Monday, November 30, 2015

Welcome December

Saturday morning I sat on the screened porch at the cabin enjoying the pleasant weather and watching autumn leaves falling from the trees. One of my favorite things at the cabin is all the different varieties of leaves. I have live oak leaves only. I love them, but it is always so cool to see the wide variety of oaks at the cabin. The breeze was blowing the last ones off the trees. I stepped outside to capture the falling "leaf-flakes."

video


December will be here tomorrow, and I am wondering where the year went. Time is really flying...I need it to slow down just a bit.


I spent the day putting up Christmas. I will share bits of it in the coming days. 

The big news is that tomorrow means I have almost made it with my 30 day detox. I go to the doctor tomorrow. I will give an update tomorrow evening. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving at the Farm: A New Tradition


I had a few minutes this morning before we head out to Auburn for the Iron Bowl, so I thought I would share a little Thanksgiving.

Doing the feast at the farm was a huge hit with everyone. There was plenty to do and no laying around after gorging on southern food. It was a perfect day with one exception; I had to share Lindsay and Tyler with Tyler's parents in Atlanta:( We were minus our girl!!!

Hubby Jeff, Mama, and I all went up Wednesday evening so that we could be up and early getting things ready. I set our new table. 

WARNING: This is not a Pinterest worthy table, but a real life easy family table.


The paper placemats were wonderful.

Thursday morning was cook, cook, and cook. I can safely say none of it was healthy. Good thing we only do this once a year. I will share that I was so good. As the day approached I realized I was going to blow the detox with just a few days left.

The menu consisted of:

Smoked Turkey
Ham
Fried Turkey (the hit of the day, 
so Jeff has decided that he will only do the one next year....doubt he will stick to that because he loves family gatherings and ALWAYS goes over the top!)

Now, let's see...

Corn Casserole
Squash Casserole
Broccoli Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole
Green Bean Casserole

Green Limas

and

my mom's most amazing dressing.

It is literally the best stuff you have ever put in your mouth. No one ever tastes it that they don't rave about it!!!! I have to learn to do it, because it is the main focus of the meal according to everyone.

Now, for desserts...

My Pound Cake with strawberries and homemade whipped cream
Pecan Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie
Hershey Bar Pie

Yes, it was and always is ridiculous.

Before I go on....let me say I was so good. I got an extra small plate and ate only a few things in very small portions. I savored every single bite. I didn't eat breakfast or anything last night, just my drinks.
As soon as I had cleaned up, I put my app on my phone and went out for a swift walk around the land and made sure I did a mile.

I went out down the side one way to the woods,


and back up to the pond.


Then around past the barn to the pecan orchard


all the way to the side road. The most amazing cotton field was still blooming on the other side of the road.


Then around to see what was going on.

Guests included:
Hubby Jeff
Son Paul Allen
Mama
Jeff's sister Donna and husband Al,
Their daughter Kristan and her husband Torey..... AND THE TWINS
I so understand you grandmas out there, because when the twins show up, they become the stars. Our family is small. I am an only child and Jeff's sister only had Kristan.
Jeff's brother Danny
and
Torey's  parents, Judy and Ernest join us every other year.

Back up to a few inside feast pictures.

Jeff carving with two hoping for something to drop.

Torey, Paul Allen, and Aunt Donna

Mama and the twins, Tanner and Katelyn. Mama had to move because they wanted me!!!!

The new table.
.


Lots of fishing.

Tanner has something.


Adorable!

A little swimming unfortunately. Both dogs ran after the tours with the mules that Jeff and Paul Allen gave until they were worn out. They slept hard last night.


Not to be left out of the fishing.

So cute!

Done with giving tours. The boys set up a shooting range into the hay bales that were never picked up by the previous farmer. Oh my the guys had a blast. I never made it out to practice, but I am a pistol packing mama!

My two best fellas.

After dark, everyone made their way back into have a little more dessert. Not me though!




A fantastic day had by all. We have all agreed that a new tradition was born. It really kept everyone up and outside whether sitting on the screen porch or out fishing, riding, shooting, etc. No lazy days after eating soooooo much food.

The day would have been perfect with my other two chickadees, but I know Tyler's mama was happy.
They sent me a picture.


Off to War Eagle Country.

Blessed indeed,
Sandy









Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Overflowing with Thankfulness

A season of giving thanks seems to get lost in this world today. God doesn't promise everything will always be easy in this world, but He does give us so many promises for this life.

This past December as the eve of the new year was approaching, I made a list of goals for 2015. One of those was to just stop each day and be mindful of my many blessings. It is so easy in the day to day to lose sight of what He does for us. 

As we leave for the farm tomorrow to have Thanksgiving with the family, I just wanted to stop today and note some of those things in my life.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 

I have the most wonderful family. 

A husband that loves me and looks to always provide me with the best. 

A daughter who is such a good friend as well as a wonderful daughter. She has a light that glows in a crazy world and an optimistic attitude even when things aren't going well. 

I have the most wonderful son-in-law who loves my daughter. He is so very good to her.... an answered prayer. 

My dear son who is my very heart is doing so much better. He seems to have grown up so much lately. 

When I think back to last Thanksgiving, my mom was sick and just felt so stinking bad along with having to forge new traditions. Today, she is feeling good and ready to move. We close next week on a home. I am so grateful.

My list could go on... a wonderful church and a great group of friends.

I am going to enjoy the rest of the week. 
Going to see the Hunger Games with my daughter.
Headed to the farm tomorrow to prepare for the family.
A day to eat and fellowship.
Heading to the cabin on Friday.
Iron Bowl on Saturday. War Eagle! Hoping for a miracle!
Back home Sunday.
Get the tree up!

Everyone have a blessed week,
Sandy


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Fruit Trees and an Early Detox Update

I am into week three of my 30 day detox. I have reached the point where I can safely say I am very glad that I decided to do this. I don't know what will happen in the future, but part of this process has been knowing that I will do my part and let the Lord do the rest with my RA.

The most Amazing thing has happened. I have spent the last 3 days pain free. I will be honest with you. I can't really remember the last time that has happened. I might start out in the morning with no hurting joints, but as the day wore on I would begin to feel something. I have gone three days with no joint hurting people!!! That is not a shoulder, knee, finger, wrist, elbow, and especially feet. 

Friday and Saturday, I realized I felt really good, but the true test was today. In rolled winter, and I have not had an achy joint all day. I am currently in the middle of week three and doing two drinks to replace meals with one meal a day under my requirements, and yet I don't feel deprived. I haven't been hungry...now, I have wished to eat a bowl of grits and some spaghetti.

I am going to be very good Thanksgiving. I will eat, but I have decided to let the sweets go. I am so close to the finish, that I see it as something more. A goal to complete.  I am down 10 pounds. 

I see my rheumatologist tomorrow. 

Now, onto a few other things.

The family spent Saturday morning planting 10 fruit trees. Hubby researched all about them. You have to have two of eat kind in order for them to pollinate, so he ordered the correct matches for each set. We now have 2 apples, 2 peaches, 2 pears, 2 cherry, and 2 plum planted for Zone 8b. Of course, we will have to wait a couple of years to produce fruit. I am excited, because I will have organic fruit right at our own farm. We are also planting a small garden this spring.


My son-in-law digging holes with the help of granddog, Hallie.

Lucy inspected them all.

Long way to go.

Son with a fish from the pond.

We gave our football tickets to the Idaho game away. It looked as though we weren't the only ones. We will be there next weekend for what will probably be the massacre. 

Hubby and I did a little Christmas shopping last night, so I think the busyness of the season has begun.

I may have one of the busiest Decembers I have had in awhile, but I hope it will lead to a smoother next year. We can always hope, right? On December 2nd, Mama is closing on a one story townhouse here in town. I think it is a perfect place and size for her. She will be in a safe neighborhood and not far from me. I hope her house sells soon after, so that she can settle down. We have sooooo...much to do, but we will just have to take it as it comes. I also have an antique car to sell. I think that might be the hardest thing as the economic times don't lend themselves to luxury items. My folks were in a car club and had multiple cars at one time... a model A, a 57 Chevy, and I don't even remember all of them, but we have a 49 Ford to sell. I listed it on Auto Traders Classics and Craig's List, but not much action yet.





If I go off the radar in December, you will know that I am going to be busy.
Sandy

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lesson Learned About Seasonal Decorating

I really don't know what came over me in September, but I got fall happy. I put my pumpkins and fall leaves out all over the house. I was totally rushing it. It was 90 degrees outside, but I guess I got sucked in by all the cute pics on Instagram and blogs.



By mid-October,  I was so ready for it to go. 

Now, this is MY lesson learned, so don't let me offend anyone. I am seeing Christmas everywhere. I love Christmas, but I am going to wait until Thanksgiving is done before I get ahead of myself.

I know me and I will be sick of it by Christmas, so I am going to just crush on all those pics out there and have some self discipline. That was lacking greatly in September.

I seriously thought about the September decorating that I had seen at Kelly's Talk of the House last year where she decorated with of a more "back to school" theme that year. I loved it, but my sewing room is already kind of a cross between crafts and school memorabilia, so I passed on it. Then after I had put fall everywhere, she had the most wonderful post on her gardening theme. You can read about it here. Seriously, that girl is so creative. I am so stealing that next year when I am feeling the need to do something seasonal for the home.

Talk of the House


It is funny about seasonal decorating. It has become very popular these days. I have always done things for my own children, but it was on a much smaller scale. A jack-o-lantern and a few posters in the front window at Halloween, a lighted bunny on the porch and eggs hanging from the dogwood out front at Easter and that was it.

I missed the seasonal bulletin board in my classroom, and then couple that with blogs, Instagram, and Pinterest, and I have fallen in the trap of thinking I need to have a seasonally decorated home.

This week I just felt I needed a breather  before Christmas. I went on a cleaning spree and took it all down. Now, if we were going to do Thanksgiving at home this year, I would have survived it, but since we are going to do that at the farm this year, I decided to give myself a break. It felt so good.

I have always put my tree up on the Friday after Thanksgiving, so I will stick with tradition. I love the decor I am seeing. It is getting me in the spirit. I have seen some really good reasons for starting early. One example is Amanda at Dixie Delights. She  has a great reason why she decorates for Christmas early, and I would do the same if I were in her shoes.

I am going to take MY lesson learned and spend the weekend with family. No decorating allowed.

House is cleared of fall decor, but my heart is thankful for my many blessings. 
It is pensive over the state of things in our world. 

We are so blessed. May we never forget how much we need to pray for our country.




Detox - The Two Week Mark

I am at the two week mark today for my 30 day detox. I saw the doctor this morning, so I am giving you an update on how week two went and going forward.

As I shared earlier, the first week was not so good. Felt very stinky!

Week two saw the upswing. I had felt so badly around Day 5 that I started scouring the Internet for comments from people who had tried this. They all said Day 8 was a turning point. I would say they were spot on. I began to feel much better with a return of energy. 

I guess you really do have to get all those toxins out of you.

The pitfalls I had were surprising for me. You are really only supposed to eat organic chicken and turkey, and some types of fish and shellfish. I was literally unable to eat meat. I tried every way you can imagine to fix it, and it just welled up in my mouth. There was a vegetarian plan in the program, and I remembered that the doctor said I could go that route. So in week two, I ate beans to replace the meat which worked much better for me. I am in no way a vegetarian, so I found that an odd thing. 

The other really bad thing for me was that green drink. There is no way to hide the awfulness of it. I tried lots of things and ended up trying really hard to mix it with apple or cranberry juice. One day it did actually come back up. 

The good news is Doc said I could pass it up and eat more greens and even add some greens to a smoothie. That I think I can handle. I would rather eat a bowl of kale and spinach raw any day than to try and drink AND KEEP that drink DOWN!

Other than the meat and the awful green drink, I did it. I made it successfully through the two weeks, and really had no cravings to speak of. 

I was disappointed that I didn't lose like 20 pounds, because as little as I ate I was sure it would fall off of me, so here is what I found out.

I weighed in at 142.4 which was down 6 pounds at the two week mark. Doc said that was not bad at all, because quick weight loss doesn't really accomplish the long term goal.

The biggie was that I had lost 10 percentage points of body fat in the two weeks. That made me feel so much better about the situation. I can't see that much in terms of visible, but losing body fat is a winner.

The program for the next two weeks is a full detox... which means I will replace two of my meals with the chocolate drink which I really don't know what it is, because it doesn't say it is a protein thingie. I can still have pretty much unlimited vegetables from the list of vegetables that don't have my favorites on it:( However, that has not been a bad thing at all. I can have fruit which is awesome, and I will try to eat meat for one meal, but if not I will continue with the beans. 

The program called for no exercising, just stretching in these last two weeks, but I actually feel like walking and such, so I was given the green light to walk and do weights as much as I felt like it.

Now, for my pain levels...I have had some inflammation, but nothing really bad. He is convinced I will have less at the end of the next two weeks, so I will press forward. 

Just knowing I can skip that green drink is enough to give me the encouragement to continue.

So, bottom line...I am pressing forward with hope!
I definitely think the worst of it is over and feel like I can make it.

I go back December 1st for a class, then an appointment with the Doc. I will then get a new food plan which I think will be doable.

Oh, and get this...I made my pound cake for which I am very popular with my friends to take to an outing during all of this. Didn't lick the spoon or eat one bite!!! How is that for willpower and determination?

Be back tomorrow with other stuff unrelated to detox.
Sandy

Monday, November 9, 2015

30 Day Detox

I have started seeing a functional medicine doctor as of a month ago. My purpose is to find some relief for my two autoimmune diseases, hypothyroidism and rheumatoid arthritis. Losing weight will be a wonderful side effect.

I will be sharing the journey. We will either see me rejoicing or accepting some things. If you aren't interested, just skip over these posts. I will still post things about decorating, sewing, cooking, and walking a faith-filled life.

I started my 30 detox last Thursday, November 5. It is a program called Detox 360.

It is absolutely no fun, but I am motivated. 

Each week is different. Week 1 is going down like this..

Three meals and two snacks. 

Meals consist of greens, vegetables, except for nightshades which of course are the vegetables that I love, some fruits, chicken, turkey, and some nuts. Of course all must be organic.

Supplements in the form of pills.

Doesn't sound bad huh? Wrong!!!

I have to drink a shake at the first snack. Not horrible, but not good either. I guzzle it as quickly as possible, and can't even think about coupling it with food.

BUT, then comes the green drink for the afternoon snack. It is not fit for human consumption:)
It is awful. I guzzle it, but it leaves an aftertaste that makes me want to throw up. 
Seriously, they need to put that drink in a pill form.

I haven't really wanted to eat anything since the first day. 


Week 2 will be more of the shakes and a little less on the food list, such as no nuts at all.

Now, you might not think with my description above that I will not make it, but I will.

Here is why...
I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in my early 20's, RA in my mid-thirties. 

I have taken Methotrexate, Plaquinil, Humira and Enbrel injections, and now I am currently on Xeljanz.

I can no longer take Methotrexate, because I have had exhibited some of the very negative things associated with that drug. To be quite honest, I think it has been the most helpful as far as inflammation.

You can't read the side effects or listen to the commercials or they will scare you to death.

So, YES,  I will make it through the detox.

Doc said I would feel really bad before I felt better. He was so right. I feel stinky!!! with a capital S.

The weight side of the story. I never gained a lot of weight at one time. I think it was about 1-2 pounds  a year for the last 20 years.  I weighed 93 when I got married.

Up until about three weeks ago, I weighed in at 150. That was the killer for me. I am 5'3'' and small boned. I never thought I would weigh 150. I really don't each much at all. I think many would be surprised at how little I do eat. My weakness though is pasta. I love Italian food. 

Two weeks before I started the detox, I tried to eat only the foods on his list of foods. I lost 2 pounds, so last week at the beginning, I weighed in at 148.

I am on Day 5!

I will share my two week weight when I see Doc again.


I am sharing so that I will be embarrassed if I cave in and give up!

Stay tuned,
Sandy

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Farmhouse Table Purchase

Hubby has been at the farm every weekend that we haven't been in Auburn. He is quite smitten, and says riding the tractor is therapeutic. Oh, and my tigers pulled out a win this weekend. Yippie!

I shared that the farm has a modular home on it.



While at the lake a few weeks ago, we stopped at Lakeside Mercantile and fell in love with a table made with reclaimed wood. Hubby's wheels started spinning. We purchased it and will do the family Thanksgiving at the farm.


It seats 10. We found 6 old chairs out in the cottage, and are having a bench made for the other side.


I haven't shared the farmhouse. It is extremely clean and has so many possibilities. I am in no hurry to do anything as I have lots of irons in the fire. Mostly when I have gone up, I have been outside with the dogs. Just walking and soaking up the outdoors. I do have tons of things in mind for it.

It has a family room and a formal living and dining area. We are nixing the living and dining area and making it one big area to eat. It will be great for family events or church things. I couldn't help thinking when we purchased the table, that it was a little like the Duck Dynasty scene at the end when everyone is at the table down the center of the home.

It was very cloudy and I just captured a quick shot with my phone.

Anyway, this weekend, we moved all of the furniture that was located in that area out to the cottage. I didn't like any of it anyway. Our goal is to make this area a huge eating area and very rustic. After all, it is a farmhouse. I am envisioning some gingham panels on those windows. They won't make it on Thanksgiving. I'll share why later, but again, I am in no hurry.

Gone... and yes, that rug is awful!


The entire width of the home is open in the center of home. The couch and chairs are to the right.

This table and coat rack are opposite the sofa. 


And on the opposite end is a dining area.


We are going to swap my mom this table for a more country looking table to go here, so basically the whole area will be a gathering around the table...and we will all fit.

I just played around with it just a bit this weekend. I have the Pilgrims and Indians that I usually use at home, so I brought them up. My thoughts are adding some nature items ...leaves, berries around them for a simple centerpiece on Thanksgiving Day.



We are now looking for some type of pie safe or old hutch to go on the wall. 

Oh, and I know I will be stitching up some samplers for the room.

Slowly, we will turn into a place to love.

Blessed indeed,
Sandy









Monday, November 2, 2015

Welcome November

November is here, and I am excited about it. I am hoping for some cooler weather now. Never cold, but cooler.

November's monthly cottage cross stitch is mounted and completed on time. 



Actually, I am officially ahead of schedule, because I completed December already. I love how it turned out. 



I guess when Auburn is having a losing season that means you get the 11:00 time slot. That makes it a little tough on Hubby with Friday night football games. This week I went up on Friday with all three dogs by myself. The third dog is my daughter's. She and Hubby both had to go out of town with their jobs, and she wasn't getting in until Friday evening. The rest of the family had to get up real early Saturday morning and leave to make it to the game. 

I can't really leave them in a kennel anymore as Lucy, the Springer started having seizures about a year and a half ago. It had been six months since her last one, but she had two the previous weekend.

We got there and I fixed supper so I wouldn't have to go out. I plopped down on the sofa later in the evening, caught up on my Bible study and cross-stitched while watching the Hallmark channel. 


The littles ones snoozed. Lemony is on the floor beyond the sofa. I am in my favorite spot. 

Pretty good evening for me.

My favorite spot is on the lounging end!


Of course, we lost...going to be a long season, but that is that. I love my family time in a one of my favorite spots.

I picked up these plates at Dillards the other day. 


They literally called out to me and said you must buy me. Blue is my absolute favorite color.
They were displayed on blue and gray plates. I am thinking I need to go back and get those blue plates. My blue placemats are just not going to be enough.  Stay tuned.

That's a wrap,
Sandy