Sunday, March 31, 2013

Thank Goodness It's Sunday... #148...

~ He is risen! Happy Easter!

~ The warmth and peace the Son brings each day.

~ Inspiration.

~ Beauty.

~ Love.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

My Heroes... A Carpenter...

...from Galilee.

Jesus, the Great Exemplar, came into the world as the ultimate champion of freedom.

Because he was born of Mary, he could die. Because he was God's Son, he could choose where, when, and how.

When tempted by the adversary to abuse His power, Jesus chose God's way.

He denied no one their right to choose.

He taught how to live happily but did not stand over anyone to ensure they did as He commanded.

He practiced what He preached.

He was always right, but never said, "I told you so."

The one unstained man suffered for all our sins and sickness and hurt and pain. It is already finished. Do I accept it or reject it?

Every day, I endeavor to renew my commitment to follow His way. Some days are more successful than others. Quitting is not an option. After all the Savior went through, for everyone, how could I possibly complain, "It was too hard..."

Jesus loves everyone so much, He carved His love on His hands and feet.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday...

I've always liked the story of the man who criticizes a clergyman for celebrating the death of Jesus. How was it possible Christians could be so callous to call the day of the crucifixion of Christ "Good Friday." The clergyman nodded. "You're right. If Jesus stayed dead it would be horrible, but He was resurrected and that is very, very good." Jesus Christ conquered death of the spirit and of the body. Could there possibly be any news more good than that?


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Week Ninety-Two of REAL...

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 (SEALp) consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. I've worked up to 50.

PT ~ Physical therapy using 2-lb weights M/W/F and 1-lb weight T/Th/S.
UB ~ Upper body exercises
BD ~ Belly dancing (my version of it, anyway)

The 22nd: 2-mile walk. SEALp. PT. UB. BD.

The 23rd: 2-1/2 mile walk. PT. BD.

The 24th: Rest. I took care of my sister's DH's dog for four days. I watched my diet like a hawk for three days and didn't do so well on the fourth. The diet I was thinking about following advised 3 days on and then off. Interesting. I wonder if I could simply try eating really super healthy for three days and then give myself a day or two off, not going hog wild, but allowing myself a little more flexibility. I've noticed eating out isn't much of a problem anymore. I make smarter choices, but the next day I'm right back to my healthy routine. 

The 25th: 2-mile walk. SEALp. PT. UB. BD.

The 26th: PT. BD. I'm wearing a shirt that used to be too small. Whoohoo!!

The 27th: 2-mile walk. SEALp. PT. UB. BD. I woke up at 3 a.m. BAH! I don't know what I did, but my left leg is not happy. Considering the fact I am able to sleep on my left side only, because of my back problems, sleep was out of the question. I did lay mostly quietly, with my eyes closed until 4:30 a.m. Up and going. Did not eat particularly well. Overtired.

The 28th: PT. BD. Slept better last night, thanks to my aromatherapy dog.

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



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Greek, lemon chicken orzo soup experiment...

Several years ago, one of my dear friends introduced me to Greek Lemon Chicken Orzo soup. Yes, I know it has a proper name and I can barely say it let alone remember it. This way, there's no question what I mean.

Pampered Chef has their own variation using rice instead of orzo. Quick, easy, delicious.

What if I made another change? Made it easier and faster for me...

Enter:

Top Romen Noodles.

Really.

Boiled chicken broth instead of water and added the juice of one lemon, about 1/4 cup. Added the noodles. Nukes some frozen veggies. Opened a small can of chicken, serves two.

Did you know that a package of Top Romen Noodles is two servings not one?

Really.

Add the seasoning packet, veggies, and chicken and

Viola!

Maybe not GREEK, more like GEEK, but yummy nonetheless.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Distracted...

Not as much writing was done as I would have liked. My mind kept wandering. Trying to keep anything in my head for more than a couple minutes was a struggle. I'm terribly tired. I suspect it's a combination of things, including the coming of spring which means a change in the weather and the coming of allergy season. It didn't help to wake up with a rash on my hands. It's much better now.

Of course, there are also times when I'm simply like this. It's a bit maddening, but I'm learning to not beat myself up over it.

I must admit that part of the struggle is that I'm discovering how much I told the story instead of showing the story. My re-write it taking telling material and making it showing material. The hunt for the right words to paint a vivid picture is intensive. I want my stories to captivate and envelop. I want my readers to be there, in the story. I try to write what I love to read.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Carpe diem... NASCAR in CA...

Carl came in 4th! Whoohoo!! Go Carl!

Things that must be done today:

Writing. Writing. Writing. Writing. Writing...

Today, Tolkien fans celebrate the destruction of the Ring. The end of the threat of slavery and darkness to Middle-earth by the Dark Lord. This year, it falls during Easter week, the end of the threat of slavery to death and darkness by the adversary.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Thank Goodness It's Sunday... #147...

~ Finally past the writing block. Whew.

~ Books that make me laugh and inspire.

~ Good friends who see me through.

~ Another book published.

~ Pets.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

My Heroes... John Hart...

Interestingly enough, unlike many of the Founding Fathers, John Hart's early history is sketchy at best. They don't even have a birthday for him, only a guess at his age. He was a farmer. He was in his 50s, approximately, when he was elected to represent his local people. He retired from public service for a time when his family and farm needed him. However, the people elected him again to represent New Jersey in time for him to support and sign the Declaration of Independence. His farm was laid to waste by the British troops and Hessians. For a time, he moved from house to house, seeking safe harbor, which he did not find until Washington won at Trenton. He died in 1780, only 4 years after signing. He stayed true to his oath to the end. As far as is known, he was not well educated or wealthy, but he was true and faithful to the end.

Have I the courage to remain true and faithful, no matter how dark the way may appear?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Tolkien Reading Day 25 March...

I've lived in Arizona all my life, with a few odd trips here and there. This weekend, my California friends will be celebrating Tolkien Reading Day. They'll gather together and read passages from various Tolkien works. The Hobbit will be the main focus, of course, what with the release of the DVD, today. This will be the third year I've missed. For eight years, I went to L.A. once or twice a year, only for a weekend. I stayed with a couple of dear friends. Most of our activities were Lord of the Rings related. We talked. We laughed. I relaxed. The first few years, there were no trips to the ocean. I didn't want to go. My memories of the ocean were the northern California coast where the waves crashed so loud I couldn't hear myself think. I wanted to turn down the volume. It drove me crazy I couldn't make it stop. Finally, one of my dearest friends talked me into eating at the Belmont Brewery, right there on Belmont Beach. We walked in the sand afterward, listening to the soft whoosh, whoosh of the tide. I was enchanted. Every time I visited thereafter, it was arranged for me to spend at least a little time at Belmont Beach, walking in the sand. I discovered the pleasure of walking close enough to the ocean for the tide to wash over my feet. I've missed my friends in L.A., and I've missed walking along the beach. I've also missed the Reading Day. There were two passages I particularly enjoyed sharing, the crossing of the ford and the destruction of the Ring. I was honored to be asked to do the latter several years in a row. I miss the laughter. I miss the friendship, the camaraderie, the sense of belonging. I miss the sense of peace that always encompassed me. Now, whenever I see L.A. on some television show, like NCIS Los Angeles, the first thought to race through my mind is "When are you going home?" I can't explain it. I only know that every time I fly there, there might as well be a giant magnetic force. As we fly over the mountains into the Los Angeles Valley, my heart sings, "Home. We're home."

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Week Ninety-One of REAL...

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 (SEALp) consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. I've worked up to 50.

PT ~ Physical therapy using 2-lb weights M/W/F and 1-lb weight T/Th/S.
UB ~ Upper body exercises
BD ~ Belly dancing (my version of it, anyway)

The 15th: 2-mile walk. SEALp. PT. UB. BD.

The 16th: 2-mile walk. PT. BD.

The 17th: Rest. How do you know you've probably been pushing too hard? Going to bed at 10 p.m. Waking briefly at 2:30 a.m. and going right back to sleep. Waking up with the alarm you set for 9 a.m. Waking up with the sensation of having been beaten, all over. The last week I wasn't particularly careful about going to bed early. I need to make sure it doesn't happen so often. I am noticing a difference. I am worth caring for. I also took a two hour nap, which suggests a little more than simply being overtired. I made Irish soda bread. Instead of using the orange zest and raisins suggested, I used lemon zest and blueberries. It was really yummy. 

The 18th: 2-mile walk. SEALp. PT. UB. BD.

The 19th: Didn't do my PT. My back and shoulders have been bothering me, so I gave myself a break today. Hopefully, tomorrow I'll be back at it. Interesting thought: I sometimes eat as a distraction, not comfort, not to stuff emotions, but something else to think about.

The 20th: 2-1/2-mile walk. SEALp. PT. UB. BD. Read an eye-opening article, Yahoo Shine:

http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/losing-180-pounds-really-does-body-8212-160-163900419.html

The 21st: 3/4 mile walk. PT. BD.

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



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tomorrow is Release Day...

Since tomorrow is also REAL day, I'm posting the good news about the next book being out, today. Celebrating a little longer. It will be available through Desert Breeze Publishing, my publisher, and wherever ebooks are sold, as soon as the companies approve the download.



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Whew... finally...

I've been struggling with chapter 8 for weeks. Really. It's frustrating. I finally made it through and easily into chapter 9.

I made pancakes, yesterday, using the leftover buttermilk from making the Irish soda bread. They were yummy. It's a box mix, generic, and I used whole milk and coconut milk instead of water. Oh, my goodness. They are delicious. No syrup needed.

Other night, I had weird dreams off and on all night. Please, no more. I wake up exhausted. Though I must admit, I'm grateful they weren't nightmares.

Further along in my book. I think tomorrow will be a TBR day, as I've read a couple more great books.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Carpe Diem... Bristol...

NASCAR at Bristol: Carl came in 18th, which really wasn't too bad considering Burton crashed into him early on. Go Carl!

The Irish Soda Bread (on Pinterest) I made yesterday was yummy. Today, I'm making pancakes with the leftover buttermilk.

Writing, writing, writing.

A bit of reading, too.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Thank Goodness It's Sunday... #146...

~ Amazing Grace performed by Celtic Woman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsCp5LG_zNE

~ Inspiring music

~ Stories that make me laugh, cheer, cry, and dream.

~ Happy St. Patrick's Day. St. Patrick was a remarkable man. He was kidnapped into slavery in Ireland. When he finally left he never planned to return. Then he felt called to return and preach the Gospel. Legend says he drove the snakes from Ireland. There are those who take it literally, but more likely it was figurative. His intent was to drive out of Ireland those who led anyone away from Jesus Christ.

~ Air conditioning. It's been in the 90s this week. Thanks God for A/C.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My Heroes... Francis Hopkinson...

I'm finding a common thread with many of the Founding Fathers. Their own fathers died when they these men were quite young. Francis Hopkinson lost his father at the age of 14, at which time he took on the responsibility of caring for his mother and siblings. So many of these men were required to become heads of their families at tender ages.

He went to England, as many of the Founding Fathers did, to learn. He was widely liked and encouraged to accept his place in society. He was honored until his enthusiasm for a Republic became known. The British were not impressed. His countrymen loved him.

Interestingly enough, Hopkinson "was a poet and wit." He was not given to debate. I suspect he used his humor to drive his points home. Difficult to argue with someone who is able to laugh at himself.

I'm endeavoring to embrace humor more fully in my own life.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pi Day...

Yesterday, was National Pi Day. I celebrated with blueberry pie.

Note to self: I have no self-control when it comes to pie. Don't do it again.

Now, this begs the question: Why?

Pie is not my favorite dessert. It's nice.

Chocolate cake is my favorite or maybe my chocolate chip cookies. If they're both sitting in front of me, I'll probably choose a half serving of both rather than a full serving of one or the other.

So, what's with the pie?

I was stressing... the weather is warming up. I'm not ready. It's more than that.

I usually stop at P.Croissant on Thursday. I didn't today. Could it be something so small?

Or is it a myriad of things?

I had trouble staying awake all day. This does not help my eating. I want to go to bed early, but my room is 85 degrees, with a fan running. I'm stressed. Nope, I don't think it's missing P.Croissant. I'm too warm, which makes it difficult to think let alone concentrate on anything. The parents are not going to be happy about me turning on the A/C...

Oh.

Yeah. I'm stressed.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Week Ninety of REAL....

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 (SEALp) consist of girls' pushups, crunches, and flutter kicks, a SEAL training basic. I started with doing one of each. I've worked up to 50.

PT ~ Physical therapy using 2-lb weights M/W/F and 1-lb weight T/Th/S.
UB ~ Upper body exercises
BD ~ Belly dancing (my version of it, anyway)

The 8th: 2-mile walk. SEALp. PT. UB. BD. Rain, rain, rain. It used to keep me indoors, with a grumbled, "Shoot, can't go walking." Thanks to Joel Runyon, I looked at it and thought, "No lightning, and I have an umbrella. Boom! Winning!" Funnily enough, the rain petered out a little over a quarter of a mile from home. On the way home, I picked up pinecones shaken from trees in the "storm," removing them from becoming hazardous to bikers and other walkers. It was an Arizona 16" rain by then, which is a raindrop every 16". I popped all the pinecones into the umbrella. I didn't need it. It made a great makeshift basket. Two houses from home, I heard it coming. I could dump my pinecones or end up wet. Yep. I ended up wet. It was great!

The 9th: 2-mile walk. Carried a bag of wet pinecones for 1-1/2 miles. PT. BD.

The 10th: Rest.

The 11th: 2-mile walk. SEALp. PT. UB. BD.

The 12th: PT. BD.

The 13th: 2-mile walk. SEALp. PT. UB. BD.

The 14th: PT. BD.

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