Iced Tea Chat: Gently Easing Into Routines

Hello dears...Come in and have some tea.  Though pleasant enough outdoors it's very warm.  There's lemon, lime and ginger root to flavor the tea if you'd like.  I wish I had fresh mint.  My but that is refreshing in an icy glass of tea!  I acquired a taste for good tea unsweetened in the hospital and assure you I can drink it just so...but it must be GOOD.  Perhaps I'll become a tea aficionado just as I have acquired a taste for really good coffee.

There are no sweets.  I'm not ready to push that into my diet at present, though I've eaten plenty of melon and berries of late.  I'm waiting upon the peaches to begin coming in.  I'm not such a fan of the early varieties except the white peaches.  However, I did find some lovely nectarines in the grocery yesterday.  I'd gone in to remedy the lack of whole wheat products in my home.  I bought bread and pitas and rolls which I put in the freezer and some brown rice and whole grain pasta.  I don't expect to use loads of those things but I have them on hand for when I do want them. I took all the white pastas from the cupboards/pantry and the lovely jasmine rice I'd bought and will pass that on to the kids and my niece.  I did this because the pastas made a major stumbling block for me this past weekend.  I just couldn't seem to shake the idea that only pasta or rice or bread made a starch.  I didn't feel well overall and was not eating quite as well as I might.  I gave myself a stern talking to, spent hours online researching menus and snack foods and copying out ideas I might use.  In the end, I realized I'd forgotten that some vegetables are higher in carbs but better for you than pasta of rice: potatoes, corn, butter beans, black eyed peas, dried beans...Well that was just the right twist to get my head screwed back on right...and the inspiration to go by the grocery when we were out to pick up a few necessary whole grain items.

I went through my recipe file notebook  and cleared out every single recipe that had never been tried which had no nutritional info printed at bottom.  It will be a help in future meal planning.  I didn't discard my very favorite, most repeated recipes.  I kept those.  I might not make them so often but I've made them so many times I can't picture myself never making them again.  However, for desserts/cakes/pies, I kept only those most tried and true sorts and nothing new at all.

I've been perusing the Good Housekeeping cookbook.  Samuel had that cookbook and I used to love to just sit and read it.  It's a thick and heavy book, meant to be read while resting on a table because I swear that book weighs ten pounds!  It has lovely photos and recipes are sometimes repeated in different sections, but there are all sorts of neat little non-recipe type footnotes and suggestions for things that make the book just fun to look at. It has all the nutritional values listed after most recipes and I need that information just now to help me judge what I might eat and what would be best left off.  I noted at least three soup recipes I mean to try right soon.

I had a new issue of Taste of Home magazine and I went through it to search for friendlier recipes for my current eating plan.  I was happy to find a few.  I told John perhaps I shall try Cooking Light as a source.  It's just a matter of tweaking a few things these days, not a hard stretch for someone who loves to cook and readily substitutes anyway.

I will say that I've cooked all but three meals in the past twelve days at home.  I've enjoyed being in my kitchen playing about and all in all I've done well, at least per the finger stick numbers.  Confessions time though:  I'm a lot less  physically strong than I'd anticipated being!  I think I got a false sense of how well I felt at the hospital because all I did there was rest/eat/sleep/and donate a certain amount of blood on a four hour basis for tests.  Here at home, I've found it a bit different to piddle along and feel tired and make a meal and clear up behind.  I'm improving.  Little trips out of the house don't devastate me the way the first couple did and I can almost manage a full routine clean of a room before resting.  It's all...not exactly uphill, but on an incline!

I was just worn slap out last Wednesday.  We went to the hospital lab for blood test, then John got a haircut.  We had lunch out (I chose my meal very carefully), then to Aldi.  I finished up the shopping and left John to bag it all and bring to car.  I couldn't even hold up my head at that point, I was so worn down.  When we came home I crawled up in the bed and stayed there for over two hours, too exhausted to move. John put away the groceries all by himself.   It shocked John and I both how crazy tired I was.  I decided then and there a gentler approach was required and I took it.  Hence the improvement over this past week.

John has been a complete and total guardian, and he is quick to clear up and vacuum and do laundry and make beds.  I cook because I need to cook (it's therapeutic for me) and it gives me best control over my eating plan, which he is attempting to follow.  I've assured him he can snack at will and have more and sometimes he does, but he's trying hard to avoid sweets and I simply don't care for any at the moment which is a nice state of affairs really.  I think honestly John's finding it a harder go than I, but I can't make him see that I'm not feeling deprived in the least and he won't send me over the edge if he does have a bit of something sweet, so we'll just keep pushing on.

Thursday John went off to work and checked in every couple of hours, worrying over me from the day before.  I slept well and gently worked my way about house.  I made myself a soup lunch (Beef Stroganoff soup with Mushroom Tortellini...)Oh it was so good!  That's part of me being kind to me approach.  I enjoy soup and I'm indulging a lot more.   Later I put a chicken and vegetables in the oven to roast.  My son and Bess and baby were packing up their apartment Thursday and planned to spend that night with me.  I just felt sure they'd be happy with a hot home cooked meal waiting at day's end and boy were they ever!  That and a shower were the two best offerings I had for them.

Josh was upset by the day, lack of proper routine and naps, and hot and sticky as well.  I bathed him in the kitchen sink with lavender soap and he was a happy boy after that.  It felt so nice to have a baby fresh from the bath in my arms.  And what baby isn't happy splashing in a bath?!  It made me happy just to see his pleasure in it.  He really did not want to settle down and about 9:30 I encouraged them to just put him down and let him cry it out.  In less than 10 minutes he was quiet as could be, sound asleep, but what a little ruckus of upset went on until he got to that sleep stage!  Poor little fella.  Everyone wanted to rock him and soothe him but there was none of that going to put him to sleep.  I think it bothered his Mama and Daddy because they thought I'd be disturbed but gracious, Gramma has learned a thing or three about babies over these years!

You might think that visit was hard on me, but no, it wasn't.  Bess and Sam were quick to do things for me and really I just settled down to play with Josh and have a good chat with them about their new home and the things they hope to do in their new community.  Bess and I always look forward to a little one on one time and so I stayed up a bit later than I've been doing just so we could talk a little.  I was glad to see that her previous anxiety was less and her anticipation was increased.  It's a big move for her, to be so far from family, in a new state and in a new community, but I could sense she'd made her mind up to it and was ready to take it on.

They came with all their pets, four cats and a beagle who goes by Blossom.  The cats were put in a crate for the night on the porch, and I can't imagine what they all thought of life at that time, as they are very much indoors cats and two of the four are the sort of skittish type that you will seldom to never see.  The other two are far more friendly, including Muffin, which is Sam's cat, a big orange tabby who truly seems to feel he is grandchild to me.  Muffin generally finds his way to me to nudge or flick his tail over my arm when I'm visiting and will sit quietly next to me.

Blossom, too, is an inside doggy but did she ever take to running free here!  She barked her beagle-y bark, gazing up into empty trees, tail wagging wildly.  She tracked rabbits and barked lustily at nothing and just completely took to the country dog life right off.  In fact, they had a hard time getting her to come to load up the next morning!  It did my heart good to see a doggy enjoy my peaceful country land.

So the kids packed up and left a bit after 5am Friday morning...and the house seemed awfully empty after they went.  I regretted John didn't get to see them at all, again...sigh.  And I thought how very grateful I am that there's cell phone, text and facebook to stay in touch.  Eventually we'll be traveling down to see them, but I really must build up my strength once more before we travel so far.  It's a six hour drive from here...and that's why they spent the night as it took three hours off their trip for the day.   They signed papers on their house on Friday and moved in immediately after, just an hour before Josh's first official birthday rolled around.  I teased Samuel that a house was certainly a big birthday present for a one year old and I'd no idea how he might top that next year.

John and I did light housework Friday morning and then after lunch he suggested we get the car serviced.  We'd been ignoring the warning light for a month.  I gathered up several things to mail: letters to the grand daughters in North Dakota, a package from my long time pen pal to be forwarded to Katie for Taylor, a magazine from another friend I was sure V would enjoy, a thank you card to a dear soul...We took off trash and stopped by the flea market so I could settle up.  I owed rent money this month but it can't be helped...No time to refresh or rearrange since we went on vacation and no energy to do so now.  John went off to post office while I was in the flea market and mailed things off for me.  Then we drove to Perry.

The drive was pleasant enough and I really enjoyed it but I could feel my energy slowly draining away.  I was so disappointed because I'd truly felt better the past two days.  But I gave myself a cheering talk and reminded myself that I just needed to give myself a bit of time.   We couldn't get the car serviced as we'd planned, as the place was packed.  John drove to the grocery to buy me some sugar free ginger ale.  I've had some unpleasant symptoms from two medications and I was hopeful the ginger ale would be helpful.

I was tired when we came home but thirty minutes lying down put that right once more.  I got up and managed to pick up the house and set it to rights, a sort of soft Shabat cleaning.  Towards the end of the hour I was essentially giving a lick and a promise to tasks, but you know what?  That was good enough.  And good enough is just all right and I mean that sincerely.  Sure I like to do things right, and to make a good job of what I'm doing, but I'm smart enough to realize that sometimes it's okay to relax and do just enough.  It felt good to have the house neatened up once more.  John's a dab hand at many things but he doesn't notice the accumulation of stuff on surfaces so much, the very thing that makes a home look not so neat when they aren't there, you know?

Do you know what the most fun thing of all has been for me of late?  It's reading the comments of you all who took my Wardrobe posts to heart and commented on how often YOU are getting compliments when you go shopping or run errands!  I just love that you're enjoying stretching yourselves in that direction just a little.  It's no surprise to me either that those of you who have done this report how nice you feel.  It is an attitude changer, as I know very well.  I took time to set up fresh outfits one morning this week, using my notes of tried and true combinations to put things together.  I have used two already this week and think I have three in the closet at the moment, just waiting for the next appointments and errands.   And good thing I got inspired to do this because I sure don't have energy right now to shop for clothes.

By all reports my family are doing well.  Katie is pretty much confined at home at present, not yet allowed to drive.  The baby looks healthy and well.  Matt went back to work shortly after Katie came home when it was obvious she was going to manage things just fine.  I hope I get to see them next weekend.  Neither Katie nor I can drive at present ( I hope that changes tomorrow at my doctor's appointment) so that is hindering us girls from visiting.

I had a letter from Lily, who is Amie's second daughter.  It was a sweet note, wishing me well after my hospital stay and complimenting me on my 'nice handwriting...the nicest I've ever seen.' lol  I wrote her a note back yesterday morning and told her of Blossom's joy in being a country dog for a little while.  I hope she enjoys that letter.  I went ahead and wrote a letter to Josie as well while I was at it and then gathered some other items up to mail off to various folks.  I thought how pleased they would be to get 'good mail' in their boxes.  I hope to do more mailings this year than I've done in the past.  Postage is such a minor expense and it's so nice to have real mail that isn't requesting payment.

I like texting and facebook well enough but two things I've found I enjoy greatly is a good long phone chat and a real honest to goodness, hold it in your hand and read it card or letter!  Knowing I'm hardly unique I've made up my mind that those are pleasures that cost little and bring much joy.  Evidenced by a happy phone call from V on Monday thanking me for that magazine I'd dropped in the mail.  If I've gotten a 'life is short, let's enjoy it' attitude of late (and why shouldn't I?!), it's certainly time to make it show.

My oldest son went to California to check in to his new post. He was back home by the weekend.  His family has chosen to continue to live here in Georgia.  He'll be in Pensacola next week and that will be his duty station for four months, then he'll go out to sea for five months.  I think it's best to keep the family in their home but I worry how well they'll do without seeing Daddy, you know?  But that is in God's hands, where I am learning to put more and more things.

My oldest daughter has a heavy care at the moment.  Her partner is in the hospital with a major heart attack.  He's not a well person overall, but this major event followed on the heels of a smaller minor one.  He'd just been stinted and a blood clot formed.  He's in ICU and poor Amie is struggling to juggle home and family with hospital needs and work hours.  She was so broken up over my own health scare and I can't even imagine how she's coping at the moment, but she will.  She's awfully strong, in a wonderful way, but I know how difficult it can be to stay strong for long periods of time on your own without respite.  Ya'll keep her in prayers please.  She needs that lifting up!

Sad news this past week: the lovely old Victorian home where we enjoyed going to eat in the foothills burned to the ground the other morning. Mama, John and I were all saddened by that news.  I confess it's the only restaurant I'd given thought to what I might eat when we returned for a visit. a friend said to me, what's the point of even going if we can't eat at the Bulloch House?  For myself the mountainside where John and I go to pray is call enough to head in that direction but admittedly it will seem odd not to treat ourselves to dinner after a good long prayer time.

There's no replacing something like that.  No one would ever build a house as lovely or detailed or as solid as that old place was.  I think of all the people unemployed by that loss as well.  The young man from Montana who managed the place, the waitresses who were familiar faces.  And then there's the behind the scenes folks who worked in kitchens and bakery and such, the gift shops that relied on the trade on that site... sigh.  What a loss!

Well I suppose really that's all my chatter.  I haven't done so much thinking of late.  I seem to be quite content to just let time pass quietly and not delve too deeply into things.  I know this is just a temporary state with me.  It's my true nature to figure things out, to analyze why I see them as I do and to share my thoughts.  I've finished a book, Emilie Loring's When Hearts Are Light Again.  And now I've started a Miss Read book.  But in the meantime, be patient with me.  Inspiration will strike and energy will arise and things will return to normal in time.

Now I will end here and bid you well...until next time.


Lana said...

On the wardrobe topic-I started a Fashion board on Pinterest and I am finding daily that my pins are being pinned by others!!! I have really enjoyed dressing better. It is fun to just add pretty earrings on a day I stay home. I had gotten into the habit of just wearing a plain silver pair day after day. I have been changing size for over a year and my wardrobe is slim but I have not wanted to buy anything new. Hubby finally talked some sense into me and I did get a few things over the last six weeks or so and it has made such a difference. I even bought a cute pair of pink flat shoes.

Our youngest son and his wife have a rescue dog and they are apartment dwellers so Wilbur only goes out on a leash. He is the funniest old man of a dog and moves soooooo slow. But, when he comes to our house he runs down the deck stairs into he back yard and tears around like a puppy. Only thing we can figure is that our yard reminds him of his previous home. It is hilarious!

That is sad about your favorite restaurant. Maybe they will reopen in another location but I know it will not be the same. Our favorite little diner moved last year and now it feels like Denny's with better food. I am intrigued by your prayer mountain.

I have been on a journey of healing my health with an alternative medicine practitioner for 5 years now. I was the sickest, weakest and most over drugged person I knew. I have more energy now but I have learned to pace myself. It is hard to do but rest is a must. Some days I just go out and run a one stop errand and count it as an accomplishment because I know it is all I can do that day. Granted, it is not the most friendly on the gas budget but I do get things done that way. You will learn how to handle these things soon. I will pray for that for you. I was praying with a friend many years ago and she prayed for me to learn to rest. It shocked me that she knew that I ran until I crashed everyday. It was after that that things began to change and I learned to manage better.

I so enjoy these posts! It can be so hard to bear what our adult children are going through. A parent just cannot know this until they are grown. Hugs from one Mama to another!

Melonie said...

I have some fresh mint in the garden - I wish I could pass it your way! Ah well, we will just pretend, I suppose. I shall "give" you some lemon verbena and lemon balm as well. ;)

I'm sorry to hear about the restaurant. I hope you see your new little addition soon. I've heard good things about Pensacola and I hope all goes smoothly for the kids while he's away at sea. Been there, done that - and I know firsthand it is best to just stay home when you can. They will adapt well and we are blessed as military families to have the technology to check in when possible. That has been a boon to my kids.

Prayers, prayers for the family members dealing with hard things! I hope the car servicing can be done soon and is something minor.

I was thinking of you yesterday at the library - you've probably already found it online, but I saw a magazine called Diabetic Living. Maybe your library has it as well and you could get some ideas for adapting your favorite recipes or find new favorites as well. Their website is - I hope you enjoy it. My stepdad is type 2 diabetic as are both my in-laws; he controls his with diet and exercise while my MIL needs insulin. So your story hits home and I have been keeping you in prayer.

Enjoy that mint! :D

a8383 said...

Hi Terri, Wanted to pass on Cooking Light deal- today only $5.! Angela

Tammy said...

You do have very pretty handwriting! I think it's lovely that Lily complimented you on it.
Thanks to you, I wear more blouses and fewer t-shirts when I venture out, and even switch out the tennies for sandals or slip-ons. I'm pretty "low-maintenance" and tend to just not put forth any effort if I'm just running to WalMart. Of course, that's where I see everyone I know. LOL.
My thoughts and prayers are with Amie.
I am looking forward to seeing more pics of Taylor when you can share some!

sparky136 said...

Terry, I've learned over the years that house work doesn't have to be perfect just better. I learned this from Fly Lady and it's helps in other parts of my life, too. Glad you are doing better, it's takes time, but you will get stronger.

Anonymous said...

The husband and I went to Montezuma to Yoders for our 24th anniversary on Saturday. We also hit several goodwills on the way. We spent a couple hours looking at the antique mall in Byron. I thought of you as we looked at each booth and wondered how you were feeling and if you had been out "junking." We also have a fondness for the Bulloch House and FDR park. It was a sad day when we saw the news of it burning. We have spend many hours camping at FDR and the Bullock House was our splurge. We also like to feed the turtles at the fish hatchery in Warm Springs and check out the covered bridge not to far from there. Have you been to the Blue Willow Inn? It is similar to the Bulloch House. I tried dressing more put together for a couple weeks and made some note cards as to what went together but this past week it has been to hot for jewelry and capri pants. Back in shorts and t's. We finally got some rain last night so hopefully it will cool off a little bit. Hope your strength continues to return. Kip

a8383 said...

Kip, I love Yoders! Oh their sausage! Their cakes! Angela

Jennifer said...

Hi Terri-

I just wanted to let you know the impact your recent posts have had on me, and thank you for sharing your health issues. A month ago I had my fasting blood work done and it showed that my glucose was continuing to creep up, now to 124. My doctor advised me to start walking again, and that diabetes wasn't something I would want to have to deal with. I think my age of 39 was the reason she didn't make too big of a deal about it, but my own research into the disease has scared me into considering changes to my diet. Although from my research I know I would need a second blood test to confirm the first result that I'm pre-diabetic, I can see from four years of test results that there's been a gradual increase in my blood sugar over the years. It shook me up a bit to read that a glucose level of 126 is considered diabetic, and that most pre-diabetics will be diagnosed as diabetic after two years from their initial pre-diabetic diagnosis.

And then came your health scare posts... Thank you for being so honest and open about what you went through and the changes you are now making! You mentioned the "Plate Method" of eating, which I found interesting, and read more about on the American Diabetes Association website. It seemed like a good starting point for changing my diet and somewhat easy to adopt. That site also has many simpler recipes that I've printed out to try. This week will be Chicken Nacho Casserole, Garlic Sautéed Spinach and Kale, Greek Chicken Salad, and Mini Veggie Frittatas.

I've used Cooking Light recipes off and on for 25 years, or so. They can be hit or miss, and have a tendency to use a lot of ingredients which quickly increases the cost of a meal. If you go to their website and type in the month and year in the search bar, such as "June 2015", it will bring up the June 2015 Recipe Index which will give you all the recipes in that month's magazine. It's like getting a magazine's worth of recipes for free! It's possible to get the recipe index for the current month and all previous months, for many years. I also like to look up their recipes this way because you can read other user's comments and their ratings, increasing the likelihood that I can avoid a boring or terrible recipe. I still occasionally buy their magazine because I'm old-school and like to browse a magazine, but I'll still check the ratings of recipes on the website.

Again, thank you for sharing your health story. I really wanted to let you know the impact you've had on a stranger clear across the country in Oregon. This is the third morning I've walked 1.25 miles and the fourth day of eating better planned meals with less processed foods.

I'll be keeping you in my thoughts, and look forward to future posts! Stay strong, yet continue to be considerate to yourself.


Karla Neese said...

You mentioned mint and I wondered if you or any of my fellow readers have had luck with growing mint in a pot. I have one I bought and repotted but it is just not doing well. Withered and brown spots and I can't figure out what is wrong. I am just about to let it give up the ghost or plant it outside and let it take over.

It sounds like Blossom had just about the best time of anyone on that little visit! I just love the happiness of a wagging tail.

Before investing in Cooking Light magazine or others, you might cull their websites for ideas. That's what I do and then I save it as a favorite in a Recipes to Try folder. If I like it, it gets printed and put in my notebook as well as saved on my computer recipe file. Ellie Krieger is another one that has some great recipes (we have all but one of her books) and Paula Deen's son (Bobby Deen) has some great lightened version of his mom's recipes online as well.

Though I'm hundreds of miles away from the lovely restaurant you described, I can feel the sadness from here. It's those special places that find their way into our hearts, isn't it?

Oh what a joy the Miss Read books are! I had several of them years ago but got rid of them and my Nancy Drew books (aquired as an adult in piece-meal fashion so no sentiment attached) in a fit of decluttering. I still regret that but no looking back. Unfortunately our library doesn't carry the Miss Read books to borrow.

Would you be willing to share the recipe for the Beef Stroganoff soup with Mushroom Tortellini? My mouth watered just reading the small description you provided. Yum!

Keep resting, keep being kind to yourself. We are all here in support for you. My prayers for your entire family.

a8383 said...

Karla, I grow apple mint in a pot. I don't have it in full sun (in GA) and it does great. Does need to be watered frequently as it dries out. I was shocked that it even came back after the very cold winter we had this year. Don't give up! Angela

Karla Neese said...

Angela - thanks for the tip! I'm wondering if it simply needs a bigger pot than I bought! I'll have to keep trying to baby it.

a8383 said...

Karla- My pot is large. Maybe a foot across and 2 ft tall. You are welcome. Good luck! Angela

Lana said...

Karla, I also have mint in a pot. It is a cheapie plastic pot that I think a hanging plant came in. It is in my herb garden and it thrives on complete neglect. Whatever you do don't plant it in the ground! It took us many years to get rid of it.

Anonymous said...

I think anything you care to write about will be appreciated and enjoyed. Even if you are just rambling. 😊 Glad u r getting better.

I, too, have been going to an alternative health care person and am finally, after several years, starting to feel better. My friend just found out she is prediabetic and on the special low carb diet. I told her I'll do it too. We are also exercising five days a week. I'm hoping this will break whatever is keeping my weight on.

Write about whatever you want and I'll keep reading. It is just nice to see you posting here again. Pam

Crystal H. in Nevada said...

I found your blog last month and have enjoyed reading it and the older blogs also. I read one or two when I take a break through out the day. Every time I pull up your blog I see the beautiful picture of you canisters and cookie jar and I feel like I'm in the kitchen of a friend. I only have a few friends and I get lonely sometimes. My husband works from home so he is here but not many girlfriends to hang out with since they all are at different stages in their lives and careers. I love being at home full time. I feel like I'm hearing from a friend when I read your blog. I grew up in the country and my mom and the other ladies always went house to house for coffee and visiting and helping each other out. I wish we valued that lifestyle now a days but everything is so hurry, hurry, hurry. Life was much deeper and richer then. Take care and looking forward to every post.

Lana said...

Pam-I was not able to lose weight for over 20 years. Getting my health straightened out has finally done the trick. I had parasites and infections of all kinds and lived on a cocktail of drugs. Today I am drug free and on the road to getting all the weight off and living a much more active lifestyle. I hope you can see the same results.

I learned an awful lot from my practitioner while I have been her patient. The interesting thing about high blood pressure and diabetes is that they most likely are associated with a bacterial infection in the kidneys. A friend of mine had a sudden problem with high blood pressure and sure enough she had a bacterial kidney infection. She used essential oils on her kidneys and her blood pressure corrected within a week!

Lana said...

Crystal H. in Nevada-I wish you lived near by and could come and sit on my deck with me and have a glass of iced tea and have a good long chat! My Mom used to have coffee get together for all the neighborhood ladies at least once a month when I was growing up. Wouldn't that be wonderful? I have said to friends that they are welcome to come over and visit anytime and the response is always that they are too busy. How sad. Many days I feel like I am the only one home in my neighborhood.

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