Category Archives: Challenges

Good News – Bad News

123RF.com

I already told you that two of the fourteen planters we built around the yard collapsed. We’ve been trying to get bricklayers to come and give us estimates on rebuilding them for us. We have the brick already, waiting on a pallet. We already have concrete bases ready to receive the brick.

GOOD NEWS – Today I finally got a call. Because of all the rain we’ve been getting, one of the guys we’ve been trying to reach called and got directions to come give us an estimate!

BAD NEWS –  The bricklayer was really nice. He even put up with Amber greeting him when he opened the truck door, covering him with kisses. I finally got her into the house and we looked at things. His estimate for the job was $700. That’s too steep for us, particularly since we’ve already had to buy the bricks.

SO – when the monsoon is finally over and it looks like we’ll have several dry days in a row, we’ll go to the local hardware store and buy umpteen bags of Qwik-Crete and will rebuild the planters ourselves. Even though we don’t know what we’re doing, the other 12 planters we built some 30 years ago lasted, so maybe we’ll do well enough again.

I’m excited about getting them functional again and deciding what we’ll plant…

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Filed under Challenges, character-building exercises, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Wonderful Day

Ecuen Images

We’ve had a good day.

The temperature is 79 and the sun is shining. There is a nice breeze.

My husband mowed the lawn while I cleaned out the greenhouse and started more spinach seed. (Always optimistic!)

Then we changed the tires on the truck from the snow tires to our regular tires. We’re glad we don’t have to do this more than twice each year, but we save money doing it ourselves. When we bought the Honda Ridgeline, we bought 4 extra wheels and snow tires and had them mounted. We keep them in the shop. In late November or early December, depending on the weather, we change from our regular tires to our snow tires. In April, we change them back.

We’re getting a bit long in the tooth for this, but my husband says each time we do it, my help is better and better. :0)

Today we celebrated all the good things we accomplished by splitting a seafood platter at The Deli for lunch!

A truly wonderful day.

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Filed under Cause for Celebration, Challenges, Gardening, greenhouse, Lewis projects

To-Do’s

psychologies

Feeling a bit overwhelmed lately with a longer and longer to-do list no matter how many things I manage to remove. It seems as if every direction I look has things saying, “Fix me next!”

I just moved heavy coats from our utility room hooks area to the front hall closet, since it had no space available and I was having to dig or move things to find what I was looking for, so I feel good that is done. But on the way to the utility room, I saw little wisps of dog/cat hair moving along with the breeze on the tiled area. And the poor fishes’ water is cloudy again, and the table by my chair in the living room is piled up….

So – I’m doing a bit here – which I truly love – and then going and doing something else on the list before I allow myself to return here.  This way I’m having some fun between chores.

How do you handle too-long to-do lists?

Brian Tracy – http://www.pinterest.com

 

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges

Patting Myself on the Head – Just a Bit

“Cardinal Taking a Bow” – by Norma Wilson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

clipart library

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Cause for Celebration, Challenges, Changes

The Long and Short of It

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

A Friendly Dog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Challenges, Family

Skunked!

Jacob Dingel – WildlifeHelp.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Decisions on Trying to Lose the Lard

TilgateNatureCentre.WordPress.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bored Panda

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whine and Cheese

Baby Center

This day started out really nicely – with a wonderful massage by Lynn Moody, the best massage therapist on the planet.

My day deteriorated once I got home, though. My husband and I both got messages on our phone AND our computers that we had exceeded our data allowance and were being charged extra for the month for our phones.

I immediately felt guilty, since we got an iPhone 8 for me this month and I’ve been looking at it, playing with it, and trying to figure it out. I couldn’t figure out how to turn OFF the things at which I looked. Lynn helped me with this this morning, showing me how to tap the home button twice to pull up what was still active and then to swipe each one up to the top of the phone to turn it off.

What I found out, though, was that the usage problem was caused by my husband’s phone. (He still has an android and almost never uses his phone. We got it solely so that when we’re not together, we can call each other, if needed.) The lady who waited on us in the local AT&T office was more interested in her long, black, pointed fingernails than in our problem. She said, “Call Customer Service.”

I got online and talked to a chat person who was very nice, but unable to help with the extra charge or the reason behind the problem. I then got another cup of coffee and called customer service. I got a very nice man who was unable to determine what the problem was on my husband’s phone, but DID arrange for a credit for the surcharge for going over our data limit. He then passed me on to the Tech “Big Guys.’

The “Big Guy” turned out to be named Mary. When I told her that my husband’s phone was android and said, “4G LTE” at the top of the home page, she directed me to settings/mobile network. We discovered the button was in the ‘on’ position and was charging us even when the phone was not in use. There was a peak in usage yesterday from 3pm to 6pm, but we have no clue why that was. We turned the button to the ‘off’ position and we think the problem is solved.

The mystery remains. The phone sits on a shelf plugged into the charger. I have to remind my husband if he leaves without me to take his phone. He gets a lot of calls, all of which are wrong numbers. He doesn’t call or message anyone using that phone unless he is trying to talk with a tech about a computer problem – something that happens maybe once a year.

Fingers crossed the problem is solved. We seem to be out from under the extra charges and we think (hope) whatever caused it is fixed. My husband was ready to blast everyone and is very appreciative that I spent so much time, effort, and patience to get things solved.

I now know how to check our usage online. I now know how to make sure the mobile network button is off.  I feel as if I have earned my salt for the day.

The only problem is that all my get-up-and-go got up and left…..

 

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Raccoons

David Clasivin (I’m having trouble reading the signature at the bottom of the photo) via Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

I love how raccoons LOOK. I DON’T like how they behave – at least not on our property.

We live on top of a ridge line on about 8 acres outside the town of Greenwood, Arkansas. We love the little world we’ve created, pretending we own all the land we can see. :0)

Almost every summer we have raccoons visiting. I would LIKE to say we enjoy this, but it’s a big pain. They won’t just be content sharing the sunflower seeds we put out for the birds on the deck. They eat ALL the seeds, making a mess, and then destroy the feeders!

Every year we go through the same thing – hoping that this year it will be different and we can all co-exist happily. We end up putting out our humane animal trap, baited with a cup of apple and peanut butter at the back of the trap. The raccoon eats all the seeds, destroys at least one – if not all – of the feeders, and then goes into the trap for the bait.

If our neighbors understood that WE are the ones relocating the raccoons out about 5 miles from us, onto their land for another chance at life, they would probably be quite hostile. We find a nice creek by the side of the road and then my husband opens the trap and lets the raccoon out.

Usually, if we have ONE, we have a whole family. We relocate them one by one, hoping that we’ve driven out far enough they won’t find their way back.

This past summer was quiet – quite a surprise. I was reminded of this when I saw these wonderful photos posted by Jeff Jett.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Challenges

Adventure

Medical News Today

When our son was home visiting from Thailand over the holidays, he talked about how much meditation has helped him.  He had started practicing it by himself, then went to a monastery in Chiang Mai for two weeks. He’s been practicing daily ever since, feeling much more calm, in control of his thoughts, reactions, and emotions, and feeling content.

Tonight (our time) he’ll start his newest adventure – spending time learning to meditate from a master in a monastery in Siddharthanagar, Nepal. He had to fill out a lot of forms and answer many questions to be accepted for a 3-week stay. This time can be extended with the permission of his teacher. He hopes to stay two months.

He’ll eat breakfast at 5 a.m., then meditate until lunch. After lunch (the last meal of the day) he’ll meditate until bedtime – a total of 14 hours every day. He’ll be interviewed by his teacher or a nun there daily, 6 days each week so they can keep track of how things are going, what he’s gaining, what he needs to focus more on, etc. He’ll do sitting and walking meditation.

During this time, in respect for the monastery, the school, and the concentration on this opportunity to learn, he’ll be incommunicado – OUR character-building part of his adventure. This will end, if all goes as he hopes, around the end of March.

I hope he gains what he hopes to during this two-month period. I already felt that he was calmer, more outgoing, more accepting of everything while he was home. I’m really proud of the kind, caring man he is. It’s fascinating to talk with him, learning what he thinks of life, priorities, goals, and more. He already can look at a situation with more depth than his parents, seeing it in a whole different light than we. I’ll be so interested to hear what he has learned and felt during this latest adventure.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises, empowerment, Encouragement, quality of life

Skunked!

Jacob Dingel – WildlifeHelp.org

 

The first indication we got last night was Amber suddenly standing up – fur standing up on the back of her neck and her butt – agitated and whining, demanding to go out. We have learned the hard way NOT to let her out at times like this.

We penned Amber up behind a dog gate and went out to the garage to investigate. We never SAW him, but it was obvious that a skunk had either been in the garage or had been close by. The garage REEKED.

Happily, both doggies and one cat were inside. Smoke, our 2nd cat, apparently only walked through the odor, not having gotten skunked directly. Her dose wasn’t even bad enough we had to try to bathe her.  I’m really happy because she would have expressed her intense displeasure by ripping us to shreds while we tried to apply the fix.

(We use a recipe of hydrogen peroxide and Dawn dish washing liquid to bathe our animals when they’ve been skunked. It works better than the standard tomato juice suggestion, and well enough that we can allow the treated and then bathed animals back into the house.)

We took the doggies out for their final outing separately – each on a leash – to make sure we had control of them.

This morning you can still smell skunk in the garage, but we have the garage door open and expect most of the odor to be gone by the time we close up for the night tonight.

I have no clue what we would have to do to try to get the smell out if the skunk had given the garage a serious dose…

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Challenges

YIPPEEEEEE!

Can Stock Photo

Can you see me dancing around the room?

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

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

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

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Cause for Celebration, Challenges

Massage, Fish, and Tax Prep, Oh My!

Groupon

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

My Aquarium Club

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

Get It Back Campaign

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

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Amazing Animals, Challenges, Family, taking care of yourself

Still Slogging

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

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

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

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

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

 

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

Character-Building Exercise

Mindfulness Training

I have probably indicated that I HATE preparing our stuff for taxes each year. I have probably also admitted that I excel at procrastination – championship level, I might add – modestly, of course. :0)

Today is the day –

I have run out of even the most feeble excuses for not at least making the first pass at our stuff.

Our office is beginning to look as if a bomb exploded in here.

STEP 1 – I have gone through the ‘helpful packet’ our CPA provides. So I feel a BIT better about myself at the moment.

STEP 2 – I’m now slogging through our monthly receipts, grouping them according to categories. I’ve made it through 3 months so far.

__________________

STEP 3 – is going through our credit card and bank statements for pertinent information.

STEP 4 – is totalling the various categories.

STEP 5 – is putting the receipts where they belong in the ‘helpful packet’

STEP 6 – is waiting until we get our official Schwab statement – the thing that is the most important and always takes the longest to receive.

STEP 7 – is bagging it all up and driving to Fort Smith to dump it on our wonderful CPA.

 

My goal is to be finished with Steps 1-5 by the end of this month or before. I’m going to take a break now, but will return to do another session this afternoon after we eat some lunch.

Did I happen to mention I HATE tax prep?  UGH!

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, character-building exercises

Whine and Cheese

Fluent in 3 Months

 

There are few things I hate more than preparing our records for our wonderful CPA. Legal and financial documents make my eyes glaze over and give me the creeps. I have irrational fear – thinking ridiculous, paranoid thoughts that I’ll miss something, make a mistake and end up in the slammer.

I am a champion of one skill in particular – the art of procrastination. I have taken it to an art form.

Grammarly via Cathy Ruggiero

 

Each year I make improvements in my record keeping, and each year – as we age – our records get more simple. I used to have my own website with over 100 artists at one time, and THEN the record keeping was time-consuming and complex, plus we both had full-time jobs, were trying to raise our son, were buying and selling houses, cars, etc.  Now we are retired, the business is closed, and I have my artwork on ArtFire, so the records are simple.

The main thing is to go through the booklet our CPA provides listing all the pertinent information he needs and what we recorded last year. He has helped us as much as possible, so why do I make so many excuses for not getting started?

Part of it is that it is TOTALLY my job.

My husband ignores the whole process, chauffeuring me to the CPA’s office when I have everything together. I have a small pity party, get a bit hostile, slog through the process, and then we dump it on our CPA to once again put it all on the forms and make sure everything is good. (This has been the ‘whine’ part of this post.)

The ‘cheese’ part is that, once I finally get my rear in gear and get going, the process goes faster and more smoothly each year. By the time they kick dirt over me, I’ll have it all down to a science. :0)

The ‘cheese’ part is that usually, I get a nice lunch out somewhere when we’ve gotten rid of the tax stuff!

So much ado about very little – but I think I’ll put it off, once again, until tomorrow….

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises

Something You Might Consider Doing

i65

I created a document for our son that answers questions such as, “What should I do about…?” and “Where is the….”

In this document I list financial stuff, insurance information, loans status and sources, contact information for important people, and more.

We all know there are no guarantees in life. No one knows how long he or she will live. I’ve tried to picture our son trying to deal with things if

  • I die, or my husband dies, and the remaining person needs help dealing with things
  • My husband and I die together and our son is left with the house, cars, and STUFF

We have taken advantage of the expertise of our lawyer, our CPA, and spelled out what we want done as far as burial arrangements, made suggestions as to what to do with the stuff our son doesn’t want, and mainly tried to answer “where is the” with lists of what is in our safe deposit box and other secure places.

_______________

We update the document every six months. (I procrastinate, thinking not much has changed – but each time I do it, I’m surprised how out-of-date much of the information is!  We have tried to handle things as much as possible so that our son can do things from across the world, if needed, or he can get to everything he needs if he comes home. We probably haven’t thought of everything, but we try to rethink things twice a year, as if we were looking at the problem with fresh eyes.

We think it’s a very important way we can help the remaining spouse or our son take care of things as easily as possible.

It’s never too early to plan for when you’re not here anymore. We think it’s a good way to show our love.

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Filed under building good habits, Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises, Family

It’s All in Your Attitude

Daryl Roy – LinkedIn

 

Smiling and laughing are contagious. I’ve seen videos where someone on a bus will start to laugh and all around him start laughing, too, even though they have no clue what is funny. I’ve seen faces of seeming bitter old people break out in a truly wonderful smile when someone smiles at THEM.

I’ve been in a sad state of mind and DECIDED I would smile at people (and animals) wherever I saw them. Not only did most smile back at me, MY spirits were raised, as well!

I have decided that attitude is all in life. You can’t control much of what happens to you and around you. You CAN control your reaction to it. I’m not saying I think one should go around with a silly grin on your face regardless of what is happening around you. I AM saying that many times you can CHOOSE which part of an event you’re reacting to.

Two examples –

  • My sister-in-law died of Stage 4 breast cancer on New Year’s Eve. She was only 60. I can choose whether I will dwell on the fact that she’s gone, that her life was cut short, that a happy spark has gone out.

What I am choosing to react to is how lucky I am to have known her. How proud I was of her creative spirit and lust for life. I can celebrate her life.

  • Our son came home to visit from where he lives and works in Thailand after an absence of over 3 years. He spent three weeks with us – celebrating his birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s with us. He is now in Florida visiting with friends, plus meeting with a client before going back to Thailand tomorrow. We have no clue how long it will be before we see him again.

I spent a couple of days on the verge of tears. (I’m tearing up NOW as I type.) I already miss him and his exquisite hugs so badly it hurts. I can choose to dwell on the fact that he’s gone. I can feel sorry for myself that he lives half way across the world. I can be depressed that it might be several years before he comes to visit again.

What I am choosing to do is to be grateful we have such a wonderful son – proud of the kind, caring man he is. I’m happy that he loves us not only as his parents, but as people he enjoys spending time with. He has gone to great lengths to set up a secure chat program so we can talk several times a day. (We’ve already spoken to him three times today.) He also set up a conference call program – like Skype – but infinitely better, where we can talk and see each other real-time when we’re all up and functional at the same time. (There is 12 hours difference between us.) I can remember every moment of our visit, laughing, teasing each other, having some serious talks, and the wonderful hugs.

I choose to look at the positive side of things as much as I am able. I want to concentrate on the NOW – the sounds, smells, feelings, people, pets, ideas. How lucky I am to be alive.

I want to “be so happy that when others look at me, they become happy, too.”

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Morphing Junk Drawer

Yesterday I cleaned out four more kitchen drawers.

We have always had what we call a ‘junk drawer’ in any kitchen we have. It’s the place we put nails, screws, twist-ties, tools, and other odds-and-ends We might need.

The problem with living in a nice home for over 30 years is that – unless one is a good housekeeper, which I’m NOT

ONE junk drawer morphs into FOUR!

(The one we had set up got too full, so my husband moved some stuff out of the drawer next to it and put the new junk in there. And then, the next, and the next….)

Now we have FOUR junk drawers in the kitchen –

shutterstock.com

 

Drawer 1 – this is the ‘original’ junk drawer

Drawer 2

 

Drawer 3

 

Drawer 4

I know. We’re slobs. But we ARE trying to do better.

Today I will take EVERYTHING out. I’ll pitch a lot of things, relocate other things that shouldn’t have been there in the first place, and then try to organize what we’re keeping.

I’ll try to keep it to TWO junk drawers.

Junk drawers will never be ‘neat,’ but we are wasting lots of valuable space.

 

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Misuse of Imagination

Linda Sweigart via Cathy Ruggiero

In trying to make the most of 2019, I’m trying to put some of my bad habits behind me.

I am a CHAMPION worrier. I am not being boastful – this is one of my worst, most destructive behaviors and I would really like to change it.

My son and I had a good talk about this while he was home visiting.  The gist of our talk, I guess, was the Serenity Prayer, but personalized to lots of my  (and my son’s) particular worries.  He is much more at peace since he became serious about meditating and he tried to share some of that with me. We talked openly about our fears, whether or not anything could be done to lessen or alleviate them, and at some points cried with each other. It was a really special time for us and I feel lucky we were able to share gut level feelings and help each other deal with them.

I’ve decided that this year I will –

  • write down my fear
  • explore honestly how valid the fear is
  • if there is something I can do to lessen or alleviate it, I’ll do it
  • if there is really nothing I can do about it, I’ll try to let go of it, leaving it in my journal

I’m hoping that facing each fear as it comes up will help me be more realistic and spend less time ‘playing the recording’ over and over in my head, causing me stress and anxiety and not changing anything for the better.  My son and I have agreed that – even though he will again be across the world from me – we will both feel free to express any fears and help each other work through them.

I will try to use my imagination for my next art project!

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Arrrgh!

Sonia Figueroa

I’m feeling older than dirt after our morning errands.

  • First, we drove to Fort Smith to give a donation to the Disabled Veterans Thrift Store. They are always very nice, but the man today was looking at the fake Christmas tree, clearly puzzled. He said he had never seen a tree like this one. (It’s in two pieces, the top pole fitting into the bottom pole, and both fitting into the larger pole in the base my husband made.) He asked if WE had made this tree by hand! I told him we had bought it years ago. Then he was amazed that it was in such good shape, which got my nose back in joint a little bit….
  • We stopped at the AT&T store when we got back to Greenwood. My husband decided, all of a sudden, that he wanted me to upgrade to an iPhone from the android ones we both had. I was happy, because I wanted to do this years ago and he was adamant he didn’t want to do it. What changed his mind was that he found something on the net saying if you pushed two buttons on the android phone simultaneously, a message would pop up, asking you where you wanted to send the photo you just took. He tried it. It didn’t work. So, he finally decided “I” should upgrade. We went for a two-year contract on an iPhone 8 – not the newest model, but more affordable. I now have a pretty new phone. No manual came with it, so the nice girl – who said, “Wow. You’ve really had this phone a LONG time, haven’t you?” was nice enough to transfer my contacts from the old phone to the new and get me signed up. I very graciously did NOT bite her in the leg for insulting me via insulting my OLD phone….

Now we’ve ordered a manual for it on the net. I’ve just spent quite awhile figuring out how to get the main screen to show. I also found the texting app and the make a call app. This was such a delight that I took a break and peeled, de-veined, and cooked the shrimp for our dinner tonight to rest up for the next ‘figure-out’ session…

  • I guess being shown that you’re older than dirt is one of the many perks of living this long. We’ve endured exclamations about our thermostats – and have now changed them out for the latest that is good with our geothermal heating and cooling system. We have a security system for the house now and have managed to set it off erroneously only once since we’ve had it, managing to enter the code before police/fire/ambulance, etc. descending upon us. We have a new phone system that actually screens our calls pretty well, allows people who follow the directions to leave a message, etc.
  • One of the latest assaults on our advancing age was when I was trying to list our DVD collection on Amazon for resale. They are quite specific on what is acceptable and what is not – particularly on DVDs, rather than books – requiring not only that the picture match, you indicate regular or Blu-ray, etc., and ALSO that your DVD is not considered too old. We matched on all but the copyright year, and Amazon wouldn’t list it. I guess the different copyright dates might indicate a different format. We ended up listing the ones that were ‘acceptable’ and giving the rest to the local library for their next fundraiser.

Otherwise, except for being shown time after time that we are OLD, we’re doing quite well, thank you!

pinterest

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Challenge

Michael David Chapman – LinkedIn

 

This is a very alien concept for me. I tend to look in the mirror to make sure I have all my clothes on straight and that there is nothing on my teeth, and then move on quickly.

Part of this is because I’ve been trying to lose the lard. I’ve lost about 30 pounds so far. I would like to be as healthy as I can be, plus it’s nice to be able to fit into some of my smaller clothes now.

Part of this is because I have always felt that it’s what I DO that matters. I’ve never looked in a mirror and told myself that “I am great,” or that “I love me.” I have certainly never told myself that “I’m beautiful.”

My son and I had several good, long talks while he was here visiting. He is deeply into meditation and, in fact, will be going to a monastery in Nepal soon after returning to Thailand, where he lives and works. He has been accepted for 3 weeks, and may extend with the permission of his teacher. He would like to stay two months.

He is making me see a lot of things differently than I did. Big things, like living, purpose in life, and dying. Other things, too, such as fulfilling your purpose in life. I have always seen things like ‘beauty’ differently than how it relates to outer appearance. I look at ‘beauty’ as coming from the inside, as in beauty of spirit, loving others, kindness, and acceptance. The so-called beautiful people CAN be beautiful in my eyes, too, but I don’t see it often.

So, looking in the mirror and trying to be honest, saying – and meaning – the words above will be difficult for me. I really think, though, it’s a good challenge. You are learning to accept yourself, learning to see and appreciate your self-worth, and – most of all – when you do that, you might be able to share those feelings with others.

I’m going to try it. What do you think? Will you try it, too?

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Round Figures

Ali Express

 

“Doctors tell us there are over seven million people who are overweight. These, of course, are only round figures.” ~ Unknown

__________________

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know my husband and I are on NutriSystem to lose the lard and to help control my husband’s Type II Diabetes.

He has given up sugar and I’ve given up salt – now concentrating on choosing what we eat much more carefully.

Our son is visiting from Thailand for the first time in over three years – and to say we’re over the moon is a vast understatement. He is very good about either fixing his own food, eating beef stew I made and put in the fridge, or eating with us. We couldn’t ask for a more accommodating person. We are free to eat our Nutrisystem as usual, having our flex meals and doing fine through the holidays. He has encouraged and applauded our efforts to get and stay as healthy as we can.

What has happened, though, is that we’re using the fact he’s here – and it’s a holiday – to splurge. We’re going out to eat more, I fixed a turkey and all the fixings for our Christmas dinner yesterday, we’re eating stew and toasted bread to go along with it, plus….. you get the picture.

I’ve continued to exercise most days – but not when my husband is watching TV in the living room or asleep in the living room in his chair. The living room is really the only room in the house large enough for me to do my thing, other than when I’m on the elliptical trainer in the garage. It’s the only place we have where I can play my videos – yoga, walking, and a new one I just got where exercise is achieved through dancing your head off – something that really appeals to me. I haven’t tried it yet because – yeah – the living room is occupied.

We could beat ourselves up over regaining a few pounds and not exercising every day as we should, or we can relax, totally enjoy the holiday, the food, the entertaining, the going out to eat, the meals with our son and then get back on the horse when the holidays are over.

We decided that the Nutrisystem basics of portion control, eating something about every three hours, control of our calories, eating NS foods that are low in salt, sugar, fat and calories, plus moving more is a lifestyle change – not something we’re ‘trying on for size’ and abandoning either when the newness wears off or we actually reach our weight goals. This is the way we want to eat and live the rest of our lives. We’re learning to do our flex meals like sensible people – except over the holidays – and we’ve adopted some really good, healthy eating changes.

We admit we’re flawed humans who succumb to excess given ample opportunity. We’re enjoying every minute and we’ve agreed to hit the ground running when the holidays are over. We’ve delayed getting to our goals, but not abandoned the end game.

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Sending Flowers

I just spent an hour trying to send flowers to a dear friend.

My husband and I agreed on an amount to spend and I went online to find something that could be delivered on the 28th. Simple? NO!!!

The last time I ordered flowers – not very long ago – I looked at the flowers offered, decided, filled out the forms, arranged for payment, and that was that.

THIS TIME, I had to put in zip code, and then they showed me what flowers could be delivered by the 28th. On many of the websites, there weren’t ANY choices that met our financial limit. I don’t know about you, but we like to send flowers reasonably often to show we care, to help celebrate a special occasion, cheer someone up, etc., so we need to stay within our budget as much as possible.

It irks me that a choice that LOOKS like it will be good, ends up charging extra for the vase, extra for the delivery, extra because of the delivery date, if not completely throwing you out, saying that choice can’t be delivered to that zip code at all!  They also offer discounts – some of them through email – giving you a code that doesn’t work, or will only work the NEXT time you purchase something. I found an online coupon at another location and tried to paste it into the proper place, but of course, that didn’t work, either. ARRRGH!

After an hour of starting over several times at different websites, I decided to stick as closely as I could to our limit, bite the bullet, and just do it. My husband will probably tell me that HE could have done it and stayed within our limit. If he does, I’ll bite him in the leg and then insist that he DO it next time…

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Older than Dirt

Commander Bill

My husband and I are being dragged – kicking and screaming – into the current century.

We like gadgets, but keep discovering we are living in the stone age on some things.

We had to replace our old land line phones because rats got under the house and ATE through the wiring. Since we didn’t want to crawl around under there trying to replace all the wiring, and couldn’t find anyone willing to do it for us, we bought essentially a cell phone on a base to replace our system. We’ve used that for a long time, adding an answering machine that we liked better than the one provided,  and then my husband designed a call screening program that had callers pressing 1 “if they were a real person and weren’t selling anything” in order for the phone to ring here.

This got wonky, not recognizing callers we had put on our list, and hanging up on people after they pressed 1. We’ve been living with NO caller screening for awhile, and I’ve been going nuts.

We got a new phone system yesterday and my husband and son set it up. We’ve ordered two more phones and charging bases so we can have phones everywhere we would like them. I managed to ANSWER my phone last night, patting myself on the head. This morning I actually manged to MAKE a call, after fumbling around awhile. My husband has just finished creating a directory.

We have gotten several reminders that the rest of the world has gone on past us, while we stayed in our cocoon –

  • We installed a geothermal heat and air system several years ago. Our thermostats have been misbehaving and we were having trouble getting them set correctly. The guy who checks our system out twice a year tactfully suggested that since our thermostats were older than he was (he didn’t say that) maybe we should get ones that were made to work with geothermal, which doesn’t need ’emergency heat.. He helped us decide which ones to get and installed them for us. We’re now doing fine, able to control the temperatures in our house just fine for the most efficiency.
  • We have actually donated several items that were causing havoc and tension around here, rather than ‘helping’ us or making our lives simpler. :0)
  • We were even reminded how old we are when we got a Synology – a device that allows us to record our DVD collection, making them available to play on our television and get rid of the physical DVDs. I looked each of them up on Amazon with the idea of selling them. I had DVDs that had the same cover picture – and many were Blu-rays, but the production date on ours was so old Amazon sneered at us and wouldn’t allow me to list them. We ended up listing the ones that were ‘acceptable’ and giving 217 DVDs to the local library for their next fundraising sale…

We may be older than dirt, but we’re still able to kick and scream as we’re forced to enter the current century!

 

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Getting the Lard Off Progress Report 12/13/2018

BBC

I MAY be making some progress again, after hitting a plateau and going back and forth above and below the 30-pounds-off mark. I’ve also lost about 30 inches, though that hasn’t changed in a bit.

I’m going to add the Wii Fit Plus to my regimen starting tomorrow. Yesterday I did yoga and abdominal exercises. Today I did 35 minutes on the elliptical trainer. The Wii tomorrow and the “Annoying Leslie Walking Video” will round out my routine for the next several days and I’ll see how I feel about things after that.  I’m determined to use my good tools, even though the person on the Wii insults my efforts, and Leslie Sansone is really annoying, telling me how GOOD what she’s doing feels and being truly annoyingly perky.

I AM feeling looser. More flexible. A bit stronger. I want to feel secure in my footing and I would like to feel more energy.

I’ll try this for a week and will report the results next Thursday. Wish me luck?

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Tentative Truce

YouTube

Today was yoga-and-exercises day.

WiiFitPlus

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

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

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

 

 

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Things are Getting Fixed!

depositphotos.com

Things have been shaping up around here since our son came home. My husband can fix almost anything, but sometimes things are so frustrating they just get put aside. Our son has been tackling one gadget after another, getting them to work!

  • First of all, he fixed my pedometer so it is much more accurate. My husband had measured my ‘stride’ as 22 inches long. It seems to be that since my stride isn’t really that long, it doesn’t count ANY of my steps that are less than that. So I was walking around all day doing my normal stuff, and since I rarely took a stride that long, a LOT of my steps didn’t count.
  • He is in the last stages of getting the Internet to work in our shop again. This wireless system has really been complicated, but he seems to have worked his will on it.
  • He got our car dash cam to quit turning itself off and on randomly and to work the way we intended for it to again.
  • He got my computer and Microsoft on speaking terms again so we were able to finally add several Windows 10 updates that had been waiting. (This was done out of intense love for his mama, since he HATES Microsoft, Windows 10, and PCs.)

While he’s been working his magic, we took our smaller Dyson vacuum cleaner to be repaired this morning. It had power, but we couldn’t get the rotor to work in the head so that it would actually vacuum. My husband had it apart twice, The first time we cleaned it thoroughly – something I should have been better about. The second time he was suspicious that the switch you push to turn on the rotor wasn’t getting power. He checked that out and couldn’t find any problems. Hence the search for someone who could repair a Dyson.

We found a guy, but he was in Barling – about an hour away from us. I put the address into our GPS and it took us on a new road we’ve never traveled before, cutting the trip by about 2/3 and taking us right to the place. The man took the vacuum into the back and then brought it back 30 seconds later, saying, “It’s fixed.” It turns out that there is a RESET switch on one end of the head that we had inadvertently hit at some time or other and it was in the ‘on strike’ mode or something. He wouldn’t take any money for looking at it and we’re fixed. If you live in west-central Arkansas, the company is Fort Smith Vacuum, 1108 Fort Street, Barling AR  479-452-3770. Closed Mondays. $30 bench fee if you have to leave it with him to be fixed. This is a first class company and I highly recommend him.

My husband was also teed off that he would put his phone in the wireless mode and it would switch back on its own after several seconds. We took it to AT&T. A guy named Adan pushed a million buttons on the phone, and then turned it off and turned it on again (rebooting it.) Problem solved. I wish I could do that with my BRAIN….

Our home phone has been causing us problems. For several reasons we can’t just get rid of what essentially is a land line, but on a cellphone base. My husband wrote a program that screened our calls, virtually eliminating all robocalls, crank calls, and wrong numbers. It would answer the phone without our hearing any ringing. If the person was on the accepted list, the call came right through. If it was someone not on the list, a voice would tell them, “If you are a real person and aren’t selling anything, press 1”  THEN we would hear the phone ring and answer it. The trouble was, it was very temperamental and would treat people that we WANTED to hear from badly.  Or someone would press one and then it said, “Goodbye” and hung up on them. We disconnected the system and soon started getting SEVERAL calls each day with no one on the other end, robocalls, etc. Our son has helped us find a new system that will replace our existing phones in the office, plus add a phone in the kitchen and one in our bedroom – all for a one-time charge. My husband is checking out reviews now before we jump on it.

We are feeling huge tension loads lifted as my husband, my son, both working together, or other experts are solving problems that have been plaguing us for quite a while now. HOORAY!

 

 

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Getting the Lard Off Progress Report – 12-6-2018

Chicago Tribune

30.6 pounds and 30.05 inches so far.

My husband and I have kind of settled into raw veggies and dip for lunches (I add a hard-boiled egg or string cheese, and my husband adds barbecued chicken with no bread) and a main meal salad for dinner, so we’re awash in Nutrisystem entrees right now. (My husband received his frozen and non-frozen this week. I received my frozen and should get my non-frozen soon.)

I called customer service today to see if I could delay our next order. Raphael couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful. He was encouraging about our efforts to date and we agreed to delay our next order for 90 days. If we want to order a la carte before then, fine. If we want to shorten the delay, fine. If we need to delay it further, fine.  No muss, no fuss, no problem.  How wonderful is that!?!?!

Our only complaint is that they no longer offer pulled pork. My husband really liked that, and it almost derailed us on our weight loss efforts. They DO offer barbecued chicken, so he has substituted that, and I make him pulled pork and we freeze it into individual portions for him.

Our son is coming to visit Monday, planning to stay about 3 weeks. We’re really into the plan now, particularly since we can have ‘flex’ meals, so it shouldn’t be a problem for everyone to eat what they would like.  We’ll go grocery shopping as soon as he likes and get what we don’t have.

I’m feeling good about the progress my husband and I have made. He’s down about 30 lbs., too, and has lost almost 6 inches from his waist. He was wearing 38/30 jeans when we started and is now ALMOST comfortable in 32/30’s now. :0)  He is trying to do sit ups, something he hasn’t done since he was in the Marine Corps from 1961-65, so I’m proud of his efforts. Even more important is his effort to cut out as much sugar as possible, since he’s a Type II diabetic. His blood sugar reading this morning was 96. (100 or below is NORMAL).  I’m doing more exercise than I have done in many, many years – doing yoga and abdominal exercises one day, and the elliptical trainer the next. (Today is the elliptical). I’m feeling stronger and a bit more flexible.

So, we’ll keep on keepin’ on, and we’re pleased that we are on a program where the company will work with us.  My goal is to be ordering at least one – if not TWO – 10 lbs weight loss NS bears with our next order! :0)

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Getting the Lard Off Progress Report -11/29/2018

Popsugar

Short answer –

I’ve lost 30.6 pounds and 29.55 inches on Nutrisystem. When you add what I lost on a low-carb emphasis before that, the totals are 43 pounds off and 45.95 inches off.

Longer answer –

We are still on the plateau from Hell, but we’ve been eating homemade beef stew and bread for dinners three nights in a row, so I guess it’s amazing we didn’t GAIN weight this week.

The larger point is that we are AWARE of what we’re eating now. We’re incorporating flex meals (where you eat something other than Nutrisystem meals) into our lifestyle. We’re SUPPOSED to eat ONE flex breakfast, ONE flex lunch, ONE flex dinner, and ONE flex snack per week. We’re going to have to continue doing some changing to be able to eat only ONE meal of beef stew and then freeze the rest for other weeks, rather than simply having a bowl each night until it’s gone.

Other changes noted

  • I’m ALMOST down another size in jeans. I say, ‘almost,’ because I have four pair of the next size down and I’m only able to get into one of them. (I’ll claim victory when I can get into all of them.)
  • I can again wear a fuzzy brown vest we bought in the Grand Canyon Gift Shop umpteen years ago. I wore it for that winter, but then it has been WAAAAY too small to even get on, much less zip it up, ever since.
  • I am incorporating a bunch of abdominal exercises into my yoga practice every other day. My husband started trying to do sit-ups when I was on vacation. He’s a former Marine, and was able to ‘give me 50″ at the drop of his superior’s hat easily. That was some 55 years ago now, and he was appalled that he couldn’t do ANY. He is now up to about 10. I discovered I was equally challenged, but I’ve been working at it about 6 months longer than he. I’m up to 30 now, plus am doing leg lifts, and whatever you call the exercise where you’re lying on your back and you have your arms folded behind your neck and try to touch opposite elbows and knees while in a sit-up pose. We’re trying to cheer each other on in our efforts.

Most of our progress lately has been in attitude and confidence that we CAN lose the lard and get stronger with persistent effort. We have made a lifestyle change, trying to be aware of what we’re eating, the portion we’re eating, and modifying the rest of the day if we overdo at one meal. We’re consciously trying to move more and gain strength and flexibility. I’m also working on balance stuff, but have a long way to go on that, too. I’ll feel as if I’ve REALLY made progress when the hardest thing is NOT getting up off the floor from my exercising! :0)

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