SABLENESS   57,731
50,000-59,999 SparkPoints
SABLENESS's Recent Blog Entries

Sanctuary Garden

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Note to self: be careful what you ask for. You might get it.

I told my spiritual director that I was looking for ways to help out my hard-working husband. All the overtime makes it hard for him to keep up with things. As I mentioned in my blog SO WHAT'S WITH THE YARDWORK???, I watched him from the kitchen window, working away to plant a fall garden in his overgrown neglected patch. (We are in Florida, in case you wondered where he'd be planting a garden at this time of year.) Much as I dislike working outdoors, I thought, "I can at least help him put the piles he's cleared into trash cans." And, resisting all the way, that was how I got into a great form of workout that I REALLY REALLY would rather not do. You have to realize that my idea of camping is a good B&B. I do NOT like things that bite, sting, buzz, slither, etc, and getting hot and sweaty and dirty is NOT my idea of fun.

In spite of all that, I've been putting in some time out there almost daily, with visible results in the yard, and I'm sure it's helped keep those numbers dropping on the scale.

Last week, I was browsing through a retreat center library, and as so often happens, a book practically jumped off the shelf at me, The Sanctuary Garden. Given that the gardening genes completely missed me, and that I can't even grow a houseplant, I have no idea why the title was so gripping, especially since my backyard, even with all the work done so far, looks nothing like the inviting picture on the book cover.

However..., what it did for me was give me a glimmer of a vision. A sanctuary garden? in my backyard? Hmm. We have a nice deck my husband built before the job with the overtime. I have a great swing out there and a birdbath, frequented not only by birds, but by urban raccoons and the cat next door who thinks a bird-flavored drinking bowl is wonderful.

The overgrowth needs lots of work, a dying orange tree needs to be replaced, and looking at the whole makes me want to run screaming back into the house. But... a sanctuary garden--what would it look like? It wouldn't look anything like that book cover, any more than my typical Florida block house will ever grace the pages of Southern Living magazine. I'm reminded of our very first home, where "fixer-upper" was an understatement worthy of a Brit, and how, over the years, it truly became a sanctuary.

So...what might happen with this backyard in dire need of fixing up if it was destined to grow up into a sanctuary? I think it would have low maintenance hardy plants, especially flowers, that don't mind lots of sun and heat. I can see a couple of benches in addition to the swing. An herb garden, in pots? I already have a thriving, currently out of control patch of rosemary. I can imagine a collection of fresh herbs to add to healthy meals.

I'm so new at this that that's as far as I can envision just yet. But I gave the vision a start when I bought a lovely little fountain at a thriftshop yesterday. I can hear it flowing from my rocker by the back windows. My husband was so pleased. He misses the little pond he had at our last home. I racked up some great wife points; he thought I bought it for him. He was partly right, but mostly I bought it for me, to celebrate a change in outlook and a new vision of A Sanctuary Garden.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAMOGIE3 11/8/2011 11:41AM

    I love your idea of a sanctuary garden! I've got a couple weed gardens that I've been avoiding like the's been easier for me to build new boxes and start out fresh. But, alas, the weeds must go! Please post some pictures!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MRS*RADISH 11/4/2011 5:45PM

  Your sanctuary garden vision sounds so inviting!!! Aaaahhhhh...

Report Inappropriate Comment
DJSHIP46 11/2/2011 9:33AM

    You were right! I loved your garden blogs and you were also right about my love of gardening... it's been my sanctuary for SO MANY years!!! Florida is such a great place to catch the garden buy, you are blessed. I live a few hundred feet from the Pacific in Northern CA... very close to the airport they built during WWII to practice fog landings. But I am turning my little corner of the world into my sanctuary too! This might take you to a little piece of my most current yard that is slowly turning into my garden
D%21921&sc=photos. (okay the link didn't work... maybe cut and paste) I am sincerely happy for you that your learning how to enjoy your future sanctuary!!! ~~ Donna

Comment edited on: 11/2/2011 9:35:17 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHANGING4ME49 11/1/2011 6:12AM

    I love this post. A sanctuary garden is something I might like to try my hand at come Spring. Have to get through all this cold weather first. Definitely something to look forward to. Have fun creating yours!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHATTYKAY 10/31/2011 3:03PM

    I'm impressed!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SILVERBIRCH65 10/31/2011 2:47PM

    I love your post--and not only is it about the pleasures of contemplating the creation of something beautiful--it's also about doing something that could really wonderfully make your husband feel... attended to, as he's out there struggling with the garden.

I think MOTTAMAMALOU's comment about posting before pictures is hilarious and I would totally encourage you to follow through with that. There is so much opportunity for some inspirational humor here.

And of course I'd love to see some pictures of the raccoons!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GERIKRAGH 10/31/2011 1:19PM

    What great insight into what the future can bring. I'm amazed how people can be calmed by a water fountain or a little stream or trickle of water.
You're idea of camping is like mine. We have a mountain cabin and that's roughing it as much as I want. Indoor plumbing, microwave, TV, etc. I LOVE my way of camping.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUDYPOPPINS 10/31/2011 12:57PM

    What a wonderful blog. Your sanctuary garden is a terrific idea. We should all be more open to the opportunities that abound around us. Sometimes we just have to move a little out of our comfort zones to find them.
Do post some pictures so we can vicariously enjoy your sanctuary garden with you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HAPPYLOSER46 10/31/2011 1:19AM

    I love the way you are turning the chore of the hard work into something that you're actually looking forward to! It sounds lovely! Now I want a santuary garden, too! lol Great blog!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SABLENESS 10/30/2011 6:54PM

    MOTTAMAMALOU, posting before pics of Sanctuary Garden is even scarier than posting my starting weight! But you're absolutely right. Visual reminders of progress will help me keep going, both with the yard and the weight loss.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOTTAMAMALOU 10/30/2011 6:45PM

    Your "SANCTUARY GARDEN" to be sounds wonderful.
It seems you are on your way to a beautiful area added to your home.
Please let us see your stages of progress.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHANGING-TURTLE 10/30/2011 6:39PM


Report Inappropriate Comment


Friday, October 28, 2011

DON'T WAIT UNTIL YOU FEEL LIKE IT - More inspiration from Messies Anonymous, apropos to everything we're doing with SparkPeople! Here goes:

JUST DO IT - do not wait till you feel like it. Just move your body through the motions like a robot if that is all you can do. Face the fact that some things do not inspire. It is nice to want to. But do not wait for the humor to hit you. Just do it. Set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and say to yourself what someone in the group has said, "Only 15 minutes and then I can quit."
--from Messies Anonymous' daily email

Yes, there are days when I have to push myself to get moving, tackle some yardwork, work on a put-off project, clean a corner of my closet, go take a walk. Do I always "feel like it"? NO, absolutely not. But this not so gentle reminder tells me that I can choose it anyway, at least for a limited amount of time. Often I find that once I'm in motion, I can keep going. That 10 min walk around the block becomes a half hour around the neighborhood because I love it once I'm out there. The 10 min attack on a patch of weeds becomes another corner of the yard that looks great.

If I wait till I "feel like it", I could be waiting a very long time. Which reminds me: I don't feel like getting started on today's strength training. Do I say, "Oh well. I'll do it...those fatal words...LATER? Or choose to get up and do it now? I choose to move. NOW!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TINYDANCER 11/4/2011 9:00AM

    Very good for me to read today and lately.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BLESSEDGMP 10/30/2011 5:49PM

    I heard once you don't like to clean the toilets either but you do it because it has to be done. Exercise is like that LOL

Report Inappropriate Comment
HAPPYLOSER46 10/30/2011 9:25AM

    Thank you so much for mentioning this blog to me! I would LOVE to print it, but for some reason I can never print others blogs. Bummer! So I'm going to copy this by hand into my "Inspirations" book (a book I'm creating for my own use when I need to be inpired). I hope you don't mind! :) I wish I had read this one a few days ago. I expecially LOVE the part about focusing on others, rather than ourselves. What an awesome way to avoid a binge! I never knew there was a "need help now" section. I'm going to do a search for it! Thank you again for this blog!!! ~liz~

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAGICKCAT 10/29/2011 10:28AM

    That really helped me! I'm a procrastinator from WAY BACK, a nd making myself do things I just don't feel moved to do is hard...but that is great advice! GREAT BLOG! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BACKTOTEN12 10/29/2011 7:17AM

    Yes, taking the easy way is always more comfortable. But don't we feel great when we move out of our comfort zone? If we can just keep doing it, it becomes a habit and we feel a bit lost without it. Let's keep the Just do it mentality. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROXYZMOM 10/28/2011 9:55PM

    Great blog! How true! Funny how long it can take sometimes (hours) to mentally get ready to exercise for 10 minutes.
Thanks for sharing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHANGING4ME49 10/28/2011 10:01AM

    Great blog. Thanks for sharing!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HAPPYLOSER46 10/28/2011 9:34AM

    thanks for this reminder!

Report Inappropriate Comment
1CRAZYDOG 10/28/2011 8:36AM

    Now it is! Great blog.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JESSYVIRGINY 10/28/2011 8:28AM

    Great attitude!! WOOHOO.

Report Inappropriate Comment


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My daily email from Messies Anonymous is one of my prime motivators. Today's message is so apt for both my ongoing project of simplifying and organizing my home as well as for my SparkPeople goals, so I'd like to share it with you.


People who succeed do three basic things. They act on

What EXACTLY is your goal? Can you write it down in one sentence?

Make sure you have a goal that is strong enough to make all your work worthwhile and that keeps you going over the long run. Resolve you will keep going without wavering, will not stop until it's done. Participating in an online group like Friends of the Organizer Lady will help.

Everyday, organized people go about their activities in some kind of pattern. They don't have to waste time and energy making decisions each day because they already have a predetermined plan to follow. Use the Flipper or any other system that works for you to keep you on track.

With thanks to Messies Anonymous.
Do these sound familiar, fellow Sparkers?

My goals need to be specific and realistically achievable. One sentence? The Triple Threat Team says it perfectly for me: Over 50, want to lose at least 50, and aim to do it in 50 weeks.

I'm in for the long haul. I'm not losing weight for a specific event; I want a lifestyle change that will help me reach and maintain a healthier weight for a healthier me. I'm determined to use the tools that support me in reaching my goals, such as staying connected all you wonderful Sparkers who so honestly share your stories and are so generous with your support.

Use those trackers, girl, use those trackers--daily! Let them keep me conscious of my food intake and my activity level. No more mindless munching! Off that sofa and move! My new habits are being reinforced every day. But they won't be if I'm haphazard about it.

Manifesto: a public declaration of goals or intentions. Here they are--my choices, my manifesto for success.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAPPYLOSER46 10/26/2011 7:05PM

    I love it. I've never heard of Messies Anonymous, but I'm sure going to check it out. I've always used FlyLady, but I think this is worth looking into. Thanks for the blog! Good luck with your goals! :D

Report Inappropriate Comment
REKINDLE 10/26/2011 3:00PM

    I love the message "Just Do It". Its all about NOT making excuses. I love your action plan though. I have to remember those 3 key points when my mind argues and says "How?". Keep working at it. You'll get there!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ADJQUILTER 10/26/2011 2:54PM

    That sounds like a definite plan for success. Congratulations ahead of time!

Report Inappropriate Comment


Saturday, October 22, 2011

This site is truly amazing. The thing I'm noticing most at just over two months and 15 lbs down is how full and satisfied I am within my 1300-1600 calorie range. I'd never have believed that I could eat so well, so much less in some ways and more in others, and not be wanting more and more and MORE. I've just had a delicious and healthy dinner and other than a cup of herbal tea, don't need/want anything else.

When I showed my doctor my meal tracking print-out, she pointed to my calorie range and asked how much I'd been eating before. I grinned and said, "I have no idea, but it sure was a lot more than that!"

Today I've had generous meals and even had a few treats such as three dark chocolate covered coffee beans. When I was hungry half an hour before lunchtime, I said, "I can wait"--and did.

I've worked hard in the yard, used my long-neglected handweights, and gotten in a brisk 15 min walk around the house while on phone with nonagenarian mother-in-law.

A gratitude list today is really easy:
For SP and all the inspiration I get from all you out there
For food in my pantry and refrigerator
For a husband who's easy to cook for
For a husband who NEVER NEVER criticizes me over my weight
For the friend and daughter who shared SP with me
For being physically able to do as much as I am
For the motivation to get those lbs off before I have serious problems
For this time without a primary job so I can focus on myself
For being able to shop for "new" clothes right in my own closet
And last and definitely least...for all the YARDWORK that's giving me such a great workout!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROXYZMOM 10/25/2011 4:44PM

    Just noted your progress, you are doing great! And, support is a wonderful thing!

Great job!


Report Inappropriate Comment
HAPPYLOSER46 10/23/2011 3:44PM

    I love your blog and list of gratitudes! Very uplifting!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BARBARAWEBSTER 10/23/2011 2:58PM

    Thank You for commenting on my blog. I appreciate your openness. I have no idea what she needs. I have always been a huger. Isn't that what churches are for? Anyway, I get/give a hug every chance I get. (Even cyber Hugs! LOL) I was raised in a loveless abusive home, so my little girl has been working that out all her adult life. When I think in terms of therapy for the soul, yard work instantly springs to mind. Since I live in an apt, maybe I can make friends with some of the neighbors and ask if I can pull weeds in their yards? I've lived here a year and haven't reached out to any of the permanent neighbors yet, cause my house is always a MESS. I would be too embarrassed if one of them came to my door and there is no place to sit. Thank You so much for the food for thought. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOMMA_BEAR_69 10/22/2011 9:21PM

    Great list of gratitudes!!! You are doing a great job...keep it up!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LILYYELLOW 10/22/2011 7:43PM

    Nice post and what a great gratitude list!!

I agree about so much food to eat. LOL I have NO idea how much I was eating before. Honestly, in just a few short weeks here I've had my eyes opened super wide. Loving it! Any day now I'm gonna start the exercising!


Report Inappropriate Comment


Thursday, October 20, 2011

After two days, I gave notice at my new job and feel very good about having done so. I was concerned from the first about air quality--lots of dust, probable mold. Asthma runs in my family, and I already have airborne allergies.

On the way this morning, I asked, What does your heart say? "I want the money." No, that's not your heart speaking. What does your heart say? My heart immediately gave me the image of what it was like to walk through the door into the prospective workplace. The musty smell hit me right away. I was aware of the low ceilings and the few small and not very clean windows that made me feel oppressively shut in. What does my heart say? My heart said no, I don't want to be here. This workspace is not healthy for me.

I'm grateful that I can listen to the wisdom of the heart and say yes to it, even though it leaves me jobless again. My health is too precious, and I am the one responsible for it.

On a lighter note, I am REALLY pleased with myself that when I was anxious about whether or not I'd get the job, I didn't hit the food; when I was anxious about whether to keep it, I didn't hit the food; and today when I came home without the job, I had a nice comforting cup of herbal spice tea--and didn't hit the food. That's pretty outstanding for a heretofore emotional eater!

My health is too important to me to risk.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARBARAWEBSTER 10/23/2011 3:02PM

    You are such an inspiration! Thank you for the reminder. You do good, girl! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LHLADY517 10/20/2011 8:27PM

    Good for you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
POETLKNG2LOSE 10/20/2011 6:10PM

    I'm glad that you chose your health over money and that you chose not to have a pity party and stuff yourself. It is hard being without a job I know. Have been for over a year now. And times are hard too out there and scary. I wish you best of luck in finding another job. I had to quit because of being given fewer hours and being subtly harassed by my boss. After all the time i put in and walking to work in all kinds of weather she decides to hire younger and newer people to work fill time and gives me what's left over. It hurt me real bad and left a scar but i have to forgive and forget and move on. I refuse to be embittered and hols a grudge. I know someone who is and it isn't pretty.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JANLM9999 10/20/2011 3:15PM

    That is awesome that you were able to put your health first and make this tough decision. I am proud of you! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BLUE42DOWN 10/20/2011 2:53PM

    emoticon emoticon

Priorities well in order!

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 Last Page