Wednesday, November 27, 2013

a funny thing happened on the way to church

This past Sunday, I couldn't decide if I wanted to go to the late service (10:45) or not go at all.

Then I started thinking that there probably wouldn't be very many people there because it was cold and rainy, and I did have Bible study between the services . . . So, at 8:01, still in my pjs and getting another cup of coffee, I decided to go to the early service, which started at 8:30.

I went in to overdrive, put on my clothes, fixed my hair, washed my face, brushed my teeth, and was out the door by 8:20. Notice, I didn't mention make up. I figured it was better to be there for most of the service with my natural beauty than to arrive really late.

As I was driving to church, not too far from home, I realized I hadn't put on any moisturizer, and my eyes really need moisturizer in the morning. I quickly looked in the mirror, and I was horrified at what I saw - large bags and even larger wrinkles under my eyes. I looked TERRIBLE! I wasn't going to go back home - I had to do SOMEthing, so I dug around in my purse. The only thing I could find was chapstick. I rubbed the chapstick on my finger and dabbed it under my eyes. Of course, it did NOTHING to alleviate the problems. But I tried.

I decided I wasn't going to rush on the roads. I would just take my time, drive carefully, and get there when I got there. I was only 10 minutes late, so no one really saw my face. Not bad . . .

The good thing is - no one recoiled when they did see me. They probably thought I had a rough night. As a matter of fact, I completely forgot about it and went about my busines like nothing was wrong.

I now know that I need to put some sort of lotion in my car, just in case.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Back on the journey to 135

This has been one tough year. I started going to Perfect Solutions Sept. 7 last year. I lost 35 pounds by January 1. I was ready.

Then life happened, one thing after another, and before I knew it, it's November 20, and I've only lost another 15 pounds.

When I weighed in last Thursday, I had gained 1 pound. I swore to Cecilia that I followed the plan. Then I started some soul searching and remembered that I had 2 ice cream cones, 2 orders of cheddar peppers, and countless Dove dark chocolates throughout the week. Well - No wonder!

I have to do something to get off this merry-go-round that's going nowhere. I seriously considered some options and where I've gone wrong. I decided to cut my calorie intake to 1,000 until January 1 - except for 2 days - Thanksgiving & Christmas.

I've been pretty good at it, as a matter of fact, with all the vegetables and calorie counting, I've actually kept the count to below 1,000 for the most part.

I've lost 2.5 pounds so far, and except for a couple of instances, I haven't been hungry at inappropriate times. That's a good thing.

Weigh-in is tomorrow, so we'll see how well it worked. I would love to be at 170 by January 1. I've been bouncing between 187 and 184 for at least 2 months, probably more.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Reflecting on the robbery

This morning, I was thinking about this experience, and I realized through all this that I take responsibility for what happened. Some people have this experience and blame the other guy. I blame myself. It's something I've done all my life. Maybe it's because when I was a kid, my parents put me in charge. If there was a group of kids, and someone got hurt, my name was the one called. I had to answer for it. So, once again, I view this as "what did I do wrong?" Remember when I saw the front door open - what was my first thought? "Don't tell me I left the front door open . . ."

I made so many mistakes during my remodel . . . I was an open book about the work, I put photos of my house - flat-screen TV and all - online (which I've pulled), I let strangers (who aren't licensed and bonded) help with the work, including loading and unloading the PODS, I let my workers take photos of my house (how can you stop it when everyone has a phone that takes photos?), I didn't set my alarm, and my front door is obscured by the new landscaping.

Take it for what it's worth, but the guys who broke in didn't go through the library books, the kitchen, or the bathrooms. Every closet door and drawer was open or ajar. What they took, a 40-inch flat screen TV, laptop, Chrome book tablet, electronic scale (how can I begin my day without it?), jewelry, a Cabbage Patch doll and a small teddy bear, could easily have been carried in one load to a waiting car. Their entry and exit were obscured by a mature Crepe Myrtle and 3' high boxwood hedge. I can't see the front door of my neighbor across the street, which means they can't see mine. The thieves did not go through the garage or the back door. I feel they would have left them open if they had because they left the front door wide open.

I have had thumb-screw locks on my windows since the day my ex moved out. We removed them because we had the windows wide open for much of the remodel because of dust, paint fumes, etc. Now I don't know where most of them are. I will definitely get replacements for those that are missing. They would not have helped this time, but they may help next time. An alarm would have definitely helped. I maybe would have only lost the TV if the alarm was set. 

Woulda, shoulda, coulda. I have to move on. Actually, the only thing I've lost besides the stuff, which is only stuff, is my sense of security. It will be a while before I stop wondering if someone is watching for when I replace what was taken. I'll probably just rearrange the TVs I have for now and next summer or next Christmas replace the flat-screen. I'm not into the electronic gadgets like some folks. As long as I can see Hallmark and NCIS, I'm happy. It doesn't have to be life size or high def.

Thank you so much for your suggestions. If my experience helps you become more careful, then I'll be happy.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Thinking about the robbery

Someone wrote me that her daughter's house was broken into, and she lost her college grad ring. That reminded me that I forgot about my St. Mary's ring. Another thing to add to the list.

Truly, it's all stuff, sentimental, some valuable. I wish I had protected the valuable more rather than have them mixed in with all the costume jewelry. But what value is it really if I only have it sitting around in drawers? Granted, I wore the rings until I lost enough weight that they didn't fit any fingers comfortably anymore. I planned to have them resized when I met my goal. My birthstone is Alexandrite. Alexandrites aren't being mined anymore (or so I've been told), and they are extremely expensive to buy. I really am upset that they are gone. My Alexandrite rings were some of the most valuable pieces of jewelry lost. My pieces were old, and I miss them the most. 

My mom gave us charm bracelets when we were in our early teens. One was sterling silver, filled with states that they visited, and the other was 14k gold with charms that matched our life activities.

My mom had some beautiful jewelry, but after she died, my ex-step-bitch-mother took it all. It hurt my Dad so much that she wouldn't let go once she had her grubby mitts on them because he wanted my sister and I to have it all. Everyone thinks I should fight her for them. I hope she chokes on them.

I'm still me without the stuff -- maybe even better. It's a sort of purging that I didn't plan. I don't have any photos of my jewelry, so it's my word about what I had and lost. The only jewelry I have left besides the costume jewelry necklaces (still hanging in my closet) is my 30-year gift watch from SwRI, and my 14k gold shrimp earrings my Mom gave me the Christmas before she died. My daughter offered to give me 90% of her jewelry because she doesn't wear most of it. I'm actually thinking of getting rid of the necklaces I still have and replacing it all with some key, awesome pieces instead.

Yes, I have an alarm, and once I call the alarm company Monday to get a refresher about how to set it, I'll start using it again. I've become so comfortable in my home that I didn't feel the need to use it. Well, was I wrong!

My deductible is pretty high, and the insurance agent didn't talk to me about replacing anything yet, so I guess I'll wait until Monday to find out what happens next. 

I may have to move a TV into the living room so I can record all the Christmas movies that Hallmark is running now. I love Hallmark. That's about all I watch lately besides the news, Wheel of Fortune and NCIS. There are only a couple of HGTV shows that I like -- Property Brothers and Income Property. Even with this limited list of TV enjoyment, I manage to waste a lot of time watching TV. Maybe this was a message from God to get a life.

Someone suggested I look at Craigs List. I didn't think about Craigs List. I was thinking pawn shops. 

I did call my friend to ask him if his uncle or cousin were capable of doing something like this. He said they don't even have a car. 

It had to be planned. Whoever did it was able to "kick" the door about 4-feet high. That's really too high for someone to use their foot. The door was so violently pushed in that I don't think it could have been a foot. It was more like a battering ram or something designed for this sort of task.

The thought that they'll be back in about 2-3 weeks to get the replacements frightens me. I'll surprise them with a new door and alarm, and no new TV!

Thank you so much for your healing thoughts. So far the replies haven't called me an idiot for not having an alarm, but once you find out I did and didn't use it, you may. I definitely feel like one. But I've been so comfortable here that I felt safe.

I Got Robbed!

Last week I was feeling sorry for myself because I got swindled out of $150. That's nothing compared to what I came home to last night.

After work, I went straight to my daughter's to babysit my adorable grandson, and after an evening of adventure, I went home to another.

When I pull into my driveway, I always look at the front porch. Last night, instead of seeing my red door, I saw yellow. Hmmm, that didn't look right. I parked in the garage, and went to the front door. Dang! It was wide open!

My first thought was (I'm so danged naive), "Maybe I left the front door open." Then I saw the door latch hardware on the floor, and I realized it wouldn't be good.

Someone had kicked in my front door!

I stepped in to see my cedar chest open and the contents tossed. Then I looked around the corner into the living room, and my TV was missing. CRAP!!!

There was no way I was going to stay in there in case "they" were still there; I high-tailed it out to the driveway and called 911. Misery loves company, so I called my daughter (don't ask me why) to tell her, and then I went across the street to tell my neighbors, hoping they saw something.

My neighbor came over and stayed with me until everything was taken care of. He's so sweet. He felt bad because he didn't see anything. We all keep to ourselves. We felt safe because we're right on the corner of a busy street. The policeman was surprised as well.

Anyway, the police arrived about 30 minutes later, and we walked through the house. My TV and the remote, which was in a drawer were missing. A laptop computer (from work) and its power cord, in another drawer, were gone. Yet, they left a tin bank that was full of coins. The drawers and one of the doors in my china cabinet were ajar and a large decorative box of stationery was open. I don't remember who noticed it, but someone pointed a flashlight at my dagger-like letter opener (very sharp) stuck in the living room wall. Creepy!!!

Then we headed down the hall. The laundry room, front bathroom, and guest room seemed untouched. My office still had the 2 desktop computers, my camera, and the printers (all vintage), and one of the drawers in a dresser in there was open. The doors of armoire in the workout room were ajar, and the door to the CD cabinet was open. It seems they took the 3 Wii controllers and charger but didn't take the actual Wii.

My bedroom, on the other hand, was completely tossed. Drawers were everywhere, my underwear, pantyhose, and night clothes were all over the floor. The drawer that had all my rings, watches, bracelets, and earrings was completely empty. They went through the nightstand drawers, and the drawer to my dressing table was open.

They removed my will from its envelope and left it, my passport and a box of checks. A drawer of paper and receipts was dumped on the floor, an uncased pillow was on the floor, and the contents of containers in my bookcase were all over my bed. It seemed as if they lifted the mattress to see if anything was under it because it was cockeyed. They took my Google Chrome Book and its power cord, which were on one of the nightstands.

After the police and my neighbor left, I put everything back in its place. That only took a few minutes. Then when I was talking to a friend on the phone (still seeking company), I noticed my Cabbage Patch doll and a teddy bear wearing my daughter's infant pjs were gone.

It took a couple hours afterward to settle down enough to even prepare for bed. It was close to 2:00 before I climbed in. I felt so vulnerable for the first time in many years.

My house pops and creaks all the time, and I'm used to it. But when it popped last night as I was just drifting off to sleep, it freaked me out.

Maybe I should get a dog to bark when the door bell rings. But, I don't want to have to worry about a pet. And having big dogs doesn't necessary make your "stuff" safer. A house on my street was broken into, and their 2 large dogs were drugged; they were limp on the floor while the thieves stepped over them and cleaned out the house. Maybe I'll just get a doorbell that sounds like a Rottweiler or Doberman. My next door neighbor suggested I get burglar bars like hers (which is against the HOA). If I feel I need burglar bars to be safe, I'll move.

I've been to the bank to switch my accounts because my checks were in one of the drawers. I won't be tethered to a debit card for about 5-7 working days, so I'll have to think through every money decision. Is it worth going to the bank?

My handy man and I have discussed replacing my front door (which I've been wanting to do anyway); we'll probably do that next week. Although the lock and jam for the door knob still function, the frame is compromised, and we feel it should be replaced. We've all looked for foot prints on the door or some sign of it being kicked in. Until we looked at a profile of the door and could see the indention, we couldn't figure out where they did it. The damage is in the middle of the door, almost too high for a foot. Something else must have been used instead. But what? What is the current trend for crashing through front doors?

Now I have to call the insurance company - dang!