Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wednesday Weigh In...On THURSDAY

Starting Weight: 320
Last Recorded Weight 235
Today's Weight 230

Now that 5 pound weight loss was for the last month...I've been flirting with being in the 220's off and on for a couple of weeks...but well Christmas happened...I am getting myself back together to start back on my losing trend...and blogging trend.

The bodybugg so far...it's kind of fun looking and seeing how many calories I've burned. I do have to say their food tracking portion is not very user friendly, I prefer caloriecount dot com but I will give in a couple of weeks before completely deciding.

So why couldn't I blog yesterday? Well I decided to go to Dixie's Tupperware Party with some friends (I blogged about it here ) It was a blast! 


For lunch we went to the Cheesecake Factory crazy if you're on a diet? but no...they have this very cool menu (and I am probably late to the party on this one) called the Skinnylicious Menu with lots of choices under 400 calories.  I chose the Mediterranean Chicken Wraps --- yuMM!  So I also had a couple bites of Colleen's Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake -- good lord -- died and gone to heaven, it was soooo good.

Today is a take care of me day, went to the doctors, going to get a massage and some...hmmm, hair removal...and then may read a book for a couple of hours...

Have a great Thursday everyone!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas and stuff

 I know, I know, it's been awhile! Life has been crazy, luckily I have a couple weeks off and in those two weeks I plan on organizing my life, seeing friends I haven't seen in awhile, get the kids to the museum, clean my house, catch up on reading all your blogs AND get back in the habit of blogging.

Here's what's been happening:

Weight I'm finally down past 80 pounds YAY and I've lost a total of 40 inches...which so doesn't seem right, but I did the math, like twice (I updated my progress tab for actual numbers).

NSV -- I was in a store looking for something to wear to Jason's office Christmas party and they didn't have a size 22/24 (which IS smaller than my original size) in the blouse I wanted.  I asked the sales person if they had any more in the back and she said no, but encouraged me to try on the 18/20.  I told her I didn't think that was possible and she raised her eyebrows and said..."oh, I think you'll be surprised" and I was...yay, I fit into the 18/24 AND in another store I bought a 1x....I'm so close to being able to shop in the regular stores....

Exciting isn't it.  Well I'm excited.

Confession -- I've done horribly with my eating....stress? Christmas? Life? I have no idea what the issue is, but I have got to get it together! I even wrote out a plan for Christmas....hahahah, well that went out the window as soon as the chili rellenos showed up.  I do have to admit though, I didn't do the massive qualities of baking I normally do and that helped a lot.

Baby steps.

For Christmas, Jason got me the bodybugg....I wasn't sure about it...technology and me..well we're not friends...but since cookies and I are breaking up, I may have more room in my life for this guy.  I spent the day hooking him all up and I'll strap him on tomorrow (did that sound dirty to anyone else?). I'm kind of excited...this is what I may need to get me back on the wagon....

It took an hour just to figure out where the USB port on the bug itself is...finally googled it and you remove the strap and it's under the strap 'encasement thing'.  It's all in the computer and I'll put it on tonight...they said to pretty much wear it 23 hours a day (I'm assuming the 1 hour you don't wear it you're in the shower).

I'll have to keep you posted.

My husband has been working like a fiend. Wavecloud, the company where he works, is launching a huge giveaway on their new website and he is putting out fires left and right...but there are still a ton of books so if you have an e-reader and want a free book, click here -- and hopefully you'll like the experience so much you'll go back and buy a book later

Sorry about the shameless plug for my husband's company but we really really want this to work, because he really really loves his job

Okay....Merry Christmas to all who celebrate, and happy regular day to those that don't and to all a Happy and thinner new year!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Helping out my husband


My husband is working for this great start-up company called Wavecloud It's an online store where you can buy e-books for your I-pad, Kindle Fire or computer.  They eventually want to help authors self-publish and do online book clubs etc....sort of an Amazon, Good Reads, Online-press rolled into one.  Right now they are giving away a bunch of e-books to help launch their website.  They really want to know how user friendly the site is, how easy or hard it is to download their reader etc....so give them a ton of feed back (good and bad) support AT wavecloud DOT com.  Feel free to share this with your friends.

Here's the official blurb:


Here is the cool news.  Our company, WaveCloud.com, has worked hard for the last year preparing for today, our birthday!  We are launching a new eBook store that intends to change the way Readers connect with Readers and Authors alike.

We have a long way to go, but for now, I’m just excited to be able to launch the company and start selling eBooks.

Anyway, Here is what you can tell your friends: Until the money runs out, WaveCloud will be purchasing an eBook for every new registered user at our web site. 

We have more than 150,000 eBooks available in our store, so hopefully, they can find one that they are interested in reading.

This link takes you to our landing page, which explains the promotion:

I know you want to share the promotion with your friends. Here is a shorter link that takes you to the same promotions page at our store: http://bit.ly/TRhd9d

If you can share more info with your friends, be sure to tell them that we have a Reader Application for the iPad, iPhone, Android tablets and the Kindle Fire tablets.  Unfortunately, our ebooks won’t work on the Kindle Reader devices (yet).


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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday Weigh In

Starting Weight: 320
Last week's Weight 238
Today's Weight 235

So I realized I did not do my weigh in last week so this three pounds is for the last two weeks, not just last week...but that's okay, I'll take it.  I can't say I've been really on track these past two weeks.  I have started my holiday baking....

this is never good.

However, this year I can't put away quite as many cookies as I've done in the past.

I'm hoping to not gain that 5-10 pounds over the holidays that I never get off and still lose....maybe not as quickly, but still lose.

So what, besides baking, have I been doing with my time since I haven't been blogging?

Making ornaments. 

I give a neighborhood ornament-exchange party every year to sort of kick off the season, and I try and make some fun party-favor ornaments to give away.  Some years they are complete duds, other years I do well.  I'm happy with this year's ornament.



For directions on these puppies -- if you are so inclined to be crafty -- can be found on my other blog, Zimmerhouse.  

Oh and then there's the kids' schedules....my goodness.  I'm glad they are both active boys who are interested in so many different things...but it's kind of exhausting for this mom at times.

We, and by that I mean Jason, are also in the midst of an IKEA-hack project where we are taking some 'billy' bookcases and making them look like built-ins. We started this in October, I really thought it would be done by now....but no....this is why it's taken us 5 years to remodel this house, it takes us forever to get anything finished....I shouldn't say remodeled like we are finished...we still have the basement and the back yard.

Oh, and an update, I didn't get the job I went for at the hospital.  They thought I was 'lovely' but I didn't have the skill set they were looking for and they needed someone up and running right away.  I'm okay with this (except that blow to my ego).  I've done a lot of thinking about this and my spiritual side is telling me that God's plan for me lies elsewhere.  I really do love my current job, the problem is that I don't get paid enough and Jason and I would really like to retire before we're 70.... I spent a lot of years out of the job market and need to do some catch up.  On the other hand this job is a good fit for our very busy family.  I also have wanted to try hospice off and on in the past couple of years.  Hospice nursing would be so rewarding and I'd be so good at it. So I think I'll stay put for this year and enjoy the benefits of school nursing -- hugs from the kiddos, autonomy, school hours and then this spring-summer begin to look around for hospice jobs.  Unless the school association (a less 'strong' version of a union...no unions in our district) can miraculously pull off a pay increase for the nurses that matches us with a teacher's salary....you all know how much teachers get paid, in our district the nurses are paid at almost the same level as the secretary staff -- who work hard -- but they only need a high school diploma to get their jobs, while we need a minimum of a BSN and have to be certified by the state. Just getting on the teacher-pay salary would be an almost 15k raise (master's plus experience would bump me up quite a bit on a certified pay scale rather than the classified one we are on).

I'm also up for my review next week.  I'm stressed out about it...a little..and here's why...I like to look good...and I'm not going to look that great at this review, I have a ton of stuff to do and haven't gotten a good handle on it...I'm managing 800 plus students and this is my first year in my own clinic (last year I followed one student).  I know I'm good at the relationship with the students and taking care of their immediate needs for care, but the paperwork...OMG, it's intense.  I still need to do vision screenings for half the students too.

So even though I'm okay with where I am, given my experience and the volume of my work...I'm not going to get distinguished marks...I'm going to get basic and proficient...and those would be accurate.  I just like to shine :D.

A big thanks to my friend, Martha, another nurse in the district, who came to help me (on the down low) in the clinic yesterday so I could get organized.

Wow, that's a lot more than I was planning on sharing....suffice it to say, yes it's been a stressful, emotionally topsy-turvy, busy couple of weeks.   Okay, now I'm off to make 4 dozen mini cheese balls (that party I mentioned above is in less than a week -- gah).

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

We all have so much to be thankful for! No matter how little or how much.  For me, I have a wonderful husband who makes me laugh every day (sometimes intentionally). My boys are smart, handsome, talented and funny.  I believe they are going to grow into good men. I have a job, it's one that I love -- it's one that allows me to have holidays off. We can feed and clothe our family and have a little more for 'extras'. I live in a great neighborhood with neighbors I call friends (and mean it). I have friends who have been friends for years and they still love me.

I am blessed, and for this I am thankful!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wednesday Weigh In - life as a baseball mom

Starting Weight: 320
Last week's Weight 245
Today's Weight 238

Pounds lost 7
Total pounds lost 82 (whoo hoo)
Pictures to come later

When I first looked at the scale I had a bit of a freak out because I was looking at the 8 -- I was expecting to see a 2 hopefully a 1 (as in 241-242) so it didn't register that it was 2-3-8, then I went from freak out to happy dance.

It's been a wild week.  We got back from Italy, I barely got my bearings and my oldest and I were off to Albuquerque, NM for a baseball tournament. I tried to keep my food in check, I can't say I did a great job but I ended up losing quite a bit of weight.  So? who knows? Let me tell you though about our last day there.  Let's just say the day was so bad we just ended up laughing, because there was nothing else to do.

It started with Jake spilling all the ice and drinks out of the cooler, in the hotel elevator.  The staff had to shut the elevator down to clean it all up....He did it as we were getting off on the main floor, in front of his entire team.  Who good-naturedly laughed at him and blamed it on how he was wearing his pants...they're too short because he's had a huge growth spurt and he's been tucking them into his socks and wearing them 'old' style.  So he untucks his pants and wears them down.  We get into my friend's car (we car pooled with another family) and on our way to the game we get into a fender-bender. Everyone is okay and there was plenty of time to still get to the field.  We pull off to the side, exchange information and call the police.  Jake decided to tuck his pants back into his socks since a fender-bender is much worse than spilling ice in an elevator.  We're done with what we need to do, go to start the car and it won't start.

OMG.

The couple that hit us ended up jumping us and since they knew we were out of town gave us their number in case we needed anything else (super nice of them).  We get the boys there. Jake hits a great ball, gets another batter in and gets to first.  He's been having a hard time hitting lately so we're super happy about that. He also eventually scores a point for the team.  The game's going our way and we have a chance at third place (won one and lost one in the seeding so we were playing for third at that point---can I just say the winning teams had a few kids over 6 feet and some of them were sporting facial hair -- steroids much? -- oh 14 year old league in case you were wondering at my shock when I saw these MEN on the other team). The other coach is a complete putz,  he complains about every call the ump makes, he yells at his kids.  Their pitcher put on a white underarmour shirt (it was freakin' cold...way too cold for baseball, but whatever) you're not supposed to wear white as the pitcher  because it detracts the batter from the ball.  One of our kids had a hard time seeing the ball so the ump told the pitcher to pull up his sleeves.  Our coach offered him one of our batting jackets...because it was cold! The other coach lost it, started using swear words, started yelling at OUR kids and our coach.  Well our coach lost it and told the other coach to 'shut the f--- up' well that's all she wrote...The ump called a double forfeit. Part of me was happy because we got to start our 8 hour trip back to Denver at 4pm instead of 6 pm. ---Our coach apologized to the kids, told them this was not the way to behave etc, he felt so bad about losing his temper.

So....

We get back to the car and it won't start again.

yup

I wish I were kidding.

It took two jumps.  Thankfully two other families caravanned with us to make sure we got home safely.

I told my friend that next time, we'll be taking my car.

And I still lost weight.

Yay me.

So glad baseball season is over...and basketball season is inside and there's no traveling.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wednesday Weigh In

Starting Weight 320
Weight 2 weeks ago (I took a week off for Italy) 247
Today's Weight 245

Well it wasn't a stellar two weeks, but I didn't gain! I have to admit the last two days I've been a stressed out eating machine, not drinking enough water and have been very inactive.  A combination of jet-lag, being overwhelmed and freaking myself out because I interviewed for a new job.  If I get this job it'll be a challenge, one that I'm looking forward to.  But it's stressful to research the position and practice all the possible questions you could get asked.  I typed out three pages of possible questions and scenarios and practiced them.  It does feel good to go to an interview prepared but no less stressful. The main stressful thing? is telling my bosses (principal of the school and the head of nursing) that I'm quitting.  They're both lovely people, good bosses, I love working with them.  It doesn't feel good to tell them I'm leaving especially knowing how hard it is to find qualified nurses to fill school nursing positions.  But I'm being premature, I didn't get the job yet or at all, I just stress myself out thinking about it.

Sigh.

deep breath.

Here's what I am looking forward to -- no more political ads...OMG can I get an Amen?

Have a great Wednesday to all of my blog friends out there.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Individual Meatloaves made in Muffin Tins



I've been seeing these individual meatloaf recipes on Pinterest. I've been wanting to try them and Jake, the eldest has been asking for meatloaf recently AND because we just got back from Italy (in the wee hours of Sunday morning -- can you say jet-lag anyone?) I decided to make a typical American meal to celebrate being home.  Also, after eating authentic Italian food, I realized my Americana-Italian cooking is not so bellesimo. I also think it's a great way to pre-portion some food to help with portion control.  Not that anyone out there needs that...it's just good for me.

After a huge trip to the grocery store, a couple hundred loads of laundry and catching up on some of my shows (love my DVR) I made some mini meatloaves.  I used my own meatloaf recipe though.  It's a super easy recipe, made easier with these muffin tin meatloaves so I thought I'd share.

Individual Meatloaves
(made in muffin tins)


Mix together:

1 lb lean ground beef
1 egg
1/2 zucchini peeled and grated
1 carrot peeled and grated
2-3 tbs roasted red peppers minced
1 small sweet yellow onion minced
2-3 tbs chili sauce
1/8 cup of Italian bread crumbs

After mixing, place in Pam-sprayed muffin tins. This recipe will make 12. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  I don't like any part of my meat to moo so I baked them for 25.


Guess which one is my plate

Here is the breakdown of calories and nutrients per each individual loaf. Not a bad way to get a punch of protein.



Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1 serving (90.9 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories
102
Calories from Fat
26
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
2.9g
4%
Saturated Fat
1.3g
6%
Cholesterol
44mg
15%
Sodium
284mg
12%
Total Carbohydrates
6.0g
2%
Dietary Fiber
0.7g
3%
Sugars
2.3g
Protein
11.3g
Vitamin A 25%Vitamin C 6%
Calcium 2%Iron 8%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Monday, November 5, 2012

Liebster Award Responses

oh my gosh, oh my gosh -- hands waving in front of my face, tears down my cheeks -- I've gotten an award...people like me, they really really do, well at least one over at Super Snail's Pace. Seriously, thanks you Karen for giving me the:



I have no idea what this is, but don't care -- someone thought of me and that's all that matters (but for the record it's an award given to up-and-coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. I wish I had actually googled this up BEFORE choosing my own nominees, but I'm too lazy to check and see where they are in the being followed category).

The rules:
1. Think of 11 facts you'd like to share about yourself.
2. Answer the questions I asked.
3. Think of 11 questions you'd like to ask (come on, have fun, it's a way to be nosy without being rude)
4. Nominate 5 bloggers (apparently they should have less than 200 followers).

Alrighty -- here's my stuff.

11 Facts about myself:

1. I am a procrastinator - this is not something surprising to people who know me. In fact I am procrastinating right now by doing this post.

2. I suck at spelling and yes, I was an English major - my grammar isn't that great either.

3. My ultimate career would have been an interior decorator. It's actually the one thing that has been consistent my entire life. As a kid I would make doll houses out of shoe boxes, complete with floor plans. Then given them to my sister so she could play with the dolls in the houses. I would start on a new one, because that was the fun part for me.

4. I redecorate my friends' houses in my head instead of counting sheep.

5. I love being a mom.

6. I have great kids, so it's easy to love being a mom.

7. HGTV is on right now and I watch it all the time. I love it when the boys watch it with me. They like to guess which house the people pick in Love it or List it and in House Hunters.

8. I love being a nurse. I love helping people and teaching them to advocate for their health.

9. Nursing school almost killed me. I don't really believe being treated in such a way made me a better nurse, it rather terrified me and broke me down. Making it through, did not give me a sense of confidence either, it made me resigned and bitter to those who thought they were trying to 'teach' me lessons.

10. If I ever had my own HGTV show I would call it RX for Design Disasters and I would wear scrubs -- I think that would be a fun way to combine my nursing love with my decorating love.

11. I have the best husband evah! I know those of you married to great men think I may be wrong, but I am not, he's awesome! We've been together 27 years and married 20.

Questions asked by the person who nominated me, Super Snail's Pace.


1.What careers did you consider before the one you are in currently?

Actress, but then I realized I was terrified talking in front of people, Lawyer, because my parents thought it would be a good idea, given I argued a lot and was good at it, Nun, yeah, not sure why, decorator or writer. I’m a Gemini, there were many many more considerations.

2.What were you most afraid of as a child? What are you most afraid of now?

The dark and monsters under the bed. The dark and monsters under the bed.

3.What type of music do you enjoy?

Pop, ABBA (don’t judge), 80’s

4.What is different about your life today that you never would have predicted 10 years ago?

I’m actually a nurse and working full time.

5.Do you watch any sports on TV? Which ones?

No, it’s on in the back ground because my 13 year old watches everything. I will watch my kids do their sports though.

6.What was your most favorite vacation?

We just went to Italy and it was fantastic, but my all time favorite was Hawaii – because it was so relaxing!

7.Star Wars or Star Trek?

We have a Star Trek tree at Christmas (it’s my husband’s)…’nuff said.

8.What is the last movie you saw in a theater?

Trouble with the Curve, I took Jake because I thought it was more baseball and less whatever it was. I liked it, Jake did not.

9.Do you wear a watch? If you don’t, why not?

Yes

10.What do you look forward to about the holidays? What do you dread about the holidays?

I love, LOVE the holidays; I throw a couple great parties. I love decorating, planning the parties, visiting with friends, shopping, being with family, cooking…love it all. I am not looking forward to putting all the crap away

11.If you were the leader of your country (i.e. president, prime minister, etc.), what are the first changes you would make in the country’s policies?

Do away with political ads and include more debates. No one makes their decisions on a 1 minute sound bite.

Questions I want to ask my nominees. 

1. Was there a pivotal moment that made you decide to take on this weight loss challenge or a combination of different moments and what where they?

2. If you could tell something to the 20 year old you, what would it be?

3. What is your favorite holiday/season and why?

4. What is your favorite thing about blogging? Your least favorite thing?

5. If you were in a zombie apocalypse what would be your weapon of choice (this question brought to you by my children).

6. How well to you take advice? How well do you give it?

7. Think of a time that makes you smile....describe what happened.

8. Name one thing on your bucket list.

9. Name a pet-peeve -- particularly if you do it yourself so it's even WORSE when other people do it (not that this is EVER a problem for me).

10. If money and size are no object where would you shop for your clothes.

11. Do you think people are essentially good, or bad and why?

My nominees (please please play):


(isn't that just a great name for a blog)
(I want to be her when I grow up, even though she's younger than I am)
(A big congratulations to her first 50 pounds)
(She's an awesome blogger with a lot of wit and leaves thoughtful responses)
(She's new to the WLS world as well as WLS blogging world, and by the way she writes, I really think I'm going to like her)



Sunday, November 4, 2012

Eating While on Vacation

Whew, that was a whirl-wind trip we took. But we're back.  I'll post Rome pictures later, but before then, let's get back to the reason for this blog...weight loss (or the hope for weight loss at least).  My goal was to NOT gain weight over the vacation.  And I didn't..I actually lost a pound.  And from the looks of my ankles after 16 hours of flying, lay-overs, several time changes and daylight savings...I might lose a couple more in the next day or two if I'm good about pounding my water.

I really wanted to load myself up on the yummy pastas and desserts...I mean I was in ITALY after all.  But really, I was in ITALY and it wasn't really about the food, it was about experiencing the city itself. About being with my family (even the whiney ones) and visiting with my brother and his lovely family.  This is a new mindset for me....I'm sure there are plenty of people who would look at me like I had an extra arm when I say how much I miss food, how much I enjoy food, I mean I enjoy cooking it, I enjoy thinking about it, I enjoy planning the menus etc..It's more than just eating the food (and trust me, LOVE that) it's about enjoying all parts of food. Part of traveling for me is enjoying the food of the countries, states, areas we go to.  Well, with VSG, this looks differently (well, if you're working your VSG that is).

Here's what I did, and I think it worked really well.

I only had a piece of pizza once, it was a choice between the pizza or a plate of pasta, I figured I could 'control' it better with the pizza.  I promised myself one, not only off-plan, but derailed and a chuck-it kind of meal....just one.

I didn't worry about fat, salt, or calorie content with anything else, I just made sure I had protein and veggies choices for almost every other meal. And everything tasted so darn good, it wasn't deprivation at all.  One meal was prosciutto and melon -- the melon was sweeter than any dessert and combined with the saltiness of the prosciutto --way yum! It helped that we stayed with my brother and his family and so for breakfasts I had a boiled egg and of course a cappuccino.

Now, I got my 'fixes' along the way, with a bite of Jason's or the kid's pasta. A bite of pizza here and there, a sip of wine, a sip of limoncello, or a little lick of the kids Gelato (and believe me there was NO chance those kiddos were going to let me have more than a lick).

Not once did I feel deprived.

Or even sorry for myself.

The trip was wonderful.

I don't feel guilty about my eating.

I didn't gain weight, I may have actually lost some (we'll find out on Wednesday :D)

I feel great on so many levels about our vacation and it's nice to say that not having overindulged is another way I feel good.

Do any of you have good tips for your eating plans when you travel?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pompei Scavi, Italy


No food porn with this post. In fact when we got to our lunch, Jake asked if I was going to take pictures of the food. My answer was no, because, once again it was a plate of mozzarella and tomatoes. And anyhow this day wasn't about food, it was about Pompeii.

Yesterday we ventured out on our own to Pompei Sacvi. The night before we watched the BBC documentary of what happened when Mt. Vesuvious blew. It was interesting and I highly recommend it, especially if you decide to visit. The train ride there was about an hour. We took the train from Possuoli to Naples central station and from there we caught the train to Pompeii.

The tickets into the museum were 11 Euros each (no discount for children, unless you are from an EU country).
We really like the Steve Reeves' Italy tour guide (well my brother and his wife really like it and we agree, it was very helpful). He mentioned to buy the Pompei guide in the book store and take it along with you during your walking trip.
One of the houses with some steps.  Jason's stepping out of a little alcove.
Ampitheatre, the guide book said it was built in the Hellinistic style.  
 It's amazing how these cobblestone streets from so long ago are so well-preserved.  It reminded me of the streets in the older section of Naples, and we wondered if this area of Pompei would have looked similar to Naples today if a Volcano hadn't erupted and buried it.
 Mt. Vesuvius....doesn't look all that intimidating.  
 Picturesque well
 I finally let someone else have the camera...more cityscapes. Below, and you can't see was a gathering area for people during intermission, before and after the entertainment from the ampitheatre. In the last years of Pompei, it's where the gladiators bunked.



 A fountain.  There were some that were working fountains with modern spigots that people could use now.


 Beautifully done and preserved mosaic
 Another mosaic
 The people of Pompei would flood the streets in order to clean them.  They placed these stepping stones periodically through the town so that people could cross. One stone for small streets, two for the larger streets, three for the main thorough fairs.  There was enough clearance and room between the stones and streets ends in order for a chariot to pass.
 One of the bath houses.  There were forty bakeries and thirty brothels in Pompei. Just in case that's ever a question on Jeopardy you can answer it, otherwise not information anyone needs to know.
 One of the bakeries

 Me with Mt. Vesuvius in the back ground. This was the entrance to one of the Forums.
 The Forum. This was Jake's expression, before we decided to bribe give them financial incentive to have a better attitude. 10$ each if they didn't complain the rest of the trip and another 10$ each if they were enthusiastic and asked thoughtful questions.  

 I'm always amazed how nature will find away, here's a small bush growing out of a ruined column.
 Top of a column from the Temple of Venus.
 The Basilica is the courthouse next to the Forum.  Churches that we call Basilicas took their floor plan from structures such as these.  I love it when I learn something new.  
 This was from a vendor. This little hole would have fire in it and they would put food in the top to keep in warm.

 One of the entrances to Pompeii   At night they would close the bigger gate (archway) and only keep the smaller one open, to help protect its citizens.  The bay of Naples actually came very close to this area during the time of Pompeii.  The guide book said you could even see some of the rings where the boats would moor. I couldn't see them though.  I didn't look really hard either.

 Another temple, can't remember to whom?
 Look, he's smiling, our incentive program is working so far.
 Next to the ampitheatre, this is where people would gather and in the last years of Pompei, the gladiators bunked.
 Jason and I thought it was interesting that they built patterns within the brick. We wondered if this was a decoration or an actual directional sign.

 Another shot of the Basilica
 Isaac hanging out on one of the 'benches' over two thousand years old...you're not going to find that in the States.  
 Temple to Hercules and Mt. Vesuvius
 One of the things they did to increase the safety and longevity of the structure is to put the stones in a diagonal pattern.



 Leaving Pompei and back in Pozzuoli where my brother, son and his wife live. They have the middle unit in this building.  The siblings and their families of the person who owns this unit live in the one above and below.  It's a very cultural phenomenon that families live is such close proximity to each other. 



Today it's the museum. It's raining so no hiking Mt. Vesuvius for us.  Tomorrow and Friday - Rome.