Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Making a commitment - Week 4

The wagon has been careening down the road, dragging me behind it.  While it has been 2 weeks since I last wrote, I have continued to go to my yoga classes followed by swimming, but my diet has been less than stellar.  I came in at 311, but my pants feel baggier.  I feel like a chicken with my head cut off, running wildly through the yard without making any specific progress.  Ever have one or two of those weeks?  Time to grab myself by the bootstraps, get a grip on the rope dragging me, and haul my cookies back up on that wagon.

Speaking of chickens, since my Barred Rock rooster valiantly fought and lost his life to a hawk to protect his ladies, I have been without a man about the coop.  This past Friday I was able to pick up this new-to-us American rooster from a friend who needed to relocate his ornery feather fiend.  The rooster settled right in with the ladies and is steadily adjusting to the new pecking order.  He is a beauty, but still a little big for his britches.

There is still a little frost in the air most evenings, but the days are growing longer and my thoughts are turning towards spring.  My raised beds are in the process of getting hardware cloth attached to their bottoms.  The moles have been way to happy to feast on my gardens in the past and I am reluctant to continue sharing the fruits of my labors.  Let them grow their own garden.  Soon my fruit trees should be arriving, followed by seed potatoes and then tomato starts.  I can hardly wait to dig my hands into the earth and sow my seeds.

Don't forget, "Anyone can handle a crisis.  It's the day-to-day living that takes the most strength."

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Making a commitment - Week 2

The proverbial wagon is rolling along, hitting the bumps and potholes along the way.  I came in at 310 this week, but it wasn't without its struggles.  I made it to the gym and did yoga twice this week.  I went out a couple of times this week for lunch, but managed to order light and take half of it home for leftovers.  Being a member of the "clean plate club" is a tough row to hoe and a hard habit to break, but with a great deal of effort I am making it.

Part of making a commitment to myself is making sure I take time for pleasure as well.  One of my pleasures is learning new things and for Christmas I got a gift certificate to a glass blowing class.  Making art in any medium is another one of my many pleasures, so this was right up my alley.  I made a beautiful hummingbird feeder at Tacoma Glassworks and had a great time doing it.  I do plan to take my and my partner's daughter there for a class as well.  I think the girls would enjoy it very much.

Weather permitting, I am hoping to do a little work out in the gardens to prep them for the coming spring.  Pulling all the weeds that thrive during the cold months is good for the shoulders too.  My fruit trees should be arriving next month as well, so I need to get the ground ready to receive them too.  So much to do before spring is upon us.

Another week down and still trucking along......

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Making a commitment - Week 1

When it comes to making changes, the first few weeks are the easiest as the effort is at the forefront of my mind.  However, as the weeks roll on, we will see if I can keep the momentum going.

Week one is done and I made it to the gym twice and did over 10 hours of yard work at home, on top of my "normal" workload.  We ate out twice this past week and I was able to keep my self control and select only "healthy" choices, in part thanks to the calorie count listed right on the menu and choosing water to drink.  I weighed in at 314 on Monday, so I am feeling pretty positive.  I have to keep reminding myself that I didn't put the weight on over night, so I should not expect to take it off that way either.  The jump-start feels good all the same.

I am working on coming up with easier ways to make nutritious meals in my limited time so that I don't feel so compelled to eat out for convenience.  With the start of my daughter's swimming lessons, it will also be easier to make it to the gym at least 3 times a week as well.  Changing all the habits that contribute to my lifestyle is difficult, to say the least, as most of these habits started in childhood.

Forging ahead bravely!!!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Making a committment to myself

When you are young, time seems to pass so slowly.  You can hardly wait to get older and gain more privileges, yet you do not even see the responsibilities that come with theses privileges.  As we age, our perspective slowly changes on how quickly time passes.  When we are young, we are strong and fit, and our bodies are our friend.  Yet as we age, our bodies tend to lose their strength and fitness, and for some, even become our enemy.

For me, 50 years of my life has passed and time seems to be accelerating.  When I look in the mirror, I wonder where that woman who looks back at me came from.  During all those years, I have brought two children into the world, married and divorced two husbands, and gained and lost at least two people's worth of weight.  Each of these events, and many others, have contributed to that woman in the mirror.  The weight has been the hardest to reconcile.

Always I have put my children and partners ahead of myself when it came to taking care of people.  My self-care always came last, if it came at all.  Like most women, I was socialized that way (by family, by friends, by husbands, and by myself), but it is time to change the music.

All people need a certain amount of self-care to be healthy and happy.  Self-care is not selfish or self-centered, it is vital to long term survival and emotional stability.  Self-care is vital to our health.  Self-care does not mean taking care of only yourself, it means taking at least some time to take care of yourself.  Read a book.  Take a walk.  Go to a spa.  Lie in a field and watch the stars.  Work on your hobby.  Go to the doctor.  Exercise.  Relax.  Self Care!

I got on the scale the first Monday of this year and found that I had gained up to 319 lbs.  Needless to say, I was unhappy, depressed, angry, disgusted, and determined.  I have not been taking care of MY diet and exercise, so this year my goal is to change that.  My current goal is to go to the gym, and exercise, at least 3 times a week, make my lunch everyday instead of buying, and eat both breakfast and dinner at home.  My daughter is completely on board with this and is helping me stay on track.  In fact, she gets most unhappy of we don't get to the gym when we say we are going.  My partner is another story.  Within two days he wanted to eat out at the local pizza place.  Getting him to accept my self-care changes is going to take some doing.

Ready! Set! Go!

Friday, July 17, 2015

In the garden

The rising suns casts its golden light over my herb and flower garden making for a glorious view out my front door.  I feel so rich.

Each day brings changes to the gardens.  Plants bloom, plants die back, birds and bees feed on the nectar of the blossoms.  A garden may look like a still life, but it is filled with life.

As I turn to sit on the garden bench, I see another area.  My Italian herb garden.  Sweet basil, tarragon, marjoram, sage, and other herbs just waiting to be fondled so they can release their aromatic oils.  If I step back, I will brush the rosemary and send off a flurry of smell which will stick to my legs for several hours.

I do love my plants.

Time for tea and a little reflection before I get the day started.  Life is good.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Birds of a Feather





On our way back from hiking to the Fairfax ghost town, we drove by Maris Farms and spotted a bunch of waterfowl taking a migration break.  We made a quick u-turn as we could have sworn we had seen some swans.

Sure enough, there were several Trumpeter Swans and a pair of young ones as well amidst the Canada Geese.  It was amazing to see these majestic white birds against the mud of the field in which they were standing.

Another bird checked off my list.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

2014 Christmas Project


Now that the ornaments are done, it is time to complete the final touches.  First, a tree skirt, as we would not want our tree's toes to get cold.  This one is just over 5 feet across and has 8 different fabrics in it.  Each panel is stitched through to the backing with cotton batting in between for a bit of quilting on what looks a lot like a Dresden Plate pattern.  The center is a simple additional piece of fabric to be drawn close with a satin ribbon, allowing the skirt to be adjusted to the size of the tree stand.

Since we have all these ornaments and a tree skirt to boot, it only seems logical to have a place to put them, so we decorated a box.  We sponged gold, silver, and metallic red paint all over it, then applied cut outs of special gifts (gift of fun, gift of creativity, etc.) and Christmas motifs.  The goal was a treasure box for all things Christmas.

Now to give the whole thing away.  Oh what pleasure and satisfaction there is in giving, just as there is in receiving.