Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hello, Mum?

I want to pick up the phone and talk to my mother.  I have so many questions, now that I'm at an age I can look back and see myself as a young mother and she the loving grandmother who eagerly awaited our visits.  Not that I ever didn't love my mother, but yes there were times I was annoyed by her and even rolled my eyes behind her back. I said things that I know must have hurt her at the time, but her love was unconditional and she forgave me.  I hate that I ever treated her that way.  I hope she understood.  I'm thankful I grew up enough that I loved being with her as often as I could be and when I was laying next to her those last few days of her life, she knew how very much I loved her.  I'm lucky I had those days. Still, I wish I could say "remember that time ..  I'm so sorry".  Knowing my mother, she would say: "I don't remember that at all, you must have dreamed it."

I wish I could ask her if she still felt like she was 23 when she was actually 54, if she ever really felt like an adult and what about that time ... things only she could answer, things my Dad doesn't even know.  And oh yes, what ever happened to that weird little bear that made the fart noise that I loved so much.  Or how old was I when .. and who was that old lady .. and did that really happen or did I imagine it?

Now here I am, my children are all married and 2 of them "with children"  Three entirely different people who need me in different ways.  They have spouses who are their best friends, and children they shower their love on, but every now and then, they still need me, their Mom.  I need to remember that, and just be here when they do, like my Mom did for me. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

A Wunnderful Sunnderful Day

Even still as I sit here in my "big" chair in the kitchen, back door open, fan blowing on me and the crickets chirping loudly just outside, it feels like summer again and I am happy.  I should be in bed, but I want to hang onto these moments, soak them up and enjoy them to the fullest. Look at the crickets, for example, they are so happy it's summer they stay up all night long chirping their hearts out.  I love their music and love that it's warm enough to leave the windows open all night long so I can listen to them until I fall asleep. 

Hydrangea Juice!


No, I'm kidding.  Maybe it's possible,
 but I did not make my juice out of Hydrangeas this morning.
Isn't it a beautiful color though?

Celebrating 6 months of being COLA FREE!!

This delicious concoction is made up of:
1 grapefruit, 1 orange, 2 carrots, 
a 1/4 beet and a 1/2 inch piece of ginger
a good 20 oz and I poured it over ice.
 Are you loving it yet?


I'm afraid I didn't get to the grocery store today.  Dad and I played outside with the grand pups and I swam and floated in my pool. We really aren't getting very many hot sunny days this summer, so I am determined to enjoy every last one. So, no juice with the evening meal. I will replenish our supply of fruits and veggies in the morning!

Friday, August 14, 2015

More about JUICE!

A friend asked me if Diabetics could "juice"  and my reply to her was ask your doc first!  Pineapple is high in sugar, maybe beets?  I don't know these things, so it's best to just make sure what you put in your juicer is on your diet.  I would think there must be recipes that would be great for diabetics.

Last night while Brad and my Dad enjoyed another half hour on the pool deck; most likely Dad filling Brad in on his last few days, I made juice with:

2 green apples
1 small lemon
4 carrots
3 stalks of celery
1/2 of a medium sized beet
about an inch of ginger

It's crazy but I love the aroma as I tip it up for a drink.
A bit woodsy, a little ginger tickling my nose.  I could have used
more ginger and more beet.
I love it when they turn out so good.  I sample before I decide it's done.  This made two 12 oz servings and we had it with the chicken Brad grilled for us. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015


First of all I have to say I would be a lot better at this if I had someone else hand me the glass of juice or at least bottle it up and leave it in the fridge for me.  NOT that it's a HUGE deal to make, it really isn't, and once it's part of my daily routine, I actually enjoy the whole process.

Second there are 100s if not 1000s of websites, blogs, 'what have yous' online that can give you all this information and more, but I know it helps to have someone you know tell you what they use, how it works, do they REALLY like it, is it a pain to clean up and does it really make a difference.

To see what we use go here .  Omega seems to be top of the line right now, but we are very satisfied with our Champion.  It's solid and does what we need it to, and it was a gift from Dad Graves who insisted we had to have a Champion because that's what he and Mom used.

Holly is the one who really got me started when she told me about Drew Canole and that I could get a free book of his for my Kindle called:

 I also have these two:

BEETS!  I hate beets.  But I can juice them along with pineapple, carrots a little ginger and voila I love them!  If you really get into juicing, you'll be buying things you may have never heard of.  I still need to try a few.  Brad isn't real big into spinach and kale, but I can slip that into a smoothie and he doesn't even know. Ok, Smoothies are another thing.  I use the Ninja Blender.

You have to start slow with the beets if you're like me.  Baby steps!  It doesn't take a whole beet to make your juice a healthy drink. Plus if you over do it, your first (slightly red) BM afterwards might alarm you. If you aren't going to use recipes, you'll be experimenting and may combine a couple things that really don't go so well together.  I use recipe's as a guide.  When I didn't I got a very heavy, filling juice that didn't feel so good after it went down. 

LEMONS!  I love lemons and love adding it to my juices.  ZING!

Clean up is a breeze.  Seriously.  I had everything out, cut into sizes that would fit the juicer, made the juice, taste tested, added an orange and another apple, poured the juice into the bottles, took photos (because I'm a photo nut) washed and dried juicer parts, cleaned area thoroughly in under an hour.  I make enough for 2 bottles, so if you're juicing for one it wouldn't take as long.

TIP:  If you want the effectiveness of the juice to last longer, fill to the top of the bottle and seal tightly.  Keeps the oxygen out and oxidation doesn't start as soon.  (thank you Holly!)  I think she said it stays good for up to 2 weeks.

YES, I love my juice!  YES, I feel a difference. I definitely have more energy.  But then you are asking someone who practically lived on Pepsi or Coke as her fluid intake.  Tomorrow will be 6 months off the nasty stuff. Now I need to back off my Coffee intake and double the water I drink.

Have I lost weight?  I had when we were being faithful about having a bottle in the morning and with our evening meal.  Starting last night, I'm back at it, and will keep you posted.  I intend to juice along with some form of protein for breakfast and dinner.  Lunch will be a healthy smoothie.  Snacks will be nuts, fruit and cheese.

Think I can lose 15 pounds before the wedding?  If not, I know I will at least feel GREAT!  Here goes.  Yes, I know I should have started sooner, but I'm the world's biggest procrastinator.  And by biggest I'm not talking size here.

My own recipe:
1 grapefruit, 1 orange, 2 apples (1 green 1 red)
3 carrots and 3 celery stalks 

Have FUN!! 

one Sunday in July
 "do these stripes make me look too thin?"

I know it's all about being happy, not about being thin. 
That being said, I would be really really happy if I was 50 pounds "lighter" ..
but for now, I'll go for 15.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015


I was going to wait until it had been 6 months but "5 months or 150 days" just goes so well together.  


That's right.  Not a drop since February 14th, Valentine's day.  I don't know if I will ever drink it again.  It is truly an addiction with me.  I could go a week or even up to 5 weeks without it, take one drink of it and I was back at it.  Sometimes 4 cans in a day.  I was becoming a "closet Pepsi drinker" trying to keep Brad from knowing how much I was drinking.  Like he was stupid and didn't notice the 12 pack he'd gotten with the groceries was empty already.  

When I was a child I remember soda was a special treat.  I always had milk with my meal.  Mama would get groceries and buy a 6 pack of soda for us kids.  Pammy correct me if I'm wrong.  We got to pick what flavor soda we wanted and we each got 2 bottles for the week.  I remember loving grape soda, but I don't remember ever drinking it at meal time.

Then I became a teenager and it seems like pepsi became part of the meal.  We didn't always have it in the house, but if it was we drank it.  Usually 2 liter bottles of it.  Occasionally we'd have Coke because someone was visiting who preferred it.  I wasn't too picky, but Pepsi was my cola of choice for a long time.  Evenings with popcorn, birthdays, holidays, playing a game .. any excuse to have pepsi with the ice clinking against the edges of the glass.

I got married and our grocery list always had Pepsi on it.  We had it with our meal every night.  Brad swears that's why he gained 10 pounds that first year.  (he's probably right)  I don't remember when I became so addicted to it, but part of my addiction was the cold can in my hand and the sound when you "popped the top".  Ahhhhhhhhh.  I preferred my Coke in a bottle, but an ice cold can of Pepsi in my hand was bliss. 

I was convinced if I was stressing about something, Pepsi calmed my nerves and helped me cope.  Brad would run to Mic Mac to get me "just one to get me through".  I would often run through McDee's just to have an ice cold Coke. The cup filled with ice and the cola poured over it was like balm to me.  Of course, cola always tasted better if I had something sugary to eat with it, or if I ate something sugary it would make me want cola to go with it.  Or anything salty, or Chinese food, or a Roast Dinner on Sunday, or ... ok, I drank it with anything and everything or nothing.  Addicted. To cola.  Pepsi is worse than Coke.  I weaned myself from Pepsi by switching entirely to Coke and then finally just stopped the Coke.  

One day at a time .. I don't know what made me flip the switch, but I'm so glad I did.  I really think I feel happier and just knowing I'm not putting that stuff into my system is reward enough for me.  I love water with fresh lemon squeezed into it and lots of ice.  I drink too much coffee now, and I'm working on that!  I am VERY thankful my addiction didn't spill over onto my kids.  There's an awareness now that we didn't have when I was growing up.  It just tasted good and we knew it was fattening, but what's a few pounds?  (more like 50)

Next step is exercise ... I've done it, I've proved it makes me happier, makes me feel better physically and mentally so why am I not doing it?  Same reason I kept drinking Cola even though I knew the stuff is nasty and terrible for you.  I haven't flipped the switch yet.  I have to flip it sooner than later.  I'm going on 54 and I want to feel young again.  Exercise will do that for me. I know it will. 

So color me Cola Free!  No it's not a cigarette or alcohol addiction, but it's a very real one just the same, and I beat it.  I admire and am proud of anyone who beats an addiction no matter what it is. So proud of my friends who have given up cigarettes after years of smoking.  I know in a small way how hard that was to do.  So GO YOU!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A flood of memories

Maybe it's the 3rd day of rain that is making my heart just a little sad this morning, or the creak of the floor overhead as my Dad gets his few belongings together to head back to Clinton today, the image of him, just a little stooped over, gathering up what still belongs to him.  Making sure the photos I printed and framed for him are going with him "I'll bring them back when I come";  "they are yours, Daddy". 

85 years old, he grows weary and weak.  He's not the strong able man I knew growing up.  How proud I was of him, and still am.  Mr. Sanders, the floor sander and builder of beautiful homes.  "My Dad built that house".  He would drive his Wheel Horse with the snow blower attachment and a cab with doors on it down to the frozen bog and clear it so we could skate for hours on end.  The neighbor kids loved my Dad too and called him "Uncle Don".  Years later, they still do.

I hear him come down the stairs with a little "phew" when he reaches the bottom.  Carrying his bible bag and shaving kit and the sheets off his bed he walks into kitchen with a little grin on his face.  "Throw the sheets down the stairs" I say.  He throws them down then he stops and asks, "what is that hymn, Cleanse me oh lamb of God, I can't find those words to look it up .. that's a good one"  and he sings a verse of it to me.  Of course I know it, but can't find it so I send Brad a text and he responds with "WASH" (not cleanse) #8, no #17.  #8 was the old book.  Yes that's it, and I get my hymn book and sing a couple verses.  This happens nearly every morning. 

He pours Total into the bowl I have ready for him, crunching it down "so the pieces aren't so big".  I asked him once if he needed a bigger bowl so they'd fit and he said no, he just liked them crunched down.  A bite of banana in between bites of Total, sometimes he'll tell me how he's eaten this for years and then tells me he has Burger King for lunch "A Junior Whopper with Cheese and a Sprite, it costs me $2.98, then I have a peanut butter and fluff sandwich at night" 

Now, as he sits there munching, he tells me again about his cousin, Teddy, and Aunt Rita, known as "Aunt Tootie" by us kids because that's what Mammie called her.  She called Mammie (Francis) "Kittie".  Brad almost fell off his chair the first time he heard me say her name.  Well, maybe it was the way in which I said it "Aunt TOOTIE DIED?!"  She laughed a lot, like Mammie did, especially when they were together.  I'm thankful my Dad got those genes and had Mammie for a mother, the lady I was named after.  Francis Kelley.  As Mama would tell it, she was going to name me Francis and Mammie said "don't you dare, if you have to name her after me use my maiden name" (another thing I'm thankful for!) I don't know .. would I have turned out differently if everyone called me Francis?

He's all packed and ready to go but has an hour to kill.  He wants to leave his sprite and his oatmeal cream pies with us, but I assure him we don't drink Sprite and if he leaves the cookies I will eat them all in two days.  He heads into the living room for the "big chair" and I will close now so I can play a few tunes for him on the piano.

It helps, you know, my heart isn't near as heavy.  I will have to do this more often.  Yes, Dad is thankful for his good memories and so am I.