Friday, December 11, 2009

No wonder I get to this point of just wanting to give up, to go ahead and eat myself into oblivion...

for the past two weeks I have been forcing myself (and it has been hard) to not eat anything after supper. We eat at about 6:00 every night and I don't go to bed sometimes 'til 1:00 or 1:30 so that's a long time to not snack on anything (the most I've had is a few stick pretzels and ONE night I fell off the wagon and ate some yogurt)

and the result....


It seems like no matter what I try, it doesn't work or it doesn't work for long. If I do manage to lose a pound or two I gain it back. So, once again, I don't know why I even try.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

call me crazy

but I am thinking about getting The Biggest Loser game for the Wii. I thought it would be something fun for Erin and I to do together. We can even challenge each other. She doesn't need to lose any weight, but I've noticed that her stamina isn't so great. Plus it would be fun for us. She seems pretty interested in it. We don't have the fitness board, but it says you don't have to have it. What do you think?

Monday, November 02, 2009

Try ..try...try again! Right? I'm back on the wagon. I'm not drinking anymore soda and I'm going to really pay attention to what I'm eating and when. I've got to get this under control now!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


She called tonight, it was late but i had been awake shortly before. it was almost three a.m. and she texted

that something unspeakably horrible had happened.

I have known this girl, this little China-pet as I call her, for some time now. We worked together. When she started dating him, I knew it was a fling. It was something she was doing because she is young- he is inappropriate, but temporary, and I felt she was entitled to her youth.

She is out of his league, looks-wise, too pretty and young, socio-economically from a stable family who sent her to private highschool and now she's an art major at the best school in my hometown.

I didn't like her at first, something about her was off-puttingly intense. She seemed to stare at me from kohl-rimmed deep-set blue eyes.

But that was so long ago now.
She won me over. She tried and that was enough for me. It is much too hard for me to actively dislike someone. It isn't in my nature and she is wonderful. she is my own personal Alice from Wonderland.

oh, the many silly games we play. and the many truths we tell, the nonsense we smoke, and the hope and faith we share.

He beat the shit out of her tonight.

By friday, I'll have his head on a plate.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dinners this Week

last night: Arugula and Steak Salad + Eggplant Stir-fry by Chris
tonight: pizza! prosciutto and arugula
tomorrow: mustard chicken+ broccoli
mango chicken tacos, tuna farfalle and shrimp arrabiata to follow.

For my next menu: i need your most favorite CHEAP dinner recipes.

much obliged to you,

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


hello, dahlings!
wondering if you could do me a favor.
I have estimated, and proven now three times, that I spend about 25 dollars/per day for groceries, not including any alcohol- but all breakfasts, lunches and dinners included.

today I shopped for 6 days and spent $155. I want to see if my bill is really so very high, compared to you guys who, they would say, live in more affordable areas than Boston.

For six-seven days I seem to always spend $30 on produce.

k, what about you all?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

there's somethin' happenin' here

I have not fully committed myself to better eating. Having visitors seems to make that task even more difficult. I am thinking about healthy eating/living more. I find myself choosing not to have ice cream or ordering water instead of coke. These are not big things, but they are a start. I'm looking forward to David's schedule change and the changes that will mean. He'll be home in the evening so dinner will be more thought out. With just Erin and I there was a tendency to throw something together at the last minute. He won't be coming home at the insane hour of 2a.m. anymore which means my sleep habits will change drastically. This is the part I'm most excited about! I know that sleep is the key to so many health issues. My hope is that life will begin to take on some form of regularity and that it will translate to better eating habits. If nothing else, he won't be home for breakfast anymore which will mean I'm far less likely to make pancakes, french toast, or waffles.
Something I find interesting is that my weight has not fluctuated since a few weeks after having Hayden. I did initially drop a few lbs while in the hospital, but those came back. I didn't even lose any weight while in the hospital for OHS or the week long ordeal with pericarditis. Nor did I gain any after surgery which was a huge surprise to me considering all of the restrictions I had. Throughout this time I haven't really watched what I was eating that much. If I wanted something I ate it. During the time between Hayden's birth and the surgery I stress ate a lot, but I stopped that after surgery. The only modification to my diet was lowering sodium, but I'm not a big salt eater anyway so I'm not sure that was much of a change. One thing I do consume more of these days is Coke. Other than that I find that I don't over eat but I do eat what I feel like having. It's just crazy to me that all of this eating with no exercising hasn't equaled weight gain.
I've been a little out of the loop lately, since Mark's kidney stone attack on Friday night. I have felt like I was in another world being in and out of the hospital, up all night several nights with him and trying to get some sleep during the day. It really messed up what Em and I had going. I did get the South Beach diet book and read through it quickly. I decided it was just too much for me to put on Emily all at once so I did make some adjustments to her diet. We have been cutting out carbs here and there and add some extra protein. She has not complained one little bit so far. We have been a little off track for the past few days but I will get back into the groove soon. I've been walking regularly since our weather has been so nice. Seth wants to get a treadmill for this winter, we'll see if we can work that into our budget. I have talked with a personal trainer friend of mine about Emily but so far he has been of little help. I understand nutrition as well as he does. Mark and I have talked about toning beds.

So,we are making progress, little bitty steps in the right direction. Now, if we can just see results from it.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

and the saga continues:

i have been in Boston for six days now and i am enjoying it. i have cleaned out my restroom (threw away a bunch of old-medicine and make-up) and cleaned out our closet. Both Chris and i have too many clothes for the size constraints of our storage areas, so i have two big bags of clothes glowing to Boomerangs- the thrift shop in town whose proceeds go to AIDS research,etc. it feels fantastic to prune our wardrobes, but it isn't easy for me to do. i tend to want to keep anything that isn't torn or stained. This was the first time i had to let go of items because, for instance, they have always fit a little too big, or the sweater looks faded... you know... stuff i could have continued to wear and would-have, if i had more space.

Some people think that clutter makes it hard to lose weight, do you?

I went to the grocery store again yesterday. I told Chris that for me grocery-shopping is always fun and makes me feel rooted in my location. he doesn't get that, he hates grocery-shopping. i have been making specific lists and taking a calculator. WOW! it makes the event super organized and quick, we get exactly what we need, rarely anything gets capriciously added, and we CONTROL the cost. it makes the experience totally AWESOME for me-- the tally makes me understand exactly how much money is being spent and why-- all intentionally, you see. i usually hate spending $100 anywhere all together.

This time we were shopping for four days and spent $63. not bad, though we will have to spend $10 on smaller-market produce. We went yesterday, Labor Day, so the produce was already seriously picked-over by the time we got there. no strawberries, no cilantro, and all the avocadoes were really mushy. So $73 for four days? not bad. we spent more last time.

i weigh less now. ten pounds less than right this minute would be as little as i need to weigh. it would be in my You GO GIRL! range.
remember when we used to say that? my FIL still says it. TEN POUNDS! it is my goal! FYI: minus five pounds from here is where i was when i got pregs with Jujie. Minus TEN-- which is the goal-- is my wedding day weight. cool, right?

i read an article on yesterday called "Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin".
While the article does say that exercise is good for a lot of health-markers, it does not make one lose weight. Basically, the article refers to exercise as we now know it, 30-60 minutes in the gym. it asserts that when we work out, we compensate for the loss of energy by either eating more or moving less throughout the day. The article suggests that we then strive to maintain a more active lifestyle- gardening, using the stairs, running for the T (in my case) and eat sensibly. If you have time, read it and let me know what you think.

Since i have an easier time eating well than exercising regularly, i like it.=)

how are you doing, healthwise? A: how is SouthBeach going? sleeping any?

Saturday, September 05, 2009


I am in Boston now and, finally, in charge of my own kitchen. We are eating eggs or cereal for bfast, turkey or ham wraps for lunch, and planned dinners. It isn't cheap at the grocery store, this bare-bones-but-healthy menu, but i have to admit it is still less expensive and less caloric than eating out.

We have this charming bakery 1 block away from us and i bought myself a little pastry there, a blueberry galette. It was delicious, slightly heated, with milk. last night i made Chris' favorite: orange peel beef. I use low-sodium soy sauce, fresh veggies for the stir-fry, and whole wheat pasta so it was pretty healthy. Tonight, it is grilled chicken, veggies and wild rice.

I am of the opinion, as it matches my experience, that eating healthy is redundant. You'll notice that we're eating wraps everyday for lunch-- for four days. My wraps have turkey, havarti, bell pepper, sprouts and avocado. the ham option gets a yummy artichoke and hummus spread in it. Wraps are easy and i think they cost about $2.25 per wrap. But the ingredients are most cost-effective for us if we eat them daily after we buy them, else we spend money elsewhere while they get less fresh and healthy and less appetizing and then, after a week, i don't want to eat them at all. The best wraps are made in succession, daily, with the veggies still pretty, and they are really REALLY healthy for us. (I think that eating bad food also gets repetitive...there are times i am tired of hamburgers and chinese food, but i actually get it ANYWAY because it is convenient and cheap and habit.) funny, huh? So i just accept that eating healthier and conveniently and cheaply will involve less variety. If it really starts to bug me, and i know it might, i will be forced to get more creative. but for right now, this'll work.

i guess what i could have said is that i think for me, success in the venture is greatly aided by CONVENIENCE! and for me, convenience is Repetition. and, it might be important to note: i love to grocery shop and aim to do so twice a week so that I don't intend to eat exactly the same thing for more than four days in a row.

This works for me, but what is it that works for you?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Thank you ladies for your encouragement. It does help, a lot. Since it will be a few days before I get the South Beach Diet book I pulled out one I already owned - The Insulin Resistance Diet and started implementing it into our diets today. I'm sure there will be many more changes to come but so far Emily has not complained too much.
She did turn her nose up at the boiled egg I put on her breakfast plate this morning, but, she ate it. She eats small amounts of food five or six times a day.
The real challenge is that she already eats well and still gains so I'm not sure what we will have to do to actually see results. But, we will give it a go and see what happens.

It really does help me to be able to talk about here. Mark supports me 100% in this but it's just different to be able to talk to you guys about it.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Okay, I have made a decision and it was not an easy decision to make either.

I worry constantly about Emily's health and mine has not been good lately either. Normally, I can get things (illnesses)under control quickly by eating right and taking the right supplements and exercise but for the past year I have not been able to. I was not able to get my blood pressure down and have been on meds for about six months and they make me feel like crap. I have had this same nagging cough for over three months now and it just won't go away...

Emily just sits back there in her room and gets fatter by the day. Cutting calories didn't work, she can't exercise... I worry about her breathing and her heart and diabetes.

Today I started doing some reading and research about diabetes and insulin resistance. I read that the closest "diet" book out there for IR diet is the South Beach Diet so...

I ordered the book and I am going to put myself and Emily on the diet and stick to it for at least six months to see if it helps her. I know it will be good for me and if she has to do it so do I.

She is going to hate me. We are going to fight. She won't understand why. But, I am determined to do this.

So, say a little prayer (if that's what you do) or wish me luck or at least think about us as we struggle to get this under control.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Doing really good with the eating well and exercising now. I exercise almost every day. Can't believe it's been three plus weeks since I had ice cream, fast food, soda or candy. Woo-woo!

I've lost 10 lbs, too (since I last checked which was probably about six weeks or so ago). It's not really about poundage (in my opinion), but it does feel good to see that on the scale. I have a ways to go, but my clothes are getting looser (bra, pants, etc.) and my belt is getting tighter. Plus, the people close to me (J, Missi, Mom and Dad) have noticed a change and that's cool.

And you know what keeps coming to my mind: I am actually being "selfish" in a healthy way right now. I am doing what is truly in my best interest (rather than what I used to think was in my best interest--pigging out). Funny how a simple change of mind can really affect you.

Love to you all.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

about an hour before dark when the temperature had dropped a little I changed my shoes and got ready to go for my walk which would make two days in a row - yeah, me. I walked out the door and it was beginning to rain. "Ah, to hell with it, I'm going walking anyway."

and I did.

I am going to try to get to the doctor next week and have him change my BP meds. The one I take has a diuretic in it and he seems to think it may be a part of the reason for the cough that still hasn't gone away. I haven't been taking it this week at all and I'm wondering if that is why I feel so bloated today?

Off to Tulsa tomorrow, I will get my walking in at the mall :)

love you lots

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

well.... I did walk this morning but I am not sure there was anything healthy about it. It was an angry, I-need-to-go-walk-this-off-before-I-kill-someone walk. It was faster than normal which I'm sure was good for me, even though I don't know how being that angry could ever be healthy.

Then, later, when I calmed down I was so worn out with the anger that I took an hour long nap.. which never happens. Usually my naps, if I ever get one, are power naps - 10 or 15 minutes at the most.

So, maybe the getting stupidly angry wasn't so bad after all.

'Round Here:

Ha ha. that title could be clever, huh?

Well, i wanted to tell you all that last night as i lay in bed, while i was drifting off to sleep I started thinking about everything I had eaten. i started thanking myself for the restraint i did show (not much) and asking myself to eat four oreos not six, next time, that is.

And then i really woke up and i was so happy that i was being so nice to myself, even in my sleep, and happier still that i have begun so internalizing my goal that i was going over the days calories without force.

how are you nice to yourselves?


Monday, August 24, 2009

The good: I have been walking more!

The bad: I have not been going to bed on time ( as is evident with this post) and I have an addiction to coke. Unfortunately it's the beverage variety and not the powdery white stuff that could help with weight loss.

I feel like I don't even know how to start this time! Life is so full of chaos right now and that is an awful excuse, but I just don't feel like I have any bit of routine to use as a starting point. Every time I try to carve something out something else pops up. David did apply for a new job that would give him normal hours and weekends off. That could be the beginning of a normal schedule if he gets it. It must sound like I'm full of excuses and maybe I am. It just feels like I'm always running from one thing to the next and trying to juggle a healthy diet and workout on top of all this running has me tired before I even start.

I know, it's about putting me first, but I'm not sure how to do that with an 11 month old and a 13 year-old.

I'll find a way. I have to do this for them and for me! So, starting tomorrow it's an 11 o'clock bed time for me. I don't care how many photos need editing or what house work is left undone.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

So Far. . .

my eating habits are shifting back to a little healthier. I have been to Jason's deli twice when i would have gone somewhere else. I had a salad yesterday at Chili's. you'll notice the trend: i am eating out a lot. it is really hard to control your weight under those circumstances.

Still, i feel that unless I had been weighing myself every morning-- something I was unable to do during the month i was on the road-- aha!-- i would still be in a binging state and gaining weight.

I expect three pounds to come off relatively easily over the next week and a half (when I will fly to boston) and then I will begin a real attempt to lose ten pounds. September and October! seven week to lose ten pounds at that point. I will be walking all around Boston and totally in-charge of my own kitchen. it is highly possible.

On A's blog she posts about not getting sleep.
This is a huge huge deal when it comes to weight maintenance and loss, and as she mentions, her disrupted sleep patterns create a disharmony to the time kept in her home-- she and Em are in a different world.

A: please please focus on getting back onto a decent sleep schedule before you attempt weight loss. it is more important. I would like to read about how you attempt to do so, so please write it all out...

love you all.

Friday, August 21, 2009


How we all seem to be thinking about this! I haven't checked this blog in a while--bad, I know. It's good to see you guys on here again.

About two weeks ago, I was doing some researching online about overeating/addictive behaviors. Yep, I answered a lot of those overeater anonymous questions with a big fat yes. Not good.

Long story short, I found an interesting "theory"--it's something I've been trying to do in my daily life and I'm telling you, my eating and motivation and exercising has gotten so much better. It's based on something called "addictive voice recognition therapy" (AVRT). The basic premise is that when we have an addiction to something (unhealthy food, drugs, alcohol), we have an addictive voice (sometimes they call it The Beast) who is constantly telling us to consume that substance. The real you is the one that wants to be healthy. If you can recognize that addictive voice and realize it has no power over you (over your body, over your limbs, over your mind) and ignore its siren song, you can gain power and control over your addiction.

The real me wants to be healthy for so many reasons--more energy, a good example for Alyssa, a better, stronger body. The Beast just wants me to take the easy way out every time--wants me to eat to deal with sad/bad feelings--wants me to eat, eat, eat until I'm stuffed. I'm telling the Beast to leave me alone.

For overeaters, another aspect of this is "playing TAPS" for your Beast. Basically setting up some rules for yourself in regard to:

I've basically told myself, no eating after 7:30 p.m. or eating in my car. This gets rid of fast food and the constant desire I had to leave the house after Alyssa went to bed to get something fatty and sweet. Seriously, sometimes I was consuming 500-1,000 calories in the evenings and going to bed with an upset stomach. As far as amount goes, I am just working on eating to satisfaction, not overwhelming fullness/stuffing myself like I was.

I haven't put any restrictions on myself for substance, but I have had about three (very minor) sweet treats in the last two weeks--before it was about three treats each day--and no fast food--and I was eating a LOT of fast food. Eating sweets and fast food just doesn't get the Real Me anywhere near my goals--and that's why I'm not eating them.

Girls, I resisted free onion rings. Dude.


I don't know enough about this to recommend it to everyone, but I know it's working for me right now. (I've ordered the book for this, but I haven't received it yet; I'm just going off what I learned on the website.) But let me tell you, ladies, this has improved my eating by TONS. I used to shoot for 90% good foods--it was usually more around 50% and some days less. (Ugh, just admitting that is hard.) Now I'm eating about 95% healthy foods all the time. I was eating a LOT of junk--and this has really helped me.

I haven't really lost much weight, but I've gone down a notch on my belt, my stomach feels less puffy--and frankly, I just feel better. I'm not as swollen. I have more energy at the gym (and I'm making it to the gym and out walking and doing yoga more) and all day long. I am even thinking about getting off caffeine. Eeeek.

Anyway, just wanted to share that with you gals. If it helps, cool. If not, no biggie.

I admire that you all are so open about what you are going through and that I have you to share with. Love you girls!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I have walked three times this week and hope to go again in the morning, not bad. I even increased the time on the last walk.
My eating has been hit and miss.. I do really well and then follow it up with junk.

I had a dream the other night that I was shopping for a dress and the only one that would fit me was a size 25. Weird dream, I know, but, I woke up feeling so bad about myself. It has kind of stuck with me all week.

There are times when I would like to dress up or at least dress better and then I get this feeling of "why bother" "no matter what I put on I am still going to look fat and ugly"

I know this is not supposed to be about weight but sometimes I can't help but let it bother me.. but it never bothers me enough to actually do something about it. I just feel bad and keep on doing the same things.

I bought a new pair of dark wash jeans from Lane Bryant. They have this stupid new sizing chart where you put in your measurements and they give you your new size. I bought size 5 jeans. What?? They think they are going to fool women into believing they are not fat just by changing the sizes? The size 5's were too big in the waist even after giving them measurements. I sent them back.

I did walk right on by the bakery department at Sam's today while everyone was ooohhing and aaawwing over the baked goods. Yeah Me!

I will get up in the morning and go walk. I will drink water at least half of the time. I will try to nibble on grapes instead of chips (I only bought fat free anyway)
I will keep trying. I will.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


this could not have come at a better time. I find myself, at this very moment, about fifteen pounds over my ideal weight. My ideal weight has a five pound grace limit right above it, so that I am ten pounds over my acceptable grace weight. geez.
Ten POUNDS> maybe it doesn't seem like much. it is. the real goal should be the fifteen pounds.

You know, until recently, I was five pounds thinner than i am now. FOR LIKE A YEAR! A YEAR! but then, i just started eating whatever I wanted to, which normally is fine for me, but i started eating dessert a lot, all of a sudden.

I am on this train. more later.
Big plans this week. I'm going to start walking. It's been rather warm and muggy here so my step-sister and I are going to be walking in the evenings. This works out well since I work mornings. Wish me luck!

You'll notice this post comes well after my 11 o'clock bed time. I can't sleep. It's so hard for me to sleep when David isn't here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

so, ladies, how has your week been? I've made small changes, nothing drastic or world changing but I feel better about it. I didn't walk every day like I hoped to and I didn't eat all healthy foods but I figure that any little improvement helps. I had a junior whopper on Wednesday night but that was the only eating out we have done this week. I drank more water and less pop. I took my vitamins.

now, if I could just get around to shaving my legs... :)

I love you guys.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Going deep

Last night I went to bed at eleven but couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned wondering why it feels different this time. In the past I've always felt the desire/urge to get healthy and lose weight. This time there is nothing. So I searched last night for the answer and it came. The truth is I'm so angry about this scar on my chest not just because it's a blazing red signal to everyone of what I consider a private matter, but because, for me, it symbolizes my bodies ability to turn on me, to let me down.
I've never considered myself a vain person, but maybe I am. I hate having it. I hate that no matter how healthy I am or how much weight I lose I will have a scar that belongs on a 70 year-old's body when I am only 30. I hate that I put on a shirt with a v-neck and take it off because the nasty voice inside me says "Yuck! No one should have to look at that!". I hate that it is there to remind me of one of the most scary times of my life. I know it speaks of healing and of making it through and of courage, but it also speaks of the opposites of those things.
Mostly, it reminds me that doing all of these things to make myself more healthy will tip the scale in favor of me being and staying healthy but it in no way guarantees I'll stay that way.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Super Foods

Here is the list of Super Foods:

Dark Chocolate (100 calories or 2 small nuggets)
Citrus fruits - lemons, grapefruit, limes, etc.
Blueberries - grapes, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries
Apples, pears
Plums, pomegranates
Pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes
Beans (all kinds)
Soy (all soy products including edema, soy nuts, soy milk, tofu, etc.)
Broccoli (all brassicas including brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower)
Oats, flaxseed (all whole grains including wild rice, barley, couscous, etc.)
Nuts (all kinds)
Salmon, albacore
Chicken breast
Black Pepper
Olive oi, canola oil

That is a lot of variety for healthy eating. No one should feel deprived with this much choice.

Now if I can just stay away from the bologna and chips :)
The Good Protein Chart

Protein can help you shed those unwanted pounds and keep your belly full. But it's important to eat the right amount and the right kind of protein to get the health benefits.
Fish & Seafood

Seafood is one of the best sources of protein because it's usually low in fat. Fish such as salmon is a little higher in fat but it is the heart-healthy kind: omega-3 fatty acids.
White-Meat Poultry

Stick to the white meat of poultry for excellent, lean protein. Dark meat is higher in fat. The skin is loaded with saturated fat, so remove skin before cooking.
Milk, Cheese Yogurt

Not only are dairy foods excellent sources of protein but they also contain valuable calcium. Choose skim or low fat dairy to keep bones and teeth strong, prevent osteoporosis and enhance weight loss.

Eggs are one of the least expensive forms of protein. The American Heart Association says normal healthy adults can safely enjoy an egg a day.

One-half cup of beans contains as much protein as 3 ounces of broiled steak. Plus, these nutritious nuggets are loaded with fiber to keep you feeling full for hours.
Pork Tenderloin

This great and versatile white meat is 31% leaner than 20 years ago.

Twenty five grams of soy protein daily can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Combine soy protein foods like tofu with a healthy low fat diet.
Lean Beef

Lean beef has only one more gram of saturated fat than a skinless chicken breast. Lean beef is also an excellent source of zinc, iron and vitamin B12.
Protein on the Go

Grab a meal replacement drink, cereal bar or energy bar. Check the label to be sure the product contains at least 6 grams of protein, and is low in sugar and fat.

the url for this is:
Here are a couple of links to healthy drive through choices. It may not be the best, but at least you know you can chose healthfully while at the drive though.

Luckily I'm nowhere near a drive through so it's a little easier to make meals. What I used to do when I was eating on a different meal plan than David and Erin was make a batch of grilled chicken on Sunday that would last through the week. I'd slice it up and throw it in a salad. I kept those bags of tossed salad in the fridge along with my favorite salad dressing. It was great especially in the summer! I just threw it together and ate.

I'm wondering what your thoughts are on food choices. I know it's good to have a wide variety, but it seems that if I have more than a few options I just end up eating a little of everything! When I lost weight/got healthier in the past I had the same thing for breakfast and lunch and then had a handful of things I switched around for snacks and dinner was almost always a grilled chicken or fish, veggies, and a baked sweet potato. Is that enough variety? As long as I'm taking my vitamins should that be okay?
I didn't get into bed until 2am, I was up and down all night coughing and gagging, didn't wake up until 10:30 this morning and when I did it was already hot. I walked to the dog pen, walked back to the laundry room (where the dog food is kept)fed Rufus, walked back to the dog pen (100 yards or so), fed Copper, picked tomatoes and okra while I was down that way, walked to the pool to turn off the pump (another 50 yards, or there about)started back to the house................. it's hot........ I told my girls I was going to do this... and off I went up the trail.

So, thanks for holding me accountable. I felt better about making myself go walk.

(even though I was miserable hot and sweaty by the time I got back)

I had my half cup of coffee and NO cookie.

I had two scrambled eggs for breakfast instead of a bagel and cheese.

I did pretty good all day until supper time and then I had a about a cup of strawberry ice cream and two shortbread cookies.

Oh, well, it is a start.

I think I will go walk again this evening before dark.

How are you doing?

Saturday, August 08, 2009

one more time

I am not sure what happened to cause me to completely fall off the healthy lifestyle wagon, but, I have. I have been feeling guilty for several weeks now about not walking, but, still I don't walk. I blame the heat, then the rain, well, I'm out of excuses. While I was brushing my teeth tonight getting ready to go to bed I looked at myself in the mirror and thought "Geez, Aola, you look terrible" My eyes are sunken in and have big dark circles around them. I have been fighting this cough for almost three months now and my body is just not healing the way it should. I'm not winning. All I want to eat is sweets and that is not like me. I have actually lost weight this summer but only because I just don't have much of an appetite.
I went to bed and lay there thinking about all the things I know to do and do not... well, you all know what that is. The Bible says it's a sin. I say it is just stupid.

So, I got up out of bed and put my robe on and came to the office to declare (once again) that I will fight (for a better quality of life). I will turn this around again and get well, get to feeling better, looking better, and feeling better about myself.

I will get up in the morning and NOT eat a cookie with my morning 1/2 cup of coffee and I will take the dogs on a walk before breakfast.

I am going to revert back to my healthier eating, more veggies and fruits and good proteins, less sugar.

I will take the proper vitamins and supplements daily instead of every third or fourth day like I have been.

Sometimes, I guess, I just get weary in well doing. It is hard being older and not being able to eat the things you really like or having the energy to keep fighting. But, my resolve is in place and

HERE I GO....................

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Divas

Here's what I thought of the DivaCup:


Don't have to buy tampons or pads. Better for the environment and your pocketbook. There's just a one-time cost and it has gone down in recent years (I got mine for about $20--a few years ago it was closer to $35-40). It's supposed to last for 10 years or more.

You get to be well-acquainted with your body and your cycle. Most of us aren't really familiar with our menstrual flow; we don't necessarily need to be, I suppose. Although if you had a medical condition or were curious, the DivaCup is a great way to get familiar with it.

No more tampons and pads floating around your purse. Just your DivaCup. That's it. No more running out at the office, in the middle of the night, etc. Another little bonus: if you can tell you are about to start, you can insert it fairly early. You don't have to wait until you are flowing to insert it (like with a tampon).

Virtually no risk of toxic shock. Which means you can wear it all day on the last few days of your period when your flow isn't as heavy or all night and not worry about it.

Lots of other things. All the things you can do with a tampon (swim, exercise, etc.), you can do with this. Haven't had a chance to experience foreign travel or camping with it, but I've heard it works out pretty well.


Your fingers are going to get messy. Most of us wash our hands after using the restroom anyway, but in this case, you're probably going to want to wash your hands before, too. Which means...

Dealing with this in public restrooms sucks. You just touched the door handle and now you are going to touch yourself? Mmmm, yuck. And since you are not in the comfort of your own home and most restroom stalls don't have a sink in which to rinse out the cup, you kind of have to dump it and wipe it as much as possible with toilet paper and then reinsert it. Doing this once or twice is not really a big deal, but an all day shopping trip or something during the first few days of your period might be really un-fun.

Personally...I seem to have a heavier flow than most DivaCup users...I'm emptying and rinsing more frequently than many people (according to internet forums) seem to need to in the first few days. I also need to use liners almost always--I didn't usually need to when I was using tampons, and I could go a bit longer between tampon changes.

It definitely takes a little time to figure out how exactly to insert and remove the DivaCup. There are lots of little tips online that may help (how to fold it, how to pinch it while removing, etc.).

I'll probably keep using it.
I'm used to it now and it's pretty convenient. Plus, the frugal environmentalist in me likes it a lot. :)

Hope that helps, gals!

Saturday, May 30, 2009


I'll be writing a review of the DivaCup...soon!

Love to my gals.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

What Do You Think?

I am wondering about this: What would be the most important verses for a person seeking God after the rapture? I'm looking for about 10-12, easy-to-memorize verses. Anyone?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

We keep trying to find ways to survive, finding out we owe over $5,000.00 in taxes didn't help any though. I have canceled all of our insurance except our home owners and our life insurance and of course the insurance on the vehicles that is required by law. Today I canceled everything on our satellite tv plan down to the base package. We have to keep the Disney channels for Emily :)

Our internet business is slower than it has ever been except for a brief period after 911. When 911 happened it was as if someone had flipped a switch. Up until then we had a pretty steady flow of orders then suddenly nothing for several months.

The shop is still doing okay but it alone isn't enough to keep us above water.

I keep hoping and believing that things will start picking up, once tax season is over and summer gets closer (the music business is traditionally busier during the summer tour season)

It is really hard for me, mentally, to see our savings dwindling.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Whole New Life

Well, this week I start a new thing. I am unemployed starting April 1. I feel like God is wanting me to write. For the time I have off, or until I absolutely have to take a job, no matter what it pays, I am supposed to write. I have four kids' curriculum projects; my book to my family; my Mercy blog and my personal blog. Pray for me, will you? I'd like to somehow earn some money writing, editing, etc. Thanks, ladies.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I guess I'm not that interested in losing weight. I'm walking/jogging almost every day when the weather cooperates and eating as I please. The scale hasn't budge one way or another. I'm not pushing myself to do anything more right now.

One thing I've noticed is my aerobic tolerance is so much less than it ever has been. I know that has to do with being pregnant and not working out for quite a while, but it's really deteriorated. Walking up the hill by my house is a true task and it's a hill I used to run up in my teens. I think something my surgeon told me might be the cause. He said that being pregnant and all of the stress that adds to the heart along with the stress of the ASD caused me to go into acute heart failure. That would be the reason the first cardiologist thought I needed a heart transplant. Luckily for me my heart was able to recover and no transplant was needed, but I'm wondering if the damage that currently exists is in some part due to all the added stress of pregnancy. Even at 8 months pregnant I could walk up this hill without much of a problem. Now I huff and puff my way up and my lungs feel like they are on fire! I'm very interested to see how things will feel after the surgery.

Oh, and these stretch marks. They suck!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Oprah on Thursday was about shopping (for groceries)wisely, not buying prepackaged foods, buying what you need and not being wasteful, about cooking for your family..

For some reason I am always totally surprised at the number of women who don't know this???

I guess I am just old school but it still surprises me that there are so many young women who can't and don't cook. Both of my married sons have wives that don't cook. My sons do.

There was one woman on Oprah recently with two older teen boys and she admitted that they had not sat down at the dinner table together in TWO years! To me that is just unbelievable.

No wonder there is so much talk on television about bringing back the family dinner...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The no sugar thing didn't work. I lost 2lbs in two weeks which is frustrating and really not worth all that effort. David's sister has convinced me to try the Zone diet. She's been on it for as long as I've known her and even used it to lose baby weight from both of her pregnancies. I was supposed to start it on Monday, but faltered a little. Periods and diets don't seem to mix very well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's almost time for the 2009 Championship!

This is one of my most favorite global competitions. It's completely frivolous yet it brings people together from many generations. It also allows people to be comfortable with non-conformity.

Now, if only they'd have a 'Best Granny Whiskers' competition.... I'd take a run at it. Dye my 17 whiskers brilliant aqua and go as best abstract beard.

Have a wonderful day, Phenomenal Women!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


I'm trying to decide....

Mark's life insurance policy is with AIG. We have been with them for years, ten or more years. This policy is a return-of-premiums policy and under 5 years old, so, if I cancel it now we will lose everything we have paid in on it. But, I keep wondering if it is just stupid to keep paying it. The government says it won't let AIG fail, but who the hell trusts anything "they" say? AIG says that the insurance part of the company is still okay... again, how can you trust what they say?

Will they fail? What in the world would I do if something happened to Mark and his insurance didn't pay off????

Life's a gamble and I don't know which way to bet.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hard Currency for Hard Times

Ok, I've actually bought some silver.

I have 3 ounces in the house, and 13 more on the way. All from e-bay. Some are in 1 troy ounce coins, and 8 oz are in mixed pre 1964 us coins.

I have set up a budget about how much I am going to spend each pay period on hard currency. If we need it, then I'll feel great because we had it when times were tough. If we never do, then great, my nephew will get it one day.

But, the more I see the market slide and watch our government print useless bills to pay debt, the more I think that this is going to be an important component of our security and supply.

Oh, I found this wonderful explanation of the credit crisis.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cutting out sugar has almost become a habit now. I'm not craving it as badly as I was and I don't feel tired, other than the tired I feel from being sick. I did have Starbucks yesterday. It's the first one I've had in long time. It didn't taste quite as good as I remember. Luckily it didn't send me back into sugar mode.

I haven't been working out because I've been sick, but I'm looking forward to some time on the treadmill tomorrow.
Did anyone else watch Oprah yesterday? I was shocked! It was about the effects of the recession on America. Lisa Ling was doing a report from Sacramento about the tent cities popping up there and not only there but they said they are popping up in most large cities.

I had no idea.

Almost all of the people they interviewed that have been hit hard by the recession said the same thing over and over....

They had not spent wisely. They had lived beyond their means. They had not saved anything.

And, what would they do differently? Save, save, save and not spend, spend, spend.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More about Money and Financial Stuff

If you've been to my blog and watched the 'Financiall 9/11' video then you'll know that my alert level on the financial state of the US has ratcheted up significantly. Now I'm deciding what to do about it personally.

I have started buying hard currency (silver coins - gold will follow as I can afford it), and I had already changed over my 401K about 5 months ago to the super secure Treasury bills fund.

Then I got this article

It's kind of a chewy read, I felt like I wanted a vitamin and a latte first. But it really spells out how and why things may or may not work like the government is hoping it will.

The other things I'm thinking about and planning for kind of make me feel like a survivalist whack-job so I'll save those for later.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Becky and I are having a conversation in the comments of my last post regarding the labeling of our struggle with food/eating. In thinking about the conversation and searching for information, I came across some interesting articles that I want to share. I'm interested in your thoughts. For my entire life food has either been my friend or my enemy depending on the day of week, time of month, or phase of the moon. I've always looked at this struggle one dimensionally realizing on some level that there were other factors involved but never pointing the finger at them. Just now, in a single thought, food became neutral ground. Food is only the ammunition I use against myself. I'm still trying to sort this all out. I'm not sure my thoughts make sense.
Anyway, here are the links.

I'm really interested in continuing this conversation.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'd love for this to be the post where I tell you how amazingly easy it is to do without sugar. I'd love to tell you that in the battle between Sandra and cupcake Sandra won, but it wouldn't be true. I gave in to temptation today and had a cupcake. Blasted cupcake! I didn't even enjoy it if that makes up for it. I did wrestle with myself for an hour before giving in. What I found is that I wanted the texture of the cupcake not the sweetness of it. I'm not sure there is a substitute for cake/brownie like texture that doesn't involve sugar. I'm going to try an apple sauce cake and she if that does the trick.
I did skip on pasta for dinner. I almost just said screw it and loaded it on my plate, but in the end sanity won. I loaded up on sweet peas and zucchini instead.

I have a friend that's been on a no sugar diet for three years now. I guess it's a lifestyle change after that long. She also uses over eaters anonymous, which is based on AA, to help her through it. I went to a meeting with her once, but thought it wasn't anything I needed, but I'm changing my mind. When I think of my relationship to food I can see pretty clearly that it's very similar to what any addict must feel. The ease of giving in to temptation. The way I tell myself just one more won't hurt anything. It's even more tricky because my battle is food and I have to eat. There is just no way around it. What I realized today after eating the cupcake is that in the past once I give in to that sort of temptation I just give up on myself. I'm not giving up this time. I may slip a million more times, but you'll still find me trudging up that hill.
Learning to live without, well with LESS, salt....

normally when I grab a piece of celery, or a cherry tomato, or just about any other thing I eat I also grab the salt shaker. I've said in the past that if the little thin extra salty pretzels had any kind of nutrient value I would live on them. I salt everything.

Rethinking the way you eat sounds like a really hard thing to do but I'm finding it is not really all that hard once you just actually do it.

I can not eat pretzels (and live)
I can pop a cherry tomato in my mouth without salting it first.
I can eat a stalk of celery plain with nothing whatsoever on it.
I can sit down and eat a meal without salting all my food.

And am finding very quickly that it doesn't make all that much difference. I still like the taste of the food.

Who Knew?????

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's the end of day three and I'm tired, but I feel like this is doable! The food is getting easier. I picked up some raw almonds and chick peas today. I'm going to try Becky's tip of roasting them. I'm also going to make some humus. I'm back and forth on the idea of using sugar free items. I have sugar free Jello in the fridge, but that's it. What do you think? I had natural peanut butter and celery today and am amazed at how full it made me feel! I'm not a huge celery fan, but I can eat it. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Levi found the coolest website the other day ... it has tons of food facts. We have been reading about the benefits of the super foods, you just can hardly believe the benefits of some foods... like celery. I knew it was good for lowering blood pressure but I had no idea it was SO good for so many other things.

check it out
Yesterday was tough. I had no sugar at all. I drank my coffee with only half and half. I skipped on the tortilla when we had fajitas for dinner. I had a two egg white one whole egg omelet with two slices of turkey bacon in half a whole wheat pita for breakfast. Lunch was a grilled chicken salad with two tablespoons of light sugar free Asian dressing. I had half a banana with sugar free cherry jello for a snack. The banana probably has more sugar than I need, but I'm not going to beat myself up over that.
There were far to many temptations! David and Erin had candy from V-Day left over which seemed to be everywhere. The brownies I made a few days ago were still on the cabinet. And to top it all off, it was my step-moms birthday and the only thing she asked for was some of my cranberry apple bread! So, I made her some. If I can avoid all of those things, I know I can do this.
I've had the same breakfast today and made it over to my dads house to workout on the treadmill. I'm going again this evening.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"The Shoulds"

What's one thing that you just can't stand doing, but you know you should do it? Yeah, I know, we shouldn't be motivated by "the shoulds" but we should motivate each other to do good, right?

I hate wedding and baby showers. I don't know why.I feel like I'm not a good woman if I don't like these things.

But there are some that I should go to.

You guys are probably all way past this stage of grappling with "the shoulds" but any input would be nice to hear.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

So, I'm making a commitment here in hopes that you ladies will check up on me to see if I'm sticking with it. Starting on Monday I'm cutting sugar out of my diet and working out a minimum of 4 days a week. I want to lose 20lbs before I have surgery and 30lbs by my birthday. I so easily fall into a complacent attitude when it comes to weight. David loves my body regardless of the extra pounds and while I adore that about him, it doesn't help me in the motivation area. I'm tired of looking in the mirror and not recognizing the person I see. I'm tired of using food as my crutch. Things have gotten out of hand since Hayden was born, and I need to regain control. I turn 30 this year. What better reason is there to lose the extra pounds?

What I've Learned About Customer Complaints

My wonderful husband got me beautiful roses for Valentines' day, and he ordered them off of a very popular website. The order was fulfilled by a florist local to where I work. They were absolutely gorgeous when they arrived, and my husband was so pleased that finally his online order was exactly what he had wanted me to get (I sent him a phone picture). The men were extremely worried at work, and feeling inadequate, the women just loved them along with me.

However, the next morning when I arrived at work the next morning I had a couple of flopped over heads. The second morning (Friday) they had ALL flopped over. Cut flowers should last a week. Particularly when my darling husband spends a week's pay on them.

So, I e-mailed the local florist and explained my situation. I got a fairly tepid response "e-mail us a photo and we'll see if there is anything we can do for you". That was less of a customer service response than I was expecting. So, I called them and we talked for a few minutes and still there was a mildly tepid answer, so I said that I'd be happy to bring their flowers by on my way home. They mentioned again that they weren't sure they could do anything......

On my way over, I deliberated my response. I decided on this approach: I was going to give them the opportunity to fulfill my husbands order properly; but that I simply could not let my husband see these flowers. He would be so upset. I also decided that if I had to I would let them know that I was a wedding photographer, and if they decided that these flowers were good enough to represent their company, I'd let them know I'd have them up on my website by that evening along with the florist's name.

So, I walked into the store with my flowers, a pleasant smile on my face and "Hi, I'm Cara Vinson, we spoke on the phone how are you today?..... and the florist assistant at the desk was aghast. The owner walked out and he was Horrified! They both apologized profusely, and made me a new arrangement on the spot. The owner custom cut the stems right in front of me. The assistant and I chatted, and she thanked me for being so nice, and I told her that I wanted them to be able to show their suppliers what had been delivered as well.

I came home with the beautiful arrangement you see here, and this morning we do not have any bent heads. I believe that these will last the week.

I never shrink from letting a vendor know when their product or service is not up to their promises, and I take my promises to my clients very seriously. However, I always start out on the setting of 'nice'. Direct, yes. Most of the time I get exactly what I want with an extra helping of gratitude for niceness. My next setting is what I'd call Vulcan... Intractable logic, veiled threats, little emotion". Third setting : BITCH. I think I've used it twice. Once got someone fired.

My other thing is to talk to authority immediately. You're going to end up talking to them anywhere, so might as well save yourself some time. Once CV and I were at a restaurant and we were sitting in the bar at a table with plans to eat. People all around us were seated after us, and for 30 minutes we watched them order, get drinks, get food etc. Waiters and waitresses looked at us, but nobody spoke one word to us. I decided to wait the exact 30 minutes, then I went to the front and asked for the restaurant manager. I explained the situation, watched as the manager went to the bar and questioned every bartender and waitress fairly emphatically. She then came back to us and we were reseated elsewhere with our meal on the house. Our new waitress took gold star care of us. We tipped her what the cost of our ticket would have been, and asked her to make sure she told the bar group that we did. We thanked the manager for the meal on our way out.

So here's my humble lesson on Customer Complaints: expect what you pay for, be nice, know your response, speak to authority. Go forth and get your money's worth!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

One of the best articles I've read recently about the economy

This is a fairly partisan piece, but it explains thing so very well. Try to take your party affiliation hat off for a moment and just digest the economics. Then go put $200 in a mason jar and buy 50 lbs of dry beans.


A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to economic recovery. Over the last two weeks, what should have been a deadly serious debate about how to save an economy in desperate straits turned, instead, into hackneyed political theater, with Republicans spouting all the old clich├ęs about wasteful government spending and the wonders of tax cuts.

It’s as if the dismal economic failure of the last eight years never happened — yet Democrats have, incredibly, been on the defensive. Even if a major stimulus bill does pass the Senate, there’s a real risk that important parts of the original plan, especially aid to state and local governments, will have been emasculated.

Somehow, Washington has lost any sense of what’s at stake — of the reality that we may well be falling into an economic abyss, and that if we do, it will be very hard to get out again.

It’s hard to exaggerate how much economic trouble we’re in. The crisis began with housing, but the implosion of the Bush-era housing bubble has set economic dominoes falling not just in the United States, but around the world.

Consumers, their wealth decimated and their optimism shattered by collapsing home prices and a sliding stock market, have cut back their spending and sharply increased their saving — a good thing in the long run, but a huge blow to the economy right now. Developers of commercial real estate, watching rents fall and financing costs soar, are slashing their investment plans. Businesses are canceling plans to expand capacity, since they aren’t selling enough to use the capacity they have. And exports, which were one of the U.S. economy’s few areas of strength over the past couple of years, are now plunging as the financial crisis hits our trading partners.

Meanwhile, our main line of defense against recessions — the Federal Reserve’s usual ability to support the economy by cutting interest rates — has already been overrun. The Fed has cut the rates it controls basically to zero, yet the economy is still in free fall.

It’s no wonder, then, that most economic forecasts warn that in the absence of government action we’re headed for a deep, prolonged slump. Some private analysts predict double-digit unemployment. The Congressional Budget Office is slightly more sanguine, but its director, nonetheless, recently warned that “absent a change in fiscal policy ... the shortfall in the nation’s output relative to potential levels will be the largest — in duration and depth — since the Depression of the 1930s.”

Worst of all is the possibility that the economy will, as it did in the ’30s, end up stuck in a prolonged deflationary trap.

We’re already closer to outright deflation than at any point since the Great Depression. In particular, the private sector is experiencing widespread wage cuts for the first time since the 1930s, and there will be much more of that if the economy continues to weaken.

As the great American economist Irving Fisher pointed out almost 80 years ago, deflation, once started, tends to feed on itself. As dollar incomes fall in the face of a depressed economy, the burden of debt becomes harder to bear, while the expectation of further price declines discourages investment spending. These effects of deflation depress the economy further, which leads to more deflation, and so on.

And deflationary traps can go on for a long time. Japan experienced a “lost decade” of deflation and stagnation in the 1990s — and the only thing that let Japan escape from its trap was a global boom that boosted the nation’s exports. Who will rescue America from a similar trap now that the whole world is slumping at the same time?

Would the Obama economic plan, if enacted, ensure that America won’t have its own lost decade? Not necessarily: a number of economists, myself included, think the plan falls short and should be substantially bigger. But the Obama plan would certainly improve our odds. And that’s why the efforts of Republicans to make the plan smaller and less effective — to turn it into little more than another round of Bush-style tax cuts — are so destructive.

So what should Mr. Obama do? Count me among those who think that the president made a big mistake in his initial approach, that his attempts to transcend partisanship ended up empowering politicians who take their marching orders from Rush Limbaugh. What matters now, however, is what he does next.

It’s time for Mr. Obama to go on the offensive. Above all, he must not shy away from pointing out that those who stand in the way of his plan, in the name of a discredited economic philosophy, are putting the nation’s future at risk. The American economy is on the edge of catastrophe, and much of the Republican Party is trying to push it over that edge.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

something that may or may not help you..

If you are like us you have insurance out the kazoo... I hate insurance companies and wish I could just drop it all (and threaten to do so on a regular basis) but because of mortgages and fear I keep it.

Yesterday I got a new policy in the mail (nothing unusual) for the Kubota (tractor) and happened to notice that the deduction was only $100.00. I never do that.(found out that is was done automatically) I always go for a higher deductible to save money on premiums (and because I figure we will never really need it or use it)So, I called my agent and we started talking. We went over all the policies I have with them (five). I upped the deductible on the tractor policy and saved 25% annually! and I also upped the deductible on the house which allowed me to up the coverage and keep the premium the same.

Today I went over all my State Farm policies (six of them), the only change I made was to drop the insurance on the four wheeler. It is a year and a half old and has probably dropped in value by half so I decided it wasn't worth having insured. That saved me $86.00 a year.

So, if you haven't done it in a while you might want to go over you coverage and see where you make adjustments.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Minor Miracles -- In Body and Excercise

I have been running for four weeks.
I have not twisted an ankle, tweaked a knee, or sprung a muscle -- thanks to a very expensive ankle brace and careful mileage gain.
I am running five miles on Sunday, three-four on Tuesday and Thursdays. I hope to get up to ten-twelve miles on Sunday and six-eight on Tuesday and Thursday.
It's exhilarating.
I don't think I will ever quit doing this again.

I am watching the processed carbs and sugar and limiting portions. Ten pounds down from Christmas, five pounds from less than high school weight. This is beginning to feel like a lifestyle.

If you need a home workout, I totally recommend Jillian. Started doing it at my mom's during Christmas and have now adapted it (sans video) to my off days. Lots of jumping and weights -- my body really responds to it.

I don't usually post here anymore, but I am just so excited about what consistency has wrought that I wanted to share. I learning to push -- I love pushing.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I thought Oprah might be interesting today since it was supposed to about being thrifty but it was not really. I didn't hear anything new, pretty much the same things we have discussed here and actually we have better ideas than I heard on Oprah. They talked a little about barter and exchange, a lot about coupon clipping which I am just not ready to do (because in the past I have found that you can just buy an off brand and save more money than using a coupon for a name brand), mostly about using common sense.

I was a part of a church once where the ladies from several churches got together once a year and did clothing exchange. It was fun. You brought stuff you wanted to exchange and when you went in you got a number - the number of things you brought to exchange - and you could pick out that many things to take with you. The things that were left over went to the Salvation Army.

So, I didn't' learn anything new to report and overall it just sort of pissed me off to sit there and listen to Oprah who has more money than all of us put together talk about the need to be thrifty.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

from Women Who Run With the Wolves...

...Anyone close to a woman is in fact in the presence of two women; an outer being and an interior criatura, one who lives in topside world, one who lives in the world not so easily seeable. The outer being lives by the light of day and is easily observed. She is often pragmatic, acculturated, and very human. The criatura, however, often travels to the surface from very far away, often appearing and then as quickly disappearing, yet always leaving behind a feeling: something surprising, original, and knowing.

Understanding this dual nature in women sometimes causes men, and even women themselves, to close their eyes and hail heaven for help. The paradox of women's twin nature is that when one side is more cool in feeling tone, the other side is more hot. When one side is more lingering and rich relationally, the other may be somewhat glacial. Often one side is more happy and elastic, while the other has a longing for "I know not what." One may be sunny, while the other is bittersweet and wistful. The "two-women-who-are-one" are separate but conjoined elements which combine in the psyche in thousands of ways.

we are complicated.....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What's Special?

Each one of us has gifts. But often as girls do in our society, we are more likely to pick out our flaws and focus on the bad.
I'd like for each one of us to talk about one special attribute that we have. Then, perhaps we can open up to the special gifts of the women in our lives too!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Coffee, caffeine, etc.

Aola asked how the coffee withdrawal was going for me. Well, I was down to 1 cup a day...for one day. I'm at two cups a day now. It seems like any more than that makes me see the world thru brown glasses, and wake up kind of hungover. But two cups is just enough. And supposedly some caffeine is good for your heart and brain. So...if I don't go over that, it should be fine. And I really like it.
I fasted for one day and I was surprised at the energy I had. It was good.
I decided that I needed to not be too hard on myself physically right now since I'm struggling with some legitimate anxiety and some weather-related depression, too. Thank the Lord for two days of sunshine. It's supposed to stay for a couple more days - I sure hope so.

Kristen is my inspiration for money saving. She always encourages me with her organization and discipline...sometimes I wonder how she's my daughter. Ha ha.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Things I'm doing to save money and the environment:

On decent days I hang out the laundry - except jeans and towels. I hate the way they feel if they've been air dried.

I use ECO, an all natural laundry soap I buy at Sam's Club. One jug costs $12.00 and last me a month (and I do a LOT of laundry)

The old "if you aren't using it, turn it off" of course.

I unplug appliances that aren't in use - like the big mixer and the coffee pot.

I continue to gripe about the length of showers that Mark and Seth take (to no avail)

Since we live 15 miles from town I only make necessary trips, usually only once a week and that is the only night we eat out.

I am buying more and more from the buying club. I've found that if I am careful and watch the prices I can save a lot of money. But, it helps that we have lots of storage space for items like bundles of 36 rolls of toilet paper and huge packages of paper towels.
And, when we go this month we won't be going to Red Robin and waste all the money I just saved.

These are just a few off the top of my head.

I'd like to see your list, maybe I could pick up a few more tips.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Electric bills @#$%#%^

We have two electric bills, actually three but one is Levi's to pay, every month. One for the house and one for the shop/studio. The one for the house was $70.00 this month. The one for the shop was $389.00 . It has gone up over a hundred dollars last month and the month before - two months ago it was
172., then 274., and now $389.00???

We called the electric company and they gave us some run around and peak days and usage charges.. which come to find out was 90.00 this month- $90.00 extra dollars for electricity that we didn't use.

We don't who to complain to.

Our only solution was to try to be more efficient. The shop is not even heated. Mark uses spot heaters(propane) to be able to work out there. We had a small electric heater in the office which we replaced with a small gas heater. Other than that we are kind of at a loss as to what we can do.

What was your bill like this month? and what are you doing to try to keep it down?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tightwad Finds and Frugal Minds

My favorite money management books are The Tightwad Gazette and The Millionare Next Door.

a good blend of practical tips and philosophy.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Okay, so I'm thinking about what to do with our tax refund, if in fact we do get one this year. Being self-employed it is always a guess right up until the very end for me. I mean, I can look at our books and think "yeah, this will be the way it ends up" and then be totally wrong once our accountant finishes. But, this year I think we are okay since we bought two new vehicles for the business and I started us an IRA. I wasn't able to contribute the maximum when I opened it but I am hoping to be able to add some more before April.

I really figure the best thing to do is pay something off that we have to pay interest on. I have a couple of small bank loans that I could pay off but my gut tells me to keep the money close or easily accessible instead... so, I was thinking .. maybe a one year T-bill, or maybe a regular bank CD.

what do you think? and have you thought about what you will do with yours?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Thank you

Thank you for inviting me to this group. I admire you ladies all so much, and feel honored to be joining you!
I was just reading over on Kelly's blog and wondered about... that since this year we all seem to be thinking about the economy, saving money, etc. that we should use this space to share money saving tips and to share what we are doing to save money.
I think we should invite Cara to join us since the woman is a freaking genius when it comes to money stuff.

what do you think ?

Monday, January 05, 2009

Reluctantly, I am throwing out all of the junk food. I have to keep the chips for David, but they don't cause me any problems because I don't eat them. I'm throwing out all that remains of the holiday candy and any soda that is in the house.

I'm going to focus on eating natural foods rather than anything that is processed. I'm not sure I should do a full on cleanse because I'm breast feeding, so I'm just going to cut out all the sugary and or processed foods and focus on eating more vegetables and fruit.

I'm off to make an omelet full of veggies and goodness. :)

Friday, January 02, 2009

A cleanse (for your body) can be as extreme as a total fast for a few days, but, you don't have to go to those extremes to make you feel better and function better.

You could simply chose one thing you know you eat or drink too much of, like coffee or pop, and fast from it for a few days.

I usually do a three day cleanse when I do mine.

For the days that you are fasting, take a colon cleanse supplement every night. I use either psyillium husk or Colon Clenze - any health food store will have some sort of formula for this and they are all about the same thing, most of them are very mild and don't cause cramping.

For my cleanse I cut out almost all the caffeine (I HAVE to have at least 1/2 cup of coffee in the morning to survive :) but no other caffeine. I do one day of juice fasting with a small meal in the evening - try to only eat foods that are easily digested. I don't eat meat or cheese while doing a cleanse.
Then a day of fruit and veggies only, and the last day I add whole grains along with fresh fruits and veggies.

It's a pretty simple fast, not too hard to do and it will help you get started on some better eating habits for the new year.

I am going to start mine on Monday, the 5th.

Anyone else interested?

*another little note about detox - drink lots of water and if you drink water with a little fresh lemon juice squeezed into it it helps stimulate your liver for detox. Vegetables in the brassica family (broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts,etc.) are the best for liver detox. Of course, cranberry juice or cranberry pills are the good for kidney/urinary tract detox.