Good Monday Morning!

Here we are, holding our clean calendars for the month of October. Have you ever considered what possibilities lie in a nearly blank slate? Well, in theory, that is. None of us has a blank, virgin-like month ahead with no mental notes as to what we need to do, do we? Mine isn’t like September was, but it was a good month.

This month, I have a bunch of de-cluttering tasks I’d like to do in the next two days. My mental checklist has now become real. I wrote it down on a note-pad I have notes in for a lot of projects; Moving Veterans Forward Nebraska, Passwords Notes, TO DO Lists, and reviews of albums I’ve written. This one, however, will make the month go much easier. Clutter will be busted (burst?) and I won’t get distracted by my messiness.

I’m proud of the fact I’ve lost 5 more pounds on KETO (actually Dirty, Messy Keto); I now have a large wardrobe of jeans that fit again, and many that are too big. I love that best. I’ve had a battle with myself for my whole life. Now, ego has nothing to do with trying to lose. It has to do with what’s good for my body and (dis)abilities. Fibromyalgia, scoliosis, severe arthritis, severe chronic pain, and asthma are no fun. All that with 35 more pounds is miserable. The cooler air kicked up the asthma and arthritis. I need to dig into my passions (writing, quilting, sewing, learning to paint) to take my mind off all that. At this point, whatever else I can lose will be a bonus. Maybe 25 is a good number.

If you are just starting, don’t give yourself 60 pounds to lose all at once. You’ll get too discouraged and probably quit. It’s all human nature. If we were to give a child 18 years of learning all at once, they would not succeed; it is too much to wrap your head around, no matter how bright they are. If we gave a new music student a classical pianist’s hardest music, they would lose interest, get discouraged, and not want to go on. Set a lower goal – 5 or 10 pounds – and give yourself a lot of wiggle room, say a month. If you lose 15, you’ll be enthused and want to do more. The new tasks you have incorporated into your day will become habits you are dedicated to completing for your day to go well.

Baby steps. You eat an elephant one bite at a time. It’s all about perspective. Looking back, some of the jeans I can wear again were purchased the last time I lost a chunk of weight. It was the early 2000s. Are boot cut jeans back in style yet? Skinny Jeans are still ok, right? I’ll wear whatever I want. As long as they fit, they’re fine in my book. I’ve really come to love leggings and have many pairs. They fit like they should now, and are still serviceable. We’ll visit that again after the next 25 pounds are gone. And since I can sew, I have the fabric already for newer clothes. It’ll work out! If I could use all the fabric I’ve gathered over the years, the Babe would have a heart attack! It still could happen. If you’ve ever known a quilter or seamstress, you’d understand.

This blog # is in the mid 700s. I’m so proud of that, too. You know, for a woman who grew up in the 60s, that’s kind of hard to say out loud. It goes against all we learned as kids; women were supposed to be “meek,” submitting to men in every way, and never calling attention to themselves. Knowing your place was important during that era. But, late bloomer that I am, here we are. It feels good to finally admit you own yourself.

There are many areas I joke and say I lived my life backwards. Graduated, had kids young, went to college, graduated at 44, raised 3 kids alone, bought a house (a house of my own!), and proceeded to get married at 46 (I told the Babe to tell his friends his fiance just graduated from college. Lots of laughs!), and we’ve had a beautiful life together. I’m grateful down to my bones. We’ve survived so much, including each other (some days); Breast Cancer, Ischemic Heart Disease (thank you, Agent Orange), moving, ex’s, loss, gains, and life in general. Nothing’s been better than all of it. It’s called real life. No dysfunction left, it’s the real deal. And I’ll say until my dying day, it’s all been worth it. Every tear, every disagreement, every disclosure to my best friend, every fear shared and conquered.

Folks, have a beautiful day. It’s going to be in the 70s all week, and we’re going to enjoy every moment we can outside. It’s time for those nasty little black bugs you can barely see, but they bite hard. (No-See-Ums, biting midges, their bites are worse than mosquito bites and can last up to two weeks). They drive us inside. Maybe I need to got the deck and patio with something. Google, here I come! Thanks for sharing time today, see you tomorrow!

Some Days

Are just harder than others. It’s nothing in particular, things just don’t flow like they should. And every little thing bothers you. You know what I mean. And some days everything goes perfectly well. I like those days better.

For most of the summer, we’ve not watched the news. Of course, it’s reporting about the Delta Variant of Covid-19. 62,000 new cases are reported daily. Haven’t we been here before? This sounds too familiar. And the government has gone from “Go ahead and get out of the house!” to “Get your shots, get back into masks.” Yes, a messaging problem. And where is the truth? We’ll find it eventually. I think it’s time to click off the power button on the news.

At times, some days it’s hard to write. For the first time in nearly a week, I’m sitting down in the morning to write a blog. All week, it came easy to just write and pre-schedule the posting at 4 a.m. whatever day I want. It’s awesome! In August, I’m going back to writing my novel. I want to just concentrate during the writing time. I’m going over my notes from my work with Sam Tyler, Writing Coach. The mountain of “how to” books is now neatly organized within reach. The space is uncluttered, and I have handy the first chapters for a re-read before I dig in. It will be hard to get back to it, but by blogging ahead and scheduling them, it should work.

One way to keep focused on something is to make sure I eat right. Yes, it’s back to Keto for me. The Babe is intermittent with staying on it, it’s just him. I can’t be mean about it, or nag. That will only make ME frustrated. He has the right to stick with it or not. I’m cooking the way I need to, he’ll join in at home, and do his own thing if he wants.

It was as good as it looks! Keto bread with real butter, two eggs and a handful of cherries.

Probably a salad for lunch, and Meatballs and sauce for dinner, served with Heart of Palm Pasta substitute. We’ve had the fake pasta before, and it’s not bad at all. Takes three hours, slow cooker for sauce to start. Fourth hour, add the meatballs (they’re real!) and cook at least 60-90 minutes more. Done and done. Will post pics tomorrow.

Our butterfly bush is beautiful! The butterflies are just starting to swarm on it. All colors, all sizes. It’s cool to see them while writing. These old eyes sure need a break from the constant screen-images. It’s odd, without the iPhone, I’m relying again on Chromebook and laptop. My big fear 3 weeks ago was I’d lose all the contacts for the events I’m planning for the VFW Post, and all would be lost. Not so!

While it hasn’t been without flaws, the Sunday Car Show will is a go on August 1st, and all I have left to do it set up the Silent Auction items and create/print the bid sheets. That should be a little later and into the day tomorrow. And it’d be great to sneak in some more ideas to blog about/with next week. We’ll get there, baby steps.

Those Canadian wild fires are sending smoke our way again. This morning, it was very hazy it’s now cleared quite a bit, but I’m sure the smoke will be back. My brother in law in South Dakota said they left windows open yesterday while at work, and their interior smelled just like smoke. Hate when that happens! I remembered my inhaler today. Love when that happens!

However you spend the rest of the day, make it a good one. Make it a positive one. Hold the door for someone. Smile at them. Take the time to say, “Good Morning,” or “Good Afternoon.” It will give you a pause from your thoughts for a moment. You’ll like it. One person at a time, we can make the day better for all of us. See you tomorrow!

Thoughtful Thursday

Good morning, from the Home Office of Jewell Publishing, LLC. It’s the home of Authors Kathy Raabe and Grandma Kathy. Isn’t this fun? Lexie, Chief of Security, is listening to music by Rick Tiger this morning. He tells some pretty wonderful stories with his lyrics and music. Real people’s stuff. It’s pretty quiet, just the sound of the music in the background and the keys making keyboard sounds. Once in a while, I hear Lexie snore, and I think of how wonderful this life really is.  

The Babe went off to accomplish some things at the VFW Post, and I have the time and freedom to write what’s in my heart today, that is until Goldie wakes up to play catch again. Spring is really greening up nicely. Even though it does every year, it’s still amazing to see it happen. We have the best seat in the house from either the patio or the deck. Ground level or second story treehouse view.

As the squirrels run their routes from branch to branch, tree to tree, the Blue Jays caw and frolic. They hang out all year. With the leaves coming in, they’re harder to see but easier to hear. I think the sound echoes as if in a canyon. The squirrels are pretty well hidden by the end of May. We feed the Finches, and a lively group dines frequently. Goldie loves to lie in the grass in the shade. It must be cool for her. What hair she doesn’t shed in the house covers her the rest of the time. And I’m sure it’s warm.

I’m thinking about what to plant this year. I do annuals in pots outside. I have some succulents to plant in pots and take in when summer is over. Hoping I get all that done before my back tells me to stop. There will be other days, too. Some to sit quietly and look for Baltimore Orioles after watering the pots every morning. Some to write as I’m doing now. It’s funny how certain habits span the years, isn’t it? I usually do those things in the mornings. Afternoons are for reading or hand sewing, embroidery, or something like that. Maybe a nap.

It reminds me of the days when I had small children and was a stay at home Mom. By 10 a.m. each day, the house was spotless, cleaned, dusted, vacuumed. I’d take the kids for a walk. I wore out a couple strollers. Not the umbrella kind, the old-fashioned heavier ones with the sunshade top. I never wanted those babies to get a sunburn. It was still in the era of baby oil suntans and no one knew about skin cancer. I had one great tan in my life; I wasn’t pasty Irish-white; I actually was a shade of tan. I worked at it. The summer before Frankie turned two, 1973. His dad was home from the Army and early afternoon, I let Frankie play in the baby pool I filled every morning. When he was ready for a nap, I dumped the pool out and put him to bed. He’d sleep a couple hours. I laid in the sun under his bedroom windows, so I’d hear him if he woke up. I was the only one home during the day, and it was safe.

Hot pants and halter tops were a big deal then, and I had both. I’d lost 40 pounds while his dad was in Germany. I kept it off for a while. Until I actually ate normal food again. Yo-Yo’s were common, and not healthy. I believe most of humanity does that; you know? We are so fortunate to have the food supply we have; no one should go hungry. No one should have an unhealthy diet. But being human, here we are. We think we “deserve” a treat. We do. Just not every day. It just takes a slide from healthy eating to start an avalanche of weight gain.

Back in October, after eating well and too much at home during the quarantine, we both gained weight. By October, I didn’t feel like myself. I didn’t like whoever I was feeling like and asked our Internal Med Doc if Keto was safe for folks of our age and the Babe’s Ischemic Heart Disease. He said, “YES!”

Of course, men always lose weight faster than women do. The Babe did well, then has stalled now. I’ve lost 30 pounds and kind of stalled, too. I’m going to get back on track and we will see what the summer brings us. I’d love to lose another 30, but will be happy with 20. If the Babe loses more, he may be a candidate to reduce the type of meds he takes. Wouldn’t that be a bonus? I love when that happens!

Think on your wonderful memories today. Own up to your areas that need improvement. We all need to do that. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Be Patient. We’re almost to the end of our COVID measures. A little longer. We will make it! Thank you for reading. We will see each other tomorrow. Have a beautiful outdoors day!

Relaxing Sunday

I’m calling a no-work day at Raabe Ranch today. I mean, after we have our daily talk. No de-cluttering, no writing, maybe some placing text into the book pages, but nothing harder than that. It will be rainy and snowy tomorrow, so we’ll be staying in the house for sure. Today is a day for trying out our modern Adirondack chairs on the patio this afternoon. Photos later, they’re just as cool as the rocking chairs we got for the deck. Since the day we broke those in, it hasn’t been warm enough to be out for more than a few minutes.

The lady posted at the top of the header today is not me. Not yet, at least. She represents more than just overdone makeup. I hope my friends and I keep each other from such over-kill with the rouge, though. Girls, I have your back, do you have mine? I don’t mind looking quirky, since I do like weird jewelry and bright colors. And pearls always make a girl feel good. Almost royal, you know? Do young girls still wear them?

Hoping to get a restart on our Keto eating. The Babe is getting back to his sugar cravings, and that’s not good. Sometimes I cave in with him. So I purchased some additive that is supposed help you get into Keto more quickly. I thought if I could give him a jump start to being back on the consciousness he’d pick up again.

I also printed off some articles on high protein breakfasts when you’re sick of eggs. Six of them sound great. A smoothie with lots of fruit, milk or cream, yogurt, and some protein powder. Not sure if we’ll like protein powder or not, but I may sub the Ensure Vanilla no sugar protein drinks for the milk or cream. Then the protein would be there. It isn’t just for old people. Anyone dieting or trying to intake less may fine it’s a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Sorry, the last two didn’t have photos. The middle one is a yummy sounding Mocha Shake. The last one is a high protein mixture of cottage cheese, blueberries, a little honey and cinnamon. I could eat that for lunch and not be hungry until dinner.

I think when the Babe is doing yard work weekly and walking the dogs again, he’ll lose the weight. He, like most of us, gets discouraged when he doesn’t see progress. All I can do is encourage him. I can tell you, I feel much better after losing about 32 pounds as of this morning. I’m wondering if our doctor will say anything when I go for a six month check-in. He never comments when I gain, he’s been very kind that way. I was bullied as a kid, by an adult, and am sensitive about it. The adult that bullied me never comments when I lose weight, either. She makes remarks in public about the appearance of others. It’s unnecessary to do that. She should know better by now. It’s simply who she is. And that’s too bad. This person used to say, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” What the heck happened?

Have a beautiful afternoon. I hope it’s sunny and warm where you are. It just does something for the soul, doesn’t it? Blessings on all of you. Be Safe. See you tomorrow!

P.S. Then there’s this:

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