The View From My Window

The world as seen from my window and through my eyes

Reverting back to childhood February 3, 2008

Filed under: My View on Events — auntlelo @ 9:58 pm

My husband made a very interesting observation this weekend. He said that when you’re trying to lose weight, you start sounding like a little kid again.  I wasn’t getting the connection so he had to explain.

“You know when you’re a little kid and someone asks you how old you are? You always think it’s really important to report the halves. Like, I’m four…AND A HALF! Now that we’re trying to lose weight I feel like that same little kid. How much weight have you lost? Twenty…AND A HALF pounds!”

I know just what he means. We bought a really cool new scale this weekend. It’s digital and it allows you to enter and save individual user information like starting weight, goal weight, age, height, etc. When you stand on it in bare feet, it not only provides your weight more precisely, but, it also measures your BMI and hydration level. This whole weight loss thing has become very high tech!

This weekend I also bought a pilates ball, resistance tubes, a Biggest Loser cardio workout video, a fitness book, two new cookbooks and a calorie counter to carry with me. After all that shopping, I was too tired to exercise!! 🙂

Current weight loss to date:

Me: 13 1/2 pounds

Spouse: 20 1/2 pounds

By next week I hope to report another landmark!


Counting inches January 27, 2008

Filed under: My View on Events — auntlelo @ 10:16 am

Here’s an update from my new and healthy life. In terms of pounds, I’ve now lost 11.5. However, the great news is that in the past week I’ve dropped a full inch around my waistline and 3/4 of an inch from my thighs.

I knew my clothes seemed to fit a little differently, so I could hardly wait for the Sunday morning measurements. I’m happy with that start to the week. So happy, in fact, that I actually wore makeup this morning. SHOCKER!

I’m up to 25 minutes on the elliptical machine and yesterday did 1.5 miles on the treadmill in 20 minutes. 30 ab crunches rounded out my Saturday morning workout. Painful, but, effective.

Tune in next week to see how things are progressing. Hopefully I’ll be able to report that more of me has melted away by then.


Celebrating! January 22, 2008

Filed under: My View on Events — auntlelo @ 9:34 am

Today marks an important milestone in my new, healthier life. I’ve officially lost 10 pounds. Yesterday, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical machine at the gym. This is quite an accomplishment. The first time I got on that machine 3 weeks or so ago I did 6 minutes and thought my chest would explode and my legs would fall off.

It’s amazing, and humbling, to realize how out of shape I was. I’m not out of the woods yet, but, I’m losing a little weight, gaining back some flexibility and feel much healthier. I had one of those “aha” moments yesterday when I reached down to tie my shoes and it wasn’t uncomfortable. Wow. That’s telling, isn’t it?

So, good-bye first 10 pounds. I hope I never see you again. I’m looking forward to reporting the next milestone on my way to finding that thinner, healthier person who’s trapped underneath all this blubber.


First day of pre-school and the first day of college and a bronze medal January 16, 2008

Filed under: My View on Events,My View on People — auntlelo @ 9:20 pm

It’s been a proud week for me as a Mom and a Grandma. After enjoying the college graduations of my daughter and son-in-law last month, we enter January with two new reasons to be proud.

Our oldest grandchild, Aidan, started pre-school this week. It was very exciting for her and her Mommy. We got prettily posed pictures from her first day, complete with a brand new haircut. (It was only fair that she have a new, short haircut after chopping off her cousins blonde hair just before Christmas). It’s a really cute hair-do and I know she’s excited to be such a big girl and going to “school.”

In another first, our son Mark started college this week. He made some funny digs at himself about being a 24 year old freshman, but, no matter when you start, it’s just a great thing that you do it. It’s good to have a dream and set goals. Best of luck to you Mark. I’ll say a few prayers that you behave in class better than you did in high school!

Speaking of dreams and goals, a big congratulations to the baby of the family for taking third place in his wrestling tournament on Saturday. That bronze medal will look really great on a letter jacket someday.

We’re so proud of all of our kids. Seems like no matter what they’re age, their parents are still claiming some credit for how well they turn out. Gee, aren’t we great? 🙂


No time for writing—I’ve been at the gym! January 14, 2008

Filed under: My View on Events — auntlelo @ 11:57 am

Yes, it’s true. I’ve spent less time blogging, which is a sedentary activity, and more time moving which requires visits to the gym.

I still find it strange to use the phrase “I’m going to go work out” or ” I’m heading to the gym.” These things are foreign to both my lifestyle and my vocabulary. However, in about three short weeks, I’m sure that I’m healthier. I am a little disappointed that following my immediate six pound weight loss, I suddenly gained two pounds for no apparent reason. However, after checking around to see if there was something I was doing wrong, I found that the culprit was probably a little something called muscle mass.

In women over 40, we begin to lose muscle mass each year. Something that happens as we exercise is that we begin to rebuild our muscle mass. And guess what? Muscle weighs more than fat. So while I would like to tell you that I have been steadily losing pounds since I last posted to my blog, the truth is I’ve remained stuck for much of that time. In an effort to prove to myself that my body is continuing to change and improve, I took all of my measurements last night so that in another week I can check to see if those are changing. On the plus side of things, I do have something notable to report. I received a lovely new vest for Christmas this year that wouldn’t quite meet in the middle so that I could zip it up. This morning, I realized that I could now zip it up with ease.

Maybe not loss of pounds, but, definitely changes in the body structure. I have more energy and feel better. We’re making some progress here!


A along absence and a change of lifestyle January 7, 2008

Filed under: My View on Events — auntlelo @ 8:16 am

Hello friends!

Although most of you were too busy with the holidays to notice, it’s been quite a spell since I posted an entry in this blog. During that time I enjoyed the holidays with my family, suffered from a bad cold and changed my lifestyle and habits in order to take better care of myself and my family.

I became very dissatisfied and upset with myself for losing control and gaining so much weight in the past couple of years. When I tried to diet, there was always some excuse that derailed me efforts and I went right back to the same old bad habits. Recently, my husband and I started watching a reality TV show called the Biggest Loser. It’s about weight loss and, although you might think most reality TV is stupid and cheesy, this program is having a very inspirational and profound effect on me. We started off watching it as entertainment, in fact, eating pizza while we watched the Biggest Loser wasn’t unheard of. However, it was so amazing to watch people who were heavier than me tackle their problem and change their lives that I found myself becoming more and more motivated.

In the past two weeks, my husband and I joined a gym and have started eating very differently. We’re not calling it a diet, it’s a change in lifestyle. It won’t be ending once we reach our goal weight. I’m sure my doctor will be pleased with me, as he encouraged me to do this for my health. He’s a really great doctor—supportive and encouraging without being judgmental or critical. I’m trying to rearrange and accommodate all the things I need to do each day in order to fit in the exercise that is so important to a good, healthy lifestyle.

So far, I’ve been to the gym several times and in the past week, I’ve lost 6 pounds. Water is my new best friend and I’m drinking gallons of it every day. After suffering through the first few times in the gym, I find that I’m now looking forward to it and am beginning to push and challenge myself more.

I’m carefully tracking my progress, logging all the food I eat and getting great information to help me along the way at the Prevention magazine Web site.  I’m feeling encouraged, inspired and successful. Oh, and did I mention lighter? Stay tuned and I’ll give periodic updates on the progress. I’m sure you’ll also be seeing a new post or two from Fat Chick and Henrietta as they bemoan the fact that my diet has become increasing full of chicken and turkey.


A real Mizzou Christmas December 26, 2007

Filed under: My View on Events — auntlelo @ 8:37 pm


As you can see from the photo, we had a pretty black and gold Mizzou Christmas at our house this year. Not pictured is my daughter Annie who got a black and gold purse, but, thought it wouldn’t look as cool if she posed just holding something instead of wearing it.

We had a great holiday. I had a few favorite moments this year, all of them very sentimental:

  • My Mom doing a reading for the Advent service at church
  • Allen volunteering to lead us in prayer at our Christmas morning breakfast and saying such sweet things it almost made me cry
  • Getting to spend time with our grandchildren Aiden, Jill, Allana and Seth
  • Having Bobby, Mark and Annie with me on Christmas Eve for the first time since they were tiny children
  • My Mom volunteering to lead us in prayer at Christmas lunch (for the first time that I can ever remember) and it was amazing
  • My kids following the rules we set and giving something to charity instead of getting gifts for their Dad and me
  • Watching our kids enjoy opening the gifts their Dad made for them
  • Singing with my cousin Kevin at church

I got some lovely things, but, the most lovely were the moments and the memories from the season. Hope all of you enjoyed spending time with your family this year and made them the center of all that you did.


A milestone reached December 14, 2007

Filed under: My View on Events — auntlelo @ 10:16 pm


It seemed like this day would never come, and yet, it seemed like it happened so quickly. Our little Annie has graduated from Mizzou and will be an elementary teacher.

When Mark and I got married, Annie was a tiny little girl, just starting school. When she was in about first or second grade, my husband used to say that someday Annie will be a school teacher. He was right on target. Some people are called to do certain things. Annie has always been a teacher.

I don’t think there is anything more special in the life of a parent than that of watching your children accomplish their dreams. We’re so proud of Annie. She’s been a joy to raise and we’re eagerly awaiting the next chapter in her life. There are a lot of very lucky children out there whose lives will be forever changed because Mrs. Arnone was their teacher.

What a special day! Tomorrow, we watch Annie’s husband, Josh, graduate with honors from the College of Engineering. A busy weekend and a very rewarding one. Annie and Josh will both be going on to graduate school. Looks like there are more graduations in our future!

Congratulations kids!


The sisters +1—the story of our Christmas lunch December 13, 2007

Filed under: My View on Events,My View on People — auntlelo @ 4:40 pm

Each year, I have a lovely Christmas lunch with my 3 sisters and one honorary sister. The honorary sister is an old and dear friend of the family who is male and in his seventies. Why he thinks it’s fun to have lunch with this crazy bunch of cackling hens, I never know. Every year, we seem to also end up with some sort of conversation topic or perfectly quotable statement that seems to stick with us long after Christmas. This year the quote was:

“You wanna buy my Jeep?”

Of course, the next question became “Why, are you buying a new one?”

The honorary sister will soon be the new owner of a silver gray BMW SUV. He is currently tracking it’s progress from factory to driveway online and it seems to be somewhere floating about on the ocean at the present time. He would very much like to sell his Jeep now to make room for the new Beemer in his garage. I wonder if they’ll deliver it with a big red bow on top?

Beyond this conversation, we talked about our Mom’s fear of mice. This conversation led to a discussion about our Grandpa’s pet black snake George who lived in our corn crib. We progressed to more stories about Mom and her aversion to certain animals, like cats. The story about the afternoon sitting on our deck when the neighborhood stray cat leaped onto Mom’s chest, hanging on for dear life and staring her down, nose-to-nose, was told again with lots of giggles to follow.

We had plenty of time for conversation since our very simple lunch of soup followed by salad or a sandwich took it’s time being served. Long story short, the most enjoyable part of this lunch was the conversation and time we had to spend together. We must be getting old. We’re starting to reminisce in the way our parents, aunts and uncles used to do. Hmmm, I wonder if our children are making fun of us like we used to make fun of the “old folks and their old stories?” Probably!

So, the question of the afternoon is this: Do you wanna buy a Jeep? 🙂


My current position on Christmas cards

Filed under: My View on Events,My View on People — auntlelo @ 10:17 am

I’m in a quandary this year about whether or not to invest a lot of time (which I don’t have) and money sending out a big stack of Christmas cards. Each year, the number of cards we receive lessens. Last year, I think we received less than a dozen in the mail. Compared with previous years, it seems that this is an abysmally small number. There are are two or three scenarios that may be considered here:

1. People are no longer considering the sending of paper Christmas cards to be a priority. With the ease of staying in touch all year via phone, email and social networking, a card at Christmas to catch people up on all the great things happening with you and your family just isn’t as necessary. Nobody likes to write anything in longhand anymore.

2. People who used to send us the big stacks of cards were in a different generation and one by one are passing away. Not only are we not receiving as many cards, we’re not sending as many either.

3. People don’t like us anymore and have placed us on their naughty list. I hope this isn’t the case, but, hey, you never know. It’s entirely possible, considering I have a ceramic chicken as my alter ego.

So, do I continue on with this old family tradition, or do the brave thing and just say to all things there is a season and it’s time to with people a Merry Christmas in a new way. What do you think? My current thought is to send cards to a few people I don’t see or talk to much throughout the year and to continue to send a few to elderly family members who get excited when they get a card from one of “the kids.” I think I may have a hard time doing this cold-turkey.

Poll: Are you sending cards this year?