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.
Barnes and Nobles https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tatias-tattoo-linda-brendle/1128875122?ean=9781945455827
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…)
Several months ago I noticed that my blog traffic was lagging. I still had my faithful followers, and a new reader popped in from time to time, but I wasn’t getting that mind-boggling kind of growth that makes the publishers beat a path to your inbox. I consulted with my main writing guru, my son Christian Piatt, and I read several “how to” articles on increasing blog traffic. I didn’t learn anything new, but I was reminded of the NUMBER ONE thing a blogger is supposed to do to build traffic – be consistent.
I’ve tried several times to blog on a schedule, but after a few weeks, I fall into the same old hit or miss pattern. But this time I was determined it would be different. I made up my mind that, regardless of what happened, I would post a blog on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and this month I added an Alzheimer video by Rick Phelps on Sundays.
I’ve kept to the schedule and even got my posts written a day ahead so I could schedule them to go live at 9:00 am (CDT). It’s been working pretty well – until today. I got up with nothing scheduled and no inspiration. I argued with myself that missing one day wouldn’t matter, and like a student facing her teacher without her homework, I thought of all kinds of excuses why I don’t have a post. Here are my top ten: (more…)
It’s been a while since I was an active caregiver. In December of 2010, Mom and Dad moved from my home to an assisted living facility near my brother in Conway, Arkansas. Since David and I moved back to Texas the next month, I was a caregiving assistant/consultant for the next eighteen months, and then with Mom and Dad both gone, I retired. But once a caregiver … last week at the Senior Center I found myself cutting up the meat on the tray of “John,” one of my friends. (more…)
Earlier this month I posted a status on Facebook that said “I swept the porch less than an hour ago, and it’s already covered with leaves again!” The first comment I received said “It’s futile! Go have a cup of coffee and read instead!!” I took my friend’s advice, but her comment got the writer wheels turning. What other things do we do that are the very definition of futility. Here’s my top ten list: (more…)