Flower of the Day Challenge

Here is my entry for the Flower of the Day Challenge.

This rosebush only blooms for a short time each year, but when it does, it is gorgeous!

Live now, believe me, wait not till tomorrow; Gather the roses of life today. – Pierre de Ronsard

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Flower of the Day Challenge

Here is my entry for the Flower of the Day Challenge. I love it when my iris start blooming. I have a variety of colors, so every day or two I get to see new blooms.

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Slow and Steady…

January 14th, 2019 I began a journey toward becoming a more fit and fabulous version of myself. This is a road I’ve traveled in the past, sometimes successfully and sometimes not so much. After seeing the ads for the “Noom” weight loss app far too many times, I finally decided to check it out. I think I had been afraid to do so because it meant I would have to change. As we know, change is NOT an easy thing, but finally I had seen far too many “unflattering” photos and was growing weary of hiding behind other people in photos or “sucking it in” and STILL not liking what I saw. I took a chance and signed up for Noom. I think the combination of snarky daily motivational messages, a personal coach and a group of other people to connect with that are on the same journey made the difference this time.

Way back when. I love this picture because I look cute and confident. I want to feel that way again!

I won’t lie and say it’s been easy.  It sucks feeling like nobody else has to worry aboout how many calories are left before they choose where to eat. Joining my husband for breakfast at Denney’s on Saturday morning means that I either skip lunch or eat a minimalist meal so that I can at least have a sandwich for dinner. Exercise doesn’t get me a ton of extra calories because only half of calories burned are added back into my food budget. It’s so “unfair”, but it has been working.

Progress requires setbacks; the only sure way to avoid failure is not to try. ~Henry Spencer

I started out at 154.4. It’s embarrassing admitting that, but I’m being honest. I had been moving right along and was down 20 pounds by the middle of May. Now, I’ve gone up and back down and back up a little bit and am currently at 134. This is still in the overweight category for BMI (click to visit active.com and see what yours is if you so desire) and I have 14 pounds to go until I reach my goal. 9 pounds will get me to a “normal” BMI, so that is my next mini goal.

This trip to Oatman, AZ was incredibly fun, but I am definitely not fond of the way I look in this photo with my hubby.
Making progress. The Crazy Horse Volkmarch the first weekend in June.

Never quit. It is the easiest cop-out in the world. Set a goal and don’t quit until you attain it, set another goal, and don’t quit until you reach it. Never quit. ~ Bear Bryant

While I’m sorely tempted some days to just throw in the towel, especially days when the scale creeps up or as it does lately just sits at the same number, I won’t. I’m in this for the long haul and need to be patient with myself. I still fit in the size 6 jeans I managed to squeeze back into and hopefully I can fit even more comfortably in the next month or two.

I like the above quote about setting goals and sticking with them. That is what I’m going to do. I know I can do it. I’ve come this far!!

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I don’t want my kids to have an easy life.

Before you say I am a mean and cruel mother, let me clarify.  I do not wish hardships upon my children, nor do I wish problems to befall them.  What I want for them, however, is not to come by what they want too easily.  My sons are both working now and my daughter is anxious to start working as soon as she is able to.  I do not give them money for gasoline, food or activities.  I don’t feel guilty about this.  I believe this gives them the message that I have faith in their ability to provide for themselves.  Should an emergency arise, most definitely I will do what I can to help, but I do not intend to be the first option.  All three of my children know this and I have not reaped any repercussions from them for my attitude and actions.  I think it is perfectly fine for them to want things that they cannot currently afford.  The desire for things and events is an opportunity for my kids to learn how to obtain them.

Being made to forgo one thing in order to save for another teaches self-control and patience.

Self-control, openness, the ability to engage with others, to plan and to persist – these are the attributes that get people in the door and on the job, and lead to productive lives.  ~ James Heckman

I truly believe that taking time to evaluate what they REALLY want, making a plan for obtaining it and putting that plan in action will give them skills they will need to survive and excel in life.  Were I to just give them what they want and to require no effort on their part to get whatever that might be, the value of it would be greatly diminished BECAUSE they didn’t have to work for it. delayed gratification I have witnessed far too many instances of well-meaning parents that want to provide everything and every opportunity for their children and keep them from wanting for anything.  While there may be exceptions, for the most part these children learn that there will always be another ____ (fill in the blank), toy/outfit/car, so valuing and caring for the one they have is unnecessary.

Delaying gratification by making the choice to forego the $5.00 toy because he or she is saving for the $15.00 one is an excellent lesson for a child to learn at an early age.  A child is much less likely to leave a bike out in the elements where it may rust or be stolen if that child worked for an entire summer mowing lawns or doing other odd jobs to earn the money to buy that bicycle.


When it’s not earned, it’s not appreciated as much.

If the child is given bicycle after bicycle because the child is irresponsible and leaves that bicycle unlocked and uncared for, the parent that continues to supply new bicycles is the one to find fault with, not the child.  The message this child receives is that the parent has no faith in the child’s ability to properly care for the bicycle or obtain another should it be lost, stolen or wrecked.

My kids know that should one of their prized possessions be broken, lost or stolen, I will empathize with them, but will not replace the item.  My response would be, “Oh, no.  That’s terrible! What are you going to do about it?” I trust that they are capable of caring for themselves and their possessions and should they, unfortunately, happen to lose or break one of their items will figure out a way to replace it or live without it.  I foresee a bright and happy life for each of my children.  They may not be wealthy or have the best of everything, but they will all have the satisfaction that comes from earning their way in life.

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Solitude – WP Daily Prompt

“Cultivate solitude and quiet and a few sincere friends rather than mob merriment, noise and thousands of nodding acquaintances.”  ~  William Powell

“The thoughtful soul to solitude retires.” ~ Omar Khayyam

“Language… has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.” ~  Paul Tillich



Romeo enjoys the freshly cut grass too!

As an introvert, I cherish my solitude.  I dearly love my children and husband, but in order to be the best person for them, sometimes I need to spend a little time just for me. To me, solitude need not be found on a quiet mountaintop or in a beach chair listening to the sounds of the ocean.  I wouldn’t pass up those opportunities, but I can enjoy the solitude I find just listening to the steady drone of the lawn mower as I mow my lawn.  I can turn off my busy mind for a little while and just enjoy the smell of the freshly cut grass and the breeze on my face as I walk back and forth across the lawn.  I can slow down and allow myself to notice the new flowers blooming in my yard, the bunnies in the neighboring yard playfully hopping after one another and the freshly formed buds on my lilac bushes.

Yellow and White Iris

A beautiful iris waiting to be noticed

When I have taken time to enjoy my time alone and recharge my battery, I am ready to once again enjoy the noisier fun family activities to follow!

This post is in response to the WordPress Daily Prompt.  Check out the many other submissions at: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/solitude/

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A Girl Who Can Climb 219 Steps to the top of a lighthouse can do anything!


The St. Augustine Lighthouse in St. Augustine, FL – 219 steps to the top!!


A beautiful sunset captured from the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse

I remember reading a book in which the author talked about having a “can do” attitude.  She stated that by taking risks and doing something she wasn’t sure she could, she was able to adopt the mantra, “A girl who can (insert amazing achievement), can do ANYTHING!”.  My amazing achievement was climbing the stairs to that lighthouse!  In fact, the following day I climbed the 203 steps to the top of the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse in Daytona Beach!

The Ponce de Leon Lighthouse in Daytona Beach, Florida - 203 steps to the top!

The Ponce de Leon Lighthouse in Daytona Beach, Florida – 203 steps to the top!

My goal in 2016 is to keep in mind that “A girl who can climb two lighthouses can do anything!!”  Here I come, 2016!!

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From Fat and Frumpy to Fit and Fabulous in Fifteen Months (?)

You may wonder WHO the header of this post refers to.  Well, gentle reader, that would be ME.  After stepping on the scale a few weeks back, I have determined that I am going to get back to a better version of me.

Sure, I have plenty of excuses as to why the scale hasn’t budged (at least in the RIGHT direction) for the last few years.  Some of these include:

  1. I’m over 40 now and my metabolism has dropped to seemingly nothing.
  2. I’m on medications that can cause puffiness and weight gain.
  3. I do my elliptical or treadmill at least 3-4 days each week, so the extra weight is “muscle“.


Ok, maybe I don’t want to go QUITE that far back in time, but I was definitely a LOT littler (and cuter) in this photo! 😉

There may well be some truth to all of the above, but I’ve decided that despite my litany of reasons why I don’t see the little, smaller, cuter me looking back in the mirror, I am determined that I WILL someday see her again. 🙂


My plan is to see THIS me (albeit with a few more wrinkles, and no doubt a bit warmer outfit) looking back in the mirror by November of 2016! 🙂

My wonderful hubby presented me with an early birthday gift, a FitBit Charge HR.  Don’t worry; he knew I had researched the various devices and really wanted to get the FitBit.  He is awesome and says he loves me no matter what, so it was not a push to get me to look better. ❤  I want to do it for me so that I can be healthier, be around longer for my family and wear adorable outfits and even skinny jeans again.

I know I have a LONG journey ahead of me.  I like food too much to restrict my calories to nearly nothing, so based on limiting my calories by about 250/day, the MyFitnessPal app which I’m using to track food and exercise, tells me that I can reach my goal and be 30.2 lbs lighter by November of 2016.  YIKES!!!  I know, I know, waiting 15 months to see my fitness goals realized seems like a very long time.  I’m hoping that I can reach it before then, but I also know that I need to stick with a system that is easy and one in which I don’t restrict every food item that I have liked up to this point.  I’m going to try the same tactic with food as I have with my belongings.  If it does not or will not bring me joy, I will avoid it.  This leaves me room to have the pizza, steak, pasta or desserts that I love, but as a treat that I savor and not a dish that I devour. 🙂

By posting this on my little blog, I am taking a step toward more accountability.  With the help of my new FitBit and my MapMyWalk, MyFitnessPal and FitBit apps and encouragement from my family, friends and all of you lovely readers, I hope to be able to be happier, healthier and smokin’ hot (haha) by the finale of my fifteen month foray!   🙂 I’ve managed to stick to my 8000 steps a day goal, even though I’m sometimes walking around my house or walking in place in my bedroom to complete it! 😉

If it’s gonna be, it’s up to me!  (Words of wisdom from a former Weight Watchers Coach)  Wish me luck!

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