Archive for May, 2009

Olive Groves, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

So this week has proven to be a short but rather long work week. With rumors of State budget cuts once again, benefits cuts, furlough days, and salary cuts….. It has been a rough week to say the least. But I have not let that stop me from day dreamin’ about our trip to Bella Italia, in which we leave next week. It is always bittersweet. Because before we even leave, I start to think about having to return. Bad…huh? I know. I suffer from a severe case of the Travel Bug. There is no cure, instead only start to plan another trip. A strange but true phenomena. So this weekend will be spent packing, sorting, planning and checking things off my list. Is there any other way to spend the weekend?  🙂

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gorgeous, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

As children we never fully understand the how lucky we are to have loved ones around us. My Grandmother Lottie passed away on March 28, 1989. She born 116 years ago today on May 27, 1893. My grandmother was my confidant and made me who I am today. Because of her the world is a much better place. She raised 10 children in her day and worked until she was about 75 years old. She loved unconditional, made everyone feel special and always gave with her heart. She always saw the bright side of things and people. She loved purple. She loved to cook with whatever she had in her home. She loved to take rides on Sunday afternoons. She loved gardens and flowers, especially pansies and lilacs. She loved french fries and Kit Kats, homemade cookies and toast with tea. But most of all she loved her family…. We all loved her back. Today is a special day in my heart. For you may be gone Gram, but you are with me everyday! Hugs to you today!

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A great weekend

Another week has passed. Time was spent enjoying the weekend and remembering lost relatives on Memorial Day. On Saturday we went to visit Emma on Friendship Bay. The day was gorgeous and we adventured out on the Bay for a walk after a great lunch prepared by my niece. We came upon Emma’s secret hiding place or rather “adventure place” as she calls it. What a beautiful place hidden off the beaten path on the coast of Maine. I forget how beautiful the coast is this time of year. No bugs!

Now, if I can just survive this week and most of next week at work, we will soon be headed back to my favorite place…Italy!

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gelato of course, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

You get the picture. I am a travel fanatic. A travelaholic. An Italianophile. Fifteen more days til departure. Bags are getting organized, clothing sorted, spanking new bathing suit packed, and the rest will be packed in time. The excitement before the storm. I always plan incessantly for our trip and then get depressed just before we are getting ready to leave….because…I start to think about returning home when it is over. Most folks laugh when I explain this pnenomena to them.  What can I say? I live in a world trapped soemwhere over the Atlantic. Somewhere between here and Italy. Several years ago on our first trip to Italy, I became hooked.  Now my life will never be the same.  Crazy huh?

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cow’s intestines, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

Well it has been 46 weeks since my surgery and I thought I’d give my readers an update. 46 weeks ago today, my journey began. I don’t know what I expected, but somehow this experience topped all expectations I could have ever imagined. Both good and bad. Here I am 46 weeks after, lost 128 lbs, lost 73+ inches off my body. However, all good things come with the bad. There are demons living inside my guts. The create chaos and wreak havoc almost daily. Not a day goes by that I do not have some sort of problem. I still have a great deal of foods I can’t eat. Especially any type of poultry products. Can’t drink enough over the course of the day. Have increased (enormous) amounts of gas…..escaping me! Still puke several times per week. Some nights after dinner I wonder when it will all hit, or even better, when will it all be over? But it doesn’t end. It will never be over. It is what it is….no more, no less. No turning back…

Don’t let me get you wrong. Most days I am happy with my progress. I am so much healthier and could probably run a marathon…..well perhaps! My body loves me, my stomach hates me. My guts have been rearranged into something unrecognizable. But I am proud of my accomplishments. Still not sure if I would do this over, but I’ll let you know!

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pumpkin tortellini, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

Another day of planning and excitement as time rolls on before our trip to Italy 2009. La Bella Vita!!! Oh did I tell you that I can’t concentrate at work? Must be the Travel Bug. hehehehehe…the only cure is more travel!!  🙂

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Buzy as a bee!

bumble bee, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

Oh my, where does time fly? Here we are three weeks away from our Italy vacation 2009! Can’t wait. Time is running out and the plans are underway…..now just 23 more sleeps! Now if I can just stay a wee bit focused…..

Here is where we are staying!
When you stay at Park Hotel Chianti there are many activities that you can choose during your holiday: visits to farms and local cellars where you can taste olive oil, wine and all the best typical products of the territory, personalized itineraries to discover the most beautiful cities of Tuscany and the small villages of Chianti…and much more!
Restaurants and Taverns – In the surroundings of Park Hotel Chianti you can taste the typical Tuscan cuisine in characteristic restaurants where you will discover ancient tastes, enriched by natural ingredients as oil and wine produced directly from the hills of Chianti.

You can dine outdoors and try the artisan pasta, meats as the wild boar, the suckling roasted pig and the true Florentine steak… and end you dinner with the typical “Vin Santo”.

Chianti Wine tasting – By visiting the cellars and the vineyards of the area, that from centuries cultivate the art of wine production, you will know all the stages, from the harvest to the oak casks, which give birth to the best Chianti Classico. The wine tasting itineraries, with bottles that date back as far as 1948, will satisfy the needs of the most demanding experts.

Tuscan cuisine courses – Do you want to discover all the secrets of the typical Tuscan cuisine? A few metres from Park Hotel Chianti you can participate to exclusive cookery courses, learn the art of home-made pasta, gnocchi and noodles, and then taste your creation accompanied by a good glass of Chianti wine.       Oh my!!!

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Another week has passed us by, and now I’m a bit over three weeks in leaving for Italy 2009. I am almost to my weight loss goal and have only 17 more pounds to lose. I still spend hours at the gym each week. Yesterday I had a rather alarming “episode” at the gym and almost passed out while working out. My body broke out in a horrendous sweat and I felt week and shaky. The room was spinning out of control and I felt as though I would pass out, but never did. Upon returning home I found my blood sugar to be only 52. Not expecting this, I drank skim milk and had a snack. I hope this doesn’t happen again…scary. In the meantime I’m counting my blessings….

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breaking the bread, originally uploaded by The Rambling Rountrees.

Well another week is upon us. Thirty something days before our return to Bella Italia!! I went to see my dietitian last week to have a indirect calorimetry test done. It turns out that my metabolic rate is burning at 39% higher than normal…thanks to all my exercise. BUT, no pun intended, I have lost another 5 lbs of muscle over the last two months. I am almost at my goal, but a bit concerned about my muscle loss. So I have to eat more calories if I can, not easy. And up my protein to 70 grams per day. I figure I still have only been able to consume up to 1000 calories per day at this point. She wants me to eat 1600-1800 calories in a day. Otherwise, things are good at this point, more labs to follow next month.

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