Our Sort-Of Spring “Break”

Hello, Little Neglected Blog!

There just isn’t anything new or interesting to discuss these days … there’s no pictures to share.

We sort of had “Spring Break” this week.  The kids were off school; Daniel took the week off.  As the ironies of my life go, the 2 days I took off work to spend “with my family” were a bust.  It rained, it was COLD, a certain member of the family we went to visit was in a bad mood.

We scrambled on Thursday morning to get to Silver Dollar City as we promised the kids.  I was ready to scrap the whole trip, but the certain above-mentioned grumpy family member INSISTED we go.   We arrived at SDC at 8:30 a.m. … the 4th vehicle in the parking lot as the park didn’t open until 9:30.  Yeh,  fun.  In the rain.  Cold.

Oh well …. today I went back to work – it was almost a relief.  Drew went to work despite feeling achy and fever-ish.  :(  Daniel is mourning his last day of his “vacation week” – and soon it will be back to over-time and long hours.  Too bad you can’t ever bottle up “relaxation”!

Wow, aren’t we a little ray of sunshine?  (Sunshine?  What’s that!?)

There are happier things going on.  My weight loss is at 10 lbs … in one month.  Slow but steady.

The girls are spending a few days with my in-laws where we left them after the ill-fated Silver Dollar City trip.  Daniel and I have enjoyed 2 quiet dinner dates while Drew is at work.  We have decided we’re going to be OK when we are empty-nesters.

OH – and MiMi has her first LOOSE TOOTH!!  When did my baby turn into such a big girl?!

Tomorrow I work.  4 1/2 hours.  Then my girls will be home -and the regular work week will kick in – school.  work.  school.  work.

And that’s ok.  It’s our every day normal.  Along with the crazy things that come up in between.  :)  And I’m thankful.

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The Healthy Hausfrau Update: 3/19/15

How much did your babies weigh when they were born??  Mine were 7 lbs, 7 oz; 7 lbs 6 oz; and 7 lbs respectively:  Drew, Annie-Belle, and Mimi.

Why do I ask?  Well, it puts things in perspective for me.  I have lost 8 lbs and 2 oz since I first began my new “life style” change / semi-THM diet on February 25.  That’s more than one of my newborns!!

These are technically 8 lbs and 2 oz that I SHOULD NOT HAVE EVER PUT ON in the first place … and believe me, I’ve got plenty more I could give up!!  BUT lest I beat myself up for letting myself go in the first place, I wanted to be thankful that I AM GETTING HEALTHIER!  My sugar consumption is at an all-time low.  :)

I haven’t done things 100% the Trim Healthy Mama way because I *will* eat bananas and I *will* use honey again in the future (2 of God’s gifts they discourage because of their high glycemic index factors).  Same goes for potatoes!  I will eat them again – and I have actually had a super small baked potato and some amazing HOME MADE-HAND MADE potato chips in the last few weeks.

My main goal isn’t to deal with weighing out my proteins and carbs and fats (like THM wants you to) … but to focus on GOOD proteins and carbs and fats.  I’ve loved eating 1/3 less fat cream cheese, natural peanut butter, and sour cream!  Oh, and my Greek yogurt (MiMi calls it “Mom’s ice cream” because the Oikos OOO kind that I get is SO creamy).

I’ve probably had “an apple a day” (along with some almonds) as snacks … and coffee each morning with sugar-free creamer.  Today I had BACON for breakfast.   (Even though there ARE pop-tarts in the pantry.)  I’m eating berries and wonderful salads almost daily – plus veggies like celery and bell peppers.

I’ve had a few bites of birthday cake at work or a small bowl of ice cream once … and I don’t feel guilty.  This is about BEING HEALTHY.  Making good choices … and now the goal is to KEEP AT IT!

I miss bread … a little … but I eat WASA rye crisps and other sort-of breads for now.  It is pretty easy to throw out the mushy buns when I have had a cheeseburger (or bacon cheeseburger!) for lunch.  I try to include a side salad … which I love … with a creamy dressing or oil-based dressing (just a few teaspoons).

Don’t ask me too much about my water consumption.  That is SO hard for me.  :(~  I do drink at least one bottle of water at work … with the help of a crystal light-type flavor packet.  AND in a desperate moment I do drink Diet Coke (my life-long addiction) – but that might be better than a candy bar?!!

And speaking of chocolate … I have always been a milk chocolate kind of girl.  EUROPEAN milk chocolate if I can get it!!  But lately, I’ve been easing into the world of dark chocolate.  I have successfully eaten 74% cocoa without regret – and have a 85% cocoa bar at home that I plan to make something with (kind of a breakfast bar with peanut butter and coconut oil).

I have a big ol’ jar of coconut oil at home, too … but so far, I haven’t done much with it.  I am just not used to using it.  There are several recipes I want to try with it in the future.

But for now, I’m just easing into this new way of eating and thinking.  It’s about time!  My old metabolism is definitely far slower than it used to be … and if I can keep this up, I won’t dread my upcoming triglyceride check-up in April!

To put things in perspective:

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(by the way, ^this isn’t me^!  It’s a stock pic off google.)

And I’ve lost a brick and a half off my body.  Hopefully I’ll soon be a few more “bricks shy of a load” too.

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Posted in healthy home, THM | 6 Comments

Spring is Springing

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It’s almost SPRING!!!  We survived this weird yet not too bad winter.  At least in our part of the world.  The kids did end up having 4 (?) snow days off school – one of which was a bonus as our school’s parking lot just wasn’t safe even though the main streets were.

I love Spring (even though I realize it is not technically SPRING yet on our calendar).  Today at the pharmacy, we had both of our doors wide open, and the temperature outside was absolutely PERFECT.

There isn’t much new or exciting to post about right now.  Life has settled back into a pretty steady routine of work and school and work and school.  Spring Break is next week – but sadly, we have no where to go.

In the Spring time, my wandering mind turns to road trips and far away places …

I always thought I’d like to “settle down” after all the Army years of moving and exploring new areas.  But after 12 years in the middle-of-no-where in Missouri and even now, here in Arkansas, while we like it here, I miss traveling.  Granted it takes time … and money – two things our family doesn’t have much of right now.

I think of how different my childhood was from what my children have experienced.  We lived near Washington DC until I was 10 years old and every summer, I’d get on the big jumbo jet at Dulles International Airport and fly off to Germany.  Even when we moved to Knoxville, my yearly treks across the Atlantic continued – which led me to places like Paris and Amsterdam and Sofia (Bulgaria).   Subways, trains, and buses were just a normal part of my life.

Growing up in the Southern Midwest, my children know car trips … they know their surrounding states and maybe a few farther away places.   But other than Annie’s train trip to Chicago and Drew’s trip to Germany in 2012, they have such a limited glimpse of what a vast world we live in.  Not that their childhood has been bad, it has just been very limited compared to mine.

Granted, my children have always had a fairly-stable church influence in their lives – or at least have been surrounded by people who have Christian world views.   They’ve had parents who stayed married, schools/education that echoed what their parents taught.  In many ways, that is the secure and stable world I want them to know … but yet, I know I learned so much from the challenges of seeing different cultures, being in some very unusual circumstances, meeting such a variety of people.

The German world Wanderlust does describe exactly what sometimes gets into my head though … there is this desire to travel, to wander, to explore!  There are day dreams of places I want to see yet or the memories of those I’ve visited and loved.

Maybe one day we’ll have the resources to travel again … or perhaps our children will make their own plans to broaden their horizons … or maybe it won’t ever happen.  Either way, I’m sure things will become just as God knows is best.

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Posted in travel | 2 Comments

Home Alone

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I love my family … I like my job … but tonight I am loving being alone.  Blissfully, happily, quietly, alone!

My husband took the girls to see his parents.  My son is at the first night on the job at Chick-Fil-A!  And it’s just me – my TV remote – my couch.  I can’t even go anywhere because the only vehicle left here (the old Buick) has a dead battery (again) – it obviously has electrical issues.  :-/

It’s been another week of life … another week of unexpected and routine:  2 snow days for the kids – and an early end to my work day on Wednesday (and I came home and COOKED!) and a late start on Thursday (I need to go in to work every day at 10 a.m. instead of 8!!).

The “new” eating plan is going well.  I don’t think I’m a TRUE “Trim Healthy Mama” because it is far too complicated and restrictive to my liking – despite its promises to be easy to do … It doesn’t involve counting calories – but you’re supposed to only eat certain types of food with others at certain intervals.  (fats and protein balanced by carbs)

So, instead, I’m just cutting down on sugar in general.  That doesn’t mean I’ve given up chocolate (just up’d the cocoa content and reduced the sugar in what I now choose) even though for now I’m giving up white bread and potatoes.   So far, I haven’t missed them.  I wish I was in Germany where rye bread abounds – totally “on plan” bread.  *sigh*

But I’m enjoying English muffins with natural peanut butter or 1/3 fat-free cream cheese  for breakfast instead of poptarts.  And apple and almonds as snacks.  LOTS of Triple-O Greek yogurt (sweetened with stevia).  Chicken, salads, even lean ground beef.  So far, so good … but it’s only been 1 week and 1 day.  But I think I already feel better.

Today’s dinner was Chicken Chowder made in the crock pot:

3 chicken breast (browned, if you want to – I didn’t)

bacon (cooked crispy, torn into pieces)

chicken broth (and/or water) – about 2-3 cups

1 cup heavy cream

1 block 1/3 fat free cream cheese

onions, garlic, celery, mushrooms, etc – let them “sweat” in butter til translucent

Put all this in the crock pot, season w/ s&p, throw in some parsley – and cook on low.

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Posted in every day life, healthy home, recipes, THM | 4 Comments

SNOW DAY!

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While all of America (except MAYBE Florida?!!) seems to be plagued with massive amounts of snow this winter, our area hasn’t been as hard hit.  The kids have had 2 snow days, but now that I no longer work for a school, work must go on…

It snowed overnight from Friday to Saturday, but since my stomach flu had eased, I had no reason to NOT go to work on Saturday morning.  It’s my “one Saturday a month” to work, and the pharmacy is only open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.  It continued to snow as we watched while we actually filled 45 prescriptions (not all of those were “walk-ins”, some were e-scripted in for future pick-up).

Our boss came in and offered to bring breakfast, which sadly I had to decline since a spicy breakfast burrito probably wouldn’t be the best thing to give to an angry stomach!   He did however bring me a side of toast.  :)  It was much appreciated to eat with my lovely banana I’d brought from home.

I wanted to hit the grocery store on the way home … and about died trying to get into the parking lot!  Thankfully the Lord spared me from hitting anything else as my van refused to turn the direction in which I’d turned the steering wheel.

After that little adventure (during which I forgot to pick up MILK!!!!!!!!), I determined that I’d be staying HOME until the roads were completely and totally clean and dry.

And as the roads iced overnight, I found myself here on Sunday morning:

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We watched a WONDERFUL church service on t.v. from some Baptist church in Fort Smith, AR that I’d totally go to if only it weren’t 45 miles away!  I heard a message relevant to me in particular … and now, THIS is where I plan to stay for most of the day.

Well, except when I’m catching up on laundry, finally doing something about the massive amounts of neglected gray hairs on my head, and mopping my bathroom which was brought to my attention as I spent all that time in there coloring my hair!  My AWESOME babysitter had actually swept and wiped down the kids’ bathroom on Thursday (her day to keep the kids at my house) because she said she was looking for something to do.  I LOVE HER!!  She’s one person who sees a need and just TAKES CARE OF IT (she also kept MiMi after preschool on Friday while I was sick so I could sleep/rest until the big kids got home!).  I only noticed the clean bathroom because I realized it was *sparkling* clean … and I *knew* I hadn’t ASKED my kids to clean it hence they probably were NOT the ones who had cleaned it (plus even when they do “clean” the bathroom, they just don’t do as good a job as a “mom” does!)!!  ;)

As for the diet, since coming off the stomach bug (which I’m wondering now if it wasn’t a bug but some wild reaction to the drastic changes in my diet??!!), I have been just doing a sort-of B.R.A.T diet for now.  I may try something a little more adventurous tonight.  I may not.  I’m still not really hungry.  :-/  At least none of the “on plan” foods sound good right now.  :-(   A 3 Muskateers bar with a diet coke sounds REALLY good … but of course, none of that is in the house to tempt me.  There might be a chocolate chip cookie somewhere however!!

Hope you are warm and cozy wherever you are!  Happy Sunday.

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Posted in snow, winter | 2 Comments

Day 3 – Success?!?!

By Day 3 of my THM/new way of eating, I was down by 3 lbs!!  Sadly, it had nothing to do with my diet.  I was hit in the middle of the night on Thursday with a stomach bug.

Friday was a sick day, and I spent the day sleeping and eating a few artisan crackers I got at Aldi (low carb/low sugar, not bad!).

Today is actually day 4 — and I’m not going to document EVERY day of what I eat (or don’t eat!), but I do want to track my “progress” somewhat.

I’m down 4 lbs….but no doubt that is just a result of water weight lost.  Which is dangerous as that can creep back on.

I have to go to work today for 4 1/2 hours.  :(  There is a blanket of snow on the ground … and I am not looking forward to it.  There won’t be many customers except those desperate for their drugs.  :(  But I think law required there are 2 techs per 1 pharmacist so I have to go in.   Or try to.

Dan worked 11:30 p.m. to 8 a.m. so I’m waiting for him to come home and give me a report on the roads.  We’ll be ships passing in the morning as I have to be at work by 8:30.

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Sabotage! Day 2

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A few weeks ago, in early February, I was checking out the Chick-Fil-A (where Drew got his job) on Facebook … and they had this post about “sign up your company to win free breakfast”.  And so, I signed up our pharmacy (this particular CFA knows us – they have helped with Blood Drives we’ve hosted, held meetings in our classroom, etc).

And today, with my boss in my office, I was working on learning about some new stuff I will soon be taking on (project manager of our synchronized pharmacy plan, if you must know … exciting stuff! ha!), and I got a call from the pharmacy side to come up front.  Usually that means they have had a rush and need back-up.  As I arrived, 2 women were in the waiting area, and everyone was staring AT ME.  It was a crew from Chick-Fil-A with FREE BREAKFAST for us!!!  Needless to say, I was the hero of the morning!  :)

That’s all great … except Chicken Minis are NOT “on plan” for a real Trim Healthy Mama diet!  :(

But being the non-stressed-out-about-this kind of person that I am, I had 3 chicken minis with NO GUILT!  ;)

The rest of the day was a challenge too as we had a baby shower for one of our employees during lunch, but since the theme was “football game snacks” there was plenty of meat/protein options to eat:  meatballs in tomato sauce, summer sausage and cheese (courtesy of ME!), a veggie tray, and some fresh fruit.  I might have had a FEW nacho chips.

But you know what?!  It’s ok.  I’ve been drinking ONLY water or stevia-flavored beverages, and I’ve definitely cut down on sugar.  I managed to pass on the cupcakes that were served.  THAT was hard!!!!!!  I long for the day when I don’t even crave that kind of stuff any more.  I can’t imagine ……….

For dinner, we had lasagna – major CARB load – but it was a low sugar meal.  No garlic bread for me and I was sadly too lazy to cut up a sald.  And for dessert I had an Oikos 0-0-0 Greek yogurt – no sugar, just stevia.

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While this probably isn’t the route to LOSE a ton of weight any time soon, I am feeling somewhat like I’m achieving my mini-goal of cutting down on sugar and moving towards a healthier life-style.

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Posted in healthy home, THM | 2 Comments

Day One.

Most people decide to start on a diet on a Monday … or maybe the first day of the month …

But I’ve decided that TODAY, Wednesday, February 25, 2015 is my first day of a new “healthy” life-style.  After starts-and-stops over and over, trying Weight Watchers (while my husband was deployed to Iraq = BAD IDEA!!), Jenny Craig, and possibly Nutri-system once a long time ago – then Atkins and who knows what other scheme – I’m ready to just get healthy.

I’m older now … As my husband says, we aren’t trying to be attractive any more (as in model-skinny and air-brushed perfect), but we don’t want to be repulsive either!  I am thankful my husband loves me right now, at the weight I am.  But I know we could both benefit from losing a few pounds!  And NOT have to buy new wardrobes because we are expanding!!!  ;)

BUT most of all, and I *mean it* with all my being:  I want to be healthy.  I want to end my struggle with high triglycerides and the whole horrific cycle of metabolic syndrome.  I want to ease into menopause when my time comes (if that’s even possible?!!) and most of all, I want to have ENERGY again.

Trim Healthy Mama offers that … and more … with a Christian viewpoint … and promises that it is easy for busy moms (and women of all seasons of life).

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It is a BIG book (600+ pages, I skimmed some of them!) and it isn’t cheap (I got mine for $28 on amazon – best deal I could find – hardly any USED copies out there).  BUT if I can change my bad eating habits and get control of my diet, it will be worth every penny.  IF I fail, well, that will be my huge loss in other ways.  :(

So, I’m going from this:

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(bye bye, sweet, sweet sugar!!)

to

stuff like this:

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Water, stevia-sweetened “sweets” (no aspertame – it is NOT “on plan”), and a lot of YUMMY FOOD that will make me (supposedly) not miss the life I lived before when a great breakfast meant a pop-tart and coffee and my favorite lunch was a 3 Muskateers bar and a Diet Coke.

Oh, and bye to bread and pasta and white rice for now … although there are a few sneaky ways to PRETEND you are eating breads and rice and pasta!!  ;) Hopefully they will prove satisfying.

I have yet to take a “before” picture … but perhaps I won’t share that until I hit “after” anyway because I know I don’t look so great right now.

Besides, if I fail, there will be no evidence on the internet of my “before”!  ;)  (not that I plan to fail … I just know me – I get excited about something and then soon get tired of it!)

SO, what can I eat?? – Here’s my menu today (and it should get MUCH better over time as I figure out how to cook “on plan”, plus my husband is working late tonight so I don’t have to cook dinner!)

Breakfast – an egg fried in REAL BUTTER, a piece of bacon, and a slice of American cheese (not the best option, “processed” foods are to be avoided even though they fulfill plan requirements) – and here’s where I’m a rebel:  I put them on an English muffin (not really an “on plan” food even though it is low in fat, carbs, and sugar content).

Lunch – a half-salad from Wendy’s with chicken and bacon on it (the SW salad?) with no dressing because they were so busy, and I hated to even ask for Ranch (an on-plan item).  They had swirled just a bit of BBQ sauce (not on-plan) on top so I made that last through the whole salad.

Snack – an apple and some almonds

Dinner – Progresso LIGHT rot roast/veggie soup (1 serving) with extra green beans tossed in, with a rye crisp (on-plan food and I love these!!) with a piece of spreadable Aldi-brand “Laughing Cow” cheese … and a cup of Oikos TRIPLE ZERO mixed berry Greek yogurt (from Sam’s Club) which was the BEST thing I ate all day!

Tonight I may have a little snack before bed … but I am SO not hungry right now!

I’ve also started drinking flavored-water (stevia-sweetened) … but what I should be drinking are the on-plan teas and cleansing drinks.  I may get to that yet.  One day, one step at a time.

I’m no TRIM HEALTHY MAMA model today, that’s for sure.  BUT I cut out a whole lotta sugar today … and I am FULL.

This diet is supposed to be EASY – but of course, I over-complicate things.  Always.  There’re meals that are “S” for satisfying and meals that are “E” for energizing … and I have NO IDEA what my meals were today!!!!  I just bought some of the stuff they recommend to eat at Aldi and Walmart last night – and took off today.  The way you combine foods is apparently the key to losing weight, otherwise, you just get healthy but might stay the same weight (or not lose as much).

My goal – I even hate to state it – is to lose 15-20 lbs (that doesn’t sound like much – but it is the SAME 15-20+ lbs I’ve wanted to lose for over 10 years now!!!)!

OH – and my BIGGEST motivator right now is my annual check-up coming up in April.  I will have my triglycerides checked, and I want them to be NORMAL!!!!  No threats of “statin drugs or I may die of a stroke” discussions with my doctor this time, God willing.

This all sounds very reasonable today … I can do this!!  In two weeks, here’s hoping I am still feeling this way!  And in 2 months that I’ve adapted a new way of looking at food – as my friend, not something that will continue to drag me down or disturb my health.

PS  I’m also taking a few supplments as of today:  magnesium, calcium + D3, and potassium … plus Biotin just because it is good for your hair & nails.  :)

Anyone else know anything about THM??  Or had any experience with it?

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Posted in healthy home, THM | 3 Comments

Today’s Good News

So, my son went to his first-ever job interview today …

He came home a little discouraged – there were 5 people at the interview, the others seemed to be college kids or older.  This job location is across the street from one of the main entrances to the University of Arkansas …

BUT we had prayed about it … We knew if he was supposed to get a job, this job, that God would provide.  Just as He did with Daniel’s job in December of 2012, just as He did with my job this past October.

And this afternoon, the call came (thank goodness, they called SOONER rather than later!):  a job offer!!  :)  Happy son, happy parents.

So, I wanted to call my parents and share the good news right away.

My dad answered the phone and I said I had good news – Drew had just gotten a job AT MY FAVORITE PLACE!!

And my dad says, “Wal-mart?”   He doesn’t know me any more.  ;)

So, my son got a job at CHICK-FIL-A!  He starts his orientation on Monday afternoon.  I love that he will be working at Chick-Fil-A because they are closed on Sundays … and I prefer the atmosphere there over some of the other places he might have applied.   And of course, I love the food!

Wow.  God continues to provide.

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Posted in Drew, provision | 4 Comments

Another Day, Another Dollar (Spent)

Well, it’s been “one of those weeks”!

For one thing, we were minus one vehicle all week (turned in my van to a mechanic last Saturday with promises to have it ready for pick up on Monday …. but as you may know in my life things usually don’t work out like they are supposed to!).  Thankfully, our son can drive so he participated in the drop-dad-off-pick-dad-up rotation as well this week.  I was having flashbacks to when we first moved to Arkansas and I was basically a taxi driver all day for a while, dropping off and picking up people all over town – to include our neighbors!!

Last week Dan’s car got brakes … this week my van got a new rear wheel something-or-other-to-do-with-wheel-bearings and 2 tires (long story but neglected wheel bearings warp tires … and the other tire was unable to be patched from a construction-staple puncture).

There were trips to the dentist … and the realization that our dental insurance really isn’t THAT great.

Then there was the snow … that shut down school for 2 days, but Daniel and I had to keep working.  These are the times when I am thankful we live “in town” where the roads are cleared for us.  Granted I’d trade it all to be snowed in somewhere in the country with a cozy fire and a good book, some hot chocolate and my family.

Thankfully we got our tax refund already … and we were able to pay for everything without getting into more debt!!!  THANK YOU, Lord!  As well as throw a chunk of money on a credit card balance.  And Dan is working overtime tonight, tomorrow, and on Sunday evening.

None of that is very fun … and I’m not one to suffer 100%.  And so, we decided to get  *one* family splurge to cheer me/us up:

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Hello, 42 inch flat screen TV!  We really didn’t think we “needed” a new TV because “Old Bertha” was still working fine, even though the built-in DVD player had died a long time ago … but then we saw how much the price had gone on TVs at Sam’s Club the other night, and we decided to go for it.   NOW we’re ready for the upcoming baseball season … it was getting so that neither Daniel nor I could see the scores on the old TV screen any more!

We’ve had Old Bertha since 2005 – one of the last “big” things we bought before Daniel left active duty, and she bares the scars of being moved across the miles not-so-gently:

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She’ll be recycled at the Goodwill this weekend.  Who knows, she may still have a few good TV shows in her for someone else??!

PS  Say a prayer for my son – he has a JOB INTERVIEW tomorrow (Saturday) morning …. at one of my favorite places (can you guess where??!!).

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Posted in every day life, Family, provision, winter | 3 Comments