I’m Going as Superwoman for Halloween

If I were dressing up for Halloween I would go as Superwoman.  Before you even think, “That Damn Dana is so full of herself,” here is my reason.  Halloween is all about sugar, candy corn, mini snickers, resses peanut butter cups, skittles, junior mints, rolos, heath bars, hershey’s chocolates, milky ways, nerds, butterfingers, M & M’s I have gained two pounds just writing these things.

See, sugar is my Kryptonite.  Superman was powerless around the stuff and just like him sugar can bring me to my knees.  When I am away from all things sugar I am fierce.  I have will power and can leap tall bakery counters with a single bound.  But just one bite of a brownie and my resolve is weakened.

Today is the last day of my weight loss challenge.  What was I thinking?  Ending on Halloween – my day of greatest challenge. Tomorrow I will get on the scale and report how much weight I have lost since May.  I will be sending personalized e-mails to all my supporters to let them know how much money to send the food bank.

But tomorrow is not the end of my healthy eating.  With all that candy around I am going to have to double down.  The challenge has been great at doing for me what I needed it to do — break the grip that sugar and white flour had on my life.  I still have about 35 pounds I want to lose so I have to continue doing exactly what I have been doing, just without any money on the line to keep me motivated.

Even though my accountability will change from those who have pledged to just myself I am going to have to resolve to not be weakened by my personal Kryptonite, sugar.  To me, Superman is powerful because he knows his weakness and does everything to stay away from it.  I think for many women sugar is their downfall, so we all need to become Superwomen and do our best to steer clear of what we already know cripples us.

Like that mild manner reporter, Clark Kent, I am going to keep blogging.  I know that this forum has given me strength to be faster than a speeding bullet or more powerful than a locomotive or maybe just a strange visitor from another planet, as long as I am a skinnier visitor.

CRIME ALERT- The Swiss Chard Murders

While one third of America was ravaged by the monster storm with the innocent name of Sandy the middle of North Carolina was spared.  On opposite ends of my state flooding and hurricane a force winds destroyed part of the outer banks to the east and a huge blizzard is overtaking the western end.

The tri-state area around New York, and all the mid-Atlantic states are without power and flooding is just subsiding as the storm whips up winds and rains as far west at Chicago.  While all this devastation and human suffering abounds some criminal picks this time to lay waste to my garden.

Not all the garden, this four footed assassin chose to take out the practically perfect, unsuspecting, innocent Swiss chard.  Said chard was murdered in its own home.  Tender green leaves ripped from their proud magenta stalks, left shredded and ravaged by this unnamed butcher.

Collateral damage was a large family of romaine lettuce trampled during the invasion.  Many gave their lives to try and protect the young greens known as “Swiss” to their friends.  The Swiss Chard had a bright future ahead, now cut down in its prime.

No one will ever know the chard and white bean stew that it was destined for.  The White Beans were asked to comment but were too dried out from crying to comment.  A bunch of leeks have sent their condolences and now await their own chard-less future on a tart made bland without the tangy greens.

Swiss Chard’s neighbors Chinese Cabbage and Cauliflower are worried for their own safety in their war torn neighborhood.   Only peppery Arugula stands fearless to protect its turf in this green versus beast bat down.

As our hearts go out to those who are suffering in Sandy’s real devastation please keep a look out for this opportunistic murder who chose now to destroy our sweet Swiss chard whose full potential will never be realized.

Inside of an Apple Pie


It is cold out and grey out today.  This kind of weather gets me in the holiday mood and what better fall Holiday is there than Thanksgiving?


Lot’s of Thanksgiving food is just too fattening to eat prior to the actual holiday, so I made the inside of a pie just to get the smells and the essence of the holiday.  For me, I don’t really care much for piecrust anyway.  So you might just call this baked apples.  Throw in some raisins or pecans if you want to jazz it up.


This recipe is adjustable by the number of apples you use.  Three large apples made an almost full soufflé dish.


Apples – peeled and sliced thinly.  I used granny smith

2 packets of Splenda for each large apple

½ t. cinnamon per large apple

A couple of dashes of lemon juice per apple


Preheat oven to 350º.  Put all the ingredients in a baking dish sprayed with Pam, mixed together.  Cover with foil.  Bake for 45 minutes.


Good hot or cold.  Wonderful on oatmeal or Greek Yoghurt, day or night, Just smell!

Putting It Out There in The Universe

I am a fairly practical person.  Although I have a faith, I also like the tangible and scientific parts of life.  I don’t believe in living life by luck.  I do think some people get lucky, but most of the time things happen to us for a reason.  That reason is not always of our own making, but more times than not we need to be masters of our own universe.

Yesterday I complained of my scale moving up a pound, today it went down by two.  It was not luck or an uneven floor.  I put it out there in my blog that it had gone up.  That caused me to be extra vigilant in my food choices yesterday and thus the pay off.

Writing about my struggles, or putting it out in the universe, has helped me not hide from them.  Once a problem is uncovered I have nothing left to do but face it head on or just be some whining bore.  I would prefer to laugh at my problems than have them control me.

Now I am not so naïve to think that gaining a pound one day is really a problem, but ignoring the trend could be.  All I am trying to suggest is that no matter what issue you carry around, doing it alone makes it far more heavy than sharing it.

I am going to continue writing, and most of the time I hope what I write is more entertaining than serious, but I want to encourage you to put things out in the universe too and see what happens when you share your burdens.  Perhaps you will find the strength you need to fix them, or you will be able to change your perspective on them.  Just don’t be controlled, be your own master.

Body Sabotage

The count down to the end of this weight loss challenge has really begun.  I have five more days to earn as much as possible for the Food Bank and the pledges are still coming in.  I am a long way from $1,000 per pound so the only way to get to $50,000 is to lose as much as possible without doing anything insane like the previously discussed limb removal.

The last two weeks have been very successful, thus giving me hope to bring in the big bucks.  That was before I got on the scale this morning.  I know that no matter what I eat, even when I eat the exact same foods and amounts of food everyday it does not mean that I will decrease.  What I really get furious about is how I can go up despite my best efforts.

Does not my scale know that I am working to feed hungry children?  Why does my body decide it needs to retain something, I hope its water, right at this vital point?  For true confessions, I did eat two corn chips yesterday.  I looked the calorie count up on those and it was 15 calories at the most.  That alone should not cause a weight gain of 1.2 pounds.  Or should it?  Has my body become so virginal that the slightest violation of its purity and it goes into full on whore.

Perhaps I am not praying enough for weight loss.  Not that I would waste my prayers on that, there are many more important things that need some divine intervention.  And my praying is not that inspirational, but perhaps yours is.

I ask that you pray in any way you do whether it is to a god or your dog, that the world becomes a better place, that those who are sick can feel some relief, those who are lonely can find a friend and those who watch TV can get a phone call right as all the political ads are running.

Paraphrasing the words of Evita, “Don’t pray for me, North Carolina.”  But instead, watch me, watch me like a hawk.  Don’t let a chip, or a cookie or a bite of coconut cake near my lips.  Keep me busy, too busy for even water weight to build up in me.  It’s just five more days, five more days to change the world, at least for one small hungry child.

Evelyn Henderson’s Brussels Sprout Farm

When I was younger I hated Brussels sprouts.  The only way I was ever served them was boiled with butter or sometimes with sour cream and a dash of nutmeg.  Of course growing up in the 60’s the Brussels sprouts we ate come from a small frozen square box as most of our vegetables did.  I know I thought all vegetables grew in those frozen squares.

I am not sure if it was the taste, the texture or the smell of those tiny mini cabbages that I hated the most, but there was nothing appealing about them.  When my mother would give them to us she would say we had to eat at least two.  Thank goodness two was all she picked, because that was the exact amount my paper napkin could hold.  I would pop a whole Brussels in my mouth and then immediately bring my napkin to my mouth and pop the little ball into my paper covered hand, as I appeared to be wiping my mouth.  There was no way the napkin could hold three and not have them spill from my lap before I was able to deposit the napkin in the trash under the auspices of helpfully clearing the table.

The summer I stayed in my college town I had three friends, Marilyn, Randy and Bill who also had mistakenly thought Carlisle would be a great place to summer.   We spent most hot evenings together after we had finished our boring day jobs.  Being poor college students in a sweltering town we would spend most nights at Marilyn’s apartment in the one room with air conditioning.

After eating our communal meal we would watch TV.  Don’t ask me what shows we watched because it was not the programming we were interested in.  In the pre-QVC, infomercial days we watched for the one minute ads from places such as the Franklin Mint or Columbia Record House that had ads with 800 numbers to call to order what ever was being advertised.

Calling poor unassuming telemarketers was our evenings’ entertainment.  The four of us were somewhat theatrical so we would assume different characters to make a call and entertain the rest.  My favorite character was Evelyn Henderson, of Henderson’s Brussels Sprout Farm.  Think of me with Vickie Lawrence’s southern voice as Mama, just talking much faster.  I would dial up the 800 number of the Franklin Mint and could go on for at least 20 minutes about my love for the “Miniature Chinese Vases” they were selling.

I would begin each call the same, “Hi, this is Evelyn Henderson of Henderson’s Brussels Sprout Farm.  Please tell me you still have those darlin’ Chinese vases…”

Sometimes my friend Bill would play the role of my husband and pretend to call me from the other room.  He would say things like, “Evelyn, you aren’t trying to buy anything from the TV are you?”   That would be my out as to why I could not purchase right that minute and would have to call back, keeping those poor telemarketers ever hopeful for a big sale to me.

After a while in the pre-caller id era, the operators began to recognize my voice and would call me by name before I could announce, “This is Evelyn Henderson.”  That was when I began to learn more about Brussels sprouts so I could more convincingly carry on conversations with my new telemarketing friends.  Sometimes I would get carried away talking about chocolate covered sprouts, but really I was already so far gone discussing commemorative coins and collectable spoons that no one seemed to want to call Evelyn Henderson out as the fraud she was.

Today I actually like Brussels sprouts, at least roasted and I guess I owe that to Evelyn Henderson and those long hot nights in Carlisle and all the operators at the Franklin Mint.

Love Jeans, Hate Jeans Shopping

I don’t care who you are or how thin you are; I think most of us find shopping for jeans a real pain in the ass.  Well, maybe those guys who really only wear their jeans as an accessory to their boxer shorts don’t have trouble.  They just go in a store and hold the pants up and if they look like they fit their whole body in one leg they buy them.

Fortunately most of don’t purchase jeans on an approximation, but it does require dedication, time and more energy than I like to spend shopping.  I remember the olden days when I bought my jeans at the Wilton Department store.  They all were Levi’s and I don’t care what Levi’s advertises now about 505’s or 501’s or all these other 5’s.  We only had one kind.  It had a zipper, no buttons and there was one kind of blue, dark and rough and had not been washed yet.  All you had to do was figure out both your waist size and inseam and buy the pair that had that printed on the leather tag on the back of the waist band.  Of course there were two other brands, Lee and Wrangler, neither of which were sold at the Wilton Department store and thus deemed inferior.

Granted I would have to estimate the shrinkage amount since those Levi’s were made of virgin denim.  Once purchased, you were not going to wear them for a few days because they required multiple washings to remove the extra dye and not make them look so new.  The worst thing you could wear would be a brand new pair of unwashed blue jeans and a new white pair of tretorn sneaker together.  You would look like someone from Russia who did not know that you never wore “new” things off your property until they were broken in. or scuffed up.

Granted considerable work went into new jeans back in the 70’s, but most of the work was done at home.  Then Calvin Klein and Jordache had to get in the game opening up the jeans world to everybody in the rag trade.  That was the beginning of people wanting jeans to actually fit their body.  Granted the number of styles was limited.  When high waisted jeans, (Now called mom jeans) came in, almost all of them were high waisted.  During bell-bottoms heyday the smallest leg you could get was still a fairly wide boot cut.

Today the choices are overwhelming, from skinny to boot cut, curvy to straight leg, dark wash to distressed, ankle to floor length, zipper to button, plain pockets to flap pockets and on and on.  All these choices and then you still have to figure out your size, but it is not as easy as your waist and inseam.  The worst part now is that you have to really make sure they look good.  No longer are jeans that utilitarian pant.

So after my “hitcher’ up” episode at the State fair I finally went to find new jeans.  What a god awful waste of my life because they may fit today, but as long as I keep losing weight they too will get to be too big, or I will get to be too small and I am going to have to go do this all over again.  My only promise is I won’t wait until these become “pants on the floor” like the boxer short guys.