Monday, January 30, 2017

Keepin' The Faith

As a "Truth" Student, I struggle with keeping my mind focused on the good in everyone.  I shake my head in disbelief of the things I read online or see on TV that are happening in the United States.  I'm appalled and outraged, and really feel challenged about how to deal with it all.  I read this passage from Emmet Fox's book Sermon On The Mount this morning:

"If, when someone is behaving badly, instead of thinking of the trouble, you will immediately switch your attention off from the human to the Divine, and concentrate upon God, or upon the Real Spiritual Self of the person in question, you will find - if you really to do this - his conduct will immediately change.  This is the secret of handling difficult people, and Jesus understood it thoroughly.  If people are troublesome, you have only to change your thought about them, and then they will change too, because your own concept is what you see." ...

"You may find it helpful in the beginning to glance away from the person/situation while giving yourself this treatment."

Maybe it is time to turn off the news, and take a break from social media.  Focus instead on the blessings in your life, the wonderful country we live in, and pray for Divine Intelligence, Wisdom, Understanding and some good old American Common Sense to come to President Trump and his advisors.  Hand the problem over to God, and affirm that out of this situation only good can come.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Never Have I Ever...

been so dumbfounded by the actions of a President who has been in office less than 10 full days!  I don't even know where to start, and because of that, I just may not be specific, except to state that there has not been one executive order that I agree with.  There have been speeches that just left me shaking my head.  (And why hasn't one of his advisors signed him up for private lessons in public speaking?)

Some of this frustration goes back to why I did not vote for Mr Trump in the first place.  He has absolutely no experience that qualifies him for this position.  This is what Dan Balz of the Washington Post said this morning on This Week With George Stephanopoulos.  He was speaking about the issue of proposed wall along the US/Mexico border.

"It is a sign of inexperience in these things.....He is a negotiator and he is a deal maker, but he has never done it in the context of diplomacy and national security."

Although I can understand those that voted for Mr Trump, hoping for change, I am more than concerned about the way he is going about it.  The ban on immigrants, what is going on with the National Security Council, gag orders regarding National Parks, pipelines that can effect the drinking water of our citizens?  WTF!  I just don't understand.

A friend of mine made this analogy:  Try to think of Mr Trump as a catalyst - similar to going through a physical detox when you change your diet.  Parts of it won't be pretty at all.  In fact, parts may be painful and disgusting.  However, change will occur, and we will take notice of what is happening.  Perhaps this is what we need for people to begin caring again about the state of things, and to take action!

Senators and Congress Men and Women from your state work for you!  They need your input and your views.  Let them know what you think.  Make your vote count!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Let's Talk Vegetables

I'm taking a break from political topics (although I have more to say on that subject, but I'm getting too wrapped up in it all) - so I thought I'd talk a bit about something I love.  Vegetables!  Try not to get confused because I love vegetables but I hate cooking.  I cook only because I like to eat.

What is it with men and vegetables?  I've been married coming up on 39 years.  I have expanded my husband's palate from carrots, canned green beans, canned corn and iceberg lettuce to include broccoli and cauliflower pretty regularly.  He tolerates (and by tolerates I mean he will eat these things maybe once a month....) asparagus, artichokes, peas, fresh green beans, zucchini and summer squash and raw spinach.  However, he is pretty good with starchy vegetables such as winter squashes, turnips, rutabagas and parsnips, and of course any kind of potato, but I can't push the potato alternatives too much.

I have been experimenting recently with other vegetables just to see if I can get a little more variety into my diet, and maybe into his.  Here are two hits for me; he tolerated the celery dish and took a "no-thank you" helping of the beets.

The beet recipe is an adaption from something I saw on The Chew.  I'll just call it "Sweet Beets".

Preheat oven to 400.  Peel and dice 3-4 medium sized beets.  (If you've not diced raw beets before, warning your hands will turn pink.  It may take a few washings to get rid of it).  Lay the beets in the center of a large piece of heavy duty foil.  Drizzle with EVOO.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Shake some dried thyme once over lightly (or top with a few springs of fresh thyme).  Bundle up the foil to make a package, leaving some air space for the steam.  Cook for 30-40 minutes.  Remove from oven, carefully open the package and add a handful of chopped dates.  Either fresh or dried, I don't think it matters.  I used dried because I'm lazy and can buy a package of already chopped dates.  They used fresh on The Chew.  Reseal the package, and return to the oven for 5 more minutes.  Stir and serve.

(Warning:  Don't be surprised if you have pink pee and poop in the coming days......)

For those of you who are more into cooking, you may want to see the original recipe which includes a horseradish sauce.  Here it is:

Roasted Beets Recipe From The Chew

Next up is the Braised Celery recipe which I found on Pinterest.  I will add a link to the original recipe below.

Wash and trim 4 stalks of celery and then cut them in about ¾ inch pieces on the diagonal.  Add 1 tbsp of butter to a medium hot skillet.  When the butter has melted, add the celery.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring now and then, for about 5 minutes.  Add about ¼ - ⅓ cup of vegetable or chicken stock.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 5 more minutes.  Remove the lid and allow any remaining liquid to caramelize.  This made 2 servings, and was a great way to use up celery.  Next time I may add some sliced onions or chopped cabbage just to see how it turns out.  And mushrooms - everything is better with mushrooms!

The original recipe is for 4 servings and comes from A Girl Defloured.

If you are a vegetable lover like me, or just looking for something a little different, I hope you enjoy the recipes.  I continue to be on the hunt for new (and easy) ideas.  Feel free to share if you have any!




Sunday, January 22, 2017

Make America Great Again

I am a middle class, non-partisan, white woman, old enough to join AARP.  I think America is and always has been great.  I also think there things that can be done to make America even better.

1.  The President of the United States cannot have conflict of interest issues between his own business interests and the interests of the nation.  To this end, in my opinion, President Trump needs to release his tax returns.  He needs to put his business interests into a blind trust.  And even doing that, I find it hard to believe that anyone could make decisions of the sort the president will be asked to make, and not take their own interests into consideration on some level.  We've just never had a non-politician with large business interests holding the office of President of the United States.  I personally think he should be selling all of his business interests that are held in foreign countries, for example his hotels.  I think if his company has loans through foreign banks, they should be resolved.  I don't know how you go about accomplishing that, but how can it not be a conflict of interest if you owe millions to foreign banks, even if they were initially legitimate loans.

2.  Healthcare - I think we really need to start working on a single payer, publicly funded, socialize healthcare plan.  We are the only major nation without one.  The only one that wins in a battle of insurance companies are the insurance companies, and the politicians that receive PAC funds for their reelection campaigns.  I believe that if the US Senate and US House of Representatives are making decisions on the healthcare options of the people they represent, those decisions should effect them as well.  I feel it is up to the public (who employs those representatives) to offer the same healthcare options to the senators and congress-people as we get.  If it is good enough for us, it should be good enough for them.

     And for heaven's sake, who in their right mind thinks abortion should be a governmental decision!  Do I believe in abortion?  For myself, it is not an option I would choose.  But do I think it is any of my business or the government's business to choose for others?  No - absolutely not.  Anymore than it  is anyone else's business whether a man has a vasectomy or a woman has hysterectomy or tubal ligation.  Those decisions should be between the patient and the doctor.  If a doctor does not want to perform abortions, that is his/her choice.  My statement to anyone who thinks it is their business what others do is this - Mind YOUR OWN business, and judge not lest you be judged as well.

3.  We need to take better care of our veterans, the military and their families.

4.  Foreign Aid - In my opinion, we take care of our own first.  To me that means the majority of funds collected through our tax base stay in the US.  The analogy to me is like the safety warning flight attendants give before take off.  Secure your own mask first, then help others.  We need to take care of Americans first, the help others!

5.  We need to be willing to pay for alternative energy sources so that we are not so reliant on foreign fuel.

6.  We need to explore whether the electoral college is the way we want to handle our elections vs popular vote.  (And can we really explore getting rid of Daylight Savings Time too?)  Some things/reasons have run their course.

7.  Term limits - another thing for consideration.  Can an 80 year old senator who has held the office for years and years really represent the interests of the younger generations?  Here I am, a senior citizen.  I want someone in their 40s or 50s representing me.  That age group holds a unique view.  They have just come through that time of life that you are finding yourself, finding your way, establishing your self, and providing for your family.   They are also in the position of looking at retirement and all the problems and benefits that go with that.  That should account for more than which "powerful committee" they are eligible for.

8.  Education - I'd love to see a version of funding college educations similar to the GI Bill that would be available to young people who either join the military or a volunteer work program such as Habitat For Humanity or the Peace Corps, and serve for 2 years for a community college degree or 4 years for a degree from a state university.

     As far as K-12 education, we need more funding for smaller classrooms and better pay for teachers and para-educators.  We need to spend less money on the ridiculous testing, and focus more on actual teaching.  Testing does not insure that no child is left behind - TEACHING does!

9.  Immigration - This should be a matter of documentation.  American should be welcoming one and all, but those immigrants must be willing to be held accountable for their own financial support and their actions.  I believe anyone wanting to live in the USA without becoming a citizen needs to have a sponsor who accepts financial responsibility for them.  The sponsor provides the job, the insurance, the housing.  It is not the responsibility of the US Government to provide for non-citizens.  Those that want to become citizens should also be able to prove they can provide for themselves, or have sponsorship in the instance of the elderly parents coming to live with their children who are citizens.  And speaking English, having passed an ESL course, should be a requirement.

Those are just some of the issues I personally feel need to be addressed by our federal government and I listed them in no particular order, just as they occurred to me while I was writing this entry.  And I'm sure once I post this, more things will occur.

I hope that we as voting citizens of the greatest nation on earth can begin to start holding our governmental officials and representatives accountable to doing that - representing their constituents, their employers!  If you don't like what is happening in this country, in your state, in your districts - demand action from those who represent you.  If they don't represent you, don't vote for them in the next election cycle.  Your vote matters.  Those representatives are just as interested in job security as the people who live in their districts/states.  Make them work for it!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Peace

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.............Words from one of my favorite hymns/songs.

About now, however, I'd settle for peace in the United States.  Today I was reading an essay about the following beatitude:  Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.

In this phrase, the word "peacemaker" is not used in the sense of a negotiator as we would think in present day times.  A peacemaker is someone who brings or invokes serenity in all situations.  Serenity is the awareness of the Presence of God.  It is that sense of peace that passes all understanding.  And really folks, isn't that what we need right now?

The following is an essay called, The Presence, by Emmet Fox.

"God is the only Presence and the only Power.  God is fully present here with me now.  God is the only real Presence - all the rest is but shadow  God is perfect Good, and God is the cause only of perfect Good.  God never sends sickness, trouble, accident, temptations, nor death itself; nor does He authorize these things.  We bring them upon ourselves by our own wrong thinking.  God, Good, can cause only good.  The same fountain cannot send forth both sweet and bitter water.

I am Divine Spirit.  I am the child of God.  In God I live and move and have my being; so I have no fear.  I am surrounded by the Peace of God and all is well.  I am not afraid of people; I am not afraid of things; I am not afraid of circumstances; I am not afraid of myself; for God is with me.  The Peace of God fills my soul, and me.  I am not afraid of the past; I am not afraid of the present; I am not afraid for the future; for God is with me.  The Eternal God is my dwelling place and underneath are the ever-lasting arms.  Nothing can ever touch me but the direct action of God Himself, and God is Love.

God is Life;  I understand that and I express it. God is Truth; I understand that and I express it.  God is Divine Love; I understand that and I express it.

I send out thoughts of love and peace and healing to the whole universe: to all trees and plants and growing things, to all beasts and birds and fishes, and to every man, woman and child on earth, without distinction.  If anyone has ever injured me or done me any kind of harm, I fully and freely forgive him now, and the thing is done forever.  I loose him and let him go.  I am free and he is free.  If there is any burden of resentment in me, I cast it upon the Christ within and I go free.

God is Infinite Wisdom, and that Wisdom is mine.  That Wisdom leads and guides me; so I shall not make mistakes.  Christ in me is a lamp unto my feet.  God is Infinite Life, and that Life is my supply; so I shall want for nothing.  God created me and He sustains me.  Divine Love has foreseen everything, and provided for everything.  One Mind, One Power, One Principle.  One God, One Law, One Element.  Closer is He than breathing, nearer than hands and feet.  I am Divine Spirit, the Child of God and in the presence of God, I dwell forever.  I thank God for Perfect Harmony."

May whoever reads this feel the Presence of God and bring their serenity to all situations.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Upcoming Inauguration

There was a scene in the TV series "West Wing" in which Martin Sheen's character, President Bartlett, was talking about the difference between the President as a man and the President as an office.  He explains that there are decisions that have to made in the Oval Office, and it is helpful in those situations not to think of yourself as "the man" but as "the office".  Will Mr Trump ever be able to put the office (the good of the country) above his own interests (the good of himself)?

When I struggle to understand my feelings about the man, Donald Trump, and the respect I have for the office of the President of the United States, I pretty much just drive myself bananas, trying to make sense of it all.  How did we wind up here?  How can this man that appears to be a narcissistic misogynist be our next president?  What happened to family values?  What happened to integrity and honesty?  Shouldn't our elected officials lead by example?  How can Mr Trump think that by continuing to have a say in any of his businesses is not a conflict of interest in regards to running our nation?  It just all baffles me.

And when I'm baffled, I turn to God, and ask for understanding and wisdom.

This month, I am reading Emmet Fox's The Sermon On The Mount.  The following passage is taken from the section discussing The Beatitudes, specifically 'Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.'

"As it stands, the Beatitude calls for very little comment because the words employed bear the ordinary meaning which we still give them in daily life, and the statement as given is as clear and obvious in its meaning........Kind actions coupled with unkind thoughts are hypocrisy, dictated by fear, or desire for self glory, or some such motive. They are counterfeits and they bless neither the giver nor the recipient.  On the other hand, (having) the true thought about fellow-man blesses him spiritually, mentally and materially, and blesses you too.  Let us be merciful in our mental judgments of our brother, for, in truth, we are all one, and the more deeply he seems to err, the more urgent is the need for us to help him with the right thought, and so make it easier for him to get free. Yo, because you understand the power of the Spiritual Idea - the Christ Truth, have a responsibility that others have not; see that you do not evade it.  When his delinquency comes to your notice, remember the Christ in him is calling out for help to you who are enlightened - so be merciful."

My interpretation of that, in the context of the upcoming inauguration,  is to praise and bless the President, and to ask that Divine Intelligence manifest within the office and the government as we move forward.  Feel free to utilize this affirmation I learned from Louise Hay.  "Out of this situation, only good can come."

And so it is.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Political Opinion and The Spiritual Approach

I am not particularly savvy in terms of politics. I am very middle of the road - a little be conservative, a little be liberal, but mostly I have what I consider to be a very common sense approach to things, including politics and government.
I am very concerned about the number of political/cabinet nominees that appear to have conflicts of interest or who flat out support policies in direct conflict with what the president-elect promised/support in his campaign.
The election is over. Mr Trump will be sworn into office on January 20th. He will be the one representing our nation. He will be making decision that effect all of us. 
The power we have as citizens is the power we give to our senators and congressmen and congress women. Whether or not you voted for Mr Trump no longer matters. What matters is that you make sure your voice - your opinion - is heard. I urge everyone to hold Mr Trump accountable, and insist on honesty and integrity. If you are concerned, like I am, about the moninees for the cabinet, etc., then call, write, email your senators and representatives. Express your views and concerns. These people work for you! They should cast their votes representing their constituents, not the party or the president! They are elected by you, not appointed by someone else. Don’t be afraid to let them know when it comes time for re-election, if they are not representing your values, your opinions, then you will be casting your vote elsewhere. Your vote has power. Pay attention to what is going on!

The above is a post I made on my personal Facebook page yesterday.  My intention had to been to take a Facebook break but I just HAD to share my concerns.  I have a very small number of FB friends - on purpose - and an even smaller number of regular readers for this blog - not on purpose, LOL.  I am really not one to get involved in political discussion, and for me to take a stand publicly on such things means there is really something to be concerned about.  

In my morning meditation, I asked the question about what to do.  The answer I received was "wisdom = divine guidance/prayer plus common sense.  One of my favorite spiritual teachers/authors, Emmet Fox, writes "When you set out to solve a problem by means of prayer, you should take the ordinary normal steps in addition.  Do not simply pray and thens it down and wait for something dramatic to happen."

This month I am reading The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra.  Today's chapter was on the Law of Giving.  I assumed it was going to be about tithing.  It wasn't. It addressed the idea of giving a gift to everyone we meet.  Gifts come in many forms - money, items, blessings, compliments, and so on.

In the Chapter summary, Dr Chopra makes the following challenge:  Keep wealth circulating in your life by giving and receiving life's most precious gifts:  the gifts of caring, affection, appreciation and love.  Every time you meet someone, silently wish them joy, happiness and laughter.

Today, keeping this challenge in mind, I send blessings of Divine Intelligence, Wisdom and Understanding to President-Elect Trump, our Senators, our Congressional Representatives, the press and media, and the citizens of the United States.  Lord knows we need help - from both Divine Intervention and participation by our citizens for what is right for EVERYONE!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Product Reviews: Special K Crustless Quiche, Green Giant Veggies, Dole Dippers, Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate, Noosa Yoghurt

While I'm ruminating over some more thoughtful blog topics, I thought I would do a quick review of some products I've tried recently.

Disclaimer:  Fresh, made from scratch meals are almost always better than processed items.  However, occasionally I choose to use my time for other things - like grandchildren and exercise (LOL exercising my desire to watch TV or read a book or play Candy Crush is more like it) - instead of cooking, which I don't really enjoy anyway.


I give this product 3 (out of 5) stars.  It tasted fine.  There are two per package.  You take it out of the wrapper, put it on a microwave safe plate and cook for 2.5 minutes.  Let sit for 1 minute.  I put a dollop of sour cream on mine.  It was okay.  Not delicious, but not yucky.  I may keep some on hand for those days I'm running late.  It has 190 calories and 10 grams of protein.


This product gets 4 out of 5 stars.  I thought it was pretty good.  Husband thought it was okay.  I added a little of the same sauce I put on the chicken I was cooking for some flavor.  I think it would make a great base for low carb "fried rice".


If I were rating this after the first time I tried it, it would get no stars.  The first time, I microwaved the Mashed Cauliflower, following the directions on the package.  It turned out very running and bland.  The pieces of bacon are decent sized but a little over powering.  I had a second box of this Green Giant Mashed Cauliflower so I thought I would try it in the oven.  This would rate a 1 - 1.5 stars.  It thickened up a little bit after I took the plastic wrap off for the last 10 minutes.  And thickened even more while cooling.  After 20 minutes, I tasted it.  Better, but still the consistency of soup that had gotten too thick.  It definitely did not appear like the picture on the package!

If you are on a low carb diet, and looking for a mashed potato substitute, here is the recipe I recommend.  Bacon & Smoked Gouda Low Carb Cauliflower Puree from the I Breathe I'm Hungry blog.  I found the key was to microwave the cauliflower as directed in the recipe, and not steam it as I would normally.  It comes out much drier, and thus has a consistency more like mashed potatoes.


This is just yum, yum, yummy.  5 stars for the lemon.  320 calories and 12 grams of protein per container.  I get 2 servings out of each container.  I've tried coconut, pumpkin and sour cherry as well, 4.5 stars.



And my new favorite treats/desserts!  I don't each much fruit anyway, so I figured chocolate covered fruit was better than no fruit at all, right?  I enjoy dark chocolate with my evening red wine, so I thought I'd try the cabernet flavor dark chocolate!  Desserts?  All 5 stars!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Perfect Picture Part Two

Allow me to indulge in a little vent.  I don't know if it is my computer (Mac Book), my photos, or blogger at fault, but it is taking hours for photos to upload.  I did a search, and too the steps they suggested - cleared cache and disabled my pop up blocker and it is a little better, but still sooooo slow.

Here are the remaining shots I really liked.


 (note it took 1hr 15 minutes for these to download)





The Perfect Picture

...or it would have been had I had a camera with me.  Last week, I was driving an alternate route home from the post office, and caught a view of some trees just as the sun was setting.  The day had been cloudy with a combination of white and dark clouds.  The sun came shining through in a small break in the clouds.  It was stunning.  I quickly pulled over, searching for my point and shoot camera that is usually in the glove box.  Nope, not there.  I dug in my purse for my iPhone.  What?  You've got to be kidding me.  I left my phone at home.  I was so disappointed.  I would have driven home, grabbed my camera and gone back, but I could tell that the moment had passed.  Clouds had moved in and the sun had disappeared from view.  Damn!  I've been trying to recapture that moment since then.  I check the time for sunset and drive back to that same spot, but it has been cold and clear. I think what made the original view so stunning was the darkened background.  Yesterday, I came close.  And I did find a few other interesting things to shoot as well.















Friday, January 6, 2017

The Word Of The Day Is......

Pumpkin!

I woke up this morning with a craving for something pumpkin.  I spent the morning making pumpkin muffins and pumpkin soup.

I had a box of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread mix. As I was dutifully folding the mix into the liquid ingredients with a rubber spatula as the directions told me to do, it dawned on me the muffins weren't gluten-free.  I've found that I feel better avoiding wheat.  Whether it is the gluten that bothers me or possibly all the modifications that have been done to wheat over the years, I don't know - and it's a different blog topic anyway.  As long as I had gotten this far, I might as well finish making the muffins.  My husband will eat them, and I can always take some over to the neighbors.

I jotted down this recipe for Pumpkin Soup, probably sometime in October, but never got around to making it.  Today was the day.  I don't know who to credit for the recipe but I'm sure it came from a magazine or newspaper insert.

PUMPKIN SOUP

2 TBSP butter
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp pumpkin spice
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 15oz can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
32 oz vegetable broth
¼ cup pure maple syrup
⅓ cup sour cream
S&P

Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium-low heat.  Add the spices and stir for about 1 minute.  Add the pumpkin puree and the vegetable broth and keep stirring/whisking.  Heat to almost boiling.  Add the maple syrup and stir to combine.  Continue stirring for about 1 minute. Taste.  This is where I added salt and pepper.  Taste again and add more if necessary.  Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.

That is the recipe as I wrote it down.  It is a sweet cream soup.  Husband wasn't impressed but I liked it enough to do it again with a few changes. I would probably use chicken broth instead, just to up the protein content a bit.  I would also use more cumin, and possibly a little chili powder.  I like "stuff" in my soup, so I would probably saute some onions, celery and carrots, maybe even a little sweet potato in a separate pan.  I would add this to the soup after I added the syrup.  And instead of stirring in the sour cream to the whole pot, I would add dollops to each serving dish.



I wonder if they still are serving pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks?  Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Success!

"...success is a journey, not a destination."  Deepak Chopra

When I read this, I had all sorts of ideas bombarding me about where I could go with this quote.  Did I write them down?  Nope.  And it often seems to happen, when I sit down to write a blog entry, I can't seem to recall one single thought I had earlier.

That being said, I will go off in a different direction.  I recently joined a Facebook Group for beginning photography.  My idea of "beginners" and the idea of "beginners" for a number of the people who post on this page are at opposite ends of the spectrum.  Most of the time, I have no idea what the heck they are talking about.  However, when people post a photograph and ask for constructive criticism, there are those of us who think the photograph is wonderful, and there are those who are more experienced that offer ideas of how to improve.  A successful photograph is apparently seen through the lens of the beholder.

Yesterday, I ventured out in the freezing cold to find some photographic successes to share as a part of my journey here.  Enjoy!












Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Try, Try Again

You know how it goes.  Set the intention one day, screw it up day two, try again on day three.  This is where I found myself this morning.

Yesterday, I got up, put on clothes appropriate for exercising, glided a mile on my Gazelle, did a bunch of steps on my aerobic stepper, and then twisted a bit on my Simply Fit Board.  Yes, I have every cheesy As Seen On TV exercise product.  I use them off and on, but I get bored pretty quickly.  After I finished exercising, it was my intention to go work on the rest of my to-do list.  What I ended up doing, was sitting down with a cup of coffee and the TV remote.  At 4pm, I got up to take a shower.  Day 2 was not going so well.

In 2004, I was diagnosed with Graves Disease (hyperthyroidism).  For me, it manifested with swelling behind my eyes, giving me the look of Luca Brasi being strangled in The Godfather (I hope I didn't need to say 'Spoiler Alert').  The primary treatment was long term Prednisone.  Anyone who has been on Prednisone will tell you that the worst side effect is that it messes with your metabolism and you gain weight.  I gained over 50 pounds.  I've been working to get this weight off for a long time.  And I'm still working on.  The lack of results tells me that these exercise products maybe aren't the best choice for me.

For those of you that speak "woo-woo" - I've been getting the message from Spirit that walking outside, swimming and yoga would be good for me.  And for whatever reason, the message about yoga has been in my face recently.  I wrote the other day about my friend and her 500+ days of yoga. Sunday and Monday, I spent the day filing all the paperwork I had accumulated in 2016.  There in the midst of all that paper were handouts I had received at the very first yoga class I took sometime in the late 1990s.  Then when Julie Chen talked about yoga on The Talk yesterday, I thought, okay!  Enough already!  I will do my best to work yoga into my daily routine.

I'm happy to say that I did get up this morning, and using that handout from 15-20 years ago, went through a simple yoga routine.  As my body loosens up over the next few weeks, I will add some more difficult poses.  I will find that yoga dvd I bought a few years ago.  And I will dig out the instructions from Body Flex (combining yoga and isometric exercises); another really old As Seen On TV product, it is on VHS tape so I can't watch it, but I do still have the printed routines.  And I will try, try again!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

January 1st - Brand New Year

A time for new resolutions goals intentions oh shit, let's get real, it's a list of stuff I may or may not do.  In my head, I'd like to do these things, but in reality, retired life has made me pretty lazy.  I do what I want, when I want, with the exception of day care for my grandsons that I committed to until the youngest starts school full time.  And honestly, some days I like it, and some days not so much.

I'm taking a bit of a break from Facebook.  My aim is for the month of January. However, I will be pleased if I make it a week.  I hate Facebook the way I hate Ebay, Craigslist, PayPal, and all those things that once were cool but now are just a pain in the behinder.  With Facebook, I am specifically over the whole political scene.  Democrats and Republicans are never going to see eye to eye.  Cooperation and compromise would be nice.  What I am having trouble with is some of the behavior of the President-Elect.  This is the time to practice acting presidential.  Get the f*&# off of Twitter.  You look like a self center, egotistical, narcissistic fool! And maybe you are, but for crying outlaid, try acting a presidential and worthy of the office. My prayer is that there occurs some intervention from Divine Intelligence once Mr Trump is sworn into office.  I didn't vote for the man, and honestly my expectations of his ability to run the country are pretty low.  I hope I am wrong and that he surprises us all.  This is the best country in the world and we citizens deserve to have a President who is wise, caring and full of integrity.

The other thing that just bugs me about Facebook is why oh why do I have to be notified of everything my "friends" like.  I don't mind if I am informed that mutual friends like something, but I really don't care that a casual acquaintance likes the fact that his/her 3rd cousin by marriage had a great lunch at Applebee's.  I understand it is a marketing thing, but that is not going to factor in to my decision to have lunch at Applebee's.  It only makes me want to "un-follow" that particular acquaintance.  I've written to Facebook about this, but I don't think Mark Zuckerberg or the powers that be care.

See, I don't need Facebook in order to gripe!  I can do it right here.

Under the category of stuff I may or may not do this year (for those of you who are still reading at this point):

Really establish an exercise routine.  I mean, really, really, really establish an exercise routine. I have a friend who keeps track of the number of days in a row that she has practiced yoga.  I'm inspired, but also mildly annoyed.  But that's my own crap.  Good for her, I say.  I will continue to look upon her as a good example.

Develop a schedule that works for me.  Something that will allow me to get back into the practice of journalling.  I'm a big fan of Julia Cameron and her morning pages.  I routinely spend an hour each morning on my "spiritual journey" - reading spiritually uplifting books, praying, meditating, and so on.  If I do that first thing, it's very easy to keep doing it....so much so that I don't have time for exercising.  I know myself well enough to know that if I don't exercise first thing, I'm not going to.  So this will require a change in my scheduled routine.

I'd like to develop the habit of posting to this blog every day once a week, at least.  I named it the Blah Blah Blog for a reason.  There are a lot of things that interest me.  I have lots of ideas that I can write about from spiritual stuff, to recipes, to the clever things my grandsons do or say, to photography, travel, RVs, relatives who annoy me (JK - sort of), and random shit that runs through my head.

I'd like to read more of the classics, and develop a taste for different genres of music.  I'd like to play less Candy Crush and watch less TV.  I'd like to figure out what I'm going to do with all the children's paintings I've done.  I'd really like to learn how to use my Nikon D3300, and especially how to mark the photos with my name/copyright.  And I'd really, really, really like to find a pair of comfortable jeans that fit!  So come on 2017 - Let's get with the program!

What is on your "Shit To Do" list for this year?