Category Archives: quality of life

Thoughts on a Thursday 9-10-2019

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

My husband and son were out checking the irrigation system at about 7 pm last night (all is well) and saw 5 hummingbirds at one time! That’s the most we’ve seen at once this whole summer.  A sight like that makes everything right.

I told you yesterday that I was really trying to get serious about eating Keto and losing more of my lard. Thanks to my friend, Robin, I’ve signed up at a new website called CarbManager.com  I signed up for their Basic service, but they have a premium service, as well that I may consider in the future. My big thing on not switching was that I couldn’t find a carb tracker that would accept recipes from other places and let you log them in for the day without having to list each ingredient separately. This one did fine with Suzanne Ryan’s “Sausage, Egg and Cheese Bake” from her book Simply Keto easily. They have a good section that walks you through their website, explaining how to do things. The website on my computer links up with the app on my phone now, so that’s really handy, as well. Yesterday I ate 18 grams of carbs. They did NOT give me a message saying I wasn’t eating enough, so I was happy about that, too!

I found a wonderful artist who makes baskets that will make you drool. I’ll be sharing them with you in a bit.

Today I’ll make time for my yoga practice this afternoon (Day # 17) and I plan to play in my art room!

I hope that YOUR Thursday is full of cute squirrel photos, hummingbirds, and fun.

 

 

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, DIET!, exercise, playing in my art room, quality of life, Thoughts on a ________

Life

Pieces of Soul via Blanket You via 2 STAR art

 

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)

 

Staples

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!!!!!

 

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Filed under Adventure - Outside Your Comfort Zone, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, quality of life

Thank You!

Linda Lewis

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.

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Filed under Dreams, quality of life

Therapy

Bruderhof Communities

Playing in my art room is therapy for me. An escape from anything that is bothering me. A way to work out feelings. A joy in experimentation.

We converted a third bedroom into my art room several years ago. I helped my husband put up extra shelves all the way across one wall. We got extra stand-alone shelves and a drafting table advertised in the newspaper. We put up a few more shelves on another wall. I converted the closet into a supplies area. We put up another large table that is as long as one wall.  There is a ceiling fan from which I hung a cute mobile of merry-go-round horses.

Years ago my husband and son got together to give me a present of a lot of my favorite songs on CDs. I have a player up there, so I can fill the room with glorious music – some of which I danced to as a teenager a hundred years or so ago – and lose myself in the world of music and paint.

The only limitations is my imagination and my ability to make my visions come out on whatever I’m trying to paint. Lately I’ve been having ideas for tees on which I have spots that won’t come out in the wash. Since I’m a slob, I seem to have a never-ending supply of tees that can use a face lift.

Yesterday I finished another.

 

Lately I am trying to do things each day that make me stronger.  I’m getting back into exercising, monitoring what I eat more carefully, working in my flowers when the weather isn’t lethal, playing in my art room, spending time with our son, walking outside several times a day, and reading.

The result of all this is hopefully a stronger, happier, calmer me. I don’t have to be able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound, but being able to handle whatever comes as well as possible would be good.  I am in DAY 4 today. So far, so good!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, aging, Attitude, building good habits, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, fun in my art room, Giving New Life to Old Tops, Health Alert, Lewis Art, playing in my art room, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Nice, Quiet Sunday

Brightside

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)

 

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Filed under Cherishing the Quiet Day, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Slow Learner

2 STAR art

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.

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Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, quality of life

Good News for the Future!

Beingsalem Via Mara Spirig – LinkedIn

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!

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Filed under Changes, Good Thoughts, quality of life

Escape

Unknown Artist via Elena (Livia) D. – LinkedIn

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.

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Filed under Hobbies, quality of life, Reading is FUNdamental

Take Time

sayingimges.com

I rewarded myself for prevailing over my technology challenge this morning by spending some time in my art room. I’ve spent part of three afternoons up there and it really does my heart good. When I’m playing up there with my favorite music playing, all the stuff that is bothering me goes away. My heart and mind rest and I can simply enjoy playing in the paint trying to make the images rattling around in my head come out on the piece I’m working on.

The last three days I’ve been making a new set of note cards. I finished them today. They are drying.

Tomorrow I’ll take pictures, share them with you, and then list them on my new Etsy site, ArtworthyNoteCards.

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Filed under ArtworthyNoteCards on Etsy, Lewis Art, playing in my art room, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Cats are a Quality of Life Thing

Alina Ciuciu – “Now I Need to Sleep” – LinkedIn

 

Vintage Dragonfly Mosaics via Cathy Ruggiero

 

Tetiana Shevchuk – LinkedIn

 

TheCatHouseontheKings.com via Cathy Ruggiero

 

Animal Wallpapers – Desktop Nexus

 

Our Abby

 

Our Smoke

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Family, quality of life

Living the Life

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!

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Filed under Family, quality of life

Saving Our Flowers

Lilies

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)

 

Wave petunias

 

 

 

Periwinkles

 

 

 

 

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.

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Filed under Favorite Things, Gardening, quality of life

Decision: Miracle or Euthanasia?

iStock by Getty Images

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.

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Filed under Favorite Things, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Flowers Add Quality of Life

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.

Camellias

My husband’s clematis.

Wave petunias on the deck.

Periwinkles

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!

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Filed under Favorite Things, Gardening, Mother Nature, quality of life

1st Hummingbird of the Spring! May 2nd

Tim Fitzharris

 

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.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Mother Nature, quality of life, Seasons

Getting the Lard Off Progress To Date

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!

taolife.com

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Filed under DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Good Morning!

Ece Caglayan – LinkedIn

 

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!

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Filed under quality of life

Ahhh!

Massageaholic.com

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.

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Filed under quality of life, taking care of yourself

Reclaiming Our Screened Porch

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.

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Filed under Housekeeping - Maintenance, quality of life, Seasons

Notice

Terrance E Stock – LinkedIn

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Filed under Attitude, Encouragement, Family, Friendship, quality of life

Happy Pat on the Head

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!

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Filed under Are YOU also older than Dirt?, Attitude, DIET!, exercise, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Not ONLY…

Tips4Home.com

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!

 

flickr.com

Hopefully, I can do better today….

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

Two Good Books

Getty Images

I’m reading two books right now: The Dolphin – Story of a Dreamer by Sergio Bambaren and Totally Incorrect Volume 2 – A Conversation with Doug Casey as told to Justin Spittler

The Dolphin book I just received in the mail today. It was recommended by a contact on Linkedin – Dieter Onken.

I ordered the Casey book because I wanted to read his opinions on the newest things happening in the world and to also find out what he’s recommending for good investments to shield ourselves from the tumult of our world today.

I plan to do a good bit of reading today, since our weather is so unfriendly.

I hope you are somewhere safe and warm, too, and can enjoy your day.

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Filed under Book - Movie - TV Reviews, Hobbies, quality of life, Reading is FUNdamental

The Long and Short of It

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

The short answer is 43 pounds lost and 44.2 inches lost to date, since my ‘heaviest and lardiest.’

The longer answer is we’re trying to take care of ourselves, now that my husband and I are getting ‘long-in-the-tooth’ and would like to maintain or increase our quality of life for as long as we can, enjoying our lives to the fullest.

Since we both have health issues, my husband gave up added sugar and I gave up added salt. We are limiting our red beef, concentrating more on chicken and fish, veggies, fruit, and nuts. We’re both trying to drink more water. I’m trying to exercise. My husband said, “Now that I turned 75, I don’t HAVE to worry about exercising.” – as if he ever has. I am exercising more than I ever have, with the exception of when I was teaching swimming every summer and working in a restaurant part-time to help pay my way through college.  I continue to encourage him to exercise.

I’m concentrating on stretching, balance, core strength, and reaction time. Basically just trying to consciously move more. I’m doing a combination of yoga, abdominal exercises, walking, elliptical trainer, dance, and Wii Fit Plus each week. Sometimes I’m successful and get it all in, sometimes not. I’m trying to pat myself on the head (and give myself a gold star on my desk calendar) when I do well and not beat myself up when I don’t.

The same on eating. My husband is almost where he needs to be on weight. I still have a lot to lose to get to my goal of being in the healthy range on BMI and insurance charts. We’ve been on Nutrisystem, but are on hiatus now, trying to eat our way through the remaining food while not having more sent. In May we’ll probably change to A LA CARTE. We are doing our own thing a lot of the day and are needing the packaged stuff less and less. I’m substituting healthy recipes we really like for the entrees.

We’re giving ourselves permission to eat out when the mood strikes – a quality of life issue for us. Last night we ate dinner at The Dari, one of the new restaurants in Greenwood, Arkansas. Last night we got a seafood platter and two plates. This gave each of us plenty of food without overeating. We enjoyed our splurge/treat without breaking our diet. I made it a point to ask at the front counter who was responsible for the seafood. Several of the cooks raised their hands. I gave them a two-thumbs up, a big grin, and told them they were WONDERFUL.

I have to get a blood test on the 18th of March to see if I’ve improved in a couple of areas. Fingers crossed.

 

 

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Are YOU also older than Dirt?, Challenges, DIET!, exercise, Healthy Eating, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Setting Up in the Greenhouse

Right now it’s 60 degrees F., so I used the opportunity to go ahead and get some seeds planted in my greenhouse.

It’s REALLY windy outside, so I propped the open greenhouse door against the side of the greenhouse and put a chair up to it so it wouldn’t blow closed and lock me in. :0)

I prepared three flats (72 plants each) and planted one flat of iceberg lettuce, one flat of spinach, and one flat of Simpson lettuce. It was 70 in the greenhouse, so I’m HOPING that even if it gets to freezing in the mornings, it will stay above that in the greenhouse. I’ll check on the flats tomorrow. If this is successful, I’ll take pics so you can share the sprouting.

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Filed under anticipation, Arkansas, Favorite Things, Gardening, greenhouse, Healthy Eating, quality of life, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse

Chomping at the Bit!

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)

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Filed under Arkansas, doing what you love, Dreams, Favorite Things, Gardening, greenhouse, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, learning new things, opportunities, quality of life, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse, taking care of yourself

Did It!

I crab about ‘walking with annoying Leslie,’ but I freely admit she knows what she’s doing. The last time I did this – after quite a hiatus – I only managed to do one mile with her and her group. Today I did TWO miles. I pooped out before the regular exercises she does in a section AFTER the 2nd mile, but I feel good that I lasted this long.

This is supposed to be low impact on your joints, but I guess it all depends on the shape your joints are in. My hips are a challenge, and I’m doing all I can to loosen up the muscles and move the joints carefully to strengthen everything as much as possible. The elliptical trainer is low impact and works my hips, too, but in a different way – if that makes any sense.

About halfway through the first mile, my hips start talking to me. By the end of the second mile the talk became more serious, but not to the point that I had to quit.

We had a cold front move through this morning, taking the temperature down to 20 degrees F right now, and going down to 18 or lower during the day and night. Rain/sleet/ice is also forecast, so I’m really happy I can exercise while staying at home.

Another gold star for my calendar!

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Filed under exercise, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Learning New Things

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

I started a new book, The Longevity Code by Kris Verburgh, M.D. because my husband read it and was really affected by the information and suggestions he found. He posted some changes in eating he wants to make and we got – or ordered – several supplements we aren’t taking.

I wanted to learn more about this, since my husband usually reacts that the information is ‘hype’ or ‘hooey,’ so I got the Kindle version of the book and am reading it now.

I don’t particularly want to live forever, although I would love to know what happens in the future. I mainly want my remaining time to be spent as healthy as possible. We’re trying to get the lard off, and use no more added salt or sugar anymore. We try to avoid foods that are high in either of those, and I’m exercising 5 or 6 days a week now.

I haven’t gotten far enough to share anything with you yet, but I wanted you to know about the book, if you’re interested to read what Dr. Verburgh has to say.

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Filed under Hobbies, learning new things, quality of life, Reading is FUNdamental

Our Son’s Adventure Has Begun

 

Monastery and Meditation Center, Siddharthanagar, Nepal

I got to chat with our son for a couple of minutes last night while he was waiting for a car and driver to take him the final leg of his trip, 45 minutes to the monastery and meditation center. He left a message this morning that he got there safely with no BIG problems, posting this picture.

He has been accepted for a 3-week stay, but hopes his teacher will give him permission to stay two months. It will all depend on how the teacher feels about his dedication and progress to learning to get to the next level of meditation.

This will be the last we will hear from him until the end of March.

We wish him much success.

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Filed under Adventure - Outside Your Comfort Zone, learning new things, quality of life

Adventure

Medical News Today

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reading is FUNdamental

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

Right now I’m reading

  • Paleo Beginners Guide
  • The REALSIMPLE Method to Organizing Every Room and How to Keep it that Way
  • iPhone 8 Guide, and
  • Rereading The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares (#1 of a 5 book series I love),
  • Draw Real Animals! by Lee Hammond, and
  • Greenhouse Gardening for Beginners by Jason Johns

 

Elizabeth Scott via NUSTBookClub.wordpress.com

What are you reading lately?

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Filed under Hobbies, quality of life, Reading is FUNdamental