Category Archives: taking care of yourself

First Day of Winter 2017

I’m ambivalent about this being the first day of winter.

I love some things about winter –

  • hot chocolate
  • fires in the fireplace
  • warm clothes
  • building snowmen
  • curling up with a good book under a cozy throw in my recliner
  • watching big, fluffy snowflakes fall
  • Christmas
  • not having to mow the grass every week
  • comfort food

We live on top of a ridge line in Greenwood, Arkansas. It’s good because we don’t have to worry about flooding. It’s bad when we have ice. Arkansas doesn’t ‘do’ winter well. Instead of having snow, we have sleet and ice first and THEN snow. We have snow tires on our Honda Ridgeline Truck, but they’re useless on ice. Our driveway is 650 feet or so and steep. When there is snow, we have little problem getting down and back up again. When it’s an ice skating rink, we might end up across the street in the field across from our place, and it’s impossible to get back up. We just have to stay home until all melts. Since our driveway is on the north side of our property, that could be a week or more after the rest of the area has forgotten about the inconvenience.

Because we might have trouble getting out and back in again, we spend a lot of time and effort preparing to spend a bunch of time up here, away from the rest of the world. We try to have back up systems so we have water and electricity. One year (I think it was 2000) we had a BAD ice storm. There were trees broken and down all over our property, including in our driveway all the way down. We stood on the front porch and listened to the awful sound of branches snapping like gunshots as they broke. The generator we had at the time blew a gasket. My husband and son rigged a big barrel outside the well house and filled it with water to try to cool the generator. We had to check it every half hour 24 hours a day. We were up here, trapped, for 14 days. No electricity. No public water. No way to get down to the road. That makes you get really serious about preparing for whatever might happen.

I don’t like it when I have to worry about whether I can get to an appointment or not. Plans made during the winter make me nervous. I know that I can reschedule doctor appointments, and that friends and family will understand if we get trapped up here, but I don’t like worrying about whether we could get out or not if we really needed to.

I’m happy if I can stay home and just take some days off to enjoy the ice and snow up here and it doesn’t bother anyone else. I can just decide to stay up here ‘until further notice,’ make snow angels, snow people, have a snowball fight, see how our animals react to the white stuff, and make some hot chocolate and some beef stew with garlic bread…..


Filed under Mother Nature, security, taking care of yourself

I use to help me stay on task in my efforts to stay under 1200 calories and 40 grams of carbohydrates each day.

I’ve been annoyed for the past three weeks or so because the “My Home Page” isn’t working properly. No one seems to be trying to fit it, so the annoyance grows.

I tried two other online free food and exercise websites. I used them for several days each, because there is a learning curve, and ‘different’ seems harder at first. I finally gave up and went back to MyFitnessPal because of their food search feature. This is by FAR the best food search I’ve found. I can look to see if a food or recipe is already in the data bank. If it isn’t, I have the option to add it, and another option if I want to share it with others. I can add foods quickly once they are a part of my personal eating history.

One of the programs I tried required that I add EACH INGREDIENT of a recipe separately, then add them up and name them. They had no record of what I had eaten before, so I had to look each thing up for every meal. Bah – Humbug!

One of the programs didn’t list carbs. I had to list the foods I was planning to eat, then show ‘reports’ to figure out if I was staying under my limit for carbs for the day. Bah – again!

One of the programs insists that you look for things in a certain manner – example: first ‘egg,’ then ‘hard-boiled’ wasn’t listed, so I had to change to ‘custom’ to get another list! (Each time I ate one! Bah-for the last time.

SO – MyFitnessPal isn’t perfect, but for my needs, it’s wonderful, non-working home page and all.


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

Top Notch Care

“Happy Heart” – Pinterest

My husband and I have been super lucky to live in a place and time when we can get such good health care. We live in Greenwood, Arkansas. We are older than dirt and are covered by Humana.

If you’re in the area, an absolutely wonderful family physician is Charles Jackson, M.D. at Bailey Clinic in Greenwood, a member of the Cooper Clinic/Mercy Hospital network.  We don’t like doctors as a rule, but we both feel we won the lottery when we found him. He takes good care of us.

When I developed cataracts in 2009, Dr. Jackson recommended I go to Dr. Christopher Greer, D.O. at the Cooper Center for Better Vision in Fort Smith, AR.  He removed my cataracts and I was very happy. I was pretty shocked when Dr. Greer personally called me the night of my first surgery, asking how I was and telling he would see me the next morning. He did this with the 2nd eye, as well.

My husband needed cataract surgery recently. We of course wanted Dr. Greer. My husband’s 2nd surgery was on the 16th, and he reports his vision is improving daily. Again, Dr. Greer called the night of the surgeries to be sure my husband was doing well. We cannot recommend Dr. Greer, and his partner, Dr. Renner, highly enough.

Our surgeries were performed at the Outpatient Clinic at Mercy Hospital. The whole surgical staff provides an orderly, competent, and compassionate experience. We were amazed to receive a Thank You card from the surgical staff, signed by all the people involved with us! We’re sending one back to THEM tomorrow, saying, “It is WE who should be thanking YOU. Thank you so much for your competent, compassionate care.”

We’re lucky that there has been so much progress in medicine since we were born. The things we have had are now treated routinely with so much less recovery time than ever before.

We are very grateful, indeed.

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Filed under Arkansas, Delightful Surprises, Encouragement, kindness, opportunities, taking care of yourself

Sunrise at the Beach – Vicariously

My sister-in-law is enjoying a much-deserved week at the beach with friends. She has been trying to help me enjoy it by sending me pics of the glorious sunrise there.


The friends go once a year, sharing the cost, content to be together or be separate, as they choose, drinking in the wonderful scenery. beach, water, sunrises, fresh air, and r-e-l-a-x-a-t-i-o-n…..



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Filed under Mother Nature, taking care of yourself, vicarious enjoyment


Lamb Shoppe

Lamb Shoppe

Since I look much like a sheep right now, the picture above shows pretty much what getting my hair cut this afternoon will entail.

I don’t know why my hair had a growth spurt this time. I get my hair cut every 5 weeks. I have short hair expertly cut by my wonderful stylist, Michael Remillard at Tangles in Greenwood, so that it practically falls into place. I wash it every morning, put a bit of mousse on it, blow it dry. Many of my friends have remarked that I look ‘sassy,’ my goal in getting a new look when I started to lose weight.

This time I’ve gone from ‘sassy’ to ‘shaggy.’ and no amount of work makes it look the way it is supposed to. I hope that Michael can work his miracle on me and then help me figure out if I need to move my hair cuts to every 4 weeks or not.

Let the sheep shearing begin!


Filed under taking care of yourself