Category Archives: Changes

Adventure

Medical News Today

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whine and Cheese

Fluent in 3 Months

 

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

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

Grammarly via Cathy Ruggiero

 

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

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

Part of it is that it is TOTALLY my job.

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

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

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

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

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

Something You Might Consider Doing

i65

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

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

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

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

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

_______________

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

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

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

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

Morphing Junk Drawer

Yesterday I cleaned out four more kitchen drawers.

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

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

ONE junk drawer morphs into FOUR!

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

Now we have FOUR junk drawers in the kitchen –

shutterstock.com

 

Drawer 1 – this is the ‘original’ junk drawer

Drawer 2

 

Drawer 3

 

Drawer 4

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

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

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

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

 

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

Misuse of Imagination

Linda Sweigart via Cathy Ruggiero

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

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

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

I’ve decided that this year I will –

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

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

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

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Arrrgh!

Sonia Figueroa

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

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

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

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

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

pinterest

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Sending Flowers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Permission

ABSTRACTS by Sabina via cathy ruggiero

If you’ve been reading the blog, you know that I have devoted myself to going through our over 30-year-old home the past year with determination to go through everything, give stuff away, throw other things away, clean and reorganize what’s left. I’ve made it through the house once and am now on Phase II, of going through it all again. I’m making lots of progress, but the job is far from done yet. Realizing that the job will never be ‘finished,’ I’m ready to change my priorities a bit for the new year.

I’ve found it almost impossible to give myself permission to play in my art room. In fact, it’s still clean and organized from Phase I of what I now call, “The Great Purge.” Before, I had to clean off a spot in order to try out a new idea I had or to paint something to fulfill an order I received.  Each time I have thought of going up there, I saw something in the house that desperately needed my attention first. With the “New-to-Me” determination to move more, consciously trying to exercise each day, the day was shot. Added to that was working in the greenhouse or in the yard. The days, weeks, and months have flown past my head, blowing my hair.

I’ve decided that I will try to add another priority in the coming year – MAKING time to play in my art room!  I miss being able to close the door up there, start playing some of my favorite tunes, and immersing myself in the joy of experimenting with my ‘stuff.’  I want to try some new watercolor techniques. I discovered a new style of painting note cards and stationery where I mix watercolor or acrylic floral paintings with backgrounds of accent colors with pastels that I found satisfying. I want to expand on that. I have tote bags I’d like to paint. I want to etch some goblets I received as a gift from a friend… And the list goes on.

I closed my shop on Etsy, but I still have one on ArtFire.

I haven’t added anything in a long time, so I’m thinking of some new things with which I can experiment. I keep seeing the work of wonderfully talent people on LinkedIn, a website primarily designed for folks trying to network. I’m not interested in getting a job at this point, but I love living on the same planet as these talented folks and enjoy interacting with them and showing you their work.

When things calm down after the holidays, our son will leave to visit some more folks before going back home to Thailand.

I look forward to getting involved in trying new things for the new year.

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Older than Dirt

Commander Bill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Filed under Are YOU also older than Dirt?, Attitude, Challenges, Changes

Things are Getting Fixed!

depositphotos.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Chicago Tribune

30.6 pounds and 30.05 inches so far.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business, taking care of yourself

Change

Mary Engelbreit via sayingimages.com

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Filed under Attitude, Changes, empowerment, Encouragement

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

Popsugar

Short answer –

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

Longer answer –

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

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

Other changes noted

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

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

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

Tangible Motivation

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Week’s “Flex” Lunch/Dinner

Buzz Feed

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Chock-Full-to-the-Brim” Day

Milton Hyundai

Yesterday we had a chock-full-to-the-brim day.

We started with Lunch Bunch – the usual wonderful time we catch up with our good, long-time friends, Linda and Kay. Yesterday, a lady we treasure was also there, Alice. We stuffed our faces and babbled as fast as we could in the time allowed. (My husband is an honorary member of Lunch Bunch. He sits at one end of the table surveying what might look like to uninformed strangers as his harem. He doesn’t say much, but when he does, he breaks us all up. :0)  )

We did errands, came home, regrouped and then went out again for a doctor’s appointment for my husband and more errands. Afterwards we got a 10 foot long X 12 inches wide board to make a ‘shoe shelf’ in my closet.

We got home again, regrouped, and then spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening in the shop.

Our weather was finally warmer, so we used the opportunity to change the tires on our truck. When we first bought the Honda in 2006, we found and purchased 4 extra wheels and then bought snow tires. We had them mounted by the local tire place and stored them in the shop. Twice a year we change the tires from the regular ones to snow tires, then back again, once winter is over. Usually we plan to do this some time in mid to late November or early December. This year we had a cold snap and then rain, and more cold with the threat of ice and snow super-early. We didn’t get stuck up here on our ridge line, thankfully, but we decided that the next day that was warm enough we would get the tires changed.

We’re getting a bit long-in-the-tooth for this, but we have a well-equipped shop with an air compressor, good fancy tire pressure gauge that allows us to fill from the compressor while the gauge is on the hose, stools so we can sit, etc. We have this project down to an efficient “dance” having done it for several years now. My husband does the actual tire changing. I am the go-fer, rolling tires from the back of the shop up to where we’re working, taking the ones we’re taking off back to the storage area, getting parts and watching to be ready with the next step. Yesterday I was also handling the jack. We got this done in record time. No blood was spilled. No harsh words. The tires are now filled up and ready to take us through the winter!

 

When we finished with the tires, we started on the shoe shelf project. We went inside and measured again, making a few decisions. My husband cut the board into three parts – the shelf, and three supports. I then painted the boards so they could dry overnight.  This pic shows several levels. Mine will be ONE board mounted on the wall across one wall of my closet, allowing me to put shoes ON and UNDER the board.

We’re going to try to get the shoe shelf installed today. If we do, I’ll share pictures. This will allow me to empty the cubbies that are now holding the shoes, giving me a lot more flexibility on what I’m storing where. :0)

By the time I fixed us dinner, it was 8:30 in the evening. Since I was up in the middle of the night before from 1am till 3am unable to sleep and reading, you could say, by the time we went to bed around midnight, I was ready.

 

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I didn’t do my yoga yesterday, but I think I MOVED enough to make up for it…

 

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Progress Report – Getting the Lard Off 11-15-2018

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Before I started NutriSystem, I lost 12.4 pounds trying to follow a low carb diet plan. Since I’ve been on NutriSystem, I’ve lost another 30.6 pounds. Total = 43 pounds.

 

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I’ve lost a total of 45.45 inches so far.

There are two big differences –

THING ONE –

At my last doctor appointment, my blood test showed significant improvement in my lipid profile. I was down in ALL the sections, where I had been way higher than desirable before.  I have had to go for blood tests and monitoring quarterly for as long as I can remember. She said to return in 6 MONTHS.

THING TWO –

My exercising is finally yielding ‘feel good’ results. I’ve finally settled on yoga and exercises one day and elliptical trainer the next. I’m giving myself a gold star on my desk calendar as I finish each day’s exercise. :0)   I was doing yoga yesterday. My husband apparently came in and sat down in his chair, watching me. When I finished, he told me how impressed he was with my efforts, particularly in increased flexibility and in my exercises for the abdominal area. To say that a compliment is rare is a vast understatement. It just doesn’t occur to him to say anything. I was grinning from ear to ear!

PLUS – Since I outdid him on sit-ups, and also did a bicycle type thing and some leg lifts, I think I may have spurred HIM on in HIS efforts!!!!

 

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Project for Today – 11/12/2018

World Arts Me

 

I’m in the middle of “PHASE 2” of going through our house with a fresh eye, trying to purge, donate, give away, clean, and reorganize things room by room, one cabinet or drawer at a time so as not to be completely overwhelmed.

I made it through PHASE 1 – and we have made lots of donations to the Disabled Vets Thrift Store and to our local library to use for fundraising. Our house is better for it – better than it’s been in years. I’ve made a pact with myself that I will do this at least once every 30 years or so…. :0)

Today’s project is the double cabinet under the sink in the kitchen. I have stashed as much as I can in there now, and it’s to the point where I can’t get anything out without several other things coming with whatever I’m looking for.

 

As you can see, it’s been time for a clean-out for quite a while. Last time I did this, I added the two storage bins to help a bit, but they are overflowing.

I have everything out of the cabinet now. My husband awoke from a nap in his chair, going into the kitchen to heat water for some hot apple cider. He asked, “What’s happening?” seeing all the ‘stuff’ on the kitchen counters. I assured him that it would all be ‘healed’ sometime during the day….

I’ll try to post a pic later, and hopefully, you’ll be able to see a difference.

 

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Getting the Lard Off Progress Report – 11/8/2018

Pets World

The short answer is 30.6 pounds down, and 28.3 inches off.

The longer answer is that we are feeling more ‘at home’ with our new eating style. My husband and I are both on Nutrisystem, but they encourage flex meals – meals where you cook, or eat out, or branch out in some way from the Nutrisystem meals – one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one snack per week.

We are actually doing more flex meals than that -opting for a heartier dinner salad some nights, or similar things. An example, even though we’re only supposed to eat one flex dinner per week, we had a cold snap and the idea of homemade beef stew with some bread sounded really good. We ended up eating this combo for three nights straight, and then my husband was sad we didn’t have more :0)  The best news was that we not only kept our weight, but actually lost some.  So, we’re feeling more in control of our eating, our program, our goals.

We’re both exercising now. My husband spent four years in the Marine Corps, doing 50 sit-ups at the drop of a hat, or at a superior’s whim, with ease. Then, 55 years past. He tried to do a sit up about 6 weeks ago, while I was visiting a much beloved relative in Thibodaux, and was shocked that he couldn’t do ANY. (I was also amazed that he actually told me about his trial and shock, but told him that I was proud of him for trying, and that I knew if he kept at it, he would get stronger.)  He now is doing 5 strongly, and 2 or 3 more with great effort. I can’t tell you how pleased I am that he’s giving it his best shot every day. The doc told him to do cardio, but I’m not pushing it yet.

I have a stupid motivator in my own efforts to exercise daily – gold stars – like we used to get a million years ago for good work in school. My attitude is, “It it works, RUN IT!” I feel a bit silly, but it really works for me. I’m trying to do 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer one day, and about half an hour of yoga stretches and regular exercises the next. Yesterday was really busy, and it was late afternoon before I knew it. I thought, “oh, well, I’ll just do the elliptical tomorrow. One day won’t hurt.”  Then, as I sat there, I thought about not getting my gold star for the day. At 6:00 in the evening, I got up, went out to the garage, and put in my time. :0)

My husband often ‘isn’t hungry.” I NEVER have that problem. I have an appetite that would kill a horse. I get HUNGRY and if I don’t eat something, I get SNIPPY, CRANKY, and “MEAN AS A SNAKE,” according to my husband. The other silly motivator is the Nutrisystem bears you can get for each 10 pounds you lose. (My 30 pound bear is on its way!) I line them up on a shelf beside my computer chair in the office. When I’m tempted to go in and stuff my face at the wrong time, I think about getting the next bear…

Halfway to my goal now on lardage!

 

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I DID It!

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I FINALLY  reached 30 pounds off in my efforts to get the lard off!  I went on chat on the Nutrisystem website, since I hadn’t received any notification or ‘reward’ redemption thingie in my email, and the kind lady said she would make sure my 30# off bear was included in my next order. :0)

To date:  30.6 lbs off. 28.5 inches off.  I think I’m about half way to my goal now, but I’ll see how I feel when I get there. My progress has been slow, but steady, so I’m happy that I can definitely see progress since April.

I still have to talk to myself about exercising, having a LOT of interests that involve sitting – computer stuff, like my blog, reading, working in my art room, etc. When the weather is good, though, I’m outside at least once a day, working in the greenhouse, weeding, or hacking something down, killing ants, and more.

I’m doing better since I decided to do my yoga stretches and exercises one day and my elliptical trainer the next, rather than trying to get both into one day. I’m a bit embarrassed to tell you that I bought sheets of gold stars – putting one on the calendar each day I do one or the other. Stupid – but it works for me. I say, “If it works, run it.” :0)

I’m especially happy that I lost weight this week. We splurged a lot this week, eating fried fish dinners at the grocery deli once, and eating breakfast out twice this week due to a botched attempt to get a blood test yesterday and a successful attempt today. Tomorrow is Lunch Bunch, and we’ll get chicken ‘thingies.’

The thing we’re learning is how to modify our eating the rest of the day when we eat out one meal in the real world. We’re still following the eating plan, but modifying our choices so that we stay on track better as far as calories for the day.  I have also found that, since we’re eating out more often, I don’t tend to get into the “YIPPEE!” mentality, where I eat completely bad choices like ‘this-is-the-last-time-I’ll-get-to-splurge,’ eating for 6 and feeling remorse later.  If it’s reasonable, I eat half and bring the other half home to eat some other time. I’m making better choices, such as a veggie omelette today, with no sides.

Slowly, we’re making this eating plan more ours. A life plan, rather than a way of eating for some specified period of time. I’m not feeling as tied to the program, panicking when we get off for any reason. I’m starting to cook more, bit by bit, though we ARE enjoying lots of raw veggies and salads now than ever, and my husband lives for his ‘grapes-and-nuts’ snacks.

 

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Getting the Lard Off Progress Report 10-25-2018

Ravelry Bob Tape Measure

I have now lost 28 inches on Nutrisystem – 44.5 inches since my lardiest.

 

 

ScalesGalore.com

And 28 pounds on Nutrisystem – 40 pounds since my lardiest.

The very best news is that my husband has been losing weight, too – going from 38 x 30 to 34 x 30 in jeans, and had a blood sugar count of 88 this morning, the lowest ever!!!!!! Woo HOOOO!

Another good thing is that we’re much more CONSCIOUS of the food we’re putting into our mouths now, and trying to move more.

My husband is trying to do sit ups. (He’s frustrated because he’s a former Marine and used to do 50 sit ups just because his superior was feeling out of sorts. Now he’s having real trouble – and is shocked to learn that 55 years or so without exercise affects one’s muscles! :0)  )  I’m really happy for him for trying and I’m cheerleading, telling him he’ll get stronger if he tries every day.

I’m switching off each day  between my elliptical trainer and yoga stretches and exercises, in addition to working in the yard and doing another decluttering of the house, room by room, consciously trying to keep moving.

We’re making progress. I’m about halfway to my weight goal now (I think – subject to re-evaluation if I meet it). It feels good to be doing what we CAN control to take care of ourselves better and improve our quality of life.

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Still Riding on a High

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Getting the Lard Off Progress Report

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The short report is 27.6 pounds  and 23 inches down.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Decluttering Project – Phase Two – Office

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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Efforts to Get the Lard Off

The Cincinnati Zoo Blog

I’ve told you I spent 5 days in Thibodaux, Louisiana, recently, visiting my husband’s cousin’s wife, Murray, one of the sweetest people on Earth. I had a great time, getting lots of good hugs,meeting a lot of fine people, and eating lots of good food. I threw caution to the winds, eating whatever seemed reasonable at the time, enjoying every bite.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you also know about my continuing effort to get the lard off – a daunting goal when you’re weight, age, and exercise challenged by nature.

I gained almost 4 pounds in the 5 days I was gone, but I got right back on the Nutrisystem horse when I returned. My husband and I even had a flex meal of steak and baked potatoes the other night, but we’re learning to compensate for flex meals better now.

This morning I was pleased to note that, not only had I lost the 4 pounds I had gained, but also hit a new low on the scales! I’m happy to report that as of this morning I’ve lost 26 pounds and 22.55 inches since we started on Nutrisystem this time. (I say, “this time,” because we were on it in the past, several years ago, and quit, due to NS dropping all the meals my husband liked.)

I’m also REALLY happy to tell you that my husband is trying to do some sit ups!  This is a former Marine, used to doing a LOT of exercise to stay in shape while in the Corps. This is also the man who told me, “No way!” when I suggested that HE try to exercise, too. He has been encouraging ME, but steadfastly refuse to do any type of exercise himself.

(He caught a cold from my bringing home germs from my trip, and so has taken a few days off, but is really trying to do these each day. I have learned that, even if you can’t do the exercises or stretches as you would like, ATTEMPTING to do them on a regular basis strengthens and/or lengthens muscles, too, and so the effort is fruitful.

 

 

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Icing on the Cake

Life Love and Sugar

I’ve told you that my husband and I decided that we needed to do everything we could to get and stay healthier. We know we can’t control everything – by far – but there are things that we can do that will improve our quality of life and hopefully allow us to spend many more years together.

My husband was diagnosed with Type II diabetes a couple of years ago. We adopted a low carb diet and each of us lost some weight, but we needed more help. We decided to try Nutrisystem in April, since they had a program that was geared for diabetics (although my husband denies he has diabetes. He calls it a ‘sugar problem.’) Whatever you CALL it, it had already resulted in pain in his legs and feet and double vision, among other symptoms.  He was turned down for term life insurance. We had to go for the no exam type for low coverage and high premiums.

We had our quarterly doctor’s appointment in August. My husband’s A1C was almost NORMAL. (Isn’t that a lovely word?)  The doctor says if he keeps improving the way he’s been going, he might be able to stop taking the blood sugar medicine altogether in the future! Besides losing weight – since he has tried to cut out as much sugar as possible – the double vision is gone. The pain in his feet and legs is gone.

My blood test numbers were up to 65 points improved in all areas. I had been high in everything, even on the low carb diet, so this was a huge improvement. The doctor was really pleased and said I didn’t need to come back for 6 MONTHS!  My husband has one more 3 month appt in November, and if he has continued to do well, he’ll move to 6 MONTH appts, too!

The icing on the cake – and peace of mind – is that yesterday we found out he had been ACCEPTED by the insurance company for a 10-year level term life insurance policy!!! WOO HOO!  The policy we had was due to skyrocket in premiums in November on his birthday….

So losing weight, watching what we’re eating, and trying to get used to what a normal portion is, plus trying to move more (and in MY case, do some real exercise) is improving our quality of life and our chances for living to enjoy it for several years to come.

My husband is almost to his weight goal. He’ll decide what he wants to do when he gets there, but I’m hoping he’ll stick to the Nutrisystem while I’m on it, at least. I still have a long way to go on weight loss – between the low carb and now Nutrisystem programs, I’ve now lost a total of 35 lbs or so and 24 inches – I have a good start.

Lifestyle changing is no picnic. You have to fight the fight in your head and really want to get healthier. We think it’s worth it.

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Checked Off!

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It seems as if we’ve been working on a bunch of things FOREVER with endless details and lots of frustration, but things are finally coming together and we’re able to get things checked off.

  • The biggest frustrating thing was that both of our computers died at once. This has never happened before, and we’ll be making some changes so that if it happens again we’ll be better able to handle it. My husband finally got my computer up and running and most everything back on it and accessible. I’ve been working on my laptop and we didn’t have access to any of our regular places because we lost access to our passwords. We’ve now made a CD we can slip into a computer and access everything. We’re now sharing this computer, with a keyboard that toggles back and forth between QWERTY (regular keyboard) and DVORAK (my husband’s special keyboard.) He is able to access his email now, plus play on the computer, so we’re workable until he gets his motherboard returned – either the one we sent back fixed, or a new one. Hopefully, the put back together on his will go smoothly. It will be a LONG time before I take any of this for granted again.
  • Since our son lives and works across the globe from us, we’re trying to do everything humanly possible to make things easier for him when the time comes he has to handle our remaining affairs when the second one dies. Some people really don’t want to think about this, but we want to have the decisions made and the arrangements handled, then put them away and not think of them again for hopefully many years from now. We had this all done – or most of it – and then a law in Arkansas changed and messed our plans up. We had to start again. After a huge amount of work, details, legal documents, payments and cards to carry in our wallets, all arrangements are done and paid for.
  • I’ve told you before that my husband was diagnosed with Type II diabetes a couple of years ago. The result was a very expensive life insurance policy that requires no medical exam. This policy premium was due to skyrocket as a ‘Happy Birthday’ present in November. Today we were notified that he has been accepted for a 10 year level term life insurance policy that DID require a medical exam. Since he’s done so well changing his diet, losing weight, etc., he qualified for the policy this time! We handled the remaining details this morning and were able to call and cancel the policy that was due to balloon later this year. Now THAT’S a much better birthday present!

There are other things we’ve been doing, but these are the biggest and most important right now. Now we can relax and feel much less stressed!  Sometimes being stubborn, tenacious and persistent pays off!!!!

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Another Character-Building Exercise

Fabulous Traveling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Now We’re Talkin’

Alamy

Pound 24 came off today!  And 23+ inches gone. I feel as if I am definitely off to a good start now.

I had that happy news and then got to go for a heavenly massage, so I’m feeling that today is a stellar day.

We have eaten more ‘flex’ meals than usual because our Nutrisystem supplies were almost gone. (We got our orders today), so I’ve been worried that the scale and the tape measure would both start backtracking. We held our own and made progress. Hooray!!!

Another happy note – we may be seeing a sliver of light regarding the computer issues that have really been character-building exercises recently. My husband’s motherboard has been sent back for repair or replacement. I ordered another motherboard – a different model – and that should be on its way to us now. Today I FINALLY reached someone on chat at NewEgg who found our order for my previous refurbed motherboard and said she would contact the seller to give us an RMA # within two business days, and – if they didn’t get back to us – that NewEgg would handle the return and refund for us. I had almost given up ever reaching their customer service department.When I tried to use the chat, I was told I was number 75 or so in the queue. When I tried to call, the wait time was 36 minutes or so. I couldn’t just send it back because we had no order # or any paperwork to go with it. This lady – Olivia at NewEgg helped us out tremendously.

Even though we’re still in the trenches as far as working regular computers go, things appear to be improving.

I hope YOUR day is good, too!

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!

Dinosaur

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

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

Shutterstock.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Changes, life lessons

Home Security System

As I type, we’re making the final arrangements for an ADT Security System for our home. We called when we got an ad offering a promo and arranged for the installation man to come today.

So far, I’m impressed with the installation guy. We went over all the doors and windows before he started, and we had several questions. When we were in agreement about these, we discovered that because we didn’t have prewired doors and windows, we had to go for Option 2.  This means that instead of being able to use the standard system out of the box, we get credit toward the purchase of the equipment we need. After a lot of talk (questions/explanations) a major consideration is whether our Internet system will qualify for the lower monthly charge, or we have to ‘upgrade’ to the use of a sim card in the control box at a higher monthly charge.

This is not a typical bait and switch thing, or if it is, it’s extremely well done. The communication between the ADT people and our system is cut and dried. If it works, we get the lower price each month. If it doesn’t we choose whether to pay the higher monthly fee or blow off the whole thing.

We ARE considering some add-on equipment, since we have more doors and windows than they were covering, have two stories, and I like the idea of the personal emergency thingie I can wear around my neck in case I fall on my head unexpectedly. Even though I’m not alone, our house absorbs sound really well. I have been in the position of trying to yell for my husband’s help and he doesn’t hear me.

So – as soon as the test results are in, we’ll make the decision as to whether we put the system in or not.

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Okay. It’s quite a while later. The ADT system couldn’t communicate with our CenturyLink modem, so the lower monthly price is off the table. My husband said no to the higher monthly price with a contract for 3 years. The installation guy is trying a last-ditch effort to get the price of the equipment down enough to mostly offset the higher monthly price. If he can do that, maybe my husband will go for it. Fingers crossed.

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It is again later in this saga of home security system. We have made a deal and he is installing the parts now. I’ll update this a bit later, as I need to be available for him.

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There is a keypad that’s the main part of the system. We’ll have an extra keypad for the second floor, a motion sensor, a detection sensor on every door and every window, 2 keychain remotes, and a personal emergency pendant I’ll wear. On the keypads there are panic buttons for police, fire, and emergency.

Important considerations for us are that our system can be active and we can open our bedroom window to use the attic fan when the weather allows. We can also let our doggies in and out without triggering anything.

I can’t say enough about the installation guy. His name is Roderick McCray. He is knowledgeable, pleasant, put up with Amber, and worked with us to make our home security happen. He started his day by driving to us from Little Rock – a 2-1/2 hour drive. He’s been here since before 11:00 this morning, jumping through countless hoops to make this day good for both of us. He faces the drive home once the system is finally in. He has taken no breaks.

I will feel safer knowing there is someone on the other end of this system that may be able to help us in case of emergency.

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Changes, Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business, quality of life, security