Category Archives: taking care of yourself

Sick on Sunday 1-22-2023


I am feeling less than stellar today after being ill most of the night. I wish you a wonderful Sunday and will try to talk again tomorrow.


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Quasarphoto-Getty Images-iStockphoto-Thinkstock Photos

I’m home from my massage. Lynn Moody, my miracle worker, really gave me a deluxe massage today, zeroing in on my arm, too. I almost came up off the table when she first started, but she really got the blood moving. She suggested I continue the muscle gel for pain and also heat. I feel MUCH better right now. I just finished drinking a bottle of water and will use the heat after lunch.

I’m so lucky to have Lynn to take care of me. Ahhhhhh!

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Benefits of Massage

American Kennel Club

I just came home from getting my November massage. Ahhhhhh!

I really used to think it was just a luxury. A nice way to pamper yourself.

After doing medical transcription and bookkeeping in Ft. Smith for 8 years, I was a mess. I had so much tension in my shoulders, neck, and back I was unable to pull a T-shirt off over my head. I didn’t sleep well and would just push myself harder and harder to get the work load done. (I did transcription for 8 busy general surgeons plus all their bookkeeping. I finally got some help, but my tension problems remained.)

I went to a doctor who recommended massage. My insurance didn’t pay for it, but I did it anyway, desperate for some relief. After weekly massages for 8 weeks, I was finally back to ‘normal.’ The therapist saved my life.

Then, I stopped working in Ft. Smith and so lost my easy access to a gym after work, and didn’t continue the massages.

I don’t know when I was lucky enough to find Lynn, my massage therapist, but I changed my labeling of massage as a luxury and pampering (though they are both of those) and started considering them in the light of taking better care of myself – something I needed on a regular basis – a way to stay healthier.

Benefits of massage

  • Reducing stress and increasing relaxation.
  • Reducing pain and muscle soreness and tension.
  • Improving circulation, energy and alertness.
  • Lowering heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Improving immune function.

This is according to the Mayo Clinic, if you needed more convincing.

Selfishly, I wish I could get one more than once a month, but I’m very, very grateful for Lynn’s wonderful care.

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27 Seconds

I’ve added trying to hold the plank pose to my daily yoga practices. Opinions vary as to my efforts thus far.

GLASS HALF EMPTY: Pathetic that I’m only able to count to 27 while holding the pose. AND I’m probably counting too fast.

GLASS HALF FULL: I started with a count of only 10 and am now able to hold it to the count of 27 before collapsing. It’s all relative.

GLASS IS REFILLABLE: I’m slowly building a bit of strength in my core. Just like everything else at my age, it’ll take awhile to get to anything reasonable. I remind myself that when I first started with yoga stretches, I was unable to –

  • Even THINK about bending over and touching my toes
  • Put my hands over my head and onto the floor while lying on my back
  • Get down on the floor and up again without the use of a crane (or some furniture)
  • Get close to doing a sit up or other abdominal exercises or poses
  • Even THINK about sitting on my knees

SO –

Today is DAY 125 of my daily yoga practice. I’m about to leave to get a glorious massage. I’m about the luckiest old lady on the planet. :0)

I hope that you are doing good things for yourself, too.

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Filed under Attitude, exercise, taking care of yourself

DAY 102


As I look back to when I first started my old lady yoga stretches, trying to build a ‘habit,’ I see several improvements –

When I started, I –

  • Had trouble getting on the floor on the mat
  • had to wait a full minute or so for lying on my back to quit hurting
  • could not put my arms behind me over my head
  • could not bring my knees up high enough to grab them
  • could not even THINK about touching my toes
  • could not lift the front of my body up on my arms while lying on my stomach
  • had trouble balancing while on hands and knees for any stretching

Et cetera,. Et cetera, Et cetera. (Like Yul Brenner in “The King and I.”

I’m still old – even older now, but I have made a lot of progress. Each day I feel I’m a bit looser than I was the previous practice. It’s not a miracle, but it makes me feel better – more flexible, with less pain, able to balance much better. Some of my muscles are getting stronger. It has started to offset any overdoing I do in other things, bringing me back to being able to relax.

Daily yoga is not a habit – yet. I seem to be one of the harder nuts to crack about how long it takes to make something a habit. But I’m definitely seeing a difference and determined to keep going.

Time to go practice!

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DAY 82

One Green Planet

Today is DAY 82 of my efforts to make a habit of doing a daily session of yoga.

I will need to be particularly mindful in my practice today because I have pain on the right side of my back in particular today. I think I hurt myself yesterday evening trying to get the empty new trashcan in the bed of the truck by myself at the bottom of the driveway. My husband and I had a ‘discussion’ about it on the way back up the driveway. He agreed – since he doesn’t want to leave the new can at the bottom of the driveway – that he will get out and help me get the can in and out of the truck.

I discovered that the addition of another small pillow allows me to stretch the stiff part of my back safely. I actually felt better – much looser – after my practice yesterday.

My practice lasts from 30 to 45 minutes these days, depending on how I feel. Each stretch is still uncomfortable at first, but my body is beginning to actually look forward to the stretches, relaxing into the poses more quickly, as I feel so much better afterwards. :0)

The time to fully relax, taking as much time as I want, is a good time for me. I’m calm and happy when I finish.

Not a ‘habit’ yet – but therapeutic.

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DAY 50!


My dog, Amber, doesn’t ‘yog’ with me, but she snuffles and nuzzles me each time I start my practice now, getting as close to me as possible, turning over on her back with her feet in the air, cavorting around, biting one foot, thoroughly delighting in yet another chance to be loved, make me laugh – and possibly get another cookie.

I can’t say I’ve built a ‘habit’ of daily yoga practice yet, but I’m definitely automatically making time for my practice each afternoon, choosing my yoga over other activities if I’m running short of time. If my husband is in his chair, I automatically bring him a throw as I flip the switch that starts the ceiling fan, turning it off when I finish.

Boat Pose

Yesterday I added another pose to my practice. It’s another pose that focuses on the core – or abdomen – specifically, called, “The Boat.” There are some other poses in that article that I’ll add as I go, but one new one at a time is enough for now.

I’m hoping that my daily practice will allow me to move as freely as possible, with as much flexibility and balance as I can without a lot of pain as I age. I would like to increase my stamina. Since I hope to live a lot longer, this is a really important goal for me. I want to be able to do what I’d like for as long as I can, enjoying freedom without a lot of fear of falling or breaking bones.

I’ve improved a lot on my stretching since I started my goal of daily practice 50 days ago today. I haven’t gotten any younger, but I’m able to stretch farther in each of the poses and hold the poses longer now, or do more repetitions. I’m able to do my ‘normal practice’ plus now look for a bit more to add. Good progress.

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Favorite Thursday

Best Accredited Colleges

Today is my favorite Thursday of the month – the Thursday I get a massage. Ahhhhhhh!

My sore muscles, stiff places, pops and crackles all wait impatiently each month for Lynn’s attention. The stars align and it’s my morning to go enjoy her healing hands.

If I won the lottery, I would probably ask her for more, but I’m very grateful for the one Thursday I feel totally relaxed each month.

Each time when she gets finished, I tell her ‘thank you,’ and ‘good night,’ hoping she could simply leave me there…

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Happy Thought


Today will be DAY 26 in my efforts to make practicing yoga daily a HABIT/ROUTINE/REGIMEN, rather than merely something I “should’ do.

I managed to do my practices this week in spite of being under the weather. I did a somewhat abbreviated version, not doing as many repetitions as I do when I’m feeling well, but I did the whole routine and felt better for it.

I’m starting to believe that I can actually get to the point where I don’t even THINK about making time for it – I just DO it.

Jim Rohn – – Inspirational Words of Wisdom

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Dogs, Cats, Pets – Dr Winnie

Feeling crappy. Take care and have a good day.

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M-M-M-Monday 8-8-2022

I’m having trouble talking clearly because my mouth is full of basketball…. :0) (I laughed out loud when I found this photo.)

Cleveland Clinic

Things are good here today, except that I developed a sore throat last evening. It hurts to swallow and ‘someone’ has been busy with sandpaper inside my throat. I have some Chloraseptic Spray and should be fine very soon.

Times of India

Meanwhile, we gathered trash this morning to add to the GROUP of bags the trash people STILL haven’t picked up. I’m pretty disgusted with our ‘service,’ having had to regather the trash down at the bottom of the driveway TWICE since the pickup was supposed to happen LAST Tuesday. Three phone calls to Customer Service and one to-the-point email have resulted in two work orders, but no action. They won’t be able to say we didn’t have the trash down in time THIS week…. 8 days and counting. HOPING the work order will result in them picking up the trash today, rather than having to have to leave it out there overnight again until ‘regular’ pickup tomorrow.


On my Christmas project, the 8 tote bags are finished and stored until gift-giving time. I finished the Christmas cards to go with them yesterday and I’m now trying to flatten them. When I feel energetic, I’ll put things away in the art room and think about a next project.


I’m going to take it easy today, spraying my throat, sucking on Sucrets, and being lazy. I’ll do what I can on my yoga practice this afternoon – DAY 24.

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Filed under Challenges, playing in my art room, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

Miracle Worker

I went for my monthly massage this morning. Lynn, my therapist, performed a miracle, making me feel WONDERFUL by the time she finished. Bonus – she asked me what I was doing exercise-wise. She NOTICED a difference! I’m still shocked. :0)

I came home, made lunch, and then dozed a bit in my recliner.

We’re having bacon-wrapped hamburger patties, steamed veggies (carrots, pea pods, broccoli, and celery) and cut up ripe tomatoes for dinner with fresh sliced peaches and no-added-sugar vanilla ice cream for dessert. I just finished getting the prep done for that.

I’m going to go up to my art room and play, experimenting – trying to see if the design in my head for handmade Christmas cards will work.

Day 13 on my daily yoga practice. My husband is being really supportive of my efforts. He also noticed I was exercising longer, mentioning it yesterday. I told him that I was adding a few more poses and exercises and had increased the time from 30 minutes to about 45 minutes. I’m taking my time and increasing the time I’m stretching, plus increasing the number of repetitions of some of my exercises. I feel good when I finish.

With the massage this morning and yoga this afternoon, my husband may have to cook dinner!

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Thoughts on a Thursday 7-28-2022


Isn’t this sweet? My heart just melted when I found it.

I’m leaving for a massage in about 20 minutes and I’m READY for it. I have a bunch of sore and tight places all over me, just crying out for Lynn’s expertise. Between the massage this morning and my yoga practice this afternoon, my body should be smiling.

We actually have a chance for some isolated showers today into Monday! I’m ready for THAT, too. Everything is really stressed, even with our daily watering. If we DO get some rain, don’t be surprised if you hear a big, “AHHHHHHHH!” from Arkansas.

If things work out as I plan, I’ll start making some Christmas cards this afternoon. I have an idea for what I’d like to do, but I have no idea if it will actually come together or not. I love being able to experiment in my art room.

Have a wonderful day!

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Filed under Mother Nature, playing in my art room, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

11th Star


I just earned my 11th sparkly star in a row for my desk calendar, doing my yoga session.

I still have to talk myself into actually doing my daily sessions, but once I’m on the mat stretching, it feels better when I stop. (By that I mean, it still is uncomfortable doing the stretching, since I’m stiff and sore, but once the session is finished, I feel looser and better than I did when I started.)

I’m making fewer excuses each day for why it wouldn’t matter if I skipped one session. I just get down on the floor and DO it.

I’m still quite motivated – like I was at school a hundred years ago – by sparkly stars. The ones I have now, that I ordered online, are even prettier than the ones I worked so hard for in school. These are silver sparkly or gold sparkly stars. Now that I have 11 in a row, I don’t want to break my record…. :0)

Even if I never actually build it into a habit, something I NEED to do, the fact that something is working to get this old lady to fold herself into a paper airplane is the important thing.

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Splurge in Moderation

Eat This, Not That

Most diets and diet cookbooks spend a lot of time and energy creating sweets to eat instead of the things you shouldn’t eat a bunch of, particularly if you’re trying to lose the lard.

I have a complaint – it seems that almost NO time is spent on the salty food group. They only say, “avoid,” or “don’t eat.” When time is spent producing a food that might satisfy the ‘crunchy food group,’ it doesn’t include SALT.

I can avoid sweets. I can avoid white, starchy food. I can avoid sugar. I can watch my portions. I can avoid added salt, but the essentially salty food group CALLS to me.

I have a raw veggie tray in my fridge right now. It’s beautiful, with carrots, broccoli. snap beans, cherry tomatoes, and cauliflower, all ready to chomp with even a dip included.

What do I crave? Pretzels. Fritos. Potato chips.


Healthy Alternatives to Salty Snacks

  • Nuts and Seeds. Adding unsalted nuts and seeds to your diet in moderation can be a great way to combat your salty cravings. …
  • Kale Chips. You don’t have to deprive yourself of the crunchy, salty goodness of potato chips, just try using kale instead. …
  • Edamame. …
  • Hummus. …
  • Popcorn.

18 Flavorful Salt Alternatives

  • Garlic. Garlic is a pungent spice that boosts flavor without increasing sodium content. …
  • Lemon juice or zest. …
  • Ground black pepper. …
  • Dill. …
  • Dried onion or onion powder. …
  • Nutritional yeast. …
  • Balsamic vinegar. …
  • Smoked paprika.
  • _______________________________

All this is lovely, but it just DOESN’T take the place of a nice salty pretzel, or a bunch of fritos, or potato chips…

My good friend and I were talking about cravings the other day, and we came up with a new meme –

‘SPLURGE IN MODERATION.’ Think it’ll catch on?


Filed under DIET!, taking care of yourself

Day 8 Progress Report

Today is DAY 8 of my renewed daily yoga practice, trying to make this a HABIT – a ROUTINE – an AUTOMATIC thing I do.

My husband sat watching my practice yesterday afternoon – eating what we call a ‘sugar ball’ he bought the last time we were in the grocery store – daring the powers that be to tell him he CAN’T enjoy it, knowing he is a Type II diabetic.

He asked me if it was ‘getting easier.’ That turns out to be a complicated question. The answer is ‘yes,’ and ‘no.’

It still hurts when I first lie down on my back on the mat. It hurts across my shoulder blades. I have no idea why, but the discomfort is enough that I have to consciously breathe through it until I can finally relax. The time it takes is getting shorter, so I guess that’s ‘easier.’

Each movement is still quite a challenge, though my body is loosening up gradually. I hold the pose, breathing, breathing, until my body ‘gives.’ It’s giving a bit more each day now.

I’m adding some new poses to my practice, so my practice is getting longer – from 30 minutes to about 45 minutes now – and I’m having no problem with that.

I feel good when I finish, and THAT makes it ‘easier’ to make it a priority to do it another day. I look forward to putting another sparkly star on my desk calendar daily. (Today’s will be number 8 in a row.)

So, even though the answer to the question is still ‘yes and no,’ the ‘yesses’ are out-weighing the ‘no’s.’ :0)


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“Normal” is SUCH a Beautiful Word


“Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland situated at the base of the front of your neck, just below your Adam’s apple. Hormones produced by the thyroid gland — triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) — have an enormous impact on your health, affecting all aspects of your metabolism.” -Mayo Clinic

The above is an enormous understatement. Your thyroid controls almost everything. If it makes too little hormone, you have bad problems. Too MUCH, more problems. If it goes completely out of whack, like mine did several years ago, you’re almost incapacitated. Mine was GUSHING hormone and I had the choice of radiation or surgery. I had mine radiated and I have NO thyroid now. I take a medicine that takes the place of my thyroid, supplying the hormone to regulate everything. Tests are needed, plus monitoring, to make sure the dosage stays right.

When it gets out of whack again, it takes WEEKS – if not more – to find the proper dosage. The complicating factor is your brain, which decides how it FEELS about the amount of hormone it’s receiving. It’s different for everyone, and the dosage doesn’t STAY good forever. (It took a full year of tests every 8 weeks and changes in dosage to find the proper starting one for me at the beginning.)

8 weeks ago I went in for my routine doctor appointment. I always get a blood test several days before so we have results to look at. Normal thyroid (TSH test) is 0.40-4.50. Mine was 22.89!!!!! Our doc looked at the meds I was taking and spotted two new things that were over-the-counter medicines I was taking trying to get my digestion working right again. She thought these two meds might be nullifying my thyroid med. She suggested I take the thyroid med first thing – no food or drink other than water for at least an hour afterwards. I have done that for 8 weeks and then had a follow-up test yesterday. I’m so thankful that I have such a smart doctor. She was right about what was causing my problem. Yesterday’s test showed my level “normal” at 0.55. My bad symptoms are gone now. I’m really relieved.

Southwest Physical Therapy

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“Oh, Happy Day…”


My massage yesterday was wonderful, although it was a bit like, ‘it feels so good when she stops.” I was so sore and knotted up after two months without a massage (I was stuck in my house for the last one, due to our driveway), that everything was at least tender, if not actively sore. She remarked on the knotting. Being a wonderful massage therapist, she was relentless in finding and trying to knead out ALL the places.

I came home, ate lunch, and then had a long nap in my chair. I drank a bunch of water, but was basically useless the rest of the day. I ended up going to bed super-early. I slept straight through until the alarm went off this morning. The muscles I use most for the weed whacking, on the front of both upper arms, are still sore, but they’ll be fine in a day or two.

Today is special because we’re celebrating my friend, Linda’s, birthday at Lunch Bunch. She will be leaving to go to Tennessee for the next two weeks, so she’ll have a wonderful time with family after celebrating with friends. A truly NICE celebration of her life.

We’ll do a few errands after Lunch Bunch, but it should be a quiet day for us. My husband mowed yesterday, so the yard looks like someone actually CARES! :0)

I hope your Friday is a happy one and that your weekend is even better.


Filed under Friendship, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________



Yesterday it took me three sessions, but I finished the weed whacking all around our house. I was super hot and tired, even with breaks and lots of water, so I took a shower before lunch. I sat on the couch under the ceiling fan in the living room to continue bringing my temperature down. Then we had lunch and I took the liberty of a nice nap afterwards.

Today I have my reward for pushing it yesterday – my monthly massage. Ahhhhhhhhhhh! I think Lynn Moody is the best massage therapist on the planet. I can totally relax, talk or not talk, while she finds and fixes all the sore spots I had, and even the ones I didn’t know about. I leave limp as a noodle, grinning from ear to ear.

Today will be an inside day. I’ll do laundry and some other stuff, but no big pushes to get anything in particular accomplished.

I hope you have a wonderful Thursday, too.

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Good Morning!

As we start another week, I’m thankful that I’m on the road to getting and staying healthier.

We’re going to replenish our supply of veggies and fruit today. The only other thing I’m trying to do this week is to STOP SNACKING – or at least choose something from my list of healthy snacks. My husband threw some bags of fritos into the grocery cart when I wasn’t looking. I emulated a lemming, finding them in the pantry and descending on one of the bags. We took turns gorging, polishing off an entire bag in one day. :0(

As soon as we shop, I’m going to fix a bowl of ready-to-eat veggies and make some dip to go with them. A colorful variety of those, or a piece of fruit, or a hard-boiled egg should satisfy me while my husband enjoys attacking a 2nd bag of fritos…

Yesterday I warned my husband about the ‘excessive heat warning’ with a heat index of 118 yesterday afternoon. You would THINK I would know better by now. He went out in the hottest part of the afternoon to mow. I was so angry with him I just let him have at it. The mower ran out of gas and he had to walk out to the shop, get a can, and bring it out to pour it into the tank in order to finish the yard. I did get him a cool drink and brought him a wet towel to run over his face and neck when he came in. He cooled off and then went up to take a shower. I watched him surreptitiously like a hawk all evening to make sure he was all right…

All I did yesterday outside was spray everything for bugs. All I have left in the garden right now is red onions and zucchini. Our two planters of tomato plants are doing well with green tomatoes. I did have to pull one tomato plant that was completely broken off by the last storm, but I was glad we didn’t lose more. Today I’ll mix and spray weed killer.

I hope that wherever you are today you can stay cool and safe and enjoy the day.

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Filed under DIET!, Gardening, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

Veggies and Fruit


I’m trying to adopt new eating patterns now. My doc told me to take my thyroid med by itself in the morning, then wait at least an hour to eat or take my other meds. I have an alarm set for that now as I type this. Today that means I won’t eat breakfast, since we would leave in another our for Lunch Bunch. Most days, though, I’ll plan to eat a bit of breakfast when I take my other meds.

I’m concentrating on adding as many good veggies and fruit as I can to our diet in this first push toward a Mediterranean plan. When we’re busy, I’m eating a Healthy Choice Cafe Steamer Bowl while my husband eats something else, and making us another veggie to go with our meal. I’m eating a piece of fruit as a snack each day. We’re cutting back on meats, using them as flavoring, instead of the main focus. I’m making a beef stew in the crock pot tomorrow, with lots and lots of veggies.

So far, I think this will be the thrust in the change in diet, since my husband rarely meets a veggie he likes. I downloaded another Mediterranean cookbook onto my Kindle last night. It got lots of good reviews on Amazon, but so far, the recipes I’ve seen in other cookbooks or recipes online center on chick peas, couscous, eggplant, kale, tofu, etc. and this would cause not only derision, but revolt from my other half. I’m hoping I can find a few good things in the new book. It may be that I just collect one or two from several sources, add them to the recipes I already have that my husband likes, and start a rotation. Whatever the case, I’m hoping that eating lots of fruits and veggies coupled with my moving more regimen will result in a happy result on the scales and from my measuring tape.

Her World Singapore


Filed under Changes, DIET!, exercise, Mediterranean Eating Plan + Recipes, taking care of yourself

Lesson Learned


I’ve told you I haven’t been feeling sassy lately. I had routine blood work done and was surprised to see that one of my thyroid tests was really high – and that’s bad because I don’t HAVE a thyroid anymore.

I talked to our doctor yesterday. One of the routine things we do every six months is review what meds we’re taking. I take a list, and had added the two meds I’ve added lately to try to get my digestion back under control.

It turned out that the two over-the-counter meds I’ve added may have been helping my digestion problems, but the fact that I take my pills together in the morning was sabotaging my thyroid hormone medication, making it so my system didn’t absorb it. So it was like I haven’t been taking ANY thyroid medicine for about 3 weeks. GREAT.

It never occurred to me. Once I saw that my test was high, it clicked that some other symptoms I’ve been having were associated with my thyroid dosage being off.

I have now learned –

  • Next time I’m having a problem for which I’m considering taking new meds, I should check with my good doctor through the portal they provide.
  • I should be taking my thyroid med first thing, then giving it an hour or so before I eat or take anything else
  • that OTC meds are more serious than I have thought and may interact with other meds to my detriment. DUH.

I’m lucky to have a good, patient primary doctor who takes the time to listen and has the smarts to figure out what I’ve done to myself and how to fix it.


Filed under learning new things, life lessons, taking care of yourself

Cloudy Beach Thursday

ML Lewis

I’m getting spoiled enjoying a gorgeous photo of the beach every morning. My SIL hasn’t kissed a sandpiper for me yet, but I’m still hoping. She says it’s cloudy there this morning and they may get some rain. What a lovely thought – walking on the beach in the rain…..

Back in the ‘real world’ in Arkansas, we’re having “spotty showers” this morning and 90’s this afternoon. I’m hoping that I can get out to my garden this morning in a bit and see if I can figure out how to prop up my zucchini plants and prune them.

Irrigation System Controller

My husband got frustrated with the yard irrigation system controller yesterday. I told him I would tackle it this morning and just came in from trying to do just that. I reset the whole system, which thought it was January of 2007… Hopefully, I have it reset now, but we won’t really know until this evening, when Station 1 should start watering at 7pm and Station 2 at 7:10. Fingers crossed.

healthy_thyroid-Endocrine Web

We go to the doc’s office this afternoon. I had Graves Disease years ago and had my thyroid radiated. I’ve taken a medication since then that simulates thyroid hormone. When my levels go wonky, I’m in pretty bad trouble. The thyroid controls a LOT of what goes on in your body. Usually, I go along on the same dosage for years, sometimes, with no problems. My test results showed my thyroid levels are, indeed, wonky now. What I thought was diet-related is probably due to this. I have other symptoms, too, that I haven’t had in a long time. I’ll find out today what my doc thinks is best. Help is on the way. :0)

I hope that you’re having a pleasant Thursday. If not, keep gazing at the gorgeous photo of the beach above, That’ll make it better.


Filed under Challenges, Gardening, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________, vicarious enjoyment

Beachful Wednesday

ML Lewis

Aren’t we lucky to have another day on the beach? I particularly like it that I can truly enjoy the sunrise at a time more ‘civilized’ for ME, rather than when it actually happens. :0)

We’re having a nice day here in Arkansas, too. I’m planning to spend several short sessions in the garden and the yard today, since Mother Nature seems to have her head back on straight again. I learned yesterday – much to my amazement – that I’m supposed to be staking my zucchini plants! I guess I never thought about it. I read that each plant has only one stem, though the plant will grow all over the place over time. It actually does better – AND produces more zucchini, if you give the main stem a lot more oxygen, cutting away the excess leaves. Who knew! My garden boxes are only 8 inches deep, so ‘staking’ them will be a trick, but I certainly can prune the plants and prop up parts of the plants to give the stems a lot more air and space. I’ll figure out what I can do as I go.

I’m also going to try to lop off the big branches sticking out from our trio of brick planters between our front yard and the driveway that are making it next to impossible for my husband to mow close to them. Short sessions with lots of rest and water in-between.

We see our primary doc tomorrow afternoon for our routine six-month-monitoring. This coincides nicely with getting help for the digestive problem I’ve been having lately. We had blood work done. The TSH test (one of the thyroid tests I get) has gone completely bonkers – WAAAY high. I’m suspicious, now that I look at other symptoms, that this may be the reason for my problems. I’ll find out what she thinks tomorrow. Help is on the way! :0)

We start our day at the beach and spend much of the garden outside in a beautiful day, playing with plants. What more could we ask?

Wonderful Wednesday. Enjoy yours.

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Filed under Gardening, Mother Nature, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

Short Rant


Okay. I’m feeling MUCH, much better.

I’m eating more veggies and fruits. I’m eating healthy. I’ve even splurged a couple of times, but not badly. My ‘rant’ is the frustrated question – why does feeling better have to mean I’ve gained 3 pounds? I’ve been trying really hard to lose the lard. I haven’t been doing anything ‘weird,’ in my efforts. I have now learned that the high fat on the keto plan is not the best one for ME, with my lack of gallbladder, after trying all the suggestions for compensating for that.

I’m trying to eat more whole, fresh veggies, fruit, nuts, meats as a flavoring. I’m still trying to move more, including more exercises as I am able. I’m drinking water. Increasing fiber. Watching my portions.

I’ll keep on keepin’ on, but it’s aggravating that what is supposed to be GOOD for me results in MORE of me so far…

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Thoughts on a Friday 5-13-2022

Anne Jaravan Panhuis

Isn’t this photo wonderful? I love the look on the giraffe’s face as he (or she) stands with the bird (kingfisher?) sitting on his/her head. And the catching of the water (and the frog) are priceless.

We’ll leave in about 45 minutes to join our friends for Lunch Bunch. My friend Kay’s daughter from Albuquerque has been visiting, but she left yesterday. Kay is always a bit sad after her daughter leaves. I haven’t felt well enough to gather veggies from the garden, so won’t be taking anything to share today. Hopefully I can get out this weekend and make up for lost time.

My pantry project is about half done at this point. I’ll start the ‘food’ side of the pantry today and see what I can accomplish.

We’ve had record breaking heat this week. On the heels of this are thunderstorms with possibly severe weather this afternoon-into-this-evening. I hope we just get some good rain. I haven’t been able to set up our yard irrigation system yet this season, so things can really use a drink.

I’m feeling better and better. Soon I’ll be my regular, ornery self and can look for some mischief to dive into.

Enjoy a nice Friday.

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Ugh via

I had trouble getting out of bed this morning. I wanted to just pull the covers up over my head and stay there until further notice. I haven’t felt well for about 3 weeks now and it’s taking its toll on my ‘normally-bubbly’ personality.

I’ve been trying all the suggestions I can find about how to continue following the keto eating plan with my lack of gallbladder. I’ve found lots of suggestions, and I’ve tried every one I’ve found. The first time I tried keto years ago I found a wonderful medicine that was really helpful. I asked my doc to send in a prescription to our healthcare provider a couple of weeks ago. Finally, yesterday a representative called and said that the med wasn’t on the formulary anymore and that my part of the cost would be $181+. That was it. I can’t afford that, and I can’t afford not to be in control of my digestion, weight or no weight.

My friend Susy pointed me to an article on various diets and their ratings. I have decided to move toward the Mediterranean eating plan, with lots more veggies and fruit (a direction in which I was moving anyway to get more fiber). She then asked me why I thought my calorie limit should be 1200 calories a day. I discovered that I was stuck in the old food pyramid crap they’ve been spouting for as long as I’ve been alive and decided to research calories, carbs, protein, fats, sugars, etc. all separately and see what I could find.

This will be a work in progress, for sure, since my husband is NOT a fan of veggies, but hopefully, I’ll start feeling better soon and can find the combination that results in continued, albeit slow, success in my efforts to lose the lard. I’m enjoying some fruit for the first time in a long time, plus carefully chosen Healthy Choice frozen dinners for me while I’m researching.


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Adding Keto-Friendly Fiber


I’m making a new grocery list in order to stock up on ways to add more fiber to my diet. I lucked out, using the search term “keto-friendly fiber” and now have several good ideas on how I can add more fiber without going above my carb limit for the day.

The ones above are only a partial list. There is also

  • asparagus
  • pecans
  • cauliflower
  • spinach
  • collard greens
  • mustard greens
  • kale
  • brussels sprouts
  • artichoke hearts

and more – but you get the idea. There are lots of things I can eat to try to get to the suggested 25 grams of fiber per day.

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Hostility vs Maturity – No Contest

This is a fight between my head and my gut feelings and my gut feelings are winning right now. It doesn’t matter that I KNOW I’m being childish/immature/unrealistic/whatever-other-adjective-you-choose. It’s how I FEEL, and that is overriding any chance of my acting like an adult.

And, why am I feeling/acting this way, you ask? (Assuming you’re still reading :0) )

I’m being really, really good on my low-carb diet and exercise program. In fact, I’m finishing a month of low-carb eating and tracking, and am on Week 3 of a really good exercise program created by Mike Kutcher, a Seniors’ Specialist Physiotherapist and Exercise Scientist on the website MoreLifeHealth/

SOMETHING seems to be happening, because my Keto Stix are turning deep purple now. My scales are yo-yo-ing in results. I don’t care if I don’t LOSE weight every day. I realize there is a lot that goes into what shows on the scales any given day. But I resent GAINING weight. Yesterday, for example, the scales showed I had GAINED 2 lbs. Today I’m down half a pound from that, but I’m varying too much for me to handle like an adult. I’ve been told not to weigh every day, and I see the sense in that. The trouble is, I’ve learned the hard way that if I DON’T check it every day, my mind seems to go into relaxation mode, figuring ‘a little bit of this or a little bite of that shouldn’t matter.’ The scales represent my personal accountability.

SOMETHING ELSE seems to be happening, too, in that my jeans got loose. I ordered the next size down. My husband told me to go ahead and order more in that size. I did, but my NEW jeans are loose again. The MEASURING TAPE isn’t showing ANY progress, though. I’ve also read that measurements can be off from one time to the next and that you need to be really careful with it, but I AM.

So. I’m feeling hostile. I would LIKE to have results on the scales and with the measuring tape that I can point to – at least in the comfort of my own home – giving me positive feedback.

I’m SUPPOSED to be reporting to you today the end of WEEK 4 on my low-carb and the end of WEEK 3 of my much more active exercise program. I have lost the pandemic weight gain of 6.6 pounds and am back to my 30-pounds-off-from-my-heaviest point. I have lost about 28 inches from my heaviest, but no difference except the jeans thing to this point in my new push to get and stay healthier.

Canton Box Company –

I will ‘keep on keepin’ on.” Fingers crossed that my results by the end of May will be more encouraging.


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Thursday Thoughts 4-28-2022

I just went out and took a walk around the yard, taking pics to share with you. Alas, my battery died on my camera, so I need to let it charge before I can get the pics off the camera. Later.

Madison Gardens Nursery

I’m hoping the weather will be cooperative on our going out today to buy flats of flowers to plant. The deck planters are now ready. My husband is interested in finding some ‘hardy’ for the three concrete planters we have that are not on the irrigation system, too. I would love to get some pretty flowers in the pots today. Fingers crossed.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

I must have eaten ROCKS yesterday. I gained two pounds and I was good! UGH. I’m keepin’ on keepin’ on, but picture my grim, determined, disgusted face as I say it. I KNOW all the reasons it can happen – water retention, too much salt, changing fat to muscle, that I shouldn’t weigh every day, ya, ya, ya. These are the days it is the hardest, since it is SO hard to get the weight off and so very EASY for it to come back on. I’ll have my whine with cheese, please. :0(

Have a fun Thursday.

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Thoughts on a Tuesday 4-26-2022

Good morning! I just have time to say a quick, “Hi” before I leave. I’m doing exciting stuff, like take the trash down to the bottom of the driveway, get the mail, and go get a haircut. Wow. I hope my heart can take it. :0)

Actually, I’m very grateful for quiet, calm days without a big schedule these days. Since my husband had a couple of strokes last year, I don’t make many plans. I take things one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time, and – on rare occasions – one MOMENT at a time, dealing with the changes and some new challenges. He is still ‘in there,’ but sometimes he’s hard to find.

So, quiet, calm, low-pressure days are more than welcome.

Each of us deals with poor health, challenges, fears differently. Respecting our differences, and taking as much time as possible to meet our own needs is key. Love is at the base of it all, and will ever be.

Today is bright and sunny. Our weather will be stellar. I’ll take our wonderful hair stylist a big bag of home grown lettuce as an extra thank you for being there for us.

I’m hoping I can spend some time outside this afternoon, working on the planter I started cleaning out a couple of days ago, checking on the tomatoes.

I hope that YOUR Tuesday is a happy one.

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