Secondhand Sunday

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sundays are my Secondhand day. I'm basically too lazy to think of anything new to say so I re-post a "vintage" entry. And this one makes me put this hot weather in perspective. Maybe it's not so bad...

No, it still sucks.

If you aren't in the mood for repeats, please feel free to change the channel.


Original Post Date, December 9, 2010

I turned on the news this morning and heard the weather guy from the national show, Good Morning America, talking about the 10-12 inches of snow that Cleveland got pounded with during the rush hour drive home last night.

It had snowed pretty steadily all day but by 2:00, it was snowing so hard that I couldn’t even see the building that sits 500 feet behind mine. Since I had been in early for a 7AM meeting and was ready to go home at noon anyway, I decided to head out by 4:00, foolishly thinking that I could beat some of the traffic. I peeked my head into the office across the hall and told the remaining secretaries to finish up what they were doing and head out as well.

As I made my way through the hospital, I glanced out the windows at the snow covering the trees and blanketing the courtyard like a Christmas card. It was so beautiful that I was kicking myself for not having my ever present camera in my purse because I wanted to take pictures to share with you guys. No worries. I figured that I would be home before dark and I could take some then.

The minute I walked outside, the charming winter wonderland became an annoying winter storm as I walked to my parking garage. The wind whipped sideways, up and down, making the rapidly falling snow feel like pellets against your face. As I walked out of the pathway that leads to my garage, I saw cars in both directions just sitting in the road and still others backed up inside the parking garage. It took me 50 minutes to drive down 3 levels to the street and once I got there, I wasn't going anywhere anyway. The traffic was gridlocked in both directions

I guess I wasn’t the only one who had the bright idea to leave early.

It took me another 35 minutes to get up the hill through Little Italy. The city usually does a great job of plowing the hill but, understandably, in this weather it was a mess. I prayed that my little car would make it up okay but I was encouraged to see a truck behind me because I thought he could just push me if I got stuck. I recited this all the way:

I think I can

I think I can

I think I can

I think I can

And I did!

The roads weren’t much better at the top of the hill and I was fortunate enough to end up behind some loser in a mid-sized car who didn’t remember the primary rules of what to do when your car slides on ice or snow.

Take your foot off the brake and turn into it. That's Cleveland Driving 101, buddy.

Somehow, I managed to drive the 5 miles to my house in just over two hours. Luckily, I had a full tank of gas because people were just abandoning their cars in the middle of the road when they ran out. One of my clinic employees called me at 6:00 to say that they weren’t letting any staff leave the hospital because ambulances couldn’t get through the streets. She didn’t get home until 10:00 last night so I guess I didn’t fare too badly. Only it was dark by the time I got home so these were the only pics I took for you.

I stole these from one of the local news websites.

Today, it’s just another winter day in Cleveland. The roads are clear, the sun is shining and the only evidence that last night ever happened is all the huge snow piles.

HCG finale

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I just realized that I never gave you guys a final tally of my pounds lost on the HCG diet.

It was 17. I know there should be an exclamation point at the end of that statement but I was hoping for at least 20 pounds. I take responsibility because the last week I was so bored that I started eating 5 ounces of chicken instead of 3.5 ounces and mixing my tomatoes with my cucumbers. GASP!!

I didn’t realize before I started the diet that I would need to maintain my new weight for 60 days so that my hypothalamus could reset to the new weight. It’s totally frustrating because I still want to lose another 30 pounds and I figured I could have it off by the end of the summer.

So, I’ve decided to completely ignore the protocol and try to exercise my ass off to lose the additional poundage. And...I’ve booked a trip to Florida on September 8 to visit my cousin so I REALLY have to lose it.

Since walking or jogging outside in this heat swell is out of the question, I decided to dig into my arsenal of infomercial workout DVD’s for some inspiration. I've chosen the Brazilian Butt Lift, a program I purchased right before I started the HCG Diet. To my dismay (?), I wasn’t even able to do it once because of the exercise restrictions.

I bought the set on eBay for about $20 less than when you buy direct from Team Beachbody, the exercise infomercial giant. The package included:

**Booty Basics Intro Video
**5 Workouts on 3 DVDs + Bonus Workout
**Booty Makeover Guide with Booty Blueprint & customizable workout calendars
**Fat Burning Food Guide
**6-Day Supermodel Slimdown plan
**Triangle Training Workout Cards
**Booty Resistance Band
**Measurement Tracker Card and Tape Measure
**Booty Test Pencil

That’s right, #9 is the Booty Test Pencil, also referred to as a No. 2 pencil. The concept is that your booty will raise so high that you will no longer be able to hold a pencil under your cheeks.

Which is a good thing because I can currently hold a pencil, 3 highlighters, a glue stick and a bottle of White-Out. And that’s just my right cheek.

I put on my most booty-worthy outfit, cleared Millie and Vinny off the rug in my living room and turned on the DVD. What the hell? Everyone was speaking Spanish and I was making a mental note to myself to NOT buy from eBay again when I realized all I had to do was choose "English".

This is what I experienced.

My GOD, does this work your butt and thighs! I did it yesterday and I could barely walk today. Vinny thought I was playing with him when I was doing the leg lifts on the floor but when he realized I wasn't, he chomped on my leg and made it bleed. Now I'll probably get cat scratch fever.

And, by the way, am I the only one who didn't know that cat scratch fever is an ACTUAL thing? Here all this time, I thought it was just a Ted Nugent song. I'm serious!

Gotta go work my bum bum now!

Monday Morning Millie

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ahhh...this is the life. Laying in the sun while inside an AIR CONDITIONED house. I could get used to this...

Secondhand Sunday

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sundays are my Secondhand day. I'm basically too lazy to think of anything new to say so I re-post a "vintage" entry.

If you aren't in the mood for repeats, please feel free to change the channel.


Original Post Date, November 30, 2010

Well, I did it.

I stopped perusing the personals and actually joined. I was in a haze from tryptophan and stuffing on Thanksgiving night when I found myself typing my credit card number into the online form. Since I've been on and off so many times, I decided to completely delete my last profile, create a new profile and username and get started.

Since it's newly created, the label of "NEW" highlights my profile for all to see. As I logged on, I could practically smell the hunters seeking out their latest prey. I thought the drawback had been my age but apparently it was just that I was considered stale meat.

I made my age range 39-52, set my radius for potential mates and clicked off my wants and must haves. The site has changed a bit since I was on it before and it took me a little while to maneuver all the new features.

One is called Daily 5 which lists the 5 guys who most closely match what I'm looking for. The first one I opened was a 50 year old "gunslinger" who works security in Iraq and was only going to be here for a few more weeks. Perfect! No commitment.

Well, you know me...

He stated that he was looking for recent pictures but I noted that all of his pictures were date stamped for 2004. OF COURSE, I had to point that out in my email. response.

You can send a Wink, which is a non-committal flirt. I've gotten a bunch of those but every time I wink or email back, no one responds. Does it come through their email as BOO or something? I winked back. C'mon, say something! Anything!

There is one retired guy in Florida who keeps emailing me and asking me if I have a big BUTT. "Because I'm looking for BIG BUTTS and I LOVE BIG BUTTS."

I finally responded, "Listen, freak, (okay, I said Bob, not freak) I'm not willing to drive 30 minutes to the other side of Cleveland. What makes you think I'm going to hop on a plane and fly to Florida?"

Bob's response, "Will you send me pictures of your butt, then?"

Um, no, Bob. No, I won't. Go get a job!

I'm really surprised by how many widowers and religious zealots are on here. One guy said "Jesus, God, church and/or Christian" 20 times in his profile! Maybe they're so God fearing over the guilt of killing their wives?

If anyone other than Bob ever emails me back, I'll let you know.

Monday Morning Vinny

Monday, July 18, 2011

Of all of us, I think Vinny is feeling the loss of Bernie the most. He's started peeing in the house again and the first few days, he kept biting at my legs when I would walk by. I tried having a heart to heart with him but I don't think he gets it.

He always seemed pretty indifferent to Bernie but he would hide behind my living room chair and jump out at her. At first, it scared her, but then it got to the point where he would jump out at her and she would have this look on her face like, "Jackass".

Bernie had seizures occasionally in the middle of the night and the vet thought that it might be from her Cushing's medication. One night, she had a seizure and once it ended, I brought her up on the bed. Vinny jumped up on the bed and started sniffing her. I warned him to not upset her and he didn't. Instead, he very gently laid down on her back legs and went to sleep. It was so sweet it made me cry.

Bernie always used to sleep on a blanket next to the desk in my office when I was in there. Vinny started sleeping on her blanket in the office a few days ago and I love looking down and seeing him there.

I'm hoping he gets over his sadness soon. He always met us all at the front door when we came back from our walks but he stopped the day Bernie left us. Tonight when Millie and I came in, he was waiting there as he had before and he gave Millie some good long sniffs.

Maybe it's the start of another sweet friendship to replace the one he lost.

Monday Night Bernie

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tonight, the chapter closed on my beautiful Bernie's life.

As you know, she was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease in 2009. She had responded well to the treatment plan that the vet prescribed so when she started acting sluggish last week, I chalked it up to elevated levels and the necessity for an adjustment of her meds.

But on Saturday, she stopped eating completely and that continued all weekend. By Sunday night, she was looking gaunt and dazed, pacing into the kitchen seemingly wanting to eat but then unable to. She was up all night long and I was afraid to sleep for fear that she might fall down the steps with her increasingly unsteady gait.

I took her to the vet this morning, thinking that an afternoon with an IV would have her back sleeping on the couch next to me tonight. X-rays showed that she had an enormous mass on her abdomen that was pushing on her stomach and she seemed to have some internal bleeding. They sent me to a specialist who gave me far too many "could be this, could be that's" and not enough promises of a longer, better quality of life. I couldn't selfishly subject her to an extra month or two of surgeries and possible chemotherapy on the "hope" that she would live a little longer.

So I made the awful decision to put her to sleep. I took her home for a few hours so my sister could come and say goodbye after work. Bernie had become a shell of the dog she was just last week and she laid her head on my chest while I held her and dampened her fur with my tears.

The most beautiful part of the day was the awesome kindness of strangers that I encountered today. And I don't mean the vets or techs but fellow pet lovers who happened to be in the offices when I came in crying and cradling my beloved Bern.

One woman held my hand as she caressed Bernie's face while another offered her McDonald's lunch and a shoulder to cry on.

My friend, Debbie, drove Bernie and I back to the vet and she stayed in the room with me even though I know she was off the charts out of her comfort zone. I will always love her for being there for me as she has been so many other times.

As I sit writing this, I can't believe that Bernie isn't laying at my feet as she did every night. She must have known the end was near because though she was never one to sleep in my bed, she was there beside me for the last three nights.

My parents ADORED Bernie, even though they initially protested.

"A dog? How are you going to take care of a dog??"

Well, one look at Bernie and they were in love. She was the grandchild they never had.

See what the hat says?

Just as it comforted me when Mom passed away in March that she was now with Dad, it comforts me to know that Bernie is hanging out with her Gammy and Poppa.

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