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.

Pattern Hoarding, Oh, My! Sewing patterns, how many hundreds of them do I need?

Vogue, Butterick, McCalls, the time I have spent dreaming through your pattern books an displays. Something I will always enjoy doing.

Yet, I have thousands of patterns.  Do I need more?  When does it stop?
How do I have more control?  How can I actually use my patterns and reuse them? When do you say…I have all I need?

Getting educated is a fine place to start.
We sewist know more than we realize.  It can aid us in our quest to avoid stockpiles of unnecessary hoarding.  Hoarding, something many of us do yet because it might be in just one area we feel it is not hoarding.  It is all part of our craft having materials and tools to work with.

Do you like YouTuber utube educational videos regarding your interests?  Most of us do enjoy them.  I was enjoying them when I realized that the influence was no longer about utilizing what I already owned, instead the influence was about acquiring more patterns and ordering more fabric.  I felt greatly pressured to Spend time I do not have browsing sites shopping for fabrics and patterns.   I felt encouraged to spend money I do not have.      To acquire more of what I do not need.
Time! Money! Things!  No ThAnkyou!!!

I have what I want and need.   If I happen to be in a fabric store I am sure I will browse and purchase.  It is natural really. However, what I long for is to be productive with what I have.   Do you want to be productive with what you already have?  That is the true thrill and satisfaction of any hobby.

A hundred years ago likely acquiring to the degree that we do in the last few decades was unheard of.   People were truly productive and clutter was a rarity.  People planned out their project, acquired necessary supplies and proceeded to produce.  They were more accomplished then than we are now with less stuff and supplies.

I have no intention of paring down my fabric and patterns, however I have made the choice months ago that I no longer care to regularly visit sites to browse merchandise.  I do not need it and do not want it!  Yea!  That is an accomplishment.

Now we hear of hoarding, and clutter etc. some people like a lot around them and some people like the minimalist approach.  I am absolutely ignorant to the minimalist approach however the few I know may be actually more productive than our hoarder friends because they can focus on the project at hand.  They may purchase just what they need for intended project then make the project without all this distracting stuff around.  That is the purpose to a craft to be productive and have something to show for your anticipated dream work.  Not just housing a bunch of supplies like we are a store or junk shop.

Some are so obsessed with this thing called clutter and purging that creative endeavors are put on hold never to be happening.  Cluttering their lives obsessing over new ways to handle all their supposed clutter.  Spending money and time on a bunch of methods and courses to manage stuff instead of living life to the full.  Either way it is sad some still are not gaining meaningful productivity or satisfaction.

Personally I am a stuff kind of person, dreams and projects always floating around in my mind as I work out details to accomplish what I rarely see thru to the finish.  I view myself as an accomplished person.  I make and do many things with the goal of being less a dreamer and more of a producer.  It is satisfying blending the two, for me, I cannot have one without the other and I love it.

Please do not put off your dream like…I do not have the work space…are you kidding where haven’t I cut out fabric and pattern.   Are you punishing yourself like a child?  Are you self imposing that until my work area is cleaned up I cannot do my craft?  You will never get to do your craft!   Until my home is organized I will not gift myself the time…your home will never be organized and you will never get to.   Do not use your art, craft as leverage to get yourself to do something else, that is not decent.  Make the time for your obligations to be fulfilled.  Make the time for your crafts.
Warning: They may conflict at times, yet being balanced is not being obsessed or overly restrictive with one compared to the other.  We must practice good habits so we can make time for those we love and make time to do the things we love to do.  I am striving to be more tidy by practicing better daily habits and routines.  A program helping me is Kathy Roberts “Tidy Tutor”.  Kathy is helping me practice more mindfulness regarding managing my home.  I have a long way to go as I strive to practice routines and habits that create an environment more conducive to my goals of greater creativity.  I also serve Jehovah the God of creation and order. Psalm 83:18.  I desire to please Jehovah by reflecting his standards.  I know he will definitely open the door of creativity with productivity even more so.  This motivation and purpose fuels my efforts more so, something God can bless.

There are many productive ones on utube YouTube that share their Makes videos and I appreciate it so much.   They are motivating.  We must spur each other on to the truly satisfying accomplishment of Making.  Go ahead, think of your craft, prepare, set up your work station, get your supplies for project laid out, set up a reasonable amount of time even in short sessions if you need to. Now get busy and make something!  Make yourself glad and achieve your anticipated project with satisfaction.
The example I end with sounds very hoardish yet the lady was very productive with her crafts and sewing.   She knew how to stow her stash and enjoy it.  However, owning over two hundred cross-stitch kits, thousands of patterns, and everything related to sewing she had it all.  When and how would she do it all?  I cannot say because I may be just like her.

It is just satisfying no longer being in the market for more.  No Hull watching for me, let us be an encouragement to each other to use what we have and treat ourselves to a buy with a greater rarity.   If I buy a pattern or piece of fabric months down the road do not be too disappointed in me.  Instead ask me what have I been making lately😃👍🏾.

Here is an example…we went to an estate sale.  It appeared these people walked out the door with nothing an … how sad.  Upstairs, a finished attic was every sewist dream.  A very productive sewing room. Everything well planned out an organized.  If I had $500.00 I should have offered it for the contents of the room.  I bought a body form which I had been wanting.  Thousands of patterns, organized in bins an drawers.  Fabric stacked so nicely. Shelves an shelves.  Sadly, this is just one of many similar estate sales I have been to.

 

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.

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

 

 

Monday, Why I love Mondays.

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MONDAY, MY FAVORITE DAY!!!

Monday is a day many dread.  It seems to some all falls onto their head on a Monday.  Being overwhelmed, the day can be unproductive, stressful, depressing, and it does not have to be this way.

About ten years ago I met a refreshing person whose name is Annemarie.  A perky blond whom looked like Meg Ryan.  I invited her to do something with me for the upcoming Monday and she said no, any day but Monday.  I asked her why not Monday.  She told me that was her day for herself.  She used Monday to get rest, to clean, do the laundry, to do gardening and lay in the sun.  I was so impressed that I have reserved Monday ever since.

A DAY OFF: If you have a choice in the matter.  If you can afford to work four days instead of five, why not take Monday off from your employment.  Many take Friday off by choice viewing it as a vacation day.  Yet, Monday may be an even better day to take off instead of Friday because it may be more fulfilling.  Everyone else in household is back to work and school.  Do not view your day as a day to Care Less or be carefree.  By carefully considering how you will spend your time on this special day, your life can take a change for the better.

Monday at home could mean an extra hour of needed sleep, getting in a relaxing walk, a trip to the library or museum by yourself, meeting a friend for lunch, doing your bills, or yard work.  For balance in my life, getting chores done in the form of a quick clean makes a difference for the whole week.  I do not mean a slave day, more like a day of time blocks adhered to.  Having attention deficit, time blocks help me to focus without the temptation to multitask.  If I multitask then my mind is unaccountable and takes flight.  The day is gone.  This can still happen to me when I feel weak due to health problems. Yet, I strive to do as much as I can on Monday because for me it is a sanity keeper.

A time block for extra rest like sleeping in an extra hour, and an hour break in the middle of the day.  A block for phone calls, A block for laundry which during that time while washing and drying are going on I can clean the bathrooms and or phone calls.  A Block for quick clean which is 12 minutes per room.  (my quick clean is ten minutes to do a quick pick up, gather what does not belong in the room including trash and set at doorway, wipe surfaces quickly, then timer goes off and I quickly sweep or vacuum. Then on to next room and set timer for ten minutes).  (The Slob Sisters have a great book about this and The Fly Lady, for years I read and reread. They helped me so much.  It seems so hard for me to read anymore books yet I will never forget that their programs are fantastic).  Then I run and put doorway items away as fast as possible.  Time for a break when all done.  A block for yard work or errands.  The blocks can be minutes long or a couple of hours long.  Use the timer.  If the timer goes off before your done then one must determine if another day of a few minutes will make a difference or if a few minutes now will make a big difference.  This is not the day to get caught up in trying to get each room done as a perfectionist would.  Each week of this activity will make a few weeks worth of efforts a visible accomplishment.

I like Monday because if I get my Monday work done, the whole week is much smoother.

What I like to do on Mondays.  First, I sleep in as long as I need to, with chronic health problems a lack of sleep contributes to my flare-ups.  Secondly, I start the laundry  and make my phone calls.  I do a deeper clean up in the kitchen.  Monday happens to be my deeper clean kitchen day.  While wash is going I clean my bathrooms.   A quick pick-up and sweep-up through the house remedies the mess the weekends create. I wash towels every Monday, and if possible I may get a jump ahead by doing them on Sunday night.

Setting up my schedule for the week on Sunday night helps me to know what phone calls are vital for me to make.  Doing my phone calls by 11:00a.m. really takes the pressure off the rest of the day.  Over the week, I pay attention to whose anniversary, graduation, or achievement has come about that I can on Sunday nights or Monday write out these cards and send them.  My husband seems to enjoy running errands, and I like being home on Monday.  Emotionally, I really like being home on Monday because life seems so busy on the weekends, the downtime to get things done is precious.  I rarely accept an invitation to leave my house on a Monday.  Hanging my clothes out to dry is another thing I have done for decades and I like to do if the weather permits.  Cooking a good meal and doing a little meal prep to make the next couple dinners for the week easier is important.  Eating a little lighter during the day helps me to maintain my focus and lessen the burden on my internals.  A walk or isometric exercises refreshes me.

At 1:30 pm. on Monday is a PBS station sewing show called Sew it All.   I like to stop and enjoy this show and put my legs up.  It is only a half hour and because I enjoy sewing it is a treat to watch.  On Wednesday, Sew Easy comes on, I will tape it to watch later.  If sewing or painting or something else is your interest, give yourself  a 90 minutes time block to work on a project, and then that evening your free to get back to it if you can.

Filling my Monday with practical efficient activities sets up my week  for greater productivity and less stress.  Whether it is every Monday or only a once a month Monday, having this day to catch up on domestics, relaxing activities, yard work, gardening, and phone calls makes for a better start to the week.  It also is important to avoid time wasters on this day.  Unless the errands are vital for the week to go smooth try to keep most of the day to yourself at home.  Beware of Time Wasters such as gabbing on the phone, texting, internet cruising, or television watching.  This day is a day for yourself to reset and restore.  With an extra hour of rest, getting a home in order, car cleaned, laundry done, gardening, essential phone calls and bill paying your investing in a more peaceful life.  The week and month will go smoother.  The evening of Monday is a good time to be refreshed by going to bed early for an extra hour of rest before resuming regular activities on Tuesday.  Monday’s never get me … .

 

 

 

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.

 

 

PLAN IT, BY GOLLEY DO IT!

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Cowl neck scarf I finished knitting which matches my $1.00 skirt an my cute shoes.  Gina  fatfitanfab.com

Plan! Plan! An replan.  Are we more distracted than previous generations?  Are we less productive than previous generations?  I would venture to say yes, although, it is a general conclusion not based on any statistics.  Are you as productive as you like?

Personally, I feel totally sidelimed by a lack of awareness of time.  Then one gets caught up with their cellphone looking at messages an emails etc.  Time is lost an nothing to show for it.

Previous generations had more responsibilities than we do now, yet we have seemingly more stress an less satisfaction.

Life’s circumstances in many ways provided a simplified life.  There were no Walmarts, Lowes, Hobby Lobby’s etc.  It is easy to be a hoarder with two many interests these days.  Money was saved, set aside, and used practically for the families needs.  Now, credit is a sometime blessing and a many-time curse.  There is always something to buy, and good deals are seductive.

Home-made jams, soaps, candles, or knitted scarfs, or something embroidered were typical gifts when the thought was valued more.  Now, it seems the amount of the gift is a requirement of concern.  Practical gifts of building blocks or a log cabin set were appreciated.  Sadly toddlers are quite tech savvy yet building an engineering skills are being forgotten.  Mechanics, engineers and architects may become rare skills in future generations.  

Plan it! Do it!, Do it!, List it!, Do it, register it!  We go through the phases and we feel exhausted, discouraged as we relist what we want to avoid, yet need to get done.  I have many of these cluttering my conscious an unconscious mind.  Forgetfulness is a consequence of ignoring as a habit.

The standard too do list could be an off shute of our weekly and monthly list.

The standard “To do” list can be recycled into our “Got Done!” List.  I feel so much better writing down what I achieved today.  Also recording my circumstances, like a project manager or contractor on a job site will put in the Log, a start time, how many men on the job, how many subcontractors with crew size an specifics, the weather conditions such as overcast, windy, and 52 degrees, etc.  Writing my circumstances, obligations for day, health challenges, and achievements makes me feel very satisfied.  It is less likely I will judge myself unfairly.

We know what all we have to do.  Just put 12 minutes into the next step of the project and see what happens.

Living fabulously includes simplifying our lives to achieve more focus.  Our Great-Grandparents may no longer be with us yet their examples can always be reconsidered as it’s principles enrich our lives.  I call that a real inheritance.

The Harvest in our Life.

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Alabama Cotton Harvest  photographer, Gina Rydin

The Harvest in our Life.  A farmer knows when to plant his fields.  His routine and schedule must be diligently adhered to if he is to recieve the bounty that is anticipated.  A farmer cannot be happenstance regarding his goal.  The planning, is exacting.  A farmer whom procastinates is a poor destitute farmer.  A farmer whom waits for the perfect day, or perfect conditions is a farmer whom will not reap as others in his community.

How is the Harvest in our life?  Can we reflect a farmer’s attitude with our habits, routines, short and long term goals?

 

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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