30 Day Health Challenge

IMG_0890 - CopySeveral months ago I found out I had a slightly elevated A1C. This is a pre-diabetes indicator and one that is easily reversed with diet and exercise. I have resisted doing anything about it, always telling myself I will seriously start eating better and exercising “tomorrow” or “next week.”  That was a lot of “tomorrows” ago.

Now I am ready.

Nothing changed except my attitude. I found on Pinterest several pins for “30 Day Emotional Eating.”  I’m sure some of my eating is emotional, but mostly it is bad habits and laziness. My life is complicated, stressful, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants crazy at times. I rarely plan my meals, I am too tired at the end of the day to make dinner decisions, and I hate grocery shopping.  I am not a great cook and my family if finicky, so we end up eating the same things over and over (a lot of that is fast-food).  This is a great excuses for not putting in the time and energy into healthy eating. It is a poor excuse for avoiding diabetes and heart conditions.

Normally, I would not blog about something so personal (and being overweight is VERY personal). But I also need accountability, so I am swallowing my pride. For the next 30 days, I will be journaling/blogging about journey toward healthy eating , exercise, and weight loss using  journaling prompts inspired by 30 Day Emotional Eating Journal Challenge 

I will do other things as well. Whatever it takes.

 

 

 

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Posted in Oklahoma, Photography

Oklahoma Spring

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In spite of my splitting headache due to either allergies or a sinus infection, Oklahoma spring is almost here and I am glad.  Dingy browns from dead leaves and barren ground is being replaced with pops of color from blooming redbud trees and yellow jonquils. The days are mildly warm and with the change to daylight saving time, longer as well. A perfect excuse to get out there and enjoy life.  I am ready for spring cleaning, resuming my diet and exercising more. I want to take day trips, sleep outdoors and catch fish.

Spring does come with its share of risks. Lack of winter rain and hot days are the perfect combination for wildfires and strong thunderstorms can spawn killer tornados. But Okies are resilient when it comes to nature. We pick ourselves up and start all over again.

I am concerned that our state budget is in such bad shape that our legislature will actually close down 13 of our State parks. The park system provides a wonderful way for families to enjoy the outdoors, free of charge in most cases. I can’t imagine the savings from closed parks is going to do much to solve our budget woes.

One of the things I enjoy during the spring is yard sales and the Farmer’s market. The Farmer’s market is a great way to support local business and get something good to eat in return. Yards sales are just fun. It’s like rummaging though my grandparents old sheds when I was a kid. They kept everything.

Spring doesn’t last long in Oklahoma. Soon it will turn too hot to really enjoy being outdoors. Unless you like standing in front of an oven door, because that is what it feels like on hot windy days.  All the more reason to enjoy spring.

 

Posted in Daily Prompt

A Bird in One Hand……

DSCF6116 (2).JPGMost people have heard the saying, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”  We roll our eyes when we hear one, but clichés serve a purpose. They are the way elders to offer sage advice to younger people in the hope they will be spared pain and sorrow for certain mistakes.

I have found in most cases; however, the best teacher is experience herself.

Satisfaction does not come easy for me. I am a perfectionist by nature and tend to want immediate results. Fortunately, I am also a bit risk-adverse, which keeps me from throwing caution to the wind in search of gold at the end of the rainbow. This is particularly true when it comes to my job. I work in Information Technology and my daily challenge of “too much to do and no time to do it” weighs me down. When it gets to be too much, I daydream about a better job. Granted, there is nothing wrong with wanting a change, but I have been here before.  I learned the hard way that not appreciating what you have can cause a person to stop thinking rationally and to make bad choices.

When I was much younger and just starting my career, there was a time when I felt I was not being treated fairly by my employer. I accepted a job with a company that had a bad reputation. My friends warned me, even my manager warned me, but I wouldn’t listen. I told them the company had changed, that they really did care about their employees, and that all those old rumors were no longer valid. Blah-dee-blah-dee-blah. In retrospect, I was rationalizing why giving up a perfectly good job (and it was) to work for a questionable employer was somehow the right thing to do.

I should have realized my mistake on my first day. It was after 5:00 p.m. and the employee I was working with not slowing down. My daughter’s daycare closed at six and I said I had to leave. The woman I was working with looked at me dead serious and said I might need to find other arrangements. Limited overtime was one of the conditions discussed during my interview, and this deal was broken the first day.

I started work in February, and for first few months, things seemed fine. I liked the people I worked with, I was treated well by management, and atmosphere was great. Around May, however, the job started taking over my life.  As a computer programmer, I was no stranger to being called in the middle of the night to fix a coding problem. At my old job, this was a shared responsibility that prevented burn-out. At my new job, I was part of a two-person team: my supervisor and myself. Guess who got most of the calls. On an almost a nightly basis, I would receive a phone call, drive to the office, fix a problem, drive home, get a little sleep, then back to work. Some nights I would barely make it through the door when my husband would tell me that the computer operator had just called again. The lack of sleep and having to care for a two-year old daughter was starting to wear me down.

I remember the night I finally reached my breaking point. I got a call telling me to come in and fix a problem. It was a Friday night and my husband was out with friends, and I had no one to take care of our daughter. I packed up my sleepy little girl and drove to the office. It was after midnight before my husband came to pick her up. When he got there, I was sitting on the curb in front of the building, hysterically crying. I was so exhausted and overcome by stress that no bird would have been better than the one bird I had. The next day, I managed to pick myself up and go on. In the end, however, I finally gave up and called my ex-boss and asked for a job. My lesson had lasted than a year.

Whenever I get too disgruntled with my current job, I remember this story. For some, it may sound like failure, but for me, it is a check-point. I may not stay in my current job forever, but I will never leave a for emotional reasons. I learned the hard way about clichés . Before I give up this bird, I will make sure the others birds are worth pursuing.  

 

Posted in nature, Photography, Photography 101

Triumph (Day 20)

1-DSCF5571-001Participating in Photo 101 has given me a new perspective on photography. Gone are the days of a non-thinking ‘point and shoot’ mentality. Going forward, the photos I take will be more thoughtful and deliberate. Although I wasn’t able to create a new photo for every assignment, just going through my old photos with a specific theme in mind helped me see them in a new light.

In contrast to my old self , I triumphed by not giving up on this class on the days when I could not go out and photo something new; by not putting this off because there was something more important (and less challenging) to do; by giving this my best shot and  putting myself and my photos “out there” for comment.

I also triumphed by finally getting a photo of a woodpecker that frequents my bird feeder.

 

Posted in Photography, Photography 101

Edge and Alignment (Day 18)

For today’s assignment I was inspired by the storm clouds building over the house.  As I snapped away at the clouds, I realized the edges of the roof created a frame of the clouds, trees, and sky

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I used the same technique for this older photo showing rain dripping off the roof.

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The two photo’s below were taken while we were on vacation in South Texas.  A little less experimental.

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Posted in nature, Photography, Photography 101

All About Glass (Day 17)

I reserve the right for a re-do. I struggled with today’s assignment, mainly because I do my assignments after I get off work or in the early evening,  and I had little to work with (including imagination). I added a few old photos just because. Let’s start with wild and crazy.

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Last mother’s day I received a beautiful hummingbird feeder with a colorful swirled glass bulb for the nectar.  As an experiment, I held it in front of a few different objects. The top one is in front of one of our apple tree blossoms. Sort of reminds me of over-exposed film.

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This is the same hummingbird feeder, looking through the apple tree limbs. Sort of creepy, like maybe it should be the poster of a horror movie

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My beautiful kitten Siggy watched me from the front window, so I decided to capture photo of her. I wanted a reflection of the yard but the ugly red drapes made it difficult to see much.

Now for the oldies.

This one was taken at a lighthouse in Maine. Can’t say much, except there is a window involved.

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Last but not least, a view of the setting sun outside my car window. Pleasant dreams.

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Posted in memories, Photography, Photography 101

Treasured Memories (Day 16)

My grandparents never threw anything away. By today’s standards, they might have been considered hoarders, although the overflow was confined to sheds, dressers, and cabinet drawers. They were a product of  The Great Depression, believers in the notion that you  never knew when something might be useful.

As a child, rummaging through my grandmother’s treasurers was one of my favorite past-times. No doubt this led to my love of old things. I’m not an antique collector, or a real collector of any kind; however, over the years I have acquired a great number of ‘treasures’ of my own, many of which live in an old second-hand china cabinet with only three legs.

Whether it is my daughter’s origami, mementos from my first cruise, or my mother’s china; my treasurers connect me to my past, both good times and bad.

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One of my shelves is devoted almost entirely to shot glasses. These remind me of the places I have been and the fun times I had traveling.

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I don’t know the story behind my father’s collection of Toby mugs but I have several of these in various sizes.

 

If I had to choose from among all the things I treasure, I would choose the letters my mother wrote to my grandmother while she and my father traveled from job-to-job. Some were written before I was born, some soon after when I was still with them,  and the remaining few were written just before she was diagnosed with cancer. She died before my second birthday and these letters are the only way I know her.

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Posted in nature, Oklahoma, Photography, Photography 101, Travel

Landscapes and Cropping (Day 15)

I love landscapes,  although I rarely do justice to the beauty that captivates the natural eye.  For this assignment, I chose several of my favorite landscape photographs to showcase, including a few that were used for previous Photo 101 themes.

My first two photos were taken last summer (August 2015) in The Badlands National Park, South Dakota. This stark area earned it’s name. The rock formations were formed from wind and rain erosion and there is little vegetation.  If you ignore the greenery in the foreground, I imagine this is what the moon would look like.

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On this same trip, we drove through the Colorado Rockies. The towering peaks never cease to amaze me.

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As we drove down the highway, we came across a creek of melted mountain snow.

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Several years ago we visited The Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. The sandstone formations are incredible.

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The golden grassland of Nebraska.

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Waves breaking on the shore of Galveston Bay, Texas

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An Oklahoma Sunset

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