Monday, June 27, 2011

A winner at a loosing game...

I've never been the type to blog much about personal stuff - just my critters, garden, and projects, but this post is gonna be different.
{Warning - this could get long.}

I've always been the skinniest girl in my family, but never the skinny friend. I have a family full of health issues and my dad died 2 years ago at the age of 51 with clogged arteries, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. The family history of health issues runs a mile long.

I grew up in the south on fried everything with a glass of Dr. Pepper or sweet tea. I've always been a picky eater and veggies just ain't on my list of faves.

Every so often I would get a email in my inbox from my husband with a link to how bad sodas and high fructose corn syrup are for you. Sometimes I would read them, sometimes I would just delete them. He always encouraged me to eat healthier, but I'm the picky eater, always getting lunch to go in our small town. How was I suppose to eat better? I just didn't know.

He would always say, I married you for better or worse, in sickness in health, BUT I had rather not have to take care of you (because of health issues) or loose you early to preventable problems.

Those emails always showed how high fructose corn syrup was linked to pancreatic cancer and so forth and other health problems. (He has seen first hand pancreatic cancer in his family.) The emails also would tell how cutting out one soda a day could lead to 10-15 pounds of weight loss per year.

I have popped the top on a DP first thing in the morning for as long as I can remember (I don't do coffee). Then I would get a large DP for lunch and often a refill mid afternoon. I would drink water in the evening when I got home from work.

I remember sitting on the couch some nights and having heavy breathing. One day I read on the internet weight suggestions based on height, age, ect. and I was on the top end. Something needed to change...

So I tried to give up the DP's. I gradually let go, but not after several headaches. My work can get very stressful, and eating is often interupted, so a coke often filled in as a cure, a crutch. I will admit that I still drink a part of a DP for breakfast, but I make it a point to always pour part of the can out.

I would sometimes get sweet tea for lunch, but every place in town had a different tasting  sweet tea. Some were just down right gross. I would sometimes get 1/2 sweet, 1/2 unsweet, but that was a pain in the you know what, espeacially when someone else was ordering or picking up our lunch.

Finally one day I decided to go for the unsweet tea and you know what, I liked it! It does taste cleaner and fresher and better. I had decided if I was cutting out high fructose corn syrup, I should cut out the sugar as well to see if I could loose a few pounds.

I never thought I would loose much weight, maybe a few pounds, but never anticipated a noticable difference.

All along I battled with my dad's death and how eating habits led to health problems, some which could have been prevented. I knew I needed to make changes.

I figured out that I didn't have to eat at the same place where my co-workers ordered lunch from. (We usually order from the same place and one of us goes to pick it up and eat at work). I just didn't need a big ol' CFS or fried chicken from the greasy cafe. Subway low fat sandwiches became a favorite lunch time meal with baked chip and an un tea.

 I learned from my man, that I need to eat when I'm hungry, not because of the clock. If my body tells me I need something, I eat; but if I'm not hungry at night, I don't eat because someone says its "supper time".

I've try to make healthier choices, less french fries, burgers, and pizza...although they are still an occasional treat. Smaller portions are better as well and very little fried foods and less eating with the crowd. I don't deprive myself of anything and never consider myself on a diet.

Over the last 8 or 9 months, I have lost at least 26 pounds. I'm not sure my starting weight, because I didn't ever want to get on the scales. I have went from size tens and twelves to fours and sixes, DD's to C! A girl never tells her weight, but I will say that I weigh less than I did when I got married and about what I weighed when I graduated high school! But it's not just about numbers or a "diet". I feel better now and I know that I am trying to make a difference in my health. I can control what and how much I eat and how that affects me. So much sickness and problems are preventable or can be cured through what we put (or don't put) into our bodies. So I have made a decision to be healthier, to feel better, to look better, to care about who I am and be there for the ones that need and love me and that makes me a winner at a loosing game! I know I still need to shape and tone up...Lord know's I'm not perfect by any means, but I'm better than I was.
A year ago, you would have never caught me in a short dress and boots, but this year I have more confidence!

{Thanks for sticking with me to the end...I know this was long!}

Friday, June 24, 2011

My No Sew Burlap Bag

So I have always loved burlap and have been seeing some burlap purses online...I really wanted one, but being the tight-wad, DIM (do-it-myself) person that I am, I made my own!

 I can sew some, but its not my favorite thing to do...a few straight hems, basic stitching I can do...much more and I'm no good. I wish I would have learned to sew from my Grandmama...I have her antique Sew Gem machine, but not her talents.

So whats a girl to do? My BFF is my hot glue gun and Aleene's Glue is a close second!
I started with this basic canvas bag from the Wal-Mart store. They come three to a package. 

Next I cut 1 piece of burlap to cover both sides and the bottom and made my "hem" with Aleene's glue around the edges.
Then I decided I wanted ruffles. I cut 5 strips of burlap and glued them on one side of the bag.
 I've also been seeing all the big burlap flowers and decided to try my hand at making one! The light tan on tan just wasn't showing up too much, so I took a few scraps of chocolate burlap to accent the flower.

Here's where my BFF comes in, I glued the layers together with hot glue. I was literally running out of chocolate burlap and dug in the trash can to salvage a scrap piece. I cut a couple of petals and glued to the back of the flower. I looked through Grandmama's butter tub of buttons and found the large brown button. I took a ravel of the burlap and threaded into the button hole and made a shoe string bow. Then I hot glued the button to the flower and took a large safety pin and attached the flower to the bag.  
At this point I still wasn't sure what I was going to do about the handles. Then I cut a long strip of burlap a couple of inches wide. I hot glued the strip on the handle and started wrapping the material around the handle, gluing it occasionally.

I then decided I wanted to have a pocket on the inside to catch my keys and cell phone. I don't like having to dig around in the bottom of my purse for my keys...yall know what I mean! I took a piece of material the width of my bag, rolled the edges under and applied a runner of glue to hem the burlap and then glued it to the inside. I  also applied a strip of glue to the center of the burlap to create 2 pockets.
And there you have NO SEW burlap purse!
I've been carry my new bag this week and love it! It's perfect for carrying all my essential items and has room for the iPad in it as well.

Edited to ADD: When I went to buy more burlap, the women at the fabric counter loved my bag, but suggested I use some Fray Blocker on the edges to keep the burlap from constantly unraveling. I have now added the fray blocker to the cut edges of the bag and flower. It is a liquid, that dries clear, available for a couple of dollars for the tube.

I am linking my No Sew Burlap Purse the following parties. Thank you for allowing me to participate!

Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap 
 up           party!

Confessions Of A Stay At Home Mommy

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sunflower Time

Happy Summer Yall!

I intended to plant lots of sunflowers this year...but it just didn't happen. Fortunately a few seeds from last years crop germinated and are beginning to bloom.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Playing - Brenda Photo Challenge

The Brenda Photo Challenge has changed management lately...I'm so thankful I got started in the Brenda Photo Challenge when I first started blogging. The challenge has definitely pushed me to take better photos and to take my camera everywhere with me. I'm grateful for all the time Ms. Donna put into hosting the challenge in the past and look forward to continuing the challenge with Ms. Brenda at the helm. You two Rock!!!

I've missed a few of the recent challenges due to crazy schedules, but am hoping to get back to regularly participating. So without further yacking - here are some of my playing pictures!
Our animals are always playing around...Moe loves to play with his watermelon treat.
 ( You can read my earlier post from this week to see more of Moe eating watermelon.)
Punkie is a sweet and playful dog - Our cats had rather play with the dogs than with each other!

Punkie looks quite visious here, but this is just a typical game at our house! The girls love to wrestle and play around and I'm happy to report no injuries have ever occurred between these two. Trixie and Punkie are great playful friends.  

Thank you for checking out my pics for the
 Click on the link to check out other participants.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Last night I grabbed my camera and headed outside to take a few pics of flowers in my yard. With the temperature so hot outside, my camera lense fogs up when I first go outside. I went ahead and started snapping a few pictures to see what they would look like anyways.

This picture of my crepe myrtle is straight out of the camera - no editing what-so-ever. What do ya think?

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Today I am thankful...

That Farmall Man is getting better. A Dr visit this week showed new bone growth as his collar bone is healing from his motorcycle wreck three weeks ago.

For the 1.5 inches of unexpected rain we received last night. A welcome thunder boomer dumped some much needed rain for the garden and pastures.

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Graduation Gifts

This year I am friends with two special girls that are graduating from high school. Both of them are planning to move to college later this summer. I struggled with what I wanted to get each of them as a graduation gift. I always like to make something hand made and always want to give something that is useful. I know most people give money for gifts, but I seldom give cash or gift cards.

One of the girls is decorating her dorm with pink and black and her name starts with a K. I took an 8 by 10 canvas and used scrapbook paper to completely cover the frame. Scraps of various papers torn into random shapes were glued to the frame using mod podge glue. When using mod podge you coat the front and back of each piece of paper with glue. Slap it on the canvas, over lap the pieces, and make it to suite your fancy. You can't go wrong! We have made some similar gifts but used pictures along with the scrapbook paper to cover the canvas.

Your hands get kinda messy...It reminds me of the end of the year when our teacher sent our school supplies home and on the long bus ride we would pour our Elmers glue on our hand. We would let it dry and see if we could get it to peel off in one piece. (Ok fess up - Did you ever do that?)

I used my Silhouette Machine to cut out the K monogram out of pink scrapbbook paper and glued in on top. I finished the wall hanging with a black satin ribbon for hanging on K's dorm room wall. I added a personel note on the back of the canvas to remind K we love her and wish her well with her college adventures.
I added the decoupage project to a laundry basket full of some of the items the girls are going to need when they move away.
In the basket I placed:
an iron
laundry detergent
fabric softener
stain remover
wet wipes
hooks for hanging items on the wall
an over the door hook for hanging clothes or wet towels
wash rags
box of kleenex
mess laundry bag
a roll of quarters for laundry

 I knew these items would be needed and not necessarily going to all be thought about before they moved on campus. In the basket I made last week for C, I place a hammer and nails for hanging pictures on the wall. (K can't use nails at her dorm) I remember my first week of college and having to buy a hammer and nails to personalize my room. I still have that very same hammer that is covered in lots of splattered paint. I really wasn't sure if C would appreciate her gift, but she loved it. I've even had two of her coworkers tell me how she has been going on about the basket for a week! I'm glad my dollar store items were as impressive to her as designer name brand gifts she has been getting from others. All items for these baskets were easily obtained from Wal-Mart and the Family Dollar.

Some tissue paper tucked in the basket and I'm ready to give K her basket at graduation Friday night!
We wish K and C the best for their future as they move away from our small town and enter college!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lily Time

Its Day Lily time in my yard!
 A few years ago, my great aunt took me over to her friends house and I came home with a truck load of free plants! It doesn't get any better than that for this frugal gardener! Among the many plants I brought home that day were a multitude of day lilies. Mrs. Friday had been growing them for over twenty years and had crossed them and bred the lilies to create her own colors. There were no plain jane, ordinary orange lilies in her yard - no mam, there were yellows, pinks, reds, ring eyes, petals of alternating color, triple bloom lilies. It was like a mail order catalog with all of the beautiful colors she had. You name it - she had it and the best part, she shared them with me!
Each year I get to enjoy the beautiful lilies she raised and shared with me. They are definitely a highlight of my yard each spring and summer. These are a few of the lilies that were blooming in my yard last night.

My garden has been looking good during the month of May, but this week it is begging for water. All of a sudden things went from lush looking to needy. The thermometer is reading 101.7 degrees as I type and there is no rain in the forecast. Looks like the water hose will be getting a lot of use in the coming days. Speaking of water hoses - I recently bought a new one to replace the constantly kinked up and leaking water hose that I drug around each afternoon. I splurged on the one that claimed it would not kink and I'm happy to say, it hasn't kinked yet!

Well, I'm off to take Farmall Man for his follow up appointment with the orthopedic doctor. We are hoping for a good report today.

Hope you are enjoying your day! How hot is it were you are at today?