Category Archives: Acting Like a Grownup

Cautionary Tale

Alchemipedia-Blogger.com

I am in the middle of yet another of life’s character-building exercises.

I told you about the money order a customer was going to send for a huge (for me) order of plaques.

The order was supposed to be for all five of the plaques I painted using Unicorn Spit.  He said his administrative assistant messed up and sent the wrong amount in the money orders. I told him I would refuse delivery of the package and that he should send another for the correct amount. He then said he wanted to increase the order, wanting 40 (FORTY!) plaques in all, 8 of each of the five designs. We went back and forth, but I asked him to stick to the original order, and then, if he was happy, he could order more.

The money orders for too much money were delivered by FEDEX while my husband and I were out doing errands. :0(     My husband was angry. I ended up taking them to the bank in order to ask them how long I would need to wait to be SURE they were good before I filled the order. She said 14 business days, and then noticed a number you could call to verify the money orders. She called, putting it on speaker phone. It was an automated system, asking for the number on the money order and then the number of the post office issuing it. She keyed them in and we were told the numbers didn’t match anything in their system – and so were fraudulent.

SO – I am pinning them up on the pegboard on the wall in front of my computer to remind myself that I do NOT need yet another character-building exercise. At least I wasn’t dumb enough to ship the plaques I had ready, or buy wood for the 35 more plaques my husband and I would have been cutting out, finishing, and putting hangers on as quickly as we could to fill the order within the time frame.

I did NOT deposit them. I am out only –

  • the delight of the biggest order in my life
  • the time I spent with the customer who turned out to be a rat
  • the anguish of my husband getting angry over the whole thing

I am considering myself lucky that I had a big sense of ‘too good to be true’ and did what I could to make SURE it was legitimate before getting my family in financial jeopardy.

A cautionary tale…

 

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, character-building exercises

Remember

Nanea Hoffman -Sweatpants & Coffee – via Hippie Peace Freaks

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Encouragement, Family

So Do It

Kurt Vonnegut via Cathy Ruggiero

In the last post I was telling you about a change in perspective about how we feel about Mondays.  I have also changed my perspective on day-to-day priorities.

I always have a to-do list that is frequently longer than my arm. There are lots of things I feel that I should do in any given day. Some are ‘have-to’s,’ but most of them are just ‘should’s.’

For years I have tried to get as many of the things on the list done as I could and THEN given myself permission to go up and play in my art room, or do exercise. Most of the time, the art room, exercise, and/or playing in my garden or flowers got lost in the shuffle.

Since my husband had a stoke in July (he’s better and better every day), things got to the point where I felt guilty if I didn’t rush in the bathroom. Yes, it was that bad. Our son came home, gave us perspective, space, compassion, understanding, strength, wisdom, and lots and lots of hugs. This has been priceless.

Since he isn’t in a hurry to go back home, I have had a chance to rethink what I need to do now that the initial scare is over so that I can handle whatever comes next. My big change in priorities is to get REAL about what really needs to be done from the list. I ask myself, what is the worst that will happen if I don’t do this today? If I can handle the answer, it’s priority number is lessened. I have decided that I need to do everything in my power to be strong enough for both of us – particularly when our son needs to leave. So now time in my art room, time for a session of yoga, time to play in my garden or my flowers are things near the top of the list.

This morning I went up to my art room and finished painting my latest tee shirt. (I’ll post a pic when it’s dry.)  I have just finished my first yoga session of the week, giving myself a gold star on my desk calendar. :0)

I still have plenty of time to tackle the ‘have-to’s’ for the day, but I’m feeling more at peace because of the time in the art room, and healthier and looser because of the yoga session. If I’m as strong as I can be, I can handle whatever else comes our way better.

taolife.com

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Therapy

Bruderhof Communities

Playing in my art room is therapy for me. An escape from anything that is bothering me. A way to work out feelings. A joy in experimentation.

We converted a third bedroom into my art room several years ago. I helped my husband put up extra shelves all the way across one wall. We got extra stand-alone shelves and a drafting table advertised in the newspaper. We put up a few more shelves on another wall. I converted the closet into a supplies area. We put up another large table that is as long as one wall.  There is a ceiling fan from which I hung a cute mobile of merry-go-round horses.

Years ago my husband and son got together to give me a present of a lot of my favorite songs on CDs. I have a player up there, so I can fill the room with glorious music – some of which I danced to as a teenager a hundred years or so ago – and lose myself in the world of music and paint.

The only limitations is my imagination and my ability to make my visions come out on whatever I’m trying to paint. Lately I’ve been having ideas for tees on which I have spots that won’t come out in the wash. Since I’m a slob, I seem to have a never-ending supply of tees that can use a face lift.

Yesterday I finished another.

 

Lately I am trying to do things each day that make me stronger.  I’m getting back into exercising, monitoring what I eat more carefully, working in my flowers when the weather isn’t lethal, playing in my art room, spending time with our son, walking outside several times a day, and reading.

The result of all this is hopefully a stronger, happier, calmer me. I don’t have to be able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound, but being able to handle whatever comes as well as possible would be good.  I am in DAY 4 today. So far, so good!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, aging, Attitude, building good habits, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, fun in my art room, Giving New Life to Old Tops, Health Alert, Lewis Art, playing in my art room, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Unattended Children

Captain Safety – Yard Bird

 

Design You Trust

 

Sad and Useless

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Family, Funny Signs - Humor

Adjusting our Body Clocks

pngkey.com

I told you recently that my husband and I signed up to be host parents for a 16-year-old boy from Italy this school year.

Alessandro will arrive August 6th. School starts August 13th.

We have been setting our alarm clock for 8am – feeling virtuous that we then get up to let our doggies out for their morning run. If we didn’t do this, we tend to stay up ’til all hours, sleep fitfully many nights, would sleep in to try to catch up, making our poor doggies wait.

Since our day will start at 6am for the school year, we are proactively trying to reset our body clocks so we won’t be complete zombies, unable to function.

Today we started getting up at 7am. The sun was up, so it was easier than I thought it would be. I didn’t say anything to my husband about what I was doing last night – resetting the alarm – and he either didn’t notice, or didn’t say anything. It’ll be interesting to see when he realizes. :0)

Starting the last day of July, I’ll set the alarm for 6am. I don’t even know if the sun will be up then. That will be harder if it is also still asleep. Hopefully, by the 6th, we’ll be more used to getting up. By the 13th, the first day of school, I hope the 3 of us will be handling it well.

So far, we got up and got the grocery shopping out of the way early. I have an hour more to try to get my to-do list done – unless I end up asleep in my chair…

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A Good Day

We had a productive day today –

  • we shoveled the potting soil back into the finished planter before the rains started
  • we hauled the bricks that were holding down the tarps over the potting soil and cleaned up work area
  • we got our errands done, with the rain starting on our way home
  • I scrubbed part of master bathroom upstairs (need to finish tomorrow) – got distracted by –
  • I tried on multiple pairs of jeans and finding SEVERAL pairs that were too large – :0)
  • I added the too-large jeans to the Veterans Thrift store bag donation
  • my husband loaded ammunition for our good friend down the road from us

The predicted severe thunderstorms came and went without causing damage. At one point the sky was so dark I couldn’t see that it was raining when I looked out the window, but I could HEAR the thunder and could see the lightning, and could see the rain streaming down the windows. The wind was really whipping things around, but things have cleared up now and the sun is shining! (I just checked to see if our greenhouse was still standing and it IS. :0)

My husband is asleep in his chair in the living room. That sounds really good, so I’m thinking of doing that, too.

I hope YOU’VE had a good day, too.

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Day Four of Being Back on the Horse!

The Funny Beaver

I’m working on Day Four of doing what I’m supposed to do on my eating and exercise plan. I just put the fourth gold star on my calendar for the week, starting with Wednesday.

I’ve lost 3 pounds this week and have exercised every day since the magical Wednesday.

  • Wednesday I did 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer in the garage, albeit slowly. (I had a hitch in my get-a-long with my right hip protesting until I had done about 10 minutes. Then it eased up.)
  • Thursday I did yoga stretches for the first time in too long, and again moved very slowly and carefully. (I got an indication of how messed up I was when I laid down on my back and it took a good minute or so of trying to relax before it didn’t hurt.)
  • Friday I did my “Walking with Annoying Leslie”  video. I was only able to do one mile, rather than two.
  • Today – Saturday – I did the Wii Fit Plus Balance ‘games.’ (I think I’m making progress in my attitude, though, because I actually LAUGHED when they insulted me.) It started with when they weigh you, then announce, “OH! You’ve gained weight since last time! (Imagine what they would have said if I had tried it BEFORE I lost 3 lbs. this week.) Balance is one of my biggest challenges which is why I put up with the insults. I DO get better with practice, and I don’t want to fall on my head or break my bones.
  • Tomorrow – Sunday – I’ll do my dance video.

One thing I did that is helping me stay on track is re-sign-up with MyFitnessPal.com. There are fancier food and exercise tracking sites, but these people have the easiest food tracking system I’ve found. I don’t have to put in EACH ingredient in a recipe, for example. I can check-mark a repeated food each day without having to enter it again. I’m trying to stay under 1200 calories per day, but I’m combining that with recipes from my Keto book and other low-carb books, so I’m not as worried about it – just trying to keep myself honest about what I’m stuffing into my face.

I’m also trying to do

  • something outside each day that the weather is cooperative – such as weed-whacking or gardening.
  • also something cleaning related in the house. Today it was cleaning the screened back porch of a super-thick layer of yellow pollen, dog and cat hair, dirt, and other yuck, so that we can enjoy some meals out there before it gets too hot.

Both of these things make me feel I’m accomplishing something, plus keep me moving.

So far, it’s working.

I’ve lost 40.6 pounds and 43 inches so far. My goal, at this point, is to lose another 30 lbs. I want to be in the average range for my height (and I’m getting SHORTER, rather than taller) on BMI charts, and fit into some reasonable size at a regular department store for clothes, rather than having to hit the fat section of Walmart forever. I want to be as healthy as I can for my age (72) and not be restricted so much on what I can do without my body complaining.

One day at a time – today I’ve done my exercising, cleaned the back porch, and now I’ll head out to do some weed whacking.

I hope you’re having a happy day.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, DIET!, exercise

Patting Myself on the Head – Just a Bit

LessonPix

I’ve been a good girl today, doing some of the things I hate most – balancing checkbooks, filing, and tax prep for 2019.

I have the equivalent of a doctorate – plus in the fine art of procrastination. For years I have paid for it and the end of the year/beginning of the next year – being buried in receipts. I HATE tax prep and my husband calmly washed his hands of it years ago. He does bring me cups of coffee every once in a while, as encouragement, but that’s as involved as he gets.

When I finally could dump all of the organized receipts for 2018 on our wonderful CPA, I promised myself I would do things differently from now on. (Truth be told, I promise myself a LOT of things, only to procrastinate until the promises become meaningless.)

This year, though, I’m happy to tell you I have just finished

  • balancing our checkbooks
  • filing (I can see my desk!) – AND
  • converting receipts of all types for the month of March into the spreadsheets for taxes for 2019 I started at the beginning of the year.

Instead of cramming all the monthly receipts into monthly folders and then trying to make sense of things at the end of the year, I am going through the monthly receipts, listing things on the proper spreadsheet, then putting the receipts into a folder labeled for that deduction. No monthly folder anymore once the month is over. This way, at the end of the year I can simply total each category on the various spreadsheets, print them, list the information on the tax form booklet our CPA provides, already having the receipts ready to take!

I have officially finished 1/4 of 2019 now – can you see my grin?

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Bright Ideas, building good habits, Cause for Celebration, Changes, character-building exercises, learning new things, Organizing/DeCluttering, THINGS I HATE!

Patting Myself on the Head – Just a Bit

“Cardinal Taking a Bow” – by Norma Wilson

I’ve told you I absolutely HATE tax time – the whole trying to make sense of my records, feeling overwhelmed, etc.

When I finished these and dumped them on our wonderful CPA around the 15th of January, I promised myself I would start a different way of keeping records so that I didn’t hate this time of year so much.

When I created spreadsheets to summarize our receipts in each category, I copied each of them, labeling them “Whatever Category – 2019”. I promised myself that I would take time at the end of each month, enter the relevant numbers into the spreadsheets, and then file the receipts under the appropriate tax category, rather than the month as I have always done.

I just finished entering the information for February – hence the pat on the head and bowing cardinal! :0)

If I can keep this up, at the end of the year I SHOULD be able to just total the categories on the spreadsheets, print them, and bag them up for the CPA.

I’m a bit embarrassed that I have moaned/griped/whined for years about this – never coming up with a better way to attack it until this year.

Someone should say something memorable, such as, “Better late than never….” don’t you think?

clipart library

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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

Sunday Afternoon Project

Alamy

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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Decisions on Trying to Lose the Lard

TilgateNatureCentre.WordPress.com

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 Delish.com

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

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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YIPPEEEEEE!

Can Stock Photo

Can you see me dancing around the room?

I FINISHED my part of the tax prep! Now the envelopes of organized information wait for us to add our stuff from Schwab to it and then we can dump it onto our wonderful CPA. YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

I just finished renaming the spreadsheet I created to open them for 2019 records. My GOAL is to update things once a month, adding the needed information, then filing the paper records according to deduction categories, rather than months. I think – if I can keep it up – this will save me a lot of time, effort, and tension next year.

Now I’m going to celebrate with a cup of coffee, at least one animals in my lap, and a good conversation with my husband.

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Massage, Fish, and Tax Prep, Oh My!

Groupon

My day started super-nicely with a massage by my massage therapist, Lynn Moody. She’s absolutely the best. She tackles an old lady with lots of aches and creaky bones and I emerge smiling and relaxed. I just wish I could afford to have massages more often!

My Aquarium Club

My poor fish are swimming around in cloudy water, so on my list, as soon as I finish this post, is to go vacuum out their tank, change the decor, and get them back into a clean, fresh tank.

Get It Back Campaign

Most of the rest of the day will be spent continuing our tax preparation. I’m making good progress. Today is medical stuff and extraneous things, and then I’ll be on the finish line, adding my information to the booklet our CPA provides. I’m hoping I’ll be finished with everything, waiting on our info from Schwab, by the end of the week.

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Still Slogging

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

I love this photo. Somehow it shows acceptance with spirit still in there somewhere – the way I’m feeling right now.

I’m about halfway finished with our tax prep for the year now. I made a spreadsheet with all pertinent charges listed and categorized. It took me three days. An epiphany occurred yesterday where I figured out that if I record this stuff on a spreadsheet on a monthly basis, it won’t be so much work! (Yeah, I learn slowly on some things.) I sorted it by three columns so the records are in good categories and can be referred to easily.

Today I’ll make an office deductions spreadsheet and business spreadsheet. Then I’m almost home free.

I hope you’re having a good day, too,  in your part of the world.

 

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, character-building exercises

Positive or Negative?

SayingImages.com

I truly believe that happiness comes from inside you.

Of course, it never hurts to win the lottery, but your attitude about what is happening colors everything you feel, say, and do.

When I find that I have my nose out of joint, I look around, looking to blame something or someone for my bad mood. A lot of times I feel justified for a bit, stewing and fueling my anger, frustration, hurt feelings, and more.

If I think ‘something‘ is at the root of my problem, I try to quit griping internally and do everything I can to change the situation. (I have more luck with this at some times, than others.)  When my attitude is due to ‘someone,’ I try to explain my feelings when I’m calmer in an effort to get them to understand and talk about things we can do differently.

I have more trouble with things involving ‘someone‘ than ‘something,’ because, after I examine the situation, I find I need to change MYSELF, rather than trying to get the someONE to change. I look at the larger picture and have to admit that at least 50% of the ‘problem’ is me.

SO – I can choose to keep my nose out of joint or decide to adapt, looking at things from a more positive point of view.

Developing and nurturing a positive attitude is a much healthier, happier way to live.

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BONUS!

Lifebuzz

I’m about 2/3 finished with my project of going through the Christmas decorations in the basement. I emptied the three bins, and several more I found that didn’t have much in them. I made a major decision and brought up the big fake Christmas tree we’ve had for years. We have another, much smaller tree that we can decorate when we want to. I like the idea of some other family enjoying the large tree, handmade stand my husband constructed, plus ornaments that are too large for our smaller tree.

BONUS: My husband bought me a really nice, furry blue jacket with a hood several years ago. We’ve kept it in a bin down in the basement because I couldn’t wear it after a couple of years. Neither of us wanted to give it away. I tried it on today and it’s LOOSE!  I wore it when I came upstairs. My husband recognized it immediately and broke out in a grin. It’s now in the closet, ready to put on! HOORAY!!!!!

I have one large leaf bag full of things we’ll donate, plus the tree, so far. I have more to go through in the basement and then can make final decisions, bring everything upstairs and put it into the bin in the living room. I may have to pare down what I’m keeping again as I see what will fit in the ONE bin I’m allowing for decorations!

I’m taking a break, drinking a big bottle of water, and resting awhile before giving it another shot.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, DIET!, exercise, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

Tentative Truce

YouTube

Today was yoga-and-exercises day.

WiiFitPlus

I finished those a while ago, and our son was quite the cheerleader about my efforts. I then asked if he could put getting the Wii to work again on his list of things to try to heal while he was here. He looked at it immediately. My husband worked with him and together they figured out which setting we needed to be using on the TV devices, and then we changed the batteries in the part you stand on and the two hand-held remotes that go with it.

I’ve decided to call a tentative truce in the war between the Wii and me. I tried to use it before, setting up my avatar and really trying hard to get on it on a regular basis. I finally quit because I got hostile at the Wii insulting me. Instead of supporting your efforts and cheering you on that you were better today than you were in the past, it says things like,”This isn’t really your strong suit, is it?” or “Do you find yourself falling over a lot?”

Now that I’m regularly doing 35 minutes on the elliptical trainer one day and a good yoga session plus abdominal exercises the next, I think I can handle an insulting exercise system because I would really like to concentrate on my reflexes and my balance. I’ll just get ugly back at it – and if I concentrate on it – maybe I can get it to back down… :0)

 

 

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Tangible Motivation

 

I’m only halfway to my weight loss goal, but a few TANGIBLE things are helping motivate me:

I showed you several weeks ago that I am finally able to wear a sweater/jacket top that I’ve moved back and forth between closets for several years now.

Today I was finally able to wear a snuggly, soft, furry vest that my husband bought me years ago in the Grand Canyon Gift Shop.

And I’m actually able to zip it up without a problem! It has coyotes, bears, moose, evergreen trees, half-moons and other things all around the bottom third of the vest. I loved it when he bought it for me, and now I feel as if I have a ‘new’ vest. I love it again!

We were talking about our efforts on the way to town to do our errands this morning. I pointed out that it was a big deal that my husband has been able to change his 38/30 jeans for 34/30 currently, and soon will need to go to 32/30! TANGIBLE differences make you feel as if your efforts are worth it.

AND I’m going for a gold star on my calendar today for doing my session of yoga! :0)

If you have things that have motivated you in your efforts to lose weight or exercise, I would love it if you would share them with me.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Cause for Celebration, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, taking care of yourself

I’m a “Stash-a-holic”

Believe it or not, this is a very nice double pull-out drawer inside one of my kitchen cabinets. The bottom holds cooking vessels of various kinds and stays in good order. This, however, is a horse of a completely different color, to coin a phrase.

Ziplock bags, sandwich bags, aluminum foil, etc. are stashed in here to the point it’s hard to get one thing out without other things coming with it.

So this drawer is today’s project.

 

Here it is from another angle. I would be embarrassed to show it to you – or admit that it’s MINE – except you KNOW I’m a slob and that I’m on a mission this year to go through areas one at a time, sometimes – in this case – one DRAWER at a time to declutter, give away, throw away and then reorganize our over 30-year-old home.

My husband, thankfully, is oblivious to my slobbiness, and I overlook his championship pack-rat skills, as well. While this makes for a happier marriage, it results in messes like this.

The first step was taking everything out of the drawer, cleaning and relining it.

 

This is one view of what came out of the drawer.

And here’s another. Hopefully, later in the day I can show you a much-improved supplies drawer – putting it all on the island insures that I won’t leave it until later. We can’t fix lunch unless I clean this up! :0)

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This Week’s “Flex” Lunch/Dinner

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If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that my husband and I are on NutriSystem, trying to get the lard off. Since we were on it the first time, many years ago, they’ve added lots more food choices, plus frozen foods, plus a new emphasis on making this a lifestyle change, rather than a ‘diet.’ They are including ‘flex’ meals, one breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack each week to help you learn to function in the real world.

By trial and error, mostly (on our part) we’re learning to –

  1. ask for a doggie bag when we order our food. I am putting half of the meal in it, and my husband is adding part of his meal to the bag.
  2. modify our eating the rest of the day to make up for the larger calorie real world meal so that it fits into our plan, not blowing our efforts out of the water. (For example, since we ate our big ‘lunch’ today, we’ll have a salad for dinner if we’re hungry. If not so hungry, we’ll be satisfied with a snack. (We’ll eat more of what we brought home tomorrow.)
  3. we got combo seafood dinners at The Dari, today. We learned that next time, we can order ONE dinner, split it between the two of us, and still maybe bring some home.

Eating out takes the curse off of dieting for us. We’re happy enough with the Nutrisystem meals, but since we can eat out, we don’t feel deprived. If we want to share a meal with friends, they don’t even have to know we’re dieting. Eating a real-world meal is a quality of life thing, making it much more reasonable for us to stay on Nutrisystem until we both meet our goals.

We’re also learning how to modify our cooking so that we are building healthy eating habits with a much better sense of what a ‘portion’ is.

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Role Model

Gilda Radner – sayingimages.com

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Such a Morning!

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I’m feeling a bit frazzled at the moment. We hit the ground running when the alarm went off and finally stopped just a bit ago, declaring an end to the morning, and finally treating ourselves to a first cup of coffee.

I told you last week that our doggies, Amber and Molly, got out together and traveled to places unknown, returning with yuck all over them. I put Molly in the kitchen sink and scrubbed her, but her hair is super-thick and wiry, so after you get her wet enough for a good bath, it’s next to impossible to get her dry again, even using multiple towels and my hair dryer. So the first stop in our travels this morning was taking Sweet Molly to the groomer’s to get sheared like a sheep. We’re waiting for them to call us so we can go back and pick her up.

Between my closet clean-out and my husband finally going through his amoire to gather too-large jeans, we had collected three large leaf bags of clothes to take to the Veteran’s Thrift Store as a donation.  So from the groomer’s we drove to Fort Smith.

On the way back, we stopped at the grocery for a couple of items we neglected to get on Sunday, mailed a book at the post office that we sold via Amazon, went to the gas station to buy Mega Millions and Power Ball tickets, then stopped at City Hall for early voting that started today. I can’t tell you how MUCH I appreciate the people who make it possible for us to be able to vote when it’s convenient for us, when we don’t have to stand in line for a long time.

Finally, we picked up our mail at the bottom of our driveway.

Since then, I’ve paid bills, transferred money around, written a note to a good friend, confirmed the book mailing online, and done other odds and ends.

A good, productive morning. It’s now time for our Nutrisystem mid-morning snack and then we’ll regroup for the afternoon. I hope you’re having a good day today, too.

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Still Riding on a High

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My husband and I are just starting to be able to acknowledge and enjoy the fact that there is less of us than there used to be. I’ve lost almost 30 pounds and almost 28 inches now. It’s only about half way to my goal, and to be honest, other than going down a size or two in jeans, I haven’t seen much difference in clothes.

This changed, finally, with my cleaning-out-the-closet project, switching warm weather stuff for cool the past several days. I forced myself to try on everything I had moved to my closet, finding a really full leaf bag full of tops that were too large. Not just really roomy, but falling-off-the-shoulders and exposing-my-whole-front type too large. :0)   I showed you some pics recently of the sweater/jacket I am finally able to wear after several years of moving it back and forth, always way too small, and now it FITS.

I’ve seen a change in my husband, too. Not only can I see a difference looking at him, I’ve noticed that he’s taking more interest in his clothes now. He just ordered some new jeans, asking me to measure him to be surer of the size. (We’re in a mystery area right now. We KNOW we’re smaller, but tend to still order as we did when we were larger. Even though I tried to use the charts provided at an online store, I found the clothes were too large when they arrived.)

Anyway, he’s wearing some new shirts, some brighter colors, and tries to think about which of his flannel shirts he’s wearing over the tee underneath, where it was haphazard, at best, before. I’ve been complimenting him, and it’s delightful to watch him try not to show how pleased he is. Now I’m working on encouraging his efforts to do some exercise…

We’re both trying to change our eating habits. When my husband finally got serious about giving up sugar to try to get a handle on his Type II diabetes, I gave up salt. I didn’t just add salt to almost everything, I even added salt to salty things. We figure that losing the weight and getting healthier is a good trade for our former addictions.

One new addition – we’ve been having a salad nightly, along with our Nutrisystem entree. My husband has been enjoying this, and was even pleased that I’m adding cherry tomatoes to it. When I added a touch of chopped walnuts to the mix (thanks, Mary Lou) he liked THAT, too. I’m adding a few garbanzo beans to my salad, and my husband still nixes that, but he says he looks forward to our salads in the evening.

We’re still working on portion control. This is a really alien concept, since the two of us apparently have routinely been eating for ourselves and several other folks at each meal. Now we’re learning to have ONE portion of something with a side of veggies or salad. I told you yesterday that I was learning to divide my meal from a restaurant in half, bringing half home to eat some other time. It’s a process, but one we’ll build with exercise.

By the way, I FINISHED the closet-clean-out project yesterday, organizing the warm weather stuff in the guest room closet so it’s ready to move easily next time. Hopefully, by the time we’re ready for warm/hot weather stuff NEXT time, I’ll be able to fill another leaf bag!!!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, building good habits, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Getting the Lard Off Progress Report

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The short report is 27.6 pounds  and 23 inches down.

The longer and more significant answer is that we are S L O W L Y  learning to modify our eating habits as we lose the lard.

We are making a point of going out to eat, rather than it being a special splurge for the week, using the meals as our ‘flex’ meals, learning to rein in our silly and destructive former habits. It’s easy to just ‘go out to eat’ and blow things for the next few days, if not a week. It’s harder, but more productive, to choose carefully from the menu, or – throwing caution to the winds – actually ordering what we want (within reason) AND ordering a doggie bag right then, cutting our meal into halves, and THEN plowing in to enjoy every bite. Not only does it help with the poundage, but also the pocketbook!

We figure our ultimate success depends on NOT feeling deprived. We really like going out to eat. We really like eating things not a normal part of our diets. If we can modify our intake to make up for this, we can make it for the long run.

This doesn’t mean that every day is ‘national-whatever-week’ – the celebration of which causes throwing our diet out the window. But if we NORMALLY eat super-healthy, and then eat half a cheeseburger and some tater tots occasionally, it’s much easier to go back to normal for the next meal, if that makes sense.

So far, it’s working for us. I’m HOPING that the NEXT time I order our Nutrisystem for the month, I can apply for a 30-pounds-off-bear to be included. Each mini-goal makes me feel I’m making progress. My massage therapist saying I looked, “skinny” today, helps, too! :0)  Even though I know she’s just being kind and I have a long way to go to my goal, it’s NICE when people encourage you by NOTICING there is a bit less of you. My husband got a boost this past Monday night when we went bowling with our good friends. They BOTH noticed how much weight he had lost. He was already feeling good, wearing some new smaller-in-the-waist pants and a new, smaller shirt, and the compliments topped things off nicely.

So, we have a good start now. I need to lose a LOT more lard, and my husband needs to start exercising, and together we’ll be healthier every day.

taolife.com

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Decluttering Project – Phase Two – Office

I’ve been going through our home this year, trying to look at everything with a fresh eye with the idea of keeping what is useful or brings us joy, and giving away what we hope others can use, and getting rid of ‘stuff’ that just weighs us down. Since we’ve been in the house for over 30 years now and are both pack rats, this is a big job. We aren’t ‘hoarders’ as on TV, but we have gone far beyond reasonable in ‘stuff.’

I’ve made good progress, going through each of the rooms of the house (with only cursory attention to basement, garage, and shop due to ‘intense discussions’ on what constitutes ‘junk’) and am now starting PHASE II, going through everything again.

I started with our office, because we both spend a lot of time in here. My husband was finally able to get both of our computers going again (INTENSE GRATEFULNESS and RELIEF) so I’m officially moving the laptop back out to our shop. There is one remaining open computer on the counter. This is a project of my husband’s, so I’m keeping hands off and mouth firmly shut. :0)

Otherwise, I have been working on this room part of each day for approximately two weeks. Trips and other priorities made this a bit hit and miss, but today I feel as if I’ve made definite progress.

I have one small pile of things left to file or pitch. Otherwise, I’ve cleaned out my drawers and shelves here. It’s nice to not have to wade through a whole pile of ‘stuff’ to get to my calendar, or discover that I actually have two wall calendars for 2019 already! I’m comfortable at my computer now.

 

This was a real mess. I threw away a BUNCH of things. Again, I can find things easily now and have removed more dust than I care to detail. :0(  Our shredder is sitting on a box containing a new laser printer. Our old printer that was beyond used up suddenly gasped and is functioning. We’ll finish out what it can do and THEN get the new one set up.

 

And this is my impractical, but well-loved desk, finally clear of many piles of things that couldn’t be moved before today for various reasons. It’s nice to be able to have a spot to actually work without having to move stacks and stacks of ‘stuff.’

Motivation is picturing our son, who lives and works in Thailand – and who loves his minimalist lifestyle, having to go through things and decide what to do with all of it. I’m not sure which room I’ll tackle next. I have to admit that everywhere I look, attention is needed. I feel good that I have one room “Phase Two Finished.”

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A Good Day

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My husband and I are getting over the cold I brought home from my trip and graciously gave to him. :0)  Each day we’re stronger, though we both still feel we’ve been run over by a truck.

Today my husband spent much of the day talking to a Level 3 Microsoft person, trying to get Windows Office installed on his computer. This is a computer guru having trouble with something that is supposed to be so easy, but in truth took the EXPERT much of the day to do it. He finally said it was Windows’ problem, making my husband feel better about the need to ask for help. My husband has a LOT of important files in Word and Excel, so it was crucial that he get the program installed and working.

My SIL was kind enough to send me ‘cards’ on my phone, listing some contact information. I had trouble getting the files to ‘open,’ then FINALLY got the idea to check my gmail account online and see if they showed up in my contacts. After a LOT of fiddling around (I am NOT a computer guru and technology is basically ‘magic’ to me) I finally got my contacts to show. I found numerous duplication, due to my ineptness, and then went on to correct some outdated information, add more contacts, etc. so that now I have ONE list that also shows up on my phone. I feel empowered!!!!

I also have finally made it through the maze of getting the Visa gift cards promised to us when we installed the ADT security system in our home recently. It started with each of the people involved pointing to the other, but FINALLY I now have the certificates and codes needed to fill out the application forms. My husband was threatening to tear out the whole system, but I managed with firmness, rather than threats, to get what we needed.

I was contacted yesterday by a relative we haven’t seen in years, reaching out to us to let us know one of my relatives is having serious health issues. I can’t believe his kindness in essentially reaching out to a stranger, and in an incredibly kind way, letting us know what was happening in his family. I wrote back, thanking him profusely, asking more questions. He answered me today, again making me feel glad he reached out. Sometimes people can make you tear up with their generosity.

So, we’ve had a productive, good day and are getting ready to relax for a bit.

I hope YOU had a good day, too.

 

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Cold

Daily Mirror

I had just a suggestion of a sore throat while I was in Thibodaux. It became a full-fledged one the night I arrived home. I immediately sucked on Cloroseptic (sp?) lozenges and took Sudafed for the huge, stuffed head feeling and runny nose, cough, etc. I played ‘poor me’ for a day, and basically concentrated on sleeping through the cold. It helped.

Now I’m almost back to normal, but – being a sweet, giving person – I gave it to my husband inadvertently. So now HE’s sitting with kleenex stuffed into his nostrils, having taken Sudafed. He’s almost over the sore throat. We hope we haven’t passed this on to anyone else. We canceled bowling tonight so that we don’t pass it on to our friends.

Cocoon time for us until we’re fit company again.

 

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Character-Building Exercise

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I haven’t flown since 9/11 and the advent of TSA. I haven’t flown ALONE since I was a teenager flying nonstop to Mexico City.

This past week I flew from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Dallas and then to New Orleans before we rented a car to drive the rest of the way to Thibodaux, Louisiana, and then returned.

I’m such a wuss. It’s pathetic really, but I must own it. I didn’t sleep the night before and was a bundle of nerves at the airport in Fort Smith. It’s a cute, ‘baby airport’ with only 3 gates. I was there early enough that I had to wait to check in. I had already printed my boarding passes. I then went through the TSA checkpoint for the first time ever.  I put my hoodie and purse in one bin with my cell phone on top. I didn’t have to remove my shoes. I just walked through a metal detector and that was that.

I waited at the gate, and then they announced a delay of 25 minutes. I checked to make sure that wouldn’t mess me up for my connection to the DFW to New Orleans (pronounced ‘Naw-lens’) and then texted my sister-in-law, Mary Lou, that I might be late.) She knew I was a wuss and would be nervous, so she arranged to fly to Dallas to meet me, rather than taking a much nicer non-stop flight from Charlotte to New Orleans, so that we could fly together from DFW to NO and then rent the car for the rest of the trip. I knew that once we met at DFW, I would quit worrying so much. If we were lost, we were lost together and would figure something out.

She was waiting at the gate when I got off the plane in Dallas. I had built up so much adrenaline by that point, it took me a minute to recognize her! We took the SkyLink (first time for that, too. It wasn’t there the last time I was at DFW.) We figured out what gate we needed for the flight to NO, rode the SkyLink to that region, found the gate, confirmed that we had the right place, and then went to eat a very nice lunch of soup and salad. All the places are set up to serve you quickly, thank goodness, so another of my worries was unfounded.

Mary Lou had been through the New Orleans airport before, so we got our bags without incident and proceeded across the airport to the car rental area. Happily, since it was a LONG way to the car rental place, we were able to snag a shuttle with a wonderfully friendly guy who helped us with our bags and dropped us off.  We rented the car, and drove out of the airport into an on and off driving rain. Since Mary Lou was able to plug her phone into the car, we had a talking GPS lady helping us, so the big thing was to try to SEE THE ROAD for the hour and a half drive to Thibodaux.

_____________________

On the way back, our plane left a little after 9 in the morning. We got up and left the house by a little after 5am. Of COURSE, the sky opened up again, making it REALLY hard to see the road – a very tense time for sure. We lucked out toward the end of the driving, following a big truck the rest of the way. We thanked him – though he never knew it – when we got to the airport.

We had to check our own bags there, but a nice lady helped with attaching the long sticky strips to our bags, and then showing us where to take them to another lady who put them on the conveyor belt. TSA screening was more serious this time. Mary Lou, who flies a lot, had done pre-screening stuff, including providing fingerprints and information, paying for not having to go through this, but was rejected! We found out from a man behind us that TSA randomly picks people who have been pre-screened to have to go through it again. “I” was TSA precheck approved! Go figure. Anyway, I put my purse and hoodie in one bin and my shoes and cell phone in another. I went through the x-ray machine, and they wanted to check my right shoulder, which had lit up the screen. They checked me, found nothing, and so I was through.

While we were waiting for the flight to DFW, they came and asked for anyone with our flight number. For some unknown reason, they led us all to another gate with a flight leaving earlier than the one scheduled for us. We got new boarding passes, and the nice lady was able to find two seats together! for us.  My flight from DFW to FS was delayed (imagine that!) but got back 25 minutes late.

My husband was waiting for me, showered, shaved (around his beard) with a dress shirt, clean jeans and suspenders, as if we were going on a date night. Was THAT a sight for sore eyes! I fell for him all over again. We picked up my very wet suitcase and he took me to Denny’s for a nice meal before we went home.

I was greeted profusely at the door by both doggies, and both cats. The doggies both came to make sure I was still home several times that evening. The fish didn’t seem to care one way or the other. My husband fed them while I was gone, so they were happy. I felt welcomed home in grand fashion.

So – even though it was really nerve-wracking, with the help of my kind SIL making the arrangements so we met in Dallas and flew together to New Orleans together, guiding me through airports, bag claims, car rentals and returns, including helping me find my gate from DFW to FS and then going back on the SkyLink to go back to HER gate to Charlotte for the way home, I made it through my first flight since TSA.

I’m not sure I’ll become a frequent flyer now, since my husband refuses to fly now, but I’ll have a much better idea of what to expect, what to look out for, and more the NEXT time I fly.

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