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.

Postponed feelings, why, put off the tears?

As I strive to recover from yet another surgery and other effects of my condition, I am also dealing with the fact that my beloved father is in hospice care many states away and I cannot be there.

I feel all kinds of frustration, sadness, and I want to cry, scream, stomp my feet and cry some more.  Instead, I am stuck in a recliner or on the couch.  Being prevented from doing activities, and the boredom of that, and the knowledge that I cannot go and be there with my father and family in these last most precious days.

I try to keep in contact with family and talk to my father as often as I can.  I sent flowers and a big box of candy for the family to enjoy while they are there visiting.  Yet, it is sad I feel I am not there when I am most needed.

While sitting here I decide to practice the yarn over knitted stitch my dyslexic mind cannot wrap around.  Still practicing that, I think I got it, but they do not look alike.  The knitted fabric looks like there is something wrong with it, all these wholes of various sizes and shapes.  I must put it down for a bit.

Then my friends come by, bringing dinner and another night other friends brings a pot with two baked chickens and some tasty rice.  Today, another friend pops in and brings some blueberry/raspberry muffins,  picked her own berries.  Then yesterday another friend brought a big box of seedless black California grapes, yum.  It is hard to focus on my woes with all this good love and support.  Olivia, she painted the walls in my kitchen for me and did some vacuuming and dusting.  Devoted friends are hard to find, and harder to keep, thus I have learned from the bible how to be a friend too.  It is so wonderful how good my friends are, they cheer me up so.

On that note, if you learn of anyone in your life going thru a tough time, what can you do about it?  Can you send them a card via snail mail?  Is a text really good enough for those you care for.  Can you invite them and their family to dinner at your home and practice your amazing cooking skills on them?  Or go to an antique or resale shop and buy a lovely teacup and saucer and a doily, gift wrap them and take them or send them.  Really, a kind word is a lot.

When my spleen was being removed a few years ago, my Dear friends in Maine got together and sent me some wonderful things they gathered and put in a box.  My friend was right on cue, when I only merely mentioned Oh, by the way I am getting my spleen removed.  I am really getting behind on the house and my garden has gone to ruin,… etc. she jumped into action.  They sent me jams they made from berries they picked, and maple syrup from trees they tapped, and other friends put in things and it was just the most delightful event unexpectedly receiving this in the mail.

We love to invite people over to dinner and that really works out well.  We can really sit and visit and they always enjoy looking over my interesting homestead.  We enjoy learning about others.  Once, when there was a hurricane, there were a bunch of Chinese students here on a work program and they were scared.  We invited them here for the storm and we worked on sewing projects.  Teaching one to sew, another to mend, and just had a great time.  We roughed out the storm and made some great memories.

At this point, instead of allowing myself to focus on my present situation which is out of my control, I am going to focus on all my fabulous blessings.  Being Fat, Fit an Fab greatly depends on our maintaining the most healthful attitude while we endure unpleasant situations out of our control.  Making the best of our time, I think I need to start writing some thank you notes.

Pleasurable endorphin releasing activities, natures natural anti depressant.

Is there an activity you like to do?  Do you enjoy golfing or bowling, or going to a museum or a show?  I am not suggesting that a person get into a committed every week situation with these activities, they take time an money to do.

It is important to take the time and money you set aside to go enjoy an activity.  About every three weeks I try to plan for an activity we can do as a family, or with just my husband or to go with a friend.  I love orchestras and I am hoping to go enjoy that. Planning a pleasurable activity  is very healthy for the mind.

Plan an hour or two to hang out at the library or book store.  A person can stroll through a garden center an plan a garden or just buy a few plants.

The library plans many activities for the public.  We have always enjoyed what they put together.  Some towns have Friday night movies at the park put on my the parks district, which has many other activities and classes available.

Of course there is always a massage or a pedicure. What a treat.

Then there is just getting at something that has been long put off. Just jump in an get something done. It is very important to replenish so you can come back twice as motivated.

It is really important to have something to do that is not stressful, but enjoyable.  This way a person is not practicing seclusion, but is interacting with the public.  A friendship might be initiated, loneliness may be forgotten as interest grows in activities.  Endorphins to the rescue when we practice the art of living, depression can release its grip on us.

Taking a Moment to… This is better than a greeting card ..

This is better than a popular brand of greeting cards.  This is not romance, and it is not to be saved for a holiday, it is real life now.

Stop, take a look at your nearest and dearest.  Are you too busy to smile?  Can you look in their eyes and listen while they are expressing themselves to you?  Can you give a hug and hold while expressing words of appreciation?

It might be an elderly person in your life, it could be your mate, or your sibling, or your child.  We have a responsibility to be emotionally affectionate.

More children and adults are made vulnerable just because they do not hear often enough, I love you.  I appreciate all you do.  You look so nice today.  Your so good at that.  I need you in my life.  Thank you.  People in our lives are emotionally starving and it shouldn’t be a card once a year that tells them how important they are to you.

With electronic devices, I see families in restaurants and everyone except one is fooling with their phones.  They look lonely and irritated.  Personally, I would move to another table and I would be less lonely eating alone.

It takes so much to earn a respectable wage and to carry all the responsibilities in our lives.  People are emotionally and physically spent.  Our loved ones can get neglected in the process.  We need not put it off, all need love, affection and approval.

There are some really exceptional people out there that already take the time and do this with their loved ones, and their loved ones feel very loved.

No, this is not a special occasion card.  No one knows how long they will live or how long another will live.  Time and unforeseen occurrence befall all.  Love expressed is a most cherished moment.

CHANGE, is it possible? A transformation How?

Change?  Why change, you’re great just how you are.  There are things about you that are unique to you, whether fat or thin, you are fabulous.

Think of the caterpillar that isn’t so pretty but the future is bright, and the transformation is inevitable.  The lunar moth, or the butterfly is amazing.  Imagine if someone killed the moth larvae’ or stomped a caterpillar, preventing this transformation because of viewing the present state as unappealing.

First, we do not want to do that to ourselves, judging ourselves too harshly, condemning ourselves as unworthy.  We are our own investment, and those we love appreciate when we take good care of ourselves, and our responsibilities.  Whom are we to compare ourselves to another, or even to our past self.  Times change us, circumstances call for an adjustment of our expectations.  The bible tells us to let our reasonableness be known to all.  We improve our own life and bless the lives of those we love.

Secondly, there may be people that are very comfortable with us in our sad state.  Our improvements make them uncomfortable.  If we stay fat, unhappy, and unorganized they depend on that.  They compare themselves to us and immediately they feel superior.  Why would we want to be viewed in such an unhealthy way?  Our esteem stays low, and we feel undeserving.  If you make the habit of making yourself look nice, pay attention to your family and friends.  If someone responds negatively to you, you know a little more about them, Don’t you?!  I have friends that do not want me to lose weight, they tell me a pound a month is just fine, or that I must accept my weight.  Are they really a friend?

I recall that when I lived up in Chicagoland, there was a time I was very unhealthy and I was heavy.  Dressing in colorful clothes cheers me up.  So I started dressing with great cheer.  Someone I considered my friend, informed me that being a large woman I should tone down and wear just browns and blacks like they do in Chicago.  The professional and sophisticated woman dresses in dark colors she said.  My response came rather quickly, I said, “The reason the women dress in brown and black is that they are in a state of gloom and doom, there is no future for them other than what they are doing now.  I serve a God of great color.  Birds, butterflies an flowers are a great show of color and they are my inspiration.  When I wear color or if I wear black, it does not change my size, I could be some big black bird or I can be a lovely cheerful image.”  She did not take well to this.  The point being, when you discover others do not support your positive changes, do you need their discouraging oppression?

The other problem is if others try to oppress you with expectations of change too heavily.  For instance, I have been working on maintaining a schedule while I strive to get my domestics organized.  Some would just like to pull up a dumpster and clear all my surfaces while they brag that they did all this.  Like, forcing their way on me.  Maybe they do not like having books around, and hobbies to do, and they consider themselves minimalist.  The fact that I sweep my floors daily, keep my kitchen and baths clean, and do my towels and sheets each week means I do not live in squalor.  I do not want to minimize the fact that I do have clutter which I am diminishing.  Having operations every ten months for the last ten years, being on bed rest and having home health care on a number of occasions and the list goes on, there are times everything gets out of control.  I have hired people as I can to keep the house wiped down, the floors clean etc.  It is just there are well meaning people whom would like to come in with black trash bags and clear out the place.  There are times that I am housebound, and having my projects around keeps my mind and heart busy as well as inspired.  I am handicapped and I spend a lot of time at home, and this is my home.  Pressure and judgment from others whom have a lack of  understanding and compassion only set a person backwards in their progress.  There are times we must submit to change if our situation is extreme and unhealthy.  Otherwise, people need to respect another persons legal and moral right to conduct their own life.

It takes time to change, and it takes time for others to recognize nominal change.  The practice of good habits will result in change.  So if your goal is taking a long time in being achieved there may be ways to step it up.  I will discuss this in another post very soon.  Remember, it is important to already be cared for and loved now as you are.  Even if it is only you whom loves yourself and sees your good qualities, that is crucial in your transformation.  If no one wants to love me while I am fat, I do not care for their love when I am thin.  If I am only loved thin, then how much do I need the love.

The change and transformation we are working for is also helping us to earn and acquire a health esteem.  That is not the same as narcissism or self centeredness.  We are healthfully making the internal and external adjustments in our habits and lifestyle.  Aren’t we beautiful?