Monday, March 30, 2015

Life Update

A friend sent me an email asking how my resolutions have been coming along since we are now about 25% of the way through the year.

Let's start with the worst case.  Weight loss.  I was thrilled when I found my weight down to 252 lbs and decided to push forward with an aggressive attack to really melt those pounds off.  Unfortunately, life has gotten in the way and I wasn't tracking my intake as well as I should have. Lent started and around here that means fish fries.  Yup, the deep-fried fish - all you can eat - type dinners with all the trimmings which include scalloped potatoes, coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, and of course, battered deep fried fish.  Oh, and of course, diet pop to wash it all down.

A couple from church told us about a buffet in a nearby town that included seafood. Yes, we had to check it out.  It was a night of protein gorging.  I had fabulous crab legs which I dipped in hot melted butter, frog legs, deep fried shrimp, boil shrimp, huge crab cakes, battered deep fried fish, broiled fish, and steak.  Again, it was all-you-can-eat and I made sure I ate a lot.  I skipped over the mashed potatoes, French fries, baked potato, buttered corn, mixed veggies and the salad bar.  Fortunately, it was only one night seafood gorging.

My youngest son's wife is expecting twins and we've needed to travel up to Michigan which threw us off our regular eating habits in favor of fast food or carryout.  In fact, we are down to the wire on delivery and my wife is staying with them in Michigan and I'm bouncing back and forth to take care of the dog and keep the rest of house under control.  It is Spring and the critters are coming out.

So, what was has the verdict been on my weight?  How many pounds have I lost?  ZILCH!  I gained.

That's right, I've gained over 10 lbs and am now attempting to place that spiral on hold and get the weight going the other way.  Another friend suggested I do portion control, eat more fruit and veggies and lay off the fast food and fried foods. I can try but when you're on the road, traveling, fast food seems to be the way of the road. One doesn't normally stop at a restaurant when making a dashing trip. I guess I can cut up some celery for the road.

Moving on, publishing books.  I have been a little side-tracked with clients and doing some editing. Still, I now have less than 10 pages of final edits to go and my next book will be done and ready for publishing.  Yes, that's right. With a little luck if I can get the cover completed in another week, I should have my novel - The Secret Voice - ready for publication.  Two weeks top.  So that means one book of three done.

Now, looking at my goals and where I stand, I figure 3 books equals 1 every 4 months.  I'm on target with my publishing goal.  My hope to lose 25 pounds would be about 2 pounds each month for for 3 months, I should be down 6 pounds.  Hmm?  I'm up 12.  So I'm behind about 18 pounds. Not good.

In my favor, Summer is coming and I'll be outside more.  My wife has a goal of camping every week for 3 to 4 day from May through October IF the week will be good weather.  I jokingly asked her if it was forecast to rain, we wouldn't go camping.  Her reply: We on Monday morning and come back on Friday morning - 4 nights. IF one of those days/nights could rain - we can enjoy it.

That means, if the weatherman says we got at least 2 days of foul weather in the week, we will stay home that week.  Actually, I'm sort of looking forward to it.  We usually stay at the nearby state park and during the week, it isn't all that crowded.  Come Friday, the campers come wheeling in and it becomes a veritable madhouse.  I prefer the quiet weekdays.

I've got most of my garden planned for 2015 and already have the tomato seeds started finally. Right now I have 4 seeds of each: Beefsteak, Rutgers, Roma, and Mortgage Lifter.  Will I plant all 16 plants when they come up.  I doubt it.  I'll give a few of them away to my kids... or I may keep them. I can honestly say the stewed tomatoes, tomato juice and - OMG! - the salsa my wife canned last year was fantastic.  The salsa - well, there is only 1 qt left and I'll probably eat it this week sometime.  I'm also considering, in addition to the raised 4x15 ft bed, will be trying bale gardening.  That's using bales of straw to plant things in. It could be interesting.  We'll see if the crocus come up over the next few weeks of where I want to put the bales.  If not, then I will do the bales.  If they do come up, then I will have to evaluate the situation.  Last year's show of crocus was pretty pathetic.

At the present time, no chickens.  Waiting for the twins to be born. Maybe later or next year.

Until next I ramble on...

Monday, March 23, 2015

I Have To Rant

The other day (actually it was Friday afternoon)  I went to the local WalMart store to pick up ONE item for my wife which she forgot on an earlier shopping spree.  I entered, was greeted to which I responded a pleasantry and continued to the shelf which had the item I needed.  It really doesn't matter what the item was, but to calm one's curiosity, it was meringue powder for frosting. She was making fancy cupcakes for a baby shower for our #4 son's wife's soon-to-be-here twins.

Anyway, I picked up the item and briskly walked to checkout.  Now, things get interesting.

I was about to go to checkout #1 but I saw two women easing into the aisle, the one had a few items in her hands and the other was pushing a standard-sized cart. I, at that time, didn't realize they were together.

Aisle #2 had a customer but was almost finished.  I decided to go there.  Of course, there was some issue about the customer's debit card.  So things slowed down in front of me.  No problem.  I start to look around and noticed that the two women at #1 checkout are stacking items onto the counter and the checkout girl is frantically ringing the items as fast as she can.


The woman has just placed - no stacked  -  10 packages of cream cheese on the counter.  They are right behind 3 boxes of something else. I also see 2 bottles (bleach?) and then I glance at the shopping cart.  It is filled, not in a disheveled, willy-nilly, anything goes, but neatly packed.  We are talking solid packing. I can see what appears to be almost 10+ boxes of frozen pizza.  There are also other neatly stack boxes of what probably are frozen items.  Below, there are at least 8 to 10 bottles of 2-liter pop and 3 packages of toilet paper.

Okay, the first woman had at least 4 or 5 items in her hands and all the other stuff already checked.

I glance up at the sign to make sure it says what I think it should say.

FAST LANE  -  20 items or less

Yup, this was the speed checkout lanes and this woman had at least 50+ items!!!  Should I also mention we are at the opposite end of the checkouts farthest away from the groceries?  She had to have passed the self-check, the speed lanes and at least 8 or more full serve lanes.

During this short amount of time, another woman has walked up behind her, noticed the cart and then quickly moved to stand behind me.  Another gentleman has joined us.

The woman at checkout #1 sees me shaking my head in disgust.  Her reaction?

The conversation went something like this...

"What's your problem?"  She asked as she moves another 5 boxes of what appears to be boxed potatoes,

It is time for me to stand-up for my store-given rights. I spoke up. I pointed at the sign and said, "This is a 20 or less items checkout area."

She snarled: "Well, we asked the checkout and she said it was okay."  (I saw the other woman with her who had a few items talking to the checkout so I assume this to be true - and in the checkout's defense, I figured she thought it was for the items that woman had in her hands, not the grocery cart.)

"It takes a lot of nerve to even ask a checkout to overlook the rules." I point to the three people NOW behind me. "I'm sure these people are thrilled that you're checking out in the speed lanes."  (My checkout clerk is cleared and takes my item from the counter and rings it up. She greets me but says nothing about the tirade now happening from counter #1.)

"Mind your own business and don't worry about us."

"Oh, trust me, I'm checking out in this lane. No problem here."  I pay my bill and head out, thoroughly disgusted with that woman. I'm sure my blood pressure is up.

I'm approaching my car which is parked right outside, next to the handicap.  I hear a woman yelling "Sir! Sir!" and see the woman who was behind me running toward me.

"I wanted to thank you for saying what I was too afraid to voice."

I grinned and thanked her.  She added. "I told her as I left that I would have been out of the store a lot faster if she had went to a regular checkout with all her stuff."

At that moment, the guy who was behind her - yup, he joins us and reaches for my hand.

"I just wanted to shake your hand, sir. More people need to stand up to rude jerks like that woman.  By the way, she still had items in her grocery cart to put on the counter when I walked out."

I thanked the both of them and got in my car as they headed for their cars.  Yes, I had a warm, fuzzy feeling inside me.  I drove home.

My mind has played the scenario over and over.  I don't think I would normally had said anything but she instigated my ire.  If she had not said anything, I would have shaken my head in disgust and went on silently like any other good lamb.

After evaluation, I'm 68 and I've decided it is time to speak up.  If I don't, people will walk over me and take advantage of the situations.  Maybe this was the first time this woman has tried to sneak into the speed lane but something tells me she has done this many times before. Why? They asked the clerk if they could go through which makes me think this is not a first timer.

If you have 21, maybe 22 items, I don't see an issue, but... Oh, well.

Until the next time I ramble on...

Monday, March 9, 2015

Slap of Reality...

At times I seem to bitch, moan, complain and at other times, brag.

Today (Weds, 3/4/15) I was slapped with reality.  And I do mean SLAPPED!

I'm 68, will be 69 on the last day of this year and what have I got to prove my existence was worth the time spent here?

I am sharing with you, a blog - not written by me. I won't even spoil this young man's impact with my usual ending but place it here...

Until next I ramble on...

Soon I Will be Gone Forever, but That’s Okay as Long as Someone Reads This.

I am only 24 years old, yet I have actually already chosen my last tie. It’s the one that I will wear on my funeral (above) a few months from now. It may not match my suit, but I think it’s perfect for the occasion.

The cancer diagnosis came too late to give me at least a tenuous hope for a long life, but I realized that the most important thing about death is to ensure that you leave this world a little better than it was before you existed with your contributions . The way I’ve lived my life so far, my existence or more precisely the loss of it, will not matter because I have lived without doing anything impactful.
Before, there were so many things that occupied my mind. When I learned how much time I had left, however, it became clear which things are really important. So, I am writing to you for a selfish reason. I want to give meaning to my life by sharing with you what I have realized:
  • Don’t waste your time on work that you don’t enjoy. It is obvious that you cannot succeed in something that you don’t like. Patience, passion, and dedication come easily only when you love what you do.
  • It’s stupid to be afraid of others’ opinions. Fear weakens and paralyzes you. If you let it, it can grow worse and worse every day until there is nothing left of you, but a shell of yourself. Listen to your inner voice and go with it. Some people may call you crazy, but some may even think you‘re a legend.
  • Take control of your life Take full responsibility for the things that happen to you. Limit bad habits and try to lead a healthier life. Find a sport that makes you happy. Most of all, don’t procrastinate.Let your life be shaped by decisions you made, not by the ones you didn’t.
  • Appreciate the people around you Your friends and relatives will always be an infinite source of strength and love. That is why you shouldn’t take them for granted.
It is difficult for me to fully express my feelings about the importance of these simple realizations, but I hope that you will listen to someone who has experienced how valuable time is.
I’m not upset because I understand that the last days of my life have become meaningful. I only regret that I will not be able to see a lot of cool stuff that should happen soon like the creation of AI, or Elon Musk’s next awesome project. I also hope that the war(s) in Syria and Ukraine will end soon.
We care so much about the health and integrity of our body that until death, we don’t notice that the body is nothing more than a box – a parcel for delivering our personality, thoughts, beliefs and intentions to this world. If there is nothing in this box that can change the world, then it doesn’t matter if it disappears. I believe that we all have potential, but it also takes a lot of courage to realize it.
You can float through a life created by circumstances, missing day after day, hour after hour. Or, you can fight for what you believe in and write the great story of your life. I hope you will make the right choice.
Leave a mark in this world. Have a meaningful life, whatever definition it has for you. Go towards it. The place we are leaving is a beautiful playground, where everything is possible. Yet, we are not here forever. Our life is a short spark in this beautiful little planet that flies with incredible speed to the endless darkness of the unknown universe. So, enjoy your time here with passion. Make it interesting. Make it count!

Thank you! ~ by ‘mylasttie’

Source: Reddit 


Monday, March 2, 2015

Plans Awry!

Remember when I made my resolutions back at the beginning of the year?

CRAP! Things just don't seem to be going the way I want.

A refresher for the new people.  I wanted to publish 3 books this year.  I wanted to lose 25 pounds.

First things, first.  I've gained weight, not lost weight.  The scale is going the wrong way.  It doesn't make sense.  I've been trying to work out on the treadmill and some times on the stationary bike.  Okay, somewhat in my defense, this past week things got out of hand and I wasn't home for almost 8 days and therefore couldn't work out, but still...  One would think if I were to gain a little weight, it would be nominal.  I'm pushing TEN pounds.

I'll be so glad when summer gets here and I can be outside and more mobile.  Right now with all this cold weather, all I want to do is hibernate in a chair with a blanket to keep me warm.  I can see I will need to be a little more aggressive in my exercise and really put forth an effort to lose the weight.  As I see it, I now have almost 35 pounds to get rid of.  I reaffirm, I will lose the weight.

As to the publishing effort.  I intended to have my Amish book finished and ready to publish by the end of February.  The book is coming along with the final edits but is currently on the back burner since I need to do some editing for clients.  I am currently in the throes of editing for one client and have been forewarned that another project is coming in sometime after the 1st of March.  Uh, that would be now.  I also have a 3rd edit project coming but unsure of the exact date of its arrival.

Of course, getting a new laptop with a new operating system has given me a little curve to deal with since I need to figure out how to get my old stuff to work.  A slow process, for sure.  But I think I've got it all under control now.

Hopefully I will be able to get my Amish book out by the end of March, end of April for sure since I have to deal with people over in Shipshewana, Indiana and will need the hard copy by May 1st.

And, speaking of springtime events.  I've got to get my buns busy and get my tomatoes planted. I'd hoped to do it this week but that didn't happen.  I will get those seeds started this week since I want a nice sized plants to put into the garden in May.

Oh, and if things go good, I think next weekend I will be purchasing my clutch of chicks, at least 15 of them, for butchering later on.  Got to get the freezer stocked.

Today was a snow day.  We got about 5 more inches.  Yay!  What that means is simple. My son was over to plow the driveway and once again more snow has been pushed in front of the RV.  No, I don't have any plans to travel any time soon but I want the snow to melt away so I can get to the RV and get measurements so I can finalize plans for the conversion we've got planned for the coach.  I need to get the square footage of flooring, space available for the new furniture and whatever else I think I can pull off.  I found a 55-inch LED screen on sale for a great deal but my wife informed me it was TOO big - there was no way she was going to sit in front of a huge screen.  I think I might have a better chance with a 32-inch LED screen.  I really need to get inside the RV and get the measurements so I know where I can place things.

To make matters worse - I've had three ideas hit me over the head for novels and I've got the outlines written down.  If you know anything about the Muse, she doesn't like to be put off and is now shoving flaming matches under my toenails in hopes I will begin work on them.  I can't.  I have too many other sticks in the fire - including getting the fire pit out in the yard finished with an in-ground brick circle to hold back the gravel area.  Somebody suggested I build a "tree house" out near the fire pit and have a suspension bridge from the upper side-deck to it which would carry the electricity and water for the tree house.  As soon as I find the buried treasure chest with all the money necessary, it will be done.

Until next I ramble on...