Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 6 of 10 toward health...

You think this is breakfast, don't you? I don't like breakfast, remember? Well, I don't like breakfast for breakfast. But I like it for dinner. :) See my shadow in the bottom left of the photo? If I stare at the top right of the photo, the shadow seems to move around...creeeeepppppeeeeee. Probably because I'm really tired...same reason I got a shadow in the picture to begin with, and why I just tried to make my 'creepy' word italics by adding html tags...wrong screen for that. LOL

Breakfast was a SlimFast.
Had an appointment that ran long, so by lunch I was so hungry I just wanted a big ol' burger and shake.
That kept me full for a loooonnnggg time, so had a late dinner of scrambled eggs and an orange.
Activity: walking...not much, though.
To-do list task: grocery shopping
I'll do better tomorrow. Maybe eat some vegetables. :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day 5 of 10 toward health...

Question: What do you do when you are in the middle of a ten-day focus on healthy eating and movement, and your boss' wife leaves this little beauty on your desk?

Answer: You EAT it, of course! Duh.

Breakfast was a Chocolate/Peanut Butter/Banana Smoothie.

Mid-morning snack was the little package of yumminess pictured above.

Lunch was a grilled chicken salad at Subway.

Dinner was the BEST thing I've tasted in AGES. Went to visit daughter and son-in-love, and had spinach salad with feta, green beans, and grilled pork chop. The pork chops were fabulous! S-I-L is a master on the outdoor grill.

Activity...I remembered the pedometer today, and did okay with the walking. Nothing earth shattering. I played catch with the youngest grandson (and had an inordinate thrill when he invited me...probably felt sorry for me, since he had just beat me at SORRY!)

To-do list task...gathered necessities for a project I want to complete in the next week or so. I'll write about it later.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day 4 of 10 toward health...

Ah, what a day.

Breakfast was a can of SlimFast. I overslept and left the house so late, I just tossed the can in my purse and left.

Lunch: I worked through lunch today, but got off at 2pm. I had errands to run, so I got those out of the way. I was starving by then and knew if I didn't eat something before leaving town, I would eat everything in sight when I got home. So off to Sonic I go where I got a kids meal burger and tots with a mango limeade.

Dinner: When I finally got home, I changed out of work clothes and sat down to go through mail...and promptly fell asleep. When I woke up, it was too late to cook or eat anything heavy, but I definitely needed to eat something with some nutrition, so I opted for some of yesterday's tuna salad with crackers and tomatoes and an avocado.

Activity: Pppbbbtttt. First of all, I forgot to put on the pedometer before leaving the house. But having worn it for the past week, I feel like I did semi-okay with the walking, though I have no real validation. Of course, all the walking I did was in heels, so that's got to count extra, right?

To-do list task: Okay, here's the good part. One of the errands I completed was to go register at the wellness center...been on the to-do list for SO long. I should be able to start with water walking and water aerobics soon. That will be a nice change of routine and easier on the knees. I also sent an encouraging note to goal is to send one card/note to someone each week.

Monday, April 27, 2009

If I could please ask a favor...

A very special friend of mine was fired today. She's worked unbelievably hard and has accomplished SO much in this position. I am SO proud of her, and she has every reason to stand tall. She is the most thoughtful, principled, and spiritual person I know, and I know she will find joy and validation in her work again.

She said she would be catching up on reading my blog in the next day or so. If you are one who prays, I would appreciate so much if you would lift her up, and even if you have never left a comment here, if you would please leave a comment on this post just to send her sweet thoughts. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Day 3 of 10 towards health...

Lunch was tuna salad sandwich and an orange. Yes, that is white bread you see in the picture. I hardly ever eat sandwiches, so I don't buy bread for me usually. Carey will only eat white, so that's what is in the house.

Do you ever just crave something? For me today it was tuna salad sandwich...savory, not sweet. I love two very different tuna with eggs and onions and celery and dill pickle and lots of fresh cracked pepper...and then sometimes I have to have it with apples and celery and sweet pickles and pecans and dried cranberries.

Snack was some frozen banana pieces.

Dinner was salad with a hard boiled egg.

Activity was walking...only about 15 minutes.

To-do list activity was balancing the checkbook and paying bills. I even took a few peeks at the stack of medical bills...I'll tackle that this week...I MEAN IT!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Day 2 of 10 towards health...

Lunch was Spinach Salad with Salmon for lunch...

The recipe can be found here at What's Cookin' 4 Miles North of Nowhere?

Dinner was left over salmon, rice, and half an orange.

Activity: sadly little. My knees were bothering me today, so thought I'd give them a rest.

To-do list task: I burned photos to CDs for friends that I've meant to do for a month.

Chocolate/Peanut Butter/Banana Smoothie...

I found this recipe at Cut Out and Keep. It really satisfies the craving for a cold, creamy sweet, while including fruit, protein, and dairy.

I adjust the recipe reducing some ingredients and increasing others. I place in the blender 1 1/2 Tablespoons of peaunut butter, 1/2 to 1 banana (frozen), 1/3 cup (or one envelope) of Carnation brand Instant Breakfast (chocolate flavor), and 1 cup fat free milk. If the bananas aren't frozen, I add crushed ice, and blend.

When I buy bananas, they tend to turn dark before I use them. So before they get too ripe, I like to peel each banana, and then cut or break it into about five or six chunks. I place these on a plate or cookie sheet (depending on the number of bananas) so that they are not touching, cover with plastic wrap and place them in the freezer. Once they are frozen, I transfer them to a freezer bag or container. Pre-freezing separately helps keep them from sticking together. Try popping a frozen section as a snack...yum!

I've never liked to eat breakfast, and on days at home I usually opt to have an early lunch instead. Now that I'm back at work, though, this is pretty easy to manage in the morning and not be traditional breakfast food.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Focusing on healthier living... (edited to add*)

My friend over at Notes From the Frugal Trenches is embarking on ten days toward health with posts about food and exercise. I'm focusing on healthier living myself these days, so in the spirit of a shared journey, you may see a few posts of this sort here for a little while.

The sushi above was my lunch today. Sushi tends to be low in fat, cholesterol, and calories. I use low sodium soy sauce sparingly, so this makes a fairly healthy meal that feels like a fun, indulgent treat. And it's accessible at my favorite local grocery store, which has a surprisingly good sushi kitchen/counter right in the store.

Wearing the pedometer for the past week has been a real eye opener. I was happy to find that I walk more than I thought on most days. Was it the recommended 10,000 steps a day? No. But it was a number that was within a range to reach 10,000 with an extra push. I've begun parking further back in parking lots. And when I find myself having to backtrack in the grocery or department store for a forgotten item, I catch myself smiling about it instead of frustrated. It gives me a new way to think about the treadmill too, instead of just time spent on it.

Now in case anyone is thinking I should start walking to the stores instead of driving, I ask you to keep in mind that "four miles north of nowhere" is not just the name of my blog, it's where I live. And nowhere doesn't have a store...the nearest one of those is about 15 miles away.

Lunch was the sushi. (Slept late and indulged in reading instead of getting up, so skipped breakfast. I know, I know, that is not a good habit.)

Snack was an orange.

Dinner was a smoothee that I will blog about tomorrow.

Evening snack was popcorn made with no oil and topped with no butter. I added some grated Parmesan cheese for flavor.

Activity: walked for 45 minutes on treadmill and 15 minutes outside.

To-do list task: I played with the dogs. This could go under 'activity' as well. Picture playing fetch with a one hundred pound (plus) retriever whose favorite fetch toy is a huge piece of rubber hose about 2 inches in diameter and 3 feet long and heavy. Between the tug of war with the big guy to get the darn thing and then throwing it for him, I got a bit of upper body workout too. I actually outlasted him...he finally gave up and went to play in the water.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I am sunburned.

I did my duty (jury duty).

I talked to an old friend.

I made a pitcher of iced tea.

I'm having a good hair day.

I've taken 8,181 far...not counting the ones inside the courthouse or walking the three blocks back to my car...took the pedometer off because I was afraid it might make the metal detector go off, and forgot to put it back on.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Along the path to personal growth and happiness...

I would like to...

1...have my entire house clean and decluttered all at the same time
2...see the King Tut exhibit physically fit
4...visit Maine
6...and Washington DC
7...walk for 45 minutes every day
8...have another Jack Russell
9...take a cruise to Alaska
10...start a new Bible study
11...make a quilt for each of my children and grandchildren (four down so far)
12...speak Spanish fluently
13...spend quality time in a swimming pool more
15...paint rooms
16...and canvases
17...have a vegetable garden
18...plant a fig tree
19...and a pecan tree
20...volunteer for hospice
21...learn to make beautiful polymer clay beads
22...go bowling
23...visit Oregon
24...make myself an apron
25...and dresses for the girlies
26...get all of our photos in albums
27...give up TV for a month to put flowers on my parents' graves
29...and to see Kevin and Carla
30...have a girls' weekend with Rita May
31...and with Nancy able to summer in a cooler climate
33...invent something useful with the dogs more
36...send one card/note to someone each week
37...install sliding units in several of my cabinets
38...make a vintage recipe book
39...have a flower garden
40...hang clothes to dry outside
41...visit Ireland again
42...and Debbie in Seattle
43...start an Etsy store someday
44...if I could think of something to sell
45...get my passport stamped a few more times
46...visit my reflexologist once a month
47...follow through with more of my creative impulses classical guitar
49...go down three dress sizes
50...sell the stamps I no longer use on e-bay
51...take a class in almost anything

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hi-ho, hi-ho...'s back to work I go.

It's nice to give my brain a workout. It's lovely to be in a positive atmosphere with nice people. It's awesome to be in town and have immediate access to Sonic drinks!

On the way home today I stopped to take some photos of cactus flowers. I've mentioned before that I do not like cactus, but some of them do have beautiful blossoms at this time of year. Unfortunately, I bumped into some of the flying variety and came home with an arm full of little thorns...relatively painless...and the photos were worth it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Still my baby...

1st birthday........................................................................................32nd birthday
This seems like yesterday...................and this WAS yesterday.

Is that not the same sweet smile? Happy birthday, Kasey!

(sorry about the shadow in the current photo...she was working the concession stand at the Little League field on her birthday...what a mama)

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Wishing all a blessed Easter.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Play days...

We may get older. Our interests may change. But a play day is pretty much what it always was.

Spending the day with a friend. Having fun. Playing. Exploring. Sharing a picnic lunch. Squabbling over who's right (ME!). And needing a nap afterward.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Today's program is brought to you by...

and by...

with special guest appearance by...

albums available at


It was a dark and stormy night...well, not really, it was a sunny and gorgeous afternoon. I was filled with energy. So much so that I decided to conquer the hard-water mineral deposits on our textured-glass shower doors.

Here's the before picture:

I have previously tried any number of solutions to this problem. My main arsenol of cleaning products are vinegar, Windex, and Bar Keepers Friend. I didn't have faith, though, that they would be up to a problem that had even outlasted scraping with a straight-edge razor. That is to say, I know that vinegar could do it, if I could soak the doors in it...but I couldn't think of a way to keep it on the doors short of taking the doors down and laying them flat, and I wasn't ready to go that far. So in the past I have caved in and bought things like BAM...or whatever it's called...doesn't matter, 'cause it didn't phase the problem. I have tried WD40 after getting an e-mail forward that specifically said it miraculously cleaned shower doesn't. The Scrubbing Bubbles just made a mad dash for the drain. I know I've tried other stuff, but can't remember what all. So today, I figure what the heck, I'm going to try one of my old faithfuls. So I get in the all-together and climb in the shower with my trusty Bar Keepers Friend and my plastic kitchen scrubby.


Our musical guests, REM, singing their big hit...

That's me in the shower.
That's me in the. Steam. Bath.
Losing my religion.
Trying to keep. A. View.
And I don't know if I can do it.
Oh,no, I've scrubbed too much.
I haven't scrubbed enough.
Losing my religion.

(FYI - 'losing my religion' is a southern phrase that means to be at the end of one's rope, losing patience, and/or cussing...pretty accurately described how I was feeling...probably why that song played over and over in my head.)


Here's the after picture:

Ta-Da! It was quite a little workout, but, a lot easier than I anticipated, AND the results were awesome. I will never underestimate my Bar Keepers Friend again. It has kept my pots and pans and stainless steel sinks beautiful for decades, and now my shower doors.

Fade to black with our musical guests singing another of their hits...Shiny Happy Shower.

(Oh, and by the way, Sonic played no part in my endeavor, except for the fact that I never do anything strenuous without promising myself that I can have a Sonic Coke next time I go to town.)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Entertaining myself...

Experimenting with Photoshop. I'm such a newbie, and my results are pretty hit and miss.



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