Blogging Once Again

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Many of my friends have suggested that I start blogging about our travels and my projects.  So, I decided what the heck.  I completely forgot that after Microsoft abandoned their blog service that my old blog moved over to WordPress.  All of my posts from 2005-2010 are here.  I decided to change the blog name from Monotonous Thoughts to Fun With Lisa.  I just bought the domain name funwithlisa.com to make this easier on everyone.

I plan on covering a little bit of everything, so let the fun begin.

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Hanging out at Fort Frederick in Grenada.

 

AirVenture 2009 – Oshkosh, WI

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Last month Walt and I went to AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  I went into this vacation with the mentality that I was “taking one for the team” by going to a weeklong Experimental Aircraft Association festival.  I felt this way because I am not a pilot, and figured I would be bored out of my mind.  But since Walt loves aviation, I would try to endure a week of this just once.

I my surprise I had a blast at AirVenture!  To wives of pilots everywhere:  You don’t have to be a pilot to have fun at AirVenture. 

During the week I learn all about TIG Welding, putting fabric on a horizontal stabilizer, converting a Corvair engine to an airplane engine, Oshkosh 365, and much more.  The workshops were fantastic!  I was very impressed with the quality of the presenters and the fact that they made aviation interesting to someone with limited knowledge.  I really appreciated that.

Some of the highlights for me were the Virgin Gallatic Eve doing their debut public flight.  That is one sweet aircraft!  I also got to see the Airbus 380, which other than a really hard landing in a crosswind was very impressive.  I plan on posting videos on YouTube in the near future.

The EAA Chapter Presidents reception was very nice in the Ford Tent.  Harrison Ford and Sully Sullenberger were there and spoke for a few minutes.  The event had finger food and an open bar with wine and beer.  That was a nice touch after a long, long day.

We stayed in the dorms at Donner Hall on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus.  The dorm did not have air conditioning and the ladies bathroom was upstairs.  It was ok for the week, but I am really working hard on getting Walt to buy a camper.  Craigslist is becoming my friend in the search for a trailer.  One surprise at the campus was the fact that the student center sold beer and wine in a bar there!  Where was this when I was in college???  Every night the place was filled with “old” people drinking wine.

On Thursday of the trip, it rained.  So we decided to go to Union Star Cheese Factory outside Oshkosh.  We ended up buying 5 pounds of cheese and a package of cheese curds.  We are still eating cheese.  Yum!

Oh, we did run into our friend Jim out there one day…funny to run into someone you know amongst 100,000 other people.

I did have a good time wandering the grounds and checking out the various planes, watching the airshows, and doing workshops.  I brought a couple books to read during the week, but I was having so much fun that I never read a single page.

Lisa Lounsbery

Weight Loss Progress and Shopping

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I can’t believe it has been so long since I have written in my blog!!!  Where the heck did the time go???  This week I hit another milestone, I have lost 50 pounds!  Woo Hoo!  The weight has been coming off slower in recent weeks, but it is still coming off. 
 
I am no longer in plus size clothing which is awesome, but I am finding it overwhelming to shop in regular stores.  I have decided to be methodical about shopping…take it slow, and look through all the racks.  There are just so many more choices now!  Yesterday I did hit the jackpot while shopping.  I found a pair of $100 Ralph Lauren dress pants on super-clearance at Belk’s for $14.37!!!  They are a little snug, but in another week or two they will be fine.  Overall, I wish my sisters and mom were here to help me shop, perhaps I can get the girlfriends to come out with me…
 
– Lisa Lounsbery

First Goal Accomplished!

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My first weight loss goal was accomplished on Thursday.  I lost 5% of my starting body weight!  I am so proud of myselft that I have made it this far.  Now onto 10% of my starting weight.  I decided to have my goals be in 5% increments so that I don’t get discouraged. 
 
My clothes are getting big on me, and I am down a size which is awesome.  I think I need to buy a belt!   
 
– Lisa Lounsbery

How do I love thee…

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Let me count the ways I love Mexican food!  I love it fried, in a tortilla, in a taco shell, grilled, with verde, with queso, with lots of salsa, and many more ways.  The problem is that Mexican Food costs me a ton of Weight Watchers Points (www.weighwatchers.com) !  The horror!
 
I am coming out of the closet and admitting that I am doing Weight Watchers and it’s been successful so far.  One month and I have lost 8.2 pounds!  Woo Hoo on that.  My problem arose with eating out at ethnic restaurants and all the empty calories that go along with it.  You see rice is one of the enemies, so is fried food, fatty cuts of meat, and flour tortillas.  I have been able to find solutions for Chinese and Mexican cuisines.  At the local Mexican restaurant I am ok with a tamale and black beans (no chips!)  I don’t do the fajitas there because I am not willing to give up the points for fatty flour tortillas, sour cream, and cheese. 
 
I love fajitas and have found a way to make a low point (5) version of them.  I found this new wrap called Flatout Flatbread Light http://www.flatoutbread.com/ and it’s the bomb.  It tastes so much better than a plain flour tortilla and it wraps easier since it’s an oval shape.  Everything else in my homemade fajita, except the steak/chicken, is relatively fat free:  Kraft Fat Free Shredded Cheddar, Black Beans, Fat Free Sour Cream, Rotel with Lime and Cilantro, and Chipotle Tabasco Sauce http://www.tabasco.com/tabasco_tent/pepper_sauce/chipotle_pepper_sauce.cfm (which it AWESOME).  And the bonus is that Walt and I both love the Lisa-Mex Fajitas.
 
Since I only go to Chinese buffets and don’t cook that at home, I have learned how to eat at the Golden Wok on Strawberry Plains sensibly.  Simply put, NO RICE, nothing fried.  I can have any of the soups, steam veggies, grilled chicken or lean beef.  I still enjoy having one stuffed mushroom and one pot sticker…moderation is the key on those.  So, at least now I have a game plan when my lunch buddies decide it’s Chinese on Friday.
 
I am happy that I am doing this for myself, but sometimes it does get a little aggravating not to have a Chimichanga or General Tsao’s Chicken…
 
– Lisa Lounsbery

The demise of Zima – Part II

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First, let me state that I am well aware of my obsession with ZIMA, and you do not need to do an intervention. 
 
Good news, I found a suitable ZIMA want-to-be at Food Lion a couple of weeks ago!  It’s so acceptable that I purchased two more six packs this weekend at Walmart.  And the winner of the "Stop Lisa from whining about her dearly departed ZIMA" is:  Smirnoff Black Ice (with a bite of lime).  It’s not exactly ZIMA, but it’s pretty close.  I especially like it with a splash of POM Pomegranite Juice, found in the produce section of the grocery store (http://www.pomwonderful.com/juice.html). 
 
Smirnoff Black is light and crisp.  And unlike the regular Smirnoff Ice, I don’t feel like I ate a pound of potatoes after drinking one.  For some reason, regular Smirnoff Ice sits heavy in my stomach, so I am not that big on it.
 
Well, I am happy with Smirnoff for making a ZIMA knock-off…hopefully they don’t discontinue it…gasp, the horror.
 
– Lisa Lounsbery

Pledge Fabric Sweeper for Pet Hair Review

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For the past week or so I have been seeing the Pledge Fabric Sweeper for Pet Hair ( http://www.pledge.com/fabric-sweeper/ ) commercial on tv (especially on the Food Network).  Having 4 long hair cats, Walt and I decided to pick up the product at Walmart today.  I really wish I had taken a before picture, but I forgot to do that.
 
I tried the Pledge Fabric Sweeper on my love seat that my herd of cats love to sleep on (tons of white belly fur there).  All I did was move the fabric sweeper quickly back and forth and the fur was gone!  This product is brilliant!  I usually spend 30 minutes with lint rollers and a vacuum cleaner to get the fur off that love seat, but Pledge’s Fabric Sweeper did it in under 2 minutes (user errror slowed me down).  I highly recommend that if you have furry pets, to spend the money on this product (less than $5 at Walmart).
 
The Fabric Sweeper is a disposable product that you are suppose to throw out when it gets full.  I decided to see if I could get the fur out and use it again.  The back will not come off the fabric sweeper, but you can (with a little effort) get a finger between the rollers and pull the fur out.  Once you get a little out, the rest comes out easily.  It’s still a disposable product, but you will be able to use it longer if you emply it.
 
Oh, and it’s fantastic getting the fur off of cat trees too!  I definitely recommend Pledge’s Fabric Sweeper for Pet Hair and give it 5 Stars.
 
– Lisa Lounsbery

Friday Lunch with Purchasing

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So, every Friday I go to lunch with my peeps in purchasing and have been doing so for 1.5 years now.  Today’s ride to lunch was exceptionally "interesting".  In the car was Connie (driver), Gene, Tonia, and me (front passenger seat).  The restaurant we were going to was the Three Rivers Pizza and Ice Cream Restaurant on Strawberry Plains.  Connie decided to take the back way (country road from hell) to the restaurant today.  As we were driving along she pointed out a field where an ex-employee had her wreck.  Apparently Juanita was not paying attention to the road since she was looking for lipstick or possibly gum in her purse while driving.  There was a short debate on whether it was lipstick or gum, but it definitely had something to do with the mouth or lips.
 
Anyway, Connie, Tonia, and Gene are all looking at the field and not the road.  Well, I looked at the road and screamed "CONNIE STOP, STOP, TURKEYS STOP!!!!!"  Apparently, it was "TURKEYS" that made Connie slam on the breaks.  10 feet in front of us was a gaggle of wild turkeys (and not the good stuff either).  There were about a dozen of these ugly brown turkeys crossing the road from one farm field to another.  Connie got impatient with their slow speed and blasted the horn at them.  Now, the turkeys are freaking out flapping their wings and don’t know where to go, so Connie keeps honking at them.  Finally they fly into the field and get out of the road.
 
After a good laugh, the native Tennesseans in the car inform me that if we had hit them we could take them home and smoke them…I think they were only half kidding.
 
I will be laughing for days on this experience, oh, the pizza was great!
 
– Lisa Lounsbery

Weekend Warrior

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So, it’s been over a month now since I had my hysterectomy and my energy level is finally back to normal.  Well it was until stupid Daylight Savings hit, but that’s a different story.  Since I was feeling energetic, it was not raining, and the temperature was finally over 50 degrees, I decided to work on the yard Saturday.  I got a bunch of raking done, put landscaping fabric under the front walk, and watched Walt turn into a pyro with the leaves.  Late afternoon I started marking the bushes to be dug up with surveyor ribbon and that’s when the real war began.
 
Anyone familiar with East Tennessee knows that there are two insane vines that grow here with a vengeance.  The first is kudzu (mentioned in previous blogs) and the second is the beautiful smelling God forsaken Honey Suckle.  Like Kudzu, Honey Suckle grows fast and wraps itself around anything in it’s path.  I discovered that it was growing into my hedges.  Untwisting Honey Suckle can be monotonous, but on Saturday it was painful.  The hedges are thorny!  I am still dealing with cuts all over my arms and legs…grr…stupid Honey Suckle.  I am starting to understand why my neighbors where long sleeve shirts and jeans when working on their yards and give me odd looks when I am out there in shorts and a tank top.  I got really odd looks last summer when I used the weed whacker while wearing shorts…OUCH!  What can I say, I am like Eva Gabor on Green Acres.  Thankfully I am starting to get countrified by my co-workers, so maybe there is hope for me.
 
If it does not rain this weekend, I will be back in the yard digging up bushes and hopefully building a new flower bed.  Wish me luck with the thorny bushes…I have two dead ones to dig up.
 
– Lisa Lounsbery