Monday, March 31, 2014

#84: ABC's & 123's [101 in 1001]

On my list of 101 in 1001 items, number 84 was to complete an A-Z blog challenge.  "What is this challenge?" you say.  The way it works is each day in April, except Sundays, I will post a blog entry beginning with each letter of the English alphabet.  I've decided to go with a theme for these entries:  Recovery Nouns.  These are persons (heroes), places, and things that mean something to my recovery and health journey.  I hope you'll enjoy this challenge with me.

Are you ready?  Start here with letter A.

Friday, March 28, 2014

My Recovery Story: An Audio Blog


Tonight, I shared my story with the Jacksonville, Alabama Celebrate Recovery.  I would like to share with you: 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/29899706/CR%20Testimony%202014.mp3

It may take a few minutes to load, so please be patient.  I hope it blesses you. 

Love,

Auntie

Five Minute Friday: "Mighty"

Thanks to Lisa-Jo Baker at Five Minute Friday for the prompts.
 

GO!

Isaiah 9:6 - For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
 

The word "mighty" conjures up many images:
  • Of course, the mightiest of all, God Almighty.
  • The mighty men of valor spoken of in the Old Testament.
  • The mighty women of God like Deborah and Priscilla in the Scriptures.
  • Mighty heroes of strength like superman.
  • Mighty heroes of innovation like Batman and the Family Channel's version of Zorro from the late 80's/early 90's.
  • Strong Amazon heroines like Wonder Woman and Xena.
But what has might to do with me?  I would like my body to be mighty, svelte, and strong.  I would like to keep a keen mind and sharp mighty wit.  I'd like my spirit to stay strong in the Lord.
 
Right now, my only might is at the end of a keyboard.  The use of mighty words has also won many a battle.
 
TIME'S UP!
 
 
 
 


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Turning Green: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge questions.


March is known as the windy month. Which of the following phrases best fits your March so far...'throw caution to the wind', 'three sheets to the wind', 'run like the wind', or 'see which way the wind blows'?
None of those really apply. 
Your favorite green food? Your favorite dish made with your favorite green food?
Spinach.  I love to make salads with it.  I cook it with other veggies and use it as a filling for omelets.
Ever been locked out of your home-car-office-anywhere? Do tell!
Nope.
Yoda, Kermit, Shrek, The Wicked Witch of the West, Oscar the Grouch, The Grinch, or Mike Wasowski (Monsters Inc.)...of the green characters listed, which one's your favorite and why?
I've always liked Kermit the Frog.  When I was a child, I loved to see him and the rest of the Muppets on Sesame Street.  I'm a grown up who wants The Muppet Show on DVD to watch and laugh all over again.  And of course, the many Muppets movies make me like Kermit even more.  I still think he could have done better than Miss Piggy, but that's just my opinion.
"The first task of a leader is to keep hope alive."~ Joe Batten Do you agree? Why or why not?
Oh, I wholeheartedly agree.  The worst leaders are those who work hard to kill hope and are threatened by other's creativity.  Those organizations may make a little money or have mediocre results, but they do not grow, and their staffs have high turnover rates.  Been there, seen that.
Share a favorite song with an emotion in it's title.

The Happy Song

Sad Songs Say So Much.

What's a road trip you'd like to take?
Of course, taking a trip on the interstate (freeway, motorway) without crapping my pants tops my list.  I would like to take a cross country driving tour of the US.  I'm an American citizen, but haven't seen much of my country (or state for that matter).  I would also like to go on one of those European cycling tours once I've built up my distance riding.
Insert your own random thought here.
I'm waiting to hear from a job interview I did last week.  The waiting is grating my nerves.  I'm taking all this nervous energy and doing some rearranging and spring cleaning of my living quarters.  They need to hurry up and call before I run out of stuff to do.  :)
UPDATE:  I just got a letter a few hours after I posted this informing me that I didn't get the job I interviewed for.  Now, I really AM turning green...and red!   #@*&!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Letter to My Running Shoes

Dear New Balance 630v2's,

Thank you so much for being my first official pair of running shoes.  The day I took you off the shelf at Martin's and tried you on was the real beginning of my running career.  I'd only run one race before I found you.  You took me through my first color run, my first 5k in the rain, my best race and my worst race of 2013.  I remember the day I laced you up and took an inaugural stroll on the Chief Ladiga Trail.  You fit like a glove...or sock...and I felt like I was walking on pillows.  I could have run for miles...if only the rest of my body had felt like my feet did.

I was so hoping that you would take me into 2014, but sadly, I have to let you go.  Alas, I've run you so hard this past eleven months that the left shoe has traded it's fluffy softness for the consistency of a cinder block.  However, all is not lost, my sweet hot pink and gray lovelies.  You shall not be forgotten and relegated to a closet or dumpster.  You shall live on as my new bicycling shoes.  You shall not be retired; you shall now be REFIRED.

Rock on, shoes!  Rock on!

Signed, Your Faithful Friend

Auntie

PS.  Play nice with your replacement when I leave y'all alone in the closet.  Don't make me come in there!
 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Five Minute Friday: "Joy"

Thanks to Lisa-Jo Baker at Five Minute Friday for the prompts.
 
 
GO!
 
"...the joy of the Lord is your strength."  - Nehemiah 8:10
 
"Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.  13Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee." - Psalm 51:12-13
 
Hmm...what are the things that bring me joy?  Playing and hearing music, great comedy, a job well done, reaching a goal, the laughter of children...well, the laughter of anyone for that matter, especially if I'm bringing the humor.  My relationship with the Lord brings joyous strength to make it through the day.
 
Though my circumstances haven't really changed all the much over the past month (but there is hope), this has been the most joyous month I've had in a long time.  Changes I've allowed God to make in my life, plus the changing seasons, have done much to bring on more of the positive.  I am very thankful to God and to the people He has put in my life who truly care and are pleased when I am joyous, rather than threatened by it.
 
Several songs came to mind when I saw the prompt (of course):
 
 
If there are any kids around you right now, I double dog DARE you to dance with them to this song.
 
 
 
A classic from Carman.
 
 
 
One of my favorite "get happy" songs.
 
 
TIMES UP!



Thursday, March 20, 2014

#59 Empty Shelf Challenge 01 [101 in 1001]


Writer Jon Acuff posted a challenge on his blog late last year to encourage more reading.  He said to empty a shelf in your home and fill it through the year with all the books you read.  I love to read, but saw myself slacking off too much, so I added the challenge as part of my 101 in 1001 list and I have finished my first book. 

Book: Boundaries for Leaders.

Author: Dr. Henry Cloud

Info: Copyright 2013 Harper Collins Publishers

Where acquired: Actually, it was gift from the author.  Thanks, Dr. Cloud

Availability: Most bookstores. Dr. Cloud's website (www.drcloud.com), and of course Amazon.com

Why:  Though they've been highly recommended by several of my friends in recovery, I've never had the opportunity to read any of the Boundaries books.  Because of an exchange over Twitter, Dr. Cloud generously mailed me a complementary copy of the book.  I'd also heard Dr. Cloud speak at the Celebrate Recovery Summits I attended and found his teachings sound and not full of psychobabble and hyperbole.  I've also been told that I show leadership potential (hopefully THAT wasn't hyperbole), so I try to read any good books that would help me be a good leader if the chance arises.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags):  # # # # (had to go to hashtags because everyone's browser doesn't correctly render the smileys I was using.)

What it's about:  The foremost authority on leadership, Dr. John C. Maxwell, defines leadership as simply influence.  Dr. Cloud takes the definition even further with saying that a good leader is "ridiculously in charge."  However, that brand of leadership does not mean a leader who lords his position over those he leads.  Nor does it mean that a "ridiculously in charge" leader is one who is never wrong and never needs the feedback or accountability of others, including those under his influence.  In fact, the content of this book goes quite the opposite of "old school" leadership that says, "remind them of their place and make sure they keep it."  In other words, this book is designed not to teach leaders how to be more over their followers, but how to lead beside their teams. 

What I Like:

The author asked a lot of thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter.  My pondering and writing down my answers and discussing them with my mentor are why it took me so long to finish this book (among other things).  The concept is that boundaries are what you create and what you allow, but it's much more complex than that.  Dr. Cloud goes into the inner workings of why the mind sometimes allows things that aren't healthy and creates either unreasonable boundaries that keep people at arms length, or too flimsy a boundary that allows life and people to just happen.  I learned so much about why goals in my life failed and why I try too hard to protect my heart from pain.  I have gotten many answers through this book.  It has also brought up even more questions for me to discover the answers to.  I also appreciate the fact that the book doesn't just instruct on leading others; it makes it clear that in order to be an effective leader of others, one must be an effective leader of self.

What I didn’t like: 

To me, the first two chapters dragged a bit.  I think the problem is not with the book itself, but that I am not a CEO, so many of the business concepts mentioned in those chapters are totally foreign to me.

Other misunderstandings caused me to nearly put the book down.  As I wrote in my notes:
At first, the book sounded like it was promoting the "yes man" mentality:  "Boss is always right, underlings are always wrong.  Leave your creativity and innovation at the door, along with your humanity.  It's not welcome here." I'd already been through that and I was in no way interested in being a leader like that, much less working with another one like that.
But, the author makes it clear that executive function is not "dog training," as he puts it.  Executive function is a means to draw out innovation and creativity by keeping an organization focused and the momentum of the people moving constantly forward.
Many of my difficulties were not with the book itself, but my interpretation of what was being said.

To sum up: My main takeaway from the book was this:
I am ridiculously in charge of my life.  No one has the right to dictate my life except for God Almighty.  In the end HE will be the One I answer to for how I spend the time He gave me, no one else.
Want to join the challenge?  Click the empty shelf photo on the right to learn more.  It's not too late!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring in My Step: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge questions.


Thursday marks the first day of spring...to celebrate would you rather plant a garden or go for a walk in the woods? Would either of those activities be possible on Thursday where you live?
Actually, I would rather do both.  Planting a new garden at my place isn't possible, but sprucing up the perennial beds and putting spring annuals in the containers is possible.  Taking a walk in the woods isn't an option either, but taking a unhurried stroll on the bike trail is definitely a "go."  The weather is supposed to be perfect, so if all goes according to plan, I shall head outside for most of Thursday.
When did someone last spring something on you? (or when did you last spring something on someone?)
My mother just sprang an early morning doctor's appointment for tomorrow on me.
We often think of spring as a time for new beginnings. What's something you'd like to start doing this spring?
WORKING!
Where do you like to sit in a movie theatre? When did you last sit there, and what were you watching?
I like to sit in the back.  The screen is large and easy to see, plus in the back, the sound isn't too loud.  The last time I sat in the theater was last year to see Home Run.
When you meet someone for the very first time, what do you want them to think about you?
I want them to know that I am friendly.  I want them to feel comfortable around me.  I want them to be glad that they met me.  I want God's love to shine through me.
March is frozen food month (yes, really!). Besides ice cream (gotta make you think a little) what's your most often purchased frozen food item?
Frozen chicken breasts.
What's something you avoid?
I avoid conflict and other people's bad feelings.  I avoid asking people for help as much as possible.  I try to avoid reckless, angry drivers on the road.  I avoid other people's whining children so that I will mind my own business.  I avoid Wal-Mart on "maw-maw and paw-paw's day," which is around the first of the month.
Insert your own random thought here.

Finished this lap throw last week.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Working on it: The Simple Woman's Daybook

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today:  Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Outside my window … A cloudy cool morning with promises of a pretty day.
 
Praising God for…  The prospect of employment.  I had a job interview yesterday.  I should know by next week if I was chosen.
 
In prayer for...  Getting this job.  Favor.  Friends in pain.  My health.  Also praying for those who don't know Him; that's God's goodness will continue to draw them to repentance (Romans 2:4).

I am thinking...
about new prospects.  I'm thinking about something a friend said to me this weekend.  I was hesitant about asking for help with my purchases at the church yard sale.  He said, "Quit being so prideful and ask people for help."  What a turnaround from 20 years ago when I was chastised for being too clingy and inadvertently using people--chastisement I deserved.  Having to be ridiculously independent out of sheer terror of hurting more people has made me just a little edgy.  Anyway, I'm thinking about how to find a balance.  There are things that I cannot do by myself and that I don't know how to do at all, so asking for help is necessary.  But, that fear niggles in the back of my mind and I balk.

I am thankful...
for creativity, for the quickly coming spring weather, for ever improving health and strength.
 
In the kitchen...  I need to thoroughly clean my kitchen before I cook anything else.  My whole apartment is starting to look like an okra patch.  This may be one of those things I need help with.  The winter depression and various body shutdowns have gotten me so behind on housework.  With the distinct possibility of going back to work VERY soon, I'm in a tizzy to get my place back to the sparkling sanctuary it was before.

I am wearing... Black pants, red Sav-A-Life t-shirt.

I am creating...
 Crochet projects, getting ready to set up for a new painting, also pondering over my writing project.
 
I am going... To volunteer at Sav-A-Life this morning, picking up prescriptions and renewing my driver's license this afternoon, then hopefully to the Ladiga Trail for a ride.  I'm finally going to head back to community band tonight and hopefully a walk at the community center after practice.  If I'm not wiped out, I want to make some headway on cleaning.
 
I am wondering... why every stinking medication has the potential of "causing drowsiness." 

I am reading...
 I have less than 10 pages left to finish the book Boundaries for Leaders by Dr. Henry Cloud, then I will start the book Nutrition for Dummies.

I am hoping...
that I get this job.

I am looking forward to...
Easter and celebrating the resurrection of the Savior.
 
I am learning
… that I can do a lot with a little if I just focus.

Around the house...
cleaning, as stated above.
 
I am pondering...  not really a deep pondering, but just thinking about babies.  I love babies and they love me.  As long as there are babies, Auntie will always be loved.  I'm also pondering the joy of what it will be like to have meaningful work again.  I am so looking forward to it.  If it's not this job I interviewed for, it will be a better one.
 
A favorite quote for today...

"There is a fine line between healthy sarcasm and being a jackass.  DON'T CROSS THE LINE." - Me

"Even if you look good-because women at 40, 50, 60 are working out and y'all look good-but you can't wear the pants that say 'Juicy."  Stop that!"  - Sinbad, Comedian

One of my favorite things... Social media.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Choir practice Wednesday, stitch night Thursday, Celebrate Recovery on Friday, and any other mischief I can get into the rest of the week mixed in with as many bike rides and walks as I can squeeze in.

A peek into my day... 


I've been playing this song over and over for about a month now.  It's an oldie, but a goodie.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Auntie vs. the Bicycle: Round 4

I've been trying some new things with my cycling workouts.  I mentioned in an earlier post about trying a very good online spinning workout.  I even tried a ride at the Henry Farm trail with my friends Carmine and Susan.  Stupid me thought is was just another paved offshoot of the Ladiga Trail.  It's not; it's a mountain bike trail full of hills, rocks, and trees with their accompanying tree stumps.  After losing my water bottle, nearly hitting a tree (more than once), almost breaking the handlebars off the bike, and falling more distance than I was riding, I decided to put this on the "not again" list.  Carmine kept encouraging me, saying it was because of my bike (in the process I finished warping my back tire--a fact I didn't notice until months later).  I keep telling him that he could put me on the most expensive high-end mountain bike and I would still suck at the trail.  Susan kept telling him to get me off the trail before he killed me.  Oh well, the fun with my friends was worth the failure.

If you've been keeping up with my previous cycling/spinning adventures, you'll remember in Round 3, my friend Tamara and I started riding the Ladiga Trail whenever her schedule allowed.  Therein is the problem.  Tamara is a very busy wife and mom who home-schools her son, and travels frequently with her husband's job.  Because she was the one with the bike hitch (and later a bike I could borrow that didn't have a wobbly back wheel from aforementioned trip to Henry Farm), my rides have been at the mercy of her availability.

Anyone who knows me well recognizes that I do not like being too dependent on other people.  I don't want to be too clingy or inadvertently use people like I did in my 20's.  Fear of that happening again made me really antsy to find a bike hitch that fits my car and a bike without a warped wheel.  In my search for a hitch, the guy from one of our local bike shops said he might have one that fit a Honda Accord...for around $150!  This is the same guy who tried to sell me a $55 stationary trainer for over $300.  No thank you.  I found one online, but was hesitant to order it due to ever-tightening budget constraints.  So I just prayed about it and waited.

Cut to this weekend at the annual Honduras Medical Missions Trip yard/rummage sale fundraiser at my church.  Friday, I went by and looked around for a bargain.  I saw a treadmill, but the price was little more than I could spend.  One of the guys from CR told me to come back on Saturday because everything would be half price.  Sounded good to me.  I went back Saturday...and the treadmill was GONE!  Oh well.  So, I looked around for something else.  I found a bicycle that looked to be in pretty good shape.  The tires were flat, but they were also brand new (they still had the little rubber nubs on the sides).  It was only a few dollars, so I took a chance.  In the process of arranging for someone to bring the bike to my place, one of the guys told me that there was a universal bike carrier for sale.  WHAT?!  So I bought it and the guys attached it to the trunk of my car.  It fit just fine.  Well ain't that God at work?

After a little tweaking to the bike (switching out the 'naner seat that felt like my taint was slamming against a plank, with the seat from "wobbly," and raising the handlebars so I don't have steer with my knees) I hooked her up and planned for a Sunday evening ride.

It was so freeing to go out to the trail without having to wait on anyone and without them having to wait for me to catch up with them.  For safety, I check in and out with my friends through social media or texts.  I have several local friends who would rescue me (or bail me out of jail if I had to jack up someone for bothering me on trail).  I rode a leisurely 4.5 miles to try it out and it was glorious.  I also snapped a few pictures and saw some nice stopping spots what will be gorgeous once the spring blooms pop out.  I can't wait to get out there again, but right now, it's raining.

Auntie 4;  Bicycle 0


Friday, March 14, 2014

Five Minute Friday: "Crowd"

Thanks to Lisa-Jo Baker at Five Minute Friday for the prompts.
 
 
 
GO!
 
Crowds can be wonderful.  A big crowd at a fun event like a concert just intensifies the excitement.  Crowds can also be a pain in the butt.  A large crowd of angry shoppers keeps me away from the stores at certain times of the year (and month).  Leading a crowd in worship or speaking to a crowd is exhilarating to me because in that element, I feel that I am truly doing God's will.
 
I've never understood the phenomenon of being lonely in a crowd, yet there are times when I feel just like that.  I can't explain it; I can only fight the feeling or go home. 
 
I look at crowds of people sometimes and think, I wonder what's their story?  I wonder do they know Him.  I wonder what kind of pain they are hiding and will I ever get the opportunity to help.
 
It's amazing how there are hosts of humans on this planet, yet we are all unique and special to God as individuals.  We're not just one of the swarm of humans.  We are one in seven billion--the apple of God's eye!
 
TIMES UP!
 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Luck of the Scottish: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge questions.


Do you have an interest in learning about your family's heritage? Why or why not? If you know a little bit about your roots, share an interesting piece of trivia or a fun fact about someone who goes way back on your family tree.
Honey, I'm some of everything!  I know a good bit about my mom's side of the family, but not my dad's side.  He never knew his father, and his mother died when he was young.  I have a friend who loves to research ancestries and found record of my grandfather, Lawson Maddox, but nothing more.  I don't know where he was from or what his ethnicity was.  I know I have, of course, African American, roots, but also Native American ones.  However, there's no accounting for where my yellow/bronze skin tones or dark blue eyes come from.  I'm of the firm belief that there's some Scottish in me somewhere.  Alba Gu Brath, y'all!
Branch Rickey, the baseball exec credited with signing Jackie Robinson, is quoted as saying- "Luck is the residue of design." Agree or disagree? Why?
I don't believe in luck.  I think it takes hard work to be truly successful in life.  Rush Limbaugh said "There's no such thing as luck. Luck is preparation that meets up with opportunity."  I believe that to be true.
In the town where you currently reside, what's your favorite green space?
The bank...no, not yet.  :)  The Chief Ladiga Trail.  There are so many different tableaux of beauty along the trail (pictures below).  The Jacksonville Garden Club is doing a wonderful job of planting trees and flowers along the trail.  It get better looking the closer we get to spring.  Now, if people would stop letting their Great Danes drop a deuce on the trail, it would be great. 
Who is your favorite comedian?
Aw man, that's a toughie.  Y'all know how much I love to laugh.  So, in pure Auntie fashion, I'll have to list them in categories.
  • Favorite classic comedian:  Bill Cosby.
  • Favorite clean comedian:  Sinbad
  • Favorite in-between clean and dirty comedian:  Any of the guys from the Blue Collar Comedy videos.
  • Favorite really not clean at all comedian:  Craig Ferguson and the late Richard Pryor
  • Favorite Christian comedian: Mike Warnke
  • Favorite comedian who happens to be a Christian:  Henry Cho
  • Favorite improve comedian:  Greg Proops and Jeff Davis
  • Favorite late night show host comedian:  Craig Ferguson
  • Favorite musical comedian:  Weird Al Yankovic and Wayne Brady

March is National Nutrition Month, and almost everyone needs to improve their diet in some way.  What about you? How can you improve your nutrition on a daily basis? Will you try?
I've been working on it for a while.  My goal is just to continue to make even better food choices every day.  I also want to keep trying new foods so that my meals don't get boring.
Which of these green expressions have you 'experienced' in recent weeks -green with envy, green thumb, green around the gills, or give the green light? Explain.
Hopefully, I'll put my green thumb to work this weekend.  It should be warm enough to clean out the flower beds and get the containers ready for annuals.  Ever since my vegan experience, I've been green around the gills.  Sorry to keep harping on this, but it was so traumatic to my body that I was ill.  Unfortunately, I've been fighting the temptation to be green with envy.  Several of my classmates are posting pictures from high school with all their friends and good times.  Makes me think of a story by Louisa May Alcott about a little girl watching her adoptive family have "good times and she not in them."  If it weren't for marching band, I wouldn't have any really good high school memories.  It's just frustrating, that's all.  Green light?  Well, I've been working hard at finding a job, so hopefully someone will give me the green light to start working for them soon.
Where is one place you don't mind waiting?
I don't mind waiting a reasonable amount of time in most places.  My frustration comes when I have to wait a ridiculous amount of time.  The worst is the doctor's office.  Sorry, but several hours is too long.  I also don't like to wait with a group of impatient people or drive near people who honk if you take a breath before going under the green light.  Geez!
Insert your own random thought here.
 
Some of my pictures from the Chief Ladiga Trail.
 


 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Five Minute Friday: "Willing"

Thanks to Lisa-Jo Baker at Five Minute Friday for the prompts.
 
 
 
 
GO!
 
If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
Isaiah 1:19
 
I've been thinking a lot lately about what I'm willing to do to get and stay healthy.  What things am I willing to embrace about my character or about my situation?  What am I not willing to embrace? 
 
One thing I know I have to embrace is this:  My self worth is based on what God says about me in His Word.  No question there.  However, my worth to others is based on what I do, not who I am.  So I better get busy doing. 
 
I have fought this for years; trying to reverse the trend, but I have not succeeded.  So, I will have to embrace that part of my life, and be willing to suffer the consequences if I say no, or do things that don't please everyone.  It's insane to be willing to continue to live a life where everyone else is happy, but neither God nor I am pleased.  So, what to do to battle such a conundrum?  I'm not sure, but I have to be willing to suck it up and suffer the consequences of it.
 
Another thought that came to mind was the song "Ready, Willing, and Able" by Petra (see link below).
 
There are still things about my life and my character that I am not willing to embrace or be open about.  I think that is for the best.
 
TIME'S UP!
 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Awesome Sauce: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge questions.


The expression 'mad as a March hare' originated with a fictional character who is distracted and frantic. When were you last 'mad as a March hare' and what was it that made you that way?
In the South, the expression is "mad as a wet hen."  The last time I was that angry was Valentine's Day.  It was my grandniece Raven's 3rd birthday and I couldn't do anything for her, random keys on my laptop keyboard stopped working, plus, it was Valentine's Day--or as some of us call it "Singles Awareness Day."  That's enough to hack anyone off.  I stayed off the net and didn't leave the house that day until it was time for Celebrate Recovery.
Mardi Gras this year falls on Tuesday, March 4th. Have you ever been to Mardi Gras, and if so what did you think? If not, do you have any interest in going?  Purple, green, and gold are the colors of Mardi Gras. Which one is most prevalent in your wardrobe? How about in your home?
Nope, never been, but it sounds like so much fun.  Of the three colors, purple is the most prevalent in my wardrobe.  I have yellow/bronze tones in my skin, so I don't look good in most yellows or greens.  I don't really have a decorative style or color scheme for my living quarters, so there's no dominant color or anything like that.
Are you old fashioned?
Most definitely.  I like hanging out my laundry in the warm weather, sending/receiving letters in snail mail, manners, those papery-blog things called books, and handwritten notes...among other things.
Do you carefully plan your vacations, or do you prefer the days to be more spontaneous?
As I've said here and here, I've not travelled much, and when I did, it wasn't really a vacation.  When I am able to take real vacations, I would like them to be "planned spontaneity."  In other words, I'd have specific plans for where I will be on what day, but also be willing to have a spontaneous adventure when I get there.
March is National Sauce Month...what's your favorite sauce, and what do you most often top with this sauce?
Salsa.  I put salsa on my eggs or omelets, on chicken, mix it with sour cream for a dip, and mix it with mashed avocado for the easiest guacamole ever.  Runner ups are gravy, marinara sauce, and ketchup.
What's something that easily brings a tear to your eye?
Cutting onions.  Just kidding...well, actually it does.  Births, deaths, baptisms, glorious unbridled worship, surprises, and good movies with happy endings.  I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of right now.
If you could own any sports team, which one would it be and why?
Well, you technically can't "own" a college team, but if I could, I'd own the University of Alabama football team.  Why?  I like to win and I like to make money.  If I could own a baseball team, I think I'd own the Atlanta Braves so I could fire everybody and start over again.  I watched the Braves go from "worst to first" and back to worst again.  We haven't been first since 1995.  They need to get it together.
Insert your own random thought here.
I am still reeling from my vegan experiment.  I've been eating and taking vitamins like crazy, but I am still not up to full strength yet.  I was going to go walking today, and my body still wasn't going for it.  Hopefully tomorrow will be the day my body remembers how to act.  I've apologized to it over and over for nearly starving it to death.  By the way, I didn't lose any weight during that week, I actually gained because my body went into starvation mode and held on to everything it could.  I have made a royal mess of myself.  I was supposed to run a 5k this weekend, but it's not going to happen.  I couldn't train from by bed.  Never again...NEVER!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

#97 - Eat Mor Chikin'...PLEASE! [101 in 1001]

I've heard a lot about vegan diets and how beneficial they are supposed to be to the body.  In all honesty, I'd probably make a better vegetarian than vegan.  I can go without meat a lot longer than I can go without eggs, dairy, or other animal products.  But, I thought I'd try it for a week and see how it goes.

The Good

For starters, eating fruits, vegetables, and nuts isn't new to me.  They are already an integral part of my diet.  The first couple of days were tough, but good.  Do you know how hard it is for a Southern girl not to put butter on her grits or not eat any chicken?  Eating cleaner is always a good thing.

The Bad

"What do we want?  VEGETABLES!
When do we want them?  ALL THE
'OOH LA-LA' TIME!"
I spent most the week on the couch or in bed.  I had absolutely no energy and started getting dizzy, cold, and achy.  I only got in one workout, and it wasn't pretty.  I don't mean just a little lethargic; I was as weak as lukewarm dishwater.  Now, I need to insert a caveat here.  My system can't tolerate much soy.  For example, soy milk does to me what regular milk does to the lactose intolerant.  Therefore, I couldn't incorporate any tofu, soy cheese or other such products into this experiment.  I'm not sure if soy products would have made any difference, but my body was screaming for iron and my muscles were protesting for lack of significant protein by the end of the week.  Also, my doctor made some changes to my medication and that didn't help matters either.

The Ugly

I find it funny that people will take vegetables and form them into the shape of meat, but no one's ever taken meat and tried to market it in the shape of a vegetable. "Hey, look at this carnivorous broccoli! It's made out of bacon!" - Me
 
 
When I went shopping for my vegan week, I noticed that my local Wal-Mart had a tiny section of vegetarian products in the freezer section.  I like hamburgers, so I thought I'd try a veggie burger.  To be fair, they didn't taste too bad.  However, the ingredients left a lot to be desired.  Things like textured vegetable protein, modified tapioca starch, disodium glutamate, cellulose, soy lectin, egg whites (egg whites?  I thought this was a veggie burger.) were listed.  OK, maybe I'm a simpleton, but shouldn't a veggie burger have veggies in it?   Even the "textured vegetable protein's" ingredients didn't contain a single vegetable (wheat gluten, soy protein, and water).  This isn't a complete listing.  These veggie burgers had more chemicals listed than a Coca Cola.  I think the vegans and vegetarians are being duped into buying this crap. 
 
The Conclusion
 
If you can/must eat vegan, I say God bless you, but it is definitely not for me.  It's going to take days for me to recover from this experiment.  Pass the chicken, please.