Archive for December, 2011

I know, I know, it’s been a few days since x-mas but since I didn’t blog during the holidays, being busy and on the road, so bear with me and this belated post.

Now, how did I spend my x-mas holidays this year?

Actually I was alone on the 24th, which resulted in some solitary moments on that day but all in all I did well. My food choices stayed well within limits, despite feeling a little melancholic.

My real x-mas experience followed on the 25th, when my older sister picked me up early in the morning. I had packed all the gifts and stuff and was looking forward to spending the day at my sisters place some 40 kilometers away. Back in the days – when Kaya and Shorty weren’t part of my little family, I used to spend every other weekend at my sisters place. Unfortunately those days have long past and a few years have gone by. Her kids are now 12, 10 and 7.

Anyway, she picked me up at 9 am and we had some time to talk about her life and mine while she drove. It was good to be with her and I enjoyed the ride. We drove to my parents first, where I dropped off some stuff that I had brought for x-mas. We drank a coffee before driving on again, my parents, my sister and myself. 

My sisters x-mas tree

When we got to my sister we helped her finish the few things that still weren’t done, like preparing the dressing that I wrote about yesterday. At around noon Oliver’s (her hubby) parents arrived and the kids were given some more presents. I had given them the presents before – of course mine sucked when the parents in law showed up. I am fine though, I can never compare to grandparents.

All got a new Wii game with Spyro, Nils got a book and a pullover, Marvin got some jumping toy, worth some 100€. Tom was given a battery-powered car game. The kids were very happy and had fun playing.

Marvin, Nils and Tom

I was surprised by Tom, who is 7 and who started asking me questions about the big bang and when the earth came into existence and whether a black hole does move. He rushed and got one book after the other from the shelves. Did you know that the scientists aren’t sure whether the big band happened 15, or 17 billion years ago and that earth is believed to have developed some 4.57 billion years ago??

Well…now I know for sure.

I wonder what interests he will pick up in the coming years. 😉

Anyway, eventually we ate and my sister had prepared meatballs, sausages, salad, two different dressings, potato salad, cold salmon, cake on a stick with a chocolate coating and a nut cake…

Wow, challenging… back in the days I would have tried everything. 

Here is what I ended up eating…

That was my plate and guess what, I managed to stay without seconds!! A pile of salad, with the mustard based dressing, some beans, corn, a small sausage, two tiny meatballs, three slices of apricot and a thin slice of French bread.

After everybody had finished – and believe me, they took seconds…actually almost everybody went to fill they plates a third time, it felt weird thinking, that I used to fill my plate that often as well. After eating my food slowly, I felt comfortably sated and there was no need to refill my plate. I only had one of those cakes on a stick, the one covered with the white chocolate. It tasted great and I enjoyed it and one was enough!

After lunch we had coffee and Marvin played on his new saxophone, which he started playing three-month ago. He was pretty good, considering that he only just started.

 Marvin playing x-mas songs

Oliver’s parents left at around 3 pm, around 4 pm my sister drove my parents back home and afterwards she brought me back home.

I didn’t take any leftovers back home, which I am pretty proud of. 😉

At home, I watch Sherlock Holmes I,  since we planned to go to the movies on Monday to watch the sequel.

I think that my first x-mas since I started to be serious about this weight-loss journey went pretty well, don’t you think?

All is well…

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I totally forgot to write about my weigh-in from last Saturday, I seem to do that quite frequently the last few weeks. I still step on the scale though, I just forget blogging about it in time.

Anyway, as I stepped on the scale on Saturday I expected my weight to have stayed the same and was rather surprised when the 279.4 lbs appeared on the displayed…and stayed. This is spectacular, even more so since the weight the day before was 3 lbs higher.

WOW, eventually I am back to 279 lbs!! Yay!! The great thing is, that it’s the time of month – so every female reader here knows that the weight always goes up during that time, so I am even happier.

Let’s try not getting back to 280 lbs!! Seriously. 😉

Also, despite the X-Mas dinner at my sister’s (I will write about that tomorrow), I am well within normal fluctuations that I usually experience the days after my weigh-in. Maybe I will jump off my recent plateau eventually?

Anyway, since I intend to write about my x-mas food choices tomorrow, I can only mention that my sister made a great dressing for her salad on Sunday and I decided to have a go at the dressing.

Since I allowed myself to have a sub yesterday, I wanted to be really focused today and decided to try this dressing for my salad. Yummy, I just finished my salad and it was great.

Whoever wants to try the dressing, here you go;

  1. 80 ml water
  2. 40 ml vinegar
  3. 40 ml oil (I used 20 ml)
  4. 2 tbsp medium mustard
  5. 1/2 red onion
  6. Herbs (your choice – I took dried salad herbs)
  7. 1/2 sp salt, pepper
  8. Some honey, sugar or artificial sweetener
  9. 1 dash of cream (if you still have enough unused calories left, else, try yoghurt, or leave it altogether since it is optional)

As you can see, I used honey and actually added a little cream, I guess some 10 ml.


I am quite happy with my first attempt at a self-made dressing. I usually use a spice blend which is already salted and only add some vinegar. Yes, I know, I hardly ever use oil, actually I should use oil more often.

Anyway, give me some feedback if you try the dressing.

Happy song of the day is Christy Moore with Ride on

All is well…

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It’s almost the end of the year…

Tomorrow, that is the 24th, we celebrate X-mas here in Germany. Most Germans have the electric lights attached and lid by the time it gets dark. That is also the time when the kids are allowed to enter the living rooms where they gather around the tree, their faces red with anticipation and joy.

I remember those times when my sisters and I rushed in to find the presents under the tree. What joyous times!!

But even more than those times, when I didn’t fully comprehend X-mas, I like to remember the times when giving felt better than receiving. 😉

I guess that is when x-mas started to get meaningful for me. Of course x-mas had meaning for me when I was a child but let’s be honest that meaning was limited to the expectation of presents. I don’t remember when that changed only that it did.

I like giving! I love the looks of real joy and delight when giving something to others.

I remember x-mas 2008 when I almost gave my mother a heart attack by all the things I did….gosh I felt so worried when she almost cried. 2008 I started planning and organising in early September.

What had started out as a little Powerpoint presentation soon got blown out of proportion and I spend almost 4 month preparing and secretly organising. It was so fun.

I was actually planning to make a presentation that would work like an animation movie and by using Mario Brother characters I retold my parent’s life – sort of.

The DVD (yes I imitated a DVD) contained four chapters – which I had to click trough, being the presenter. The first chapter contained the story of two leaves that followed the western winds and how they became more and more leaves, basically my parents how they met and how more and more children became part of the family.

Cover and back of the DVD that I created, Ronny helped too… 😉

The second chapter started with Mario who was just minding his own business (while the leaves were carried through the skies above him) when a gigantic kupa started jumping up and down to scare Mario and the stars started falling from the skies. The end of the second chapter contained the voices of my entire family, discussing to search for the stars.

I had to secretly record all the voices on the phone, even tricked my mother to get her voice. That was so much fun. 😉

The third chapter dealt with the search for the stars…to get a star, they had to figure out riddles, which I had created and for each correct answer they received a star, which had one part of a final 12 part puzzle attached. Some of those riddles required searching inside and outside the house. My entire family was busy running here and there, up and down.

The fourth chapter looked like ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’ and the answers offered the missing pieces of the final puzzle.

The final puzzle was putting in order the hints that had been attached to the stars and worked like a treasure map.

Go five steps this way and follow the stones up’. Something like that. Yet the pieces were scrambled and the had to put them in order first. 🙂

Upon following the final clues they ended up at the highest point of the house, where I had hidden a Wii for my mother – yes she plays!! They all enjoyed the DVD and the searching game and working 4 month for it was so worth it!!!

My mother was totally out of it and I had organised a huge TV since their old TV was too small and when my mother saw that huge thing – I think she was close to having a heart attack.

So – it isn’t so much the big or flamboyant presents – the Wii had been payed by us sisters and the stars, paper and DVD wasn’t worth mentioning but these three hours my family was so happy even the kids had fun.

What about you, any special X-Mas memories??

Anyway, Merry X-Mas to you all, enjoy yourselves and be sensible with the food choices.

All is well…

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Oh my, it’s only two days before X-mas and my case workers seem to go crazy piling workload over workload on my desk. Usually this time of year it’s rather comfy to go to work but this time it seems to be overkill.

The day actually started good, I heard my alarm go off in time and managed to get out of bed by 5:15 am and was on the road by 5:45 am. Then things started going a little not so good. I had forgotten to change my dark helmet visor to the transparent visor and thus couldn’t close it which is not bad generally but it was drizzling a lot and the rain kept disturbing my vision.

At work I managed to work through the entire pile of files that had accumulated on my desk and I felt so enthusiastic that I decided to start working on some stuff of my colleague who is on sick leave at the moment. I worked without break until it was noon and managed to decimate quite a lot of her stuff. By noon I went back to her office to find a clean spot to position all the stuff that I had finished within the last three hours. While looking for a clean spot – her work space is absolutely chaotic, close to messy but I don’t really care as long as she manages…

Anyway, I was looking for a spot, checking for an empty shelf in her cupboard, when I discovered…MORE FILES THAT HADN’T BEEN HANDLED!!!  

20 inches of files that she hadn’t worked on… Upon seeing it I felt hot and cold shivers run down my spine. Like WHAT??? I had just managed to work on one-third of what had been lying on her desk and had felt pretty proud but that feeling was gone instantly.

I felt really discouraged…am I the only person who actually gives a damn??? I mean, okay to do the work you don’t need to be a brain surgeon but what does a person do all day to accumulate so many files without actually working on them??

I am fed up!!

I don’t like being fed up!!

Aaaaah, well… breath in, breath out! At the moment I have to substitute for three of my colleagues, basically filling four positions at the same time. I am running from one office to the other checking the incoming mail, sorting and dividing the mail, trying to do as much as I can.

It’s somewhat satisfying though, working on overload. 😉

Anyway, people it’s almost X-mas. I hope you are all spending time with your loved ones and enjoy the holidays.

Happy song of the day is Nightmare before X-Mas with What’s this

Food choices are great and all is well 😉

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Ah, here we go again. I am back on the wagon, had my shake today and finished my day with a wonderful salad with cucumber, sweet bell pepper, beans, some chicken chunks and corn. It was so good and felt right!!

Yesterday I didn’t eat salad though…I was basically off the wagon and I ate way too much. I think I had scrambled eggs in the morning, then one slice of toast with chocolate spread – and I didn’t even feel guilty! In the late afternoon I had some noodle salad (mayonnaise based – feel guilty there) and two sausages….ugh!! My plate wasn’t that full but I felt like I had eaten too much before going to bed.

Since I was so off, I decided to take yesterday off as well and I tried to stay in the entire day. My cats have been a little neglected the last few days which resulted in Kaya going all crazy on my every morning. She started walking, yes people, physically walking all over me, basically over my head.

She started waking me around 6 am, stepping on my head over and over again. I got moody and tried to shoo her away by grumbling, which didn’t help at all. Well, I can understand her, she isn’t used to me being away 18 hours at a time. So I decided to dedicate yesterday to my cats, cuddling with them and being there for them all day.

It was a good day and I really recuperated. My feet no longer hurt, nor does my back or hands.

Monday was the last time I helped Ronny move some stuff. He had hired a moving company to move the remaining, heavy furniture and I helped empty the desks and cupboards and carry some remaining stuff downstairs.

 The moving company arriving and getting ready to work

They had to carry a 300 lbs piano downstairs, I am so happy I didn’t need to help there. 😉

Some of his furniture is made of mahogany and therefore these things are very heavy.

While the furniture was upside down, we discovered a hint to when it was made, or at least to when it was last repaired. This newspaper piece is dated MARCH 1928, isn’t that cool??

The news article deals with some sort of accident. Something about an accident caused by careless handling … some 23-year-old employer-something (I am sure that word no longer exists). A colleague…something babtised… When he *found* something in his cupboard…the weapon, a 9 mm… he was found by…and later transferred to a hospital.

There are quite some word missing but one can get the picture. Interesting!!

Anyway, let’s get back to last Saturday and therefore my latest weigh-in. My weight has remained the same, which was quite frustrating after the hard work I had done the days before but hey, lets just say my muscles build up real fast. 😉

So I am still at 280 lbs. Frustrating but let’s be okay with it, shall we.

Today’s happy song is Rea Garvey & Xavier Naidoo with Me and my shadow

All is well 😉

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Today is the first day I actually stayed at home and did not participate in Ronny’s moving. I have been working nonstop within the last 5 days and it was time for a break on my part.

Actually there were two days when I was close to give Ronny a good beating, verbally of course, because Ronny has been an emotional wreak the last few days. He gets frustrated so easily and verbal aggression is another issue all together. I am sure he was close to a nervous breakdown a few times.

Friday we started redoing all the walls, that is adding new wallpaper to the empty walls…

Early Friday morning the office was still bare and empty until…

…later in the afternoon the walls were done

Sven and Ronny adding the last lane in the bedroom

Livingroom half done and …

basically done and crowded…*there are still some tiny lane parts missing*

Also the kitchen was basically finished that day. The flooring is still only halfway done despite the fact that we worked the entire Saturday to get by. Herbert didn’t show up on Saturday, when he actually wanted to finish the flooring in the hallway and kitchen.

Thursday we worked until midnight, Friday we finished at 3 am., Saturday we worked until 11 pm. I was totally exhausted and my feet hurt so bad, when the real moving hadn’t even started. All the furniture had to be loaded and transported on Sunday.

10 more colleagues from the Red Cross helped moving the furniture.

Manuel, Harun, Kevin, Onur, Christian, Sven, Torsten, Ramona, Hassan and Bane showed up to carry the furniture from the 4th floor down.

 Hassan our RC boss himself came with a Red Cross van to help organise and transport everything, which was actually quite good since he managed to calm down Ronny with his skills, after all he has managed quite bigger events in the past and stays cool and composed all the time.

Torsten is always making funny faces when I take a picture with him in it. 😉

After everything had been transported to the new flat we started reconstructing the cupboards and Ronny’s bed. We went to a fast food restaurant and had pizzas— and yes I also had a pizza. Actually I hadn’t eaten the entire day, there had been no time for food.

Thus started my fall from grace. 😉

Yesterday I actually wanted to have my Herbalife again but I was so off track energy wise that I had two slices of toast bread in the morning with brie cheese to get even remotely ready to work again. I don’t remember what I ate in the afternoon, really I don’t!! Everything became a little blurry.

The same goes for today…so it’s official, I went off the waggon today or even yesterday already, I have got no clue.

Has anyone seen where I parked the waggon?? I am confused and empty.

I am still proud of our accomplishments but I think I will never, ever move again myself!!!!!

Dirty cloth, shoes and at the end of my desire or even ability to help….

All is well…*looking for the waggon*

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Hold on, there are muscles here….oh and I seem to have developed some muscles here too. WOW… I am aching all over. Yesterday was a long day.

I have taken off yesterday, today and Monday…basically spending my entire days in Ronny’s flat. Yesterday we spend the day doing uncoordinated stuff and plastering the walls. We were sooooo slow. It was only Ronny and myself, only later in the afternoon Harun joined us by which time Ronny and I had developed a routine which included only minor shouting and going crazy on Ronny’s part. *lol*

“Have you never renovated before?” was one of Ronny’s statements when we had just started cutting the wallpaper.

YES, people I have, only never with Ronny who is very meticular with whatever he is doing. Meaning, he doesn’t trust anyone to do a good job which results in him doing the biggest part of everything. At one point when he became particularly moody I was about to send him outside to scream at the world…he was just so impatient at everything. At the plaster, the wallpaper, the knives, the scissor, the floor, the walls…shall I go on?? 🙂

Eventually when we had reached a point where we started becoming complementary, things calmed down, meaning, he calmed down.

We worked the entire day, disrupted only by driving to the mall twice and minor breaks while the plaster had to settle. Harun left by 10 pm. and we called it a day at midnight. We were two lanes shy of finishing the second room.

Oh gosh we were so slow!!

I am about to leave in a moment to start the second day of hard physical work. My body aches everywhere but I am proud that we accomplished what we did with only the two of us and Harun later in the day. My fingers are swollen from scratching and cutting and sweeping and carrying but I feel so good to do this work, I really enjoy it – as long as my arms don’t start hurting, which they don’t. 😉

Oh, I have to confess that I had a slice of pizza yesterday. It was a long day and I only had one shake which was gone by the time Harun suggested pizza. At the same time I have to mention that I enjoyed that slice very much and very slowly. It was good and I didn’t feel the urge to have more than that one slice.

So proud. 😉

Now, here some pictures from yesterday…

The half-finished hallway flooring…once finished it will look great

Setting up the equipment for cutting the wallpaper

Ronny taking a break and trying to exchange the bulb of our site spotlight

Me taking a break


 Harun and me…yes taking another short break

All is well…

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A mayor part of my life – apart from losing weight  – centers around Ronny’s new apartment at the moment. Basically I spend my weekends and the time after work scratching wallpaper off walls, vacuum clean dust off the floors or plaster holes in walls. I am actually dreaming about that stuff. When we were removing the wallpapers, I was still scratching the walls while laying in bed, about to fall asleep. Whenever I closed my eyes, I kept reliving the hours of scratching.

Now, the only thing that still needs to be done is coloring the walls, installing the new laminate flooring, tile the kitchen and hallway floor and get the new wallpaper on the walls. Ah, of course we also still need to move all the furniture this weekend.

Today I don’t have to help since the laminate flooring requires only few helpers.

Here are some picture of the recent weeks…

This is the house Ronny moves into. The windows in the upper, left corner are bathroom and the kitchen window.

The kitchen after Herbert extended the walls of the living room. He added stones and build a wall to make the kitchen entrance smaller and offer more space on the walls, so that Ronny can position a cabinet to the left.

Next step in remodelling the kitchen, the walls after being rendered. Herbert has only moved to Germany 4 month ago after living in Austria all his life. Despite the fact that I haven’t known him for very long, I really like him, he is such a friendly soul. He is engaged to his girlfriend Isabelle now, whom he met only two month ago. Their love story is so sweet, he met her at the main station in Bonn and confessed his emotions for her by giving her a letter. So sweet.

Herbert and me after the wall was finished.

The next step in remodelling the kitchen, changing the position of the water pipes and therefore removing the grout. The person to the left is Ronny’s father, who visited last weekend (he lives some 500 kilometer away) and helped with the electric wiring. He stayed the entire weekend and took over the site management and assigning the chores. 😉

Dusty, Herbert was drilling the holes in the kitchen for new electric wiring that needed to be channelled through the walls. I am still not sure I understand the exact concept of all the wiring channels.

Ronny installing the electric cables in the walls which were later concealed by plaster. Once we are finished, the flat will not only be renovated but actually refurbished. Actually the wiring was so off the deep end that it needed to be renewed, the wiring was so old that it would have been negligent to leave it untouched.

 Onur to the left, Bane and Ronny working in the bedroom.

Kevin, painting the ceiling in the office – yes Ronny will have an office. 😉

Torsten and Ronny in the hallway.

After work and renovating, on my way back home, which is only a two minutes ride by the way.

Okay, I guess this is it for today, picture overkill. 😉

All is well…


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I am beat, exhausted and a little drained. I basically spend my weekend helping with renovating Ronny’s apartment. I didn’t spend my entire day helping like some other people did but still I have done my share. I might post some pictures, once I get my computer working properly.

While not working at Ronny’s place, I attempted to configure my new computer. My old computer had reached a biblical age of what, 9 years and had been fighting off death for almost 8 month now, what a brave little fellow. Things are not working properly yet…all those codecs that are still missing….

Anyway…despite the fact that I didn’t fall off the waggon last week, actually I didn’t even glimpse at “off the waggon”, I still regained the 1 lbs that I lost the week before. Uuuuaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!! So here are the numbers. I am back to 280 lbs.

Mh, I am okay. I don’t agree but have to accept, right?  One lb up it is.

All is well….

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It’s been a couple of  busy days.

First go to work – make sure you actually hear the alarm clock in order to make good on some time. Off to work, do this, do that, have a chat, a coffee and spend some time on critical situations at the office. Yes there still are some… Then hurry home and create the next big thing when it comes to salad – well maybe not – create a nice, yummy salad anyway. 😉

Then feed the cats and allow Kaya to have a tiny nap on my shoulder while Shorty contemplates whether he wants to just stare at me gloomily, since he doesn’t do shoulders or whether he should actually hop into the open top drawer next to me and have a nap as close to me as possible.

I am sure he doesn’t trust me or something, he even accompanies me to the bathroom, I start feeling like in prison and that tiny, little fur-ball seems to be my guard. “Yes Shorty, I flushed the toilet…”

On, on we go, the day has so very few hours. While Kaya starts snoring and Shorty’s ears still move whenever I move to spend my break as comfortable as possible, I watch an episode of ‘Bones’ or ‘CSI Miami’, giving an excellent cat massage to the fur-ball on my shoulder while doing so.

30 minutes can be gone quite fast.

The phone rings and upon picking up I hear Ronny’s voice sounding all appalling –  obviously he is acting up. “Where the heck are you Janet?”

Me, looking at the phone. “What do you mean, where are you?”

“Ja, we are waiting for you, there are still pieces of wallpaper on the wall!”

I envision tiny little spots of wallpaper, a scraper and oversized work gloves and wake up a disturbed Kaya who slaps me in the face with her tail, in order to emphasize her discontent…

I rummage among my clothing, looking for a construction site usable shirt, careful not to wake Shorty who has eventually fallen asleep and after glancing around one more time – is everything in order – I grab my jacket and leave the premises of my own home, in order to…well, in order to scratch wallpaper in Ronny’s new apartment.

All is well…

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