Onward and downward – Lightening up!

light body2I’ve been working my way into new ways of living, always doing my best, always learning, and always hopeful that I can do it this time.  Actually, I’ve mostly resisted and avoided making any commitments to change my body size and shape, for deadly fear of failure – again.

This time, I always say, it will be different.  AND, THIS TIME, it feels that way.  Different.  Having worked my way into a few habits that sustain me better, I was finally able to commit to a real “live-it” program that I hope to sustain for the rest of my days in this body.  I’m noticing, that at 62, 63 soon, 73 sooner than I can imagine, I won’t have the energy to push this mush around if I don’t let go of some of it.

A fellow quilter in my quilting group did this last year, and has released 80 pounds in a year.  She looks fabulous!  She feels fabulous!  She wears a size “Small” in Aloha Wear.  That stuff runs small, so that’s amazing!  She’s going to a wedding for one of her sons soon, and will show up in her new image, with them unaware of what she has done this year.  Won’t THAT be fun?

Slow by slow, I have been working my way into new habits.

How could you lose?

How could you lose?


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One that has helped IMMENSELY is a daily dose (night and morning) of a heaping teaspoon each of diatomaceous earth and tumeric in a large glass of water, chugged till it’s gone.  I have now taken to adding a heaping teaspoon of Vitamin C with Cal/Mag and from time to time, a teaspoon of Himalayan salt sole as well.  DE is 95% silica, which works wonders for joints and muscle pain, as well as eliminating candida and any other unwanted guests from the gastronomy section of the temple.  The Hawaiians extol the virtues of “olena”, and take it daily.  I have come to follow suit.  I have already used up my first canister of DE, and am going to buy another today.

I am blessed to have a weekly visit with my beloved Alvita Soleil, Doctor of Oriental Medicine, and she keeps me balanced with not only acupuncture, but the vitamins and minerals, or whatever supplements she determines I need.  Bless her!  She’s the one who got me on the Vitamin D, and Vitamin C, Cal/Mag which I do believe helps as well.

And finally, with these practices well established, I set down my goals on a spreadsheet.  I used my tried and trusted formula for projecting my goal into this time next year, when I am determined to be shape-shifted to 135 pounds!  I keep the spreadsheet on the top corner of my computer, where I spend most of my time, and every time I eat, I post it on the sheet. I determined to start at 1800 calories, and so far, I have found that 1800 calories of healthy food is hard to consume in one day.  Now, add a slice of banana bread from Starbucks, and all bets are off, but as long as I am mindful, counting whatever I eat, nothing is off limits.

I did learn one thing new in this round of projections.  In the past, I have always multiplied the current weight by 15 to determine how many calories it takes to maintain that unwanted figure.  I learned that if you are sedentary, the number should be 13 and if more than moderately active, 18.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me expound on the formula.  It the ONE thing I have found that works for me, because I can put down in black and white, and have a scientific assurance that what I’m doing is working, and will work, even though I may hit plateaus, etc.

Multiply current weight by (13, 15, or 18) to find the number of calories it has taken to maintain that size.  

Subtract the number of calories you are willing to eat instead from that number.  This will give you the number of calories you are releasing in a day. (1800 is a good start, in imho).  Later, when I get closer to goal weight, I can go down to 1500 and later, in the very end, to 1200 for a few weeks, to finish up the goal.  Eventually, I will multiply my goal weight by my activity number to determine the number of calories needed to eat to maintain my goal.  In my case, 135 x 13 = 1755!  I can do that!  I’m not kidding myself that I will ever be more active, but you never know; my friend who released 80 pounds says she just FEELS like being more active, and now she is.  So, who knows?  135 x 15 =2025!  That leaves room for an occasional slice of banana bread from Starbucks.

Multiply that number by 7 (for a week’s worth)

and divide that number by 3500 (the number of calories in one pound) to determine the number of pounds you can project to lose in a week.  A good healthy range is 2 pounds per week.

I also took every imaginable measurement and recorded them all down in a column, which I also update every Wednesday.  I’m already seeing progress.

Having the projected chart with dates from now to one year from now is very helpful to me.  I can watch the progress.  AND, having written down everything I eat, I have proof in black and white that I’ve done my part – my body can do the rest.  If I skip a day, I simply pick up again – making a note as to why I skipped writing down my food.  Even if I totally cheat, everyday is a new day, and I can always choose again.

None of this takes into account any exercise, although once I feel more energetic, I will indeed include that in the plan.  Any benefits of that will be extra!  One thing I am excited about, and which my quilting friend discovered, is a gym at the hospital, which allows anyone to come and use for a very small monthly fee.  It’s clean and there’s someone there to show you how to use the machines, and jocks don’t seem know about it; it’s mostly old ladies like me, so it feels like a perfect fit for me to use when I’m ready.

To my knowledge, few people actually read my blogs, so I feel safe writing this here, but another thing I have done is not to talk about this too much.  Especially to people who want to tell me what to do, or give me their opinions as to how I should do it different, and then want to take credit or say “I told you so” when I have success.  (In the past) that derails me every time, so I know better now than to allow it.  AND, I’m not letting it derail me, either.

As I said, I’ve been working up to this for quite a while, and one thing that helped me in the journey was reading this book

Think Slim Be SlimWhich brings me to perhaps the most important aspect of my new program.  I am using all my tools to help me.  If anyone knows about this stuff, and has the tools to make it happen, that would be me.  I am not giving myself any more excuses for not using what I know.  YEARS ago, Carol Dawn gave me this book.   God knows there are enough of them on the market, but this is one that works for me.  Written by a UC Santa Barbara professor, as a class manual,  it’s a 21-day program to re-program your mind around size and shape.  Together with right/hand left/hand journaling and my favorite, most effective I’ve ever encountered self-help roto-rooter, Tapas Accupressure Technique, I am feeling confident that I can really do this this time.

As I said, I’ve been working up to this for quite a while, and one thing that helped me in the continuing Skinnyjourney was reading this book on my Kindle.  It’s the true story (the author’s, written as fiction about the teenage girl in the story) of a girl who lost weight by having surgery.  More and more people, even many teenagers, are taking this drastic and dangerous path, and I remember the whole time I was reading it, I was struck by how ultimately what she did was eat less and exercise, but only after she had a life-threatening reason to do so (as though being overweight isn’t life-threatening enough).  I am determined that I can do this without any drastic means, and that with the tools I have, my excuses are all drying up and blowing away.  In fact, the other day, as Alvita worked on me in a cranio-sacral type move, with her hands cupping my head, I had a lovely vision of her holding big old rocks in her hand, and under her hand, they turned into sand, and blew away!

Interestingly, as I do the work, I find that other blocks I have battled, like cleaning my room, and paying my bills, and keeping my “piling systems” in check are all connected to this chronic inability to take better care of myself and make more healthy choices.  They are all being swept away as I continue to journal and do TAT.

I may or may not keep you posted, as I don’t want this to be another pressure, but I’m confident that as I make this drastic change in my life, it will show up again.  Finally, finally, finally, I can hope to be able to move more freely through my world, and not be carrying around the past, glommed onto my body parts like flounders to a rock.  Gently, lovingly, with great gratitude, I am releasing those parts of me who have so long protected and insulated and shielded me from the world I perceived, back to the world I now enjoy.  Life is grand!  9 is the number of completion.  63=9  and 135=9.  It’s time!




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Crocodile Clouds, and Green Eggs & Potatoes

crocodile cloud I live a joyful life.  Check out this photo I got of a crocodile horizon.  It was better before I finally got pulled over and grabbed my camera.  He even has a gleaming eye…cool, eh?

 green eggs and potatoes 017 crocodile cloud and green eggs and potatoes 018 crocodile cloud and green eggs and potatoes 019 crocodile cloud and green eggs and potatoes 020This morning I tried another experiment with green eggs.  I’ve been blending my eggs with lots of spinach, and pouring them over my already sauteed onions and potatoes, and letting them steam till firm.  Not bad, really.  I topped them off with this amazing garlic/cilantro balsamic I found, which is more creamy balsamic than vinegar.  ooooohhhhh, myyyyy goooodness….delicious.

My friend Calley O’Neill taught me the concept.  She adds milk or almond milk to her eggs, but I just add straight eggs (2) and blend it with spinach.  Maybe a few drops of water to rinse out the blender and get all the mix in.

Although they were delicious, next time, I will not saute my potatoes and onions so long before adding the eggs, because they take some time to steam firm.  Really good for me!  That was a whole heaping hand-full of spinach.  Wonder how Dr. Seuss got HIS green eggs?

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Ta~DA! – Lily’s quilt is in the mail!

finished-butterfly3I live a joyful life!  Today I wrapped a half-quart mason jar of coconut oil spiced  with peppermint oil (mosquito repellant) in several layers of plastic, and tucked it into the middle of Lily’s new quilt, and popped it in the mail to North Dakota, where the kids are for their summer graduate program.

I’m sure I’ve told the story of Lily asking for a quilt of her very own, and my immediate response –I joyfully shopped for the fabric and finished it in about 3 weeks!  Isn’t that what Grandma’s do?  That’s what this one does, so far.

I was really happy to find this fabric that is Hawaiian flowers, but not the “typical” ones.   Pretty, crisp, bright flowers and sky blue in between.









Sew-Fun’s machine embroidered butterflies were a joyful addition – one in each blue pinwheel – 6 in all.  The pattern is called a “disappearing 9-patch”, and was easy once I mastered the placement of the squares.  Spacial intelligence is not my strong point, so it was a bit of a challenge.

finished butterfly2

I was especially happy with my simple quilting machine-stitched long X’s through the diamond shapes, and surrounded each of the sky-blue pinwheels to frame the butterflies.  Turned out marvelous!  Looks nice on the soft pink corduroy background, as well.

And now I’m on to design one for Reed.  That one will be a family affair as I enlist the kids and Calley to help me design a play space for him to direct wings and wheels (and maybe some boats?)  between New York, Hawaii, Oregon and California!  I’ll keep you posted.


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I DID it! My first free-design quilt for my darling Claire.


My beloved daughter (okay, daughter-in-law), Claire, asked me a while ago, in response to my query, for a quilt with “koi and peonies”.  Now THAT was a design challenge!  But you see, I have a secret weapon.  I happen to be friends with Calley O’Neill, who is a stunning artist, and amazing designer.  Don’t believe me, check out her websites at Calley O’Neill and The Rama Exhibition.  

Anyway, she helped me design the oval pond, with peonies in the corners, as though they were growing poolside.  She had some other design features which I found too difficult to pull off, but the basic design is hers.  

I found some gorgeous peonies on oriental print fabric, which I cut out, one by one, and “doodled” onto the beautiful fabric I found for a background, one by one.  That took a few weeks.  I sewed them with shiny gold thread, which matched the gold of the print.  Very free motion on the sewing machine.  I loved it!Image

I designed the koi (again, with Calley’s help) by piecing together bright colors of fabric and appliqueing them to the water-colored batik I found.  The fins of the fish are also “doodled, but on through the layers, as well as the water lilies.

Quilting was another design challenge which I just held my breath and DID….I chalked some arcs around the fish, and sewed them down, as well as tying each of the noses of the koi with embroidery-thread whiskers, and working my way around the flowers on the edges with more “doodling.   I also stitched the ditches of the poolside border.


There were a couple of “boo-boos” that occurred while working, some small cuts in the fabric, which I embroidered shut with additional “wildlife”.


I was equally happy with the back, which was fashioned from soft, baby blue pinstripe flannel, which I hope Claire will joyfully cuddle with while she lounges on the couch watching TV and eating bonbons!Image


Stay tuned for Lily’s quilt.  She ASKED me for it!  A quilt of her very own…pink with flowers!  I’m ON it!

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Just so you know…just in case!

ImageI love you guys and gaias!  I love my life!  I love every moment.  Most important thing I can say. This morning, I’m going ziplining!  I’m going to jump off a cliff over a rain forest attached to a sturdy clothesline!  Yes, i will wear my video camera.  So, if this is my last will and testament, let me just say I’ve lived a good life!

My friend Dianne is celebrating twice today; 25 years sober, and 65 years on the planet.  She invited us all to go celebrate with her for lunch and a dive off a cliff.  I’m scared and excited and happy that I have the courage to go.  My only regret is that my children and grandchildren are not here to play with me.  So I’m taking pictures and will post them somewhere, assuming of course that I return in one piece.  If not, I’ll spare you the details.

Remember!  NOBODY DIES…and if they do, they learn to fly.  I’m flying high today.  Love and joy to all.  Here’s a link to a video.


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BED-RIDDEN is a well-coined phrase…

I’ve only been bed-ridden for 6, going on 7 days, and already I feel like I’ve been ridden hard and left to die.  My sympathy redoubles for people who are long-term.  There comes a point when I begin to wonder whether I am so weak and sore because I have the flu, or if it’s because my bed is wearing me out?  Of course, the fact that I haven’t eaten very much at all might account for the weakness as well, but where does the vicious circle begin?  It’s almost like taking pain-killers…hard to determine which is worse, the pain, or the killers?

I could definitely understand why people die from this flu.  I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, even if I had one.  

Good news is that my lack of appetite has allowed 20 pounds to miraculously melt away.  Not a way I would recommend, but hay, I’m not looking this gift horse in the mouth.  Also, I notice that my taste buds are super sensitive and food tastes really, really good when I can take it in.  I right now prefer really mild tastes, because they are bigger than life.  A loving friend brought me some sweet chicken sausages the other night, and I felt like I’d been blasted with flavor.  Couldn’t tolerate it at all.  

I’m using this opportunity to make new choices about my diet, and going to get walking as soon as I can to rebuild strength and hopefully keep the ball rolling in the right direction.  One of my best friends, the champion cheerleader, has been coming on strong to do just that, and I’m not going to let it stop me.  It was MY idea in the first place, and I’m going to do it, even if she likes it.  Kind of like the old adage – “true freedom is doing what you think best, even if your mother approves.”

I don’t know what makes me so resistant and stubborn when someone tries to get me to change to do things their way, but the streak is HUGE in me, and I have to work hard not to let it sabotage my own good intentions and desires for improvement.

Other good news is that I got moved completely before the lightning struck.  Friday morning, I felt fine, and Seny and i moved the last load of heavy planters, etc., and everything was all put away in my room, and I felt all cozy and happy.  By Friday afternoon, I was abed, shivering and moaning, and haven’t been any good since.

When I do come up for air though, a few minutes in the front room, sitting in the window seat of an early morning, enjoying the birds in the back yard, or an afternoon lay in the sun in the window seat, warming my back oh-so-deliciously, or when I rise up to go to the bathroom, and my breath is taken away by the afternoon sun on the blooming jacaranda tree out my window, I am truly grateful that I completely finished the move before this struck, and that I have landed in a place of such beauty.  This home is absolutely amazing in its ability to house six of us and allow us all to be as though we lived here alone, if we like.  Room for everyone, space for all, and beauty unbounded, especially since the recent rains have greened the place to velvet everywhere.  As soon as I get the strength, I’ll take some pictures.  

I am truly blessed.  Even the severity of my illness has made me more grateful for my usual good health.  And once again, my loving friends have rallied to bring me tea and soup and meals and lozenges — anything I asked for.  Life is loverly, even when you have the flu.

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GROWing into a New Year

ImageI’m growing still….entering my 62nd year – finally officially a senior citizen — although no one has yet questioned me at the box office. They better not, those little twerps.  They have NO IDEA that 62 is not 35, or 40, or any age past 21, right?  If only they knew that questioning me would land them a big fat kiss and a squeezy hug!  (on second thought, maybe that’s WHY they don’t ask…)  I’m cracking myself up here.

I’ve long since given up on new year’s resolutions.  I already know in advance they won’t last past Jan 7th, so why torture myself? AND, I’ve noticed for the past several weeks at least, I have been following this seemingly natural cycle to want to clear and clean and reboot stuff.

One thing I’m wanting to reboot, without making any rash promises that erode my self esteem even more when I don’t keep them, is my physical well-being.  And I want a little more balance in my life.  So I’ve decided to create a new guiding principle in my days, entitled G-R-O-W…..which stands for, roughly,

GO! – Grunt, grimace, grace, gratitude, groove, whatever it takes to get me to move my body, grateful that I can, and gripping onto every last ability I can guard and generate.  So, on a daily basis, looking for regular groovy ways to move and keep healthy.  This of course, will include GRAZING on healthy things, keeping them handy so I can easily find them, rather than the less desirable choices.  Things I really enjoy, like baby cucumbers and nuts and fruit and handy things I can GRAB, since that seems to be the real way I feed myself — I give up fooling myself that I will cook for one. 

R is for REMEMBERING — remembering my spiritual roots, my spiritual longings, my spiritual connections – remembering to BREATHE, remembering all the lovely wonders of my life, and flowing gratitude for them – remembering to keep in touch with my children, and theirs, remembering to get to the post office as often as possible – sending little reminders of my care and existence.

O is for ORGANIZING – organizing my priorities, my house and car, my work, my laundry, my refrigerator, opportunities for play and work and balance.  Keeping my appointments straight in my head.  So far, that still works for me.  I’m not even bothering to buy a new calendar insert for my lovely red book, — although I bet I could find one whose dates fit the right slots from years past.  Every seven years, right?  They’re all still empty past January, anyway.

W of course, is for WORK — seemingly my favorite past-time, so not even worth trying to leave out.  Truly, I love my work.  I take such joy in making other peoples’ work shine, and helping them to find ways to make their work pay for them.  I want to remember to WEAVE in all the other things that bring balance and WHOLENESS to my life.  Maybe it will look something like this: Organized chaos, of breathtaking beauty….right?Image


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