Grocery Shopping and Tiny Flowers

This morning was my weekly Aldi excursion. I had to tack on a stop at Drug Emporium to buy a supplement for Lucy also. Two notable things happened at Aldi. One was that there was a man there who was a dead ringer for Christopher Lee (no British accent though). The other was that my friend Joan showed up in the checkout line behind me. I had been planning to call her when I got home, so it was great to get to chat in person. She helped me sack my groceries and then walked all the way to the car with me and helped put them in the trunk.

In the afternoon I went to Walmart to get the things I can’t get at Aldi, and had a nice cup of tea. Later I walked in the gym and then bought pizza for the family before coming home and weeding some more of my roses. I had a terrifying encounter with an insect that came flying out of the ground when I disturbed it, but thankfully I was not stung.

Parting Shot:

6-28-18 forget-me-nots

Yesterday I forgot to mention that my first forget-me-not is blooming! I planted quite a few of them in hopes of getting them to bloom in time for Mercy’s wedding. Well, they’re a month early. Still very pretty and TINY. Those flowers are less than a quarter-inch across!

Books Are Good

I’ve been reading up a storm lately! Reading to Jasper and also reading for my own enjoyment. I finished a book yesterday and another one today—such a treat!

Today Mercy got off work a little early and suggested going out for coffee, so I took her to the only coffee place I willingly darken the door of—the one that’s also a bookstore. I thought Mercy had been there before, but she hadn’t, so I got to introduce her to the place. And no, obviously I did not drink coffee. I had tea. It was a nice little interlude. I might have bought a book.

I also finally made myself do some weeding around the roses, which have all but disappeared inside a jungle of weeds. Maybe this time I’ll get them mulched before the weeds spring back into action! I also uprooted my dead zucchini plants and replaced them with a new one I picked up at Walmart this afternoon. I hope this one lives longer than the last.

I had a great walk this evening (indoors) and did some more weeding before retreating from the mosquitos. Started reading another book too—a Jules Verne book I hadn’t heard of before. (One of the categories in the reading challenge is to read a book that was published posthumously.)

 

 

Social Life

Jasper had a busy day today. He walked over to the campus to watch the Germany/South Korea game on the big screen with Walter. Too bad it didn’t turn out the way they hoped. Germany was eliminated in the group stage for the first time in 80 years. To say the mood was grim at our house during lunch is an understatement.

But meanwhile, Jasper went to a homeschool lunch with his friend Ben and enjoyed it. I stayed home to be here when my friend Marsha came to visit. I don’t see her very often so it was good to catch up. We have been friends for twenty years.

Then I still had to take Jasper to youth group and go walking at the gym and do some reading. I am enjoying this summer reading challenge!

A Rare Treat

One thing I wanted to do for my birthday was go to a movie with my family. Unfortunately, our schedules are so incompatible that it wasn’t really possible. It was just Walter, Jasper and me that made it to an afternoon showing of The Incredibles 2 today. I very wisely carried a lightweight shawl into the theater with me. I needed it!

We enjoyed the movie, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say I liked it as much as I liked the first one. Still, we go to movies so rarely that it really is a treat to see one in the theater.

Afterward I had my critique group meeting followed by our regular writers’ meeting. I missed my monthly watercolor group today because of the movie. Maybe next month!

A Quiet Birthday

Yesterday morning I dropped Jasper off at church for Sunday School, and then Walter and I drove to Henderson to attend church and visit with dear friends there. We attended the church there for several years when our kids were little, but eventually it became too burdensome to drive that far to church. We still love to go back and visit when we can.

One person I always love seeing is our friend Jean, who is now 95 years old. She has finally stopped driving, but someone still picks her up and takes her in to work at her son’s business every day!

We lingered talking after church, but we finally made it home in time for me to enjoy a quick birthday call from Flynn before he had to do something else. I had a few minutes to rest before my video chat appointment with Lina, during which I drank a very welcome mug of tea.

After saying goodbye to Lina, I went back to work on my birthday dinner and then Mercy arrived to help me and I was able to squeeze in a quick conversation with Mary. Once I got the meat on the grill, Walter babysat it for me so I could work on other things. So what did I choose for my own birthday dinner? Grilled Korean-marinated country-style pork ribs (like always), Greek salad, loaded mashed cauliflower, and croissants (for the carb eaters). It was a delicious meal!

My brother Matt called after supper, and then we all watched a movie while everyone else ate cake. (I had a keto version of strawberry shortcake.) It was a pleasant day.

Today I suffered from a strange lack of motivation, but I am proud of myself for finally doing something that’s been on my “to-do” list for several weeks—I cut out a new dress for myself. Having to replace my entire wardrobe is kind of a challenge, but I’m looking forward to making myself a few things. Maybe I’ll finally use some of that nice fabric I’ve been hoarding for years—for “when I lose weight.”

Spencer stopped by a couple of times to do laundry, after skipping my birthday dinner last night. It was good to see him. (He has Mondays off this month.)

I also did some reading and paperwork, went for my walk, and noticed that my zucchini plant is moribund. I don’t know why, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to survive. I only got 2 zucchini from it!

 

My Diabetes Miracle #15: The Joy of Being Overweight

I am overweight. Duh. That is obvious. We all know it. So how does that bring me joy? I’ll tell you. For virtually my entire life, I have been morbidly obese. When I started on this health journey, my primary goal was just to reduce my insulin needs—but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I was hoping I’d lose some weight too.

A year ago on my birthday I had lost 50 pounds in five months. I was ecstatic. My journey since then has been very difficult and discouraging at times, but I stuck to my commitment. I went from being morbidly obese when I started, to “Class 2” obesity, to “Class 1” obesity. In the last month I finally reached the magic number of 101 pounds lost, and that means that I am no longer obese. I am just overweight. Overweight. Not morbidly obese or any other level of obesity.

Do you have any idea what a thrill that is? Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and I get discouraged because I’m still fat. It’s hard to see my progress on a day to day basis, despite the fact that I’ve had to buy so many new clothes because the old ones are literally falling off. I still struggle with buying clothes. I’ll hold something up that I know should fit me, but it looks so small and I’m sure I’ll never squeeze into it. Then I try it on and it fits very nicely! This weekend I popped into a “plus size” store to look around and realized that I now wear the very smallest size they carry. How stunning to realize that someday I won’t need to look for “plus” sizes at all. Already I can fit into “one size fits all” garments for the first time in my adult life.

So, even though I am still struggling through this process, and even though I think the way ahead will be even harder than what I’ve experienced so far, I still have a lot to celebrate and I thought I’d show you two photos taken exactly eighteen months apart.

This one was taken on Christmas Eve of 2016.

12-24-16

It is hard for me to find “before” photos of myself because I hated getting my picture taken so much. I am trying to be better about that, but it’s still hard.

This next photo was taken yesterday, June 24, 2018, on my birthday.

6-24-18

See? I really have made some progress!

And one thing that you can’t really tell from looking at these photos is that in the first one, my rosacea was very severe and I was wearing plenty of foundation to hide it. In the photo taken yesterday I am wearing no makeup at all. There is so little inflammation left after all the fasting I’ve done that my skin has remained completely clear for a couple of months now!

Great God of Wonders

When I was in grade school, I was too young to stay up for “Bible Reading” on Sunday nights at my boarding school. I’d lie in my mosquito-net-covered bed and listen to the sounds of singing wafting from the main sitting room. One hymn that I loved to hear was this one, “Great God of Wonders.” I loved (and still love) the bass line in the chorus.

When I was a teenager and doing my school by correspondence at home, I took piano lessons from my dad. We didn’t have much to work with, music-wise, but we had a hymnbook. This was one of the first hymns I asked to learn, and I loved thundering out that bass line when I got to the chorus!

If you’re not familiar with it, here’s a place to listen: Great God of Wonders

GREAT GOD OF WONDERS

by Samuel Davies

Great God of wonders! All Thy ways
Are matchless, Godlike and divine;
But the fair glories of Thy grace
More Godlike and unrivaled shine,
More Godlike and unrivaled shine.

Refrain:

Who is a pardoning God like Thee?
Or who has grace so rich and free?
Or who has grace so rich and free?

Crimes of such horror to forgive,
Such guilty, daring worms to spare;
This is Thy grand prerogative,
And none shall in the honor share,
And none shall in the honor share

Refrain

Angels and men, resign your claim
To pity, mercy, love and grace:
These glories crown Jehovah’s Name
With an incomparable glaze
With an incomparable glaze.

Refrain

In wonder lost, with trembling joy,
We take the pardon of our God:
Pardon for crimes of deepest dye,
A pardon bought with Jesus’ blood,
A pardon bought with Jesus’ blood.

Refrain

O may this strange, this matchless grace,
This Godlike miracle of love,
Fill the whole earth with grateful praise,
And all th’angelic choirs above,
And all th’angelic choirs above.

Refrain

And yes, it’s my birthday today. Thanks to all of you who have brightened my day with your warm greetings!

 

A Simple Saturday

Today was a mostly relaxing day in which I didn’t even come close to accomplishing my goals. Walter and Jasper were up early in order to get done with their yard jobs before the Germany-Sweden game started at 1:00. Meanwhile, I tried and failed to sleep in (too much activity).

After they left, I made myself a very nice breakfast—something I almost never do anymore—and watched a video while eating it. Then I got busy in the kitchen, doing a bunch of tasks that if done today will make tomorrow easier. I even baked a cake!

Walter and Jasper returned and then Walter and Lucy left to watch the game on campus. The World Cup and Olympics are two times when we wish we had cable! During part of the last World Cup four years ago, we were in Colorado and Walter had to resort to watching games at a sports bar. Fortunately, Germany won today and widespread grumpiness was averted.

I also did a little bit of reading, some exercise, and laundry. I also took Lucy shopping and stopped at the library to fill out my pages read. I have never participated in a summer reading program before but I’m getting into it!

What an exciting day, right? It was very enjoyable for me.

The Longest Day

How can we be at the summer solstice already? Is time speeding up? This is a happy day for me because it means that the days will start getting shorter, which means that at some point they will also get cooler. Not till October, of course, but still . . .

I’m pretty sure I did stuff today, but I’m having a hard time remembering it all. I know I ran some errands and made cornbread and knitted some rows and did some reading and rode my exercise bike and went for a walk. Does that seem like enough?

Rain!

Today was gloriously wet and rainy and overcast—all day long. What a wonderful respite it was. I ignored my to-do list and watched a movie with Jasper this morning while watching the rain pour down outside. I also fixed my knitting mistake and got quite a few rows knitted.

Jasper and I are both also doing a lot of reading for the library’s summer reading program. Recreational reading is such a treat for me.

I have now started actively looking forward to my daily walk around the track in the gym. I knew it would happen—makes it so much easier to keep the habit up! And I am also adding minutes to my bike-desk times as well.

Meanwhile, Walter spent the evening helping Daniel replace the alternator on his car. They didn’t quite finish, but it sounds like they got most of it done.

And finally, please pray for my parents, both of whom are struggling with C. Difficile now. My mom caught it from my dad (who had a relapse) and they are both on medication now, but it is a tough bug to kick.