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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.

 

 

 

 

 

Loser! Or Winner? How are you labeled, do you label yourself?

How do you label yourself?  How do others label you?  Should we label ourselves or others with such expectations?  Either we expect too much or we expect the worst.

Growing up, it seems we are labeled at birth to be or not to be.  My natural mother attempted to abort me twice via home methods, and obviously was a failure.  As the welfare department knew before my birth they would have me, there were the worst of expectations.  I was instantly labeled unadoptable.  In my records it states I would have many defects and would always be an expense for the department.

Growing up, there were many surprises, that I was good at structural things, creative things, math, etc.  While I was continually reminded that I was not like others, and I was not capable.   To have goals or plans for the future I was setting myself up for disappointment.

There were health problems, yet, I was a lovely little child wanting love, affection, security and praise.  The foster family whom had me since three weeks of age finally got approval to adopt me.  It was really dad whom wanted me.  I was three an a half when Dad left an moved many states away.  At three an a half, I was very saddened when he just disappeared.  Only finding out this year that he left because she was so violent to the children, including me.  Therefore, I did not feel loved, wanted, secure, or praised.

This is not such a sad tale as it appears.  My teachers really made a difference.  Mother would tell them bla, bla, bla, and I was not capable.  Then the teachers would tell her good about me, and she could not deal with it.  When I was delighten from the rewards of achievements, and the praise of teachers, she happily knocked it out of me later.  But can you really knock it out of a person?

Unsavory people in our lives may not be comfortable with our small or large successes.  What is really wrong with them?  Do we have to be underahievers or flawed for others to feel right or superior?   Some are controlling beasts that have those expectations.

Whether it is the family dynamics that keep us in our place, a mate, or friendship.  Example:   “She is the lovely one an I am the fat one”. ” She is organized an I am the messup”.  Does the apparrent winner need a few losers in their life so they can bask in the position they have placed themselves in.  An aquaintance came over an spent a couple hours talking continously about all her achievements.  I praised her as I was very impressed with her hunting, fishing, an outdoor activities.  Finally later I mentioned that I sew some, an I showed her my most unorganized yet interesting workroom  with projects on maniquins an forms.  She was looking, seemingly impressed, then she suddenly said self assaulting words an phrases such as, “I am so dumb, I do not  know how to do that. I am so stupid an useless, …” About herself.  The discomfort caused me to feel regret showing her.  It appeared to me that if she was the only capable one at anything she was happy in this belief, but she couldn’t stand us both being capable.  This would be an unhealthy relationship if I let it develop.

Friends an loved ones support each other as we make decisions that better our lives or persons.  If you start getting daily exercize an get in better shape an become healthier, family members an friends are happy for you.  Or you start keeping your car really clean an clean up your home, these are positive changes you an those whom love you can appreciate.  You do not have to be the “fat one”, “lazy one”, “messy one”, “shy one”, we can make the adjustments to be whatever we want to be.

There are people in our lives that are superior at many things, we can almost feel inferior if we are not careful.  It is a bad habit to look at others an try to determine whom is a loser an whom is a winner.  We might even do it to our own children an label them.  We inhibit others when we put expectations on them.  Some have others expecting too much an then they get involved with all sorts of downfalls because they could not take the pressure of perfectionism and too high expectations.

Some do not expect enough of themselves an their life performance in such important areas as relationships, work, health an fitness, personal organization an habits, an money, they do fail.  This can be because of a lack of parental training, low esteem, or healthy habits.

The point of this article is that no one knows you like our Great Creator Jehovah and his son.  We can make adjustments in our life, habits, thoughts and attitudes.  It takes so long to truly know another, and never completely so.  We are a mystery to ourselves.  Imagine your better self, and then determine what is the next action to take to meet that change.  Finishing what I start fearlessly is what I am working on.  I am enjoying the rewards of that.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lonely, How can a person get thru the next few days?

Do you ever feel lonely?   Why are you lonely?  Are you alone, or are you in a family and lonely?  Lonely, when there is so much to consider.  Why am I lonely, is it because I am alone?  What can I do to enrich this moment so I no longer feel alone?  Some people are alone, they live alone, and they may not live in the same community as their family.  Families are estranged too often which also contributes to aloneness.  For whatever reason, being alone is not healthy if that is a continuous situation.

If your alone because your mate works a lot or is involved in a lot of activities than have you mentioned that you would like to spend more time with them.   Mention it briefly without weaponry.   The other day, I mentioned to my oldest son whom is married and lives only about 15 minutes away that I am sad we are not able to stop in when we are in the area.  They both work full time, and their lives are so busy that they really do not appreciate people dropping by without calling ahead of time.  They are right.  I think I offended him in the way I commented about it, and he felt I was laying a guilt trip.  That was not my intention and it only further served up sad feelings and frustration that it was received that way.  Therefore, I have no recommendations on how to communicate your feelings.   Just let a person know you would like to spend more time with them and leave it at that.  If your mate is very busy, what activities can you do to be more busy?  Are you fulfilling all your personal and domestic responsibilities?  Join a knitting group or painting group at your local senior citizen center, they would love to have you there even if you are not a senior.  Each week have a day to visit local sites such as museums, gardens or parks, the library or bookstore.  Invite your mate, they may surprise you and take a vacation day off to join you.  The more busy you are, the more accomplished you become, the more you have to talk about, the more interesting you become.  Plan out the month ahead for yourself, then do them.  Keep your calendar visible so your mate can see what your interested in.  This is not to promote independence, it is only living a healthy life.

If you do not have a lot of relationships because you are new to an area then you must understand it takes time to build a relationship.  You do not have to sacrifice your morality or defraud your budget to have a relationship.  Dutch is best, your only in control of you.  Dutch means there are no misconceptions or hidden expectations.  You are nice because you go, be your own transportation.  You never have to prove how nice you are or how interesting or knowledgeable you are.  Yes, whom says you will even like the other party after you get to know them for a while.  So, do not put your morality or money on the line.  Integrity lost in an thoughtless eve can take years to retrieve.

When I am alone, I love projects.  What projects do I have on my agenda right now?  If you are my friend and I assume you are, I would tell you…

My dresser top which is about five feet long had everything it shouldn’t have on it for far too long.  The mirror fell behind the dresser a couple years ago, and because I am overweight, I did not care to look anyway.  Last week,  I decided to remedy the mess and took a couple piles of clothes off and put away, then I consolidated the perfumes and lotions. (Far too many) I do not need to buy more perfumes or lotions according to “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” expert Marie Kondo.  She advocates tossing most of what you have.  I do not agree with that point since I like what I have and I have the room for it.  I did access what I have with no pressure and made a mental note to use what I have.  There were a few things I chose to toss, and that I had got all the use I wanted from them.  Her program is great, I have just finished the second of  four cd’s from her series I received a couple weeks ago.

As I continued to group and organize my belongings of what was on my dresser top my husband John came in and looked at me and mentioned that ‘wasn’t it time I think about making dinner’.  I agreed that it was a good time to make dinner and that since he could see I was productively busy, couldn’t he make dinner.  Really, I did have the rice an vegetables done in the Black an Decker RC436 type 1, that our son Brock gave us for our anniversary last year.  John, he looked at me when I suggested he let me continue working.  He saw the bed was loaded up with piles of clothes, papers, and junk jewelry.  He left and went to the kitchen likely shaking his head wondering if I would get to clearing the bed.  When I went and stirred the rice which is periodically needed so as not to stick to bottom of cooker, I was pleased to see him using a cookbook trying to decide how he was going to marinate the wild caught salmon he purchased.  As I put away, tossed, or organized  I found things I had been missing.  Now the dresser was lovely again, I could see the dresser scarf I made a few years ago with a precious piece of jacquard fabric that I surged a nice edge on.  So satisfying, and the meal was very satisfying too.  He was very pleased.  The mirror is up, I feel looking into it is not so offensive.  One project done.  Is there a project nagging you to get done, make time now.

Another project is that I am trying to make a nice pair of denim sage green pants.  A good quality fabric always makes it worth doing.  Purchased pants no longer come up to the waist, and that is what I like, a hi-rider.  Do you sew?  Many men and women sew of all ages.  It can be frustrating at times, bobbins pop up, needles break or the fit is not right.  Fix it and keep sewing.  Finally the pants look like nice pants, just need to hem them.  That is not all, the frustrating part is that I have to take the yoke I designed off the back, and decrease a few inches because thankfully, they are too large at where the lower back is.  A couple darts and a zipper are required then, incorporating the lovely yoke is a creative challenge I am mentally working out.

A lot of rest I have needed in the last couple weeks due to extremely low blood pressure, fevers, and exhaustion.  When your dizzy, you should lay down so you do not fall down.  With a cut on the bottom of my left foot, whom wants to walk a lot anyway.  The infection in left leg seems to finally be healing.  Almost.  Sounds so dreary really.  Projects keep my mind busy.  Do you have projects?  Proverbs 31 suggest them greatly.

Loneliness, do you send cards?  Snail mail is the best, support our Post Offices and they will not be a thing of the past.  I value the sweet cards I receive and letters, and I send a lot of cards and letters every week.  I send cards and sometimes gifts to complete strangers.  If I hear someone does well at something, or if someone is sick, or suffers a loss, then a card is what I can do to support mankind.  Expressing commendation where it is truly due, or compassion, empathy and support, that is something any of us can do.  My handwriting suffers due to rheumatoid, so I prayerfully choose my words, and then I write a brief note.  The Tuesday Morning stores have beautiful stationary at affordable prices.  TJ Maxx, or The Ross are other department stores that also sell cards and or stationary at decent prices.  Do not wait for a card or wait for kindness or thoughtfulness.  When you send a card or small letter, send with prayers, hopes, but no expectations.  Every week cards or letters go out, and usually a few come in.  So sweet, the treasure trove of thoughtfulness can be in quiet moments.  Being alone enjoying expressions of someone now gone is also a healing.  The mother whom raised me, (some day I will explain that) sent me a letter with ten dollars suggesting I go get a dessert for the boys and I that we would ordinarily not do because of cost.  She lived far away.  We did as she suggested and that was so very sweet.  She has been gone for possibly twelve years now.  I have that little letter which I kept in a little box that I recently discarded, now it is put in a little book of knitting socks, and periodically a couple times a year I pull the letter out , read and weep.  Yes, she has no idea how meaningful the gift was then and how it still affects me now.

When the boys were toddlers, there I was now a single mother with three.  With no family to turn to, no child support, loneliness was a common occurrence.  Being overwhelmed with financial responsibilities, working contract work in the field of architecture and construction, life was feast or famine.  From mid November until about February, there were little opportunities to work, so I became an expert at stretching the dough.  One time, I earned three dollars too much to qualify for any assistance.  Others seemed to be doing so well on assistance, and we were getting evicted with no where to go.  I always have had my faith and many times my brothers and sisters in our faith were the ones to come to the rescue.  For that I am so appreciative.  I found it so humiliating to be in need and strived to handle our problems on my own.  There were times I was so lonely it was almost crippling.  Having projects even then was so helpful.  I made the most adorable denim and suede coats for my sons.  Proud I wanted them to be, and I wanted them to feel equivalent to those around, and I would tell them although we did not have bucks in the wallet, we were still richer than most.  I would take them to the Home Depot classes for children to learn how to make things.  They loved it, and it built healthy esteems in them too.  As adult men, they design and build whatever they want.  Blake designed a wonderful bed, dresser, closet unit, and it even had secret drawers.  I was so impressed.  He knows he can design and make what he needs when he wants.  It saddened me when they disassembled it.  Brock designed a treehouse with an elevator that goes up.  He lives there.  When people stop in, they always want him to take them up in the elevator to see the treehouse.   Brent, he is now a plumber, and he buys, fixes, sells, and trades cars.  He designed an entertainment center the whole length of the wall in his bedroom 14′ long, that was interlocking with no screws or nails.  Now he has designed an L shaped dresser, entertainment center, that also has cubbies for ties, and a shoe organizer.  He is striving to finish that.  So proud I am that we struggled through the hard times optimistically enduring.  They are three adults, sons that have proved to be survivors.  Do you have a single parent that you work with or live near?  Can you give them a gift card for a tank of gas, or an oil change, or a Walmart gift card for new shoes an socks for all, or haircuts, or coats.  With no expectations, a gift lifts both the giver and receiver.  Commendation also goes a long way.

So crafts may not be your thing, you do not want a mess.  How many people have guest rooms set perfectly up with the hopes of company that never comes.  I am a great advocate of the futon because it folds up into a couch and is a comfortable bed when need be.  My friend Michelle let me stay at her home unexpectantly for two an a half weeks when my father died.  I had just had another surgery and felt incapable of being on my own with a rented car an a place to stay, a short term amnesia besides the sadness of the situation and unnecessary family  drama, I was happy to have her generous support and the futon was comfortable too.  This was her and her husband’s office which was occasionally used as a guest room when need be.  Turning the guest room into a multipurpose room means you can keep your sewing machine set up.  Make yourself a blouse, or a pillow for a friend etc.  Or set up a small area to make jewelry or some other thing you have been interested in.

These next few days can be rough on some, take advantage of the extra time and learn something new, take a walk, call an old friend, finish something, or clean out your cabinets.  Make a list and work it.  I am starting to read the Bible book of Acts, I heard it is inspiring.  For some of these activities, being alone is a Godsend.

 

 

 

September is upon us …what do we have to be optimistic about?

September! September, a time to remember.  As the summer has passed by and fall is upon us, we still have time to reflect on what we want out of this month and year.  With a long weekend ahead, nominally nice weather, we have much to be optimistic about.  What would we like to enjoy this month?

There is still time to consider our options regarding the weeks ahead.  We have basically ten weeks of decent temperatures in which to enjoy outdoor activities.  We can take walks or bike rides with our loved ones.  Picnics are nice to do at this time of year as temps start to cool.

September is a perfect month to do some extra cleaning up on the exterior of our homes.  A touch of paint on the trims, cleaning the outside windows improves the view.  Taking a day for family clean day, clearing off the porches and doing a little upkeep results in good feelings of accomplishment.  Maintenance is an activity that can be done on these famous long weekends in both the spring and fall.

17 weeks until 2016, we have four months to work thru.  We can break our goals down to weekly steps to gain success.

I made up a game which we call Our Weight Loss Game.  We are working an 11/11 goal, when we started there were 11 weeks until November.  The rules are that we must pray daily about handling our stresses with wisdom and self control.  We must exercise for 30 or more minutes at least six days a week.  Make good food choices based on the program we choose to follow.  Keep in contact with each other and talk about what we are doing and how we feel about it.  The reward, we are making a $1.00 or more per pound contribution to the World Wide Work individually.  It is a personal decision.  The benefit is that where most diets fail because of doing it for self, when you have low esteem, self is not always a good reason to stick to a beneficial program.  The first bit of boredom or stress than one caves into desires.  Yet, if it is for a worthwhile cause, than it is a terrific reason to stick it out.  One is also benefitted, just like “….I Jehovah your God, and teaching you how to benefit yourself, and am guiding you in the way in which you should walk…” Isaiah 48:17.  I love this scripture, just quoted it.  It may not be exact wording but you get the idea, look it up.  A bit of guidance and beneficial results I am all for that. In addition the result is that we do benefit by such adjustments and we will feel better about ourselves, our clothes will fit better, or we may fit into a smaller size.  All are benefitted.  Even if a person is already thin, making good choices and getting a little activity benefits most people.

It is also important to consider that there may be a few things we can do to get organized to make this next years tax season a little easier.  What bit of info can you get together or compute?  This can make extensions avoidable by working ahead of time on the things that only you know present themselves to be stressful.

I decided to do a fall winter garden, my husband got it all tilled and prepared.  Still have pepper plants producing.  Tomato plants are still growing.  Want to start some cucumber and radishes before it gets too late.  You can dig up some plants, pot them and keep them on porch, later bringing them in for year round gardening.  Lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower are good winter garden plants.  Mums, always look nice planted along walkways.  Mine are still growing from last year.

Make this September memorable, enjoy time with family at parks, zoos, and on picnics.  Being productive now may make future months easier.

Devastated but not left on my own

Has it ever happened to you?  The extreme of abnormal?  Have you ever suspected things were not quite right?  My father died two days before I could get there to see him, he lives in New England and I live many states away.  I was having to wait to get my stitches out from a hurnea surgery and  I could not leave as soon as I would have liked.  Just a week an a half before I was on the phone with my father and he said he had four to six months to live, that was my last conversation with him.  The family commondeered his phone and would not let me talk to him.

Coming to Maine on a plane, I cried on the plane because this was my first time coming here that I would not see him.  When I went to see my step mother, she was cold and harsh, would not let me give her a hug, said she did not want visits and that there would be no funeral.  My father was a very much loved man in the community, and he was a father to all her kids, and many other children whom needed a father, he was there for all.  No one was left to be hungry or in need if he knew about it.  When she was on the phone I could hear them planning something, but, I was not invited.  I came all this way, and there I was devastated.  Unwelcome, alone with my grief.

Friends to the rescue, my God would not leave me alone with my tears.  My friends Bob and Michelle took me into their home, Michelle and I went and enjoyed many local attractions.  It was great seeing other friends we have known for decades.  Dave and Christine own a house they built up on a mountaintop surrounded by mountains, they let me come stay a number of days, we had old fashioned maple ice cream, we enjoyed the ministry and family study  I saw a storm come in across the mountains, and although it did not hit there, it was a sight to see.  Many nights here and there I cried many tears of grief over the loss of my father and other tears of deep pain and sorrow delivered unnessessarily by an unatural family.

Another friend Jennifer came and took me away for an afternoon of fun at a fine country restraunt where I had one of my favorites, Haddock chowder.  Very delicious, and I had a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, yes, all food in Maine is superior.  Then Bob and Michelle surprised me by taking me to another friends home, I had not seen her for aboout 25 years but I had thought about her so many times over the years. Randall an Liz had some great pizza.  Afterward Liz an Michelle humored me with a walk in Liz’s New England neighborhood.  I would see Liz again a couple more times and it was great.

Taking a day, or a morning to just rest was very important, and I was not shy in doing so.  Most on vacations strive to get the most out of their vacation and run here, go there, etc.  This was not a vacation, my father died, and I was in an unusual situation for me, and still healing from surgery the rest was vital.  Being handicapped, I have to take time to rest, putter, and move about slowly.

Off with Sandy an friends for the day, Sandy and Don have a very nice home in the country.  Sandy an Susan keep the house so nice.  My friends Roger and Debbie spent the morning an early afternoon with me, when I was about 21 they use to invite me over on Sundays and on fishing trips with their family.  They were so kind and it was great spending time with them too.  There were so many more I cannot mention all that extended themselves.  Yesterday Michelle mentioned that this is not without great expense, not referring to money, I am referring to pounds and inches gained.  I had quite a hearty laugh over that.  Now we are doing a diet together.

My friends and I are working our 11/11 goal.  What is that?  I will tell you in the next post.

Last night I was in great physical pain and emotional pain due to all this loss, yet, I got up and focused on a spiritual program of a convention I missed in July due to my operation.  It was great encouragement regarding healthy attitudes and actions that are beneficial regarding happy families and maintaining God’s favor.  It was great just hanging out at the house, resting and doing little things.

I had decided to paint a couple pictures for my friends Bob and Michelle whom I am staying with, (two weeks and three days, minus a few days spent with Christine)  They have been so generous and patient.  In the AID book, a large biblical dictionary, the word Hospitality is defined as having two meanings, The first is about the obvious, extending hospitality to others whether we offered or it is someone in need.  The second is regarding a person whom accepts hospitality.  They have responsibilities too, such a not making it a hardship on the one extending the hospitality.  To clean up after self, to be considerate, to help with chores, to offer financially to offset the overall expense, these are just a few examples.  Learning this years ago from this wonderful book, I strive to be a good guest.  One way I can show appreciation in addition to the other things I try to do is doing a painting.  I finished one today and I hope it suits their needs and that they like it.  I tried to keep their decor in mind, and I prayerfully addressed my care before starting the painting.  After, I layed down again and unable to move I decided it was quite ok to stay down.

One short coming I have is being quite the chatterbox.  Everyone needs quiet time, my friends offering generously do not need constant banter.  It appears I am only figuring it out near the end of this trip.

The day before I left, Liz took me to the Demillo’s at the Portland waterfront.  I love this restaurant.  Haddock chowder, fresh hot bread and a vegtable plate.  Then we rode a duck bus through town where we learned much history about the city of Portland, and architectural history.  Then the duck bus took us out on the water.  It was a lovely day to be out.  I appreciated Liz that while she was so busy with getting ready for school to start, she took the time out to make a special day.  She joined Michelle and I for dinner ( I had made the goulash in the crock pot in the morning before I left with Liz).  Michelle helped me make the beer bread to go with it.  Us old time friends had much to talk about.  It was very pleasant.

I was devasted when I realized that my family is abnormal, I was suspicious of it for years.  Here I became a long distance daughter and now the bridge has been burned unwittingly and not by me.  When step children move in and the original children have been moved to the side, it is a sad situation not just when we are small but when injustice is delivered again later.  We must keep our families together, children are the casualities as adults move from one relationship to another.

In a couple days I will return home to my husband, sons, and daughter.  After a day of rest I will get back to the routine I strive to keep which is fortifying.  I will be pondering precious memories in the months to come of special friends whom turned a painful situation around into a blessing.