The Man Box

“You’ve made me resentful, too,” he said.

“How so,” she replied?

“By your actions!”

“How does it make you feel.  Be honest,” she continued.

“Angry!  Irritated!  Furious with you!!”

“Fascinating,” she replied.  “That’s just how I felt when you stood me up last week.  Remember that?  Me, sitting, waiting on you? You, heading home without me?”

His face blushed crimson.

“Now, let’s put this all away.”  She fairly sang the sour notes.  “The children will be home soon, and we mustn’t let them see us quarreling.”

He opened the box that was labeled MAN and pulled his heart out of his chest before struggling to get it inside that tough, leather, too-small container.

She left the room in order to start dinner, never to speak of it again.

February 11 Goals

TGT mast head

This week has been challenging.  I don’t know what is going on in other areas of NEPA, but in Lori’s World it’s been strange.  I’ve probably been thinking too much. My mind can be a dangerous neighborhood sometimes.  A place where no stranger should ever venture.  :)

This week I will admit to some working, some fretting, a lil bit of amazement, and a whole lot of behavior modification with me, but like Pete the Cat says, “It’s all good!”

I love Pete the Cat. Do you know him?

000Pete standingLike Pete, I’m standing tall.

If you will allow, I’d like to meander a moment…

In the last millennia, I worked at a drug and alcohol recovery center. I loved that job, because it was 90% about helping other people.  I didn’t like the management so much–they had lots of room to grow when I was there–but I did like our clients.

I loved that job because I love helping others.

I also loved that job because I got to see how people changed because of little things we did while I worked there, little offerings of grace.  A smile shared.  A joke told.  A listening ear and open hearts.  A simple task done without grumbling, like emptying the garbage without being asked or buying creamer and paying for it yourself when you don’t use it.

Creamer makes life for others sweeter.

Half and Half is one of those mood-altering foods that a smoothly running office can live without, but why should they?  Chocolate is another.  I always used chocolate when the psychologist was in the house.  I’m still not sure if that was to sooth him, or me.  He made me nervous.

Lately, I’ve faced some changes that have been challenging.  I think maybe the nastiest part of my current sitch is that we’ll-do-it-this-way-today-but-then-again-tomorrow-maybe-it’ll-be-different pattern I’m seeing develop.

I don’t work well with fluctuation.

I like rules!

I like predictable.

I like rock-steady.

Give me a pasture with strong fences and grass to eat, and I’m content.

Fluctuation is a part of the change game, I know,  but dealing with flux can be exhausting.  If I’ve seemed sullen or negative in my posts of late, let me apologize and say, “I will try harder not to bring that stuff to the blog in the days ahead.”

You don’t need to hear read that!

Besides, I have goals to set and an update to provide, so let’s get to it.

MY THREE GOALS LAST WEEK WERE

1 Call the Y and the BW in my area to check on swimming options.

2 Plan meals 2 x this week, and count calories 2 days this week. Try to eat enough less that I am hungry before I get to the next week.

3 Talk to a professional about putting together a workable plan for losing 10 lbs before summer.

HOW DID I DO?

Goal No. 1 DONE, BUT JUST BARELY!  I contacted both a local hotel and the Y about membership fees and swimming options this week.  I now have info I need to make a decision about which way to go for a new exercise experience.  Yay!

Goal No. 2 KINDA DONE!  I did plan meals this week, more than two days actually, and I did pay attention to what I ate.  Once I threw out food I planned to eat but felt would not feed my body well.  I did not count calories this week, though, so this is only a kinda done goal for me.

Goal No. 3 FAIL.  I did not talk to anyone this week about a workable plan for losing that 10 lbs.  Well, that’s not entirely true, I did talk to someone, but I didn’t talk seriously, as in planning to work a particular program.  That being the case, I’m counting this as a fail.

HOW I FEEL ABOUT HOW I DID

I think I had just too much to think about this week.  the office was really busy, and home was busy, too.  I had those changes to balance, and I’m dealing with others who are going through changes, too.  My mind has been swirling lately, and while that may not sound like a good excuse to some, its what I have to offer.

WHAT I’M HOPING FOR

My hope going forward is that it will be a lil quieter on the upper levels (my brain), this week, and that I will be able to get more done on the lower level (with my body). The wee ones come to the house Saturday evening and will be with us through Wednesday night, so I’m not sure how much thinking will get done, anyway.  More action, no doubt.  I hope to get a lot of hugging time in and some reading time, too.  The elder is now an accomplished reader, you know, so I can’t wait to have him read to me :)

MY THREE GOALS THIS WEEK

1  Spend quality time moving with/enjoying the wee ones this week, and doing something extra special on Valentine’s Day.

2  Do 3 things that reflect faith and empowerment, and continue to meditate daily.

3  Exercise each morning, and eat the rainbow every day.

The boys love veggies and doing stuff, so these should not be hard goals for me to achieve.  Woohoo!  These will get done.  Stay tuned to find out how!

What three things will you do to get yourself moving this week?  What one goal have you had for yourself for a while now, but haven’t committed it to paper? 

 

Professional Opinions Matter

000happy_doctor

Yesterday, I made a trip up north to see my dermatologist. Being fair skinned, I’m prone to problems, so I’m good about getting annual check-ups.

Have you noticed that there is a shortage of skin doctors in your area?

There for sure is in NEPA.

I had to travel an hour to be seen yesterday, because the clinics closer to me aren’t scheduling appointments at this time. The drive was sooooo worth it! Not only did my doc not find any noteworthy problems with my derma, but she asked me about my weight loss journey. She told me she thought I looked like I had lost weight since I saw her last.

I had to admit I hadn’t.

I think what she was seeing was all the toning that has occurred because of the morning exercise I’ve religiously done the last few months, starting with FIVE minutes each day and building up to FIFTEEN to EIGHTEEN minutes every morning with 5-15 minutes on the recumbent bike at night.

Thank you, Three Goals Thursdays!

Honestly, I’ve been pretty bummed lately about my “progress”. It has slowed considerably–well, really, its stopped. I think I’m suffering from a combination of diet fatigue and an old metabolism with a hint of blood sugar issues thrown in for good measure. Ugh, a killer combination! Plus, I spend a lot of time in my head, discussing weight loss and exercise with myself and it’s seems like I’m falling behind the pack.  In my estimation, anyway.

My head is such a dangerous neighborhood most days. Why do I ever go there?!

I “feel” like I’m losing ground and don’t have the energy or the mental fortitude to do more than I’m currently doing.

Yesterday was a breath of fresh air; a chance to chat with a professional who affirmed me in my efforts and saluted my progress.

She didn’t say, “Why haven’t you done more, or why have you quit trying?”

She did say, “Give yourself a break, you’re not a super hero. You’re a real human, with a real life, and you’re doing great!”

Seriously, I could have cried…

Mind you, she is an itty-bitty thing and she was seeing me up close and in living color. Nothing was hidden from her.  In fact, these annual exams can be pretty invasive and humbling. It all hangs out at these appointments, if you know what I mean.

I don’t know how many of you reading this are struggling with a goal you have for yourself and feeling defeated in the process.

I don’t know how many of you might feel like you’re going backward, instead of forward.

If you do feel that way, let me encourage you.

You are you–beautiful, wonderful, witty, funny, and vibrant in your own rite.

You are human.

You are loved, and you will get there!

You are not a super hero. You are mortal. Be gentle with yourself.

Be kind to yourself too, and be okay with the progress you’ve made. Celebrate what you’ve already done, as well as what you’ve attempted. More successes are on the way, if you don’t give up.

Never give up!

I believe in You!

When has another’s confidence in you been a blessing that spurred you on to greater and greater degrees of confidence in yourself?  Who would God have you express true confidence in today?

Missed Opportunities

I feel guilty today.

Let me tell you why.

On Sunday we had a dessert auction at church. Proceeds from the sale benefited a missions group that will be traveling to Haiti at the end of the month.

Woohoo! I love missions and I’m excited for this group.

Dessert Auctions are awesome!!!

The desserts that were offered at this auction all looked delicious. Most were home made! We bought two pans of brownies. Ummm, chocolatey goodness in a pan. They were extra rich and extra chocolatey, and oh, so yummy. I brought one pan to work with me today, and they are quickly being mowed down.

Delicious!!!

We had fun at the auction.

The monies raised will go to a good cause.

We all did this together, and it’s always nice to unite together in purpose for a good cause.

Everything should have been fine and dandy regarding this event, but there was snag.  A wrinkle in my time while there.

You see, there was a gramma and her grand-daughter sitting at the table behind us at the auction.  My back was to them where I was seated and I didn’t see what they were up to during the auction, but someone else did.

In the fun and excitement that was the auction process, this grandma bid on a dessert, but she was outbid. I’m not sure how many times this happened, and I can’t say for sure, but I’m pretty sure the child went away from the church without dessert.

When I found out about gramma being outbid at the auction, I felt sad.

I wished I had been clued into the situation sooner than I was. We had two (count them, two), pans of brownies at our table.  We could have easily given one of them to this family and still had plenty for ourselves. We didn’t need any, but we wanted to help the mission team meet their goal.

The problem is, I think I might have missed God’s bigger goal in the process of meeting a small goal.

I remember another time when Mr and me took our grands to a dessert auction. The older grand asked me when he could eat some dessert, and when I tried to explain that we couldn’t eat whatever yummy dessert we saw on display, he didn’t understand. Every church supper he’d ever attended before this, dessert was FREE for the asking. Why not now?

It’s hard to explain these things to kids.

Let me be clear here, I am not faulting anyone or anything but me for missing this opportunity.  I only wish I hadn’t missed my opportunity to share my brownies with a lil girl who got lost in the hustle and bustle of things.

Next time, I hope I will have eyes to see need on a bigger scale.

Next time…

Have you ever missed an opportunity to do something good and regretted it afterward? How do you make sure you see the immediate needs, without losing sight of the long-range goals in life?

A Lil Delivery Humor

000HUMOR test tuba babu

I have friends who recently gave birth, so this comic was especially comical to me when I received it from my cousin today.

In reality, momma did all the work last week, but daddy was right there by her side, supporting, praying, and rejoicing with her when the product of months of wondering came to fruition.  A baby daughter, and such a cutie.  These two are blessed, and they know it.

Congratulations, S & L, on the birth of wee T this week.   I’m over-the-moon happy for you and wee one’s big sissy!

I know you guys are going to be a happy family together with E.  Enjoy these first few weeks together. Magical times, my friends. These are magical times!!!

My cousin regularly sends me cartoons he finds on the interweb.  Each time I open an email from him I have another chance to smile, snicker, or guffaw at what he’s sent.  I’m that gal you know who needs to laugh  more, so the cartoons and comics he sends are always a welcome addition to my day.

I love the chance to smile that this comic panel provides.  Test tuba deliveries-Ha!

When have you celebrated the birth of a baby you knew was more than wanted?  What comic strips do you regularly follow, and why?

 

 

 

Migraine Morning

 

Today, I did my exercises!  Yay, me!!

I know, I know. I said I was going to take a break from all the pain, and I did. I didn’t exercise from Sunday morning until today (Friday), and I have to say I’m happy about that–my body needed the rest. However, with the morning sun this day, I felt the need to exercise.

Isn’t it amazing what habit can do for a body; any body?! I love it!

This morning, my exercise routine was shorter than normal.  I didn’t want to push too hard and be miserable with pain again. There was another reason why I didn’t hit the exercise too hard this morning, though.  I had a migraine!

000Migraine-Types-Symptoms-Treatment

You heard me right.  A migraine! 

I never get migraines!!!  Well, almost never.  I’ve only had one other in the whole of my life, that I know of, and that didn’t result in headache pain, only oral distortion.  Today, I got the whole enchilada.  All of it.  The dot that starts in the center of your field of vision, followed by increasing blindness, and then the pain.  It all started when I bent over to get some water out of the pantry.  I experienced this slight pain in the side of my head, then whammo!!!

Now, as I’m typing this post, I have the feeling that someone is alternating squatting on the side of my head, with the front of my forehead, right where one’s nasal cavity travels down the front of their face.

Get off my sinuses, migraine elephant. Please!!!

I write about this migraine for two reasons.

1  To say I’m thankful that I got my exercise in before the migraine came this morning.  So thankful!

2  To let me niece, Danielle, know that she infected me with her migraine when I saw her yesterday.

Why, oh why, did I hug her? 

I should have kept my distance, and then everything would have been okay.

I’m kidding, of course!

Everybody knows migraines are not contagious.  Or do we?

Hmmmm.

I’m laughing now, but this morning I thought it was wayyyyy ironic that Danielle had a migraine Wednesday which left her fuzzy-headed when she was at her MOPS meeting yesterday, and that I begged off clear thinking at that same MOPS meeting, admitting that a migraine didn’t cause my problem with clear thinking or speaking, but using it as a possible excuse anyway.

I spoke too soon! 

Aaahhhhhh!

Right now, I’m administering the cure for early morning migraine–a stiff brew of Dunkin Dark, straight, no cream, please!!!  I hope this works!

What a way to start the weekend!  Ya know what, though, I’ve decided to praise the Lord anyway!  Yep, I’m praising the Lord anyway, how ’bout you?

Have you ever had a migraine that incapacitated you?  Did strong coffee do the trick and fix that pounding pain?

Feb 4th Goals

TGT mast headAs I write my post this afternoon, it is with extreme appreciation for the gifts I have been given, my unique skill set, and the opportunities God gives for me to use them. I drove to another region of NEPA today to speak with a group of MOPS moms about self-confidence.

I know. You’re thinking You? I was thinking that, too.

Me, Lori, speaking on the topic of indecision and confidence, and how we can learn to push back ugly procrastination that keeps us in bondage to the same old failed systems day after day, after miserable day.

I shared with the ladies about my Three Goals Thursday experiment.  Sooo cool!  There was a room full of gorgeous women at this meeting, ranging from young moms to more mature parents.  They were a fun group!

I loved the opportunity I was given today to speak on such an important subject as self-confidence. Many of the women there were able to relate to what I shared, or at least it seemed as though they did from the number of head jiggles I got while speaking.

I love head jiggles!

Head jiggles let me know others “get” where I’m coming from.  There was one lady in the back with long, dark hair this morning. I think she was wearing blue. She was such a great focal point for me during the talk. She smiled again and again, and gave me those head jiggles I like.  She helped me stay focused and on track, and engaged during the sharing. Thank you, you dark raven-haired beauty, You!  I appreciate you more than you know!

One amahzing woman at the meeting asked me if do any counseling?  I don’t, but I do listen well, and I’m always glad to make a new friend and share my story.

A second beautiful daughter of Eve gave me a hug and said she has put together a personal list of likes and dislikes this year, her first venture into teaching people how to treat her. Woohoo, she “gets it” and she’s working on a workable plan to change her life.  I love that!!!

It’s hard to change, but wow, the satisfaction that is ours when we do that hard work and keep pressing forward.  Change IS possible-I believe!

I could go on and on about how exciting today’s time with Moms Of PreschoolerS (MOPS) was for me, but I have goals to set, so I guess I best get to it.

THANK YOU, Danielle, for inviting me to the meeting today.  [Insert big puffy heart here]

MY THREE TEENY, TINY GOALS LAST WEEK

1 Continue exercising in the morning, 16-18 minutes in duration each day.

2 Continue meditating each day.

3 Take a 3-pronged approach to food accountability this week. What that means is that I will count calories one day, meal plan one day, and count sugar intake one day this week. I will not do these all on the same day, but will dedicate 3 days to better planning; an homage to my 3 Goals Thursday initiative.

HOW DID I DO?

First off, I think I offended someone this week, just by being me. That got me off to a rough start. What I shared with this other was raw, unfiltered frustration with the dieting process and my experiences of late.  Sometimes I think people don’t understand how hard it is for some body types to shed the pounds. My last nerve was struck this week and I let it all hang out. Ooops! Not the best of strategies.

What is it momma taught us:  If you can’t say anything nice, say nothing at all.  Lesson learned, again!

Now to the goals:

No. 1: FAIL. Big Fail. On Sunday, I quit the exercising that has been causing me so much pain. I could not do it anymore. You know I have been wayyy diligent with these exercise sessions, but I just couldn’t do it this week.  From Sunday until today, I have not done my morning exercises. I feel bad about that, emotionally, but my body feels so much relief. I am on the hunt for a new type of exercise that I can do that won’t hurt so much, but in the meantime I will count Goal No. 1 as a fail this week. Boo!

No. 2 SUCCESS. I carved out time each day this week to meditate with the Word in my lap. Meditating is such a satisfying activity you’d think I wouldn’t have to plan to do it, but I do.  I’m glad I did this week.

No. 3 AWESOME! I frankly can’t believe I did as well as I did on goal No. 3, but I did really well. I discovered that it doesn’t take much sugar to exceed your sugar allowance when your calorie count is low. Not much at all! My meal planning day went better than expected, and on the day I counted calories 1553 of them buggers went in my pie hole and down the shoot. Not too shabby. I feel good about the completion of this goal.

NEXT WEEK’S THREE TEENY TINY GOALS

This week I am going to establish my goals around FUN ways of being active, and I’m going to spend some energy exploring new exercise options.

Here are my goals for this coming week…

1 Call the Y and the BW in my area to check on swimming options.

2 Plan meals 2 x this week, and count calories 2 days this week. Try to eat enough less that I am hungry before I get to the next week.

3 Talk to a professional about putting together a workable plan for losing 10 lbs before summer.

These are admittedly small goals for the week, but that’s what TGT is all about–keeping goals small enough that I can easily complete them. Keeping those fingers crossed and doing my part to make sure they get done.

Do you regularly eat so little that you’re famished by the time you get to your next meal? How do you do that?!

Problems with Planning

000planning

I’m learning the importance of planning.  Slowly, but surely, I’m learning!

Its easy for me to organize, and herd, and teach, and help others, but planning my food, having a daily food journal, counting calories and deciding what I’m going to eat before I eat it, and sticking to it–that is just plain hard work for me.

And I don’t know why?

I’m trying to get to the bottom of it this week. Trying to figure out why I am so resistant to the practice, or why it gives me so much problems.

Why I want to ride the range alone.

Why I can’t seem to find a mentor to help me with this problem.

Why, with lots of capable people around me who could be sounding boards and helpers, I find myself too proud to listen to them, or too stubborn to take their advice.

Am I alone in this kind of behavior?

Why do I want to keep my options open with regards to food and eating?

Why can’t I nail this down?

I say I want to lose weight and gain health, and be around for my kiddos and grands for many more years, but when I try to do what I ought to do, I fail miserably (at least with food planning).

I can so relate to Paul today, who said: I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.  [Romans 7 wisdom]

Sin living in  me is what makes me resist righteous change.  Ugh!

This week one of my 3 tiny goals is: Meal plan one day, count calories one day, and count sugars eaten one day. Yesterday was the meal planning day and I did it.  Yay, me.  Today is the calorie counting day, we’ll see how that goes. Tomorrow is the day I count sugars eaten.  Oh, Saints, pray, pray, pray, pray for me!!!

I know that He who is within is stronger than he who is in the world, but man, my inner food demons are active and strong.  Oh, that it were not so…

How do you deal with habitually defeating “stuff” in your life?  When have you struggled with a besetting sin, yours or one that clings to a loved one, stubbornly refusing to give up?

5MinuteMonday.GRAPHICjpg

Welcome to 5 Minute Monday!

Did you have a good weekend?

Mine was “full, full, full,” as Eloise would say!  I’m glad, glad, glad to be back at the office, and so glad to be celebrating Monday with my own special 5 Minute project.

You remember how this challenge goes, right?

5 Minute Monday is about doing something you’ve wanted to do for a while, but haven’t had the time, and it’s not about hard jobs, either.  Its about staying focused and enjoying doing something for just five minutes.

On 5 Minute Mondays you’re invited to do something different for 5 minutes.  So what will your project be today?

Will you sort the laundry for 5 minutes?

Or maybe you’ll clean out the garage for 5 minutes?

Will you get on the elliptical?

Maybe your 5 minutes will be spent in solitude in the bathroom.  Not a bad choice!

Or could be you’d like to read an Op Ed piece on Donald Trump, or Hillary Clinton, or a host of others vying for the job of POTUS in November?  It’s 5 Minute Monday–go ahead, have at it!

Recent 5 Minute Monday projects have included…

Someone cleaned out their HEPA filters and now breathes more easily.

Another caught up on blogging assignments.

One sent appreciation notes to co-workers.

Still another, played with his dog for five minutes (really, more!). 

What will my 5 Minute Monday challenge be?

Today, I will be spending my 5 minutes at the water cooler, going over the weekend’s happenings with my co-workers.  This is valuable networking stuff I rarely do, but that benefits all involved.  It’s good to laugh together with the people you work with, especially when the work you do is serious most of the time. Today, I will play at the water cooler for FIVE WHOLE MINUTES.  Yipee!

I’ll stop by later to let ya know how it goes.

What will you do for 5 minutes today that you have not done in a long, long time.  What could you do for 5 minutes today that would bring 10 minutes worth of joy to your life?

 

Feeling Especially Gifted!

My niece made me a gift this week.

DSC_1062.JPG

She is so crafty!

I definitely am not!

I love this!!

DSC_1071

I love the textures and patterns on my new wall hanging.

DSC_1070.JPG

I particularly love the way the pattern looks like a series of mouth, talking, talking, talking.

And teaching!

I talk a lot.

I teach a little, too.

What can I say, I have a lot to say!

DSC_1068

That center piece of twine, its a pin.  Did Dani make the pin, too? I dunno, but it is so me.

Country.

Twiney.

Rough.

Free-spirited, but all put together.

DSC_1069

See how the twine matches perfectly with the rough edged cut material with all the mouths. See how they continually speak to you, now that I’ve mentioned those mouths?

Fun.

Heartwarming.

I don’t know what I did to deserve this kindred spirit God sent my way, but Danielle, I love you!  Thanks for thinking of me, and thanks for putting those thoughts into action.

I adore my latest addition to the Hoose homemade collection. This piece is on tour right now, at the office, but it will soon be taken to the home gallery where I can enjoy it every day from the privacy of my talky, hillside, country chic mountainside cabin at the top of the world.

When have you received an unexpected blessing in the form of a handmade gift?  Who gave it to you, and what was the occasion?