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There's no place like home

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


We had a great time! The weather was stupdendous, which was pretty surprising considering Alaska is having one of the coldest, wettest summers on record -- totally the opposite of us, with one of the hottest, driest summers on records (and temps still in the high 90s).

I want to thank everyone for their well wishes -- much appreciated.

Above we're at the border between the Yukon in Canada and Alaska -- actually, that was one of the coldest places we went, outside of Glacier Bay. They must pipe in cold air for that sign.

Our house is okay, the dogs are okay, and the cats are okay, thankfully. My car is at the dealers (my husband was actually able to get it started, although it took some work), and I've been trying to contact them without much luck so far.

I think my eating was mostly okay. I only ate dessert once a day, and usually only half a dessert at that -- although we did go to the chocoholics' buffet, surprisingly at my husband's insistence -- I was ready to go to sleep. It wasn't actually all that tempting, and all I had was a couple of bites of cake and some chocolate covered strawberries & bananas. I wouldn't be surprised to find I gained a little even so, but we'll see.

I never once took an elevator. That's part of my fitness plan on cruises. Considering my inlaws were on deck 5, and we were on deck 9, there was lots of stair climbing every day. We did lots of walking, too. I never did the rock climbing wall (altho my niece & nephew did), or any of the exercise classes -- because the only one that was free was at 8 am. That was a bit disappointing; on past cruises, they've had more free exercise classes at various times throughout the day -- and without such a nice facility, too!

About the only disappointment was that we didn't see much wildlife. A lot of people on the cruise saw whales several times -- but we always just seemed to miss them. We did see a bear going into the woods at Mendenhall Glacier, and we ran across a wildlife rehabilitation center in a small craft fair sort of tucked away in Ketchikan -- and saw a young bald eagle there.

We've been whale watching before, though, and we've seen whales; we've even been eagle watching, so we've see eagles before, too. But no moose, no otters, no seals, no eagles out in the wild. It was the first bear we've ever seen out in the wild, but we just barely saw him. On the other hand, I'm not really sure I want to see bears in the wild!

Still trying to catch up on mail, email, blogs, sleep, etc. As much as I enjoy traveling -- and I don't think I ever really want to go home -- it's still nice to be home.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 9/3/2008 7:38AM

    I'm so glad that you had such a wonderful time and that the weather cooperated. I'm so happy to hear that everything was safe and sound upon your return.

Chocoholics' buffet... Oh, my gosh. That would be either my idea of heaven or the opposite. I can't really decide which one. I guess it all depends if calories exist in heaven. emoticon You must have incredible will power if you were able to limit yourself to just a few bites of cake and chocolate covered fruit! I probably would have eaten my own body weight in chocolate! emoticon

You should be so proud that you managed to eat so sensibly while on vacation and got a lot of exercise in by walking. Good luck catching up with everything!

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LSFBOOK 9/2/2008 10:22PM

    Welcome back! It sounds like you had a great time and did very well--taking the stairs for exercise and not eating a lot of desserts. Now, rest and hopefully you'll get your car back soon. Missed your blogs!

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VAL503 9/2/2008 10:17PM

    Welcome home! So glad to hear you had a nice time. Sounds like you had a handle on your food and exercise, and so glad to hear all was well with your home and pets.
Take care, rest up and talk to you soon.
Val

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MTER67 9/2/2008 6:46PM

    Welcome back! Sounds like you had a great time and I love the picture! I didn't expect to see coats and a scarf in a summer vacation photo! We went whale watching 2 times when we lived in Hawaii and both times the whales were no shows. I am sure even without the wildlife, the views were breathtaking!

A man I used to work with years ago lived in Alaska for a while. He said one day he was pumping his gas and a lady pulled up in a convertible with a little frou-frou dog in it. I don't remember if the dog got out of the car with the lady or not, but apparently, out of nowhere, a bald eagle swooped down, grabbed the dog and flew away with it. Can you imagine? The moral of the story: if you decide to move to Alaska some day, be careful with your little dogs!

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Have food, will travel

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My hhusband always makes fun of me because I always travel with food. It makes my life easier, though. For instance, this morning I had a Vitamuffin I'd brought with me and some almonds for breakfast. There weren't a lot of healthy choices other than cereal here, and I don't really find cereal that filling. And this way whoever I'm staying with doesn't have to worry about me, either.

Other things I travel with: mini Luna & Clif bars, carrots (in this case, because I know I'll have access to a refrigerator), and Attune bars.

Attune bars are pretty cool. They're a chocolate bar, and they're only 100 calories, taste like a Nestle bar, plus they have more probiotics in them than yogurt. I find they're great when you travel -- keeps you nice & regular and tastes much better than prunes (and makes a good dessert).

The hardest part of this vacation, really, is that my FIL is failing rapidly. Not physically, but mentally, and we're not all completely sure he's going to tolerate this trip.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VAL503 8/30/2008 1:17PM

    So glad to hear you got off safely, and were feeling better! Thanks for the tip about the Attune bars.. I will pick some up next time I travel.
I just wanted to send good thoughts your way, and I hope you are having a wonderful vacation.
Take care,
Val

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STARTSPARKING 8/25/2008 4:21PM

    Hey, your husband would stop making fun of you when he's hungry on a trip and can't find a place to get a decent snack! Just laugh at him and taunt him with your healthful goodies. emoticon I also travel with food. I usually take granola bars and an apple or an orange. I can snack on my own schedule and not worry about not finding anything suitable to eat. It's much cheaper also!

I'm sorry about your FIL's failing mental health. You already read my last blog post, so you already know that I've been concerned about my mom's frequent trips to the doctor's office so far this year. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your FIL, and his loved ones. emoticon

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Safe & sound in Seattle

Friday, August 22, 2008

My luck finally seems to have turned. My husband arrived on time, he took the dogs up, I finished up packing and only went to bed about half an hour late. Our flight was uneventful -- and I have dried up enough so that it wasn't painful.

I'm not100% sure why sickness and travel goes hand in hand. I know that the stress of getting ready comes into play, although I'm not sick more than I am.

I'm reminded of "Eat, Pray, Love". I read it before it became so popular, before the author was on Oprah -- and thought it was just okay. I recently reread it --there are still parts I don't like -- she just comes across as whiny in the beginning to me, but I got a lot more out of it this time. I think it imparts many of the lessons of "A New Earth" in a much more approachable manner.

Anyway, there is a part where Richard from Texas says he prays & prays for an open heart, over and over. And then one day finds himself having open heart surgery! The moral, of course, is to create more detailed goals (or be careful what you wish for, I guess).

Just as I prayed to be healthy . . . and I am. Almost. I forgot to ask to make sure my possessions (my car & home, among other things) would be safe while I was gone -- or home, for that matter.

Now that all the prep work is done, I can relax and enjoy the vacation. Today is lovely. I think tomorrow is supposed to be nice as well. We have always come to Seattle in the summer, and the weather has always been lovely.

Hope everyone out there is doing well, and once again, a sincere thanks for all the good vibes & well wishes!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 8/23/2008 6:39AM

    I'm so glad that you are feeling better and enjoying the beginning of a lovely trip!

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MTER67 8/23/2008 3:31AM

    Yeah! Have a good trip!

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KEYWEST3 8/23/2008 12:15AM

    seattle's one of the few places i haven't been. can't wait to go one day! have fun :)

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SQUIRTZIE 8/22/2008 7:20PM

    Hope you have a good time!

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The Tipping Point

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I am fast approaching mine. This entire week has been plagued by bad luck for me. I won't bore you with most of the details. It culminated with my flat tire, and when I went to go for my haircut & get the tire fixed yesterday, my car just plain wouldn't start. Luckily, I had my husband's car, so I was able to get my hair cut.

There have been a few rays of sunshine here and there. I've been meaning to buy a monocular for a long time. I really liked the idea of it better than binoculars. Since I'd left early for my haircut, meaning to stop and get the tire fixed, I had some time to browse a nearby discount store. Lo and behold, two monoculars from The Sharper Image -- travel size!

And my husband did actually make it home; another good thing.

And just when you think you're drowning in a pit of bad luck, there's always someone worse off than you. The woman I board the dogs with has pneumonia (another worry, although she has help) -- although she thought I sounded a lot worse than her when we talked yesterday.

The cherry on top was to find out my neighbors had a break-in. Nothing taken and no one hurt, thankfully, but apparently the cops think there are kids in the neighborhood knocking on doors to see if you're home. So that is another worry while we're gone. They broke a back window to get in -- then set off the motion detectors & left. It must have happened in the two hours I was gone, or I would have thought I'd have heard something.

Our neighbors are so sweet. She was really worried about my car trouble! It is very troubling, though, because if someone broke one of our windows, our cats would be gone, and I would be devastated. Normally our pet sitter leaves us a message each day on our answering machine, only we won't have cell phone access for much of our trip.

For the first time in probably years, the thought did cross my mind yesterday that a nice piece of chocolate cake -- a really sweet, fattening piece, not just any old piece -- might solve my problems. The thought crossed my mind in a grocery store with a fantastic bakery, but I didn't succumb, and I ate healthily when I did get home. I know no amount of food, fattening or otherwise, will solve my problems.

So my car won't start, my flat still needs to be fixed, and somehow the dogs have to get to the boarder's. I've still got to finish packing, wash the sheets & change the bed, clean the kitchen, clean a litterbox, finish the instructions for the pet sitter. Ok, yes, I'm whining & I hate to whine.

Oh, and I don't know what I weighed before our vacation since I can't get to my WW meeting today (I could've yesterday had I known I wouldn't be able to today).

In 10 years will these things matter? No, they won't. What will matter is having a good time while I'm gone, and that's what I'm determined to do.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 8/22/2008 12:53AM

    Sorry about the string of bad luck, but you will conquer all with your positive attitude. You should be so proud of yourself for resisting the urge to get that piece of chocolate cake! I usually try to remind myself that it takes just a moment to consume it, but it would be a poor decision that would plague me for quite awhile. Sometimes that works. Sometimes it doesn't.

I hope you will have a fabulous time on your trip. You deserve it!

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MTER67 8/21/2008 7:16PM

    I think you and I are a lot alike. I get absolutely frantic before I travel. My husband and kids have to stay clear of me b/c I almost never think I am going to get everything done. I feel like I have to think and pack for everybody and then my husband breezes in 15 minutes before it's time to leave and throws a razor, a couple T-shirts, and a toothbrush in a bag and he's ready. I swear I always want to kill him.

It's hard enough getting ready to go without being sick and having all the bad luck of flat tires and worry (about the animals and your house.) Do all your neighbors know you will be leaving? That way they can keep an eye on your house?

You will get on your cruise, lie back in a chair and EXHALE. You will have done it--and all that you will really remember is how much fun and how relaxing your vacation was, NOT how stressful the preparations were! (And congrats on resisting the cake--you must know now how strong your will power is after the stressful week you've had!

Have a great trip!

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LSFBOOK 8/21/2008 9:39AM

    Just have fun--and don't let things at home worry you. Have a great time!

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KEYWEST3 8/21/2008 8:04AM

    good for you! that's the attitude to have! go and have fun, despite all these potential spoilers :)

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Reach for the stars

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

But stay grounded. That's always the secret, isn't it? But just where is the secret formula that lets you know how high to reach, and how much to keep your feet on the ground?

I'm wrapping up my Olympics theme here. Alexander Artemev, who performed such a stunning pommel horse routine for the team to lead them to a bronze medal, decided he needed to add something extra for the individual finals.

As we've heard over and over during the Olympics, performing harder routines gets higher scores -- but at greater risk.

It's the same for us. If we eat too little trying for a great weight loss, our bodies slam on the brakes and we don't lose at all. Same thing with exercise.

And what about goals? They say that you should put your goals out there, to take accountability for them, and make them big, to push yourself to reach them. I've tried that with what I want my weight to be, but that doesn't seem to work for me. I'll put down a number that seems reasonable, only to fall short.

Although if I didn't reach for that bigger number, who's to say that I would lose less than I actually did? Alexander didn't get his medal. But he gave his all. It just wasn't in his stars for that day.

It's okay to reach for the stars, just stay flexible so that if you don't make it, you can bend back down and stay grounded.

This was in my inbox yesterday. I'd decided on the subject of this blog before I received this -- the synchronicity of the universe can be pretty amazing if you keep yourself open to it:

"Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out."
-- James Bryant Conant

And this one came today:

"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."
-- Anatole France

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 8/21/2008 5:03AM

    I love your blog posts. You always have a great perspective. Along with a couple of my SP friends, we are close to our goal weight but finding this last stretch to be the toughest. Some are trying to decide if maybe the goal is just a bit too high. I think mine is reasonable, and I just need to stretch a bit more and push a tad further. Meanwhile, I'll keep it up and be patient. On the other hand, I am still proud of all that I have accomplished and will try not to get frustrated even if I maintain for awhile.

Thank you for another brilliant post, my friend.

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KEYWEST3 8/20/2008 11:44AM

    The Olympics really are inspiring, aren't they? Thanks for the blog :)

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MTER67 8/20/2008 9:03AM

    Goal setting is important, but so is being reasonable. I don't think you've ever had unrealistic goals or expectations. You have been very good about celebrating small successes along the way. You have also been very watchful--so that even if you aren't losing weight as quickly as you would like, you are not backsliding either. You are reaching high, but maybe not so high as the stars! That's why you'll succeed.

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