Showing posts from September, 2013

56. Heidi by Johanna Spyri

This book made me want to jump on a plane to Switzerland and live in the Alps forever!

The author's writing is delightful and engaging, and I never read it as a child so I am making up for lost time. It is written for children and those who love children. It is also one of the best-selling books of all time! I listened to the Blackstone Audiobook by Johanna Ward. It was excellent! Such a positive and uplifting book too. I needed that after reading The Great Gatsby!

The author was born in Switzerland in 1827 and the reflects the landscape from Spyri's childhood. 

She does not look very happy in the picture below, but it is certainly a charming book. 

Here is a tidbit though:

In April 2010 a professor, searching for children's illustrations, found a book written in 1830 by a German history teacher, Adam von Kamp, that Spyri may have used as a basis for Heidi. The 1830 story is titled Adelheide - das Mädchen von Alpengebirge—translated, "Adelheide, the girl from the Alps"…

12 - Food and Fitness VLOG - Music and Moving While Working

You can burn while stuck inside on a rainy day! My only official "exercise" was a short 15 minute walk around the block, but I am already scheduled to exceed my calorie burn goal of 2500 calories because I am working around the house: standing and cooking and going up and down stairs with laundry and organizing. SO, do not let a rainy day keep you from burning calories!

11 - Food and Fitness VLOG: Get Up and Move!

Happy First Day of Fall!

264 - Fall Decor, originally uploaded by carolfoasia. Via Flickr:
From 2012:
I always forget to put out Fall decor until later. So, I marked my calendar last year and told myself where the Fall box was in the garage! I have this lovely metal centerpiece that has the fall leaves that I can wrap around it. I actually went to buy candles and got them on sale at Bi-Mart (Rice's pillar candles were 18.99 YIKES). The tapers always seem to tip, but I decided to put my PartyLight tea light fall leaves, that I usually forget to take out, where the tapers should go. Artistic Stacy told me to raise the center. The only flaw is my wrinkled tablecloth, but I think I did pretty well!


I was up at 6:30 am, and the house is still quiet at 7:22 am. I know it will not be for much longer. I am so much better. Part of it is that George is now home for the weekend. YAY!

Time for a goal review (I have the "Freedom to Fly Frugality Five" List up on the wall now - application from my last day of prayer.):

1) Worship and Word

I was doing REALLY well with this until a few days ago. I do not know why I was so undisciplined. Had a great time in 1 Peter 1 and part of 2. Then, I have been very undisciplined for the last few days.

My overnighter in prayer also keeps getting put back through no fault of my own. I was going to go this coming week, but Samira has her prelim at 3 pm on Monday. Then she is coming over on Tuesday.  Maybe I will take off after that for Tuesday - Friday? I could definitely do that very easily. (Update: Got a cold so will leave for Wednesday and Thursday night. I am having a VERY productive indoor day regardless of whether Samira show up or not - she …

We Are Never Alone, But We Need Each Other - Follow up on Yesterday

I know I wrote that we are never alone, but here is what I wrote to a friend about how my day progressed on my Spiritual Birthday:

Yesterday was almost unbearable until 3:19 p.m. I did everything I possibly could to lift the burden of loneliness that I felt (except walking outside which I should have done, but it was raining, and I had already deemed it an “inside work day,” but I should have gone anyway. That would have so helped.)
Precipitations in this emotional dip were because in the last week the following things happened: 
1) Revelation of things with my brother's family that were heartbreaking and made me feel "out of the loop" and alienated from them (even though all is well with no drama or conflict).
2) Death of my Iranian neighbor due to cancer.
3) Change in the length of what I thought would be a week of vacation cut to 54 hours.
4) George being gone (when I thought I would have a week with him because he said he was taking days off of work, but then abruptly said…

Today is My Spiritual Birthday

I woke up today feeling sort of crummy. I found out last night that we were forgotten in an invitation to a conference. I can see the mix up in that we are "in-between" departments for this organization. Well, we did not get invited to the conference for the department we are going to AND the department we are leaving. So, it is hard for me to see everyone saying they are going to the conference, and we just assumed they were not having one this year. 

So, I was sad. Then I realized that 44 years ago today, I went to the first GIRLS weekend at Green Oaks BOYS Camp and came to believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I am having a party and going to be thankful. I was all alone this morning, but I have to constantly be reminded that my aloneness just drives me right into the arms of Jesus rather than depending on people, and that is a very good thing.

We are never alone!

Friday Freewrite Fifteen

I have not had a freewrite in quite a while so I set the timer for fifteen minutes, and I am going to type with abandon until it goes off. 

I have been sleeping longer than usual. Maybe it is the weather. We have had a couple of cloudy days followed by lovely sunshine in the 80's. Yesterday, we did Dial-a-Book,and I got my much needed therapeutic massage. I thought it was a luxury when the doctor recommended it in August 2012. I went ahead and followed his orders from September - February, but our income was in such flux that I stopped. I will not do that again. I am determined to do preventative monthly appointments with Dr. Koen and a massage therapist  so that I am getting muscle release at least every two weeks. They both tell me my body just binds up no matter how "right" I am doing everything else (back exercises, core conditioning, stretching, general staying in shape, etc). So, I am not going to kick myself over the spasms I have had through much of August and jus…

55. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgeral

This was the only classic I read in high school, and I did not like it or get it. I read it again about 9 years ago, and I liked it. This time I proclaim that there is a reason why this is considered the "great American novel"! I know it is not very happy, but his writing is lyrical. The thoughts are profound and deep.

10 - Food and Fitness VLOG: Review of 8 Ways to Control Your Appetite

Can you remember them?

1) Sleep
2) Smile
3) Sunshine
4) Sweat
5) Stress-Less
6) Sensory Stimulation
7) Bond
8) Routine

Remember S (for Serotonin and Dopamine) x 5 + B (for Boosting) + R (for Regiment)
Serotonin and Dopamine Boosting Regiment!

2012 Carol300+

In 2007-2009 and 2011-2012 (took 2010 off because my back was so bad I could not carry my SLR around), I did a thing called Project365 where I took a photo a day. I had not updated 2012 since the beginning of November but finally updated my Flickr account, but it ended up being Project309 because I just lost momentum in picture taking toward the end of the year. After processing 30,000 pictures since 2007 over the summer and early fall of 2012, I realized that I needed to slow down on picture taking because I cannot sit that long processing lots of pictures (my weight gain was directly proportional to sitting doing pictures and also doing the Bible Book Club). 

Enjoy my life in pictures in a slideshow format. I LOVE this project and would love anyone who reads this to join me in 2014. I think I will do "Fun and Fabulous 52" where I pick one best picture for each week of the year!

(If you want a bigger picture and an explanation of each one go directly to my Flickr account here…

My Medical Fiasco: Get Me Back to Quality Care with a Family Atmosphere!

I am just thankful this was not a "medical emergency" for I would have been dead by now! I guess I would have just gone to the emergency room, but what is happening in healthcare these days?

After a total fiasco with my primary care doctor about getting a muscle relaxant so my back will not go out before I see my chiropractor on Monday, I switched primary care doctors because this primary care physician would not refill my prescription unless I came in and saw him, but he was not IN on Friday.
Even if I did see him, he would just tell me the same thing he told me last year when he would not refill my prescription – get massage therapy, do core exercises, and regular adjustments (with him [osteopath], but he is not as effective [or as accessible]  as my chiropractor!).  I do all those things now. I was not doing massage therapy regularly and started right after his recommendation in August 2012 to do it monthly. I admit when our finances were low from Feb on, I stopped but am p…

9 - Food and Fitness VLOG: 8 of 8 Ways to Control Your Appetite - ROUTINE

8 - Food and Fitness VLOG: 7 of 8 Ways to Control Your Appetite - Sensory Stimulation

Sensory Stimulation – See (art and nature), touch (massage, softness), smell (flowers, vanilla), taste (rooibos tea), and hear (music, nature) what is beautiful around you!

7 - Food and Fitness VLOG: 6 of 8 Ways to Control Your Appetite - BONDING Face to Face

Facebook, texting, emailing, and phoning do not count. The studies show that you only get the boost from face-to-face contact!

6 - Food and Fitness VLOG: 4 & 5 of 8 Ways to Control Appetite: Sunshine and Sweat

Instead of snacking I will go out in the sunshine and get exercise. If you are at work, take that afternoon break time to take a fifteen minute walk. (Or better yet, can you walk to work? Can you take the bus and walk from the bus stop? So much better for YOU and the environment!) 

We may not always have sunshine, but when we have it, let's take advantage of it and see our impulse control and mood soar!

5 - Food and Fitness VLOG: 3 of 8 Ways to Control Appetite - Stress LESS

We will talk a whole lot more about stress reduction in future VLOG posts, but here is a nifty-fifty (seconds) for you!

Here is a nice article on more ways to Stress-LESS!

4 - Food and Fitness VLOG: 2 of 8 Ways to Control Appetite - Smile!

Dopamine controls the brain's reward and pleasure center, and smiling helps release dopamine which leads to us turning to smiling rather than food to make us feel better!!!

It really is true! This is from

When we smile, fake or real, the contractions of the facial muscles slightly distorts the shape of the thin facial bones.  This slight distortion in their shape leads to an increase in blood flow into the frontal lobes of the brain and increases in the release of dopamine (Iwase et al., 2002, Neuroimage17:758).  As a result, walking around all day with a smile on your face will bias your mood to be happier. Not only will you be happier but your smile might spontaneously induce the release of dopamine in someone else's brain—now that truly demonstrates the power of a smile.
SMILE!!!! :)

Natural Ways to Increase Serotonin and Dopamine Levels Handout

3 - Food and Fitness VLOG: 1 of 8 Ways to Control Appetite - Sleep