Category Archives: Acting Like a Grownup

Donation

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Yesterday I finished (more or less) cleaning out my closet.

One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to try to make donations to the Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith and our local library once a month.

Today was donation #9 for the year to the Veterans Thrift Store, so I’m a bit ahead on my goal!  I’m not doing as well on donations to the local library. I’ve only done 4 this year, so will have to step up my efforts.

It feels good to be going through our things, purging what we’re not using, seeing that other people have access to what they might enjoy, and having less ‘STUFF.’

I have some fine tuning on my closet, but I’m almost there. :0)

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Cleaning Out My Closet – Again

Due to the nice fact that I shed one size in jeans due to my efforts with Nutrisystem and exercise, I decided that today was a good day to go through my closet again.

The last time I did a good job was in the fall, so I have a full closet of warm/hot weather type clothing now. I’ve kept some of it because it was too small and “maybe” I could wear it ‘someday.’ I’ve kept other things because they were large enough to fit me.  Other things have just gone back and forth from the guest room closet to my closet and back again several times. I hate to admit that, but it’s true.

This time I’m going through everything thoroughly again, trying everything on and making the decision to keep it or donate it.

The fun part so far was getting rid of some now-too-large jeans and a pair of dress slacks that was new when Methuselah was a baby. (Do you get the idea I usually wear jeans?)  :0)

I brought down a big group of clothes I’m going to donate, but I got hot and tired and decided I would rest a bit and do something else, and then go back up for another session a bit later.

This time I’m not keeping something just because ‘it’s big enough to cover me.’ I’m also looking at the color, style, and deciding if I actually LIKE it or not. Imagine that! It’ll be a while before I can have JUST clothes I like, but little by little, I’m moving toward my goal.

I’m hoping that when I move the warm/hot weather stuff into the guest room closet in a few months and exchange it for the cool/cold weather clothes, I’ll be able to do the try-everything-on again job again and find more things that are actually larger than they need to be.

My goal will be to have a donation ready for The Disabled Vets Thrift Store by the end of next week. I’m also working on another donation for our local library, as well.

I hope you’re having a great Sunday.

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Zipping It

Thanks to my good friend, Marsha Koenig, for these.

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Dinosaurs

Rosie Made a Thing – via The Hippies were Right via Stephanie Youmans Wilson

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I’m Flexing

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The Nutrisystem program encourages you to learn how to cook and eat in a reasonable fashion (unlike what we’ve been doing) by having us eat or cook one breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack on our own each week, preferably each on a different day during the week. They call these “FLEX” meals.

I really like this idea. We were on Nutrisystem before years ago before they added the flex meal idea (or frozen food choices) to their plan. We lost weight and then gradually put it back on because I went back to poor cooking habits from the past. This time they’re encouraging us to plan our flex meals for the week and work this idea into our new lifestyle.

So far, I’m having two problems:

  1. I’ve prepared a couple of flex dinners from their Leaf Recipes section. We each ate a serving of it and I froze the rest in individual portions so we can pull them out, nuke ’em, and eat.  This is complicated by the fact that I’m eating “dinner” for ‘lunch’ at the counselor’s suggestion, trying to work my way out of a plateau on my weight loss. “I” pull out a flex dinner for lunch one day a week, but my husband either doesn’t think about it or the idea doesn’t appeal to him for HIS dinner.  We can only eat ONE of these flex dinners per week, so the ‘reruns’ are lasting weeks and weeks!
  2. When I cook completely on my own,  or we get something out, we gain weight back. Example, Sunday evening I cooked two 4 oz steaks. With them we had little bitty potatoes with a little bit of butter and no salt, plus cut up fresh tomatoes. I thought it was a good dinner and my husband thought it was ‘wonderful,’ but we were both up on the scales Monday morning. Last night we went bowling with friends and had a scoop of real ice cream afterwards as our “flex snack” for the week. We were both up AGAIN this morning. Friday we’re due to eat our flex breakfast (or lunch) at a restaurant with the “Breakfast Bunch.” This gain isn’t only for one day, either. It seems to take the whole week to get back to where we were.

My first reaction is to quit eating the flex meals because they’re messing us up. But then the more grown up part of me realizes that this is the whole point of the program. We’re supposed to be learning what a ‘portion’ is, how to choose foods more wisely when we’re out, and incorporating the ‘new’ healthier eating style into our lives as a regular thing.

I’ll probably get online and talk to a counselor about this, since I’m determined to learn the lesson and make it a larger and larger part of the way we live. Right now I’m frustrated, but hopefully a nice person at NS can guide me on a better path.

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I’ve Earned my Salt Today

“To be ‘worth one’s salt’ is to be worth one’s pay. Our word salary derives from the Latin salarium, (sal is the Latin word for salt). There is some debate over the origin of the word salarium, but most scholars accept that it was the money allowed to Roman soldiers for the purchase of salt. Roman soldiers weren’t actually paid in salt, as some suggest. They were obliged to buy their own food, weapons etc. and had the cost of these deducted from their wages in advance.”

I learned this phrase from my parents and just now realized I had no idea where the phrase came from or if I were using it correctly. (My parents meant “earning your food and upkeep.”)

I’ve been working most of the afternoon – inside – because it’s way too hot to be working outside at least until it’s almost dark.

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The main thing I accomplished today was cleaning the floors on our first floor. I vacuumed the tiles and then mopped. (Pantry, kitchen, dining area, entryway to living room, two half-baths, and the utility room.)

I then vacuumed the carpeted flooring (office, foyer, and living room.)

We’re much better than we were, though it’s never all clean at the same time. I feel much better about things, though, and that’s good for the day.

I’m feeling as limp as the sweet puppy above, so I think I’ll get a bottle of water and go put my feet up awhile.

I hope you’ve had a good day, too.

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Getting the Lard Off Progress Report – 6-27-2018

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The BAD news is that I’m still old and still don’t look a THING like Julia Roberts.

The GOOD news is that with the help of the Nutrisystem counselor, I seem to have broken through the plateau from Hell I was on and am losing weight again!

 

To date, I’ve lost 16.3 inches.

Poundage off is now 14.4.

Other GOOD things –

  • I’m getting used to drinking 64 oz of water daily, no longer feeling that my eyes are floating. (My husband – who is not even trying to drink any certain amount – is getting used to having to pause the movie several times, though, as the drinking catches up with me in the evenings.)
  • I’m getting more confident about being able to adapt our life style to the Nutrisystem program, particularly as it relates to the flex meals and our social life. We like to bowl with friends on Monday evenings, for example. We use the trip to Braum’s afterwards as our FLEX SNACK for the week. We eat with friends every Friday for what we call “Lunch Bunch.” We were counting that as FLEX LUNCH, but are finding it easier to work it into the program by having it as our FLEX BREAKFAST for the week. I’m starting to prepare some of the “Leaf” Nutrisystem FLEX DINNER recipes, having fixed two so far. One of the recipes was an “OKAY,” but the latest one, the “1-Pan Rice, Chicken and Vegetables” was a winner. Today, since I made it to 1100 subscribers – actually 1101 now) to my blog – HOOORAAAAAAAY!” – we’re going to Red Lobster for Lobster Tail as our FLEX LUNCH for the week in celebration!
  • I’m starting to look forward to some of my exercising. I’ll never become like Jillian Michaels, who seems to live for exercise, or like annoying Leslie Sansone, who keeps talking about how much FUN her walking program is and how GOOD it feels, but I AM enjoying the half hour I spend daily doing my yoga stretches and then using my cervical pillow to completely relax for several minutes. I’m trying to do my elliptical trainer for 30 minutes every other day. I’m using all the vacuuming and mopping of floors as my exercise a couple of days a week or more, since I seem to have to devote my life to it to even THINK of trying to keep up with all the dog and cat hair right now.
  • I’m starting to believe that if I keep on keepin’ on, I’ll eventually lose the lard, be healthier, and feel better as there is less of me.

My next goal is to earn my 20 lb Nutrisystem bear!  One day at a time….

taolife.com

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Trying to Learn Patience

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Our son kindly arranged for a box of mangosteens to be sent to us from a company in Florida. We ate one small one the other day. My husband said, “Good, but I wouldn’t travel far for one,” with his usual exuberant attitude toward most things. I found it really interesting to peel (our son sent a video he made of peeling and eating the fruit), and was delighted to find out SWEET the sections were – kind of like eating a super-sweet orange. I wish I could describe the taste better, but it’s really nice. Our son says he “eats them like candy.”

We’ve been waiting for more to ripen. All of them were like billiard balls when they arrived. That’s good, because you don’t want all of them to ripen right away and waste much of the fruit. We’ve had some on the island in the kitchen, but they weren’t ripening. A good friend suggested that we put them in a paper bag. I did that and I’ve been checking them each morning. So far, still billiard balls.

I think this is yet another character-building exercise – waiting for the mangosteen to ripen. It’s a good thing we weren’t depending on these for sustenance….

 

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Memories

In 1969 two wonderful things happened: my husband and I got married and I started teaching.

(My son provided a chat program so that we can “talk” any time we would like to, even though he’s across the world from us. This morning he had left me a question about my teaching many years ago. The chat program is having a hiccup, so I’m not able to answer him yet, but the question brought a flood of wonderful memories.)

My students were all black and I fell in love with them the first day. I taught first grade and we were in a self-contained classroom. This meant that I was responsible for trying to teach them everything. I was so excited about the opportunity it didn’t dawn on me that maybe I should be scared of all the responsibility, being a brand new teacher. We all learned a lot that first year.

I learned that our daily lives were much different from each others’, but we could sure love. I was trying to teach them phonics, and it was difficult to get or keep them excited about ‘sounds’ of letters. I made up a really silly song about the sounds, brought my guitar to school and taught my kids the song. They loved it! I would play and they would dance and we would sing, absorbing the sounds the letters made, and gradually putting them together to make words. Words became phrases and phrases became sentences and reading began. I checked out books from the school library and brought some from home to read to them so that I could share my love of reading.

I was supposed to have three reading groups, but I had six. I found that my kids learned in different ways and that, in order to make things stick and come alive, I needed to use different approaches for each group. I had the fast learners work with the kids who were having trouble, and that helped, too. I encouraged my kids to do well by giving them paper certificates on Friday afternoons for good work – one child would get one for sitting still for his reading lesson. Another got one for a good score in spelling, and son on. I gave out the certificates under the one tree on the playground, weather permitting.

My kids had trouble relating to the stories in the Weekly Reader, but we were required to go through it every week. My kids’ favorite use of it came when I rolled them up, climbed up on top of the waist-high heat register beside the windows and used it to swat a wasp that was threatening us and ruining our concentration.

I loved teaching. When the light of understanding came on – I called it the ‘light bulb moment’ – my day was made. I had made something understandable to a child. Their eyes would light up, a smile lit their face, and they could then take the ball and run with it. There is absolutely nothing more thrilling in teaching than when a child gets excited about learning.

Unfortunately, the public school system and I didn’t see eye to eye. I got into trouble – getting called to the principal’s office like an unruly child – called on the carpet for

  • playing the guitar (“Ms. Lewis, this is NOT a music class!”)
  • having too many reading groups
  • not having all the kids on the same page at the same time
  • letting kids tackling the learning in their own style
  • giving out certificates under a tree on the playground
  • attempting to contact parents when a child was having problems
  • standing up in a PTA meeting and asking for help on getting the supplies we needed (we weren’t supposed to admit we didn’t have supplies)
  • and the biggie – using the Weekly Reader to swat a wasp (the superintendent happened to walk in while I was on the register. The kids all cheered when I swatted the wasp and killed it. I put the nail in my coffin when I said, “This is the best use of the Weekly Reader I’ve seen yet.”

I had a wonderful eight years in the Tulsa Public Schools. During that time I earned a Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist. I then started and ran my own reading clinic for another three years – my partner an intern teacher who taught with me.) We changed a lot of lives. We helped people – kindergarten through adult) fill in the gaps in their learning that had kept them from making sense of the printed page. We unlocked doors, brought smiles and confidence. The only thing we didn’t do was make enough money to continue. It was with great regret that I closed the clinic and went back to the regular world to get a job that helped pay the bills.

How lucky I was to have an opportunity I’ll never forget!

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Whine and Cheese

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Today marks the end of Week 8 on Nutrisystem.  I did pretty well for an old, fat broad the first month, but I’ve stalled in the second, as far as any real difference in weight or measurements.  To date, I’ve lost 12.5 pounds and 16 inches.  I’m pleased to have any results at all, but I’m frustrated that my progress seems to have stalled. I’m fighting with the same 3 lbs.

One great thing about Nutrisystem is its online CHAT. Today I talked to Allison J.  I explained my sad problem to her. She wanted to know what I ate yesterday, meal by meal. When she analyzed it, she said

  • she noticed I was skipping my Power Fuel (PF) at breakfast. I admitted that I was skipping it, sometimes making up for it later in the day.  I didn’t realize that WHEN you eat stuff – and in what combination – is very important for your results. (Today for breakfast I ate a Nutrisystem (NS) Blueberry Muffin, and then 2 tablespoons of Cashews).
  • we decided that I was probably eating too much salad dressing during the day, since I eat it with my lunch veggies and also with my salad at dinner. I’ll cut WAY back on the ‘dip’ with the veggies at lunch and try to watch it better at dinner.
  • she suggested that I swap ‘lunch’ and dinner’ entrees for a week and then get back with her next Thursday. I’m guessing that the dinners are higher calorie and that it might be best if I ate those during the day, rather than in the evening when I’m less active.
  • she asked if each of my snacks (PFs and SmartCarbs (SCs) were at least 80 calories. I looked at my log on NuMi and found that my PFs were okay, but my SC was only 65 calories. She suggested that I eat 1-1/2 oranges, instead of just one, to bring the calories up. (Weird, isn’t it? – The idea of bringing the calories up.) I’m supposed to be eating 1200 calories each day, but I routinely came up with up to 200 short.

Thanks to Allison J., I now have several changes to try to see if this breaks through my plateau from Hell.  Hopefully, by the time I report next week, the changes in eating will have wrought some changes in ME!

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Week 7 – Getting the Lard Off Progress Report

Objective Changes:

WEIGHT:  12.2 pounds down. I have to admit I’m a bit teed off because my husband doesn’t take any responsibility for even thinking about what he’s eating or when, just says, “Thanks” when I bring him the next snack or meal; doesn’t drink the water, doesn’t exercise, and he’s lost more than I have…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEASUREMENTS:   Down 16.3 inches. My husband has no interest in measuring, but he just ordered shorts that are 2 inches smaller in the waist. He put them on this morning and looks GOOD.

 

 

 

 

 

I had high blood pressure even with my medication. I’m now showing normal with my meds. “Normal” is such a beautiful word!

 

My husband is a Type II diabetic. When we started monitoring his blood sugar, it was at around 353 or higher. (Normal is under 100.) This week it was 113!

 

 

Subjective Measurements:

Each week we’re supposed to have one FLEX meal for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack, preferably on different days. Our flex SNACK is ice cream after bowling with friends on Monday evenings. Our flex LUNCH is Lunch Bunch with long-time friends on Fridays. We usually don’t do the flex BREAKFAST, since my husband likes Nutrisystem’s oatmeal and prefers to just stick with that. Flex DINNER –  I’ve broiled a thin steak cut into 2 pieces and we’ve had little bitty baked potatoes. We’ve also shared a small container of chicken fried rice from our local Chinese restaurant.

Yesterday I tried cooking our first flex dinner from the Nutrisystem website. It is called “Meat and Potato Casserole.” It makes 6 servings. We ate two and I froze the other 4 servings in labeled individual dishwasher-and-microwave-safe containers. We found the casserole a little dry, but the flavor was good. We had a salad with it. Today I stopped and got some packets of low sodium brown gravy. The package makes 1 cup – way more than enough for the one tablespoon of gravy I plan to pour over each of the remaining servings when we eat them.

I’m not a wonderful cook. The amount of preparation for this meal seemed like a lot to this lazy woman who would rather do almost anything than spend a bunch of time in the kitchen. I used a food processor as they suggested to prepare the carrots and potatoes, but I think the next time I’ll just use my hand-held shredder because clean up will be a lot easier. It seemed that I had half the kitchen messed up by the time the casserole dish was finally in the oven.

That said, I’m delighted to be able to have recipes at my fingertips to help us stay on the good start we’ve made on losing the lard. To complain when I cooked once and had servings for the two of us for THREE meals is a LOT more “poor me” than any of us need or appreciate…. :0)

All in all a good week’s progress. I’m hoping to get off the plateau I seem to be on, but I’m doing healthy things for us.

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Good Start

coolnsmart.com via David Michael McCune

 

I lost another pound yesterday, so I’m down 10.6 officially since we started Nutrisystem, and 32.6 lbs down since my lardiest.  I have a long way to go, but I’m feeling good that we have a good start now.

My husband doesn’t have much weight to lose, but he is diabetic and his blood sugar numbers have been a real challenge for about two years now. His sugar was off the chart. He had double vision and pain in his feet. He is now registering the lowest numbers we’ve seen since we’ve been monitoring AND he gets to eat fruit again! He really looks forward to his SMARTCARB snack of an orange or an apple, since it’s been two years since he could enjoy them. He also likes to have some blackberries on his cereal on FLEX BREAKFAST day. His attitude about Nutrisystem is good, and for that I’m truly grateful.

“I” am the one who really needs this program for weight loss. Several years back my thyroid was completely radiated away due to Grave’s Disease. A couple of years ago I said goodbye to my gallbladder, which then made the low-carb diet we were trying to follow a challenge, because my body had trouble handling the fat. My blood pressure is a problem, and triglycerides are high, so I’m hoping that getting the lard off and eating healthy will make my doctor realize I’m serious at our next regular appointment in August.

We both are calmer about portions since we know we’ll eat again in 3 hours. Neither of us has been hungry. My appetite has always been voracious – when we were dating my husband would say, “We need to get you something to eat!” his code for me being ‘snappy.’  My husband said last night, “I don’t see any reason we can’t stay on this plan as long as you want to.”

We quit several years ago because Nutrisystem kept doing away with the choices my husband liked. Finally, he was so upset we had to stop. Now they have SO many more choices – also adding frozen choices – that it will take us several months before we have tried everything. We like the fact they let you know when the deadline is for making changes for our programs, and that we can make changes any time we like up until then.

SO – a Good Start on getting healthier!

 

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Insurance Project

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I’m “slogging my way through deep snow,” trying to build the mother of spreadsheets, trying to list each thing we own (item name, when we bought it, what we paid, etc., plus trying to make sure that the pictures we have on the DVD we burn for our insurance agent is correct and complete.

So far, I’m in my art room. I discovered the pics of the actual room was really outdated, taken before I purged, cleaned, and reorganized. So I’ve taken new pics I’ll go through today, making sure that every I CAN list (there is really no way to list all the gazillion art supplies I have) and that the spreadsheet is as complete as I can make it.

This is really an awful project, so I try to do a bit each day, working in one room at a time.

My husband says we’ll never need this. Our agent says that if we DO need it, the first thing the company will ask for is a complete list (as I’m trying to do now) written in our handwriting (which I’m NOT doing).

I figure we

  • won’t need it
  • MAY need it, but it won’t be finished,
  • I’ll die of old age before I can finish it

If I DO finish it, I’ll print it and put the spreadsheet (all million pages of it) in our safe deposit box.

Slogging through the snow, I go, “Hi, HO…..”

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NutriSystem – 1st Month’s Progress Report

Today we have officially finished the 1st month of Nutrisystem.

I’m particularly pleased by my husband’s progress. He is disappointed that he hasn’t lost that much weight, but he doesn’t have NEAR as much to lose as I do. He’s lost about 4 lbs, but I can SEE a difference in his tummy (though he won’t let me measure or do it himself.) The biggest thing that makes me happy is the lowering of his blood sugar number. It was 117 this morning, the lowest since we’ve been monitoring. (I saw a ‘353’ in my records). Lower than 100 is considered normal, and he actually might achieve that!

He is particularly pleased by getting to eat a piece of fruit daily. We had both given that up entirely before and it’s really a treat to welcome fruit back into our diet. There are some really nice big oranges right now at Walmart and we share one each day. We also have some apples in the fridge, in case the oranges aren’t available, plus some blackberries for fruit on his flex breakfast for the week. He has found several of the cookie snacks really good, and he likes their oatmeal. He thinks the frozen orange dream type bars better than the ones we were eating before the diet!

My Nutrisystem progress to date is 9.2 lbs and 11.8 inches gone. (My total weight loss efforts since my ‘lardiest’ are 21.4 lbs and 26.2 inches.)

Lifestyle changes other than the Nutrisystem eating plan:

  1. I gave up added salt and am buying low sodium canned veggies now.
  2. Neither my husband nor I add any sugar or alternatives to anything.
  3. I am doing more real exercise –
    • elliptical trainer – at least 15 minutes,
    • yoga 30 minutes,
    • over-the-door shoulder pulley – 5 minutes,
    • weight exercise to stretch out shoulder muscles – 5 minutes.
  4.  I’m more aware of what a ‘serving’ is – basically not enough to stick in your eye. That said, I realize that my husband and I have each eaten for 8 to 10 at each meal and that hasn’t done our health any favors.
  5. We are both consciously eating more veggies (we usually have carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes and radishes with some salad dressing with our lunch and then a tossed salad (with lettuces and spinach from our own garden!) with our dinner.
  6. I’m getting more used to drinking the 64 oz of water each day. I drink a 16 oz bottle of water with each meal and sip at the last during the day. My body seems to be adjusting to it, too. I’m not having to run to the bathroom quite so much.

We were both really happy to finally eat our way through Order #1. We were both down to things we really didn’t care for, and so cheered when we finished the last of the first order and could dive into Order #2. It was funny, though, because our first lunch we each had “White Bean Chicken Chili.” We are wusses when it comes to hot, spicy stuff, and this was almost too hot for us to eat! I read the ingredients and found they had put jalapenos in it. We could get it down by having a veggie in our mouth and then adding a bit of the chili in there, too. The flavor was nice, other than the hot, but I went to the website and took that particular choice off of Order #3 for both of us… :0)

We feel that our first month on Nutrisystem has been successful. I enjoy planning the flex dinner we’ll eat each week. (We’ll have salmon and steamed broccoli this week.) My husband is learning to put his glasses on so that he can SEE the color coded choices in his bins in the pantry and the freezer. He is also learning to actually read the directions for nuking his food, rather than just winging it. I’m still spoiling him by bringing his snacks to him (like his 1/2 peeled orange and 2 oz of nuts mid-morning) but he’s learning to be a bit independent, otherwise.

On with Month # 2!

 

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Marriage Box

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Latest Decluttering Project

I’m going through the last group of books I brought into the office from the entertainment center in the living room. I’m listing some of them for sale on Amazon and bagging up the rest for a donation to our local library tomorrow to be sold at their next fundraiser.

It has taken most of 2 days to go through the shelves, bring the books in here, sort them, and then clean the living room.

 

I made my husband stop what he was doing and come in and look at the CLEAN and much better organized living room.

 

I’ve promised myself that I’m NOT going to take 30 years to declutter what it has taken us a bit over 30 years to accumulate!

 

As I finish each phase of this once-in-30-years declutter/give away, throw away/reorganize/cleaning long-term project I feel freer. We have been weighed down by too much ‘stuff’ for far too long. Since neither my husband nor I are great housekeepers or throw-awayers, things had gotten well out of hand when I started this in January.

Thus far we’ve made 7 trips with donations to the Disabled Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith, and tomorrow we should be able to make our 3rd trip to the local library to donate books. We definitely have a good start now, and I’ll continue tackling one area at a time, making pass after pass until it feels really good.

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Early Voting

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I have trouble understanding why people don’t vote. Turnout is especially low in primaries, and I’ve come to think those are the most important of all. I’ve complained for years that I’m not for EITHER candidate in election after election, but it’s my own fault if I don’t help determine who is in the final election.

I’m particularly happy that Arkansas allows us plenty of time to vote before we have to stand in long lines. This year I think we may have two full weeks to drop by City Hall whenever the mood strikes us and it’s convenient to vote. How civilized is that! And the process used makes me feel secure that there is little – if any – fraud here. You have to have a photo ID to vote. You show it to the lady, she finds your information on her computer. You have to provide your address, your birth date and sign the screen, which is then compared to the signature on file from when you registered. I think it would be pretty difficult for someone to try to look like me, know all my information, and be able to produce a signature close enough to the one on file to qualify as ‘me.’  Then, after we’ve used the touch screen to choose the candidates, it shows you a summary of what you’ve input for you to okay, and then a printed ballot is produced by the machine. You verify that and then personally feed it into a machine. The printed ballots are available in case of any question.

This year I was unfamiliar with most of the candidates, so I spent part of two days looking up each candidate on the Internet, so at least I could compare credentials and background. Some candidates I dismissed because they gave all the standard answers. I call these ‘old political hacks’ whether they’ve held office or not. I’m looking for new blood, new ideas, thinking-outside-the-box people. Sometimes both or all of the candidates seemed qualified. Then I simply chose who appealed to me more for some reason.

I still cringe when I think of a wonderful friend of mine here in Arkansas, now passed, who, when she started talking about the mayoral race for Greenwood, readily told me who she voted for. When I asked her why she liked that candidate, she replied, “He’s some kind of kin to Cecil.” (her husband). And she voted every election – I assume with the same reasoning.

Whatever your political affiliation, I urge you to cast your vote. Each of us has a voice. It’s important that we study the candidates carefully and support those who we think would do the best job for our town, our state, and our country.

Happy Voting!

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Nutrisystem Week 2 – Progress Report

Since starting the ‘Nutrisystem for Fat Ladies’ program two weeks ago, there is less of me!

  • Weight lost:  6.6 lbs*
  • Inches Lost:  5.5 inches*

*(Couple this with what I lost before Nutrisystem – and my total loss since “MY WORST” is 19 lbs and 15.5 inches.)

My husband refuses to do anything but weigh, and he’s lost 3 lbs. He’s drinking stuff during the day, but doesn’t want to even think about drinking 64 oz of water per day. He’ll eat fruit and nuts, but fusses about anything else as his PFs and SCs each day, eating some of what I bring him, but not all. He will eat a salad, but fights other veggies, mostly, so I’m doing veggies and dip for lunch and salad for dinner. He’s on the diabetic program, and his blood sugar readings, which we take twice per week, are the best he’s had since we started monitoring him!

___________________

I’m still feeling a bit obsessed with food, since I’m setting the alarm so I don’t miss one of our ‘feedings’ at the zoo, and am fixing PowerFuels, SmartCarbs and Veggies a good part of each day. I’m still needing to ‘read the list’ of what is good, but I’m getting better at it.  I’m finding it easier to drink the 64 oz of water daily. In-between, I have a cup of coffee in the morning and another during the evening. My body is still trying to get used to the different eating regimen, but I’m gradually feeling more comfortable.

My husband and I are going to sit down together at the computer tomorrow and make final decisions about what will be in our order that will ship soon for month #2. He found he had chosen several things he didn’t care for. I’ve been letting him eat some of my choices to get him through this first month and he wants me to help him choose for next month.

I’m learning some general things on how to eat so that we can keep this weight off as we go and through the rest of our lives:

  • Eating small amounts every 3 hours during the day keeps hunger at bay. The combinations keep your tummy happy and your energy on a steady level – probably keep my husband’s blood sugar from spiking, too.
  • Making sure you get enough protein with meat, dairy and nuts, and good fruit rounds out your nutrition.
  • A little bit of bread goes a long way.
  • Meat is used as a flavoring, rather than the main course.
  • The invention of turkey – as in sausage and patties – cuts way down on calories and tastes good, too.
  • Cutting out fat, salt and sugar is a good thing and quite doable.
  • Drinking lots of water is important
  • Making a point of exercise is important for lots of reasons
  • “What constitutes a Serving” is an eye-opener
  • Learning how to eat when NOT eating Nutrisystem is a life skill important to develop a little bit at a time.

I think the weight loss after week 1 is supposed to average 1 to 2 lbs per week. I would be very happy with that. I want to get the lard off and KEEP it off, becoming healthier in the process.

On to Week 3!

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Wake Up Call

We have a subscription to The Family Handyman magazine.  To be honest, we considering dropping our subscription each year, not because it isn’t a good magazine, but because very few of the projects pertain to us. About once a year, though, we find a really great project or article that reminds us why we renew. This year it’s an article called, “Avoid Insurance Surprises” by Lucie Amundsen, June 2018.

This was a wake-up call for us. We have house insurance, of course, but the article suggested that we make an appointment to have our insurance agent explain our policy in plain English, layman’s terms, so we really understood what we had. Were we SURE we had replacement insurance, rather than a lump sum that wouldn’t cover everything? How do they determine replacement cost? What do they think our house is worth? Is the well house covered? What about the shop? The greenhouse? Are we covered if our basement floods due to septic tank backup? Are all our contents covered? What restrictions do we have? What ISN’T covered? What has limits? Are there any discounts for the security stuff we installed? What would we do if we had a claim? What information would they need? Are there any endorsements or coverages we SHOULD have, but didn’t think of?

After spending 45 minutes with our agent this morning, we feel MUCH more secure. We did increase the coverage on our basement because that was limited and the limit was iffy, in our case. We DO have some homework to do. We make a DVD which has a picture of each thing we have that cost over $100. We take a pic of the receipt, too. We update it every 6 months, burning a DVD for our safe deposit box at the bank and another for our insurance agent. That’s good, but we could do better.

The first thing you’ll have to do in case of fire loss, or being blown to smithereens by a tornado, is to fill out endless forms listing each thing you lost, where you bought it and when, what you paid, etc. I’m going to do a spreadsheet using a copy of a claim form our agent gave me, so that I can go through our DVD and have a typed list I’ll put in the safe deposit box at the bank. I’ll also take more pics (like 4 views of each room) because I want to be sure that all we’ve lost can be identified.

We hope we’ll never need to file a claim, but losses happen in a matter of seconds sometimes, and it would sure be harder to list things when we’re wearing the only clothes we have on our backs and have a pen and a claim form in hand……

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Good News re Getting the Lard Off!

 

I received the emails today that the frozen part of our first order from Nutrisystem is supposed to be delivered by the end of the day on Wednesday!

Immediately, my husband said, then we should start the program the following Monday.

We were on the way to Fort Smith to take our donation to the Veterans Thrift Store, so I sat there, thinking. On the way back I finally asked him, “Why do you want to wait until Monday to start?” And he answered, “Because it’s more symmetrical than starting in the middle of the week.”

By the time we got home, I said, “I really want to start on Thursday, since we’ll get the rest of the food we ordered on Wednesday and I can get it organized and stored.” (Since it has taken so long to get the two parts of what we ordered, Order #2 is scheduled to be shipped on May 13th. Starting Thursday will give my husband a chance to try several of his choices and we can still make changes until 6 pm on the 12th.)

We agreed to start on Thursday morning (assuming we get the delivery as scheduled.)

Pinterest

Hooray!

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Good Day

Yesterday I was really good.

I scrubbed our kitchen within an inch of its life, moving everything, wiping it all down, scrubbing the stove and running its parts through the dishwasher, scrubbing the dining table and its lazy susan, the go-out table, the buffet, etc. and finishing up by vacuuming the pantry, kitchen, dining area, hallway, utility room and two half baths.

Later on, I listed the office supplies we were donating to the Veterans Thrift Store and bagged them up to take to Fort Smith today. I also continued reading the articles on the Nutrisystem site in an effort to know all I can before we start.

I’ve made up for my efforts yesterday by basically being a slug today. I haven’t accomplished much at all and even took a nap after we ate a late lunch.

The sun is finally shining after several days of really dark days with some good rain, so I’m feeling my spirits raise, as well. I hope you’ve had a good day today.

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Bookmarks Progress!

PersonalizationMall.com

This old lady ain’t dead yet! I’m learning a LOT about how to create and manage bookmarks on the new PC using Microsoft 10 and Chrome.

I now have ONE list of bookmarks, all on Chrome. (I deleted Firefox as a browser)

I now can –

  • create a bookmark and put it in a folder
  • create a new folder
  • rename a bookmark
  • delete a bookmark

I’m in the process of looking at each one, deciding if I still want it, figuring out what folder to put it in if I want it (or create a new one). I’m actually making progress now and feeling much less frustrated.

Thanks to those of you who offered encouragement, commiseration, or wished good luck. It has really helped!

Pinterest

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Definition of “Youth”

Robert Mallet via GrowingBolder.com

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I’m Making Progress (I THINK)

Pinterest

I am SLOWLY making progress on figuring out how to do things on my new PC. My husband is very happy that I’ve made the switch, since he can try to help me now. Since he’s a computer analyst, it’s only smart to have an in-house guru to help you when things aren’t working as they should.

I’m making a list of things that I want him to look at, explain how to do, or FIX –  if possible –  as I stumble onto them.

I’ve discovered that my reaction to not being able to figure things out is out of proportion to the problem. In a nutshell, I’m almost bald now, my throat is sore from yelling, and the air is blue from my bad words…..

I am determined to learn how to do what I want to do and overcome the problems I’m having. It’s a waste of energy to want to eat the keyboard, throw the computer and all its parts out the window, and go out to the front yard to shriek over and over, so I’m trying to remain CALM and handle this in a more GRACIOUS manner.

So far, my husband is at a loss as to why MY pop-up screen for Password Safe is different from his, and that ‘I’ have to do 80 steps to figure out what a password is when it used to be easy. Did I mention I’m also gnashing my teeth?

This WILL get better. I’m actually taking breaks now and going to CLEAN something. THAT’S how frustrating this is!

 

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Poor Little Fishes!

Our aquarium filter pump suddenly died. I’m not really sure how long it had been on the fritz, but suddenly I noticed that the little fish weren’t happy and that their water looked cloudy. I had just changed the filter cartridge on the first, but I changed it again. I couldn’t get any movement of the water when I plugged it in!

This kind of situation is when I usually ask my husband for help. I couldn’t this time because he was helping a ham guy take down his ham radio towers and wouldn’t be home until it was too late for the poor little fishes.  I looked in my supplies and found I did have another pump, but it was a different size and style from the one we were using. I sat down and read the instructions and put the pump together, put the cartridge that came with it in the pump, installed it in the aquarium and plugged it in. It worked!

The pump is actually the wrong size and the top of the aquarium won’t go on the way it should. I’ve ordered a replacement pump like the one we had before, plus more filter cartridges, and I’ll change things out when the new stuff arrives, putting the too-large pump back in storage in case of another failure. I feel good, though, that I was able to do an interim fix so the poor fishes wouldn’t be too uncomfortable.

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Reminder

If you’re living in the United States, reminder to move your clocks AHEAD one hour tonight before you go to bed.

 

The Daily Dot

No one happened to ask me, but I hate Daylight Savings Time. It’s aggravating to have to change all our watches, clocks in the house and in the car. It’s aggravating to have to REMEMBER to do it twice a year. It was sold to us, saying the farmers needed to be able to take advantage of more daylight hours, but that never floated with me. I think farmers get up when it’s light (or before), work until it’s dark (or after), and go to bed when they want, just like everyone else. In the winter if the kids are waiting for the school bus, parents can wait at the road with them.

Maybe it’s selfish, but I have enough trouble remembering the difference between the time zones in the United States without having to factor in Daylight Savings Time and whether each state practices it or not.

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Change of Plans

Alter and Hearth Magazine

My husband took Amber and went out to the shop to paint a piece for his welding lathe. I took him as I left that I was planning to go out and make more Mel’s Mix for the garden. He came back fairly soon, saying, “It’s WAAAAY too windy for you to make Mel’s Mix today. Everything will blow all over the place.”

So – I’ll make us some lunch and regroup. Maybe I’ll try to work on organizing the greenhouse…

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I Know, I Know….

Wondrlust

I’ve told you recently that I was “back in the saddle” on my dieting and exercise. I guess I lied.

Today marks the fact that I’m not giving up. I just came in from doing 30 minutes on my elliptical trainer in the garage.  Right now I feel better, looser. I may pay for it tonight, when I need a crane to get me up out of my recliner; but right now I’m happy that I did that. Later today, after vacuuming the first floor carpet, I’ll do the first yoga-for-old-broads I’ve done in quite awhile, seeing if I can stretch out some muscles.

I just took our doggies out; and while I filled up the bird feeders on the deck, they ran off.  I had a good walk around and around the house, pushing the warning button on the zapper that controls Amber’s shock collar. Our sweet cocker spaniel/schnauzer cross, Molly, is almost completely deaf, so I didn’t bother to try calling her. I walked around, holding the zapper in different directions in back of the house, and then in the front of the house, warning and calling Amber. I was starting to get concerned when Amber came running. Whew!

I also started MyFitnessPal.com up again, realizing that whatever I’ve been doing lately isn’t working for me. We’re eating low carb, but we’re also eating other stuff, and the pounds have been creeping up. I’ve lost ground on my inches lost, as well. To say I’m not a happy camper today is the biggest understatement ever.

But – I’m not a quitter. Even though I’m as old as dirt and the poundage and lard take forever to come off, I CAN do one day at a time and not beat myself up over losing ground. I won’t get points for losing a certain poundage in a certain amount of time. No one will give me an award for there being less of me than there was.

The important thing is that I don’t want to FEEL as old as dirt. I want to have enough energy to do what I’d like to do, rather than crashing in the afternoons. I’d like to move with less pain. I don’t want my life to revolve around what hurts the most today.

I have a lot of fun things I want to do. I want to get up to my newly cleaned out and organized art room and start playing!  I want to spend some time each day getting my new greenhouse organized and ready to plant. I want to use my concrete mixer to mix up Mel’s Mix to fill up my raised bed gardens. I want to think about getting spring plants in.

“I” will be my own reward, doing the things I would like to do. Today is another opportunity to get it right.

taolife.com

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“Have-to’s,” “Need-to’s,” and “Should’s”

ShangralaFamilyFun.com

Yesterday was a much-needed day of sloth for me.

Our good plumber had a guy call us regarding putting a snake into our clean-out pipe in the front. He came about 3pm and was gone 15 minutes, our problem fixed. The last time we needed this was in 2015 (my husband checked his log). We had to pay a fortune because we – and the guy – had to FIND the clean-out pipe. It wasn’t where we thought it was, and was buried after many years of things moving, shifting, and settling around here. After finding it, we added to the pipe so it sticks up out of our gravel. Some people might call this ‘ugly,’ but ugly is certainly in the eye of the beholder. Since our bill was about 1/3 of what it was last time, we call it, ‘beautiful.’

The only other significant thing I did was gather books and take a donation to our local library.

We are hopefully having our last day of rain and drizzles – looking forward to two or THREE days of sunshine! (THANKS to those of you who were still doing a rain dance for STOPPING!)

Since I’m not planning on diving into another purge/clean-out project today, I’m going to concentrate on getting back to my regular exercising regimen – walking, the elliptical trainer, and stretching via yoga. With all the cleaning, I haven’t done this and my poor old body is feeling it. I’m hoping that getting into my usual rhythm will loosen me up and ease my old woman’s pains.

‘Have-to’s’ and’ need-to’s,’ as well as ‘should’s’ have accumulated while my attention was elsewhere, so I’ll use today to see how many of those I can check off my list.

I wish you a happy, productive day – or give yourself permission for a wonderful day of sloth.

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The Art Room Reorganization Project is Finished!

BEFORE:

To refresh your memory a bit, this what my art room looked like before the purge/clean-up/reorganizing. This had gotten to the point there was hardly anywhere to sit down and no clear surface on which to work. Finding something was an awful prospect. NINE+ 39-gallon leaf bags of donation and FIVE 39-gallon leaf bags of trash later, things look a bit better.

HALLWAY OUTSIDE ART ROOM:

The shelves on the left WERE full of art supplies – glassware, gourds….. Now this is where quilts, Afghans, comforters, etc. are stored. The super-large Ziploc bags will keep the dust off and you can see what’s what. The fabric curtain at the right of the picture keeps dust off sheets, etc.

ART ROOM CLOSET:

This is a combination gift wrapping center, some finished artwork and mainly paint. This is also the entrance to our attic; hence, the ladder.

 

 

MAIN ART ROOM:

This area is set up for drawing (I’m trying to work my way through “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”) and the use of alcohol inks – a fun, messy art form I’m really enjoying.

 

This is my drafting table that was completely buried in the before pics. I paint note cards, thank you notes, stationery, etc. here. The drafting table is protected by a sheet of black and white vinyl, and then there is a thick piece of glass on which I put the work to paint.

 

This is the area where I tie ribbon on my stationery and note cards. I also do a bit of jewelry making.

 

Paper supplies, craft envelopes, etc.

 

I HOPE that you can see a difference. It will never be completely ‘tidy,’ because this is my play room. I could stack things neatly and finally have it ready for some enterprising person to photograph it for a magazine (in my dreams) but then I wouldn’t want to go in here because I didn’t want to mess it up. :0)

Now I feel free to go up there in the next few days and get started with a new idea I have for a line of stationery, note cards, thank you notes, and greeting cards. I’ve been dreaming about it for a couple of weeks now, so I’m itching to get started!

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Treasure is in the Eye of the Beholder

National Treasure Film Set-Wikipedia

Somehow the ancient, old, chaotic feel of this photo reminds me of my art room right now. I’ve pretty much finished gathering things for donation, though I’ve started another bag. I’m down to the nitty-gritty of going through things carefully, getting ruthless about whether I actually plan to USE whatever it is, and then deciding its fate.

This is harder because I’m finding lots of things, like pictures torn from magazines, that get my juices flowing. I’ve decided to pare these down to about 1/4 or less of what I currently have. I’ll make files of what I keep so that I might actually be able to find them later.

I’m finding ‘treasures’ though – things I’ve had for years that have been buried. I’m loving this – but the finding of wonderful things makes it harder to make significant progress on my efforts to purge/give away/throw away/clean and reorganize.

I did finally uncover a chair, so I can sit in the middle of the chaos and go through things. I put in two sessions yesterday and will do at least that much today. I’m hoping to be able to share pics with you soon.

In the meantime, who knows what treasures I’ll find today!

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