Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Berry Basket how fun!!!

                                   Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

For those of you that are Irish, have a touch of Irish or just enjoy celebrating the day!

When Sale A Bration first started, I fell in love with the Berry Basket #137366, but priced at $37.95, I just could not justify buying it when I thought that would probably only use it during Spring/Summer.  So, I didn't.


Then, there were a boatload of ideas on Pinterest and I oooohed and aaaaahed, but still couldn't bring myself to purchase it.  I saw all the cute ideas my Up-line did with the Bigz Die, but still maintained my stance.  NO, I was not ordering something I might not use all the time and that only had one purpose....to make a berry basket!

Well, the other day, I was trying to think of something FUN my Granddaughter and I could do when she comes to visit and of course, stamping is always at the top of the list with her.  Then, I thought of those berry baskets.

I thought, HEY....we could make baskets to fill  and give to people.  She would have a blast doing that. So, I gave in and ordered the Berry Basket (as Sale A Bration ends the end of March) and the stapler.  It's a Bigz die, so it will last for a long, long time!!!

Of course, since the order came to over $50, I was able to choose a Sale A Bration item for FREE!!!

I don't know if you have seen this darling little basket or not, but here is a YouTube video explaining how to put it together.  So easy and FUN!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTokoc1oH3U&t=97

I just now, while I was typing,  got a notification that my order has shipped....so YEAHHH!!!  I just ordered it, yesterday!

I'm hoping that this little gem will get me out of my stamping funk!!!

Our Granddaughter always comes to visit for about 6 weeks in the summer months, so I started calling it Camp Grandma.  A few weeks before she is scheduled to come, I send her a little flyer saying "Camp Grandma" will be open soon and then list a few of the things that we'll be doing while she is here.   She calls me and is so excited!!

I think (no, I know) I look forward to her visit as much as she does.  I spend weeks making out a loose agenda that we will follow.  She is SO easy to please.

She is special needs so I have to take some things into consideration, as she can do most anything but not all things.

I mentioned painting rocks to her the other day, on the phone, and she went silent.  I could just imagine if she was wondering if her Grandma had lost her marbles....LOL  But, I think if I show her what I am talking about, she'll think it's fun!

I am checking out some other activities and crafts we can do while she is here.
Glow-in-the Dark Stepping Stone Kit

I saw this kit, at Hobby Lobby, and am thinking of ordering it for her to make her Dad for Father's Day.

Of course, it can say anything, but the wording here was just for demonstration purposes, ;-)

Our area is known for it's outside activities both in summer and winter and it's breweries.....but since we aren't really into skiing, snowboarding, biking, running, hiking, water sports or into beers and wines.....we find it so hard to find things, other than movies, eating out and shopping, that we can go and do.   And, we don't have amusement parks or too many other activities like that unless we drive a few hours one way or the other.

But, I am determined!!

Any suggestions???  Love to hear them!!

Have a fantastic day!!!

Char


Monday, March 16, 2015

Happy Day before St Patty's Day

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day and since I am part Irish, I'll acknowledge the day but we don't go over the top.  We'll have Cabbage and potatoes and that's about it.    I don't necessarily like corned beef. :-( 

Anyone have any St Patrick Day plans?

In trying to take better care of myself, I am spending a lot of time reading a lot of books.  Oh my gosh, it's SO confusing.  One person/Dr/Authority will tell you to do one thing.  Another person that has credentials will tell you....no, that's all wrong, you need to do it this way....and yet, another will tell you something totally different.

So, with all the conflicting advice just how does one go about figuring out what is best for them and not cause themselves further anguish?

So, I guess I will just keep checking out books on eating programs and try and figure it out by guess and by golly.

No matter which book I read, though, someone has lost weight and got healthier on their choice of eating plan.

I checked out a cook book by Bob Harper off of The Biggest Loser and he has a some Skinny Rules for sticking to a healthy eating program,  some of which include:

Drink a large glass of water before every meal, eat protein at every meal, slash  your intake of refined flours and grains, Eat 30-50 grams of fiber a day, Eat apples and berries every single day, and other rules.  They are easy enough to follow, that's for sure and make sense.  

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I tried a couple of recipes from his cookbook and the egg white omelet left a lot to be desired.  Now, I read online where he isn't Vegan anymore...so he uses whole egg and just adds an extra egg white or two.  Wish I had seen that BEFORE I had that tasteless omelet...lol   Especially, since I am trying to cut out salt.
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I also got several books from our library about the DASH diet.... written by different authors.  I am slowly making my way through them.

I bought a few books from Amazon this past week  Since I haven't started reading them yet, I can't tell you if they are similar to the other books or somewhat different.
I got some books from Amazon, today.  
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"Sweet Grace, how I lost 250 pounds and stopped trying to earn God's favor" by Teresa Shields Parker.  

"Sweet Change" by the same author.
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"Spiritual Secrets to a Healthy Heart" by Kara Davis, MD

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"Spiritual Secrets to Weight Loss" by Kara Davis, MD

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Plus, I have some other books that I have purchased over the years all telling how they lost weight and kept it off and how they changed their diets.

The Engine House Diet, Paleo, McDougal Diet, Wheat belly diet (which I did awesome on, felt better and my numbers went almost to normal...but we just couldn't seem to stay ON it because of our budget) and I was constantly cooking or baking.

Some of them, I KNOW I will just never do.  I won't juice....as what's the point?  I love veggies....so I would rather eat them than drink them.

I know we can't afford some of the programs out there that help you lose weight....so I am asking for God's help in finding just the one that works for me and my own health issues and one that will fit in with our budget.

Of course, with any weight loss program, you also have to exercise.  I have some "Walk Away the Pounds" tapes by Leslie Sansone that I have had for years and so this week, I got them out and dusted them off  and began exercising.  Slow but sure!!

As you can tell, I am pretty obsessed with figuring out how to get my health back to a more normal state but I have a list of things that I want to post about....so one day at a time!!

I did place a SU order, today, and hope that will jump start me into stamping again!!  I really need to, and I will.....step by step!!

Have a great day!!!

Hugs,
Char










Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What a weekend

We had originally planned on going to the Central Oregon Sportsman's show at the fairgrounds on Saturday but David was busy working on our fence gate, changing it from one gate into two.  And, wouldn't you know it, I didn't think to take a 'before' photo.  But, essentially, there was just one gate and David changed it to where it now opens with two gates.



His reasoning was to make it easier to get his Ford Ranchero out more easily so he could work on it.  I can't wait till he starts getting that back together.

This was a photo of it when it was still running.  This was taken when we lived out in Fort Rock, OR.

Anyway, getting back to Saturday, we opted to stay home and go to the Sportsman's Show on Sunday.

Sunday came and he wanted to work a little bit longer on the gate, so I did some odds and ends around the house and then he came in to get ready and I asked him if he really wanted to go (as he seemed like he was more interested in his project) and he said, "Not really, but I thought YOU wanted to go".  Why on earth would "I" want to go to a Sportsman's Show! LOL   That being said, I can usually find something of interest at any kind of show.  Actually, they had dog competitions for jumping into a pool and I thought that would have been fun to watch.

I have been looking for things to go and do these past couple of months and when I saw this show coming up, I figured he would enjoy the Sportsman's show so I picked up a couple of discount tickets.  So, all along, he thought I wanted to go so he was just going to go to please me.  Too funny!  Communication is such a great tool!!!  Too bad we don't use it more often :-)

So we decided to stay home and just watch a movie later.

I started an early dinner.  And, as I was fixing dinner, I started to feel a little light headed....so I took my blood sugar, just to check, and it was GREAT!!  I still wasn't feeling quite right and was unsteady so for some reason, I decided to check my BP (I am supposed to do that from time to time and log it, but ...I forget).  :-(This is like the Blood Pressure machine I use.  Too bad that isn't my blood pressure, but it's not.

I came out and told David that it was 208/112 and he said, wait a little bit and take it again.....so I did and it was higher.....so he said, get in the car, you are going to the ER.  WHAT?  I wanted to wait to see if it would come down but he insisted.  Just so you know, I DO NOT like hospitals!!

They admitted me, to ER, right away, and took my BP and it was 217/100.

The Dr. came in and spoke with me, asking a ton of questions.  He ordered several tests to rule out any other problems that may have caused that spike in my BP....EKG, Cat scan, Xrays and blood work (another thing I hate...NEEDLES).  Thankfully, the guy that took my blood was really good and he got 5vials.

They gave me a blood pressure pill and kept monitoring my BP and after about 4 hours, when my BP was more stabilized at 172/90, he sent me home with instructions to see my Dr within two weeks.

So, now....where does that leave me on trying to get my blood pressure and blood sugars down with diet and exercise alone?  Sigh!

I still have no clue as to what caused my blood pressure to zoom up like that!  It was a perfect day, restful....I was enjoying the beautiful sunny day and just relaxing and doing things I enjoyed.

Yesterday, I gave in, and went and had my prescription filled at Wal Mart.  I was still feeling a little woozy so didn't even feel like doing any walking around Wal Mart, so I texted my younger Son to see if he wanted to meet up for lunch.  We had a good visit and then I went to Petco with Annie and we got her favorite treats.

She absolutely LOVES that store.  And, of course, she had to go around and sniff and check out everything....one employee asked if he could give her a treat so I told her to give him a high 5, first, and she did and of course, he got a huge kick out of that.

Back to Walmart to pick up my prescription and then took off for home.  What a gorgeous drive back home....all our beautiful mountains!!!  I never tire of seeing them.


I am feeling a little overwhelmed with the changes in my health, as I thought I was doing so great with my diet........but then I remembered the Bible Study I am doing and the book I am reading and have decided to remain positive that I'll eventually get it all figured out.

Tomorrow is another day!!

Step by Step, Inch by Inch!!!

Have a great day!!!

Char

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Ok, so where were we?

Happy Saturday!!

It figures, I decide to get back to blogging and I come down sick.  But, the good thing is that it only lasted a couple of days.  And, it wasn't really bad enough to keep me down.

I have been so engrossed in my new book and workbook that I haven't done much else besides housework, anyway.



The book is called, "Why Diets Don't Work" by Joyce Tilney.  I am only on chapter 2 of the book/workbook so won't go into much detail at this time, but it's helping me to understand some things about 'why' I am fat. Not so much overeating but the reason I overeat.  It's definitely from a different perspective than most books, and I guess that's why I like it.

I am not rushing through the book/workbook, just taking a day or two to do each chapter and even more if I feel I need to reread it and let it sink in.

It's just so mind boggling how many books are out there.....I still can't get over it. Even when you put in "Why Diets Don't work" you can come up with different authors and other information.

I am sure that most diets and weight loss programs have their benefits, believe me, I have been on a lot of them....but I have never KEPT the weight off long term....so that is what I am trying to understand, now.

I'm still pretty much doing my own thing when it comes to eating.  I am counting calories as that's the only way that "I" know to keep me accountable.  It's so easy for me to eat and not put much thought into how many calories or nutrients I am putting into my body and then realize I am WAY over what I should be eating.

I am doing this with the help of MyFitnessPal. I love their diary, where you can input each thing you eat and it comes up with not only the calories but also the nutrients.  After you add something, then you can find it much easier the next time.  You can also keep track of your water intake and exercise.

I know that for some people, it's too time consuming to take time to do this each time you put something in your mouth BUT therein lies the problem.  We don't really realize how many calories we are putting in our mouth each meal.

MyFitnessPal also syncs with my Fitbit, So, it keeps track of my steps.
I can also input other exercises and play on my Wii and enter the sport I played and it will calculate the calories I have burned by how many minutes I spent playing.  COOOOL

Now, if I could just get my desire to stamp back!!!  Not quite sure what is up with that, but I am not fighting it, for now, I am taking time to get ME back to where I need to be.

I promise, I won't constantly be writing about my weight issues but for now, that is what is on my mind so that is what I am talking about.


Today is another gorgeous day here in Central Oregon....I cannot believe the awesome weather we have been blessed with.  This is just not our typical weather....well at least it wasn't for February....and now that we are into March, it's just as AWESOME!!   I think this weather has also played a significant part in my getting through the S.A.D, this year.

Ok, I am off to see what kind of trouble I can get into ;-)

Have a great day and remember to do one thing special for yourself today!!

Hugs,
Char



Sunday, March 1, 2015

My journey to better health


Another beautiful day in Central Oregon!!!  This is the Three Sisters mountains.....we have so many gorgeous mountains surrounding us.  

Since I made the decision to just share my thoughts and what's going on in my life, I have felt such a 'burden' lifted.  I actually look forward to blogging.

I still haven't picked up a stamp to make a card but I know it will happen soon!

For now, I am enjoying this new found freedom to just BE.  I know that this may not make sense to some people but I am not really concerned, anymore, about making sense to anyone else.  ;-)

As I mentioned in another post, I started a weight loss journey, in January because of a visit to the Dr.  I was having some breathing issues that I was concerned about, but after several tests, it was determined that my weight was the issue.  Also, that my numbers were up with my diabetes and blood pressure.
So, with my Dr's permission, I decided to try and get those numbers down without medication but with diet (nutrition) and exercise.

Have you ever noticed HOW many books there are about losing weight and how many ways there are to go about it?  And, on top of that, there are tons and tons of different health books on how we should eat or should not eat.....every author convinced that their way is THE way!!!  Wheat free, Atkins, Vegan, Vegetarianism, Paleo, this guy, that guy, this woman, that woman.....all giving their perspective on how we should eat for optimum health. And, to be honest, most of them all work.  I have probably tried some of them at some point in my life and to tell you the truth, I have probably lost weight on most of them.

This time, however, I have decided to do it my way with regard to the foods I eat.  To be honest, if we don't change the way we eat, then no diet will ever work, long term.

I am reading advice from nutritionists but am not following any specific plan. And, with the exception of being accountable to a friend each week, I am not joining any weight loss program, not following any specific 'diet' plan and, also for the first time, I am not putting a deadline as to when I should reach my goal! How freeing is that?

I did download an app called MyFitnessPal and have been using that tool for keeping me on track with my calories but also watching my carbs, sugars, protein (along with so many other things) and water intake.  Wow....it's so enlightening to find where all those hidden sugars and salt are!!  Some things I would have never guessed if I didn't have that app.



We recently went to the coast and I did pretty well.  I enjoyed our get away so much.....a beautiful 3 day visit to the coast with nothing but sunshine and a motel view of the ocean.  I had made up my mind, beforehand, that I would eat the best I could but also allow myself to indulge in a few things I loved, if I chose to.  I would just track the calories. I would also try harder to get in more steps.

I had purchased a Fitbit, several years ago to motivate me to get more walking into my day.  You can go to Fitbit.com and check it out.  My goal is to eventually get to 10,000 steps a day.  Haven't gotten to that point yet....but in time it will come.  Anyway, it encourages me to get in more steps every day.

Over the course of four days, I treated myself to a part of an apple dumpling (not the dumpling part) that we purchased at a road stand on the way to Tillamook, OR, a couple of small cups of clam chowder, (one at the Chowder House at Nye Beach and the other at the Sea Hag in Depoe Bay) and a small ice cream cone at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, in Tillamook, OR. I wanted to prove to myself that I could enjoy different foods now and then, but I just needed to be responsible. AND, that it's all about choices!

On the way home, David took me to the Olive Garden for lunch, in Salem, as he had a couple of gift cards and he knows I LOVE Italian food.  But, I knew that I couldn't indulge in a huge plate of noodles and countless bread sticks...like I have in the past but, I also didn't want to just sit there and have salad, either, while my slim hubby indulged in whatever he wanted.  :-)

I know, from experience, that when I only eat salads on a 'diet', I soon get very bored with it and give up.  I also wanted to prove to myself that I don't have to avoid certain places because I am on a 'diet'.  I actually welcomed it as a challenge ;-)

So, I asked the waitress if she knew of some good choices for those who are watching their calories.  She actually brought me a hand out that had the caloric and other dietary information for everything they offer.

She allowed me to order off the 'additions' portion of the menu....which you are only supposed to order from IF you are having the all you can eat salad and soup. I ended up ordering a very small bowl of Fettucinne (and savored every bite) and a plate of asparagus along with the all you can eat salad that I shared with David. I also had 1/2 of a bread stick. ;-)  Now THAT was hard just eating a half....but it was so good!!!  I learned that if you are upfront with the wait staff, they sometimes will go out of their way to accommodate you!

It felt good to know that I don't have to give up certain foods just because I was on a 'diet'!!  I really hate the word diet....I like to refer to it, better, as A Way of eating...not a diet!

I weighed in last Friday, 3 days after our trip and I lost 1.2 pounds.  YES!!!! So, that is a total, so far, of 12 pounds.  Still a long ways to go but I am in no hurry this time.  Like I said, I don't have a deadline as to what I want to lose by what date.

Now, had I chosen to NOT have those special treats, I might have lost more....but this is not a race to see how much I can lose in the fastest amount of time, this is me teaching myself that I can eat those things in moderation and stay on track.

                             Health o meter Stainless Steel Body Fat Bath Scale with Daily Caloric Intake Technology, BFM144

On the way home from the coast, we stopped at a local Wal Mart and I bought a new set of scales.  My others ones were still working fine, but they are the kind with the little needle pointer. Sometimes, you can't really figure out the 1/2's and 1/4's and I wanted to know exactly what I weigh each week, as I know down the road....there will be times that it's less than a pound.....and just knowing I lost something will motivate and encourage me.  It also gives other reports as to BMI and other things.

Enjoy your day!!!!  Do something for yourself and remember to not allow negative thoughts to deprive you of your JOY!!!

BIG HUGS,
Char

Friday, February 27, 2015

Long time no write and a change is a coming!!


Where do I start?  It's been almost two months since I last blogged anything. Well, to be totally truthful, I can't really count January's post as actually blogging because it was just a Happy New Year post.

Over the past two months, I have been sort of in limbo.

No one but my close friends know this, but I have had a condition (?) called S.A.D for quite a few years. It stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder.  It took years and years to finally come to the realization that this is actually what it was and I have a young female Doctor to thank for finally figuring it out....as she also suffered from the exact same thing.

Anyway, I digress.  So, last year, I had a very mild case of it and I seemed to get through the winter fine.  I was able to continue to stamp, do my blog, continue my Card Buffets and get together with friends.  AND, we had some of the worst weather we'd had since we moved here.

Then this year, was different.  In January it came on like gang busters and it just continued to get worse and worse.  I lost all interest in stamping and other things I normally enjoy doing.  I quit getting together with friends and just wanted to stay in my house and be alone. But, at the same time, I didn't want to be alone.  Doesn't make sense, right??   I didn't even enjoy stamping.



We had unusually nice weather for January/February. Yes, there were some days of rain and or fog and SAD is typically brought on by (at least for me) gloomy days, no sunshine......and being stuck inside.  Well, that didn't happen, for most of this winter....and yet it still took over.  I had some people say just get out and get with people, you'll feel better...and I know that they were just trying to help and I so appreciate that.....but, getting out with other people doesn't fix it, either.

It took over my life for a couple of months....and I just kept telling myself it would pass.  Two months of no stamping, no interest in doing much of anything and I got to thinking, WHAT is the difference between last year and this year? Why was it worse this year when we have had beautiful winter weather and not last year?

Well, to tell you the truth, I am not totally sure of the WHY!  I am still trying to figure that one out.

Then, a good friend of mine,  got me involved in a long distance Bible Study with her...and each week, my friend Face Times me and I sit in on the discussion.

We are studying the book by Joyce Meyer "Battlefield of the Mind". Well, let me tell you.....what an enlightening study.  THAT is what finally broke through to me.


I won't go into detail, but the basic idea is that what we allow our minds to dwell on, has an impact on our thinking and mood.  Now, that doesn't mean that SAD is not still the root of the problem, BUT instead of just allowing it to take over my life, I needed to spend more time figuring out how to fight it.

One of the things I had decided before this Bible Study was to get back to a better way of eating. (I'll be sharing more of this journey, too)  I had an upcoming appointment with my Dr. for a check up.  I met with her after the first of the year and my A1C was not good.  She wanted to put me back on meds for my diabetes but I told her I wanted to try losing weight, first and getting on a healthier diet.  So, she agreed to let me do it my own way and see how I did by the next time I met with her which was a month later.  So, I began my journey on January 16th.

I shared my thoughts with a friend and she offered to be accountable with me and start our weight loss journey together. That has helped immensely!!!  I'll share about that another time.

I made a goal to lose 10# before I went back to the Dr. in one month. I ended up losing 11#.  She was very happy with my results and she agreed that since my numbers were looking significantly better, that maybe I didn't need to go on any meds, if I continued to eat healthy and lose weight.  She did want to put me back on BP meds, though, and I asked her to give me till the next appointment to make that decision.  I see her in two months, so I am working hard at getting that stable, too.

I was reading a chapter out of a book (by the same author of the Bible Study) one day, last week, and something the author said made me stop and think.

QUOTE from book:  "100 ways to Simplify your Life"

"Regularly reevaluate your commitments"
"We often forfeit many blessings God has stored up for us because we are not willing to reevaluate commitments.  Just because you have always done something doesn't mean you should always do it.  We can easily get into a rut and find ourselves feeling bored and bland for no reason other than we have done too much of the same thing for too long and we need a change. "

I got to thinking that maybe God is trying to have me go a different direction in my life but I think I have to keep on doing what I always did because I've always done it.  Maybe it's time to move on or to change directions.  Just because I have done something for what seems like forever, doesn't mean that this is what I should always do.  Sometimes, God changes your direction for a reason.

I thought about that for quite a few days.  Was God telling me to give up stamping? Give up Stampin' UP?, Give up my blog?  No, I didn't think so.

I am not completely sure what I was supposed to learn from that.  But, I guess I needed this 'alone' time to see that something needs changing.  One thing I do know is that I need to take better care of myself, FIRST and foremost before I worry about anything else.

Another thing that I came to realize, thought all of this is, that I enjoy sharing things with others.  I love sharing a book I have read, some place I have visited, a discovery I have made.....a new recipe I have tried and that's when, I realized that my blog had taken a turn to ONLY stamping and what was on sale and I was no longer just 'sharing' and it got harder and harder for me to commit.

So, when I wasn't stamping, I had nothing to share.  Plain and simple.

So, starting today, I will be just plain sharing! Whatever that entails.  Oh I'll still share cards and ideas....but my blog won't be solely about stamping.

I don't often put myself 'out there' with my feelings or what's going on in my life but I thought I needed to just be open and honest about why I have been not been blogging.  And, if I am the ONLY one that reads my blog, that's ok too!!! :-)

I hope you have a FANTASTIC day!!!!  Make each day count and remember to be careful what you say to yourself and avoid negative thoughts.  They can be so destructive.

HUGS,
Char

Thursday, January 1, 2015

HAPPY NEW YEAR


It's a brand new year!!!  As my Granddaughter informed me, last night, we are half way between the year 2000 and 2030.  Hmmm, I hadn't thought of it that way ;-)
We rang in the new year watching the ball drop in NYC and then hopped in bed and were fast ASLEEP . ....till someone in the neighborhood decided to set off fireworks at midnight.  ;-(  

Oh well....it only happens twice a year so we can be a little 'forgiving' of their excitement.  :-)

I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very happy New Year!!!


Hugs,
Char