Tuesday, May 31, 2011

helpful changes

I had a little wake up call recently.  You can’t hide your head in the sand forever, at least I can’t.  I went to the doctor for various aches and pains that needed to be checked out and I actually had to step onto the scale!  Yeah, I think it’s kind of mean that they make you do that, but for me it really is a good thing as much as I hate to admit it.

Needless to say my head was violently yanked out of its hole in the sand! 

As I’ve made changes in the last couple of weeks, I’m seeing that the longer you do the right things, like choose healthy, nutritional foods and exercise… it gets easier… just a little tiny bit at a time but it DOES get easier.  And you see and feel results.

Oh, I’m resisting the temptation to do anything drastic like extreme exercise (SO not good for me) and starvation dieting (counter productive).  I want to have and enjoy a healthy lifestyle that can be lived out far down the road.

So… I’m drinking more water…  and enjoying it.  It makes me feel good.  I used to drink none.  Now I carry around a water bottle and sometimes throw some fresh lemon in.  Great for hot Texas weather.

I’ve committed to exercising at least three times a week.  So far it’s been more, but AT LEAST three.

I’m eating fresher, more nutritional foods.  But also eating what I want so as not to feel deprived… but less… and it feels really good!

I’m keeping track on a fun site my doctor suggested.  It makes it easy and helps me with healthy boundaries… which I obviously need!

There are certain things in my life I don’t want to compromise on.  I just can’t.  A healthy lifestyle is one of them.  I won’t be any good to anyone else if I am not taking good care of ME.

Prayer is another.  No compromising there.  I need God to be personal in my life.  I need a relationship with Him.  I need Him like I need the air to breathe.

I don’t have control over everything in my life that’s for sure and I feel the truth of that more strongly some days than others, but I CAN strive to make choices every day that will reap great rewards.

Oh, and I’ve lost four pounds.

Monday, May 30, 2011

an orchard lesson

The weekend was full and productive. My wonderful husband gets deep satisfaction from taking care of business. He feels a real strong need to teach me things he thinks I need to know right now. Because he loves me. Because he doesn't know if he will always be around to take care of me. Because his love for me has always translated into action.

I went to Home Depot this morning for bags of mulch for my flower garden. Gardening has been my latest hobby keeping me busy and active... quite therapeutic too. When I got the bags home we both realized they were too heavy for us to move without the risk of hurting our backs and really struggling. Edd suggested we go back to the store to purchase a wheelbarrow or dolly so we could easily transport heavy stuff now and in the future.  When we were leaving the store with our new dolly I commented to him how he has always strived to make my life easier. Always. He just always has.
We’ve had many conversations lately about how he is going to train me on all our finances, how to manage everything and be savvy in this area.  I have been doing a lot of work in the yard this summer planting flowers, buying dirt and stepping stones and mulch. His strong desire is that in the same way I manage my flower garden, I know how to manage my investments. I buy plants without having to ask him which ones to buy. I plant them and take care of them. He wants me to be able to be that way with all our finances.
He's been calling our investments my orchard. He wants me to be able to manage my own orchard and be confident.  When we are finished with all this "training" he wants me to feel real ownership of those investments like I do my garden. Today he showed me how to purchase stock and I bought some! We did some research to understand a little more how the market works. What is the NASDAQ Composite, Dow Jones Industrial Average, etc.?  I don't understand all that much, but I know a heck of a lot more than I did a couple days ago...which was nothing!

An orchard is long term. Trees don't grow overnight. You don't have to work it every day but the trees give security and protection for the future. His desire is for my future to be secure. It's important to him that I be empowered and knowledgeable ... so I will try to be a good student. It makes him happy and gives him peace. He is a natural manager and planner and he is forcing me in a gentle and loving way to be the same. Quite simply, I want him to be proud of me.
Words can’t even begin to describe how incredibly blessed I am to have him.

Friday, May 27, 2011

healthy ingredients

I’ve had a good week making healthy food choices with fresh ingredients.  A simple sandwich can be made out-of-the-ordinary delicious … and healthy too!  These are just a few of things I used this week.  Yum!

Fresh basil leaves from my garden added to a sandwich.  A little olive oil sprinkled on top makes it sooo good!  Easy to grow in a garden too!

Using hummus instead of mayo on a sandwich.  Better for you than mayo…. and I love hummus!

Guacamole or avocado is another great sandwich ingredient.






Arugula instead of tasteless lettuce adds a spicy zip… leafy greens are good for you too!  I love it!

Oh, and not to forget cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, fresh corn, and spinach!  I’m trying to add healthy fresh ingredients to my meals. All these things help! 

Time to go back to the organic farm for more goodies!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

strength through support

I’ve really needed to refocus some of my thoughts and activities... To center myself. Even though I’ve tried to simplify my life and it may not be as hectic as someone else’s might be, I can still be too busy to take the time to feed my mind and my spirit what it needs to be at peace.  I am an information junkie and tend to get overloaded with trivial stuff. I have magazines that I enjoy strewn around the house that I haven't read and books that call out for me to soak in their good thoughts and ideas. Yesterday I took the time to read them... and it was just what I needed.   I exercised.  And slowed down.  It was a very good day.

Today began early with a trip to a spine specialist.  It was disappointing in that the doctor prescribed a medication for pain that I’ve decided has more potential side effects than I am comfortable with.  So I feel I’m kind of back to square one.  My problems aren’t that severe according to the MRI and that’s a good thing, but the pain remains.  My neck pain is very likely associated with age and stress.  Age I can’t do much about.  Stress is a tough one right now too.  But there are some things I can do… which I should be doing.  Like…

Exercise (Yay, I did that again today!)

Eating right (Another successful day)

Learning more about ways to release stress (working on it)

Talking to someone who can offer support (check)

I took the needed step today to seek out support.  Both Edd and I are the type who naturally want to be strong for everyone else and especially for one another.  We put on the strong husband and strong wife faces.  But we walk around like moving targets each day and the tensions build.  We need help and support from others who have been there, from those who understand.   I called a cancer support organization today and realized just how fragile my emotions are.  As I hung up the phone I felt hope.  I knew there was a network of support out there.  I need it now… and someday when I am strong, I will share it with someone else.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


In the end... What is most important anyway?

Was I a good friend?

Was I a good mom?

Was I a good daughter?

Was I a good wife?

Was I a good sister?

Simple. Yes. Very simple.

Relationships. People.

I saw a segment on the news this morning about extreme makeovers for children's' rooms. One mom was featured who created a princess room for her daughter. There was a chandelier that cost thousands, and other things that added up to over $60,000 for just ... stuff. It looked like a little mansion but I found it absurd. She wanted to give her daughter the things she always wanted when she was a child. Hmmm... I wonder where the milk toast dad was in all of this....

How much better would it be had she used those resources to do good for others in need. She is teaching her daughter values every day.  I wondered if she is uptight about all those things and whether she demands her child keep it in perfect order too. I wonder how that will effect her as the years go by. How about getting them involved with community charities or volunteering. When will parents realize their over-indulgences are not helping their children, but creating a selfish and entitlement mentality. Someone stated, "Children benefit far more from one on one time with a parent doing something together on a regular basis, and this fantasy room suggests that spending time in the child's room is the goal.  The money spent on a kid's room can be donated to the Food Shelf. ..Lord knows they need it more than their kids need a hand-painted wall and custom pirate ship," I agree. Wisdom is in short supply these days.

I know these stories are in many ways designed to make us mad and irritate us, but they do help us to define our own beliefs so I guess they have some value.   I guess there are always two sides to any story also, so I am glad God is the Judge…. and not me.


"Over the years, I've heard people lament about why God allows this or that. Babies starve and people suffer not because of what God does, but because of what we don't do." Oprah Winfrey

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

a good day

Tears come easily to me these days. Sometimes they come unexpectedly. The richness of life speaks to me and breaks me. The smallest of conversations are triggers. Things extra ordinary.

Like a simple text message exchange.

Edd: My lunch is excellent! (the one I made for him to bring to work today)

Me: Good! Love you! I am cleaning house. Nicky is in the sunshine on the steps outside our bedroom. I went to see Gracie and Cooper too.

Edd : It's a good day!

Me: Yes it is.

Truth be told, we know many not-so-good days.  Days full of painful thoughts and feelings. Talking about things we wish we didn’t have to.   Yet we still marvel at how lucky, how blessed, we are to have each other.


Conversation today after laughing and joking in the drive-thru of Whataburger at how slow the service was:

Me: We sure have fun together don't we?

Edd: Yes, we do. I enjoy being with you more than anyone else. With all the time we spend together. Still. I think that is a rare and wonderful thing.

I do too.

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. --Thornton Wilder