Covid-20

Written by Gina Rydin

Covid-20 May be a new epidemic.  This year of 2020 has seen more isolation, social distancing, stress, anxiety, loneliness and economic pressure than previously experienced world wide.

The news daily giving daunting details of an illness most do not understand.  The dangers that affect all countries, people, and ethnic backgrounds.  This virus is bringing about such dread and fear that people are experiencing a stress.  Comfort sought sometimes in unhealthy ways.

Some people are gaining weight due to stress and isolation.  Being home is new for many, the stress is compounded by boredom.  Due to the need for comfort some are eating more, unaware of grazing-like activities.  They nervously grab a handful of cereal, some candy, some chips.  Never quite satisfied wanting more, eating more.  Continually, greedily, stressfully looking for more to eat. Feeling so stressed searching for something as the hand meets the mouth with longed for comfort that eludes… .
The Covid-20 may not be everyone’s reality.  Yet, it will affect many, only time will reveal how mankind has been affected by this epidemic.
Gaining weight is unhealthy for most. It should be noted once the habits that contribute to weight gain go on blindly practiced it just compounds an already unhealthy situation.
Good News!  I am aware of many that are still mindful of making healthy food choices.  People whom are still taking walks or going for bike rides.  Are these people the same ones whom have maintained healthy diet and exercise routines for years?  I am not sure, yet, there are many I know that do not want to gain weight whom do strive to eat a healthful diet and they make an effort to exercise most days.

With many children and young people  being restricted from normal activities they may be potential candidates for weight gain.  As parents we have the responsibility to find ways to get our children out in the fresh air and to get exercise.  For growth, brain health and immunity children need sunshine, fresh air, exercise, and stimulating challenges.  This also helps maintain a healthy esteem despite all the world’s present dangers and circumstances.
Parents, Adults and caregivers with responsibilities are under an inhumane amount of duress.  There is very little time to care for personal needs.  Their situation merits much compassion.  Small choices add up to big dividends. Making good food choices for self, healthy portion sizes and making time for exercize may help maintain a degree of sanity.  As many depend on you a parent or caregiver your not expendable.  Involve others in your exercise and healthy eating.
One trick that helps me in two ways is when I am almost done with my meal I set the timer on my phone for 2 hours and 25 minutes.

1.  This helps me to finish my meal w satisfaction and know that I am done eating. Yes, done eating.

2.  The second way it helps is that my sugar is not apt to go too low by then.  Therefore I can have a healthy snack and reset the timer for 2 hours and 25 minutes.

Breakfast 2:25 min a snack 2:25 min lunch 2:25 min afternoon snack 2:25 min supper and if you choose another 2:25 min a light snack in evening.  Amazingly this trick let’s me know I will not starve to death.  No nervous grazing like a cow.  No nibbling out of boredom, I have things I need to do.  Food should not be an obsession or a compulsion.  This timer method I use helps me not think of food.  It is very freeing.  By the way, I am losing weight and I have a lot of weight to lose.
Remember:  There was a time when hobbies,…clean hands keep the puzzles clean while we could be putting Them together.  Clean hands keep our knitting, crochet, or sewing projects respectfully clean.  Go ahead, make a rug or a quilt or do a woodworking project.
Children thrive with projects to work on why not make some time to get them busy.  Remember coloring books, word find books and crossword puzzles?  The workbooks of a child’s grade curriculum are great to have them do a couple pages each morning. It keeps their mind sharp and ready for school. I would get these workbooks at a bookstore and sometimes at wal mart.  Every summer my sons had these workbooks to do.
We live in historic times, let us not respond like victims. We can be survivors by making healthful choices.
Previously people did not have time to pursue hobbies.  During these uncertain times make time for hobbies.  They can keep our minds and bodies healthy.
A few things I am exploring is of course developing spiritual interests as Mathew 5:3 says Happy are those aware of their spiritual needs.  I read the Bible and look at the jw.org website which is always encouraging.  Another thing I am trying is a new Domestic routine.  Looking at small maintenance things that need done while I try to spring clean a room each month.  I want to make a dress and finish a few small projects. My challenge is always health, energy and stamina.  We all have challenges of sorts. That is why it is imperative that we have interests and goals we strive to practice and achieve.  All this is stimulating and satisfying.  Why not see what you can accomplish with joy!

Disclaimer:  Some people will succumb to Covid 19 and this is a very sad loss.  I am not a physician or healthcare practitioner.
Please consider your own situation because only you know your situation and I hesitate to advise.  Please talk to your physician or other responsible person before you change your situation.  This article is meant for healthful consideration. May you and yours be safe and healthy.
I, Gina Rydin decided to title the article  Covid 20 as we are living in 2020 and 20 may be an unhealthful weightgain for most.  It may be a reality for some.  Let’s work together to be healthful with good choices.

Feeling Blue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eat regular healthy meals an snacks

Get daily walks or exercise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Marcia K. Rydin

A Successful Woman

Marcia K. Rydin was an accomplished woman.  A Very independent woman whom achieved wherever she wanted to achieve.

First, let me inform the reader, I am not an authority on Marcia K. Rydin.  Only knowing Marcia about 16 years, knowing someone when they are 85 and older is not knowing them in their prime.  I can only relay a few things and only want to talk about what I know.  Please forgive me if anything is inaccurate.

Marcia was born in July of 1917.  And had she lived a few more months would have been 102 years old.  I miss Marcia and think about her so much.  I want to write about her yet, not any form of biography etc.  just a note about what she mentioned to me.

Her parents immigrated here from Europe.  Marcia’s father was good at a variety of things.  Marcia’s mother was very artistic. She was a hat Milner and a seamstress, she could do anything.  Franciska raised her two daughters to do anything that came to their mind.

They resided in Chicago, imagine the depression, food rationing, the prohibition, and the wars.  Hard times they knew well and took in stride like everyone else had to do at the time.  They were innovative in the variety of things they would and could do just to care for their family responsibilities.  Franciska even had borders, rooms she rented out.  Marcia said one of the borders behaved indecently towards her and her mother immediately kicked him out.  Good mother!

Everyone dressed with esteem and always seemed to wear a hat.  Habits domestically and  thriftyness seemed second nature

Marcia grew up in a time where manners were still a part of you.  A strict disapline, how you stood, sat, walked, talked, dressed, table manners, and learning an art( singing, dancing, riding, sewing, needlework, playing the piano etc.).  I believe such disciplines were a gift of esteem.  What is wrong with the world we live in?  Would we all get kicked out of the dining room for not minding our manners?!  What dining room! What manners!  It is nice, many try to inculcate these into their children, yet, most do not which makes it hard for those that do.  Yet, it is an investment in our children to have an exercise in those disciplines so they can become healthy responsible adults.  A rare breed indeed!  As Marcia was a real go getter she created a host of memories and accomplishments to consider when she felt the effects of age set in.

When Marcia was a little child pitching a fit her mother said, “there goes Marcia”!, and there she went the rest of her life.

It still is not easy to write this and there is a certain stress I feel regarding accuracy.  So, I cannot write about her life.  She talked with me about these things and they were quite enjoyable to learn about.  This article is not a family history etc.  This is just a small tribute regarding Marcia and the life she lived.  This is not an biography of any sort.

Marcia loved to shop the fine department stores in Chicago.  She loved to dress nice and she even sewed herself many things over the years.  Somehow she would get tags from some of these department stores and she would sew up things an attach these tags.  I was really amazed by this.  One of these department stores had a floor they sold fabric and tags as well.  Her sewing was perfectly executed.

The theatre, museums, and music Marcia really enjoyed.  A walk down lakeshore drive was an experience she treasured.

Marcia was married to Carl Rydin and they had three sons together.  Marcia’s mother Franciska lived with them and helped raise the boys.  When Marcia had her first son John, she would take him in his buggy an walk down Lakeshore drive daily.  Another thing she mentioned was that she gave John head to toe massages everyday.  Marcia’s attitude was when he cried, let him cry it out.  The neighbors would complain so much because John could holler and it was a war of wills.  She loved her three sons, John, Jimmie, and Richard.  She generously tried to equip them to be self reliant.

When the boys were grown, Marcia decided to relocate to Alabama to be near her sister. In time Marcia bought a little house on some acreage and fixed it up.  She had a horse and rode her horse everyday before work.  She did additions to her home and loved to plant a variety of plants, shrubs and trees.  We loved to go to plant shows together.

Marcia enjoyed her work in the secretarial field. She had an air of authority.  Even at the end of her life she wanted things written, she wanted things done, she loved trying to get things going with the lawyers, can’t we go here, can’t we do this and she felt we could just do these things ourself.

When she lived in Illinois, as a young woman looking for work in the war years it was difficult.  There was a long line you stood in and everyday you went back an stood in the line hoping to be picked.  When she was picked she would say she could do this or that, even if she couldn’t.  Once she was found out, she said that she would be threatened with dismissal.  She was a fast learner and aggressively pursued through education and opportunity whatever she needed to know to get ahead and stand on her own.

Throughout her life, this strength was one of her greatest and worst qualities.  I believe she lived as long as she did due to this inner strength and determination.  Marcia was disciplined with her routines and was a real timekeeper.  She checked her watch all her life.  Always knowing where she should be an what she should be doing.  Being oblivious to time, I was a real study for her.  I learned a lot from her.  There are many things I miss about her.   It was not a perfect situation nor do I want to present it that way.  Yet, we had so many good times together that I value.

Marcia loved my cooking, when here for visits she would say, “where are my scones?!”  Off to the kitchen we would go so I could make a batch of scones.

She loved cooking with me. We had such fun in the kitchen.

Marcia knit this in the 1970’s An it was a mohair blanket kit. I attached a soft piece of fleece to the back for this to be a lap throw for her. She loved seeing her work turned into something useful.

I miss our cooking together.

She lived with John an I approximately the last seven months of her life.  We put her in the middle of the house.  She was near our room so we could hear her at night and we wanted her to be near the bathroom.  We also did not want her stuffed in a room isolated and lonely.  She had confided that she suffered loneliness most her life.  And the last decade was the most painful for her.  This saddened us because we felt prohibited from visiting her as much as we would have liked when she lived in her home.  Other parties did not make visiting comfortable.  Therefore, we just did not want her to feel alone at any point.  We never left her alone.  Either we took her everywhere, or one of us stayed here with her or we would get someone she and we knew to come visit with her so we could go.  We have company often and she really enjoyed the interaction.  While she was here our friend from China came for two weeks.  Then our friends from Maine came for a visit.  Then our friends from Florida came An we had a big cookout.  She just loved all the interaction.    She had friends whom she knew a long time that stopped in an visited.  Her priest came by and he was kind and considerate.  The hospice staff helped me keep it together as I was not experienced and lacked confidence.  Her son Richard came by and spent time with her.

It was not a perfect situation because being dependent was not anything she cared for.  We have not been caregivers before so we all had to learn together.  My husband had already been ill before she died and he continued having strokes so he was in a hospital rehab facility the last couple weeks before she died.  Being here and being there for my husband was a real stretch as I did not feel well.  Our friends were here everyday for us.  And our sons helped out any way they could.  The youngest, Brent with his wife Brittteny came to stay a few weeks to help as well.  What a comfort and support that was!  At some point I felt I lost my marbles and cried inappropriately and laughed inappropriately.  During her short stay with us, always eventful.  I fall often due to low blood pressure.  Surgery to repair tendon and screw my big toe back together was painful and hard to go thru.  One of the times I stubbed my toe an fell I cried like a baby even hyperventilating.  She petted my hair and comforted me w a tenderness I had not seen in her before.  One time I was overwhelmed and distressed she chastised me “talk to Jehovah and place your faith in him”.  She cheered me up.  My God Jehovah helped me persevere and provided our friends day an night to get thru these times.  John did come home a couple weeks later after she went to sleep in death.  As his needs have changed we are changing too.  Our life is busy and complicated, yet we have many blessings.

We loved to do projects together over the years.  Marcia loved the sewing projects.  We would get a t shirt and use it against a piece of knit fabric and make a pattern the way we liked.  I would cut an sew as we would sit in my messy sewing room.  Marcia wore the garments with pride because we made them together.  She loved to give direction, and I although an experienced sewer too, loved the opportunity to consider something new.  We learned from each other.

Marcia had grandchildren she enjoyed when they were young.  It grieved her none were around in The last few decades of her life.  She felt forgotten and the emotional pain of being alone really got to her at times.

Marcia was a woman of faith.  She loved the creator Jehovah and his son Jesus.  About two weeks before she died she started crying, something rare for her.  She said “Jehovah proved the priests wrong.”   I was amazed.  She loved those she interacted with but her faith had changed.  She said if she was young again her choices would be different.  I thought that was humble and sweet of her.

Ahead of her times, fiercely independent, Marcia was a real survivor.  Marcia whom is sleeping now in God’s memory, she will be awakened from death and enjoy perfect health an youthfulness as she is reunited with all those she knew and loved.  Mathew 6:10, Revelation 21:4,5.  Psalm 37:9-11,29.  At the end she was happy to know this hope an understand it.  It gave her comfort in her last months.  I believed that was really why she came to us.  She died this year, 2019.  And I felt she was content and ready.  I wish I had known her decades ago when I needed a worthy woman to look up to an learn from.

Luxurious Living

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Living in the Lap of luxury was a common phrase generations ago.  Is this something people do?  Is this truly prosperous and satisfying?  How can we live in a prosperous and satisfying manner?  We will seek to answer these questions.  The answers may make a positive change in a person’s life.  Please consider…

Throughout history man has been in search of more.  Some whom have a lot want more.  Some whom have little are satisfied and why?  There are always times of plenty and times of famine.

Think of times when food was rationed, could it happen again?  Is it always some far off place?  If a person has plenty, why should they worry about this?

In some places in the world a person can go buy what they want or think they need.    Getting the vehicles, homes, clothes, beauty treatments, vacations, etc…and fritter money here and there without much thought .  Then they do more, buy more, and more is never enough, not recognizing situations change.  The money may not always be there.  Most people do not feel the need to worry about it.  But should we consider our circumstances?

We never expected our situation to change so dramatically.  It can change on a dime is also an old phrase.  I personally know this is true.  Our situation has changed.  I wish I had thought about all this sooner.

Personally I have never been into the beauty treatments and getting nails done. I kinda like being a plain Gina.  It is Good not having to worry about being a diva or beauty queen.  Being ordinary takes the pressure off.  I get my hair trimmed or cut twice a year and trim it the rest of the time myself.  My hair is a blaa blond, and when I am outside it brightens up some.  I dream of cutting it a shoulder length and dying it a dark red.  The only deterrent is being a slave to roots.  I do not do well with chemicals so I just continue as it is anyway.

Doing my own fingernails and eyebrows helps too.  I wouldn’t win any awards for the outcome.

I do not smoke or gamble and rarely have a glass of wine so that really cuts down on expenditure.  Imagine the money that literally goes up in smoke for some.  My mother spent so much money on her cigarettes when I was growing up.  One time when I was a young teenage girl I figured out how much she spent in a month on her cigarettes and I mentioned this to her.  She hauled off and slapped my face.  I never figured out whom was in the wrong with that one.  I just remember her being on the phone saying she needed money for the power bill.

I use to love going to thrift stores and yard sales.  But it really cost me a lot of money and I was dragging stuff in the house.  I had to put a stop on that.

Do you like clothes?  I love clothes and shoes.  I fall in love with clothes all the time and I always see the need.  Yet, my closets are bursting at the seams.  If I got rid of some of the less best garments I might be one of the best dressed women of our generation.  What generation?  This one of luxuriant living is what I refer to.

We love eating out, yet, we have cut back on this.  We still do eat out sometimes.  It costs so much more than it use to.  Like a days wages if you think about it.  Something else to consider: It is just, when I was young, the tips for your server were usually 10%, then later it went up to 15%, then 18%, now it is 20%.  Sometimes the tip is so big it is like paying for another meal, for the invisible person. It is almost painful.  The knowledge that the waiter may be emotionally hurt if they do not get the 20% is something that keeps us pigeonholed into this.  They really rely on this income.   The other problem is that they may not even receive all of their tip if paid w a credit card depending on the establishment.  How can I support this big game when the cost of the meal could really buy a couple bags of groceries or fill a gas tank?  What is balance?  That, each man or woman or family must figure out.  Try looking at a month, compare to another month.  Start keeping track.  This does not mean we cannot go out to eat.  Just, how often…might be considered.

Junk food,  what is that?  It happens to us, going to the store hungry, our cart is always fuller.  A drive thru happy meal would be more economical.

Just the requirements of daily life have snuck up in costs.  And it seems what previously was considered a luxury decades ago, cable tv, Internet, cell phones, not everyone had them.  We always seemed to be the last to get them.  The latest, the greatest, and speed seem to be a factor.

The utility bills have come up and take out a chunk of change.

I feel bad for many children being raised to think that this is normal.  They are unhappy always wanting more, always wanting newer, competing with their peers.  The status symbol, and their esteems are built on a slippery slope.  Parents are begged and bullied into getting their children expensive phones etc.   The assumptions by children that they can expect their parents to provide all this and so much more.  Most cannot afford but quietly, stressfully, helplessly go along which creates unrealistic expectations.

We are truly trapped it seems.  Can we say No!!!.?   Where are the boundaries?  Can adjustments be made?  How can I create satisfying boundaries in my life?

In high school we had an Independant Living class.  We looked at a potential monthly budget based on a basic wage.  Then we subtracted the rent for home, the utilities and insurances, and fuel, then we knew what we had for groceries.  We then could see what was left and we put a percentage of that in a savings account.

The times we live in are really more expensive when we add it up.

Remember a game of chess, or a board game and the fun we had.  How about the woodworking, sewing, knitting, embroidery, cooking and baking?  A hobby was very satisfying and earned you a real esteem.  A child proud of a picture they drew is a real event.  Sadly, many are more proud of their scores playing their games on their phone.

People have many vices in search of something, it breaks up families, and leaves people broke and depleted.

Slow down, calm down, recollect, reconnect, reconsider, appreciate, make new boundaries, stress less, be satisfied sooner, reassess needs.  Save yourself, save your family.  Hebrews 13:5,6 says:  Let your way of life be free of the love of money, while you are content with the present things.  For he has said: “I will never leave you, and I will never abandon you.”  So that we may be of good courage and say:”Jehovah is my helper; I will not be afraid… “  please read the whole chapter of Hebrews 13. It shows us how we can live a better life.

Changing things up here financially is helping. Yet, it has not been soon enough.  We still feel the stress of the heavy load we unwittingly created.  The scriptures admonish us to “live within our means”.  Inflated needs which are built on an imaginary lifestyle.  Needs the world around us makes us believe are normal.  The scriptures talk about us being satisfied with our daily needs being met.  Figuring this out can be a rewarding challenge.  In the last three years I have quit using three department store credit cards.  Three other credit cards I no longer use.  I am down to two credit cards and I am working on using them less.  It really is making me happy.  It still seems our credit/debt/income ratio is off balance.  This makes me really uncomfortable.  When we consider what this really is and how this affects so many aspects of our lives, it is rewarding to make an adjustment.  We still have a long way to go and more adjustments to make.  It seemed we were blind to boundaries we should have had.  And financial situations change in many ways, the world scene, the country we might live in, the income, health,  living expenses, job security, all are temporary.

How often do you say no to yourself?.   I do not say no as often as I like but I do say no more often than I use to.  It feels good.  A small measure of control.

Luxurious living is living within our means while having joyful interactions with those we love.  Cooking together, going to the park, enjoying creation, gardening, building something or sewing a garment are also rewarding activities.  Really living a life with a positive outcome in view.

Written by:  Gina Rydin  (the photo is a dinner my husband and I prepared together, leftover spaghetti baked, sautéed asperity Gus   And avacado)  that was a nice luxurious evening.

Interests Consume Me!

How interesting are you?  Oh, I should say what interests you? Or may I say, what interests do you Pursue?  What interests do you put off?  I have a bad habit of imaging a better time.  It is common to wait for more favorable circumstances.  What do you just dream about?  How do you spend your free time?

You would likely like me to answer my own questions. It is only right that I offer it up and maybe it will bring us all to some worthy conclusions.

I have many interests.  Many seem impossible or difficult to pursue.  To far away, no one to take me, too expensive, no one else wants to go.  A museum or a historic home walk are just a few.

Dealing with Chronic Illness causes me to want more favorable circumstances like, when I feel better or have some energy.  Is that a false positive?  Time and opportunity evade me.

The cost of putting off is that our esteem goes up and away like smoke.  We can feel angry at ourselves and be self critical.  Some days I feel anxious and sad because I did not get near to meeting my own expectations.

Unreasonable expectations are common among all.  Yet, unreasonable or not, striving to meet a goal accomplishes more than if we did not try to meet a goal.  This can elate us if we look at it correctly.

I prayerfully tried to imagine a generic day that included some basic routines practiced daily that could make my life more fulfilling.  It worked overall well.

I want to try it again to see, let’s say, I would like to practice it ten days and see how it goes.

Today, I cannot do a thing on my schedule.  I burned my hands and foot on a lightbox yesterday.  Also, later I had picked up a pot and hundreds of ants came out and got me.  On benydral, and using ice packs which are keeping me in a rather inactive state.  Decided it was a good time to finish this article I started a couple weeks ago.

A couple weeks ago I was so excited when I started this article. My delay in finishing it means I have lost all those thoughts and feelings that fueled my motivation.  Now, I have to contemplate where I wanted to go with this exciting subject.

Too many health problems and complications interphere.  You might understand.  For instance,  they did a heart cath almost a month ago. Two weeks later suffering fevers and fatigue and swelling at the spot of entry on my wrist I showed them at the cardiologist.  They were nice and all, not too concerned to get a culture and were just going to start antibiotics.  I told them my doctor would do the culture and has before, no problem.  They set my appointment up with the physician’s assistant for the next day.  During the night my abscess erupted and I was worried they would not get their culture.  Although fatigued, nautiousness with a fever and in bed til it was time to go to my appointment at 1:00 pm.  I wanted to stay in bed and not get up.  I went to my appointment.  The physician’s assistant refused to examine me and accused me of opening it myself.  I pushed my fingers nearby the area so she could see how swollen my wrist was.  She said “Do not do that and get your nails away from there”. I responded that my nails were not touching me and that I needed her to see I was still swollen and needed a culture done.  And as I expressed to her how sick I have been and the fevers she challenged me and said “are they greater than 101.5”?  I told her “what did I bother coming in here for, your accomplishing embarrassing me and helping me to feel totally stupid wasting my time”.  When my husband picked me up and I told him what happened he immediately took me to urgent care.  They took me right in, a doctor there did not hesitate to culture it and was shocked at how much pus and fluid came out.  He started me on antiobotics and he discovered I also have a urinary tract infection and a yeast infection.  He said you have plenty of reasons for feeling bad.  Get some rest.  I was amazed at how unprofessional and disrespectful the woman was and how professional and human the male doctor was.  Time and expense with running around.  If she had done her job I would not have had to go to the urgent care.   Didn’T I previously write about unnecessary complications in my article “Toil Toil”?

All that happened since I started this article.  Yesterday trying my perfect routine is when I burned my hands doing one of those items and got bit by ants doing the other.  Could be discouraging but it is not because I am happy that I stayed on my list.  Although I cried.

Today, being In this condition is detouring my efforts to accomplish anything.  That is fine.  This is life.  Try, try, and try again.

I have many interests and limiting them helps me to accomplish more in my favorite activities.  I love to design jewelry yet, making the space to do the craft, the expense for the tools and the costs of always being on the lookout for sales etc would clutter my life in more ways than I could feel rewarded by.   If I have the compulsion to design a certain piece for a certain outfit than I buy the materials and lay out the design and ask a friend to assemble it for me and they can keep what is left and have some compensation for their good craftsmanship as well.  They feel validated too.

If you want something to talk about then be involved with something.  A couple of my friends sew and we love discussing our projects and encouraging each other to finish something.  Spurring each other on.  A couple of my friends like to garden and although I am a lousy gardener it is always fun discussing and planning.  Checking with them about what they have growing in their garden.  If I might have something doing well it makes me happy.

I believe conversation comes easy when there are things to talk about.  Good, positive and upbuilding things the Bible encourages.  That is the best thing to talk about of course.  What could be more interesting than learning our creator plans to restore paradise right here on earth with peace worldwide and only those complying can enjoy life without end.  There is a free Bible study course on jw.org.

Despite problems, we can have healthful interests and pursuits that bring joy and satisfaction.  Start now.

Author, Gina Rydin of fatfitanfab.com

 

 

A Mini Vacation

A mini Vacation, sounds like a lot of hassle for whAt?!!  Do you feel overwhelmed in your life, unable to think, focus, or even connect with loved ones.  I was feeling this way, and a little in the dumps.  John was feeling depressed from ongoing physical and emotional fatigue.  Everyone around me found that I was quite irritable.  Where was my Joy?

My husband is experiencing the sad effects of Feltsie syndtome.  A type of rhummatoid arthritis. After almost a year of uncertainty, appointments, meds, scans, and anemia w low platelet count it became too much for both of us.  He finally had his spleen removed.  His platelets are up but he still feels bad and is twenty pounds underweight.  Did I mention we went through this eight years ago with me?  Neither of us have a spleen now.  Chronic Illness is taking it’s toll on him, so we are trying to find ways to renew optimism and Joy.

We went to a special clinic for him to be examined and that he may recieve a beneficial treatment plan.   We decided to plan a couple fun activities.  Neither of us have a lot of energy so we chose to keep our plan simple and flexible.  It worked!

This is the way.  First, his appointment was in a city a few hours away.  We knew we did not want to drive a long way early before the appointment so we booked the hotel and got a nice place at the LaQuinta.  We chose a more spacious room and got it for a few days so we would not have to drive home after the appointment either.  The drive was nice, no rushing, stop, get out and stretch.  The day of appointment, we got a nice lunch after and went to a Motorsport museum later after a nap.  Then rested the evening.  The next day we went to a zoo and it was such a nice experience.  Back to room for a rest then out for an early dinner and a relaxing evening.  Then we met with some friends for lunch and headed home.  We had a good time and it was a nice break.

The reprieve gave us a readjusted viewpoint with Joy.  The Joy feeds endurance something we all need.

Now,  I think I want to focus on joy a little longer,  I am going to the website jw.org and look up Joy so I can incorporate it into my daily life a little more.

PS.  A habit I am trying to practice, which is a challenge for me, litl’ Ms. Haphazard.  Making the time to neaten the inside of my car and wipe it down.  A long time ago I decided Friday is the most suitable and beneficial day for me to do this.  Yet, it rarely happens and I do not know why.  However, although, it currently is not a weekly habit as I would desire.  I have been more mindful about cleaning my car out on Fridays and I occasionally do it.  The beneficial results give me a sense of satisfaction.  A Friday does not go by that I do not think of it now.  Tonight, it was beautiful out, a nice breeze.  With about six cats choosing to walk around and inspect, I was able to wipe down all interior surfaces while enjoying nighttime noises.  It was not difficult and I enjoyed this quiet time.  The feel good feeling was so satisfying, that when I saw my husband after, I decided not to even mention it.  Do we really need to hear Good Job!?  Oh, I am like everyone, I love to hear it.  But to just feel it secretly, only my Great creator and I.   Was that also a mini Vacation?!

Author of this and all articles on fatfitanfab.com Gina Rydin

 

 

 

 

How do you keep your mind positive to deal with life’s realities?

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Life continues in a routine then something happens…the other shoe you anticipate in the back of your mind. You never know what and you strive not to be a pessimist.  Whom wants to be in expectation of gloom?.

Can we be in expectation of good?  How can we be recipients of good?

Imagine if you did not plant your garden because you believe a hurricane might come this year and wipe out your hard work. Denying ourselves the joy of gardening is a crime isn’t it.  I believe Jehovah told Adam to tend the garden.

Not only would you miss out on the joy of planning your garden, the joy of working it, and the joy of the harvest Through out the season.  Pessimism is the weed like effect in your garden of life.

We must root out the pessimism in our life.  There may be reasons we base our pessimism as if it were fact.

Disappointments, hardships, and life’s realities could cause us to feel we are protecting our heart and mind by not having false hopes.

When we have belief systems in place because of prior experience or propoganda. This is an infringement that does not leave us open.  For instance:  I was born blond and have always been blond.  However, I noticed those with deeper darker hair colors had others respect or confidence almost immediately.  I dyed my hair a deep brown.  Not only did I feel more confident, I noticed I was treated differently by the same people.  Suddenly, competent!  I am at my own hair color and happy about it.  Yet, I learned a lot about people’s preconcieved notions.

Another attitude is about overweight people. Having experienced the stress of my own obesity after prolonged medical problems and medications, I understand all overweight people are not that way because of excessive food or lack of exercise.  Some people are heavy because of medical problems and medications.  Some people are heavy because of overeating and a lack of exercize.  Do we really lose all our good qualities just because of a few extra pounds?.

If we believe “I will never be loved.”  We are telling ourselves a lie.  Maybe those whom were responsible to love an protect us have emotional damage themselves and they were not capable of love and approval.  We could not be more loveable if the person does not know how to love.  I felt unwanted and not loved as a child.  It does not mean I was not loved.  I have enjoyed loving and being loved.  Jehovah has taught me how.

“I am unorganized” is another belief.  Maybe you are unorganized!  I am also unorganized.  Good News!  We can be more organized by practicing principles of time management and of personal habits.  I am working this month to have an industrious morning routine.  The fact is, I am cluttered, unorganized, and still completely optimistic of all I ever intend to do.

We watched the movie “Pollyanna”, Haley Mills, what a love, you feel she must be a fun lovable person in real life.  I liked when she an orphan of a minister, was talking to the preacher, played by Karl Mauldin. She quoted from Abraham Lincoln, “if you always look for the bad in others, you will find it!”

I thought about this bad habit, if our habit is to look at ourself or a family member always seeing the bad, we will never see the good.

People are so bias, people like whom they like and will always recognize the good in them.  And when a person does not like you, they will always see everything you say and do in a negative light.  People are blind.

According to Jehovah all of us rank the same,  we are all equally flawed with sin.  If we want Jehovah to see the good in us, we need to see it in others.  If our dislike for another blinds us, we need to ask Jehovah to open our eyes and help us to recognize what he sees in them, so we can be free to love them too.  This includes, seeing ourselves more clearly.  If we view only the good we are blind, if we view only the bad we are blind and crippled.

It is frustrating, sometimes, we want to change all at once, it is quite a hopeless helpless state.  I have to beg Jehovah to help me see more accurately at times.

The end of this article is here, in conclusion, each day we are privileged to live, realistic expectations of ourselves and others makes for a joyful existence.  It is time to plant the seeds entrusted to us as we hope for a most beautiful bounty.

This article is Dedicated to all my Dear friends whom continue to encourage me.  And all whom read the articles, may your life be blessed with Joy and Optimism.

When a size Large is too small…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Filet, Sweet Potatoes, an Asperagus

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

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

What goal do you want to achieve?

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

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

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

 

 

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

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Chili with Cheddar Chive Scones          by Gina at fatfitanfab.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.