Published in the Rains County Leader on January 8, 2019:
January is the time when everyone goes on a diet – or at least talks about it. Even the grocery store ads focus on items that have “Lo” in the description. I have to admit that, as the calendar rolls over, I have thoughts of eating better and exercising more, but circumstances usually conspire to derail my plans before they’re even made. Here are just a few reasons why the scale probably won’t go down this year, at least in January.
- I still have brownies, chips, and a few other goodies left from the holidays, and I was raised not to waste food. After all, there are starving children all over the world!
- I visited the close-out sale at Emory Food Mart where I found Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla, a Mrs. Smith’s Peach Cobbler, and an Edward’s Key Lime Pie for half price. Bargain shopping is good for the budget – right?
- January’s schedule includes Volunteer Dessert Day every other Wednesday at the Senior Center, Home Group Dinner and Bible Study every Friday night, a fund-raiser lunch after church on January 20, and the annual family celebration of Aunt Fay’s birthday at AJ’s Fish House.
- One of my retirement projects is to organize recipes I have collected over the years and others that I inherited from Mom. I know that, in the process, I’ll come across recipes I want to make because I didn’t have time to try them when I was working and others I’ll make because I remember them fondly from my childhood.
- I was excited when the new Anytime Fitness opened in Emory, but then I discovered that my health insurance doesn’t have the Silver Sneakers benefit. I know I could buy a membership, but since I’ll soon be unemployed…
- You might ask why I don’t use the perfectly good treadmill a friend gave me a few years ago. Well, it’s wedged into a corner in the middle bedroom that we euphemistically called a storage room, and I’m claustrophobic.
- Some people also mention that we live on a circle that would be a perfect place to walk. True, but there are several dogs that roam loose in the neighborhood, and I don’t run fast enough to get away from them if they should decide to give chase.
- David and I plan to spend more time on the road when I’ve retired. Part of the fun of taking your kitchen with you is cooking – and eating – all your favorite dishes.
- I always get at least one pair of new jeans for Christmas. My new Lee Riders are a size larger than normal, and the extra comfort gives me a false sense of thinness.
- Instead of going to the gym or walking, I plan to edit two books and write another one. All that sitting at the computer will probably lead to a writer’s spread and another size larger on next year’s new jeans.
So there you have it. I once figured out that, between ages 20 and 60 I put on an average of five pounds per decade. I managed to hold steady while I was in my 60s, but since I hit 70, I’ve been losing the battle. I know the most effective exercise when it comes to weight control is pushing away from the table, but that’s not much fun. If anyone out there has a miracle diet where you can eat the goodies, sit in your easy chair, and keep the pounds away, please let me know.
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Published in the Rains County Leader on August 21, 2018:
- There are a lot more things that require two hands than I ever imagined.
- I’m not nearly as ambidextrous as I thought I was. Even I have trouble reading my left-handed writing.
- I am even more clumsy than usual with one arm bound up, and a Grabber is an absolute necessity. Thankfully I have a very thoughtful friend who brought me one.
- Little things like capital letters, punctuation, and spelling aren’t nearly as important when you’re typing with one hand.
- When I’m working on a writing project I sometimes long for a quiet house and a clear schedule, but when it happens, I don’t like it very much.
- We have many friends who are gifted cooks and who are more than willing to share their gift with friends in need. I’m doubly thankful that a couple of months ago we bought a microwave that was built in this century and doesn’t “warm” everything to the consistency of shoe leather.
- Having people help you, whether it’s bringing dinner, stepping in to help take up the slack in your job, or helping you cut your meat, can be a humbling experience. It can also make a person feel very loved.
- David is an excellent caregiver, but he is also a very hard taskmaster – or lack of taskmaster. He won’t let me do anything or go anywhere if he thinks there is a possibility I might reinjure my shoulder.
- Kitty is not a good caregiver. Since I returned from the hospital, she has given me a wide berth, coming close only when it’s time for bedtime snacks. Even then she only gets close enough to grab a tasty bit before running over to David’s side of the bed to eat it.
- Six weeks is a VERY long time when that’s how long before you will be able to use your right hand – or your left hand if you’re a southpaw.
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Published in the Rains County Leader on February 6, 2018:
To be accurate, the title should read “Observations from the sick chair” because every time I lie down, I cough so much that no one in the house, human or animal, can sleep. I’ve spent most of the last several days and nights in a recliner trying to find the perfect angle of recline that allows me to rest without hacking up a vital organ. However, regardless of the state of my health, deadlines come around on a regular basis, so in this week’s column, I’m sharing a few things I’ve observed during my illness.
- One of the little known symptoms of the common cold is writer’s block. I may have mentioned that when a blogger or columnist experiences a lack of creative inspiration, she often resorts to a list.
Published in the Rains County Leader On August 9, 2016:
I mentioned last November that I was participating in National Novel Writing Month, an annual event during which writers around the world commit to write 50,000 words in thirty days. At the time, I had been working on a project for a while but had only managed to write a little over 6,000 words. I am a voracious reader of mystery novels, but with the exception of three short stories, one of which was written when I was sixteen years old, I had never written anything but non-fiction. I was intimidated by the process, but I decided to use the motivation and peer pressure of what writers call NaNoWriMo to focus my keyboard time on my first novel. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on January 26, 2016:
I can’t decide if this week was so uneventful that nothing unusual has happened or if so much has happened that I haven’t had time to contemplate the deeper meanings of any one event. Either way, when I sat down to write, the only thought that crossed my mind was I got nothin’.
I asked my Facebook friends for suggestions, but I guess they were all busy watching play-off games. Nobody responded, and I ended up with what I started with – nothin’. (more…)
After living in Emory for almost five years, I finally made it to the Rains County Fair last week. It’s not that I avoided it up to this point, but all my prior fair experience was with the Texas State Fair in Dallas. That one runs for two weeks plus an extra weekend, so there’s time to dawdle over the decision about whether or not to go. The County Fair, though, lasts only five days, and in previous years, it was over before I hardly knew it had opened.
This year, however, I shared a booth with Kent Larson, another local Christian author, and I spent almost twenty hours at the Fair. I sold a few books, but mostly I chatted with people and learned more about life in small town America. Here are some of my observations: (more…)
It wasn’t my goal in life to become a writer. I enjoyed writing when I was younger, and I toyed with the idea briefly until I received my first negative review from an English teacher. I don’t take criticism very well, and I took her comments very personally, so my pen lay idle for several decades.
Then, when I became a caregiver, I was advised to keep a journal. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was a writer. With all the media outlets, being a writer can creep up on you. Sometimes you don’t recognize when you’ve crossed that line – when you’ve reached that place where you can realistically call yourself a writer.
If you’re somewhere in the process of becoming, and are not sure if you’ve crossed that magic line, you’re in luck. I have developed a top ten list of symptoms characteristics of being a writer.
You might be a writer if… (more…)
The most obvious way to know you’re getting older is to have another birthday. I had one a couple of weeks ago, and since it was impossible to ignore the event, I decided to embrace it in typical blogger fashion. Following are ten additional ways to know you are getting older. (more…)