Monday, June 15, 2015

How A TV Show Can Inspire

Here recently I was piecing on my quilt and flipped through the stations to see if anything decent was on.  I came up on a show called My 600 Pound Life.

I'll admit, I was interested in this.  It's not every day you see large folks putting their stories on tv.  So, after reading the information on the show, I turned it on and listened.

Then, I put the quilt to the side and started exercising by walking in place and doing mini squats and using the stretch band.

The show features stories of people who are near or over 600 pounds, who are wanting to change and work on regaining their health.  They do a gastric by pass surgery and the work afterward, and the show follows them through the ups and downs, with updates after a year.  While I didn't make it to 600 pounds (praise the Lord!), I can relate to some of the things the different people discussed and had problems with.

This series is motivating, I don't want to go back to the size I was, nor above that.  I don't want to be using a cane again when arthritis and minor injuries make it nearly impossible to walk.  I don't want the horrendous pain just with walking, standing, doing basic every day activities.  I enjoy breathing without huffing and puffing just walking across the house.  I don't want to get back to having the sores that seem to go deep and are very slow to heal, have yeast infections under fat rolls, having problems simply bathing and doing personal care, no energy to do anything, and so on.  I don't want to go back to having no life, no desire to go out into the community, no desire to do activities with the kids because of being ashamed of my size.

My 600 Pound Life has shown me a handful of people who got as large or larger than I, who fought the battle, and who weren't afraid to let it be put on tv for others.  I commend their bravery, for letting others see them as they were and are, seeing the ups and downs throughout the journey, and not being afraid to let others critique.

If you get a moment, take a look at the show's site, I hope you are as inspired by the stories as I have been.

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Friday, June 12, 2015

A Little Talk With Jesus

O a little talk with Jesus make it right, all right
Little talk with Jesus make it right, all right
Troubles of ev’ry kind
Hank God I’ll always find
That little talk with Jesus make it right.

My brother, I remember when I was a sinner lost
I cried, “Have mercy, Jesus”
But still my soul was tossed
Till I heard King Jesus say,
“Come here, I’m on the way”
And little talk with Jesus make it right.

Sometimes the fork lightning and muttering thunder, too
Of trials and temptations
Make it hard for me and you
But Jesus was a friend,
He’ll keep us to the end
And little talk with Jesus make it right.

My brother and my sister, you have trials like me
When we are trying to serve the Lord
And win the victory
Old Satan fight us hard
Our journey to retard
But little talk with Jesus make it right.

Found at NegroSpirituals

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Nine Months And Counting

Nooooooo--no baby!

It's been 9 months now since I started the Weight Loss Challenge.  While I have gained a little, I've still come a long way.  

The above picture shows the beginning, taken last summer, size 34W/36W.  The photo on the right was taken yesterday, 6/7/15.  The jumper is one I finished this weekend, quilter's cotton (so no give), with the bodice in an XL.  Now, it's still a long way to go until maintenance, but it is nice to see improvement along the way.  While I gained a few pounds (as shown on the tracker at the right side of the page), I've been working to remove them and their friends.  They have too many friends.  

In the past week or so, we brought in a new family member, named Oreo.  She's 5 or 6 weeks now, starting to get the green eyes, and is full of pee and vinegar.  She's getting spoiled rotten. 

Hubby said he didn't want another kitten.  Can you tell?

Oldest (18 years) and youngest together

Nap time in Mom's shoe

The middle cat wants nothing to do with her, the oldest is tolerating the little fuzz ball as long as she doesn't mess with the old girl's tail, which she twitches it seems just to make her play harder.

It's also gotten warmer in the past week or so, going from 60's during the day up to the 90's.  It's now pool season, and the fans are running bringing in the breeze from the shaded areas around the immediate perimeter of the house.  Monsoon season seems to be over after 10 inches of rain.  The flowers are blooming and taking off, although some did rot from the extreme water amounts.  The oregano and lemon balm are almost knee high now!  The grass is really coming back in with a vengeance, and it's nice to see a greened up yard with no standing water.  The herbs are loving all the moisture and are knee high now.  The mints have exploded again and are almost due for another hair cut.  The tiger lilies, Asiatic lilies, echinacea (cone flowers), and bush morning glories and yuccas are blooming out nice and giving nice color.  Hubby is anxiously awaiting his gladiolas to put on flowers, they were clearanced out bulbs from last summer and so this is their first year.  The greenery on them is doing great so we're hoping for plentiful stalks.  There's sunflowers growing in the shade in the back yard from workers eating seeds while tending to a septic issue in the winter.  They've put on their bloom and are rather pretty.  The mammoths in the front haven't reached maturity yet but are working on it.  Middle child plants them yearly and is proud to see those 12 foot tall flowers.

The kids have been keeping us busy to say the least!  There's been a camp so far for oldest and hubby, middle spent time with his biological dad, and youngest started summer school (volunteer, not because of a "have to" thing).  Then there's been swimming lessons, general swim time, yard work, walking around town on nice days to get to the library or other places, and hubby's work schedule, plus house work.  I've been spending evenings when possible sewing up some jumpers (or sleeveless dresses) to take to camp when I take youngest to her camp in a couple of weeks, as the dress code is dresses/culottes for all girls/women.  Then as we work into July there's hubby's camp where he works as the camp nurse and oldest son goes along, middle has another visit to dad's, and youngest goes to a school based one day a week "camp" to learn cool science things.

I've been very grateful for the activities I've been able to do with the kids.  Last year, I could not have walked even remotely as far with them as I have so far this year.  I also am not as heat intolerant as last year.  I'm able to handle the heat into the upper 90's and near 100 with a lot more ease than last year, and am not miserable and just wanting to loaf around anymore.  It's amazing how much just losing a small percentage of your body weight can do for you!

Oh--another awesome thing--I've been able to ditch the Cpap machine at night.  I've been attached to that machine for years, and couldn't lay down without the beast.  Now, I sleep easily without it.  It's a relief to not have to hook up to that thing.  I still snore some, but it's not the "oh my I can't breathe " feeling that I had even sitting up.  One more little victory!

Lately we've been listening to Jimmy DeYoung's audio cd's (from our church's library) as well as other evangelists who have visited and their messages are on cd and in the church library.  With middle child refusing to go into the church for services once I get him to the building, I end up with my Bible and a cd sermon late in the evenings after everyone's in bed.  I miss being able to sit and listen to services, sing with the congregation the old fashioned hymns, and be around other adults.  It's like a big part of my world is cut off when I don't get to be at church at least part of the week.  Middle child has his challenges, and I help him work through them when he is able to calm down and speak, but I also need the battery recharge to be able to help him as well.  So, out come the cd's.  I've also downloaded and put on cd some sermons and shows from the 'net from Fundamental Baptist pastors and radio hosts, as these are an encouragement and kind of fill in the gaps when I can't be with my church family.

How are you doing?  I hope you're having a great *almost* summer (or winter depending on where you are)!

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Monday, June 1, 2015

The Sun Returned!

We have officially went  two and a half days with no rain!

(Build an Ark by the Gaither Vocal Band)

It is so nice to see the sun again!  It's been sorely missed.

Today I have started back on the diabetic diet way.  1600 calories, using regular measuring cups, and getting back on a solid footing.  The kids and I restocked the fridge over the weekend with raw veggies and lean meats, and even learned how to cook artichokes while I was at it.  I'm still working on getting through the brussel sprouts--hubby loves them, I'm just not getting it yet.

The foggy funk has faded and feeling back to the old self that can handle just about anything.  I've missed her!  This morning I was able to get hubby and oldest child off to Bible camp, vacuum two rooms, do litter box duty, get laundry going, fill out forms for hubby, print out menu options for the week, get youngest off to summer school, and prepare for a couple of errands and still need to get upstairs to paint on oldest's room and a couple of other places to cover black shoe marks that just don't come off with magic erasers.

I've also been entertaining our newest addition to the family.  She is a 5 week or so old kitten named Oreo.  She is full of pee and vinegar, and has a cute little growl and hiss when she plays.  We've gotten her spoiled already, she demands to be held, she plays hard, eats lots of solid food and I got her potty trained in 3 or 4 days.  I learned not to give her the soft shreds food that the older cats enjoy--it leads to 409 carpet cleaner and lots of work.  The older cats are starting to tolerate her, but make sure she knows to keep her distance.  Youngest child cuddles her like a baby and plays with her to keep her busy.  This lets me exercise without a 6 inch hairball under foot.  Oreo last night learned she can climb the stairs to the upstairs bedrooms, and found all kinds of cool little things to play with in oldest child's room.  All 3 kids love her, as she sneak attacks them, loves on them, demands their attention, and is at that cute stage all kittens are at when her age.  She had hubby and myself wrapped around her paw too, although hubby doesn't like to admit it.  He said no more cats, but she sleeps on his shoulder in the afternoons and he's taught her how to attack fingers that rub her belly.  I said no more cats too, but she somehow manages to end up sleeping on my arm while I try to fold clothes.  Yep, we're hard on her.

I've been sewing and working on culottes for youngest for camp, and cut out skirts to work on as well.  I make her tiered twirly skirts without any pattern or specific measurements, and like patchworking together different fabrics for a unique look.  She loves the twirl factor.  When done with hers, I need to get to work on some skirts for me and possibly culottes off of a Candle on the Hill culottes pattern.  I've already worked on pieced modesty vests to go along with the denim skirts.  In the evenings I've worked on hand piecing on my Grandmother's Flower Garden hexagon quilt that's been a year and a half in the making so far.  I have 27 "blocks" that have 62 hexies in them and around each block is a white "path".  I've also been working my way through scraps and cutting them in 6 1/2", 4 1/2", 2 1/2", and 1 1/2" squares and storing in pretty little inexpensive boxes I found at Dollar General.  The goal is to use as much up from each scrap piece as possible and have them ready for piecing at a moment's notice.  The larger squares make great patchwork skirt tiers, the smaller ones for small 4 and 9 patch blocks, or half square triangles.  I find cutting fabric and hand sewing the most relaxing, despite having 2 machines, one with a 1/4" quilting foot and darning foot for free motion quilting.  I do clothing on the machines, and a pair of culottes comes out in about an hour or so, with French seams and neatly pressed.  Tiered skirts take a bit more time as I hand gather the tiers and then machine stitch.  Most of my hems are bias finished.  My big dream for now is to learn how to make whole cloth or Durham quilts, even if just small pillows, to learn how to do that well would be awesome. :)

Thank you all for your kind comments the last few days, I've really appreciated them!  The fog and funk is sometimes hard to see through, like a misty haze that doesn't lift easily.  I understand it happens to everyone at some point, some folks even use medications for it (not judging on either side of that one!)

How are you all doing?  I hope you all are having a great week!

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Defeating the Blahs

I'll admit it, I've been depressed.  It's been gray and over cast and rainy for the last almost 3 weeks.  Lack of sunshine does a whopper on your well being.

Hubby and I discussed a little how we've been snappy at each other, how we've been so overwhelmed, stressed, and glum.  Most of the time we can handle the every day stressors, but without the sunlight, it really seems to magnify stressing things and make them bigger than they are.

In the weeks since the rain started and kept on going, we've both used comfort foods to help fill the gap.  Stupid huh?  It's cost me, with a gain that I'll have to work on.  I've went up to 340 pounds, and while I'm not pleased, I take responsibility for it and am determined it will come off.  I am at 10 pound increment goals,  the next small goal is 330 and the next *big* goal is 300 pounds.  I'm still upset with myself that I let things slide that far.

In the meantime, I've found more strength in the legs, as in I can do knee lifts to the waist where I couldn't before.  Here in the past week I've started tying up a stretch band to make it smaller and using it around the ankles for leg work, doing moves I saw in Denise Austin's book on pilates.  Those feel small when you do them, but you'll find soreness in places you thought you were already exercising.  I'm still walking with Leslie Sansone, and really gotta work on it, as I go to camp in a few weeks with the youngest child and there's lots of walking and steep hills.  Last year I couldn't have done it.  I am thankful for the upgrade in health to allow me strength and endurance to be able to go to camp and not just huff and puff and try to hide out.

As many have heard, it's been raining in the middle of the country.  Yes, we're in the middle of the country.  We've had enough rain I'm considering stocking the back yard with catfish.  We've actually been receiving much less than our neighbors down in Oklahoma and Texas.  We've had about 10 inches this month, which put us at where we are supposed to be for this time of year overall--we started the year in drought.  We didn't need all 10 inches at once, but not much we could do to deter it.  Our little area has plenty of water, but it's much worse to the south and east, and even to the west in the central part of Kansas.  We'll dry out soon.

So how are you doing?  I've missed chatting with you all!

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Monday, May 18, 2015

The 2015 Yard in Progress

I love flowers, the more colorful the better.  For years and years, I couldn't grow them, and anything I touched died on contact.  As I've gotten older, my brown thumb has turned green, and it has become so much fun putting things in the ground!

So far, we have a bit out and are impatiently waiting for flowers.  I am the kind to put the seed in the dirt and expect a fully matured plant in 2 hours.  Thankfully, there's nurseries with pretty plants already blooming that can fill the gap while waiting on seeds.

These photos were taken probably 2 weeks or so ago, and the rains have really picked up so they've changed and grown significantly since....

The white irises came from our next door neighbor, who shared them with a previous tenant here.  They are just starting to bloom.

Lemon Balm, 3rd year growth

Oregano, 2nd year

Lemon Thyme, 2nd year

Oregano I started from seed, 3rd year growth

starters for morning glories

Center of front yard, with petunias, peonies, lilies, gladiolas, and zinnia and sunflower seeds

Middle son's sunflower seeds he planted in another bare spot in the yard.

Transplanted irises that won't bloom until next spring.  Also Asiatic lilies, a small mum, petunias, and peppermint

Peppermint, Tiger lilies, petunias, zinnia seed, coneflowers and our younger cat.  The blocks are 1 foot across each, so there's a lot of peppermint growing there!

Lots of chocolate mint by the steps, red salvia, petunias, tiger lilies, cone flowers, periwinkle, marigold seedlings, zinnia seedlings.  Petunias in pots, and the big pots have bush morning glories and basil.

This was once a tree.  Someone before us planted peppermint around it.  There's also a cactus, crocus, gladiolas, and weeds.

Yuccas have been there a while, and the lilies are transplanted in from Papa's.  

Mint.  lots of mint.

Lots of chocolate mint.  

Petunias and the big pot is bush morning glory in the same shade of blue/purple as the petunias

I've added more since the photos, such as basil, bee balm, a 2 1/2 foot wide hosta, and some already blooming marigolds, and an English Ivy inside the house to vine around.

What flowers are you growing this year?

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