Camping on Memorial Weekend 2009

We went camping and fishing over Memorial Weekend and had such a great time! We even got to take our boat out for the first time in 2 summers. The reverse in Eddie’s truck decided to go out, so we haven’t been able to drive it anywhere we cannot pull directly through. Hopefully he’ll have the time to get it to the transmission shop soon.

We borrowed a friend’s SUV to pull it and left Saturday morning, camped Saturday night and fished on the lake literally all day Saturday and Sunday, then drove home Sunday night.

This particular lake is about 2 hours from us. It’s called “Hellhole”… and now I see why! It has a constant wind that recklessly blows and chills you to the bone. Bundled up in sweats and a coat it wasn’t that bad and was at least tolerable.

The sun even came out and warmed things up enough for us to peel off the layers and I even got to ‘lay out’ and tan on the nose of the boat for the first time since moving to sunny California. There isn’t a single lake near us that’s warm enough to actually swim in… oh how I miss swimming!!!

We caught several fish and then had a fish fry right on the shore for lunch. The entire week-end was so relaxing… We needed to get away and have some time to just ‘be in love and enjoy each other’s company’. It was perfect.

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Weight Loss Journey Begins

Well friends spring is finally here, summer is just around the corner and I am no-where near ready to put on a bathing suit of any style or size.

I have gained a whopping forty pounds over the course of the past two years. Now I know many of you may read this and think to yourselves that forty pounds is not much weight gain at all. But I assure you that any weight gain IS weight gain no matter how small.

 The truth of the matter is that I’m only five foot tall, so an extra few pounds of any amount is simply too much for my small bones to carry. The result: My body hurts, I feel awful all the time and I’m too fat to look good in anything I put on no matter how adorable the outfit (even though others will never tell me that).

I was injured two years ago after a nasty fall down a flight of stairs which resulted in my inability to engage in any serious exercise for the time being. So not only have I gained unwanted weight, but what muscle I did have has long since turned into annoying, unappealing flab.

I’m finally feeling well enough to possibly walk on my treadmill a few minutes each day. My neck surgeon has not cleared me at this time to engage in any other form of exercise… so, the treadmill for a limited daily stint it is!

My surgeon wants me to begin with five to ten minutes daily and increase as I gain the strength. So that’s just what I plan to do, beginning tomorrow morning.

I also visited with a registered dietician who assisted me in designing a meal plan to fit a 1400 daily caloric intake. With the diet and exercise facets in line I feel armed to begin my road to health and hopefully full post-surgical (and post-injury) recovery.

I hope I inspire each of you to join me on the way to a thinner and healthier you. Because I love food, I will seek out recipes which are delightful to the eyes, nose and taste buds to share with you. If you have any favorite recipes, please do share them as well.

During the coming week I will walk on my treadmill five to ten minutes daily. I will also cut out chips, soda and processed snacks, and replace them with more fruits and vegetables.

That should get me started until I locate some delicious recipes to fit into my 1400 caloric daily allowance.

Leave me a comment and let me know what your weight loss struggle is and how you plan to overcome it. Let me know if you’ll join me on this journey.

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Boredom Might Be the True Mother of Invention

I once was asked if I could invent something what it would be. I gave it some thought and then realized I may have actually already invented something even though someone else was wise enough to patent and market it—I was, after all, only nine years old.

I grew up on an island; Okinawa, Japan, from age four. The island was a vast playground for my imagination. The kids I played with joined me and my older sister in many mischiefs which none of our parents knew of. We climbed the rocky terrain that formed the cliffs near our home. We flattened cardboard boxes and slid down an enormous grassy hillside that lead to the neighborhood park. We roamed through a massive underground cave system formed by volcanoes which ran the span of the entire island. We played hide-and-seek in the “Booney Weeds” which were large fields of tall thick wild grasses that grew six feet high or better. The Booney’s, as we lovingly called them, were so dense that two people could stand three inches apart and never know they had company.

Just before the monsoon’s hit the island we experienced intense winds and rain. I remember grabbing my stylish “Bubble Umbrella”(do you remember those?) and playing in those winds. My friend Jackie and I played Mary Poppins by running as fast as we could with the wind and allowing it to gush up underneath my bubble umbrella and lift us off the ground. Both of us were very light weight, so the wind gushes usually carried us five to ten feet distance before landing us delicately onto the road again. We really did feel as though we were flying.

One of my favorite memories was during a massive rain we joined many of the other neighborhood kids in clogging up the cul-de-sac drain. From the road to the curb top was about three feet deep, so by clogging the drain we were able to form a mini wading pool which in diameter fit about ten kids. Of course that one didn’t last long since our parents could see what we were up to and had us remove the cardboard to allow the rain water to drain. It was fun while it lasted though.

We used to purchase “pencil Boxes” from the Japanese stores which had secret compartments to stash things. Once my sister decided to catch some June bugs (which of course I was deathly afraid of handling). And using our resourcefulness, we opened all our pencil boxes, formed them into a circle and played House and school with our newly acquired June Bugs. My imagination never tired. Even on those days when I played alone, for the most part, I never seemed to have “nothing to do”, and I don’t ever remember being bored while on the island.

I have very fond memories of playing in the front yard one day alone. I’m not really sure why none of the other kids were outside, but there I was for the very first time faced with nothing to do. I remember looking around and noticing all sorts of rocks lying around. So, being the imaginative soul that I am, I grabbed a few of those rocks and played house with them! I had a Poppa, a Momma, and several children. When the day was done, I took my new little family inside with me so I could put them to bed. I kept my rock family for a very long time before outgrowing them.

That’s right; I am the original inventor of the Pet Rock.

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Blind Grab Surprise

I recently attended a Scrapbooking day in a nearby town where the Hostess gave us the task to simply dump many of our scrapbooking supplies into a basket and then without looking, reach inside the basket in a “blind grab”. Whatever items were pulled out had to be used to create a scrapbook layout—even if the items did not match.

This fun exercise reminded me of my older sister, Denise.
Denise suffers from an open head trauma, and unfortunately one of the many side-effects is that she has lost her once incredible sense of fashion style. Denise used to dress so beautifully with all the right finishing touches. But now, Well…

Denise never fails to surprise us with her never ending supply of fashion blunders. Sometimes it seems as though she has simply covered her eyes while reaching into her clothing stash and worn whatever emerged from her “blind grab” whether the items matched or not. She struts about proud as a peacock regarding her childish and sometimes outlandish fashion choices where the colors and patterns rarely harmonize. Denise giggles like a school girl about some silly aspect of her attire whether it is her mismatched patterns, or the toddler bows and clips in her hair.

During the early years of her head trauma I remember being extremely embarrassed quite often over my sister’s lack of fashion abilities while in public, but as time has passed I’ve grown to understand her disability and I’ve found myself actually enjoying some of the eccentric styles my dear sister invents.

Over the years Denise’s inability to make more mature fashion choices has taught me both patience and acceptance toward others. I’ve learned to ignore the judging eyes of strangers who observe from afar without even knowing what’s wrong, and to simply have fun spending time with my sister.

Thanks Denise for teaching me it’s okay to color outside of the lines once in a while.

Have a Beautiful Day – Dina

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Most of you probably know of this place because of the infamous Folsom Prison that the Late Johnny Cash sang of. However, Folsom is a charming old town with great historical significance in our American heritage. It was one of the very first towns to spring up and take hold during the Great Gold Rush of 1849. (For those not so sporty people, 1849 is where the Football team the 49ers got its name.)

As in every older town, Folsom too has its “Old Town” Historical shopping area teaming with lots of fascinating store fronts; including two of my favorites, a “junk” store of sorts which houses all kinds of authentic vintage jewelries and trinkets; and a delightful chocolatier. I love to stand at the window and watch the chocolates being stirred until there are no longer any air bubbles or lumps—it’s like watching a magical chocolate river flow past as you daydream. Did I mention I love chocolate?

While shopping one day and wondering through various stores in Old Town I stumbled across an ink drawing and though I seemed drawn to it, I didn’t particularly love it. I was determined to search around the store for something I couldn’t live without, but found myself several times wondering back to stand in front of this artwork. Finally, I bought it. $20.00 was a reasonable price for a piece I certainly could live without.

I took it home and began to clean it up in order to decide just the right place to display it when I noticed signatures in both lower corners of the item. On the lower left corner is the artist’s signature in her maiden name. While the lower right holds her signature with her maiden and married names plus the items number. I own number 73 of 300.

Now I’m no art snob, but I do know enough to realize this picture has some value, so I researched the artist online and found that she was a famous Italian Artist from the 30’s and 40’s. I caught my breath and heartbeat in my throat as the information sunk in.

Needless to say, I have an appointment with an art dealer to determine its value. This Junk store find that I didn’t particularly love has fast become one of my favorite items in my home. It was twenty dollars well spent indeed.

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