It's All About the Journey

Today is your future. Live in the moment!

On being "fluffy"…

Everyone is trying to lose weight these days, including me.  Some of the best successes are through Weight Watchers.  Others include the South Beach Diet, the Atkins Diet, just to name a few.

The problem with these fad diets, you are trying to fix one malady and lo, and behold! Another surfaces due to the “fix.”  So far, the best advice I ever got was “moderation in everything.”  The concept was out there, oh–quite a few years ago under a diet fad called “The Weighdown Diet.”  The woman that wrote the book claimed that all you had to do was follow your body signals, eat what your body wanted, but stop when full.  Do not eat when stressed or bored.  I had followed that pattern and lost 25 lbs in 6 months.  I analyzed in my brain every bite I took into my mouth and ended up with the following lifestyle:  after my early morning walk with a girlfriend we would have a single cup of coffee at her place (a foreigner, she had the best coffee ever), I would go home and meet my day and when the hunger pangs began, would have my juice and complementary medication that went with it (thyroid in my case, haha).  Showering and dressing, I would find that by 8 I needed a little something so would make a decision on exactly what my body was requiring at the moment, cereal or toast or eggs, then off to work I would go.  I discovered that I would get hungry by 11 for lunch, but my body was only really interested in that half sandwich (oh, and I’m sure I had coffee in there somewhere mid morning again).  I was hungry again around 3 so would start making dinner.  I would eat by 5.  If the family wasn’t around, I’d hang out with them while they ate.  Dessert, if it happened at all, occurred around 7.  But I didn’t give up anything.  I ate at McDonalds, their big Mac.  I didn’t eat the fries.  Why?  I wasn’t interested in the fries.  I had the coke, but it was DIET.  I have since given up aspartame, so any soda is rare indeed since it is made from corn syrup as opposed to sugar.  Hey, is any of it REALLY good for you?  The downfall on this diet came from  my gut telling me it was time to STOP.  I started having dry heaves because I was overanalyzing everything and not eating until I was so dead sure of what my body wanted that I wasn’t eating at all.  How did I feel on this diet?  I felt GREAT.  So I would love to try it again, but without the negatives effects I experienced at the end.

The bottom line is “lifestyle” and change for the good.  All things in moderation so you don’t end up binging (but also keeping it out of your cupboard is a good guideline to utilize).


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I rise at 4:30 a.m.  I don’t mind rising at this hour, it was yesterday’s that I minded!  It helps me get things done by being this early morning person.  By 9 a.m. half of my day is over!  I think and play at the computer, write, check out my facebook and other social networks.  I write (like now).

I found out Tuesday that Bill Stratton passed on.  Bill.  Let me talk about Bill.  Memories flood me.  Bill was the neighbor across the meadow.  My sister and I played with his kids, grew up with his kids, right here in Oxford.  Bill had a dairy farm.  I remember helping his kids pick the corn that grew in the meadow, and “helping” them sell it for 50 cents a bakers dozen, on the Route 12 roadside.  My Dad helped Bill out a little bit in his barn.  I can remember me and Terri going to the fields and calling the cows in “Ca Bossy, ca bossy!”  I remember Bill losing his arm in an farming accident.  I remember him not giving up.  He went on to school and got a degree in law.  The memories are sketchy, but they are there.  I remember coming back to Oxford 35 years later and him coming into my coffee shop.  I didn’t recognize him at first, but then saw a man with one arm.  Shame on me for that handicap having to point out who he was.  I went around the counter to hug him, he who had been a dad, however remotely, yet very distinctly.  A man whose respect had been earned by me just by being there.  A man whom I came to asking for support to run for town judge, a man who gave me support and nominated me for that position (I did not win, it went to another, but nevertheless, it meant a great deal to me that Bill would do this for me).  My sympathies go out to his children, who are my brothers and sisters as well, his ex Ruth, who is like a mother to me as well.  I will never forget you Bill Stratton.

I think about myself, my future.  Yes, there is alot of living still to do over the next 20 years, I figure I will have that long to be able to remain active, so I might as well plot it out and hope for the best.
Jobwise, I went to the job fair yesterday in Norwich.  It was okay.  I did hand out my resume to a few companies, but was in and out in about half an hour.  Then I went to work and enhanced photography at home.
The headcold is winding it’s way down.  Zicam really works!  Great stuff!
I’m rambling.
What I really meant to say this morning is this:  never ever give up.  When you least expect it, the wind hears your voice and your intentions and takes them and, like magic, can make them happen.  Things come your way and if you can recognize them you can take great joy in them, knowing that life is working for you.  And if life changes?  Unemployment, divorce (by your hand or your partner’s), kids gone crazy, economic tough times, a death in the family…remember…like the sunset resting on your shoulder, that life is a mere shadow of that which is to come.  For what is eternity?  Life is about the journey, every day, that 24 hour period, is your eternity.  Live it for that day.  It’s our only choice.

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Early in the Morning

Sitting here at 3:30 in the morning, I’ve been awake since probably 2, bothered by my (politically correct term) “upper respiratory infection,” better known as “the common cold.”  It has been quite a long time since I’ve had this nuisance disorder, long enough for me to not remember symptoms at the onset–a scratchy throat that started on Saturday.  Well into the cold Tuesday, I remembered my Zicam spray that is supposed to ease the cold, if not stop if altogether (if you catch it at the onset, which would have been Saturday).

So I sit here at 3:30 in the morning, doing what I enjoy, with my oatmeal with almonds, buttered toast, a banana, and hot “throat relief” tea.

The last week or so I’ve been reminded of my Grandma Doty.  She was also single in her 50’s, and lived a couple doors down from here.  I’ve been having alot of dreams about her, mostly about her apartment and her dining room floor, which was a green and peach swirl linoleum (funny the things you remember most as a child, but then, I was closer to the floor than anyplace else).  I am reminded of her as I prepare my meals (or lack of preparing my meals, I’m not the cook she was, and life is way too convenient today, whereas back in the 50’s and 60’s I wonder what my grandmother prepared, cooking for herself all those years (mostly 60’s) alone.

I remember her little apartment with it’s spookiness.  Gram was always a little spooky anyway, she was superstitious and you couldn’t rock the rocker without being in it (someone would die), you daren’t hold an umbrella over your head in the house (you would die), and if a bird landed in your window, someone was sure to die.  As a child, I was dead certain that there was a skeleton hiding in the clothes closet.  (Please note, it was not spooky if Gram was there.)  And the back attic room housed an old claw foot tub, so amidst the trunks and boxes and window light with all of her plants, there was this old tub.  (Now if that wasn’t spooky, nothing was.)

Gram had a very simple way of life.  She babysat for the Harold Races’ for many years, being there for the children and housekeeping and starting dinner, then she’d walk back to her little apartment around the corner.  She never had a car, and it wasn’t until the 1970’s that she got a telephone.  Norwegian baking for the holidays was her specialty.  Crisp flat crackers (no I cannot remember the name), sugar cookies that looked like cupcake holders that had a sprinkle of colored sugar, and her famous rosettas!   (Now would be the time to insert a beautiful photo, but alas, I have none!)  My daughter and my mother have continued the tradition of the rosettas.  (My daughter moved to Kansas City this spring, I know my Mom will miss her and their annual baking project.)

Gram loved playing cards.  She would sit in her livingroom and play solitaire for hours on end, while watching her television.  Her television.  Gram splurged in the early 1960’s and bought the color tv, and we would watch programs in “living color.”  We’d go to bed fairly early, and Gram would sit there in her livingroom, playing solitaire and watching her tv.

In later years, after the Race kids were too big to need a sitter anymore, she tried to move on to working for an old woman, taking care of her during the day.  I don’t think it worked out, I don’t remember her doing that for very long.

Many more stories of my grandmother to come, I’m sure.

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Green Tomatoes

My favorite way to serve these goes as follows:
Cut up green tomatoes, put in a container that you can put a slightly smaller container in. Pour enough salt to float in the Dead Sea and mix. Put top dish on (that Tupperware meat marinater really works perfectly) and out something HEAVY on top–

Check often, the goal is to get the water out! You will have to dump water off or have a sea of seawater alk over! In 24 hours you squeeze them dry and now put them back in your “press” this time with red wine vinegar. In another 24 hours squeeze this dry too and then take your jars, line with a layer of tomatoes, chopped garlic pieces and oregano, and olive oil. Fill it with layers this way. Refrigerate at least 10 days. Great on sandwiches and pizza! (let some get room temp)

The Healthcare Nightmare

I think insurance is basically big business. We pay insurance so the other person can get covered, pretty much.  Think about it.  I can pay $200+ a month, go to the doctor and pay a $20 co-pay for that service.  Now.  If I’m NOT sick, I still pay the $200+ per month.  If I have to go to the doctor, I pay the $20 co-pay….gee, look at what I have saved.  On the other hand, without insurance I am called a “self pay.”  I go to the doctor and pay a discounted rate (because the doctor actually has a heart) of $57 for the office visit, if it is just a mere visit.  Minus the $200+ to the insurance company.

I know what you are thinking.  What about the extras?  I understand, big time.  Last year I got sick.  I had to have tons of lab tests (which I am still paying for), hospitalization in 4 different hospitals because I was a walking time bomb and didn’t know it, was ill and didn’t care if I lived or died.  Because I have no health insurance, I had to apply to every doctor’s office, every hospital and healthcare facility, for aid.  Aid ranged from 35% to 88% given by these institutions.  Yes, it was more than what I would have paid if I had had health insurance.   But wouldn’t it be better for people to have this than have to pay thousands of dollars every year to a large company who not only pockets your money, but dictates the options available to you (“oh, we won’t pay for this because you didn’t do that first”) thereby killing you slowly while still pocketing your money????  I will be honest with you, I would rather do what I’m doing NOW than pay out those dollars to undeserving companies.  I did get restored to health, yes, I had to pay more, but it wasn’t a government handout either.

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1000 islands

While there are not 1000 of them, there’s a lot. I don’t remember the statistics. I do know it is one of the most peaceful places to be. Watch the river, barges, boats and birds. Cranes, gulls and a blue heron decorate the River. The almost eternal breeze that fills you and keeps the sun from feeling too hot.

About 3:30/4 am the cold came down like a shade. Of course I was awake, these cabins are sparse and the mattresses it is doubtful have been changed since they were built.