Hint of Fall, or Acorns R Us

There must be a faint hint of fall in the air. Why else would one make a cup of hot cocoa when the outside temperature is 86 degrees Farenheit? It was only 81 when I made it, if that accounts for anything. 

A “slight chance of scattered showers” hovered above the house briefly, temporarily dimming the brightness of Mr. Sun. He knew how fickle they were, and waited patiently for them to move on to greener roofs.

Stepping outside, the scent of summer no longer lingers. It has been pushed aside and replaced with an earthy, dried-grass smell. It won’t be long now until the signs and symptoms of hay fever appear.

Why must the beauty of each season have a down-side?  

In spring, green brightens everything with a layer of pollen, causing many to have itchy eyes and sneezy noses; yet it brings forth beautiful blossoms. The warmth of summer causes all things to burst forth with life, from weeds, poison ivy and mosquitoes, to the fruit of our garden labors. Autumn, much like spring in the seasonal-allergy department, brings those long-awaited cooler temperatures, and jellyfish to the seashore. Winter’s snow–we aren’t even going to go there! 

Maybe the question should be, why are we blessed with a bounty of beauty concurrent with the seasonal changes which wreak havoc with our sensitivities? 

Do you have a favorite season, and why?




Oops! I Led You Astray

I’m sorry to have misled you yesterday regarding being hungry. Maybe blog posts need to be written before midnight…

Breakfast: Egg whites, green onion, green bell pepper, red banana pepper, cheddar cheese and turkey bacon

I commented that I expected to be hungry, and most of you expected me to be hungry, too; it seems to be the nature of diets and one reason we tend to shun them. 

But I am not hungry! It is hard for me to ingest the 1200 calories my body needs for daily nutrition because what I’m eating makes me feel full. I encourage anyone who wants to lose some weight to give this diet a fair shot. Give up the sugar (the hardest for me, because I love sweet tea–and make mine a large)! Start easing away from bread, snacks with no nutritive value, and starchy foods like potatoes, corn, carrots, get tempting foods out of the house. I did that for about ten days before officially starting the South Beach Diet–I found other options to make tea I would want to drink, looked at restaurant nutrition charts to make wise choices there–so I wouldn’t feel “deprived” and cave in to unhealthy choices.

I’ve also learned that I’m not used to cooking for myself. I normally grab a banana or a Zone bar and call it breakfast. Now I know that a banana needs to be offset with protein to reduce the glycemic reaction, the effect that foods have on blood sugar and those dreaded hunger pangs. 

The scale brought a smile to my face this morning–rather than the usual groan-when it said I was two pounds lighter.😀



Bathing Beauties

After a limited amount of research, I have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter where you are, if there is water available, there will be birds in it.

The first location was in my own backyard:

I never cease to be amazed at pigeon behavior.

The second location was 50 miles due south (as the crow flies–or in this case, the seagulls):

Diet update:
A good part of Monday was spent paging through the South Beach Diet cookbooks borrowed from the library, making a grocery list, and then–shopping. I survived the day, and am confident there is something to eat tomorrow! My calorie total for the day was just shy of 800, which I know is too low; but I wasn’t really hungry. On the drive home, I entertained the idea of pouring the sugar-free hot fudge syrup over the Planters 100% natural harvest Pistachio Grove Blend of mixed nuts roasted in sea salt with no added oils. That was good for a laugh, and then I came to my senses.

South Beach Diet

In my doctor’s office recently, I noticed a poster on the back of the door regarding weight loss. We discussed how the food pyramid has changed over time, and noted the previous one which recommended 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta daily has led to larger waistlines. 

She said now a low-carb diet, along the lines of The South Beach Diet, is being favored. I’ve been doing some research, looking for recipes and such. This diet was created by preventive cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston for his cardiac and diabetes patients. It was designed to improve his patients blood chemistry, and the side effect of it was weight loss. Sounds like a win-win situation to me! 

I have to admit, there are a few foods that I do not find appealing. More like appalling. We were eating salmon for awhile, now neither hubby nor I care to see it again. The only eggplant I enjoy is in Olive Garden‘s Eggplant Parmigiana, and that is definitely not in a healthy eating plan! The lunch portion is 620 calories, 26 grams of fat, (8g saturated) 1540 sodium (above my daily recommendation with hypertension), 70 grams of carbs.  

Looking into the South Beach Diet Plan, I learned it is divided into three phases. Phase One lasts two weeks and is designed to stabilize blood sugar, eliminate cravings and kick start weight loss. Phase Two returns a few foods forbidden in Phase One, and is the steady-loss phase until the desired weight is achieved, and Phase Three is the maintenance phase. 

If you desire to lose ten pounds or fewer, Phase One can be skipped. Personally, I’ve been stuck on a plateau for far too long, I’m ready to get that scale moving, so today starts my attempt at Phase One. 

Do any of you have experience with the South Beach Diet, or know anyone who does? Do you have any recommendations to help me accomplish Phase One? 

Birthday Tribute to Vonda Zee

Dear Vonda,

Today, June 30th, would be your birthday. I’ve forgotten the number in years, like a true friend, right? We were both in our late teens when we met, dating brothers; then marrying them within a year of each other. Mine brought me 400+ miles southeast of our hometown, yours took you 400+ miles to the northwest. I got the beach, you got the snow. We were both happy with our destinations. 

We started families. I got a daughter, you got two sons. 

At Christmastime, our families would “meet in the middle” filling our in-law’s house with joy and laughter. We always HAD to go shopping when we got together. And I remember riding with you–ONCE. After that, I chose to drive.

We made it to your house for a visit, and needed a water pump for the car when we arrived. You came to our house three times, on Easter and Thanksgiving as a family, and the last time you came alone. 

When my mom died, you flew “back home” to be there for me. I wasn’t very good company, and I don’t know if I ever thanked you; but it meant so much to me. 

It was little more than two years after her passing that you got your diagnosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS. We would chat on the phone now and then, until it took your voice. Then we sent emails across the miles, until you told me you were going to have to give it up, your pinkie finger kept getting stuck in the keys and it was frustrating for you. That’s when I started making cards in earnest, and writing letters. I could practice on you, no negative feedback whatsoever! But then, there wasn’t much feedback, at all. 

You were so strong, and brave, and optimistic in the face of a formidable opponent. 

I was going through pictures the other day and found this one. Your hubby gave it to me the first time we got together, afterward. I didn’t recall ever seeing you dressed up, except maybe on your wedding day. We were blue jeans and t-shirts to the bone, weren’t we? I guess you probably had to trade them in for a glowing white garment where you are now. I have no doubt that you are running, and leaping and praising God, singing Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty. Save me a good seat, ok?





Finding Peace in the Drawer

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17

I read this proverb earlier this week, and today it arrived in my email as the KLOVE power verse for the day. When a scripture is brought to my attention more than once in a short space of time, I take heed. After posting yesterday regarding the war in the plastic ware drawer, I was seeking today’s topic, and this morning it was dropped into my lap(top). 

Many of you commented, and shared that you struggle with the same things. I found comfort in the fact that I’m not the only one trying to find balance in life while accomplishing the things we deem necessary, along with a little time for fun thrown into the mix.  And get some sleep, while we’re at it.

Tracy suggested trying some small changes, and taking the time to truly evaluate them. This morning, I am going to put some new things into practice. Rather than plan thirty minutes of exercise per day, I’m going to aim for sixty minutes three times a week. I’m sure there’ll be enough housework and gardening on the other days to maintain a decent level of activity.

The guest speaker at our writers group last night compared his writing from one venue to another. Here in the city, his writing tends to be dark, but in a mountain cabin, the beauty of nature works its way into his poetry and prose. Another small change–I decided that I wouldn’t let the recliner swallow me today. I brought the laptop (which has been such a blessing!) to the little desk on the antique side-by-side in my bright and colorful sewing room.  Before writing, I had to remove the ironing pile from the chair, and in so doing, cut it in half by putting away the long sleeves and long pants for another season. I like this!

Next, I’m going to toss some of those unruly plastic bowls so The Drawer will have a more appealing look, and then I’m going to take a tip from Ed and find myself a wife!:)

Have a blessed day!

Dove image via Google Images/brainardbrewing.com

Sharing Hope in Crisis

I attended this seminar Saturday, and highly recommend it if available in your area. The accompanying literature states, “The training you will receive is designed to help you minister effectively to those in crisis situations, as you share the compassion and love of Christ,” “‘who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God'” (2 Corinthians 1:4, NIV) And also, “learn to share God’s compassion and hope with those who have been affected by tragedy.”

We often see and hear of the devastation wrought by nature, as well as man-made events. But it doesn’t take an earthquake, tsunami, hurricane or act of war to create trauma in the life of another person…someone like you and me. Illness, divorce, loss of a loved one–these things happen around us all the time.

We learned how to communicate with the hurting by asking the right questions, things to say, and things NOT to say. How many times have we struggled with finding the right words when trying to comfort someone? And how many times would we like to take back the things we did say, that once spoken, didn’t receive the response we expected?

You will come away with the ability to offer help to your neighbors, co-workers, friends, etc. But you can also continue training to become a chaplain, a member of the Rapid Response Team, or other emergency response team.

For more information and upcoming seminars, click here.