Monthly Archives: April 2018
Filed under Paul Militaru Photography
Filed under Attitude, Encouragement
Entertainment Center Purge Project
Yesterday I started a new cleaning/purging/give away/throw away/reorganize project – the entertainment center in our living room. The shelves cover the wall at the end of the room and are brimming over with DVDs, books, gadgets, throws, afghans, ‘fru-fru’s’ (as my husband calls them, and more.
This project is fraught with peril because my husband doesn’t want me to do away with any of his DVDs or books. I will simply see if I can reorganize them a bit and clean thoroughly (yesterday I did a first pass and choked on the dust.)
He has an idea about using the computer to record all of our DVDs onto the computer, rather than having the physical DVDs. I’M the one dragging feet about that. I told him that he can do that with his DVDs, but I wanted him to leave MINE alone. :0)
I’m am going to seriously go through MY books and the other things in the shelves, seeing which I can sell on Amazon or donate to the local library for their next fund-raising sale. I’ll need to get up on a ladder to reach the back of each shelf, and that may be the extent of my exercise today.
This will be a several day project, with my trying to get more and more ruthless with each pass. (I’m starting with the large shovel ….)
Hummingbird Bird Bath is UP!
Last year I saw the prettiest picture on Facebook of a hummingbird bird bath. This one is very different from the one we saw, but we enjoyed putting our spin on the idea.
This tub has a hole in the center where the water can come in. We have a trashcan under it with a pump. The system is set up to recycle the water, only using more water if the level in the trashcan goes down below a certain point, at which time the hose automatically turns on to add the needed amount. The PVC pipe is drilled with holes to make the spray. The system is on a timer, so it starts up at about 8 am and turns off at about 8:30 pm.
I put bricks and stones in the bottom to be at a level where hummingbirds can sit or stand. They can play in the water, then warm up and dry off on the rocks. For some reason, we didn’t have a lot of hummingbirds visiting our deck, even though we had several feeders out and then built the bird bath. I like the bird bath enough, though, if only for the calming sound of the water, to make it well worth the effort – whether the hummingbirds like it or not. :0)
I’ll put out feeders this morning, just in case we have some hummers around.
Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Lewis projects
Greenwood Arkansas Tornado – 1968
April 19, 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of a tornado that practically wiped Greenwood, Arkansas off the map. It happened just after school let out on that day in 1968. 13 people died and hundreds were injured. Half the town square was obliterated, the tornado blowing away over 400 businesses and homes in the space of 4 minutes.
On April 19th of this year commemorations were held all over the city. Books were published by the Greenwood Democrat that we could buy, showing photos and giving details of that day. Farmers Bank also published a book that they were giving away to citizens. People gathered to see a video, ask questions of the survivors, and appreciate what happened. Others gathered at the square. Survivors recounted their memories of the day that devastated Greenwood. The tornado was national news in 1968. They figure now that it was an F4 tornado.
Through the tragedy, though, people rebuilt. Survivors with homes intact offered rooms, clothes, and food to those who needed them. Ham radio operators helped with communications. Surrounding towns provided help. Help was offered from far away, as well.
There were 2000 residents of Greenwood in 1968. Today there are around 10,000. Instead of giving up and going elsewhere, the strong people rebuilt the town, building a stronger sense of community than ever before.
The photos of the devastation tear your heart out. The people of Greenwood were stronger than 4 minutes of Mother Nature’s wrath, though – stronger than anyone knew.
My husband and I found Greenwood, Arkansas when he took a job in Fort Smith in 1987. We feel lucky to have found such a wonderful place to live.
Filed under Arkansas, Greenwood, Mother Nature
Greenwood AR Car Show 2018
We went to the 31st Annual Greenwood, Arkansas Car Show yesterday. I think it gets larger every year as word of mouth spreads about how enthusiastic we are about incredibly restored and souped-up cars. Proceeds go to local scholarships and charities. There are the wonderful cars of all types, models, years, of course, and there is food and drink, country music, door prizes and awards given in several categories for the entrants. Many of the cars are for sale.
The good businesses around the square shut down for something like this, knowing that the events are good for the town, the charities, and fun for the people. They close off three sides of the square to traffic, allowing the main road to stay open.
We spent about an hour there. My husband was interested in the engines. I was interested in the shape and colors of the cars. The oldest car I saw was a 1926 Ford. Something older than we are! :0)
My favorite is always a 1932 Ford Deuce Coupe. There is something about the size and shape of that vehicle that calls to me.
I have to tell you, though, that as much as I like a Deuce Coupe, I’ve been drooling over a deep purple Jeep that is in a lot on the way to Fort Smith lately –
The 1st Greenwood AR car show was in 1987, the year we moved to Greenwood and had our home built. It has been wonderful to watch it, and the town grow and thrive.
Filed under Encouragement, Favorite Quotes
Filed under Attitude, Encouragement
And So It Begins – Getting the Lard Off – Day Three
We started Nutrisystem on Thursday of this week, the 26th. So far I’ve lost 3.6 lbs.
The Nutrisystem people stress that you shouldn’t weigh yourself every day. They suggest once a week. I’ve always weighed myself every day, though, and I need the feedback that I’m going in the right direction, or at least staying reasonably steady. Even though this is just water loss, I feel happy that I have a good start. I have a long way to go, but losing weight is a great thing to be doing with my time each day. :0)
They also stress not to do any exercise the first week. Well, that’s all well and good, but I’m getting lots of exercise getting up to go to the bathroom all day (and many times at night, too.) Plus, life goes on, and I need to get things accomplished around here; so, no formal exercise until next week, but I HAVE been being active.
Example – since winter FINALLY seems to be over, we took the snow tires off the Honda Ridgeline yesterday and put the regular tires on. This is a laborious project, but after doing it twice a year for several years now, we have it almost down to a science. My husband does the heavy stuff, like getting the tires onto the “wheel studs.” (I just had to ask my husband what was the actual name for those. I hate to call everything ‘thingies.’) I’m a pretty good go-fer – rolling the snow tires out of the way, rolling the regular tire over to my husband, handing him the wheel nuts, bringing him tools, putting things away, etc. It takes us about half an hour now, when the first time it took us twice that.
I also planted a 6-pack of tomato plants and several squares of radishes yesterday. Since we don’t have our irrigation system going yet, later I got a hose hooked up and watered them. I rolled up our big fireplace rug and stored it under the stairs in a storage place and then vacuumed the living room, foyer, and office. The big thing yesterday was washing the two large dog bed covers, airing out the innards, then putting everything back together.
Add to that setting a timer so that we stay on our program for the day, eating every 3 hours, and you have much of our day yesterday.
My attitude is better since we’re finally on the road again to getting the lard off. I’m hopeful that as the extra weight comes off, we’ll feel better and better.
We made it through Day 1 of Nutrisystem. We have to say that they have improved a lot since we tried it years ago. I am eating and drinking out of the ‘magic red box’ (Turbo 13) in the Uniquely Yours for Fat Ladies program, and my husband is in the Diabetic Uniquely Yours program. His reaction yesterday was, “This isn’t half bad!”
Honestly, we were so busy eating or drinking at the proper times we hardly had time for much else. :0) We weren’t hungry. We did have a pang after dinner when we would usually have an ice cream sandwich or an orange dream bar, but we can have an after dinner snack NEXT week.
I drank the 64 oz of water, plus a couple of cups of coffee, so I got my exercise running to the bathroom during the day and four times last night…
We have Lunch Bunch today. We’ve done this for a hundred years or so, seeing good friends and catching up, and we’ll continue doing it regardless of what eating program we’re on. Starting next week, we can have Lunch Bunch be our flex lunch, as we’ll have our ice cream after bowling be our flex snack. Today I’m going to have a salad and write it up as the one I would have had with my lunch later, as one of my 4 servings of veggies per day. I’ll try to keep my husband on track for the rest of the day, but he’ll make the decision whether to cooperate or not.
I’ve started losing the expected water weight, so my body is recognizing that things have changed. Good start!
Filed under Amazing Animals, Favorite Quotes
Wisdom of Snoopy
Filed under Encouragement, Favorite Quotes
Nana’s Iris Plus “Volunteer Rose”
We bought three different colors of iris from Nana’s Iris Garden in Charleston AR about three years ago. We have several like this blooming now. I think they’re wonderful.
And when I was pruning our new Rio Samba rose bushes, I found this ‘volunteer’ right beside the front planter! If it’s a remnant of one of the bushes we had to cut down, we’ll try to nurture it and see what happens.
You probably already know this, but a lady at Sharum’s Nursery in Fort Smith showed me how to prune rose bushes to encourage more blooms. Ever since I learned this, I have SO much better luck with roses! –
- Take the spent bloom in one hand, and pull the branch out so that you can see the groupings of leaves. Find the first group of five leaves and prune at a downward angle right ABOVE the five-leaf cluster.
Filed under Gardening, Mother Nature
Square Foot Garden Progress – April
Yesterday I showed you the first harvest from our spring veggie garden. I’m delighted that everything seems to be happy so far.
The raised bed square foot garden consists of six 4’x4′ wooden boxes about my chest level filled with Mel’s Mix (a combination of peat moss, vermiculite, and three or more kinds of compost.) The boxes are divided into ‘squares’ by stretched string. I have opted to space things out a lot more this year because I lost a lot of produce by having the plants growing into each other. I decided to opt for a lot more air and space for each plant and see what happens.
We also have tomato plants in two converted brick planters on the other side of the house. We’ll plant another group of tomato plants soon so that we can space out our harvest and extend it as much as possible.
In the picture above you can see broccoli plants, spinach, iceberg head lettuce, romaine lettuce, and onions. I’ll add some radish seeds soon (as soon as I get the squares weeded) and also celery (when the ones I started in the house are large enough.)
Each box has a sprinkler in the center that are connected by pieces of hose. These are all tied to a main hose that connects to a rural type outside faucet. We put a timer on it so that the garden is irrigated each morning.
I’m going to wash spinach, romaine, and iceberg lettuce for our salad today harvested yesterday from the garden. I hope that one day we can eat our own broccoli!
Today is our first day on NutriSystem. I’m on the Uniquely Yours (for fat ladies) program and am eating from the Turbo 13 (magic) red box. My husband is on the Diabetic Uniquely Yours for Men. I ate the Maple Sugar Oatmeal breakfast and my husband ate the Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal. I don’t care for oatmeal, but it was easy to fix and I found it palatable.
We essentially eat and drink all day –
11:30 Snack One (first week a shake)
2:30 Lunch + veggie
5:30 Snack Two – (first week a nutrition bar)
8:30 Dinner + veggie
+ at least 64 oz of water (I’ll try for a 16 oz bottle of water for each main meal, and then one sipped during the day.)
For exercise, we’ll run back and forth to the bathroom from drinking all the water!
I have to tell you that, since my husband and I tend to use “National Tissue Week” as an excuse to go off our good eating plans, having meals (and especially portions) will be a great wake up call for us. I don’t seem to have the proper whatevers that are supposed to tell you you are full. I could eat a full meal and then eat another an hour later, so I’m also looking forward to only having to go three hours between eating.
The last time we tried Nutrisystem several years ago, they didn’t offer frozen food, and the variety of foods was less than we would have liked. Now it could be months before we can try everything! I’m also hoping that they won’t start discontinuing the options my husband has chosen, as they did last time. That was the thing that made us stop. Now they have as a major focus teaching you what is healthy to eat, what a reasonable portion is, and have you practice flex meals once each week from Week 2 on. This gives you a chance to not only learn how to choose what to eat if you eat out, but guidance as to what to eat for home-cooked meals so that you can learn healthy habits from the outset.
This morning I started NuMi, a food tracker to guide you through the program. You can input your goals, monitor your progress, record what you eat and drink, etc. One of the first questions was where I was in the program. When I input that this was my first day on the Turbo 13 week of Uniquely Yours for Fat Women, it immediately came up with what I was supposed to be eating today. I input my maple sugar oatmeal and it told me how many more calories I had allotted for the day, and showed me what else I would be eating.
I went through the quick tour, then immediately screwed up. I hit the ‘fast entry’ button for breakfast, and then decided I wanted to actually type in what I ate. I had a time getting the first entry off, but finally did it.
I hope that this program will help us, indeed, get the lard off, and teach us how to KEEP it off once we reach our goals. My husband will reach his goal before I do, but I’m hoping he’ll keep me company, continuing to use the program, or be satisfied with my new cooking choices and techniques.
Our frozen stuff was just delivered by Fedex. It was nicely packed in large styrofoam coolers with dry ice, the whole cooler shrink-wrapped and clearly labeled whose was whose.
We have just finished putting things away. It turned out that our frozen snacks went into the freezer in the pantry. Mine fit in one gallon sized ziplock bag, so I didn’t have to mark anything. Of the three trays I had cleaned out in the chest type freezer in the garage, my husband’s frozen stuff filled two of them to the brim. I put some of my stuff in the third tray, and put others in gallon ziplock bags. It’s really clear whose stuff is whose, so I didn’t have to mark those, either. :0)
Today is our last hurrah of ‘free eating.’ I’m not sure how we’ll spend it.
Tomorrow morning will start the first day of our Nutrisystem plans.
Any time you change your eating habits violently, there will be snags. We have Lunch Bunch Friday. I’ll go to visit with my friends and have a glass of water, opting to religiously stay on the program until I get a ‘flex meal’ NEXT week. My husband has opted to get his regular chicken fingers for Lunch Bunch. One meal off the plan in the first week won’t be the end of the world. He has agreed to do this, so I’ll work on getting him to go with the program as much as possible.
Tomorrow I’ll make us a salad bowl – two cups each for each of us , so all we have to do is dip out the servings when it’s time to eat lunch or dinner. I’ll also plan to serve us a cup each of broccoli with our dinner. (A serving is one cup of raw non-starchy veggies or 1/2 cup of cooked veggies, so this will be our 4 servings for the day.)
“Here is a quick glance at what you’ll eat during your first week on Nutrisystem:*
- Nutrisystem Breakfast from Turbo Takeoff Box (Husband chooses from his stash)
- TurboShake (for women) or Nutri-Pro Shakes (for men)
- Nutrisystem Lunch from Turbo Takeoff Box (husband chooses from his stash)
- NutriCurb Bar
- Nutrisystem Dinner from Turbo Takeoff Box (husband chooses from his stash)
- At least four servings of non-starchy veggies and 64 ounces of water throughout the day
(Exercise is taken care of from drinking the 64 (at least) oz of water each day. Our eyeballs will be swimming, and we’ll be running to the bathroom a lot. :0)”
I hope that you are finding ways to take good care of yourself. Hopefully, this will be the start of our getting the lard off, moving more, and feeling better and better.
Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating
Filed under Encouragement, Favorite Quotes, Good Thoughts