Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Heroes... Sgt. Dennis Weichel...

Greater love hath no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friend... or a child....

May God bless his family and his own children. May they grow up knowing their daddy chose to do good because it's who he was, not because it would look good or gain him anything.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/03/hero-u-s-soldier-gives-life-to-save-afghan-girl/

I don't think he expected it to end that way. Even in that moment, I imagine he was sure he could make it. He did what he felt was right, and I pray his own family his blessed beyond measure and assured he isn't far from them.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Heads up: Blogger problems...

So you know, it seems Blogger is being persnickety. It will let me post on my blog, but it won't let anyone comment. I'm betting it's related to Google's new policies kicking in. Lesson: Change does not mean better, and change for the sake of change is short-sighted. Plan ahead as much as you're able. To my Blogger friends, I'm reading your blogs, and my lack of a comment is nothing to do with you and all to do with Blogger.

God bless.

A to Z blog fest...

One of my writing and FaceBook friends, Sharon Hamilton, is participating in the A to Z blog challenge. Here's the link to the challenge:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/2012-to-z-challenge-sign-up-list.html

I'm not signing up officially, because I know I don't have time to do the whole checking other blogs thing. I have quite a list already.

Sharon is planning to do her A to Z on being grateful, and I decided to accept her challenge as my own. So, for the month of April, I will endeavor to share things I'm grateful for, one letter at a time. Should be interesting.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Week Forty of REAL...

Reminders: REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S:
500 yard swim using breast and/or sidestroke 12.5 minutes 10 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 42 push-ups 2 minutes 2 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 50 sit-ups 2 minutes 2 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 6 pull-ups No time limit 10 minute rest
Run 1.5 miles wearing boots and long pants 11.5 minutes

Here's the link if you're interested in the whole thing: http://navyseal.s5.com/requirements.html

RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. This week, I try to increase by 10%. I've worked up to 18.

The 23rd: weigh in: 232.8 lb. Yesterday ended up being a feast day. It was yummy. Thanks, Ruth! I was stuffed by the end of the day, and I learned some things about my eating habits, my eating preferences, and what I will be planning for myself starting, today. I'm liking the habit of eating every three hours, eating a little bit, and scheduling what i'll be eating throughout the day. So, along that line, Carnation Instant Breakfast, hamburger, yogurt and blueberries, crackers, hot chocolate. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep.

The 24th: weigh in: 231 lb. One-mile walk and physical therapy using 1-lb weights. Carnation Instant Breakfast, homemade pizza, yogurt and blueberries, toast, hot chocolate.

The 25th: weigh in: 232 lb. Crackers, pizza, cookies, yogurt and blueberries (yes, I'm really liking it), sandwich, chips, Dove ice cream bar. It was family dinner, and I actually did pretty well. I didn't go back for seconds. I didn't nibble. I served myself, and ate only what was on my plate. That is huge for me. I ate about half of what I usually do on these occasions. It's also the 25th, which requires a nod to Frodo for destroying the Ring, the bravest hobbit in the Shire.

The 26th: weigh in: 231 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Carnation Instant Breakfast and a croissant, hamburger, cookies, yogurt and blueberries, toast, hot chocolate.

The 27th: weigh in 230.2 lb. One-mile walk. Physical therapy, with 1-lb weights. Carnation Instant Breakfast, pbnj sandwich, apple and cheese, cookies, and dinner at Monti's with Desert Rose, which means chicken noodle soup, salad, and rosemary bread. Yummy.

The 28th: weigh in: 230.2 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Grilled cheese sandwich, pasta and chicken, apple, cookies, hot chocolate.

The 29th: weigh in: 230.2 lb. Waist circumference: 39". One-mile walk. Physical therapy, with 1-lb weights. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, croissant from P.Croissant (yummy!), spaghetti and meatballs, apple, yogurt with blueberries, hot chocolate. I'm not too worried about the same weight for three days in a row, better than going up, and less than when I started this week. The fit of my clothes has definitely changed, for the better. Whoohoo!!

Inspiration, at least to me:


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Truth/Lies...

The Devil will tell 100 truths to sell you a single lie.

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist.

When fear knocks on the door, answer with faith!

Perfect love casteth out fear. I'm not perfect. Perfect love is God. God casts out fear.

Truth does not stay hidden. You can burn it, bury it, lie about it, but truth is light, and it will always shine through the darkness, no matter how dark it is or how long it takes. Never forget: God has a sense of humor, and He has an interesting way of balancing justice and mercy.

British poet William Cowper said, “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.”

The adversary will whisper, "You're alone. No one cares." The truth is: God cares, and you are never alone. God cares so much He allowed His only Begotten Son to be crucified on the cross for you. Jesus suffered in Gethsemane for all the sins of the world. He knows what it is to be tempted, to hunger, to feel alone. He understands pain to a depth we can never imagine. He has walked the path, so He understands us perfectly. I've felt alone and lonely, even knowing God is there, but I knew I could never say He wasn't there, not without lying. In that, I haven't lied in over twenty years and counting.

FaceBook has it's benefits:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blessing Basket...

Stephanie Burkhart's A Polish Heart is a sweet romance was interesting, and held together from beginning to end. Darrin and Sofia are perfect for each other. I finished feeling satisfied and uplifted. I also decided I wanted to make my own Blessing Basket for Easter, this year.

I'm not Catholic or Slovak, but I enjoyed the Easter Basket as a child, and have missed it as an adult. It was something special to physically mark the significance of the day. I also wanted to be able to create something to help me create a deeper intentional celebration of the Fulfilling of Jesus Christ's mission on earth.

Last Monday, I decided I'd do my homework, to learn what I needed to start a new tradition. "Ask and ye shall receive." Tiffany Aller, Yahoo! Contributor Network, wrote and posted an article titled The Blessing of the Baskets: A Catholic (Slovak) Easter Tradition. I checked the links included, and they don't work, just so you know.

http://voices.yahoo.com/the-blessing-baskets-catholic-slovak-easter-tradition-243986.html

Then I found another link:

http://saindy.com/easter-baskets/

For myself, so far, I've gathered a little wooly lamb (stuffed animal), a vanilla candle, a Dove Fairy Bunny, an Easter Egg plate (since I'm allergic to eggs), bacon, basket with ribbons and bows, salt, and butter. I still need to add bread and cheese, and I'm thinking maybe a sparkling "wine" and maybe chocolate eggs. Chocolate is always good. :-)

I finished Second Chance Match by Arlene James, a Chatam House series book, and loved it! I love the whole series. Arlene James is on my must read list.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Carpe diem... Fontana...

...the NASCAR race in California was rained out, but after it was more than half finished, so Tony Stewart was declared the winner, since he was in first place, when the race was stopped due to rain. Carl was in fifth. Yay!

I'm reading SEAL of Honor, a chapter at a time. It's all I can handle. So heartbreaking, and yet, I feel a sense of strength and courage, and wish I could do something to honor our warriors. At this point, I'm still trying to wrap my mind around what these men represent: Honor, courage, strength, integrity, commitment, sacrifice. God bless them, and those who love them.

Today's goals:

Read another chapter.

Laundry.

Write.

Other reading.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #96

~Brandon Heath's GIve Me Your Eyes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGr8as7pPBE The lyrics are posted below the video.

~A/C... yes, it's already that time of year around here.

~My dad bought several lavender plants, and we're hoping at least one makes it.

~Though it was a rough week for my sister, I was so glad I was able to help. My exercise routine made it possible to do so without adverse effects, i.e., no back trouble the next day.

~Books and friends.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My Heroes... Abigail Adams...

What a remarkable woman. She was educated, ie, read everything she could find. Thanks to her father, she had access to all his books. She fought against slavery and for women's rights. She was John Adam's wife. Yes, she was the second First Lady of the United States of America.

I first became aware of her thanks to the movie 1776. Awesome musical. It actually did pretty well sticking close to the historical facts. I was loved the interaction between Abigail and John. My favorite line in the movie was when John was berating himself, pointing out all his flaws, and Abigail asks, "Do you think so little of me that you believe I could love the man you just described?" Wow.

Then I read Those Who Love by Irving Stone, which is a fictionalized historical account of John and Abigail Adams' lives. And John and Abigail Adams became my favorite historical couple.

She also became one of my heroes. I wanted to be someone who never backed down from a challenge. Even if it failed, she didn't let it beat her. She kept moving forward. I know I'm where I am, today, in part because I tried to be more like her. I am a better person because of what I chose to learn from her.

Friday, March 23, 2012

What doesn't show up on FaceBook...

Believing in redistributing wealth means you believe Judeo-Christian beliefs are wrong. You can't be Judeo-Christian and believe in redistributing wealth.

Socialism, communism, fascism are all ideologies of men, not God.

Why?

These philosophies of men break God's Commandments.

Thou shalt have no other God's before me.

Demanding equal stuff means you worship stuff. Why don't they demand equal spirituality?

Thou shalt not bear false witness.

Stating that what someone else has earned belongs to you, even if it's to give it to someone else, is a lie. I have to admit, it's one of the adversary's better lies. You aren't taking it for yourself; you're giving it to someone less fortunate. It's still a lie. It isn't yours to take or to give. Who died and made you God? And I mean that most sincerely.

Thou shalt not covet.

This one seems pretty obvious to me, but it seems it isn't to those touting this trash. I know, I know. It isn't for me; it's for someone else who is less fortunate. So, you are culpable in helping someone else break one of the Ten Commandments. How the adversary must laugh.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, might, mind, and strength.

Not love stuff.

Love thy neighbor as thy self.

You would really go into your neighbor's home and take all their stuff and give it away to the less fortunate? You'd let your neighbor do that to you?

Logistics: When looking at the poor of the world, if you are going to truly redistribute the wealth, then you will no longer have a computer, car, cellphone, refrigerator, microwave, indoor plumbing, hot running water, or a room of your own, let alone a house of your own. You will live in a shack, if you are lucky. Kiss your makeup, gaming devices, nice clothes, and daily showers in hot water good-bye. Count yourself lucky if the water is clean.

What? That isn't what you meant? Where do you draw the line? Again, who died and made you God?

When the rich man asked Jesus what more he needed to do, Jesus told him to give everything away and come follow him.

Are you going to give everything away AND follow Jesus?

Some make that choice.

Jesus gave a choice.

When the rich man walked away, Jesus did not hunt him down and take all his riches and give it away for him. He left the man to choose for himself. The man may have made a different choice somewhere down the road. We don't know what happens to him at the end of things. We have a snapshot in time.

Jesus doesn't even condemn him. He states that it's difficult for a rich man to enter heaven, but it isn't impossible. When Jesus talks about the eye of a needle, he isn't talking about a sewing needle. If you check the historical origins of the saying, Jesus is referring to the man-size gates into Jerusalem. A man could pass through easily, but not a camel, but a camel could pass through. It would have to be stripped down, and essentially crawl through. Difficult, but not impossible.

Jesus promised there would always be poor among us. The question is do we live with grace and dignity or do we wallow in self-pity and lusting after what others have, instead of being grateful for what we do have? Do we share as we are able? And no, you do not have the right to decide for someone else what they are able to give. You are not God, and He hasn't even asked you to judge your neighbor's ability to judge. In fact, He has stated that you are not to judge, without realizing that you will be held to the same judgement.

Now, a reality check: The current debt of the American economy is larger than all the wealth we possess. So, even if we taxed everyone, every single person, rich and poor, 100% it wouldn't pay for everything.

So what to do?

Me? I'm endeavoring to turn to God. I cannot control anything beyond my little sphere, but I am aware of what's going on, and I focus my prayers accordingly. When an opportunity arises for me to do something, usually something small, I try to grasp onto it and do it. And I do not deceive myself that a government comprised of men and women, a giant committee, is capable of doing anything well, except the smallest of chores, and then it still needs to be watched with care and vigilance.

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.
~William J. H. Boetcker, pamphlet entitled "The Ten Cannots" 1916

Stepping off the soapbox, for now.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Week Thirty-Nine of REAL...

Reminders: REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S:
500 yard swim using breast and/or sidestroke 12.5 minutes 10 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 42 push-ups 2 minutes 2 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 50 sit-ups 2 minutes 2 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 6 pull-ups No time limit 10 minute rest
Run 1.5 miles wearing boots and long pants 11.5 minutes

Here's the link if you're interested in the whole thing: http://navyseal.s5.com/requirements.html

RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. This week, I try to increase by 10%. I've worked up to 17.

The 16th: weigh in: 229.6 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk, in 38 minutes. SEAL puppy rep. Homemade hamburger, potato, yogurt with blueberries, bagel, hot chocolate.

The 17th: weigh in: 229.2 lb. One-mile walk. Physical therapy, with 1-lb weights. Carnation Instant Breakfast, potato and chicken, apple and cheese, bagel, yogurt with blueberries, and hot chocolate. Even if I don't strictly follow what I plan to eat, I do much better than if there is no plan at all. I know, funny how that works. Yes, that was snarky, because I've often read about the importance of menus, but when I followed the common plan, I always failed. This time, I'm doing it my way, and it seems to be working. As I've mentioned on several occasions, food is a huge issue for me, on so many levels.

The 18th: weigh in: 228.6 lb. Crackers, potatoes and beef, yogurt and blueberries, hot chocolate, with an apple and cheese as my extra option if I want it.

The 19th: weigh in: 228 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk, in 40 minutes. SEAL puppy rep. Crackers, hamburger, cookies, yogurt with blueberries, hot chocolate. Tired, but not an unusual state for me to be in this time of the month.

The 20th: weigh in 226.4 lb. One-mile walk. Physical therapy, with 1-lb weights. Carnation Instant Breakfast, bread, peach pie, potatoes, yogurt and blueberries, crackers, hot chocolate. Simply trying to stay on top of things.

The 21st: weigh in: 227 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Ham and cheese sandwich, peach pie, yogurt and blueberries, crackers, hot chocolate. Took a look in the mirror, today. I'm definitely losing weight. Funnily enough, I don't like how I look. Before, I was a few round balls smoothly squished all together. Now, I'm a bunch of smaller round balls squished together. Having created that delightful picture in your mind, I'm thrilled to be able to bend over and tie my shoes without my tummy getting in the way! Whoohoo!

The 22nd: weigh in: 228.2 lb. Waist circumference: 29". One-mile walk. Physical therapy, with 1-lb weights. Ham sandwich, hot chocolate and chocolate croissant, crackers, yogurt and blueberries, and apple. We'll see how the day goes. I'm pleased with the progress.

Inspiration, at least to me:


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Desert Rose Writer's Conference 2012...

Hurry! The registration deadline for the Desert Dreams Writer's Conference has changed to March 31st. You have 10 more days, and counting.

http://www.desertroserwa.org/conferences/Phoenix-Romance-Writers-Conferences.php

Friday-Saturday, April 27-29, 2012

Chaparral Suites
Scottsdale, Arizona

Keynote Speakers:
* NY Times Best Selling Author Allison Brennan
* Martha Alderson, AKA The Plot Whisperer
* NY Times Best Selling Author Bob Mayer

Desert Dreams Writers’ Conference provides authors of all skill levels – from beginner to multi-published – with the tools necessary to take their writing to the next level. Sessions will include general writing, career development, genre-specific, agent/publisher spotlights, as well as an agent/editor panel. There will also be one-on-one appointments with editors or agents, a book signing, and keynote addresses. Check out our roster of acquiring editors and agents along with our keynote speakers and workshops. Did you miss the 2010, 2008, or 2006 conferences? Order workshop conference CDs and MP3s.

Conference registration includes:

Workshops Friday afternoon and all day Saturday
Two-hour workshop Sunday morning
One-on-one appointment with editor/agent (based on time of registration and availability)
Friday evening mixer
Dinner and keynote address on Friday
Editor/Agent panel
Saturday luncheon
Participation in Saturday book signing
Saturday evening dinner and brainstorming session

And so much more.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

For Our Son and For This Cause blog....

Mr. Vaughn said much of what I'm thinking, but with a whole lot more information that I have.

http://forourson.us/blog.html

May God bless our troops, and their families.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Carpe diem... Bristol...

Sigh... Carl's car was taken out on lap 24. He ended up finishing #39 out of 43. Sad. Sad. Sad.

Laundry.

Work.

Reading.

I want to create a Blessing Basket for Easter, so part of the day will be spent with pen and paper in hand, making plans.

This was found in my Funny Cat photos widget:


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #95

~Casting Crowns Until the Whole World Hears http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xzr9VUfExI&feature=related

~Spring is in the air. It's still deliciously cool at night, and pleasant during the day.

~Books that lift and inspire.

~Friends that lift and inspire.

~I really enjoyed this article by Lorraine Murray about how the adversary sabotages Lent: http://www.georgiabulletin.org/local/2012/03/15/murray/ Or any effort on our part to do good, for that matter.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Heroes... Go Getters...

Nikon Sniper shared this story several weeks ago.

http://www.pulaskicountydaily.com/news.php?viewStory=3236

Wow! Never in a million years would I think of doing what this woman has done. God bless her, and all those like her. There are days when I wish I had this kind of courage, but I don't. Then again, I don't have the health to do this kind of thing, so perhaps I've simply tailored my interests to what meets my physical capabilities.

If you're interested in the movie "Act of Valor," but haven't decided whether or not you want to see it yet, Kim's SOS Aloha has a great review.

http://sosaloha.blogspot.com/2012/03/veterans-movie-review-act-of-valor.html

Kim's blog reviews books, including interviewing authors. It's fun.

Friday, March 16, 2012

More on clutter....

w posted this link under the comments section regarding my frustration with Google and FaceBook. http://paulgraham.com/ambitious.html

I found it fascinating. Although I didn't understand all of it, because I'm not into computereze, except what I need to get by, but most of it was an interesting exploration of possibilities.

It was brought up how the Google search engine has become not only cluttered but too encumbered by a desire to please the current user.

I quit "googling" anything a few years ago because I didn't like the extra "help," and you're right about it not having the clean, sparse feel anymore. I actually found it was hampering my research, giving me what it "thought" I wanted. A bit narcissistic, now I think about it. I mean, Google treats me as if I'm narcissistic. Everything must be related to me.

I started using Yahoo search exclusively, and then it started being "helpful," too, though not quite as bad. A friend introduced me to http://www.goodsearch.com/. On the rare occasion I want "help," I'll use Yahoo. Otherwise, I use Good Search, which is actually powered by Yahoo, but it doesn't "help" me.

Confession, I like the new Google look if I'm using a theme tailored for it. However, I'm about to lose all those cute themes I've been switching around. I suppose the tailored themes will increase with use, but will my favorites be adapted? I know the most popular ones will be, but many of my favorites are ones I had to hunt down.

I realize change is inevitable, but it isn't always for the better, and it's ridiculous to change for the sake of changing.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Week Thirty-Eight of REAL...

Reminders: REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S:
500 yard swim using breast and/or sidestroke 12.5 minutes 10 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 42 push-ups 2 minutes 2 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 50 sit-ups 2 minutes 2 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 6 pull-ups No time limit 10 minute rest
Run 1.5 miles wearing boots and long pants 11.5 minutes

Here's the link if you're interested in the whole thing: http://navyseal.s5.com/requirements.html

RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. This week, I try to increase by 10%. I've worked up to 16. My physical therapy (exercises given to me by my physical therapist for my back problems) reps are up to 44.

The 9th: weigh in: 231.8 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk, in 39 minutes. SEAL puppy rep. Note to self: Remember to share food. For example: Potatoes were on sale. Great deal. Not if I end up throwing some away because I can't eat through them fast enough. Instant potatoes are so much better when you're cooking for only one.

The 10th: weigh in: 232.6 lb. But I ate better, yesterday! Oh, wait. I stressed a bit, yesterday. Stress creates cortisol. Cortisol is a weight adder. I enjoyed an easy one-mile walk, this morning, breaking in my new L.A. Gear shoes. Physical therapy.

The 11th: weigh in: 231.8 lb. I took myself for an easy one-mile walk this morning. It wasn't for the fresh air. I live in the city. The weather was pleasant enough. More people are out and about, so I find myself having to interact more, which is a little stressful for me. I'm feeling restless. I'd hoped the walk would help calm me. It didn't. The one benefit I can point to is I talked myself out of preparing eggs for breakfast. I love eggs. I'm also allergic to eggs. I've been known to take an allergy pill first, so I can have the eggs. Wouldn't it be better to simply avoid them? Yes, but I really want the eggs. There is something else going on, and I don't know what it is. A lot of times, for me, it's a sense of something coming. So, buckle up, buttercup.

The 12th: weigh in: 230 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk, in about 40 minutes. SEAL puppy rep. Eating: Didn't do well.

The 13th: weigh in 229.8 lb. Okay, I did horrible on eating, today. Not going there. Having admitted it, I'm only half way through the day at the time of this writing. The rest of the day will be better. I read an article last week about how we wash our hair too much, stripping it of the oil it needs to be healthy. It suggested only washing your hair twice a week. I thought, "Why not give it a try for a month." I've barely made it a week. Going back to washing more often, though not every day. Haven't done that for years. I simply don't feel like I'm properly taking care of myself. I'll be more careful about using less shampoo, but this time, I'm disagreeing with the experts... oh, like I never do that... only all the time. :-) Living and learning what works for me and what doesn't. Physical therapy, with 1-lb weights. Shoot. I'm having trouble adjusting to Daylight Savings Time. We don't actually go on DST, but the weather is only going to grow hotter, so I figure I might as well start shifting my walk time to earlier in the day, along with the rest of the country. Overslept, this morning. Hate that. I end up feeling behind the rest of the day.

The 14th: weigh in: 231 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk in 38 minutes. SEAL puppy rep. Reflecting on yesterday, I realized why I ate badly. I'm feeling out of control. Some things have been happening that have left me feeling trapped. Eating is my escape. Not a healthy one. I know it. Today, I'm starting over. I've tried the eating every four hours, and it hasn't gone well, but I was still in the "meals" mode. I'm going to try something different, today. I'm going to eat every three hours, one thing. I started the morning with Carnation Instant Breakfast. Bagel. Yogurt with blueberries. Potato with beef. Hot chocolate. With an apple for a snack in there somewhere. We'll see how I do by the end of the day. It went well.

The 15th: weigh in: 231.4 lb. Waist circumference: 29 ". One-mile walk, and physical therapy, with 1-lb weights. I'm going to try eating every three hours again, only one or two things. It will be about the same amount of food, maybe less, than I would have eaten if I'd prepared meals.

Inspiration, at least to me:




And Happy Birthday, Jimmy!! The world is definitely a better place. :-)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Follow up on last Friday's post...

I've done a little more homework.

The original video was released in 2006. Did you know the monster left Uganda? He hasn't been seen in six years. He may even be dead.

Let's say he's still alive, and it is arranged for some government to kill him. Did you know US troops were sent to Uganda? Quite a while ago? The information I've seen coming out of Uganda is that this monster isn't a problem there anymore. In fact, this whole campaign is hurting them because they're trying to heal from it, but this video is ripping off the scab, not to clean the wound but because it serves someone else's agenda.

Let's pretend he's alive, and someone manages to hunt him down and kill him. Then what?

Hitler died, but still the Nazi party lives on.

Stalin and Mao are dead, but Communism lives on.

Binladen was killed. Al quida continues, and has been taken into the fold of the Taliban.

Che is dead, and people wear his face on their tshirt. The same with Mao and Stalin and Hitler. Millions died at their hands.

Do you really want to make a name for one more monster?

There is a call for posters to be plastered everywhere on April 20th. Did you know it's Hitler's birthday? Coincidence? Maybe. But eerily coincidental, as far as I'm concerned. In fact, the idea makes me shiver.

What unsettles me about this whole thing? People are joining a cause they know nothing about, and are unwilling to do their homework to find out what is true and what isn't. They are giving in to emotions that have been expertly plucked by skilled manipulators. The manipulators brag about their credentials. I dated a guy who bragged about being a great manipulator. I foolishly believed he would never manipulate me. I ended the relationship for other reasons, but when I look back I can see how he manipulated me, over and over.

I've learned to be careful. For the most part, I prefer to let people choose their way, whether I agree with it or not, and generally I'll say nothing. Not this time. You're still free to do as you like, but I will not stay silent.

There is something terribly wrong with this propaganda.

May God protect us from wolves in sheep's clothing.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

And one more brain dump....

...though probably not the last. I'm trying to spread these out, to keep from inundating anyone with what's driving me crazy in the world, today. If I post it here, I'm less likely to spout off someplace like FaceBook, where I don't give myself a week or two to think about it first.

Regarding the high gas prices:

Our refineries are out of date. The EPA has made it all but impossible to build more. No matter how much oil we have sitting in storage (and the storage tanks are full), it's useless if it can't be refined. Billions of dollars were dumped into "green" energy, which is not turning out as green as was hoped. Any business incapable of surviving without government help should not survive. Coal and oil are still our cheapest and cleanest sources of energy. I know, no one wants to hear it.

The money thrown away by the government (bankrupt solar panel companies are increasing) begs the question: How many refineries could have been built with those same government subsidies? But no, we have to buy into the "oil is bad" rhetoric.

Plastic anyone? Oh, wait... it's an oil product... So, say goodbye to bags, computers, cars, buildings... If there is anyone to blame, it's ourselves for not voting or not paying attention to the agendas of those we voted for, and even worse voting so many of them back in, over and over again. Because we didn't want to worry about it or take responsibility for it, we waved our hands and said, "Let the politicians take care of it." They did, and now we have to put up with the an administration and a congress that behaves, overall, like petty tyrants, wanting their own way.

We allowed the government to take more and more power and more and more of our money, without accountability. We did it. We did it by not doing our homework before voting, for voting strictly party lines instead of for the best person for the job. We voted for charisma instead of capabilities, over and over again. In case you're wondering, I'm reprimanding myself. I did this. I asked other people who they thought was best, because I was too lazy to do my own homework.

I didn't know the United States of America wasn't a democracy but a republic until a few years ago. My fault. No one else's. I didn't accept personal responsibility. Now, I am. I do my homework. I look up the candidates. I decide, and then I vote, and pray we can save us from ourselves.

Finally, I remind myself God is in control. His plans cannot be frustrated, but we can certainly mess things up for ourselves. He will let us shoot ourselves in the foot, if we demand to have our own way. He will cajole, inspire, send help, call to us, but He will not deprive us of our free will. Dear God, I'm really trying to align my will with Yours. Your way isn't the easy way, but it is the sure way. Have mercy on me, a fool.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Carpe diem... LAS...

NASCAR was in Las Vegas this weekend, and Carl came in 5th. Top 5 is great! Go Carl! I'm participating in NASCAR Fantasy this time, and I'm not sure I like it. I'm only allowed to choose my favorite driver nine times. I don't think I'll do it next year. I've been wanting to participate, and now I have and learned it isn't as much fun as I'd hoped. Live and learn.

Laundry will need to be done.

Though Arizona doesn't go on Daylight Savings Time, it does change scheduling all the way around. We are on Mountain Time, but it equals Pacific Daylight Savings Time, so I have to shift everything having to do with my friends in other time zones. It's something I became skilled at when I worked for the airlines, so it isn't really a big deal, though I do forget from time to time.

Exercise and eating healthy are on the list of things to do.

Then there is the work what needs doing. I'm clearer on it, though a bit unsettled by it. It isn't quite what I expected, but I'll settle in.

There is so much to do. One thing at a time.

Am I following God's plan for me? Choosing His way? Or trying to make my own way? Questions I must stop and ask myself from time to time. I'm no longer easily led astray, but when it's done a little at a time, it's hardly noticeable. So, it's time to do a little self-evaluation. Or perhaps what I'm seeking is simply a little peace of mind and heart.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #94

~Casting Crowns If We've Ever Needed You http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kS_4VAX1a_A&feature=related

~Love having NASCAR back.

~Though I often make mistakes with my eating, I am learning, and doing better.

~Roses are blooming.

~Friends who see me through my less sane moments. :-)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Heroes... Dan Potts....

This was posted on FaceBook, by Marcus Luttrell:

Daniel J. Potts, 61, of Houston, Texas died March 3, 2012 in a skydiving accident in San Marcos, Texas. He was born January 4, 1951, in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Jerry and Alma (Tittle) Potts.

Dan enlisted in the US Navy in March 1969 during the Viet Nam war and volunteered for duty to serve in combat with the UDT-SEAL Teams. Dan qualified for and completed training in BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training) Class 55 and served in Vietnam with UDT 12 and UDT 13 until July 1972.

Dan moved to Houston in 1980 and became a self-employed master plumber and spent his entire career as a self employed independent businessman and had an excellent reputation for quality work and dedication to his work. Dan was an active member of the national UDT-SEAL Association and served as the founding President of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the UDT-SEAL Association from 2000-2006. He was an active member of the Republican Party, the Holley Terrace Civic Association, the National Rifle Association and the United States Parachute Association.

It has been recently said of Dan that he “Lived Out Loud!” Yes, Dan knew how to “live” and he invested his time in the things in life that he valued most. Dan was a man of deep moral conviction. Every person that knew Dan, even casually, knew the level of his faith. Dan was a devoted man of God and he tailored his life around that conviction. Dan’s life was a public demonstration of
service.

Dan loved God and determined early on, to live a life of service to the Lord. That service not only included an unfailing dedication to the family that he so deeply loved and committed to his care but, Dan’s level of service went well beyond. Dan loved his country and was deeply committed to serving this great nation, not only in words and deeds right up to the day of his death but, going back to his military days fighting for our freedoms on the battlefields of Viet Nam, with the US Navy UDT-SEALs; an organization he dedicated his entire adult life to supporting.

In short; Dan Potts was a man of immense moral conviction that was liberally demonstrated through a life without compromise. He did not compromise his faith in God, his love for his country, his love and dedication to his family, nor his love and dedication to his friends. To be a friend of Dan Potts was a special bond, for Dan knew how to be a friend, and just like everything else he did, he demonstrated his friendship as “action.” Yes, Dan did “Live Out Loud,” and for those that had the privilege of knowing him deeply, know just exactly how loud his love and devotion were.

Dan will be brought home by his fellow Navy SEALs to St. Jerome Catholic Church, 8825 Kempwood, Houston, Texas for the funeral service at 11:00 a.m., Friday, March 16. Rev. Msgr. Dan Scheel and Father George Henninger will celebrate the funeral mass with a reception following in the Father Raye Center. A memorial fund has been established for the family. Please send donations to:

Amegy Bank
Janet E. Potts, Trustee
Dan Potts Memorial Fund

This caught my attention because I'd seen the name in the SEAL books I'd read. He was always spoken of with respect and admiration. God bless his family. I want people to some day say of me that I lived out loud. I'm still a bit of a mouse, but I'm working on it.

Friday, March 9, 2012

What doesn't end up on FaceBook...

Warning: Rant and possible triggering material. This post isn't intended to offend, but I needed to work out my growing restlessness.

If you wonder why I haven't commented on the latest viral video, it's because I looked the charity up, and there are other charities that are more responsible with their donations and their donors. I also wonder, "Where have you people been?" Do you live under rocks? This is not new. The movie was made in 2005, that's 7 years ago. Now they revamp it, making it shorter, and suddenly everyone is jumping in. Answer me this: What is their plan for changing things? Or are they simply collecting money? What? They're going to have the governments of the world interfere? Oh, and that works soooo well. Yes, that was snarky.

Maybe you haven't heard of the rape trees along the American border, either, where human traffickers separate the women and the girls, GIRLS, from the rest of the group and systematically rape them? Or is this too close to home for a closer look? Maybe it's easier to be sympathetic with the children in a country half a world away, instead of a few states away. Or the children used as drug mules?

What about the girls in Thailand who are sold into prostitution for all the visiting foreigners, by their families?

What about the boys and girls caught in the sex slave trade in India?

Is the inhumanity horrific? Absolutely. No doubt. Full stop.

Why did this recent video hype ruffle my feathers? Because there is nothing within my realm of power that I can do. I resent having my emotions played on for sympathy for a cause I can't help, especially when they ask for money, with only vague promises of helping. More, I resent feeling manipulated for a cause I don't know enough about, and there isn't a lot of information out there to enlighten me. I am expected to trust filmmakers, who made a documentary to expose a problem, but admit to fudging here and there for the sake of simplicity.

I know. I know. I can donate money. Have I mentioned lately I'm poor as a church mouse? Oh, yes, I go to Starbucks a few times a month. Could I spend the money better elsewhere? Yes. Do I need that time more? Yes. It isn't only about the hot chocolate. To be honest, mine is better. What it's really about: I force myself to dress nicely and wear makeup, trying different styles, not so much to see how others react to me, but to see how I react and feel. Being one of those who hates going out in public, interacting with strangers, and leaving home, this is something I'm doing to teach myself to be out and about. It's cheaper than going to a restaurant, which is what I did when I made more money.

Homework: The charity currently being touted only received 3 of 4 stars on the charity rating site I checked, which is better than only one or two stars. However, there were three other similar charities that received 4 of 4 stars. I participate regularly, to one degree or another, in two different charities. I investigated them both. There are a half dozen other charities I've investigated and found worth supporting, and do whenever I can.

So if I don't jump on board, don't think I'm not sympathetic. I lived down the street from a pedophile, who finally went to jail, with people still claiming he was framed. He died there, with people still claiming he was framed. He wasn't. In fact, he got off easy. He was a monster.

If you can do something, do it.

Here's the truth: Everyone is crying over these poor children, and I'm not denying it's sad, but they look away when the child next door passes by with bruises on their legs and terror in their eyes. They jump on their hobby horse to save the children in another country, and say not a word about the runaway teens being pimped in the less savory part of town. They're indignant that a monster goes unpunished, while monsters are regularly freed from prison after serving only part of their sentence, if they serve any time at all. They demand everyone stand for the children a half a world away, but they don't stand for the children in their own city.

Wow. I hadn't realized what was at the center of my growing anger. Now, I know. I've been wondering if I'm doing enough. I have my causes, and I do my best to support them, even if it's only in prayer.

Research what captures your heart. Find out the best way for you to make a difference. And do it.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Week Thirty-Seven of REAL...

Reminders: REAL - Reduce stress Exercise Adequate sleep Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S:
500 yard swim using breast and/or sidestroke 12.5 minutes 10 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 42 push-ups 2 minutes 2 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 50 sit-ups 2 minutes 2 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 6 pull-ups No time limit 10 minute rest
Run 1.5 miles wearing boots and long pants 11.5 minutes

Here's the link if you're interested in the whole thing: http://navyseal.s5.com/requirements.html

RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. This week, I try to increase by 10%. I've worked up to 15.

The 2nd: weigh in: 229.6 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk in 40 minutes. SEAL puppy rep. Physical therapy, with 1-lb weights.

The 3rd: weigh in: 229.6 lb. One-mile walk with my sister.

The 4th: weigh in: 229.6 lb. Interesting.

The 5th: weigh in: 229.2 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep.

The 6th: weigh in 229.2 lb. One-mile walk. Physical therapy, with 1-lb weights.

The 7th: weigh in: 230.6 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Yes, I stressed, yesterday, and ate pretty badly. Today should be better. Nope. Stressed. I'd planned to spend the morning doing my regular work, and then spend the rest of the day doing my heart work. (Thanks Connie W for that label. It fits.) Instead, I worked on my regular work ALL day long. It wasn't what I'd expected. It is done. Whew. Unfortunately, my eating is shot. I'll start over, tomorrow.

The 8th: weigh in: 232.4 lb. Waist circumference: 39". Physical therapy, with 1-lb weights. Sigh. Not surprised by the extra weight, today. Today, I will do better. What's interesting is the way I feel. I didn't used to feel this awful when I ate the way I did yesterday. I think I'm becoming so much better at eating more healthily, and my body is growing accustomed to it. This is good, and will be even better once I stop feeling so sick. :-)

My inspiration:





*whispers* Did you know if you click on the picture it more than doubles in size? I like it. :-)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Another brain dump...

Following up on the Google and FaceBook annoyance of changing their "look" and other things.

I've finally found it amusing.

Google and FaceBook like to consider themselves cutting edge. It makes them feel important and smart.

I've been looking at their "new" look for the past month. Every time I look at it, I keep thinking it reminds me of something. I've scratched my head, and struggled to place why it seems so familiar.

I figured it out.

Ladies and gentlemen, the most advanced technology companies (as they like to believe themselves to be) in the world have reverted to the Victorian era.

Really.

Google it, or better yet, use GoodSearch.com, which is powered by Yahoo. Go ahead, check out the images.

It's busy. It's cluttered.

It's the new Google and FaceBook look on your computer.

Congratulations Google and FaceBook for stepping back over a century. The look isn't new. There's a reason why it didn't last. It gave way to styles by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright. Neater, clearer, more streamlined.... oh, that's what Google and FaceBook are leaving behind.

See, everything old is new again. I simply never thought I'd see the Victorian style come back into fashion, especially not through the technical giants of the internet.

It's funny, if it weren't quite so pathetic to see those who brag about coming up with new ideas falling back on something from the 1800s AND calling it "new." Not new guys. There's a reason it went out of style.

You know what this means? They'll figure it out, and changing everything, again. sigh.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Brain dump...

It's super Tuesday. I never bothered with politics, growing up. It didn't mean anything to me. I was too busy trying to make sense of my life to worry about affairs I didn't understand and didn't really want to understand. Times have changed. God help us.

Google, I'm not impressed. I've tried the new look. It's cluttered. The special buttons - you know the ones, the ones to change themes and add gadgets - instead of being neatly out of the way are now pasted across the picture. The theme picture I chose because I like the picture.

And FaceBook is changing to timeline. It keeps telling me my friends love it, and I should switch, too. A third of my friends have it, some of them because FB changed it for them. If only a third of my friends have it, doesn't that suggest the majority of my friends don't want it? Or is my math wrong?

March weather: Wait five minutes, it will change. I'm not enjoying it. Summer is coming, I know this. Fine. Let it come, but not today! It's hot, and then it's cold. I don't do well.

There is no such thing as fair. Fair is a concept created by the adversary to trap people into believing things should be a certain way.

What there is: Jesus offers Mercy, to pay the debt required by Justice.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Carpe diem... PIR...

That's Phoenix International Raceway. NASCAR!! Alas, Carl ran out of gas! But at least he finished 17th. He's #10 overall. Go Carl!

What will be done, today?

Exercise
Laundry
Reading
Writing

More than enough to keep me busy.

Hmmm.... I need to add in eat healthy. Clearly, that's still a tough one for me. I'm working on it.

A hero doesn't look away; they do something to help.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #93

~Newsboys Amazing Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwjTT2bqKk0&feature=related

~Visits with dear friends.

~Desert Rose gatherings.

~God's guiding hand in my life.

~NASCAR is back! Whoohoo! GO CARL!! :-)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My Heroes... SEAL Aaron Vaughn...

Special Operations Chief (SEAL) Aaron Carson Vaughn was one of those lost, last August, when the helicopters were shot down. http://forourson.us/index.html

I suppose what brought this home to me, this week, was the release of the movie Act of Valor. Marcus Luttrell gave his stamp of approval on the movie. That's enough for me.

I don't remember who directed me to this site, but I'm grateful. I know there are those who read this who will be uncomfortable there, but being comfortable is highly overrated.

I cannot imagine how these parents must feel, having lost a son, let alone all the parents and sweethearts who have lost loved ones. I pray for them for strength and courage. I don't know if comfort is possible, and sometimes it isn't wanted.

One summer, long ago, vacation was almost over, which included horseback riding for me. My sister pulled the car over and offered a prayer of comfort for me. I remember vividly that peace stealing over me, and the anger that flashed within me. I didn't want to be comforted. I wanted to own my sorrow. Things were changing, and I knew it down to my soul nothing would be the same. I wanted time to processes it, to grieve. My sister was being kind. I felt guilty for not wanting what she offered. Now, I know we would both handle it differently.

When I heard the news of this tragedy, I wondered at it. I pray these families are able to find answers, though I fear it may not happen in this life. In their Quest, I pray they do not grow bitter, but instead grow stronger in their pursuit of the truth. I pray they are able to help others, and as they are uncomfortable, I pray they make others uncomfortable.

An odd thing to pray for, I know, but it is only when we are uncomfortable that we decide to make changes.

Every day, I pray for our military. Our warriors.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Posts I enjoyed this past week...

This one post a picture with a short "verse." I find it interesting: http://thebackgroundstory.com/

This one is awesome: http://www.positivelypositive.com/2012/02/26/happiness/

There were others, but I'm a bit brain foggy. Of course, I have a list on my blog, but there are others as well. C.S. Lewis said that we read to know we are not alone. I think we blog for the same reason. Someone else hears us, feels the same way, or at least understands.

As I read the above blog I was gobsmacked to have my life poured out in black and white by someone who doesn't know me at all, which means I'm not the only one who feels this way. I'm pleased I've been working in the right direction on my own. It's nice to have my decisions validated, though it's also nice to know it wasn't necessary to keep me going in the right direction. I'm continuing because I'm happy with where I'm going and what I'm becoming.

I met a dear friend at Starbucks, yesterday, and enjoyed the time together, chatting. My friend helps me center myself. I dressed nicely, in a skirt and blouse. Chatting with her, I realized the blouse isn't really me. Instead of talking myself into accepting it, I was able to more clearly visualize what I want for myself. I also wore light makeup and wore my hair a little differently. I noticed the way it made me feel a bit different, more self-confident, and funnily enough, less self-conscious. Why? I don't know. I didn't expect it.

Thank God, I'm feeling better. My back is still a little sore, but it's improving. I've had a headache all day, but I think it's related to the changing weather. I've had trouble with barometric headaches for years. Unfortunately, medications don't help. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Week Thirty-Six of REAL...

Reminders:

Reduce stress
Exercise
Adequate sleep
Lower caloric intake

What Navy SEALs are required to do to make it into BUD/S:
500 yard swim using breast and/or sidestroke 12.5 minutes 10 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 42 push-ups 2 minutes 2 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 50 sit-ups 2 minutes 2 minute rest
Perform a minimum of 6 pull-ups No time limit 10 minute rest
Run 1.5 miles wearing boots and long pants 11.5 minutes

Here's the link if you're interested in the whole thing: http://navyseal.s5.com/requirements.html

RIght up front: Never in a million years could I do what is required. However, I needed to start somewhere. Considering how fit the SEALs are, I figured it was a good place to start. So my SEAL puppy reps consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. This week, I've worked up to 14.

The 24th: weigh in: 229.2 lb. Increase by 10% SEAL puppy rep up to 14. One-mile easy walk. It's the first walk since I've been sick, so I didn't push for speed, only to help my back loosen up and relax. One more SEAL puppy rep, though me lower back refused to allow the flutter kicks. It's discouraging when you can't raise your feet six inches off the floor. I did my physical therapy without weights. I also did some of my early PT stuff, which helped to loosen the tension in my low back. A couple on Tylenol didn't go amiss either.

The 25th: weigh in: 230 lb. Easy walking at the Ren Faire, today. A lot of standing, doing the rocking back and forth my physical therapist taught me to help loosen up my back. It seems to help. It's that or the trade off of Tylenol and ibuprofen. Again and again, thank You God for those anti-inflammatories and pain relievers.

The 26th: weigh in: 230.2 lb. If I wasn't sure I was under the weather, I am now. I slept 12 hours, but I am recovering. Thanks, God.

The 27th: weigh in: 230.6 lb. Okay, now I'm dealing with losing weight being healthy, again, mostly. Back is still bothering me a bit, but I was able to do a SEAL puppy rep first thing, followed by a one-mile walk, which took me about 23 minutes - yes, it's that bad, but improving - and one more SEAL puppy rep, including flutter kicks. Thanks God! Recovering from low back problems always takes longer than I'd like, but if I'm smart about it, it doesn't take as long as it used to take, which was months. Also did my physical therapy, but without weights.

The 28th: weigh in 230.8 lb. Not bad considering how badly I ate, yesterday. Desert Rose meeting was great. I ate better, today. I'm feeling better. Thank God.

The 29th: weigh in: 231.2 lb. Sigh. I'm eating normally again, and not quite up to my exercise normal, but easing back. One SEAL puppy rep. One and a half mile walk in 30 minutes, using my staff. It actually did help. One more SEAL puppy rep. Physical therapy, with 1 lb weights.

March

The 1st: weigh in: 230.2 lb. Waist circumference: 39". Not bad, considering I'm well again, eating normally, and finally easing back into my healthy habits. Reminder to self, because I haven't done this in a while: I do not need to hide anymore. I don't need the fat to protect me. I'm learning how to set and maintain healthy boundaries. Taking care of myself is honorable.

Inspiration, at least to me: