Saturday, January 29, 2011

What's Up?

What's up? Not much... just in the middle of winter dreaming of warmer days. Craig and I took a drive out to the cottage last weekend. It was cold and lonely out there. It's a whole different world out there in the winter.

We are FINALLY close to getting our hardwood floor installed in the living room. We were messing around with a contractor that was giving us the runaround and now we have a new one we are pleased with and are making good progress. The stairs and landing upstairs are getting new carpet too. I'm so excited. I've been looking at curtains and I can hardly wait to have things new and beautiful.

Craig bought me a new garden swing today. Yes, it's the end of January and we are buying outdoor furniture. We waited too long last year and the one I wanted was sold out so we jumped on it this year and bought it as soon as Lowe's put them out. OK, the snow can melt anytime now.

You might have heard about the tragedy in our hometown this past week. We live in a small close knit community and on Monday a 30 year old mother came up missing. She just seemed to vanish. There were organized searches, prayer vigils, and our quiet little town turned into a national media frenzy. Sadly on Thursday she was found murdered along with another young mother. Things like this never happen so close to home. Our whole town is shocked and in mourning. Luckily they have arrested and charged the guy responsible. So sad......

Jordan is LOVING college. No more calls home sobbing, no more homesickness, has LOTS of friends. She couldn't wait to get back to school when she was home over Christmas, in fact she went back almost a week early. I miss her but I'm so happy she doing so well.

Caleb and Bailey are doing really well too. We wish we got to see Bailey more often. Between school and work for both of them they are really busy.

I'm still very excited about my Weight Watchers. I'm making progress and so proud of the fact that I haven't thrown in the towel. I'm actually doing it and it's getting easier as time goes on. Craig has been really supportive and he's even doing it too. Last night I went to Mom and Dad's for dinner. I told Mom I could eat pretty much anything as long as it was low carb. She made me the most wonderful salad loaded with fresh veggies, a grilled steak and some cantaloupe for desert. It was awesome. I can do this!!!!

Happy Weekend All.....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I love me some Skinny Cow

This is my new favorite treat. You gotta try this stuff. Check out the website and then pick some up at the grocery store.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Happy Sunday

It's -10 degrees this morning in Hartford. Yes, that's a minus! I bundled up and ran outside to throw some food out to the birds. I quick snapped a few photos but I didn't last much more than 10 minutes. Wow, is it cold!

It's a very leisurely Sunday and I'm loving it. Yesterday Craig and I groomed he snowmobile trails. I was out for about 5 hours and Craig continued for a 10 hour day! We have tons of snow and the trails are in great shape. Today it's laundry, grocery shopping, cooking (today it's Weight Watchers Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry) and a trip to Sarett later this afternoon. Have a great day!!!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

In the right direction

Things are going in the right direction in my vow to get healthier this year. And I'm really excited about it because for once I can see progress. I'm not discouraged and each day I look forward to the challenge. I know it's only Jan 22nd but I've been doing this since right after Christmas and for me that is a huge accomplishment. Maybe you are laughing because it's only been a month but I can't ever remember sticking it out this long. Three or four days was my track record in the past.

I started out on my own doing no sugar no flour. I didn't like the way it made me feel and was quickly discouraged. My girlfriend from the hospital called me and asked if I wanted to join her in Weight Watchers. Honestly, my first thought was how could I get out of it? Sure I've thought of joining Weight Watchers many times but I wasn't sure if I really wanted to do that. A week later she called again and said she found meeting place close to my office and it would be right after work. Now I couldn't get out of it (Sorry Susan). WOW! It's been the best thing I've could have done (Thank You Susan!!!).

So what changes have I made? If you know Weight Watchers it's a points system where each food has a points value. I'm allowed 29 points per day with 49 flex points per week. Weight Watchers pretty much lets you eat what you want as long as you keep track of your points. Of course you are able to eat more if you make healthy choices. Fruits and veggies have no points and I really like that! Weight Watchers does not count calories. The points are based on carbs, fiber, fat, and protein.

I'm enjoying grocery shopping, reading labels, making menus that work for me. It's easy for me to give up sweets, and I've never been addicted to colas. The challenge for me is carbs. I'm not depriving myself of my favorites such as my wonderful homemade spaghetti. But now I eat it with whole wheat noodles and I divide it up into healthy smaller portions and I leave the cheese off. I'm buying ground turkey breast and using that in soups, chili, taco's, etc. I bought veggies burgers (and I actually like them!). I'm buying low fat yogurts, cheeses, cream cheese. I'm eating more whole grains.

One of the biggest changes for me is breakfast. My WHOLE life I've never eaten breakfast. Food just doesn't appeal to me in the morning. I've been forcing myself to eat breakfast. Oatmeal, grits, mini whole grain bagels, hard boiled eggs, fruit. I'm getting used to it. I still would rather run out the door and skip breakfast but I'm making it work.

My first week at Weight Watchers I lost 3 pounds, last week I lost 3.6 pounds and with my weight loss since Christmas I've lost 10 pounds! I'm pretty excited. I'm excited about feeling better, having more energy and being able to be more comfortable doing things I want to do this summer, such as kayaking and hiking.

So you might be wondering where the exercise and fitness is falling into all this. It hasn't...yet. That's really going to be the challenge for me. Simply put, I despise exercise. That's a strong word, huh? But I've got to start to make all this work. The excuse now is the weather but I know I have to stop making excuses. I'm going to start walking and I know the perfect place. As soon as the weather breaks and it isn't dark when I leave work I'm going to stop at Sarett and walk the nature trails. If I'm in a place I love (surrounded by nature) then exercising should be easier, right?

I've discovered some great online tools that you might enjoy checking out. Weight Watches online is a wonderful website with so much useful information and recipes but unfortunately you have to be a member of Weight Watchers to access it. Another site I find really useful is From what I understand Hungry Girl has a show on the Cooking Channel (I don't get that channel). But her website is awesome. You can sign up for daily emails for healthy tips, cooking and shopping. Check it out!

Well, that's what's new with me. Stay tuned for updates........

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I have a dream....

Reading the title of my post you might think my post is about MLK, especially since tomorrow is our MLK national holiday. Don't get me wrong, I have great admiration for the man but my post is about a different dream.
For years I've had the dream of attracting an OWL. I became one step closer today.
It still may only ever been a dream but I'm giving it a shot. I now have the house but I don't know if I have the environment. I read that the nesting box needs to be in a dense tree and this was the best we could come up with.
A friend of mine had a screech owl in a nesting box for several years. She brought photos into work and needless to say I was envious. The lady that owns the Wild Bird Center store said she put up owl boxes and only got squirrels in hers. Oh PLEASE, let an owl like my owl nesting box!
Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My happy place

I'm in my happy place this morning. I took advantage of no doctor being in the office today and took the day off. I woke up to the most beautiful new fallen fluffy snow. After throwing a load of laundry in I bundle up and head outside to feed the birds. My birds LOVE me! It's going to be a good day. Seems like I'm happiest when I have absolutely nothing I HAVE to do. It's the greatest feeling when I get to putter around on my own time.
The snow started about a week ago. Craig and I groomed the snowmobile trails for about 5 hours last Saturday. Another beautiful day on the trails. You might be surprised to know that Craig is selling all our snowmobiles. After years of threatening that "this is the year I'm selling the snowmobiles" this is THE year to finally act on it. Craig says that the aggravation factor has finally outweighed the enjoyment factor. Many factors made the decision.... seems like they are always broke down, the price of gas is outrageous, if we are lucky we have only a few weeks a year we can even use them, they take up a huge amount of room in the garage, etc, etc. Craig listed them on "Craig's List" and within 24 hours one had already sold. Two others are interested in another one. Gotta love Craig's List.
But don't think that Craig is giving up his love of the sport. He still has plans to be active with the snowmobile club which puts in and maintains the trails in our area. He love driving the groomer.
I snapped this photo of Seadra and Zoe this morning. The dogs are not too happy about this weather. Zoe seems to tolerate it better than the other two. Seadra and Fiona fight it all the way. Can't you tell by the look on Seadra's face? She's such a spoiled whiny baby.

Mr. Squirrel was playing with me this morning. He lets me get within a few feet of him. I bet I could get him to eat out of my hand if I was patient enough. I think the squirrels understand that I feed them. This time of year I pick up "critter food" in addition to bird seed.

Have a great day... I hope you are in your happy place.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Beauty is Everywhere

There is beauty everywhere! We finally got significant snow in the last 24 hours and it is still coming down. I absolutely love getting dumped on especially when it is the weekend and I can stay all hunkered down and cozy at home. It was barely light outside this morning and Craig and I were outside playing in the snow. Craig was blowing the drive and making paths around the back yard for the dogs. He also blew paths to all my birdfeeders. I was filling all the feeders and chasing the birds around with my camera.
This is my FAVORITE bird feeder. We had a huge tree cut down in the back yard last spring. Craig saved two pieces and created this bird feeder for me. It weighs a ton and isn't about to be moved or knocked over. I'm not the only one that loves it. It's a favorite with the birds too.
Winter is my favorite time to photograph cardinals.
I have a lot of titmice. They don't stand still for too long.
My beautiful friendly chickadee.
Needless to say my birds are spoiled. But they give me so much joy in return.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year, New Living Room

I wish we were motivated more often to do home renovations. But when we are we really go all the way! It all started pretty simple, we needed new carpet. Our carpet is 9 years old and with 3 dogs it was really needing to be replaced. We even went and picked out the carpet we wanted. But the more we thought about it the more we hated to put carpet back down. We REALLY wanted hard wood floors. So hard wood floors it is!
Last weekend Craig ripped up the carpet. The tricky part was getting the floor level in preparation of the new floor. There was ply wood down on half the floor that also had to be ripped up.
Just tonight Craig and Caleb finished leveling the floor and we are now waiting for the hard wood floor company to get back to us. I'm so excited!!!!!
The room has a fresh new coat of paint thanks to Jordan! She painted every speck of it on her own. I never even touched a paint brush. She does an amazing job. My favorite was her signature she left on the floor. That girl has a great imagination.

My family has jumped right in and I so appreciate it! I'll post our progress, stay tuned.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ringing in the New Year

Happy New Year! Last time I looked at the clock last night it was 11:45. I can't remember the last time I rang in the New Year. I'm not the partying, pop the champagne while singing Auld Lang Syne type. Craig and I spent the evening at home. About the most exciting thing I did was get the camera out and snap a few photos of the fury kids.

During the day we did go to Grand Rapids and spent the day at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. We went specifically to go to the "Bodies Revealed" exhibit. It was pretty good. They have real human cadavers displayed to explain the different systems. Being a nurse I enjoyed it. Although, being an OR nurse I've seen most all the innards of a human being while they are still alive so the dead ones just don't compare. But it was still interesting.

And besides the "Bodies Revealed" exhibit the rest of the museum was just as good. They had a display of taxidermy birds and wildlife that I throughly enjoyed. It was a good day.
Well, today is the first day of 2011 and like the rest of the world I have made a few resolutions. I'm not a big one to make resolutions but this year I decided to join in and make a few resolutions at becoming healthier. I am generally a happy content person. I love my family and I love my job but I am increasingly becoming dissatisfied with my physical well being. Specifically my weight is making me uncomfortable and I don't have the energy I would like. I've made myself a goal to lose 20 pounds in 3 months. OK, so I need to lose more than 20 pounds but I set a goal that I feel like I can accomplish. When I make that goal then I'll go from there.

I started this a week ago. I haven't been perfect and I've fallen off the wagon a few times but the encouraging part is that I haven't gotten discouraged and thrown in the towel. I'm still feeling really good about it and constantly thinking of ways to meet my goals. I'm taking little baby steps and am making progress that way. Instead of going all whole hog and feeling persecuted I am trying pick up healthy habits in small ways and hoping that they add up to bigger things.

My little baby steps so far are trying to avoid flour and sugar. The sugar part is easy for me. I've never been attracted to sweets. It's pastas and pizzas that are my downfall. And in those areas I'm practicing portion control when I feel like I am going to cheat. I haven't gotten on a scale and have no intention of for a few weeks. I think that would be too discouraging to step on the scale every day.

And I am well aware that exercise is an important part of being healthy. That again is one of my downfalls. I'm going to start out walking. Maybe Zoe would like to join me. She could afford to lose a few pounds herself.

I'll be blogging about my progress.... stay tuned.
Jordan is painting the living room this week and it looks wonderful. Next is the floor. We have decided to lay a hard wood floor rather than carpet. Craig thinks it will be easy enough to lay ourselves, we'll see about that one. We are headed to Menard's this afternoon to pick out what we want. Stay tuned on that one.....

Happy New Year to all my Family and Friends!!!! You were a blessing to all of us in 2010!