Friday, March 24, 2017

Putting Lipstick on the Pig

The last two weeks have been a frenzied blur of work, taking care of the Grands and Great-Grandma, celebrating St. Patrick's Day here in the Sister City of Dublin, and all the usual daily chores and demands. Honestly, I almost forgot I had these pictures on my camera! 

So, here we are, back to the restoration of our old girl...

The black pieces are the new parts to replace the parts that had rusted clear through. The red is a sample of her new color.

The doors had to be removed so they could be reinstalled for a better fit, as well as to have new gaskets applied around the inside.

Once the doors were off, Randy decided to repaint the interior its original bronze; part of the Harley Davidson feature of this particular truck.

The fenders have been put back on, missing the headlights and trim. There has, as you can see, a lot of grinding to remove as much of the white paint as possible.

The biggest issue with the doors was getting them to shut perfectly flush with the body of the cab.

With the fenders both on, it's time to put the hood back on...

The Old Chev is beginning to look like a truck again, instead of the skeleton of one.

Lots of grinding to get almost 1/4" of white paint off, finally revealing the original blue, or going clear down to metal.

And, there she goes, off for priming and painting. I don't think I'll see her again until she's done, but if I get the chance, I'll be sure to get more photos! The bed of the truck is already at the painter, as well as the back fenders. The end gate is still in the shop, for now.

A true example of how it has to look worse before it looks better.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Progress Report

I am doing my best to document the progress of our old truck's makeover. Having her raised up on the hoist makes working and repairing underneath so much easier.

All the black you see is undercoating, applied with a brush. It's purpose is to seal the metal in order to discourage rusting.

As you can see, there is a lot of rust to be ground, or cut, away.  The piece in front of the door, where the worst of the decay is, will be completely replaced.

Randy is also undercoating the inside of both bumpers and the fenders.

Here is a sneak peek of the color he chose for her, but also to show an adjustment he made to the original design. He moved the battery from its standard place behind the seat inside, to under the hood. Randy feels this is a safer, and more convenient place for it to be installed.

A patch of the original blue on the back of the cab.

This is the passenger side, with the rusted panel already removed. Randy also had to fabricate and install a frame mount on both sides, to keep the cab solidly attached to the chassis.

One of the new pieces installed.

One of the doors, the hood, and fenders.

The old girl is getting some major surgery by Doc Randy to make her solid before she's pretty again.

As soon as the doors are aligned to our painter's specifications, and all the undercoating finished, she'll be moved for her coat of primer, then the finish coat of red. There is still some tweeking to be done on the frame, but I'll keep you updated!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Some Days Are Just Hard

I showed up for work yesterday; did you? I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by people who make me feel needed and valued every day. To let them down, even for a day, would not prove my worth to anyone. I was proud to celebrate International Women's Day by showing up.

That said, to be honest, if left to my own devices, I'd have showered, changed into a fresh pair of pajamas, and turtled in for the day. It was just "one of those days" where I felt so weighed down, I didn't think I could manage much more than that.

Instead, I got my hour walk in, adding in three sets of 10 push-ups to my routine. *I'm feeling those push-ups today!* The endorphins did their best, but not quite enough to shed that gray cloud following me. Breakfast was light, as I had no appetite. I hate those days.

Since I had others counting on me, I got my shower, got dressed, and even put on makeup. Big deal? For me, yes.

At the end of the day, I'd come through for those who needed me, my desk was cleared, home vacuumed, and the nose art cleaned off the doors. Randy even treated me to Chinese for supper; not because of IWD, but just because I told him I was hungry for it. He's the best.

I'm avoiding the scale for a week or two. I'm beginning to feel how the walking is helping, and noticing how my clothes fit just that little bit better. It's come to me that even if my body doesn't change that much, it's all about being more healthy. So, for now, I'm going to go by how I feel.

So far, so good.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

A Love Story

For those of you who know my husband, you know how he loves old John Deere tractors and making them beautiful again. He's even done one just for me!

He's recently embarked on a new project, with the help of a friend with experience painting vehicles.

Meet the Old Chevy (or Chebby, as the Grands call her). She's a 1954 Harley Davidson model. The following pictures were taken when we'd just bought her; we hadn't even brought her home yet. Now, we had a discussion on how long ago this happened, and we agreed that it's been 6-7 years ago.

Since that time, she's been our date night ride, our home improvement hauler, and conversation starter, mostly at the gas station, where people come right up and ask about her. I especially am entertained by the younger men who will call out, "Cool truck!". On the flip side of that, Randy's brothers have no trouble asking whose piece of shit is taking up space in the driveway.

We didn't buy her to be a showpiece. She works hard for us! While her chassis isn't very pretty, she runs like a top, with a four-on-the-floor manual transmission. No power steering for her; it takes both hands and all the strength in them to get her to turn.
Randy also uses the old girl to haul his antique tractors to the several rides he tries to get in each summer. The old pulling the older; he's so proud of that.

She's also been featured in several years' worth of family pictures. This one was from 2012.

The Chevy gets stored over the winter. She does get pampered at least that much. Zeus thinks she belongs to him, and loves riding, with his head out the window. That way, I get to sit right by Randy, like I did when we were dating.

So, where's the love story here? This has been a slow winter in Randy's shop, so he's had some time to think about projects to finish, or in this case, begin. He always swore he wouldn't think about fixing the Chevy up until he retired, and like all reasonable men, he changed his mind. And, we are not talking about slapping some lipstick on the pig!

Our old girl is semi-dismantled. The box is off, as are the fenders and wheel wells. UPS will be delivering about six boxes of parts next week. In the meantime, Randy and our friend, Dave, are repairing, priming, undercoating, and removing rust. Her original color was blue, then got a coat of white. When her renovation is complete, she'll be a glorious, shiny red.

I hope you don't mind if I share the progress of the Old Chev from time to time. I think it's important to document her return to beauty, each step done with love!

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Face of Friday

I love my days with Liam, for whatever reason. He's unfailingly happy. So, when asked if I could keep him today, why would I refuse?

 He is a very busy little boy. Loves his tractors and Legos, just like his two older brothers. He laughs and dances, plays "boo", and needs to know where Zeus is at all times. He does not walk...ever. He runs everywhere. And when he snuggles, he chatters in his own baby language, even though he knows and uses a lot of words.

Liam also has a "thing" about doors. He opens them. He shuts them. He's caught his fingers in them. I'm also missing my honey dipper, a full set of measuring spoons, and who knows what else!  That said, we have to "Liamise" the house when he's here...

Always on the go, with a big smile.

His breakfast is a bit different from most toddlers, but there are Cheerios on his tray. *Note: Zeus is in charge of floor clean-up.*  Liam shares more than he eats. Zeus loves him.

He fell asleep shortly after I snapped this, but won't be down for long. I never have trouble making my step goal when he's here! Happy Friday, my friends. I hope yours looks as adorable as mine.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Knowledge is Power

After bemoaning my lack of progress in my quest for better health yesterday, I was riveted to three articles on MSN news this morning. It was almost as if they were targeted directly to me. I have given up Facebook for Lent, which provided me with much more reading time. I will continue to share the blog on Facebook, but won't be there "in person".

I also think I need to make this blog more of a journal for me, so for those whose eyes are rolling back in your heads, thinking "Oh, no; not another fitness blog", let me assure you; I'm just going to share bits of what I find works for me, or is interesting. No preaching, I promise. This will provide me with a support outlet.

In the past few years, it's been documented that eggs are not the evil contributor to high cholesterol levels. This does not mean they can be eaten in significant amounts, because they do contain cholesterol. I love hard-cooked eggs, and have fallen into using them for breakfast, a quick snack when necessary, having convinced myself they were a lean source of protein. I ignored the number of them I was consuming, however. As someone who takes a statin for elevated cholesterol, this was not a bright move. So, when I found this article based on cardiologist studies, I read it with great interest. After all, it's hard to argue with the experts and the hard facts. Needless to say, I'll be cutting way back on my egg consumption!

As a child, I grew up with oatmeal for almost every breakfast. Those were the days before flavored, sweetened, packaged oats. My mom bought the biggest container of Quaker Oats made. And, if there was any left over from breakfast, I would eat that for lunch. Turns out I need to revisit having oatmeal for breakfast. The whole grain will keep me full, help with my cholesterol level, and improve my energy level. Plus, I still love it!

The third article was the one that was most compelling for me. In this, Jackie Gilmore-Jackson talks frankly about taking back her health.

"I saw on the chart 'obese' and my feelings were hurt," Gilmore-Jackson, 48, of Wilmington, North Carolina, told TODAY. "When I think of obese, I think of people who are really, really large."
Her doctor told her that even though her cholesterol and blood pressure numbers were normal, that wouldn't always be the case if she didn't make some changes. Then, she saw a picture of herself and felt even worse. At the time, she was 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed 252 pounds — and she didn't recognize herself.
This resonated with me. While I don't have 68# to lose, I have enough extra that can impact those important blood levels. Having diabetes on both sides of my family is also a major red flag.
She shares some excellent information in this article; simple, easy changes she made. Now, I am not always an emotional eater/drinker; sometimes I can't consume a thing. No matter which you are, the best advice I gleaned was how she began turning to exercise in times of stress. I got some validation that there were some things I was already doing right, I just wasn't working hard enough at it.

If any of this information I've shared interests you, you can click on the links for the complete articles.

For me, I'm amping up my daily step goal, and drinking 16 oz. of water before meals. I've already been watching my sugar and salt intake. I'm also changing the settings on my Fitbit to remind me to move more than just from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.

So, I hope this has been as helpful for you as I've found. I'm excited to make these simple, easy changes, and work harder.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Boy, Is My Face Red!

Oh, where has the time gone? I was horrified to see I hadn't written anything for almost a month. I think part of it is because I hate to burden others...with anything.  As it is, I have no other excuse but that things have been complicated. So, let me pass on that, and focus on some positivity, however boring and mundane.

I started my little part-time job; one day a week for 9-10 hours. I enjoy the people with whom  I work, I like the work, and am grateful for my own fun money. The boutique is lovely, well-organized, and beautifully decorated. At first, I was so exhausted from being on my feet that many consecutive hours that Randy and I had to declare Hot Mess Tuesday. I've adjusted well since then.

The fitness plan I have been implementing has not been really successful, as in, results. Part of that, I realize, is my menopausal metabolism, which to me is the ultimate of oxymorons. At any rate, I try to make sure I make my step goal every day, and to be more active a minimum of 5 days. I upgraded to a Fitbit Charge HR 2, which has the option of being able to switch out bands. I was able to get a silver mesh band that was the answer to my prayers. The Fitbit looks like a sleek watch instead of a fitness monitor. I love the features it affords me, and if nothing else, I'm much more active. Most days I get 50-60 minutes of walking in.

Admittedly, it's been hard to come to terms with being "retired", but I guess that's what I'd prefer to being unemployed. I won't file for Social Security until after 62, such as it will be. As a stay-at-home mom while my three were small, my payout won't be a lot, but I'll take it.

Being needed more by my family has left me being pretty isolated. Other than the boutique on Mondays and an occasional trip to the grocery store, I am home all the time. I look forward to spring so much; to be outside, working in the yard. For now, I'm available for sick kiddos, driving to appointments, and book work.

I know I'll look back on the past two months and wave them good-by shortly. For now, it's a succession of quiet days.