Saturday, September 30, 2006


That's what I sound like, anyway. I am so sick! Runny nose, congestion (how does that work, exatcly?), head and ear aches becauwe of all the snot and sneezing like there's no tomorrow. In short, I'm not much fin to be round right now. Grr. Why do I always get sick on the weekend??

My Friday was a change from the normal routine as I went to the Maine Writing Project Effective Practices Conference. It was a good conference, even if it was hella far away (85 miles). I got to see my classmates from last summer which was fabulous - I didn't realize how much I missed them! Everyone looked wonderful.

As I was driving to Belfast that morning, I noticed something I just have to mention. I left my house at six a.m., so I saw loads of kids outisde waiting for their busses. I probably saw fifty kids. It was raining quite heavily, but not so much that I couldn't see that NONE of them were wearing a raincoat or carrying an umbrella. Not one! Where the hell are the parents?!?! Who lets there kids out in a downpour in nothing but a hooded sweatshirt? Cotton absorbs water quickly, but it doesn't dry quickly. Those kids were going to be damp the entire day. Is it really that hard to purchase a raincoat and give it to your kid? What does a cheap umbrella cost, two dollars? Come on, people, that is ridiculous.

There, now that I've vented, I feel much better. It's late, so I'm going to bed, but I promise to write more soon. Sweet dreams!


Monday, September 25, 2006

Cue the Cheesy Inspirational Music

I did it!!! I broke 180 pounds for the first time this morning. The scale said 179.6. Woo hoo! I'm so excited. Usually on the weekends I end up gaining weight, but this weekend we visited Bear's Godparents, so she cooked for us instead. I even said no to ice cream when we went to the mall! ME! Bear, his god mother and his god nephew (?) all had ice cream, and I - if you can believe it - had water. Willpower 1, Temptation 0. Can you tell how excited I am?
As a reward, I am going to drive straight home and WALK to the post office. I might take the dog, make a social visit out of it. Then again, I will walk faster without her. Hmmm. I'll have to think about that. It's only about a half mile away, but the more exercise I do the faster I'll be at 175.

Bear has spent the last week searching for a honeymoon for us. We've hit a snag in that everything is expensive, and we have no money to spend up front to reserve tickets or spots. We found an ideal honeymoon at a resort in Jamaica that's in our price range. We can afford it with the money we should get at the wedding, but there's no way the deal will be around then. Today he suggested that we stick around Maine for the week after we're married and do a tour of the coast, then do Jamaica in February when we can both really use it. I'm not sure how I feel about this, but I'm thinking on it hard.

Speaking of Bear, he's been working overtime at the mill to earn extra money for the wedding. How sweet is that? His job is exhausting already, and here he is working until dark everynight to earn some money. I suggested that I get another job, but he didn't think that I should since would get a low paying job and never see him - he can make more money in less time at the mill. Good point.
I've been up to my elbows in chores the past two weeks - laundry, dishes, vaccuming, picking up cat puke, etc. I was getting a little bit perturbed at what I perceived to be an imbalance in household chores, but since Bear is doing all that extra work, I think we're even. Besides, Bear and I struck a deal about the dishes (I'll tell you next time).


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Remember that Wedding Bug?

I think I have a fever from its bite. No kidding - it seems all I can think about lately is wedding stuff. I dont' want to talk about new bands I'm into, my students (who ar epretty great, by the way), my family - all I want to talk about is what we have planned and what needs to be done and what we can/can't do, etc. It's like the college-educated, articluate, fairly well-read person inside of me took a vacation and left me with the emotional, stressed out wedding planner. What gives?

Okay, so maybe it's true that I believe in getting married one time only. Not because of religious or cultural reasons, I just believe on making a decision and sticking with it. I don't make decisions lightly for that reason. I know without a doubt that Bear and I will have an amazing life together. Its the fact that I never had any doubts that showed me this. I never thought, "do I really love him?" or "Is this moving too fast?" or "Can I really be married to him forever?" because I knew the answers to all of those questions without asking (yes, no and yes respectively). In my previous relationships, I was always plagued by doubts. This turned out to be a good thing, because they really weren't such good guys in the end. It took a long time to figure it out, but I did. Too long, some would say, but that goes back to my desicion-sticking.

So if this is going to be my only wedding, shouldn't it be exactly what I want? I have a hard time listening to my voice first - if someone says why don't you do this, I hate to say no to them. That's what had me in some ugly wedding dresses the one time I went shopping with my mom. It's also why I'm not getting married in a small ceremony at my aunt's house - other people said that it would be a logistical nightmare (and they aren't completely wrong). It's beautiful there, though. The website for their farm is They have 1,700 acres of ocean-fronted land. They even have two mountains!!

I've accepted that I can't have that as my wedding. My parents also originally didn't want me to get married at their house, but TOUGH! I want the senic view, the outdoors, all of it. I want to get married on land that I grew up on, worked on, played on. I want my mobility challenged grandmother to be there. She's 91 and has a broken back. She can make it down to the pond. If someone has to drive her, they will.
I've had to make some other sacrifices, too. There are going to be many more people at the ceremony than originally planned. I want the reception to immediately follow the wedding (pictures will be done before), and there's no way to keep people out of the wedding when all they have to do is walk down the hill. Can you imagine the distraction? My mom is doing all kinds of things for the reception, and I'm going to just have to let her do it. So I wouldn't have had jellybeans as table favors... so what? If it makes her happy and its one less thing I have to worry about, I guess I'll just have to let her. Although she also wants my cousin to be my maid of honor, and I don't want her to be. I haven't said no firmly to that, but maybe I should. The problem is, who should I have in my bridal party? I can't believe that this is such a hard question, but it IS. My best friend was (and still might) be my maid of honor, but she's getting married four days later. I just want my day to be all about me. I don't want a stressed out future bride on my hands and I don't want people to talk about HER wedding instead of mine. Selfish, I know, but no one's going to talk about mine at hers, so isn't that fair?? Maids of honor have a lot of responsibilities, and I don't want to overburden her with mine when she has so many already. I can't even GO to her wedding, not that I think I would have been in the bridal party anyway. She never came out and said it, but I think it would have happened. I can't even begin to tell you how much that stings.

Finally, Bear and I have been scouring the internet looking at all possible honeymoon options. Its beginning to look like we aren't going to get to do anything we want - we wanted a cruise (too expensive), we wanted the Caribbean (too expensive) we wanted Scotland and Ireland (too expensive). It turns out that ALL of our extra money will be spent on the wedding with none left over for a celebration alone on some far flung shore. We thought about registering for a cruise so that people put money towards that instead of buying us gifts, but what happens if we don't get enough? Can we back out? I don't know.

Today I am going to read my Women's Health magazine and try not to stress. I am going to do my Yoga DVD and laundry and dishes and NOT talk about anything wedding related for the entire evening. I'll let you know how I did tomorrow.


PS Another blogger that I read religiously ( mentioned me in her post! It was the coolest thing EVER. So here's her shout out: Sue - you ROCK!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Good, Bad, and the Disappointing

The Good - I BOUGHT MY WEDDING DRESS! I got it yesterday at David's Bridal. I went with three dresses in mind rom my first visit, but I swore I would look around before I forced myself to choose one of them. I took a swing by the $99 rack, which are dresses that are discontinued (the leftovers from the previous season). There were about thirty dresses on the rack, and only one that I liked that was in my size. Well, actually, it was a 14, and all the dresses I'd tried on last time were 16s, but for $99 I figured it was worth a shot. Helen, aka Nana, the lady helping me flitted about picking the dresses I'd tried on before and getting my undergarments ready. This time instead of getting me a bustier she brought me a microfiber slip thing that was less constricting and hot. I slipped it on and she helped me put the dresses on. I modeled them in the mirror and was able to quickly rule out two of the five that I had. The third dress I tried on was the one with the red embroidery on it, and I still liked it, but wasn't sure about it. I was just worried that I'd look on those pictures ten years from now and wish I'd stuck with plain white. The fourth dress I tried on was the $99 one. It fit wonderfully and looked awesome. It was a sheath, so it wasn't too poofy, it was a nice length, and had some nice crystal beading on the top and side. It also had a side gather, which is very flattering on my figure. At that time Bear showed up and came back to see what I was up to. His first thought was, "Oh, God, I wonder how much that one costs." It should be mentioned there that I don't mind that he sees the dress. More on that another day. I told him that it was under a hundred dollars, but that I wanted him to see the other two finalists, too. I put the red one back on and he said that he liked it but wasn't crazy about it (same as me). Yeay, I was down to TWO choices! The other dress was my favorite from the first time, another sheath, this one with a cowl neck and a lower cut back. This time it zipped up, which it didn't do last time. That was very exciting. Wasn't I just saying the other day that I wanted proof of my weight loss? But once it was on, I didn't think it looked as good as the cheap dress. Bear agreed. My best friend had arrived by that point to return my camera, and she agreed, too. So for once in my life, I liked the cheapest option best! I can't even believe it. I will take some pictures of it so that I can post them here. I bought the dress, a red sash to give it some color, jeweled flip flops for getting out of the boat and a garment bag for a grand total of $136.66. Can you even believe it?

The Bad - I went to my dress appointment alone. Bear drove me down, and he gets huge kudos for that, but my best friend, my mom, NO ONE could come with me. My mom didn't even WANT to come. How can my own mom not want to see me get a wedding dress? I never thought I'd be twenty-five and have problems finding people to care about me and what's going on in my life. Beatrice did have her own appointment to go to, but she didn't invite me to hers, and something kept me from asking her to come to mine. If I hadn't wanted my camera back so badly, I don't think we'd have seen each other. I did give her her birthday presents (eleven months late, but they were hand made!), so who knows when I will see her again? It just seems that there is a huge chasm of unspoken stuff between us. I'm not sure what to do about it. I've been sitting on a world of emothional stuff dealing with her, knowing that if I mention it it will just push her further away. At the same time, last night Bear had to deal with me in tears last night. Trust me when I say I'm not a pretty crier. Beatrice and I need to talk, but I think part of me wants to wait and see if everything will just blow over, and in a year when everything is said and done, maybe it won't matter any more.

Disappointing - My childhood favorite bakery, McDonanld's Bakery, is no more. The cook, McDonald, sold his bakery. The new owners are no where near as good as he was, and life will never be the same. No sugar creme rolls, no eclairs, not even a single gingerbread man. It was so disapointing. I felt bad for taking Bear there. He will never know the sugary goodness that was McDonald's Bakery. Sigh.

But you know what? I've got my dress!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Not Quite So Close

This morning I was very excited to get on the scale. I thought for SURE I'd be at 179.8. I hopped on, and quess what I weighed? 180.4. Sigh. Am I ever going to break the 180 barrier? I did well yesterday - I did my yoga DVD (okay, so I didn't do the last progression, but Bear came home right then and I look like a fool with my legs in the air and my face all red and sweaty). I had a chicken stir fry for dinner with white rice and tons of veggies (green and red peppers and onions). No dairy at all for TWO days! Grrr. I want to know that I am going in the right direction. It's hard to know that if I don't see results. I've never dealt well with the theoretical. I need proof, damnit!
Tonight Bear and I are driving to my parents' (two weekends in a row!) so that I can buy my dress in Portland on Saturday. I still don't know which one I want to buy. I'm hoping inspiration strikes once I'm there. Bear wants to go to a local bakery in my hometown for breakfast on Saturday. On the one hand I am really excited to show him a staple of my childhood, but on the other hand I know what a tremendous calorie-overloaded temptation all of those sweets are going to be. Honey-glazed doughnuts, chocolate sugar-cream rolls, bismarks, double Dutch chocolate muffins, butterflake rolls... the list of tasty fattening treats goes on and on. How will I resist?
I had a dream last night that I asked my best friend what her song is going to be at her wedding. You know, the first song the couple dances to? In the dream, she said the song that has meant quite a lot to Bear and I for our entire relationship. It has been recently released on the radio, and is rapidly gaining popularity. I just looked at her and said, "No." When she said that I wasn't the boss of her wedding, I replied, "If you use that song, I will not be your friend any more. It has meaning to Bear and I that it doesn't have for you. No." She hung up on me, and used the song anyway. I was so hurt.
I know it's just a dream, but what is the etiquette for that sort of thing? She's getting married four days after I am. I'm not going to be at her wedding because Bear and I will be out of the country on our honeymoon. Do I have a right to veto a song? Does she? Is it first-come-first-serve, or do you not have any rights to a wedding song? I don't think my dream conversation would ever happen (she couldn't possibly be THAT mean), but what if it did? What will I do? Is it that terrible to want even one thing to be our own, that no one else has done or is doing?

I'm confused. Help!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Soooooo close!

This morning when I got on the scale it said 180.0. That's only .2 pounds away from seeing 179!! I am so close! Every time I get goo dnews like that it reinvigorates my determnination to lose the weight. I wasn't planning on doing my Yoga DVD today despite not having other commitments, but I am saying right here (in PRINT) that I AM going to do my yoga DVD tonight! I PROMISE. I was reading an article in a magazine and some pilates instructor said that normally with yoga/pilates you see or feel a difference in about eight to ten sessions. I've done four, I think, so I'm half way there. I know that as soon as I see a difference I will enjoy it more. Right now it still kind of hurts. I did do it on Monday, so I'm quasi on track.
Last night we went to Bangor to get groceries. No big deal. On the way home we got gas (we took my car). This morning when I got to school, another teacher walked in holding my wallet.
"Are you in the habit of leaving your wallet on the roof of your car?" she asked. "It was wedged in the roof rack. I noticed it when I came in this morning."
"That's strange," I reply. "I don't remember when I last had my wallet. We went to Bangor last night... then we got gas... I didn't use it today -" At that moment I realized what had happened. I had left my wallet on the roof of my car while I pumped gas then drove 50 MILES home with it on the roof. I went inside and went to bed, then drove 40 MILES to school this morning - again with my wallet ON MY ROOF!!!!! How it stayed on there the way I drive I will never know. Is that not the luckiest thing you have ever heard? That thing rode over 90 miles!! I can't even believe it. Nothing is missing, either - not a receipt, not a card, nothing.
I know that Bear is going to kill me when he reads this. Yesterday I forgot my cell phone at work, and two weeks ago I left a credit card at a restaurant and my camera in my friend's car. I don't know why I'm so absent minded lately! It's like my brain just isn't working. I am going to try to do a better job about remembering things from here on out.
Saturday I am heading back to Portland to buy a wedding dress. I'm not sure which one I'm buying yet, but as soon as I have pictures, I will post them for you. Hopefully by buying the dress this soon, I will have a ton of fun having it taken in a few months from now. According to the plan, I have until the end of the year to get down to 170. I know I can do it. A wedding dress can be a powerful motivator!


Monday, September 11, 2006

Another Awesome Weekend

And can they be anything else when my big, loveable Bear is involved? I think not. It seems every weekend we have another wonderful adventure. This weekend we visited my parents and went with them to our first experience at a Ducks Unlimited Banquet. If you are unfamiliar with Ducks Unlimited, visit their website: The banquets are a chance for the organization to raise money and for its members to win cool stuff. They have rifles, shotguns, decoys, knives and bird calls (if your into that stuff) as well as home furnishings, art pieces, gift certificates, decorations and children's toys (if you're into that stuff). There are two auctions - a regular one and a silent one. I won a beautiful picnic basket on the silent auction. I paid way too much for it, but damn it it's mine! I didn't bid at the regular auction, because stuff was too expensive. They had a ton of different raffles. I won a gift certificate at Inkblot Printing for $25 worth of stuff (maybe I'll buy thank you cards for the wedding?). My parents, aunt and uncle and my dad's cousin all won stuff, although no one won a gun. My dad's cousin won this hideous giant wooden swan. He doesn't know what he's going ot do with it, but we had fun putting it on cars and pretending it was a giant hood ornament, roadkill, and other things.
We also camped at my parents instead of sleeping on the world's most uncomfortable couch bed. Our new tent held up to the thundershower and kept us safe and dry. We were supposed to get our camera back on Sunday, but Beatrice and I couldn't be at the same place at the same time. It's a shame, because I don't have a picture of the new tent yet, but I will perhaps get the camera back on Saturday, when I will be in her neck of the woods.
I got an estimate for how much it's going to cost to outfit the reception with chairs, canopies, tables and such - too much! I do think that mom said she would help me out with the cost. I want to look for places more local to my parents since I'm getting married at their house, but I need to get a local phone book first. Maybe I'll have a chance to do that this weekend, too.

In other news, I've been writing a little bit - venting about stressors, mostly, but there might be something in there to turn into a creative piece. I'm hoping. I don't want my time in the Maine Writing Project to have been a waste. Three weeks until reunion!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Guilt and Shame

Yesterday, as I was driving to work, I saw a dog trotting down the side of the road. "You better go home to your family, Dog, " I thought. "Some little girl is missing you terribly." His tongue was hanging out of his head as though he was thirsty, but he had a collar on so he obviously belonged to someone. But I was in a hurry, there weren't any houses nearby, so I just kept driving.
This morning, driving the same road, I saw the dog again - dead. It was obviously hit by a car about two miles from where I saw him the previous morning. I feel so bad. What would it have cost me to stop, give the dog a drink of water, and look at his tag for a number to call? I could have saved that poor dog (and his owner) needless pain and suffering. I feel terrible. I should have stopped. Now it's too late - the poor thing is decomposing on the side of the road. I wonder if he saw the vehicle coming. I wonder if the driver stopped. I wonder if a little girl will be driving on the road, looking for her lost dog, and see him on the side of the road, dead. What an image for a child to carry around forever.
I'm a terrible person.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

How Sweet is He?

Bear and I have been talking about weight lately, for a lot of reasons. As of yesterday morning, my weight loss officially entered double digits (ten pounds!!). Later that day at Borders, Bear was walking through the isles looking for books when he turned to me and said, "I feel HUGE. I've GOT to do something." While I'm losing, he's gained a little - he's about twenty pounds heavier than when we met. I'm about thirteen pounds heavier. We live forty miles from the nearest gym, so joining the Y really isn't an option (not to mention we're broke). Winter's coming soon, too, so outdoor activities are about to become limited. So, after careful consideration, we've decided to purchase an exercise bike, probably recumbant. It is expensive, but it's the only cardio machine Bear can do thanks to a poorly healed break in his ankle, and it will complement my Yoga DVD nicely. I used to have huge thighs from bike riding all summer - it'd be kind of nice to see some of that back. And really, the wedding is less than 300 days away and I'm still thirty pounds away from my target.

Some weight loss facts for you:
  • Five pounds of fat is the size of three grapefruits.
  • Five pounds of muscle is the size of two tangerines.
  • One pound of fat consists of 3,500 calories.
  • Divided by seven, that means to lose one pound a week you need to cut 500 calories out of your diet each day.
  • Twenty ounces of Pepsi has 250 calories.
  • An extra 100 calories a day will make the average woman gain ten pounds a year.
  • Normal BMI (Body Mass Index is 18.5 to 24.9. Mine is 26.7
  • A pound of fat burns two calories an hour. A pound of muscle burns thirty-five.
At lunch today, I texted Bear, "I cannot WAIT to marry you."
He texted back, "I can't wait either - I want at least 50 years with you."

At least now I feel like we're going to have a shot at that. :)