Category Archives: Inspiration

Faith, Hope, Love… Peace…

I’ve never strayed political much, if at all, on my blog. Politics make me cranky and goodness knows there’s enough out there to make me cranky without being in constant political turmoil. I don’t like political parties or politicians because they divide us as a country and as a people. I don’t like feeling the constant anger and intolerance that members of political parties on BOTH sides display toward the other side… and I don’t like the feeling of hatred and disdain being thrown around between the 2 groups. The chasm between the Republican and the Democrat is so large now we’d need 50,000,000,000 Barney the Purple Dinosaurs to form a bridge over to the other side. I also do not mean to stereotype every member of a political party. I do know that there are a choice few out there who are able to have an open mind and an open, compromising heart when in political debate, but finding that person these days is like searching for the magical golden unicorn at the bottom of the Lucky Charms box. (There is one… Tony The Tiger came to me in my dreams and told me that Snap, Crackle, and Pop heard that King Vitamin’s brother, Pillsbury Dough Boy told him that Lucky The Leprechan hid one in there. I rest my case.)

Upon hearing about the deadliest weekend in US history, my first inclination was to be sad to be an American… ANOTHER mass murder… can we not get this thing right, people!? It’s a horror and a tragedy for all of those family and friends who have lost a loved one and it’s a horror and a tragedy that yet again evil seems to have won the day. But, has it? I heard stories this weekend of a selfless brother who risked his own life by throwing his body at the gunman who had just killed his sister, saving the lives of who knows how many others. I heard the story of people banding together to raise funds for the loved ones of those lost, almost 1.5 million dollars within the span of several hours. I witnessed a woman concerned about a feeble, elderly gentleman walking across the street into the Macey’s parking lot, offer to give him a ride. I remembered the countless acts of faith and love shown me throughout my lifetime. I took all of these things in and I knew that good still exists… it’s still more prevelant than the evil lurking in the darkness. We’re still here… and we need to be present and loud with our faith, hope, and love… for peace.

I don’t know much but I do know that hatred begets hatred and love and tolerance begets love and tolerance, and I do know that S’mores, a campfire, and Kumbaya can bring the world together with a song (hey, Burt Bacharach… that’s a hit tune just waiting to be written, y’all). More LOVE, Less Hate. Amen and hallelujah.

CkzNAOHUoAE1IM9

***

Today marks day 29 of being sugar-free… for all intents and purposes 1 month since I last indulged in the granulated white stuff of wonder and merriment (no, not crack cocaine… good laws). This week was a struggle for me. I had some emtional moments and emotional moments call for cookies and chocolate because that’s how I’ve rolled since 1978, give or take 3 years, but I managed to stay sugar-free… and honey-free… and agave-free. My initial goal was 1 month and then I could go back to once a week indulgence or twice on special occasions like National Doughnut Day (Yes, I’m awary that passed, but I was sugar-free so I’m going to need a redo)! That said, I’m not in any hurry to start incorporating it back, so allow me to take it 1 day at a time and see where this thing leads me. Yesterday in my quest to find a sweet, sugar-free treat that might taste better than dried apricot car tires, I came across this SIMPLE as bean turds recipe, and I skeptically made it.

Recipe:

2 small bananas, smashed
1 cup of rolled oats

The end…

Except, you can add in variations. I halved the recipe and in one half I put in a few raisins and cinnamon and the other half a tablespoon or so of almond butter. Mix it together and lump by spoonfull onto a cookie sheet in cookie shapes… bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes… eat! The full recipe makes about 12 small cookies and depending on what you’ve decided to put in as a variation (you have no idea how much I wanted to put in chcolate chips… NO IDEA!!!), they come out to around 50 to 60 calories per cookie lump.

Yep… LOVE ‘EM! Of course if you prefer cookies with sugar and a cavity, these most likely won’t be your cup o’ tea. And due to the banana, they don’t store well, but they’re easy to make, so you might as well just make a few a day to keep the doctor away. Yes, please!

BoBo likes them so much he made messes:

Lookit my nerdy BoBo!

And hims new swimmy pool!

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Dreams Wanted? Hard Work Needed…

A good little reminder for everybody on day numero quatro of Operation:  FatMas… but especially for the chic typing right now… namely me and the 7 pounds of chocolate I ate today… I logged every last bit of it, though… you mark my words!

There are times when I start to feel entitled and spoiled bratty and I spend too much time woe is me-ing.  Where is the magical skinny person zapper!! It dices, it slices, it butters your children!   It’s these times I get the least done.  No one who spends the day feeling sorry for themselves and their position/condition gets ANYWHERE in life.  So, you were given a bad hand… a dump truck full of manure rolled over in your bedroom.  Now what?  You have two options, sit around bemoaning your bad fortune, alienating the world OR get up off your duff, enjoy the life you’ve been given, and make the most of it.  Life is meant to be enjoyed… DO IT!

PS – I know the above-pictured craft looks like something I could have made with it’s expertly crafted plastic doily placement… but I so did not make it.  I stole it off of some poor person’s Pinterest page… and now I’ve lost the link.  So, if whomever made the plastic doilies worst nightmare craft ever comes across this post, thank you for the quotage… and the doily crafting idea.  I just need 3 more doilies and 10 more cats and I’m set as the crazy cat lady.  Oh, and a shack… I need my own shack.

Question of the Day:  What are your dreams?  How was day #4?   

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Eating Jerky For Breakfast…

Unless you’ve been summering with the Amish (wut up, Dunkelman), you may or may not have heard the story going around on the news and via the web about Jennifer Livingston, a news anchor who stood up to a very rude and self-righteous lawyer when he criticized her weight.   To see her response to the below smoke blowing, click on this link.  In the spirit of National Jerk Week, and since I know most of you do not speak fluent “Jerkese,” allow me to translate Kenneth Krause’s email.

It’s unusual that I see your morning show, but I did so for a very short time today. (Since the mirror I practice flexing in front of for 3 hours every morning broke.)

I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn’t improved for many years. (As God’s gift to women, I am obviously an 11.)

Surely you don’t consider yourself a suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular. (I will never have a girlfriend and I’m bittered because I lost my 30 cents off a tube of Preparation H coupon.)

Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain.  (I am an idiot.) 

I leave you this note hoping that you’ll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle. (Durrrrrr… bacon!)

He went on to reply after she replied to his email:

Given this country’s present epidemic of obesity and the many truly horrible diseases related thereto, and considering Jennifer Livingston’s fortuitous position in the community, I hope she will finally take advantage of a rare and golden opportunity to influence the health and psychological well-being of Coulee Region children by transforming herself for all of her viewers to see over the next year, and, to that end, I would be absolutely pleased to offer Jennifer any advice or support she would be willing to accept.

(If you were the last person on Earth and I needed a Band-Aid, I’d bleed to death.)  

My intent is not to bully a bully… and I actually wouldn’t consider Kenneth Krause’s email to be bullying… something that could lead to bullying if he persisted in being a jerkbutt; this is more just an idiot spewing his jerkiness around the interwebs.  Boy, have I met my share of them folk.  Not via the interwebs, but in real life.  They helped me define myself by my weight.  I wasn’t Whitney, the talented girl with so much to offer.  I was Whitney, the fat chic.  And that’s a shame… it really is.  Like Jennifer said in her response, we are so much more than a number on a scale.  Because I was Whitney, the fat chic, that’s all I ever thought I’d be… my self-esteem/self-confidence was in the crapper, and I didn’t think I deserved to do anything to better myself.  They won… all of those people who spoke Jerkese and shamed me for my physical appearance… they all won.

It’s time to take the power back.  We are so much more than our physical appearance.  Believe it!  Embrace it!  We deserve to know who we are and what we’re capable of.  I refuse to give any of my self-worth away to people from the planet Jerkazoid!  You best believe it!

Question of the Day:  Would you consider his email bullying?  What constitutes a bully? 

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Life Lessons and Knitting…

Remember that time many moons and leap years ago (aka earlier this year in February) when I took an introductory course to knitting at the local high school?  Remember that time I made owls and slippers and dish cloths and hats and pin cushions and all manner of knitting gloriousness?  Remember how I was going to become a professional knitter in my dreams and sit around all day making tea cozies?  Remember!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

No?

Good… because neither did I!  It’s been a couple of months since I picked up the needles.  I did pretty well in the winter months… I guess it’s easier to have a pound of lamb wool sitting on your lap when it’s cold outside.  I decided to try to pick it up again this past week.  I had a project in mind and a deadline to meet.  It’s been 5 days and it took me those 5 days to relearn how to start a slip knot.  The HUMANITY!!  It’s sad how fast something leaves my noggin when I’m not doing it on a regular basis.  Once I got the slip knot relearned and then relearned how to cast on yet again, the basic knitting stitches came back to me pretty easily… I said the BASIC stitches.  I’m still staring at the pattern trying to figure out how the dagnabbed alien I’m supposed to read this chart thing she provides.  My teacher just told me what to do in her patterns… this chick has diagrams and things written in Gaelic.

I learn a lot about myself through knitting… the biggest thing?  I’m a perfectionist and I can’t deal with having a mistake sitting willy nilly in my project.  I unravel it and start all over… which is totally stupid and frustrating.  I’d get hours into a project, only to start from scratch when I accidentally purled instead of knitted.  The smart way would be just to learn how to fix that one mistake, but that never feels right to me… I just start over and throw away all that hard work.

And so it is with every other aspect of my life.  Weight loss… nothing is ever ever EVER going to go perfectly there.  It’s a dagnabbed given.  So, why am I so hard on myself when it doesn’t go perfectly and why can’t I just brush that one mistake off and move ahead instead of saying things like, Well… this day is a wash… might as well eat what I want and start again tomorrow…  The weekend is coming up and I have this and this and this… no way to get in sensible eating… I’ll start again Monday.  Madness!!  The smarter idea would be to just move on with the day as if it was going to be a perfect day.  There is never going to be a perfect time to start something… nothing will ever fall into that perfect place.  Figure out how to make it fit into the imperfectness and revel in your imperfection.  That’s life… and I’d go into that song by Frank Sinatra here, but I vowed to be 10% less cheesy and this is where that 10% is going to pay off… big time.  You are welcome.

Question of the Day:  Do you consider yourself a perfectionist?  Any tips on how to reign that in? 

 

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Persistence… It’s What’s For Dinner…

Y’all MUST remember that beef commercial… beef, it’s what’s for dinner!  Excuse you… this is a vegetarian blog… take your steer talk elsewhere!  That had nothing to do with anything, except to explain where I got this blog title and it really makes no sense at all, but y’all I’ve been writing this blog for over a year now and have yet to make much sense… why start now?

A few months back, we went to the tulip festival in SLC… I blogged about it here.  We were driving around trying to find where this shindig was, thought we’d found it, parked, and went into a gift shop to ask where we’d buy tickets.  The lady at the counter just stared at us like we’d pulled up in a covered wagon complete with buffalo chips hanging out our bonnets.  Obviously this was not anywhere near the right place.  No matter… Lindsay had to use the lady’s room and so I poked around the gift shop acting like I was interested in buying smelly sachets for my dresser drawer and classical music CDs.  HIGH BROW!  Little did front desk lady know how low brow I could go!

While I was perusing, I came across this plaque and I knew why I’d happened to come here.  Of all the wrong places I could have ended up, it needed to be here… right in this high brow gift shop… just to read this plaque… I’m confident of that.  It summed up in just a few short sentences what I’ve been saying all along for the last 2-1/2 years now.  Persistence, not perfection has ALWAYS been my biggest motto… and here it was staring me in the face… buffalo chipped bonnet and all!

THANK YOU!!!!!!  No words have ever given me more comfort than those on this here plaque.  Success, no matter what it is you’re trying to succeed in, has nothing to do with talent, smarts, riches, etc., but everything to do with persisting until you get what it is you’re working toward.  PERIOD.  End. Of. Story.  I was too cheap to purchase this sucker… it was like 8 billion dollars… but they’d throw in a free smelly sachet!!!  Instead, cheap wadder over here is going to make her own dang sign.  This thing needs to be hung up and reread… over and over and over.

Question of the Day:  Do you have a favorite quote that keeps you persisting?  

 

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The Parable of the Dagblasted Wheelbarrow…

The Friday night and Saturday before last, Padre went and cut down a couple of dead water-logged trees in the yard.  They had died since they were hanging out on the canal bank and had spent their days sucking up all of the canal water and over-watering themselves.  Kind of like pedal edema in a person, except with trees and leech-infested canal water.  At one point, he called me out to pick up the entire trunk of the tree from off the ground, so he could get at it better with his chainsaw… as a joke obviously because the thing had to have weighed a couple thousand pounds… I’m barely up to the 8-pound dumbbells… forget 2000.  I tried to pick it up anyway… determined that I was going to get the thing to budge.  It didn’t… the only thing that budged were 5 disks in my back… lift with your knees for crying outloud, Arnold!

The next Saturday morning after he’d chopped the trunk up into more manageable pieces, it was time to clean up the lawn.  I, of course, got left with the task of He-Man proportions.  Heft the water-logged logs into a wheelbarrow and wheel the dagblasted thing clear across the lawn to the wood pile at the back of the shed.  Such a breeze… for She-Ra… unfortunately, Whit-Ney is better at picking up things like lace and doilies… and yarn.

We estimated each of the log’s weight to be at LEAST 60 pounds, so I was hefting those suckers up into the one-wheeled wheelbarrow, 4 or 5 deep… making my full load at least 300 pounds.  But, I was determined to do it by myself… so help me Schwarzenegger!

The thing about a wheelbarrow is that if you don’t have the weight in your wheelbarrow evenly balanced, all hades breaks loose and you will lose your entire load… as I experienced SEVERAL times on my many jaunts across the yard.  One log leaning too close to the right and the whole wheelbarrow tips over.  And then I had to start all over again.  As the time went on through experience and trial and error, I was getting better at proportioning my weight inside the wheelbarrow… finding that balance I never could get the first several times… making life a WHOLE lot more pleasant as I’d only have to load the logs once or twice per trip instead of 3 and 4 times per trip.  By the time I was done, I was proud of myself… scraped up from here to timbucktwo, hot and sweaty and tired, but proud.  That’s something I wouldn’t have even attempted to do 2 years ago.

The wheelbarrow experience got me thinking… life, much like the wheelbarrow, needs balance to be successful.  One thing off kilter can take the whole person down with it.  I’ve learned to find that balance a bit better than I used to.  My life in the past included 90% sitting on my butt in front of the TV stuffing my face in the midst of a neverending pity party… the other 10% was just getting by.  There was no balance.  Someone who works too much will usually end up depressed and bittered and hopeless.  Someone who plays too much doesn’t learn the valuable lesson of a good day’s hard work.  Someone who is so obsessed with their weight that they can’t enjoy any aspect of their life, does nothing worthwhile.  Balance is a necessity.  While  I’m not perfect at it yet, I’m proud at the balance I’ve been able to attain over the last few years.  I will always be a work in progress, but it’s nice to feel a sense of being in a zen-like state.  Wheelbarrows be durned!!

Question of the Day:  Do you feel you have attained a good balance in life?  What aspect do you need to work on?

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Glory Hallelujah!

This past week I wore a hole in the carpet of my brain through worry pacing.  That’s a talent… the carpet installers have yet to figure out how I got carpet up in my brain.  Why the worn out brain carpet?  I was asked weeks or months ago to sing at a multi-stake function being held this past Saturday.  Of course I said yes those many weeks and/or months ago because I was healthier than Mr. Ed on an All Bran diet.  (Y’all young’uns will have no clue who Mr. Ed is… I barely know myself… but he’s a horse of course… and no one can talk to a horse of course… that is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed!)  I may or may not have forgotten what I was talking about… oh yes… I said yes to the singing because I love to sing and because I was like the rock of Gibraltar of wellness!

Of course, there’s an unwritten fine print disclaimer in the book of the Universe… if someone asks you to do something requiring a vocal cord, you will more than likely get an upper respiratory infection in which you can barely talk let alone sing the week of said performance.  Karma… I don’t know whose karma I done caught but it was someone’s and I was not appreciative.  Keep your Karmas to yourselves, people… or next time I’d rather have the karma payback in which I get run over by a bus… preferrably a yellow school bus since they are obvs made for fat kids… especially when they require 3 people to squish into one tiny seat.

So, anyway… I was worried.  Three days before D-day I had a raspy-sounding voice and it more sounded like a cat in heat when I tried to belt out the musical number… and forget the high notes… ain’t no high notes passing these vocal blobules.  I swear to you I had crud balls/goober clumps 5 feet deep down the ole throat space (oh, quit saying gross… goober clumps are a national tragedy!)  There were many times where I almost picked up the phone to call and tell them I couldn’t do it.  They’d have to understand that… when you sing, your voice is your instrument and when your voice don’t work… you might as well have left your instrument on the bus.  Also, judging from past experience when Whitney gets an upper respiratory infection, we’re talking at least 3 or 4 weeks before the goober clumps fully leave the brain carpet… and I only had 4 days of illness under my belt at that point.

So… we prayed… I prayed… my mom prayed… and Saturday morning came and went… and I made it through my song… goober clumps be durned.  I know I had help from a higher power.  Standing on that stage, picturing the audience wearing a clown shoe on their heads (I had to banish picturing the audience nekked YEARS ago… A.)  it’s not proper in any setting that doesn’t contain a pole and/or disc jockey… and b.)  Just EWW!), having worried the whole week, I felt a strength in voice I hadn’t felt the last 4 days.  Not my best voice… and definitely not under the circumstances I would have liked to have had… but a semi-clear voice nonetheless.  Prayer is powerful… I’m not preaching… I’m just saying.  I can find no other reason for my tiny miracle.

Question of the Day:  Do you have a “trick” for calming the nerves in front of an audience?  I might need to steal it!

 

 

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