Sunday, January 31, 2010

What a GREAT week!

I was so blessed this past week to have my oldest son, Derek, visit with us for his vacation. It was great to have him drive the 1100 miles from Chicago to Florida to spend four days with us. We had such a terrific time and I was amazed to discover how much he has become just like me.

He arrived Sunday late so we spent Monday resting and Tuesday we drove down to Micanopy (no it's not pronounced Ma Canopy, it's Mi ca no pee) It's a small town where they filmed the movie Doc Hollywood with Michael J Fox and it's like taking a walk back in time. We ate at the Florida Cafe (GREAT reuben sandwiches) and then spent the afternoon browsing through all the antique shops. Oh, I taught him well. He knew what to look for and how to choose...and how to barter and when to say no.

Afterwards we drove to Cross Creek and visited the home of author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the author of such books as Cross Creek and The Yearling. He loved it as much as we do...again another walk through time to simpler days of the past.

Wednesday was a fun and busy day and before I knew it Thursday morning dawned bright and early and it was time for him to head back to Chicago with promises that he'd return over Easter break, this time bringing my grandchildren with him. I am already counting the days.

Speaking of counting, if you've noticed I'll soon be at my 100th blog....I can't believe that! Anyone have any ideas for the subject of my 100th blog? Leave me a comment with your suggestions. Hope you have a great week!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Week from H E Double Toothpicks

If there ever were one, this week was it! It started on Sunday when my wonderful, 1 year-old computer decided to up and quit. No notice, no flickering, just POOF and it was gone. It was exactly two weeks out of warranty so HP didn't even want to discuss it. Note to all who are thinking of buying a new computer...DO NOT purchase the HP slimline computer. Not enough air gets in and it will fry the motherboard. That's what happened to mine. Sooooooo needless to say I had to buy a new one and panicking all the way that they would not be able to retrieve all my old data. Thankfully we were directed to a FANTASTIC computer guy in a neighboring town who builds computers and he not only retrieved my old data but took my old drive (which was working great still) and added it as a secondary drive where I could access anything I wanted from my old computer. Praise God!

Then on Wednesday, I was cleaning out the pantry and found three bottles of water. I figured we'd drink them if they were cold so I stuck them in the door of the fridge and when I went to stand up...POP! I pulled my lower back out! AGONY!!!!! I could barely walk, sitting hurt, standing hurt, lying down hurt and I couldn't get a massage until the next day!

Thursday dawned with pain and anxiousness as I was finally getting my newly built computer and thankfulness that my massage was only a couple of hours a way and I could get some relief, hopefully. My sweet husband drove the two hours to pick up my computer (one hour each way) and brought it in. We hooked it up and GASP! They hadn't installed the programs they were supposed to and installed some I didn't want. I called and joyfully the guy was coming to Gainesville and offered to make...wait for it...a HOUSECALL! Who does that anymore? I went on to my massage, happy my computer would be accessible in the afternoon.'d think my worries would be over but no...some program I installed wiped out my CD/DVD and now what to do? So, I put in a call to great Mr PC...they know me by name now ...and he generously walked me through the process over the phone. VOILA!

I still had a few kinks to work how to get my hundreds of favorite places back (I worked that one out this morning...copy and paste!) and get my last few programs installed now that my CD/DVD drive is working again. My useage is through the roof, but I think I'm finally back in business.

Ha Ha Satan, you sent me a really bad week, but with GOD all things are possible and I am an overcomer! So pfffffffffffffft!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


There is something so wrong about Florida having 10 degree temperatures and a forcast of ...SNOW !!! Me, I'm staying inside, trying to keep warm. A trip to the doctor yesterday revealed it's not another cold, I have bronchitis. I haven't had bronchitis since I moved to Florida 12 years ago. Speaking of which, I moved to Florida so I didn't have to deal with those kinds of temperatures or snow anymore. The weathermen and historians say this will be the longest cold snap Florida has ever had in history (since they started keeping records). It does warm up during the daylight hours, it was in the 40's today, but these nighttime temperatures mean your fruit and produce prices are going to rocket even more.

And exactly what is the deal with the fruit prices? DH bought me some seedless green grapes yesterday...$8 for a bag of grapes! I can't wait to see what the strawberry prices are going to be. (Yes, strawberries are in season here in Florida...unless this cold weather kills them all ) It reminds me of a phrase from a song from years long ago passed...."a piece of bread would buy a bag of gold." Just one more sign that these are indeed the last days.

Anyway, I think it's time for me to head to bed. I'm not getting enough sleep because I cough so much, but it needs to get out of my chest so I guess coughing isn't such a bad thing, it just means I don't get a lot of good sleep. It doesn't last forever, though, so I can be patient and catch up on my sleep as I heal. Have a blessed evening!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

THE ONE DAY WAY by Chantel Hobbs

"I've tried every diet known to man and nothing works!" "I have a hormone problem." "I don't eat all that much, I don't understand why I'm so fat." "I have no willpower." Any of those excuses sound familiar?

It seems that as the calendar pages turn to January 1st our minds turn to losing weight, exercising more and making changes in our lives. Most of the time, according to Chantel Hobbs, we sabotage ourselves before we ever begin day 1 of a "diet." I don't know about you, but the word diet has such a negative connotation. The word diet alone seems to scream, "you're not going to get to eat anything you love!" As one of my good friends says, "Where's the fun in that?"

I will admit, I am very overweight and my weight directly led to my having cancer last year. When women are overweight after menopause their bodies still produce estrogen. Fat produces estrogen. When you're menopausal there's no progesterone to "oppose" the estrogen and so you have what is termed "unopposed estrogen". Now, in women that can cause three things to happen, uterine cancer (which is what I had), breast cancer, or heart attacks. I'm giving you this little medical lesson because I wish someone had given it to me a few years ago. It would have changed the way I looked at my weight in a big way, because I can tell you from personal experience that cancer is not fun.

When I opened the envelope with THE ONE DAY WAY inside my first reaction was, "oh great, another self-help, pie-in-the-sky diet book." But, I tried to be open-minded and fair as I started reading. Now, I don't know about you, but when I read a book I read ALL of the book. from flyleaf to flyleaf. Including the kudos, forewards, introductions and dedications. Sometimes there is important things in those sections. If I hadn't I would have missed a very important testimonial from Mike Huckabee that changed my attitude on this book immediately.

As I turned the opening pages and began getting into the meat of thebook, the old adage, "how do you eat a bear?" came to mind. The answer is, of course, "one bite at a time." This is Chantal Hobbs' answer to losing weight! It's not the end goal, it's only looking at today. Not next week, not 100 pound weight loss but small victories, small changes. It's the small changes that add up to the end result somewhere, sometime, someplace...none of which are important today. For today it might be passing up that second cookie, or choosing not to eat a bag of chips with that sub sandwich. It might be choosing a piece of fruit instead of an banana split. It might be taking a walk around the block instead of sitting on the couch watching reruns. Small steps add up to large rewards. The author guides the reader into finding alternatives for the stressful lifestyle of dieting and shows you instead how to break your long-term goals into bite-sized pieces.

If you've ever tried a diet and failed I can say this book will be a life-changing revelation. THE ONE DAY WAY is available from Waterbrook Press, a division of Random House publishing and is available at your local bookseller.

BONUS~~ If you've made it this far~~~Waterbrook Press has sent me a 2nd copy to offer to those reading my blog. All you have to do to win is leave a comment and a way to contact you if you don't have a blog. I'll draw for a winner on Friday, January 15th and contact the winner.

This book was furnished for review by Waterbrook Press.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

ANOTHER COLD!!! and other things

I'd barely gotten over the last one and I've got ANOTHER cold! Or maybe it's just a relapse of the last one...who knows. I only know I feel absolutely MISERABLE! It reminds me of why I stopped teaching school...because every kid that came to school sick, teacher got their cold. By the last year I taught I had chronic bronchitis. I've done really well since I've moved to Florida...until this year. In the last twelve months I've had FOUR colds! I think I must be a cold magnet. So, if you're walking down the aisle at church this morning and you see a woman sitting there with watery eyes, running nose, coughing her head off while she sucks cough drop after cough drop, think of me.

On a cheerier note, we watched the movie Julie/Julia last night. My sweet husband bought it for me as a Christmas gift, and it was wonderful.

For those keeping track of Andy, his name is now Alex and he's found a brand new home with the family of the little girl I've kept for the past five years...oops SIX years now. As much as we loved him, he caused me considerable stress. As I told a friend, I had no business having a puppy. He is much loved there and we'll still be able to see him often. Yes, I have a few regrets, but I know it was the right thing to do. So, if you even hear me THINKING about getting another dog, please kick me.

I'm off to the shower and to get ready for church...hope your Lord's Day is blessed!

Friday, January 1, 2010

WELCOME 2010!!

As I sit here in the still darkened early morning hours of the first day of this new year, of the first year of a new decade, I ponder over the last year, reviewing the ups and downs, goods and bads, positives and negatives and as I focus on the year ahead I begin to think of things I would like to change, things that need improvement, things that need to be eliminated from my life and things that need more focus in my life.
Let me state, upfront, I don't like New Year's "resolutions". I find that they're generally self-focused and usually don't last more than a few days because people don't begin looking in the right directions. We need to begin by looking up and asking God how we can do more to serve Him, how we can grow more in our walk with Him and how we can be a better picture of Him to the world in which we live. We need to look and see how we can be a better example to our families, especially our children and grandchildren and how we can be an example to those within our sphere of influence.

I'll start with elimination....I am backing away from spending so much of my time on this computer. That includes games on Facebook and other type games, message boards and email loops that cause me entirely too much stress, and shopping for entertainment at the blogs and sites of others. I'm also reducing the collections and clutter in my home. Knick-knacks and tchotckes are cute and all, but they're also another thing I have to dust or find a home for. (Note here to my friends...if you've given me something and the next time you come to visit it's no longer sitting on a shelf, please don't take it personally, it doesn't mean I no longer love you). I'm also reducing my book collection. Books are meant to be read and enjoyed, not collecting dust sitting on a shelf. Most of my book collection will be donated to our brand new church library. That way if I desire to re-read one I can check it out!

I scanned over my list of goals for last year and realize they're things I can still work on in 2010.
1. To grow closer to God through dedication to Bible Study and prayer each day.
2. To begin keeping a prayer journal once again
3. To become a more dedicated prayer warrior
4. To study my Bible, in depth, rather than simply reading it. To make it come alive by studying it in the context of history and truth, to make the scriptures and people come alive.
5. To share the gospel of Christ, with at least one person, each week
6. To be a blessing to someone each day
7. To continue building a stronger relationship with my sister
8. To become a gentler, kinder person through the Grace of God
9 To use handwritten cards and letters as an encouragement to those who are ill or need other uplifting
10. To keep my mind focused on Christ and to be more aware of His presences in my life as I choose activities, books to read, television programs and movies to watch and music to listen to.
11. To be more pleasing to God in my everyday activities
12. To let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart by acceptable to the Heavenly Father.

In addition I would like to work harder to make my body an acceptable Temple for the Holy Spirit by not only strengthening it spiritually but also make it a better physical that includes the eat less, exercise more typical "resolutions" but this year I plan on doing it one day at a time instead of setting a specific goal and trying to reach it...small victories.

More than anything else I want to be like the children's song, "This Little Light of Mine" and I want my light to shine, shine, shine for the Heavenly Father.

May your New Year be the most wonderful year!
Blessings be upon your house in 2010.

Philippians 4:13