About Me

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I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and businesswoman with a passion for life. I try to keep my priorities in life straight - Faith, Family, Friends. I love to try new and challenging things, spend time with friends and family, sew, embroider and laugh. I run a custom apparel decorating business from my home. I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bye, Bye Bunions. Final Chapter

Today I saw my foot doctor, Dr. Ron Cervetti, for a follow up appointment.  His assistant took an lots of pictures of my feet using the trusty  x-ray machine.  I climbed onto the exam table and waited for the doc and a different assistant.
We looked at the films and the doc pointed out how nicely my bones were welding together.  "In another year it will look like all one bone," he smiled as he pointed to my skeletal feet on the wall.  He also pointed out that one screw was a bit high and if it bothers me, it can be fixed.  At this time, it is not noticeable at all.  So I say, leave well enough alone. 
I do not need to go back for another year and then it will be just to be sure everything healed as anticipated. 

As I look back over the last year, I am so grateful for modern medicine and a competent and caring doctor.  I was never in more pain from my two bunion surgeries than I was before I went under the knife.  I took all of his instructions to heart and tried to follow them to the letter.  As a result my healing was as I expected.  I love to walk down my lane to get my mail and round up the walk to a mile or two.  And I don't have pain!  A year ago, this was not the case.

I'm so glad I went ahead and did both feet back to back.  Would I do anything different?
Absolutely, I would cut my calorie intact back  while in recovery.  I ate too many carbs and with no exercise I have to figure out how to eliminate those ten extra pounds that settled in quite comfortably.

On to the next task...
And thanks, Dr. Cervetti. It's nice to be just another pretty foot in the crowd.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

'School' is in session

My grandchildren, Kile, age nine, and Cavanaugh, age six spent last Friday with me.  They had the day off from school and Mommy and Daddy were at work.  The clatter of bowls and spoons signaled me they were hungry as they set the table for breakfast.  The freezer drawer slammed shut and the crinkle of the plastic bag of frozen blueberries was mixed with the bang of the pantry door.  Rolled oats, ground cinnamon, yogurt and nuts were lined up with containers of cold cereal.  Each child created their usual combination and within minutes gobbled every bite.  Dishes were nestled in the dishwasher with anticipation of the morning events.
After a quick brush of their teeth, the game closet door was flung open.  “Perler Bead time,” Cavanaugh remarked as she peered into the disarray of papers, boxes and games. “Grammie, can you find the beads?”  The soft, sincere voice prompted me to dig for the treasure.  I pulled the re-purposed relish container, now filled with colorful, tiny plastic cylinders, with care out of the hiding place.  Cavanaugh squealed as she scampered into the front room ahead of me.  I took an extra minute, sorted puzzle boxes until I found the map of the USA puzzle, and carried it along with the plastic craft.  Cavanaugh chose the colored beads and began the process of creating her intricate design.  Kile dumped the box of puzzle pieces and sorted out familiar states. 
The house was quiet with only the sound of an occasional “Grammie, look at this,” or “Grammie, are you going to help me?”  Each child was engrossed in a project, while I observed the creativity exhibited by them.  Cavanaugh glanced at the clock.  “Kile, what would you be doing now if we were at school?”  Finger on his chin, Kile replied, “It’s Friday.  That is special class day so we would have art.”
“Let’s pretend this is school today.  I am having art class with my beads.” Cavanaugh beamed as she finished a plastic bracelet.  “And Kile is having Social Studies with his puzzle,” I chimed in.
The quiet spell was broken as the two youngsters planned the rest of the morning.  “After art we can do music, then recess, then…” the immature voices plotted the changes in class schedules. 
Kile finished his puzzle and announced “Time for Guidance.”  A devotional for small children provided the perfect lesson on the Golden Rule.  As the two snuggled close for the sharing, I knew this would be my favorite time today.  Paper bag puppets were created with snips of yarn, markers, glue and buttons to aid in acting out the lesson.
 I was stirring a pot on the stove while the two of them donned jackets and raced outside for recess.  A Frisbee, dug out the box of outdoor toys provided the entertainment.  Soon a lively game of Frisbee toss was in session.  “Oh, almost,” Kile exclaimed as the spinning disc bounced off the tips of Cavanaugh’s fingers.  Bang!  The saucer hit the side of the building near their play area as Cavanaugh threw it back to Kile.  Both broke into a fit of giggles.  My heart warmed as I watched brother and sister play a game of catch, words of encouragement to the other flew with each toss.
“Grammie, do you have divided trays for our lunch,” Cavanaugh questioned me in between turns.  It sounded more like a wish than an actual question.  I disappeared into the house while they continued their game and retrieved two trays stored in the basement.  I washed them, dried them, and set them out for lunch time.
Their clear blue eyes danced with excitement when recess was over and the pair of siblings discovered the rectangular meal trays on the kitchen counter.  “Just like the ones we use at school,” Kile exclaimed as he chose the top one.  The silverware drawer slid open and each child grabbed a spoon and a fork.  “Do you have a napkin, too?”  as the clink of utensils met the plastic slot in their trays. 
Sliced peaches, applesauce, peanut butter/jelly sandwiches and a glass of ice cold milk filled the remaining sections of the tray.  Kile and Cavanaugh proudly carried the tray to the table and after a quick prayer, devoured every bite.  “This is just like at school!”
“Time for reading, forty –five minutes of quiet reading,” Kile announced as he searched for material.  I handed him my electronic book device and gave him permission to download the story he was currently enjoying at home.  Cavanaugh found some Bible books and asked if she could read to me in my chair.  Kile was engrossed in the latest mythology book when Cavanaugh curled up on my lap and drifted off to dreamland. 
“Grammie, can I do work to earn money,” Kile inquired when reading was over.  While his sister slept, he helped me with dishes, swept the floor and shined the appliances.  “I’m saving money to buy a 3D DS,” he smiled as he completed each chore.
“Why do they name hurricanes,” he enquired as he wiped the enamel of the oven door.  “What happened during Hurricane Katrina?” 
“Shall we go find some information on the internet,” I asked.
A quick search led us to the sight with a time line of Hurricane Katrina.  From there we found a You Tube video.  A few “wows” and “awesome” was his reaction as he learned about the hurricane that hit the U.S. when he was two years of age.
Sleepy-eyed Cavanaugh joined us and snuggled in my lap as she struggled to keep her eyes open.
“Shall we bake a sugar cookie,” I asked and suddenly she was wide awake.  We rolled out the chilled dough on a cotton cloth and created one giant cookie.  As it baked, we stirred the frosting, divided it in four bowls and vibrant colors stirred into the sweet confection.  After the cookie was decorated, Cavanaugh returned to Perler Bead designing and Kile cashed his screen time allotment in for some time on the Wii gaming system.
Five o’clock came quickly and Mom arrived to take them home.
“This was a great day at school, Grammie.  Can we do this again?”
“Absolutely, I can’t wait until the next time you come to spend the day with me.”

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Trick or Treat?

”Happy Halloween!”  It was an exciting time for me as a young girl.  I grew up on a small farm, along with eight brothers and two sisters.   My school days were spent at a local Catholic grade school.  Each Halloween the sisters encouraged us to remember the saints and celebrate All Saints Day.  Each student chose a saint and dressed up for the parade of saints.  Miniature St. Joseph, Mary, nuns, priests, always in abundance, marched proudly in a haphazard formation around the gymnasium.  If it was nice outside, the line snaked up and down the street outside the school with a definite zig and a zag.  Raided closets provided the kaleidoscope of bathrobes, nightgowns, blankets and sheets transformed into costumes.  I felt proud to as I stomped in time with others as we professed our faith.  

After our parade we returned to our classroom for the party.  Our desk tops filled quickly with homemade treats of popcorn balls, cookies, and fudge as my classmates in turn shared their mother’s handiwork.  A few students came with real store purchased candy, like a small Snickers bar, or my favorite, the 100,000 bar.  It was a sweet time.

Halloween evening at the Kies home was a celebration.  We dressed in costumes and held our own party.  I remember one year in particular, Mom allowed us each to invite one friend to join us for the evening.  Our small dining room table was quite crowded, but that made it all the more fun.  Mom, a small framed thin woman, adorned herself with an over-sized calico skirt, and cotton blouse.  Her bony hips and shallow stomach were padded with rags.  She cut the feet from her dark hose and slid them on her arms.  She tied Dad’s red bandana around her head and declared “I am Aunt Jamima!”  Mom must have stood over the hot griddle for over an hour.  Pancakes flipped from pan to platter in assembly line style as she worked until every tummy was overfilled.  After the table was cleared, we began the games.

The traditional game of bobbing for apples was tabled.  Mom knew her offspring and the oceans of puddles we could make.  Instead she tied a line from door to door and hung apples on strings of fishing line.  There must have been 20 crisp, red apples from our orchard, all hung in a row.  We lined up, shoulder to shoulder, hands behind our backs, and at the appointed time the crunching began.  The first to finish their apple snack was the winner.  To this day, I don’t remember who won.  I do remember the giggles and laughter as we attempted to chew a floating piece of fruit.
We also played pin the face on the jack-o-lantern; Button, button, who’s got the button; and a rousing game of musical chairs.  

Yes, my mom taught us how to have fun no matter what we had.  Pancakes, inexpensive food to feed the masses, apples from our orchard, chairs, a record players and friends helped shape me into who I am today.  Mom taught me to enjoy my circumstances and people.  She gave me a glimpse of joy.  Instead of dwelling on the fact that town kids went trick or treating and we didn’t, I have a delicious memory of a mother wasn’t afraid to stop out of the box and create her own fun.
Trick or treating – who needs it?  I had my family.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Imperfect Quilt

Creating small quilts for my nieces and nephews brings me joy.  Brandon, the newest member of our family has been waiting for a few months for his 'Mona's Originals' creation.  This week I decided the time is now.

I found a pattern I liked and the size suggested was perfect, 42" x 42".  Although it was shown in pastels, I envisioned it bright and cheery for my great nephew.  I dug out my box of scraps and sketched in my mind as I searched for the Noah's Ark fabric I knew was hiding from me.   I had used it years ago for my nephew, Noah, and I have a tendency to save every scrap.  Success was quick to come and soon  found coordinating prints that gave the look I envisioned.

Usually I just start cutting and let my imagination lead the way, but this time I decided to use the graph paper  purchased during the Back to School sales. "Time to draw your quilts before stitching."  I chided myself as I tossed the pad into my shopping cart.  My new markers were eager to help with the process and soon I had detailed all the ideas, dimensions, yardage and even the fussy cuts I needed to make for my center block.

http://www.quiltingandwhatnot.ca/images/Half_Square_Triangle_Pattern.JPG I enjoy making half square triangles so I did a bit of math.   I needed to create 4 sheets for a total of 72 completed 2.5 x 2.5 inch squares.  I discovered a speedy process for this online.  It involved using my copier to make 4- 8.5 x 11"  prints. I found the original pattern at http://www.QuiltingAndWhatnot.com

 I sewed on the paper with two rectangles of fabric pinned to it, right sides together of course.  I followed the dotted lines and then cut according to the directions.  Tah dah! - after a bit of pressing I soon had 72 perfect squares of two triangles.

More stitching and soon my creation began to take shape.  I continued to refer to my illustration and when I messed up, I ripped it and did it correctly.  In my eagerness to complete this project, plus the excitement of a new project underway, I found myself in my sewing room about 4 a.m. several mornings.  I wanted to get a few hours under my pajama elastic before starting my day.  I felt so pleased with the progress I had made.  My goal of completion this week was about to be realized.  My brain began to move to the next quilt on my list.  Same pattern in pinks, purples for a great niece, who is expected this fall.

And then I discovered it!  A problem I have never encountered before.  In my zeal to press each seam perfectly, my iron overheated.  I had it set for cotton, but the polyester thread complained and melted.  This has NEVER happened to me in over forty years of stitching - a seam that disintegrated before my very eyes.  And the non existent seams landed in the interior of the block. It went from perfection to flawed in a few shots of steam. This creation would never hold up to the love my nephew, Brandon, was sure to administer.  And that made it unsuitable.

My next task: to repair it  with hand stitches or tear it apart and start over.   As I contemplated my options, it occurred to me how my life is so similar to the quilt I was making.

I plan my life out, what steps I will take, how to do it, according to my wishes.  I work hard at making my ideas come to fulfillment.  But sometimes things happen and it careens out of my control.  Things come apart at the seams. It is then I have two choices.  I can either turn to my faith, reevaluate, adjust, or throw a royal pity party.

I choose to figure out the best thing to do with my circumstances.  When I visit daily with my Lord, I take time to look at the dilemma  from a new view.  I  take what I have learned and apply it to my future.

 I don't know for sure how my finished quilt will look, just as I don't know what time holds for me.  What I do know is I can use my skills acquired through experience and practice, to live my life to the best of my abilities.  I  can take my strengths to create a world around me filled with beauty by my attitude, actions and prayers.  When I look at the underside of my quilts, they look messy.  Threads hang, paths crisscross, bumps, snips and imperfections draw my eyes until I see only mistakes. At times this is what I see in my world around me.  But I know when I reach my final destination some day, all things will be revealed. I hope I have the privilege with my Savior in my view to see my life as patterns of beautiful pieces stitched together with the love of Christ.  It is then the project of me will be completed.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Summer Lovin'

Tis the season for fresh veggies and I am in love.  My little square of heaven is producing a bountiful crop and is the best garden I've had in more years than I can count.

My garden had a late start due to my foot surgery and recovery time.  This spring was warm and beautiful and many vegetable crops were planted early.  Some folks were already eating radishes before I had my seeds out of the paper bag. 

One sunny day my brother, Larry and his family helped me sow the seeds.  Michael, Carly, Jane, Larry, Rick and I headed out to my back twenty foot square field.  For the past few years Rick and I have been building raised beds.   Rick got the backhoe and filled the bucket with good black soil and added it to the existing boxes of soil.  We all grabbed a shovel and worked the soils together.  In a few short hours we had butternut squash, carrots, swish chard, spinach, green beans, and mesclun seeds in the ground.  The plants also got their toes in the dirt - tomato, both sweet grape and celebrity, sweet peppers, broccoli, and brussel sprouts.  Michael did an awesome job of watering everything daily until all the plants were well established. 

I soon realized I needed at least one more spot for sweet potatoes.  In the past Rick fashioned my raised beds out of re-purposed lumber from the farm.  But, since Rick was in the thick of field work and fighting off kidney stones,  I didn't want to ask him for help.  Consequently,  a big box lumber yard got my money for a prefab raised bed.  I filled the square with a nice mix of soil, etc and my sweet potato plants had a new home.

As the lazy(?) hazy days of summer passed, giving my garden spot a drink became a daily event.  The days were so hot and dry, they plants were quite thirsty.  I also took my sacks of shredded paper and tucked the plants in bed with a nice coverlet.  The combination of raised beds, mulch and dense plants made the task of wedding almost non existent. 

Pule, Carly, Michael in front of our little piece of heaven.
As autumn approaches the fruits of our labor are readily apparent.   When the time of day arrives for meal preparation, we scamper to the garden and choose the ripe veggies, lay them in my basket, wash, cook and eat.  There is nothing finer than eating food I have grown immediately after harvest.  It was so worth any effort we put into it.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Galations 6:9

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I live at Sew-N-Sow Lane E or Sew -N-Sow Lane N.  Perhaps if you have visited me you noticed our street signs.  Sewing, or is it sowing? Rick and I ordered them years ago with Christmas money.  So what do they mean?   What is it that I do?   Here's  a multiple choice question.  You have one minute.  Ready, Set, Go.

A.  Sewing - the art of cutting apart fabric and putting it back together in a new piece.  Used to create items.  Or as the dictionary states:
sew  (s)
v. sewed, sewn (sn) or sewed, sew·ing, sews
1. To make, repair, or fasten by stitching, as with a needle and thread or a sewing machine: sew a dress; sew on a button.
2. To furnish with stitches for the purpose of closing, fastening, or attaching: sew an incision closed.
B.   Sewing to complete something
sew up Informal
1. To complete successfully: Our team has sewn up the championship.
2. To gain complete control of; monopolize.
3. To make sure of: campaign strategists who were trying to sew up the election results.
a needle and thread or with a sewing machine.
  (source:  http://www.thefreedictionary.com)
C.   Sowing - scattering of seed, to spread over a large area
sow 1  (s)
v. sowed, sown (sn) or sowed, sow·ing, sows
1. To scatter (seed) over the ground for growing.
2. To spread (land, for example) with seed.
3. To strew something around or over (an area); distribute something over.
4. To propagate; disseminate: sow rumors.
To scatter seed for growing.

If you chose, "D", all of the above you are correct.  Congratulations. 
 Sewing is has been a hobby of mine since I was twelve years old.  My first project was a pair of  bright pink and white striped pajamas.  My older sister, Audry, was an avid seamstress at the age of nineteen and decided to share her love with me.  I still remember stitching the crotch seam all the way to the hem of the pants and her laughter as she saw my "lovely work".  I mastered the task of ripping out quite early in my career.  I managed to complete them and wore them until they were beyond rags.  
   Two years later I entered high school, and all freshman girls were required to take  Home Economics class.  When it came to sewing skills I was sure I had them all.  After all, I HAD made my own pajamas two years earlier, and a quilt for eighth grade history class.  So I cut my out my sleeveless dress using a pattern. Yes, I said dress, I made a dress.  Back in those days, slacks were not allowed as part of our dress code.  It was skirts or dresses.  But I hurried through, thinking I knew what I was doing.  It was a pitiful dress.  The facings were bulky and didn't lay neatly and smoothly.  I was sure I would never wear my atrocity.    Final grade: C minus.
  That was the last C minus I ever received in my life.  It was a slap in the face and a wake up call to reality.  There is always something new to learn.  And so the quest to educate myself was instilled down deep.  No matter how much knowledge I have acquired, there is always more to discover, ways to hone my skill.
   Stitching my own clothing became a hobby of mine.  Without the funds to purchase fabric, my mother and I went to  thrift stores and purchased old skirts.  I took them apart, using the skills instilled in me by Audry, and remade them into new stylish items.  By the time I graduated high school I was making my own jeans, tops, etc.  By then, the dress code changed to allow slacks.  Dresses became a thing of the past for me.
   My first major purchase after graduation was my own sewing machine.  In college I used my skills to earn extra cash by doing mending for the girls on my floor.  I continued to sew for the pure pleasure and graduated from my own clothing to my family's things, for marriage and family came quickly in my life.  During those early days of our marriage my sewing contributed to the family budget.  I created everything from our underwear to jackets and everything in between.  I used to say I only bought our socks, shoes and winter coats.  I learned the art of finding bargains and could squeeze a family of six clothing needs out of six hundred dollars per year.
   My love of sewing never waned and I am moving back into designing and creating my own clothing and my grandchildren.  As my embroidery business slows down, due to my choice, my sewing will become more prominent again.

I also like to sew things up, in the sense of finishing projects.  I have lots of things I love to do, decorating my home with items of meaning to me, quilting, gardening, cooking and sometimes cleaning.  I get a great deal of satisfaction in a project completed and well done.  

Lastly, I love to sow.  Jesus called his disciples to be fishers of men, to sow his seeds of love and devotion to Him as the walked their journey of life.  Taking the knowledge instilled in my  walk on this earth and sharing it with others brings me joy.  Sometimes I haven't enjoyed the 'education' I have been given, but as I finish my course, I see the ways I am asked to sow for the Lord.  
   NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) comes to mind.  I spent yesterday afternoon sharing this wonderful organization with strangers at a health fair.  Sowing the seeds of understanding to the hurting.
   CEW (Christian Experience Weekend)  I have received many blessings as I worked these weekends, sowing the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and reflections of them working in my life.   
   TEC (Teens Encounter Christ)  A weekend for high school seniors.  I have spent more of them with youth than I can count.  I always come away feeling so awesome to be used to sow the seeds of faith with our next generation.
  And last, but not least, is sowing seeds of faith and love in everyday situations.  The brief conversations with check out clerks, customers, family, friends are an opportunity to sow the message of our Lord, without preaching.  A touch, a smile, an understanding nod, to listen to them with all my being, is a way to spread His message and for this I am grateful to be a part of His plan. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Knock on my kitchen door

Here's a photo of a dream kitchen.  I used to think it was mine, but am having second thoughts.  When it comes to remodeling the kitchen I think this one has too many doors.  I have a great problem with flat surface disease and open door policy.  In other words, if there is a counter, I feel a great need to fill it up.  And if there is a door, I have a tendency to leave it open.  Luckily for me, Rick has flat surface disease as well, but my door habit drives him up the wall.  So maybe I should have all open shelving for my new kitchen.  I can envision clear jars with black labels and all my staples lined up in neat rows.  One or two flat surfaces for food preparation and baskets for the incoming and outgoing mail.  And speaking of food preparation...
    Rick and I are different.  There is a book called, "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus."  Well, when it comes to food likes/dislikes it must be the case.  Rick and I are opposite on food preferences.  When we said "I do" years ago the two became one.  It works well, he eats the meats and desserts and I eat the fruits and vegetables.  We have a balanced diet.  The only trouble comes in when I don't get enough protein with my half of the meal and he doesn't eat enough veggies and rarely any fruit.  But the real problem arises with the fact that what I enjoy eating, he doesn't like and what he likes to eat, I can't due to food allergies.
I just found out two days ago the homemade spaghetti sauce I have been feeding him for thirty years, he doesn't really like.  Good grief!   I guess I will make two meals each time.  One for him, one for me.  Day two someone will always have 'planovers.'

Monday, August 20, 2012

Waste not, want not.

I enjoy spending hours in my sewing room.   According to my husband, Rick, I cut fabric apart in little pieces and sew it back together.  And it brings me a great deal of satisfaction.
My roots are anything, but luxurious, so I have a tendency to save every scrap if the measurement is at least one inch by 4 inches.  That's enough to insert a splash of color on any given project.

To create a gift from leftovers, is relaxing, yet challenging.  This weekend was an opportunity for me to have a blast.  My granddaughter, Lauren, is celebrating her fifth birthday this week.  According to her mother, she needs nothing!  After a recent conversation with Lauren, the decision was made to give her a purse. 

Lauren's favorite color is purple, so I dug through my treasures.  I found the perfect pieces.  Remnants from my great niece's lavender and green quilt fit the bill.

 The largest piece was a great size for the exterior and and lining, all in one.

  Interior and exterior pockets were formed with coordinating scraps, along with the handles. 
Even the zipper came from the "perhaps you can find a use for this, Mona' box. 
 A three by three inch block became an "L" so all would know this was created just for Lauren.  

The hardest part was figuring out how to put the entire creation together.  Buying a pattern was not an option for me when I decided to create my 'silk purse out of a sow's ear'.  It was early Saturday morning and stores had not even considered opening up.

A wallet is an absolute necessity to a young woman with a purse.  It took less than an hour to stitch a trifold, with a spot for bills, coins and favorite photographs.

  A package from a set of pillow cases made the ultimate sacrifice as it was cut apart to form picture windows that fold out upon opening.

I finished the final hand stitches on Saturday evening around the campfire with relatives.  

I am excited to wrap her 'one of a gift' and watch her face as she unwraps a 'grammie gift of love.'

Sunday, August 19, 2012


S -Sewing - one thing I never tire of doing is creating things with my machinery.  Do a little bit each and every day, even if it is only for 10-20-30 minutes or so.  This is in addition to the items for customers.   First project - baby blanket for a new great nephew,born in May.  Next item will be finish the wedding gift for last month.  Watch for photos of completed items.

T- Technology -  I love to learn new things to do with technology.  I have several programs I wish to learn.  Spend an hour, two or three each week to until both are easy to operate.  First one to master is Home and Landscape.  (Maybe a remodeled kitchen is on my horizon)  Next will be a tablet for designing. Then find a new one to learn.  Continue to challenge my brain.

R- Research - I have a curious mind.  Spend a some time each day learning about a topic that interests me.  A half hour would be good.  First topic - wildflowers for Iowa and how to do manage.   I love the idea of small gardens at the end of each of our lanes to greet everyone who comes to our little piece of happiness.

U-  Understanding.  Never can have enough of that.  Spend time each morning reading my daily scriptures  and devotionals as I enjoy my morning brew. 

C-  Clean.  One of my downfalls.  I am not normally a neat and tidy person.  I have to work very hard at overcoming my 'Flat surface disease'.  Spend a few minutes each day cleaning up after myself.  First place to tackle - my sewing room.
T- Teaching.  I have learned lots of things as I journey through life.  Blog about them, work on your writing ideas.  As I put my fingers to the keys, I learn more about myself and my goals in this life.  Journal daily.  10 minutes at the end of my day.  Blog on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  Monday- sewing project completed during the previous week or new technique learned.  Wednesday - Health related.  How am I doing with keeping the temple of my body?  Friday - Spiritual writing.
U-  Underwear, socks, towels, jeans, t-shirts and sometimes dress clothes.   Dirty laundry is part of life, part of running a household.  Wash, dry and Put Away the laundry once a week.  No more baskets in the front room.  Period.  Maybe I should check into a laundry closet for us...?
R-  Reading and/or relaxing.  If I wish to work on the craft of writing, I need to learn about the great ones before.  Spend time each day doing some of both.  My goal is to strive for 20-30 minutes before I retire for the night.  First book(s) Kristin Lavransdatter - the trilogy and then return them to their owner.  Next book:  Wedded to War.

E-  Exercise.  As middle age spread is catching me quickly and my lack of stamina has become painfully apparent, I need to find a routine I can adhere to, happily.  Goal - Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday - aerobic exercise of some kind.  I think I will try using my elliptical in the basement and watch Andy Griffith tv shows.  In between, walk, walk, walk.  Park my car as far away from the door when in a store parking lot, walk to the mailbox for mailing letters and getting mail, and last but not least, go to the farthest bathroom in the house when mother nature calls me.  And speaking of her, drink lots of water so she comes often.

There, now I have set up some extra STRUCTURE for my life.  Follow my blogs and see how I am doing as far as keeping my goals.  I figure, school has just begun in our area, so young people are getting structure back in their lives after  lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are over.  It's a great time for me to get some STRUCTURE  back in my life.

Wish me luck, no, wish me structure, stamina and determination to follow through.  Till next time.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dr. Mom fired as dietician

“Have some, it’s good for you!”
These famous words are spoken on a daily basis by most mothers, wives, grandmothers or anyone who is in charge of the dietary needs of others. I am no different.  I cook for myself, my husband of thirty-seven years and was chief cook/bottle washer as we raised our four children.  I made sure they had their milk, vegetables, fruits and protein.  Homemade chocolate chip cookies were always on hand for treats, along with ice cream, and popcorn.  Rick is a rather finicky eater, so I did not force vegetables he didn’t like on him or the children.  Instead I served what all would eat – green beans.  We ate lots and lots of green beans.  And we were a happy family of six.  Well, mostly.

Eight years ago I was diagnosed with macular degeneration.   One year later a doctor added high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol to my chart.  In an effort to avoid a pill I began a quest on the best options in my diet to help control my new maladies.  I should add I also have sensitivity to sugar so I watch my sweets and carb intake.  Throw in my body’s inability to handle chocolate, eggs, chicken, turkey and alcohol and you have my diet in a nutshell. (I can eat nuts!)

I love research so I checked internet sources to find foods that can aid in halting macular degeneration.  I discovered a few foods were things I enjoyed.  Blueberries, high in the antioxidant I need, became a daily breakfast item.  I mixed in non-fat plain yogurt (calcium); rolled oats (cholesterol buster); chopped walnuts (for my heart and brain); ground cinnamon (blood pressure) and ground flax seed (heart and brain health).  I also discovered dark leafy greens were great for the eyes, so my daily regimen of eating spinach, romaine lettuce, swish chard or kale was added.  I have always loved eating those foods, so it was no big deal to me.  I try to eat small meals as opposed to three large ones.  Did I forget to mention I watch my weight?  Yup, middle age spread hit.  Almonds high in nutrition became my go to snack.

Like all good dieticians, I was eager to share my new found knowledge with my husband.  He likes to snack so I put out the almonds, baked with no salt, of course.  Salad, one meal each day for me, had spinach added to the romaine lettuce.  I started gradually with the spinach to get him used to it, and as he tolerated it, I added more until it was half and half.  To make it more filling, I sprinkled chopped almonds on the top.  The added crunch was a nice touch.  I felt like such a good wife when I noticed him add spinach to his sandwiches or to his salad when we were at a salad bar.  He has his ‘honeymoon style’, you know, ‘lettuce alone’, while I enjoy mine with dressing.

I tried to share my hummus, blueberries, kale chips, etc., but Rick was adamant, he didn’t like those things and was happy with the way he ate.  I found out this week, that all the things I was trying to feed him, some successfully, were the absolute worse things for him.  After three days of testing at the Mayo Clinic, we met with a dietician.  Rick’s plague of growing kidney stones was being fed generously by the diet I was putting before him.  No more spinach, almonds…  We learned the reason he could grow a 7mm stone in a few short months.

No longer will he believe me when I say, ‘have some, it’s good for you.’  Yup, Dr. Mom was fired this week, at least as a dietician. In spite of my misguided attempt to help him, Rick still loves me.  Now, we just need to get the rest of the answers.