Zombie Alert! Better safe than sorry....

In retrospect, today started out pretty well!

I got on my NEW scale and it told me that I was down about 8#s from what I thought! (at least 8#, but now that I have a scale, I can track it!)

I am also down 8 1/2 " from my measurements 3 weeks ago! Mostly on my thighs and hips...probably from all that walking/jogging! HUZZAH!

So that was a goodly start. Followed Harry to the engine repair shop and we dropped off his van for some work and then stopped in at the Auburn Family Restaurant for breakfast. I had a good breakfast.

It's a good thing to have a big hearty breakfast before a ZOMBIE ALERT day.


All the day was well, errands, bank, hair done, nail fix....you know....regular shite.
Got to work at the college for a short shift....same old, same old.
Working on registering a stack of Basketball camp registrations, answering phones, listening to Ren Radio, occasionally checking email....you know...regular shite.
It was a quiet night there tonight.

And DEN?

The POWER goes OFF.

BAM! I am sitting in total darkness at my desk.

Well, the office work was done for the day, and I proceeded to walk about, helping the police herd any students out for the evening. The power really never came back on. Once all the students had vacated the building, my supervisor and I left to leave as well. We went out to the "authorized only" parking lot to leave. How'ere, we couldn't leave, as the "gate" was electronic and wouldn't let us out. Now we were trapped.

Now I started to think about ZOMBIES.

I mean, it was a perfect scenario as I looked around the deserted parking lot that we were now trapped in. So I started looking for a back way out....
(Zombieland Rulle #22 "Always know your way out") and we ended up driving down the sidewalk and on the lawn and out the other side.

The traffic lights were all OFF. People were not doing well with the lack of direction. One man, (I swear he looked like Woody Harroldson) drove past me, too fast, too close and tried to clip me.
I swerved and he just barely missed me. He was driving like a mad man.
"ASSHOLE!" I yelled.
"Definately a looter" I thought. (Zombieland Rule #4 "Wear your seatbelt")

I stopped by the grocery store to "get supplies" for the pre-zombie invasion.
Here, where I live in Mulberry, R.F.D., all was well.....quiet....calm. No trace of the oncoming zombie onslaught.


I made a mental check of what I had at my disposal for weapons. (always good to know what's on hand in an emergency). Well, first off, I had my car. I could always run down the zombies with my car.
That could actually be fun. I had a full tank of gas.
Instrument and music stands in the trunk...perfect for removing heads. (Rule # 10  "Don't swing low" and  Rule #29 "Shoot first")

Shitload of weapons at home. Rennies are very well equipped in times like these. There are daggers, swords, crossbows, bodice daggers, knives, mace, spears....you know.... "PROPS" :)
Out in the garden shed, I remembered the hoe, cultivator rake, shovel and lawn trimmers, not to mention the chain saw and oh, ALL the myriad items in Harry's barn that I could invent with....
I felt better already. A bit more empowered.

I walked in and a couple was there picking up 16 gallons of milk, a cart full of bread and other sundry items.
"It's happening" I mused. (even if they were there picking up for the Food Pantry.)

What did I buy? What does everyone need in times of great need? Well, Harry needed beer and no zombie invasion is complete without a supply of toilet paper. I was careful not to get trapped in the aisle with the family with the cart at the end. (Dead end. You always want an escape path Rule #22- Always know your way out)

When checking out I told the checkout girl to "Be careful of the zombies"  She smiled. I said, "You laugh NOW...." and I looked both ways and left. I looked around the parking lot.

I was GLAD that I have been working out lately.
I felt like I could RUN if I had to. (Rule #20 "It’s a marathon, not a sprint, unless it’s a sprint, then sprint")
So I walked powerfully out to the car...(Rule #31 "Check the back seat")
and I drove home.

I walked in and checked over the dog and also Harry for any signs of infection or bite marks.
(Rule #29 Use the buddy system").
I brought in my few simple items (Rule #7 Travel light").

I am home safe and am having a glass of wine, and savoring a piece of dark chocolate and watching "Monarch of the Glen"  (Rule #32 "Enjoy the little things").


Bodice Challenge Day 28

1) Exercise: Walked/Jogged with Monty Joe the wonder Schnoodle!

2) Food:
Breakfast: (to fortify against zombies :) 2 eggs, 3 slices bacon, homefries with onions & peppers. Black coffee.
Lunch: Salad w/ scoop of Seafood salad.
Snack: Greek yogurt and nutra bar at my desk, small Clementine
Dinner: Veggie stirfry, rice, steamed dumplings. 1 glass Wine. A piece of dark chocolate

3) Creativity: wrote a story= Zombie Blog.  Hope you liked it  :)

4) BP: forgot to take it. Will do in the morning.
How'ere, I will expect it a bit higher after the soy sauce and the zombie stress :)

Bodice Challenge Day 27

Ok, so I got the scale last night, remember? Pulled it out of the box and ....it doesn't work. The "Long Life Lithium" batteries were dead. (I know...how IRONIC huh? :)

Not that I really want to know the damage...but I do. I think it's good to know. Like my brother in law said about my BP monitor..."Once you have it, you know, so you can fix it." Or conqueror it or something.
Or faint dead away in the morning when I see the damage. Oh, I have an idea what it is....it's not pretty.

But the only way to fix a problem is to trouble shoot it, right?

And this scale has some bells and whistles on it....needs to know your height, gender, age....thank the Gods I have a college degree to program it :)

1) Exercise: Walked Monty. Jogged only a little. Was tired today....

2) Food:
Breakfast: 2 eggs over easy with a sprinkling of feta. (yum!) 2 clementines. Black coffee. (250)
Lunch: 1 whole wheat roasted tomato and jalepeno tortilla with 1 cup of pinto bean salad and a small handful of restaurant corn chips. (400).
Snack: Special K snack bar and some fresh blueberries at my desk (125)
Dinner: Roast Chicken, salad greens w/ 1/2 tomato and 2 tlbs of Lite Caesar dressing. Boiled zucchini (yum!)
After dinner relax: 2 servings wine (that's 4 oz each lovies...count em....4!) = (200)
1575 cals. (I may even have exaggerated the wine and the dinner tally so it might be a bit less...)

3) Creativity: Wrote the monthly Merry Mischief mailer and started sending that out to the database. Went to Jo-Ann fabrics and picked out some lining to work on the next project for a friend. I need to finish this ren vest for her husband BEFORE faire. And den? I have this most amazing fabric that I've been wanting to make a BODICE out of....it's GOLD....it's gorgeous. It will look beautiful on me. I am planning on starting that when I get this last project done. And I think it would be a nice touch to wear the NEW bodice on the last day of faire for the "Bodice Challenge" too, don't you? :)

4)BP:  113/76

In order to feel better in other ways...(and to continue making my wake...I mean, my PROGRESS ....
I made a Master List of things to accomplish the other day.
Today I broke it down into a few things I will tackle tomorrow.
Will try to tackle something every day off the list...

"Inch by inch...anything's a cinch." ~ Robert Schuller

And speaking of inches....

Tomorrow I measure myself again and hopefully I will have some good news to tell you on my MONTH MARKER tomorrow!

This is me last year at faire....
Oooooh the decadent lass with the big hooties and the flimsy, gauzy, see thru chemise!!
I made a lot of men and boys (and a few ladies ;) very happy that day!

Bodice Challenge Day 26

1)  Exercise: Walked/Jogged with Monty Joe The Wonder Schnoodle
 (also...I personally feel that it's a damn shame that great sex doesn't count in this equation, eh? :) But I'll keep that as a "BONUS" goodie.

2) Food:
Breakfast: Greek yogurt/fresh fruit
Lunch: Parker's :) Cup of  Hearty Tomato Soup and Greek Salad (no meat) Ice tea w/ Lemon
Snack (at desk at work) Fresh fruit and health bar
Dinner: Pasta/Sauce, Corn on the Cob, Wine

3) Creativity: Finished hemming the poet shirt for a project for a friend. Updated our Merry Mischief website.

4) 102/77

Ok so I bought a bathroom scale the other day, remember? Well, I didn't spend much money on it at all (I really wasn't "committed" to it, I suppose) and well, you get what you pay for. It has been inconsistent to say the least. Altho, it worked fine for Harry when he used it to weigh some speaker frames to "measure fly weight" (yah, if you don't know what this means....take it from me, it's on a "need to know" basis....and well, you don't need to know....) He can have them.

So I went and bought a more reliable scale. (she says hopefully). Now, some of my friends have told me not to bother. I appreciate them telling me this, that it's more important to "feel good and just feel fit and also fit into my clothes better" ....but it's kinda like I need some proof for you (and for me) that I am doing a good job and to stay on track here better.

It's a carrot to keep me going. A marker, if you will. Signpost. Charting my journey.

Now I just need to follow a set of fecking directions to turn on the thing, program it and get it set for tomorrow morning's buck ass naked after pee reading. I hope it's going to be at least a predictable read...
the other one was changing within a minute of itself, and rashly different depending on how you stood on it.

We shall see. It's been almost a whole month for me now.

I have changed a great deal of my eating and drinking habits.
I am doing some exercise EVERY DAY.
This has got to help.
I am actually able to jog from a certain point to point, and I have lengthened that point a little longer from when I started. I am sleeping pretty good, and my BP is quite good. I'm not as angry or irritated, either.
I have also lost a few inches and feel "firmer".I'm not drinking as much or eating as "mindlessly" as I was.
My face seems thinner.

All these things are "measurements" of sorts.

So....the scale is just one more measurement tool.

How are you doing? Can you tell me? How are you measuring your success? I'd like to post your successes at the end of this 5 week challenge...which will culminate (as I said from the beginning) at the start of Sterling Renaissance Faire. It is the reason that I started this.

I wanted ENERGY.
I wanted STRENGTH.
I wanted to fit into my bodices AND be able to breathe AND sing.
I wanted to drop my BP.

I have done these things and continue to do them. I am hoping for a lifestyle change and make a good habit.

How about you? What have you gained?

Have you liked reading all this blather ...even if you weren't on the challenge?

Bodice Challenge Day 25

1) Exercise: Walked/jogged  w/ Monty. Hoe’d the garden. Swept the driveway.

2) Food:
    Breakfast: Whole Grain Cinnamon Chex/Blueberries/Almond milk    (200)

    Lunch at the Dinosaur BBQ! (WOOT!) Ok, so I had a dire hankering for fried green tomatoes (3) black beans & rice and a salad w/ chicken.  Ice Tea w/ Lemon.  (1000)

    Dinner: 1 cup pasta and 1 cup sauce w/portabellas and garlic. (350)

3) Creativity-  Sewed a poet shirt, made lists, took a final exam for online Grey School of Wizardry course “Beast Mastery” (have now finished 3 courses there :) and worked on an essay on "Self Cleansing"for a course “Core Energy Practices”.

4) BP:   116/76

No wine today. Had enough yesterday for both days :)

Thanks for your support in all this. I know I didn't "fail" yesterday...even tho' I said so....I did "fail" on my quest for staying on track...but I did not fail at having a great day with my loved ones :)

and I always tend to beat myself up....it makes me get back on the horse that I fell off of....

(It's the the whole Catholic retribution thang in motion.)

Bodice Challenge Day 24

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

1) Exercise: Walked/Jogged with the doggy this morning

2) Food:
Breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg and then some yogurt and fruit
Lunch: Went to Debbi's house, had an amazing BBQ and she and I made an incredible selection of food.....and I ate and drank and got lit. My glass got refilled too many times by too many people. Stayed there for about 5 hours having fun with them, Harry, Talon, Shawna, Jesse and Tristan. Came home and crashed with a nap. Haven't done that kind of decadent wild behavior since beginning the bodice challenge. Kinda upset with myself for failing....yet had a great time too...I, uh, didn't keep track of anything.
I feel kinda bad about that too....
Only gonna have water the rest of the day.
I KNOW I went over 1500 calories.

3) Creativity: Sewed and worked some more on a ren shirt project. Got the collar and facing on and it looks good. New pattern and not real clear....but it is coming along nicely.

4) BP:  107/70

Bodice Challenge Day 23!

1) Exercise: Walked/Jogged w/ Monty..... and..... Talon! (We took it easy on Talon...and only did about 1/2 the jogging that Monty & I have been doing daily :) I also did some floor exercises (3 sets of 25 "bicycle" reps) and a couple of yoga stretches while watching movies.

2) Food:
Breakfast: Fruit and 2 eggs over easy. Black coffee
Lunch: Out to lunch- had Chinese food. I chose veggies, a few steamed dumplings, a bit of hot and sour soup, a small slice of rare roast beast and 1 chicken wing.Believe me...I've done way worse than that in the past! Hot tea.
Dinner: A small salad w/ balsamic and a cup of my macaroni salad (to taste test it for tomorrow :)
Snack: 2 glasses of wine.

While some days I don't hit the mark of 1500 calories or less....I'm not beating myself up over it. I'm doing better than I WAS. I'm writing down what I eat...and I'm making better choices over all. And that's all good.:)

3) Creativity: Did a wee bit of sewing before dashing off to meet up for a movie out. Saw "The Green Lantern". OH! I also bought a bathroom scale. Just a dial one. (I'm NOT putting fucking batteries into anything....)

4) BP: 116/70

Had a great day. A relaxing morning with Harry and we watched an episode of my Netflix current choice addiction: "Monarch of the Glen" then did some more work on a sewing project...then dashed off to met up with Talon at the movieplex for the latest new SuperHero movie "The Green Lantern". Evidently, as the story goes...the energy that motivates the Green Lantern Corps is the WILL. If you can envision it...you can project it. How perfect for the bodice challenge!

He & I did some shopping (bathroom scales where Talon tested them all out for me :) and we also got 2 more movies to bring home: The Wild Hunt" (an action tale told in a LARP background :) and "The Black Death". Both were good...some of the scenes were kinda graphic...( some torture scenes were gross...)

I had previously told Talon that when Harry and I watched it the other night that someone in the film got "sledged with Thor's Hammer" in "The Wild Hunt" and so of course... he wanted to watch it too :) It's worth a watch if you've ever been to a LARP event or a ren faire....interesting to think about how a "game" can be a game....or that with the wrong people....it could turn ugly....

Here's hoping your day was a goodly one. How are you doing on your quest?

Well, remember....when you weigh yourself...there is only 1 rule:

"You only weigh yourself naked....
in the morning....
first thing after you pee."

And that's scary enough. :)

Vampires, Garlic and Permission just to BE....

Had an adventure this day....

Went and found my friend Kristin's new place in Fair Haven. It's wonderful! Two lovely cottages on Blind Sodus Bay...and it was her birthday too! I helped her celebrate with her great kids and sweet parents and she made a great lunch of grilled chicken, salt potatoes and tomato salad in her new home for us all.
I did imbibe in 2 delicious Marguaritas with her by the lake too. (Can't have her drinking alone on her birthday, now can we? ;)

Got a nice relaxing visit in with her and I am so happy for her and Jeff and their family to have this amazing property! The whole place came funished too! Incredible. They deserve it.

Saw a great lightening storm on the lake and finally watched the stalwart fishermen give it up and come in....at least until it passed in its severity.

I am now home and enjoying the rain and my easy chair...my weekend is planned out with fun things to do and loved ones to share it with.... and yet, tonight I have the opportunity to have a "veg" night with just me and my doggy. I think I am planning some decadent reading and maybe I will cook some shrimp and pasta and throw in a bunch of garlic and basil from my garden. MMMMM. A glass of wine should do me well while I revel in the quiet of this summer's ee'en.

My reading tonight is not of my choosing....how'ere, I will persevere and learn and read and grow....

Our Storybook Club has chosen the theme of "Vampires" for it's next topic of discussion. I have to admit that I am a bit of a WOOS when it comes to stuff like this. You can ask my close friends. I don't DO scary movies. Oh, I suppose I'll try a campy zombie movie or a freakish anaconda fright or invasion of the giant spiders sort of movie once in awhile....but NOTHING supernatural or macabre or evil or slasher.

My imagination is just too wild for this shite. Someday, I will write some of my TRUE experiences hither...and then you will see why I don't need to add any embelishment to my life with horror movies.
But surely I digress...

So, this Vampire theme has got me into a bit of a tizz....I am learning lots with my Storybook Club, and I absolutely adore it. But this theme (especially the real historical tales of cruel sadists like Vlad the Impaler or Elizabeth Bathory have definately turned my stomach.) Yet, I will read on...and learn important things like WHY we have stories of Vampires, what the reasoning is behind it ....learn about Psychic and Energy Vampires...and more importantly....how best to stop them, kill them, protect against them.

So while I peruse some fun and creepy summer reading for my upcoming Storybook Club....
(and desperately hope that I can convince them to talk about TROLLS next time...)
I am thinking of using a LOT of garlic in my shrimp and pasta this night....

Just to be sure :)

I mean ...it can't HURT :)

Bodice Challenge Goes on~
1) Exercise: Walked/Jogged Monty this morning. I am trying to include longer bouts of jogging and pushing myself to go a wee bit farther when I do my "incremental" spurts of jogging

2) Food:
Breakfast: Greek yogurt with some cereal sprinkled on top. 1/4 Cantalope. Black coffee.
Lunch: Grilled chicken/ 3 salt potatoes and tomato salad and  2 Marguaritas :)
(I politely declined the birthday cake and ice cream in favor of the Tequila...we MUST have our priorities :)
Dinner: Pasta and Shrimp Scampi and salad w/ feta. Glass of wine.

3) Creativity: hmmm.....Less like "creative" and more "Lenient" and gave myself permission for a day off to fuck around and visit and read. :)

4) BP:  117/74

PS~ My FAVORITE Vampire joke:

"Do you know what a vampires favorite fast food is?

A guy with High Blood Pressure"  :)

Week 3 of the Bodice Challenge

As far as my measurements go, things are about the same...I've lost about 5 inches overall...
Altho' I think it's shifting around and I feel like there is a bit less flab and a bit more muscle underneath.
My jeans looked pretty damn good yesterday...I know cuz Harry couldn't stop commenting on them :)

I am having a problem with my right foot tho....I think my ren shoes and my daily sandals and the jogging have aggravated a vein and muscle on the top of my foot along with my big toe....I am hoping that the joint pain deep around my big toe and the vein on top of my foot subside soon. Am soaking it in a massage foot bath right now with Epsom salts. Have changed shoes and wearing some different sandals to help with the pain. I am hoping it's just an overworked foot or shoe laced too tight...and not gout.

Also, as long as I am confiding (or dumping...as it were) here....
I am getting a bit discouraged.
I know it took a long time to put on this weight...and it takes time to take it off...but I am feeling so pudgy.... ..and while Harry loves it...I wish I were looking better to myself naked.
(I guess that's the one downside of getting my eyes fixed, eh? Yah. I can SEE. ... "ACK!")

And I feel really over indulgent and self involved to keep posting all this shite daily.

I mean, who fucking really cares??

At my lowest weight, I was 119. I don't really want to see that number again.
I just don't have the fucking energy to put into that kind of masochistic vigor.

How'ere, I would love to be back at 140.

GOOD GOD but that seems like a long ways away.....

Now there's nothing wrong with being a heavier person.
I just wish I was TALLER.
A LOT TALLER to carry this weight off.

Personally, I am not enjoying this "getting old thing". Not a bit. All was well, until I hit about 50 and then it's like I'm starting to fall apart...first my eyesight...(which thankfully is fixed now :)
but now I can't take off the weight easily like I used to...
and I creek around like an old lady when I get up out of a chair sometimes....
and sometimes my knees hurt when climbing stairs. UGH.

Hey! I like rolling on the floor with my doggy Joe!
And I DO.

I want to climb stairs and hills without panting.

What can I say? I want to look as young as my immature attitude!
And to make matters worse....all I want to do today is frigging EAT.
Fucking A.

1) Exercise: Cleaned house and sweated my arse off, laundry, dishes, putting away garb,cleaned sinks, counters, made beds...you know...housework on a humid morning. Then went to work and did errands.
I may try to stretch some tonight...but I just don't have the heart.

2) Food:
Breakfast: Whole grain cereal/fresh fruit and almond milk (which WAS delicious.)
Mid morning snack: I ate about 3 tbls of the leftover chicken salad and finished it off. It was helpless there and calling me.
Lunch: Denny's. Grilled Tilapia, broccoli and coleslaw. (good choices as I traded up the "cheese potatoes" and garlic bread for the "better for me" veggies and slaw)
Snack: Nature Valley Granola thin (chocolate craving for stress relief) and fruit
Dinner:Baked skinless chicken thighs (2) with Lemon Garlicious sauce, salad and carrots.

I went over my calories today. I figure I went over by about 200. Still....no bread....no cheese....and in the past, I could do WAY more damage than 1700 calories by a long shot!

3) Creativity: Cleaned house and put away stuff from trip. Made a GD list of things to DO to get shite done.

4) BP: 102/73   Whoopdeedo! :) At least that's a good point..
If it weren't for good sex and wine.....I think my BP would be a lot higher :)

Hey, I just want to be healthy, sexy as all get out, gorgeous beyond belief, be well read, talented, have fun on stage, have a substantial disposable income, be in love with and loved by handsome men, adored by beautiful women, loved by animals and travel internationally.

I mean, really...is this too much to ask??   :)

Bodice Challenge Day 20

1) Exercise: Walked/Jogged with Monty the Wonder Schnoodle (who is loving all this :)

2) Food:
Breakfast: Cinnamon Cheerios and Almond Milk. Black Coffee
Lunch: I made a chicken salad wrap w/ veggies and banana pepper rings, tortilla chips (9)
Snack: the other 1/2 of the individual small bag of Sun Chips/ celery/2 clementines at my desk at work
Dinner: Steamed Dumplings (Harry cooked with ordering Chinese :) 2 glasses of cabernet and some dark chocolate to finish.

Creativity: more productive really...lots of errands, bought some good groceries for us, and I am unpacking from gigs the past 5 days....

BP: 108/78 very happy with this. I feel good and have energy. Rick was worried about my BP going too low. I am not on medication for my BP. I am lowering it ONLY by diet, exercise and fish oil supplements. This seems to be working very well. :)

I want to buy a scale this coming weekend. I will be taking my measurements on the morrow at the week mark to see my progress. Thanks for hanging in with me. I am feeling better and have lots of vigor.

Bodice Challenge Day 19

1) Exercise: Walked/Jogged with Monty Joe the Wonder Schnoodle :)

2) Food:
Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled w/ feta. Black coffee.
Lunch: 1/2 roast beef wrap
Snack: 1/2 individual serving bag of Sun Chips (in the car traveling for gig down to the Southern Tier)
Dinner: glass of Cabernet, small salad and pasta with mushrooms/red sauce and a side of veggies at Italian Restaurant after gig with Harry & Talon.(and I also had 1 of Talon's chicken BBQ wings :) I couldn't finish my dinner...so I split the rest of it between them.
Snack: 3 dark chocolate squares.

About 1500 calories...hard to tell with portions at restaurant.

BUT on the good side....I didn't pick anytthing with cheese, ordered pasta with mushrooms instead of meat,  and I asked for a side of veggies INSTEAD of the garlic bread :)
Also, I didn't have a 2nd glass of wine, but really enjoyed the first one....and then had water.
Didn't order dessert, and we stopped and I got a bar of dark chocolate and had 3 of the 12 squares and have saved the rest...for an emergency :)

3) Creativity: Wrote last blog and applied Harry's pics from our trip. Punted at gig under some difficult stage set up restrictions.

4) BP: 108/78

Bodice Challenge: Day 15-18 catch up....

Friday Day 15

1)    Exercise: Walked/Jogged with Monty :)
Breakfast: Cereal/Almond Milk
Snack: 2 Hard boiled eggs/Seafood salad
Lunch: Roy Rogers 3pc. Chicken tenders w/ Buffalo sauce & baked potato
Snack: dark chocolate :)
Dinner: Triskets/Smoked Oysters/Celery/Grapes & Wine
1600 calories

3)    Creative Accomplishment: Packed car and drove to MA pretty much covers it :)
4)    BP:    97/64!! I swear to God and Goddess that it is not only the physical exercise but the Fish Oil Supplements I’ve been taking.
But WOW! Fucking WOW.

Saturday Day 16
     Exercise: Will be trudging the hill and dales hither at faire.

2)    Food:
Breakfast: Greek Yogurt, 2 Kiwis and Hot tea
           Lunch: Chili, some tortilla chips
          Snack: a tin of Kippers and 6 triskets
         Dinner: Harry took me to Zorba’s again! I had a small Greek salad, 
           rice pilaf, zucchini and a chicken kebob.
        After dinner: Glass of wine and some dark chocolate.
1500 calories!
3)    Creativity: Made seqways with songs and themes throughout the day.
Blogging a story :)

4)    BP~ again, not enough electricity for the cuff while camping so I will forgo it for the duration of this trip.

Sunday Day 17

Exercise: Faire trekking hills

Breakfast: Cinnamon Chex (dry) 2 kiwis, black tea
Lunch: Triskets, hummus, veggies and lite soup
Dinner: Harry took me out again to Zorbas’ (YAY!!) I had a small greek salad (loving those :) sautéed veggies, rice pilaf and broiled seafood.

Am now having a glass of wine at the Cottage. I was a very good minstrel today.
I have learned that when I eat out at restaurants that I CAN pick and choose what I need, if I take my time and just think about what’s good for me and what I really want .
I can order a soup and bread bowl sans bread!  (and I get more soup or chili that way anyways!

I don’t have to get ANYTHING with cheese on it.
And if I really, really want something sweet, I will forgo the desserts (not that I have a big sweet tooth anyways…I was always more of a “salt fiend” and now I’ve got that licked…salt- licked, that is J) Well, if I NEED something sweet, I just have a square or two of dark chocolate with my evening cabernet and it seems to do the trick. And dark chocolate and red wine are good for me to boot!


Hell….I AM doing this ;)
Weekends can be hard on folks changing lifestyles…so…how goes it?

Monday, Day 18

Exercise: Cleaned out the Cottage and vac’d it after driving 6 hours…

Breakfast: Yogurt/Dry cereal in the car
Lunch: Salad and Chicken tenders at BK on the thruway
Dinner: Chinese takeout- Steamed Dumplings/House Special Soup/wine :)
Managed on the road….1500 calories

Creativity: nothing much today…just driving and putting it all away…UGH.

Day 14 Bodice Challenge Tally

1) Exercise: Walked/Jogged with Monty the Schnoodle of Love. (But sometimes we have to stop on a dime because he either has to shit or stop to smell one :)

2) Food:
Breakfast: Greek vanilla yogurt/blueberries/sprinkle of cereal
Lunch: Broccoli salad/Seafood salad
Snack: Salad and 1 piece of dark chocolate at my desk
Dinner: 1 cup whole wheat pasta/fresh sauce w/ garden herbs from my garden and sauteed zucchini.
Snack: 1 serving of wine/ 6 black jelly beans

3) Creative Accomplishment: Redid 2 songs for the new CD. We weren't happy with them, so we "fixed" them last fucking minute. Hey, no pressure. It is supposed to go to Silver Kingdom Faire to be "released" tomorrow. I am currently listening to the last proof of it right now. It's 10pm. We still have to burn them yet. Have I told you that Harry is my "last minute man"? I needed jelly beans for the stress. Monty had 3 as well :) We share a love of jelly beans together :)

4) BP:
I can't believe this. 97/66!!! WOW. Just fucking WOW.

So dearies...I am off on the morrow to road trip to do a Ren Fix in MA at the Silver Kingdom LARP faire.

Silver Kingdom Festival Webpage! CLICK here!
I will continue to blog, but I  will have no signal.

I will keep up my quest ON THE ROAD.
I dearly hope that you do as well...
PLEASE keep me posted.
I read all your stuff!

Merlyn's Musings has topped over 10,000 views in a little over 6 months!
WOOT! :) 
Thanks for listening and for your support!

IF Merlyn....
INDULGENT Merlyn....
can do this....

then YOU CAN TOO :)

Bodice Challenge~ 2 Week Marker

Hey ho~

Well, it's been 2 weeks today that I have been on my quest. I have to say that I am feeling much better and I am liking the way my face is thinning out in the mirror.

I don't miss bread or cheese. I am eating whole grains/or whole grain cereals & crackers to make up for it, and either Greek yogurt or Feta to curb my dairy cravings and bolster dietary needs. The whole serving size thing has been good for me, for I can be a piggy.

The daily exercise is a good thing and I am less "creaky".

While Harry & I were driving on our ren road trip last week, we stopped at a Thruway rest stop and we saw something that inspired us both. There was an older couple walking in, hand in hand. He had white hair and a white Santa beard and she had blonde hair put up in a loose twist. They had on shorts and were walking very quickly and happily and they were in better shape than I usually see most 30 year olds. They were in their 70's! You could only tell this by his hair color and their faces which showed some wrinkles. But they were VERY fit and strong and happy in each other's company. We noted this and when we saw them again, they were getting into a car with 2 bicycles strapped to the roof of their car. They too, were on an adventure. I said to Harry, "You know...that could be us in the future." He said he liked that idea. These two fit elderly people had an impact on me. I said, "THAT'S what I want to look like as I get older!" The woman had spunk, health and LOTS of energy. No rocking chair for her that's for sure!

There was also an elderly gentleman who came into my office at the college the other day to register for a couple of computer classes with me. He was a cutie, fun, spunky and had a great sense of humor. He registered for "Computer Fundamentals" and "Internet for Seniors". He gave me his credit card to pay for it, and I said, "ooh the numbers on here are kinda hard to read, aren't they?" He said, "Yah, it's been thru a couple of wars..,." and we both laughed. I supported him with encouragement and told him to enjoy his new experiences and he said that "Old dogs need to keep learning new tricks". He got up and left and I mentally calculated his age based upon his birthday. He was 87 years old!! How WONDERFUL! I want to be like that too! Aging gracefully, with humor, wit, continually learning new things and being fit!

This quest I am on is good for me and also good for Harry. I had him take his BP this morning.
His reading floored me: 117/77.

I also hope that this quest is good for you too?
I know I am a Word Smith.
I also know I feel tedious writing to you about the mundane, what food I ate...it's almost like describing a bowel movement. No one really wants to know what color it is, how big or little or the consistancy. (well, a few of us probably do, but we are the kind of health nut weirdos that read our shite like a Fortune Tellers' card reading or a Japanese Emperor's doctor would....after looking at the shite would declare, "More Rice, More Greens!!" :)

I suppose it's really nobody's business...and too personal for some....
but I said I WOULD do this blogging about my decision to lose weight and get fit and I am trying.

I know..... I am VERY trying. :)

I apologize for filling your email inboxes with stupid blather.

I apologize for seeming trite with all this mundane wordage of calories and itemizing of intake..

I apologize for going on about myself and appearing too self involved with all this.

On the other hand, one thing it HAS done has made me aware of just WHAT I do eat and do
I have lost 6" off my measurements in ONE week!

My BP this morning was the lowest EVA!   It was 97/66!!!!!!!!!!! WOOT!

So this fucking project IS a wee success with me in the here and now.

If these blogs are a pain in the arse to you....just delete them!

I will get back to writing more interesting stuff after this QUEST and some new healthy habits are made.
(they say it takes a good month to make a good new habit...)

Of Note: I am going on 10,000 views on this blog since I started it last December!
Thank you for your support and your interest if you are a faithful and current reader!!

I only hope that my writing is a fun, beneficial thing to you, and that you don't hate me or my blather in the long run. I don't want to become a pain or a drippy faucet or squeaky wheel to you. I would hate to be that.

So, now I am off and running.....


(or at least jogging intermittently with my Joe dog :)

Love & Hugs to you, my loyal, faithful and stalwart readers for putting up with me.


Day 13 of The Bodice Challenge~

1) Exercise: Hoed the garden!

2) Food:
Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs with feta, black coffee
Lunch: A Greek salad at Parkers and unsweet tea with lemon
Snack: Caramel Rice Cake
Dinner: Taco Bell/ordered a side of rice and a side of guacamole. Wasn't much, but was enough
Party after Open Mic: 1 Sierra Nevada pale ale/handful of rice chips/ raw veggies/ small handful of peanuts.
Under 1500

3) Creativity: Made the label for new CD "Heroes & Rogues" for disc. Also put tomato cages on my DOZEN tomato plants while hoe-ing the garden! If they don't blight (like they did 2 years ago...) then man o man are we gonna have tomatoes!!! Cherry and Roma tomatoes. 6 plants each!  Played at the open mic with John Harnois and Harry! :)

4) BP: 117/72

A goodly day :)

So...Merlyn! What exactly IS this fecking "Bodice Challenge you've been on about??"

Almost 2 weeks into this, with many followers who have been inspired to trek along with me....(Lynn, Kristin, Brian, Cynthia, Linda, Diana and Ellen to mention a few)

they are either on this quest with me in spirit, mind or body...

I have begun a QUEST.

A quest for a better shape, healthy body and active mind.


It's me, Merlyn here. I'm 51 years old. I love to eat, drink & be merry! I love squeezes and parties and friends and family. I'm a minstrel who needs to squeeze her goodly frame into renaissance faire bodices and be quite physically active, singing, dancing, and tramping parades....hopefully WITHOUT huffing and puffing!


About 2 weeks ago (13 days ago to be exact)...I decided to cut out certain foods from my life (for this Challenge) and add some elements to my life.

I Challenged myself to POST them daily until Sterling Renaissance Festival began. That gave me 5 weeks to whip this horse into somewhat of a better shape and outlook.

Here's what I decided to do:

I would blog daily about 4 important things (and occasionally the Muse makes me tell stories and you can read those hither as well... :) The blogging keeps me honest and on track...and there are many of you who say that my writings are helping you as well.......

1) My Exercise Accomplishment for the Day
This goal makes me do SOMETHING. ANYTHING. Something is better than nothing. Some days I walk and throw in a little jogging with my doggy. Sometimes I do free weights or yoga. It doesn't matter WHAT. Just SOME exercise EVERY DAY.) I don't have a scale to weigh myself, but am going to get one in awhile. I have weighed myself at work on the doctor scale there and have lost 7# and measured myself last week (unfortunately not on the 1st day but a week into it) and I have seen some loss already. I will post that tomorrow.

2) My Daily Food Intake (good or ill).
I have cut out white flour, white sugar and BREAD altogether. I have eliminated all dairy except for Greek Yogurt (which I think a bit is good for me). I am also counting calories and staying around 1500 daily. I am also trying to get back into the habit of utilizing the words: "Serving Size" and I've had to rethink and MEASURE. I have lived with a couple of guys and when serving up dinner, they tend to make a plate for me that looks like theirs. This is sweet...but not good for me. I don't want to be as big as them! I don't have their height or bone structure, not to mention their testosterone to make it work for me! I am also not giving up a glass of wine or a piece of dark chocolate if I really want one. They say they are both good for you. And sometimes, just a "wee" bit of something, does the trick.

3) My Daily Creative Accomplishment 
I am also challenging myself to not just be all about the physical me, but also about the doing and giving me. Creative projects from sewing, organizing or expressive outlets (writing stories, singing...etc.) make me feel so good! My efforts seem to help others too.

4) My Blood Pressure reading in the morning.
In March the doctor said my blood pressure was high. 140/90. I DON'T want to be on medication. So....I hid my salt shaker and am lowering it manually with food choices and exercise. I am taking Fish Oil Supplements which also seem to be helping. I bought a good monitor and it is kinda fun to use it and write down my progress. I'm trying not to stress as much by trying to confront my problems and do something about them. My dear husband and mate is a hoarder and instead of feeling helpless about it, I am tackling the problem and also trying to drag him along with me for the ride on organization and health. (he has high blood pressure too). My blood pressure read yesterday was 110/72 so my efforts ARE working! I also got a dumpster this spring and started on the hard thing of confronting the clutter that is not of my making. I feel MUCH better. My motto is that if you are overwhelmed....Do the HARD THING FIRST, then the rest of your day will be better! MUCH better! 

So that's it!

Some folks doing this are managing their health in different ways. Some are just exercising more. Some are making deliberate efforts in their food choices (organic or cutting out bread or seconds)
BUT they are trying.

And the Gods love those who TRY.

Good luck and keep on keeping on! And I will do the same to encourage you as well.

Have a grand day! Be well and BE HAPPY!!!

Day 12 of "The Bodice Challenge"

Good news! 

I don’t have a scale, but weighed myself at work on the medical scales for a class we run, and I am 7#s lighter!

I also measured myself at the beginning of week 2 and my measurement tallies are also less (preliminarily- I know, I should wait till the “week” mark :)
     1)    Exercise: Some free weights and exercise after dinner while I watched a movie with Harry :)

     2)    Food:
Breakfast:  ½ cup Greek yogurt, 1 banana, sprinkling of cereal on top. Delicious black coffee
Lunch: Salad greens w/ ¾ cup Seafood salad topper and fruit on the side.
Snack: Caramel corn rice cake
Dinner: Broccoli, chicken and a stuffed cabbage roll.
Wine . No, I am NOT giving up my evening glass of Cabernet :)
1200 calories!

     3)    Creativity: Still working on garb rack. Now I am mending some garb pieces that have had an “issue” and made them wearable again. Got a Ren skirt and a Victorian blouse FIXED. Wrapped a birthday present :)
    4)     110/72! WOOT!!!

    So....how are you doing on your quest? Talk to me :)

Bodice Challenge~ Day 11

1) Exercise~ Walked/Jogged with Monty the Schnoodle after my 5 hour drive home from MA

2) Food~

Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1 sausage, O.J. at McD's and a Greek yogurt at the minimart. This added up to 1/2 my daily calories! So I will forgo lunch. Wasn't really hungry with the travel anyways....

Snack: Banana

Dinner: 1 cup whole wheat spaghetti, 1 cup sauce with veggies. Wine and a piece of dark chocolate.

all in all...1500 calories. Hit the target. :)

3) Creativity: Worked on a sewing project.

4) BP (not in the am/ not enough electricity in the camper)
I will take it now for you: this is after a run and making dinner:  124/80

Bodice Challenge~ 1 week perspective

Well, it's been a week on my self imposed challenge of blogging my attempts at 4 areas:

1) My Daily Exercise Accomplishment (which forces me to DO)

2) My Food Intake:
Trying to avoid most dairy (excluding Greek yogurt) no junk, no bread, no white sugar, no white flour, cutting meat & alcohol consumption greatly and becoming aware of serving sizes. Adding more whole grains and water.

3) My Daily Creativity Pursuit (I can't stagnate on just being into "self" with all the nutrition and exercise...I must export ideas and energy as well as importing self care)

4) My Daily Blood Pressure Reading (generally taken in the morning) Just to keep me in a good habit.
In April my doctor said it was high (a bit over 140/90)

SO...it's been a week.

I HAVE blogged every day.  (check :)

I HAVE exercised every day but one.(and that was an active day besides). Have been walking with some additional jogging in spurt intervals. Have also done some floor exercises for limbering up. (check)

I HAVE done much better on my eating, becoming aware of serving sizes again (I was once 118#! I know, hard to believe, but YES. And I did that with running and calorie counting back when I was in my late 30's.)
I am trying to keep myself to true to about 1500 calories or so. Oh, I know 1200 would be great, ideal even. (and torturous). I didn't put on this weight fast, so there's no sense in becoming austere here and then becoming discouraged.
Anyways, 1500 is still what I used to do in chips and wine and bread a day anyways :)
"Will there be bread?"

I HAVE done great with my BP readings too. The reading at the start of this a week ago was 118/79.
This morning's read was 104/73. With the lowest reading 2 days ago being 104/73. I'm happy with this.

How do I feel?

Well, I'm sore!
But I'm feeling pretty good all in all...my conscience feels better in the DOING of it all. I like being good to my word. This whole thing makes me be accountable. I feel stronger in my heart and spirit too.
Like I can do anything once again!
I MAKE myself do stuff.
Then I feel pretty damn good when it's done.

NOTE: I "should've" measured myself around bust/waist/hips/thighs/arms last week. I didn't. I kinda fucked up in that, so I could keep better track.
I should've gotten a scale and had a starting weight. But I don't have one, and don't want to blow the cash on it for now. ( I probably will buy one again soon).

So tomorrow, starting the 2nd week, I will measure myself (sorry, but I'm not disclosing those numbers..(EEEEEEEK!)
Altho, I will tell you if I am adding or subtracting by the end of next week)

I am doing this challenge notation, till the start of Sterling, calling this the "Bodice Challenge" so this 51 year old singer babe can horse her arse up the Warwick hills and cinch herself fetchingly (and not to painfully) into her many bodices and garb choices.  (Read: Scottish lass who doesn't want to HAVE to buy new stuff :)
I am hoping to make a new lifestyle habit once again.
Geminis are so fickle.

So that should be a good week recap.

How are you doing with YOUR personal challenges now that you have gone a whole week?
What have you learned?
Is this a good thing?
A hardship?
Are you feeling better?
Feeling resentful?
Or are you happy you are doing it with me?

Todays notes:

1) Exercise: I had to take on a job I didn't want to do today. It was a time bomb just ticking ....waiting....
I had to help Wayne clean out the camper (Our "cottage").
Now, I left the cottage, cleaned, neat and empty and locked it up ready to go for the next trip...way back in fall. You know, like most people would.
Unbeknownst to me, Wayne decided to "fill it" with his hoarding treasures over the winter, and use it as an extra storage. (read: WTF?) This spring, when I saw what he had done, I knew that we had to use it for a trip to a ren faire (now it is TOMORROW we need it) and I told him that I was NOT going to empty it, as I did not fill it. (fair? I think so, besides, he was warned going into it).
So today, he HAS to empty it and I had to clean it behind him.

There were words.

Four letter ones.

I think at one point I hollared out the back door "I am not going to be held hostage by your hoarding!!" for the neighbors to hear. Ok, so we act out. He tried putting things back in. I barked "no". He barked back. I barked a LOUDER "NO" in his sweaty face.
I found mouse/ratty tracks and they shredded and ravaged my drawer in the Cottage that had my kitchen towels and napkins in it making a lovely winter ratty retreat in there, with mouse shite all around. UGH.
BUT, when all was said and done, he DID put away his toys and the camper is cleaned and ready to go.
(Read: I WON :)

The Cottage is clean and ready to go, nice fluffy bed all ready...except that Wayne has to get it inspected BEFORE we drive to MA in the morning. Egad. Oh well, he is my last minute man. As far as the exercise goes, I sweated my arse off doing this job for THREE HOURS. It was hard. Very hard. And stressful being under the gun. (I don't like the last minute thing, and would rather have my ducks in a row) but now it's done. Wayne, to his credit, did a lot of work yesterday and mowed and got the camper ready for the inspection tomorrow by checking lights and all. Have also packed for trip.Garb and personal.
I also did some yoga to stretch out as I've been running and am now pretty stiff with this humidity. I feel good. I feel stronger and accomplished!

2) Food: Greek yogurt, blueberries and watermelon for breakfast with black coffee. YUMMY.
Taco salad for lunch. No sour cream, and I left most of the corn chips.
Rice cake for snack.
Dinner was vegetarian stirfry with Portabella mushrooms, red peppers, onions and lemon garlicious sauce. I also had a serving of Potstickers (boiled Chinese dumplings). Now a second serving of wine. I'm exhausted.

3) Creativitiy: I made silk purse out of a sow's ear. (see story on Cottage above :)

4) 104/73 !!

I must leave you for a few days. I WILL be keeping the faith on my quest, even if I don't post. I may or may not have Internet access.

I will be writing while I'm gone about my experiences at the LARP faire (Live Action Role Playing) faire where Trolls, Fairies, Pirates and Orks all live, fight and play together.

I hope that you continue on your goodly quest as well. Please email me, post here or on Facebook and tell me of your trials, tribulations and accomplishments.

We are in this together.

Love and Hugs


Bodice Challenge~ Day 6!

Wow! A scorcher of a day!

Are you enjoying SUMMER? :)

1) I DID exercise today. With Monty. I told him he might not want to join me at 1pm for a walk/jog (being a black dog and all) but I couldn't convince him when I was putting on my sneakers. He really wanted to go. So we did a shorter route but we did it. Sweated my arse off! Came home and put the poor panting frenzied doggy in a mild bath of warm water to cool him off. Then scrubbed the tub and had a shower myself. I am feeling stronger....a bit firmer...heaving/panting less when I walk/jog and jogging further at intervals!

2) Ate fruit, Greek yogurt, veggies, nuts, and kippers. You know, just plain food. About 900 calories before the open mic party...where I delighted in 2 glasses of home made beer that Dennis made, some summer sausage and a few rice chips. I came in at 1500 calories WITH a party :)

Also tried cleansing my face with honey, as recommended by my friend Lynn. A glowing complexion is noticeable! :)

3) Creative: Finished cleaning my bathroom/garb rack area and (drumroll...rrrrrrrr) I CLEANED OFF MY DESK and did invoices for sales tax! TA-DA!  Also played some great "Rusty Crusty Melodies" for our theme at Open Mic tonight! :)

4) BP 112/ 74

A GREAT day. I also got my daughter Shawna for the day and evening and we (me, Shawna and Monty :) laid down on my quilted big bed (after my walk/jog) for a wee nap together in front of the fan. BLISS :)


I had several compliments on how well I am looking and that I seem to "feel better" to others! :)

Civil War Show in Gorham

Yesterday, Harry & I set off bright and early for our show in Gorham NY.
It was sponsored by Young Audiences of Rochester in conjunction with the Gorham Historical Society at the Gorham Library.

We pulled into this quaint old village and the library was actually in an old church building. There was a side building of the "Gorham Post Office" which was on the grounds as well and the basement of the building is filled with a wonderful museum! I wish I'd of had the time to really check out this museum with all the trinkets, old Victorian dresses and oddment inside!

But we had a show to put together!

And so did everyone else there. Evidently, the school and historical society were working together to bring the "valley" kids in with the "village" kids and mingle them with the "home schooled" kids all in one setting! I think this was a great inclusive idea! I think the kids are all going to be together in one building in the years to come, so I think this was some sort of "acclimating" ice breaker for them all.

What was also wonderful, was that the members of the historical society all dressed in garb of the day, just as we were going to do! There were soldiers and ladies and farmers! It was great to see people playing and having fun with living history!

I had made a new fabric landscape backdrop over the winter, 10' x 12' and we got to work putting up the trees and trusses to hang it. We also attached 2 new purchases, ones that I am very proud to have in my teaching arsenal: A 34 star Union flag (the one that was at the start of the Civil War) and the Confederate Navy Jack.

It was amusing to me, that an older gentleman (named George, I found out) all dressed in Union infantry uniform came up to us after we had hung the flags. He looked at the Confederate flag and said, "I have to admire your guts to hang that" with a wicked grin.  We laughed and said, "this is an equal opportunity teaching session" :)

We also told him that we played a Civil War re-enactment recently and a Union fellow was happily playing his harmonica with us along with the song "When Johnny comes marching home" but when the Confederate boys asked us to play "Dixie" he walked off with a huff. We laughed about that too. Grudges go deep, even nearly 150 years later!

We got all set and into our garb and we looked perfect for it. They say that 99% of the job is just showing up ready to go.

The kids all came in and the President of the Historical Society introduced us. He prefaced the joining of all the kids and also said that "while today would be entertaining, that is not the focus. The focus today is to EDUCATE" and with that he introduced us and we got going.

It was a really fun show! We did some political pieces (Lincoln's campaign song) balanced with "Dixie" (you have to represent both sides... :) and also some songs about slavery: "Year of Jubilo" (the "PC" version) and "Jimmy Crack Corn" and several Stephen Foster pieces, including "Beautiful Dreamer" which is so lovely and almost lost nowadays. It's important to me to bring some of these old songs forward.

We also played a medley of sing alongs and the kids and the older folks all had a great time singing along while I played my mandolin. Harry actually premiered his fiddle this day (oh, I've been begging him for so long to get it back out again!) and we did "Suwannee River" (or "Old Folks at Home" which is actually the state song of Florida now, did you know that?)  We also taught them the chorus to "Goober Peas" and let them know that the Confederate soldiers didn't have much to eat so they ate a LOT of peanuts. It's a catchy song and the kids were THRILLED with it! It was fun to get everyone singing!

We also squeezed in a portion on NYS history and I brought out my "Limber Jack" dancing man. I sang and had the dolly dance and Harry accompanied me on the guitar. (I asked Harry later, "how did they like it? I was busy watching my dolly and keeping him dancing", and he said, "it was great! Every eye, young and old were craning their necks to watch him!") That's some good old time fun there!

The 40 minutes went waaaay too quickly. I cut verses out and tried to finish in time. Which I did...on the button!

I would love to be able to do a longer version of this show. There are other songs we could put in ("Jesse James", "Little Sadie & East Virginia" and even "Caroline"...) and I'd also lengthen all the songs in the set out to be their proper length. Maybe some day....but until then, I decided to give the kids a "taste" of several songs and get through lots of material and teach them as much as we could in the time we had.

The kids then were dismissed and went off into small groups where the historical society members told tales, showed them artifacts, answered questions and let them experience the days of old.

We drove off happy with having done a good job on our part....but with "Goober Peas" still ringing in our heads. :)

This is not our version, but here's a link to the song to get it stuck in your head too :)

Click here to hear the song!


Bodice Challenge, Day 5 and counting....

Up late, Up too early.

Hung in there.

1) No exercise except setting up, breaking down and playing a show and finishing loading/sorting garb rack (which is DONE.) Thank God.. Tired. Considered taking Monty for a walk/run. Decided to veg instead. Tomorrow is another day.

2) Did well on food, I mean I made some good choices. Some that I normally don't make.
Had 2 cups dry cheerios and a banana in the car on the way to a gig at 7fucking am.
Harry took me to Ponderosa and I had the salad bar. Chose veggies, fresh and cooked and rice. No meat, no bread, no cheese.
Had Greek yogurt and a couple hard boiled eggs for a snack.
Corn on cob (no salt) and sauteed crab for dinner.
1 glass of wine (mostly to balm my feet)

3) Creativity= Civil War show today and live performance. Show went really well. Played Mandolin for a medley. Also finished sorting (by color) my garb rack and settled it. I am done.

4) BP  this pm as I forgot this am again (read: too damn early and was thinking of packing car, not bp)
but it was 104/73 which I was really happy to see.

Going to bed.
Kinda disgruntled. Harry's been great and sweet. But I have too much to do and no time to do it.
Asked for help with Monty over the weekend while we are traveling ....and well....people have their own agendas. So I will be like the "Little Red Hen" ....

But at least I didn't eat the anger with food or drink it away like I would normally do.
I'm not really worried about them reading my blogs.
Because they don't give a flying rat's arse.

Good night.

The Bodice Challenge....~ Day 4

1) Exercise~  Walked/Jogged Monty before 8am and got my exercise in for the day...before the day!

2) Intake~ Cinnamon Cheerios (they are WHOLE GRAIN, can you stand it? and delicious with a banana and almond milk! YUM)
Leftover sloppy joe on leaf lettuce with coleslaw
Dinner from "Healthy Party food choices" (no bread, no dairy, no junk...1 weeeee glass (read : Serving size:) of red wine.

3) Creativity~
      Well, Harry designed another garb rack for me, so I spent a couple of hours working on cleaning (read: Pine Sol :) behind the rack and then starting to sort out the garb...by sorting it a bit differently.
By color (white thru Chakra color rainbow to black...) and not by "type"
Which means all the garb (Ren/Canal/Victorian/Gypsy) is all together but sorted by color. Many more possibilities are opening up by looking at it in this new way!

Had Storybook Club tonight so I "got creative" with my table decorations for the theme and food for the subject of "Dragons!" Made a cute centerpiece and table and make "Dragon Eggs" (hard boiled tea stained eggs in a kewl jaggedy bowl that Shawna made for me in 7th grade :)

4) BP....I forgot to take it before my early walk....so I flubbed this part.

A very goodly day! :)

Soliders, Pirates and Squirrels~ Just another day here.....

An interesting day was had yesterday...

Started off with political discussion with Harry over coffee...then traveled to our music practice portion of the day for the Civil War show we are doing for this Tuesday.

Set list looks like:

DixieRosin the Bow (which leads into same melody of "For Lincoln & Liberty Too!")
When Johnny Comes Marching Home/Johnny I hardly knew ye
John Brown's Body/Battle Hymn of the Republic
The Year of Jubilo (PC version :)
Swanee River (Harry on Fiddle!)
Medley: Camp Town Races/Oh Susannah!/Old Grey Mare/Clementine/Polly Wolly Doodle (Merlyn on Mandolin)
Buffalo Gals (with Limber Jack dancing man)
Never Take the Hind shoe from a Mule
Low Bridge
Beautiful Dreamer (Stephen Foster)
Goober Peas
Jimmy Crack Corn
Do your ears hang low?
Froggy Went a-courtin'
Keep the Home Fires Burning

I have worked hard on this show. Have also finished my 10'X12' fabric backdrop that I made in my "Creativity Circle" meetings that I did over the winter. Harry & Talon and I set up truss and tree stands in the backyard yesterday and hung it along with the additional flags I bought for the occasion. I got a 34 star Union flag (the flag at the beginning of the war then) and a Confederate Navy Jack. We will be in garb for it. It's at the Gorham Library on a tent tomorrow, Tuesday, June 7th at 9:30am for the community....so if you are around... :)

Harry happily worked in the backyard sorting some more of his stuff, but mostly played with his solar panels.

I had asked Talon if he would come over and do a couple of handyman projects for me. One was adhering a few ceiling block panels back to the ceiling as they were pulling away. We need to remodel, but it won't be for awhile....
He found the cause of the droop in the ceiling.
About 3#s of eaten black walnut shells from our squirrelly neighbors who eat and fuck in the ceiling.
(We call it Squirrel Haven for a reason)....
Talon also worked on refastening some brackets in the upstairs bathroom over the garb rack that had pulled away from too much weight. In trying to move said garb rack (which I admit, was "temporarily cobbed together" quite some time ago....) it disintegrated under the weight of the garb. I ran up and helped and started unloading huge piles of hangers of assorted garb leaving a mountain of clothing on the floor.

Needless to say, it didn't go how either of us had hoped. But I left the mess and focused on making food for company as "The Pirate Bards" were meeting to go over a few chapters of editing "Pirates vs Zombies' last night. It was a blast! We got thru 3 more chapters! A couple more friends, Debbi and Greg, also came over and brought food and ate and drank and visited and added some important words to the conversation.

"Oyster" and "Jewel" now have been added as nouns for testicles :)

Squirrels....nuts. ...Pirates....I see the natural segue :)
Finished off my day at midnight....picking up and straightening hundreds of hangers of garb and laying them out on the spare bed (which is no longer use able for the time being) and vacuumed up the insulation dust and dust bunnies in the bathroom up there. The wastebasket is 1/2 full of black walnut shells.

Squirrels R Us.

The Bodice Challenge....~ Day 3

1) Exercise.  None. That is if you don't count running around on errands, up and down stairs and helping steady and dismantle my garb rack (which had a massive fatal rack attack and dumped ALL my garb...guess I've over exceeded it's weight limit on GARB accumulation too?) Then I had to quick as a bunny remove all the loaded hangers while Talon held the dissolving rack between his hands) Yah, that was exciting.

2) Food. Ate pretty good, considering I had another party (there's one tomorrow too...)
Had cereal, banana and almond milk for breakfast.
Stir fried veggies and lentils on lettuce for lunch.
Pirate Bards met today. I made Sloppy Joes (but I didn't have ANY bread.) I went easy, no 2nds.
Only 2 SMALL glasses of wine.  Drank orange seltzer and water in between.
No white flour, no sugar, no junk. 
Pretty damn good ....for ME :)

3) Creativitiy: Sewed a bag to hold my dancing Limber Jack man and folding metal music stand for Civil War shows. And met with Talon and Swabby (and Debbie and Greg came over) and the Pirate Bards combed thru 3 more chapters of editing. :) That was FUN and VERY creative.

Also, with Harry and Talon's help, I set up the 10' x 12' fabric landscape backdrop I made (over the last few months at my Creativity Circle) and tried it for size in the backyard...complete with a Union and Confederate flag for Tuesday's Civil War show. I am very pleased with my sewing abilities and vision. :) It is 12 yds of fabric big  :)

4) 110/ 77 BP

All in all a very good day....should've walked/run Monty...but he went on a beer run with me in the car instead. Taking a break is kinda good too, as I am walking/jogging in new sneakers...and well, I think they are more "walking" shoes than running shoes...as my shin splints are no longer a memory.

I dearly hope you are doing good too?

The Challenge~ day 2

I had a dream that I looked in the mirror and saw..... 
Boy was he handsome. 
(and he had ....ahem.....EVERYTHING...that was the FIRST thing I checked. :) 
I think this diet is really making me feel powerful...
So, I guess my body loves what I did yesterday.

Blood pressure this morning is: 108 / 72  so that dropped a LOT (121 / 83).

(It's got to be the chips :)


I don't have a scale. Have thought of buying one, but it would be too depressing to step on it. Threw away the one I had last year. Talon and I were convinced the thing was fucking possessed. I mean, how do you gain and lose and gain 10# in a day?

Get this: It was the scale that my GRANDMOTHER had for YEARS. She died in 1986 and I got if from her estate sale THEN. I think it did it's duty and then it went senile. Gramma never did :)

When I posted this challenge to myself (and to anyone who wanted to join me) on last Thursday night, I was very aware that I had a day out planned with one of my best girlfriends for Friday and this party today.

Almost thought "well... I can postpone this to start on Sunday". But really. When is it ever really a perfect time? There's always gonna be something going on...some wedding or party or friend in town. If you live by that cycle, nothing will ever change. Besides...for these things to be a "lifestyle" it HAS to fit within your regular daily life!

Had a bowl of delicious RED fruit this am for breakfast:  Cherries, Raspberries and Watermelon. mmmm~

Also went to a family graduation party today. There was lots to eat and drink. I did pretty good, I think.
I passed on the alcohol, cake and cookies and crackers and bread.
Instead, I ate the real food (veggies, fruit and meat) and drank bottled water instead.

Visited with everyone, ran around picking up my girls to go with me to this family gathering....
I am now home....They are gone....
and Me?

I'm GRUMPY as HELL right now....

But feel I did pretty good, overall....

gonna go drink some water and have a bit of something else before bed....protein or fruit perhaps.

1) Walked/Jogged Monty again till it rained.
2) Did great eating. Under 1500 calories for sure.
3) I did some filing of deskwork today. While not totally creative...It takes gargantuan effort on my part to do this task.
4) 108/ 72

Hope your day was good....mine was fun, but am feeling strangely shitty right now.... just tired, I guess....

Merlyn's Challenge: 1st Day

Well, after I posted last night about my upcoming healthy lifestyle changes to begin on the morrow...
I did what any red blooded girl would do.

I ate and drank what I wanted. This was also spurned on by my darling Harry buying dinner last night. So there was veggie pizza and wings and antipasto and veggie lasagna and Cabernet. I had 3 glasses. I also fell asleep at 10:30pm in the comfy chair, then groggily went to up to bed.

Today I measured out the big wine glass I had been drinking from and it measured out to 3 servings per glass. (A serving being 4 oz. I mean REALLY. WHO drinks 4 fucking ounces of good wine??) So at that rate I had consumed actually 9 servings of wine, bringing the total of alcohol consumption up to about 800 calories...JUST ON WINE.

Oh. And jelly beans. Me and Monty Joe finished the last two pitiful and lonely handfuls of Easter jelly beans.

But that was yesterday...PRE-Challenge day. :)

So here I go to post for TODAY:

1) Merlyn's Exercize Accomplishment for today:
I took Monty for a goodly walk and (ahem) I actually jogged seven times in increments. Wore my new sneakers and my "hold the girls safely" sports bra so I wouldn't come back a casualty with a black eye.
I also bought a box of copier paper at Staples and hefted that in and out of the cart several times. This DOES count as a "weight bearing" exercize, does it not? :)

2) Merlyn's Food/Drink (damage or prize) notation:
I have measured my food (and wine ...ahem) today. I have been a good girl. Came in under 1500 calories, I'm pretty sure. Had watermelon and greek yogurt for breakfast, a measured lunch with Debbie (including some wine)  and a stir fry for dinner. I am pretty proud of myself. Gonna have tea for dessert.
I get a star.

3) Merlyn's Creative Accomplishment for today:
Started a couple of sewing projects, by furthering their progress. I am very much enjoying the "guest room" upstairs as a boon "Room for Merlyn"...a "Merlyn Cave" as it were...to spread out my projects and LEAVE it in progress and can go back to it later. YAY for previous kicking arse on the house!

4) Merlyn's Blood Pressure (This AM's reading):
121/83  Not bad considering last night's dinner....oh and I had chips last night too...forgot to tell you that part.

All in all a goodly day! And one of the BEST parts of it all....

Is that I am getting an out pouring of support from others, who are joining me on this quest! I guess the inspiration that I mentioned for my motivation with fitting into a bodice...inspired Diane and Lynn to call this adventure: "The Bodice Diet" (for ladies) ....

and for the men?

Brian is calling his quest during this time the "No bread/white flour Diet!"

Geoffrey is saying that he just went back to vegetarianism and cranked up his exercise routine!


Cynthia is walking to work and appointments and while she eats healthy, she's paying even more attention!

Ellen has already lost 25# so far this spring and is giving us ideas for yummy good for you recipes!

Betsy has been supportive, has gotten a membership to a CSA and is gonna give me some of her chicken's eggs!

Jude is focusing on high protein, low carbs and lots of pretty colorful veggies!

Kristin inspired us with a "Special K" breakfast to kick things off!

So, remember....this IS all about you!

How did YOU do overall today?

Merlyn's challenge...

Ok, so Sterling Faire is about 5 weeks away....

I HAVE been being productive, creative and super organized...

but I am not ready for trudging the hills of Sterling (which GROW daily and exponentially by the end of the day...)


Merlyn's Challenge:

I will post here daily for the next few weeks
(along with my stories which the Muse MAKES me write)
4 things at the end of each day.

They will be:

1) Merlyn's Exercize Accomplishment for that day

2) Merlyn's Food/Drink (damage or prize) notation

3) Merlyn's Creative Accomplishment for that day

4) Merlyn's Blood Pressure (AM reading)



I NEED to drop a few pounds (Think over tight BODICES on a singer! I need to BREATHE people!)

and I NEED to be able to do the hills of Warwick in a manner that won't leave me breathless to play a rowsing set after traipsing me arse up them....


I need to get MY BABE ON!

The best way to do this is to eat only the following:

  • Vegetables - especially dark green leafy ones.
  • Beans of any variety.
  • Protein
  • Eggs
  • Whole grains
  • Whole grain oatmeal and pasta; corn, rice or spelt pasta.
  • Unprocessed seeds and nuts.
  • Vegetable oils which are unrefined (the kind that must be refrigerated)
  • Fruit
Basically, this means cutting out breads, sugar, dairy...and beer.

(Altho' I will tell you right now that I may have an occasional glass of red wine.

They say that's good for you, and otherwise...

I'll have no reason to sing :)


I will have YOU to be truthful to....


(drum roll ....rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr)


(Boom Tish!)

Anyone care to join me???

Could use some moral (or immoral ;) support...

I AM a beautiful lady (even with my chubs :) but it's also good for this SCOT to fit into my Garbaholic closet full of goodies :)

Mother Earth's Creature Feature of the Week: "Yellow Land Snails & Painted Turtles"

So the other day as I was working in my garden, I had a visitation by two creatures.

A turtle and a snail.

When recanting it to friends or pondering it in my mind, I mused a couple of questions:

"Where did that snail get that shell? Did he find it? We don't have shells around here, we live in a swamp. Not really seashell haven...this is Squirrel Haven." 
(While I see slugs in the garden, I rarely see a snail with a shell, and definately not one so noticeably big like the beauty I saw the other day!)

and another question:

"I wonder what kind of turtle that was?"
(We see turtles crossing the road about a mile down the road from a pond to the other side to a bog once in awhile. Unfortunately, some don't make the crossing safely. We even tried to get a snapping turtle out of the road once. He was HUGE. Teased him to bite a stick and carryied/dragged him off the road to safety. )

and one more from a friend:

"Both those creatures have houses on their back, and both appeared to you on the same day. I wonder what it means?"
(that, too, was a great thought!)

So, whenever I have a question, I will do a bit of research. It's the years of Parochial school coming back to me, when you asked a nun a question, she would inevitably say, "Look it up."  And so I did.


When looking at hundreds of pics, I believe what I saw was a "Yellow Land Snail." The one I saw had beautiful rings with black and white spirals. While this picture example is pretty, the one I saw was even more beautiful!
Land Snails are Gastropods. Meaning "Stomach Foot". While we think they are slow (a "snail's pace) they can actually travel a meter in 5 minutes. (try finding one after you put one down!) In the course of an evening, this means they can travel the course of a football field and back!

It likes wet, damp weather and leaves a slime trail. If it isn't damp, it can just find a spot, seal itself up and wait for "better weather" as it were. Most snails have lungs, but some have gills! And yes, they have teeth! Lots of little teeth (thousands!) called a Radula. They eat fruits and vegetables.

And NO, he/she (they are hermaphrodites :) didn't FIND the shell. It was born with it and over the years, it grows with the snail. They have to eat calcium to make a good hard shell. The first thing they eat is the egg that they hatch out of. It has been documented that some have even eaten the shells of their sister/brothers.
Snails usually live 5-7 years! I was amazed by this. They actually HIBERNATE. The more calcium they eat, the harder their shells become. I also saw that they use Yellow Land Snail shells for Hermit Crabs to live in.
And speaking of it being a "he/she" , as I said most are hermaphroditic and carry organs of both sexes. They use a "Love Dart" actually injecting a stab of semen into the partner, who will lay eggs in the soil. Reproduction can last HOURS or even a day. (what's not to like about this little guy? :)
A snail is just a Slug with a house. Kinda like a drummer with a girlfriend :)

They don't really "See" like with images on their tentacles, but more like get "light images". Their upper tentacles have their "eyes" while their lower ones are their "feelers". They live on an average 2-3 years with some living up to 30 years! 

So, I was thrilled to find out some of this information!

No, I still don't want them in my garden to ravage at will....and NO, I don't want to eat them, step on them in my bare feet or keep them for a pet.....but you have to admit, they are fucking kewl! :)


The other creature feature in my garden the other day was a turtle. But what kind? I looked and looked at lots of images of the turtle I found (and removed) from my garden. I placed him over the stone cinder block and nestled him in the ferns where he wouldn't be trapped. I found out that I had a visit from an Eastern Painted Turtle. It is a water turtle with a dark, smooth shell. As I said, we live on a wetland/swamp here at Squirrel Haven. There is a swamp across the street, and one out back in the woods. He was traveling to and from, I guess? It's a pretty common turtle for our area.

Here's a very interesting fact!

The sex of turtles is decided by temperature! If the nest is very warm, all the turtles will be females, if not, all the turtles will be males.  The shape of the bottom shell will tell you which sex they are. Flat for females, concave for males.

They are Omnivorous. They eat plants and worms, insects, SNAILS, tadpoles, frogs, fish and carrion. Good little clean up guys!

What eats turtles? Herons, fox, raccoons, fish, snakes, crows, hawks and other turtles.

Painted turtles do not bite, but they can scratch you if you pick them up.
(Kinda reminds you of Wolverine's Adamantium claws, doesn't it? I wouldn't fuck with him....)

Always wash your hands (I had on garden gloves at the time) because their shells carry bacteria. I also learned that MANY of the turtles in NYS are threatened and protected.

If you find a turtle, leave it alone, except if it is in a dangerous location. Move it to safety if possible.

Be wary of snapping turtles, as they can take off FINGERS! They are aggressive and WILL ATTACK.

So go ahead, punk, make his day :)

And for the last question:

Both these creatures have homes that they carry with them. Both appeared to you on the same day.   ("What does it all mean, Basil?")

The turtle is thought to be the wisest of souls, taking it's wisdom day to day.

The snail is thought to mean: protection, perseverence and stability. Sure footing.

The fact that both these creatures have homes with them at all times, tells me to keep plugging away. "Sure and steady wins the race...even at a snail's pace."

And to always remember:

"Home is where the heart is."

Hope you liked today's story :)

The sex of the turtles is decided by temperature. If the temperature in the nest was very warm, all the baby turtles will be females. If it wasn't warm enough, then all the babies will be males.The sex of the turtles is decided by temperature. If the temperature in the nest was very warm, all the baby turtles will be females. If it wasn't warm enough, then all the babies will be males.