Obscure Architectural Moments In Time

Since my neighbors have all been posting such wonderful pictures from around the world of different architectural types, I thought it to be time that the photos that have been living in my camera made their debut as well.  Here are a few photos I've collected:


This was taken in Bisbee, AZ.  This is an old mining town near the Mexico border.  One morning I happened across this alley way and was struck by how the light and shadows almost divide this picture in two.


An artist owns this guest house.  It had once been a miner's cabin and sits high on a hill overlooking the whole town.  I wonder how long it took her to collect all those license plates.


This is looking up from an old tinted glass sidewalk grate.  I am underneath the street.  I love how the light shines purple through the grate.


This was also taken in the Seattle Underground Tour.  I have an obsession with old buildings.  Maybe it's the mystery surrounding them.  I wonder about the people who built them.  Who lived and worked there? 



This building had been a hotel in Seattle over 100 years ago. The walls had been covered with a green colored paint and lined with a floral stenciled etching.  You can't make it out from this photo but I could see it while there.  Imagine the fancy ladies in their feathered hats sipping tea on that circular red velvet sofa.



Not sure when this came into vogue although it is quite old.  I was quite surprised to see this in the Seattle Underground Tour.


 Here is the hotel again.  This time you can see the stenciling I mentioned in the other photo.

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South Beach Diet Review

So this is Week 2 of Phase 1 for me.  The diet consists of three phases: Phase 1 has you remove all carbs from your diet.  This includes grains, pasta, cereals and alcohols for two weeks.    Phase 2 introduces you slowly back to carbs by incorporating a few at a time to your daily intake.  You stay on this until you've reached your weight loss goals.  Phase 3 is maintenance.

I started a week ago yesterday and did experience cravings for sugar and refined carbs during the first few days.  The book said that would happen.  Today is Day 8 and I'm no longer craving these things.  The whole purpose of taking these items out of the diet for two weeks is to get the body to healthy blood sugar level. 

I did some research on this diet recently and found that really only people with diabetic conditions would be the ones to benefit from this phase of the regime.  Regardless, going this route has helped me see that I really do consume way too many carbs on a regular basis.  Prior to this weight loss plan, I was doing Weight Watchers.  I could still consume lots of carbs while sticking within my points range.  I can really see why I most likely plateaued on this plan for 5 weeks before trying out the South Beach Diet.

After the first week of South Beach I was down 6 lbs.  The book claims that participants will lose 8-12 lbs. during Phase 1.  Although it was great to see that number on the scale, I have to admit that I haven't felt all that well.  During my weekly Wednesday hikes, I didn't have that 'oomph' that I usually have.  I felt lethargic and on a couple of mornings I've had a very strange taste in my mouth.  My Mom and Step-Dad absolutely swear by this plan and have made it a life commitment.  I wrote to my Mom to ask if she felt strange during the first couple of days.  She wrote back and said yes, that it was part of my body regulating itself and that this would soon pass.  Well, I'm on Day 8 today and I still feel strange.  In addition to being lethargic, I just feel…well…wierd.  I can't really describe it.  Withdrawals? 

The foods are great though.  There are lots of nuts, low-fat dairy, lean cuts of meats, and tons and tons of veggies to include each day, which I do.  So why is it I feel like this?  I'm not sure if this plan is really meant for active people.  I did a search yesterday on this plan and read the reviews other folks had given it.  Most were positive.  The only negative ones I read were either people complaining about the expense of the foods required (which is stuff we should be eating anyways) or that they found the diet too restrictive.  The only thing really restricted of course are the carbs which I can see can be tough.  Many people said they were exercising regularly.  How is that when I feel like I don't even have the energy to walk the dog in the morning?  I'm not sure if I am doing something wrong here or not.  Am I not eating enough?

As far as the recipes go, we've had more hits than misses.  We've tried the Ginger-Dijon pork loin, Morrocan chicken (which made the whole house smell wonderful), and the Homestyle meatloaf.  The meatloaf would have probably been okay if it weren't for the can of Northern beans it called for.  This probably could have been substituted for another vegetable.  My husband has also enjoyed the recipes.  Where he is a diabetic these have been great for him.  We even tried the recipe for the Almond-Maple flan which was absolutely delicious.  Most of these recipes we will be incorporating into our regular meals.

For me Phase 1 has been tough.  My body just does not seem to be happy with it.  I will most likely end Phase 1 early and start Phase 2.  Although this has helped me break my plateau, I can't help but wonder if part of the reason I feel like crapola is for the simple fact that the human body is not meant to lose more than 1-2 lbs per week (Duh!). 

Although the recipes have been wonderful and I have really gotten an opportunity to see how many carbs I really had been eating, I'm not sure this plan is for me.  We'll see how things go with Phase 2.  I'd be interested in hearing about anyone else's results on this plan.  Did it work for you?  Did you feel as strange as I did during Phase 1?  I'd be curious to hear.   



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Taking A New Approach

Last night I decided that this would be my last week at Weight Watchers.  After 5 weeks, I finally lost .8 lbs and gained my 10 lbs ribbon.  Finally!  Its been somewhat of a frustrating journey to put in all this effort and see very little results.  My husband has told me that it is more than just a number on a scale.  While I agree with him there, I don't feel really any different.  I can't look at myself and think, wow, I'm really getting somewhere.  However, in two weeks I'll have my cholesterol checked.  It'll be interesting to see.

After speaking with my Mom over the weekend, she told me that she also had hit a stand still with Weight Watchers.  She tried the South Beach Diet and said she had more success.  So…I'm going to give this a try.  Our local library has a couple of copies of the book so I'm heading over there this evening to check one out.  From what I've heard, the first two weeks you don't eat any carbs.  Yeah, I say this while sitting here eating whole grain pretzels.  That will take a little getting used to but I'm willing to give it a try.  I'll start that up next Monday.  I will miss the variety of Weight Watchers but figure I might be able to go back to it once I get over this hump.  We'll see.


Here is the latest weapon in my weight loss arsenal.  I got this food scale at Target over the weekend.  One thing I noticed is that I haven't been eating as much as I should be.  I've overcompensated on Weight Watchers points when I could've eaten a bit more.  I'm wondering if this has slowed my metabolism to the point where I'm no longer dropping weight like I was. 

The same friend I hike with asked me to join her and Matt at Shaw Butte again this past Sunday evening.  I agreed to go and then questioned our sanity where temps where still hovering around 110 here at the time we met.  I grabbed my camel-bak backpack filled with water and a large bottled water for the car ride home.  I figured at this point that I should be well acclimated to the heat where this is my ninth summer here in Phoenix.  This time around I did pretty well.  I'm still sucking in air like a drowing person while heading up but I could move a bit quicker.  At one point we were headed up the butte where the sun was still beating down on us.  It was probably around the second highest incline.  I think I may have had too much water at that point because I thought I was going to hurl.  It passed though luckily and I was able to make it to the top and back.  It is quite possibly the toughest hike I've ever done.  Due to the water intake throughout that hike, I found myself in the bathroom pretty much every hour of the night.  Needless to say I was tired yesterday morning but felt great from all the endorphins.  Last night I went to bed at 8:30pm.

In addition to trying some harder workout routines, I've decided to walk Abby before work.  You should've seen her this morning when I grabbed her leash.  You would've thought she won the doggy lottery.  She was so excited!  So this will probably be an every morning thing for us going forward.


Here is Abby post-walk laying on the new throw rug I also picked up over the weekend.  Monsoon had decided to join her.  This is an extremely rare moment that the both of them are actually laying next to each other and aren't poised in attack mode.  Glad there was a camera nearby.  I texted this picture to my husband with the title reading "Seeing is believing…"

Maybe its the heat.  đŸ˜‰

Where Abby sheds so much I'm sure that throw rug will be the same color as her soon.  Guess I'll have to figure out how many calories I'll burn vacuuming up all that dog hair.






















 And finally, here are Ruben and me at the Diamondbacks game Friday night.  I was actually surprised to see all the healthy choices you could get there on the menu.  Turkey meatball subs, turkey burgers, turkey hotdogs, fresh fruit with yogurt dip.  It all sounded great however, I still chose to use my points on a ballpark frank.  Some things can't be substituted.

Have a great & healthy week! 

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