Sunday, December 17, 2017

I'm boho-busy making my list & checking it twice!


But NOT to see who's been naughty and nice.

My Writer Self feels acutely chagrined that it’s been three months since I’ve posted to this blog. What have I been doing all that time? I thought you might want to know, so I made up another kind of list I first tried out last spring to catch you up on where 2017's wild boho ride is headed. It's called--

'I am currently'


I am currently LOVING…



My new size! As some of you may already know, I had gastric sleeve bariatric surgery about 13 months ago. Six months prior to that I began my weight-loss journey. To date I’ve lost 192 pounds, give or take a pound or two, depending on where and when I weigh in. It’s been a phenomenal journey I hope to write more about, but suffice it to say, I love being smaller. Or should I say smaller?

Here's how I looked before surgery and the pre-surgery diet (left) and progress up through last summer (right):


Chris didn't have surgery, but, as you can see, needed to take off some extra pounds, too, which he did by joining me on the pre-surgery diet.

What’s most important about every person is what’s on the inside, for sure. But weighing less certainly has its perks. I’m completely off blood pressure meds, and sometimes my pressure is too low. I’ve eliminated several other medications, both prescription and over the counter. My legs and feet no longer swell, my knees hurt less, and I don’t need a cane around the house. (I still take it when I go out because I have trouble negotiating steps and never know what I might run into.)

Mostly I find it’s the simple things that make the biggest difference. Driving and riding are constant reminders of how my life has changed. The tilt wheel is in again, and the seatbelt extender is out. I also must move the car seat forward from the all-the-way-back setting where my 6-foot-one husband keeps it.

I no longer require a motorized cart when I go shopping (so I can shop more places for longer times!). I can also slip effortlessly and anonymously through crowds without needing to say, “Excuse me” over and over to gain a wider berth.

I’m also more comfortable in taxicabs, of all things, which I discovered on a recent trip to Chicago. I asked Chris if he noticed cabs had more leg room now. He shot me a puzzled look, then laughed, “The cabs aren’t any BIGGER, silly. YOU are smaller,” which brings us to our next item.


WAITING FOR…



The loss of 33 more pounds, if I'm to reach my goal, followed by six months of stable weight so I can go in for plastic surgery evaluation. The down side of bariatric surgery as you age? You lose fat but the stretched-out skin that covered it often hangs on. Quite literally.

So tummy-tuck, here I come!



WEARING…



A plain old ordinary, run-of-the-mill, everyday, size LARGE. Not a 1X, 2X, 3X or 4X (my previous pant size) or 6x (my pre-diet winter coat. Yes, I was a very big girl!). No more plus sizes for me AT ALL. When you’ve been scouring the Internet for good-looking plus clothes for years, doing a lot of returning, and paying way too much, just being able to walk into a store and purchase something off the rack is an incredible pleasure.



Though most everything in my closet is new, my favorite newby clothes are VESTS. I didn’t look right in a vest before. To balance my bottom half, my arms had to be clothed the same as the rest of my top half. Breaking that up with a vest just looked weird to me.

But no more. I have no less than five new vests, and I love how they look and feel on! Fun fun FUN!!


SHOPPING FOR…


Shoes. Shoes are still a big issue for me because you can take the fat out of Susan but you can’t take all the damage out of her feet and knees from carrying the weight around, falls, aging, and surgeries.



Seems like only one style (Glycerin) of VERY clunky Brooks athletic shoes works for me. I have it in four colors—all ugly. I’ve tried LOTS of other styles with no luck. Either the arches are too high or hit too far back (mine are fallen), or they slip in the heel, or the toe box is too narrow and scrunches my congenital bunions.

Then there's the problem that NOTHING looks all that great in a size 11. Too bad bariatric surgery doesn't impact your shoe size.

Zappos and I have become the best of friends, even though I return most everything. But the Fedex guy must think I’m Imelda Marcos' sister.


NEEDING…


Slippers and the perfect winter handbag. I’ve picked out both and let Santa know my druthers. AND I’ve been a VERY good girl, so I’m crossing my fingers.


EXCITED ABOUT…



Christmas, of course! I’ve been a bit of a grinch the last five years or so when it comes to decorating, and our trees got smaller and smaller and smaller. It’s true that when you don’t feel well you shut down in other areas, too. When I weighed so much I had no energy, eventually even for Christmas.

Although by last Christmas I’d lost about 85 pounds, I was also still recovering from surgery, so getting the Christmas shopping done was about all I managed. My daughter was so disgusted with the state of our decorations that she hosted Christmas Day “so at least there would be a decent tree to enjoy.”



Not so this year. We bought a new tree—finally one that doesn’t fit on a tabletop—and I had it up and twinkling by the weekend BEFORE Thanksgiving! Just about every ornament and decoration I own is out on display this year, if only for my own enjoyment. And enjoying it, I am!


READING…


Absolutely nothing, I’m ashamed to say. I've asked for books for Christmas, even though I haven’t read all the ones Santa brought last year yet. (Don’t tell, okay?)



The last book I finished was during my writing retreat in mid-October—Fat Lava: West German Ceramics of the 1960s & 70s by Mark Hill. I also got about 20 pages into Hill’s more recent book, Alla Moda: Italian Ceramics of the 1950-70s.

I suppose you see a theme developing, which brings us to the next item.


WORKING ON…



Developing my personal collection of midcentury modern ceramics, as well as stocking more ceramics items from the “fat lava” era in my Etsy store. The term fat lava refers to the thick, sometimes volcanic, glazes used in manufactured and studio ceramics of this period, particularly from eastern Europe, and more particularly from West Germany.


DOING…


The 3E’s thang: I’ve become a rabid Ebay-Etsy Entrepreneur. I LOVE shopping for gently used and vintage items to resell and making extra cash at the same time. It’s fun cleaning up old stuff, researching the maker’s marks, and seeing what similar items sell for.



And it’s beyond cool to find something at a thrift store—something someone else has discarded—and place it in a new home. I’ve discovered I don’t need to keep to myself most of the beautiful things I come across. Having them for a while satisfies my insatiable appetite for beauty, and knowing they’re going someplace they’ll be treasured again is an extra dollop of boho joy.


PLANNING…



How I’ll restyle my living room shelves with my stash of West German pottery for sale in the new year. Right now the shelves are a bit of a hodge-podge (to say the least!) because of my unbounded Christmas zeal.


ENJOYING…




Stranger Things on Netflix. Whoaa! Can’t think which is more scary—the demidogs or the 80s hairdos.


LISTENING TO…



The dog across the street barking and barking and barking. New neighbors in the last month or so in a rented condo tie their pup up and leave it outside. I mean: ALL. THE. TIME.

It’s not the barking that bothers me—really! It’s that it’s cold outside, and every time I look out that poor dog is standing at its owner’s window, looking in, wanting in, and barking as if to say, “Let me in. STUPID.”

Okay, the “stupid” part I added. Still pondering whether to report the address to animal control or contact the neighborhood association (not the same as ours).


SINGING…



I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm, a classic winter song, which always reminds me how lucky I am. I DO have my love to keep me warm--in the person of husband Chris and our much-loved Maisie-Cat (who hid under the bed as soon as the camera came out). It's a song only heard in the winter holiday season, but this year serves as a constant reminder of how blessed I am.

(As well as how that poor dog across the street isn’t so lucky. Honestly, why do people get pets and then not spend time with them?)

Which brings me to the final item…


WISHING FOR…

         
What Snoopy said, but also:
  • World leaders who behave like adults.
  • An end to mindless tweets.
  • A moratorium on stupid.
  • Fewer guns and no bombings.

Well, you get the picture.


And I just can't help WONDERING aloud…


If, perhaps, Donald Trump’s diet of Big Macs, chocolate shakes and large fries will make his arteries explode soon enough? And, if we could be so lucky, how to force-feed same to Mike Pence without a constitutional challenge? Call it food for thought for 2018.


Whatever your faith or persuasion, here's wishing you 

a peaceful wrap-up to 2017 & a 2018 packed with beauty & light!



If you want more...



  • Shop (and follow!) both my Etsy and ebay stores for vintage finds, a few of my boho DIYs, and next-to-new surplus home decor. New merchandise gets added regularly, so check both places often.
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