Pass Me a Cookie…

My life has been in a happy sort of upheaval the past few months.  I have mentioned that we have been slowly renovating our home.  The ugly walls have been smoothed and newly painted.  We have new elegant stairs and sturdy railings going both upstairs and downstairs.  We recently finished our main entrance as well.  Now, this isn’t a tale about renovations.  This little story is about the joys of unpacking things that were packed away during these renovations.  It’s about rediscovering and enjoying the simple things in life.

A long, long time ago when Wiseguy and I first got together, we were poor.  We managed to find a one bedroom apartment in an old part of town.  We had no furniture.  Well, we did buy a bed to sleep on.  Other than that, we were lucky to be gifted other pieces to fill our empty space.  An old motel tv that had a broken colour tube.  An old round banquet table.  Also a gift.  It was either donate it to us or bring it to the dump so we were lucky to win out there.  The kids slept on fold out sponge mattresses.  Well, you get the idea.  We were moneyless, but we were not short on love and enjoying the life we had together.  As time passed and our careers improved, our financial standing improved as well.  Life became more interesting.

One of the first things Wiseguy splurge purchased was a surround sound system.  We might not have had the best furniture, but when we watched our rented movies it was a theatre type experience.  Amazing!  We bought our first barbecue.  What a joy to have juicy, grilled chicken.  So much better than any of my attempts at cooking (burning) any kind of food.  A good coffee maker was added to our belongings.  A really nice 55″ colour tv.  Yes, we started accumulating the coveted things in life.  We also got to move out of our one bedroom apartment and into a semi-detached home.  This little splurge came with a finished basement and a lovely small pool in the backyard.  We were living the dream!

We are still living the dream.  We moved from that house into a detached home.  It contains seven bedrooms, which we needed to house three children, an elder parent, and a very elderly grandparent.  Years passed and the rooms began to empty as children moved out and the elders left this earthly domain.  Our accumulation of coveted things also grew.  Kitchen gizmos and gadgets?  I am the Queen of that realm.  You really notice the “things” you have when you need to pack them away.  With our impending home renovations there were many “things” that were carefully packed away to be revealed again once the construction was complete.  One of these items was a surprise gift that Wiseguy came home with one day.

Six years ago he came home with an authentic, Made in Italy, Espresso maker!  Mama Mia!  This was not the push-a-button-ta-da kind of espresso machine.

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There was coffee to grind and milk to froth.  There was a learning process and lots of noise and steam and….SO MUCH EXCITEMENT!  I had to make THE perfect cup of espresso and cappuccino and latte.  I couldn’t wait to use it!  I would come home at lunch and make lattes for me and my father-in-law .  It was a ritual!  It was something I looked forward to everyday.  Eventually, that tradition changed.

FIL couldn’t handle the strong coffee anymore.  I gave up coffee altogether and switched to tea drinking.  Home renovations led the magic coffee machine to a new home in a cardboard box to wait out the dust and dirt taking over our home.  Time passed.

Our kitchen renovation was complete and we unpacked the shiny espresso machine.  It sat on one counter.  Too overwhelming.  It was moved to another counter, but with a toaster oven and blender and drip coffee maker, our special coffee procurer was not fitting in with our daily living habits.  The espresso maker went back into hiding.

Our living room and dining room were the next rooms to get redone.  The living room furniture was moved out and a large harvest table was moved in with seating for twelve; room to dine with children and the newly added grandchildren.  The dining room became a nice small sitting room.  Two comfy lounge chairs were added so that Wiseguy and I could have a small nook to relax in.  A beautiful wood sideboard was added to the room and it created a calming rustic feel.  A space was made at the end of the sideboard for the shiny espresso maker.  I learned to drink coffee again just to be able to use this gift of ours.  I was ready!

I created a new Saturday ritual for myself.  After grocery shopping and house cleaning, I would make myself a latte, grab a biscotti, curl up in my lounge chair and just relax.  Since I enjoyed this ritual so much, I elevated it to a nightly after dinner ritual too.  I would sit in my chair, dunk my cookie..ahem..biscotti and just smile.  Life is good.  My home is a happy place.  My life is incredible.  So imagine my dismay when my trusty machine started spurting water out of places it should not.  Why?  Why was it doing this?

It was off to repair shop for diagnostic testing.  It would be at least a week before we could have it back and that was only if there was nothing majorly wrong with it.  Day one after drop off and the withdrawal hit.

The first evening after my new coffee companion was in absentia, I was fine.  Sort of.  Not really.  I missed having my relaxing cup of java with the glorious white foam topping.  I missed dunking my crunchy cookie…ahem…biscotti.  I missed curling up in my lounge chair.  It wasn’t the caffeine I was missing.  I was missing the serene end to my day and my “happy life” thoughts I would have while munching my coffee-drenched cookie and drinking my foamy caffeinated beverage.

Day two.  It got worse.  I actually grabbed one of the Keurig cappuccino cups. It produced a nice, steaming hot cup of coffee, but it wasn’t the same.  No big head of white foam.  No manipulating the steamer rod to get the perfect steamed milk.  The java itself was too sweet, yet, I had a cup every night and sat wistfully hoping that my lounge partner would be back soon.  The days went by and Thursday arrived.  Would it be repaired and returned to my humble abode?

I arrived home from work and nervously opened the front door.  I removed my boots and coat (March and still winter in Canada), and trotted up the stairs.  I stole a sideways glance into our sitting and room and my eyes fell upon a glorious site.  The sun was beaming through the window and sparkling off the highly glossed stainless steel of my metal sitting room companion.  IT was back.  Sitting there splendiferously is all its shining glory!  Huzzah!

Life is grand.  Pass me a cookie…ahem…biscotti.

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I am flabulous!

Yes, I am flabulous!  I don’t know why or how it happens, but it seems that my lack of will, when it comes to munchies, really does a doozy on the old love handles.

Love handles…really…I have heard many phrases regarding body weight.  You now, thin may be in but fat is where it’s at.  Or Diet is Die with a T (thank you Garfield the lasagna eating cartoon cat).  How about being described as elegantly filled out.  Yes…so many nice terms.  I recall even reading about good ol’ England in the 1800s.  The larger the better.  If you were thin and tiny of build then it meant you couldn’t afford a good meal.

I myself am working on getting rid of about 30 lbs.  Yes, according to my BMI (body mass index) and according to ANY and EVERY website I have visited, my ideal weight, for someone 5 foot 5 inches and over 40 years of age should be about 140 lbs.  So, I have begun my journey to thinless…yet again.

I started rethinking my approach.  In the past, every time I started losing weight I would get all excited.  I would lower the amount of food intake.  I would eat more fruits and veggies.  I would buy “healthy” snacks…you know, those dry, dry, dry…I mean really dry….ack ack…crackers.  Last time I even kept a food journal on Fitness Pal.  Amazing to see how many calories are in the foods we eat.  Then it happens.  The weight starts coming off.  I start “cheating” on myself.  I would sneak in a bag of chips or some cookies because I was doing so well with my new eating plan (right…it’s not a diet because that word just leads to failure).  Then it would suddenly become a binge weekend with pizza and wings and nachos…oh my!  That leads to a pound or two coming back.  NO big deal right?  Then I start back to my old eating habits because I love the taste of food!  I love all the ooey gooey cheeses.  I love burgers and I love french fries and I love my pizza and my wings.  And there I go…off the rails…yet again.

Well, this time, I am trying out something new.  I am NOT giving up my favourite foods at all.  I am eating less of everything but I have added this new thing…it’s called exorcising…ahem…exercising.  (I prefer exorcising…I’m trying to purge the evil fat right?).  So, I have started using my 5 lb dummies (I mean dumb bells).  I walk the dogs an hour a day.  Very soon my Xbox shall have Jillian whats-her-name from “Biggest Loser” yelling at me.  I will learn to like sweat.

Yes, that is my newfound plan for body modification.  I believe I can do this.  I actually have dreams about my new slender, self going to the beach and looking downright goddesslike.  (Really, these happy thoughts are what are keeping me going as I look at the squishy, cuddly version of me in the mirror). 

The one thing that I have learned over the years is that no matter how thin or how “full-bodied” I get, it’s the inside that matters the most.  Sure I  love it when I lose weight, but I also don’t mind being heavier.  As long as I am happy on the inside and my family is happy, then the outside doesn’t matter as much.  I have learned that that opinions of others don’t matter as much as loving myself. 

Losing weight right now is more for health reasons…I plan to be around and playing with Little Kennie for a long time and no health problems will get in the way of that.

My journey to the Land of Sweat (and tears) will be interesting but for now, as I start my new life goal, I will remember to look in the mirror every day and say, “You look Flabulous!”