I was shooting to lose 1.8 lbs at this week’s #weightwatchers weigh-in. I only lost one pound.


That’s two weeks in a row that I lost a pound. I’m moving in the right direction.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: January 2018


The last couple of weeks have seen the weather reach the Average Extreme Minimum Temperature for my USDA Hardiness Zone (6a/b), rise back up to 50F for one rainy day, then go back to ice and sleet and snow.

As per usual for January, the only bloom in sight is my kalanchoe.

Portrait of Mei

Mei Under the Tree
[25 December 2017]

This old lady. She and Connor are almost besties now, although she still won’t climb up and sleep with him in his bed like she will with me. She was pretty displeased when we first brought Connor home. so seeing them play together now makes me smile.

(She also didn’t much care for moving to this house almost five years ago — in fact, she hid behind the toilet on moving day and wouldn’t come out until we were upstairs in bed that night.)

Mei will be 14 years old this Spring. Sometimes she moves a little slower down the stairs than she used to, and sometimes I take note of her now-bony haunches. Other times, though, she tears ass through the house like she’s always done.

I suspect we still have many good years left with Mei Kitty, but I tend not to take the cuddles and the playtime for granted anymore.

December 2017 Weigh-In

I was going to write this up last night, but I found myself watching Good Eats on Amazon Prime and eating multiple snacks and desserts, instead. My brain is failing me and letting me fall back into old habits. (But that’s another post.)

All things considered — Christmas cookies at home and at work, mainly — December was actually a pretty decent month on the health and weight loss front. My average weight trend has been pretty level since late summer (which is preferable to the steady gains I was seeing before that), and December was no exception.

Monthly Weight Graph 2017

December Non-Scale Victories:

  • Mon 4 Dec: Needed more lunch, and decided on something healthy; when I went to actually buy it, I stuck to what I’d planned instead of buying something else that looked good (but wasn’t as healthy).
  • Fri 8 Dec: Didn’t eat after dinner. Not a damned thing.

I’m sure there were more, but those were the only ones I wrote down. Something about planning a fairly healthy Christmas dinner would probably belong on the list.


Minolta 110 Zoom SLR Mark II Test Roll

Minolta 110 SLR Mark II

Ever since I discovered that 110 SLRs existed, and that there were multiple models by multiple manufacturers, I made it my mission to collect them. I love my Pentax 110 SLR, so why not catch ’em all?

The film advance on the Mark II had been stuck since I got it at a yard sale back in the Summer of 2016. I finally got it working in early February 2017 by cleaning the battery contacts with a pencil eraser and loading fresh LR44 batteries. I actually had to polish the batteries on my jeans and avoid getting any fingerprints on the poles for the camera to recognize the batteries, though, which was a new one on me.

Once I had the camera working, I loaded up the Mark II with Lomo “Tiger” 200 speed film and headed out to the local metropark to start photographing.

Park Bench
[10 Feb 2017 | f/3.5, -1 EV]

New Year’s Day 2018

It was just as well that the fireworks roused me at the stroke of midnight last night, as I had fallen asleep on my stomach, with my arms folded beneath me, and my hands were numb and tingly.

This year makes two — or maybe three? — years in a row when I haven’t even attempted to make it until midnight on New Year’s. I pretty much turn into a pumpkin by 10:30 or 11pm, and I know my son is going to rouse me at 8am on New Years Day, anyway. (I long for the day when he decides that really sleeping in is a thing.)

Memaw used to say that whatever you do on New Year’s Day is what you’ll be doing all year, so the half-joke was that we wouldn’t do any laundry or house-cleaning on New Year’s, but Memaw would cook, of course. That superstition never made any sense to me, though, since New Year’s was a holiday. Of course you’re going to be off-schedule and not doing the things you’d normally be doing all year, like going to school (or work).

Even though New Year’s Day is honestly a pretty arbitrary date, I still like to take this opportunity to reflect on my habits and goals. What do I want to accomplish this year? Did I accomplish what I set out to do last year?  (more…)

Fifty New-To-Me Recipes in 2017: The Top Ten

Back in January, I resolved to cook fifty new-to-me recipes in 2017. Unlike some of the other resolutions I made (like, say, posting to my blog daily), I succeeded and surpassed my recipe goal.

I reached 50 recipes by the end of November, and (while I ran out of room on my notebook page to record them) I continued trying new recipes through December, reaching a total of 55 new recipes I tried this year — better than the one per week I’d originally been shooting for.

Some of the recipes, of course, were more successful than others. The undercooked sous-vide tilapia wasn’t my best moment, and neither was the woefully under-spiced egg curry. Some, though, became house favorites.

These are my top ten.  (more…)