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 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 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…)
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…)
Unless you’re new to my blog, you know that David and I retired to a small country home in East Texas a couple of years ago. He grooms our 2+ acres with his riding mower, and I’m trying my hand at growing vegetables. Back in the spring I wrote this list of reasons to justify my new hobby. (more…)
Just inside the door of the Senior Center are a couple of wire racks that are always full of various publications from Rains County and surrounding areas. One is a free advertising and humor paper called Giggles & Grins. I “borrowed” the following list from their latest issue:
You can tell your healthcare is in trouble when:
- The only 100% covered expense is embalming.
- Your anti-anxiety medication comes in colors and has little “m’s” on each pill. (more…)