March 2017

March 2017

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Great Progress!

The hobby room, which is now a guest room too, isn't finished. But I'm so excited about the change so far I just had to share.

After much swatching, I finally decided on a wall color and hubby painted the room today. It's just as I imagined. I love it!

Earlier in the week, I cleaned the antique Jenny Lind bed with Old English furniture polish and washed the foam mattress cover. The tag on the cover clearly states it shouldn't be removed, but I went for it anyway. We've been concerned about bringing cat dander up to the main floor, because the bed and mattress were in the basement for many years where our sweet Rupert spent most of his last six years. I washed the cover on gentle in cold water and it did just fine.

I'm still shopping for bedding. I'm not sure about color, but I do know I want a quilt. In the meantime, I'm using a queen quilt I've had for years. Since the bed's a twin, however, there's a whole lot of quilt bunched up on the wall side.

Once I get the bedding, I'll decide on the window treatment. Right now I'm thinking of white shears because I keep imagining floral bedding.

Lastly, I'll need to decide on a few pieces of wall art. That's the scariest part for me because I hate putting holes in newly painted walls. I've used Command Strips before, but without much luck. Either they end up not holding or, when I remove them, they take off chunks of paint.

So there's still much to do, but the biggest job is done. The dark maroon walls (which you can see here) are gone!

Taken from the door.
Still need one or two chairs for the craft table. 
Taken from the craft table.
My daughter's bed is back where it was
for years before she got married and moved out.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Struggling

I'm having a tough time going back to low-carb eating after our cruise. Staying away from bread, potatoes, and noodles isn't the problem. I think the main struggle is the switch to cool weather fruit, which means no more melons and berries. Not only are apples and pears higher in carbs, they're also not nearly as appealing to me as watermelon and blackberries.

And to make matters worse, my favorite neighborhood grocery store, Aldi, just closed for four weeks to complete their remodel. Now I have to adjust to a more expensive store or drive 40-60 minutes roundtrip to the next closest Aldi. Until I "get over it" our refrigerator is seriously lacking in any available fresh fruits and vegetables, and I can't seem to get through a day without some chocolate!

At least, as of last week, I'm back to my regular gym schedule after fighting a virus the week before. Now that I think about it, I suppose being sick also jeopardized my low-carb plans.

Despite all of the above, however, on Saturday the scale did register a one pound drop. But we all know how easily one pound can come and go.

I need to do some serious meal planning this week. The kind of planning that makes healthy eating appealing again. And I need to find a new grocery store. Ugh!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

More Redecorating

Last month I redecorated our spare bedroom. That redo cost just $50 because I mostly shopped our home for what I needed. Read all about the why and how behind that redo here.

This week I'm redecorating my hobby room, which used to be my daughter's bedroom. (We have a three-bedroom ranch home.) As soon as my daughter moved out over 16 years ago, I claimed her room. I used to do a lot of traditional scrapbooking and other various paper crafts, and had a lot of tools and supplies. I was thrilled to finally have an entire room where I could store everything and spread out my projects.

Over the last few years, however, I've switched to digital albums, using Snapfish. I now easily and quickly create albums of our trips on my lap top while watching television. I also do less paper crafting now that my grandsons are older. Jonah, the seven year old, still enjoys doing projects with grandma, but sadly it doesn't happen very often because he's so busy with school, scouts, piano lessons, and other various activities.

In other words, I don't need or want the massive amount of craft supplies I used to have. I started purging my stash a few years ago, but got a lot more serious about it this year. I've done such a good job there's now space for either a bed or reading nook, or both.

Here's where I started on Monday. Yes, I know, what was I thinking with that wall color!



And here's where I am today.



I cleared out the closet enough I was able to eliminate one of the three bookcases. I then moved the remaining two bookcases and put the table up against the wall. I grabbed two of our dining room chairs to see if Jonah and I could craft together. We tested it yesterday and it worked great!

The bench is now sitting where Emily's childhood bed will go. It's a beautiful antique Jenny Lind twin bed I never could part with. It's just been sitting in the unfinished part of our basement all these years. I plan to sell the bench.

With the addition of the bed, the hobby room will have more purpose. I'll set up the bed with a lot of large comfy pillows, making it an inviting place to sit or lay down while reading a book during the day. And when the boys sleepover, one can have the bed while the other can use the air mattress in the finished area of the basement. And I still have plenty of supplies and space to do paper crafting when I get the urge.

This redo will cost more than $50, but hopefully no more than $500. I'm currently shopping for chairs for the craft table, a twin mattress, bedding, and lots of pillows. But first we'll be buying paint. I can't wait to see those dark walls painted over with a very pale green.

Stay tuned for the reveal, which I hope is only a few weeks away. Once I have a vision, I absolutely hate waiting for it to happen!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Good and Bad

Statistically a person gains one pound for every cruise day. I gained four pounds on a seven-day cruise last week so – yay me! Right?

I enjoyed all the food on the ship and chose items I rarely eat or have never eaten. It was a fun carefree week of food exploration. But now it's back to reality and back to my low-carb diet.

Prior to the cruise, it took me five weeks to lose five pounds by eliminating 80% of carbs from my diet and counting calories. Hopefully it'll happen that quickly again. Time will tell and I'll keep you posted.

(During the cruise, we encountered extreme fog, rain, and severely rough seas due to hurricane Jose. We even had to abort one port-of-call due to such severe weather. So there wasn't a lot of opportunity for destination photos, but some are posted on my FaceBook page. Just click here. This photo of me and hubby is one of my favorites. I took it in our stateroom before we left to tackle a rainy Boston.)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Goal!

This morning I reached my pre-trip weight goal. Truly amazes me since I've had so much trouble losing weight after turning 60 six years ago. Low carb appears to be the "name of the game" for me.

After entering "Today's Weight" in my LoseIt! app, my daily intake was increased 500 calories. That sounds fantastic, but I'm nervous about eating more. After you've been on ~1400 calories a day for so long, I think it's normal to feel you'll certainly gain weight on ~1900 calories a day.

No matter what I do, however, odds are strong I'll gain a few pounds on our upcoming cruise. But at least now I know my "game plan" for post cruise.

Bon voyage!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Too Much

All weekend it was hard for me to pull myself away from the weather channel. There are no words to describe the full impact Irma has had and will have on most Americans. The damage will cripple the economy of the entire nation for a very long time.

Florida is a vacation destination not just for many Americans but also for tourists worldwide. For our family, Orlando and Sanibel Island are annual destinations. As Disney Vacation Club members, my daughter's family visits the parks 2-3 times a year. And my husband and I spend a week on Sanibel Island every summer with my daughter's family.

Needless to say, I was extremely relieved this morning to learn Irma had suddenly gone inland at the point it was previously expected to slam Sanibel Island. What I've been able to uncover so far is the island sustained minimal damage, most of which was downed trees. The causeway was inspected and cleared this morning and will reopen tomorrow.

Unfortunately, however, Irma's turn caused a direct hit on Orlando. The full extent of the damage has not yet been revealed. But at least Orlando will not have to worry about storm surge since it's a land-locked city.

Frankly I just don't know how to process all the recent natural disasters, the fires out west, the earthquake in Mexico, and the hurricanes in the south. It's all just too much.


Saturday, September 2, 2017

6 Pounds Down; 1 From Goal

I just did my weekly weigh-in and found I dropped another pound. That's a six pound lose over 25 days. Amazing!

I'm not working any formal plan. I'm just eating fewer carbs and consuming more protein. For example, instead of grabbing a piece of fruit for a snack, I eat a cheese stick. Instead of using regular pasta, I use a high-protein brand. I also pass on the bread basket whenever we eat out. And, of course, I seldom have a sugary treat. When I do, I only need a couple bites to satisfy a craving.

I've also been using my trusted app LoseIt! to record my calories. LoseIt! also determines how many calories I should consume to reach my goal of losing a pound a week. As of this morning that goal is 1419 calories, because it drops every time I log a weight lose. It's like, "Good for you! Now you get to eat even less!" 😡

My original goal was to lose seven pounds, but I'd really like to lose 10. That would put me at a weight I haven't seen in three years and give me a buffer for our upcoming cruise later this month.

On average cruise passengers gain a pound a day. But I believe my awareness and determination will help me stay the course. And, worst case, at least I now finally know what works for my body and can get back on that program when we return.

So, today, the scale is my friend and I'm feeling extremely accomplished. Yay me!



Monday, August 28, 2017

5 Pounds Down In 18 Days

As much as I hate it, for the last couple of weeks I've been using my scale to measure my progress. But I only weigh myself on Saturday mornings. As of last Saturday, my weight was down five pounds since I started a more intense low-carb high-protein high-fat diet 18 days ago. Knowing my body and weight struggle, my conclusion is my recent success is mainly due to the severe reduction of carbs in my diet.

I know 18 days is not a long time. But losing five pounds in less than three weeks is a huge accomplishment for me. Since turning 60 nearly six years ago, I've been unable to lose a pound a week no matter how little I ate or how much I exercised.

But I do love potatoes and bread. I also love pasta and fruit. And, on a low-carb diet, it's best to stay clear of potatoes, pasta, bread, crackers, chips, and too much fruit. So I can't say how long I'll accept this life-style change. But I do know losing weight at this pace is extremely motivating!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Score!

I watch a lot of YouTube. I mean a lot. I do all the research and planning for our trips and have found YouTube to be the best resource. It's seriously changed my life and my husband's who travels with me.

If you've ever watched YouTube then you understand how one video can lead to another and another. That's how I ended up watching a lot of thrifters. As a result, I sometimes now visit local thrift stores, but have never spent more than $5 for any one item. That is until today.

I recently redecorated our second bedroom. For years it had a Disney theme because it was where the grandsons took their naps when I watched them full-time as babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. But they've been in full-time school for years now, and I decided it was time to get rid of the primary colors and Disney decor.

After replacing the wall art, bringing up hubby's family's rocking chair from the basement, packing up the stuffed animals for our annual MS garage sale, and moving the red bookcase downstairs, this is what it looked like –



I was very happy with the result, especially since I hadn't spent any money at this point. But I did want to eventually replace the lamps and get a small dresser or chest. I was determined, however, not to spend too much money. And I succeeded.

First I replaced both lamps with two I already had. They both where in different rooms before, but look much better in the second bedroom now. Then today, thanks to a FaceBook post, I got a nice wooden chest at a resale shop for just $50!

I'm definitely starting to appreciate the thrill of thrifting. I just wish more shops would post items online, making it so much easier to score a deal without wasting a lot of time. That surely is the future of thrifting, right?

Here's our new addition. Perfect fit. Perfect color.





Friday, August 25, 2017

Good News!

After a month of waiting, yesterday we finally got the results of hubby's Oncotype DX prostate cancer test. His cancer is "very low risk" of growing or spreading for many years. Specifically for the next 10 years because that's as far out as the test can predict at this time. What a relief!

We now can consider all treatment options, including "active surveillance," which initially means another biopsy in six months. If there's no change at six months, then a third biopsy will be scheduled two years later. However, as soon as Medicare approves prostate cancer MRIs, that procedure will be prescribed as additional confirmation. A MRI will also show exactly where the cancer is, making radiation therapy extra efficient.

For sure hubby wants to avoid surgery, which is why he may decide on radiation therapy immediately. I'm leaning toward "active surveillance," because, as the doc said, new tests and treatments are being developed all the time.

Whatever's decided, we are both feeling a sense of relief even though we'll be living with this "thing" for the rest of hubby's life. I honestly didn't realize how much hubby's diagnosis was affecting me until last night when I finally slept soundly for 11 hours!

We can now look forward, dreaming of and planning more travel adventures. First up, the New England and Canada cruise next month – so excited!


Friday, August 18, 2017

Intermittent Fasting – Update #5 (Final)

This is my final Intermittent Fasting update. Things are good, but I don't think there will be any more changes.

Bottomline, as I've been told for decades, it's a good idea not to eat past 7:00 PM. My personal goal is to stop eating at 6:00 PM and to eat breakfast no earlier than 8:00 AM. So most days I fast 14 hours. It's not unusual, however, for me to fast longer, pushing breakfast later if I get sidetracked doing chores or research online.

As a result, I continue to sleep better. Plus it's easier to stick to my daily calorie goal. Prior to IF, I consumed 200-300 calories in the evening. That no longer happens, making meals more enjoyable. For the most part, I never exceeded my calorie goal, so before IF those 200-300 calories were taken from a more satisfying lunch or dinner.

I don't attribute any weight loss to IF. For me I think weight loss will only come by greatly reducing the amount of carbs and sugar I consume. I so wish that weren't the case.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fall Cruise

We've enjoyed our recent coach tours (2016 in Eastern Europe and 2017 in Italy), but I did have a problem with my legs and ankles swelling from sitting on the bus for hours after long days of walking and standing. So we decided to see if we still enjoy cruising before planning another overseas trip.

The last time we cruised was over 30 years ago with the kids, and we had a great time. Since then, however, my claustrophia has gotten worse. But I'm determined to overcome my fear. So, armed with Xanax, we're taking a seven-day cruise of New England and Canada on the Crown Princess in September.

Crown Princess
One of the nicest things about this particular cruise is there's only one sea day. The rest of the days are spent in different ports, allowing me to get off the ship. And the sea day is at the end when I imagine I'll be ready to rest and relax.

7-Day New England & Canada Cruise
Another big plus of this cruise is it embarks and disembarks in Brooklyn, New York. Our son's family recently moved to Jersey City, New Jersey, so I'm excited to see our granddaughter the day before sail-away.

I'm also excited about each port. Boston is the only city we've visited before. But even in Boston, there's plenty of new areas for us to see. And it'll be hubby's first time in Canada. He's excited to be able to check off yet another country.

Of course there's no guarantee the leaves will be changing by mid September. But, for me, that would definitely be a highlight!


Monday, August 14, 2017

Spiralized Zucchini

For dinner tonight, I spiralized zucchini for the first time. I used the OXO Hand Held Spiralizer, which was super easy to operate. Best of all it's small and goes in the dishwasher.

I cooked the spiralized zucchini in a skillet with a little extra virgin olive oil and garlic salt. After plating, I top it with grated parmesan cheese.

It's not pasta, but it's a great low-carb substitute. And, unlike cauliflower rice, there's no smell!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Eating Low Carb Is Not Easy

Since Tuesday I've lowered my carb intake by half. That means my diet has been higher protein with less fruit and even more vegatables. I know it's only been five days, but this seems to be working. In that short span I've dropped 3.5 pounds.

Granted I've also been taking in 225 fewer calories daily, dropping from a previous goal of 1675 to my current target of 1450. But I've been on this weight-loss journey long enough to know my recent success is primarily due to eating low carb.

Thank goodness for the motivation of having lost weight, because backing off carbs has not been easy. I miss fixing dinners with noodles and pizza shells, which was my go-to for using a lot of vegetables.

After some research, my top low-carb dinners for the past week included cauliflower rice and butter chicken. Here's a shot of my cauliflower rice served with half an avocado and skinless-boneless chicken breast slow-cooked in the crockpot with salsa:


The cauliflower rice was delicious but the smell was almost unbearable. Hubby said it was worth the smell, but I'm not sure.

By far my favorite protein of the week was the butter chicken. I forgot to take a picture, but click here for the recipe. It was super easy to make and turned out incredibly moist with a nice crunch. Keep in mind low-protein diets are also higher in fat.

This week I plan to do something with spiralized zucchini. I've heard it's a nice substitute for noodles. We'll see. At least it shouldn't smell as bad as the cauliflower rice!




Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lab Results

My doctor requests a Complete Metabolic Panel as well as a Lipid Panel every six months. My most recent blood draw was this past Tuesday and I got the results today.

All my numbers were great except for a low sodium level. Not to worry and we'll just keep an eye on it. It was suspected it might be due to the diurectic in my statin. But, since I've been on Crestor for decades, I'm not buying that theory. My immediate thought was I'm drinking too much water.

Earlier this year I began drinking two to three times more water. Previously, I never took in the "recommended" amount and decided that needed to change. I was thrilled with the results. Gone was the leg pain I suffered every time I got up from sitting. It was amazing!

But now I suspect I might be over doing it. After getting the results, I immediately did some online research and here's an example of what I found: Risk of Drinking Too Much Water. Interesting stuff, especially the part about – ". . .if you feel bloated or have actually put on weight based on how much water you consumed, that also indicates you drank too much."

Over the last several months I've been bloated more than I remember ever being in my entire life. I've also been putting on weight despite counting calories and working out. May not be related to my water consumption, but it's certainly something to consider. Could it be "too much of a good thing" also applies to water?

Another number that caused me pause was my total cholesterol. It's currently at an all time low of 162. So, for me anyway, bacon is not the enemy. As part of my high-protein low-carb diet, I've consumed more bacon in the last 10 weeks than I did during all of the previous 12 months.

It's been a good day health wise. I even dared to weigh myself this morning to find I had dropped two pounds. Could be short lived, but right now I'm enjoying the moment :)


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Intermittent Fasting – Update #4

I'm still fasting longer than I used to before beginning this program, but recently not as long as I prefer. Before our last vacation, I was fasting 15 hours. Since we returned, I've been fasting 13-14 hours. My intention is to get back to a 15-hour fast within the next few days, because that works best for me. I feel better and sleep sounder.

I'd like to report that I've lost weight or inches by Intermittent Fasting, but sadly that's not the case. In fact, I'm currently even more frustrated with my weight. I had my six-month check-up yesterday and found I gained two pounds. (I only weigh myself at the doctor's office.) I know that doesn't seem like a lot, but it means I'm now 8-10 pounds from my satisfactory weight.

What to do? I've dropped my daily calorie count from 1600 to 1400. I'm also eating even more low-carb and high-protein. And there will be no more infrequent sugary treats until I lose five pounds. Plus I'm mentally working on getting myself to take a 20-30 minute neighborhood walk before breakfast. But that's a tough one. I am not a morning person!

I don't know why losing weight as a senior has to be so hard. Whatever happened to simply burning more calories than you take in? I'll say it again. Aging is a lot of work!

Click here to learn more about the benefits of Intermittent Fasting.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Back Home

We got back from Florida mid-morning last Saturday. Here's an excerpt from a recap I posted on FaceBook:

Just back from another week on Sanibel Island with our daughter's family. It was the Jorgensens ninth year at Sanibel Moorings, and eighth year for Jim and me. (Last year we chose to stay home in case our newborn granddaughter needed us.) I spent my water time pool side, finishing two books. Most mornings it was just me and a couple of feathered friends. 😂
It was a good week that flew by and now we're all looking forward to next year's visit.

Just me and these two at the pool in the mornings.
Daughter and family.
Can you tell Jonah hates family photos?

No problem getting Jonah to  smile for this shot.
Me and 11-year-old Elliott.
Can't believe he starts Middle School in a couple of weeks :(
Iconic Sanibel Island light house.

We got home just in time to rescue Reya from the trauma of packing. Per usual, her parents were not at all organized and Reya was not handling any of it very well. Honestly, I had hoped all the packing and moving would be over before we got home. I just knew it would be a circus.

But I suppose I'm happy to have had a last afternoon with my only granddaughter before her crazy parents move her to New Jersey. Our relationship will never be the same and that makes me very sad. I'm doing my best not to dwell on it but it's very hard.





Hubby and I will be in Brooklyn one night before our New England/Canada cruise in September. (More on that in another post.) I'm hoping nothing keeps my son from meeting us for dinner so we can see Reya. But he's nothing if not unreliable, so we can only hope.

No updates on hubby's prostate cancer. Our next meeting with the urologist is late August when treatment will be discussed.

In the meantime, I've been taking it easy until my daughter's family returns from Florida on Thursday. (They extended their vacation with a trip to Disney World.) When they return, I want to spend time individually with each grandson before school begins on August 16. After that my days will be planned around meeting the school bus every afternoon.

That's my update as summer winds down and I get more and more excited for the return of my favorite season, fall, which I feel starts Labor Day Weekend. Let the countdown begin!


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Applying For Social Security

Since hubby is still fully employed we kept putting off applying for our Social Security benefits, choosing instead to let them grow. But, after much thought and discussion, today I applied for my benefit. I'll be 66 in October and I'll receive my first payment in November. Hubby still plans to wait until he retires at 70. Although we're hoping he'll be able to retire much sooner. He turned 66 last May.

I met with the Social Security agent this morning and all day I've felt "off." It was such a surreal experience. How can I be old enough for Social Security? I realize I was eligible four years ago, but actually applying is making me feel so old.

I'm sure I'll feel better after I see that first direct deposit payment. In the meantime, I'm working on giving myself credit for having worked enough to receive a payment, and one that's larger than my dad's and more than twice what my mom received. After being retired for nearly six years, I often forget how hard I once worked. That part of my younger self I don't miss at all!



Thursday, July 13, 2017

Intermittent Fasting – Update #3

I've been Intermittent Fasting now for three weeks. For the most part I'm fasting for 15 hours. But I did have a couple days this week where I fasted for only 14 hours mainly because I woke earlier than normal.

During my nine-hour eating window, I'm mainly sticking to ~1600 healthy calories. Yesterday was an exception. My youngest grandson had a "Grandma Day" and we went to Dairy Queen for lunch, which included ice cream. I ate, enjoyed the company, and felt no guilt.

I continue to sleep deeper than I did before IF, despite several challenges our family is currently facing. I've already mentioned my son is moving his family back to the east coast at the end of the month. He'll be going to law school at Fordham University at night completely funded by financial aid. Hubby and I are extremely concerned. He has no idea how difficult it'll be working full time and going to law school, all the while giving proper attention to his wife, young daughter, and his own health and wellbeing. Plus hubby and I strongly feel his expectation of the career he'll find when he passes the bar (never going to get that far in my opinion) is a fantasy. But, hey, he's 42 years old and we have other things to worry about.

Earlier this week hubby was diagnosed with prostate cancer. We have a consultation with the urologist this morning. It's early stage and, frankly, we weren't that surprised. One in seven senior men will develop prostate cancer and odds are doubled if someone in your family has or had it. Hubby's brother was diagnosed several years ago. His diagnosis was much more severe and now he's cancer free. I expect we're facing some type of treatment, but we're very hopeful for a complete cure. We'll know more after today's meeting.

OK, that's a lot of stuff! Now back to my IF results.

My clothes are fitting a little loser and I appear less puffy in the mid-section. I read that positive changes in the mid-section are common with IF. But it might also be due to me having drastically cut sugar from my diet. Yesterday's indulgence at Dairy Queen is the first time in three weeks I've consume that much sugar in one day. I've given up sugar before and it did improve my overall look.

Sure, it's only been three weeks. But I like how I'm looking and feeling so I plan to "stay the course!"


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Florida Weather

The Real Feel temperatures this week in Missouri are the same as those in Florida, well over 100 degrees. So why would we go to Sanibel, Florida with my daughter's family every year during the last week of July? The two main reasons are affordable rentals and easy access to the gulf and pools.

Years ago we gained access to a beautiful three-bedroom two-bath townhouse with a fully-equipped big modern kitchen right on a canal and just a five-minute walk to the beach. The July rent is a third what it is in the winter. In all honesty, I'd be content to never leave the townhouse and just enjoy the views of the canal and palm and avocado trees from the comfort of our air-conditioned home-away-from-home.

But the complex does include two small pools and its own beach area on the gulf. So everyday typically includes a dip in the gulf, a hunt for unique and perfect seashells, and a splash in one of the pools. We don't have any of those luxuries at home where high temperatures mostly keep us indoors.

Another perk of a beach vacation is the opportunity to eat fresh seafood. We always look forward to several amazing meals in our favorite restaurants. I'm not a big fan of seafood, but I do enjoy eating it when we're near the source. Fresh is 100-percent better than frozen.

Our family has been vacationing in Sanibel for the last eight years. But last year hubby and I didn't join my daughter's family. Instead we decided to stay home in case my son and daughter-in-law needed help with their newborn.

But we're not missing this year. And this year it's especially important for all of us to have this bonding time as we face the sadness of my son's family moving to New Jersey the end of the month. I'll save the full story of that disappointment for another post. For now I just want to focus on the countdown to our ninth stay on beautiful Sanibel Island.


Friday, June 30, 2017

Intermittent Fasting - Update #2

Back with another update and, again, didn't expect to have much to report so soon. But, besides providing information to any reader thinking about Intermittent Fasting, I'm using this blog as my own journal of this journey.

I continue to enjoy a good sleep pattern, sleeping a solid 8-9 hours every night. Sleep is also deep, resulting in vivid dreams, which are usually extremely odd and intense. But, so far, the dreams are just entertaining and not at nightmare level.

I appear to be settling into a 15/9 IF pattern, fasting 15 hours (6:00 PM to 9:00 AM) and consuming all daily food during a nine-hour period. And I still appreciate no longer having to think about food after 6:00 PM.

My workout crop pants fit a bit more comfortably today. Not a big difference but a nice surprise.

I've now been Intermittent Fasting for 10 days. It might be a little challenging to continue through the holiday weekend, but my intention is to "stay the course!"



Sunday, June 25, 2017

Intermittent Fasting – Update #1

I didn't plan, or expect to feel the need, to post an update this soon about the new eating pattern I started last Tuesday night. But I've been so surprised by Intermittent Fasting, I wanted to share.

First, and primarily, since starting the program I've been sleeping deeper and longer with no supplement, such as melatonin or Benadryl, than I can remember ever doing in my entire life. I've literally been sleeping 8-9 hours straight and waking refreshed. My belief is this blissful sleep pattern is due to my body no longer having to exert energy all night to digest food. Did you know it takes 8-12 hours for your body to fully digest any amount of food? Amazing!

Second, I'm not at all anxious about feeling hungry or making certain I eat enough before fasting begins. Truth is, like many of the articles I read about IF, I now appreciate being less stressed about food. I simply make healthy chooses (more proteins, fewer carbs, little-to-no sugar) during my eating window and don't fixate on calories. Then, when fasting begins between 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM, I no longer have to think about food, which is a big relief. And, surprisingly, I don't feel hungry during my 14-16 hour fast.

Finally, I don't feel I've lost any weight because my clothes are still fitting the same. (I don't use a scale anymore.) I'm not surprised by this because it's been incredibly difficult for me to lose weight since turning 60 nearly six years ago. No matter, I'm quickly becoming sold on Intermittent Fasting as a beneficial lifestyle. But, of course, I am still hopeful some weight loss might eventual happen ;)

(Here's another article about IF I found helpful – Intermittent Fasting Benefits.)


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Intermittent Fasting

Not too long ago I completed a free online form that determined my body type and why I'm not losing weight despite counting calories and working out regularly. One of the main suggestions to help end my weight plateau was to put off breakfast 2-3 hours. In other words, I should fast longer each day.

Then, more recently, one of the YouTubers I follow said he was currently on the Intermittent Fasting program, fasting 16 hours and consuming food only within an 8-hour window. During that 8-hour period, he made healthy choices and stayed within the suggested calorie count for his body type.

So, beginning last night, I decided to try Intermittent Fasting. I stopped eating at 7:00 PM and put off breakfast until 9:00 AM, fasting for 14 hours. I could have gone longer, but I didn't want to get light-headed during my 10:00 AM dentist appointment. I did drink roughly 16 ounces of water between waking at 7:00 AM and eating at 9:00 AM.

Intermittent Fasting goes against several beliefs I've had for a long time. First, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Second, it's best to eat many small meals during all waking hours. Third, one should always eat when hungry. Nevertheless, I plan to do Intermittent Fasting (fasting 14-16 hours per day) for at least 90 days. I don't see it hurting anything and, just maybe, I'll lose a few pounds.

(You can easily research online the pros and cons of Intermittent Fasting,
but here's a quick intro – Intermittent Fasting 101.)


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Over Jet Lag

It took eight days, but I'm finally over jet lag. I feel asleep at 9:00 PM on Monday and slept straight through to 6:30 AM Tuesday. I woke refreshed and energetic. What a great feeling!

With my energy back, I went to the grocery store mid-day Tuesday. When I got home, I cooked up all the meat I bought. I roasted bone-in skin-on chicken breasts, poached boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked a pound of bacon, and popped a pork roast in the slow cooker. Now we're set for a week of high-protein low-carb meals, which our diets need after two weeks in the land of pizza and pasta.

I'm sure I gained a few pounds despite averaging six miles of walking and 14 flights of stairs daily while in Italy. But I don't weigh myself anymore because the number on the scale can make or break my day, and I'm tired of that happening. I now gauge weight gain or loss by how my clothes fit. However, that's a bit confusing these days because I believe my body's changing due to my regular workouts.

Nevertheless, hubby and I both need to drop a few pounds before our annual family trip to Florida in July. We share a condo with my daughter and her family. I do some cooking, which helps keep things somewhat healthy. But it's hard to pass on the locally-made key lime pie and ice cream. Actually, it's hard for hubby not me. I don't really like ice cream and I'll be good with just a sliver of pie once or twice.

So I'm not too worried about gaining more weight while in Florida. But I am eager to get back to pre-Italy weight. I'm hoping a high-protein low-carb diet along with my regular three-days-a-week workouts gets me there by my 66 birthday in October if not sooner. Thinking positively!



Sunday, June 11, 2017

Thoughts of Italy

Hubby and me on the Amalfi coast
with Positano behind us.
We are safely home after two weeks in Italy. Gratefully, we had no major glitches and stayed healthy the entire tour.

Italy is absolutely beautiful this time of year and smells so good. Flowers and blooming trees and bushes are everywhere. Unfortunately, it's also full of tourists. We had hoped to be there just before the influx, but sadly that wasn't the case. However, we were told it will be much worse in a few weeks and continue building until the new school year begins. I honestly don't know how the locals can stand it!

Nevertheless, it was a good trip and we very much enjoyed the beauty and wonders of Italy. Thanks to iPhoto, I was able to quickly and easily post slideshows of each day on FaceBook. Just click here and scroll down until you find them in the feed.

Definitely a hightlight of the trip was the food. Authentic Italian food is amazing and I miss it already. Here's what the Italian's do diffently:

1. Noodles are served al dente no matter the dish.
2. Eggplant is often included in starters (roasted, grilled, or deep fried) and pasta dishes.
3. Pizza sauce is thin almost runny.
4. A simple green salad is served last not first.
5. Coffee is strong, very strong. Espresso is the norm.
6. In restaurants, a glass of wine cost no more, and sometimes less, than a soft drink.
7. Breakfast consists mainly of an espresso and small bakery item.
8. Lunch is eaten between 1:00 and 2:00 PM and dinner typically begins at 9:00 PM.
9. Bakery items, desserts, and chocolates are not as sweet as they are here in the United States.
10. Awarding winning gelato is creamier and richer than what's available in the United States.
11. Beef is served barely cooked and melts in your mouth.
12. Very little processed food is consumed.

Despite the crowds and unseasonably warm weather, we loved Italy. If money and time would allow, we'd return someday, just not between mid-May and mid-September!


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Update

The way things are going, this will probably be my last post before our two-week tour of Italy.

In between doing routine chores, spring cleaning, watching the grands, and working out, I've mostly been focused on trip research as well as trip prep such as making lists and purchasing and gathering items to pack. The last time we were gone for two weeks was when we went to South Korea for my son's wedding eight years ago. Let me tell you, two weeks out of the country takes a lot of planning and organizing!

One thing that wasn't planned, but turned out to be lucky, was hubby's iPhone dieing last week. We quickly learned we were both eligible for new phones under our Verizon plan at no additional cost. And because, on this trip for the first time, I had planned to primarily use the camera on my phone, the timing couldn't have been better. The iPhone 7 has a much better camera than my old iPhone 6s.

Here's hoping all else with this trip goes as well. If not, it won't be for my lack of excessive planning and preparing – LOL!



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Midwest Extreme Weather

The weather here has been extreme. We had several straight days of pouring rain, which is now causing major flooding. The flooding is so bad schools are closed today and will probably be, again, tomorrow. Some school buildings are flooded and several streets are impassable, making untouched roads traffic nightmares.

The heavy rains have also caused a lot of residential problems. It's evident by the trucks and trailers filled with piles of miscellaneous stuff sitting outside people's homes that many basements have sprung leaks. Ours isn't that bad, but we're definitely dealing, again, with a wet basement. We were aware of one foundation crack, but it now appears there are at least a couple more. It's a chronic problem in our area due to the clay-like soil. But, fortunately, no water seeped into the area we just finished and decorated. And I'm so glad we just did a massive basement purge. Less stuff to move or try to save.

The sun game out yesterday and is shining brightly today. But the temperatures are in the 50s and 60s, and in the 40s at night. This morning I finally caved and turned on the heat. Just a couple of weeks ago we were running the air conditioning.

I've lived in this area all my life. I should be used to our crazy spring weather, high and low temperatures, tornadoes, and severe rain. But every year I'm surprised. I think it's because when the weather finally warms after winter, I'm just so grateful and want to enjoy every minute before the crazy midwest summer heat and humidity hits.

As Missourians say, "if you don't like the weather now, just wait five minutes." It could be worse. But it's often better. And or spring and fall colors are hard to beat.



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy 2017 Easter!

It was granddaughter Reya's first Easter, which made today extra special. She grows cuter every day, and is still an easy baby. Unfortunately, since Reya's my son and DIL's first child, they can't fully appreciate just how lucky they are. But, after two loud, active, and often challenging grandsons, I'm truly grateful for a granddaughter with a super easy-going and quiet personality.

And I'm grateful for the time we have with Reya before her parents decide to move back to South Korea. Their plans seem to change daily, so we don't really know when that will happen. But just knowing it will some day makes every holiday with Reya even more special.

Nine-month-old Reya.
The color-coordinated outfits were totally unplanned!
{Elliott (11); Reya (9 months); Jonah (7)}

Monday, April 10, 2017

Drink Water!

For approximately two years I've been dealing, struggling, and suffering with various aches and pains in my legs from my hips to my feet. Every morning I woke never knowing what leg or what particular area would give me trouble that day.

Thankfully, for the most part, any particular pain would lessen once I started walking. But, for sure, it was a chronic issue that drained my energy and spirit. I sadly just figured leg and feet pain was old age for me. And it's what would eventually keep me from working out.

Then two weeks ago I decided to start each day with two full glasses of water. I also began drinking a full bottle or glass of water every 1-2 hours throughout my waking hours. And upping my daily water intake was the only thing I did differently with regard to my health. Therefore, I have to believe water is why things have improved so drastically and amazingly.

Within one day of consuming so much water, all of the pains in my legs and feet were gone. Plus, except for the days I'm suffering from spring allergens, I have much more energy.

Naturally, I was extremely skeptical at first, thinking it was just a weird occurrence that wouldn't last. But after two weeks, I'm convinced the improvement in my health is all due to drinking a lot more water.

I guess for years I was extremely dehydrated even though I never felt thirsty. Now, whether thirsty or not, I drink. I drink a lot of water!


Sunday, April 2, 2017

2017 MS Garage Sale

On Saturday, April 1, my daughter hosted our family's ninth MS Garage Sale. As usual, all poceeds will be donated to the Multiple Sclerosis Society with the hope a cure will be found in my son-in-law's lifetime.

This year's sale was a huge success thanks mainly to the massive whole-house purge I've been doing since the beginning of the year. Sales totaled a whopping $948.05, which my son-in-law's employer will match for a grand total donation of $1,896.10!

Once again a lot of hard work by many paid off.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Basement Redo

For Rupert's last five years, he lived in our lower level, mainly because he had problems consistently hitting the litter box. In the last few years, it also became difficult for him to climb the stairs to the main level. It wasn't a bad life. Half of our basement is finished with a sliding glass door to a nice patio and large backyard. Rupert's "pad" was comfortable with a great view.

But after Rupert's passing on March 11, we were eager to regain our lower level. It was also immediately necessary to do a deep cleaning since, during Rupert's last week, he no longer used the litter box at all.

After a lot of scrubbing, scouring, cleaning, and purging, we now have a beautiful lower level again. I didn't have this space when I watched Elliott as a baby and toddler. But it was wonderful when I did the same for Elliott's little brother, Jonah. Since it's a basement, the space is less fussy and precious than our main living area. It's a kid-friendly space that I'm now looking forward to using with our granddaughter, Reya, when she's more mobile.

Eventually we'll redo the attached room, which used to be a guest bedroom. The grandsons are already looking forward to using that room for sleepovers, which makes me so happy.

The biggest perk to regaining our basement, however, was purging roughly two-thirds of our storage. Less stuff makes for easier cleaning. Of course, the "Massive 2017 Purge" could have happened years ago, but we just weren't ready. 

Now half of our basement is clean, finished and newly decorated, and the other half is clean, decluttered and organized. Now that's what I call Spring Cleaning!

The chairs are new from Target.
I had decided on patio furniture because
of size and durability. But I was thrilled
when I found patio chairs that recline!
The carpet tiles are from iCarpet.
We purchased this sideboard from my
folks shortly after we moved into our
new home 30+ years ago. It started in the
dining room but was quickly replaced when
I found a complete pre-loved dining room set.
A thorough polishing with Old English and
the sideboard has new life.
That short hall leads to the bathroom
on the left. The door you see is to the
bedroom space. The small table and
chairs I bought at a resale shop nearly
30 years ago. There's a checker-board
pattern painted on top that Jonah's
already enjoying.
The TV cabinet is also an electric
fireplace. The space it sits in was meant
to be a real fireplace. And that's the
sliding-class door that leads to the patio
and backyard.
Taken from the small hallway, this
view shows the door to the unfinished
basement area. When we drywalled
roughly 20 years ago, we built in the
large "window" to provide natural light
to the other half of the basement.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Beauty and the Beast

Yesterday, hubby and I saw Beauty and the Beast on an IMAX screen. I absolutely loved Disney's adaptation of Cinderella with real people in 2015, and remember being awestruck by it's beauty. I was hoping for a similar experience with Beauty and the Beast.

Unfortunately, Beauty and the Beast isn't as breathtaking as Cinderella although there is still plenty of beauty, and CGI. In fact, the CGI is what makes Beauty and the Beast a must see in my mind. New technology was created to make the Beast as believable as possible and the result is mind boggling. I'm looking foward to seeing it again just to watch the scene where Belle and the Beast dance. Amazing!

Of course, being a huge Harry Potter fan, I loved that Emma Watson played Belle. Who knew she could sing and dance? Well, obviously the director did. I will now not only think of Watson as Hermione. She is also Belle.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Basement Cleaning and Purging

The day after Rupert's passing, hubby started tackling the basement. In his final weeks, Rupert rarely used the litter box. No matter that hubby cleaned the concrete floor in the unfinished area daily, and shampooed the carpet in the finished area almost every weekend, there was always a smell.

The first step to improving the situation was to remove the carpet tiles. That's when hubby discovered Rupert's numerous accidents hidden by the shaggy pile. If you've ever had a cat, you know the smell of cat urine is nearly impossible to get rid of. Thankfully, as soon as the tiles were tossed the smell was gone.

This weekend hubby will remove the sticky residue left from the carpet tiles and paint the floor with an odor-eliminator sealer. I ordered carpet tile samples that should arrive early next week. Hopefully we'll find something we like and be able to place an order for delivery the following week.

In the meantime, I've been purging and cleaning every inch of the basement, including the storage room. The timing is perfect because our daughter's annual MS Garage Sale is April 15 and our donation pile is growing nicely. It's interesting how things I couldn't part with last year I'm having no problem getting rid of this year. I'm feeling a strong need for change and an urge to move forward.

When we're finished, the basement will be clean and clutter free. And, although we miss Rupert terribly, we'll be glad to have that space again.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Happy 7 Birthday, Jonah!

Jonah (7) and Elliott (11)
Our grandson, Jonah, turned seven today. And, as usual, it seems he should be at least a year older. The gap between him and his older brother, Elliott, is four years, but seems and appears much closer.

Jonah is above average in intelligence with an astounding vocabulary. He's also a "sponge," retaining everything he learns.  Plus he's tall, expecting to be at least two inches taller than his big brother when fully grown.

Jonah's birthday always lands during spring break, which means Jonah has spent nearly every birthday in Walt Disney World. What a lucky kid!

(On a sad note, we lost our ~17.5 year old street-rescued pet March 11. Everyone who knew Rupert recognized him as a special cat. Unfortunately, Rupert didn't age well and, while extremely sad, we're glad he's now at peace. Rupert was the best pet we ever had. He was also our last pet. Watching another pet age, suffer, and die is more than we could take. So with Rupert's passing another chapter in our married lives ended as well.)


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Silver Linings

Recently I finally tried two things that have been trends for awhile now – adult coloring and avocado toast.

My favorite colored
page so far.
Because my new progressive lenses make near-sighted activities extremely challenging, I've given up cross-stitching for awhile. I could wear my old bifocals because my reading prescription didn't change, but then my view of the television would be blurred. And since I can't just sit and watch television, I desperately needed something to do at the same time besides being on my laptop. Adult coloring to the rescue!

I recently scored a coloring journal at Aldi for $2.50 and decided that would be a good start. Now I'm having so much fun coloring I'm budgeting for a set of 48 Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils because I want more color options. And I'm loving using a journal for various note keeping such as logging my daily carb intake. Win win!

The second new for me is avocado on toast. I've always known avocado is a healthy food, but rarely ate it because of its high calorie count. Well one of the big positives of eating low-carb is the ability to eat more low-carb foods. So yesterday I sliced avocado on buttered whole-wheat bread and now understand the obsession. Yum!

I consider adult coloring and avocado toast silver-linings to two recent frustratng challenges, adjusting to progressive lenses and losing weight. And just when I was ready for some newness in my life :)


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Aging is a Lot of Work!

Over the last few months I've been doing the responsible thing, as usual, with regard to my health. But this go around has presented one problem after another. All of which I attribute to now being 65.

First, at the end of last year, I had a mole check and eye exam. Those two check-ups resulted in the need to have three moles removed and the discovery of a cataract in my right eye. The moles were removed in January and, thankfully, had clear biopsies. I elected to deal with the cataract at my next annual eye exam. But, unfortunately, my new eye prescription pushed me to get progressive lenses which I love and hate. I love that they're thinner than my old lenses and have no bifocal line. But I hate that the reading area is half the size of what I'm used to. Nearly two months later and I'm still adjusting. To the point I'm now almost looking forward to cataract surgery.

Next up was my yearly physical. Because I'm now 65 my doctor recommended an EKG. Well, don't you know that came out "irregular." Although she was challenged to see what the problem was, she had to recommend I see a cardiologist.

Yesterday was my first (and hopefully last) visit. The cardiologist heard a faint murmur, which is just what she needed to get my insurance plan to pay for further testing. But she's not terribly concerned either. Nevertheless, given my family history, we agreed a closer look is a good idea. So, in two weeks, I'll have an echocardiogram and stress test. And, in the meantime, I'll be praying for the best results and that nothing prevents us from going to Italy in May as planned.

I also had my teeth cleaned last month, which is normally a simple procedure. Not this time. It was determined I should no longer put off having my old crown replaced, especially since I'm leaving the country in a few months. That unpleasant procedure happens the day after my heart tests.

Throughout all of the above, I've also been extremely frustrated with changes in my body. Since turning 65, I've noticed my mid section has expanded despite maintaining my weight and upping my fitness regimen. It's not a huge difference, but enough to make a lot of my bottoms uncomfortable to wear.

After some research, I decided to make several changes to my diet. In the last week, I removed sugar, started drinking green tea, and began a low-carb eating plan. As of this morning I've lost 3.2 pounds, so I'm motivated to stick with this new way of eating despite the challenges of minimizing carbs.

Yep, not only is aging not fun, it's also a lot of work!


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Another Two Nominees In One Day

Today we watched two Academy Award movie nominees, Arrival and Manchester by the Sea, both through Amazon.

First I'll review Arrival and begin by saying I don't like science fiction movies, especially those that take themselves seriously. Unfortunately, Arrival was no exception.

Not only is Arrival's plot implausible, like all science fiction movies, it's unfolding is difficult to follow and understand. And, in the end, there are way too many unanswered questions. But Arrival's worse offense is it's over-dramatization with melodramatic music playing in the background throughout the entire film.

I definitely can't recommend seeing Arrival. And I certainly don't understand why it was nominated.

Manchester by the Sea was more entertaining than Arrival, but far from enjoyable. It's a sad film about a family's hardships and how the individuals handle them. The acting is good and I liked seeing Casey Affleck in a lead role. But the overall film is ruined by it's pace, which is painfully slow, and abrupt ending.

Nevertheless, Manchester by the Sea is worth seeing. It's just not Academy Award nominee worthy in my mind.

**********************

So this year I managed to see seven of the nine movie nominees before the Awards Ceremony. Out of those seven, I still pick Hacksaw Ridge for the win. Good luck, Mel Gibson!



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Meralgia Paraesthetica

My self diagnosis was confirmed at today's physical. The outer pain I suffer periodically is meralgia paraesthetica. Nothing much one can do about it except take Ibuprofen and wait it out.

During an episode, the toughest part for me is taking stairs and, to a lesser degree, walking. That's because putting weight on my left leg causes the pain to intensify. But luckily I'm still able to lift weights and do calisthenics. I just tend to hobble out of the gym afterward.

My last flare-up lasted nearly two months, December and most of January. I'm intrigued that it subsided while I was sick for nearly two weeks and couldn't workout. Did the rest help? Or was that just a coincidence?

It's tempting to blame this new pain on an aging body, but truth is it can happen to anyone no matter their age. For me, however, it's especially annoying since I do have age-related aches and pains also. So it's just another thing that can flare-up without any warning.

But the good news is it's not life-threatening and there's no need for invasive treatment. That's a big relief!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Lion


A friend and I saw Lion today. Based on a true story, Lion is a touching movie albeit slow moving. A good 10 minutes in the middle could have been chopped. Or, that 10 minutes could have been better served at the end, giving the audience more details.

Nevertheless, Lion is another Best Movie nominee that will stay with me for a long time, and brought tears to my eyes. I understand why it was nominated. I just don't think it should win.

Of the five nominees I've now seen, I vote Hacksaw Ridge for the win!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Hacksaw Ridge

As a general rule, I don't watch war movies because I find them so disturbing. But, because I like movies about true events, and because of the story, I forced myself to see Hacksaw Ridge. And I'm glad I did.

If you enjoy stories about humans doing self-less extraordinary things, you'll like Hacksaw Ridge, and won't forget it anytime soon. Plus the acting, and costume and set designs, are all Academy Award worthy.

Like Hidden FiguresHacksaw Ridge is a story that took way too long to tell. And I think both are well-deserving of a Best Movie nomination.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Two Nominees In One Day

Saw La La Land at the theater today, and Hell or High Water through Amazon this evening. Two drastically different films, yet each left me wondering why the Academy nominated it for Best Movie.

While I enjoy an entertaining song-and-dance movie infrequently, I rarely think they qualify for Best Movie. How can a good drama compare to a good musical? Seems to me there should be a separate category for musicals.

That said, La La Land was just an OK movie. Fun but slow moving, and without any of the strong dancing seen in the oldies such as Singing In The Rain, Flashdance, or Dirty Dancing. Plus there weren't any new songs that you just can't get out of your head, or that make you want to get up and move.

Going from La La Land to Hell or High Water was a huge jump. Hell or High Water is far from a fun movie. Instead it's an extremely depressing story sprinkled with violence. I definitely would not have watched it had it not been a nominee. However, Jeff Bridges does deserve his nomination for Best Supporting Actor. And it was interesting to see Chris Pine in such a different role from that of Captain Kirk (Star Trek Beyond) and Jack Ryan (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit).

So now I've seen three of the Best Movie nominees. Not sure I'll be able to, or even want to, see all nine. But it's a fun challenge during the slower winter months.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2017 Movie Nominees

These are the 2017 Academy Award nominees for Best Movie and we've only seen one, Hidden Figures. Time to make a plan!

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Hidden Figures

Yesterday hubby and I saw Hidden Figures, the best new movie I've seen in many years!

Although it was about three black women who were math geniuses in the 60s, the real-life story wasn't just about black prejudice. I feel it was equally about perceived male superiority during the time. In fact, my takeaway was the Russians beat us into space because Americans wouldn't let smart women play a bigger role in the space race sooner.

Another message of the movie I absolutely loved was proof that going after what you want can pay off. Nothing came easy to these women but that didn't stop them. Truly they are fantastic role models for all women, no matter their color. And it's a shame we're just now learning about them. Even their family, specifically children and grandchildren, were unaware of all the struggles these women overcame until they saw the movie.

Needless to say, I highly recommend Hidden Figures. There's no better way to start your 2017 movie watching. But, if you're emotional like me, be sure to have tissues handy. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Happy New Year!

Don't know how long we can get away with saying that. But I'm thinking at least for the first week or two of the new year.

Today hubby and I have been married 44 years. Wow! That's a long time and makes me feel even older. As if hearing on Tuesday that I'm looking at cataract surgery in 1-2 years wasn't enough. Yet another one of those ". . .if you live long enough" health issues. For crying out loud!

But I'm not going to focus on all my old-age problems. Instead I'm going to appreciate that, again this year, we're going to Europe. This time Italy!

Earlier this week we booked a two-week tour, again, with Globus. (Click here for the itinerary.) Globus was running an Early Booking discount on top of the the five-percent discount we get as returning customers, so we took advantage. We also decided we need to keep traveling while we're barely financially and physically able.

In 2016 we committed to a European trip nine months in advance. This time we leave in just four and a half months. So exciting! For me trip prep is part of the fun and will certainly help me get through the confinements of winter.

But now back to the whole-house purge of 2017!