Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stay-Cation Day Three: gorgeous day

Another productive day, though in slightly different ways.

Today I headed out early (uh, 9:30 ish) to start spending my paycheck, ha ha. Weirdness, though. About halfway through my list, I got a weird blood sugar shake going on. I wrapped it up quickly after that, bought a candy bar and went to the car. I checked my sugar and it was 84. ?!? For me, that's probably the lowest I have ever recorded. It took a good 20 minutes for me to stop shaking (for my sugar to get up a little more normal), but I finally did.

I'm not sure what spawned that, as I didn't exercise this morning and I had yogurt, cereal and coffee for breakfast. Huh. I'll have to make note of it and see what happens. I have had a bs crash at work about that time of day, but only on days where I didn't have my yogurt for breakfast and when I skipped the bus to work (no eating, morning exercise).

I have to learn about myself and how my body is changing with the band thing.

Speaking of band thing, I met OHer DebbieJean for lunch today! She invited me a few weeks ago and I finally took some time off so we could meet in North Nashville during the week. We ended up talking for 2 hours and I had a fabulous time!


She's had her band awhile and been extremely successful with it! Plus she's kept off her weight for a few years, to boot. She's very inspiring and gives me strength to face my ongoing Bandster Hell. Almost 6 months and counting, but I can do it. Based on how Debbie looks and feels, it will so be worth the current struggle. She's fantastic and great fun to chat with. And she even reminds me of my cousin Jennifer R.

After lunch, more shopping. I picked up a small can of satin black paint and am about to hit the garage to paint an old cabinet I've had lying around. It'll be perfect for storing packages of dog treats and other small dog things. For now, I'll put new brushed nickel knobs on it, but I'd like to make some custom corgi butt ceramic knobs. One thing at a time for now.

I just have to figure out why the doors are stuck closed. We opened the thing to check inside not that long ago (when parents were helping me clean some stuff out) and it was fine then. Yesterday I nearly clocked myself in the head trying to open it. I am about to whip out ye olde crowbar and break my way into it. My guess is that there's a teeming family of mice in there and they were all holding it shut with all their might!

If you hear a girl scream in about 10 minutes, you'll know it was full of mice!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stay-Cation Day Two: I'm so thrilled!

Yes, my dog room is practically finished! Save for putting down quarter round (which I doubt I'll do) and painting a cabinet to add to the space, it's done! Yippee, yahoo! I have scraped knuckles and a scissors blister from cutting tiles, but my pride in the job far outweighs the irritation from those injuries.

This morning, I started by putting down primer on the floor. Just doing that made the room look so much better. No more gummy stripe of carpet pad glue residue, thank you very much.


I gave that awhile to dry, then eagerly whipped out my chalk line thingie! Ooooh, it has blue chalk! Then I snapped my very first chalk lines ever. Perhaps the intersection of the lines was not in the exact, precise center of the room. However, for me, it was close enough. I'm still anal, but even I have limits.


After the lines were snapped and the middle found, I put down my first four tiles. Oooooh!


Once those were down, the middle of the room went super fast. It took less than an hour to tile the floor. As luck would have it, I didn't have to trim tiles to fit on one side (so much for measuring the room properly!), so I only had to cut down tiles to fit around the edges on three walls. Not four. I don't think my poor scissor thumb could have taken any more!

The short attention span part of me wanted to wander off when it came time to start trimming tiles, but I decided to see how easy cutting one was. Then I'd take a break. But it wasn't that challenging and I was able to cut it with a sturdy pair of scissors. Had I needed razors and a straight edge . . . I'd probably be asleep on the couch about now. You know, having given up, had a snack and nap time. Thank you for making them easy to cut. Once I did a few, well, I had to keep on with it!

The regular walls were easy. Just slide the tile up under the baseboard, mark where it needed to be trimmed, then cut. The door wall is on an angle, which required some creative work. I've seen on HGTV how you can scribe a tile, but for the life of me I couldn't remember how to do that.

So instead, I pretended to do the visual folding part of the IQ test. You know those questions--here's the thing unfolded. Which of the options will it look like when folded. So picture me, sitting on the floor, tongue sticking out the corner of my mouth, humming, snipping happily away at vinyl floor tiles.

I must admit, I did a freaking incredible job!


Sorry. I almost dislocated my shoulder patting myself on the back. Ha!

With the challenging cuts out of the way, it took no time at all to finish the rest of the room. I was soooo happy with how it turned out. There's a bit of a messy spot on the wall that backs to the garage, but you can't really tell unless I drag you over there to look at it. The icky spot is behind the crate.


As soon as the room was completely tiled, I wasted no time dragging my stuff back into the room. Yes. The grooming table is FINALLY out of the living room! Yahooooo!


I even hung up some new shelves and a watercolor I got in NYC. It's a bunch of dogs riding in cabs, going to Madison Square Garden for Westminster. FUN!

I keep going into the room to admire the work. I wasn't sure I'd make it to this point, especially considering how I felt when I discovered the carpet pad was glued down. But I did it!

Jack, however, is afraid of the new flooring. It took about 30 minutes before he gained enough courage to come into the room. He spent quite a bit of time lying in the doorway, unsure.


Quirky man. He did finally come in, but he's still not 100% convinced about the flooring. He's used to carpet or the laminate. I'm sure he'll be fine. Or require doggy therapy. I mean more doggy therapy.

I'm very excited now. The room looks fantastic and just needs a few finishing touches. Tomorrow, I plan on picking up some black paint to paint my cabinet. Then I can put all the dog cookies and stuff in it. The cabinet will go on the back wall beneath the giant painting. I also might get off my duff and paint the kitchen!

Now that I moved all the dog stuff out of the bathroom, I can actually get IN the bathroom. I need to clean in there, so it'll be back to normal. Progress, progress, progress!

I think I've earned some kick back and goof off time, but am excited about what I can accomplish tomorrow! This is great because normally when I take a week off and say I'm gonna do stuff, I wait until the Saturday before going back to work to START.

Who knows, before it's all said and done, maybe I'll actually get around to DUSTING. Well. Let's not push it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dear Diary...stay-cation day one

I just feel the need to write while my coffee brews. Not that I have anything important to say, though! HA!

For whatever reason, I had another dream about Matthew Gray Gubler, from Criminal Minds. The details are now foggy, but I was just following him around like a lost puppy, trying to impress him with my witty chatter. Yeah, not so much. Then my living alarm clock, Jack, woke me up. Since I'd like to actually get stuff DONE this week, I figured I should get up.

The weekend was my self-permitted lazy days. I spent Saturday with my parents and helping my dad with his new digital camera and his archaic computer. I did get to see a bunch of new old pictures of me as a baby. He got all of his 35 mm slides converted to jpegs. Since I hadn't seen these before, I swiped all the disks so I could have the pictures for myself.

I feel badly for my parents. I was one of THOSE babies. You know, the kind where people choke on their own vomit and go, "Oh. What a cute, uh, baby!" I had a ginormous, bald head that was funny shaped, several chins and spindly legs. WTF? At least I have nice hair now. Legs: slightly less spindly. Chins? No comment.


I have a little chub on here, but still have the massive head. I guess it had to be big to contain both my ego and my massive, super-smart brain, ha ha! Nice rattle!


Seeing the pictures of my mom with me as a baby has made me soften in my old age. It makes me think of Angela and Hank and how she feels about him. As much of a nut as my mother is, I suspect she felt the same love for me that Angela does for her baby.


This is one of my favorite pictures--me as a fresh hatchling on the bed with Daddy.


I'm pretty much face down in the bed with a chooch stuffed in my yapper. I'm thinking it's nothing short of miraculous that I didn't suffocate! Or end up dying of SIDS!

I haven't had a chance yet to transfer all the Vietnam pictures of my dad. (Jack gets all freaked out at the sound my MacBook's DVD drive makes, sheesh) He claims that the military insisted that if they had mustaches, they had to be handlebar mustaches. WTF? This sounds like a prank. Dude. Let's tell 'em they gotta be handlebars and see how many of them are dumb enough to grow 'em that way! Baahahahaa! He looks pretty damned funny with that Snidely Whiplash action going on. He's Italian, but in those old pictures, he looks like some kind of infidel. I took great pleasure in doing that jihad trill-shriek every time one of those pictures came up.

Sigh. When he got all his slides converted to jpegs, he put big stickers on the CDs. Yeah, if you don't put them on centered (and you leave in the middle part that isn't printed), DVD drives don't like them. How did you spend your week off? Peeling stickers off of CDs. Yay, me!

Infidel pictures will be in the next entry. Meh.

Friday, September 25, 2009

How much is too much?

I have to admit the whole social life concept is an interesting thing for me. I was outgoing as a little kid, shy and reserved as a school kid, pretty reclusive and reserved as an adult. Until the last 5 years or so, I only had friends from work. I never went anywhere to make new ones.

Between dog stuff and weight loss surgery, I have found a fantastic crew of friends, both in real life and on the net. I'm really pleased with this and even if I never lost another pound from my Lap-Band, I will already be grateful for the gift of friendship I have received just by getting it. The people I have met on my journey are, of course, funny and many are very creative people. That's super important because they are helping me get on track and in touch with my own creativity. Something that fell by the wayside while hiding from the world behind my protective layer of fat.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I may not be the most socially adept person on the planet. But I'm learning and growing.

Last night was our super-fun WLS support group meeting. A married couple, Missy and Kenny, run the show. The thing I love about this group is the people. Everyone in the group has a great sense of humor and we spend a lot of time laughing. Helps to make up for a lifetime of pain experienced in our old skin. We've got a core group of about 6 people that routinely attend, with a smattering of new attendees each month.

A new person came last night. She was nice, was pretty far out from her surgery and had already had plastics, so we were able to ask her questions about her journey.

The M&K Experience added an addendum to the support group protocol and when it got to be Lights Out Time in the clinic (we've had the lights turned out on us multiple times! You people wrap it up and get out of there. I thought the first time was a riot--all the housekeeping staff lined both sides of the hall between the conference room and the exit. I really wanted to do a Soul Train dance down the aisle, but that would have sealed my fate as a Complete And Utter Dork, so I didn't. Just because I can doesn't mean I should), we would transition the group from the clinic to a nearby restaurant.

The new gal joined us.

Have you ever run across one of those people so desperate to fit in that they try too hard? Even waaaay too hard? Yeah. That's the vibe I got. At work when I run into this, I just nod, smile and do not encourage chit-chat. That just makes 'em get more talkative. So I pull back, look busy and try to disentangle myself as soon as I can.

Missy had made some gumbo and had a bowl for me in her car. After we adjourned, I followed Missy to her car to get the broth. She turned to her husband and said, "I think we've found someone who makes Denise look CALM by comparison!" And then we all fell over laughing!

The woman, like I said, was really nice. I just think she was trying too hard. Yeah. I just met you two hours ago and I really don't need to know that your nipples are pierced and that you really like being on top now that you've lost weight. Or that pole dancing is good exercise. Things to save for the second date, perhaps?

Showing me your dog pictures on your camera phone is fine, but showing me EVERY picture is a bit much. Then tossing that in your bag and whipping out your camera to show us MORE pictures . . . faux pas! Even I know that, and I'm a camera/picture whore and have about 8 million pictures of my dogs with me at all times.

Needless to say, I was stunned to silence for a good portion of dinner. Wow. Someone chattier than me????

Here's my favorite part . . .

New Gal: I was married in December. Got divorced in October. Wanna know how I met my husband?
Missy, expectant look on her face thinks: Wait for it . . . wait for it . . .
New Gal: I'm a gamer!
Missy, inside her head: BINGO!

One of the women on R&R has in her signature line, watch what you say--you might end up in my novel. Yup. I totally know what she means.

I'm glad she liked the group and felt comfortable enough to join us for dinner. But here are a few pointers for the socially inept from the still kinda socially inept.
  • Get a feel for the group and the people before you divulge the most intimate secrets of your sex life
  • Listen, listen, listen (learn/know your audience)
  • If people give you cocked head, perplexing looks, perhaps you should back off some
I'm blaming her TMI conversation on nervousness and the need to fit in. Hopefully she'll be a bit more relaxed if she comes to the next session. Disclaimer--I'm all over TMI, if I know you. Pretty much no topic is off limits. Poop is funny.

However, I would not appreciate being approached by a total stranger at Wal-Mart who says, "Hi! Nice to meet ya! I like anal!"

I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

2009 Walk from Obesity

I wish I could have done more to help the crew who organized this year's 2009 Walk From Obesity, but like I've said before, it's been a rough summer for me. Dog personality clashes, recovery from weight loss surgery, oh and then the joyous adventure that is Bandster Hell. I tried to go to a few meetings, but I really had nothing left to give in terms of assistance.

I did drag my sorry ass out of bed and go, though!

I was part of Team Vandy and was motivated to go because I was promised some quality time at lunch with some pals after. Who am I to turn down socialization? Sheesh! So I went.

I'm glad I did. I got to meet a friend from the TN board, Trina. I really enjoyed talking to her and wanted to spend more time with her. But by the time I got back from our loop around the park, she had left. I'm waiting for a friend to pass me her info so we can talk more. She has a huge heart and is a great woman.

I brought along Map and Tuesday to the event. Jack was home, distracted with a piece of bully stick. Sometimes I am very happy he's easily fooled with food. It makes it much easier to sneak the gals out without a whine fest from him. NEEDY MAN!

They had a great time meeting people and getting/giving lots of Corgi Love. Map found a stinky spot and spent much time rolling in it on her back. I had to laugh because her undercarriage was dingy with dirt. It's been raining for about a week solid and her poor dragging belly fur was taking a hit from the muck.

The girls had a great time on the walk and started out quite strong. They trotted side by side and were sooooo good!


We got about 2/3 of a mile before Map started getting tired. We went from a trot to a stroll to a please carry me! She held out until we got to the west side of the lake where the geese were. We found a bench and I let her recover and have a little water. Tuesday was romping at the pigeons, hoping to snag one. But she couldn't get very far because she and Map were tethered together. Map wallowed in a mud hole, loving the cool mud on her filthy belly.

Eventually we got back up and finished the mile. Map is now a certified Nashville Park Volunteer--she was the official street sweeper and did a great job of cleaning the leaves and other detritus from the walking path!


You can see her little skirt swishing in that action shot and the pile of leaves and twigs it has collected! Oh, Map! You're so funny!

I'm so proud of how good they were, though their stamina is not what it should be! It wasn't even that hot. So obviously they need a bit more exercise. But they did well and I love 'em! They crashed the rest of the day and were both actually a bit stiff from the workout. Tuesday has been doing a lot of stretching and yawning.

I enjoy the loop at this park and it's kinda making me want to drag the mafia there on weekend mornings for some good exercise. Maybe someday we can work up to a few miles! Then we'll be ready for the hills and loops of the Warner Park!

Progress on the homefront

The past few weeks have been crazy. Last weekend was a rough one, as I decided my puppy was not working out and took her back. It was a tough and emotional decision, but if the demeanor of the rest of the mafia is any indication it was the right choice. But I was far too emotional and drained to work on the Dog Room last weekend. This weekend I've actually made some progress.

Yesterday was the Walk From Obesity, and I took Tuesday and Map to the walk. After, I went to lunch with WLS pals Missy and Kenny. Home renovation and carpet removal was a topic that came up, and Kenny revealed that he has used a solvent readily available at big box stores designed to remove carpet pad glue. HUH?

My internet searches basically resulted in "elbow grease." Awwww, man. Seriously? I hadn't had a chance to search in person at Lowe's or Home Depot for anything like that yet and thought there probably wasn't anything out there. If The Internet says elbow grease, then who am I to argue?

But Kenny said there was. I was very happy.

I dropped the girls off at home after lunch, then headed out to Lowe's. Sure enough, in the cleaning aisle there were things like Goo-Gone, mineral spirits, and other solvents. And then there was Solu-Strip. There was much rejoicing!

Well, except for the fact the stuff cost $26 a gallon. Meh. But $26 is a small price to pay compared to having your arms fall off from weeks of scraping. Or letting the project come to a screeching halt for a few months because I don't want to deal with it.

Today, I got in there and started the work. I had most of the glued down pad to remove and then the glue to tackle.


Having only removed that one strip, I got out the hoe-thingie I broke last week and went back to scraping.

Once I cleared off a space, I was excited to jump into the de-gooification, so I started with the zone by the window. I was a good girl and wore goggles, had the window open with two fans going and wore gloves. But my defiant side showed and I refused to wear close toed shoes. What, am I at work for God's sake? Screw you and your close toed shoes!

I poured out the stuff, which was a nice gel. Ooh. I rolled it out, then covered it with plastic per the directions. I wandered off and played some bejeweled on FaceBook while it incubated and did its thing. 20 minutes later, I came back and dove right in with my scraper.


I was expecting it to take a lot of effort, but OMG, it just wiped off! I LOVE YOU KENNY! In a platonic, handyman kind of way. I was so excited, I couldn't wait to get to the next section.

I took my time, did it in small sections, played games on FaceBook and enjoyed the afternoon. And the fumes, ha ha! I have one teeny spot next to the door and a few spots to touch up, then I'm done!


Right now I'm waiting for the solvent to dry and for the room to air out. I'll use some chalk to mark the spots I need to touch up and then deal with that one night this week. I have a few more nails to pry up (I affectionately refer to the perimeter nails and tack strip as Tetanus Central as they are rusty from the flood of Aught Three), the little spots to re-treat and then the floor will be ready for a coat of primer, then the tiles! Yippeeee, yahoo!

Dear Diary--I might finish this project in a somewhat timely fashion! Finish a project? Huh? I must be feverish.