Friday, February 23, 2018


Ever see a picture of yourself and just want to say "Ewww" or something equivalent?

I do.

Are my wrinkles showing? Are the dark circles especially dark today? Are my lips and hairline and eyebrows thinning? How about that double chin and neck?

I remember my mom receiving a new driver's license photo one year and expressing her displeasure in it. Afterwards she said that probably 15 years down the road she would think it was pretty good.

How true.

This is me, today, now.... and it's okay. More than okay really.

Embrace who you ... we are all just fine.


Sometimes I stumble upon a quote that fits exactly how I feel. 

But sometimes there are none.... and our own words, our own voice, our own expression is what we need to work on .... and figure out. 

To think and mediate and work to understand what's unique to us, discover where our own heart is, and what our soul is yearning for... and what our needs are at the moment.

Is it peace? It is safety? Is it reassurance? Is it connection? Is it rest? Is it trust? Is it faith?

I yearn for healing in the world. I yearn for people to be whole. I yearn for myself to be whole. I yearn for a way to communicate love when I fail so often. I yearn for a way to make a difference and be a force for good ....but I often fall short. I sometimes mess things up even though I have the best of intentions. 

But for now I just feel sad. 

I've lived long enough to realize that the sad will pass. It comes and it goes. We can count on life's ebbs and flows as much as anything in this world. It's a sure thing. Keeping our balance during the changes is the challenge. Especially when a wave hits you and knocks you senseless for a little while.

So, we do what we can, love with all of our heart, but also be true to ourselves, and not set our own self on fire to keep someone else warm... meaning.... take care of yourself too.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Ahhh. I did some stretching yoga today, two sessions on my favorite DVD, and also 30 minutes on my elliptical machine at home. It felt sooo good. I found that I didn't struggle as much so that tells me my muscles have made some progress and my strength has improved. Little steps in the right direction. That's the way to go, right?

Gosh I can be lazy though.

Sigh. I fell "in like" with a house that I seriously imagined myself moving into after going to see it with my realtor last weekend ....but it suddenly went off the market before the open house with a pending offer. I seriously need to downsize and find something more "me". One floor. Less yard maintenance. Less tax burden. I will find it. Although I am so grateful with all I have, I'm feeling less and less like this house is a future home for me.

Maybe I shouldn't, but I'm enjoying some FitVine Chardonnay now.  It's a wine lower in sugar and calories that I found. I was not impressed with the Cabernet Savignon but the Chardonnay is pretty good. I would buy it again.

I am grateful and at peace and content right now.....even though there are numerous reasons why I might let the circumstances around me ruin all that. It's always the struggle to live and let live.

Hope you, whomever might read this, let yourself be at peace too, no matter what the circumstances. If you are in that place, we could seriously be friends.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

needed change

I have needed motivation. I've been feeling old and out of shape. I have put too much weight on these aging bones and joints and I know it. I feel it. The scale has been inching up again.

But it stops now. I have a plan. And it includes healthy diet, new recipes, PORTION CONTROL, mindfulness, and exercise. And I'm making it a priority, not an afterthought.

For the last few days I've decided to reign it all in and do what is good for me. I have become lazy and full of excuses. But I've run out of excuses or else they're just not working for me anymore!

The only way to get where you want to be is to change something you do daily. What is your daily routine? How is it not working for you?

I know I have to make some changes, but I also know I can't deprive myself of certain food groups. I have to make mealtime enjoyable. Eating well is a form of self respect. I've made realistic goals. One is to create healthy habits not restrictions, although that includes portion control. It takes time to get where you want to be and I'm realizing what an impatient person I am.  So.... I have a plan.

I have a plan to lose one pound a week. If it's more than that fine, but my goal is one pound. If I do that for 20 weeks, I'll lose the 20 pounds I want to. Sound simple? Sound easy? It's only as simple or easy as I make it.

For some people motivational quotes get old, but for me they often keep me going. A word aptly spoken cuts to the quick and can change my perspective in an instant.

So here are the things I'm going to dwell on and remember.

First and foremost FOOD IS FUEL, NOT THERAPY!

Note to myself: When I eat like crap I feel like crap.

A little progress each day adds up to big results.

"What I know for sure is this: The big secret in life is that there is no big secret... There's just you, and this moment, and a choice." Oprah

Three months from now you'll thank yourself! And actually you'll thank yourself each day, because you'll feel better about the choices you're making.

Eat for the body you want, not the body you have. This doesn't just mean outward appearance. It means healthy organs and bones, and joints, and muscles. We only get one body to hold our spirit and soul. Treat it with care.

What have I done so far?

I made a chart. I'll weigh myself every Friday. One pound a week. Very doable. Sticking with a 1200 calorie diet.

I signed up to receive meals from HelloFRESH. The portions are large. One can easily be halved and eaten for another mealtime. But I keep track of all calories. HelloFRESH is just for fun and convenience and to give me good ideas, not to purchase all the time.

I'm looking at websites and InstaAcounts that have great ideas and motivation and recipes.

I've exercised. Walking is one of the best for me right now. I've walked for an hour the last few days. When I set out I didn't have any expectations, just to walk. The more I walked the more I WANTED to walk. If I have too high of expectations for myself I am less inclined to begin.... so I'm just concentrating on BEGINNING. I read that "If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward."

I must say that I haven't figured anything out yet. I'm on a journey and it's not a sprint to get and stay in shape. All great achievements require time. Mostly, the people who look like they have it all together are not even close to being motivating to me.  They are irritating. I guess I'm a bit rebellious.

So I am leaving myself with one more thought.

"Stop letting food (or anything) be the boss of you".

Saturday, January 27, 2018

mid-winter thoughts

Well, hello there again little blog of mine. It's been a while.

I skipped over the whole holiday season without checking in and now here it is the end of January. Winter has been a tough one here, but I guess not half as tough as most of the country. We have gotten snow on three separate occasions... and that's something for Austin.

This winter is also a horrific one for the flu. Numerous cases of the disease all over the place and very severe in many cases. It's been a bad winter for me as far as colds and viruses. I seem to get a different strain every few weeks with a stomach virus or norovirus thrown in as well. I read a few articles today that indicated that grandparents often get a worse case (and more frequent) of what their grandchildren are exposed to. The kids bounce back quicker and the parents often fight it off. Seems to be what's going on in my world. I sure love my grand babies, but have not liked being so frequently sick this season.

It's refreshing right now as I sit out on the back patio. This morning was foggy and soggy and warmish for a change, but now clearer, cooler, fresher air has blown in. The wind chimes are gently tinkling and it all feels peaceful. The herbs have survived the cold night temperatures that plummeted down into the teens thanks to their plastic dome covering. Tiny seedlings and bulbs are eager to meet the warmth that so far doesn't want to stick around for long.

I have continued getting rid of unnecessary stuff around my house, in the closets, in the drawers, in the attic.... and it makes me feel more free and lighter. Less bound to things. I heard it said, "If you want a cleaner house, own less stuff!"... and it's true. How I love when I can clean up an area and make it feel more calm.... with less busy energy surrounding it.  Maybe I'm just looking for serenity wherever I can find it these days. Trying to create it where I can in a world that seems wounded and bleeding in so many ways. My prayers lately seem to revolve around healing. Physical, emotional, spiritual... healing... for so many. It's a crazy world. Maybe even more so for introspective types. But I'm learning how to let go of things that aren't mine to worry about, or are too heavy to carry.... and yet to help where and when I can.

Just some mid-winter thoughts....

Thursday, October 5, 2017



Letting that sink in.


It's okay that Texas is still mostly hot. I'm not going to get bummed about that. Because I love that we don't get snowstorms that make driving even more hazardous here than it normally is. No shoveling. No chill way down deep to the bones.... And I like that the coming months are refreshing .... some days cold ... some days warm... I like that the days change and are not all the same like the hot, sunny summer days seem to be .....


Change is near. The good kind of change. The kind that makes me feel hopeful.

I have more of a single thread of hope.... but even a single thread of hope is still a very powerful thing isn't it?

Once again change comes ... nothing stays the same. Sometimes things change in a flash... in an instant.  And other times change happens in tiny little minuscule instances... hardly noticed... until.... everything is totally different. I'm feeling like things are totally different. All of a sudden.


Life. Love. Thankful.

Monday, September 25, 2017

thoughts from my dad's visit

I just dropped Dad off at the airport after being with him for two weeks.

He is alone a lot. Actually he is alone all the time. Since mom died over four years ago he's lived by himself and it's not easy to visit given the distance. But I've done it numerous times and do the best I can.

I've made many trips out to see him and a few times he has traveled back with me to my home. Like this time. The times I have tried to plan a trip for him to travel on his own have not worked out. He is just not able to travel by himself anymore and planning a trip for him alone is pretty much setting him up to fail.... He's 85 and I feel very protective of him.

The last few trips I've noticed a pattern. When we are together initially he wants to talk about the same things. Things that bother him. Things that make him angry and confused and resentful. Like the fact that his brother never spread his wings but spent all his years under his parents' roof, never making an independent life of his own. Like the fact that he was not included in is parents' will. Things that have really hurt him.....I understand .... yet it's still hard to listen to it again and again.... He's a good man and doesn't understand why people do some of things they do.... but none of us do at times...

But then... after a while... slowly.... he begins to enter life again... he gets it out of his system and starts seeing people living and joins in. It's sooooo hard though. The woman he shared his days with, the love of his life, for over 60 years is gone.

Dad was (is) the epitome of loyal. To his wife. To his family. He worked a job faithfully and didn't ask much for himself. His wants were simple. A home. A good meal. A place of belonging. A job to do. Work to accomplish.

He was the man who brought his lunch to work every day in a brown bag. A sandwich. Maybe ham and cheese. Maybe peanut butter and jelly. He said others would go out to eat each day or bring restaurant food back to the office to eat but he didn't mind his brown bag lunch. He saved a lot of money that way he said. Of course mom would make it for him... and for him it was enough....

The things he'd do for his little family.... I recognize now.....they were simple... and yet enormous.

His humility and lack of entitlement is rare and really humbles me... and makes me see so much of our world and the things that others value as being so very shallow.....

I dropped him off at the airport today to make his way back to Oregon. These days you never know whether it will be the last time. He's confident as he walks away.... but also frail and needy. This trip, as easy as I have tried to make it for him, will be hard for him at times. I wish I was with him... just to be at his side to offer support.

But I'm only one person and have limitations myself.... I can't do all I might like to.

While he was here he just fit into the tapestry of my life and home. He came down early for coffee and breakfast. We went out for lunch sometimes and a few other outings. He met his two great granddaughters for the first time and got re-acquainted with his granddaughters.

He said he was so glad he came... to see them... to make the trip before maybe he couldn't anymore... He said he takes each day one at a time....

It was hard to see him go.... knowing he'd be alone again.....

I do what I can... and pray God will take it and make it enough.

Dad and Jenni

Kristen, Jenni, Dad and baby Paislee (Jenni brought everyone out for ice cream)

Pippa, me and Dad