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Pearl Harbor Day (December 7, 2010)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

For years, I have taken December 7 as a personal day off from work. This is a day of remembrance, of prayer, of sorrow and of honoring our veterans. Today was no different in that respect.

It might be because I had two consecutive days of high calories, but I did not feel well today and was a complete couch potato. I am way under on everything, but I am not hungry and the thought of food makes me feel ill, so that's ok.

Part of it could be emotions, though I am not consciously aware of that. I can never look at the pictures of the USS Arizona aflame without a very strong burst of crying, even though I have seen those pictures hundreds of times.

I was not alive on 12/7/1941 but I have always had an exceedingly strong emotional reaction to the date, the topic, the pictures, movies, books...I have one of the best private collections of books about the Day of Infamy.

A friend told me once she thinks I must be reincarnated from someone who perished that day. I don't know about that, but it does ignite the imagination.

Years ago, I had the privilege to interview a Pearl Harbor survivor in Vermont. He was a civilian working at Pearl. He allowed me to tape the interview and gave me a print of a photo he took. His camera was confiscated when he put the next roll in. The Navy took the camera because of their intelligence concerns. He was a wonderful man and I treasure the memory of that day, his gracious interview and the photo.

I was at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1984 (way overdue for another visit to Hawaii!). I regretted I did not bring a lei (never thought about it until I was there and saw some in the water). I have a flag that was flown (run up the flagpole, really) there.

I once worked with a Japanese guy who had grown up in Hawaii. Cary's grandfather served on the Akagi, one of the Japanese ships involved in the attack. We used to talk about how times have changed and we were such good friends after our grandfathers tried to kill each other. Surreal.

My sister-in-law is Japanese and I will go to Japan some day (all it takes is money!). My brother has already promised we will go to Nagasaki and I expect that to be an extremely emotional visit.

The men and women of WWII truly were the greatest generation. I honor their memory, am awed by their sacrifice and appreciate their service.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 12/8/2010 9:23PM

    My Dad joined the army right after Pearl Harbour. He was in the war for 39 months, including time in Hawaii, the Philippines and New Zealand, where he met my mother. I have the greatest respect for his generation. They did their duty without complaints.

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BYEFATNANNY 12/8/2010 12:46PM

    Good to know there are people that still realize what was sacrificed on that day. My husband is a Vietnam Vet and step son a Iraq Vet, so we are very keen of WWII Vets and what they went through. Thank you! emoticon

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 12/8/2010 8:15AM


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JHADZHIA 12/7/2010 10:41PM

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I Did Not Follow My Own Advice...

Monday, December 06, 2010

Yesterday was a big carbo load (see yesterday's blog) and I was *determined* to make better choices today. Wendy and I had lunch today, our only chance to do so before she heads back to Charlotte on Thursday. We went to Chilis and I had every intention of reading the nutrition info before going, but did not do so. I was swamped from the moment I got in the door. I should have set myself a Spark appointment to do it because I never thought of it while I was at the computer.

I should have lived my entire life not knowing how good their hot spinach and artichoke dip is! I was absolutely *stunned* when I read the info this evening! I always tell people to research before they head opset ut and I did not do so. My entre was the margarita grilled chicken and it comes with rice and black beans. We did not eat all of the dip or chips, but I inhaled all of my entre.

Today was crazy. I spent all day working for another department. I was cross-trained on this task a few months ago and I told my boss at the time that Yvonne would assume that I would step in and help her out during this crunch time. Sure enough! She is still upset that I did not help her out at all last week. I told her I was working on a project for the top attorney and she was only partly mollified.

I processed some orders today and went down to distribute the files to the negotiators and saw that Yvonne was logged into Facebook! On company time! I was a bit annoyed, but she was in a really nasty mood so I just walked away. She apparently came in yesterday and did some work - rare overtime. But she was not grateful, she was angry and resentful about the work. We have a different approach to things, I guess.

This afternoon, I discovered that she had done one of my files yesterday, but had left the request in my inbox! I had created a duplicate! I had to undo it...I'm just glad I caught the mistake. That kind of double invoice would be a very bad situation! I saw that she had made a mistake on another deal and am concerned that she's overworked to the point that doing more work generates more mistakes than positive product.

I'm not sure what to do. If I mention something to my boss, it may come across as if I am tattling. If I stop helping her, that hurts the company because this work *must* get done before Christmas. But my boss may be quite upset if he finds out otherwise what the situation is.

Getting off my high horse. I am still new at this task so it's not as if I knock out the contract creation and data entry as quickly as she does. But, this falls in the category of seeing a student employee playing solitaire or surfing on company time...I think I will sleep on it and not react right now.

I am off tomorrow as a personal day off. It is Pearl Harbor Day which is a solemn day of remembrance. I will miss the holiday Christmas brunch at work and the patent celebration (more food) in the afternoon. Actually, I am relieved not to be around the food! But these are the events where it's important to be seen...However, my observation of Pearl Harbor Day trumps office politics.

I plan to get some exercise in, too! Boy, do I need it after these two days!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 12/7/2010 9:40PM

    I love Chili's, but you do have to be careful what you eat there. I get their grilled chicken sandwich (no bun because I'm gluten intolerant) and a corn on the cob instead of fries. Then I only eat half the chicken, give my husband the bacon, and skip most of the swiss cheese. I've had the spinach artichoke dip, and it's delicious!

Your work situation sounds tricky. It's hard to know what to do.

Hang in there!

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JHADZHIA 12/7/2010 12:27AM

    When a Chili's opened up for the first time in my city, my Mom and sister wanted to go to it. So I looked up the menu online and couldn't believe how high the calories were on everything. Just a salad had 1,000. I forget what I ate, but was frustrated by not finding a simple baked potato and chili. They told me it was on there, just called something else lol.
Its a shame about your co worker :( I hate the thought you have to catch her mistakes and try do your own workload too.
But if it keeps happening that way..
Have a peaceful day in memorial.

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NANNER2121 12/6/2010 10:12PM

    I love your last paragraph best: some things are just more important . . . .

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ULEWIJ 12/6/2010 10:07PM

    ALthough you did not check the nutritional info before going, look how mindful you were about eating out! Think about how many people (myself included sometimes) just go out and eat without a second thought and stuff their tummys until they burst! You're making life long positive choices! :)

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 12/6/2010 10:06PM

  Have a good day tomorrow. And that is such a sticky situation about Yvonne.... hopefully things will get better and not worse.

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BELLALUCIA 12/6/2010 10:02PM

    You had a busy day! Hope Yvonne gets her act together!

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Not Quite the Day I Expected

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Today was the long-awaited fun day in San Francisco with my coworker friend from our Charlotte office. We are both paralegals and we get along wonderfully. We met for breakfast and I ate too much...I had an egg beater omelette with a bit of cheese, spinach and green chili. I had two heavy pieces of wheat toast and tasted some of the potatoes. I always am amazed how much food is prepared for breakfast.

Lunch was at Fishermans Wharf in San Francisco - a clam chowder in a sourdough bowl. I had never had that before. It was good, but, in the back of my mind, I kept thinking about the choices I had made.

We did some window shopping and Wendy picked up a few Christmas presents. We went to the very small aquarium. It was so relaxing!

The best part was talking and visiting. What a great day as far as that goes.

I could have made better food choices and we did not walk as much as I could have handled (about 6K steps). Wendy is younger than I am but weighs a lot more so she was not interested in walking much.

Tomorrow, we are having lunch together and I will definitely make better choices!

Tuesday is the big day: the company Christmas brunch buffet (including caroling by a local high school choir) and the patent celebration in the afternoon (more food). However, I won't be there. Tuesday is also Pearl Harbor Day and that will never be a day for celebration as far as I am concerned. I always take it off as a personal holiday. But that is a subject for a different forum.

I was a little surprised that Wendy has not noticed the loss of 20+ pounds or at least she did not comment. Perhaps she did not because weight is an uncomfortable subject for her. I am ok with that. I am not happy that I have not lost more by now, but I am very glad that these pounds are gone forever!

I have not heard anything more about Mom. She is very much in my heart.

Thanks for the comments, support and SparkGoodies! You help me stay centered.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYSTERY4EVER 12/6/2010 9:15AM

    Glad you had a great day in SF. I am finding the trick when I eat out is to partition the food the minute it is served and figure out what I should be eating, not what I was served.

Some people just don't comment on weight loss. I have lost 60 pounds and some people have still not said a word (including my husband LOL). I don't care. This weight loss is for me, not for anyone else.

Have a great week.

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JHADZHIA 12/6/2010 1:22AM

    So glad you had a pleasant day with your friend. I actually agree with a big breakfast, I always have one, gives me energy for the day and I never feel like snacking. My other two meals are considerably lighter in calories.
I think you did okay with breakfast, but the soup bowl is a calorie bomb big time.
It would be hard for someone who is overweight to comment on another's weight loss, kind of points out their own weight problem, so I can see her saying nothing..
Good for you for being one of the Americans who will never forget Pearl Harbor.
When I was in Hawaii and got to visit the site, I found it very moving..
Hope you get a good sleep,

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 12/5/2010 10:38PM

  Good to hear you had a good day with your coworker friend. Your mom is still in my prayers.

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KANSASGAL3 12/5/2010 10:32PM

    Keep being a silent encourager!! Sometimes a smile and a hug are better messages than words. She noticed....she just couldn't talk about it. Been there, lived that!

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CARRAND 12/5/2010 10:22PM

    Sounds like a great day visiting with an old friend. Breakfast out can be difficult. Those meals can be so large! You did OK.

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My "Adopted" Mom

Saturday, December 04, 2010

My mother is still alive, but we have not had a relationship by her choice since the end of May 1971. She sent me to live with Dad and his new family in a manner in which none of us knew what was happening until it was all done. It turned out to be a good thing, though. My dad's second wife is a fabulous person! She is about halfway between Dad's age and mine, so there were lots of rough times in the beginning. I had a lot of issues and was not easy to deal with. She was a first time mom with an infant and suddenly had this immature teen dumped on her. We are still close.

A few years later, I went to college. It was a private college in another part of the US, so I was very much alone. During those years, my maternal grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and I did not handle it well at all. I had also suffered a catastrophic orthopedic injury right before I started college and spent the first year and a half of college recovering from it, so I had a lot on my plate. I was putting myself through school and working, going to school and living in a dorm was a real challenge for me!

Because this was a church-run college, we were required to take a religious course every semester. One of the teachers was a pastor and an inspiration. He had contracted polio as a young boy and was severely handicapped because of it. I had him as a teacher for several classes including the vaguely-scandalous-sounding "Sex in the Bible". (Imagine teaching that to 18-22 year olds!). He died at the end of my junior year and I was devastated. His was only the second funeral I had ever attended, I wrote a poem to his wife (she taught and was also a student. I knew her a little because we had been in an advanced composition class together.). She invited me to go with the family to the local river for a Fourth of July picnic and rafting trip. This was a month or so after the funeral and I was humbled to accept.

Shortly thereafter, the situation in the dorm became critical and I was told, for my own safety, I had to move out. I had nowhere to go. Without thinking much about it, I went to her house and asked if I could stay a few days. To this day, I marvel at having the courage to do that. She graciously allowed me to stay. The visit extended for a couple of weeks. She was out of the house the day the 2 weeks was up. I sadly packed my stuff, wrote her a thank you note and went back to the dorm. She called me and told me to come back. I ended up staying all summer. When my senior year started, I found out she had worked out a special deal with the dean to allow me to live "off campus" with her for my senior year. Her home was actually on campus, but, for housing, was classed as "off".

She became the center of my life that year. I experienced a lot of healing that year. I learned to open my heart, to allow love in and out, I learned from her quiet grace, her velvet strength and the example of her faith in action.

I call her Mom. Last year, the college dedicated a hall in the basement of the chapel to her husband and I returned to my alma mater for the dedication. I had not been back since graduation. It occured to me that I was in a unique position because I was the only person there who knew him as a teacher and knew the family. I made a speech during the dedication and was honored to do so.

Mom is in her 80s. She has had some health issues lately. Last year, she started using an oxygen machine at night. She fell and broke her wrist shortly after the dedication. There were some complications and surgery and a very slow recovery. Last night, I learned that she has been in the hospital with heart issues. First, her heart was racing. They kept her overnight for observation and gave her some meds in case it happened again. The meds worked too well and her heart slowed and even stopped briefly. Yes, she was dead for a few minutes.

It would cost at least $1K to fly to Missouri if I need to, let alone car and hotel. Money is a serious concern, but not nearly as serious as the contemplation of losing Mom.

I am scared!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 12/6/2010 1:30AM

    So sorry this wonderful lady in your life is so ill :((
Sending healing thoughts her way and comforting ones to you..
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JAKEANDNELLIE 12/5/2010 6:47PM

    How wonderful that the two of you came together at a time when you both needed love and friendship. You are blessed to have her in your life and she has been blessed to have you in hers.
My heart goes out to you as you deal with this situation.
You and your "mom" are in my prayers.

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MYSTERY4EVER 12/5/2010 5:52PM

    You and your special Mom are in my thoughts and prayers. This must be a very difficult time for you. Know that we care about you.

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RJFERRARO315 12/4/2010 11:37PM

    I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. Have faith that everything will turn out.

emoticon I am positive that she knows you love her.

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 12/4/2010 10:08PM

  Sorry to hear about your mom. I hope she gets better soon.


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SFISHER333 12/4/2010 9:25PM

    Also, a lot of airlines and travel sites have fare watchers. You can put in your destination and get emails when the fares go down or they have specials.

Also, I've found that I get lower fares going directly to airlines web pages than I get through sites like Travelocity.

I hope your Mom gets better. I too have an adopted mom who helped me through some very rough patches.


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CARRAND 12/4/2010 9:16PM

    I'm sorry to hear that your Mom is not well, and I hope you can get out to see her. I know it would mean a lot to both of you.

You used to be able to get a special "compassionate" air fare, through the airlines, that was equal to the lowest air fare available. I and my husband and kids used that when we travelled home for my mother's funeral. I had to call the airlines and provide them a copy of the death certificate. This was in 1990. You might check with the airline to see if anything like that is still possible.

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ARCHIMEDESII 12/4/2010 2:39PM

    What a wonderful tribute to your "mom" and she really is your mom now. maybe not biologically, but emotionally and spiritually. I understand your concern. I have an elderly aunt that is also having health issues. About six months ago, she was able to drive and get around on her own. Well, at the end of summer, she fell and broke her arm. She spent over a month in rehab. When she was ready to come out of rehab, it was discovered that she had a bad hip. So, she ended up with a hip replacement. She too is in her 80s. As a result of all the surgery and time in rehab, she's not been well. It was really just one thing after another.

She's a favorite aunt of mine and I wanted to go see her. Mostly, she's at a point where she probably won't be coming North to visit family anymore. So, we need to go visit her. Which is what I did Veteran's Day weekend.

My advice is to watch the airfares. They're high right now because it's the holiday season. At the beginning of the year, the fares will go down. So, keep an eye out and when you see a price that you can afford, grab it and visit your mom.

For now, can you call your mom ? All the family calls my aunt regularly to keep in touch. If you can talk to your mom and let her know that you're there for her, both of you will feel much better.

Wishing you and your mom the best. She sounds like a wonderful lady.


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Special Meals Do Not Have to Derail Your Healthy Plans!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Today was the department holiday lunch. I had my usual yummy high fiber cereal for breakfast and a small banana and lowfat yogurt as a snack. Even so, I was so hungry by the time it was lunch time! To my surprise, it was a small buffet instead of a sitdown meal with service. Earlier in the week, we'd been asked to vote on salmon and chicken or beef and halibut. I didn't care which because I love both salmon and halibut. Turns out, we were not specifically voting for our entre. We were voting on which two would be on the buffet. They actually had 3 choices because of the tofu choice that was not listed as an option for voting.

They had stir fry veggies, long string beans drenched in butter, salad with dressing already applied, rice and the halibut or beef or tofu mixed in with the stir fry.

I had some salad, loaded up on all the veggies, skipped the beef and had about 3 ounces of halibut. I skipped the roll and had about an 8th of a cup of rice. I had the equivalent of 2 thin slices of cantaloupe. I went back to the beverage bar to get coffee and came back to the table to find my fruit was removed! I missed out on my carefully chosen strawberries! (I had 3 on the plate!). I tasted the Tahitian coffee flavored creme brulee - a very small taste. It was plenty.

I had to guess on the nutritional value of the meal. It was a larger meal than I usually have for lunch, but I was very pleased. I did not feel deprived. I had planned by having the snacks beforehand, I drank water and I loaded up on the veggies. I could not do anything about the "hidden" calories in the dressing and butter, but I did the best I could.

I did not get a lot of steps in, but I did get in more than yesterday. I have been having some twinges with a groin muscle and a knee for a few days and I am pleased that, so far, I am not unable to function.

They let us go home after lunch - the last short day of the year. I will be putting in plenty of hours until Christmas Eve. My company shuts down between Christmas and New Years and that week is wonderful. This will be the first year I am not working a second job and going to school. (I had already been laid off from job #2 by this time last year, but I was still in school.) I am looking forward to spending some quality time with BF. A friend gave me a movie gift card for graduation and I am saving it for that week.

Sunday, I am going to San Francisco with a coworker who is coming in from Charlotte, NC. Even though rain is in the forecast, we are going to play tourist. She is a paralegal and has a lot of experience. We have become friends and enjoy each other personally and professionally. Even though I live about 30 minutes from SF, it is a real treat to go there.

Stay warm and safe, everyone! Thanks for all the comments and the Spark Goodies!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 12/4/2010 9:34PM

    You handled the lunch challenge very well.


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MYSTERY4EVER 12/4/2010 10:24AM

    You did great at the lunch. Have a great time in San Francisco. I always enjoy visiting there. It is one of my favorite cities.

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 12/3/2010 11:46PM

  Have a fantastic time in San Francisco. :)

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MISSY455 12/3/2010 11:36PM

    I hope you have a great time in San Francisco on Sunday. I love visiting there, especially during the holidays. Union Square is always decorated so nicely and the stores close to there go all out as well.
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