Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Well, darn... changing attitude FAIL...

Sigh. Took myself for a one-mile walk, with my new attitude. What happened? I caught myself thinking: Walk like you're healthy, not like you're fat. AUGH!! I was three-quarters of the way home when I realized what I was doing. The rest of the way home, I chanted: Walk like you're healthy. STOP. So frustrating. I must admit that it was astonishing to note how my posture changed when I thought "Walk like you're healthy." I was surprised to realize that it felt completely different from "Walk like you're skinny." I didn't expect that.

I finished Carla Capshaw's The Champion. It's the third book in the Roman-set trilogy. She tells a good story that keeps me turning pages. And I love that uplifting feeling at the end. Give me HEA any day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Change of attitude...

...starts now.

I've been feeling discouraged with my REAL program. There's a comfort in knowing I'm not alone, and yet I also hurt for those who struggle with me. Yes, I feel like we're in this together. Various quarters are nattering on and on about the evils of obesity. I'm not sure if they realize the harm they are inflicting or if they are that sadistic. I've encountered both camps.

The other day, Kiki posted about renewing her attempt to become healthy. The Hardest Battle Like me, she's tired of not feeling good, and knows that weight is a direct correlation.

I feel better when I weigh less. I'll be perfectly honest I'm 80 lb overweight. I know it isn't healthy. I know my back would be much happier with less weight to support. I would love to be able to move more freely. I would love to be able to buy clothes off the rack again. I would be thrilled to fit into the closet full of clothes I have in smaller sizes... healthier sizes.

I am really tired of feeling so crumby all the time. That being said, my feeling crumby is not related entirely to my weight. My ability to exercise is limited, due to a couple of factors. I tore all the ligaments in my ankle when I was 18 years old. I did not receive the necessary medical attention, and was informed by my doctor, when I finally saw him, that I would have trouble for the rest of my life. As he warned, it caused a world of trouble down the road. Compensating for the injury messed up my back. My physical therapist for my back informed me that there are things I can never do again, running, roller coasters, horseback riding at anything faster than a walk. Actually, he told me I wasn't allowed on a horse, again, ever. Many people do not know how devastating that last one is to me. I figured a walk would be okay. I try not to think about it too much.

Upsi posted a great perspective on the need to be skinny. You Don't Have To Dance For Them It has changed my perspective. Until I read it, I hadn't realized how I was sabotaging myself. I thought I was being so supportive of myself when I chanted to myself, "Walk like you're skinny, not like you're fat."

Yes, did you see the nasty dig I was giving myself? So, starting this moment it's now "Walk like you're healthy." There's a long road ahead of me, but there's nothing new in that.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Carpe diem... sort of... I suppose...

I cleaned up several things that needed it. Shoulder is still bothering me, but from my last experience of bruising my other shoulder, the doctor warned me it would take six to eight weeks for it to be back to normal. With a heat advisory through Tuesday, I chose not to bake or defrost the fridge. I worked out some glitches I'd found in my work. I'm reading Carla Capshaw's latest Inspirational Historical Romance from Steeple Hill, The Champion, and love it! I've never been a fan of Roman period stories, but she tells a good story.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #67

~Unexpected blessings, and friends with which to share them.

~Shoulder is doing better.

~Friends and family making it through storms.

~Christian music that lifts my spirit.

~Good books.

Finished Lilian Darcy's The Mommy Miracle. It touched, quite unexpectedly, some tender spots.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Heroes... Glenn Beck

I can hear cheering and booing from those I know. No matter. He probably wouldn't be comfortable with the label, either, but he has influenced my life for the better, so I'm adding him to my list. I began listening to Glenn a year ago March. He was talking about "You have to stop lying, in all your dealings, especially to yourself." I really needed that reinforcement of what I was already working on. He also talked about history, rekindling an old love for history, especially American history. He's passionate, and so am I. It was a relief to hear someone go on a rant, besides me. I'm called rabid. I suspect he is, too. I call it passionate about the things I care about. I heard about Marcus Luttrell on Glenn's program, first. What an inspiration. I would not have found The Lone Survivor, otherwise. Listening to Glenn was about discovering I was not alone. Most unexpectedly, because of him, I unearthed a love and admiration for the military I never dreamed I possessed, except in the very secret places of my heart. The places no one could ridicule, because it was so well hidden. His gregariousness has given me the courage to interact more with others. His book The 7 came out precisely when I needed it. There was a week-long online program, with homework, following the book. I participated. It wasn't so much new to me as reinforcing important lessons I was in the process of learning. I think one of the things that cemented my admiration was watching one of his programs and then a short time later I saw a news program criticizing him. I try to be open minded, and then the reporter quoted what Glenn had said completely wrong. It wasn't even close to what had actually happened. It taught me to do my homework if I really cared to know, and to pick my battles. It was fun participating in the American Revival event with my nephew's wife and her sister. I've been inspired by the Restoring Honor and the Restoring Courage events. I've also discovered amazing people like David Barton and Pastor John Hagee and Rabbi Daniel Lapin and Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and Pastor Khoury and so many other remarkable, inspiring people. So, yes, Glenn Beck is one of my heroes for expanding my world for good and inspiring me to reach farther and believe in myself. He's made me laugh and made me cry and made me think.

A little bit more: I was uncertain as to whether or not I ought to choose Glenn, because I knew it would be controversial. I talked it over with my sister. She has commented, more than once, on how much I've changed since I started listening to Glenn, more outgoing, more sure of myself, more passionate in the things I care about. I also have a tendency to leave out important information, like the fact that he reminds me a bit of my last counselor. I started listening to Glenn a few months before my counselor informed me he would be leaving. My counselor had definite ideas, and I felt obligated to consider his opinion because he was my counselor. I also sometimes felt like I was falling short somehow. It was my perception not something he said. With Glenn, I recognized that he was an entertainer and wasn't any smarter than I was. I could disagree and not feel like I was missing some point that I needed to grasp to improve. With Glenn, I felt freer to form my own opinions and ideas, and I didn't feel guilty if I decided I didn't agree. With Glenn, I had automatic boundaries. There was no pressure to please or conform, no matter how adamant he was. What could he do? Did he really care about what I chose? He gave me new ideas to think about and because I didn't owe him anything, I felt like I had permission to explore what I really felt, believed, and thought. God bless him and those who work with him.

NASCAR Nationwide series ~ Carl came in 4th. Sprint Cup series ~ Carl came in 9th. However, he is 3rd overall. Yay! Go Carl!! Unfortunately, ABC decided to preempt the race for football. I'm not impressed. They are contracted to show only 3 races this year, and they preempted 1/3 of their contract. I love football. I do, but NASCAR trumps. And why couldn't they do a split screen or a screen within a screen? *pfft*

Friday, August 26, 2011

I needed to smile...

(Cute cat pictures were found on Funny Cat Photos gadget.)

"You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover's arms can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip". Jonathan Carroll, Outside the Dog Museum

This picture of Frodo is the free wallpaper I used on my desktop for years, when my screen was still square. It doesn't fit as nicely on my new screen, but I've saved the picture.

Sometimes, when I feel helpless, powerless, I wonder: "What can I do?" And then God sends this through someone:

The next time you feel like GOD can't use you, just remember...
Noah was a drunk
Abraham was too old
Isaac was a daydreamer
Jacob was a liar
Leah was ugly
Joseph was abused
Moses had a stuttering problem
Gideon was afraid
Samson had long hair and was a womanizer
Rahab was a prostitute
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
David had an affair and was a murderer
Elijah was suicidal
Isaiah preached naked
Jonah ran from God
Naomi was a widow
Job went bankrupt
Peter denied Christ
The Disciples fell asleep while praying
Martha worried about everything
The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once
Zaccheus was too small
Paul was too religious
Timothy had an ulcer...AND
Lazarus was dead!

What's your excuse?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Week Nine of REAL...

The 19th: weigh in: 238.6 lb. Only light stretching, today. Shoulder is incredibly sore. Crumbs.

The 20th: weigh in: 239.8 lb. One SEAL puppy rep. And I felt it. I did manage some restorative sleep. I was in bed by 9 p.m., last night, and yes, woke up periodically through the night. Before I messed up my back, I slept on my back. After I messed up my back, I could only sleep on my left side. Lucky me, the shoulder I messed up is my left. One-mile walk. Wow. Didn't expect my shoulder to hurt during that. More ibuprofen, please.

The 21st: weigh in: 237.8 lb. How that happened I do not know, and I'm not complaining.

The 22nd: weigh in: 238.4 lb. Who knew a shoulder could hurt so much on a one-mile walk. One SEAL puppy rep and more ibuprofen.

The 23rd: weigh in 238 lb.

The 24th: weigh in: 238.6 lb. One-mile walk. Took it easy yesterday, hoping it would help my shoulder. It didn't. It felt better, yesterday, with a light workout, so today, I did one SEAL puppy rep.

The 25th: weigh in: 239 lb. Waist circumference: 40.5". I feel better, today, ie, the shoulder isn't nearly as painful. I used Tylenol and was careful about my sleeping position. Reminder to self: I have to switch back and forth between Tylenol and ibuprofen, in order for them to remain effective. One SEAL puppy rep.

Diane Gaston's Valiant Soldier, Beautiful Enemy was in keeping with her usual excellence in writing historical romance that features members not of the aristocracy but of the "lower" class. The third book in her soldier trilogy follows Captain Gabriel Deane, a career soldier, from a family in trade. He shares a history with two other soldiers, saving a woman and her son from soldiers who murdered her husband and were intent on violating her. Gabe is captured by her spirit and beauty. Emmaline Mableau is devoted to her son, Claude, but cannot help but fall for the brave soldier who saved her life and that of her son, whom he saves not once but three times. My only complaint: It's over.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Healthy habits lost in childhood...

I've been reading various posts about how parents are trying to hurry their children along in their eating. At the same time, I'm listening to the harping about the obesity problems in America. Growing up, I remember the studies that showed that those who were skinny tended to eat more slowly. One of my friends was one of those skinny people, and she ate very slowly. I envied her ability to enjoy her food and stop when she was full. I never knew when I'd have food stolen off my plate, so I wolfed. And that leads into a whole other matter I do not want to delve into right this minute.

Do you remember when you had a 15-minute recess in the morning, a 40-minute lunch, and another 15-minute recess in the afternoon? I do. I did a lot of running around. I discovered I was inept at social games like kickball, basketball, volleyball, tetherball, jump rope... Yep, pretty much anything that required any coordination beyond running, and I was hopeless. Then running became a problem as well. I turned to dancing, not in a class, but school and church dances. I loved it. Then I tore all the ligaments in my ankle before I was 19 years old. And what a nightmare that started.

Be that as it may, when I was in elementary school, I used to run around outside with my friends. No one thought about kidnappings, not that it didn't happen. It simply wasn't a worry. Not going into the problems with child molesters, something else that no one talked about. I listen to people talk about the good old days, and think "where did you grow up? In a cave?" The awful things still happened, but the general belief was that as long as no one said anything, then everyone could pretend like everything was fine. There were just enough people who hadn't lived in a nightmare, to make those who did feel like anomalies. A sense that was reinforced by abusers to hide their perfidy.

Those alarm bells that went off in your head, regarding things that didn't seem right, were silenced by those who professed to know best, either out of misguidedness or malicious intent to deceive and lull into a false sense of safety. Curiosity is also squelched -- don't ask so many questions! -- encouraging one to believe whatever was said, again either a misguided demand or one with an ulterior motive.

When Jesus entreats us to become as little children it is not for us to become childish. A child will believe a truth or a lie if it is told by someone they trust. Instead, He is asking for us to trust in the truth He teaches, unwaveringly. He wants us to explore and ask questions. He wants us to throw our whole selves into joy. I'm working on it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Moving mountains...

The other night, I surfed across Joel O'Steen on TBN. He was talking about taking personal responsibilities for our problems. This is a concept I fully grasp. I've also accepted responsibility for everyone else's problems, which I'm struggling to learn not to do. He talked about speaking to our problems, as Jesus spoke to the winds to calm. I need a contract; so through God I trust that what I need will be given. I also need to stop hiding behind my weight, so in God I place my trust instead of in fat. Wow. Never thought of it quite like that before. I'll start there. As a fun side note, this morning, I took a page from this declaration process. When I picked up my work, the manager and I lamented the need for more work to pay the bills. (I really don't have a lot of bills, but I don't have a lot of work coming in right now, either.) We laughed, and I decided to be brave. I looked at her and smiled. "While we're dreaming: My book will sell, and I'll make enough money to cover my bills." Never underestimate the power of trusting God. No sale, but a new possibility presented.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Carpe diem... really?

Not one of my better days. I'm grateful for ibuprofen, though it's frustrating that it helps the shoulder pain, some, but not the headache. I want a new body! This one doesn't work! Wait, it doesn't work that way. Alas. I am on top of my assignments, but that's about it. Laundry was done. That's good. I'm enjoying the events of Restoring Courage.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #66

~Throughout history, wherever they went, the Jewish people have been told to go home. Now in their homeland they are being told, by the leaders of the world, to leave. And, their enemies promise to drive them into the sea. Israel has a right to exist. The Jewish people have a right to live. This is RESTORING COURAGE week in Jerusalem. And because I see history repeating itself, I must have courage and say that I STAND WITH ISRAEL.

~The opportunity to watch RESTORING COURAGE: COURAGE TO LOVE, with family.

~Friends who encourage me, and make me laugh.

~Books that lift me, and inspiring me.

~God who loves me, no matter what, including, and perhaps especially, when I'm lost in doubt.

NASCAR Nationwide, Carl came in seventh. Sprint Cup, alas, Carl finished 29 laps behind. It happens. He is fourth overall. At least next week's race will be televised. Yay!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Heroes... Israel

This was not an easy choice, and yet as I considered other possibilities, I kept coming back to it, so it seems to be my choice, today.

Growing up, one of my neighbors was Jewish. I'm certain she still is, but I've not seen her in years. My fault. I withdrew, from pretty much everyone. I've done that, from time to time, though not for almost ten years now. Be that as it may, she greatly influenced my life. I never heard her speak badly of anyone. She's a genuinely good person. She also spent a year in Israel. I was smart enough to ask her to tell me about it. Amazing. I also remember that she was my go-to person whenever I heard news about what was happening in Israel. I'd call her and make arrangements to meet and talk politics. I knew what the media reported, and suspected it was biased. I'd run it past her, and she would tell me about what actually happened, from what she knew while living there, and the media was decidedly biased against Israel. I wasn't surprised. My admiration of Israel started with my friend, but did not end there. The Jewish people gave me The Bible, and Jesus Christ, my Savior, was a Jew. I will be forever grateful. I admire Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. My prayers are for peace, though that doesn't look hopeful, at this point in time. I look to Israel for courage. If they can endure what they do, then surely I am able to endure what I must. They must fight for the right to simply exist, and fight for their right to protect their boarders. Something else I need to learn. I'm only one, and I'm not much, but for what it's worth, I stand with Israel.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Football is back!

I'm enjoying the pre-season games. Unfortunately, tonight the Cardinals are playing the Packers, my two favorite teams.

Work is done.

Homework is under control.

I'm reading Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans. It's a page turner.

The shoulder pain is excruciating. I'm doing careful stretches, and taking ibuprofen. I took a break from physical therapy and SEAL puppy reps. Hopefully, I feel well enough to do a little tomorrow. I miss it. Never thought I'd say that about an exercise routine.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Week Eight of REAL...

The 12th: weigh in: 240.6 lb. One SEAL puppy rep. Physical therapy, with no weights. Made bread. It's a workout, when you're not using a bread machine.

The 13th: weigh in: 242.2 lb. Sigh. Three SEAL puppy reps. Two-mile walk. Two more SEAL puppy reps. Made more bread. Yummy!

The 14th: weigh in: 242.4 lb. Not beating myself up. I know what this is about. A few more days, and my weight will drop back down, again.

The 15th: weigh in: 241.4 lb. Three SEAL puppy reps. One-mile walk. Two more SEAL puppy reps. Physical therapy with 1 lb weights.

The 16th: weigh in 239.8 lb. One SEAL puppy rep. Physical therapy, no weights.

The 17th: weigh in: 240.4 lb. Three SEAL puppy reps. One-mile walk. Two more SEAL puppy reps. Physical therapy with 1 lb weights. Looks familiar. Ate a little better, today.

The 18th: weigh in: 239.6 lb. Waist circumference: 40.5". One SEAL puppy rep. Physical therapy, no weights. Unfortunately, I did something to my left shoulder... okay, I was bringing in the groceries, few as there were, on Tuesday. I put all three bags in one hand. I felt the pull, and immediately thought: "That's gonna hurt." However, yesterday, I was fine. Today, I'm not. Ibuprofen helps, a little, for a short time. I thought I could do it. I've been "working out." Clearly, not enough. Reminder to self: Do not get cocky.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Prayers are answered...

I'm so happy for a dear friend who found a job to pay the bills. Now, I'm praying a better job is found, more suited to this person's skills.

Homework is up-to-date.

Friends who listen to those little whisperings of the Spirit and share exactly what I need in this moment.

Thanks God.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Living with anxiety...

It's worse, today. I have to talk myself into doing my grocery shopping. I had to give myself a pep talk to simply stop at my insurance agent's and pay my bill. They're really, really nice people. I have to push myself to go for walks alone. If I have a meeting to attend, I have to psych myself into it. On bad days, it doesn't matter what I say or do, sweet talk or threats, I don't make it out the door. It helps if I have a set schedule. Going to pick up work is a must, and I find a way. If I skip shopping one week, I may not make it the next week, either. Changing the day I go shopping adds to the anxiety. Change in my schedule is a nightmare. If I have time to think things through, and rebuild my schedule in my head, I'm able to manage, sometimes easily, sometimes not, but I do manage. An abrupt change and you might as well flush my day. I'll forget what I need to be doing until I'm able to re-establish a routine. I wouldn't wish this on anyone, and feel for those who have it worse than I do.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Carpe diem... been better...

REAL workout. Reading. Homework isn't finished, but it's planned for tomorrow morning, and due the day after. Brain is mostly not present, but should be back soon. Projects worked on.

NASCAR Watkins Glen had quite the race, this morning. Carl came in 13th, for which I was grateful, considering some of the crashes, which can be seen on NASCAR dot com. Everyone is okay, but wow. Carl is also now #2 in the Chase, but I can't complain about that, since there is still time. Go Carl!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #65

~Living lawn ornaments that provide hours of entertainment as they bounce on each other and attack unsuspecting leaves. (We have feral cats.)

~Organ donors and their families. The Burbank Leader

~Wonderful friends that enrich my life and make the world a better place simply by being in it.

~Delightfully cool family members who popped in for a visit. You know who you are. ;-D

~NASCAR Carl took fifth at Watkins Glen in Nationwide. Sprint Cup has been delayed until tomorrow, because of rain.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Heroes... Elena Desserich

Even the smallest person can change the course of the future. ~ Galadriel, Fellowship of the Rings

Will she change yours?


Friday, August 12, 2011

More odd bits and bobs...

I Book Buzz is an online book club, created by Jody. I like the idea of it being online, because it gives me the flexibility I need. Lucy Monroe, one of my favorite writers, posted about it on her blog. She writes romance novels. No surprise there. My library friend calls it romantica, as opposed to sweet. What I like about her books is that her protagonists accept personal responsibility; they're smart; they're strong; and they want healthy relationships.

I hate ads. I really hate the ads that show up in my Yahoo email. I'm willing to tolerate a few like Southwest Airlines, because I love SWA. I even click on it occasionally. That being said, there is a new one that has shown up that I absolutely love. I've watched it a dozen times. It features Shawn Flarida, a Western rider, who is sponsored by Ariat, boots, shoes, and belts. It shows him working with his Palomino. Gorgeous. I've often read about a horse and rider moving as one, but have rarely truly seen it, until now. Wow.

Ahhhh... the delicious smell of fresh baked bread permeating the air. Since I ran out of hamburger buns, I wondered if I could use my bread instead. Definitely. The loaf I'm currently using is the spot on size, so I'm thinking I'll slice it up and freeze it in single serving sizes, then take out what I need. This also means I'll be able to cut into one of those hot-out-of-the-oven loaves, after it cools long enough to slice cleanly. Yummy!

All my homework isn't done, but I still have until tomorrow night to finish.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Week Seven of REAL...

The 5th: weigh in: 243 lb. Oops. Only four hours sleep, last night. Three SEAL puppy reps. Physical therapy with 1 lb weights. Two more SEAL puppy reps. Breakfast was CIA with banana and blueberry, and yes I use chocolate flavor. I discovered that chocolate and blueberries are really yummy when a friend gave me a variety of Dagoba chocolate bars. It's when I discovered that lavender could be a yummy food ingredient.

The 6th: weigh in: 242.8 lb. Only slept 5-1/2 hours, but woke energized and ready to start the day. Two SEAL puppy reps. Two-mile walk. Physical therapy with 1 lb weights. Three more SEAL puppy reps.

The 7th: weigh in: 240.8 lb.

The 8th: weigh in: 238.8 lb. Three SEAL puppy reps, one-mile walk, two more SEAL puppy reps, and physical therapy with one-pound weights.

The 9th: weigh in 239.4 lb. One SEAL puppy rep. Oddly enough, I woke with a stiff, sore ankle. This is usually what happens when I haven't been walking regularly, so I don't know what's up with this. Nope, didn't do physical therapy, but did make bread, with no bread machine. I love kneading bread. There's something incredibly therapeutic about it.

The 10th: weigh in: 239 lb. Three SEAL puppy reps. Physical therapy with 1 lb weights. Two more SEAL puppy reps. One-mile walk. I made three batches of biscotti, today, almond with chocolate chips, lavender with chocolate chips, and lemon with chocolate chips.

The 11th: weigh in: 239.6 lb. Waist circumference: 40-1/2". No change, but I feel better. However, that could be the result of my stay-cation. :-)

Baked cookies, today, my favorite chocolate chip cookies. I've been baking on stoneware for years, I mean years and years. I haven't used a metal pan for baking since I discovered Pampered Chef's stoneware. Honestly, some of their products are overpriced and essentially useless unless you're really into using specific tools for specific tasks. That being said, I truly love the stoneware. Today, I decided to not crowd my cookies so I could fit them all on the pans I have. There were five leftover cookies. What could it hurt to use a metal pan for five cookies? Was there really a difference? Absolutely! Never, ever using a metal baking sheet again, ever. The cookies look different and taste different.

While I was at it, I made my own brown sugar blending white sugar and molasses. It is not the same. I don't know what molasses the brown sugar companies are using, but it isn't what I was able to buy in the store. Now I have sugar that looks like brown sugar but tastes like molasses. Sigh. I'm disappointed in the outcome, though I'll try it in my next batch of cookies to see how they turn out. I love experimenting with food.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A much needed bit of fun...

One of my friends sent me this list in an email:


Here is the definition: "Figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently used in a humorous situation."

"Where there's a will, I want to be in it," is a type of paraprosdokian.

Ok, so now enjoy!

1. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

3. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

6. War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

8. Evening news is where they begin with 'Good Evening,' and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

9. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

10. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

11. I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.

12. Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, 'In case of emergency, notify:' I put 'DOCTOR.'

13. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

14. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

15. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

16. A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.

17. I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

18. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

19. Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

20. There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.

21. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.

22. You're never too old to learn something stupid.

23. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

24. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

25. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

26. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

27. A diplomat is someone who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you look forward to the trip.

28. Hospitality is making your guests feel at home even when you wish they were.

29. I always take life with a grain of salt. Plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.
29a. I added for us non-drinkers: I always take life with a grain of salt. And French fries.

30. When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day of mourning...

Today is a day of mourning in Israel, so I pray with them.

I am also still in mourning for the troops lost this past weekend, as they are brought home to rest, and I pray for their loved ones.

As dear friends struggle with worries about work, injuries, illness, and other concerns, I pray they find work, healing, strength, and courage.

God is a God of miracles. There are those who wonder where God is in all this turmoil. I look about me and ask, "Where isn't He? As He sends peace to a troubled soul, comfort to the sorrowful, courage to the fighter, strength to those who must endure, and love in every shape and from, filling a heart in any way we will allow Him." He created individuals, and it is as individuals we are blessed. Even when I'm in a group setting, the effect is on me; others may share in it, but it is still individual. Jesus touched one life at a time. God is God, the same, always and forever. And what a precious blessing to be allowed to share in His plan to help others. I've been blessed by a myriad of angels on earth, angels to me anyway, for they have touched my heart for good.

"To love another person is to see the face of God." ~ Les Mis.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Carpe diem... definitely...

All caught up on homework, for now. Finished my reading assignment for Kris Tualla. Side note, the gorgeous man on the cover of Loving the Knight, by Kris Tualla, is cover model Jimmy Thomas. I'd buy the book for the cover alone. ♥ I've been working on a couple of projects as well. Called the insurance company, as needed. I think I'm staying on top of everything that needs to be done right now, and I think I'm up to date on the blogs I follow (added a couple this weekend). Only one more week of my stacation. I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Have I mentioned that I love listening to the Christian station K-Love? I do. Keep breathing.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #64

~Internet and television. I was able to watch the program for the day of fasting and prayer online. Then, by happy chance - a God incident - I discovered that America's Night of Hope, in Chicago, was broadcast on TBN, and I watched that too.

~Dayspring. I signed up for their devotions once, when I was sending one of their ecards. Periodically, a devotional comes to my box, and always cheer me. This was today's: GOD RECYCLES. He made you out of dust. Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

~Every day, I am grateful for and pray for our military. May God bless them.

~Peace and quiet, and time to catch up.

~NASCAR Carl is staying with Roush Fenway Racing. Yay! In the Nationwide series, Carl came in a stunning second. Thank goodness for highlights! After a lengthy rain delay, Carl came in 7th in the Sprint Cup series, but still holds to 1st in the overall standings. Whoohoo!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day of Fasting and Prayer

The governor of Texas, Rick Perry, called for a day of fasting and prayer, today. I decided that though I do not live in Texas and cannot attend the event, I wanted to participate here at home. It lifts my spirit to know that I am sharing a moment with thousands of others. It seems a sadly appropriate day with the loss of 30 U.S. special operation troops and a military canine and seven Afghan commandos and an Afghan interpreter to rocket fire by terrorists. I do not know why the military holds such a special place in my heart, because I certainly wasn't taught this. Perhaps it is the thought that there are people out there who not only believe in protecting freedom, they are willing to die for their belief. My prayers are with those families and loved ones; I cannot imagine their loss. My gratitude, for what it's worth, is immeasurable. May God comfort and strengthen them.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I need a vacation...

A park I visit, as often as possible, when visiting my friends, in California.

Breath in. breath out.

Okay, back to work.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Week Six of REAL...

The 29th: weigh in: 239.8 lb. Two SEAL puppy reps. Physical therapy with 1 lb weights. Ate okay throughout the day, but had a few crackers before bed, which I don't usually do. My excuse was that I'd heard it was good to have a little something about an hour before bed. Not for me. My tummy wasn't happy. Live and learn. Fretted all day. Hate when I do that.

The 30th: weigh in: 240.8 lb. Two SEAL puppy reps. One-mile walk. Two more SEAL puppy reps. Physical therapy with 1 lb weights.

The 31st: weigh in: 241.8 lb. :-(


The 1st: weigh in: 241.6 lb. Upward and onward. Two SEAL reps. One-mile walk. Two more SEAL reps. Physical therapy with 1 lb weights. It has occurred to me that I ought to mention one of the other changes I've noticed since starting this program. It's important. Since I thoroughly messed up my back, sitting on the floor is a nightmare. It's incredibly difficult to make it down to the floor, and almost impossible to make it back up. I feel very like a hippopotamus, ungainly, unsightly, uncoordinated. Pathetic. I'm still not able to make it down and up again all by myself, but I am able to do so with something to steady myself -- a chair will do -- without much difficulty. Whoohoo!! Who'd've thought I'd be cheering about being able to sit on the floor?

The 2nd: weigh in 241.6 lb. Two SEAL puppy reps. Physical therapy, without weights.

The 3rd: weigh in: 241.6 lb. Two SEAL puppy reps. One-mile walk. Two more SEAL puppy reps. Physical therapy, with 1 lb weights. I'm not sleeping much more than five or six hours a night. This does not bode well, overall. I go to bed, but then lay there, thinking.

The 4th: weigh in: 241.2 lb. Waist circumference: 40-1/2". Well, the weight is up a little, but the waist circumference is down another half inch. I'll take it!! Did one SEAL puppy rep.

I received this in an email, years ago, and have never forgotten it:

A friend of mine sent this to me and I just HAD to pass it along to all of you!

I'm not sending you this picture of an overdose victim for shock value. Rather, it's in the hope that all of you that are on my list will hopefully have a frank discussion with your friends about respecting moderation, knowing their limits, and knowing when to just walk away. When you view the picture, remember, this did not have to happen....

All these years later, and it still makes me laugh. :-)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

More bits and bobs...

Am I jinxed? I'm sorting through papers, today. I unearthed one of my notes to myself about the cost of a house, including all the little things like taxes, utilities, etc. Every single time I start making plans, by saving, to buy a house, something happens with my job, and I'm living off those savings.

I don't know why I'm feeling so scattered, but I am.

Saved a spider, today. Rescued it from the doomed front bath, where there are no bugs for it to eat. A cup, a piece of paper, and nerves of steel, and the creepy crawly is now back outside, where it belongs.

Spent several hours working on assignments from online classes.

Finished reading the first book for Kris Tualla, and will start the second. Under a timeline; I'm not worried about completing the task on time. She has some amazing turns of phrase.

Worked on a couple of other projects, as well.

Reading a couple of books by authors new to me. I'm still reading The Warrior Elite. I'm trying to own better health, which starts with eating better and finding exercise I actually enjoy. The SEAL puppy reps are kind of fun, because I can actually do them.

Today, someone gushed to me about this book they were reading called "The Obesity Myth." I was quite proud of myself for successfully refraining from screaming: "I would weigh less, if I weren't trying to hide from insensitive I-know-what-you-need-if-you-would-listen-to-me types." *pfft* Actually, I took a look at it, over at Amazon, and there isn't anything there I didn't already know from reading it in various articles. The book was published in 2004. I hope the person who recommended it takes it to heart and benefits from it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Am I willing to stand?

Trevor Loudon's New Zeal blog posted Debbie Lee's "Courage to Stand, Courage to Sacrifice," a tribute to her son, who died on August 2, 2006. I added him to my list of heroes, last Saturday.

I've been investigating a variety of charities/foundations, trying to find one to support, because I want to do more. Being underemployed and car-less makes it a bit difficult. Being the optimist I am, I'm busily narrowing down my preference, so that when I'm gainfully employed again I'll be able to start contributing. In the meantime, I periodically send a card from Let's Say Thanks, compliments of Xerox. I email my Congressmen, despite feeling like it's pointless. And I'm working on a few other things. Still, I feel like there's something I should be doing that I'm not. So, I'll keep searching.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Carpe diem... yes... in my eyes...

I was up with the alarm. I exercised. On the first of each month, Harlequin has their newest books available. You can purchase them from their website, a month in advance. They also tell you what's coming, up to two months in advance. I keep a list. I started this when I discovered I purchased the same book three times. It also helps me avoid buying from my No-list, and ensures I don't miss my Yes-list Harlequin authors. I worked on tightening up a few things, and making sure I'm caught up. I've been reading a book for Kris Tualla. She has some marvelous turns of phrase, and I'm thoroughly enjoying the story. I've also started a month-long online class, with Laurie Schnebly Campbell. I've been privileged to know both these remarkable women. And my sister dropped by, so we had a chance to do a little chatting, after she was away on vacation. Reading over this, clearly my brain is a bit fried. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I accomplished quite a bit, so I'll take that and be grateful.