Feeling Blue

Blue in the sky is most inspiring, everyone loves a blue sky associated with happiness.  Yet, a cloudy day can cause some to feel uninspired, tired or depressed.

Why is blue when associated feelings commonly associated with being in the dumps, depressed or almost grieving?

I do not have the answers yet I wondered why a beautiful bright blue sky and or a mournful type of mood could be associated with the same color.

Blue can be a complementary color for most people to wear.  Midnight blue is a different hue than navy blue which is different than bright blue or light blue.
Some are born with blue eyes, blue green eyes, light blue eyes or grey blue eyes. Elizabeth Taylor was said to have had a violet type of blue eyes.

Yet, feeling blue is a true blue we feel that most understand.  A very wide variety of emotions, or circumstances, can create this.  Understanding the difference between feeling a little blue compared to true depression is important to consider.

Physically under the weather, a bad day at work, or some temporary feelings of loss or loneliness are experiences most people occasionally have.

Longterm distress, loss, physical pain, financial duress, health problems, stress, feelings of failure, painful experiences and the list goes on.  This can bring on a form of situational depression.  And if we cannot figure out solutions to our problems than this brings on a greater form of depression.672E9785-73DC-45D2-96CF-CE939B801894.jpeg
Understanding our situation, have we a total loss of control of our situation?  Depression is inescapable making us incapable, the cycle goes on.
When hit with all types of problems at once we can be devastated.  It seems there are no answers and it is hard to discern the best answers. One thing I am trying is a new list.  Do you like making lists?  They can help us identify, and accomplish.
The list I am working on is my top ten stressors now in my life.  What seems out of control?  What three things can I do for each thing on my list?
Yet, something to consider is the control offered by striving to practice these few things can remedy much.  The reality is we must strive to practice a simplified daily routine

Eat regular healthy meals an snacks

Get daily walks or exercise

Make time for your spiritual needs, as Mathew 5:3 days, Happy is the man conscious of his spiritual needs.  Of course, reading our Bible daily can greatly nourish our mind an heart an give us direction.

Try to pick up after ourselves daily.  This is not an easy one for me but it makes me happy when I do.

Keep up with our daily chores another thing I am always seeking to improve on.

Oh, how I yearn to make good choices, responsible decisions, educated conclusions.  There are so many opinions, faulty guides that do not always care about the consequences we must endure.

Personally I am between feeling blue and a deep depression.  Some situations feel forced upon me yet I am unable to find valid solutions.  The situation causes me to feel rather helpless an hopeless.

Prayer and Principle are my only valid options right now.  I am praying a lot, and seeking to maintain principles of integrity and always wanting to bring honor to my God.  Therefore, my current circumstances are distressing as I am trying to make the most honorable choices.
Just as Job an David in the Bible felt distress at times, we seek to, despite our problems, we want to make beneficial decisions and sometimes only Jehovah God can help us when we have tried to make decisions, only he can bless us.

How is that for a long sentence that breaks all the rules with sentence structure?  I am a writer, not an editor.

If your depressed, feeling lonely or blue, hurt, defeated or depressed try praying to Jehovah about it.  Talk to a close friend, relative, or even your doctor about it.
I hope you will be seeing sunshine and blue skies again.  I desperately need that too.
Let’s work on our lists an see what we can accomplish while we clear the clouds away.
Written by: Gina Rydin

 

Perplexing Times

Uncertainty arises in all aspects of life.  It is hard to make decisions.  While hard pressed in so many ways it can be easy to jump to the wrong conclusion.  Consequences come so better decisions can bring better consequences. Many experience this, and can deal with a form of chronic anxiety.  What can help us be more decisive?

Sometimes we want to make the right decision, but the right decision is not always so apparent.

Remember, we do not have control of all things, nor of people, and sometimes we can be a victim.  Ecclesiastes 9:11 says “…time an unforeseen occurrence befalls all.”  Anything can happen to anyone.

In other ways we have much more control than we realize.  We can choose to eat in moderation, spend in moderation, clean in moderation, exercise more, be more attentive to our loved ones, watch less television, enjoy being out in creation more, eat out less, go to bed earlier.  Practicing good daily habits can increase our peace and joy.

I have a friend whom is suffering great abuse in many ways from her mate.  She believes in forgiveness yet the abuse has only escalated over the last couple years.  He manipulates her into allowing the abuse.  Her affections are then misconstrued into something unhealthy because she is subjecting herself to stress and sadness.  She has many children whom have to witness this which is a form of abuse too.  This leaves them with unwarranted stress and guilt.  When you have children you cannot protect them and expose them to badness at the same time.  We are responsible to our children, the governmental authorities, Jehovah and his son, and even to ourselves.  Children grow and go.  We must have a safe secure environment for them.

In a situation of abuse, the other party, the one whom does the gross wrongdoing is responsible for their actions.  Blaming ourselves and others only supports their bad ways.  The one in a bad way never sees their own responsibility.  Thus, they continue in their bad way, nursing themself along and others nursing them too.  Freedom and peace comes with decisive action when motivated by Godly principles.

In our situation we just do not know, what appears to be the right way may not be.  When we think we are simplifying we could unwittingly be complicating.  When others are well meaning and tell us, “you need to simplify!” they do not always know what they are talking about.  The reasons a life is complicated must be considered.  After my mother in law died, she had been living with us and was 101.  My husband had a stroke before she died and he had been in a care facility for a while.  I was in distress and could not seem to get it together.  My two friends Olivia and Courtney came over and kindly helped me neaten and clean the kitchen an living room.  That was such a healing.  They did not criticize or counsel, they just helped.  I felt they really understood with love.  Because I have been practicing good habits, I have been able to keep it all up since.  It just is difficult to gain the extra ground.  Last week on a day I was tired and felt a little useless I decided to just pull one of my kitchen drawers open and take a few things out that I just do not care to use.  Then I went to the next drawer and quickly did that one.  In less than ten minutes I did all of them.  Then the next day I asked someone if they could use these things and they were happy to get them.  When I do laundry, I look for things I do not care about and toss.  It feels good.  I am not being pushed or rushed, and I can do it.  Slowly acquiring a healthy esteem.

We are not well and we are trying to simplify.  While we have reduced some monthly expenses others seem to have simultaneously gone up.  We went an changed up our car insurance to bring expenses down, two weeks later it went right back up and yet one less car to cover.  Other things are less and this makes us very happy.  We are still trying to work on this because it is always beneficial to reassess our budget.

My husband has a complicated medical situation that has him down.  Today he was having a neurological attack and fell over into a rose bush   When I tried to pull him out he was leaning just as hard into the rose bush.  I had already sprained my right shoulder an arm and as I was trying to pull him out of the bush it was very difficult.  He fell back into the rose bush. He does not want to admit it hurt yet I am sure it did.  Feeling sad for him and I love him very much.  Just want to help him to feel good about things.

We have cucumbers growing up the lattice and we look forward to picking the first one.  Looking for the sunny side helps a lot.

Good friends are the greatest blessing.  A good friend is not judgmental, instead aids you when you express a desire to improve.  Tonight a couple friends said they noticed I have been losing weight.  I feel encouraged.  I still have a lot of weight to lose but they did not mention that, so I need not focus on that, just keep going in the right direction.

Naturally, genetically haphazard and unorganized it is very difficult to be organized.  All the criticism meant with love only causes me to feel incapable.

The conclusion I have come to is that if my calf muscles are small naturally, I may not be able to change that.  Yet, with regular exercise I can develop them.  They may always be small but they can become stronger and appear nicer.  Yet, unrealistic expectations of them being rounder and fuller, would be disappointing.

By acknowledging that I have many interests and that I tend to be a homebody means I tend to have many things around me.  I like being able to putter with this and that.

There are some truths I have identified about myself, such as: excessive clutter makes me feel uncomfortable.  I do like seeing all surfaces wiped down and clean.  The mother whom raised me took great pride in keeping her windows, cabinets, appliances and floors clean.  In fact she had a system for being clean everyday.  I really liked that, yet I was unsuccessful at implementing any system myself.  Knowing I like cleanliness and that our creator requires it, is the best motivation.  I have a long way to go to be like I want to be.  Improvement is slow in coming yet, I have been working on it a long time while dealing with one unusual situation after another.  A friend of mine whom was visiting last week said she has seen our home get nicer and more organized.  She did not criticize me for still having a lot of clutter and disorganization.  She commended me for the progress and left it at that.  That made me feel so good, because like weight loss, change and results can take a lot longer than we like.  It does not happen overnight.   I cannot be thin just because I want to be, I cannot be organized just because I want to be.  Yet, I can practice thin habits and I can practice organized habits.  In time, the results will be evident and I can feel I reflect well on my creator in all things.  This keeps me motivated and it is its own reward.

Decisions are numerous, thousand a day.  In many areas like personal, medical, relationships, financial, moral, where we live and what we do.

Knowing we want to please our creator in all we do helps us to make better decisions.  Praying for guidance then following thru makes a difference too.  Considering long term outcomes helps us narrow down our options.  This can curtail spontaneous behaviors when we contemplate the results and costs.

By knowing a few things about ourselves, honestly assessing the good and not so good helps us not be so vulnerable.

For example:

  1.   I am sensitive and emotional.  This makes me vulnerable to misunderstand and be offended.  The scriptural principle at Ecclesiastes 7:9 says “Do not be quick to take offense, for the taking of offense lodges in the bosom of fools.”  Need I say more, I have stupidly taken offense needlessly with heavy consequences.
  2. Emotional impulses that lead to eating or spending without control.  I feel so happy I am going to have a piece of cake, or I am so depressed a little shopping will make me feel better.  Feelings can be misleading and can bring on a heap of problems.  Instead, I feel so good I am going to take a walk and enjoy creation.  Or, I feel so depressed I will just go take a little walk and enjoy creation.  It works both ways.  The Bible principle I think of is, 1 Corinthians 10:31 which says “therefore whether you are eating or drinking or doing anything else, do all things for Gods glory”.

There are many bible principles that aid us in daily living.  And when answers are not obvious a lot of prayer and decisive baby steps with patience can bring about good results.

Written by:  Gina Rydin author of all fatfitanfab.com articles.

Please keep in mind, you decide and choose what you do.  I speak only from my own experience as your neighbor or friend and I am not a healthcare professional.

Altogether untogether, do you ever feel this way?

At times, life’s responsibilities are so overwhelming it is hard to remember whom we are and what we like to do.

We try so hard to keep it together, then it is so easy to land onto the couch and watch an episode of Gunsmoke or something.  Yet, is it becoming our thing, our habit to drop and chill?  Is there any other way to reconnect with the joy of living the life?

My Dear mother in law is living with us.  She is 101 years old.  Overall it is going fine.  My husband nor I feel well and it makes everything so challenging.

Thankfully, she does not complain much and goes with the flow.

A friend makes pound cakes and shares by showing up at bad times and gives these to encourage others.  Although it has been a couple years and she is going thru so much herself.  I believe she deserves some pound cakes.  I asked Lisa to share her recipe and she did.  I know there are thousands of poundcake recipes online, but there is nothing like one shared by a friend you know to be good.  I brought Marcia into the kitchen and we visited as I put the cake together.  It was a nice experience and it turned out well.  This afternoon Marcia looked at me and said, where is this cake we baked?!  So I brought her a big piece and she liked it.  Which of course made me very happy.

Today, I just wanted to be in bed.  Everything hurts and I am tired.  This week there has been plans to teach a young lady how to sew pillows an insert the forms.  Her mother and she picked out many nice fabrics at a fabric store and pillow forms.  Marcia enjoyed watching us girls measure, cut and sew.  All turned out fine and it was a joy.   Her mother gave me some of the lovely fabrics.  What a treat!

When I plan time w others I have to think ahead for the meals to avoid temptations of eating out.  Our middle son Brock gave me a rice cooker so tonight I dropped in frozen chopped Peppers an onions, a couple packages of jumbulia ricean beans, Conecka sausage, chicken broth and pinto beans and just let it cook itself in this rice cooker   It turned out very well with minimal effort.   When your just tired it makes you happy when things turn out well.

We made an agreement this week to really watch how we spend and that we want to live on the leaner side.  We do not always recognize how easily we live in a luxurious manner.  We meaning anyone.  We want to pay off any debt and live within our means more closely.  Circumstances change and are we really prepared for them?

My friend Vickie, her husband is dealing with extreme health issues, she has a special needs son besides.  Vickie has always managed to keep her home together, help others and go for walks.  We were talking tonight and reminding each other of the importance of having little things you like to do.  Making time to do these activities.   Vickie is accepting help from others to take her husband for his treatments.  It is humble of her to accept the help because he and she has been good to so many over the years.  He gains encouragement from spending time with others and experiencing their care for him.

A family we cherish in the Panama City, Florida area that was affected by the hurricane expressed today that they are just longing for some normalcy.  We really were designed to have routines and steady circumstances.  Our creator designed us to be stable and that is what we yearn for.  When our world is upside down we are too!  They will be coming for a brief visit in a couple weeks and we look forward to it.

I am taking a course with the Tidy Tudor.  It is very enjoyable.  About good habits and ways of thinking that affect our life in a more healthful manner.  I am not naturally organized and would like to be.  Kathy Roberts is very motivating with a new step each day or concept to consider.

Right now the house seems a mess and it has only been six days that I finally got a shot to settle my asthma down.   I am not up to par.  My husband and I neaten up and Vaccume before bed because we like it looking nice when we get up.   Somehow, it gets totally destroyed each day, I do not know how it happens.

Three points to get out of all my jibber jabber.

  1.  Remember some activity you always enjoyed doing and include that in your life.  Whether it be working out, dancing, tennis, woodworking, needlework, gardening or baking etc.  make the time for it.  It is important!  Even Daily Bible Reading  is considered to be the most valuable of activities to include in our life.  I know making the time for it makes a difference in my outlook and attitude.
  2. Include people in your life no matter how crazy your life seems.  People help keep our perspective healthful.  I enjoy company, such a boost!
  3. Habits and routines are sanity keepers.  If it is difficult to get on track, ask for help or take a mini course.  Tap into our reset button and just do the basics until recovery is bestowed on us.  Choose something from each of the three on the list and see if it does not help a little.

Our lives are always changing and we must adjust or we can break under the pressure.

Written by:  Gina Rydin of fatfitanfab.com

Monday, Why I love Mondays.

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MONDAY, MY FAVORITE DAY!!!

Monday is a day many dread.  It seems to some all falls onto their head on a Monday.  Being overwhelmed, the day can be unproductive, stressful, depressing, and it does not have to be this way.

About ten years ago I met a refreshing person whose name is Annemarie.  A perky blond whom looked like Meg Ryan.  I invited her to do something with me for the upcoming Monday and she said no, any day but Monday.  I asked her why not Monday.  She told me that was her day for herself.  She used Monday to get rest, to clean, do the laundry, to do gardening and lay in the sun.  I was so impressed that I have reserved Monday ever since.

A DAY OFF: If you have a choice in the matter.  If you can afford to work four days instead of five, why not take Monday off from your employment.  Many take Friday off by choice viewing it as a vacation day.  Yet, Monday may be an even better day to take off instead of Friday because it may be more fulfilling.  Everyone else in household is back to work and school.  Do not view your day as a day to Care Less or be carefree.  By carefully considering how you will spend your time on this special day, your life can take a change for the better.

Monday at home could mean an extra hour of needed sleep, getting in a relaxing walk, a trip to the library or museum by yourself, meeting a friend for lunch, doing your bills, or yard work.  For balance in my life, getting chores done in the form of a quick clean makes a difference for the whole week.  I do not mean a slave day, more like a day of time blocks adhered to.  Having attention deficit, time blocks help me to focus without the temptation to multitask.  If I multitask then my mind is unaccountable and takes flight.  The day is gone.  This can still happen to me when I feel weak due to health problems. Yet, I strive to do as much as I can on Monday because for me it is a sanity keeper.

A time block for extra rest like sleeping in an extra hour, and an hour break in the middle of the day.  A block for phone calls, A block for laundry which during that time while washing and drying are going on I can clean the bathrooms and or phone calls.  A Block for quick clean which is 12 minutes per room.  (my quick clean is ten minutes to do a quick pick up, gather what does not belong in the room including trash and set at doorway, wipe surfaces quickly, then timer goes off and I quickly sweep or vacuum. Then on to next room and set timer for ten minutes).  (The Slob Sisters have a great book about this and The Fly Lady, for years I read and reread. They helped me so much.  It seems so hard for me to read anymore books yet I will never forget that their programs are fantastic).  Then I run and put doorway items away as fast as possible.  Time for a break when all done.  A block for yard work or errands.  The blocks can be minutes long or a couple of hours long.  Use the timer.  If the timer goes off before your done then one must determine if another day of a few minutes will make a difference or if a few minutes now will make a big difference.  This is not the day to get caught up in trying to get each room done as a perfectionist would.  Each week of this activity will make a few weeks worth of efforts a visible accomplishment.

I like Monday because if I get my Monday work done, the whole week is much smoother.

What I like to do on Mondays.  First, I sleep in as long as I need to, with chronic health problems a lack of sleep contributes to my flare-ups.  Secondly, I start the laundry  and make my phone calls.  I do a deeper clean up in the kitchen.  Monday happens to be my deeper clean kitchen day.  While wash is going I clean my bathrooms.   A quick pick-up and sweep-up through the house remedies the mess the weekends create. I wash towels every Monday, and if possible I may get a jump ahead by doing them on Sunday night.

Setting up my schedule for the week on Sunday night helps me to know what phone calls are vital for me to make.  Doing my phone calls by 11:00a.m. really takes the pressure off the rest of the day.  Over the week, I pay attention to whose anniversary, graduation, or achievement has come about that I can on Sunday nights or Monday write out these cards and send them.  My husband seems to enjoy running errands, and I like being home on Monday.  Emotionally, I really like being home on Monday because life seems so busy on the weekends, the downtime to get things done is precious.  I rarely accept an invitation to leave my house on a Monday.  Hanging my clothes out to dry is another thing I have done for decades and I like to do if the weather permits.  Cooking a good meal and doing a little meal prep to make the next couple dinners for the week easier is important.  Eating a little lighter during the day helps me to maintain my focus and lessen the burden on my internals.  A walk or isometric exercises refreshes me.

At 1:30 pm. on Monday is a PBS station sewing show called Sew it All.   I like to stop and enjoy this show and put my legs up.  It is only a half hour and because I enjoy sewing it is a treat to watch.  On Wednesday, Sew Easy comes on, I will tape it to watch later.  If sewing or painting or something else is your interest, give yourself  a 90 minutes time block to work on a project, and then that evening your free to get back to it if you can.

Filling my Monday with practical efficient activities sets up my week  for greater productivity and less stress.  Whether it is every Monday or only a once a month Monday, having this day to catch up on domestics, relaxing activities, yard work, gardening, and phone calls makes for a better start to the week.  It also is important to avoid time wasters on this day.  Unless the errands are vital for the week to go smooth try to keep most of the day to yourself at home.  Beware of Time Wasters such as gabbing on the phone, texting, internet cruising, or television watching.  This day is a day for yourself to reset and restore.  With an extra hour of rest, getting a home in order, car cleaned, laundry done, gardening, essential phone calls and bill paying your investing in a more peaceful life.  The week and month will go smoother.  The evening of Monday is a good time to be refreshed by going to bed early for an extra hour of rest before resuming regular activities on Tuesday.  Monday’s never get me … .

 

 

 

When a size Large is too small…

Five Things I can Do to reach my weight loss goal.

Doesn’t life seem that way sometimes?.. Everything is off, nothing seems to work right, and nothing fits.  Efforts seem futile, like today I was putting the onions in the ground to grown when I was done, I looked at my nice small shallow rows with the onions planted, when suddenly J.J. my Sylvester cat decides to jump in, lay there, pull and chew on them.  I urged him to leave the patch and he dug a hole as if that would be the perfect spot to do his evacuation.  I turned the hose on sprinkle mode and he left out of the area quite quickly.

I love the clothes in the Robert Redford line of Sundance.  His catalog features such beautiful clothes and goods, superior quality, and the price to match.  Sadly, I just cannot afford these wonderful items.  I came across one linen blouse, just gorgeous, and a size large.  Last year I wore a medium.  For less than $20.00, I received this lovely blouse.  You can imagine my feeling’s when I discovered it is just a tight fit, is it the companies fault?

Last week, I was attempting to try on a dress when my husband was standing there looking at me.  I said to him, “I am going to try this on…” trying to give him a hint it is a good time for him to move on to other rooms and activities.  He stood there, still, and then he said, “From the looks of it, it might be a tight fit!”.  I told him to just get on the move.  I put the dress on, and I could not button it.  Sadly, the stinker was right.

It is no fault of any clothing company, it is, just what it is, OBESITY.  How did I get here, and why.  When I was young, I was too skinny and I could not gain a pound.  Now, I patrol all I put in my mouth and it is an accruing situation.

At 215 pounds, it seems to be a losing battle, as I steadily gain.  Now, off the antibiotics, I feel I can lose some.  A friend said, “How do you go about losing 90 LBS?”.  My response, “How else, a pound at a time”.  She is sweet and very encouraging about anything I want to do.  She respects my needs for projects and is always interested.  So, losing this 90 lbs is my newest project.

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Filet, Sweet Potatoes, an Asperagus

What is a project without a plan?….How soon can I realistically achieve my goal?  What can I do today that is simple or small that will help me be equipped to reach the goal?

  1. Faith:  Have Faith and conviction that the idea, goal or project is worthy to accomplish. 
  2. Acknowledge:  Acknowledge the Healthy habits and routines that are already practiced as beneficial.  Feel Good about what we already have right!
  3. Implement:  When the most beneficial plan of action is decided upon, get to it.
  4. Tenaciousness:  A friend of mine whom is slender is very tenacious about her diet.  She is sensitive as to how different foods affect her.  She does not let social gatherings affect her feelings about the importance of sticking with her eating plan.  I am a person swayed too easily by my emotions.  I forget my diet if a lovely dessert appears in my mind.  It is time to pull out my “Instead Of:” list. (I previously wrote about the power of Instead Of)  Instead of the banana split, I will work on a painting.  Or take a walk .  Being Tenacious with our goal is protecting our investment of heart, effort, etc.  Aggressively seeing it thru to the finish is what is required to have a successful outcome in the shortest time possible.
  5. Hum:  People whom hum often times do so because of a happy tune or a happy heart.  Feel good about all the baby steps we stick to.  If, we think about how far we have to go, we may give up.  If we feel good about following our small achievements.  We will be successful in achieving our goals.

What goal do you want to achieve?

  1.  We need to write the goal at the top of a nice piece of cardstock.
  2. Break down three categories titled of types of actions needed to accomplish goal.  For example:  Weight loss of 90 lbs.  The four categories for this are 1: Diet, 2: Exercise, 3:  Weekly Positive affirmations,  4:  Attitude check and Progress.
  3. As I look at the first category, I will write down just three things I want to do for my diet, whether it is Lower my carbs to 25 per meal, or have two cups of vegetables each day, or have 350 calories for breakfast as well as lunch, then 450 calories for dinner with just 100 calories for a snack.  Be specific.  Whereas, the Exercise category may be cardio for 35 minutes every other day, with biometrics on the other days.  The Category of  Weekly Positive Affirmations are statements that give a person courage, truthful statements that are considered several times a day, whether a reminder put on cell phone or written on a paper or something included in prayer.  A positive weight loss affirmation for me is:  I do not need to be heavy to be strong, I do not need this fat as a protection.  I am strong and safe anytime.  (with Jehovah’s help).  or another is:  I like caring for myself with the best food possible. Each person knows their own insecurities.  One of mine was, If I was heavy, I would not have to deal with unwanted attention.  Turned out, even while heavy, I still get bothered.  A lot of people have this problem, either they bother others or they are getting bothered.  I am learning to put my hand up in a strong manner when I do not like what is coming my way.  This is difficult for me, but it is becoming my manner.  And the last category is Attitude Check and Progress.  Write down the weight each week, what is my attitude that week gone by, and what good thing I can say to myself to keep motivated.  If I gained three pounds, checking my attitude like:  I have been in the dumps so I ate cookies and skipped my workout all week. Then my new Affirmations will be born out of that.  Example:  After a healthy early dinner and walk, I am going to the bookstore and checking in the bargain section for a craft book.  Or, I am going to arrange to meet a couple of friends to go on a walk with me on some local trails.  Affirmation: I am not waiting for good to happen in my life, I am inviting happy activities into my life each day.

It is time to practice FAITH in our daily life.  We must keep having Faith and Conviction in the beneficial outcome of our project.  We have to Acknowledge the good things we already do right,

in order to have a healthy mind frame.  Implementing our plan of action gives us the power and action through habits and routines. After we come up with our plan of action we must keep it visible in order to implement our new plan.   The Tenacity we exercise because we see how worthy our goal is, we must be Tenacious in sticking to our plan of action.  We can Hum because we know we are right now fulfilling our goal.

 

 

The Last Quarter. We can make meaningful changes in our life.

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Chili with Cheddar Chive Scones          by Gina at fatfitanfab.com

October, is the start of our last quarter as we are near the end of another year. Sometimes we can feel time is running out, what can we do with the time left?

People can get so wrapped up in exterior activities whether extracurricular activities for their kids, holidays, politics, that just living life has lost it’s meaning.  Being overly committed and obligated can cause us to be well-spent emotionally, financially, and with our time.

Routines are a practice that may not always be honestly rewarding.  If it is our practice to watch television for three or four hours before bed so as to relax it is a choice.  Is there a more rewarding choice?  My husband bought a lathe for woodworking at a yard sale.  Brock, 23, after work has been coming home from work making beautiful cups and bowls.  He is enjoying it and it is rewarding.  Is there an activity whether creative or purposeful that would be beneficial to do a night or two each week?

I am naturally a clutter bug, yet, my floors are clean.  Piles, piles still occupy the perimeter of many spaces in our home.  How they get there, where they come from, I can never see it happening, yet, I am the culprit.  As I am practicing better habits, not adding to the problem, it still happens.  I have been working on an area outside my painting area or artist corner.  It seems my creative forces has emerged from the room and congested beyond the room.  Is there an excuse?  I have an empty cabinet in there, and drawers half full, and the books put up on top of the cabinet.  These are all holdups and blocks to my creativity.

In the evening I have been putting on good music and working in there a few minutes, turning it into a real artists retreat.  Privately, I am a bit turned off by the junky furniture.  It is all like new, it is just pressed board stuff you could get cheap.  I love good wood.  If it was made the same of walnut, or cherry, as you can see, I am a brat.

I feel so much appreciation for this area I have, when there have been times in my life where I did not have an artists den.  So, I want to occupy the space since my secret is out about the furniture which looks new.  I am ashamed of myself for such notions.  That represents life too, maybe we have notions that hold us up.

“If only I were thin I would” do this or wear that;  If only I had an exercize machine or a membership;  if only someone loved me I would do this; if only my home was like this I would invite people over; if only my mate would  buy me flowers or be more romantic.  “If Only”!!!.  We can be set back with thinking like this.

An exaggerated answer to the “If Onlies.”  My son says this is an oxymoron.  There is no plural to the concept of only.  He could be correct, but for purposes he may be slow to understand, he still says we have a ton of “if only” in our life.  It is plural no matter how you put it.  John says, “If only the dog didn’t stop to crap in the road I would not be late to work.”  As we debate on proper or improper use.  I would still like to make a long awaited for point.

If only I were thin I would wear more chic outfits.  When I was in my low 130’s I fretted because I was not in my low 120’s,  then prednisone gave me an extra 45lbs that compounded the problem, ashamed I wore thrift store duds.  I wouldn’t buy the close I really liked because I did not deserve it til I lost some weight.  Now, at 205 lbs and on antiobotics and other meds my weight is still going up despite my efforts.  I am buying and have been buying new garments that are tasteful and comfortable.  I feel better no longer stressing over this “If Only” business causes years to go by wasted.

If only, is a matter of procrastination.  It makes our excuse sound valid.  Invite friends to your home even though it is not perfect.  It they are your friend they will pitch in an help with no judgement or just have a good time.

Do not wait for a bouquet of flowers and romance.  Buy the flowers yourself, and buy a new tie or dress socks for your man, and give a card expressing appreciation for all his hardwork and love.  Gifts are gifts, not a matter of exchange.  Do not wait for romance, create it.  If they miss the point of our ovature at least they know we love them.  They likely need us to romance them more than we need them to.  Just remember, when our mate works long days, their minds may not be thinking about romance, their romance is their sacrifice going out working to put the roof over our head and food on the table.  It is a valid gift that is not appreciated often enough. It can be more stressful or even degrading then we realize for them at work.  Let them come home to a big smile, a warm hug, with respect and appreciation.  We may be the only thing that puts joy an motivation in our mates life.  Women whom work like this benefit the same as men do by the unexpected gifts, or words of appreciation.

So, instead of over extending ourselves needlessly, let us look at our life.. can we see what routines or habits can be modified so as to bring greater joy and accomplishment in our life.  By switching things up a couple nights a week.  Whether by inviting others over, doing extra cleaning, getting ahead on our taxes, going for early evening walk, doing a craft or hobby we enjoy.  We can examine our life by finding ways to destress, and declutter.

We have someone come in an clean once a week doing things that are hard for me.  It is a necessity. And it helps me to get more done.

How about a trip to the zoo before it gets too cold, or the museums, or the library.  Let us make use of this month to get a few things back on track.  We will have pride an joy instead of depression.

This is a very stressful quarter for many. Slow down, save your money, enjoy the great outdoors. End the year doing the things you promised yourself you would be doing when the year started.

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Live now! Do not wait to LIVE your life.

Does time pass you by?  Life’s responsibilities keep us busy enough.  Yet, a sneaky thief may be invading your life.  It steals valuable time that could be used for more rewarding activities.

Consider these ten rewarding activities, then find out the thief you may be mindlessly aiding.

1. Productivity:  Productivity requires time set aside to reach goals. Using our time wisely gives us the reward of something tangible.

2. PERSONAL ORGANIZATION:  order of our enviroment, finances, and diet require good habits that are routine.  Instead of seeking fulfillment from shallow pursuits which take money an time.  Using our time wisely to get things done causes us to feel more accomplished.  When our enviroment is organized an less cluttered we are free to be creative. 

3.  Exercize:  making time for a daily walk or going for an exercize class a few times a week is very satisfying. This investment pays off in a few ways including the possibility of staving off weightgain, controlling our blood sugar levels, and having our clothes fit better.  A workout three times a week can help us maintain.  A workout 4-6 times a week can help us to lose weight with a sensible diet.  

4.  Food we take in:  Well planned meals can give us energy, save money, and improve our health. The other day I saw my thin friend eating a salad while she was sitting in her car waiting on someone.  I was impressed by her forethought. Another friend whom is losing weight packs a little cooler an takes it everywhere, when we meet at the donut shop she is snacking from her pack.  

5.  LIMITS:   People feel so threatened by LIMITS which are boundaries. Limits can be a protection.  Excess of anything can be costly.

6.  Social Activities:  Making time to do something with your mate or children is essential for healthy bonds.  Inviting aquaintences, extended family members, etc., to go to the zoo or museum can build lasting relationships.

7.  Take time for yourself to replenish:  Daily Bible reading and prayer have done much to empower a person to make healthier choices in their life.

8.  Plan Ahead:  By having a yearly, quarterly, bi-monthly, monthly, and weekly goal plan can help make life more rewarding.  Including areas just discussed in this article in your plan can change your life.

9. Living your Dream:  What have you dreamed of being or doing?  Whether it is learning carpentry skills, educating yourself about photography, learning to do great sauces and gravies from scratch. It is important to view these as relaxing activities so they will no longer be put off to imagined better circumstances that may never come.  I did not know I would be in a car accident that would make it so I could never play golf. I sent my children for Golf lessons, I should have been getting them too. You may be waiting to write that book or take the cooking class or joing the crochet-knitting group at the senior citizen group.  

10.  Sleep:  Try to get some sleep on a schedule.  Consider your natural circadian clock.  Are your activities circumventing your natural rhythm?

The thief revealed:  Time, how you spend it.  Do you imagine your relaxing is coming home to watch the television?  Playing games on your pad or cruising the net for a couple hours.  Messaging is the greatest interupter.  I saw a person having a nice run whom stopped to check a message.  If we are cleaning the garage or doing housework, writing, cooking, exercizing, crafting, doing personal bible reading, or enjoying social activities we are rewarded by protecting our focus.  More people complain of problems focusing which interpheres with accomplishment and satisfaction.  Electronics have their purpose, yet, without limits can bring our lives to ruin.  We overspend, we have no time to exercize, eating less mindfully, looking at our phones during a fine meal provoking jealousy, our domestics are harder to manage, and taking time to learn a craft or hobby becomes a distant thought.  Do not let an aid become a thief in your life.  See what adjustments may improve your life.

fatfitanfab.com

June is running by ….July approaches …

June is running by, and half the year is now behind us.  What do we still have to do?  Is there anything we wanted to accomplish this year?

It is a good time to refer back to our Goal List for the year.  Three areas I like to consider

  1.  Health and Fitness Goals.
  2. Relationships
  3. Domestic

1.  Health and Fitness Goals:  Let us expound on the most typical goal for the year, Health and Fitness.  Each year we get older and even young people are experiencing health problems.  We will not even discuss the newfound issues with healthcare and insurance costs.  The high monthly costs of mandatory insurance is causing many to avoid visits to the doctor because of high copays and deductibles.  If there was not a good enough basis for a healthy diet and regular exercise, there is more motivation now.

We have one body, and our health we must seek to protect it.   Wise choices, no extremes are necessary.  Fruits and vegetables never go out of fashion and are readily available in most markets.  It only takes moments to use a regular blender to make a nutritious cool drink.  Would you like to know my recipe for a quick tasty fruit smoothie?

One I have been using for literally decades is, I will call it:

Fruit Frapp by Gina @  fatfitanfab.com

one serving recipe:              6 oz orange juice, (not from concentrate), or 6 oz of water. a banana, a peeled apple, and one cup of frozen berries.  Put in the blender, put on for 40 seconds to a minute an a half.    If you do not want to use a bannana, you can substitute a cup of fresh-cut papaya.

The banana or papaya give the drink a smoothness like a shake.  The frozen fruits may have raspberries in which do have seeds.  They remain like seeds. I just swallow them.  If a person has digestive issues like diverticulitis the seeds may bother them so you may choose just a strawberry/blueberry mix.

Be careful if you have diabetes or blood sugar problems.  Only you know if you can have citrus, some medications are a problem.  As I am not a doctor or nutritionist, I am only sharing a recipe which helps me to get my vitamin C, other vitamins, and natural fiber.

I like to make vegetable smoothies in the late afternoon before I start making dinner, that I can sip which can get the edge off hunger and be quite satisfying.  My cardiologist did recommend simply having a V8 each day.  I do not have a great tasting vegtable smoothie that is quick to make.  I do like spinach, a clove of garlic, a handful of fresh parsley, two carrots, and a celery stalk with the leaves.  I do use a pinch of salt because I naturally have low blood pressure.  Then I blend in my regular blender.

Responsible self-care involves regular exercise.  With all the responsibilities people have in their life it can be a real challenge to cull out the time to take a walk, or take a bike ride, or use an exercize machine.  Yet, it is relaxing, destressing, and exhilarating.  Not only can it help us to maintain our weight, it can help prevent us from gaining more weight if that is our objective.  If our objective is to lose weight, than exercising daily with a plan can help us reach our goals.  I had ankle surgery on my right ankle in the beginning of February.  It all seems so slow to heal.  Both ankles have each had two surgeries.  As much as I want to take off and go for a run, or go for a walk it is just not reasonable at this point.  I purchased a bike and I have been striving to go for a ride a few times a week.  The heat is unbearable for daily rides and I am unfit.  Should I call myself unfit?  Maybe that is harsh to label myself as unfit since I do regularly do daily stretching and isometric exercises in my home.  OK, I will accept the congrats! for maintaining my regular stretching and isometric exercize program for decades.  The exercizes I do help me to deal with chronic pain associated with lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.  I have a lot of muscle spasms and nerve pain.  The exercize helps me to feel that I am taking responsibility for what I can control.  The exercize benefits me also because I like to have a scoop of ice cream, and I have diabetes, therefore, exercize keeps the sugar manageable.

Each health situation is different, but so many suffer.  If we take some time to consider our own situation, and start right away to manage our health before more serious problems develop.  Not only can we keep our healthcare costs down, we may feel better.

2.  Relationships:  Relationships affect our peace of mind.  The relationship we have with our creator, with ourself, with our loved ones and if we are employed than we have our social relationships.  Can we improve all these relationships?

The relationship a person has with their creator can affect how they also feel about themselves and how they live their life and the consequences etc.  I have no more to say on that subject.  It is worth considering privately.

The relationship we have with ourself is very complicated indeed.  So much of how we feel about our-self is deeply rooted from our conception, our upbringing, the family situation, the make up of the family dynamics.  Some come from secure family situations, that is very rare these days.  Some of us are very wounded from broken homes, lack of security, an absent parent, and some experience abuse.  All these factors shape us.  Yet, we do not have to be defined permanently by any of these situations.

Earning a healthy esteem is a very valid concept that I have lived by for decades.  We may remain sensitive or fragile.  Yet, I think of a flower that appears to be fragile, sure, someone may be cruel and pull some petals off.  If the flower is left alone, it can even go thru a thunderstorm with high winds and still remain beautiful.  Someone may pull our petals off, but we must remain rooted in what we know and what we can do.  We can bloom again and if necessary, we can be the seed that blows in the wind, and be rooted elsewhere.  The sun, the rain, will come again.  A positive attitude and hope are fortifying.

When I went thru some health dilemmas this last year, the effect had a stifling effect on me.  I felt incapable and unable.  I quit writing, painting, making bread, and sewing became a rarity.  Cleaning the bathroom mirror I wondered if it was done right.  No one was doing this to me, and I cannot blame anyone.  The doctor whom helps me with my life management skills regarding my attention deficit, he helped me to realize that something was rooted in my youth.  He said, “OK, you do not want to blame anyone, you do not want to blame it on something in your youth, mistreatment you endured.  Yet, you do acknowledge you were not in ideal circumstances to grow a healthy esteem, you did not feel safe, and your accomplishments were met with disfavor by those whom should have been proud of you.  If you can accept this, you can move on.  You can find a new way to respond to your accomplishments.”  Of course, I did not have a tape recorder and it may not be a perfect word for word account.  That was the basic jist of it.

To get thru all of this, I kept the habit of making my Master List for the month and the week.  I referred to them often.  A book from the Library on Productivity that I referred to in one of my previous published articles suggested that when I make my TO DO List that I leave room between each to put a couple of actions that are logically needed to accomplish the task.  This really helped me to get more done.  Feel Good Feeling!  My friend Mattie has an infectious cheer about her and giggle.  She is all about giving yourself a cheer when you complete something.  I am trying it, and it feels good.  My husband John likes to stand back and look at what he has done, you can see his pride well up even with the smallest of accomplishments.  I use to look at him in wonder when I would walk up and find him doing so, in fact, because I did not understand it, I thought it was downright silly and it made me a bit uncomfortable.  Over the years, I have slowly come to understand this gift.

Did you know that at the end of each day of creation, our Great Creator would say “It is Good!”.  We are made in his image.  So if we know we worked hard, and we did our best, I believe it is healthy to feel “it is good”!   My relationship with myself is greatly improved, and I am sewing again.  If we can possibly have a healthy esteem, we can then be healthy to be in a relationship with.  Our relationship with our mate, family, children, and work mates can be healthier if we are more positive to be around.  By having a healthier diet and exercise program, a healthy attitude, we can have healthier expectations of others too.  Nurture those relationships respectfully.  Each person is subject to the law, and each person is protected by the law.  If that is remembered, then abuse would be uncommon.

Last night I saw true love.  A couple with their toddler entered the diner  where we were enjoying a meal.  The man was lovingly affectionate and obviously proud of his lady and the child.  He was quite handsome.  She was quite obese and unkempt.  It likely had been a hard day for her.  Yet, this man loved this woman, and she knew it.  I was greatly touched.

3.  Domestic, no I am not talking about domestic beer.  It is where we live, what we drive, and where we spend our time, and how we manage it all.  Half the year is gone, there is some warm weather maintenance we can do on our home, car, and property.  Have you made your punch list?  I want to get into the car and do some deep cleaning, and it is not just because I turned a to-go container of spaghetti upside down in the back seat of the car yesterday.  I was already planning on a thorough detail clean of the interior of the car, now it just seems more immediate to do.  Thankfully, my caring husband got the spaghetti spill cleaned up, but I do feel I need to do that thorough cleaning in the next day or so.  Light colored car, little spots could be anywhere.  This time of year is a great time to clean the garage, and have a garage sale or donate your goods.  Fix your bicycles and use them.  Plan a trip to the zoo, or keep cool in a museum, visit family, or go away for a long weekend.

John got some weatherstripping done on all the doors last week.  Our lovely old yellow cat, PUFF, has already scratched up the new weatherstrip on the front door.  I am going to do a smelly hairspray on the lower door frames after I rub a little essential oils on the weatherstrip.  We still need to get some exterior painting done.  There is a list.  I am eager to get the windows clean.  As I am zeroing in on a room at a time with the deep cleaning,  the last thing I do in the room, the final touch is cleaning all the glass, which includes the windows.  Doesn’t it make everything look good.?

Attention to these three areas can give pretty quick improvement in many areas of our life. We can already feel better about this year and all we hoped to achieve.  We live in a very demanding and often insecure world.  Gently, yet, effectivly gaining more control over our health, relationships, and domestic situation can give us a sense of accomplishment resulting in a healthier esteem.  June may be gone by,…we still have a half year to fulfill our goals.

 

 

 

 

 

February, Is this Leap Year? I am a day late. We have eleven Months to live fabulously.

We are already in the second month of 2016, and we have eleven months to get into the practice of living Fabulously despite.

The sad fact is all endure something.  Employment, family, friendships, health, fitness, financial, are all things that affect our attitude and outlook.  Things occur that we have no control over, tragedies can happen to anyone and do.  Thankfully, some or most of these things can be short in duration in comparison to our whole life.  Yet, this does not cure the present devastation or to minimize overall long-term loss.  I am sad for anyone that is suffering.  May your prayers be answered and that you receive comfort.

The Good News is that there is much we can control.  As you realize, this blog is named fatfitanfab.com.  Sometimes, we cannot control being fat, or other things.  We are in control of more than we realize.  We can be mentally and physically fit as we practice routines and habits that will result in us being fab.

This year, we will consider and practice many things that will add joy to our lives and to those around us.  Check back to fatfitanfab.com often to learn along with me.

I have been working on my goal of walking at least five times a week.  As I have been dealing with a serious infection and inflammation of my left calf and lower leg for a few weeks, I do not feel well.  Yet, although last week I went five days without a walk, I am on track again.  I have gone for a walk the last three days.  At this time, I am only cooking, doing laundry, and picking up after my self.  This infection has to do with the lupus and rheumatoid I endure.  The fevers are grueling and the antibiotics cause me to feel I must stay close to home.   It is a surprise I am not knitting as I am sitting, elevating the legs.  Just do not feel like it when everything hurts.  I loved the movie about Toni Braxton whom also suffers Lupus.  Seeing that really helped me to understand how I am at times, and now I will not feel so ashamed of feeling that way.

Friends have been a source of encouragement.  I appreciate the visitors whom share such uplifting things.  Friends stopped by this morning and it was great visiting with them.

What are you looking forward to?  I am looking forward to my flowers coming up and I am planning my garden.    My friends do sewing challenges with me.  You would think I like to sew.  It is exciting picking the fabric, style, and making it.  I am not adept with most things, and if you remember one of my first articles “Toil, Toil, and it has all gone to Pots”.  I still have all kinds of discouraging mishaps that I call ‘Hold Ups’.

How come I feel Fabulous despite all this going on?  I must tell you the truth, I get down about things I cannot change.  There are times I am overwhelmed and feel I will never get a mastery of My Life Management Skills.  I am happy and I feel fabulous because I am learning the practice of a rewarding life.   Routines and Habits make a difference.   This year I have already lost ten pounds, and 15 since October of 2015.  Now that I am on thyroid medicine it seems a bit easier to lose.  That is something to celebrate.   I finally sewed the buttonholes on my Suit Jacket I made for the convention last month.  A sewing machine my friend loaned me worked.  Yae!  The meals have been delicious.  Do you like to cook?  Think about, Are there new aspects to cooking you would like to incorporate, like making salads a few times a week to go with your meals?  I feel fabulous because as long as we can plan, we live to plan and we plan to live.  While we live, we must plan.  A friend said to me a couple weeks ago, What projects are you working on now? As long as I have known you, you have had projects going on.  She is right.  I likely crossed my eyes at her because I could not help but think of all the projects I did not complete.  I will not think about that, because I have been practicing finishing projects and I have finished so many it just feels Fab.

One goal I have for Feb is Food Conservation.  That will be in my next article.  What goals do you have?  A positive attitude is another goal.  My friend Mattie said to me on Monday to give yourself a little cheer after you complete something, a real feel good event.  So after I washed a load of laundry and put away, I said, Good Job! Well done!  After my walk I did another Cheer.  My friend Mattie is a super influence on me.  Whom says cheering is only for a football game.  Let us cheer each other on and ourselves.

Challenge, Make life more rewarding An get a new ATTITUDE

Take a moment and look in the dictionary, like I looked in the Merriam-Webster, The word, Challenge.  I just never thought of all the definitions for this one word.

Challenge, such as, prove your point. Or, As in a dual, or other forms of defending yourself or a cause, or a decision.

I like the application they made in their dictionary on-line that helps make the point of my article.  I have my article lined up and I love to look up a word occasionally.  To use the dictionary reaffirms what I believe it to mean, or it rounds out the meaning of the word and all the uses and applications, thus making it so I can be completely confident.  Can you make use of the dictionary more often?

The application that the Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary said ” It’s a game that will challenge a child’s imagination.” , and the second was “The work doesn’t challenge him anymore, and he’s often bored.”

In life, there are times that a person goes through the motions of living almost habitually.  Almost with dread approaching the same routine, and stagnation has set in.  Where is the optimism and joy?  Motivation, what is motivation?  As a person commented on my blog, they feel they hesitate too much and too long before attending to something.  I will have to talk about that later, as I am often guilty of the same.  Missed opportunities is all I will say about that at the moment.

Motivation, look it up in the dictionary please!  When life is not stimulating and your caught up in the same old worries and pressures it is time for a challenge.

When we were children, remember when we would do the Library Summer Reading Program?  We had to read so many books during the summer and that was the challenge, not only did it keep us out of our parents hair, it was truly beneficial.  It kept us busy and hopefully out of trouble as our minds were lost in the plot of the story.  We worked at reading our books and we were proud of ourselves as we achieved and fulfilled the challenge.  Challenges can be healthful and enjoyable.

Think of things that you previously enjoyed and let go of because of the responsibilities in life.   Years just continue going by.  Is there something you have been interested in and just have not pursued?  Here is a brief list:  gardening, painting, reading, spiritual interests, exercise, dance, education, golfing, community events, operas, orchestras and live bands.  There is also crocheting, knitting, writing, woodwork, weightloss, personal organization, improving your finances, container gardening, visiting museums, bowling, spring cleaning, better posture, remodeling, cleaning the basement, attic or garage.  There are life changing challenges such as improving your image, updating your appearance, improving your marriage, enjoying your family life.  The list goes on and on, and maybe you can make yourself a list.

Have a wall calendar or a personal calendar just for your challenges and keeping track of yourself.

Steps to successful challenges.

1.  Time period for your challenge must be established.  Will it be a 14 day, 30 day, six week, eight week or a 90 day challenge?  What day or evening each week can you devote to achieving your challenge?  If it is a physical fitness goal, is there three to five days a week you can devote to this new routine?  Once the time period and days are established then what can you do to feel the rewards of working on your new challenge?

2.  Preparation, if you want to get in shape but you have been putting off getting the membership, get signed up.  If you want to paint, then set up a corner or room with all your supplies.  If you need supplies you can contact the local senior citizens center in your area and sometimes supplies are left there by ones that are no longer interested and they may give them to you, and they may let you join them for the classes to get you going with your artwork.  Put things in motion now.  Get out all your supplies, go buy what you need, and set a time aside for when you can work on it.  My friend Diana, she has special needs children she adopted, and on Tuesday, one day she is alone at home, she paints pictures, it is relaxing and satisfying for her.  I am proud of her for doing this, it is a sanity keeper.

If you cannot afford supplies, check craigslist, or post in the wanted section what you are looking for.  Please,’ hoarders’, do not bother, leave it for those truly interested in doing something with now.  Did I step on your toes, I am sorry, I do not want to add to your accumulation.  You can check the wanted section and if someone has a need and you have in your stash what will help them, then generosity is rewarding in itself to  share.

If gardening is your interest, dig up some pots and fill up with new gardeners soil and plant some seeds.  It takes a couple months to get some good size plants to put in your garden.  PBS has some great gardening shows, and the Gardening section at the library has a lot of books on gardening.  Whether it is flowers or vegetables, get them started.  I bought some bulbs a couple months ago at Walmart and I wanted a monochromatic garden.  A four foot by 12′ section of Johnson grass and weeds were an eyesore and we have planted and deweeded there for years.  If you know anything about Johnson grass, it grow deep, it is nearly impossible to get rid of.  My husband tilled deep and we believe we got most of it out.  Several days of raking and hoeing to be sure.  The bulbs come in a variety of heights  from some being 8″ up to others being 42″.  I wanted the rear 2′ x 12′ to be a light pink monochromatic but the front two to be pastels including the same hue of pink with all the other colors.

3.  Purchase a magazine or book of your interest.  Then make your challenge.

One obvious challenge was The Skirt a Day Sewing book by Nicole Smith.  A couple years ago when I was in the hospital for five days having surgery and facing more threatening surgery, my husband kindly went and bought this book for me.  I read it cover to cover and it kept my head out of my depressing and distressing circumstances.  Endorphin Therapy, I love it.  I have yet to do the 28 skirts and I have reread her book a couple times.  A delightful light read, very instructive.  In fact I contacted her on her webpage once and she replied and was so very helpful about a fitting problem I deal with when making skirts and pants.  When I get some of these other projects done, I look forward to doing this challenge.  I am a bit of a slow worker likely I would have to give myself six weeks to do this challenge.  Of course this is an example of a challenge.

The most recent challenge I was involved with was with my Friend Mattie, she is a great sewer and I love to sew.  We picked a pattern she had and being that we had a convention we were going to see each other at in a couple weeks we decided to make the outfit for the convention.  She did an amazing job on hers and she looked very elegant with her lovely brown skirt and Jacket.  I did not have the same pattern so I used a blouse pattern and modified it.  The Jacket had the front angled from the center at the bottom to your left upper chest with the buttons going up at the angle.  Having a lot of fitting issues and having to draft up my pattern, for instance, I have very small narrow shoulders, therefore, I had to take four inches, yes, four inches off the shoulders and make the armhole adjustment.  It was such an exciting project.  My biggest challenge was my sewing machines broke down.  My daughter-in-law Lindsea is so kindly letting me use her machine for a bit, I received it the other night.  Mattie and I attended this large convention we attend three times a year every year and she had on her new outfit with a cute little hat.  I had on my jacket and the color was spice, and the texture not quite tencel or suede.  And although I did not get to make the skirt in time,  the jacket matched a skirt I had very well.  We both received a lot of complements and the challenge was rewarding.  As sewing buddies, we have this two week challenge to just clean up our sewing rooms and finish a couple of projects and get them out of the way.  She gets to decide on our next challenge.  I cannot wait.

The cookbook challenge, take a cookbook you own and scan the chapters or sections.  Pick a section and work it for the month.  Such as one chapter a month.  Or, let this be Sauces Month.  Learn how to make alfredo, and gravies, etc.  Or do a crock pot recipe once a week.

I make notes in my books and magazines when I accomplish the project and I put the date on it too.

A magazine on woodworking, you can do the project.  Make notes, and show time spent on each step.  Make the notes in the magazine and take pictures.

Some want to make Bible reading their challenge or goal, yet it can be daunting.  Keep it inspiring especially if you have not been successful with daily reading in the past.  Would you want to break it down into Bible characters and read the chapters regarding them, Like the book of Ruth, or about Abraham, then do that and really think about what you are reading and how some of their qualities can enrich your life.  Or, Would you want to read the gospels?  I love to read the book of Psalm and the book of Proverbs.  It is not about how many chapters you read each day, it is just that you devote time each day to prayerfully do it.  I love the Imitate Their Faith series and book on jw.org .

Make a list of your interests, masterlist and a timeframe.  A lot of our cellphones have reminders, and to-do lists where we can enter information to help us stay on track with our goals and challenges.  Make use of them.

4.   Have a buddy or an interest group that you are involved with regarding your interest.  It will keep you going and encouraged.

Time is difficult to manage especially with the obligations people face.  Some people come home and fall on the couch and turn on the television or computer for some mindless activites that fein relaxation.  It is ok, but the reward is to trade up the time for more personal achievements.  Now you will no longer be stagnating and you will have something to look forward to.