Holding my "before" favorite shirt after losing 125 pounds on my journey to better health.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tapioca Pudding Song

We use to have a family tradition that I want to share here. It is something that I have done ever since my children were tiny. Occasionally on a cold night I would cook a big pot of Tapioca Pudding. The kind you have to cook and stir while it boils for a few minuets.  We all loved it. Then while it was nice and warm I would add a BIG dollop of whipped cream to each serving.  The highlight of this treat for me was when I got to sing and dance the Tapioca Pudding song!!!! My kids loved it when they were small but when they got to be teens they thought they were to cool to enjoy it. In 2004 we were experimenting with a little video camera and it was decided that I should perform my famous song and dance. The other day one of my kids was going thought some old video's and found my dance.  I was not at my heaviest yet, add about 20 more pounds to what I look like on this video. I think I had some pretty smoooooth moves for my size. We have all watch it and remembered how much fun it use to be.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


"S-u-c-c-e-s-s, that's the way you spell SUCCESS!"  That cheer I use to scream at all the high school balls games has been running through my mind the last couple of days. I have heard a lot about success lately and want to comment a little about what I think about success. I know that some people think that success is when you have a mansion, a sleek little sports car, money to burn, fabulous clothes and jewelry. I have always had a little different outlook about success. To me success is getting up in the morning and getting dressed down to your lace up shoes! Learning how to tie lace up shoes. Success is walking to the mail box and back if you have a lot of weight to loose or don't feel well. Success is going to work at 6:30 in the morning, teaching other peoples children all day, going home to your other full time job (mom.) It is following a very ridged strict diet and regaining your health. Driving by The Sugar Cookie and waving instead of stopping for a dozen cookie. ( Or just buying 2 cookies instead of 4.) Having your children bloom before your eyes when giving the security of a stable home. Changing to a job that is commission and giving it your all. Being honest in all your dealings with people. Starting a new job that keeps you home nights with your family even though it is working for someone else. Going back to school to be able to provide a more stable future for your family. Facing your fears and conquering them.  Accepting change and pressing forward with a new company. Having a  son that wants to get up and tell you goodbye and walk you to the door in the early morning hours just because he wants to see you. Going home at the end of the day and saying to yourself you have given a fair day's work for a fair day's pay. Getting 100% on a second grade spelling test. Learning to read. Memorizing times table.(I struggle with 7-12)  Playing hard. Laughing hard. Loving hard. Feeling good about what you have done. That's the way I spell success.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Rich or Poor?

This post is a little different than most of them. It is not really on a healthy journey but more just on some reflective thinking. After having a conversation with one of my children I remembered some of the things that happened when I was growing up. Then later that day I was looking through a drawer for something and found an E-mail my sister had sent to my son. It was then I decided I needed to share this.
    A few years ago my son was going to record a Christmas CD and asked about some of the families favorite songs. My sister asked for Christmas shoes and so he used it.  She wrote to him about why she liked it. I quote her, " I love this song because it reminds me of your grandma." (my mother) "We weren't the richest people in town but she always made sure we got what we needed. I don't know if your mom remember this or not, but one Christmas was pretty slim. Grandpa (my dad) had been in and out of the hospital with blood clots in his legs. He was off work for over a year. Anyway, Kevin, your mom and I all got a new coat for Christmas (olive green corduroy for me and your mom.) I don't remember that we got anything else, but I'm sure we must have had candy but the coat was mostly it. I caught mom crying a few days later and come to find out she was crying because she felt so bad she hadn't been able to get us much for Christmas."
       I do remember that Christmas.  I want to share a little of my memories now. We really did not have a lot. Even in food. One of our neighbors worked for Meadow Gold Dairy and took care of stocking the stores with product. As one of the "perks" of his job he was able to bring home the outdated  milk, sour cream, and cottage cheese to feed as slop to his pigs. He had an old farm truck and he would just toss the stuff into the back of it  He would come home to change his clothes before he did the chores. I remember going over and digging through that truck bed to find any of the milk or cottage cheese that had not split open and take it home to use. We just did not have money for those things. Oh we had milk. It was mixed from powder. Never could we buy cottage cheese. Then the wonderful day happened. One of the freezers in one of the stores had broken and he brought home a whole truck bed full of  ICE CREAM!!!!!!  He let us know he had it because he knew we were using the other stuff.  I remember digging through cartons and cartons of melting ice cream. Carton's smashed, tore, and leaking everywhere.    I found several that I thought sounded good and  were intact but leaky. I took them home and washed them and refroze them.  I do not recall ever having ice cream in the freezer before this. I picked out orange sherbet with vanilla swirled through it and a chocolate chip... The orange to this day is my favorite. It was so good. My mother had a cousin who had a little market store on the other side of town. She would go there to do shopping. I think she must have been given the old damaged and dented cans of food because I don't remember many cans that we had that were not damaged. We were on assistance from our church for a long time and she would go put in hours of volunteer work to "repay" the food bill. My grandpa Johnny would bring us old brown bananas, wrinkled up plums, bruised and spoiling fruit. ("this part is still good. Just cut that bad off.")  I didn't know until a few years later that he was climbing into the store dumpsters and getting their old food. (I found this out the hard way when walking home from 9th grade one day with my friends we heard someone crying for help and it was him unable to get out of the dumpster) Thank goodness I had great friends who did not share that with the whole school. I did not like fruit and vegetables until I had grown and found out how good  fresh produce is.  I am not sharing this to say "poor me."  I did not go without. I did not know I was poor.  I share it because in looking  back I realize I was rich. I had a Mother who worked hard and provided the things we needed. I had a Dad who was very sick but still went to work whenever his health allowed him even while being in terrible pain. I had sisters and a brother who I had many happy days with. We had neighbors and relatives who helped in many ways.  If anything I am grateful for those experiences because they help me to realize how truly "rich" I am.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Stand by Me!

As I was out walking the other day the song, "Stand by Me" came on the radio and my mind was immediately flooded with memories of another time I heard that song.  One of the many tasks I was asked to do to help me continue on my recovery of Narcotic addiction was to attend at least 3 meetings a week at the local chapter of NA(narcotics anonymous.)  I decided when I started on this journey that I would do EVERYTHING I could to become well.  I did go almost every day for the year that they asked me to complete. I went and listened, wept, read, and was overwhelmed by the many stories that had brought others to those doors.  I learned many things there. I learned that every family is touched by addiction. Every age, gender, rich, poor, sweet mothers, hard working fathers, sons, daughters, young, old, grandpas, and granny's. It is everywhere.  Our Chapter was sponsoring a convention to bring in speakers who had fought the battle of addiction and were living the life of recovery. I decided to go and learn what I could. At the end of the day there was a general meeting for all those in attendance. The large ballroom was full of people in different degrees of addiction. They asked all of us to stand  in a large circle and hold hands with those on both sides of us. The granny holding hands with the large bald headed tattooed biker who was holding hands with the shaking 17 year old girl who was clean for 2 days. Every walk of life was in that circle. There was silence then the music began. "Stand by me'" softly played as we continued to hold hands and look into each other's faces. It was a very powerful moment.
      I have seen many of the people in that circle go on to reclaim the lives that they had  lost and do great things. Sadly many of them continue  fighting their addictions. Some are in jail. Quite a few have passed.   I know that much of my strength comes from my great family who stand by me every step of this journey. For that I am truly blessed.