Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Tribute To My Mom....

"You were the very best mom!', I whisphered.
"I needed to hear that," she replied in her soft German accent.

It was the middle of the night and I was sitting on the side of her bed.  At the time I probably didn't realize just how much Mom needed to hear those words. The next day she left us for Eternity.

I makes me angy now to think of how the devil torments our thoughts with feelings of doubt and worthlessness, even in our darkest and weakest moments.  Or perhaps especially in our darkest and weakest moments.  That's just how hateful Satan is.  But Gods love overcame the hate that night.  Just me, Mom and Jesus in the dark night, praying, smiling, embracing and encouraging.  Led by the Holy Spirit into a sweetness not of this world.  Only God can take the fleeting hours before impending death and make them a treasured memory.  And only God gives us the promise of an estatic reunion one day.



I love you you, Mom, and I miss you still.  But it's never been 'Goodbye,' but rather, 'See you later!'

Sunday, March 18, 2012

It Was Bound to Happen......

Yep.  After bragging to my family and friends about how I haven't caught the latest flu, bronchitis, etc. because I take my vitamin D,  I have a cold and a cough.  Nothing serious, mind you.  But just enough to make me 'eat crow' (that is if I felt like eating at all). 

So this evening I am delighted to be 'on call' for my job, and hopefully they will not call me.  A little extra rest should help me get over this yuck quicker. 

My kitchen sink is piled high with dirty dishes.  (No, I don't have a dishwasher.)  My dirty laundry is overflowing.  But all I care to do is sit here in my recliner with my fuzzy throw and a glass of water.  Honestly, I would not even be on the computer if it were not right here in my lap.  But as they say, 'This too shall  pass.' 

Think I'll take a nap.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring!!!

What a beautiful day to work in the yard!  And I was rewarded for my efforts with this delightful little yellow crocus making her debut this spring.  And the daffodils on my patio are about to break into full bloom.


  
    This tub is filled with irises that I transplanted
last fall.  They are just starting to peak up through the soil.  I will try to post pics when they are full grown and in full bloom.  

                                                                                       

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Two Good Reasons...

Why do some people (especially grandparents) drive for hours through all kinds of weather and traffic just to see some people in a different city and state?

  This chubby cherub is one good reason.  Bright eyes and a big toothless grin are the reward to anyone who will just give him a bit of attention.  Baby Paul is the ruler of the household presently.  But who can resist his charm?  His demands are actually few;  a dry, clean bottom, a full tummy and his people nearby.  Especially his people.  The more the merrier.  As long as he is surrounded by chatty, happy people this child is satisfied.






This delightful toddler is another good reason.  His excitement overflows at the sight of Gramma and Papaw ascending the stairs to his home.  His joyful laughter is heart melting.  This boy is definitely all boy.  If it has wheels he is interested.  His mother jokingly  says that 'Sammy wants to be a car when he grows up.'  It is awesome to watch him examine each part of the vehicle closely.    We could just sit for hours and watch this boy play with his cars, trucks, semi's and trains.  But he also loves books.  I believe he will be an avid reader.  Sensitive, perceptive and lovable all wrapped up in one little boy, that's Sammy.


Yes, we do drive for hours to see these two boys.  It's worth every minute and every mile.  And as we visit with them we also get to visit with their parents and other family members that live in the area.  

While we return home exhausted, we are always looking ahead to the next visit.  As long as we are able, we will defy the distance to spend some time with the ones we love.   

And an added reward is our welcome home by the no less awesome grandkids right here in our own home town.  No matter how near or how far away, grandkids are the spice of life when all your children are grown up and out of the house. 

Families are a gift from God. Treasure them!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Low Carb and Delicious!

Hi!  I've been busy lately with a number of things.  Check out Crafty Reny to see some of the card challenges I have entered if you  like crafty stuff.  But I've been doing a lot of reading this past week as well.  I just finished a great book by Dr. Richard Bernstein called Diabetes Solution.  One of the main reasons I watch the carbohydrates that I ingest is because I tend toward high blood sugars if I don't.  Since I love to eat, I am always thrilled when I find a new recipe that fits my diet preferences, so this week Dr. Bernstein came through for me in a big way!




What you are looking at is 'cheese puffs'.  A slice of american cheese placed on a piece of freezer paper, waxed side up in the microwave for approximately 50 seconds makes this light, puffy, crispy snack.  This can be used in the place of toast or bread or as a chip substitute when you want something crunchy to eat with your favorite dip.  I'm sure there are a host of other ideas for using this yummy snack as well.


So, I used it as toast this evening.  I love bologna, and I placed my bologna between 2 cheese puffs, added a little mayo and  WOW!  It was just stinkin great!!!  Kind of like a toasted cheese with bologna and mayo sandwich.  I didn't miss the bread and I eliminated a bunch of carbs this way.  And no blood sugar spikes!  I feel healthier already.


If you try this, please leave a comment and let me know how you used this delicious treat.


Blessings!
Reny

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New Skillets and Back to Low Carb

We are the proud owners of 2 new skillets!  You know, sometimes it is just time to get rid of some of the old worn out stuff and replace it.  Today was that time for some very used skillets.  I'm not sure how much of the non-stick coating we ate, but enough of it was gone that the skillets were no longer non-stick.


I guess I'm just getting too old to put up with mediocre cooking utensils these days.  I want to enjoy cooking and I want the food to turn out right.  And I think these new T-fal skillets will do a great job. 


And the timing for these skillets is perfect.  Since I ended my relationship with the 17 day diet, I will be doing more frying and sauteing.  I am looking forward to that.


I was feeling a bit sad about having to give up yogurt again.  As far as I knew yogurt was not a low carb option.  But I just found out that I can make low carb yogurt!  I found the recipe on Hold The Toast and I can't wait to try it..  It is even  easier than the crock-pot recipe!  So, if you're a low carber, go on over to Dana Carpender's blog and find all kinds of great low carb recipes.


As far as my progress on the 'weightier' issues of my life, it's too soon to tell for sure, but it looks like the scales are showing some decline!  This is encouraging!  I am still getting on the treadmill almost daily and working out with weights one or two days a week.   I should probably concentrate more on the weight training, but with the way I work it's just too difficult.  But I am determined to stay with the treadmill as many days a week as possible.  Maybe I'll be able to do more of the weight training after retirement.  In the meantime, I'll just do what I can.  And I've noticed that even the little bit I do is making a difference.




Blessings!
Reny

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Adieu, Adieu 17 Day Diet.....

Parting is such sweet sorrow.  Alas!  I have come to the realization that you and I are not meant to be together.  It has been a short, whirlwind romance, but you have let me down.  Or perhaps I have let you down.  Never-the-less I find myself disappointed once again.  You promised me quick results.  All I had to do was follow you without wavering.  I tried my best.  I really did.  I was as faithful to you as I knew how to be.  It should have worked out for us.  There should have been at least some mild results.  And perhaps there were.  Perhaps I gleaned more from our relationship than I first thought. 

Because of you I now know how to make some delicious home-made yogurt and some wildly nutritious kale chips.  I now know that eating carbs too close to bedtime is a bad idea.  I understand the importance of drinking gallons of water, though I had a bit of trouble with that one. 

I know I'm a better person for having known you, and I only feel mildly chagrined that I gave you so much of my hard earned money.   (I have always been generous to a fault.)  But now it is time to say good bye.  I have found another that delivers far more than you have in our brief courtship. 

Hello Treadmill.... I love you!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Bit of Christian Rhyme

I love poetry.  I have written short poems since I was old enough to write.  My poetry is not fancy or deep like Maya Angelo's.  You don't have to ponder on the meanings too much to get the point.  It's just simple rhyme.  That's the way I like it.


I have decided to share a few of my poems with you, my wonderful readers.  Some are kind of lengthy so I will only share one at a time.


The inspiration for this one came from the book of Judges, chapters 4 and 5.  Deborah was a mighty woman of God.  There are still many Deborah s today.  They are waging war on their knees all over the world making intercession for peoples and nations.




Deborah

Arise, Oh Deborah, and go to war.
The victory is at hand. 
This battle I have given you.
Now go, reclaim your land.

The foe, he trembles at the sight
Of your fair countenance.
With flowing robes and mighty sword
You take the battle stance.

Arise and set the captives free,
And break the evil bonds.
Put up a siege works in it's place,
To rectify the wrongs.

Arise against the witchcraft
That has stolen countless ones.
Take back the broken , wounded hearts,
Of daughters and of sons.

Arise against the preditor
Who preys upon the child, 
Destroying innocence and
Leaving helpless ones defiled.

Arise against the thief
Who steals the destiny of man
And weaves deceit and falsehood,
Casting doubt on God's good plan.

Arise and gather now the lost,
The broken and despised,
And wrap them in the Father's love.
I tell you now, Arise!!!

Blessings!
Reny



Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Little Progress and a Guest Post

Hi all!  Well, after 14 days on the 17 day diet I am finally seeing a few ounces decrease on the scale.  So I am going to give this eating plan some more time.  I think it may be worth it since I am feeling very well physically and have not had much trouble with hunger and cravings.  So I'll keep you all posted on how it's going.  In the meantime, enjoy these positive musings from Mr. Loving Hubby.


Don't you just love it when:
 
 You are thinking the exact same thing
at the exact same time and then say it
together?
 
Your scales say you are doing good ?
 
Calm peace comes over you at just the right time?
 
You see a twinkle in that someone special's eye?
 
You've done a good deed with no applause but you feel the smile
coming from above?
 
People from far away rejoice when someone they don't even know
gets a home make over?
 
You see unconditional love anywhere?
 
People give respect and honor to older people?
 
Children play with abandon, freedom and delight?
 
Doctors can't explain how that person got completely well, 
but you know it was God?
 
Facebook makes you smile or laugh out loud?
 
That new recipe is a screaming hit?
 
You realize that that worrisome pain was just something big
in your jeans pocket, and it was cash you didn't remember you had?
 
Thanks Ken (aka Mr. Loving)  for helping us keep things in perspective.
 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I'm Not Impressed

So far I am unimpressed with the 17 day diet.  It has been 11 days and I have yet to lose any weight.  As a matter of fact, I think I have gained about a half a pound. 

I will admit that I have not followed exactly, but I haven't been far off either.  I have my 2 fruits and 2 probiotics daily and try to time them correctly.   For my meals I have protein and the veggies suggested.  I cook with olive oil and add a bit of mayo to my salads along with vinegar to make the mayo go farther.  I have been drinking 8+ glasses of water daily.  I have cut down my diet soda consumption to 12 oz. daily.  I am drinking a lot of green tea and occasionally a cup of black coffee.  I exercise 30 minutes a day 5 days a week.

For 3 days each week my schedule turns upside down and I am eating during the night instead of the day.  I do take Melatonin to help me sleep, as sleep is always a problem with this crazy schedule.  Perhaps that is what is sabotaging my efforts. 

Anyone out there have any suggestions?  If I don't see some results in this first cycle, I am going to forget about this diet.  However, I am still holding out hope that I will wake up one morning (or afternoon) soon and find myself several pounds lighter.

Sad thing is I bought the book and the workbook.  Hope I didn't get ripped off.  I really was hoping that this was not just another fad diet.  The eating plan is so close to the Body for Life plan that I was sure it would work.  And yet, my blood sugars are fantastic.  As a matter of fact, I find myself having symptoms of hypoglycemia at times and have to eat something.  That's a switch.

Blessings!
Reny

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Yum, Yum!

I am cooking up my 3rd batch of home made yogurt.  This is becoming a weekly thing, as I eat it all up within one week.  My first batch was about the consistency of Yoplait.  Not bad, but I knew I could do better.  


In the 2nd batch I added 1 cup of powdered milk and used whole milk rather than 1%.  I let it warm for about 20 minutes longer and let it set overnight.  The consistency is better, but not what I want yet.


Today I am trying it once again, but have let the milk (2%) warm for about 4 hours and then let it cool for an equal amount of time.  I am now allowing it to culture in a warm spot overnight.  I will then strain out the whey and 'voilla' Greek yogurt!  I hope.


I have been enjoying 2 servings of yogurt daily flavored with Splenda and vanilla.  I have added whatever fruit I have on hand.  This week that is fresh blueberries.  Last week it was canned peaches.  I have several recipes for different flavors, but I'm waiting to try them as they sound more like desserts than a protein serving.  I will update you when I do try them, so look forward to hearing about Chocolate pudding yogurt, Pumpkin Pie yogurt, etc.  Should be interesting.  


So I hope you are being inspired to make some yogurt.  It's easy enough and lots of fun.


Blessings!


Reny

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Progress Report

I have been a very good girl this past week.  I officially started the 17 day diet and have followed it closely with one exception.  I have not been able to drink all the water that he suggests.  I also have been drinking my diet sodas which he says is OK (I think) if I make up for it by drinking an equal amount of water.  He calls this positive liquid and negative liquid, with anything but plain water being negative.  The only exception I can find in the book is the daily cup of hot water with lemon, which Dr. Moreno says can count toward the positive liquid total.


So it's clear to me that I need to navigate away from the negative liquids and just drink more water.  I'm not that fond of water, but I am trying to drink more of it and less of the sweetened, flavored drinks that I love.  This is tough, but I'll try.


So far I am not seeing any drastic weight loss, but I have lost a little.  This week's total weight loss is .8 of one pound.  Eight tenths is not even the 1 pound that I was hoping for.  However, it is better than gaining, and I am seeing the scale go down slowly, but consistently.  So I'm only a little disappointed. 


The other thing is that when I am working my 3 night shifts a week, I don't get my work-outs in.  12 hours of work is about all I can muster.


On the food side of this diet, I am finding it not so difficult.  I have been eating low carb  off and on for some time.  My main difficulty with the eating part is that yogurt and fruit have been banned from my diet in the past.  It has been a little scary to incorporate them back into my diet due to blood sugar concerns.  However, my blood sugars have been very good in spite of the yogurt and fruits.  With this I am well pleased.   I have been feeling quite healthy as well.   Can't wait to see what the  A1C will be next checkup!


So that's the scoop on the diet and fitness side of my life for this past week.  I am hoping that next week will show more progress on the weight issue.  We'll see.




Blessings!
Reny

Saturday, January 21, 2012

In Defense of Paula

I happen to admire Paula Deen.  In my opinion she ranks right up there with a couple of my other favorite celebrity types, Martha Stewart and Suzanne Somers.  These ladies have defied the odds and made their mark in the business world.  Each of them have given us something we wanted and needed.  Suzanne is the queen of health and fitness.  Martha is the maven of homemaking.  And Paula is the cook we all want to be. 


Lately Paula has come under some judgement and criticism  that I feel are unwarranted.  She has Type 2 diabetes.  Not an easy disease to live with, especially if food is not only your passion, but your livelihood.  I'm sorry that she has to deal with this disease.  I'm sorry for everyone who does.  It's hard.
So she kept it to herself for 3 years.  So what!  Who says she has to share every detail of her life with the world?  Is she a hypocrite for promoting her luscious recipes while dealing with diabetes in her private life?  No more than I am a hypocrite for taking care of sick people when I am sick myself, or for taking care of the sick when I enjoy radiant health for that matter.


I tend to think that those who judge her most harshly are likely those who also have been judging her all along for her unrestrained use of butter and other delicious things like sugar.    Personally, I would love to indulge in Paula's mouth watering desserts daily, but I have to watch what I eat as well.  However, Paula's recipes are so simple and delicious that I do enjoy many of them.  Many lend themselves well to revisions to accommodate those of us who prefer sweetener and low carb fare.


I certainly don't think we've seen the last of Paula Deen.  I may be wrong, but I'm betting (and hoping) that there will soon be a whole new Paula Deen cookbook filled with awesome recipes for all of us who need to watch what we put into our mouths. 


Paula Deen will become the sweetheart of diabetics and weight conscious people everywhere.  And those of us who already love her will love her even more.  Just my opinion.


Blessings!
Reny

Friday, January 20, 2012

How to Make Kale Chips


Congratulations to Denny, the winner of our first blog give-away! 


We will be sending our winner a beautiful set of handcrafted greeting cards.


Thanks to all who participated, and check back often as we will be doing this again from time to time.


Following is the recipe for 'Kale Chips'.  If you have never tried them, I encourage you to do so.


This recipe is one of several we found on the internet while searching for something to do with a huge bag of kale given to us.  Most of the kale chips recipe were essentially the same,  and very simple to make.


  • trim kale leaves from heavy stems
  • wash thoroughly and dry using a salad spinner
  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • place parchment paper on a baking sheet  (I skipped this step.  No paper)
  • toss kale leaves with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • sprinkle with seasoned salt if desired  (We used garlic salt)
  • spread leaves on baking sheet and place in oven
  • bake for 15-20 minutes or until leaves are crispy but not burned.
Let cool and enjoy.  We munched on them right from the baking sheet and were so surprised at the rich flavor.  Then we crumbled some into soup and over salad.  They were good.  I'm ready to roast another batch soon.


Have a great day.
Blessings!
Reny



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WHAT IS IT????

OK.  The first person who can identify this wildly nutritious dish wins a set of 6 handmade all occasion greeting cards.





Just post your guess in the comments section.  I'll post the winner as soon as we have one.  If no one guesses correctly in the next 4 days, I will post the answer on Monday.  Happy guessing!


Blessings!
Reny

Monday, January 16, 2012

Creamy Vegetable Soup Recipe

1 head of cauliflower, diced and cooked.
2 crowns of broccoli  (I used a bag of frozen instead)
4 carrots (I used a can of sliced carrots)
1 leek  (didn't have this so I left it out)
2 stalks of celery
6-8 cups chicken broth
2 cloves of garlic
1 large onion

Chop all veggies.
Saute celery, onion, leek and garlic in a skillet coated with cooking spray.
Place cauliflower in a large pot and cover with broth.  Boil until tender. Remove from pot with slotted spoon and place in food processor.  Process till smooth.

Cook remaining veggies in the broth remaining from the cauliflower until tender.  Add to processor with slotted spoon and puree till smooth.  Serve.



This soup recipe came from the 17 day diet recipes site.  I did tweak it a bit to suit my own preferences.  The recipe calls for all the veggies to be pureed after cooking and then combining all the ingredients.  I decided I would like bites of veggies in mine, so I only pureed the cauliflower for the creamy texture.

If you are a serious vegan, just substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

I found that it needed salt to satisfy my taste buds, but season to please yourself.


Blessings!
Reny

The 17 Day Diet,,,My Take

I had never heard of The 17 Day Diet until I recently saw a co-worker that I had not seen for a few months.  I was astonished!  She had lost about 50 pounds!  I asked what her 'secret' was, and it turns out that it was no secret at all. She has been following the 17 day diet.  Although I had never heard of it, it has been around since 2010.


This book is written by Dr. Mike Moreno.  I had never heard of him either before now.  But I'm sure he is a nice guy and a great physician.  My first thought when I heard the name of the diet, (also the title of the book) is that it sounded like another weird diet fad.  But there stood my co-worker, 50+ pounds lighter.  I could not ignore the evidence that this obviously worked for her!  So I thought it might be worth taking a look at and I purchased the e-book and began to read.


Some of the things I have gleaned so far are:


  • The diet is quite healthy in it's composition.
  • The calories initially amount to about 1200 per day.
  • It is a reduced fat and reduced sugar and carbohydrate diet.
  • It promotes clean water intake  of at least 64 ounces per day.
  • It promotes lots of lean protein and cleansing veggies.
  • It suggests limited healthy fruits.
  • It encourages probiotics twice daily.  (Think yogurt).


This list is just what I have gleaned thus far.  It turns out that the diet is really 3 cycles of 17 days each.  So far I have only read the parts concerning the first cycle.  I will read about cycle 2 when I have nearly completed cycle 1.  Why wait?  Because I don't want to press through the cycles with only the thought of reaching  the next level so I can have more to eat.  I am hoping this diet will become more than that for me.  I hope that it will help me to develop the healthy eating habits that will finally lead to weight loss and improved health.

Dr. Moreno has not neglected the activity factor in all this.  He recommends 17 minutes of exercise a day in addition to the eating plan.  I had to roll my eyes a bit on this one simply because it seems a bit cheesy.  However, since I haven't completed the entire book yet, I will concede that there may be some hidden merit in this.  I totally agree that daily, or almost daily exercise is essential to total fitness.  But 17 minutes?  I think he might have picked that number just to coincide with his book title.  And I'm still wondering what makes 17 days a magic number,  Why not 14 days or 21?  But I am not the expert here, so I will go with the flow on this and see what happens in my particular case.


So here I am on day 2 of my first 15 day cycle, starting the day off with a cup of hot water with 1/2 of a lemon squeezed into it.  (I also added a bit of sweetener).  This is supposed to stimulate my digestion if I understand correctly.  Now I'm off to the treadmill for my exercise.  Will it be 17 minutes or 30 or somewhere in between?  I'll decide when I get there.


Have a great day.
Blessings!
Reny



Sunday, January 15, 2012

I Made Yogurt!


I made homemade yogurt in my crockpot today.  It was a fun and interesting experiment.  I shared it on facebook and received several fantastic comments and suggestions, so I thought I would share it here as well.


It all started with the 15 day diet.  As I was searching for some recipes I come across this site.


It is just filled with contributed recipes and tips from others.  The yogurt recipe was one that caught my eye, and since this diet recommends 2 servings of yogurt daily, I thought it might be fun to try my hand at making my own.


Here is the beginning of my yogurt experiment.  1/2 gallon of milk in the crock pot.  Set the control on low and leave it for 2 1/2 hours to heat through.




After the 2 and 1/2 hours have passed, simply turn off and unplug the crock pot and let it set for another 3 hours.
When the 3 hours are up, take out about 2 cups of the milk and mix it with about 6 ounces of plain yogurt, then return the mixture to the crock pot and stir to blend well.  Cover and wrap the crock pot in a heavy towel or blanket and  leave it  for 8 to 10 hours.
This is what I ended up with.  Pretty cool, don't you think?
Next I needed to decide how to flavor my yogurt.  This is where my facebook friends came through for me. 
  •  just had some vanilla greek yogurt plain with honey and blueberries. Excellent think you could work with that.

  • Love those cute little jars in the front!!!! I'd use strawberries and bananas... and probably a lot of sweetener... but that's me..

  • peaches...yum

  • Several years ago a dietitian said to flavor Joe's with sugar-free jello powder. Sprinkle on the jello and stir.

  • Cheese cloth and a strainer turns it into the expensive greek style!

  • The Simply Fruit, all fruit preserves. Unless you have homemade.
  Well, I have already tried the sugar free jello idea and it tasted great!  I might add that the consistency of this yogurt was somewhat like yoplait.  Next time I think I will turn the crock pot on low for awhile after adding the 6 onces of yogurt and see if it thickens up any more.  I also will get some cheesecloth and try straining it.   Oh, and the two commercial containers have my home made yogurt in them too, just in case you were wondering.  Just didn't have enough 6 ounce size containers, so decided to recycle.  Total cost of this yogurt was less than $3.00.

  • Blessings!
    Reny

Health Trumps All



So what's wrong with a 70+ Grandma looking like this???  Absolutely nothing!  People like Earnestine Shepherd inspire me.  Who says Grandma has to retire to a rocking chair with the TV remote in hand?  Maybe she would rather run marathons and set new world records for being the oldest, fittest Grandma on the planet!  Earnestine Shepherd and Marjorie Newlin are both at the top of my 'most admired' list.  These awesome ladies defied the status quo for Grandmas and paved the way for many of us to aspire to greater heights of fitness and endurance.  Just goes to show that 'With God nothing is impossible'!


As I pick up my dumbbells again I will keep a mental image of these remarkable women in my mind.  Earnestine says that 'health trumps all'.  I may never reach the level of fitness that she enjoys, but I am certainly going to improve my health and fitness level.


I am already seeing some improvements in my health since I rededicated myself to this fitness goal at the beginning of the year.  My blood sugar levels are well within normal levels after months of discouraging elevations.  I can only attribute this to almost daily exercise and maintaining a low carb/ healthy carb diet.


And now, as promised to you, my loyal readers, this weeks weight loss.  Yes!  I met my goal of 1 pound/week!  I have actually lost 2.9 pounds since last Sunday!  


Tomorrow I will address The 17 Day Diet, and my personal thoughts on what I have learned about it so far.  


Until then....
Blessings!
Reny

Yikes! A Mouse in my House!

In general I love all creatures, except rodents, spiders and snakes.   We live in a rural area at the edge of small town USA.  We are bordered on three sides by vacant lots, one of which sports a densely wooded area.  Small wildlife are common sights around our little neighborhood.  (See my post about Dawson the groundhog for example.) 


I just love watching these adorable, furry little creatures scampering across our lawn or climbing our trees.  It is always a special treat when I look out my kitchen window and see a squirrel on the ledge just a few feet from our house.  And there must be hundreds of bunnies dwelling in our block of the neighborhood.


But no matter how much I love to watch these animals, I do not want them in my house.  (Or eating my garden.)  Never the less, each autumn brings in at least two (I think they might be mates) mice.  I see evidence of their presence on my counter tops and out of the corner of my eye when I am up late at night.


My first response is always to inform my darling husband.  He is, after all, the guardian and protector of our family and our home.  His response usually goes something like this, "Awe, those cute little things don't hurt anything.  They're just looking for a warm place to stay."   He is such a kind hearted fellow.  I mean, this man catches crickets and spiders and puts them outside rather than kill them.  Me, I just stomp the stuffins out of them or spray them mercilessly with Raid, which ever is easier at the time.   But Mr. Loving Hubby will dutifully set out the d-con knowing that it is better to side with me than the mouse if he wants to live a peaceful existance.   And this is what he did when I spied the first autumn intruder this fall.  D-con out, I figured that this rodent was toast and I just put him out of my mind. 


Several evenings later Mr. Loving and I were sitting in our respective recliners enjoying the quiet of our cozy little home when I felt the presence of  'something' near my left arm.  Looking over I saw (I shudder even remembering) a chubby little mouse sitting on his haunches (do mice have haunches?) on the arm of my recliner!  Not only that, it was looking at me! 


I'm not given to drama or theatrics, so I slowly arose from my chair and took several steps toward Mr. Loving.   "Uh, Honey,"  I said, pointing at my chair.  A huge smile spread across Mr. Loving's face as he took in the scene before him.  "Awe, Honey," he said,  "it's sick and is just looking to the nurse to help it!"


Sure enough, it was a sick little mouse.  Mr. Loving was quickly able to capture it, and yes, he put it outside.  I'm not sure that this particular mouse survived, but since then we have trapped 2 more.  Yes, I said trapped.  No more D-con.  From now on it's glue traps in our house.  Inhumane? Maybe.  But if it keeps the critters out of my chair, it's worth it!


Blessings!
Reny

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pinterest, I Love You!

I love doing crafts of all kinds.  I also love finding new recipes to try.  And I love organizing ideas.  So, how could I not love Pinterest?  This site is so full of information and ideas that I could browse it all day and never see everything that pertains to my particular interests.  Add to that the many categories that hold very little interest for me, but are of great interest to others and you have a site that just can't lose!

My favorite category on Pinterest is DIY and Crafts.  I have literally spent hours perusing this area of the site and find a host of new things each time I log in.  The Lawn and Garden category is superb in all the variety of ideas and styles of garden layouts and landscaping, not to mention the variety of plants.    There are tons of beautiful photographs of exotic and wonderful places to mesmerize a wanna be world traveler like me.  The awesome pics of recipes make my mouth water.  And if you need an idea for holiday or party decorating, this site is chock full of more ideas than you could ever hope for.

Have I said that I love this site?  Go check it out.  I'll bet that you fall in love too.

Blessings!
Reny

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Never, Never Give Up!

Well, in my last post I promised to keep all of you, my wonderful followers, up to date on how my goals for 2012 are going, especially on the fitness front.  I am happy to say that I have made some progress in that area.  I am disappointed to say that the progress is not yet evident in the weight loss arena.  My scales showed a 3/10 of a pound weight loss for the first week of 2012.  I was on the treadmill 6 days out of 7 for 30 minutes each time and at a 3 to 3.5 mph pace.  I did 40 minutes of weight training 3 of those days as well.  I stayed on my low carb eating plan faithfully.  It is a bit disheartening, but I have to remember that I am a 60+ grandma and my metabolism is not that of a 20 or 30 year old.


However, I have noticed some other benefits that make it so worth keeping on.  I feel much more energetic.  I am regaining strength and endurance.  I have not had a lot of food cravings.  Basically, I am feeling more fit already even though the weight remains stubbornly attached.  It's enough to keep me going.  So my advice to any of you who are on the same track, don't give up!  I believe some tangible results are just around the corner.


BTW, if you would like to read a neat little blog with all kinds of great ideas, visit here.


     http://thehappyhomester.wordpress.com/

Blessings!
Reny

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year's Progress So Far

Well, for those of you are interested, I am making some progress on my goals.  I've replaced all my kitchen dish cloths and towels.  I'm doing well with my fitness goals so far.  Having 5 days off from work has helped me to jump start my exercise which consists of 30 minutes on the treadmill daily.  At least I hope I can do it daily.  When I work my 12 hour night shift, I'm often out of steam after about 2 of them and have to focus my energy on just doing what is necessary.  I'm also doing some weight training again.  On this I'm aiming for 3 times a week, but once again, it will depend on my work schedule as to whether or not I accomplish that.


I have learned that at my age it is better to pace myself in these areas.  It just won't do to wear myself out working out and have no energy left to go to work.  Therefore I'm trying not to be obcessive/compulsive about this whole fitness goal.


That said, I will say that I do notice a difference in how I feel when I can get in my workout.  I feel much more energized and mentally sharp as well as maintaining a good positive outlook.  That alone is enough to make me look forward to that treadmill.  I've also downloaded some great music to walk to by Spirit Fit.  It keeps me focused on God and helps me be thankful that He has made me able to even do this at my age.  As a nurse I see what age, neglect and illness can do to a person.  It makes me wish I had been more diligent all along.  But they say it's never too late. 


Now, as for more new year's goals, I am hard pressed to think of any.  I guess I could set a goal of just staying on top of my current lifestyle.  I have so many projects going on, and so many more I want to do.  So I could also set a goal not to over extend myself on all of those things.   And I also could set a goal to get my priorities straight.  I have spent too much time majoring in minors this past year. 


Anyway, enough said tonight.  My next post will include an update on weight loss or gain.  Hopefully I will have reached my 1st week's goal of a 1# loss.


Blessings!
Reny

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Years Day...And a Clean Oven

This may come as a surprise to those who know me, but this year I will start the new year with a clean oven.  No, I didn't get the oven cleaner and the rubber gloves out.  I just used hot soapy water and a steel wool pad.  But it's clean enough for me and that's all I care about.  I'm not necessarily a neat freak, but I do like things tidy and relatively free of disease causing organisms.  


That said, I want to address this thing of new years goals again.  I suppose I should get serious about it and make a few goals that are challenging and worthwhile.  Trouble is, I've done this every year and seem to make very little, if any, progress.  However, I am not one to just give up, so once again I will add fitness and diet to my list of things to improve on in 2012.


My daughter, Mac, is striving for 52 # in 52 weeks. 

 check out her blog here.....
http://thehappyhomester.wordpress.com

That sounds reasonable to me, so I am borrowing her plan for myself.  How to go about doing this is still a mystery to me, but I hope to figure it out as I go along.  I do already walk for 30 minutes at least 4 times a week.  Most of the time I try to incorporate a slow jog of about 5 to 10 minutes into that time.  The eating plan is probably going to be my biggest challenge.  It's crazy,  but I eat about the same things as my DH, and am twice as active, but he doesn't gain and I do.  Totally not fair!  I'm convinced it has something to do with the kind of carbs I consume, although DH consumes all manner of concentrated carbs with no apparent ill effects.  But I think this is where I need to focus, so I'm off to research glycemic index. 


I won't be posting my weight, but I will post my weight loss and anything special that I think may be contributing to it.  


In the meantime, Happy New Year to you all!!!!  May it be filled with health and happiness.

Reny