Friday, August 31, 2012

Had to share, too...

Over at Cathy's blog, she shared a wonderful list. Cathy's blog is uplifting.

Additional note: I received the list in an email from a friend of mine with the following addition:

Just looked this up and found out that (surprise, surprise!) this email is an urban legend. The only thing accurate about it is the name of the woman who wrote these wonderful thoughts/advise. She is in her mid 50's and has a web site if you're interested in finding out more. But she said she appreciates that people are still enjoying what she wrote and at least give her credit for it, even 'tho they have aged her a great deal. Has a good sense of humor about it all. N

I still think it's worth sharing. I'm posting the email:

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old (which we now know is actually in her 50s), of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short; enjoy it.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.

5.Don't buy stuff you don't need.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for things that matter.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive but don’t forget.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you need.

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

I had an interesting and unexpected turn of perspective, this week. I don't know why. I only know there are some things that no longer matter.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Week Sixty-Two 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:

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. I've worked up to 33 and working at slowing it down.

The 24th: weigh in: 235.8 lb. Yesterday, I ate to stay awake. Today, I'm starting new. Up at 3:30 am and doing some work before my exercise routine. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep.

The 25th: weigh in: 234.8 lb. One-mile walk and physical therapy.

The 26th: weigh in: 234.2 lb.

The 27th: weigh in: 235.8 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. I'm stressed.

The 28th: weigh in: 235.6 lb. Physical therapy. Not going to beat myself up for not walking. My head is stuffy, and all the rain has only made my allergies worse.

The 29th: weigh in: 236.4 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. I need to re-establish my schedule. Yes, being published sort of threw things off. :-D

The 30th: weigh in: 235.4 lb. Waist circumference: 39". Physical therapy. Settling back into a routine, and taking an allergy pill.

The first picture was taken in February 2012. The second picture was taken in June 2012. Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Eating and sleeping...

Wednesday: Though I woke at 3am, I was able to go back to sleep. Thank you, God. Feeling okay, today, so far. I'm knee deep in editing. I actually enjoy it, for the most part.

Thursday: Storms last night so slept very little. I'm an incredibly light sleeper. Not complaining. it simply is. Ate okay, today. Read an article about a chef losing weight. He said you can't lose weight if you don't sleep. Hmmm...something for me to think about. Going to bed early, tonight. If I wake up early, so be it.

Friday: Last night, I was in bed and asleep shortly after 8pm. I woke at 11:30pm and went back to sleep until 3:30am. I didn't fight it. I got up feeling pretty good. We'll see how the day goes.

Saturday: Last night, I was in bed and asleep shortly after 9pm. I woke at 12:30am and went back to sleep. There the similarity ends. I slept until my alarm went off and slept through it until 5:30am. I did all right with my eating. Unfortunately, I turned my tummy inside out. I had veggies at first breakfast, fruit at elevensies, and veggies again at dinner, and I shouldn't have done that.

Sunday: Yes, after yesterday, I ended finally able to fall asleep at 2am. Yes, I was reading until that hour, but it was nice to have something pleasant to focus on. TMI? Maybe, but this is me trying to be aware of what's going on with me. I woke up this morning, without help, ie, no alarm, at 7am, unable to go back to sleep. Part of that was I was too warm.

Monday: Editing has started again. This means working until it's done, no matter when that is. Eating to stay awake. Not beating myself up. It's only for the week, because the deadline is Saturday. I can make it that far.

Tuesday: I've added avocado, using it instead of lettuce on a sandwich. Took an allergy pill, this morning, and feel a lot better. When I went grocery shopping I picked up avocados and raspberries. I enjoyed them both, and found them very filling. I did better at the Desert Rose meeting. I didn't eat every piece of bread I could reach. Instead of ordering a salad, I ordered vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. It's a single scoop, so it wasn't huge. It was yummy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Another AR Norris book...

I finished book 2 of the Telomere Trilogy, Echoes of Regret, by A.R. Norris.

My review at Amazon:

Echoes of Regret, book 2 of the Telomere Trilogy, builds and expands on book 1. I'm not sure I'd want to read it without having read book 1 first, but this book does have it's own beginning, middle, and end. There is general information given in book 1 that is helpful to know in book 2. New characters are added, who are unexpected and intriguing. The camaraderie inspired me. The storyline kept me turning pages until the wee hours of the morning. The romance warmed my heart. I haven't read a lot of speculative/sci-fi romance. AR Norris's trilogy has me interested in exploring more. I gave Echoes a 5 rating because I want to start the next book right away, but it doesn't come out until October! It's on my wish list.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Carpe diem... Live moves on...

Somehow, the publication of my first book, though momentous, did not stop the world or my life. It did wear me out a bit. LOL! A part of me is still in shock: I started this adventure ten years ago, never imaging where it might lead. Six years ago, I started this particular book. Five years ago, I finished it, submitted it, and had it rejected by the publisher I thought was my dream publisher. Thank you, God, for that last blessing. There was nothing within me to suggest this book would ever see the light of day. Up until it went live on the 21st, I kept thinking something would go wrong. Now, I'm still trying to process it's real, all the while I'm working on what comes next. None of this changes the fact that there are things needing to be done. Like:

Laundry. :-D




Sunday, August 26, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #117...

~Today, I'm a guest at Risky Regencies. I've been following this blog for years. I never dreamed I'd find myself a part of the blog as more than a commenter. As I finished the final edits of A Promise of Possibilities, I fretted about doing the Riskies proud. I've learned so much from the authors who post there.
~We needed rain. Prayed for rain. God sent rain. Thanks God.

~Release day! I'm really a published author. Wow.

~Wonderful friends celebrated with me, making the day extra special.

~Awesome I miss my horse.

NASCAR ~ Bristol, Carl came in 22nd after running out of fuel short of the finish by 4 laps. *sigh*

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Heroes... William Whipple...

William Whipple didn't have an extended education, instead going to sea, from which he retired when he was 29 years old. He and his brother went into the mercantile business. He supported the revolution cause early on, and backed up his support with action. He served in the Continental Congress and then the New Hampshire militia. Like so many of the men of that time, he had a varied career life. He also passed away at a young age, so to speak, 55 years old.

I've so often felt guilty about how I've bounced from one job to another. Reading about the work experience of the Founding Fathers has eased any concern.

He was devoted to the American cause and justice. Another good example to follow.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Doing the Impossible...week 1

I've taken Joel Runyon's challenge to do the Impossible.

Why? I tired of feeling like becoming healthy is impossible for me.

Do I have what I need to accomplish what I want to do? Yes, I do. So what is it I'm lacking? Love for myself. The negative tape isn't nearly as loud or as prevalent in my life, but it's still there. I need to care enough about myself to want to save and protect me. Jesus has done His part, 2,000 years ago. He cannot live my life for me. I have to do it, so this is me learning how to do it.

What do I want to accomplish? Judy's I Believe It's Impossible for Me List. I've accomplished a lot in my life, but there are things I believe down to my soul are impossible for me.

Healthy ~ weight, eating and exercise, perspective ~ Try new recipes.
Home of my own ~ Create an inspiring environment.
Healthy relationship ~ marriage.
Successful author.
Attend conferences ~ Presentations.
Adopt dog and horses.
Choose a charity to become involved in ~ not impossible, but I'm taking so long it's starting to feel impossible.

I'll add to the list and tweak it as I go along. I'm looking forward to this.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Week Sixty-One 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:

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. I've worked up to 33 and working at slowing it down.

The 17th: weigh in: 235.2 lb. SEAL puppy rep. 30-minute bike ride. SEAL puppy rep. Glad I planned for the bike ride. It didn't throw me when I walked outside afterward and discovered it was raining and I wouldn't have been able to go for a walk anyway. Working on making sure my exercises push me to breath hard.

The 18th: weigh in: 234.2 lb. Physical therapy. 30-minute bike ride

The 19th: weigh in: 234.4 lb.

The 20th: weigh in: 234.2 lb. SEAL puppy rep. 30-minute bike ride. SEAL puppy rep.

The 21st: weigh in: 233.8 lb. Physical therapy.

The 22nd: weigh in: 235.8 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Not surprised considering all the stress. :-) Body doesn't care if it's good stress or bad stress; it only recognizes stress. It's the mind that analyzes and qualifies.

The 23rd: weigh in: 234.8 lb. Waist circumference: 39". Physical therapy. No walk, today. Rain. We've had lots of rain. Thanks God.

The first picture was taken in February 2012. The second picture was taken in June 2012. Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tracking my eating and sleeping...

Wednesday: Woke up at 3:30am, after sleeping 3 hours. Storms. Made Tall, Dark and Delicious Truffles, from Rhonda Plumhoff's Literary Chocolate cookbook. I enjoyed a tuna sandwich for breakfast. After living in Thailand where rice was part of breakfast instead of bread, I have no qualms about switching meals around. One of the Pumpkin Coconut Muffins from Kathy Altman (The Other Soldier) finished the meal.

Thursday: Feeling calmer and in better control. Didn't sleep particularly well. Nap helped. We're having stormy or potentially stormy weather. I'm grateful for the rain. I pray for God's protection for me and for the house. Funnily enough, I enjoyed making mac and cheese in the microwave.

Friday: I didn't sleep long, but I did sleep undisturbed, I think. The rest of the day was kind of weird. I'm not bingeing on any of the muffins or truffles. I am able to have them out and within easy reach and leave them alone. Huge! I slept for 3 hours in the middle of the day. I'm finding I prefer it. Again, I don't know why. I'm starting to wonder if there's a mind game going on.

Saturday: I woke at 2:30 am. I went back to bed, but didn't stay down long. Might as well make the time productive. Nap helped, but so tired it's frustrating. A bit of eating to stay awake. Not helpful. Trying tea, tonight. Almost forgot. Drank my tea and didn't go to sleep until 3am. Oops.

Sunday: Woke up with the alarm clock at 7am. Much to do. Made spaghetti. Finished the last of the garden zucchini. Alas. Make lavender pancakes and buttermilk syrup.

Monday: Made it to bed last night at 10pm and slept until 4am. Pretty good, for me. I've been more mindful of my eating...I'm always aware of what I eat, but so often it's wrapped in worry about having enough, not at the moment but running out of food. A lot of my bingeing is based on the feast or famine mentality. I'm overcoming that, little by little. Today, I've enjoyed every bite and reminded myself there's enough. I've been tired all day. I'm trying not to fret, but I do. Everything is in God's hands, not mine.

Tuesday: Stress. Yes, lots of stress. Comfort food for breakfast, ie, peanut butter and honey sandwich. Celebratory food for second breakfast, ie, ham and cheese croissant at P.Croissant with a dear friend, who helped me celebrate. Elevensies was another bit of bread and butter and Carnation instant breakfast. Luncheon/tea/dinner were celebrated at Mimi's Cafe with another dear friend. All in all, I didn't do too badly.

We've had storms blowing in and out for over a week. I'm one of those unlucky souls who struggles with barometric headaches. My sleeping has been erratic to say the least. I've been trying to play it cool, calm, collected, while enjoying the euphoria of becoming a published author. Saving grace: New edits for the next book showed up, today. Moving on.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Promise of Possibilities...

Sneak Peek excerpt:

"Matthew," Elizabeth hissed.

He grinned, unrepentant. "My sister instructs me I am not to ply you with my myriad questions, at least, not yet."

"You're incorrigible," she muttered. It was all she could do not to clamp her hand over her mouth. She'd never meant to utter the words aloud.

Mr. Jonathan Silverton turned his full attention on her, his gray-eyed gaze flicking over her from head to foot and back again.

Vague discomfort rippled through her. She knew she was unaccustomed to a man's attention, but had he lingered overlong in his perusal of her? Had she ever endured such scrutiny? Under her sire's critical gaze, of a certainty, and perhaps his cronies as well. This had felt different. The latter invariably filled her with the sensation of being one of her father's breeding mares, but not coming from Mr. Silverton. Instead, she had sensed something more -- familiarity or perhaps recognition -- and yet how could such a thing be when they'd never met before this moment? She would remember if they had, without a doubt. His brooding world-weariness and striking appearance were unforgettable.

She concentrated on keeping her own gaze directed to the gentleman's face, endeavoring not to notice his broad shoulders and chest, encased in a close-fitting coat and waistcoat, or his trim waist and lean hips and legs, in tailored trousers and boots, all of chocolate brown. In contrast, his shirt was stark white, and the cravat was tied with practiced carelessness. She suspected his piercing gray-eyed inspection of her discerned a great deal more than she wanted to reveal. Dragging her gaze away from his eyes to the rest of his face, she noticed it was tanned, his cheekbones high, his forehead broad, framed with light brown locks curling in disarray. His straight nose drew her perusal to his bow-shaped lips, the lower being fuller than the upper, and accentuated by his square jaw.

He stepped forward, and she offered her hand, smiling, hoping her own nervousness did not show. As handsome as he was, a darkness overshadowed him, a burden on his soul.

Tucking away her contemplations, she interjected, "Please pay no attention to my brother. He may be three and twenty, but when it comes to horses he is more like three and ten."

"Ellie, never say so. Seven and ten, at least, was when I knew enough to appreciate quality, when I saw it, and even you cannot deny those horses were prime quality."

Though Mr. Silverton offered a pleasant smile, it did not reach his eyes.

Various e-formats are available at Desert Breeze Publishing:

Also: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBook

I've started The Impossible program. (I'll talk more about it later.) In the email that arrived, last night, this was Joel's final line: " might want to get some sleep tonight, tomorrow's the most important day of your life." How did he know? He didn't, but God did, and He inspired me to sign up when I did, so this message arrived exactly when I needed. It isn't that having my book published is more important than anything else. Each day is the start to the rest of my life, and today, I've taken a step I never dreamed I'd take. I thought it was impossible. I can live with being wrong. :-) Thanks, God.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Carpe diem... One More Day...

Tomorrow is the big day. This is the music I choose:

Howard Shore The Lighting of the Beacons

In other news, and surprise surprise there is other news: Carl came in 6th! Whoohoo! Top 10 finish is great!

Laundry will need to be done, today. Reality check. :-)

Writing continues.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #116...

~Thanks God for much needed rain. We need more. No flooding please.

~Fun cooking. I enjoyed trying Rhonda Plumhoff's Pumpkin Smoothie and Tall, Dark and Delicious Truffles as well as Kathy Altman's Pumpkin Coconut Muffins.

~Writing is coming along. I'm over the half way mark of the WIP I'm currently working on. It's always easier for me after the half-way mark.

~Visits with good friends. I don't know what I'd do without the love and support of my friends.

~The courage to try something new. I've signed up for Joel Runyon's Doing the Impossible. I'm ready.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My Heroes... Josiah Bartlett...

Dr. Josiah Barlett was one of the representatives for New Hampshire. In fact, when the states were called up to sign the Declaration of Independence, New Hampshire was called first, and Josiah Bartlett was the first of their group.

He didn't have the opportunity to attend college. It didn't stop him. At the age of 16, he began his pursuit to become a doctor. He studied books on his own, finally passing the required tests with high marks.

He served in his state government, the militia, and the Supreme Court. He was only 65 years old when he passed from this life.

I fear I'll not live my life as fully as he did, when all is said and done, but I'm working at changing. God gave us life and desires to give it more abundantly. Am I willing to claim that promise?

Friday, August 17, 2012

This is me making a choice to stand...

This site has a 22 minute video on the importance of protecting our troops by not revealing our military secrets.

I've been following the blog posts by Billy Vaughn at I've featured Aaron Vaughn as one of my heroes. He was one of our special forces killed when the helicopter was shot down on August 6, 2011.

Two days ago, another helicopter was shot down. May God bless the families left behind.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Week Sixty 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:

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. I've worked up to 33 and working at slowing it down.

The 10th: weigh in: 234.8 lb. SEAL puppy rep. One-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep.

The 11th: weigh in: 234.4 lb. Walk 2-1/2 miles and physical therapy.

The 12th: weigh in: 234.4 lb. Slept 12 hours. What is up with this?

The 13th: weigh in: 234.6 lb. SEAL puppy rep. 30-minute bike ride. SEAL puppy rep.

The 14th: weigh in: 233.6 lb. Too hot to walk. Didn't do my physical therapy either, but I did spend several hours cooking, which uses a lot of the same moves and actually more weight because I use stoneware and glass.

The 15th: weigh in: 234.2 lb. SEAL puppy rep. 40-minute stationary bike ride. SEAL puppy rep.

The 16th: weigh in: 235.6 lb. Waist circumference: 39". I really need to rethink some things. Yes, I know my little cooking binge has probably not the short term. Hmmm...long term, I know it makes a difference. It doesn't help my allergies aren't quite full blown. Not enough to push me to take an allergy pill, but enough to notice it's a problem. I think I'll go ahead and take the allergy pill today. Why do I hesitate? They dry me out. I live in a desert. I don't need any additional help. I'm not giving up on me.

The first picture was taken in February 2012. The second picture was taken in June 2012. Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Healthy eating...

Wednesday: Overslept. Now, I can spend the rest of the day playing catch up, or I can decide right now the rest of the day will be better. I'm opting for the second.

Thursday: Started with a visit to my favorite eatery and a visit with one of my writing friends. A lovely way to start the day.

Friday: Another day of heat advisory. It wipes me out. I find it makes a difference if I stop between bites. It isn't easy, and I don't always remember. It doesn't help when I'm eating to stay awake. I woke at 3am and couldn't go back to sleep, but forced myself to stay in bed.

Saturday: I did okay, today. I'm making healthier choices. It helps having garden-fresh zucchini. I don't know why, but it does.

Sunday: I don't know what's up with sleeping 12 hours on Saturday nights, but this has been the second week I've done this. Eating okay.

Monday: Rough day. Did okay.

Tuesday: Woke up at 2am to the sound of thunder. Laid in bed for an hour and couldn't go back to sleep. Rolled out of bed. Tried a recipe by Kathy Altman for Pumpkin Coconut Muffins. Wow! Delicious. I had a tuna fish sandwich at 4am or 5am. Ate several muffins. Quality control, you know, is essential, particularly since I had to do a little adjusting with what I had on hand. Yummy! I did take a nap in the middle of the day, a much needed nap.

We've been under a heat advisory, so I've not done much outside. I've curtailed my regular walks. The temperature is supposed to drop the rest of the week.

Trying to walk with my head up and my shoulders back instead of rounded forward.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Beth Trissel and Teri Wilson

Red Bird's Song by Beth Trissel was a page-turning early American history romance. Wicomechee is now one of my heroes. Would have I have the strength and courage of Charity? Beth's descriptions of the locations are vivid and breathtaking.

Alaskan Hearts by Teri Wilson is a Christian romance. I've been a fan of Teri's for a long time. The first of her books I read was Cup of Joe. I've also read Do You Heat What I Hear? and Love, Lilies and The Unbroken Straw. All her stories are sweet and have animals. Rodeo Redemptionand Rodeo Rescue are in my TBR pile.

One more week:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Carpe diem... Watkins Glen...

NASCAR ~ Whoohoo! Carl Edwards won the Nationwide race at Watkins Glen. Good to see the flip again. LOL! In the Chase, he came in 14th.

What needs to be done, today:

I'm missing my dog. I'm going to let myself miss her.

Six years ago, this month, my 17-1/2 year old dog went home. I still miss her. I'm still in mourning.

Every year, I acknowledge the day and try to soldier on. This year, I just can't.

This year, maybe it's the excitement of being published, and I'm afraid of being happy.

Actually, I wish she were here to share it. She was there when it all started. She put up with the writing into the wee hours of the morning because I couldn't turn off the story.

Arthur, the dog in A Promise of Possibilities, was actually created with my furry baby as the model.

Maybe, this year, I finally feel like I don't have to pretend like everything is okay when it isn't. I want a peaceful, orderly room, but then I'm all too aware of her absence.

She won't care if the book is a success or a failure. She didn't care if I was fat or skinny, pretty or ugly, rich or poor, famous or anonymous. She didn't care what an emotional moron I was or how damaged I was or how scarred. She only cared that I fed her, played with her, cuddled her when she wanted it, and took her outside when she needed. When I felt the least lovable, she still thought I was. She created the game to let me know when she wasn't cross with me anymore and allowed me to use the same method to let her know when I wasn't cross anymore.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #115...

~It's been a difficult week for those who serve in our military and their families. I'm grateful for their courage. Remember.

~Sharing special moments with good friends.

~Inspiring music.

~Great stories.

~Love my cover and banners.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

My Heroes... B. J. Lossing...

Throughout the coming year, I'll be sharing what I'm learning about the Founding Fathers. Yes, I've already listed a couple of them. They're remarkable men.

I'm reading a book written by B.J. Lossing. It's "a reprint of an 1848 original." The title is Lives of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence.

It's easy to become lost in legalese and emotional rhetoric. I'm taking the opportunity to step back and learn about the men, and women, who instigated it, at least the major turning point of the 1700s. It's my starting point, anyway.

I'm looking forward to the journey.

According to BJ Lossing, not a single man who signed the Declaration of Independence turned away from it. They all held true to the end. I hope I will be so brave.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Marketing material...

Yes, I'll be sharing this for the next couple weeks, and beyond. I'm so excited. It will be available August 21st at Desert Breeze Publishing in multiple formats, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBook.

First the lovely banner:

And now the gorgeous book cover created by Carol Fiorilli:

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Week Fifty-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:

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. I've worked up to 33 and working at slowing it down.

The 3rd: weigh in: 235.2 lb. SEAL puppy rep. One-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Again, though I didn't walk two miles, my goal was to see how fast I could walk it.

The 4th: weigh in: 236 lb. Two-mile walk and physical therapy. Rough day, yesterday.

The 5th: weigh in: 235.4 lb. Slept 12 hours. Whoa.

The 6th: weigh in: 234 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Only 3 hours sleep. No surprise. I forced myself to say in bed until the alarm went off. Walked the 2 miles as fast as possible, aiming to be out of breath. Did good. :-) Not bad considering today I'm up almost 24 hours.

The 7th: weigh in: 235.4 lb. Physical therapy. It is miserably hot. Heat advisory. I don't handle it well. Wears me out.

The 8th: weigh in: 236.2 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Short walk. SEAL puppy rep. Overslept two hours. Not surprised, but a bit frustrated. Much too hot to walk once I woke and it wasn't even 7 a.m.

The 9th: weigh in: 235.4 lb. Waist circumference: 39". Physical therapy. Sleeping isn't great. Allergies are bothering me. Remembered to take an allergy pill this morning. We'll see how the next few days go.

The first picture was taken in February 2012. The second picture was taken in June 2012. Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Healthy eating and doing better...

Wednesday: Starting out pretty good, today. I'm taking the time to prepare my meals. I'm drinking my water.

Thursday: I enjoyed my early morning start at P.Croissant. It does help if I put down my fork/spoon/food between bites. I don't always remember to do that.

Friday: A bit out of sorts...feeling sad. Wow. How often to I allow myself to say that?

Saturday: Shoot. I haven't been remembering to put my fork down between bites. It really does make a difference to be aware of and focused on what I'm eating. I don't celebrate food enough.

Sunday: Slept 12 hours. Wow. Friend came to visit bearing croissants. We shared the two different flavors. Love doing that. Feel like I've had two without all the guilt. I was more mindful.

Monday: The only way to slow down my eating, at this point, is to force myself to do something else between bites. Two hours sleep last night. Hate when this catches up to me.

Tuesday: Sleeping is still an issue, both the not and the unrestful. Ate okay today. I'm doing better about adding a few veggies and fruit. Trying the Fruit Fusion V-8. It's okay...okay, it makes me shudder, but it's good for me, right? I love garden fresh zucchini!

How is this week different from this same sorry tale from last week? I'm not bingeing. Go me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Reads for the week...

I haven't read Steampunk before, but this certainly has me curious.

I've read short stories by Stephanie Burkhart and enjoy them.

In fact, I recently read Feast of Candles, a short steamy story, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I've mentioned in an earlier post that I've also read her Polish Heart, which is a sweet romance, and I loved it, too.

June Foster's Give Us This Day is a Christian sweet romance. If you want prayer and scripture study and faith to be central in the story, this is a great choice. I have to admit that it made me step back and think about some of my own unhealthy habits, namely the eating problem I have. I've tried the turning it over to Jesus, and frankly, it didn't work because I'm still the one who has to make the decisions and follow through. However, it did remind me to include God in my efforts, and I needed the reminder. I'm looking forward to reading more of June's books.

Kate Altman is now on my must buy list. I just finished reading The Other Soldier and absolutely loved it. It's a Harlequin Super Romance and fits the genre perfectly. It's one of the best I've ever read. I loved the characters, primary and secondary. I wondered how in the world she could pull off the storyline, and she did it with delightful humor, fabulous word choices, some heart wrenching moments, and just enough time with the HEA to make the whole thing a very satisfying read. I couldn't put it down.

In case you haven't noticed, I have a pretty wide-ranging taste in books within the romance genres. So what am I looking for? Something that touches my heart, lifts my spirit, inspires me, leaves me feeling like I want to be better. I know there are those who wonder about some of my choices. They're my choices.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Always Remember...

"Tribute to the 31 American Servicemen who lost their lives in the line of duty, August 6, 2011."

Rest In Peace. May God bless those who must carry on without them.

Carpe diem... Pocono...

NASCAR ~ Carl came in 7th! Whoohoo! Carl's at #12 in the Chase. Go Carl!

What must be done, today:

Pumpkin Biscotti by Rhonda Plumhoff, from her recipe book Fall in Love with Pumpkin Again.




Planning ~ I want to create some new traditions, for me, but I need to sit down with pen and paper rather than simply thinking about it. Thinking about it will not see it done. I need to create a flexible plan. Today is as good a day as any to start.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Thank Goodness It's Sunday #114...

~ From the "Official Jimmy Thomas Fan Page"
Quote of the day: “Your life plays out as a reflection of your genetic makeup and potentiality as expressed through your environment and choices. Love yourself enough to create an environment in your life that is conducive to the nourishment of your personal growth. Allow yourself to let go of the people, thoughts, and situations that poison your well-being. Cultivate a vibrant surrounding and commit yourself to making choices that will help you release the greatest expression of your unique beauty and purpose.”
― Steve Maraboli

~God's steadily guiding hand, revealed through friends who lovingly and patiently share themselves with me.

~The opportunity to look at the world in a whole new way.

~Strength to continue on and the courage to never give up.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

My Heroes... Benjamin Franklin...

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin had numerous pen names? Though it was generally known he was the author in all cases.

You probably knew he invented the Franklin Stove, a closed fire stove. Do you know why he invented it? The common cause of death among women was not childbearing but burning to death. Their skirts would catch fire in the kitchen. Kitchens regularly burned down because of the open hearths, which is why they were usually built separate from the house. Did you know he also did not patent it? He wanted everyone to have one, even they built it themselves.

Did you know he didn't invent Daylight Saving Time (DST)? Yeah, I didn't either until I started doing some research. He did write about it in a piece of satire. Satire is supposed to be a joke. DST wasn't proposed officially until 1895.

He proposed to his wife when he was only 17. Her mother didn't think Benjamin was a particularly good prospect, so Deborah Read married someone else. The weasel left her to avoid his debt. Because no one knew what happened to him, Deborah was not allowed to marry again. Benjamin took her as a common-law wife. She accepted his illegitimate son and raised him. Benjamin and Deborah had two daughters. The first died of smallpox at 4 years old. The second married and had seven children.

He wasn't a perfect man. He was an amazing man. He was a writer, inventory, statesman, abolitionist, Founding Father, and so much more. I read about his accomplishments and think to myself, "I am such a slacker." He never stopped exploring his world, learning, adding to our base of knowledge by his own experimenting. I know many like to spread the stories about some of the outrageous things he did and fail to acknowledge the remarkable courage and strength and honor to stay true to who he was and what he believed in.

Do I have the same courage to stay the course? To step forward boldly, to become who I am meant to be?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Food Traditions...

Some ideas that have been rolling around in my head:

When food is pointed as the problem there is an instant sense of deprivation. You don't have to go very far to find out why, only as far as the food traditions.

January: New Year. There are a lot of food traditions around the New Year, in a lot of cultures. Entire menus are planned around certain food bringing luck and others not. Super Bowl: Feasts are planned for the day of watching football, commercials, and rivalry.

February: Valentine's Day. Chocolate and taking your sweetheart out to eat.

March: St. Patrick's Day. When this became a drinking holiday, I don't know. For those who don't drink or with children, it's traditional to turn everything green. Green salad and green beans isn't special. Green cake is a celebration waiting. I have an awesome recipe for Pistachio Bread that's actually cake.

April: Easter, a tradition rich in special foods like eggs and chocolate. There's even the traditional Blessing Basket, which I learned about this past year and have added to my traditional celebration. Meanings abound in the choices of particular foods.

May: Memorial Day, though a somber occasion is often celebrated with a cookout because it's the traditional beginning of summer.

June: Summer is officially in full swing, along with cookouts, grilling season, and kids out of school. Still new enough to summer to enjoy it. Picnics. Weddings, June is still the traditional wedding month: Wedding cake, mints, mixed nuts, punch, brunches, luncheons, dinners.

July: Independence Day, more picnics and more cookouts. Hotdogs and hamburgers, potato chips, potato salad, corn on the cob, apple pie.

August: Kids going back to school, and end of summer parties. Vacations, eating the foods of wherever you visit.

September: Labor Day, another three day vacation and the last weekend for a picnic and cookout before school is back in full swing. By the way, all through summer there's been a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables available, especially if you're anywhere near a farmer's market.

October: Halloween, candy. Need I say more? Oh, popcorn balls, candied apples, parties.

November: Thanksgiving, a tradition of thanking God for blessings and lots and lots of food.

December: Christmas, parties all month long, dinner, stockings, cookie exchanges.

A month of special traditions, preset on the calendar. Then there are the birthdays, blowing out candles, even one, on a birthday cake or cupcake. Anniversaries, going out to dinner. Graduation parties. Opportunities to gather with friends and chat over food as a celebration. Family reunions, winning a game, a promotion, a book release, an anticipated movie, in other words an opportunity to make an event extra special.

You've read through the list. Now, tell someone they are not allowed to participate.

Changing the way you eat means changing the way you participate in events all year long, if you adhere to the myth that the problem is the food.

By making food the problem, food has all the power.

I couldn't resist the cake because the cake was so delicious.


No, I chose not to exercise self-control.

And no, I'm not saying that a little will power will solve the problem.

For the record, did you know you crave food to which you are allergic? Which starts a nasty little cycle of eating more and more.

It still isn't the fault of the food.

I'm allergic to eggs. When I choose to eat eggs, the eggs did not hold a gun to my head and force me to eat them. I chose to eat them. I chose the eggs over feeling healthy.

I'm not changing the traditions in my life, I'm changing my perspective of myself, a little at a time. Why am I such a glutton on many of the holidays? I think it's because I dread them, afraid of how well I will or will not do, and so I don't plan for them, except in the periphery of my mind, hoping I don't screw up too badly. How sad is that.

To be honest, holidays have not been joyous occasions overall, in my life. Maybe if I plan more reasons to celebrate, I won't feel so deprived and feel the need to take advantage of the opportunities when they arrive. First test is coming up this month. Hadn't considered this before. Hmmm...interesting possibilities.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Week Fifty-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:

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. I've worked up to 33 and working at slowing it down.

The 27th: weigh in: 237.4 lb. SEAL puppy rep. Two-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. I was awake before 5am, which meant I was able to walk before the sun came up, so it was a little cooler.

The 28th: weigh in: 236 lb. Two-mile walk and physical therapy.

The 29th: weigh in: 233.2 lb. Of course, this was taken after noon, after I woke up. Surprised me to sleep so long, around ten hours.

The 30th: weigh in: 235 lb. SEAL puppy rep. One-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. Again, having to be careful about the walking outside. The rain brings out lots of mold, and I don't process it well.

The 31st: weigh in: 235.2 lb. Physical therapy. Again, with all the rain, I have to be careful of my outdoor activity. Out door is where I walk.


The 1st: weigh in: 235 lb. SEAL puppy rep. One-mile walk. SEAL puppy rep. I only walked a mile, today, but I tried to see how fast I could do it. Fifteen minutes. Good for me.

The 2nd: weigh in: 235.8 lb. Waist circumference: 39". Physical therapy. Slept almost 8 hours, with a brief wake up in the middle, but woke up tired. Not good. Eating better. Feeling stressed. Hanging in there.

The first picture was taken in February 2012. The second picture was taken in June 2012. Inspiration, at least to me:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Healthy eating redux...

Wednesday: Started the day with my water. Good start. Breakfast was yummy and it took me almost a half hour to make it through. I have to sit at my computer. It requires me to put my fork down and breath between bites while I type.

Thursday: Started the day at P.Croissant. I indulged in a raspberry white chocolate croissant and hot chocolate. I wish I could do this every day. LOL! I finished off the last of my not-favorite junk food. It would have been healthier to throw it away. My Scottish heart simply couldn't. We'll see how the rest of the week goes.

This thought occurred to me: If I were to die tomorrow, would I be sorry I hadn't eaten more sweets? I'm surprised to find myself regretting that I haven't fought harder to eat healthy.

Friday: I worked at being more aware, and pausing between bites. Mind you, I would be half way through the meal before I'd remember, but I'm learning. It makes a difference.

Saturday: I tried to be aware of my hunger, when I became hungry. I noticed I tend to ignore it. Today, I worked at eating a healthy meal and then something light and another healthy meal and ending with something light, eating every 3-4 hours.

Sunday: I slept until after noon. Really. Yeah, I can't remember the last time that happened either. I think I did okay with my eating. We'll see, tomorrow.

Monday: Hey! I managed to take a whole 7 minutes to eat my hamburger. That's twice as long as it took when I started this.

Tuesday: I'm slowing down my eating, and enjoying it. Whoohoo! Tummy is a bit unhappy, tonight, so didn't attend writer's meeting. Whew. I would have been miserable. I need to learn to take care of me.