Category Archives: quality of life
I honestly can’t imagine myself not reading.
I guess I’m biased, because I trained as a teacher, taught for 8 years in public elementary schools in Tulsa, and then ran my own reading clinic for 3 years, but personally – I would be lost without reading in my life.
I finished re-reading the 48 books in the “In Death” series by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) and have just received “Vendetta in Death” the 49th book just out in paperback. I’m really looking forward to diving into Eve Dallas’ world again.
On a tip from my good friend, Cathy Campbell, I ordered and just received
A year ago we made a donation to the Disabled Veterans Thrift Store in Fort Smith every month, trying to help others while we cleared things out here, room by room. The reason we have so much clutter is that we have lived in this house for over 30 years now. It has a good amount of storage space, so we have made generous use of it. Both my husband and I tend to save things, thinking “we might need it later.” Needless to say, we ended up with waaaaay too much ‘stuff.’
After a year of trying to declutter, we made good progress. So I sat on my laurels and we only did a few donations in 2019. Lately, it has become obvious that we need a Phase II of the decluttering project.
This time I’m starting in the kitchen/dining area/pantry, since I realized that with our following the keto eating plan, many of the things I used to use on a daily basis are gathering dust and taking up space. I’m going to do a big reorganization of the kitchen and pantry, putting the things I use all the time in prime storage space and moving the other things onto high shelves in the pantry. Some things I will donate.
Assuming I ever finish in this area – a BIG job – I will then move from room to room, gathering things to give away, if they can be enjoyed by others, or thrown away.
I’m not going to set a once-a-month time frame this time. I’m going to take my time and try to concentrate on making the area work better for us.
So far, we have filled a long box with glasses that were cluttering the cabinets and the pantry.
Wish me luck?
The gray, rainy days have finally stopped, giving way to sunshine! It really lifts my spirits.
I earned two gold stars yesterday – one for doing 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer and the other for doing about half an hour or so of my yoga stretches. I put the gold stars on my desk calendar as a motivation to get off my rear and actually DO the exercises, rather than simply thinking about them or talking about them. Will try for another 2 stars today.
This afternoon my husband has an appointment with our primary doctor – the first since he suffered the stroke and we saw everyone trying to do whatever was reasonable to keep him from having another. I’ll be interested to hear what she thinks about how he’s doing, if he needs to change any medicines, and what she thinks the prognosis is for the future. From my perspective, seeing him every day, he’s almost completely back to normal now. He gets his words garbled every once in a while, and I type for him if he wants me to.
All is good as we prepare for a quiet Christmas. We will actually celebrate with our various friends between tomorrow and Christmas at different times, leaving only the meal Christmas Day. I’ll make another turkey for us. We’re together. We’re doing fine. That’s all the gift we need.
I hope that you are having a wonderful, sunshine-y day.
I love my life.
Not EVERYTHING about it, but close.
I’m retired, so I can pretty much design my day – except when the water pressure booster dies, like yesterday.
I have given myself permission NOT to be productive. I used to make a to-do list and not allow myself to do other things until I had at least shown a bunch of progress on it. I FINALLY realized that my to-do list just grows. Most of the things I accomplish on it don’t STAY done, so they get added onto the bottom in a never-ending depressing length. I don’t get any POINTS or anything for getting these off the list, so I have changed my ways.
I now do the things that will result in bad things if I don’t on time. Those take priority for the day. I try to do the MOST important things first – the ones where I will be thrown into the slammer if I ignore them today.
I then intersperse FUN stuff – like playing in my flowers in the spring, or harvesting my veggies at the proper time, or playing in my art room. THEN I go back and do another ‘important-to-others’ thing from the list.
I’m MUCH happier since I started doing this.
Today is the first day of December. I’m ‘back in the saddle” again – or TRYING to be – on my diet and exercise.
I’m a weak person, basically, allowing any excuse to knock me off the horse.
There are two of us here, so the ‘get-rid-of-everything-you-shouldn’t-eat’ is difficult. Plus, my husband has essentially met his weight goal and is only avoiding sugar, so HE is having strawberries, dessert cakes, and no added sugar ice cream before bed.
The exercise thing was going well until ‘something happened.’ I really can’t pin it down – I just started making excuses. Is there an award for that? If so, no one else need apply to win….
ANYHOW – I am determined to get my good habits going again and today will be DAY 1 of the new effort. I will do 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer later this morning. I’ll do half an hour or so of good, gentle yoga this afternoon, stretching my body in all directions, hopefully getting rid of the kinks I’m feeling this morning. I made keto chili by Suzanne Ryan of Simply Keto yesterday. We enjoyed some last night and will have it again this evening. I would like to lose another 35 pounds. (I’ve lost almost 45 thus far and about the same in inches). I’ve been holding here for far too long now, and will be happy to start seeing new results on the scales and with my tape measure. I’ll let you know at the end of the month.
Fingers crossed that I can stay motivated. I have my gold stars ready to go on my calendar for my exercises. I lost a pound yesterday. ..
There is something about bright colors that lifts my spirits. I can be feeling down, see something like this image above and can literally FEEL happiness flood through me. When I was a kid in school, I wanted a 64 color box of Crayola crayons with the built-in sharpener more than anything. Somehow it never happened, so I always make SURE I have one now. I have one in my art room upstairs right now! :0)
I have never been able to create anything I really liked with the crayons, but I have found artwork since by others that simply takes my breath away. I’ll share some of what I’ve found soon.
The lesson that I get here, though, is not limiting yourself, opening yourself to new learning, new people, new experiences, new ideas, trying things you’ve never tried before, living life to the fullest and most colorful.
“LIFE IS ABOUT USING THE WHOLE BOX OF CRAYONS.” I’ll put this on my to-do list!!!!!
I was delighted to see I hit another ’round number’ of blog subscribers yesterday. I danced around the room a bit, then went and told my husband, did some other stuff and then returned to find I had LOST one. A bit later, another was ADDED. :0)
I just wanted to say THANK YOU.
I truly love finding things that I hope you’ll enjoy.
Thanks to the wonderful people who give me feedback. I love getting to know you and the special friendships we’re building.
We’re enjoying a quiet day here. Days like this have been few and far between lately, so we’re concentrating on being very thankful. We’ve been out, errands have been run, no big plans for the day. Mother Nature is trying to boil us in oil outside, with a heat index this afternoon of 110-115 degrees F., so we’re content to enjoy our cool home and maybe even catch a nap this afternoon.
I’m going to try to make some time to play in my art room today. I have a couple of ideas rattling around that I’d like to try. I’ll play my MP3 player, shut out the world, and enjoy! Ahhhh.
Happy Sunday to you, too! :0)
I’m a slow learner.
Under the ‘better-late-than-never’ category, I have FINALLY learned that if I do one or two things on the ‘to-do’ list, then go up to my art room or work out in the garden for a bit, returning to do something else on the list, I’m a much happier camper.
It used to be that giving myself permission to do something fun was at the bottom of the list. I don’t know how or why that happened, but I realized no one gave me points for getting 5 things done on the list, rather than 3, and I ended up tired and feeling the days were passing me by. I tried to work harder and faster, thinking if I could finish the list, THEN I could happily play. The thing was, I NEVER get to the end of the to-do list. It continues to grow.
NOW I build something happy into my day – almost EVERY day. It might be just taking a few minutes to read. It might be playing with our dogs or cats, It might be having a chat with our goldfish (although they aren’t much for deep conversations.) It might be a longer play time of working in our veggie garden or our flower planters. If I have an idea rattling around in my brain for a new art project, I might spend some time on that.
I look at this NOW as a gift not only to myself but to others with whom I come in contact. My happiness seems to show, and I can pass it on to others.
If YOU are not doing this, consider giving it a try.
We just had people from Arkansas Valley Electric Co-op come to the door, saying they needed to measure our poles for the coming installation of a new fiber optic line. He went on to say that in the future, the company will be offering a bundle for people out in the sticks like we are, including Internet, TV, and Phone! He said it would be a year or year and a half, but came back to bring me a brochure.
There is hope for much faster, more reliable service in the future – if we can live long enough! HOORAY!
I received my paperback copy of Nora Roberts’ “Connections in Death” – the latest in her “In Death” Series. I ordered it months ago and then tried to put it out of my mind instead of waiting, crossing off days, like a kid waiting for Christmas. Finally, I have it in my hands!
I’m re-reading the other 47 books in the series, thoroughly enjoying the escape of living in the gritty, absorbing world of Eve Dallas, a homicide detective in New York City in 2058 and beyond. I admire her strength, determination, absolute dedication to her job. I love the people in her world and how she reacts to them. I can dive in and lose myself and my worries for awhile, caught up in her latest case and situation.
Right now I’m on #10 – “Witness in Death.” When I finish the first 47 books, I’ll give myself permission to enjoy the latest.
I spent many, many years not really being able to make time for reading for pleasure. I was earning my teaching degree, then teaching full-time and taking night classes and summer school for my Master’s. It was YEARS before I could actually sit down, become absorbed in a book, relaxing – reading for the joy of it – finally realizing I wouldn’t be TESTED on it later. Now it’s one of my greatest pleasures. I’m grateful I found Nora Roberts years ago. Her books have reminded me of how beautiful life can be, full of humor, love, and interesting, good people. The In Death series is another part of that, with strong, sometimes wacky characters, who each have lovable flaws that bring you closer.
Our son sent this picture of the sunset in Koh Lanta, Thailand this morning. He can work anywhere, so he’s enjoying this beautiful island for a bit. We are so delighted that he can arrange to enjoy life while working!
He took this picture behind the workspace he’s using. This is a community workspace where you can go, spend the day, work by yourself on a computer or electronics, or whatever, or collaborate with others. The people there will bring you food and drink, and then you can take a break and run on the beach!
This is why we were working so feverishly trying to figure out why our irrigation system wasn’t working the way it should. All of these flowers were really thirsty and wilting from the heat. I’m grateful that my husband figured out the problem and FIXED it! :0)
We’ll go out tonight at 7pm when the front part of the irrigation system is supposed to start and make sure all the plants are getting watered, and then we’ll move to the back and check things out.
As Lynn Moody – my wonderful massage therapist – and I walked up to her spa location, I asked her if there were any upper age limit on who could get a massage. She laughed when I told her that I felt at least 180 years old this morning and that everything I had hurt. I asked her to either perform a miracle or euthanize me –
My husband and I have had a labor-intensive week or so, with my spreading 16 large bags of cedar blend mulch on the ground under the raised bed planter boxes in my square foot garden after several sessions of weeding; our hauling bricks, laying bricks and then shoveling potting soil into the finished planter, our doing yard work, etc.
Adding insult to injury, one of our cats tried to jump in my lap while I was sitting at the computer yesterday, missed, and grabbed my hand with her claws on the way down. When I FINALLY was able to detach her claws, her back claws stuck into my leg. Both my hand and my leg are slightly swollen. For some mysterious reason, my right ear lobe has also been swollen – though I can’t blame THAT on the cat, AND I had a crick in my neck. I was actually moaning a bit trying to get onto the massage table…
Happily, Lynn not only found the really sore spots I knew about, but also the ones I hadn’t realized hurt! At the end of my hour-long massage, I sighed in relief. She had, indeed, performed a miracle.
I’ve been drinking lots of water since I came home, trying to increase the chances of my relief lasting as long as possible. If I can get a good night’s sleep tonight, I will be a happy camper tomorrow.
After the rains I walked around the yard, delighting that so many flowers are happy right now. I wanted to share them with you.
These are Rio Samba roses. They start bright yellow, then slowly turn to coral.
Impatiens like the shade of our front porch.
My husband’s clematis.
Wave petunias on the deck.
A new color of iris blooming that I’ve never seen before!
When we first married – almost 50 years ago now – my husband wasn’t into flowers. He didn’t mind them, just didn’t care about them one way or the other and tried to make me happy by taking me to the local nurseries to find things to plant.
Now he actively works at getting our wisteria to grow up a tree, weeds his clematis, notices and remarks on the roses, LOVES the deep purple iris – now his favorite flower.
Flowers are a quality of life thing – and we’re rich in them!
We were sitting at the dining area table this morning -groggily trying to wake up – when we saw the first hummingbird of the season (that we’ve noticed) at the hummingbird feeder! I had mainly put the feeder out to welcome the first hummingbirds, not actually having seen one.
He was only at the feeder just a second, sipped a bit and then flew off. We went out and got the feeder, filled it with fresh food, and put it back out. We feel so rich when we see hummingbirds dive-bombing each other at the feeders. We will put out several, so there is more than enough food for all, but nature overcomes. I hope this is a good year for the hummers.
The short answer – I’m down 43 pounds and 47.7 inches.
Longer answer –
We decided to stop Nutrisystem, figuring that we have learned the lessons they have provided, and now it’s up to us to use them. We had gotten to the point where we were pretty much doing our own thing anyway, and are basically eating poultry or fish, lots of raw veggies and salads, fruit, and nuts.
I’m gathering some nice recipes for the chicken and fish. I’m working at this slowly because particularly at this time of the year, we’re doing a lot outside and I’m too pooped at the end of the day to start a new recipe. We eat a lot of what we call, “Main Meal Salads,” (basically chef salads) for dinner.
One surprising thing was that I’m having to work out a new dosage of thyroid replacement medicine since I’ve lost the weight. (I had Graves Disease and my thyroid was radiated, so I have none. My life now depends on replacing what my body can’t supply anymore.) Finding the right dosage is a bit like growing nerves – slow, gradual, and painful. Having too much or too little thyroid hormone results in basically the same symptoms – and all of them are extremely annoying. So you try a dosage for 6 weeks, get another blood test, change the dosage, try again. The symptoms remain until your brain is happy with the dosage. No shortcuts. We THINK we have the correct dosage now – at least most of the symptoms have decreased at this level.
My exercise efforts are hit and miss despite my best intentions. I’m working in my raised bed, square foot garden, plus weed whacking in the yard, weeding flower beds, etc. By the time I do several sessions of that in a day, I’m too lazy to try to exercise. I have finally learned the big lesson that being active is NOT the same as doing established exercises. The movement is good, but you’re not working the same muscles in the same way as you do when you exercise.
So, I’m feeling guilty a lot, but my priority right now is working outside when I can. When I get things to the stage where I’m basically maintaining my plants, I’ll do better on the exercise – PROMISE. (Okay, I know you’ve heard THAT before…. :0) )
I’m hopeful that when I report again at the end of May, I will have reached 50 lbs off and whatever inches I can manage. Here’s to a better job of getting the lard off!
We had a full day yesterday, so today we’ll spend quietly – resting. We did well, so we can rest easy. We may even spread out and fall asleep in our chairs….
Hope YOUR day is good, too!
There is no way to tell you how much I look forward to my monthly massage. Lynn Moody is my massage therapist. She is SO good. She listens. She can feel with her magic hands where you have knots, sore spots, stiffness and take them away. I can trust her to FEEL when what she is doing is too much. She knows what to do to ease whatever you walked in with.
I’m not sure if I particularly needed her today or if she just was able to reach me particularly well, but I feel really great right now.
I used to feel that massage was a total luxury. Now I consider it a taking-care-of-myself thing.
If you haven’t tried masage therapy and live in the Greenwood/Fort Smith/Hackett area, call Lynn Moody and make an appointment. It’ll be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. Her number is 479-629-7601.
If you live outside this area, FIND someone and start feeling better soon.
Amber helped us reclaim our porch yesterday. It started with my husband removing three 4 x 8 foot sheets of plywood we had laid end to end across the bottom of the screened part of the porch and screwed into the uprights to try to keep Amber from destroying it. We decided that even though she is still definitely a puppy, we could now risk reclaiming part of our view.
We had an enormous amount of dirt, dog and cat hair, and a super-thick layer of pollen all over everything. I moved everything around, wiping the table and sweeping twice before ever trying to do more. Finally I got to the place where I could actually start CLEANING things, rather than simply uncovering them.
Our porch isn’t fancy, but we love the few weeks each year that we can eat out there, free from bugs and enjoying some glorious weather. Right now it’s too chilly for breakfast, perfect for lunch, and too chilly for dinner. We’re hoping to enjoy several meals before Mother Nature turns up the heat too much.
The porch is connected to our covered deck – again not fancy – but definitely a quality of life thing for us. I just planted a bunch of flowers in the deck planters, and we’re working on making sure the irrigation system is working properly to keep all happy out there.
I hope that you have a place that you can “bring the outside in” a bit, too.
I’m a sucker for all kinds of ‘feel-able’ pats on the head: gold stars on my desk calendar when I’ve done whatever exercise is scheduled for the day; and these cute little bears that NutriSystem sends out for each 10 pounds one loses.
As you can see from the picture above, I’ve gotten my 4th bear – the one for 40 lbs off. (Actually, right now I’m at 43 pounds off :0) ) There is also 44.2 inches less of me than there used to be.
I have a good start now. I will try to get another 30 pounds off, and whatever number of inches that goes with that any my exercises.
The really big thing is that I FEEL BETTER. I’m 72 as of yesterday, and I can honestly say I feel better than I did a year ago. On March 9th of 2020, I hope to be able to say the same thing, whether or not I’ve reached my weight loss goal.
Smaller, but again – a VISIBLE thing – is that I’m able to fit in favorite clothes I’ve kept in closets for years, hoping that ‘one day’ I would be able to wear them again. There are still several things in the ‘hope’ area of my guest room closet. :0) I’m between sizes on jeans right now, for example. The size I’m wearing is a bit baggy, but I’m still too lardy for the next size down. I’m also able to order some smaller sizes online, too.
I’m sleeping better with the loss of the lard and my efforts to move more. I get up from the computer after I post something here, do some chore inside or outside before posting again, for example. I’m also trying to do my exercises like a good old girl daily. I’m more successful some weeks than others. I’m doing something different each day – yoga and abdominal exercises one day, a dance video another, the Wii Fit Plus ‘games’ for balance and reaction time (I’m still awful and the program is still insulting me), the walking with Annoying Leslie one day, and the elliptical trainer in the garage one day. Now that spring is near (thank GOODNESS!) I’m working in the yard when the weather permits.
Though I’m getting old-in-the-tooth, I can usually gather enough energy to continue going through the house, concentrating on purging, then cleaning and reorganizing one area at a time. Today it’s the supplies shelves in our office after we go grocery shopping.
Motivation is high though results are slow. I think the older you get the harder it is to get any lard off or make appreciable difference in fitness or stamina, but I’m game as long as I’m breathing!
I guess it’s this cold weather we’re having. That’s my excuse and I’ll stick with it!
Yesterday it was like I had a tapeworm! I not only wanted comfort food (read heavy calorie, high fat, hot, delicious), but a LOT of it! I simply used every trip anywhere near the kitchen to stuff my face. UGH. I gained a pound a half yesterday!
Hopefully, I can do better today….