Friday, November 19, 2010

Weight Loss journey on the EDGE Revolution

My Weight Loss Journey with the Revolution: Before, During, and Hopefully After

My name is Andy White, I have always been a large guy, I wanted to set out and change that. I have always been honest with myself, and have found within the last few months, I was not. I decided the diets in the past haven’t worked and it was time for a change.
Since I graduated high school I have tried diets and diets galore, South Beach, Weight Watchers, Body for Life, Vegetarianism, Veganism, you name it I looked it up and tried it. I would always lose a little weight and then go back to the way I was, eating whatever I wanted. The weight came back time and time again. Never being an athletic person one day while sitting in a hotel room in Ohio with a piece of Coconut cream pie on my fat gut I realized what I had done to myself. I had made myself gross and fat. I stepped on the scale when I got home and realized I had weighed 235 pounds!! When did this happen; I asked myself? So I decided I was going to run, and try to run I did. I didn’t get very far. I decided to run a 5k race and signed up for one a few months down the line. I did it but still had only lost about 10 pounds. I decided I liked running so much I was going to do a Half Marathon, I would be a fat half-marathoner, and so I did one, and another and another. In one year I ran 3 half marathons, and numerous 5 k and one 5 miler! After an injury and cold weather I stopped running, and stopped dieting and stopped caring again. I gained the weight back and was hovering around 226 for a few months. This is when I got scared into losing weight by someone.
My partner is a nag sometimes, lose weight, go to the gym, you know typical spouse stuff, but this someone else was the one who had never said this to me: My Doctor. I went in for a physical exam so I can adopt a baby, after initial blood work came back she said I was obese, high risk for heart disease, diabetes, and borderline blood pressure and she said something to me that ticked me off, “if you can’t take care of yourself, how are you going to take care of someone else?” It is true, so I did something about I started diet and exercise. In about 6 weeks I lowered my cholesterol and blood pressure and dropped about 18 pounds! I wanted to do more though; I was hitting a plateau and I wanted to be at least at the weight my first license: 175. So I joined the revolution and have seen great results!
Over the past 8 weeks I have been disciplined with my eating, making sure I get my exercise in everyday, even when I am traveling, and I am sleeping better, waking up better and have so much more energy. The nutrition aspect of it is something I will carry with me for maybe the rest of my life. I am so glad I had this journey and I am kind of sad that this revolution is coming to an end, but I can always do it again! So here I am on the last day of a program I was reluctant to start but am glad I finished, I am being told I look HOT, and am being told I don’t even look like the person who started this program. I am glad I am no longer that guy sitting in a hotel room with a slice of sugar filled evil coconut cream pie on my fat gut. I feel better, I look better, and I am performing better! I am glad I had this journey and I am glad I had support along the way!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Food for thought

So I have been on this "Paleo-Diet" for about 8 weeks now, actually 7 since I didn't follow it the first two weeks of the Edge Revolution, and I feel good. I actually feel good, no complaints about not eating enough or not feeling hungry or what not, I feel good. I also have found that it is a good diet to experiment with different recipes. I love creating new recipes with the foods in my fridge (sometimes) and sometimes they come out GREAT and sometimes, well lets just say some hungry pigeons or seagulls somewhere in that great dump are getting a good meal. Anyways, so we have a farm share and during this farm share we get some veggies which are great when we first get them and then we say "what the hell am I going to do with this??" or "Cabbage??? AGAIN???" Or "really what else can we do with radishes besides salad." So I was making baked cabbage one time (which came out awesome) and decided that I wanted to try some kind of warm cabbage slaw or warm cabbage salad. So I did it. I like to do it on nights when I cook for myself since then I have no one to tell me its gross...or I can just dispose of the evidence of my horrible creation. So tonight I did, I made a warm cabbage salad, and it wasn't that bad this is the basic recipe, since by chance I had all the ingredients...By the way, I usually don't have fresh cranberries, I just happen to get them from a good friend who owns a cranberry bog.

Warm Cabbage Salad:
1/2 head of cabbage slice thin
2 carrots (match sticked)
1 whole gala apple (cored and sliced)
1 broccoli stalk (not the floret here)
1 cup of whole fresh cranberries
chicken stock (optional sub. for whatever yummy liquid you have)
apple cider (hard is what I had)
1 TBSP sesame oil
1 TBSP White wine vinegar

mix veggies together in a bowl and toss with sesame oil and vinegar
add cranberries to about a 1/4 cup of stock (they will boil and pop and sizzle) and cover for about 5 min or so then add the veggies and apple.
Cook down for a few min, add the cider and stir and cook and stir and cook until tender.

Drain that sucker (if there is left over liquid) and use the liquid with pork to make a nice little reduction.

I ate this with some yummy pock chops, it is good, the cranberries defiantly add some nice dimension to the taste.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Disorderly Eating in the world

For the past 10 years or so and maybe as long as I can remember there has been talks of eating disorders. What we should eat what we shouldn't eat, who should eat what, what is healthy, what is not healthy and so on. The other day I heard about a new treatment for people who suffer from Anorexia Nervosa on NPR, a family approach (wow what a concept, involving the family in helping.) I have always thought about eating disorders and disorderly eating because I have always fought with food. I LOVE FOOD, I love the tastes and I love cooking and I love seeing other people eat the food I cook. I have never been a picky eater (except olives...yuck) and yet day in a day out I am told don't eat this, don't eat that. I hear it from one set of people who eat this way and they feel great, I hear from another set of people who say eat this way and you'll feel great, well guess what, there is a REASON people have eating disorders in this world, it is from all of this back and forth about what is good and what is not. I can easily see how someone can look at a strawberry and be told NO it has too much sugar, BUT it is a healthy food that is grown in the ground and comes from nature nothing added. What are we telling people?? Or let's look at meat? Lean meats are healthy, they come from cows, (watch Food Inc, and read Omnivores Dilemma and you won't want to eat regular beef anymore) but yet they are pumped full of hormones and fed grains which are not a normal diet for them rendering their meat horrible for you. It's a toss up. Eggs are they good are they not? Good protein, chickens are treated know what they are chickens...I don't care how they are treated, if they were humans then we wouldn't eat their eggs. I just don't know anymore, for someone trying to lose weight like myself I am given LOTS of mixed messages, eat whole grains, DON'T eat WHOLE GRAINS, Eat meat, DON'T EAT MEAT, Eat fruit, eat SOME fruit, eat eggs, but not the whole thing, this has caused disorderly eating on my part and on the part of everyone I am around, always explaining what I am eating and what I am not eating. I feel bad, like I am inconveniencing them or that I am running around trying this fad or that or that it is just a "phase." For anyone out there who deals with me reading this...I swear it is not a fad or a phase, I am trying to find the diet that works for me, the diet that gets me to a weight that I feel comfortable in and that makes me feel good, and look good. I apparently was not blessed with the best genes in terms of metabolism, so you know what like many others out there have to WORK for a body that feels and looks good. So for now I am still on my quest to find the best combination of foods that work for me.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Vegan who eats...meat?

I did it for 9 weeks, I held out that long, I have read the articles and heard people speak, but I hit my plateau, what next. Well I have decided if I want some muscle on these bones and not just body fat I am hitting the dark side. I am now officially as of 6pm Oct 3rd, 2010...eating meat. I am not going to be eating dairy because of the whole downstairs issues, and eggs I am still on the fence about. I have read and I have listened, I need some more protein and I am just not getting enough to build my muscles. Today I ate Salmon, it was good. I am really going to go back to the fish/seafood (how I was before). So now which ever one of my siblings said I was going back to "normal eating" you win!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Diet/Excersise...week 9

So it has been a while since posting about how my Veganism and Exercise routine have changed my life so completely, not really but in a way it has. I must say first about 5 years or so ago I did Weight Watchers with a group of teachers I worked with and I did enjoy it. I pretty much ate what I wanted to and watched my points. The only thing after I lost my 10% and then maybe a few more pounds, I plateaued got frustrated and slowly gained that 25 pounds back, so I was hovering around 226 for the past few years, I took some off but it always came back. So this year when I went to see my doc she told me straight I needed to lose weight, I needed to get my cholesterol in check and I needed to become healthier, so I did. In about 6 weeks being Vegan I drop my cholesterol 100 totals points, dropped my triglycerides 100 points also and the best part I went from a moderate risk to a low risk in the heart disease field HUZZAH! Also since working out I have dropped about 23 pounds or so, I am currently at 203 which is the lowest I have been in well 4 years. While on weight watchers I was working out a little, running a little and just trying to get some daily exercise, nothing to vigorous. When I told me sister I had an easier time doing weight watchers she was like, well you are older and its harder to loose the weight since now I am at the gym 6 times a week (at least) for at least an hour each time. I am noticing a difference, but I guess I need to keep my patience. My other problem I have been having lately is the plateauing issue AGAIN! So I am doing to a program at the gym called the EDGE REVOLUTION. You compete for who looks the best after 8 weeks, you get a personal training session, a pilaties session and also nutrition coaching. My worry about nutrition coaching is that some people think being a Vegan is bad because you aren't getting enough protein and other nutrients from the meat, well, I am doing fine and my doc said I was doing fine on my diet with my numbers, just need to up my "healthy cholesterol." The program is pretty much all based on looks...awesome. At least we are broken into age groups and for the first time I have registered for something I am in the 30-39 group, yay. Well we shall see!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Keep your religion out of my politics

When I was a school boy I learned about government in school. I learned that we elected people to different positions in government and these people made the laws so that the everyone's life would be better. The laws were to help people live better lives, raise good children and grow up to be good adults who would elect more people and do it all over again. We were taught religion in church and taught about government in school. We NEVER EVER taught were TAUGHT about religion in school except that different people around the world practiced different religions. I remember in school that America was founded on principles of freedom of religion. You can practice whatever religion you want, but the government cannot force you to practice a religion and no one can force you to practice a religion. I am sure this has always been happening but the only thing that I have heard is how much of a nut-job these people are or how these people form cults and bring people in and brainwash them. Let think about this for a second, nut-jobs, cults, brainwash. Sound familiar? Sound like something I have heard over the years. Over those years I went to church, a catholic church, and from what I remember a pretty liberal one. I think one of my more religious great uncles said "oh yeah, that is one of those "progressive" catholic churches." When I was 10 I had no clue what that meant. I was taught to always remember the golden rule which I believe goes something like this "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." As far as I know that should apply in everyday situations and in politics alike. I mean seriously, if the big headed nut jobs on the TV and the political machine alike just follow the golden rule, I believe the world would be a better place. If people would just stop and THINK before they talk and blabber on about this that and the other thing then people would love each other. I really think that, and it may sound like a simple idea, a simple plan, a plan for world peace. I believe that in every Bible out there, in any written "word" there is something somewhere written down about treating each other as we would want to be treated. No matter what religion, no matter who is practicing what, don't tell people what to think, what to believe, tell people they are good, they are great and they deserve to be treated well. If we think about what is going on these days with the poor president, he is just trying to do his job. People seem to be making this difficult by trying to bring religion into the picture. Just because one president was very forward about his religion this DOES NOT mean every other president has to be. I mean come on, let the guy do his job, he is trying to be an inspiring leader and can't do his job if everyone else does not do their job. If we look at the Gettysburg address - "and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth" we need to stop and think. It seems that America would better be served by a few people for those few people, not the masses. Come on people, love one another, be good to each other, we are ALL created equal, no matter what, no matter who, now let's start acting that way!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Me a vegan? Realy?

So I went to the doctors and recommended to stop eating/devouring dairy products. What can I say, I love cheese, and butter...and ice cream. Like I have said in the past, I love food. I just love it pretty much no matter what it is I will eat it, except olives, like I have said before. So I have been a "vegaquariam" for about 6 months now and decided, well why not take the next step. I will stop eating the seafood, cheese, butter, eggs, and become...duh da duh...a VEGAN. Yup I said it, meat and potatoes sauteed in bacon bits with a side of mayo Andy became a Vegan. Which means no butter, no eggs, no sauteed in bacon bits and NO mayo...Veganaisse just doesn't cut it. Easy I thought, I love veggies, fruits, whole grains, I can do this. Piece of cake. Now I need to worry if I am eating enough calories, or getting the right nutrients I need. I also need to worry about what is for dinner. Gone are the "lets through some chicken or fish on the grill and eat it with rice or whatever. Now its what veggies can I grill with Tofu, Can I grill Tofu, what is Tempeh? do I have a suitable substitution for chicken? To all these questions I say YES I CAN/DO! Protein is easy now that I have discovered Lentils, Tofu, Garden Protein, Tempeh (cooked right,) and some other suitable proteins. I have found delicious vegan chocolate and have made dessert with it! Soy Yogurt instead of real yogurt, granola in the morning and lots of fresh fruit. Like I said I love food, it works for me, and I am good cook so win win. Jeremy can still have his meat, but I will keep my potatoes...sauteed in EVOO or water...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Garden in three parts.

Part 1: The Good:
I love my garden, it is a little small but perfect for what I need, it gives me fruit and I can eat everything that comes out of it. So far this season I have harvested my tomatoes, tiny heads of broccoli, some herbs, 5 beans, some lettuce, and well that is it so far. I am glad I endeavored on this journey and have learned a little about planting, next year I will have one additional bed and space the plants a little more. I will also not be as impatient and plants according to charts and what not. Even though it is hot doesn't mean I should plant. Anyways I got a load of tomatoes, enough to make a salad and some salsa, and to have as part of a dinner and it made me rethink my Subway sandwich for the time I was eating it. I looked at the pink tasteless ones on my sandwich removed them and put on the juicy red ones from my garden. The colors of summer truly came out but soon I would find out, some colors you do not want in your garden.

Part 2: The Bad:
This is broccoli, this is about how big it got, broccoli likes cold, broccoli does not like HOT. The temperature has reached just about 101 for a few days, poor broccoli. This is the unpredictable weather I have been dealing with. Of course I rushed and planted everything together. I could rip them up and plant new ones, then I would get some nice heads in early September. Maybe I will. This is the bad I have been dealing with, but just remember there is always next year so we shall see what next year brings, I will be armed with the knowledge of the weather and will plant a little better next time. Of course I will have some nice compost also which I started this summer. One thing I was not prepared for (but of course was warned against) was a not so nice little creature who haunts my nightmares and is the reason I don't sleep at night.

Part 3: The Ugly:
Why me I ask, why when I look at this critter do I convulse with fear and cringe in anguish. Why am I so afraid of one little 5 inch worm. Why would this little critter bring a 200 pound man to his knees crying and wanting to throw up. This critter is gross, give me spiders, snakes, creepy crawly gross hissing cockroaches any day, but this caterpillar or Tomato Hornworm grosses me out and makes me sick. This thing I realize is a living being and this thing I realize needs nourishment itself, but it looks like a fantasy creature out of the likeness of Dr. Who or Star Trek. It ATE of my plants, one of my plants of course being 4 feet tall and full of small cherry tomatoes, I caught it before it could do more damage BUT STILL!! I saw it screamed a little on the inside, took a picture of it and proceeded to find the longest stick and put it in a bowl of soapy water, it's demise was the spoils of war but you know what...IT ATE MY PLANTS! Damn little thing I don't need humongoid moths flying around my house, YUCK. Lesson learned, I just need parasidic wasps to get rid of them, good.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fruits or Veg of my labors...or lack there of

Being the pretty hands-off type of guy I tend to be (let nature take it's course) I decided to let my garden do it's thing this year, and see what happens. A lot has happened, but I am sure a lot more could have happened. Here is an example. I did not follow the "gardening rules" by planting my broccoli 12 inches apart, or whatever I was suppose to do because well, I didn't have that much space, instead I did some kind of French gardening method where I kinda of bunched them all together. Look at that, broccoli. The same with the tomatoes. I bought four different plants hoping you know maybe one will grow, what do you know I have fruit on all four of the plants. I crowded my garden, so what, I have a yield, maybe it's not the best yield, but I did it and I put minimal effort into it. I made the beds, added the soil, added the plants and gave it water when it didn't rain, presto, fruits and veg.
I am pretty proud of the fact that anything grew. I didn't really do much. What didn't grow was the carrots, beets (one is left), and corn. The reasons are because they got eaten when they were little. The carrot tops all got eaten by a neighborhood cat (I know because one day they were all gone and I saw a cat in my garden.) The beets, well maybe when the beans are gone and other plants are gone I will have a late beet season, we shall see. For now I am happy with my tomatoes and broccoli. Later in the season I should expect everything else to come up. The B-sprouts and cauliflower is doing fairly well. I have beans that I can pick in a few days as well as a tiny bit of leaf lettuce. Well that is all for now.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Veg has exploded...

SO I love looking at my garden and thinking, I helped do this. I planted these plants (some seeds) gave them the water they needed, positioned them so they got 6 hours of sun light and everyday when I got home from work talked to them, gave words of encouragement and words of thanks and now...FRUIT!
As a child I remember my dad always in the garden, as I have said in previous posts, but never really appreciated the fact that all that work yielded the prize. It takes patience and time, you are growing something from a tiny seed and then it gives you it's yield. This year was my first year for many things, first house, first garden, first year brewing my own hard cider, etc. I am finding it more and more satisfying knowing that my hands had a part in the growing of these plants, and the food me and my family will be consuming. I always knew it was hard work and I knew you needed to do a lot for these plants, but it was the satisfaction I did not know about. I am glad I am doing this, I am glad I am a part of a world where I can take part in giving life to something for my nourishment. I would love to have a bigger plot to do even more with but there just isn't space, next year I will add another 4X4 plot so I will have space to grow more different plants, I will also take a lesson from this year and not crowd like I did. I read it was okay because of the way the area is set up you CAN crowd a little, and since I am already yielding tomatoes I am assuming it is working fine. We shall see in the next few months what I yield. So far neighborhood cats have eaten the tops off of my carrots as well as most of the beets. now I have empty space which will be taken up by either the cucumber plant or I may plant one eggplant in the next few weeks. But again it feel wicked good to know I had a part in this growing of veggies! Thanks Earth for giving my what I need to live.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

...being Veg...again...for the fifth time...

Hi all, not many people read my posts but you know it's nice for me to have a place to put down my thoughts and if people want to read then so be it. This post is about my choosing to become a vegetarian, or at least a compromised version. When I graduated high school for a while I was a vegetarian, but quickly realized in college you ate salad, cheese pizza, and veggie burgers. There was not much else of a choice. I also didn't have much money to spend on food so I had to choose whatever the cafeteria had to offer. So I started eating chicken and then just ate whatever. A few years later down the road I geared myself up again and quickly dropped meat, but again I was hit with the staunch reality of limited food, limited knowledge of what was out there and a general laziness. I mean I really did not like eating salads for 2 meals a day and eggs or cereal in the morning. It was my own fault for not gaining the knowledge I could at the time. Really I didn't think to seek anything about being vegetarian, I just knew what I knew and went from there.
I wasn't armed with much ethnic food, Chinese food was fried chicken fingers, chow mein and fried rice. Italian food was pizza, pasta with red sauce, and typically the "italian" sandwiches we would get from the store. In Maine an Italian consists of meat (usually ham), American cheese, long cut dill pickles, white onions, tomatoes, and green peppers covered in salad oil all on a 12 inch or so white italian roll. They are good, everyone in Maine knows when you say Italian, you want this sandwich. Outside of Maine I realize they have many names: Hoagie, Grinder, Hero, Sub. The difference is the oil, the pickles, and the meat. Veggies always came from the ground and were mostly whatever came out of our garden. We never really strayed from the veggies we could grow. Typically (and I have written about this) they consisted of Peas, beans, beets, corn, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, cukes, potatoes squash, and zucchini. Most of these were cooked in the typical fashion, steamed with butter, salt and pepper. We ate meat with every meal, ham, hamburger in some form, or chicken. So this is what I knew. In Maine being a vegetarian typically meant you ate chicken and fish. It is a meat and potatoes state, almost literally since their big crop is well, potatoes. I knew I was a daring eater and always liked trying new foods, so I decided again to not eat meat and not eating meat isn't cheap, you would think it is since you aren't paying for the meat, but fresh produce is expensive for some reason, reasons which I have since learned.
I have read a lot of books and I have seen a lot of documentaries about the farmers in America and also where food comes from. I have watched Food Inc and King Corn all about the food in America. Also have read Omnivores Dilemma and Animal, Vegetable, Mineral. They all provided me with good info that I could arm myself with and what not. I have also read a lot of diet books and have read about different diets. They all seem to say the same thing, eat small meals with lots of whole foods. I mean its true. Veggies and fruits are good for you, and it doesn't matter how much you eat of them. Obviously the fruit sugar can add up but a balance is good. The meat on the other hand just seems a little out of place. I know where it comes from, I know how they are treated or can be treated. I have just come to the conclusion that I am over meat. I am over the fact of how the meat is treated and preserved. I feel that if I can shoot or kill my own animals I would eat them because then I would have been a part of that animals life. If I could raise and kill my own food I would, but until then, I will stick with raising veggies and learning how to do things that will help me survive if I need to. I know how to cook, fish, garden (we'll see,) knit, crochet, sew, make cheese, and other stuff.
So I guess my whole point was this time I am sticking to it, I am eating vegetarian with the exception of fish and unless I kill that deer or moose or raise my own chickens, I will let everyone else eat them.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Garden today

SO here is the most recent pictures of the garden. These were taken today May 14th 2010. This one shows all the plants at their present state. In front there is cauliflower and to the right is the Brussels sprouts. In the back of the Cauliflower is the broccoli to the right is the beans, beets and carrots. In the back are the tomatoes and my little garden gnome. So far so good, I am hoping not to use any pesticides on plants. I have been told by a few people to watch out for bugs and worms and grossness on the Broccoli. I will look out and I will look out for other things on the other plants too,

Here is a some of my herbs, here is the Oregano that I am growing I am hoping that it stays and grows back next year as a perennial. Right now it is in a pot but eventually it will either make it to a big pot or in another 4x4 raised bed like the one I have here. I can kitty corner another one to this bed and then have even more veggies, well maybe this bed would be the herb bed. Then instead of
having them on the side of the steps in little pots. What I would really like is a bed full of herbs. I would love to have a lot of basil so that I can make my own pesto and freeze it to have available in the winter when the basil is all dead. The other herbs I have here are dill and flat parsley. I also have a plant of Thyme but that is in a pot next to the garden. I ran out of room in the garden for now, so I will have to eventually get a bigger pot. Like I said I may put a new bed in down the line somewhere. I am hoping for a bountiful harvest, but we shall see when everything comes! Look for more pictures as I post them!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

2 weeks or so?

Here is the garden, well the picture was taken on May 7, 2010. As you can see some plants are up. These plants are the seedlings but THEY DIDN'T DIE! I think that is the important part, to me anyways. My father put some seedlings in so I am trying to do a little bit of both. Some seeds, some seedlings. I have been writing in a little journal about the weather lately which has been off and on raining. April was really a pretty nice month but not much rain. The thing about these raised beds are apparently they warm up faster in such a small space. Also the drainage is pretty good. I planted the seeds for the beets and carrots and they came up pretty quickly. The beets came up within a few days, and the carrots took about 10 days. I cleaned up the carrots so hopefully we will get a bountiful harvest. The other good thing about the small raised bed is that I can plant seeds once I harvest. The broccoli is growing quickly so I can then replace it with other plants. I have herbs not planted in the bed, but I have them on the steps, I am excited for some delicious fresh herbs and not spend a bunch of money on them. Will post more pictures as the garden progresses!

Friday, April 23, 2010

and the garden starts...

I grew up in small town Maine, not tiny town Maine, but small town (maybe 5000 or so) and like many people in the town we had a small garden. One of my father's favorite things was working in the garden, I remember it would start off a big dirt patch and as the season went along, so did the veggies. We almost always had fresh veggies during the middle and end of the summer right into the fall. I remember it being time to til the soil and we would get the old roto-tiller out and when I was old enough I would get to start it up and till away the soil, every year I think we would add a little bit of space onto the garden.

I remember quite well all the different types of veggies we would grow, tomatoes in tires, beets, corn, peas, beans, radishes, broccoli, squash, zucchini, spinach, lettuce, carrots and I think that was all. Of course at the end of the garden we had raspberry bushes and some strawberries, but those weren't as important as the veggies.

So this year with the purchase of my house I am growing veggies, I am starting a small garden, but it will grow my veggies and I am hoping it will grow well. What I am looking forward to is channeling my father and hoping the green thumb has been passed to me. When I was able to have a little patch for myself I got to pick what I wanted to grow, and I picked watermelon (yah in Maine I know.) Little did I know that watermelon really didn't grow that well in Maine, but it grew. I got maybe two melons the between softballs and basketballs, not huge, and really not that edible. I learned a lesson, so now I am hoping that lesson stuck. SO I will continue to blog about the progress of my garden and as my blog has taken different turns, this is most likely how it will be for the next few talk.

Step 1: Raised beds
I installed a 4ftx4ft raised bed on my lawn, it's really not that big, but I am hoping it will do the trick for now. If I need another one, I can get another one, but for now, that's what I got. With help from Bob and Donna I put some weed stop black garden "paper" down and put the bed on top of it. We then filled it with a combination of Scotts Organic Soil for veggies and some dirt/leafs that the city decided not to pick up, but Donna informed me that it was some good dirt, so I used it.

I also bought some seedlings, and some seeds. The undertaking of this garden is small, but I am hoping that the damn little squirrels don't eat my plants (Goal #1) and then of course I want the plants to grow! SO these are the plants I am growing in my little space. If need be I will get more, but in reading articles I can grow intensely in a small space.
Big Boy Heirloon Tomatoes
Yellow Sweet Cherry Tomatoes
Roma Tomatoes
Sweet Red Peppers
Brussel Sprouts
Sweet Corn
Multicolored Carrots
Sugar snap Peas
Green Peas
String Beans

So we shall see what pops up and what goes horrible, and lessons will be learned and what not, let's see how easy it is Barbara Kingsolver, let's see if it is as easy as you say it is. Until next time...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I may be a champion but I am NO athlete.

So I was thinking about this for the last few days as I have been beginning to run again. I am all signed up for the NYC Marathon and I am running and I am realizing I am no athlete (as bad grammar as that is, and this is). Anyway I was thinking about this and I have never been an athlete. I ran around as a kid, I played tag, hide and seek, attempted cross country, soccer, and skiing in middle school, but to no avail, I was horrible. In cross country I was pretty much the slowest, in soccer, I never actually made the I was the manager, but I attempted to work out with the team, but again it was only middle school, nothing big. I attempted skiing, this was okay, I did both downhill and cross country, but I think a part of me was scared of the speed at which you go down the hill, so I was slow, in Cross Country skiing...I didn't come in last and I loved it when people cheered me on, maybe because they had to, but maybe because I was part of the team, I still felt disconnected. When I was going into high school I went to the guy who was suppose to provide the equipment for fall training. When I went to get the dry land training skis he told me basically I couldn't be on the team because I hadn't been training all summer, now really how was I to know this??? I honestly think he didn't give a damn about me and I wasn't that great in middle school so why should I bother him with needed to try to be better, no I shouldn't. It really got to me and kind of made me give up on sports. You know when a person who has children your age tells you you aren't good enough for something and at the age of 14 it hits you, and stays with you. I have had those feelings other points of my life and I have been working on this for the last 16+ years, I have a) been struggling with the feelings of being told I can't do something and I just accept it, b) easily getting frustrated when the results I want don't happen, c)just giving up because I am happy with myself.
Some of these things I guess could be fine but you know what it isn't. I need to do more push more and be more. It took me a long time to realize who I was and what I was good at and what I wanted to be, well maybe I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up but that's for another post. Anyway I realized I will never be an athlete. I may be a champion but an athlete I am not. Again I may not win races persay, but I win in my own mind, when I beat a record that I have set for myself, I am a champion. Even if I didn't beat my times in my half marathons I finished them. I am a big guy, and as long as I keep running and keep up with the healthy eating (working on that one) I will stay at a weight that is good for me and if I loose weight that is a great side effect. At this point in my life I am not looking to break records, loose 60 pounds, or do anything incredible like slay a dragon. I want to live my life and go on with my life as normal as possible. I want to run a marathon, do my job and maybe just maybe run a half marathon in each state.
I guess I am just doing what I think is right, what I was taught was right and what I think is the best for me (a little selfish I know but still, you gotta be sometimes.)

Monday, February 8, 2010

New Home: Stimulting this here economy

As told by the car dealership:
"The banks don't know what to do with you guys, you have just moved around so many times...are you guys terrorists?!?!?"

Honestly this is how a recent conversation started at a car dealership when Jeremy were going to pick up Jeremy's new car. Honestly yes, we are. This is how we are. We being the happy couple together decided to settle down. We decided it was time to make contributions to American society and settle in, god forbid, a house, in Connecticut. We being nice wholesome gay Americans decided to settle in a state where our marriage (contract signed in another country have you) would actually be recognized. We being nice wholesome Americans decided to be that statistic and stop paying someone elses mortgage...and start paying our own. God forbid we contribute to American society even though the Federal Government does NOT recognize us as a couple. To them we are two Americans who purchased a house together, we co-signed our names on about a million documents...and settled. At least our new state of residency says "Yes, you are married, and yes your relationship matters." That I am happy for. So we bought a house.

The next thing we did, was buy a car. I like driving, I like driving my car but I am always looking for something ever so slightly better, I drive a Hyundai (must be because I am supporting that Korean car maker.) We got Jeremy a Honda, he has always driven a Honda, so we got another one. A hatchback/station wagon nonetheless. Man we are becoming the good ole wholesome Americans each and everyday. So we bought a car.

In CT their "rules" for registration and licensing of cars and yourself are a little different then I am used too. Then again I have only been licensed in ME and MA. In ME you go to the DMV wait in line with your birth certificate and SS card, get your picture taken and wait a week of so to get the hard copy. In MA you go to the RMV and pretty much do the same thing. You have to surrender your out of state License first and then you get the new one. You can go Monday-Friday normal business hours, of course you wait in both states in a line like everything else. In MA I registered my car after getting my insurance cards and surrendering my out of state registration and getting inspected and having pictures taken of my car. In Maine, registration is done at your local City Hall/Town Office and you pay your taxes and they give you what you need and life goes on it's merry CT it seems a little more inane and inefficient.

First I had a day in my office (a Monday) that I was going to grab my license and register my car and what not. Surprise, DMV: not open on Monday...really come on, instead it is Tues-Saturday, okay I can deal with a Saturday to do this stuff...but of course it is only open until 12...and they LOCK THE DOORS at 12...if you leave and need to come back...sorry...not going to happen. So we get to the DMV with what we thought would be sufficient paperwork. No. We had the insurance cards and forms of ID and all that jazz, what we didn't have was a postmarked letter...really just the envelope with a postmark on it to say we lived in the address that was on the insurance cards. So we went home, grabbed the envelope that the insurance cards were in and I noticed my form of ID (Passport) was expired...and they wouldn't take an expired passport, even though other places do...whatever. So with mail in hand, mortgage stuff in hand, License in hand I go and get a number and wait about 30 min to go to the counter to pay for my license and make sure my form is filled out, fine. Than I ask about car reg, first you need a license, ok fine. So we wait to get called for our eye test (literally 5 secs). Then we wait to get called by the woman who enters our info into the computer (wait didn't they already do this???) Then we wait to get our picture taken, then we wait for our license from the guy who asks your birthday before he will give it to you...really? Necessary, maybe, highly inefficient...definitely. So we started our day at the DMV at around 9:30 only to leave after 12:30. Wait I forgot to mention that fact that when I was called for my license and gave my birthday...WRONG! I was wrong, I have had nearly 30 birthdays and I was wrong? NO WAY! "There is a problem." Birthday guy said "What? I have my birth certificate here...I should know my birthday." -Me. Entered wrong in the computer, of course it was. They entered the day my certificate was issued...not my birthday. Really, so I had to start all over again. Only to realize when I left that my license expires two months AFTER my birthday...awesome. NOT MY FAULT.

As for the car reg...she was all confused by the fact that I had a NY mailing address and a MA registration...seriously lady it's fine, just let me pay the money and go, I have been here just about as long as you and need a drink. URGH!