Calling All Apples

The dreaded triathlon swim was last weekend.


I survived. No, no, no – better than that! I did pretty darn well, considering I’ve a) Never competed in anything ending in -athlon before, b) become firmly entrenched in the 40+ age range, and c) been sporting a muffin-top to beat all muffin-tops for the better part of a decade.

And, it’s that last one that I feel the need to address.


For all the world to see.

But first… You know how you sometimes think you don’t look half bad? And perhaps you’ve even been working toward some fitness goal and are therefore convinced that you might even be looking pretty good?  And you live in your perfectly crafted delusional world for as long as it takes for someone to snap photographic evidence declaring quite the opposite?



An unfortunate side effect of All The Devil Dogs is, apparently, a spare tire.

Around one’s middle.

This picture below?  I’m putting it out there.  My friend Janet is grinning on my right.  She’s the toad friend who made me swim laps with her every day to prepare.

I’ll “spare” you the bottom half of the picture. Just know that I am now well aware of the effects of all of my Devil Doggery.


Here’s the thing – I’m a textbook apple shape.  I’m talking, circle resting on toothpicks, People! I’ve always been that way. Even when I was at my leanest, I was a more slender kind of apple. Is there such a thing?

Well, I’m calling all my apple friends! If you don’t already know, we have the most dangerous body type, as it relates to obesity and heart disease.  Decreasing our weight as little as 5 pounds can provide amazing health benefits. Working off even 5% of our body fat can extend our life span significantly!

I know this.

And yet, I’ve still managed to run around town ignoring the ever-expanding inner tube around my waist.

No more!

Seeing that picture of my waist, even if it was while marching down to a quarter mile swim, scared me straight.

As in, rectangular.

Yup. I’m aiming to change my shape.

I’m setting some goals and giving myself plenty of time to slowly meet them. I’m going to make some dietary changes (no Devil Dogs will be harmed in this process). I’m going to add in some (some – let’s not get too crazy, now) consistent exercise each week.

And, God-willing, change will take place.

Yes indeedy. I’m going to work on becoming less circle-y and more oval-y. Any other shapes want to join me?

First order of business is to get a food plan going.  What works (or has worked) for you in the past?  Share in the comments.

What Does This Present Say About Me?

We did this around here, this weekend.


Also? The table apparently borrowed some legs from the chair. It happens.

Apparently, I need a place to get my chatty on, my happy needs more hours (hat tip to The Nana), and I like to eat cake alone.

Sounds about right.

That “gossip bench” is thanks to a sweet friend who refinishes furniture to look all sorts of pretty.  I’ve been salivating over casually eyeballing this chatty cathy for the better part of the month.  I thought she had sold it! But no; she’d made arrangements, sneaky SWEET friend, with Sweetman, to leave it for me inside the house while we were out on Saturday.  Only, this happened:


And, that’s a true friend, right there, folks.  You know why?  She makes a mean salsa! But, the recipe calls for lots of white onion.  And raw white onion and my stomach are mortal enemies.  Plus, any chance of a smooch from the hubs after ingesting onions goes right. down. the. drain.  Along with the contents of my stomach. And, I really don’t think there’s anything else to tell you about that. You’re welcome.

On another note, those flowers up there have a sweet back story. My Gramma has sent me flowers in a tea-cup every year for 26 years now.  It’s a beautiful tradition that I look forward to every year. Ahab and The Nana house a few of them down in Florida, I’ve got a dozen in storage, and we’ve got enough in our house right this minute, that I could throw one heck-uv-a tea party! Anyone up for a cuppa?

In other news, we have some interesting new phrases around this house.  One goes a little something like this: “Oh Glordy!”

The first time I heard Sweetgirl utter this, I was confused, as you can imagine.

“What is glordy?”, I asked her.

“You know, mama! You say it all the time!”, she replied.

What’s that now?

“Do you mean, ‘Glory’? Or do you mean ‘Good Lord’?”, I asked. (Let it be known that I am nailing the Whatchamacallit Speak she’s been doing lately.)

“Yes.” (Why does the child have to be short on words when I need her not to be?)

Alrighty then.

Sweetboy, also taught me a new phrase.

“I used your toothpaste, Mama. And it was so minty that it brought tears for my eyes.”, he informed me with, sure enough, tears in his eyes.

“Oh. I see it made your eyes tear up.”.  (I like to clarify things when I can.)

“No. It brought tears for my eyes.”, he insisted.

If you insist, child.

We also capped the weekend with a delicious meal with friends.  They cooked an authentic Italian “meat sauce” for pasta. It was delicious and filled with homemade meatballs and sausage and pork. It had Sweetman reminiscing about the Glordy days with all of his Aunts every Sunday growing up in Rhode Island.  It nearly brought tears for his eyes, I tell ya.

Yes indeedy!

What were you up to this weekend?  And, maybe more importantly, anyone got a mean salsa recipe that doesn’t require any (or much) onion???

A Status Report

One day!

I leave for Allume in ONE DAY!

Have I packed?


Have I bought a box of devil dogs for the journey.  I surely have!

And that’s really all I have to report on that.  Hopefully, by the time This Rockin’ Mama gets her keester over here to spend the night, I’ll be packed.  Since we, you know, fly out at six. in. the. morning.  For those of you keeping score, that’s One Early Morning Rise!

Lord, be near! (Especially to my alarm clock, Lord. Imma gonna need ya.)

I wanted to update you on the Kids Agenda I wrote about the other day. Sweetman decided the notes weren’t enough. Tonight he presented me with a whole new kind of Special.

I give you… this:


The fun never ends around here.






At this point, I think it’s safe to assume that you all realize the importance of prayer to the success of this launch. Right?

Thank you.

I Like To Guzzle Hot Tea

After it has completely cooled and almost every positive effect has worn off, I like to guzzle hot tea. Clarification – it is good.

Sweetman decided, approximately 12 months ago (not that I’m keeping track – because love never does that), to introduce a cup of hot green tea to our evenings together.  And he was determined to add it to both of our nightly routines.

I must give him props for this.  He married the girl who is also in love with The Devil Dog (Oh, my sweet Devil Dog – you have finally returned to me!) It was a mighty undertaking on his part.

I wasn’t sold on the idea, at first.  I mean, we’re talking about something that threatened to come between me and my other nightly ritual, which is decidedly unhealthy.  Not on my watch, people. Not. On. My. Watch.

Not one to give up easily, however, Sweetman made himself two cups each night and plunked one just close enough to me that I could easily grab a hold of it, should I get the wild hair to do so.

He’s wily, that one.

You see, he also assailed me with articles and studies about the benefits of drinking hot green tea.  Of course, he knew good and well that he had me from the moment he explained how a cup of green tea can potentially erase the negative effects of one of my beloved Devil Dogs.

I wisely decided to give the hot green tea a go.

And, SHOCKER! I didn’t hate it. (I try to keep things positive around here.)

So now, I sometimes have two cups of green tea a day, depending on the kind of day it’s been.  Some of you know exactly what I’m talkin’ about here, don’t you! I did the math, you see.  1 devil dog + 1 cup of green tea = 0(Aren’t my math skills somethin’?)

To recap, a steaming cup of hot green tea is set before me each night by the one who loves me.  And, my heart is forever grateful.

Yes indeedy.


Are you a tea drinker?  Got any delicious flavors or brands to share? I’m all ears… now. 

It’s a Good Day When…

So, you may remember that Sweetgirl took off for Kindergarten yesterday. I survived. She thrived.


Pretty great story, huh?

But wait! There’s more…

I was cleaning out the refrigerator and  freezer (because HELLO! You can totally do things like that when the house is quiet.  Don’t ask me why the house has to be quiet for me to be able to clean out a fridge.  I don’t understand it either.  But it does. And it was. ) And a couple of interesting things happened.

First of all, I know you are So Stinkin Stoked to read on.  Who wouldn’t want to know more about what some random person that you “know” on the Internet found while cleaning out their fridge and freezer.  I mean, could it get any better than that??


So, while cleaning out the fridge, I came across this lovely thing:

Cracked_Up_Fridge_MissindeedyNow, my fingers were Oh So Glad that they didn’t find this before my eyes did. Since I am prone to passing out at the sight of my own blood; and I was home alone at the time… Are you tracking me? I could have bled out, for crying out loud! And we’ll just leave it at that.  God is good.

Moving on…

I found something truly special, though, stashed in one of Sweetman’s frosty mugs in the freezer.  Not. Even. Kidding. And I know he didn’t put them there, because he doesn’t even like these things. I blame genetic free-fall for forgetting I’d hidden them there.  I don’t even care how long they’ve been in hiding.  They are mine. All mine.


Guess what mama’s havin’ for dessert tonight?!?  Thin Mints, I heart thee. Oh, yes indeedy!

AND AND AND, Sweetman just leaned over and delivered The Most Delicious piece of news! DRAKE’S IS COMING BACK IN SEPTEMBER!  People! This is a miracle of epic proportions! My beloved Devil Dogs are coming back!  Back from the dead! They are coming back for me! (No exclamation points were harmed in the making of this paragraph.  Overused? Yes.  Harmed? No.)

I could die happy.

After September, of course.

Happy Hump Day my friends! Your welcome.

Diet Math

I’ll keep it short and sweet.  My patience is thin and my brain is still working out the fuzzies.  Apparently, “carbo-loading” is only for athletes. Not for mothers of 4 year olds who insist they are 13 or 9 year olds who insist that 7 x 8 = 46, despite how many ways of Sunday you attempt to show them otherwise. Who knew?


I am attempting to detox from All Of The Deliciousness that took place last week.  We are leaving for Disney World in T minus 2 weeks and 3 days.  I feel it necessary to walk around the parks in something other than my largest pair of yoga pants and baggiest sweatshirt.  Who’s with me?


I have concocted the following formula to help me in this endeavor:



No, no, no.  I jest.  My formula is more along the lines of simply eradicating Devil Dogs from my diet.  I figure that should net me a 10 pound loss in 2 weeks.  Not unreasonable, right?(Believe me! If you could see the rate of my Devil Dog consumption of late?  You might be tempted to agree. Sadly…)


This mad-hatched formula was introduced on Sunday evening.  I’d like to state, for the record, that so far, everyone in my home is breathing and no one has threatened to turn me in to the Diet Police for infractions involving Devil Dogs.  It has required much restraint on my part. Just, you know… for the record. Oh, yes indeedy.


To recap:


Goodbye to these:

For now! Of course, only for now…


And hopefully, hello to a far friendlier number on the scale.  Soon.


Like, maybe tomorrow?


Too hopeful?

What healthy habits are you picking back up now that the Triptofan Oblivion has worn off?

Cruel Jokes, Surely

Some cruel jokes are taking place around here, lately.  Surely.


I give you, exhibit A:


The driver either looked excited to be getting off the highway or ecstatic to be getting away from our crazed looks.


Whereby, last week, just last week, I passed this truck getting off the exit ramp to go home. My children and I all gave the driver an oh-so-cheerful wave.  You know?  One of those “you drive the best truck ever because   our mama we would surely perish without the aid of your delicious products once a day in a blue moon” kinda looks?  Yeah. One of those.


But, never again.  If you haven’t yet heard the earth shattering news of my beloved Hostess Company‘s impending demise, please! Do not shoot the messenger.  While I did read, today, that The Twinkie will survive, that does nothing to assuage my deep sadness over the loss of my beloved Devil Dogs.


Then, there is exhibit B:


Wow. What incredibly tragic timing.


Really?  Really, Lands End?  I heart you.  I really do.  But, what in the name of all the Turkey in Heaven were you thinking sending out a bathing suit issue 3 stinkin’ days before Thanksgiving day?  I ask you.  Because, truly?  The last thing I’m interested in thinking about, before I head into Triptofan Oblivion, is what bathing suit I’d like to be wearing come June.  Word-a-Mercy!


And then, there is this:


Well-meaning? Yes. Useful? Nope.


Some dear sweet “Anonymous” friend left me a card in my mailbox with belated Birthday wishes and this gift card.  It is to PetSmart.  Unfortunately, we no longer have any pets.  I do not intend to buy a new one with this card.  And, I’m left to wonder, who in the world cares about me enough to drop a belated birthday card and yet not well enough to know that our pet has been gone from 4 months.  Puzzling, no?


However, hope springs eternal!  My Sweetman bravely went out to forage the grocery stores so that I would be kept in Devil Dogs at least through next week month.  He does love me so.  And he is wise, to boot!  (He also picked up a few of his own beloved Ring Dings.  Not my bag. Nor are the Coffee Cakes; but far be it from me to judge.)  And, lest you think I jest, I give you the final exhibit:


We are (were) an equal opportunity Drakes family.


That should hold us over for a few days weeks.  And for that, I am thankful.  Oh, yes indeedy!


Are you going to miss Hostess?  Which variety?   C’mon, you’re among friends here.  You can tell us…





Some Other Neat Things

Making lists is an awfully wonderful thing to do.  It’s awful because you now have ideas down in black and white forcing you to potentially take action.  It’s wonderful precisely because those thoughts are down in black and white and now there is no way your scatterbrained self can forget them.  Unless you lose the paper they’re written on.  Which is why blogs rock.  If I “lose” my computer, I have far worse issues to contend with…

All of this rattling on about nothing is leading to something.

I’ve been thinking about some other neat things that we like and/or use around here.  I thought I’d share. I’m friendly like that.

  • In an effort to cancel out the delightful harmful effects of my daily devil dog consumption, Sweetman has gotten me hooked on having a cup of piping hot decaf green tea with him each night before bed.  He figures it will at least balance out some of the “harm” done.  (He has NO room to judge – he with his Suzy Q’s sitting dangerously close to my Devil Dog!)  I’ve become quite a fan of Allegro Organic Decaf Green Tea.  Thank you Sweetman for keeping me somewhat healthy!
  • Wild Olive Tees.  If you’ve never been over to their site, run!  It’s got the cutest t-shirts for women and children.  Each shirt has a graphic on the front and a Bible Verse on the back.  We bought a “mini” one for Sweetgirl last year and that poor t-shirt needs to be retired in a big way.  But Sweetgirl is gonna fight that all the way to the donation bag.  Here’s a pic of the back of hers:
  • I can’t do  curry. Seriously.  I puke.  Involuntarily. I’m sorry, TMI, I know. (Which really is a double shame, because Sweetman’s best friend is Punjabi.  I wasn’t able to be anywhere within a two-mile radius of his wedding festivities throughout most of the wedding party weekend. Poor Sweetman had to literally change his clothes before entering the hotel room each night so as not to prompt The Puking.) So, why am I mentioning that?  I hesitate to display the range of my ignorance, but here goes…  I foolishly thought that Taboule had curry in it. Therefore, I’ve never attempted to try it.  Unbeknownst to me, while at a little housewarming party last month, I tried a dip that had Taboule in it.  And it was delicious!!! So, I’ve fallen a tad bit in love with the stuff.  I think I’ve had it with some pita chips for lunch once or twelve times this month.  Cedar’s Taboule is my favorite this minute.  But if you have a brand that you love and would like to share, please do! And, that’s a wrap.  It’s a gorgeous day here, so I’m off to play.  Enjoy!