LADYFROMTHEWOOD's SparkPeople Blog LADYFROMTHEWOOD's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Christmas Decor We've discovered a lifestyle called "Minimalism." While we cannot in any way call ourselves minimalists, we have gained a tremendous amount of peace by learning the mind-set. Get ready to hear about it more in mainstream media. I think it's set to become a trend for a short while. That is, if the advertising companies don't get the jump on it. <BR> <em>445</em> <BR> It has even seeped into our Christmas decor. For us, the following photos are the few decorations that have true meanin... Sat, 20 Dec 2014 08:52:57 EST Hope <BR> “Hope” is the thing with feathers - <BR> That perches in the soul - <BR> And sings the tune without the words - <BR> And never stops - at all - <BR> <BR> And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard - <BR> And sore must be the storm - <BR> That could abash the little Bird <BR> That kept so many warm - <BR> <BR> I’ve heard it in the chillest land - <BR> And on the strangest Sea - <BR> Yet - never - in Extremity, <BR> It asked a crumb - of me. <BR> ~ EMILY DICKINSON <BR> <BR> Today, as I was... Fri, 19 Dec 2014 21:44:05 EST Something Lost, Something Gained Hi, buddies! <BR> 3 months, no see! <BR> Been recovering from some sad things here. <BR> <BR> I'm nearly recovered from our bad experience with the exchange student. Each month since March sees us rebuilding our family experiences without her in it. Sad, but true. But it's less painful each month. <BR> <BR> Family rift on Hubby's side is still healing. His sister (but not her daughter) has apologized for the rift, taking all the blame, and is trying to make amends. It was quite the eye... Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:33:11 EST Short and Sweet I owe you one that you can read through and just earn a comment point for a change! LOL! <BR> <BR> Today felt more like a Monday for me. Hubby went back to work and I puttered around. I put the polishing touches on the master bedroom and did laundry. I felt lazy today, like I was recuperating myself. <BR> <BR> Rain comes through tonight, bringing a cold front. I need to go pick some tomatoes. <BR> <BR> Leave me your all-time favorite emoticon below! <BR> I like the turtle, but lately ... Wed, 10 Sep 2014 18:02:28 EST The Fear of 'No More' (In which I will seriously contemplate the serious subject of fear AND ramble on about Hubby's kidney stone... completely unrelated other than both are on my mind today.) <BR> <BR> <BR> This is day 2 of Hubby staying home from work with a kidney stone. He so rarely takes a sick day that I can't even imagine how the office is functioning without him. <BR> <BR> As for home, well let's just say that I hardly know how to function with him here during the week either. lol. He wants me right ... Tue, 9 Sep 2014 11:32:33 EST Nothing much Daughter is now 18. In phone conversations she reports that she had a good time. The group returned from the lake after dark so we let her spend another night so she would not be driving home by herself. Dark, deer, old car, lonely roads, etc. <BR> <BR> Hubby and I had a good weekend. He did struggle with sadness more than me. He deals with change a little less willingly. Protective daddy. But we work as a team. We went to town a few times, puttered around. Took a few 4-wheeler ride... Mon, 8 Sep 2014 08:19:47 EST Last Day of Childhood Just past midnight tonight, my daughter, my youngest of two children, will turn 18. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Excuse me while I wax poetic for this blog. <BR> <BR> At this moment, she is getting ready to go to her brother's house for the weekend whilst singing very impressively Ed Sheeran's "I See Fire." <BR> <link><BR>vQS_PmQ </link> <BR> <BR> She is such an amazing person. <BR> A dreamer th... Sat, 6 Sep 2014 10:25:22 EST Home again and random stuff Funny how the best laid plans often go awry. <BR> <BR> I had to scrap half my plans yesterday when (a) the delivery truck at the drugstore was until noon getting in my neighbor's medicine, and (b) the car refused to start for me to get home for another hour. <BR> <BR> Turns out that the wonderful technology in vehicles that recognize only a manufacturer's key can backfire most inopportunely. As our car has aged, it will sometimes not recognize the ignition key and engage the security featu... Wed, 3 Sep 2014 12:20:55 EST Long Weekend Did you have a good Labor Day weekend? I hope you did. <BR> <BR> For us, we stayed home mostly. Took naps. Read a lot. I'm reading "Scaling Down: Living Large in a Smaller Space" by Judi Culbertson and Marj Decker. The title is a bit deceiving since it deals mostly with the "why?" behind keeping too much. The chapter on clothes alone made it worth my time. It helped me to see that I had kept some attitudes about buying clothes from my school days! Seriously, if you are no longer havi... Tue, 2 Sep 2014 08:41:08 EST Dismayed I worked on our bedroom yesterday: Decluttering, rearranging, and cleaning. When I finished, I stepped back to admire all my hard work. <BR> <BR> I was dismayed. And shocked at my dismay. <BR> <BR> The room seemed TOO roomy. Like when we lose weight, then are so shocked at our saggy skin that we are blinded to the weight we've lost. <BR> <BR> At first I was tempted to move something back in to fill the empty spaces. Then I realize that I was just running to the familiar. I reminded ... Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:04:13 EST Good morning! As you can tell by my title, I'm feeling very chipper this morning! Why? <BR> <BR> I think it's this decluttering bug we've caught. I spent hours yesterday decluttering the bedroom and moving furniture around. And the food I've been eating is healthy leftovers. Pinto beans & cornbread with spinach and/or fresh tomatoes. Also venison pot roast and baked potato. Oatmeal with blueberries and pecans. LOTS of water. Eating like a baby, only when hunger strikes me and not just b/c it's noo... Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:17:27 EST Emptying bins Yesterday, Hubby and Daughter had some weird virus. They mostly suffered from vertigo! Hubby said that other than that and some general fatigue, he was just fine. Daughter had it badly but thought it hilarious. <BR> <BR> This means we didn't clean out shed #3. I did clear out another bin. This one had trophies and plaques of mine and hubby's. I decluttered my trophies back when we moved 7 years ago so only had 1 trophy. I am finally letting it go too. Hubby looked at his 10 and kept ... Tue, 19 Aug 2014 09:37:44 EST Owie. My sore glutes. <BR> Aching fingers. <BR> Yay for decluttering! <BR> <BR> Wow. We have a LOT of stuff. I lovingly let go of my attachment to my 70's Barbie collection. I only kept back the clothes made by family to give to other family that have kids with Barbies. They were tickled to get them. <BR> <BR> Beanie Babies. When we calculated how much was spent on them originally my daughter lamented that she could use that $200 in cash now and not have ever felt deprived b/c she didn't hav... Mon, 18 Aug 2014 11:41:09 EST Decluttering Yesterday, daughter went to work with her dad so she could use the library in town. I spent the whole day in the kitchen. I took a good, hard look at what was useful, wanted, or beautiful to my soul and got rid of the rest. That turned out to be HALF of the stuff in the kitchen! <BR> <BR> I cleaned the inside of cabinets. I rearranged. I was ruthless. Who needs FOUR things to place a round cake on?!!! It didn't matter if it was an heirloom or not. I chose my favorite ONE thing from a... Sat, 16 Aug 2014 09:44:57 EST New Nephew Pics <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Day 2 and already lifting head and shoulders to see Daddy. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> "Big" sisters checking him out. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Born at 39 weeks, he weighed 7lb. 9oz. Mom is fine. <BR> <BR> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 10:18:05 EST Summer Adventures Summer is almost over with the beginning of a new homeschool year. Today is our first day back to keeping records for the year. It will be mostly outlining the upcoming objectives (hers and mine) and some math and writing. This would be her senior year if she were in public school. She turns 18 soon. It goes so fast. <BR> <BR> We've done some really fun things this summer. She and a girlfriend (with Dad in tow) took a camping trip to the lake during early summer. Did a little boating ... Mon, 11 Aug 2014 09:03:22 EST Hiya I can hardly complain there aren't any blogs to read today if I don't post one myself, eh? (Actually, I've written one today already but then my internet connection ate it. Probably a good thing. I discovered while blogging what was eating at me and needed some time to process that.) Since then, one friend has blogged. (Thanks for the update! Your office rocks!) And I must admit that another friend blogs daily with a small update. I wish I could do that but once I begin to write, the ... Fri, 27 Jun 2014 10:51:59 EST Reboot day 3 It is going well although my body is screaming protest. The yard and house are happy though. <BR> <em>211</em> <BR> <BR> The garden bed of peas is cleaned out and done with. I need to research the best thing to put in the bed next. A large section of weedy flower bed is cleared of overabundant Creeping Charlie and Honeysuckle that were taking over my Five O'Clocks and daylilies. <BR> <em>373</em> <em>374</em> <em>87</em> <BR> <BR> I've hung out several loads on laundry on... Wed, 25 Jun 2014 10:01:11 EST Day One of Reboot Howdy, Sparkbuddies! <BR> <BR> Hubby has returned to work this morning. Daughter decided to go in with him to save gas picking up a friend for an overnight visit. I have the house to myself!!! I love my family, but the introvert in me had a long week. <BR> <BR> Wonders never cease. This morning I actually gave up half of my usual coffee intake after turning on the Wii Fit. I wanted WATER in the worst way. Advanced hula-hoop on that game kicks my butt. I also did advanced stepping whi... Mon, 23 Jun 2014 10:04:50 EST Visits, Vacation, and Victories This week has been a busy one. My brother's family will arrive sometime in the night tonight. We have been preparing by getting the yard and garden work out of the way and some child-proofing. The visit will include a birthday party at the lake for their 2-year-old. With 6 extra people and 2 extra dogs visiting until Sunday, I don't plan to be checking in here for the week. <BR> <BR> Immediately after our visitors leave, Hubby has some vacation days. He is taking our daughter and her fr... Wed, 11 Jun 2014 07:56:11 EST Thoughts Oh, those darn brain pathways. <BR> Have to be so very careful not to let negative thinking wear a groove. <BR> I suppose due to the difficult situations we've faced since last year that I have fallen into a pattern, an unwanted one. <BR> And too often I use my written word (blog) to say the things I don't speak aloud but rattle around in my head. A release. Therapy of sorts. <BR> Working on getting my thoughts and words into line with my usual sunny disposition. <BR> <em>67</em> <BR> W... Fri, 6 Jun 2014 08:11:45 EST Mailbox Yesterday I went into work with Hubby. I am able to sit in the office while he waits on customers and schedules loads to go out most any day I choose. Sometimes I start to get cabin fever and fix that by spending the day with him. <BR> <BR> JD was scheduled to leave the USA yesterday. It played on my mind. Mixed feelings. <BR> <BR> While there in the office I filled the hours by crocheting on a baby blanket that I had set aside THIRTEEN years ago. I had made a mistake in it and gotten ... Thu, 5 Jun 2014 16:30:31 EST June 3 (Working out the lessons from 'takers') Clever title, eh? June 3. I'm just not feeling the creative juices this morning. (Then later came back once I got warmed up...smh!) <BR> <BR> I kept myself busy yesterday as predicted. 4 loads of laundry washed and line-dried. I even made a new batch of laundry detergent. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Wow. It just occurred to me that I still need to pull out the summer clothes bin and pack away the winter garb. More laundry. But I... Tue, 3 Jun 2014 09:32:12 EST June 2014 This weekend went pretty well. <BR> <BR> On Saturday we spent the morning doing errands and the afternoon doing yardwork. I turned down the chance to have a caramel latte at the local coffee shop. And also the tradition of having a homemade "oatmeal pie" like the Little Debbie ones. We always get one when we go to the local Mennonite store. And a Mtn. Dew. I turned down both by substituting flowers instead. I spent more on the flowers, but hey, they last longer and don't make me fee... Mon, 2 Jun 2014 08:32:46 EST How then, to live? When things change in my life, such as relationships, I feel a little lost. No, a LOT lost. Always my mind is used to expanding out in an invisible sheet to encompass all those I love. Ready to be there for them. Always hoping for their best. My energy flowing in those directions. <BR> <BR> How then to live when I realize my energy was misplaced? <BR> <BR> (I'm working this out as I blog.) <BR> <BR> I think of the sea anemone, so beautifully expanded in normal conditions. Then, when ... Fri, 30 May 2014 08:10:28 EST Water Slowly <em>91</em> <BR> <BR> Water intake is the easiest task with the biggest impact when I spark. My skin, my hair, my acne, my energy, all show the vivid results of dehydration versus 8-12 cups a day. <BR> <BR> This is my 3rd day back on SP and my water intake was 3c., 6c., then today I'm setting myself up to succeed at 8c. I am skipping my morning coffee (mainly b/c I ran out of milk) and choosing water. Early in, early success. <BR> <BR> I have also pulled out my old friend, the 4c... Thu, 29 May 2014 07:58:54 EST What's Up? My weight, for one. lol. <BR> Got on the scale this morning just to see just how far I've backslid. There was no brow-beating nor guilt. Just a matter-of-fact information gathering. Just for the sake of having a base measurement from which to begin. <BR> <BR> It wasn't as bad as I expected. I hadn't regained all that I lost and more, but it was too close to what I had lost. My little turtle tracker took a bounce back to the near beginning. <BR> <em>134</em> <BR> <BR> It's ok. No ... Wed, 28 May 2014 10:07:50 EST Starting Again Hmmm... it's been nearly 3 months since I've been active on SP, but it seems WAaaaaay longer to me. Winter has passed so I should change my snowy background to something more summer-like. <BR> <BR> I'll keep this short and true. I realize I need my SP friends. I've missed having other souls out there that take me at face value and truly "get" me. Been suffering recently from a void opened up under misplaced family friendships. I was long warned that I was trusting where I should not and... Tue, 27 May 2014 08:50:22 EST Regrowth Not new growth, just some retraining this old branch to grow in the right direction. I've been missing from SP this week due to taking a mini-break from the internet. Just needed to take a step back from all social media and noise to refocus. Read some, wrote some, picked back up on the things I had let slip... mostly ME. <BR> <BR> The biggest snow yet hit us this past Sunday night. For the first time in 9 years, hubby's work closed for a day due to weather. We got about 6 inches of sno... Wed, 5 Mar 2014 07:35:49 EST Caught breath Yesterday turned out to be DD's worst day for dealing with all this aftermath. I felt so badly for her. But she took my advice after talking everything out and took a 4-wheeler ride out into our woods. She came back like a new girl, albeit with an injured finger from a flying branch. Nothing too serious, but bruising and swelling. But her smile is back. <BR> <BR> DH talked out his feelings to me also. He really analyzed the situations with clarity, or as he quipped "with blinders off."... Tue, 25 Feb 2014 08:40:08 EST Self-Preservation What a wonderful visit with my DS yesterday!!! The weather was great for a February day, sunny and mild. We ate at Toot's where I had a plate of those elusive fried oysters! <BR> <BR> We introduced him and his roommates to "An Idiot Abroad" on Netflix. It's a travel show, but has some language and some rather shocking parts. However, it shows attitudes and views you don't get with your normal travel series. <BR> <BR> We played with their puppy. Puppy love. I didn't even care that it m... Mon, 24 Feb 2014 07:57:25 EST Photo Quotes Friday was a killer day. Exhausting. Emotional. <BR> But it's over. <BR> We all slept deep last night and woke almost to our old, happy selves. <BR> A little voice from my shoulder whispered, "You gave up. Loser." <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> We know we did everything we could. We knew that hope for everyone was in the form of change instead of continuing as was. <BR> <BR> Reminding ourselves of this truth has helped beyond anything ... Sat, 22 Feb 2014 17:14:17 EST Last night Tonight will be the last night that JD will be staying with us. She will be leaving tomorrow after school. She is very upset to learn that she will be leaving her high school. I told her that we wish all the best for her and that maybe this can be a new beginning for her. <BR> <BR> The house is very tense. <BR> <BR> And DD has a fierce head cold that came on today. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow will be so busy, transferring her school stuff, bank account, helping her finish packing. <BR> <BR> For... Thu, 20 Feb 2014 18:59:13 EST Letting go This week was rough, but I learned a few things about myself over the past 6.5 months. <BR> Moderate stress tempts me to emotional eating. Extreme stress makes me want to turn away from food. <BR> I have a record of giving my all to something for about 6 months then, if it shows no results or poor results, I am able to let go of it with the knowledge that I gave it my best. <BR> It's not my fault all the time. <BR> <BR> We continued to work with and for JD but this week she did something so... Tue, 18 Feb 2014 04:22:23 EST Probation An update on the situation with JD. <BR> <BR> After 2 meetings, hours long, her supervisor listening to both her and us separately then together, JD was reprimanded for the disrespectful way she has been acting. Seems all her complaints are about our lifestyle (rural, frugal, eating in more than eating out, homeschooling, etc.) She was told that she has 2 weeks to straighten up or else disciplinary action will be taken. This action is just basically a warning letter that goes in her perma... Wed, 12 Feb 2014 15:19:59 EST Extreme Stress I bet you've been wondering where I've been, eh? <BR> I pop in when I have a chance, but things at home have gotten crazy. <BR> <BR> Our JD is dealing with cultural differences and is still having a hard time adjusting. She has never before had so much time to freely think. Always in Japan, her days were filled with hours of school and study that we would consider outrageous. And part of getting ahead there (according to her) seems to include putting down those around you in an attempt to... Mon, 10 Feb 2014 07:51:23 EST SMART goals 2014 Time to get serious. <BR> <BR> If I say I'm starting then I need to set my S.M.A.R.T. goals and get to work instead of coasting along. This weekend I realized how much I needed to find my new starting point to measure my progress monthly. Monthly, b/c I know the lies a bathroom scale can tell. <BR> <BR> 15 pound regain puts me back in the obese BMI category. <BR> <BR> So first things first; lose this 15 pound backslide. I gained it in 4 months, so losing it in 3-4 is realistic. <BR> <B... Mon, 20 Jan 2014 09:27:56 EST A Yogini I am not After a full week of a horrible TOM that included a migraine and junk food, I had had it with myself. I went to bed early last night and woke refreshed. I traded in my coffee with sugar/milk for an unsweetened, hot, peach tea. I passed up Lucky Charms (JD's favorite) for two country eggs scrambled with spinach. Lunch was chopped zucchini cooked in tomato sauce and topped with a little cheddar. Water, water, water! And I pulled up the SP vid for yoga. <BR> <em>414</em> <BR> Um, yeah,... Mon, 13 Jan 2014 14:12:23 EST Know Thyself I have been contemplating the thought of trying yoga or Tai Chi and didn't know why, not when I have these new hooping dvds to conquer. I never, EVER thought of these disciplines as exercise routines that I would be interested in. But then yesterday morning I woke up with the odd realization that I was looking for an exercise that was about stress-relief, not needing a dvd to which I have attached lofty goals... not at this moment anyway. <BR> <BR> AND I have been slowly coming to that won... Mon, 6 Jan 2014 21:48:31 EST Culture Difference vs Family Difference Disclaimer: This blog post is long and about personal stress instead of all "sparky" so no inspiration today. In case you don't already know, we have a Japanese exchange student living with us for the 2013-14 school year. It's been both rewarding and rough. I've turned to emotional eating as the year closed since she arrived. But we are determined to make the most of this opportunity and grow as a family and as individuals. <BR> <BR> <BR> What a rough day yesterday!!! Tension built un... Fri, 3 Jan 2014 11:18:46 EST Motivation from an Unexpected Source I admit it. I needed a good shot-in-the-arm to get me back to full Spark. My DH has basically dropped completely from SP for months now. I've had plenty of stress to blame my return to craving comfort foods. Then, as the weight crept back, I began turning to Mtn. Dew again for some short bursts of energy. Naps are once again necessary as my sleep quality has plummeted. <BR> <BR> I already KNEW why and how and was trying to pull myself back to a healthy dock from a murky tide of sludgey ... Thu, 2 Jan 2014 08:17:58 EST Shopping on NYE DD and I took a shopping trip as part of her Christmas gift to buy a few things she needed. A Mother/Daughter day was much anticipated! You know that it went well when your DD tells you "you're cool" out of the blue on the ride home and you know she means it sincerely and you know you really are. <BR> <em>36</em> <BR> She and I get along really well. We are both artistic types and do wacky things like seeing how fast she can push with me standing on the back of a grocery cart as we lea... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 06:49:30 EST Slinking back Christmas was nice for us. DS and his girlfriend visited for Christmas Day quite unexpectedly. I received thoughtful gifts. We traveled up to visit my brother's family last weekend and found out they are expecting their 5th child! We stayed in a hotel for the first time in ages so I felt like I was having a real mini-vacation. <BR> <BR> I've emotional eat ever since JD arrived in August. I've been afraid to step on the scale. However, I did order the Hoopnotica dvds for my Christmas gi... Sat, 28 Dec 2013 19:42:03 EST I knew better I did it anyway. I stepped on the scale this morning. Despite the good ranges and increased exercise, the scale is still up. I would have been better off not knowing that. I know the scale is a liar. Why did I let curiosity get the better of me? Truly, I'm not thinking on it too much but could've done better if I hadn't looked at a number. <BR> <BR> I will shake it off. <BR> <BR> Today is DS's 24th birthday. He lives too far away to make a visit to him feasible. We would have to spe... Fri, 15 Nov 2013 09:26:17 EST "Don't listen to yourself..." This morning on The Today Show, the news anchors were speaking about a 12,000 step challenge among themselves. Al Roker had a real gem of advice. "Don't listen to yourself, TALK to yourself." <BR> <BR> In case that sounds confusing, how many times have you listened to your inner-brat whine about exercise? Don't listen. Talk yourself into it and listen to THAT good advice. <BR> <BR> "My calves are sore. It's cold outside" whines the brat. <BR> <BR> "The soreness and stiffness will leav... Thu, 14 Nov 2013 10:50:32 EST 3-day streak The conversation that DH and I had last night is the thing that made me get up off my tuckus and hoop today. He came in from deer hunting for only 2 hours between getting home from work and the early darkness commenting on how pretty it was in the woods with our little snowfall. "I don't know why I don't enjoy hunting like I used to. I used to be so excited that I couldn't wait to get up early and go. Now, I would much rather sleep in and not be cold. Yet, once I actually get into the wo... Wed, 13 Nov 2013 15:00:41 EST Doing pretty well (knock on wood) Yesterday, an hour of Zumba. <BR> Today 10 minutes of the elliptical. <BR> <BR> Staying in range on my foods. <BR> Getting in my water. <BR> Getting plenty of sleep hours (although not entirely solid ones.) <BR> Not obsessing about the scale. Only weighed once at a weird time so it didn't phase me at all. <BR> <BR> Had only one misunderstanding with JD in the past 4 days. That is an amazing thing! Peace is returning to our house instead of tension. That has been a real help all the way... Tue, 12 Nov 2013 20:43:18 EST Exercise mind-set Exercise is the one thing I've never fully gotten into in a whole year. I still have the mind-set that it is work and not so fun. I can't figure out why b/c each time I actually DO exercise I enjoy it and feel good. Really, I do! <BR> <BR> I've even picked out the exercises that I find most fun. Hooping, Zumba, and walking/jogging. Throw in a SP strength-training video 3-4 times a week for good measure. <BR> <BR> Still yet, my inner-brat has to be dragged to exercise, screaming and cla... Mon, 11 Nov 2013 13:10:59 EST Deer Season It's almost 5 in the afternoon on a sunny, brisk Fall Sunday. I'm kicked back on the reclining loveseat with my DH, laptop warming my lap as he watches a little t.v. He has been a pretty busy fellow this weekend, what with the opening of modern gun season here. <BR> <BR> Yesterday morning, I got up with DD and DH to see them off to the woods. I had a good feeling about DD getting one and told her so. Idky. She felt the same way. All morning, each echo of gunshot from around the country... Sun, 10 Nov 2013 17:05:08 EST Coming back and NEW GOALS I don't know my current weight but I'm sure it's up. My belly feels big again. My face is filling out. I'd guess I've regained into the lower obese bmi again. I've lost most of my sexy muscle tone. <BR> <BR> I have noticed my skin looks older and more dry. My acne is slightly worse again. I'm low-energy and catching mild viruses. <BR> <em>527</em> <BR> I feel crummy for getting off plan here at SP. I rebelled against measuring, counting, and tracking. I went to festivals and had ... Thu, 7 Nov 2013 14:13:46 EST