Monthly Archives: March 2012
My weight loss journey has been, in some ways, abysmally slow. I’m pretty sure I am averaging one pound a month lost. At this rate it will take another almost two years to get to my goal weight. At the very least I may learn some patience by the time this is over!
Another thing I’ve learned is that weight loss is many times psychological as much as it is physical. As I get closer to 150 (1.5 more pounds to go) it has become harder and harder to lose the weight. I realized that 150 is the weight I have been most of my adult life – the weight I find myself most comfortable at emotionally. But why?
For me, it comes down to attention. At a certain weight, I become just another nondescript mom that blends into the crowd. I don’t have to worry about wearing makeup or saying the right thing. I disappear in a crowd of people and that’s okay with me. I know this may seem difficult to believe since I regularly throw up my innermost thoughts on this blog, but I really am a very shy person. My family likes to say I have a pathological fear of attention.
I have decided to redouble my efforts. If I can write a blog and even start writing a book, then I can lose the fear of being thin too. I want to be healthy and to look good more than I want crispy chicken skin (I do love chicken skin.) So I ordered some new exercise videos and started tracking my food again (I’m close on calories, but lately the quality of food I’ve been eating has gone downhill). I figured out how to cheat and not gain weight. Which means I’m not getting the nutrition I need. So bye bye chicken skin and hello boneless, skinless, chicken breasts. Bye Bye Cheez-its and hello carrot sticks with hummus. Bye bye 150s and hello 140s. I will see you very soon!!
Oh – and today’s my birthday!!!!
Someone gave us a bunch of slightly bruised apples. None of us will eat a bruised apple plain, so I pondered what to do with them for a couple of days. I thought about applesauce and apple butter, but I wasn’t really in the mood for canning. These are tart green apples, so I decided to make an apple crisp (I’ll post that recipe next time). The apple crisp only used about half the apples, so I turned to an apple pie to use up the rest. But a regular apple pie needed more apples than I had left, Then I found this recipe. Betty Crocker calls it apple wrapper pie, but my version is Foldover Apple Pie. It freezes very well!!
one pie crust dough (I used store bought dough, but you can make your own if you want)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups thinly sliced, peeled tart apples (about 4 medium)
1 Tbsp butter
granulated sugar, if desired
- Heat oven to 425F. Place pastry dough on large ungreased cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap to keep it moist while making filling.
- Mix brown sugar and flour in large bowl. Stir in apples. Mound apple mixture in center of pastry to within 3 inches of edge. Cut butter into small pieces, sprinkle over apples. Fold edge of pastry over apples, making pleats so it lays flat. Sprinkle pastry with sugar, if desired.
- Now, you can either bake it for 30-35 minutes or freeze it. To freeze, I placed the pie on a square of waxed paper, then set it in a ziploc bag and sucked most of the air out. A few days later, I took it out of the freezer, removed the bag and waxed paper, set it on a baking sheet and baked it in a preheated 425F oven for 10 minutes. Then I turned the oven down to 375F and baked it for an additional 25 minutes, until golden brown.
This makes 4 good size servings or 8 smallish servings. I’m not going to put nutritional counts here, but they’re not too bad – probably a little high in sodium if you use the store bought crust, but under 300 calories if you go for the 8 servings per pie instead of 4.
When Boo was a little guy, he went to my Aunt Carol’s house for daycare while I was at work. There was a little girl there, Candace, who liked to hit when she got angry. Often I would enter the house to pick up Boo and see Aunt Carol talking to Candace, who was sitting in the corner. Aunt Carol was usually saying “Use your words, Candace. Use your words.”
As adults, we still sometimes have a problem knowing how to act when negative emotions overwhelm us. A few of us may still lash out physically (hopefuly, a very few). Some of us use our words as a weapon to retaliate against those who we believe have hurt us. And some of us shut down and either refuse to talk or just can’t seem to get the words out.
If you’re one of the people in the first category – please go back to the end of the first paragraph, and may I also highly recommend anger management classes? Physical violence is not the answer.
If you are a person who uses their words as a weapon, think before you speak. Many times we filter current conversations through past experiences. For example, you were excluded from play groups as a child, so when your invitation goes missing for an event all your friends were invited to, you assume you were deliberately left out. Art said this to me once and we have passed it along to our kids: “You know that I love you and I would never deliberately hurt your feelings.” So before you lash out or “strike back” think if what you are hearing or experiencing is actually what the other person intended.
For those of us who “shut down” (myself included), “use your words” is still good advice. Sometimes, taking a walk to clear your head will help you think more clearly. If you can’t verbalize what’s wrong, try to describe your feelings. Are you scared, angry, hurt?
At least if you express your feelings, that is a starting place to begin a dialogue. Another great quote from Art is “How can I know what’s going on in your head if you don’t tell me?”
Aunt Carol’s advice of “Use your words” is sound advice for all of us, adults and kids.
Curse of the Egyptian Goddess
October 31, 2011
About the book:
Emma Patrix has kept herself in a drunken stupor for ten years, trying to block out her curse – the curse that killed her family and has prevented her from connecting with other people. When the curse takes Chad, the one man she allowed herself to get close to, Emma sobers up and heads to Egypt to find the one who may be able to break the curse.
I am a mild Egypt buff (have seen the King Tut exhibit twice) and have always been fascinated by the era of pharaohs, pyramids and the pantheon of ancient Egyptian religion, so I really looked forward to reading this book. The novella was such a fun read. It’s not deep or thought-provoking, but it contains just the right amount of light banter, sexual tension and suspense to be thoroughly entertaining. I especially enjoyed the twists and turns the story took.
About the Author:
Lisa Rayns lives in a small town in South Dakota. She gave up working with explosives to write paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels, so her occupation hasn’t changed much. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and two adorable Siamese cats.
An Interview with Lisa Rayns:
TM: Your niche seems to be the paranormal and vampires. Curse of the Egyptian Goddess is an urban fantasy. What gave you the idea and did you enjoy the change of pace?
LR: I flourish in the vampire realm but with the novella I wanted to fully test the waters in Indy publishing. This gave me a lot of freedom to be creative. I had also just finished a psychology paper on Cleopatra so my mind settled on an Egyptian curse. I really did enjoy the change of pace and I don’t believe any writer should be bogged down to one genre. Romance, however, is a high priority for me. Without it, what’s the point? hehe
TM: What is your “other” job? How do you balance writing with your roles as parent, spouse and employee?
LR: I’m a full-time author, mother, and wife. My family has been so supportive and helpful. When I decided to write the novella my kids said a story about an Egyptian curse would be cool. Helpful, right?
TM: What is your best advice for getting past writer’s block?
LR: Movies. Honestly, take a break if your mind is telling you to take a break. I watch movies that interest me until my brain says, “Shut the darn TV off and go back to writing!” It works for me. I can only watch so much before I need my laptop again.
TM: Please tell me about your upcoming projects.
LR: Oh, this is my favorite part! Wanted: Vampire (Free Blood) is ready to go and I’m awaiting the release date from the publisher. I’m working on the second book in this series while another stand-alone novel of mine is being reviewed by the publisher. I have a short story in the anthology Cupid Painted Blind which will be out this month. I even have a psychological thriller in the works if I ever make it back to that.
I was not compensated in any way for this review. I did receive a review copy of the book. However, my opinions are my own.