Saturday, May 30, 2009

There's an App for that.

My iPhone and I lost thirty pounds. Well, with a little help from the treadmill.

So recently I've finally lost all that baby weight. Only eleven years since I started putting it on, but honestly, who's counting. Oh, yeah. That would be me.

So the most often asked question is "HOW?" And while I think that most people are truly wanting to know, there are a few people out there who want me to bust out with my magic pill or surgery tales. Seriously? If I'd had surgery, I'd fire my surgeon for not finishing the job!

But here's the thing. It was painfully simply. And a little embarrassing as to how simple it was.

My iPhone. I love it. I have two free apps that I used and I love. One was used all the way through, Lose It. It simply tracks your calories consumed and used. You set your goals and off you go. And you always have it with you, so there's no excuses for forgetting that donut you had. The other one that I would have used all the way through had I discovered it, was a GPS. It keeps track of how far you are going and how fast, so you can go off and wander and still know your speed and distance, which is essential for calorie counting. And it makes life far more interesting than going on the treadmill day after day and looking at your unmade bed.

And then there was the not-so-free piece of equipment. The dog. Honestly, if you've ever had a workout partner who barks at your for an hour until you go for your workout, you know what I'm talking about. For the price of a little dog food and a can of tennis balls per week, I have a built in won't-take-no-for-an-answer workout partner. And he helps build upper body strength while walking every time we see a bunny rabbit. Which, in this neighborhood, is a LOT.

That's it. Calorie counting. Exercising. I've never been one with any self discipline or self control, nor have I ever been a good dieter. So this? Nothing short of a miracle.

And now, now that I'm getting close to my goal, I so wish I'd taken before pictures/measurements. I was too horrified before, but now I wish I had it to look back at and remember every time I want to have ice cream for breakfast.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Evolution of the bald spots.

Shortly after I started this blog, I was admiring the three sweet bald spots in the grass under my children's swings. Sadly, the grass is mostly healthy and thick under their swings these days, save a little under the middle one.

The bald patches have moved. The two biggest ones are at home plate and the pitcher's mound, where much time is spent by Sarge and the littlest one playing baseball for hours every day. There are smaller bald patches in the yard around first, second and third bases for when the family baseball games are played.

And as much as I wish we had one of those golf course fabulous green grass backyards, I think I'll be sad one day when I do have it. I'll long for the bare patches in my backyard and the noise and laughter and fun that go along with it. Even now, under the swings, the thick beautiful grass makes me a little bit sad.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Setting the bar high.

My grandmother died this week.

But she did it in such a way that we were all left wondering, "Will I be able to do this so well?" Honestly, who ever admired the way that someone else died?


All six of her living children were able to drop everything and come to be with her in her last week. Grandchildren came from different parts of the country, just to tell her how much we loved her.

In her last week, she made us laugh. She laughed with us and at us. She gave us, even in the last day, stories to tell and laugh about. She could light up the room, even when she could do little more than smile.

She told stories and listened to stories, and in all her humility, she told us to stop telling her all those wonderful things about her, that we were making her feel uncomfortable. So we told her funny stories about mistakes she had made or funny things she'd said when she was frustrated. And she laughed and appreciated those stories more than any others.

And then, when her body finally gave way, she went peacefully and beautifully from this life to the next.

And, unlike my aunt, who wants to go up in a fabulous dramatic way, I want to go just like she did. With enough time to tell everyone that I love them, with everyone who loves me to come tell me stories about how I affected their lives. And then I want to go. Quickly and peacefully.

Even in death, I admire her. Extraordinary.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Avenge Yourself.

My grandma always had a needlepoint on the wall in her house that said, "Avenge yourself. Live long enough to be a problem to your children." Her children thought it was funny.

My grandma is 92.

I was a child of the eighties, and my mom was a working mom. During the summers, we would get shipped off to grandma's house. I know, feel sorry for me. Only don't.

My grandma taught me to knit. She was up before dawn every morning with her cup of coffee that she only drank from a china mug. She taught me to needlepoint, but refused to teach me to crochet (still bitter, taught myself. Pbbbbt, Gram.) She had a yarn closet built in her last house. She had little knitting projects at different stages of finished all over the house. Even on the back of the toilet. And she would only finish a sweater in the early morning, sitting by a sunny window.

She is left handed, and she takes such pride that she has one son, one grandson and two great-grandsons who are left handed. Both of those great-grandsons are mine. I always loved to watch her sign her name - she did it with such flair, and it was so pretty when she was finished.

We spent our summers going to the library, reading, playing cards, watching game shows in the morning and going to the beach in the afternoon. It's where I learned what the perfect summer felt like. And Gram always said, "It never rains at the beach." And she was right. I can still smell the freshly laundered towels from the Mauna Kea, where we swam.

The sound of golf cleats on pavement makes me think of her, as we would meet her at the pro shop after she'd golfed and my sisters and I had played either at the beach or at the pool. Her name is up on the wall at Mauna Kea, because that lady got a hole in one, which I've always thought was so cool. And at the pro shop, she would let us order iced tea, from a real glass and it always came with a slice of pineapple in it.

Once her dryer broke when we were visiting and we spent a lot of time playing cards at the laundromat. That's where I learned to make lemonade out of lemons. And once the cows got out near her house and got in her yard and she chased them with a rake.

She only made cookies in grand style. She would make four different kinds of cookies at a time of all her best recipes. She'd fill up those cookie jars, and we'd all try opening and closing them without making a sound. But she always knew. Always.

It didn't occur to me when I was younger, but she had to be extraordinary, because not only has she had a child or two of hers living in her house or next door as long as I can remember, but their spouses, too. And if you can live with or next door to your mother in law, you've got to be a pretty good mother-in-law. Which, if you're a good mother-in-law, you're extraordinary.

Oh, and my mom named our cat after her. And they are still on speaking terms. Extraordinary, I say.

She would come visit us and after my dad would get home from work, she would get a grin on her face and say to him, "Have a beer with me, Terry?" And so they would. When I was a kid, the only time my dad would have a beer was when my Grandma came to visit. And I think they both kind of liked it.

I have her feet. So does my daughter.

She always drove a little zippy car. And sometimes she would just get exasperated with her cars, because they always went too fast. It wasn't her lead foot, oh, no, it was the car.

When I came to visit, she always made sure that she had Kona Coffee ice cream in the freezer, just because she knew it was my favorite.

My mom said tonight that she says that the only thing about dying that makes her mad is that all her favorite people will be there and she's going to miss the party. Extraordinary.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mom was right. Again.

It IS impossible to get a decent picture of a ten year old boy.

He either A.) has his finger up his nose, B.) has his finger up someone else's nose, C.) is making a crazy face or D.) only half of his head is in the picture.

The best pictures I have of my son since his tenth birthday are of the back of his head. Here's hoping for eleven.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Pipe Dreams

My daughter informed me tonight that she intends to be a street mime when she grows up.

She said that she even expected tomatoes to be thrown at her if she isn't good enough, and if that were to happen, she would move to another city. If that didn't work out, she'd move again. She intends to wreak havoc on all fifty states, then her backup plan will be all seven continents. Then, if tomatoes are still being thrown, she'll work in the desert.

Clearly she was trying to get all of her talking out of the way.