and spirit...encouragement for your soul.

Hopefully this will be a place of resources and information for living a healthy lifestyle while feeding your soul. Recipes, links to helpful sites, words of encouragement and scripture....all to help you and your family make wise decisions for your life.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The most difficult thing...

My childhood friend recieved very troubling news today. Her son has potentialy serious health problems about which the doctors are not sure. This very same child (now an adult) has been the recipient, with his family, of several previous health related miracles. How should a parent react to such a shock?!

Having been there myself with each of my sons, I can identify and feel the pain for my friend and her family. The question is, how do we pray in these circumstances? A parent's instinct is to immediately pray for healing or a miracle. I am thankful when tragedy struck my life I had been attending a Bible study where we had discussed this very subject only a week or two prior to my son's accident. Another mother who had been "through the fire" had made the comment, "You have to let God's will be done and be okay with it." That is truely trusting God. BUT...that is the most difficult thing a parent can do. We are supposed to take care of our children.'s your child laying there on the road or the hospital bed. How does a parent do that?

My own experience was that I remembered that conversation in my Bible group and when the ambulance stopped to allow the EMTs to get an IV started I prayed. "God, he is in your hands and your will be done. I shall be accepting, with your help, of the outcome." The words to the old Hymn, "Peace Like A River", doesn't begin to describe the feeling that flooded my soul. It was knowing that all was well. I had no idea how it would happen but I knew my son was going to be fine.

Now the doctors were saying just the oposite in the emergency room and later in ICU. They were telling me he may not make it through the night. My only thought was, "You don't know what I know."

I shall write later about my other son's miracle. In the mean time please pray for my friend Pam and her son, Matthew and their family. Here is the Bible verse I posted on her blog:

Everything in the heavens and earth are yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone, and you are the Ruler of all mankind; your hand controls power and might and it is at your discretion that me are made great and given strength. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 TLB

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The good fight....

I lost a friend to cancer this past week. She fought the good fight and did whatever she could to combat this terrible plague on our society. She went through the normal routine of chemotherapy, followed all the doctors orders and tried to eat right. The problem was the chemo made her so sick she lost her appetite and her kidneys failed. After going through dialysis and finally getting back on her feet, she was ready to resume chemo but it was too late.

I miss my friend and I am regretting not calling her and seeing her more often. It had been several weeks since I had spoken with her and she had sounded in good spirits and seemed to being doing better. Her husband tells me she would perk up for friends who called. I didn't know she had gone downhill so quickly. There is a lesson to be learned here.

I am also encouraged that other friends and family who are battling cancer are educating themselves, getting second opinions and looking at alternative treatments. (Read Jim Miller's story on the Inspiration page of this blog.) In my relationships with my Juice Plus community there are many medical professionals and holistic medicine practitioners. Some of them are certified in both areas. I have learned so much from all of them in the past eight or nine years. None of them recommend cancer patients forgo chemotherapy but some people can't or won't choose that path to wellness.

I have a family member who is allergic to the different chemo drugs and I have another friend who refuses to go through chemo. For them the alternatives simply make more sense. Praise God that there are choices (like the Hippocrates Health Institute)for them.

Lord place your healing hand on those who suffer from diseases of the body or mind. Bless those who care for the sick, the nurses and doctors and hospice workers. Comfort those who are grieving for the loss of a beloved companion. Be present in their lives Lord through your Holy Spirit. Amen

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Catching up and starting over....

Okay, vacation is over, we have visited with our old and dear friends, we have eaten every treat we could lay our hands on, watched good movies and drank to excess. It was fun and now it's time to undo the damage.

Starting tomorrow I shall stop the Frappuccinos, again! I shall start to eliminate many of the toxins I regularly consume like Diet Coke. I am not going "cold turkey" but will gradually reduce the amount I consume. Part of the problem with stopping all at once is the headache from caffiene withdrawal is excrutiating. I've done it before and shall never do it again.

More vegetables, more fresh fruit, deffinately more salads shall be the order of each day this week. I am dragging out and dusting off my vegetarian cook books and plan to experiement with several new recipes. I shall also prepare some of our old favorites. I'll post any really good recipes I find, try and think they are worth your time. If you have any suggestions please email them to me.

Be in prayer that I'll find the discipline and strength to stick with my exercise program this week. I'll be praying for help too.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Grateful for R and R but ready to go home...

A little rest and relaxation is always a good thing. I love to travel and sight see and have been blessed with the ability to fly anywhere in the world for many years! I have enjoyed many popular cities in Europe, Asia, Central America, Canada and Mexico. It's great to visit but I love going home.

I am not one of those folks who can go on vacation for two weeks or a month. I love long weekends, sometimes five days away from home then I am more than ready to "get back at it." I also love my own bed and shower.

It has been fun working in new/different scenery and being away from the office phone. My lap top allows me to work from anywhere and stay in communication with anyone who needs me. I have been able to participate in conference calls via "Skype" on my computer and read books on my cell phone. (Kindle application for IPhone) The only thing we didn't have on this trip that was sorely missed was DVR. Do you get the idea I'm a gadget person? You would be right! Gadgets make my life easier and DVR is the best invention in the last 10 years!!

I never like to be negative but it's hard to remain on a diet or eating plan when you're traveling. We do the best we can by cooking in the condo and eating out only once per day. Most restaurants have decent vegetarian selections or an abundance of salads. We COULD make healthy choices but too often we convince ourselves "we're on vacation and we deserve that treat." Can anyone identify?

All in all it was an enjoyable few days visiting with old friends, soaking in the hot tub, dining on seafood and shopping. I am now ready for home.

Thank you Lord for dear friends. Thank you for a safe trip and the blessings of laughter, taste buds and lap tops. We give You praise for the beautiful scenery of native trees, colorful flowers, lakes and rivers You created. Keep us safe as we travel home and bring us back together again soon. Amen.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Reconnecting with old friends on a busy, busy vacation...

I'm not sure I have ever had a busier "vacation" and that's a good thing! Never thought those words would emanate from my lips. Usually I am looking for a laid back, lazy vacation with no phones, no text message, no emails! Lounging by the pool, basking in the sun, cool nights in the hot tub...that's more my style.

This vacation is very different. It's too cool for the pool (maybe tomorrow) and too many people in the hot tub. It's been overcast most of the time and the wind is blowing.

My phone is ringing off the hook and I'm happy about it. Our team is busy and growing. After months of stagnation everyone is suddenly "on fire!" That means more people will be healthy and happy in the long run and that's what it's all about.

I'm driving with my old friend and former flight attendant roommate to Orlando for a trade show tomorrow. Then we are driving back to St. Augustine tomorrow night to resume our vacation. I am praying this business to business expo will pay off since I have done many before with zero results.

All in all it's a good vacation even if it's not ideally restful. I'll take busy and growing any day and I'll be grateful for the blessings.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Grateful for vacations...

I was going to be thankful today for a lazy Saturday but after working all day preparing for a trade show next week, packing for vacation and finishing the fertilizing I have decided it wasn't a laid back lazy day after all.

There is never a shortage of blessings to be thankful for however. I am thankful Wayne and I have a short vacation beginning Monday. We are headed to St. Augustine to the World Golf Village for a few days of R and R. We plan to read books, lay by the pool, eat out a few times, eat in a few times....

Unfortunately, I double booked myself at a trade show for Rotarians in Orlando on Wednesday. Alas, I shall drive to Orlando on Wednesday afternoon and back to St. Augstine on Wednesday night, while Wayne sips pina calladas by the pool. DARN!!

It will be good to get away and rest, reflect, meditate and enjoy the company of good friends we don't often see. Larry and Phyllis are driving down from Atlanta to join us. They are old and dear Delta friends. Phyllis and I met in flight attendant training school in 1993 and have been good friends since. Larry is also a Delta employee and an excellent cook. I am looking forward to a "partner" in the kitchen. We both enjoy cooking and especially eating.

I'll try to post while I'm gone but can't promise anything. I may find a good outlet mall that will fill my time.

Thank you Lord for good friends and vacations. Be present with them and keep them and us safe on our drive. Bless us this week with peace and quiet, good weather and good food. Amen

Friday, March 19, 2010

Grateful for gardens...

I can't remember a longer winter in Florida. I can remember colder weather but it has never been this cool, this long. Everything in my yard and in the common areas of the park just look terrible! I have been putting off working in the yard to ensure there will be no more cold to further damage freshly pruned shrubs and tropicals. Today is the day! Praise the Lord for warm weather and sunshine!

Gardening has been my favorite pasttime for many years. I am relaxed and peaceful when I'm in the gardening mode. I always eagerly anticipate the rewards I know will follow the weeding, pruning, fertilizing, watering, mulching and replanting. The flowers and beautiful foilage are the wonderful reward. Is there anything prettier or sweeter smelling than a gardenia? (By the way, that's my gardenia upper left!!)

I have spent so much of my time growing my Juice Plus+ business the last year I have had little time to garden or participate with the Florida Master Gardeners. I miss the fellowship I used to enjoy on Thursday mornings with my fellow master gardeners at the Ag Center in the public gardens.

I hope to find a better balance this spring and summer. I intend to take time to enjoy the blessings from God in our yard and around the park. A friend sent me this poem yesterday. I have heard it before as I am sure you have but I love it.

The kiss of the sun for pardon.
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in the garden.
Than anywhere else on earth.

We have a butterfly garden here in the park and the birds love the bird bath there. It is seldom empty. When the robins are here there are five or six splashing and playing all the time. I hope to attract a larger variety of birds to the feeder this year as well. Maybe different kinds of feed will work.

Thank your Lord for this beautiful day. Thank you for adorning the earth with beautiful, fragrant foilage and flowers. Thank you for a healthy body that enables me to bend and stoop, pull and snip. Thank you for the kiss of sonshine on our faces. Amen

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Grateful for family....

I spent the morning visiting a couple of elderly ladies from our church who are no longer able to attend church. One did not mention her age but the other was 96 years old. I was very surprised by how beautiful the 96 year old lady looked when we were first welcomed into her living room. Her hair was perfectly coiffed, her nails were manicured, her make up was artfully applied and she was wearing earrings and jewelry. Since I knew she was a "shut in" I did not expect this wonderful sight. She spoke lovingly of her family and friends and missed being active in her community. She was blessed that one of her daughters lived nearby. Her living room was bright and sunny and the visit was probably more of a blessing for me than for her.

The other lady was dressed in a robe, was obviously in poor health and had no family in the area. She did have two nieces who live in other states that call to check on her everyday and she was very appreciative of their attentiveness.

Both of these ladies suffer from loneliness. I am reminded again today of how blessed I am for my good health and positive attitude. I am also very thankful for my large and loving family. Two of my children and five of my grandchildren live nearby and I see or speak with them frequently. My other children and grandchildren live in other states but I speak with them weekly, if not daily, and we text and email constantly. I have many cousins in other states and we communicate via email and phone as well. My elderly aunt in Missouri calls me every two weeks on Saturday.

I can't say I have experienced a feeling of loneliness in many, many years. I am grateful for a full life. I am counting my blessings!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Grateful for health....

Today I am grateful for my excellent health!! I am feeling great and lookng...well, pretty good all things considered. Once I have shed about forty pounds I'll look the way I should. We have already had that discussion. It's not an easy process and progress is slow but I am doing mostly what I should to make that happen.

Healthwise though, I am in great shape. I have been able to change my health insurance policy to a very high deductable because I only need it to protect against catostrophic circumstances. I do not need doctor visits covered because I seldom need a doctor. Changing the insurance policy has saved Wayne and I thousands and thousands of dollars in premiums. I simply pay my own office visits which are few and far between. The last time I actually had a "sick" visit to a doctor was when I had a melanoma removed from my leg several years ago. Many of you will remember that because you were praying for me. Praise God I healed in short order and did not need any follow up treatment!

I have friends and family though who are not doing so well. I am thinking of them and praying for them today. Their illnesses have made me very, very grateful for my good health. I have a cousin battling ovarian cancer and a good friend battling breast cancer. The treatments they have both endured are unimagineable! They have both been "walking through the valley of the shadow of death" for years now and I admire the positive spirit and tenacity they have maintained through it all.

If you want to be inspired read the "Inspiration" page of this blog. Jim Miller's story is quite remarkable! If you are enjoying good health, as I am, thank God for it. If you are trying to lose weight with diet and exercise, lets stick with it together, encouraging one another. If you are having health problems that requires treatment, I am praying for a good outcome. Thank you Lord for helping my friends "fear no evil, for thou art with them."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Grateful for freedom!

I know you are already thinking the patriotic kind of freedom. I have to say I take the freedoms we enjoy here in the USA for granted. We should all be thanking God everyday for the ability to say, think and come and go as we please without fear. Think of the people in North Korea, Iran, China and other places where everything is controled by the powerful elite or the government.

The kind of freedom I'm enjoying today though is the kind I gained with my retirement from my 9 to 5!! I am sitting in my wonderful office upstairs with windows on three sides looking out at the world. It's a beautiful day and I enjoy listening to the birds and watching them in the bird bath. Believe it or not, I am able to make phone calls and send emails while enjoying life. What could be better?

Working from home or running a home based business is certainly not for everyone but I just can't tell you how much I enjoy it. If I wish to have three hour lunches with girl friends, no problem. If I want to work my business only until 1:30 in the afternoon, I can do it. If on Tuesday my husband and I want to get in our boat and cruise the Dora canal we do it. If I want to gift this lifestyle to five of my friends I can do that too. There is no other business that would allow me the opportunity to ethically produce this kind of security and this kind of lifestyle.

It's good to be happy in your chosen vocation no matter what that is. Crown Financial Ministries teaches that each of us should work as if we are working for the Lord....because we are.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pig On The Pond!

WOW!! Busy, busy day today. I attended the "Pig On The Pond" event in Clermont, Florida on Lake Minneola. I was there to represent Juice Plus with Dr. and Nicole Casavant from South Lake OB/GYN. They had all the things I love but never eat...funnel cakes, flavored ice, kettle corn, brats, pulled pork barbecue, chili fries. Oh my! Okay, so once per year is not bad if you partake of really bad for you food is it? I had the bratwurst.

I am amazed how many people are interested in finding different ways to supplement their diets with good nutrition. The children are a real problem for some of the parents but it is surprising how many of the kids actually love fruits and vegetables. One mother of two young boys told me her kids always chose salad vegetables and fruits over junk food. I think parents are better educated now than when I was growing up but I still reminded her how fortunate she is. She agreed.

There were thousand of people attending this annual event. They raise money for scholarships for the south end of Lake County. I was impressed with the how organized and well run it was. The biggest problem was the wind. There were 30 mile per hour gusts that sent anything not tied down rolling across the lawn.

I was there, on my feet from 0900 to 1745 (5:45pm) and my feet, back, neck all hurt. I shall retire early tonight and sleep like a baby. Good night all!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Family, friends and team members....

Family: I am thinking of several members of my family this morning. I am so gratefule to have a large, loving, positive thinking and mostly happy family. My older brother is a dynamo who works hard and enjoys the fruits of his labor more than anyone I know. My younger brother served many, many years in the service of our country in the military. My cousins are more like siblings and we all grew up together in the best of circumstances. We had an ideal childhood and I am thankful for it.

This morning I am driving to Merritt Island to visit one of two remaining aunts from my father's siblings. Aunt Esther has always been one of the most intelligent among my aunts and uncles. Her body is failing her now as she copes with severe back problems caused from a lifetime of being overweight. She, like me, did not embrace exercise and is now paying the price for not be a good steward of her body. She is 85 now and can barely move.

My other aunt, Ruth, (Esther's sister) was here visiting from Missouri a few weeks ago. She is in amazingly good shape and looks 25 years younger than she is. She visits the gym at least three times per week, watches her diet and enjoys rich friendships. I am hoping and praying I have Aunt Ruth's genes!!

Friends: I am also thinking this morning about my friend, Pam, who has been unemployed for eight months and is starting a brand new job this morning. She and all her friends have been praying with her for a job or an income and she received the wonderful call yesterday. I hope she has a day full of peace.

Team members: I am praying for God's perfect will in the lives of all my team members. One team member is mourning the loss of her physician husband just a few months ago. She is a little hard on herself, expecting to be "over it" already.

I have several team members who are frustrated with the lack of progress in their businesses. I am praying to be a good leader and asking for the right words, the right amount of encouragement, the correct tools to offer. There is a very fine line between encouraging and pushing people and I am praying I will stay on the correct side of that line. On the other hand, I too, want to advance me business and be a good example.

Lord, be with all of us today. As we drive in the rain, keep us safe. As we seek to help people enjoy good health through better nutrition, give us effective words. As we attend training, open our minds so we learn. As we fail you, forgive us. As we praise you, shine on each of us the light of your love. Amen

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New healthy recipe, organic produce and ......Dragon Boats?

It's organic produce coop day and I can't wait to pick up my veggies at the Veggie-Table. (See the "Organic Produce" page for details or to join.) I found a new, healthy recipe I am anxious to try and I need the fresh kale I have ordered to make it. (See "Recipes" page.) I found the recipe on the Whole Foods Market web site and I highly recommend their site.

In researching the Bible to find what Adam and Eve were given to eat, I ran across this web site called "ivillage." I know nothing about the site but there was quick quiz to determine your "biotype." Mine was Hunter-Gatherer and my diet should consist mostly of plant foods with some lean meat. The results also said I love to eat outside and should do that as often as possible. That is so very true! I do love picnics and boating and back packing. I never do any of those activities without food being involved. I almost always choose a restaurant with outdoor tables if the weather is good. Noise is a deal breaker though. I detest traffic noise!! Here is the link to the quiz. It's short and rather fun:

What's that about Dragon Boats??? I am a Rotarian and our big project/fund raiser is coming up next month. I attended a Dragon Boat meeting last evening at Lucy Ho's Bamboo Garden in Leesburg. (The owner, Paul Lao, is a member of the Tavares Rotary and Paul treated us to many fine Chinese dishes. The food was fabulous!) The plans for the Central Florida Dragon Boat Festival are well underway and I am impressed with the organization of the event.

Most of the downtown merchants in Tavares will be participating and I'm sure it's going to be a great time!! You can find more information at There is a great video highlighting the city and the Dragon Boaters. Come join us on April 16Th for the Opening Ceremonies (evening)and the "Waking the Dragon" ceremony. Then on April 17th the races begin very early. Plan to spend the day with us. It will be fun and will benefit several deserving charities, including Tavares High School!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Back on track, literally!

A weekend of laying around, eating, drinking, snacking, caramel corn and desserts has caused a renewed desire to visit the gym. I am praying God will help me with the discipline part of losing weight through exercise and diet. Having been skinny most of my life and now dealing with a weight problem is discouraging so divine intervention is needed please!

Eating right is not a huge issue as I adore fresh vegetables and whole grains and most healthy foods. As a matter of fact, I prefer them. (I shall never give up fried chicken though!) I am stocking up every other week with fresh, organic produce from the coop. (See the "Organic Produce" page.) When I bring the produce home I wash and prepare all of it for cooking and place all in green bags. When dinner time rolls around all I have to do is take out as much as I need and chop it or steam it. (Thank you Rachael Ray for that wonderful tip!) So the diet part of the equation is not a problem.

Now for the exercise part...I am not a fan! I shall have to say God is doing a work in that area. I visited the gym today and spent some quality time on the treadmill and ALMOST enjoyed it.

As I was moving to the weight machines this little lady on the eliptical machine stopped me. She said she was looking at my ankles and lamenting that her ankles used to be thin. Now she has trouble with water retention and her ankles are swollen. She is in her mid eighties and looks marvelous. She used to be a professional ball room dancer. Her scoundrel husband left her with four small children when she was in her thirties. She took in ironing and cleaned office buildings while the children were sleeping. When the children were all in school she took a job in a factory. All of that information in 10 minutes from a woman I didn't know. Wouldn't you want to learn more?

You see how God works? He placed this very interesting elderly woman in my path and now I can't wait to go back to the gym to hear more of her life story. I don't believe in coincidence so my new friend, Barbara, is a gift from the Most High God!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Watermelon moon.....

It was another late night and early, early morning. Most of the family and a few friends were over last evening for dinner and a discussion on quantum physics. I'm not joking, quantum physics. Unbelievably, I was mesmerized by the animated reenactment of a real experiment I watched on the Internet. If you have the slightest interest, here is the link. You will be amazed, really amazed.

After that titillating conversation we had to set the alarm for 0430 to leave for the airport. I had totally forgotten how nature treats cars parked in the damp and very cold driveway. Ice on the windshield, ice on the door handles, ice in the puddles! The other thing nature does on a cold winter's night is cause the half moon to look just like a big slice of watermelon. I couldn't quit lookng at it as it was very beautiful with the darker rind around the outside and the lighter, almost transparent shade in the middle. The only thing missing were the seeds.

Our Florida minds didn't think about the ice so we didn't allow time for thawing when we determined how much time we needed to get to the airport. We made it on time in spite of the obstacles. We also were able to secure a seat on the first non-stop to Orlando. Oh happy day, Oh happy day! Back in the sunshine state where the temperature is mid 70s. I really don't like cold weather!!

Thank you Lord for the gift of my home state, Florida.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sleep...elusive sleep

Another sleepless night behind me. The laptop gets a real workout when I'm wide awake in the middle of the night. Research, general reading, emails and blogging fill the dark hours. Last night I managed to do a little research on the wonderful tools available on Gmail (Google's email). I discovered I can create a calendar my team can view and edit. I can sync my IPhone with my calendar, documents and email wirelessly! WOW! There are many more features my son, Wayne, is telling me about. I'll spend some time with him today learning more.

I am reminded however, how beneficial sleep is. There have been so many studies published recently on the benefits of just one additional hour of sleep. Also, there are many studies showing insomnia is very detrimental to our health. Our risk of developing various degenerative diseases are very increased when we do not sleep well or don't get enough sleep.

I am not a total insomniac but I am often awakened in the wee hours and remain awake for a couple of hours. During those hours I fire up the laptop, prop up in bed and start perusing the different sites I frequent. I am grateful those sleepless nights are occurring less often these days.

I try to compensate for the sleeplessness by eating better and and drinking more water. I am also trying to eliminate caffeine from my diet. The latter is a process lest I suffer from caffeine withdrawal...ouch!

Attending a Prevention Plus Lecture yesterday, I was reminded of the benefits of "live" food. The title of the lecture was, "Live People Thrive on Live Food." Dr. Carol Watson presented the research and practical ways to get more whole, raw, organic food into our diets. Enzymes are the "live" part of our food and heating food to a temperature of around 110 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit will destroy the enzymes. That doesn't mean cooked vegetables are totally unbeneficial. They still have calories, vitamins, fiber, etc. However, the more raw food we can incorporate into our diets, the healthier we will be. It isn't that difficult if you love salads. Almost any vegetable or fruit is good in a salad.

I admire a friend who has made salad her family's main dish at each meal. The meats and cooked food are side dishes. She keeps a ton of organic produce, both fruits and vegetables, and each child (six of them) can make their own. They add their favorites making sure there is a rainbow of colors in their meal. I am hungry just thinking about it.

The biggest benefit from the synergy of vitamins, minerals and enzymes in fresh, raw fruits and vegetables is the reduction of oxidative stress (free radicals) that causes aging. Having just turned sixty a few days ago I'm all over slowing the aging process. I'm going to make a to you later!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

He leadeth me....

He leadeth me, O blessed thought!
O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
For by His hand He leadeth me

One of my favorite Hymns from my childhood. I find myself humming it from time to time. Actually, I love most of the old hymns. I can't always remember the words but the melody linger in my mind.

I ask God's guidance as I pursue the vocation I believe I am called to, as I study the Word with like minded teachers and students, as I travel and as I pray.

Today is a training day in Loveland, Ohio. Robyn, Adrienne and I will be hearing Dr. Carol Watson's talk, "Live People Thrive on Live Food." Following the training will be a training session. Robyn is an RN still in the learning mode. She has been working for seven months in ICU following her graduation from University of Cincinnati's nursing school. Since nutrition is a large part of healing and prevention I think she and Adrienne (also a new RN) will enjoy this lecture.

After the training comes the fun!! Robyn and I shall return to pick up my granddaughter, Samantha for a "girls" day. We plan to spend a few hours having our toes and fingers spruced up. Bonding and sharing time is the best! A day of learning, fun and fellowship with the women I love....what could be better?!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Letting go...

Rhoda Newman Hoffman is my wonderful 91 year old mother-in-law. Rhoda has endured tremendous hardships in her long life but through it all managed to keep a sweet, loving spirit. Her two sons, Wayne and Glenn have been the light of her life. She has loved much, laughed often and doted on her grandchildren.

Her life with Harry Hoffman, her husband of over 50 years, was a challenge. He was a musician who played in night clubs and loved big band music. On Harry's eightieth birthday Wayne and I took Harry and Rhoda to a beautiful restaurant in Cincinnati with a fabulous view of the city. I shall never forget the two of them floating around the dance floor to the big band tunes. They were magical together. It was a fun and memorable evening. We are grateful for that evening as Harry passed away the following year.

Robyn has been reminiscing about her childhood summers at her grandparent's home in Louisville, Kentucky. Robyn and Heather would look forward with anticipation to a week with them each year. Harry would play loud music and allow Robyn and Heather to play "bar" in the basement. The lights were dimmed and the "bar" lights were turned on and Harry was blowing his trumpet. There was a real band stand and many musical instruments where the former band used to rehearse. (I have it on good authority that "little" Wayne even played bar with them sometimes.)

While the music wailed in the basement Rhoda would be dissecting a can of salmon upstairs in preparation for salmon croquettes. When I say dissect, I mean dissect. She went through a can of salmon and removed anything that wasn't pink. (About half the contents of the can.) It took her hours to prepare dinner. She never particularly liked cooking because her hands were gnarled from arthritis caused by a serious accident when Wayne and Glenn were teenagers. She was hit by a car at the mail box and barely survived. Thankfully she recovered but was left with many "scars" from her injuries.

I speak of Rhoda with great love because she treated me as a daughter from the day I met her. She was warm and welcoming and I loved her from day one. Now it's time to start letting her go and I am not sure how to do that. I cared for my own mother in her waning years and even though I would not have kept Mom on earth for another day longer, I still miss her everyday. I know letting Rhoda go will be no easier.

We love you Rhoda! God bless you!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Airport food, airplane food and hotel food....thank goodness for better choices today!

Today was a traveling day. We haven't done that in quite awhile and it brought back fond memories of my days as a flight attendant and not so fond memories of airports. Today's venture through security was not bad at all but the flight left at OH dark thirty, so we had to leave home at 0330. Since yesterday was hectic we had not planned well for nutrition. We arrived at the airport with empty stomachs, ravenous appetites and a long day ahead. Our choices were Burger King and Nathan's. We opted for a rubber egg sandwich on a burned, tasteless English muffin. Since we had made a wildly poor food choice anyway we also opted for a Starbuck's Frappuccino. I know, I know, I'm weak.

When we arrived in Cincinnati we rented a car and drove to Louisville, Kentucky (about 1 1/2 hours away) to visit Wayne's 91 year old Mom and younger brother. Fortunately, they live very near a Whole Foods Market. I love Whole Foods and could spend hours there just browsing. We purchase smoked chicken and grilled pear and cheddar sandwiches and corn and poblano pepper chowder. YUM!

I remember all those days as a flight attendant there were few healthy food choices and my diet consisted of airport food, airplane food (there was food on airplanes then) and hotel food. (Fortunately, I had Juice Plus to bridge the gap.) Before I retired though there were better options on layovers at hotels, markets and local restaurants. Even airplane food was much improved on "Song Airways."

I used to love to layover in Los Angeles so I could make a trip to Trader Joe's. Most of the flight attendants headed straight for wine aisle to load up on as much two buck chuck as they could carry. I headed straight to the veggie meatloaf, potatoes and fresh veggies aisle. I would fill the bathtub with ice to keep it cool inside the grocery bags and we would have a feast on the plane the next day.

Those days are long behind me now but I continue to marvel at how popular the organic, whole food markets have become. There are also many, many organic produce coops springing up. I have listed the one I belong to on the "Organic Produce" page. It is called "Veggie-Table" and we have fun bagging groceries and sharing the cost. Check it out if you live in the Eustis, Mount Dora, Tavares area. Healthy choices are easy today. Come join us. Also, see new recipe on the "Recipe" page.

Daniel 1:12-13 12Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countencance of the youths that eat of the king's dainties; and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hectic days....sleepless nights!

This combination is not good for the body or the soul. Even though it's still cooler than it's supposed to be in Central Florida, the trees are in full pollen. I seldom have headaches but the last two days my head has hurt so badly my eyes have ached. It has been brutal. Can't sleep, can't eat, can't read, the light is uncomfortable!

We are trying to get away for a brief visit to the frigid north to see three of our five children and five or our ten grandchildren. Trying to meet obligations and tie up lose ends before we leave has prevented any chance of a nap. I find myself nodding off in meetings and longing for my sleep number bed. ANY number would do.

Seems as though there is a scripture to go with all this dilemma but I can't think of it. Maybe you can make a suggestion?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Do civilized people meet at 6:00 AM? I mean really!

I am just back from a gathering we call "Prayer Breakfast." We meet at 0600 every Tuesday morning for prayer, fellowship, book study and of course, food. I joined the group a few years ago and each week when the alarm sounds I ask myself, "What am I doing?" Once I'm up and going I'm fine. I enjoy the discussion and the fellowship with my friends. We are mostly Methodists and mostly lifelong Christians. We have fun planning projects and "movie nights" and now we are thinking of planning trips to special restaurants we are anxious to try.

Anyone is welcome to join us but we are the same group of folks for the last several years. Occasionally someone asks me about the group and I invite them to come check us out. They are very enthusiastic until I tell them when, where and what TIME!! The response when they hear 6:00AM is usually...."WHOA! No thank you!" The Baptists are more civilized. They are gathering as we are leaving at 7:00AM. I used to be Baptist....maybe I should rethink that.

I am happy with the first day of the life changes I am making. I ate well yesterday, exercised, had lunch with girl friends (laughed much) and attended a Trustee meeting at church. I finished the day at dinner with good friends and retired early. I would say I achieved balance in my lifestyle yesterday.

Love all the Facebook well wishes. What a blessing a simple social networking web site has been. It is amazingly easy to keep up with friends and family in one spot.

I am responsible for the music at a small group today. What's your favorite hymn? I love gospel music and can't say I have one particular favorite. However, I asked that question at breakfast this morning and at least two people knew exactly and immediately their favorite. I am choosing to play Sandi Patti's "We Shall Behold Him" today. I am inspired by her voice and the message.

Here's hoping everyone has a healthy, happy day today!

Monday, March 1, 2010

This is a good day to begin again....again

It's my birthday! What better day to take stock of where I am and decide where I'm going? I am thinking birthdays are a better day to resolve to make changes than New Years day. Afterall, it's a special day for each of us if we want it to be.

I am losing weight...40 pounds to be exact!! I am beginning today to make a few little changes in my eating habits. Once I have conquered those changes I'll make a couple more changes. I think a major overhaul is not the way to go. More importantly, I shall begin today to change the images I have of myself in my subconscious mind:

MARK 11:24 NKJ
24 "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Exercise is a four letter word in my book. I shall begin again. Three days per week at the Y and treadmill here at home on the off days. I am praying for a change in my attitude about exercise. I want to love it and look forward to it.

I am grateful for good health and good friends. My high school girlfriends are taking me to lunch today. How blessed am I to still enjoy friendships from my childhood? These wonderful, amazing women have been part of my life for 55 years! I thank God for them. The well wishes on Facebook have been overwhelming too.

Thank you everyone for making my day special. I am hoping you will help in holding me accoutable for this exercise and diet journey.