A New Year’s Day List

The day after I flew home on the plane I was sitting in church writing a different kind of list.  This time I was thinking about the kind of person I wanted to be.

Most of all I want to live a balanced  healthful life.  WITHOUT ANGST.

I want to be

  • Active.
  • Creative.
  • Spiritual.
  • Generous.
  • Joyful.

I want to be all of these things.  I want them to be balanced in my life.  I even wrote “If being a little heavier is part of this, so be it.”  Now I don’t think that that’s necessarily so.  Cause honestly, my joints are telling me every day that I can’t be heavy AND active.

It feels so good to say that I WANT to be active.  For a very long time it was just something I did to stave off the inevitability of weight regain.  But finally, I am realizing that it is something I WANT.  One of the highlights of my trip was going to the gym for a weights workout with my brother.  As always, he gave me some good tips on correct form.  But this time I also knew what I wanted to do, and what I was capable of doing.  That was fun.  We also got in plenty of long walks.  And since I’ve been home, I have been consistently very active, just cause I wanted to!  Who’d a’thunk it?

This is all tied in to spending time in a town where I weighed some of my highest (234) and lowest (124) weights when I lived there 30 years ago!  The past month or so I have seen women my current age who are really struggling physically due to being overweight.  And I have seen young women who are as overweight as I was when I started this last weight loss journey.  I’ve been in all these places and so many in between.

I guess that’s why I want to live that “balanced healthful life without angst.”  No more worrying about ‘going back.’  I might not ever be the ‘ideal’ weight for my height.  But part of my self-definition is now ‘active.’  I like that.

The Week That Was

Oh my goodness.  That is NOT how I choose to live my life.  Having something ‘special’ every day of the week.  Eating out, eating at parties, staring at cookies for hours on end.  NOT gonna do that again.  But I made it through.  And for some reason, my plan worked.  It did not all fall apart, and I did not succumb to munching on endless cookies like I am prone to do.  I stayed pretty much on the bobay plan except for the meals out, and a few planned cookies.  And I achieved my goal–to not GAIN any weight this week.  I did not gain one ounce this week.  It would have been nice to lose 0.2 pounds like Helen did her second week.  But I ‘m not complaining!

So Friday and Saturday I exhibited my quilts at a very small art and craft show–7 vendors!  It was held at the local nursery, and they really did a very nice job of it.

Still, it was COOOLDDD!   Here is the field of frost I drove by as I left Saturday morning.

Close up:  frost can make even plain old weeds look special!

I actually sold one of my quilts, which surprised me, since they are priced quite a bit higher than what most people are looking for at a craft show.  It was one of my favorite quilts, but I actually sold it to a lady who lives on the same road as I do, and so she knew the place that it depicts.  I really like her and her husband so that is nice too.

In spite of it being cold, I managed to get quite a bit of stitching done on a new project.  It will end up being a ‘twilight garden’ quilt.


The other thing that was going on this week, mostly via emails and writing and thinking and praying, was preparing to make the announcement to our church about The Bridge, our little sponsorship program for the children of Carrefourpoy, Haiti.  My young friend, whose brainstorm it was, is really doing most of the work.  I am proofreading/advising(ha! my main area of expertise LOL) and giving moral support.  As the program gets going, I anticipate I will have more work to do on it.  Our announcement went really well (hey Cammie–thanks for the link to 10 Reasons You are Rich.  I worked that into the announcement!) and people really responded.  Looks like we will be able to help with their little church school down there.  Honestly, its like looking at the places I visited in Africa.  Their ‘school’ has brick sides,  I think there is a tarp for a ‘roof’, and I’m not kidding, ROCKS for a floor.  Not gravel.  Rocks.  Yes, people, we are rich.  Please be thankful, especially at this time of year when we tend to spend a little too much time daydreaming about the next THING we want.

And now back to our regularly scheduled life.  This week is pretty free and clear.  I plan to put out just a few Christmas decorations, AFTER I clean up the clutter.  And stick to the bobay plan of eating higher protein.  Today when I shopped, I bought more meat than I have bought in a long time!  I also plan to get back to my exercise schedule.  The best I could do some days was to take the dogs for a short walk right before it got dark.

When Last I Left You…

When last I left you, on Friday afternoon, I was doing well physically, but not so great in the mental/emotional department.  Well, I fixed that.  Yeah. I went to a Grief Seminar at my church.  It was very well done and all.  Just difficult for me.  In so many ways.  I was going to leave, go home and turn off the phone, and crawl into bed for the rest of the day.  Instead, I nabbed an extra sweet roll on the way out the door, went to Walmart for some necessities, and stopped for frozen yogurt on the way home.  And when I got home I ate some more.  I think I ate some of those rosemary raisin bean balls. Nutritious AND calorie-laden.

Then I decided to read a bit of that book The Know-It-All.  Is it true that laughter is the best medicine?  Seems like it helped a little bit.  Plus a phone call from my BFF, and a call to my brother, where I shared some of the wickedly funny humor from that book.

I settled in for the night, had a very healthy, light dinner, and went to bed early.  I had plenty of time to sleep because it was Daylight Savings Time.  But I was up by 5:15am which gave me a lot of time before church.  I spent a nice amount of time reading and praying, and then I decided to watch a David Platt sermon on the computer.  I know.  How many sermons does a girl need to hear on a Sunday?  But this one was fascinating.  He did a very long interview with a fascinating young girl.  Her name is Katie Brown (she has a blog!) and at the age of 19, she decided she wanted to go to Africa to help children.  She ended up staying there, and now at 25 she is in the process of adopting 14 children (homeless kids from the slum,) as well as setting up a school, a children’s sponsorship program, and various other ministries.  Wow!  That knocked any last remnant of self-pity right out of my brain.

The day at church was so good.  So many kind people said just the right thing to me.  I got to talk to the young couple that I am working with to set up the child sponsorship program in Haiti.  After seeing Katie Brown’s story, I am pretty psyched about our little project!  They took a picture of us together to show to the people in Haiti, and it was a really good picture of me LOL.

After church I stopped at the market to get some vegetables.  I needed to have some more in the house to get my food choices back on track.  Told myself I couldn’t buy any fruit because I still had plenty at home.  I got cauliflower, asparagus, a red bell pepper, and some green beans.  Head on home, and what do I see standing on the corner in the cold damp weather in our little tiny town?  One of these little Mexican guys standing shivering in a sweatshirt selling STRAWBERRIES.  What month is this?  Guess who has a whole case of strawberries?  Very tasty too…

Today has been a very good day.  I ate, of course, some strawberries and cottage cheese.  I made a batch of that wonderful Cauliflower-Potato Bake–so yummy I had it for lunch and dinner.  And I tried something I had been thinking about for a while.  I made a batch of Spackle 2.0 and divided it into snack-sized portions as a substitute for chocolate chip cookie dough.  VERY satisfying.  For me, much better than the stuff made with beans.

I surfed around the blogs, and came across this guy’s blog.  He is a W.W. leader, and for some reason it was comforting to me to hear that a W.W. leader still has some of the same struggles that I do.  Looking for and eating junk food when traveling was one he mentioned.   More importantly, he talked about the struggle he had during a particularly emotionally painful time, how he had a 10 pound weight gain, how he kept eating healthy food and journaling and everything, but it took a year for him to turn it around and lose that 10 pounds.  I find comfort and hope in that.

Noah’s latest attempt at playing ‘little dog.’  That is an oversized ottoman, about 30″X36″, Sophie and Monk and my feet and a couple of books usually have plenty of room on there all at the same time.

And Yay!  I officially won the Presidential Bronze Medal!  It took 125 hours of various exercise to get to 40,000 points.  And then they offered to sell me various and sundry forms of said medal.  I opted to lift the image off their site and award it to myself on my blog.

I celebrated my win with a vigorous 40 minute hike.  And that’s all the news that’s fit to print around here today.  Thanks for all the great comments on my last entry.

It’s Friday!

Its Friday.  Wow.  That’s about all I’ve got to say around here.  My hand is fine.  In fact, if I had a third hand, I’d really have this whole recovery thing down pat.  Haven’t quite got a handle on the ‘feeling sorry for myself’ bit.

Anyway, after feeling morose for the better part of two days, I thought maybe I’d try to count my blessings?

1.  A storm  came in last night, and THE FLIES are gone!

2.  I can still walk.  And I am.  I’ve taken a walk every day this week, except the actual day of surgery.  Woo hoo for me.  Noah is especially thrilled, because he is getting pretty tired of the grumpy me.

3.  I am within 50 points of my bronze award on the Presidential Champions Challenge!  I’ve earned almost 40,000 points since April 27.  I guess I’ll keep going and try to get to the silver, and maybe even the gold.  Its a fun way to keep track of my exercise.

4.  For now I am the high bidder on a set of colored pencils on ebay.  We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

5.  I found a bunch of new free Dog Whisperer episodes to watch on the computer via National Geographic.

6.  ‘They’ are still paying me to stay home!  Amazing.

7.  Noah is still white, Sophie still loves me, and Mr. Monk is ever faithful.

I know there are a lot more serious things to be thankful for.  I just thought I’d share the silly things that make me smile in between being grouchy.


The Best Laid Plans…

Can I just whine a little?  I don’t whine on here too much, do I?  Besides, its the safest place to whine.  I don’t have to see your eyes glaze over, or see you looking around to see if there’s someone more interesting to talk to.  If you don’t want to listen, just click away, and I am none the wiser.

I have two days to get ready for my hand surgery.  Okay.  I know.  I’ve had over a month to get ready.  But that’s beside the point.  Today and Monday I planned to cook (which I don’t need to do much of, because I took an inventory of stuff in my freezer and I have two weeks worth of dinners in there, plus a bunch of cooked chicken and turkey.  Go me!) and I was going to clean the house, wash and change my sheets, and I wanted to wash all three dogs.  That’s not too much to do in two days, right?

So this morning, pretty early, I hear my neighbor driving his quad over.  Ruh roh.  That means he’s going to split all that pine that’s been sitting there all summer.*  So I put Noah in his crate, and decide to wash the dishes to keep Noah company (and to keep him from  barking.)  Dishes done, but the wood splitter is still running.  So I decide to organize the cupboards.  Have I mentioned I have a TOTALLY USELESS CAT?   connection please, debby.  Yes.  Well, me and a certain mouse (because I have a TOTALLY USELESS CAT**) have been co-existing semi-peacefully.  I set traps for him occasionally, but he evidently has super-powers and just enjoys the snack I have left for him without setting off the trap.  A couple of mornings I have gotten up extra early and surprised him.  We both stare at one another while he scampers past the traps to his ‘safe place.’  Back to the cupboards.  Without going into detail, as you can imagine, with my little room-mate, it turned into more of a SUPER MAJOR CUPBOARD CLEANING than just a regular cupboard organizing job.

Okay.  The cupboard cleaning ended just about the same time as the wood splitting ended.  You guessed it.  Chore number two NOT on the planned weekend list.  Now I’ve stacked about a cord of wood.  And do any of you know what a COMPLETE MESS splitting pine makes?  There are piles and piles of bark and other junk out there.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with it all.

So its 3:30, my knee and my back hurt, and there is still some house cleaning to be done, and I really want the dogs washed.  And then there’s this other ‘little’ chore hanging over my head.  I bought a bunch of tulips and daffodils, a few pansies, and some potting soil.  I really need to get them in the ground before Tuesday morning too.

Well, I just checked weather.com, and the next two days are supposed to be sunny.  I don’t think I’ll get any big chores done tomorrow, because I am going to the ‘froyo’ church and going to do a little shopping, as well as check out the new Whole Foods that is up that way.

I think what I need to do is split up the doggy baths.  If I do one a day, its not such a big deal.  Sophie, you’re first!

Ahhh.  I feel better already.  I’ll just do what I can, and that will have to be good enough.  I’m a little sad about my quilting mojo being interrupted again.  I just finished up this quilt last night.  I still need to put the binding on.

This is that quilt that has the modern take on the traditional Double Wedding Ring pattern as the base.  Then I decided to mess it up, and add stuff on top.  So I named it “After the Wedding.”  Each of the organza circles has words in it relating to the best and the worst of marriage.



Well, I feel much better now.  Hope I didn’t impose on you all too much.  Tonight I am going to try making some ‘apple cider frozen yogurt.’  I got the idea when I was up at Apple Hill the other day.  They were serving apple cider milk shakes.  So I checked out a couple of recipes online (for ice cream) and modified them.  I’ll let you know how it turns out!

*Just want to say I am not complaining at all about my neighbor choosing to split the wood today.  He works full time, and is doing me a huge favor to split the wood (I give him  half of the wood for himself, and he splits the rest for me.)  He doesn’t know I am having hand surgery in a couple of days.


**For you cat lovers out there, my totally useless cat is not abused.  In fact, she is supremely happy with THE WAY THINGS ARE.  She gets a whole can of cat food every day, and a little pat on the head, and her own litter box, EVEN THOUGH THE WHOLE GREAT OUTDOORS IS FIVE STEPS AWAY.  She is a semi-feral cat that I adopted years ago.  I didn’t know there was such a thing as a semi-feral lazy cat.


This afternoon I was bent over, carefully turning the beets I was roasting for my dinner salad.  And the thought occurred to me, I eat really healthy.  I am not always thinking that.  A lot of times what I am thinking is why can’t I lose this weight?  What’s wrong with me?  Or on a really bad day What a failure.  You’re a big fake.

But a lot of days what I think about this extra weight (currently 176) is “humility.”  Maybe that’s what its all about.  There is a verse in the middle of Colossians 3 that I have memorized.

“Since you are the holy people that God has chosen to love, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

At the time when I was memorizing it and thinking about the meaning of the words, I figured that humility was the central word in that list, and it was central to all those other good qualities.  You couldn’t be kind or gentle or patient, or have tenderhearted mercy if you were not humble.  Humility is not something that comes naturally to me.  Heck, none of those character traits comes NATURALLY to me.

So maybe that’s what this extra weight is about.  Keeping me humble.  I sure can’t brag about being a super-loser.  Right now I can’t even seem to lose 8 measly pounds.  I never reached my goal weight at Weight Watchers.  I haven’t even mastered “maintenance” after working on it for five years.  Not everything looks good on me.  I have to look a little harder to find clothes that fit.

But when I have a thought like that “I eat healthy,”  that is something I can take courage in.  That is taking care of this “earthen vessel” (2 Cor. 4:7) as best I can.  Yesterday I took a walk.  Everything hurt.  But I just kept walking.  Today I had a break between appointments, and I went to the gym, got in the pool and ran back and forth for a half hour–first time I did that (no swimming) and it worked out pretty good–no wet hair to deal with!  I looked at Vicky’s offerings, and chose one of the lower calorie items for my lunch.

Then I went to the dentist where the dental hygienist WORKED OVER my teeth–ack.  Afterward I treated myself to a small frosty.  Most worthy and most deserved.  But not perfect. Humility.


This is a photo essay from my trip to Africa last January that I never published.  As is obvious, I like shoes.  I was so touched by the shoes these little kids from the slums wore.  It was obvious to me, that even though this was a “soccer tournament,” most of these little kids were dressed in their best clothes for the American visitors.  Some of the little girls had a real sense of style and did the best with what they had.  You can see in the last photo that the pile of shoes that we brought with us was definitely the most popular with the soccer coaches, even though there was a whole roomful of sports equipment and clothing strewn about.

So last week I was at a meeting at church, and a young couple, who I admire very much, each had an idea for ministry that I got very excited about.  The husband happens to work at the same University hospital that I worked at, and he said that on a recent trip to the downtown area, he noticed the shoes of a homeless woman, and thought to himself that no one should have to wear shoes like that.  So he had the idea to collect good comfortable walking shoes and take them to homeless people on his lunch break!

Then his wife shared that she had been trying to figure out how we could set up a sponsorship program for the kids in a church in Haiti that our church has partnered with!

Both of these ideas are things that I feel passionately about.  Just that day I had been feeling so lost–what am I doing that is worthy? etc.  I know that there are some things volunteer-wise that I want to do that require the use of my hands, so that will have to wait until after I have my right hand surgery done.  But these two things are things I can do now!  I was so excited after that night.

Back to our regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow!

A Different Kind of Day

Today was a different kind of day.  I started my day same as normal.  And then I just didn’t feel like doing anything.  So I gave myself permission to do just that.  Maybe it was this poster I saw this morning.

I dunno.  Maybe I overdid yesterday.  Whatever it was, I stayed in my pajamas all day and was pretty content doing nothing.

Sophie got a little bored.





Noah was a good boy.



Sophie thought the picture needed some improvement.

Some of the recent eats:

I told you guys about this idea for fruit dip/spread a while ago.  This was the first time I made it.  Fixed dinner for my spiritual formation group last night–healthy taco salad (yumm) and strawberries with this dip.  It met with unanimous approval.    People were scraping their plates to get the last of it!   I had some leftover, so topped a white peach with a couple of tablespoons.  Divine!  Recipe for Creamy Fruit Dip.

Tried out that new recipe I mentioned the other day.  This was absolutely divine.  Maybe its been too long since I had the real thing.  But honestly, it tasted like coconut custard pie to me.  I made it this morning, and saved it for dessert tonight.  The rest is safely in the freezer.  Thanks again to the culinary genius of Georgie.  The thing about something like this is that yes, it tastes luxurious like dessert.  But the ingredients are healthy and are fueling your body while you indulge.  Its a win-win situation.

Dinner tonight was scrumptious.  I’m still trying to choose stuff that I don’t have to spend too much time chopping (what was I thinking of, buying a butternut squash,) and I’m still using paper plates (washing dishes is NOT fun) but I’m back to cooking obviously.  Leftover roasted beets, roasted green beans, and a piece of perfectly cooked salmon–yay me.  Too many times I get distracted and overcook it.

Been watching a marathon of Biggest Loser episodes today.  I feel a little guilty admitting to watching it, because I essentially disagree with most of what they do there.  But I pick up a few tidbits.  And today was particularly cathartic.   There was a father/daughter team on there that was particularly close, and I cried really hard a couple of times with their interactions.  And then that same father lost his brother DURING his time at the ranch and he was grieving, and I cried hard again during that episode.  I don’t cry much at all about losing my dad, so I guess I think its good that this happens once in a while.

And now I’m tired from doing nothing all day, so I think I’ll take a shower and head to bed. You all have a great weekend!