Family weight loss competition

Latesst update:

Tiger is in and Al is up to 233.  I think Tiger tells me he started at 233, either that or 234.  So now I have some real competition.


Oct 29

Weight loss competition update:

Kitty and Al have developed an interesting strategy for this weight loss competition.  Kitty has a new high of 146 and I believe Al has also decided? to ‘pork up’ a bit so he can (maybe?) crash diet at the end.  Either that, or their strategy is to give Karrie a false sense of security (I seem to be the only person starving myself and eating countless veggies).  Husband Aldo is doing really well–he’s already lost 4lbs (I think he said from  167 down to 163)!!  He doesn’t want to compete though, because he believes that we fatties will have an advantage since we have more weight to lose.  I think Tiger is also refusing to join the competition although I’m not sure why, he and Aldo would probably be my only real competition.  I think I have this thing won!  My only downfall will be that I am becoming overly confident. Also, I expect to hit my “wall” at 125.  I never seem to be able to get below that no matter what… and I still have to get through Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday).  Kitty will probably have her usual Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (something like popcorn and toast or is it fondue?) which won’t be nearly as fattening as my dinner (and I’ll have leftovers to haunt me for weeks).

The great St. John family weight loss competition has started.  Karrie weighed in at 132.2, Kitty is at 145.5 and Al still needs to get us his baseline.  I think he may be trying to ‘pork-up’ just a bit more so he can maximize his baseline.  The last day is I believe Dec 7th and the winner (highest percentage weight loss) gets $50 from each loser.  Not sure if the padres will be participating.  Late breaking news:  230 for Al.



The 20th anniversary celebration was a great success so I will happily accept the title of ‘the hostess with the mostest’.  I will not however, be blamed for  the ‘over-serving’ that took place over the extended weekend.  I did NOT show up at the airport with a cooler of beer for my guests (I’m pretty sure that’s illegal).  And I refuse to take responsibility for the over-serving that took place at Manny’s steakhouse.  When a party of 6 ‘over-orders’; they must take responsibility for the over-serving that ensues.  Kitty has admitted that she accidentally over-served herself from the boxed wine.  The over-serving of food was admittedly a problem all weekend, but for the most part, each guest/host was responsible for his own over-serving.  I will accept some responsibility for the long walks which were admittedly over-served to some extent, but also well-earned.  I did drag Kitty and Al on a 5 mile walk around the lake, but Al dragged Kitty on a separate extended walk around the Mall.  I feel a bit guilty that another 1 ½ hour walk resulted in Kitty and I getting a bit drenched when the drizzle turned to rain. The good news is that the weather was mostly incredibly cooperative with cool, sunny days on the patio.  The company was great and fun was had by all.

by the way… the “bad egg” seen above is created by a local artist:  Joan of Art.  Check her out, she’s great!

Toby and Tiger

Toby’s having trouble sleeping, she’s tossing and turning and making it difficult for Tiger to fall asleep.  Finally, to Tigers relief, she leaves the bedroom to read on the couch for a while.  Now Tiger is finding it difficult to sleep with Toby gone.  Finally, several hours later, Toby returns to the bedroom.  Just a few minutes later, Tiger is finally able to doze off…

Toby:  What was in that second bedroom on Maple Avenue? (Toby’s house as a child— Tiger was there once, maybe twice or so to pick up Toby for a date, this was more than 50 years ago)

Tiger:  I don’t know, probably nothing.  pause.  You know you don’t have to share every thought that comes into your head.

Silence.  One, maybe two minutes later when Tiger is finally starting to drift off again…

Toby:  You could share every thought you have and still have nothing to say.

Did I get this about right Toby?

Happy Holidays

Actually, I’m more of the bah-humbug type.  I get my usual seasonal affective disorder about this time of year and I hate the stress of buying presents so I try really hard to make sure no-one buys me anything.  Besides, the economy sucks and the world seems to be going to He** in a handbasket.  Greedy, unethical and hateful people suck!

And just to make things worse, it looks like wordpress made some weird format changes to my ‘dashboard’ so I have no idea if I’m writing a new page or just a new post.  Maybe some day I’ll join the world of the computer literate.

On a slightly cheerier note.  My holiday highlights will be visiting the ‘padres’ and seeing the ‘sibs’  in Albuquerque and going up to the cabin.  I look forward to all the wonderful food.  Maybe Tiger will make deviled eggs (not necessarily holiday fare but I like them), I forgot to put it on my 2 page request list.  Oh, and sitting in the jacuzzi, preferably during a light snow.  Actually, I keep reminding myself I have tons to be grateful for.  I have a moderate degree of job security, my family is generally healthy and happy and I have a lot of really nice friends who like me enough to keep in touch even when they are busy or over long distances.

Have a great holiday.



Al, Aldo and I had a great trip to Duluth this weekend and the best news is that Al was able to see two!! count them, two Minnesota Viking wins during his visit to Minneapolis.  A minor miracle (I’ve accused Al of making a deal with the devil).  The weather held up on Wed so I was able to enjoy my s’mores at a lakeside fire.  Al and Aldo also enjoyed the s’more although they also managed to feed half the marshmallows (I have not idea how to spell that) into the fire and Aldo sent a flaming marshmallow flying into Al’s crotch.  The Fitger’s pub was fun as always (the bartender was a hot young college boy type).  We had a mellow time and I ate like a pig and drank like a fish.

Skol Vikings!!

Granddad’s sister remembers life on the farm

Life on the farm:

There were 6 children in our family. Abe and Irene Shelby were our parents. We lived along the Williamsport Pike south of Greencastle, PA. We had cows, chickens, horses, pigs, a dog and cats.

We had no electric, plumbing, TV, radio or computer. Do you wonder what we did? We had a telephone. The telephone was a box on the wall with 12 or 13 other people on the line and you first had to wait your turn and couldn’t carry it with you shopping!

One of the ladies on the telephone line wrote a column for the local newspaper and they blamed her for getting her news from the phone.

We got up about 6 o’clock in the morning and lit lanterns for light to take to the barn to do the milking by hand. Later Dad purchased a milking machine. We carried the 3 gallon buckets of milk to the milk house. We milked 10 or 12 cows, morning and evening.

Gary liked to drive the Fordson tractor in the fields but didn’t care for the work at the barn and Dad wouldn’t go up the silo when it was full so Gary found that it was the perfect place to hide until the evening work was finished.

After I washed the milk buckets and strainer, I always scrubbed the milk house floor. Mother would have breakfast ready of mush pudding and fried eggs. Then it was time to get ready for school. If I was lucky I could ride with the milkman who came with a large truck for the cans of milk to haul to the creamery. Or when it was raining Dad would haul me or I could walk the 2 or 3 miles to school. It was near Cedar Grove church. There were no school buses.

We had no water at school so two of us girls would take a broom handle and put it through the handle on the bucket and walk back to Grandpa Grove’s house back of the school to get water.

In the summer we had a large garden and truck patch. We also went to the back farm and picked cherries and blackberries for Mother to can.

Fred fell out of a shellbark tree when he was supposed to be picking blackberries. He said he saw a pretty butterfly that he wanted for a school project.

I liked going along with Dad to the back farm. Mr. and Mrs. Jones lived there and she would open large oatmeal boxes that had pretty dishes in and give them to me. We would also sit out on the porch on rocking chairs until Dad was ready to go home.

She used lots of tin cans of fruits and vegetables and threw the cans out the kitchen window and down the back steps toward the spring house that they used as a refrigerator.

We gathered lots of shellbark and walnuts at the back farm and they were delicious in cakes and cookies.

Dad would take corn and wheat to Lehman’s Mill and get it ground and put in large bags and mother baked bread, pies and cakes. The corn meal was boiled in water until it was stiff and poured into a pan to cool. Sometimes they ate some with milk on it in the evening and next morning she would fry some with pudding and eggs for breakfast.

Butchering day was a big event. Dad would butcher three large hogs with Mr. Hyde to help. I was in school but I wanted to be at home to eat some of the pork after it was cooked for pudding. So the teacher left another girl and I walk home. There were snow drifts as high as the fence so we walked on top of the fence going home. Dad took my friend home in the evening.

When the wheat was ripe they would cut it with a binder pulled by a tractor. The corn was cut by hand and put on shocks and later husked by hand.

Washing day we heated the water in a large iron kettle in the fire place in the washhouse and carried it to the washing machine. The washing machine was run by a gasoline engine.

Evelyn was the oldest. She was married. She was 20 years older than me. Clifford worked on a farm near Maugansville, MD. Fred after high school went to EMC; Gary to barber school. He later purchased a barber shop in Greencastle, PA. Virginia worked at Stanley’s that made men’s suits. And I was at home.

When Dad purchased the house in Greencastle, I walked over to Gary’s Barber shop and told him that Dad paid $4,200 for it and he said, “That much?!” Houses didn’t sell for then what they do today. When I was 14 we moved to Greencastle.

That was life on the farm.

Organizational skills and family reunions

I recently attended a reunion of the descendants of my mom’s dad’s brothers and sisters (my great uncles/aunts??). Most of the great aunt/uncles are dead, but the point of the reunion was more for the next generation, my mom and her cousins. Before the reunion, I had been wavering between excitement and dread, because I didn’t really know anyone; but then, the whole point was to meet folks in my extended family that I either hadn’t met or met briefly in my childhood. The most striking thing about the reunion was that It was extremely well organized from the start. I think the “control freak” gene, which my mom affectionately refers to as the “organizational skills” gene runs rampant on that side of the family. This was nice for most of us because all we had to do was show up and be shuttled from gathering sites to eating sites and back again at the proper times. Even the ‘photo shoots’ were “well organized”. My mom provided the name tags which were decorated with stars that were color-coded for each of the uncles/aunts families and number coded for generation (she’s REALLY ‘well-organized’). The photo-shoot for the ‘one star’ (mom and her cousins) generation was like the paparazzi going after a group of celebrities. One of the best parts was when the only aunt (my great-aunt?) who was there talked about her childhood on the farm. Activities included ping-pong, outdoor games, cards and conversation. Our branch of the family had napping contests (I think I won). All in all it was fun and I’m glad I went. I met a lot of really interesting people and it was nice to feel like I have an extended family. My family moved away from most of our extended family before I was born, so sometimes I miss that sense of connection.

I just looked at the “automatically generated, possibly related posts”. My previous post (inspired by Toby) makes sense as possibly related, but I would love to know how that footballer post is “possibly related”! This is not a word press feature that impresses me!