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.

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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

 

 

 

December, the Month to Wrap it all up.

December, This is the month to think about what did we want to accomplish this last year of 2015, and what can we still do in 31 days.  Unfortunately, there are only four weekends, yet technically five weeks before the new year.

December is not always a joyful month as the sentimental pressure misguides many.  Many create debts on supposed deals, and the problems created are felt months into the new year.  Approaching this month thoughtfully and cautiously can be very freeing.

It is a good time to think about next years goals, monthly, quarterly, seasonable, 1/2 time such as June/July, and end of year accomplishments.  The master lists for the year and all these time periods can be a great guide to refer to so as to reach your goals.  I depend on them.  Is it the day planner or what system that promotes the Master list Theory?  I did not invent it and I may not even have the right words for describing it.  Years ago I learned it from one of those famous planners.  A business tool that can be used in our personal life for greater accomplishment.  Praying about them, looking at them, and working toward their accomplishment makes you feel a little more control in your life.  Living haphazardly has few rewards.

Are there debts you want to pay down?  Are there vacations you want to save for?  Are there physical exams that need to be scheduled?  Have you neglected family members that do not live near you, can you plan to see them or invite them?

If there are school age children at home, school vacations and winter days off, all can be involved in deep cleaning, changing rooms around, assessing clothes in closets and drawers.  Children keep growing and I know you do not need reminding.  If you have a grandchild, niece or nephew in school why not ask the parent if you can take the child shopping for shoes or clothes that will invest in the young persons new growth.  It will help the family with their tight budget to help with these practical needs.  Getting the kids hair cut, new socks and essentials, new school clothes and replenishing their school supplies can be a help to the family.  Being respectful of the parents standards of attire is important.  Then it is a real blessing.

This month is a great time to change things up for your kids.  Remember, the school load of homework, and chores at home can be enough responsibilities for the kids.  Extracurricular activities can burden the parent whom is running the children around, as well as burden the budget.  If the activities are decided on, keep them to a minimum, and remember, you are the adult.  Too many let their children decide on matters.  A lot of children are exhausted with all the homework, activities and long days.  They miss out on helping with chores, keeping good habits, just having good times playing in the yard.  We have been teaching a young girl age 12 how to knit, and her grandma is now teaching her to crochet.   If we can help others with their situation then that is a gift.

Getting the car serviced or deep cleaned is a great gift to self or a family member.  Check the tires, and getting a detailed cleaning on the car when you have a day off is refreshing.

This is the month for wrapping it up for me so I can start 2016 a little less burdened.  I have so many projects that are near done that have been weighing heavy on my mind instead of the satisfaction I should be feeling.  I am just going to pick up a “Near Done”, and finish it.  If you have read my previous articles, then you are aware this is an ongoing challenge for me.

My Aunt Ellie was so kind.  I had written her a letter and told her about how I get aggravated with the piles or clutter I create with all the projects.  She basically said there are people with no clutter and no projects, and their mindset is different than those of us with the creative mind.  We do things, we need the material etc. to do the projects and that is going to create some clutter.  That is very reasonable.

My husband married a writer, painter, photographer, knitter, cook, etc. so there seems to be all the matter around to support those activities.

Good News!  We have been getting some house maintenance issues attended to.  It feels great seeing things get done.  The addition needed painted and a friend new to the area needed a small job.  To the dismay of my mother-in-law, I chose the lightest of tan for the siding, and true red for the trim.  It looks wonderful, although it is only the first coat.

Brock, our 23 year old son has painted and stained the steps and railing.  When I chose terracotta red for the risers, pecan stain for the treads and a cool white with a hue that complements the reddish tones everyone was concerned about the outcome.  They all thought I should stick with the standard of stain it all or use the white on the risers.  It really looks so inviting and tasteful.  Being that the floors are all terracotta, our eyes follow the color right up the stairs.  A visual treat.  It would be nice to have the exterior finished and our minds unburdened.  That is one thing to finish up this month.

Unable to do these things myself, I kept putting them off hoping I would get well enough to do them.  It has become a help that I have accepted that I will not be capable of doing this work on the house and am hiring it out.  This is giving me much relief.

It would be unreal if I did not mention that in this world there are people whom are suffering due to circumstances out of their control.  If there is a family member, workmate, or neighbor that is dealing with illness, caregiver responsibilities, loneliness, hardship, tragedy or loss can we do more than just give them a passing thought?  Besides taking a few moments to say a meaningful prayer for them, is there some practical thing we can do to make their load a little lighter?  Send a card, make a meal, call the power company and pay their bill for the month, call them, give a hug, or offer to spend time with them.  In this age of selfies and instant communication it seems people have lost touch.  Touch someone’s life in a practical way.  If someone has been kind to you, send them a card and thank them.  A text is a bit tacky when someone takes the time to do something kind for you.  Making a card or buying one is a worthy way to express appreciation.  There are still post offices in most towns, and they sell stamps, let us support our post offices by sending a little love and kindness in the mail.  Snail mail is a misnomer.  Mail processes quick enough to delight the person that is surprised when they open the mail box.

Using our next few weeks wisely can enrich our lives as we step into the new year with optimism and joy.

 

 

 

 

Happiness, is a practice. We will call it the Happy Habit.

Happiness is something you can have despite all you have been through.  There are many examples of happiness in human history.  People whom survived war, concentration camps, abuse, personal hardship, that have still achieved happiness in their life.

Life’s problems can steal so much from us.  Some problems are temporary even though they feel long lasting.  There are long lasting problems that can drain us.  A few happiness habits can fortify us and give us inner strength and peace of mind.  Striving to do just a few of these can improve your outlook.

We must first identify what has us unhappy or miserable.  Are there circumstances that seem out of our control?  Did we bring any of these troubles on ourselves?  Are we a victum?  Is it just because we live in a world that is suffering too? The July magazines on http://www.jw.org  helps with anxieties and getting control of our lives where possible.

What I would like to address is injustices happen all too frequently.  My mother in law, Marcia, whom just turned 98, her parents were immagrants, and her father was killed by a hit and run driver when she was 16.  She was raised during the great depression, and then later being newly married her husband went off to WW11.  Typically during those times she found she was pregnant and he was overseas.  She had to be brave and strong on the home front, working and bearing her three sons.  Later she suffered the loss of her middle son in a vehicle accident.  And her youngest son was seriously maimed in the vietnam war.  Yet, she has practiced some happiness habits all these years.  I have learned so much from her.

Happiness Habits:

Upon waking in the morning I pray to Jehovah to give me wisdom and discernment.  We are confronted with so many situations and choices each day.  If we respond to situations with wisdom than we may have less frustrations and consequences to deal with.  If we are discerning, it means we might not react too quickly before truly considering a situation and the possible outcomes.  Of course I am not talking about being indecisive.  Just, diminishing impulsiveness.  Life is hard enough without adding to our troubles.  This approach helps with anger management too.  Jehovah promises anyone whom asks for wisdom and discernment he will freely give it to them.  How generous, the happy god wants us to be happy too.

Take a moment, let’s say you have a break at work, instead of burying your nose in your phone or ipad, sit outside and observe nature, or take a brief walk during your lunch or break.  My mother in law, Marcia, whom is 98 today has one habit that she has always done, she takes a walk each day, she sits outside and observes nature.  She has a clear, active mind, and she still takes her daily walk with her dog Mikey.  She has a routine, and she looks at her watch and she knows what she should be doing when.  Marcia still does her own laundry, and paperwork, she reads the newspaper and is interested in people, places, and events.  When I call and say let’s go and do this tomorrow, she says, no, I have laundry to do tomorrow.  The next day I can do it.  I am always impressed with her simple reasoning on things I tend to overcomplicate.  Being impulsive, I am learning to slow down and work things around my own schedule and routine.

When you are handicapped, it is vital to still strive to practice a routine.  It gives your life sanity and peace.  When you cannot do all you have planned, it makes a difference.  You did what you could and accomplishment is satisfying.

Having a routine is vital for happiness.  Include good things in your routine, if I decide to fuel my car on Friday, take it to the car wash, and vaccume it out, then it is ready for the next weeks activity.  My husband actually does this for me, and I have come to appreciate it.  I like to go to the Barnes and Noble and browse books and magazines.  It is a real treat.  Plan something nice to do after you clean out the car.  Go have a coffee and snack, enjoy it at the establishment.  Keep the car clean.  Your work mates see in your car, your family sees in your car, and you see in your car.  I met a man once whom kept his car so immaculant that it looked like it was still on the sales lot.  I told him,” I am so impressed with how beautifully clean your car looks”.  I had just pulled up next to this car at the gas station and had to comment.  People notice for the good or not so good.

Your esteem is fragile, so invest in your esteem with healthy habits.  Have a date with yourself to read the book Of Psalms or Proverbs.  Read a few minutes a day if you like.  Just keep your goals reasonable.  Do not say “I will read an hour a day.”  Each day is different.  Just prayerfully consider and read a chapter, and if you like, do another.  It doesn’t matter how much you read, but how much you meditate on what you read, reflecting on how beneficial the application of the material can be.

I love these adult coloring books.  It makes a great present for anyone you want to encourage.  You can use colored pencils or fine point markers.  The designs are really interesting.  If you just want to wind down, you can color for a few minutes.  I do not put it on myself to finish in a sitting.  I may say, “I will color a couple of the flowers today.” and you get to choose the colors.  Your choice, your in control.  You do not have to be perfect, it is not up for inspection by others.  It is for your own pleasure.  I purchased one for my friend Sandy whom has MS when I was at Barnes and Noble the other day, and I purchased one for myself.  I have not done much yet, but I have done some.  It is wonderful.

My friend Olivia, told me you can download pages and print them out to color.

Express love, appreciation, and approval often for those you share a home with, and those you work with. Exercise consideration, complain less, and Thank more.  Help loved ones with the chores in the house.

Let your employer know what you appreciate about them and all they do to manage your department.  It is a hard task to be an employer.  Ask if there is anything you can do to lighten their load.  Is there something they can delegate to you.  Be a help. Everyone wants a raise, do our employers know we appreciate them?  An acquaintance whom got a bonus told me that a couple days later the boss sent everyone a text message because no one thanked him and he expressed hurt and annoyance.  The boss is a person too.

Call and check in on your family members.  Make time to meet a family member for a coffee.  Have a rule that no phones are to be messed with, just talk and listen.  Ask what they have been doing lately, what are they currently interested in, and what future goals are they working toward.  How many do not even know how their mates or teenagers would answer this.

Marcia loved learning, she took decorating classes, and attended community events.  She did not mind doing things on her own, she just went and enjoyed herself.  Marcia has traveled the world.  She enjoyed great music.  I enjoy listening to her and all the adventures she was involved in.

Do not have large expectations of others.  Expectations of others can lead to great disappointment.  One person I know is really generous, but their expectations of others response to their generosity cause them to feel hurt and disappointment.  Give freely, and the best time to give is when it is not expected.  People do not express themselves the way we would want them to, but it does not mean they don’t feel appreciation.  The action of giving is a joy.

We went to Maine to see my family and friends last May, a about 25 years ago I lived there and attended a congregation there.  So when visiting, a friend I did not recognize came up to me and told me I had taught her how to sew.  She was wearing a skirt she had sewn recently and was very proud of it.  That made me feel so good she was making use of a skill I have taught her and so many over the decades.   Someone took a lot of time to teach me fine sewing skills.   Jesus said, you receive free, you give free.  Share your craft with others, all will be blessed.  I wish Betty whom taught me was still alive so I could tell her how much it meant to me her teaching me how to sew so well.  I am sure I did not tell her thank you then like I would now.  I know I said thank you, but now I have so much more I would tell her.  Her son contacted me a few years ago and said I was her all time favorite student and he sent this expensive nice machine of hers with all the specialty feet and attachments.  That was so kind, and it made me feel really good.

During the civil war, and WW1 and WW11, women did their needlepoint.  Their mens lives were at stake, and their life as they knew it was on the line.  Practicing daily habits helped them preserve a sense of control, even the habit of sitting down at a particular time for their tea.  There was a time to practice their music, and there was a time to call on each other, and there was a time to sit and do some needlepoint.  When they did their embroidery or knitting or sewing they had something beautiful to focus on, and there was a sense of accomplishment, and they could look forward to the finished product.  Visiting a yarn shop you can discover some classes or group projects.  Yesterday I went to the yarn shop for some special instruction in some knitting tequniques I had trouble doing.  Having dyslexia, I am slow to learn and apt to get things backwards.  It was one little thing I was getting backwards and she figured it out and took the time with me. While I am recuperating from my hernia surgery I can practice what I learned.  Give it a try, learn something new.  Earn a little esteem.

At night, pray to Jehovah and thank him for the good in your life.  If you are depressed and cannot recognize the good in your life, ask Jehovah to help you see the good in your life.  Ask him to help you be joyful.  If you have problems that you cannot cope with, tell him, and ask him to help you find a way to address your situation for a better outcome.

These are some happiness habits that Marcia and I practice.  Despite life’s challenges, joy can be achieved.

Toil Toil an it has all gone to pots

It sounds like a nursery rhyme.  This just explains how a person with chronic illness feels when they try so hard an still can’t get it right

This week one morning I backed into a mailbox with my husbands car.  Then I picked up a splinter in the palm of my hand within an hour, still unable to get it out. Monday I will have to go to doctor to get it out if I cannot.   Yesterday while cleaning the mantle a precious vase from my sons fell an broke. I started to cry wanting to climb in bed an forget it all. “No, I will cry later”, and I made myself keep at it  deciding to light a candle.  The first three lit matches didn’t make it, the fourth lit, but the match fell down by my feet on the rug. A lot of smoke too so I picked it up an blew for good measure, which also blew out my candle. I was getting in sensed   Determined, I got that candle lit, while losing precious time.

Although I knocked over a few more things and spilled some things while cleaning up.  Then some tinkle my son’s dog decided to express on the living room floor did not help my mood. Yet, I kept at it, ever so slow an steady.

The conclusion of the matter is that my mantle and about a third of the room are totally clean, wiped down an organized. The rest still looks in need of great care.

While putting the ironing board away I got my finger caught an pinched which took a small hunk of skin with it. Ouch. So I finally succumbed to the tears, tears of loss this week, tears of pain and aggravation.  I just laid down an rested, cried an prayed. Then I got up to attend to the next thing I wanted to handle.

If you have chronic illness or if you know anyone whom does, suffering is usually more than what is obvious. Never add to the pain an stress with expectations that may be unrealistic for them to fulfill.  You cannot expect them to live life the way you think they should.  As a person lives and breathes, it is still their decision.  A person’s care, at times, may cause them to think they are entitled to make decisions for the one whom is in a disadvantaged state.  The person suffering, their preferences should still be honored.