IRONBESS's SparkPeople Blog IRONBESS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community The cooktop island is in! I've waited a long time for this as we haven't borrowed money and have done the work ourselves when we can. Time and money rarely co-exist in our household. The Kitchen Queen wood cookstove in the background is great during winter for both cooking and heating. The new kitchen has a double oven, DW, side-by-side fridge, and the Jenn-Aire pictured below that waited (more patiently than I) in a box for 11 years. My parents gave me their old country butcher block table. I sanded and oiled it. It ... Sat, 26 Sep 2015 14:30:06 EST Big but welcome change in the weather For three months temps were mostly in the 90s. Fires broke out here and around accompanied by smoke so thick some days we couldn't see across the lake. Wonderful two days of rain this week cleared the air. But, the temperature suddenly dropped over 30 degrees. Brrr. If it were spring we'd think 50s and 60s warm. <BR> <BR> We've kept a bin of water by the deer trail since the fires. It won't be needed now with the rain. We sure enjoyed watching the deer though. <BR> <img src="http://photosa... Sun, 6 Sep 2015 17:39:28 EST 7.17.2015 It's good to be back home again I returned home a week ago. It feels so good to be here. Power was restored Thursday before, landline phone on Saturday, and temporary cable splice done yesterday for internet (until burnt utility poles can be replaced). Between here and the three miles to town is a patchwork of greenwood, scorched rock, ash, and blackened trees. Fire is about 80% contained. Hotshot crews have cleared a break on the most active edge in rugged terrain behind our mountain. They are amazing! I watched one of the... Fri, 17 Jul 2015 16:31:42 EST 7.9.2015 1:17 a.m. <BR> Brain in overdrive tonight. I've been lying awake for 2 hours, thoughts tumbling over each other like unruly children. Might as well let them play outside, then maybe a little welcome rest will follow. <BR> <BR> Wednesday was day four after the fire started that threatened our home. Last night at a community meeting those who wished could sign up for a brief visit home because though the fire was still 0% contained the fire break was holding. This morning 4 or 5 residents at ... Thu, 9 Jul 2015 05:19:08 EST Fire evacuation What a day. We'd been gone enjoying a morning out with friends 30 miles north. On our way back as we neared our town, thick clouds of smoke rose from the direction of our neighborhood at the end of the road and bordering national forest. <BR> <BR> Our beloved mountain is on fire. Evacuation began less than an hour after our arrival. My husband and others stayed behind to assist firefighting efforts. When time came to leave, I was told by an officer of the law to go "now" and "do not go back... Mon, 6 Jul 2015 01:50:57 EST Today's thought When other things weigh me down, nature is the one I count on, my constant, my church. It can be found even in crowded cities, in the flight of birds, in the chatter of squirrels, in a weed growing through a crack in a sidewalk. When I really need to refresh my soul, I walk into the forest crossing a border from one reality to another where cares fall away and all that exists is my connection with the universe. Mon, 29 Jun 2015 11:31:10 EST Journal day 4.10.15 Another busy week. Took the car for service last Friday. A replacement switch for the passenger side window was ordered, and we returned on Monday. That was a crazy day. When we left the house around 7:30 a.m., light snow was falling. By the time we got to the park it was a freakin' blizzard. R's little front-wheel drive Yaris isn't good in snow. It couldn't make it up our hill which had 3-4 inches of icy slush by then. Sooo, back to town. Killed some time with light breakfast at the local c... Fri, 10 Apr 2015 17:07:29 EST “The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity.” This quotation has been attributed to psychotherapist Rollo May and to columnist/activist Jim Hightower. (HIghtower added, "even a dead fish can go with the flow"). Regardless of who said it first, it's food for thought. Thu, 19 Feb 2015 12:26:48 EST Healthy portable high protein snacks When looking for high protein, low sodium snack ideas, I found this link. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>cks-portable </link> <BR> <BR> When I'm out and about running errands I like to take healthy choices along to keep me from temptation (saves money too), usually something with a few of the following: nut butter, celery sticks, whole grain bread or crackers, nuts, fruit. Refillable water bottle goes with me everywhere also. <BR> <BR> If you have a favorite h... Wed, 7 Jan 2015 23:49:36 EST Monday, Monday; Spark Progress & Tips Not feeling so good at the moment but otherwise it's a beautiful Monday. Let's see, if I tell myself I feel great, will I? It's worked before. <BR> <BR> I feel great, I feel great, I feel great! Just reading those words makes me smile, unclench and relax my hands and shoulders, take a deep breath, and feel happier. It really works! <BR> <em>224</em> <BR> <BR> Monday is my weekly weigh-in day. The first two weeks there was no change on the scale. I started using the food tracker the se... Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:59:09 EST Substituting negative thoughts with positive I tried something recently with surprising results. I easily get sick when I'm run down. Twice last month I felt crummy, had sniffles, sore throat, aches. When I'm sick I think things like "I'm exhausted, I feel crappy, my throat hurts," etc. But I wondered what would happen if I substituted those unwell thoughts with opposite positive ones. So instead I told myself "I feel good," "I'm having a great day." Even though I didn't believe the words, I said them over and over and guess what hap... Tue, 4 Nov 2014 02:01:50 EST Spinning my wheels & dreams come true <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Last fall, I took my beautiful turquoise mountain bike out of the cellar where it languished for 15 years. I cleaned and lubed it, pumped up the tires, rode a few short minutes a few times, put it away for winter, and anxiously awaited spring. Then I broke my wrist in January and needed surgical repair with hardware. My first question at followup was, "When can I ride a bike?" "At least three months, then we'll tal... Thu, 11 Jul 2013 13:42:27 EST Be kind to yourself & focus on progress You've probably heard this or something like it before: If a friend falls behind or trips, you would help her or him catch up and get up; you wouldn't be mean. Be as kind to yourself on your journey as you would be to a friend. Treat yourself with compassion and respect. Give yourself time to adapt to your healthier new lifestyle. Be a good friend to you. <BR> <BR> It can be challenging in our culture of impatience to not see immediate transformation. In the short time since joining SP, I'm ... Tue, 18 Jun 2013 15:57:24 EST Eating Mindfully Yesterday while reading at the table, I began munching mindlessly on some "healthy" crackers. After a time, I realized I had no idea how many I'd eaten. <BR> <BR> This morning during 5-15 minutes of daily inspirational reading, the next section I'd bookmarked was titled "Cookie of Childhood" from the book Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh, a 92-year-old Buddhist monk. When he was a child in Vietnam his mother would bring him a cookie after she'd been to market. How he savored a cookie! ... Mon, 20 May 2013 19:59:26 EST