Category Archives: Changes

Juggling to Get the Lard Off

I’ve been doing well the last couple of days on my latest effort to lose the lard. This is my 3rd day of doing 15 minutes on my elliptical trainer in the garage (MUCH easier when I can get my music to play.)  I’m also folding myself into a paper airplane – doing 30 minutes of deep stretching yoga for old broads – slowly and carefully, as I’ve apparently tied myself in knots over the period I didn’t practice. I’ve done really well on my low-carb eating plan of  40 carbs per day and 1200 calories per day. Actually, I’ve had an easy time of staying under the calorie limit, but I’ve really had to juggle to get my carbs in line!

My laxness lately and the on-again-off-again cold weather here has caused my usually reasonable judgment to nosedive. My husband and I really like the fried catfish sold for lunch at one of the local deli’s. I’m getting two pieces of fish. (My husband gets the full dinner.)  Today I can make us a nice big salad for dinner with kielbasa leftovers from a recent grill outside.  Several times, though, I’ve wanted to serve our leftover beef stew with low carb garlic bread. It’s obvious that any time we go to the deli that idea is out!

The thing that is really helping me adjust my thinking, portions, and meals is MyFitnessPal.com.

I usually eat the same thing for breakfast every day except Friday, when we go to Lunch Bunch (brunch for us.) I can add things as I go, and then figure out the rest of the day thanks to their really superior, easy-to-use database of foods. I can hunt for something, find it and add it to my personal list, or I can add something if I can’t find it. I can keep changing and juggling until the numbers add up the way I want them to. I’ve tried several other record-your-eating-and-exercise websites, and I find this is the best one for me.

It makes me feel good to be giving healthier eating and exercise my best efforts again.

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

So Lucky

Williams Sonoma Raised Bed Planter – $179.00 plus shipping.

This is typical of what is called a “raised bed planter.”  It’s wonderful because you don’t have to worry about building up your soil or heavy duty weeding as you do in typical gardens. You can grow a good amount in a much smaller space, and it’s up from the ground. This is a nicely made one offered by Williams Sonoma.

When we first started square foot garden, this is what we did. We had two rows of raised bed planting areas –  The thing is, I still had to either bend over double to plant, weed, and harvest things from this. It was good, but it didn’t go far enough.  I’m old and I can’t do a lot of kneeling or bending over double anymore.

 

We decided, when the wood was beginning to deteriorate, that we could do better.

 

When we decided to break down what we had and redo it, we made metal table-like supports for boxes to ‘sit’ in. They are at about chest level on me, comfortable to stand up and be able to reach any side of the boxes with an easy reach. I have six 4’x4’x8″ wooden boxes on my supports, with hoses stretched down each row of three boxes for automatic timed irrigation. I can spray weed killer under the boxes or around the perimeter of the whole garden without bothering my veggies.

I stretch string across the wooden boxes to create 1 foot planting areas. Then I can plant according to the advice of Mel (the square foot gardening expert), either one plant in a square (cauliflower, broccoli, etc.), 4 plants in a square (lettuce, spinach, etc.), 9 plants in a square (carrots), or 16 plants in a square (radishes.)

I can plant standing up or sitting on a tall stool. I can pull weeds or harvest without kneeling or bending over double. The Mel’s Mix (peat moss, vermiculite, and as many different kinds of compost as you can find) has all the nutrients needed for the plants, replenished when you harvest all of a plant when you add a bit more. The soil’s consistency is such that pulling weeds is easy. The planting plan makes it easy for a beginning gardener like me to see what is a ‘good plant ‘vs a ‘weed.’

I’m really lucky that my husband spoils me rotten, figuring out how to tackle things like building the square foot garden in the first place, then improving it when we needed to pull up what we had done after several years. We also built the new greenhouse recently so that I can hopefully grow my own transplants, rather than having to depend on what is sold in stores locally. I’m hoping I can get a jump on the spring season, plus have more transplants growing in the greenhouse, ready to plant in the garden at the proper time.

Trying to grow some of our own veggies, plus flowers around the yard, is one of my favorite things. There is never enough time or energy – or cooperating weather – to do all I’d like to do. :0)

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, Changes, Greenwood, Lewis projects, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

It’s Up to YOU

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To me, this is NOT a Pollyanna-ish saying. It’s not that you simply paste a happy smile on your face and just decide to be happy (though sometimes this is a good technique). It’s an ongoing exercise in trying to control how you react to what happens around you. It’s taking bad things, doing what is in your control to do about them, and then stubbornly trying to see the bright side. You can choose to get mired in the fear, grief, and anger, or you can deliberately choose to get beyond those feelings, channeling them into something more positive, more life-giving.

I wasted a lot of time worrying. Usually I worried about things over which I had absolutely no control. I’m gradually making progress in recognizing old ruts and choosing NOT to fall into them again. If it’s at night, I get up, go downstairs and read to distract my worrisome thoughts that seem to spool in my head, playing over and over again with no solutions possible. The distracting myself allows me to let go – even just for a while – and focus on other things. During the day I get up and get involved in an activity that will take all of my attention.

When we lost our two-month old daughter to SIDS many years ago, my husband and I both seriously considered suicide. Our hearts and guts had been ripped out, and we couldn’t see any way we could go on. We looked at our two-year-old son, though, and realized how selfish we were being. He needed us. My husband needed me. Minute by minute we consciously decided that we would give everything we had left to the ones we loved. We decided to try to help each other work through the pain and find reasons to reach out to each other and our son and become stronger together. We chose not to allow this horrible thing to ruin the rest of our lives.

I consciously look for reasons to be happy. To be honest, I’m truly surrounded by wonderful things. I’m continually finding sights, sounds, and activities that make me happy. I’m working every day to live in the NOW – to appreciate all I have. I rejoice that I have the freedom to decide how I’m going to spend my day. I’m getting better at controlling what and who I allow to come into my life.  I’m getting better at deciding how I will react to things I can’t control, but must deal with. Every morning I choose to MAKE it a good day.

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Encouragement

Spoiled Woman

mrkate.com

This is me – except for her youth, beauty, and lack of clothes…

I’ve been up in our master bathroom trying to organize my jewelry. I have FOUR nice wall-mounted jewelry holders.

I brought in a purse from my art room that was filled with jewelry and turned it upside-down on the step beside the tub. I reasoned that one holder would hold ‘silver’ jewelry, one ‘gold,’ one primarily for holiday stuff, and one miscellaneous. (The quotes around silver and gold are because I mainly wear costume jewelry.)  I have a few REAL pieces; but I decided long ago that the more something cost, the more nervous I was wearing it. I also had a stroke if a stone were lost, or I actually LOST the piece. I decided that the few really valuable pieces I had would mainly be put away for safe keeping. The jewelry that is in-between in value I wear, but more carefully.

I stopped in the middle of trying to add the jewelry from the purse to the holders, because the holders were getting full.  I KNEW I needed to purge, putting the pieces that were still good in the donation pile. The ones that have stones missing will be put in the “if I ever get serious about trying to make jewelry’ pile.

I’m down here typing this because, though I’m making progress, I feel pretty overwhelmed. I have a lot of jewelry I really like – more than one woman should have, I suspect. (think Imelda Marcos with shoes). I’m trying to become more and more ruthless, thinking when it was I last wore something. If I haven’t worn it in a LONG time, it gets purged.

This was becoming agonizing, so I decided to take a break. I’ll gather up all my RUTHLESS motivation and go up and purge a bunch more stuff. Hopefully, at the end of it, I’ll not only be able to hang everything up, I’ll have some room left to buy more stuff!

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Organizing/DeCluttering

Fun Friday

This is like the two jewelry holders I ordered recently from JewelryHoldersForYou on Etsy. Mine are a nice cherry wood finish.

I’m going to go up today and see what sense I can make of my completely unorganized jewelry. If I get enough accomplished, I’ll take some pics and show you.

Yesterday I didn’t feel well. I slept all day long, rousing only to eat or go to the bathroom, moving from my recliner to the couch and back again. I then slept all night long, awaking feeling much, much better!

I had called and told my Lunch Bunch friends that we wouldn’t be there today. I called them again this morning and said we WOULD! We had a good time, as always, catching up on what was going on with the three of us.  We did our errands on the way home and are now in for the rest of the day.

It’s a much nicer day than we’ve had lately. We’re supposed to get to a high of 61 degrees F. and the sun is shining brightly. My spirits soared when I saw such a beautiful day. Amber did her ‘run like a mad thing’ act when we went out earlier. She LOVES the cooler weather.

So – I’m up to the master bath to start trying to bring some kind of order to my jewelry.

I hope you have something fun to do with your afternoon, too.

 

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Organizing/DeCluttering

Big Move

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Amber

 

Molly

As the temperatures are finally dropping (by Sunday – today and tomorrow we’re still having summer) we talked about the fact that we need to move Amber’s crate somewhere inside. This is not a simple issue because we have been leaving the door to the crate open, so she’s not confined at night. She gets into it when we put her to bed for the night, but we’re not at all sure if she actually sleeps in it. Sometimes she is in it in the morning when we open the door to the back porch, and sometimes she isn’t.

We can’t trust her on her own, yet. If she’s inside, we find she has dumped a trashcan. In the mornings, the first thing she does after going outside and then having her breakfast, is dash into the pantry to see if we’ve forgotten to pick up Molly’s dish. If we have, she brings it out and starts chewing on it. We either close the people gate that is in the doorway to our office to keep her in with us, or we go into the living room, telling her to get in her ‘place,’ the huge dog bed in there. We have found out the hard way that we need to monitor her, inside and out.

My husband – a lover of simple decisions, just wants to start leaving her inside, hoping that she and Molly will share the huge dog bed in the utility room. When I pointed out a lot of other considerations, we agreed that the subject was a bit more complicated.

We’ve now agreed that my husband will move the people walk-through gate from the doorway to the back porch to the doorway between the utility room and our dining area. This will confine both dogs to the utility room, plus cut off Amber’s access to the pantry. I don’t even want to THINK about the damage she could cause – happily eating her way through the night and dumping whatever she didn’t like or had trouble reaching.  We’ll move Amber’s crate, with liner and towels, into the utility room. I want her to have her safe area if she wants it, at least until we see evidence that she and Molly are doing well with the new sleeping arrangements. Since Amber and Molly are actually playing a bit now, I’m hopeful that this move will go relatively smoothly. Tomorrow night will tell…

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Challenges, Changes, Family

“What a Difference a Day Makes…”

John Greenleaf Whittier

Yesterday the high was 92 degrees F. Today it’s 62.

Yesterday we worked in the yard wearing sweat bands. Today we worked in the yard wearing light jackets.

We’ve been using the attic fan for the nice, cool breeze to help us sleep better. Last night I almost froze my rear end off, getting up to turn off the attic fan, shut the window, and turn on the electric blanket for a bit when the temperatures touched 46 degrees.

Amber is in heaven today. I think she thought that having to pant much of the day was just the way it was. Today the cooler temperatures energized her to the point we stood and laughed as she ran round and round the house, then turned and ran full out the other direction several times. We also played ball for quite awhile this morning, and my husband is out with her right now.

We started to have the doors open this morning, and then closed up because we were too cool in here!

My husband went to the basement to get us some jackets to hang up.

It’s only going to be this way for a couple of short days, and then we’ll have Indian summer, with temperatures in the high 80s again, but what a lovely dose of fall we’re having!

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Filed under Arkansas, Changes, Greenwood, Mother Nature

A Step Too Far

We got the competitor of the Sleep Number Mattress (Comfortaire) in January of 2006. At that time we would have had to buy a bed frame, headboard, etc. in order to put in the new mattress because it’s basically two fancy air mattresses each with its own control. We looked all around, but were out of style yet again in that people didn’t want bookcase headboards. We decided to build our own.

This is what we built. Not as elegant as what you see in the stores, but the headboard has storage, controls for various things in the middle, lights, etc. The bed frame is solid wood and weighs a ton (more or less :0) ) It’s strong enough to house all the stuff you need to control the air in the mattress, the pump, hoses, etc., and the mattresses themselves, kind of like building a frame for a swimming pool.

We made frames on the headboard so we could decorate it with river rock.

 

We love this bed because we’re never in agreement on how firm the mattress should be. I also tend to change my firmness from time to time to accommodate my back, while my husband sets it and forgets it, other than hitting the button to replace any air that has been lost.

We also like an electric blanket for the same reason. With dual controls, we can both be comfortable. In January of 2006 my husband decided to ‘be neat’ with the electronics for the blanket. The wires ran all over the place, so he put the wires that ran from the headboard to the end of the blanket in the space under the plywood that was the mattress support of the frame of the bed. He also wired the controls into the headboard nicely, and THEN finished putting the headboard together.

This has worked beautifully for 11 years. I realized that when we put the electric blanket on the bed this time (because we LOVE to have the attic fan on at night when the weather allows it), I had it set on HIGH, but it was only warm. I froze to death several nights in a row, even with adding an afghan on my side of the bed,  before telling my husband we needed to get a new electric blanket.

We got busy during the day yesterday, but we decided to plug in the new blanket when we went up to bed last night. Easy, peezy, right?

When it became clear that we would have to take the whole bed apart in order to get the wiring for the non-functioning blanket out, I told my husband I refused. We ended up cutting the wires, cutting off the controls, and cutting off the plug in at the end of the bed. (Needless to say, our former plans of saving the blanket in case of emergency went out the window. It doesn’t make a good blanket by itself, so we can’t even donate it now. :0(  )  I did mention that we might have gone a step too far in trying to be neat 11 years ago…

At a little after 1 a.m. this morning, we finally got the bed together again with clean sheets, the new electric blanket with modernized controls,  a comforter, etc.

We both slept blissfully well last night. Ahhhhh.

 

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance

Disenfranchised…

As you get older, it doesn’t take much to make you feel disenfranchised, lost, with the emotional rug pulled out from under you. We’ve had two such occurrences lately, so I’m trying to be proactive so we can feel support under us again as soon as possible.

I’ve already told you in other posts that our dear dental hygienist and her husband died in a plane crash in August. The hole in our hearts will remain a long time, freshly opened every six months when we go for exams and cleaning. We went for our regularly scheduled appointment this month. As I expected, Dr. Moore found a winner for the position. She had worked there part-time and everyone there liked her, including Shannon. I had my exam and cleaning first. When my husband went in for his, Dr. Moore came out to visit with me, ask me what I thought of Alisha, and hug my neck for the card and letter I sent. Thanks to Dr. Moore for choosing someone who would fit in well with the rest of the kind, caring folks in his office.  We remain in good hands.

The next blow came when my friend Kay asked us at Lunch Bunch a couple of weeks ago, “What do you think of Dr. Jackson leaving?” She knew, by the way our mouths hung open like gutted fish, that we didn’t know. After checking with the clinic and doing some research, we have found that our wonderful Dr. Jackson has relocated to Russellville, about an hour and a half away from us. His new situation is definitely good for him and his future. We’re happy for him and sad for us. We wrote a letter thanking him for his good care of us.

We researched the physician who will take Dr. Jackson’s place. She seems very qualified. When I read the part that listed her hobbies – one of them being ‘hunting,’ my husband was sold. He immediately said, “We’ll go to her.”

My husband is running out of samples of a drug that is really working for him. We didn’t get a prescription yet, so this is a bit of a problem. I kept calling to try to get an appointment with the new doc, but was told to try back in a week or so – they weren’t okayed to make appointments with her yet. Finally, last Friday I called and got both of us an appointment with her on her first day at the clinic, October 2nd.

To this end, I thought it would help her if we could give a short description of who we are and what we need. That’s more difficult than it sounds. I’m making a list for each of us of our prescriptions, dosages, times we take them per day, and what for, and then the supplements we take. I’m also going to scan our quarterly blood tests from last month. This way, in two pages, she can see each of us in a nutshell without our taking an undue amount of her time.

Maybe we’ll feel the ground settle a bit after we’ve seen her, get the prescriptions we need, and set up for our first quarterly appointment. Changes aren’t fun. They’re disconcerting. But, happily, in our case so far, the changes are doable.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes

Do You Ever…

Zen to Zany

I told you recently that my husband and I ‘cut the cord’ and cancelled our association with Dish TV. (We had previously cut our Internet service with Dish because we discovered that WOW (World of Wireless in Fort Smith) could give us better service via a tower on the ridge line behind us.)

With this newest change, many of our TV viewing habits had to change. We used to keep the TV on Fox News most of the day. We also recorded a bunch of TV shows we liked via our DVR and would watch in the evenings. We didn’t even know what night or network provided the shows we watched. They were just there when we wanted.

Although these two things were nice, we were paying almost $100/month for mostly channels we never watched. We even researched a new ‘skinny bundle,’ but by the time we got HD, DVR, Fox News, and HBO (Game of Thrones), we were back up where we started. Our bill now for everything is $36.00.  We can get many networks over the air with an antenna. We also have Roku, Hulu, and some others. We have to strain our brains a bit to figure out how to get what we would like, but it’s good for us.

One thing I really didn’t expect was a lifting of a weight from my shoulders. I really hadn’t realized how listening to the same news stories over and over all day, with a bit of a different spin depending on who the talking heads were, was wearing me down, making me depressed. I want to know what’s going on; but, since I can’t DO anything about most of it – other than send donations right now – I just want to be told what is happening without any obvious spin, left or right.

Now we watch Reuters each evening. They ask you how much time you have. You select up to 30 minutes, and then they show you however much they can get into the time frame you’ve chosen. No commercials. No bias that we can detect yet. The news still isn’t ‘happy,’ but I don’t feel weighted down, wanting to crawl into a hole and escape.

We’re making a list of the TV shows we used to DVR and trying to make sure we can get that network. We’ve discovered networks and programs we didn’t know about before and are loving it. It’s a work in progress, and a wonderfully fresh outlook on things. :0)

 

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, Encouragement

Day Off

BuzzFeed

Since my back has been in protest mode lately, I’ve leaned toward comfort food, rather than eating my low carb food. The low carb foods can be really good, and I don’t feel deprived, but they aren’t comfort food.

Today I’m taking my last day off. To that end, I asked my husband what he has been missing most. He immediately said, “chicken chunks and soup over rice.” And so it shall be. I also got some double stuff oreo cookies as my official send off back to being a grown up.

I’ve decided it doesn’t matter anymore whether my back hurts. I’m going to get back to doing what I know I should – gentle stretching and eating right.

If someone could come up with low carb, low sugar comfort food, he or she would be a gazillionaire.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise

Changes are DIFFICULT!

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It seems that life is providing several character-building changes to us lately.

  • I’ve already told you that our much-loved dental hygienist and her husband were killed in a plane crash last month. We lucked out that our dentist, Dr. Wes Moore, was able to find another very competent, physically and emotionally gentle hygienist to take care of us.
  • Today we learned that our wonderful family practice doctor has left the Greenwood practice and has relocated to Russellville AR., an hour and a half each way from us. :0(   We are just devastated. We’ve looked up information on the new doctor coming in October, and have decided that we would like to try her. I called the clinic and they said someone would call us about it. Our doctor was compassionate, and provided samples of the blood sugar medicine my husband needs. Since this very likely will stop, I’ll need to research possible sources of this very expensive medicine. Humana doesn’t cover it, and it’s $550.00/month. To say I’m freaked out right now is an understatement. My husband glibly says, “I’ll just take it until the samples run out and then stop.” (I’m trying not to deck him.) He understands, but doesn’t really absorb, the fact that his body will do really bad things if he doesn’t take the medicine that helps control his blood sugar. So the search starts now…

I feel that the rug has been pulled out from under us several times lately. We’re trying to deal with things the best way we can, but one of the things about getting older is that you stiffen up and don’t bounce quite as well as you did when you were much younger.

I’ll try to focus on all the positive things in our lives – and we have a BUNCH of them.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes

Three C’s

source unknown

Change is difficult. It’s SO much easier to simply ‘keep on keepin’ on.’

Change means leaving your comfort zone, getting up off your duff, doing things might be scary, challenging, even unpleasant sometimes. But if you stop making the choice to take the chance to make a change, you stop living. You gradually quietly implode, your world becoming smaller and smaller until it’s gone.

Sometimes I think my husband is on a mission to make us UNcomfortable – with WAAAAY too many changes at one time.

One example of this is our CHOICE to cancel our subscription to DISH TV. Living in the sticks outside a small town in Arkansas, we’re very lucky to have two satellite TV choices: Dish and DirecTV. Now we’ve tried both. Both offered a lot of stations in the package we chose, but we couldn’t JUST get the channels we wanted, and we had to pay extra for the channels that weren’t included, plus the rental of the DVR, plus a charge for HD, plus……over $98/month.

So now we’re free of that, and that’s a good thing. BUT now we have to learn how to use Roku, Hulu, AmazonPrimeTV, and about 4 other choices right off the bat that all sound the same to me. Nothing is relaxing, mindless anymore. That’s a good thing for us, too, but it isn’t enjoyable at the moment. We had to order another Roku remote, because I can’t take the idea of my husband being in charge of what we’re watching, how loud the sound is, etc.  Now, instead of leaving a news channel on, buffering it for about an hour so we can skip through commercials, plus being able to hit “DVR” and see a list of stuff taped, ready to be watched, we have to figure out how to get the Roku service on (particularly if we watched a DVD the night before), then go to the service that provides the channel or program we want to see, then figure out (again) how to get the sound on.

We’re having to adjust to the fact that you can’t pause a show. You can mute the sound, but you can’t pause. So, if you get a phone call, need to get up to do something, get a call of nature, etc., you either miss whatever happened while you were gone or watch it again.  We have to mute for commercials, although we’re paying a bit extra for services that offer no commercials.

Instead of $98/month, we’re paying $36. We have almost all of the channels and programs we wanted. I’m finding that watching 24 hour news programs was stressful. Since they all hashed the same news with their unique spin or opinions, we aren’t missing much. Between my online news and the ones we watch now, we know pretty much what’s going on.

We’re still researching to find out what’s being offered or updated. We’re still working together to figure out how to make things work. We’re having to strain our brains, rather than mindlessly staring at the tube.

We’re reading and talking and playing with our animals more.

So we made the CHOICE to take a CHANCE so our lives have CHANGED –  for the better.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Bright Ideas, Challenges, Changes, Encouragement

Goals

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Yesterday we had our quarterly primary doctor appointment.

Our doctor was really happy with our blood test results.  I’m doing well on my current dosage for thyroid and my numbers otherwise continue to improve – all in the normal range now, when I used to have high cholesterol, triglycerides, etc. My blood pressure was the best ever. – 124 over 68.  My husband’s A1C showed the best results since we had the scare about a year ago. His number then was 16.1 (this is a ‘call-the-medics’ SCARY number on diabetes). It is now down to 7.3. We’re shooting for under 7, and our doc says this is doable, and he was REALLY happy with my husband’s efforts to cut out sugar. :0)

Now, all ‘I’ have to do is get the lard off.

To date I’m down 25+ pounds and 18-1/2 inches.

We’re following a low carb diet with as low numbers on sugar as possible. I’m trying to stay under 1200 calories and 40 carbs per day.

Yesterday I had my best day ever on steps – almost 8,000. I’m seriously trying to move more – a bit of a challenge lately since my back keeps having spasms. My doc checked it out, confirmed it was in the muscles rather than the spine, and put me on muscle relaxant meds for about a week. He wants me to take them for two days and then I can EASE back into my yoga.  Then I’ll try for a yoga session and a half hour on my elliptical daily.

I’m tracking what I’m eating and my exercise on MyFitnessPal.com. The fixing of problems on their website isn’t great. The main page where you can see how many days in a row you’ve checked in, see how much weight you’ve lost, etc., is STILL not working (over 3 weeks now), but their foods data is the best I’ve seen, so I’m staying with them.

My husband and I are finally on the same page on motivation to eat right. This is really helpful. My willpower isn’t that great, and it doesn’t take much at all for me to throw in the towel and go get a pizza. Last night, though, when we were exhausted from our efforts all day long, my husband suggested we go to Subway. I can get a double chicken, bacon, and ranch salad that is really good and on my diet, and my husband can indulge in a foot long sandwich. He was good last night, except for getting 2 oatmeal raisin cookies… :0)

SO – WE CAN DO IT!

I’m hopeful that by the end of September, I can report a reasonable weight and inches loss. I’ll keep on keepin’ on, and concentrate on

 

TaoLife.com

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

Cutting the Cord

We used to have a ‘bundle’ of TV and Internet from Dish.

About 6 months or so ago we changed our Internet to WOW (World of Wireless) which gives us our service from a radio tower on the ridge line across the valley from us. We are VERY happy with the change, realizing we’ll probably never live to see the really high speed, high capacity service out in the sticks.

Lately we’ve been researching cutting the cord to their TV service. For a long time it was the best we could get. There was basically Dish and DirecTV, and we’ve been on both over the years.  Our present service costs over $98.00/month. We think this is outrageous, but it was the best we could do, until now.

We started reading articles that encouraged us to look around. We got a TiVo to get OTA (over-the-air) channels with an antenna. THEN we found that we could use all kinds of services that gave us almost everything we have now at a MUCH lower price. I had never heard of most of these things: Roku, Hulu, AmazonPrimeTV, and another one I can’t remember the name of.  It looks like our total cost per month will eventually be around $36.00.

We just sold the TiVo today on Ebay, getting enough money back to be reasonable. We will soon stop the subscription to Dish. We will either change our NetFlix subscription to stream only or stop it altogether.

We’ll have to change some habits, but that’s good. We’re in the process now of building a spreadsheet that tells us which service to access to be able to watch the shows we like.

This is a fun, MUCH less expensive, new way (for us) to get entertainment that doesn’t make us cringe every month!

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Filed under Bright Ideas, Challenges, Changes

Attitude is All

Pinterest

This resonates with me and makes me laugh, but I don’t think this way anymore.

Today’s ‘yoge’ is “hips.”

I just finished getting a “Chicken with Creamy Orange Sauce” by Dana Carpender into the crock pot for dinner tonight. It’s amazing to me that we have never tried one of her low carb recipes we didn’t like. With her slow cooker recipes and her “15 Minute” low carb recipes, I have pretty much all I need to keep me on track. I also just got a low carb bread recipe book to use with a really odd-looking lime green silicone bread bowl thingie.

I have no clue whether this is actually useful or not, but I’ll give it a try and report back to you.

With rice for my husband (cauli-rice for me) and some salad, dinner is taken care of. When I finish this, I’ll make us some lunch.

MyFitnessPal.com is keeping me on track with my eating again. I keep being amazed at how far off I had gotten. I was making low carb meals, but was sabotaging my efforts with the portions, side dishes, and sugar-free stuff “I” was eating to be companionable with my husband. Now I’m being careful to stay under 1200 calories a day and under 40 grams of carbohydrates, plus move more.

 

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It’s encouraging that this 2nd round of the 8 sessions in the DVD set is a bit easier. I don’t kid myself that I’ll loosen up quickly, but I know that as long as I get on the mat every day with Cat Kabira, I’ll be working toward my goal. She has a very compassionate, encouraging manner that I find very appealing.

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One day at a time. The next weighing and measurement day is this coming Saturday. Hopefully I’ll be able to report a bit of progress.

Have a happy day!

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Bouncing Back – Getting the Lard Off

cookingpanda.com

Since I got back on the horse with MyFitnessPal.com and my goal of under 40 carbs and under 1200 calories per day last Saturday, I’ve lost 3 lbs. Total lost is now 23 lbs.  Since MyFitnessPal allows you to ‘play’ with various scenarios of what you’ll eat on a given day, you can work in things that are technically on the ‘not-to-eat’ list. An example:  we found some really nice-looking bicolored corn on the cob. By trying different ideas out, I was able to incorporate an ear of corn into my low carb day! Happily, it was some of the best corn on the cob we’ve ever eaten. Hooray!!!

 

I’m consciously moving more, having physical stuff outside or inside each day to add to my daily steps. I’m now averaging 5,000 steps per day, AND getting outside goals accomplished. On measurements, I’ve lost a total of 15 inches.

 

Ranker

I’ve done yoga sessions on “Joints,” “Neck and Shoulders,” “Lower Back,” “Spinal Health,” “Hips,” “Legs,” and “Balance.” Today I’ll do the last session on the DVD set, “Overall Flow.” I FEEL better. Though I’m a bit sore from stretching in ways I haven’t for too long, I’m feeling looser and a bit more energetic. If I’m tired and sleepy during the afternoon, I take a nap, but I didn’t feel the need for the first time in a long time yesterday.

I’ve had a good starting-over week. I’ve made some progress and feel a difference. I feel more in control of myself.

On with Week 2!

TaoLife.com

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Back into Yoga – Day 6

funny pics.co

Last Saturday I started doing yoga again after a several month hiatus due mainly to laziness and stupidity. (We had a lot of things going on and I had lots of excuses at the ready.)

I’m using a DVD set called, “Gentle Yoga” via SixtyandMe.com.  The teacher is Cat Kabira and I can’t say enough about her.

The practice is geared toward women

  • who have never done yoga;
  • may have had surgeries on knees, hips;
  • may not have exercised in the past umpteen years;
  • are 60 or over; etc.

There are 8 practices on the two DVD set, each one geared toward a different part of the body. I’m doing one session each day, lasting 30 to 45 minutes. Today was “legs.”

I’m having to start over in my practice because during my hiatus, my poor old body stiffened up quite a bit. I’m taking my time, stretching and performing each pose the best I can, knowing that in time I’ll loosen up again. Right now it’s quite a challenge for this old lady, but I trust the teacher and the poses to make me more limber, strengthen my core muscles, get me to stretch out, help me relax, help me sleep better.

I’m on DAY 6 today of being back in the saddle, eating low carb, recording what I’m eating and drinking, planning ahead so I don’t mess up, and doing one session of yoga each day, plus whatever else I have time for.

 

Pinterest

I have some soreness and stiffness, but that reminds me of what I lost by not doing the yoga and not taking care of myself. I also know that this will be short-lived, now that I’m treating myself better. I have one more session devoted to “balance” (something I really need) and then there is an “overall flow” on Saturday that pulls out some of the best moves from each of the sessions.

The biggest thing I’ve noticed is a change in my attitude. I feel GOOD that I’m trying to take care of myself again (even when my husband is eating an ice cream sandwich (or TWO!) in front of me while we watch TV.) I’m feeling GOOD that I’m moving a bit more easily.

It’ll be good when my scales and my measuring tape are confirming some good changes, but in the meantime, I’m giving myself the gift of better health!

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Day Three of Being Back in the Saddle

The Cincinnati Zoo

This is DAY THREE of making SURE I’m eating under 40 grams of carbs per day and under 1200 calories, plus doing at least a session of yoga.

I’m using MyFitnessPal.com to list everything I’m eating and drinking to plan things out after breakfast. I’m gritting my teeth as my husband eats chips, sugar-free candy, sugar-free pop or tea, no sugar added ice cream sandwiches, but he’s eating the way he should for his diabetes. I’ve quit kidding myself that I can indulge, as well, but I AM building in my orange ice cream bar at night into my totals, relishing every bite.

I’ve been doing my one session per day of “Gentle Yoga” and am feeling better for it. I did “Head and Shoulders” Saturday, “Joints” yesterday, and “Lower Back” today.  It feels good to be treating myself better this way.

I feel as if I have a good start on getting back in the saddle of taking better care of myself again.

cliparting.com

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Day One – Dose of Reality!

Cool Animal World

So – This is Day One of Finding-my-Act-and-Getting-it-Together-Again.

I finally did my first yoga session since we adopted our new puppy May 13th. I may have even stopped before that, but it shows how far my intentions have gotten off the track. I did “Neck and Shoulders” today of what I call the “Old Ladies Yoga” DVD. It’s actually called, “Gentle Yoga” put out by Sixtyandme.com. The teacher is Cat Kabira, and she’s a wonderful, accepting, caring person. She encourages you to be the best you can be, accepting where you are and what you are able to do at the given time, and encourages you to KEEP DOING IT.  I had never done yoga, and was intimidated at first, but I started really feeling a difference after several lessons.  There are 7 lessons devoted to particular parts of the body and then an ‘overall flow’ session which takes the ‘best’ moves from each of the other sections. Then there is a 2nd DVD called, “Gentle Yoga Flows.” I’ll work my way up to that one again.

I went back to the MyFitnessPal.com website and signed in for the first time in a LOOOOONG time. I had deluded myself that, since I was cooking low carb and we were trying to find substitutes for the things my husband, a Type II diabetic, missed the most, that sugar-free somehow meant not many calories or carbs.

I have to admit I was pretty shocked when I started to list what I had already eaten, plus planned to eat the rest of the day. I had to really work to juggle things to get back into my under 1200 calories per day and under 40 carbs a day I was doing previously. LOTS of changes and a BIG dose of reality. My husband can continue to eat as he has been, but “I” cannot!

I also had to acknowledge the ground I’ve lost on weight loss and measurements loss. :0(

OKAY. Today is DAY ONE. I’m already doing better than I was yesterday. I’ve acknowledged the error of my ways and I’m stopping the delusions under which I’ve been living for the past few months. I’m listing everything I eat or drink and have gotten back into my yoga practice. I’m moving more otherwise, doing lots of work outside and projects with my husband, plus walking the new puppy several times each day. I started with an average of under 2,000 steps per day. Now my average is 4 or 5,000 per day. I’ll see how much I can add to that.

I’ll try to report back to you each Saturday. I may not give you numbers for awhile, at least until I’m back where I was before my act was ‘lost,’ but I’ll do my best to be better than I was yesterday EVERY day.

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Where is my Act and What Have You Done with It?

Bored Panda

I was doing pretty well, eating low carb, losing weight, getting better numbers on my quarterly blood tests with the doctor, learning yoga for old broads and doing it daily. Then ‘something happened,’ and I lost it.

I have umpteen excuses, but no one, including me, is interested.  What is good is that I am FINALLY wanting to get my act back together, rather than ignoring the whole problem and playing Pitiful Pearl.

I do well on my eating until late afternoon and after.

  • I’m going to start drinking a glass of ‘Meta,’ Appetite Control Sugar-Free Orange Zest Dietary Supplement mid afternoons. I also got some sugar-free gum, hoping that if I’m chewing on something, I won’t stuff my face with anything else.
  • I’m going to start using the crock pot again, getting dinner going in the morning when I have the most energy, rather than waiting until after I’m exhausted to fix dinner.
  • I’m starting THIS MORNING – as soon as I finish typing this – doing at least one session of  “old broad” yoga.
  • I’m starting THIS MORNING listing my food and exercise on MyFitnessPal.com as I used to do.
  • I’m starting THIS MORNING drinking more water. I already do it when I’m hot from working outside, but I’ll try to make sure that I drink much more than I am now regardless of my work load.

I HOPE to be able to report to you soon that I am back in the saddle of good eating habits, plus moving more, and starting to get results again. I hope that if you’re having challenges in trying to treat yourself better, you’ll find the motivation to start again with me.

 

TaoLife.com

 

 

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Christmas in July

Yesterday morning my husband walked in while I was laboriously cleaning our 2-gallon wheel-shaped fish bowl.  I was on one side of the bowl trying to capture the fish with my one cup metal measuring cup. I caught each one, put my hand over the top of the cup, walked around to the other side of the divider, poured the fish and water into a larger bowl and then covered the top of that bowl.

My husband said, “You need a fish net.”  He asked why I didn’t move the fish bowl into the kitchen sink. I told him that with the water in it, it was too heavy for me to do that. I needed to get the fish out, use a tall plastic glass to remove about half of the water, then move the bowl into the sink to clean.

He said, that’s a lot of work when you have to do it every few days to keep the water clear. I simply said, “I love fish.” He said, we haven’t had an aquarium in a long time. Why don’t we go get a small one and that’ll save you a lot of work.” Not a stupid lady, I said, “Hooray! I’d love it!”

My husband said later, “I’m antsy. Why don’t we go to town and get the aquarium.” And so I enjoyed Christmas in July. :0)

We got a 5 gallon aquarium, air pump, air filter, gravel, some decorations and greenery, and extra filter pads. By the time we got home, it was 8:00 in the evening and we just piled the boxes in the dining area, fed animals, fed ourselves, and watched a movie.

We just finished putting the aquarium together. It took us awhile to arrange an electrical strip for all the plug-ins and then to clean things up, but the fish are swimming all around exploring their new home. We got a siphon type cleaner to clean debris from the gravel, and I’ll read up on when to change the filter pad, etc., but now that it’s altogether, it looks like it’ll be a lot less work for me and a nicer home for the fish.

They’re already swimming through the holes in the decorations. It has LED lights and a quieter air pump than we had in the bowl. We corralled all the wiring as much as possible.

I keep finding another reason to go back to the kitchen/dining area so I can look at the aquarium again. I love Christmas in July!

 

 

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Embracing

Elizabeth Gilbert via Corliss Barnes Darnell

I’ve decided to stop feeling guilty.

  • Guilty about eating too much
  • guilty about eating things not on my diet
  • guilty about not losing weight
  • guilty about not doing yoga and my elliptical
  • guilty about not getting a much done each day as I want….

The list goes on and on and to be honest, I’m sick of it.

I can come up with endless excuses – in fact, I could teach a course on it. I’m very creative, too; coming up with more and more as the time allows, rather than putting my head down and doing better.

But I’m sick of coming up with excuses, too.

Right now “doing the best I can with the energy I have and the willpower I haven’t” will have to be good enough. Life is too short to agonize over every bite I put in my mouth, or how my to-do list is getting longer, rather than shorter. So what!

I’m going to TRY to ’embrace the glorious mess that I am’ and give myself a BREAK.

That’s not to say that once I incorporate the new labor-intensive focus of raising our lab to be a polite member of our family into my lifestyle that I won’t TRY to do better – but for right now, what I can do is ENOUGH.

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Nothing

Sun-Gazing.com via Cathy Ruggiero

I used to want to have ‘something to do’ each day – somewhere to go, people to see, activities. I realize that wanting the opposite is definitely a sign of old age, but I’m embracing it.

Today there are no scheduled appointments, no ‘have-to’ errands, no commitments. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

_________________

Yesterday my husband and I both worked most of the day in the hot sun.

My husband was trying to relocate a microlink to our computers in the shop. This is not a thing we HAVE to have, but it used to work and yesterday it wasn’t. In order to get it to work again, my husband had to move the equipment on the house end from the front of the house to the back and mount it on the window bars. This involved a lot of cable making, stapling inside the wall of the garage, welding and painting for the piece that mounted to the window, testing of cables, switches, and links, etc. It took my husband all day, but he got it working. Now he just has to put his tools away and cut down several branches on a tree between the house and the shop for a clearer line of sight.

In the garden, I planted two celery plants, pulled out the last of the spinach and lettuce plants, pruned the plants that were left, and weeded the raised bed planters. The only thing remaining in the garden to spray the weeds on the ground with weed killer.

I took some stuff out to the greenhouse in preparation for starting some tomato suckers, but the thermometer showed red all the way to the top – over 120 degrees – so I just put the stuff inside and came out again.

I dumped the water from the kiddie pool, washed it out, and refilled it.

I cleaned Amber’s porch up, hosed it out, then squeegeed and mopped.

I mowed the yard on the riding mower after helping my husband with the microlink several times.

By the time we finally stopped for dinner, it was almost 9:00. I cooked, we ate and watched a movie.

Whew!

____________________

There are things I’ll do today, but I’m concentrating on doing things INSIDE while the sun is at its hottest – as we SHOULD have done yesterday – and OUTSIDE when the sun is going down, with only the finishing touches on dinner to do.

I’m going to also take time to read more of my latest “In Death” series book by Nora Roberts while I’m relaxing.

Because my back is letting me know I overdid yesterday, I’ll try to work in a session of yoga.

 

Funny-Pics.co

AHHHHHHHH!

 

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Mixed Emotions

zazzle

Today I shut down my website, Creative Artworks.  I’m feeling mixed emotions, but it is time.

In 2000, my son designed a website so I could try to sell the things I made. I then realized that for the same money, I could list the work of other people, too. At one point I had over 120 artists on the site. My enthusiasm was through the roof. I lived and breathed Creative Artworks.

I’ve met a wonderful variety of talented people over 17 years, and I’ve been proud to host the website, helping people sell their artwork. I’ll never cease to be amazed at how many really creative folks there are in this world. I’ve never met most of the artists who allowed me to display their work, but I’ve become friends with many of them.

The first one I told that I was shutting down the website was my son, who is halfway across the world from me. He worked tirelessly to make the very best website for me that he could. Even when he went on to do countless other things, he would make time to help me with problems, adapt the site to meet different requirements from the credit card people, web hosts, and others.

When I wrote to him this morning, he was still up, though there is 12 hours difference between us. He wanted to really chat, so he sent me the program appear.in (I think) so we could actually talk in real time and SEE each other. (This is like Skype – but we could never make Skype work well for us.) We talked for several minutes. He was worried that I was shutting down the site because I was upset for some reason, or was upset with him. I assured him that I had been considering the idea for some time and decided that it was time. I thanked him from the bottom of my heart for giving me 17 of the best creative years of my life, for designing the website that allowed me to show my own stuff and the work of others.

Part of me is sad because it’s the end of an era for me.  I’ve truly enjoyed it, but my heart is now in writing my blog, square foot gardening, the new greenhouse, continuing to cook low carb and low sugar for my husband and myself, spending more time on my art, spending time with our new puppy, practicing yoga, and more. I feel really lucky that I am able to end one part of my life, freeing it up for more of the things I love.

 

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Rohn Antenna

Just after we finished the main building of my greenhouse, my husband said that the former president of the Fort Smith Amateur Ham Radio Club had emailed him, saying that one of the members was selling a Rohn antenna. My husband said that if we tried to buy a used control box alone for one, we would pay what the man was asking for the control box, the “scaffolding” the rotor, and the stuff at the top.

I could see his mouth was watering, and he’s worked hard on his ham stuff – passing all three tests available and getting the main radio, and several different, much smaller antennas, none of which he could make work they way they should. People he had talked to in the club said, “It should be working,” but it wasn’t, in each case.  He can reach the people for the weekly meeting, but he wants to really be able to USE it.

My husband had much the same look in his eyes that our new puppy, Amber, has when she wants a cookie really badly. So I caved, we called the man, got his address, programmed the GPS and drove to Alma, AR, about an hour or so away.

The 10 foot section parts (5 of them) had been on the ground in the back yard for quite awhile. The control box was in the man’s garage, and that was the main thing that needed protection. We bought the whole group of things, which my husband says is a Rohn antenna, put all the pieces in the back of the truck, tied them down securely and brought them home.

We spent awhile getting all the sections out near the place where the antenna will go. They’re heavy! We’ll need to measure to be sure the antenna is 45 feet away from the commercial power pole to the east of the house. It will be out somewhere around my greenhouse.

The first big thing – before I caved to the purchase – was that he would get REAL help – not just me – to get this thing up securely. We’ll need to hire the man who dug our water well 30 years ago – or whoever is handling that business now – to come drill a hole at least 6 feet deep. My husband says he’ll put a big, heavy pipe in the hole as the base for the antenna. We’ll mix Sac-Crete to put in the hole and around it for a pad on which the antenna will sit.

I insisted my husband call the head of the club back and ask if he knew people we could hire to put the antenna up. (This means someone skinny, strong, and agile enough to climb the antenna with another section in hand, hoist it up and add it to the one he’s standing on, and then do the same until the whole thing, including the rotor and the cable, plus the thingie that turns at the top, are together.)  Then we need to install guy wires all around to be sure it’s secure. Happily, Mike knew two guys he called “The Johnson Twins,” who can do just that for us once we have the pad done.

My husband is like a kid at Christmas. There are a couple of places in the metal scaffolding that seem to have burst when water froze inside them. He’ll need to repair those, get enough of the proper 8-wire cable to go from the rotor on the antenna across the field to the house and into the house, attached to his radio and control hub. He’s happy. When we went for groceries this morning, the first thing he said was, “I’m happy we got the antenna.” :0)

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How Does My Garden Grow?

simply u photography

I just spent an hour and a half in my raised bed square foot vegetable garden. The fact that I can work in it without having to bend over a lot, and can plant, weed, harvest, and pull – a ll at about chest level  – is really, really nice. That said, I’m still old and I still get really hot working in the sun. :0)

We had a really odd combination of a cooler than usual spring with lots and lots and LOTS of rain and not much sun followed by blazing sun and 90 degree temperatures. This has resulted in my lettuce bolting, my spinach doing the same (both shooting up to about 4 feet in height and going to seed on the top.) The only thing to do with the lettuce at this point is save the little bit that I can and pull the rest of the plants. At the beginning, my plants were looking really good. Even with the best growing medium and supplements, square foot gardening, etc., some years your plants simply don’t do as well as you would hope.

The last storm also made the tops of my onions bend over and start to yellow. I looked at things today and decided to go ahead and harvest them. I pulled them all out, cut off the tops, and left them in a few piles on the planter while I came in to rest.  I’ll read up on how to dry them for storage.  I have 4 of the six planters cleaned up, pulled up, or pruned. I’ll try to finish in another session out there today.

It looks as if I’ll actually get at least a small spaghetti squash or two! I have a long vine with blossoms and two actual squash bulbs. I spread it out, allowing it to go where it will and do whatever it wants. I’ll take a pic later.

My celery plants are still growing, but they don’t look a thing like a bunch of celery you would buy in the store. I have no clue what I’m doing, but the plants look great! :0)

Our tomato plants on the opposite end of the house are looking good and we have lots of small green tomatoes now. We’re keeping all appendages crossed that we have a good year for red, ripe, sliced tomatoes at any meal we like…

I’m hoping we’ll get the greenhouse finished soon and ready for me to start seed for my fall plants. It’ll be such fun to try to grow plants to transplant out into the garden at the proper time. Again, I have a LOT of reading to do as to when to start the seeds in order to have them ready for the fall.

This spring I’ve learned a lot about what NOT to do next time. If I live long enough, one of these times I’ll know what I’m doing!

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Filed under Arkansas, Challenges, Changes, Greenwood, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds

And the Building of the Greenhouse Officially Begins!

It might not look like much to you, but this is beautiful, as far as we’re concerned.

Our good dirt and driveway guy, Eric, came over with his tractor today and smoothed our really bumpy driveway and then proceeded to clear land for the greenhouse my husband and I are going to build.  It’s to the east of our house, on the extra 2 acre strip we bought to add to our land several years ago. It’s the only halfway level spot we have on our almost 8 acres of land…

The cleared space we need is supposed to be 15 feet x 15 feet in order for us to build a 12 foot x 14 foot greenhouse. The first step is to drill and then pound in the corner spikes. My husband cut 2 foot pieces of pipe, then we got big, heavy angle iron to weld onto the spikes, making corner posts to which we’ll attach the treated wood to make the perimeter of the greenhouse.

This is no small step. We had to use explosives in order to be able to dig our basement, put in our septic system, and prepare for the swimming pool we never built 30 years ago. We have a cement drill that we’ll use to drill holes down as far as possible. Then we’ll use a sledge-hammer to pound the spikes with angle iron into the ground.

I’ll take pics as we do this.

I’m really excited to have the plot ready to attack!

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Filed under Arkansas, Bright Ideas, Challenges, Changes, Gardening, Greenwood

Make a List

Begin with Yes

My list has been thrown up into the air and has blown away in the wind lately – ever since we made the decision to get a new puppy in the middle of trying to get my husband’s cataracts removed.

We only have one more appointment with the eye doctor and my husband is feeling fine and getting his energy back now. He is being a big help with the puppy now, so I’m not feeling quite as fried every night way before it’s time for bed.

Today I called our dirt guy to tell him we were functional now and to please put us on the list to clear the land for our planned greenhouse, as well as repair our driveway. Happily, he MIGHT be able to work our projects in this afternoon!. We have some errands to run, but we shouldn’t be gone long and will be home to receive his call if he can, indeed, come today. :0)

  • I want to get back to doing a session of yoga every day.
  • I want to take some time to play in my art room.
  • I want to be able to sit and read a book for awhile.
  • I want to be able to take a nap.

Now that my husband is recovering, I’m feeling more able to call on him to give me a bit of time and space to regain my sanity.  I’m delighted that we adopted Amber, but she is a double handful of extremely active puppy. I find that I’m a much better ‘mom’ to her when I can get my act together a bit between sessions.

So I’m ‘adjusting accordingly’ right now, and hoping to get a little bit of my normal life back soon.

 

 

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I’m Going to Start “Yog-ing Again”

Ground Zero Web

With the new puppy I’ve been moving a LOT more, lifting, walking, cleaning up after, playing, loving, etc.  However, with all the movement, my back has started to bother me again, so I’m going to start trying to make time for at least one yoga session per day.

Now that my husband is able to take turns on taking care of Amber, I have a bit more time to try to get chores done and I SHOULD be able to get back on the mat.

Today is the first day in ages since I’ve made time for something truly good for me, so I’m excited.

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Worth Its Weight in Gold

My good friend Cathy wrote, telling me that she was worried about my trying to climb over the gate between the living room and the porch where our new puppy Amber is. She told me about a new style of gate that has a ‘people door!’ I had never heard of that, and after she helped me appreciate what I was seeing, I showed it to my husband, the installer of all things.

He was a bit worried because our door frames are steel, but he said we should go ahead and order it. It arrived today and we installed it within 10 minutes or less. My husband said, “You should tell this company they’re making a well thought out, well designed product.”

The product is from Chewy.com, a wonderful place that ships the product almost immediately. It’s astonishing how quickly things arrive. This is our third order from them, and I couldn’t recommend them more highly.

 

Carlson Pet Products Extra Wide Walk-Thru Gate with Pet Door

Carlson Extra Wide Gate with People Door and Pet Door

We didn’t need to use the two extensions that come with this gate. It installed quickly and easily with no tools required. It’s very sturdy. There is no place for Amber to hook her feet to climb over it. She can’t get under it. If she gets so she can climb over this 30″ tall gate, we can relocate it up a bit higher.

The very best part is the people door. We’ve fixed it so it opens OUT into the porch, so that Amber can’t open it by accident. When we go out there, she has to back up, and she isn’t quick enough to go between us and the door closing again. I’m really delighted. I don’t have to concentrate on standing on one foot, lifting the other foot over the gate (which Amber immediately latches onto), trying not to step on her as I put my foot down, then grabbing the door with one hand and bracing my other hand on the brick to the side of the door as I bring the 2nd leg up and over. It’s REALLY been fun when I had something in my hand…

THANK YOU, Cathy, for

  • worrying about me and figuring out a good solution
  • letting me know about it
  • writing back to point out the people door I didn’t see and appreciate the first time
  • your patience and caring

I can’t tell you how happy we are with you and the new gate. NOW – if we could get Amber to quit barking and whining….

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