Friday, October 29, 2010

definitely carrying on

In 2001, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol. The doctor wanted me to immediately go on cholesterol medication because I was so thin and so he opined that changing my diet would have no effect. Nevertheless, before I went on the medication, I did change my diet, and I was able to lower my cholesterol to a level that was acceptable to me.  I have faithfully monitored my diet for the past ten years always hanging near the 200 mark. Last December it was 212.

A couple of months ago, I read an article about the Whole Foods Market that referenced the Engine 2 Diet. Doing more research about this diet, I found that it claims to naturally lower your cholesterol. I decided to try it.

Two months have passed and today I went to have my blood work done. As I was driving along in my car, I pondered what kind of number I would need to carry on with this diet. It has taken some time and effort to nearly eliminate meat and dairy from my daily intake. It has required approaching grocery shopping differently and searching for new recipes and/or adapting old ones.

I decided that it would have to be at least 192 or lower to keep it up. When the result came through, I was astounded—



In fact, I was so thrilled, I actually sent a thank you note to the author of the book via his website…and received a response!

“Absolutely fabulous Debbie!!!
May we have your permission to publish your story on our web site/blog? 
Thanks for sharing with us.  Plant-based really does work!”

Sunday, October 24, 2010

primary presentation

I do love my responsibility leading the elementary school kids during their singing time at church each Sunday. Once a year the children are responsible for the talks and music during Sacrament Meeting and today was the day. In my opinion, the children were amazing.


It was a  thrill to have my four visiting grandchildren join us and to see them singing their hearts out as well. I felt like it was especially for me.

The time has come and gone ever so quickly. Right after church, they had to head back to Charlotte for school and work responsibilities, but not before I received a private concert from Carter (and we even talked Cork into playing a tune though she has only been taking lessons for a few weeks.)

They are so talented!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

saturday night


We got their parents off to the Candy Hall of Fame Event. Their other grandpa was being inducted for his world renown work in chocolate.


I made macaroni and cheese by request. I do make the best macaroni and cheese in the whole wide world. In case you are wondering, they told me so. We played Five Crowns with our two left-behinders before dressing up for our own special event this evening. Thank heaven we have an in house babysitter.


Then we were off to the Second Annual Adult Dance at the church.

sunshine therapy

I decided early on this week to skip therapy on Thursday. How it normally works is that by the time that the gritty edge of pain is just starting to subside, it is time for me to go back. I needed a pain break and the Seguines were coming to visit.


We decided to christen the new tubes, purchased at the end of the summer after decimating the old ones this year.


I actually went for a s-l-o-w ride myself. But I was terrified the whole time and once around the lake was more than enough.


Bless their little hearts…they begged me to drive them.


And it was good therapy for my arm ;)


Their parents tell me they are brighter and happier at the Birdhouse…but I can’t even begin to tell you what they do for me.


Even though he promised not to do so, Doug zipped Tricia, Dan and Brianna all over the lake. All the while, they were screaming and literally holding on for dear life. Now we all have hurting arms.


Two perfect days of sun and fun.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

sizing up her ring


I am a huge fan of Merry Jewelers in downtown Eustis.  They advertise to “…make it a Merry occasion.”  I have never actually purchased any jewelry there, but I end up going to the store several times a year for repairs and/or batteries for one or the other of us.

I have a set of mother’s rings and the girls each have a matching ring. When we lived in England, our landlordess, I guess I should say landlady, however lordess seems to suit her better, owned a similar set of rings.  I thought it was a cool idea.DSC09464 On one of our home leaves, I bought six rings and over the years gave one to each of the girls to mark an event in their lives. Many years later, after Brianna became part of our family, on a trip back to California, I went to the same place and ordered two more. Since she was 4 or 5 at the time, it is not surprising that our best guess for a ring size was not correct. However, Mr. Merry and Co. sorted that out for us. He shared some stories and when I asked, he told me that he is now 94. 

Brianna received a father’s blessing and her ring, the evening before she started high school.DSC09465She has often seen me wear my rings and she knew her sisters each had a matching one, but she didn’t imagine that I would have ordered one for her and kept it hidden all these years. I wouldn’t exactly say that it was a “merry occasion”, but certainly a joyful one.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

swinging my arm

photo6 My homework from the physical therapist this weekend was to learn how walk again. It is amazing that I could have been walking for 56 years now and in a matter of 7 weeks, my body has apparently forgotten how it is done. Or rather, it is amazing the accommodations my body has made to protect my injured arm. For example, my arm no longer swings.
Being more than a little paranoid and nervous these days, I am not happy to walk just anywhere. However, there is a beautiful place  downtown, the Eustis Lake Walk, and it is just a couple of miles away.photo2
Brianna went with me the first three days, coaching me and encouraging me. Sunday evening just before sundown, photo3Doug joined me. I was sad that I hadn’t brought my camera along, but he had his phone and captured the essence of the spectacular fall evening.

It almost seemed like a movie scene, with various choreographed actors perfectly playing their parts…lovers chatting on the sea wall,  a group of bongo players jamming in the gazebo, fisherpeople, cheerleaders practicing their routines on the bandshell stage, parents swinging kids on the small playground, a large group of teenagers playing that funny ninja game, lounge abouters and me…
“Swing a little more backwards,” he says.
photo1 “Will you take a picture of that bird on the roof?” I answer.

Friday, October 15, 2010

go bulldogs


We just got mid-term reports. Brianna is doing terrific and she loves high school every bit as much as she thought she would. The best part, of course, is all the fun activities like tonight’s…the game and out to dinner with friends afterwards.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

physical therapy

Last Tuesday, I saw my doctor. When he asked me to stand and raise my arm, I could only raise it a few inches. When I relaxed my arm, he could raise it, but not above shoulder height. On Wednesday I went to see the physical therapist. Her name is Eni.

Eni is from Brazil. I asked her if I could take a picture, but she said that I couldn't. I think Eni is about my age. Eni is also tiny like me. We bond over places we can go to find pants that fit.

I was annoyed when she called me "frail" at my first visit. Frail is a word for people much older and in much worse shape that I am in. I tell my grandkids that I am fragile. There is a huge my book.

Eni certainly doesn't treat me like I am frail. Actually, it all starts out rather nice. I lay on a motorized table with pillows under my head and legs to keep me comfortable. She covers my arm with hot packs and then I listen to earthy sounding new age music and check out the maps of musculature on the walls until she comes back.

The first day she asked me to lift my arm as high as I can from the table. I couldn't lift it one centimeter...not even one. That's humbling and scary, let me tell you. Then she lifted it and asked me if I could hold it there in the air for 3 seconds. We played that game in various positions. Then she massaged my arm and back. That is when we went from pain to PAIN. Eni tells me to let her know when it hurts. I tell her numerous times that it hurts, but she carries on. Finally, I told her that she was killing me! She smiles and carries on with a minuscule bit less intensity.

Eni gives me homework to do. I am a good patient. The next two times that I visit her, she is full of praise because I can lift my own arm--today, a little above shoulder height, impressing my husband who has been away all week. My arm, upper and lower, and back are sore all the time now. Eni says that means that I am working. She smiles and seems delighted and even surprised at how well I am doing.

I am praying, and I am working, and I am the recipient of many prayers on my behalf. I am grateful for the blessings bringing me along. I keep those thoughts in my mind, especially now, when it is time to exercise yet again.

Monday, October 11, 2010

uss midway

With thanks again to Melanie for the following post:

On Columbus Day we had big plans to take a family outing with my dad to the USS Midway aircraft carrier.  But, Truman was still soooooo sick.  So, Elliot got to be the special child of the day with my dad and I.  It was amazing!  It made the Flying Leatherneck Museum look lame-o...although being free it will do in a pinch.

My dad was soaking it all up.  Elliot exclaimed, "Mom, this is totally awesome!  You can bring me here a hundred times!"

You could actually get into the planes and helicopters. 
And push all the buttons!!

It was so fun having my dad around.  Next time we hope we won't be sick, or get you sick Papa!  Thanks for being such a great dad and even shopping with me all day for a new cell phone with text (I'm joining the rest of the world). 

That is some fatherly love right there!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

taking mom and dad to church

 photo 8 photo 7

Doug with his youngest brother, Kyle on Sunday morning.

Friday, October 08, 2010

stealing melanie’s post

Papa is Here

My dad arrived late Tuesday night.  All my boys woke up sick on Wednesday.  Truman may or may not have just been sick of school.  They spent the morning playing Mouse Trap with Papa and watching Blue Angels videos on the internet.  Then everyone climbed into the car for lunch at In-n-Out. 

Truman was amazed to come home from school the next day and see Papa eating In-n-Out again!

Later that afternoon, Truman had his soccer game.

This is when I get a huge lump in my throat.

Because every week we see grandparents at the games supporting and cheering on their grandchildren, and I suppress my envy.  But, today, Papa was here.  And, we were at the game early, so Papa went out and played with the early arrivals.  He even matched the boys and looked like the Coach!

During the game, my other boys climbed all over Papa instead of me.

This is what I miss.

Truman played amazing and ran his little heart out...

and he even earned Player of the Week.

It is awesome having Papa here.


I got a surprise phone call this morning from my friend, Svetlana. We met in Argentina. She and her husband were from the Ukraine. Svetlana became my friend and my seamtress. She sewed ALL of the dresses for Melanie’s wedding at my home in Buenos Aires. Then, we brought her to the United States with us for the Big Event.

I last saw her and her husband the day we left Argentina ten years ago, and I have only spoken with her once, a few months later. So when she called, we had some catching up to do!

She and her husband returned to the Ukraine. Jasha (Jacob) and Jeffim (Jeffrey) were born. Now they are 8 and 6 years old.

svet1 Four years ago, Svetlana applied to a green card lottery for herself and her husband. Fedya won. They all returned together to the United States and lived in Philadelphia amongst other Russian immigrants until a couple of months ago. svet2 They have moved to Bothell, Washington, just outside metropolitan Seattle. Both Fedya and Svetlana are students.svet3

I love catching up!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

evidence of a good time

I got the pictures, but not the story!

However, I learned from Melanie’s blog that this is the

Flying Leatherhead Museum

This is the perfect outing for a group of boys who love planes, missiles, bombs...and fresh air...

Truman thought the bullet proof vest was way to heavy for his body. Elliot loved figuring out how all the planes work...especially his favorite: wheel retraction, not to mention fuel tank reloading and machine guns on the side. Nolan liked figuring out ways to crawl into the roped off areas.  Classic.


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