Weight Loss Wednesday: The Beginning


I'm not getting any younger and by the looks of things, my derriere is not getting a whole lot smaller sitting at my laptop blogging ...so, today I am telling the world (or at least my 25 followers) that I am committing myself to losing twenty pounds of unwanted fat. There. I've said it. 

That's 80 sticks of butter...

About four average sized newborns...

Or five adorable Pomeranians...

 I digress.

Any way... 20 lbs is not just a drop in the fat-burning bucket so my plan is to track my progress publicly via "It's Always Something" on my new column... "Weight Loss Wednesdays".  

"Weight Loss Wednesdays" will include how much weight I've lost and what I did to do it.

I found a free website (that is not paying me to advertise for them) called Sparkpeople.com. They have an App as well called Diet and Food Tracker

If you enter your current weight and how much you want to lose, they'll tell you how many calories you should eat daily in order to get to your goal. Depending on how many pounds per week you want to lose, they'll even calculate when you will reach your goal as well. I should reach mine by Sept. 7th.

Entering your food intake is easy and they tell you how many calories you've consumed as well as how many you have left! 

This may not be rocket science, but for a self-diagnosed obsessive-compulsive sort like me, this is Nirvana.

So, according to Sparkpeople, I need to eat between 1220 and 1550 calories per day. Exercise should be geared towards burning 217 calories daily.

I, being the over-achiever that I am got on the Elliptical today for 1/2 hour and burned a staggering 397 calories!

Now the trick to all this is consistency. That's where you come in. Tell me you are keeping an eye on me. Better yet - join me. C'mon. Who's in?

My Sweet Addiction


It all started innocently enough when word leaked to the press of the recipe for Prince William's Groom's Cake...

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

1 pkg (8.8 oz) McVitie's® chocolate digestives tea biscuits or rich tea biscuits
1 1/3 cups Cadbury's Royal Dark Chocolate (8 oz)
2/3 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup Cadbury's Royal Dark Chocolate  (4 oz)
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon butter

1.  Line a 6- or 8-inch round cake pan with foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Break each of the biscuits into 1-inch pieces; set aside.

2.  In medium bowl, place 1 1/3 cup chocolate; set aside. In 1-quart saucepan, heat 2/3 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat, stirring until butter is melted and mixture comes to a boil. Pour cream mixture over chocolate and stir smooth.

3.  Add biscuit pieces to chocolate mixture, gently fold until all pieces are coated. Spoon into the prepared cake pan. Gently press mixture into pan. Refrigerate cake for 3 hours or until firm.

4.  Remove cake from cake pan and turn upside down onto a serving plate. Remove foil. In small bowl place remaining 2/3 cup chocolate. In 1-quart saucepan, heat remaining 1/3 cup whipping cream and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat, stirring until butter is melted and mixture comes to a boil. Pour cream mixture over chocolate and stir smooth. Pour the melted chocolate over the cake; frost top and sides using a butter knife or offset spatula.

If desired, decorate with melted milk chocolate.
"McVitie's® chocolate digestives tea biscuits" and "Cadsbury's® Royal Dark Chocolate" were not all that hard to find in Dallas. On my first attempt, I found both at 'World Market'. The kicker was that all Cadbury's Chocolate was on sale...5 for $5.

Flashback. 1964. A chubby Canadian kid.. Memories of the unbelievable creaminess combined with the subtle sweetness of Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate hit my taste-bud memory cells like a tidal wave and I was hooked, all over again.

On April 28th, 2011, I bought 2 Dark Chocolate bars and 3 Dairy Milks. The beginning of the end.

I understand that one of the first steps in recovery is admitting your addiction. I have craved a Dairy Milk 'fix' daily since The Royal Wedding.

Yes, there have been days where I have resisted the powerful call of the chocolate beast but my strength has wavered all too often. So. I've decided to go "Cold Turkey"..
I have been clean and Dairy Milk chocolate- free for 5 days now.

Spooky Stuff

The Brown Lady
This infamous ghost set the bench mark for the supernatural back in 1936.
According to legend, this ghostly lady, who haunts Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England, is the spirit of Lady Townshend. The Lady of the manor was never allowed out of the house by her overbearing husband, Lord Charles Townshend in life, and so haunted the house in her death too.
(Borrowed from www.toptenz.net/top-10-famous-ghosts.php)
Do you believe in ghosts? UFO's? The supernatural? Life after death?

I'm on the fence, but I tend to lean on the side towards 'believing'.

Household debates on this topic usually end up as a stalemate as I have chosen a partner who sits on the other side of the aforementioned fence. Although we tend to agree to disagree, our positions balance one another and make for interesting conversation.

Regarding spooky stuff, he requires "scientific proof".

Puhleeese. Anybody out there who has seen an episode or two of  "Ghost Hunters" would be convinced...but not my fella.

My "pro" argument is that not all things in our world have been scientifically proven --- yet.

We are less than a speck of dust in our own galaxy, I question how we can be so arrogant to think of ourselves as 'all that'?
One of these galaxies is our very own Milky Way
Somewhere in the Milky Way is Earth

I then proceed with the not-yet -proven parallel universe theory. That usually closes down the conversation. Quantum Physics is way over my head and he knows it.

What do you think? Any "close encounters" or "experiences"?  I would love to hear from you, thereby adding fuel to my fire.

What's In A Name?


 Not long ago, while creating our Will, my husband cleverly filled in "debateable" where "spouse's name" should have been.

OK. So it's been fourteen years since we married and I still haven't got around deciding what my name will be...
'Joan Young' has worked for all things professional.
'Joan Spotswood' has been good for all things social.
'Joan Young Spotswood' covers most anything else, but is a mouthful.

I've not yet ventured into hyphenation. Once you 'hyphen' you can never go back.

My husband is good with any name that I choose. His only request is that I pick one.

Where I've run into a few name snags along the way is when I can't for the life of me, remember what name I've most recently used for ...the dry cleaners, my hair appointments, the Dr's office etc.

As a cocky young ER nurse, I recall more than one occasion where I would roll my eyes when faced with a patient's ID band not matching their Medical Record then woefully exclaiming..."Ya think these people would just pick a name and stick to it".

I've joined the ranks of "these people."

The Professional Porch Sitters Union


Who knew???  An established "Union" with my name written all over it.

Union Headquarters was founded in Louisville, Kentucky 1999 by avid porch sitter, Claude Stephens aka 'Crow Hollister'. PPSU Local 1339.

According to Stephens/Hollister, "Starting your own chapter of PPSU is simple. You simply declare yourself a local chapter, pick a number to represent your Local Chapter identity and then sit back with friends and neighbors to celebrate with an interesting story or two. Meetings can be called at any time by any member and attendance is optional."

The PPSU Motto? They don't have one...just a suggestion..."Sit Down a Spell. That can wait"

Although I have no idea of exactly how the Professional Porch Sitters Union really started, 'making up' the way in which this organization was first established would be encouraged and in keeping with typical Professional Porch Sitter mentality...Chances are good that Mr. Hollister was sitting on his front porch, "chewing the fat" with a fellow porch sitter when PPSU's Rules and Regulations were defined...
  • No Rules
  • No Regulations
  • No Agendas
  • No Dues
  • No Committees
  • No Scheduled Meetings
  • No Membership requirements
  • No Meeting Minutes
I understand that when 'Porch Sitters' unite, common meeting topics of discussion may include...

  • "Can one hummingbird really keep all the others from feeding at "his" feeder?"
  • "Is it legal to shoot squirrels with BB Guns in the city?"
  • "Sure is hot"
  • "You think we're going to get any rain?"
  • "Is it more relaxing to rock in the rocking chair or to swing in the swing?" 
  • "Does it take more energy to argue about who will go get more lemonade than it does to just get up and go get it?"
    No porch? According to NPR's "All Things Considered" a porch is not a place, but a state of mind. That being said... a stoop, a step or a deck will do. I'm thinking even a curb would be fine.
    Where to sign up? No place. Just give yourself a Local number and there you have it. You're a member. Somebody else has your local number? Who cares? They can be your sister/brother chapter.
    Need a Membership card? Make one up.

    Ahhhhh, my kind of Union

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