And because I have never heard of a major city filing bankruptcy in 53 years of living...I asked others who had been here much longer than me
"Have you EVER heard of this in your LIFETIME?"
According to a 63 y/o man who drives for the transit...a 72 y/o woman who work at the local library and an 83 year old woman who assists at the Senior Center...neither had they. Obviously not Harrison Poll numbers...but still.
And I am not sure I am feeling particularly good about that.
more days, Idgy!
Will catch up with you at your Mom's tonight :) Trying to get the finishing touches done here tomorrow so I can spend a day's downtime before your arrival!
Shirley up from Florida for the past week and had a wonderful evening with her (and her two sisters yesterday) Enjoyed laughing and trading horror stories of the things you find left behind...when cleaning an elderly parent's home (that they have lived in for 60+ years)...included, but certainly not limited to, the dreaded
"...who are these people in the photographs..."
And possibly the best laugh of the evening when discussing a couple of framed photographs of casually dressed individuals...handed back and forth...showed to other relatives...do you have any idea who they were??? Until the eldest of the sisters took the frames apart...maybe there was something written on the back. Some clue. Finding they were the photographs (sales models) that came with the frame when they were bought...lol!
"Well they SEEMED like nice enough people."
And evil talk of what we may someday delibrately leave behind to make our children scratch their heads and say
"WHAT???" or possibly "Ewwwwwww..."
A magnificent steak dinner last night...but Today is a Fast Day...and my 500 kcal stretched pretty thin tonight. I had a friend of mine ask
"How many times have you cheated on the diet, so far?"
I know that if I crave something I can have it the very next day. Anybody can wait 24 hours...and usually by the next day I don't even want it. Go figure.
The Fast Diet.
So easy a caveman can do it...and usually did. Intermittent Fasting. Can't wait to weigh-in tomorrow. Looking slimmer and feeling great!
Large meals (like the steak) now regulate themselves because I just
don't WANT as much food as I used to eat, and overindulging just feels uncomfortable...stuffed. Another huge plus.
This week's book...another by the delightfully funny author Carl Hiassen (...a recent author discovery for me...Thanks Donna...I am hooked...)
Which gives us a tongue-in-cheek observation of Florida politics which would be even funnier if it wasn't so TRUE. A glimpse of political life (and death) in the Sunshine State.
And Pennsylvania only
And Dave (God Save the Queen...and when is that Kate woman EVER going to *pop*?)...and Super-Soakers (Thanks Miriam...Great idea!) which will undoubtedly devolve into a WET Tee-Shirt contest...that Carol has pre-won hands down. And Loren and Ralph...and BROWNIES...and hugs and sky lanterns and luminaries and CAKE and (best of all)
All of US!
Catch everyone tomorrow with the weigh-in...with coffee and a chocolate cupcake :)
Because I can.
This morning's weigh-in showed a loss of 1.5 more pounds for a total of 7 pounds in 3 weeks!!! Only 23 more pounds to go :)
The sunshine and rain have done amazing things with my little garden spot and the flowerbeds :)
Picking what will be the remainder of the green beans soon...and the cucumber vines eager to stretch out and take their place. So wonderful to have a small kitchen garden again.
and the Tributes will bear fruit from now until the snow falls!
Got a laugh yesterday when I checked the mail. Anyone who knows me knows what a political animal I am...how completely immersed in our political process...an activist from way back...anyway...wrote The White House a while back...yes as in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue...The President of the United States...concerning a social issue. So imagine my pleasure and surprise when I received in the mail yesterday on the thick slightly green tinged cream stationary of the White House complete with seal...a response...
Or so I thought.
Okay...I don't expect attentiveness like knowing the numbers of hairs on my head...or that whole sparrow thing...and I pretty much expected a canned response...although once I received a hand-written three page letter from Richard Lugar (...apparently I touched a nerve...) but this...this was, in a sad sort of way, absolutely hilarious.
Where some overworked, underpaid, overzealous envelope stuffer obviously stuffed my note in someone else's envelope. Who knows...maybe Ms. James' from Montgomery?
Note to President Obama...this does not fill me with warm fuzzy confidence in your Administration despite the fact I have been a staunch supporter since I saw your amazing speech at the DNC when you were only a fledgling Senator.
And in the news of The World...France has added a touch to the banks of the Seine that words just can't do justice.
At 21' x 12' a statue in chrome by artist Phillipe Pasqua of a T-Rex skeleton in Paris France. Why?
"Because we are French, darling!"
Enjoying the spontaneity of youth as Nikki (a girl my eldest has known for years here) left...pretty much everything...behind and decided at the last moment to accompany James to Florida.
(...I remember this level of Freedom in my youth...)
James and Nikki in Indianapolis before their Adventure
And photos from Florida now...where she had never seen an ocean...a palm tree...the beach before.
And seems to be loving the "newness" of it all!
And Chris...who has found something wonderful and new as well. Went to the Ham (Radio) Fest with Dane last weekend and found a 1917 Brownie Type 3 Box Camera...and is completely enthralled.
And the screw actually fit his tripod!
Remarkable shape for a nearly 100 year old camera...and Roberts (Indy) sells photosensitive paper and everything to make B&W's :)
Lennon is heading back to classes soon and I will be seeing he and his brother in April next year during my Florida travels :)
Life is good! (...even if the President did send the response to my letter to Montgomery Alabama...lol)
Unless you have been locked in a trunk for the past few days...you have heard or read about the Zimmerman-Martin decision in Broward County, Florida...or seen the ripple effects of protests across the Nation.
For myself the whole thing feels like a horrible parody of Grisham's very first novel
"A Time To Kill"
[the unforgettable closing argument-excerpt]
I want to tell you a story. I'm going to ask you
all to close your eyes while I tell you the story. I want you to listen
to me. I want you to listen to yourselves. Go ahead. Close your eyes,
please. This is a story about a little girl walking home from the
grocery store one sunny afternoon. I want you to picture this little
girl. Suddenly a truck races up. Two men jump out and grab her. They
drag her into a nearby field and they tie her up and they rip her
clothes from her body. Now they climb on. First one, then the other,
raping her, shattering everything innocent and pure with a vicious
thrust in a fog of drunken breath and sweat. And when they're done,
after they've killed her tiny womb, murdered any chance for her to have
children, to have life beyond her own, they decide to use her for target
practice. They start throwing full beer cans at her. They throw them so
hard that it tears the flesh all the way to her bones. Then they
urinate on her. Now comes the hanging. They have a rope. They tie a
noose. Imagine the noose going tight around her neck and with a sudden
blinding jerk she's pulled into the air and her feet and legs go
kicking. They don't find the ground. The hanging branch isn't strong
enough. It snaps and she falls back to the earth. So they pick her up,
throw her in the back of the truck and drive out to Foggy Creek Bridge.
Pitch her over the edge. And she drops some thirty feet down to the
creek bottom below. Can you see her? Her raped, beaten, broken body
soaked in their urine, soaked in their semen, soaked in her blood, left
to die. Can you see her? I want you to picture that little girl. Now
imagine she's white."
And I want to paraphrase the scenario a bit here and ask you...just the same...to stop and imagine...
Imagine a black man armed...about the same size as George Zimmermanwho sees a white kid...about Trayvon's size...walking in the rain...with a hoodie...and something in his hands. The armed black guy has taken it on himself to do patrol after there have been a string of break-ins in the mostly black neighborhood. He follows the kid and the kid picks up his pace. He follows and the kid moves faster. He phones the 911 dispatch...they tell him to stand down...he is frustrated..."...these punks always get away..." so he continues to stalk the 17 year old kid. The kid is afraid...but he is also 17 and his ego won't let him acknowledge that. There is a large black man obviously following him. Perhaps the man grabs his shoulder...perhaps not...perhaps the kid stops and yells at him "Why are you following me." At any rate they engage. In the scuffle that ensues the kid gets the upper hand...sits on the black man. Hits him in the face. Hits his head against the pavement..At this point the armed black guy who has been told by dispatch some time back to stand down and let the police handle this- pulls out a 9 mm and shoots the white kid dead.
Now...imagine how THAT verdict would have gone down.
And if you still think this is somehow "playing the race card"...well
I invite you to peruse any of the forums discussing the GZ-TM case and some of the absolutely disgusting comments made and then tell me that racism is a "thing of the past"...okay?
Because...in order to win this thing they had to steer everyone away from the fact the kid was only out for candy and a cold drink. They had to turn him (in the media...and the courtroom) into "a thug"...the very "thug" that Zimmerman believed him to be.
How many of us have 16-17 year old boys (of any shade) who have put blustery comments in the past on FB or MS...or videoed themselves as tough guys...how many of those same teens have smoked a joint...hell...how many of US who grew up in the late 60's through the 70's smoked pot. Trace cannabis amounts can show up nearly a month after smoking...and never mind that several states now have legalized it either or medical or recreational use.
But apparently the above was enough to justify killing the kid and exonerating Zimmerman in many peoples eyes. Making him the THUG that Zimmerman wanted us to see. Had to make us see. And since Martin was dead. There was no one to refute his stories.
So if you are one of the people who are shaking your head and not sure what "...those people..." are protesting or angry about...I want you to imagine how this would have came down if Martin had been white and Zimmerman black. And if you are honest with yourselves...and how by not convicting Zimmerman of manslaughter at the very least...it has said once again to the black community that your children are not worth the same as ours. That your children's lives are expendable.
That is the WHY of it.
Speaking of the palm-tree state...my eldest now safely back. Can't wait to see him next April. And yes...with a chest full of tattoos and full sleeves...I don't want to have some over-zealous neighborhood watch-person...cop wannabe...to see him some night walking back from a convenience store and pre-judge him as some "thug" either...because if someone were stalking him he might confront or even defend himself as well. If he were intimidated enough he might even throw the first punch.
Happiness is when your parents (who have been ex's for years) put their petty differences and bickering aside so that you can have a wonderful 8th Birthday!
(Really proud of them both. This is what being grown up and putting your children first is all about.)
Needless to say Kaylee was one happy birthday girl!
So...as of this morning's coffee and chat with Idgy...only
Until "real hugs" and coffee and chocolate-dipped biscotti...and soon our "getaway" with sand and turquoise water...and stones and driftwood and bonfrie and wine and US, of course! Can't wait!!!!
And we are going to share The Fast Diet together!
Which is AMAZING...btw...more on this later...
And everything arranged for PA...and transportation from Philadelphia to Carol's for the lot of us...Thanks Janine! Looking forward to helping Diane in the kitchen as sous-chef...and to help hide the M&M's from Sal...checking out if The Beast really does hit over 110 mph with Carol...listen to Loren play guitar...help Ralph bake brownies...celebrate Sal and Diane's leap of faith...Darleen and Jeff's marriage (June 1st, 2013)...and just listening to Dave talk (...who doesn't love an English accent...) and so much more! Can't wait to see The Rest of The Family!
Not long now.
About The Fast Diet...this is the end of my second week. Originating in the UK the rules are fairly simple. (I do the AFD as opposed to the 5:2) and are as follows:
"Fast Days" I restrict my total caloric intake to 500 calories.
The next day I can eat whatever I like.
The amazing part is...it actually works!
My first week I lost 2.5 pounds.
This week I have lost an additional 3 pounds and almost 2 inches around my waist. I realized something good was happening when I could remove my jeans without unzipping or unbuttoning them!
Like Idgy says:
"When your jeans are falling off your ass...you're losing weight!"
Five and a half pounds in 14 days!
And I did it while enjoying the occasional chocolate cupcake or bag of greasy onion rings.
Yeah...I am completely hooked!
Only 24.5 pounds to go :)
Beautiful weather for playing in the garden this week...though my manuscripts (and writing) seem to be suffering for the unseasonably nice...rather be outside basking with a pile of books and a cold drink...frame of mind. They may have to wait till winter now. The garden is wonderful...picking another batch of green beans to go with dinner this evening! And the blossoms on the strawberries are now clusters and clusters of greenish white berries (see below)
The single pink roses trimmed back and the American Beauties blooming red and beautiful again!
This week's literary adventure The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell. A work of fiction set in a New York City Police Precinct during prohibition. The story of a typist who realizes the power she inadvertently wields as she transcribes the confessions of others. When others think that your flying fingers are recording exactly what is being said...or are they?
Filled with femme fatales...mobsters...bootleggers...and a twist at the end worthy of Hitchcock...I could see this easily becoming an award winning film!
Great summer read. Highly reccomended!
(...you'll never look at a transcripionist quite the same again...)
Missing the eldest already as he (soon) makes his way back to Florida.
Won't be seeing him again until my April travels next year.
Love ya kid, and so good to see you!
Can't SAY enough good things about The Fast Diet! Loretta came up to me and said:
"I can see you have dropped weight already!"
and a few days ago when I met James for a going away brunch he laughed
"Mom...your jeans are sagging...have you lost weight or have you just decided to join my fashion statement."
Pretty incredible for 2 weeks in.
Going to remain on AFD until I reach my goal...then switch to the 5:2 or possibly 6:1 to maintain it. And before any vacationing commences I am buying some new jeans.
Only 27.5 pounds to go! And my short term goal to fit back into those black leather pants!
My next weigh-in is Saturday!
And many cups of coffee...and Biscotti on the Non-Fast days...and 300+ gazing balls until real hugs...and *surprise* as the County Fair is on during that first week up...so at least one day of fair chow and cotton-candy and perusing the photo entries :)
Found our beach-side getaway, too! Already reserved! Check this out:
Right across from The Dunes.
And the excitement is mounting as in only
more days until our Gathering in Pennsylvania.
Last count 50 of our 115...maybe more! Included in that number Luann and Shirley from Canada and Dave from the UK!
And we are going to release Paper Sky Lanterns :)
Not only in memory of our spouses...but also as a CELEBRATION of our new lives...friendships...and adventures together!
LuAnn has started something new with the "Traveling Hat" by adding her Canadian Pin...so Diane and I must catch up before it is passed on.
(...yeah...we chose a travelling hat instead of a pair of jeans...because there isn't ANY magic available that will make one pair fit all of US!)
Diane (down from Chicago) with THE HAT
to ME (Indiana) last Spring
to LuAnn (from Canada-right front)
at the Fall Iowa Gathering.
I lost a HAT but I received Flat Stan. It was a great trade
So in Pennsylvania...Flat Stan...who is now in Lillian's clutches (I think...the Flat Bastard gets around) goes to Deanna and THE HAT? Well...as soon as Diane and I add our pins (brillant idea...pinning) it will be on it's way again.
Hoping that when Lillian travels to Russia she will be wearing THE HAT! We can't send STAN to Russia...way too much chance of an International Incident.
Anyway...to commemorate both Indiana and Lillian's High-Speed Adventure on the way I found the perfect pin
A mini-version of an Indiana State Police Shield
And yes...you CAN find anything
on Ebay (except Jimmy Hoffa)
And a note to Gail W. who recently shot a SPITTING COBRA outside her African home ...and posted pictures of the dispatched reptile...honey...you are going to HAVE to visit us now...cause there is no way we are braving 12 inch spiders...10 inch centipedes...and Spitting Cobras!
The garden and flowers are flourishing with the alternating heat and sunshine...with (still green) strawberries hanging from each set...and the cucumber vines filled with yellow blooms...and oodles of green beans. Using my herb baskets to cook with every day now.
This week's book...passed on by Donna (Dane's mom)...a delightful summer read Carl Hiaasen's: Sick Puppy. Hiaasen is a great deal like what would happen if Dave Barry and Christopher Moore got together and had a "love child". Absolutely hilarious.
If you are into the environment...against litter-bugs...anti-lobbiest...dislike politicians and LOVE Labrador's...well...THIS is the book for you!
Just did a weigh in after my first week on The Fast Diet.
I've lost 2.5 pounds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A Typical "Fast Day" Breakfast ...less than 200 kcal
and what I can enjoy during my Non-Fast Days:
Probably wrong to mention that I've celebrated with a Chocolate Fudge Cupcake and a cup of coffee, eh?
(...and a sincere note to Jenny Craig and WeightWatchers...)
The sun and rain have done wonderful things for the garden and flowers and added a tiny miniature rose yesterday afternoon "Raspberry Ice" and seeded for Black-Eyed Susans which will bloom by Fall. Have been using the fresh herb basket daily now...and clipping back and drying to encourage the plants to bunch. Made tea from the new chocolate-mint and it is wonderful! Below is a small sampling of the drying herbs and bulbs...as I thin my green onions I dry the thinnings for next year's sets.
And the strawberries have already bloomed and set fruit!
Doing the "Cinderella" thing around the house today...everything clamouring feed me...dust me...scrub me...toss me...wash me...and then off (weather permitting) for our 4th of July Celebration Part Deux later this evening!
Enjoyed an assortment of amazing food together...Pulled Pork BBQ...Corn on the Cob...Baked Beans...Potato Salad...Watermelon...A Red Velvet Cupcake...
and more! Checked out Danville's fireworks with Chris, Dane, Donna, and Eric...then back to the lakeside where we played with Mortars and Shells until the stroke of Midnight...as in
"Noise ordinance? Midnight, hell...it is only 11:57 according to MY watch officer...hold on...I need to light this..."
Engaging with nearby neighbors who were merely voices amidst the loud booms and flashes as they lit shells of their own.
"I say...my good people...DO YOU YIELD?"
Followed by laughter and another explosion
And by Midnight there was STILL massive amounts of food and spirits and explosives left...and so...since the lake is officially having its grand display on Saturday...we decided to get together and do it all over again! Ya gotta have a plan.
Today was a "fast" day and it was welcomed.
Tomorrow, of course, is the "Day of Reckoning" regarding The Fast Diet. With a full week behind me...early in the morning is The Weigh In. First time I have been excited to step on the scales in 25 years. All I know is I feel really good.
Last minute shopping today with Loretta, Judy and Nancy and preparing for our Greenwood Shopping/Brunch excursion together next week.
Haven't been to Greenwood for a long time!
So wish me luck in the morning on the least diet-like adventure ever :) Will let everyone know how it goes, regardless of the outcome!
No...actually this is Day 5 (AFD #3) and if this works it will be the easiest most wonderful weight-loss programme ever. My weigh-in isn't until Saturday morning which will mark a complete week.
Am learning (on IFD's) how to get really really creative with the allotted 500 calories. Think lots of veggies, yoghurt, cold boiled shrimp and lean shaved turkey and chicken. (Disclaimer: NONE of which will be eaten on the holiday...btw...) Even have a recipe now for Kale Crisps for something crunchy. And I am also realizing that on the non-fast days that the fast days are helping me refrain from over-indulging.
Swapped tomorrow for the 4th of July because...NOBODY has that much will-power...lol!
Going well so far. Anxious to see where I am at Saturday!
Religiously turning the compost bin and the heat, redworms and various materials are slowly working their magic. Before winter I should have a layer of good rich soil to layer the garden. Am going to start my bulbs in the fallow winter garden too...to arrange/plant elsewhere in Spring. The tropical patterns of heat and warm rain have done amazing things and both the flowerbeds and the garden are flourishing!
more days until Our Summer Adventure, Idgy! That is only 100 or so cups of coffee and still more than 300 gazing balls...GIMY2...can't wait!
This week's read...A COOKBOOK...nah...not really. Actually a book that was new for me but apparently I just missed it years ago when it was published. The CEO Of The Sofa: By P.J O'Rourke I may not always agree with his political viewpoint...or EVER for that matter...but as an Author he is top shelf. The chapter with P.J and Chris Buckley at a wine-tasting will make you laugh until you cry. So will most of the rest of it!
If you are an O'Rourke fan you are going to love this book.