Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What's the point??

I am almost at my wit's end. I'm certainly very nearly at my will's end. As most of you probably know, my husband and I have been attempting the South Beach diet. I am very proud that my DH has lost at least 15 lbs so far. I think I've lost 8..and then the scale said I gained a couple...and then I'll lost a couple. Granted, this is without either one of us exercising (don't you just love how men don't have to do hardly a thing to lose weight?). I did okay on the first couple of weeks, I was pretty bored at the end of those 2 weeks, but aside from one day, I did pretty well. Then came Phase 2 and it all went downhill from there, and not in a good way. I really don't know what my deal is. It's like I have to be one or the other. Either I can't eat anything but veggies and meat and not even look at anything that might have starch and carbs (aside from the ones in fruit) or I can't restrict myself at all. Either I have to go to the gym 6 days out of the week for at least 2 hours a day and take gobs of supplements and lift heavy every time I go or I do nothing. Apparently I am a woman of drastic-ness. All or nothing. And I'm tired of it! I love veggies and fruits and super healthy foods, truly I do. But I want my choclate and cookies and brownies and "stuff you know ain't great for you but it's what you were practically raised on and by golly, you love it!!" This stuff is giving me anxieties and I'm tired of having anxieties! It's just food, for crying out loud, but if I don't have a perfect diet I won't have a perfect body. At least that's what the world keeps telling me. I try not to be a glutton, but I am sometimes. That is something I am working on. But so long as I am not pigging out on the stuff, why can't I just have some foods that I enjoy? And I know that others enjoy them too. It's hard to deny there is an emotional response to foods...I mean come on, who doesn't get a great big grin at the smell of fresh baked brownies or some good ol' fried chicken? Is that a bad thing? Ugh!!

Maybe I was just meant to be a cuddly gal? If having the body everyone else says I ought to have means depriving myself and obsessing over food so much it makes me miserable, do I really even want that body? If I have to lift heavy (at one time, when I was about 125 lbs, I could squat my own body weight for 3 sets of 10 reps...I'm talking heavy lifting) and in the process lose things that make my body look feminine or gain muscularity that, even though it wasn't bulky muscularity, might make you wonder if I was a grown woman or a young man, is it worth it?? And the thing that makes me worry the most about it...my husband hasn't seen me at my heaviest, but he has seen me at my "leanest" and I'm afraid I might never "look that good" for him again. I'm in danger of either falling into something close to diet-worship, or like before: self-worship, or just not caring. I really kind of hate this. If I'm eating healthy foods more often than not, what's the big deal? I'm tired of being hungry :(

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Regarding the last post's comments...

I really didn't want to leave a humongous comment in my last post, but I did want to continue the subjects covered in the comments section. (Off topic, but that's probably the biggest gripe I have with communicating via blogs and over the internet in general versus in-person or phone conversations...the gap between responses and not really being able to express myself as well as in person.) Where I live in beautiful Tennessee, our frost-free date is around the middle of April, so I am waiting on getting my hands really dirty in the yard...however our lawn could definitely use a trimming if and when the rains pass long enough to let the grass dry some :) Not complaining, mind you...we're actually in a rain deficit according to the "all knowing" weather people.

My mother-in-law and I went to visit a delightful woman yesterday who starts and sells garden veggies to plant where I bought a few marigolds and a zinnia along with 6 okra plants and a few lettuce plants, all for $4.00. I think I will probably be buying a few more plants from her later in April, and she said something that makes alot of sense to me now and probably explains why my little green ones aren't doing so great. She said that while she's never used a "grow lamp" that a good reason my cukes are falling over is because it isn't natural light and being in a closet they aren't getting as strong as they would being out in the "real world" :) So, I'm already cooking up ideas for next spring and trying to save the ones I can from this year.

My corn isn't going to make it, I'm afraid. I potted (yes, potted) 4 corn plants, and those are still looking okay, but the others I had inside are looking sickly. I also potted 3 cukes, one of those is still growing with it's "real leaves" coming in, so there's some hope for those.

Rebekah, I wish I had a better answer for your comment. But, alas, the rumbly in my tumbly was just for some munchies. I'm still praying for a little one, still hoping. And you better believe it'll be posted here when it happens!

Mrs. B, I am SO glad you mentioned fertilizer! I hadn't even thought about adding it in, but I will certainly be buying some to put in my beds now.

I took a trip to Wally-world recently and saw a few lovelies I hope to buy soon...they are selling blueberry and blackberry and raspberry bushes this year! I've never seen them selling these before, but that could just be me. For $10.00 a bush, for a plant that could live for years (as long as I don't kill it) that sounded like a pretty good investment to me. And!!! (oh I was so giddy about this!!) I wish I had taken a picture yesterday...on our little trip out yesterday the MIL and I also went by a local hardware store owned by some Mennonites (I think...) and wanted to see what they might have put out in their greenhouse and as we pulled into the parking lot I saw they had what I will be calling my "very early birthday/anniversary gift". It appears that a local man has started building chicken houses! For $359.00, plus tax, I can get a house that would accommodate 8 regular sized chickens, or 12 bantams, with 3 nest boxes on one side, a skylight for ample light, and one side lets completely down for easy cleaning. It is up off the ground probably 1-2 ft. I took DH by yesterday when he got home to see what he thinks about it, and I am fairly confident that once we get our tax refund in that I can put in my order for one; it takes about a week to build.

And speaking of chickens, today is Chick Day at my favorite hardware/feed store. They started getting in chicks, ducklings and goslings in late this week and I admit to making a trip solely to see them *sheepish grin*. They are precious. I was going to get just chicks, a little further down the road, but after seeing my MIL's reaction to the little ducklings, I may have to order a couple just for her :) I'm so excited, I can't even express it. This is going to be a beautiful spring.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Preview of Spring

Well, I think it's about time I posted something, don't you? I have had these pictures uploaded here for more than a week, I think, just waiting to have some sort of explanation. And since it's a Saturday night and I haven't much else to do, besides eat (I am getting a rumbly in my tumbly), do some stitching (which I will probably do once I am finished with this post) and sleep (what I have done almost all afternoon), what better way to fill that time? I am kind of disappointed that we didn't get to go and enjoy the "Spring Fest" or whatever they were calling it down in town and across the river in Linden. I can still hear the really annoying....I mean, fresh local talent thumping away on the makeshift stage down the hill in town. I don't care for the redneck talent that seems to run a muck around these parts once it starts warming up, and I like it even less when all I hear is the bass and drum beats. Now, to clarify, by using the term "redneck talent", I mean that practically all you sing about is a "country good ol' time", which by accounts around here, involves the river and a case of beer and some scantily clad women. Basically the sort of thing I go out of my way to avoid anymore. Once upon a time, I would have been one of those scantilly clad redneck women, chugging 'em down with the rest of the guys. Now I see how pathetic that sort of thing is and it really grates on my nerves when it's all I hear about around here. "Redneck talent" would also allow for the fact that, while you have wonderful talent when it comes to playing instruments of your choice, you really only have 2 or 3 songs that you have written yourself and, oh I'd say, probably FIFTY cover-songs you do really well. All the while waiting to really hit the big time. But the folks around here really think they're something. Doesn't hurt that they're playing directly across the street from the local liquor store...I bet that guy stays open late tonight...

But anyway, back to the topic at hand...the pictures. At least that is what I am making the topic now :)

This is my first year of attempting a "real" garden. Last year I tried to grow a few things, all that made it were the little tomatoes I bought from Wal-Mart. But this year I am going to try again, and try a few more things, since I have some area I can put a garden in now. It's going to be interesting to see how things pan out, since I have all these little plants started and it's still about 3 weeks from our frost-free date, and I essentially don't have any experience. But, it'll be a learning experience if nothing else! So, here is my little "greenhouse" in the closet of the guest bedroom. I assure you all of it is legal...I've already gotten a couple cracks about growing stuff in the closet. Hardy har har. Most of the things in the styrofoam cups are peppers of some sort. I've made an attempt at some cayenne, bell, banana, serrano, chili ( I think), jalapeno. Oh yeah, I want some peppers ;) I used to have alot more in the cups, but, like a big dummy I left them no way for the soil to drain until recently, when I put some holes in the cups. LOL. Do they make a "Gardening for Dummies"? I could probably use it. My foxglove and larkspur consequently didn't make it. Actually, none of my flowers have made it, save the few that I planted in the peat cups and trays...I should probably make a note of that. So far, almost all my peppers are still showing signs of life.

I've also started some corn and beans. Those aren't seeds I've ever seen sold as being started, like peppers or tomatoes, but that's not to say it doesn't happen. I just haven't seen them. It'll be interesting to see how those work out...they're still beautiful and live and I'm tickled...hopefully they won't die and I can have corn and beans a little earlier! I've also started some cucumbers and tomatoes. Tomatoes are looking okay ( so much has changed since having taken these pictures, well, not a whole lot, but they have changed) but I've never started them before, so we'll see. Cucumbers have already experienced a couple of casualties; I had a few that had grown so tall they were leaning over, and still hadn't gotten their "true" leaves. A coworker of my husband's suggested planting them in deeper soil, maybe it was that they were growing too big for the little planter I had them in. So I did for 3 of my little peat planters and now two of them have shriveled up. I've got some spices that are peeking up out of the dirt now; basil, oregano, marjoram, a few others I can't think of at the moment. I've also tried a couple of peas, a squash.

My sweeties :)
And some beautiful blooms!

These were so lovely, but kind of smelled...bad.

I just love spring, and I am so thankful that it seems she is here to stay, at last! I can't help but think about the beauty that God has made in the new green life around us, and how He seems to bring out the best of so many things in this season. I am reminded that, like spring, He has made us new creations through His Son, Jesus, that we might be full of life and beauty, and not like the dead things without renewal. We were meant to be thus, and I am forever grateful.

Friday, March 6, 2009

I know, I know

Less than an hour after saying I wasn't going to post alot, here I am again. But I'm telling ya, this really really burns me up!! Check this out, it's news to me:

"Sarah Palin’s true colors have been showing a lot lately. Her support for the dangerous Law of the Sea Treaty, her outrageous, Planned Parenthood-inspired statement that people need to get over the “ideal of abstinence. Life happens” in her interview with a Fox reporter a few weeks ago, and now, her ignoring the pleas of Christian pro-lifers not to place a former Planned Parenthood Board member on the Alaska Supreme Court. It’s time “conservatives” wrapped their minds around the fact that this woman is not the future hope of the Republican party. Not even close."

From the Slice of Laodicea site.

EXCUSE ME!? And our churches were backing this woman!! Our preacher and fellow congregants proudly displaying this "pro-life feminist's" name on their bumpers and in their yards, going on and on about what a wonderful Christian this woman was. And she says this??! I never was a supporter of her, however awesome her hair was (and it was awesome), for the sheer fact that a woman in an office of that high ranking would be unlikely to really be free to be truly submissive to her husband at all times. And the fact that I don't believe women ought to have to work outside the home and the whole "First Dude" thing. I mean, come on! Ugh. Okay. Rant over. For now.

Just some general goings-on around here

Happy Friday everyone!! I hope the sun is shining as brightly and the birds are singing as sweetly for you as they are for me today! I figured I'd mosey on over and leave a few words and pictures since I haven't been very active posting. As a matter of fact, because my life is so uneventful right now I probably won't post often, unless something exciting happens or something really ticks me off ;) I'll just save up all the little goodies until Friday or so and share them then, okay? Okay!

Well, this week has been quite a weather roller coaster! We've gone from snow still on the ground in some places the sun can shine on and the hills still covered where the sun doesn't shine (that sounds horrible!) quite as much to a warm wonderful 70+ degrees today! God is so amazing! But, thankfully before all that snow arrived last Saturday, I did have a chance to go out and cut some daffodils (or buttercups as I call them, which is actually a misnomer since they really smell like honey) to brighten up our little kitchen table. They're such happy, simple little flowers! I am thankful the good Lord made me a simple woman who is easy to amuse and entertain :)

And then, we have my sweet little green friend. I can barely believe how much it's grown! It's becoming a lovely plant, from a drab little stick of a cutting that I was almost sure would never grow with my nearly black thumb. Is that not how we must seem to Him before we know His mercy, like lifeless, joyless little unproductive things? Anyone else might not see any potential for us and just toss us away. But, God is good even to little green things, isn't He? How much better He is to us!

Finally today I am proud and relieved to say that I am almost finished with my "chicken condo". It's really more of a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree kind of house, but I am fairly confident it will be safe and provide ample refuge from inclement weather. I hope it will come a good rain, so I might make sure it'll withstand some forces before I move any tenants in! Come to think of it, I'm not so sure I've shared my chicken story with my fellow bloggies, have I? Well, if you remember the jewel eggs that I shared with y'all from last month, you might remember how thankful and excited I had been to have received them. Well.....the generous woman who furnished those eggs has offered me a rooster of hers and a couple of hens!! It has been a dream of mine, since we first decided to buy this house, that I might have a few clucky hens around here but I have waited, mostly because DH has asked me to hold off a little while. So I haven't brought the issue up too often since then. Then, lo and behold! Mrs. Delores offers a few birds to me! That just made my heart swell that God would make a way for me to start small (I had intended to order many more chicks and raise them up) and test the waters. I have tried to be patient and He provided my heart's desire! What an Awesome Savior! So, counted the coins I had collected in a coffee can and went down to the local hardware store and bought about $30 worth of materials, brought it home and scrounged around for what we had here (see, being a packrat is not always a bad thing!) and found that I had plenty of paneling and plywood to actually take a stab at it! Slowly, but surely, it has become a decent, temporary coop. I've still got some work to do on it, like the top of the tiny run and a nestbox and roost, just small things, really, but I am so excited. What I have done to deserve such blessings is beyond me, but I will never cease to praise HIM for them all.

Well, I think that about does it for this time. I hope each and every one of you has a blessed weekend, and make sure you remember to praise God for every good and precious thing, no matter how small it may seem. If it makes you smile, it's worth praising Him for :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook, 03-02-09


Outside my window...the few remnants of our snowfall Saturday night are melting away in the beautiful sunlight

I am thinking...many thoughts, mental spasms, if you will

I am thankful for...this warm house and the love here

From the learning rooms...I'll be getting back into studying tomorrow

From the kitchen...healthy, yummy meals

I am wearing...the snuggly lap blankets I received at Christmas

I am creating...plans and hopes

I am going...to let my sister-in-Christ show me her favorite herb store, I'm learning some about home remedies and looking forward to trying some concoctions

I am reading...The South Beach Diet, Taking Charge of Your Fertility, God's Word

I am hoping...the the ten-degree increase in temperatures every day this week won't leave me miserable with sinuses and colds

I am hearing...the quietness of morning

Around the house...there is some tidying to do, I'm still trying to catch up from last week!

One of my favorite things...the pictures of spring, the seeds sprouting and growing, a glimpse into what summer may hold

A few plans for the rest of the week: visit the herb store, learn a song for Easter, Wednesday church service, studying

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

A picture of one of the bald eagles my husband took a while back. This always reminds me of the Scripture, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint."
Isaiah 40:31

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I's not fat, I's just fluffy!

However, I have become so fluffy that I can no longer dry what few pants that fit me in the dryer because it "shrinks" them. It appears denim is not so forgiving of my fluffiness ;) I have been "trying" to lose weight for a little while now, but honestly haven't been giving it as much effort as it needs to actually work (in other words, I eat too much and not the right things) I have come to the realization that no matter how much I talk about it or wish for it or loathe myself in the mirror, it isn't going to change a thing if I don't change a thing. So, you can imagine my relief when my husband came home from the doctor the other day with orders to try and lose weight, for real, unless he wants to be on medication for the rest of his life; he's 28 now and taking 3 different cholesterol meds. Then he tells me that he might try the South Beach diet, so I went to the library and borrowed the book about it, complete with recipes. And I have to say, I'm pretty excited! The recipes look delicious and it's food that we (for the most part) really enjoy. Phase One includes food such as cheese and proteins and veggies, no sugars or breads or starches like 'taters and corn. And this is the strictest phase! Now DH isn't much for vegetables, so it's going to be quite a transition for him, but I have faith he can do it. Today was our first day and he's already eaten more lettuce than I've seen him eat the whole time we've been together! I'm so proud of him :) He's so tired of taking pills.

Like I said, today is our first day, and I won't be able to prepare all the recipes right away because we just can't afford it, but I've got a couple different ones for each meal of the day and I'll go back and forth and maybe next time I go to the store we can try something new. Breakfast was a 2-egg omelet with canadian bacon and just a sprinkling of fat-free cheddar cheese and a small glass of tomato juice. Lunch was grilled chicken breast on a bed of romaine lettuce with homemade balsamic vinaigrette with sugar-free jello pudding, and dinner was baked rosemary salmon with tossed salad and vanilla ricotta creme for dessert. It was delicious! I'll have to share the recipes sometime :)

So, first phase is two weeks, minimum, and supposedly this is when you lose the most weight. I think I'm mostly looking forward to feeling, well, not so fat. So, I'm clearing off my weight loss ticker that hasn't budged in a good 2 weeks, and start over. I'm starting with 150.5 lbs. Granted, it was after dinner, but...150 lbs! Looking forward to changing that. Soon.