Saturday, December 29, 2012


I'm cleaning out my emotional closet - so to speak - with these last few posts.
I'm writing small snippets about big things that are a negative force in my life, in the hopes that this will clear the way for more positive posts in the coming new year.  

I've made great progress, though most of it is psychological rather than physical during the past 9 months of my 13 month Healthy Lifestyle journey.

I've only lost 20 pounds... I was hoping I could say 25, because that would be halfway to my goal of losing 60 pounds, but 20 it is, and 20 it stays.

I have established regular physical activity a few times a week as a norm in my life.  This is up significantly from NO physical activity!

I've all but eliminated pop, diet or otherwise from my life, and from that of my family - which I consider a great achievement.

I understand the role that food logging plays when you are trying to lose weight.  I don't do it regularly, but it really helps when I do.

The combination of weight loss, eating better, healthier food and smaller portions, and increased exercise has greatly improved many of the things that were causing my physical pain.  My knees do not hurt anymore.  My joints ache sometimes, but much less than they used to.  My hot flashes and menopausal symptoms have eased quite a bit, and most of those I can trace back to over-drinking wine.  I haven't improved much on that, but I think I need to hang on to at least one vice to keep me human!

So what is so negative about that you ask?  Well, nothing.  It's just the counseling aspect of this program that has me grinding my teeth.

The three of us who are in this particular group meet every other week with a weight loss counselor.  I knew when I started this that I was by far the smallest one in the group, with the smallest amount of weight to lose - by at least 100 pounds. But I hadn't been able to do it on my own, so at first, I felt like I could fit in.  And I did, for a while.  But when the psychological issues they had from being heavy all their lives, started to come out, I started to sense a bit of resentment from them.

This all came to a head at one of our bi-monthly meetings, after I'd obligingly answered the usual question of "What were some of your wins since we last met?"  I'd expressed my usual frustration at how slowly I was losing, when the guy member of our trio snapped at me "What the hell is it you want? You're thin and fit, and healthy.  I'd give anything to be your weight, and you are not happy with it."  The girl member then said, "Yeah, I think  you've won already."  (like this was a competition or something).  I absolutely didn't know what to say or how to react.  The counselor asked how that made me feel, and I wanted to punch her in the throat. This was exactly what I told her I was afraid of when I had my initial session with her.  I wondered if I would be antagonistic, or demotivating to the others.  She assured me that I wouldn't.


Now, while I'm feeling good about the program, my progress, and the things I've learned - I'm totally uncomfortable and afraid to return to any of these group sessions.


I'm cleaning out my emotional closet - so to speak - on these last few days of 2012.
I'm writing small snippets about big things that are a negative force in my life, in the hopes that this will clear the way for more positive posts in the coming new year.  


[fam-uh-lee, fam-lee] noun
All those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor

Lately, it seems popular opinion has come to consider family as our most important institution.

But think of your own family. You play several different roles within it, and each person in it plays several different roles.  Son, Father, Brother.  Daughter, Mother, Sister.  Etc. Etc. Etc.
You are, in effect, many separate people, in a relationship with many different people, all of whom have differing interpretations of how, or WHO the others are, or should be.

Even with rules, laws and institutions in place to keep things on track, this is potentially a recipe for disaster.

I found out last year around this time that my own lifelong supposedly unfounded sense of mistrust, and fears about my father, were in fact, founded.

I write this here and now, mostly as backstory, so that I can link to it someday when I'm ready to write more deeply.  

Without going into too much detail, suffice it to say that my two older half sisters, daughters of my father and his first wife, twenty odd years older than my full sister and I, had been carrying a dark secret between them since before the two of us were born.  They chose the night after our Thanksgiving family reunion last year, once they had seen for themselves that our mother's Alzheimers had progressed to the point where she could no longer comprehend or communicate, to share this dark secret with us.

The funny thing is, that knowing as we do now, or not knowing as we did, just a few short minutes beforehand, really doesn't make any difference.  

I thought it would.  I was proven right all along about this man I never trusted, or respected. I was vindicated for all of the times I didn't show up for gatherings, or picked the company of my chosen family, my friends, over the ones who happened to be descendants of a common progenitor. 

But vindication, and the truth, as cleansing and freeing as they were, made absolutely no difference - that night, nor any night since then.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sharper than a serpent's tooth

I'm cleaning out my emotional closet - so to speak - these last few days of 2012.
I'm writing small snippets about big things that are a negative force in my life, in the hopes that this will clear the way for more positive posts in the coming new year.  

I thought by using a quote from Shakespeare as the title, that it would make this post seem more literary, but I am just going to have to face the fact that it is a rant - pure and simple.

The thing Shakespeare is comparing to a serpents tooth, is a thankless child.

We all can relate to that.  I'll freely admit that all three of my children have been thankless to some degree at varying intervals. But this is about my oldest child, who, at 30something, really only qualifies as a child in the genetic sense.

He has suffered with some form of anxiety, depression, insomnia or addiction for the past 10 years, and due to a recent series of setbacks, seems to be teetering on the edge of a scary dark place.  In the past, I've been able to reach him, and cajole, guilt, shove, drag him back into what I only know as normal life. I don't know what normal is to him any more.

He's been a server at an upscale restaurant for the past nine years, but it recently changed ownership and he quit.  He's drifted from server job to server job each one worse, and for less pay, over the last three months.  Now he's under employed, and underpaid and has had to borrow money from us every month.  He lives in a hovel of an apartment with a roommate that hates him. He gave in to a shopping addiction prior to the job changes and spent all of his savings, and he has no health insurance.  He's never been on any form of antidepressant, and believes that sadness and loneliness is his lot in life.

Now, I'm a fixer. I'm also an eternal optimist.  I admit that I don't understand depression, although I'm trying.  I'm also trying to fix him.  It is my opinion that if he could get on some kind of assistance program and get the right medication, it would be a step in the right direction.  But he won't apply for the assistance, he thinks it is "beneath" him.  He also won't go to a doctor or anyone who might be able to provide some relief in the form of counseling, or a prescription.

I also have a plan B.  If he could get a full time job with benefits, he wouldn't have to apply for assistance, and he could just get the help he needs through his own insurance. There happens to be a job opening at the hospital I work for.  Full time with benefits. Its even the hours he's used to -  late afternoon into the evening. But again, he refuses to apply for it.  He thinks if he moves to Seattle, where his dad lives that everything will be better.  Fresh start.

I can understand needing to start over, but realistically, it's a more expensive economy there, with higher unemployment than our tiny little burg.  I'm honestly afraid he will be homeless if he does that.

I'm at my wit's end.  I can't listen to him complain about being tired and hungry, and hating the abuse he gets from where he works and where he lives, without doing something to FIX IT! I know I'm pushing him farther away with my constant suggestions, and damn positive attitude. I also know I'm just about the only "friend" he has left.

Am I enabling him by loaning him money?  Am I making things worse by suggesting ways to make his life better?  Or am I not being forceful or tough enough?  Is this the point where an intervention is necessary? Should I just let him go?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Twitter NO!

So in case anyone is considering that whole "live Tweeting" thing. Let me just tell you it was a big bust.

There were a total of 22 tweets with my hashtag of #Linda55.  5 from some Spanish speaking chick wanting to be my BFF and 4 more from some Spanish speaking guy wearing a Santa suit. WTF?

The rest of the Tweets were between @MaxKringen and me mostly discussing whether or not @WilliamShatner would Tweet me a happy birthday wish. (He did not).

I much prefer either Blogging, if I have a lot of words to use to say something, or Facebook, if I have less words.  For the record, I hate trying to keep everything to 40 characters.

Twitter is for the birds, or the kids.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Perhaps, if the Mayans were right...

Perhaps, if the Mayans were right, in 15 days the world will come to an end.


The only thing I know for sure is that tomorrow is my birthday.

My Sammy Hagar* Birthday.
(*I originally and erroneously had Van Halen. Edit credit goes solely to Small Town Me for her distinct and loyal devotion to the Red Rocker)

I Can't Drive 55.

In honor of that, and in case the world does come crashing to a halt, I do NOT want to regret a single thing. So I am throwing caution to the wind this year.


Yup. Hashtag and everything.


If any of you kids do "The Twitter," you can follow along and everything @Lindalla!

There will be pictures, and jokes, and questions, and activities, and guest tweets, and trivia, with special tweets at 5:55 and 11:11 am and pm.

I'm not quite sure how all this is going to work, but I have full assurance from my digital pal and co-hort @MaxKringen that this will be fun!

I'm going to promote this here, and on Facebook, and of course Twitter, just like I'm some kind of celebrity or something. Please respond, or comment, 'cause if the world does come to an end in 15 days, c'mon, what do ya have to lose?

Monday, December 3, 2012

The one where I dream about a new kitchen....

About this time in 2005, after 3 months of incessant pleading cajoling, I had finally bamboozled  convinced Downtown Dad to move into the house we presently live in.

Yes, it WAS winter, and three weeks before Christmas.

No, we HADN'T sold the house we lived in at the time.

Why YES, my sister, her two children, and my wheelchair-bound mother were coming to visit for a week over the holiday.   ....why do you ask?

It was a great house - and I didn't want to let it get away.  While nobody in their right mind would have bought it anyway it was not decorated in the most current style, it has "good bones" as they say.  And  it has served us well, through that Christmas, and many others, as well as through our kids' teenage years with theatre parties, and graduation parties, and gatherings, and all manner of things that a house goes through. But it's beginning to show the wear and tear.

Downtown Dad and I decided that 2013 is the year that we give ourselves a little love. We're gonna start with the kitchen.

What follows are some "before" shots of the kitchen which is between what we call a "great room" and another tiny square room with a mirrored wall, that has little purpose, but is faced in such a way as to have the most lovely view of the sunrise in the morning.

The plan is to punch through to the square room, connecting it to the kitchen with a long island countertop.

Plans will change and evolve.  But I wanted to start with the befores, before anything started!

1980s fridge. I am tempted to paint it gold and bedazzle it with plastic jewels, then haul it to the curb and see who takes this treasure home. 

1980s dishwasher.  Hasn't worked since we moved in.

Ooooh look at all the nice wood!  See how it goes all the way to the ceiling!  ...Ugh.

You're looking into the "great room." It was added on by the original owner.  They apparently didn't know about insulation.  You can almost ice skate on the floor in the winter.  Yay.

Formica counter tops. I wish you could see them in all their undulating detail. 

1980s Jenn Air range oven with 4 electric burners. 1 works.  The oven  works really well on the right side, not so well on the left side. Oh, and that famous Air, of Jenn Air? Doesn't work.

Worst part of the layout of this kitchen. Awkward L shaped bump out.

Fun fact, we recently pulled down the green checked wall paper that used to cover these walls. Cool huh?

Look, there's Skimbleshanks, our kitty!

And we're back, full circle, to the fridge.  Let's move on into the square room with the heinous wall of mirrors shall we?

To your right, is where we want to blow out the wall and put an island counter, opening up into the weird little room you're about to see. 

This is to your left - the mirror wall - reflecting me.

Side note.  I love this wall.  The picture is a pencil drawing Downtown Dad drew himself of Tasha, his first Samoyed.  

This is looking into the living room beyond.

A slight turn to the right.

Further to the right.  A lovely view of my glass table and matching glass lamp.  Never could figure out what to do with that back wall.  That's the one we're going to blow out to the kitchen.

Looking toward the kitchen into the dreaded mirror wall.

Again, into the mirror.

This is a little dark, but looking from the soon to be blown out wall, into the living room.

That is all.  I hope you enjoyed my before tour.  This was also literally 10 minutes before the boxes of Christmas decorations came up from the basement!