Saturday, January 22, 2011

Weight loss chart

I've been wanting to set up an Microsoft Excel chart to keep track of my weight and hopeful weight loss.  I went to Excel and started.  I know that I'm Ecel challenged so I knew I would have trouble figuring out how to make my chart automatically subtract (or sadly add) my weight each week.  I tried but quickly gave up.  Then I asked myself why am I trying to reinvent the proverbial wheel so I went to trusty 'ole Google and did a search for an Excel weight loss template and found one at  I decided to try it out.  I downloaded the 2003 version (my computer is old) and it downloaded just fine.  The data that you will see when you open the downloaded file are dates and weights preset by so I had to change the dates to make it current and then added my own information and it worked.  I did have to unlock the password protection in order to change the dates.  There is a link page in this download that I didn't want so I deleted it in my final copy.  Then when I saved it to my own folder I clicked "Save As" and now it's my own with my own individual information. 

I went ahead and cut and paste the information from website and here it is. I left out the actual sample pictures since I don't think they would transfer from her site to this one.  Thanks goes to Debra the owner of 


Excel Weight Loss Tracker

Uh-oh! I finally remembered where all the Christmas cookies went, and maybe some of the chocolates. And it’s not pretty. Apparently, when you sit at your keyboard for hours, with the occasional cookie break, it puts the “spread” in “spreadsheet.”
Time to get things under control, and I’ll use an Excel weight loss tracker. It can store weekly weight records, calculate the weight loss, and show the progress in a weight loss chart.
With some fancy programming, it could probably create some healthy menus, and zap me if I reach for a cookie, but I’ll work on those features later.
There’s a link at the end of this post, where you can download the Excel Weight Loss Tracker sample file. I’m not a trained medical professional, so use the Excel Weight Loss Tracker at your own risk, and for entertainment purposes only, etc.

Weight Loss Goals

On the first worksheet in the Excel Weight Loss Tracker file, there are cells where you can enter your personal data and goals.
In the Excel Weight Loss Tracker sample file, I’ve entered the data for my daughter’s favourite Toronto Blue Jays baseball player. He probably had a few extra cookies over the holidays too, and needs to get in shape before the baseball season starts.
Data is entered in the green cells, and calculations, such as Target Date, are in the white cells.  This shows the good news for the Blue Jays. If this player can work off about 3.5 pounds per week, he’ll be ready!

BMI Calculations

The first sheet in the Excel Weight Loss Tracker also has information on Body Mass Index (BMI) from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It calculates your current BMI, and target BMI, and shows the ideal weight range for your height.
The BMI table is used as a lookup table for the ratings for the current BMI and Target BMI. The Minimum and Maximum ideal weight range is calculated from your height, and the Normal range in the BMI table.

Weight Tracking

The second sheet is the Weight Tracker sheet, where weekly weights are entered. It also calculates the weekly weight change. Just enter your weight in column B each week, and the change is automatically calculated.

Weight Loss Dashboard

The final sheet is the Dashboard, with a simple line chart to show the recorded weights, and a summary of the weight loss. It calculates the total weight change, and shows how many weeks are left until you reach the target end date.

Download the Excel Weight Loss Tracker

You can download a zipped copy of the Excel Weight Loss Tracker (Excel 2007) or Excel Weight Loss Tracker 2003 (Excel 2003), and try it for yourself. The sheets are protected, with the green cells unlocked, and there’s no password on the worksheets.
And stay away from the cookies!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fuel Oil bill

Oh yes!!!  Just got the fuel oil bill for the last two weeks of fill up.  It totaled appro. $475.00.  That is down from the approx. $550.00 from the earlier two week fill up! 

Oh yes...perhaps all the preventative measures I did have helped.  Of course, right now we're in a cold snap and that will increase fuel oil consumption.  I'll  just have to wait two weeks and see what happens.  Just wanted to share my good news...amazing that $475.00 for two weeks of fuel oil is good news!  And the recession is supposed to be winding down...NOT.

One Week Later

It has been a week since I last posted.  I had been hoping to post more frequently than this but my "To Do" list seems to grow longer and posting on my blog seems to fall farther down on the list.  I've got a few moments between cleaning chores to take a small break and post. 

I've worked on getting today's FlyLady's Thursday mission complete...clearing off the porch of any remaining holiday decorations.  I did have three Christmas items still outside on the front porch.  Two pre-lit topiaries, one very large snowman blowup.  I've deflated the snowman and now I need to pack it up and get it put away.  It's cold outside and I wasn't looking forward to going outside and bringing them in.  In truth, it only took a few minutes to bring them inside to warm them up.  Once they're warm enough to touch, I'll pack them away. 

The other part of Flylady's Thursday mission is to inventory things running low in the main bathroom.  Our main bathroom is still in "renovation mode".  We are waiting for a toe kick to arrive at Lowes.  Once that comes in Chris, our very talented builder, will come out, install the vanity, and sink.  Then he'll put in the new faucets and seal our old bathtub faucets.  We tried having new bathtub fixtures installed but the existing pipes don't accommodate the new types of hardware and it would cost far too much to go through a wall and welding new pipes.  Back went the old hardware and we'll just live with it.  We're hoping the new sink hardware will be O.K. to install.  Once all the renovations are in we'll paint the walls and then I can get the bathroom back to 100% usefulness.  I must admit that we still haven't picked a paint color.  The tub and toilet are a bone (bisque) color and the vanity is a sea grass green.  The floor and bath tile is also bone (bisque).  We don't want tan walls but it's a small bathroom and a dark wall color will seem to make the room appear even smaller.  It's been difficult matching up the green of the vanity to a wall color.  Any suggestions? Tan is getting boring.

I just finished substitute teaching in a second grade class.  One subject they must study in second grade is penguins.  I had fun with the students learning about penguins.  Our final project was to take all that we learned and make a penguin lapbook.  Did you know that there are 17 species of penguins worldwide?  I learned that the smallest penguin is the fairy penguin.  I also learned that an emperor penguin (the largest of all penguins) stands up to 44 inches tall.  I helped the students measure their height to see if they are shorter, taller, or the same height as an emperor penguin.  One student measured exactly 44 inches tall.  He looked up at me and said, "This is just great, Miss Cox, I'm a penguin!"  Then he "penguin walked" his way back to his desk. 

I would love to post a picture of the penguin lapbook I made as a sample, while the students made theirs, but my iPhone died and I don't have any camera to use. 

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thursday and Tired

This weeks seems to be dragging.  My "To Do" list seems endless with little getting done. 

Martin and Hammie (son and nephew) went to Cub Scouts tonight.  They worked on making their own sleds out of cardboard and duct tape.  I stayed home with the girls so they could study for their social studies test and I could get supper started.

Lindy took the boys to scouts.  She said they had a great time.  When they came in the door both boys came out to the kitchen to tell me all about their sleds.  Lindy took a few photos so they were able to show me.  They were very excited.  Cub Scouts will be planning a sledding party in the future and they will be able to earn a badge.

Tonight's supper was Chicken Pesto Panini’s.  I must say they were yummy.  I did cheat a bit and bought ready made pesto.  I didn't have fresh basil and the price at the store was outrageous.  Adding up the price of all the ingredients caused me to decide that buying it was the cheaper way to go.  I used half the container for all six of us and I put the remaining half in the freezer for another meal. 

I pulled out my panini grill and discovered that it was broken.  I tried gluing it with a super glue but it didn't work.  In the trash it went.  With all the sandwiches made and ready to grill I went to Plan B which was using my little George Foreman grill.  I was able to cook one sandwich at a time but it was worth it.  The next time we make these we decided that we'll try pork tenderloin instead of chicken to see if we like one over the other.

It's getting a bit lighter out now that the shortest day of the year has passed in December.  To the right of this post you should see the latest photo I've posted.  This is a photo of our elementary school's parking lot at 4:00 p.m.  It's not completely dark!  Light is returning!

Have a blessed day,


Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday Evening

This morning it was -7 F (-21 C) but now in the late evening it is 7 F above (-13C).  No matter which temperature it is I'm cold.  It seems the older I get the colder I get. 

For supper tonight we tried a new recipe, Pork Satay with Peanut Sauce.  It's from the Eat What You Love cookbook by Marlene Koch.  It's a cookbook of recipes low in sugar, fat, and calories.  According to the new Weight Watcher Points...they recently redid their point serving of this recipe is worth 6 WW points.  The recipe says it is four servings but I made the kabobs smaller and served six with it.  I don't know how to change the nutritional value for an individual serving when I changed the number of servings from what the cookbook said.  If four servings would be 6 WW points for each serving then six servings would be less WW points per serving.  Anyway, since I couldn't figure out how to change the nutritional value to reflect the increase in servings I just added 6 points for my supper.  We also had fried rice which was from the Weight Watcher starter booklet.  I don't have it at the computer with me so I don't remember how many WW points that is worth.

My family just loved this meal...all except for me.  I liked the pork kabobs but without the peanut sauce.  The meal for me was so so.  But the other five members just loved it and said that I'll have to make it again sometime.  Making five out of six happy works for me! 

I was planning on having a geletin dessert but I obviously wasn't paying attention this morning when I made the Jello.  After around 10 hours in the icebox the geletin was still liquid.  It seems that I added double the amount of liquid.  Deep six dessert!

Even though I didn't particularly like this recipe our family has tried five recipes between last week and the beginning of this week.  This is the only recipe I did not like.  The rest of the family has like all the recipes I've used from this cookbook.

Anyhow, once in a while we want to try new foods so we pick a few cookbooks and make weekly menus using those books.  It's fun to have everyone looking through cookbooks and offering new recipes to try.

Tomorrow is supposed to be Orange Chicken from this same cookbook.  I sounds yummy.  I hope it is.

Take care and stay well,

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pancake recipe

My kiddos said I make the best pancakes.  Other then a restaurant, my pancakes are the only pancakes they've eaten so they know no others.  But, that aside, they told me I should put my recipe on my blog.  Quite honestly this is a typical standard pancake recipe that I've tweaked over time to fit the tastes of my family.
Cox's Pancakes

Pancakes: (makes about about 10-12 pancakes depending on size)

Mix 4 tablespoons vinegar into 1 1/2 cups of milk to sour it.  Let it rest for several minutes. 

Combine in a separate bowl:
2 cups flour
4 tablespoons sugar or Splenda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

To the sour milk mixture add:

2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons melted butter or oil

Then add the dry mix to the liquid mix and whisk until the lumps are gone.  Now set the batter aside and let it rest for 10-20 minutes.

While waiting preheat your griddle.  When ready spray your griddle with cooking spray or add some oil if necessary.  Pour the amount of batter you want onto the griddle and cook until bubbles form on the pancake surface.  Flip the pancake and cook until the other side is browned.

My kiddos usually like it with some butter and good 'ole maple syrup but sometimes I'll add some mashed bananas or blueberries or even some chocolate chips.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Working On Insulating the Homefront

I spent the last several days working around the house trying to find out where we are loosing heat.  Our fuel oil bill is out of sight and Lindy and I are trying to figure out how we are spending so much to heat the house.  We did find some spots that needed some repairs so those are done.  I got out my trusty hot glue gun and glued a six inch strip of black fleece to the bottom of our garage door.  We had new weather-stripping installed along the bottom of it this past autumn but daylight was still leaking under it.  If daylight was coming in so was the cold air and the hot air heading out.  That has really seemed to help.

Then I tackled putting a quilt over the door that leads outside from my bedroom.  It's padlocked shut and now I've got a pretty quilt tacked over it.  I do miss looking out the window from the door but that's a small price to pay to hopefully save money on heat.

The kiddos discovered a hole in our crawl space that they could put their fist through.  I found it and it's like 1/4th to 1/2 a cinder block is missing.  Anyhow I took some extra odds and ends of fleece and stuffed them in the hole.  They started to fall through into the crawl space so I grabbed them.  I was trying to think of how to keep them in the hole and I saw some rocks under the eaves of the house.  By golly those rocks were a perfect fit.  I wrapped the fleece around the rocks and put them in the hole.  Then I covered the hole with more fleece and taped it to the wall of the house.  I'm thinking of going to Lowes or Home Depot and buying some of that insulation that's in a spray can and going to the crawl space and filling the rest of the hole from the inside out.

The next project was covering the old dryer vent.  We moved our dryer and moved the vent.  The old vent is now just an opening to the crawl space and we figured cold air is just flowing in.  I, again, took fleece (I have a bit of odds and ends of fleece) and taped it over the old dryer vent. 

On to the window in my bedroom.  A while ago the inside pane broke.  Basically we have just a single pane window.  It's a rather large window and I've been meaning to take out the broken glass but have never gotten around to it.  I never realized how long it would take to pry broken glass out of a window.  I also didn't realize how little pieces of glass can fly.  When I got done with the glass I had those little pieces of glass all around my room, on the bed and on the ironing board.  Everywhere I turned I would see little sparkly glints and find those tiny shards all around.  I can't tell you how long it took me to find all those itty bitty pieces of glass and put them in an old cat litter bucket.  Once I got the window cleaned up I was able to run the double sided tape around the perimeter and put on the shrink wrap plastic.  I got my hair blower, plugged it in and started in one corner and shrink wrapped the window.  I must say, it's not a bad job. 

The last thing we decided to do was to be more efficient with our hot water tank.  Our hot water tank runs off the fuel oil.  Now at bedtime I turn off the hot water tank and turn it on again before we get all the kiddos up.  After breakfast and lunches are made, after teeth are brushed and we're all bathed I turn off the hot water tank and keep it off until school is over and the kiddos are coming home.  That gives us hot water for the evening and for the early morning. 

We're hoping that these repairs plus using some electric space heaters will cut down on our use of fuel oil.  We'll have to wait a month to see.