Saturday, February 24, 2018

This and That

It is yet another rainy day here in the Fort.  The yard at Brinkley Cottage is beginning to resemble a swamp.  The weathermen keep saying "we need the rain".  I beg to differ.  It is supposed to be gone later today.

So, since neither one of us feel like slopping around to go shopping (maybe later when it dries up a bit) we are really just messing around the house.

I am very proud of myself.  In spite of my gimpy knees, I have started walking -- or gliding -- on my Tony Little Gazelle.  I have to say, though, that it is the most boring thing on earth to do.  I have a television close by but my husband's music room is right next door and he plays lots of music which is good but doesn't alleviate the boredom and I can't watch the television with the music going.

So, the next best thing is to read.  So, upstairs I trot this morning to "walk" with Kindle in hand.  Well, the Kindle won't set on the machine so I asked my husband to solve the problem.  I was thinking of a way to tie the thing on, or a little pouch or something.  My husband is a flipping genius.  Here was his solution:

He had some blue tack sitting right there so he chunked a piece of it on the machine and voila! it held my Kindle just fine.  Brilliant.

So, I figured while I was up there I would take a few photos of my sewing area.  One of the reasons we moved here was so that I could have a sewing area and here it is:

If I ever give up sewing this would make a great reading nook
Just ignore those boxes on the shelves and the fact that I haven't hung pictures yet.  That may be what I do today.  Unpack boxes and hang pictures.

I have done a little decorating in the upstairs powder room however and here it is:

I have to hang the cross stitch yet but I thought it picked up the colors in the towels and the vase quite well.  I will take another photo when I get it hung.  I loved doing those cat cross stitch patterns.  I can't remember what they are called -- Kats by Kelly or something like that.  Great fun.

And last of all is a shot of our stairway.  It is steep and evil but it is giving me lots of exercise.  I think it might actually be helping my knees.

At the top, under that light, I am going to hang my "travel" cross stitch projects.  I have the one of the Old North Church and one of the Alamo.  I am working on the Alamo chart now and you can see it in the photo above of my sewing space.  We are going on a quick little getaway later in the spring and I have decided that my souvenirs will be books on the areas we visit and small cross stitch charts of something historic in the area.

I haven't been buying books lately.  I have been borrowing them from the library through Overdrive for my Kindle.  However, one title that is in my queue wasn't available on an e-book format so I am waiting for it to be shipped to the library close to my house.  So, in the meantime, I am reading yet another Cedar Cove installment that I downloaded on Overdrive.  BUT -- my husband wanted to go  to Half  Price Books and I picked up these two titles --

I have been wanting to read "The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper" for a while but it hasn't been available in an e-book so when I saw it I just though I would read a real physical book.  "The Girl from the Savoy" is by the same author as the book I am waiting for from the library -- "A Memory of Violets".  I started reading it a bit in the shop and it looks good so I am going to give it a go.

Now I am going to go direct the hubs to hang some pictures.  Yay!  

Friday, February 23, 2018

DIY Arthritis Ointment

Ok, so I have been taking Aleve which I don't want to take. I took naproxyn a long time ago for my knees and they prescribed it with caution.  Now that I can get it over the counter, it is easy to get but not any easier to take.  So, it is aspirin or nothing.  We all know that Tylenol doesn't do anything for an inflammation so I don't bother.

I have also been using all manner of topical products -- Aspercreme, Salonpas, rubbing alcohol, Absorbine Jr. -- whatever I can get my hands on.  It helps, for a little while.

So, I decided to do a little research on DIY approaches to the problem.

 I am a fan of apple cider vinegar so I studied that first.  Of course, they talk about drinking it which I have done for years.  I will be doing that again.  But....they also talked about making an ointment of it by mixing 2 tbs. vinegar with 1 tbs. coconut oil and rubbing it on and using it at night.

I made the ointment last night but it didn't mix up,  I need to heat the oil since oil and vinegar don't mix! I got it mixed up enough, however, to rub it on my knees and I went to bed.

Last night was the first night I have slept so pain free and so soundly.

I will do it again and see if it really does work but I got up this morning and, while I am still limping and all, I am not hurting as badly.

Hmmm...who knew.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

6 Rainier Drive by Debbie Macomber

Continuing on with the Cedar Cover series by Debbie Macomber, I just finished "6 Rainier Drive".

I am enjoying this series because it reads like a soap opera and I love soap operas. In this "episode" there is a lot of breaking up, a bit of intrigue toward the end, a resolution to the fire...

You don't know what I am talking about?  Well, you need to read the series!  It is really, really good.

However, I am going to take a break and read something else.  "A Memory of Violets" was recommended to me by a friend so I am going to check it out and I will return to Cedar Cove in a few days.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Intuitive Eating

For the last couple of months I have been following the principles of intuitive eating.

Basically it involves eating what you want following certain guidelines.  It isn't a "diet".  It is about listening to your body and recognizing what your body is needing.

I can't really remember when I started doing this but I went to the doctor in November with my knees.  I weighed X.  When I went a few weeks later, with the flu, I weighed X-9.  I felt like I had lost weight but I certainly hadn't been trying.  I gave up soda years ago but with the flu all I wanted was 7 up so I had 7 up.  When I was well, I didn't want it anymore and I haven't had anymore.

So, what happens is you get in touch with your body's hunger cues.  There are some visuals and graphs out there to help you and I feel like the best thing to do is to start in the morning, when you are empty, and see what it feels like to be empty.  Take a look at the chart below so you can get some idea where you are in your hunger and see where you want to be.  Ultimately you want to be at 5 or 6.  When you get there you stop eating and don't eat again until you are hungry. 

This came from (Yes, I spelled it correctly!)

Another visual that you can carry with you all the time is your fist.  Your stomach is about the size of your clenched fist.  That is the same amount of food it will take to get you to #5 on the chart above. So, when you go to the restaurant clench your fist, look at the size and look at the food on your plate.  Chances are there is enough food there to pack up and take home for another meal.  That should say something for the portions in restaurants.

So, yes, this is about portion control as well. 

It is more about portion control and your body's hunger cues than what you are eating. 

Eat what you want within the guidelines above.  And sometimes you won't, you will eat more, but it is all about balance. 

Dessert?  Yes, when it is appropriate, making sure that you stay at 5-6 on the chart.

Sounds easy, right?  In the beginning it isn't -- especially if you are a dieter and used to following "rules" about what to eat, when to eat, when not to eat, what to avoid.  However, after a while of doing this it becomes second nature.  If you eat slowly you can anticipate when you are approaching that 5-6 slot on the chart.   Follow that old etiquette trick -- put your fork down between bites and chew your food well.  You will soon recognize when your hunger is satisfied.

I was never a breakfast eater.  My mother had to struggle with me to get some toast/tea down me before school.  Of course, halfway to lunch I always ended up with a headache only relieved by lunch.  The problem then?  Having to eat breakfast too early.  Now, I don't eat when I first get up.  I am up at least an hour and a half before I eat.

What is my usual breakfast?  I am trying to make good choices so my breakfast usually involves oatmeal laced with raisins, blueberries, cinnamon, butter, and honey.  Today I added some strawberries that were going to go bad if I didn't use them.  I am pretty lactose intolerant so I use Lactaid.  I don't like all the rice milks and almond milks.  I have tried.  Not going to happen.

I am satisfied.  I am at a 5.  I feel like I have made good choices.

I am planning lunch out because that is what we do and we got a bunch of restaurant gift cards for Christmas.  There is a lovely restaurant around the corner from us that is American/Italian home cooking.  I have looked at the menu and am thinking the salmon looks delish. 

We will eat a very light dinner after lunch out.  Soup, toast, cheese and crackers -- just light fare.  We have both learned that we feel better and sleep better going to bed at about a 3-4 on the scale. 

So, I have fallen off the plan what with the Girl Scout cookies in the house.  Today I am consciously dealing with that.  Am I going to eat some?  Yeah.  But only when it is appropriate and in a reasonable amount.  Why?  Because if I keep the chart and the fist in mind, it will be ok.

Now I am going to take my gimpy knee upstairs and try to walk on my Tony Little Gazelle.  I am sure it isn't going to be good but we will see.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Time to Grow Up and Put On The Big Girl Panties

Yep, it is time to grow up.  Time to take charge. Time to do the right thing and I know what it is.

I have severe arthritis in my knees.  It hurts like -- just add whatever descriptive word you prefer here.

I have had cortisone shots, had fluid drained, done exercise, rubbed it with all manner of "stuff" and, while it helps, it isn't a "fix".  I feel sure that the only "fix" is surgery but I don't want to do that.

The thing that I keep hearing is lose weight.  I need to lose weight.  I have needed to lose weight for years.

I know that the only thing that is going to help my knees is weight loss.

I have been doing the moderation thing, I have been using a couple of visuals to keep my eating under control and it was working.  I lost 9 lbs.  I didn't count anything, journal anything -- nothing -- just eating when I was hungry, not eating when I wasn't and trying to make good choices.

Then came the Girl Scout cookies.  I'll just leave that here.

Tomorrow I have to go back to "the plan".  I have to do this or I won't be able to walk. I am not being over-reactive in saying that.  It is a fact that I have to face and if I don't do something about it that is what my future holds.

So, here I go!

PS -- I gave up soda and never went back surely I can give up cookies! 

Nona is Just a Little Cra-Cra

Nona -- that is the name I go by most often nowadays.  Even my little Brownies call me Nona.  Well, Nona has just had a couple of cra-cra moments lately.

As everybody knows, we moved house in late November or early December-- I can't remember which.  We got most of our things moved and then things went downhill quickly so we are still a bit scattered with a lot of stuff at the other house.  Moving the rest of our stuff was put off what with illness (dreaded flu) and MIL getting sick and passing on.  So, I didn't think much about it all until I started missing things.

Wanting to make an angel food cake, it occurred to me that I had no idea where my hand mixer was.

 Looking for shoes that wouldn't hurt my feet I realized that I had lost my Tieks.

I looked everywhere for both these items and simply couldn't find them.

So, back to the old house I tore up everything I could to find them.  I packed up most of the rest of the kitchen thinking that I would run across the mixer.  I went through bags of stuff for charity shops thinking I just tossed the Tieks. 

Nothing, nada, no go.

I was bummed so I came home and went into my closet.

I moved a pair of sandals and what do you suppose I found?  No, not the mixer but I did find the flats.

Then yesterday morning I went into the kitchen to make some breakfast and I couldn't remember where I put the griddle.  Well, there is one cabinet that I forget I have -- I don't know why, it is a galley kitchen but this one cabinet completely eludes me and since I don't use the griddle on a daily basis -- well -- you can see where this is going.

So, I open the cabinet to see if that is where the griddle was and voila! Yes, the griddle was there and so was -- the handmixer.  All very organized and lined up neatly. 

I can't believe that I couldn't remember bringing the thing home or putting it away so neatly but there it is!

And I was very glad to find my shoes.

I will be glad when everything gets moved so I can finally have all my stuff here and I won't look so idiotic when I "lose" things.

The last couple of months have been very hectic and scattered and I need to feel grounded.

I think I will go to the other house and move some more stuff.

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Rainy Saturday

It is a chilly, rainy Saturday here at Brinkley cottage.  The rain is suppose to stop by about noon.  We need it because the threat of grass fires has been great of late and we have had quite a few.  Scary things to watch, for sure.

Our day was supposed to be going to our other house and continuing to move boxes of things.  We are down to a manageable amount -- we just need to get it done now and I was hoping the weather would cooperate today.  Maybe later this afternoon. 

Yesterday I had the baby granddaughter, Emily, here for a while.  She is three and loves to be read to.  I found it very poignant that I was reading her books that were originally her father's.  Funny how that is -- when we are small we never think of people outside the realm in which we know them --like our parents were never 3 years old! 

If I  don't go to the other house I am not sure what the day holds except that the Bean is going to be here for the night.  She is into watching the Buddies movies -- the ones with the big golden retrievers -- and I think she has watched all of them.  Two or three times.  So, we might have to see what the current offerings are. 

I guess I will have to start taking Aleve again for my knees although I really don't like it but it seems to be the only thing that really reduces the inflammation.  I bought some new shoes -- skechers slip ons.  Not sure about them so I am only wearing them around the house right now until I see if I need to return them.  Oddly, they are quite wide and I am wondering if I needed a half size smaller but then I fear they would be too short.  Like I said in the previous post, I think I would be more successful with wearing the boxes.

Well, I have nothing earth shattering to report or comment on.  Deeply saddened by the events of the week -- it just casts a black cloud over everything.  So, I guess I will go have a bit of breakfast and get on with the day.  Hopefully I will get a bit livelier later today and have more to talk about!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

How The Brinkley's Do Shrove Tuesday

Easter is my favorite religious holiday.  I can't explain it but that is the way it has always been for me.  This year is no different.

Shrove Tuesday -- Fat Tuesday-- Mardi Gras -- whatever you want to call it is chock full of fun!

It started out with the Mardi Gras parade at Bean's school.  It is always a colorful, lively, musical, fun filled event even though it was a little cold.

And then, we had our annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner at church!  Bacon and sausage and eggs -- oh my!  And pancakes and waffles and toppings!  Coffee, tea, milk and juice.  Quite the spread all cooked by our own and served up -- a good time was had by all.

Such a good time!

And now -- Lent.

Earthing, Grounding and Just Getting Comfortable

I haven't said much about it here but I am currently dealing with a good deal of pain from "very severe osteoarthritis of the knee" as per my orthopedic surgeon.

I have had shots and done exercise and taken meds and rubbed all manner or ointments and gels and whatnot on the poor, delicate joints.  In mid-December it was if nothing was going on -- my knees were great and I was feeling no pain.  Then the cold weather came and I am hobbling around again.

I suspect, since I pretty much feel like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz, that my arthritis issue isn't just in my knees.  My feet give me lots of issues as well and now my hip, my neck, and my hands.  Except for my hands, I think all the other issues are just amplified by the gimpy knees -- I just don't walk right. I limp, my weight isn't evenly distributed and speaking of weight -- well, there's that, isn't there?

So, in trying to be objective I have been observing myself and taking note of what feels good and what doesn't in regards to footwear.

I have also been doing some reading about earthing, or grounding, in an effort to relieve the knee pain and, while I am not sure it is a "thing", it is interesting reading and has made me curious about minimalist shoes.

My left foot has a very high arch and sometimes, in certain shoes, when I get out of the car, I have to stand still for a bit because it seems like the bones in the top of my foot have to "settle" or get back into place.  I am sure the shoes I am wearing, which are a good, highly acclaimed brand, are squishing my foot into a shape it shouldn't be going in.

I am happiest barefoot but it isn't feasible to go to the grocery store, or church, barefooted -- especially in freezing weather.  Around the house, on really cold days, I wear slippers but for the most part, I am barefooted.

So, last night I did a search on shoes that would mimic being barefoot.  I did some reading that told me that people with knee arthritis do better with shoes that have a zero drop -- which means very flat -- and they should wear minimalist shoes that mimic being barefoot.  Of course, the next article in the queue said people with knee arthritis should wear trainers or athletic shoes with lots of padding and cushioning that lace up.  Lace up's are hard for me because of the one foot with the high arch.  Those sorts of shoes make my feet feel like they are suffocating.  I really liked my Tieks but I have very wide feet and they were just too narrow.

So, what is a girl to do?  I have given thought to wearing the shoe box -- that might work better than anything I have tried so far.

I did find, through my searching, a couple of places that had shoes that might work but again -- the wide feet are problematic.

Vivobarefoot - had these--

They look promising.  They also had these --

These second ones have laces but I could try them.

They both have very flexible soles and are lightweight.

Not sure what to do about my wide feet -- I will have to talk to one of their reps about it.  And, they are a little pricey for making a mistake but I guess I just need to pony up and start returning things I buy by mail that aren't satisfactory.

Like my new bedspread.

But that is a completely different post.

Guess I will go buy shoes.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

50 Harbor Street by Debbie Macomber

I have just finished "50 Harbor Street" by Debbie Macomber. It is the 5th in the Cedar Cove Series.

I am really enjoying this series  and have decided to read on through.  I could add something in between each installment but I am really engrossed in this story.  So, on I go.

In "50 Harbor Street"  a lot of big changes happened.  Cecelia had her baby and all is well.  Anson is missing and in a lot of trouble.  The author of the postcards is revealed.  Cliff and Grace ....well, best read it for yourself.  Something is going on with absolutely everybody and I have come to one conclusion about this series --

I would like to live in Cedar Cove.

I just downloaded the 6th installment on my Kindle -- "6 Rainier Drive" -- from my local library.

I love being able to download library books onto my Kindle.  I have given up being so stoic about print books -- I love this Kindle and will continue to use it. I can buy books, check books out of the library, and I can carry it in my purse.  I still buy books but I have run out of bookcase space and have many books on those shelves unread so I see no reason to continue to buy physical books when I can make good use of the library -- even if they are e-books!

So, off I go to load the dishwasher, make a cake, finish some laundry, do a bit of vacuuming and ------- start the new installment!

Happy Saturday!

Facebook -- What to Do

I have  been "on"  Facebook since its inception.  I remember signing up for it before it was clear what it was for.  That is a long time ago now.  I used to enjoy it.  Some of it I still do but....

I am on several interesting sites and I comment and people comment back and we enjoy conversation about a mutually interesting subject. 

But...nobody reads my posts.

I posted two reasonably interesting things yesterday -- one sort of sadly comical -- sad because it was true, comical because, well, it was true.  And, one with photos which I thought were interesting.

No comments, no heads up that it was seen.

I clearly don't have what it takes to be a facebooker. 

Should I quit?  Should I just lurk which is mostly what I do anyway? 

I read peoples posts and I comment.  I am invisible.

Oh well......

Friday, February 09, 2018


My dad was an artist.  I never had the interest until now.  I am now interested in all things art.  I can't really draw but I can color fairly well and I love to mess with fabric colors and threads and fibers and such.

I think the term "art" is subjective -- it means many things to many people.

My mother in law always said that when she retired she wanted to paint.  She always said she liked to draw as a girl and hoped to be able to spend some of her leisure years pursuing that interest.

And she did.  All of her children have several of her paintings in their homes and we enjoy them on a daily basis.  On her passing, I asked if I could fall heir to her art supplies and such since I have a growing interest in the pursuit and so does my husband.  We came home with several boxes of supplies and books.

I was going through the boxes of books yesterday and I came across a rather fragile, thin manilla mailing envelope addressed to my MIL at her childhood home.  The return address was torn off.  It was postmarked "Dallas", 1936 -- she would have been 15 at the time.

The contents of the envelope were several pencil drawings in the style of the time, all people and all on manilla paper -- some of which were hole punched with reinforcements which led me to believe that she kept these in a binder of some sort.

I feel deep down like she had submitted these for publication to a magazine.  There were no notes or names or identification of any sort.  If they were her artwork, she didn't sign them.  They are lovely drawings.  I am afraid they didn't photograph well but I will share a couple anyway.

They are very fine line pencil drawings and I was standing in the way of the light but you get the idea.  I wonder if maybe she requested drawings from another artist?  I guess there are many ways she could have come upon these drawings but they are really nice.

Art is in the eye of the beholder, right?  I love paintings and drawing and I really love photography.  But, because I am not good at any of those I lean toward fabric art.  I quilt, I do cross stitch and, from the looks of my stash, I collect fabric!

In going through some of the boxes from the move, I ran across a couple of small cross stitch projects.  They are very small and very, very simple.  The kind of thing you can get done in an hour.  But I do love to do these sorts of things once in a while.

The first one was a gift to me from my daughter -- a souvenir of their trip to Boston.  It is the Old North Church.  It was such fun to do.  The second was a gift from my husband during a trip to San Antonio.  I was quite ill on that trip and didn't get to do any sightseeing so my husband brought me a little pick me up from the Alamo.  This kit is almost five years old and it keeps getting put aside.  It is my next finish for sure.

I have done many pieces that are much more complex but I like the small ones too.  I purchased a bookmark kit from the gift shop at Westminster Abbey and I loved making it so much, I made a second one for a friend.  When I run across it I will share a photo. Things are still sort of in chaos around here but it is getting better day by day and eventually I will know where all my things are -- maybe.

I will be sure to share a photo of the little Alamo when I finish it.  I think I am going to have both pieces framed in large frames and I have the perfect place for them -- more on that later.

So, off I go to see what "new" treasures I can find as I sift through boxes of all my earthly possessions chunked together.

I will never move again, I don't think.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Jazzed Up

I decided I want it to be spring.  I don't have that kind of power in the real world but I do have that kind of power over my blog.

So, I jazzed it up for spring. 

Snazzy, don'tcha think?

Self Care

Self Care -- sounds Self-Ish, doesn't it?  Apparently it is a buzz word amongst the Millennials.

I am neither -- selfish or a millennial.

However, I am a boomer and a female and that means that I was raised with a 50's sit-com mindset -- like vacuuming in heels and pearls.

I was raised by a mother who believed the house should be clean -- all the time -- and the meals should be cooked -- from scratch -- by her and that she could solve everybody's problems.  My mother was a woman who was the consummate caretaker.

She took care of everybody but herself.

Even though I became a wife and mother in the 70's, my mother's beliefs were firmly imbedded in my brain.

I became a caretaker.

I became last.

My parents have gone on to glory and my children have grown up and have families of their own.

Here I am realizing that I should be taking better care of myself.

Physically, yes, but emotionally and spiritually as well.  Changes need to be made.

I am trying to form a few new habits.  New habits are hard to forge -- old habits are hard to break.  It is a conundrum.

I have been following the "moderation" movement life plan for eating.  I have been using "Thin Within" as a guide.  Basically you listen to your body, eat when you are hungry, don't eat when you aren't, and stop when you are comfortable, not full.  Sounds simple.  It is.  But I got the flu and that sort of messed me up and I am trying to get back into the swing.  This method sort of makes you feel guilty -- like if you aren't counting something, or weighing or measuring stuff or keeping a diet journal you must be cheating.  But, you aren't.  You are just being real, normal (yes, there really is a normal), and eating like we used to when were --you know -- kids.  The whole premise is to listen to your body.

After eating this way for a bit I have learned to pay attention to what my body is telling me.  My body doesn't like dairy products.  It upsets my stomach in ways you don't want to know.  If I use milk, like on cereal, I use Lactaid but sparingly.  My body also doesn't like sugar.  That is the tough one and the struggle is real.  I have learned that if my meals are roughly 1/3 protein, 1/3 carb and 1/3 fat, my body is pretty happy.  I try to include each of these in each meal.

Eating isn't the only way to listen to your body.

I am also listening to my memories.  I would love to be thin -- really thin -- and I was at one time when I dieted myself into a waif.  But that wasn't real.  I am not a waif.  I am not real tall, I am square with a thicker, high waist.  I have always been that way.  I have spent too many years trying to be something I am not -- I can't lower that waist no matter what I do so I think I need to be working on acceptance.

I was also raised to believe that you couldn't "play" until your "work" was done -- homework, chores, housework later on -- so as a result -- I never get to "play".  That is changing.  Let's face it, the housework is never finished so I am going to change my attitude and my expectation -- after all, it isn't the 50's anymore!  So, there are certain things I do on a daily basis -- some laundry, the dishes, and I cook one meal a day.  I am abandoning the idea that I have to vacuum and dust the whole house in a day.  My knee won't let me do that  so I am doing a certain amount each day and then that is all.  I can start over again the next day and continue on.  After all -- housework never really gets done, right?

And I will allow myself to "play" everyday, if  just for a half hour.

I have been listening to my body in regards to sleep too.  I used to take a nap and now I don't.  I am suffering for that.  I start falling asleep about 8:30 every night.  I sleep in the chair until I get up and go to bed.  Clearly my body needs sleep.  So, I will be going to bed earlier from now on.

Again, listening to my body.

Another thing that is happening to me is that I am fraught with anxiety.  I am not sure why.  I never used to be but in the last six months I have been really miserable with  anxiety.  Hopefully having play time and addressing my sleep issues with help the anxiety issue.

However, I think that in order to really combat the anxiety I need to look at my spiritual life.  I have made a couple of changes --simple changes but something I am having to concentrate on and make time for.  I always pray at night when I go to bed.  I don't always make it through the whole prayer because of my sleep issues but I do start out my night that way.  Now I have been making the effort to start my day the same way -- before I bound out of bed (I don't really "bound" anymore, creak, creep and crawl is more like it) I like to open my eyes and give thanks for another day.  Nothing long, nothing involved, just a thank you.  I think it sets the tone for the day.

I have also downloaded a different Bible version on my Kindle -- it is called the Christian Standard Bible and it is written in plain English.  I am reading a chapter or two a day.  I really believe that getting into the Word will help my anxiety.  I am not sure that it is the best translation but I am reading it and that is the point.

So, what does self care mean to you?  Spas?  A good cup of coffee?

Yes, I agree, those things are good ways to care for yourself but I think the best thing is to examine how you are spending your time -- are you spending any of it on yourself?  If not, maybe changes should be made -- if you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anybody else.

Play?  Play is good for mental health.  Everybody needs to play -- whether it is reading a book or doing a craft or baking a pie -- spend some time doing something that gives you joy.

Physical awareness?  We should all take the time to be aware of ourselves, what our bodies and minds need.  We take care of everybody else's physical needs -- why not our own.

Spiritual needs?  I believe we all have spiritual needs that are just as fundamental to our well being as what we eat.  I honestly believe that in order to be a strong, functional member of society, we need to be in touch with our spiritual selves.  Find a way, find the time, just do it.

So, as you can see, I have been giving a bit of thought about the self-care concept and I believe this is something we can probably all learn more about and improve areas of our life but we can't wait for other's to do it for us -- this is all about us.

So, just do it.

Just a Couple of Things

My husband loves Celtic music.  I should with my ancestry and I do but it makes me want to cry.

I have a cousin who was adopted into the family back when she was a baby in 1957.  She has unfriended me from Facebook (she got mad at me) and she acts like she is a member of the family and I am not.  I am not exactly sure what to do with this so I am going to leave it here.

I am toying with the idea of sewing clothes for myself again.  It didn't work when I was a svelte little thing -- I doubt it is going to be any better now.  Maybe I should stop thinking about this.

I decided to vacuum today.  I am ashamed to say that I don't vacuum very often.  I believe it is good exercise though and I should do it every day.  It really wears me out.

We are having winter again.  A couple of days ago we were having summer.  I am too old for all this changing about.  I hate to think about changing the time again ....too old for that as well.

When I get finished vacuuming, I am going to sit down and read and read and read and then....

I am going upstairs to find a cross stitch project.

Something about moving has made me interested in doing all the things I used to do.  I think I feel energized here and my other house depressed me.  I have no rational reason for that.

I am having sushi for lunch!  Yay!

PS -- should I jazz up my blog?

Monday, February 05, 2018

The Good News Is --

The good news is that I found my camera charger and case!  I thought it was gone forever in the move but the truth of it is, they never GOT moved so I found them at the other house.  WhooHoo!

So, in celebration I decided to take a couple of snaps of certain things in our new abode.  It was difficult to get pics of hardly anything because of the boxes still stacked about but I managed to get a couple.

The dining table spoken of in an earlier blog

Fireplace and just ignore the Christmas ornament hanging from the ceiling fan -- NOT MY DOING!

Entryway -- sorry about the moving boxes -- just ignore those as well

So, there is a brief glimpse at our new digs.  I am being steady and slow getting things unpacked but steady and slow wins the race -- right?

Blogger -- There's a Problem

Ok, not a problem with blogger -- just a problem with THE blogger.

I have been getting comments that I didn't understand because they are in a different language with a different alphabet.  I decided I needed to moderate my comments so I did the little clicky thing to do just that.

Then I forgot I did it.

Then, this morning, I decided there was something wrong because I had no comments and that is not the usual.   So, I took a closer look and what do you know.  There is a label "comments awaiting moderation" or something like that.

Clicked on it and there are my comments! 

So, I have published them and will be responding and apologize profusely.

I may be awhile as I have to care for a Bean with an earache today.  But, I am really looking forward to reading them.

I was so lonely and felt so abandoned.  Now I just feel rather dumb.

It's all good!

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Shoes -- A Problem

For some reason, back in November, my knees have gotten considerably worse with arthritis.  Bad enough to send me to an orthopedic surgeon where I was given a cortisone shot and told to exercise my knees.  I am a candidate for knee replacement surgery sometime in the future but not now -- and if you ask me, not ever.

I am pretty sure I have arthritis in all my joints but because I am heavier than I should be I think it is hitting my lower, weight bearing joints the worst.  My left ankle is giving me a lot of trouble right now.  I have had three severe sprains in it and now that I seem to be giving to my knee a great deal it is acting up as well.

I am a structural hot mess.

So, I am noticing that one pair of shoes that I wear frequently is making things worse for my knees and my ankle.  This is them --

They are very easy to slip on and off and they look nice on my feet but there is absolutely no support and I guess they have stretched a bit because my feet slide all over in them making my ankle and knee wobble.  Mostly my ankle.

I have a pair of Clark's flats that work fairly well -- they are so old I can't find a photo of them!

I have a pair of Grasshopper ortho-lites that feel ok but with my high arches I don't do well in lace up shoes but it seems that if I am not in the ones pictured above, I am in those.

The problem is that I think all of my shoes are making my foot issues worse.

I am thinking of trying Tom's.  I need something I can just slip on.  I am afraid I inherited my father's feet and he couldn't wear lace -ups either. 

Suggestions anybody?

Thursday, February 01, 2018

What Goes Around Comes Around -- My House

That old saying, "what goes around comes around" usually refers to your actions being revisited on you.  Today, I am using it in regards to my house.

My husband and I were married in 1972 -- the era of avocado green, harvest gold and pumpkin.  None of them my favorite colors.  However, we did use them because, like everything else, that was what was popular so that is what we could mostly get.

I came into the marriage with an Early American bedroom suite -- mine from childhood (although it wasn't childish) complete with a four poster bed, a dresser with mirror and a chest of drawers.

This bedroom furniture set the tone for future purchases and, before too long, we had  an apartment full of Early American furniture thanks to a manufacturing company known as Tell City Furniture.

Our first purchase together was a drop leaf table.

This is not my table but it is the same table.  My husband liked the table but he wasn't crazy about the fact that I set up an account, in his name, at a local furniture store and purchased this table, in his name, before he even had a job right out of college.  I think he feared that was how things were going to go.  His fear was validated.  The table now sits in my new dining room.

So, ten months after we were married we bought our first house -- a little, mid-century tract house in the neighborhood in which my husband grew up and only a few blocks from where I grew up.  A larger space required more furniture.  One of the pieces we purchased was this table for our kitchen.

Yes, this was another Tell City piece that has served us well for many years. It is now sitting upstairs and being used as a game table.

So, as things usually go, we started a family which required us to build on to the house and yet more furniture was bought in the same style and so on it went.  We moved to Ft. Worth in 1990 and acquired a larger house which required a bit more furniture and that is when we strayed from our tried and true Early American style.

It wasn't in style anymore and  you couldn't really find much of it.  So, we did the wrought iron tables with glass tops, lazy boy recliner furniture, new bedroom furniture that was more English than Early American sort of thing -- we became eclectic.

Moving to the next house which was Country French in style and very ornate required us to buy bigger and yet a different style of furniture.  My much loved and used Early American furniture was put into storage after we after we dipped our little pink toes in the pond of sophistication!

Fast forward to now --  we have moved again to a house that is considerably less ornate.  It is bigger but plainer.  The woodwork is not massive and the lower ceilings not coffered.  It is a bigger house yet but much more conventional, straight forward and actually useful.

I needed more furniture so what did I do?

Took all my Early American furniture out of storage and am re-using it in my new house.  I asked my husband why this house seemed so familiar, so comfortable, so homey.  He just looked at me and said "because it looks a lot like our first home, our apartment". And he was right.  I have furnished it with the same stuff, I have put the same sorts of bedspreads on the beds, we now have venetian blinds and not shutters -- yes, it is like coming home again.

Apparently, what goes around DOES come around.