Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Painting Good Time

As a kid, I took art lesson and painted pictures in oils.  I really enjoyed these lessons, but as times passed and I became busy with life, I put my art aside.

Every few years I get the itch to paint once again and some years ago I changed to acrylics because the clean up was so much easier.

The itch has been itching the last few weeks and it has been YEARS since I have picked up a brush.

I have been saving pictures on pinterest to paint one day and I thought today would be the day I would do one.

WRONG, in so many ways.

I am out of practice.  I haven't even done sketches or coloring in a color book.  I really need to think these things through.

So I dig out my easel, my bucket of paints and paint brushes.  Sit up a table and realize somewhere along the way I have lost my painters tray (you know the thing painters hold in their hand with their paint on it).

Had to think for a few minutes and decided to use one of my white plates.  Acrylic paint should wash off easily with soap and water.  I will not be ruining a plate.

First, the only tube I have of brown feels soft, but I can't squeeze the paint out of the tube.  I guess it must have turned into rubber. DARN, DARN!

I hook up my lap top near where I will be painting and bring up one of the pictures I wanted to paint.  I had the dickens of a time deciding which one to do.

Finally I settled on one and squirted the colors of paint I would need and left room to mix the paint to make other colors on the glass plate.

Pulled a blank canvas out of my closet and I am ready, but remembered I needed a container to hold water to put the brushes into when I finished with them.

Dug through the trash, because I remembered there was a can in there.  Washed it up and filled it half full of water. 


Did I tell you usually on an easel there is a chain that keeps the three legs from spreading too far apart from each other and the ledge that holds the canvas?  Mine is missing, but I figure I can still use it.  I mean really, why should the legs spread apart on my laminate floor?

Painting away, having a merry old time when suddenly the legs spread and the picture falls against my breasts.

Thank God I am still wearing my pajamas, which no one ever sees.  Because now I have a painted pajama top.  UGH!

Removing the canvas from my lap, I hold it with one hand and with the other I pull the legs back to the correct position.

Sit canvas back on easel and realize now I not only have the impressions of my breasts on the painting, I also have my thumb print.

Grabbing a dry brush I try to smooth out the damage.  Problem is acrylic paints dry quickly.  I knew there was a reason in the back of my mind I was wishing I had oils.  They are so much easier to blend and do a number of little things you can do with acrylics.  The problem is oil brushes are more work to clean and you have to use smelly things to clean them.

Needless to say Van Gogh does not have to worry.  My picture looks like a kindergarten painted it.

Grabbing more white I paint out the whole canvas and decide to start over.  I mean why stop now, I have paint all over me.

Second painting looks horrible and I don't like it.  I started dipping the brush in the different colors on my plate and paint out the scene I just painted.

Now the canvas looks like a crazy colored sunset.  I grab my painter's knife, the paint is thick and I figure I will sketch in some trees.  I love trees with their twisted branches.

I stare at my sketch and decide it needs something.  When I step back you can't see the sketches.

I grab my fan brush and dip it in the remaining colors, adding leaves to my skeletal trees.  It's interesting, but my what I really wanted and I continue to dab more paint until I have a MESS.

I grab my blending brush and blend all the paint, obscuring the trees I had sketched in.  Looking at my canvas I now have a muddled mess of colors

I think it is time to call it a day.  My foot is itching to be put through the canvas.

I clean up and put everything away.  Hopefully next time I try this, I will have a more concrete idea of what I really want to do and I am capable of doing it.

Yeah, I know, I live in la la land.

I really need to practice!

What is happening in your world?

See you around the block.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Diets Galore

As you know I have been following weight watchers old point plan and WALKING my buns off.

You would think with all that WALKING I would lose more than a half a pound a week.  I mean REALLY!

I tried just eating at the lower range of the points, only lost a half a pound.

I ate at the mid range point, only lost a half a pound.

And I've tried the high end of the points, only lost a half a pound.

I am not a happy camper, especially when family, friends tell me they lost four pounds or etc on their diets.  UGH!!

BUT, a half a pound a week adds up to two pounds a month which in turn adds up to twenty four pounds a year.

I need to remind myself of this a lot.  Other wise I will become very discouraged.

My son loaned me his book on the Paleo Diet and I read through it.  Now this diet cuts out all grains, dairies and legumes.

I went on line to see if I could find more information about this diet and found there are several interpretations of the Paleo Diet.

And of course they contradict each other in some areas.

It seems each diet around goes from one extreme to the other.

There is the vegan diet, the raw food diet, and etc.

AND I know I need a diet I can live on the rest of my life.  So really it has to fit in my life and pattern of eating.

 So I have researched and read everything I could find on nutrition on the web and I have come to a conclusion, NO ONE, not scientists, nutritionist or lay person knows what is really good for us.  It is all a guessing game.

Each of us is different and our bodies seem to use the food we take in, in different ways.  What seems to be good for one person is not great for another person.

The only thing agreed upon is processed foods aren't really that great for us.  Okay, but in our fast paced world, sometimes processed foods are all we have time for.

My conclusion is moderation in all things is the key.  So I will stay on the points system, try to eat less processed foods and more fresh.  I will dance with glee for each half a pound I lose, knowing I can live on this plan, because of course I can cheat once in a while and still lose my half a pound.  I mean really there are times I would kill for a chocolate chip cookie from Paradise Bakery.

Still working on my WIP because the characters are not behaving and doing a lot of WALKING.

Drop a line and let me know what you are doing.

See you around the block.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Exercise Voice

"I'm tired," I whine to myself while sitting in front of the computer.

"Get over it,"  demands the voice in my head.

"I'm really, really tired."  Whining has never really gotten me anywhere with the voice  or anyone else, but I keep trying.

"Get off your lazy butt and let's get to work.  It's time for our walk" 

"I don't want to walk anymore today.  My ankle and leg hurts, I don't think I should be walking on it."

"Tell that to someone who cares.  We are going to walk." The demanding voice continues in my head.  "Remember we need a routine in our lives and responsibility.

"Has anyone ever told you, you are not a nice voice?  I mean really, I am tired and my leg really does hurt.  I think my ankle is a little swollen." 

"This is so you!  We work out really good for a few weeks, never missing a walk and then wham, suddenly your ankle and leg hurt, your tired.  I am not letting you derail us this time."  The voice drones through my mind.

Hmm, the voice does have a point there.  I have put more road blocks in front of myself in this life then anyone else.  Damn, I hate it when the voice is right.  "You are the meanest, uncaring, unsympathetic voice I know."

"Let's get real here, I am the only voice you know,"  laughs the voice.  "Get your lard-o butt off the chair and let's walk.  Remember the goals,  to get in better shape and find a paying job."

"Geez," I whisper looking out the window and trying to ignore the voice.

"Stop looking out the window!  We have things we need to get done today and not much time to do them in since you slept late this morning,"  cries the voice ranting and flapping around all over the place.

"I really wouldn't call eight thirty late.  I'm worried," I murmur still looking out the window, "The neighbor next door left her car door open on the passenger side and if the other neighbor comes home, he want be able to part in his spot."

"Really girl!  Let the neighbor take care of themselves, while we take care of you.  You haven't worked on your WIP today and we need to do our walking,"  sighs the bossy, dictatorial voice.

"I had to check on my  face book and read the blogs I follow.  I haven't had time to think about my WIP," I murmur turning back to look at the blog I was trying to read.

"Girl, what am I going to do with you?  Haven't you learned when you don't listen to me things can go wrong?  The voice is softer sounding worried.  "What is really going on?  Come on talk to me and maybe we can work it out."

"I need a nap," I whimper laying my head down on the desk.  "I didn't sleep that great last night."

"A nap!  You have got to be kidding," cries the voice in my head.  "If you take a nap, you want be able to sleep tonight!  Time for our walk!"

"Ha, if someone would stop talking when I go to bed," I sneer with my head down on the desk.  "I would have gotten a better nights sleep last night.  But oh no!  You had to blab about this and about that.  Where is the button to turn you off?"

"I don't have a turn off button," laughs the voice.  "I only shut up when you do what you are suppose to do.  But do you listen all the time?  No, you go your merry way and things go to hell in a hand basket."

I turn and look out the window whispering, "Your right, when I don't listen things go wrong.  I forget you can't really live without money, lost in a world of make believe.  I need to work on finding a paying job and getting in shape."

"You tried to side track me," laughs the voice, "but it didn't work.  It's time for our walk and you know it is over a hundred degrees out there so stop daydreaming how nice it would be," grumbles the voice loudly to make sure I am listening.  "We will do our walking in the house today.  Then we can get to work on our WIP."

"You know I am beginning to think walk is a four letter word."  I grin as I picture me yelling "Mom, it said a four letter word that begins with W.  Oh darn wait a minute, there is a five letter bad word that begins with W.  Hmm, the younger generation may not think of it since they have shorten it to Ho."

"What in the world are you doing?  You have been at that computer for over an hour and now you are suppose to walk for fifteen to twenty minutes.  Remember you asked me to keep you on track?"

Sighing, I think what a slave driver the voice has become.   Standing up and grabbing my IPOD, I set it to count the steps and then plug in the ear plugs and start the music.  I begin walking and let the music drown out the voice and all other thoughts.  Sometimes I wish I didn't have such a vivid imagination.

See you around the block.

Oh yeah, please buy my books!

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Visit to the Doctor

I hate going to the doctor or dentist.  They both give me the willies.  But there are times you can't get out of it. Need a prescription renewed or you have a sinus infection or something else.

This is a tale of how the visit goes with the doctor.

You call and make an appointment and you begin to get the jitters.  You know you have gained weight since the last time and you wonder what the doctor will say.

You have to go, because your head is killing you and when you bend over it feels as if your face will fall off any minute.  Yeah, all the symptoms of a sinus infection.

First off, on appointment day, you dress in your best panties and bra.  Of course your thinking there is no way you will be undressing for the doctor today.  It is only a sinus infection!  You slip into your nice clothes, because you want to make a good impression.  Do you want to be known as the slob?  Really people, everyone dresses up nicely to see their doctor, don't they?

You arrive early, heaven forbid if you are late for anything.  I worry about being late, so I arrive early by ten to fifteen minutes.  You fill out new paper work because it has been a year since you were last in.  All the time your hands are shaking so much you can hardly hold the pen and your penmanship looks like a first grader.

Then your called to the back and this thin, young nurse tells you to step up on the scale.  You step upon the scale, murmuring in a nervous voice, "I've gained some weight since the last time I was here."

"Really, I am trying to lose a few pounds before my sister's wedding,"

"Oh!  I wish you luck,"  You look at the young woman wondering, Where in the hell does she need to lose weight?  From her head?  The woman is thin by anyone standards.

You try to read the scale, but without your reading glasses it is a lost cause.  "How much have I gained?" you whisper as she leads you down the hall to the exam room.  She doesn't answer and you remember most Doctor offices have gone computerized and she may not have last time's weight.

You sit down on the exam table wishing you were any where but here.  You hate sitting up so high and sitting on top of crinkly paper.

"Hmm, your blood pressure seems a little high.  Is that normal, or you taking blood pressure medication?"

"My blood pressure is on the higher side because I am in the Doctor's office.  It is always higher in here, my nerves seem to do that.  My blood pressure medicine works fine, unless I'm at the Doctor's office."

"What is the name of your blood pressure medication?"

I look at her for a few minutes like a deer staring into headlights.  Finally my brain kicks in, "It's . . .ah, . . . penxaprile  or something like benoprile.  I know it starts with either a b or a p."

"Do you know what milligram you are taking?"

"Ah, . . . it's a little pink pill.  Hmm, ten milligrams I think."

She gives that look, you know the look, like am I for real.  "I'll look it up on the computer. Why are you here today?"

I look at the young woman for a few seconds, wondering why the hell I am here today.  "Oh, yeah, I have a sinus infection."

She writes that down on the paper and looks at me for a few seconds murmuring, "The doctor will be in, in a few minutes."

The minute the woman is out the door, I slide off the exam table and stand in the middle of the room looking around.  I glance at some magazines in a rack.  They look like they have been in there forever and I wonder what kind of germs cover them.  Rocking back and forth on my feet, I look at the walls and wonder why doctor's exam rooms are always so ugly.  Are they trying to scare the germs out of you?  A poster on the wall advertises some heart medication with a picture of what a real heart looks like.  I wonder if our hearts are really blue and red.

Okay . . . I am running out of ways to entertain myself and I begin to wonder if I really need to see the doctor.  Maybe the sinus infection will go away on it's own.  Just about the time I am thinking of bolting, in comes the doctor.

"How are you doing?"  The doctor smiles and glances down at the clip board in his hand.

"I'm doing fine," I answer wondering why they always ask this question.  I mean really would I be here if I was doing great? But then again, why do I always answer with fine, when I'm not fine?

"Then why are you here?"  The doctor smiles looking at me with laughing eyes.

"I have a sinus infection," I mumble looking down at the floor.  Lord help me from smart alec doctors.

"Hop back up on the table and let's take a look.  Your blood pressure medication is Benazepril ten milligrams."

"Wow, I was close."  Does he expect me to remember that?  Lord, I will be lucky if I remember it by the time this visit is over.   The druggist never asks me what I am taking, he just reads the prescription and fills it.

He looks in my ears, throat, nose and listens to my heart.  "Have you been coughing?"

"A little," I mumble, "not a lot."

"What color is the phlegm you are coughing up," he asks?  I shake my head.

Once again the deer staring into the headlightsLord have mercy, I don't go around looking at what I cough up into a tissue.  That's so gross!

"Have you been blowing your nose a lot and what color is the mucus?"  I shake my head.

Headlights!!!  Do these people go around looking at all the crap their body expels from different places?   If I wanted to look at that stuff, I would have become a doctor.  Just write a prescription and let me get out of here before I come down with a horrible disease.

You do realize Doctor Offices and Hospitals are a bed of breeding germs?  Have you ever notice you get sick after visiting a hospital to see a friend?

"When I bend over, it feels like my face is going to fall off."  I am hoping this news will speed things up.

They not only make an exam room ugly, but I'm just saying I would hate to pay for the cooling bill for this place.  It is like that large refrigerated area you walk into, to get eggs, milk and etc at CostCo.   Chill bumps are playing chase up and down my body.

"That sounds like a sinus infection.  I'll write you a prescription for an antibiotic.  Are you allergic to any medication?  If you don't feel better after taking all the medication, come back in."

I shake my head, and a slight smile curves my lips as I inch myself toward the edge of the exam table.  If I have to come back in, I'll be madder than a wet hen.  He really doesn't want to see me in here again.

He hands the prescription over and I slide off the table, pick up my purse and cram the prescription inside.  Slowly moving toward the door.

"Your blood pressure is a little high.  Do you keep a check on it?"

"I explained that to the nurse.  My blood pressure raises when I see the doctor.  Yes, I own a cuff and check my blood pressure."

 It's not all a lie, I do own a blood pressure kit.  It's only . . . the only time I take my blood pressure is if I happen to be by one of those machines in the mall or store.  Then if there is no one around, I slip onto the seat and have my blood pressure taken.  It is usually in the normal range.  Well . . . that is if I haven't gained a lot of weight.

He nods his head and writes something down and I open the door, look back at him giving him a big smile, "Bye!"

I walk quickly down the hall and out the door to freedom and clean air.  Lord I hope this medication works, I don't know if I could go through that again.

How do you feel about doctor offices?

Oh Yeah, while I have you here let me remind you to buy my books.  I mean really, do you want a grandmother to run a round in holey clothes?

See you around the block.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Living The Diet

I have a link to U tube showing an eagle trying to get something out of a river.  It is very entertaining and shows you how he solves his problem.  Eagle of Baton Rouge

I am still working on walking for exercise.  I love going to the malls or other big businesses to walk.  This way I can window shop and watch other people.  I enjoy watching people and forget I am really exercising.

WIP is still giving me fits.  I can't seem to get from B to C.  Simmering a lot of different ideas on how to do it.

I have also been trying to read and do reviews on the books I've read.  Then reading all the blogs I follow, face book and Pinterest, I have been a busy girl.

I have also enjoyed spending time with my son Jesse and his wife Tina.  We ate some fantastic BQ last Saturday.

Those who are near and dear to me know I have been fighting the weight monster all my life.  Give it an inch and it will add a mile to my ass body.

If I had put all the money I have spent on all the new diet crap  fads, I would be loaded in money.  You name it, I bought it and tried it.

As you remember I am back on Weight Watchers and I listened to what I was thinking the other day and realized why I have never stayed on it for very long.  It was because as you lose weight your points became a smaller number and I was worried about going hungry.  Yeah, that right I do think, once in a while.

With this in mind, I begin looking through my library of diet books and ran across "Eat What You Love Love What You Eat" by Michelle May, M. D. 

I began to thumb through it and she told me the same as all the other diets to be mindful of what I eat.  I never really understood that.  I thought I was paying attention to what I ate, but I'm not sure I really was doing what they wanted me to do. 

I read all of the book this time and I realized what she was telling me, was to know the signals my body sends when it is hungry and when it is full.  Maybe this is what they meant about being mindful of what you eat.

I don't know about you guys but I had forgotten how it felt to be really hungry and when to stop eating before I was in pain.  I ate by the clock and I ate until my plate was clean.

Sooo, I have decided to listen to my body and found out, It doesn't take that much food to make me comfortably full.  I was amazed and thrilled to realize the difference in how I felt after eating the right amount.

Now I wait to eat until my body says it is hungry.  Sometimes though I'm not sure, so I drink some water or have a cup of coffee, tea and walk around for a bit to figure out if I am hungry or if I am just bored.

I have found I eat more often, but I eat vegetables or have soup for the extras. 

Unfortunately, or it could be fortunately I don't need all the points to fill me up.  I figure I will listen to my body and let the points worry about themselves.  I mean do we eat the same amount of food every day?  I know I don't, what about you?

Maybe this time, I have found the key to successful weight loss and keeping it off.  Time will tell.

Of course don't get me wrong.  It is not easy to understand what your body is telling.  So there will be flubs along the way, but I will keep trying to get it right.

What have you found helps you to stay on your diet?

What helps you to stay on your diet?

As for the walking it is going great.  I find myself walking around the house without thinking about it.  I get up from in front of the TV and just start walking.  It's like my body has a mind of it's own and it wants to move.  Go figure!

See you around the block.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Read Directions

Last week was rough, abused body exercised faithfully everyday.  Believe me every other day my body was sore and I had to force myself to do the walking.

I wondered why walking ten thousands steps a day could be so rough, so I hunted up the booklet that came with my old pedometer.  I never looked at it before and really I need to start reading directions.

But if you know me, I close my eyes and jump into things with both feet.  I do everything flat out, without a look back.

Sooo, anyway I'm am reading the little book and it says, Step one, "Wear your pedometer for three days and write down the totals and then calculate the average number of steps you have taken each day.  This is your start point."  Didn't do that!  It also tells you to pay more attention to your weekly total, rather than daily total, because on some days you will walk more than other days.  Hmm, this would keep you from killing yourself and almost having to crawl around the next day.

Yes, I should have read this book first, then I wouldn't have days of my ankles and knees killing me.  This happens after walking almost twenty thousand steps a day.

Sooo, I have lost another one and a half pounds last week.  A total of three pounds in two weeks.  Not the greatest but I figure it is better than adding that many pounds.  I remind myself think of butter.  You know the image to show how much I did lose.

I've lost almost an inch in some places and almost two inches in others.  I figured this measurement is probably the one I should concentrate on because the numbers make me happy.

Added this clip art because I like it.

Have you guys been on Pinterest?  Lord have mercy, it is interesting.  I have been enjoying myself, really way too much on this, but it is a great way to save some things you know you will use later.  Like recipes and etc. 

Also this week, on one of the pins I pinned, it said to use car wax on faucets, sinks and etc to make them shine.  I tried it, it worked fantastic on my newer faucets, but not so great on old, old stainless steel sink.  That thing has seen a lot of abuse over the years.  It does look a little better, but it doesn't shine like the newer faucets.

I also did some reading and remembered to give a review of each book I read.  I think this is important to do and it helps the author find more readers.  So remember if you read an e book or even a regular book go to Amazon and other sites and write a review.

I downloaded the Kindle app onto my lap top and my pc, because I thought my Kindle had stopped working.  The Kindle finally charged and I can use it again.  I find myself using my lap top to read books I down load to it more often.  It seems handier some how.  I think one reason is, when I change it to larger print, so I don't have to wear my reading glasses, I see more of the page, then I would on the Kindle.

Oh well, each to his own.

For those that don't realize it, on Amazon before you choose to buy a book, you have to chose which system you want it to down load too. 

I am writing, but it is not good stuff.  I'm having trouble getting the story to pull together and flow.  I can't hear the music yet in the words.

I notice Kale is all the rage now for eating.  Which is fine with me since I love Kale.  My grandma fixed all these types of greens all the time, collard, mustard and etc.  So I have always eaten them off and on.  I did fix some Kale Chips the other day.  I had never had them before and they were great.  The only problem was the recipe did not tell you to remove the big stem from the center of the leaf and that part is chewy.  Next time I am removing it.

Here is what Rosemary Harris  thinks about certain foods becoming the rage. 

Like her, I wonder who decides which food will become popular.  I mean really, why all of a sudden something is sooo good for you?   Go figure.

See you around the block.