Wednesday, December 17, 2008

...and what IS 'organic food' anyway?

This question was in my SparkPeople email today... suggesting ideas for blogging about healthy lifestyle.

Do you think organic foods are healthier?

Good question. If you're talking about vegetables, the most important thing to make these foods healthier is washing them well before eating. i believe organically grown means no use of pesticides. Pesticides do not enter the vegetable; they kill insects that invade it while it is growing. i would much rather have an apple that i have to wash than bite into a nice juicy.... WORM!!!

Now if you're talking about meat, i believe the best beef, chicken, or other meats are healthier to eat if they haven't been fed artificial chemicals like growth hormones and chemicals that are supposed to enhance the animal in any artificial way. Some of the best steaks i've ever tasted came from corn fed venison! Yum....

i could go on and on with this subject but sometimes shorter is better, don't you think?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Good Day...

Some days are better than others. This was a good one. i slept too long... awakened around 9:30 am. The house is comfortably clean. Extra Christmas decorations and emptied decoration boxes are put away. i set up the outdoor decorations that were knocked down by the horrendous winds we had Sunday. i know what needs to be purchased to finish Christmas shopping. i bought a few groceries today and got a rain check on a little tv i want to buy for the bonus room. We had a good dinner and enjoyed watching some favorite shows on tv tonight. My home is warm and cozy.

Life is good.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Yesterday..... Sunday

Busy busy day for this ol' broad! Weather warmed up to the 40's so all that snow on the decks loosened up enough to be pushed away. It wasn't windy so felt pretty comfortable with a coat on.

i cleared a section on the back deck... took about 20 minutes..... then took a break. Remembered to 'cool down' those upper muscles (the ones i used in pushing all that heavy wet snow). Repeated this method until most of the deck and all the stairs were cleaned off! The stairs are no longer lethal... not until the next freezing rain or snowfall anyway.

The cool downs really paid off because today i'm feeling pretty darned good! Also, shoveling wet heavy snow qualifies for some good, productive aerobic exercise and strength building, and 20 minute sessions are something i can handle.

Did a bit more holiday decorating and helped sister move her big chair into the 'bonus room' so she can enjoy her Christmas tree. That is the new room off from our bedrooms (created during my little renovation completion project two years ago). i've been encouraging her to use the bonus room as her living room ever since she moved in with me in July.

i'm more comfortable in my old 'lived in' living room and this gives each of us our own space. You would think i'd know my own sister but we've both learned a lot about each other in the past five months. i'm thinking our mom's 'too long' stay in hospital and rehab facility was instrumental in the learning process.

Sometimes our bad times together overpowered the adjustment period because we had the added conflict of getting to know each other again... adjusting to two women in one house..... AND having a 93 year old mother fighting a physical crisis.

First of all mom won! She is back home with our brother and his wife. All three of my sisters helped mom until she could do more things for herself, thus relieving our sister-in-law, who is (in my humble opinion) a saint for having mom there. Sis#2 spent two weeks living with them... having weekends off when the other two sisters relieved her. This week is the beginning of life back to 'normal' - whatever that is.

Today i want to finish holiday decorating... just touches here and there..... and put away the containers. Planned to go shopping but the wind is horrendous and weather cooling fast. I'm staying in the house. There's a whole week left to finish my shopping and i'm sure the sales will continue and if anything, get even better.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Today i put up my tree... and my sis put hers up too! It's looking mighty pretty around here. Already had a few new decorations outdoors on front porch. Life is good and getting better. Will arrange a few more decorations tomorrow and that's enough.

Dear daughter cleaned (my monthly cleaning) and it sure feels good around here. She also brought up the boxes of decorations because i'm still having some pain and planned on doing less decorating because of it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Food Review - and More...

My winter cereal of choice is traditionally... hot oatmeal, usually of the instant variety. This week i decided to venture toward something new and bought Kashi GoLean Instant Hot Cereal. I love Kashi cold cereals! This hot stuff? Not so much.

The cold stuff is crunchy and crisp; the hot stuff is chewy... Hoping one of my SP daughters likes it because i really don't like to toss perfectly 'good' food in the trash.

On a totally 'nuther tangent, yesterday afternoon, my right knee suddenly began to pain me. It hurt when i put weight on it and also felt a bit numb... or stiff..... or both. (Actually it was the muscle surrounding it; my knees are totally manmade.) I called my insurance company's nurses, a free service for when you mostly want advice. Their phone was unavailable... call later. So i phoned my orthopedic surgeon's nurse.

She suggested ibuprofen, a heat pad and staying off my feet for the weekend. She suggested the pain was a result of my shopping expedition the day before. Funny thing... today it doesn't really hurt at all. Hmmmm...

A bit of history, almost 2 weeks ago while attending a baby shower in a local restaurant, as i attempted to be seated the chair literally slid away behind me and i landed with a thump on the floor in front of my sisters, assorted nieces and their friends and even dear old mom. After the obligatory, 'i'm okay...' and my jokes about 'all that padding; how can it hurt too much?' the party continued.

My lower back still hurts today. i've probably been compensating for this pain when i walk. A bit of rest and TLC seems to be helping the knee (muscles). i guess i'll live.

BigSis (that would be me) is 'the strong one.' BigSis is 'unbreakable.' The myth continues.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Winter Whites

Picnic anyone? This is the way my back deck looked a couple of days ago when i took this pic. It still looks that way today.

Michigan... gotta love it... either that or be a bit crazy, eh?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Will i prevent weight gain during the holidays this year?

Well, i did last year... and was SO proud. This summer i was still down to a respectable level and holding. Out of a sense of optimism (insert: eagerness, love, desire to 'do good', loneliness, or perhaps just plain stupidity), i encouraged my sister to move in with me.

She has changed... loads more than me, i think (although i probably have a bias). She is no longer the fun-loving, eager woman i knew years ago. Life did something to her i can't 'fix' - but i still love her. She has a chronic lung disease, or bronchial, i'm not quite sure, but won't quit smoking. Even though she doesn't smoke in my house, she steps out the back door to smoke... the odor is on her clothes so you can smell it in the house anyway. She 'tried' to quit since moving here but started when our mom went to the hospital.

She has diabetes but will not eat healthy food. No matter what i buy or cook, she lets me know she is not very fond of it. She prefers the fatty starchy version. She IS a good cook, but doesn't like whole grains or most vegetables... unless the veggies have a buttery sauce on them.

Since she moved in, i've tolerated a variety of mood swings to which i am not accustomed. My usual good humor is taken as 'sarcasm' even though my friends and rest of the family seem to enjoy my company. My desire to have her 'talk things out' or for any real conversation is considered tiresome and greeted with grunts or one syllable answers.

Okay, so the question was... How will i avoid weight gain during the holidays.

This holiday i will remember my SP friend's favorite quote: "You are always a valuable, worthwhile human being -- not because anybody says so, not because you're successful, not because you make a lot of money -- but because you decide to believe it and for no other reason." Wayne Dyer

i will eat like i did when i was working to keep my husband alive. i will eat healthy foods regardless of what my new housemate likes to eat. i will eat moderate portions.

i'm beautiful, dammit!!! i will remind myself of this every day.

i will continue to love my sister but remember to love me first. After all, how can you have any love to share if you don't love yourself. Meanwhile, her disposition really is improving. This i know.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

strange feeling...

...when you wake up in the morning, begin it like always. Turn on the TV, turn on the computer, make your morning two cups of coffee...... whoops! No TV!!! Charter Cable has a blue screen... 'You are not subscribed to this channel... blahblahblah..... if you are subscribed check your cable to see if it's unplugged......'

Hmmm! Computer is online (that's good.) Mmmmm! Coffee's done (that's good.) Uh-oh! the town siren is blowing... and blowing..... and more....... for at least 5 minutes; maybe longer. Was there a prison escape? ...a fire? accident? Who knows? THERE IS NO TV!!! I hear NO fire engine or other types of sirens..... just that continual siren sound. Nobody knows what it means... Can't reach neighbor's phone (she has Charter phone & when TV is off, so is the phone! she has a new cell phone so i don't know the number yet.) Well anyway, the doors are locked.

Phoned my trusty son-in-law. He drove my daughter to work; says it's freezing rain... don't take any unnecessary chances. Thank you, SIL!!! The siren is probably something to do with an accident somewhere nearby, or a cable down somewhere..... or???

Oh yeah... i remember! i DO have a radio. Turn it on... news? It's not the same. i NEED my Fox News fix!!! TV still doesn't work. Will i be okay? Will let you know.....

Thank God the internet is working!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tradition... what it is?

When we were kids, days moved so slowly... and now..... well, it's Sunday again. Since my life changed i've had a new tradition. Every Sunday a few friends & i get together for some fast food and ice cream... always ice cream for dessert.

It's fun. My friends are so wise. They knew it was time for a new tradition - for them and for me. We all look forward to this time together. We thank God for the friendship and the food. We eat the food. We enjoy the friendship. We look forward to next Sunday. I love these wonderful people. I enjoy the food and the laughs..... but dear God, why do the Sundays seem to come faster now than they did when i was a kid?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's Saturday...

.....and it snowed all day. Had a phone call from an acquaintance involved in an earlier part of my life. He facilitates a writer's group i expressed an interest in... and now i will be a part of that group. Growth is life. Life is good.

Friday, December 5, 2008

An OLLI new day...

Woo Hoo!!! I just finally joined OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute)! Been planning to do this like... forever..... and finally went to a meeting with a friend last month. Saw several people i know; met some new people... even a neighbor who lives just down the road from me. Talk about a new day.

First on my OLLI agenda, planning to join the photography group and the writer's group. FUN!!! Yes, i'm a happy camper.

It's a New Day!!!

Hello... this is the NEW me..... the BORN AGAIN me!!! Been there; done that... loved and shared and lost and grieved. I will never forget but now i'm ready for that shiny brand new day! Wish me luck.

Friday, August 29, 2008


That day... that moment... when your soul left your body, I knew...
We will no longer walk together along the beach...
and enjoy the sounds of nature around us
enjoying that contented peaceful togetherness.

Many souls joined you that day...
As Hurricane Katrina blew in,my best friend drifted free.
Shall I scream? ...or cry? ...perhaps wring my hands in despair?...
or wallow in the muddy substance of self-pity, mourning my loss?

No! I will celebrate the release of that beautiful soul.....
from your prison of muscle, skin and bone......
to the freedom of God's universe!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

You need to visit this beautiful song by Elton John...
Can't you feel the Love Tonight?
Thank you Sherry...
For some reason i couldn't put the actual video here... but it's easy enough to find, right?

Miss Kitty and i want to wish you the very best....
Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

never too old to learn, eh?

Didn't know there was a song about 'me' until my friend Lori from SparkPeople told me about Shirley by Shakin' Stevens. Well, if you want to hear it, click on the arrow in center... just like on YouTube, where we found it! Visit Lori's website, Melodie and Harmonee.

Then i visited another SP friend's website and she had a YouTube song on her page... so i viewed the source and saw what size she made it to fit on her blog... SixtyFiveAlive.

While you're browsing, click on my SP recipe thingy at the top & find some of my personal favorite healthy recipes!

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Look what i found!!! i have a friend from SparkPeople to thank for this one! Her name is Lori... from Michigan..... and she does karaoke for fun, being a computer jock by profession! Thank you Lori. This ol' amateur is having fun with this one!