Category Archives: Acting Like a Grownup

Tentative Truce

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Today was yoga-and-exercises day.

WiiFitPlus

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

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

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

 

 

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, exercise, taking care of yourself

Tangible Motivation

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m a “Stash-a-holic”

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

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

So this drawer is today’s project.

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

This Week’s “Flex” Lunch/Dinner

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

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

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

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

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

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, building good habits, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, Healthy Eating

Role Model

Gilda Radner – sayingimages.com

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Favorite Quotes

Such a Morning!

amazinganimalstories.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, quality of life

Still Riding on a High

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting the Lard Off Progress Report

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The short report is 27.6 pounds  and 23 inches down.

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

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

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

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

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

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

taolife.com

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Decluttering Project – Phase Two – Office

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

A Good Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope YOU had a good day, too.

 

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, empowerment, Family, kindness

Cold

Daily Mirror

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

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

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

 

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Character-Building Exercise

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

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

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

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

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

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

_____________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Buried

Silver Unpolished

When you’re away for a few days, crazy things tend to happen. One is laundry. Like rabbits left unattended, dirty laundry multiplies.  Our trip home from Thibodaux, Louisiana (pronounced ‘Tib-o-dough, Luz-iana’) was an interesting one with changes in flights, gates, delays, and dodging lots and lots of rain storms. I’m amazed that I was only 25 minutes later landing than expected, and I’m impressed with the way American Airlines and the pilots handled everything.

My luggage was apparently out in the rain long enough when switching from plane to plane that it was soaked. Everything inside was pretty wet, too, though nothing ruined. It took three loads of laundry yesterday to get it all clean and dry again.

I’m still doing laundry today – bed stripped and sheets now in the dryer, and the covers of the first of two very large dog beds in the washer now.

I walked across the living room carpet in my socks last night and they were covered with dog hair, so vacuuming the first floor will happen today.

It’s a good thing that I had a GREAT time in Thibodaux – ’cause it may take me as long as I was gone to get things in reasonable shape around here today!

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Another Character-Building Exercise

Fabulous Traveling

I was incommunicado all day yesterday because the new motherboard for my computer arrived. My good husband worked on things all day, getting us to about 2/3 up now.

Almost everything that COULD happen – and more we hadn’t thought of – were obstacles. Just one example – the new power supply was wired “backwards.”

We did all we could do yesterday, finally getting so my husband could finally see his email. We contacted a person who bought a book from us on Amazon, apologizing for the delay and telling him his book would be mailed Monday…  We got our Password Safe program and data back, thanks to my husband hooking up his hard drive to my computer until things pass for some kind of normal around here. We made a DVD copy of our data so we won’t be without it again.

Being without a computer is a character-building exercise. Being without TWO computers and access to passwords has been really challenging. We’re thankful we had the laptop from the shop, but I hope I won’t have to use it – except for loading pics of what new mailbox decoration I’m trying to paint – for a long time, if ever again.

My husband is taking a well-deserved nap now. He even got it so I can print something!

Remaining problems are mainly that my data and storage drives aren’t showing on the computer. I’m really thankful we regularly back my main data drive on a couple of external drives. I’ve been using that while on the laptop, and am using it now, as I type.

It’ll be a LONG time before I start taking my computer, keyboard, access to passwords, etc., for granted.

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Dinosaur

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

Just in case you were wondering – my favorite dinosaur is a Stegosaurus, though I’ve never met one personally. :0)

Shutterstock.com

Since I’m older than dirt, I FEEL like a dinosaur for many reasons –

The one that hits me in the face the most often is that good manners, common courtesy, good communication, and doing what you say you’ll do when you said you would do it have gone the way of the dinosaurs. It saddens me that I’m AMAZED when someone treats me the way I try to treat everyone.

One example of what I consider ‘old world style’ customer service is when we got covers for our gutters recently. I got three prospects for people who would install the covers. One never bothered to call back. Two called and came. One of the companies was really nice, but we couldn’t afford their services. The other was trying to make a ‘one time rush deal,’ so I blew him off. I decided to try to get an estimate for just cleaning out our gutters. I lucked into Edwards Gutter Cleaning in Fort Smith, AR. 

He came out and looked at things. He asked if I would like him to install covers after he got the gutters cleaned out. We talked and I discovered that he did almost anything outside. I asked him if he could saw off the large branch that had broken off a tree at the bottom of our driveway. He gave me an estimate for all of this, coming in at 1/3 the price of the highest estimate. We agreed on a time and the amount of money. He actually gave me a time he would come. When he was delayed, he called me and asked if it were all right if he came an hour later. He discovered while cleaning out the gutters that we already HAD some covers on some of the gutters and that they were still good. We needed covers for the rest and so he revised the cost downward! He worked his head off with his partner, did everything he said he would do, cleaned up, etc.

I thanked him profusely for treating me so well, and that I hoped he would get rich because of working hard, treating his customers like real, valued people, and doing what he said he would do and more. I gave him a really good review on Home Advisor. He actually called me last week to be sure I was still happy with his work, asking if I needed anything now.

In this day and age, this kind of service doesn’t happen. We lucked into his wonderful guy and will definitely call him first when we have something we need done outside.

I still feel like a dinosaur, holding on to what I consider ‘basic courtesy,’ when I’m shown over and over that I’m’ behind the times and things don’t work that way anymore.’

 

 

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Donation

dohanews.co

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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