blogging, dealing with food cravings, emotional eating, finding balance, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, The Daily Prompt, Uncategorized, weight loss and deprivation, weight loss journal, Writing

In that place where I don’t bulge out…

via Daily Prompt: Caper

Oh, but I fall into excuses, even when I promise myself, and my world, that I won’t.  There’s one more hot dog, because it’s the fourth.  There’s the giant crab cake sandwich, because I’m sick and the prednisone makes me so hungry.  There’s frozen yogurt because, well, because it’s Sunday and I’m with my daughter who loves fro-yo, and it has protein in it.

There’s an extra cup of coffee with cream, because I got up so damn early this morning, and I have a headache from the cough syrup.  I can keep going, but I know what I sound like.  My real personal truth is that I like food and I like coffee and I like doing things that I like.  I don’t want to practice self-control because self-control isn’t fun. Self-control is like being mired in dog shit in the middle of an amusement park.

My shunning of self-control would be awesome if it didn’t conflict with other things that I  adore; like cute clothing and my underlying desire to fit neatly in the same box as most other people.  In essence, my secretive shallow nature is in constant disagreement with my lack of constraint.

So, I have “start-fresh-Mondays” where I get out my food journal and log every calorie and nibble until they are all I can think about.  As I shower, 190 runs through my head.  I vacuum with 370 and watch Friends reruns with 860 on my mind.  Is it too many, is it enough? Can I just have a cheese stick?  Always that damn careful balance!  I pray I can go to bed with the gnawing. I can picture angry little flesh-colored “pac-men” eating away my fat as I run my hand flat against my torso.  Are those my ribs sticking out?  I’ll look great in that skirt; no one will know I’m a fat girl on the inside.

I know I’m wrong, and different, but maybe not.  It’s  simply a caper against myself.  We all have secrets, some salacious some mundane. I’m hoping to be somewhere in the middle; in that place where I don’t bulge out.

blogging, Daily Prompt, The Daily Prompt, Writing

Odds Are, or A Dream for Your Dollar

 

Today’s post is inspired by the daily prompt:

You just inherited $1,000,000 from an aunt you didn’t even know existed. What’s the first thing you buy (or otherwise use the money for)?

 


My family is very small, and I’ve done a pretty good job of tracing my ancestry as far back as the 1870s, so I’m pretty certain that no dead aunt is going to suddenly pop into my life. I do have another investment strategy, with even less likely odds, and it’s name is Powerball.

Every once in a great while,when the jackpot is super high, my husband and I will break down and buy one solitary Powerball lottery ticket.  I’ve witnessed people buying $100 worth, or more, foolishly unaware that their odds haven’t increased and that they’ve just wasted $99 that could have been spent on their electric bill, or new shoes for their kids. In fact, according to an article on The Daily Beast, odds are much greater that I could get struck by lightning, die of a flesh-eating bacteria, or get hit by a meteor during the asteroid apocalypse, than win the lottery.

I enter into my one dollar investment with full disclosure that my portfolio is likely to yield a big, old, goose egg of a return.  However, secure in the fact that someone will likely win, there’s a small, dim glimmer of hope that it could be us.  So, from the time that I hand over my buck to the cashier at my local 7-11 to the hour that I check the winning numbers, my mind will drift to the possibility of hitting the big one for hundreds of millions of dollars. My husband and I agree that we’re buying ourselves a little chunk of daydreaming time for our dollar.

The best part of hitting the jackpot would be paying of all of our various debts.  Then with a clean slate, we’d pay off my daughter’s medical school loans and set up all three of our kids in their dream homes and put plenty of money in their bank accounts, so they would only work if they wanted to.

Next, I would hook up my best friend; pay off her house and debts and hire a cook and driver for her–because she is unable to use a stove or drive with her head injury.  I’d also set up a trust and a financial manager for her.

There are three ladies who were a tremendous help to me, long ago, when my first husband left me and took our only car.  These three friends drove me back and forth to work (we worked at the same school) and refused my gas money offerings. One even anonymously gave me a gift card for winter coats for my daughters and me that year (she denies it, but I know it was her).  These ladies would get brand new cars with unlimited gas cards, and would never have to work again.

In terms of charitable work, I’d love to set up a compassionate care foundation to help those unable to pay for medical, or other needs. This would especially include the mentally ill, single parents, and the elderly.

Lastly, my husband and I would give our current house to a needy family, and then move to a luxury beach house with a gym and a heated indoor/outdoor pool.  I’d also hire a personal trainer to visit our home five times per week, and a chef to cook healthy us meals–in between our world travels!

It’s funny, writing about my dreams of having millions is almost as satisfying as actually purchasing a lottery ticket.  Maybe I’ll just post this and save myself a dollar, after all, the odds really aren’t in my favor!

Speaking of odds, I LOVE this song by The Barenaked Ladies!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Daily Prompt, Writing

Move over Ariel!

An illustration from Hans Christian Anderson's, Little Mermaid (Illustrations courtesy of http://hca.gilead.org.il/)
An illustration from Hans Christian Anderson’s, Little Mermaid (Illustrations courtesy of http://hca.gilead.org.il/)

I don’t remember when I first learned to swim. Even as a small child, the idea of swimming lessons seemed silly to me. Knowing how to swim was like knowing how to walk, or breathe; you just dive in the water and do it. Still, one by one, each of my friends at some time during our childhood, enrolled the Red Cross’s swimming classes taught by the suntanned life guards at our town park’s pool. After two weeks of lessons they would show off their breast stroke and brag about diving into the deep end of the pool.  I would smile, and act impressed, because I didn’t want to be unfriendly, but the truth was, I’d been diving into the deep end since I could walk and my strokes had long been perfected under my mother’s gentle teaching.

Though I’ve written about it before, some of my best memories were made watching my mom, in her bright red swim suit, elegantly navigate the length of our neighborhood pool.  I was told that on warm summer evenings, just a few months after my April birth, she held me in the tepid waters and delighted in my laughter and cooing as I kicked my legs and splashed against her.

As a young girl, I’d swim back and forth with her, hovering in the shallow end, since I couldn’t touch bottom.  She’d tell me I was her little mermaid and I’d respond by holding my legs close together and undulating through the water with my imaginary fishtail.  Long before Disney had ever made the movie, I’d heard  a modified version of Hans Christian Anderson’s original story and decided that the perfect occupation for me was that of a mermaid.  I imagined my blond hair growing long and wavy and the scales of my tail flashing rainbows and glistening in the sun.  I’d proudly adorn it with oysters to show my rank as a princess of the sea. I practiced singing the sirens’ songs to lure the sailors into my deep blue abyss.  The sound of the pool’s pump served as the noise of the swirling sea. I was wary of the sea witch who I was certain resided in the far corner of the deep end.

“You’ve got to be careful!  She’ll steal your voice!” I’d warn my imaginary sisters. Don’t sell your hair to her!  I’ll turn to foam before I stab the prince!” I’d yell dramatically.

I obviously never became a mermaid, but after my pretending days were over, I did enroll in the Red Cross’s Life Saving courses and worked as lifeguard while in high school.  I might not have had a flashy, oyster adorned tail, but I was told that I had a pretty nice set of legs in my younger days!   Now, as an adult, I’m never far from a pool and usually swim several times a week with absolutely no fear of the sea witch. Our lives mostly take a path that’s different from our childhood imaginings, but that doesn’t make them any less magical.

This post was inspired by the Daily Prompt, which was : As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? How close or far are you from that vision?

blogging, The Daily Prompt, Writing

Bucket List, Schmucket List

This is my kind of bucket for bucket list making!  Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
This is my kind of bucket for bucket list making! Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Since I have our evening, holiday meal under control while our adult kids are visiting the families of their significant others, my adorable husband prompted me to participate in today’s Daily Prompt, which is:

“Have you made your bucket list? Now’s the time — write about the things you want to do and see before you become dust in the wind.”

When I was 48, and the author of another blog, I decided making a nifty bucket list entitled 50 Things to Do Before I turn 50.  It seemed like the “thing” to do since bucket listing was all the rage.  I also imagined that the creation and execution of my list would be top-notch fodder for writing prompts.  However, much like my short foray into sorority life, long ago, in college, I found bucket list planning too structured, too formatted, and way too forced.

First of all coming up with 50, somewhat significant, things to do in a two year span is harder than one might think.  I began by listing common wishes like Travel the World, Get Published, Meditate More, and, Learn to Sew.  After I listed about ten of my most obvious goals, it began to get tricky.  When I found myself including goals like Do the laundry, Get Eggs at the Market, and Remember to Shave your Legs BEFORE you go to the Pool.  I knew that bucket list making was becoming as much of a chore as participating in a midnight donut sale with my former sorority sisters.

Of course, I have goals, but the last thing that I would associate my goals with would be a visit from the Grim Reaper.  We’re all going to kick the proverbial bucket one day, but until then, I’ll be doing the things I love: getting and staying healthy, taking life one day at a time, being kind and thoughtful to others, jumping on any opportunity or adventure that comes my way, and living life on my own best terms.

Hope everyone is having a gorgeous Sunday!  Happiest of Easters, or whatever you may celebrate on this glorious day! 🙂

Happy Sunday!
Happy Sunday! Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

blogging, Daily Prompt, Having fun, memories, The Daily Prompt, Writing

Never at a Loss for Words

Hooked on Phonics began way back in the mid 1960s!
Hooked on Phonics began way back in the mid 1960s!

I was born in the beginnings of Hooked on Phonics. My mother had waited ten, long years to have me, and once I arrived, she didn’t waste a moment on my education. Before I could talk, she was drilling me with phonemes and filling my days with wonderful words and stories. It was on the black linoleum floor of our quaint kitchen, as my mother trace the letters that built the word “milk” in a white puddle created with a spill, that I made the connection that letters made words and words stood for the things that surrounded us. Before my kindergarten year approached, I’d learned to decode the words that festooned my small world, and some that didn’t. My aunt, who was in college at the time, still tells the story of how I could read from her psychology textbooks, though I had no idea what I was deciphering!

Over my years of schooling, the language arts were my favorite subjects and my reading and English teachers my heroes. It wasn’t until my seventh grade year that I began regularly writing in a little brown diary, with a gold

It looked sort of like this one!
It looked sort of like this one!

lock, that I’d gotten for Christmas. Mostly my words were those of a desperately frustrated pre-teen with an overbearing father and a perfectly doted on brother. In high school, I had an amazing writing teacher who taught me how to use my way with words to earn money. Several writing contests paid for my entire first year of college. By this time, my writing repertoire had branched to poetry and fiction, in addition to my daily journaling.

Years later, as a mother and teacher, I filled up young minds will beautiful words and stories. Some of my favorite times were sleepy evenings snuggled in blankets, with my children on either side, lost in the tales of myimagesVJIDU3GX own childhood; Heidi, Treasure Island, Pippi Longstocking, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and so many more. My third-grade students would clamor for daily story time and I would feed them the prairie adventures of young Laura Ingalls Wilder or the silliness of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, or Lois Sachar’s, Sideways Stories of the Wayside School.

Though I have no true aspirations to be a famous author, words are the constant in my life. They entertain, soothe, edify and overwhelm me with their beauty. They define past memories and hopes of future days, and it’s doubtful that I’ll ever be at a loss for them.

This post is in response to the Daily Prompt Writing Challenge.  What are your “Writerly Reflections?”

 

Here are some other lovely responses to the Daily Prompt:

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food and family celebrations, Having fun, learning, my family is driving me crazy, The Daily Prompt

The Prankster gets Punked

I know I just published a post, but this is in response to The Daily Prompt and I just couldn’t resist answering it!

No one wants to be grabbed by  someone wearing one of these!
No one wants to be grabbed by someone wearing one of these!

As a child, I was always a prankster, but a few days before my last Halloween, I went a bit too far with my hijinks with terrifying a young neighbor boy by scratching on his window screen while making ghostly noises.  Getting caught by his mother, resulted in every true mischief-maker’s nightmare; my parents banned me from Trick-or-Treat.  The one night of the year dedicated to puckish pranks, and I was banished to doling out candy to little kids dressed like witches and super heroes.

In the days before my favorite holiday, I tried every method possible to cajole my parents into giving in and allowing me to participate, but to no avail.  I was forced to dress as a friendly fairy princess and hand out full-sized Hershey Bars and homemade candy apples to the masses of knocking children. Worst of all, my parents, who always had a group of friends over on Halloween, had invited the parents over of the boy who I’d scared.  Oh, the shame!

My twelve-year-old grumpiness mounted as I served up treats to the friends that I usually ran the neighborhood with.  One of them even had the cojones to show me the big roll of toilet paper that he had hidden in the pillowcase that he collected candy in.  I shoved a candy apple in his bag, hoping the red shell would crack, as I thought of all the lovely neighborhood trees that I wouldn’t be decorating with streamers of Charmin.

I’d grumbled through nearly all two hours of candy giving, when I saw a tall Trick-or-Treater ambling up my front yard.  He or she was wearing an oversized fur coat and black ski mask.  “This one’s definitely too old to be collecting candy,” I thought to myself.  I rolled my eyes as the behemoth candy grubber mumbled “Trick-er-treat!” in a low menacing voice.  I begrudgingly went to drop a candy bar into his outstretched pillowcase, when suddenly a leather gloved hand shot out from the over-size coat and grabbed my arm.  “You’re comin’ with me!”  the muffled voice said, as the tall Trick-or-Treater began pulling me down the front yard.  I fought, but this person was strong.  I screamed, but no one seemed to care about the kidnapping of a disgruntled fairy princess on Halloween night. Finally, halfway down my front yard, my captor raised a gloved hand to his mask and pulled it off to reveal the smiling face of MY GRANDMOTHER!  I was flooded with relief and dissolved into laughter as she pulled me into a big bear hug!

That spooky night, this lowly prankster got a taste of her own medicine.  Did it stop my impish nature?  Not wholly, but I never frightened a neighborhood kid again!

Here are some other Daily Prompt postings that you might enjoy!