Category Archives: Changes


This aquarium is very similar to the one we have on the divider between our dining area and our kitchen. It’s supposed to be a 5 gallon aquarium, but it’s mostly full after I add 3 gallons of treated water.

Lately it seems that the filter pump isn’t working right. We had made some changes in the depth of the water and the height at which the filter hung previously, because I was suspicious it was acting up. The filter was for a 5 to 15 gallon tank. I just drained the tank, cleaned everything, and put fresh, treated water into it two days ago. I put a new filter in the filter pump. Everything looked good, so I put the fish back in. (They were relieved. They don’t like being in a bowl with a dishtowel over it while I clean their home.) Yesterday the water already was clouding up.

Today we bought a much smaller filter pump and filters at Walmart and have just installed the pump. This one is for a 1 to 3 gallon tank, which seems like a bad idea, but the only choices were 1-3 and 3-5 and larger. Since I’ve been changing the filter that goes inside the pump twice a month, rather than the one time it’s supposed to need. We’re going to give the new filter pump, which has an air flow thingie to push water through the filter), some time to clear up the water. If that doesn’t work, I’ll drain the tank and change out the water again.

I don’t really care if I need to change the cartridge a lot. I just want the water clean and sparkling.

Fingers crossed.

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“Knowing” and Dealing With It Two Different Things

Okay. I KNOW that weight loss – particularly as it is reflected by the scales – is a fickle thing. The fact that it’s MORE than yesterday shouldn’t be a big thing. Maybe I retained water. Maybe I gained muscle. Yada yada yada. According to a lot of people, I shouldn’t even be weighing myself every morning – that I should only weigh once a week. Well, I weigh each morning to keep me on track and honest. This morning I weighed MORE than I did yesterday and it’s ‘weighing’ on my mind (hahahahaaha).

It’s one thing to “KNOW” the facts and quite another to deal with the emotional reaction when you hope/expect to be down another .2 lbs and find that you’re actually UP .8 lbs.  I feel that ‘someone’ snuck (is that a word?) some lead into my underwear.

Since I also “KNOW” that I ate only what I should have eaten yesterday, did my exercises, drank my water – the poundage may come off tomorrow. Since I’m old, though, I’ve also learned that it may take 4 days or more to get back down to where I was only yesterday…

Since I know, also, that I won’t get any awards for fast weight loss, and that, in fact, my body will actually do better at keeping the weight off if I lose it gradually, steadily – I’m talking to myself this morning, reminding myself of all the things I SHOULD be concentrating on –

  • feeling good that I’m down 11 lbs and over 13 inches from when we started Nutrisystem
  • that I’m not sitting around feeling hungry
  • that I like MOST of the foods we’re eating
  • that both my husband and I are getting healthier as we lose the lard
  • that our blood test numbers should show significant improvement in August
  • that we’re doing what we can to avoid the health problems we can control
  • that we’ve both gotten shorts one size smaller than we were wearing a month ago
  • feeling grateful that we are in a position to afford a good weight program

Hopefully, tomorrow morning the scales will show me something I like better than what I saw this morning. In the meantime, I’ll continue talking to myself, trying to act like a grownup. :0)


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

Good Start via David Michael McCune


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

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

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

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

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

SO – a Good Start on getting healthier!


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

Nutrisystem Week 5 Progress Report

Slow, but steady progress in the ‘Getting the Lard Off’ project.

  • Poundage lost through Nutrisystem to date – 9.6 lbs.  Since my heaviest – 22 lbs.
  • Inches lost through Nutrisystem to date – 13.3 inches. Since my lardiest – 29.7 inches.

I’m finding more energy gradually. This helps a lot in my exercise program. Each day I’m doing –

  1. Elliptical trainer
  2. weight exercise for shoulders
  3. over-the-door shoulder pulley
  4. yoga for stretching


Yesterday in particular I felt better than I’ve felt in a long time. I’m having to take less pain medicine for my shoulder muscles. I’m having to do fewer ice and heat sessions. I’m feeling looser with the stretching I’m doing. I’m feeling more energy to do a significant amount of cleaning, gardening, pet care, yard work, etc.

Both my husband and I have lost about 10 lbs since we started Nutrisystem. We both have health issues we monitor quarterly with our primary doctor and blood tests. We’re hoping that the next checkup in August will be a good one – showing distinct improvement. In the meantime, we’re agreed that this is something we really need to do for our long-term health and we’re happy we’ve taken the first step.




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

Moving More, Hopefully Getting Somewhere

I wish I looked like this woman when I’m on the elliptical.  I just finished doing 30 minutes, so I’m feeling good about my efforts.

The bad part is that the elliptical trainer is in our garage – the only flat place in our home with a bare, hard floor where it isn’t in the way. The good part is that I’m not in the bright sunshine, and my husband rigged a big, square fan on the wall right in front of the machine. Otherwise, with the temperatures here in mid-summer mode already, I just couldn’t do it.

I can go out to the garage, start the machine and the fan, clip my mp3 player to my shirt, put in my earphones, hit ‘start’ and do mindless walking while listening to some of my favorite tunes. :0)

I chose the elliptical several years ago because it’s designed to be easy on your joints. This is really crucial for me. I want to strengthen everything while not causing knees, hips, and shoulders to hurt any more than they do now. If I keep at it, plus get enough lard off, I may actually be able to LESSEN the pain in my joints!

According to articles I’ve read on the net, “when you use the elliptical, you can work the upper and lower body at the same time. Elliptical machines work the legs, chest, shoulders, back and arms. With this machine, you can complete a full-body workout in as little as 20 minutes.”

As I gulp down another bottle of water, I feel good for having gotten a good start on my day. Later on, I’ll do the over-the-door-shoulder-pulley thingie (I’m doing 100 pulls a day now – sitting in a chair)


plus an exercise with a 3 lb weight


to ease the tightness of my shoulder muscles, and then I’ll do 30 minutes of yoga stretching


to try to loosen everything else! :0)

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NutriSystem – 1st Month’s Progress Report

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

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

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

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

Lifestyle changes other than the Nutrisystem eating plan:

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

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

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

On with Month # 2!


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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, Encouragement, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, opportunities, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Flex Meals on NutriSystem



Learning to actually LIVE with a new way of eating is very different than simply grabbing a package and nuking it. My husband and I will finish Month # 1 on Nutrisystem on Thursday.  Part of the program I like is the “Flex Meal” idea, where you learn to eat out plus learn to cook meals incorporating the new things you’re learning so that you can function in the real world.  You have one flex breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack each week, preferably on different days.

“Flex breakfast” –

  • My husband eats his regular cereal with some blackberries and milk.
  • I eat my old low-carb breakfast of 2 thin slices packaged turkey, a hard boiled egg, some shredded cheese, and a bit of butter, nuked.

“Flex lunch” – 

  • This was easy. We use our “Lunch Bunch” on Fridays. My husband has chicken fingers and I have a nice salad built from the salad bar, including hard boiled egg, ham chunks, cucumbers, shredded lettuce, and a sprinkling of cheese shreds, plus one spoon of dressing.

“Flex dinner” –

  • You can see from the chart above we’re supposed to have 1 smartcarb and 2 powerfuels.
  • What we are doing is cook something we’re really missing – but a lot less of it than we used to eat. Last week we got two thin steaks. (This was a big change because we usually get thick ones to grill.) We love baked potatoes with steak. Instead of the two ‘boat-sized’ white baking potatoes we usually get, we got two little-bitty potatoes. My husband was upset, but I asked him to just try it. He asked in a deprived voice, “Can we eat corn?” while gazing longingly at a nice group of ears. I said, “yes,” not really knowing for sure, but knowing that if he feels TOO deprived, he won’t stay on the new eating plan. I convinced him that we would share one ear.
  • I froze one of the steaks and cut the one I was cooking into two pieces. Lean beef is the ‘powerfuel.” I husked the ear of corn (smartcarb) and broke it into two pieces. We each had a little, bitty potato. (a starchy carb). After we ate last night, my husband came over and said, “You always do such a perfect job that I don’t think about saying anything, but the meal tonight was delicious.”  :0)

“Flex Snack” –

  • This is easy. We go bowling with good friends most Monday evenings. Afterwards, we either celebrate our good bowling or commiserate over lousy games by going to Braums in Fort Smith. We each have one scoop of ice cream and savor every bite. (Mine is chocolate.)

The Flex idea allows us to not feel deprived, keep fun social stuff with our friends even though we’re trying to get the lard off, and put the lessons we’re learning to the test while we’re dieting, so it isn’t just a mindless process, learning to eat this way the rest of our lives.  My husband is trying to keep his sugar under control – a HUGE change for him. (He even calls ME ‘Sugar.’) When we started Nutrisystem almost a month ago now, I gave up all added salt. (I used it on everything – even things that were known to be salty.) I’m hoping this will help my blood pressure numbers.

My husband’s weight loss is 5 or 6 pounds, but the biggest thing to me is that his blood sugar numbers are the best they’ve been since we started monitoring them in 2016. I keep a record, and we started with numbers like 353 (which is future amputate your parts territory). Today it was 122. The goal is under 100, but for the first time since we discovered he has Type 2 Diabetes, we feel we might actually get to the goal.

Official end of week 4 report Thursday. Next quarterly monitoring at our primary doc’s – August 6th. (After about 3 months on the program)

Fingers crossed.

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Getting the Lard Off Progress – End of Week 3

  •  After Week 3 on Nutrisystem:  7.6 lbs
  • Total Weight Loss since my Lardiest: 20 lbs.
  • After Week 3 of Nutrisystem:  9.8 inches
  • Total since my worst wideness:  26.2 inches

My husband has lost weight and his blood sugar numbers are looking a LOT better! (I’m trying not to invade his privacy by printing numbers, but I’m really happy for him.)


  • I’m trying to do 15+ minutes on the Elliptical Trainer each day.
  • Yoga – 30 minutes of stretching daily
  • Weight exercise for neck/shoulder problem
  • Over-the-door shoulder pulley – 5 minutes daily of pulling
  • Ice/heat daily, 15 minutes each for neck/shoulder problem
  • Serious Intention to get up and move more, such as taking break from computer, walking out to shop or garden, then out to greenhouse, sweep garden, clean something, organization effort, etc. several times per day.

Practical Differences:

  • I’m happy that I have ‘new, smaller shorts’ on this week’s list!
  • I’m having fewer instances of having to take a serious nap in the afternoon. I haven’t gotten any younger, so it has to be I’m feeling more energy due to my new eating regimen. :0)
  • I’m feeling more in control of our food now. I keep an eye on the clock so that we remember our mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks, but the rest is becoming more routine.
  • We’re eating more veggies – celery, carrots, cherry tomatoes and radishes with a bit of salad dressing with our lunch, and a salad with spinach, romaine, and head lettuce from our own garden with our dinner.
  • We don’t have the feeling hungry sensation. Though we’ll be happy to finish the first month’s supply of food (choices we’ve changed in the next order) we’re feeling generally happy with our food. We’ve found some favorites, such as their orange cream bar as a before bed snack!
  • We’ve cooked one dinner, eaten lunch out, and fixed our own breakfast, and had a snack NOT on the program this week (Flex Meals), learning how to function in the real world, learning to judge portions, and more.
  • I bagged up the food left from the first order in gallon freezer bags. We got my new group of frozen food yesterday and my husband’s this morning, and we were able to quickly put both away, keeping everything straight. :0) Now waiting for NON-frozen boxes.

Week 3 has been a success. I’m feeling motivated and happy to be getting less of me!


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Nutrisystem Week 2 – Progress Report

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

On to Week 3!

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Confusion Re NutriSystem Solved

Yesterday I happily started Week 2 of our Nutrisystem plans, carefully having made note of Powerfuels (and lists of) and SmartCarbs (and lists of), as well as what each of us was to eat at the various times of the day.

I got to the point of adding dinner into my NuMi tracker records and discovered that I was going over the calorie limit at the top! I had thought that one of the perks of the Nutrisystem plan was that you didn’t have to count calories, but it was clear that I had messed up in some way. I deleted the veggies I had planned to eat and the snack I had been looking forward to eating after dinner, staying under the calorie limit.

I contacted one of the nice people connected to Nutrisystem via the live CHAT today – one of the great parts of the program, in my estimation. She said that I needed to switch to “nutrisystem’ instead of ‘turbo 13’ as the current stage of my program. (I had thought that when the NuMi page congratulated me on finishing the Turbo week, they would make any changes needed.) The kind lady switched my program stage for me and I was off to the races again.

We ate our first FLEX meal (meals eaten off the plan to teach you how to cope with the real world and not break your new eating plan). We’re supposed to eat one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one snack as Flex meals each week, preferably not on the same day. We ate our regular Lunch Bunch with our good friends, not wanting to change our cherished time together. My husband had his loved chicken fingers and I had a big salad and a hard boiled egg, figuring I was eating two servings of veggies and one powerfuel.

We are delighted to be eating FRUIT again!  We haven’t eaten fruit in maybe over a year, due to my husband being a type II diabetic and our trying to eat low carb. It’s such a treat! My husband’s blood sugar number yesterday was the lowest it’s been since we have been monitoring it!

We are making changes to our next order on almost a daily basis, finding things we don’t particularly care for, and other things we really like and want more of. The website makes it easy to do that.

So, my confusion and upset from yesterday was solved today. I’ll happily dive into the freezer this evening for a nice entree for each of us and probably an ice cream sandwich!!!

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Beginning of Week 2 on Nutrisystem

I ate and drank the last of the contents of the ‘Magic Red Box’ (Turbo 13) week on Nutrisystem. By the end of the week, though, due to my not paying enough attention, I guess, I was down to a bar for breakfast, a shake, a bar for lunch, a bar mid afternoon, and a ‘Hearty Beef Stew” that was the size of my eyeball for dinner (plus veggies, of course, and lots and lots of water.

I’m recording everything I eat and drink, plus my daily activities, on NuMi, their tracker, to keep me honest.

I lost almost 5 lbs (4.8) during the week, which is WONDERFUL. I just measured. It shows I’m down a bit more than 4 inches, but measurement is an iffy thing, kind of like interpretation of ‘facts’ you hear on the news, so I’ll believe it more when I measure at the end of week 2.

This morning I dived into the freezer and got the first of my actual ‘choices’ for the first month – a turkey sausage and egg muffin. YUM! I was also supposed to eat a Powerfuel, but I honestly was too full after the muffin and the 16 oz bottle of water, so I put it in the fridge and will plan to eat it later.

This week starts the way we’ll be eating for the foreseeable future. So far, my husband is resisting at least half of the veggies, isn’t trying to drink water (though he drinks unsweetened tea during the day and a sugarless apple cider hot drink) and refused the Powerfuel this morning,  He doesn’t want to talk about NuMi, much less try to keep up with it, so I won’t bug him about that. I’m going to TRY to get him to eat and drink what he’s supposed to on his Diabetic plan, but he’s a big boy and can make his own choices. That said, his blood sugar this morning was the lowest it’s been since we’ve been monitoring it and he has lost 3 lbs. !!!!!!  :0)

I will start trying to do yoga and the elliptical trainer each day now. My husband refuses to ‘exercise,’ but is in much better shape than I, so I will not criticize.

Main feelings of both of us at the beginning of week 2 – 

  • we’re both glad we started the program
  • my husband has found a few food items he wants to change on our order for month # 2, but we’re able to do this whenever we want online. They post a deadline for making changes, so we know when the last day is for changing choices
  • neither of us has been hungry, though occasionally we long for old, bad habits a bit
  • we’re happy that our primary doctor was pleased to hear we had started the program. We have a regular, follow-up appointment in 3 months, and we’re hoping both our weight losses and blood test numbers will be improved.

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Before-After Power Company

Yesterday I told you that the Electric company guys were here to cut back trees where they encroached on power lines. This is to increase the changes that their customers won’t lose power in a storm and that they can actually get to the poles to repair any damage.

This is a trio of three evergreens essentially grown together to make one bird habitat. We had to have part of the tree cut back pretty severely several years ago when we added geothermal heating and cooling in order for the big tractors to be able to dig and maneuver. If you look carefully, you can see a power line essentially going through part of the tree.

This is one view of the ‘before’ the power company did their work.




After – This is a bit different view, but you can see that they really cut the top out of the trees to free up the power lines.



Here’s another ‘before’ shot, showing the encroachment of the tree into the lines.


After – You can see in this pic that they essentially cut down half of one side of the tree.

I’m a bit sad. I don’t know what happened with all the birds that were living there. Hopefully, they’ll survive the trauma and come back, even though their digs are looking pretty damaged. The power company didn’t come to make landscaping changes – they came to protect their power lines. We like power, and we don’t want our trees to be the cause of anyone losing theirs. We also want the men working on the lines to be as safe as possible. It’s just a sad day when trees that have been there for longer than 30 years have to be sacrificed…

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And So It Begins – Getting the Lard Off – Day Three

We started Nutrisystem on Thursday of this week, the 26th. So far I’ve lost 3.6 lbs.

The Nutrisystem people stress that you shouldn’t weigh yourself every day. They suggest once a week. I’ve always weighed myself every day, though, and I need the feedback that I’m going in the right direction, or at least staying reasonably steady. Even though this is just water loss, I feel happy that I have a good start. I have a long way to go, but losing weight is a great thing to be doing with my time each day. :0)

They also stress not to do any exercise the first week. Well, that’s all well and good, but I’m getting lots of exercise getting up to go to the bathroom all day (and many times at night, too.)  Plus, life goes on, and I need to get things accomplished around here; so, no formal exercise until next week, but I HAVE been being active.

Example – since winter FINALLY seems to be over, we took the snow tires off the Honda Ridgeline yesterday and put the regular tires on. This is a laborious project, but after doing it twice a year for several years now, we have it almost down to a science. My husband does the heavy stuff, like getting the tires onto the “wheel studs.” (I just had to ask my husband what was the actual name for those. I hate to call everything ‘thingies.’) I’m a pretty good go-fer – rolling the snow tires out of the way, rolling the regular tire over to my husband, handing him the wheel nuts, bringing him tools, putting things away, etc. It takes us about half an hour now, when the first time it took us twice that.

I also planted a 6-pack of tomato plants and several squares of radishes yesterday. Since we don’t have our irrigation system going yet, later I got a hose hooked up and watered them.  I rolled up our big fireplace rug and stored it under the stairs in a storage place and then vacuumed the living room, foyer, and office. The big thing yesterday was washing the two large dog bed covers, airing out the innards, then putting everything back together.

Add to that setting a timer so that we stay on our program for the day, eating every 3 hours, and you have much of our day yesterday.

My attitude is better since we’re finally on the road again to getting the lard off. I’m hopeful that as the extra weight comes off, we’ll feel better and better.

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


Today is our first day on NutriSystem. I’m on the Uniquely Yours (for fat ladies) program and am eating from the Turbo 13 (magic) red box. My husband is on the Diabetic Uniquely Yours for Men. I ate the Maple Sugar Oatmeal breakfast and my husband ate the Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal. I don’t care for oatmeal, but it was easy to fix and I found it palatable.

We essentially eat and drink all day –

8:30 breakfast
11:30 Snack One (first week a shake)
2:30 Lunch + veggie
5:30 Snack Two – (first week a nutrition bar)
8:30 Dinner + veggie
+ at least 64 oz of water (I’ll try for a 16 oz bottle of water for each main meal, and then one sipped during the day.)

For exercise, we’ll run back and forth to the bathroom from drinking all the water!

I have to tell you that, since my husband and I tend to use “National Tissue Week” as an excuse to go off our good eating plans, having meals (and especially portions) will be a great wake up call for us. I don’t seem to have the proper whatevers that are supposed to tell you you are full. I could eat a full meal and then eat another an hour later, so I’m also looking forward to only having to go three hours between eating.

The last time we tried Nutrisystem several years ago, they didn’t offer frozen food, and the variety of foods was less than we would have liked. Now it could be months before we can try everything! I’m also hoping that they won’t start discontinuing the options my husband has chosen, as they did last time. That was the thing that made us stop. Now they have as a major focus teaching you what is healthy to eat, what a reasonable portion is, and have you practice flex meals once each week from Week 2 on. This gives you a chance to not only learn how to choose what to eat if you eat out, but guidance as to what to eat for home-cooked meals so that you can learn healthy habits from the outset.

This morning I started NuMi, a food tracker to guide you through the program. You can input your goals, monitor your progress, record what you eat and drink, etc. One of the first questions was where I was in the program. When I input that this was my first day on the Turbo 13 week of Uniquely Yours for Fat Women, it immediately came up with what I was supposed to be eating today. I input my maple sugar oatmeal and it told me how many more calories I had allotted for the day, and showed me what else I would be eating.

I went through the quick tour, then immediately screwed up. I hit the ‘fast entry’ button for breakfast, and then decided I wanted to actually type in what I ate. I had a time getting the first entry off, but finally did it.

I hope that this program will help us, indeed, get the lard off, and teach us how to KEEP it off once we reach our goals. My husband will reach his goal before I do, but I’m hoping he’ll keep me company, continuing to use the program, or be satisfied with my new cooking choices and techniques.

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

Almost There!

Our frozen stuff was just delivered by Fedex. It was nicely packed in large styrofoam coolers with dry ice, the whole cooler shrink-wrapped and clearly labeled whose was whose.

We have just finished putting things away. It turned out that our frozen snacks went into the freezer in the pantry. Mine fit in one gallon sized ziplock bag, so I didn’t have to mark anything. Of the three trays I had cleaned out in the chest type freezer in the garage, my husband’s frozen stuff filled two of them to the brim. I put some of my stuff in the third tray, and put others in gallon ziplock bags. It’s really clear whose stuff is whose, so I didn’t have to mark those, either. :0)



Today is our last hurrah of ‘free eating.’ I’m not sure how we’ll spend it.

Tomorrow morning will start the first day of our Nutrisystem plans.


Any time you change your eating habits violently, there will be snags. We have Lunch Bunch Friday. I’ll go to visit with my friends and have a glass of water, opting to religiously stay on the program until I get a ‘flex meal’ NEXT week. My husband has opted to get his regular chicken fingers for Lunch Bunch. One meal off the plan in the first week won’t be the end of the world. He has agreed to do this, so I’ll work on getting him to go with the program as much as possible.

Tomorrow I’ll make us a salad bowl – two cups each for each of us , so all we have to do is dip out the servings when it’s time to eat lunch or dinner. I’ll also plan to serve us a cup each of broccoli with our dinner.  (A serving is one cup of raw non-starchy veggies or 1/2 cup of cooked veggies, so this will be our 4 servings for the day.)


“Here is a quick glance at what you’ll eat during your first week on Nutrisystem:*

  • Nutrisystem Breakfast from Turbo Takeoff Box  (Husband chooses from his stash)
  • TurboShake (for women) or Nutri-Pro Shakes (for men)
  • Nutrisystem Lunch from Turbo Takeoff Box (husband chooses from his stash)
  • NutriCurb Bar
  • Nutrisystem Dinner from Turbo Takeoff Box (husband chooses from his stash)
  • At least four servings of non-starchy veggies and 64 ounces of water throughout the day


(Exercise is taken care of from drinking the 64 (at least) oz of water each day. Our eyeballs will be swimming, and we’ll be running to the bathroom a lot. :0)”

I hope that you are finding ways to take good care of yourself.  Hopefully, this will be the start of our getting the lard off, moving more, and feeling better and better.

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating

Good News re Getting the Lard Off!


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

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

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

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

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



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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, taking care of yourself

Feeling a BIT Empowered Today

I finally got the hang of bookmarks on the new PC!  Most of the stuff I’m doing on the new machine, including trying to write blog posts, I’m like an elephant trying to walk between two buildings high in the air on a tightrope – and I’m afraid of heights. I feel extremely awkward, brain-challenged and get frustrated really quickly.

BOOKMARKS – on the other hand – are now good. :0)

I now have all the ones we imported from the MAC, and the others imported that I had put on FireFox, on the new PC. I can now save a website to a bookmark I’ve created, change one to another section, change the name of one, create a new bookmark, etc. Yesterday I figured out how to create SUB-directories, so I was able to organize the many websites I’ve bookmarked for gardening. HOOOOORAAAAY!

One thing learned, a gazillion to go; but the empowerment has begun!

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, empowerment, Encouragement

Trying to Get Ready for Nutrisystem

The ads for men say, “Eat the food, lose the weight.” Simple, right?

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. My husband agreed to get on the “Diabetic Uniquely Yours for Men, Custom Menu.” As far as HE’S concerned now, it’s ‘Eat the food, lose the weight.” I ordered “Uniquely Yours for Women – Custom Menu” for me.

In order to get him to try this, I had to do a LOT of prep work. We’ve been on Nutrisystem before, several years ago. We quit because my husband was irate that they discontinued all the meals he liked, one at a time. The number of choices wasn’t as good back then, and they didn’t offer frozen stuff as they do now. He’s really gun-shy after our first experience, so I’m trying to run interference as much as possible.

I finally got things so he could sit down in his chair beside me at the computer and he could choose what looked good while I made notes. At one point when we started with his order I thought it was ‘game over,’ because his lunch choices weren’t coming up when we were on the lunch ordering page. I contacted the chat expert, and we finally figured out that do to some error on my part, we had somehow gotten on the dinner page. THAT was why the things he wanted didn’t show. The chat guy, Jeff, helped us figure things out.

I then fought through trying to order MY plan. At first they wouldn’t let me use my email address with another password. I got on chat again, explained my husband didn’t want to receive any emails from them, so I had used my email to order his plan. She figured out a way around the problem, guided me through the maze again, and I was really grateful.


Since we placed our orders, I’ve been reading everything on the website, trying to figure out what to expect. You can find answers, but there is a LOT to go through to get them. I’ve finally started a notebook, printed things and put them in the notebook for quicker reference.

I found out through the reading that they ship the non-frozen stuff separately from the frozen stuff. This makes sense because the frozen stuff comes in a truck rigged to carry frozen things. I got the emails that both of our non-frozen orders were shipping today. I can’t track them yet, so I don’t know when to expect them. They’ll send more emails when the frozen stuff ships.

I have cleaned out freezers to get ready to store our food when it arrives. The non-frozen food won’t be as hard to store. I’ve figured out a system for marking my husband’s food so we don’t get things mixed up. He’s sneering at me, but doesn’t have a better suggestion, so I’ll do what I planned and see if it works.

I’m still looking for the cut-off date for changing the items on our next order is. I’m sure that we’ll find things we really don’t care for (at least we did the first time.) I want to be sure I can change our order in time that we don’t get 6 more of something we hate the next month.

I have put up ‘what we eat the first week’ on the fridge in the kitchen. I’m sure my husband will balk at eating 6 times a day, but I will encourage it, just the same. Then, if he doesn’t, at least I tried.

So far, I’m ending up brain-dead by dinner time, after working on this a lot of the day for several days now, trying to figure out what to do when we start. I’ve decided our “4 servings of veggies each day” will be salad with lunch and dinner.  Otherwise, if needed, I’ll have cherry tomatoes and celery ready to put on our plates.

I have some of our flex meals figured out. We have ice cream after bowling once a week with friends. That’s our on-our-own snack for the week. Our on-our-own lunch will be when we meet our friends for Friday’s “Lunch Bunch.” (I’ll switch to making a salad at the salad bar.) Not sure what we’ll do for our on-our-own dinner, but I have time yet. On-our-own breakfast won’t be a problem. I like that they are encouraging us to pay attention to what we’re eating from the beginning of the program, both what is prepared for us and what we choose for our flex meals.

Just “Eat the food, lose the weight.” Yeah.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off

Breaking Bad Habits – Getting the Lard Off


We have made a major decision on our efforts to get the lard off.

I’ve been cooking low-carb for quite a while now. We’re healthier than we were, but one or both of us keeps cheating and it’s been going on too long. My appetite is enough to kill a horse, and my husband describes me lovingly as, “Mean as a snake” when I’m hungry. He is Type 2 Diabetic (although he doesn’t admit it, thinking you’re only diabetic if you need to inject insulin). He eats what I fix him and THEN also eats no-sugar-added stuff, plus regular stuff he shouldn’t, and then gets frustrated when his A1C numbers are still too high. We had a frank discussion and decided that we have been kidding ourselves and needed help.

We were on NutriSystem before, several years ago. We did well, but we quit because they discontinued all the things my husband liked, one by one, and there weren’t that many choices.  When we quit, we put the weight right back on. :0(

Since then, they have developed a program for Type II diabetics!  There are 150 choices on his plan, plus a LOT of frozen choices, allowing the food to be a lot more appetizing. (At least they sound and look that way in the pictures.)  We ordered the first month’s “Uniquely Yours Diabetic Plan for Men – Custom Menu.”

I got the regular plan for fat ladies – “Uniquely Yours for Women – Custom Menu.” 

We used their chat service for ordering both, since we had a lot of questions and had some problems navigating the site. Both people were really helpful. Our first month’s food is on its way.

I’m trying to get organized for the new program. I cleaned out our freezers as much as possible, since both of us ordered a lot of frozen foods. It’s supposed to come on a truck made to carry frozen stuff. If we’re not here to receive it when they come, they pack it in dry ice that will keep it good for 6 to 8 hours. I think our food is supposed to come within 4 to 10 business days. I’m going to see if I can narrow it down so we can make plans.  I don’t know if the non-frozen stuff comes separately from the frozen or not.

There are several guides on the website. There was a mention of supplementing their food with salad and veggies. I’m trying to look at these, print them, and make notes on what we ordered. We decided to use the auto-delivery system, saving money, and we’re supposed to be able to change our next month’s order if we want to. I’ll have to find out when the cut off date is for that.

The low carb eating plan is a good one, but not when you stray off the plan for excuses, such as National Pickle Week, Friend’s Day, or whatever, constantly, it understandably doesn’t work well.

The new Nutrisystem plan is attempting to guide you on eating sensibly when you’re not eating the prepared foods, so you’re on your own once a week for a breakfast, a lunch, a dinner, and a snack. (We can build this into our lives fairly easily, using our “Lunch Bunch” on Fridays as our lunch out, and our bowling evening as our snack out, and then winging the on-your-own dinner and breakfast each week.

We’re hoping that there are enough choices that even if they discontinue things we like, we can substitute others. Time will tell.

I’m going to use their “NUMI” tracking software, too. I’m planning to really pay attention to the ingredients on what we’re eating, reading labels to get an idea of what we’re eating, how many calories, etc., so I can plan to carry on when we don’t need to be on the plan anymore.

We’re looking forward to actually getting the lard off, instead of just kidding ourselves.

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THING ONE and THING TWO at the Vet’s Office Today

Amber – 11 months old

Yesterday I received emails from our veterinarian’s office saying the Amber and Smoke needed to tell their owners that they needed their annual shots. I called the office and found out that if they didn’t need an exam, we could come any time. I said we would try to come first thing, which meant about 8:30.


Smoke – about 2-1/2 years old.

My husband found Smoke this morning and stuffed her into the cat carrier. Amber loves to go anywhere in the car, so we just said “CAR” and she followed us out, jumping into the car with a look of joy on her face.

Smoke meowed plaintively a couple of times on the way to the vet, but wasn’t completely freaked out, as our other cat, Abby, was, recently.

On the way to the vet’s, we saw a CALF crossing the road! Amber immediately wanted to go SEE the calf, getting the whole upper part of her body out of the window. I yelled at my husband, having to CONVINCE him that if the dog DID get out, all he could say was, “I really didn’t think she would/could do that.” AND we would have to deal with the consequences. He finally raised the windows a bit so that Amber was free to stick her head out, but nothing more.

When we got to the vet, my husband thought we should change Amber’s collar from the regular shock collar we use during the day to the no-pull collar we keep with the leash in the car. Since it’s a hassle, and I thought the shock collar would be good enough, we didn’t change and went into the vet’s office.

There were two other dogs there. Amber, of course, wanted to see and sniff each one. My husband tried to keep her under control, but she was strong enough the leash wasn’t holding well. It kept slipping because she was so strong even though he was using the zapper. I was wrong and admitted it when we got back into the car after we got the shots. We will just take the time necessary to change collars the next time.  (We weighed Amber, and she is now 94.2 lbs.)

We are still very much on a learning curve as far as taking animals to the vet. Smoke was very calm, meowing only a few times on the way home and calmed down when I stuck my fingers through the front caged door of the carrier and talked to her. Amber was fine again when she got back into the car.



Only let the car windows down half way in the back when Amber is with us.


Don’t let Amber out of the car until we have changed from the shock collar to the no-pull collar.

PLUS – it would be a good idea to continue to walking-on-the-leash lessons at home because when we are out in public, Amber is a BIG dog with LITTLE brain…

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Challenges, Changes, Family

Bookmarks Progress!

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

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

I now can –

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

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

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


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


Can you hear me gnashing my teeth and muttering bad words?

I’m TRYING to move my computer FireFox bookmarks from the MAC to my new PC. I’m also trying to export my FireFox bookmarks on my new PC to Chrome, because my husband hates FireFox for some unknown reason. Since I need for him to help me on the computer, I’ll set things up the way he thinks is best and THEN I might bite him in the leg. I mainly want to be able to find things and use them, so I don’t really care how things are organized. I’m so awkward on the new computer anyway, it won’t make any appreciable difference in my learning curve.

I have NO patience with hardware or software. I only know enough to USE things once they’re working properly. Right now I have to tell you I’m thinking about throwing ALL of it out the window…

My project for the day is to try to use the newly imported bookmarks list to

  • figure out if I can access the websites using the URLs provided in the list
  • decide if I want to delete some of the bookmarks imported because I’m no longer using them
  • move bookmarks to a reasonable folder (I’m used to having a bunch of things open at the same time, moving from one to the next with abandon and back again.)  I have been told this is bad policy and that no one should use the bookmarks toolbar, for example, so I’ll need to figure out a way to access things quickly under the new system
  • Each of the programs I was familiar with on the MAC is either a version specific to Microsoft, or we have an equivalent program on the new machine, so how I do things has changed. I work until I tear my hair out and then do something else for awhile.

In order to stop myself from automatically clicking on the FireFox icon, I have deleted it, leaving only the Chrome icon to get to the Internet

I’m going to tackle my bookmarks now, taking a deep breath and determinedly diving in.

Wish me luck?


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I’m Making Progress (I THINK)


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Exploding Head Syndrome

Rebel Circus

My husband was upset that I was using an iMAC and he was using a PC with Microsoft Windows 10. He’s a computer guru, used to being able to solve things when I screw them up. Our son is also a guru, but he lives and works halfway across the world and is not always available to help. My husband has been badgering me for a long time and I finally gave in.

He built the computer from scratch. What SHOULD have been a simple plug-it-all-in turned into a major nightmare because of compatibility problems. We returned parts, ordered more, replaced others, and were tearing our hair out. (Actually, I wasn’t tearing MY hair out because I didn’t really want to change to the PC and Microsoft :0) ) The problem turned out to be the video card. Once he got a compatible one in, the computer booted the way it was supposed to and the progress in earnest began.

After using a PC for years, my son got me to switch to the iMAC. Since we did this while he was home, I made as many notes as possible and learned as much as I could before he left. It was really difficult for this old lady to change, since everything I ‘knew’ how to do was wrong, but I finally managed to do most of the things I wanted to do on the iMAC.

Yesterday was the start of MY exploding head.  I’m back to where even the MOUSE is difficult. I’m used to using one that is flat. Now I’m back to using a regular mouse. All my instincts are wrong again. My head is exploding!  I start typing and get a bunch of gobbledy-gook. I have a nice ergonomic keyboard to use, but my fingers are used to the other board.

The only REAL  problems were not being able to move my bookmarks the way we thought we could, and my pictures file showing ‘icons’ instead of pictures. I had laboriously made a list of my bookmarks  (I have a lot). It’s a good thing I did because now I’m putting on bookmarks one by one as I need them. This is the first post I’ve done since switching to the new PC, new keyboard, new mouse, new look to everything. ARRRRRRGGGGHHHHH!

My husband finally got Password Safe working. This is crucial because you can’t get into any of the programs or websites you use all the time without it. Lots of bad words were said by everyone, including Amber, who desperately wanted to play tug of war; but finally he prevailed. I asked him to help me move the new stuff into place, moving the iMAC, keyboard and mouse to the side in case I need something. I figure I’ll learn faster if I’m FORCED to try to do things on the new equipment. I’ll also figure out things we forgot, etc.

Right now, I’m not an unhappy camper, but definitely a TIRED one.


Dusky’s Wonders

Wish me luck?



Filed under Challenges, Changes



My husband is building me a new computer. He really doesn’t like my iMAC and wants to be able to help me when I have problems. He has almost gotten things to the point where we can start putting data onto the new computer.

ON THE ONE HAND – it would be good to have an in-house computer guy to help when my computer goes wonky. Our son has helped me, but he’s across the world from us now -with a 12-hour time difference – and busy with his own life and pressures. ON THE OTHER HAND – I feel fairly comfortable with the iMAC and am really not looking forward to having to relearn how to use Microsoft – specifically Windows Microsoft 10, and have to learn all over again how to do what I want to do.

I went through this before when I changed to the iMAC. Everything I knew how to do was wrong on the MAC. Even the mouse was a pad, rather than a mouse. (You can’t left click or right click on a pad, for example.) All my programs were different. How I access my pictures was different. It didn’t even have Word or Excel or Capture Pro….

Now I’m pretty used to the new regime. It isn’t perfect, and there are some things that aggravate me, but I don’t learn new things nearly as easily as I used to. Technology has always been magic to me. (Kind of like electricity – I know how to USE it, but have no clue what actually happens to make it so the light comes on.)

So I’m ambivalent. Life is too short for my husband to be aggravated all of the time that we can’t share files as readily as we once did. Neither of us is in a position to problem-solve, or figure out how to overcome differences, so it makes sense to make my husband secure in the knowledge that he knows how our computers work, how they are set up (pretty much the same), and what to do in any given situation.

This morning, though, we tried to move one file from my computer to the new one – just to see what was involved. I tried to export it from here and import it over there. Nope. I tried simply dragging and dropping the file from where it was on my computer to the new one. It said it needed ‘authentication,’ and that I needed to get permission from my administrator. Supposedly, I AM the administrator!

This is the point at which I want to throw ALL computers out the window and tie my posts to the leg of a pigeon and hope for the best….


Filed under Challenges, Changes


Since I’ve been feeling really creaky lately, I’ve been trying to do a session of “Yoga for Old Broads” each day.

(This is actually “Gentle Yoga” via Sixty & Me  designed for people like me, who always wanted to try yoga but were intimidated, who have health issues, who are 60 and over, etc. This is a pair of DVDs by teacher Cat Kabira, a wonderful lady who makes you feel that whatever you can do to TRY to get into the poses is doing helpful to stretch out your muscles, make you more flexible, feel stronger, and move more easily without nearly as much discomfort.

I actually have the 2 DVD set plus a second one in the same series, with yoga practices for each day of the week.

Right now, since I’ve really been sore and almost POP when I get up or sit down, I’ve been concentrating on just doing some of the poses on my mat by myself, at a really slow speed, just trying to relax into the poses, breathing into them and feeling my muscles finally ‘give.’

If you are also feeling creaky, I encourage you to go to their website and order the set of videos. You’ll be amazed how much better you’ll feel.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, exercise, taking care of yourself

Open Wide…

I’m a wuss about going to the dentist.  In fact, for many years my husband or I took our son to the dentist, and my husband went, but I didn’t. Finally my husband got frustrated with me. He got me to go by threatening to NOT wear his motorcycle helmet if I didn’t. Nasty tactic – but effective. I went.

My husband has had to have a LOT of work on his teeth. He learned to avoid really awful problems by going to the dentist religiously, even while in the Marine Corps. There they seem to specialize in people who get the job done, but are not known for their bedside manner or being gentle with their patients. When he got out, he has always searched very carefully to find the best dentist he can.

He had to change when his dentist of many years retired. He asked him who he would recommend – who HE would go to. Dr. Wesley Moore, DDS was the one he recommended. We have gone to him for many years now and felt we were given a gift. Not only is HE a great dentist, he has a very carefully picked staff. Shannon was our hygienist for many years. She got me over my not-being-able-to-sleep the night before jitters and tense appointments by being a very gentle lady sensitive to the needs of her clients. When she heard my mom died of oral cancer and that I’m scared to death I’ll get it, too, she did my cancer exam first so I could relax more for the rest of the cleaning care. Very sadly, she and her husband died in a plane crash last year. We were all devastated.

Alesha was a substitute for both of the hygienists at Dr. Moore’s office. She was still in school to be a hygienist. Dr. Moore was happy with her, and so hired her, working with her so she could finish her certification and work for the clinic at the same time. I think she graduated at the end of December. Our first visit with her was hard. We were full of the loss of Shannon. Alesha knew her, was close to her, and well understood what her clients were feeling. She handled herself very well. Again Dr. Moore has chosen one of the best.

I still don’t like going to the dentist. I determinedly waved at Dr. Moore each time we went, speaking to him, but letting him know I liked him as a person, but didn’t want to EVER need to actually GO to him. Last year I had a tooth go bad suddenly. I’ve never had a cavity, much less had a tooth pulled. I was in terrible pain when I saw him, desperate for relief. He said he had an anesthesia where I was awake and could be cooperative with the procedure, but would take away the pain and I wouldn’t remember any details afterward. HEAVEN! He was right, too. I couldn’t be more grateful.

We go for our semi-annual teeth cleaning this morning. I still don’t want to go, but I didn’t have nightmares last night and didn’t have any trouble falling asleep.  Finding good people on whom you can depend is one of the most wonderful things you can have.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, taking care of yourself

Change of Plans

Alter and Hearth Magazine

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

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

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes

More Purging Progress


After our last donation of ‘stuff’ from my art room, I came up with more – about half a 39-gallon trash bag full, and the bag sitting in our foyer, waiting.

Today I enlisted my husband’s help. We went through some really big bins in the basement that were filled with coats, jackets, rain gear, vests, etc. that weren’t worn all this fall or winter. We are going to donate a good half or more of what we went through, freeing up two large bins and one small bin downstairs. We’ll plan to make a trip to Fort Smith sometime in the coming week with a donation to the Veterans Thrift Store.


My next reorganization project will be my greenhouse.  These are pics from BEFORE I started deciding what belonged out there. This will actually be an ‘organization,‘ – rather than ‘re,’ – because all I’ve done since my husband and I built the greenhouse is take stuff out there and stash it, waiting for spring. This will be my first time trying to make sense of the space I have out there. I want to set up a planting area, a supplies area, and then have kind of a staging area for when the seeds start to make actual plants and before they’re ready to go out in the garden.

I need to do something about the floor out there because the black weed barrier you see here has torn in several places. We have some leftover rolls of carpet that I’ll probably spread out in walkways as an interim measure. I’m planning to use some of the bricks we’ll have when we take down the two damaged planters we have now and replace them.  I’ve never tried to make walkways with bricks before, but this seems like a good thing to try.

As I get rid of things I’m feeling better and better. I’m happy that I’m finding lots of things that others might like to use. I feel good that I’m throwing what isn’t good away. It feels good to have LESS. And it feels GREAT to have what I KEEP more organized.  As I go around the house, I see more and more things that need to be gone through, more that needs to be given away or thrown away. Purging and reorganizing seems to be good for the soul.




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

I Know, I Know….


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Art Room Reorganization Project is Finished!


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


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


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




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


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


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


Paper supplies, craft envelopes, etc.


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

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


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