Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesdays - Dachau Concentration Camp Germany

These photos are from my visit to Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany last November.  This was a place of almost total silence.  People spoke to each other in whispers when they spoke.  The place had such an eerie feel about it.  This includes pictures of the crematoriums and the showers.  So incredibly sad!

A - Z Challenge Last Day - ZZZzzzz!!!

Are you getting enough sleep?  I know ZZZzzz isn't a real word, but I decided to use it anyway.  This is my blog.  I do what I want!

Did you know that if you don't get enough sleep it affects your weight loss?  It seems like if you are up moving around longer, you would lose more weight.  The problem is you get tireder, and tired people reach for comfort foods.  You are also tired so you don't want to cook.  And you don't feel like exercising.  Our bodies need to recuperate to work properly.  If you don't get enough sleep you can't handle stress as well.  Stress likes food.  That is not good for your health.  You will also have a hard time being active.

That said, how do you make your body sleep when it doesn't seem to want to?  I personally do not like to take any form of sleep medication.

I have been having a hard time getting my sleep for a while now.  I went through the menopausal issue of waking up in the middle of the night and laying awake.  That lasted for a while.  I would have to go to work on 3-4 hours sleep every day.

Now my problem is when everyone else in the house is going to bed, I don't feel sleepy.  So I stay up until about 2 am.  Then I am awake at around 6 am.  Every time I sit down during the day I fall asleep for a little while.  I need to get normal sleep patterns.  Any suggestions??

Sleep is a part of a healthy lifestyle.  I would like to get my sleep regulated along with my diet.  

One of my friends on Google+, Charles Vigneron suggested I get the book The Promise of Sleep by Dr. Dement.  I haven't had time to look for it yet, but I plan too.

We have had a couple of days of sunshine in a row now, so I am off to do some gardening, which really means back-breaking labor at this point.  

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Rain Keeps Falling ?? & Weekly Weigh-In

This is one of the worst weeks I have had for a long time.  It just seemed like I couldn't get anything going.  I have all those baseball games where I have to get the boys feed.  Due to all the rain we have had 10 varsity games rescheduled. They change the schedule every day trying to get all the games in.  And that isn't even including the junior varsity.  I get food ready and right at game time there is a rain out.

Then I had so much time running to the hospital, and eating out.  My mother-in-law has been in the hospital for over two weeks now. The hospital is an hour from home, so it takes two hours without any time at the hospital.  I went to the meeting with the doc's on Wednesday to decide her course of treatment.  We had to make the choice to put in a tracheotomy.  So that was stressful.

And to top it all off, my husband and I got into a big blow-up.  Maybe one of the worst ever!  I think we are all stressed to the limits right now.  He has been spending hours and hours at the hospital.

On Saturday, a big sore came up in my mouth, right where my partial sets.  My mouth got very sore.  I have been keeping my partial out today to try to let it heal.  I can't leave home without it though.  That would be bad!!

So I really didn't expect good results this week.  I know I haven't  been eating excessively and I have been staying away from sugar and breads, except for Saturday.  Saturday was probably the worst day I had, so I reached for a little bit of comfort with my food.  I have to quit doing that.

My exercise is still lacking big time.  I keep hoping things will slow down a little so I can take more time for myself.

Believe it or not, I dropped 1/2 a pound this week!  I would have liked more, but I am very happy.  I expected a gain so this was great.  Maybe when I lose the salt I will have a bigger loss next week.  A girl can dream, can't she?

Loss 12.5 pounds total

Starting weight - 184.5
Week one - 180.0
Week two - 179.5
Week three - 179.0
Week four - 178.5

Week five - 177.0 
Week six - 176.0
Week seven - skipped, was on vacation
Week eight - 181.5  
Week nine - 174.0
Week ten - 172.5
Week eleven - 172.0

160's here I come!!

Warning scale is 3 pounds light!  

At least some things are getting better.  When my son and I went to the hospital yesterday, my MIL was starting to come around.  As soon as my son spoke to her, she was able to barely get out his name.  That was the first time she had really spoken.  They have taken her off the sedatives since the last surgery on Friday.  That was the purpose of doing the Tracheotomy.  They couldn't wake her up with it in, because she panicked each time.  The doc's say she has been a miracle so far, and they expect her to recover if everything continues as it has for the last few days.  She hadn't really responded to anyone else, until she saw my son, her oldest grandchild.  She worked very hard to let us know what was going on with her.  She can't really speak because she has the vent in, but she was able to get his name out.  When we got ready to leave she reached for him and he gave her a hug and she kissed him on the check.  That was the first indication that she really knew what was going on.  The doc's told him that he must be pretty special.  The critical care doc was in the room and was amazed.

My husband and I got things straightened out again last night.  I think seeing his mother's improvement helped with that.  I think it gave him a little relief.  He even went to Chicago this morning to a work meeting.  He felt like he could leave her for the day.  So I hope things are on the upswing.  Thank goodness!!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A - Z Blogging Challenge - Yoga, My Experience With It!

I love the thought of Yoga.  I read about the healthy benefits of it. Yoga has been practiced for over 5000 years.  Yoga is practiced daily in the United States by millions of people.  I have been to one Yoga class in my life.

Yoga is about stretching and breathing.  Sometimes meditation is included.  I always thought Yoga was about relaxation and reaching a total state of calm.

My friend and I were all excited about our gym offering a yoga class, and we heard the instructor was very experienced and had been teaching in the area for many years.  We had been taking Pilates classes for some time and really enjoyed it.  We felt like they would be similar classes.

We showed up at the classroom for the first Yoga class.  The instructor was there and there were several other students.  Most of the other students worked out with us at the gym or attended some of the other classes with us.  Our gym offered all of their classes free to members.

The room was dark.  We got out our mats and chose our spots on the floor.  We went through the movements with our instructor, she took things very slow and easy.  We were all new to this class so she was very concerned that we didn't hurt ourselves.  I was enjoying the class although I was having a tough time with some of the positions.  I am as uncoordinated as they come.  Luckily for me, I chose a friend who is just as uncoordinated as I am.

As we neared the end of the lesson, our instructor brought us to a very quiet and calm place.  Then she said we would all do our meditation portion of the yoga.  She said we could each do whatever chant we chose.  We are all sitting quietly and she began.  I am not kidding you, all of a sudden it sounded like a train was coming through the room.  

She was totally unaware that anyone else was there and she was making the most God awful sound I have ever heard.  I think the walls shook with it.  We were supposed to be sitting with our eyes closed.  When that noise started my eyes popped open and I turned to look at my friend.  She was looking back at my with the same look on her face.  The next thing we knew we were both holding our mouths to keep the laughter from coming out.  We didn't want to interrupt her with our laughter, like she could have heard it over that horrible noise she was making.  We looked around the classroom and other people were starring at her too.  I seemed like she went on for about 20 minutes.  I really don't think it was that long, but it might have been.

When she finished, my friend and I could not look at her.  We knew we could not keep a straight face.  We got out of the room as quickly as possible.  We never went back!  We knew we couldn't get through another class without laughing.   We had talked and laughed about it the rest of the day.  We were not going back!!  

Her classes didn't last very long at the gym.  She wasn't having much attendance.  I don't think anybody went back for a second class.  When we told people about the class they thought we were exaggerating.  They would go to the class to see if it was as bad as we said.  It became the joke of the club.  

I know she was a well known Yoga instructor, so maybe we just weren't in the right frame of mind for her level of instruction.

I have never had the nerve to attend another Yoga class.  I know it is great for your body and I should probably find a good class to attend, but seriously, what if I walk into another class like that!

Friday, April 26, 2013

A - Z Blogging Challenge - An X-Rated Blog

My blog is X-rated!

Lets examine our goals to become healthy.   Are you watching what you eat?  Are you following an exact eating plan?  Do you eat exotic fruits?  Are you a person who explores new foods?

What are your expectations?  Do you feel like you have exceeded them?  What are your daily exercise goals.

Sometimes you display exemplary behaviors and still don't seem to get anywhere with your weight loss goals.  

What should you do at that point?  Should you use extravagant measures?  Or should you just stay the course and expect better results at your next weigh-in?

If you are not making excuses, and you are really excelling in your goals then you should stay the course.  Your expanded waistline should begin to diminish. 

I am beginning to exhaust my use of X-words so it think I will now exit this post.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A - Z Blogging Challenge - Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How

It is important to use these words when writing a story.  Who, What, When , Where, Why, and How.  They are called the six W's.  They are interrogative pronouns.

I am going to use these words to tell my story.

Who am I?  I am the mother of four children, just about all grown.  My youngest is still at home, he is 18 and a senior in high school.  I used to work as a bookkeeper, but my job was downsized a little over a year ago.  I am married to my second husband, the father of my youngest child.  My first husband died when my older children were 2, 4, and 6.  I spent a few years raising them before getting involved with someone else.  So there is an 18 year age difference between my 3rd and 4th child.

What is my favorite color?  My favorite color is red!  I love wearing the color red.  I have always had really dark hair and I have a dark complexion.  I thing red goes with with my coloring. 

When will I get another job?  I don't know.  I would like to retire.  I have thought of trying to make money with my blog so I don't have to go out and get another job.  My husband says I need to go back to work in the fall when my son goes to school.  He thinks I need to work to contribute to our son's education.  I can't draw any of my retirement until I reach age 62, which is a few more years.

Where is my favorite place to travel?  Those of you who have been reading my blog probably already know this.  I traveled to France in April of 2012, and I returned to Europe and visited England, France, Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland in late October 2012.  My favorite place is Paris!  I loved everything about it!  I would like to live in Paris.  It speaks to me!

Why am I trying to lose weight?  I have been losing weight my entire adult life.  Even when I was 120 pounds I thought I needed to lose weight.  Now that I am over 170, I really need to lose weight.  My doctor agrees with me now.  It used to be all about how I looked, now it is about being healthy.  I think when you get older you are concerned about staying healthy so you can have an active life, at least that is how I feel.

How do I plan to lose the weight?  I am doing my best to give up wheat and sugar.  I also feel that it is extremely important to exercise regularly.  I think the combination of those things will allow me to get to a healthy weight.  It is all about making good choices and doing it consistently.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A - Z Blogging Challenge - What Can You Write About That Starts With V??

I had given a lot of thought about what to write about with the letter V.  A few things came to mind and I had already chosen something when my experiences yesterday made me change my plans.

Today, my husband, his sister, and I met with the doctor's at the hospital to discuss his mother's care and what route we would take for her continuing care.

She had surgery a little over a week ago and had a portion of her colon removed and was fitted with a bag.  She had already been on oxygen because of very weak, damaged lungs.  

After the surgery she was placed on a ventilator.  I didn't know that when you are placed on a ventilator there is a time limit for it when it is used with a breathing tube.  They explained to us that they really don't want to leave one in for more than 2 weeks with a tube that goes through her mouth.

It is very difficult to go into a meeting of this kind.  My husband did not know what to expect from the docs.  He knew that his mother had not been coherent since the surgery and he expected the news to be very negative.

Taking out the tube doesn't leave many options.  You can take it out and hope they can breathe on their own.   Another option is to put in a tracheotomy.  

We were advised by the doctors that she really needs to have a tracheotomy.  They believe that she can't breathe on her own and that she will continue to need help.  The good side of it is that they truly seem to believe that she will eventually come around and be able to function.  That was good news!

I truly believe in the power of prayer and there have been lots of people praying for her.  She is having the tracheotomy put into today and the ventilator will continue to work through it.  

If the doctors are correct she will start coming around shortly after the trach is placed, because they can decrease her sedation.  They really didn't seem to have much hope a few days ago.  Today they told us that she has had a miraculous recovery and they feel like the trach will give her the time she needs to complete the miracle.

If this works she will still have a very long recovery period, but hopefully she will be on the mend and working toward going home.

So, I have had a ventilator on my mind for a while and I chose to use it for my v word.  

Thanks to all of you for your prayers!  Who knows maybe you helped to create a miracle!

Wordless Wednesday - The Color of Spring Is Here!!!!

I haven't gotten to work in my flower beds yet, due to all the rain.  All of my flower beds are full of spring color now though!!!

Lots of standing water!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A - Z Blogging Challenge: The Up-sizing of America

We all know that Americans have been eating larger portions for a long time.  This is due in part to the super-sizing of meals.  They would always ask "would you like to super-size that?" whenever you ordered at a certain fast food restaurant.

The last 20 years has seen the doubling or tripling of portion sizes in America.  It might not have been as bad if that had just stayed in restaurants, but the portions sizes in our homes went up and we got used to the portions in restaurants.  The plates that are used at home have increased in size along with portions.  So filling your plate now includes many more calories than it did for our parents and grandparents.

This increasing of portion sizes has created an obesity problem in adults and children.  

One of the worst offenders of up-sizing is soda.  So many places offer to give you a large drink for the same price as a small.  Bargain focused Americans will usually go for the larger size and then they will take free refills.  You need to get your money's worth.  

In traveling to Europe the last couple of years I found that sodas were served in much smaller glasses and there were no free refills.  The students were astounded that they didn't get their free refills. 

Many of the chain restaurants offer us such great deals now.  You can get two entrees, an appetizer and a dessert for one low price.  Many people would not have ordered an appetizer or a dessert, but how can you pass up such a great bargain.  In some cases, you can get a single meal with an appetizer and dessert for one price, so you don't even have to share your appetizer and dessert.

So, you go to a restaurant and get your meal, your appetizer, your dessert and then top it off with two or three glasses of soda.  Do you ever stop to consider just how many meals that would have fed your grandparents.  

A portion of food should be no larger than your fist.  Think about the size of a portion in most restaurants.  For it to be the size of your fist you would need to have hands the size of Shaq!

Many people could just reduce their portions sizes and they would lose weight.  

What would it take to down-size our American meals?  Is it too late since even younger children have already grown accustomed to the huge portion sizes and feel like that is the norm?  

A-Z Blogging Challenge - Time Management (Effective or Not)

I have been thinking about writing something for the letter T.  Some times I spend so much time thinking about what I am going to write about, and changing my mind, that I use up way more time writing my blog than I should.

I think I seriously need to give some thought to my TIME MANAGEMENT.  I know I have many unplanned things going on right now and that is part of the problem, but it is not the entire problem.

I do not schedule my things properly and try to fly by the seat of my pants way too much.  

I have not been able to work exercise in for the last couple of weeks, and that is due to poor time management.  I need to schedule so much time for each of my activities and stick with it.

TIME MANAGEMENT is about planning your time well.  It is about taking time to prioritize your activities to increase effectiveness.  In order to accomplish the most in the time allotted it is necessary to set goals and stick to them.  If you allow yourself to be distracted by things not planned for you get off track and waste time.

Am I spending too much time planning my blog post, writing my blog post, reading other blogs, and commenting on other blogs, or do I spend too much time linking to blog hops.  I am thinking I should allot myself a set amount of time daily that I can spend on each activity.  Another issue is when I sit too long writing and reading on my computer I fall asleep. 

I know if I am falling asleep so easily when I sit down it is due to the fact that I am not getting the proper amount of sleep.  I have to work on getting more sleep at the proper times rather than falling asleep at inopportune times.  


Getting more sleep by getting to bed by midnight each night.

Sit a timer allowing for 15 minutes each reading and commenting on posts.  (2 times a day).

Writing some blogs posts ahead for days when I don't have as much time available.

Sit a timer for time allowed on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media.

Joining with other bloggers who are Linking Up needs to be planned ahead of time.  Maybe it is only possible to participate once or twice weekly.

Allow time for exercise daily each day.

As I am writing about this I am feeling stress.  There are some things in my day that I can't plan for, which are the cause of major stress.  Recently, I have been dealing with my husband's mother being very ill, and the time required for visiting her in the hospital.  It is about an hour just to get to the hospital, so that can take a chunk out of my day.  I also spend time talking to my husband and his sister on the phone several times daily.

TIME MANAGEMENT will allow me to get control of the time spent on my routine activities and allow me to see how much time I am spending on each thing daily.    

Exercise will be a priority!!  

Monday, April 22, 2013


When my son finally got around to getting up on Sunday he texted me to tell me "Prom was Awesome!!"  He stopped right before he went to bed last night and told me, "Thanks for help making it such a great weekend."  It was worth every penny we spent!

My son and his date.

My Son.

His Date.

The group he went with!

The guys.

Who are those hot chicks?

The kids all having fun!!

The following pictures are the red carpet walk.  They valet park their cars and they are announced as they walk the long walk to the entrance to the prom.

My son and date.

His friend.

His tall friend!

My five year old grandson going out to give his uncle "five"!!

I'm glad it was a great and memorable evening for the whole group. My son said he danced during almost the entire time at prom.  After prom the dates wore matching t-shirts, (Mr. Rodger's in the Hood, from Mr. Rodger's neighborhood).    I didn't get pics!  

They went on a school bus  to a children's play area, with tubes to crawl through, bouncy things, arcade, laser tag and all that stuff to play all night.  They got home around five.  I ended up with the boys sleeping at my house most of the day.  A tiring, but awesome weekend!