Monday, July 26, 2010

TGIS #17 a day late, CD and reading list #26

Thank Goodness It's Sunday is a day late, this week, but still worth considering. Life happens.

~Being able to watch the storms, including lightening strikes, on my computer.

~Friends who remind me to trust God.

~Morning naps. They only happen very, very occasionally, so they are to be appreciated.

~The opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. Useless without the Atonement.

~Unexpected opportunities. Friday, I discovered my bread-and-butter doctor would be out of town, for a week. Eep! Is that air backing up in my chest? Yep. Financially, it means re-arranging my budget a bit. Doable. Time-management wise, I suddenly have a huge amount of time... God has been nudging. I'm really listening this time, Lord.

Carpe Diem ~ Worked on a personal project, today. Re-evaluated my budget. A bit of reading catch up.

Reading ~ The Heiresses Baby by Lilian Darcy. She's on my must-buy list. Mary Sullivan's series "Home on the Ranch." I loved the first book, her debut, but her style has changed with each book, and it isn't my style. I finally decided to read a book one of my best friends gave me. Nicole Jordan's The Warrior. I was frustrated with the hero and the heroine. Frankly, I wanted to smack 'em both up side the head. I stuck with it. I'm glad I did, because the last half of the book wouldn't have been as good without that painful beginning. I've also re-started Max Lucado's Grace for the Moment. It's a daily devotional. I also read another chapter of The Gift of Fear and The Red Suit Diaries. Read part of chapters from Toxic Parents and Body Clutter.

Eye opening quote: "Love and laughter, not a sorrowful resignation mark real acceptance of My Will." --Two Listeners
I searched my mind for where this was in the scriptures, and remembered the admonition that we not live in sack cloth and ashes. Hmmm... so, I need a new wardrobe. I like the sound of that. :-)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Rice Krispies Treat experiment failed...

...miserably. Like Oreos, an open box is an empty box, I have better self-control with the pie, which I can make last almost a week. So, I won't be making that mistake again any time soon. Live and learn.

Rescued a gecko from my room. Silly little fellow was crawling up my window. No water. No food. The poor guy would have died of dehydration and starvation. Did you know that paper cups are gecko traps? Worked great. With a bit of coaxing from me. In trying to find a safe place to release him, I had to consider the local cats. What's the point of saving it only to have it promptly eaten?

Storms moving in, again, so watching closely in case there's the need to turn the beloved computer off and unplugged. Don't really care for the adrenaline rush. But welcome to the monsoon.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fun grocery shopping...

The sweet young lady running the register when I checked out wondered what in the world I would do with so much zucchini. I'd purchased ten of the things. They were on sale! If they're not on sale next week, I'll save money when I don't buy as many. I told her that I eat one every day. Really? Really. Slice it, saute it in a pan with a little olive oil and a bit of butter. Thanks to Julia Child and Jacques Pepin, I know how to flip the little guys in the pan without the pieces going all over. Slide the zucchini onto a dish and lightly sprinkle with fresh parmesan cheese. Oh, my. Really yummy!

Discovered that sometimes, when the sale is right, the name brand is cheaper or the same price as the generic. Restocked my baking soda, which means I also restocked my baking powder, since I make my own. Easy to keep it fresh. I think I have a year's supply of Idahoan Instant Potatoes and Krusteaz Pancake Mix. I added more unbleached white flour. And joy of joy, Schwan's came, today. I buy most of my meat through Schwan's. I've tried different brands, and have found I prefer Schwan's. Had coupon for pie; didn't use it by substituting Rice Krispy Treats. We'll see how I do with that trade. I haven't opened them yet, but then again, my sister blessed me with some of her bread, so after dinner, I enjoyed a couple of slices with my homemade blueberry jam. I know. I know; I suffer. How I suffer. God is good. :-)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A bit of cheer...

Listening to K-LOVE this morning, on the radio, they were sharing celebrating God events. There was the couple, just this week, that ordered pizza. The husband had a heart attack, and the wife called 9-1-1. The doorbell rang immediately. The pizza delivery man had recently moved to the area and was looking for a job as a paramedic. God sent a professional. They also shared the story of the woman who had the feeling she should double glove while she was driving. She didn't question it. Then she saw a woman fallen on the roadway. A parking space was available. She hopped out and started helping the woman out of the street, but the woman kept telling her not to touch her because she had hepatitis C. She was able to smile and assure her that she was safe.

The stories cheered my whole day. I've heard inspirational stories that turned out not to be true, and the warm fuzziness disappeared. But to hear true stories of miracles lifts my spirit. It saw me through my work and defrosting the fridge, which took a whole lot longer than I planned. It's done, and I don't have to think about it again for a while. Good news all around.

Worked on a personal project. Seeing it progress is encouraging.

I'm also realizing that as I endeavor to be honest with myself, I'm learning more than I ever imagined. I've tried all kinds of things to help me gain control of my eating. I was once criticized for treating my life like a pizza, clumping everything together. I was repeatedly reminded that I need to separate things out and tackle them individually. Well, it doesn't work well for me. I need my pizza, though it's good to be more aware of the individual things needed to make it yummy. I love ice cream. (You're wondering where this is going.) I go without buying it for months at a time because I have so little control with ice cream. I'll buy a pint that's supposed to be four servings and consider myself extremely restrained when it's two servings instead of one. I've found a solution I know will work for me. Water N' Ice has 99 cent Tuesday, where a scoop of ice cream is 99 cents. I go about once a month. That would be more than a enough for me to not feel like I'm being deprived. Learning about myself and how I think and respond is becoming a lot more fun.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Late post...

It's been an educational day. I removed the group from my FaceBook because I learned some things I really didn't want to learn. My first mistake was that someone after me asked me to look up the companies. My first thought was "Do your own homework." Then I thought, "Why not check myself?" Should have listened to myself the first time. What I learned was that there are a lot of corporations that donate to Planned Parenthood. You can't actually do much of anything in life without at least one of them, if not several of them. That being said, I did my homework and the site that provided the list was iffy, as in one of the pages wasn't in English at all, and I couldn't find them listed anywhere but their site, not to mention that one of the companies listed was defunct back in 2001. Another site I found required that you pay for the list of companies. Understandable since it was costing them to mail it out, though I wondered why they didn't simply post it. Probably legal, and I think they mentioned it, but I knew I wouldn't pay for it myself, so didn't really worry about the reasons. Then I asked myself why I didn't simply check the PP website. 36% of their revenue comes from their own clinics. 34% comes from Government Grants. 24% comes from corporations and individual donations, and 6% from other. The government puts more in than all of Corporate America, put together. That's taxpayer money. Remember that the government doesn't put out money, they only take it in. So what are we going to do? Boycott ourselves? I really did not want to know this. I had posted the comments, at first, and then went back through and deleted every single one because it was so depressing. All I could think was "God have mercy on us all."

So, what do I do now? I don't know about anyone else, but I'm going to pray, a lot. I was always annoyed by the seemingly simplistic answer "Pray." Well, it's been an uncomfortable learning experience, being humbled usually is. Sometimes, all that's left to do is pray. I will endeavor to continue to make conscientious choices for good. It also drives home that I cannot save anyone else. Only the Atonement of Jesus Christ is soul saving, and He takes us individually. I deleted the posts because I didn't want to shake anyone's faith in doing good. Some would have been fine, but the forum was too impersonal to be sure of causing no harm. Fortunately, God's mercy is enough for any who reach for it. His hand is stretched out still, waiting for us to take it.

Early post...

because this is burning a whole in my heart. And always has. Abortion. It only takes knowing someone who went through one to know how it tears at the fabric of one's soul. My heart still breaks for my friend. I know there are individual cases that may require the ending of a tiny life, but it is not an acceptable form of birth control, ever. I'm not going to argue birth control pills or other planned forms of control. I know where my personal line is, and I'm certainly not in any position to declare myself better than anyone else. That being said, I'm the one who has to live with my conscience.

One of the sites I follow on FaceBook had a comment that people should stop supporting Komen and other charities because they support Planned Parenthood. This was my reply because blanket statements drive me crazy: Please do the homework. Susan G. Komen's support of Planned Parenthood is related to breast cancer, not abortions. There is an open letter on their website regarding their involvement with PP. I went to and typed into the search box "planned parenthood." I don't support PP, but if you're going to stop supporting everything that has anything to do with abortion, which I do strongly oppose, then you better take your kids out of school because the NEA (teachers union) supports PP, and many of the companies whose food you eat make donations, and companies that make everything from electronics to clothes to entertainment. Pick your battles, but make sure you know who you're really fighting; it may not be who you think.

I'm learning that I must stop depending on everyone else to figure things out and making my decisions on what others tell me I should/ought/better believe. I must put in the effort and time and energy and work to learn for myself what I believe, what I will take into my heart and make a part of who I am. I'm me. No one else. I am what I do and what I want and what I believe. If those things are not in harmony with each other, then I need to make some changes. It's time.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Carpe diem... and reading list #25

And so the experimenting begins, I added lavender to my milk, frozen banana, and chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast shake. It's all right, but prefer the pancakes so far. In my research, I discovered that Herbs de Provence include lavender, only it's used as a savory flavoring.

Worked on a long-term project.

I've done a bit of sorting through my TBR pile, finding a few books I've decided to give away, gathering series that I've been collecting and seeing if the sets are complete yet. Some yes, some no. Lucy Monroe's latest book arrived, The Greek's Pregnant Lover. It's the other half of the The Traditional Greek Husbands duet. Lucy has an incredible gift for writing conflict between the hero and heroine without them being nasty to each other. Even if they become angry, it's understandable and it's never the central conflict. Unlike books where they fight all the way through and then magically find harmony at the end of the book. Yep, I find that really annoying and a straight to the no list guarantee. I also read Justine Davis' first book One Last Chance. Harlequin has a series where they reprint a writer's first book. It's fun to see if the writing style has changed at all. I've noticed that with my favorites, it hasn't changed much. What I was attracted to when I put them on my yes list was present from the beginning.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #16

~My sister introduced me to iTunes. Wow. I could listen to a different radio station every day, for a year.

~Pandora. I love being able to skip a song I don't like.

~My own CD collection that I really need to start listening to more. I love music.

~Learning to be honest with myself. There was an article at Yahoo about the worst ice cream choices because of the fat calories and sugar. All I could think was that if I'm choosing ice cream, I'm not choosing it for the health factor. I'm choosing it because it's yummy, and the fat and sugar are what make it yummy. If I want something healthy, I'll choose something else.

~ Books! And the internet that makes it easier to find and buy my favorites.

And thank God for family that makes me laugh so hard I cry and grateful they are a part of my life.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Permanently on the menu...

Lavender pancakes. Yep, noticed a difference in the level of my back pain between the days I had them and the days I don't. Now, I know it isn't the pancakes, it's the lavender, but what a delicious way to have the lavender. I'll eventually explore other possibilities, but for now, I'm content to enjoy the pancakes.

Over and over and over, it is advised that one eat 5-6x a day, in small meals and snacks. I gain weight, probably because I end up grazing all day long. Those who know me well know how apt that description truly is. As a child, I preferred being a horse. Be that as it may, I lose weight when I pay attention to how I feel, as in allowing myself to become a little hungry. I actually like that slightly hollow feeling; the food somehow tastes better if I'm a little hungry. When I follow the eat every three or four hours I never really have that opportunity to become hungry. I'm eating because I'm supposed to as opposed to eating because I want to, and then old habits kick in, to eat because you're not sure when you'll be able to eat again. Long story.

I am pleased to realize that I'm learning to use what I have, as opposed to simply storing it "just in case." Keeping that thought in mind and the decision Thursday not to buy the ice cream simply because it was on sale and I had coupons, I went through my coupons and threw out all the ice cream ones. I like it once in a while, but it trashes my healthy eating every single time I have easy access to it. I'm not a health nut by any stretch of the imagination. I have the little pudding Snackpacks that I like, but I'd never eat all four in one sitting, like going through a pint of ice cream. I love my homemade hot chocolate with a splash of Irish Cream flavored CoffeeMate or International Delight coffee creamer. Nope, don't drink coffee, but the creamer is fantastic. A few marshmallows in the cocoa and a bit of biscotti for dunking. Delish! I have my Dove Promise pieces, but I'm no longer keeping them in the pumpkin dish in my room. I have to hunt them down, and I've found they're easier to resist that way, but nice to have in one of those moments. I know all the diet gurus tout disposing of all sweets and treats. But I know me, and depriving me of treats leads to bingeing, which is definitely worse. Instead, I'm endeavoring to teach myself discipline without deprivation. We'll see how I do. I am doing better. As a child, I spent all my allowance on candy. I don't spend all my money on candy anymore, so progress is possible. :-) Here's to progress!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Food day...

I don't know about anyone else, but for me, Thursday is shopping day. Made out like a bandit, today, taking advantage of the sales. Whoohoo!! Love it. I'm making zucchini a regular part of my menus. (Wow, 'menu' doesn't that sound so much more yummy than diet?) I also purchased fresh lemon. I read somewhere that adding a slice of lemon to your water helps your metabolism. I've also heard that the water should be cold. So, I drop a slice of lemon into one of my pretty goblets, add water, and cover with saran wrap (yes, I have the saran wrap gene), and then enjoy it with lunch and repeat for dinner.

Dried blueberries or raisins? I have both, but I've discovered I truly do prefer dried blueberries. Hands down. Who knew? I really love blueberries.

Oh!!! A celebration of sorts... maybe... anyway, something I'm proud of choosing. I had coupons for ice cream, my favorite, Private Selection Rocky Road. The BEST! It was also on sale this week. The coupons expire, soon, as in a few days. One of the coupons was for a free one! I made a choice. True, it wouldn't cost much money, but I decided I didn't want to pay for the calories. And I actually feel really good about my choice. Stop it! Pick your mouth up off the floor and stop staring! Yep, I really made that decision and am proud of it. Maybe there was a shift in the space/time continuum or an unexpected wormhole. This is so unlike me, or at least unlike who I used to be. One day at a time. That's all God asks. I can do that.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Reading list #24

It's time to do a bit of catch up, though it's a relatively short list. I finished the Patt Marr series and loved it. Her last book was published back in 2008. I hope she'll have a new one out one of these days. Tried several new authors that simply didn't fit in with what I like. I did find one new author I liked, Susan Yarina. Best Man for the Job is a contemporary western. This is my brief book review at eharlequin's reading challenge: Lee Ann Waters and Clay Carter both apply for the same job as foreman of the Silver Rock Ranch. Lee Ann's advantage is that she's known the owner, Charlie Bruce, all her life. Clay, on the other hand, shares a lot of the same Cowboy philosophies as Charlie. Charlie likes them both and decides to give them a one-month trial, each showcasing their own styles, and may the best man win.

An unexpected and interesting development. My back isn't bothering me quite as much, ie, I'm able to pull myself out of bed, in the morning, without wanting to scream or bursting into tears. What a relief. I'm curious as to why. True, I use Mums Blend on my low back before bed. I trade off ibuprofen and Tylenol 8 hour, but I've done both those things before without much improvement. I cannot help but wonder if my morning routine of lavender pancakes has anything at all to do with the improvement. I know herbs have amazing properties, but I'm not sure if this might be one. I'm also wholly unwilling to go off the lavender pancakes to see if the severe morning back discomfort returns.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Carpe diem... things done and undone...

Worked on a couple of projects and started a new one. Those were things done. As for undone, I removed myself from a couple of groups I joined, a few years ago. I found myself dreading hearing from them. Considering the fact that I had joined them to inspire me to do better, the feelings they evoked seemed all wrong. It's odd not seeing their messages in my mailbox, and yet a relief, too. A dear friend, my computer guru, helped me remove things I had liked at FaceBook as well. Again, I found the content more negative than positive. So continues the adventure of finding what I like and don't like, what does and does not inspire me. Sometimes, it's almost a giddy feeling to be able to change my mind. :-)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #15

~Friday, one of my nieces came by for a visit. We played with my make up, so it's finally open. We decided I looked better in the browns and purples than the blues and greens. We both liked the sparkly mineral powder. She also tried several different hair styles, and I'm wearing one of them, today. I like it. I'll try a different one tomorrow. She taught me several things that I hadn't known. It was fun.

~Saturday morning, it rained! I live in a desert. Rain is good, especially the stuff that isn't a frog-stranglin'-gully-washer.

~Claritin-D. As much as I love the rain, it brings out the molds, to which I am allergic. Allergy medicine helps.

~Good friends that uplift and lighten every day.

~You thought I was going to say books, but I did that yesterday. :-) So, to round out the five, I'm grateful for God's daily reminders that He is aware of me.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

NASCAR... reading list #23

Congrats to Carl for taking second place, his best finish this year. WHOOHOO!! It's put him in the Chase at #10, provided all continues to go relatively well. :-) Thanks to TNT RaceBubby, which offered the opportunity to watch the race live on

I've read several more books whose authors have gone to my no list. I'm currently reading a short series by Patt Marr, inspirational romance, and thoroughly enjoying it. Her stories are witty, uplifting, and heartwarming.

The monsoon has returned to the Valley, but blessedly we've only seen rain so far.

Endeavoring to learn to trust God. I do on some levels, but not at all on other levels. I'm grateful I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Carpe diem... and reading list #22

I did not manage to finish my work in a timely manner, as in, I didn't finish it Friday. I finally finished it, today. Glad I had an extra day. But it is finished and ready to go back. Whew!

After an intense branding session, my coach has given me some tough assignments. I am pleased to be able to stay that I have started on them. They'll take a while, but I am, if nothing else, tenacious. I have a king-size cathedral window quilt as physical proof. It was started when I was in junior high and I finished it after my mission. I'm finally keeping it on my bed where I see it every day instead of in my cedar chest.

I looked at my reading list and was surprised to see only two books listed. What? Only two books in the past week? Impossible. Yep, it really was impossible. I finished the Forever series and tried several new authors I didn't like (I don't keep track of those).

Harlequin puts the next month's books on sale a month early if you buy it through their website. They also list what's coming. I plan my book purchases carefully, looking at what's available and what sales are going on. I love being able to plan two months in advance.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #14

Happy Independence Day!!! God bless America.

~I'm grateful I live in the United States of America. I've lived in Asia and Europe, and there's no place like home.

~I'm grateful for freedom. I'm becoming more and more appreciative of the freedom to choose. Granted, with all the freedom given to me, it behooves me to choose well. Sometimes I do; sometimes I don't.

~I'm grateful for the Atonement, which not only allows me to repent of wrongdoing, it also offers peace and comfort and healing.

~I'm grateful for our service men and women, fighting for freedom. God bless them and protect them.

~I'm grateful for our founding fathers and the courage they displayed as they struggled to create a new nation where freedom was more important than being safe. If they wanted safe, they never would have dared to cross the ocean. Or perhaps it is more that they recognized that true safety is only found in the freedom to choose; anything else is only an illusion of safety.