Category Archives: Changes

The Eating-NOT Eating Problem

Denise Hazime

I downloaded this to my new Kindle this morning and have been pouring over it while I made a new system disc and new data backup disc for my computer.

This appeals to me because of the limit on ingredients and inferred simplicity of the recipes, particularly since I’m just trying to get started.

So far, I’ve started a notebook of generalities about the Mediterranean eating plan. It may very well be that I just collect recipes here and there and end up with a new lifestyle using their suggestions for healthy eating, but not-so-much their actual recipes.

My main concentrations are on

  • including LOTS more veggies,
  • some fruit – but mainly as a ‘dessert’ or substitute for sweet things,
  • a LOT less meat, (little red meat. Chicken and turkey are okay)
  • more fish, (twice a week)
  • more whole grains,
  • more nuts and seeds.
  • beans
  • less dairy (twice a week, rather than every day)

I’m a bit worried about the fruit. I love it, but it contains a lot of sugar – something we’re trying to avoid. We’ll see how our numbers do.

Of COURSE they want us to drink more water and exercise.

Squirrel Cam –

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, Mediterranean Eating Plan + Recipes

Love-Hate Relationship

Shutterstock – The Players’ Aid

My Love/Hate relationship is with my computer. Yesterday afternoon was one of the times I hate it.

My Password Safe program is crucial to my work on the computer. Yesterday I couldn’t get it to open. My husband, of course, immediately asked ‘what I had done to it.’ This set us up for an interesting afternoon. To make a long afternoon shorter, we deleted the program and all associated stuff from my computer, re-installed the program, made a new data disc, made a new shortcut for the main computer screen, etc.

This morning I needed to pay bills. Our bank website said my password was wrong. I tried to change it, but the password safe program wouldn’t allow that. I finally got around that problem, got on the website, paid our bills, and then asked my husband for help once again.

He determined that I was designated an ‘administrator’ on my computer, but that password safe was set up for ‘read-only.’ I finally got THAT changed and was able then to update the new password and go on my way.

This type of problem always comes when I least expect it, gets me totally rattled, shatters my confidence, needing time to absorb (and make notes on) what we’ve changed and how it works now.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes

Death of a Kindle

My husband and I bought Kindles very soon after we realized they existed. He is on his third one, using it daily for most everything he reads, downloading scores of books. I have used mine sporadically, much preferring real books for my reading.

I have downloaded trial books, though, when the price is right, just to see if I like the authors. Then, if I want to read more, I order real books. Another reason I like my Kindle is for cookbooks. I’ve FINALLY learned that the majority of cookbooks I buy are a waste of money for me. I like a couple of recipes in the book, but that’s all, so it just takes up space. I finally give them to the library to sell at their fundraisers. I get most of my recipes from friends, now, or on the net.

I downloaded one recently that looked like a really good introduction to easy beginning Mediterranean recipes. I wanted to wait until I found one I really liked to actually buy another cookbook.

I tried to look at it today at lunch time. I couldn’t get anything to happen when I tried to open the Kindle. I finally asked the ‘guru,’ my husband, if he could get it to work. He first assumed I had forgotten to charge it. I gritted my teeth and showed him calmly (without biting him in the leg) that it showed a 99% charge at the top of the Kindle screen. He then played with it, finally pronouncing it ‘dead as a doornail.’ I guess I can’t complain, since it has lasted SEVERAL years, but I really didn’t want to spend the money right now.

I have now ordered another one and will have to ask someone on Amazon if I can transfer the couple of downloads I have remaining from the old, dead Kindle to the new one when it arrives.

I will intensify my search for a good, basic Mediterranean cookbook that I actually want to HAVE so I can get it and not have to depend on the vagaries of electronic devices…

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Uncategorized

Achieving Balance

I am finding some good answers on what will work best for me as far as eating and exercising, getting healthier, more flexible, and feeling good.

Last night we were simply heating up individual portions of things I had cooked before and frozen. Cooking another veggie seemed too much, so I just got out some of the raw veggies I cut up recently and have been eating with dip for snacks to put to the side of the plate. I asked my husband if he wanted some, and he said, “Sure.” Later, when we were eating, he said they tasted ‘good.’ :0)

So, I’m consciously eating more veggies every day, less meat (used mainly as a flavoring now, some fruit, nuts, avoiding added sugar, salt, most white things, except for one dinner roll – a thing to which I look forward. I’m trying not to eat snacks, or anything after dinner. Many times I’m successful.

I’m consciously more active. Right now I’m in a cleaning mode. My house keeps asking, “Who IS this?” I’m working on really deep cleaning our master bathroom. It’s large – with a room that has a double lavatory and countertop, a whirlpool tub, and my walk-in closet. Another room has the toilet and a shower. I’ve been doing the minimum for a while, so I’m trying to DEEP clean it this time.

I’m adding some new poses to my yoga routine in the afternoons, though late afternoon is the best time to be outside working in the garden or my tomatoes or my yard, so I’m having an internal fight over this one. So far I’m doing one or the other, but I would LIKE to do both. I’m working on it.

The result of all this is I feel better. I’m sleeping better. I’m starting to lose some of my lard. Win/Win/Win.

Balance is all.


Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise


Life is hard these days. Harder, I think, in many ways, than it’s ever been. Not only are there differing opinions on almost everything, but the opinions quickly escalate into divisiveness, factions, name calling, and hate. There seems little we can DO about any of it.

I find my own personal reactions vacillate from being appalled at the actions of sick, hate-filled people, grieving about the innocent lives lost or forever changed, and frustrated that the problems are caused by problems so complex that they are almost impossible to solve. I’m numbed by the mindless spouting of rhetoric on all sides that hasn’t changed since I was a teenager. The actual problems are so much deeper that people are scared to really examine the causes or possible solutions.

I alternately listen to and read everything I can, then get depressed and avoid exposure to any more news than I HAVE to. I escape with reading, music, time outside in my yard and garden, time in my art room, time on the computer, etc. I get “huggy,” – worried that things will get much worse. I clean things. I re-organize things. I chop things down. Anything I CAN control.

What it boils down to, I guess, is each of us caring, doing something if we can, and coping with whatever is happening. The picture at the top says it better than I – “Life would be better if we wore more tutus…”

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Filed under Attitude, caring, Challenges, Changes

Veggies and Fruit


I’m trying to adopt new eating patterns now. My doc told me to take my thyroid med by itself in the morning, then wait at least an hour to eat or take my other meds. I have an alarm set for that now as I type this. Today that means I won’t eat breakfast, since we would leave in another our for Lunch Bunch. Most days, though, I’ll plan to eat a bit of breakfast when I take my other meds.

I’m concentrating on adding as many good veggies and fruit as I can to our diet in this first push toward a Mediterranean plan. When we’re busy, I’m eating a Healthy Choice Cafe Steamer Bowl while my husband eats something else, and making us another veggie to go with our meal. I’m eating a piece of fruit as a snack each day. We’re cutting back on meats, using them as flavoring, instead of the main focus. I’m making a beef stew in the crock pot tomorrow, with lots and lots of veggies.

So far, I think this will be the thrust in the change in diet, since my husband rarely meets a veggie he likes. I downloaded another Mediterranean cookbook onto my Kindle last night. It got lots of good reviews on Amazon, but so far, the recipes I’ve seen in other cookbooks or recipes online center on chick peas, couscous, eggplant, kale, tofu, etc. and this would cause not only derision, but revolt from my other half. I’m hoping I can find a few good things in the new book. It may be that I just collect one or two from several sources, add them to the recipes I already have that my husband likes, and start a rotation. Whatever the case, I’m hoping that eating lots of fruits and veggies coupled with my moving more regimen will result in a happy result on the scales and from my measuring tape.

Her World Singapore


Filed under Changes, DIET!, exercise, Mediterranean Eating Plan + Recipes, taking care of yourself


Tenor-GIF-Keyboard – The Pet Collective

Because I’m older-than-dirt and have no gallbladder, I’m having to adapt my eating program to lose the lard. Even with taking all the suggestions I could find on making it work and trying several meds, it’s with regret I’m changing my eating regimen once again. I had done a good, conscientious job, turning the keto stick dark purple. I was losing weight gradually, but my digestion wasn’t being cooperative.

I’m still avoiding any added sugar, trying to keep it as low as possible. I’m still trying to keep starches to a minimum. I’m concentrating on veggies and fruit, with meat as a flavoring, rather than the focus. I’m adding fiber, trying to get my system working the way it should again.

I’m not worried about the scales or the measuring tape until my system is under good control again and my normal energy is back.

I AM continuing my exercise program as much as possible, though my cleaning-and-re-organizing-the-pantry-program has been a substitute the past three days. I’m getting all the exercise I can handle pulling and hauling things around, scrambling up and down the ladder for at least an hour each day.


Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise

Celebration Mode!


I’m in celebration mode this morning. I would love it if you would celebrate with me.

I have finally reached my first goal of losing the pandemic lard I gained. I’m back to my long-time basis of 30-pounds-down from my heaviest, plus an 28.7 inch decrease from my most voluminous. HOOORAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!

30 pounds down

This is a huge motivational boost. I was beginning to think that no matter what I did, I would never get control and would continue to yo-yo.

Now I’m breaking into ‘NEW TERRITORY!’

I now know that if I record everything I’m planning to eat for the day on (and then stick to it) I will stay within my eating parameters. (Tonight we’re having “bacon-wrapped cheesy chicken” – Suzanne Ryan, Simply Keto, plus salad and I will eat a low-carb biscuit and my husband will have a deli dinner roll.)

Though my measuring tape isn’t showing anything yet, I’m hoping it will soon. I’ve mapped out my exercise regimen for the week and am giving myself gold stars on my desk calendar as I do things each day. I am starting to FEEL a difference. My exercise for the day is a part of my ‘to-do’ list now, given 2nd highest priority, right under the ‘have-to’s.’ :0)

Today is –

  • Warm-up video (10 minutes)
  • Stretching Video (10 minutes)
  • Weights video (10 minutes)
  • Workout 2a (30 minutes)
  • Yoga Stretches (30 minutes)
  • Gardening (30 minutes)


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Filed under Cause for Celebration, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise

Week 3 Report

Hannah More Primary School

Today is the end of Week 3 of my new push to get the lard off and exercise more to get and stay healthier, whatever my age.

  • I lost 1.6 pounds this week.
  • I’ve lost 6 pounds since I started the new push 3 weeks ago.
  • I’m 29.4 pounds down since my heaviest.



I will measure at the end of April, but to date there is 28.7 inches less of me than at my heaviest.


Clipart Library


  • I’m pleased that I am taking control of myself. I consciously think and plan what I’ll eat for the day BEFORE I eat or drink something that will sabotage my efforts. A HUGE HELP in this is MyFitness Yesterday I made some low-carb biscuits that had nice texture and tasted good. Today I’ll make bacon-wrapped cheesy chicken from Simply Keto and we’ll have a side salad and biscuit. I’m able to smell the popcorn my husband makes and watch him eat it without kicking the wall. :0)
  • I’m consciously planning what my exercise for the day will be. I’m using a monthly exercise planner by Mike, an Australian who has created – a whole series of videos to help seniors get and stay in better health. In addition to his programs, I’m doing yoga stretches daily and my elliptical trainer 3 times a week. Yard work and house work count, too, on moving more on a daily basis.
  • I’m happy to see the scales acknowledging my efforts. The weight is coming off slowly, but steadily. As long as I’m showing some progress each week, it keeps me motivated. I’m researching how to break through any plateaus that will inevitably occur.
  • I’m FEELING a bit more energetic. Even though I still have aches and pains, I now have more arrows in my quiver on how to deal with them. I’m doing the warm-up and stretching videos by Mike daily, plus my yoga helps. A heat pad usually takes care of any residual. If not, some Tylenol.
  • I’m feeling happier. The world is too much with us these days, and I find myself feeling pretty down unless I consciously look for the good things – and there are a lot of them – in the world around us. I’m finding more and more coping mechanisms, and getting healthier, stronger, and more flexible is one of those things. My mantra remains –

Onward to WEEK 4!

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises, DIET!, exercise


The Arbors

A couple of weeks ago at Lunch Bunch, we were having a discussion about habits. I was saying I wanted to build a habit of exercising every day. Bud, Kay’s husband, said he thought that I should be saying “regimen” instead of ‘habit’ because habit could be good or bad and could be broken, while regimen suggested concentration and motivation.

I went home and looked up the words and have to agree. I want to build a REGIMEN on exercising that becomes so ingrained that it’s automatic in my day. I told him yesterday that he was right, and he was pleased. :0)

My REGIMEN is now made up of –

  • A monthly exercise planner provided by Mike of consisting of 4 different ‘workouts’ during the month (1a, 1b, 2a, and 2b) warm-ups, stretches, physical activity (I’m doing 10 minutes on my elliptical trainer) etc. in a pattern.
  • Added to this, I’m doing two different videos of his with weights.
  • And then I’m doing half an hour of ‘senior’ (I hate that word) yoga stretches.
  • When the weather is cooperative, I’m doing some work in the yard and in my garden.

I’m eating low-carb, mainly using recipes from Suzanne Ryan’s Simply Keto. These are delicious recipes not requiring weird or hard-to-find ingredients, and don’t take a lot of preparation. I can make double recipes, freezing the leftovers into individual portions. I’m also experimenting with trying to find some recipes for low carb dinner rolls. (I’m trying a new one today.)

My goals are –

  • to make the REGIMEN and low-carb eating NOT diet and exercise programs, since that sounds temporary, but a lifestyle change. I want it to become my way of life to try to stick to 20 carbs or less daily, watch my macros and calories using
  • I want to get as healthy as possible for my age (advanced, but not in the ground yet :0) ) . I know that getting the lard off and exercising may help me avoid lots of pitfalls, diseases, and more. I want to increase my strength, flexibility, and balance.

I will finish Week 3 tomorrow. Onward and downward!

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Progress Report? – Almost End of Week 2



  • No change in measurements yet almost at the end of Week 2. Down 28.7 inches overall since my heaviest. Hopeful to see changes by the end of April.
  • Down 1.6 lbs this week. Down 28.4 lbs since my heaviest – first goal is trying to get down to -30 – where I was pre-pandemic, then on from there.
  • Exercise level is way up. Still fighting sloth. Am doing yoga session each day. Also an online video on exercise with weights for seniors. Also working in the yard each day the weather cooperates.
  • I’ve read that it takes 66 days to build a ‘habit.’ I’m hoping that by the end of May my new way of eating, drinking, and exercising will have become ‘routine,’ ‘habit,’ or ‘regimen,’ – whichever word describes it most accurately. One day at a time.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, taking care of yourself

Reboot – 1003+


Once again I’m trying. I hope this is mainly annoying, rather than a red line for you – reading things I’ve said many times before. If the line is red, stop reading here, and I apologize.

If you’re still reading, THANKS!

My husband and I had a talk, continuing over the past several days, about our eating. Due to the weather encouraging comfort food, plus my husband trying to be ‘nice’ to me, bringing me popcorn or ice cream, and other assorted excuses (pick one. ANY one will do…. :0) ) I have regained weight I tried really hard to shed. We’re doing a lot right, but never enough to actually make significant progress in my goal to LOSE the lard.

This morning we are AGAIN getting serious. Today I’m trying a new recipe for “Keto Bread Rolls” from Arman online to hopefully take the place of the deli roll we have been eating with dinner. I’m also making “Sausage, Egg & Cheese Bake” from Suzanne Ryan’s Simply Keto recipe book. We love this.

I’m tracking my eating, drinking, and exercising via MyFitnessPal again. I have my macro set up there now (5% carbs, 25% protein, and 70% fat) so I can see how I’m doing. My personal macro is actually 14grams of carbs, 77grams of protein, and 85grams of fat daily. I’m trying to keep my calories to around 1137 daily.

I’ve entered what I’m eating today already so I KNOW I’m staying within my calorie total, plus am hitting the right percentages on lunch and dinner, with even a snack some time today. I have also entered my activity and have already started that. (I get some credit for moving more, though I don’t really make any allowances for it on how much I’m eating.)

Our lunch stays the same, except I’m not having any fruit. The only changes are at dinner – plus snacks – and that’s not bad at all.

I have found more to my liking than others because they allow you to add recipes not in their database (which is large) quickly and easily without having to list each ingredient and quantity in the recipe separately. They also allow you to repeat easily what you eat daily, rather than having to enter it all again every day. (We basically eat the same lunch every day with the exception of Lunch Bunch on Friday.) Once you enter something, when you go to the category again for each day, what you listed previously is there if you wish to check the box. NICE.

I’m motivated to stay with my plan. My husband has agreed NOT to bring me ‘goodies’ just because he likes me, so I’M in charge and the only one I can blame is myself if I don’t stick to this. So far, I’m feeling energized.

I’m going to start cooking now. Hopefully, by the end of this week, I’ll see a bit of improvement. Fingers crossed.


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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, motivators

Spring Lard, Sweet Chariot….

Hippopottermiss on

Lard is CUTE on this sweet hippo, but not so much on me.

Now that we finally seem to be calling winter over – at least according to the calendar officially designating spring this Sunday – I’m trying to call comfort food eating over, at least until next winter!

My husband and I have discussed NOT putting food that is NOT on the list in the shopping cart. This goes in one ear and out the other with SOME of us. Since my willpower is laughable, I have seriously asked for his help. We’re going to try to get back to our once a week salad night, as well as eating the good individual frozen meals we’ve been getting from Stu’s Clean Cookin’ and Real Food, both of which are easily accessible, now that getting snowed or iced in isn’t nearly as possible. I’m trying to include a side veggie from my list of ‘good’ veggies from various lists that are supposed to maintain or improve the status on our various health concerns. We also have some good low carb dinners we like that I can cook, freezing leftovers into individual dinners.

Happily, spring already brings me to more physical activity with our garden and trying to get the yard and our planters in shape. I’m also continuing to do my old lady yoga stretches each afternoon. If I can, I’m going to TRY to include a session three times a week on my elliptical trainer, now that the garage isn’t freezing.

Losing the lard will be in two phases –

PHASE I – getting back to where I was before the winter hit.

PHASE II – starting to enjoy new territory.

A full two-armed embrace of spring for my garden and hopefully, less of me, with the exception of a huge smile on my face.

Happy Spring!

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Confusion –

It seems to me that our world is a mass of mixed signals and confusion. It’s hard to know what to think, what to feel, which way to jump.

I’m kind of like a deer frozen in the headlights, concentrating on one day at a time, trying to do what I can, when I can, one careful step at a time, with a lot of trying to escape thrown in, too, since there is so much happening that I can’t do anything about.

The only thing I can come up with is to try to personally stay as strong as I can, continuing to look for any ways to try to make things better wherever I can find.

I wish I were a fairy godmother, able to wave my wand, think good thoughts, and save the world.

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Filed under Attitude, caring, Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises, coping mechanisms

Lewis vs Raccoons – Round 1

National Geographic Kids

Each year we have to defend the food for the birds because we have families of raccoons living ‘somewhere’ around our property. We hoped that we could simply all share the birdseed, but this has never been the case, even when we’ve put out extra, expressly for the raccoons, off the deck.

They come onto the deck, eat EVERY SINGLE SEED plus trash the feeders many times. This combination is expensive for us and frustrating, because we’re TRYING to provide seeds for the birds, plus occasional squirrels.

“Raccoons vs Lewis” season is starting early this year. We’ve noticed the feeder being empty each morning for the last three mornings. Yesterday my husband put out the humane trap and baited it.

This morning we had evidence that a raccoon had 1) emptied the feeder, 2) gotten into the trap, and 3) eaten the bait, broken the cup holding the bait, and then tore out the back of the trap to get out!

So now we’re definitely fighting a wily, strong, and smart raccoon!

My husband took the trap out to the shop this morning, reinforced the back of the trap after repairing it, then brought it into the office so I could help him get the new cup screwed in securely. It is now baited and set again.

Round 1: Raccoons 1 Lewises 0.

We’ll see what happens in Round 2.


Filed under Amazing Animals, Challenges, Changes

Feelings vs Reality

I was brought back to reality when we were at the bottom of the driveway (safely, even after having to drive over the ice on the last third of the driveway!) and I was taking the trash bags out of the back of the truck and putting them to one side of the driveway for pickup.

The trash people didn’t pick up the trash last week. I’m not sure what the state of the road was in front of our house, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they couldn’t do the pickup due to the ice storm. Anyway, I noticed we were a bag short from what I put out. I found the bag on its side in the ice and water-filled ditch beside our driveway. An animal had gotten in it, torn it open and had a big time.

When I was younger, I would have just balanced on the edge of the ditch, reached over and pulled what I could out of the water, rebagged it, and would have been done with it.

Reality struck when I TRIED to balance on the edge of the ditch and had trouble. Sanity kicked in, deciding that a spill into the ditch filled with cold water and ice wasn’t worth it.

So, this old lady will put a trash bag and rake or hoe in the back of the truck and I’ll tackle the problem the next time we go down the hill…

HOPEFULLY the trash guys will get the double load of trash now waiting for them.

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Filed under aging, Are YOU also older than Dirt?, Challenges, Changes, taking care of yourself

Find Something That Works for You


Our son is really into meditation and it has really helped him.

He used to have quite a bit of frustration. At times it would erupt – one time resulting in broken bones in his hand when he ‘punched a chair.’ (The chair won.)

Over the years he has practiced meditation, even going to places where he could receive instruction in how to do it better. He has taken bits and pieces and made his own form now. He practices every day now, getting up early so that he can practice before he starts his work for the day. I don’t know if he does it again in the evening or not. It has made a world of difference for him. He is content and happy now, able to handle even really frustrating situations with an amazing maturity.

He has tried to get ME to try it, and I have. I’m a dismal failure. I guess I don’t want to do it badly enough. I simply cannot turn my mind off, rechannel my thoughts, or use any of the many suggestions he has made. I envy him and now look to HIM when I need help dealing with things.

The best thing I’ve come up with is finding Art – like that above – in which I can lose myself. Music is a huge help, too. Music I loved in the past transports me to where I was when I first heard the song. I’m finding new music and new artists I find amazing. Frustration, anger, and depression simply melt away. Books help. I dive into the worlds of characters I love, leaving my concerns somewhere else as I immerse myself in their lives. Yoga is becoming a coping mechanism, as well. It’s really hard for me to totally relax, but I come really close when I practice my yoga stretches and poses. When I finish, my mind is calm and my body feels looser.

The world is a very complicated place now. I hope you can find something that works for YOU.

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I’m enjoying feeling better. My snark bucket is filling and I’m finding myself smiling to myself more now – an ominous sign, according to my husband.

I come by it honestly. My dad used to say, when I came out, ready for a date, ‘Nice dress.’ I learned early on that his comment meant that he thought it was too short, too tight, too ‘something’ for me to get his approval. It took me a long time to stop looking myself over to find out what was wrong and simply accept a compliment that came my way when I grew to adulthood.

Being raised by my parents was a gift that keeps on giving even now. Being able to stand back and see the humor in any given situation is a lifesaver for me. Instead of building tension inside at all the things I find upsetting, I can say something sarcastic in the privacy of my own mind, making me smile, rather than losing it.

My mother taught me practicality and strength. Her favorite quote was, “It’s better to do any reasonable thing quickly, rather than search hesitantly for the ideal.” I loved it when she got angry at a situation. She could stand on her feet and say what she thought (the length of her words and sentences depended on the degree of her anger.) She could completely undermine someone with a few words while the smarter ones in the group appreciated it wholeheartedly and the less smart tried to figure out what she had said. :0) )

Coping mechanisms are crucially important in our world today. I hope you have a bucketful to help you, too.

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, coping mechanisms, Funny Signs - Humor, sass

Letting Go

Hermann Hesse – PositivelyPresent – Louise Myers – Visual Social Media

I have learned lately that facing your weaknesses is important. I also dealt with a deep fear and made it through. I had the help of wonderful, caring friends, but you are essentially alone when actually dealing with things.

I had a month of trying to face that my husband might have to live alone. I am now taking some positive steps to make things easier for him in case we face this again for whatever reason. The fact that I am making a list of steps I want to take, setting things up differently that I handle routinely, listing reminders for him, has largely calmed me down.

I have let a lot of the fear go.

I don’t think – if I have to face a similar situation again – it will be as bad.

Taking care of what I CAN will help both of us going forward.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, coping mechanisms

In Your Hands

George Eliot – –

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Dreams, Encouragement

Thoughts on a Tuesday 1-4-2022

Saporta Report

This photo above is very similar to what we saw going to town and then returning from errands this morning. It felt almost as if they were running along side us, like a dog tries to chase cars. Happily, they didn’t try to cross the road or crash into our truck. Beautiful animals.

Postal Store – USPS

Did I tell you that I hate to do anything involved with the IRS? Our son lives in Thailand, but still has to file income tax stuff for the states. I try to handle the stuff for him. I mailed a self-employment deferred Social Security ‘whateverwhois’ certified with return receipt for him this morning. I’m hoping this is the end of things for him for awhile. My eyes glaze over whenever I try to read letters from the IRS. I send images of whatever it is to our CPA, who ‘translates’ it for me and tells me what I need to do. I do it, send him copies, and breathe a sigh of relief until next time. You would think I was an embezzler or something with the huge negative gut reaction I have to things like this. :0)

The NY Times

We have a cell phone with base that acts like our house phone. We have extensions all over the house. I thought about changing carriers recently, thinking maybe we could save some money. Though I could get less expensive coverage for my personal cell phone, I gave up because we would have to buy another cell phone system and couldn’t get the extensions we have. The system also has an answering program that we love that requires callers to push # or something to indicate they are a real person and aren’t selling anything before we hear a ringing phone. It really cuts down on calls we don’t want. I’ve actually had people laughing when I answer, then wanting to know where we got the answering thingie.

Recently we got a letter from AT&T saying they wouldn’t cover our house phone cell system anymore because it was only a 3G. They said they would send us a replacement phone that they WOULD cover. We have no idea whether the new phone is anything like our present one, our answering program, if it will have extensions, or we can use the ones we have, etc. The only thing that MAY stay the same is our phone number. UGH. We really don’t like change.

Cards Recycling Service

Under that same heading of not liking change is that we got a letter saying our trash contract was bought up by another company. The new service started 1-3-2022, according to the letter. We have no other details as yet. We put out our trash as usual this morning, hoping for the best….

While trying to put in new fluorescent tubes in a fixture in the kitchen recently, we dropped the cover, breaking it. We tried to find a replacement cover for it, but couldn’t find one wide enough, either locally or online. Yesterday we decided to buy a 2-tube fixture, using it to replace a 4-tube fixture in our office, and using the cover for the kitchen fixture.

Hours later, we finally had the new fixture installed and working and the cover transferred to the fixture in the kitchen. No lives were lost. If we need to consider this again, I’ll opt for candle light.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, Thoughts on a ________

Sudden Thought

“The older I get, the more I see there are these crevices in life where things fall in and you just can’t reach them to pull them back out. So you can sit next to them and weep or you can get up and move forward. You have to stop worrying about who’s not here and start worrying about who is.”
— Alex Witchel

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Filed under aging, Challenges, Changes, Favorite Quotes

“Because I’m Happy…” via Rebecca Kanner Kelman

“Here come bad news talking this and that (Yeah)
Well give me all you got, don’t hold back (Yeah)
Well I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine (Yeah)
No offence to you don’t waste your time” ~ “Happy” ~ Pharrell Williams

I received some scary news through the medical portal on a test I took recently. I’m a wimp, so I essentially decided my life was over, started worrying about my husband (he doesn’t know what day it is half the time, what our schedule is, etc. – he has a wife to worry about the details.) I cried, couldn’t sleep, stayed up half the night…

I finally decided to tell my two best friends via email. I’m very lucky to have two such great people who care about me. Both got back to me right away with care and support, plus some much-needed guidance.

My doctor’s office will probably contact me this coming week with what the next step is. I’m much calmer than I was. Although I’m a wimp and would rather just stick my head in the sand and go on in ignorance, acting as if I were immortal, I need to be an adult. I want to be here to help my husband – even wanting to be here to fuss at him when it’s needed.


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

Learning to Eat Right


I’m in a state of flux lately on my eating.

My husband and I are trying to incorporate trying to lose the lard (me more than him), trying to avoid as much sugar as possible for his diabetes II, and trying to incorporate food and drink that may improve my plaque-in-my-carotid-arteries situation.

Part of MY retirement is NOT having to come up with home-cooked meals every night for the rest of my life. I still cook pretty regularly, but I try to cook in a more healthy fashion, and then put the leftovers to the original meal into individual serving containers that we can simply put in the microwave.

After actually reading the labels of the two meals we like the best from Stu’s Clean Cookin’, we discovered that our choices are higher in sugar than we would like. We are now splitting ONE individual dinner and eating a veggie on the side.

Eating continues to be a work in progress, but I am making some good lifestyle changes. Hopefully, this will also include losing more of the lard my body seems to prize. :0)


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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!

Balanced Eating?


On the one hand, I’m trying to limit the amount of food I eat. I don’t eat anything after dinner until lunch the following day – unless I’m up in the middle of the night and have no willpower. (I tend to think I’m starving to death then. :0) )

My husband and I have been eating individual frozen meals from REAL FOOD or STU’S CLEAN COOKIN’, both in Greenwood, for dinner. I noticed that our choices from Stu’s are too high in sugar for us, so now we’re splitting ONE individual meal and I’m fixing a veggie side. We also have a roll with that.

Lunches are 1/2 slice of ham, sugar-free jello, a hard-boiled egg, two green olives, and sometimes I have a slice of cheese or a cheese stick.

Snack in the afternoon has been raw veggies and a spoonful of ranch dressing with less than 1 gram of sugar.

Since a doppler ultrasound showed 50-70% occlusion in my right carotid artery (not enough to have a procedure) I have found a list of food and drink that is supposed to dissolve the plaque, and hopefully prevent me from getting more.


I’m now eating grapefruit in place of the raw veggies some days. I’m drinking a glass of green tea daily. When I eat raw veggies, I’m including broccoli and cauliflower, and I’m fixing spinach as a side for dinner, using walnuts and flax seed in my salads, etc.

My dilemma is that including so much ‘good stuff’ in my daily diet is resulting in my eating more. And GUESS WHAT HAPPENS THEN – my scales scoff at me, laughing and sneering at the poundage creeping up. ARRRRGH!

So now I’m vacillating between throwing my hands up in the air and eating a cheeseburger and fries, eating the good stuff and skipping yet another meal, or……

I will work it out, but right now I’m feeling that getting old sucks.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, taking care of yourself

Challenges – Changes

Trying to eat right and take care of yourself becomes more and more complicated as you age. If you are married, the complication explodes because you are dealing with not only different health needs, but also different ideas of what ‘good food’ is, how seriously needed changes should be taken, etc. My husband and I are in the process of yet another adaptation since I had an ultrasound of my carotid arteries.

I’m lucky, in that the problem in my carotid arteries is not to the point where any procedures are necessary, but I am trying to adapt my eating to include food and drink that dissolves, lessens, or prevents plaque. I’m ornery enough now without having strokes! Happily, I found an article on the net that lists 16 things I can include in my diet. I have several of them already and eat them. Yesterday I started drinking one glass a day of green tea (I found sugar-free). Since beets are on the list and I can’t face eating them, I’ve ordered supplements for that. I’m making a grocery list to get other things. I’m feeling very lucky that there are things I can do about this situation that may improve my chances to continue being ornery… :0)

A downside that complicates things a bit, is that I gained a couple of pounds yesterday. I refuse to worry about that yet, though. I will try to include the new food and drink, continue to exercise at least three times a week if not more (elliptical trainer and yoga stretches), and will give the changes some time before I worry again about lardage.

Here’s to doing what you can to get and stay as healthy as you can for as long as you can.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, taking care of yourself


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Filed under Challenges, Changes

Trying to Keep My Mouth Shut

Oh, please. This is cute – and depressing at the same time.

I will tell you, though, that I’m making a bit of progress on getting the lard off. I lost another pound, so my total off now is 31, with almost 29 inches gone. It’s especially hard during the holidays to try to keep my mouth shut. My goal is to TASTE it all, enjoying every bite, but TRYING to maintain my dignity…. :0)

I did discover – to my horror – that some of the meals we have been getting from Stu’s Clean Cookin’ have too much sugar for us. Last night we decided to SHARE one individual meal and eat an extra veggie on the side. That worked out well, and gave us half the amount of sugar we would have ingested otherwise. We need to be more vigilant. The food is high quality and excellent, as is that of Real Food. They are not made for diabetics and weight-challenged, though, and we need to keep tweaking what we are eating more intelligently. Stu’s lists sugar, salt, calories, etc. Real Food doesn’t, but lists ingredients. Both help us keep our portions good. So we will try to do better homework, plus do more sharing.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!


University of Manchester Careers Blog

When I’m standing in the middle of a decision, not sure of which direction to take, a picture of my mom comes into my head. She always used to say, “Do any reasonable thing quickly, rather than reaching hesitantly for the ideal.”

Decisions are difficult. It doesn’t seem to always matter the importance of it or its outcome. When my dear friend and former colleague and I ran our own reading clinic years ago, we used to spend countless silly minutes trying to figure out where to go for lunch. We would go through the same questions – “What are you hungry for?” “What sounds good?” Finally, we would say, “Where do you NOT want to go?” and see if we could come to a decision that way.

I got really tired of trying to figure out what to cook for dinner. I didn’t mind COOKING it so much as the constant pressure to try to figure out something that would please, wouldn’t take a lot of time or effort – as I had always worked a full day before having to do it – provide a reasonable variety, etc. I used to ask my husband what he was hungry for while trying to make a grocery list. He would always say, “Whatever you cook is good.” And while that was nice in its way, it wasn’t helpful.

Decisions that involve things where consequences matter are much more difficult, of course. Sometimes even agonizing, when all of the avenues are distasteful, painful, or scary. Whenever I’m faced with one of these, I consider each avenue, then ask myself, “If I do this, what’s the worst that could happen?” If I find one in which I can handle the answer to that, I have my avenue.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, taking care of yourself

Split Down the Middle


Today was the first Lunch Bunch since our waitress, Susan, retired. We are all happy for Susan, giving her a good send-off last Friday, her last day, before she started taking care of her grandchildren. She has spent many years working hard, getting up early to go to work, do the prep necessary before opening the restaurant, making pizza dough, cutting up veggies, all the things that need to be done to have the place run smoothly. She’s still getting up early every day, but now will fill her days with life flowing from the plans of the grandkids. She grinned from ear to ear last Friday, clearly relishing the change of focus for her life.

So today we gathered once again. Mikey, our other treasured waitress, took our orders. We talked about the fact that SHE kept feeling that Susan was “just on vacation,” and would be back at work soon. WE kept thinking she would come out from the back, drying hands on her apron, smiling and joking with us.

One Green Planet

Things change and we must change with them. Susan has our permanent invitation to join us at the table for Lunch Bunch. We HOPE she’ll take us up on that some Friday very soon. Happy for her, sad for us, resistant to change…

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Friendship

Sunday 8-29-2021

Cathy Stolz

I’m afraid for all the good people trying to get out of Afghanistan. My heart breaks for those left behind. This is an unending nightmare from which we will probably never recover. We have all lost so much already. People in pain over the situation, the incredible lack of planning, bad decisions, broken promises, loss of life, the desperate prospects on trying to get out, what we’re leaving for the people behind. Incredible bravery in the face of all this.

The people in Tennessee are trying to pick up the pieces after the devastating flooding. Relentless wildfires in California continue to wreak havoc. Ida is bearing down on the Gulf Coast today.

Each of us reacts on a personal level to all happening around us. Things boil down to each of us handling things in our own little world the best we can, plus reaching out to try to help others. The cliche’ is that ‘we’re all in this together.’ Our world is small enough that things happening across the world affect us. As we have painfully seen, a virus starting far away is lethal to people all over the globe.

We need to concentrate on being aware of what is going on, protecting ourselves and those we love the best way we can, and reaching out to others – if not able to help – to at least show we CARE. We can’t put our heads in the sand. We can’t just simply close off. We have to be as strong as we can and be there to do what we can when we see a way we can help.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes