Thursday, December 27, 2012

Grandma's Oranges

I was reading Sabrina's blog over at Coffee with Sabrina.  I met Sabrina for the first time, well the only time, a year and a half ago when I did that 5k with the blogging group.  (I just realized I never recapped that race or the experience...lame!) I have decided that I need to set some goals for 2013 soon, very soon considering that this 2012 year will be over in a few short days.  But that is a post for another night.  Tonight I write about something a little lighter.

Photo by me

At one time, I used to hate oranges. I used to hate peeling them, and I still do from my lack of nails.  I really have to change that nail problem. That is, yet again, for another post.  Anyway, I hated eating that white stuff that the peel left behind. It was hard for me to chew and then swallow. I would often choke on it. Plus it never tasted all that great. So I didn't eat oranges that often.  Except when I was at Grandma Vonnie's house in Southern California.  

Many of us over-eaters associate food with memories and emotions.  Oranges hold a special place in my heart and in my memories.  Grandma and Papa W. had a great big orange tree in their back yard in S. California. I grew up listening to stories that my dad would tell us about all the orange trees and groves that used to surround their house when they were kids.  That tree in my grandparent's backyard was somewhat barren in the summer time, when us mid-westerners always think fruit should be plentiful.  But when we would come to visit for Christmas, that orange tree would be full of ripe juicy orange fruit.  Grandma would always make sure she would take time to pull fresh oranges off the tree for a glass, or two, of fresh squeezed juice.  Yummmmm.

So now, when I can get the best California oranges at my local grocery store, I think of these moments.  From when I first break into the thick skin that is hiding sweet and juicy fruit flesh, inhaling the scent of citrus and sweet, to closing my eyes to savor the scent fill my nostrils, the images of those memories comes flooding back. When I slip one of those orange segments into my mouth, allowing my teeth to break into those tiny juice capsules, I savor those moments and wish I could go back to being eight years old, sitting at the woodblock counter in their kitchen.

Mmm. Memories. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Belated Merry Christmas to everyone.  I haven't posted for almost two months and I feel like a broken record.  Just a little update on my stomach issues I was writing about on my last post. I continued to have problems through a week off I took around Thanksgiving but by the end of the week, I was doing much better.  I believe it was a bad case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which runs in my family.  I am currently doing better. 

On the weight loss wagon and back off again.  On and Off.  Currently off.  I've been off for a long time.  There have been too many lunches eaten out and too many time saving meals for dinner.  And, when I usually lose weight over the holidays, I have had a 6 pound gain.  That doesn't really sound like much weight but the inches have crept in.  I can feel it when I run, I can feel it when I put my small jeans on, and I can feel it in my sluggishness.

I stopped coming to Blogger to read my friends' blogs sometime in the beginning of November.  I just couldn't bring myself to put the work into reading all those blogs all the time. It was hard to think about all my friends that are being successful while I am not.  

I always come across these moments that I feel inspired.  Most of the time, the inspiration is not enough to get me to do anything.  I just put it off until Monday then Monday comes and goes and I'm back to not being inspired at all.  Every so often, I find little moments that push me over that edge of not waiting until Monday.  You'd think I would have had one of those moments in early November when I found out my closest friend was having brain surgery later that month. Instead of motivating me to make some changes in my life, it stressed me out.  Her surgery was successful and she is doing well. 

Christmas was hosted at my house this year with just my immediate family and my husband.  I do enjoy entertaining.  There were/are lots of yummy foods around this house, which doesn't help my mission to lose weight.  Most of it is going to end up in the freezer to eat over the next few weeks and months.

I had today, the day after Christmas, off from work.  This morning was spent binging on some of the left overs in our house.  That made me feel great!  I spent the afternoon  addressing envelopes for our Holiday cards that had yet to go out.  We actually had a handful of extras so I was able to broaden my address list a bit.  I took a break from writing out envelopes to peruse some blogs here, stumbling across Becky's writing over at The Fab Miss B. Please go over there and read her writing.  She always knows how to say things in just the right way that makes you relate.  Or she makes you think,  "I was thinking the same thing, but just didn't know how to say it!" Becky's father-in-law was in a bicycle accident recently (October but I wasn't reading blogs at that point so I missed it).  I was reading her entry this afternoon about the accident and it really just touched home with me for some reason. It may be that it was a bicycle accident (one of my passions).  But deep down I know what really touched me was some of her words about him. 
"I have been so angry with him, since before this accident even happened. I was so angry about his lack of dignity, his lack of will to pull himself together and face the problems that he had created by ignoring problems for so many years. I still am angry about all of that. But seeing him in this bed, and knowing that he is alive, I know beyond a doubt that I don't want him to die. I want him alive, I want to see him hold my little babies some day, I want to hear him tell his stories about growing up in Millard, Nebraska. I want to watch him jut out his chin in that pompous and silly way as he and E and I sit around the patio table discussing the universe, travel, the point of art, the meaning of life. I had no idea of the depth of my love until now. I was so blind, I thought a few bad choices could turn it all sour. But what is any of that compared with his one wild and precious life? His life? What is worth more than that?"
 So I take these little moments to heart.  I took this moment to put on my gym clothes and at the gym, I ran hard. I ran fast.  I pushed myself until my legs hurt and couldn't go any further because I knew I deserved to take care of myself.  And thinking of Becky's experience at her father-in-law's bedside, comparing it to my experience at my friend's hospital bedside in November, I don't want to be in my own hospital bed because I didn't take care of myself.  I deserve to be healthy. My husband deserves a healthy wife. My parents deserve a healthy child that will be able to help them in their old age. And my future children deserve a healthy mother.

This post as been rambling with odds and ends.  I hope to maintain this passion and find a way to focus it over the next few days and weeks.