Saturday, January 31, 2009

Freaking Groceries

I just came back from the grocery store and I am thoroughly disgusted. First of all, you should know, I love grocery shopping. It's one of my favorite things to do. I prefer to do it without my five year old in tow, but what can you do? Daddy's working today so Matty and I were on a grocery mission together. Now, to prepare for my trip to Hannaford (that's my store) I always go over the online circular with a fine tooth comb and determine what's on sale. I then make my list on an excel spreadsheet that is separated by sections so the list is organized in the same order as the store.
Then, I do a second review to determine if I have any corresponding coupons or special offers. I usually save about $10 a week in coupons, so I think it's worth it. Once I have given the list the final review, I head to the store, ready for some fun. (I am what you might call, a grocery geek)

So, based on what I've just told you, why would I be disgusted? Why? Because I swear to god, the price of everything just keeps going up and up and up. Those of you who read this blog know that I am trying to reduce my cholesterol. In order to do that, I have to buy fresh foods, primarily lean protein, fresh veggies, dairy etc. Of course, that stuff is the most expensive. The price of vegetables is insane. I buy a lot of frozen veggies, but ya know they don't freeze lettuce, tomatoes or cukes so you have to buy them fresh(and cause their delicious) Unfortunately, if the Parkers want to have salad with dinner this week, we may need to take out a second mortgage on the house.
What pisses me off is the fact that I think they are just jacking up the prices because they can. I saw prices going up about 6 months ago as a result of rising fuel costs but it continues to climb despite the fact that fuel prices have gone down by 40%. What the hell is that? What really fries me is the fact that if I want to eat crap, I can probably do that pretty cheaply. I can eat hamburger helper, mac and cheese and hot pockets for half of what I currently spend on groceries. Of course, we'll pay for that in increased premiums and copays when we all start pushing maximum density and develop all sorts of weight related issues.
Boy am I bitter or what?
So, I guess I better clip more coupons so I can afford to be healthy.
No other choice.
Have a great weekend
Enjoy Greek Yogurt!

Friday, January 30, 2009

As seen on TV---Slim and Lift

I am embarrassed to tell you about this, but hell I only know a few people who read this thing and I can trust you can't I? Anyway, I have always been a sucker for infomercials and I am not ashamed to tell you that I have an extensive collection of items purchased off the tv, most of which are related to looking better or feeling better. What I mean is, I don't have the Sham Wow! and I think Billy Mays is an idiot. I wouldn't be caught dead using the ab-lounge or purchasing the fantastic space bags, but I do have Hip Hop Abs (Shawn T. was a friend for a while) and Slim in 6. Well my latest ridiculous tv purchase was the "Slim and Lift, smooth contour garment." OK, have you seen this one. It's basically an industrial strength girdle that is supposed to allow you to go down a dress size. Now I have a lot of dresses in my closet that haven't seen the light of day in a while, so I figured the Slim and Lift might be just the answer to my wardrobe issues. I assumed that if they could stuff the girls on the infomercial into this contraption certainly we could shoehorn my fat butt into it. (Don't worry, I don't have self esteem issues, I am just honest with myself)
Well, the thing arrived last week and I can only say the Slim and Lift is not a garment, it's an instrument of pain. On the infomercial they show these women sliding on the Slim and Lift and immediately looking svelte, comfortable and full of confidence. A very different event occurred in my walk in closet on the day that the damn thing arrived. I wriggled, I hopped, I did deep knee bends, but to no avail. There was no way I was getting this thing over my "motherly" hips. After 20 minutes, I finally gave up and threw the freaking thing back in the box and shipped it back to the company.

The good news is the larger size should arrive next week. In the meantime, I think I should have some carrots and then hit the treadmill. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Girls Weekend

Well, it's that time of year again. Time to gear up for girls weekend. Several times a year, Eastover Resort in the Berkshires hold "Girls Weekend Away" No men allowed. Our little group has been going for several years now and it's always a hoot. There's a core group of about six of us and then we always have a few newbies who are recruited into the group each year. So what happens at girls weekend? I know my husband would like to imagine that we all sit around in our underwear and have pillow fights while drinking champagne in some perverted fantasy, but it couldn't be farther from the truth.
First, Eastover is not exactly the Four Seasons. It's what you might call Rustic with a certain Bates motel charm. It's a series of buildings on a sprawling piece of property so there's a lot of walking outside in the freezing cold to get where you want to go. But that's ok, because you are virtually always carrying a cocktail. I don't care if it's 8:30 in the morning, you just need to drink. The place is BYOB and it's a total scream to see all these women walking from the dining room to the horseback riding stable or the bingo hall, pulling along there little coleman coolers.

The whole weekend is filled with silly activities like Karaoke, Scavenger hunts, Tarot Card Readings, Bingo etc. Anything that can be done while still drinking a glass of merlot.
There are self help classes and group exercise, but again, that's not really the point. The closest I ever got to exercise at Eastover was Striptease class which was an absolute hoot. But the best thing about Girls Weekend is the laughs our group of ten always has. There are usually hundreds of ridiculous memorable moments (many we forget because of aforementioned merlot). So, from the home office in Lenox Mass, here are the top 5 Eastover Moments

5. When the woman who was getting ready to teach the "organize your life" seminar showed up 10 minutes late, having just had a pedicure and still walking with the toe separators in and a butt hanging out of her mouth. (Like I said, EO is a bit lowbrow)
4. When Carrie won the George M. Bisacca Woman of the Year award for her fine legal work that she does despite the fact that she has no formal legal training
3. When the 75 year old woman showed us her freshly airbrushed tattoo, consisting of a shamrock on her breast that said, "Frank's Bitch."
2. When Amy came walking into the indoor pool area rolling the cooler and wiped out and sent beer and margarita fixings flying (you had to be there)
And finally, the number one memory
1. At the end of the weekend, after I had been given the "I'm a Good Eater" Award for my voracious appetite and on the way home, I forgot I was wearing the ribbon as I ordered a Big Mac Extra Value Meal and the clerk just assumed I wanted to supersize. (Mortifying but hilarious.)

Girls Weekend is only 30 days away. And I can't wait.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


So, today is my mom's birthday. I just spoke with her about an hour ago and the kids got on and wished her a happy birthday and all that. I think she's over the whole issue from yesterday when I didn't tell her about my heart "aches." Although she did ask if there was anything new and had to throw in, "you haven't been to the hospital today have you?" What can I say, "wiseass" runs in my family.

Anyway, my friend Suz posted a note on my wall today asking about my parents. The exact quote was, "they are the best, they always made you feel good being around them." As I think about my mom today on her birthday, Suz's comment is so right on. They are really the best. I remember when I was in high school, my friends always loved being at my house. Everybody loved Jer and Ar and they still do. I am pretty lucky.

My friend Carrie's mom is currently in the hospital and we are all praying for her. Carrie's mom "Mare" was another mom in High School that we all loved to be around. She was funny and smart and when you went to Carrie's it was so fun to sit on the couch with Mare and BS. She was and still is a howl. All the best Mare, we're sending a lot of word up to the "big guy" to watch over you.

What can I say, another heavy blog post, I guess I am just way to freaking introspective these days. So, here's the final word
Happy Birthday ArlyDen
Get Well Mare
Lighten Up Jilly!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Six Degrees of Separation--the jig is up

So, I neglected to mention to my parents that I had some health issues last week. I just didn't want them to needlessly worry and with everything going on I figured they didn't need to worry about me and my sluggish thyroid. Now, this sounded like a good idea at the time but then, like a jackass, I told all you people about my trips to the doctor on my blog. To be honest, I didn't think anyone really read this thing so I didn't give it a second thought.
BOY was I wrong! You see, this weekend, I made lots of new friends on Facebook, including my cousin in Long Island (Shout out to Christy). Well, Christy read the Facebook page, followed the link, read the blog. Being the Barbara Walters of Nassau County, she then called her mother, my Aunt Linda to report my medical concerns, who promptly called my father to ask "How's Jill?"
As you can imagine, Dad's response was, "What are you talking about?" And,,,,,,,we're off to the races. I am now in the doghouse with Mom & Dad and I have a sluggish thyroid. Oopsie.
The power of the internet is awfully creepy.
And how was your day?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone......

So, anyone who reads this blog (all two of you) know that I have been in a pretty big funk lately, but today, I had a moment of clarity, alas I am not giving up dirty martini's just yet, but I will borrow from the Alcoholic's Anonymous mantra when I say I am embracing the following sentiment
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can."

The second mantra I am embracing is this one.....LIFE IS TOO SHORT.

During the past several months I have seen and heard of many of my friends and family dealing with potentially life threatening illnesses, psyche altering personal tragedies, and just plain yucky crap. Yet, through it all, people seem to prevail. So, as I think about my own current personal challenges (and I have a list it seems) I have to ask myself, what does it really add up to? Inconveniences? yup. Annoyances? ubetcha! Irritations? hell yes! But nothing that I can't deal with by understanding that I have to "control what I can control" and allow others to do the same.

I was on the phone with my best friend Carrie today, which always puts me in a good mood. And we were chatting about this woman at Smith College who was giving a talk about the fact the Darth Vader and the Disney Princesses are ruining the minds of our children. Apparently this lovely woman, who is a PHD seems to believe these "minions of doom" are contributing to "compassion deficit disorder" (that's right, it's now got a label) and "premature adolescent rebellion." Now, I think Ariel (the Little Mermaid's) boobs are a little much for a disney film, but I can't subscribe to the notion that she's driving our children to a life of aggression or anti-social behavior. C'mon, it's the little mermaid for crying out loud. And Darth Vader, man that's James Earl Jones for the love of Pete. How could he possibly be poisoning the mind of my 9 year old.

So what's the second part got to do with the first part? I feel a segue coming on, follow along.....
Someone needs to give the honorable doctor Diane Levin PHD, a copy of the AA creed. Focus on what you can control Levin. Your own kids and don't worry about the rest of the kids, we'll take care of our own thanks. Needless to say Carrie and I won't be signing up for the talk, but we would LOVE to see the folks who actually do show up for this one. Carrie indicated it's probably the same woman from Kindergarten registration who was breastfeeding her 5 year old and raised her hand to say, "Wait, wait wait, you mean they have to be potty trained before they can start kindergarten." (You can't make this stuff up folks.)

OK, I have gone way off track here. My train of thought has clearly derailed. That being said, from now on, I am going to focus on controlling what I can control and leave the rest to others. I think I can save myself from a lot of frustration and heartache along the way.

Peace out

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Crossroads--not just a Clapton Song

There are times in a person's life when they reach a major crossroads. And I am not talking about a "should I buy the storebrand or the Sara Lee Deli ham?" kind of crossroads. I am talking about a major, life altering event that will have repercussions for years to come. Now, I am a firm believer in the "everything happens for a reason" credo and I think that sometimes bad things happen so that great things may follow. Therefore, I am viewing my current work/life/health situation as an opportunity and a challenge rather than a burden.

I look at it this way, I have a fantastic husband who rocks my world, three great kids (who drive me insane), good friends, great family and a strong belief in God that will get me through anything that life dishes out. I think about my friend Amanda, whose 3 and 1/2 year old daughter was just diagnosed with a brain tumor. I know that her faith will guide her as she deals with the next harrowing weeks, months and maybe even years. She will be supported by the positive things in her life to get her through such a difficult time. For some odd reason, that gives me comfort as I deal with issues that in comparison to Amanda's challenges, seem so freaking trivial. God gives us only what we can handle and often times on the other side of the storm there's bright sunshine and peace. I pray that Amanda finds that. I pray that I find it too.

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's all good! OK, it's all mediocre.....

Another day, another trip to the doctor. More blood tests, this time sugar and thyroid. Good lord. I feel like a heroin junkie. I think I have track marks. Oh well, the bottom line is "get busy living or get busy dying." I am under strict doctor's orders to lose weight, get fit, and generally give up all my current vices, except red wine I can still have red wine. yay! So no more Marlboros or Oreos for me (I don't really smoke that often, so that shouldn't be a problem. The oreos on the other hand........)
I am starting to wonder if this malaise I am feeling is merely withdrawal from Margaritas. When I was in mexico, I was having several a day and then I came home and quit cold turkey. Oh, who am I kidding, it's not that. (see how I enable myself). I joined Weight Watchers Online to track my food intake. We will see how that works. I have to count my points (It was my understanding, there would be no math). I just wish it wasn't so cold out, then I could run outside. Perhaps this afternoon, I could get out there. It might reach 25 degrees. Yikes!
committed to changing

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My heart! It's not about valentines day!

A day in the emergency room. Not my idea of a perfect day. But when your heart starts to feel like it's being squeezed and you have a family history of heart trouble, you head to the er and strap in. That was my day yesterday. Blood work. Cat Scan. Stress Test. Rest easy, my ticker is fine, a bit inflamed but fine. I met with a cardiologist, the lovely Dr. McCann. She gave me the wake up call. Get fit now Jill. Or end up back on the stress test treadmill again real soon. Key objectives; lose weight, cut stress, don't smoke. Seems simple doesn't it. Ah but life is never so simple. But, I am going to heed the good doctor's advice and get serious about this stuff. I turn 40 in 196 days! My half marathon is 122 days away. The time is now. But first, a nap.......

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Finally, a jog

The treadmill is my friend. I finally broke into a jog last night on the treadmill and it felt really good. I did a run walk combination for 40 minutes and covered about 2.7 miles. I am not too sore today except for a little "ping" in my hips. Not too shabby.
I tried to right some culinary wrongs last night with a delicious low fat Paella with Shrimp and Chicken. It was yummy and I didn't eat a bucket full of it, so I felt pretty good.
Today, I have to put away Christmas. I swear, I am so sick of Santa, he's gotta go back into his Rubbermaid tub where he belongs until next year.
Another project for this weekend to review and try on the Cancun wardrobe (ie, shorts, tshirts and sundresses). Everything should still fit. Here's hoping.
At some point today, I intend to do at least 45 minutes on the treadmill. Come hell or high water.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Foolish choices


So, I got up this morning with the best intentions. Start the day with a nice bowl of Special K and a banana (just like all the women in Shape Magazine). One major problemo-no milk. Oh, ok, toast is good, but then I have this great semolina bread, which tastes great toasted and slathered with butter. One meal out the window.

Next, I head out to take my 5 year old for a haircut and run some errands. I promise myself that I will have a salad for lunch. Next thing you know, I am chowing down on Steak Tips and a baked potato at Longhorn. What the hell is the matter with me?
I tried on bathing suits for Cancun this morning. That was a nightmare. I look like a sausage in every single one of them. I might just be wearing that mu-mu in Mexico. You would think that would be enough to keep my hands off the sour cream, but all evidence is to the contrary.
So tonight, I am going to do 45 minutes on the treadmill and 15 minutes of yoga. At least I can keep moving even if I have the crappiest resolve on the planet.
what's a girl to do.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

It's a new year! Here we go

Happy New Year. It's time for resolutions, commitments and renewals. Most of which will be broken within approximately 5.2 weeks. But not this year for me baby! My 1/2 marathon quest has just begun and I have only been on the treadmill twice this week, but man, I am committed! Or perhaps I should be committed. Today, I am working on my training plan. I have a pretty significant hangover from way way way too much champagne (and a few marlboro lights) last night. Shame on me. I think that kind of behavior must serve as an inspiration. (OK, Jill, that's not what you want to do in order to achieve your goals) It's my little version of aversion therapy. God, if that isn't the world's biggest rationalization, I don't know what is.
Any-who, here I sit, on the precipice of change. The key will be not to let life get in the way. Easier said than done. Scoot, Scoot Waddle