Monthly Archives: February 2019

The Long and Short of It

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

The short answer is 43 pounds lost and 44.2 inches lost to date, since my ‘heaviest and lardiest.’

The longer answer is we’re trying to take care of ourselves, now that my husband and I are getting ‘long-in-the-tooth’ and would like to maintain or increase our quality of life for as long as we can, enjoying our lives to the fullest.

Since we both have health issues, my husband gave up added sugar and I gave up added salt. We are limiting our red beef, concentrating more on chicken and fish, veggies, fruit, and nuts. We’re both trying to drink more water. I’m trying to exercise. My husband said, “Now that I turned 75, I don’t HAVE to worry about exercising.” – as if he ever has. I am exercising more than I ever have, with the exception of when I was teaching swimming every summer and working in a restaurant part-time to help pay my way through college.  I continue to encourage him to exercise.

I’m concentrating on stretching, balance, core strength, and reaction time. Basically just trying to consciously move more. I’m doing a combination of yoga, abdominal exercises, walking, elliptical trainer, dance, and Wii Fit Plus each week. Sometimes I’m successful and get it all in, sometimes not. I’m trying to pat myself on the head (and give myself a gold star on my desk calendar) when I do well and not beat myself up when I don’t.

The same on eating. My husband is almost where he needs to be on weight. I still have a lot to lose to get to my goal of being in the healthy range on BMI and insurance charts. We’ve been on Nutrisystem, but are on hiatus now, trying to eat our way through the remaining food while not having more sent. In May we’ll probably change to A LA CARTE. We are doing our own thing a lot of the day and are needing the packaged stuff less and less. I’m substituting healthy recipes we really like for the entrees.

We’re giving ourselves permission to eat out when the mood strikes – a quality of life issue for us. Last night we ate dinner at The Dari, one of the new restaurants in Greenwood, Arkansas. Last night we got a seafood platter and two plates. This gave each of us plenty of food without overeating. We enjoyed our splurge/treat without breaking our diet. I made it a point to ask at the front counter who was responsible for the seafood. Several of the cooks raised their hands. I gave them a two-thumbs up, a big grin, and told them they were WONDERFUL.

I have to get a blood test on the 18th of March to see if I’ve improved in a couple of areas. Fingers crossed.



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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Are YOU also older than Dirt?, Challenges, DIET!, exercise, Healthy Eating, quality of life, taking care of yourself

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Bored Panda

I want to share another one of my favorite book/movie combinations: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

The book is by Deborah Moggach. I read the book many years ago and loved it. I then bought the movie on DVD made from the book, and then the second DVD because people wanted more. :0)

I just started the book again last night.  I love the reviews of the book –

“Underneath the ironies – is a book about remembering – too late, or not too late – how to be alive.” The Times Literary Supplement.

“Classic Moggach: funny, touching, and…full of colours and visual details.” The Daily Telegraph

I love being immersed into another world where I can can meet interesting people in wonderfully colorful situations. I can laugh and cry with them, enjoying their travels, insights, and love.

I re-read this every couple of years, then enjoy both DVDs. You might love them, too.

I found there are several books by Deborah Moggach on Amazon. I just ordered, “Something to Hide.”



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Filed under Book - Movie - TV Reviews

The Creativity and Talent of Bethany Kerr

Bethany Kerr


Bethany Kerr


Bethany Kerr


Bethany Kerr

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Filed under Bethany Kerr, Creativity, drawings

Your CUTE for the Day 2-28-2019

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, CUTE!

Outside Morning



Right now the temperature is dropping pretty precipitously, but this morning it was nice. After we did errands I spent most of the rest of the morning outside.

I love working outside, even though I poop out faster than I used to.

I checked on the onions I planted in my raised bed square foot garden recently. I used one whole 4 foot x 4 foot planter for Sweet Red Onions this time. They’ll stay there until harvest starting in August if all goes well. After I checked on these, I weeded another planter. We have six in all.

Then I checked on my seeds in the greenhouse. I’m trying to start Iceberg lettuce, Simpson lettuce, and spinach. So far, no sprouts.

Since it’s supposed to rain this evening, I spread fertilizer in our planters.

I walked around, drinking in the sight of our daffodils that are happily blooming from one end of the front yard to the other. I saw some hyacinths that are blooming, too – a sight for sore eyes.

The forecast is for SNOW Sunday and Monday, so I’ll find a king-sized sheet to put over the onions in the hope they’ll come through this hopefully last cold spell of the season.

I’m SO ready for spring!

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Filed under Gardening, greenhouse, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse

Happy Fish

I changed the water, cleaned the tank, and put in different decorations for the goldfish today. They have tripled in size since I got them, and goldfish are notorious for dirtying their water quickly. It’s a good thing I really like them because they’re a lot of work for pets that don’t show affection, do tricks, speak or anything. They DO, however, gather in the corner and wriggle their little bodies and blow bubbles at me when it’s feeding time twice a day.


Of course, I don’t give THEM affection, as such, other than to take care of them. I don’t do any tricks, though I DO speak to them. Maybe they hold me at arm’s length because I didn’t name them. (There are three regular-looking gold fish and one that is essentially white.)

“Very few of us have any idea whatsoever of what life is like living in a goldfish bowl, except, of course, for those of us who are goldfish.” ~ Graham Taylor

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We MAY Have Found a Bricklayer!

This is one of the two 8-foot brick planters that threatened to collapse. We built 14 planters around the house, but none of the others have had any problems. We’re not sure if we used bad mortar – that ONLY lasted 30 years, or if water froze on the inside causing the problem, but one corner split and then the whole side bulged out. We knocked one of the planters down several weeks ago, wrapping up the potting soil as best we could with tarps.


This is the second planter. We have the new bricks we need. We had looked for bricklayers, but hadn’t been successful. A friend of ours had the name and phone number of a bricklayer she thought might work with us. My husband called and left a message today on his phone. Fingers crossed that he is willing to help us and that he is affordable. Mixing mortar is a hard job, and it would be really nice if this rebuilding could be done by someone who knows what he’s doing, rather than merely one old couple who will do their best…

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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, Lewis projects

International Polar Bear Day

Jeff Jett – Linkedin


Jeff Jett – Linkedin

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Jeff Jett Photography

“Reflections of Venice”

“Reflections of Venice” – Graham Colthorpe

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Filed under Creativity, Watercolors I Love

A Friendly Dog

This is Amber, a 94-pound yellow lab ‘puppy’ who will be 2-years-old March 7th.  We were told that labs are puppies until they are two years old. I think this may have been a vast understatement.

Amber is a very sweet, affectionate dog. She regularly comes to me or my husband while we are in our recliners in the living room, putting her head down at our feet and doing a somersault so we’ll laugh and rub her tummy.  She has her foibles, such as continuing to take ONE piece of trash out of the can beside my chair. Only one – I think just to show us she knows she is not supposed to do it, but wants to anyway. She regularly checks in the pantry to see if Molly’s bowl is still on the floor to lick. It never is, but she still checks every morning and every evening, like clockwork. She regularly reminds us WHY we spent the money and went to the work of putting up doggie gates that she can’t open in almost every doorway on the first floor.

She is one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever known. She LOVES going in the car – anywhere – anytime – and never knows a stranger.

For example, we had three errands to run this morning. It took me a bit of time in the post office, and my husband said that SEVERAL people had come over to the truck to say “Hi” to her and pet her. She LOVES it. When I was in the drug store, the people inside with me could hear her crying. I told them she wanted to come in and see everyone. My husband said that everyone who came out came over and talked to her. I got into the truck and the pharmacist came out, saying she HAD to meet the dog! Amber leaned as far out of the car as she possibly could, covering the sweet lady with kisses.  She went back into the drug store, laughing, to wash her face. :0)

We have worked really hard to train Amber. She is so big and she has no clue that she is able to mow you down while you’re standing there, or that she can hurt you in any way. She minds really well when we’re home, inside the house. When someone comes over, though, all bets are off. She has never met us before and becomes ‘deaf’ ignoring our commands, just like a kid when you HOPE they’ll behave when company comes….

She is a challenge – particularly since we’re long in the tooth around here – but a joy.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Challenges, Family

Sweet Birds

“Profile of a Seagull” – Paul Militaru Photography

“Why do birds sing in the morning? It’s the triumphant shout: “We got through another night!” ~ Enid Bagnold


Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn

“Each bird must sing with his own throat.” ~ Henrik Ibsen


“Agile Stroll on Ice” – Paul Militaru Photography

“Use the talents you possess – for the woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except for the best.” ~ Henry Van Dyke


Tony Novak – LinkedIn

“Seagulls… slim yachts of the element.” ~ Robinson Jeffers


Yvonne Wilder – LinkedIn

“Hold fast to your dreams, for without them life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” ~ Langston Hughes


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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Jeff Jett Photography, Paul Militaru Photography


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

I absolutely LOVE this photo – especially the bird sitting on the man’s head. :0)

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Filed under Awe-Inspiring Photography, giving, Jeff Jett Photography

Inna Kashkovar Art

Inna Kashkovar – LinkedIn

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Filed under Creativity, The Art of .gifs

Niki Firmin – Pet Portraits

Niki Firmin – LinkedIn


Niki Firmin – LinkedIn


Niki Firmin – LinkedIn

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Filed under drawings, Niki Firmin - Pet Portraits


Nino Orlandi via Zelijko Divac – LinkedIn


Filed under Creativity, sculpture, When Wood Comes Alive

Lions, Tigers and Bears – Oh, My!

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


RJ Bennett – LinkedIn


RJ Bennett – LinkedIn

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Jeff Jett Photography, R.J. Bennett

It’s Starting to Look Like Spring!

This is the view from the back of the house. We can see at least two distinct ridge line from atop ours AND pretend it’s all ours! Things are starting to green up around here!

This view is looking the other direction.

It seems I’ve been waiting forever for spring. I can feel my spirits rising!


Filed under Seasons

A Picture of Delight

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Jeff Jett Photography

Progress in Planting

Raised-Bed Square Foot Planters in the Garden:

Yesterday I weeded one of the six raised bed square foot garden planters. It’s 4 feet x 4 feet.

Today we bought two bunches of Sweet Red Onions and I got them planted. Since they’ll stay where they are until they are ready for harvest (August or after) I planted them without stringing strings across to make ‘squares’ for planting. I just tried to give them room enough to expand to be good-sized, small sweet onions. I spread some fertilizer in the planter and then watered them.

I think they’ll make it through any freezes we have between now and spring, but, just in case, I can spread a king-sized sheet over the planter for protection.

I’ll try to weed one planter each good day, so hopefully they’ll all be ready to receive plants soon.





Two of the covered seed starters had water beading on the inside – a good thing.


This one was dry, even with the cover. I sprayed the plants with water again and used a different cover. Hopefully, it will hold the moisture in.

I’m not sure how long it takes for the seeds to sprout. I’m like a kid waiting for Christmas!

I’m planning to cut back our rose bushes today, plus give the wisteria some phosphorus fertilizer.


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Filed under Favorite Things, Gardening, greenhouse, Healthy Eating, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse, taking care of yourself

Sunday Afternoon Project


I’ve told you that we’re becoming more independent on our cooking and eating now that we’ve been on Nutrisystem for about 8 months. We’re going to switch to their A LA CARTE plan, only ordering what we truly want each month.

This means I’m cooking more for dinner mainly. We’re eating whatever I cook plus a large side salad most evenings to try to watch our portions on the cooked part of the meal.

We also read The Longevity Code and are trying to eat more poultry and fish, rather than red meat, lots of veggies (raw and cooked) and avoid things like white flour, pasta, rice, potatoes, etc. We’ve already cut out as much sugar as we can, and I’m not using any added salt these days.

Today’s project is condensing my recipes into hopefully one notebook. I’ve been gathering them from various sources, and I had piles of them in the kitchen, office, and in three different notebooks. I’m trying to discard recipes that have a bunch of stuff we’re now trying to avoid. Some can be altered into more healthy recipes with some substitution.

I’m about 2/3 finished with the project now. I’m going to feel better when the recipe I’m looking for is easy to find and I’m not distracted by my old style of cooking or my taste buds teased with things that are now definitely off the list!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, DIET!, Healthy Eating

A Perfect Day!

The weather is absolutely GLORIOUS in Greenwood, Arkansas today! Sunny, no wind, and currently in the low 50’s F. Perfect weather to be working outside, especially since I can be comfortable in a sweatshirt and no jacket. :0)

I used the opportunity to check on the seeds I planted yesterday in my greenhouse. The wind was blowing so HARD yesterday I was a bit worried we would have damage to the greenhouse, but it was fine.

I planted seeds in three seed starters yesterday.  There are places for 72 plants in each starter. I put Mel’s Mix in the starter containers (Mel’s Mix is Vermiculite, peat moss, and as many different kinds of compost as you can find or make.) This flat has Iceberg Lettuce seeds.

I did another starter of Spinach seeds.

And a third starter of Simpson Lettuce.

I sprayed them with water/fertilizer mix yesterday, so I sprayed them down well again and this time added the starter covers to help keep moisture in.


While I was out there, I did some cleaning up of the greenhouse. Although, I have to tell you, I have found that if it’s really NEAT and CLEAN, no one is trying to grow anything in there. (Same thing for my art room. The only time it looks really good is when nothing is happening. :0) )

We  have tables on three sides with storage underneath. This picture is of the end of the greenhouse opposite the door. The exhaust fan up high comes on automatically when the temperature exceeds 80 degrees (when the electricity is hooked up).

This is the right side of the greenhouse as you come in the door. As you see, there are lots of supplies.

I try to keep the tables on the left side of the greenhouse for plants and prepping. I have a trash can in the corner filled with Mel’s Mix and bottles of water stored underneath.

While it was so nice out, I went out to my raised bed, square foot garden. They are selling onion sets in town and I’m planning to get some tomorrow.

Unfortunately, the weeds love Mel’s Mix, too, so all six of the raised planters looked like this when I went out.


I don’t have to make ‘squares’ with string in order to plant onions, so this is ready to plant now.

Hopefully I’ll have a successful year for growing veggies!

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Filed under Favorite Things, Gardening, greenhouse, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse

Lions and Cubs

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

*Photos represent the work of many talented photographers united in the common goal of preserving habitat and wildlife.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Jeff Jett Photography

Majestic Eagles


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


RJ Bennett – LinkedIn

*Photographs are taken by many talented photographers all united in an effort to preserve habitat and our wildlife.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Jeff Jett Photography, R.J. Bennett

Alina Ciuciu Art

Alina Ciuciu – LinkedIn

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Filed under Acrylic Paintings I Love

On the Other Hand…

I made a “Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili” last night. The recipe is from

My husband called it a ‘stew’ rather than chili, but then tasted it and said it was, “Yummy!” When I asked if we should freeze the rest of it, he said, “No, I want to have more tomorrow.”

High praise, indeed.

Thank you,

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Filed under Healthy Eating, Trying New Recipes

Betty Crocker I Ain’t

Jennifer Rothschild

I spent half of the morning and afternoon trying a new recipe for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. They were for my husband, who is a Type II diabetic, and I’ve been trying recipes to see if I can find one that is very low sugar and tastes good.

I made quite a mess, filling the dishwasher with tools and implements, bowls, etc. At one point, my husband said, “That smells good!”

We let them cool a bit and each tried one.

Back to the drawing board….


Filed under Trying New Recipes

Setting Up in the Greenhouse

Right now it’s 60 degrees F., so I used the opportunity to go ahead and get some seeds planted in my greenhouse.

It’s REALLY windy outside, so I propped the open greenhouse door against the side of the greenhouse and put a chair up to it so it wouldn’t blow closed and lock me in. :0)

I prepared three flats (72 plants each) and planted one flat of iceberg lettuce, one flat of spinach, and one flat of Simpson lettuce. It was 70 in the greenhouse, so I’m HOPING that even if it gets to freezing in the mornings, it will stay above that in the greenhouse. I’ll check on the flats tomorrow. If this is successful, I’ll take pics so you can share the sprouting.

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Filed under anticipation, Arkansas, Favorite Things, Gardening, greenhouse, Healthy Eating, quality of life, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse


Jacob Dingel –

I put our 94-pound yellow lab puppy, Amber, out right before we were going to go to bed, about 11:30 last night.

When I let her in, she didn’t come in alone! She had been skunked! She was all upset, spitting and swallowing, and simply reeking!  And it was COLD and dark outside, so we couldn’t take her back outside to hose her off.

We took her upstairs to our tub. My husband JUST missed being pulled into the tub with Amber. (She is really strong and has little concern over the frailties of her humans.) He managed to run warm water in the tub while I mixed up our deskunking stuff: hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and Dawn dishwashing liquid. I grabbed a plastic pan we use when we’re sick and poured a whole bottle of hydrogen peroxide in it, then dumped in what was left in a box of baking soda and then squirted some dishwashing liquid in.

I ran out into the hall for washcloths. We got as much of this stuff as we could on the areas that needed it most – the side of her face, her left chest and her muzzle. Then I poured what was left over her head as my husband shielded her eyes.

Then we spent a LONG time trying to get her rinsed. I rushed back out into the hall to grab two large bath sheets. Two of them were just enough to get her dry enough to go back downstairs with my husband while I tried to mop up the bathtub area.

When I got back downstairs, we both stripped – putting our clothes right into the washing machine, since now WE were skunked, too, then took long showers trying to get the smell off. Febreeze is no match for skunk!

We thought we had done as well as we could to get the smell off. Just in case, I took several clothes pins to distribute to our friends at Lunch Bunch, plus the two long-time good buddy waitresses who bring us our food. Everyone got a laugh out of us and our story of washing the dog at midnight.

I’ve done three loads of wash trying to get things back under control today.

Amber seems to be her normal, doofus puppy self today, smiling and laughing her way through the day.

Tonight we will take the dogs out on a leash one at a time. My husband will be armed with a 22 just in case the skunk has decided to make a return visit.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Challenges, Family, Funny Signs - Humor

The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This is one of my favorite books. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

Kathyrn Stockett writes in a deceptively simple manner, painting wonderful pictures of the three strong women in the book and their relationship. She paints a first-hand account of life in Mississippi in the 60’s with all its wonders and shortcomings. You’re immersed in a world you may or may not find familiar, but you care about the women. You wince went hurtful or ugly things happen. Your heart goes out. It’s real. A strong story of the power of people to make a difference.

I read the book years ago, and then got the movie that was made from the book. Both are wonderful and should be treasured.

I don’t know if Kathryn Stockett has written more since this, her first novel, but I’m going to find out.

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Filed under Book - Movie - TV Reviews, Reading is FUNdamental

Decisions on Trying to Lose the Lard

My husband and I have been on Nutrisystem since April of 2018. We have each lost about 30 pounds.

My husband would like to lose another 10 pounds, but basically he is already at a healthy weight. He is a Type II diabetic, so we’ve been trying to really watch the sugar. He has brought his A1C down from a high of over 16 to 5.4 in January. We monitor his blood sugar twice a week.

I have another 30 pounds to lose. I’m doing this very slowly. Apparently being old, short, and female is a triple whammy as far as speed in losing weight. I’m not in this, though, to lose a certain amount of weight in as short a time as possible. I’m trying to get to a healthy weight for my height (though I’ve tried to GROW TALLER so I don’t need to lose as much weight). I want to keep the weight off.

We are narrowing the foods we enjoy via Nutrisystem (NS). I think this is healthy, because part of the program is learning to cook in a healthy fashion for yourself. We are doing this more and more, learning things to avoid, good things we can ‘throw into the pot’ to increase nutrition, and most of all, portion control. Apparently each of us was ‘eating-for-6-or-8’ so it was quite a shock to learn what is considered a ‘serving.’

To this end, we’re on hiatus from the monthly deliveries of NS food. We’re eating our way through the remaining food. We’ll probably switch to the A LA CARTE membership in May, so we can order the few things we really like and be on our own for the rest. We’re eating a lot of raw veggies and salads, cooked veggies, fruit, nuts, poultry and fish.

We are also following advice from the doctor who wrote “The Longevity Code.” Eating little or no red meat, switching to chicken and fish, eating more veggies, no white stuff (rice, pasta, potatoes, wheat flour.) We’re taking some supplements we didn’t know about, as well.

I’m finding more and more healthy recipes we like on the net. The newest thing I’m trying today is “Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili” from

We’re combining the best advice from many sources to come up with something we can stick with – and enjoy – for the rest of our lives.

Other than trying to eat in a reasonable, adult fashion, I’m trying to exercise.

Bored Panda

The big thing I’m trying to do is get my poor, old body to NOTICE that I’m doing a good variety of things:

  • elliptical trainer
  • yoga and abdominal exercises
  • walking video
  • Wii Fit Plus (for balance and reaction time)
  • dance video

I’m also carrying an ‘el cheapo’ pedometer in my pocket as a reminder to get up and move more.  I do something here at the computer, then get up and handle another part of the laundry, then something else, and then come back later to a sitting thing, either here or in my art room. Then I get up again and do the same cycle over again all through the day. The result is a much better number of steps than I used to get, though I haven’t even begun to THINK about getting to 10,000 steps and over, as my SIL does…. :0)  (yeah. I’m bragging about YOU, ML.)

Good results so far are a loss of 30 pounds and a bit more than 30 inches. I feel more energetic and my body FEELS looser, more able to get up and down. (it used to be that the biggest part of the exercise was trying to get myself up off the floor before having to call for a crane to come help.) I am more flexible with less pain in my joints. I’m more optimistic about trying new exercises. I’ll never be what I call an exercising NUT – in that I have to use all kinds of incentives to actually DO it, such as a gold star for the day on my desk calendar, but I AM happy about the improvements I’m feeling.

The biggest remaining factor – other than the 30 more pounds I would like to lose, is that for some unknown reason, my last blood test showed higher blood sugar and a too-high dosage on my thyroid med. (I had Graves Disease and my thyroid was killed by radiation several years ago.) I have no idea why the blood test showed these new results, but I’m trying a new dosage of meds and I’m monitoring MY blood sugar twice a week when I check my husband’s for six weeks.

I have another appt with another blood test in 6 weeks. Hopefully, that test will show a lot of improvement in my blood sugar and a brain happy with my dosage of thyroid hormone. Wish me luck!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, The Longevity Code - Dr. Kris Verburgh

More Horsing Around

Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn


Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography