Thursday, September 12, 2013

"Get Out of Dodge"

You've heard that expression often, I'm sure, and maybe even heard Marshall Dillon say it. I've muttered, "Time to get out of Dodge" a lot in the last month, only Dodge for me is not Dodge City, Kansas. Dodge is my kitchen, and there are times I have to get out of it and away from the refrigerator immediately. When I posted that I had been focusing on trying to improve my health [here], so many readers were supportive and followed up with encouraging emails. So I thought I would give you an update and tell you that I was indeed serious abou it and have stuck to this for one month now, not eating any desserts, white flour products, or pasta, and even doing what one of my sisters has been urging me to for years--stop drinking diet sodas. There have been days when I would have paid $10 for a Fresca, but thank you, Jenn.

I have lost 11 pounds this past month.

Do I feel better? Yes. No. Yes. No, depending on what time of day it is, how much sleep I had the night before, whether the fridge is stocked with healthy stuff and a good meal prepared, whether I've had my Quiet Time to pray and read and journal--so many variables. I try not to think about that and just have faith that a year from now I could be feeling much better.

Do I sound a little down about this? If I do, maybe it's because I hit the FaceTime icon accidentally instead of the internet icon when I got ready to write this post. Maybe you, dear reader, like looking at your "live" image on FaceTime or Skype, but I find it a little scary. Who is that woman?

"Sometimes she looked at herself in the mirror and was amazed and troubled
at the placid, wide face, the big body reflected there,
knowing it was not herself,
puzzled that the self could be so at variance with its shell."
Nelia Gardner White in The Doctor's Wife

This post needs some pictures, and I'm not anywhere near ready to show you any of me, so I'll show you what my first reward was. When I had stuck to the new eating plan for two weeks--I refuse to call it a "diet" as I know these are changes I need to stay on the rest of my life or at least until a doctor gives me thirty days to live, in which case just take me to the nearest Dunkin' Donuts, please--R.H. surprised me with my first reward. 

One of my earliest posts on this blog [here] was about wanting to have the red molding between the kitchen and family room, and the French doors, painted white. Instead of the retro red and white kitchen I had originally, I have been changing the colors to go with the pink German contemporary sofa, and pink accessories in the kitchen. One morning recently, R.H. told me he asked Zack to pick up paint for this job and Gurn to do the painting. I couldn't have been happier if he'd given me a diamond ring, seriously. 

Here are before and after pictures that I took hurriedly before the painting began and after it was finished. Not much styling went on at this point but please see if you don't think it looks better now. Honestly, the yellow walls aren't quite as bright as it looks here, but Benjamin Moore didn't name it Yellow Raincoat for nothing. And it's great on dreary days.




[after, with Katie Belle outside the door]

Losing the red molding and red French doors for Benjamin Moore's Decorator White was the best reward R.H. could have given me. Thank you, R.H., and thank you, Gurn!

What is my next reward going to be? When I've lost 15 pounds I am going to treat myself to a lampshade for this sweet lamp base I bought on eBay to go with the old gray and pink majolica Italian fish.

See the darling little pink fish on it? I'd love to have some hints about what kind of lampshade to buy for it. It will need to be a rather conical shape to fit the space, and it won't need to give bright light as I have plenty of that from other sources. So black would work, but is that too much with the black granite countertops?

Well, my goodness, I think I may have cheered myself up a little just from talking about new lampshades. And from talking to you.


  1. Congratulations on sticking with your new eating. I am hoping to begin a healthier eating regime, but I am weak:-(

    The white paint is great. Love it.

    Go with a black shade.

  2. Yes, congratulations on your great loss for one month! You are right, there are so many variables involved. I love the white paint. I especially love the yellow walls and black and white tiles! I vote for a white shade, just because I need more light at night! Have a great day!


  3. Oh, I wish you the best on making these life changes...what I'm up to as well. I've been cooking from Gwyneth Paltrow's "It's All Good" but find that I need to simplify even more. However, I appreciate what I'm learning about foods. In general, I find that it's best if I just eat one small item at a time, something every 2 hours or so from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then spend the rest of the time drinking water and green tea. I've lost only 3 lbs. in two months with 7 to know, those last few pounds gained over 1 year. Trying to make the blood test numbers stay inside the normal bands.
    I vote for a white shade...the lamp has a lightweight look to it and I think a black shade will overwhelm it's slim hour-glass-like figure. Black shades are made for statement pieces in a large living-room setting. Besides, the white shade will continue the new lightening-up effects of the new paint.

  4. Dewena, Good for you losing that weight. I too have been trying to give up things that aren't good for me. I have heard about the diet soda warnings...but I have been drinking them. But I did cut back again.
    I like the white woodwork. It just goes better. Good luck with all you do. xoxo,Susie

  5. Congratulations! I'm not good at decorating, so don't know what to suggest for the cute lamp, but I think the white trim looks great. You're doing such a great job in the "losing" department!

  6. Dewena,

    KUDOS to you for this great achievement! Losing weight is always a challenge, both physically and emotionally, and you have managed to do so well on both these levels! I commend you for being so diligent and determined about avoiding such tempting treats; they're all my weaknesses!

    The excerpt you chose from 'The Doctor's Wife' is, I would guess, one many can relate to, myself included, and, your own 'Skype Surprise' perfectly places that theme in the present. Dewena, you are very pretty, and it 'surprises' me that you don't see THAT aspect of yourself, among so many other engaging characteristics.

    Speaking of pretty, your kitchen is a favourite of mine; it always makes me smile! The beauty of white is so refreshing, clean and crisp. Some find it cold, but I've always thought the opposite. Thus, I choose white for the lampshade, too. Your two school of fish must have been separated at birth; they could be twins! What a perfect complement this lamp is, it's unreal!

    I always love visiting you, but today, sitting at your kitchen table, admiring the changed up views, while we chatted and you shared your exciting news, suddenly, onto that 'Raincoat Yellow' wall, popped an umbrella of happy rainbow hues!


  7. Pretend I am presenting you with a big blue ribbon because you are number one for me. How proud I am of you and your accomplishment. Eleven pounds is a great deal to lose and proves that you mean business. You have put your conviction to the test and overcome the temptation to quit. You are really doing it! I can't wait for pictures. Keep up the outstanding work.

  8. OH! OH! OH!
    on so many levels.
    can't stop grinning here.
    i love your house. i simply love it.
    and the right shade will find you.
    what a fun quest!
    love. XOXOXO healthy sister. love.

  9. Congratulations Dewena.I've been on the journey since June. I feel better already and the icing on the to speak, was the encouragement from the Doc when I had my check up last week. BP is down already. I had not been to the doctor since May. I reward myself now and then. I am really trying to keep up with it. So far, so good.
    You are doing great!!

  10. I've let my belt loops out too much lately. It's time for me to get a new eating plan.

  11. Wow Dewena, congratulations on the healthy eating:-) I know exactly how hard it is...Luis and I constantly struggle to not eat the same as you, and we feel so much better, but then my mom will bring fresh bread or something. You are right it is an ongoing thing, but I just laughed at loud at the 30 days to live comment!! I will say all my blood test numbers are excellent when I leave out sugar, bad carbs, etc., so it's worth it for me. Love your trim and doors painted too! And the lamp...just perfect. I just covered two small lamp shades today with burlap. They were white, so the burlap just tones down the bright light. Thank you SO much for your comment today about the little house:-) It really meant a lot...

  12. Great job Mom on your plan so far. It's made me try to eat better things too. At first I was worried the red would be hard to cover but that good primer and two or was it three coats of paint did the trick. For the shade, how about something with a Star Trek theme? Ha.

  13. Hi Dewena, I love the color changes you made. Now, I also loved the red, because I am a "red" person, but I think the white makes it all look fresher. And, I want to wish you good luck with your healthy eating.

  14. How cute!!! I love the lamp. What a wonderful find! I think a black shade would be a good choice because it would enhance the outline of the fish! :D

    I agree with Amy....I'm a red person, but the white trim does look better.

    I can't wait to see what shade you choose for your adorable little lamp!


  15. The trim looks great and the lamp is cheerful and cute. Congratulations on sticking to your plan. Funny, you would mention DD as I treated myself to 1 pumpkin glazed donut this week. You really can eat whatever you want if you find the balance and practice control. I have been using the LOSEIT app on my phone and computer. It does help to keep track of everything you eat. I don't stress about it, it's more like a game to me and most days I WIN! You can even keep track of how many calories you burn in exercise and it adds them back in for you. Exercise makes all the difference. And good for giving up the diet drinks...they are bad, bad, bad for you. Keep up the good work. Your body will reward you for it.~

  16. Way to go on the dietary changes!

    Your new white doors and trim look great. The painter did a fine job; wasn't easy covering up red with white!

  17. Good for you! I keep trying to cut out all sweets and I keep failing. Maybe because I'm away from home, I don't know. But I've done it in the past and I know I can do it again!


  18. Congratulations on your weight loss! That's wonderful, and the freshly painted white trim is a great reward for eating healthy. The trim looks like it would brighten up the spaces. I have to say that those Majolica fish plates are incredible! I've never seen any like that, and the lamp is perfection with those plates. Who would have thought you could find a lamp with pink fish on it? I try to take a lamp with me when I'm buying a lampshade, so I can try it on before I bring it home. Otherwise, I always ask if the shade can be returned if it doesn't work out. At the rate you're going with your healthy eating, I'm sure you'll be shopping for a shade soon. Good luck! laurie

  19. Congrats on changing your health! It's always hard to replace habits. Love your place! And I love your yellow walls! I have them in my kitchen and I'm totally in love with the feeling they bring.

  20. Good for you! Keep focusing on healthy things - like lampshades!

  21. I'm very proud of u mom!! You're doing great!! I think u are the most beautiful mom in the world! I'm just so happy that you're eating healthier because I want u to live to be 100! Love u mom!!!


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