Life

My Worst Enemy

I’ve made a powerful enemy. Even now, this enemy is staring hatefully at me from a distance. I can hear it whisper my name – I can hear it’s velvety smooth voice tease and goad me.

I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve this enemy, but there is no doubt in my mind that it’s sole purpose in life is to taunt and torture me.

Even though I know the goal of this enemy is to hurt me, to make me curl up into a fetal position and cry like a baby, still, I can not resist it’s seductive lure. I can’t resist it’s creamy goodness, it’s luscious taste, or sugary goodness. Or the short, but powerful spurt of euphoria that shoots through my body whenever I consume it.

My new found enemy?

Chocolate.

chocolatewomen I’ve always had a sweet tooth. In fact, it’s safe to say I was born sucking on a candy cane. I can’t remember a time I HAVEN’T been consumed with the urge to stuff every single sweet thing into my mouth.

But we were pretty poor, er, financially challenged, back in the dark ages (i.e. late 60’s) and we couldn’t afford regular food, let alone junk food.

However, that didn’t stop me. I soon discovered that baking chocolate? Satisfied my chocolate hunger. Oh sure, it was a bit bitter, but I ignored that part. It was creamy and it had cocoa beans in it – I was good to go.

And then, my mom went on a diet. And she bought these chocolaty square diet aids. In fact, they were called “Ayds” – I’m assuming it was because they were meant to “ayd” you with your diet. (Talk about a poor choice of name, right?)

But I remember sneaking into my mom’s top dresser drawer (as if hiding them was going to discourage me from eating them – HA!) and tossing those puppies back like they were popcorn. My mom would then go to eat a few whenever she felt the urge to eat something only to find (several) empty boxes.

Let’s just say, she wasn’t happy with me.

In fact, I was pretty much a pig any time there was anything even REMOTELY sugary around. I routinely ate more than my fair share and my gluttonous habits got so out of control that my folks actually had to lock the junk food in a canister so I wouldn’t eat all of it.

And no, I’m not exaggerating.

So I grew up always craving junk food. I suppose some of it had to do with the fact that we didn’t have it around very much, but there has always been a hole inside me that MUST be filled with junk food from time to time. I simply CRAVE it. It’s hard to explain.

After I moved out, I bought six-pack of candy bars and ate them, IN ONE SITTING. This went on for WEEKS. I pretty much existed on chocolate. Of course I gained weight and walked around with a semi-permanent stomach ache but oh, I was happy. I was getting my fix.

Finally, I had had enough. And though I didn’t exactly stop eating chocolate, I certainly learned to control myself.

And then, I met my husband. And we fell in love. And we were (are) perfect for each other.

But he doesn’t like sweets. In fact, he still doesn’t understand my overwhelming urge to shove chocolate down my throat.

Get this, he doesn’t even like chocolate that much.

Talk about the epitome of irony.

He would grumble and complain about the amount of sugar I consumed. In fact, he would get pretty upset with me whenever I ate junk food because I tend to gain weight easily and whenever I got into one of my binges, POP, there went the hips and puffy face.

So, to keep the peace, I started hiding my sweets from him. I wasn’t about to stop eating them, in fact, I knew if I tried to stop myself it would only make it worse and I would end up eating more than I wanted simply because I was depriving myself.

chocoholic It’s a sickness, I’m telling you. (Well, I don’t really believe it’s a sickness, I think it’s more of a self-control issue and back then, I simply didn’t have much self-control).

Life continued. I snuck my sweets, the husband was never the wiser and we were all happy.

Until I turned 40.

And then all hell broke loose.

Actually, my intestines went on strike.

Now, if I so much as NIBBLE on chocolate, my insides blow up like a balloon, my intestines grumble so loudly you can hear it from across the room and I spend the majority of my day in the bathroom … with no results. If you catch my drift (and please, catch it because I can’t describe it – that would be in the too much information category).

In short? It’s terrible. And it hurts. And I’m so uncomfortable I can’t think. And I’m not hungry, even though when I eat it actually helps because it helps push the gunk through faster.

And I’m like an alcoholic chugging liquor – only I’m chugging Pepto-Bismal.

I have no idea what happened? But I think my body has just had enough. It’s rebelling against me. In fact, my body is so pissed off at me, that I can’t eat anything at all to do with legumes or I turn into a walking grenade.

I’ll let you picture that one for a minute. *ahem*

Of course, there are times I forget about the evils of chocolate and eat it anyway. Like now. And then I suffer for a full three days (which seems to be about the time it takes my body to process crap).

And it’s ESPECIALLY hard to refrain from eating the one thing I love most in the world around the holidays. Because I’ve got chocolate lying around just waiting to be stuffed into stockings. And the old craving rears it’s ugly head and before I can stop to listen the rational side of my brain, I’ve consumed SIX of the Hershey’s Chocolate Santas.

I’m like a crack whore, only with chocolate.

It’s so not pretty.

But oh so worth it. Just to taste that creamy smoothness once more.

*sigh*

Christmas song #12 I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Josh Groban

Friday Fun

Friday Craft: Christmas Decorations for the Home

Have you decorated for Christmas yet? I have, sort of. I don’t really go all out like a lot of people do – we put up a tree, outside lights and I hang stockings …

And that’s about it. Pathetic, right?

However, if you’re the kind of person who likes to stuff every nook and cranny with knick knacks, (mom, I’m looking at you), then I’d like to pass on a few ideas from Family Fun.

Brick Bookends

I thought this was a cool idea, especially if you have old bricks lying around. Which, we all do, right? 😀

brickbookends

This project– painting a brick– is pretty much the epitome of a simple craft: almost anyone can do it, and no special patterns or materials are required. Younger kids can simply paint abstract designs, while older kids may want to create detailed characters, geometric patterns, or wintry landscapes.

MATERIALS
Newspaper
Acrylic paints
Paintbrushes
Two bricks
Glue
Felt

Cover a clean surface with newspaper and set out the acrylic paints and paintbrushes. Stand the bricks vertically, so that your child can paint on her designs. Remember that the surface of the bricks is porous and can absorb a good amount of paint.

Your child may need to apply several layers to create a solid covering. Or, if she prefers a splotchier effect, stop painting while some of the brick’s surface still shows through. Once the paint dries, trace around the brick bases on felt and cut them out. Glue the felt squares on the bottom of each brick to prevent the brick from scratching your bookshelf or tabletop.


Festive Holiday Napkins

festivenapkins

Customized for the holiday of your choice, these delightful — and washable — napkins look great whether at the kids’ table or next to Grandma’s best china. They make great gifts for grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

CRAFT MATERIALS:
Felt
Scissors
Fabric glue (we used Fabri-tac)
Set of machine-washable napkins
Sequins
Mini pom-poms

Time needed: About 1 to 2 Hours
1. Cut decorative shapes from the felt, such as a dreidel, Christmas tree, or reindeer (or use our templates).

2. Glue the shapes to a corner of each napkin and decorate them with glued-on sequins and/or mini pom-poms.


Santa Jar

santajar

With all the plates of Christmas cookies Santa samples, it’s no wonder he’s a little soft around the middle. Here, Santa offers a few treats of his own–a sampling of jelly beans or other Christmas candy–stored beneath the fuzzy brim of his hat.

MATERIALS
Felt in assorted colors
Glue and scissors
Glass jar with a lid
White faux fur (available at craft or sewing stores)

1. To make the hat, cut out two red felt triangles. Make sure the base of the hat will be big enough to fit over the neck of your jar. Glue together the sides of the two triangles, then trim the hat with a strip of faux fur around the bottom and a bit on top for the pompon.

2. Decorate Santa’s face by cutting out and gluing on a faux fur beard, a pair of felt eyes and a felt nose.

3. Fill the jar with candy, put on the lid, then top it all off with Santa’s hat.



Potted Paper Cones

papercones

These elegant trees are so versatile — you can make them in a variety of sizes and with almost endless decorating possibilities — they’ll fit in any (or every!) room in your house.
CRAFT MATERIALS:

1 large piece of drawing paper or poster board
Clear or double-sided tape
Scissors
Hot-glue gun
Small ornaments, garlands, fake jewels, or ribbons
Dowel with a 1/2-inch diameter (ours were 3 feet long)
Decorative bucket or flowerpot
Small rocks
Cotton batting

Time needed: About 1 Hour
1. Roll the paper or poster board into a cone shape (make sure the hole at the tip is less than 1/2 inch wide), then tape the seam and trim the bottom so that it’s even.

2. Decorate the cone by hot-gluing small ornaments, garlands, fake jewels, or ribbons to it. (If you’re using bulb ornaments, glue the top of the ornament, rather than the bulb itself, to the cone for a stronger hold.) Let the glue dry.

3. Stand the dowel in the bucket and fill the bucket with enough rocks to keep the dowel upright. Cover the rocks with the cotton batting, then set the paper cone atop the dowel.

Have you made any Christmas decorations lately? Take a picture and blog about it! Don’t forget to leave a link!

Next week: last minute Christmas tree ornaments