Category Archives: opportunities
The name of our booth is “Blasing Bright” – a combination of part of the last names of my friend Carla and her former partner. It’s a small booth, but in a good location in the shop of booths called, “Rags & Roses.” 100 N Main St, Greenwood, AR 72936, (479) 597-3107. The owner is Joanna Brandt, a truly lovely, intelligent, energetic lady. The hours of Rags & Roses are Tuesday – Friday, 11:00 -6:00, and Saturday, 10:00 until 4:00.
Carla and I arranged, rearranged, then decorated a bit for Christmas, then rearranged again before we found what we thought looked the best. Carla is one of my best friends, a joy to work with. We caught up with what’s been going on, shared lots of laughs and hugs.
This is my dear friend Carla Woolbright.
And this is me.
I’m taking another group of things today and then will keep all appendages crossed that we both get some nice sales. I’m really excited to have this opportunity to try to sell my work locally, all year ’round.
EXCITING AND FUN!
Summer is finally over here in Arkansas. I was beginning to wonder for a while if it would be perpetual! It’s crisp and brisk, with a definite nip in the air this morning – at 37 degrees F. The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful fall day.
Today will be a happy day for me.
We will leave for Lunch Bunch soon – an every Friday brunch/lunch with good friends we’ve been enjoying for over 17 years now. The core bunch, Linda, Kay and I, has been expended to include my husband, and Kay’s recently, with others joining us from time to time, such as sons, daughters, grandchildren, and other good friends. It’s a time to catch up, share what has happened – or is going to happen, our hopes, dreams, failures, happy and sad things – knowing we support each other. A very special group that means the world to me.
When we return from Lunch Bunch, I’ll pack the truck again with things I’ll display in my good friend, Carla’s, booth in a local shop. We went together yesterday to look at things, bouncing ideas off each other, grabbing some supplies from a couple of places and finally sharing some tea and good conversation. I will pick her up this afternoon and we’ll go add my stuff to what is now OUR shop! She has already paid the rental fee for November, so I’ll pay for December. I’ll share pics of the shop and some other details with you later.
When I come home again from adding to our shop, I’ll do my elliptical trainer and yoga for the day, chores around the house, etc., and catch up with my husband and our pets, enjoying a quiet evening together.
Happy day! I hope that YOU enjoy one, too!
These aren’t MY shelves, but I’m spending time in my art room inventorying my paper supplies, calligraphy pens, wrapping supplies, paints, boxes, ribbons, envelopes, and more to be sure I can fill orders without delay.
I’m making lists of what I DO need to order, and then reorganizing my shelves so that things I need are super easy to find.
I’m excited that I have found Renae Christine, a lady who has been super successful in online shops of her own, who makes videos for others like me, helping them to correct mistakes they might be making, helping them rethink what they are trying to do, and helping them get set up. I signed up for one of her webinars today at 2pm, and have an alarm set and note-taking supplies at the ready!
She is very smart. I’ve watched each of the three videos I have twice, trying to absorb everything and use her suggestions in my new Etsy store, ArtworthyNoteCards.
P.S. Our Internet only functioned in spotty fashion the whole day, so I missed the webinar. I THINK I can save it and watch it tomorrow. Fingers crossed!
For about a week and a half I’ve been viewing some videos by Renae Christine regarding selling handmade items online. She really got my attention when saying the several things you SHOULDN’T do – because I was doing ALL of them…. :0(
I have JUST finished creating a new store on Etsy called, ArtworthyNoteCards concentrating ONLY on selling my hand-painted cards, note card packages, and stationery packages. I am trying to look at what I’m doing in a new way, incorporating her ideas, and will see if anything happens.
Changing the way you look at things is really difficult. Maybe this difficulty is another thing that increases with age. Her videos challenged me, though, getting me get excited about trying her suggestions.
I would very much appreciate it if you would visit my new store and give me feedback on what you think when you have the time and inclination.
If the link above doesn’t work for some reason, here is the URL to my Etsy store –
Several years ago we participated in this program, agreeing to house a foreign student. We met a delightful girl from Germany and welcomed her into our home. It didn’t turn out as well as it might have because she was a very social girl and felt isolated here, since we live out in the sticks, and her new friends lived close around the high school. She also spent a lot of time on the Internet. Again, since we live out in the sticks, our Internet connection is slow by most standards. It doesn’t bother us, but she was using all of our allowance and more, causing our bill to skyrocket. To make a long story shorter, she moved out of our home and into the home of one of her friends for the remainder of the school term.
The move was hurtful. Instead of letting us know what was going on, the main host for the local high school showed up unexpectedly one weekend morning. The girl who was staying with us had apparently packed during the night and was ready to move. The fact that it was done this way, rather than being open with us, really hurt. We would have helped her move. We understood the limitations of our situation and wanted her to be happy. The experience left a really bad taste in my mouth. My husband said I was over-reacting, and he’s probably correct, but I still tear up talking or typing about it.
The reason I’m bringing this up is that my husband really wants to participate in the program again. We had a serious discussion about it today. I think – if we get a boy this time – and we’re really up front about what our situation is – that we live in the sticks, are in the stone age as far as Internet speed and monthly data allowance, and will be like living with his grandparents, who are healthy, but are not likely to take him white water rafting on the weekends – that maybe we can do this. There is a school bus for the regular to and from, plus we’re available to take and pick him up from any school activities with friends he makes, games, shopping, sight-seeing, etc.
The STS lady and my husband have been emailing each other, and she included a letter from a 16-year-old boy from Italy. He’s a soccer player, loves sports, loves animals, and describes himself as a bit shy when first meeting people. This sounds very appealing, so we’ve answered the email, making sure that he would understand our situation and be prepared for it.
SO – time will tell. If we are accepted and this young man wants to live with us, it will start in August and will end in June when the school year ends.
It’s too cold outside yet, and I don’t have a heater in the greenhouse, so I can’t start any seeds yet, but NEXT month I’m hoping I can get a head start on the spring planting season.
I’m going through my seeds, thinking I’ll start with lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower this time.
I would really love to have some healthy plants grown in my own greenhouse to transplant into our raised bed, square foot garden this spring, instead of having to buy plants locally. I’m reading everything I can get my hands on about greenhouses. The problem is that most of the information is written by people who live in pretty cold parts of the U.S.
My experience so far is that unless I have a heater (and we would have to keep it running 24/7 with a 350 foot extension cord running from the house out to the greenhouse) it’s too cold to start anything there yet. We tend to go from winter to way too hot in rapid succession, and then I have trouble – even with the extension cord, an exhaust fan, and the opposite people door open, to keep it COOL enough! So I’m scouring the net trying to find information that will help me deal with the extremes we have in Arkansas.
I’m hoping to start some plants the 1st of March. I’ll post pics of my efforts.
This is a picture of my spring garden last year in the raised bed planters my husband and I made. There are SIX 4’x4′ planters held up by angle iron ‘tables’ about my chest height. They allow me to weed, plant, and harvest without having to get up and down a million times or get down on hands and knees.
This picture gives you another view of the planters. We also used some netting at the end of July and through August when the sun tries to boil plants right in the ground. You can see the hoses and the sprinklers we use to water the plants automatically. They are attached to an outdoor faucet on a timer.
The planters are filled with Mel’s Mix (combination of peat moss, vermiculite and as many different composts as you can find.) We mix the ingredients together in a portable cement mixer and then bring the mix into the planters to top off. Then we stretch string across in two directions to make the ‘squares’ for planting.
I’m starting to plan where the plants will go. It’s best if you rotate crops in this set up, just as you would if you were planting in the ground. We follow the Square Foot Garden book by Mel Bartholomew, where he suggests how many plants to plant in each square. He suggests one plant per square for things like broccoli, 4 per square for lettuce, 9 for other plants, and 16 for radishes. We space them wider than he suggests, having healthier plants that way. (He tends his garden every day, sometimes even more. Since we’re not that conscientious, wider works better for us.) He also suggests that you place like plants away from each other – such as one broccoli, then lettuce, then radishes, then cauliflower in a row to avoid transmission of bugs or any other problems from one plant to another.
I made a grid and I fill them in with what I’m planting where. I use the old one to figure out a new plan for the next ‘crop,’ trying not to plant the broccoli in the same squares as I did the last time.
We have converted two brick planters on the other side of the house to be tomato planters.
I’m at the stage of being excited and doing lots of research and planning.
If you have a greenhouse or do square foot gardening and have tips or suggestions, I would LOVE to hear them!
Can you tell I’m ready for spring? :0)
“Let’s infect the world with good.” Anneberly Andrews – AnneberlyAndrewscom.wordpress.com
One of my good, long-time friends sets a beautiful, inspiring example for me each time we’re together. She looks for opportunities to help others or to be kind every day.
She doesn’t ever say anything about it. We were spending an afternoon together and I watched in quiet amazement as she did good thing after good thing almost unconsciously. They were small things, like offering to return a cart to its place in the parking lot for an elderly lady, or opening the door for someone, or letting someone get ahead of her in line. She returned abandoned carts to the store. She retrieved the lid of a trash can and put it on the can so it wouldn’t blow away again. I realized, after watching her, that it was an attitude, a habit developed by lots of practice, and an unconscious recognition of what she personally could do to make the world a better, kinder place.
When I asked her about it, she looked surprised and then said she had been doing it for years. This discussion happened several years ago. I’ll never be as good as it as she, or get to the place where I do it unconsciously, as she does, but I’m really trying to emulate her wonderful example. She makes people feel special – like always greeting me with a huge grin and open arms for a wonderful hug. She makes people’s loads a bit lighter. She brings out smiles wherever she goes.
She’s not perfect. None of us is. But she’s one of the best people I know on the planet and I’m so lucky to know her. I’ll continue to try to look for opportunities each day to do what I can do to brighten someone’s day.
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!
I just bought tickets for Power Ball, Mega Millions, and I’ve been entering the PCH Sweepstakes daily for the prize coming up soon.
My husband and I have all sorts of great ideas for what we would do with the money. We haven’t actually made a LIST yet, but we’ll have plenty of time for that after we win.
We already won the lottery on family – even with our doggies providing me with such a day of ‘fun’ yesterday. Since we have everything else with each other, our improving health, our son, our pets, our lifestyle – we figure winning these three things would definitely be icing on an already-delicious cake.
BRING IT ON!!!!!!
I found this sweater/jacket 5 years ago or so and simply loved it. Sadly, it was too small, but I TOLD myself that I would lose some weight and finally be able to wear it. I’ve moved it back and forth from the guest closet to my closet, trying it on once a year since then, with the same result. Even with my determination to get rid of things all over the house, including clothes that don’t fit, I just COULDN’T part with it.
Deep purple is my color. Whenever I see a group of things, all the same except for color, I’m drawn to the dark purple one. The fact that this sweater-jacket had leather on the front, with cut out flowers, made me drool (though I was careful NOT to on the sweater!)
This is the back. It can be worn as a top or added as a jacket.
Here’s a close up of the flowers.
I haven’t lost poundage or lardage this week. The scales are still flirting with 30 pounds off, but I’m not there yet. My measuring tape is unimpressed, showing the same as last week, even though I’ve been working, cleaning, and exercising. The one thing that stands out is from my switching from summer to winter clothes and trying things on.
I have a full leaf bag now of tops that are too large AND my sweater/jacket finally FITS. YES!!!!!!
I’m about half way to my goal in weight loss and inches now. It may take the rest of my natural life to get there, but I’m on my way!
I found these suckers on a tomato plant and replanted them in the greenhouse. I’ll be trying to get lots of others started, as it’s too cool outside now for the tomato plants to create ripe tomatoes. I’m HOPING that I can either have tomato plants ready to replant in the planters in the spring, or even have a ripe tomato or two to enjoy! So far, these seem to be doing well.
Yesterday I turned off the second fan and closed the greenhouse door. The exhaust fan is still hooked up and will turn on if the temp gets over 80 degrees in there.
These are the really small lettuce plants I planted about a week ago. They’re still alive, but aren’t having an explosive growth.
I took TWO shots of the ‘leggy lettuce’ I planted several days after the small ones. Here you can see how large they are compared to the smaller one on the right.
If they continue to do this well, I’ll start carefully cutting larger leaves to include in our dinner salads!
I also have several celery plants I’ll bring out to see how they do. :0)
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.
A good friend of mine, Carla, and I went for a free dinner and spiel by Healthy Home 365 yesterday afternoon. We’ve been to other spiel/dinners, but this one was at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in Fort Smith, a restaurant we both like, and we wanted the time together to catch up, so off we went.
This company has lots of good ideas for energy savings in your home. The spiel was well done and the food was good. I’m glad that technology is now providing good ways to minimize the affects of attics on homes. They have a solar-powered attic fan, a stuff called MLI, a multi-layered 99.9% aluminum ‘sandwich’ that comes in rolls to go over your existing attic insulation, an additive to put in your air conditioner to get rid of fouled oil that is supposed to prolong the life of your a/c, an EcoProbiotic System you attach to your air ducts to remove bacteria, etc., etc., etc.
My main reaction is that my husband and I have done what we’re able to afford already with a geothermal air conditioning and heat system, a tankless water heater, new windows, a check by our electric company for places we were losing heat, etc. These companies know what demographic they’re targeting, but it seems to ME that they should be targeting affluent middle or upper class families, rather than ‘mature’ people like us. The technology was impressive, and of COURSE I’d like to do ALL of it, but the cost was astronomical, even with a 30% price savings due to a Federal credit on your taxes. My friend signed up for an estimate, and I’m interested to hear what they told her. The estimates are supposed to be good for one year.
Big selling points were the tax credit, discount for quick sign-up, a higher selling price on your home, a payment plan, amortizing the cost over your lifetime, etc., etc. We have a reverse mortgage, so we aren’t concerned with selling our home. We are still trying to amortize the cost of the geothermal system, even though we received tax savings on that, ‘lifetime’ warranties mean a bit less now.
If this were about 15 years ago, we might have jumped at this. Their really good products and we would love to have them, but priorities are different now. Sorry. I had to prick their balloon.
I got this DVD set in the mail this morning and tried out the first DVD. I have my work cut out for me.
This is advertised as a “Low Impact Walking Workout Pack, including two 5000 step DVD workouts. This should be a good addition to my yoga stretches, elliptical trainer, 0-6 Pack Abs DVD, and the 5-Minute Per Day DVD moves that are supposed to make me look like Julia Roberts. :0)
I’m doing my yoga stretches daily, and then mixing in the other stuff in on various days during the week, trying to do at least two different things per day.
I have to tell you, I did the ‘warm up’ today on the new dance DVD and my hips were screaming. I know – pathetic – but I figure if I try to do JUST the warm up every day, my hips will finally quit screaming. I think I’ll be able to move on to an actual workout sometime soon. The workout got me warmed up and breathing harder, so I think it was a good thing. I’m going to try to put my workout schedule on my calendar today and see how it goes….
I’m about to hit another milestone in trying to get the lard off – almost 20 pounds gone. I’ve lost almost 19 inches overall.
A good friend asked me what the next goal was – and I immediately responded, “40 pounds off.”
But that’s not really what my long-term goals are.
One quote I love says, “Old age is always 15 years older than you are.”
I don’t want to live forever, but I would really like to feel good enough to do most anything I would like to do until I croak. Since they haven’t come up with pills that do it for you, it’s up to ME to try to
- get my excess lard off
- exercise to strengthen my muscles and bones
- do whatever else I can to become/stay as healthy as I can
I don’t really know how much weight I want to lose. I would like to be in the normal range according to BMI charts. If I keep on keepin’ on, eventually I’ll get there. I’ll see how I feel when I get there and then make more decisions. I have high blood pressure that is now finally reading normal WITH medication. I would love it if I can one day stop these. I would like my blood test numbers to be all in the ‘normal’ range one day. (I never really appreciated what a delicious word “normal” is before. We’ll see the fruits of my efforts so far at our quarterly appointment with our primary doctor Monday.)
After better health, it would be really nice not to have to avoid clothing stores that don’t carry clothes large enough for me, having to head for the ‘fat lady section’ in the limited stores that do. It’s not really a vanity thing. It’s emotional. I would like to be able to choose something I like off the rack and know it should FIT, but only to be concerned if I like the way I look in it. When I have to avoid stores altogether, or have to only be concerned about it being ‘large enough,’ it chips away at my feelings of self worth. I will enjoy feeling much better about myself.
- Good health
- Feeling normal about finding clothes without taking a hit emotionally.
Anything else is gravy.
First short-term goal is getting the 20 off officially so that I can get another ‘bear’ from Nutrisystem – hopefully in our next order!
My good friend Marsha suggested that, instead of trying to give myself PERMISSION to play in my art room, I SCHEDULE it at least twice a week as a part of a program to be better to myself. I’ve taken that suggestion and have found my spirits lifting and getting excited about trying to learn something new.
I have a book called Keys to Painting Fur & Feathers, edited by Rachel Rubin Wolf. It gives you hints about how to capture the essence of animals and birds, zeroing in on their most distinctive features in order to try to draw better pictures of them. It also addresses trying to paint realistic fur and feathers.
I decided to take a couple of my previous drawings and reproduce them, trying to concentrate on the feathers techniques. Then I found others I’d like to try, as well. I’m trying to get a bunch of these drawings into a sketch book and then play with them, using all kinds of different media and see what I get.
I have to tell you the time flies as I ‘work’ in my art room. I turn on an mp3 player, listen to some of my favorite music in the comfort of my CLEAN, air-conditioned and ceiling-fanned room, a cup of coffee or a bottle of water beside me at the table.
I’m excited about learning a completely new skill, and I’m very thankful to have this book for examples, suggestions, and inspiration.
The BAD news is that I’m still old and still don’t look a THING like Julia Roberts.
The GOOD news is that with the help of the Nutrisystem counselor, I seem to have broken through the plateau from Hell I was on and am losing weight again!
To date, I’ve lost 16.3 inches.
Poundage off is now 14.4.
Other GOOD things –
- I’m getting used to drinking 64 oz of water daily, no longer feeling that my eyes are floating. (My husband – who is not even trying to drink any certain amount – is getting used to having to pause the movie several times, though, as the drinking catches up with me in the evenings.)
- I’m getting more confident about being able to adapt our life style to the Nutrisystem program, particularly as it relates to the flex meals and our social life. We like to bowl with friends on Monday evenings, for example. We use the trip to Braum’s afterwards as our FLEX SNACK for the week. We eat with friends every Friday for what we call “Lunch Bunch.” We were counting that as FLEX LUNCH, but are finding it easier to work it into the program by having it as our FLEX BREAKFAST for the week. I’m starting to prepare some of the “Leaf” Nutrisystem FLEX DINNER recipes, having fixed two so far. One of the recipes was an “OKAY,” but the latest one, the “1-Pan Rice, Chicken and Vegetables” was a winner. Today, since I made it to 1100 subscribers – actually 1101 now) to my blog – HOOORAAAAAAAY!” – we’re going to Red Lobster for Lobster Tail as our FLEX LUNCH for the week in celebration!
- I’m starting to look forward to some of my exercising. I’ll never become like Jillian Michaels, who seems to live for exercise, or like annoying Leslie Sansone, who keeps talking about how much FUN her walking program is and how GOOD it feels, but I AM enjoying the half hour I spend daily doing my yoga stretches and then using my cervical pillow to completely relax for several minutes. I’m trying to do my elliptical trainer for 30 minutes every other day. I’m using all the vacuuming and mopping of floors as my exercise a couple of days a week or more, since I seem to have to devote my life to it to even THINK of trying to keep up with all the dog and cat hair right now.
- I’m starting to believe that if I keep on keepin’ on, I’ll eventually lose the lard, be healthier, and feel better as there is less of me.
My next goal is to earn my 20 lb Nutrisystem bear! One day at a time….
WEIGHT: 12.2 pounds down. I have to admit I’m a bit teed off because my husband doesn’t take any responsibility for even thinking about what he’s eating or when, just says, “Thanks” when I bring him the next snack or meal; doesn’t drink the water, doesn’t exercise, and he’s lost more than I have…
MEASUREMENTS: Down 16.3 inches. My husband has no interest in measuring, but he just ordered shorts that are 2 inches smaller in the waist. He put them on this morning and looks GOOD.
I had high blood pressure even with my medication. I’m now showing normal with my meds. “Normal” is such a beautiful word!
My husband is a Type II diabetic. When we started monitoring his blood sugar, it was at around 353 or higher. (Normal is under 100.) This week it was 113!
Each week we’re supposed to have one FLEX meal for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack, preferably on different days. Our flex SNACK is ice cream after bowling with friends on Monday evenings. Our flex LUNCH is Lunch Bunch with long-time friends on Fridays. We usually don’t do the flex BREAKFAST, since my husband likes Nutrisystem’s oatmeal and prefers to just stick with that. Flex DINNER – I’ve broiled a thin steak cut into 2 pieces and we’ve had little bitty baked potatoes. We’ve also shared a small container of chicken fried rice from our local Chinese restaurant.
Yesterday I tried cooking our first flex dinner from the Nutrisystem website. It is called “Meat and Potato Casserole.” It makes 6 servings. We ate two and I froze the other 4 servings in labeled individual dishwasher-and-microwave-safe containers. We found the casserole a little dry, but the flavor was good. We had a salad with it. Today I stopped and got some packets of low sodium brown gravy. The package makes 1 cup – way more than enough for the one tablespoon of gravy I plan to pour over each of the remaining servings when we eat them.
I’m not a wonderful cook. The amount of preparation for this meal seemed like a lot to this lazy woman who would rather do almost anything than spend a bunch of time in the kitchen. I used a food processor as they suggested to prepare the carrots and potatoes, but I think the next time I’ll just use my hand-held shredder because clean up will be a lot easier. It seemed that I had half the kitchen messed up by the time the casserole dish was finally in the oven.
That said, I’m delighted to be able to have recipes at my fingertips to help us stay on the good start we’ve made on losing the lard. To complain when I cooked once and had servings for the two of us for THREE meals is a LOT more “poor me” than any of us need or appreciate…. :0)
All in all a good week’s progress. I’m hoping to get off the plateau I seem to be on, but I’m doing healthy things for us.
Today we have officially finished the 1st month of Nutrisystem.
I’m particularly pleased by my husband’s progress. He is disappointed that he hasn’t lost that much weight, but he doesn’t have NEAR as much to lose as I do. He’s lost about 4 lbs, but I can SEE a difference in his tummy (though he won’t let me measure or do it himself.) The biggest thing that makes me happy is the lowering of his blood sugar number. It was 117 this morning, the lowest since we’ve been monitoring. (I saw a ‘353’ in my records). Lower than 100 is considered normal, and he actually might achieve that!
He is particularly pleased by getting to eat a piece of fruit daily. We had both given that up entirely before and it’s really a treat to welcome fruit back into our diet. There are some really nice big oranges right now at Walmart and we share one each day. We also have some apples in the fridge, in case the oranges aren’t available, plus some blackberries for fruit on his flex breakfast for the week. He has found several of the cookie snacks really good, and he likes their oatmeal. He thinks the frozen orange dream type bars better than the ones we were eating before the diet!
My Nutrisystem progress to date is 9.2 lbs and 11.8 inches gone. (My total weight loss efforts since my ‘lardiest’ are 21.4 lbs and 26.2 inches.)
Lifestyle changes other than the Nutrisystem eating plan:
- I gave up added salt and am buying low sodium canned veggies now.
- Neither my husband nor I add any sugar or alternatives to anything.
- I am doing more real exercise –
- elliptical trainer – at least 15 minutes,
- yoga 30 minutes,
- over-the-door shoulder pulley – 5 minutes,
- weight exercise to stretch out shoulder muscles – 5 minutes.
- I’m more aware of what a ‘serving’ is – basically not enough to stick in your eye. That said, I realize that my husband and I have each eaten for 8 to 10 at each meal and that hasn’t done our health any favors.
- We are both consciously eating more veggies (we usually have carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes and radishes with some salad dressing with our lunch and then a tossed salad (with lettuces and spinach from our own garden!) with our dinner.
- I’m getting more used to drinking the 64 oz of water each day. I drink a 16 oz bottle of water with each meal and sip at the last during the day. My body seems to be adjusting to it, too. I’m not having to run to the bathroom quite so much.
We were both really happy to finally eat our way through Order #1. We were both down to things we really didn’t care for, and so cheered when we finished the last of the first order and could dive into Order #2. It was funny, though, because our first lunch we each had “White Bean Chicken Chili.” We are wusses when it comes to hot, spicy stuff, and this was almost too hot for us to eat! I read the ingredients and found they had put jalapenos in it. We could get it down by having a veggie in our mouth and then adding a bit of the chili in there, too. The flavor was nice, other than the hot, but I went to the website and took that particular choice off of Order #3 for both of us… :0)
We feel that our first month on Nutrisystem has been successful. I enjoy planning the flex dinner we’ll eat each week. (We’ll have salmon and steamed broccoli this week.) My husband is learning to put his glasses on so that he can SEE the color coded choices in his bins in the pantry and the freezer. He is also learning to actually read the directions for nuking his food, rather than just winging it. I’m still spoiling him by bringing his snacks to him (like his 1/2 peeled orange and 2 oz of nuts mid-morning) but he’s learning to be a bit independent, otherwise.
On with Month # 2!
This old lady ain’t dead yet! I’m learning a LOT about how to create and manage bookmarks on the new PC using Microsoft 10 and Chrome.
I now have ONE list of bookmarks, all on Chrome. (I deleted Firefox as a browser)
I now can –
- create a bookmark and put it in a folder
- create a new folder
- rename a bookmark
- delete a bookmark
I’m in the process of looking at each one, deciding if I still want it, figuring out what folder to put it in if I want it (or create a new one). I’m actually making progress now and feeling much less frustrated.
Thanks to those of you who offered encouragement, commiseration, or wished good luck. It has really helped!
I had a nice chat with our son this morning. He said he had spent most of the day today (It’s 1:00 in the morning tomorrow now) at a cafe he likes, doing computer work for a client.
All of a sudden a Chinese girl came into the cafe, distraught because she had left her purse in a red truck (taxi). Our son was able to talk to her in Mandarin, called the police and talked to them in Thai. They were able to find the particular red truck, the driver, and the purse. Our son said that would have never happened in China. I think it wouldn’t have happened in the United States, either. He said the Thai people are very nice.
I’m so pleased that he wanted to – and was able to – help, speaking in two languages. He has always thought it was important to try to learn the language wherever you are, showing respect for the country and its people. I’m happy that all his work on language classes actually helped someone in distress today.
(The picture above shows the Chinese people on the left, including the girl with her Cat’s Eye bag. The Thai red truck driver in the middle, and the Thai police on the right.) It makes me feel good that the driver was honest, the police were helpful, and the girl was helped. There is still good in the world!
Our son lives and works in Thailand. The touristy part of Thailand is in the southern part of the country, from Bangkok south. Northern Thailand is beautiful and much quieter, and he really likes it.
He thinks that it is only courteous to try to speak the language in the country you’re in. When he was in China, he took Mandarin lessons. Now he’s still taking Mandarin and is also taking Thai lessons. In fact, he recently told us he doubled his lessons in both and now feels he’s making good progress.
He has lived in Airbnbs and apartments. One of his big loves, though, is making music. He plays the guitar, drums, a little piano, and loves to create tracks of music for a song, making a track of each instrument and then merging them with his electronic gadgets. He can really lose himself in his music, but hasn’t been able to play the way he would like because it would bother his neighbors. He’s been on the lookout for a house to rent that is by itself a little, yet close enough to his work and his classes. He finally found a really gorgeous place and just moved in today. (He’s sleeping now after a really long day of moving in. There is 12 hours difference between us.)
Here are some pics he sent of his new rental house – (I am DROOLING!)
He’s going to use one room as a music room. He plans to start a YouTube channel and list some of his music there. I’m so happy for him and I can’t wait to hear what he creates!
My husband and I have been super lucky to live in a place and time when we can get such good health care. We live in Greenwood, Arkansas. We are older than dirt and are covered by Humana.
If you’re in the area, an absolutely wonderful family physician is Charles Jackson, M.D. at Bailey Clinic in Greenwood, a member of the Cooper Clinic/Mercy Hospital network. We don’t like doctors as a rule, but we both feel we won the lottery when we found him. He takes good care of us.
When I developed cataracts in 2009, Dr. Jackson recommended I go to Dr. Christopher Greer, D.O. at the Cooper Center for Better Vision in Fort Smith, AR. He removed my cataracts and I was very happy. I was pretty shocked when Dr. Greer personally called me the night of my first surgery, asking how I was and telling he would see me the next morning. He did this with the 2nd eye, as well.
My husband needed cataract surgery recently. We of course wanted Dr. Greer. My husband’s 2nd surgery was on the 16th, and he reports his vision is improving daily. Again, Dr. Greer called the night of the surgeries to be sure my husband was doing well. We cannot recommend Dr. Greer, and his partner, Dr. Renner, highly enough.
Our surgeries were performed at the Outpatient Clinic at Mercy Hospital. The whole surgical staff provides an orderly, competent, and compassionate experience. We were amazed to receive a Thank You card from the surgical staff, signed by all the people involved with us! We’re sending one back to THEM tomorrow, saying, “It is WE who should be thanking YOU. Thank you so much for your competent, compassionate care.”
We’re lucky that there has been so much progress in medicine since we were born. The things we have had are now treated routinely with so much less recovery time than ever before.
We are very grateful, indeed.
I’ve decided that this afternoon is a perfect time for me to have some fun.
I thought of some ideas for new Christmas cards and Christmas ornaments. The ideas have been driving me nuts, rattling around in my head, particularly when I’m trying to get some sleep.
I’m going to take this nice Sunday afternoon to go up to my art room and play – to at least get a start on seeing if I can bring my ideas to paper and wood.
I hope that YOU have some fun ideas on how you’ll spend this glorious day. Have some fun!