Wine & Cheese ~ 1st Serving 2017

wineandcheese2Most Wednesdays I devote a blog to whining. Despite being a really happy, positive person, I do have things that annoy me at times. I never let anything grate on my nerves for long but thought it would be fun to vent them periodically in my blogs. I also feel that good things, the cheese in life, should be acknowledged as well. I’m even going to throw in a bit of dessert, a piece of virtual chocolate, something that made me laugh or smile just a bit more than normal. If you’d like to read the past editions of Wine & Cheese just search past postings. Sit back and join me now for a serving of some whine and cheese!

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 WINE WHINE

😦  I know, I know, it has been WAY too long since I wrote a Wine & Cheese post! In fact I couldn’t find a single one from 2016 when I searched my archives….oops! So, since it was my most read post(s), I’m bringing it back!

😦  Figures that I’m off work today, because the past several have been beautiful, sunny days but not today. No, today it is overcast and spitting rain now and then. This is not making me very pleased.

😦  I was so hoping my new pedometer would arrive before I had to go run errands, but not yet.

😦  Seriously, I know that some things are not visible, and there is maybe a reason someone is parked in a handicapped spot that is not evident, so this isn’t about you. But darlin’, if you can park there, then walk the entire super-sized grocery store, mall etc, you do NOT need that spot. Or if you park there only to leave said person who does need it, sitting in the car the entire time you are doing the shopping, SHAME ON YOU! Some of us have to wrestle a wheelchair out of the car and get between our car and the next one to get someone out and into that chair. I get that some folks need it on one day and not the next, but if it is not the day you need it, or your handicapped passenger is remaining in the car, then please, find another spot so those who do happen to need it that day can use it!

CHEESE

🙂  Enough of that, time to smile! I’m celebrating today, it is #woohooWednesday and I have a woohoo! I’m down 14 pounds today, the end of week 3 in my program to take back my health! That means 56 pounds of pressure is OFF of my knees! I have energy like you cannot imagine, I can barely sit still! And it is all science based eating, no supplements/pills, just food!

🙂  I’m rocking this 2nd shift life of mine! It is like having two full days in one! On first shift I’d come home and be tired, didn’t feel like doing much of anything. Or I’d fall asleep while trying to do some reading or crocheting. Now I get 8 hours of great sleep a night, rise by 8am, have 6 hours to knock it out of the park with whatever I need to do, then go to work! I have a ton of energy at work, thanks in part to my new lease on health as I drop the weight, and I’m ready to sleep when I get home! I LOVE this!

🙂  My job..what can I say? I love working in health care, love being and STNA/MA-C and I love my sweet dementia residents! I never imagined loving a job as much as I do this one!

DESSERT

The struggle is so very real!

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Thursday Shop Talk

I’ve been busy the past few days making some new items for the shop.  I actually have more to get in to the inventory, but time is limited to spend time taking photos, cropping them and getting listings set up.

~*~*~ shop now at http://www.byhookandbyhand.com ~*~*~

New cup cozies and wash/dish cloths are now stocked in some bright colors for the spring/summer season, head on over and see what you think!

Also, between now and midnight, Saturday 5/20/17 you can save 17% by using code BIRTHDAY17 at checkout!

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The Plague Has Arrived

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My daughter’s first find of the cicada infestation.

 

For whatever reason, the 17 year cicadas that hit our area have decided to grace us with their noisy presence 4 years early this time. I don’t pretend to have any scientific knowledge as to the why, and not certain the scientist/professor at Mt. St. Joe college nearby does either. He studies them and asks if you are in the greater Cincinnati area, that you email photos and locations to him at cicada@msj.edu to help him in his study.

Being that this is Cincinnati, it isn’t a real shock that this is going on, after all we’ve been known to have the heat on in the morning and the air conditioning on in the late day. One week, in January, we had snow, then warmth, thunderstorms and tornadoes, then back to snow. Yes, in a one week period. We do weird here very well.

While incredibly creepy looking, they are harmless. They do not bite and pretty much all they do is provide a great deal of deafening noise with their little mating calls, and food for birds. It does freak one out if hit in the head as they fly past, and they seem to really lack navigational skills because you will frequently be dive bombed. And they are EVERYWHERE in the areas they emerge.

As a child, I was deathly afraid of them, but my brothers found them rather fun to play with, pulling off wings before squashing them. As an adult I was known to learn who was afraid, then catch them and put them in their office while they were at lunch. The unsuspecting victim always assumed it came in on their clothing. As a child of 4 years old, my son and his buddy across the hall in our apartment building would catch them and feed them to his friend’s piranhas. This was a source of endless amusement to them both.

Catching them is very simple, just pinch their wings together and pick them up. But be prepared as they will try to fly free, causing a strong vibration in your fingers and if you aren’t anticipating it you will let go on impulse.

My yorkie, Penny, when she was alive for one infestation, used to try to sneak them into the house to play with, but her mouth was so small we’d see the little legs wiggling out the sides. I admit, I look forward to letting one in the house to see how the cats deal with it, supervised of course.

Some folks in these parts actually eat them! Cooked, chocolate covered, even raw. BLAH! No thank-you I believe I will pass on that, um, delicacy.

So, as they are beginning to emerge, it will only get way worse before it gets better!

 

My Journey To Health ~ Day 7

I’m SO excited! Today is day #7 of my journey and this morning I was down 7.1 pounds. On day 4/5 you enter fat burning, which is awesome because those pounds of lard have got to go! Today I moved 7 diamonds over to the Pounds Gone Forever wine glass, only 39 are left and I’m not stopping. This plan truly is great and if you stick to it, it does work. I’m so stoked that once I get further along I’ll be working to become a certified health coach myself, this is the best I’ve felt in years. And I felt good!

I get to eat amazing, healthy food on this too, like zucchini boats with shrimp…7oz of said shrimp which left me stuffed!

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What is not to love about this?

Last night one of the nurses had brought in $3 a piece cookies that were huge, loaded with caramel and brown sugar and I had zero temptation. I looked, contemplated my health and goals, smiled and said, “no but thanks so much for offering!” and moved right on by. Cookies in the break-room, same thing, just didn’t have a desire to reach for one.

Want more information? I will hook you up with my health coach, my wonderful daughter-in-law, she is down 37+ pounds in 2 months and has just 22 to go until she reaches her goal. Doesn’t she look fantastic?

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My Journey To Health – Day 5

It is Day 5 and I’m feeling fantastic! On Thursday I’ll be posting my weight loss, but I’m here to tell you that I already have been on the scale and lost over 5 pounds so far. I’d say it was all water, but I already was a huge water drinker so I doubt that it can be said it is all from water leaving me!

My daughter-in-law, who is my coach and one of my inspirations, has lost 37.5 pounds in 2 months time. I LOVE THIS! And my friend lost 93 and has kissed it good-bye forever, 3 years ago now.

My goal is HEALTH, and losing some weight. So, inspired to use a visual like my daughter-in-law has done, I made one, and every week on weigh day I will post a picture of my diamonds making their transition from one glass to the other. My goal in getting healthy is to get all 46 diamonds to the other side and KEEP THEM THERE!

glasses of diamonds

My Box Is Here!

My box from Optavia arrived today, so my journey toward taking back my health and obtaining optimal health begins tomorrow! I’m totally pumped about this journey.

Inside were all the fuelings I need to follow the 5 & 1 plan, which per the literature means I will lose 2-5 pounds a week the first week, then 2 pounds or so each week after, though individual results can vary (as in MORE coming off faster). Inside is also a great book and workbook for learning and making changes so I make healthy choices and get my health back. I’m really excited about this, and cannot wait to share my progress. Tomorrow I will post my starting weight (as per the scale with a photo – no cheating). Below is my before photo, which I’m not afraid to share either. Most folks swear I’m fine, but see, I’m 40 pounds over weight and it is NOT healthy. My blood pressure is creeping upward, and my body is not healthy like it should be. I am lucky in that I distribute my excess weight fairly evenly around my body, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there and doesn’t need to take a hike. And healthy is more than weight, which this will help me achieve.

Check back as I head toward a new, healthier me!

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Change Is Good

I’ve been a bit silent of late because, quite honestly, I was a bit down. As in depressed. Not lay on a shrink’s couch and spill my childhood and blame it on someone depressed, or “mommy’s little helper” medication needed depressed. Just bummed.

I love my profession, caring for the elderly, and have a passion for memory care patients. When I took the position at my sister’s facility I felt I had found the place I’d stay for many years. But when your sister is the Executive Director, and policy says no family can be a direct or indirect report (never mind it was approved by the corporate HR), sooner or later someone is going to become disgruntled with management and pitch a hissy fit.  Some nurse who didn’t like the E.D. enforcing policies decided to stick it to the facility and complained. She has no idea the can of worms she has opened because many people there are direct and indirect reports to family, and now that will have to be addressed because my coworkers and resident families are very unhappy about my having to resign and go else where.  50+ fellow employees signed a petition, resident’s families lit up the integrity and friends & family phone lines, but it did no good. I gave a 30 day notice and started hunting for a new job.

The first job I found was very close to home, so much so I could walk if I wanted too. But one look at the very clinical feel of the memory care unit and I simply could not stomach it. I oriented and the entire time it felt like an institution and not a good way to care for our elderly with dementia. I was really in the dumps over it. I prayed and sometimes even yelled at my Father in Heaven, not liking this one bit!

Then…I found it. I knew of a local place that was just opened, and is all memory care assisted living. At this point, figuring I had nothing at all to lose, I walked in and applied. I was interviewed and hired on the spot. My 3 day class from Teepa Snow’s organization on caring for dementia residents was a huge plus.

I found my dream job folks! You know those places you see on Facebook with the cute little front porches inside the building? The ones that don’t look like a nursing home but more like a neighborhood from long ago? Well that is what this new place is like! In fact they call each ‘unit’ a neighborhood. And it is all person centered. If grandma wants to sleep until noon, she does. If she wants to sit in the living room and sip coffee in her jammies, she does that too. Court yards that wrap around the entire building, all secure and feeling like you are strolling along past outdoor porches with rocking chairs and smiling old folks keeping them moving. Inside the dining rooms and living rooms feel like home. As you walk around the square past each neighborhood porch there is furniture that feels like outdoors and mimics true days of old. The pace inside is gentle and loving. We serve their meals in chef’s jackets so they feel like they are dining out in a fancy place. It is amazing!

I now look forward to going to work every day. It is like being at home! I do dishes (in a dishwasher), set tables, make beds, assist with activities of daily living…and I’m expected to sit outside in the rockers with my residents and engage them! Yes, paid to spend time watching a movie or tv show, walking the court yard paths, or working a puzzle or playing a game! We are care partners, like family members, to our residents.

Sure, we have some who sun down and become difficult, but with the training I have I know how to redirect them, validate their feelings, empathize and help them through those bumps in the road.

Who knew that when forced to change, it was because God had something better in store for me! This job has blessed my life so much, in ways I could never have imagined.

When The Scale Goes Down

gobigJanuary usually brings out the new year resolutions for most folks, but not for me. Just not my thing to make a decision to do anything in particular only to have that resolution die in flames 3 weeks later. My son goes to a local gym where I used to attend, and for the first few weeks of the year it is packed to the walls, but come the end of the month only about half of those people are still around. By the end of February 90% will have stopped going, forgetting their resolution to drop weight and get in shape.

For me, the need to get some weight off is tied to my blood pressure. Being a Medication Aide now, I take vital signs on residents so I purchased a higher end electronic BP cuff. I’ve been monitoring my own and yikes, it was starting to get into the lower end of the high blood pressure scale. Actually some times it is more like moderate. Being a blood donor (if it is too high they won’t take your blood), and a member of a family full of high BP folks, this is a cause for concern. Between my weight and my serious addiction to coffee, I knew I had to start making a few life choices to protect myself. I’m not getting any younger and I want to live a long, healthy life.

My first step was drinking more water. Like a LOT more water. I’ve read that you should divide your weight by 2, and that would give you the number of ounces of water you should drink in a day. This meant 97.5 ounces of water a day for me. Yes, I was sitting at 195 pounds, and that much water made me feel like I could swim with the whales. No one believed me when I told them my weight, seems I carry it well, and being large chested it helps to make the poundage more balanced and less obvious. My blood pressure, however, doesn’t lie.

The second step was to cut back on portions. I’ve not stopped eating my favorite things, I just eat less of them now. I don’t measure, per say, I just eat slower and eat a smaller portion than normal. Especially with dessert, IF I have it at all.

Step three was cutting down on the caffeine consumption. This was really difficult because I LOVE coffee, this girl runs on it. A few months back my daughter introduced me to the wonders of Dunkin Donuts iced coffees. Mama here was in love with the peppermint mocha, but after Christmas this amazing flavor vanished and won’t be back until we roll in to the holiday season again. Now please understand, this girl doesn’t mess around when it comes to her coffee, you go big or you go home. I don’t go home when it comes to java. A large, iced coffee, with the flavoring and NO cream or sugar is 260 calories or so. Um, that is just dandy if you aren’t eating anything but I am good for a breakfast sandwich too, and then  at work once the residents have breakfast we can chow down on the left overs. I rarely passed up some bacon or a small danish, maybe a pancake or french toast. I wasn’t gaining a pound, but I wasn’t shedding any either.

I was under the mistaken impression that I needed all that caffeine for energy for my day. The sugar that comes in flavor shots wasn’t hurting the cause either. So, to scale back on the intake of my liquid motivation, not to mention the money spent daily at the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru, I started making up the coffee at home, the night before, so while getting ready for work my coffee is brewing. I grab a carton of muscle milk, my go cup of coffee and head out of the door for work. My calorie intake dropped significantly with the home brewed cup, it is less coffee than I was drinking in the very large, iced variety, and with the minimal calories in the muscle milk I can nibble on a half piece of french toast or pancake at work and not come near what I was consuming.

And last, but not least…SLEEP! I’ve read countless places that not getting enough sleep will impede on weight loss. Now I am in bed and asleep in time to get 8 to 8.5 hours a night, sometimes even more. Once in a while there is an exception, but over all I make it a point to get enough sleep. Between that rest, and the fact that I’m now down 10 pounds for January, I have more energy without the caffeine over load.

Thankfully, the numbers on the scale keep creeping down, so I must be doing something (or things) right!

A Little Therapy Session

Have you checked out the shop blog? Drop by and see what I’m working on both for the shop and myself!

By Hook And By Hand

I’m busy working out of my basket of cotton yarn today. I had an exam this morning and now I need a little hooker therapy. I’m making wash cloths from the 100% cotton yarn, and will have these in the shop soon.

I ordered the yarn for my temperature blanket 2 days ago, and in impatience I’m waiting…and waiting, for the UPS man to show up. I’m pretty certain it hasn’t even shipped yet but I’m really excited to start this! 🙂

What are you working on today?

Screenshot_2017-01-19-15-56-53-1.png My basket of cotton yarn

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Saturday Coffee Clouds

My brain is in hyper drive this morning, thoughts rolling through and then vaporizing like the steam clouds off of my coffee cup which is sitting next to me. I’m propped up on pillows on my bed with my lap desk and laptop, enjoying my ‘nest’. My room is my haven, it is a crazy collection of things that make me comfy and feel happy. I do some great thinking, resting, sleeping, laughing and relaxing here. No negatives permitted in the nest of the marvelous one.

I’m amazed at how much time can be wasted through the use of social media apps. I’m not knocking them or you for using them, I’m a serious addict myself. For example, we get a 30 minute “break” at work, it is our lunch time so to speak, each shift. Often I just hit the break room and crochet for the 30 minutes as that calms my soul and recharges my attitude battery. But if I make the mistake of picking up my phone when I first plant myself in the chair, that 30 minutes flies by while I’m scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. When I first woke up this morning, I reached for my phone and burned 45 minutes, seemingly in the blink of an eye, that cannot be used again. And that was before coffee! Time is our most valuable possession, each second is a one time deal with no refunds or do overs. And I wasted 45 minutes looking through a lot of crap for a few nuggets of humor.

iStock_000019755169SmallIt occurred to me during those wasted moments, that I have a social media relationship with my heavenly Father most days. My bible study is on an app, She Reads Truth, (Currently working through a 28 day study in John), which I typically read in the parking lot at work. I arrive 20 minutes or so early and spend that time on the app. It is a good way to get in the Word of God and start the day, but it really doesn’t replace the feel of my good old bible in my hands, or time on my knees in deep discussion with my Abba. It is my old friend, onion skin thin pages full of God’s Word and my notations in the margins, highlighted sections that meant something to me, quotes I loved from pastors over the years and so on. I fear taking it in my car, as I don’t want to have anything happen to it. But then I don’t spend time with it at home very often. My prayer time is often of the social media style too, 140 or so characters shot up to the Lord before I start my day, but it hasn’t been deep, meaningful prayers that I need alone and quiet time. My ‘Facebook relationship’ with my Savior of late needs to be addressed. Instead of scrolling through umpteen political posts I need to reach for the Word.

I need to start using my planner, NOW. So much needs to be scheduled or it simply doesn’t happen. Work of course does, but then I need to study for my exam this week, make time to be in the Word and prayer, work on projects for my shop, run errands, do some laundry, write blog posts and other social media posts for my shop, get to church this weekend, watch the services from last Sunday, well as you can see I have a lot to do. It is funny to me that at work I am a time management freak, a multi-tasking champion who can get my work done and kick start 2nd and 3rd shift by doing their laundry assignments. But outside of work I’m a hot mess of too much to do and zero organization. Maybe because at work there is a definite deadline and I do my best work under pressure. I’m hoping by actually scheduling it in my planner in time blocks, it will put enough emphasis on the importance of the tasks that I will get it all finished. I’ll let you know how that works out.