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A revelation of sorts

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

I used to have this little gadget on the sink that provided instant hot water (well, I still have it, but little gadget + very hard water = not working) and I always loaded the coffee machine the night before and set the instant start thingee, but stopped doing that when I stopped getting up at regular scheduled times. Last night I didn't set up the coffee, and this morning was debating whether I wanted coffee or tea - since the coffee is frequently already there, I rarely drink tea even though I enjoy it. I make it properly - warm pot, loose tea, strainer and all that.

This morning I heard myself say - and three cats will stand witness to this - "If I'm going to go to the trouble of boiling water, I may as well have tea."

This isn't about tea or cats (although I can go on at great length about either or both of those as well, and undoubtedly will, sooner or later.) It's about the fact that I don't like to cook, particularly, and consider it a waste of time to do so for myself. This is a real problem.

I'd heard of all these "old people" who didn't bother to cook for themselves. At the time I was young and had a houseful of family and neighbors and workers, and while I still didn't especially like to cook, did so cheerfully enough. I thought people who wouldn't bother to cook for themselves were pitiful and silly.

My mother was widowed twice, married three times, and between husbands she always cooked really nice, properly balanced meals for herself. Even if she occasionally allowed herself a Stauffer's frozen stuffed pepper, she'd balance it out with a salad and a whole grain roll or something. I always teased her about trying out new recipes for future husbands - which actually turned out to be true often enough - but she'd counter with, "What, you think I'm not worth it?" and of course, she was right. We can't blame her for this issue.

It isn't, I swear, an issue of self-esteem. It isn't that I consider myself unworthy of decent food - it's just that it's such a lot of *bother* when I'd really rather be doing other things. Plus, cooking generates dishes to wash, which I also reallyreallyreally don't like (the automatic dishwasher having gone the way of the little hot water gadget.) I don't particularly care for frozen prepackaged foods, especially now that the microwave has quit (I haven't replaced it because I really only ever used it as a breadbox and to thaw the occasional thing - don't read anything into all of these broken Things. )

I've gotten better in the last six months - when I cook, I still make the full recipe and then portion the extra out and freeze it or save it for later in the week. (I ate for lunch the leftovers of the previous night's dinners for years - if there were no leftovers, I never knew quite what to do.) But doing all this cooking and washing up - three meals a day plus, perhaps, a snack, - for someone who could happily live on cheese, crackers and carrot sticks with the odd baked potato thrown in, seems like asking a lot.

Perhaps the problem isn't in the doing but in the planning, or lack of planning. Very often I'm engrossed in whatever I'm doing, hear my tummy rumble, check the clock and it's already half past dinnertime, and I have nothing going. It'd take another hour to bake a potato, I don't really eat that many sandwiches, and besides, there's probably nothing in the house that would easily generate a meal anyway. No meat sitting, waiting to be broiled. No cleaned up vegetables (although they are generally in the refrig, slowly wilting away, because I do buy things with the best of intentions) ready to be steamed. No food. In other words, a decent meal is at least an hour away, assuming I can think of something to make from whatever bits are on hand, so it's beans on toast again, side of carrot sticks.

I suspect that the part of the brain assigned the task of planning is also the part that is willing to track, and in my own brain that part seems woefully inadequate. I've been trying to track my food since the first time I ever went on a diet (1988, postpartum) and do you know what my longest streak is? Four days. FOUR DAYS. Planning usually falls down because by Wednesday, what sounded good on Sunday isn't appealing anymore.

I have to wrap this up before I come to any real conclusions because, as usual, I've been rambling on way too long but also because I have three books I've sold on Amazon and I have to get them wrapped and out the door in time for the post. Sure, I could have done that this morning, but I didn't. I didn't exercise, either, because it was nasty out and I was engrossed in..whatever the hell it was that I was doing.

And there, gentle reader, is the revelation: I seem to lack planning and the self-discipline to stick to any plan I might make. The next question, of course, if how to correct these issues.

(And the first person who comments with "A failure to plan is a plan to fail" will be...well, shot might be a bit harsh, but will ...well, something bad will happen, so don't.)

(Edited because I hate typos.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMMERKIWI 2/4/2012 4:08PM

    It sounds to me like you could take the "Queen of Procrastination" title!
emoticon emoticon

Kris xx

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    I gave up coffee years ago. I love tea!!

It appears at least that you are not obsessed with food like so many of us if you can live on crackers, cheese, carrots, and baked potatoes. Most of us are too focused on food.

My mom was like yours and cooked nice meals for herself.

Not to frighten you but my MIL didn't like to cook and ate out 3 meals a day and she ended up with tongue cancer so you certainly don't ever want to get to that point.

Sometimes I don't want to cook but I want control over what I eat and when I read about icky things like pink slime being added to fast food I have to cook. LOL.

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    I am a planner. I have lists all over the place, A Franklin Planner, notebooks. I also love to cook. I do hate washing dishes which is why I got the best dishwasher I could afford Kitchen Aide which has a 25 year warrenty bought in February 1993. So I have to begin to think about saving for the next one.

If I had my way I would cook every day but since I am down to me alone most of the time I cook things like soups I can eat all week or always make lots and create frozen dinners.

My nephew is a chef so I guess cooking is in our blood. My mother's maiden name was Baker! LOL.

Since I am retired I have my lists still but I allow myself flexibility. I get more exercise when I combine it with things I like to do, like gardening, de-cluttering.

Sadly I have no magic bullet for you. After all I have been "planning" to loose weight for years! LOL and I still am!! (Planning that is) emoticon

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PEPPYPATTI 2/1/2012 8:55PM

    I too have a problem cooking for just myself. My husband works 12-9pm 5 nights so on those nights I usually make something like a Veggie Burrito-no cooking involved. I'm not lazy either. I just got tired of cooking 3 meals 7 days a week for a family of 5 after 50 years. I deserve a break & so do you!

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HIPPICHICK1 2/1/2012 8:23PM

    As you may have noted one of my recent status updates was about conducting a self study on time usage and I'm surprised how little time I spend cooking. I thought I spent way more time preparing food. On average I spend only 55 minutes each day preparing food. For the whole day. How do I do it? I dunno really. I eat fruit and that you just grab and wash and eat. I also batch cook. I roast a chicken every week and a half. I make soup out of the carcass. If I forget to thaw something for dinner we have fish because you can broil it frozen solid and it always comes out perfect (if you know how to broil...4 minutes for thawed fish and maybe 6 or so for frozen...and don't turn it over).
Here's hoping you get your appliances working again soon. I find the microwave invaluable. I can cook 5 potatoes in 13 minutes!

Comment edited on: 2/1/2012 8:36:52 PM

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EMRANA 2/1/2012 7:05PM

  I'm not a planner either, so no worries that I will say that to you! (My personal pet peeve is "hang in there!" Makes me want to scream ~ and I sometimes do ~ when people say it to me).

I do pretty well with nutrition tracking, it's the planning part I don't like. I am married, but because I'm vegan and he's not, I pretty much do meals for one. What motivates me the most is eating what I love, so I look forward to it. That means I do a larger batch of steel cut oats with peanut butter and raisins, for example, so I can have two or three meals from that one effort. I've discovered that it makes a fabulous lunchbox, and keeps me filled all afternoon.

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JANEDOE12345 2/1/2012 6:18PM

    Re the hot water device: If it still circulates water at all, have you tried vinegar to clean out the hard water deposits? I use vinegar to flush out my iron, my coffee maker, humidifier, and even take the shower head off and soak it.

Cooking for one is not a joy. But neither is buying ready-made, salty food - so I cook, sometimes joylessly but sometimes I like that June Cleaver-ish feeling. Try wearing pearls.

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SUZYMOBILE 2/1/2012 2:52PM

    The answer to the question at hand: "If at first you don't succeed, plan, plan again."

Yikes! (ducking) emoticon Don't shoot me!

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SLIMMERJESSE 2/1/2012 12:59PM

    P.S. I've been thinking of selling my stuff on Amazon, but haven't done so yet. I don't like selling on craigslist, and Ebay fees are just too high. I think I'll look into Amazon selling, although they seem to charge very little for shipping.

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SLIMMERJESSE 2/1/2012 12:57PM

    I've always hated to cook, and didn't mean to but made my mother cry the day (as a teen) I broke it to her that I was declining her offer to teach me. Just this morning, I ordered a crockpot and low cal cookbook, vowing to myself to start a little bit of cooking.

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Link for owl lovers (like me!)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

This is a short - like 3 1/2 minute - film from Cornell Ornithology labs on Snowy Owls.

Here's the link for the Cornell Labs' Ornithology home page - interesting stuff to look at, learn, even participate in if you want.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ONEWEIGH 1/26/2012 9:25PM

    My mother says my first self-identification was "owl". We had a book of essays and photos called "The Apple Tree Community" about all the creatures that lived around a tree. She would read to me and say, "Are you a bug?" uh-uh "Are you a pretty little fawn?" nope "Are you and owl?" yes! Every time.

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PONYFARMER 1/26/2012 6:22PM

    Thanks for the link. I am blessed in that I have a family of barn owls that live just 10 feet from my front door. When the parents go out each night the babies make this chirping noise that the first time I heard it, I thought that there was a really big cricket or someother bug out there. But nope it was the owls. I recorded them and should try to record it on my page, for others to enjoy. I do share it with people I meet as it is on my phone.

My second blessing is that I own 15 acres in the high desert and on the land is a family of burrowing owls. So adorable. Before I knew they were there, my dog was sniffing out the hole and the mom came out and pretended to be injured, limping off form bush to bush with Puddy following her. As soon as she felt Puddy was far enough from the babies, she flew off.
Now I have it fenced off to keep all dogs out of there, so she can have some peace and quiet. LOL!

Good blog, thanks.

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    We would love for a snowy owl to show up here. We are looking for one. LOL.

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SUZYMOBILE 1/26/2012 5:11PM

    I read an article somewhere reporting MANY more snowy owl sightings than usual this year. Seeing as owls are a good omen, YOU should take it as a sign of an especially good year, I think!

I like this guy:

Comment edited on: 1/26/2012 5:13:29 PM

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5 pages of blood work results later...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I need to lose a few pounds and lay off the cocktails. Gee, who would ever have guessed?

Everything else is somewhere between okay and excellent - looks like I've got some tread left on me after all, so I guess I'll be around to wreak havoc for another few miles, anyway.

Good to know, though.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_UMAMI_ 1/27/2012 11:24PM

    Maybe you just need to loose a few pounds and lie off the cocktails?


I wish you well. (And I wish you some sunny days, too!)

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HIPPICHICK1 1/27/2012 12:56PM

Wreak away.

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GEMINIAN1 1/26/2012 10:25PM

    "5 pages of blood work results later...
I need to lose a few pounds and lay off the cocktails. Gee, who would ever have guessed?"
emoticon emoticon
It's like those studies that you hear about on the morning news that say, Harvard University just completed a four year study and they found that laughing makes you happy.
I'm really glad to hear that your doing good my friend.
I'm glad that you got the blood work done.
Cheers ... emoticon

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BETHGILLIGAN 1/26/2012 7:42PM

    Cocktails would be harder for me than the food right now! emoticon Congrats on the good news!

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ONEWEIGH 1/26/2012 3:43PM

    Like PUDLECRAZY said, lay off the cockatiels! You'll be picking the fluff out of your teeth for days. Almost all the blood tests I have done is to make sure the medications I take aren't doing me more harm than good. I sometimes think doctors still go in for blood-letting, they just call it "lab work".

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    No more margaritaville for you. LOL. Glad to hear you are okay.

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SHERYLDS 1/26/2012 3:04PM

    first you tell me you're falling apart on 1/14
then you put a title out that reads 5 pages of bloodwork later...

cut it out....I open your blogs half expecting bad news

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WONDERFUL2BME 1/26/2012 3:01PM

    I am glad you get to stay around a bit longer. I have had similar feedback. HA!

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PUDLECRAZY 1/26/2012 2:31PM

    I'm glad you have some tread left on you.

Fun with dyslexia:

At first I read that you had to lay off the cockatiels...

Got a good laugh out that one! emoticon

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A_WISE_WOMAN 1/26/2012 2:21PM

  Yeah for you! The world needs more havoc-wreakers!


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SLIMMERJESSE 1/26/2012 2:14PM

    You are one funny lady. (smiling) Do any comedy writing, by any chance? Been wondering how you've been. Smiled at your last blog. There are soooo many usages that drive me bonkers. One that almost everyone does is this... "The person that crossed the street" instead of who crossed the street. A very small thing. And one that I may be incorrect about. Could have sworn I learned "imminent domain." but I only hear "eminent domain." Anyway, have a good day, okay?

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Okay, let's get this straightened out

Thursday, January 19, 2012

This is something that has been bothering me for a long time, not just here on Spark People, but out in the world as well.

Diet and exercise programs - or lifestyle changes, or whatever you want to call them - are being referred to as "regimes". It's not a "regime" - it's a "regimen". Probably same roots - I'm not going to search out the etymology - but they are *not* the same thing.

A regimen is commonly used to refer to a health plan - a way of eating and exercising or living in general that promotes healthy development. A regime, on the other hand, is a ruling political situation. It usually has a negative connotation, although I'm not sure if that's necessarily the case, and again, I'm too lazy to look it up.

But unless a South American dictator (we'll go with the negative connotation here) is holding a pistol to your head and ordering you to do push-ups, your new healthy lifestyle is a 'regimen", not a "regime", and I don't care who says it the other way around.

Next: forte ("fort" vs "for-tay")

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEMINIAN1 1/24/2012 8:44PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 1/24/2012 11:44AM

    What JRSWHIMSY said!

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JRSWHIMSY 1/23/2012 11:12PM

    No no no. It is my regime.

Me and my legion of carrots....

Mwa ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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GEEKSMEGGLY 1/23/2012 10:42AM

    emoticonSad but funny too.

I could use that gun about now or I may never get down for those pushups. emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/23/2012 10:42:57 AM

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SHERYLDS 1/21/2012 6:13PM

    regime = the characteristic behavior or orderly procedure of a natural phenomenon or process

however my definition is Regi Me = as in... make me a regular sized person versus a Extra Big

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A_WISE_WOMAN 1/20/2012 12:09PM

  This is great! My mother, who is not a native English speaker, would correct memos at work all the time...

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 1/20/2012 9:03AM

    LOL, yes you are correct.

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    By George, I think you've got it. LOL. The English language is butchered daily.

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_UMAMI_ 1/19/2012 9:51PM

    I hate wrong words, too, but I must admit I'm often only able to get on to SP EARLY in my day (pre-coffee, even) or later at night when I'm really tired. (and/or interrupted constantly by family members)

So yeah, I make mistakes.

I think I need a diet dictator. emoticon

p.s. Oh, but I'm glad when my kids notice grammatical errors on the radio and tv! Totally makes my day.

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PUDLECRAZY 1/19/2012 9:28PM

    Don't even get me started...!

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SLIMLILA 1/19/2012 6:03PM

    Me too!!!!! For those two words you had to go to a lot of work.

I've had fights over the words - remuneration and renumeration

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EMRANA 1/19/2012 4:59PM

  Well, while you're on the topic, we are losing weight, not loosing it. emoticon

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JANEDOE12345 1/19/2012 3:33PM

    Next, would you straighten out the difference between getting oriented and getting orientated? And then do prophecy vs. prophecies (is there such a word?)
when used as a verb?

I hate wrong words.


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ONEWEIGH 1/19/2012 3:02PM

    Hey, people pay good money to have people put a gun to their heads to make them do push ups. Personal trainers and "boot camps", don't cha know? emoticon I've completely given up on forte...people just look at you funny if you say "fort".

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I really *am* falling apart - literally, sort of.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I was awake anyway, so it didn't make me too crazy to have to put the dog out at 4:30 in the morning. Dog went out, cats gathered around - hey, it's early, but feed us anyway! - and I noticed spots of blood on the floor. I looked at all three sleepy but hungry faces, and no one looked particularly off, so I assumed it had to be the dog that was bleeding from....somewhere. Then I noticed that the little blood spots went to the door and back again....but the dog was still out.

Weird. Cats seem is still out ...there's no one left! I lifted up one foot and peered at it - nothing there. Lifted the other one and sure enough, the bottom of the big toe is all bloody. And it's still bleeding, so it's not a ding, it's like a..slice. I washed it off, couldn't see or feel anything there, put some Neosporin on it and a couple bandaids. You know, it's hard to work on the inside of your own toe - harder than it used to be, certainly.

By daylight I'll have to conduct a search to see what it was that I sliced my toe on. I suspect it was glass, because I didn't feel it. My house has a certain "permanent construction zone" feel to it, plus rambunctious critters, so anything's possible. *shrug*

This is why people should sleep at night - it's dangerous to be out of bed.

EDIT: 7:15 a.m.

AHA! I believe I've found the toe slashing culprit. My house has wide (18" to almost 30", some of them - can you imagine the *trees?*), plank floors, and there are fairly wide gaps between some of the planks. Just now I was coming back in from filling the outdoor wood furnace and saw something shiny. Bent down to examine it and discovered a shard of what appears to have been one of the 1" diameter Christmas balls, lodged in between two of the boards. I thought I vacuumed thoroughly, but apparently not thoroughly enough.

I probably ought to fill in those cracks at some point, but I refuse to polyurethane the floors (just because I think it's criminal to poly something this old - it makes them look fake somehow) and haven't figured out what to use yet. It'll go on the job list, but somewhere down near the bottom.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUNADRAGON 1/25/2012 3:35AM

    Ouch! One time I walked in my son's room and got a cut, and couldn't figure out what cut my toe, it was bleeding like crazy. Come to find out, the glass in a picture frame slipped out and somehow landed on the floor without breaking, and I stepped on the edge. No fun. Hope you feel better now. I hate breaking ornaments, they are so fine and I am afraid I won't get all the glass.

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HIPPICHICK1 1/18/2012 2:00PM


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PUDLECRAZY 1/16/2012 6:45PM

    Ouchy! I hope it is a clean cut and heals up quickly.

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    ouch on the toe. I agree, you need to stay in bed. LOL.

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CEKER9 1/15/2012 12:52AM

I trust you're toe is better! Wood putty with stain would plug the holes and help you avoid the problem again!

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 1/14/2012 7:26PM

    I worry you did not feel it. Although I sometimes get cut while doing gardening and do not realize it.

I wonder if wood putty applied then sanded, stained and shellacked would work for repairs?

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JLPEASE 1/14/2012 4:30PM

    Ouch! That sounds painful. At least you found out what did the damage and your pets didn't get hurt too.

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SHERYLDS 1/14/2012 3:01PM

    what worries me more is why you didn't realize YOU were the victim.
Do you have numbness in your toes....if so, have you had your sugar checked lately?
Please take care of yourself....GOOD people are hard to find emoticon

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JRSWHIMSY 1/14/2012 11:32AM

    Yeah, that'd do it...

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EMRANA 1/14/2012 11:19AM


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_UMAMI_ 1/14/2012 9:33AM

    I think you need some steel-toed slippers!

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    Yeah, up to the BR the other night and stubbed my toes so bad that I had to take a day off work. It is much better now and worked yesterday. My hubby bought me a motion detector night light! LOL. He is a hoot. Here I am back up at night....
Good luck to us both.

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