SCOOTER4263   29,680
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Well, that certainly was unexpected.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

emoticon I chose to take the dog on a nice long ramble this morning. The hay was cut and taken out last week, so the farm is like a 100 acre lawn, albeit a brown and stubby one (we could use some rain here, please.) We went into all the corners and she had a lovely sniff, I just looked around happily, then we started for home and our respective water bowls and glasses. The I noticed...

...the Brush Hog was gone. emoticon

A Brush (or Bush, depending upon brand, I think) Hog isn't a small thing. It's like a 4'x4' single blade lawnmower that hooks to a tractor, made of metal and probably weighs...I'm guessing here...400 pounds, with sharp edges. In other words, you don't just drop it in the truck of your car and leave. I rooted around in the underbrush and tall weeds, but sure enough, no Brush Hog.

I usually don't think of this as being the sort of place where things get stolen - most folks don't even lock their doors (being a city kid, I have to - it'd drive me nuts otherwise.) But it was looking like someone had, in fact, stolen the Brush Hog. emoticon

So I got in the car, mentally loaded for bear, and went off in search. I'm pretty liberal about lending tools and machinery, but the borrowers always at least have the courtesy to mention it to me. I checked the farms of the guys who cut the hay - no dice. (And no Brush Hog.) I checked the grounds of one of our local known thieves - no Brush Hog. Asked a neighbor. No Brush Hog. emoticon

Finally it occurred to me to call the other neighbor - a good friend and generally a really good guy. I didn't see why he'd take my Brush Hog, but I was running out of options. Sure enough, he had it. Not only that, he apparently told me he had planned to take it. He'd borrowed it and not only used it, but oiled it and straightened it and whatever else one does with that sort of thing. Apparently I *cough* forgot. emoticon

So, having spent the better part of the day running all over hell and gone looking for something that I should have known was across the street, I've decided to start my new life tomorrow instead of today. I shall take a lovely, soaky bath, have a cocktail, a BLT (*with* mayonnaise, although not too much) and go to bed early. Apparently I need a little extra rest.

And when I start my day tomorrow, #1 on my list will be something about not jumping to conclusions. emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    LOL!! Thank God. I was getting my blood boiling thinking that someone had ripped this off and was prepared to help you kick someone's butt. LOL.

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BUNNYCATS 7/22/2012 10:24AM

    You have to check out this story about the missing flags.

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BUNNYCATS 7/22/2012 9:16AM

    Who would have thought that your own neighbor would take your expensive machinery without even asking? It makes me angry. I'm so glad you went over there and got it back. I'm proud of you. I'm not very good at handling these kind of situations. I get worried that I'm going to overreact. emoticon emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 7/20/2012 10:22AM

    Oh my!
Who hasn't done this sort of thing?
Glad you found the hog.

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 7/20/2012 8:00AM

    I have those moments now and then and survived,,,so will you. emoticon

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 7/19/2012 11:37PM

    It sounds exactly like something I would do. Letting go of my once wonderful memory has not been easy.
I hope you treat yourself very well.

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JLPEASE 7/19/2012 8:23PM

    What a relief that must have been. It would be a shame if you couldn't trust your neighbors.

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DESERTJULZ 7/19/2012 6:51PM

    Ha! Nice to have it all serviced!

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VALERIEMAHA 7/19/2012 5:57PM


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SHERYLDS 7/19/2012 5:39PM

    do i have a commercial for you emoticon
Dish Tv ....The Hopper

Luv ya

Comment edited on: 7/19/2012 5:41:11 PM

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AUTUMNBRZ 7/19/2012 4:47PM

    oopsie emoticon lol

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BETHGILLIGAN 7/19/2012 4:46PM

    OMG! Sounds like something I would do!! I totally get it!! Except my things are books, CDs, a lot less than a Bush Hog!!!! Glad you found it! Have a lovely soak!

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SUZYMOBILE 7/19/2012 4:30PM

    Ah well. If I started beating myself up about all my newfound senior moments, I'd be a sorry sight. Everything will be easier tomorrow!

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Ready for some more success.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I don't know about you all, but I tend to lose weight in fits and starts. I lose five or six pounds, then slack up on my efforts. I don't think it's because I falsely feel like, "I've got this" - more like something else comes along that captures my attention. Since I've gotten some good habits in place, I don't gain back the weight, but I totally stop losing, and I just cruise along like that for a while...sometimes a really long while. Mayo on the sandwich here, extra beer there, too hot to exercise the next day....and on it goes.

I'm about half way through my weight loss journey (although when I get to the end, I may decide to do another ten's sort of a "see how things are when I get there" deal), but like the project of the upstairs bathroom, which has been half done for over a year now, I'm tired of the project and I want it finished.

I've not only been "dieting" (let's just call it that, okay?) for years, I've been widowed now for a year and a half, been stuck with house projects for that long or longer, just generally stuck.

I think it's time to pull up my big girl britches and finish a few of these projects. Finish the !@#$ bookcases, paint the upstairs bathroom, and lose the remaining thirty-odd pounds. I'm ready for the next chapter in my life, whatever it may be, and I don't want to be carrying around the "house that grief built" - I want to head into it healthy and happy, and to do that, I need to shed a few more pounds. Not because I'm not okay the way I am, but because I know I can be better.

So instead of resting on my, um...laurels...I'm going to reboot my efforts. I'm mostly living on what the CSA feeds me each week (did I mention how shockingly good raw kohlrabi is? Sliced thinly with a sprinkle of salt - YUM) so that part is easy. The hot spell is supposed to end tonight or tomorrow, so there goes that excuse - I've been walking and lifting sporadically, but I think I'll make a plan and stick to it, what the hell, even track it here in SP.

I've learned so much from the challenges in my life - not just weight and grief, but basically the whole buffet table of setbacks and craziness - and I want to share that with others. To do that, I need to dress that part, and to do *that*, I need to shop in a smaller size.

I suck at self-discipline, so I figure the only way I can achieve these goals is to show up here and use the tools SP offers. You guys are my community, if only virtually. I've come to believe that if we can lean on one another occasionally, we can beat this weight beast.

So let's go. * knuckle bumps several Spark Friends, with shouts of WooHoo in the background*

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I am so totally with you on the unfinished project stuff. I've got a bunch I'm trying to work on before I get into my final internship.

I love DancingGardener's UFO comment!

Message me if you need one-on-one motivation or commiseration.

*knuckle bumps ya*


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    Yaaay for "terrorist fist bumping" (as Faux News called it when the Obamas first did it on camera)

I teach a knitting class called "UFO class" - UFO standing for "unfinished object". We sit around and discuss each other's UFOs. We oooo and ahh over each other's orphaned masterpieces pressing the knitter to finish it because it's so beautiful and so worth the effort. We have a good group-think over the stalled projects because of some problem or dis-aster. And, we breath soothing thoughts as we help the knitter admit that yes, the entire thing should be frogged (rip-it, rip-it) allowing the yarn to be used for some higher purpose.

Invariably the UFO class also includes a lot of discussion about unfinished promises, diets, goals and whatnot. It is amazingly cathartic to face one's UFOs. Knitted or knot.

Being able to look at a UFO and being able to tell if it is a keeper, a challenge, or ready to be frogged is worthy of the pondering time it takes. Just because you "promised yourself" you would do something doesn't mean keeping that promise is the best use of your efforts.

So be picky about which UFOs deserve your attention. Set your self up for success and knuckle down on them. You've got an army of sparkly folks out here cheering you on!

Fist bump! High Five! Fanny Slap! Let's DO this thing!!!!!

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 7/18/2012 11:46AM

    Being a widow myself for about 11 years. I can sympathise on the house projects piling up. Now we have both our chores and theirs to do. I have been managing but this heat is a killer. I have gained and lost the same pounds now for a year. I have recently chose to be more progressive about it. So my weight issue is more of my major goal for the remainder of the year. Keep cool!

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NINJA_SMOO 7/18/2012 11:22AM

  I just love this "...I need to shed a few more pounds. Not because I'm not okay the way I am, but because I know I can be better." You've perfectly summed up something I've been having trouble put into coherent order.

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HIPPICHICK1 7/18/2012 10:51AM

    I've got many unfinished projects as well, but I also suspect that is how it will be until the day I die. I can't think of how it would be if I finished EVERYTHING. What would I do with myself if all of my projects were complete?
emoticon emoticon
But I do have goals and some with set dates, like getting my sewing area cleaned up, functional and all those sewing projects that are half done completed by fall equinox. I would love to have a more tidy, less cluttered home, but it will only happen if I put the time in and do the work.
It's much the same with weight loss and fitness, right? So with that I'm off to the garden to start hauling around some dirt.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WORKINGSTIFF 7/18/2012 9:12AM

    I'm with you!

Fist bumps all around!

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BETHGILLIGAN 7/18/2012 8:14AM

    Love the attitude!!!! Keep it up!!

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SLIMLILA 7/18/2012 12:52AM

Great blog! Continued success on your journey in various areas... emoticon

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 7/17/2012 11:11PM

    YOU CAN DO IT!!! We'll all do it together!

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ACIMPEGGY 7/17/2012 10:13PM

    Sounds a lot like where I am, but no longer close to half way. I did gain about 15 back. I am with you, though, on the heat excuse, forgetting to track the mayo, etc. WE WILL reach our goals.

I am glad you are aware that in Reality (IMHO Spirit) You are perfect as you are now!


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SUZYMOBILE 7/17/2012 9:12PM

    Wow! When you put your mind to something, I have a feeling it's gonna happen. I could use some of that, too!

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    I think it's a great idea. `I would love to wrap up all the lose ends around here.

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JANEDOE12345 7/17/2012 7:40PM

    You can do anything! You are Wonder Woman! A comet in the dull lives of others! You go, girl! And I am glad you are going to be around more.

emoticon emoticon

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AUTUMNBRZ 7/17/2012 7:32PM

    emoticon emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 7/17/2012 7:13PM

    Oh.My. As I sit here trying to *consciously* eat 28 gr. of Garden of Eatin' Organic Corn Tortilla Chips (directly out of the bag -- who am I kidding?) I contemplate your compelling piece and it sets me reeling back on my heels. I SO want to be one of those friends. Actually (pausing to clip closed the bag of chips) I'm now misty-eyed up thinking about how much I DO want to be ready for the required level of consistent discipline and commitment to beat "this weight beast" and with the same kind of commitment confront the matters of greatest importance in my life, which I've also to some extent left by the sidelines.

My approach is different than many on SP. I'm 70 years old, a vital, vibrant, supple-minded (pun intended), engaged 70 year-old, but 70 nonetheless. At best I likely have 15 years left in this body, probably closer to 10...that's not morbid, it simply IS. Being in an optimal state of health is my best insurance to have a good quality of life to the end...and do the things of importance for me up to the end.

Sorry to ramble on in near stream of consciousness monologue. It seems your blog razed my mind and caused the process to emerge, I'm afraid. AND I also know that ultimately...the patient must minister to herself (but hopefully "with a little help from my friends").

"Macbeth. Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?
Doctor. Therein the patient
Must minister to himself."
(Let's be dramatic, shall we???)

So, I say: Let the Challenge Begin!

Comment edited on: 7/17/2012 7:53:46 PM

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The Beet Goes On

Sunday, July 15, 2012

(Sorry. Couldn't resist.)

I actually like beets, even the canned ones. One of my favorite salads is sliced beets with oranges. Heck, I'll even eat the dreaded Harvard beets, although it's not my favorite.

Here's some more beet info and a couple recipes from NPR:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUNNYCATS 7/17/2012 6:19PM

    Yummmm, I crave beets!

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BETHGILLIGAN 7/16/2012 8:32PM

    Pickled beets!! YUM!!!!!!

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    I love beets too - pickled beets.

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ONEWEIGH 7/15/2012 4:29PM

    Try Robin's Creamy Beet Salad recipe on SparkRecipes. It's really good. In fact, I think I'll make it when I get back from vacation. I have beets waiting for me at home. emoticon

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_UMAMI_ 7/15/2012 3:26PM

    I love beets! They disturb me the day after, though. emoticon

Thanks for the link---that soup sounds intriguing. Odd enough to get me to try it!

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SWTHNY- 7/15/2012 1:14PM

    love love beets! emoticon

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SARS613 7/15/2012 1:07PM

    I have never been huge on beets, but I am trying to incorporate more coloured vegetables into my diet so I just may have to try one of these recipes!

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QUIERRA 7/15/2012 1:06PM

    There are not many of you beet-lovers, but I think you may have convinced me with the combo of the oranges. :P

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 7/15/2012 12:56PM


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Got heat tolerance? (Plus kohlrabi notes)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I sure don't - have heat tolerance, that is. it was a little better when I was working full time as a landscaper, but now...pffft.

One of the reasons I moved to Central New York was that I'd had enough of Philly's "triple H threat " - hazy, hot and humid. I distinctly remember, as a child, thinking that if I could use a knife, maybe I could cut a hole in the air to breathe through. And now (thank you, global warming) it's like that here.

I don't have air conditioning because, since I live on the top of a hill, I almost always have a breeze - I pay for it (literally) in the winter, but in the summer, it's a blessing. Plus, it takes a couple days for the house to warm up inside, and I learned young how to open and close draperies and windows in a house to make the most of cooling breezes and shut out hot sun. I also know how to get up early and do all the cooking for the day before it gets too warm.

Still, this has gotten to be a bit much. It's too humid (because the temperature is close to the dew point) at 5:00 a.m. and too hot later, so I'm having a hard time finding a way to exercise.

Anybody got any suggestions?



I've heard of them, sure, but I never knew what to do with one. I belong to a CSA, and whenever they'd present me with a kohlrabi, I'd put it in the "swap" corner, where it usually had lots of company.

(See the article in the Huffington Post, entitled WTF, CSA?)

So this week I took the things home. I did a little online looking and discovered that one could eat this ... thing...raw. Perfect, since it's too hot to cook. I sliced it thinly and salted it sparingly, and, lo and behold, it's EXCELLENT! It tastes sort of like a very mild radish (I've read that it tastes like broccoli stalks, but not to me.) It's crispy and juicy and really very pleasant. I can definitely see it as part of a relish tray - crudites, to you fancy folks - maybe with a creamy yogurt dressing.

Anyway, even if you don't belong to a CSA and are therefore pretty much forced to find a way to enjoy the thing, try one. I was pleasantly surprised - maybe you will be, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    We have the same problem here - heat and humidity. Doing anything outside means sweating. I do my outside exercise and chores early. It is the only way here. I do any later exercise indoors.

I love kohlrabi. We grow it. It's delicious.

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HIPPICHICK1 7/15/2012 4:16PM

    I hear ya about the weather! It's very much the same here as where you are. We are just north of NY state. 8 hrs from Niagara Falls going SW around Lake Ontario. If it weren't for the lake and loving to swim I would have to get up at the crack of dawn to work out. I'm not a morning person and if I work out at night I won't be able to sleep for several hours afterwards.
Start digging a pool??
Never tried kohlrabi but have seen it at the grocers and often wondered about it. I've just tried grilled fennel and loved that. Very mild. Nothing like fennel seed which can tasty very much like licorice, but definitely had some licorice "notes." Do I sound like a sommelier yet?

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 7/15/2012 9:38AM

    My parents grew Kohrabi and enjoyed eating them. I never tasted them. I guess I might try it if I can find it.

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SUZYMOBILE 7/14/2012 9:45PM

    I don't think I've ever heard a vegetable described as "pleasant" before. I look for something a bit more than pleasant in my veggies, though, so I think I'll pass on the kohlrabi, thanks.

I don't know what to tell you about the outdoor exercise! If I don't get out for a morning walk before 10, I might as well forget about it. Even at 9, it's pretty hot and humid. I carry water and wear shades. That's about all I can offer for advice. The neighbors think I'm crazy and likely to get heatstroke, so I'm probably the last one to give advice!

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Enough with the "hissy fit"

Monday, July 09, 2012

We need to talk about where this phrase comes from. And it has nothing to do with cats.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, doctors believed that ranting and raving and carrying on - in short, "hysteria" - was caused by female hormones getting out of balance. Forgetting their places, as it were. The cure for this was to remove the uterus.

Yep, "hysteria" and "hysterectomy" both come from the same linguistic roots. "She's just a hysterical woman." Take her uterus out and she'll behave better.

I don't want to get into whether it worked, or the whole sexual politics of the thing. I just want people who choose this phrase to know what kind of his-tory (different linguistic root altogether) they're dredging up. Personally, I wouldn't use the phrase "hissy fit" at gunpoint.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THE_MIGHTYQUINN 7/15/2012 9:14PM

    Scooter, I teach feminist theory and I never made the connection! Yikes, I use the phrase all the time (usually about my male partner, actually)! It's going to take a bit of work for me; thanks a million for this blog post!

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    LOL!! Unfortunately I've been known to have a few of these so I better guard my uterus.

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HIPPICHICK1 7/10/2012 12:14PM

    That's his-terical!
Sorry, couldn't resist!!

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VALERIEMAHA 7/10/2012 9:23AM

    There's a movie running currently called "Hysteria." And it IS hysterical...and to the point (pun intended). HIGHLY recommended. I saw it at our indies/foreign films theater here.

It wasn't a phrase I "turned" in any case, but even less so now!!!

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 7/10/2012 9:14AM

    Why is that men tend to blame and fear women? Perhaps the Amazons were tired of being the weaker sex. I seem to remember a study where women's chromosomes actually were stronger than men's. Women have endured many atrocities just because we are women. That alone might be making us stronger. I never understood why equality did not exist. It is better now at least in America but still has a long way to go.

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AUTUMNBRZ 7/9/2012 11:58PM

    very interesting

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RUSSELLORAMA 7/9/2012 11:54PM

    They also thought using vibrators to bring about orgasms would cure hysteria. Your so-called doctor would be all too happy to administer that "treatment" to you.


Comment edited on: 7/9/2012 11:55:32 PM

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SLIMLILA 7/9/2012 11:44PM

    And if we had a "her-story", we would have a lot of different terms for things.... I was reading a book today called, "Elderwoman" and she was explaining something I did learn back in Women's STudies at university.... Crone is the old word for a "wise woman", but it now seems to have a negative connotation

Having medical terminology, I knew the background of Hysterectory and hysterics, but hadn't heard of "hissy fit" either...

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SLIMMERJESSE 7/9/2012 11:26PM

    You are such a riot. Thanks for the interesting info.

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NORASPAT 7/9/2012 11:06PM

    I wonder if that is in the oxford English dictionary.
I knew the Hysterectomy Hysteria connection from the Edwardian era but never HISSY-FIT till I got over to the US. Must look in to that. GD is sleeping where My Oxford is so i must wait till tomorrow HUGS Pat in Maine.'
Thanks, you have more knowledge than the Readers Digest. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 7/9/2012 10:09PM

    Those early doctors and philosophers were rather frightened by what they thought was a "wandering womb". It did not seem pinned down, so it could get out and wander wantonly!

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