I am resolute

For those of you who have struggled to lose weight, you know how different the war becomes when that switch in your brain turns on and you suddenly can stand in the face of temptation and Just.Say.No.  I suppose it’s that way with any addiction, but as one who has never had any addiction aside from food – oh, we’re not counting Farmville and Cafe World on Facebook, now, are we? – I can’t really speak to whether it’s the same or not.  What I do know is that, in all my years of dieting, the only times I’ve ever been successful are the times when that magic little switch goes “click!” and food loses its hold over me.  I no longer feel deprived when standing before a plate of chocolate brownies, knowing I am not going to taste their chewy goodness.  I don’t ache for just one salty, tangy, creamy bite of feta.  I can pass on the fresh baked French bread slathered with butter that is set before me in the restaurant.  I can Just.Say.No.  But my switch must be defective, because most of the time I can’t even find it, let alone turn it on.  I attempt to diet, enjoying a modicum of success for a few days, maybe a week.  Then we go out to Red Robin or Azteca, and I think, “what the heck, how bad can a few tortilla chips and salsa be? What’s a little bleu cheese dressing on my salad?”  Before I know it, I’m off and running, straying far from the dieting straight and narrow, piling back on the few pounds I’d managed to lose that week, and most likely one or two more for good measure. That has been the story of my middle-aged life.

When I was younger, I didn’t have any weight issues.  Oh, I THOUGHT I did.  I weighed all of 133 pounds when I met The Spouse.  You see, I was a golfer. I played golf every single day, and I walked the course, carrying my bag, which was great exercise. Additionally, I used to hit 500 range balls every single day.  Now think about that – swinging a golf club 500 times, bending over at least half as many times to put the ball on the tee – that’s darned good exercise, but it feels like fun.  Walking the course translated into about 5 miles of walking carrying a bag that probably weighed 20 pounds with 14 clubs in it.  And of course, there were the swings during the golf round – the practice swing, then the real swing – probably about 80 or so a round.  Yep, great exercise that felt like fun.  When I moved in with The Spouse I had to stop playing golf (becoming an instant mom meant I could hardly spend half the day at the golf course). But I took up lifting weights with The Spouse. Even so, I gained 10 pounds over the first few months. Prior to meeting The Spouse, I rarely ate more than two meals a day – and one of those meals was mostly just a tuna sandwich or something very light while out on the golf course.  Living with The Spouse, OS and The Daughter meant cooking three meals a day. I had NEVER been a breakfast eater, but now I was making a full-on eggs, pancakes, etc. breakfast daily.  Then I packed lunches for everyone, including myself, and when dinner time came, I made a nice, big, meal, like any self-respecting Italian girl would make.  Now, you can lift all the weights you want, but the calories expended didn’t come close to the calories I had been expending on the golf course, and I was eating probably twice as many calories, maybe more.  So, it was no surprise that I gained 10 pounds.  But even at 142, I was not overweight.  I thought I needed to lose weight because I had always been skinny, weighed ten pounds more than I had weighed for years, and I have big thighs (I have always hated my thighs), but when I look back at pictures – let’s just say I would kill to look like that again! At 5’10” tall, 142 is almost underweight.  Almost.

It wasn’t until I had YS that I started to have to fight my weight. I gained 57 pounds when I was pregnant with him, topping out at 202.  I did lose most of it within the first month.  The last 10 pounds took several months to lose, but I did lose it.  In 1991, I started working out religiously. I went to the gym and lifted weights 6 days a week. I stuck to a very strident diet.  The Spouse and I were very dedicated.  I went from 26% bodyfat to 20% bodyfat in 4 months – my weight stayed the same, but I lost 10 pounds of fat and gained 10 pounds of muscle, and I weighed 142 pounds.  Over the next year I got down to 16% bodyfat, but I weighed 160 pounds.  I had added 18 pounds of muscle, was in a size 7, and looked GREAT!  I stayed at that weight for a long time, although my bodyfat fluctuated between 16 and 20%. I faithfully worked out six days a week, and for the most part, ate well.  I still hated my thighs and still struggled to lose fat and get leaner.

Then came perimenopause.  All bets were off.  I started to gain weight, and nothing I did made me lose it.  I was tired a lot too, and my workouts got really difficult.  Work changed too – I went from running around all day meeting with clients and working on their systems, to working in an office and sitting for most of the day.  Suddenly, it wasn’t just difficult to lose weight, it was difficult to keep from gaining weight.  In 1999 I joined Weight Watchers with YS.  He was 13 and needed to learn better eating habits – and lose a few pounds of adolescent chub.  I decided having someone other than Mom talk to him about his eating was the way to go.  So we joined together.  The women at the meetings adored him.  He had great success.  Over the course of a few months, he lost 26 pounds and I lost 22.  We kept each other going throughout, and it was great.  I reached my goal and became a lifetime member, and went to work for Weight Watchers, working at the meetings weighing members and manning the desk.  It was great, and helped me keep my weight in check.  I weighed 155, and looked and felt great.  I stayed between 155 and 172 for the next few years without too much trouble, though 172 became easier to maintain than 155, and was really the upper limit of how much I should weigh.  I was still working out 6 days a week, which helped a lot.  Then came YS’s senior year of high school in 2003.  I stopped going to the gym 6 days a week. I went two or three days a week and spent the rest of the time visiting with him.  I knew he’d be moving away to college and wanted to spend those mornings of his last year with him.  Over the course of the year, I passed 172 tipping the scale at 180.  When he went off to college, I realized I enjoyed having my mornings to myself to do whatever I wanted to do – and that didn’t include going to the gym.  I gained another 10 pounds that year.  By his second year of college, I was out of the workout habit, and work had gotten busy and stolen my mornings from me.  Add another 10 pounds.  So, 4 years, 40 pounds… I was now as heavy as I was when I delivered YS.

I was angry and disgusted with myself, but could not manage to stick to any diet for more than a few days.  Suddenly, I was the woman I’d sworn I’d never be – the one buying the latest diet book, the latest diet supplement, trying the latest gimmick.  It was pathetic!  Then I gave up completely. I decided that, with menopause, my crazy work schedule, and life in general, I just wasn’t going to lose the weight.  This was it… I was now the fat sister.

But I guess I never REALLY gave up.  When my friend, JoAnn wrote on her Facebook about her success at losing weight, I had to know her secret.  Weight Watchers Online.  I decided I HAD to try again.  So, I joined, and started tracking my points religiously, and I had success right away.  Unfortunately, I took this step not too long before Thanksgiving.  While I stuck to the program for the most part leading up to Thanksgiving, resulting in an 11 pound loss, the week of Thanksgiving I kind of blew it.  Well, more than kind of – I pretty much didn’t write down a single thing I ate that entire week – and I ate a lot more than I should have.  That week led to the next, and before I knew it, I’d gained back 4 of the 11 pounds I’d lost.  Then, another 3 piled back on.  Time to get back with program before I was right back where I’d started.

I had decided December 1st would be a good day to start again, but I couldn’t get “with it” until the 4th.  In fact, I had bought a tin of piroulines (those cookie things that are a thin, tasty wafer wrapped around a chocolate fudge center and shaped into a long, slender treat about the size of a Tiparillo cigar) around the first.  I had a couple of them with my coffee the next morning – and again later that day.  The next day, I had a two or three more.  Then, I decided I couldn’t take the temptation, so I ate the entire tin to “get rid of them” so I wouldn’t be tempted.  Smart move, eh?  That loss of control was the impetus I needed to get back on the program.  The first day went well, as did the second.  The third day I was hungry, but I stuck with it. Then something happened… I developed resolve. The switch turned on.  Over the weekend, I didn’t eat anything I shouldn’t have eaten, even though I had a lot of “goodies” in the house, and by goodies, I mean two tins of Amond Roca, one of my favorite candies ever, as well as plenty of delicious cheese, which has always been my downfall.  I didn’t eat any of it.  On Wednesday, the church across the street brought over two huge boxes of treats from a local bakery as a “thank you” for letting them use our parking lot on Sundays.  One box was filled with about 5 different kinds of petits fours, the other with 5 different kinds of cookies.  I walked into the staff lounge where the goodies were displayed.  I stood in front of them, assessed what was in the boxes, and decided that, as delicious as it all looked, none of it was worth blowing my diet over.  I walked past that display about 5 times that day, pausing every time to review the treats, and making the decision each time to pass them up.  I didn’t feel deprived. I felt empowered. I had control!  I was no longer subject to my body’s urges, desires, and cravings.  It felt SO good!

Two days later, we had our staff Christmas party – a potluck event. Once again, the staff lounge was filled with treats – scrumptious looking quiches, peach pie, berry pie, a variety of cookies and other baked goods, fruit, chocolates, etc. I even brought a platter of cheese, salami and crackers and a cheesecake.  Fortunately, someone had brought a veggie tray with broccoli, celery, carrots, etc.  That was what I ate.  I didn’t have a single bite of anything else. I stuck with the broccoli and celery – the known quantity.  I had no idea what was in the quiche, so I couldn’t take a chance. How many points were in it? How many points were in the pies? I know how many points are in vegetables.  So, I stuck to them, and again, I didn’t feel deprived. I felt strong, in control. It felt great! I was rewarded with a 3 pound loss that week.

On Sunday, I was invited to a cookie exchange. About 15 women brought two dozen cookies to share. These cookies were amazing.  In addition to the cookies, the hostess had provided snacks – 7-layer dip, chips, and other assorted hors d’oeuvres .  Fortunately, someone eventually brought out some raw veggies – broccoli, carrots, and snow peas. Once again, that’s what I stuck with. I picked out two dozen cookies to take home to The Spouse, and though they are sitting on my kitchen counter, I haven’t had so much as a taste.  I have sat in a fast food restaurant while The Spouse ate a burger and fries, and didn’t even eat a single french fry.  I didn’t even WANT one.  Now that the switch is on, I can look at things I previously craved and see all the nasty things in them – the fat, the sugar, the calories – and the desire goes away.  Without the desire, I have control, and I don’t feel deprived. I feel, for the first time in years, that I can finally lose this weight, no matter how long it takes, no matter how many temptations I encounter as I navigate through the holiday season.  It’s a great feeling.  But, like an addict or an alcoholic, I know that I can’t risk even a nibble on a piece of fudge, a tasty baked good, or some cheese. Not now. Not yet.  If I taste that stuff, I will fall off the wagon. The switch will turn off again.  I know that as well as I know my name.  I’m not ready yet.  Maybe once I lose another dozen pounds, maybe not until I reach my goal, maybe not for a long, long time.  But that’s okay. I really don’t feel deprived. I want to get to my goal so that I CAN have a piece of cheese – and not feel like I have to eat the entire block of cheese.  I want to be able to eat ONE pirouline and not feel like the tin is calling my name.  I hope I get to that point – to the point where I can eat like a “normal” person.

I have come to realize that all my life I’ve been a binge eater.  When we were kids, we were poor.  We had plenty to eat, but we never had “extras” – potato chips, ice cream, candy, “goodies”.  Meals consisted of a main course, a vegetable, and a starch. Dessert was rare, and if we did have dessert, it was usually Jello instant pudding.  We never ate school lunch. Instead, we took a sack lunch with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, two cookies (usually the generic sandwich kind from the bakery thrift store), and a piece of fruit.  Breakfast was cold cereal and powdered milk, or oatmeal if I wanted to make it myself.  On the weekends we might have eggs and toast for breakfast, again if one of us girls made it.  On rare occasions, Mom would get a wild hair and do something like fry chicken, or make enchiladas, or make something out of the ordinary, but most of the time, cooking meals was a chore to her, and the lack of interest showed in what we ate.  As for “extras”, we couldn’t afford them.  When we did get them – if a guest brought a bag of chips and some dip, or for some reason we splurged and bought a half gallon of ice cream – we devoured them.  I remember one time when my first husband and I were dating and we brought home the makings for ice cream sundaes.  We brought home two half gallons of ice cream, chocolate fudge sauce, and some whipped cream.  He sat stunned while he watched the four of us demolish both half gallons of ice cream and all the sauce and whipped cream.  We were like concentration camp prisoners who hadn’t eaten in months.  I guess we all figured we’d better get as much as we could, because who knew when we’d get it again.  We were that way with chips and dip, too.  Looking back, I realize that being deprived of things all our childhood made me the binge eater I am today.  I remember when I moved into my first apartment I wanted to buy all the things I’d always had rationed when I was at home – avocados, smoked oysters, mushrooms, and ice cream.  When Mom would buy avocados, they were so expensive, even in California, that she allowed each of us kids one slice, with the bulk of the avocado going to Dad.  When she bought mushrooms and would saute them for a meal, Dad got a big pile of them, and we were lucky to get the equivalent of one mushroom.  And when she bought smoked oysters once in a blue moon, I think I got to taste one out of the whole tin.  So, I bought those things, and gorged on them.  Unfortunately, I can’t look a smoked oyster in the eye as a result of that gorging, but you can never have too much avocado or too many mushrooms.  When I was young, I could get away with gorging on things like that.  I was always on the go, and had a fast metabolism.  I never had to face my binge eating.  Now I do.  And I’m glad to finally feel like I have some control over my addiction to food.  Thank you, Weight Watchers.  Thank you, JoAnn, for motivating me to get back on the program.  I have found my resolve.  I WILL succeed!

Time to come clean

Last week’s weigh-in didn’t go well.  I was up 3 pounds. It was hard not to get discouraged.  I hadn’t eaten poorly. I hadn’t walked less. In fact, I had worked really hard the previous weekend in the yard, so figured I’d at least stay the same, if not lose.  But no, up three pounds.  Okay, maybe it was hormones, that monthly swing in water retention, weight, etc. with which we women struggle.  So I didn’t let it get to me.  I do have to admit one thing – I wasn’t as diligent about logging my food on the Weight Watchers site.  I was just so busy all week that I didn’t have time to write down my points.  But I kept track in my head.  There were a couple of days that I went over my 23 points, but also a couple I stayed way under, and we do get 35 extra points a week to use however we want.  But I was up 3 pounds, so was the not keeping a food journal a factor?  Probably.

So, this week I set out to at least get back those 3 pounds.  I’ve been super careful about what I’ve been eating, passing on cake that was at work yesterday, going back to eating soup before dinner to help fill up and keep from eating too much of what I made for dinner, and really trying to eat more fruit and veggies.  I jumped on the scale this morning just to check my progress.  No change.  What the heck is going on?  I’m really frustrated, and I am going to have to work really hard not to get discouraged and just give up.  I know part of the problem has to be stress and lack of exercise.  I have been stuck at my desk more than usual the last week and a half, so I haven’t walked all that many steps.  I guess that has to play a role, but three pounds for two weeks?  I am kind of at a loss as to what to do to get things going downward again.  I suppose I could be eating too little… Or maybe this is just plateau time?  I don’t know, but I’m not going to give up.  I’d like to get back to my weight of two weeks ago before Thanksgiving, then save up the points I need to be able to enjoy Thanksgiving without gaining.  I just need to keep telling myself I can do this, I can do this, I am not going to give up.  I can do this.

Progress on all fronts

This past weekend we made some nice progress on the deck cover project. With the help of The Daughter and SIL, we got those pesky beams put up and bolted into place. With four sets of hands available, there were no mishaps, no injuries, no near misses. We also got the sway braces in place, and that may be as far as we get this year. We would like to put up the gable ends, but a trip to The Home Depot to buy lumber ended in vain. We need four 4x6x10 foot beams, but digging through the lumber in stock was futile. It was really poor quality, with cracks in most of the beams, and dents and gouges in a good number of them.  We initially thought the 12-footers would work, and for only $2 more, we could waste the 2 feet.  Turned out they were no better.  It was very discouraging to dig through a couple dozen pieces of lumber and not find even one beam that would work. Oh sure, if these beams were going to be covered and not visible, they’d be just fine. But you’re going to be able to see 3 of 4 sides when they’re up, so we want them to decent quality. We’re going to check the three other building supply places in town and see if we can come up with any decent quality wood. If not, we’ll just wait until the spring. Unfortunately, in order to get acceptable quality 16-footers, we had to special order them – at a cost of nearly $50 each! This inexpensive deck “roof” will get way too expensive if we have to special order all 10 10-footers!  So, we’re crossing our fingers that better wood will be available through other vendors.

On the weight loss front, I’ve made progress as well – for the first time in years! I’ve lost 10.5 pounds in a month. I’m happy with that, so long as the downward trend continues. I have to say, I have a totally different attitude about food than I did just a month ago.  I used to feel like I had no control when it came to food.  Now, I feel like I have total control over food, which is awesome.  The change really is thanks to Weight Watchers. Since I am logging my points, I naturally pay really close attention to what I eat.  I find myself making choices where, in the past, I would have simply stuffed something into my mouth.  And I am finding I don’t feel deprived when I decide that points in that “fun-size” Snickers are not worth the sacrifices I’ll have to make the rest of the day. I feel in control, not deprived.  I made it through all of Halloween, surrounded by a bowl full of the “good” candy – Snickers (my personal favorite), Milky Way, Twix, and Nestle’s Crunch – without eating one single bite. Sunday, when we were working on the deck cover project, we got Papa Murphy’s pizzas for lunch.  We ordered a Chicago Stuffed pizza and one of their Mediterranean Chicken deLite pizzas.  Normally, I can’t avoid the Chicago Stuffed – mostly because of the thick crust where the top and bottom crusts come together.  My grandson never eats his, so I usually eat it for him, in addition to two pieces of pizza of my own.  This time, I didn’t even WANT any of the Chicago Stuffed.  I ate two pieces of the deLite – a super thin crusted low calorie pizza with 40% fewer calories and 30% less fat than a “normal” pizza.  It was delicious, and again, I did not feel deprived.  I’m starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.  I actually feel like I can succeed in this weight loss struggle.  My good friend, JoAnn, has been sharing her weekly menus with me.  It has been really helpful, because I’ve gotten really bored with my normal meals.  It’s nice to get ideas from someone else, especially someone who has done, or is doing, Weight Watchers too.  So, yeah, progress is being made.

Our yard in the fall is a royal pain in the butt. We have 8 aspen trees and one birch tree in our yard, and they drop a lot of leaves in the fall. Unfortunately, they take forever to drop them, so we end up doing leaf pickup work well into November.  The birch tree seems to drop all its leaves at one time, leaving a thick blanket of leaves beneath the tree to be picked up. This year, the leaves fell, then it rained, making picking them up a really messy job.  The Spouse rode over them with the riding lawn mower, but they were so wet and thick, they clogged the chute into the collection bins on the back. I ended up picking up most of the leaves by hand and putting them into the wheelbarrow. I then RAN with the wheelbarrow into the lot behind us, where I dumped them, then RAN back to where The Spouse was mowing so I could be there when he was ready to dump the mower’s bins.  I did this four times in addition to the three times he dumped the bins, which helped me get to 9881 steps on Sunday.  The Daughter and SIL helped us, sucking leaves with our leaf blower/sucker and raking the ones they couldn’t suck up. We got almost all the leaves picked up, which was a lot more than we thought we’d get done considering we were working on the deck project.  We did the yard work while we waited for paint on the sway braces to dry. It worked out really well, but would not have been possible without the help from The Daughter and SIL.  They are really awesome kids!  They spent 8 hours helping us Sunday, and we’d never have gotten the yard done without them.  The Daughter said she needs to kick some brother butt since neither of her brothers ever comes to help us with anything.  It’s true, they both live over an hour away, and YS almost always has to work in the weekends when we are working on projects, but it would be nice if they would make an effort, now and then, to help out.

Work issues are seeing progress too.  I am still having issues with Outlook Web Access, but other problems are being resolved little by little.  So, that’s today’s post…

Weigh-in day

I weigh myself for my “official” Weight Watchers weigh-in on Friday mornings.  This morning, I am down 1.5 pounds from last Friday. Yay! That’s 6 pounds in three weeks, which is right on the 2-pound-per-week loss recommended for safe, long-term weight loss. I’d love the per-week loss to be more like 5 pounds, but I know that’s unrealistic, and it’s unrealistic expectations like that that have doomed previous attempts to failure.  So, I’m going to keep a positive attitude and be thankful for even the smallest move downward on the scale.

On another note, yesterday morning was IN-sane. The Spouse left for work at 6AM, as usual. He doesn’t actually start work until 7:30 or 7:40 AM on Thursdays (not sure exactly what time), but he is one of those people who cannot handle the stress of possibly being late, so he allows himself PLENTY of time to drive the 50 miles to work each day.  The result is, he usually has half an hour or more to kill before he clocks in, which he spends reading the paper, sometimes doing light exercise, or if anyone else shows up ridiculously early, visiting with coworkers.  When questioned as to why he leaves SO early, he always says he tries to “expect the unexpected”.  What if there is an accident that closes the highway (it has happened)? He has time to turn around and take an alternate route and still get to work on time. What if it has snowed a foot and the roads haven’t been cleared yet (it has happened)? He can go slowly and still be on time.  What if he has a flat (it has not happened)?

Well, yesterday his overly-cautious nature paid off.  He left at 6, as usual. About 6:25 he called me to tell me that the BMW was overheating and he was turning around to go back to the last gas station on the way out of town to add coolant.  That was not a good sign.  I threw on some clothes and prepared for the worst.  Five minutes later, he called back to say the water he was putting in was running out as fast as he was putting it in.  The BMW has an overflow tank with a hose that goes into the engine.  There is no radiator cap on the radiator, so you can’t bypass the overflow tank and put coolant or water directly into the radiator. Clearly, that hose had blown and the water wasn’t getting into the engine.  By this time I was in the car and on my way to meet him.  He said he’d start driving into town and would go as far as he could.  Of course, I hit every single red light in town – every single one!  I so should have gotten a ticket! I was speeding through town like a maniac whenever no one was in front of me.  It was not a pretty sight.  He got to the south side of the “long bridge” – the 2 mile long bridge over the river that you have to cross to get to and from town – and waited for me in the parking lot of a BBQ joint.  I arrived and saw him waiting, hood open, in the dark lot.  I had to turn left across a stream of traffic that was non-stop.  It seemed I would never get across, when finally a small break came.  I zipped across, jumped out of the car, grabbed my purse and ID tag for work out of the front seat while he put his lunch box and other things in the back seat, swapped keys, and watched him drive off.  Luckily for him, there was another break in the traffic, so he got out and on his way quickly.  By this time it was 6:45.

I sat with the car, waiting for the temperature gauge to drop to below halfway.  When it did, I started the car and headed north across the bridge.  I had brought a gallon of water with me so I could add it in hopes of cooling the car down at least a little bit when it overheated.  About halfway across the bridge, the needle started edging up again.  All of a sudden, it pegged. It went from halfway to pegged instantly.  I didn’t want to drive very far in that condition, so rather than drive all the way across the bridge to one of the gas stations at the north end of it, I pulled off onto a construction road that has been built as part of a huge bypass construction project that is underway.  I put on my flashers (it was pitch dark still, by the way), turned of the engine, got out and opened the hood, and sat and watched the temperature gauge.  A few minutes later, a state patrolman pulled in behind me.  He came to my window, where I explained what was going on.  He asked if I needed him to call anyone, and I told him no, that I was just going to let it cool down and try to limp home, little by little.  He wished me luck, walked back to his SUV, and drove off.  The Spouse kept calling to check on my progress.  After about 15 minutes, the needle was back to halfway, so I ventured off again.  I made it about a mile (fortunately, I hit all green lights), having to pull over about two blocks from another gas station that sits on the busiest intersection in town.  This time it took about 20 minutes to cool down.  Off I went again, making it a lot further this time – actually making it all the way through town, again hitting all green lights, and even past the construction on the north end of town without having to stop, before pulling over in the parking lot of a now defunct BBQ joint (go figure – this small town at one time had TWO BBQ places).

It was beginning to get light now.  I put the last of the water into the overflow tank – and watched it run out right where the hose goes into the engine.  Well, you can’t actually see the hose at that end as it is under some other components on the engine, but you could see the water running out from where the hose obviously goes.  The water was running onto the engine, so that helped cool it off a bit.  I waited about 20 minutes, then headed out again. There was a gas station just a short way down the road, so I pulled in there to refill my water jug.  The clerk gave me another jug full of water, so I put them both in the tank and let them run over the engine.  This time, I waited until the gauge went well below halfway before heading out.  I was about 2.5 miles from home.  I miraculously made it through the last two signals without having to stop.  I kept an eagle-eye on the temperature gauge. It was staying around the halfway mark.  I prayed.  I kept driving, past the last gas station before the turn into my neighborhood.  The temperature held.  I turned into my neighborhood.  The temperature started to creep up, but stayed between halfway and max, so I kept going.  Just as I hit the corner of my street, it pegged. I only had a few hundred feet to go, so I just gunned it, pulled into my driveway, and shut the car off.  I jumped out, opened the hood, and let it cool down.  The whole ordeal had taken about an hour-and-a-half.  The Spouse, by the way, had called constantly to check on my progress, and had made it to work on time, despite the backtracking and car swap. I guess his strategy of leaving so early for work paid off.  Thankfully, we have more cars than two people should have (four, not counting YS’s car, which WE own), so despite the fact that the Suburban is at The Daughter’s house right now (they borrowed it for a soccer trip), I still had the Audi in the garage that I could drive to work.  When people ask me why I have so many cars, and why I don’t sell the older ones, I will relate this tale.  I am praying that driving the BMW in this condition has not done any damage to the engine. My mechanic said it is unlikely as the engines are pretty robust, and we did stop as soon as the needle pegged.  He’s got a hose on order and will replace it as soon as it comes in.  The trick is, we’ll have to limp it out to his shop the same way I limped it home, unless I can get my car towed under my insurance policy’s towing coverage.  I’ve gotta check on that.

Well, it’s 7AM. Some of our board members are coming in this morning to do some “job shadowing”, so I’m going to go in a little early to prepare for that.  Maybe today I’ll have some success resolving my computer problems. Hope you all (all three of you) have a terrific day.