I've been feeling socially overwhelmed lately.
It's all been a bit too much.
'Real Life' social stuff.
I'm finding myself shunning people at the moment.
I don't think it's healthy.

I felt that Facebook was promoting a lot of very superficial relationships in my life, and I didn't like it.

I felt like my brain was being cluttered with every one's opinions, complaints, dinner choices, and ailments.

I felt like I was checking in with Facebook much too often, and using it to procrastinate at times.

When leaving - I did feel a bit scared.

There are some measurable merits to having a Facebook account.

It was easy to share when I did a blog post.

Easy to share photos.

Easy to share information with the masses using one touch of a button.

I felt scared that "I'd lose touch" with some of the friendships I had.

I felt the fear and did it anyway.

My brain already feels quieter.

I like it.

But there's no button to press to tell you that.

: -)

(PS - don't forget to read the post underneath this one - or check out my Etsy shop to order your very own Coop Keeper honey!)

Golden Nectar! Limited Quantity

Visit my Etsy shop today if you'd like to order some honey -

Very limited quantity!

Sorry that I don't have more to share - perhaps next month I will - and next year - I'm hoping to add more hives.

You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

So Happy I Could Pee...

It's a bullet point kind of day.
But since I don't know how to do bullet points on Blogger - you get one liners....
I see the bullet point button up there, but it doesn't seem to work with centering text...ergo...the one liners.

At this moment, I feel that I could burst from contentment.

I feel like I could fill up a gratitude journal with one fell swoop of the pen.

I find myself muttering under my breath - 'thank you, thank you'

As I sit and type this, I'm wearing a size medium Life is Good pair of flannel pj bottoms and a cozy pair of Life is Good socks.

(I have on a t-shirt, but it's not Life is Good, and therefore not worth mentioning - and yet - I've mentioned it.)

Did I mention the pants were sized Medium?
Me - the Coop Keeper in medium pants. 
My insides are smiling.

When I'm not typing, my hands are wrapped around a warm cup of tea.

I have four new balls of yarn, and I'm going to play with them tonight while I finish up  Season Two of Damages.

The sky is so unbelievably fabulous - thoughts like 'if THIS is earth, what will heaven be like?' cross my I just stand in the driveway face toward the sky soaking the goodness in.

I swear the chickens were giddy today when I let them out - I've never seen a chicken skip until today.

I was told I was unusually beautiful today  -  by a 76 year old man - but it still counts.

I 'falled up' my porches and I'm so happy with it I could pee.

I talked to Aaron on the phone tonight and thanked my lucky stars that my nearly 16 yr old BoyChild nephew still wants to talk to me, tells me he loves me and he can't wait to see me again.

Stick a fork in me - I be done.

I'm not sure where all of this contentment comes from - I mean - I have a lot to be concerned with, downright worried about - and things to complain about in general -

I have no financial security.
Do any of us?
Our basement is a hot mess and if Mike Holmes from Holmes on Holmes saw it - he'd tear the place down.
I may never eat wheat again!
I think I have an ovarian cyst, or a kidney stone and started out to the ER not twice, but thrice in the last three days, because of excruciating pain.

It's a bit better now - and I'll see my Dr. this worries..

But - I just don't think of those things -

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wellness Wednesday - Food Addiction

Onward, and downward.
The scale is moving in the right direction, I see muscles popping out in fun places.
I'm pretty much right on track to meet my January 2012 goal.
Am I perfect?

Far from it.

Am I working on it?

I was called 'skinny' by two different people yesterday.
Trust me - I'm far from it - but compared to a year ago?  Ya - I'm skinny.
Aaron wanted to take my picture to show me how skinny I was...ha.
Love that BoyChild.
He keeps looking at me and asking me 'where did you go?'.

Within this post are some pics - I need you guys to vote on my hair color.
I've been a blond for a long time, and everyone tells me I look best as a blond - I feel the most like myself as a blond - if that makes a lick of sense - but here are a few pics of other hair colors I've had - interspersed with the text.

me with flaming red hair - very hard to maintain!
So here it is already - Wednesday.
And that means it's Wellness Wednesday.

Today I wanted to talk about food addiction.
This will be a rather short post - cause I'm no expert, I'm just a food addict - in recovery.
If you want to delve more into it - all ya'd have to do is Google it.

I still fight that title at times, I think they call that denial.
I'm coming to terms with it - some days better than others, some days - not at all.

I no longer hide to eat.
That was a big one for me.
Hiding in the corner of the pantry - stuffing my face with whatever came loose.
Baking chips, coconut, peanut butter, crackers, etc.
Going through drive-thrus alone - where the only people that knew of my devilment were me and 'Trish' at the DQ drive-thru - all evidence destroyed before I ever got home.

Now - if I do eat - I do it openly.

I ate nearly a half a bag of marshmallows on Saturday night.
I struggled to eat them openly - everything in me wanted to hide.

Why did I eat the marshmallows?
Well - it was the only thing in the house that would give me that feeling I was looking for.
An apple wouldn't have cut it.
My beloved broccoli (I made a special trip to the grocery store today cause I was out of broccoli - and I kissed it as I put it in the fridge - I've plum lost my mind.) wouldn't have cut it.

I needed sugar mainlined into my veins.
I needed bacon.
I needed pizza and bowls of ice cream.
I needed a feeling.
I needed a warm hug.
I needed chocolate and butter.

Or 'it'?
The addiction.

I think 'it' needed it.
I try to separate myself from the addiction - because "I" want to be healthy, make healthy choices, and break free from the pull of food.
"It" doesn't.
It wants to be soothed like a baby when I'm feeling down.
It wants what it wants when it wants it.
It would have me sitting in a size 20 jeans again.

Blond hair gone wrong -
One of the things that helps me the most is to see myself in third person when I'm about ready to make a stupid move - like go to the Tastee Top and order a large cone dipped in Cotton Candy crunch topping.

It's almost like I'm watching a hidden video camera - of someone that's an addict - and I'm shouting 'no!  don't do it!'

There are still places that are hard for me to be alone.
Walgreen's is one.
Alllllll thaaatttt cannnndddyyy!
Driving alone - seeing McDonald's signs that say
"try our new mango smoothie" - I hear a voice in my head say 'Ok!'.
I still at times envision myself on an LSD type high - floating through space where food, especially pulled pork sandwiches float with me and I'm just eating and eating.
I still dream of swimming in the nude in pools filled with Sugar Babies and battered, deep fried cauliflower.

Brunette Jayme - weird huh? Rather hankering for dark hair again - maybe it's the weather...

But it's getting so much better - and the cleaner I stay, the quieter the voice in my head gets, and the calmer the cravings are.

It's not just about being a size 8 to me - it's about being free.
It's about nothing holding me back from being who I was created to be.
It's about not tripping over the same old tangled up roots in the yard of my life, but continuing on - growing, changing, evolving into the best Jayme there is.
It's about not digging my own grave with my fork.
It's about choosing foods that promote life and vitality.

I don't know what color this is!
It's about living for God's sake.

Food addiction is real.
I do believe that the very nature of foods most people consume on a regular basis are addictive.
Sugar, wheat, preservatives, etc.

If you, your true self really doesn't want to do something - something that you know is detrimental to your health - and you hear yourself saying 'I really shouldn't' - and you do it anyway -
wouldn't you call that addiction?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Winners and Answers -

Great Googly Moogly!
As the comments were coming in, my heart was breaking.  I want to send you ALL some honey!
I thought about sending everyone a teaspoon.
Can you imagine.

The winners are -

Commenter 2 - Joy!
Commenter 46 - Blessings from a Wildflower!
and Commenter 84 - Thistle and Thyme Farm!

Please email me at with your address.

And now to start answering your questions...I'll just do a few here and there, so I don't bore you to sleep.

Erin, Gina and Patti asked me what my favorite way to use honey is - and I'd say it's just to eat it straight out of the jar, or make honey cookies or oatmeal honey bread.  But since I no longer eat cookies and bread *weeps* I just eat it straight.  I actually don't like it in my tea.  Go figa!

Nana Diana asked me how long it took before I noticed changes in myself after starting my 'kickbutt' (her words : -) program - Diana - it took me almost 20lbs before I really started seeing a change - and nearly 30 lbs before people started consistently noticing. 

Tracy asked me if I grow a veggie garden - I started out growing veggies, and didn't have any flowers.  I love veggie gardens, and think that a well maintained vegetable garden is every bit as pretty as a nice perennial bed.  Once I started putting in the big flower gardens around here, my veggie patch got smaller and smaller, and this year - due to tendinitis in my arm, I didn't plant one.  I poked a few tomato plants in amongst my flowers.  Oddly, I didn't miss it too much - just went to Farmer's Markets.  I do hope to have one next year though - it's all just so much work!

Happier Than A Pig in Mud asked me about my red door, and what would be the next color I would paint it.  Well - the door is still red.  I promise a pic soon!  The red door - a dirty country red - is growing on me.  It seems to make no sense in my head that the only thing on the house that is red is the door - seems that I need 'other things' to tie it in.  I'll get some red mums, a flag with some red in it etc.  I'm happy to say that I've quit obsessing over it.

OK, that's all for now!  I'm riding my bike to the gym to go and work out, and later today have my Cooking Club!  The theme for today's club is 'Lunch in the Mediterranean'.  After that, I do some volunteer garden work at an old historical house in town.

Have a fabulous day!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Sweetest Readers Ever

I'm not sure if you guys know how much I think about you all.
Silly things will run through my head at times, I'll see something and it'll spark a thought about one of you.

Your comments are a balm to my soul.

And I need me some balm up in here today!

You see - I'm a pile of acronyms today.

Even the chickens seem to step to the side when they see me coming....


Oh yes - it's bad today - and the allergy fog that I'm in doesn't help.  My head really doesn't feel attached to my body in any way - which leads to moments such as -

Painting my front door red.
Going out in my pajamas at daybreak to look at it 17 times to assess my approval of said red door.
Crossing the street to look at it.
Getting in the car and driving by from both directions to look at it.
Not knowing if I like it.
Obsessing that the verbena in the pot near the door is more of a fuchsia tone and doesn't match the door.
Wanting to paint the brick wall on the porch red again.
Wanting to be a brunette.
Cancelling all the plans I have on the calendar for the next two weeks.
Adding more plans to the calendar for the next two weeks.
Thinking about pie.

And then - if that weren't enough -
I swore at my bees.

I did.
Now, normally I'm all zen-like up in the hives - enjoying the placid buzzing sound.
The bees were angry my friends.
In fact, so angry - that even though I felt virtually sting proof in my beekeeper get up - they were freaking me out - a lot.
I decided to get out of the bee yard for a bit to let them calm down - and the stinkers followed me all the way back to the house.
And I swore at them.
I know this surprises you.
It did me too.

But, I did take 85lbs of their golden nectar, with about 50lbs more to come.
I have no idea why crack cocaine is so popular when you could access local honey much easier.

Oh ya.
It's that good.
One spoonful and you'll be itching for more.
You'll sell your Longaberger basket collection to get more.
You'll beg, borrow and steal for the regurgitated goodness.

But y'all don't have to go to those lengths.
I'd love to give three jars of it away.

Three pint sized jars of raw honey to three sweet readers.
Continental US only please.
I do have the nicest readers on the web.
Thank you.

All ya have to do is ask me a question, anything - and I'll answer it here on the blog - and choose three winners out of the comments, randomly of course, so no grovelling allowed.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go look at paint swatches.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wellness Wednesday - A Nest of Empty Dreams

I'm sitting here watching the cursor blink before me.
Mentally, I'm all over the board - for reals.
Life is just absolutely too exciting for me at times, and I feel the need for tranquilizers.
I mean - really?
Gardens, farmstands, chickens, friends, events, cooking, fall looming before us, knitting, sweaters, hot tea....
I get so excited about it all at times I'm afraid I'll burn out my adrenal glands.
: -)
For the record, I do plan on talking about chickens again soon.

Particularly, this one.
Good ole Phyllis.
This bird teaches me many lessons.
The fool bird is up sitting on empty eggs yet again.
My heart can't take her persistence in the face of ultimate failure.
Monday I go to the Poultry Auction in search of a suitable mate.
Home girl needs some lovin' if those eggs ever be hatchin'.

I'm still riding the wave of joy over the Marathon.
THANK YOU for your kind words of encouragement!
I've read them all several times, and it means so much to me that you'd take the time to write a comment.
I'm a bit hooked.
I wear my medal often, I'm embarrassed to say.
I may turn into the old crazy chicken lady who talks about the Marathon til her dying day -
"I remember in 2011....."

I'm signing up to do a mini Triathlon in Chicago next summer.
I'm stoked!
I just need to learn to swim a little better now...

chicago triathlon

So what does this have to do with Wellness Wednesday and Phyllis?

Well you see folks - many many years ago - when I was nearly 300lbs, I had such a desire to be fit - to be able to do a Triathlon.
I actually read Triathlon magazines.
While I drank a 20oz. Coke and ate a king sized Snickers.

Now Glenco will tell you that I'm just in all of this for the gear - and he's partially right.
I mean - I love the gear.  The clothes, the shoes, the goo gels, and water bottles.

Much like Phyllis, sitting on a nest of empty eggs, I sat on a nest of empty dreams for many years.

Much like Phyllis, I needed my eggs fertilized, and had no way to fertilize them.

Finally, this year, finding the BootCamp and David Greenwalt - my dreams became fertilized.
I learned what I needed in order to hatch my eggs.

I think it's so important that our dreams come to fruition.
Sitting on empty eggs makes one weary.

Little by little, day by day - I'm realizing that it's easier to do the hard WORK of making our dreams and goals come true, than it is to sit on a nest of empty dreams.

I encourage each and every one of you to find the time in your life to think about your dreams, the ones that you feel that life would be incomplete without - and pursue them with all of your heart.  Find out what's keeping you from them. 
I think you'd be surprised to find out that it's you.

Monday, September 12, 2011

It is Finished - For Real!

I wasn't the last one!
I didn't ride the bus!
No emergency personnel were summoned!

I'll begin at the beginning.
Left late Saturday morning and checked into a lovely hotel in Chicago -
The W Lakeshore

These aren't my photos, but photos from their website -

Spent the day in Chicago at a fitness expo, walking around Michigan Avenue and dining at the
Grand Lux Cafe.
It was such a change from my 'everyday' life, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

One of my friends from the Leanness Lifestyle came down to pay a visit - this is Laura, and her husband Joe.
Laura's lost over 55lbs!

Since we had a 3:30am wake up call set for Sunday morning, we bedded down early - like 8:15ish - I didn't fall asleep to somewhere around 11pm - when I did I had odd dreams that my sister was having another baby and she told me 'you aren't taking this one'. 
Ha!  Did I 'take' Aaron? 
I think I did.

I woke an hour before the call came in, because I kept thinking I was oversleeping.

I do believe I may have gotten four hours of sleep, and they weren't sound.

We boarded the shuttle bus to the race start at 5:30am -

I was seriously a tired, nervous wreck.
I kept thinking - 'why am I a doing this? I can't do this. I'm going to die.  I won't finish. How embarrassing.  I should have trained more consistently.  Holy crap, I want to go home'.

By the time it was light out, and we were all lining up, I was getting a serious adrenaline rush.

Exactly how cute are we?
Super cute, that's how.

Music was blaring, the crowd was getting pumped, and we were moving like cattle to slaughter to the start line.

Pure bliss.
Pure joy.
Pure excitement.

For the first five miles.

Our time at the five mile marker was 1 hour 12 minutes.
We were smoking.
We were talking how we were going to do this again and again!
Let's RUN it next time!

Mile 8.

Mile 9.

Mile 10.

Mile 11.

Mile 12.

Mile 13.
It's almost over - finish strong.

We did run over the finish line as they announced our names.
I got the medal put around my neck.

I got a little choked up.

I did it.
I finished.
Quite a few people behind me too -
At one point, I kept looking behind me - and then I realized if that's not the way I was going to go, quit looking.
For a fleeting moment, after I crossed the finish line, I wanted to go to the last person and cross it with them, I really wanted to.
The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak.

As of the day of the race, I was down 100lbs from my highest ever weight.

What I've learned from this?
Anything really is possible - if you want it bad enough.

Starting the race?
Exciting, motivating, fun.

Finishing the race?
Deeply satisfying.

Life is beautiful.

Monday, September 5, 2011

It is Finished

Hey you's guys.

Just letting you know I'm taking an unplanned blog break this week.

Why you ask?

Well -

I have a friend coming to stay for three days.
She'll be in Bootcamp here - learning to cook and eat right, exercise and I'm going to talk to her til I'm blue in the face - about choices, and feeling good - and the emotional and mental battle of making positive changes in your life.

My head feels like it's going to expode every time I have a friend that tells me how horrible they feel when they are living on junk food.

And then -

This weekend -

I'm doing the Chicago Half Marathon.

I know.

It's nuts!

I'm walking it.

Been training the last few months.
Yesterday I did my 13 mile walk - and this week I taper off so that I'll be fresh as a daisy for Sunday's race - but I'm not racing -

In fact, I might be the last to finish, and I'm OK with that.

Because I'm going to finish.
And when I cross that line this comng Sunday, it will be so incredibly symbolic for me that I actually finished something - cause y'all know I'm a great starter, and a horrible finisher. 

But it's a new dawn of a new day.

Remember the upstairs bedroom?
Ummm, and the porch?
Oh that's only the tip of the unfinished iceberg around here.

Something's gotta change - and I've lived long enough to realize it's usually me.

I already know it's going to be my 'word' for 2012.
Twenty Twelve.
When did that happen.

SO...I'll be back next week and tell you all about the race, and the thrill of victory, and the agony of my feet.

Have a fabulous week!!!