Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Weekly Check-in


No significant change this week, but there is at least a loss. As you all know, I've been under a great deal of stress lately, even more than usual, so I will take any loss of weight I can get.

I am starting to keep track of my sodium intake. Government standards still show an allowance of 2500mg, but most health sites say men and women of my age only need 1500 mg. Since stroke and heart disease run in my family and my blood pressure has been very high lately, I've been watching things. Most fresh fruits and veggies have little to no sodium. Meats and oats have a bit more. Most prepared foods--canned, jarred, and frozen--naturally have way too much sodium.

I have changed my exercise routine a bit, too. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I do a full calisthenics routine of about 20 minutes. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays I spend 40-45 minutes on the treadmill, walking until I've used up at least 300 calories. When things settle down a bit (my mom moves from assisted living to a nursing home on a permanent basis), I plan to join a yoga class in addition or find a pool and add swimming to my routine.


The past two weeks have left me in no real mood to write; I've had very little time as it is, and when I have had time, my brain has been so full of what needs to be done yet, as well as guilt and angst, to allow any fiction in. Last Monday, though, I finally had time and a low enough stress level to think about Quantum Kiss, and managed to write 800 words. I've also been busily catching up on milestones for my local chapter of RWA and taking a workshop on judging so that I can properly judge future contest entries, as well as learn a little about becoming an entrant and what the judges look for. 

I don't think I'll be able to catch up on the Little Bites Challenge for March, but we'll see--the month's not over yet.

Vocab: Vanquish--to win over an enemy, particularly in battle. Usually a decisive & dominating win.

Prompt: You are a Saxon who's village is meeting up with Viking raiders for the first time. You can be a man, woman or child, in your village or watching from some vantage point.

(Can you tell I've been watching Vikings lately? LOL!)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Five for Friday: Things I Like about Cold Weather:

I love cold weather. Kind of odd for someone who lives in Florida, but there you have it. My recent trip to Connecticut and a small "cold" snap back here at home (40F overnight) reminded me of why.

1. The crisp air: Nothing is more invigorating than a breath of crisp, cold air that fills the lungs and makes your nose hairs stand up. When it’s cold out, I move faster, just to stay warm and I tend to take the time to breathe deeper. Scents that are usually muted seem sharper and the smell of wood smoke permeates the air. Sounds carry further and are clearer.

2. The bare trees: I am weird, I think. I am one of the few people I know who enjoys the way the leafless tree branches look against the gray sky. It’s the same reason I love the rocky coast of Maine—the starkness has a special beauty about it. The leaves crunching underfoot are an added bonus.

3. Bundling up: I love wearing boots and pull-overs (just not turtlenecks) and jeans and scarves and gloves and even heavy jackets. Love that stuff. I look good in pull-over sweaters. I enjoy coming in from the cold to a warm house, stomping the snow off or shaking the cold off, and peeling off the outside clothes. As an added bonus, my cheeks get all rosy and warm.

4. Comfort food: I love casseroles and stews and open-faced sandwiches. While these can be eaten in any weather, they seem to taste better when the weather outside is frightful. Mind, that’s how I can pack on pounds in the winter down here in Florida; at least back home in Connecticut, I’d get my workout from shoveling snow now and again.

5. Warm drinks: I could’ve put this with food, but it’s my blog, I’ll do what I like. I have always loved coffee and tea and hot chocolate. Hot chocolate made from scratch is a rare treat, with cocoa powder, sugar and scalded milk. Add a splash of Bailey’s now that I’m a grown person, and I’m in Heaven.

I am currently enjoying what is likely one of the last chilly mornings for six or more months here in Central Florida. We turned off the air conditioner and opened the windows last night. The house smells and feels great this morning. **sigh** I already am looking forward to next winter.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday Check In

Well, hello all!

I know I’ve been gone a while. A little over a week ago, I received some bad news from my parents in Connecticut. My dad finally reached the breaking point with taking care of my mother, who has Alzheimer’s. It was bad. My dad wound up in a hospital, and my mother wound up in an assisted living facility. I’ve spent the last two weeks up north trying to help with final steps toward Title 19 and beginnings of nursing home visits and applications.

While there, I did not stay on my diet, as I was too busy trying to help balance my father again, and then visiting my mother when she was stable in the home. I also did not get any writing done at that time. So today’s check-in is more general in nature, to let you all know that I am alive and well, and will be back in writing mode soon. It may take some time, as all of this Medicaid and nursing home stuff takes lots of time and energy. I will at least be checking in on Wednesdays with my weight and I will try to give you vocab and writing prompts.

My weight this week is just one pound over my last check in:


Not bad, considering I was eating Mexican food and goulash and all sorts of naughty comfort foods at Dad's house.

As for last month's writing, I did make the Little Bites Challenge, but just barely. I have not written in the month of March, except for a scathing rant against the System for making it so hard for ill seniors and their caretakers to get help.

Now for the vocab and writing prompt. 

Omniscient: all knowing.

You are given the power of omniscience for a day. How do you react?