Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

While we were camping this summer, DD met a young girl from Oregon.  Her mother and I exchanged addresses so the girls could be pen pals.  Also, one of DD's good friends moved to Wisconsin, so she will start writing to him too.  Since then, I have been looking for a stationery set.  I remember when I was a kid, there were so many great stationery sets.  My cousin and I used to send stickers back and forth...often we would send the same stickers back and forth to see how long they would last.  They lasted a long time!  Also, a very good friend of mine spent the summer with his grandmother in Puerto Rico, and we wrote the whole summer.  I had writing paper with pictures of ice cream cones, and it smelled like ice cream.  So, I was really excited to go see what was out there now....DD and I went from store to store looking, and there was absolutely nothing.  There were notepads and decorated paper for printers, but no writing paper with envelopes.  Then I started looking on the computer, and it took me awhile, but I finally found something wonderful.  It's from an Etsy store, and I can't wait for it to come.  I told the pen pals' parents about these wonderful sets too.  They're a little pricey, but they seem to be good quality and there wasn't much to choose from. Even if there were, I have a feeling we would wind up getting this one anyway because it's so cute. The name of the store is Sea Urchin Studio.  She has another wildlife one with hedgehogs on the paper, one with unicorns, one with mermaids, one with dinosaurs, and one with monsters.  They're all really cute. Again, this is just stuff we like.  So I hope my daughter comes to appreciate the fun of having a letter in the mail from a friend and how much fun it is to write a letter over more than just a minute or two like an email or post.
Here is the link in case you're interested.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Master Camping List

This is the list we use to pack and check everything off when we go camping.  If you're new to camping, it's a pretty comprehensive list to start with.  :)

Master Camping Packing List
2 gallon bags (we put an outfit and pajamas in each one for each day...this way, if it falls in mud, it's still dry.  It's also easy to just take out four bags for everyone to dress for the day instead of rummaging through a bunch of clothes)
air mattresses
air pump
bbq tools
bungee cords
camp chairs
citronella candles
clean clothes/underwear
clothes pins
coleman fuel
coleman stove
coolers (with shelves to keep food out of the ice water)
directions and reservation information for campsite
dish basin
dish drain
dish soap
dish sponge
fire gloves
fire starter
firewood (we don't get this until we're near or at the campground because it's dangerous to surrounding trees to move wood from one area to another due to bug or disease infestation)
first aid kit
food bin
hamper (we have a collapsable one)
hand sanitizer
hand soap
insect repellent
jackets & hats
laundry rope
life vests
light sticks (glow necklaces for night lights)
marshmallow sticks
mattress mats
mountain pie makers (we like the toas-tite pie iron)
paper towels
plastic clips
portable toilet
sandals for camp
shower soap, shampoo, conditioner, scrubbers
sleeping bags
table cloth
table cloth clamps
tea pot
tin foil
toilet bags
toilet paper
tooth brushes toothpaste
trash bags
trash can
waffle iron
walkie talkies
water dispenser
wet wipes

Monday, August 14, 2017

A Song Without Music

You Pull Me Back Up Again

I always want so much to please you

But I get so caught up in the world

I worry and feel that my faith is so weak

How can anyone see you in me

I just keep failing over and over again

I don’t feel your hand upon mine

Although I know that it’s there

I struggle to feel like I’m closer to you

Although I know you’re right here

I just keep failing over and over again

But you You pull me back up again

Every time that I fall

Yes, you pull me back up again

No matter how often I call

All I can see are my failures

I can’t be who you want me to be

All that I do is the wrong thing

There is no goodness in me

I just keep failing over and over again

Sometimes I feel like I just can’t go on

I forget to use your strength, not mine

So many days I feel tired and alone

I forget that you’re here by my side

I just keep failing over and over again

But you pull me back up again

Every time I hit the wall

Yes, you pull me back up again

No matter how often I call…

yes, every single time that I call.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dutchess County Airport

The airport supports an enormous sky
that cradles creek ripple clouds.
Light from the absent sun bends through air and water;
these God's hand uses as His delightful palette
to create this evening's landscape.
Cricket calls are carried on the night's breeze
and rise above the din of traffic.
Electric light shines from the hangar of helicopters
whose propellers wilt sadly, like flower petals;
they must wait to regain their place in the sky.
The parked planes nestle for the night, and
the small, blue lights illuminating the taxiways and runways
look like fairies scattered over the field.
A flashing light in the distance announces an approaching plane
that seems to move so slow as to hover.
It begins to sink lower in the sky,
but instead of approaching, it disappears behind a hill.
The longing runway must wait for another arrival;
this promise of plane was not meant to be.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Rocking on My Porch

The outline of the billowy cumulus clouds,
announcing fair weather,
mimic the line of tree tops
across the sky.
An accidental splatter of orange
tinges the top of one tree,
heralding the arrival of
meteorological autumn.
The black-eyed Susans gather
so densely around the base of
my mailbox that they could almost be mistaken
for a cheetah lounging in the warm, filtered sun.
The sound of songbirds is absent among the
call of the last few cicadas longing for a mate.
One at a time, three monarchs flutter
south on their way to Mexico
as crows discuss their plans for fall
among the canopy of the trees,
and the crickets sing their daytime lullaby.
The cool breeze animates the leaves
to add their rustle to the symphony,
and a flash of red heralds the arrival of two cardinals
offering percussive tweets.
And here am I rocking on my porch,
being blessed by it all in a rare solitary moment
already interrupted by my son's
heartbeat rhythm stomping
onto the wood,
asking for his sister and rattling along with his
toy John Deere key set, pretending to drive.
The trick is trying to recapture the moment -
but it's slipped away.
No matter,
I'm enjoying the moment that's come.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Camping Gear We Use

This is just stuff we's not a sponsored post.

The first time I went tent camping was 26 years the day this year.  I went with my boyfriend and some of his friends from college...and we had a girl's tent and a boy's tent.  The camping bug bit me big time.  I loved waking up in the fresh air of the outside, the smell of the campfire lingering on my clothes, and the fun food we made to eat, and life surrounding me everywhere (especially wooly aphids, which although they are pests, look like tiny flying sheep).

I started a camping list then of recipes and what to bring, but I only got to go camping one more time after that before I was married...that camping trip was awful.  It stormed, and it rained so hard that people came up to our tent in a canoe to see if we were okay.  We spent the rest of the day at the laundromat.  Not fun.

Of course, from that I learned that it's wise to choose a campsite at the top of a hill, and not the bottom.  My husband and I got a great big tent and the first year we brought our nephews.  That was a lot of fun.  Four years ago we started camping with our own children, and we've managed to get things down to a science...including what sort of tent works well...not the first one we bought.  So, I will share what we do!

We initially had a Coleman Weathermaster Tent, which we bought back in 2004.  It leaked, no matter how well we took care of it, or how much we sprayed the seams to waterproof them.  The rain fly only covered the top of the tent, so water ran down the sides and through the seams.  Also, the little roof outside the front door caught rain and channeled it into the tent too, which made a royal mess.  It seems as if the newer models are getting good reviews, so I assume Coleman made some improvements over the past 14 years, although it still looks like the rain fly still doesn't cover the whole tent.
Our most recent tent we have is an REI Kingdom 8.  During our last camping trip, it poured almost every day, and we were warm and dry inside the tent.  The rain fly goes all the way down to the ground, there is a garage attachment that keeps a large area outside the entrance to the tent dry, so there's someplace to take off your shoes before you go into the tent, and you don't have to stand out in the rain.  Also, it's a space that's big enough to set up chairs, so the days when it poured all day, we sat in our camp chairs in the garage reading and playing games.  Inside the tent there is a room separator that we never use, but you can make two rooms.  There are pouches all over the tent to store all sorts of stuff.  There is plenty of room for a queen size mattress and two twin mattresses with plenty of room in between where the kids can play, or where you can walk across the tent from the front to the back.  The rain fly folds back so the front room becomes a screen room when the weather is nicer.  The front and back doors open up to let lots of fresh air get through.  In the back is also a little vestibule area, which is just the right size for a port-a-potty set up, so we don't have to go out in the rain to go to the bathroom.  It isn't difficult to set up (much easier than the old Coleman we had), and it's easy to take down.  It's a great tent.  The only drawback is that the material seems to get caught in the zippers all the time.  REI has come up with a new design for the Kingdom 8 too.  We got the old model on clearance with gift cards we earned with reward points from our debit card.  I expect it to last a long time.  A new Kingdom 8 with the footprint (which is a custom tarp to go underneath), and the garage (an extra outdoor room big enough for four chairs) would be about $700.
This is a view of our tent front to back
This is a view of our tent back to front

This is a picture I took from Google Images of a family using the garage as we did.

This is what the tent looks like with all the rain flies closed.
We use a Reliance folding portable toilet with disposable bags filled with gelling powder in the little bathroom area.  We turn a crate upside down as a table with hand sanitizer and also as a place to put a lantern, and we hang a roll of toilet paper from a bungee cord that is hooked into the holes on the crate.  That was DH great idea!
This is another picture I took from Google images of a nice lady showing what a Reliance Fold-n-Go toilet looks like in an REI Kingdom tent's vestibule...the vestibule completely closes over as you can see in the upper picture.
Oh!  Most important, put down a camp mat to insulate you from the cold ground, and use a sleeping bag appropriate for the temperatures you'll be sleeping in.  The first year we camped in the Catskills we had neither of these and we were freezing at night.  Now we're very husband is even a little too warm.  :)  Air mattresses and pillows from home make sleeping really comfy, but you can get away with just an insulating pad and sleeping bag.

We also used an Ozark Trail slant leg canopy, which we got at Walmart for $40.  It's so much cheaper than any other we looked at, and we weren't sure it would even last through one camping trip, but it did.  It did a great job of keeping our table dry when it rained and shady on the one day it didn't rain.  It was very easy to set up and very easy to take down.

We put all our kitchen gear into a plastic bin that we turn sideways like a cupboard while we camp. I used a shelf to make two levels, and I used two baskets so I could pull them out like drawers.  I used even smaller baskets to make one of the baskets two levels so I could put gadgets and serving utensils underneath and the silverware on top. We put the dish drain on top.  We use the same white shelving in the coolers to keep the food up away from the ice so it's not floating around in the ice water when it melts.

For night lights, nothing beats glow necklaces from the dollar store.  They are bright enough to help you find your lantern, but not so bright that they keep you up.
The last big item we got is a boat called the Intex Excursion 4.  It folds up into a small, portable bag, the oars come apart to fit, and it comes with a foot pump.  It took about a half hour to inflate all the parts, but once we did, it was very sturdy.  All four of us fit comfortably in the boat and my husband expertly rowed us around the lake.  It was really lovely.  Then we deflated it, and put it away.    It costs about $40 more now than when we bought it, but it's still very reasonable at $124 on Amazon.
I have a master camping list that we use to get everything together and then as a final checklist, as well as a shopping list for the food we usually eat, as outlined on the menu.  It's not fancy...the first year we went camping I went fancier, but my kids are such picky eaters that it was a lot of work for just two people.  I'll put that stuff in another post, along with recipes for Dough Boys, Hobo Burgers, and Mountain Pies.

Three Gifts of Metal

I am thankful for three gifts of metal: my wedding ring, our reliable cars, and my stainless steel carafe that keeps my coffee hot all morning.  :)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Hard Eucharisteo---Finding Thankfulness and Joy When It's Hard

As Christians, we are called to be grateful in all circumstances. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says that we are to do this because this is God's will for us in Jesus Christ.  So, in the Joy Dare for today, it says to be thankful for three hard Eucharisteos.  That means being grateful and joyful even when it's really hard. Thinking of the hard times is easy.  Being truly grateful and joyful during those hard times is not.  Joy is not just happiness when things are going well.  Joy is knowing that Jesus is with you no matter what, and that no matter what, you are never alone, you are always loved, and there is always hope.  It's a decision to pay attention to that and believe it.
Last night my brother called me.  We don't talk on the phone often, but I just love talking to him.  I'm not sure about where he stands with God...he told me once he was an atheist, but I wonder as time goes on, if he's thinking more about it.  I talk about Jesus all the time with him, but I don't ask him what he thinks.  I feel like my job is to love him no matter what, and to share as much about Jesus in my life as I can.  I only hope that I let Christ shine through me to others who aren't sure about him, or don't believe in him at all.  The Bible says that they will know we are Christians by our love...not by our pointing fingers, our opinions, or our judgment.  Anyway, I don't call my siblings or my friends very often because I don't want to complain, and I feel like I don't have much to say when they are talking about their vacations, purchases, parties, travels, or how great their kids are doing because I feel like I have nothing to say besides how it rained on our camping vacation, that my son is sick again, that we're tired, that our budget is stretched to the limit, and that we have no travel plans ever.  I feel like a downer.  I try to sound upbeat and strong, and I truly try to be grateful no matter what, but so often, I just feel like I have nothing good to say.  That's why I started writing here again.  I get it all out, and people can read it or not.
Anyway, here are things that bring me joy...
My kitties

My little vegetable and herb garden

My pretty bathroom with a cabinet built by DH

My pretty kitchen refinished by my DH
My kids playing in the driveway

My kitties

My DH and DD building a snowman in the front yard

Baking with my DD

A bee hive pinata built by DD and me
So, for hard eucharisteo, I am grateful that we don't have much money because I have learned to bargain and haggle and budget.  I am grateful that my son has so many health and behavioral problems because the constant struggle has formed a lot of patience in me, and I am very good at handling stressful situations because I have to do it every day.  I am grateful that we don't get to go away many places because we get to spend a lot of time in our home together with our cute kitties.
I never did come up with hole, whole, and half...I guess I'm grateful for the hole of my wedding ring so it can go around my finger, I look forward to spending my whole life with my wonderful husband, and I'm grateful that now I've known him for nearly half my life.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Home School/New Special Ed School/Gratefulness

Last night was the first local LEAH meeting (Loving Education At Home), and it was nice to see everyone and get encouraged for the upcoming year.  I've been going through our curriculum, working to get the first few weeks planned out.  We use Math U See , All About Reading, All About Spelling, which are all multi-sensory programs that use concrete methods to teach abstract concepts. We also use My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures, and Explode the Code. Explode the Code follows the same sequence as All About Reading, but doesn't teach each step explicitly; so we use it to reinforce the concepts we've covered.   It also includes all the books we need.   I love My Father's World because it plans out everything for me and schedules when everything should be done. It gives spaces for Math, Spelling, and Reading, which are the subjects that need to be supplemented.  I tried in first grade working without a curriculum and just doing unit studies, but it really was a disaster.  So, now as we approach 4th grade, we're just sticking with what works.  We started out with a strict schedule, a uniform, a room decorated like a classroom, and a very structured environment.  I wanted to give DD a private education experience because I couldn't afford to give it to her, but I could give it to her myself.  It was a complete fiasco.  My daughter craves freedom, and over the years I've tailored our home school to suit her.  That's the beauty of home school.  When math comes easy, we speed through the mastery program.  When reading and writing are slow, we are pokey through those subjects and approach the other academic areas using oral methods so that the intellect is the same but the process is different.  We start a little later in the morning, or not until the afternoon, sometimes wear pajamas, sometimes get dressed, sometimes do school at home on the couch, in the dining room, in the kitchen, on the porch, or away from home in a park or someplace like Panera.  She can get up and walk around while she does her work.  She can attach her work to the fridge with magnets and work upside down.  Sometimes I put on music and sometimes it's quiet.  Whatever works is what we do.  We also belong to a co-op that offers art, music, and gym, which is great because those are my weak spots.  So, now that we're starting year 5, I'm confident with what will work, what not to worry about, and that I'm doing what I'm supposed to do.

DS is also starting a new school in September.  Last year was horrible, so I'm truly hoping that this year will be much better.  It's a tiny school with very small classes.  There is a regular gym and a sensory gym full fo swings and other stuff to stimulate the senses.  There's a brand new playground.  There are toys in the classrooms.  There is a dining area with  a stoves and sinks and a washer and dryer for activities of daily living.  The people there seem to be very nice.  It's a not for profit organization for kids with lots of needs.  DS will also be getting physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, feeding therapy, and behavioral therapy.  I'm just praying that he is where he is meant to be.  We all had a good feeling when we went to visit the school.  It's in God's hands.

So, today DS is feeling better, so we went out to the park to get some sunshine and fresh air.  I feel better, and the kids are happier.

Today's gratefulness challenge is to think of three things I'm grateful for that are hole, whole, and half.  Hmmmm.  I have to think about this one.  A hole...we have groundhog holes in the yard, wasp nest holes, and we have holes in the walls of our home from DS banging his head...I'm not really grateful for any of those...I have no idea.  I'm going to have to really think about this one...I'll get back.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

New Blog Title? No. Gratefulness.

I'm thinking it's time to change the name of my blog to Dr. Mom's Whining Spot.  Ugh.
No.  It's time to be grateful.  There is no snapping out of a stinky state of mind, but this is where to start.  Always.  Ann Voskamp asks us to take the Joy Dare.  Every day we have to think of three things for which we are grateful in the categories she gives.  You can find it here:
Today it is three things summer...So:
!. Watching my parent bluebirds feeding their babies in their bluebird house.
2. Being home and getting to enjoy the change of seasons instead of being stuck inside a corporate environment all day.
3. The sound of insects singing at night.

4 am Bathroom Cleaning/Making a Plan

DS gets sick very often.  He doesn't make it to the toilet many times, and that results in me cleaning the bathroom and him in the middle of the night very often.  I am a horrible mother at 4 am.  I am impatient and unhappy about having to clean everything up and get my son changed and knowing that I am now up for the rest of the night/morning.  Either it's sprayed feces or urine depending on what doesn't make it into the toilet.  There always seems to be something new too.  As of today, my DS either turns around while getting on the toilet or doesn't direct the urine into the toilet when he is sitting...I don't know.  But at 4 am today, I stepped into a puddle on my way to take care of him and was not patient because he wanted me to take care of him, but I really need to clean the floor first so that he doesn't get messier than he already is.  I wish I were more patient.  I wish I could be fresh and sweet and not mind.  He can't help it.  I'm pretty good when it's not the middle of the night woken from a dead sleep, but the poor kid can't help it.  So, that's another prayer for me to be more patient.  Of course, praying for patience just gets you more things to have to be patient about.  This also interrupts any plans for the rest of the day that I may have because then DS is home from school.  In the summer, it doesn't matter as much, but during the year I hesitate to make any plans because I know that they can be cancelled at any moment.  I've even had to leave a funeral.

So I'm whining again, and the whole purpose of today's post is supposed to be about making a plan about all the stuff we need to do.  So, I wrote down all the stuff we need to fix in the house, tried to form a budget of approximately how much each thing will cost, and then looking for information about how to do it.  My sister redid a whole bathroom on her own.  There are all sorts of women on television who tackle entire house flips on their I should be able to do it too.  It looks awfully daunting to me, though.  I'm hoping DH will be able to take some time off to help, and than DS will actually be in school and not sick.

Other things I am doing are reading the Bible every day and praying all the time.  I'm trying very hard to trust in God's plan, His timing, His way of doing things.  I surrender to Him over and over, wanting Him to make me into who He wants me to be.  And then I fail over and over and over again.  I ate too much yesterday, I was impatient yesterday and already today, and it's only 5:53 am.  I'm not active enough.  My house is messy despite working at it every day.  I keep underestimating things that I need to budget and feel absolutely overwhelmed because no matter how well I try to budget, we keep getting all these wonderful surprise bills, car problems, stuff that happens in life to everyone, I guess.  I get tired of having all the neighborhood kids over all the time because I feel like I can't keep up with what I need to do myself, and then I have extra kids to watch and feed.  Of course, if God is sending them to me, then this must be a ministry, and I should be practicing hospitality.  The truth is, I often keep the shades down and avoid going outside to try to hide from them.  It's awful, I know.  Two of them are also ADD/Autistic on top of my own kid, and I feel like I'm giving their parents respite all the time and I don't get any myself.  There are days when I send them away, and then I feel guilty because I'm sure that's not what God wants me to do.  So, I'm still whining.

My husband and I are always so stressed and tired...we have no babysitter, we have no real time alone.  There is no door on the bathroom and our bedroom door is broken.  There is no privacy.  I'm sure people lived that way for eons, but I still wish I at least had a door I could lock for a little while.  DH is exhausted too, and feeling just as down as I am.  We were hoping for at least a restful vacation, and we didn't.

Also, my son is all over me all the time when he's home.  Constantly snuggling, which I know is a wonderful thing.  But I just want to not be touched all the time.  I want him to not touch my nose and ear, and flick my hair into my face over and over and over and over and over and over and over again...and lay on me, and drool on me all day... to dive onto me, to lay across me, to interrupt me constantly.  Even now I've been up and down getting this or that for him, and his elbow is dug deep into my upper arm.

Nobody wants to hear this, and I have it much better than many, many people, but this is just how I feel right now and pray that God will help me to readjust my attitude.  Where is my gratefulness?  Where is my worship?  This is not who He wants me to be.  This is not how I should be.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday Weigh In

Well, I was hoping to lose more weight in the first week, but I lost 2 lbs.  So, now I only have 113.4 lbs more to lose.  At least I didn't stay the same and I didn't gain, so I'm grateful for that.  I have not eaten processed sugar for 7 days now.
Today's weather is much like that of Tuesday two weeks ago when I was camping...rainy and a high only in the 60's.
My main goal is not to feel discouraged.  This is going to be a long, slow process.  The truth is, this whole past year has been discouraging.  A little over a year ago, my husband left his job and got another job that paid much less and had terrible benefits.  So, for that whole year, we really didn't have enough money to pay the bills.  We had no more savings, and the medical bills keep coming because the medical insurance was dismal.  The furnace doesn't work, our shades are broken and need to be replaced, the hall bathroom is gutted with no plan of repair right now, the porch needs to be repaired and painted, the side stairs need to be repaired, wasps moved into the sandbox in the yard, our kitchen is not finished, our walls are full of holes from my son putting his head through them, all the doors inside our house are broken and need to be replaced, we have what was gutted from the bathroom lying in the side yard because we have no bulk pickup and no way to get the stuff to the dump, and we still have an autistic kid who has meltdowns often, who has been sick for months at at time over the past year, and we are just so very tired.  My husband did finally get a better job...his old job with a raise, but to catch up on everything from the past year is seeming impossible.  I finally saved some money, but we needed nearly $3,000 worth of work on our cars, so there went all that money.  Our tax returns went to one weekend away at at B&B for Jeff and me to try to keep our relationship strong, and then to paying for bills we'd been sitting on, buying stuff for the kids that they'd needed, and I don't remember what else...some to the cars.  I send lunch in for Jeff and Jeffrey every day.  We have Tracfones and one step above basic cable.  We are on budget payments for oil blend, propane, and electricity.  We go camping once a year for $144 for the week.  I shop at Aldi's and have a very limited food budget and meal plans.  I'm just not sure where to shave anything else off.  We've got pretty much everything at a bare minimum and still can't seem to keep our heads above water...right now I'd settle for just our nostrils or at least a snorkel.
I am trying not to think about how unfair things seem and how it seems like everyone else has it easier, because everyone has their own set of problems.  To covet is a sin.  I am trying to be grateful for all we do have, and not to worry, because God knows what we need, and he promises to provide us with what we need.  He says do not be discouraged, do not be afraid.  So, I"m going to just trust him and keep plodding along.


This is the fourth year we've gone camping.  There's always something difficult...the first year, which was very new to my DS who has autism, was the most difficult.  That year he banged his head so hard into my car that he broke a headlight.  He also hit me in the head repeatedly so that I started to vomit.  The second year, DS urinated all over the inside of the tent including everything in the tent, so I had to spend one whole day at the laundromat.  The third year we were completely broke that I didn't bring many new activities for the kids to do, and we couldn't go and do things around the area.  The kids got bored, and we left a day early.  This year, it poured for four of the five days we were there.  On the fourth day, DS got his finger stuck in the car door, so we went home early again.  The day we packed was the nicest day all week.  We wound up missing the urgent care hours anyway, and by the next day his finger looked okay, so we left early for nothing.  We were tired from being wet and cold all week.  In fact, on Tuesday, the high only got up to 63, so we were wearing fleece on July 25.  But, we had some nice family time, and it was nice to be out in nature.  Also, they built a new playground at the campground, and that was the biggest hit.  In between rainstorms, we had some campfires and some snuggles.  DD's hippo Harry went everywhere with us.  Soon we are planning to visit his brother William at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
DS loves camping now, and is generally very relaxed the whole time, which in itself is a major blessing.  I hope next year is better.  It's a cheap vacation, and just about all that's in our budget for now.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


Well, once again I am embarking upon a marathon.  I have 115.4 lbs to lose.  That's a lot.  It's a daunting number.  I have no desire to undergo surgery.  Over the past year, I have tried to follow a 1200 calorie diet, and I have failed miserably.  I also started eating sugar again, which was a terrible idea.  I also haven't been to the gym.  True, this year has been really tough.  However, that's just an excuse.  So, I have decided that it's time to take care of myself.  All my joints hurt and I have no energy.

This first week I stopped eating sugar again.  The withdrawal was tough the first few days, but now I feel much better.  I upped my calories to 1600, which is a one pound per week loss, according to My Fitness Pal.  That is much more doable than the 1200 calorie level.  It's so discouraging to fail day after day at calorie intake, so then I give up.  That's a really bad idea. One pound per week would mean that in two years I will be ten pounds from my goal weight.

The only times I'm ever successful at losing weight is when I do it with God.  When I give Him my sugar addiction, when I pray for Him to help me with temptation, when I surrender to Him, then it works.  When I want to give in, I don't bother to pray because I don't want him to stop me.  Also, I don't want food to be my god.  I want to remember to always turn to Jesus when things are tough, and to pray instead of eat.  I am wearing my Fit Bit and trying to stay active and get the house clean.

Last year has been really hard.  However, it's time to stop looking back.  Right now, today, this minute...what is a healthy thing to do?  Just keep going one moment to another with God.  Praying for that lamp to my feet and that light to my path...a little circle of light as from a lantern.  Anything I come to He will get me through.

So, here I go again.