Halloween is Coming!

It seems like the department stores are decorating for the holidays earlier and earlier every year. Pretty soon they will be stocking garland and ornaments after Easter!

But while I complain about jumping the gun… I have done the same thing. Summer isn’t over yet and I am making Candy Corn Beanie Hats.  We also have a few other fall items and I will be making more!

Check it out at http://www.etsy.com/shop/ImagineThatCrafting



30 is the new 70

I turned 30 last year and had a bit of trouble with it. I am not married and without any kids of my own. But I have found that I was labeling things where I shouldn’t have. I have an absolute wonderful fiance and he is everything I could ever want and more. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Marriage might ruin us… And I don’t know what I would do if I lost him. And my Bug… she’s my world. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t carry her or birth her, she’s my light in the dark and probably my best friend. Yes, a 12 year old is my best friend… and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Turning 30 wasn’t so bad, but being 30 has kicked my ass.

I’ve been exhausted and found out I have some problems with an under-active thyroid. The docs are trying to regulate my meds but in the mean time, I’m still so tired I can barely function.

But the worst thing so far has been my recent fall. I have that old commercial stuck in my head all day. “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up…” We had just gotten home from Florida. I was running up and down the deck stairs in the rain unpacking our luggage when I slipped.  My feet fell out from under me and I fell right on my ass… on the corner of the stairs. I had a bruise for a few days but I’ve never felt so sore.

Now it’s been about three weeks and my tail bone hurts worse and worse everyday. WTF? It’s so bad that I can barely sit. My job requires me to sit at a computer all day. So this tail bone thing is not good. I am going to the doc today for my six week thyroid check so hopefully the doc will have some insight about the literal pain in my butt.

Momma Needs Some Wine…

Thank the Lord it’s Friday because I don’t think I could handle one more day here this week.

Still didn’t receive my overtime pay… If you follow Illinois politics and news, you would know that state employees are worried constantly about legislators balancing a budget and agreeing on a contract for state employees. Not only do we have to work our fingers to the bone, but we have to worry about our paycheck? Bullshit… Now I hear that the overtime I worked the last half of June probably won’t be paid to me until the end of September. Really? I don’t work overtime to “catch up on work” or because I am a dedicated state employee. I work overtime to pay my bills and make ends meet. So when the bureaucrats don’t release my check, my credit score suffers. I wish they cared about us as much as they say they do.

Not only that, but the people in charge in my building are expecting us to do more and more work without adding any hours to the day or money in the bank. Is that what the world is coming to? Let’s make the working class work even harder for the pennies we let them have while the “poor” people in line at public aid drive around in their Bentleys. That seems like a great idea.

Don’t get the wrong idea about me. I am so blessed to have a job to go to every morning. However, it is getting harder and harder to have that frame of mind when I feel like I am working for nothing.

(Sigh) Somebody please refill my wine glass…

Took my dog for his first walk since Doggie Boot Camp and he did awesome! Walked by two groups of people and didn’t bark! $800 well paid for. Hopefully he will be just as good this weekend at our fishing club. I am ready for a weekend of relaxing by the camper, fishing, and more wine.

To Whom This May Concern

Day four of blogging… Identify your audience. Who am I writing to? I think I have a problem of writing what I think everyone wants to hear rather than appealing to an audience. In truth, I would love for everyone in the world to be completely enthralled with my life but as my mother often told me as a child, “The world does not revolve around you, Tara.”

My life is centered around my fiance and our family, crocheting, and trying to reverse heart disease and diabetes damage to our bodies. I want my readers to see my crochet projects and either want to purchase them or want to learn how to do it on their own. I want to inspire people to take control of their health; be with us on our ups and downs. Being healthy is a roller coaster and sometimes you need to experience the lows to appreciate the highs.

I see that blogging isn’t as easy as writing in a diary was at 12. But I’m learning, and hopefully I’ll snag a few followers along the way.

Who Am I and Where Is My Mother? – Day One

My name is Tara. I am 30 years old and completely lost in this game on life. I live with my fiancé, his daughter that I’ve nicknamed Bug, and our zoo of animals. I work for the state government. I drive a minivan. And I’m obsessed with anything crochet.

I signed up for Blogging 101 in hopes to become a better writer and blogger. So far all I have done is use WordPress as a diary. I’ve discovered I like eating mostly vegetarian and would like to inspire others to be healthy. I will not preach my beliefs about food or religion and I do not judge. Each person should make decisions for themselves. Don’t worry about what Jim Bob is doing down the street. He is probably just as lost as you are.

I have pretty awesome parents and a wonderful grandma. They are my rocks and although it probably doesn’t seem like it, they are my world.

It’s pretty hard to introduce myself when I don’t know who I am. Those are the facts. Come join me in figuring out my life and hopefully grab a laugh along the way.

Cleaning… BLAH

Adapting a clean eating lifestyle hasn’t been easy. But Bug said it best last night. “Well, shrimp is one way to get me to eat healthier.” I am not a cook but it really seems as though Frank and Bug are jumping on the bandwagon with me. It’s really nice to know that I can inspire them to be healthier.

This new healthier lifestyle has crept into other areas of my life too. After work on Wednesday, Frank and I went through our closet and drawers, seeing if there might be a few shirts or pants we can donate to our local Goodwill store. Oh… we found a little more than a few shirts. We loaded up the van with two shoe racks (just the racks), three pairs of shoes, four belts, two baseball hats and four garbage bags of clothes! I have no idea how all of those clothes fit in the closet! I thought about having a garage sale for all of our unwanted items but it is too much work. I like it better when my Grandma says she is having a garage sale and I can bring some stuff over if I want. She doesn’t allow clothes though so donating is my best option.

This makes me want to go through every room in my house and throw stuff away or donate. My house is cluttered with gadgets and knick knacks that I would rather pack or trash. My house never looks clean. I wouldn’t say it’s dirty. I take out the garbage and do the dishes but having a cluttered house makes me not want to deal with dusting around the picture frames and candles. Cleaning out my closet will hopefully inspire me to clean other rooms and get rid of junk. We want to move into a bigger house very soon and I don’t want to be lugging this crap with me for the rest of my life.

Welcome Home?

What a long week this has been…

Hopefully my dog will be coming home tonight. Durt has been with the babysitter since July 11. This year we decided to have him professionally trained. He is such a lover but is aggressive towards new people and animals. We found Kerry from Sit Means Sit and have been super happy with her the last few years. He was only supposed to be gone the week we went to Orlando but now he has been with the trainer for almost three weeks… I miss my boy!

I want to be able to bring him to the beach and our fishing club without worrying about people coming up to him. He always has to stay home alone when we go anywhere and it’s not fair to him. He is such a beautiful and loving dog and nobody has been able to see that side of him. But after he comes home, we should be able to bring him anywhere and introduce anyone to him. I know it will be a learning process for us too. She is going to give us specific instructions regarding how to communicate with him. If I get a nice video of him, I’ll share it here.  In the mean time…  look at that face!!!

He is so cute! He is a pure bred short-haired working class Border Collie. Try saying that three times fast! Our zoo also consists of a our cat, Guinness and two Guinea pigs: Sudsy and Chewy. Apparently I am a bad fur-mommy and don’t have any pictures of them. I suck.

So if Durt comes home today, I will have more pictures and lots to say about how great his training has been. If he doesn’t come home today, I will be crying so please leave a message after the beep….

Susie Homemaker in Training

I actually started our new lifestyle on July 27.  I am not a cook by any means, but I saw “Forks Over Knives” on Netflix and it was a huge wake up call regarding my family’s poor nutrition. So Monday night I made a Caprese Quinoa Salad that I found in my new vegetarian cookbook. Holy shit, it’s delicious….  

You can find the real recipe in The Eat Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook. Also, The Fit Housewife has the recipe on her blog. The only thing I did different was use couscous instead of quinoa.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are a little trickier because Bug is with us. Although we want her to eat healthier, it’s also not fair to expect her to completely change everything over night. But being the awesome kid she is, she is willing to try my cooking. Here’s what Tuesday’s dinner looked like.  

Grilled Shrimp with Avocado Linguine…. Not half bad. This recipe is also from The Eat Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook but I found a link to it on slapdashmom.com  Great blog for recipes and crafts! The sauce needs a little tweaking. But surprisingly Bug really seemed to enjoy it! I know there is no substitute for Olive Garden’s Fettuccine Alfredo but this was a great way to blend in some veggies to our meal.

I have to say that the first two days of healthy eating have been a success. I have lost 3 pounds and gained enough energy to hit the snooze button only twice in the morning.

Preparing for the Fight

Needless to say, I am not too great at keeping up with my blog. However, I think I have found the prefect reason.

Fighting for our lives.

I grew up in a house where meat and potatoes were the norm at dinner. As a teenager, I had no worries about disease or weight.  I was active in school theatre, had a job, and a great social life. After high school, shit fell apart. My then boyfriend was an ass who thought he could determine my friends and fashion. Fat quickly rushed to my aid in the form of fast food and junk. I used food as a drug to make me feel better. As with all drugs, it felt great at the time but is no substitute for facing you problems. When I grew a backbone and left that scuzbag behind, I was a proud 180 pound woman ready to take on the world… tomorrow.

Months of self diagnosed food addiction had left me fat, depressed, unhealthy, and moody. I tried a few different weight loss programs; All failed. When I met the love of my life, I weighed 178.

Almost ten years later, we are still together but fat and miserable. I am now 225 and the weight I’ve gained is coming between us… literally.

Frank was always very active but also overweight. When his second child was born, he was over 315 pounds. He was always very active but couldn’t keep the weight off until he found the Atkins diet. With this diet, he lost a ton of weight. When we met, he was 245 and smoking hot!

October 2009 our lives changed forever. Frank found out after numerous tests and a couple of days in the hospital that he was not only type 2 diabetic, but that he had high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease. He never had a heart attack or any other chest problems but here we were looking down the tunnel of a triple bypass surgery…at the age of 35.

Speeding up to this week… we have gotten on and off the wagon of healthy eating so many times I’ve lost count. So what’s different about this time? Me.

I think that I am finally ready to grow up and take control of my life. I am 30 years old and no one is going to do it for me.

Day two…

Sometimes I feel like I am just going through the motions. One minute late to work because the bridge decided to go up and block traffic. Stupid EEO meeting while at work. I should say that I am all for equal opportunity for all people with regards to employment. However, I know the rules and regulations so please don’t take me away from processing criminal background checks to preach to me for 45 minutes about policy. I am not the troublemaker; talk to Brenda (names have been changed to protect the annoying).

As 3pm approached, my outlook rose. I was finally able to get my fat ass to the paved trail near my house for a “run.” Day two of c25k to be exact. Upon completing the 2 mile trail, I was pleasantly surprised at my time.  2.10mi with an average mile of 15:47. Day one of this madness I ran/walked a 16:04 per mile. What a difference a day makes!

This run is 99% inspired by my dad. Being a survivor of prostate cancer and a tough life in general, he rose above it all and chose to thrive.

Insert Shameless self promotion here:


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Closing out the day by taking my darling to the dentist for a cleaning and off to catch a minute or two with my Bug.

Goodnight all!