Saturday, February 1, 2020


So I've waited to write this post for months Since December 2018 I had steadily gained weight- sometimes as much as 5 pounds a month.  Nothing had changed in my life-I still walked and ate low fat.  Then after my surgery in July- I gained another 5 pounds!!!!  Believe me I was beginning to really worry.

There's so many diets out there and if you're like me you have friends on all of them.  Several of my friends swear by Keto but there was NO way I was going to put all that fat into my body.  I don't care what Facebook doctor says it's good for a person I do not believe it (nor do most real doctors) I don't doubt a person can lose weight on it- I lost weight in Ukraine by drinking only Pepsi, eating rice, cheese and bread but that doesn't mean it was good for me!

 A relative went on a strict vegan diet and lost  100 pounds and recovered his health.  I tried that for a couple of days several times but I figured it was not going to work for me because it made me too angry and I figured I'd end up in hell if I continued!  LOL

Antother friend went on a wheat free diet and lost 100 pounds....

And you know not to comment on Facebook about any one's diet because then they'll hit you up for some program that costs hundred's of dollars... happened to me several times!  Believe me I'm not going to spend $300 a month for some nasty food!

Last year I even tried some pills that a friend was selling (nothing illegal) and they made me sick as a dog, it was like morning sickness!

Anyhow i was desperate! I knew i could not follow any crazy diet plus like I said I didn't want to wind up in hell cause I'm so grumpy LOL

So around my birthday in mid September I decided to go sugar free.  It didn't seem to make much difference because ( I think) I was still drinking soda- diet soda but with Splenda.  Actually I put Splenda in everything!  After researching it- it seems that Splenda makes the body react in many ways just like sugar does. Read this study  So I began using Stevia and Monk fruit.  I have to switch them around and I'm really working on using no sweeteners.  Now I rarely drink diet soda or any soda, it's probably been months.  I drink alot of coffee!!!!

Then I began hearing about Intermittent Fasting!  Boy I could do that!  I'm not one to even want to eat before 11 or so but I would snack at night.  The premise of IF is a person fasts for 16 hours and eats for 8 hours.  Read about it Intermittent Fasting.  So basically I don't eat until noon (usually about 1pm) then I stop eating by 8pm.  Actually I usually try to stop at 6 pm.  For me this is so easy!

And the results....I'm down 22 pounds since the middle of September!!!

All my clothes fit good now, in other words I don't have to lay down on the bed to zip my jeans up LOL  Sunday I wore a dress that I've not been able to wear for several years.  For Christmas Jon gave me gift cards (he's not the best shopper ha ha)  So I set a goal to lose 25 pounds before I spent them- looks like it won't be long till I get to spend them! YAY!

I've really cut down sugars- I look at all everything I buy and get the lowest sugar as possible- for example now I get ketchup with no sugar added.  I do not buy things with artificial sweeteners but rather things with low naturally accruing sugar.  Once you start reading the labels it will amaze you at how much added sugar is in our diets!  I avoid anything with added sugar or at least try to buy the product with the least amount of added sugar.

Of course I'm still walking and eating low fat.  Grains & carbs  are still included in my diet but I do watch them and keep them low.  Some nights I eat a piece of toast with peanut butter as my supper, so it's not all bad. And I"m not terribly strict if I go out to eat- even with the time of my first meal because sometimes the only time I can meet a friend is for breakfast but that's a rare treat.
This is a picture of me and two of my best friends-we ate before 12 :)

So this is more a lifestyle change that doesn't make me mad!  This is something I can live with the rest of my life and I believe it's pretty healthy!!

No one else in our family has really embraced it-but the good thing is it doesn't interfere with them.  They do get the additional benefits because I'm buying lower sugar sauces and ingredients for all of us.

So anyhow my weight is now lower than it's been in 7 years! My husband thinks I'm going to get down to my pre marriage weight LOL I'm not so sure about that!  If you have any questions you can email me any questions you may have!

BTW my little Frenchie hen has started laying eggs- now I have two laying hens:)

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

A Chicken Miracle!

Well I've experienced a chicken miracle!  In my last post I mentioned we had a new pet chicken that I named Dumplings.

 So you know how it goes....once you get one pet others follows  One of our therapists offered a hen house and three more hens.  She told me one of the chickens had seemed to have hurt her leg.  I saw the chicken when we went to pick them up and she was alert and eating but limping.  Well once we got them home, that chicken continued to get worse.

Jon & I had to go out of town for a funeral and before we left, I noticed Dumpling had the same symptoms!  After looking it up I guessed they had Maerk disease-it's fatal in chickens.  Some birds are vaccinated against it in the egg before they are hatched or immediately after.  I could only guess the other two girls were from a breeder that did that.  While we were gone the sick chicken died and Dumpling got worse.

In the scheme of life I know a chicken's death is NOT a big deal!  In fact in the scheme of MY life a chicken's death should not be much of a big deal as I have so many things to deal with.  But I've enjoyed Dumpling and her funny little non chicken acting self since she was hanging out at our church & I hated that there was no treatment that could be done.  But it just made me very sad and I felt guilty bringing the sick chicken home although it really just looked like an injury.

Anyhow I had to go and do errands last week and in the course of my day I had to drop off our church's end of the year paperwork to our church's accountant.  He & his wife just had a big scare with the health of their son and they had anointed him with oil and prayed for him.  They were testifying to me about the good report they'd gotten from the doctor.  Believe it or not I had felt "impressed' to anoint the chicken with oil and pray for her too (I know I sound FLAKY!)  but I went home and did it.  The very next morning Dumpling was walking normally!!!!

The girl on the top left is Ginger - then Dumpling is on the right looking at the camera.  The little fluffy one is called Frenchie but I usually call her Fluffy LOL

I don't understand this but I'm grateful to the Lord!  I'm going through some major trying times on several levels and for some reason this was just "the straw that broke the camel's back for me"  It was affecting me too much! I'm grateful to God for healing Dumpling and giving my heart a little boost!  Certainly naysayers could say I misdiagnosed her but I'm pretty confident i did not, Maerk's causes something like a palsy and lots of shaking.  That's what Sunshine ( the one who died) ended up doing.  Dumpling was doing the same thing and could barely stumble even a few steps.  It makes my heart happy to see her running towards me every day:)

Changing the subject.....A friend of ours gave us some glass art and we finally got it up on the porch.  I just love it!  Of course I'm sure it will have to be taken down next summer for a hurricane or two!

Jon and I have a goal of going to all the State Parks in Florida.  We keep a park pass and love going to some close by but we are expanding out!  On our way up to the funeral we stopped at Rainbow River State Park.  It was gorgeous and just right to spend a couple of hours walking around

Then we went to the Devils' Millhopper Geological State Park which is a huge sinkhole.

Sinkholes are so scary to me.  We have friends who built the most amazing house right on a sinkhole.  They have a balcony that is over it.  It's gorgeous but I couldn't sleep at night if I lived there.  We noticed right outside the park, there was a housing development.  You couldn't give me a house in that development!!!  Living in Florida means we all live over potential sinkholes and that is so scary to me!!!  A few years ago just maybe 25 miles south of us a sinkhole caved in under a house and swallowed a man, they never could retrieve his body!!!  That just freaks me out!  So Sinkholes are one of my many fears...another fear is finding a snake in my toilet at night LOL  what can I say I live in Florida!

So anyhow I'm grateful for all the good things in life and how God can give us a little encouragemnet in dark days.  If you think of me say a little prayer- I could use it!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year 2020

When I was a little girl I couldn't imagine that the world would last to the year 2000.  I remember counting up my age and realizing I'd be 35!!!! in 2000- what horror! I'd be ancient..... well now we are at the beginning of 2020 and it's surreal.  Also as a young girl I'd listen to my grandmother and great aunts talk about WWI, the Flu Epidemic of 1918 and the 1920's as if it were yesterday now I'm living  100 years after those events.  It's freaky!
So today I bought a new road atlas and a 2020 planner.  I LOVE having a real road atlas in my hand when we travel.  Sure we have GPS but sometimes it's wrong and sometimes I can figure out a better way on my own.  I LOVE reading maps, I've tried teaching my older boys to love maps but they just relay on GPS.  I have a strange skill, I can see a map in my head - I can't explain it but I can usually guesstimate how to get somewhere and usually be accurate.  Let's just say I'm the only one in my family who has that skill LOL   That skill was pretty fine tuned all those years ago doing home visits to all my folks on probation!  That was "back in the day" when you carried maps around and cursed the idiots who built roads around lakes and had 3 different names for one street!

And a year planner is a MUST!  I have to SEE it all written out- I've tried putting stuff on my phone but I hate it!  Tomorrow I'm putting in all the appointments etc into my 2020 planner.  That's a job I'm looking forward to doing.

Last night we welcomed in the new year with a bonfire and friends.  Both our older boys had plans so that was a little different for our family but it was fine.

 Yes I have on PJ pants, socks and flip flops!

Perfect fire

Sarah started the year out by swinging for about 3 hours:)

So y'all know our church is in the country...?  Well a few months ago our neighbor's chicken would come visit me every time I was at the church.  She'd come running to me- so cute.

This was her Christmas service picture

She'd jump in our van

So our neighbor let me have her!

Shad made a dream of mine come true!  He bought and built me a chicken coop.  We plan on buying a few chicks in the spring.

Molly is very interested in her new friend

Actually Molly is on guard duty tonight.  She generally sleeps in her crate on our front porch but until we get stronger locks on the cage she's pulling guard duty in her crate near the coop with the door open.  She was crate trained before we got her and she loves her crate.  It is like a security blanket to her.  

By the way, the chicken is named Dumpling.... after my signature dish!  But don't worry this Dumpling is just a pet!  Growing up we had a huge hen house and many chickens for years.  There were a few personal favorites, one little Banty hen that must have lived 15 years, I remember her most of my childhood.  Our chickens were somewhat free range before that was a thing but they did roost at night in a huge hen house.  Today I tried to explain the hen house to Shad & he couldn't believe anyone would have that many chickens and such a big place for them to live in!  
One curious thing I remember was the eclipse of 1969- our chickens all went into the hen house to roost like it was night time  that really stuck with me.  

Well this year and decade had a funny beginning but here we go ...hold on!  The future is scary to me, I guess you know when you are getting old because when you're young, the future is your friend, you're so eager for the next life experience...NOW at my age I realize  the next life experience might not be something I want!!!  I'm praying that your family and mine have a healthy happy new year and new decade.  I'd love to go a decade with no serious medical issues for anyone in my family!  Quite honestly we've had a share of drama in the past decade- high highs and very low lows...let's just stay with things nice and boring!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Thanksgiving & North Carolina trip

Moving right November our church got two new beautiful signs.  I think they are beautiful because I designed them LOL But they reminded me of a very old picture we took 30 years ago on a November afternoon.  Before Jon & I married I attended the church we pastor now.  After we married they invited my husband & I back to do the a weekend of services and also gave us a wedding shower.  
I'm so glad this picture was taken ......

Because here we are 30 years later to the exact weekend! 

With all our peeps (we weren't able to get Selah's wheelchair down there the ground was too soft)

But who would have imagined 30 years ago all that would have transpired between pictures?  Certainly not me!!!

Here's our Thanksgiving picture we even got Molly in it!

Thanksgiving Service

Is this picture of Sarah beautiful or what?  I took it at the barn before horse back riding.

Sarah had an EEG just to rule out possible seizures.  Both of her diagnosis Peter's Anomaly & SOX2 has seizures as a problem.  She is was recently tested for Rhett's Syndrome & it too has seizures as a possibility.  Sarah sometimes makes funny little movements but we didn't really think it was seizure related and thankfully it is not!  The only issue the doctor saw was a slowing down of her brain waves in the back section of her brain probably related to her eyes.  People think of the eyes and brain as two different organs and technically they are but are very closely interrelated.

Sarah did so good- we were afraid she'd freak out with the cap and electrodes on her head but she did wonderfully.  I did have to hold her hand the whole hour!  But it was ok!  Then we stopped and got ice cream and she was very happy

The next morning we headed out for North Carolina.  We stayed in a friend's condo on Sugar Mountain near Banner Elk North Carolina,

We stopped alot on the way up.  This was on Brown Mountain

This is the condo we stayed in (8th floor) I took this picture from Grandfather Mountain)

2 bedroom- 2 bath full kitchen (everything you need to cook) laundry room and balcony.  It was amazing!!!! It sleeps 6-8

The first day we went across to Grandfather Mountain and walked across the swinging mile high bridge!  It was breathtaking and COLD

Just for clarification these next two pictures were taken without parent's permission or knowledge!  And these two grown boys of mine got yelled at!  But they are great pictures!

Down the mountain is a small museum and zoo But Sam and Sarah enjoyed the rocking chairs and warmth

 the bear even came out of hibernation to see us

That next day the weather started getting bad and we just piddled around as we were not brave drivers on mountains with freezing rain/snow/winds and not as many guard rails as we would like!  

Then we got snow!  I can not even tell you how cold it was- I doubt any of us had ever been in such cold conditions and the wind was blowing up to 30 miles an hour!  From the balcony you could only see white and hear the wind howling!

Our condo

We woke the next morning to this on the ski slopes

And off they went for a class and a full 12 hours of skiing.  I watched Netflex LOL

More our style, I had planned on taking the little kids out  sledding but it was so cold and neither of them care to be cold that we didn't do it

The next day we went to Blowing Rock North Carolina

I got brave enough to climb a little but they had two cats there who climbed the rock with no problems.  They were strays that had come up and been adopted.

I took these pictures- no filters or edits...unreal!!!!

Then it was back home

Sarah in her Christmas dress

 Sarah by our tree

Molly our dog and Gizmo our cat love each other

Shad took this picture one morning near our house

So if you'd like some info about staying in our friend's condo please go to their website.  It was amazing and so very comfortable.  We cooked all our meals except one so that saved tons of money.  They have a washer and dryer in the condo  that was convenient.

AND for every vacation booked mentioning our name we get a free nigt!!!  So please go to

The family has several adopted children- grandchildren and nieces and nephews.  It's a way to bless them and us!  Make sure you mention our names if you book and let me know too so I can keep up with it1  We'd love to go back in the summer so we can explore more!!