Sunday, December 6, 2009


For my birthday, my husband took me to a concert given by Patrick Ball, world renowned Celtic Harpist and Storyteller at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle Illinois. It was in a small, intimate room, with only around 80 people or so.

I had the chance to speak to him after his show, and he allowed me to play his wire strung harp. I play harp, but I've never played a wire strung harp - only regular nylon strings like on regular pedal harps and folk harps.

With the wire strung, you have to play it with your fingernails. It was quite a challenge, and I did not do a very good job, I'm afraid.

Patrick Ball was phenomenal! I got one of his CDs. It was also phenomenal! I'll be sure to see him again when he returns to the area.


Emily, age 17, in 1996                       Me, age 23, in 1981  

This is a post that I put on the Atkins Community Forum on my birthday:

I have not been able to be on the Atkins Forum a lot lately, and I wanted to explain why to some of you who have been missing me.

A couple of months ago, my husband and I expanded our business, and I have had to devote a significant amount of time getting things set up. It will probably not let up for several more months. I had hoped it would not take as much time as it has been taking, but I guess it is what it is. I hoped that I would only have to cut down a little on my “Forum Time”, but I am finding that I have little if any time to get here with any regularity.

I just want to say that I really miss being here every day and I think about everyone here all the time. I am looking forward to the time that I can be here more often.

I started Atkins on March 15, 2009, and I really feel like this Forum has become my lifeline in very many ways. I have made good friends, and have received so much help in my slow weight loss. I have also felt privileged to be able to extend help to others that have shared my struggles.

Before I go off again, maybe not to be seen for several days, I wanted to share a few personal things with you.

First of all, today is my birthday. I am 54 years old, and I feel great and healthy and slim. So it is a good day.

On the other hand, I have not been having a good holiday season, generally speaking. This year is the 13th Christmas that I have been apart from my dear daughter Emily Rebecca, who was killed on the 4th of July in 1997 in an automobile accident at the age of 18. She had just graduated high school three week before. She was practically perfect in every way, beautiful, giving and sweet natured, and we had an uncommonly close relationship.

I have not talked about Emily on this Forum for many reasons, but mainly because I still struggle so with her loss, and don’t like to bring it up and burden people with the knowledge of that struggle.

My husband and I also struggle with the loss of our 26 year old son, Joe, who died in an accident in 1991. He was my husband’s son and my stepson.

I have also had two babies die in the womb, one in 1976 and another, shortly after my daughter’s death, in 1998.

I also have terminal disease in my family. My grandfather and mother both died young, at 59 and 62 of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. My chances and the chances of my four biological sisters, of contracting this disease are 1 in 2, and if I do get it, it will be in the next few years.

At this point, you may be wondering why I am being such a downer today! I guess it is because I so often feel like an outsider with secrets that are uncomfortable to share, and only the people closest to me know all about me. But I have come to know and love so many people here that I decided to “come clean” and tell you more about myself.

Although I am having a tough time at the moment, and for these past few weeks, I generally try to be upbeat and happy in my daily life, and take great pleasure in my surviving son and my two beautiful grandchildren. I enjoy eating well, being healthy for as long as I can, and my life with my dear husband is good.

So, all that being said, I feel like a weight has been lifted now that I don’t have to pretend that all is always well! Thanks for listening, and I’ll be here as often as I can!


This week I lost 4.4 pounds.
Beginning weight – 143.0 pounds
Ending weight – 138.6 pounds

Here is an average of my daily food intake for this past week:

1670 Calories
121.2g Fat (65.3%)
113.1g Protein
31.7g Carbs
17g Fiber
14.7g net carbs, of which 6.3g came from veggies

I’m sure that I lost because I was getting rid of the Thanksgiving weight from last week.