Friday, March 30, 2012

Being Mindful

As children we are taught to mind our manners.
As adults, we strive to mind our own business.
As menopausal women, we try not to lose our minds.

A word that keeps popping up in my head lately is

My mind is full, that is for sure - but what I'm talking about is finding meaning in all the little mundane tasks that fill our days.
Finding contentment in our possessions, and not needing more.
Honoring what we have, appreciating the provision.

It's true that our life is made up of moments such as these.
I'm hellbent on not missing them -

Right now, it's raining out, and it's all gloomy and thundery.
I adore it.
The grass looks so green it almost hurts my eyes to behold it.
My tea is the perfect drinking temperature.
I awoke to the scale showing under 5lbs to my goal weight.
Aaron is still snoozing upstairs, and I'm letting him.
The banty hens are right outside my window, scratching around by the clothesline.
It's Friday.
The weekend is here, full of promise.

It's a beautiful moment.

 You hear the phrase 'practice mindfulness' - and it's true - it takes practice.

At first, I almost let this moment slip.
I almost told myself I'm much too busy to sit down and write out my thoughts.
I have one hour, and I shouldn't 'waste' it like this.

Writing these thoughts out, just reinforces it all in my spirit.

I wrote this on our Bootcamp forum earlier this week:

This morning as I was making the bed - I questioned how I could find 'meaning' in something like making a bed. I questioned why I make the bed. Well, it's tidy. Yes, that is one reason. Think deeper. I realized what a comfort it was to me to climb in a made bed at night. A clean, made bed. It's a simple pleasure. It brings me a sense of order and well-being. So in fact, the act of making that bed in the morning, is preparing my future. I choose to prepare my future (that very night) for a sense of well being.

Now, let's transfer that thought process to other things. Can you say that spending money foolishly is preparing you for the future? Yes. A future of lack. Can you say that eating the DingDongs is preparing you for the future? Yes. A future of diabetes. But let's not put a negative spin on this....

Today's workout is preparing you for a future of energy, strength and vitality. Today's clean meals are preparing you for a future of clear thinking, health and self confidence.

I think this is why I adore homemaking so much.
I do find peace in my chores.
I do find meaning in laundry, gratitude in dishes and nuturing in dusting.
I don't see them as 'chores', although I do use that word.
I see them as opportunities to give thanks for what I have, to love my family with a sense of order, stability and wholesome food.

It's my deepest desire that this little corner of the Interweb here can give you a moment to pause - count your blessings - encourage you to love your family - love yourself - take care of yourself - see the beauty that surrounds you - and get chickens.

Lots and lots of chickens.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Eat Like a Caveman!

Cooking Club was yesterday - and I was the hostess.
My turn!  My turn to turn my friends onto the wonderful world of paleo - or as we like to say 'eating like a caveman'.

I had the fleeting thought of building a fire in the yard, and as each guest arrived, handing them a bow and arrow, saying 'Have at it! You catch it, you eat it - oh, and by the way - I do believe the dandelions are up now in case you are hankerin' for a salad."

But I just had a feeling that wouldn't go over with this crowd.

In fact, I even gave them forks, knives, and plates.
This is some high falutin' primal eating.

Isn't this table that Glenco made for me awesome?
It cost us $3.
All we had to buy were some screws.
The lumber was 'reclaimed' from a dumpster.
That Glenco - he's worth his salt.

I really had fun with the tablescape.
Nothing like walking around the yard finding things to slap on the table.

The food was extremely delicious.
Please know that this is not a way that I eat every day - nor do I suggest that this is 'healthy'.
It's much higher in fat than I eat, or suggest eating.
But if you are looking for something that is non-allergenic, something that will sway you into getting away from grains and dairy - something that you want to use to 'celebrate' a certain event - I'd endorse it then.
Except for the cake.


Bacon wrapped dates.
Chicken with a Mushroom Sauce
Mashed Cauliflower
Kale Salad
Caveman Biscuits (made with coconut and almond flour)

Dessert was stretching things a bit - but it was Cooking Club after all.
A flourless Chocolate Cake with Strawberries.

The meal was higher in fat than I typically eat, but it was a nice treat.

I took all the recipes from this cookbook:

Here's their website

I truly hope that you are either:

A.  Changing what you feed yourself
B. Seriously thinking and planning on changing what you feed yourself
C.  Getting a really good health insurance plan

I just watched this documentary online, and it was worth every minute.
VERY eye-opening, and if it doesn't motivate you to change, I'm not sure what will.
It's free online until March 31st.

Please take the time out to give it a look see.
Life is too short to eat crap, feel like crap, and look like crap.
Take care of yourself.
No one else is gonna do it for you.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Why I Ran Today

Because I could.
I could end this post right here, couldn't I?

But y'all know me WAY better than that.

(The pictures throughout this post are ones Aaron just took - I need your help deciding what should be my profile picture, ok?  Is he not a fabulous photographer!?)

Thanks for all of your fun comments on Helene!
Basically - that is a snippet of how goofy Aaron and I are on a daily basis - we just happened to film it.
When he gets here today, I'm going to ask him to make a blooper video of it - and maybe I'll mention to you how he ran off the road and if it weren't for Glenco's eagle eye in the backseat, someone on North Holtz Road wouldn't have a mailbox right now.

Good times.

I'm still way too happy.
Perhaps it's the temperatures here in NW Indiana.
Record highs.
I do believe the magnolia will burst forth in all of its splendor today.
One can only hope that some rogue wind from the North won't strip it of its blossoms tomorrow.
It's March people.
I don't trust March.
I never have - and it if thinks I'm going to start now - just by wooing me with these temps that make you want to strip naked and run through the corn stubble - well, its got another thing coming!

Perhaps my hormones are swinging wildly - perhaps I've just been too busy counting my blessings - perhaps, perhaps.
Perhaps I'm so happy just cause I'm eating so well.  My hair is growing so fast you can almost watch it grow - perhaps, perhaps.

Perhaps it's emails like these that I get so often -

I was wondering if I could pick your brain for a minute. I'm trying to take a few pounds off and am really struggling.


When I feel this good...make that GREAT...I can't imagine ever going back to eating all of the other stuff I used to put in my stomach. That would be TORTURE to me now. I get what you've been saying over the last year...I REALLY get it! :) (this is from one of my dearest readers who's lost 20#'s now and still going!)


a sweet reader emailing me telling me I've inspired her to walk the Chicago Half Marathon.

I am blessed.
Each of you here means the world to me.
I wish that there were a way to sit with each of you and become BFF's.

Isn't that a cute sweater?
Got it in a bag sale at the resale shop, so I basically paid .50 for it.
Still had the tags on it from New York & Co.
Yesterday, I washed it.
70% wool.
My bad.

This weight loss journey is coming to a close - the weight LOSS part.
Not too far to go now.
My goal now is to be FIT.
Not just thin, but fit.

I ran today because I could.
I don't mean that to be 'inspirational' or anything - I just mean it.
I have friends that I know would love to be able to run.
Heck - they'd be happy to just go through one day with some energy.
I think of my mom - not much older than I am now when she was diagnosed with emphysema.

I run cause I can.
I run sometimes because I feel too good to walk.
Isn't that ridiculous!?
I sure don't do it well, and I don't run far - but I run the best I can.
I'll keep getting better too.

 I feel fantastic.
This journey of growing on the inside and shrinking on the outside has been so worth it.
When I think back of how 'deprived' I felt in the beginning because I
 'couldn't have my favorite foods' - I almost laugh -
because you know what?

To have them now would deprive me of THIS.

Vibrant health.
A clear mind.
A 29" waist (ya baby!)
and too many benefits to list.

THAT'S deprivation - not turning down a brownie.


I really miss this sweater!

Somewhere in the last year - in the midst of all the hammering away at changing my life - it changed.
Funny how that happens.

Have I been perfect?
Absolutely not!
I'm not perfect, but I am fabulous.
That's my new tagline, by the way.
Feel free to use it.

These days, I'm feeling confident.
I'm feeling that what I have to say has merit.
I'm feeling very little self consciousness.
I'm feeling like I have so much I have to give it away or I'll burst.

I is kind.
I is smart.
I is important.

And so is you.

Please take care of yourself today.
Life is short.
There are so many people counting on you.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Helene Stopped By....

No words.
Aaron made me do it.
If you have trouble viewing it here...just click on the YouTube link on the lower right hand side of the video.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Morning has Broken

I'm sitting here absolutely bristling.
It's becoming more and more difficult to contain my enthusiasm of late.
Spring y'all.
The Earth is waking up - and I'm digging it.
I feel like a kid in a candy store!
The possibilities!
The plans!
The sheer joy of new birth and new hope.

It seems the older I get, the more I notice the subtle nuances of the season's change.
The slant of light through the blinds -
the smell of certain days -

Even though this morning is dreary - drizzly - in my heart it's the most glorious morning ever.

Enjoy one of my favorite songs and do a little deep breathing.
Count your blessings.

Mine is the sunlight -
Mine is the morning......

Friday, March 9, 2012

Who Told You to Use a Balm?

Any Seinfeld fans?
If so - you'll get the name of this post -
If not - why?  Why aren't you familiar with the greatest show ever made!?
I can only hope that you are now watching Modern Family - the second greatest ever sitcom.

Your words were a balm to my soul.
An ointment.
A tincture.
A mustard plaster.
A poultice, even.

Thank you.

I Googled famous high school dropouts.
Aaron is in some mighty fine company.


He's not a drop out - he's a transfer student.

We are so danged happy.
Somber -
When it comes to Mathematics.
Professional help is being brought in.

I'm just a bit too busy for my liking - but when you consider all things - I'd rather be busy than bored.

I worked in the yard on Wednesday - and it was maddening.  So windy, that everything I put IN the wheelbarrow would promptly blow OUT.
I got the perennial beds cleaned up though.

Took a peek at the bees.
They sure weren't happy with the wind.
I was wearing a beard of bees!
They were MAD.

Bootcamp is going well.
Aaron helped me make this little video - some of this might not make sense to you - but if you think about it - how much on my blog DOES make sense?

Aaron is insisting that Helene help him with homeschooling next week, and possibly a little driving instruction.
Stay tuned.

I feel like I have so much brewing in me at the moment - but there's no time to sit and steep my thoughts.  There's no time to write it out.
There just be no time.
A dear friend put it into words perfectly yesterday when she said "I feel overwhelmed - and underwhelmed at the same time".
This weekend I celebrate 29 years of being married.
My wedding dress is too big now.
That's rather fun.

Talk about time - 29 years - wow.
Flew by.

Glen called me this morning from work and asked 'What do you want for your anniversary?' - I just told him - "just to spend some time with you" - and then I asked him "What about you?  What do you want?"
"I want you to change the oil in the Maverick."
It's been 29 years.


Monday, March 5, 2012

All the News Worth Printing

This photo has nothing to do with this post.
It's just a bathing suit I'm considering ordering.
The last time I ordered anything in a two piece - it was an extra crispy meal at KFC.

For those of you that don't have a blog - you might not know how difficult it is to blog after a week of not blogging.
You lose your mojo, your rhythm.
It's a struggle.

I've had times this week that I thought I might never blog again.
As if.

Not sure where to begin - so I'll just start -

Still working on my goals....Bootcamp is going well, and it keeping me busy as well as homeschooling.

We are fine.
THANK you for all your emails and concern.
The tornadoes that have ravaged Indiana were far south of us.

Despite having a little snow on the ground at the moment - I spotted a Robin on March 2nd, and it's set me in a tailspin of excitement.

It's really happening.
It's 6am and it's light enough to see outside.
My strawberries and daisies are making a foolish attempt at growing.
The chickens are cranking out eggs.
I've got deep hankerings of the Spring cleaning kind.

It's coming!!

During a hot bath last night I perused a poultry catalog.
The FINAL decision has been made.
There will be meat birds raised.
There will be much drivel ahead about this subject.
Thoughts on the moral battle I'm having.
How I can blow dry and cuddle with one chicken, and kill and eat another.
I can't talk about it right now - or I shan't order my 'rainbow broiler pack'.
Oh dear God.
Help me.

My trip with Aaron to Chicago went off without a hitch - well, except for the Navigation on my phone took us to a VERY sketchy area in Chicago initially.
Home girl was a little scared.

Find the school we did, and it was beyond fantastic.
I want to go there now!
I told Aaron I'd need a career when I finally raised his rear end - and why not hair?
I told him I'd go to school with him, and then we'd open a salon.
Could you imagine?  The poor kid, never rid of me.

I thought I'd fill you in on our 'plan'.

Aaron was really struggling in high school.
There was talk by his guidance counselor of sending him to some 'alternative' school - which, I don't even know about that - but between his struggles, and his impending move to another county - where he'd have to switch schools yet again - the decision to homeschool again was made.

Why did Aaron struggle so?
I don't know.
When I ask him - he tells me
"I'm too social"
"It's boring"
"I don't care about it"

I was so torn initially because, hey - guess what?
Sometimes jobs are boring and you don't care about them, but ya gotta do them.
I thought perhaps he NEEDED to just suck it up and do it.
And then I thought about the years....alllllllll the years he'd struggled in school - like since Kindergarten.

I don't think a child CHOOSES in Kindergarten and 1st grade to struggle.
Medication was given in fourth grade - he did better in school, but was personality less, so he was taken off the medicine.
Better to have a personality and sub par grades if ya ask me.

Struggled again in 5th grade - was told he'd be placed in a 'transitional' Junior High situation where he wouldn't switch classes with all of his friends, but he'd have lunch with them.
Screw that.
He flourished.

He wanted to see what 'real highschool' was like, and you all, if you've been reading my blog for anytime, know that it was pretty hard on me.
I have to say - after the initial shock - I really settled in to quite a nice little routine around here and loved my time alone here at the house.

All good things must come to an end.

He loved the social aspect of high school - but his grades, well - I quit looking at his grades last year.
Bless his heart.
He went on Vyvanse last fall and there was some initial improvement.
He didn't sleep, barely ate, and was 'temperamental'.
To me?  Not worth it.

The child lives here Monday - Thursday now, and we homeschool from 9am to 3:30pm.
It's taking me time to adjust.
I have to say, I'm loving him here.

Our plan is to get Aaron his GED as soon as possible.
That was hard for me to type.
You know why?
I know there are MANY of you out there that will frown upon that decision - and even though I know in the deepest recesses of my heart that it's the best thing for him - and everyone that truly knows Aaron agrees -
I'm still sensitive about it.
GED has a negative connotation.

Aaron is 16.2 years old.
He can enroll in the Paul Mitchell school when he's 17.
That's the plan.
Get the GED, get into college, and get on with life.

Given his history of struggling with school - I also worried about him possibly struggling in college.  I mean - what was going to be different about that?

My fears were put to rest - when after looking at the Rules of the Road book for about 45 minutes - he walked into the license branch and passed his Learner Permit test.

He's driving.

He also has some cosmetology books that he's been given by people in the industry, and he devours them, and retains every. thing.

You think "I" drivel?
How would you like to listen to endless drivel about hair texture, color and style?
Be told that you need a deep conditioning treatment?
Be told that you need more highlights to really pop out your eyes?

I love it.
I love his passion and his drive for it.

I look forward to a future of a well coiffed do whilst I cry over butchered birds.