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.

Home

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Home by Gina Rydin

Home, the question was, what do I think of when The word “Home” is mentioned.

It is not just a place to download.  I feel very at home when I am home.  Although there is alot I am interested in seeing and doing, I am still eager to get home.  Would you call me a homebody?

Some people are never home.  This is unsettling for most, life’s responsibilities keeps their time an energy consumed.  Yet, some do additional running from home with their children’s recreational activities.  Not only is additional money swallowed up, but time is swallowed up.  It is hard on the marriage, the budget and puts pressure on the children.  All this running, no one knows how to just relax.

Another form of running that interpheres with the good feelings that go with home is not planning errands well.  Some are bolting out the door for milk today, an toilet paper tomorrow, an food for dinner the next night.  Wasting time, money and fuel.  A state of unrest goes with always running out the door.

One time savor is using your cell phone an making a note that you will be needing orange juice, an goods for dinner tomorrow.  Your not out of orange juice, but it is near out.  After work you can pick up the couple things.  Then you can stay home.  Then you can have another list for payday, need pkg of tp, frozen goods, canned goods. An etc.  Your not out of anything an you do not have to be.

Although the purpose of being home is not so a person can be involved with their cell phone, computer, television or games for hours.

To be home is to live, be productive, relax, learn something new, play board games or cards with loved ones.  Tonight my husband an I had great conversation while playing cards.  I was able to share a draft of a short story I am writing.  He liked it and that was very stimulating for me to continue on.  The story has life to it.  Whether you are a family of one or a few, home can be a place of restoration, inspiration and peace.

Making time to focus on something else, to learn, inspires joy.  We have a family Bible study each week.  Learning together and hearing personal expressions of each brings a closeness and intimacy most long for.

Of course I feel hobbies enrich my life.  I am a person whom due to physical disabilities that require me to be home most the time.  Sewing, painting, writing, knitting while I still strive to practice an effective domestic routine.  Domestically, I can easily feel like a failure.  Today for instance, I have been elevating my right leg due to complications with my rt. ankle.  The lower fibia where the tendon an ligaments attach was injured last winter. There are still problems. There was so much I planned to do today.  I had Monday’s domestic work layed out, and some other things I wanted to do.

The fever in my right ankle and the swelling required priority care.  So elevated and iced was the routine today.  My face was wet with tears much of the day due to the discouragement of the situation.  Finally, being that I did not feel I could sew or do my domestics, I decided to put my words to paper of the story I have been writing in my head.  It flowed so beautifully.  Not bad for a first draft.  My mind is still writing it.  I will let you know when it is done.  Funny thing is, the story is also about HOME.

I like being here and people like coming here.  It is not perfectly organized, but the dishes are done, and the bathrooms are clean.  I like home, it is where I am, what I am, what I do, and whom I include.

Do you like being HOME?  What can you do to improve your home life?  Can you create a Life at home, so when you are there you are replenished?

Think about what home means to you.  Are there simple adjustments you can make that can improve your homelife?

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Year Gone By. Happy Prospects Despite:

There is so much is happening in this world, some things are frightening and depressing.  Many are personally touched by tragedy.  Yet, we have a life to live.  As long as we are alive we have a responsibility to be happy.  Some get happiness mixed up with selfishness or me ism.  It is not the same.

If we have a roof over our head, a bed to sleep in, and our basic necessities met, we have a lot to appreciate.  I am not going to depress you with facts and figures about all those whom do not have their basic needs met.  More people than you think have experienced homelessness or other sad situations.  What I would like to suggest is that we can afford to feel a measure of contentment and appreciation.  Contentment and appreciation are Happiness manufactures.  If a person only wants more and they do not see the good in their life with great appreciation, they will never be happy.  When our sons were small and life was so difficult and there was no money to pay the power bill, I still told the boys we were richer than most.  We were.

Another Happiness factor is quit looking elsewhere for what you may already have.  Invest in your mate, children, home, job, and community.  Some are not happy with their mate, what happens then.  Children grow up emotionally detached if we do not regularly communicate with them.  They can become vulnerable because of feeling unloved and lonely.  Everyday, our mates and children need us to Stop!  Look! and Listen!

What would you like to accomplish in the next quarter, 1/2 year point, third quarter?  This first quarter we definitely can start early figuring out our taxes.  An exercise routine is good to get busy with.  This next quarter I want to get some household decorative issues taken care of, finish painting, get some wood work done.

Having a schedule, and quarterly goals keeps me inspired and optimistic.  You cannot be happy if you do not have hope.  There is so much in life we have no power to control.  It is critical that we have short terms goals and long term goals.  Every day consider what step you can take to work toward the accomplishment of your goal.  A short term/longterm goal I have is the practice of productivity in my sewing and painting areas.  I am eager to get more productivity and results regulary.

Productivity restores a sense of well being to the mind.  If a person is layed off, retired, or disabled, productivity is still a necessity.  Some suffer with depression, the loss of employment or an ongoing sad situation can get us down.  Keeping a domestic schedule with some social activities keeps one from isolating themselves.  Productivity causes one to feel accomplished.  Even something as simple as cleaning out one drawer in the kitchen and organizing it gives me pleasure.  Cleaning and organizing a shelf a night in the pantry or the refrigerator creates good feelings.

Assessing responsibilities, and fulfilling them, benefits all.

Considering the application of some of these behaviors, attitudes and habits can cause you, me, and our loved ones to feel happiness.  I desire that as you proceed into this new year that some of your hopes, and goals are fulfilled.                       Gina

 

 

 

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.