Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Junking Day #2, or No Mean People

I purposely scheduled some time off this week and next to catch up and have a little fun. Today was overcast in the morning and chilly. A perfect day to visit a couple of local antique and hand craft stores.  Join me as I roam a couple of neat places.

My first stop was the phone store. I had to replace the plastic cover on the glass of my cell phone. You can guess, can't you? Jessie ate it off. Luckily no damage to the cell phone. She just loves small electronics. I usually go to Verizon in Park Selwyn Terrace as they have great service.

And right next store is City Art Works. This store is filled with local crafts. I wanted one of everything.

City Art Works in the Park Selwyn Terrace at
Woodlawn and Park, Charlotte

No mean people!

Here is a book just for my friend Jane. With a forward by the Village People. So cute!

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'll be calling you mom!

I really think I will go back for this hand towel. Isn't it adorable? Totally hand stitched.

My next stop was Oak Street Mill Antiques in Cornelius, NC. 

Oak Street Mill in downtown Cornelius, NC.
Here's a cute vintage Collie statue I found. OK I bought it - - just $8.

I would like to find a chippy sideboard for my carport so I'm always looking at bargain furniture.  This dresser isn't a sideboard but I liked the finish. The child's sideboard next to it was also adorable.

Around the side of Oak Street Mill are some other shops including The Dry Sink. Pretty things here as well.

My fellow blogger Alison at The Polohouse would like this vase.

Love this towel or coat rack. I got one for the hall bath. No more folding towels, yay.

And here was a very pretty layer. The greens and blues were very pretty. She was hard to resist, but I did.

As I shopped the day turned sunny and warmer. Perhaps junking brings good weather?

Thanks for joining me and have a scratchy day!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Default Future

This Week

In less than a month, I will be undergoing weight loss surgery.  As promised, I will occasionally update you on how I'm doing and some of the details of the experience.

Why am I doing this? There are many reasons. To tell all those reasons I need to take you on a journey of change.

I recently finished the book Change Anything by Kerry Patterson.  This ground-breaking work culminates years of research into effective change. It describes the tactics and learnings from people who achieve permanent and significant change in their lives, others lives and in the world at large.

Patterson sums up six sources or tactics of influencing change. Here is how they related to me as I read the book.

Change Anything by Kerry Patterson et al.
Easy read, excellent research.
  1. I learned that change is not more willpower; that's the willpower trap, according to Patterson. It is a matter of skill.  Skill not will.
  2. I also read about loving what you hate which is seeing past the problem to a better future. "Yay, " is what I say on this.
  3. And I looked at my default future. That is what my future will be if I don't change. This is a huge one! It plays into my reasons for surgery. More on this below.
  4. I saw how I need to tell the whole vivid story. Which is what I will do as time goes on here. In the story I need to really search myself and use value words. 
  5. Patterson's research shows that to change you need to mark off achievements, make the change a game or somehow celebrate the small steps.
  6. And finally he recommends you create a personal motivation statement, again with value words.

There is ample explanation of the six areas or tactics you can use to achieve change in the book.  I highly recommend Change Anything if there is something in your life that you want to change or if you just want to be a more effective person in your job or at home.

Back to my reasons. I looked at my default future.

I didn't imagine it either. I REALLY SAW what could happen to me if I do not modify my weight issue.

I have a former friend whose husband has lost both feet below the knee.  They had to be amputated due to diabetes.  This is truly scary. But there is more. This guy is a poster-boy for change.

  • He did not and still does not control his food choices.
  • He continues to drink sodas and eat sugar-laden processed food.
  • He self-medicates with insulin and frequently ends up in the hospital due to coma, heart or breathing issues. 
  • He has a trachea due to heart and lung implications of his diabetes.
  • He sleeps on an air bed due to bed sores which won't heal, again due to diabetes.
  • He is now experiencing neuropathy in his hands and arms. 
  • He used a motorized wheel chair until recently. He is too weak to pull himself up to get into it any longer.
  • He recently had his gall bladder out. Contrary to what we think is almost routine gall bladder surgery, his was high-risk because of all the other issues he also has, like high blood pressure.
  • How old do you think this man is? He is 63 years old.

This is just a short list of his problems; however they all come back to food. At the start of his diabetes 30 years ago, he said he stayed around 300 lbs most of the time. I have talked to him and he believes he cannot change.  I pray for him and his wife, who is his caregiver.

How does this relate to me? Well it scares the pants right off of me. It's my reason for wanting this weight off.

I can see that is is MY default future if I can't find a solution. I am already borderline diabetic. I take blood pressure medication. What could be next? I don't know and I don't want to find out.

And that is one major reason why I want to have weight loss surgery. I am 57 now and I want to live a long and more importantly, healthy, life.  I hope Patterson would think that is a good personal motivation statement.

Let's Do The Numbers

Weight today - 258

Shot of me today.  I'll try to put a new photo up for each entry.

Have a great day!

Monday, March 19, 2012

My Love Affair With Roosters

I have decided that my love of rooster art is a disease. I think I caught from my grandmother and great aunt Helen. Way back, when they would go antiquing they were always drawn to this folk art medium. I was with them lots of times so - happily - it infected me too! 

Rooster items add color and presence to any room. Their body form is fluid and softens hard lines. I started loving and collecting roosters without even knowing it, even before I was married.  I have had some so long I could not tell you when or where I got them.  I feel instant happiness when I see a pretty rooster item.

A stone clucker seen at Sleepy Poet Antique Mall

Besides being a decor assessory now, roosters were - - and are - - an important part of rural life.  The crow of the rooster begins every farm day. It has been the natural alarm clock for millenia.

Plus, if a farm had a rooster and a layer hen, the farmer and family would never starve.

Lennox rooster who rules one of my china cabinets.

Roosters get a bad rap for being mean;  however you want a fairly mean rooster to keep your hens safe.  Foxes, raccoons, snakes and other egg loving predators are quickly deterred by a protectful rooster.

Color, color, color. Brighten a room with this rooster seen at Sleepy Poet.

Our fine-feathered friend also has a rich symbolism.  Rooster symbol meanings are all about fanning out with brilliance, and showing the world the shimmering facets of their (and your) personality.

Most cultures embrace the rooster as a sun symbol and a sign of illumination. Some cultures however, inscribe the Rooster with underworld meanings. Specifically, the cock served as a messenger of the Underworld, screeching out warnings in danger, and calling out for the souls of the fallen in battle. 

Another china rooster atop a corner china cabinet. I think he looks lonely
but I'm not sure how to finish this corner.

Roosters are also associated with:
  • Pride
  • Honesty
  • Courage
  • Vigilance
  • Arrogance
  • Strength
  • Watchfulness
  • Flamboyance

The Greeks believed the rooster saluted the sun every morning with a hearty cry, symbolizing victory over night.

A trio of boys at Sleepy Poet.

In the New Testament, the rooster or cock is noted for crowing three times while St. Peter denied Christ. As such, it became a symbol for Christ’s passion.  And later it came to symbolize the repentance of St. Peter and religious vigilance as well as resurrection.

To this day the rooster seen on a weathervane is steeped in symbolic meanings that deal with watchful vigilance against evil. Rooster weathervanes are commonly seen atop churches, homes and barns.

In the Chinese zodiac, the cock is a symbol of honesty, as well as physical and moral fortitude. It signifies fortune, luck, fidelity, protection as well as bossiness.

Rooster serving as backsplash to my stove.

The bossiness part is right up my alley.

Japanese Shinto followers consider roosters sacred and they are permitted to run free amongst their temples. 

Today in Key West, Florida, roosters can also be seen walking freely amongst yards in Old Town. That is because roosters love termites and can eat several thousand a day. With termites a constant pest in tropical areas, roosters are a valuable and natural termite control.  

I hope you enjoyed this trip around rooster lore and some of my favorite rooster items. 

Do you have a favorite motif or folk art item? 

What does it signify to you and to others?

Please share with your comment to this post.  I will read and respond to all! 

Have a scratchy day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


You could have blown me down last week. 
I got a phone call out of the blue from
 Brandi at The Blushing Bakeshop.

Brandi at her main counter.

Brandi, it seems, had purchased a card of mine at
 Consignments on South.
A cupcake card, of course.
And she wanted to talk to me about cupcake cards.

Needless to say, I was so happy and excited.
Her store and bakery is so cute!
And her cupcakes are to DIE for!
The Blushing Bakeshop is in Ballentyne Village. 
Great spot in a very cute and
convenient center.

Would I meet with her and set up a
consignment agreement?


Some of the displays at Blurshing Bakery. Brandi also has
cute handmade aprons.

I took some different cards - - including
 cupcake 3x3 gift cards
and a display that LSH
 (long suffering husband) made for me.
We had a wonderful morning brainstorming.

 I promised to be back in a few days
 to see the display.

And here it is! She did a wonderful job!

My distressed chicken wire picture frame. Uses Ikea curtain hooks and small
clothes pins to fasten cards. LSH put the chicken wire in for me.

A close up of a couple of the small gift cards.
After some of the 
current cards are sold, I will focus
 on just cupcake cards and holidays. 

Two small gift cards: a 3.5x2.5 and a 3x3.
Brandi sells and beautifully wrapped individual cupcakes to go.
These will be great to put on the top of the box.
It looked like some cards had already sold. Yay!
I'm looking forward to making more cards for Brandi

and her beautiful cupcake bakery.

Stop in and see her soon and get a
YUMMY cupcake!

Have a scratchy day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Different Direction

I am going in a different direction from my usual blog posts today.  I wanted to let you know about my decision to go for weight loss surgery.

I think I'm an apple. The more dangerous one!

Yep. I'm doing the ultimate. The thing that really works. Here's what I have already done to lose weight in my life. Promise you won't cringe?

  1. The Phen-Fen combo back when it was legal. I was in my early twenties. Don't remember what I lost but I was a fox!
  2. Weight Watchers after I got back to the states after getting married. Lost 36 pounds and kept it off until my late thirties. This required lots of effort from me. I became OCD about it.
  3. Phen-Fen again (soup form this time) when I was in my late thirties. Again lost about 30 lbs. Foxy again.
  4. Dietician visits. She was great but I didn't see a lot of change going on.
  5. The food pyramid. It's not all it's cracked up to be. Be very careful
    of if you are overweight!
  6. Orlistat. God! What a mess!  ' Nuff said.
  7. Meridia.  I took this for about 18 months until about last May. Now here's one that works but the FDA took it off the market!
    OK so I only really like the milk part!
  9. Metformin.  I still take this for borderline diabetes. Just to be on the safe side. But it can also be  problematic because it upsets my tummy sometimes. I just lowered the dose on the advice of my fat doctor.
  10. Fentermine again by itself last year. This is an amphetamine-like (not a real ampetamine) drug. It blew up my anxiety issues and I was the wicked witch of the west. Can't do that and stay married.
  11. Topamax (topiramate). This is a migraine medication which fat doctors use to also control appetite. It's an off-label use but pretty wide spread. It really didn't help me much. But I have a friend who gets bad migraines and was overweight. She takes it and has lost 85 lbs so far.
  12. Bariatric monitoring. My fat doctor < -- which I call him with all due respect. I've been seeing him for about 2 years now. He has been fabulous and really works with me on combinations and support.
The "rule" in the United States is that you need to be seeing a bariatric endocrinologist for at least 18 months before considering surgery. So this decision is two years in the making for me. My fat doctor and I discussed it in January and decided it was time to look into the possibility then.

It's now March and decision made! Now I will re-learn eating with the help of a much smaller stomach, one about the size of a banana. 

The size of my stomach when my surgery is done.

This will be a journey and an adventure. My family is behind me and my LSH (Long Suffering Husband) is totally on board. I love that guy!

Star Jones before and after. Hope I can a photo
like this with you in the future. 

I'll post more detail and what I'm doing to get ready and more important, my personal reasons to lose this weight. Hope you'll join me from time to time. Have a scratchy day!