Monday, July 13, 2020

My desire is bigger than my energy levels or my time constraints...


I've got all these things I want to do, from yard and house projects to plain old housekeeping tasks, but the heat and humidity makes it a challenge to muster up the lasting energy levels to get anything done.

Of course, housework is done inside where it's a chilly (?) 72*... But who wants to do housework? I mean, I keep up with the general, daily stuff. Dishes and sweeping and whatnot. The problem is, I need to do the major cleaning--removing the cobwebs from the corners, dusting all the knick knacks, wiping off the baseboards, and then moving furniture to do a thorough sweeping and mopping. In every room. *sigh*

Time is also a factor because, on the weekends, I also want to do other stuff like cross stitch and read. But I've also got to get the general chores like laundry, cooking, and grocery shopping done too.

I'd also like to repaint a room or too. And finish off the garage as a home gym. (Remember that project?)

And...

And...

And...

Well. You get the picture.

And I still haven't finished the bird feeder bed... I was going to do it this past weekend until I looked at the weather. It hit at least 100* on Saturday and then we had no power on Sunday for seven hours.

We lost power again this morning, so no writing for two days in a row when I really need to get back on track.

But maybe the universe is trying to tell me something. I don't know.

Hope you had a lovely and cool weekend...





Friday, July 10, 2020

Well, what do you think...?


...about the new blog theme?


I'm trying to polish my image a little bit and so here we are. :0)

A few more tweaks might be needed, but we'll get there.

* * * * *

I finally finished one of the hockey samplers I'd been working on for forever and now it's finally listed on my Etsy shop, much to my pleasure. That inspired me to poke around the pattern archives and see what else I have in progress and what needs doing.

So, in my spare time, I've been working on additional hockey jerseys, mostly for teams that don't even have one listed for sale at this point. But also planning what the next project to stitch and list will be. Actually, I do have another project that's in some percentage of progress. I just need to dig it out and work on it now.

* * * * *

Fireworks season was a literal sell out across the region. And I don't ever use that word lightly, as you well know. We were the last store standing for miles and miles and had a line that wrapped around the building for hours. We had product to sell, but because we were so busy without ANY lulls--and I'm not kidding here--the best we could do was open a box of something and put the box with its side cut off on the shelf. Were we out of some stuff? Yes.

Sparklers? Gone. Roman candles? Gone. Assortment packs, from the $10 variety to the $300 variety? ALL GONE.

The season really was the perfect storm, but I think it put us on the metaphorical map. We had product all the way until the end--which has always been a point of pride for DH.

I don't know how long the wait was from the time a customer arrived until the time they left--as I said, line around the building--but surely no one will hold that against us... We couldn't have fit any more salespeople behind the counter and all I did was take people's money. Thank goodness. I'm not a fan of dealing with customers directly.

But we survived to tell the tale and earned a tidy profit to finally repair a few things around the place. :0)

* * * * *

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Take care and stay safe.


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Do You Listen to Podcasts...?


You know I do. :0)

My favorite podcast, for which I will drop everything else to listen to the new episode when it drops, is...


Mostly I listen to podcasts of the hockey variety, but I've branched out of late and have found some interesting podcasts in the subject of history. I've always loved history and it was good place to start.

It actually started with a commercial for a podcast called Hope Through History, which was nothing more than a five or six episode series that offered a bit of insight and hope as we Americans faced a new large-scale crisis by looking back at large crises we've faced in the past, such as the Great Depression and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

I checked it out and found it interesting, though not all that hopeful. (But that's probably just me.)

I also listen to History This Week which is just what it sounds like--a story from some point in history of whatever week it is. I mentioned this just over a month ago, but I learned that our building codes came about as a result of the Great Molasses Flood of 1919 and that Beethoven wrote his finest piece of work, Ode to Joy, while completely deaf.

I used to get an email with the Ted Talk of the Day linked to it, but these days, I just get the podcast instead. I curate those and only listen to the ones that sound interesting.

The latest addition to my podcast play list is The Last Archive and it's current series, Who Killed Truth?, which has also been instructive.

They're good for those road trips, short or long, but also for sitting and cross stitching. That's about as multi-tasky as I can get these days.

Do you listen to podcasts? Any recommendations?


Monday, July 6, 2020

Road Trip Phenomena


A field of sunflowers on the way south to the fireworks store.

I used to hate the drive down to the fireworks store. Now, while I don't always want to go and be at the store, I do love the drive. The sight of the farmed fields, no matter what is growing, feeds my soul.

One of my dreams is to live out on a hillock somewhere in farm country. I don't want to farm--I'll leave that to the experts, but I'd love to be surrounded by fields and to watch the seasons from that perspective. I want to be up high enough so I have a the view to watch the planting, the growing, and then the harvest and to be able to watch the weather roll across when it comes.

As for the road trip phenomena... I tend to set my cruise control for four miles over the speed limit and then I let car do its thing, enjoying the views and passing cars and trucks as I come upon them. Now, we can all tell when we're closing the distance on the car in front of us and I tend to get over to pass before my car's radar kicks in and puts on the brakes.

Now I get that not every driver uses cruise control if indeed they have it, but they can definitely tell that they're catching up to another car. I always have to wonder about the driver who gets all the way up on your behind and then drives there for a few miles before whipping around you...

I mean, I'm in the slow lane going a bit over the speed limit and it's quite clear they're driving faster than me--so they were what? Expecting me to suddenly speed up? I don't even know, lol...

Anyway, I'm still recuperating from a crazy fireworks selling season.

I hope your Fourth of July was safe and fun.


Friday, July 3, 2020

Happy Treason Day




Have a wonderful, fun, safe day, whatever you're doing tomorrow.

Y'all know what I'm doing today and tomorrow...

Catch you on Monday.


Friday, June 26, 2020

Plotting Progress


Finally.

I went back to the number one tool in my writers toolbox and started reading. Again. Maybe for the dozenth time. Maybe the twentieth.

But things finally began crystallize in terms of one character's plot arc. I actually started with the latter half of the book and am now back at the beginning honing the beginning beats / scenes.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning's writing.

*

The county in which I live put a mask ordinance into effect starting today, Friday, at 6PM and running through 6AM Monday August 3rd.

*

Another wave of reckoning may be coming for the hockey world as a whole. Allegations of hazing, bullying and abuse are being reported at a startling rate and not just by adults, but by peers. A class action law suit has been filed.

If you're a parent or a grandparent of a child in any type of organized sports, keep a very keen eye on your child and the other children and the parents and the adults who have care over your children while they're playing.

It's heartbreaking to read these accounts.

On that happy note, have a good weekend.

*sigh*

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Poldark



Ross and Demelza Poldark from Poldark.

I know I mentioned this in passing on Wednesday, but this really is a compelling show. Aside from my morning writing and exercise, all my other off work hours have been spent watching this.

Much to his continual detriment, Poldark stands by his principals and it's so interesting to watch the fallout. He gets small wins and his primary adversary gets many large wins and you just keep hoping that the villain will eventually get his comeuppance.

If you like historical settings and lovely accents and need something new to watch, give it try. I'm watching via Amazon Prime and it may also be available through PBS/Masterpiece Theater.

Hope your week is progressing well.

Monday, June 22, 2020

It's Raining, It's Pouring...


We've had a lot of rain this weekend as well as this morning. Thunderstorms, even, which is fine. I had a dog beneath my feet this morning while I wrote as a result of the storms.

On the other hand, I wrote more than the minimum word count this morning and got caught up. :0)

*

Yesterday, I took some time to cross stitch / relax and decided to park myself in front of the boob tube. As I was scrolling for a Star Trek series, I saw Poldark and decided to give it a try and, wow, I've really enjoyed it so far. It's about a man who returns home to Cornwall after fighting in the American Revolutionary War for Britain, to find his father dead, the woman he loves set to marry his cousin, and the copper mine he inherited not producing. Compelling stuff!

*

My body finally wandered back into ketosis, so yay. I'm still trying to incorporate a bit more fat into my diet, because I think that'll help me overall. I did discover a quick and oh-so-easy recipe for keto bread. I can make one serving at a time and make in the microwave. It has two options--one using coconut flour and one using almond flour.

I tried the coconut flour version and it was okay. I just slathered butter on it and scarfed it down, because I was really craving something bread-like. The almond flour version might be better; I need to try it. Anyway, you can slice it in half and use it as sandwich bread or make toast, so I'm looking forward to seeing how that works. I made meatloaf this weekend, so maybe a meatloaf sandwich might be a good dinner!

I also tried wedges of green cabbage wrapped in bacon, because bacon! Anything with bacon is better, right?? And it was pretty good. I had a wedge of cabbage and four slices of bacon left over, so I just chopped it all up and sauteed it in a skillet. That was tasty, too, but I'm wondering what the addition of some red onions would add... I'm also wondering how red cabbage wrapped in bacon would taste like. Maybe I'll try that next week.

*

Hope you had a good weekend and I'll see you Wednesday.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Wasn't feeling inspired on Wenesday...


The writing has been a challenge. I'm getting the word count until this morning, but it's not good writing.

On the other hand, you can't fix a blank page, so at least there's words and scenes, which can be improved upon and moved around as needed.

*

The keto-ing has been a challenge too. Sunday was reward day and, even though I went back on the food wagon as of Monday morning, as of this morning, my body hasn't gone back into ketosis. I didn't track it last time, so I don't know if it's taking the same amount of time or longer. But I'll keep testing and see what happens.

On a happier note, I'll get a reward day the week I go out of town. :0)

*

It's writers group weekend, and while we're not meeting in person, we are meeting via Zoom. I'm looking forward to seeing my fellow writers.

I do visit with my writer besties every Saturday morning now, which has been nice. We gab for a couple of hours and they've become accountability partners as well. We all proffer up goals for the week and then report back the following week.

I haven't offered up anything too challenging, but a couple of the others have really found it helpful to have to report in. It adds in just a little extra motivation for them.

*

And that's about all I got this week. Nothing exciting has happened and I'm not expecting anything exciting to happen over the weekend.

I hope you have a great one!

Take care--



Monday, June 15, 2020

Birthday Celebrations Continue...


Sorta!

The weekend was relaxing and fun as I enjoyed additional birthday fun. Not what one might consider standard birthday festivities, but my reasoning was because it was my birthday.

First, I decided to watch a movie. Not a thing I do often, because I'd rather read and it often takes a long time to just make a choice. But-- DD came across the movie Twister, which is long-time favorite of us girls in the family as well as part of a long-standing family joke. Usually when the weather's bad, we'll say to my Brown-Eyed Girl, "Hey you want to watch Twister?" So I texted my Brown-eyed Girl telling her we watching it and her reply...? "Is the weather bad?" hahahaha!!

After the movie, which took me to about 8:45pm, I hopped into Zoom chat with my JAG ladies. They get online every night at 8:30 to visit and gab. But as you all probably know by now, I'm in bed and generally asleep by the time 8:30 ticks around. But since it was my birthday...I checked in and said hello to those who were online.

On Saturday, DD and I went in search of a new screen protector for my phone as I've cracked mine again. Alas, Five Below was out, so I'll have to try again next weekend. While we were at the mall, we made a circuit through Michael's and came across some paw print magnets, which I bought for us to do a quick craft.

There's a Starbucks over there too and I opted to start my reward day and full half-day early and DD treated me to some sort of coffee creation. We also got ice cream on the way home. Mmmm...

Now, you remember that I'd lamented that DD and I were having bad luck trying to score squirrel corn? Yeah so, before the whole trip to Five Below, Michael's and Starbucks, we'd cleaned out the birdbaths.

And we finally made it to the feed store before they closed and scored us some squirrel and blue jay mix.

And then we got a wild hair to re-do the focal point (for lack of a better term) around the oak tree under which there's a birdbath--which is more for drinking than bathing because it's so small.

Anyway, this is getting way longer than I'd planned and y'all probably don't care about the series of events, but we went from this sad little area:


To this more-clean looking setup:



We also moved the other small birdbath from next to the big one and filled it with squirrel corn. DD mentioned she'd seen a small picnic table thing for squirrel corn that's still on the cob, but we found one that was more of a trough and ended buying that too.

And while we were at Lowe's we ended up with a second bird feeder as well as hummingbird feeder!




It's off in a different corner, and we didn't see any hummingbirds yesterday evening, so it might take a day or two for them to find it.


As an additional surprise, our lawn guy brought his chain saw and cut up that pile of branches from our fallen limb. Now we have that patch of lawn back--so yay. (You can see that section in that 1st bird feeder image.)

And then last but not least, DD and I worked on our little craft project that didn't get finished because the ceramic needed several coats of each color and I needed to get in bed. I'll show that off later. :0)

So all that to say, it was a lovely birthday weekend and I had fun.

Here's to a great week. Hope you're well.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Happy Birthday to Me!!






The perfect day would be having all three of my kids home, maybe at the lake or at the beach, and enjoying some pumpkin cake and really juicy burgers. :0)

Instead, I'll be at work, doing the usual. But that's okay too. I really like routine.

All birthday celebrations will have to wait for Sunday / reward day. And I'm okay with that too.

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Reward Day is Coming!


This coming Sunday, June 14th, is my next reward day. It'll have been three weeks since the last one.

I wasn't sure the original carb-fast worked, so I embarked on the second. As the days have passed, I've wondered... "Is it really working?" At first I wasn't so sure, but now I'm pretty sure it is for a number of reasons.

My belly pooch is the biggest fat store and the one I'm most interested in reducing. It didn't seem to be shrinking. But then I remembered that your body reduces fat from everywhere equally. So, the proof: I can comfortably wear my FitBit on the smallest band setting now, my clothes are looser, my bust actually looks smaller and, if I look closely at my tummy, it's getting a bit more wrinkly below the line where my underwear rides.

In addition, I bought some ketone test strips for urine and the first (and only at this point) test I took showed I had a goodly number of Ketones in my urine which is a good thing as those are a by-product of the body converting fat to energy. YAY!

During this process I have come to realize I need a little less protein and more healthy fats in my diet, so I'm researching keto recipes this week to implement for the next carb-fast. The other question becomes do I go back to a two-week plan or bump up to four weeks? I'm leaning toward two weeks because I really like reward days and I'll have an easier time staying the course during the other thirteen days rather than having to resist temptation for twenty-seven days. :0)

Hope you're having a great week. See you Friday!!

Monday, June 8, 2020

June is Pride Month



Considering the genre of my books, I figured I ought to give PRIDE MONTH a shout out!

Love is Love

Here are the covers of my latest books.

Book 1 ~ published October 2019


Book 2 ~ published May 2020



Book 3 ~ to be released February 2021






The book I'm hoping to publish in October only has a working title that I'm not fond of and hence no cover, although I maybe ought to get on that. :0)





Friday, June 5, 2020

The Birds are Back in Town


Since the advent of filling the bird feeder and making it available, we been visited by all kinds of birds.

Cardinals
Blue Jays
Woodpeckers
Mourning Doves
various finches
American Robin
Mockingbirds
various sparrows
the occasional chickadee
possibly a Starling

There are probably more species that I just can't identify, but we have a nice mix and it's a lot of fun to watch them come and go and to listen to them chittering and chirping of a Saturday morning.

The Jays and the Mockingbirds both like to chase the squirrels, but they occasional crack seed together as the squirrels are also fans of the birdseed.

Now DD and I have tried to get some squirrel corn, but the fates have worked against us so far as the two times we've gone to the local feed store, they'd closed a mere few minutes prior to our arrival. Walmart does not carry squirrel corn, hence our attempted trips to the feed store. Tomorrow!

Here are some not-so-great pictures...

Male cardinal in the grass...

 Male blue jay in the grass...

Female cardinal and some black bird that I can't positively identify...



Have a great weekend! Stay safe and take care.


Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The US Goes Back to Space


What should have been forefront in the news and much cause for celebration has been pushed aside due to more pressing and saddening events taking place across our nation.

But I'd like to give the Space Launch its due. For the first time in close to a decade, the US went to space. It was so fun to watch. And is hopefully just the first step on our way to a Space Force, which we are in desperate need of.

So I took some pictures of the TV and I'd like to commemorate that.









Tuesday, June 2, 2020

#blackouttuesday


Monday, June 1, 2020

RIP George Floyd


Our country is in a bad place. Still. Years later.

It should not be this way and yet...here we still are.

I know few details, but I do know this:

George Floyd's death was tragic, unnecessary, and horrific. The officers (who no longer deserves that title) should rot in jail.

I don't often comment on things of this nature, but it's time for the United States to get its collective act together and hold people accountable for their actions, no matter their position of authority, their financial status (or lack thereof), their color, their religion, or their sexual orientation. or anything else.

All men are supposed to be equal... Why aren't they treated that way?




Friday, May 29, 2020

Sweet Dreams Sweet Puppy!


In a push to help Rayna's allergy situation and just because she needed new beds, she is now the proud(?) owner of three raised mesh/canvas beds. Now all the dander, dog hair, dirt, and / or bugs will fall to the floor rather than live and fester in the bedding. I can easily sweep / mop under her beds and throw the blankets I bought specifically for her in the wash.



She also got some good meds and medicated shampoo from the vet last Saturday and has been a much less itchy / scratchy canine. I'm not thrilled about bathing her three times a week, but it's doing what it's meant to, so I'll keep it up for another week before tapering off.

Anyway...it's Friday again. Another three-day weekend sure would be nice, wouldn't it?

Hope you enjoy the two days we're getting. Take care!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

So many things to celebrate...


First and foremost, the WIP is no longer a Work In Progress. It's DONE. It came in 6K words over the requirement but it doesn't look like I'll have to chop chop chop. Whew! I really didn't know what was choppable.

Now it's time to get some sort of outline and/or synopsis going for the next WIP. Oh, boy!

* * * * *

I put my red, white, and blue fairy lights up this past weekend and enjoyed having them on whenever I was in my office. And I have enough of them that they cover three of four walls even having to go up and over the window. There is no chair rail on the fourth wall so no need / desire for lights on that one...


* * * * *

The first carb-fast was a success. I lost about an inch around the hips, but not much at waist or bust, but that's okay. On the other hand, I've suddenly noticed over the last few days how loose many of my pants and shirts fit, so something's disappearing from somewhere. :0)

Reward day (Sunday) was all it was cracked up to be.


So, yes, I ate that pint of ice cream and the bag of licorice. I had one box of those yogurt covered cranberries and three pumpkin cupcakes with frosting. I also had a coffee thing from Starbucks and a steak lunch (below) courtesy of DD. It was a gluttonous day, but well worth it. I was back on the carb-fast wagon Monday morning however and will be going for three weeks this time. I've also added back in my targeted exercise routines.


* * * * *

Anyway, have a great rest of your week!!




Monday, May 25, 2020

In remembrance...






Friday, May 22, 2020

Snoopy Dancing!!


It's a three-day weekend. And I'm so happy to have it right now.

I'm looking forward to all those available writing hours ahead of me as well as to my weekly Zoom chat with my writer besties. I'm still not sure I'll be able to tell them the book is finished though. I worked on it this morning and I have tomorrow's hours prior to our call to make it happen, but I'm not sure I accomplished enough today. Maybe I'll spend some time with it during lunch today...

* * * * *

Several months ago, my mother-in-law gave me a wonderful counter-top oven. It works great and I love it. Thanks again, Mimi! But it has lived on my counter since then and it's the size of a large microwave. So between it and my actual microwave, well, the counters are full. And I just couldn't take it any longer, so I made a purchase yesterday. A kitchen cart to put this thing on. And it's awesome. The main part of the counters are now free off all the crap that had been conglomerating on it.


It's a little taller than I realized, and I'm debating relocating it, but otherwise it's great. Those things on the shelf were also on the counter, so I was glad to get them a new home. And of course, I didn't grab a picture of my lovely, open counters. Ah, well. But every time I walk into the kitchen, I smile.

* * * * *

My carb fast is supposed to end tomorrow (Saturday). Meaning I can enjoy my reward on Sunday. Or all my rewards. I've wondered if I should keep going for another week... On the other hand, my original deal with myself was two weeks. I can set the next stint at three weeks, right? Right; okay. That's settled. :0)

I almost gave up / cheated last night. DD asked for McDonald's while I was out and about picking up my cart on the way home, and I was soooo tempted to buy something for myself as well, but I resisted. I only have today and tomorrow to get through and I can make it and enjoy all the junk I want on Sunday.

Monday, it'll be back on the wagon. Gonna give it another go and add the additional targeted exercise back into the mix. I shouldn't have the side effects this time around.

* * * * *

And that is that, I guess. Y'all have a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Did you know...?


That Ludwig von Beethoven was completely deaf when he wrote his most famous works?

His piece de resistance, Symphony No. 9, aka Ode to Joy, was his last complete work and is a masterpiece that was so challenging that the musicians of the day struggled to play it. Even now, it's a challenge. From what I heard. I wouldn't know as I don't play an instrument. :0)

Anyway, I heard the tale via a podcast called "This Week In History." It's well worth a listen if you like podcasts and like history.

From another one of these episodes I learned that our building codes were a result of the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919.

* * * * *

Sooo... long weekend coming up and I'm very excited about that as I get an extra day for writing without having to stop my momentum to go to work.

I verbally pledged to my writer besties last Saturday that I would finish the book by this Saturday morning's Zoom chat--which I thought last Saturday I could do.

But all I've been doing is fleshing out on my way to the part that really needs finishing, so now I'm worried. But I'm almost to that part, so tomorrow morning's session should at least get me where I need to be, if not starting it. And with any luck, I can wrap it up during Friday's and Saturday's writing sessions.

There will be editing, of course, but come the weekend, I'll be turning my attention to the next book. A friend agreed to help me brainstorm / plot for a bit on Saturday, because I have to hit the ground running on the writing of it by June 1.

And in order to get the words flowing at the rate I need them to, I need a road map with accurate plot markers. As I've lamented often, I'm not great at plotting. Things seem to come together after the fact when I don't necessarily have a deadline and I can make pass after pass after pass and things occur to me. But that won't be acceptable now.

I traded the website work I'm doing now for editing in August, so that's taken care of. I just need to figure out what I want the cover to look like and get that commissioned. Then I'm ready to go and it's all on me to make the words happen.

Yowza!

* * * * *

And that's all I got, folks. Have a great rest of your week. See you (probably) Friday.


Monday, May 18, 2020

Adventures in Cooking


Since I have no carbs...I need flavor and I got a wild taste for chili. I grew up eating chili with beans and have always made it that way, as one often does with foods from childhood...

However, beans have a lot of carbs, so I searched for alternatives. Google suggested lima beans, which still have a lot of carbs but also have half as many fiber grams. Alas, still too many for me right now. I thought about chick peas aka garbanzo beans, but they have the same problem.

So I thought--I'm in Texas and beanless chili is a thing. But what could I add to add some bulk--as if beef wasn't enough--and I decided on kale. Of course, you have to enjoy kale for this to work, which I do, so I was off to the races. I bought a package of chili seasoning because I'm not good with that kind of thing and instead of plain old diced tomatoes, I bought a can of Ro-tel for an added kick.

This is what I ended up with:





The flavor was great. I enjoyed the kale. I'm not so fond of chunks of tomato, so next time, I'll probably run the Ro-tel through the food chopper a bit. But this ended up a winner of a Keto-friendly recipe and off the cuff too.

The other thing I made this weekend, which probably isn't that original, is Buffalo Chicken Poppers.


I'd made this Buffalo-flavored cream cheese chicken thing Saturday instead of the BBQ chicken the rest of family ate and it lacked a little something, which I'll have to pick a friends brain about later. It wasn't bad, just a little bland on its own, so I bought jalapenos to stuff and that was also very tasty.

Writing this up is making me hungry! But I still have a couple of hours before I can break my fast for the day, but rest assured, I will be eating one or the other of those items for my morning snack.

Hope you had a great weekend and here's to a productive week.


Friday, May 15, 2020

As the Body Adjusts...


So with the dearth of grain-based carbs and sugars, my body is making adjustments and I can feel the drain as it works harder. I've been a bit foggy in the brain a couple of mornings as well as feeling a little extra tired.

The articles I've read assure me that this is normal. My body is now utilizing other things in the body and converting them to the fuel I need, especially my brain. While I don't like feeling fuzzy-brained or tired, it's nice to have evidence that things seem to be working the way they're supposed to and that eventually my body will adjust and I'll be back to normal...at least as far as that goes.

We all know I'm not normal. :0)

I have been struggling with consuming enough calories though; more than I thought I would and as a result of that and the extra-tiredness, I've cut back on the exercising so I'm not burning so many. So more brainstorming as to how I can add calories. I've added back the meatloaf...

I'm eating pretty much all the things various articles have said I should be eating on a low/no carb diet except for one or two. As we know from previous posts, coconut oil has a lot of health benefits. Many articles say it adds a nice flavor to tea or coffee, and it's fairly high in calories, so I'm going to try that. I've also been craving a nice juicy hamburger, so guess what's going on the grocery list this week?

One of the perks of going keto, supposedly, is the loss of cravings for carbs...and I love carbs so much. So I'm toying with the notion of that reward of ice cream. Maybe I shouldn't. Of course, everything in moderation, right? If I splurge on a pint of ice cream every couple of months, what's it really going to hurt?

* * * * *

While I haven't exercised every day, I did take advantage of the time and spent it writing. I'm not done with the book as I'd hoped to be, but I'm soooo close. Maybe at the end of tomorrow morning's three hours, I'll be able to say it's done. *fingers crossed*

* * * * *

Oh--guess what I found / bought last week...?

Four brand-new strings of red/white/blue fairy lights!! Remember my old strands had burnt out? My theory on that was that the third strand was different from the first two and they somehow shorted out as a result. Anyway, as the country gears up for Memorial Day and subsequently the Fourth of July, the stores have their sections of holiday-related paraphernalia, and there they were. So I bought them because I'm a weak, weak woman.

Any-who, have a great weekend and I'll catch you on flip side. Maybe with good news, maybe with pictures...

Take care!!


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

I'm bored, life is boring...


The reason posts have been hit or miss lately is because life has been rather routine for the last six weeks or so... I'm not going anywhere, I'm not doing anything that warrants excitement or a blog post.

Now that the shine has worn off the pandemic and the shelter-in-place orders, I'm ready for the world to get back to normal.

I listened to a series of videos last week that painted a vastly different picture of the pandemic than the media has hyped for the last couple of months. Just so you understand, I'm not blaming Trump and I have never blamed Trump. He did what the experts told him to do. And he never got credit up front for banning travel from China when he did. The media and others poo-poo'd the decision in the beginning, but then never gave him credit when everyone decided it was a good thing to have done.

Anyway...

I don't mind my routines, but as I said, they don't make for interesting blog posts, so let's revisit the image archives once again...

Blast from the past! I have no idea how long it was that I weighed 145 lbs. But I've come a long way baby.

Supposedly the best fried chicken in Memphis. DH and I stopped here on our way to Nashville many moons ago. It was pretty good chicken.

Yeah, it was pretty cold...at some point in the past. Thank goodness it's no longer that cold.

Have a great week!





Monday, May 11, 2020

And so it begins...


The carb-fast started yesterday, so there's not much to report on that front just yet.

I did finally reach the weight window I wanted to be in, so I now have to add calories, i.e. additional snacks and/or meals, to the day. Which I have done. Might have to add more. I also cut back my time on the elliptical so as not to burn as many calories. Although, they're all in fat burn mode, which is actually the goal at this point--to burn the flab I have for energy, so that might not be the best course of action. But we'll see how it goes and fine tune later.

* * * * *

I should, with any luck, finish my WIP this week. Just as far as having the full story told and "on paper." It'll still need a good editing before I send it out to others, but the storytelling will be done. Then I can move on to the other project.

Speaking of the other project, after chatting with a friend and fellow writer, I'm going to have to issue a deadline for myself if I want to reach my goal of having this thing ready for publication in October. The sense of urgency may be helpful.

October because that's when my annual conference is held and, barring the complete closing of the hotel and/or the city, it is going on as planned. I will be there.

* * * * *

In some random hockey news, there's a new housing development being built in Las Vegas and the streets are all going to be named after the roster of the hockey team's inaugural year. I love the name I street I live on, but sign me up for hockey-related residential street names!!

* * * * *

Have a great week--





Friday, May 8, 2020

Have a Great Weekend--


That is all...

Monday, May 4, 2020

Feel the burn...


The legs are sore today! I found some lunges I could do, which happened Sunday morning and yowza. I'm feeling it today. Overall the targeting work outs are working, if only because they generally burn a goodly amount of calories on top of the elliptical/cardio workout. Visible results--i.e. less actual fat/flab on the body will take a little longer to see.

I'm easing into the carb fast this week by transitioning into some of the foods I'll be eating next week. Trying them out, see how they taste, see how they fill me up. I can already sense some adjustments coming.

* * * * *

Our state is lifting restrictions, but it'll be interesting to see how the COVID-19 curve does with all those people out in the world. I'll be holding off a little longer I guess. Not so much for my own health, but for those around me. I'd hate to transport it to someone at risk.

* * * * *

My trip to the grocery store yesterday was uneventful. Still no vitamin C and still no black thread, but everything else looked fine. Not always full shelves, but there was some product at least. I didn't check out the flour situation as I don't need any. I've stopped making banana bread / muffins since I don't need any more temptation than can be helped.

* * * * *

Progress is slow on the book file housekeeping project I started a couple of weeks ago. Creating the various files takes no time at all--it's reading through each book for word-smithing, finding any lingering typos, and standardizing things that takes the most time. I'll get at least one book a week done. Maybe two if I read shorter books.

* * * * *

Anyway, my weekend was pretty good. Hope yours was the same. Here's to a good and productive week.


Friday, May 1, 2020

Friday Once Again...


I mentioned the carb fasting last week and I've been doing my homework in regards to how many carbs are in the foods I regularly eat.

My 5-grams-or-less rule might have to modified for one food item: my Greek yogurt. Most flavors have 10 grams of carbs with 3 grams of fiber for a net carb count of 7 grams. I'm not willing to give up the yogurt right now, so I think that's going to be the exception item.

And I also mentioned, I'll be upping the veggie intake mostly via salads. Now it's time to research a few salad fixins'. Few people like a plain salad and kale salad definitely needs a bit of sprucing up. Plus I'll have some calories in general to work with since I'm also trading in the daily (Stouffer's delicious) meatloaf for tuna.

My targeted start date for this fast is either May 10th or May 17th at the latest, and my goal is to fast for two full weeks.

The targeted exercise routines are still in trial and error mode, but we're getting there. My goal is to have at least six, but hopefully nine exercises for each body area to mix and match from.

My reward for fasting for the full two weeks, no matter the results, will be this:

 Not a whole gallon, though--just a pint. I can't wait.


* * * * *

Last week's trip to the grocery store was mostly fine. I didn't run into any shortages food-wise, but was unable to find Vitamin C tablets. I'll try again this week. The thing that really floored me (but maybe shouldn't have, considering the COVID-19 mandates for masks) was the complete obliteration of the fabric section and thread. All I wanted was a roll of black thread for my sewing/mending kit as my spool finally ran out, but the thread rack was decimated too. *sigh*

* * * * *

The publishing admin as well as the writing is coming along. I've made progress everyday and I'm looking forward to at least three full uninterrupted hours of writing bliss tomorrow morning.

Have a wonderful weekend!





Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Wishful Wednesday


Wishing I were in:

 ...Rockport, Texas

 ...Nashville, Tennessee

 ...Seattle, Washington

OR

...the American Airlines Center.

Hope you're having a great week.


Monday, April 27, 2020

A Time for the Out of Doors


It's spring in Texas, which mean you have to spend time outside while the weather is nice enough to do so. So I did.

I dragged the kitchen table, which is lightweight and on the small side, to the patio and sat out there for maybe an hour and made some progress on a cross stitch project I'd started last year. It was really pleasant and lovely.

And remember I mentioned that I used to feed the birds...? Well, DD asked me about it and asked me to check at WalMart during my weekly trip to see what they had. Well, they had 20lb. bags of wild bird seed for $7, so I bought some. :0)


So the bird feeder is back in place. I didn't see many birds yesterday, but it does sometimes take a day or two for the birds to realize it's there.

Now that pile of greenery behind it is a very large branch that broke off a very dead tree. It'll get chopped up soon and DH thinks he's going to get around to burning all the logs and branches and sticks we've got piled up around the yard--probably a summer long project...

In other news, the weekend was a productive success. I worked on my WIP early Saturday am as I'd planned and it was lovely! I had a Zoom chat with my writer besties and that was awesome too. And on Sunday, I spent some time working toward creating consistent types and looking files from book to book. Which meant some cleanup on aisles 5, 6, & 7! I didn't get far because of all the various things I found to tweak and then having to circle back to the books I worked on first to make sure they were they way I wanted them to be too.

Hope your weekend was relaxing or productive or whatever you were needing it to be.

Have a great week.




Friday, April 24, 2020

Admin...


First of all--Happy Friday. We've survived another week. The news sucks and I hate it. I have no idea what to believe. At this point all I can do or not do is what the government allows. Otherwise, I really have enough to keep me busy.

Second of all--I'm keeping busy.

Things at work have calmed down and, for me, have almost gotten back to normal. As a result, I've turned my focus on my publishing company, Knotted Hearts Publishing, if you didn't know. I started making sure I have all files for all book and that all books are consistently formatted, have consistent information, and that older books are updated with all books I've written rather than the few that were out at the time. I'm at nine at the moment!



Anyway, cleaning house in that area--going through all folders and documents to see what's old and what's still in use, what needs a quick update, what's a duplicate. It's cathartic to complete these kinds of tasks, so I'm going with it as I prepare to get back into writing mode. My office at home might need a quick de-cluttering too.

Third of all--I'm still doing well at losing weight. Despite the banana bread and mini-chocolates I eat. I do stay within my calorie count though. The targeted workouts are an adventure, I must say. I look stuff up online--I have a list for each body area, glutes, abs, arms, right now--and then I try stuff.

And then I discover that some of those specific exercises are not things I can pull off. For example, I can't do Alternating Forward Lunges right now. I just can't get that leading foot out far enough so that my knee isn't bent our over my foot. I can't stay balanced either. So it's been a lot of trial and error with regards to things I can do--because I'm also not that coordinated--and things I can't. There are also things that don't seem to feel like they're working. If there's no aching the next day, did I work hard enough? Did the exercise "work"?

All that aside...the day is coming--I've already planted the idea in my head--where I go on a carb fast for like two weeks. No more tortillas, no more pretzels, no banana bread, no chocolate. If a food has more than say 5 grams of carbs, aside from veggies, I don't eat it. I see a lot of salad and vegetables in my near future. :0) By doing so and keeping my exercise routine in place, my body will really trove those fat stores for energy, especially during exercise after I've already been fasting for nine hours.

And there will be a good reward for that fast--like a whole pint of ice cream at the end of it or something. Maybe pizza with a lot of my favorite toppings goodies. Maybe a bowl of a favorite cereal. I don't know yet.

Anyway--have a great weekend. Catch you Monday!


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

I'm in business!


Well, I'm in several businesses of my own, but what I meant was...

I got my writing app back on my laptop!! I can write and/or edit again, although that's probably not happening until the weekend.

In other news, my ninth book is on pre-sale and will be released on May 1st...



I don't have much else besides work going on, so we won't belabor the post. :0)

Hope you're well.



Friday, April 17, 2020

It's been a week...


And it's been a week...

Work has been crazy busy and needed all hands on deck, so I haven't had much opportunity to do more than my job.

But here it is Friday again and yet again, what a relief. I guess it's time to catch up a little.

Easter was uneventful as it has been since the kids all grew up and moved out. I did buy one small goody each for DH and DD and that was the extent of things.

The weather has been up and down and we've had late cold snaps--which is nothing to complain about really considering my family in Colorado and Nebraska both got snowed on. I am, however, definitely ready for the super cold to get lost.

The food logging continues to pay off. The weight loss has slowed, but is still happening. I have about four pounds to reach my target. I also began my targeted workout routines. My abs, arms, and glutes are getting their workout and have been making their presences known the following day. The glutes routine might need some tuning as it's the top of my thighs complaining, not my behind.

As I was writing this, DD called to say our local WalMart had 4-pack of toilet paper again, so yay. Not that we need it with the two 12-packs we've bought in the last couple weeks, but it's nice that some things appear to be getting back to normal.

Speaking of getting back to normal, our governor will be announcing his plan to re-open business across the state. Texas has been lucky, although we still need to exercise caution so as not to trigger a second wave.

Digging into the photo archives last week was fun, so let's do it again...

I miss Friday Night Lights with Sonshine.

DD and I need to make another trip to the zoo--once things are reopened.

Ah, that my backyard still looked so neat and tidy.
I had to give up feeding the birds at some point, but the bird bath is still there.
The bed itself is all overgrown however.

Have a great weekend and stay safe.


Friday, April 10, 2020

It's Friday Once Again...


The days and weeks are cycling by and COVID-19 is beginning its wave of peaking in various states across the US. Texas is expected to hit its peak in two-weeks' time. Our state has been truly blessed with a comparatively low number of cases and deaths.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those on the front lines--this includes the janitorial services in hospitals and clinics, not just the healthcare workers. May God's blessing and covering be upon one and all.

Nothing I'm doing compares in any way shape of form to what these folks are doing, so let's end with this: Well over half the NHL facilities (and maybe other sports facilities) lit it up in blue to honor the essential front line workers.

Dallas Stars / American Airlines Center

 Pittsburgh Penguins / PPG Paints Arena

 Philadelphia Flyers / Wells Fargo Center

 
Washington Capitals / Capital One Arena

Take care--