Category Archives: Acting Like a Grownup



I’ve been working for two days, updating our important records list. Since our son lives across the world from us now, he will need to work with people here to settle our affairs when we croak. We have legally done everything we can to make this as easy for him as possible.

Now I’m trying to make a list of financial stuff, people he should contact, all those details he will need as to contact information, what he will need to do, where things are, etc. It’s a headache.

I take a break and walk around every hour or so, but I was still really bushed at the end of the day yesterday. My husband had a really busy day, as well, so we celebrated living through it by going to get a pizza for dinner. :0)

This is going to be one of many breaks for the day. Hopefully, at the end of this one, we’ll have our act updated. Then I’ll make hard copies for files, safe deposit box, etc. and we’ll make thumb drives of all the documents. We’ll send a zip file to our son, and then we’ll put it on the calendar to update things again in six months.

One good thing about this is that you learn what changes you’ve made in the past six months. You also learn the files you should shred that are outdated, and we’re forced to reorganize what’s left.

Good things – but I’ll go visit my husband out in the shop, stretch my legs, get some water, and relax for a few before starting in again…

Leave a comment

Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, Family

I’m HOW Old????

noooo – pinterest

Today I’m 70.

I never thought I would live to be this old, or actually SAY it.

Even though I’m creaky a lot of mornings and I need a LOT more notes to keep things straight, I can honestly say I’ve never felt happier, with more plans for the future.

I’m a very rich woman. I have everything but money.

  • I have a wonderful husband. We actually love each other after living together almost 48 years now, and still enjoy doing things together. I love sharing my life with him.
  • Our son is more kind and generous (and smart) than my husband and I put together. He’s a good human being. He loves us and communicates with us on almost a daily basis, even though he’s across the world from us.
  • As I told you yesterday, I have a library that’s growing all the time and a spring garden I started yesterday for the first time in our new raised bed square foot planters.  I just bought more plants to add today.
  • I have a room devoted to my art stuff. It doesn’t matter if I can actually create art that someone else likes. Time spent up there, playing, makes me grin.
  • My husband and I make metal yard critters out of scrap metal. People come to deliver a package and leave laughing. What higher compliment could you have?
  • I also have fun creating mosaics in the shop. I’m never happier than when I have projects in the works. Right now I have projects in the shop AND my art room.
  • We spend time looking through images on the net, reminded of cartoon characters we’ve loved over the years, ‘fighting’ about which ones we should recreate for our mailbox decorations, THEN fighting over what colors to use…. :0)
  • I’ve lived long enough to retire. I honestly don’t know now how I had time to work full time, as I did from the time I graduated from college. And, though I’m retired, I work hard on my website, Creative Artworks, and this blog. I love them both.
  • I have the luxury of planning my days as I choose.
  • I feel well enough to exercise, doing yoga and the elliptical now on a daily basis.
  • I have a husband who encourages me to experiment in the kitchen, or – at the drop of a hat – takes me to go get a pizza.
  • He’s taking us to our favorite local cafe tonight – or if the weather isn’t cooperative – tomorrow night, to celebrate by eating what we USED to eat regularly, chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, a roll, and some other veggie. PLUS, my husband will have a piece of homemade pie and I’ll have a big piece of homemade chocolate cake with chocolate icing.
  • I’ve already received birthday wishes from long-time friends, who sent me birthday cards, and well wishes from friends on the Internet. I feel special today.

SO – even though I’m older than dirt now – you won’t see anyone with a bigger grin that this old lady!



Filed under Acting Like a Grownup

Recharge Your Mind

Recharge your Mind via Cathy Ruggiero

I love this – both the picture and the suggestion.

I have found lately that learning new things makes me feel empowered. And I LOVE that feeling! :0)

Sticking your neck out, trying something outside your usual bailiwick, widens your world, including new possibilities.  And when you’ve added a new skill to your toolbox, you’re also adding confidence. And THAT makes you want to reach out more…

Start the cycle. TODAY.  You’ll find yourself smiling, brimming over with happiness!


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


Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

Zen to Zany via Cathy Ruggiero

I think my husband’s MIND is magical. Here’s an example –

I told you we bought a used riding mower this week. The seller helped us get it into the back of the truck. My husband said, “Here, hold this,” while he got the strap with a built-in ratchet to work to tie the mower to the truck securely. (The back of the truck was open since the mower more than filled the truck bed.)

We got it home and then tried to figure out how to get the mower OUT of the truck without hurting it, or causing one or both of us grievous harm. I was really anxious about the situation. My husband should have married a combination weight lifter/football player/basketball player to be of adequate help to him on things like this. I’m simply not tall enough or burly enough to be of much help.

I had been up the night before, having bad dreams about getting the mower out of the truck. I dreamed that it was MY job to place the metal tracks so that my husband could back the mower down to the ground from the back of the truck. In my dream, I suddenly realized the tracks were misplaced. My husband tried to back the mower onto the tracks, ending up on the ground UNDER the mower, bleeding profusely, with me trying to figure out how to get the mower OFF of him and him to an emergency room. (I may be admitting to you that I’m mental, since I find myself in this type of situation often and my imagination goes wild each time.)

In actuality, we placed the tracks in the proper place. My husband got chocks (the plastic things that you put against your tires to keep them from rolling when you’re jacking up your vehicle.) We then put the mower in neutral and ‘walked’ it down out of the truck, 6 inches at a time on one wheel at a time to be held securely by the chocks, until the mower was down far enough we could let it roll the rest of the way.

The best ideas I could come up with on my own were –

  1. leave it in the truck until we could get two burly guys over here to help us, or
  2. put the truck in the middle of the yard. Place the tracks. Put the mower in neutral and start it down the tracks. Get out-of-the-way and let it go, hoping for the best.

My husband always has to – in effect – do all things like this by himself. I’m a willing helper, but you can see we’re not exactly on the same wave length on if things are possible at all, and how we should do them. I also am a regular old lady who doesn’t have a lot of strength. Each time he thinks things out, coming up with several ways we can do whatever it is we need to do. He says we also could have rigged a rope to let the mower down slowly.

Thank goodness I’m affiliated with a person who has such clear thinking and general smarts! It’s ‘magical’ to me.


Leave a comment

Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Bright Ideas

Yet Another New Regimen…

I’m STILL  trying to come up with an exercise regimen with which I can stick. Yesterday and today I started out with a session on the elliptical trainer. Yesterday I pooped out at 16 minutes. Today I did better, doing 30 minutes.

I was doing yoga 3 days a week, the elliptical twice a week, and one day each of upper and lower body strength exercises.  I discovered I was blowing it off mid week for some reason, and didn’t feel as well as I did when I did a session of yoga each day.

So I’m going to try doing a session of the elliptical trainer in the morning and yoga in the afternoon. I’ll also try to work in the strength exercises if I’m feeling sassy.

My weight and inches loss remains a challenge. My husband and I are using lots of excuses to eat things we shouldn’t. (Last night it was fried rice from Lin’s House. )  I told him that I was really having trouble staying on my diet and that we can’t celebrate “National Pickle Week” every night.

I had stopped using MyFitnessPal for some reason, and I started it up again yesterday. I left my motivation in one of the piles around the house, but I AM finding it, bit by bit. Once I get my act together – firmly shutting my mouth after I enjoy my orange dream bar after dinner –  I hope to again enjoy weight and inches loss. Fingers crossed!!!!!



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

I Shot the Plates


My husband built a set of targets called, “Falling Plates” beside the shop, in front of a big pile of slag and our raised bed garden.



Here’s a close-up of the targets. They’re metal ‘plates’ with counterweights on a long bar. When you hit a plate, it falls over. When you’ve shot them all, you stop and go set them up again.



He’s been bugging me to go shoot for several weeks now. Today I said, “Okay,” mainly to shut him up. I KNOW it’s important that, if I need to shoot somebody, I can actually hit him – significantly – not just teeing him off.

I started out pretty badly. I managed to load half the magazine before somehow pinching a part of the palm of my hand. The first time I shot, I was high. I again learned that with this gun, I should aim low. I then shot about half the plates with the magazine of bullets.

The second time I hit three of the four plates. I managed to fill half of each of the two magazines. My husband took pity on me and finished filling them up.

The last time I shot, I killed all four plates with two bullets left in the first magazine. My husband pronounced me ‘healed.’ He shot the rest of the first magazine and all of the second. He aimed high at first, too, but quickly corrected.

I should practice more, but I really don’t enjoy shooting. I anticipate the loudness of the shot and feel that it takes forever for me to finally shoot once I start squeezing the trigger.

I do feel better that I was hitting the plates regularly when we stopped for the day.

If you’re a bad guy trying to get me, watch out!!!!


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges

Hooray! It’s Raining!

Heflin - Open Image Studio

Heflin – Open Image Studio

It’s 43 degrees, gray, and raining. Just beautiful!

We have been flirting with getting rain for several weeks now. It always bypassed us, and we need rain badly. Today I woke up to lots of wonderful rain!

The dogs were not as appreciative as I shooed them out the door to take care of business. I’ve done that several times today, since they stay out approximately 30 seconds and then start barking to get back in. :0)

I took my umbrella and walked around it in a bit. Our yard is really soaked – something it really needed.

When this dries up a bit – maybe tomorrow or the next day – I’ll spread the “Weed and Feed” granules we got from Yeagers. I’ll also spread more grass seed, as the moles, voles, and other ‘oles’ have tunneled all over the place dislodging our nice grass and making a mess.

I hope the weather in your part of the world is to your liking today.

I wish I had some cute boots like the little girl in the pictures….

Leave a comment

Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Childlike Fun, Mother Nature

Still Feeling Old

Today I got some pain patches to try on my back. Added to the Ibuprofen and heat pad, I hope it will do the trick.

I’m doing better, but I’m not my normal BUBBLY self by any means.

Since I’m not completely incapacitated,  my husband and I will try to change out the ducting for our dryer later today. We read in Handy Man magazine that the one we’re using is not the best for preventing a lint fire. We have the best outside hookup for lint you can buy (having read about THAT last year.). I also hand wash the dryer filter once a month with lots of soap and hot water, as suggested elsewhere.

The last piece of the puzzle is the ducting stuff. We hadn’t even thought of that, so we picked up the semi-rigid aluminum system they recommended and will get it installed ASAP.

Before and after this installation, the heat pad and I will get cozy.

Hope your day is a good one.


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup



iStock by Getty Images via


Hooraaaaaaay!  I just finished my tax prep for 2016. All we need to do now is wait for our investment statement.

Every year I’m getting a bit better. I used to get completely stressed out, buried in paperwork, having trouble finding things, etc.

Now I have some folders right beside my computer where I keep most of the receipts I need. I also have a folder on my computer so I can keep track of online donations.

Our wonderful CPA sends us a workbook each year, showing what was listed for last year. By the time I’ve worked through that, all the receipts are gathered, totaled, and put into the envelope of ‘stuff’ to go.

I still procrastinate – still hate doing bookkeeping and tax prep – but I’m finally acting a LITTLE bit more like an adult about it now…

A huge weight has been lifted!!!!!!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Acting Like a Grownup

“If Wishes were Fishes…”

The nice picture above is what I would LOVE to be doing today. I’ve only been able to make time ONCE to work on my Gingerbread Cookie themed wooden Christmas ornaments lately. Hopefully, that will change soon.

No rest for the wicked, though, so I’m stuck trying to get tax stuff together. I’m hoping to make really good progress on it today so that we can bag it up and dump it on our CPA soon.

It’s cold (37 degrees F.) gray and windy today, so I got a beef stew going in the slow cooker this morning. I’m also trying to get some spinach seeds going in an indoor planting system today. (I can’t easily find spinach plants in Greenwood or Fort Smith, so I’m again trying to get some started for the spring.) My sister-in-law correctly dubbed me the “Serial Seed Killer” several years ago, since I’ve tried and failed so many, many times. Hope springs eternal (to coin a phrase), though, so I’m trying again. Maybe I’ll be successful THIS time.  Fingers crossed.

Yesterday we got a new Internet service. The company is called, WOW.  Since we live on top of a ridge line on 8+ acres in the sticks outside Greenwood city limits, we feel lucky if we can get ANY Internet service. Things have improved over the years, though. We were on a satellite Internet system, which includes a latency factor. That means that you click on something, and there’s a discernible wait time. We also were using the best service possible in terms of how much data we could use per month. Most of the time, we had enough, but when we were trying to download a bunch of stuff (sometimes over and over to get something to work) or our son was visiting, we would run over out limit fast. Then we would have to send another $10, over and over again, until we got to the reset time of the month.

The WOW service includes NO contract and has NO cap on the amount of data. Hooray!  It’s a radio frequency based system. We have good line-of-sight to the cell tower on one of the ridge lines behind the house, across the valley. So far, the only difference I’ve noticed is that it’s FASTER when I’m changing from one website to another (no latency!). I’m a happy camper today.  We MIGHT even be able to watch a short video without the constant whirring symbol in the middle of the picture!

Must get back to tax prep now, but I hope you’re enjoying your weekend.




Leave a comment

Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes


“Old age is not for sissies.” ~ Bette Davis

"Monkey Trouble" - Hollis J. Works

“Monkey Trouble” – Hollis J. Works

We set the alarm this morning so we could go to the bank and the court house before meeting our friends for Lunch Bunch.

We received a letter from our reverse mortgage people several weeks ago saying we were in arrears on our taxes for the year 2015, threatening us with all kinds of dire actions if we didn’t pay up.  I dashed around looking for my receipt, but was unable to find anything. I called the assessors office and they confirmed they hadn’t received any payment from us. We leaped into the car, went to their office and paid our taxes – plus interest  – plus penalty. :0(  We copied everything and sent it certified mail to the reverse mortgage people. I apologized to my husband, saying I must be older and more doofus than I even knew, having forgotten to pay the taxes! My confidence was really shaken.

Yesterday I was doing more on our prep for taxes and FOUND the receipt for the tax payment from February, with a confirmation number from my online payment.

We went to the bank with the receipt and the other paperwork. The lady called somewhere, finally finding out that the electronic payment had been returned, due to a bad address on BillPay. She said they had sent me an email about it, and that it also should have shown online the next time I signed into BillPay.

The end result was that I had entered the address wrong into BillPay, picking up the physical address of the assessor’s office, rather than their post office box. DUH.  I also didn’t see their email or notice anything on BillPay. I had found where the payment was listed on my bank statement, but hadn’t picked up that they had returned the money to my account when the check was returned on that same statement.

So – I feel better than I HAD paid the taxes when I was supposed to, but hadn’t been careful enough about the address I put in BillPay, missed the email, and hadn’t seen the detail on the bank statement. I haven’t completely lost it yet, but I’m playing with a less than full deck….

Bette Davis hit the nail on the head with her quote.


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes

Abby in Pot


We had a glorious day yesterday – sunshine-y with temperatures in the mid 70s – unheard of for the first day of February. Abby went from lying upside down, lolling out of the cat bed ON TOP OF one of the dog bed, to making a nest in one of the pots I brought in from the deck to the back porch. We LOVE being able to open the back door and the front door, airing out the house.

Today we’re having more normal temperatures – mid 40s – but still really good. All the animals are opting for short runs outside followed by major naps inside. I just checked and have two dogs, two cats, and one husband all asleep in their various ‘nests’ of the moment. :0)

I planted one more celery plant in the dirt on a planter on the window sill. That makes three plants in the soil and 3 more in glasses of water. I’m having a great time, whether I end up with actual stalks of celery or not. I’m going to get ready to plant spinach plants very soon, hoping that my moniker of “Serial Seed Killer” no longer applies.

I’ve been a good girl today, finishing up our office deduction spreadsheet for taxes. Tomorrow I’ll tackle totaling up the rest of our deductions. Hopefully, we’ll be ready to dump everything on our wonderful CPA soon.

I’m going out to spend time on the elliptical now, and then will see about fixing us some lunch.

I hope YOU’RE having a happy, productive day, too!



Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Amazing Animals

Getting the Lard Off Progress Report 2/1/2017

I told you last week that for some unknown reason, I can eat a week’s worth of carbs and calories after dinner.  Part of the reason is that we’re staying up late. My husband has trouble sleeping. We used to go to bed and read until we were sleepy. He read that he would sleep better if we quit doing that, so we’re downstairs until we’re sleepy now – leaving about 5 hours or so after dinner when we’re close to the kitchen.

Yesterday I put my foot down hard – telling myself I was finished gorging myself and would look forward to my orange dream bar after dinner and THAT WAS IT! Last night was the first night in ages I’ve actually done it. My scale even noticed the difference. So – I’m starting day TWO of acting like an adult on my eating.

Since I’ve been shoving everything in the house into my mouth, my weight and measurements have fluctuated. I’m determined to get back on track, eating low carb and as little sugar as possible. I’m trying to stay under 40 carbs of carbohydrates per day and under 1200 calories. AND I’m trying to exercise regularly. To date I’ve lost 34 lbs and 19″.

I’m doing better on my exercising than my eating. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been doing yoga three days a week, the elliptical twice a week, and upper and lower body strength exercises. My poor old body has had sore muscles to show for my efforts, but I’m feeling better overall, and I feel that I’m working my body from head to toe, in different ways so my body doesn’t get used to anything.

Now that I’m finally on track on my after dinner eating, I’m hopeful I can continue to report actual progress to you.


Leave a comment

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

My Favorite Pastimes



I spent all afternoon doing one of my two favorite pastimes in all the world – bookkeeping and taxes.

Admittedly, I was WAAAY behind on my bookkeeping for my website, Creative Artworks. I put it off and put it off until it was embarrassing to tackle it yesterday and today. I’ve finally finished it now and will tackle another of the items needed for our tax prep tomorrow.

When I finally emerged from the office, the whole household was asleep. My husband had a towel over his eyes and was snorking quietly looking very comfortable in his recliner. Our pit bull, Bambi, was sprawled out on his bed, his head lolling off the side. Our cocker spaniel/schnauzer cross, Molly, was on her stomach on the carpet, her head down flat and all four legs spread out flat around her. SHE was snorking, too. One of our cats, Smoke, was asleep in her bed under the counter where my computer sits. And finally, our other cat, Abby was spilling out of the cat bed, which was on top of the dog bed. She was completely upside down, looking like she was in a trance.

I was just getting comfortable in my chair in preparation for catching a nap after my labors, when everyone woke up – having received the memo simultaneously that it was time to get up…


Leave a comment

Filed under Acting Like a Grownup

Still Buried, but Peeking Out…

James McInvale Illustration

James McInvale Illustration

This isn’t my art room, but it gives you an idea of what I’m trying to organize in preparation for actually working in there to give voice to some ideas banging around in my brain lately.

  • I’ve cleaned and organized a space where I can try to create jewelry.
  • I’ve cleaned and organized a table where I can work through the lessons from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, working up to enjoying all the glorious pencils my husband got me for Christmas.
  • I’ve cleaned off the counter top that runs from one side of the room almost to the other side under my shelves on the opposite side of the room from the jewelry area.

What remains is the mess in, around, and on top of my drafting table – the place I need clean in order to work on my latest ideas.

I DID manage to gather the wooden ornaments I want to paint as samples for some custom, personalized ornaments for the website. I also have the card stock and envelopes, plus paint ready for the cards, plus the letter stamps for the back of the cards.

I’m hoping that I can finish getting things either put away and organized or thrown away today so that I can start playing.

Wish me luck, please!


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

It’s Playtime!

Reddit via

Leave a comment

Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Childlike Fun, Encouragement

Sunday Evening

Best Wallpapers on Paper4pc

Best Wallpapers on Paper4pc

It’s almost 7pm and I just quit working for the day.

My husband and I are working on a program that will block crank calls and will let people we know through with no problem. This is very complicated, but we’re in the home stretch (we think and hope.)  We have the basic program, as well as a list of people we want to talk to, and a way to create another (automated calls, crank calls, people wanting donations, etc.)  Each time we get a call we don’t want, we’ll add the number to our unwanted list.

If you’re a real person and we have you on our list, the call comes right through. If you’re somebody we don’t know, it will ask you to press ‘1’ if you’re human and not selling anything, at which point we’ll hear it ring. If you’re on the bad list, you’ll get a message saying we don’t wish to talk to you. (It doesn’t ring in the house unless you’re somebody we know or someone calling for the first time since we implemented the new system.) It’ll be fun to see if it actually works. (Of course, if it does, we might have difficulty figuring it out because we won’t get the crank calls after awhile. :0)

A second project took up much of the rest of the day. We had four different address books, most of which were outdated, had wrong information, people we didn’t contact anymore, people who aren’t with us anymore, etc.

My husband found an online address book that you can input information, save all your input, print it in any fashion you would like, easily change, add, or delete information, print only the pages changed, print labels from the information, etc.

I worked from one address book at a time. When I finished the first one, I used the second to add more people, change information I had typed in, etc. I did this until we had worked our way through all the address books, plus our Christmas card list (newly updated.)

We’ve ordered some address book paper that will fit one of the books we have that is still good. The labels are on their way, too, along with new dividers. We input names, contact type, addresses, email addresses, home phone and cell phone numbers, and any notes we wanted to keep.

Soon we’ll have ONE place with all our business contacts, friends, and family!


Since I feel as if a truck ran over me, I’ll go fix dinner now and settle into my comfortable chair and enjoy a rented movie or taped TV shows, or both – assuming I can stay awake… :0)

I hope YOU had a good day, too!


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes

Folding Myself Into a Paper Airplane – Take 10

An important lesson is finally embedding itself into my brain – yoga is what I need to feel better.

I freely admit that I’m as surprised, or even MORE surprised, than anyone. Who would have thought I would do yoga? Who would have thought I would START yoga at age 69? Who would have thought that I could start a session, feeling old and creaky, with pain across my back just under my shoulder blades and finish a session on one part of my body, then an overall flow session, feeling MUCH better.

I’m proving this lesson to myself daily now. I realize I’m still doing ‘old lady yoga’ – tactfully named, “Gentle Yoga”, emphasizing good, long stretching in various poses, rather than standing on my head or folding myself into a pretzel shape while singing, “I’m Happy.”  But this practice is proving a life-saver for me.

Very slowly – very gradually – I’m loosening up. This creaky old lady is becoming a BIT more flexible.

The hardest part for me still is the time at the end of each segment where you’re supposed to lie on your back and completely relax.  At the beginning, my mind would race, thinking of what I needed to do today, wondering if I remembered to put something on the list or not… I’m slowly learning to put things away for later and concentrate on the moment.

  • I’m learning to breathe into the area of my back that tightens itself regularly.
  • I’m working on being able to sit on the floor with my knees bent under me. (My feet cramp in this position and my thigh muscles are awful. Gradually, though, if I can get my feet to quit cramping, I can sit like this for several seconds at a time now.
  • When I started several weeks ago, I could not lie on my back and put my arms over my head and rest my hands on the floor. I can do this now – not comfortably – but I’m working on it.
  • There’s a pose where you’re lying on your back. One leg is straight on the floor and the other is pointing up at the ceiling. Using a strap, you move your leg over to the side as far as possible. Then you move it across your body to the other side. THIS is when my body says, “Oh, NO!” The great thing about Cat (the yoga instructor) is that she stresses that how far you’re able to move isn’t important. It’s the moving in the right direction to your personal edge and then breathing into it that’s important.

The very best news lately is that they have created another DVD composed of ‘the next level’ of yoga practice. I’ve ordered it so that, between these two DVDs, I’ll have enough good instruction and encouragement to be the best that I can be.

Leave a comment

Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, exercise



Leave a comment

January 2, 2017 · 11:26 am

Growing Up

Zen to Zany

Zen to Zany

Leave a comment

Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Childlike Fun

Shoed -In

Offbeat via Susan Phariss

Offbeat via Susan Phariss

We used the comparably good weather today – plus a required trip to Fedex in Fort Smith – as a great opportunity to get some winter boots for each of us. We both have real “combat boot” type boots that are good for really cold weather, but are uncomfortable. We decided to look for some more flexible boots with reasonable insulation that we could wear in the in-between cold-but-not-blizzard weather.

We went to our favorite Shoe Depot/Encore store in Central Mall. We each found some pretty good boots! I also got some gel insoles to put in mine. I also found two other pairs of winter shoes on sale :0)  – ankle high pull-on reddish-tan leather boots and some more regular flats for fall and winter.

When we got home, my husband looked online for the high top, moccasin-type shoes we both like. We were in luck, and he ordered a pair for each of us.

We are more than shoed-up, or shoed-in, now, fully ready – laced and tripping – for whatever weather comes our way.


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup

Concentrating on Shutting My Mouth…

Huffington Post

Huffington Post

There are lots of good reasons for trying to keep my mouth shut.

Most of the time it’s a good idea to keep me out of trouble for saying the wrong thing in the wrong company. This time – keeping the other in mind – my efforts are focused on not eating after dinner time. I made it last night for the first time in a LONG time.

I followed that with an hour long session of yoga this afternoon emphasizing “Joint Mobility” and “Overall Flow.”  I had a talk with my husband about helping me carve out an hour either in the morning or in the afternoon for my yoga practice. He is seeing how much better it makes me feel, and was encouraging about my efforts today.


Michelle Cazares

Michelle Cazares


I’m re-reading The Shift by Tory Johnson


the book that initially got me excited about trying to get the lard off and get in better shape. I’m happy to say that it’s beginning to do its magic on me again, motivating me to stick to my guns and start impressing the scales and my tape measure again. I’m about half way to where I think I would like to be weight-wise. If I’m successful enough to get there, I’ll decide if more is needed or if that’s enough. (I’m trying for the middle of a healthy BMI weight range for my height.)

Our low carb lifestyle and our new low or no sugar emphasis should help both my husband and me feel better.

*2 new finds! –

  • Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets Light Hot Cocoa Mix. (It’s 25 calories, 4 grams carbs and 2 grams of sugar per serving.)  My husband really loves hot chocolate and he says he cannot tell the difference between the awful mixes he WAS using and this. Hooray!”
  • Arizona Zero Peach Tea – My husband used to drink already sweetened iced tea mix, drinking several LARGE glasses per day. This is 0 calories, < 1 gram sugar, <  1 gram carbs. It’s delicious and we both drink it.

In a little over a year I have lost 40 lbs. and 23+ inches. Albeit slowly, I AM making progress on being as healthy as I can be. I look forward to seeing what 2017 brings!


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Cooking/Recipes/Low Carb Lifestyle, DIET!, exercise



My goals to eat right, lose weight, gain flexibility and strength have a beginning date – August 22, 2015 – but they will have no end.  I’ve made some progress, losing 40 lbs and 23+ inches thus far, eating low carb and trying to move more. I’m about half way to where I would like to be.

Right now I’m concentrating on jump-starting my motivation, which left about the time my husband was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. I dove in, once HE was convinced that he was showing symptoms that were quite bothersome, and could be controlled by cutting out sugar. The symptoms were feet, especially toes, hurting badly; double vision; lots of indigestion, dizzy spells, etc.

He’s done a wonderful job of trying to cut out his sugar. Our doctor is really pleased with his efforts, and we’re hoping that the A1C blood test he gets in February will reflect the same results as we’re showing at home.

In the quest for sugar-free and other things that would take the place of what he was missing most, I lost my motivation to

I used our more complicated eating situation to slide on my own discipline. I’ve discovered that my low carb diet is really good for my husband, too. Watching our sugar is good for both of us, and should be no problem.

I’ve also discovered that folding myself into a paper airplane doing yoga stretches is very helpful. I found a 2-DVD set called, “Gentle Yoga” which is geared to old women like me who have never done yoga before and are a bit intimidated. I have discovered for myself that doing the stretches when I’m sore HELPS. Amazing!

So, if I KNOW what I’m supposed to eat, and I’m DOING yoga most days, what is my problem?

I do fine on my eating until after dinner. We’re eating at about 7pm, but don’t go to bed until about midnight. And then, sometimes, we end up downstairs in the middle of the night, not able to sleep, again providing an opportunity to stuff my face.

I’ve tried moving my ‘dessert’ (sugar-free chocolate pudding) later, to bridge the 5 hours before we go to sleep. That has helped a bit, but even with low carb snacks, I’m craving salty stuff. It calls to me from the kitchen. Incessantly.

I really that I’m engaging in a ‘whine and cheese’ party here, and that I have no REAL reason for stuffing my face after dinner. I realize I’m not really hungry. I have no good excuses. BAH. HUMBUG.

I’ll make a point of

  • re-reading the parts of low carb books that helped me lose the 40 lbs.
  • I’ll be religious about doing my two sections of the yoga DVDs daily,
  • I’ll start drinking more water, as I should have been doing
  • I’ll start trying to have projects to do after dinner that will keep me busy.

Hopefully, by the middle of NEXT week, I can report to you that I’m back on track…

Please cross your fingers for me!



Leave a comment

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

Getting the Lard Off Progress Report 12/15/2016

AnimalWallpapers - DesktopNexus

AnimalWallpapers – DesktopNexus

I’m finally getting my eating after dinner until better control, though I have to admit it’s a fight, one night after the next.

I’m doing a combination of

  • re-reading the books that got me motivated in the first place
  • finding better low carb snacks to eat
  • finding more active things to do to distract me before bed
  • drinking more water after dinner

My scale is beginning to show a downward movement again, although I’m still re-losing the weight I thought was gone.

I’m feeling good about my yoga practice.

Most every day I’m doing two 1/2 hour sections of the DVD set “Gentle Yoga.” Today I just finished “Legs,” and “Overall Flow.” I’m beginning to feel looser. I’m beginning to be able to sit with my knees bent, feet under me, without my feet cramping so much, and without the tops of my thighs screaming. I may never be able to bend over and touch my fingers to the floor, but I’m stretching the right muscles to do so. When my back is hurting, I now know that doing yoga will make it feel better. I’m also learning to relax at the end of the sections for 5 minutes, something I feel REALLY hard to do at the beginning. AND, I can now lie on my back on the floor and put my hands over my head and touch the floor behind me – something that was impossible in the beginning.

I’m pairing the yoga practice with some exercises for my abdomen. I’m hoping all this will come together gradually to impress my tape measure, too.

Today I made a new recipe for dinner – Low Carb Minestrone.  My husband came in while I was avidly chopping up veggies and said he thought it was good I was making Beef Stew. I told him it was Minestrone. He said, “But it has beef in it, doesn’t it?” I told him it didn’t have ANY meat in it. He looked disappointed, and asked, “But COULD it have some beef in it?” At that point I relented and added some leftover roast beef to the mix. I’ll let you know what we think tomorrow.

I hope your day has been fun.

Leave a comment

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

I’m Getting There

This is the really crazy time of the year when I meet myself coming and going, feel guilty when I’m doing one thing when I should be doing another…

Last night I couldn’t sleep. I really tried, and then came downstairs. Usually I read awhile, but last night – since I couldn’t sleep because I couldn’t turn my brain off – running through what I needed to be doing, I got our Christmas cards ready to mail.  I finished about 3a.m.

Yesterday I spent all afternoon cleaning off the deck and front porch and putting trash bags over the planters in preparation for winter. I’m happy that that chore is now done, but it put me behind on all the rest of the stuff I NEED to do!

Now I can put a check mark beside –

  • Clean off front porch and deck and prep for winter
  • Get Christmas cards ready to mail.

I’m ALMOST to the point after working this morning where I can check off getting Christmas presents ready for my good friends. (I’m going to paint 24 note cards today and tomorrow to finish up the group.)

I’m also continuing to work on clearing off my desk and reorganizing the office shelves.

I’m heading up to my art room to get started on the note cards.

Are YOU having a good day?


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, holidays, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Battle of the Books

Libraries & YA -

Libraries & YA –

I spent the whole day moving stuff.

My husband was suggesting that we should have a clear demarcation between office supplies and supplies to USE in our office shelves. I had just moved a bunch of cookbooks INTO those shelves in order to make space in the living room…

I went upstairs and looked at the built-in shelving in the guest room. I decided that these could be used to hold a lot of books. First, I had to clean THEM out, moving my out of season shoes and purses. When those were empty, I started the big reorganization.

Since we’re eating low carb and low or no sugar now, I have a lot of cookbooks we don’t use all the time.

I looked up each one on Amazon and found several I could put up for resale there. The ones I couldn’t went into two places: the place in the foyer where we gather books we take as a fund-raiser to our local library. The ones I wanted to keep I put on the stairs.

When I finished with Amazon and the give-away groups, I lugged all the keepers upstairs and put them in the guest room bookshelves.

Then I started on all the books I’ve gathered for running a small business, plus some art and craft books. I did the same series with all of these, listing some for resale, put others in the give away pile, and the rest on the stairs to go up.

I now have all the  books out of the office! Tomorrow I’ll start reorganizing the office shelves so that we can both easily find whatever we need…

I can tell you first-hand that lugging books around and up and down the stairs is great exercise!


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob

Folding Myself into a Paper Airplane – Take 9

I’m crediting my new yoga practice with some loss in inches – 26″ to be exact – as of today.

I’m using a 2-DVD set called, “Gentle Yoga,” and I couldn’t be happier with it.

The wonderful teacher is helping me figure out the problem areas in my body that need particular attention. I have found, for example, that my spine doesn’t twist very well, my back just beneath my shoulder blades is always tight, and that my shoulders need a lot of work.

I’m doing one section for a particular part of the body, plus the section on overall flow, each day. I did “Neck and Shoulders” and “Overall Flow” today. When I started, my middle back was really tight and sore. Now I feel good.

I have noticed that my body is beginning to give a little bit more. When I started, I found I couldn’t lie on my back and put my arms above my head with my hands on the floor. My arms simply dangled in mid air! Today when I did the relaxing at the end of one section, I was able to do that WITH my arms and hands on the floor. :0)

I also found that I couldn’t sit with my knees bent, feet on the floor under me. My thighs screamed and my feet cramped. I’ve been working on this by getting into that position, then bending forward a bit on a pillow and then just leaning down, trying to breathe into it. Sometimes I have to fight my feet cramping, but I’m able to stay in the position, relaxing a bit, for half a minute or so now.

Breathing into a stretch makes your body give. Relaxing into a pose increases your strength, flexibility, and balance.

My husband is cheering me on. He teases me quite a bit, but he realizes how good this is for me.


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, exercise

Kids Participate in Difficult Christmas Experiment


The experiment took place at a Boys and Girls Club in metro Atlanta, where 83% of the kids come from low-income families. One by one kids are brought into a room to answer several questions. At first, they are asked what they want for Christmas. The video shows different clips of the children revealing their most desired gift – from a dollhouse, to an Xbox 360. Then, the interviewer asks what their moms (or families) would like for Christmas. Each of the kids name a gift that they know that their person would love.

Here comes the hard part of the scenario. The kids are presented with their dream gift, and told that it is theirs to keep. Everyone is thrilled…but then they are also given their family’s gift as well. They are told that they must pick between the presents. Although it seems as if it would be a tough choice, every single one of the kids chooses to act selflessly – and picks the family gift. All of them provide answers for why they made their decision, which are so heartfelt, they will bring you to tears. Wow, what amazing kids!

If the link above doesn’t work, please copy and paste the following URL into your browser –



Thank you to via Lenore Garnhum, Facebook

Leave a comment

Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Delightful Surprises, Family, Favorite Videos, holidays

Another Lesson Learned

Bored Panda

Bored Panda

About an hour ago I noticed that I felt cold and that my back was stiff and sore. I decided to do my yoga – today “Joint Mobility” and “Overall Flow.”

Each section is half an hour. By the time I finished these two, my back wasn’t stiff and sore anymore and I felt warm and relaxed.

I’m slowly learning to listen to my body and then do something proactive to feel better. I’m a slow learner, but I’m really happy I’m FINALLY waking up to this.

If you’d like to try it, get the 2-DVD set, “Gentle Yoga.”

It’s created for women 60 years and older who haven’t practiced yoga before, may have had surgery causing stiffness, and may be a bit apprehensive about the idea. Usually, I’ve found exercise videos geared toward people who already can do all of the poses or exercises and want a hard workout. I wanted to do yoga to gain flexibility, balance, and to learn to fully relax. I also wanted someone who didn’t make me gnash my teeth, as the super-perky exercise people do.

Cat Kabira is an excellent teacher. She stresses that there is no perfect yoga pose. As long as you’re doing it the best you can at the moment, that’s good enough to get the benefit of the pose.  There are 8 sections on the DVD set, one for each part of the body and then an overall flow section. I’m now doing one session for a particular part of the body and then the overall daily.

I will never be a gym rat or fitness fanatic. I really would rather do almost anything than exercise. I want to be as active as possible, though, for the rest of my life. Having good balance, good core muscles, and better flexibility will help me do that.

It can be cold and rainy outside, and I can still do my yoga in the privacy of my home in comfort. My husband has learned to respect and encourage my yoga time. The cats and dogs still like to use my being on the floor as an opportunity to cuddle up and play, but we’re trying to gently discourage that. :0)


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Changes, exercise

Hard Head

I have a hard head – I’m really slow to learn a lesson at times.

About 3 weeks ago I started doing yoga. I chose a 2-DVD set called, “Gentle Yoga” because it was geared toward women 60 years and older who had never done yoga, might have health issues, and who might be intimidated by the whole idea – a perfect description of me.

I was surprised that after doing the “Head, Shoulders, and Neck” section, I not only was able to do everything the good teacher asked, but I felt encouraged. She is very accepting. She stresses that there is no perfect yoga pose. Even if you’re only able to START to stretch in the direction she’s showing you, it does your body good. With time and practice, your body will learn to ‘give,’ and you’ll be able to stretch into the poses more and more, your body becoming stronger and more flexible. She asks that you do SOMETHING from the videos every day, even if it’s only for 5 minutes.

I THOUGHT I had listened and absorbed everything, and yet I found myself thinking I would ‘take a day off’ yesterday, since it was Thanksgiving. When mid-afternoon came, I then decided to go ahead and do my yoga. I did the “Lower Back” and “Overall” sections.

By the time I was finished, my back didn’t hurt. I’m working on being able to ‘sit’ on my feet with my knees bent. Each day I can do it for a couple of seconds longer. (My feet tend to cramp and my thighs really don’t like this). I’m determined that one day, if I keep practicing, I’ll be able to do this comfortably.

I even told my sister-in-law that I had learned that I really felt better when I did my yoga and that I was surprised by this. Yesterday I had to prove it to myself again. I’m trying to get to the point that I do two sections every day routinely, rather than making the conscious decision to do it.


Jen’s Creative Media Blog

I have NEVER found an exercise where I felt better and more relaxed when I finished before. Even hard heads like me should be able to learn this lesson!  Today I’ll do “Spinal Health” and “Overall.”


Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, exercise

Getting the Lard Off – Progress Report Nov. 21, 2016

I’m happy to say that I am FINALLY back on the getting the lard off road! I lost my way for a bit, but – with the addition of yoga poses done daily – I’m starting to lose again.

My husband – who is a newly-diagnosed diabetic – and I are eating a low carb diet, substituting sugar-free candy, pudding, and tea for the things he’s missing the most.


Bored Panda

Bored Panda

The biggest change is that I’m doing two sections of my yoga DVD set daily. Today, for example, I’m doing “Joint Mobility” and “Overall Flow.”

Yesterday I ALMOST skipped the yoga because I had some sore muscles. I went ahead, grimly, and found that my soreness disappeared! Let this be an ongoing lesson for me!!!!!

I’ve been doing the two sections daily for a bit over a week now, and I decided to see whether my measuring tape was impressed or not.

It was! To date, I’ve lost 21.75 inches and 40 pounds. (Some of these pounds have been regained and now lost again. I’m looking forward to breaking into new territory soon.)

Yesterday I was doing the ‘fold-yourself-into-a-paper-airplane-and-twist’ pose. I end up with my leg bent and twisted over to the side across my body with my knee on the floor. The opposite arm is stretched up above my head. See what I mean about folding yourself into a paper airplane?

Anyway, you get into the pose, holding it while you breathe in deeply into the stretch, and then exhale several times. When I was doing the last deep breath, my fingers touched the floor! Just barely – but they did!!!!! Only on one side, and only for a second, but HOOORAAAAAY!

The only other exercise I’m doing right now is sitting on the exercise ball while watching TV.  This is supposed to be good for building up my ‘core’ muscles and strengthening my balance. Since I need both, I spend some time bouncing around each evening.

I’m going right now to do my yoga sessions.

Hope YOUR day is good, too.





Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off