Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter 2016

It's been 40 days and time for True Confessions.

Back on Ash Wednesday, I told myself to go 40 days without alcohol or 'sweets'. Sweets I defined in my head as pastries, donuts, cake, chocolate, candy, ice cream, pie. You get the picture. Alcohol is straight-forward. 

With two exceptions, I stuck with it. One late afternoon, I had my first fall..... it was about 3 weeks into the time-frame. It had been a challenging day and I was more than irritated and came home grumpy. There sat the bottle of red, open. And I went for it. 

I poured 3 oz. and took a swig. Do you want to know.... it tasted dreadful.

Now, that surprised me! I thought it was going to be just what the doctor ordered. But, it was so off-putting, I put the glass down and washed my mouth with water. 

A week or so later, we are at a function and the wine was pouring freely. I went over to the bar and asked the keep to pour a short glass of white. (wasn't going to try the red again!) I let it sit there and looked at it while having a conversation with John's boss's wife. We talked about Lent and she said I had no business messing up with I had started. I sniffed at the aroma wafting from the glass. But the more we talked, the less I wanted it. So, eventually, when she suggested she could take it off my hands, I slid the untouched glass over and thanked her. That was the last time I even thought about alcohol, other than in broad terms.

Now, the other failing, if I want to think of it in that term, was last Tuesday, when I partook in banana pudding, triple chocolate I don't know what & Key Lime crepes. We were out with friends celebrating a birthday and when it can time for dessert, I went for it. No lie, I ate my not-fair-share and probably then some. It was so good. 

Totally different experience from the one I had with wine. I was hoping one bite would mentally turn me off of another but, alas, I know what lights up the pleasure zone in the cerebral cortex.

But 40 days come and go, and here it is Easter.

What to do? 

Well, with the exception of staying clear of sweets and alcohol, I didn't change any other aspect of our diet. I am pleased to see that without exercise or reduction in the quantity in consumption, I have dropped 8-10 lbs. 8-10 because depending on the time of day, I fluctuate this much. And now that I have LOST it, I don't want it to FIND me again!

I don't think I will (I pray I won't!) be resuming my consumption of alcohol now, at least not to the degree as before! Same with sweets. 

But today, now that I can, I will bottle the 2nd carboy of pear wine from our haul last year. I think syphoning the first bottle is going to get me drunk.

Monday, February 22, 2016

End of the First Quarter

As I go through with this "giving up" attempt, I find it's not as hard as I thought it would be.

Wine is very likable, when done in small doses and I thought I was imbibing in that manner. Until I read (online... always dangerous) that a woman is 'allowed' 21 units a week. Ok, I'm down with that... 3 glasses is the most I drink anyway.

Ah ah ah.. not so fast, sister! 1 unit ≠ 6 oz. No No NO. my friend..... 1 Unit = 3OZ!  So technically, I was drinking a weeks worth of my 'allotment' in 2 days. Yikes, indeed.

And no wonder the pounds have been creeping up on me the past 5 years. Empty calories indeed.

Speaking of calories.... I have found that I am eating less as a result, as well.... cravings are in check. That's unexpected. I thought I was going to substitute the 'lack' of one thing for another, since nature abhors a vacuum, or so it's said.

Now, here's the kicker..... although I have NOT had sweets or alcohol in 12 days, the weight remains the same. Pants are looser, face is thinner. Weight remains the same.

So, I don't get it..... oh well.... 

Also, this has NOT been hard to do. Even when at a restaurant or with others how are imbibing.... it's al good. I think fasting would be more difficult to manage because, let's face it.... I do like to eat. Cook and eat.


So, it's a problem at times..... but pretty soon here , it's going to time for Spring planting and working out in the vegetable gardens is more physically demanding than working on quilts.

Speaking of, here is one I just took of the frame. It's from last year's Block of the Month, Snapshots for St. Jude's Hospital.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

I'm Not Catholic

No, I'm not. My Grandmother from Sicily was Catholic and she raised her son in the faith.

I don't know much about Catholicism... nothing really, but I do live in a predominantly Catholic state and appreciate much of the traditions as far as one can witness them from the street.

Like the St. Joseph's Altars... so special. And Easter. and of course, Christmas although neither of those are celebrated exclusively by Catholics. In point of fact, they are welcoming to everyone who wishes to partake in all of these celebrations.

Mardi Gras has come and gone and yesterday was Ash Wednesday. As I was driving my errands, I heard someone report that there are now drive-thru stations for Christians who wish to receive the ashes but don't have the time to walk into the church.

 At first, I thought "sign o' the times!" and then I reflected how sad that is...... so busy in life that a solemn moment can't manage to fit within. "I'll just drive-by and grab a sandwich, drop off a deposit and get my forehead marked." (Sloth)

And then this made me think about the Lenten season..... the giving up of something one likes or does or whatever for 40 days. I have never done that. Well, except for smoking. I've given that up ALOT over the years and have been smoke-free for many years. So that's a good thing.  (Uh-uh-uh! That's Pride, right there on display!)

The idea of self-denial is tough.... "what have I done wrong that I go and punish MYSELF!"  (Pride)

In this case, nothing (I hope). But then, that would be to think of it as more as an affront or even a 'challenge', so trendy these days. CHALLENGE!  I think Life itself is much of a challenge.... why am I off in search of yet another? (Pride, again)

Then, I said to myself.... "well, Self, you could 'give up' wine in the evening (or whenever the urge strikes and lately it's been striking often!). Ok,,,, 40 days without wine. OR any alcohol." If you're giving up a vice, go all the way. (Greed)

But what about that other vice o' mine: sweets. that tooth is rather long. I don't usually go after King Cake during the Mardi Gras season but this year, this year......

..... I bought 3. And I BAKED 2 more. I ate most of this, by myself. (Gluttony).....(So much Gluttony)

So, on a tele-chat yesterday morning with my aunt, I presented this dilemma (what a dilemma! right?)  to her. Do I give up alcohol or sweets?

And do you know what the devil replied in return? "Why not both?" 

The only response I could come up with was to stare at her. I just went from one extreme to the other in the blink of an eye. (WRATH!!)


Why not?

Yesterday was Day One. And I had no trouble whatsoever. Not even when the kind waitress gave me an Andes after lunch. I slid it back across the table and said, "Lent." It's code around these parts. 

And no wine, not even a good-bye drop. 

I'm actually looking forward to tomorrow: Fish Friday. Bring on the catfish. (and we're back to Gluttony)

This morning, awaken fresh and lighter, I breezed through the Facebook feed and saw something fabulous.

During the 40 days of Lent, I should go through my closet and remove an article of clothing (in good condition) that can and will be donated to a shelter. BRILLIANT.

And so, this morning, 2 articles will be placed in the box. Baby step, my friends. Baby steps. I wonder if my man will do this, too?