live with physical challenges.
I am NOT a DOCTOR!!! I don't even play one on TV!!! It is my goal to live a more healthy lifestyle. Living well and being happy is what this blog is all about.

"Nothing,' wrote Tolstoy, 'can make our life, or the lives of other people, more
beautiful than perpetual kindness."

- Gretchen Rubin

I write about my own experiences and what works (or does not) for me. Nothing I write is to be taken as medical advice.

Only your health care provider, personal physician,Disclaimer:
I am not a doctor - I don't even play one on TV! This
or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Out With the Old

This post serves as a reminder of how far I've come in 2012.  I've had some really wonderful news these past 12 months!  The 80 pound weight loss has to be at the top of the good news list!  I'm so very thankful to God for putting professionals in my path who introduced me to an alkaline lifestyle!  What an amazing transformation - and my blood sugar is very happy.  My wardrobe is doing a happy dance too.  I lost 4 dress sizes! 

I used to have to take 10 units of Levemir every night, but that is a thing of the past.  I'm now under control with 1,000mg. Metformin and 10mg. Glipizide.  I've had very few ups or downs.  I think this is what "normal" is supposed to feel like.  It feels great! 

A friend of mine in the Diabetic Online Community (DOC) chats with me early in the morning sometimes.  We talk about exercise and I tell him I can't always do as much as I'd like because of neuropathy.  He reminds me that it's not how far you go, but that you go every day as much as you can.  He's my unofficial cheerleader!  He knows who he is...  thanks for the encouragement!

Another friend chats with me once in a while to let me know she understands the whole "temptation" thing.  There are days you just want to dump the green food and pick up a slice of pizza - I mean real pizza - not something made to be a pizza-like substance!  She lets me know that I'm not the only one who feels a little deprived in this journey.  She feels my pain - and I sure do appreciate that!  Thank you!

Yet another friend chats with me and tells me stories about her little child who has to be monitored all night long.  This brave mommy sets her alarm so that she can go check on her child every few hours.  This poor mom has not had a good night's sleep in a very long time.  I hear her talk and sense the love she has for her child.  I feel so blessed, even though I don't have children.  I actually get to sleep clear through the night.  I've said this on my facebook wall time and again - and I want to repeat it now:


In my opinion - Type 1 Diabetics everywhere - ROCK!!!

I can gain control by altering my diet - but they can't!  They need a cure!  Treating symptoms as they arise is not good enough.

I'm praying for a cure in 2013. 

Type 2 Diabetics take a look at this.


Sunday, December 30, 2012


Along with my resolution to have H.O.P.E. in the new year, I also have a resolution to better C.O.P.E. with the every day stresses that come with this adventure called life.
It seems that it gets tougher to make ends meet and pay bills all the time.  There are a few ways that I have found help with my own reactions to stress.

Every year I resolve once again to put these steps into practice.

C = Collect my thoughts before over-reacting in any situation that arises.  Most of what happens to us is not as bad as the perception we have of it.  If I can keep from making mountains of mole hills, then it is possible to remain calm and not cause further stress for myself. 

O = Observe with a logical eye and mind the events going on around me.  Since how we perceive something is much stronger than the actual event, the ability to look at situations with a calm spirit and logical mindset is important.  Flying off the handle never really helped anyone!

P = Persevere in spite of circumstances.  Things don't always look bright and promising, but if I can just persevere in spite of the outward appearance of things with a strong determination and attitude, it will make all the difference.  Develop a solid plan - then work it! 

E = Eliminate the negativity from my thought life.  Everyone has a sort of recording that plays over and over.  Your mind gets to believing the words, whether they be positive or negative.  If you tell yourself you can not do something - then you won't do it.  If you build yourself up and believe you can do something, then it will be accomplished. 

The Mayan calendar ended - and life still goes on down here on planet earth.  We are headed for a brand new year, and I for one intend to make it the best year ever! 

I resolve to hold on to H.O.P.E. and C.O.P.E. in order to stay well in 2013!  How about you?

How do you cope with stress?


Saturday, December 29, 2012


As the old year comes to a close and we look forward to a new year, my thoughts go to a brighter, fresh year - one just bursting with H.O.P.E!!!

H = HAPPINESS  I am determined to be happy in spite of circumstances.  The joy you feel inside is sure to show through your expressions and in the way you care for yourself.  There are some scary things going on in our world today, and I'm not completely oblivious to that, but in spite of it, I, being the optimistic Aries I am, will make every moment of the new year just as happy as I possibly can.  If it is to be - it's up to me.  That's not an original thought - I borrowed it.  Thanks, Cheryl!

O = OPPORTUNITY  If opportunity presents itself in the coming year - opportunity for a writing job, opportunity to grow in a seminar, opportunity to better myself as a person - I'm in!  Every day people are smacked in the face with opportunity, but they are so busy looking down the road, they can't see what is right in front of them.  I'm going to keep my eyes wide open and see what is before me.  The future is not the present, so I won't worry about it.  The past - well, that's not worth wasting any thought at all on.  That's gone and there's not a thing I can do to change it.

P = PURPOSE  There's got to be a reason I'm on this planet.  I'm not here to be a mother, a daughter, a sister, or even a cousin, niece or in-law.  I am here, however, to be a good wife to my husband.  I'm here to be a good pet parent to my Casey.  I'm here to be the best friend I can be.  This is my purpose in life and I don't take it lightly.  When I love, it's with everything in me.  If I cry tears for you, they are genuine.  When I encourage you in your path, it is sincere.

E = EDUCATION  We grow by learning and knowledge is power.  That's not original either - I borrowed it.  I refuse to be ignorant where my disease is concerned.  I lost my best friend to complications from Type 2 Diabetes.  DeLynn was the other half of me, and I miss her so much every day.  She thought she was doing pretty good.  One day she began having some lower back pain and just felt unwell.  She went to the doctor and was suddenly being prepped for dialysis.  It all happened so quickly.  She went for the treatments only a few times.  She was literally shopping with me at the mall one day - and within just a few short weeks, she was gone.

Her death made me even more determined than before to manage my diabetes.  I'm particularly afraid of kidney damage because that is what kills.  That's the one thing that can not be "fixed" once it's gone too far.  Other complications are awful, but they don't necessarily take your life. 

In 2013, I resolve to keep learning more about how to better control my diabetes.  I want to live to see my marvelous future unfold.  I will hold on to H.O.P.E.

Please listen to my friend Nick as he talks about his journey with Type 2 Diabetes. 




Friday, December 28, 2012

Workout - Don't Pig Out

As we quickly approach the beginning of a new year, it occurs to me that I've held on to some heavy emotional baggage for quite some time.  Perhaps as I turn the corner to walk into 2013, it's time to lighten my load.  I think it's time for a fresh new perspective on life.

May you never feel the weight of your emotional baggage.  - Benito Di Fonzo

The landscape of your heart is what you make it.  How you feel about yourself is truly a choice.  How well you care for this one and only body that your Creator has given you...  that's a choice as well.  If you are a Type 2 Diabetic as I am, then you should really re-evaluate your attitude about self-care.  It really is up to you to make some changes - and what better time than as we begin a brand new year? 

You know you are addicted to a food if despite knowing it is bad for you and despite wanting to change, you still keep eating it. Addiction means that a craving has more control over your behavior than you do. 
- Kathy Freston             

I tend to be led by emotions and feelings, which are fickle, to say the least.  In the past, I have allowed these to dictate what I've eaten and how much.  It's taken years for me to finally learn how to let my head lead and not my heart.  There is such a strong bond between feelings and food.  I literally have to make a conscious decision - sometimes minute by minute - to kick my emotional eating to the curb.  About the time I think I have it under control, the theory gets tested and I'll be honest - I don't always pass the test.

Being a compulsive overeater is no different from being an alcoholic or drug addict. The only difference is that you can avoid drugs and alcohol completely and you have to have a relationship with food every day for the rest of your life. It's actually the hardest addiction to live with. If you were an alcoholic and someone said to you that you were required to have a single drink three to five times a day, but were not supposed to ever drink to excess, or a drug addict who was required to take just one pill severeal times a day every day, but you're not supposed to ever take more than that...no one would ever make it through rehab.  - Stacey Ballis

The good news is - I recognize what's happening now.  There was a time I would just automatically reach for the cookies or some other so-called "comfort food" when my heart was hurting.  It's a bit like an alcoholic really - food addictions are quite strong and I don't think they ever leave completely.  They lurk just under the surface, and heaven help me if my emotions get depth charged in the heat of battle!  It's difficult to stop that cycle of abuse - trade the "stuffing" of my feelings for "expending energy" to cope with emotional stress.  Exercise is the proper way to cope with stress.  I know - it's the dreaded "E" word again.  Sorry - but it's true.

A stationary bike is a device that epitomizes the phrase “hurry up and wait.” 
- Jarod Kintz

If you want to call it a resolution, then that's what it is.  I resolve to do a better job of recognizing emotional instability and using exercise to cope rather than whatever food may be available to eat.  I will treat myself with more respect than I have in the past.  When I feel emotionally vulnerable and stressed, I choose to workout - not pig out! 

All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Listen to Jolene as she explains food cravings.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Women and Type 2

If you are a woman and a Type 2 Diabetic, I can say two things.  I can say I feel your pain, and I can say it really really stinks!  There are a few things that happen to us that make us unique creatures on this planet.  This does not apply to every single female with Type 2 Diabetes, but I will admit that I'm one of the unlucky ones that it does apply to.  Oh...  yay!

I have read that Type 2 Diabetes is more aggressive in women than men, but I have not been aware of it in my case.  I do have a couple of minor complications, but I don't think my disease process is necessarily more aggressive.  I don't believe everything I read about the disease. 

Women with Type 2 Diabetes make excess Testosterone because of high amounts of insulin, which causes all sorts of fun stuff like facial hair, acne and menstrual cycle issues, PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) and infertility.  In my case, I developed PCOS first, which led to Diabetes.  For years, I've been trying to convince my doctor that a hysterectomy would fix everything.  I don't think she believes me.  It looks as though I'll never find out since my insurance won't cover a hysterectomy unless it's "medically necessary" (according to them).  I guess they'd rather cover all my Diabetes medicines and supplies for the rest of my life.  So be it.

I'll just stay armed with a good sense of humor and tweezers and a lot of depilatory.  Hey, I'm just glad I'm a blonde!  Women with dark hair really have issues.  Just sayin'... 

I've decided that in 2013 I'm going to be way too busy having fun in my life to sweat the small stuff - and frankly - it's all small stuff!

So, we're dealt the cards we're dealt.  We're given lemons and we make lemon water.  It's what we do.  

Staying positive and happy makes a real difference because a good attitude can take you a long way!  My favorite poet and author of the popular devotional "Coffee With Jesus", Lucinda Berry Hill, wrote this poem about keeping good thoughts!

Keeping Good Thoughts

When we meditate on God,
On thoughts of peace and goodness,
Our hearts they are right with the Son.
When we think on negativity,
On anger, gloom, or worry,
We are meditating on sin, the evil one.

The thought of giving him
A place to dwell inside of me
Shudders me and makes me feel ashamed.
'Tis yet another reason
For keeping thoughts of goodness,
And not thought of selfishness or hate.

Let us not give into frustration,
Difficulties, or pride;
Let us keep from all negatives and sin.
Let us think as God would have us,
On what is good and right and loving,
Keeping our hearts and minds upon Him.

I'm a W-O-M-A-N



Whether you are a great fan of it or not, today is NATIONAL FRUITCAKE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!  In my house, it would be the day we toss it away, but I understand that some people actually like it.  Enjoy the day either way!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I Can't Believe I Ate That

Why did I do it???  Why did I reach for that third sugar cookie???  You know I can't have just one.  It was absolutely precious of my aunt Susan to give me one of those giant chocolate kisses, but seriously - she shouldn't have!  And, oh... that pumpkin pie with whipped topping was so very wonderful!  I had to take at least one bite of the chocolate Santa that my friend John gave me - he might have been offended otherwise.  I wouldn't want that! 

The food train has really derailed at my house!  Maybe it did at yours too.  Well, I think we all do a little extra nibbling around Thanksgiving and Christmas - and some of us nibble from Thanksgiving until Christmas - then we're not sure how to stop!  There's a way - and you know we will see all sorts of promises from different ads from the diet industry from now until well into the new year - they will tell you that there's only one way to lose those extra holiday pounds - and they have THE only way!

You don't need the empty promises from the diet industry!  You don't need empty promises from anyone, truth be told.  Neither do I.  What you and I do need, starting today, is to get back on that wellness horse and ride!  Gain the determination you had before you gathered with family and friends and gave yourself permission to eat things you never would have touched before!  There's something about being with people we're comfortable with - we feel like somehow it's safe to indulge - but your body doesn't know the difference.  It's still going to store fat as fat and use the food the same way.  It's time for a reality check now - and I want to help us (including myself) get back in the groove of wellness!

If you're having a difficult time quitting the goodies cold turkey, don't feel alone.  One way that I ease myself back into the lifestyle change I desire is to take one thing away per day until finally I'm back to eating more healthy foods.  If you just ease back into it, you'll not feel as deprived as you do if you just quit all at once.

Incorporate your lemon water first.  This will get your pallette cleansed and get you used to the more tart tastes again.  Speaking for myself, sugar is so addictive, and if I allow myself even a little bit - I can easily get hooked again.  I find that drinking water with lemon helps me break that craving to grab a sugar-laden treat.  Then grab a salad for lunch and put some of your healthy homemade salad dressing on it.  For supper, fix a vegetable like Brussels sprouts or broccoli with some lean protein.  Once I re-establish my old pattern, it is usually not a problem to make it my lifestyle once again.

When you fall off the wellness horse - for goodness sake just determine that tomorrow is another day - and climb back on!  Whatever you do, do not just have the attitude that you've failed and there's no use to try anymore!  That's stinkin' thinkin' - stop it!  You can do this!!!  We can do this!!!

It's your health at stake, type 2 diabetic!  Fight for it!!!

Stocking your kitchen with healthy foods is important!  Here's Heather with some helpful tips.




Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Always Comes

Well, whether you are ready or not, Christmas day has arrived!  Every family in every household carries out traditions - some very old ones and some are just starting.  Isn't Christmas all about those habits we just can't imagine getting through the day without? 

I know a family who spends their entire day in their POjammies - and I think that's a tradition I could easily embrace!  Another friend of mine makes sure every member of her household gets a brand new pair of fuzzy socks - then they slide around on their hardwood floors together.  That is one rough-housing group of peeps!

My folks always hung the mistletoe at their front door.  They were so funny and yes, they took advantage of that little sprig every chance they got!  Daddy gave mama a large bottle of her favorite perfume every year along with a 5 pound box of chocolates, and mama bought daddy some tool that he just had to have - he always needed something, being a carpenter.    

Some traditions are funny and some are a little more on the serious side.  But the most important thing about tradition is that it roots us in who we are - those habits give us a sense of belonging with this group of people we call "family".  Good, bad or indifferent - our family is what we have.  We do not choose them - they just "are" - but it's nice when at the end of Christmas day we can say to ourselves, "You know, if I were to choose people to be part of my family, these would be the people I'd choose!"  

It's a warm feeling to be where you belong - and know you are welcome there!  Traditions are such an important part of who we are - and they vary greatly from family to family.  It's so amazing to me when two young people decide to get married - and for Thanksgiving and Christmas they have to try to adapt traditions they are used to from their family growing up - the art of "blending" the traditions together fascinates me.

For instance, when my husband and I got married, he would not eat chicken and noodles without mashed potatoes under them!  I was raised in a household where that was considered a "carb fest" and would never have been allowed!  My mother never had potatoes and pasta in the same meal.  But somehow we learned to compromise - we found middle ground, because we loved and respected each other's traditions.  Sometimes I eat chicken and noodles without the potatoes.  No harm, no foul.  Get it - chicken...  foul?

But Christmas always comes.  We hurry and scurry in order to protect our precious traditions and make sure they are properly observed.  We do our best to make it a day that everyone remembers for years to come!  I have friends who scrapbook, and believe me - they have spent months coordinating outfits for Christmas day in order to get the perfect photos they want!  The day flies by, though, doesn't it?  We spend so much more time preparing for it than sitting back to relax and enjoy it!

Christmas always comes - Jesus' birthday rolls around every year on this date.  When you look at the smiles around you and hear the laughter in the air, just take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are loved by these people - and remind yourself of how much you love them in return.  Then remind yourself that God loves all of you so very much!  So much, in fact, that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus!  Wow, you mean a lot to Him!

Celebrate today in every traditional way you possibly can - the fun ones and the serious ones.   And know that no matter what life has been like for you this past year - today is set aside to celebrate the birth of Christ.  Today is His day and so I invite you to meditate on the precious baby born on this date - and what that means to you and your family!

From my family to yours - Have a very Merry Christmas! 

Now, allow me to share a little "tradition" that happens around our house! 
Here's "Traditions of Christmas".


Here is a recipe for bread pudding that my mama passed down to me.  Enjoy!

Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding (makes 12 servings)

2 cups fat-free (skim) milk
4 egg whites
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
12 slices whole wheat bread, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped dried apples

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 2-qt. casserole with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk milk, egg whites, sugar, butter, vanilla and cinnamon in large bowl until well blended and sugar is dissolved.  Stir in bread cubes, raisins and dried apples.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Spoon into prepared casserole.
  3. Bake 35 minutes or until browned and heated through.  Serve warm.

If you're counting dietary exchanges, this is 1/2 fruit, 1 starch and 1/2 fat. 

It has:

150 calories
3g. fat
1g. sat. fat
6g. protein
26g. carbs (yeah I know - but it's Christmas)
1 mg. cholesterol
1g. dietary fiber
214 mg. sodium

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Night Before Christmas

If you are not a part of our facebook group, then you do not have a clue what you are missing!  Last month I issued the group a challenge, and as usual, these brilliant brains came up with a masterpiece!  So, without further ado, please enjoy the Wellness Soliloquy's version of "The Night Before Christmas".

'Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the fridge,
Not a carb was lurking,
Not even a smidge!

I know it was stocked with carbs earlier today,
I made sure there were goodies stashed safely away. 
It's not like I eat like this most of the time,
But my goodness, it's Christmas - eating is not a crime!

I spent all day cooking for my family
And now there is no food leftover for me?
It seems so unjust and it seems so unfair,
I'll just go sit on my pity pot and sulk over there.

How could they be so stingy and selfish,
So mean, nasty and unkind?
I went back into the kitchen one last time
Hoping some small morsel to find.

Then out of the corner of my eye I did see
A single slice of pumpkin pie, saved especially for me!
My family does love me - they really do care
They are not so awful - they know how to share!

Do you feel deprived if you don't get to eat that extra little piece of pumpkin pie on Christmas Eve?  Well, don't feel alone - I think most of us, especially if we spend most of our time trying to be "good" - have that problem!

There is a real connection between love and food.  It is not simply imagined, contrived or conjured.  There is a very strong bond between love and food! 
We are so drawn to the scent of freshly baked bread - probably the single worst carbohydrate for most diabetics.  I have a diabetic friend who says, "My little corner of heaven is going to smell just like freshly baked bread - and if you don't like that scent, you can live next door to somebody else!"  She's a hoot!

It's those same foods that smell so divine that play havoc on not only blood sugar levels, but emotions as well.  That combination of white flour, sugar and yeast are terrible for our bodies.  Alkaline foods trigger a more positive outlook mentally and emotionally.  You're better able to cope with the stresses of everyday life if you eat high quality foods.  By contrast, if you eat a lot of boxed,processed, high carbohydrate foods, you will not be as emotionally prepared to cope with the day to day challenges. 

I'm not finished researching the subject and I hope to find the answers I'm looking for.  Until then, here's what I do know.  I know that my mind and body are much happier when I do not eat as many simple carbohydrates and stick with the more complex carbohydrates, a little fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.  I also know that life is just too short - to not eat comfort food once in a while - and by once in a while, I mean about 20% of the time.  In my world, that percentage definitely includes a slice of pumpkin pie with whipped topping after a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner - and some biscuits from a can with homemade sausage gravy for breakfast on Christmas morning!  

Remember this rule of thumb:  The lower the quality of the food (the more acidic), the less of it you should eat.  In other words, eat one slice of pie with a tablespoon of whipped topping.  And have 2 biscuits (that's four when you split them!) - with about 2 tablespoons of gravy. 

If you just follow these simple rules, you'll be fine!  Have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy your family traditions!  God bless you!

Then on December 26th, we're back on the good lifestyle wagon, right???  Right!

Listen to Brandon Heath singing, "The Night Before Christmas".



Sunday, December 23, 2012

What Would Jesus Do for His Birthday

Happy Birthday to YOU,
Happy Birthday to YOU,
Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus,
Happy Birthday

How do you imagine Jesus would celebrate His own birthday if He were here?  Of course, that's a question we can't answer - or can we?  What did Jesus spend His time doing while He walked on our planet?  You say you don't know?  Well, let's look it up in His Book - The Bible. 

What if I asked you if you'd be interested in being "The Hands of Christ" this Christmas?  What a gift to give Him on His birthday!  It's safe to say He'd be happy and pleased with it.

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and because God was with him, he went around doing good and healing everyone who was oppressed by the devil.  - Acts 10:38

Wow - it sounds to me like He did a lot of cool stuff for other people!  Can you imagine that Jesus would be all about Himself on His birthday?  No, me neither!

Of course we want our children to have wonderful Christmas mornings and presents under the tree - I'm not suggesting we all become heartless.  I am suggesting, however, that we also teach our children that Christmas is not all about them. 

There are a few ways to accomplish this task - and I'm sure there are other ways that I've not thought of.  Here are some I can think of:

Volunteer your family to serve meals at a homeless shelter.  There are people who do not have a warm fire and a Christmas tree this year.  They are thankful for a warm meal.  Nothing instills a sense of gratitude like helping someone less fortunate.   There are organizations across the country that welcome help year around.  I invite you to find one and get involved.  Show your children how to have a selfless Christmas.  You're never too young to learn a lesson in humility.

The doctrines and the line of conduct which I taught you--both what you heard and what you saw in me-- hold fast to them; and God who gives peace will be with you.  - Philippians 4:9

There is a wonderful opportunity to make Christmas better for a child on the other side of the world through several different charity organizations.  It's fun to shop for these little boys and girls together and imagine their joy at receiving a gift!  It not only blesses the child but it blesses you as well.

And I'd like to talk just a little bit about birthday cake - well, actually, birthday candy canes!  A lot of parents with diabetic children tell me that they would like to hang some candy canes on the tree, but it's just so overwhelmingly tempting for their children to grab them off the tree and eat them!  I received the most wonderful idea not long ago for you!  Instead of hanging the canes in the traditional way, why not hang them upside-down, like the letter "J" - and explain that you are decorating the tree to celebrate Jesus' birthday - and we don't eat them.  The canes lose their appeal as candy and become the letter "J".  This way we not only teach our children that they do not have to eat candy off the tree, but we make the candy canes "special" and teach them about Jesus and honor Him!

And finally, whether you are the most fantastic singer who ever graced the planet, or, like me, you can't carry a tune in a bucket - consider Christmas Caroling at a Nursing Home.  If you're a part of a huge choir or can only get a few brave souls to weather the cold, please make the effort!  This is something that means so much to so many people who don't get visitors on a regular basis.  The love (and sometimes tears) in their eyes is evident.  I believe this is something that Jesus would do on His birthday.  He is THE Minister, THE example and He wants us to follow HIS example.  You know, I read something very interesting the other day.  It said, "Please be patient with me as I get older.  I've never been this old before and I'll never be this young again!"  We're all getting older if we live long enough - so have some compassion for those who are living their Golden Years in a Nursing Home.  Their lives matter - they really do!  Each one represents a soul that Christ died for.

Whether it's meeting the needs of people who are hungry, or visiting lonely folks who have no one, there are ways that we can be more like our Savior to honor HIM on HIS birthday!  What better way to let our Lord know that we love Him!  Can you imagine how happy that makes Him?  I can't think of a Christian anywhere who does not want to please Christ!  Happy Birthday, Jesus!  We love YOU!

Listen with your heart to cute little 4 year-old Avery Winter singing, "Happy Birthday, Jesus!"



Saturday, December 22, 2012

Re-focus the Festivities

Mama and I spent hours chatting and making
beaded angel ornaments for her Christmas tree.
Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.  - Ann Landers
Let me drop some truth in your lap.  Your Christmas celebration does not have to be perfect!  Some of you are having an "ah-ha moment" right now.  You've been running here and there, to this specialty store to get this thing and to this other place to get this certain item - to make your Christmas just right - perfect.  You're working too hard!  Stop...  breathe!!!

The people in your life - the ones who are spending this great holiday with you - they are what matter.  And here's a newsflash - you are what matter most to them!  We can get so wrapped up in all of the preparation that we lose sight of the big picture.  We get so focused on the details of the celebration, we forget not only Who and what we are celebrating, but the people we are enjoying the festivities with.  Your family won't think about how much money you spend on the celebration, but they will surely remember the precious time you spend with them.  The good times spent doing fun projects together will mean so much more than the money you spend on things meant to impress. 

Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.  - Salvador Dali

A short while ago, I was doing some cleaning and ran across a DVD that I did not recognize.  I popped it into my player and began to watch scenes from Christmas 2002.  We were at my mother's house and it was wonderful to watch those memories come to life.  I thought the only video I had of my parents was our old 8mm. rolls (which we had converted to DVD a long time ago).  But those old movies were not "talkies".  The DVD I was watching was a "talkie".  I heard my mother's voice - and I cried.

I lost mama in 2005.  I had no idea I had this DVD.  I do not remember taking any video at Christmas.  We have a lot of still photos from Christmas and other celebrations, but this DVD was quite a shock and surprise.  I just sat and watched and listened as my mama spoke.  I hung on to every word she said - and I cried.

The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection. 
- George Orwell

See, I don't care about the details of that Christmas.  Oh, she always had a beautiful tree and she decorated it to the nines, but I was not looking at that.  She always made her famous Rocky Road bars - but that did not hold my interest.  I got to hear her voice again - a gift that I did not think I would ever receive!

It's been 8 years, and I'm now finding this treasure!  See, it's not how much decor you use, or how many goodies you make for the table.  It's you - that's what your family wants - and needs.  If they have you - your cheery smile and sweet disposition - that is what makes Christmas so special.

The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection.  - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

So lose the frantic panic mode that seems to grasp people this time of year.  Relax and realize that your family just loves you and wants to see you.  Sometimes when you just admit that you are not perfect and things will have to be less than perfect, you end up making your family more comfortable and you can just enjoy the day instead of spending it stressed out over details.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.  - Dr. Seuss

Learn to make a beaded angel ornament.


Mama and I used to have a lot of fun together in her kitchen as well.  Today is NATIONAL DATE NUT BREAD DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!  This sounds like a fun thing to do with a daughter today - go bake some bread for yourself - and make me a loaf while you're at it, ok?


Friday, December 21, 2012

On the Fifth Day of Christmas

You know the song...  the very long and potentially annoying song - "The Twelve Days of Christmas"!  I have to be in just the right mood to even entertain the notion of singing that song!  Frankly, none of the gifts mentioned appeal to me on any level... save one.  I like it when we get to the fifth day.  Yes, there's a reason the rhythm slows down right there and we emphasize those gifts!  What woman in her right mind would not just love to get this gift?  Five golden rings!!!  

But here we are, five days away from Christmas, and I have to tell you, I've not received my rings!  But that's alright - I'm not terribly disappointed by that.  I have taken off another five pounds, and believe me - that means so much more to me than those five rings!  And, like those rings - those pounds are non-returnable and non-refundable!  When they left - that's it - they're gone!   

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through! 
- Author Unknown

My friends all talk about how they go to work and there are "goodie trays" staring them in the face all day long.  Oh, believe me - I remember those days!  Admittedly, I am in a very controlled environment in my little house.  I have the foods here that are best to help my health and wellness.  But I have to ask my friends, "Why don't you pack some good stuff and take with you instead of just reaching for the goodies on the tray?"  They almost sound as though they have no choice in the matter, which baffles my brain, I must admit.

So, on this fifth day before Christmas, what choices will you make?  I know nobody is really thinking about weight loss until January.  That's when we'll start seeing all of the quick weight loss programs come out of the woodwork in droves on the info-mercials!  But I've found that it's the consistency in the journey that does the most good.  No more yo-yo dieting for me!  I made a decision a long time ago to adopt a new lifestyle - and so I have.  It's really as simple as that.  There's no magic bullet out there that will instantly take weight off.  Oh, I've still got another pesky 25 pounds to lose!  But I'm encouraged!

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.  - Peg Bracken

I don't know whether I'll ever lose enough weight to warrant getting completely off of diabetic medication, but I do know that with every pound I lose, my chances of maintaining good control of my blood sugar get better!  I do feel better - not so "stuffed" in my own skin!  Instead of feeling like the Christmas turkey this year, I will actually be able to enjoy the turkey with less guilt than ever before!  There's something to be said for that!

No, I did not get my five golden rings this fifth day before Christmas.  Rings are highly over-rated!  When you are a yo-yo dieter, your rings spend a great deal of time at the jewelers getting sized!  **sigh**...

I'm much happier with the gift I've received - the gift of wellness is so much better than diamonds or gold!

Here's "The Twelve Days of Christmas" - enjoy!


Today is LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!