Monthly Archives: January 2009

What Happens to My Brain??

The snow weighs down the branches outside my window. The ice makes each branch heavy so that it cannot hold itself up against the weight. The snow is beautiful but has put our little world into a tizzy, with this being the third day schools are closed.

Sometimes my brain is like one of those branches. Gets weighed down with the ice of shame. Just when I think I’ve dealt with it once and for all, it shows up again. And that’s a bummer.

Won’t drag you through the muck of it all. Will just reinforce, to myself mostly, that I have learned a lot of good stuff, have changed my thinking in many ways, and extending grace and compassion to myself is always a worthwhile idea.

So, back to the drawing board. Looking forward to this new day. Thankful for all my blessings. Off we go.

Check out my Second Blog!

Recently, I began a second blog to chronicle the sometimes exciting, sometimes mundane events in my quest to become stronger and more fit. I would like to cordially invite you to visit Feelin’ Stronger Every Day.

I plan to include tips on how to stick with an exercise program, how to use nutrition to your best benefit, my own experiences with successes and failures, and my steadily lowering weight and increasing strength.

Join me in my journey! I’d love to hear from you.

Well, I Had Quite an Adventure Today!



I hit the ground running this morning, hopping around in a tepid shower thanks to my teenage son who thinks “shower” means “forever,” driving Val and Joel to PEP at 7:30 and coming back to start homeschooling with Eli and Anna-Jessie. After a few hours of that, it was time to take Eli to do his paper route, then dash back for Anna-Jessie to do hers, then run up to PEP to pick up V & J, then back real quick to get Kepler ready to get on the bus, and leave right away to go to my personal training appt. Eli and I JUMP in the car with the newspapers and I back out, carefully as always, lest you are worrying that I go too fast with so much to do. Put it in drive. Hmmmm. Something doesn’t sound right. So I see a flat, back up into the driveway and proceed to decide what to do.

This is not convenient timing. In case you didn’t notice, I had places to go and people to see. But, convenient or not, a flat tire fell into my day. I could wait for AAA to come and change it, but they usually take awhile to get there. I could go ask my neighbor whose truck is in his driveway, but wait! I CAN DO IT MYSELF.

Yes, I have never changed a tire in my whole life, nor ever watched that I can remember. Yes, it is snowing and I have shorts and a light jacket on, but after all, I AM in the driveway so I can change if I want. But, yes, surely I can read a manual and since this IS a Toyota, it should be clear and complete. I seem to remember the spare tire is under the car. I go in and get a dropcloth to lie on as I check out the situation. Well, there isn’t anything that looks like it can be loosened to release the tire. Call Greg and he tells me you go through the top. Read the manual and it says the same thing. Look in the car and I DO NOT see any way to make this happen. Call Kings Toyota and get the very very helpful service guy who explains to me that there is a U-shaped cut in the carpet that I pull up which will expose the bolt that needs to be released. Brilliant!

With the help of Eli, my official photographer and spare tire removalist, I find myself ready now to actually jack up a car and change a tire. Second photo is me consulting the manual as I try to figure out where to put the jack, etc., etc., etc. Third photo I am placing the jack ever so carefully, and ever so backwards, under the car. Have to pull it out and put it in frontwards.

Ah, but this is where it gets exciting. Yes, I got the car jacked up safely. Got the tire off after standing on the lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts. Was trying to figure out if I should somehow switch the hub thingys when up walks a good samaritan to help me. So he helped me get it back on the car, but oops, we got distracted after we lowered the car so didn’t tighten the lug nuts again after the tire was on the ground. And neither one of us noticed! I give myself plenty of grace here, having never had to remember before to tighten the lug nuts when the tire was back on the ground.

And this is where it gets really exciting. So I’m driving to my personal training appt and something just doesn’t sound quite right in the front end of the car. Sounds like something is . . . wobbling. I pull over and it dawns on me that we didn’t tighten those nuts. Nuts is right, I think, on the side of the highway. Out I go, striding purposefully forth to the back of the car to retrieve the lug wrench and I proceed to tighten those puppies as tight as I can. First of all, THREE OF THEM are loose enough for me to first FINGER TIGHTEN them. Eek. Eek. Eek. So, I’m leaning on the lug wrench with one eye directed toward the cars speeding by me, to make sure I can nimbly jump out of the way should one get too close.

Pushing down with all my might, I slip, landing on my knuckles on the freezing cold highway. Ouch. But I got them tightened and off I went.

After my workout, I was going to tighten them once more for good measure, but my very strong personal trainer offered to do it for me. I was so glad to know they were on there tightly.

And as I drove along, all I could think about was how thankful I was that everything worked out the way it did. So thankful for all the care and protection I receive from God. So blessed.

Greg’s Brain.

Several years ago, Greg visited South Dakota on business. When he returned, he had this long-sleeved shirt for me. Here is a picture of the design on the front of it. “Wacipi” means something about dancing. I love the shirt. That’s about as far as I went with the details of the design.

Fast forward a mere 10 years later. Greg checks a book out of the library because he likes the art on the cover. After he has the book for a couple of days, he brings me the shirt and the book and mentions that the artist is the same for both.

Here’s the thing. I never even looked at the artist’s name. It’s kind of hard to read. But not only does he see the name, he sees the connection between the book and the shirt. This amazes me. I’m not even sure how he made the connection, but he does this all the time. And it just amazes me.

The Guitar is a Big Hit!




I have known for a few months that I wanted to get Kepler a guitar. He had played with his cousin’s guitar and clearly enjoyed himself. He has always been a huge fan of music and he loves to dance.

I planned to get one for Christmas, but my mom wanted to get it for his birthday, so I waited. Between one thing and another, she ended up getting something else, so off I went to the store to find one for him. I walked up and down every toy aisle in the store and only found big, brassy, electric, non-Kepler-like guitars. So, I walked up and down every aisle again and scanned the shelves more closely. I saw this little one and decided it would be just perfect for him. He is a pretty small kid, so this little tiny guitar would fit him just right, I thought.

He is clearly delighted with this toy. We have already played with it for several hours and I will be posting a video of him playing on YouTube. Kepler’s joy just seems to come through so clearly as he lives exuberantly.

Slip Slidin’ Away on our New Satin Sheets

Oooo, just the words “satin sheets” sound elegant and luxurious. So I brilliantly ordered GOLD satin sheets for Greg for his birthday (not his only gift, rest assured) and quickly put them on the bed that night for a new sleeping experience.

Yes, they are elegant. And quite luxurious. But how do you keep from slipping off the bed????? Greg and I have always had a little joke about me being a “cover-stealer” but he is keeping up with me these days (nights).

It just makes me laugh every time I think about how slippery these things are. Should I velcro the blankets to the sheets? Should I power-staple the fitted sheet to the mattress to keep it tucked in? Oh, what’s an elegant, luxurious sleeper to do?

Better Late Than Never to the Facebook Craze


My smart daughter has been spending hours on Facebook for several months now. I got an account last summer and picked up a couple of friends, but left it dormant until just the other day. So far, I have resumed friendships with people from high school and college, and found out that one of Greg’s cousins has been serving in the military in Kuwait but will be coming home this year. Everyone who is anyone is getting a Facebook! I see new familiar names and faces nearly every day.

The other day I posted about wishing I had stayed in contact with people from my past, and Facebook is giving me the opportunity to renew friendships I (or they) had let go long ago.

I just didn’t get why my teenagers wanted to spend so much time on Facebook, but I see now how much fun it is! I’m new to the whole “i.m.” thing too but am finding that to be quite fun. Soon the newness will wear off and I will have the chance to think it all through, but for now, I’m just going to enjoy the ride!