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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My Journey Begins

I made a decision a few days back, the decision to take back my health. I’m about to turn 54 and I’m not at all where I know I need to be to keep up the pace in my job or to live much longer as a healthy, functioning person.

I have an old and dear friend who has lost 93 pounds and kept it off for 3 years now. She looks totally amazing and is healthy along with having oodles of energy. I would look at her before and after photos and think “I want that”, but wasn’t willing to just spend 30 minutes sitting down to talk with her because I knew it was going to cost money and a change in lifestyle.

Now after 2 years of working as a STNA, I know that I must do something. I’ve tried various diets, programs etc over the years and that didn’t do it. I even changed a few things, but I’m still sitting back at 185 (down from 199 but holding) and my body is saying some not so nice things to me at the end of my shifts. 7 years ago I was at 155, still heavier than I should have been but 30 pounds less than today.  My blood pressure is creeping upward too, into the high range, no doubt from lugging me around.

I now work in an assisted living memory care community, so I’m not pushing and pulling lifts with bodies on them (a broda chair alone can weigh 90 pounds before you put the resident in it for the day, adding 200 to make a total of 290 pounds to push and pull up hallways), but I’m on my feet for 8 hours and still doing some lifting and a lot of squatting-to-standing. I need a change.

I don’t just want that, I want THAT!!!!

My daughter-in-law got with this friend of mine (we all go way back) and started down her journey and has lost a sizable amount toward her own goal. She even decided to take the plunge and become a health coach. She is now my coach. And when I start seeing success I’m jumping in too so I can help other people make a healthy turn around.

I plan to post photos, blog entries and encouragement for others who want some inspiration. And if you see the results you seek you can contact me and I’ll hook you up with my health coach.

Yes, it is a financial investment in the beginning, but I realized looking over my bank statement that I actually spend about this amount on iced coffees, breakfast and lunch at the drive thru when working, or when I’m out and hungry. I’ve invested a lot of money to get here, a little more to get healthy only makes sense.

Day One will be as soon as my tools and food arrive (and yes you do transition to your own foods over time), when I will post my official weight for the start of the journey and photos. I’m sticking myself out there because where I am now doesn’t matter as much as where I’m going to be!

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.

Sunday Wine Musings…

It is 7:10pm, first day of daylight savings time, so my body and mind believe it is really only 6:10pm and I have to convince them this is not the case because I must be up at 4am tomorrow for work. Hoping the wine helps with this a bit.

I’ve been away from the blog for a while, wasn’t sure I was going to keep writing it but I’ve decided to stick around and try like crazy to post more often. Life has a funny way of invading your plans and priorities have to be addressed. Sadly most days writing is not the priority. At least folks can tell from my Instagram on my page that I have not died!

While I’ve been away, I had to patiently wait until my daughter passed the 3 month mark to let the world know that I’ll be a grandma for the 6th time come late summer/early fall. I am beyond over the moon about this, as the Nana gig is by far the most amazing yet. I am hoping for a girl this time, as we only have one girl in the mix, but a healthy baby is a joy regardless of gender. Early in April we’ll find out that secret and it is either buying more Bengals and Reds attire for a boy, or tutus for a girl. Well and yes sports items for her too because that is how we roll.

News flash…save your money and if you are into those Yeti tumblers, I can tell you that RTIC is just as wonderful and about 1/3 to 1/4 of the cost. I fill mine as I leave for work at 5am and that coffee is still hot at 9:45am in our daily stand-up meeting at work. If I use it for cold drinks, ice is still in it 12 hours later. Could be longer but I’m rarely one to let anything sit that long before consuming it. Really, save yourself a fortune! I’m making a series of cup cozies for that size tumbler, though they don’t need one as they never ‘sweat’ and are easily held no matter if it is a hot or cold drink inside. It is all about having a fashionable cup at that point! 🙂

Over the past week I was trying like crazy to come down with a rip-roaring sinus infection. Maybe the weather didn’t help as we had a few odd days with winter, then spring (even a tornado warning at work) then back to winter again. We are currently experiencing winter for those interested in what cue card nature is reading. The infection was growing, causing a headache, snot factory, and over all fatigue. In the past I have boiled water and put tea tree oil in it and inhaled the steam, but that can burn your skin and its uncomfy to breathe. So, on a whim I googled and found out I could put tea tree oil in my neti pot!!! One drop, per the many articles I found, or it can irritate the sinus membranes. But I did this twice a day over 3 days and could feel it draining away. Today I’m breathing freely and really amazed. NOTE: I am NOT a doctor and this is NOT medical advice…just passing along what worked for me, flush those sinuses with saline and tea tree oil at your own risk.

I’ve not been neglecting my shop, in fact I have several items to stock, just haven’t taken photos and built listings. Again, life has been in the way a bit but I now have the supplies for shipping and I’ll be placing these over the next few days. My daughter is starting to add things as well, so we’ll have some really nice items coming this week.

Speaking of her…she recently became a Jamberry rep. Like me, she has a passion for direct sales, but needed to find her passion for a product. Me, I’m back on Avon but that is another post. My baby girl LOVES the nail wraps and finally took the plunge to become a rep. And she is making money, which is no real shock as once you find your passion product you are going to do well. It doesn’t hurt that these sell themselves right off your finger nails. Seriously she has people stop her to ask where she got her nails done. I had tried them once but didn’t have a real clue what I was doing. Now, if you go to a party or search YouTube you will have it down. I let her do a manicure on me 2 weeks ago from her stock and was blown away. I wash my hands at work easily 30 to 50 times in a shift. The wraps held up great through it all. And trust me I am hard on my hands, they are my most used tool every day at work. I also bite my nails. So this helped me make it 2 weeks without biting them at all. I actually have some nail to work with today and she came over and did my nails and my mom’s with the wraps we purchased from her. Mom is going through chemo and her nails just are so thin and fragile now. We figure wraps will help to protect them and she found a color she loved. You can see how short my nails must have been by where they are today, with this new french manicure wrap on. I LOVE them!

My index finger is the shortest I have and I’m determined to keep at this to get something grown. I cannot go real long, as nails cause skin tears to our elderly residents, their skin is onion paper-thin so it takes so little to injure them. But I can have pretty nails!  Each sheet is enough for 2 manicures with a few wraps to spare, and only $15 a sheet! Check out her shop, the selection is just incredible. You can do a Basic Bundle for only $58.50 and that includes 4 sheets of wraps, the mini heater, and all the supplies you need to do your wraps, so it is quite the savings!

Well the dryer is calling me with the song of its people, so time to get my laundry folded and tuck myself into bed for my day tomorrow.

Y’all have a marvelous one!

 

 

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!