Now, where did I leave that?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Odds & Ends

  Can you believe it's April already? Forsythia has bloomed and the blossoms are already fading. Our lilacs are gearing up and should be flowering about 3-4 weeks early, if the frost-tipped nights don't keep jumping out from dark alleys. It's time to start tomato seedlings under cover. We had moved the cats out to the sunporch, but had to bring them back inside last week, and this entire week's forecast indicates they'll need to sleep inside at night. I'm hoping we can get them moved back out to the sunporch before we bring the chicks into the house.

  Yes, I said chicks. From the frying pan into the fire, that's us! Barring an inability to get exactly what we want (6 Golden Comets & 3 Americaunas), we'll be brooding chicks. We made a list of chicks vs. hens, and it was pretty balanced and inconclusive, with our desire to have some blue eggs winning out. I'm excited and scared, enthralled by how cute they'll be and how much easier to handle as adults if we handle them when they're so young. I'm profoundly worried that Lola will find a way to get to them when we aren't home, or that a stray draft will kill them all. I'll keep you posted!

  Coop building has aggravated my tendonitis to the extent I've been unable to knit or spin, but I've got my plan together! The class I'm taking is an all year sheep-to-sweater course. Decided to dabble in reality and acknowledged that a handspun sweater is too big an undertaking this year given my slow learning curve. Well, by golly, at yesterday's class, Claudia gave us a handout for handspun socks.  Seems an obvious choice, requires far less usable yarn than a sweater or even a shawl, and in fact Linda had been remarking that she would like me to make her handspun socks. Cool beans! 2012 appears to be the Year of the Sock.

  The 'diet'...don't like that word since this is a life change, but whatever. It's been a mixed bag, but this past week brought a couple of revelations to feel really good about. After 4 weeks of no sugar, no processed foods, and LOTS of vegetables, I've lost 7 lbs. The chronic hives are still in the picture but are much less extreme. Neither of these are terribly impressive, but both demonstrate progress. I've learned to eat whole dried dates (no added sugar) for the late afternoon sweet attacks, snack on unsweetened whole grain muesli for carb cravings, and sip 100% juice combined with club soda or eat fresh watermelon for after-dinner desserts. But this weekend, I took a walk on the wild side with surprising results. Hagen Daz released their special edition Salted Caramel Truffle. I didn't go looking for it; the store moved it to the opposite end of the aisle and there it was, calling my name when I was searching for frozen fruit. After much debate, I bought a pint. Sometimes life requires ice cream, ya know? So Linda & I shared it. I savored every bite, really making it last. It was sweet, creamy, salty, and perfect. And when it was gone, I was okay with that! I didn't start counting down the days (or hours) until I could buy more; I was delighted with the treat, and moved on. May not sound like much to you, but in the past, the very next day there would have been a couple of pints in the freezer, and I'd have settled down with a pint and a spoon (who needs a bowl?). So this was a HUGE victory. The other battle won started as a surrender. Before starting this food plan, I'd developed a fondness for tortilla chips drenched in the nacho cheese sauce that comes in a jar. Yeah, I know...but it had become a common snack. Well, this weekend, despite the extreme processing (and sugar in the ingredients), I succumbed. And ya know what? It wasn't very good. This may be a 'well, duh' moment for you all, but for me it had been a tasty and all-too frequent treat. Now, it's a slimy, gooey, thick, distinctly un-cheeselike snack. Same chips, same 'cheese product'....and absolutely unsatisfying. It was kind of like hooking up with an remember the good stuff, but when you re-connect, you find yourself wondering what the hell was I thinking? And, I'm never going back there again.

  Decisions, plans, victories...not a bad week. How about you?


Robin Larkspur said...

Wow, this post is packed with so much! Where do I begin?? Firstly, OMG the chicks!!! Can't wait to see them!! This is going to be a great story to follow! The handspun sounds like a very satisfying endeavor. I bet you will knit a great pair of socks for Linda. Don't be afraid! Though I am sorry about the tendonitis; I suffer from that too, there are times it is a royal annoyance! Congrats on the 7 pounds lost, that is fantastic and a great reward for your fortitude and hard work. I used to be addicted to Coke (coca cola, lol, not the white powder!) Since I switched to fresh cold water almost all the time, when I do have a rare coke, I really don't like it. It is funny how the taste buds change, which helps us change. Great accomplishments! Thanks for the newsy post.

A Quiet Corner said...

Congrats on the loss of 7 lbs especially with everything that's going on! Congrats also on the chicks!!!...:)JP

Michaele said...

ha! loved the analogy of nachos and ex's. You are SO right! Congratulations!

the wild magnolia said...

"2012 Year of the Sock." i love it. i have a thing about nice warm socks, and i hail from Florida.

I think you have made huge strides in your lifestyle changes for healthy eating. every once in awhile you go for ice cream, that would be my first choice.

the nachos and cheese shows your tastes are changing.


sorry about the tendinitis, hope you are on the mend.

chicks, hens, i love them. can't imagine making a home for them.

good job, you are working hard, to make a good life.

happy everything......week, day, life, you know..all the good things.

Jen said...

Lilacs are my favorites--crazy how early everything is blooming. Chicks! I am so impressed at how you keep trying new things and challenging yourself. Congratulations on the diet success--I think you have to be able to incorporate occasional treats into your life, and the way you are going about it makes a lot o sense.

cleemckenzie said...

April has not been good to me. I'm doing battle with my computer, which is determined to defeat me. I'm longing for the days of March when I got my email, didn't have to reboot every few minutes and could actually finish a project in under three hours. Sheesh!

Spring should be filled with flowers and sunny kisses, right?

Jen said...

Just got your message that you went to the store. I am so sorry I missed you! Was visiting family in NJ.