Monday, July 30, 2007

A Little of This and a Little of That

Look at what they are giving away at 5 minutes for mom! Click here The Best Buy folks are doing this. I can't imagine winning this but I'm gonna try!

My days have been full of vet visits this week. Our old dog Buddy (he is 13) was in severe pain all weekend. We were preparing Jess that we might have to put him down. However, it seems he ruptured a disc in his back and after a round of steroids, cortizone, and pain killers, he is getting along quite well again. Whew! Tragedy delayed! Then Josey went to the vet and it seems that one of her eyes has quit making tears. The only thing to do is to put drops in her eyes 3 times a day. I am also taking eye drops 3 times a day - at least we are on the same schedule! The vet told us that there is a surgery that would re-route one of her salivary glands to her eye but that usually the only time it moistens the eye is at dinner time! Seriously! They didn't encourage that and it sounded a little weird for me. So for now we are doing the drops. Poor baby - I just love her big brown eyes.

My husband and I had a great get-away last weekend. We went to Joseph, Oregon where they were celebrating Chief Joseph Days. We went to a rodeo, visited all the little shops and watched a parade. It was so relaxing. The drive there was so beautiful. We stayed in a beautiful lodge with no television, no phone, and no cell service. It was a real get-away! On the way we saw funny road signs like: Dance Hall Road and Slaughter House Road. I also saw a sign hand scrawled on an old piece of wood that said:
Fur Sale - Fresh Meat
That creeped me out. We drove right by that one.

This Friday I am having lasik surgery. I am a little nervous but way excited. I can't believe I am going to be able to see clearly after being extremely near-sighted for 40 years! What they can't do these days! I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

I also received a very nice blogger award from Karen at Over The Back Yard Fence. the Power of Schmooze! Now I have never considered myself a schmoozer - my husband is much better than me at that! But here is what the award says:
Schmoozing as defined by is the ability “to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.” When it comes to blogging, schmoozing is your ticket to making new friends, getting yourself noticed and building a reputation. (She stole this definition from Mike at Ordinary Folk.) And Karen said this: who have both been so friendly and outgoing from the first time we started leaving comments. I can't remember where we all started, but I love visiting their sites and they always leave such great comments on mine. I would have to say, they schmooze real good and absolutely build community That was so sweet - thank you Karen. You are a first class schmoozer too! All I know is I love meeting and visiting with all of you through this little blog world we live in! I am going to pick Bunny Trails to share this honor with. She is always so cheerful and such a good sport about everything. She just schmoozes with kindness!

Congratulations to Kristine who won my pillowcase bag (she doesn't have a blog) and Shawna who won my placemats. Your prizes will be mailed out this week! That was one amazing carnival! Did you all win anything? I won one contest from Bunny Trails. A lot of neat scrapbooking stuff. I was feeling pretty good about myself because I NEVER win anything. Then I discovered that I had been the ONLY entry! She got a late start on her contest and I guess I was the only one who discovered her post before the drawing.

And speaking of prizes - don't forget to enter my 100 Things About Me contest. In celebrating 100 posts I am having a special drawing. Check it out!

100 Things About Me

Apparently I have reached a milestone in my blogging life - my 100th post. And apparently when that happens the appropriate thing to do is make a post of 100 facts about yourself. And as Father Tim would say, "There's the rub". I can't imagine I can come up with 100 interesting things about me. But I don't want to be the one to break tradition. So bear with me as I work through this list. And if you make it through to the very end - there will be a prize! A reward for your perseverance. A special way to say thank you for indulging my very fun blogging addiction. A very nice prize that reflects many of the things I love in life. A prize that will take you a whole year to use. No peeking now - you have to read through to the end of my list!

1. I was born on All Saint's Day. - a fact I NEVER let my husband forget. I once worked with a girl born the day before All Saint's Day - on halloween. I always thought her birthday fit her. I've always hoped my birthday fits me.

2. I am the oldest of seven children. That worked well for me when I was younger. It fit in with my bossy, er.. I mean my confident personality. Now I think - "Great - I will probably be the first one to die".

3. My family moved a lot. But only between two states. North Dakota in the summer where my dad was a crop duster and Florida in the winter where he was a flight instructor and mechanic. Until I was in the fourth grade. Then we stayed in North Dakota. But we still moved a lot. By the time I was married I had lived in over 30 houses. I still don't know what that was all about.

4. I started wearing glasses in the 4th grade. I am very, very near-sighted.

5. I am going to have Lasik eye surgery next week to correct my very bad astignatism and near-sightedness. I cannot even imagine what it will be like to wake up in the morning and see!

6. I always thought my dad was tall. He was 5'3".

7. When I was little I was very skinny. My mom even took me to the doctor once to see if there was something wrong with me. Hmmm...those were the days!

8. I loved Vacation Bible School every summer. It lasted all day and we had to bring our lunch. Crafts was my favorite part of all.

9. I begged my mother to teach me to sew when I was 9- it was always fascinating to me.

10. I also remember begging her to let me stay home from church on a Sunday night so she could teach me how to knit.

11. I taught myself how to crochet.

12. The first of the only two times I ever saw my dad cry was when he prayed with me at the altar to ask Jesus into my heart. I wasn't old enough to really understand what I was doing, but my dad's tears told me how important it was. The second time was when he left me in my college dormitory.

13. The first time I went to camp I cried every day because I was so homesick. But I loved it anyway.

14. I met my first boyfriend, Keith, at camp when I was in junior high. We loved each other for years even though we only saw each other once each summer lol!

15. I finally gave up on him when I fell in love with his older brother, Rick.

16. Rick never knew I was alive.

17. I have always, always loved to read. When I was younger I used to get in trouble for reading too much and not getting my work done. My mom always told me "you can't live your life like a book". I always told her "I can try." So far I think my life has been a very good book.

18. I worked as a checker in a grocery store while I was in high school.

19. My dad bought me a brand new Honda Civic that he said would be all mine if I wouldn't go to college. Weird huh? I was the oldest and he didn't want me to leave home. I turned him down.

20. I moved 1400 miles away from home to go to college. My dad really wished I would have taken that car.

21. I was more homesick than I could possibly imagine - but I stuck it out. I loved college - it changed my life forever.

22. It changed my life forever because it was at college that I met my future husband. We fell in love quickly! We met in September, got engaged in November, and married in May.

23. I was 19 years old.

24. I have never regretted one moment of that decision.

25. We honeymooned in Yellowstone National Park.

26. My dream of being a mama came true in 1980 with the birth of our daughter Michelle.

27. Tara, Andrea, and Jessica joined over the next 9 years.

28. I lost a baby in 1989.

29. I grieved more than I ever thought I could.

30. I look forward to getting to be with this child again in heaven someday.

31. If I had not lost this baby, I would not have Jessica today. That is unimaginable.

32. God's ways are not my ways. His are always better. Even when I don't understand. Even when it hurts.

33. Although I have always had to be a working mama, I have never had to use daycare. My husband and I have always been able to raise our own children - to which I am very thankful.

34. My kids are much better people than I am.

35. I was deathly afraid of dentists as a child. Mom always drug me screaming and kicking into the dentist's office.

36. I was a dental assistant for 8 years. I loved it.

37. My mom just shook her head.

38. I taught myself how to drive a stick shift.

39. My husband lost his dad who was also his very best friend in a logging accident in 1990. Watching my husband suffer this loss was excruciating.

40. One year later I lost my dad in a plane accident.

41. My mom moved in next door to me and I was her main support person as she began her journey into widowhood. I was also working full time, raising 4 children and trying hard to be a pastor's wife. I didn't do a very good job at anything.

42. Just a few months later, my brother confided in me that he was living a homosexual lifestyle and was HIV positive.

43. I had to tell my mother.

44. I never became suicidal but I remember thinking that death sounded like a nice way to escape.

45. God began speaking to my heart. I had to make a decision. I either trusted Him with my life or I didn't. The choice was mine.

46. I gave every single part of my life to God and decided to place my total faith in Him. My circumstances didn't change - but my life did.

47. Jeremiah 29:11 became my life verse: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future." I clung desperately to that verse.

48. I have never been the same.

49. Part of my new faith filled life was quitting my job. My family needed me at home and I needed to be with them.

50. I started making and selling crafts.

51. God blessed my little business.

52. I have sewed probably a million miles on my simple Singer sewing machine that my husband gave me on my 20th birthday.

53. I recently gave that machine to my daughter, Michelle. I felt a little like Marty in Love Come's Softly when she gives her much loved and much used sewing machine to her daughter Missy!

54. I got a brand new Bernina sewing machine - Bernina and I have become very good friends! She is so awesome, she is very talented, and she makes me look good.

55. My husband and I did a paper route for 6 months to put our oldest daughter through college. We got up at 1:30 a.m. and got home at 6:00 a.m. We took showers and went to our day jobs.

56. The paper route caused us to draw very close to God and very close to each other.

57. We both enjoyed spending those nights talking about everything under the sun - I mean moon!

58. 6 months was all we could physically do.

59. We invested our last paycheck in two Yorkshire Terriers - we decided breeding dogs had to be easier than a paper route.

60. It wasn't.

61. I still breed dogs - but it is a lot of work.

62. It is also a lot of fun.

63. There is nothing sweeter than brand new puppies.

64. Except finally letting them go to their new homes - I am very weary of cleaning up after them for 10 weeks.

65. I am a pastor’s wife.

66. I like being a pastor's wife.

67. Except it would be nice to have some weekends off.

68. My husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in Hawaii.

69. It was an incredible time for both of us.

70. We definitely plan to go back again someday.

71. While in Hawaii, we agreed to not talk about the kids or the church.

72. We never talked about the church.

73. I swam with a dolphin - a life goal of mine!

74. My husband and I plan to take a sabbatical someday and do a road-trip around the perimeter of the United States. We plan to go where we want to go and stay as long as we want to. No agenda, no time frame. Pure freedom!

75. I want to write a book someday. I already have a storyline planned. My next step is to do an outline.

76. I enjoy going to rodeos. My husband is glad about that. He loves them.

77. I am very afraid of flying. My dad was a pilot - a very good one. It was his life profession. He always told me flying was safer than driving. But he died in a plane accident.

78. As I get older, I seem to get more afraid of flying.

79. But, I refuse to let me fear of flying stop me from traveling.

80. I have medication to take if I have to - but I try not to. I don't like relying on medication.

81. I am also very afraid of snakes. I get chills just typing the word.

82. I am trying to lose weight.

83. My weight goal is not a number on a scale - it is more about how I feel about myself.

84. I think being middle-aged makes me more sensible about things like that. It is freeing.

85. I just started coloring my hair - I was getting more grey than I was comfortable with!

86. I have good genes - my great-grandparents lived to their hundreds.

87. When I was 38 I had to have a hysterectomy. For a couple of years I displayed symptoms of ovarian cancer. It is a very hard disease to diagnose and I have a very strong family history of it. Having a hysterectomy was the hardest decision for me to make. But I have never regretted it. I did have pre-cancerous cells in my ovaries - so it was a good decision. It is good to not have to worry about it anymore.

88. I took hormone replacement therapy pills for 10 years. I took myself off of them cold turkey last fall. Aside from a few hot flashes - I'm okay. I decided that menopause wasn't a disease that needed treating - it was the way God made my body. I don't care for the hot flashes, but they are bearable. And they are getting fewer.

89. I love Disneyland. My family makes fun of me because I love it so much. One time when we went on a family vacation - we had to drag the kids back in the evening. They were tired and wanted to stay at the hotel. Not me - there were fireworks to see!

90. I love the 4th of July - it is one of my favorite holidays to decorate my house for.

91. I make home-made Christmas tree ornaments for my girls every year. When they get married, I give them to them to use on their tree.

92. I bite my nails. I wish I didn't. But I can't stop.

93. I collect fabric. I use it occasionally!

94. I also collect scrapbooking supplies. I use them seldom. But I have good intentions.

95. Everyone tells me I look good in green. I don't like green - but I wear it because well, you know, everyone tells me I look good in it.

96. My favorite color is blue.

97. I would love to own and operate a Bed & Breakfast someday. It probably will never happen - but I am collecting awesome breakfast recipes - just in case!

98. I hate to paint - I would rather take a beating! But I keep thinking I am going to paint my kitchen and dining room soon.

99. In 2008 we are having a year of celebrations. We will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, our 20th year pastoring at our church, my youngest daughter will graduate from high school, my third daughter will graduate from college, and I will celebrate my 50th birthday. So to celebrate everything, our kids and their spouses and us are going to Italy – a real dream come true for all of us!

100. I am very tired of talking about me. But it's okay - I'm done now!

You did it! And now for the prize! To celebrate the fact that you read clear to the end of this post and the fact that I have 100 posts, I am hosting a give-away. My prize is a one year subscription to one of these three magazines. You get to choose from:

Martha Stewart Living
Today's Christian Woman
Real Simple


Home Companion

Here's how to enter:
1)Just leave a comment telling me you would like to enter and which magazine you would prefer.
2)And then mention my celebration give-away in a post on your blog.
3)Be sure to leave an email address or a link to your blog so I can contact you. Then your name will be placed into my sweet dog, Josey's,

food dish and she will pick a winner! Because I don't have the heart to do it myself! And I will post the winner on August 10th - my mom's 70th birthday

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Being Thankful

This morning I was wondering what I could write about being thankful today. Because to be honest, I haven't been acting very thankful lately. So when I read Iris's post about our theme today focusing on choosing joy over the hard things in life - well, that really shouted at me. And I am thinking that even in the midst of trials I can still choose to have joy and be joyful. And that is the choice I am making today. I will be joyful even in the midst of trials. I will work hard to "consider it all joy" when faced with hardship. So I am thankful today. For these things and so much more:

1. I am thankful that my husband and I are getting away for the next couple of days. He is my favorite person to spend time with. In fact if I could pick anyone in the world to spend an hour, a day, or a week with - it would be him without a doubt. God has truly blessed me with my husband.

2. I am thankful for my Summer Book Club ladies. It is always so refreshing and relaxing to spend an hour and a half discussing our books and our lives and our thoughts and feelings.

3. I am thankful it is summer. I love summer.

4. I am thankful for the evenings that I spend at home. I love being in my home. It rejuvenates me for the next work day.

5. I am thankful for my sewing room. I love going in there and looking through my patterns and fabrics and dreaming of what I want to sew next. I love the smell of a steam iron on fabric. I love having my projects all lined up. I love looking at all the colorful thread. I love planning what I am going to be making for Christmas gifts this year. It is good therapy!

6. I am thankful for blogging. It is fun, relaxing, and fulfilling. By the way, this is my 100th post! I'm so excited about that and I want to celebrate by inviting you all to come back on Monday to see my special 100 Things About Me post. At the very end of my post there will be a contest for a special prize to all those who read to the end! You heard it here first!

If you would like to read more or be a part of Thankful Thursdays, click here!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

All Things Septic

I know - it IS a strange title for a post. But it does adequately describe in three words the way my life has gone lately! Not really, I still know I have so much to be thankful for - but can anybody tell me why-oh-why does everything happen all at once? For those of you who read me regularly, (and I don't know the why to that either - but I sure do appreciate you) you know that we have had major septic system problems in our 7 year old home. I never imagined that a septic system would only be good for seven years. In fact, it should last much, much longer. But it seems that when we built our home in 1999 the State Health Department mandated a "new and improved" (those words always scare me) septic system. Turns out they were a disaster and there have been lots of problems with them. Of course the good old State Department has no intentions of making good on any of them. So we had the awesome privilege of tearing up our back yard and doing it over the right way. Thankfully, my good husband thought ahead and rented a sod cutter so we could replace the sod on the 12' X 30' section of grass that was removed. So it looks better than it could have. All except the part where the tractors and bull-dozers entered, and exited, and entered, and exited our yard. We now have hills and valleys in our once flat landscaping. Oh well. I can't tell you what a relief it is to be able to use the bathroom, the shower, the washer, the dishwasher, the garbage disposal, and the faucets once again. And even though my house still has a faint odor of bleach - that is far better than the odor that preceded it! And I can hardly wait to get the bill for all of this. I have a feeling that is really going to stink too.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dog Days of Summer

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*Edited to add* My drawing will be on Monday - my husband and I are getting away for a much needed weekend away!

Welcome to Robinznest! I hope you have time to come in and browse and spend some time.

I love free stuff! And Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer is hosting a free stuff giveaway bigger than you can imagine. You should go check it out! And I figured if I plan to enter my name for every single give-away offer in this carnival the very least I could do would be to give away something too. So, I am having TWO giveaways! Here is the first:

I had a pattern and fabric for these "stack and whack" placemats for quite a while and I was excited to make them. I was really pleased with how they turned out. This is a set of four rectangle placemats. They are tan, brick red, and green. I will draw a random name on Monday to see who gets these.

Then, when I was sitting in a hospital waiting room last week, I browsed through a current issue of Martha Stewart's Living magazine and found this idea:

It's a really nifty way to use a pillowcase to make a fun bag. This bag can be used for books, crafts, overnite stuff, beach stuff, or as a grocery bag. It is washable and very sturdy. I grabbed a pillowcase and stiched several of them in no time. The one I am giving away is right here:

If you look very carefully, you will see an added decor that will be fun for all those who love blogging - can you see it?

So, if you are interested in winning either of these just leave your name and you MUST leave me an email address. Also indicate which prize you would prefer or mark both if you would like either one. Isn't this fun?

Time to Weigh

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Well, if I ever doubted I was a stress eater - this last week proved otherwise! Life this past week has been very, very difficult and I ate my way through it and gained 2 pounds. Here is a short list of what I dealt with:

a very dear friend in a serious motorcycle accident
a very dear friend hospitilized with serious mental health issues
caring for that dear friends 4 children for two weekends in a row. I love them dearly and I enjoy them tremendously - but it isn't easy!
being involved in Vacation Bible School every evening
a very dear friend discovering cancer and not ready to tell anyone yet
our sewer system backing up into our house for the weekend and discovering that we have to install a new septic system in our back yard.
watching tractors and back hoes destroying my beautiful back yard that I have loved and tended and cared for.
All this, and working full time. Of course it was this week that my usually calm and somewhat boring job became crazy and I was required to put in some overtime.

I'm okay. I finally remembered that when you are drowning - you shouldn't struggle - it only makes it worse. I have grabbed on to the life preserver cast to me by Jesus Himself, and I am holding on for dear life. I am riding out the waves and the storm. I am feeling a bit bruised and battered but I am okay. Life is fragile and difficult at times, but God is in control. I know that.

I'm not too worried about the 2 pounds. It's really hard to eat the way you should when you are spending the majority of your time in hospital waiting rooms, VBS, and cooking for small children. I'm back on the wagon today.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Happy 36th

When I was 12 years old my mom told me she was going to have a baby. Perhaps a lot of pre-teens would have been totally aghast at such a thing, but not me. No sirree... that was exciting news to a baby-lov'n girl such as I. I already had 4 younger brothers and sisters but there was always room for one more. So imagine my delight when we discovered that there would not only be one baby - it was twins! It turned out to be twin girls. I was in baby heaven. Being the oldest, I helped my mom with much of their care. I even got to hold one all the way home from the hospital in the car. (This was before the days of car-seats). I helped with diaper changing, bathing, bottles, fixing hair, dressing - all the daily chores of raising a baby. And I loved it. They have always been the babies in our family - and we have always spoiled them! When they were 5 years old I left home to go far away to school. I think the hardest part was leaving my babies! Even though today they are all grown up and have 6 little ones between them - they are still my baby sisters. They have become more like sisters to my daughters and I have always said that I hope I can be half the aunt to their kids that they have been to mine. They are celebrating a birthday this next week and I just wanted to take the opportunity to tell them I love them - I'm glad they are part of my family - and Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Weigh In and Prayer Request

Just wanted to check in and tell you that I lost a pound this week. I'm happy about that of course. But it seems very minor to me today.

Because I also wanted to just ask anyone who would like to, to remember me and some situations in prayer today. Life has a way of going along smoothly and suddenly you hit a brick wall. I always say that life in the ministry is a life of privilege - and it is. But sometimes, when people under your care are hurting - we have the privilege of hurting with them. And lately it's been more than just one person. We have some incredibly serious hurts going on right now and the pain of it all gets to be almost unbearable. People we love and care for deeply are experiencing huge and difficult situations. People my husband and I invest our lives in daily. Life is just really hard sometimes, but I am remembering that God is good and He is in charge. I am remembering that "The eyes of the Lord are toward the Righteous, and His ears toward their cry." Psalms 34:15
Thank you for your prayers today.

Friday, July 13, 2007

What a Great Day!

*UPDATE* 7-16-2007
It seems that I have exposed my bovine ignorance with this post. Okay, okay, as several friends have informed me, solid black cows are Angus cows. Unless they are Tarantaise, but apparently there aren't many of those in this area and they are usually brown, but if you have a black Tarantaise bull you then get black Tarantaise cattle which for some reason sell for more money. There are also black cows with white faces that are called Black Bali, but if they are black and white splotchy then they are Holsteins. Who knew? All I know is that you can call them whatever you want -I like black cows!

It is 9:00 a.m. on this Friday morning and it has already been a really great day!

It was such a beautiful morning to sit on the patio and enjoy my coffee with my sweet husband. We talk and go over what our plans for the day are. The birds are singing, Josey is sitting on my lap, the horses are grazing out back. Just a picture perfect morning.

I drive about 24 miles to work each day. My drive is all on back roads, quiet and peaceful. I drive through orchards and fields of corn, potatoes, alfalfa, and grain. It is an excellent time to think, sing, and pray. This morning I watched a crop duster spray an orchard. As he soared and glided up and down and all around this field, the sight took me back in my memories many years when as a little girl I used to watch my dad do the same thing. He was a crop duster. To this day the smell of 24-D always takes me back to the airport hanger where I sometimes hung out just to be with my dad. He is gone now - I enjoy when I experience things that remind me of him. Some things never die.

I also drove by a lush green field with black cows all over it. I don't know why, but I just love the sight of black cows grazing on a green pasture. It just makes me happy inside. I guess I should find out what black cows are called - let's see they aren't Jersey's, and they aren't Hereford's or Angus. Hmmmm...I'm going to have to ask about this one.

Then when I got to work today I logged on to my computer to find out that Thea of I'm a Drama Mama awarded me with the Rockin' Girl Blogger award!

I've seen this award floating around of course, but I never thought I would get one. Thanks Thea! You really made my day! I just love that bright pink color too! Thea is a fellow member of the May Day Weight Loss Challenge. We keep each other motivated. There is nothing that will sisters bond together more than a weight loss journey.

In keeping with the tradition I will bestow this award on 5 recipents that I think rock!

Katrina at Callapidder Days I love her reading challenges! Anybody who loves books rocks as far as I'm concerned!

Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry who is also the one in charge of the whole May Day Weight Loss challenge. I REALLY appreciate her efforts and keeping us all accountable.

My girl, Tara, whom I think has rocked ever since I rocked her as a baby!

Diane from Partners in Prayer for our Prodigals who knows the pain of a child who is not walking with the Lord. She is full of hope and inspiration. I love her heart.

And PEI Girl. She is just the sweetest and kindest blogger friend. She does rock.

And finally, over at May Day Weight Loss Challenge, I was named The Loser of the Week! Never thought I would enjoy being called a Loser so much! Anyway, my weight loss journey story is posted here. So go check it out.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

10 Things I Love

Karen from Over the Back Yard Fence challenged us to make a list of 10 Things I Love. I told her that the first thing on my list would be HER LIST! It's exactly the list I would write. Except for the one about her milk bottles being delivered. I had no idea milk could still be delivered in bottles - I thought it was at the store in plastic jugs these days!

So even though Karen used all the good ideas :-) I am going to make a list of 10 things that I love. And of course I love my husband and family more than anything. These are besides the obvious!

1. Watching the little Goldfinch's come to eat at the feeder I have by my patio.

2. Walking into my 17 year old daughter's room and over-hearing her pray on the phone with her friend.

3. My 2 cups of coffee I drink every morning on my patio. Every morning.

4. Getting a package of new books in the mail.

5. Freshly washed sheets.

6. How when I sit down, my little dog Josey, comes and waits for me to pick her up.

7. Listening to the children leave the sanctuary for Children's Church.

8. Growing berries in my back yard.

9. Quilts

10. When someone asks me, "Are you losing weight?"

Okay, so what 10 things do you love?

Weighty Observations

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Weight loss programs are an excellent time of self-discovery. In this recent weight loss adventure I have discovered some new things about myself. And I like these new things. One thing I have noticed is how little food I really need to eat healthy and feel good. Instead of looking to see how much food I get for my money, I now try to look at how little food I need to feel full. I am also learning to appreciate a slightly hungry feeling. That tells me that I have not overeaten and that I am losing weight. I never gave my body a chance to tell me it was hungry before. I am learning that I can still cook and bake foods and I don't have to overeat. I have learned that I can eat whatever I want - just not how much I want.

When we vacationed in Florida last month, I spent some time on the beach and I just watched different body types go by. One thing I really noticed was how age makes a huge difference in bodies. There were lots and lots of young girls who were very thin and their bikini's hung on their bony frames. The best word to describe them was lean. They just didn't have any body fat at all. These are the types of bodies we all dream of! But as I watched, I noticed women who were probably 35 and above. While they still looked good, and they were not overweight they looked softer and rounder. They looked well, more normal. They looked like they were comfortable. They looked healthy. They even looked sensual.

And I realized that I have matured not only in my body but in my thinking as well. I do want to lose weight. But it's no longer about a number on the scale or on a tag in my clothing. It's no longer a competition. It's not about how thin I can get. Now it is about feeling good, being healthy, and being comfortable with who I am. And I find an amazing freedom in that realization. I am never going to have the lean body that those 20-something girls on the beach had. And if that is the only regret I have in my life then I consider myself pretty fortunate.

I am going to continue this weight loss program, but it's for very different reasons than anytime before. I want to be able to be active without being breathless. I want to be able to have fun and not feel embarrassed. I want to know I am doing everything I can to "take care of this temple" without obsessing over it. I want to look good for my husband. I want to do myself a favor.

I'm liking this new-found freedom.

Weight loss this week: 2 lbs.
Weight loss since beginning May Day challenge: 7 1/2 lbs.
Weight loss since beginning in April: 15 1/2 lbs.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Mission Accomplished

Looking Back

Whew! I set several goals this weekend and I am amazed to say that I got them ALL done! Let's see, first I made cookies for my husband to take on his mountain/fishing/horseback get-away. Oatmeal raisin are his very favorite.

While I was baking cookies, I also got caught up on my laundry.

I got my blueberry bush planted - it already has blueberries on it! They are really good too. I hope it survives- blueberries are not supposed to grow well in our area - but I love them and the bushes are pretty. I am going to baby this one.

Two yorkies - bathed and groomed and waiting for their treat!

My daughter Michelle and I joined a quilt block on the month club. We worked this weekend on our first block. We didn't have any trouble - and in fact, enjoyed it very much. We got one block made and the pieces cut out for the second one. I see a new hobby beginning! And it was so fun to work together on it. I always hoped at least one of my girls would enjoy crafting as much as I do.

And one very happy Jedi Knight celebrating his 8th birthday! I was so happy to get this costume made - he really wanted it so badly! This is Jeremiah. He has a sister and two twin brothers. They needed some grandparents that are able to be a part of their everyday lives - so we have stepped into that role. It's good practice for when our girls start giving us grandkids! And we love them to pieces.

Looking Ahead

My husband left on his trip, so of course that is when everything begins to go wrong. Murphy's law right? First the sewer backed up into the bathtub. It eventually drained, but now I am nervous about what to do. I'm not having a good feeling about this. Did I mention my husband is gone? Did I mention he is NOT within cell phone range?

Then one of our sprinker heads blew into a hundred pieces. We are having 100 degree weather (why isn't there a degree symbol on my keyboard?). My lawn needs to be watered. I do not have a clue how to fix/replace this thing. Did I mention my husband is away? Did I mention his is NOT within cell phone range?

He will be home Thursday - I can only wonder what else will happen between now and then!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Weekend Plans

So what are everyone's plans for the weekend? I think having the 4th on a Wednesday kind of threw me into confusion. I got into weekend mode, only to have to go back to work the next day!

June was such a busy month for me - I worked every Saturday. Tomorrow is my first Saturday free in a long time so I plan to catch up on some things. First, I need to sew a Jedi costume for a special little boy who is having a birthday. I have often made his sister things (it's so much easier to sew for girls!) and he asked me especially to make him a Jedi cape. Okay - sure - no problem. I need to grab an old Star Wars movie so I can see what in the world I'm in for!

I also hope to plant two blueberry bushes I bought some time ago and haven't planted yet. I've been studying where the sunlight hits. Blueberries don't like intense heat so I'm trying to decide the best place for them. I think I have it figured out - so maybe this weekend I will get that done too.

Laundry is piling up quickly. I like to keep on top of it - but I got behind this week.

My husband is leaving on a 3 day pack trip in the mountains with his horse and I thought I might have time to make his favorite oatmeal raisin cookies to take with him. Maybe tonight I'll have time to get those done.

My poor little dogs need baths too. Hmmmm....maybe Saturday evening would be a good time for that.

My daughter Michelle and I joined a quilt block of the month club. Neither of us know how to quilt! She is going to come over Sunday afternoon after our hubbies leave on their mountain trip. We are going to try to figure this quilt block thing out. I'm looking forward to that.

So what are you going to be busy doing this weekend?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


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Another week down - another pound down. Yeah!

Monday, July 2, 2007

History Lessons on Horseback

This past weekend our church held its Annual All-church Horseback Ride. Every June about 30-40 people from our church head out on horseback for a day ride. I've never gone before. But since my husband is a cowboy and I want to be interested in what he is interested in, I agreed to go this year. It starts out really great. We all met together and have breakfast that is cooked over the fire. This year we had scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon, hash browns, and some high-powered salsa made by one of our authentic Mexican cooks, Fabian. And there is no better coffee anywhere (sorry Starbucks - it's true) than camp coffee. Stacy was in charge of the pancakes. My husband asked the blessing.

Right after breakfast, my husband gave a devotional and then it was time to "saddle up our horses - we had a trail to blaze"! My horse Scout and I made an agreement. If he would just carry me along with no need to show off, I wouldn't put any unnecessary requirements upon him. Except I did ask him to sidle up to a rock so I could get on him - he is a tall horse. Scout did a good job keeping up his end of the bargain. Turns out he is very confident in himself and feels no need to impress other horses. That's pretty good for a rodeo horse - he gets used for team roping usually.

So we took off into the Owyhee Mountains. Our objective was to search out the grave of Spanish Charlie. I know, that sounds kind of weird. But that's the kind of stuff you do in the wild west. So off we went. Here are a few of us.

We had a fun mixture of ages and talents in our group. We had real cowboys, cowboy wives, kids, teens, dogs and anyone or anything else that wanted to tag along.

Here is a picture of Matt milking his horse. Yep, that's what I said. Milking his horse. It seems this mare has a foal being weaned and she was a might bit, well uncomfortable. So Matt just did what any good cowboy would do!

We climbed mountains and forded streams. We were in beautiful, rough land and it wouldn't have suprised me a bit to see Indian's on the horizon!

I learned that Succor Creek was named so because back in time a group of pioneers were captured by some indians in that area. The Calvary rode in and saved them right there at the water. Succor means saved. The name stuck. One of my daughters thought about having her wedding at Succor Creek. I told her she probably didn't want the name Succor on her wedding invitation. I didn't know what it meant at that time. I still don't think it would look nice on a wedding invitation though. I'm just saying.
We stopped to rest occasionally and enjoyed some wild elderberries and cold water. And finally, we found the grave we were looking for. Spanish Charlie's final resting place.

The story goes that Spanish Charlie was a Mexican who lived in the hills. He was evidently well known. He angered somebody and in a fight the other man shot Spanish Charlie in the back as he turned to find his gun. The other man was cleared of any crime and didn't serve any time for his actions. I would like to have known what they were fighting about but nobody seemed to know. Maybe they will make a movie about it someday. I would like to know things like, Was there a woman involved? Who buried Spanish Charlie and so lovingly marked his grave? Maybe there was a bank robbery and Spanish Charlie knew who the robber was. Maybe the loot is still there somewhere just waiting to be found. There could be a million interesting facts - but I guess they all went to the grave with Charlie.

Well, we finally decided we better get back to camp because by this time the camp cooks were grilling steaks and serving wonderful foods like Blackberry Cobbler and pasta salads, and fresh cherries. We couldn't wait!

The annual horseback ride includes romance too! This couple actually met at last year's ride and now they are married!

And speaking of romance - here is me and my cowboy.

Doesn't he look good in that Stetson hat?

All in all it was a great day. But it was even greater to get home and shower and sit on the patio and enjoy one of these!