My favorite folks ! :)

23 January 2010

More of the usual

. . . meaning a bit of this & that.

I woke to beautiful blue skies today. And lots of snow. Haven't taken any new pics. When i do i'll post them. But in the meantime, you can go to my friend David's Picasa Web Album & see his pics of the weather. (His blog is Sugarloaf Mountain.) He also has a couple of really good ones of birds in the trees. (I don't seem to do a very good job with the birds.) Oh, & if you like birds in the trees, check out my Aunt Wanda's Picasa Web Album. Cardinals. She's retired & being professional at photography.

We've lost 2 trees for sure now. One in front of the house is broken in half but didn't hit anything coming down. The one that fell on the neighbors was a split trunk & Duane thinks that we'll have to take the other half down. We've had some big branches come down also. Have to check the rest of the property (it is so huge, LOL) & see what has happened.

Last night about 8.45 we heard a plow come down the street. Only it wasn't a regular plow. It was an earth-mover/Caterpillar (called a wheel loader). And we needed it. This stuff is so heavy. Part of the reason for this, tho, is because there is so much snow that they are contracting snow removal to anyone who has the equipment to do it. Our weather service said we got another 44 inches yesterday. The wheel loader made a 10 foot pile of snow on the corner across from our house. Duane went out to cheer the plow on & discovered that our driveway - that he had totally cleared the night before - was up to his thighs again. ! ! ! More work for us today. He said he thought some of that was drift.

We are lucky our house is built so strong & has such a small area of top roof with strong beams supporting it. Have i mentioned (like 30 times, i think) this snow is really heavy? Duane is a bit worried about the snow load on the decks, tho. I'm going to try to clear some of the one outside our bedroom today.

There is only one road in & out of the valley open - the "back, back way" down 18 into Lucerne Valley (& it was closed for a while yesterday). The road we use - 38 into Redlands - is closed for an indefinite time due to "20 foot drifts" according to the local news. The front way is also closed & folks have been evacuated from their cars stuck on that road. We are really fortunate we came home when we did. Had we not gotten home then, i've no idea when we'd be able to get back.

This much snow is rather counter productive. Our ski slopes are wonderful now to ski on - & no one from down the hill can get up to use them!

Will post pics later. It should be really beautiful now that the sun is shining. More snow predicted for next week. But our high should be just above freezing today. The low last night was 16F.

I've been meaning to post on this article for a while now. Think i read it about a week back. The title is: He said he was leaving; she ignored him. I actually am quite impressed. I don't think i'd have the backbone to respond as she did. There was a lot of criticism of her in the comments saying that she "didn't support him" or that a loved one is suppose to "help" the one she loves. I think, personally that is JUST what she did, but what she did is entirely different from what we normally consider "help."

For another funky piece, i've found a new blog (Aging Gratefully) that i'm enjoying. I was looking at some of her back posts & came across this one: Weddings. Blew me away. I know there are a lot of different things being done these days, but this stretches my imagination a bit. (Couldn't have been done in our church!) I'm surprised she didn't rip off the wedding dress & have a sexy mini underneath, too. Totally agree with the last line written, however.

The acupuncture doc i see, Kathie, lost a lot of weight last spring & summer. She is tall & wasn't terribly overweight, but she is a positive toothpick now. I asked her what she'd done to lose that weight, & she told me "Spark People." Huh??? She wrote it down & i looked it up. I "signed up" for it back in December, but didn't start to do anything for a while. I'm not even sure what or how Kathie used it to lose her weight.

But i decided this week to use it at least to track my meals. It is often recommended that you don't make changes right away, but simply keep a food diary of EVERYTHING you eat to see where your calories are actually coming from. So, for now, that is what i'm using Spark People for. I started on Tuesday.

There are good things & bad things about this program. One of the bad things is that they follow the Standard American Diet as prescribed by the "Food Pyramid." Believe me, this is SAD indeed. Do a Google search on this & you'll find that the food pyramid is entirely political. It is by following these guidelines that America has become the sick, overweight group of people we are today. However, i can largely ignore this. But their recommendations (they think i eat too few carbs) come from this SAD pyramid.

I can set my own goals - how many total calories i want to hit as my goal each day, how many grams each of fat, carbs, & protein. (I've been low on the protein the last couple of days, too.) This calculator doesn't like the percentage of carbs & fat that i have set. But it still calculates for me.

Now, over all, the idea that a "calorie is a calorie" is false. Three hundred calories of potato chips does not equal 300 calories in a baked potato. First off in satiation. But also in nutrients. And the fat in potato chips is bad fat all around.

The fact is, i don't eat a lot. But i don't lose weight, either. I decided at first just to track my eating habits without trying to limit myself, just to see where the calories are going. I will say, this is hard to do on Spark People, because you have to "set" your goals in low calories & high calories every day (minimum & maximum you want to eat each day). I set them too low to start off with, so each day i'm "failing." Don't think this is a good way to think. (Well, now that i've said that, i went & changed it so it won't show a fail most days.)

I honestly don't eat a lot. If i were just keeping a food diary, it would reflect that. But i find "Spark People" helpful because it tracks the calories i'm consuming. (I think if i just did a food diary & an estimate of calories, i'd say, "I sure don't eat much!" but to see each food listed in calories & % of the total for the day helps me be more aware of what i'm eating & where i'm wasting calories.) To see that the Starbucks Vanilla Frappichino drink that i consume for a headache (& sometimes recently i've decided to use it as "preventive" - my way of justifying having it even if i don't need it) has 200 calories & very few nutrients, well, let's just say i'll be motivated to not go wild with this.

I don't know if this will help me to actually lose weight. My adrenal & thyroid glands are not functioning very well. I've other metabolic issues too. These contribute to the Chronic Fatigue which i fight & health issues that make it difficult to lose weight. Kathie is healthy, was healthy when she began this program. I can't think, expect, or even hope it will work for me as it does for her. But i DO find it helpful to see what i'm eating, where i'm picking up calories, & what the totals come out to be. Calories from fresh fruits & veggies are much more beneficial than calories from anything processed.

I honestly would love to lose weight. But then i'd love to be healthy, too. For now i'm going to use the tool to track what i'm eating & leave the rest - not focus on weight - for now. I have to
ignore their nutrition advice. They recommended cutting calories by drinking DIET soda today! Bad, bad, bad advice. If you choose to do that, i'm not going to yell at you, but diet soda is very, very, very bad for you. Regular soda is very bad for you too. But i tend to like it. You know what? I've not had a soda since starting this tracking. I don't want those calories (& other horrible stuff like sodium benzote) in my diet. I'm not saying i'll never have another one, but this sure helps me think about it before downing the stuffl.

I need to go do something for today!

P.S. - thanks for all the comments & feedback on the last post. I do love getting comments! I need to be better at responding to them.



millhill said...

I think it is especially hard for us women to lose weight, with the hormones and all, but you are correct to think "be healthy" instead of necessarily concentrating on losing weight. If you focus on eating well for health you will eventually lose weight too. (plus all that shoveling will help :) Good luck, you do not struggle alone!!

Amrita said...

It is quite a job shovelling all that heavy snow. Glad your house is safe.

I like the photos of your young age.

Land of shimp said...

Kathryn, I hope your weight issues resolve, but remember, there are a lot of ways to be healthy. Your overall health is the important part. If you're trying to lose weight to fit a BMI profile, that's not the best plan. If you're trying to lose weight to address a specific problem being caused by your weight? That's a good plan.

People forget that health is not about size. Check in with your health, if it isn't in good shape, make changes. If it is? Don't worry about jeans size...which is indicative of size, not health. We've confused the two tremendously in our society.

Uh..on the NYT article, good gracious, what a foolish thing to do. I'm glad it worked out for her, but it's just giving denial a prettier name. She denied that there was a problem, and eventually her husband came home, apparently without discussing what was going on, and rejoined the denial in progress.

It worked for her because she got what she wanted out of it, but please don't confuse that with anything resembling a good approach. That is absolutely a "don't try this at home, kiddies" piece of advice.

She calls it "I will not suffer" but it's actually more "I will label denial in such a way that I can embrace it and pretend it is a positive approach!" I'm not talking about her overall "I am not defined by my material goods" stuff...but deflection, avoidance, and denial is not "I will not suffer!" It's avoidance, deflection, and denial. It just happened to work for her, but that's all it is.


Want a different view on it? Swap the genders in your head. It's a wife telling her husband that, and that's his response.

Still helpful? Still the right thing to do? Still even remotely healthy?

All that woman did was avoid a problem long enough for the guy to decide...not that he necessarily loved her...but that he wasn't sure that he actually wanted to leave. Heaven knows what made him determine that, but if she thinks he was spending quiet evenings of contemplation, chances are good he really was not.

But it seems she is also denying what he was likely doing while she was letting him solve his own problems...and Kathryn, you can't bury feelings like that, with "I will not suffer"...somewhere in her head that woman does care that her husband was likely out...let's call it "cavorting" shall we? Where does she think he was on the Fourth of July?

She cares that he slept around, Kathryn. But she's denying that too....and that's just another thing that will eventually rise up.

You can only avoid, and deny for so long, before the issue returns as Godzilla and stomps out Tokyo.

Land of shimp said...

p.s. I ended up talking to Rob about this, and he had the funniest comment, so I thought I would share it:

"Honey, if I tried that on you, leaving and then showing up six months later and started mowing the lawn, I know exactly what would happen: You'd call the police to have me removed from the premises and the conversation would be, "He's back, and he's got a lawn mower." it would not end well for me."

Land of shimp said...

Aha! Now you see, Rob is petitioning to have me add what he actually said prior to that, so I'm going to comply, because it is a good point, and one worth making.

When I first started telling him about this, I started with what the husband said, and her response of "I don't buy it." he responded, "Presumably because she knew that means he was having an affair?"

It's the addition of "I don't know that I ever did." that we were discussing, because that's either a lie someone is telling themselves to try and make inflicting devastating emotional pain on someone they have previously loved okay on some level, in their own head. Statistically though? It means, "this is code for I think I'm in love with someone else".

I point this out because part of his response goes to that. There's always the question when I quote either of us in conversation, "Do you two really talk to each other like that???" Yes, and this is a verbatim quote coming up. Thankfully we found each other, we're the only two likely to understand the other.

Here goes, Rob said, "Baby, if by any horrible chance I ever came to you and tried to negate every, single thing I have absolutely known about myself for the past thirteen years, in the course of one sentence? If by some miracle I haven't lost my mind and am having an affair, meaning, dump me, and dump me fast, but if that isn't the case? Please know that it means I am in the grips of a true mental illness, and take mercy on me. Get me help, fast. The only other thing it could be would be body snatchers."

And that's a good point too. The "I don't know that I ever did." is indicative of something, usually an affair, but also a person who is so miserable they are deeply confused, and sick (not to mention not spotting how much of a cliche they are being).

We are not responsible for making another person happy, and that is true, but when we love someone, pretending their misery is something they have to handle on their own, is beyond everything else, not what being married is.

Sickness and health, and all that.

Kathryn said...

I've enjoyed all your comments & Rob's comments on this Alane. The one where he said if he came back & mowed the lawn it wouldn't go well for him especially.

But i do disagree.

1. If he had been having an affair, i think he would have left. Period.

He wouldn't have been moping around being there some of the time & not being there some of the time. And i think he would have been happier than what he was presenting. When you meet someone who seems "to understand" & relate to you & your life there is a resultant joy, at least for a while. I think he would also have been angrier with her when he didn't get a rise or the arguments he expected.

I think it is rare, but some folks going thru the "What am i doing? What is it all about? Is this all there is?" phase don't necessarily end up in an affair.

2. She recognized that she could NOT "fix it" for him. She gave him the space to try to try & figure it out. She didn't try to push him to talk when he wasn't ready or to go to counseling, tho i imagine she would have been willing to do either had he wanted to.

I was very impressed with her statement: “It’s not age-appropriate to expect children to be concerned with their parents’ happiness. . . " Because, honestly, this is a lie a lot of people tell themselves when they break up. It is a particularly ugly form of narcissistic selfishness - demanding that what I choose to do will make the people i'm hurting "happy" too.

3. While it may have appeared to be denial - & to a degree it was - she was not denying that her husband was in pain. She didn't deny that he was going thru something extremely difficult. She supported him & loved him to the degree that she tried to give her kids a response they could grasp without bad-mouthing him or allowing the kids to think they were responsible. She also didn't "get in the way" & allow herself to become a target. Yes, he tried to target her & start the type of arguments that would then allow him to justify in his own mind what he was feeling. But she didn't go there. It hurt her, of course it did, & she didn't deny that. But she also recognized that it was NOT about her. It was his unhappiness looking for a place to rest.

I, myself, tend to distract myself from unhappiness. I have never done it as this man did by taking it out on others (at least not to this degree & i try not to hurt others in my unhappiness). But, frankly, if i'm unhappy about being childless, or having no energy - i tend to obsess about the things that are happening in the gov't, or our church, or read a book to distract myself. I'm very aware of that.

It seems to me this wife loved her husband a lot & recognized that he was very unhappy about some failures & was looking for a place to distract himself & possibly blame someone else.

I do agree with you that it was a foolish plan, a "don't try this at home" type thing. But look at it this way: She'd been with him for 20 years & probably knew him very well. She may have seen him & his response in other situations & knew how he reacted & what had worked & what had not worked. So, what she did was really hard but it "worked" because of past history. Doesn't mean it would work for someone else. (Especially if a third party was involved.)

David said...

thanks for the links, and your friendship.

Land of shimp said...

I was impressed by her statement also, Kathryn but I was decidedly not impressed in how her children got to come along for the denial ride in the "and I set four plates for dinner" stuff.

I don't think she had an obligation, or even any opportunity to fix the problem for him. Nor do I believe it was her problem to fix, although you know what? It might have been. For real, she doesn't know to this moment why he actually left, does she? She just knows he came on back and started mowing a lawn rather than sit down with his wife to explain his actions of abandonment.

That's what I'm talking about. Not who had the weight of being the "fixer" but we all have the weight of acknowledging our realities.

We do disagree on this, and that's fine. It doesn't mean either one of us is absolutely right. But I can say that if a friend of mine was pulling that stuff? I'd advise her to get to a good therapist, and fast, if not with him, by herself because honest to goodness...that's almost the clinical description of denial. "I won't acknowledge this."

It worked for her, for the moment.

By the way, I don't know if the ma was having an affair, or if he thought the world was full of nubile 25-year-olds awaiting him, or if he was simply a very unhappy man seeking answers to something within...but a lot of his behaviors actually do point to someone who was ...uh...pushing the boundaries of his life with someone else.

Blowing off parties, blowing off holidays (Kathryn, he's got children, he wasn't just ditching the wife he claimed to not love, his kids were sitting there on the fourth of July, wondering where dad was...and seriously, was with someone else).

We can't always fix a problem, but my point was not the "YOU NEED TO FIX HIM!" of it all, but rather by saying, "I don't buy it." she was embracing the hopeful, fanciful denial that it had nothing to do with her. That it had to do with him.

To this day? It sounds like she doesn't actually know that for sure, but she's assuming that since he came back? He resolved things.

What if he came back because he's still searching for answers...but it doesn't actually mean that he's decided he loves her?

In life, you have to have the conversation to know what is going on. I'm actually not calling her an idiot, and hopefully things are exactly what they appear to be now...but she's guessing that he worked out his stuff by deciding to buy the lawn mowing and his presence of being indicative of a re-committment to that.

Rob's point was not that I'd be vindictive and call the cops, but that I'd want a darned good explanation for what went on and those reasons better resonate with me. It really would be a case of "State your case, and it had better be a compelling one. I'd better be riveted. Hoo doggies, if I am not on the edge of my seat with agreement? You're stuck out of luck, without me."

But the thing is? I'd never fail to find out what was going on. That worked for that particular woman, but I can also see it as a recipe for disaster for a lot of people who would just deny, deny, deny.

Also, she's quite convinced that she wouldn't put up with any abuse, except for all the emotional abuse that he heaped on her (she states that he would viciously lash out at her, verbally).

We are miles apart on this one because if I saw anyone put up with that, and put it down to "He's just going through something he needs to work out for himself." I'd handily point out that that didn't in any way alter that he was taking it out on her, or trying his very, very best to. Which is emotional abuse.