Monthly Archives: January 2019

Adventure

Medical News Today

When our son was home visiting from Thailand over the holidays, he talked about how much meditation has helped him.  He had started practicing it by himself, then went to a monastery in Chiang Mai for two weeks. He’s been practicing daily ever since, feeling much more calm, in control of his thoughts, reactions, and emotions, and feeling content.

Tonight (our time) he’ll start his newest adventure – spending time learning to meditate from a master in a monastery in Siddharthanagar, Nepal. He had to fill out a lot of forms and answer many questions to be accepted for a 3-week stay. This time can be extended with the permission of his teacher. He hopes to stay two months.

He’ll eat breakfast at 5 a.m., then meditate until lunch. After lunch (the last meal of the day) he’ll meditate until bedtime – a total of 14 hours every day. He’ll be interviewed by his teacher or a nun there daily, 6 days each week so they can keep track of how things are going, what he’s gaining, what he needs to focus more on, etc. He’ll do sitting and walking meditation.

During this time, in respect for the monastery, the school, and the concentration on this opportunity to learn, he’ll be incommunicado – OUR character-building part of his adventure. This will end, if all goes as he hopes, around the end of March.

I hope he gains what he hopes to during this two-month period. I already felt that he was calmer, more outgoing, more accepting of everything while he was home. I’m really proud of the kind, caring man he is. It’s fascinating to talk with him, learning what he thinks of life, priorities, goals, and more. He already can look at a situation with more depth than his parents, seeing it in a whole different light than we. I’ll be so interested to hear what he has learned and felt during this latest adventure.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises, empowerment, Encouragement, quality of life

Patting Myself on the Back a Bit

JaneSturgeon.wordpress.com

I promised myself that when I finally finished getting our tax stuff together for our CPA, I would then keep up with things on a monthly basis, and reorganizing our files according to deductions, etc.

I’ve just spent much of the afternoon doing just that for January, 2019!  I had made spreadsheets of deductions, and copied them for 2019. I used the stuff I had accumulated for January, plugged in the numbers on the proper spreadsheet, then made new files. I then balanced our checkbooks, finishing things up for the month.

I may break my arm trying to keep patting myself on the back, but I’m really happy that this afternoon resulted in such a good start to the new year.

Ironically, by the time I have this down to a science, I’ll probably have croaked!  :0)

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Lion Families

RJ Bennett – LinkedIn

 

Catherine Lee – LinkedIn

 

RJ Bennett – LinkedIn

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

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The Long View on Our Diet and Exercise Efforts

gif-finder.com – Use Your Blinker

Over a year ago I was at my heaviest. My joints hurt. I didn’t exercise, and didn’t even want to THINK about it. I was depressed. My clothes kept becoming too small. I couldn’t shop at regular stores for clothes anymore. My digestion was poor. I was on a lot of medications. I dreaded going for doctor appointments, and especially having to get on the scales.

My husband and I tried low carb, and we did some good, and then we started Nutrisystem in April of last year. It was May before we could get our act together on eating, and even longer for me to start trying to move more.

I measured and weighed this morning. We’re still trying to lose what we gained during the holidays and our son’s visit, but we’re getting there. I looked at where I was at my heaviest for inspiration and motivation today.

Since my heaviest, I’ve lost 39.2 pounds and 47.7 inches. I’m trying to exercise daily and consciously get up and move more during the day. I love being at my computer, but between sessions I get up and DO something – like my exercise for the day, or another session on the great purge of my house I started last year. I’m now on Phase II and am working in the pantry today.

I want to lose another 30 pounds so I’ll be in the ‘healthy’ range on BMI and insurance charts. I’ve improved my numbers on blood tests a lot since I’ve gotten serious about trying to get healthier, and so has my husband, who has Type 2 Diabetes. (His blood sugar was 84 this morning!) We have gotten better numbers on our cholesterol, lipids, etc., and our doctor is nodding happily. (We hope she’ll do so again at our 6 month check-up on Monday)

I want to have GOOD numbers on blood pressure, blood tests, etc. And I would LIKE to improve my strength, balance, stability, flexibility and more so I can do what I’d like to do for as long as humanly possible. It would be great if I could lessen joint pain, too.

So – even though we’re not back to where we were before the holidays yet, the long-term difference is good.  We both weigh significantly less than we did at one point. We’re healthier than we were over a year ago, and we’re taking better care of ourselves.

My husband is reading something on his Kindle that is catching his attention about health – something that used to be quite unusual for him. He said that people whose waistlines were 80% of their height lived, on average, 20 years less than folks who had more moderate waistlines. He also read that salmon is good for us, and asked if I would fix some.

It’s now on tonight’s menu!

 

 

 

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How are You Bearing Up?

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Jim Harrison via RJ Bennett – LinkedIn

 

Wallpaper-Gallery.net

 

SayingImages.com

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Friends

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

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Learn

Ayn Rand – SayingImages.com

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“Here’s Lookin’ at YOU, Kid.”

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

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Three Gold Stars, So Far…

I really don’t like to exercise. Most of the things I really like to do involve sitting – reading, artwork, working at the computer, etc. So, in order to motivate myself to move more, I employ a lot of outside help.

  • First, I’m trying to do something different each day, trying to put the emphasis on different muscles, different goals, attempting to make my body sit up and take notice. (Since I’m not an athletic person, my body is really NOTICING!)

 

On Monday, I did 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer. Since it’s out in our garage and it’s COLD here in Arkansas, I moved faster than usual and was happy with my workout.

 

 

Yesterday I focused on yoga stretching and abdominal exercises. Since it’s been awhile since I exercised (I used all kinds of excuses – the holidays, our son home visiting for three weeks, then reaction to our first Shingles shot – to procrastinate – and believe me, I can get quite creative when it comes to excuses – I was a bit stiff and sore. I was still able to touch my toes, but the abdominal exercises were quite a challenge. I made it through my workout, but the hiatus showed me that I need to get – and stay – serious about this effort.

 

 

 

This morning I tackled what I call my ‘Annoying Leslie” walking video. I have to admit this lady knows what she’s doing, looks great, and provides a really good workout for me. I only made ONE mile, instead of TWO this morning, so my work is cut out for me here, too. I want to be able to walk TWO miles and then do the exercises at the end of the video in time.

Tomorrow I plan to do balance and reaction time activities on the Wii Fit Plus DVD. I have to grit my teeth because whoever wrote this video has a bit of a cruel streak. Even when I do better than I did the previous time, it says, “This isn’t your strong suit, is it?” or something to this effect, and “Do you fall down a lot?”  Nevertheless, I know I NEED the balance exercises AND the reaction time stuff, so once a week won’t kill me. (I do wish I could punch the person in the face, though.)

Finally, on Fridays I’ll try to keep up with this gorgeous, graceful lady as she grooves to fun music. This is really a workout, and I have trouble keeping up with her, but she is really laid back. She stresses that you don’t have to do exactly what she’s doing. You can do your own thing – just keep moving. This is a fun, though strenuous for me video. It’s a good way to end my exercise week.

Weekends will be for any make ups needed.

  • My second motivator, along with the change in activities daily, is that I give myself an actual gold star – the type we used to get a hundred years ago on papers on good school work. I got a package of 1,000 on the Internet for next to nothing and I add them to my desk calendar when I complete my exercise for the day. It’s amazing how childish I am, actually making myself get up and go exercise in order not to spoil my record for the week :0)
  • The third motivator is that I’m beginning to FEEL a difference. When I walk, my body feels a bit looser. The pain in my joints is less. I FEEL happy that I’m trying to improve my health.
  • The fourth motivator is that my husband, who truly treats exercise as if it’s a four-letter-word, is being a bit of a cheerleader. The only room large enough in our house to really spread out or move around on the floor is our living room. It’s where our DVD player is, too. So he sees a lot of my exercise efforts. He’s actually congratulating me on a job well done, or encourages me when I’m disappointed, saying I’ll do better next time.
  • The final motivator is that the measuring tape is showing some improvement and I’m able to get into clothes I haven’t worn in years, or – when I buy new things, I’m able to buy smaller sizes for the first time in umpteen years.

So – I have 3 stars this week so far – and am going for number 4 tomorrow!

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Only in Arkansas

Only in Arkansas – Josue Enriquez via Cindy Basnett Thurman

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I Like Cake

SayingImages.com

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A Boy and His Friends

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Elena Shumilova via Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

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I Love Bunnies

“Bella – Critical Eye” – Paul Militaru Photography

 

“Mona – Feminine Curiosity” – Paul Militaru Photography

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Reading is FUNdamental

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

Right now I’m reading

  • Paleo Beginners Guide
  • The REALSIMPLE Method to Organizing Every Room and How to Keep it that Way
  • iPhone 8 Guide, and
  • Rereading The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares (#1 of a 5 book series I love),
  • Draw Real Animals! by Lee Hammond, and
  • Greenhouse Gardening for Beginners by Jason Johns

 

Elizabeth Scott via NUSTBookClub.wordpress.com

What are you reading lately?

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A New Favorite Bird

“Tawny Frogmouth” – Wikipedia.com

“The tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) is a species of frogmouth native to and found throughout the Australian mainland and Tasmania. Tawny frogmouths are big-headed, stocky birds often mistaken for owls due to their nocturnal habits and similar colouring.” ~ Wikipedia.com

This is a new favorite bird for me because I put it into the category “So-Ugly-It’s-CUTE.” How could you not love something that looks like this?

 

 

RJ Bennett – LinkedIn

 

Survival.org.au

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The Beautiful Art of Pet Portraits

“Tribute” – Jessica Anlauf – LinkedIn

 

Jessica Anlauf – LinkedIn

 

Rita Kirkman – LinkedIn

 

“Stan” – Niki Firmin – LinkedIn

 

“Tosca” – Niki Firmin – LinkedIn

 

Gary Wing – LinkedIn

 

Gary Wing – Linkedin

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Muffin Recipe – Thumbs UP

“5-Ingredient Banana Nut Muffins” – The Leaf – Nutrisystem

My husband and I each had a muffin for our mid-afternoon snack.

Both of us gave our muffin a thumbs up. It was chewy, crunchy, and sweet.  It has rolled oats, ripe bananas, raisins cinnamon and nuts. Mine didn’t look as good as these, but the muffin tasted good and was filling.  I’ll make this recipe again.

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Robert Irwin Photography

Robert Irwin is the late Steve Irwin’s son.

My Modern Met

He’s all grown up and is making a name for himself in photography. These are just a few of his wonderful shots –

Robert Irwin – JustSomething.co

 

Robert Irwin – JustSomething.co

 

Robert Irwin – JustSomething.co

 

Robert Irwin – JustSomething.co

I hope his talent takes him a long way.

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Turning Over Several New Leaves

5 Ingredient Banana Nut Muffins – The Leaf Recipes – Nutrisystem

LEAF ONE:  My husband and I decided that we would stop the regular Nutrisystem program for a while. Due to our doing our own thing and our son coming home for a three-week visit, we had an over-abundance of NS meals we needed to eat. The Nutrisystem people were kind enough to honor our request for a hiatus in shipments until the first of March. We since have made another big decision: we’re going to stop the regular programs we were on in favor of ordering A LA CARTE for each of us. This way we can get what we want and not have things we’re not crazy about, but have paid for to eat. I also priced what we plan to order in March, and we’ll save significant money. Win/win.

LEAF TWO:  I’ve decided to try more of the flex meals and snacks, cooking more than I have been – (other than comfort food things, such as beef stew.) Some snacks I’ve been eating are bothering me and I want to have healthy snacks on hand. I already eat a lot of raw veggies at lunch, so I’ve been scrambling a bit. Today I fixed “5-Ingredient Banana Nut Muffins” from the Flex Snack Group of Recipes on The Leaf, a part of the Nutrisystem website. The muffins are cooling on the counter as we speak. I’m hoping they’ll be yummy.

My husband was asking that I fix chicken tonight, so we bought some boneless, skinless chicken breasts while we were out. Tonight I’m going to try another new recipe, “Baked Chicken Tenders.” 

“Baked Chicken Tenders” – The Leaf – Nurtrisystem

LEAF THREE:  You’ve probably heard me say this before, but I’m saying it AGAIN – I’m going to try to get into my new routine of daily exercise.

This morning I did 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer in the garage. I’m trying to do something different each day to make my body sit up and take notice. Tomorrow I’ll do half an hour or so of yoga and abdominal exercises. Wednesday I’ll do a walking video. Thursday I’ll do Wii Fit Plus, particularly for the balance and reaction time games. Friday I’ll do my new dance/exercise video. Exercise on the weekends will be optional – or will be make up days for anything I missed.

I’ve been stuck at 30 pounds and 30 inches off for quite a while, mostly due to my own failings. I would like to continue on from here, making some good progress again.

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Focus

The Hippies Were Right -via Michael Remillard

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Who Doesn’t Love Doggies?

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

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Saverio Scoleri Portraits

Saverio Scoleri – LinkedIn

 

Saverio Scoleri – LinkedIn

 

Saverio Scoleri – LinkedIn

 

Saverio Scoleri – LinkedIn

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Jessica Anlauf Pet Portraits

Inquire about Commissions by Jessica Aulauf

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Your CUTE for the Day – 1-27-2019

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Elena Shumilova via Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

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Reality

SayingImages.com

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Bethany Kerr Art

Bethany Kerr

 

Bethany Kerr

 

Bethany Kerr

Bethany Kerr

 

Bethany Kerr

 

Bethany Kerr

Bethany Kerr

 

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Skunked!

Jacob Dingel – WildlifeHelp.org

 

The first indication we got last night was Amber suddenly standing up – fur standing up on the back of her neck and her butt – agitated and whining, demanding to go out. We have learned the hard way NOT to let her out at times like this.

We penned Amber up behind a dog gate and went out to the garage to investigate. We never SAW him, but it was obvious that a skunk had either been in the garage or had been close by. The garage REEKED.

Happily, both doggies and one cat were inside. Smoke, our 2nd cat, apparently only walked through the odor, not having gotten skunked directly. Her dose wasn’t even bad enough we had to try to bathe her.  I’m really happy because she would have expressed her intense displeasure by ripping us to shreds while we tried to apply the fix.

(We use a recipe of hydrogen peroxide and Dawn dish washing liquid to bathe our animals when they’ve been skunked. It works better than the standard tomato juice suggestion, and well enough that we can allow the treated and then bathed animals back into the house.)

We took the doggies out for their final outing separately – each on a leash – to make sure we had control of them.

This morning you can still smell skunk in the garage, but we have the garage door open and expect most of the odor to be gone by the time we close up for the night tonight.

I have no clue what we would have to do to try to get the smell out if the skunk had given the garage a serious dose…

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Cat’s Meow

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

“I am as vigilant as a cat to steal cream.” -William Shakespeare, Henry IV

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

“When they are among us, cats are angels.” – George Sand

 

Wim Beunderman – LinkedIn

“I really am a cat transformed into a woman.” – Brigitte Bardot

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

“I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through.” ~ Jules Verne

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

“Cats always seem so very wise, when staring with their half-closed eyes. Can they be thinking, “I’ll be nice, and maybe she will feed me twice?” ~ Bette Midler

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Kindness

Thomas North – LinkedIn

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Creative Snow Art

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stomp.straitstimes.com

 

The Lakewood Scoop – Elias C.

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The Gorgeous Polar Bear

RJ Bennett – LinkedIn

 

Michele Romito – LinkedIn

 

RJ Bennett – LinkedIn

 

RJ Bennett – LinkedIn

 

RJ Bennett – LinkedIn

 

RJ Bennett – LinkedIn

 

RJ Bennett – LinkedIn

 

2011 Charles Glatzer, http://www.shootthelight.com via RJ Bennett – LinkedIn

 

RJ Bennett – LinkedIn

 

Caters News Agency via RJ Bennett – LinkedIn

Hahahahahahaha!

*These photos are taken by several wonderful photographers. All are joined in an effort to preserve our planet, habitats, and the wonderful diversity of life it contains.

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