29 July 2006

What an amazing day!!

After picking up some folding chairs for a friend who's having a party tonight, we made our way down to the local farmer's market as I wanted to pick up a bottle of wine for the party. After getting my requisite iced non-fat cafe-au-lait and the bottle of wine, I went to a booth called Posies where they piece together a large bouquet of fresh flowers for the amazing price of ten bucks! I kid you not this bouquet would easily cost $60 from a florist. There are lilies, echinacea, zinnia, liatris, stock, daisies and a bunch of other flowers I don't know the names of; truly amazing!! Then, we got lunch at a booth that serves fresh, gourmet, vegetarian food. I chose the small variety platter which had a southwest corn salad, a chickpea salad, fresh green beans, a salad of mixed greens with fresh, edible flowers and other things I don't remember! Yummie!

Soon after returning home we left again to see two apartments. I can't tell you how many apartments we've seen over the past two weeks, but I can say none of them were what we're looking for ourselves. Have I mentioned that our lease is up on August 17th and we haven't found a new place yet? It's been really stressing me out. After today's visits, though, we have two that we like! Yeah!! Now, we just have to decide which one. Neither are in my preferred location, downtown, but they each have their benefits. Here's a quick summary:

Wildflower Dr. - $950 + all utilities

Air conditioning
2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
On bus route
Large pantry
W/D old
Dark kitchen w/ no windows
Bus only every hour
About 1 mile to downtown
Small windows
Old kitchen appliances

Lake St. - $1100 + elect (includes heat)

Completely renovated last year
3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
Beautiful carpet and hardwood floors
Brand new appliances
Completely furnished w/ nice furniture
Large windows
On bus route w/ buses every 10 minutes
Large kitchen island
Blocks to downtown and work
Nice breeze
Shared coin-op W/D in basement
Elliptical may not work (ceiling height)
Will have to keep a storage unit
Limited parking
Possible noise from neighbors
On 3rd floor (carrying in groceries/moving in)

So, what do you all think? I'm leaning toward the place on Lake St. as long as the elliptical will work there. We'll have to measure.

We then got changed into our bathing suits and went to one of the gorges. We had some pretty big rain storms yesterday, so there was quite a lot of water running through the gorge. It's in the 90s here today, so it was a really nice reprieve. We walked around in the water for a while then found a nice spot in the sun at a spot just perfect for lounging in the water. I enjoyed it so thoroughly and know I'd never even have considered doing it last year. It was so awesome!

And, tonight's my friend's party! I'm going to need tomorrow to recover, but I need to get packing!

24 July 2006

Crazy! Crazy!

(My post title probably breaks some trademark law or something. Oh well!) Happily, my nieces were in town visiting with their dad (sadly, my sister couldn't make it because she had to teach) last week. I took 3 days off of work and drove down to my parents' Saturday-Tuesday, and they came up here on Wednesday. We played mini-golf, went to my parents' church picnic, went to the movies, went to the zoo, went to the pool, went to a local interactive science museum, went bowling and ate ... a lot! We had ice cream twice (the 1st time I got a rather bad non-fat, SF chocolate iced latte, and the 2nd time I ordered a smaller than kid-sized vanilla cone dipped in cherry (oooh, do I love ice cream dips!) which my eldest niece ended up finishing), Chinese, Tex-Mex twice, vegetarian and my mom's cube steak, mashed potatoes & gravy. Boy, was I bad! Thankfully, though, I was so active, I didn't gain anything; I didn't lose anything either, but I'm ok w/ that.

When they were up here last summer, I remember playing mini-golf at the same place. This was maybe a month post-op, so while I had lost some weight, I was still carrying around quite a bit. And, while I recognize some of my issues were due to the surgery itself coupled with the heat we were experiencing, I remember getting totally worn out just from mini-golf! And, there's no way I would have gotten myself into a bathing suit last year! Although, while sitting in the kiddie pool, I put my hands down on the bottom and locked my arms letting my legs float upward, and what did I see floating first? Skin!! Arrrghh! It was narsty. I did my best to not let that happen again. And, I still found myself comparing myself to other women at the pool, but yes, I know I'm skinny! I will admit that now, but I still look at certain parts of myself and think, ugh, I'm still fat. Unless I have plastics (and it's not looking like I will unless I leave my husband and find me a sugar-daddy ;) ), it's just going to be the way it is; I can't help it. In normal clothes, though, I still find myself mesmerized when I see myself in a picture or on video. I borrowed a digital video camera from work while they were here, so I have a lot of video from their visit. I'd post some of what little I have with me in it, but I can't seem to find any info on Blogger on how to do it. Anyone else know how?

Oh, and yesterday, my husband and I played tennis for the first time in a very long time (I don't remember when the last time was!). While I always did ok at moving around the court previously, I know that when a shot would be hit at either side of my half of the court instead of in the middle, I'd think, ehhh, not gonna get to it, so why should I bother trying. Yesterday, not only did I try I made it to the ball on most occasions. And, it felt good to run. My chest wasn't bouncing all over the place, my knee didn't hurt (although it's a little sore today) and I actually felt light on my feet! The one unfortunate situation? Because of storing extra balls in my pocket, my dang shorts kept falling down too low, so when I'd go running for a shot, I could feel the skin of my abdomen flapping away in the breeze. Ok, no, I'm probably exaggerating a bit, but that's what it felt like! And, I knew if I took the time to try and look if it was actually happening I'd only draw attention to it and I would have missed the shot! I forgot to ask my husband if he noticed it; I'll try to remember to ask and will let you know. ;) Yup, going to have to find shorts that fit better before playing again!

23 July 2006

1 year, 1 month + Post-Op Photos


21 May 2006

Oct 2005, Jan 2006, March 2006

14 March 2006


21 May 2006

Oct 2005, Jan 2006, March 2006

March 2005, December 2005

18 July 2004

19 October 2003

Sorry for the long hiatus all. I plan to post more tomorrow.

09 July 2006

What the *bleep* was I thinking?

Yesterday started off really well. My mom came up for the day to enjoy her mother's day present: brunch, leisurely stroll at a local garden and an afternoon at the spa. Brunch was fantastic. We were able to sit outside in their garden patio where I enjoyed Brie stuffed French toast and chicken & apple sausage. Filoli Knot GardenAfter brunch, we headed to a local garden affiliated with the university. I'd never been to this particular garden before, and while it wasn't as impressive as Filoli in California or Longwood Gardens outside Philadelphia, they had some incredibly unique plants and shrubs I'd never heard of before. On top of that, it was an incredible day weather wise, so that made the garden even more enjoyable.

Then came the spa. Ohhh, man. I'd been to this spa before (but only for a pedicure), so I knew about their services and setting. After shedding our clothes for Japanese-style kimono robes and fluffy-white slippers, we were taken to our choice of tranquility rooms. The first had a fireplace filled with tea light candles, lemon-infused ice water, strawberry fizzle hot tea and four semi-reclined chairs and ottomans and lots of natural light coming in from two windows. The second offered the same 4 chairs and ottomans and ice-water as well as hot water and a selection of teas with honey, various sugars and cream. But, the kicker was a natural stone wall with water cascading over the stones down into a shallow pool. Ahhh, so incredibly relaxing. We were only there for about 10 minutes before the therapist called me back for my treatment, the Taughannock Falls Waterfall treatment. I won't do it justice, so instead I take the following description directly from their website:

While lying on a wet table the six Vichy shower jets allow the water to flow over you as warmed stones glide smoothly over the body helping to relieve tired, achy muscles. Wash away the stresses and worries of life. This treatment incorporates an aromatherapy salt scrub and finishes with a hot stone aromatherapy rub.

While on our honeymoon, I had a facial aboard the cruise ship but had never had a body treatment before because of knowing I'd feel uncomfortable having someone else being forced to touch my body (not to mention likely seeing my body sans clothes). So, it was really nice not only having the robe fit (a bit on the big side, actually) but feeling comfortable in the setting and with what was being done to me.

I'm pretty sure my mom had a really fantastic time (she had a facial and a pedicure) as she'd never been to a spa before, and I certainly enjoyed my day. So, that sounds like a full day already, right? Well, after arriving home at about 4:30pm, I sat my butt down and watched the most recent version of Pride & Prejudice. I'd seen it once before, but given that I'm currently reading the book and am nearing the end, I was interested to see how closely the movie follows the book. The result, the storyline is pretty much the same, but certain events were quite different. It's still enjoyable, though. So, with about 15 minutes left in the movie I decided to ask my husband if he was interested in taking a walk after it was over. (No, he wasn't watching the movie but was instead lying on the floor reading one of the programming books he'd checked out from the library.) He agreed to the walk without any questions of where, what type of walk, etc. We set out on the walk through our neighborhood without a plan of how far or long of a walk we'd be taking. On similar walks we'd taken in the past, Koba dictated how far we'd go, but alas, he was not there. :( So, without a word, we went beyond the point where we usually turned around with Koba ... all the way to the end of our road (which turns out is 1.2 miles), and at the end of the road, we decided to keep going ... despite blisters beginning to form on my feet, not having any water and quickly approaching darkness. In all, we walked 5.1 miles across greatly varying altitudes. (This is where today's title comes from.) By the time we got home, it was almost completely dark, I had 6 small blisters on my left foot & 4 on my right foot and my left knee (the one that had begun degrading before losing all this weight) was hurting. Oh, and get this, I still went hiking through a gorge trail this morning because we'd planned to do it, and my knee is still hurting with every step I take. Even still, it all felt good. And, while I won't yet call it official, I weigh what I have lost, 137 lbs, as of this morning!

04 July 2006

Happy 4th of July!

I hope everyone has had a great day today and that you've been able to enjoy your time off (if you had it). I've essentially had the past 5 days off (including the weekend), and I don't look forward to going back to work tomorrow. I've had a very good time these past few days and would like it to continue; although, I have missed Koba throughout the weekend. I, as usual, didn't accomplish all I would have liked to accomplish this weekend, but I did do a lot. The garden's looking better and better, but there's still a ton of work to be done. With the amount of rain we've had thus far, it's a never ending cycle of weeding.

Have I mentioned that my husband and I have decided to move to another apartment at the end of our current lease? We like the house we're living in a lot, but the well water is just too bad to continue living here. Our lease is up on August 17th or so, and we haven't yet found another place. We're hoping to move closer to downtown, so the number of options is smaller. And, a lot of what's downtown is rather old, early 1800s or so, and being rentals, they're typically not too well taken care of. And, while I'll admit I've been spoiled with where we've been able to live, I just can't imagine moving into a ratty, dirty, smelly apartment and paying $1000/month for it! Yes, I know, it's a lot cheaper than anything I'd find in NYC, San Francisco or any other major city for that matter, but this is the middle of cow country, for crying out loud, not some major metropolitan area! It just so happens to be a university town, though, so we're paying a premium. And, well, without the university, neither my husband nor I would have jobs, so I guess we can't complain too much.

In honor of the 4th of July, I made the following burgers both yesterday and today (b/c my husband liked them so much!). If you like a kick to your burgers, you're going to love these!

Firecracker Burgers

1 lb. 95% lean ground beef
1 4oz. can hot diced green chilies
2 tbsp. chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. granulated beef bouillon
2 tbsp. Worchestershire Sauce
4 slices of Jalapeno cheddar cheese

Mix the ground beef, chilies, garlic, beef bouillon and Worchestershire together. Let the mixture sit for about an hour to allow the beef to take up the chili and garlic flavor. Form four equal sized patties. Pre-heat the grill to at least 350 degrees. Lightly oil the grill grate then place the burgers on the grill. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side adding the slices of cheese to the burgers about 2 minutes before removing the burgers from the grill. Serve on a bun with your favorite condiments.


01 July 2006

I must have found some guts when I lost the weight!

My department had our annual summer picnic yesterday at our director's house on the lake. There was food, beer, water, a jet ski, a boat, a canoe and a sailboat ... oh, plus almost all of my co-workers plus various family members of each. The food wasn't so hot (hot dogs, greasy! hamburgers, clams (eww!), chips (yes, I'll admit, I had a few chips, a couple of Fritos and 2 Doritos! Bad Jenn!), veggies and various salads. I had a hamburger, and I probably would have been better off w/ a hot dog, the hamburger was so greasy! But, the big news for me, I went jet skiing! I first tried it w/ my husband, and being that the jet ski was meant for one, we had quite the difficult time keeping it balanced. We got about 150' from where we took off, and completely lost our balance. In we went! Thankfully, the water was a ton warmer than when we went kayaking on the same lake a couple of months ago, and while I panicked for about 2 seconds, I quickly realized the PFD was going to keep me above water w/out difficulty. We tried getting on the thing again but kept flipping it, so I decided to make my way back to shore and then walk back to my director's beach-front. After my husband returned, I decided I'd give it a try. Man, was I scared! But, once I finally got the thing started, I was off like a shot. And, as long as I was in the calmer water (the winds were rather strong yesterday), I had a blast, but the return trip was rather hairy for me as I was going against the wind and the waves which led the jet ski to jump up in the air quite a few times. So, instead of staying out there longer, I decided to bring it back in ... which in and of itself was an adventure. I thought that if I completely let off the throttle it would stall, so I kind of came into the dock a little too quickly. I hit the kill switch, but if I recall correctly, someone ended up jumping in the water to stop me and the jet ski from careening into the rocky beach. Yup, my director was stressed. ;) But, it was fun!

Today, I saw The Devil Wears Prada with a friend. I read the book a couple of years ago and enjoyed it, so I figured I'd like the movie. While it was different in ways from the book, it was still quite enjoyable, and if you like clothes, fashion or chick flicks, I'd recommend it. Oh, and after the movie I went to Gap to see if I could find anything that was part of their "really big sale". Yup, that wasn't an issue. I don't remember exactly how many things I found, but it was quite a few. I must say shopping now that I'm a size 6/M is sooo much more fun ... especially when stuff's on sale! I mean, I found stuff for $7.99, and everything on sale was an extra 25% off! If you have a Gap and are in need of anything, go there! Fabulous sale!