Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Are solar panels in my future?

I have recently learned that the restrictions against solar panels in my subdivision have been removed. I also learned that Reliant (our electricity provider) has a solar panel leasing program. Also, they will purchase any surplus energy produced. We have the perfect south facing roof for solar panels. Tomorrow I will call and see if this may work out.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

I went to see this fully anticipating loving it...but I didn't.  Of course, Maggie Smith is a world treasure and Judy Densch is marvelous but the movie was trite and cheap and didn't hold together.  I felt like every aspect of this film was obligatory--the obligatory gay man, the obligatory death of one of the characters, the obligatory star-crossed young love, the obligatory husband-wife antagonism, and the obligatory happy ending.  The premise could have been so interesting but they went the cheap, easy route. Too bad.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Goals for week ending Saturday, June 2, 2012

1. Follow ReadThe Bible In A Year Chronologically Plan
2. Exercise 6 days
3. Weight Watchers 26 PointsPlus per day
4. Decide on next quilt, purchase fabric if needed, begin cutting out pieces for the top. 
5. Get manicure reward for 15 lb. lost
6. Make cookies for Family Promise dessert
7. Cook 4 dinners
8. Reading
     Crazy Love by Francis Chan
     Grand Expectations by James Patterson
     The Little Big Things by Tom Peters

Memorial Day

This Memorial Day I am remembering my Father and his service in World War II. He was a Merchant Mariner. He made the North Atlantic run to supply the British when they stood alone against Nazi Germany. He also made at least one run to Mermansk to supply the Soviets with tanks. They sailed in convoys to minimize the risk of being torpedoed by submarines. At least once, ships in his convoy were hit by torpedoes and he rescued men in the water by going around in a lifeboat and pulling them out. He received a Presidential citation for heroism. I never knew any of this until after his death. He never said a word about it. They really were the greatest generation.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Our dear allies the Pakistanis

Maybe if we stop the drones and come home, they will free Dr. Afridi. It's worth a shot. No, we won't do it. The military industry won't allow it.

Who gets prosecuted?

This really puzzles me. Why is our government prosecuting Roger Clemens who is a jock but as far as I know has been unwilling to prosecute the Wall Street bankers who brought financial disaster on so many. Could it have something to do with the foxes being in charge of the hen house?

I don't give a fig about Roger and whatever he was injected with. But I would like to think that their is someone, somewhere who will keep the crooks out of my retirement accounts. Fat chance.

Reinstate Glass-Stegall.

Balzac & the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie

Balzac &the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie

This is a gentle tale set in the not so gentle time of Mao's Cultural Revolution. Two young city boys are sent to the hinterland for re-education by the peasants. They discover a hidden stash of forbidden Chinese translations of Western classics.  As they explore the forbidden world of literature, they discover the beauty of the Little Seamstress, adventure, and first love.  It is an easy read but one which stays with you. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cast of Characters by Max Lucado

Cast of Characters by Max Lucado

I loved this book!  Max Lucado picks quite a cast of Biblical characters and shows them in all their flawed humanity.  He adds the scenery and context and tells the story of God's overarching love and redemption.  Its irreverent and imminently human are surprised to find that they are right in the cross-hairs of God's attention, love, and joy.  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Weight Watchers

I lost 1 lb. last week.  Total weight lost 14.6 lb.  Weight 160. 30 lb to go.

JMM lost 2.5 lb. Weight 200 lb. 20 lb to go.

Last week's jicama and mango experiment was a resounding success.  I loved the crunchy almost sweet jicama and my mango smoothie was sooooo good.  This week I am trying adding raw cauliflower to my munchies tray. I think I've eaten cooked cauliflower but it was a long time ago and I can't remember if I liked it or not.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Today Matters by John Maxwell

This is without a doubt my all time favorite motivational book. Every chapter in it is full of inspiration toward leading a full and rewarding life. I've read it at least 10 times and every time I am inspired and uplifted. I'm just going to list the 12 chapter titles to give you the book in a nutshell or rather 12 nutshells.

1. Today's attirude gives me possibilities.
2. Today's priorities give me focus.
3. Today's health gives me strength.
4. Today's family gives me stability.
5. Today's thinking gives me an advantage.
6. Today's commitment gives me tenacity.
7. Today's finances give me options.
8. Today's faith gives me peace.
9. Today's relationships give me fullfillment.
10. Today's generosity gives me significance.
11. Today's values give me direction.
12. Today's growth gives me potential.

John Maxwell writes from a Christian perspective so it while the principles are applicable, the Christian perspective may not be in line with those of another faith.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Weight Watchers

Last week I lost 1.4 lb.; total lost 13.6 lb.; weight 161.    3.4 lb. more to meet my 10% goal. One day at a time, 26 points at a time.

I am finding that I am a volume eater---to feel satisfied, I need volume.  It can be a veggie tray, a bowl of fruit, or a bowl of popcorn. I don't like the WW food that they have for sale because 1.) It's ridiculously over priced 2.) For the points, I can make myself a much bigger volume of food. 3.) It's full of preservatives, artifical flavors & coloring, and other chemicals. No thanks. As Michael Pollan said "Eat real food, not too much." and that's so true.

This week I'm going to try jicama and mangos. Never eaten either one.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Today has been canceled. I got nothing done in between naps ( or during them either).

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

1 Year Anniversary

This is my first anniversary of retirement.  It has been a good year.  I had always wondered if I would be bored or lonely in retirement.  I am happy to say that I am much too busy to be bored and my church, family, quilting guild, and fellow rosarians give me just the right amount of social life.  I've enjoyed reading and with my iPad and Amazon's One Click, let's just say that there's always something wonderful to read!

The really truly very best thing about retirement is that there is no hurry, no pressure to get this or that done, so that I can rush on to the next thing that needs to be done.  For example, yesterday I needed to take my van in for a safety inspection sticker.  I settled in with my iPad to read and wait; it was done in 20 minutes but it wouldn't have bothered me if it had been an hour. Nice.

Do I miss the income? More money is always nice but we have more than enough.  So far we haven't really missed my income.  In January, 2013 JMM will start drawing his Social Security and in December, 2013 I will start drawing mine.  We will start drawing from our 403b accounts when JMM stops working or goes part time.

All in all, I am loving every day of retirement.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Goals for Week ending May 12, 2012

1. Continue Read the Bible Chronologically in a Year

2. Continue with Weight Watchers Points Plus Program

3. Exercise 6 days

4. Bind edges of baby quilt

5. Get information on Medical Bridges

6. Reading:
A. Today Matters by John Maxwell
B. Messenger of Truth (Maisie Dobbs #3) by Jacquelyn Winspear
C. Grand Expectations by James Patterson
D. Fra Angelico by John T. Spike

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sick Cat

I have 3 cats and fortunately all have been amazingly healthy considering the fact that all 3 simply saw a good thing and moved in.  We've had the usual expenses of yearly shots, one had a yeast infection in her ears, and once one had an infection but mostly they are healthy.  But my black cat, Lucky, has started peeing in the house and yesterday afternoon I saw him pee 4 times in 15 minutes.  So, suspecting a urinary tract infection, I took him in to the vet this morning.  I am waiting now for a diagnosis and to find out how much this will cost.  Pets are wonderful and I love them but they can be expensive.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Weight Watchers Thursday

This week I lost 0.4 lb; total lost 12.2 lb; weight 162.4 lb.  I've been rewarding myself for each 3 lb loss with a manicure so I get to book my treat!!  I think my 15 lb treat will be a facial or maybe a massage. The best reward, of course, is the improvement in my health but some new clothes comes in a close second.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Goals for the week ending Saturday, May 5

1. Follow ReadThe Bible In A Year Chronologically Plan 2. Exercise 6 days 3. Weight Watchers 26 PointsPlus per day 4. Finish quilting borders on baby quilt 5. Make May Soup of the Month--Eggplant Parmesan Soup 6. Reading 7. Follow housekeeping plan

The World as It Is by Chris Hedges

The World as It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress by Chris Hedges This book of essay is dedicated: "For my children, Thomas, Noelle, Konrad, and Marina, whose joy and laughter save me from despair and for whom I must alway hope" I was very glad to read this dedication because the book is very bleak. It's good that he does have some hope and relief from despair. I found myself alternately avidly shaking my head in agreement and slamming the book shut determining that he's just too negative and who needs more of that! The bottom line is that he uncompromisingly states the facts that our democracy is in jeopardy from our corporate purchased political system, to our state of perpetual war to feed the military-industrial complex, to our destruction of the natural environment which supports life on earth.  I'd love to be able to argue against him but I can't--he's right.   If you've ever wondered about the direction of our political system, wondered why we move from one war to the next to the next, or if we are totally insane to be destroying the life sustaining systems on earth, you'll want to read this book. You may want to double up on your anti-depressant medications though.