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I Have News

Sunday, April 03, 2011

My last day of work at my job was Friday, April 1. No, they didn't come and tell us that it was an April fool's joke. Our facility really is closing. It was an emotional time for me to clean out my desk and say goodbye to friends I have made over the past 11 years.

The good news is that I have a new, albeit, temporary job to go to. That's not something that many of my co-workers can say.

The bad news is that I will be commuting 90 miles one way four days per week. The job offer came from the company that I have worked for for the past 11 years. It took awhile and a series of events to bring me around to truly considering making the commute; but when this job offer came, they made some concessions for me and nothing else was lined up, so I've accepted it. I didn't say anything here, because I wanted to make sure that all was in place before I let my Spark friends know my plans. I will be doing something totally different from what I have been doing in the past. I think I will enjoy the work; I don't expect it to be peaches and cream, but I expect that it will be hard work, and hopefully rewarding. I will get a three day weekend, Friday through Sunday. This is proposed for a six month period. This will give me time to continue looking for something closer home and permanent. I pray that God will provide in his time. My husband and I have had to make a lot of quick decisions in a very short time, but we both feel good about the decisions that we have made. My family and some of my friends prayed me through these decisions and I felt carried and very at peace through it all.

I will be gone from home four 11 hour days in a row, travel time included. I expect I will be keeping my crockpots very busy this summer. I am especially interested in hearing about crockpot recipes that can cook for 11 hours or so without being overdone. Let me know if you have any.

I'm still struggling with both my eating and the walking. I've gained a bit of weight again - sigh! I keep asking myself why this is so hard for me. I've just lost my momentum that I had at first, especially since my mother's death and just haven't been able to seem to pick back up properly. I am concerned about the walking with these long days this summer, so am trying to think and plan how to work it in. I think I will actually be better off with the eating, because I will pretty much just be able to eat what I take with me, and with my crockpot going, hopefully dinner will be ready when I get home. So I'm hoping that I can keep the snacking under control. I'm ashamed to tell you all this, but once again, honesty with you and myself is the only way to conquer. You, my friends, are my anchor in this healthy lifestyle journey, so don't give up on me.

My sparking will need to be limited this summer pretty much to weekends. But I do hope to log on every day enough to spin the wheel and at least update my status with the wheel spin to keep my focus on healthy living and what you all expect of me. Just logging in is a reminder of my goals. So when you see that on my feed, know I'm keeping my roots here, even though I may not get around to you as individuals as much as I would like.

Thank you to all of you for your support during dark and difficult days of my life. I am feeling stronger and better able to cope and pray that God grants me strength for the days ahead. I know he will, for where he calls, he enables. My daily cry to him during difficult days has been, "I hang my hope on you alone." There have been days that was all I could muster, and he held me fast. I feel that he has handed me a lifeline with this job offer; and although it is not ideal, I know that unfortunately, life is not perfect. Sometimes, we do what we must whether it is our first choice or not. That is where I am, and I believe he will see me through.

Tonight is 34 weeks since my Mother left us and I miss her so dearly. It has been difficult making all these decisions and changes of plans without her here to talk to and pray for me. But I trust her prayers follow me still. I love you, Mom!

Blessings to each of you!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Sorry to hear of your upheaval. I hope you can get into a routine and that the travel is not too exhausting. Good luck. emoticon

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MOV4WARD 4/7/2011 3:47PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonThanks for the update, this is good news indeed :)

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ELAOPET 4/4/2011 11:19AM

    Good that you won't be unemployed after all! It's a killer distance, but maybe better then having too much time on your hands ...
I never saw a crock pot in my life, but have been googleing them and I know there are ones with a timer...
Big hugs and a smile! Glad you made a decission! It's a kind of a relief, isn't it? I have one to make as well and hate the not knowing what to do.

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    What a relief! Nothing is 'ideal' so as long as it's workable, at least you have something to get you through the near future - and time to find a more permanent solution. I am very happy for you!!


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PARISTASAI 4/4/2011 7:49AM

    Eager to hear updates on how you work out your workouts, too. One day you will be with your mom again, but you won't stop missing her till then. Praying for you!

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JKN049 4/4/2011 7:40AM

    Good luck with your new job! And I know.....we miss our Moms most in the ordinary things of our lives. Just talking about things and talking through things - it's hard to fill that void.

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WOMANCHEF 4/4/2011 6:41AM

    emoticon I'm glad you have a new job even though it comes with a long commute. Good luck with everything!

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-POOKIE- 4/4/2011 4:54AM


I guess its right to be thankful to have anything when others are not so lucky.

I really hope this doesn't become too hard on you, I shall miss your being on SparkPeople certainly.

Im glad you can be honest with us, your friends, hopefully this longer structured day could turn out to be a help with food for you and be a blessing in disguise.


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    What an emotional roller coaster.

Cleaning out your desk is NEVER fun - and after 11 years, that's huge, emotionally. And starting a new job - also huge emotionally.

Be sure to be kind and gracious to yourself. For as long as necessary. Give yourself a break.

Crockpot recipes - if you have a manual, non-programmable crockpot I would use a lamp timer myself, and do soups, stews, and roasts. If you do meat like a roast I would add a cup more water than normal. I would not cook lean white meat (chicken breast, turkey breast, pork loin or chops) for more than 8 hours on low so although you could still do them, I'd do them with a lamp timer.

You can click on the links in the Soup, Stew, Chowder, Chili recipe thread on the crockpot team without joining it - I'll post some for you but I don't know what's in your freezer so I'll just pick one of each. Also ground beef tastes bad if overcooked in the crockpot, so I'd stay away from ground beef chili if cooking for 11 hours. You can cube up roast meat, pork or beef, into small stew cubes and use it for chili, instead of ground beef (men love that anyway; you can just make the cubes smaller version for portion patrol reasons).

Another option is to have a make-ahead casserole in the fridge - it would break up monotony of crock potting every day if alternated casseroles with crock pots - if you cover with foil and write the instructions on the foil with a black marker (like: let sit on counter to warm up 30 mins [so dish is not shocked into breaking], the oven temp, & how long to bake), could your better half put it in the oven an hour before you get there, if all he has to do is remove from fridge, set on counter 20-30 mins, turn on oven, and slide it in?

You will meet yourself coming and going, so I'd batchcook every week. The best plan is to do as much ahead of time on your 3-day weekend as you can, because your nights are going to be crammed full just with dinner, tomorrow's prep of clothes / food /water bottles, plus sleep and shower. Remember to go for a walk on each side of getting in / getting out of the car. If you start with only 10 mins, 10 mins in the morn before you get in, 10 mins in the morning before you go in the building, and do the same on the way home, you will have gotten 40 mins walking in that day. If you can't do 10, do 5 and you will have gotten in 20 mins that day. If you can't do 5, at least walk around the car a few times. Do whatever you can do. Don't drink until after you're inside the building and near facilities; you can't walk around the car even 1 minute if you have to go. Stop drinking 3 hours before you leave the building, and go a couple times right before you leave.

For batchcooking once a week each week I'd do two sides, one salad, one soup, fresh veggies prepped and put into baggies or plastic containers (wash & cut celery and carrots into sticks, broccoli and caulif into florets, etc) and bag up some healthy things like nuts (careful not to choke on nuts in the car though). When you clear the table you can pack up leftovers for tomorow's lunch, & add some bagged veggies, boiled eggs, nuts, and one-cup containers of soup to the lunch bag.

Keep veggies, boiled eggs (unshelled in the fridge for longer life; shelled in baggies on the go), nuts, and water bottles at your desk and in your car. Easy to eat on the go, clean hands finger food, and healthy and nutritious. Even PBJ is a better choice than office donuts, office cupcakes, and vending machines; and you can make PBJs ahead the night before; you can even make them healthier by choosing the all-fruit spread and whole wheat bread and natural peanut butter. They'd keep a couple days in desk drawer or office fridge. Just be prepared with healthy alternatives; have Plan B, C, D, and E ready so you don't eat the wrong stuff, and have exercise Plan B, C, D and E ready.

On batchcooking day I'd make one make-ahead casserole for the fridge, and one crock pot fixings, then choose 2 more recipes either freezer recipes, or, if non-freezer and you can't make them ahead, get the stuff ready, measured, assembled, measure dry ingredients together, get out the pantry items etc all staged together, so you can mix up in a hurry.

With those 4 things in place, and salad and fresh veggies prepped, you'll be set, because the first two of four nights will be taken care of (1 crock & 1 make-ahead casserole) and then the 2nd two nights you have a plan and can be partially ready. If you make a freezer casserole, you can get one out of the freezer on night #2, it can defrost 24 hours in the fridge, to be put into the oven on night #3.

Personally, in the past I routinely made freezer casseroles on batchcooking day; froze them; took them out in the morning before work and set them on the counter or in the sink to defrost; it was frozen solid when I left; and slid them into the oven to bake when I got home 12 hours later. I never got food poisoning nor unknown illnesses. But nowadays, everyone says for food safety never to do that. If it's summer and your home is not air conditioned, okay maybe. But I never had a problem . . . it is frozen solid when you get it out . . .

You can also batchcook oatmeal on the stovetop once a week, I do this every other week, 2 cups old fashioned oatmeal with 4 cups water, add in fruit like bananas, apples, peaches, raisins, berries, pumpkin, dried cherries; and spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, allspice; one batch makes 4 servings so you can reheat fast. Another fast breakfast is make-ahead French Toast Casserole; big bowl of fresh fruit salad made on day off served with cottage cheese or yogurt; cinnamon rice pudding; or breakfast casserole with meat, eggs, potatoes.

Alot of this stuff you probably already know and do, I realize. Just trying to be helpful. Eat the fish and leave the bones.

And I always ramble.

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NELLIEC 4/3/2011 9:25PM

    I am glad you have that job even though it is not ideal!

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RAINBOWFALLS 4/3/2011 8:49PM

    Good luck with the job - make sure to pack good snacks for those long days. I totally understand the struggle after the loss of your mother. Stress is a big contributor to my bad eating habits. Comfort Food - so dangerous.

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WINFIELD28 4/3/2011 8:44PM

    I will continue to pray for you as you start your new job.

(I will let you know if I have any good, long cooking crockpot recipes.)

Blessings to you!

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ZZYYGGY 4/3/2011 8:20PM

    Good luck on your new job.

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Must See Live Webcam of Eagle's Nest

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A friend sent me this link and it added a bright spot to my day. It's a live webcam of an eagle's nest. I'd like to watch it all day - fascinating. There are three eaglets. Mom or Dad was on the nest with them this morning. I'd love to see when they fly.



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAT7457 3/27/2011 2:52PM

    awesome just watching her.

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NELLIEC 3/26/2011 7:35PM

    Once I saw a bald eagle -- trying to swoop down on my chickens, who were getting very upset. However, when he saw that there was chicken netting over the top of their yard, he zoomed back up!

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SPECKLESANNE12 3/26/2011 12:26PM

    I've been watching it all morning TY for sharing! :)

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LESLIES537 3/26/2011 11:15AM

    Sweet! Thanks for sharing! My kids are going to LOVE this! emoticon

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KARLYNCANDOIT 3/26/2011 10:41AM

    Thank you for sharing~ My dream is to see a live eagle~

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RAINBOWFALLS 3/26/2011 9:27AM

    How cool

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Just Do It Still Works

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I've been in a deep, dark place. I really thought that I would handle a job loss better than I have been, I've found myself not as strong as I hoped I would be. But, on the other hand, to be kind to myself, I've had a lot else going on, as all of us do.

Dick Bolles said it well in "What Color is Your Parachute?" when he said to the effect that when you lose your job, you want nothing more than to crawl under the covers and turn the electric blanket up to 9. Ah, I couldn't have said it better myself. I borrowed this book from the library and found it so helpful, and with a lot of "homework" to do that I knew I couldn't get full benefit of it just from a three week loan from the library. So I went to Ebay and purchased a used one for a very reasonable price. It hasn't come yet, so I am currently "bookless."

Having said all that, I can't go to the book for reference, but I have two takeaways that smacked me in the face. 1) When you lose your job, get plenty of sleep. I've been working on that and doing better, feeling more rested. Message heard. 2) Don't crawl under that blanket. Walk! No this isn't a healthy living book, but could sound like one, huh? Sleep and walk.

Now I know that exercise is important to handling stress; you know I know this, I've told you myself! But, know it as I might, I've been mentally and emotionally crawling under that blanket. It's time to throw the covers back, turn the electric blanket off and get back to what will truly make me feel better.

Walk! Just do it!

Today, I did it. Only asked 1 mile of myself, but I did it - 1.5 miles. Baby steps! Just do it still works!

And today I hit 250 miles on my virtual walk across America.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELAOPET 3/31/2011 6:51AM

    I have a real strong issues with work. I'm so scared of it you wouldn't believe it! Scared because I have zero confidance. Just now I got a call from my future boss who moved my first day for two days earlier. I am so freaking out!
And can't even go for a run, not even a long walk...feeling pretty stressed out!
I am going to wait till monday when I see my dr and after that deceide what to do about this job.
I do my best, keeping that blanket away as best as I can...
So, I get it, I so do!

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LESLIES537 3/22/2011 7:35PM

    Sounds like a great book. I'm glad that it's helping you. It's all about the baby steps. Sometimes you'll even take 2 steps forward and one step back...but THAT is OK! Just do it! emoticon emoticon

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    Oh boy could I ever have written that . . . It's been a long hard road for me; I hope your new job comes speedily . . .

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SMILINDI 3/21/2011 12:58AM

    emoticon emoticonMy complete empathy is with you, where "without work," is concerned. How blessed you are that throwing back the covers~getting out and walking is an option. Maybe that extra half mile was done so in "spirit," for me. emoticon emoticon

You Are Wonderful, and God Bless you for getting out from under those covers!

Angel Blessings Always,
~Diane~ emoticon

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MOV4WARD 3/20/2011 8:51PM

    emoticonWow, you are walking in dappled sunlight, beautiful!

So good 2 c u walking my friend :)

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MTULLY 3/20/2011 5:35PM

    You continue to put one step in front of the other - both literally and figuratively! I think you are being amazingly proactive in the things you are doing - identifying resources such as the book you have been reading and throwing off those covers and going out walking. You are truly an inspiration! I am hoping and praying that everything falls into place for you soon.

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 3/20/2011 3:30PM

    I personally think losing our job is a super-super-super MAJOR event, in part because we tend to think of ourselves in terms of 'what we do' - our conversations are peppered with comments like his son is a doctor, my friend is an accountant, I met a nice teacher the other day....when we introduce ourselves to people in person, we often include our occupation.....so it's a really bit part of how we think about ourselves!! To suddenly have 'unemployed' as our occupation can be very depressing!

The economic times have been so tough lately, there are a lot of people in this same predicament - I'm so glad you are staying active on SparkPeople and doing positive things for yourself because you are a fabulous role model, whether you think that's true or not. Yes, you've been knocked for a loop - yes, you've gotten somewhat depressed - yes, you feel disappointed and think you're not doing too well but I think you are doing extremely well, esp considering everything else you've been thru lately!!

I really wish I could 'do something' to help you and all the others I know who don't have jobs right now [that 'club' also includes my son, by the way, who has been very depressed and struggling over his lack of job progress, so I see it 'close up' as well as identify from my own personal past unemployment stretches]

Keep being as positive as you can, keep doing healthy things to the extent you are able and know that today is Mother Nature's "New Year's Day," the time of new beginnings and new growth - I wish you the best results during this season of starting over!!


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KIWI202 3/20/2011 2:16PM

    I feel the same way. I'm glad our mantra is still working. I find I feel much better on the days I go to the gym than the days I stay under the covers and let life pass by.

Just do it. Walk and take those baby steps. I'll be rooting for you!

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CYCLINGSANDY 3/20/2011 2:15PM

    I am praying for your jobless state. I have not been a good SP friend on keeping up with your happenings.
Sleep and a walk sounds like just the thing to do your body good. May God give you His calm and peace right now.


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-POOKIE- 3/20/2011 1:15PM

    *hugs* you are right, I went out and walked despite the miserable weather and felt better for it as well.

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STRONGIAM 3/20/2011 12:45PM

    emoticon So sorry you are going through such a stressful period in your life. I have not read that book, but I have seen it many times at the library and have considered checking it out. Contratulations on your decision to throw the covers back and walk. Will be praying for that window to open! emoticon

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This Mentality Has Got to Go

Friday, March 18, 2011


I've unconsciously let myself slip into this mentality that "hey, you've been going through some tough times and it's okay to treat yourself."


Every day? to candy? an Arby's turnover? pie at the restaurant? potato chips for an afternoon snack? then an apple on top of it because I feel guilty about the junk food? cookies (notice I said plural)? McDonald's french fries?


Okay, girl - little talk to self here. It's not all about you! Everybody has tough times in life! You don't have to drown yourself in old habits and food to get through this. Other people make it through without the crutch of food. You'll be better equipped to face life if you take care of yourself and eat healthy. And speaking of taking care of yourself - when did you last take a walk? Come on, now, be honest! It's been 2 1/2 weeks, hasn't it? And 1 or 2 weeks before that? Girl! You said a few weeks ago that you were going to be gentle with yourself, but you've been gentle too long. This is only going to take you down! It's not taking you anywhere good, that's for sure! You have come a long way on this journey! But you have a long way to go, and this is not the time for slacking, this is the time for persevering, when the going is tough! And you can do it. You've had some bumps in the road, but don't let them bring you down.

Message heard!

Today, I started with a baby step and I counted my cups of water. Seven down and one to go. I will not wallow in self-pity that ends up resulting in self-loathing. I will face my life like an adult and I will make healthy choices. I can do this! I will!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Loving myself is something I've been working on.

A cookie or ice cream or little treat is NOT loving.

I still have to wrap my mind around that.

Time for paradigm change.

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RAINBOWFALLS 3/19/2011 9:21PM

    Small steps are the best way to get back on the right track! emoticon

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GRAMMACATHY 3/19/2011 9:06PM

    Hey! I dare you to go three days without refined sugar. It is only three days????

Are you game?????? It will help with the cravings and depression too.

emoticon You can have fruit and honey.

emoticon emoticon

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MOV4WARD 3/19/2011 8:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonWell said. Here's to getting up & taking baby steps!

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 3/19/2011 11:05AM

    I have let myself slip into similar mentality more than once, including very recently - yikes!! It's not that I "don't know any better" but the stinkin' thinkin' just seems to take advantage of any opportunity to take over.

So - thanks for posting this - I will join you in the changed mentality and give myself another 'new start' as well. Together, we can do this!!


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MTULLY 3/19/2011 1:22AM

    Your last paragraph says it all - You CAN do this and you ARE! Things may have gotten you for a bit, but you are obviously back in control now. That takes a lot of inner strength, but I knew you had it in you. Keep this streak going!

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FILLANGES 3/18/2011 8:06PM

    Good pep talk! I love that you're taking baby steps. I've always said"make small, "easy to do" changes." And little by little, you'll have a whole bunch of new healthy habits to rely on. My continued prayers for you and I know God is pleased with who you are!Take care and God Bless.
In His service, Rick emoticon

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ELAOPET 3/18/2011 6:35PM

    The worst thing of all is - it doesn't even help :(
Be brave, deep breath and hang in there. (I'm so bad I got into an argument with dad this morning and actually forgot to weigh myself! first time in 11 months!)

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-POOKIE- 3/18/2011 6:33PM


You have to be wise enough to know by now that the fleeting pleasure of food is NOTHING compared to the guilt and remorse from eating it afterwards.

I know it (but still do it!).

I hope the tough talking helps *hugs*

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What Color is Your Parachute?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

That's the name of the book I'm reading right now to brush up my all important job searching skills. Great book.



Working on the job search, but no nibbles yet. Hard work! Wish it were magic!

I feel like I'm getting sick - how wonderful is that!

Don't forget to spring forward.

And pray for Japan.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNDALOVES2HIKE 3/17/2011 10:01AM

    Great book - it's been around a long time but updated frequently and always fabulous! Good luck with the job hunt!!

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MOV4WARD 3/13/2011 5:08PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon(sighs) i also wish there were a magic wand! but the truth is that we do the reading/prep work so we will be available & able & ready when opportunity does knock on our door. Keep the faith (hugs :)

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    Dave Ramsey recommends that book, I have read it.

I will post a thread, "Natural Help for the Flu", on the Christian Women's team. It has lots of clickable links, which I can't do here. Take extra Vit D3, and eat some kale or collards.

Stress impairs your immune system; remember to deep breathe, drink water.


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NELLIEC 3/12/2011 8:12PM

    I have been praying for your job situation.

Yep, that time change is upon us!

I am also praying for Japan!

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ELAOPET 3/12/2011 7:16PM

    Oh, we're changing time again? I forgot! Maybe US is switching before us?
Horror in Japan, OMG!
Honey, deep breaths! The job will come, it will!!!
ps- I sure my parachute is green, it would be tragic if it weren't my fav color! ;)

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