WW Post: Still Working on Getting Healthy

So, for those of you who don’t know – this last September my Beau and I did the Camino De Santiago (thus 3 book reviews last year about the Camino). One of these days, I will do some back dated storytelling of this amazing journey. Suffice to say, it was nothing like I thought it was going to be, and so much more than I could have ever imagined. We finished on Oct. 7, and I have thought about it longingly every day since then. The Beau and I are loosely planning to do it again in 2018. This time we want to do the Portuguese Route. Anywho, as I said, that’s another post for another time.
Here’s a pic of us when we got to Santiago De Compostela:

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As you know, I’ve struggled with weight since I was a teenager, and one of the things the Camino did for me was help me jumpstart my loss. I am still struggling a little bit, but have (mostly faithfully) been going to Weight Watchers since then. Since June of 2014, I have lost 60lbs. Not as much as I had hoped, but when you slack ass more than you work – so be it!

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This week I’ve started doing something I had never yet done before in my whole WW history. I’ve started doing the Simply Filling plan. I have always, always, always been a points counter who has said they couldn’t trust themselves to not have to count points. I haven’t weighed in yet for the week (that comes on Saturday), but I have found this week SO MUCH EASIER. The points alone system I think gives me TOO MUCH freedom (especially with how many points I have to eat between daily, weekly and fit) to go whole hog. This week, eating from the list as much as possible, but still allowing myself things here and there that count from weekly/fit points has been so much more healthy feeling. Also it’s helping me learn my hunger cues. Looking cautiously forward to what the scale will have to say this week.

Last night I made a Simply Filling Stir Fry. It turned out quite nice.

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You can find the recipe here if you are a logged in WW member. If not, and you would like the recipe, let me know and I’ll type it out for you.

After dinner I was feeling pretty tired. The Beau wanted to go to the Y and work out, but I decided not to go with him, but to get some fresh air instead. Seeing a break in the rain, I suited up and headed out

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(Don’t I look thrilled?)

It started raining as soon as I got out there, of course but I did about 2 miles. Thankfully some good music was on my phone and I ended up jogging further/ longer than I ever have consecutively at one time. I also ran into one of my friends from high school who lives in the area, so that was a bonus.

At the end I was out of breath, soaking wet and looked like this

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But I FELT like this:

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Got a pretty good nights sleep, and am now getting ready to tuck into some OatBran and fruit.

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Book Review: Finding Fraser By kc dyer

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Sometimes searching for true love can be a little…Outlandish.

“I met Jamie Fraser when I was nineteen years old. He was tall, red-headed, and at our first meeting at least, a virgin. I fell in love hard, fast and completely. He knew how to ride a horse, wield a sword and stitch a wound. He was, in fact, the perfect man.

That he was fictional hardly entered into it. ”

At 29, Emma Sheridan’s life is a disaster and she’s tired of waiting for the perfect boyfriend to step from the pages of her favorite book. There’s only one place to look, and it means selling everything and leaving her world behind. With an unexpected collection of allies along the way, can Emma face down a naked fishmonger, a randy gnome, a perfidious thief, and even her own abdominal muscles on the journey to find her Fraser?

Title: Finding Fraser
Author: kc dyer
Publisher: Lion’s Mountain Literary
Copyright: 2005
Format Read: Kindle
My Rating: 4/5
Goodreads

My thoughts:

Sometimes, after a run of reading classics and “really need to concentrate here” books, you just want something light hearted to get you out of a potential book slump. This book did the trick for me! First of all, much like the author – I too met Jamie Fraser when I was 19, and have loved him ever since. I also, am in awe of Herself,  and would absolutely die if I had the chance to meet her. I digress…

I’ve just come off of a bit of a classics/heavy reads stint, and wanted something not so demanding to read through, and came across this book on my kindle. Really, I was in the mood to read Outlander (my comfort book), but seeing as how I have leant out my copy (and even if I DID read that, it would be self-mandatory to re-read the entire 8 book series), this was the next best thing.

And it turned out it really was. Right away I feel for, and can see a lot of myself in the main character Emma Sheridan. We’ve both known unlucky love, both are accident prone, the free spirited ones of the family (nice way of saying slack-ass), have a desire to run away from it all, love all things Outlander, and have pretty much held up every guy to Jamie-level standards. Although some of the supporting characters were a little just-this-side of real, the main characters were definitely believable, and real feeling. Aside from Emma herself, my favorite would probably be Morag, the gruff lady who takes Emma in  when she finds herself without a home (mostly because sometimes I wish I was a Scottish farmer).

 The author has a voice that is humorous and engaging. The format of switching back and forth between the ‘actual’ story and the blog posts, gave an interesting contrast,  and leant a fast pace which left me having trouble putting it the story down when responsibilities called. The majority of the plot points (except having to do with The Ghost), I could guess pretty easily, which was a little disappointing, but as I was looking for a light read, it was still thoroughly enjoyable!

I look forward to checking out more by this author!

And now I need to go find who I leant Outlander to damnit ….

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Hello Again

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It’s has been a hot minute since I’ve posted here. Life, as always has been kind of crazy and my creative life has been a little neglected. Cleaning up this blog, and updating some of the pages, is a step in the right direction. My goal is to get back into the book world a bit more, and start doing some book blogging. At the beginning of this year, my friend Laura and I decided to do the Rory Gilmore reading challenge – and I am falling behind dreadfully! I’ve been trying to make reading more of a priority, so expect much more bookish content ahead.

There is also some other big life changes ahead – and expect to hear more about that as well!

Anywho, those of you who have hung with me – thank you for doing so!

Some thoughts that have been on my heart about the current state of our country

I never really have thought of myself as a political activist before. I’ve always been just kind of a liberal/green leaning Christian, who happens to be bi-sexual, who stands on the side of compassion, equality and social justice.

This past year, I did the caucasus thing for the first time, as a Bernie supporter (#feelthebernforever). When he conceded I backed Hillary because I feared what would happen if Trump won.

And of course, he did.

I know as a President he only has SO MUCH power, but “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is one of my all time favorite films, and I also know what a political machine with the right backers can do.

A lot of people (mostly Trump supporters) have said to “Give him a chance” and that “Even though you didn’t vote for him, you need to respect him as the Commander in Chief.” Well, I come from a place where respect isn’t just handed out, it is something you earn. So far with the “chance” Trump has been given; the actions of his first 2 weeks alone, are enough to scare the ever living hell out of me.

As an American I was raised to believe that in my country we are all born equal and free. Every person apart from the Native Americans are immigrants. We are a country of immigrants, where people pull together and make the best of the situations that life hands out. “Hitch your Wagon to a Star” or “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”.

For goodness sake, just read the Pre-amble again, if you haven’t read it since the 7th Grade:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America…

Everything I love, care about and stand for right now is being threatened. My rights as a women are threatened, people I love and care about feel unsafe, our earth is being threatened, and things that make life lovely (ie the arts/humanities) are even being threatened. The leader of the ‘free world’ is a man of corruption, hate and everything that I stand against.

So, as I watched the PBS News Hour coverage of the inauguration, and watched as every person I respect shake their heads in disbelief, I asked myself – what can be done? One too many conversations around our dinner table have focused on this question.

As an American citizen – I still do have some rights, but I also have some responsibilities. One of these are to make sure I do everything in my power to, do my part in protecting the Constitution, to be aware, and to take action where I can. I know that as1 person, I may not be able to effect much, but if I don’t try, I’m not effecting anything at all.

So here, is what I’ve decided to do:

First I took an oath to do my part. https://www.wall-of-us.org/taketheoath

Each week this organization helps you to be aware what is going on, and where you can take actions, to help the causes you feel passionate about.

Secondly, I started making phone calls. 

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Just remember these Senators and members of government are our representatives. If they don’t know how the people they represent feel, then they can’t accurately represent them. (Obviously this seems to be working because as of tonight Sen. Patty Murray’s vm box is full).

Thirdly, as part of the plan to be aware, I aim to keep an eye on what Bernie and the Obama’s are working on and I plan to keep aware of the house and Senate schedule to see what is being voted on if I need to make MORE phone calls.

I’m not hating on anyone, and it’s not my place to pose judgment on anyone. My job is to show mercy to those who are oppressed, and to do what I can to be a light in the world. I will not add to the darkness, and hate but I will bring light to the causes I feel are important.

Who knows if any of this will help anything, but as people in my family fought for their country, I can do this little part to fight for mine.

Back in Biz

Okay I’ve been gone for forever and I’m trying to get some life stuff back on track here.

What kind of challenges are going on in the new year?

Topics include writing, fitness and weight-loss/weight watchers!Thank you for the head’s up!

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As for today, I feel like yuck.

Thank you ladytime.

My eating has been okay this week, even if the gym plan hasn’t gone as well.

Just wishing for less pain and more energy.

Also I had a holiday flat white and it tasted liquid potpourri so that was fun.

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Back to my skinny soy cinnamon dolce thanks.

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Also craving haystacks like it’s my friggin JOB.

Book Review: The Lost Continent By Bill Bryson

Book Review: The Lost Continent

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By, Bill Bryson

(C) 1989/2001 Harper / Perennial

4/5 *

Travel writing has always been an interest of mine, and also anything to do with through hiking / long journeys. Recently I saw the “Walk in the Woods” movie which was based off of Bill Bryson’s book about the Appalachian Trail. To be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of the move it’s self, but it did make me intrigued enough for me to want to read some of Bill Bryson’s work. Because I of the freshness of the movie, I didn’t want to start with his book on the Appalachian Trail. While browsing through HPB’s travelogue section I managed to find this book, “The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America.” For those who know me, I’m also fond of small towns.

I picked this book up excitedly, and immediately fell in love with Bill Bryson’s writing. This book basically chronicles his journey to re-visit the seemingly endless road-trips that his father had taken the family on in his youth. He starts in his hometown of Des Moines IA, and travels through 38 states – mostly in middle America, the south and New England. I did enjoy his family stories of his youth and previous visits to various places. I could really relate to his getting lost all of the time – though following seemingly simple road signs. I also enjoyed his wit, though it did sometimes trend toward cynical. The only thing I didn’t enjoy quite as much (that kept it from going to 5 stars) was that there was a lot of repetition regarding bad hotel rooms located in strip mall style areas. My thought was, if you don’t like them – stay somewhere else. Nearly every town he came to, the hotel was bad (road side motel), the food was bad (truck stop style dining) and it was in a terrible strip mall style place.

Over all I really enjoyed the read, and do look forward to reading more of his in the future

Book Review: The Pilgrimage

Book Review: The Pilgrimage

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by, Paulo Coelho

original copy right 1987

3/5

 

Paulo Coelho’s book is the 3rd of my Caminio De Santiago theme’d reads of this year.
A blurb on the back calls it a “dazzling tale of the road traveled by ordinary people”, but really I didn’t find it much. The writing is beautiful, and I do have (& am looking forward to reading )”The Alchemist”. However, I think I went into this book with different expectations. The synopsis says this is Paulo Coelho’s writing of his personal journey on the Camino. If it was indeed, his true experience – then I find it a little hard to believe. To me it seems more of a novelization, than a true telling. Shirley MacLaine’s book was more believable to me.
That being said, I am not one of the Knights Templars, and I know nothing of their society’s, “magic” or quests. The book was still an interesting read, and I will be picking up more of Mr. Coelho’s books in the future.