Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Because today is a better day

I've fully recovered from the trauma of yesterday! Woo hoo!

All went well this morning at the quick lube place. Apparently, the oil leak was caused by the oil plug's gasket, which pretty much was nonexistent. So, they replaced that piece, filled my poor little car up with oil and sent me on my way.

Avoiding a costly repair was something I'd prayed hard for and actually got! Wow!!

As a little present to myself I went to Target and bought a couple of shirts. I'm trying hard not to buy clothes right now because of the whole dieting thing, but my summer clothes are shameful. Faded T-shirts from 5 years ago dominate my summer wardrobe. I figure I won't lose much weight up top, so buying shirts probably won't be a waste of money.

I go for my third weigh-in tomorrow afternoon. I'm pretty nervous because I know for a fact that I haven't been doing exactly what I should be doing. I've tried really, really hard to keep up with the water drinking, but I never seem to succeed. And last night while Luigi was checking my oil problem out, Allison grilled some hamburgers and, because I was completely famished, I ate one. But, I didn't add cheese, which is practically sacreligious to me. So I feel that was an OK compromise!

*Picture from my hike at Cloudland Canyon.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day 2007: A doozy

Have you ever had one of those days that just zonks you out and leaves you wondering how in the world all that stuff could happen to one person in less than 24 hours? ... Yeah - me, too ... it was my day today!

It all started this morning when I slept through my alarm, which is something that honestly I have NEVER done before. That should have clued me into the fact that the day was going to be a little interesting.

At about 10:30 a.m. I left Chattanooga for Atlanta to meet up with Allison for some shopping.

Just before I crossed over into her county, a truck two lanes over from me had a major blow-out - sending tire shards and an enormous metal wheel cover flying in my direction. I slowed down and swerved just as every other holiday traveler did, creating an amazing symmetry of out-of-control cars charging down Interstate 75. Several seconds later I had regained control of my car and managed to miss most of the flying tire pieces - and, thank God, stayed out of the path of about 6 or 7 other cars. But I was pretty shaken up and just ready to get to Allison's house in one piece, which I did. Whew!

One of my main reasons for heading down to Atlanta was to stop by Trader Joe's for some of their wonderful Two Buck Chuck ($2.50 bottles of amazingly good wine). Jim's birthday is coming up in less than a month and there's going to be a huge par-tay for which I am in charge of drinks. I planned to buy a case of reds and a case of whites. There were plenty of reds, but no Chardonnay, which means I'll have to make the trip again before June 23, which is fine, but I just wish they'd have had it all at once.

OK, so you're thinking, "So what?!?" Yes, I almost wrecked and yes, Trader Joe's didn't have my wine. I know it doesn't sound too terrible, but it gets worse.

After lunch and a little shopping, Allison and I headed back to her house. Her husband wasn't feeling too well after a long day of Memorial Day parades and Army ceremonies, so I decided to call it a night and head home a little early.

But before leaving Atlanta behind, I made the poor decision of stopping by the ex's house to talk. I'll leave it at that, but it was not good. Not good at all.

So, after leaving his house, and about 10 miles down the road, I get a call from Allison telling me that Luigi had noticed that I'd left a pretty good-sized oil spot on their driveway. ... GREAT! Luigi wanted me to come back so he could check it out, which I gladly did.

It turns out that my oil plug appears to be stripped. Which I hope to goodness my quick lube people will take care of, considering I don't go anywhere other than their shop for oil changes and I just had my oil changed last week, and they didn't mention a thing about an oil leak or stripped plug. So, that means I'll be heading over there tomorrow. FUN.

After determining it was OK for me to drive back to Chattanooga, I headed home. I was sooo ready to curl up on my sofa and watch some TV. BUT about a half-mile from my house I noticed blue lights flashing all over the place. As I approached, I saw that there were six police cars straight ahead conducting a sobriety checkpoint. Great ... here I am with a case and a half of wine in my back seat and they're conducting sobriety checks. Not that I'd even had a drop to drink, but I didn't excatly want the cops to think I'd been guzzling wine all night. I just wanted to go home.

Thankfully he didn't question my backseat booze, and I was on my way in a matter of 2 or 3 minutes. But that was just the topper of a really bizarro day!

I hope your Memorial Day holidays were a little less crazy than mine!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Poison ivy is evil

I went hiking over a week ago now, and poison ivy is still popping up all over my body. It's not in one concentrated area - that would be too simple. No, it's here and there and progressively spreading everywhere!

The nasty stuff started showing up about 5 days after my trip to Cloudland Canyon. First it was a tiny patch on the lower part of my left leg, then some more on the same leg and then a little more a just above my knee. A couple days later it migrated to my right leg with a small patch - and now my right leg has four spots of the stuff. Then, two days ago I started itching on my chest (where I'm quite confident I didn't come into contact with any itch-inducing leaves)!!

What gives?!?

Anyhow, I visited my pharmacist yesterday. He recommended Benadryl and Benadryl itch cream. Both do the trick, but I've now realized why I never take Benadryl during hours where I am supposed to be at least somewhat alert. That stuff knocked me flat out for three hours in the middle of the afternoon yesterday! I haven't slept that hard in ages, and when I woke up, I felt as though I'd been jetted over to an alternate universe. Everything was in sloooow motion.

I can only hope this stuff goes away soon because I can't live on Benadryl forever, and I'm really growing tired of trying really hard not to think about just how bad my legs (and now my chest) are itching!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

WW update

After one week I've lost 4.2 lbs. Not too shabby. Hopefully next week I'll lose again!

Other than that, I have no news. Life is pretty boring around the Stacey house. But sometimes that's nice.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Cloudland Canyon!

I've been meaning to post a few pictures from my afternoon at Cloudland Canyon State Park for days now, but you know how life is. I got busy with the whole diet thing, the whole work thing and the whole not feeling like going through all my pictures to pick the best ones thing.

But four days later here I am ... not too bad, eh?!?

The day was spent playing a round of disc golf, which was awesome but difficult, considering the Cloudland Canyon course is much more like a true golf course. It had much fewer trees to navigate around, which meant the wind was brutal. My discs were flying all over the dang place and landing in the worst possible spots ever. There were a couple briar patches and a very thick wooded area to contend with, but I made it out alive and have learned more about aiming a flying disc than I ever thought I'd want to know!

After playing, Jim and I set out for a hike down the canyon where we came across two waterfalls. The pictures here are the first one, and the prettiest one. I loved the bright purple flowers sprouting from the tree in front. It was so beautiful and peaceful down there - I didn't want to leave!!

But we had to get back because we were both hungry, so Jim snapped this silly picture of me, and we headed up and over to the second waterfall.

By the time we had gone up and down - and back up and back down - the canyon, I seriously thought I was going to fall slap over! But it all worked out, and the next day I had some wonderfully sore legs from the hike and sore arms from disc golf. It was great!

Anyhow, after the golf and hike, we grilled some hot dogs and had some Ruffles chips ... this was the last day of eating what I wanted, and for some reason I was craving grilled hot dogs and potato chips - I am so very classy, aren't I?

OK, here is one last picture. I don't know what kind of plant (or weed) this is, but there was a whole field of them just past the 18th hole and I though they were gorgeous.

Some were in midbloom and others were wild witih color. There were also daisies, some beautiful white and pink flowers and lots of buttercups everywhere. I just love flowers, and they were all so pretty!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Sleepy diet hater

I've debated sharing my new "news" with you guys, but after two days of feeling somewhat disoriented and fragile, I figured what the heck. Maybe some of you have been through this before and will tell me I'm completely normal (even if it is a bit of a stretch!).

The thing is, I joined Weight Watchers on Wednesday. It took a lot of guts to do this because, well, I'm a bit of a foodaholic. I love all kinds of food, and I'm used to eating what I want, when I want it.

Times are changing, however, and my body isn't allowing me to continue eating like I'm 18. Every few months over the last couple of years I've gained weight. It was a pound here and a pound there at first, but now it's become 5 pounds here and 5 pounds there (most of the "heres and theres" seem to be drawn to my rapidly expanding belly, incidentally).

So, I thought and thought, and when the opportunity to attend meetings at my office came up, I couldn't deny the practical part of my brain, which was screaming at me to just do it, already! ... before things truly get out of hand.

So, I'm a few days into my new life as a Weight Watchers dieter. I'd love to say that I feel better already, that I'm excited about sticking to the points system and that I'm looking forward to meeting every week to discuss how great the program is for me.

Instead, I'm tired and cranky. I blame most of this on all the dadgum water I'm required to drink, and I always thought I was a good water-drinker. Six bottles a day, however, is enough to make me float to the ladies room just about every hour, on the hour. I am NOT kidding. I bet my co-workers think I've picked up some sort of intestinal bug because, seriously, who pees that much?!?

Yesterday was b-a-d. I thought I'd start the diet with a bang. So I tried to see how few points I could eat in a day. My suggested points intake is 21. I used 16, which I learned was not smart at all. I felt like something had mowed me down; I had a massive headache, and I was lethargic.

Today I've been smarter ... so far I've taken in 13 points, and my Lean Cuisine I'll have for dinner is worth 5. My cantaloupe and blackberry snack will be a total of 2 points. That will put me right at 20 for the day. I think that's pretty good, and I feel much more human today.

Except for the sleepiness. I can't figure it out. Maybe it's the lack of caffeine. Maybe my body is just adjusting to my eating habits being turned upside-down.

Regardless, I hope I wake up soon!

Monday, May 14, 2007

I love disc golf!

I never thought I'd have the desire to throw discs at contraptions with chains hanging everywhere, but my very first round of disc golf was an absolute blast! (And I wasn't too terrible at it, either!)

Jim and I went to The Sinks this afternoon here in Chattanooga to play the 18 holes - surrounded by trees, funky artistic signs and some pretty challenging natural elements ... Oh, and I even spotted a snake that nearly slithered over my foot - and I didn't even scream!

I managed to make par three times, and landed my disc in the woods only a couple times.

This is a picture of one of the nasty pits (actually a sinkhole, hence the name "The Sinks") on a side of one of the holes. I couldn't get my camera up high enough to truly illustrate how deep it is, but as the sign implies, it would be a true bummer if you were to land your disc down there!

(Click on photos to make them larger)

Actually, I liked it so much that tomorrow I'm heading over to Cloudland Canyon to try out the course there and get in a little hiking on the trails, as well. ... Hopefully I won't encounter any snakes!

Hopefully tomorrow will bring more stories and the next time I post I'll be more awake. I'm about to hit the sack after a long day in the sun ... I'm zonked!!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Go take a hike!

Here are several pictures from my hike on Wednesday. I didn't really get any great shots, but that just means I'll have to go again!

This little guy didn't want to cooperate with me. I guess he was shy, but every time I'd get close enough he'd fly away. This is the best picture I snapped, but it's blurry, so it's not that great.

There was TONS of honeysuckle around a little lake about halfway through the hike. I love, love, love the smell of honeysuckle. Have you guys tried Bath and Body Works' wild honeysuckle hand soap? It is wonderful!

This little stream was SO clear and pretty.

These big flowers were everywhere - on the trail and in each little stream that I passed, but I couldn't figure out what trees they were coming from. I wish I'd seen them in full bloom - I bet they were gorgeous!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Oh yeah, I have a blog!

Hopefully this feeling will go away soon, but right now blogging is the furthest thing from my mind. Not that anyone even checks in on this little piece of the Internet anymore, but I felt it necessary to at least post once a week.

Not much is going on, but I did go for a hike on Wednesday, which was perfect. It's been far too long since I've been on the trails, so it's re-ignited my love of getting out there. Hopefully this summer will be filled with hiking adventures for me to blog about. I did take several pictures while I was taking in Mother Nature's beauty - maybe I'll post those this weekend!

Saturday, May 05, 2007


Happy Cinco de Mayo!
I'm at work.
Have a cerveza for me.

P.S. Does anyone know what's up with that grey bar at the top of my blog? It got really big last week, and I though it would work itself out, but alas, I was wrong. Help, anyone?!?
*Update: Thanks goes to Cady for showing me how to fix that vile grey bar!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

How to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew

First, buy an unchilled bottle of your favorite white. In this case I used a bottle of chardonnay.

Second, decide you want the bottle chilled as quickly as possible. To do this, place bottle in freezer's ice bin.

Next, get really interested in the new episode of "Sheer Genius" on Bravo.

Essential step: Forget about rapidly chilling bottle of wine.

Go to bed.

Wake up next morning, walk to freezer to get ice.

Find bottle of wine solid as a brick with cork 95 percent popped.

Let thaw in kitchen sink.