Monday, February 13, 2017

30 Days in the Whole

A few things I learned after one week on Whole30. 

Eating healthy is expensive.  Whole 30 is all about organic, natural, whole foods. Nothing processed means shopping at Whole Foods and Central Market for most of my food. 

Walmart has a ton of organic selections!

Sugar really is an addiction. I smoked when I was young. It was not very hard for me to quit because I just wasn’t that into it even though I smoked for about 6 years.  Quitting sugar is more difficult! I walk around thinking about cookies and muffins, all damn day! 

There is sugar in EVERYTHING. I repeat, EVERYTHING! I have to make my own salad dressing and bbq sauce. They even want you to make your own mayo. Where does the craziness end? If you buy it at the grocery store, chances are it has sugar. 

This diet is almost too much work.  I have to make all my own meals. I didn’t realize what a habit I had of stopping and picking up convenient meals.  I don’t really eat McDonalds or the like but I do stop all the time at Eatsy’s and Central Market where they have pre-made, heat and eat foods. I stop for Chinese, or soup at Panera Bread. I like a bagel once a week for breakfast or an egg white McMuffin.  This is the most difficult habit to break.  I spent all weekend either planning, shopping or preparing meals. My house is a mess! 

Not only do I have to prepare the meals, I have to clean up! I have had dishes in my sink all weekend. I clean, then have to cook and then clean again. 

I am eating things I normally don’t. To keep this from becoming boring I have to mix it up. I bought Epic bars. They are not the normal fruity protein bar. These are meat! Today I had Chicken Sriracha, for breakfast!

I am sick of eggs.

What in the world is coconut aminos? I had to buy it to make bbq sauce. 

It’s making me crabby. Most of you would say, “no, not Colleen. She is never crabby!”

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Grief and birthdays.

Grief is a funny thing. I was looking through pictures of Bob since today would have been his birthday and what hit me this time is these are the last pictures of him, ever. There won’t be any more and it makes them just that much more special.  He has been gone three and a half years this month and I have worked through or probably just blew right by the expected “stages” of grief.  I think I am in the “what would have been?”   stage. We had our life planned out and he not being here has changed the course of mine in very surprising and not always pleasant ways.
I think the most challenging aspect has been is trying to figure out who I am by myself.  When you are in a relationship with a person for over 35 years and that relationship ends, you really aren’t the same person anymore. There isn’t anyone who knows that person anymore. So who are you? Who do you want to be? It sort of sucks working all this out and it’s a surprising part of the process that I had no clue would happen.  

It is said that everyone grieves differently and I know this is true because I follow a lot of widow websites. They aim to empower and support or just be an ear to listen but what I find is many many women are still grieving after a long time and haven’t moved on. I know one thing; I don’t want to be that kind of person, stuck in my grief and unable to grow. I just hope that when it’s all said and done I will end up being a person that Bob would still be proud of.

He was a very gentle and quiet man with a subtle sense of humor who loved me warts and all. It was difficult to find a picture of just him, almost all my pictures where of us, with his arms wrapped around me. Happy Birthday to my darling Bud.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


I read about three books a week right now and I get a lot of requests to recommend books. Lately I have been reading a lot of fantasy romance, a little science fiction, contemporary romance and a bunch of urban fantasy.  These aren't main stream books like standard fiction or mystery so I am never sure what to recommend but below is what I have read and liked lately. I am in no way a reviewer so I am copying from Amazon. My reviews are usually  "loved it, read it!"

Radiance - Grace Draven

~THE PRINCE OF NO VALUE~ Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined. ~THE NOBLEWOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE~ Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn't just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she's known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light. Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.

First off, I don't think the blurb does this justice. This books was very emotional and one of my favorites of the year, well maybe a few years. It gets my vote for best cover too! I just loved this book. 

 Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

I saw this on many many "best books of 2014"lists. After reading the blurb I didn't buy it but then I saw it again on another list so picked it up from the library. This book was one of those that stayed with me long after I finished it. It made me think and then think again and it also made me think I might want to start stock piling food and water!

Dead Heat - Patricia Briggs

Praised as “the perfect blend of action, romance, suspense and paranormal,"* the Alpha and Omega novels transport readers into the realm of the werewolf, where Charles Cornick and Anna Latham embody opposite sides of the shifter personality. Now, a pleasure trip drops the couple into the middle of some bad supernatural business…

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal--or at least it starts out that way...
Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

This is the fourth book in the series and I just love the way Ms. Briggs is moving this series along. Her Mercy Thompson series is an auto-buy for me and this is an off-shoot of that series. Super good.

Here are a few other books I have liked recently, go look them up.

In Your Dreams - Kristan Higgins
Dark Heir - Faith Hunter (super good)
Bound by Flames - Jeanine Frost
Vision in Silver - Ann Bishop
Obsession in Death - JD Robb

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Almost April!

I am floored that I haven't posted since New Year's eve! Where in the world does the time go? I used to enjoy thinking about what I was going to post and letting everyone know how I was doing, so what happened?

I stay busy but nothing spectacular. I work and then catch up on the rest of my life on the weekend. I try to go to the gym (haha) and I gave up donuts, again. That's about it. I guess there really isn't a ton of drama in my life right now so I feel like I don't really have anything to post.

I am still exploring Dallas.  My sis and I take the DART train downtown and look around every once in a while.  My friend Sheila and I went to the Irish fest at Fair Park and Nancy and I continue to do quality control of the margaritas at the local watering holes.

Dating you ask? Still not working out for me. I think the issue is dating sites do not feel like a normal way to meet people. It's difficult to see the sparkle in someone eye in a picture. I have talked with a few guys and actually met two but we never got past the first meet up.  It's just so weird. If you know any well-adjusted, normal guys in my area please feel free to let me know!


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Here we go again!

We are staring 2015 in the face and I can barely remember 2014.  It was a whirlwind year of new state, new job, new home. It seems a blur of new and busy. I don't really need to re-cap my year, it's out there on Facebook for anyone to see, so I guess I will look forward to 2015.

I never make resolutions but I do spend the first week of each year setting goals. I also like to clean out my house but that may have to wait.

 Here is the short list:

1. Eat healthier. I don't need to diet but I do need to stop eating donuts and drinking Starbucks. Fair warning, if I do give up Starbucks they will definitely lose income so keep an eye on their stock.

2. Work out. Hahahaha.. no really!  I walk two miles a day but with the aforementioned donuts I need to head back to the gym. I was doing so well and I just got sidetracked by life. Also, the closest gym is packed all the time so I never want to go with the masses. Working out relieves my stress so I need to get my butt to the gym.

3. Get a handle on my budget.  I am not a crazy spender but I would like to tighten up a few things.

4. . Volunteer. I don't think it's the lack of opportunity but I do think my busy life makes me hesitate to commit. I promise myself to find time for this.

5.. Last and probably least, date!  I totally failed! I didn't get any interest. I am not sure why. I think because I am normal, not needy and can take care of myself. I have a feeling I could be a little picky too. Even though it is super difficult for me, I am going to put myself out there and just start saying yes. I am not looking for another husband but I am looking for someone to do stuff with.

This is the blueprint I am heading into 2015 with. I like to set goals I can reach and then feel good about and not ones that would be epic fail and feel bad all year. I will keep you posted...hey another goal!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Dallas is not my favorite city this week

So, as I said in my last post, we were burglarized. The person in the next unit to our storage unit cut a hole in the wall and took over $40k worth of stuff. Most of it was my sister and her family's  clothes and furniture. It 's a long sad story made worse by the absolute inept way the Dallas police have handled the entire affair.

I have been trying to get a copy of the police report for over a week. The least amount of time I was on the phone, on hold was 25 minutes. Today it was over 35.  I called the detective three times with no call back and I called his sergeant with no help. Finally, finally I got in touch with the detective. He didn't have a clue. I told him I needed to make sure the report was in my name for the insurance. It  is in my sisters name so I asked him if he could correct it. He told me to go downtown to the main police station records and get a copy and see if they could help me. I asked if he could just do an addendum or some kind of update. He told me "if they can't help you downtown, call me back" Trying not to scream at him,  I politely asked him again if he could fix it. His response, "if they can't help you downtown, come to our office and we will re-do the report".

I can't even....

This is going to involve time off of work and my patience being shredded. Wish me luck, I am going in!  If you me on the news please start a Crowd funding account for my bail.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

And so it goes

As some of you  may know, my sister and her family have been living with me while she looks for a full-time job. They put all of their belongings in a storage unit except what they thought they would need immediately.  The unit was packed tight by the movers, front to back, top to bottom. When Molly came home from college her stuff was put in the front.

We haven't been to the unit since August but we all needed some cooler weather clothes and I needed my winter shoes/boots for a trip to Chicago. My sister and I headed over there last night only to find out the entire unit was ransacked and robbed.

We won't be able to tell exactly what is missing until we can start pulling things out but it looks like they spent a lot of time in there opening bags of clothes, moving everything around and taking at least one television, some electronics and bags of clothes. I cant' find my winter stuff including my comforter and plastic bin of boots.

 We know, "it's only stuff". No one was hurt, everyone is ok but it's such a violation and my sister has been struggling this past year looking for a job it just feels like one more crappy thing to happen.

Please keep Suzanne, Kevin, Molly and Paige in your thoughts and prayers while they are going through this difficult time.