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December 2012
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February 2013

A quick progress report

        I believe I mentioned a couple posts back that hubby and I decided to get serious about the whole weight loss/get healthier issue this year.  Since I need all the accountability I can get, I decided to update you on progress thus far.  And thus far, progress is good!

    I've been following the Paleo plan - basically eat like a caveman.  Lean protein, fruits and veggies, but no grains, dairy, processed get the picture.  I will gladly confess that I'm not going 100% with this, but I'd say I'm about 95% true to the plan.  In just over three weeks, I'm down about 7.5 lbs, which is a pretty healthy rate of loss.  I feel really good, too - I'm even sleeping better, and I've noticed my legs are hurting much less.   I also am not experiencing the mid-afternoon slump that I used to get.   I'd say the plan is a success, wouldn't you?


A little bit of sunshine

    It's been really chilly here this week - yesterday it only reached 31 degrees, which is kind of unpleasant when two weeks ago it was hitting the 70s.  The koi pond actually had a skin of ice on it, and the cats were staying curled up in the barn, cuddling for warmth.   Today the sun peeked out, though, and temps were much milder. 

    We've got a new little source of sunshine inside the house now, too.  In typical Grouchy fashion, we decided that having an odd number of dogs was an affront to nature, and so we set out to remedy that.  This is the result.

    Say hello to Boone, the newest member of the Grouchy family.  He is a 10 week old mixed breed, and he is a charmer.  We can already tell he's going to be a big boy - he's 16 lbs and has HUGE paws - but he also has the sweetest temperament you can imagine.  Nothing fazes this little guy, and I do mean nothing.  Even his shots didn't elicit a whimper.   It took the other dogs a little bit to warm up to him, but they're all getting along pretty well now.  At this point Frodo and Boris can still roll him over, but I'm guessing that's only going to last another week or so.  He's growing like crazy.  The vet thinks there's probably some hound, some Lab, maybe even some Rottie in there, so he may very well  outgrow Zeus eventually.   His coloring is very unusual, too - it's hard to tell from the picture, but he's sort of greyish-brown, with darker shading on his muzzle, legs and tail.  The tips of his toes, a splotch on his chest, and a little spot under his chin are white.  And he is sooooo soft! 

    Of course, Shyla can't be replaced.  But Boone is a happy distraction from the sadness, and we're all enjoying him a lot. 

It's good, it's bad.....

            Happy New Year, everyone!   Yes, it's the 12th (I think?) but at least it's still January!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday time.  This year we were able to go to Ohio for Christmas to stay with my mom.  Sister and hubby came too, and we got to visit Jon's family also, so it was a good time.  We even got snow, which made the kids and I very happy!   My little dog Frodo was with us, and he really enjoyed the snow as well. 

        We came home a few days after Christmas (and wow, was that a looooong trip - traffic was horrible!) and began unpacking.  Sadly, one of our barn kitties disappeared while we were gone.   The friends who were taking care of the cats for us never saw him the whole time we were gone.  There was no sign of any sort of attack, and I drove all over the area looking for him, so we're guessing he just decided to go traveling.  Hopefully he's fine and getting spoiled somewhere else.  Still sad, though, as he was my favorite cat. 

        New Year's brought an unexpected blessing - some dear friends from Michigan were traveling back from Florida and were able to stop and spend a couple nights with us.  It was wonderful to see them and get caught up on all the news.  Plus, they had their 6-month-old Jack Russell puppy with them and he wore Boris out!  They were hilarious to watch.  Rocky was not above playing dirty, and if all else failed he'd grab Boris by one of his back legs and just tow him around.   We all just sat and laughed at the dogs playing.  Nothing fancy or formal, but one of the best New Year's we've had in a while.

        Jon and I have been talking about diet and exercise for quite a while now, and that's as far as we'd gone - talking.  But after the holidays we decided to get serious.  Several of Jon's co-workers set up a weight loss challenge, so he joined in on that.  I decided to "play along" at home and see if I could beat him.  (evil chuckle)   Rather than adhering religiously to any one plan, we're mostly just cutting the junk and focusing on lots more lean protein, vegetables and fruits.   And surprisingly enough, it seems to be working!  At our last weigh-in Jon was down 4 lbs and I was down 3, which I consider a good start.  More important - to me, at least - since I started changing how I eat, I am not experiencing heartburn (which had become a daily issue), I no longer have the "bloated belly" feeling, and I just generally feel better.  That's pretty good motivation to keep going, wouldn't you say? 

        Unfortunately, this morning all the good news is shadowed for me.  Yesterday I had to make the difficult decision to put our dog Shyla to sleep.  As I'd mentioned in earlier posts, she hasn't been doing well and we knew that there was some sort of mass in her abdomen.  Yesterday exploratory surgery showed that we had very few options - extensive and risky surgery to remove the growth, along with parts of her intestines, etc., which may or may not have worked; closing her up and continuing to manage her symptoms, while she grew continuously more miserable; or allow her to go to sleep.   Given her age and how she's been obviously more and more uncomfortable and unhappy,  I chose to let her sleep and not wake up. 

        This is one of the hardest things I've ever done.   I cried so hard yesterday that I still have a headache and my vision is blurry (although that could be today's tears....I don't know anymore).   I loved Shyla, and I'm torturing myself with the fear that I made the wrong decision.  My one comfort is knowing that for the five years she was with us, she was well-loved.  I miss you, Shyla.