Posted in daily life

What’s Happening This Week

icecream-coneIt wasn’t easy trying to figure out what to talk about today.

Why? Because there’s nothing going on.

Okay, that’s not precisely true. There’s stuff going on in the world. Wars being fought. Natural disasters striking unexpectedly. People living, people dying.

But really, other than that? I only have random, small thing to talk about.

And this picture of an ice cream cone? I put it up to torture me. And you, too.

Random News From the World of Me

Presidential candidates are slinging mud at each other.

Still. Wish I could say I cared about which one wins–and I do, to a certain extent. Don’t worry, I’m planning to vote, even though I don’t like either candidate. But you know what? This world, this country, is in God’s hands, so I’m not worried. He’ll take care of me, not the government.

Still weigh 190.

Haven’t regained the weight, haven’t lost more. Due to the heat (thank you very much, Texas), I’ve been exercising just enough to maintain the routine. Hopefully, I’ll crank my exercise routine up when the lows drop below 80. And no, 78 does not count. Maybe below 72. Yeah, let’s stick with 72.

Oh, my husband joined a gym and got a trainer. He’s been hobbling around going “ow, ow, ow,” ever since. So he’s doing good. They’re hoping to lose 10 this month. I wish him luck. If I can get him to work on cardio between trainer days–and get him to stop eating ice cream–he might just loose some. But the ice cream is so good, and it’s so hot outside….

I know, I know. But you know what they say–the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

I’m still getting okra from my garden.

I’m both pleased and surprised. They aren’t dead yet. They’re wilting a bit in the heat of the day, but they bounce back once it starts cooling off. I wonder how long they’re going to last? If they last through till fall, I might be able to put aside quite a bit of okra in my freezer.

Going to go tubing this weekend at the Frio with some families from church. Will hopefully have pictures to share next week.

We have finally saved up enough money to start looking for land to buy.

I’m sure we could have bought a house instead for cheaper, but I want land. If we can get it, then I want it. Now, we just started the process. We’re in the middle of getting pre-financed, so we know how much we can spend.


And, um, that’s it. Yep. Nothing much going on this week. Except for reading. Yeah, been reading books instead of writing. I don’t regret it. Much. But other than that, nothing going on.

Nothing.

Gee, I’ve been bored.

 

Posted in daily life, Loosing Weight

How I lost 10 pounds

It’s Official: I’ve Lost 10 Pounds!

help-not-loosingLike most Americans, I’ve been trying to lose weight for years, with not much success. I’ve made numerous New Years Resolutions, started and quit exercising more times than I can count, and stopped dieting more times than I’ve started. All without seeing a single pound drop.

The closest I got was 5lbs about two years ago, when I worked as a housekeeper for a hotel for a month. I gained that weight back the week I quit. I’m pretty sure the only reason I lost weight then is because I basically exercised non-stop 5 days a week for 6 hours a day. Anyone who’s done housekeeping knows what I’m talking about.

Anyway–where was I? Sorry, I got sidetracked . . .

I’ve lost weight! Ten pounds, and I’ll tell you how I did it, too. Hopefully this will help some of you.

Set time aside to be healthy

Chances are, you aren’t me. God has blessed me with the chance to be a housewife and let my husband support me. I have plenty of time to exercise and watch what I eat. (Or the opposite–eat because I get bored)

You probably don’t have time to sleep, much less cook or exercise. But believe me, if you want to lose weight, you will probably have to. And if you are so busy you physically can’t schedule twenty minutes to cook something healthy, you might have to get creative.

For example: Take the stairs instead of the elevator. What floor do you work on? 7th? Oh, lucky you. You just got your exercise in for the day.

Keep in mind, making time doesn’t just cover cooking and exercising. It also covers shopping. If you make room in your brain to shop better, eat out less, stop going to Starbucks, etc., then your also making room in your life to be healthier.

No more soda, snacks, or fast food

You’ve heard it once, and I’ll say it again. You want to lose weight? Eat healthier. 

What does that mean? That means no more candy. No more desserts. No more soda. At all. Not diet coke, not coke with fake/substitute sugar. Maybe carbonated water, but even then I’d draw the line. Just do yourself a favor and stop drinking it. Sugar aside, it’s full of chemicals that aren’t good for your body.

I know you’re addicted to Dr. Pepper (my husband is), but instead of spending the $20 a week on sugary drinks you’ll down in a single setting (if your like my husband, he can drink an entire liter of Dr. Pepper. By himself. In one setting. Now you know why it got banished from the house), spend it on fresh fruits and vegetables or lean meats instead.

Meat isn’t cheep. How much can you buy if you aren’t spending it on food that would go straight to your thighs?

For me, eating healthier also meant no more fast food. Now, I didn’t eat fast food necessarily because I liked the taste. We ate out a lot because we were lazy, it was convenient, and our fast food joint of choice was literally two blocks away.

Getting off my lazy butt and cooking not only gave me something to do, but it allowed me to control what went into my body. And it saved me about $80 a week I could spend on healthy foods that I wasn’t spending on fast food. And just so you know, it’s just the two of us. I don’t have kids yet. I can’t imagine how hard this would be if I did.

Can’t go cold turkey? You might need to do what I did and give yourself a treat once in a while. For us, this meant we allowed ourselves to go out to eat on the weekends. Note: this did not mean fast food. So, yes, go eat in that expensive Mexican restaurant. Just not Taco Bell.

I don’t count calories on the weekend. Yes, this means I don’t lose weight on those days. In fact, I usually gained 2 or 3–or even 5–pounds on the weekend.

Oh, and don’t forget to stop snacking and eat less. Eating healthier doesn’t mean squat if you can’t control how much you eat. Or eating between meals all the time.

The idea is to retrain your metabolism and your taste buds. If you aren’t constantly craving ice cream (me), it’s a whole lot easier to eat less. This isn’t a quick fix. It will take a while. So make sure to develop your patience, too, while your at it.

Get to know your body

Everyone’s body is different. You don’t have my body (be glad). I don’t have yours. And you definitely don’t have that magazine model cover’s body. She don’t even have it. Ever heard of a thing called photo shopping?

Your body will respond to different exercises and diets better than others. Find out what it responds to best. For me, this meant I needed to eat more protein and less anything my body thinks is a sugar. Which included starchy foods like pasta and vegetables.

I didn’t eliminate it from my diet–if I did, my husband would protest and then buy it behind my back just so he can sweet talk me into making my homemade meatballs. But you can bet I reduced it. If I eat too much of it, I get just as tired as I would have on a bad night of sleep. Instead of eating macaroni every day of the week, I had it only two nights a week.

This also meant I got out of the house and into the sun. Sorry, honey, but I need my daylight to wake up. Right now, it’s cloudy and noon: I’m yawning and fighting to not eat something sugary.

If you have any kind of health issue, you will already be on some kind of restricted diet. Like if you had diabetes, for example. Work with your health issues. Stick to the diet that will help you get better best. Atkins? Paleo? Vegitarian? Whatever your problem is, what you eat will either make you healthier or not. Don’t make yourself sicker by doing an exercise or a diet that will exasperate your problems.

Find an exercise you like

It’s a basic truth of the human condition: if we don’t like something, we don’t do it.

Why do you think we stop exercising? Because we hate it. Because its a hassle to put on exercise clothes and go to someplace and get sweaty for an hour and feel exhausted for the rest of the day. Because no one really likes how sore muscles feel (not unless your already in shape). Because people like having energy, and exercising can take what little you have away.

But if your overweight, you need to exercise. So find an exercise you like and do it. You aren’t going to exercise if you don’t like it.

For me, I like biking. I live in an apartment at the edge of your typical, suburban neighborhood. I’ve got a one-mile route that goes through that neighborhood and yet never takes me more than a half mile away from home. This way if I crash and fall off my bike, I can walk home. Or limp to someone’s house to use their phone.

Do you like to run? Good for you. I hate it. Need something less harmful on your joints? Try swimming. Can’t leave home? Exercise videos are your new best friend.

Whatever it is, find something you like to do. Don’t do what so-and-so is doing because he swears by it. Don’t do the newest exercise craze. You’ll get burned out and bored of those things in a week. Do something you like to do. As long as it gets you off the couch.

Get off the birth control

Now, so far, I’ve given you a lot of advice. Every one of these things I have done, and I honest believe they have helped me lose 10 lbs (since March, if your curious). They have certainly helped me be healthier. I feel better now than I did this time last year.

But you want to know why I really was finally able to lose weight? I got off birth control.

That’s right ladies. That little pill that allows you to have as much sex as you want and yet not get pregnant? That’s the thing I’m talking about.

Everything I looked up on the internet said that weight gain is not a side effect of birth control. Personally, I think they lied. Because the instant I started taking that little pill, I gained 5 pounds. And it didn’t stop there. In the 2.5 years I was on birth control, I gained 25 pounds. That’s right. 25. My previous average was about 5 lbs a year, not 10. I shudder to think how much more I would have gained if I’d stayed on it.

Here’s the thing about birth control, ladies: it is designed to mess with your bodies. 

Medical science likes to believe they know everything about our bodies. That they know exactly what’s going on in there, and that they have all the answers for why such and such happens. They don’t. And they don’t know near as much about the female reproductive system as we would like for them.

The female body is full of all kinds of hormones. Maybe they were in balance to begin with, maybe they weren’t. Maybe your ideal balance isn’t the same as someone else’s. Maybe it doesn’t look anything like the textbooks. Maybe it shouldn’t. Who knows what good or bad that little pill is actually doing you?

I’m not saying birth control is bad, ladies. Don’t think that. If you actually need your birth control for very good reasons that have nothing to do with controlling the population of little people in your home, then by all means take it.

But for me, birth control was not that great. Sure, it gave me regular, pain-free periods. And it made sure I didn’t get pregnant. But that was it.

For me, birth control increased my appetite and decreased my metabolism. I was always hungry–especially for the wrong things–and I had no energy to burn off the extra calories. Not to mention, I was depressed more times than not.

You know how hard it is to lose weight when you’re depressed, hungry, and have no energy? Of course you do. You probably feel like that right now.

Now that I’m off the pill, I have energy, I’m not nearly as depressed as I was, and I can more easily control how much and what I eat. Coincidence? I think not.


I hope some of this helps you. Feel free to leave a comment. But please, consult your doctor if you have questions. I have an English degree, not medical.

Posted in daily life

My Sister’s Wedding

My sister is married. Finally!

David and JoyceLast week I told you my sister was getting married, and I promised you pictures. Well, here you go. Two of my favorites. I just wish they were better quality–both were done with cell phones.

The lucky man’s name is David Bentley. He’s a mechanic, and they’ve known each other for a long time. All I got to say is–you two better take care of each other.

My sister wanted an ultra simple wedding. And I mean simple. And cheap–neither one of them had any money to spend. I think my sister spent a total of $110 on that dress and shoes. And that was it. Well, she might have spent some on her two-week honeymoon to a remote cabin in the woods, but she didn’t tell me.

So, in keeping with the simple theme, my sister elected to get married at David’s church. No decorations (not even flowers). No maids of honor. No groomsmen. No fancy speech. Just Dad walking her down the aisle, and David’s dad presiding over them. Afterwards was a pot luck dinner.

dad and joyceThey did feed each other the angel food cake my grandma made for them (and get it all over David’s beard). And David’s friends and family did trick out the get-away truck. They tied boots and cans to the tailgate, wrapped the truck in caution tape and plastic wrap, smeared the door handles with peanut butter, and then handcuffed the steering wheel to the door handle. So at least they went traditional with that!

I think they’re going to be okay. My sister, as you can tell, has a smile big enough to fit a banana in sideways. She’s tickled pink to finally be hitched. I wish their marriage well, and pray that God blesses them.

I love you sis!

Posted in daily life

My Garden Harvest and July 4th Wedding

My Summer Garden Haulgarden haul

Okay, first, let me say that only the tomatoes came from my garden. They’re finally ripening. Yeah! Oh, and some okra we ate before I could get a picture of it. The rest came from my mother-in-law’s. However, they are all in my freezer, so it’s mine. All mine.

What you see here is a bunch of green beans, some corn, cucumbers, and lots of squash. Lots and lots of squash. I think I got only about a quarter of what my mother-in-law actually grew. And there’s more out there, too. Which is more than I can say for my squash plants. They’re happy and healthy and green and loving the heat and putting out blossoms galore–but I don’t have a single squash yet. I’m mystified. I don’t know what’s wrong with them, why they aren’t producing fruit, but I think I’m going to have to get rid of them. It’s not like I need more squash anyway.

She says she had to pick the corn a little early because critters got into the rest. I haven’t had a chance to try it, yet, so I don’t know how it tastes, but it looks good.

tomato haulI think this will probably be it, though, for our gardens. My mother-in-law will probably get more squash, and might get some tomatoes if they survive the heat long enough for them to ripen, but I know that after my tomatoes finish ripening, I’m pulling the plants. They’re done. Oh, and my green beans. They survived June, but they aren’t going to survive July and they definitely aren’t going to survive long enough to flower. Planting them at the end of May was a good idea, but I really should have known better. Green beans don’t do great in 95+ degree heat. I might try planting more green beans at the end of August, though. Try for a fall garden.

My Sister’s Getting Married

Squee!

Okay, let’s just say I’m excited for my sister. It’s been a long time coming. After ten years of futile searching for the right man, she finally found one this spring. It’s pretty much been a whirlwind roller coaster ride every since. Unexpected, to say the least. How many people get to marry their best friend’s family? She does. It was a welcome surprise, that’s for sure.

So no matter what I think or what concerns I have (and let’s face it–she’s my sister. I’m always going to worry about her, even when she’s old and grey. I’m pretty sure she’ll worry about me, too), I’m going to celebrate. And it’s the fourth of July weekend. Double reason to be happy.

So stay tuned. Hopefully next week I’ll come back with pictures!

Posted in daily life, gardening

Bicycle Crash and Chicken Soup

scrapeWhat happened to me this week? You wouldn’t believe me if I said not much, so I’ll tell you anyway.

That scrape on my cheek happened Wednesday, when I fell off my bike during my morning exercise and had a tumble on the concrete. Yes, I’m fine. No, it doesn’t hurt. Yes, the paramedics looked at it. So did the firemen. (And thank you to the nice couple I almost ran over for calling them. Whoever you are.) I’m fine. My glasses are not. No, I didn’t need to go to the hospital. My head didn’t hurt, so I doubt I had a concussion. My neck and back don’t hurt, so I don’t think I’ll be going to get it looked at. It’s just a scrape.

I have a bruise on my belly from my handle bar poking it as I was tumbling off the bike, and a mysterious bruise on my leg that I don’t remember getting. They hurt, but that’s it.

I’m okay. It just looks worse than it is. By the time you read this, the scrape will mostly be gone. I’ll have bought myself a helmet and will have devised a way to carry my cell phone on me while I exercise, so I don’t have to borrow strangers’ phones in order to give my hubby a heart attack. (Any and all rumors you hear about him hitting me over burned dinner are all absolutely false, and were started by said hubby in retaliation for me not warning him about the firemen keeping me company when he came to pick me up.)

Really, there’s no cause for panic. Not that that seems to stop everyone I meet, but hopefully you who don’t know me will belive me.

Speaking of my hubby

While I recovered from my little accident and discovered new and interesting bruises, Michael came down with a cold. I don’t know where he found it, considering he doesn’t go anywhere besides church. But for the past few days, he’s been horse, has had a sore throat, post nasal drip, and sneezing. He’s been eating a lot of chicken soup and wearing his warm robe. God willing, he’ll get over it soon and will be able to go back to work. Not to mention stop the extra-loud-than-normal snoring because his nose is stopped up and he can’t breathe.

In other news

In the meantime, it’s summer here in Texas and my garden is still alive. Two weeks ago I decided to experiment and planted a summer crop of beans. They’ve sprouted and other than being nibbled on by some naughty bugs, they’re doing all right. My squash are blooming, but not producing fruit. Maybe they aren’t big enough? Or maybe I only have one sex of squash? I know squash need both sex of flowers in order to make squash. I’ve seen lots of flowers, but so far no fruit. Hmm. I’ll give it some more time.

At least my okra plants are finally making fruit. I’ve got two little baby okra that will ready to pick some time this coming week. Hopefully that won’t be all they produce. If so, I will be very disappointed in my plants. Also, I’ve got tomatoes that are finally ripening, but they’re taking so long! Ug, I can’t wait to pick them.

Also, according to the evil bathroom scale, I’ve officially lost 6lbs. Yippee! Keep your fingers crossed, because I intend to loose more. Maybe by the time Christmas comes around I can officially make it 15 or 20 lbs? Would 25 be too much to pray for? I hope not!

 

Posted in writing

Second Time Critiquing: Lessons Learned

What I’ve learned from critiquing the same book twice

penLast year I wrote a 115,000 word fantasy novel, and got it critiqued by my then-critique group. Then I moved, and had to find a new group of writers to hang out with. Once I found them, rather than start critiquing book two–which only had two chapters to it at the time–I decided to critique book one again.

And I’m glad I did.

I’ve only just begun the critiquing process over again, but already I can tell the difference. The book is already tighter, better written, and more interesting.

Here are some some things I’ve learned the second time around.

Don’t Get Attached

Don’t get attached–to anything–in your story. Not your characters, not the setting, not a piece of dialogue, not a scene, not the plot. Not anything. Period.

The minute you think your story/character/dialogue/whatever is perfect and can’t be improved is the day your story stops getting better. Your story isn’t perfect. It’s not going to wow the judges or  agents or whoever–especially if this is your rough draft.

The first time around, your story isn’t going to be perfect. The first time around, you’re just starting to understand the shape and boundaries of your story, of the world you created. The editing process smooths out all the rough places and gets rid of the trash.

And don’t be fooled: there’s going to be a lot of trash.

By not getting attached to anything, you’ll be able to see your world and consider critiques clearly. Anything that doesn’t move the story forward, anything that makes it worse, or unclear–those things have to go. If a scene can be written better, do it. If you need to cut a character, a line of dialogue, or even a scene, do it.

Trust me. The story will be better for having the trash gone.

Know Your Weaknesses

As writers, we all have weak points. For example, I tend to have too much detail. Always have. I also tend to reuse words (for example, look up how many times I use the word ‘critique’ in first few paragraphs of this article. It’s embarrassing.) over and over again. Names too. Use of passive voice verses active voice also. Just to name a few of my shortcomings.

Every writer’s weaknesses will be different, so find out what yours are. The easiest way to do that is to let someone else read yours stuff and let them tell you what you did wrong.

That’s right. You heard me. In order to find out how bad your story is, you’re going to have to let other people read it and tear it apart. But that’s all right. You’ll live. Eventually. But at least you’ll know what your weak points are and will be able to avoid them. Then you’ll be a better writer.

Join Writer’s Groups and Learn from Them

I’ve already touched on this, but it bears repeating. You can only learn so much about writing by writing. I didn’t start improving until I joined a writers group and learned from those who knew more. Until I started letting them read my babies and tell me how I can make them better.

Reading helps, and going to classes helps, but to learn some things, you need to listen to the voice of experience.

Tags Verses Beats

Of all things I’ve learned lately from editing, this one has got to be one of the biggest, hardest, and simplest things that has made the most difference to my story.

What is the difference? I’ll keep it simple, since I’m still learning.

Tags are also known as speech tags. They are the things you put at the end of dialogue to let your reader know someone said something here. They include things like: He said/whispered/spoke/yelled/exclaimed/asked.

Up until now, everyone has said that tags are invisible. Your eyes just skim over them. This can be true up to a point. For one, you have to be trained to not see those words. For another–in a long passage full of nothing but dialogue, reading nothing but “he said, she said,” over and over and over again–it’s not invisible. And anything that takes your readers out of the story is a bad thing.

Beats are also known as action beats. For example: Barry thundered through town on his white horse, sounding the alarm. “The house is on fire!”

When you have an action beat followed by dialogue, you don’t also need a tag. It’s redundant. We already know who is speaking–Barry.

Using action beats also gives you, as a writer, another tool to build your story with. You can use action beats to help drive a story forward or to help build the story world.

Personally, I’ll say every story needs both tags and beats. Beats may be harder to use, but they can do so much for your story. However, there comes a point in every book where you just have to use a tag. Don’t over use them, but don’t neglect them, either. Either of them.


I hope you found these tips helpful. Feel free to leave me a note or reply with your own tips.

Posted in book critique, writing

Why I like Jim Butcher’s The Aeronaut’s Windlass

the aeronaut's windlassAs many of my friends know, I love Jim Butcher’s books. He’s one of my favorite authors. I have almost all of his Dresden series, and also his fantasy series. I think he’s talented, creative, and knowledgeable about his craft. Every time I read his books, I’m pretty much guaranteed a wild ride.

So when he came out with a new series, it was a no-brainer for me buy.

When I finally got around to reading it–the book has been out since September 2015–I was not disappointed. But I was surprised.

The Aeronaut’s Windlass

What surprised me the most wasn’t the genre, the length, or the plot. I wasn’t fazed by the elaborate world building. I fell in love with both his characters and the world. I can’t wait to read more. As I said, Jim Butcher’s a talented writer.

What surprised me was the faith displayed by the characters in the book. And not just general faith as in “Something Created Just For a Fantasy World”–but in God. After all faith and spirituality isn’t a strong theme in Butcher’s other books. Dresden certainly doesn’t believe in God, even though he’s seen plenty to make him question that conviction.

I can’t tell how how refreshing it be transported to a world where belief in God is the norm, where respecting people is just how you treat others, and honor isn’t a word you look up in the dictionary. For them, that’s just the way it is. Best of all, the book doesn’t preach and neither do the characters. And this is a fantasy world to boot.

I don’t know if I’d call this book what fantasy Christian writers would call, “speculative fiction,” but I think it’s close enough to fit the bill.

So, if you’re looking for a fresh new world full of flying airships, privateers, and talking cats, look no further then Jim Butcher’s webpage for your next summer read. You won’t regret it.

Posted in daily life

I need a vacation from my vacation

crawfishIt’s been a long week.

Last weekend, my husband and I took the long drive to Arkansas to visit my family. I had a blast. I got to see and visit with friends I hadn’t talked to in a long time. I got to be with family. Then all too soon, we had to go back.

I think, if my vacation had ended there, it would have been perfect. Unfortunately–for me–my husband had other ideas. My vacation may be over, but his was just beginning.

Let me make it clear. I love my husband. But he can be a bit much sometimes, especially when he gets with his college buddies.

On our way home, we picked up one of my husbands best friends from collage. My husband took the week off, and the two of them hung out all week, talking and playing video games.

Sound like fun? It was. For them.

I just felt like the third wheel. Furthermore, I couldn’t find a quiet place to relax. I’ve eaten too much junk food, not exercised near enough, and spent way too much time in a car this week. Though driving 4 hours to eat the best crawfish and shrimp in Texas for lunch was worth it.

So, you will have to pardon me for posting a short blog this week.  I’m tired, and I’m ready for my vacation to be over.

Posted in daily life, gardening

My first crop and other things

Green beans are in!

first crop of greenbeansI have to admit, I’m excited. I picked my first crop of green beans this week. It wasn’t much, just enough to feed my husband and I. Still, it’s the first crop, and there are more blossoms on my plants. Meaning, here in a week or two, we’re going to have more. Yippee!

As for the rest of my garden, my tomato plants are finally blossoming. My okra looks good, but hasn’t blossomed yet. I’ve planted some squash plants, and they look good, too. I don’t think I’ll be getting any squash or okra until June or even July, but I’m not worried. Can’t wait!

What else I’ve been up to

While I haven’t done much writing on book two of the fantasy trilogy I’ve been working on, I have been doing some editing and rewriting on book one. Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve edited and rewritten the book. More like the third or fourth. But to all of you aspiring writers out there, I’ll tell you a secret.

The more you edit it, the better it’ll get. Until you edit it to death. That’s bad.

I’ve got a good group of ladies (and men) helping me critique it to be the best it can be. While I don’t make every change they suggest (that’s my prerogative as a writer), I do make a lot, and they do have a lot of constructive criticism. I have managed to edit out an entire nine pages thanks to their efforts. I didn’t think I had nine pages to get rid of, but apparently I did.

I do look forward to the day when I can get back to writing book two. Oh, and finish writing notes and world building. That’s still going on. But I’m no longer in a hurry, and the work is ongoing. I’m having fun, and that’s what’s important.

Posted in daily life

Gardening and Weight Loss Goals Realizing

Good News Everyone!

greenbean blossomsMy green beans have blossoms! Squee!

I can’t tell you how excited I am that my green beans have blossoms. They have, one and all, bounced back from being poisoned via the evil weed killer. Now, not only do they all have beautiful new green leaves, they have blossoms as well. There’s even one baby bean in there. It’s so cute! And edible. 🙂

I wish I could say the same thing about my tomato plants. They still aren’t doing that well. I had to replace one of my tomato plants, and the other isn’t looking that great. However, it’s still alive, so I’m hoping it will recover and give me some tomatoes before the Texas summer heat rolls in and kills all my plants.

On the other hand, it’s finally warm enough for my okra plants. They’re growing up a storm, thought they aren’t anywhere near close to giving me okra to eat. I just wish I could remember what breed of okra I bought. Some okra can get rather tall, while others stay small and bushy. If I knew that, I could better estimate how long I have till its harvest time.

In other news

So I’ve been trying to lose weight. Like, for forever. I know what you’re thinking–so what? So is 3/4 of America, and most of them are failing!

Believe me. I know. I was one of them. Was, being the operative word.

After exercise 5-6 times a week since the first of the year, I am happy to announce that I am FINALLY loosing weight. And just so you know, I waited two weeks to announce this because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just losing water weight. However, the three pounds that I lost survived the weekend, so I guess that makes it official.

I’ve lost three pounds! Yippee!

I know you must think that’s stupid. I mean, I’m getting excited for losing three measly pounds. I could easily gain it all back in a week (especially if I stop exercising). What’s all the hubbub about?

It’s three pounds. It’s weight that’s gone and jeans that are fitting better. It’s the fact that I have energy and that I’m no longer depressed all the time. I’m walking around with a bounce in my step and I’m excited for the future. I even shave my legs, pluck my eyebrows and wear dresses.

That’s what this is all about. It’s about being lighter, eating less and living a healthier lifestyle. It’s about making all of those changes stick so that when I start having kids, I’m not immediately having health problems due to being overweight. That’s my goal, and I have to stick with it.

And now that the weight is finally dropping, I’m not about to stop now. I’m going to keep exercising and eating less. I’m going to continue to introduce one new healthy habit a month into my life until I reach my goals. And when I reach my goals, I’m going to keep with my new habits until that new me becomes the New Normal Me, and the New Normal becomes the Permanent Me.

Oh, I know it may not happen. The Lord could come back before I reach my weight loss goals. I could have an accident and become a paralyzed. Heck, I could have One Really Bad Week and lose all those shiny new habits I’ve just acquired. I don’t know the future, and that’s okay. That’s what relying on the Lord is for. What I can’t do, He can.