Category Archives: empowerment


Mark Twain via

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Finding Happiness

Penny Yaffe Krakow

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A Son’s Love


Our son is giving me some lessons on how to get the most out of my iPhone.  I have access to a tutorial, but I never seem to give it first priority. Last night we sat down together and he showed me about six different things I didn’t know I COULD do –

  • I have moved the icons I use most to the first page where I can find them more easily.
  • I have learned to pull down from the top of my phone to access search.
  • I have now used Google Maps to enable the GPS function.
  • I can swipe from the bottom up to access airplane mode and other useful things
  • I learned to use the button on the side of the phone to switch my phone from ring to silence, and back again, rather than going about it in a totally more bumbling, laborious way.

We’re going to continue my lessons, and I have to say I am feeling empowered!

Besides my phone lessons, I’m getting my hugs bucket filled. I’m laughing so much my stomach hurts at times. He makes me feel calm and better able to deal with a health issue our family is facing. My husband and I are SO lucky to have a wonderful, caring son. We treasure every minute with him.


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Since We’re Talking Fireworks….

Josh Billings via Kelly Mizell – LinkedIn

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My poor brain is overflowing with good suggestions for how to make my new Etsy shop better.  I’m feeling totally overwhelmed right now, not knowing which way to jump.

I’m going to go do something else from my ever-growing to-do list and then come back and choose ONE thing to do in my shop.

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If You Stumble…

Charity Sparrow via Stephanie Youmans Wilson


You have to have a certain amount of confidence in order to accept this.

I don’t know why, but as a child, I felt I had to ‘master’ something – at least be reasonably good at something – before I did it in public. I definitely wanted to AVOID stumbling at all costs. I keenly felt in competition with my older brother, never measuring up.

An example would be an invitation to go bowling. Instead of just going, learning the best way I could and having FUN with it, I would accept the invitation, then go a few days ahead of time and bowl several games in order to try to avoid looking like an idiot. It was almost a panicky thing for me.

Now that I’m older than dirt, I no longer feel embarrassment at not having done something before. I won’t say I embrace completely new things with wide open arms yet, but I openly say I’ve never done something before and don’t agonize over looking silly or inept. Life is too short for that. I accept that all of us have strengths and weaknesses and that we are NOT competing – and that no one CARES if I suck at something or not. The point is learning something I didn’t know before and enjoying the experience of learning, sticking my neck out and trying something new – just for the joy of it.

Even though I may stumble a lot these days :0)  – I’m having more and more fun dancing!


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Make Time

Heather A. Stillufsen – via Christine Malone – LinkedIn

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John Hodgins via Bethany Kerr

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It Feels Like Christmas!

I found a super-good deal on a set of acrylic paints a few days ago. They arrived today, and I feel like a kid at Christmas! There are 14 tubes of paint in the set and I have paid more for 4 tubes – plus shipping – than I had to pay for this set with FREE shipping. Woo HOOO!

For some reason I haven’t been up to my art room in quite a while. I felt I needed to accomplish more on my purging project to go through 30+ years of STUFF we’ve accumulated and really don’t need.

I’m beginning to figure out now that the more I go through things, donating a bunch of things to others, throwing away a bunch of things, and then reorganizing and cleaning before putting what is good to keep again, I’m in a never-ending job. The more I DO, the more I SEE to do!

I’m going to give myself permission to take a bit of a break from all the work and play in my art room this week.


I don’t know if I’ll come up with anything, but I’ll have a wonderful time dreaming, experimenting, and playing! – via Sherry Dellaria McGrath

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Take What You Need

Christina L Paul – LinkedIn

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Leadership First-LinkedIn

I find this to be a really great motivator.

I don’t have many ‘fears,’ but I’ve seen lots of friends whose lives simple dwindle. Their world implodes, becoming smaller and smaller until they’ve given up old interests and don’t want to welcome new ones.

I have more interests than I have time or energy for the day. It seems I barely get started and the day is over.

This time next year, I want to be the best ‘me’ ever.  I would like to look back and feel that I’ve used my time well. I hope that I will have shown friends and family how much I love them in so many ways they laugh about it. I want to be as healthy as I can be – taking good care of myself and my husband. I want to fill each day with things that bring me joy.

Where do YOU want to be at this same time next year?

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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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Happy Sunday

Fashion Design Images


I’m feeling happy today – on top of things – empowered. My plans are starting to come together.

  • I told you that I got an iPhone 8 this week. Every day I’m figuring out new things. I’m finding it amazingly intuitive. I love the noise it makes when I get a text or a phone call. I like that I can actually FEEL a small vibration when the tone sounds with someone replying. I had a nice text chat with our son this morning, reaching out to him because he’s in Florida now, visiting friends and a client and will leave the country soon to go back to Thailand, PLUS he has an iPhone 8 and encouraged me to ask him questions on getting it set up. After talking to him, I have a starting list of apps I want to install, and he was able to answer my questions. I think I’m going to love this phone!
  • Before going to the grocery store with my husband this morning, I cleaned out the fridges in the kitchen and the pantry, cut up fresh veggies for our lunches this week, and put out the resulting trash. We shopped, put the food away, cut up the fresh celery we bought, and started a roast beef in the crock pot.
  • I’ve figured out my exercises for the coming week. (When it’s on my calendar, I tend to do it particularly if I put a gold star on the day.) So I’m planning to do dancing to a music exercise video Monday; yoga and abdominal exercises Tuesday; walking and exercise video Wednesday, Wii Fit Plus balance, reflexes, etc. Thursday; and elliptical trainer Friday. (I’ll ad lib on Sat and Sun.)
  • My kitchen drawers are now cleaned out and organized. I’ll list the donations we’ll make on a spreadsheet so we’ll be ready when we have several bags full of things we hope others can use.
  • I decided to go back to recording my food and water intake and activity on NuMi, the online tracker for Nutrisystem starting this morning. I’m basically into the routine now, but we’ve splurged with the holidays and our son being home for a visit, so I want to be sure I’m not fooling myself about eating during the day.

This afternoon I’ll vacuum the 1st floor carpet and then the 1st floor tiles. That’s going to be it for work today.

Finally, I’m giving myself permission to go up and PLAY in my art room this afternoon. I’m not sure what I’ll do, but my juices will start to flow when I start looking at the nice supplies I have. :0)

I hope that you are feeling happy and productive today, too.

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Michael David Chapman – LinkedIn


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Making the Most of 2019

Kelly Mizell – LinkedIn


“New Years is all about getting another chance. A chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more. And stop worrying about “what if” and start embracing what would be….” 😊❤️� ~ Kelly Mizell – LinkedIn

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3 Wishes for You in 2019

WISH 1 –

“My Wish for you in 2019:

May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts.

May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet of $100 bills.

May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!

May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires.

May happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy.

May the problems you had forget your home address! In simple words …….

May 2019 be the best year of your life!!!”  ~ Unknown

Mag for Women



“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.” ~ Neil Gaiman, British author

WISH 3 – via cathy ruggiero



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I’m Dancing!

Becky Brovia via Lisa Bearnes Richey

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“Make the Ordinary Come Alive”

Waldorf Today via Desiree Angelique Hackett

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Mary Engelbreit via

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Our Luck Runneth Over

Live Life in Color

My husband and I are very lucky – and VERY aware of it.

We’re both retired, busier than we’ve EVER been, (even when raising a child, working full time, going to school nights, weekends, and summers, and all that that entails).  We can plan most of our days to do what is most important to us at the time. We can be energetic, getting lots of stuff accomplished, or fat-ass in our recliners, reading a book or watching TV until we nod off for a nap. We live on top of a ridge line on about 8 acres, so we don’t have to worry about any of our activities bothering our neighbors. We can work in our shop in the middle of the night if a creative mood strikes, making a yard critter out of spare parts or a decoration for the mailbox.

We are both healthier than we’ve been in several years – other than getting older than dirt. We are actively trying to get the lard off and exercise. Since April, we have both lost about 30 pounds. Our blood tests are showing the difference and our primary doctor is patting us on our collective heads. My husband is almost where he needs to be weight-wise, but the NutriSystem programs we’re on help us watch our portions while avoiding sugar, salt, and fat without causing big problems and we’re eating more raw veggies at least twice a day.

Our luck runneth over because our son is trying to make arrangements to come home from Thailand for a good visit – the first in three years or so. We talk to him almost daily, either using a good chat program he arranged, or a face-to-face program called, “”, or a combination of both, so we get everything but hugs on a regular basis. We’re lucky that he seems to enjoy us as people, rather than communicating out of some sense of ‘duty.’ We are closer as a family with him living across the planet from us than some families who live in the same city. Lucky, indeed.

We remark to each other that it doesn’t bet much better than this. We love our lives. Winning huge sums of money through PCH or the state lottery would be icing on an already delicious cake…

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A Good Day

My husband and I are getting over the cold I brought home from my trip and graciously gave to him. :0)  Each day we’re stronger, though we both still feel we’ve been run over by a truck.

Today my husband spent much of the day talking to a Level 3 Microsoft person, trying to get Windows Office installed on his computer. This is a computer guru having trouble with something that is supposed to be so easy, but in truth took the EXPERT much of the day to do it. He finally said it was Windows’ problem, making my husband feel better about the need to ask for help. My husband has a LOT of important files in Word and Excel, so it was crucial that he get the program installed and working.

My SIL was kind enough to send me ‘cards’ on my phone, listing some contact information. I had trouble getting the files to ‘open,’ then FINALLY got the idea to check my gmail account online and see if they showed up in my contacts. After a LOT of fiddling around (I am NOT a computer guru and technology is basically ‘magic’ to me) I finally got my contacts to show. I found numerous duplication, due to my ineptness, and then went on to correct some outdated information, add more contacts, etc. so that now I have ONE list that also shows up on my phone. I feel empowered!!!!

I also have finally made it through the maze of getting the Visa gift cards promised to us when we installed the ADT security system in our home recently. It started with each of the people involved pointing to the other, but FINALLY I now have the certificates and codes needed to fill out the application forms. My husband was threatening to tear out the whole system, but I managed with firmness, rather than threats, to get what we needed.

I was contacted yesterday by a relative we haven’t seen in years, reaching out to us to let us know one of my relatives is having serious health issues. I can’t believe his kindness in essentially reaching out to a stranger, and in an incredibly kind way, letting us know what was happening in his family. I wrote back, thanking him profusely, asking more questions. He answered me today, again making me feel glad he reached out. Sometimes people can make you tear up with their generosity.

So, we’ve had a productive, good day and are getting ready to relax for a bit.

I hope YOU had a good day, too.


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Emma Trilles – LinkedIn


Every day we face obstacles to what we want to accomplish. Some of them may prove too difficult, and then we need to figure out another alternative.

But most obstacles are within us. Are you, like me, your own worst enemy on a lot of things? Do feelings of inadequacy bubble up to the surface, making you give up before really even giving it a good try? Our inner voices, past experiences, and uncertainty thwart our efforts to learn something new, stick our necks out to try something we’ve never done before, and more.

We need to separate obstacles we really do need to honor from ones we throw up as excuses to avoid going outside our comfort zone. Our world needs to get larger as we age, rather than allowing it to quietly get smaller and smaller, ‘safer and more certain’ until it implodes.

If you find that you can no longer do something you once enjoyed, take an active interest in finding something to replace it. Reach out to others, read voraciously, TRY things that are a bit scary.

Challenge yourself to acknowledge it when you discover you’re giving up on something and make it a point to meet it head on and widen your horizons.

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Life Lessons

Positive Energy via Michael Remillard


I’ve tried all my life to remain calm in an emergency and haven’t managed it yet. This beautiful quote and illustration suggests it’s a skill you can practice. Does that mean you have to find emergencies over and over and then try to solve them, trying to remain calm in the process?

When my husband and I lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma a million or so years ago, we bought our first house. It was a lovely two-story wood home with a very small lot in a nice area of town where most of the homes were at least 50 years old. There was a small, rectangular ‘swimming pool’ taking up most of the back yard that didn’t hold water. :0)  It also had a garage apartment that we fixed up and rented out.

After several years, I came home from a day of teaching school to find the garage apartment in flames! My reaction was to freak out. I did make sure that our renters weren’t inside. Then I called my mom, only figuring out several minutes later I should probably call the fire department…

I’ve spent a lot of time in my life trying to do everything I could to AVOID emergencies. I guess that’s a good thing, but it doesn’t give you much help when you encounter the next one. I run around like a chicken with its head cut off, squawking and crying and panicking, rather than keeping a cool head and doing what’s necessary.

I admire people who know just what to do if someone gets hurt. My mind goes blank, forgetting everything I ever knew, other than maybe calling 911 – something my husband would rather DIE than do. HE wants me to get him into the car and go to the ER – the way he has done over the years (rarely, thank goodness) with ME.



Maybe I’m not alone in needing some practice.


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Create Your Own World When You Need It

Live Life in Color

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Growing Evie Zimmerman


I tend to live in my comfort zone. I feel sure of myself and I like feeling that I’m in ‘control,’ even though I ‘realize’ that is delusion.

I feel good about myself when I step out of it, though – when I learn something new that is empowering.

Example: Since my husband is really good on computers and is finishing getting my new computer to work the way I want it to, I tend to be lazy and ask him how to do things, rather than figure it out for myself  ( a VERY time-consuming, frustrating thing for someone the complete opposite of a computer/electronics nerd.)  My husband tries to be patient when I ask him something, but it’s hard for both of us. He wants me to be specific, telling him exactly what I need in the proper terminology. (If I knew the proper terminology for my problem, I probably wouldn’t have the problem!)

I was trying to find some files on my computer. I tried to explain what I needed. The more I tried, the worse it got. Finally, we were totally frustrated with each other and gave up.

THAT’s when I stepped out of my comfort zone and actually started learning. After a LOT of flailing around, grinding of teeth, and more than a few bad words and tears, I managed to FIND the information I needed for my insurance detailing project – both the information that is on what I’m now calling the ‘old DVD’ and the spreadsheet on which I’ve started detailing what we own, what we paid, making sure we have a pic, etc. (including our first grade report card, thumb print, and….

When we talked about it later, I calmly told him I had found what I needed and had relocated them so I wouldn’t have trouble next time. He tried not to show it, but I THINK he was a bit disappointed that I didn’t need help on this anymore.

I stepped out of my comfort zone and now feel empowered – until the next time.

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Flex Meals on NutriSystem



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

“Flex breakfast” –

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

“Flex lunch” – 

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

“Flex dinner” –

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

“Flex Snack” –

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

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

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

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

Fingers crossed.

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

Sometimes via Desiree Angelique Hackett

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Getting the Lard Off Progress – End of Week 3

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

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


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

Practical Differences:

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

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


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I think I’ve told you that I hate computers when they don’t work and make me feel stupid. This happens a LOT. Recently, my husband really insisted that I change to a PC with Windows 10 from the iMac my son set up for me. My husband wants to be able to fix things when I have problems. Our son is across the world from us, and so many times isn’t available to help.

My husband ordered the same hardware he’s using for me, but for some unknown reason, it wouldn’t work. He fought and fought with things, returning and changing out parts, and finally got things going. Then there was a fight with Windows 10 and getting other software on to emulate what I was using on the iMac. He’s still trying to get our computers to see each other so we can share files. Usually, this is a simple process (for a computer person) but even the Microsoft tech support people, taking over both of our computers, haven’t been able to get it so we can see each other. It’s a mystery.

Meanwhile, my biggest aggravation on a daily basis is that I couldn’t see the pictures I use every day in writing the blog. I have a lot of pics collected and can’t remember all their names, so I was having to get on each one, open it to see if that was the one I wanted, over and over. My normally fairly nice demeanor has been eroded over several weeks now of fighting with this.

My husband is at an auction in Oklahoma today so I have the house to myself and relative peace – except for the animals wanting to go in and out constantly. I was determined to get my pics to show this morning AND I DID IT!  I was prowling around and saw ‘options’ under the viewing menu. I clicked on view below that and found a box in which my husband had placed a check mark: “always show icons, never thumbnails.” That was the OPPOSITE of what I like and I UN-clicked the box. VOILA!  I can see my pictures!!!!!!

There is no telling WHAT this newly empowered, puffed-up lady can do next!

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Walls vs Windmills

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