How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Alt title: What Prevented Me From Getting My Head In The Blogging Game

I swear, this has been the craziest year! Not bad crazy, exactly, just filled with things that keep me away from the computer. At least, anything FUN on the computer.

So what have I been doing? Let’s review.

Cammy's foot in therapeutic bootYou know about the boot. I sweated through most of the summer in it, but I tried not to let it completely shut me down. I continued to do yard work and housework and other assorted tasks, and I even went to the gym a few times for weight work with the arms, but it wasn’t the same as full body workouts.

The boot was hardly fastened into place before I dragged out pretty much every project piece I had in the garage and got started with some renovating:

2015-06-14 18.35.34

I was on a good roll for a week or so there, finishing one piece:

repurposed small chest

This chest has been in my parents’ attic and then in a closet at my house forever. No one remembers who painted it, but whoever it was they did a fine job. I worked for days and days trying to get all the paint off, without success, so I opted for updated paint. After the black base coat dried, I draped lace over the drawer fronts and spray painted with metallic-finish paint. Sort of like a stencil.

drawers covered with lace stencils

Wonderfully imperfect and it works well in my master bathroom as extra storage.

And then real summer came along, bringing lots of humidity and too-hot-for-booted-Cammy-to-sit-in-the-garage weather, and my project work came to a halt.

I wasn’t bored, though. I did some work for Tall Jeans:

tall jeans

Note my student’s excellent (and dainty!) technique in positioning the cover photo. Someone taught her well. :)

Along with training sessions, I did some pet-sitting for my new local best buddy, Bama (as in “Roll, Tide”):

bama the pomeranian

Bama’s no Sally, but at least he’s not terrified of car rides. In fact, it’s his very favorite thing to do after belly scratches. That he has in common with Sally. :)

Let’s see, somewhere along in there is when I got my big boot off and started wearing the brace. Still not ideal, but better than lugging that big boot around. The timing for that was great, because a series of storms moved through Memphis, and I had LOTS of storm debris to clear up.

small limbs on ground
big limbs on ground

First we had one of those “little limb storms”, in which I spent half a day raking up tiny limbs and leaves. Two days later a bigger storm came through and took out more small limbs for me and some big ones at my neighbor’s house. Fortunately, they had no house damage, but the limbs were blocking the front door. Unfortunately, the neighbors were out of town and due back that night. It seemed only polite to make sure they could get in the house, so I grabbed my trusty saws-all and cut those limbs to pieces. I wish I had taken a photo of my 87-year old “helper”, another neighbor who was stylin’ it in slacks and furry house slippers. We had it ship shape in no time.

As so often happens, in the middle of cleaning up the limbs in my yard I decided to take on another project. Some of y’all might remember the day last year when I spent an entire afternoon hauling free landscape rocks across town. In the middle of summer. Well, I moved them again.
Cammy's rock garden

I didn’t have enough to do the side yard, but I did just happen to have two oddly-shaped half-moon spaces in front of my fence that weren’t doing anything useful, so I moved the rocks and eight bags of sand into those spaces and made myself a little rock bed. The plan is to place pots of ferns and low-light plants over there next year. This is at the top of my driveway, and it will be nice to have a bit of greenery to welcome me home. If I can keep it alive, that is.

And now I’m working my way through Memaw’s movie collection.


Those boxes are just the VHS tapes she recorded. I think there are nine boxes total, with one whole box of nothing but recordings of Mama’s Family. I was all set to donate them to Goodwill, and then I found out that VHS tapes are quite popular on eBay now as many stores no longer carry blanks. Who knew?

Some of her DVD collection has moved into the “collectible” category, so one guess who is now running an online DVD sales business. :) Labor of love, labor of love. (Let me know if there’s a particular DVD you’ve been searching for. I’m sure we can make a great deal. LOL)

And that brings us to now, with a pretty big change on the horizon. I’ve signed on with a consulting company, and my first assignment is the company that eliminated my position six years ago! It turns out they needed me after all; it just took them a while to realize it. :) Actually, they’ve got a big project going that I can help with, but they can’t hire me because I took the buy-out. Enter: the consulting company as an intermediary.

I have mixed feelings about taking this job. I’ll enjoy working with the people again, and to be honest, the scattered nature of my training jobs wasn’t working as well for me lately. I liked it, but I was ready for something new. I’m just not sure I’m ready for 8 hours a day “new”. Eight hours in shoes, a bra, and something not a t-shirt or jeans or workout pants. I’m also not ready for 5:30 a.m. gym times, but that’s the only slot that’s going to work. We do what we have to do, though, right? I am ready for a steady paycheck and work that requires more of my brain, so I’ll make the sacrifice.

On the other hand, there are two more lottery drawings between now and next week, so there’s still hope for the casual life. :)

I hope you’re all doing well. To those of you who blog, I apologize for not doing my part in the community lately. I’m hoping the new structured days will help with that.

Back on My Feet…Mostly

I’m pleased to report that I have graduated from the clunky old air boot to a new, easier to manage,boot-let.


This is more of a compression sleeve, really, with a hard plastic bottom to it. By removing the insert to my Asics, I am able to cram the entire bootlet into my shoe. It’s not exactly like walking on air, but it’s not that clunky boot, and I’m grateful for that.

I’m still not cleared for distance-walking or biking, but going to the gym is sooooo much more enjoyable now. The big boot and the machines at the gym didn’t work for me, so I’ve been relying on household and yard projects for daily activity. But not anymore. After a few days for acclimation to the new footwear, I made a triumphant return to the gym earlier this week.

various gym equipment

I’m still stuck mostly on the machines, but so far, the leg press and standing calf raises are the only machines that are off-limits. My heart is happy. My muscles? Not quite so much. :)

I wish I could tell you that my “healing period” went perfectly, but of course, it didn’t. Too much anxious time on my hands, too many calories, too little strenuous exercise–you know the drill. I don’t feel great about the last six weeks.

But I don’t feel awful about them either. Other than a delicious holiday celebration on the 4th of July, my meals have been healthy. Most of my snacks have been healthy, too. There were just too many of those (along with some unmerited splurges) considering the lack of meaningful exercise to have me declaring an absolute success. But not a failure either. At worst, it’s a better failure. LOL

In writing this post, a segment of Anne Lamott’s recent Facebook post celebrating 29 years of sobriety came to mind:

There were all these other women who had what I had, who’d thought what I’d thought, who’d done what I’d done, who had betrayed their families and deepest values, who sat with me that day, and said “Guess what? Me, too! I have that too. Let me get you a glass of water.” Those are the words of salvation: Guess what? Me, too.”

One of the great rewards of writing a post like this–reporting mediocre (at best) results–is that I know someone (or many someones) are reading, nodding, and saying, “Guess what? Me, too”. People who know EXACTLY how I feel or what I’m thinking. It’s hugely empowering and motivating. I haven’t considered for one minutes giving up or giving in, but had I been, the “me too’s” would have stopped me.

With that, I’ll close with hopes that things are going well for you. And if they’re not? Well, me, too, so hang in there. :)

Alphabet Soup: The ‘L’ Words

Alphabet Soup is a series of posts in which readers and I explore the words, concepts, and ideas that help on the path to weight loss/maintenance. Please join in with your insights!

Letter l
The letter L is a Very Big Deal for me, with respect to weight loss and to life in general. Lots of lessons learned in L-world.

I’ve learned a lot about loving myself over the past few years, primarily that love of self shouldn’t be tied to eating healthy and exercising, and it can’t be tied to a size or a shape or weight or bmi or any other physical attribute. While I’m great with having goals in all those measures, I have value and am worth loving at any size or shape or weight. I wish I had fully realized that earlier in my life.

I wish I didn’t sometimes still lose sight of it now. :)


I spent a lot of years in “when I…,then I…” land, putting off doing things until I’d lost some weight. I had a wonderful, magical click! moment of clarity a few years ago as I was taking a goal weight celebration ride on a jet ski along the gulf coast. As I breezed along on my first ever jetski ride, a couple on a tandem ski passed nearby. Both were significantly overweight, but they were out there laughing and having the time of their lives. They didn’t wait for some distant goal weight to have fun. I did, and I missed a lot of rides.

Cammy jetskiAnne Lamott says it so much better than I can: Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.

Let Go
Holding on to hurts, slights, and transgressions (mine or someone else’s) will only hold me back. As Malachy McCourt wrote: Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Let.It.Go.

Inspirational Quotes |

For most of my diet-y years, I made the process a mean, miserable, soul-sucking experience. (Gee, I wonder why I struggled so much?) Fortunately, somewhere in the early stages of my latest weight loss journey, I figured out that I could have fun with the process by making up games and silly challenges. As the Yiddish proverb goes: What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.

I haven’t said it in a while, but lifting weights completely changed the weight loss process for me. I saw results in the fit of my clothes long before I saw big losses reflected on the scale. I also saw the results in my posture, my attitude, my confidence, and my ability to deal with stress. I gained strength and toning–inside and out! :)

I suppose I should stop there. I think I’ve covered the most important L-words for me, but there are a couple more I might explore later. Unless one of you beats me to the punch. :) Your insights are welcome and appreciated!

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!