Monday, October 3, 2016

Final Update...

...on my Research and Development Plan. This will be the last update (in green this time) so as not to bore you!

Activity program—treadmill plus weights (I’ve already started with the weights along with the ankle exercises assigned from the doctor) I haven’t missed a day since I started and have a few sore muscles to prove it! With the exception of vacation last week, I am continuing on my exercise and treadmill program. After all the sightseeing, I'm ready to ramp up to a half hour on the treadmill.
Bone health—-bone density test; OsteoStrong program I'm signed up for OsteoStrong and am excited about it. I'm still trying to get my doctor to call me back about the bone density test. 
Establishing a walking club—this will include walking prior to our Movie Mondays and Stitching Tuesdays. Okay, so I haven't done this at all. I have other things to do before I meet for these. Plus, what was I thinking? I need a shower after I walk. I'm a major sweat-er.
Walking with the family—each at their own pace. Haven't done this either. Right now, the treadmill has been "it!"
Biking (but that’s a long way off as I gain balance and confidence. I still hadn’t made it off the driveway without falling in to the landscaping). Not even close.
Get in the habit of wearing my fitbit again I wore it all last week while on vacation and have already forgotten it today!
Cleaning out this house. I’m putting this under physical because it will be a physical task to do it. Every closet and drawer is stuffed to the brim. I/we don’t need all this stuff. I should also probably list this under spiritual as it will make me feel really good to get a handle on what we have, need, want. I plan to get started on this next week. This week is a short one while I get ready for my sister's crop.

Healthier eating 
Focus on protein and calcium rich foods; fresh fruits and vegetables. I’ve been eating a lot of fresh fruit while it’s still good! Would like more vegetables, but some of those are not in Butch’s wheelhouse. I was doing pretty good until vacation. I'm back at it today.
Continuing to share meals out with family/friends Butch and I did some sharing on our vacation. 
Limiting meals out—and choosing some healthier options than just the 1/2 order approach. Starting to work on this--I didn't limit myself at all last week. 
Continue with Lean Cuisines a couple times a week. I like them, so it’s not that hard. I just need to add a salad or veggie to make them seem more like a real meal. I'll be having them most of this week as I do not plan to cook.
Go back to drinking water—just about exclusively. It's funny how easy it is to get out of this habit. I'm back to iced tea and really like that. I'll have to get working on the water again.
I know I should be doing something about eliminating processed foods, but I’m not ready to go there. I’m giving myself time to get a handle on other areas of nutrition. Processed foods is going to be really hard. Luckily, we're doing Hello Fresh now, so for at least those 3 meals, there are no processed foods.
Eliminate artificial sweeteners. I only use Equal for my tea. I’m down to about 2 packs a day already, so this should not be so hard. I’ll go back to sugar if necessary. I’m down to a half packet of Equal a day. Still, I’m drinking some flavored waters with artificial sweeteners. This has been a fail. It's too hard to choose sugar over no calories. Also, since I know that my hives are in no way related to artificial sweeteners, I am not as motivated. I have still cut down on the amount I use.

I’ve been interested in getting in to a Bible study for a long time, but haven’t taken any steps along those lines. Mostly, I’ve never liked the times those things meet. I don’t want to do things at night—I’m a morning person. Instead, I’m turing to the internet. I just want something simple to remind me to think about my spirituality and count my blessings every day. Maybe even just dusting off my daily devotional will be enough. Just something to keep me mindful of the fact that there is more to me than just me and to be grateful for that. I’ve found a program that I plan to start as soon as I can be up and around. The program involves the treadmill. I like the idea of killing two birds with one stone. Now that I'm back to my "real" life, I don't seem to have the time for an intense bible study. I'll just stick with my daily devotional while on the treadmill.
I want to spend more time in my garden. I have plenty of nice places to just sit and reflect. But, it’s the mosquitoes and use of bug spray that deters me. I need to change that. I haven't been in the garden yet. Since I've re-designed some areas, I'll be walking through soon to make sure of the plants I want to use.

Everything computer related falls under here. I want to watch a lot of tutorials.I think I’m giving up the foreign language thing as I don’t want to study too much. I have already watched endless videos on different scrapbooking techniques and ideas for organization. Yep, I'm over the foreign language thing. I've  watched plenty of Ted Talks too. I've learned everything I can about the iPhone (getting mine activated today)---probably at least a couple hours of tutorials. Plus another 4 hours on OS10 for my computer. I've spent a couple hours on learning more about Pages. So, I'd say that "learning" has been covered well!

I love to learn, but don’t really know what else I’d like to learn. I’m sure I’ll make some fun discoveries. I’ve signed up for a great books program through Hillsdale College. I love to read and I love book clubs, so this was a no-brainer. This free course studies the classics. Okay, the Great Books program was a fail. I couldn't keep up at all.I was thinking that I'd do a book a week and watch the lecture/discussion. It seemed like I was getting something new every 3 days. I'm back to just reading what I want.

Along the lines of learning and nutrition, I’ll try to focus on simple, yet tasty, low calorie meals. Is there really such a thing? Well, I’ve already signed up with Cooking Light to give it a try. I’ll be sure to share the recipes. Since I can’t cook yet, I’ve been adding the recommended recipes that I know I’d like to try to my favorites. There are many that will be too time consuming, but some seem pretty quick and easy. I'll be cooking lighter, healthier meals to fill in from Hello Fresh. This shouldn't be too hard. Plus we'll have Lean Cuisines on nights when we've both eaten out for lunch.

Giving Back—
I’ve been a full time volunteer most of my married life. I officially retired from all of the fund raising in 2000—with just a couple projects since then. I’ve always felt like I’ve “done my part” by the time I retired. And I feel like what I do spend time on regarding organizing my friends and their memory keeping is worthwhile. I try to keep the focus on telling the stories of our lives. But maybe I need to do more.

I’ve already volunteered to head up a committee that would make sure the scholarship recipients at St. Cecilia would be able to more fully participate in options closed to them due to financial need. That’s not off the ground yet, but I have quite a few ideas. And plenty of people to call on to help—there’s winter formal, prom, winterim programs, senior pictures, yearbooks—I want those girls to have the full SCA experience. I haven't done anything else along these lines. I am counting all the teaching I'm doing with my AYM  groups--from organizing to teaching techniques and prompting the stories they tell. 

Just Plain Fun/Social—

Scraobooking—Album planning—develop AYM workshop for 2017 (already done. I’m pretty excited because this new concept is not ANYTHING I’ve seen done yet anywhere by any scrapbook teacher! My girls will be happy!)
Update Making the Most of My Memories Workshop and get ready to teach it again. I’ve updated this workshop. I’ll get that off the ground some time this fall. I'll let the girls decide. We might just have to postpone this until January. After all it's already October and we're still behind with AYM!

Visits from friends
Fishing—I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since I fished for the first time in over 30 years. I really liked it, got a new rod and reel for Christmas—and have yet to try it out. I could have trout fished on our vacation, but decided to stay behind and stitch with Chris. Plus, I didn't want to be a distraction for Butch who hasn't had this opportunity in years.

I’m going to re-design my garden around the pool. I have some ideas, just need to do a little research before I set the plan. This is done too. I'm really happy with the plan. Just have to get it installed--whatever plants can be had this fall--the others next spring.

Iron Chef Challenge—Malinda, Connie’s daughter, emailed me about this. It sounds like so much fun. I am definitely doing this during the fall. I've got this in place, but starting out really small to see how it goes.

Halloween brunch/luncheon as a way to thank all of my friends that have brought food and been so attentive to me during this time. All planned and the date is set.

Organizing—-EVERYTHING—yes, this is fun to me (So far, I put nearly 400 photos in to an album for Mindy’s wedding. I’ve already cleaned up and re-organized digital photos on my computer. Add to that—I re-organized ALL of my fonts. I added at least a hundred new ones. I love fonts.) I’ve made lots of lists—I’m a list person. One list I’m really excited about is “New Restaurants to Try in Nashville.”  I had a pretty extensive one that I lost when I got my new computer last year. I have organized everything I can on my computer. Plus I downloaded about 100 fonts for myself and another 125 for a friend--all neatly organized in folders by categories.  

I had already planned an outing for September to the White’s Creek Flower Farm. I’ve had to postpone that. Spring might be better anyway.

Escape—fun activity for up to 8 friends.

I need to get the beach trip with my cousins back on the books—since I’ve had to cancel. (Already done. We’re going in March. It might not be the best beach time, but just being together will be fun no matter what we do.)

I completely forgot to add a new outing that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. Once a month, my friends and I will go to a new local restaurant for lunch. I’ve already got the list started! I’ll have to come up with a clever name. Our "Once a Month for Lunch Bunch" starts this week with our first visit to Connors Steak and Seafood.

Of course, we’ll continue with Movie Monday and Stitching Tuesday. I've only been once since getting the all clear from the doctor. I'm looking forward to getting back on schedule.

Reschedule my trip to Charlotte for January or February. (This will be easy to do once Sandy gets the school schedule.) Got it on the calendar!

Plan my winter trip to St. Louis. I like to go twice a year—January and August. I’m most likely going to go sometime through the Christmas holidays this year since Butch will be in Belize with Mitchell. Maybe I’ll go for New Years! Actually, the holiday trip is planned with my sisters. Janice is coming in too---very excited! My sisters are taking off work and we'll be visiting the "old folks." Then we're planning a separate time to spend a long weekend with Walter and Chris. Two trips devoted to each side of the family!

Our girls trip to New York is next spring. I had only done some preliminary planning for that. (I’ve gotten this back on the books and have done some planning). We’ve gotten the shows we want to see figured out, so I can go ahead with getting the tickets. I have not gotten any tickets yet, but I do have the itinerary narrowed down. There's still some tweaking to do. The airline and hotel reservations are made. 

Our book club has a trip to England on the calendar for next September to visit our friend/member, Diane. That’s definitely something to look forward to. (This is in the very preliminary stages, but I’ve put together a list of things to do when we’re there. For many it will be their first trip to England. I’m determined to get to Hampton Court this time—no mater what!). My travel agent friend, Mary is working on airfare right now. Once we get an idea of that, then the 5-7 that have expressed an interest can make a decision.

So, you might be thinking—this still looks like a pretty ambitious plan. Really, it’s not. I’ll just be adding a few things to my life that might be a little more satisfying—giving me the feeling that I am a bit more in control. My hives will continue to be a problem. There’s nothing I can do about that. All I can do is what I think is right for me. Luckily, I have family and friends that are willing to go along with my schemes! 


  1. My goodness, I felt exhausted just reading all of this! You are making lots of progress on so many fronts ... very Inspipring! I think I'll have to google Iron Chef - that's new to me!

  2. I'm with Alexa - this is a huge amount of stuff. Glad you are keeping busy and learning should always be happening :)

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