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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Where did you go?

I have been looking back at this past year and it has been a bittersweet experience for me.  I started the year off with a bang as a new Weight Watcher leader on the very first Saturday after the new year.  That is when many people decide to begin on their own personal healthy journey.  I had gone through (what to my brain seemed like a whirl wind training) and there I was.  In front of a group of people who had come for help and motivation to lose weight.  I jumped in and have never looked back.  I have met many, many incredible people. I have watched the struggles to get control of bad eating habit and the rewards of feeling better.  Not everyone has continued on and that is okay. You need to be ready to fight the battle for your life.  It is not easy.  I know.  I have laughed, cried, and learned so much from my new friends.  I have really enjoyed it and look forward to continuing the  laughing, learning, and helping each other to be healthy. This time when  I began my journey I did find success with Weight Watcher but I think if you find something that works for you that would be awesome.
    I was able to go on a trip with my husband and found a place that enchanted me.  I could live there the rest of my life but would miss my family.  We now all live within 10 miles of each other  so we are able to see each other often.  Like I have said before, bloom where you are planted. (just visit paradise once in a while)   Many people have told me the same thing about my home town of St. George so I am lucky to live in one type of  paradise and visit another.
        Bittersweet. I lost a dear aunt.  Aunt Myrl was the anchor for our family. She would call me several times a year and when we were done I would know everything about everybody. (even some family I don't remember.) She was a little bundle of dynamite and a joy to all of us.  The sweet was that at her funeral I was able to see and visit with many family members I have not seen in many years.
       Also bittersweet was the sad loss of my sweet little daughter in law's mom. Queen Tonya. She was a unique, one of a kind special lady. I prayed each day to know how to help and support her family as they were going though her sudden illness and passing.  They all were so wonderful to her and helped her to be able to pass in comfort. They all miss her terribly. They are going through  all the first holidays. Something that Tonya was always so fun to go all out for.  There  is a great sadness in them at this time. The sweet is to watch how strong they are and how they are able to honor her and remember her  by carrying on her traditions.  It is a hard thing to lose your mother.
        I have continued on my healthy journey and have been able to maintain my weight. Even losing about 10 lbs.  I am down between 125-130 lbs. (depending on the day)  I know that I need to keep control of my weight for the rest of my life or all my old "friends" (diseases) will move back in.  I am pretty proud in saying I have only seen my personal Dr. once this year. I saw him at my annual physical. He still says I am his, "one in a million" patient.                                                                          I  was able to complete the St. George Half marathon but bronchitis kept me from doing the other one I had planned on doing.  Every once in a while I get a little thought in my mind to get training again but so far I have been able to beat it down.  Maybe, who knows? I continue to walk and exercise and enjoy being able to move. I recently cleaned up the leaves that had fallen from our huge  fruitless Mulberry Tree.  I paid the price for several days after with stiff sore muscles. But it was worth it. The joy of being out in the air, moving, accomplishing, and sweating were  worth it.
      Many other wonderful days were enjoyed throughout this year. I look back with the knowledge that If I had not started my healthy journey there would be a good chance that I would not still be here. I forget how sick I was and when I read some of my blog posts I am shocked and horrified of how sick I allowed MYSELF to be. It is easy to neglect yourself or put off doing the things you need to do to take care of yourself.  I was able to have a second chance. I have had to work hard  everyday of this journey but the Miracles I have been given make every moment of it worth it. Thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you.   

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Spread a little Joy.

We are once again in the  middle of the Christmas season.  Each year I like to watch and wait to see if there is something special I can do to help someone have a little more joy in their heart this time of year.   This year I have been acknowledging  people who have given me random acts of kindness.  I want them to know that to me it means a lot when they do something kind.  A few days ago I was walking into a gas and goodie type  store to get me a drink.  As I approached the door a gentleman jumped ahead of me and opened  the door with a cheerful, "please let me get that for you."  I told him thank you and want on to get my drink.  As I was paying I noticed the man in line right behind me. He was holding a refillable coffee mug and another cup of coffee.  On impulse I told the cashier that I would like to pay for his coffee because he had been such a gentleman to get the door.  She told me that she sees people  come in all day and literally slam the door in other peoples faces that are coming in behind them. I paid and left with him calling out, "thank you."  Today I returned to that same store.  The cashier as I went to pay told me that my drink was already paid for.  The gentleman had come back later  and paid for my drink and asked her to make sure I got it the next time I came in.  She then explained about why I had paid for his coffee. He just couldn't believe that someone had paid for his coffee for being polite.  I hope it spread a little joy into his day.  It gave me a lot of joy to think about his reaction.   I guess it gave quite a bit of joy to the cashier too.  Three people had a moment of joy.  Not bad for a two dollar investment.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


I have told you many  times that I had to learn to ignore stares, comments, and my own stinkin thinkin.  It was hard. I thought I had that in pretty good control but something happened the other day that has really bothered me.(and shouldn't)  I was loading stuff into my trunk at the store and a great big truck roars up and pulls next to me.  The man rolls down his window and says something that I can't quite hear because his truck is still on.  I  smile and  continue on with what I'm doing.  He then gets out of his truck and says.  "I really like your sunglasses, it takes a  REAL woman to wear glasses  like that!"  Now this was not a young man who might say something thinking he was cute.  He was probably as OLD as I AM.  I smiled and got into my car and left.  Then the stinkin thinkin came into play. Was he making fun of my glasses?  Do I look stupid and he was trying to tell me in a nice way? Was he sincere?  Am I to old to wear glasses like these?  You know what we do.   So then I decided to ask some on my boys if they thought it was an insult or compliment.  They all said I look fine in my glasses.( but they have to say that they are family)  Those of you that live in my area know that I have worn big white sunglasses for years.  I feel like it is part of who I am.  Once in a while I have a pair that is a different color.  Blue, pink, green ..... but usually white.   As I am writing and trying to work through this  I will continue wearing my BIG WHITE sunglasses and take what he said as a compliment.  I too really like my sunglasses.
Winter Fun?

My "sister" Marla and I

About 100 lbs. lost

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A gift of health

Many of you have asked me about ways to be motivated.  I wanted to share with you one of the "tools" that I use to keep me going.  When I decided to "fix" this mess of me I knew that it would not only involve food but also many other areas.  I needed to change everything.  I realized that I needed to move more.  At first I would just give myself a distance and walk that far. The corner was a good walk for me at one time. (I live in the middle of a block so not far.) I also got myself into a swimming suit and committed to  go to water aerobics.  All these commitments were made to MYSELF. I had created the unhealthy life that I had. I was the one who ate, and sat, and watched life leave me behind.   I didn't want the life I was living at the time and knew that change had to happen.  One of the most useful tools I have invested in has been some type of a movement  monitor.  I used one that could be used in the water for quite some time and loved it when I could light up all the lights with that one hour of intense exercise. It also monitored my steps.  I now use one that can not go in the water but it monitors a lot more and different types of movement I make.  I let it get me going and keep me going.  I realize that I am goal driven with the visual charts and happy faces I get when I reach my step goals. I know that I feel better when I move and I can keep better control of my weight.  There are movement  monitors starting at about $10 and going as high as you want to pay.  A pedometer is  an excellent way to start. The American Heart Association recommends 10,000 steps a day for heart health.  That would have killed me the first day if I had tried to do that at the start.   This holiday season I want to encourage you to evaluate your movement.  If someone is wanting a "hint" for a gift maybe the gift of a monitor for movement would be a great idea.  Start small and work up to one that fits your individual lifestyle.  What greater gift can you give to yourself or someone give to you that the gift of health.   Let's all get out and get moving more and something I love to tell others who are working on their own healthy journey is to, "just keep swimming!"

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Not gonna happen.

I have had a few of you ask me when I am going to write a post on my blog?  I have thought long and hard about that question.  When I started my blog I did it as a healing process for myself and hopefully in sharing  my journey I could  help some of you.  I never planed on posting on a regular basis.  I will get ideas in my head and they don't go away until I write them down.  Some of these ideas nag at me for quite a while.  They are little thoughts, worries, or concerns and they either grow until I write about them or they quietly slip away after a few days.  I walk a lot and that is the time that I can put these thoughts into the little file cabinet in my brain or not.  I know that some of my blogs are just ramblings but some of them have really helped me to focus and move on.   I continue to work on my healthy journey.  I try to walk everyday. I do not go to the gym at this time but plan to return soon.  I have had a little bout with depression and the old fibromyalgia has been trying to get my attention.  I know that I just need to continue moving, eating right, and doing the healthy things that I know will help.  Maybe it is just the colder weather and the seasonal changes.  I swear my body could be marketed as a great barometer for pressure changes and approaching storms.  I also have to remind myself to "just keep swimming," because this is just a minor annoyance and something I can handle right now.   I want to encourage you all to "keep swimming" as you continue working on your healthy journeys. response to the questions about a regular post to my blog my reply has to be....
Nope! Not gonna happen.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


The other day I was working around the yard when my daughter dropped off my oldest grand.  He walked over to me and said, "Granny, don't you ever stop? Don't you ever sit down and rest?"  Then off he went to play with his cousins.  I have thought about that a lot the past few days.  First of all I am so happy that he does not remember his "OLD GRANNY." The one who sat in a recliner with her swollen legs up and an oxygen tube hanging around her neck. The Granny who spent most of her day sitting and watching TV or sleeping.   The other day one of my grand's saw an old photo of me and said, "Who's that?"  Oh, I am so glad they don't remember. I want them to remember me as the Granny that never stops. The one that hikes, and swims, and does everything she can and as fast as she can.  I know that someday I may slow down (part of life) but as they are growing into their teens and years that they will remember me I want then to remember me full of fire. So the next time I get asked that question, "Don't you ever stop?"  I will look at him and say with a huge smile," NOPE!!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Cleaning Day

My son as many of you know is a "Mr. Mom." He has 2 boys that he has living with him and he is doing a fabulous job of caring for them.  The other day he asked me , "how do I teach my boys to clean?" He then talked about the frustrations that come at his work place when several of the employees there do not seem to know how to clean.  Really clean. They do the jobs but just to get buy. I reminded him of when he was young and had jobs to do. He said he did but how did I get him to do them?  Many years ago and many frustrating cleaning days ago I realized that my children did not know and understand what really clean was. I would tell them to go clean their room, bathroom, kitchen only to go in and see they had done it but not. I decided that I was lazy and needed to take the time (and a lot of patience) to teach my four children how to clean.  I first took note cards and listed the job and then step by step how to do it. I then laminated the cards so they didn't get destroyed in the first cleaning. I took each child with their list and took them step by step through the card. Some of them were pretty young so had to gear the cards to their level.  I then would supervise them for the next few cleaning so they understood what needed to be done. The steps to take so they were not having to clean up messes they made when cleaning.   Often I would hand them out their cards on a Saturday morning and have them race. When that didn't work the next things was no playing with friends until all of their work was done. That would often involve teamwork.(especially when the Talbot Twins would be riding up and down the drive way on their BMX bikes shouting and having a lot of fun.) Or we would have a fun outing planned for the afternoon. It worked well and eventually they were able to do all of that on their own. Plus their own laundry. After thinking about my sons question I decided to make him some of his own cards. Today I took them out and spent some time with his boys. They were very interested and worked together to get as much of the work done as they could to surprise dad. One thing I had learned as a young mom was it did not work to share the cleaning materials. So I gave each of the grand's their own cleaners, rags, and off they went.  I had them look at their work after and see how nice their house looked and how it made them feel.  They were pretty proud of themselves and so was I.  The  icing on the cake was when dad got home and did many WOWS! AWESOME! and WAY TO GOS! They were like proud little peacocks.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Never Judge a Book by it's cover.

I was reminded of a quote I have heard many times in my life today.  Never judge a book by it's cover.  My 7 year old grand was visiting me and as we often do we were looking out the front window watching the comings and goings on my busy street.  A man came up the street walking his dog.  We have watched this dog for many years as it is walking its man because sometimes it has long shaggy hair and sometimes it has a new fresh hairdo. As the pair passed by my grand commented that he wondered if a homeless man should have a dog?  How did he buy it?  I sat there dumbfounded for a moment.  Yes, this man does wear the same type of clothes every day. Yes, he always has his bright orange hunter hat on everyday. Although I have seen him wear several different styles but the same color of hat. I have known this man for as many years as we have lived here.(20)  He is not homeless.  He has a lovely home. His wife drives a Cadillac.  He owns many apartments in our area.  He is very far from being homeless.  I asked my grandson why he thought he was homeless and he said he just looks like it.  It was a great time to talk with my grand and hopefully teach him a few things about judging others.  I am sure he is to young to really judge someone but that is what he had decided. The man in the same clothes and out walking several times a day must be homeless.   It once again made me realize that we all judge and assume things about others that may be very far from the truth.  I have once again been  taught by a child.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What's In, What's Out

One of the concepts I was teaching about in my class the other day was what's in and what's out. A lot of comments were made about things that were popular in the world now that use to be big when I was younger.  Roller skates,  board games, and phones in homes were a few mentioned. Then the meeting took a turn asking, what is inside you that is holding you back? What needs to be put out? I was struggling with how to present this because I am pretty hard on holding a lot of stuff inside.  I struggle with the "What Ifs'" that would have been if I had not become addicted to pain Rx. Then  onto the "What If's" that I put my family through with the many years they had of worry and care for me. I could go on and on and on. We all have "What If's."  I decided I was going to listen to my friend and leader who I work with and go to her class to get some ideas.  In that class was a young mother. She brings her three little children with her to class each week. (that in itself is pretty awesome to me.) She has lost a good amount of weight but her journey is still continuing.  She expressed that she had gone home from the last week and visited with her husband. (Last week we talked about positive self talk.)  She shared that she has felt like such an ugly person that she could not even give herself positive encouragement.  She asked her husband to please help her. Each morning he sweetly told her how amazing she was and how special she was to him and her family.  As she told us this we were all very touched. I think she will continue on with her journey and be able to improve her life.  We all need that little extra encouragement at times.  I am going to continue to give myself positive encouragement. I also want to encourage each of you reading my blog to spend some time with yourself. Find those awesome things that are uniquely you and write them down somewhere. Read them often. Before bed and in the morning.  It might be hard but my hope is those words will help you to be able to start or continue on with YOUR healthy journey.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

How to order Magazine

You can order the September St. George Magazine by calling 435-674-6200   It costs $2.95 per copy and about $1.80 for shipping.  They are sold out of the local stores and so at this time need to go into the Spectrum  office at 275 East St. George Blvd  or call and order it.  Just in case you wanted one.

St. George Magazine

Many of you have seen the picture of me and my son Eric on the cover of the  September St. George Magazine.  I want to tell you a little bit about it.  A reported called my son and began asking him a lot of questions about me and my health journey. Someone at the Newspaper had read my blog and felt like my story should be told.  I was told at the time of the interview that the magazine would have a few articles about people who had changed their lives.  I thought that would be okay.  I want to help people get healthy any way I can.  Then he decided that the interview should go in conjunction with a photo shoot?  I wondered about that but they did need a photo to put with the article. Eric and I met at the Spectrum office and had an elaborate photo shoot. Both inside and outside shots.  At the same time we met with the reporter and talked about our life changes.  The reporter them came to my home to finish up his interview.  I had no idea until I opened my newspaper and saw that magazine that we were going to be on the cover and the feature article.  I have to say, I have been so amazed and humbled by the response to that article. I have been told many times that because of the article someone has decided to change their life. That they have realized that they need to try. I never dreamed 5 years ago that I would be helping others to make the choice to improve and better themselves. I want to thank you all for the words of encouragement, thanks, hope, and love that have been given to me. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

You Choose.

When I was young I was fortunate to have the perfect baby.  I had a little girl and she was perfect!!!(she still is)  She was the type of child who would fold up into a little ball of sorrow if she was ever told no or had to be corrected. It was like she was so ashamed of herself for not being good.  I only remember having to tell her no once and that was it.  The sad little face and cry. She would sit and look at books, sing to herself, and just be content.  I never had to worry about her getting into anything. If I ever asked her to do anything she would do it right away.  I was thinking hey, this motherhood is not to bad.  THEN IT HAPPENED!!!!!!  He came roaring into the world and did not stop.  Everything became his and he let us all know it. Touch, throw, drop, eat, and  rule his kingdom. I think I spent the first year of his life sitting in a rocking chair singing to him and trying to soothe him so he would go to sleep.  He wanted it all and let us know.  Shortly after his 2nd birthday little brother came into our home and then the fun really began.  Where the first was a vocal commander the second was a climber.  He was climbing before he could even walk.  One day I found him on top of the table in the cookie jar.  He didn't even know how to walk yet. Then number 3 joined the party. Just 11 short months after number 2 came into the "wild" house.  I had two babies under 1, plus the tornado, and the princess.  I look back and wonder how I did it. I had a lot of help from my husband.  He would walk in from work and his shift would begin.  BUT,  to add to this mix!!!! Money was tight....really tight... so I decided to tend the neighbor kids.  Their mom's had to work and I was at home. So along came 2 boys from next door.  A 5 year old and a 4 month old.  Then along came the three from around the corner. Six, Four, and 16 months.  I had nine kids all day everyday.  It sounds crazy but it really worked well.  They had all day friends and I was able to monitor what they were doing.  The little ones would all have naps. (they loved to do anything as long as together.) We had a menu and would all sit down together for our lunch.  I was able to bake, tend, and keep them all happy. They all knew that discipline was missing play time with others as they would have to sit in a chair doing time-out in a room by themselves.  I think listening to all their friends have fun was a great punishment.  I didn't have to do much of that.  Each day before their mom's got there they were required to clean up all their toys and the house was probably the cleanest I ever had it. I was able to potty train four of them in the same week. They would each take a turn on the potty then everyone would cheer and clap and they would get a sticker.  They loved it.  Once a week when the babies were a little older we would go on a field trip. I had a van that we would go in and went all kinds of places. (My husband use to call it "the rolling playpen.")  I had three strollers and the two oldest being girls loved to push the babies. I would push one too.  It just worked.. In my  tending I realized something that I use today. I taught them to choose.  You choose to mind or sit in the chair. You choose to nap or you don't get a snack after. You choose to clean up or you don't get to play with the toys again today.  I still use that very often with my grand's. I have several that have pretty strong attitudes about listening and minding.  At my house they get to make the choice and live with the consequences.  So far it has worked well.  It just gives them that little boost of self esteem that they need when they know I will let them "choose." Even if its not quite what they wanted to do. I think it helped all of my children to know that there were choices and consequences in life in all we do. I hope it helped.
      We all have choices we make in our lives. Things that we do or don't do that we should.  I have to make many choices each day to continue on my healthy journey. I have to choose the things I eat and if I exercise  and even what type of exercise.  I have to live with the choices I make. Sometimes when I eat stuff that contains a lot of sugar I do feel it the next day.  My Fibromyalgia seems to bother me a little more and I ache. I have learned (over and over) that I don't like  to feel like that so most days I do pretty good with eating healthy foods.  It is not an easy thing to make the right choices but I know that if I do them I like the consequences. One of the best choices I made was to begin on my journey to a more healthy life and to enjoy the miracles I have been given. I encourage you each to choose to begin or continue on your own healthy journey and don't spend one more day of your life sitting in a time-out watching and hearing the others around you playing and enjoying life.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summer flyby.

Where did this summer go? It seems like a whirlwind blew and scattered all the days.  This week  I began my joyful time of driving to my son's home  early in the morning to get two of my grand's off to school.  I have to say that first day back was a great morning. The one grand has started 6th grade and going to a big school.  Riding on the bus and class changes are a big adventure. He headed out the door at 6:45 excited and looking forward to going next door and "picking up" his friend to walk to the bus stop together. As I stood out in the front yard and watch them they were walking up the street, heads leaning into each other, and giggling as they walked.  They seemed to be so happy. The childhood joys of a best friend. It is so fun to watch this boy grow into a man. Then the younger. The second grade King of Riverside.  He is a little lost without his big brother walking with him to school. He had a plan already worked out. He was going to ride his bike. (I use to walk with the two of them but he would not have any of that walking stuff today.) He was riding his bike. His orange Mongoose. I told him he couldn't ride it today because he didn't know how to do his combination lock.  Well after he showed me 5 times he could do it he won that challenge. The next was he couldn't ride unless he wore a helmet. He promptly showed me that he could wear his brothers and it fit fine. Then the argument if brother's get taken during the day then he would have to buy him a new one.  No problem there are he ran and showed me the money he had been saving for allowance. After that we had to call dad and ask permission. That was reluctantly given with instructions to stay on the one side of road, walk the bike across the busy intersection, and to be careful.  So off we went, he on his bike and me following in the car some distance behind(I think we have all done that with a child or grand.)  He did great! One time he even turned to look at me following him and gave me the thumbs up. There were at least 15 other children riding bikes and scooters down that street with mom's and dad's following!!! So our new year has began. It will be challenging and exciting. One of the greatest joys my son and I have enjoyed is watching those two boys blossom into kind, friendly, happy, competent, content little people. I am glad I get to share this time with them.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Recommending a video series.

I try to not post or promote things but I think this one is important.  I received a magazine from the Southwest Utah Public Health Foundation and in it was a Film Review. In reading the review I realized that I had seen this series before.  I watched it in 2008 when I believe it was released. I remember at that time I was horrified and terrified because of the problems I had with my health and my weight. I watch it and cried and swore to myself that I was going to change and lose the weight. Well it must have not scared me enough because by 2010 I was at least 50 pounds heavier and in worse physical shape.  As I watched it again I was again horrified and terrified but not for myself.  I thought of family and friends that struggle with both health and weight issues. I am sad that I cannot do for them what they have to do themselves.  I wonder about what we as a society are doing to our young children. How can we teach and help them when it is such a struggle ourselves.  My mind has been whirling with so many emotions and sadness. I recommend you watch this. It probably will horrify and terrify some of you. My hope is that it will also inspire, challenge, educate, and encourage you to take that first step and then continue on moving into a healthy journey.   WARNING: The videos are graphic and have some Renaissance paintings that contain nudity. It is not something to watch with children. Autopsy and diseased organs are also shown. It is free to view online at:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Aunt Myrl

I attended the funeral of my Aunt Myrl a few days ago and have had it on my mind since. It was a beautiful service with all her children speaking.  They all gave wonderful tributes about their mom. She truly was an amazing woman. One of her children in giving tribute said that the Boy Scout Law described my Aunt.  A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.  She also lived the Scout Motto: Be Prepared and The Scout Slogan: Do a good turn daily!   What beautiful words to describe a mother. She had all those wonderful qualities and more.   What a wonderful example she was to all of us.  She will be greatly missed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Birthday Gift

Several days ago it was my 61st birthday.  I want to thank all of you who sent me birthday wishes and encouragement.  My brother who is just 1 year and 2 weeks behind me sent me a message the night before my birthday.  I am sure it was to give me a little jab but I really enjoyed reminding him that the big 60 was heading his way.  My daughter-in-law informed her friends on facebook that she was celebrating her birthday week with instructions that the perfect gift would be to bring her cookies from Dutchman's market.  Now technically it is still my week. The calendar states Sunday is the first day of the week. Her birthday is Monday July 21st. so she will have to wait until Monday of next week for her cookies from the Dutchman market(if you ask me) or she has to share with me!!!!!!! As I have thought of this "birthday week,"  I have decided that I could give a gift to others for my birthday.  I have decided to donate blood.  The soonest I can get an appointment is next Monday.  I have donated before and as a former nurse know the wonderful things that donated blood can do to help other people who are in need.  I know that July of each year is when there is a critical shortage of blood products available.  I want to encourage all of you that can donate to take an hour and pass on the gift of life.  It is one small way I can show how grateful I am for the miracle I call my life.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I don't belong.

I read this post on FB from a young woman that I know and it spiraled me back into my past and also prompted a lot of thinking. "I don't belong."  I grew up in a small town that almost everyone was of the same faith.  My dad had chosen to not follow the teachings that he grew up with and so did not participate. My mom did what she could to encourage us to go to church and participate.  We knew that we were different. I struggled and longed to "belong." I was so lucky to have a friend I met at a very young age that also had those same struggles. We clung to each other.  I knew everybody and I felt I was very judged. I was told that I was not welcome at some of my friends home. I was accused of smoking and told I should be ashamed of myself. (my dad smoked and the odor would linger on our clothes.) Some of my group of teenage friends were not allowed to sleep over at my house when we had our "old maid" parties. (when we didn't have a date to the school dances.) It was always in the back of my mind, "I'm different, I don't belong."  I like to think it made me more open and accepting to others.  I think not belonging made me stronger and better.  I don't want to belong if it means leaving others out because they are "not like" me.  I also thought about this young woman. I have know her since she was a little girl. Not closely but have know of her and a few of the things she has be through  in her life.  When we reconnected I was so thrilled at what a sweet and amazing young woman she has become.  I have also had contact with another young woman who is struggling with her own, "I don't belong." I watch her trying so hard to please others and gain their acceptance and love. She so wants to belong. She has made some choices that have impacted a lot of lives. Not just her own. I hope that someday she realizes that she is wonderful just the way she is. We all go through times in our lives where we feel we don't belong. How we handle it can make a big impact on our lives and the lives of others.   I also thought of a friend that I met in rehab. (she has been on my mind a lot this week because my son bought her car from her and I have been driving it.)  She was a strong amazing women.  She struggled so much with belonging. She had lost so much with the choices she made but she was fighting back. I was able to spend quite a bit of time with her after we were both out. We would talk frequently and would go to lunch. She was happy.  One day she called me and we talked for several hours.  She told me that her life was finally what she had hoped for. She was in love and looking forward to moving and living her life. She was making a choice to live her life the way she wanted and not the way others had told her she should do to "belong."  The next day she took her own life. Perhaps the pressure of "belonging," was to much I will never know. 
       I have realized that the things I wanted to belong to when I was younger are not important. I really don't care if someone likes me or not anymore. If I am judged by someone, "that is their problem." I think that not belonging has made me tough. I wish I had know what I know now about "belonging." As I watch these young women and see them struggle I wish I could somehow let them know for themselves that they belong.  Choose the things that are important in life to belong to and let the rest go. We all belong.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Way Up High in a Cherry Tree!

One of the first jobs I ever had was picking Cherries.  I don't remember how old someone had to be to be able to pick but I was in my early teens.  I had watched my sister go and make summer money and I was anxious to start making my millions.(at least it seemed like she had made millions to me.) One year it happened! I was old enough. Now to begin. Early, early on a summer morning I woke up to a still dark sky. Got my lunch and went out to sit on the porch and wait for my ride. I had my lunch, hat, and jacket for my new adventure. There was always a cool canyon breeze and often the faint scent of a skunk in the air. Soon I could hear an old truck starting and stopping along the way as it stopped to pick up the neighborhood kids who were also going to work. Around the corner it came. In the back leaning against the tall wooden rack were kids of all sizes. Each with their own hat, jacket, and lunch. We knew to hold on tight with the frequent stops and starts. When all had been gathered up the canyon road to the bench we would go.  When we got there we were each given a bucket and a tree to work on. The buckets would be tied to our waists because it was a sad day when you dropped your almost full bucket to the ground. I loved to get up on the tall tripod ladder into the top of the trees. Each kind of cherry had to be picked a certain way.  The sweet cherries had to be picked with their stems intact. That would make your fingers sore after a while and seemed to take forever to fill that bucket. There was also a lot of sampling while picking and pit spitting contests. Ohhhh, the taste of a warm Bing cherry. We would work until it started to get warm. I am not sure how long. Maybe until noon. If it was a good tree and a good day that bucket had been filled and dumped several times. We would take them to the owner and he would weigh what we had picked and keep a tally of how we did each day. There was always activity going on in the orchard. Ladders being moved, kids climbing the trees(if you broke a limb you got a scolding)buckets being dumped gently, and a lot of pit spitting. I had a friend that would work along side me in the same tree or a neighboring tree. We would sit up in the tree picking and singing songs we made up about cherries.  I am sure we were so annoying now as I look back but we had a lot of fun. We would keep going until from the branches of another tree we would hear someone scream...."will you two shut up." To this day when I go into the store and see a nice big dark red cherry the song pops into my head. "Cherry, Cherry, Bing Cherry, Bing Cherry, Bing!!!!" I don't remember for sure what I made per pound for the cherries. I am thinking 25 cents a pound.  It was a short season. Maybe two weeks and then again later in the summer when the sour(pie) cherries came on. That was a lot of money to me. It did feel like a million bucks.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A little nervous

 I had something happen to me that has reminded me of a lot of the things I was taught early in my life about personal safety.  I was doing a lot of errands around town and realized that I was being followed.  I was in one store and a man seemed to be interested in some of the same stuff I was looking at ( I didn't realize this until later)  I didn't think much of it and left the store. As I was driving to the next store and was looking left to make my turn I noticed the same man in the lane next to me watching me. I still didn't think much of it and as I continued on he quickly changed lanes and followed me into the store parking lot.  I parked between two cars close to the store because I was getting that feeling that this was a little strange. I usually park way out as far as I can to get some steps in but this time I was as close to the door as I could get.  As I got out of my car and began walking he quickly circled the cars and pulled up next to me. Playing music loudly and bouncing like he was dancing to the music. (he was probably in his 50's) I just glanced at him and his car because I didn't want to encourage anything but also wanted to make sure I could cross the area into the store without getting hit. There were several people coming out of the store or I would not have gotten out of my car.  I went into the store and all the "alerts" in my body were going off.  I stayed in there for quite a while and called my husband to see if he would meet me. We were going to meet at the bank. I left the store while on the phone and could see him parked in the parking lot of another store but watching me.  I was not going home until I knew he was not following.  As I drove off he stayed and did not follow.  Maybe seeing me on the phone discourage him.  Maybe when I did not look at him and acknowledge his music he got the message. Who knows?  It reminded me of some of the safety everyone should follow. Always, always be aware of your surroundings. I don't know how long he had been following me.  I had been to several places before the stores.  Drive to a police station or some other public area if being followed.  Ask for help in the store. Do not go home if being followed because then they know where you live. Lock your car doors. Check your car before getting in. Everyone should do these things.  Men and women of any age.  Listen to the "alerts" your body gives you. I feel we are all given something in us that can tell us of danger. Maybe it was nothing. Maybe it was something. 
       This brought to mind another experience I had many years ago. My husband and I had been out of town and coming home late at night. I was driving and he was slumped down in the passenger seat asleep. I was driving down State Street in Salt Lake City and realized I was being followed closely. I continued on past our apartment and the car followed me for a long time. I was making a lot of turns and the car stayed right there. I woke up my husband and told him what was going on. My  husband sat up and the other car sped off. Again, I don't know what really was going on. This was in the 70's and it shook me up pretty badly. Teddy Bundy(of course we did not know that was who it was at the time) had taken several girls from the area. I fit the type of girl that he was taking. Slim with long, straight, dark hair. There were many news reports of how to stay safe if being followed.  I have always wondered about that. It felt really scary to me and I have always been very careful of my surroundings.  Keep yourself safe.  It only takes a moment for something to change your life. I will probably be on "high alert" for a while as I travel around town.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Veggie Blues

A few years ago my son Andy was privileged to sing a song on the FlyLady Cd named, UP KIND OF DAY. It is a wonderful CD for children(of all ages) The song is called Veggie Blues.  I will share a little of the lyrics to the song. I was sitting at the table. Just poking at my plate. Wishin that my veggies. Could change to chocolate cake. Yeah, but then I saw something. That chilled me to the bone---My asparagus stared singing  into a microphone and he said.  "Hey, kid you better be careful. The way that you're poking at me. Don't you know that I'm the one who keeps you strong and healthy? Cause when you get your body fueled with fruits and veggies too you're  gonna have the strength to do the things you wanna do." It has more lyric about what the asparagus has to say and what the kid does. It is a really cute song. 
The reason I bring this up is because I have been thinking about veggies and the good they do for us. I was never exposed to different fruit and veggies. I don't remember anything but the basics. Corn, green beans, peas, and potato.  I have been finding and trying new things the past few years and have even changed a few old ways of cooking the veggies. I posted on my blog a photo of my baby crookneck squash. I crave them. The way I had always prepared them was to fry up a lot of bacon and then add onions and the squash. Everything coated in bacon grease.  Now I knew that was not the way to drop the weight by eating my veggies. I started to take the very 97% fat free thin, thin, sandwich ham cut it into slices about the size of bacon. (make sure is smoke cured not honey ham) Then I add the onion and squash.  I don't know if my family has even realized it is not bacon. They love this squash.(tell a man that there is bacon in it and he will eat anything.) Another thing I do that has added to the veggies eaten at our house is I make my own salsa. Tomato, green pepper, and onion.  Nothing else. I make a big amount and then I freeze some of it in ice cube trays. After frozen I put them in a large Ziploc bag. When ever I make anything. I throw a couple of cubes in to add extra veggies. Meatloaf, sauces, soups, eggs, the list is endless.
I like to cook a lot of my veggies when using the oven. I throw in covered casserole dishes with Mushrooms, squash, fresh green beans, or carrots. I then store them in the fridge and use them over the next few days. I have added cooked mushrooms and cooked chopped up spaghetti squash to my meatloaf and no one seems to notice.( secret)  I also will take a huge pan of onions and caramelize them.  It takes a while so I do it while I am cooking a meal. Just cook them low and slow and stir on occasion. I then keep them in the fridge. They really add flavor to about any type of meat by warming them a little and putting them on top.  Your house really does get stinky but it is worth it. I grow parsley and basil that I add to some of the veggies as I am "baking" them. It adds a little different flavor and they look pretty. One thing that I do to keep me from snacking is almost every day I put a little plate with cherry tomato,  sweet peppers, cucumbers, or jhicima on my counter and  eat on them through out the day.  It seems to give me a lot of satisfaction and every time I go in the kitchen there they are saying. "EAT ME!!" Don't be afraid to research recipes and try new foods. There have been some that we have tried once and once only but most of the time we find that we enjoy the different flavors.

Five veggies with a ham Sammy. Tomato, Spinach, Carrots, Beets, and green beans.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I don't believe it.

My husband has at times had to reluctantly eat what I was eating.  When I first started my journey he was not interested in seeing if he could do anything for his health. It took him about a year and a half before he really began to realize that it was going to happen. (Like it or not) I decided I was not making separate meals for him anymore. That he would eat what I ate and at least act like he enjoyed it. (or cook his own.) It was just to hard for me. Slowly ever so slowly I introduced him to a different way of eating and thinking.  His hardest step was giving up the French frys, maple bars, and Reese Peanut Butter Cups that he liked to enjoy very often. He stills has them on occasion but I don't think he enjoys them like he use to. Now I cook for both of us and we have some really tasty meals. He enjoys lean meats cooked in many different ways and sometimes three different vegetables on his plate. Once in a while we have a little pasta or rice. I do still prepare him the white rice but I prefer brown now. We usually have a fruit too. Our meals are colorful and he often says, "that was a fine meal." Now he is down in weight over 50 pounds and feels so much better.

     Something had happened to his vision and he told me about it this past week. The other day he told me that he could not see. His vision had changed and he could not see clearly. He has been wearing contacts for all the years that I knew him and has always been very careful in taking care of his eyes. He decided to go into the eye Dr. and have an exam even though it was not time for his yearly visit.  The Dr. spent a lot of time on the exam as he knew my husband was pretty worried about this vision change.  His vision has been the same for so many years. The Dr. kept telling him that this just doesn't happen. That he hadn't see this before. He then told my husband that his vision had improved in both eyes. Neither one of them could believe it.  They talked for a while and the ONLY explanation they could come up with was the great nutrition received from eating all the vegetables. Something awesome had happened. My husband has been so excited because he has done something that is medically back up to improve his life.  He also seems to be enjoying all those vegetables a little bit better at dinner. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Repairable machine.

I have had quite a few people ask me to tell them how I lost my weight.  I have included a lot of that in my previous posts. They ask me how I got the "fire" and kept it burning throughout my journey.  All I can say is it was hard.  I decided that I was going to have to become number 1. I had to be 100 percent honest with MYSELF. No more lying and thinking I was not eating to much. I had to do this.  I had to constantly tell myself that I wanted to live a full rich life. I was tired of sitting in that damn recliner and watching my family go hiking, camping, and playing with me watching on the sideline. That was NOT what I wanted my life to be. I did hours and hours of research. (if I was going to change I was going to know why and how everything worked together in my body. That was the RN in me.) I researched nutrition, exercise, controlling blood sugar levels, frequency of eating, H20, vitamins, protein, and on and on. I wanted to know how to fix this REPAIRABLE machine called my body.  I read articles that told me I could fix so many of the things I thought I had to live with. It gave me hope and it gave me drive.  It gave me the fuel to keep that fire going. I went to the gym and I asked questions. I quizzed everyone. Everything I was told I came home and researched to know FOR MYSELF.  I do not just go by what others tell me. I do not want to risk injury or illness. You all keep saying you wish you were me. No your really don't. You wish you were YOU but feeling good. You ask me what I eat?  What to do? I can answer that but it won't be the right choice for you. Your body is your body. It is different than mine. What I eat may be absolutely wrong for your body. What I do for exercise may cause you injury.  I want to tell you to research your own body. Start looking for what works for you. I had many days and weeks that my weight would climb or stay the same but I usually knew what I had done wrong because I was researching myself.  I can tell you some of the things that helped me.
1. I never set a goal. To easy to get discouraged. Just see what happens. Then celebrate the losses.
2. Asking the experts then researching.
3. Getting into the water to move.
4. Changing my eating completely.
4. Drinking, drinking, drinking H20.
5. Increasing my protein.
6. Support system. (Family, friends, Doctor, and Weight Watchers members.)
7. Great shoes. (not thongs)
8. Small hand weights.
9. Large ball to sit on and exercise on.
10. Getting up out of the recliner and moving.
 Your body is a wonderful REPAIRABLE machine. You become the expert mechanic!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

KaKaKa Katie......

As many of you know I have been spending mornings with two of my grand's getting them up, fed, and to their school.  Not to long ago two more grand's were added to that morning joy.  I have had times through the years that I have been asked to transports grand's to school, home or both. As I drive I like to try and be the entertainer with my captive little audience.  I sing songs to them. I have always sang to my children and grand's as I rocked them to sleep or spent time with them. Children songs or my version of some songs.  Yesterday I decided to sing one of my old time favorites that I have used on various grand's through the years.  It goes to the tune of the old song KaKaKa Katie.  You oldsters(like me) will know the tune.  What I sing is JaJaJa Jayden. Marvelous Jayden your the only bababoy that I adore.  When the mamoon shines over the cow shed I'll be waywaywating at the kikitchen door.  He just grinned and then shouted..."I LIKE THAT!"  I sang it over and over to him. I then asked him if he knew what marvelous was? No he did not.  I explained to him that it was wonderful, happy, funny, strong, good helper and a few other good things.  I then asked him if he knew what adore was?  No he did not.  I then explained that it was to really like someone or something even love them.  He was so delighted with that song. I have always hoped that those songs would somehow help them with gaining a good self esteem and to know they are loved.  As I dropped him off at home I told his mom about how much he liked that song. He just grinned as I sang it to him as we were standing at the door and from the other room my 12 year old grand shouted out. "Hey, I thought that was my song"...... I guess it has been working.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

We have spies.

We have lived in out town for about 30 years.  When we moved here it was a little lazy town of about 10,000 people. There were two elementary schools and one called the sixth grade center that housed all the six grade students from the whole county.  We knew a lot of the town people and they knew us. One of the good things about the smaller town was that we the towns people kept an eye on the kids and what they were doing.  I knew what kind of car(if they were lucky and had one) my kids friends drove. My friends and acquaintances knew what my kids drove and who they hung out with.  Many a time I would bump into someone and they would tell me about seeing one of my kids over here or there doing something. Now this was fine most of the time but kids will be kids and once in a while I would find out something about one of them that I was not to know about. Usually I would give it a day or two to see if it would come out in some conversation.  If not I would inform them that I knew and what was going on?  The reply was always, "who told you?"  "I bet it was ....... and would blame their siblings.."  I would be able to tell them that I knew everything and that I had spies everywhere. That would usually end the conversation and I hope scare them a little. Many, many times I have been well informed by the spies.
       Lately that has been reversed on me.  I got a call from one of my boys the other day and he said. "I heard you were really booking it thought the park this morning."  Another time one said.  " My friend saw you up on the red hills parkway. That's a long ways from home." Another time it was, "That's a pretty busy road you were just walking on and watch for falling rocks."  It was then that I REALIZED  that  they have spies...Now it is not my secret system anymore.  The role has been reversed.  I guess I have to accept the fact that WE HAVE SPIES. (I better behave!!!!!)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"Don't Worry Granny, your alive!!!!"

Yesterday I was part  of a group of amazing strong people. Our local Weight Watchers Center decided to host two different 5K walks for our members. I am one of the leaders and so wanted to be involved with the group. On Tuesday night I am usually involved in shuttling two of my grands to a tutor and helping them get a start on the weeks homework.  I asked them last week if they would like to go on this walk with me instead of tutor and homework.. Of course they said YES(the lesser of two evils?)  They thought it sounded like a lot of fun.  Another leader and I had gone the day before and mapped off the distance and found the best route for a friendly walk for the members.  The weather cooperated and off we headed on our walk.  My little 7 year old grand was off in a hurry wanting to be first.  He went a long ways but then began to get tired.  He headed back and I met up with him on the trail.  He said he was so tired and just couldn't make it.  I just took his hand and we walked and talked about all kinds of stuff. The trail is along the river and one side of high cliffs with huge boulders that have fallen down and seem perched on the slopes. We came up with a plan of what to do if the boulders started to roll. There were bugs, plants, birds, and stuff to look at and talk about all along the way. One of our men members had given him a big black and white feather that he kept swishing back and forth to scare away the bugs.   My Grand got real quiet and asked me who my daddy was?  I explained that my daddy had died and was in heaven. He had been gone a long time.  He jutted out his bottom lip and frowned and said, "that is so sad."  A few more steps on the way back and then the next question. "who is your mommy?"  I then told him my mommy was also gone and had been for a long time too.  Again the sad face and the comment, "that is so sad Granny."  I began to comfort him and tell him that my mommy and daddy were old and had been sick. That people die when they get old.   Again we walked in silence for a while.  He then began rubbing the back of my hand.  My hands have had a lot of wear and tear and the hand he was rubbing has a scar that still has a small scab from a recent injury.  He was really studying that rough looking hand.  He quietly said, "Granny your old."  I could figure out what he was thinking about and was wondering how to respond when he quickly reach up and tapped on the fitbit (a wrist band I wear that flashes when I reach the exercise goal I set.  It also flashed and informs you how you are doing if you tap on it)   He stopped looked up at me and grinned , "Granny don't worry it says you are still alive- it just flashed at me."  Good to know. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Flowers speak to me

Beautiful Almond trees that bloom in our town every spring.  They have to be over a hundred years old.                   

As I am out walking I see many beautiful flowers that speak to me.  They remind me of times past and how I came to love the flowers. Today I spotted these Poppy's growing in a weed patch. They are all so beautiful but reminded me of a poppy garden I use to see blooming when I was a child.  My Grandma Elmer had a plot of ground between her home and my Uncle Rex's home in Payson, Utah.  Each year we would go over to see the beautiful bright red Poppies bloom.  They would bob and weave in the breeze and you could see inside the jet black center.  It was such a sight to behold.  One year we did not go to the Poppy garden.  When we did go to see Grandma the Poppies were mowed down and the land tilled up.  We could not believe what we were seeing.  Who had done this horrible thing to Grandma's garden.  My dad explained to us that the Poppies were Opium Poppies  and that the government had made Grandma destroy them because of the narcotic in them. Of course I  could not understand that and have not thought about it for many years. (probably half a century)   I then got thinking about who I thought about when I saw certain flowers.  I though about my mom as I saw a beautiful yellow rose and remembered how she loved the ones along Grandma Warner's fence.  Mom tried each year to start one from a cutting in her yard and never could. When I lived in West Jordan she brought a start  to my new house and that rose grew.....She was always so proud that I had a yellow climbing rose bush in my yard. Oh, the Iris!!!!!  Many a trip we went on around town and even to Mapleton to see a special color of Iris that was blooming.  I can't smell an Iris today without thinking of my Grandpa Johnny's back yard. The quest to grow a "Wabash" or "white" or a "coffee colored" Iris. My Dad always said he loved the Daffodil  because it told him spring was here.  My sister Elaine had to do a tribute about a rose one year when she was a young woman I think her rose was called a Peace Rose.  I don't remember for sure but when I see the colored roses I think of her.  I have always love the lilac bushes. My Grandpa Johnny had many along the side of his house and I think of him and my mom but I also now think of my sister Joan.  Joan gave me a book about the lilac which contained a wonderful message that when you see it bloom you know those in Heaven are with you. She gave me and our other two sisters this book after she found that she was finishing her battle with Breast Cancer. I have a lilac bush in my back yard that blooms multiple time through out the summer and even into the late fall.  I think of her when I see those blooms. My oldest sister Marilyn had a side yard full of three foot tall stalks with a large purple bloom  on the top. I don't remember their name but she sure comes to mind when I see plants that are on tall stalks like those.  Onion, garlic, etc.. She has moved from that home and I am not sure if they still bloom there.  When I see a Giant Joshua (cactus)  I think of my brother Kevin..(hehe) When we were little our parents took us to California to see the cousins.  We stopped by the side of the road to take a picture of those huge cactus. As we were backing up to get a good picture one got my brother right in the head. Cactus spikes like to stay with you so he had a pretty painful trip for a few days with that spike in his head.
    I have put a picture of the Old Almond tree on the top of this blog.  It is one of the sights I look for each year.  I begin checking when we have the first signs of spring and when they are in full bloom I sit under them and take in the sight and smell.  There are several trees along there that were part of an old pioneer orchard.  The tree trunks are gnarled and black. The blooms come out in that pale pink and seem to almost smother those trees.  I have taken so many people over to see "my" trees.  My Mom and Dad when they were alive. My Aunt Leora.  My Mother-in-law.  My husband has to go with me every year.  I have taken several friends.  I use to take my kids every year. Now I just send them a message that the tree in blooming. I don't know what stories my family will remember when they get old (like me) but I hope they are mixed in with a few beautiful flowers.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Two Bits

I had a friend named Bev that I use to go visit with once or twice a month. Bev was a rough, tough, opinionated, feisty gal. She had come from a hard background but you could feel the inner strength she had gained surviving through her hard life.  She was one of those women who would go out hunting and fishing but also take care of the gutting and later the butchering on her kitchen table.  She started having small strokes that eventually caused her to be bedridden then pass away several years ago.  As I was sitting in her funeral her husband told a story about her.  Bev was a prankster and loved a good laugh.  For many years she had been pulling a prank on many in our neighborhood and we didn't know it.(that was the biggest part of the fun for her.) Bev decided that she was going to glue a Two Bit on the sidewalk in front of her house and watch people try to get it up.  She knew that a penny would not tempt to many but a Two Bit!!! Wow.  She spent many years laughing as she watched others try to pick that up. She would on occasion go out and even shine it up a little so it sparkled in the sun.  Her children and then her grandchildren watched with her and laughed at the neighbors as they dug at that money. I had to admit I was one of the many who picked at it and rubbed my shoe on it to see if I could get it free. I had forgotten about that story until I walked by her house today and glanced down to see if it was still there. It is gone but the fun memory of Bev's Two Bits will linger in my mind for a long time. (for those of you who do not know what a Two bit is ask an old me.)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Twin

I have been told through the years that I had a "twin" in town.  I wondered about this as I know there are people who look a lot like other people. People would tell me that they had seen me here or there and I had never been to here or there. During those years I did not go out much and usually never alone. I just didn't feel good enough to go out and shop or do the other things they would claim they saw me doing. I ran into my twin one day in Walmart and yes, I could see that we did look alike.  About the same size and hair style. Same hair coloring and movements. Close to the same age. From the back my husband thought she was me. Another time he passed her in the post office and was amazed at how much alike we looked.   I haven't seen my twin for a few years.  I really haven't even thought about her.  The other day I was out for my walk and I passed my twin.  She was on a motorized scooter and was struggling to get off it.  She had oxygen on and seemed very weak.  She still had the same hair style I use to have (tight curly perm) and wearing the same style of clothing I use to wear. Sweat pants and 3X mens T-shirts. She was even wearing the same type of sunglasses I like. Big and white.  My twin was struggling to do the normal tasks of life and I was walking 11 miles.  I don't say this to brag. I looked at my twin and in my heart I felt such love and compassion for her. I wanted to hug her and say, "I was you." I wanted to encourage her to begin that first step to reclaim the health she has left. To fight with every fiber in her body to improve her life. I didn't stop to talk to her.  Sometimes I have felt that I have offended others when I speak to them and say, "good job at the gym today or glad to see you out walking on this beautiful day." They don't know me and don't know that I DO KNOW how they feel and I am giving them true encouragement and not mocking them.  My twin was a reminder to me that I need to continue working on my health. It will be a forever process for me. I know if I don't I have all those diseases lingering in my body that can come back. I will watch for my twin when I am out and about. I might just stop and visit with her for a moment. I will ask her if she was ever told that she had a "twin" in town.  Maybe then I can give her the encouragement and hope that I know she needs.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Cleaning Grandma's House

Has been a while since I have written on here. Just needed a little break I guess. This post is going to be a little different. Maybe some of you will think I'm weird but I will just say, "join the crowd, I know I am a little weird." This post is about my daughter and something that she has been experiencing for many years. 
        My daughter moved to Provo, Utah many years ago to attend college. She lived about 15 miles from my Mother.  I am not sure how often this would happen but Emily would go over to see my Mother and help her around the house.  They spent many hours going through photos and working on other stuff.  I am sure Emily would dust and clean as that was an honored job that my Niece Bonnie use to come and do before she moved from the area. They would help with the Christmas tree and assorted odd jobs that Grandmas love their granddaughters to do... It was a special time for them. My Mother remarried and moved from her home into her new husbands home. Emily moved and the cleaning stopped.  The house was sold many years ago. My Mother has passed. This is where it gets interesting.  My daughter when she is going through troubling times begins to dream about cleaning my Mother's house and not able to get it done.  She has called me many times and asked me," What is Grandma trying to tell me?" We have talked about many different ideas and always come to the conclusion that Grandma knew she was struggling with decisions and wants her  to take care of herself. This has gone on for years.  My daughter has gone through some very tough times. She and her son D survived a horrific car crash that the responding officers told us they should not have survived from. She has a strength that I can only wish I had. She does continue to struggle with many issues in her life. (we all do)  So she has been having the dream again.   She knows that Grandma is sending her a message, but what?  This past few weeks she has been pondering a lot of changes in her life. Health, employment, and family situations.  She has been able to make some final decisions  that she thinks will help her in all these areas. She said that she had the dream again last night.   As usual she was doing all the tasks like before but this time she finished cleaning and locked the door!!!!!!  I think Grandma is satisfied with  her choices and with her final cleaning.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Don't worry about a thing, Cause every little thing gonna be all right!

I am a professional worrier. I think I inherited that skill and passed it on to my children. I was fussing with something in my head this morning and remembered something that my husband use to say to me.  I worked many years ago as a nurse. I was on a medical/surgical floor and we had the patients that were one step below intensive care.  Most of those patients were really sick.  I would work a shift and then go home and worry about facing the fears, challenges, and possibilities of the next day. I know I should have been able to leave those concerns at work but when you are dealing with these very fragile patients it is hard to do.  He could tell that I had concerns and would ask me. "What is the worse thing that could happen?"  I would talk with him about some of the concerns and he would say. "Just wait and see."  Always when I would come home from work the next day he would ask me. "Was it as bad as you imagined?" Most of the time it was not. Most of the time the problem or challenge was not half as bad as I had worried it into.  I have had to ask myself that a lot in the past few years. Sometimes, yes, it is as bad as I had imagined or worse but most of the time no. We all have had worse days, and times of our lives. We all have had challenges. Some of us have many more than others.  It is hard to not worry and want to fix things before they even happen. I have learned it is impossible and just exhausts me trying. I hate to see my children worry about things that they have little control over.  I know I taught them a lot of that by example and wish I could change that.  All I can do now is remind them that worrying about it is only going to exhaust them. Maybe they need to talk it over with their dad so he can tell them, "just wait and see." "Was it as bad as you imagined? Two of my grand's have a song they like to sing to me once in a while. It is by Bob Marley and goes like this.

                               Three Little Birds Lyrics
Don't worry about a thing,
Cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin' Don't worry about a thing,
Cause every little thing gonna be all right!

Rise up this mornin'
Smiled with the risin' sun
Three little birds Pitch by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Sayin. (This is my message to you-ou-ou)

Don't worry about a thing,
Cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin' Don't worry(don't worry) bout a thing
Cause every little thing gonna be all right

Rise up this morning
Smiled with the risin' sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
sayin' (This is my message to you-ou-ou)

Singin' Don't worry about a thing, worry about a thing, oh
Every little thing gonna be all right. Don't worry
Singin' don't worry about a thing- I won't worry
 Cause every little thing gonna be all right.

Singin'  don't worry about a thing
Cause every little thing gonna be all right- I won't worry
Singin" don't worry about a thing
Cause every little thing gonna be all right
Singing  don't worry about a thing oh no!
Cause every little thing gonna be all right.!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Trail Thrasher

I have mentioned several times about how important good shoes are for my exercise journey.  I have the best shoes I have ever owned.  I want to tell you a little about them.  One day my daughter was having a garage sale and  just mentioned to me that she had a pair of brand new shoes that she did not like.  I swooped right down on them and gave them a good look. They were black(hot in the desert) and very chunky and solid looking.  I have always walked in a walking shoe that has mesh or a very light material and usually a light color. These shoes were just not me.  I decided to put them on and see how they felt. AHHHHHH my feet said. These are wonderful. They were extra wide in the toe area and comfy. The tread was thick and had little ribs that held the base of the shoe up just a little. When I walked they gave a little bit of a push off with the next step. So I decided to take them for a walk. I did not feel every little crack and bump on the trail that I usually do. They gave me a little spring to my walk. My feet did not have the aches and pains that I often have.  I love these shoes.  I have ordered myself another pair in case I wear the first pair out. I think I will always walk with what is called a "trail running shoes." That is what these are and they are cushioned to withstand that kind of punishment. (I would never dare run a trail)  I forget how important the right shoes can be. I had to pay a little more than usual for the extra pair but it was worth it. If my feet hurt I do not walk and do the exercise that I need.  The little extra money is worth it. I have put 267 miles on my Trail Thrasher's since the middle of October and plan to add a few more. So if you see me out in my chunky black shoes just wave and know that my feet are saying.   AHHHHHHHHHH.

Monday, January 20, 2014

I AM???

I recently challenged someone to come up with 12 things that they liked or made them happy.  This friend struggled with that list.  I realized that she had forgotten about so many of the gifts she had.   I then changed the requirements to be self descriptions of her.  She again struggled.  I then realized that we all forget who we are.  We get lost in all the everyday crap(yes crap) that often doesn't matter and forget our own self worth.   I challenge you to make a list of your own.  I AM.  You might want to  dig really deep on this.  It can also be.  I HAVE.  If  you get really stuck, think about why your friends like you? Why do your kids? What did a parent, or grandparent see in you?  There are so many things that each and everyone of us IS or HAS.    Below are some examples of what I mean about I AM,  or I HAVE.

I AM: Smart, funny, organized, compassionate, loving, gentle, strong, seasoned, experienced, friendly, happy, kind, helpful, teachable, etc.

I HAVE:  Beautiful eyes,  freckles, dimples, red hair, great smile, pretty nails, smile wrinkles, smooth skin, songbird voice, musical talent, people skills, computer skills, funny personality, etc.

We all have gifts, talents, and special things about us.  We just need to remind ourselves once in a while.  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Listening in class.

I have mentioned before that I help get some of my Grand's to school in the morning. This week I have been sick so that delightful assignment was passed onto my son.  One morning before they went to school they went with him to do the chores. They were looking at the new grave of my daughter's sweet cat Kiara.  Now Kiara has been a member of our whole family for 15 years. All of the Grand's have spent hours and hours with her. Playing with her, poking at her eyes and ears, laying on her soft side, and just loving on her.  She loved it!! Those babies were hers!  Anyway,  the younger one who is 6 stood there quietly for a few moments then looked up and said...."If  I could make any two people in the whole wide world come back to life it would be Kiara..... and Martin Luther King."

Sunday, January 12, 2014

One year today!

I wrote my first post one year ago today!!!! WOW I can't believe how fast that time went. I want to thank all of you for your words of thanks and encouragement. I have had 59,501 page views and I just can't process that. I hope I have helped you in your healthy journey's. You have certainly help me.  I can't wait to see what comes out of my mind this next year that I will be sharing with you. Sometimes I read what I have posted and say...What was I thinking? (especially the swimming suit photos) I guess you will just have to check in and see!!!

Monday, January 6, 2014


I just love it when I see my little 1 year old Grand.  He is such a positive and happy little person. I love the way he greets me when he sees me.  He will look at me and smile and with a loud voice shout out WOW!!!   Every time I go to his house he does that.  I have not asked if he does that to other people who he sees. He does not do it when my husband walks in.  I like to think it is just for me.  I like that a lot as a greeting.  What a great boost to my ego. WOW!!!!  I can imagine all kinds of wonderful things that WOW could mean.  I look great!  My clothes are awesome!  My hair is perfect!  I am liked!  I am loved! He is glad to see me!  I think I am going to try that out on a few people. Instead of a hello or hi, how you doing?  I am going to smile my biggest smile and say WOW!!!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

13 and 1/2 miles. Why?

I wrote in a previous Blog that I had walked a couple of 1/2 marathons and completed them. One I even hold the record for being last!!!  In the St. George 1/2, I finished 28 seconds to late.  I walked over that line at 3 hours 30  minutes and 32 seconds.  I stopped before the finish line and gave "high fives" to my family waiting and so did not complete it under the time limit. (the high fives were as important as the final time)  The Dog Town (Washington, Utah)  I finished with about a minute to spare and I hold the record for last. I thought I was done with all that walking but I thought wrong.  Little promptings kept popping into my head last August. Maybe? Should I? Why? Why Not? A lot of training. A lot of good exercise!!!  So I signed up.  I am planning to walk the St. George 1/2  marathon on Saturday January 18th.  13.1 miles in 3 and 1/2 hours.  I have been walking may miles to get ready.  It has been so much easier on my body this time. I am carrying about 70 pounds less on my feet, knees, and hips than last time. I have been keeping track of the miles I have walked since I got my phone tracker in the middle of October and was surprised to realize that I have walked about 205 miles in training mode.  It doesn't seem like I have walked that much.  I put on my shoes, my fanny pack, my music and I go.  As I was walking the other day I looked back at the past  5 years and remembered how I use to be.  I remember the slow painful walks to the mail box and back. (having to take a pain pill to do that)  I remember having to put on knee supports to walk around a couple of blocks.  If anyone had told me a few years ago that I would be walking 1/2 marathons at the age of 60 I would have laughed at them.  Miracles are possible. Health can be improved. Change can occur. Start YOUR training to better health.  Maybe your goal is a block, a walk to your mail box,  a  flight of stairs,  a walk around your house twice, lifting soup cans while sitting in your recliner, standing up and sitting down through TV commercials, tossing a ball with your pet, leg lifts, dancing through a whole song, or dancing AND singing through a whole song.  It doesn't matter the distance or what you do. What matters is YOU DID IT!!