Monday, April 4, 2016

A New Addiction

I think I am addicted to cream cheese. Is that possible? Whenever I start eating it, I cannot stop until either I am gorged or it is finished. That is the sign of an addict. Right?

Before I took my Christmas vacation, I bought two bricks of cream cheese (they were on sale) and put them in the door of my fridge. So they were sitting there unopened when I got back home. Not a problem. As long as I don't open the cream cheese, I am fine. But, like an unconfessed addict, I made the mistake of thinking I could keep my addiction under control if I made just one brick of cream cheese dip. Cream cheese, after all, is grain-free. It fits into my diet plan... sort of.

Big mistake. I now have NO cream cheese in the door of my fridge. There is not one tablespoon of cream cheese in my fridge anywhere. It has all made its way to my hips and belly. What's worse is that

Thursday, March 24, 2016

continued... 7 pounds

I was sitting in my favorite lunch restaurant, munching on a cheeseburger and fries, my diet completely abandoned. I was almost done when my friend, Mary, passed by my table. I could have ignored her but I caught her attention. I wanted to say something to her. I did not much care what I said. I just wanted a 30-second chat. So I told her that I was craving chocolate and, in fact, I had been craving chocolate every day since I got home.

I was kind of expecting a typical response about emotional eating and how I must be stressed. After all, that is how I would have responded. But not Mary. Mary knows "stuff about stuff." (I know stuff about stuff, too. I just know stuff about different stuff than Mary knows.)

Mary said, "You need more Magnesium." We got into a nice discussion about candy cravings and Magnesium. We also talked about vitamin B. Both are good supplements to take. I then went out to

Monday, March 21, 2016

7 pounds

One thing that invariably happens while vacationing is unwanted weight gain. Being sedentary instead of exercise, dining out instead of in, casually munching calorie laden morsels with friends (and more often than usual) all contribute to the inevitable.

Having been traveling for almost a full month, I was pretty sure I had gained weight and my pictures agree. (I think most of it while I was chomping on yummy Tex-Mex in Texas!) Not wanting the new additions to my waistline to stay, I determined while I was still on the road that I would measure the damage as soon as I got home and then begin dieting right away.

However, remember, my parents were at my house when I got home. So the diet had to wait until they left.

I will have

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Lunch with a Leprechaun

A leprechaun server
Did you know that "Saint Patrick" is not a saint? That's right. He was never canonized, meaning he is NOT an "official" Catholic saint (though he does have a feast day, March 17, and many Catholic churches are named after him). When early Christian admirers began calling him a "saint" because of his good works, the title just stuck.

Did you know that Bishop Patrick (aka Saint Patrick) who is celebrated as the patron saint of Ireland was not even Irish? True fact. He was British. Kidnapped in his early teens and forced to work as a slave in Ireland, he was able to escape after receiving a vision in a dream. Years later, he became a Catholic priest and, after receiving another guiding dream, returned to Ireland to spread the promise of salvation.

Around the world, March 17th is now celebrated by people of all different faiths and cultures. Boiled potatoes, corned beef and cooked cabbage is the traditional holiday fare in the United States and anyone who fails to wear a small bit of green (the traditional color of Irish Catholics) is subject to

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Resurrection and Death of my Prize

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may remember my excitement to have finally gotten an avocado seed to sprout after roughly 20 years of trying. Here is the link in case you don't remember:  Since then, my avocado plant has grown quite well and I have transplanted it to a couple of different pots.

I like to use self-watering pots so I don't have to worry that my prize plant will die of thirst. But knowing that I would be gone for almost a full month, I knew I needed to make arrangements for

Monday, February 29, 2016

4 Ways Smart Vacationers Save Money on Travel

1. Drive instead of fly. This is true for long distances if two or more people are traveling together, if time is not a consideration, if you have multiple stops along your route and/or if you need transportation while you are at your destination. So, if you and your spouse are taking the kids to Disney World on a budget, go ahead and stay in a Disney hotel because it really is worth it. But driving might save a lot on your transportation costs.

Let's run a scenario. You, your spouse and two kids are flying to Disney (Orlando, FL) from Chicago.

Thursday, February 25, 2016


A few weeks before I was to depart on my Texcursion, my mom asked me to locate a general contractor near my home and get an estimate for him to install a new shower stall in my bathroom. I knew she and Dad would be coming while I was gone to install baseboards for me but said she had wanted the new shower stall to be a surprise Christmas gift for my return from my trip. She was having a lot of trouble finding a contractor for my house because we live so far apart so she needed to surprise me early.

So I was surprised early. I selected an affordable shower stall from my local hardware superstore, then had a local contractor give me an estimate for installation, reserved his time and hooked my