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Today's Musings on Giving it Your All

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Today's motivational message was about 'giving it your all'. Actually,the quote was 'Finish Your Day and Be Done With It', then the concept was elaborated on by discussing giving your tasks your all, so your day can truly be behind you.

I have a slightly different take on the concept of completing tasks so you can leave yesterday behind you. Yesterday, the last hour, the last minute, and soon the present will be behind you no matter what. When it's done, it's done. It is the important reason to live in the present, to make good use of each minute each day, to show your love to people each day, and to spend time on things you love each day.

Giving it your best is a slightly different issue to me, but then I have OCD tendencies so I may be way out there on this topic. If my task is to complete my work tasks so I can leave work at home, I COULD technically half step all of my tasks, which would be complete and adequate - but would I have given my best? The same with household chores (which I freely confess to half stepping on because they are low on my priority list during the school year), I can get them done, and the house looks adequately clean and organized. Not spic and span, which I would dearly love.....IF someone else would do it.

It seems to me that giving it your best is part of living in the moment, really being part of what you are doing as you are doing it, rather than a motivation for being free of the task later in the day, or free of it tomorrow. Even housework, which I do not intrinsically enjoy, if I find ways to enjoy getting it complete, I improve my present. An iPod with some good music or a book on tape, or even 'working' meditation can launch a tedious task into something pleasant.

Now that I have admitted to being a not-so-hot cleaner of the house, I have to say that in general, I do not understand not giving things your all. When I had a personal trainer, she would tell me how much fun it was to work with me because many of her clients wouldn't really try. Really? Why would someone go to the time and expense of having a personal trainer and not put in the effort to get stronger and healthier? The same with music lessons, martial arts, etc. Why would I take the lessons if I didn't want to improve, and why wouldn't I spend practice time methodically (and joyfully) improving my technique? Some of this is the OCD factor, I know, but most of it is not letting other things enter my focus so I can experience the joy, and sometimes the frustration, of learning and perfecting something I love. If I loose my focus thinking about something I should be doing, or something I should have done, I am taking away from the thing I am doing right now.



'Nothing is ever achieved without enthusiasm.' Ralph Waldo Emerson

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MCGS62 10/17/2011 2:11PM

    LOL!! ROll on the ground Laughing!!!!
If you find one of those spic and span people cheap tell me
I promise I'll mow the living room and scrape the kitchen before hiring them!!!

house cleaning is futile especially with B home

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BADASSBLONDIE 10/17/2011 1:40PM

    I feel ya a million times over on OCD tendencies, espeically not doing something b/c you don't have time to do it perfectly.

Agreed a million times over about giving your all. :D

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DDOORN 10/17/2011 9:54AM

    Great thoughts...!

Keep the SPARK! :-)

Don

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OVERWORKEDJANET 10/17/2011 5:19AM

    I lived in the moment long enough to clean and polish my living room. I cleaned the windows inside and when I went to clean the outside found out how nice it was out. At that moment I became "done with it" and did yard work, played in the dirt and got a bit sunburnt.
I felt accomplished.
My house wasn't much cleaner but I was Finished!
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Comment edited on: 10/17/2011 5:19:33 AM

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FIFIFRIZZLE 10/16/2011 10:14PM

    This is not going to help me with my housework!
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IUHRYTR 10/16/2011 9:18PM

    This reminds me of the motivational speaker's question: "Why do so many people work so hard to get a job then when they have it work just as hard trying not to do any work?" I'm a believer in the old saying, "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right." I think you are, too. -- Lou

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MARY1313 10/16/2011 8:39PM

    Love this!

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TKADEEPBREATH 10/16/2011 8:20PM

    emoticon . . . and a nose rub too... !

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NANHBH 10/16/2011 5:02PM

    Great blog. I also side-step my house chores, so in keeping with my OCD tendencies, I pay someone else once a month to come in and clean with a toothbrush! Just kidding, I don't think they use a toothbrush - at least I haven't given them one!
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HIKETOHEIGHTS 10/16/2011 1:07PM

    Very good thoughts. I have heard this remark from trainers also, I don't think they are thinking when they say that. The primary reason these people come to them is to learn, but many go to a trainer because they lack the motivation, drive. And/or will power to do it alone. For some of their clients, it is their job to get them to point B so it follows those clients might not give it their all.


Housework is like that. I take forever to finish my laundry. Sort one day. Next day I wash & hang. Wait a day to let it all dry, then sort again. Next day put it away, about 3-4 day process. Some of it is logistics but also I DON'T LIKE IT!

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WATERMELLEN 10/16/2011 11:25AM

    I like this blog -- and I agree with this blog -- and I suffer from OCD tendencies as well (but about housework, not so much either): but, having said all of that I'm still hoping that you aren't going to work yourself into a state of total exhaustion. Because there is unlimited demand for your particular kind of passion and attention and "presentness" in the service of others, particularly when those others are children.

So: another very useful and balancing concept to keep in mind might be, Voltaire's "The best is the enemy of the good". Supplemented with "90% of life is just showing up".

Not everything is worth doing to optimal achievement levels: some things are only worth getting done. Sometimes "good enough" is . . . better than best.

This is tough for me . . . but yeah.

Comment edited on: 10/16/2011 11:26:15 AM

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JOHNMARTINMILES 10/16/2011 9:10AM

    Yesterday is a memory and tomorrow but a dream but today, well lived, makes every yesterday a happy memory and every tomorrow a vision of hope!

From the Sanskrit

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Puttin' On the Witch

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Our town is preparing for our local Halloween festivities. This year, business owners can opt into having a scarecrow in front of their businesses. My class was invited to make a scarecrow for the local bookstore. She is really fun!



This may be my favorite photo of the bunch. emoticon



Teamwork getting her downtown.

''

Now to get her placed in the sidewalk.



Meet Annie Ox Cool from Antioch School.



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We also made one for our school, which I hope to have up tomorrow. I'll post pictures when it is in place.

Just one more reason to love October!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MCGS62 10/17/2011 1:56PM

    she is beautiful!!
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is she single?
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oops!!
I have a feeling
I'm about to be
turned into a frog!!
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BADASSBLONDIE 10/14/2011 12:50PM

    Looks great!!!! :D And now I have Puttin' on the ritz stuck in my head tehe.

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OLDERDANDRT 10/14/2011 11:03AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IDLETYME 10/14/2011 9:50AM

    Love Annie Ox. A fun activity for the kids to help with!
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HIKETOHEIGHTS 10/13/2011 8:40PM

    beautiful witch!

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SCOOTER4263 10/13/2011 8:11PM

    Love it - and her name!! emoticon (I think that's a witch...I don't have my glasses, so it could be a pilgrim......)

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VALERIEMAHA 10/13/2011 7:33PM

    LOVE IT! I just finished Gregory Maguire's _Wicked_. Have you read it? It's brilliant.


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WATERMELLEN 10/13/2011 6:50PM

    Super project!

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MARY1313 10/13/2011 5:57PM

    HAHAHAHA!!!! I love the pun!!! so cute. Ya'll are amazing!

Mary

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NANHBH 10/13/2011 4:56PM

    Well, hello Annie Ox Cool from Antioch School. Nice to meet you!

Very cute!
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AWONDERS59 10/13/2011 4:08PM

    That looks like it was slot of fun. It looks like a nice town

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A Celebration of Autumn

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mondays are nature exploration and (mental) reflection days; off to the nature preserve we went, my class and I. What a blessing to have the nature preserve as a resource quite literally in our back yard!



There are quite a few more leaves down this week, than last. In fact, the slightest breeze sets free a golden tumult.



The light filtering through the pawpaws is so magically golden.



If you have not seen pawpaws before, this photo gives some scale. They are almost tropical in appearance, which fits with the flavor of the fruit. The fruits taste almost tropical as well, kind of a flavor combination of banana and mango.



The little green hepatica leaves are a pretty contrast with the golds and brown autumn hues.



"Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it." ~Lao Tzu





"With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson



Enjoy the beauty of each day. I am soaking up fall, it is so decadently stunning this year, but it is always so fleeting.








  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAZZMINE 10/12/2011 6:55PM

    Thanks for helping me appreciate the beauty of fall! It is so hard to say good-bye to summer....

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NANHBH 10/12/2011 6:17PM

    So pretty!
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MCGS62 10/12/2011 4:22PM

    Great pictures!!

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IDLETYME 10/12/2011 6:54AM

    Love the pictures! Thanks so much. emoticon

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MAWRTIAN 10/11/2011 9:00PM

    Great pics! I could totally see pawpaws here!!!

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OLDERDANDRT 10/11/2011 5:35PM

    Awe inspiring!!


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IUHRYTR 10/11/2011 5:33PM

    You may have hit on a new fruit combination between a banana and a mango -- a bango! emoticon OK, bad joke but beautiful pictures as always. emoticon -- Lou

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MARY1313 10/11/2011 1:18PM

    Just Gorgeous!!!!

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KRITTERKEEPERS 10/11/2011 12:25PM

    October is my favorite month of the year!
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OVERWORKEDJANET 10/11/2011 5:25AM

    My favorite time of year.

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CAROLIAN 10/11/2011 3:44AM

    I think Autumn is the most beautiful coloured time of the year
I love walking through the woods ear my house and watch the leaves falling.It is so peaceful emoticon emoticon

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SUNRIZING 10/10/2011 8:49PM

    You are giving us a beautiful gift when you share things like this, thank you!
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WATERMELLEN 10/10/2011 7:10PM

    Great celebration . . . and you are helping your students notice the seasons passing, something that will stay with them their whole lives.

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ARLENE_MOVES 10/10/2011 7:06PM

    Beautiful fall pics!!!



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LUNADRAGON 10/10/2011 6:19PM

    I love your photographs, and your background picture - Are those gloriosa daisies? or something similar.
Nice!
Deborah

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VALERIEMAHA 10/10/2011 4:59PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FERNASHES 10/10/2011 4:31PM

    Beautiful photos! It makes me kind of sad that the intense Indian summer is over here - enjoy it while it lasts!

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What's in Your Cart?

Sunday, October 09, 2011



I don't usually pay too much attention to other people's shopping carts at the grocery store, I am too busy concentrating on my own groceries shopping. I have my own strategy for shopping that I took from something I read a long time ago about healthy shopping. First I shop around the perimeter of the groceries store, which is where the fresh foods are located. I start with my fruits and veggies and go from there, selecting from my staples plus what is is season or what looks especially appealing. Then I move around to the dairy and meats. I have a list for what I need in the center aisles, usually beans, pasta, fresh pesto, coffee, tea, and cleaning supplies. I buy frozen fruit to in the freezer section to add to my smoothies. It is an efficient system for me, and keeps me from passing the chips, cookies, etc. which are particularly appealing when I'm shopping. Those are the things that if they are in the house, I WILL eat them, and in quantities greater than I should.

Yesterday the check-out line was particularly slow. There was a man around my age (maybe younger... I wondered if he was aging faster than me) graying, tired looking, with a very large tummy. His clothes were worn, and the heels of his shoes were worn down on one side. He looked poor and single and downtrodden. As I said, I don't usually spend time considering what was in people's carts, but it was actually the the contents of his cart that drew my attention to him in the first place. Along with a jumbo pack of toilet paper, he had around 24 Lunchables, one bag of chopped iceberg lettuce, and a bag of grapes.

It made me sad thinking of him sitting alone in his house, eating Lunchables for his lunch (and dinner?) with a tiny salad and some grapes. His health already did not look good. Those Lunchables are jam packed with sodium and preservatives and totally lacking in nutrition. And they taste terrible, besides... I have tried a taste of some that the children bring to school when they offered me a bite.

I wanted to take him through the store to pick out food that would taste delicious and be healthy for him, yet cost the same as what he just spent. Recently there was a spot on the news featuring the effect on economy on poor people. The person they interviewed was an obese woman, crying that she did not have enough to eat. I thought this was an unfortunate person to choose to interview because people would laugh and be judgmental. She's obese, so she's getting plenty to eat. Right? Wrong! So often people with very little resources purchase food that is 'inexpensive' in terms of initial cost, but not in terms of health and well being. Information about good nutrition is out there, but not everyone receives it, or understands how to apply it. While people cut corners on food quality (and sometimes quantity) to meet their budgets, they are adding to the cost of their health and well being.

I am grateful to be able to have a home where I can grow my own veggies in the summer, and have free range chickens to produce healthful eggs, to have the financial resources to choose organic food over food grown with hormones and pesticides, and to have the knowledge base to select healthy choices over less optimum choices. The lack of knowledge of good nutrition and how to achieve it on a very limited budget is pervasive and very sad.

We are fortunate to be part of this wonderful community where good health and good nutrition is the centerpiece of all we do. There is a wealth of information here about nutrition and healthy choices, recipes, and a way to track to see how we are doing nutritionally. We have the opportunity to share our progress, ideas, and recipes with each other. How very lucky we are!

Feel free to share your shopping strategies here. I know we all have our own ways to increase our healthy food choices, either shopping or eating out. It would be great to read each other's ideas and tips

.





  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 10/12/2011 9:26AM

    I follow your strategies, re: avoiding whole grocery aisles filled with things I no longer need (beverages) or trigger foods (candy, cookies, crackers, baked goods, cereals, etc.). Perimeter generally RULES with few forays down the aisles.

Don

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WINDSWEPTACRES 10/11/2011 1:25PM

    Those of us raised in families where judgement/criticism were the norm tend to be a little over-sensitive and, yes, defensive at times. In my family criticism often sprang from making assumptions about what someone was thinking, rather than asking why they were doing something.

Your tired shopper may have been a recent widower who never had to cook for himself before and is totally overwhelmed by all the changes in his life. Or he may have been buying the Lunchables for a grandchild he's helping to raise, as more and more older people are doing. So the Lunchables may not have been for him at all.

If you really want to reach people who need help, it might be better to offer a class or two on healthy eating on a budget through your local senior center, YMCA, or food pantry. That way, people who are interested can self-select and will be grateful for the information, rather than feeling put down.

Just my opinion, of course, so feel free to ignore it.

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KRITTERKEEPERS 10/11/2011 12:22PM

    Unfortunately, we live in a society where junkfood is plentiful and costs much less than healthy food. We are blessed indeed to have our own chickens to provide us with healthy eggs. Granted, it costs me more to feed my chickens well, but the enjoyment they provide is worth the extra cost!
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FIFIFRIZZLE 10/9/2011 11:23PM

    What a very thoughtful blog. And what a kind and caring person you are.

Like you, I shop the perimeter at the supermarket and make incursions into the aisles if I need specific things. That's no doubt why they keep on rearranging the aisles, so I have to go back looking and maybe I will see something I don't want, but strangely, must have!
I try to shop online which makes me stick to a list and at the farmers market for fresh fruit and veggies. My husband on the other and loves to shop those very aisles I so assiduously avoid and brings home booty to lay at my feet.
Does he think I, um, forgot to buy the biscuits? Overlooked the chocolate? Thought the ice-cream container in the freezer had ice-cream instead of frozen casserole in it? Didn' t realize we had no potato chips in the house?

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 10/9/2011 10:18PM

    Okay I have a very serious problem here. I suffer from a disorder: shopping cart envy. I stare at everyone's food wishing I could get that. Usually the sweets & baked goods. Sometimes I am completely unaware of what I am doing till they give me a look.

I would love to be the lady who goes around telling people what they need to put back. In most cases they already know though.

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MARY1313 10/9/2011 9:48PM

    I have recently started being very cautious about going down isles, as I was keeping a list of things I was getting without even thinking about it, and then the temptation is there! So perimeter shopping for me now. I also go to several stores during the week to get the specials, like if grapes are on sale at one place, mainly because I live in a small town and all the stores are within three miles of one another. I do notice that if I buy stuff all at once like for a weekly grocery run, I can't eat my fresh stuff fast enough and I have to throw stuff out, so I have started only buying enough fresh for three days and then getting more on the way home, but only after I have eaten what I already have. I buy milk in small quantities because even a half a gallon won't be used up by the expiration date. I buy a pint. I do like low fat cottage cheese, and I buy yogurts and cheddar cheese. I buy fish as I'm going to use it, picking it up the day of. I've tried buying ahead but it will spoil if I happen not to want fish before it expires.

Also, I do hit the isles for coffee and pasta. I really don't buy my cleaning supplies or over the counter meds or vitamins at the grocery.

Being single is really hard for grocery shopping and meals. I do like to cook once and eat twice. So that way, I don't have to cook every night. About three nights a week, I only eat fruit and cottage cheese, or something light like that. Usually that always includes a Monday evening because for some reason I don't sleep well on Sunday nights. I start working on the things on my desk and prioritizing and all kinds of inane stuff.

Here in Alabama, most everyone knows about cooking fresh veggies and our farmer's market is a great thing for all of us, including those on a modest income. Our city gives out coupons to those that meet the qualifications, which in these times means lots of people. I tell everyone I can about Spark People and that it isn't just for weight loss, but for the information that can make your food choices better for your overall health.

Mary



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IUHRYTR 10/9/2011 7:16PM

    You made an astute observation, that poor people do not buy as much "good" food. But for many people paying $7 or more for a piece of fish or $8 for a package of chicken breasts (our prices in Central FL), is prohibitive so they opt for lots of lunchmeat and maybe the cheaper cuts of hamburger (cheaper and fattier) and lots of bread for the sandwiches. Sad yet maybe the best they think they can do. Too bad the stores don't put on short buying seminars like the home improvement stores conduct classes on home repairs. -- Lou

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WATERMELLEN 10/9/2011 4:15PM

    Absolutely no need to remove this blog: you are NOT judgmental, simply discerning (which is not negative) and concerned.

I shop like you do: perimeter, aisles only for beans/pasta/coffee -- avoid the aisles with the chips and cookies because I can resist anything but temptation.

I've had cashiers criticize me/question me for buying a bunch of organic grapes for $12 ("are you sure you want that???") while saying nothing at all to the person immediately in front who's checked out a hugely expensive Black Forest cake plus lots of junk food . . .

A few years ago, donors to our food bank were cautioned not to provide things like brown rice, lentils etc because "no one knows how to cook them" and they were not wanted items . . .

Food is so political. And eating well does not have to be expensive (although frankly, it can be . . . ).

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BADASSBLONDIE 10/9/2011 4:00PM

    Community health and promoting nutrition is a big passion of mine and I'm hoping that I get into this dual program that allows me to get a community health MPH and can make some changes in whatever community I end up in. Food is SUCH a sensitive topic in this country (where we people who are anorexics, bulimics, overeaters, and starving, all at once).

My shopping strategy? Bring a freaking list and don't diverge unless it's on produce. I also like to do smaller shopping trips of just produce so that I eat it while it's freshest.

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JAZZMINE 10/9/2011 3:31PM

    Aldi's has the best fresh produce prices in our area. I go to Sam's to stock up on staples like hummus, eggbeaters, frozen fish and chicken.

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VALERIEMAHA 10/9/2011 3:23PM

    Relax...now you're being defensive. One comment doesn't merit removing your lovely blog...AND I don't think it was that defensive, either. Just a friendly "heads up," light sarcasm, and slightly tongue-in-cheek...? My take on WindSwept, anyway.

Love your words and images, dear one. Keep up the reflecting and sharing!
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Maha

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PUDLECRAZY 10/9/2011 2:57PM

    I am really sorry if I appeared judgmental... I'm not. Just concerned. And was hoping other people had tips to share with each other. I did not mean at all to make people feel defensive. In no way did I mean to offend or condemn. I may have to remove this blog.

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WINDSWEPTACRES 10/9/2011 2:26PM

    Please don't judge us solely by what's in our cart. It reflects what's on sale in this particular store this week; we regularly shop three different local stores for the specials. So if we're only buying dog food, bread and beer, we're not having Old Roy sandwiches for dinner. emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 10/9/2011 1:34PM

    Since I work part time in a grocery store, I often think about this as I ring up the groceries. The best I have found that I can do is to compliment customers when they purchase healthy items, and hope those behind them will overhear the conversation. Often, it's a young college student, and I will tell him that his parents would be so proud to see him making such healthy choices. They are tickled that it was noticed, and sometimes, we talk about cooking (if there's time). It really is sad to see what goes through the line so much of the time.

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TRULYVISIBLE 10/9/2011 10:56AM

  The dollar store in my area now sells frozen foods. The had packages of spinach without preservatives for a dollar and other fresh packaged vegetables. At Costco you can buy a wild caught salmon for 19 dollars and cut it into 10 servings and freeze some. Unfortunately not everyone cares about nutrition. Lunchables are expensive for what you get in my opinion.. The man also sounds depressed and that is the saddest when you stop caring. I hope his spirit changes to change his life.
Beautiful picture of veggies.

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LINDAJ0621 10/9/2011 9:52AM

    I so agree with you about how unfortunate it is for people with limited incomes to believe they cannot afford to eat healthy foods. I try to illustrate this whenever people say, "What....you spend that MUCH at the market! I can't afford that!" Then, I ask them how many times do they go to fast food places or eat out and what does that cost? I can prove that a luxurious dinner for me and DH, let's say fresh salmon with a beautiful salad and brown rice or a small baked potato, costs less per serving than a meal combo at McDonald's! I find when I put the actual cost per serving of high quality meals in perspective (by comparing to fast food meal prices), I can get my point across a little easier.
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RADFEN 10/9/2011 9:00AM

    It's hard not to look at what's in someone's cart and not think about what their lifestyle might be. We are all curious about others and what motivates them or makes them different from us. I also can't help doing this when I see the books in someone's home...

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A Bit of Autumn, a Frustration, and a Bit if Success

Saturday, October 08, 2011



Cosmos field





Annie Oaktree, ancient, but standing strong.



Meadow with asters and fall color.



Stella, hoping to find a few more deer to chase.

It was a lovely day today. I want to say I squandered a couple of hours of this exquisite day napping, but I really needed the rest and it felt so good lying in the recliner in a sunny window. I went to Body Pump this morning and got a good workout, plus a brisk walk with Stella.

My guitar practice is kicking my tush. I am trying to increase the speed of my tremolo by incremental increases with the metronome. It's been frustrating going. I know that I will have a breakthrough, but I want it NOW. emoticon

Being more focused on eating this week has paid off in losing 2 pounds. Three more to go to finish losing what I had gained a couple of weeks ago. Apples, good, Graham crackers, bad.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARY1313 10/9/2011 9:13PM

    love the pictures!!! Good deal losing weight!!!!

Mary

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BADASSBLONDIE 10/9/2011 3:51PM

    Nom nom graham crackers.

Looove those pictures! So pretty!

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GOLIGHTLY344 10/9/2011 2:38PM

    Good for you with the guitar practice! It will be wonderful as it comes together.

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FIFIFRIZZLE 10/9/2011 12:28AM

    Sounds like an idyllic day and if anyone needs rest it's you! Is that your cosmos field? The flowers look beautiful.

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VALERIEMAHA 10/8/2011 11:02PM

    WOW! You INSPIRE ME!
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Maha
BTW, using the word "squandered" about YOU takng time for a nap...that's just W.R.O.N.G.

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DDOORN 10/8/2011 10:26PM

    Congrats on the 2 pounds! Been lovin' my apples! :-)

Don

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 10/8/2011 9:50PM

    emoticon

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LMB-ESQ 10/8/2011 9:27PM

    Beautiful pictures! Good for you for allowing yourself the rest you need!

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EDWINA172 10/8/2011 7:48PM

    Beautiful pics. I had a nap today too. Rest is a part of training. Good for you! Have a great weekend.

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WATERMELLEN 10/8/2011 7:27PM

    Love those cosmos!! I have a few in my garden still (and asters too) but I've never ever seen a whole field of 'em!

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