WordNerd: One of the first things I noticed in reading your blog is that you seem to have really mastered the art of Everyday Bliss. Your title seems like a pretty apt description of what your life is really like. What does your IDEAL day look like?
Me: My ideal day is a day relaxing day at home and I have it most Sundays. I am a true homebody. Our family is like most other families, and we are constantly on the go. I try to complete chores, cleaning, errands and other tasks Monday-Friday. Saturdays are often spent away from home. On Sundays, if I'm able, I wake up early and have coffee on my patio if it's warm outside. Then I usually read, do needlework or putter around the garden. If it's cold, I drink my coffee inside, sometimes in front of a fire in the fireplace and read or do needlework. When my family wakes, we do relaxing things--watch movies or sports, play games, cook together, make crafts. I try hard not to leave the house and to have our family together. I believe it gives us all a chance to relax and become energized for the week ahead. It's not always possible, but most Sundays are like that for me. So when I have a peaceful Sunday like I've just described, that is my ideal day. The only way it could be better is if my other children and grandchild lived nearby and could join us.
Wordnerd: Tell us what it was like to lose close to 150lbs? (how long did it take, what motivated you, how different do you feel, etc)
Me: The weight-loss was a significant turning point in my life. From my surgery until my final end point, it took just over a year. I had been struggling with my weight for a long time and there was a genetic component to my obesity. What motivated me to choose the surgery was that after struggling for so many years, my health was really beginning to suffer. I took several medications and had chronic health problems. Now, I don't take any medication and my former health problems are completely gone. I do take vitamins and supplements. Now, I feel great and very healthy and am much more active. I'm currently training for a 5K charity race on Thanksgiving. It's also been surprising to realize how much discrimination I experienced when I was overweight. I was aware of it before I lost the weight, but after losing weight, I've noticed a significant difference in how people respond to me. I'm currently working on a blog post with more details about my weight loss, and I hope to get it up soon. It will probably be a short series of posts, because I want to share a lot of information about my experience.
WordNerd: You are an amateur . There seems to be alot of buzz about in the media yet there is also alot of skepticism because of price, etc.. Why do you think people should make an effort to eat organic food? And, what should people start with?
Me: I am a biologist and have been environmentally conscientious since my childhood. I also grew up with grandmothers who were avid gardeners and I learned a lot from them. Having access to fresh foods from their farms and gardens meant that I learned to appreciate quality food early in life. As an adult, I learned that food grown in my own garden could be harvested at the peak of ripeness. There is a noticeable taste difference between fruit and vegetables that are harvested when they are ripe verses those that are harvested before they are ripe. As I began to practice gardening, I read a lot of gardening literature and determined that I personally felt it was safer to not use chemical pesticides and insecticides. Unfortunately, because "organic" has become trendy and controversial, it's often difficult to determine if you truly are buying an organic product from a retailer.
As for organic food being more expensive, that is another reason why I grow my own produce. I'm a frugal person and by planting my own garden, I saved my family approximately $800.00 this spring and summer and that's after expenses. I also buy produce that is in season locally. I found that if I buy organic produce at a farmer's market or CSA (community supported agriculture), the cost is almost identical to what I would pay for nonorganic produce at my local grocery store. But, even when it is more expensive, I think it's always best to buy the best quality food that I can afford. I think I owe it to myself and my family for optimal health.
My suggestion to begin eating organic is to grow something of your own. Tomatoes are easy and can be grown in a container if you don't have a yard. Herbs are also easy and can be grown in small containers indoors. If you absolutely can't grow anything yourself, farmer's markets and community supported agriculture ( are the most economic places to buy organic products--based on my personal experience.
WordNerd: A lot of different countries are mentioned on your blog, what was your most memorable trip and why?
Me: I haven't traveled as much as I would like, but of the places I've been, my trip to France in 1982 was the most memorable. It was my first time to travel abroad. It was and I saw some amazing things. At that time, I had studied French for three years and was thrilled to actually have a chance to communicate with french-speaking people. I love history and visiting historical places. Getting to see the chateaus of the was exciting. Paris was everything I imagined and more. I attended Easter Mass at Notre Dame and the Bishop of Paris gave the mass. The Louvre and Versailles were incredible and breath-taking. Angers and St. Malo were wonderful places. Mont St. Michel was fascinating. I should probably write a blog post in detail about that trip.
WordNerd: What is the first thing you do when you get out of bed and the last thing you do before you get into bed?
Me: This is something that is a little embarrassing for me, but I want to be honest. The first thing I do when I get up and the last thing I do before I get into bed is the same thing. I check my cell phone for messages. My husband is a night owl and comes to bed long after I do, so I kiss him goodnight before I go to bed and then I check my cell phone. I'm sure many people do this, but somehow it feels like my priorities are askew.
So now you know