Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Eve of 2012

Let me just say this.
It's uber gloomy here in Indiana - and if Glenco doesn't snap out of the funk he's in -
I'm getting a light box for the man.

I feel better now.

It's been an odd week - I feel like I'm just in limbo waiting for 2012.

That's me and Aaron - both of us fit in my jacket from last winter!

The BoyChild has spent the last three days held up on my couch sporting a fever of 103.
I do declare he's slept about 20 hours a day.
I like it that he wants to be here when he's sick.
It makes me feel nurture-y and needed.
Of course - after he started complaining about his neck hurting terribly, I called my sister and had her take him to urgent care.
I thought he might have the meningitis.

I'm an alarmist.

True story - my mother had meningitis as a child - and was in a coma - legend has it that the day they gave up on her and decided to bury her, she awoke.
I remember her telling me how they had her clothes laid out for the funeral.
As kids we always made her show us how she couldn't touch her chin to her chest.

I had to work at Pier One until midnight on Thursday night and sisters let me just tell you how that threw a wrench in my life.
I'm not used to staying up way late in the night like that.
I had to redo the wind chime display.
For real.

There's this frog that I keep looking at.
I have no idea why I want this thing - but I do!Yoga Frog

I'm only working at 'The Pier' three hours at a time, every other week.
I'm really not sure what the point is - but for now - I'm enjoying it.

Came home to pamper Aaron's feverish head, and tried sleeping in a sitting position on the couch holding his head so he wouldn't be alone if he awoke in the night needing something - but I only lasted until 3am before I needed to be horizontal in my own bed.

We had our first snow this week.
It was indescribably delicious.

I know this is an incredibly lame blog post - but it's been rather a lame week.
See?  My life is not all excitement and fluffy chicken butts - it's pretty darned regular.

I'm still mourning the death of Jinksie and nursing a bad tooth.
I go to my favorite dentist Monday - he wanted me on a course of antibiotics before the drilling began.
There will be nitrous, Xanax and blankets on Monday.
I'm taking the camera and plan on taking random photos while under the influence of nitrous.

I've brought in one of my outside cats.

I can't live catless - I can't!  I won't!
I'm not sure he's going to 'make it' inside.
He's got a bit of the wanderlust.
He hasn't been crying to get out for the last 24 hours - so there is progress.
I keep calling him Jinksie - and then I feel terrible.

I've been making a mental list of goals for 2012 and they involve things like -

'do a chin up'
'give up eating meat'
'raise and slaughter chickens and turkeys'
'breed and sell exotic chickens'
'plant new gardens'

As you can see - I'm confused.
I'll get it all on paper soon.
I'm REALLY looking forward to 2012.

I'll be in bed way before midnight tonight.
I've never been much of a New Year Eve gal.

I'll end this tortuously dull post with this last question....I'm aching to know what you are doing tonight, and what you are looking forward to the most in 2012?

The end!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's Your Turn

February 2011.
I cringe.
I look away.
I never saw myself like this.

I had always kinda thought of myself as Aunt Bea.
You know - the chubby, happy go lucky lady that took care of her nephew Opie, and brought fried chicken and biscuits to Andy at the station.
Food was love - love was food.
What's not to understand?

Then - something fabulous, wild and crazy happened to me.
I found out there was a better way to live.
It was hard.
It was easy.
It was fun.
It was miserable.
It was exhilarating.
It was exhausting.

It was called 'honoring myself'.

10 months later.

Me and my nephew Ryan.
I've got some seriously handsome nephews don't I?

I have my fake boobs on in that picture - so it's hard to see how thin I am on the top now.
I'll get you some full body pics soon.
I no longer channel Aunt Bea, I can tell ya that for sure.

For all the changes you see on the outside, there are many more on the inside.
I want to tell you about each and every one.

In the words of Helene -
"Girls, you can do this!  Let's get this going!"

I'm not going to say anymore for right now.  I'm still a bit out of it from Vicodin.  I slept 12 hours last night.  I dreamt I was a man named George and I kissed a young Elizabeth Taylor.
I also drove like a bat out of hell in a 1970 Dodge Charger narrowly escaping the apocalypse.

I'm on antibiotics, and I go see my favorite dentist on Monday -
There will be pictures.

For now I leave you with this thought.
It's possible.
Anything is possible.
It takes the first step.
I'm here to hold your hand while you take it.
I'll also hold your hand when you take your second, tenth, fiftieth and thousandth.

I'm here for you baby.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Party's Over

Thanks to all of you that went over to my Coach's blog and spread some love. 
I SO appreciate it!
So does he.
Everyone needs some love.
Even when you have guns like those.

It's over girls.
I have half my decorations down.
I never got out of my pajamas or put a bra on today.
Got up - started taking stuff down and deep cleaning in it's wake.
It's what I love to do at this time of year.
It was 7pm tonight and I was on my hands and knees washing my bedroom woodwork - as happy as a lark - when I thought -
"I may need professional help - this is my idea of a good time!"

I'm so ding danged excited to get 2012 underway.

I'm still grieving Jinksie.
I think I have an the beginnings of an abscess tooth on my lower right jaw.
The molar is still broken in half on the upper right jaw.
I go to the dentist this week - until then Vicodin is my BPF (best pharmaceutical forever).
Please forgive me if this blog post makes no sense.

I got the Poppy perfume for Christmas.
My sister doesn't read my blog apparently.

There are no Christmas cookies left up in the house.
All problem food for me is gone.
I have much to say about that.

I LOVE Christmas - but for some reason, I'm just a bit glad to see it go this year.


Friday, December 23, 2011

It's Just a Day Away....

I celebrate on Christmas Eve - so that's why it's just a day away!

Oh what a riot your comments were!
I had so much fun with Helene.
You'll be sure to see her again.
If you've got nothing better to do - you might want to watch a few of the outtakes - just click over on the videos on the right...

Well y'all - it's almost here - and I hope you are in a good place - mentally, emotionally and physically.

I'm rather fragile this morning.
24 hours ago, right now - my beloved, and I do mean beloved Jinksie dropped dead before my very eyes.
He didn't suffer - although I am now.
I haven't been able to sleep or eat since he passed.
I've completely dehydrated myself through my tear ducts.

Two years old - healthy to the human eye.

But that's not what today's blog is about - goodness - we don't need to talk about a dead cat right before Christmas.  I'll give you the details later.

What I wanted to share with today was my Coach's blog post from yesterday.
It's one of the best things I've read in like forever.
It's a GREAT reminder on a day like today - when you might be in a flurry of busyness and you need to pause and really remember the reason for the season.

And if ya really love me - won't you leave him a comment wishing him a Merry Christmas, and thanking him for helping me be so fabulous?
It would mean the world to me if ya did.

From a very tired, hungry, heartbroken and dehydrated Coop Keeper -
I thank you from the bottom of my bottomless heart.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just So You Know...

Seems that I may have confused a few of you yesterday - so I'm just here to clarify -

Aaron is my nephew.

He's never met his biological father.

Neither have I for that matter.

My sister Cindy - Aaron's mother - just got married in October after a whirlwind romance - she married her very first boyfriend from our old neighborhood in Chicago.
They reconnected via Facebook.
Another social media love story.

I was over the moon happy that Aaron's dad bought him a cake.

He's a wonderful man, and made Aaron's birthday extra special in every way.

Tears of joy, baby.
Tears of joy.

I suppose my heart didn't really break - burst would be more accurate.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Five Words That Broke My Heart

I'm sitting here bleary eyed and snotty nosed.
Oh I just had a good cry.
A good one.
Tears of utter joy.

What made the CoopKeeper cry, you ask?

These five words texted to me from the boy I love the most:

"dad got me a cake"

Today is Aaron's 16th birthday.
Oh that rat.
Growing up without my permission.

I didn't want Aaron to know I was crying like a baby after he texted me that, so I returned his message asking him if he'd mind if I rolled in his cake naked.

To which he replied - no he didn't mind - he wanted to too.

He's on winter break now and will be here for two weeks - probably not everyday - but as many as I can steal him away for.

I insisted he do a guest blog post - he's up for it.
He said he needed to do a very descriptive blog post of the cheesecake he ate at the Cheesecake Factory.

Whatever dude.

I'll follow that one with a very descriptive post on broccoli.

I planned on baking Aaron a Heath Bar Cheesecake today - it's what he wants every year.
The boy loves cheesecake.

But this year - Dad took care of it.

Aaron's got a dad.

I'm crying once again.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Giving it All Away

Simply having a wonderful Christmastime.
Enjoying the ambiance in the house.
I'm happy to say that I've slapped up the decor and haven't spend a dime - nor have I lost any sleep wondering how to decorate.
Same stuff goes in the same place every year.
It works for me, baby.

I'm sipping my new addiction.
Twinings Winter Spice tea.

There's no wrapping, there's no baking (I'll do a wee next week), there's no flurry, there's no hurry.
There's no stress, there's no mess.

Bada ba ba ba ....I'm lovin' it.

We just got some new light bulbs for our kitchen island.
Very hard to photograph.

They are the Edison Vintage bulbs by Feit.
They hang a wee bit too long out of the fixture me thinks, but maybe it's just that the other ones were  up higher.

Speaking of photographing - I'm laughing at most of these pics.
Law girls - I went to college for photography.
You'd never know it.
I know a good pic when I see one, I just don't take them anymore.
I aim and shoot haphazardly and hope that I don't have a reflection of Glenco picking his nose or scratching himself.
It's reduced to that.
For real.

my raggedy Charlie Brown Tree
I'm loving this new Christmas.
I'm loving waking up every morning and my first thought is
 'how can I recklessly give of myself today?'
I love thinking of kind things to do.

But it's got my heart all broken up.
There's so much need.
I bawled when I watched the news and found out people have been going to Kmarts and Walmarts and paying people's layaway accounts in full.
How cool is that?

I cry when I think of kids waking up on Christmas with nothing, not only that - perhaps a horrible family situation to boot.

In the past - I feel that Christmas was a 'look at me fest'
Look at my house!
Look at my cookies!
Look what great gifts I made!

There's nothing wrong with that - unless that's all it is.

My heart is stirring with more.
I want to start a Kindness Revolution.

Last night in bed, I bolted up and turned to Glen and said -
"Let's give it all away!"

There's something about having an empty bank account
 and a full heart that really makes me feel rich.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Belly Rings, Pizza, Cookies, Eye Doctors and Dentists. Oh Ya - It's Drivel.

If there was ever a picture that depicted how I've felt lately it's this one.

Poor old Scarlett is molting at a most inconvenient time.
Being the most vain bird that I own, I know this has been taking an emotional toll on her.

Yesterday came and went.
My brother in law and nephew arrived bearing a large pizza.
I think there's a rumor on the street that there's no tasty vittles up in this house anymore.
I noticed an odd mark on the tree in the front.
Have I been tagged!?
I haven't had pizza in 9 months.
It's smelled like heaven in a box.

They all ate pizza.
It's compliant with my lifestyle, and it's Dee Dad Gum Delicious.

You really must know that it's not about my figure at all anymore.
Sure - it's nice to feel thin, it's nice to look better in clothes and know that I've decreased my risk of heart disease dramatically.
For me - it's all about how I feel.
How I function.
I want to live with energy and focus.
Eating clean gives me that.
Eating clean gives me sanity.
I'll talk more about it after Christmas, k?

Here is the picture of the belly ring.
I hope for some of you - that you've already digested your breakfast.

As you can see, the entry wound is still tender.
This darned bee belly ring is the reason I re-pierced my belly.
It's the ultimate bee sting!
I was told not to change the ring for six weeks.
Six weeks!
They had put a very non descript ring in me belly - and I was bored with it.
I had to get the pliers out to take it off.
That just made my butt pucker right up to even do that - but do it I did - and I changed the ring.
About four hours later, I was rather sorry I did.
It was too soon to change belly rings.
Who knew?
: -)
I have the little plain one back in now.

I've never been good at following directions.

And now for something completely different.
It's just too funny not to share.
My last follow up appointment with my eye doctor for contacts.
My eye doctor is such a gentle soul.
He said the contacts are looking good - just to give it about a month to fully adjust.
"Do you have any questions or concerns?" he asked.
"Well, yes.", replied the CoopKeeper.
"Do I look old? Do I look high?  Do I appear surprised?"
"Does it seem that I have too much face showing?"
Oh my - I wish you could have seen his face!

He answered me kindly, and gave me rather scientific reasons why I thought my face looked horsish

And last, but certainly not least.
I made cookies yesterday.
Gluten free peanut butter cookies.
Natural peanut butter, sugar and eggs.
That's all that was in them.

I made two dozen.
I ate 18.

Told ya.
Bad idea.
This morning, I feel like I've a bit of a hangover.
I feel bloated and disappointed in myself.

It's OK though.
I'm failing forward fast.
It's a journey of excellence, not perfection.

Sadly, I broke a molar on an over baked cookie.
Which led to me dreaming about my dentist.
He was very tan and told me that he had just returned from Varruba.
I don't think that's a country.
He didn't recognize me because of my weight loss - and told me he wished he had a daughter just like me.

So basically - the cookies cost me a day of not feeling good and about $500 in dental work.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ponder This

my little stick tree
I'm just going to come right out and say it.

I know y'all are thinking it.
I do declare this the most depressing blog ever as it applies to Christmas.

Barefoot Contessa's Chicken Chili
Have I posted one delicious Christmas recipe?

Pinned Image
from Pinterest - I actually did this with holiday soap from Target!
Have I shared one fabulous decorating idea?
Have I shared any great gift ideas?
In fact - stopping by here, you might think I'm anti-Christmas - but you'd be so wrong -
cause my heart is just bursting at the seams with the Spirit of it all.

No baking.
No shopping.
Minimal decorating, and last minute at that.
The final pumpkin was found and discarded just today.
My 50 Random Acts of Kindness are in full swing, and it's the best gift I've ever given myself.
I'm absolutely stress-less.

I ofttimes feel that I live in a fantasy world - a bubble almost - of goodness and light, and happiness and sunshine - where everyday is Christmas, and everyone I meet has the same naive spirit as I do.
So far - living like this has worked for me.
I've got no plans of changing.

The last year has been a journey indeed.
A journey of weight loss, a journey of personal growth, a journey of learning to let peace lead, to let go of control, to end worry, and a journey to live simply.
I haven't been perfect, but I've done stinkin' good.

This morning I awoke pondering this -
Would I indeed be able to celebrate the birth of our Saviour without confection?
Without eggnog.
Spiced nuts.

Would I?

You must know that I've food issues.
For me - one cookie would turn into one hundred.
Surely you wouldn't tell your recovering alcoholic Uncle Fred to have just 'one drink' for Christmas?
Surely, you wouldn't encourage your crack addicted cousin Susie to just 'do a little' cause it's the Holidays.

Would you?

While doing the morning dishes, I began pondering again. Sometimes I think I ponder too much, and it's something I'm working on - but some pondering is quite necessary when going through a major transformation. I'm trying to learn to boil things down. To get to the root of things as quickly as I can - and move on. Sometimes I do pretty well - other times, I get stuck - and thoughts are like a broken record in my head.

I'm pondering the no bake Christmas again this year. I know. It probably seems so silly to some of you - but for me - it was my identity I suppose. I don't think I truly realized how much time and energy I put into Christmas baking. Recipes were searched out months in advance, ingredients were bought weeks ahead - I practically worked full time for two weeks baking. I was good at it. People liked it - it validated me in some way - and also fed my addiction as of course I had to taste everything, and not only taste - I'm sure I ate half of it all - and that's why I had to make SO much!

What has me pondering this again is two things:

Today my brother-in-law and nephew are coming for a visit. I know what they expect. They expect a visit to Mrs. Claus' house. They expect cookies, confection, cocoa and joy. I can give them the joy - but they will get a fruit plate and some unsweetened tea. I have a scared feeling in my stomach because of it.

The second reason is my beloved nephew Aaron, The BoyChild - who is my heartbeat, my joy and like my very own son. I feel the responsibility of giving him everything that "I" feel that Christmas is - and it involves food.

I'm trying to boil this down. Why would I feel scared over this? Why would I feel the burden of 'making some one's Christmas'? I'm reckoning that it's boiling down to needing to be liked, needing to be loved, needing to feel good at something. If the very thing I THOUGHT people liked me for - I no longer do - my mind tells me that they will no longer like me. Is that really that big of a deal? Obviously, to me it is. If someone no longer likes me because I don't bake cookies - well, it's a pretty good indication that they never liked ME in the first place....

I started my period today - just interjecting that right here right now....LOL

The small part of my brain that is logical - tells me that all of this is poppycock. Come by for a visit, have some great orange slices and move on. It's not my 'job' to make you happy, it's not my 'job' to make you cookies. Like the new me or move on.

The large part of my brain that is emotional cries out 'love me' and wants to get the sugar and flour out.

Lord have mercy.
And you thought the whole process of weight loss was eat less, move more, didn't you?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Leanness Lifestyle

Coach Robin, The CoopKeeper, Coach Tom, Coach Angie, Coach David
This weekend I had the immense pleasure and honor of spending time with
 my Leanness Lifestyle mentors in the great town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
I'm still getting used to my contacts - and I had on five inch heels.
So basically - I looked like a surprised, somewhat high, new born baby giraffe.
It's a sure way to impress people you don't see often.
These people are the real deal folks.
Losing weight this last year has been the lemon in my water - it's really been more of an internal transformation.
There's a saying that floats around the club
"Shrinking on the outside - growing on the inside"
So true.

Robin's lost 40 lbs and has kept it off for over 9 years.
Angie's lost 40 lbs and kept it off for over 6 years.
Coach Tom and David have both made amazing tranformations.

Last thing ya want to read about right before Christmas, isn't it?
I wouldn't blame you for one second if you clicked right off of here, and went to a blog where there were giving out recipes for Eggnog Cupcakes.

But just keep this stuck in your craw for January, when you are looking for that miracle diet yet again, or maybe - when you are at the end of your rope, resigning that you'll live the rest of your life overweight and unhappy.

Y'all come back here and I'll hook you right up.

For those of you that have emailed me in the last few days - give me a few days to get caught up - I'll for sure write you back.
: -)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fifty Fifty

I just cleaned my belly piercing - and Aaron (The BoyChild is my nephew - just clarifying)
 cleaned his nose piercing, and it made me think of y'all.
Pictures tomorrow - Lord willing and the creek don't rise.

We are in the throes of decorating the house for Christmas, and squealing with each thing we unwrap.
"Remember this!?"
"Oh I love this one!"

Now, if'n we'd just get some snow.

Too much fun.
Soon we'll depart and get our customary Starbucks Peppermint Mocha and each find an ornament that we'll squeal over next year.

Two things, nay - three things I wanted to say today.
Wait - I think there's four.
Did you know that word has haunted me for 24 hours.
It's the right word, isn't it?
It doesn't sound right.
I looked it up - and the definition is right.
It's still seeming wrong.
That's what you call the guy behind the batter that calls the balls, right?

The second thing I wanted to show you was the table that Glen just finished making for me out of 'reclaimed lumber'.
Actually - lumber I saw sticking out a dumpster last summer.
This beauty is 8' long and is going to make a lot of memorable meals.
Well, actually I will be making the meals - the table will just make them memorable.
After Christmas, I'll work on the porch again.
The chairs have to be painted, etc. etc.
And anotha thang I wanted to share with mainly my new readers, is my
Christmas Cookie tutorial.

I'm a great baker.
It's just a fact.
I'm sure you'll pick up some great tips!

And the final thang -
I'll be 50 in 50 days.
Today starts my birthday Random Acts of Kindness kickoff.
(another reason I wanted Aaron home today!)
For the next 50 days - I'll (or we'll) do a Random Act of Kindness each day.
Today - we are getting hot cocoa for all of the Salvation Army bell ringers in town.
Too much fun!

Until tomorrow - I bid you -
A squeal worthy day.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Daily Drivel Digest #326

I survived my day out among the English.
Survived, and maybe even thrived a little.

All I have to say, is that Vickie - you were right when you left the comment about it being good I was among candles, potpourri and room spray.

My cauliflower/cannelini bean conconction was in full swing, and at times I was doubled over with cramps.

Luckily, for me - and all of the customers, I wasn't behind the counter - but I was walking the floor - so I could leave the scene of the crime easily - and swiftly - and I did.
I have a real live name tag on my work apron - even though I've not a  clue what I'm doing.
I can fake it til I make it though - since I was a manager there a few years ago.
It's MUCH more fun walking around playing with dinner plates, and fluffing pillows than it is hammering out a schedule, making bank runs and actually being responsible for things!
I was lightly begged to work more than two days a month.
I declined.
Saying yes to that, means saying no to other things that I'm not willing to say no to right now.
Like being home.

The day was perfectly orchestrated time wise, and you woulda thunk I actually planned it - I swear I did get every green light and arrow, even at the fabric store, it seemed like they were just waiting for me to arrive.
What's with the fleece? there was buying scads of it.
I'm thinking it's for those no sew blankets.
I'll let you in on a little secret.
I diss the fleece.
I do diss it.
Why, you ask?
It gives me the chills, similiar to cotton balls, and it makes me feel like I need to go to the eye doctor to look at it - it's all blurred.
I'm dizzy and covered in chills now, just thinking of it.

what I think I look like with contacts - I'm sorry Courtney
My eye doctor appointment went well.
It was like riding a bike - popping those hard little blue lenses in me eyes.
Two minutes later, I looked like my dog died, or something else horrible happened.
I told the eye doctor that he should hand out buttons that say 'I'm not stoned - I just got contacts!'
Two hours in me eyes yesterday, four today.
Glenco tells me last night - after over 10 years of me wearing glasses that he likes me better without glasses.
I feel like I have too much face showing now - and I feel vulnerable.
It's hard to explain.

Today is Wednesday, thus the BoyChild shall be picked up at school.
I'll let you in on another secret.
We are celebrating his birthday today, although it's not actually his birthday just yet.
We are celebrating by going to a tattoo parlor and having extremely sharp hollow needles rammed through various parts of our body.
Is there a better way to bond with someone you love?
My belly, his nose.
No tattoos!
(added this after a few thought I was getting inked. : -)

You are shocked aren't you?
You should be.

And I'll let you in on yet ANOTHER secret.
He's not going to school tomorrow so he can help me decorate the house for Christmas and we can do our ornament shopping tradition.
Memories are more important than World History and Health class.
Don't hate.

And now, for something completely different.
This morning at about 4:15am, I woke up because the cat bounded off the bed, and my ears were ringing loudly.
And somehow, I have no idea why - it reminded me of a comment I got here a while back asking me if my house was haunted, and how would you know - if you were wanting to buy an old house if it were haunted or not.

I'm sorry I haven't answered that sooner - and I'm sorry for all the questions that go unanswered here, and I'm sorry for the way things are in China - oh wait, that's a John Denver song.

I like to think that I have a good 'knower'.  I feel a lot of things, I sense things.  I have 'forebodings' as I like to call them, and sometimes I just know things.  Everyone  that I have known that has been diagnosed with cancer - I've known from the minute I find out - whether or not they will survive it.
I've been right every single time.

So I would say I'm sensitive to things - but - and again - don't hate - I'm not sure I believe in ghosts.
It could explain the missing pillow if I did.
I believe in spirits - but not ghosts.
Does that make sense?

All of that to say - my house is haunted.
It's haunted with happiness, and beautiful memories of days gone by.
It's haunted with children's laughter, tears over hard decisions, lives lost, lives begun.

After 143 years - I do believe this house has seen it all.
But I've never felt anything but sheer peace and joy in this house.
People do remark on it when they enter.
I'm glad they don't remark that it smells like a moldy basement or a cat box.

I think - if you are hankering for an old house - and you want to start shopping for an old house - you will just 'know' if that house is for you.
It will feel right from the moment you walk in.
If it doesn't?

Colossians 3:15 says that peace should be our umpire.

 “Let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as an umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds]…” (Colossians 3:15 AMP).
(thanks Terry - I needed to clarify that!)
Oh my - imagine if we all lived that way - only doing things that brought us peace.
We wouldn't be nearly as busy as we are, now would we?
Think about that.