Monday, September 29, 2008

Fun while it lasted...

Why do weekends always have to go so fast?

Had a great time with my sister though, we always have fun together. Friday the weather was beautiful and we went for a hike in a nearby park.

Saturday & Sunday it was rainy, so we pretty much stayed indoors. Our Mexican night was a success. We made Enchiladas (and Margaritas). There were leftovers, so Sunday night we made green rice to go along with our leftover Enchiladas. And of course we had some homemade salsa with tortilla chips.

I didn't get pictures because when the food was ready, we pretty much just wanted to eat! But I still have peppers left (thank-you Amazing Bag Lady), so no doubt there will be more spicy cooking to come.

Sister left this morning, and back to work I went so there is a little bit of the post-weekend let-down...Nothing serious, just wish the visit could have lasted longer, as always. But that's good right? Just means I'll be looking forward to the next one.

Now I am pretty much ready to grab a book and go settle down in bed. Good night all!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My weekend begins now!

Guess what was waiting in my mailbox when I got home today? I'll give you a hint...


The Amazing Bag Lady (that's what I'm calling her now) sent me a selection of hot peppers, some dill and some flower seeds! How awesome is that? It's all nicely labeled even, though I have the packages turned over in the photo so you can actually see what's in them.

I am off work tomorrow, and my sister will be arriving on the ferry from Nova Scotia at 11 am. Really looking forward to a fun & relaxing sisters weekend! And on Saturday we will be having Mexican Night, at which time we will make use of those lovely hot peppers.

Thanks again to The Amazing Bag Lady, we will be thinking of you as we enjoy our Mexican dinner!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

View from the hammock

The weather has been really nice this week. Sunny and clear. The evenings are shorter though, so there isn't as much time to enjoy it. By the time dinner is over with, it's starting to get dark.

I've been having a cranky week, and I've been blaming it on all kinds of things...But I think a big part of it is this project I'm responsible for at work. I think it's really stressing me out more than I realized.

I finally finished the bulk of the work today. There will likely be clean up work, etc, but I met my deadline (though it wasn't the deadline I was really stressed about, I don't think, more the value of the project - if that makes any sense at all). I was finishing up little tasks right to the end of the day, and realizing that Husband was probably outside in the car waiting for me already and it was time to pack up and go.

I got home and I was standing in the kitchen, looking out at the blue sky and sunshine thinking what I really want to do is go out and lay in the hammock for a while...But I don't have time for relaxing in the hammock right now...But there might not be many hammock days left...So went my thought process.

I decided that I didn't have a lot of time, but I could spare a small window of time and that would be better than nothing.

So off I went, camera in tow because I always take my camera when I go out into the cat enclosure. You never know when the cats might do something cute, or perhaps I will see some deer.

I settled myself in the hammock and enjoyed the view. And I decided it was worth sharing. So here it is...

View from the hammock...








And this was actually taken last night, from my living room window...But I think it fits the mood.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I need a winter hobby...

What am I going to blog about now that the gardening season is pretty much over? I'm not sure I want to go back to full time weight loss blogging...I need a winter hobby.

Still sore today but definitely better. I did a slow walk on the treadmill, but that was all I had in me.

And that's about all I have to say because I'm tired today. Sorry folks!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Must stop doing this....

I work all week, looking forward to the weekend when I will [theoretically] be able to relax. But lately it seems I just go-go-go all weekend. Even with all that go-go-going, I end up with too many things left undone.

It seems like it has been particularly bad of late. For the second Sunday in a row, I went to bed exhausted and aching. And for the second Monday in a row, I woke up with screaming muscles. I've been hobbling around all day. Are we done with this Kettlebell Experiment yet? Because it might be killing me.

Or it may also be the fact that I am a person who sits behind a desk from 9 to 5, 5 days a week, and over the weekend I barely sat down at all. I'm just not used to that.

I did can two more batches of salsa and make 1 huge batch of chili to freeze. My hands still smell like garlic.

So I gave myself the evening off. Partially because of sore muscles, but also because I feel like I need to reclaim a bit of that rest and relaxation time. I also may have eaten some chips and salsa. Which were not on the meal plan. Ahem.

I am not exactly starting this challenge with a bang am I?

But look how pretty...


Wouldn't you want to eat it?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy One Year Blogiversary to Me...

That's right. One year ago today - September 21, 2007 - I created this blog and wrote my first ever post.

I had started Weight Watchers at the beginning of September 2007, and had then started discovering blogs written by people who were doing Weight Watchers. It was a whole new world. I found it really motivating and encouraging to read these blogs, knowing others were sharing the same struggles. Which led me to think: Perhaps writing a blog would help me.

It's been fun exploring the blogosphere. I've discovered blogs that I really enjoy keeping up with, blogs that are informative, helpful, entertaining.

Unfortunately, as far as helping me reach my goal, the blog has not been such a success. I am pretty much sitting in the exact same spot I was when I started. As far as weight loss goes, it would seem that I have not yet managed to get it right.

I really don't want to be sitting here on Sept 21 of 2009 typing the same thing over again. So I am renewing my efforts. I have to work harder, work smarter, and figure out how to lose these extra pounds and get down to a healthy weight.

It sort of seems like fate that Angie decided to create The Biggest Loser Blog Edition Challenge which starts today. I figure it can't hurt to have a little extra motivation to work hard. Not to mention fellow challengers to give me a kick in the butt when I'm not giving my best effort.

So, a review of my weight loss status/goals...

I am 5' tall, 144.0 lbs as of Friday. According to Height-Weight charts, BMI measurements, and Waist-Hip Ratio I am over weight. I'm aiming to get down to 120 lb which puts me inside the healthy weight range for my height.

I've been tracking calories using The Daily Plate. I started out with calorie target recommended by the site. I adjusted it downward for the second time on Friday.

I have also been using PeerTrainer which allows you to join groups for support. It also allows me to publish a link to my daily log. The link is in my sidebar, so that's how you can check up on me.

I think my biggest issue is tracking. In particular, I tend to let it slide on weekends. Which may not seem like a big deal, but unfortunately I don't think I have a lot of wiggle room when it comes to calorie consumption. I find it too easy to come up with reasons why I can let myself off the hook for calorie counting and I do it too often. So I guess that's what I need to work on.

I have never posted a picture of myself before, but it seems like this is the ideal time to post a before picture. Let's hope that the after will be posted soon!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

In come the tomatoes...

So much for my optimism about the weather. There is a frost warning for tonight, so I figured I should bring in my tomatoes. I picked the ones that are pretty much ripe, plus some greener ones that fell off the plants. I left the rest of the green ones in the hope that we won't actually get the frost. A bit of a gamble, but on the other hand, I only have so much space in the kitchen...


So here's hoping the rest of them will be ok.

Not much else to say today. Got my workout in before supper tonight. That is actually what I prefer, but Husband is always hungry when we get home and I hate to make him wait. Today though, I really didn't like the idea of a late evening workout, so I asked and he said he wouldn't mind waiting for supper. It really made my evening so much more enjoyable.

Now I think I'm going to try and get to bed early. I've been really tired this week - stressing out about some things I think, didn't even realize it until today. I really feel ready to crawl into bed, maybe read for a bit and I am so looking forward to sleep!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wednesday's Garden Interlude

I went out to check on my Tomatillos today. I'm trying to decide if they are ready to pick. I don't have much experience with Tomatillos, you can't even buy them at the store around here. A couple years ago I noticed the seeds in my Vesey's Catalog, so decided to give them a shot. The were grown in a pot on the deck that year.


This is my second time growing them. What I remember from last time is that they are ready when the fruit grows large enough to fil out the husk. I think we're close, but a little more time on the plants would be good. Since the weather seems to be staying warm and sunny for the moment, I will leave them for now.

It really was a beautiful day. A shame I spent most of it sitting in an office. I think that is a benefit of having the garden; it gets me outside more because I have something to do.



I'm quite disappointed with my pepper plants this year. I have grown peppers before in pots on my deck. They usually did quite well. I wouldn't get huge peppers from the plants, but I would get a few off of each plant. This year it looks like I won't be getting much at all.

This is a Gypsy Pepper; it's a sweet pepper, in a pale yellow-green colour. I've got 3 or 4 tiny little peppers on my two plants. Plants which are not nearly as big and bushy as they should be.


And my one little Jalapeno.


There is a second one on the plant, but something has been chewing on it.


I have grown these varieties before with no problem, not sure why they didn't work this year. I also planted some Tequila Peppers, which are a purple pepper; another variety that I have grown in pots previous years, and I don't think I'm going to get anything on them this year. I had tried a new variety, called Carmen, but they died soon after they were transplanted.

Ah well. I will try again next year. If it ends up not working out again, I suppose I can go back to pots!

And as usual, I had company.



Gardening. Quality time with the Fabulous Felines. Just finished my workout for the day. Think it's time to head off to bed.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Coriander Flowers

Though I have grown herbs in previous years, I don't remember ever looking all that closely at their blossoms, until this year.

The first ones that actually caught my attention were these Coriander flowers. Or Cilantro, if you prefer - I always refer to the plant as Cilantro, but the spice (from the seeds) as Coriander, and somehow Coriander flower just seems to sound better to me.


The petals are so delicate, and faintly pink which I had never realized.


The are so tiny though, that it is easy to miss...


Especially when your first concern is to keep your herbs from going to seed because you want to keep harvesting them.

I actually took these photos almost a month ago, and it has been in my mind ever since that I wanted to post them. So I decided today would be the day.

On the weight loss front
I did indeed take last night off from exercise. Being sore from workouts is one thing, but in this case I was concerned that I had overdone it and I didn't want to end up with an injury. Back at it today though, with the next phase of Charlotte's Kettlebell Experiment and then a lower intensity cardio workout - still felt I should take it slow, just in case.

Still keeping up with my Beck reading, and eating has been going well this week.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Miscellaneous Monday

Woke up to a dark, rainy, windy day. Hope what's left of my garden survives the gale.

May have overdone the workouts this weekend - quite stiff & sore this morning.

If anyone is curious about my workouts and what I'm eating these days, you can check out my Peer Trainer log (See the logo on the side bar? Click there).

Kept up with my Beck Diet reading this weekend. Go Me!

Got to work and discovered someone swiped my pens. I had two Papermate ballpoint pens on my desk - nothing fancy, but my pen of choice - and they were both gone. Obviously they are someone else's favourite pen as well. Who takes pens from someone else's desk? I can understand if you need a pen and can't find one anywhere else (hello, it's an office, why not try the supply area?), but why take both pens?

Guess that's better than the mechanical pencils that went missing. At least the pens came from office supply. I bought the mechanical pencils myself.

Incidentally, there were pens in the supply area. Just no more of the Papermate ones.

I rest my case.

By the end of the day, the sun was out. When we left town and got out to our house, it was downright warm. My garden may survive a bit longer after all.

My legs are still complaining - particularly my calf muscles. Was going to walk on the treadmill, but thought maybe I shouldn't even do that. Then I thought maybe I'd skip it and make today a rest day. Then I read this which makes me think I can never have a rest day again. Matter of fact, I may was well just get rid of the sofa altogether, because sitting down, outside of work hours, is obviously not an option. Ever. Sheesh.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I think the garden is winding down...

I was hoping for a warm, sunny September so my garden would keep going a bit longer, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen. I'll be sad when it's finished for the year, but I admit I'm already thinking about what I will do with it come next spring.

But it's not quite done yet, so here are a few photos from this week that I hadn't got around to posting...

Another basket of tomatoes, not as full as the last one.

Cayenne Peppers

Was going for a picture of George sitting in the garden, but of course as soon as he realized my attention was on him, he headed straight for me.

Fred was in hiding, so this was the best I could do.

Picked the three red cayenne peppers today and added them to a batch of salsa

On Getting Some Perspective
I want you all to know that I did read and consider the comments that were left on my last two [whiny] posts. A few final thoughts:

1. I absolutely agree that life is for living and we need to allow ourselves to enjoy it.

2. Sometimes I have it in my head that things are going to go a certain way - I have a plan - and when things don't go according to my plan, I don't handle it well. Not always. But sometimes I definitely lose it. Just a little bit.

3. More salsa is always a good plan!

Speaking of enjoying life...
I've had quite a good weekend. We didn't go anywhere, or do anything special. Just relaxed at home. Well. My version of relaxing, which involves good workouts both yesterday and today. Great meals - healthy and tasty - prepared and enjoyed. And another batch of salsa put away for winter (if we don't eat it all before the snow flies).

I do my share of complaining sometimes, but when it comes right down to it, life is good!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lessons Learned

Thank-you for the responses to my misery post last night. After sleeping on it, here are my thoughts...

Lesson the First
It's true it was just one day. Or one evening out of one day. Which makes it seem like not such a big deal. Problem is, I think I have these "just-one-days" too often. In this case, it was coming after a span of a few days where I knew my eating was not where I needed it to be in order to lose weight, and I wanted the rest of my week to be...well...Perfect!

Still, guess you have to accept the fact that life happens and move on.

Also, had I those hours to live over again, would I make the same choices? Yes and no. I think I would still eat the chips and salsa. I was hungry and we all deserve some chips & salsa now and then. I did not feel overly full after, so I'm thinking that maybe the little extra was not such a bad thing. I would pass on the Rum & Coke though. I had it too late in the evening, and on top of all the water I'd already had, it made for not such a great sleep as I was up 3 times to go to the loo.

Lesson the Second
The last couple days of Beck Diet reading have been about identifying sabotaging thoughts and learning to combat them. I went to bed last night thinking that there was a lesson to be learned here, a pattern to identify, but I was to rum soaked tired to nail it down. When I woke up this morning, I had it.

I don't want to say no to the salsa & chips because I feel like I will be missing out on something.

Ok, so first off, if I say no, I won't be having the chips & salsa (or whatever it is), so technically I am missing out, but is that the end of the world?

Back in my single days, when I was living by myself, grocery shopping for me only, I used to have this little mantra that I would recite to myself as I walked past tempting things: Just because I say no to the potato chips [or brownies, or ice cream, etc] today does not mean I will never have them again; I can have them another time. I actually found that worked quite well for me.

However, I don't live by myself anymore. So here is what happens now...

Late Summer 2007...

JavaChick makes a batch of salsa, going through the trouble of canning it. JavaChick proudly surveys the pretty jars and thinks to herself what a treat it will be in the winter to have salsa made with local, sun-ripened field tomatoes. Yum!

JavaChick's Husband sees jars of salsa and thinks: Woo hoo! Tasty snacks! JavaChick's Husband then proceeds to steadily consume JavaChick's little hoard of salsa.

JavaChick soon realizes that there is only one jar left and instructs Husband that jar is hers, so he'd better leave it alone.

So it doesn't always work as well now. Because sometimes when I think "oh, I'll have some of that later"...when later comes, it's not there. Still not the end of the world though, right?

Anyway, enough sob stories from me. I got through today without any feeding frenzies and I just finished my workout. All is good. Plus, I have my buddies keeping me company. Who can be miserable with Fabulous Felines for company?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Less than perfect day

Not a lot to say tonight.

I had a plan for the day and was feeling quite motivated and determined.

Must stick to plan.

Around 3:45 I was feeling very hungry.

Decided I would tough it out and stick to the plan.

Then Husband got held up at work.

And I waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

Until 7:00.

I was beyond hungry.

Finally we got home.

And ate Tostitos and Salsa.

Tostitos and Salsa were not on the plan.

But they tasted pretty darn good.

There may also have been a Rum & Coke.

Also, no workout. Because it was so late by the time we got home, made dinner, ate and cleaned up.

I did enjoy some couch time with the Fabulous Felines though.

I guess Fall is here - my boys ignored me all summer and now they are looking for a warm lap to nap in.

So no workout.

Tostitos & Salsa.

Rum & Coke.


Tomorrow is another day.

With another plan.

I am going to read Day 27 in the Beck Solution book, go to bed, have a good sleep (because I really am feeling tired) and wake up to a new day.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Back to Beck...

After the Labor Day long weekend I never quite got back in the swing of things. It's time to take control again.

Last Tuesday I decided that my workout plan for September would be the cardio workout from the September issue of Self Magazine, along with twice a week weight workouts based on Charlotte's Kettlebell Experiment. I managed to just squeak by Week 1, finishing my 3rd cardio workout last night.

Tonight I kicked off Week 2 with this week's Kettlebell Workout from Fitness Magazine. I also went back to the beginning of Week 4 in the Beck Diet book and reviewed days 22 - 26 to get me caught up to where I should be.

And that's all for tonight because for some reason I can't get any photos to upload. Hopefully things will be back to normal tomorrow...

Edit: Forgot to note that I am using dumbbells as I do not own a kettlebell. Easier this week than last, since the Fitness mag workout actually shows how to do the workout with dumbbells.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Speaking of Salsa...

I also made a small batch of tomato salsa on Sunday, the first of many for this fall I am sure...


Today after work I went out to the garden with my little basket and I found some Cinnamon Basil needing to be trimmed. Love the smell of this stuff!


I also picked some sugar snap peas, green beans and tomatoes. Unfortunately, the peas and beans are on the bottom, so you can't see them...


But here is a shot after I washed everything and put the peas and beans on top.


And the tomato & mozzarella salad we had with our supper tonight, with the Cinnamon Basil sprinkled on top of course. This was Husband's idea, though the execution was mine (he would have thrown it all on paper plates, I like to make it look pretty).


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Black Bean Salsa

This is a favourite recipe of ours, we make it often and it is always a hit. The batch we made yesterday was extra special, having been made with tomatoes and cilantro from my garden. So I thought I would take the opportunity to share the recipe.

Black Bean Salsa

1 can black beans
2 tomatoes, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Drain and rinse black beans. Combine black beans and remaining ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate.

Serve with your favourite tortilla chip. We like it with the Tostitos Hint of Lime chips. It's also quite good just eaten with a fork. :)



Friday, September 5, 2008

Tomato Watch, Vol III

Yes indeed, my tomatoes are ripening nicely. I'm not exactly going to be overwhelmed with tomatoes (I can only dream of such a thing), but I think I am going to get a nice little crop for my efforts.


Remember that Ultra Girl tomato plant? Well, looks like she lives up to her name...Giant tomato!


So the other night I picked a few from different plants, just to get a feel for how ripe they are and whether they are ready to pick. I also got a few green beans and sugar snap peas.


So, the three little-est ones in front are Cupids, which I have been harvesting for a while now. Then there are two little Grape Tomatoes (the variety is called Sugary Grape Tomato, one of the few tomato plants I have successfully grown in containers in the past). Right above those, the smallest of the 3 large tomatoes, is a Scotia (at a more normal size than the first Scotia that I picked). Next largest is one from the Early Girl, then my giant Ultra Girl.


We have eaten the Scotia and the Early Girl and they were both quite tasty.

Non-Tomato Related...

Last night did not go according to plan - hence the lack of posting.

The plan was: cardio workout, some more Beck reading, update Blog...

The reality was: sit on couch with laptop and work.

I have spent this evening cleaning my house, as we are having company tomorrow. Not technically a workout, but at least I was up moving around instead of sitting. Now I feel like I need a bit of a break though, so I think I'll be taking my book to bed to read for a while.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Are you tired of Sunflowers yet?

Great thing about the Dwarf Sunflowers, they get more than one bloom. And back behind this row of sunflowers, you'll notice my tomatoes are looking lovely and colourful.


The first of my tall sunflowers is blooming also, unfortunately facing the wrong way.


Still catching up on my Beck Diet reading. The third week so far seems to be all about staying motivated, not getting discouraged, recognizing sabotaging thoughs. Very good stuff that I can see myself reviewing. Unfortunately my brain is still kind of scattered at the moment. Not feeling so great today nothing serious, but tired and headache-y.

Eating was good today and I have done my weight workout - doing the kettlebell moves with dumbbells. So far, so good.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Getting back in the groove

Hey all! Was planning on a more substantial post, but the evening got away from me so this will be short.

I had a great weekend away. Went to a wedding and got to hang out with old college pals. Visited family. It was a good time. Had a meal at my parents house with new potatoes, green beans and corn on the cobb from the garden, blackberry cream pie for dessert - makes me wish I had more gardening space. I forgot how good new potatoes taste! Normally I could care less about potatoes but these were wonderful, as was every thing else. Oh, and there was my mom's Italian Chicken as well, but that didn't come from the garden...Well the tomatoes the chicken was baked in did. Mmmm.

I'm rambling.

So, I had a good time but now it's time to do damage control. Back on the eating plan. Catching up on my Beck Diet reading, since I forgot to take the book with me.

Also, while flipping through a Self magazine that I bought to read while travelling (on the ferry), came across a 4 week workout plan that I'm going to try - it's 3 different cardio workouts per week, plus 2 weight workouts - though looking at their weight routine, I may see if I can sub in Charlotte's Kettlebell Workouts if I can adapt them to dumbbells.

I did the first cardio workout tonight. It seemed too short - 26 minutes, I added 4 minutes just to round it out to 30 - but the plan has you adding time each week so we shall see. Also did some yoga, just making up my own routine. The yoga is starting to come back to me and feel natural again and I'd like to keep it up.

Garden. Tomatoes getting ripe. Picked some tonight, along with some sugar peas. And one of my tall sunflowers is blooming. Looking good.

Ok, maybe not so short, but somewhat scattered and incoherent. Will try to do better tomorrow!