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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Dumping the Fat

Isn't that what we'd all love to do? Get rid of those awful fat pockets stored all over our body? Shudder!!! And where in the world did they come from? I'm 5' 5" tall, and up until I hit about age 40 or so, weighed 120 or fact, in my 20's and 30's I averaged around 115, a bit too light for my height, but my metabolism burned calories faster than I could pack them on.

Then, the dreaded 40's snuck up on me, and my fat burning ability slowed to a crawl. Unfortunately, my eating habits didn't change. I'd spent my entire life eating anything I wanted and never paying for it. It boomeranged with a vengeance. I got up to 130 and didn't think much of it, as that was just a couple of lbs more than what I should be for my height and frame. Then 5 lbs more, and then another five....and...well, I'm not telling. Let's just say, I gained too much in the next 15 yrs.

Yes, I changed my eating habits. Yes, I started to exercise more, although I've always been fairly active. But it's been a constant battle. Now, however, I'm determined that's going to change, and I'm publicly stating....and hoping my readers will help keep me accountable....that I'm GOING to lose weight. At least 10 lbs before Thanksgiving!!

I started yesterday on a diet that's worked for several of my friends and I'll let you know it goes. I'll post one every 7-10 days with an update, if even one person leaves a comment showing that they care to know. Otherwise, I guess I'll just rejoice (or moan and groan) alone, LOL!

Wish me luck, pray for me, bless me, and lend your support. My cholesterol is too high, and my clothes don't fit well, and it's TIME FOR A CHANGE!!!!

In fact, if I'm brave and this works, I may even do a before and after picture in a month or two!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Feeling Sappy

The pine cones are falling off the trees right now, but they're different somehow than I'm used to seeing them. They're very green, rather than the fully formed, prickly, brown ones typically scattered across the lawn. While mowing a few days ago I started grabbing green cones and pitching them, only to discover my hands covered in the stuff....pitch, that is. Every single cone was oozing the nasty sap and I had to use fingernail polish to remove it.

Fast forward a few days to yesterday. We were getting ready to go to friends for dinner and our daughter and hubby already had our two dogs at their house. Lacey, or little 6 lb Chihuahua that you see in the picture with their puppy, is one of our two.

Marnee called about 45 minutes before we were due to leave with a frantic plea for help with Lacey. Somehow she'd managed to straddle something covered with pitch...whether she lay down on a bed of green cones, or what, we'll never know....but the inside of her back legs and tail were covered. She has a very plumy tail and 'feather's down her back legs, and very fine, soft hair.

I took a few minutes to search the internet hoping for a household solution and found it. I grabbed a jar from the fridge and raced down the driveway to their house. Marnee and Brian were a bit horrified as I started slathering my poor dog with mayonnaise, and rubbing it into her fur, but I read two different posts that said it worked for them, so I figured it couldn't hurt.

Ten minutes later we rinsed her off and shampooed her, and every bit of pitch was gone. Unfortunately, Marnee had cut her feathers and part of her tail before I got there, as it was so balled up with sap, and she didn't think there was any way of getting it off. In fact, poor Lacey's back legs were almost stuck together and some of the hair was pulled out. She's fine now and we know what to do next time one of our pets (or ourselves) gets in a sticky situation!

Friday, August 13, 2010

So What's Your Vote?

Summer Vs Winter...Are you a snow bunny or a sun lover?

This is a typical summer day at our house. My dogs are outside enjoying the sun and the grass, and I'm working in my flowerbeds and garden. It's warm, beautiful and enjoyable.

Now, jump to the picture below......

I don't take many pictures in the snow, so this is the front yard up against the fence, not where the flowers were, but about 30' away.

Now you tell me, which is more enticing for you?

A few days ago we had very cool weather for our area. It should be in the high 80's and 90's all through August, with an occasional day or so over 100. We spent 3 or 4 days in a row in the low 60's, dropping into the high 40's at night. And it felt like fall.

Can you tell I'm dreading winter? Yep. Don't like it. Not since grade school when snow was fun. When winter arrives I start counting the days until spring.

If I could vote, I'd have three season. Spring, summer and fall. No winter.

How about you? What's your favorite season and why?

Ladders, Part 2

I don't have a picture of this one because, well....I was lying flat on my back and in no shape to take a picture.

It started with my decision to stop at a U-pick orchard to get a bucket of cherries. It's at the tail end of the season (that's already running late due to a delayed summer/heat). So, all the fruit that could be picked from the ground was gone, leaving only what could be reached from a ladder.

I was the only one in my section of the orchard, although I'd walked past a mother and her two teenage girls not too far away. I set my ladder (the type with a pole you set apart from the legs in a triangle). My dad had a small orchard while I was growing up and I'd set these ladders many a time. I could hear his voice in my head reminding me to check it to make sure it was square. It wasn't, and I reset it. But this time when reminded again, I disregarded it, sure it must be fine.

Bad decision.

I climbed up and picked a half bucket of luscious, dark purple cherries and had almost cleaned out the area I could reach. A few big handfuls were a little farther away, but I could reach them by leaning.

Another bad decision.

The ladder went one way in slow motion, tipping off to my right. I saw and felt it going and knew there wasn't a thing I could do to stop it. I remember thinking it was going to hurt when I hit. I also had the presence of mind to holler for help on the way down, as I knew I might not be in any condition to do so once I hit.

Good decision.

I bounced off several rungs, impacted the side panel with my thigh and calf, and landed on my tailbone, then flat on my back, then my head whipped back and connected last.

Thankfully, on grassy ground.

No broken bones, but LOTS of big bruises and a separated tailbone that's also bent to the side.

The woman and girls came running, as did the orchard owner. I lay on the ground getting my breath, then when I felt able, they helped me up. After determining I didn't have any broken bones, I bemoaned the loss of my cherries, scattered across the ground. The owner scooped them all up and offered to help me to my car.

Nope. I came to get cherries, I wasn't leaving without them. I had company coming and wanted those cherries! I climbed back up the now stable ladder (half way this feet were on the 6th rung the first time) and proceeded to finish off my gallon bucket.

Then I called my chiropractor and made a beeline for his office. I've been back about 5 times since, and he's got my tailbone almost back in place. The bruises are healing, I'm still sore and it's still hard to sit. But I'm sure enjoying those cherries!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ladders, Gates and Other Assorted Dangers

What a day! It started out innocently enough but by bedtime I felt as though a cyclone had hit, upsetting my emotions and pummeling my body.

See the little dog in the foreground? That's my 7 lb. Chihuahua, Lacey, and her sister Bella (with the floppy ears). My two cats are in the background. Two weeks ago today Lacey decided to escape and run down to my daughter's house whose property adjoins ours.

See the crack between the wood post and the metal gate? Bella is standing just a few inches in front of it. Narrow, huh? You'd think too narrow for any of these four critters to get their heads through it, right? Wrong.

I heard loud crying/yipping and raced outside. Lacey's head was jammed through the crack and she was stuck. Body on one side, head on the other. bove the bottom hinge that you see in the picture, so she was standing on her hind legs to keep her balance. I held her body up and tried to gently work her head back through. She screamed, quite literally, both times.

I sat praying and trying to figure out how I could free her, and thought maybe her collar was impeding her release. I had to let go of her and run to the house for scissors. When I returned she was wheezing and panting. It was in the 90's that day and her throat was against the hinge. Not good. Cut the collar and tried again. More crying and screaming and still stuck.

By this time I was close to crying. My daughter and her hubby were gone, as was my husband, and I don't know any phone #'s of neighbors. We're 9 miles out in the country and no one close besides our kids. I ran back in, grabbed the phone and a bottle of cooking oil. I figured if you can get a ring off your finger by making it slick, it might work with her head. It didn't. More crying and struggling. By this time I was crying.

I called my husband in a near panic, sure my dog was going to die before anyone made it home to help. He calmed me down and I finally explained what happened. He instructed me to lift up on the gate...hard...that it would pop off the hinges. I gave a hard yank, and the gate went flying. I grabbed Lacey, cuddled her to my chest, thanked him and ran in the house to get her some water. She didn't want to do anything but stay in my arms for the next 20 minutes. Poor little thing was too scared to even shiver, which is her normal reaction when she's afraid.

I'm hoping she's learned her lesson and stays away from the gate, but at least now I know what to do.

Tune in tomorrow to hear about the rest of my day....and the episode with the ladder. Bruises, bruises, everywhere!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Catching Up or Procrastinating-- How About You?

The summer is flying by and so much has happened that I've put several projects on hold. For weeks now a couple of obligations have stared me in the face, taunting me with their need to be finished. Each day I promise myself I'll work on them, and each evening near bedtime I realize I've once again put them off for another day.

I'm not sure why I torture myself this way. Why not just get it over with, even if it's something (paperwork) that I hate doing? Wouldn't it be easier not to face the same thing day after day, and keep dealing with the dread, stress and guilt that comes with not getting it done?

Yesterday I sat staring at the stack of paperwork and resolved that another day wouldn't go by with the pile on my desk. I'll bet you're thinking.....she put it off again and has to face it today. Nope. I actually got it done, faxed it off and am now facing a relatively clean desk. What a huge relief! And just think, I could have experienced this joy and satisfaction weeks ago had I followed through and not procrastinated. Sure, I had a book deadline also pressing me that I felt was more important. I had a garden needing tending, family to visit and a tailbone to nurse after my fall from an orchard ladder. All good excuses. But if I were totally honest I'd admit there was time for the project, I just didn't want to do it.

Anyone else have the same problem as me? Do you get projects that you dread done first, or drag your feet and put them off till the last possible minute? If so, why? I'd love your input!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Setting Goals--Or Not?

Goals--A Dirty Word or a Big Help?

For years I avoided writing down my goals, figuring I knew them in my head and didn't need to. That was fine at the time, as my life was relatively organized and not overly busy.

Now however, things have changed.

Five years ago I started writing Christian fiction and three years ago my first book released, with three more following and another coming next February. What has that meant in my life? Unorganized chaos.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE writing, but the entire package takes a lot of work. You write, you edit, you rewrite, you market your books, attend book signings, speak occasionally, keep active on social networking sites, answering an increasingly heavy load of email, all while still trying to maintain a life outside of writing. I'm often up till midnight working and tired the next morning. Almost like when I had little ones at home, LOL!

So what's a gal to do? See the picture above of my flower bed last year? Well, this year it needs weeding and bedding put down, my lawn needs mowed (hubby will probably take care of that, thankfully) and I have a huge garden to tend. I also have two dogs that need walked, a horse that I LOVE to ride on the trails with my grown daughter and her horse, and I must get some exercise or all this sitting at the computer will make me a blimp.

Sigh. So, I decided it's time to set goals and WRITE them down. I also contacted a friend & asked if I could give her my weekly goals. She agreed to hold me accountable each week and she does. She calls me twice weekly to see how I'm doing and encourage me to keep going.

As a result, I'm staying close to my daily writing goals, have cut Pepsi consumption by 75%, am walking/jogging with my dog 3-4 days a wk, and have lost 7 lbs.

How about you? Are you a goal setter or like I used to be, just hoping I'd get it all done. I'd love to hear from you. Has setting goals made a difference in your life?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Traveling Back in Time to Tombstone, AZ

Current Day Tombstone, AZ

Isn't this cool! It looks like a picture from an old west movie set, doesn't it? Well, it's not. This is the actual main street of Tombstone today. The only main street....they don't have one lined with modern shops, don't have a grocery store. One or two gas stations with a mini mart, and a small market where you can pick up the basics, but otherwise all businesses are located on the old frontier style Allen Street. Many of them were operating back in the early 1800's and still are today. I'm posting a few pictures from our trip there last week.

The original County Courthouse that served the town and county for many years is now an operating museum. The interior of the courtroom is just as it was over one-hundred years ago.

We watched a video about a trial that took place here in the mid 1880's with a reenactment. It dealt with a dispute over water rights, and a
rancher who blew the dam that was placed on another ranchers property for watering his stock. The water rushed downstream and two little girls were drowned as they played in the stream. So much tragedy during this time period. We visited Boot Hill cemetery and about 70% of the people buried there were shot, hanged, killed by Indians, stabbed, or otherwise murdered. A few said they died of an accident or illness, but it was amazing the number of violent deaths during that time period.

Several of the original buildings from the early 1880's are still standing, besides the courthouse. Others are, in order as shown below:

The Bird Cage Theater where many musicals, theater productions and rowdy comic actors and singers performed. There are said to be at least 140 bullet holes in the interior walls of the building. Doc Holliday got into a shooting scrape with another man, along with many others. The original piano (brought in by mule team) is still where it was placed when it arrived, as well as the Faro table, the gallery boxes on the second floor, and the dance hall girls' rooms below.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Share a Laugh—Bless a Friend

In Honor of Celebrating Friendship Month
By Frankie Sherman
I live in a sleepy little town in the Deep South. Sometimes after my morning workout I’ll have breakfast at our local restaurant with some of my girlfriends. These women are diverse in age and background, but as southern as sweet tea.
Over cups of hot coffee, we share things that only women can appreciate, and men would never understand. It’s times like these I am extremely grateful for this wonderful gift of friendship. No wonder our Creator designed us for fellowship.
In between bites of a wholegrain muffin, my dear friend, Martha, told us about putting her mother in a nursing home and how difficult it had been. Yet in the next breath she reminded us of God’s incredible sense of humor.
It seems her mother hasn’t a clue that she’s a patient there, but firmly believes she’s on staff as an employee. In addition, she had been complaining to management because they weren’t paying her, and had threatened to walk out. Martha is now bringing her mother money in a bank envelope and telling her that the nursing home is doing a direct deposit, and she’s cashed her check. So far Mrs. Floyd continues to see herself as a valued employee and is very helpful. Martha’s just praying her mother won’t ask for a pay raise!
We laughed with Martha till our sides hurt as she told that story. Our laughter made the truth of the situation easier. That’s “why we need girlfriends!”
Anyone who has put a parent in a nursing home realizes how heart wrenching that is. Something precious has ended. Roles have reversed and it hurts like a piercing knife.
This will be a hard journey for Martha, she’ll certainly need her girlfriends, and we’ll be there for her.
I am so glad God gave us a sense of humor and laced it with laughter. When utilized for goodness it will restore a hurting soul. Who’s hurting in your circle of friends today? Now, go share some laughter. Both of you will feel better.

“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy,” Job 8:21 NKJV.
Frankie Sherman is a national speaker, comedian, and Bible teacher for conferences, retreats, and women's events. She fell in love with Jesus at Vacation Bible School and takes every opportunity to tell others about the joy of being alive in Christ. She is a former choreographer for the Georgia Peach Bowl and the Florida Citrus Bowl Halftime Show. Her specialty is in theater musical/productions. Her first Bible Study, Why We Need Girlfriends is based on the relationship of Mary and Elizabeth, from Luke's gospel. Two women brought together by extraordinary circumstances by an extraordinary God. Frankie is from South Carolina—loves sweet tea, BIG hair and her grand-girls. She believes there will never be another Elvis. And knows that her Jesus will return for her soon.

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