Saturday, September 28, 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". The two stories share many similarities in plot line and imagery. Spyri biographer Regine Schindler said it was entirely possible that Spyri may have been familiar with the story as she grew up in a literate household with many books.[1]

File:Johanna Spyri.jpg

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

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!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

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 partied all night after her PRELIM that she ROCKED!)

2) Wonderful Family Investment

That is going great. I feel like I am in a groove of talking at dinner with the kids, and it has been fun to have them help me with the downstairs decluttering that has been going on. I do it gradually with them, not wishing to overwhelm. They have been so helpful.

3) Work at Home

Yes, I am home a lot more than I have been, and I want this to continue. The toys under the stairs are all organized, and George is going through his boxes. So, that just leaves me with many paper boxes and memory boxes from my parents and grandparents. That may take a while. (Update: Actually, George has more under the stairs than ME! I only have two memories boxes left to sort through and some old Bible Study boxes. Also tax returns back to 1999. I know I can throw them away, but I hate to!)

I also have the downstairs guest room closet to do, but it is pretty organized down there. Once I finish that, I can finish my picture organizing that I have done up through November 2012. So, that should NOT take too long!

I have been much better about cooking. It helps that I am trying to unload so much food in that freezer! (Update: Unloaded all the turkey in the freezer and the beans and sauces in the refrigerator. I am making Tex Mex Turkey Soup using half the diced tomatoes and our homemade tomato sauce and canned paste instead of condensed tomato soup since we had so much leftover from our tomatoes that we made a big crock pot full of sauce - ).

4) Women Investment

That is also going very well. Stacy is leaving for Kona on Monday, and I had a little going away party for her. It was good to see all the women. Kathleen came over on Thursday and Friday night too. Leslie is now moved. I anticipate things will slow down in this department. (Update: I think our Jesus Community just doubled since I wrote this with four women to invest in instead of just two.) 

5) Weight and Strength Maintenance

My weight has stayed steady at a 30 pound weight loss. It seems that I am roughly doing calorie counting for 4-5 days a week and not being concerned about it on 2-3 days a week. I think this is really acceptable. 

Strength has been mostly core and back exercises, and I recently added light weights back in. Since my back blow out back in August, I have gingerly added more things in, and I seem to be doing fine. I have also added regular massages back every four weeks and chiropractic every four weeks (so I am seen every two weeks because I stagger them). This is what keeps it in tip top shape. What a long road from this "thorn in the flesh"!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

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 he had to go back to work on Tuesday).

5) Not being invited to an annual conference put on by our old department (through an innocent mix-up because we have been in limbo from the old department to the new since January 13 because the new department head is too busy to nail down our responsibilities). The exchange with our sweet old boss with his apologies about the miscommunication only made me go more into a tailspin, creating monsters where there were none. (Do people not like us? We are excluded from the "insiders" club.) Sigh (sometimes I can get very irrational until I snap out of it). 

6) Not being able to find anyone to celebrate with me on my 44th Spiritual Birthday with no clear plan for the day other than cleaning (which seemed too boring compared to celebrating!).

On top of all this was that I knew that my two best friends in town were both in intensely busy times of their lives (one is a sorority house mom and the girls had just moved back in, and it is “work week” before Rush, the other is working extra hours and a “soccer mom” which brings insanity to her house every fall.).

Of the three of us, I am not usually the “needy” one because I am pretty good at balance and fighting depression through exercise and diet, but I need someone to cry with every once in a while (other than George – sometimes girls are just better to do that with), and I did not want to bother them. This has not happened since March of 2012!  SHOULD NOT HAVE LISTENED TO THE LIE THAT THEY WERE TOO BUSY!

Well after crying on and off all day, I sent a text to  those two, and one other friend I know prays for me regularly because God has told her that she must and is a total encourager and prayer warrior. At 2:41 pm I said to all three:

“I am not doing well today and seriously feel like I am losing my mind. I really need prayer.” 

Within a minute, one of those “busy” friends called to prayer for me immediately without even listening to the problem (she had just gotten off work and was on her way to pick up her kids), then she called me back after she picked up her kids and listened to me cry and validated my feelings. 

I just assumed she was too busy to listen and already too burdened with her own stuff to care about mine, but we really do need each other. In between her two calls, the other close friend called at 3:02 and prayed and listened. At 3:19, while talking to the second friend the third texted and said she was praying right then. 

THE LIFTING WAS IMMEDIATE, and I really do think it was a spiritual attack on my 44th spiritual birthday! 

The two friends I talked to said they, too, had been struggling with LONELINESS! 

After 3:19 p.m., I texted my old boss back and told him that if I had been at the conference I would not be able to go to the memorial service of my sweet Iranian neighbor, and he validated that it would have been hard for me to get on a plane knowing that I could be at the service. SO TRUE! (He is a very nice man, and I almost wish we were in his department after all because he is so easy to work with and not hard to pin down like the new boss.) 

The 3:19 lifting sent me into cleaning mode, and I had such a good time! (Cleaning versus Celebrating was FUN. Can you believe that?) One friend wanted to go to a movie to “lift my spirits” and the other wanted me to take my kids out for 6.99 burgers and tell them my testimony, but I was so exhausted from crying that I was afraid a movie would do me in, and the kids did not want to go out (we ate out on our short vacation). 

So, I fixed them one of their favorite easy dish (Dutch Baby), and I told them my testimony. They have heard it before but listened politely, and one said, “It is obvious you have shared this a lot, Mom.” That just really nailed Satan’s coffin because you know that we overcome him by the world of our testimony (Revelation 12:11)! Try it when he is hassling you next time. 

Then, I went to town on the master bedroom and linen closets. The kids even went through their bedroom drawers! The day ended SO WELL with a goal accomplished and Satan defeated. Praise God. Total turnaround in a matter of minutes through prayer. I wish I had asked for prayer and not listened to Satan’s lies that people were too busy. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

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, September 13, 2013

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 just bite the bullet and spend the money. I wish the massage were covered by insurance, and my massage therapist is 15 dollars more an hour that a comparable one up in Hillsboro. So, when I am up in Hillsboro, I will go to that lovely girl. When I am down here, I will go to my regular therapist. They both are excellent. 

Other than that, I am in great shape, and my weight is staying where it should be. Maintenance is work. I have had a couple of splurge days, but I am ready to be more disciplined and record my food intake (yes, even when I do not need to lose weight - maintenance is key). I have kept this weight off since April 8, and I intend to keep it off forever!

I am doing really well spiritually. I had a little strange thing happen with drama from my family, but God was very clear in saying that it was not about me (I was not a part of the drama but felt hurt that no one from my family told me it was happening. Perhaps they were embarrassed? They wanted to keep it "private," but I cannot help but think I was lied to when I asked a direct question about things back in late April. Such pain people hide behind the plastic lives.). I think I realize more than anything is that the family of God is my true family. I have support and encouragement in a phone call's reach. I think some of my family members do not have that. So, I need to be grateful. It was so good to spend a half-day in prayer about it and then have my friend, Terri, call out of the blue to have tea! 

I am having a half to a full day of prayer on a weekly basis lately where I get out of the house and go somewhere quiet. I did a full day two weeks ago, and then another half day the next day. It was so good. I journaled then I walked and prayed the streets of Corvallis and the campus. I love fall for new beginnings. All that to say is that I was wanting to get away but was afraid I would sleep in a foreign bed and mess up my back even more and not have George there to help me. So, this is a better alternative for me.

I am doing well emotionally. Other than that family thing (where I felt so alone), I really am doing well with George being gone. I am getting so much done around the house, and God is bringing together our fall schedule in His time, not ours. I think we will start a new group in October rather than in the rush of mid-September. I want to do this new group according to the Spirit's leading and not the schedule. We also might do something radical and not have a dinner and just have someone bring a weekly snack or dessert. That will save time, clean up, money. I think we might have quarterly or monthly dinners though. That would be really fun. :) 

Well, I think it is about to go off. I am not going to proofread this thing and just let it go into cyberspace. Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

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.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

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 6 + 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:

Saturday, September 07, 2013

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 planning on starting up again. This was a good thing that came out of that mandatory appointment last year. 

I understand that he wants to see me once a year, but I already get a regular check up with a PA in gynecology  but she cannot be my primary care doctor. My other option is his "new" female PA, but she almost killed me 23 years ago when she was working in another doctor's office and examined me before I got married. She prescribed PAXIL for just five days out of the month for PMS (Seriously - had suicidal thoughts the day of my wedding when I have never been that way and have not since. PAXIL should NEVER be prescribed in this way! Plus, I was NOT complaining about my PMS when she urged me to try this "new" drug.). I refuse to go to her, but I love my PA in gynecology at the other healthcare conglomerate in town. But for all other things, like my back, I have to have a "primary care physician" or a PA who is in Family Medicine and not Gynecology. 

I did not want to waste the time and the money to go to this primary care physician just to have him tell me the same thing as last year (And that he did not like sex on a Tempur-pedic mattress. Yes, he told me that during my appointment last year. Can you believe it?). I think he is a good doctor, but it just seemed redundant seeing me again, but he wants a general exam once a year, but I already have a general exam with my GYN PA! 

Not to mention the fact that he was not even in the OFFICE until Monday would make the need for the muscle relaxants a moot point because I was seeing my chiropractor on Monday!

This made me mourn the good old days of the small clinic that my primary care physician maintained. He had another small clinic when my babies were born with two other doctors. I had the female one (George went to high school with her). Then she left (husband died of cancer) so this nice older gentleman became my primary care physician, and I had his female PA do the GYN stuff. 

Then, his clinic got taken over by one of the managed care conglomerates in town (there are two). I saw an immediate change from three personal doctors to six impersonal ones. I had to see one of these new doctors in an emergency over my youngest son (possible giardia infection), and he was HORRIFIC (Got mad at me when I checked my calendar about taking a poop sample for my seven year old and accused me of not caring for his health. Say what? Just checking my calendar to see what I needed to CANCEL so one of us, my husband or me, could be there when he pooped. Totally misread my intentions and yelled at me in the office. I was in tears.) He has since left the area, by the way. 

The original founder was still the wonderful doctor he had always been. He hated the new set up as much as I did and went and started another office with just him. At one time, he sent a letter to all his patients saying he was leaving medicine due to the whole move to managing healthcare financially versus providing healthcare and the whole insurance thing, but he recanted to our rejoicing! (Here is an article from 2006 on his website about health versus healthcare:

This reinvented office was old-school and caring. For instance, one time I stopped on a walk to pay a bill, and he saw me when he walked by and noticed something ailing and diagnosed and treated me on the spot! 

He had to retire early due to cancer treatment (been cancer free for two years now), but his old nurse works in one of the two clinics that came out of the old one. This new doctor (my primary care) allowed the other healthcare conglomerate to swallow up my old doctor's wonderful office (I know it is hard to be on your own, but my brother-in-law has managed to hang on with a group of six doctors and done well.)  Now, I wait on the phone for too long to talk to someone who does not really care about you. I asked to speak to JUST the old nurse from the old office after speaking to one nurse who did not want to take my prescription request in the first place (She said, “Call the pharmacy!”  I knew, since it was a narcotic, that my primary care physician was going to have to approve it anyway so it made sense for me to call them instead of the pharmacy. I have called the office for years and have never had someone say to call the pharmacy, nor be so rude!) She reluctantly took it, but DID NOT CALL ME BACK when the doctor would not approve it without seeing me first, wasting 24+ hours when I could have maybe gotten in to see him on Thursday. He takes Friday off!

When I finally got a hold of the old nurse (she had a three hour meeting at the conglomerate hospital), she and I lamented about how much we missed the old doctor. He would have just filled the prescription because he KNOWS me. (This is a long-standing prescription that this old doctor [or maybe his old PA] recommended. I keep it on hand in case my back gets really tight and I do not want to drink wine all day to keep it loosened up – I went through thirty pills in 7 months this time, but it is usually much, much longer.) When I requested a refill, his old nurse would look and see that I was not abusing pills (seriously, most times it expires before I even get through a whole bottle) and would ask my old doctor for a refill and he always filled it. The old nurse saw the ridiculousness of the whole thing (especially since the new doctor couldn't see me until Monday or later anyway - he couldn't even find it in his heart to give me a small prescription to get me through until I could see him, heartless in my humble opinion)  So, we brainstormed about an alternative.

Sigh. She offered the General Medicine PA (who could be a primary care doctor), but she is the PAXIL PA I mentioned above. The old nurse went and found another female doctor who was willing to fill a small prescription for just 10 pills (more than enough to get me through the weekend – I often just take ½ pill a day, usually at night to loosen me up) and just see me at my annual check-up in November (because the old nurse knows me and could explain my predicament and this female doctor had COMMON SENSE!). This was at 4:45 pm on Friday after this doctor had closed her office, but the old nurse indicated she has a heart like my old doctor. So, I am happy! Although I will miss the GYN PA I found at the other conglomerate in town, it makes sense to have one general female doctor do it all because of this need to have my prescription refilled periodically! (I do not like a male physician examining my private parts and have always had a female person who does that, with the exception of a blood clot in my uterus treated by my old doctor and mastitis treated by his old co worker in the small three person office 21 years ago.) 

I can digress for a moment to say that I was told by the new office receptionist that I needed to make an appointment before I would get the pills, but the old doctor's receptionist, who works with the new doctor, called ten minutes later to say she would go ahead and call in the prescription as long as I made a new appointment in the future, but then the new doctor came into his other office on his day off (yes, my doctor has TWO offices now, very confusing) and told the old nurse he would not give me any pills, but I went to tea, and did not get the old nurse's message until after I went to the pharmacy totally expecting them to be there! The left hand did not know what the right hand was doing! More hours wasted and no relief (It was not OUT but often when the muscles are tight like that, they eventually cannot hold on very much longer and spasm out – such an explosion in my back when this happens, cannot even begin to describe it and for some reason, it has happened four times in the last three weeks, and it has not done that since 2010.)

The pills are now waiting at the pharmacy, but I ended up not needing them after all because while I was waiting for the old nurse to talk to this new, female primary care doctor, I went for a walk to de-stress and called my chiropractor to see if I could get in before Monday after all. (If I say it is an emergency, his receptionist always gets me in, but when I called early this week, I thought I could "work it out" with stretching and self-massage. NOT! So, she scheduled me at the next available appointment which was a week away.)   After this late Friday afternoon call, he said he would see me at less than an hour and stayed late to do it! Relief in sight. Honestly, I prefer back adjustments to pills any day. Maybe I should just work for him? He adjusted me for 45 minutes, and I am fine now!

I should have just told his receptionist last Monday that I needed to be fit in. He is so good. He has even had me come to his house and adjusted me for free on a weekend! Now, he told me to keep that Monday appointment, and he would make sure I was OK for free! He is my friend now. I just need a primary care friend!

The good thing that has come out of this is I have a new female, primary care doctor who gets the old nurse's seal of approval. On top of all of this, she is a ten minute walk/1 minute drive from my house with the nice and caring old nurse and the other office (taken over for the old doc) is on the south side of town (fifteen minutes by car) with the snotty nurse. WIN-WIN! 

So, I am glad this all happened. The only downside is that I loved my GYN PA! She gets such good reviews from EVERYONE! If this new doctor is not to my liking, I will go back to seeing her. 

My old doctor is part of a dying breed of doctor who have a personal relationship with their patients. Sigh. 

End of long rant. We will now returned to our regularly scheduled blog posts. 

Thursday, September 05, 2013

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!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

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!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Monday, September 02, 2013

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

Tuesday Ten Minute Freewrite

I am going to go great guns for 10 minutes on this freewrite. I am meeting with a person (not sure if she wants direction - she just wanted ...