soon and very soon…

I’ll be launching my new website!! Sorry if you thought I had busted out with a gospel hymn…

I’m just EXCITED!!

yay

And scared!

As you might recall, I want to make this new place “work”, “earn its keep”… at least generate a little income.

It better because it’s gonna cost a bit to get this started right. 🙂

So what will the new place consist of? Pretty much the same thing it does now, only Lord willing, more cohesive and more of it!

I’ll be posting about my experiences in homeschooling,

homeschool-house

my various and sundry medical issues (type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, migraines, old age (LOL!))

health-wellness

I’ll also post about my faith

faith

and I HOPE there will be lots of people who will come alongside and discuss things! I miss that the most, I think.

comment

The blog I had years ago that was so active had several regular readers and they were not only readers, but COMMENTERS!! We had lots of great discussions about all kinds of topics, so that’s what I’m looking forward to most.

I hope that I might be able to do some reviews and possibly some freelance writing too. That pesky book I’ve been thinking about for years and finally sorta-kinda started…

writing the first chapter

….well, maybe I’ll be able to flesh it out to the end here, who knows?!

Anyhow… stay tuned and if you think of it, pray with me that this will be a success! THANKS!

*mwah!*

Blessings,
G~

Advertisements

answered prayer

Isn’t it amazing when God answers a prayer? Even when we know He can, we know He has, then when He blesses us with another provided need, another confirmation, another open door…wow. How blessed are we?!

This morning, He did that for me. We have always had kids, well, teens or kids our boys’ ages around the house. Even now that both the boys are married and on their own, we end up with “kids” around here randomly.

I can’t make myself NOT call them “kids” even though many of them are moving into their twenties now! Many we have known since they were pre-teens from a former church. Their peers seem to always look up to my boys and so even when we left that church, we kept in touch with those kids who really connected with us.

Some of them have broken our hearts many times. Some have made major turnarounds in their lives. Some have disappointed us but then they have overcome whatever struggle they had and made a good life, a righteous life, for themselves. Then some we have never been able to break through with, never been able to get past their hard hearts, their disbelief in a loving Savior. Those we still pray for and sometimes fret over.

This morning though, one of the boys who really carved out a special place with us all contacted me through Facebook. He’s such a sweet boy but from a rather rough home without Christian parents or other Godly influences in the home. That’s always hard to overcome. We have loved on him, laughed with him, helped him fix broken parts on his vehicle so he could get to work and pleaded with him when he fell back into detrimental things.

prodigal son

He’s been gone, away from us at least, for over a year. He lives in the next town, so we didn’t see him anymore other than an infrequent post on Facebook. Most of those were short rants or photos of him with his middle finger extended with sad eyes looking directly at you. 😦 So heartbreaking for me, but we didn’t push, we didn’t pursue him. We gave him his space realizing he’s an adult now, he’s not actually our child although we have worried and prayed for him as if he was.

This morning… what an answered prayer. He contacted me. With his usual opening line,

“Hey momma.”
Yeah, he’s always called me that. We small talked for a bit, then I asked him

“How are you really?”

Forgive

He’s never been an open book, he won’t share what’s troubling him most without a lot of coercion sometimes. The same was true today, although he did at least tell me that he was really struggling, that he knew he’d been doing wrong and wanted to change things. I immediately texted my husband, the boys and their wives to get them praying right then! I pointed him back to Jesus, when he said he didn’t know what to do or how to start, I told him, “You start with Jesus.”

I went on to say, “I know that sounds simplistic, but it’s true. You have to start with getting back in tune with Him before the rest will ever fall into place.”

Then he said, “I have a question.”

“Shoot,” I told him.

“Are you all mad at me or do you think I’m no good now?”

*deep breath* Bless his heart, I quickly assured him that none of us were mad and we all missed him. I told him he’d always had a special place in my heart, that I worried and prayed for him as if he was my own. I told him I wanted him to go to church with us and he said he wanted to go.

He asked me to pray for him, told me he loved me and missed us all and couldn’t wait to see us again.

*long sigh* I’m just SO relieved! Just as if one of my own sons had come to mend a rift between us. Thank God for His mercy, for keeping him safe all this time, for letting him feel secure enough to reach out to me again.

I can’t wait to see what God’s going to do in his life.

“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
~Mark 11:25

update on the latest “brand new”…

Just wanted to pop on really quick and share that we are really LOVING these new groups. We’ve had our first meeting a church and it was just great. The staff worked with me on getting my sister moved into a group for women, which she was perfectly fine with, thank God!

group-sihlouette

We had just that other couple I mentioned and then the husband of another couple who is going to be leading a group. They are the ones I had contacted a couple months ago about starting a group of our own. The system isn’t complete yet, so the few people for their group didn’t show up and his wife was home sick, so he sat in with us.

We had the best conversations and just a time of getting to know one another! It was awesome and I’m not sure if that was because we were so relieved to have gotten my sis satisfactorily situated in another group and then gotten along so well with our own group or what! *laugh* Maybe it was a little of both. AND that we were just so tickled to finally be getting somewhere with having a small group again. We’ve sure missed that sense of community and comradery!

group-bible in hand

The next night, we had our third meeting with our LIFE group and it was the best yet too. Our kids didn’t get to go because our son was working over and our daughter-in-law didn’t really want to go without him. But everyone else was there and it was just a great time discussing God’s Word and fellowshipping.

Afterward, everyone had gone home and it was just us with the host couple and we had a really nice time of chatting about all kinds of stuff. The husband is a car guy too, so he and Tommy had a great time talking about the projects Tommy has going right now. I’m so glad he has found this man who loves the same things he does AND loves the Lord too. I hope he will get to come “hang out” in the garage with Tommy soon. I think they’d both be on Cloud 9 with so much to talk about and get into out there.

Anyhow, nothing else much, just wanted to toss that out there. I’m so thankful that we have these two great groups in our lives right now. I am praying God does mighty things in and through us all!

Blessings,
G~

you wouldn’t believe me if I told you…

Well, hello there & happy new year! (why yes, it IS January 26th! I’ve been busy, okay?)

Where to start…the Christmas season was great. We stayed home this year instead of booking a week at a cabin for the family. It just seemed we were all a little too tight on money and everyone couldn’t get off the same time, etc, so we just had Christmas at home. Actually, we always do. We don’t get a cabin the actual week of Christmas (do you know how much they charge for that?!?!) We always book the first or second week of December and then when Christmas rolls around, we just have our usual family gatherings: Christmas Eve at Mom’s or my sister’s or one of the kids’ houses and then Christmas morning breakfast at our house.

kids opening gifts
A very sad (quality-wise) pic! I was trying to get spontaneous shots! *sigh* This is my boys with their wives.

It was crazy because it POURED the rain all day on Christmas and the temperatures were so warm we had the heat pump off and the windows open! Talk about kinda mind-boggling! It didn’t feel like Christmas at all except for having everyone over.

Hubbs had a four day weekend, so the day after Christmas, we got up fairly early and went out to our shop/garage and started cleaning. Yep. All kinda fun right there.

building the walls
See the upper level? We have just got the framework of studs up & are starting to put the plywood on!

Hubby has this huge 30 x 60 shop with two large garage bays, one with a car lift, an “office”, a bathroom with shower, a room with a small garage door for our lawn mower and another room that was originally intended to be a “tool room”.

what a mess! ACK! too much stuff!
Here’s a small sampling of what we are dealing with!

Now, before you go thinking we’re rich, let me stop you. Hubby bartered for most of what’s in there (that 6000 lb lift? yep, $200 and a day spent clearing garbage) so even though it’s really REALLY nice considering what we spent on it, we just “squeaked by” to get it completed and enough of the insides done to use it.

In the part of the shop where those rooms are, he was able to get a set of metal stairs so he built an upper level with the intention of closing it in for more household-type storage.

But we somehow never got around to putting up those walls. For one thing, the money just wasn’t there to buy the material, then what material had been left over from building the shop that we’d hoped to at least start on the walls with ended up getting used in some other project. So over the years (yep, YEARS) with each of the boys getting cars that needed parts and then having parts taken off of things that they’d sell… (yeah, right)…well, that upper floor got covered in all manner of stuff!

There was also all the stuff from the house that we just didn’t know what to do with…the dining set that was my grandparents that we used for awhile until my mom gave me a nicer set, the two chairs the boys had used when we were homeschooling, bookcases, books, lamps, sports equipment, weights, siding, trim and tile from projects in the house. You name it, it was out there and open to all the elements a shop can present…dust, black soot from the wood stove that heat the place, sawdust, welding “dust”…it was just filthy up there.

We had a small attic that we’ve used for storage all this time. We had to keep our Christmas stuff up there because it was the only place we had. Because of the way our ceilings are made, we had to put the entrance inside a closet in one of the spare rooms. That makes what little space is up there almost more trouble than it’s worth. So, we decided that we had to get those walls up so we could store the Christmas stuff out in the shop. It’ll be MUCH easier to load a dolly with totes and roll them down the wide steps and into the house than to wrestle them out of the attic. AND we would have enough space to move all my craft stuff out there plus all the other seasonal decor we have stuffed up there.

We decided that it’d be nice to run lights up there, of course, so we could see what was up there, but MORE lights and set up a table so that I could actually work on craft projects out there and not have to gunk up the house every time I wanted to paint something or do a project.

installing the door with no lights yet
See how dark? Hubby’s installing the door, with Samson’s help, it looks like. 🙂

So, we spent a lot of time running metal conduit and electric through those, wiring the lights & getting them hung. That was after framing and covering the walls. We even added a small window so you could see out into the shop from up there. It was out of our old kitchen door!

let there be light!
Hubby ran this metal conduit all across the ceiling & over those beams

After working almost every evening for a week, and I mean, working the whole time he was off for Christmas, then the next four-day weekend for New Year’s and then every evening after work til late, we got really, REALLY tired! Just burnt out, really.

LIGHTS
Let’s shed some light on this mess!
Walls completed! What's next?
Got the walls covered! See the little “peeking” window? 😀

The thing is while we had got a LOT of stuff done for the upstairs and the actual storage area, we were also cleaning and clearing and fixing things in the main shop area too. For instance, Hubby had a work bench he needed to put a new top on. He had kept a big piece of marble-like material he’d gotten from somewhere or other and so we got that down and used the table saw to cut it to the size he needed, cut another piece to make a small shelf over the bench then made another top and corner shelf out of the rest of it. Of course, he had to round all the edges and make it perfect (sheesh!) so that took a lot of time. Now he has a very nice workbench with the shelf above it and a light mounted underneath. He ran wiring for a switch and an outlet.

What's that? The FLOOR! Ladders now have a home!
Hey! There’s the floor! And now the ladders have a home! Woo!

Another project he’d wanted to do for awhile is to get some way to play music out there. The old boom box he’d been using was great…when it would pick up a station. But in a metal building, radio reception is hit or miss, and stations would “wander” so it really frustrated him. Our oldest son told him how he could stream music through his phone. He had run ethernet cable out there from the house (underground!) several years ago so he could do research about stuff he was working on without coming back and forth to the house. So since I’d just upgraded my phone, we had my old one to use solely for streaming music…we just needed something to stream it to. He pulled out another of his “I can use this for something” items…an older car radio with mp3 capabilities. He got our daughter-in-law’s brother, who is a whiz with computers, to come up and help him rig it all up. Then he got into the stack of speakers he’d been amassing. He wired all of those up that sounded decent and so now he has full stereo sound in the shop with clear, crisp streaming music!

So as you can see, our “build walls and clean up a storage area” project was anything but cut and dried!

At this point, we do have a lot accomplished up there. We got the big piles of just STUFF that Hubby had saved from various and sundry building projects sorted and categorized and put into milk crates that are stacked along a wall. the bigger items we put into totes. We built a hook thingie to hold all the remaining conduit and other long, thin items up off the floor and easy to access. We threw out a bunch of junk along the way, used a lot of stuff in the building of the room and moved some out to the shop below.

Yesterday, I wiped down all the Christmas totes that had been stacked in the shop so Hubby could carry them in. While we don’t have the area where we plan to put them completely finished (we need to insulate the outer​ walls and cover them) we do have room to put the totes where they’ll be kept clean and out of the way. I now have them all stacked in the family room (yep, in the middle of everything) which I don’t really care for, but at least I can work toward getting Christmas put away and getting the house back to normal. Hopefully soon I can start carrying craft items out of the back room. First, though, I have to get some shelves emptied and a bit more junk out of the other part of the room.

One more sort-of bump in our road to organizing and cleaning the shop…our youngest son had an accident a couple weeks ago. Praise God, he wasn’t hurt because his Jeep flipped end over end and he could have been seriously injured or killed just as easily. But his Jeep is pretty banged up. The frame was twisted slightly, so the insurance company totaled it and our son bought it back for practically nothing and he wants to fix it.

upsidedown Jeep!
Thank God, it looks a lot worse than it is!

That means it’s in our shop now. *sigh* It’s been okay. He’s been up here for the past week helping Hubby do work out there in preparation (& probably payment​) for his dad’s help fixing the Jeep and a place to work on it. But tonight, they brought it home, so now they are out there messing with it.

I told them they really needed to finish the project they’d started a couple days ago which was putting wall board up in the office (which had been just studs and bare insulation til now) and tin up on the ceiling. So now all the stuff is moved out of the office into the shop and while the walls are done, the ceiling has only one run of metal on it. I’m hoping tomorrow they will get back on that.

Another dilemma there is that we want to move the chest freezer out of the office (yeah, that was the only place we could put it at the time…we got it from his parents) into the mower room, but that, of course, requires a whole ‘nother clean up and move stuff and organize project. We started that tonight, but didn’t get finished. We did get a piece cut out of the roll of carpet we’d had for years big enough to put under our bikes so we could throw the rest of it away and get it out of the floor in the shop (after it had come from upstairs) We got part of our camping supplies out of the mower room moved upstairs and most of the shelf that has to move to make room for the freezer emptied out.

SHEW!!! I’m just about to get overwhelmed with all this stuff!! What I want to do once the majority of this cleaning is done is have a sort-of open house so people from the homeschooling community can come and buy all (hopefully) the tons of books and supplies I have sitting in FOUR bookcases down in the shop covered with a tarp!! I’m still going to have to dust all that stuff, even with the tarp, they’re a mess, but they’ve been sitting there for about 3 years now!

So yeah… we have got a ton of stuff done, but we have SO much more to go! And I’m halfway trying to clear, toss, declutter and organize in the house too.

I hope I get most of this stuff done before it kills me! That way at least when people have to go through my stuff, it won’t drive them bonkers too! LOL!

More updates later.

30 whole years!

Okay y’all… you’ll have to extend some grace here.  I had my 30th wedding anniversary last week and I’m just now posting about it!

weddingtoast

Yes, we were just babies in 1985.

There have been times, over the years, that it wouldn’t have taken much for either of us to just walk away.  It’s been hard at times.  There have also been amazing, awesome, wonderful times, of course.  But those storms when it seems there’s no chance of escaping in one piece can shake you to the core.

But God…  If not for having Him in our lives and in our marriage, we surely would not have made it for thirty years.  Of course, we can do nothing on our own, but we like to think we can.  We so easily forget that it’s only by the will of God that we even breathe let alone move, think, walk and talk.

I’m so thankful that He intervened so many times in our marriage.  I have always felt really glad that both Hubby and I had intact families (neither of our parental units have divorced) and have two examples of half-century marriages to look to, although… *giggle* our marriage looks nothing like either of theirs.

And we don’t want it to!  We exchange knowing looks of agreement when either set of our parents are doing something we find annoying and we’ll laugh or commiserate later that we’re SO glad we don’t “___whatever___” like they do.  I’m sure our kids have the same feelings about us and I guess that’s how life is.

We make our own lives and our own favorite ways of being a couple.

Speaking of the kids, July has become Anniversary Month around here.  Our oldest son and his wife

wedding-victory

wedding-smiles

celebrated seven years of marriage the week before our 30th anniversary, after which our youngest son & his wife

victory

Casey-Taylor-bw-reception

had their first-ever anniversary!  Yep, all within three weeks.

I’m not sure how that happened, but I think it’s kinda cool.  And convenient too in that none of us can quite forget any of the others’ anniversaries.  Ha ha!

I have to admit…I was feeling pretty bummed that we didn’t have any kind of “real” celebration for our 30th though.  I mean, that’s supposed to be some kind of milestone, isn’t it?  I sure don’t know many couples our age who have been married even half this long.  I remember having “dreams” if you will, of being able to take a cruise for our 25th anniversary, but that didn’t happen.  Not for lack of wanting on either of our parts, but for lack of funds?  You betcha.  So five years ago, we plunked down a chunk on a room for the night way high on this mountain, and it was awesome.

It just would have been more awesome if I hadn’t worried about money the whole time.  *sigh*  And here we were five years later, and once again, absolutely no funds for any kind of get-away or even a room for the night somewhere.

I was getting really bummed.  We talked about maybe going to do the Virginia Creeper trail, which is a cycling thing, and that would have been great, but the drive was so long that we’d have been killed to have driven there, ride the trail and then drive back home in one day, so we didn’t even attempt it rather than go and not enjoy it.

After having to replace our air conditioner system (lighting hit it) and then just the week before our anniversary, our water heater broke, saturating the carpet in our bedroom and adding another big expense we couldn’t afford… we just didn’t have any extra money for anything big.

I had spent the week being really sad over it to the point I just didn’t want to do anything.  However, the day arrived, a Sunday, and my best friend from high school, who I hadn’t seen in probably 10 or more years, who has recently moved back here with her newly-adopted TWO YEAR OLD son!!!  She was coming to our church and wanted to see if we could meet and at least sit together.  Of all days for this to happen, on our 30th anniversary had to be a “God thing” because this sweet lady was my one and only “bridal party”..my maid of honor!!!  How cool is that??

So, we got to meet her adorable little guy, visit for a bit, then we took off.  We’d gotten a coupon for a free appetizer at a restaurant we like, but there’s not one near us, so before I even knew what he was doing, Hubby was on the interstate and all he’d say was we were going to eat.

We drove 100 miles away, found the restaurant and had a great meal.  By this time, God had worked on my sour attitude and I was just enjoying time with my husband of 30 whole years.  I began to think about how hard-working and caring he is.  How he’s encouraged me to try harder and do more than I ever would have attempted myself.

30yrstogether2

Later, we stopped in a couple of surplus home goods stores and bought a few little items, found a gorgeous duvet cover with shams for our king size bed for just $18!!  Then we walked through the other place, that was more for builders I guess.. it had furniture and decor and we saw some gorgeous items that gave us some inspirations for future improvements on the house.

Then we went to a couple of health food stores and he helped me pick out meals for the coming week.  His request, saying “since it’s our anniversary”… LOL! is for me to start eating better.

*sigh*

Well, okay.  So, we ended the day at Whole Foods, where we ate a slice of “wholesome” pizza and drank his ever bottle of kombucha tea (which I’ve been thinking about attempting to brew myself)kombucha-WF

and then stopped at the Walmart at home to pick up some batteries we needed and I bought us a selfie stick.  See?

selfiestick

This is the photo I sent to the kids showing them how techno-savvy their parents are.  HAHAHA!!

And so, our 30th anniversary came and went and left me with a sense of satisfaction.  I am sad that I’ve wasted so many years being dissatisfied with things, life, people, myself… but I am doing my best to change things now.

And I’m looking forward to reaching our 50th anniversary and yes, still hoping we might have a bit bigger celebration by that time.  But if not, I know that’ll be okay too.

We have each other and we’re happy.  That’s enough.

Philippians 4:11-12Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”

report on the second visit…

I went back to the pelvic health therapist again yesterday.  We did the biofeedback, which was very informative and surprising.  I was honestly expecting to find that my muscles were super-tight, perpetually stressed.

Turns out, according to the results, my “stuff” isn’t extremely tight after all.  I do seem to have weak muscles, as a matter of fact.  Which either created or resulted from poor muscle control.  It was, like I said, informative and surprising, but also strange/weird.  Ha ha…  She had me tense my pelvic floor muscles for a few seconds, up to a minute, then relax.  The biofeedback showed that my contractions were pretty weak, but that, contrary to what we expected, the muscles actually do relax after instead of steadily increasing in tension.

That’s so totally opposite of what my symptoms seem to point to… that my muscles were overly tight and unable to relax.  I guess that leads to realizing that the problem is more due to the scar tissue and the trauma of the pain and conditioning over the years to tighten in response.

*sigh*  I was kinda hoping this would be more physical than that, and be something we could “exercise” (HAHA!) out of me instead of having to retrain my mind.  Muscles, I believe, are much MUCH easier to retrain than a brain.

Hubby was able to go with me this time, which was good.  I wasn’t feeling really great about driving up there by myself.  He ordered himself some shoes last week and we had hoped they would be there for us to pick up yesterday.  But of course, they weren’t in and we are leaving for Nashville after church Sunday.  He really wanted to have them in time to wear at his conference.  If they come in before Sunday, we may end up driving up there (in the opposite direction of our destination) to get them, THEN drive down to Nashville, which is a 3 1/2-hour drive anyway!  Ugh.

I’m working on getting laundry done and attempting to get the house in a teeny bit better shape before we go.  I swear, it’s so horrible now.  Just stuff… papers and little things scattered all over.  I made a stab at it Sunday afternoon and cleared, or at least organized, all the papers piled up on the bar.  It’s still a mess since when Hubby got up from napping, he insisted we go out and get some landscaping done.  He had picked up a truckload of gravel for the three trees in the back yard, so he pulled all the weeds out, pulled up the filter fabric and de-rooted it then we replaced the fabric and shoveled the rocks around the trees.  That was encouraging, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to do.  He had done a great service/tune-up job on our old (a 1976 model!) John Deere lawn tractor, replacing the blades, belts and changing oil and other fluids.  When he mowed last week, it was SO evident all the work he’d done on it because the yard looked better than it has in ages!  Even and smooth.  Now with some of the landscaping refreshed in the back, I am getting encouraged to keep it going, get the house in shape, get the rest of the landscaping cleaned up (the areas right next to the house are a mess!) and get busy with some cookouts and get-togethers with lots of fun, friends and family.

I’ll close this post out before I ramble into yet another topic.  But I’ll add this… it is extremely evident that the worst of the depression has been dealt with.  Whether it’s the higher dose of Wellbutrin or just that I’m beginning to get healthier, but although I won’t say I’m “great”, I am definitely better.  A lot better.

For that, I am extremely, immensely grateful.

Proverbs 3:5-8

“5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
    and refreshment to your bones.”

go me!

I am SO pumped, y’all! The past two days, I’ve put my sorry butt on the trainer and pounded out 8 miles each day on my bike. When I did it yesterday, I checked my blood pressure about an hour later and it was better than it’s been EVER while off my BP meds!!

PRAISE GOD!! I am SO thrilled that perhaps there IS a way to avoid those nasty, cough-inducing, make-me-choke medicines and still keep my blood pressure good! Honestly, if you haven’t read the last few posts, you don’t know how much this has worried me. The higher blood pressure was affecting my eyes, is bad for my kidneys… just really bad for me all around. Every time they put me on a new BP med, I would start with the coughing and wheezing again and every time I went off the meds, my BP would shoot up above the recommended 140/90. Yesterday, it was 156/85 and today it is 149/92. I know, I know… still a bit above what the doctor wants, but WAY better than it had been running!

I’m so tickled I could jump for joy! Only, I won’t because I’m kinda tired after my trainer session. Ha ha!

In other related news, we sent for a return number to send my bike computer to be repaired. Remember? Hubby got me one off eBay that has a cracked screen, but the computer works. Turns out, it’s still in warranty, but the warranty doesn’t cover the screen damage. That just tells us that the computer is fairly new and as I’d said, the repair will be about $90. For a computer like this, with GPS, speed/distance/cadence/grade/a-buncha-other-stuff capabilities, you can analyze the crap outta your rides and we also just ordered me a heart rate monitor that displays on the computer in real time, so you can stay in your “zone” the whole time (IF you can, that is! Ha ha!) So even including the price paid for the broken unit, we still end up with a great price for this computer. And I know it might sound like a frivolous extra, but it really helps you keep riding, keep pushing, when you can see how you’re doing, how far you’ve gone, what your cadence is and all that. It’s very motivating.

I’m so hopeful that with this proof that riding will help my blood pressure, I’ll be more apt to keep it up and in the process lose some weight and end up a healthier, happier gal. I’m secretly setting a goal to be in much better shape before I turn 50. I haven’t set any concrete goals, but generally, I’d love to lose a ton more weight, like at least 50 pounds. I would be thrilled beyond my wildest dreams if I could get that much weight off.

But in my mind, that sounds impossible. But I’m looking for and clinging to hope. I am praying for the determination and dedication to stick with this. To learn, in the process, how to set and stick to goals and carry out good, healthy plans.

Maybe get a little more disciplined in the process?? That one is a stretch for this completely undisciplined gal, but here’s hoping.

Hebrews 11:1“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

a better day…

Thank God, today has been better than yesterday. I guess that’s the way hope works, huh?

Hubby is at work again. His back hurt him more than anything this morning, which is common for him when he lays around too much. So he got up and took a hot bath and was ready to go in record time. He gave me a heads up for lunch, so I met him for Mexican and then went to pay a bill and pick up a few things for Baby Son’s birthday, which is today!

I can’t quite believe he’s twenty-two years old! It’s amazing how time just warps when it comes to your kids growing up. It honestly seems like yesterday he was wobbling all over the house, squealing and turning every knob he could get his hands on. He used to do this thing where he’d “rare” back and let go with this ear-splitting screech of a noise! It seemed to thrill him to get such a strong reaction from everyone. He was also forever trying to take things apart, so knobs and buttons and anything else that moved was at risk from him. He liked to know how things worked. As he grew, he still wanted to know how things worked, but he became very adept at putting them right back together. Now he likes to drive, (sometimes like a maniac, which ages his mother relentlessly) and service his own vehicles, which he trades often too. He’s owned more vehicles in his short licensed-driver life than his dad and I have our whole lives, I think! He can operate heavy equipment and figure out how to fix things. He’s an amazing young man and I’m so proud of him!

Being such a self-reliant and resourceful fella makes him impossible to buy gifts for, so I went today and bought him a kite and a bag of special edition Skittles. He always loved to fly kites when we got the opportunity. He has the perfect spot for it up on the hill where he lives and of course, no self-respecting 22-year-old is going to buy himself a kite, no matter how much he might want to fly one. So his mama bought him one. I pray he’ll like it at least a little and not think it’s totally stupid. He’s so distant and avoids us these days, so it’s even harder to know how he’ll react to something.

Psalm 127:3“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”

that just happened–again

Yup.  Behold:

biker-knees

this is what happens when you don’t know how to use clip-ins… although I’m told it happens to the best of them #argh

So…went without my Hubby on a bike right with some people from the cycling club.  This was kinda big for me because I don’t normally go riding without Hubby or at least my son.  I dunno why except that’s just normally what we do… we go riding together.  Only he’s training to do this crazy century ride (that’s 100 miles… on a bicycle, folks!)  See?  Crazy!!  But he’s determined to do it and I admire his determination, but it makes it harder for us to ride together.  I mean, there ain’t no way this fat girl is gonna make it for the 50-70+ mile rides they are doing to train for this! I’m thankful he has a couple of good people to ride with…they are actually planning to do the actual ride together.  Both of the other people have done centuries before, and they are such great encouragement to him. But yeah, so I went after talking to another girl who hasn’t gotten to ride a ton this year like me and even though she’s probably a stronger rider, she seemed glad to hang back with me.  There was a fairly big group that showed up, including the couple that are most active with the club.  He is also a very strong rider and she is actually too, but she’s not nearly as competitive as her husband. The young girl who rode with me today was a great encouragement.  I just HATE feeling like I’m holding people up.  Ab-so-LUTEly hate it!  But they are always gracious and sweet.  Maybe one day I will be able to keep up.

Honestly I think part of my problem is my bike.  It’s not anything like what most of the other riders have.  It’s heavier and it’s not really designed for the type of rides we are doing.  Hubbs has modified it some to make it work better, but it’s just not designed for these kinda rides. We have looked at getting a different bike from the local bike shop.  When Hubby bought me this bike, it was the best fitting bike that wasn’t super-expensive but capable enough to just see if I would enjoy riding or not.

He’s found this place in Seattle that custom builds bikes.   Yes, Seattle, Washington.  He even called them and talked to an awesome, knowledgeable guy named Smiley who was super-helpful.  They can build the entire bike or just the frame although the cost difference makes more sense to just have them put the whole thing together.  They have some kind of computerized jig to fit your bike before they start the build.  Thus, even though you CAN do your own measurements and they’ll build you a bike, it’s better, obviously, to go and let them fit you on their jig-thingie.  *sigh*

I have no clue how we could ever afford the bike, which will cost at least 2k, let alone the trip out there.  A 40-hour drive!  But Hubby is determined that we are going to do this.  Once we determined that yeah, I do enjoy riding quite a bit and now realize that my bike is making that not as enjoyable as it could be, we have started trying to remedy that.  However, most companies just don’t really specialize in short-people bikes.  The brand we’ve been looking at in our local shop doesn’t even make one small enough for me, so we had been looking at one a full two centimeters too large.  Granted, that doesn’t sound like much, but you spend 20-some miles on a bike and you will know that it doesn’t fit you right.  You should have an inch of stand-over gap… distance between your crotch and the top bar but the smallest bike they can get from this company has me touching the bar, so yeah.. it’s just not the right size.

Could I ride the bike?  Yes.  Would it be the best option for me in the long run?  No, not really.  However, I am torn now realizing how much my current bike is limiting me… just the fact that its heavier, the components are not as quality thus they don’t work as well… I am left exerting a lot more effort to climb hills and things like that than I would be with a better bike.

Given that a Rodriguez bike would not be much more than we’d be giving for the bike that doesn’t really fit from our local shop, it’d be kind of crazy for us to settle… if you leave out the cost of actually going to Seattle, that is.

And so now I’m a little perturbed at the thought of having to “put up with” my current bike until we can/IF we can ever actually get a custom bike for me.  It makes it hard to want to ride, ya know?

I am TRYING not to be too excited about the possibility of getting a bike that would fit me because I just can’t see it happening or at least not for a very long time.  And I’m trying not to think of how much better I might ride if I had a better bike… ugh.  Hubby’s talking about selling our four-wheeler, which granted, we don’t use a whole lot, but it comes in handy when we need it.  I’m torn about selling it, but really, it’s all we have that’s worth much at all and if we got what it’s worth, it would almost pay for the bike.  *sigh*

I gotta stop thinking about this.  It’s driving me crazy.  We are supposed to go riding, a much shorter, easier ride with the group Monday evening.  I am dreading the thoughts of dealing with those clips again.  They have created such a nasty mind-game with me… and I’m not good with those.  I just can’t quite make myself try them again. … and I’m almost certain I won’t attempt to do the Redbud Ride with them since I won’t have Hubby with me.  My son is talking about doing the ride and I MIGHT consider it if he goes, but otherwise, I just do NOT want to have to deal with those things.  They keep me so distracted worrying that I’m going to fall and not be able to unclip that I can’t half-way enjoy the ride.  GAH!!

Okay, shutting up now.  I hope one of these days this kind of crap won’t even occur to me.  That I can just think, “Yay!  I’m gonna go riding today” and just enjoy the heck out of it, ya know?

Philippians 4:11Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”

I like to ride my bicycle…

Seriously, I do.  But man, getting ready to do that can be irritating and frustrating, ya know?

I mean, it’s not like when we were kids… just put on your sneaks and go!  Back when I was a youngun’, there were no helmets, no reflectors, no super-crazy safety concerns… I remember more than once getting my flare-legged pants hung in my chain and having to run pantsless to the house in immortal fear that someone on our rural gravel road would see me running across the yard in my bloomers.  BAHAHA!

if you change the pretty blonde for brown stringy hair and remove the helmet and make the bike less "cool", this is me...

if you change the pretty blonde for brown stringy hair and remove the helmet and make the bike less “cool”, this is me…

So now it’s more embarrassing to be seen before you get on the bike what with the garb required to ride for miles and miles and still be comfortable.  The padded spandex cycling shorts, the funky clip shoes that make you walk funny, the sweatbands and helmets,… distance cycling is NOT in any way connected to fashion, okay?

Observe:

winterroadie

Anatomy of basic cycling garb

Ugly clothing, especially spandex! will usually look better if you are not a big gal like me, so add some flab to these gals to get just a taste of how bad this stuff looks with me in it....

Ugly clothing, especially spandex! will usually look better if you are not a big gal like me, so add some flab to these gals to get just a taste of how bad this stuff looks with me in it….

And so, you can see how cycling is not really about fashion.  Haha!!  Although I would LOVE to have me one of these if they weren’t so expensive…

Cutest women's cycling jersey ever!

Cutest women’s cycling jersey ever!

Maybe when I lose weight, I’ll splurge on that baby to celebrate.  Ha!

The good thing is that nobody else notices how weird you look because they look at least mostly as weird as you do, so there’s that.  Then there’s the crazy nutritional aspects of cycling and staying healthy…we “do” Gu  usually…

pronounced "goo" and yummier than you'd think...

pronounced “goo” and yummier than you’d think…

especially for long rides, pre-fueling nutrition & during-ride food is extremely important...

especially for long rides, pre-fueling nutrition & during-ride food is extremely important…

When Hubby got into biking, I never dreamed that we would be accumulating this kind of equipment or worrying about nutrition the way we are.  But then again, he doesn’t really “piddle” when he gets into a hobby.  *sigh*  That’s great in ways, but after hunting, fishing, go-kart racing and such, and spending thousands of dollars, it can be scary for me when he gets obsessed with something.

I’m thankful that at last it’s something that we can do together and will actually make us healthier.

1 Corinthians 13:12- For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”