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Happy Birthday #54!

Birthday Greeting 1910http://treasures-n-textures.blogspot.ca/2010/04/vintage-birthday-wishes.html

This is the site where I found this lovely card and it quite suits the mood I’m in at the moment.  It’s been a lovely day for the most part, although I did a  lot more walking than I had intended.  But that’s a story for another day.  Thankfully, it was a sunny day, and I had time to do some thinking.

I turned 54 today.  I had to think about that a bit – I guess part of the aging process is that you forget how old you are!  I just seem to forget that I’m getting older.  The days go by, most of them fairly similar in tone.  Work gets done, bills get paid, a few books get read, something gets knitted on…. and so it goes, all in all a fairly mundane kind of life!  With a cruise thrown in for the fun of it – and I guess lychee martinis aren’t that mundane either!  Delicious though, one at a time.

As I was walking, I reflected a bit on the progress I was making in my life, dividing it into the 5 colours that I’ve chosen to represent it – and that’s what I thought I’d share while the last minutes of this delightful day wind down.  I also have to finish this lovely glass of wine!

WHITE:  I always feel that my relationship with my God is not all it could be.  I’m not consistent in so many of the things I want to do – reading, studying, praying, contemplating, meditating.  Something always seems to get in the way of that.  Mostly Facebook, I suppose, but I love the community I share there – and sometimes someone shares something that speaks to my soul and makes me think about my own relationships with people and creation.  I guess I’m just wishing it would be more than it is – and that comes with time – not just time as it passes, but time being active and aware – mindful time.  Something to strive for in the coming years.

BLUE:  My creative pursuits are not the priority they once were.  I find I can go for a few days without yarn in my hands, but I do enjoy the glass jars full of yarn.  I still haven’t written a  pattern for something, but I have been playing with dishclothes and making those “easy squares” more interesting.  And I finished the shawl that I’d been working on for 5 years.  My goal over the next while is to finish more projects than I start – and that will be tought!

GREEN:  Green is my money management – both earning and saving/spending.  Most of the last year and a half was spent saving for a cruise.  I’ve written a bit about that – but the reality was that I came away with no debt – and wonderful memories that I was able to share with my mom, aunts and cousins.  I still have one smallish kind of debt – my line of credit.  This was sitting at around $5000 last year, and even with the cruise, that’s diminished to just over $3000.  I’m planning to be debt free by age 55!  And earning more money!

Which brings me to YELLOW:  I’ve spent the last 5 years busily becoming qualified to teach ESL.  Last year I completed the CERTSEL program at the University of Saskatchewan.  I volunteered at the YMCA, subbed at the Y and this week I started teaching a regular class at the Y.  I am so excited.  While I had planned to be teaching overseas somewhere in September, family keeps me in Calgary for a while longer!  But it is exciting to be moving forward and gaining experience.  (And I have to start preparing for a Masters in TESL in a few years – money and experience)

Finally there is the RED.  Most of my ramblings on my blogs have been about the RED side of life – my health.  I’m still taking the blood pressure medications.  I still weigh over 200 pounds. I still struggle with eating late at night.  And…believe it or not…I still struggle with going to the gym.  It’s even worse lately, and the only positive thing is my commitment to moving at least 5 minutes every day.  That I can do – even if I can’t make it across the street to the gym!

So there you have it!  A bit of a review and a bit of goal setting for the future.  Wouldn’t it be nice if all facets of life moved forward at the same pace?

But it is bedtime, and my wineglass is almost empty.  If it’s your birthday when you read this – have a good one and I hope it inspires you to make some plans for the next year.  If it’s not – have a happy un-birthday kind of day and make some plans anyways!

Goodnight, rest well, and may God bless and keep you!




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Filed under BLUE: did I do that?, GREEN: Money matters that matter., RED: Losing weight, gaining fitness, strength and new cooking ideas, WHITE: Thoughts, mostly of a spiritual nature, YELLOW: Moving into my Life's Calling

Still Showing Up!

Sometimes I think that this process of losing weight and getting healthier is too long, too hard, and too boring.  Going to the gym, working out (even if I vary the machines and routines) just gets old.  And the results can be discouraging.  I’m not losing the weight as I would like.  And even though I say that I’m tired of being this over-weight – it doesn’t seem to translate into a lot of movement on the scale.  That didn’t bother me  much before, but guess what?  It’s bothering me now!

We finally have a bulletin board at the gym so I can mark my attendance on a small index card in the bottom right corner.  It doesn’t take much space, but it sure gets me to the gym!

So does my calendar on the fridge!  Having made the commitment to move just 5 minutes a day has on occasion even got me out of a nice warm bed on a chilly evening, when I’d really like to be reading quietly and enjoying the comforts of my hot water bottle.


I know just what I need to do – don’t eat late at night.  Write down what I eat. – or even what I plan to eat.  Don’t forget my lunch at home (that leads to not so great decisions at work!)   In the meantime,  I remain committed to moving – even if just for a little bit.  I also remain commmited to showing up at the gym at least 5 times a week.  (Last week I made it 6 times – even if the workouts were shorter than I ‘d like)

So, today I’m going to make a plan and I’m going to write it over at One Year, One Week,  One Pound.  Even though I haven’t lived up to that – I haven’t and I won’t give up.  It can be done, one day, one commitment at a time!

Have a good week!



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Filed under RED: Losing weight, gaining fitness, strength and new cooking ideas

Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes.

HooHaa 52 - Resolution (Week 24)

HooHaa 52 – Resolution (Week 24) (Photo credit: Grizdave)

This morning I was at the gym – I have been to the gym every day this year – and channel surfing since none of my preferred shows were on.   I’m not sure what was going on in the show, but I saw that on the subtitles – and I thought – Thanks God, for that bit of inspiration!  I didn’t stay watching the show, but I’m still thinking about it.

At TOPS last night I recorded a gain of half a pound over the Christmas weeks.  I start the year with my second number still a 2 (thankfully) and a very small gain.  I knew I shouldn’t have eaten so much chocolate!  Oh well, I enjoyed everything – and in relative moderation.  I should let you know that the others who weighed in LOST over New Years, which is highly commendable.

We talked about resolutions – and some of us had made them.  Mine is to move a minimum of 5 minutes every single day this year.  So far, I’ve met that challenge.  I’ve also challenged myself to eat something green every day – and I’ve managed that as well.  Mrs. P has begun writing her bites.

One of our group doesn’t make resolutions, so she won’t break them.  This makes sense to me as well.  In 2010 I printed “One Problem, One Correction” and it is still hanging on my bulletin board as a reminder that I cannot solve all my problems at the same time.

Resolutions or Changes? Either way, something has to become different if we are going to become the people we want to be – and in TOPS we do at some level want to be at a healthier weight.  We want to eat wisely most of the time.  We do not want to be ruled by our emotions.

I struggle with “writing the bites” and have for years.  I’ve tried My Fitness Pal, Spark People, Lose It….and all kinds of papers and journals.  I’ve lasted maybe two days.  I’ve got something new, and I’ll take a picture of it later, but here’s what I did:

  1. Obtain 31 index cards, I think mine are 4 x 6, but I’m on a roll here, so I won’t go get it.
  2. Punch holes in the top corners.
  3. Insert those round rings (I guess I’ll have to get a picture of that) – and voila!
  4. On the first 7 pages write the date – don’t get too far ahead of yourself.  I also write my schedule, grocery list….

I don’t know why, but somehow this has been working for me when others have failed.  Having the rings at the top and not the sides makes it easier for me to write things down.

It’s big enough to find in my bag, but small enough not to be cumbersome.  I don’t have to hold the pages open while I write….

Something changed, and what’s important for me as I go through this next year of change, is that I keep looking until I find what works!

Have a good day!


PS:  Here’s another blog I found particularly inspirational this morning – because she just doesn’t give up!  http://sunnyjane.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/pizza-wine/  I really like her picture!  You go girl!

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Filed under RED: Losing weight, gaining fitness, strength and new cooking ideas

Monday, Monday!

Somehow on a Monday morning, that old Beatles song sings in my head.  And I have great Mondays as a rule.

Today I was awakened at around 5 am. by a phone call!  Scared the bejeezers out of me – doesn’t your heart leap into your throat, thinking of all the possibilities (and all negative of course) that could give rise to that particular call?
It was my mom, calling to tell me that they were safely at the airport and ready to board whenever the call came.  For some strange reason, by the time I got off the phone I felt like I was going to be having a migraine for the day.  And I couldn’t find the pills that are usually in my top drawer.  Fortunately I did remember the stash in my back-pack and went to bed!

But sleep was elusive and I ended up doing some Kakuro (Cross-sum) puzzles instead.  Then I knit a row on my Kuusk cowl.  Finally I got up and went to the gym.  Just a short work-out because I’m meeting Em at the YMCA for our first mother-daughter workout!

Anyways, the reason I started posting this at all is because my friend Diane posted a link to a recipe for kale soup:

Just One Cookbook

While I’m at it, I might as well post the link for the work-out shirt my daughter made for this afternoon’s activities:  From “Rabbit Food for my Bunny Teeth”  here’s a new tee-shirt idea !

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Filed under RED: Losing weight, gaining fitness, strength and new cooking ideas

It’s Official – Last Again!

Well, it’s 3 o’clock, Calgary time.  I’ve made it home on the C-train, iced the ankle, had a long soak in the bath (Lavender – just right!)  and I was kind of waiting for the results from  Winning Times.  If you scroll down to the very, very bottom – you’ll see my name!  And if  you check out this link and scroll down, guess what?

What’s interesting to me – is this:  My pace is the same for both races.  I’m pleased with that!  So here’s a bit of a reprieve of the day, which started for me at 4:32 am.

I had my usual coffee and porridge for breakfast and walked to the C-train (It was walk or wait 20 minutes for the next bus!)  The train was full and I had to stand, but I met a co-worker and we chitchatted.  It was good.

The checking in of gear – went very smoothly at both ends of the walk.  Of course I was one of the last to pick up my bag, but I’m glad I didn’t have to drag my stuff with me. Thanks to the “Inn From the Cold” staff for managing this so well.

This is the starting gate, and it was crowded with people.  And the jostling for position.  Not my cup of tea.  Thankfully, by the time I got to the gate, most of the runners were already well away.  Now I was being passed by walkers of all ages!  That was okay.

Then I got lapped by the runners doing the 10K.   But I did manage in all of that to get one picture of the scenery.  But that was all.  In the meantime I was texting my daughter and brother, letting them know where I was in the course:  That was kind of fun.  They were thinking of coming down to shout me into the grandstand.  I figured if I let them know when I hit the 16 K marker they’d have enough time to get down to the grounds:

7:35 am: 3K coming up

8:13: 6 K and a PP stop.

9:25: 12K and another PP (Porta-pottie) break

They were about to load it into the truck, but put it back so that I could take this picture!

10:16:  16K

10:54 :  20K

11:06: 1 K left to go!

I wasn’t sure that this shot made it, because the 5 K runners were zooming in at this point too. But my time is 4:20:36.63, isn’t that precise?

And then the grand finale, when I had my medal.  This quite surprised me.  But, now that my blisters have shown up (At least two of them at this point)  I’m going to keep this for a while.  Later on my grandbabies can play “Olympics” with them.  That will be fun!

And that is what I feel like even now, after a hot bath and some ice!

There was a bit of time, just before and after the half way marker that I walked alone.  It was nice having all those police officers holding up traffic, just so that I could cross the road.  Thanks to the Calgary Police for an awesome job as well.  I think walking alone slows you down a bit because there’s no one to pace yourself with.  On the other hand, I had a lot of fun singing to the music from my Ipod!

The last few K’s were indeed hard.  I could see the Saddledome but we still had to go two Ks before we were in – so close and yet so, so very far!

Thanks to everyone who supported me on this journey – Emma and Eric for coming down to meet me, even though I was done before you got here.  I wish we had gotten someone to take our picture.  That will have to wait for next year.  To everyone who sponsored me – we raised over $200 for Inn from the Cold.

Have a good day – I’ve got some resting to do!

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What to do with all Those Kale Ribs?

It was a bit time consuming to cut them all out, but I did it.  Being my mother’s daughter, though, I do hate to waste them.  Any ideas?  Otherwise I’ll chop them up and compost them!  I have enough soup stock already!  Next time, I think I’ll time my kale purchase with the need to make soup stock.

I did my research this morning at various websites, including Canadian Living, All Recipes, Kath Eats and finally Straight .  There are more and you could spend a day checking them all out, but here it is in a nutshell – or rather a bowl full:

I made three batches of chips, each with their own flavouring:

  • Salish Smoked salt from Just a Pinch which I buy at the Co-op deli.  (Love this salt a lot!)
  • Club House Salmon spice mix
  • home-made Italian seasoning

I’ve listed them in the order that I like them.  But the beauty of this is that you can make them what ever flavour you like or have available!

So here’s the simple formula for making kale chips:

1 bunch of kale.  Cut out the center rib and then cut the leafy part into 6 to 8 pieces (they will shrink!)

2 tsp.  oil.  You can use olive or canola.  Maybe sesame.  I found 2 tsp. to be enough.

Flavouring:  Whatever flavouring you choose, don’t go overboard. I know that there’s a lot of kale in that bowl – but there isn’t a lot of chip left in the pan when you’re done!

Toss the kale with the oil and flavouring.  Place in two 9 x 13 pans. I found that this made for more even baking.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 12 – 15 minutes, flipping the chips in the middle.

BUT… don’t go crazy eating these things.  I put this recipe in “MyFitnessPal” and if you eat the whole batch – 305 calories!  I’ll divide them into thirds in a bit and have a veggie snack ready to go!

Enjoy experimenting with these!  You can have something different every time!


PS:  On the green side of things, I got the kale on sale for 99 cents a bunch!  I think I will try to grow some this year!


Filed under Recipes, RED: Losing weight, gaining fitness, strength and new cooking ideas

Choosing to “Obey”

I borrowed this from  a blog called Salt.  It’s interesting to do an image search for the word “Obey”  because you  can see people’s perspective on this.  It gets better when you add “obedience” to the mix, and that’s how I found this picture and the blog.

It’s Monday, and I used to write about my weight and how much I had gained or lost.  Today I’m not going to do that.  Why?  Because I don’t know. I didn’t get on the scale.  I chose not to know.

I’ve been struggling with reading my Bible.  Not because I don’t have one – I have at least five or six of them.  The problem is they’re not “easy” to read.  Some are just too heavy.  Some have small print.  They are physically challenging and I don’t read them.  Then comes the dilemma of what to read, when to read and …..

Yesterday I had a bit of an epiphany.  Maybe I don’t need to read.  Maybe I just need to meditate.  I found a little book  while I was cleaning up.  It’s called “Daily Light for the Daily Path” and here’s another picture of someone else’s book, again borrowed fromm  a blog: Recycled Missionaries . His copy must be older than mine, because my dates aren’t in Roman Numerals!

Here’s what got me going yesterday (I had my dates wrong, so I get to read this twice!).

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey?”  Math. 25:14, 15.

This hit me right between the eyes, as I contemplate my struggles to lose weight.  There are a lot of people who care about my success.  My friends – who encourage me greatly.  My TOPS group – also friends who remind me of how far I’ve already come.  My health team – Lori and Elaine Hu, my dietician.

Lori tells me that I shouldn’t be eating after 8 pm.  The reason is kind of complicated but it has to do with insulin resistance.  Do you think I can obey her?  Do you think I do?  No.  I want to eat at night.   I’m tired, grumpy and sad to say, I give in.

Elaine has created a whole eating plan designed to help me move forward on this.  The plan says to eat my starches only at meal times.  Do I do this?  For the longest time, NO!

So who am I obeying?    I am allowing my emotions, my feelings, my tastebuds, to run the show here.

Obedience is a choice.  God allows me that choice.  I need to accept the consequences of the choices I make each day.  Some days I choose to obey my emotions.  Today I’d like to choose to obey God, and the people He has placed in my life to help me lose this weight.

(Of course there’s more to this than just losing weight – but I need to get ready for work, so hopefully I will have more time to explore later)

Have a delightful day!



Filed under RED: Losing weight, gaining fitness, strength and new cooking ideas, WHITE: Thoughts, mostly of a spiritual nature