Friday, November 30, 2007

What Kind of Giftie? Need your Advice Today!

I've pretty well decided on all the elements of my tablescape for tomorrow's Ladies' Christmas Breakfast. The only thing that stumps me, now that I'm at Plan B, is about the gifties. Not a requirement, but nice little something for each guest to go home with.

Whatever I decide,I've got to do it today. Can you help with creative, inexpensive gift ideas? Keep in mind the gift bag is the very small kind--maybe 4" wide by 5" high. I'm going with black shiny bags tied with curling ribbon (silver,gold,red strands).

Homemade cookies? Nope, I've had to veto (or curb) that for the sake of my weight loss goals.

Have at it, ladies. What would YOU like to find at your place setting that is from the heart AND the dollar store?:)))

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Clip-on Cardinal

Patron Saint of Losing Things has done it again. I've completely misplaced an entire box of decorations and little gifties I bought right after Christmas last year. These are things I had all picked out especially for the Ladies' Christmas Breakfast this year. The only things I've found were in my hutch--a round, gold tablecloth embossed with gold poinsettias, and some silky sage green napkins and some gold cloth poinsettia napkins.
I had also
-8 sage green ornaments tied with gold ribbon for each of the 8 ladies at my table (self included) as a keepsake.
-Dark green velvet ribbon etched in gold to accent the table somehow
-A gold tree-shaped centerpiece and some red angel candleholders, all bought at 75% off at Cracker Barrel last year

UGH! I was sooooo excited all year to put this together.

And to make me more disappointed, both people I invited backed out in the last two days. That really snuffs out a bit of excitement for me.

So here I am, having picked through dozens of boxes marked "Christmas" in the basement, having asked two tall teens to help look, too. Nothing. Nada. Not happ'nin.

It's nearly 12 midnight the night before I'm supposed to decorate. (The breakfast is Saturday.)
And here comes Plan B. (I'm the Queen of Plan B. Maybe I should just change my name to Queen B.)

Same gold poinsettia tablecloth
Chinese red patterned runner (make it myself tomorrow from fabric on hand)
4 gold napkins
4 black napkins (to be purchased; was going to anyway, for NEXT year's idea)
7 small gifties in giftie bags
the red lid of a vintage hatbox, with gold Chinese sort of looking edging (it'll do)
turned upside down to hold:
-a black pillar with a gold pillar candle (candle to be purchased tomorrow)
-various floral picks and ribbon of silver, gold, and black
-a tiny red cardinal that clips on to a floral pick. Cardinals hold a special reminder to me of Jesus on a day a couple years ago when my soul was really dark and despairing. I asked Him, "Please, God, I know You're there, You're everywhere, and that truth should be enough for me. Yet I can't feel you, I don't sense Your presence except that I wouldn't be praying right now if I didn't have a shred of belief that You're listening. I'm really on the edge. Please show me Your care." I was staring out the sliding glass door at the dark green trees in our backyard. Suddenly a bright red cardinal alighted on a branch. He sat there, as if to say, "Here I am, your living proof that Jesus has heard you." He sat there while I wept with gratitude for God's tender compassion.
Not just a winter bird for me, but a symbol of the red blood that flowed from Emmanuel's veins as He became sin for me, then died for the unbelief and ensuing depression that would make me pray such prayers as, "Show me again Your care, cuz I can't feel it."

Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!

All righty, then, I've just written myself out of a glum state. I am at peace. God doesn't have Plan B. This was His plan for me all along. How much sweeter this arrangement is to me after meditating on the cardinal! I am actually eager now to be surprised at finding out who will be at my table Saturday!!!

Health Update #3?

Lost: 7 pounds total
Exercise: gardening before Thanksgiving, lots of nonstop prepping for house guests and taking care of stuff to host TG dinner in a hot kitchen. Translate: I worked out in non-gym clothes!

Setbacks: heel pain (see post below)
Signs of change: jeans are comfortable, got into a skirt I was looking fwd to wearing to church(was even dressed to go when Joel woke up too sick to go, so I stayed home)
Other signs: I don't have nearly the sweet tooth I did; less dependent on all meds
Goal: 3 more pounds by the end of Nov, but seeings as how this is the 29th, I must say I'm just motivated, not a miracle worker.
Changes in diet: since meats are not my downfall, but bread is, I am going to do a Daniel Diet No Bread version. So, meat yes, soda no, bread no, sweets no, for 10 days/time.

From an Ellipsis to a Big Fat Question Mark

"I only took the job because I could get tuition reimbursement."

Paul Zubrowski, every time he's asked how he chose his career

My hardworking, God-fearing, intelligent, funny, talented...husband....
has been with the same company since ...1984. Yes, in today's economy that's nothing short of miraculous. He is a senior underwriter. Don't know what that is? That's okay. Just means he's the head hauncho go-to guy at work when multi-million dollar financial institutions need multi-million dollar insurance coverage on their property ,vehicles, personnel, and who knows what all else. He gets to make the tough decisions about whether big whigs like Wells Fargo, Countrywide, and M&T Bank are considered good or bad risks depending on lots and lots of factors. I find it very impressive (as I do all careers that I don't understand a monkey's nose about). And what I find even more impressive is that Paul is the only person in his company who can handle this specialized division he's in called Master Trust. His job has been more secure than many others' because he not only has the knowledge, experience, and personality to handle this kind of work, he has 24 years of doing just about everyone else's kind of job, too.

That has its ups and down. He wears the ups in his paycheck, the downs on his face. He is road weary. He is beaten down by the pressure. He hates confrontation but this past year has been in a managerial position over people who'd rather file their nails than nail their files. He has to deal with folks who--how shall we say this diplomatically?--have Masters degrees in marketing , but were a few degrees south of an A in geography.

I kid you not, the other day a new co-worker came to him scared stiff about renewing a policy in the West Indies. After all, that's a flood zone. We don't write in flood zones, do we, Paul?

The West Indies? Paul wanted to know. No, we've never written policies in the West Indies. And you're saying this an app for a REnewal? How do you know it's in the West Indies? Let me see it.
Paul skimmed the app, and saw a request for coverage in SD, MN, and WI. The return address, in bold letters, stated the bank's town, street address, plus "WI", and the zip.

Last time we checked, (Sherlock), WI stood for WISCONSIN.

(Can you hear just hear a marketing agent saying, "Yessiree, my client would like snow and wind coverage for our bank branches located in South Dakota, Minnesota, and while you're at it, the West Indies"?)

That was a good one. It was enough to make my hubby pick up the phone to tell me about it later.

All joking aside, Paul is now in the midst of preparing intensely for a huge audit next week. He's been leaving the house at 6:30 a.m. and coming home at 7pm, working on more audit stuff, going to bed at 9, then repeating as necessary. Why? Because the outcome of this audit/evaluation could mean the difference between his position being kept or eliminated.

Lest you think the only good outcome is in favor of being "kept," Paul isn't so sure. He's not even sure he'd want a lateral transfer, or a promotion. He just can't stand his job anymore. He's ready to be offered a severance package so that he can invest it while taking time off--a good long time off--to think about what it is he really wants to do with his life.

He reads books all the time that stir the latent dreams in him. He wants to teach, to make a difference in kids' lives. He'd love to start his own business but can't risk the capital while we have kids to put through college. He'd love to cruise with me to exotic places, but I am more into remote villages to help orphans than I am to sip wine in the W.I... or Wisconsin. (Well, I supPOSE I could be talked into a wine-sipping jaunt off the coast of Just-About-Anywhere, on the way to said remote village:)

This next week will be punctuated by an ellipsis (i.e. dot, dot, dot) as Paul faces uncertainty.
Regardless of the outcome, he will still have a question mark at the end. It's been the punctuation mark of his mind for the past decade. The only difference is, it could be a big, fat question mark after the audit.

I thank God I'm not in his shoes. Lord, let me content and joyful about just keeping his socks clean. A man plans his way, but God directs his steps. May I be "in step" with the man I married nearly 21 years ago, someone who will stir his dreams and put wind in his sails. Hand in hand, side by side, looking mostly ahead but occasionally into each other's eyes for that knowing, precious beam of love. No matter how our lives are punctuated.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Blogging Again, flat on my back

I'm either growing more humble or just growing old fast.

Why else would the seeming majority of my posts be prayer requests for my healing??Ack, I'm sorry if you're tired of hearing my moans and groans. I'm a little tired of them, too.

I have been flat on my back , or variations thereof, since after I did school w/ Joel today. My right foot, which started gradually hurting 3 weeks ago, is now very painful and I can't bear weight on it. Not even on my tippy toes while hobbling to the bathroom without doing a scream dance.

Paul just walked in the door. I need to tell him I couldn't get a dr's appt till Tuesday and they advised me to go to Patient First. I plan to teach art tomorrow from a sitting position, Lord willing.

On Friday, maybe someone like my good daughter will offer to set my table for the Ladies' Christmas Breakfast (table has to be set sometime Friday).

Maybe Patient 1st will give me a cortisone shot so I can get some instant relief and be able to walk.

Maybe God will choose to use the prayers of his people to heal me overnight.

Or sooner, like about the time Papa John's shows up with our dinner in a half hour! Good thing my fingers still work. At least I can type. (Or maybe next post will be "pray for my fingers...they're suffer exertion pains. Blllth.)

Monday, November 26, 2007

I found this organization that was started by a military family right here in Maryland.
I love it.

If you're looking for a way to bless a few soldiers in one unit overseas, check it out. I'm thinking this may be where some of our "different sort of Christmas" dollars will go. I'm waiting to hear back from a contact person (contacts are soldiers who agree to receive and distribute the mail for AnySoldier.) The troops in my brother-in-law's unit was very, very grateful for the care packages we sent at Christmas. (I asked Trip when I saw the picture of many half-ripped bags, "Did they get that messed up in the mail?" He smiled and said, "No. When the guys saw gifts, they TORE INTO THEM!"

Please note: there are quite a few restrictions as to what can be sent. Most of the soldiers will request both food (prepackaged, not homemade--they have to throw that out if they don't know the sender) but NOT TOGETHER in the same box. Can you imagine Oreos tasting like bath soap? It does after living ina box for a week or more.)

Most of the contact people ask around what the guys are wanting. See for yourself. I personally want to fill some requests for "girlie" items from the female troops. They say they want hand creams, shampoos and conditioners since the weather and water are terrible o ntheir hair, and everyone wants entertainment. But the #1 requested thing? LETTERS OF SUPPORT! They can never hear it enough. Remember, the media they have to put up with is the same negative garbage WE have to put up with. Please counteract that propaganda with your own supportive "media" as God directs.

PS This is not an actual post. In the event that it were an actual post, you would have been advised.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More sickness humor

Maybe having a head full of mucus makes Joel funnier. I don't know, but he's been cracking me up all week, not even trying.

Last night he was cranky and disrespectful. He got a couple spanking for his remarks, but they kept coming. Crying would make his nose run, so he'd blow it, go back to his drawing and complaining, and get another spanking. I was in control, rational, all that good stuff, just not accepting a five-year-old telling me what to do. He didn't like the way I was redecorating the family room (he doesn't like change at all). After a couple warnings, I finally said, "Joel, if you say one more negative thing to me, I'm gonna have to spank you again. Five hard swats, not three. Now stop."

Well, he criticized again anyway. I got the wooden spoon again, and as he approached my knee, he whined, "Are you gonna spank the snot out of me?"

(For the record, I don't think I've ever actually said, "I'm gonna spank the snot out of you.")

Popping in for Prayer

This isn't a return to blogging. It's just faster than emailing a bunch of ppl from a computer that would require doing stairs to get to. I'm in too much pain for stairs.

I need prayer because I am having a LOT of pain in my lower back. I don't remembering an instant where I strained it, but yesterday was redecorating my family room (moved a desk, a floor lamp) and carried a sleeping 50 pound boy to bed since I was home alone. Or maybe I'm carrying too much tension. At any rate, I'm serving 15 ppl for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Thankfully I will have a lot of help from relatives, cuz I am having trouble walking.

So here's my pre-Thanksgiving thanks on this day:

-my wonderful husband who, instead of going to the Inner Harbor with his brothers, went grocery shopping for me,
-relatives who are making or bringing half the meal
-our Shiatsu massager
-hot water
-options (storebought or home-made?)
-daughter who loves to cook and bake and can do so w/o supervision
-tall men who will hang up my curtains after I iron them (and a husband willing to iron)
-sons who run vacuums and scrub potties
-a low-maintenance 5-year old (most of the time)
-generally good health and motivation so the house is company ready
-my company doesn't include Martha Stewart or anyone remotely resembling her
-opportunity to be with extended family and have a bunch of ppl at the table (one of my all-time favorite things, as this family is never at a loss for words or laughs and no one has a snooty palette)

I could go on and on. I'm very thankful. My heart is grateful for so much. It's my body is groaning.

You might not have a chance to peek at blogs today, but if you do, please pray for healing of my back. (So I can move better and think better on this busy prep day.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Leaving Blogland

I'm not one of those balanced-life bloggers. If there is such a thing as addiction to blogging, I'm an addict. If it's a stronghold, I'm in the grip. If it's gaining too much pleasure out of sharing my life with people I know and don't know, then I need to redefine pleasure. At any rate, fasting from blogging for a week doesn't seem to help. I come back to it with a vengeance. I don't know what else to do besides give it up altogether. Some people can post a couple times a month or go two months. Not me. I probably have an inflated view of my life.

I still long for personal companionship-- deep, meaningful and lasting. Loneliness has triggered many an hour in blogland for me. Depression has come for a visit once again, so to do battle in my mind against it, I have to pull back from this pseudo-happyplace called blogland and get back into serious prayer and Bible study and being busy in my home. I also really want a friend like Barb here all the time. Okay, not a friend LIKE Barb, but Barb herself. (Barb, I know you're reading this. I miss you so much; you are my female soulmate.)

I was going to completely delete my blog, but there are things on it that mean something to me, if to no one else. Maybe I'll return when the back of this beast has been broken and I can control it rather than vice versa. Adios, amigos. I will be fighting urges to check in on you all the time. You know what they say, though, "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

Friday, November 09, 2007

Picture Post at Last

Thanks to Stephen, I now have pictures on our newer computer to blog. The old computer--the one I knew how to upload pictures on-- is nearly out of memory. This newer one is quite speedy, but I didn't know how to upload pictures. Still not sure; Stephen whips through the process like a Nascar pit crewman. These will be random shots taken from July thru September. Hope you enjoy them.

First Day of School.
Kindergarten at home.
Last child. (!) (?)

Don't be fooled: We're not this eager every morning to start our schoolwork.

Ben (middle) with friends Allan (left, with candy in his mouth) and Dan (right).
during our photo shoot at Myrtle Beach. These
guys are so vain. They have more pictures of themselves than most girls do, but I love 'em.

Joel practicing his letters.
Kindergarten, age 5, early fall 2007.
I just love to nibble his ears and
caress his soft cheeks.

The two engineers. When we had my parents and their Russian friends over for lunch in July, my dad said, "Now, who wants to sit next to Pappaw at the end of the table?"
Joel piped up, "I do!"
Pappaw: "Well, good. I'm glad."
Joel: "Yup. Just the two engineers here."

V and A from Russia (protecting ID here as they are watched by the R p'lice). He wanted
so much to play a guitar while in America. It was like a long-lost friend he embraced when Paul offered him his Taylor. Together we sat around in the living room singing and worshiping. One of the sweetest memories of the summer. This was the man who met Yeshua in his prison cell in 2000. He was first imprisoned at age 14 after being falsely accused of stealing a bicycle.
He led a life of crime, and was incarcerated for a total of 17 years, but in the last two received
the gift of salvation. His heart's desire is to minister to inmates, but Russian authorities still watch him and tap their phones. You would never know by his gentle, peaceful nature that this heavily tattooed, gold-toothed saint was once a hardened criminal. Remind you of anyone?

A boy and his dog. Joel took this shot of himself and "the sniffer." Molly, our Golden Retriever, probably has the most photographed sniffer in the world. One of these days I'm gonna do a slide show of The Sniffer.

Sarah has nearly finished reading her Bible
through in a year. I love to watch my kids
absorbed in Scripture. Better yet, when Scripture has absorbed them!

How I miss my summer roses.
I planted a small rosebush to grow up around
my lamppost. This species is named Diana, Princess of Wales .They are they most exquisite
blend of butter yellow and salmon pink with
an intoxicating fragrance. I loved being on the
passenger side when we'd get home during the summer; I'd roll down the window and inhale deeply. Only God could make such a thing of
beauty and delight.
At one point, they were so prolific, I started naming each rose after my blogging friends, according to their personality. I miss my roses, but look forward to greeting them again next summer.

Okay, I have a lot more to upload, but this is taking way too long. What do I keep doing to delete some I just saw on the screen? Oh, the bane of flying fingers.

More later.
PS This has nothing to do with pictures, but it's a little bit funny. Today someone called asking for Zoey Zublick. Whaaaaaaatt??? If I had won a skinny body, camera equipment, or a trip to Paris, I would've said, "Yeh, Zoey Zublick, close enough." But it sounded like they wanted to sell me something. Click.

Fitness Chart & Hunger Pangs

Friday, Nov 9, 2007

Form of exercise: Walked on treadmill 9:20 a.m.
Physical Goal: burn 100 calories
Did I make it? Yes!
Mental Goal: thought I could only go 15 minutes
Did I make it? Yes--and more. Went to 23:02 for 100 cals. Wasn't as hard as I thought. 10 minutes passed, then 13, 17, 22, and finally 23. (That last minute is the longest!)
T'mill setting: Quick Speed set at 2 and 3, alternately. Incline: 1.5 entire time.
Spiritual Goal: to pray for the hungry children of the world, whose dark, gaunt faces I saw as I tried to fall asleep last night. They were African. I asked Paul if he was having any trouble with dinner. He said his stomach was growling from the bean soup. I had had cream of wheat for dinner, and some trail mix loaded with peanuts and raisins.
My stomach hurt, couldn't tell if it was hunger or nausea. The Lord prompted me to pray for truly hungry children, who live with this terrible pain day in and day out. I finally prayed, "Oh, Father, please put me to sleep. The pain will go away when I sleep. Also, please put Your dear children to sleep wherever they are so their little stomachs don't ache right now." Somehow my pain seemed so minimal. It wasn't from malnutrition. I had a pantry and fridge just one level away. The Lord heard and put me to sleep. I can only trust He did the same for them.

Weather: Too cold to be outside (high 30's at 9 a.m). Clear and sunny.
Add'l comments: Sweat is trickling down my face. Much as I hate to sweat, it feels good.

Revulse from the World?

My 18-year-old daughter Sarah (my only girl and the best there is) had something strange happen last night. Strange but true, the kind you read about in Samuel.

It came on the heels of:
1) her studying schizophrenia for a research paper for her psych class and
2) my prayers the other morning for her that she would stay strong in her faith and convictions
on campus.

She asked me this morning at 7:10, "Mom, have you ever heard of the word' revulse'?"

Me: Umm, I've heard of revolt and repulse and revulsion, but not revulse. I think "revulsion" is the noun form of "revolt" but I could be wrong. Why do you ask?

Her: I don't have time to tell you before school. You can read my blog, though.

Me: Okay.

Her: (5 minutes later as I was fixing coffee) Well, I'll just go ahead and tell you before school.
It was so weird. I thought I was going crazy. She told me about the song she heard as she drifted off to sleep, and the phrase she heard that was brand new to her, but an obvious message from the Lord. I told her that was pretty cool, that I had just been praying the other morning about this very area for her. Revulse, as we discovered, means to pull back with force.

Read her strange but true experience here.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Health Progress Report , Week #1

Weight loss: 5 pounds
Amount of exercise: 2 days outdoor walks, one for 20 min, one for 35
Water intake: G- (good minus)
Soda: none
Sugar: none
Meat: none
Headaches: none
Pains: On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being best, and 10 the worst:
Foot pain: 5 (last week I would've said 8)
Back ache: 4
Stomach: 2

Energy: moderate (before Nov 1st it was very low)
Mental clarity : 7 (not that I'm more sane....)
Clothes fitting: can fit into the 3 prs of jeans I own, 1 comfortably; skirts still too tight
Hubby's attention: no more or less than usual

Praise: for five pounds lost; for self-control over sweet cravings especially around 9 pm; for nice weather to walk

Prayer requests: that I'll drink more water, that I'll exercise 4x/ wk; that I'll be able to (cheerfully) postpone my Nov 11th "day off" till Nov 14th because of a care group social. I don't want to be the obnoxious dieter at the feast when we have our Ebenezer dinner, especially since this one would have me saying no to chili, taco dip, and cake.

Thank you, if you've been praying. I can tell. This is a spiritual battle, not just physical! If anyone thinks they're humble, let them go on a diet. I daresay that'll show just how self-obsessed one can be. To remember it's about health and God's glory not just about looking and feeling better, is a challenge.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Q&A Wednesday: Regarding Psalm 139

I have just read Psalm 139 in three different versions. (I like to use and select three versions there.) Today I tried the Darby translation and found this line which is worded differently than others:

"For Thou hast possessed my reins."

It really appeals to the horse lover in me. There is nothing like that feeling of being on the back of a majestic steed who obeys the signals coming from the reins connected to the bit in his mouth. The horse will turn right or left according to the pull of the bit. He'll speed up when the tension relaxes, and slow down when the bit is pulled back. He'll even reverse if the rider pulls back on the reins and kicks at the same time. (That was my all-time favorite maneuver once I learned it.)

I encourage you to read this psalm in three translations that you don't normally read. Do one right after the other. Not only is the poetry smooth and engaging, this text is rich with encouragement.

Question for today: Which single phrase or verse spoke to you, and why?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

If You Sew

I'd love to know of a website that gives good tutorials on how to make curtains. Can anybody reading this please recommend it? I'd like to try something a little more challenging than cafe curtains.

Or if you know of a place I could get valances for my kitchen windows for $10 each or less? I'll try Ross first. I'm wanting them to coordinate with my burgundy/sage/salmon/cream topper in the adjacent room. That is, I don't want "kitcheny" looking curtains but more "all-purpose" style.

If I can buy them on the cheap, I will. Otherwise I'm sure I can find fabric to suit me. I want to have these three window treatments done by Nov 18th. Out of town guests coming in! That's an incentive, huh?

I pray my sewing doesn't lead to weeping.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Psalm 911

I was teaching Joel his memory verse for the week. Our theme is "God Takes Care of Us" and we're studying nests.

After having him repeat after me a few words at a time, I wrote the verse down
and had him read it aloud.

He read:

Those who go to God Most High
for safety
will be protected by the Almighty.
Psalm 9-1-1."

I chuckled and said, "It's Psalm 91:1, honey, but you just taught me a great way to remember where this verse is and what it's about."

Then he acted all proud of himself for having taught the teacher.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

FYI: Set Your Clock Back Tonight

Isn't it a lovely thought? An extra hour of sleep.


Gorgeous, gorgeous flowers!
Sidebar organizes them by color, bloom time, and other methods.
How-to videos right on their site, just click and play. Includes "How to Plant 100 Tulips in 30 Minutes or Less."

Check this site out before planting just any bulbs.

There's a clever homespun song about "the history of tulipomania" by an older gentleman named Jay Leonhart. He's playing a bass or viola (?) and appears to be making up the words as he goes along. I was enchanted, the way I used to be when I listened to grandpa tell stories.

Note to self: ColorBlends even does fundraisers with a 50% profit. A bit late this year, but keep in mind for next time you're raising money for missions.

Keeping Your Meal Plans on the Computer

I vaguely remember someone posting about keeping their meal plans and shopping list right on the computer. All they do on shopping day is print out meals they want; the list is already made up. I think it was posted by one of my blogging friends. Anyone recall?

If not, can someone suggest a good program to organize meals this way? I think the main reason I don't like to grocery shop is that there are so many decisions. Truly I need to be grateful for all the choices, but I prefer 3 choices of each item I need, not 8 or 12 or 24. (Another reason to shop Aldi's. There just ain't a lot of
brands of salsa to slow down your decision making down.)

If I could just cut and paste the menus and ingredients I want to use for the week, I'd be much more inclined to shop. (Maybe.)

Today I got a bang out of coming in 4 dollars under budget for the week! That'll be Paul's for snacks. I told him I can't linger in the snacks and sweets aisle or I'll blow both budget and diet. Correction. Not "diet"--my "personal health plan."

Friday, November 02, 2007

Cheer Me On or March with Me to Better Health?

Okay, Beth is a recruiter for good reason. She has a way of talking people into anything from Method wipes to better fitness. Not that she was trying to sell me a goal, but after reading her blog, I've decided to go public with my weight loss attempt. She is far braver than I am. I won't be publishing my actual weight or size (I'm a proud fat person). She wants better health and platinum blonde hair. I want better health and a good conscience toward God. I have not been a good steward of the only temple God's given me.

I started on a healthier lifestyle yesterday and here are my goals:

1) to lose 10 pounds in November
2) to lose 6 more in December
3) to have a stronger body and more endurance
4) to lose 50 pounds by Easter, 60 by STephen's graduation

What's my plan?

1) use the treadmill 2x/week and walk outdoors 2x/week
2) return to the DAniel Diet (1o days at time without meat, sugar, or soda is my version)
3) use weights once a week at least (hey,it's baby steps, don't mock)

How will I be accountable?
I'll post my results here every Thursday morning, which is a weekly basis starting with Thursday, Nov 1.

Will you pray for me and cheer me on? I need all the encouragement I can get, especially since I've made such a habit of turning to food for comfort and relaxation.

Thanks, Beth, for spurring me on to love and good works in the health arena! ANybody want to march with us on this journey toward better physical stewardship?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

"It's Scary When You Start Making the Same Noises as Your Coffee Maker"

Got this email from a lady named Bev who went to Russia with us. She was always cracking us up with stuff like this:

Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman: 'And what do you think is
the best thing about being 104?' the reporter asked. She simply
replied, 'No peer pressure.'

The nice thing about being senile is you can hide your own Easter eggs


I've sure gotten old! I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip

replacement, new knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I'm half

blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40

different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to

blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation; hardly

feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have
lost all my friends. But, thank God, I still have my driver's license.


I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my
doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I
decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted,
gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the
time I got my leotards on, the class was over.

An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her preacher she
had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second,
she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart.
'Wal-Mart?' the preacher exclaimed. 'Why Wal-Mart?'
'Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week.'


My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as
sharp as it used to be.


Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.


It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffee maker.

Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
and the eyesight to tell the difference.

These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says, 'For fast


Remember: You don't stop laughing because you grow old, You grow old
because you stop laughing.

10 20 30

10 years ago

I was homeschooling 3 children ages 9, 8, and 6, living in Dundalk, teaching 2nd graders in children's church. Anne Browne, who was in that class, said to my Stephen, "You're the best friend I ever had, and I ain't talkin' crazy." I had miscarried the year before and was idolizing having another baby. My identity was wrapped up in myself as a mother, not as a child of the living God who wanted to give me far more than another baby. That's all I wanted, and so it would take years for me to let go of that, something I wanted TOO much.

20 years ago

I had been married 10 months and was 3 months pregnant, expecting my dear Ben. Such a happy, happy time in my life. A dream coming true. Never one to desire wealth or a career, motherhood held a charm that I thought would last forever.

30 years ago

I was 12, wearing huge plastic glasses, polyester knit farm-animal print shirts, skirts to the knee per HCS dress code, and knee socks. I got my first "C" ever, and it devastated me. Good grades and I were best friends. I protested, but it was no use. Judgment triumphed over mercy in that teacher's class. The "C" was in handwriting, something I prided myself on, and thought was pretty good--even better than the teacher's. To this day I don't think I deserved it, but it humbled me. I was probably perfectionistic about it, anyway. Since then my handwriting has been in rebellion.

I tag Betty. She's the only blogger I know of who is
a) reading this AND
b) older than me, so won't put "30 years ago I wasn't born."

I could add 40 to this. 40 years ago I was being potty trained. That's supposed to make me feel better, but it doesn't. You know what they say about cycles repeating themselves every 20 years!