Visiting family

I was born, bred and educated (Bear Down!) in Tucson, Ariz.

I was recently in Tucson to attend a family friend wedding and to visit my own family.

I come from a decent-sized Mexican-American family (both sides).

I haven’t lived in Tucson for about 17 years. Wow! I left at the end of 1997.

But most of my family has always lived in Tucson.

In the past when I would come home for visits I would run all over town trying to visit “everyone.”

At some point I had to stop doing that. Visiting family is already stressful and exhausting (and wonderful) and I was wearing myself out.

My priorities had to adjust during my visits and they are my parents and my grandparents (my mom’s mom and my dad’s dad). Anyone after that is icing on the cake.

My parents are divorced. So that adds another dynamic to the mix.

I know some family members (and even friends) may be offended if I can’t visit or don’t even contact them. I am sorry for that. But I just can’t. It’s too much for me.

How do I say this nicely? I don’t think there is a way … if you … Continue reading

Grandma Phyllis

Curt’s grandma, Grandma Phyllis, died Friday morning.

Grandma Phyllis was 87 and a feisty woman.

I first met Curt’s whole family at a family reunion in May 2000. Everyone was kind and accepting of me and I felt very welcomed.

Soon after that I started e-mailing with Curt’s grandma. She always signed her e-mails Grandma Phyllis. So before we were married or even engaged I called her that.

She made me feel like one of her grandchildren immediately. And there was no doubt that she loved me.

I was lucky enough to get to spend some quality time alone with her on occasion, like the time she came to visit Curt in Portland. Or when she and I had a girls’ sleepover at her house.

She had a great laugh. And if something was funny enough you could bring her to tears. Like the time she and Curt’s parents were visiting us in Oakland for Christmas and I opened a gag gift from my grandma or the time Curt and I were moving from Oregon to Phoenix and we stayed with her in San Diego for a few days and Joey wasn’t allowed in a particular room so his little … Continue reading

Burning calories out on the dance floor

On Saturday night Curt and I went to a wedding, which was attended by a few other good friends.

It was a beautiful ceremony and a great party.

Free flowing sparkling wine and beer among some other adult beverages. I took part in wine, sparkling wine and water. I had some delicious lamb for dinner as well.

I judge a wedding by the party. And this wedding gets great props for a fun DJ who played danceable (is that even a word?) music, which made for an awesome time.

I danced so much that my calves are still sore today.

(And my lower back is a little sore as well. That could have something to do with dancing in heels most of the night.)

I have been told I am a good dancer. And not to toot my own horn, but I think I am.

Regardless, I just get out there and have a good time and don’t really care whether I am good or not. My dancing includes a lot of jumping and use of my arms and hands. I really get into it and have a ton of fun.

Dancing is a great, easy and fun workout. All … Continue reading

My version of garden vegetable soup

I owe a lot of my weight loss two years ago to a Weight Watchers recipe of garden vegetable soup.

Because of upcoming parties, a wedding, holidays, etc. I fear that my oh so close to goal weight is gonna go in the other other direction, especially with work getting ready to gear up even more than it has been lately and I think visits to the gym won’t be as frequent.

I got to the grocery today and realized I had forgotten to look up the recipe. I figured I would remember most of it. I got the basics–but basically I created my own veggie soup. Really you can add any non-starchy veggies to broth and get the same results.

I sprayed Pam into a pot and satueed carrots, garlic and a red onion.

Then I added three cans of 100% fat free vegetable broth to the pot.

I then added green beans, celery, red pepper, a poblano chili from the garden, a Hungarian pepper from teh garden (which is spicy), green onions and 2-3 tbsp. of tomato paste and let simmer for 30-45 minutes. Once the green beans could be easily bitten into I knew the soup was … Continue reading

Just Dance!

So I had read a Weight Watchers e-mail about tips to handle a wedding.

One tip was to survey all appetizers before taking any. You know, see what is available. What you want.

Well, I didn’t do that. Crab cakes came by and I grabbed one. Oh my goodness! They were so good. There weren’t a lot of appetizers. So it worked out great for me. What I had was yummy and worth the tastes.

I had also decided I would drink wine instead of beer (Curt and I bought a keg of Belgian beer as a gift for the party). We were hanging out chatting with friends (new and old) during the cocktail hour when the guys went to get another beer. My friend Joe asked me if I wanted another glass of wine. I told him I had already had two and wanted to wait a little bit. His response: He grabbed my glass and got me a refill. 🙂 HA!

Soon after that it was time for dinner. So I had only had a few sips of the third glass of wine.

There was a champagne toast and then dinner time.

The food … Continue reading