Kissing February Good-Bye

For only 28 days, February has sure felt like a long month. February has long been the month of romance. Valentine's Day, flowers & candy, engagement rings, weddings..romance has been in the air.
This has been one of our coldest February. More snow than we've seen in many years. Even though it didn't stick a lot and we didn't have those horrible accumulations the rest of the nation received, I am still glad that February is over. Of course, March may not be much better. We could still have snow, but we will soon see the crocus and Easter lilies pop up. We'll see the dogwoods start to bloom and the tree budding. The robins are already arriving and the sweet chirp of birds will fill the hair.
So we kiss February goodbye and wish it well for another year. Let's open our arms wide to embrace March and welcome it into our lives. Will it come in like a lion and go out like a lamb? After the weather we have been through, I would rather the lion and lamb lie down peacefully together and just let spring get here.


Why do I have to grow old?

I'm tired of getting older. I'm over it. I'm done. I tell people all the time "I don't feel 53". Then I fall asleep at 9:00 at night on the couch. I toss and turn all night with little aches and pains. I used to carry my twins at the same time and walk across 2 blocks to visit my neighbor. Now I get winded carrying a 12 pack of Pepsi from the car to the door. I used to be able to tie my shoes and go for a walk. Now, by the time I FIND my shoes, I feel like I've walked a mile all over the house. And my eyes! I got glasses in 4th grade. As I neared my 40's the dreaded bifocals came into action. Now I'm in trifocals and have to tilt my head up and down to refocus every time I move to look at something different. My ankles swell. My mind goes blank at times and I can't remember what I'm doing. I've got that middle age spread that won't go away. I was starting to feel like I'm really getting old. But today, I called myself an old lady and my grandson said "You're not an old lady." I asked him why not and he said "Because you aren't wrinkled." Now who can argue with a philosophy like that. So forget the eyes, the swollen ankles and the many loss. I guess age is a matter of the mind. If you don't mind, it don't matter.


When did my behind begin to unwind? You've heard it called the middle age spread, people blame it on age or working behind a desk, but whatever the reason, I've put on too much weight. I did not see this coming. Being a size 5 most of my life, when the pounds started inching up, I thought no big deal a 7 is average. A few years and a few bowls of ice cream go by and you think, well, a 9/10 isn't that bad. Then you have to leave the junior department for a Misses 10 and you think, well I am older now and these things happen. But one day you wake up and you are in front of sizes you didn't even know existed back in your 5 days and boom that horrible word we hate pops into your head ---DIET!
Every goal starts with one small step. Can I do it? Who knows. It will take a lot more will power and a lot less chocolate (and cookies, and Pepsi and french fries and pizza.....) I'm not going to give things up, I'm going to cut back. I tried this not too long ago and it worked very well. Then I ran into a small problem - WINTER. I didn't get out as much and it was dreary and cold and a good book with a snack at night was so relaxing. Now spring is around the corner and I need to be able to bend over and work in my flower bed without huffin' and puffin'. Beach vacations are right around the corner. While I really don't care what others think about how I look in a bathing suit, I do care about that "beach bulge". You know, the spare tire around our waist that looks like you stuffed a child's round float in the middle of your suit. Don't laugh. It doesn't matter what size you are, put on a one piece bathing suit and we all have a little bit more in the middle than we want.
I can't do normal diets. I would starve. If you know me well, you know I don't eat anything green except pickles and M & M's. Neither one is condusive to weight loss. I don't like veggies except taters and corn. I don't like enough of the "healthy" stuff to make a difference. If I do away with eating what is supposedly NOT good for me, I would starve. Not to mention it would last about a day or two because I have no willpower when it comes to meal time.
I have decided to implement a new fitness routine. I will eat what I like in moderation. Cut back but not cut out all my "fun" food. I'll limit my snack times, start walking again, drink more water and eat more apples and oranges.
Of course everything has to start out with baby steps or I will freak and pig out and have TWO spare tires by beach time.
So I now officially declare this FITNESS FRIDAY. I will implement something new into my health & wellness plan every Friday and stick with it. Each Friday I will add something new until I have changed my habits and started seeing a difference. I'm going to keep a log (of course in an Excel form) and only weigh myself on Friday (normally I'll jump on any scale I walk by and freak if a 1/2 pound has crept up on me.)
My goal will be to lose 26 pounds by August 1st. I will change 3 things each week. Today's Fitness Friday plan for the next week will be:
Do one exercise every morning Drink 2 extra glasses of water a day Eat real food for breakfast, not junk
I will post a fitness report each Friday to let you know how I'm doing. I will need the help of my friends and family. Email me once in awhile each week to ask about one of the new items I'm doing that week to help keep me motivated. Wish me luck. I'm off to exercise. Hope everybody has a great weekend.


Top 20 Things I like about spring and summer

  1. Going Barefoot in the grass
  2. Flip flops
  3. Children's laughter
  4. Sitting under the weeping willow trees
  5. Watching birds outside my window
  6. Singing along with music on the radio
  7. Driving with the windows down
  8. Yard sales
  9. The beach
  10. Sitting in the sun
  11. Popsicles
  12. Sunglasses
  13. Shorts & Tank tops
  14. Blowing bubbles
  15. Badminton
  16. Vacations
  17. Easter Egg Hunts
  18. Vacation Bible School
  19. Fresh squeezed lemonade
  20. Summer storms


I like Stuff

It's official I'm a "stuff" addict. I love stuff. Every week is dedicated to a single goal....finding more stuff to buy. I like things to sit around the house, shoes, clothes, purses, tote bags, nail polish, jewelry, ink pens, notebooks, flowers, baskets, kitchen utensils, knick-knacks, craft supplies, yarn, material, scrapbook supplies, clothes and toys for grandkids, beach stuff, free catalogs..... need I go on? I just love stuff. And when I get tired of looking at some of my stuff. I love to have yard sales and get rid of my old stuff. The only problem is I like to participate in multi-family yard sales. Then I buy other peoples stuff to replace mine. Then I take the money I make from the yard sale, make a list, go shopping and BUY MORE STUFF. Can anybody see a pattern here? There is nothing that makes me happier than finding a bargain. I love thrift shops, yard sales, consignment shops, etc. I use coupons and ask for discounts, all in the honor of buying more stuff. But this is one addiction I like and I can't see me getting any help for it. I guess I need to go for now. I have a date with E-Bay to look up some more STUFF.


Daffodil Days

It's that time of year when I start watching the side of the road. I watch for that first batch of daffodils to pop up from thier winter slumber. There yellow blooms line up like soldiers marching off to war. Growing up, our neighbor had a patch of daffodils that grew on the bank down by the creek. We always knew winter was almost over when they started to bloom. They are a sign of spring, of rebirth. A reminder that we have survived another cold winter. Daffoldils have long been a flower that was planted around homesteads. If you will visit Cades Cove in early spring, you can walk the fields and just about figure where old houses sat because of the daffoldils that still bloom around the home sites. I can't wait to see that first bloom.


Celebrate the little things

Blessings on this beautiful Sunday. As you walk along lives path today, be sure to take the time to celebrate the little things that make you smile. I have so many blessings in my life. Of course there is the obvious: my family, my health, a roof over my head, food on the table But it's the little things that make me do a little dance just for the sheer joy of it. Some of my finest moments come from my four precious grandchildren. They can always make me laugh. This past month has been full of those precious memories that just make you shake your head and smile. When my 5 year old granddaughter spent the night recently, she informed me she was a country girl. She wanted me to put on a video so she could dance. But it had to have country girls in it. We put on Jason Aldean's "She's Country" and she danced and wiggled and maneuvered around until my side hurt from laughing. My 10 year old grandson loves to tell me about the episodes on America's Funniest Videos. It cracks me up what ones stick in his mind. When he was over last, he was sharing some of the funniest things he had seen on there. He gets so animated and can have me laughing in no time. My 6 year old grandson calls me the other night to talk about a toy Peterbilt wrecker I saw that I asked him if he wanted it for his birthday. He called me to ask me 50 questions about it. When he said he wanted to see what it looked like, I told him I could email his mom some pictures that she could show him. He is a little impatient so he said, "Just give me the .com where it is and I'll have Mommy look it up." How does a 6 year old know about .com's. I cracked up. But the icing on the cake was with my 18 month old granddaughter yesterday. We were getting ready to go shopping yesterday and I was preparing her sippy cup. The TV was on, her mom was talking to me, I was pouring juice and she was jabbering in the kitchen. A lot of commotion. Apparently the jabbering was directed at me and she was a little aggravated that I was not paying attention because all of a sudden that little foot stomped on the kitchen floor and we heard MAMAW shouted out in an agitated voice. It was hilarious. I am constantly laughing at those defining moments that let you know you have a lot more in this life than you realize. So celebrate your special moments. Memorize them, share them and savor them.


There is nothing like getting up early on a Saturday morning and hitting the stores. I am one of those people who can window shop all day and consider it a successful day. Of course, you know I have a list. All week, when I think of something I need, something I want or something I just want to price, I put it on my list. Then I usually organize that list early Saturday morning by grouping items together by the stores I'll be visiting. With all the beautiful sunshine these past two days, spring is just around the corner. I can't wait for flip flop weather to get here. Flip flops, or as we called them - floppies, have become more than just a rubber shoe to wear outside around the house. They have evolved into an acceptable shoe for shopping, work, church, family functions, whatever. They come in casual, sporty, dressy, with little heels, flat, decorated, plain, the list just goes on and on. This is the time of year to start buying flip flops. I like to have casuals in red, black, brown, tan, and white. Then of course, I have to have dressy for church in white, black and brown. During the winter, 2 or 3 choices of shoes is fine for me. I can survive with one, maybe two, nice pairs of tennis shoes. But I am addicted to flip flops and think I have to have a pair for every occasion. So today will be declared National Start Looking for New Flip Flop day. I have already done the preliminary research and discovered that Payless has new arrivals. So I see a start to flip flop shopping in my future today.
Hope everybody enjoys the sunshine today.


For love of tea

My family ancestry comes from many countries. We have the Clonch family from Ireland. The Garretson side has been traced back to France. The McComas clan hails from Scotland. And the Eden's have there roots in jolly old England.
If there is one thing that the English know, that is tea. I was raised in a family of tea drinkers. Sweet tea, sun tea, boiled tea. Nothing like a cold glass of tea with a big slice of juicy lemon. Or so they tell me. I am an oddity. I do not like tea. I have tried and tried and cannot force myself to drink it.
But the funny thing is I am a collector of tea pots, tea for one, tea sets, tea cups, tea spoons and miniature tea sets. My house is loaded with them. I have them blues and pinks and purples. I have them with roses and lilies and doves. I have them with bunny rabbits and sisters. I even have a set with cardinals and dogwood trees on it. I love my tea accessories. But do not like tea.
Every family function revolves around their being a pitcher of tea in the refrigerator. If you walk in the door at my mothers, you can expect ice cold sweet tea. Her grandchildren say she makes the best tea in the world. My oldest granddaughter is 5. When she goes to McDonald's or Wendy's or anywhere out to eat, she has to have her sweet tea with her meal.
I'm not sure how this "tea craze" passed me over. I'm not sure why I am the odd one out. I've often wondered if my love of all things tea is to compensate for my lack of addition to good old southern, iced, sweet tea?


The Guilt Trip

We all love to go on a trip. The beaches with soft sand and golden sunrises call my name. The mountains in spring as the young deer graze in the cove. A trip to West Virginia to see family. These are all trips that I love and look forward to.
But there is one trip hat nobody likes to take, yet we do it all the time. That's right. I'm talking about the Guilt Trip. How many times do you do something or NOT do something and then make yourself feel guilty? How many, I should've and I could've's take up time during your day.
I was thinking about this earlier when I didn't forward an email to eight people so I could have money in four days. Right after I deleted it, I felt guilty. It's just like those emails that if you love Jesus you will pass this on. Here is where they get you with the guilt.
If you don't pass it on, does it mean you don't love Jesus? If you do pass it on, are you taking away valuable time from something you SHOULD be doing.
It got me to thinking. If I am doing God's work and living the life He wants me to live, He already knows I love Jesus and me sending or not sending an email will not prove that love. I've read a lot in the bible in 38 years I've been saved. And I don't recall in the old or the new testaments anywhere that says "Thou shalt forward all emails that come your way."
Now, I'm not saying that there are not some good ones out there. I forward those because they have a good message or inspiring story or simply a good laugh for the day. I don't forward them because my Christianity is at stake.
I'm not sure why we feel guilty when we don't forward every email. We have so many other things in our lives that we should feel guilty for, but we don't. When I abuse my body by lifting on things that are too heavy, does it enter my mind that I should take better care of myself? No.
When I eat that extra Reese cup, knowing it's not good for me, do I feel guilty? No. When I have a chance to say or do something good and I don't take it, do I feel guilty? No. Most times we don't even realize we had an opportunity and passed it up.
So I have decided that from now on, I won't feel guilty if I don't pass on every email that comes my way. If I think the message is good or I just want to pass it on for the fun of it, I will. But I'll save my guilt for those times I really need it. Like falling asleep before I say my prayers or forgetting to read the bible that night. Or not lending a helping hand when I can. Those will be my guilt trips and hopefully they will be short trips and few and far between.


I believe in angels

I am a firm believer that we have angels all around us. Not just protecting us and guiding us, but lending a helping hand, watching over us as we go our merry way. What makes a great angel? I think some of her best qualities would be patience, understanding, a true nurturer. Consider how we act throughout the day; the predicaments we land ourselves in. When you really take a good look at human nature, we can do some crazy things that probably drive our guardian angels nuts. I think they would have to have a wonderful sense of humor. I took one of those random on-line quizzes the other day that determined "What would your job in Heaven be?" I loved my answer: Brenda's Job in Heaven is Making people spontaneously laugh at random moments.
How cool is that? To think that when I get to Heaven, I'll be the "go-to-girl" for anyone wanting a moment of laughter. It made me stop and think. If I'm that humorous now, wonder how much fun my guardian angels have when it's their day to watch over me?


He's an on time God

I have an old song I love called "He's an on time God". How true that is. I have learned if I just tell Him what I need and leave Him alone to handle it, He always come through. I've had situations lately that I would stress over and worry about and then when I put it aside and ask God to take care of it, He does. This song says it all: You can ask the children of Israel, trapped at the Red Sea by that mean old Pharaoh and his army. They had water all around them, and Pharaoh on their track, from out of nowhere, God stepped in and cut a highway just like that. Chorus
He's an on time God, yes, He is. An, on time God, yes, He is.
(Job said), He may not come when you want Him,
(but He'll) be there right on time; He's an on time God, yes, He is.
You can ask the five thousand hungry souls He fed, on the banks of the river with two fish and five loaves of bread. What a miracle, He performed for the multitude, And what He did way back then, He'll do today for me and you.


Things we never outgrow....

No matter what age you are, if you see a paddle with a red ball on a rubber band, you want to pick it up and count how many times you can hit it without missing. Hand me a slinky and I'm going to let it go back and forth for a long time before I put it away. I can't pass a hula hoop without taking it for a spin. I cannot pass up a set of Jacks. I am glad my granddaughter Alexis is old enough to play them. I'll have to give them a whirl this summer. Loved silly putty. My favorite was to put it on the comics and pull it off. Cool. And where would we be without bubbles. I love the old fashioned kind in the bottle with the little wand. I buy them every summer "for the grandkids". That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I have decided for the spring, I'm buying a hula hoop and conquering how to use it more than two spins before it falls and I'm investing in a old fashioned jump rope. I hate to exercise but love to play. What better way to do both than with hula hoop to slim the waistline and a jump rope to burn calories. So forget the fad diets and the expensive exercise equipment. I'm going for the fun. I'll keep you posted on the success.


February - the month of love

February, a time of romance. A time of showing those we love how special they are to us. We have heard it said "Love is never having to say your sorry." and "Love is blind." But what else is love? What defines those moments that create that special bond. It's not the deep abiding heart wrenching moments. It's the little things. I have given this some thought and have came up with my version of Love is....
Love is....
....when he decides to make a batch of your favorite candy, even though he doesn't like it.
....sitting on the couch watching a sit com and laughing together
....when he scrapes the ice off your car so you won't have to
....when he ALWAYS puts the toilet seat down so you won't "fall in" in the middle of the night
....when he walks on the outside when you are going down a sidewalk or road together.
....when you can vent about what is bothering you and he just lets you rant and rave, then asks "What do you want me to do?" And you realize there is nothing he can do except listen and that you feel better already.
....when he spends the whole day taking you everywhere you want to go and never complains how long you spend in each store.