Sunday, March 28, 2021



When I was growing up my Mother had loads of "sayings" that she used. I am sure to try to teach me right from wrong. Even though as I reached a certain level of maturity, I was saying to myself that I would never use these trite sayings with my own children. It seems that I was terribly wrong. Some of these sayings just popped out of my mouth. I am sure many of these have been used for generation after generation. I started with one of her favorites, "I wasn't born yesterday." This was used in many conversations, such as when I was trying to not tell the full truth about an incident so as not to get in as much trouble. Why I did it is beyond me. It just got me in more trouble. The truth will always come out when you have a Mom who gives you 'that look.'

Some of the sayings that I listed below I believe you will be able to relate to easily. 

Just you wait and see.

~  No such thing as a free lunch.

~  If it seems too good to be true, it is.

~  Keep making those faces and your face will freeze      like that.

~  Put that bottom lip out any further and a little red        caboose is going to come along and take a ride.

~  If someone told you to jump off a cliff, would you?

Because I said so!

I know what you are doing. I have eyes in the            back of my head. (Apparently, so did my teachers)

Just you wait and see. I can give you something to      really cry about. 

Close the door. Were you born in a barn?

~  If I told you once, I have told you a thousand              times and the answer is still NO.

~  Back in my day we had to walk 10 miles to school        in all kinds of weather.

~  Don't make me have to turn this car around.

~  Oh my goodness. If I let a word come out of my          mouth that was not ladylike I was told that she            would wash my mouth out with soap. (I did put          some Ivory soap in my own daughter's oatmeal          one day.)

~  Money doesn't grow on trees, you know!

~  You are not made of sugar and you will not melt in      the heat or rain.

~  Talking to you is like talking to a brick wall.

~  Don't get in the shower now. There is a                      thunderstorm outside and you will be hit by                lightning. (Turns out this is a possibility because          the electricity from the lightning hitting metal pipes      within the house. Another one that was true was to      not be on the phone during a storm. This only              applies to land line phones, not cell.)

~  Eat your carrots so that you will be able to see            better at night. (carrots as well as many other           vegetables are good for our eyes)

~  Don't sit that close to the TV. It will ruin your eyes.
     (This has been proven not to be true. It will cause
      your eyes to feel strained, just no long lasting              effect.)

I'm not asking. I'm telling.

And so...did you recognize any of the above sayings. We all know that our parents were just trying to do the right thing. I have often said there should be a parenting manual. But then again? Do we all want to turn out the same way? Our parents are just repeating the same stories they heard growing up and trying to raise awesome human beings to carry on with the world. 

Bearing in mind that words have power...choose carefully.

Sunday, March 21, 2021


 Just about this time last year our lives as we knew them were turned upside down with the Coronavirus. Word was getting out quickly that we needed to go into shutdown mode. In the United States, we had watched other countries begin going through this but now it has hit home. Everyone was in a state of shock. Businesses closed, schools closed and only the essential places such as grocery stores and pharmacies remained open. Only essential workers, such as health care, police, fire and medical personnel were going to work. Masks were being worn by some to avoid spreading the virus as well as getting the virus. There were no firm hard guidelines except from a wonderful doctor who kept being hushed by the leader of our country at that time. This leader refused to wear a mask and his followers did the same. Everyone had their own reasons and I am not here to judge. Many of those around him came down with the virus, as well as not only him but his family. The US had a multitude of scientists and doctors who were warning us about what to do and not to do. (This is where I am going to put my two cents in and tell you my favorite doctor of all was and still is Dr. Fauci.) Not enough people listened and the pandemic continued to grow. Deaths were inevitable, yet I am sure that the numbers in the US would not have been so high if we had all listened and followed the guidelines.

It was hard to explain why there was a shortage of toilet paper and paper towels. It was understandable about any product that was a disinfectant such as Lysol, Clorox, hand sanitizers, etc.  No one really knew what would be coming next.

Grocery delivery, curbside food pick up, drive thru pharmacies, virtual school with parents working at home many times along with their children on laptops. 

Let's skip forward some now. We have lived a year this way, slowly taking steps forward and the biggest step of all is the opening up of vaccinations and actually earlier than expected. There was a time when no one knew when one would be available and when it was available when the FDA would approve it. 

The vaccine was given to health care workers first and then the most vunerable, such as elderly and those with other health issues. Seemed only fair. 

The picture below is the very special documentation that my husband and I have received our first and second vaccination. It is so very important to hang on to this like you would your passport. In fact, there is talk of making an actual Vaccination Passport so that it would be easier when we travel.

There is now an overall feeling of happiness that a corner has been turned. The CDC put out guidelines that two weeks after the second vaccination, that family members who all had their shots could visit again without masks in their own homes. We have not seen our granddaughters in a year, except for waving at them in our garage while they were in the driveway or on Facetime. It just so happens that our two week period is up Easter weekend. Guess what we will be doing? Planning Easter with them. A small get together for a meal and an Easter Egg Hunt. This is our first positive step in the right direction.

Next on our list is to go to have a dinner or lunch out together or with friends (who have had their vaccines). If we keep numbers low we still plan on eating in an outside venue, as that is considered the safest. There must be social distancing from others in the public, however, we do not have to wear our masks with our family. Masks will probably be around for quite a while when out in public. Still, all in all, people are looking forward to getting back to some kind of normal socialization.

Guidelines need to be followed. There are people who do not want to take the vaccines. According to the research that I did one of the most common reasons is their misunderstanding about the side effects. Doctors tell us that if you have a reaction from the vaccine that for the most part it is mild and it means your immune system is responding to the vaccine. It means it is working. Not everyone has the side effects and so far it has not been proven but the medical experts believe that the difference of feeling sick and being sick is well worth it. There is no proof to date but they believe if you have the fever and fatigue with muscle aches you actually may have been hit hard with the virus. So rest up, nap and take good care of yourself. It will only be for a couple of days. Doctors are not worried and hope to spread the word that if you had more symptoms than most then you just might have dodged the bullet. They are worried that some people won't take it and the pandemic will drag on longer.

As I looked about for travel, I noticed that countries are beginning to allow US visitors in if they have had their vaccines. Hawaii currently has a two week quarantine and a Covid test for visitors from the mainland. With the vaccine, they are considering opening up without the quarantine as long as you have your vaccine card and are willing to take the Covid test. Most all of Europe's borders remain closed to US travelers and Canada has remained firmly shut and has disallowed cruising through February 2022.

There is something that we all can do and should do. Read up on what are some of the best foods to eat before and after getting the vaccine. It simply involves making smart and thoughtful food choices, which is always a good idea. We all need to sooth the inflammatory immune response. Dr. Will Cole put out a list of some of the foods that will do just that.

  • Soups and stews made with bone broths. Not the kind of soup that comes from a can already made with lots of preservatives.
  • Broccoli - roasted or in a salad and maybe cooked with a little cheese melted on top. Green veggies all have high levels of antioxidants which help fight inflammation in the body.

  • Blueberries are good in so many ways but most of

  •  all they also fight inflammation. Another plus is

  •  that they help to balance your moods.

  • Green tea drinking not only helps aid your body at the cellular level with antioxidants but the ritual of drinking tea can also soothe the soul.

  • Garlic and onions help to feed the good bacteria in our stomach. A happy gut is a healthier gut. Amazingly dark chocolate is in this category.

  • Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which our body breaks down to help decrease inflammation. Wild salmon is the best kind vs. farm raised. All of the above foods, I can go for. I have tried salmon in many different recipes and there is not one that I have been able to eat. I so wish that I could.
The good news for me is that I started getting rid of most of the inflammation culprits a while ago. Sugar, refined flour, vegetable oils, artificial sweetners, and many dairy products are just a few. Switching to almond flour and lower carbohydrates was a smart choice for me. 

Missing important family gatherings through all of this was very disheartening. We all tried to make the best of it. Now we will get to enjoy Easter with two of our children and two granddaughters. Our New Orleans family will soon be getting their vaccines and then we will be able to travel to see them. Positive outlooks all around. Our fourth child is in a country that we can't even travel in yet. She is soon ready to have our fifth grandchild. It will be through pictures that we will have to see through Facebook and Facetime and we will. Neither one of us are ready to get on a jet to travel that distance with the general public just yet. We aren't even ready to go to inside dining just yet. 
Baby steps...when the time is right.🧡🧡

Sunday, March 14, 2021


 It has been said that once you get to the stage of watching the birds in your birdfeeder you can officially be called elderly. I beg to differ! Birding or sometimes called birdwatching is an activity that all ages can and should enjoy. You can get as actively involved as you desire. During the pandemic that we are in, it seems to be a great way to pick up a new interesting hobby. 

Birding can get people off their phones and out into the sun which is a good way to reduce stress. It is very low cost depending on how much you want to spend on feeders, seeds or traveling to specific locations to seek out more unusual birds. Once involved, a whole new world of birds will be open up to you. Audubon Societies have pamphlets of specific bird walks, many which loan out binoculars if you don't have a pair of your own to use. Bird watching tends to make people more conscious of their environment, thinking green. If you venture out you may discover parts of your city that you never knew existed. Scenic views and observing your surroundings is a wonderful way to appreciate Mother Nature in a whole new light. There is an unbelievable amount of bird species all around us.

After my husband put up bird feeders in the back and front of our house, I was simply amazed of all the different kinds of birds that we had visiting the feeders. We can sit out back in our screened porch or outside patio and watch all of the birds. Even the blue bird houses that he attached to our fence. Never did I believe that we would be able to watch the comings and goings of the mamma and poppa blue birds building their nest inside and then bringing food in to their chicks. Such a remarkable sight. 

We also had some robins build a nest up in the overhang of our patio. Fairly soon after, we heard the little ones noisily calling out for food. Both parents were on worm hunting trips constantly. Those chicks were hungry. Birds just are an awesome way for all of us to get in touch with our love of nature.

There are books that you can get for your own state that give you specifics on each bird in your area so that you can identify them. This one is the one that I use to identify which birds come to our feeders. I actually marked the pages with post it arrows. 

This picture is looking out from my desk in the study. The little red birdfeeder has proven itself to be to difficult for our squirrels to steal the food. After all, they have a very large oak tree to gather all of the acorns they want. We even change up the kinds of seeds that we put in the feeder. It brings different types of birds depending on the seed you choose. I use my handy dandy bird identifying book many times just to be sure of what I am seeing. I did just order another feeder that we will put the song bird seed in. The cardinals that came before are not coming in so often now. That squirrely squirrel is entertaining when he does try to get to the seed. He can easily hop on the top and then tries to jump on the side but it won't hold his weight and down he goes. After a few attempts, he finally gives up and goes to hunt acorns.

Birding is a great way to introduce kids to enjoy watching birds. Instead of a specific book, which is good for them too, I found a Bird Bingo game. That way they can mark off the birds they see and once they have a horizontal or vertical line of birds sighted, they win...BINGO!

We have a pond and a lake in the subdivision where we live. When driving or walking by we see the mallard ducks, the Canadian geese and even egrets. For a while we had a problem with a few ducks flying over and landing in our pool. All we could do was to run out and scare them away because it is not a good thing to have them in your pool. Finally, they did get tired of being chased off. I even purchased a large alligator float. All that did was to give us one more float to use in our pool. It did not seem to intimidate the ducks at all. 

There is one story that is hard to believe. I am telling you that it is true and I am so glad that Steve was with me when it happened. We both were in awe. Saving the best story for last. Imagine driving down a two lane road that has very old trees on each side that canopy the 1 mile stretch of road. We were in my convertible with the top down. As we were coming over a small hill, a very large bird came down and flew along beside us. We could hear the sounds of his wings. The two of us studied his coloring and knew that he was a golden eagle flying along with us. The wing span was more than 5 feet. When we arrived home, we quickly checked our Tennessee Bird Guide and sure enough, that was exactly the bird that we saw and joined us in his flight. When we told family and friends, I am not quite sure that any of them believed us. That's ok. We experienced probably a once in a lifetime opportunity to see such a magnificent creature this close to us.   

Just as the song by The Eagles goes, "It was a peaceful easy feeling." 

Sunday, March 7, 2021



Even though in many people's mindset, we feel as if we are waiting for things to get back to normal. What is normal? Is there a normal to go back to after what the world has been going through. Most definitely it will be a carved out new normal based on what is scientifically safe. At least for most of us we will be setting what is normal for ourselves now. It is a matter of not just sitting on time and waiting.

Some of the statements that I have heard from others (which includes myself) are things such as:

"I am waiting for the right opportunity. I am waiting for the right time. I am waiting for all of this to be over so we can go back to how things were."

The real question is what have we been doing in the mean time? Time has not stopped.

Some of us have even used the excuse of we are waiting to start a healthy eating and work out program even though NOW would be the perfect time. Perhaps gyms are closed or maybe like me you just don't feel quite safe in gyms at this time. I don't have to wait for more people to get vaccinated or herd immunity. There are DVDs  with wonderful workouts available. Also, it is a perfect time to work on our cooking skills and this means looking up healthy foods to get on board for a life long program of good foods.

This is wasting precious time, like the Bob Marley song Waiting in Vain. Missing opportunities that are out there for us. By telling ourselves that once all of this is over, we will get back into a routine and back in shape. Meanwhile the COVID 19 has hit the scales. I will have double the work to lose what I may gain in pounds. Instead, I am going to choose a Grand Plan.

Using a fresh mindset helps. I am reevaluating my goals in life. Time is precious and yes I have been guilty of that 'waiting mindset.' It is a matter of doing things differently to accomplish my goals. It is a ready, set, go attitude. Simply getting started. No excuses only solutions.

Starting with a lifestyle of low carbs, which I know is good for me and a simple workout program with my Tai Chi DVD and I have a recumbent bike so what is my excuse? I have two low carb cookbooks and there is always google to find low carb recipes plus all the time in the world to prepare delicious meals with a great presentation. 

I am going to start somewhere because in reality no one will ever 'be totally ready.' There has to be some action!

I read somewhere that readines needs to be built up over time through progress and that can only happen with action. Nike had it right with their slogan of