Thursday, November 26, 2009

What is the Prize?

This morning I picked up a Bible Study book that I've had forever....."The Joy of Eating Right". The Subtitle is "Spiritual and Nutritional Principles for Weight Control" by Dee Brestin and Peggy Johnston.

I started this study a few months ago so I just picked up where I'd left off....Well, actually, I read over what I'd written in the previous week's lesson before going on to the next week (which I normally do all at once).

The reference for Day 5 of this week is Phil 3:12-14.....the passage in which Paul talks about 'pressing on toward the mark'. The Message says it this way...."Friends, don't get me wrong. By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward - to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back."

Of course, Paul was NOT speaking of weight loss goals, but the authors used the principal in this passage to emphasize that weight control is a long term project, taking months or even years of perseverance to achieve healthy eating habits and a thin body. Also, this passage was used to picture the fact that any weight loss program takes commitment and effort.

Then comes the question....."Paul mentions the need to forget about what is behind us and press on toward the prize. What is your prize? What is your goal? Is it attainable? Is it realistic? Are you truly committed, no matter how long it takes? Take some time to think about these questions and record your thoughts below"

My thoughts in answer to these questions made me happy, so I thought I'd share them with y'all.....

First of all, what is my prize?

I did not have to think long on this and was excited when I realized that......My prize comes incrementally....with each pound lost and kept off, comes a huge sense of satisfaction, a feeling of having won a battle. With each 5 or so pounds (yes, as little as that) comes a knowledge that my clothing is fitting differently. Every once in awhile, new clothing is needed in a smaller size. My favorite prizes have to do with how I feel, however.....increased energy and confidence, and the ability to feel my hip bone through the (now smaller) layer of fat on my hips, the emerging curve of my waistline. Even after a year of no change, I still feel like I've won a prize at these things. Another prize I have won and still appreciate daily is the fact that I can wear my wedding rings....I know, I talk about that alot - but if you have ever gone for 10 or more years without your rings, you will know why it is so important to me. The prizes keep on is not just ONE big prize at the end of the journey. Thankfully.

My final goal is to MAINTAIN a healthy weight of about 145 lbs AND to have incorporated more activity into my daily life. In other words, there will be no end to this because I will need to continue to keep that goal in mind and be diligent about eating and doing to maintain that weight. I will not just remain at my goal weight without continuing effort.

Am I committed? Yes. For the first time in my life, I don't care how long this takes....I'm in it for the long haul. I'm not giving up. The reward is not just a thin is a HEALTHY body. And, as I've just said, I consider this a life time 'race'.

The only complaint I have about eating healthy is that my nails and my hair grow much faster.....I used to be able to go for 5 weeks without getting my nails done. Now I MUST go every 3 weeks. Also, my grey roots start showing much sooner than they used to. Ah well....a small price to pay for better health.

Back to the subject......think about it - what is the prize you are 'running' toward? What is your goal? Is it attainable? Are you committed?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Good News and Bad News

Well, the good news is that I am no longer on my way UP the scale.

More good news is that I have lost about 3 pounds this week.

Bad news is that I gained 3 pounds this week before I lost it.

So, my weight today is the same as it was a week ago - 213.6 - which is still almost 3 pounds more than what my 'ticker' says.

Ah well, I am feeling more like myself....that is the 'self' that was consistently losing weight.

The bad news is.....I do not have time to say more than this.

Or maybe that is good news? LOL

will try to get back sooner than last time!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

On a more Upbeat Note........

Yikes! I'm like a week late, almost, with this post.

I've managed to spend less time wasting time on my computer this week - a whole lot less wasted time, actually.

That doesn't mean that I haven't sat at the computer several times a day - just that I was working, not just 'facebooking' or playing solitaire.

Anyway, I said I was going to post about what is still positive in my 'weight-loss life'.......instead of only focusing on the negative fact that I have not lost any weight to speak of in the last year, I want to list as many positive things as I can think of.

So here goes......

  1. I am fourty pounds lighter than I was in Dec 2007
  2. I am wearing size 18 pants .... down from size 24
  3. I am wearing size 20 shirts......down from size 28
  4. I can wear my wedding rings ALL THE TIME......something I have not been able to do for probably 10 years
  5. My ankles usually look nice (except when I'm retaining water....normally, because I forgot to take my blood pressure meds)
  6. I can wear a necklace without an extension
  7. I do not look like the woman on my driver's license or passport
  8. I now have a waistline.....a little on the large size, but at least it is a waist line
  9. I can reach to wipe
  10. I eat less than I used to - and am quite satisfied
  11. I automatically choose healthy foods (almost 100% of the time) over quick, processed foods
  12. I read lables and have learned which products to avoid and which to buy (like no salt added tomatoes)
  13. I still get compliments on having lost weight - even though I haven't lost for a year
  14. In spite of a pretty emotionally stressful year, I have not gained any weight overall and I have not turned to food as my crutch
  15. In other words.....when I quit losing, I did not gain back what I had lost and then some more! You know.....when you lose focus on your weight loss plan - what happens......I don`t know about you - but for me, in the past, as soon as I am not being very disciplined about my `diet`, I begin to gain. And gain. And gain. And surpass my starting weight. This did not happen!!!!


The thing that worries me is that I have lost much of the belief I had in myself....that I really WAS going to get to a healthy weight. Not that I am without hope....I always have hope....but I do not have the same strength of really believing it as I did at this time last year.

Actually, now that I think of it, that is not really something to worry about....I mean, when I started this journey I had NO hope and I absolutely did NOT believe I would ever lose ANY weight - yet, I lost over 40 pounds.

All I have to do is DO IT. Or Keep Doing it but make a few adjustments here and there. Because really, I have been 'doing it' for the most part - I have kept my eating in control and established good habits that I barely even think about anymore. I probably need to get out the scale and measuring cups again, that would show me where I am not eating the correct portions. AND it would help to get a journal to write everything in (I have one, but I do not like it so don't use it every day)

So......All is not lost.

I am not a total failure.

I have not left the road to success.....just sat down on the shoulder.

I can just get up and begin to travel down the same path to my goal.

I have lost no ground, really.....just time.....and afterall, it is not like I quit living while I was losing the time - I've lived lots this past year...some wonderful times and blessings, some difficult and emotionally exhausting experiences. The only time I've lost is in regard to weight loss. But there is no use in speculating what weight I could be at right now, had everything gone perfectly in the last 12 months.

It is what it is.

I`m going on from here.

Friday, November 6, 2009


I've been avoiding this blog.....because after a brief couple weeks of losing again, I am back up. I cannot even complain about it because I know that I am not moving enough (and I'm not even talking about the E word here) and I know I am not drinking enough water.

My eating hasn't been out of control until last night when I recieved the box of cookie dough that I ordered....I ate 4 of the raw cookies last night and one this morning.

This is cookie dough that I bought only because it was a fund raiser for a do you say no to a friend, the mom of twins, who are required to raise a certain amount of money? I didn't really want it because raw cookie dough is a major weakness of mine but I'd feel like a jerk to say no. Others around me ordered several boxes....I ordered ONE.

I took a dozen of the 'cookies' out of the box - intending to bake some for Jim to have as dessert and to take in his lunch but he did not get home until after 11 pm and I wasn't going to tempt him with cookies at that time of night! I should go re-wrap them and put them in the freezer with the rest.

I'm also trying to spend less time on my computer (not too successfully - hence the 'not moving enough' comment) so have not been visiting y'alls blogs, either.

I have noticed, that many of the bloggers that began about the same time I did have 'vanished' and I haven't taken the time to get to 'know' those of you who are 'new' to me. I think I need to take some time to do so - I've always recieved so much encouragement from these blogs.

I am a little bit 'all or nothing' of a person - not enough of that quality to make me completely successful at losing weight - but enough that I feel like if I can't read all my 'usual' blogs AND comment on them , then I just do nothing. This tendency affects how successful I am at 'sticking to plan' and to exercise as well.

I just have to get past that. Maybe set my 'blog goals' a little more realistically. Like maybe read one a day - or set an hour a week aside to read several.

What do the rest of you do to make time for this rather time consuming part of weight-loss?

I also have another blog, which I've had for 3 plus years.....and another 'experimental' blog that I started at the beginning of '09. I do not know if I'll continue with that one after the end of this year, but my family has objected every time I've threatened to quit. (There are links to both these 'other' blogs at the right) I don't do as much blog reading connected to these other blogs, but I do more posting.

Part of my problem with 'time' is, I think, related to the change in my lifestyle over the past 11 months. I've gone from homeschooling AND driving all over the province to spend every 3rd week with my husband where he was working to living WITH my husband all the time away from home (in Louisiana) to moving back home where my youngest was still living with us and my husband was home for 2 weeks every 2 weeks. That lasted until Dec. 08 and I was busy, busy, busy with reclaiming my home after so much time away from it - even when my youngest 'left the nest', I did not have time to be lonely.

In January, Jim started working in Alberta again - but the work situation had changed and I can no longer go and stay with him on his worksite for a week at a time. He worked more than 80 days last winter - between January 2 and the end of March....all away from home. It took at least 2 months to realize I was floundering because of lonliness - and probably mild depression. That state of mind put me in a habit of just 'existing', mostly......I spent alot of time wasting time - which made me feel more depressed. I started to get hold of this by going to bed at a decent time and getting up early. Then things changed again.....Spring came and Jim was home for a few months....he went back to work but it was summer time - I accomplished much because I had many responsibilities regarding our 7 acres of grass and our garden.

Now, he's working all the time again and my responsibilities are mostly inside. It is much easier to procrastinate cleaning the basement than it was to mow the grass. My youngest son is living at home again, which means that there is someone here sometimes, but he is gone most evenings and has things that keep him busy all day (even if it is 'just' his online computer game). I had gotten back into the habit of staying up half the night and sleeping most of the morning away - always a destructive habit for me.

Jim has been working near home for the past week so is here at night - up at 5 am and home about 8 pm...bed by at least I'm back to getting up early and going to bed early. I'm still, however, stuck in the rut of spending too much time on my computer or finding a reason to go to town just to get out of my house.

My husband's job is not likely to change - I need to change the way I live in spite of the lifestyle.

Don't suggest a job for me...that would mean that I would not be available when he ISN'T working - which happens sporatically. When he is 'off', he is at home all day for anywhere from 1 day to 3 months. We do not want me to be tied to a job when we actually have opportunity to be together. Even volunteer work requires a committment of specific times.

No, I need to get off my duff and do the work that is in front of me - and there is plenty of it around here.....not to mention being available to my 5 children and 8 grandchildren. I can be busy without a fact, I have no excuse to be lonely or depressed. I have a list of projects a mile long - things that if I would just get started on, I would enjoy. Things like cleaning my basement ....yes, I'd enjoy that! I want to go through all the boxes and throw most of it out. I want to organize and make the basement into a place my grandkids can go play when it is too cold to play outside. But I always feel like I 'don't have time' to do it all at once so I never get started. Isn't that retarded? Of course I can't do it all at once - no one could.

So that is my confession....I have been wasting time wishing I had a more 'normal' lifestyle, thinking if I can't finish something right now I should just wait to start.


It has led to a long period of little to no weight loss....bouncing back and forth between two numbers.

I want to become a part of the accountability and encouragement of this community again.

It just occurred to me that I started to 'disappear' from the weight loss blogs when I could no longer tell you that 'it' was working for me easily. When I stopped feeling like I was changed. I'm back to feeling like a fat I will never win this battle, even though my eating habits HAVE changed and I have no desire to go back to the way I used to eat. The battle I have not won - and only thought I had - is the battle in my mind...the way I think about myself.

Next post will be an exercise in telling myself about the victories I HAVE won.....but I must git goin.....I'm off to a 'weekend retreat' with our church. Except I'll be coming home to make Jim's supper and sleep with him - the retreat facility is only 15 minutes away from my house.

Don't be too hard on me....but don't be easy on me, either. I need to jump back into this accountability structure.

Hopefully, I'll be back on here on Monday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Bit of a Ramble

I don't have an official weigh in number for today because I was not home this morning. I always weigh first thing - before I eat. I can tell you that yesterday's weight, however, was DOWN 2 pounds! Of course, that was at least 2 weeks since I last reported, but 2 pounds in 2 weeks is still a Victory.

I have not been feeling well lately and it seems to be finally settling in today....I even have a fever today. I've gone to bed for a nap twice and still feel like I could sleep. I'm hungry, though.

I mentioned in my last post that I've decided to do more cooking for myself at supper time. It is not alot of fun to eat alone every night so I have tended to just have the same thing at noon and in the evening.

Just a minute, maybe I should explain a bit for those new 'followers'....don't know if you actually read this blog, but just in case.....

I am happily married but my husband's career has him working away from home for various lengths of time. He is a well site supervisor in the oil and gas industry. This is seasonal work at best, meaning that when 'activity' is high, he has to work as much as he can because there is always at least a month with NO work at all in the spring - often up to 4 months with no work, then over the summer, 2 weeks a month is the most we can expect. Fall/winter is the busy season. We enjoy the long periods of time he can be home in the spring and summer, but he has to work very long periods during the fall/winter so we can continue to pay the bills and buy groceries when he is not working.

This year, because of the very low price of natural gas (he works mostly gas wells) there is NO new activity at all .... the oil company cannot even break even on a new natural gas well at these prices. So, he is working on old wells - fixing and repairing and shutting in for good. We have no idea how much of this work will be available so we cannot afford for him to 'pace himself' ..... if there is a job for him, he is going to go to work.

This is why I talk about eating alone and cooking for myself so much. There are pros and cons to this ...... I do not mind eating the same thing day in and day out which makes food prep quick and easy. (Jim likes variety, usually) For a long time, my staple meal has been homemade 'taco' soup - noon and supper. Breakfast is usually a smoothie made with FF SF yogurt and berries.

I noticed, however, that when Jim is home and I eat more 'normal' meals, that I lose more quickly - even though I'm eating more calories. Therefore, I concluded that I need to add to my usual fare. Of course, everything I've learned over the years of attempting to lose weight supports this do need to eat in order to keep your metabolism burning efficiently. So, I've determined to plan and cook a full meal for myself at supper times.

One of my favorite meals is Spaghetti squash topped with ground beef and spaghetti sauce and lots of roasted vegetables.....carrots, parsnips, turnips, sweet potatoe, squash (butternut or delectia). I can usually prepare enough at one time to have leftovers for at least one more meal.

Last week I made my own spaghetti sauce......I chopped up some of the tomatoes from my garden, added a chopped onion, some garlic, and Italian spices. I drizzled olive oil over it all, mixed it up, and put it in the oven at 450 F for about 25 minutes. Oh, the heavenly smell this produced! When the tomatoes and onion were carmelized, I took it out, let it cool a bit, then put it through the blender. Very good - and I know there was no added sodium (something I try hard to avoid). Also, I know it is full of nutrients since I grew the tomato and onion myself.

But, as I said....I am not feeling well today and so did not want to cook. I do not have any vegetables left since I ate them last night with my chicken breast, but I may have the spaghetti squash and ground beef. I'm feeling hungry, so I suppose I should make a decision soon.

I travelled yesterday afternoon to where my hubby is staying when his day is done. (A two hour drive). He arrived at the hotel at 8 p.m. so we had a few hours together. I do not do this often because he always stays up later when I am there and then it takes a couple days for him to 'catch up'. Since his day begins at 5 a.m. and does not end until 8 pm at the earliest, he disciplines his sleep time as part of his work....when he stays up past 9:30 or 10, he gets too tired.

For my part, I have a hard time going to bed at night when he is gone - which means I sleep too late in the morning - which means I feel like I do not accomplish anything in a day because my day does not start in the morning. Hopefully, since I was up with him at 5 this morning and am feeling sick, I can begin to get myself on a more productive schedule.

I am a person who lacks discipline and thrives on routine. I know what I should do, but have a hard time making myself do it. Once I get past the initial hurdle of 'just do it', I am fine.....I love to be organized and follow a plan. I am glad that I was able to establish my routine of eating healthy before we came back to this lifestyle (we had about a year of more regular work - another story for another time) so at least I do not struggle much with what to eat or what not to eat.

Anyway, this has been a rambling post....not going anywhere, really. I need to go have some supper and start to think about going to bed (again). I was supposed to spend the next 2 days with my DIL and grandbabies since my son is going back to work tomorrow, but they've had to make other arrangements - don't want any of them getting sick! The last thing Victoria needs is to be sick while recovering from childbirth. Hopefully, I'll be well enough next week to 'hang out' with them for a couple days. Tor is very efficient and really doesn't need alot of help, but I was looking forward to the time with just her and the babies.

Oh well.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ava Grace

Just a quick newest grandbaby has been born!

Ava Grace arrived Oct 15 at about 8 pm. Her stats are: 7 lbs 12 oz, 20.5 inches long. Blonde hair, fair skin, and a good set of lungs! Man! Can this little girl cry loud! LOL.

In this photo, she is about 1 hour old, snuggled in the arms of her son.

I will be going to spend a few days with them next week when Mike goes back to work and Victorias father and step mom (and their 2 kids) are gone back to their home. It may be a bit more difficult to stick to my plan while there, but I will also have to be chasing big brother Kaden around so maybe that will make up for the difference. LOL.

As far as my weight loss efforts are concerned......I am still on my way down, slowly. I still have a long way to go to incorporate daily exercise into my routine (I am getting quite tired of saying that) and I am beginning to realize that I need to do more cooking when I am the only one at home. I used to cook a meal for myself every evening and eat from a pot of soup at lunch time. Lately, I have been eating from the pot of soup twice a day. Convenient. Realatively healthy. But lazy.....and I must get rid of my lazy demon if I am going to start moving enough to increase my rate of weight loss. Also, I am likely not eating enough because of this habit. When Jim is home, of course, I cook meals for supper. I always expect to gain when he is around because I eat more....but I usually continue to lose.

Anyway, this was supposed to be a quick announcement post....I have another grandbaby running around here - I am babysitting for the day so his mommy can study for some final exams...I sure should not be spending too much time on the computer!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Husband's Journey

I forgot to weigh myself on Wednesday....oops. In fact, I haven't weighed myself since Tuesday. I have, however, been doing pretty well with the eating. I am not yet friends with exercise, but sooner than later, that will come.

I am writing today about my husband's efforts at weight loss.

I am very proud of him.

He has been slowly changing his eating habits over the last few years - after his cholesterol was in the dangerously high range and medication only made his muscles hurt so bad he couldn't lift his arms. His weight has been quite up and down - although the average overall has been down.

The last few weeks, however, he has seen a dramatic difference. He's lost about 15 pounds and had to make another hole in his belt (that is two holes smaller than a month ago).

The first change he made was to quit drinking coffee. Not only did this save calories (he is overly fond of the flavored 'creamers') but he is sleeping better than he can ever remember - no 'fighting' with his pillows, no tossing and turning, no waking up - and he has more energy than I can remember him having since he was much younger.

He has also been away at work.

This means that he is physically working harder than he was when at home, but it also means that he has to work very hard to eat 'properly'. When you begin your work day at 5 a.m. and do not get back to the hotel until 8 or 9 p.m., it is very tempting to stop at a fast food joint for supper - or buy processed 'quick' food. Instead, he has been buying 'real' food and cooking it for himself....after a long, hard day when he would really rather not put out the effort to do so.

As well, there is the added temptations of the food brought to the worksite by the crews who come to work for him. Someone is always providing donuts or buckets of chicken or even BBQ'ed steaks with all the trimmings. He is often being offered something that is much more tempting than a dry bun with some meat and a tomato and some yogurt. Besides the temptations of taste, there is a certain amount of peer pressure...even though he is 'the boss', (or maybe especially because of that fact) there is the social aspect of eating with those you work with.

He's only given in once in the last month.

The weight loss is obvious.....his belly is much smaller and flatter and his face is thinner.

I am very proud of him. Oh wait, I said that already, didn't I?

Of course, all this means that with his new found energy I am inspired to be able to keep up with him - and that is a good thing.

If I don't hurry up, he will weigh less than me very soon.

This is the only current photo I have of him without a jacket on - unfortunately, he is sitting down...and whistling to himself while waiting for the festivities to begin at our niece's wedding this past weekend.

WTG, Honey!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tired, but Satisfied

Does anyone remember the post I wrote a few months ago about planting potatoes?

Well, today was the culmination of that day - and the days following when we hilled and watered. Hubby was at work, but 3 of my 5 kids, their spouses and children, came out and harvested with me.

We had planted almost 400 hills of potatoes.....8 rows. In only a few hours, we had 6 1/2 rows dug up and stored in our newly cleaned out root cellar.

This root cellar is a treasure - but we have not used it because it did not have a door on it. My youngest son (20 yrs) has spent the last couple weeks building a structure over the cement stairs so we could use the cellar. It is not quite finished, but it is sufficient for the temperatures we are getting currently. For a pictoral story of the building of the cellar door, go to my photo blog - day one of the construction was Sept 13.

Anyway, thanks to Daniel - who not only built the structure, but cleaned out the old, dried up potatoes and other junk that was down there - we can now store a large amount of root vegetables.

I am tired and sore tonight....I weilded a shovel for one whole row, crawled along on my knees, digging with my hands for awhile, and then bent down and picked up the potatoes to be transferred to the cellar. As well, I provided a hearty meal for my workers at lunch time, cared for babies, and hauled tools around. For sure, I did not do nearly as much work as my sons and daughters, but they probably would not have let me, anyway.

I am tired and a little sore tonight, but OH, it feels good to be tired because of hard work!

It also feels good to have reaped the rewards of our summer's hard work.

Did I mention that my little girls (ages 6, 8 & 9) also worked steadily and hard?

I am so blessed to have such a great family!

Here are the potatoes along one side of the cellar:

Many of the potatoes were very large, as shown here, compared to the toe of my shoe:

Do you know there was not ONE potatoe with 'scabs' on them? I was amazed, since it is quite common to find blemished potatoes.
Here are some of my wonderful family, working hard:

In other news....I am doing quite well this week as far as eating is concerned. As long as I don't completely fall off the wagon, I should show a loss again next Wednesday. There is a birthday party tomorrow - which means someone else cooking for me AND birthday cake....probably my favorite kind, too, since my son and I share this preference.
I ate too much lasagna for lunch today - but I hope the extra activity made up for it. That is my only 'infraction' of the week, however. Wednesday will tell the tale.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Slow and Steady Again

One pound. Yay! I do not mind a one pound a week fact, that makes me very glad.

There was a time when I would have felt like a big fat failure if I averaged 'only' one pound a week.

Maybe that is why all those previous weight loss attempts failed miserably.

I'm happy with an average pound a week because over a year that means 52 lbs. Now, compared to 130 lbs (which I needed to lose, I thought) 52 lbs does not sound is not even half way there! HOWEVER.....52 pounds is huge! 52 lbs would require a new wardrobe...would give renewed energy, more of a love for myself. It would win compliments, give me more confidence, spur me on to even more good choices. I know, because for the first time in my overweight life, I kept going - even when I was 'only' losing 1 pound a week - I have lost (nearly) that much.

Too bad I stalled out for awhile....I'd be in onederland, for sure by now.

But...I've learned that it is not all about whether or not I gain or lose. It is not all about how many times I eat clean or how many times I 'cheat'. Nor is it about plateaus or steady losses. It is all about learning to think differently.

Do I really care about what I put in my body?

Do I ever think about the long term consequences of living a sedentary life style?

I have learned to think about such things as sodium content, the kind of oil used, what flour is used, are spray-dried powdered eggs or milk used in the product?

I've learned to cook it myself rather than buy processed foods - that way, I can control what is in the food I eat. I've learned to enjoy preparing my food rather than just grabbing something quick - even when I'm the only one who is going to eat what I cook.

I am learning to be a healthier person - and not only on the outside! Because I learned what a difference 52 pounds makes - first hand. I gained confidence in myself by losing a pound a week for a year. Today, even with the small seback I've had, I am different than I was in Dec 2007.

I am not yet where I want to be.....I often make poor choices, I am not even in onederland yet, I am still more self-conscious than I'd like to be, and I do not make activity a part of my everyday life.


But I KNOW that a pound a week makes a HUGE difference over time....and with every pound lost, with every mile walked, I have more time to enjoy my life and my family.

So.....I lost a pound this week!

I'm back on track!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday Report

I had a good day yesterday. I felt 'in the groove' and powerful - at least as far as food is concerned. Up until then, this week was a struggle. I felt like I was tied up by the urge to eat and even though I was making an effort, I was not winning. In fact, during the week, my weight went UP....I think as high as 217 but hovering at 216.4 or so.

Yesterday, however, I woke up telling myself I was a person who was in control and who did not want to eat just for taste. (my biggest problem) I started my day with a fruit smoothie, using all my dairy and fruit exchanges for the day.

I had my perscribed snack at 'snack time' (a meal replacement bar).

I shared lunch with my daughter in law....she made a salad with tuna (and mayo) for us. I had a small portion but was satisfied. (1 veg, 1/2 protien, fat)

I ate my snack bar after I left her house (around supper time) and did not eat again until quite a lot later - when I was hungry. I had a chicken sandwich (2 carb, 1/2 protien, fat) just before I ran out the door to go into town to use my son's internet (mine was being very slow) to load some photos to my facebook albums. While there, I was offered a brownie to which I (without even thinking) said 'no thanks'. How's that for being 'in the groove'?

I was at their house until midnight, drove the 1/2 hour home, then proceeded to add captions to all my photos - keeping me up VERY late but also keeping me busy enough that I was able to ignore my growling stomach for a couple hours.

I gave in, though, at about 2 a.m. and went looking for something to eat. My fridge is a little empty right now - at least, empty of 'the good stuff' and I ended up eating a large cookie from the bakery. Definately NOT a good choice - especially so late at night. But I was hungry enough (not just wanting to eat, really hungry) that I would not have gotten to sleep well without something - and I was tired enough (naturally) that I did not want to prepare anything. So, I blew it there. Actually, I really blew it when I did not go straight to bed when I got home. If I had, I would have been fine.

So.....that brings me to my weekly weigh in........DOWN .6 lbs. Not alot, but considering I had been up most of the week, better than it looks. Actually, yesterday I lost 1.6 pounds. Of course, I am only officially counting the weekly numbers, but I feel good today. Like I am the person who eats properly, thinks about her food intake, and is progressively getting smaller.

Success breeds success.

At least for me.

I am not motivated by being told (by myself or anyone else) that I am gaining weight. I am not motivated by the thought of 'losing' all that I worked for over the last almost 2 years. I am not motivated when I look in the mirror and only see a fat woman.

I am motivated when I feel good about myself. Getting through the day yesterday without mindless 'picking' and 'snacking' made me feel successful. Looking at the number on the scale today made me feel like I CAN make good choices again today - even better choices (I did not eat as many 'exchanges' yesterday as I should have, for example...and, of course, the cookie was a no no..except it made up for the calories I did not eat). I AM a person who eats healthy foods in healthy amounts at reasonable times during the day. I do not want to eat high calorie, high sodium, high fat, loads of sugar foods. I am going to start making note of my successes - which will become more and more numerous.

Soon, folks will be seeing less of me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Good News is.....

....I moved my ticker DOWN this morning.

That's right, I LOST 1 pound this week. YIPPEE!

The bad news is......

I don't feel any more focused than last week, really. spite of that fact, I do sense a bit of a change in my mind....kind of like turning the Titanic - it takes a long time for the boat to respond to the rudder. Oops, I should have used the Queen Mary or something - the Titanic did not turn soon enough to avoid disaster. I do not plan to end up like the Titanic, so change that to Queen Mary. :D

I went for all my blood work, etc at the lab yesterday (I went to the Dr. for an annual physical last week) I handed the req form (and the stool samples - yuck) to the lady at the desk then sat down in the waiting room and pulled out my book.

Several chapters later, I thought "I've read alot - I wonder what time it is?" Just then my phone indicated there was a text message from my husband. "When will you be back?" it said. I checked the time - 3:16. I had to think to remember what time it had been when I arrived, (I'm really bad when it comes to time....I have no concept of how much time has passed). I went back to dropping my granddaughters off at their house just before I came to the son had been home for lunch. That meant that it was after 1 when I got dropped the girls off and before 2 when I arrived at the lab - probably well before 2. Well, an hour and a half is much too long to be waiting to have some blood taken, so I went up to the desk and asked how much longer it would be. She could not find my req form! Finally, she looked in a different pile and found it burried under all kinds of 'finished' reqs....she had thought I was only dropping off the stool samples - meaning she did not look at all the check marks and writing on the form! She put me in immediately - very embarassed at her lapse. Oh well, I got to read lots of my book....

All that has been said to say that I may be getting a call from my Dr in the next week or so - if anything shows up. If I don't hear from him, everything is good.

Has anyone heard of 'The Gabriel Method' of weight loss? I am about to read the first chapter of the book (available online for free). From the little bit of information available without putting out some money, it sounds kind of agey. But on the other hand, I'm the first to say that weight loss happens first in the mind - so.....

If you know anything about this book/method, please let me know.

Maybe I need to change my 'plan'....shake things up a bit, so to speak.

Or, maybe I just need to get on the treadmill every day and do a workout video 3 times a week.

Yeah, that is probably the answer, darn it.

Anyway, Hubby is still work in sight.

Our sewer backed up over the weekend.....there goes $600 down the drain (literally) but we can use our water and toilets again - a rather indispensable utility.

The guy that came out in the vac truck indicated to Jim that he could have a job with him, so ......... maybe my man will be a 'super sucker' (ick). The positive side to that would be that he would be home every night - we'd be 'normal'. Of course, we could not keep my truck and the trailer - couldn't afford the payments...but thank God we have 2 'paid for' decent vehicles. I'd have to learn to shop on a strict budget again - but I've done it for most of my life, so I'm sure I could do it again.

I am glad that I've been putting money away every month for the last year toward buying clothing as I lose weight. I will be able to clothe myself when I get to goal. In the meantime, I can wear baggy clothes or shop at the second hand store.

So, at the end of this long, rambling post......I lost 1 pound last week. I still need to focus better. I need to exercise (story of my life, right?). Our employment future is still up in the air. BUT I lost one pound.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


First of all, I want to thank those of you who faithfully check on me and those who even leave a comment or send a message saying I have been missed. Y'all bless me!

Second....yes, my son is home safe and sound. He has been home since the 21 of August. He is just beginning to look for a job and decide where he is going to live - here with us, or in the city with his brother and sister in law.

If you want a look at my day-to-day life outside of weight loss (or gain as the case may be) check out one or both of my other blogs.....the links are on the right side of this blog.

My weigh-in report is not good. This morning my weight was 216.2. Last Wednesday it was 215.8 and the Wednesday before it was 212.2. Three weeks ago I was at 213.8. So, in three weeks I have gained almost 3 pounds.

On May 8 (almost 4 months ago) I hit my lowest (so far) mark of 204.8. Of course, that was just a low point - my average weight then was more like 206. Still, that is TEN pounds less than I am today!

I swore that I would never allow this to happen.

So what has been going on? WHY have I gained?

The obvious answer is that I am eating too much of the wrong foods and not moving enough.

I do not need to flip through my food journal to find that out.

But how did I go from being a person who just did not eat chocolate to being one who 'needs' chocolate on a daily basis?

How did I go from the one who was turned off of a specific food simply because of the calorie or sodium count to one who feels deprived when she says no - when she says no?

Seriously, last fall I felt so in control of was so easy to pass on the sweets. It was so easy to stay 'on plan'. This fall, it is totally different.

I know I have recounted different stressors in my life this year, but seriously - life is never without stress of some sort. Honestly, I have not been eating because I am stressed.....I have been 'off plan' because I've been unfocused. I have been unfaithful in writing things down. I have not been careful to drink 8 cups of water every day. I have not been weighing and measuring my food.

OK, maybe I have done SOME stress related eating.

A big change this past month has been that since Jim has been home the whole time, we have been staying up later - and watching a movie, usually. Something about sitting in front of a movie makes us want to eat. I used to 'save' specific food exchanges for evening - but I haven't been focused enough for that lately.

This all makes me think about a post I wrote last year about how I had never thought about food so much as when I was actually losing weight. I can see that I have not been thinking about what to eat, how much to eat nearly enough in the last several months.

I know WHAT to do......I just need to get back to that place where I DO it.

As most of us have discovered, that place has more to do with the mind than anything else.

I am sorry to be rather negative on this post, but I do feel quite angry with myself - and I feel again like I will never get passed this whole weight thing. I feel like I will always be a fat blob who detracts from the family pictures.

My mind tells me this is not so - I've proven that I CAN win at this game.....but my feelings seem to be yelling quite alot louder than my mind just now.

In other I said, Daniel is home and looking for work. Andrew is learing to adjust to being single again. Baby Taliah is gorgeous and doing well. My daughter feels good (except for the normal sleep deprivation that comes with a newborn) for the first time in 9 months. My next granddaughter is about 4 weeks from being born. This is all good.

I've enjoyed having my husband home for the last month but we are beginning to be worried about the immediate future. The price of natural gas is at less than $3.00 per unit. The Oil/Gas company needs it to be at $4.00 in order to just 'break even'. There will be no work on any gas wells until the price goes up.

Sorry folks, but we are praying for a long, very cold winter - especially on the eastern coast of the US/Canada........the price of gas needs to go up - not only for us, personally, but for the whole industry in both Canada and the US. In Alberta, much of our economy is based on the O&G industry (mostly gas). For Jim and I......well, if there is not work in the O&G industry, a career change at this point in his life is not going to be easy for Jim. We will have to get rid of (or lose) a couple 'things' like the trailer, of course.....

This is probably the hardest thing we have going on right now. We are trusting that God will either show us favor with the O&G company so that Jim is one of the very few that continue working OR He will give us wisdom as to a new direction. Either way, it is hard not to worry.

I am going to work on FOCUS, though. I want to report a new attitude AND a loss next Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's Wednesday

Well, it's been a busy 7 days.....not counting Monday, which was a 'do nothing but rest up from the weekend' day.

To get the bad news over with right off the bat.....I gained 1.6 pounds this week. Most of it was gained over the weekend, of course.

We had a very successful 'campout' - and I use that term loosely. We rented a Church Camp near our which all of my kids (except Lana) associate with many childhood memories, and Jim and I associate with years when our kids were young. The Church I went to camp with as a child rented this camp every year from the time my kids were mom (and sometimes Jim and I as well) took all the grandkids to family camp every year - at this camp. Then, when my kids were old enough to be campers on their own, they also went here with the church that owns the camp. They all had fun looking for their names graffitti-ed on the inside of the cabin walls (and on the bunks, the floors, every permanent fixture in the cabins).

One of the best parts of renting the camp was the Dining Hall......a restaurant style kitchen at our need to pack all kinds of cooking gear, no cooking over a two burner Coleman stove, no heating water in order to wash up......and, a place to gather to play games. (Not that I object to all these 'camping chores' - but when you only have a couple days, it is nice to spend your time 'playing' together rather than doing the extra work associated with camping)

The little ones had a playground, the big kids had a basketball court and a sport field, there was a horseshoe pit, a 'rope walk', and Saskatoon berries ripe for the picking all over the grounds.

We brought our 'Aero Bed' and set it up in one of the cabins. Next time, I think we'll sleep on the camper's bunks.....our bed did not hold the air very well, making for little sleep over the two nights we used it. We should have gone home for the night, except Vinj and Kath were using our bed (Taliah is too little to be sleeping in an uninsulated cabin at night) and Jim's folks were using our spare bed (Dad's health is such that he could not be 'camping')....Oh well, that was really the only negative aspect of the weekend - and it only affected Jim and I.

We managed to remember to take a group photo of our immediate family - (of course, our youngest son, Daniel, is missing.....he is still in Thailand with his YWAM team)

Besides 'us', Jim's parents, my mom, and Jim's sister and daughter were out for most of the weekend. My brother and SIL, my niece and her husband and 2 boys, and my 2 other nieces and my other great-nephew came out for part of the day on Sunday. to reporting on my weight-loss efforts (or non-efforts, as the case may be).....

I did not drink all my water each day - but then, I did not drink much else, either....only one (or maybe 2) diet soft drinks and no hot chocolate.

I did NOT make use of the golf cart to get from one end of the camp to the other - even though everyone else had fun with it.....I walked (purposefully) when ever I wanted to go anywhere.

I had only 1 pancake on Saturday morning (even though the fresh raspberry sauce Lana made was delicious!) but had 3 sausages....

I had two helpings of spaghetti and meat sauce on Friday night - but that is all that was offered and I hadn't eaten all day......

I had only one hot dog for lunch Saturday.....but there were no other choices......

I did NOT have my hamburgers on buns Saturday night ......but I did have a bowl of dessert ('Sex in a Pan'......try it - you'll find out why it is called that)

I did have two helpings of French Toast with icing sugar on Sunday morning (that is 4 pieces of thick bread) I just couldn't help myself. Ah.....let's be honest.....I didn't WANT to help myself.

I did not have lunch on Sunday because breakfast was later and supper would be earlier than the night before.

I had only one small-ish serving of Lasagne Sunday night and filled up on salad.

On the 'other' list.....I had a frozen ice cream treat - the owners of the camp left us a note saying we could help ourselves to all that was left in the deep freeze - there were big buckets ice cream (none were full, but all had a good bit in them) and a box of treats.....although the kids delved into the ice cream, quite liberally, I did not have any other than the treat.

Since we got home, I've had two more servings of 'Sex in a Pan', but I've been pretty 'on plan' with my meals. Just have to get the evening snacking under control again. Of course, that is directly related to evening activities - a movie usually brings on the uncontrolable munchies. I might have to convince my man that he wants to beat me at Crib instead of watching a movie.

Well, I must go out and finish picking my raspberries for today - not a job I like, BTW, but one that must be done if I want them to keep producing.....and I do like having fresh raspberries in my fridge/freezer.

On a peripherally related note......when we got home from the campout, we found notes from Daniel, excitedly saying that they were going to spend 2 nights on an island resort.

The next afternoon, while reading the news, Jim found there had been 2 very strong earthquakes in the Indian Ocean and there was a Tsunami Warning issued for Thailand....including the resort areas on the islands just off the coast. We spent several hours trying not to worry and be scared since we did not know when Dan and his team were going to the island resort and we did not know where he was right then.

Kathryn got through to the office at the Montana base (she knows the folks there) and was assured the team was in Bangkok. I didn't really believe them, but started to relax a little. Then, the Tsunami Warning was lifted - there would be no Tidal Wave (thank God).

We still have not heard directly from Daniel, but Kath has talked to a friend who works at the YWAM base in Thailand - she said there had been no earthquakes felt there at all - and the base in Montana assures us the team is in Bangkok.

However.....Dan has not gone this long without contacting us via the internet since he got there - certainly not when he was in the city. This makes me think they are, after all, on the island.

They leave Bangkok airport for Montana on the 14th at 12:30 am Bangkok time (so that should be Thursday the 13th at 11:30 pm our time) and arrive in Kalispell at 11:35 pm August 14 (Friday). I will be very relieved when he can text me that he is back in North America.

This has been an underlying worry....not a huge cause for stress, since nothing really has changed since he left for Thailand in June, but - well, if you are a parent, you understand.

We (or at least I - depending on if Jim gets called to work) leave on the 19th to go pick Daniel up and bring him home!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Weighing In Again

Well, it is a day late again - my routine definately gets thrown off when Jim is home for an extended time. Not that I'm complaining!

I gained this week - and lost - for an end result of a gain of .8 lbs.

What can I say?

I'm having a hard time staying away from sweets.....'gourmet' cookies at the grocery store, chocolate bar 'singles', chocolate binges on any of them, but too many small pieces on a day to day basis.

On a positive note, I've been drinking lots more water again and I've been writing down everything I eat.

I seldom have time to sit and ponder 'why' I eat what I do....mostly, I think, I am just undisciplined - no head games involved, no big emotional reasons, just bad habits that I've allowed to develop again over time.

I am a procrastinator - I find it too easy to tell myself I'll deal with something 'later' or 'tomorrow'. This is true in my health/eating habits as well.

One of my major infractions of this past week was not eating breakfast (and I haven't eaten yet this morning, even though I've been up for 1 1/2 hrs) I still wake up hungry, but I ignore it until lunch time. According to the wisdom of the plan that I followed to lose almost 50 pounds, eating enough is as important as not eating too much - and breakfast is ultra important. I know - that is wisdom that is not limited to the LA Weight Loss Center's is just wisdom. So, part of my problem has been NOT eating everything on my plan.

So, today is the day I begin to follow my plan religiously again.

Tomorrow our family begins our annual 'family campout' - only this year, we are not exactly camping - we have rented the local church's 'Bible Camp'....just 10 minutes down the road from our house. We will have a fully stocked kitchen, bathrooms, showers, cabins, a lake, canoes, a playground....... I expect this arrangement will work real well. AND it will be less expensive than renting the primitive group campgrounds out in the mountains. Since our newest baby is not quite 3 weeks old, and the night time temperatures will be below 10C, Vinjelu and Kathryn will be spending the nights at our house so they do not need to worry about bundling little Taliah up too much.

sidenote.....Jim and I lost a baby girl when we were camping in 1980 - the cause was officially 'Sudden Infant Death Syndrome' (Crib Death) but in the years since then, much has been learned about what could have caused many SIDS deaths - CO2 poisoning caused by the baby breathing in her own expelled air with not enough oxygen rich air to replace it. (That is why the common practice now is to lay babies on their backs rather than on their tummies, as we were taught to do.) In our case, since we were camping in the mountains where the night time temperatures drop significantly, our baby was bundled up, on her tummy, and her 'crib' was covered with blankets to keep the chill off. Of course, we do not know for certain that this caused the SIDS, but ....... (If you are interested, I have written a little about this experience is in the middle or so of the post)

So, you can see why we are a little overprotective of Taliah in this circumstance.

Anyway, we are beginning a weekend where I have little control over the food offered. Each family is responsible for a meal which they prepare for everyone. I will bring healthy alternatives for myself, just in case the meals offered are way out of line for me. Jim and I are responsible for 2 meals - a supper and a lunch. It is a fun way for everyone to be able to serve each other and to contribute to the weekend. Each family is also assigned to be a helper to another family who is supplying the meal, so everyone is on KP twice over the weekend. (Except me and Jim - we are 'on' three times....but we're the hosts, so...)

But...I might as well begin today to bring more discipline into my eating habits - if I wait until after the weekend there will just be something else to distract me....August is pretty booked up with special events.

Summertime takes away from computer time - which is not a bad thing - I notice many of you have not posted as often as usual lately. I am assuming that y'all are enjoying the outdoors, vacations, and family time! Isn't summer great!?

Well, I am off to have breakfast then to town for groceries so I can begin my meal preps for the weekend.....this will be my first trip into Camrose since the storm last Saturday that took down the stage at the big Country Music event our town hosts every year. Ever heard of 'Big Valley Jamboree'? It is a long weekend FULL of country music's biggest stars. This year's bigeest headliners were Josh Turner, Gary Allen, Billy Currington, and Tim McGraw (those are the only ones I can remember since I don't go to the concerts). Just before Currington finished up his show, someone came on stage and told everyone to get off.....there is an area ON stage where fans who hold VIP tickets can sit. Seconds later, a strong 'sheer wind' collapsed the enormous stage - throwing instruments, sound equipment, and other debris around the concert area. One woman was killed when a speaker fell on her - she didn't even have time to leave her seat. Several others were critically injured and many had injuries that took them to the hospital for immediate care.

We were in our 'other' town - at church - when the storm hit us first...but we were in the basement and were barely aware of it. (see my photo post for our experience).

Our son Andrew was at BVJ - with a VIP pass. We spent some anxious moments until we managed to get through to him (cell towers were jammed) after someone interupted our activities at church to tell us of the tragedy.

It must have been horrific for those who were there.

We, in Western Canada, do not often experience severe weather like this - oh, we have funnel clouds a few times a year - and once in awhile one actually touches down - in a farmer's field....but weather that causes tragedy and takes lives? - very seldom. It is one of the best things about living in Alberta.

Our home was on the southern fringe of the storm - no damage...just a few light weight things blown off the deck....nothing that doesn't happen several times a summer.

And BTW...just for some closure to the subject.....the rest of the concerts (Saturday night and into Sunday night) were cancelled. The first time in 20 years that any concerts at BVJ were cancelled - in spite of some pretty nasty weather (temperature -wise) in past years.

That was kind of a negative way to end this post, sorry.

Wish me luck over the weekend!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

WI Report

It's a day late, but I'm reporting my weekly weigh in results.

Are you ready for it? (Drum roll, please)

A LOSS of 2.4 lbs.


I'm still not too happy with the actual weight, since I was hovering around 207 for several weeks in May/June....BUT I'm on the way back there!

It has been another busy week - although not so hectic as last week.

My daughter and grandbaby are doing well, my hubby is home for some time off (2 days? 2 weeks? 2 months? who knows?) (2 weeks would be nice)

We are, however, having frustrations with our internet.....we are paying for satelite internet and have a wireless router.....BUT the router hasn't worked for some time. So, we've been setting up 'ad hoc' networks on one computer or the other and that way we could both be connected at the same time. But even that hasn't been working for the last month or so.....consequently, when Jim is home, only one of us can be on the internet at a time - frustrating because we like to do things together when we are together. :D

My eating habits are still in need of more discipline and I need to incorporate exercise into my days (the story of my life). On the positive side, I'm back to writing everything down (and I mean everything). Obviously, since I show a loss this week, I've done something right when it comes to food choices. I'm just not quite happy with my mindset yet....but it is coming.

I guess it was just too good to be true - the way my thinking had changed so completely. I was finding it quite easy to let old habit fall away, to think 'healthy' all the time, to avoid the pitfalls, to be happy with a small portion of a sweet only once in awhile......I thought it was 'easy' for me because I had tried and failed so many times....that this time, something just 'clicked'. Well that is true....something did just 'click' in my brain - and it carried me through just past a year.

I found, however, that even though the 'new' habits were pretty well entrenched, a prolonged period of stress and grief rubbed the sharpness off them. I guess it is just a matter of sharpening those habits back up so that they are more effective again.

Well, I'm off to enjoy some time with my hubby - after he takes his turn on the internet - have a great day! Maybe I'll find time to be back before next WI day....I hope so, but if I'm not here, I'll be at my other blog at least twice.

Hope y'all have a successful week!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Taliah Hope

A couple posts back, I announced the birth of Taliah Hope Muyaba. In that post, I alluded to prayers answered and the fact that I had been with Kathryn the entire time.

If you are interested in reading about the experience, the answered prayers, and evidence that I can be extremely opinionated at times, go to this link for my "Musings from Me" blog.

Feel free to leave a note if you visit me there!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday report.....not so good

This has got to be a quick, short post because I need to get going in to town to look after my daughter......this business of sending new moms home as soon as 24 hours is up really is not wise, IMHO. But that is fodder for another post.

Today, I am coming face to face with the realization that I am no longer losing. In fact, I am gaining.

Now, most of you will probably say...."DUH! We knew that!" If you pay attention, you do know that.

I, however, have the uncanny ability to drift through life ignoring anything that I do not want to bother me. I can put things off until disaster strikes.

My scale this morning read 213.8. That is not the highest it has been of late, but it is still 7 pounds higher than my lowest weight. Worse, just going by memory, I am only about 12 pounds less than I was last year at this time.

Twelve pounds in a year!

That is not a 'slow but steady' weight loss - that is almost standing still!

There have been alot of things going on since the beginning of this year - true. But there were alot of things going on the year I WAS losing weight consistently. So that cannot be an excuse.

I think I just let the stresses I've been under this year nudge me a little bit off track. Not alot.... there has been no major crash, no big binges, no major changes......just small changes here and there that have finally caught up with me.

I've been trying for the last couple weeks to refocus, but it is very hard to get 'back in the zone' of thinking differently.

A year ago I found it easy to say no to birthday cakes. This year, I don't even think of saying no.

A year ago I wouldn't have even considered eating certain things that this year I eat without thought.

A year ago I did not eat anything without weighing or measuring it first and I wrote down everything that went into my mouth.

This year, I 'estimate' instead of weighing and I am very inconsistent with my food journal.

I know what I need to do.....I'm just having a hard time grabbing that brass ring again.

On the bright side, I CAN see a glimmer of light in my brain.....I am beginning to want what I had (a feeling of success) more than what I have (a lazefaire attitude toward food and exercise).

I hope to be able to report a renewal in my thinking and attitude by next Wednesday.

In the meantime, there are just two more birthdays to get through this month. July is our busiest month.....and we've just added another July birthday! (Beginning on the 11th, there are now eight birthdays in July - and that doesn't count a niece and a few close friends!) My goal is to refuse the cake at the last two birthdays.

I'll let you know how I do.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Taliah Hope arrived today, July 19.....(her due date) 2:24 p.m. She weighed 7 lbs 3 oz and is 50 cm long (I do not know, off hand, the conversion for 50 cm - I don't think in cm and meters. )

It is now 12:30 am - Monday, July 20 - and I have been up since 2 a.m. on Sunday. I am not going to write a long post.....I just wanted to let y'all know the good news!

Kathryn did terrific! A much easier time than last......with several answers to prayer. I was there for the entire time - a privilege and an honor.

But these things are going to have to wait for another post - maybe. I have big brother Seth overnight and will be taking him back to town tomorrow so I do not know when I'll have time for a good post.

Until then, here are a few photos of our little sweetheart......

I'm going to bed a happy, relieved, blessed woman.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Workout for arms and shoulders.

As you know, if you ever read this blog, exercise and myself do not get along real well. There are several reasons for this, one being the fact that it takes up so much time - time I could spend doing the many 'sit down' things that I love.

Well, I found an exercise that maybe I can handle - it doesn't sound too hard and takes only minutes a day - literally. The exercise targets the upper arms and shoulders, and after all, I need strength in my arms and shoulders to work at the computer, hold a camera, hold a book, cut and paste to make scrapbooks, and of course, I need strength in my arms and shoulders in order to hold babies and toddlers. Besides, I'd dearly love to wear sleeveless tops some day.

And, I have to give credit where credit is due.....I came across this exercise at "Living to Tell the Story".....the owner of this blog, Susanne, is the host of a weekly meme in which I participate called "Friday's Favorite Five". Wanna see my list of favorites for this week? Once there, you can always go to my lables and pick out Fave Five or Friday's Favorite Five to see other lists. Or, just check back weekly for new lists.

Back to the exercise. See? I procrastinate about exercise even when it is just writing about it.

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, with plenty of room on each side. With a 5 lb. potatoe sack in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there for as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, then relax. Each day, you'll find you can hold this position just a bit longer. Do not lock your elbows.

After a couple weeks, move up to 10 lb sacks.

Then try 50 lb sacks and eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100 lb potatoe sack in each hand and hold your arms straight for a whole minute.

After you feel confident at that level, put a potatoe in each sack.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

So I wrote a whole post this morning about my day yesterday and why the numbers on the scale this morning should have showed some kind of loss.........

I wrote it in WORD because so often my computer will simply erase whole sections of what I write and Blogger doesn't have an undo button. I often do this, then copy and paste it into Blogger.

HOWEVER, it won't let me paste!!! What's with that?

I've also been having problems with posting won't let me move them around.

I am getting a little frustrated with this program.

Anyway, the reason I wrote what I did was because the scale showed a 3 pound GAIN this morning!

I did not follow my 'plan' perfectly, but I was not out of line as far as calories go..... I drank all my water, and then some......AND I worked hard for 3 hours, hilling about 250 potatoe plants with my husband. I was so sore and tired after that, I could barely make it out of the garden and onto the tractor for the ride back to the house.

I was a little frustrated, to say the least. And, all day I've felt FAT. Really, 3 pounds shouldn't make me feel must be all in my head, but when I feel fat, I act fat.....that is, I act like I am unattractive and insecure. I don't like me when I act like that. All because the scale tells me the opposite of what I think it should say.

Ah well.....the numbers on the scale are, after all, the epitome of fickle. It will all work out in the end - or OFF the end, as the case may be.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Photos to go with the post below

This is most of the east half of our field.....all 'voluntary' grasses. In other words....weeds. We keep it mowed so it looks nice and so the weeds don't become a problem for our farmer neighbors.

I bought 2 'patio tomatoes' from the greenhouse this spring. When I picked them up at the beginning of June, they already had plenty of fruit on them.....I cannot wait for these to ripen so I can have 'fresh off the vine' tomatoes on my back deck.

My flower 'gardens' are in containers displayed on the back deck. No weeding necessary. Detracts from the shabbiness of our run down back deck.

We planted almost 400 hills of potatoes. I can't get the whole garden in one photo, but this is most of them - as of this past Sunday. They need to be hilled - and weeded - badly, but it is too muddy this week.

These are my 4 raised beds at the west side of our yard......these have suffered from the lack of moisture and the lack of consistent heat.....many seeds did not even germinate. I have replanted several rows - hopefully, we'll get some sunshine after this week of rain and the new seeds will prosper.

The weeds, however, have done well. I've had to keep on top of the weeding as much as I've had to make sure to water for an hour a day.

Weighing In

I am happy to report a 1.2 pound LOSS over the past 7 days. I am still above the mark where I had stabalized before gaining, but hey.....I'm going in the right directiona again! And 1.2 pounds is nothing to complain about! In fact, I'm quite happy with it.

The last few days have been mostly rainy, but I fear it is too little, too late for the farmers in my community. And, of course, with the rain comes some humidity - putting us under Tornado Watch this afternoon. Any tornado that develops will be 'weak' and not likely to touch down, but still.....I HATE tornadoes! In fact, I hate the threat of tornadoes. It was the daily Tornado watches and warnings that made me happy to move away from Louisiana last spring.

So, my garden is muddy, and the sky bears watching so I'll be working inside today - beginning with paying some bills and probably progressing to working on my basement.

Maybe I'll even get caught up on my photo blog.....I'm about a week behind.

I am slowly getting back into the mindset of healthy eating - I even drank all my water yesterday! Still not perfect, but the mind change is easier this time - not as much as a change, since I hadn't completely backslid. :D Most of my exercise has come in the form of working in the yard/garden.

The lack of rain and heat (I know, sounds paradoxical) has resulted in a rather pathetic garden, but the potatoes are growing, the onions are doing well, and the veggies I bought as bedding plants are doing well. The weeds have not been stunted by the less than perfect weather - especially the thistles - so I've had lots of opportunity to use the hoe and crawl around on my hands and knees. Also, since the 'grass' in the field is all 'voluntary' , it has not suffered from the lack of moisture and I've had to keep it cut at least once a week.

That is my report on exercise over the last couple weeks.

I will post some photos of my gardens in a separate post....

Monday, July 6, 2009

One of my challenges, lately

This spring, my son Robert suggested we begin a new family 'tradition' of a weekly gathering at 'Mom and Dad's' on Sundays. This suggestion was met with enthusiasm by us - I mean, who wouldn't be excited about the prospect of all their kids and grandkids gathering every week?

So, a few months ago, we embarked on this new tradition - and have included Jim's sister and her family in the open invitation since they are 'family' as well, and live just a few miles from us (closer than any of our kids).

These events have turned into quite the production for Jim and I ...... and we love it! It is an excuse to clean house together at least once a week (remember, there are only the two of us here) and an opportunity to cook for and serve our family. We have fun planning the menu (which really doesn't change too much from week to week) and preparing the food.

Sunday morning we clean, making sure things are in order and the floors are clean for the little ones to be crawling around on them, and put the finishing touches on the food. By lunch time, usually Andrew is there (number 3 son) and we begin to wait for the rest.

Usually, by 3:00 everyone has arrived and the chaos and noisy banter is at full tilt. As long as it is not cold, windy, or raining, we are sitting outside. The little kids are playing on the trampoline, the tractor, the yard toys, or riding the little bicycle. The big kids are throwing a ball around, chasing after their children or dogs, visiting, or are inside seeing what they can do to help me. Usually, at least Andrew is playing a guitar, sometimes there is 'canned' music also in the background, and always there is loud talking, laughing, and teasing going on. Sometimes, the boys will test one another's strength by having a 'wrestling match'.

Yesterday, Andrew had brought his electric guitar and amp with him so there was some heavy guitar picking going on - with Auntie Mel demanding he play the 'whole song' and Andrew insisting that the whole song was just a repeat of the same chords and licks he had just played - the only difference being vocals - which he was not going to provide. Then Jim brought out my iPod and played some 'Petra' (heavy Christian Rock) for Andrew to play along with. This got everyone teasing me about my choices of music (Petra is 'so 80's'). Rob insisted (with a twinkle in his eye) there was 'no good music' on my iPod. Jim jumped to 'defend my honor' and said "You want to hear what Mom's got on her iPod?" He proceeded to play a song by Joe Walsh that embarassed me thoroughly - giving my kids a great laugh (and a bit of a shock). Never mind which song. LOL. But I digress.....

With all the joy this tradition is bringing, it IS a challenge for me to not eat too much.

Grilled hamburgers have become the most economical and easiest meal to make - and always heartily welcomed because they are just SO good! Since we are mostly eating outside, we plan cold sides.....and what would those be? Potato salad and jello with whipped cream are standard - always there. As well, we will have at least two other sides....yesterday, we had a fresh veggie plate and a layered salad (lettuce, celery, green pepper, peas, miracle whip, cheese and bacon bits). ALWAYS, there is dessert - whatever Jim wants is my guide - yesterday we had 4 different kinds of pies with ice cream (purchased at Safeway, not homemade) but most of the time I bake a chocolate cake or poppyseed cake to serve with ice cream.

Notice the positive side of this.....NO chips, plenty of veggies, good lean meat. This is not only for my sake, and for Jim's sake, it is to be an example to our children that you CAN have healthy food that tastes good. All food that is made with miracle whip is made with Low Fat, Low Cal product. The hamburger is extra lean. The homemade cakes are made with whole wheat flour, brown sugar, and no fat sour cream rather than buttermilk and there is always 98% FF, SF ice cream available.

It is not the choices that are the problem for is the temptation to eat too much. These are the kinds of events where it is much too easy to load up my plate, eat it all, then go back for another full plate - just because it tastes so good. I pretty much always eat too much.

I say all this to let you in on a weekly event/challenge in my life. And to say that when I step on the scale on Monday morning and I weigh the SAME as on Sunday morning, I celebrate just a little.

Today was a day of a little celebration.....I am the same today as yesterday morning. Weight-wise, that is......I am a little more full of love and joy after spending the evening laughing with my family.

Monday, June 29, 2009


As a person who carries way more weight than my frame is meant to support, SHOES are a major issue.

My poor feet were always tired and sore, carrying around more than 100 extra pounds. It's better now, since I've lost nearly 50 of those pounds, but I'm still 60+ pounds overweight and my feet suffer for it.

Finding a comfortable shoe that helps to support the fat is always a challenge.

I have a pair of leather shoes that I bought several years ago. They are comfy but rather heavy - if I spend a whole day on my feet my calves get tired from the weight on my feet but on a normal day, they are great.

Except in the summertime. Who wants to wear leather shoes and socks when the sun is hot, the grass is green, and the flowers are blooming?

Not me, that's for sure.

But sandles are a challenge.

To begin with, the straps have to go over just the right part of the foot or they are too tight and uncomfortable.

I have a pair of flip flops that feel GREAT on the top of my foot, but they are completely flat and only about 1/4 " thick at the sole. I can wear them to look nice, but I walk slower and my feet get sore VERY quickly.

So, a couple weeks ago I set off on a quest to find some comfortable flipflops or sandles that would give me enough support to keep me walking at a brisk pace. I was willing and expected to pay at least $50 to accomplish both goals.

Oh, one other criteria....they had to be at least semi attractive - I like my footwear to be as feminine as possible given my weight challenges.

After trying on several nice looking flipflops, I was directed to a display of these 'new' flipflops:

- OK, I was going to put a photo of them here but blogger won't let me move the photo and I'm not going to rewrite everything before this point just so I can have a photo. Sorry

I was told two things.....A) Oprah endorses these shoes. (whoopee) and B) they will actually make you lose inches off your butt if you wear them. (yeah, right)

They are not very pretty, but they're not ugly, either.

I tried them on and walked around the store for about 5 minutes. THAT sold me. I was suprised at how comfortable they were.

The shoes came with a 'warning' to begin wearing them gradually as the workout aspect of them would result in sore muscles. I began by wearing them all day. That night, I went to bed WITHOUT sore, tired feet for the first time in so long I can't remember. I hadn't even really realized that my feet were always sore until the achy, tired feeling was not there!

Seriously, folks - I have not been asked to endorse this product, and I did not recieve a free pair to 'review'. I just paid my $80 and started to wear them.

I cannot say that they provide a workout for my butt and legs, as advertised - I never experienced the sore muscles they warn of, and I did not take my measurements before so as far as that sales gimmick goes - no comment.

I could care less if Oprah likes them.....(sorry, Oprah fans)....but I care that I can wear them all day and feel that my weight is being properly supported. I can walk around all day without thinking about my feet.

If I could, I'd rather have some sandles that are prettier - but I'll leave those for the day I reach my goal and my body is in proper proportion to my feet.

If you want to see this product go to this link. Or 'google' Fitflops.

I bought the shoe in navy - although red is my favorite color, (see photo at the link) I felt that the contrast of the white and red attracted too much attention to the 'chunkiness' of the shoe.

Anyone else have problems finding a good shoe?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Did you Miss Me? I've Missed YOU!

Well, here I am again, my tail between my legs, apologizing for my absence. I re-read my previous posts since April ..... WOW I have been negative lately.

No more.

I am not going to sit here any longer, mad at myself because I cannot seem to rise above things that I make bigger than they are.

Success in my home, my personal life, and my health are interlinked. As soon as I begin to let myself feel like a failure in one area, I begin to ACT like a failure in every area.

I have not lost weight in a long time - in fact, from my lowest weight to today, I've GAINED 8 pounds. I've quit recording what I'm eating and have not weighed and measured my food. On the positive side, I have remained very aware of my choices and have only had a couple instances where I've 'abandoned ship' - in fact, most of the weight gain has been in the last week.

I've been struggling with 'catching up' in areas of my business and home - and feeling overwhelmed with it all. I let that feeling of being overwhelmed leech over to the way I think about myself - resulting in a negative outlook on all areas of my life.

The fact is that I was behind on bookkeeping for our business - In April, I had to devote much concentrated time to that, resulting in less work in the house. Then, I had to scurry to get some of the garden planted....then Jim got called to work (a very good thing) and suddenly, I had the added responsibility of daily yard work and garden work. I quickly began to feel like I would never catch up - never get a handle on it - and I began to tell myself that I was a failure again.

I hate when I talk to myself like that - it results in my ACTING like a failure....I can't decide what is priority, I can't even take the first step toward accomplishing anything - thus confirming my own diagnosis.

Jim was forced to come home for a day because of rain where he is working - he worked his tail off, getting the yard work caught up and inspiring me to 'just do it' on behalf of the garden. He set things up so the watering will be easier for me (we've not had any rain and our gardens are a LONG way apart and a long way from the tap). If I get on the tractor everyday for an hour or so, the grass should be controllable. The yard is not such a problem (since there has been no rain, it isn't growing very fast) but Jim has worked hard the last couple seasons to groom the field. I don't know how big it is, but rather than have it grow up in weeds and have the County keep on stopping in to tell us to get rid of the thistles, tansy, and chamomille, he spent many hours rototilling it - keeping it black. When he was working, Daniel took over. Last year, he judged that there was now more grass than weeds and he began to mow instead of rototill. He has kept it mowed all spring and it looks very nice as you drive toward our place. When he went to work 2 weeks ago, he told me it had to be done every 6 days or the grass would get so long that the tractor would overheat while cutting it - I managed to get it done once. He had a big job to get it done yesterday but the yard work is pretty much all caught up.

One of the major stumbling blocks for me when Jim is at work is that I do not like to go to bed when he's gone. I end up staying up WAY TOO LATE, watching movies mostly - then, I am either exhausted all day or I don't get up until after 10, making me feel like a lazy slob.

I have made a decision - to consider the time that Jim is at work as time that I am at work. I will be going to bed so that I am asleep well before midnight - even if that means that I do not 'get to' watch my planned movies (which are really not movies, but old TV series on DVD). I will get up by 7:30 am so that I can do yard work before the sun gets too warm then work inside for the afternoon - in my air conditioned home - and then back outside after the sun begins to cool a bit. I can mow for an hour from 9 - 10 pm when the air is pleasant instead of hot.

I've also begun to write down everything I eat - and count the exchanges so I am balancing protein with carbs with veggies with fruit with dairy and fat. I've done this for 2 days now - and I lost TWO pounds since yesterday.

My other resolution is to participate in this blog community. I will post twice a week on this blog and read/comment on other blogs for 30 minutes/day.

I'm counting on y'all to help me to stay focused.

I'm counting on my renewed resolve to combat the negative self-talk, reminding myself that I am NOT a failure! I am well on my way to Success!

So, in the interest of doing what I say, I am going to quit talking and start doing. I'm sure there is some laundry that needs doing - and my spare room needs some TLC.

I'm looking forward to reconnecting with you, my friends!

Monday, June 1, 2009

No, I've not disappeared

No, I haven't disappeared, nor have I given up.

At least 3 times a week I sit down to write a post for this blog but get distracted or pulled away before I begin. The biggest problem has been that I haven't felt like I have anything to say. I haven't continued to lose weight but I also haven't gone off the deep end and gained a whole lot of weight. In fact, as of this morning, I am only 1 pound heavier than my ticker says. Yesterday, I was a pound under. I have been as low as 204 in the last month, though, so I have gained from that point.

What's going on? Well, I could run through a list of things that have changed in my life, but there is no real correlation between those changes and my lack of diligence to my 'diet'. The reality is that dozens of little things have added up to prevent weight loss. It is the little decisions I make everyday, because there have not been any 'huge fall off the wagon' kinds of events......just the small 'one piece won't hurt' kind of decisions. The truth is that 'one piece won't hurt' or 'just this once' is OK for me - it really doesn't make a difference IF it is truly 'just this once'. Unfortunately, 'just this once' has been quite often this spring.

I'm not beating myself up about it, though......I haven't given up and I am always aware of what/how much I am eating........the main thing is that for the most part, in spite of several VERY stressful situations, I have been enjoying life. I still want to be stronger, healthier, and closer to a 'normal' size - and I know how to get there, I am simply facing the facts that I need to learn how to incorporate the eating habits I want into a busier life.

So.....what's been going on?

First - the 'biggie' that I have not talked about but only alluded the end of February, my son's wife walked out on him. There was no warning and he had NO IDEA she was unhappy. In fact, just 2 weeks before she walked, she posted on facebook (and I quote) "my husband is the best thing that ever happened to me and I would completely and utterly lost without him" . This is my #3 son - they had been married for 5 years. Not only was my son completely devastated, our family was shocked and hurt. We all miss our daughter/sister since she has had no contact with any of us - other than a chance meeting in town once - and has not returned phone calls. My son did not want anyone to know about this (and still doesn't want his private business the subject of gossip) but he has now pretty much accepted that there is no resolution in the near future. They went together for counceling twice - then she said she wasn't going anymore. He is still meeting regularly with the councellor. We are very proud of our son - he is walking a difficult path and is making good decisions along the way. He has used this heartbreak to become a stronger man and has drawn closer to God along the way.

Second - Jim works in the Oil/Gas industry. This industry is a 'boom/bust' industry and goes through cycles. For several reasons, it is currently in a bust cycle. The worst bust we have seen in the 30 years we have been in the industry. Jim is one of the top few men in his position with the company he contracts to but we have no news of any work for the summer/fall. This could change in an instant, but at the moment.........our future is very shaky. We do not have a lot of savings - what we save over the winter keeps us going for the spring when there is never any work. Spring is over - summer work should be starting. Will we get a call? So far, we haven't stressed about it since we always prepare to pay the bills until July. That means June is fine - but we need work this month to pay for the next month. We need at least 2 weeks a month in order to pay the bills.

Third - Daughter Kathryn has had a very stressful pregnancy - she is sick every single day she is pregnant and without her anti-nausea meds (Vit B in high doses) she would not be able to function. This fact means that she eats little - which of course affects the baby. She also cannot keep her vitamins down most days so there is danger the baby is malnourished. For the last 4 weeks, she has been getting contractions if she walks for more than 4 minutes. The doctor examined her - she was not going into labor, but he told her not to walk anywhere (she doesn't drive). For the last 2 weeks, she had been getting severe pain in her groin area (as well as pressure, which is fairly normal) She went to the hospital about the pain - they gave her no answers.

Last week she went to the doctor for a regular check up. (She was 32 1/2 weeks at the time) Here is what we are faced with:

  • he is concerned about the pain and has no explaination for it
  • Her Blood Pressure is UP an her hemoglobin is DOWN
  • He had trouble finding Baby's heartbeat and when he found it, it was quite faint
  • she is at -4 for weight gain - that is, she is still 4 pounds under her pre pregnancy weight. She initially lost 18 pounds in the first few months when she was actually throwing up (enough it would put her in the hospital) she has gained only 14 pounds since she stopped losing.
  • The uterus is 'laying funny' (that is what she remembers of what the doc said)
  • He forbade her to make the trip to Montana we were planning for this past weekend because he said he didn't want her to 'deliver early on the side of the road' (there are no hospitals between Calgary and Kalispell)
  • He sent her for an emergency 'Bio-Physical Ultrasound' the next day. In the Canadian health care system you do NOT get an ultrasound within 24 hours! Unless it is an emergency. Normally, you have to have your ultrasound booked weeks in advance.
  • By the end of the day she went to the doctor, she couldn't remember the last time Baby had moved so we went to the hospital for a stress test. Baby's heartbeat was found immediately and it seemed to be normal. She also started kicking as soon as the monitor belts were put on around Kath's belly.
  • Kathryn and Vinj returned from the ultra sound at about 4 pm - her doctor's clinic would be closing within an hour and a half - on a FRIDAY. So, Kath started phoning and insisting that the doc call the radiologist for an initial report so they did not have to wonder all weekend if there was something wrong with their baby girl. The doctor called her back - spoke to her for about 5 seconds and told her there is no emergency for the baby.
  • At the ultra sound they were told only two things......the baby is in breech position (still time for that to change) and she is only 3 lbs 10 oz. Very small for her age.

We still do not know why she is experiencing the pain - which makes coping with a 1 year old, a home, a job, and university studies pretty difficult. We still don't know if the ultra sound showed any problems that would not be labled an 'emergency'. We will probably not know until Thursday when she has another doctor appointment booked.

Forth - Youngest Son, Daniel, is at school in Montana. He will be leaving in about 10 days for his 'field assignment' in Thailand and Cambodia. We are going to go visit him this week or this weekend. I will miss being able to see him off at the airport - I've never sent any of my kids off around the world without being at the airport when they left....I don't even know what airport Dan is leaving from - there are none near where he is. BUT he has been enjoying his experience and his studies and is looking forward with excitement to the experience of living in a foreign land for 2 months.

Fifth - We are attempting to plant a garden large enough to store vegetables for the winter. The weather has been a challenge. We had snow a week or so after we planted our potatoes - but not enough to give much moisture. We have not had a drop of rain all spring. We are still getting frost warnings at night. I have gotten some of the garden planted, but we are also bringing in dirt from the field (better condition than the garden dirt) and building raised beds - this kind of slows us down a bit. We are not behind, by any means, since the cold weather plants are all in, but I am still not sure we can handle such a large undertaking on our own (as in - no kids living at home to help).

The positive aspects of this are: Jim and I get to work together, it is always exciting to see the results of hard work, we will have fresh/frozen/canned veggies for the winter that we grew ourselves, I have learned MUCH as I studied about gardening for the last several months - learning is always a plus.

Sixth - We've been enjoying lots of time with our kids/grandkids.....including the little girls' soccer games twice a week. Also, we've stated that Sundays are 'open house at the farm'.....whoever can make it gathers at our house on Sunday for the afternoon and for supper. This has been a great weekly event! We've also been able to spend time with each of the kids in their homes - something that doesn't happen much during the winter

Seventh - Jim hurt his back last Friday, working at Vinj and Kath's while they were at the UltraSound. He was unable to move without extreme pain all weekend. It is getting better, but he is still in pain and must be very careful not to reinjure it. This puts a stop to building more raised beds in the garden for a few days. It also delays the work he needs to do on his truck in case he gets a call to go to work.

Eight - Son number 2 began a new job yesterday. He is working now for his FIL. This is good - he will have much more time with his wife and kids since his old job had him working every weekend and holiday and 5 days a week from 10 am - 10 pm for not a whole lot of money. Son number 3 (the one whose life has been turned upside down by his wife) has not had much work all winter/spring. Just when he thought he had steady work for the summer, that job seems to have fallen through. He is, however, at an interview right now for another job - one that will keep him at home (the other job was working away).

I could go on.....there is so much happening in my life just now - some of it stressful, some of it happy. Let's just say that we believe that when Jesus said "I will never leave you or forsake you" He meant it. We have Peace in each of the difficult situations we face. We have faith that He will see us through whatever is in our future - no matter how difficult. We count our blessings often:

  • We love each other,
  • We are together all day every day for now,
  • We have great kids and grandkids, and get to be with them often and we all get along well
  • Although we are both over-weight and are getting older, we have good health and we have the potential of being stronger than we are.

Where does weight loss fit in with all this? Just a little more discipline - I think if I were to make myself write down EVERYTHING I eat EVERY DAY I would be back to losing. It has only been since I have not been as disciplined in this area that things have stalled out. Also, taking part in this blog community regularly is another small discipline that makes a difference - even if I don't think I have anything to say.....because obviously, I had lots to say when I thought I didn't have anything to say! (LOL)

In the meantime, I am enjoying my life and the good gifts God has given to me.