I hope you enjoy my blog...if you do, please "follow" me! XOXOXO...BettyShmetty

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Help me pick a new hairstyle...Please!!

I haven't cut my hair in 2 years.  It is getting very long.  I always wear it in a ponytail, which is fine and looks nice for work, but it gives me a headache.  I am thinking of cutting it into a long bob like this...


Of course, you have to imagine the cut on me, not Gwyneth.  I do not have super straight hair and I don't think she does either so this might work.  Or this...


I think this one is super cute, but this is a slim and petite girl too.  This one has lots of layers which is nice and a sort of side bang thing going on that I like.  Or what about this one?


I think Jessica's hair is thick like mine and I can style mine this straight.  Again, this one has no bangs.  This next one has bangs...




I think this is really adorable and I can probably pull it off with the styling, but, again, should I get the bangs?  If I was really skinny and had straight hair, I would do this...


She's so gorgeous!  Again, I really like the bangs (especially above the eyebrows like that!!) but don't know if it's quite right for me at my age.

What do you think?  I could really use some help here!!  Please comment with your opinion.  Once I have decided and get the cut, I'll post a picture. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tonight's dinner conversation...horny squirrels and sex partners

Photo credit

As you all know, we are sometimes prone to rather colorful dinner conversations around here.  Tonight's...

As Jack was telling me about the protagonists in a movie he was watching, I suddenly remembered the squirrels I had seen while walking Russell an hour before.

Me:  Oh!  I forgot to tell you guys about the mating squirrels I saw earlier!  (That quickly got their attention and it was quiet as all eyes turned to me.)

Kurt:  Mating squirrels?

Me:  Yeah!  The girl squirrel jumped on the tree in front of us (Russell and me) and then the boy ran after her.  She twitched her tail a few times and then he jumped on her back!  (I'm smiling as I tell it...it's funny and I can't help it.)

Kurt:  You know, that story reminds me of when we made these two guys (nudging his head towards the boys).  You twitched your tail and I jumped on your back!

Me:  You mean the TWO times we had sex and conceived these guys?

Kurt:  Yeah.

Jack:  Yeah, and daddy said, "That's the signal, green light!  Go!" (as he made a humping motion)

Jack:  All of this brings a question to my mind, Dad.  How many people...

Me:  (thinking)  Wow, there are so many possibilities of things that one could insert in there, he wouldn't possibly ever ask how many people his dad ever had sex with.

Jack:  How many people...have you been sexually engaged with?

Me:  (Looking at Kurt)  Oh my gosh!  You know, I thought about that ending to that question, but as I sat here and thought of all the possibilities for filling in the end of that sentence, I just KNEW that wouldn't be the question that would come out of his mouth!

Kurt:  (Choking on his food)  I know!  I thought of it too, but really didn't expect him to ask that!  You are the one (pointing at me) that started this!

Me:  I did not!

Kurt:  Yes you did, you were talking about horny squirrels.

Me:  No, I just told a story of the mating squirrels I saw.  You are the one that turned it into a comparison on how we conceived our children!  It's your fault!

Jack:  Well???

Me:  Just each other.  (The kids looked like they didn't even come close to buying that, but I really am not ready for that conversation.  You know, the one where the kids discuss your number and whether or not you fall into this category or that.  No, I am really not ready for that.  Better for them to just keep hearing that you wait for your one true love and that there really IS a Santa and a Tooth Fairy and an Easter Bunny.)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Confessions of a working (outside of the home) mom.


First of all, let me say this, I get that being a mom is a job all by itself.  I have been doing it since my kids were born (obviously) and working on and off in between.  I have run my own design business in the last few years, but that was part-time at best since the economy tanked.  I have said many times that being a stay-at-home mom is a tough job that you don't get paid money for.  You definitely get payoffs, but they are not monetary.

I have gone back to full-time, outside of the home work as a police officer.  I am still responsible for my other job as well.  I am enjoying the police work tremendously.  It is satisfying and it also rewards me with a paycheck every two weeks.  I have received two so far!  Here's the thing though.  My other job has been suffering in the transition.  I have come to the realization that I am not able to do everything like I used to.  Here is a list of the areas I am deficient in at the moment...(consider this my counseling statement to myself)...

1.  My house is no longer clean.  There is dog hair and dust everywhere.  Plus?  My kids' bathroom smells like a urinal...GROSS!

2.  I no longer cook meals every night.  Kurt has definitely been picking up the slack here, but there have been many nights when I have opted to pick up KFC or Mickey D's rather than cook.

3.  I have not been on top of my kids about their homework.

4.  I go to bed nearly two hours before my kids on most nights.  I have been getting up at either 4 or 5 a.m. and by 7:30, I am toast.  I just can't keep my eyes open.  I'm in bed by 7:30 and lights out by 8:00.  Pathetic, I know.

5.  My kids have to get themselves up and ready for school in the mornings with NO ONE HOME!  I no longer cook them a hot breakfast each morning.  My poor, neglected children now eat a bowl of cereal instead of eggs.  Then they get themselves dressed, walk the dog and lock the house as they leave.

6.  I have not been taking my son to the batting cages every day.  Again, with the work schedule and the busy zone I work in, I am exhausted at the end of the day.  Jack's hitting has suffered because of this.
**Side note, I did take him this past week (I've been working on this post for 2 weeks...do you see a pattern of behavior here??) and today at his game, he hit a home run with 2 RBI's!  See?  He really needs to hit those cages so he can do well!

7.  I haven't been working out.  Or even watching what I eat.  Some days, I don't even get to eat because I am so busy, but then I make up for it when I get home...ugh!  I keep intending to start over tomorrow.  I'm definitely starting over tomorrow!

8.  I have a very short fuse these days.  In other words, I am frequently a bitch to all of the male species living in my house.  Sorry Guys!  Mommy is trying to adjust!

There you have it.  I am a slacker in the mommy department.  I am trying to improve.  One thing is certain though, I do love getting that pay check every two weeks and also, I love my job and the people I work with.  It's all exhausting, but it is still good.  I will get better at doing all of this, I promise.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Props to the hubby!

Part of the reason I have been a little uptight lately about returning to work has been my concern about how I am going to be able to keep up with everything I already do and adding a full-time job to that list.

Yesterday was my first day back to work.  While I was gone, Kurt did the grocery shopping (I didn't even have to ask him to do it!)  He did a load of laundry.  He cooked dinner.  The kids did the dishes.  Kurt helped Lee with his homework while I helped Jack. 

A successful first day all around.  Clearly, it has to be a team effort to make this work and I am pleasantly surprised to find that I am on a team that is working together.

So, in case you see this, thanks Babe!

Monday, October 17, 2011

I'm getting paid to do this???


So today was my first day at my new job. It was so great! I got to shoot...I learned a new technique for speed and accuracy. I was placing a bullet right between the target's eyes at 7 feet away, from a brand new security holster that I wasn't familiar with, in one second! I still got it!

The Chief came in and spoke to us about our jobs in the schools prior to swearing us in. It felt good to know, once again, what an impact I can have on a kid's life with this job.

I had a great time seeing some old friends and getting to know some new ones. Four other officers were hired with me. As cops will do when placed in a room together, we immediately started making jokes about each other and having fun at each others' expense. We got a little rowdy with our laughter. It really was great! (I know I keep saying the word great, but it really was.) I can't believe I got paid to have so much fun today. And I get to do it all over again tomorrow :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

What do burritos, special sauce and puberty have in common?


Monday night's dinner conversation, of course!  We were talking about Jack's performance at yesterday's baseball games.  He was the catcher for the second game of the double header and he did a great job.  He even threw the team's first out at second while a runner was trying to steal second from first.  He had 4 singles and a double with a total of 4 RBI's...like I said, he did a great job.  I was saying how good he looked behind the plate.  (We have been getting Jack extra coaching with a former pro-ball catcher in order to improve his game.)  I said he looked very athletic and had a lot of endurance.  I just told him he needs to improve his upper body strength a little more to catch up with his lower body.  He said he needed to work out more.  Lee informed him that he wouldn't really see much more improvement in the upper body strength until he reached puberty (because Lee is clearly an expert in the matter, being there himself.)  As Jack was jumping in to say he IS in puberty, Lee corrected himself to say that he meant Jack would improve when he got further along in the whole puberty thing.

As I was sitting there listening (having been working on a very stiff rum and diet soda) I stupidly asked, "How do you know when you are in puberty?"

Silence...

Lee:  "Pimples, voice cracking and stuff."

Jack's response was to grin and say, "Well, I'd rather not say during dinner."

To which I relplied, "Well, why not?"

Jack: "Because I'd rather talk to dad about it since he has the same thing as me."

And I said (it was the alcohol talking, I'm telling you) "I'm very familiar with the equipment, you know.  How do you think you came along?  I birthed you from my loins and I'm very familiar with the equipment that helped you get there in the first place.  Right?"  (Looking at Kurt who, to his credit only shook his head and started to chuckle.)

Kurt: "Maybe we should wait till after dinner.  I 'm not sure I want to hear this right now."

Jack: "But we're talking about burritos...and special sauce!"

Me:  "I know all about burritos and special sauce."

Jack:  "Is that true dad?"

Kurt:  "She knows more about the special sauce than I do."

Jack:  "Would you like some chicken with that?"

Lee (in a deep Southern accent):  "Chiggin nuggets!"

Which cause my boys to crack up and me to pause and say, "You know, I was wondering what I was going to blog about tonight.  Now I know."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I received the Versatile Blogger Award!


Ok, I know I am a complete dork, but I'm pretty excited to tell you that a fellow blogger, Shar from Life Reinvented in Phoenix gave me the Versatile Blogger Award!  I'm not really sure exactly what it means, but I think "The Prize Patrol" is on their way over to give me a million dollars, so I have to straighten up the house real quick.  Before I do that though, I'm supposed to tell you guys 7 things about myself and then choose another blog (or two) to pass along the award to.  Here goes:

1.  My favorite snack growing up was a peanut butter and ketchup sandwich.  Don't ask.

2.  I kissed a girl when I was 8 years old.  She was a neighbor in Homestead, FL and she and her sister thought it would be a great idea to practice kissing with my sister and I.  We practiced french kissing.  I don't remember her name.  Anna, do you remember their names???  By the way, I think she is the reason I am a pretty good kisser now ;)

3.  I drink my coffee black with a little sugar.

4.  I love watching NFL football games on Sundays.  I have about 8 teams on my radar that I enjoy keeping up with.

5.  I have a small collection of roosters and hens.  I only collect really special ones.

6.  The gypsy in my blood (I don't think I have real gypsy, just the urge to travel and wear old, odd or questionably mixed patterns from time to time) makes me want to go.  We are pretty stable here.  Same house for the last 8 years and before that, same house for 9 years.  I want stability for my kids because I didn't have it, but I am craving instability for myself right now.  I am feeling the urge to mix it up, take a trip, run away, get lost for  a little while.

7.  This is not the first award I ever won.  I once received "Officer of the Month" for tracking down a man who had kidnapped a woman in Palm Beach.  I worked day and night for 2 weeks on that case and eventually found the man and arrested him.  True story.

Well, there you have it.  7 things that (I hope) you didn't know about me until today.  Please go visit Shar at her blog Life Reinvented in Phoenix.  She is doing a fantastic job of helping her family settle in to their new home in Phoenix after her husband lost his job in California and they had to give up their home.  Her story is a scary sign of the times and.  Instead of being defeated about their situation, they are reinventing themselves, career, home and all in Phoenix and are doing a great job so far.  Go see for yourself!

I am passing this award along to Natalie at My Blog Is Boring because she is anything but.  She writes about all kinds of things and because I am schizophrenic like that...well, I like that!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The morning after



Last nigt, in a fit of bad judgement, I published a blog entry.  The content in and of itself wasn't so terrible (maybe questionable is the right word here), it was the state I was in...I wasn't fit to properly judge good blog material last night.

I was tired last night.  Bones-aching, eye-blinding tired.  Kurt had gone to bed and the kids wanted to play a video game on the living room television.  I wanted to watch a movie and veg.  I told them I would choose a movie on Netflix.  They moaned and rolled their eyes because I always choose "stupid movies." 

I scrolled through and saw Wierd Science on the list and that was it.  I told them we would watch a movie from when I was 21.  They moaned louder and said they didn't want to watch an "old movie."  I won the battle and turned the movie on.  In my ultra-worn-out brain, it was the funniest thing I had EVER seen.  Seriously, I was laughing out loud with tears rolling down my cheeks.  At one point, I had to excuse myself to go pee or have an accident on the couch.  The kids were laughing too and I felt like a complete success! 

Truly, when I saw the bar scene I published on my blog last night, I almost peed my pants from laughing.  My kids were in stitches.  I had the laptop in front of me and was staring at a blank "new post" page and thought, "I'll do a post on the funniest movie ever, because this is the funniest movie EVER!"

There you have it.  I woke up this morning, freshly rested and remembered my post from last night.  I come before you now with my tail tucked between my legs and ask for your forgiveness.  My judgement was impaired.  And forgive me, but even in my current state of having more brain cells at my disposal, I have to say, that movie was funny.  In fact, it was damn funny.  I just probably shouldn't have posted it on my blog...not one of my more stellar writing accomplishments. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Wierd Science...funniest movie ever!

Tonight, I convinced my boys to watch "Wierd Science" on Netflix.  Oh my gosh!  It's just as funny as when I saw it in 1985!  This is one of the funniest scenes...the bar scene where Gary is talking about "this crazy 8th grade bitch" he had a crush on:


Damn funny!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I have a start date for my new job!!!

Source
Okay everyone...I have a start date for the new police position!  I will be starting October 17th.  I had orientation today to go over the benefits and boring stuff and am now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel...in about another month, I am not going to lose sleep over paying the bills every month!

I am fully aware of how fortunate I am to have found a job in this economy.  I have never, in the 24 years since I started working in law enforcement, seen the lack of jobs and layoffs that I have seen in the last year.  It truly is shocking when you think about it.  When the economy is down, crime usually goes up to a certain extent.  That has always meant plenty of job security for police officers.  That is just not the case now.  Since property values have dropped, municipalities and county governments don't have the budgets they used to have and they are cutting police positions.  Meanwhile, police academies are still cranking out newly trained officers who don't have jobs waiting for them.

So I am thankful. I am thankful to have the chance to add to my family.  I am thankful I am still so able.  I am thankful to have found a job doing something I am good at.  I am thankful I found a job that will work for my family.  I am just thankful.  That's all.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

There's nothing dignified about peeing in a cup.


Today, as part of my pre-employment physical for the school police, I had to submit to a drug test.  It's not the first one I have ever done, but it certainly was the most memorable.

I know that there are people out there who have to take drug tests who are also regular users of drugs they shouldn't be taking.  Said people probably use lots of methods to try to pull one over on these testing folks.  They (testers) are probably trained to be suspicious of everyone.  Did I ever tell you that when I first started in law enforcement back in 1983 I was a corrections officer in the Orange County Jail booking office?  Well I was.  I know all about suspicious peeing.  I had to watch people pee all the time...not a pretty sight.  Prisoners have no privacy when it comes to bodily functions, especially if they just got arrested.  Corrections officers are supposed to make sure that the newly arrested dirt bag citizen is not trying to smuggle something in or flush contraband down the commode.  I'm sure these pee testers probably feel just as suspicious of those of us taking a drug test.  It's just not a nice procedure.

Apparently, one of the methods reluctant pee-ers use is to scoop toilet water from the commode into the cup.  Another must be to just use plain old tap water.  Still another might be to smuggle clean contraband pee into the restroom and empty it into the cup.  Hence my experience today...

First, the nurse had me lock my handbag into a little locker so that I wouldn't have anything in my hands (nor be able to sneak in contraband pee.)  I then followed her to the bathroom, where she told me to wash my hands.  As I was doing so, she dropped a blue dye tablet into the toilet and handed me the cup to pee in.  She told me to fill it to the black line and then open the door and hand it to her.  She told me I had 4 minutes to complete the task.

"Wow" I thought, "Four minutes is a lot."  I mean, do people really need 4 minutes for this?  I can't imagine!  If you find you can't pee after a few seconds, how is it going to get any easier?  I then proceeded to place strips of TP onto the seat so I wouldn't have to hover while trying to hit the cup.  (I really am not comfortable hovering under the best of circumstances...throw in the pressure of performing and forget about it.) 


After a little miss and dribbling onto the edges of the cup, I filled it to the line and sat it on the sink and then finished.  After standing up, I wanted to clean the outside of the cup because it was wet.  I went to turn on the water and there was none.  I was a little thrown by this.  I tried again...WTF??  Then it hit me that she must have turned off the water.  Suddenly, I couldn't remember if I was supposed to pee then hand off or pee then wash then hand off?  I wondered what the nurse who was standing outside was thinking...was I taking too long?  Were the sounds I was making suspicious?  Damn!  I was glad I had already peed because I was getting stressed out and might not have been able to relax enough to let it out if I had really thought about it! 

Back to the hands...since I had already put soap on my hands in order to wash them, I had to get a paper towel and wipe off the soap and then just try to dry the container before opening the door and finding the nurse standing by the door.  I sheepishly handed her the cup and apologized for the fact that it was damp.

I then saw her flip a switch outside of the door and she said, "You can wash your hands and flush the toilet now."

I felt really gross...like a criminal.  I washed my hands and then used a paper towel to open the door to walk out.  I didn't want to touch the handle again since I knew that other people with urine on their hands had done the same thing.  I couldn't figure out how to flush the toilet so she had to flush it for me.

It was a very UNdignified experience for me, but at least it's over.  Have any of you had a drug test lately?  Did you find it as unnerving or embarrassing?  I swear the last time I had to do it, which was only 2 years ago, it wasn't like this!  The nurse just gave me the cup and sent me into the bathroom without my purse and asked me to bring her the urine sample when I was done.  No water shut off and no blue dye.  Is this the new thing???

Monday, October 3, 2011

My tiny house fantasy...

Sometimes, in my imagination, I live in a tiny little house.  My tiny house is tucked near a stream on a little piece of country heaven not too far from a little town where everyone knows everyone else.

Here's a picture of my little dream house:

Tumbleweed Tiny House - Bodega
My little slice of heaven is about 350 square feet and has only the things that I need and love...nothing else.  It is decorated with well-loved and worn vintage furniture. 

My tiny house is surrounded by a garden of wild flowers.  Sometimes I pick them and put them in a pretty vase on the little desk where I am writing my book.

Music is always playing in my tiny house...G Love, Jason Mraz and Led Zeppelin to name a few of my favorites.  Sometimes I play the music really loud and dance around.  I don't own a TV, but I have a hundred books.  Sometimes I read my favorite books over and over.  If I wait at least a year, I can't even remember the story, so it works out nicely.

I live in my little house alone.  My husband and kids live in town and I visit them when I want to.  Sometimes, I invite them to my little house, but when they start to annoy me, I ask them kindly to go home and they do.  We all get along great!

You know what I love most about my little house?  I love the freedom I feel when I am there. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

In The Kitchen With BettyShmetty Sunday Brunch Edition...Light and Fluffy Belgian Waffles



This recipe is one that my sister-in-law Cindy gave me while we were in Georgia.  Because I am trying to eat healthier and add more protein to my and my boys' diets, I add protein powder and ground flax seeds to the original recipe.  Cindy uses a mix of whole wheat and all purpose flour for her version.  I would have done that too, but I didn't have whole wheat flour on hand today.  I also use water or rice milk in place of the milk the recipe calls for.  When I made the waffles today, I used water and my boys could not taste the difference...everyone wins!  Here's the recipe:

LIGHT AND FLUFFY BELGIAN WAFFLES

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 scoops protein powder
2 egg yolks
1 3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil (or light olive oil)
2 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/4 cup wheat germ (or ground flax seeds)

In a large bowl, stir four, baking powder, wheat germ/ground flax seeds, pinch of salt, protein powder.  Separate eggs.  In a small bowl, beat egg yolks with a fork.  Beat in the milk and oil.  Add this to the flour mixture all at once and stir until blended but still lumpy.  In another small bowl, beat the egg whites with a mixer until they are stiff and then fold them gently into the batter.  Don't try to completely incorporate them, some egg whites will still be visible after you are done folding them in.

While you are mixing the batter, heat the waffle iron.  Spray with a non-stick spray.  I use a 1 cup measuring cup to add the batter to the waffle iron.  An almost full cup is about the perfect amount to make the waffles and not have it spill out the sides of the iron.  When the indicator light says ready, remove the waffle and place it on a cooling rack.  I use the same type of rack that bakers use for cooling cakes.  This way the waffles won't get soggy while you continue cooking.

Ingredients assembled prior to mixing

I use whey protein powder because it doesn't bother my stomach like soy mixes.  You can use whatever you like.

Dry ingredients added to bowl prior to mixing

Stir them together

Separate the eggs

Add the other wet ingredients to the yolks and mix together

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir

Fold in the beaten egg whites gently

Scoop out the mix by the cupful onto a hot waffle iron


Cool the waffles on a rack so they don't get soggy

Enjoy!  I like to add sliced bananas and pecans or sometimes just some natural peanut butter.

I set a pretty table for the boys.  It was a special occasion...I hadn't cooked breakfast for them in a week because I have been so busy.





Since I set such a fancy table with vintage cloth napkins and all, Jack decided he should dab, not wipe!

I think they liked them ;)



Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dear BettyShmetty Readers,

I know I have been remiss in staying in touch.  No, I did not drop off the side of a cliff.  I, like so many of you out there, have been feeling like I have been spread a little too thin lately.  It's the same old story, too many things to do and not enough hours in a day.  I have been sacrificing sleep and time with the family to get things done.  My blog has been on my mind, but it's low on the priority list lately, because it really is a luxury for me to write.


I have been trying to wrap up a couple of projects (decorating) and get things in order so that when I go back to work full time, we won't fall apart.  I'm not sure how it's all going to work out yet, but I think we'll figure it out.  I have many friends who do it and manage just fine.  I almost took the time to blog while I was doing a lamp makeover for a client the other day, but by the time the though crossed my mind, I realized I hadn't taken any photos of the project, so what fun would that be?  A project without photos?  No way!  The lamp turned out beautiful...I bought two lamps at Salvation Army for $10 each and then took them apart, re-wired, painted and put new shades on them.


I feel very blessed indeed!  I have 2 police departments that want to hire me.  With the extreme lack of law enforcement jobs out there (at least in this area) I am lucky to have an opportunity at all.  I just heard the other day that there are 90 applicants for 10 auxiliary police officer positions here in Jupiter.  All of the applicants are fresh out of the police academy.  These applicants are applying for a non-paying police position in the hopes of one day being hired full time.  Ninety!  There just aren't any jobs because departments all over this area are cutting back on positions and not filling openings when people leave or retire.

I am pretty confident I'll be starting the school police officer position near the middle of October.  What a relief it will be to start collecting a regular pay check.  With the expenses involved with sports and the bills piling up, it will be nice to actually contribute to the family income.  Having that steady income will definitely change things for us.  We won't be upgrading our standard of living, just maintaining it without the stress of worrying about the bills every month.  In fact, the plan is that every single dollar I make will go to pay off the mortgage.  We hope to have that accomplished in under 5 years. 

Some people don't think it's smart to pay off the mortgage on your primary residence, but I just don't understand that kind of logic.  Doesn't it just FEEL better not to owe the bank $220,000?  Maybe it's just me, but I am thinking debt free is the way to go.  So what if I won't have a tax deduction on my income taxes?  I'm still living better without debt.  We are not people who own new cars or wear expensive clothes.  We're pretty simple.  In fact, I'd say we are somewhat frugal (well, maybe just compared to our neighbors, but still...)  I don't mind driving my 7 year old car (or Kurt's 10 year old truck for that matter) because it's paid off.  I love not having a car payment.  I can't wait to not have a house payment.

By the way, if you are so inclined, please say some prayers for a couple of important people in my life.  My step-brother Brad has a bad infection in his foot and ankle.  The doctors are pretty sure they are going to have to amputate it and are trying to be able to save his leg.  He is only in his 30's and is a hard worker and a good guy, husband, son and brother.  Please pray for healing.  Shoot, just go ahead and pray for a miracle that his foot and ankle are completely healed!  Also, my good friend (who also happens to be my most amazing seamstress) got some bad news this morning.  Her 19 year old niece was killed in a car crash late last night.  She was a passenger in a car where the driver had been drinking and turned in front of another car.  Other people were injured in that crash as well.  Keep her family in your prayers and the other injured folks as well.  Finally, pray for my sister Anna who has some stuff going on with her health and personal life as well.  I'm hoping she makes it back home to Florida soon, cause I really miss her.

Thank you for checking in.  I hope to get better at keeping up with this blog and my new life as a full time working mom with two busy boys. 

Oh, and by the way, I am still managing to squeeze in the workouts and am still doing well with the eating plan.  I haven't weighed myself, but I feel better and my clothes are fitting better too.  Just thought you should know.

Love, BettyShmetty

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Weight training without a gym...upper body workout


Before I show you what I am doing, I highly recommend that you read the Body for Life book.  It explains everything much more clearly than I can.  It is very motivational too.  I am re-reading it and it is really helping me fully buy in to the program once again.  I can't stress enough how important that part is.  You have to understand what to do and believe in your mind that you can do it and WANT to do it.  Otherwise, you are wasting your time. 

Here is the upper body workout I will be doing for the next month.  According to the Body for Life program, you alternate workouts like this:
Monday - upper body
Tuesday - cardio
Wednesday - lower body
Thursday - cardio
Friday - upper body
Saturday - cardio
Sunday - free day

As you can see, you work a body area about every 5 days.  This allows time for your muscles to recover from being sore and also to get stronger.  Nearly every time you work out on this program, you will notice that you get a little stronger each time if you do it by the book...again, read the book!

Probably the best time to exercise is in the morning, but yesterday, I didn't have time in the morning.  I did this last night while everyone ate dinner (I ate later).  I happen to have a complete set of dumbbells in my garage.  I bought them used many years ago and they have been gathering dust.  In fact, one of my missions for today is to clean up the equipment so I can get to it and use it easier.  If you don't have dumbbells, I am sure you can google other ways to do upper body exercises.  These are just what I will be doing.  Of course, if you have a gym membership, that's even better!! When you do these sets, you will rest for about 1 minute between each set.  For example, do your first set of 12 reps and then rest one minute, then do your next set of 10 reps and so on.

The wall push ups I did started out very much like this and then as I did more sets, I backed my feet further from the wall and then used the front of my car and then got on the ground for the final sets.  I did 5 sets total.  12 reps the first time, then made the exercise a little harder (simulating adding weight) by backing my feet further out and did 10 reps.  Then I did 8 reps and then 6.  My final set was back at the position I did the 8 reps at before and I did 12 this time.  I immediately followed that last set with this:


Using a 5 pound dumbbell, I did bench flies.  I did 12 reps.  It's important to do all of these exercises slowly and deliberately so you are not just throwing the weight around.  You don't get any benefit out of that.  When I was finished with this exercise (the one set) I was finished working my chest muscles.  Next came back.


I chose to do bent over dumbbell rows.  For my first set of 12 reps, I used a 5 lb. weight.  The set of 10 reps, I used 6.5 lb weights.  For the set of 8 reps, I used 8 pounds and the set of 6 I used 10 pounds.  I then picked the 8 pound dumbbells back up and did my set of 12 reps and then immediately went to the next exercise:


Bent over lateral raises.  For this one, I used the 5 lb. weights and was very strict about my form.  Getting your back muscles is tricky.  You really have to contract them when you do the exercise and it doesn't take much weight, especially at the beginning.  When I completed the single set of 12 reps of this one, I was done with my back.  Next came shoulders:

This exercise is called a military press.  I used very light weights for this one.  You will feel it!  Again, first set is 12 reps and I used 2 lb. weights.  Next set 10 reps, I used 5 lb.  Next set 8, I used 6.5 lbs.  Next set of 6, I used 8 lbs.  I then used the 6.5 lb weights to do my final set of 12 reps and then immediately followed that with:


Shrugs.  This is a very simple exercise that you can do.  I used my 8 lb. dumbbells and did 12 reps.  I was then finished with shoulders and moved on to biceps.


This photo shows a "hammer curl".  It's called a hammer curl because you hold the dumbbell like a hammer to do the exercise.  It's just one of many different ways you can hold the dumbbell when you are doing bicep curls.  The important thing to remember when doing any type of curl is to not let your arms relax at your sides between reps.  See the first picture of the guy?  See how his arms are still slightly raised up?  This keeps the muscle from relaxing between reps and makes the exercise more effective.  You will feel the difference when you do it right, your arms will get tired quicker and that's a good thing!  Do the sets the same as you did the other exercises.  First set 12 reps, then increase the weight slightly for each of the following sets while dropping the number of reps, 10, 8 and 6.  When you get to your final set of 12 reps, go back to the weight you used for the set of 8 reps.  Then immediately follow that with another set of 12 reps with your hands turned in another direction (for example, instead of the hammer curl, do the traditional curl with your fist pointing upwards) and this will be your final set for biceps.  Triceps are the final upper body exercise.
 


I like bench curls for triceps.  The illustration above shows how to do it.  If you don't understand the illustration, go to youtube and look it up.  It's very simple and you can do it using your couch or a chair or a weight bench.  Do the exercise in the same way you did the others, sets of 12, 10, 8, 6 and then 12 again.  As you go down in the number of reps, move your feet a little further away from the bench to get more resistance.  Follow this exercise with this one:


Tricep extensions.  use a light weight and be sure to hold your elbows in toward the side of your body, pointing straight up to the ceiling in order to get the tricep muscle.  Do one single set of 12 reps and you are done!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Overcoming

Today I had to take a psychological test in order to get hired for the police position I want.  I have taken several versions of this test over the years.  It is very long and grueling...about 4 straight hours of answering the same 200 or so questions worded 5 or 6 different ways for a total of about 1000 questions.

The test is designed to weed out those who won't fit into a law enforcement career.  It picks up whether you are lying, defensive, compulsive, obsessive, criminal, violent or a combination of all of the above.  The only way to take the test is to decide beforehand to answer every single question honestly.  Even the ones that ask whether you like poetry or Alice in Wonderland. 

I have always wondered what it might mean to the psychologist reviewing my answers that I do like poetry (especially if someone is writing it to me) or that I don't really care for Alice in Wonderland?  Does it mean I am too introspective or soft to be a cop?  Does not liking poetry fit the position better?  What about the fact that I sometimes prefer spending time by myself?  Does it mean I'm anti-social?  After all the tests I have taken, I still don't know the right answer, so I just answer truthfully...I AM afraid of spiders, but not snakes.  I DON"T enjoy gambling, but have done dangerous things just for the thrill of it from time to time.  I DID NOT have a good relationship with my mom, I DON"T think my father was the ideal man (because I never knew him.)

After the written portion of the test, there is an interview with the psychologist.  Today, he managed to gather all sorts of interesting tidbits about my childhood, my mother, my lack of a father, the fact that I have 3 other siblings I don't know and that I have been a witness to domestic violence in my home growing up.  He asked whether I thought I was really fit for the job.  I told him that my past experiences had made me more sensitive to the fact that people have problems and that the answers or solutions to them are not always black and white.  I told him that my past had allowed my creative problem-solving side to blossom and my empathy for the plight of those less fortunate to root deep within me.  I care about what happens to people (most of them anyway) and I do want to help them.  I just can't help being that way.  It's who I am.  His remark to me?  "So you were able to overcome your past and become better for it."  Well, yes.  I guess it's true.

An old photo of me as a School Police Officer

I'll find out in a few days whether or not I am of sound enough mind to do the job I have done for so many years...taking care of the public in the best way I know how...by keeping their kids safe in school.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The "D" word

I don't know about you, but one of the hardest things about starting a diet and fitness program is the eating part.  I want to eat right, but sometimes it's hard to figure out what to eat that is healthy and tastes good.  This morning, I was thinking about breakfast and was at a loss.  I had eggs and was considering cooking some egg whites, but wasn't really in the mood for that.


I found some old-fashioned oats in the pantry and decided to have some oatmeal.  I used 1 cup of oats, 1/2 cup of rice milk (I can't use any dairy) and 1/2 cup of water.  I nuked it for 1 minute in the microwave.  I don't like my oatmeal mushy.  You can cook it longer if you like it really hot or mushy.  After I heated the oats a little, I added a scoop of EAS whey protein (I can use whey even though I can't do dairy...go figure!)  Oh my gosh!  It tasted so good!  I think it's my new favorite thing to have for breakfast!  You should try it!

Seriously though, this program is really pretty simple.  You're supposed to eat 5 or 6 small meals consisting of a portion of carbs and a portion of protein at each meal.  A meal is around 200-300 calories.  A portion is about the size of the palm of your hand (not including your fingers) or about the size of your clenched fist.  A protein is any lean meat or egg whites or vegetable protein and a carb is any whole grain or fruit.  Simple, right?  How could anyone mess this up?

The best part?  You only have to be "good" for 6 days out of 7.  On the 7th day, you get to eat whatever you want.  Seriously.  Whatever you want.  No lie.  It makes it easy to be good the rest of the week when you know you can have whatever it is legally if you just wait.  The key is to be good the other 6 days and the weight will come off if you are also working out like you are supposed to.

I had a good day.  I did not cheat.  I ate only "authorized" foods and I feel great!  Tomorrow is coming and I am not dreading it at all.  I will be doing an upper body workout in the morning.  I don't belong to a gym, so I'll be using my dumbbells, a bench and my own bodyweight for resistance.  If you are interested in the actual workouts I will be doing, let me know and I'll tell you.  I don't want to bore you to death with a ton of details if you don't want them.

A little morning motivation to get up and get moving...


Got up this morning and went for a little walk/jog with Russell (my worthless mutt of a dog).  It was good having him along actually because he is a puller...kind of helps when you get tired :)

If you are familiar with the Body for Life workouts, you know that the cardio is done as interval training.  I did a modified version this morning since I am just starting out.  I walked and then jogged alternatively for about 20 minutes total.  Last time I finished my challenge, I could run 5 miles without stopping at all and I felt good afterwards.  In fact, I looked forward to my runs.  I want to get there again.

Day one and I'm off to a good start!