Friday, January 22, 2016

Pictures Disappeared!

I am sad to say that all the photos from my blog have disappeared!  From my research, it turns out to  be connected to my signing up for Google Plus.  I don't fully understand what happened except that all my Picasa photos are no longer on my blog.

I'm tempted to just delete this blog since I rarely add to it but I'm just not ready to do that yet.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

ADHD and Diet, Clean Eating

I've been seeing numerous mentions recently about the effect of diet on children with ADHD and it's causing me to rethink the effect that junk food has on adults as well.  The most startling statistic I read about ADHD stated:  America prescribes more than 80% of the stimulant medications for ADHD. 

I'll be honest, I love junk food, in fact a bag of chips and a candy bar are more appealing to me than most any pie or cake that I've eaten.  I've craved salt most of my life and now that I have blood pressure issues, chips are the exception for me.  When I do buy them for guests, I can devour what's left in the bag in one sitting.

Both of my adult children have adopted more healthy eating habits and that has also been on my mind lately.  There are so many factors involved when considering a major shift in diet.  Do I need to exclude gluten like some experts claim or is it enough to begin eating "clean" which seems to mean avoiding all processed foods.   I happily discovered on a Prevention website that clean eating doesn't require avoidance of all packaged products but it does require a close examination of labels.  I might be better off to avoid the packaged foods altogether but it helps to have some quick options available. I think most all of these packaged options will include gluten.  I tend to grab a freezer meal more often than I cook so this would be a major shift for me.  I did find a website, Skinny Mom's Kitchen, that has some great ideas for homemade freezer meals

Well for now, I have some research to do as I decide to focus on eating clean or go a bit further and go gluten free.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

We have started moving!

A few things have changed since my last post! The best news is the the appraisal has been completed and while we have not received an official report, my realtor called and said it "was a good appraisal and there were no repairs required!"  We are still scheduled to close on August 21st. (big smile here)

We picked out bedroom furniture and we now have a KING sized bed.  I am so excited about that!  We ordered a special gel-mattress that helps maintain  a constant temperature and I am very happy about that since I typically overheat during the night.

We also ordered living room and dining room furniture.  I was really nervous about this because I didn't know how it would look in the apartment because I don't visualize very well.  I loved it in the furniture store but like I said, I was very nervous up until it was delivered to the apartment.  I'm happy to say that it looks BEAUTIFUL!!  The shade of wood in the furniture even matches perfectly with the kitchen cabinets!

We changed our plans for the second bedroom.  We both have desks we want to keep and we need to keep one of our filing cabinets so we are turning that room into an office.  We plan to buy a sleeper sofa for when we have company.  I understand that they are really hard to move so we already know that we will have to leave it when we move but that's okay with us.

I LOVE THIS APARTMENT!!  I will post pictures very soon.  We still have boxes piled up and I don't have anything on the walls yet.  We will sleep here for the first time tomorrow night. (bigger smile)

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Moving can be an adventure!

We put our house on the market about four months ago and when we got an offer recently, I thought, "this is a good offer, we need to accept it!"

Dan had a different response - "Since we just put on completely new roof, we need to send back a counter-offer that put the price back to our original full asking price."  I could see why he thought that but I also realized that we would probably lose the sale.

Boy was I wrong - they accepted our counter-offer and we have now passed the inspection!  We are almost home free!!  We still have the appraisal to wait on before we can begin the final preparations for moving.

We already have an apartment assigned to us on campus nearby.  It's a an 1100 sq. feet, two bedrooms, two full baths, and it's a ground floor unit.  It's a brand new building, in fact it's scheduled to be ready by about August 15th.  The closing date for our house is August 21 and I have to admit that this is a bit close for my comfort.  I am hoping that our house closes a bit late so we have a little more breathing room.

I'm trying not to stress about this, after all this is an adventure - if the apartment is ready early, there won't be anything to worry about.  If not, there may be other options available that I'm not yet aware of.

I am very excited about moving.  I have wanted to downsize for several years now and I have been in the process of sorting through items and getting ready.  We have been packing for the last week and went furniture shopping yesterday.

We are buying new furniture!  I am excited and at the same time a little nervous.  I walked around for several hours looking at so many styles of furniture and had no idea what I really like.  Also, it's hard to picture how the furniture will look in an apartment I have never seen.  We do have a floor plan, but that doesn't really help me a lot as far as picking out the furniture.

We are getting a king bed for our room and a queen set for the guest room.  We'll still have an inflatable double mattress so that makes enough sleeping arrangements for the kids so they can still stay with us when they come to town.

Well, that's all for now.  I'll update in a few days when I know more.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Before and After ADHD

I've suspected that I had ADHD for many years.   From my perspective, my mind has been racing for many years and I found myself flitting like a butterfly from one project to another, while never finishing any of them.

When I was working, my office was filled with piles of partially completed projects.  When my office space increased, the number of piles multiplied.  I wanted to be different - I TRIED to be different but instead I continued along the same path.  I periodically made progress in some areas and fell behind in others.  It wasn't a matter of time, it was focus.  Often, I didn't have enough time, but even when I did, I didn't have enough focus.  Because I was a conscientious employee, I worked hard to do my job, mainly to meet the needs of my students.

Then came the arrival of high blood pressure medications!  A pleasant byproduct has been a lessening of my ADHD symptoms.  I find myself able to focus!!   Initially, my mind was slowed too much, keeping me from being able to accomplish anything.  I didn't like the feeling.  In fact, I wanted to stop taking the medication. 

After about three weeks, my mind began to clear and I have found that my focus is so much better.  ADHD is not about will power, it is about an inability to regulate focus.  I much prefer being able to focus even if my mind is occasionally foggy.  I am able to listen to a conversation without my mind racing due to every little distraction in my environment.  I am able to listen to a sermon without my mind racing due to every little distraction in my environment.  I HAVE FOCUS!!!  I know that it is difficult to choose just the right dose for BP medications (or ADHD) but I am staying with them.  They will keep me healthier in the long run and I like being able to focus :)

This experience has caused me to think a lot about children with ADHD.  It's helped me to understand what it's like in a more concrete way now that I have experienced the before and after.  It has not helped me know whether it's better to medicate a child.  There are so many issues involved with ADHD medication that I don't know about.  There are also many degrees of ADHD and every child is unique.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

So many ideas - so little time?

I have so many things I want to talk about but so few minutes of clarity.  THAT is my dilemma, clarity, not time.

It turns out that I have high blood pressure, and yes my children, it IS genetic so you need to be aware in a few decades.  The medications I am on are all low dose but they still cause me to feel drugged - confused, disoriented, overtired.  I have started feeling better within the last few days, sometimes for a few hours at a time, sometimes more.  I have confidence in my family doctor and I predict that within a few weeks I will be feeling better than I have in decades.  IMAGINE THAT - better than I have felt in decades!  That's longer than some of you have been adults!  It's an awesome thing to look forward to.

I have had lots of time to think but little energy for concentration and I keep hearing this little jingle in my head - "High Blood Pressure, the Silent Killer" that makes me so thankful for medications that can help.  I am also SO THANKFUL that I am otherwise healthy!

As my head clears, I have lots of thoughts to share.

Posts to come:

Budding Photographer
Mimi and Nanna Hit Birmingham
Spring Sing Visit
Selling our House

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas in Texas

Like I said in my last post, the best part of Christmas is spending it with family.  We got home from Birmingham on Friday and I was on a flight to Ft Worth at 8:00 Saturday morning because I didn't want to wait until Monday.  Dan had made a commitment to preach on Sunday so he drove down on Monday.

I was looking forward to time with the boys and I wanted to meet the girls that lived with Michael and Jennifer.  The girls had all left for family visits and would start coming back on Monday.

I have so many new things to tell that I almost don't where to start.  This was my first visit to their new home and WOW!!!  The house is huge and Jennifer has decorated it beautifully!!

The kitchen has two large refrigerators, two ovens, a giant icemaker, and a drinking fountain!  When I first saw the icemaker, I thought it was a trash compactor because it's about that size.

This is a picture of the kitchen with some Jennifer's family when they came over Christmas day.  I see Bennett's birthday balloon is still holding it's own near the ceiling.

 The picture above doesn't capture how long the counter is.  Check out the drinking fountain at the end of the counter:

I'll get back to the house later.   Doesn't Jasper look just like his daddy?

Bennett looks very much like his mommy :)

Talking Larry was a big hit with both boys just as it was with Rachel's boys.  I think of the four boys, Ethan and Jasper got the most joy from it.  I didn't have my big camera handy but I took a couple of photos with my phone.

Jasper's favorite thing to do was the "lightning" button.

I had a great day with the boys on Saturday.  They are both so affectionate and I received many hugs.  One of their favorite toys is a large train set with about 5-6 battery powered engines.  Michael helps them build a huge track and then the action begins.  We all had a station at the bridge or several of the switches to make sure none of the engines collide.  It was a lot of fun.

 Saturday evening we went to Jennifer's  grandmother's house to celebrate with her dad's side of the family.  I had already met his brother and sister and Jennifer's cousins.  We had a great chili and tamale dinner and dessert potluck.   I had a really nice time and they surprised me with gifts from Mike and Ellen and two other "Driggers".  Since I wasn't exactly sure who to thank for the other two gifts, I said,  "since everyone here is a Driggers, and these two gifts are from "The Driggers",  thank you very much".  It was so sweet of them and the gifts were so thoughtful.

Sunday morning was Christmas and we went to Jennifer's parents house for breakfast.  Stockings are first and the boys went right for them.  Michael's stocking had the cutest little finger lights!  The were fairly bright and each one fastened using velcro to his fingers.

I was again taken by surprise to find a gift filled stocking with my name on it!   The boys handed out all of the gifts and then everyone took turns opening presents.

Michael had replaced the counter top on the island in their kitchen for Jennifer's Christmas present.  He decided to wrap up a piece of the same piece of wood he had used for the counter for her to open on Christmas morning.

Bennett got an "Angry Bird" which he really liked.

Jasper wears daddy new hat and gets a ride.

After presents we went to church and then back to the cottage.  The boys went down for their naps and not long after,  Jennifer's moms side of the family came over to celebrate.  They all brought food, gifts, and a good time.  We exchanged gifts, played table games, ate, then went outside for kickball until dark.  I would say that a good time was had by all.

This room is one of the cottage living room areas.  It has a table set up for the potluck that day.  It is much larger than this picture shows.

This is another living room area which is also much larger than it looks in the picture.

This is a double table that looks like a very long table.  It's an open area with a counter space that separates it from the kitchen.

Jasper is delivering a gift to his great-grandparents.

Bennett is listening intently to something that his Uncle Joe is telling him.

Shortly after dark,  everyone left except Mike and Ellen.  They stayed and we played poker.  I learned a new game called Gut.  It's my new favorite poker game.

The next day, Dan arrived in the early afternoon.  The boys were both excited to see him.  I had gone with Michael to pick up Cheyenne at the bus station after her family visit.  Some of the girls are dropped off by their guardian and some are not.  We had fun with the boys for several hours and then we went out to eat at a place called Ghengis Grill.  It was great food and a fun place to eat.  The four of us played poker that night and introduced Dan to the game, Gut.

The next morning we met Michael and the boys for breakfast and then went back to the cottage.  Two more girls came back from their family visits that day.  The three girls we met are very sweet and I am very glad I got to meet them.  This was our last day with the boys.  As on previous days, we played with the trains a lot. We both got lots of hugs. :)  When it was their bedtime, we said our good-byes.

We spent our evening playing poker again.  I think Dan likes the new poker game as much as I do.

Christmas in Birmingham

The best part of Christmas is spending time with family and we drove to Birmingham for a few days for an early Christmas with Rachel, Marcus, and the kids.  It was a shorter stay than usual but I enjoyed every minute. 

We arrived in town about 1:30 PM and not long after we checked in to our hotel, Rachel brought the kids over for a swim.  The boys are amazing swimmers!  They are both able to swim on their own in the big pool as long as an adult is keeping an eye on them.  They both know how to dive but the pool is only about 5 feet at the deep end and doesn't allow diving.  Rachel and Dan enjoyed the hot tub while I enjoyed holding Lydia :).    Dan spent a lot of time playing in the big pool with the boys too.  I never actually got in the water this time :)  

Marcus was working so he met us afterward at Jason's Deli for dinner.   Jason's Deli has become of favorite of ours.  Caleb tasted Papa's toasted garlic bread and he loved it!  He kept saying, "I like this kind of bread" and asking for more.  We all enjoyed ourselves as usual.

We all went back to their house for our Christmas Eve.  Rachel had all the kids dressed in matching pajamas.  For some reason, I only got a picture of Ethan.  I wish I had photographed all three of them because they looked adorable.

That evening, we all watched a video together.  It was a Veggie Tale about the origins of Santa Claus and the spirit of giving which the kids loved.  The kids were already ready for bed and very excited because the next morning was their Christmas.  I don't remember who asked Caleb if he was hoping to see Santa Claus but this was his response:  "I don't just want to see Santa Claus, I want to see him in his sleigh flying through the sky".  The kids went to bed and we had our traditional game of poker.  For the first time that I can remember, I came out ahead.  I always enjoy poker, win or lose but it was fun to win!

The next morning was so much fun watching the kids open their presents.  The boys handed out presents to everyone and took turns opening presents.  Ethan loves costumes and had been hoping for western boots for months.

Caleb was hoping for a Discovery toys marble maze.   He also got a beginner Erector Set.  I'll be interested to see how he likes it after he tries it out.  They were my favorite thing to play with as a kid.

I discovered after looking back over my photos that I didn't get as many of Lydia as I'd hoped.  I guess that's because I spent more time holding and playing with her than using my camera.

After we had our Christmas, Marcus had to go to work.  We spent the day playing with kids and I took a few more pictures.   Rachel took the boys to the hotel again to swim with Papa.  I stayed at the house with Lydia :)

That evening, Rachel got a sitter for the kids and the adults went to a fantastic restaurant  I had never eaten French food before.  I ordered a fish entree and it was delicious!  When it came time for dessert, Dan and Marcus declined so Rachel and I split one.  I don't remember what it was called but it had chocolate and raspberries and was a very light but rich dessert.  Our server brought four spoons and between the four of us, it quickly disappeared.

We had to head home the next day so this was our only full day there.  We were all pretty tired so Dan and I headed back to our hotel.  We made plans to return in the morning to play with the kids for a few hours before heading home.  

I'm so happy that I will be able to visit more often.  My next visit will be in March :)