Friday, March 18, 2011


Blossoms in SacramentoRain, rain, rain.  We have seen SO MUCH rain!  As I write this, the local weather report on the radio is talking about flood advisories for the the Sacramento valley and foothills, and a winter storm warning for the Tahoe area in the Sierra.  Folsom Dam on the American River and Shasta Dam on the Sacramento River are both releasing greater volumes of water to make room for the expected runoff.   The ten day forecast features more of the same. 

One of the reasons we choose to stay at Cal Expo RV Park (click here to read our review) while in Sacramento is the proximity to the 30+ mile bike trail that runs along the American River.  During breaks (or should I say, “during THE break”) in the rain, we’ve enjoyed forays up onto the levee.  Trees are in bloom all along the river and, with the water so high (spreading into places it does not normally go), there is a lot to see on our walks.

Thanks to Weight Watchers, I have been busy while we are stuck inside.  NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, goes into my stomach without being measured (“points” values calculated) and recorded (“tracked”) in my “Ultimate Three Month Tracker”.  Very time-consuming, and it certainly cuts down on impulse snacking!  

To increase the volume of food I get to eat as a Weight Watcher, new recipes (low fat, high fiber) are in order.  No problem - even though we have a small kitchen, I have a large collection of cookbooks.  I enjoy them the way many people enjoy travel guides – a source of pleasure and inspiration that can be enjoyed from the comfort of my lounge chair. 

So, as the rain fell last week, I pulled out a stack of those cookbooks most likely to have weight-loss-friendly recipes, and was thus reminded of one of my pet peeves when it comes to cookbooks: WHERE IS THE NUTRITION INFORMATION??  There oughta’ be a law: no recipes without nutritional information! 

Pink BlossomsYesterday was the day of reckoning, one week since I started the program.  The result?  0.4 pounds lighter.  No, that is not FOUR pounds lighter, it is ZERO POINT FOUR.  Naturally, I wanted something more like TWO pounds (or five)!   Four-tenths of a pound.  Humph!   I know, I know, it’s better than nothing – or gaining!   And Odel?  He is smart enough to keep any weight loss to himself, but I have noticed his jeans drooping.

Thanks to all of you who left comments last week about your experiences with WW, about your favorite substitutes for full-fat mayo, and with suggestions of recipe sites on the internet.  So far, my favorite has been one suggested by my friend Glenda: Gina’s Skinny Recipes at  This is not an official Weight Watchers site, but includes both old Point values and Points Plus values (if you are on WW, you don’t need this translated) on scores of mouthwatering recipes.

Thanks, too, for your well-wishes and encouragement for Odel’s knee surgery.  He has been busy scheduling all the tests that are required pre-surgery: blood work, x-rays, EEG.  We’re registered for the pre-knee-surgery class, and he has a list of medical equipment to track down – including my favorite, a reacher-grabber so he can reach more things without getting up.  We’ll enjoy that for a long time to come.  :)  If all goes as planned, surgery will be 4/4, and he may be able to get by with a partial replacement, rather than a full. 



  1. Oh oh, look out! A guy with a reacher-grabber can be dangerous.

  2. As we shop for our fulltime MH, one of the things I always check is where will I put the cookbooks! I'm happy with electronic versions of most other things, but still like to curl up with a good cookbook every now and then.
    I can relate to the .4lbs weight loss. The wii tracks every little loss or gain. So far my trend is flat... lol

  3. Don't make fun of the reacher-grabber :) Last spring I broke my leg in 4 places. On top of that, I broke my shoulder. So...crutches were not an option. I was stuck in a wheel chair for months and not allowed any weight bearing on leg or arm/shoulder. That whatcha-ma-call-it was a life saver! If you were closer, I'd loan you mine :)I don't use it anymore, but the darn thing was so pricey I kept it for my old age :)

  4. I have tried every diet that exists BESIDES WW -- maybe it's time we give that a try. I'll be checking out some of those recipes on myself:)

  5. Gail and Rick: Odel saw one at CVS for around $20; he said it was a plastic doohicky. Any reason not to go for that one? Seems reasonably priced to us, but without any experience in this arena, I wondered if going cheap is the way to go...

    Any thoughts?

  6. Laurie,
    My hubby is right now ensconced in his recliner, recuperating from a full hip op last week, so I am familiar with the pre-op video, the reacher-grabber, the walker. He's soooo glad he had the surgery. Odel will appreciate his day in the white room too after he heals up.

    And now, back to my own WW march (and I am ALSO at a .4 loss last week!)


  7. the weather here in MS has been amazing. It has set me back on my WW gains/losses. I've been happily stable since August until LA and now MS. Have you checked "Sparks"? great recipes and will calculate the recipe and give you the nutrition information. I have not cooked in 3 weeks and it is showing just in time for meeting Bill's classmates from high school Saturday.

  8. You might be interested in Mastercook Software. I put all my recipes into it's format and then it gives the nutritional information. You can also add ingredients to the ingredients data base so if you use something unusual, you can add it. Also, check out, you can check the value of any food.

    One more site I would recommend for healthy eating is
    Lots of recipes and info here!!

    Hope the rains stops soon!!

  9. I had a cookbook once but threw a big gob of peanut butter on it & ate it. Love the flowers. Sounds like the worst part of the knee surgery is all the stuff leading up to the knee surgery!!

  10. Laurie, I'm not sure about the plastic one, but I'd sure give it a try. Had I known about those before my accident, I probably would have too. Mine was mostly all aluminum. I got it through the PT/OT department at the hospital which is probably why it was so pricey. I'd have to go back into my receipts for the actual price but I know it was way more than $20. I say go for it! Good luck to Odel. He'll be fine.

  11. We picked up a reacher grabber thingee at the hardware store. I can't remember the name, but it has a yellow handle. Less than $20. I think they have them at Lowe's. It helps if the grabber part locks and if it rotates from the handle. Skip the red handled one at wally world. They break too easy! If one of the items on the list is a shower stool, check Lowe's as well. That's where we got ours. Much less expensive than the medical supply places.

  12. Hi Laurie -Just a suggestion, over the years I have bought several gtrabbers and they all broke within a short time; however, I purchased one from Drug Emporium for $23 + tax and have used it for more than a year now. My mother has had both knees and both shoulders replaced and the knees recovered just as they should - the shoulders not so much.

  13. You know what they say about March and April, out like a lion, in like a lamb. Maybe all this rain is the last gasp of the month and then, everything will be smooth sailing after this latest storm. We've been here in San Diego for the past two weeks and the weather has been great, now, rain on the way for the next two days, even some snow in the local mountains. I'll keep Odel in my prayers for a successful surgery...

    Hugs, Sharon & Ron

  14. Here's my best tip for recovery from knee surgery. Put the walker backwards over the toilet before you sit. You can then use it to push up.

    My grabber had suction cups which fell off making it useless. A friend has that yellow handle one Carol & Johnny mentioned and it appears to be the best one.

    My sock assist was a new one that didn't have the Velcro dot. My PT put a dot on it and it helped hold the sock.

    I'm going to check out Gina's Skinny Recipes; thanks for the link.

    Linda Sand


    A good grabber!

  16. So sorry to hear about the .4. It can be so discouraging when you are really trying so hard.
    I am totally with you about the cookbooks and nutritional information. Glad I read Nancy's comment, I'll try that but don't see why I should have to. The cookbooks should have to IMO. :-)


  17. It has been raining heavy here in Australia!! It must be the time of year - all the best with WW and hope the knee surgery goes well - I wonder will Odel need the knee surgery with him losing the weight?

    Looking forward to reading more of your travels.

  18. Very impressed with how dedicated you are! Are we going to see "before" and "after" pics? It would be so much fun!


  19. I can relate to the constant rain and know how old it gets after awhile. Just remember that it has to stop eventually. Enjoy the down time and excuses to be lazy, even if it doesn't exactly help with the WW program.

  20. Hey Laurie, every tenth of a pound counts at our age! It has taken me since July to lose 12 lbs, so I hear you! We love the WW oatmeal cookies and lemon twinkies for dessert! :)

    Good luck to Odel for his knee surgery! As you two love to hike so much, we were in shock he needed knee replacement! Hope he sails through recovery thanks to all of the hiking!
    Kathy & Grant

  21. Good for you two. WW is a good plan. Don't scoff at a slow weight loss, gradual is better, you didn't gain it over night. A good low cal/low fat cook book would be the Engine-2 diet. A fire station that changed their diet for health.
    Take care, Marlene Dopp

  22. Weight Watchers really worked for me in my "former life" but I'm having a harder time sticking with it on the road. I do appreciate the "free" fruit, though and a digital scale to show those tenths is wonderful. Every ounce counts!

  23. When I broke my ankle, I thought the wheel chair and walker were rented from Apria but covered by Kaiser. Check with your PT team.

    Did you check thrift stores for your medical grabers, walkers, etc.? When Luke's mother passed away we donated on that type of "stuff" and they were extremely happy because they are in high demand.

  24. Laurie, have you thought of using Weight Watchers online? Makes logging and counting points so easy!! Also has a handy recipe calculator where you enter any recipe's ingredients and servings and it computes the PointsPlus value per serving. I have never before been successful in any dieting regime but am thrilled to say that 30 pounds are gone from me since Jan. Good luck on your continued losses!! Sorry I'm so late getting this posted. Debbie