Thursday, April 29, 2010

You Capture - Spring

Normally I would do my best to hide these the pesky parts of this picture but in all honesty, nothing says Spring like these doggone dandelions: (oh..and the robin)

Spring, for me, is also the lilac. I could never say enough about its fragrance and its beauty:

And the rest of my Spring pictures were taken during the March of Dimes Walk for Babies.

To see more pictures of Spring (and who could ever get enough of this amazing season?), visit Beth at Ishouldbefoldinglaundry. And, if you really want to have some fun, join in. Post a couple of pictures and let us see what you've got. You know you want to.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Shrinking Jeans - 21 Day Challenge

Well here it is. My new button for the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans. I was told that this would be a good time to join because a new challenge starts today and I think this challenge is absolutely perfect for me. It's about establishing three healthy habits. Since a habit is supposed to be born in 21 days, the theory is that all we have to do is stick to our commitment to do these three healthy things for that length of time and viola - three good habits will be born.

Sisterhood 21-Days Challenge

I started Weight Watchers (again) on the 19th. Right now I weigh 6.4 lbs less than I did then. I know I can do this because I've done it before but what I can't seem to do is make it a way of life so my three habits are going to deal with that challenge.

Before on Weight Watchers, I would dedicate myself to finding the largest volume of food possible with the fewest number of points. This involved all kinds of creativity and exploration. And when you find 'no point bread' and no point cold cuts, you eat as much of it as you can so that you don't suffer too much.

Now I'm finally realizing that eating like this cannot be a way of life -at least not for me. I want to eat foods that I enjoy and feel satisfied after eating - I just want to eat less of them.

So my first new, good habit will be to eat the same foods I've always eaten - just less of them while keeping careful track of the points.

My next goal will be to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every single day. For a person, who less than a year ago, walked 6 hours every day, 30 minutes should not be a big deal; but, since I've let exercise become a thing of the past I'm going to start with a goal of exercising AT LEAST 30 minutes a day.

Now for the hardest habit of all for me to establish. I'm going to get more sleep. I like to get up every morning and get Mr. Right's lunch together but to do that, I have to be moving at 6:30. Since we never, EVER go to bed before 12:30, and usually it's later, I'm tired and dragged out all day. And when I'm tired and dragged out, I don't feel like exercising and I start getting fidgety about food and nibbling and suffering. I honestly believe that my body is insisting that I eat something to compensate for how tired I am.

So my new, good habit number three is to be in bed by midnight every night. If I can do that for 21 days and I still feel tired, I'll back bedtime up another 15 minutes. And I'll keep doing that until I've got it right.

Okay, so there you have it. My trinity of weight-loss tools: count the points in the normal food that I eat, exercise 30 minutes a day, and get enough sleep so that I will have the will power to do the first two.

I'm excited to join shrinking jeans. I read the posts of lots of present members and I'm always inspired. Now maybe by not lurking and by joining in, I can be an inspiration too some day.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rhonda and Nancy

Rhonda writes Mimistoes and Nancy writes Bacardimama. They both have grown children and they both have husbands and they both have jobs. Nancy loves her hot tub (or any hot tub for that matter) and Rhonda has a job where she can dress as casually as she wants. They both like to shop at Costco, they both have grown children, they both have grandchildren, and they both have a grandson named Jack.

They're both really nice.

They were friends with Brian's mom:

Sometimes they didn't like it when I took their pictures:

They were very good about encouraging each other:

And they both agreed that I couldn't use this picture of artificial daffodils for Beth's Spring You Capture this week:

I must admit that I thought the colors seemed exceptionally brilliant. But, in my defense, when else but in the Spring would someone plant artificial daffodils?

So, all in all, I learned a lot about these two lovely ladies. We're going to start walking together once a week as soon as school is out. We'll take turns choosing a new venue each week so not only will we learn more about each other but we'll also learn about new and interesting places to walk. And you can bet, we'll all be competing for photo shots to post on our blogs. We planned to call our club the Jack Club because they each have a grandson named Jack and I have a great grandson named Jack, but I'm not so sure now. When I've mentioned it to certain people, (think Beth) they've responded as if there might be some kind of connotation to the name so I'm sure we'd all be open to suggestions.

But once again, it's a small bloggy world and through it, I've meant some incredibly wonderful people.

The Walk

It was all we hoped for and more. We reached our personal goals and we reached our team goal. We headed out with a spring in our step and an umbrella in our hand, determined to go the distance and exhilarated because the friends and family that we asked for help had come through for us; and from the bottom of my heart, I can honestly say nothing feels better than that.

Beth was there along with fellow bloggers and dear friends:

Her sister was there:

And her husband:

And of course her kids:

Anna started out with the most spring in her step:

But she eventually succumbed to the temptation of a little help:

There were even some old people there:

I didn't recognize them but I give them a lot of credit for doing the whole walk. I KNOW it wasn't easy.

All in all it was a wonderful day! Thank you to everyone who helped and everyone who wished us well. You kept the rain away.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

You Capture - Sweet

Really? I wasn't going to participate this week? When I got to go on a field trip with my granddaughter to a bakery? When all the plantings that I have done around our house were done with one goal in mind - have something blooming all the time and that something should smell sweet?

So I went out to capture sweet.

Here's Anna decorating her sweet confection like a professional.

And now on to the flowers. Where to begin? (Actually you'll see that I didn't know where to stop.)

And then the sweetest flower of all. This shrub was chosen solely for it's incredibly sweet smell. It's called a Korean Spice Viburnum and they don't get any sweeter smelling than this. The last picture isn't the best picture but it's the picture that proves the sweetness of the viburnum.

For more sweetness, visit Beth's You Capture - Sweet.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Here I Am Begging Again

This Saturday at 10 a.m. I'll start my six-mile-walk for a cause that's near and dear to my heart. I'm not worried because last week I walked almost 5 miles over 4 different nights. So why should 6 miles in one long stretch be a problem?

Anyway, I will walk and I will finish because in walking I'm supporting the mission of the March of Dimes which is to improve the health of babies preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.

Most people that read this are well aware of the loss of James and Jake in February of '08. And I'm sure everyone knows that our team name, and in fact our team, originated from this loss.

But most people don't know that in early May of 2004 our firstborn, Lori, gave birth to a still son at 21 weeks. Jonathan was perfect but for some unexplainable reason the bag of waters broke and he died soon afterwards. I just looked at the pictures from that day and I see so many heartbroken people holding this tiny bundle of perfection. We never understood how this could have happened and it came so out of the blue. We were blindsided and we were devastated.

Then in January of '05 the unthinkable happened again. Lori was pregnant with a baby girl and at 19 weeks a cord accident took her baby girl's life. To say we were stunned, is an understatement. It just seemed impossible that it happened twice in this lifetime. And despite they're best efforts, they have not been blessed with another child.

Then the twins.....

I'm appealing to everyone to contribute a little 'just in case'. Maybe someday they'll find out that cord accidents can be prevented and maybe someday a pill will keep the bag of waters from rupturing prematurely and maybe these things are just unpreventable. But just in case research might find a way to prevent tragedies like these maybe we could band together and a lot of people contributing a little money will save other families from the shock and horror that these unexpected losses do to a whole, extended family and especially to mothers whose hearts will never completely heal.

Research costs money. But just in case that research will help even one baby, I'm asking you to contribute $5 to this walk. If everyone did that - I mean everyone - I know in my heart of hearts, babies would be saved.

Every day, thousands of babies are born too soon, too small, very sick or even without ever seeing the light of day. I'm walking in March for Babies because I want to do something about this. And I need your help ' just in case'.

Please support my walk. Making a secure donation is easy: just click the 'sponsor me' button in the March for Dimes placard on this page. You can donate directly from my personal webpage with a credit/debit card or Paypal; or if you prefer, you can send cash or a check. Just click the appropriate box on my webpage.

Thank you for anything you can do to help this cause. And remember, every little bit helps.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Big Sisters

We start young. When my sister was about three and couldn't pronounce her name, so that people wouldn't keep questioning what she was saying, she started to just nudge me with her elbow so that I would say it for her. And to me, it was just a matter of course. It was my job. I was her big sister. I thought it was a special relationship that we had and it was in a way; but not as special as I thought. It's something that I suspect has been going on since the beginning of civilization (and maybe before). Big sisters help and love and care for little sisters.

My eyes were opened to this fact recently when two new grandsons were born.

Trey was born in Kentucky and his 3-year-old big sister adores him. Really. She just can't get enough of him. And sometimes she seems to think that she and her mom had this wonderful addition to the family together.

See what I mean?

Then I noticed the intensity of Anna's need to just hold her baby brother. And it's not just the holding that shows how much she loves and cares for him. Her mom says that when he cries, Anna tries to help figure out why. She's such a loving, helpful, responsible big sister!

I thought about pictures I'd recently noticed on my screen saver where Superbaby's mom was holding her baby brother and her baby sister. This was the first time she laid eyes on her 7-week-early baby sister.

She loved her younger siblings and they had her wrapped around their little fingers.

I thought of other instances in our family where there was an older sister and remembered the little girl at Ft. Benning GA who thought her younger brother was her sole responsibility. Really, I think she taught him to walk! She was the picture of patience and love and she was only a tiny little girl herself.

Here she is conducting the initial inspection.

Then the sense of responsibility began.

She taught him to walk and play.

And loved him always.

And he obliged by learning to do EVERYTHING that she did. Or at least he tried.

So there you have it. Proof positive. Being a big sister is in our genes.

And we wouldn't have it any other way.