camping

This morning is an odd morning. I hardly slept at all last night and yet I climbed out of bed at five. It’s been raining all night and most of yesterday. I suppose it will rain most of today too. So much for fishing. I’m sitting outside of my camper listening to the birds chirp and the rain fall. I’m thinking about getting a blanket because there is a slight chill in the dampness. The coffee is hot and good. My mind tries to focus on being here, now and present. The warm coffee cup feels good in my stiff hands. A smoker just walked by and interrupted my quiet time with his undeniable smokers cough.

Today I will fish; even if it’s raining. I’ve lost my edge. I haven’t fished in years and this year I am determined to get back into it. I was a great fisher when I was a kid. My daddy taught me well; maybe too well. It was easy to upset my older brother as his little sister out-fished him.

Soon there will be the smell of bacon in the air. I wish I could make a campfire to round out the beautiful fragrance of the morning.

It’s six now and my alarm just went off. It’s too bad I’m already up. Time to make the donuts as the old guy said years ago.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Dog Named Bob.”

I live in a neighborhood association. All of our streets are named after birds and I just happen to live on Blujay drive. One day I decided that our weathered mailbox had seen its better days. I replaced it with one of those fancy plastic ones. As I sat on the porch admiring my handiwork my daughter brought me a plate of fresh blueberry pancakes dripping with syrup. Suddenly, the neighbor’s dog named Bob came trotting by with no owner attached to his leash. He lifted his leg and pee’d on my handiwork! I was appalled and began to chase him down. Before I could get back the mailman came and dropped my mail directly into the freshly sprayed pile of dog pee. With sticky fingers and exhausted breath I leaned down and picked up my mail which now had ink running off the side accompanied by Bob’s morning water. With head hanging down I walked, defeated, back into the house to hose off the mail, take a shower and start the day over.

Donna Wells, June 11, 2015

Weight, Age, and Life

I left for Air Force Basic Training a scared but excited 19 year old girl. I’d never flown before and Cleveland to San Antonio was my first experience. I couldn’t wait to get in the uniform and serve my country. About six months before I left, in preparation for my training, I began running. The last thing I wanted was to be yelled at for being weak or left behind. I remember weighing myself a lot because at my height (5’1”) there isn’t much room for weight gain. I have been struggling with my weight and self-image ever since then.

You see, I’m a short curvy women. It’s the bait I used to hook my husband. But, before then, it was troublesome. Because Basic Training was so rigorous I lost weight and came out of there all of 108 pounds. I looked good and felt healthy. However, I still had critics. Why are people so cruel? 108 pounds is not fat! I was a size 6-7. Why did I let society and back then, men, tell me that I was fat? I lifted weights, ran and danced my way to feeling and looking good.

Slowly my weight creeped up. I didn’t mind though because I was an avid weight lifter and packed on quite a bit of muscle. I didn’t know anything about eating properly, I hated veggies and I drank alcohol. After four years I left the AF, went to college, roped my husband with my curvaceous lower body and moved to Japan where we began to make a family.

I think that most women suffer from body image after having children. I gained very little weight with my first child but I gained over 50 pounds with the second. Kids! Since the last child I’ve been down on myself about losing the weight. Now, I know you’re looking at my picture and saying that I don’t have 50 pounds to lose; you’re right. I have 20 pounds to lose.

A few years ago I took a stand for my health and went gluten and dairy free. I ran five miles and lost about 22 pounds. I was feeling good and looking good. But then it began to creep back up again! How frustrating! At this point it isn’t just about looking good, vanity and pant size. Now it’s about how I feel. I’m not happy with the way I look or feel. I know that my joints would feel better is I lost another 20 and tightened up the muscle again.

The frustration comes in because it seems no matter what I do I can barely keep the brakes on from gaining let alone lose. What the heck am I doing wrong? I’ve been to three different doctors and they say “It’s your age.” Well, that’s unacceptable to me! I’ve seen plenty of ___ aged people that look amazing. I don’t eat fast food. I don’t drink soda or juice. I don’t eat gluten or dairy.

Yesterday I talked to my primary care doctor. I really like her because she listens to me about natural alternative remedies instead of shoving poison down my throat. She said that she’s been doing a lot of reading and research and she believes that I’m eating too many carbs, eating them at the wrong time and that I’m stressed. FINALLY! I think she is right.

Did you know that you should eat your carbs at night? She said (based on a book written by a neurologist) when you eat them during the day it makes you hungry for more. So you are hungry/eating all day long. When you eat fats and protein in the morning they are more sustaining throughout the day. She also said to keep carbs below 60 a day. Lastly she said I need to find ways to de-stress. You see, that husband of mine who loves my curves is a disabled veteran and he is a handful (to say the least).

So, my game plan: Revisit the Paleo plan eating carbs (this includes fruit) in the evening and keeping my total for the day under 60. Exercise in ways I love like weight lifting, hiking and running. Find ways to de-stress. Any suggestions for de-stressing?

GET UP!

GET UP!

Today is a new day and today I will Get UP.

I can’t believe my hands were that inflamed.

Yesterday I woke up and my hands felt like there was a fire burning in my bones. (and not the good kind like in Jeremiah 20:9)

I didn’t go to church because I could barely lift my coffee cup. What is going on? I’m thinking I got some cross contamination gluten. My wonderful daughter who is about to be a junior in college is studying to be an athletic trainer; massaged my hands for me. She rubbed Blue Emu into them and made a few discoveries. Of course she is just a student so I won’t say what she said because it would not be a legal diagnosis. However, she made some valid points that I will bring up with my doctor this week. Have I mentioned that my 17 year old daughter is amazing? Well she is.

In addition to the hand pain my back felt like I’d been kicked by a horse. I don’t have a horse and I’ve never been kicked by one but this pain is what I imagine it would feel like. I went for a walk with my youngest daughter. The sun was warm and I thought a short walk around the block, in the sun, would be good for my pain and my emotional state which, sad to say, wasn’t in a good place. I barely made it home. My back hurt so bad I almost cried.

I am so over this pain. I’ve tried to change my diet, I try to exercise, and I pray but still – pain.

ENOUGH! UGH! I cast this pain back to Hell where it came from!

I won’t take anything stronger than Ibuprofen for the pain. I refuse to take those poisonous drugs that some doctors push on patients who don’t know any better. They do more harm than good with side effects like cancer! Cancer is a side effect? Wow. I prefer a more natural approach to healthcare, pain management and wellness. Diet, exercise, massage therapy, laughter, and good old fashioned sunshine.

Someday I might have to give in and concede to poison as a remedy but until then I will continue to fight the good fight and press on toward the prize like Paul. (Philippians 3:14)

holding cup

today I can hold my coffee cup in one hand! Yay

Blue Emu is what I use on my pain most of the time

Spaghetti and Meatballs evolved

cake ingredients

bananas, eggs, Pamela’s Chocolate Cake Mix

Today I am feeling ambitious. Let’s see how long it lasts after I get into the kitchen and on my feet. First I want to put a dessert in the oven. I’ve found tons of recipes I like, but I have a gluten free cake mix that I love and think I’ll try a recipe I found on artsyfartsymama.com.

raw meatballs

brown meatballs in a cast iron skillet.

Next I’m going to make meatballs. The original plan for supper was spaghetti and meatballs but I don’t have any pasta sauce or canned tomatoes. Anyway, since going dairy free, Italian dishes aren’t as good without Mozzarella and garlic bread. So I opted for these delicious looking mushrooms and meatballs.

As a side dish for the family it’s sweet orange carrots. (because I don’t eat cooked veggies) Don’t worry readers. I’ll get my veggies in a smoothie form. (Spinach, celery and peppers, add ice and water in the Ninja)spinach smoothie

This dish evolved as it went along. I rarely follow a recipe to the T. I started out with my own ingredients for meatballs and meatball ingredientsbrowned them in a cast iron skillet. Next I intended to add mushrooms but it seemed to me that I should have started in my dutch oven so that is where I browned the onions, garlic and mushrooms. Finally, I added beef broth and placed in the browned meatballs. Simmered for about half an hour. Regret: should have started in the dutch oven and cooked slowly for over an hour. The liquid would have thickened and the onions caramelized. Then I would have put the mushrooms in last.

My first thought was how good this dish would be with mashed potatoes but then I decided that Polenta would add a nice texture and flavor.

meatballs and polenta

finished dish

cake slice

finished cake with a garnish of fresh raspberries.

Turns out I am motivated to cook but not to clean. I hope the family is up for the challenge of the messy kitchen. My feet hurt I’m putting a movie in.

Stay tuned for my review of McFarland USA

List of Ingredients in Dish:

Meatballs: Ground beef, ground pork, chopped onion, chopped garlic, gf bread crumbs, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning

Sliced mushrooms, chopped onions, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, beef broth

Polenta: cornmeal, beef broth, water, salt

Cake: Pamela’s Chocolate Cake Mix, 5 super ripe bananas, 1 egg

Leaky Pipe Saga

leaky joint

leaky corner joint, wet wood/insulation

carpet and floor and water

cut, wet carpet and pad looking for floor drain

About that leaky pipe that I wrote about earlier: It flooded my basement. I can’t believe I didn’t see if before. Well, it wasn’t the washing machine at all. There was a pipe in the corner of the ceiling that was leaking. Only God knows how that happened. What I know is that it has cause a huge mess. I have enough messes in my life. I didn’t need this one too. However, I will count my blessings and they include home owner’s insurance, home warranty, and super nice plumbers. The young man who came to my house was determined to find the problem. We ran all of the water in the house, waited for the washer to go through a cycle, and even tore up the carpet looking for a floor drain. Nothing.

more water

Finally, we opened the wall where the water main is. I’ve never seen it before because it is boarded up. Well, there it was, way up high in the corner. There was a fast leak that was soaking the wood, the insulation and running down the wall and into my carpet. That wonderful plumber fixed the leak. The clean-up crew is coming today or Thursday. Then it will be off to order carpet. The final step, I think I will hire a professional organizer to help me put everything back and throw stuff away.

This is where I take a page out of my own life coaching book: breathe, it will be okay. It’s getting taken care of and there is no reason to panic or get upset. Schedule the right workers, write the check and smile when the basement has been redecorated.

Leaky Pipes

Donna’s Adventure continues with household drama. Why does this always happen when hubs is out of town? Something major that I have to deal with; as if I didn’t already have enough on my plate. So, here it is:

leaky-pipesI went to the basement to run on the treadmill and lift weights. Besides the mess of toys, movies, art supplies, school supplies, and workout equipment I found a soggy wet carpet. Gross. I have leaky pipes, water coming from the ceiling and traveling across the light strip; most likely from the washing machine upstairs. I thought we’d dealt with this effectively a couple of months ago. Apparently we were inefficient. This time I called the warranty company. Thank God we bought that warranty when we bought the house. What if they tear into the drywall? What if they put holes in the floor? That won’t be covered and I’ll have to call a dry wall person. And this is where I stop my mind from chasing rabbit trails.

I’m taking a break from cleaning to write this post and to breathe. I’m trying not to freak out but right now there is something to be said for renting! After 19 years of marriage (tomorrow is our anniversary) we have accumulated a lot of junk. I intend to part with a lot of it this week. I refuse to have a garage sale, too much work and not enough profit. Off to Goodwill it will go: books, toys, movies and wires to who knows what. I think they also recycle old printers and we probably have a few of those collecting dust too.

Break’s over