Tuesday, December 31, 2013

...loading 2014

Gosh, I'm pretty boring.  I don't have a list of all these fantastic resolutions or a countdown of all the amazing posts that I've written, or a recap of a bunch of amaing pics, etc, etc. 

I will list some stats!

I've lost a total of 13.8 lbs in 2013.  Not the greatest, but it's a loss!
Lost 0.5 inch off my arms, thighs & waist.  0.75 off my hips.  Somehow managed to gain an inch on the bust, but I'm thinking that had something to do with a perkier bra. 

Since I've started at the gym, I can already imagine my stomach getting flatter.  I've only gone twice, so I'm sure that is just that - imagination! 

This is my 111th post of 2013 on this blog. 
I've written 72 posts over at Tales from the Love Love Shaque. 
I've written 103 posts over at the Maple Grove Cemetery. 

608 page views to THIS Friend Makin' Monday post.
319 page views to me checking in after vacation.
Those are like huge jumps over all the rest of my page views ever!  WTF??
All the rest are around 15 - 30 views. 

The major thing is that I turned 40.  And surprisingly am OK with that, especially after how I hated being 39. I kept wondering what I was supposed to be doing with my life and OMG, my kid is 15, and all sorts of wonderful thoughts like that.  I'm kind of bummed that we were on vacation for my birthday, so I didn't even get a cake or presents. It was an awesome trip, tho.  No one made a big deal out of it, except my boss & closest co-worker (aka, the Billing Department)

Before I left for vacation, they put paper cut-out "40"s all over the damn office - anyplace I might ever possibly go... there were easily 100 of these things!

And of course on my desk. 

This is what I came back to after vacation.  

So let's see.  What else?  Hmmm, nothing terribly exciting!  I went back thru both other blogs and there were the usual family outings, dance competitions, dance recitals, radio stuff.

I'm happy that we are all healthy and have had no drama - 
may 2014 be the same!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I'm still alive!

I thought I took it somewhat easy (or so it felt at the time) with my first workout at Anytime Fitness on Friday.

I met with Sharon, the trainer (imagine the typical 0% body fat, perky, petite little chick) and we went back to the office and she asked me a bunch of questions.  What my goals are (to lose the last the last 40 lbs in 2014), how often I expect to be at the gym (3-4 times a week, which she said is ideal), on a scale of 1 to 10, how important is exercise (10!!) and of course the typical medical questions to ensure I don't keel over on their property. She was happy to hear that I was active in Weight Watchers and could tell her my exact weight as of the night before. Then she did the body fat measurer thingy and she didn't seem surprised by the numbers for body fat or BMI, but said that if I did lose the 40 lbs, I'd be golden.  And I know that.  For my height, 175 is the upper end of the range for WW and do-able in my mind.  Granted my BMI would still be considered in the overweight range but *pppppbth* to that.  140 lbs is the lower end of the healthy range and I just can't see me that low.  I have a big frame and need ~some~ meat!

Then she said weights & cardio would be what helped me the most.  I made sure to tell her that I don't run unless chased and she was OK with it.  So she said I should do at least 30 minutes cardio, either on the treadmill or elliptical.  She said I could do 15 minutes as a warm up, then do the circuit machines, then do the other 15 minutes as a cool down.  She showed me how to do all the circuit machines and suggested what weights I should set them at (I've already changed a couple, made them heavier) Then said I should do a set of 10 reps on each machine and move quickly to the next one. Do all the machines 3 times.  Then she sent me on my way.

I did the 10 reps x3 and did 10 minutes on the elliptical.  That takes some talent!  I did fine for the first 8.5 minutes, then lost my rhythm and was all flailing around for a while.   I'm sure it was quite comical to the trainers sitting in the office right there! Anyhooo, it tacked on another 2 minutes for cool down then I went to the treadmill for another 15 to walk and bring my heart rate down.

I was feeling pretty good when I left there.  I could tell I was going to feel it, but was surprised that Saturday I was just feeling tight.  I did a little stretching and didn't think anything more of it.  It was sunny and 45 degrees, so I took the dog for a walk.  I was wearing my hiking boots due to melting snow, so my legs still got a workout.  Today I was OK, until we started taking Christmas decorations down and putting them away.  It was like as I was standing there, rolling up extension cords that I realized my arms were sore!  And my legs.  Nothing else really so much.

So I will be going back tomorrow.  I'm going to shoot for going Monday evening after taking Miss Angela to dance, Wednesday afternoon (after taking Miss Angela to dance!) and either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.  They have a 9am Saturday Zumba class, so I may even do both!  I passed this week, just because I expected to be sore & such.  I wonder how crazy it's going to be in there this week, with all the typical New Year's Resolution people showing up?  I know WW will be packed, it always is!  At least for a month or so.

Bring it on!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

I'm so excited!

I'm excited for tomorrow!    My dear, wonderful hubby got me a 6 month membership to Anytime Fitness and it started today! 

I stopped in after work tonight and got my ID photo taken and a brief tour of the facility and set up an appointment with a fitness consultant for tomorrow!  I will get a consultation and a 30 minute workout and learn how to use the machines and such.

Weigh in tonight was not unexpectedly ugly.  Last weekend in Lima, we sat around a hotel for a day and a half and did nothing but stuff our faces with random junk and drink way more than I have in a long time.  I did go swim with the siblings for an hour Saturday night, since 9-10 pm was adult swim only...but we were allowed to have beer in the pool, as long as it was not a glass bottle!  Christmas Eve was more sitting around eating & drinking. 

And of course, yesterday - Christmas Day - we went to Frankenmuth for dinner (after donuts for breakfast since I forgot to buy real breakfast goodies).   Zehnders & the Bavarian Inn are both well known for their chicken dinner. And of course, it is fried.  I was never overly impressed with it anyway, so I was glad to see some other options on the very limited menu. So I got this chunked chicken thingy smothered in feta cheese and wrapped in phyllo dough and drizzled with some raspberry goo.  It was actually pretty tasty.  And of course there was mashed potatoes & gravy, green beans, mashed squash, cranberry salsa, stuffing & chicken noodle soup.  And a dish of ice cream for dessert. 

So here's the scoop.  I will happily allow someone to come kick my ass if I get off the bandwagon again!  I can't count on my family to keep me on the straight & narrow, so I'll have to start posting here more to keep me accountable.

I took my measurements tonight.  No wonder my pants / skirts have felt snug!
Since July 25....
thigh  was  24.25  /  is  25  =  +.75 inch
arm  was  12.5  /  is  12  =  -.25 inch (WTF???  That's been 12.5 forever!)
bust  was  45.75  /  is  47  =  +1.25 inch
waist  was  41  /  is  42  =  +1 inch
hips  was  46.5  /  is  47  =  +.5 inch
weight  was  205.2  /  is  211.8  =  +6.6 lbs

Tonight's meeting was sort of fun!  There were only 2 of us with the leader, so she pulled up and chair and we just chatted for 1/2 hour.  About our holiday plans & strategies.  I'm so glad that all my gatherings & such are done for the year!  Now to get rid of the candy from the stockings and someone else really needs to eat that bowl of gingerbread M&Ms sitting on the counter.  I find myself (without thinking ) grabbing a few every time I walk by. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I know it's late in the day, but all of us here at the Love Shaque wish you and yours the very best this day and in the coming year. 

I'm pretty excited - look at what Randy got for me!  
I'm going tomorrow to check it out and make an appointment for a fitness consultation! 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Happy Halfway Thru December!

Wow, I have sucked at posting here lately!  I have updated my "WIP" tab so it's not like I've totally ignored the blog entirely.  I even missed the 13 in 13 update, sheesh!

Brief rundown...looks like I was up in September, stayed the same in October....then shit hit the fan and I was up a LOT in November and the first week in December.  I was feeling that.  It was horrible.  What really caught my attention was that I'd had a Fiber One bar one morning at work and it happened to be snack day when HR brings around a basket of goodies to choose from. I got a Kellogg's Greek Yogurt protein bar. That was the worst mistake of my entire life.  My stomach hurt so had, I thought my skirt (the one time I did NOT wear an elastic waist!) was going to cut me in half.  Luckily, Randy had some Gas-X at home so I drove home with the zipper undone.  Thought I was gonna die!

But then I woke up and I made sure to be more conscious of what I was stuffing my face with and it showed on the scale - down 2.2 lbs this past week!  Yay!

I'm sort of intrigued with WW new program change.  It seems to be pushing non-processed foods (and they had some awesome looking recipes I want to try) and almost seems to be trying the Core Program again.  No counting points if you're following that plan, etc.

Friday night we picked up one of Miss Angela's friends and went to Rochester to see the lights.  We always have dinner at this awesome little diner called "chomp".  They have a regular menu, but the specials are created by some food wizard they employ.  I had this roasted butternut squash / caramelized onion / slivered almond / cheddar cheese / something else on an awesome ciabatta bun.  Paired with some sweet potato fries - mmmmmm.

Anyhooo, - this is what I'm talking about.

 Both sides of the street are like this, for a good mile or so. 
(not my pic.  Mine aren't this awesome.  Found it on chomp's FB page)

Bundled up.  Well, one of us was!

Life imitating art. 

Last night was my company Christmas party and I feel I handled it pretty well.  It was at an upscale Italian restaurant so you know the food was amazing.   I did have 3 Bud Lights, mainly because I am a wine idiot and usually drink the cheap stuff, so I wouldn't know what to ask for to get something I'd like.  I felt pretty good that I didn't heap my plate high and only chose foods that were what I didn't consider "everyday".  Like I skipped the lasagna, but enjoyed the beef medallions and the amazing chicken rigatoni with mushrooms. I tried the chicken picatta, but wasn't thrilled with it so I simply didn't finish it!  I skipped the cookies on the dessert table, but had a mini cheesecake (to DIE for) and I was supposed to share a cream brulle with Randy, but he went nuts with everything else and couldn't eat any.  So I about 1/3 of it.  I was full after dinner, but I wasn't hurting, so yay me!

I feel that Halloween & Thanksgiving are a lot harder holidays to survive, food wise.  They're the ones that have the food that won't go away!  Leftovers for days!  Not so with Christmas.  I know that's not the same for most people.  Christmas party - dinner with colleagues.  Altho the leftovers are already at the office and will appear for several days. I can ignore that. Maybe not the rigatoni, but I'll try. Christmas with the family will be interesting.  Since Dad passed away in 2009, all of our old traditions went out the window.  We used to spend Christmas Eve at one of the sisters' house.  Mine is only 850 sq. feet and there's just no room for a decent gathering.  Then we'd go over to Mom & Dad's house on Christmas morning and exchange gifts and Dad would make pancakes.  Not anymore!  This year, sister Laurie thought it would be brilliant to meet our brother Terry halfway between his ours and most of ours.  So next weekend we will be in Lima, Freakin' Ohio.  There is not crap to do in Lima. So they expect to spend Friday evening, all of Saturday and half of Sunday, sitting in a damn hotel room, visiting.    Someone just kill me now.

Anyway, dinner is almost ready for the fam (fish sticks for them , tilapia slabs for me), so I need to hurry & set the table, etc.  I leave you with Twisted Sister's O Come All Ye Faithful for your listening enjoyment.  This is my favorite version of this song!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A date which will live in infamy...

This is my favorite picture ever.  
The USS Arizona, the USS Missouri and a carrier coming in from behind. 

Look closely - the rails of the carrier are manned
with sailors in their dress whites, 
rendering honors as they pass. 

Never forget. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Friend Makin' Monday - the Holidaze and more - part 2

Happy Monday!  

Woohoo! I'm so happy that the studio didn't get any info (or calls / emails returned) about dancing at the Lions halftime show on Thanksgiving.  I get 3 evenings to myself instead of running off to Ford Field every night!   

I went to another annual craft show with mom & the sisters this weekend - look at what I bought!!

I totally need a good drag queen name for her.  I put the pic on FB and I really like my niece's suggestion of "Fantasia".  Yes, I name inanimate objects.  It's truly easier when you have a big display like I do at Halloween to name them, since when I tell Miss Angela that 'Jayne' needs to be moved or something, she knows exactly which prop that is.   However I don't do that as much at Christmas.  I have approximately 75 gazillion nutcrackers - they're not all being named!!

Onto FMM ....

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

The Holidays and More: Part 2

1. What state/country do you live in? SE Michigan (clearly, since I mentioned going to Ford Field!!!)

2. Where were you born? Were you raised there? I was born in a little town about 15 miles from where I live now.  My mom still lives in the house her & Dad bought when they got married 50+ years ago (Dad passed away 10/09 and they'd had their 50th anniversary 4/09) . That's where all of us grew up.  The only time I lived outside of Michigan was during my 8 years in the Navy.   I will note that if hubby says we're moving to Arkansas (where he's from) I'd be packing before he finished the sentence!

3. How do you feel about stores like Wal-mart opening on Thanksgiving Day for pre-Black Friday sales? Will you participate? I think it's crap and there's no way I will subject myself to such asshattery. My deepest sympathy to the employees that have to work in that.

4. Have you ever participated in a Turkey Trot? Will you do one this year? No.  I'm sure there will be walks taken around my sister's house.

5. What was your favorite toy as a child? I was odd.  I loved playing outside, so I had my worms & dirt. I also had a bunch of Barbies and a Raggedy Ann doll that went everywhere with me.  I was so sad when Ann fell apart, but I managed to find another, almost identical one at the Salvation Army and had to get her!  This one has a different dress and made of sturdier material, but she still has the embroidered "I Love You" on her chest.  

6. Will you count points/calories on Thanksgiving Day?  Keeping Kenlie's answer..... I’m always aware of how much I eat (even when it’s too much.) I won’t eat everything that I see on Thanksgiving, but I won’t count the points too closely either. (I should. I know I should…I’m just being honest about it.)

7. Will you watch football Thursday?  Most likely.  We know the Lions will be playing!

8. Do you decorate inside/outside of your home for the holidays?  Yes!  I'm slowly gathering Thanksgiving / Harvest decor, but I started to choke it out already by bringing in the Nutcracker Army to I could check them all over for needed repairs / restorations.  I have a bunch of Christmas blowmolds that will go in the yard on Saturday.

9. Do you have allergies that prevent you from eating traditional holiday meals? Nope. Unless you could the fact that I break out in fat?

10. Is it snowing where you live?  We've had some flurries, but nothing major yet. Cold enough to cause ice crystals in your nose, tho!

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions. Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments. We had some new FMM-ers last week so let’s be sure to make them feel welcome this week! Happy Monday, friends

Monday, November 18, 2013

Friend Makin' Monday - Holidaze!

We had such a fun weekend! I'm sure I've gained at least 25 lbs (small exaggeration - probably just 20) from not even thinking about Weight Watchers or good choices. My daughter & her competition dance team had a convention for the whole weekend. Granted most of the day (while they were dancing with various choreographers), I sat on my ass and watched, but the evening made up for it! Story Here

But I found it was easier to use the stairs in the hotel than to use the elevator. The ballrooms and most of our suites were on the end of the wing, and the elevators were in the middle of the building. The door to the stairs was right outside our door. However, I was happy to realize later that each time I ran from ballroom to suite, I did RUN up those stairs!

Anyhow, some tired kids last night!! We had to leave the hotel & go get the dog from my sister & that ended up being a 90 minute + drive, and I did see Angel going head bobs over there, but she didn't want to recline her seat! What a goof!

Onto FMM.....

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!


1. What are you plans for Thanksgiving this year? Usually I have to go crazy running Miss Angel and extra girls to Ford Field for the Detroit Lions Halftime show rehearsals, but we haven't gotten any info yet so I don't think it's actually happening this year. I have a half day of work Wednesday, and she doesn't have school, so we'll go to my sister's house like usual. We will probably stay til Saturday or until I get tired of them!

2. At what point do you being celebrating the Christmas season? Friday after Thanksgiving, I will help my sister drag her Christmas stuff out of storage and put up her tree. I will start putting my stuff out when I get home. That's when I will finally start maybe turning on that one radio station that has been playing Christmas music since before Halloween.

3. Do you celebrate Christmas, or do you celebrate another holiday? Yes!

4. If you could have one present (you know, a material good, not love or world peace) what would you want? I'd love a new car, but that won't happen. So I want an Amazon card so I can get more books for my Kindle.  And cute underwear.

5. Share an idea or two that you can plan to do for someone who may need to feel loved throughout the holiday season. Hmmm. We always send gifts & gift cards to Randy's mom who lives alone in Arkansas. That was she can go out to dinner with her sister or whoever. We spend every other year with her, but this is our "off" year. His sister is there, but she's pretty useless. And he is leaving next Saturday to drive down and spend Thanksgiving with her.

6. Would you rather spend the holiday season on the beach or in the snow? I am a Northern girl. I like the cold! I had to spend a Christmas alone in California one year while in the Navy - there were 2 different report dates listed on my orders to a new command, so I, of course, opted to check in at the earlier one and my ship was out to sea! So I had a room on base and put up a little tree and the presents I'd received from home. But it didn't feel like Christmas at all!

7. What is your favorite Thanksgiving food? All of it!

8. Will you participate in Black Friday shopping? Hell.To.The.No. I don't care much for shopping to begin with and I sure won't go throw myself into a crazy shopping fray!

9. Will you travel for the holidays or stay at home? If you’re traveling, are you flying or driving or making alternate plans? Driving to my sister's - about 40 minutes.

10. List at least 5 things for which you are currently thankful.
  • my family & critters
  • my worldly possessions (roof over my head, dependable car, clothes to wear, etc)
  • my job
  • everyone's health
  • my talents & creativity
Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments.  Happy Monday, friends!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ugh, where is that wagon??? 13 in 13 update

So yeah - I've totally fallen off the wagon lately.  I haven't been tracking, I've been shoveling Halloween candy in like there's no tomorrow and I haven't done a bit of actual exercise.  So the 2 lb gain I had this week really isn't a big surprise.  Being sick for the past week or so hasn't helped me out in the slightest!

So here are my monthly progress reports - since I've sucked badly at posting the weeklies.

For my 13 in 13 update - basically I failed in just about all aspects of it for October.  Sure didn't attend all the meetings, I haven't been posting my weekly progress reports, I did do OK with the activity points.  Meal planning has been so-so. 15 minutes per day working on the house - HA!  I did however, have a fence around the cemetery at Halloween!  That was a goal!  Granted I had bought 4 rolls (60 feet total) of 2' tall garden fencing from Lowe's, but it looked great!  And as for veggies....meh.  But tonight, since I'm home alone....I had Sweetly Sauteed Brussels Sprouts.  I think it's supposed to be a side, but I had it alone.  Pretty tasty!  A whole lot better than boiled & swimming in butter!

So for November, we're supposed to think about random acts of kindness that we can do.  Every year, I always put $$ in every Salvation Army red kettle that I pass.  I already know that I will have a carload of girls this year driving to Ford Field 3 days in a row, for rehearsals for the Lion's halftime show on Thanksgiving. That helps out several other parents. And while we're at my sister's house at Thanksgiving, I always go out & take care of the horses for her so she can sleep in.  Are acts of kindness selfish if you enjoy doing them??

Anyhoooo, I'm going to be more conscious of my blogging (do it more!!) and also getting back on the program.  Along with those 2 lbs, I've noticed that I feel blah.  It didn't help that we had family portraits last night & the pose we did was not exactly flattering for either Randy or I.

However, I do really like this one!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Friend Makin' Monday - Food Matters (late!!)

UGH! I was so busy trying to stay busy so I didn't crash yesterday that I didn't get to FMM! I've been sick for about a week and am just getting over it. On the plus side, I got a ton done at work, most of the outdoor Halloween stuff (and I have a LOT) put away and went to the kid's dance studio to do some more painting - this time in the staff lounge. There's not a wall in that place that I haven't painted and I'm pretty sure there's not anything else to do. Finally!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Food Matters

1. Are you familiar with GMO’s? Is it an issue that matters to you? I have a hard time believing something created in a lab can be good for us. I keep picturing evil scientists.

2. List a few items that are typically on your grocery list. Fresh fruits & veggies, milk, yogurt.

3. What is your favorite place to shop for produce? I usually go to the little local Hollywood Market- they have an awesome meat counter! But only the basics for produce. If I want a bigger selection, I go to Kroger.

4. Do you eat processed foods? Yes. Not as much as I used to, tho. Oh wait. Lean Cuisines / Smart Ones are processed - I usually take those for lunch at work.

5. Do you look for the “organic” label when you shop? Not really.

6. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Oatmeal with some protein powder, Greek yogurt & PB2 mixed in.

7. How many meals per week do you cook at home? Hmm, breakfast & lunch - hardly ever. On the weekends, it's usually "fend for yourself". We eat when we get hungry. Dinners I'd have to say 6 times a week. It's tough to work around the hubby being late at work and the crazy dance schedule the kid has.

8. Do you think that foods that have been genetically engineered should be labeled? Totally!

9. What matters most to you when you’re choosing a restaurant? Atmosphere & the menu.

10. What is your favorite meal to cook at home? Oh, there are lots! Spaghetti & lasagna go over well with the picky-asses (kid & hubby). Anything on the grill is good. Basically, things I know the noses won't be turned up at & actually happily eaten.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Friend Makin' Monday - What if?

Happy Monday!  The extent of my day yesterday was going to get some pumpkins and carve some jack-o-lanterns!  Other than that - it was recovery.  Saturday was crazy, I got my house mostly clean, folded a couch full of laundry, set the fence up around my cemetery outside & rearranged a few props.  Then I had to get witchified!  I've been looking forward to this Witch Crawl for weeks!  We spent an hour or so at Bar #1.  Then 50 or so of us witches got onto 2 buses and rode for a good 30+ minutes to bar #2.  It was fun - lots of people in fun & creative costumes besides us.  Piled back onto the bus and right back off (I think we drove next door) for bar #3.  Patio area & upstairs were lame, lower floor was where the dancefloor was - yay! Finally got back to bar #1 shortly after 1am.  Some people stayed there, not us.  One of my sisters was staying at my house, so hubby was our DD.  I let him know when we left bar #3 and he was waiting for us. 

me, Laurie & Linda

Judging the condition of some of the witches, I'm sure there was a nice chunk of change donated to breast cancer research! 

Onto FMM - 

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

What If?

1. If you had something in your teeth would you want someone to tell you, or would you prefer to figure it out on your own?  Tell me!

2. If you had to listen to one song on repeat all day today, which song would you choose? Anything from Def Leppard.

3. If you could trade places with someone famous, with whom would you trade? Ugh.  I don't know.  I'd hate for paparazzi to be stalking my every move.

4. If you could speak another language fluently, which one would you speak?  Spanish.  Of course they'd love me at work, since we have a lot of Mexican truck drivers that don't speak English well.

5. If you could read one person’s mind right now whose would you choose?  There's not anyone I'd really want to read!

6. If you were forced to go back in time, which period of your life would you choose? Of MY life?  Probably my Navy years.  I loved the travel & seeing new things & places.

7. If you had to be trapped in a TV show for a month, which show would you choose? I don't watch much TV, so I can't even begin to guess one.

8. If you had to give up twitter or Facebook, which would you choose? I don't Twit, so I'll keep my FB.

9. If you could have a present today, what would you want? A new car!

10. If you had to choose between celebrating Halloween or Christmas, which would you choose?  Halloween!  Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, but Halloween is my day!

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments! Happy Monday!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Friend Makin' Monday - a New Season

Whew I was busy this weekend!  Homecoming is finally over - Our Varsity team stomped the competition 40-8!  And the dance sounded like more fun than anything I had ever experienced when I was in high school!  
Shelby is technically wearing heels - those red tenny's have wedge heels built in. 
Angel opted not to wear her hip-hop kombat boots.  I'm sorta glad! 

No, she's not a ham at all! 

I'm slowly but surely getting ready for Halloween! I spent a lot of time dis-assembling part of the cemetery to mow the lawn, then reassembling it with more. I brought out the skeletons!  They've been chilling on lawn chairs on the patio for probably 2 weeks.  

Oh yeah, then wind happened.  I heard it after we got in bed last night and mentally toured the cemetery and decided everything was OK.  I'd forgotten about the sign with the cemetery name on it!  The wind blew it over (again! ) and broke one of the legs off.  Crap!  I'd just fixed it from last year!  Grrr. 

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

A New Season

1. What is your favorite thing about Fall? Clearly Halloween!  I also love the smell of fall and seeing the trees change colors, hearing them crunch.

2. It’s not Fall until…after the girl's birthday (9/28)

3. Apple cider or hot chocolate?  I have some awesome mint hot chocolate from Trader Joes that is amazing. Cider is nice, but you need donuts with it.  That's a bad trigger for me!

4. Share a happy Fall memory. Going to the orchard, hay rides, trick-or-treating.  Also, my dad's funeral was 10/27/09. A sad time, yes. But while at the cemetery, as the workers closed the file cabinet door (he's in an above-ground crypt and that's how I think of it), the sun made it's only appearance of the day just for a brief moment, as if a door had opened & closed.  That really made me happy.

5. Do you have any hobbies that are seasonally specific? Not really.

6. What do you miss most about Summer now that it’s officially over? Long days & sleeping with the windows open!

7. Do you prefer pumpkin pie or pecan pie? Pumpkin, no hesitation!

8. Do you suffer from allergies? Occasionally.  My sinuses do act up sometimes when the weather changes.  It sucks.

9. How do you celebrate Halloween?  I'd love to throw a party, but my house is tiny.  But my yard is big and I have Maple Grove Cemetery.  No one else in the neighborhood decorates to the extent I do and the kids love it!   Maybe this could be considered my seasonal hobby, even tho I prepare for it year-round?  This year I'm also going on my first Witch Pub Crawl.  It should be a lot of fun, even tho I'm not a big boozehound.

10. What is the biggest change that you expect to experience during this season? The day after Halloween when MGC goes away for the season.  Its always a sad moment.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Friend Makin' Monday - All About The Blog

Aw, heck - what did I even do this weekend?

 Friday was nothing much, I've been fighting a tension headache from work so it was nice to get home after work and just hear nothing louder than a purring cat. (seriously - I'm going to throat punch this one guy who just makes me crazy, and I don't even work for him!). Saturday, Miss Angela and I went to a couple thrift stores and craft stores to find items for her Homecoming pep rally outfit. Homecoming is this Friday and today was their pep rally - Sophomores wore red, Juniors wore blue & Seniors wore white. So we found a pair of blue shorts that she could paint & also a little girl's Halloween costume (for $2 !!) with a ginormous blue tutu on it. I cut off the top and little shorts & she had her tutu!

Today's assembly was basically to compete & see which class was most obnoxious. I do believe this year's seniors made have screwed over a lot of the classes to come. She texted me a while ago & said someone had gone into the junior's parking lot (they have to park across the street from the school) and all their cars had gotten covered in white paint. I'm so glad she's not driving yet, I'd be pissed! Can't wait to see the consequences of this!

So tomorrow is PJ day, Wednesday is wear your Homecoming t-shirt day with winter accessories (the theme is Winter Wonderland), Thursday is Ugly Sweater day and Friday is Show Your School Spirit Day. The game is Friday night & the dance Saturday night.

Anyhoooo, Sunday I took care of my sister's horses since she's on vacation, then went to get pics at a couple neat old cemeteries. Then the hubby had volunteered us to do radio for a church's food / $ raising Crop Walk. There were actually extra Hams there, so Angel & I offered to be the rear-flank. We followed behind all the walkers so the church people along the route knew that there weren't anyone else coming. It was a poor choice. Neither of us were wearing good walking shoes, especially for 4 miles!

Damn, I'm hawt!

Onto FMM....

All about the Blog

1. How long have you been blogging? Since July 2009. I waffled a bit whether or not I wanted 1 blog or 2, but now I have 3.

2. What is the overwhelming theme of your blog? Going back to the 3 blog comment, this one is mainly about losing weight / getting fit / Weight Watchers. Tales from the Love Shaque is just random thoughts & happenings in life. Maple Grove Cemetery is my Halloween blog - I'm posting daily over there right now for the Countdown to Halloween!

3. Have you connected with people in person after meeting them through blogging? Not yet.

4. What do you enjoy most about blogging? I like getting my thoughts & plans in order & mainly is like a journal.

5. How often do you blog? Obviously with the Countdown to Halloween, daily! I post here a couple times a week and really need to post more on TFTLS.

6. Share one thing that you don’t like about blogging. I can't say that there's really anything I truly don't like about.  I do tend to get wordy.  Oh, and people who have Captcha on !

7. Do you talk about your blog in everyday life? Somewhat. Hubby & Girl know that I blog, but I don't think they read any of them. I've been known to announce that something is blog fodder.

8. What is the coolest and most unexpected thing that has happened to you as a result of blogging? I won a drawing from one of the bloggers that I follow and got some awesome custom made Halloween display items that they were passing on.

9. Are there topics that are off-limits on your blog? If so, name a few… I don't go out of the way to avoid certain topics, but I don't talk about some because I simply don't find them interesting.

10. If you could accomplish one thing through your blog before the end of this year, what would you want to accomplish? Hmmm. I haven't thought of accomplishments. Hopefully I can share a good idea or some kind of inspiration that helps someone.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

September 13 in 13 late update

Sheesh, how could I have forgotten???  Oh yeah- there was a Sweet 16 birthday party & a totally insane week at work last week!

August's recap

Just quick.....I've been doing somewhat well with tracking & activity.

Didn't make all the WW meetings (and don't even feel guilty!)   In fact I missed 2.  I dropped in at another location for one of those weeks. And the September challenge was sleep.  Normally I think I'm doing OK with it, but when the thought is sort of lurking in the back of my mind, I didn't get enough!

On the plus side - I tried Zumba for the first time.  Very fun!  They didn't have it last week and I was sort of glad since I was so tired of just being on the run every night and having to cover for a co-worker 2 days and the guilt that I didn't started setting my Halloween display up yet, etc, etc, etc.

Other than that, it's better now.  We had a relaxing weekend, and I have about 2/3 of the yard display set up and about 1/8 of the indoor decor out.  I caught up on my sleep!   I got 11 hours last night and that it totally unusual for me!

Happy Week to Come!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Friend Makin' Monday - This or That?

There was abosuletly NO tracking going on this weekend!  Miss Angela's birthday party took up the ~entire~ weekend!
Aaaw!  Look at the round melon!

We ended up with Friend #1 right after school on Friday because her parents were driving down south to pick up their new dog.  Saturday we had breakfast, got Angel's main gift - her belly button pierced - then a field trip to the store to get her cake & such.  

We picked up friend #2 on the way home and friend #3 drove herself over.  We had cake & ice cream and then went to the mall.  That trip was thankfully short - I hate the mall!  Friend #2's parents wanted to meet me before letting her spend the night.  I totally respect that, I do the same.  They inhaled pizza, then I dropped the whole herd off at the movie theater & enjoyed a couple hours of quiet until I got a text to pick them up.  I think they finally went to sleep around 1 am. 

Sunday, I made cinnamon rolls to wake them up and we met my family out at the orchard - and of course it started to rain. So we didn't get to go on the jumping pillows or on the giant drainage pipe slide.  We visited the petting farm and had cider & donuts and it stopped raining long enough to tackle the corn maze. Friends #2 & 3 left from the orchard and we finally got rid of #1 around 7pm last night.

And of course, we still had to take Miss Angela out to dinner, since the hubby had been gone all weekend.  For some reason, she really likes Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill.  They don't have much selection and the food is only so-so.  And Sundays they have live music which was WAY too loud.   But she got her free deep-fried Twinkie and was happy.

Sweet 16 Detroit Red Wings cake! 
I've taught her well. 

Now that her birthday is over.....I get to decorate for Halloween!  Yay!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

This or That?

1. Meat and potatoes or pasta? Meat!  Actually, I like pasta, too.  But there's no possible way I could ever be a vegetarian.

2. Do you prefer Apple or Android?  I've never had an Android (hubby does, tho) so I have to go with Apple.  I'm pretty happy with my iPhone.

3. Do you kiss and tell, or do you keep it private? Keep it private.  I'm married so it's no secret that I'm getting nookie!  No one needs to know details.

4. If you had to choose one, would you choose Facebook or Twitter? I don't Twit, so Facebook.

5. Christmas or Valentine’s Day? Between these 2, Christmas.  But I really prefer Halloween!  It's my absolute favorite.

6. If you joined a band, would you prefer to do vocals or play an instrument?  Hmm, can I choose background vocals?  I have zero musical talent and only mediocre voice.

7. Hot weather or cold weather? Cold.  You can always put layers on.  I am 100% northern girl!

8. Calorie counting or tracking points? Points.  I've been on Weight Watchers it seems like forever.

9. Yoga or kickboxing? I've never tried kickboxing.  Probably a good thing, since I'd want to kick co-workers. And the only yoga I've done is on the Wii. My dentist (of all people) offers a free yoga class once a month, since apparently his is a certified yoga dude, too.

10. East Coast or West Coast? My coast experiences have mostly been limited to Navy bases.  I've been to Kings Bay, GA (lived there 2 years), Norfolk, VA and Mayport / Jacksonville FL. On the West....Alameda CA (now closed), Bremerton & Everett (lived here a combined 3 years) WA.  I really enjoyed the Pacific NW so I'd say there. Sorry, but California didn't impress me. 

Have a great week!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

On the right track!

I didn't go to a meeting tonight, but I dropped into the office by my work and weighed in this afternoon.  -0.8!


Oh man, it's been insane around here - Saturday in Miss Angela's Sweet 16 - and her party is apparently going to span the whole weekend.  One friend's parents are going to be out of town, so she'll be over after school tomorrow - hope I survive that!  Brittney is a sweet girl, but she's loud and can be obnoxious.

I'm actually not quite sure how this is going to work.  Randy is going to be gone.  He does radio comm for several MS events over the year & there's one this weekend.  Angel's rather miffed that he won't be here.  I have to pick up the cake Saturday at noon.  One of her gifts is getting her belly button pierced, so we will stop at this little tattoo place in town and get that done.  We'll probably end up at the mall & then to see a movie or something.  Sunday, friend #2 Taylor is coming over early for breakfast and then we're all going out to the orchard to meet the family for a day of fun out there. There may even be extra kids showing up, I don't know!

 Not my idea of a Sweet 16 birthday cake, but this is what she wants!  

I stopped at Hockeytown Authentics (a store that only carries licensed Red Wings & Tigers gear) and got a mini wooden stick to replace that cheesy plastic one and believe it or not.....Red Wings nail polish!!

I went to Zumba for the first time last night!  It was pretty fun.  Since Miss Angela's dance studio is now big enough to have evening classes, the owner offered a free class to drum up interest..  There were probably 12 of us in there - 2 of us clearly had never done it before (and we gravitated to each other & stood next to each other) and I was surprisingly the only dance mom in there, other than Rosita the instructor and Terina the owner.  I think Angel was pretty proud to see me in there - she was in lyrical across the hall but could see into the room where I was.She pointed me out to the other girls and was like yeah - look at my mom shake it!

 Before Zumba

After Zumba


I stopped in the studio when I dropped Angel off and her ballet teacher came in and asked whose car was in the parking lot with a skeleton in it.  Mine!  So she asked to borrow him for her classes!  I don't know how much help he was, since he's not exactly an anatomical specimen.  But I heard the girls had fun dancing with him.

Weekend tracking is non-existent

Anyway, my break is over - I need to get clothes packed for Randy and finish picking up some stuff in the kitchen.  I had gotten to the point where I was overwhelmed. I hate when I get like that!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

...and I don't feel guilty!

I did not do to my meeting / weigh in tonight.  I did take the dog for a 2 mile walk after work tonight and then went out to dinner with the family.

 yay!  I tracked!

Sunday was a total lazy day!  
We had planned to go to the Renaissance Festival, but Randy got an early morning (like 7:30 am early) call from work - let's just say those morons are lucky *I* didn't answer the phone.  But that took forever for him to sort out, but it was off & on drizzling rain so I guess it doesn't matter. 
Hoping to go this weekend instead!

So anyway....not much else to report.  I was pretty discouraged after the last 2 week's gains and with TOM going on right now, I sure wasn't feeling the love of a scale!  

I'm not feeling particularly confident in myself the next week or so anyway.  The 28th is Miss Angela's Sweet 16 and as far as I know, she's only going to have 2 friends over Saturday night and Sunday we're going to the apple orchard with the family like we every year.  My nephew's b-day is the 27th so this is how we celebrate them. She wanted a bounce house, so the orchard is a compromise - they have these giant inflated pillows that kids of all ages can jump on.  They are hysterically fun!!  Anyhoooo.  Orchard = Cider & Donuts.  Yeah.  Bad. But she did say she wants an Edible Arrangement for her birthday, too.  Fruit like melon, apples, grapes, strawberries, pineapple all on sticks and some pieces dipped in the most delectable chocolate.  mmmmmm.  And if I get her a small ice cream cake, I won't have to have any!  yay!

I was supposed to start Zumba at Angel's dance studio this week....but when I texted the owner (Zumba instructor) she said she'd kicked her dishwasher & thought she broke her toe!  So she's going to start them the first week in October and she's going to put the word out on FaceBook & such.  That leads me to believe that I was probably the only one interested at this moment!    That's OK - now I have the chance to go buy a good sports bra, since I don't have one. 

Ugh, work has been insane this week, so I'm going to turn in.  Good news- they changed the dress code to Blue Jean Fridays - woohoooo!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Friend Makin' Monday - Relationships & Dating

This ought to be inter sting - I haven't dated a different person in like 12 years!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Relationships and Dating

1. List five characteristics that you think are important in a significant other. Honest. Fun-loving / sense of humor. Strong (physical & mental). Being able to talk out issues instead of fighting.  And likes the occasional PDA!

2. If you had to choose between staying single for the next two years (as in, no dating at all,) or receiving $10,000, which would you choose?  I'd pass on the $$.  We still go on regular dates.

3. What is your relationship status? Are you satisfied with it? Happily married for 7 years, together for 11 1/2.

4. Would you date someone who has children?  I think I would.  On the other hand - Randy married me and he knew I came with both kid & cat.  My beloved Skeeter is gone now, but he loves my daughter as if she were his own.  They're both so stubborn sometimes, you'd think she was his!

5. Would you date someone who’s shorter than you? Been there, married him. He's only about an inch or two shorter than me, but since I don't usually wear heels, that's not a big deal.

6. Would you date someone who has different political views? I guess so, as long as they aren't shoved down my throat and aren't the main topic of conversation & such.

7. If you were going on vacation together, would you choose the beach or the mountains? Mountains! I love the scenery & exploring.  I like the ocean, but the beach does nothing for me. I can only sit there under a palm tree and have so many umbrella drinks before I get bored.

8. How do you show someone that you’re interested in them? When I met Randy, it just clicked.  We sat there for hours & just talked.  He said he knew right away that he was going to marry me.  I was slow.

9. Do you prefer to date people who are older than you or younger? I've dated both.  It doesn't matter to me. 

10. Share some details of your dream date. Nothing really fancy.  Exploring old buildings or cemeteries.  Dinner at some place with a really good steak.  Lying out in a field, looking up at the stars.

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to go over and link up in the comments!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Friend Makin' Monday - (late) Getting to Know Each Other

Ugh! I've lost a day!!! 

A co-worker was out Friday & yesterday & my boss was also gone yesterday, so I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off all day! Then I got home, tossed in some laundry & then took the dog for a walk. We got back & I realized that we had to leave in less than 30 minutes to get Miss Angela to her dance classes and she hadn't had dinner! 

LOL, even tho we go on walks 3-4 days a week, Jack came in the house & felt the need to do this.

And since Miss Angela started her level 4 (the most advanced level on the studio competition team - so proud!) I was going to stick around and watch for a while, but I ended up staying the whole evening. I snuck a few pics, but the girl in the pink top on the left tattled on me! Actually - they don't care. If I'd wanted, I could have just gone into the room & recorded them.

Can you even imagine????

The teacher has her knees on the backs of her thighs 
& is pulling her shoulders back.
I would have just broke. The paramedics would have had to come & use duct tape to put me back together. 

Alrighty - onto the nitty-gritty!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Getting To Know Each Other

1. What is your favorite flower? I really like anything that smells good. I am in heaven in the spring when my lilac & crabapple tree are both blooming. The lilac has grown up into the crabapple so it's really pretty, too. I am pretty excited that I got an offshoot of one of my Dad's roses - he passed away in 2009. He loved his roses! It's still a baby rose, so I don't know what color it is yet.

2. What is a date on the calendar that you’re looking forward to? Oh gosh. Probably next Wednesday since I start Zumba!! I wanted to start tomorrow, but I have to go to Open House at the high school. There's also the dance convention in November, competitions in April & May and of course - Nationals in July. Am I a total dance mom or what??

3. List at least five characteristics of your ideal mate. Hmm. Loyal. Fun. Likes to laugh. Likes the occasional PDA. Hard working. Oh look! I described my hubby! 

4. What is your favorite travel destination? oh man. There are many. I love northern Michigan! We've gone that direction the past 2 years on vacation & it's beautiful. I still want to see more of the UP, especially Pictured Rocks Nat'l Lakeshore. I love Hot Springs, AR, too. 

5. What is your idea of the perfect date? I don’t have one perfect date in mind. I'm happy just going out to dinner and browsing at the Salvation Army! Sounds lame, but we have a good time. Mainly just doing stuff together, it doesn't have to be anything fancy.

6. What is your relationship with your family like? They're great in smallish doses. 

7. What time did you wake up this morning? The alarm goes off at 5:30. I'm up by 6.

8. What characteristic do you like most about yourself? Which do you dislike most? I like my creativity & imagination, honesty & loyalty. I dislike my occasional road rage, but I'm working on that. I also have a hard time with strangers. I don't small talk well. 

9. What is your favorite sport to watch? Hockey. No lockout this year, I'm excited!  
Let's Go Red Wings!

10. Share a few interesting things that you did over the weekend. Um. Thinned out my irises & planted some new ones that a guy at work gave me. Planted some mums. Picked up the yard. Mowed the lawn. Laundry. Team parent meeting at the studio.  Can you handle the excitement???

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments. Take a minute to say hello to someone new this week too! Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Checking in

This is gonna be quick, since it's getting pretty late but I want to get the grand embarrassment out of the way.

The verdict after vacation is .....   +1.4 lbs

I didn't think I really went overboard with my eating and I know I made more than one good choice - and did LOTS of walking.   My tracking was non-existent, tho.  I went back to work Wednesday, but I started tracking again Tuesday.  Lunch at McDonalds while out shopping & dinner at Wendy's after another couple hours helping at the studio clearly did me no favors.  But the Berry Almond Grilled Chicken Salad from Wendy's is soooooooooo goood!  And it's only 10 points for the full-size, including the dressing & almonds!  Om nom nom nom.

So anyway....back on the wagon for me!  I already have my lunch made for the morning & clothes laid out.  I was scrambling this morning, since we discovered that this year's bus driver actually gets to the stop before 7 am, where last year's was late every day!  So I have to get Miss Angela up earlier so we can leave earlier.  
I'm pretty excited to be signing up for Zumba at the dance studio next week!  I figured since I'm already going there to take Angel to class, I may as well stay for a while, too! 

Have a great night!