Wednesday, December 7, 2016

RECIPE WEDNESDAY - Crockpot Lasagna

I love lasagna... and right now, pasta in just about any form is my go-to meal. Easy to eat even if I'm not wearing my dentures.

Hi, My name is Kelly and I am a work a holic. There are some mornings that once I get started, I don't think about my teeth. I don't need them for oatmeal and by mid-afternoon if I do put my teeth in, then the adhesive is more difficult to remove at bedtime. Some days the trip isn't worth the hassle. I'd rather just work and eat soft stuff.

I started with THIS recipe from my crockpot pinterest board. All those layers were just drool-worthy in my opinion. With Bob gone, this was the perfect time for me to try the recipe as is - with the spinach. Bob doesn't 'graze' as he calls it. No green/ grassy vegies except for canned peas and green beans.

Here were the ingredients:

Draining the spinach was a 2-step process to insure I got as much of the moisture out as possible. The less moisture, the more solid the lasagna.  

First I drained it in the colander:

I squeezed it into a firm ball then let it rest while I pulled everything else together. Then I squeezed it again. You would not believe how much more juice came out of the second squeeze. 

Next, I mixed up the cheesey goodness:

I used cottage cheese rather than the ricotta they called for. Ricotta is too dry for my preference. I bought 1% milk fat. When I tried to drain it, there wasn't anything to drain. 

Then the layering began. Though I did spray the inside of the crock pot for good measure with butter-flavored olive oil.

Sauce, noodles, sauce, filling, noodles, sauce... 

Another addition I made was on top of the first layer of cheese mixture, I added the leftover mozzarella chunks from the stuffed meatballs I made earlier in the week. 
All layered:

Covered and cooked on low for about 5 hours. Then I put a layer of shredded mozzarella on top, covered and cooked another 10 minutes. Then I turned the crock pot off and just let it set for about 20 minutes before cutting into the center and coming out with this:

This recipe is a keeper. One of the best crock pot recipes I've made. I might just have to do a meaty version for my construction crew. I'm sure they'd love it!

What's on your plate?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

An OOPS - from Recipe Wednesday

I sincerely apologize for not getting a picture up yesterday. In prepping the house for the contractors, I totally forgot to make this recipe.  So I will repost in a couple of weeks. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

RECIPE WEDNESDAY - Brown Sugar Chicken Thighs

For the next several weeks I'll be working from that grocery shopping trip I took before Halloween. This week, we're talking chicken!

As I said in last week's post, I am using recipes from my Crock Pot board on Pinterest.  With Nano going into Week Two, I really need to keep foods at the ready so I can focus on getting this manuscript polished rather than fixing food. Having something heat and ready also insures that I am eating more frequently, stoking the metabolic furnace.

I bought IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) chicken thighs and boneless/ skinless chicken breasts. This week I want to focus on the chicken thighs with a recipe for Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Chicken Thighs

Since having my teeth pulled I seem to crave all things BBQ - even more than before if that's even possible. So I thought these chicken thighs would be a good dish. My favorite way to do BBQ Chicken Thighs is Ree Drummond's Recipe - Oven-Roasted BBQ Chicken Thighs. Her results of her recipe are AMAZING! But they do require frequent basting to give you that 'candy' coating of bbq that knocks your socks off. So I thought this 'slow cooker' options was a good one to try.

They turned out....

Here's a picture.

Monday, November 21, 2016

WEEKLY PLAN - November 21 - 27


Good morning!

That number in the middle doesn't appear to have changed, but it has. I went up a pound then back down over the week. Apparently, I'm going to yoyo at this new weight level for awhile until I pop over the hump... which I'm not going to stress over during the holidays.

Speaking of holidays, are you ready for Thanksgiving? Do you even celebrate Thanksgiving? I ask because two of my contractors do not. I'd never heard of anyone not celebrating Thanksgiving. So, the fact they will be working here for Thanksgiving isn't a problem.

Growing up, Thanksgiving was a big deal for us. I began my cooking education helping Mom bake pies, dinner rolls and make the stuffing for the #20 bird. We always had the bounty from our garden to add to the feast. I can't remember serving less than fifteen of us. besides the turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and sweet potatoes we always had home-canned pickles, pickled beets, green beans and those homemade dinner rolls to sop up the last remnants of anything left on the plate.

Dessert was a meal all its own. Pumpkin, Mincemeat, Cherry, Apple and usually a peach or rhubarb cobbler.

A large 32 cup coffee pot sat on the end of the kitchen island and going 24/7, 365.

I miss those big family gatherings. I guess that's why when I have the opportunity to feed people, I do. The two contractors that will be here the majority of the week are the two core members from the studio build team... the main contractor, Ian and his best buddy, Trevor. I've hired Trevor for a drywall project and he's hanging around to help Ian build the back deck/ overhang and the new can storage for the basement like the one shown HERE on my pinterest board.

I spoiled them last time they were here so they are looking forward to the noon meal each day. I'm not doing a turkey on Thanksgiving but I am doing a rotisserie chicken in the crock pot and all the trimmings to go with it. I can always freeze the leftovers for Bob and I. He will be home on Saturday.

Remember, Stress can be just as detremental to your weight loss as anything you'll eat. Enjoy your favorite foods this holiday season.. .in moderation. But most importantly...

Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

RECIPE WEDNESDAY - Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Something about this recipe just sounded good. Perfect for a game-day snack or just nibbling on between word sprints. I found the recipe HERE on pinterest.

The Ingredients:

One substitution I made was using Fresh Mozzarella for the string sticks the recipe calls for. I'm sorry, but those remind me of Stretch Armstrong and gives me an idea of what it would be like to eat rubber. So I went with the good stuff.

I sliced the ball into 1/2 slices then cubed it up. When I began putting the pieces into the meatball I realized they were too big so each of these pieces was cut in 1/2 again:

My one quart jar of bread cubes made the one cup when I ran them through my mini processor (in 2 batches)

Then I mixed everything together (except the mozzarella pieces):

I used my cookie scoop to make generous amounts. Then rolled each scoop into a golf ball sized meatball:

Stuck a piece of cheese in the center and formed the meat around to enclose. Then in the crock pot they went:

The recipe calls for 2-3 hours on low. I got busy in the office and failed to watch the clock. They went the full 3 hours. I should have pulled them at 2-1/2 hours. They are still good just not as moist:

I wasn't a fan of marinara sauce but tossing them in Honey Teriyaki was quite tasty. BBQ would also be good.  I will make these again but next time I'll watch the clock. ;-)

What's on your plate?

Monday, November 14, 2016

WEEKLY PLAN - November 14 - 20


Happy Monday!

Fall has definitely come to the Ozarks. We've had early morning temps in the upper 20's. The tomato vines have been zapped and are ready to pull. I still need to kick over the tires to see how potatoes have fared. 

As you see, no change in weight from last week, but that's okay. I'm still down two pounds from two weeks ago. I've not gone up. That's a good thing. I'd like to get at least one pound down this week. Then next week's food-laden week won't look too bad on the scales. 

Thanksgiving won't be a big deal here as far as the traditional fare goes. I'm going to do a rotisserie chicken in the crock pot with stuffing. I'll make mashed potatoes and gravy and just plain seasoned green beans. As it stands right now, unless one of my contractors wants to avoid the Thanksgiving family hoopla and hang with me, I'll be by myself. By myself to enjoy the Macy's parade, probably write and just chill. 

But this week.. this week I'm still doing crock pot meals. Except for the one day I need to be in Springfield interviewing the guys at PFI western store for my music blog and talk to them about supporting Saddlebag Dispatches magazine... my new job. Effective last week I am the Director of Marketing for this very cool glossy cowboy/ western themed magazine. If you like cowboy/ western type of stuff, I encourage you to check out the magazine. You can read for free on-line or purchase a quarterly copy for $14.95. I will also have my own column - Kelly's Country - premiering with the Winter 2016 issue. I've had the pleasure of writing a piece on a 1950s singing cowboy - the late Rex Allen. He was more than just a singing cowboy on the screen. But you'll have to read the article to find out where else you might have heard his voice as you were growing up. ;-)

So, just sticking to portion control, easy recipes and try not to stress too much over the fact the deadline for my manuscript is fast approaching.

What's on your journey path this week?
Whatever you're doing... Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

RECIPE WEDNESDAY - Beef Tips with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes

Last week I broke down the #14 brisket into multiple meals and mentioned that a third was set aside for a recipe I found on Pinterest for Tri-Tips with gravy and mashed potatoes.

I have to say that using the brisket was an excellent choice... and less expensive over all than the Tri Tip would have been.

The 1/3 of the brisket:

became this:

Even with trimming nearly all the fat/ hide away, this chunk still had quite a bit of marbling so I knew the meat would cook nicely and be tender enough for me to eat without my teeth if I had to. There are days my bottom plate just does not want to play nice. Anyway, that's another post. Back to the recipe.

I divided the chunks into two portions. One I used for this recipe and the other I froze to have when Bob comes home later in the month. 

I added a bit of olive oil to my heavy cast aluminum skillet. then chopped a medium yellow onion and added the equivalent of 2 garlic gloves of crushed garlic. When the onions were just soft, I added a couple of Tablespoons of butter and the meat junks. I cooked these just enough to brown the meat. 

I transferred this mixture to the crock pot then deglazed the skillet with about 1- 1/4 cup of beef broth. After deglazing, I added a can of Campbell's Golden Mushroom soup. The original recipe called for Beef Consomme but I had the Golden Mushroom and planned to add slices of portabella later. When the soup and broth were blended, I added them to crockpot, put the lid on and set the temp to LOW. I let this simmer for about 5.5 hours. 

About 1/2 way through cooking time I sauted the mushroom slices just to soften then added them to the crock pot.

Note - I did not add any other seasonings. I knew the soup and broth would have plenty of salt and I could add pepper to taste once I'd dished it up. Cooking that long, a lot of your spice flavors tend to dissipate in a crock pot. Their good for a 3-4 hour cook but anything longer and you are re-adding at the end. 

The original recipe also called for removing the meat from the pan at the end and making the juices into a gravy. But then their recipe is for the oven (slow cooked - NOT slow cooker). And I was hungry so I just spooned some of the 'pot liquor' as we called it growing up over the mashed potatoes

This recipe turned out quite tasty. 

When I got ready to put left overs away, I did take the steps to make the gravy, using a flower and milk thickening and packaged the gravy separately from the meat.

Next week, I take on Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings - with my own spin, of course.

Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, November 7, 2016

WEEKLY PLAN - November 7 - 13


Did the time change mess with you? I was perplexed for only a bit.. the fact that I was up an hour earlier yesterday was fine with me. I was well-rested but got an extra hour of my 'quiet time' in. 

Going into Week 2 of National Novel Writing Month is progressing well. The meals I've been showcasing, along with servings of Stouffers lasagna and Chef Boyardee mini raviolis are keeping me fed and busy. That combined with not eating out all the time has shown on the scales. I've determined that what you it isn't near as important as where you eat. 

Busy is a good word. Between having the construction team coming in next week for jobs both inside and out and fall finally having arrived I have plenty of household items to keep me moving. By the time I do all the household/ yard tasks I barely have energy or time left to make myself work on the manuscript but deadline looms. Thankfully, while I'm busy my mind is also whirling with things I need to change or incorporate. 

Brief posts for awhile.  What is keeping you busy? I'd love to hear.

Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

RECIPE WEDNESDAY - Brisket anyone?

As I said on Monday, I did a major grocery haul last weekend. National Novel Writing Month is in full swing. I wanted to cook in bulk or in the crock pot so I could have quick meals on hand throughout the month. I have a manuscript due to my publisher December 1-ish.

One of the items was a #15 beef brisket. At first glance, the price tag of $36 might seem steep but when you look at how many meals #15 pounds of meat will cover, that $2.40 a pound is a lot cheaper than a steak or even a decent roast in today's market and more tender.

I cut the brisket into three sections then trimmed the bulk of the fat/ hide away. I simmered the trimmings with six cups of water and two healthy Tablespoons of beef bouillon paste. When the fatty pieces were limp and soggy, I fished them out of the pan and allowed the broth to cool.

Next I poured the broth into my mini loaf pans about half full, then added back in pieces of the fat then put the pan in the freezer. When they've frozen, I'll pop them out and into ziploc bags. These will make nice additions to the dog food this winter to warm their insides against the cold.

The pieces of brisket became four separate recipes.

Cuts 1 & 2:
     The first one, I coated with BBQ rub and placed in a roaster pan on a rack. I added a brick of frozen apple cider for flavor and moisture. I covered the pan and put it in the oven at 250* for about 6 hours. This sliced up nice and will make for quick nibbles.

This was the final result:

28 slices of tender perfection. I could cut it with a fork and almost melted in my mouth.

The other cut I froze for a future BBQ or Hot Beef sandwich meal. I have a construction crew coming Thanksgiving week to redo the ceiling in my dining room, add an overhang and deck out my back door and build a rotating can storage in the basement. I always feed my work crew... and they look forward to the meals.  I'm thinking either hot roast beef sandwiches or BBQ brisket with home made Mac n Cheese should make them happy.

Cut 3:
This one I cut into about 1.5" chunks then divided the mass in half.

I cooked the first half up right away for a modified version of a recipe I found on Pinterest. Theirs called for Tri Tip and Gravy over Mashed Potatoes. Brisket is super tender and no one seems to have a tri tip at a reasonable price so this is what I went with.

I will show you that recipe next week.

I froze the other half of the chunks to repeat the recipe later in the month when Bob comes home.  All of these will serve a family of four easily. That comes out to be about $3.75 PER PERSON - PER MEAL!

Monday, October 31, 2016

WEEKLY PLAN - October 31 - November 6


Yeah.. that middle number is painful. Other than not enough fruits and vegies, I'm not sure what I could have done different. Bob and I had two trips to Springfield. Both times I loaded up on protein and not much of anything else. Other than green beans, I'm still struggling with salad-type vegies, though some things are better with time. 

Bob also put a real snap on my Copper Fit tracker so I am putting it on more, regardless of the activity and getting steps counted.

Bob left yesterday and my schedule is my own. No eating out for at least the next eighteen days. With that in mind, I did a major grocery shopping trip at Walmart last night - primarily for protein. I've already cooked stuff today (Sunday) for Wednesday blog posts.

So this week, though I do have to spend a lot of time at the computer I am planning on yard work and walking more. Eating all of my meals at home should help a lot. We'll see if I can get that number to go back down again.

Bob won the last weight loss challenge. I was thrilled for him. He's only won maybe two times over the course of our challenges. He NEEDED to win this for motivation.  And while we're discussing Bob, the man who ate desserts every time we ate out - didn't gain a single pound! 

I'm not discouraged. I am motivated to turn this around before the number gets any higher.

What's your plan for the week?
Enjoy the journey!

Monday, October 24, 2016

WEEKLY PLAN - October 24 - 30


Between four days of meals at conference - mostly protein - followed by traveling with Bob the following week, weight has gone up four pounds. I'm  not worried. I can get to my tread mill, body seems to want to work right and Bob will be going out again soon.

I do have an event on Wednesday night  but other than that this week is all about eating at home! yay!
I'm also going to be doing some things around the house.

Bob put a snap on my Copper step band. The little notch/ holes that had just were not secure and hard to connect. Now I can wear my step band with confidence so may encourage me to wear the band more.

I need to go put ribs in the oven then head out to the garden shed. That building is in serious need of clean out. I know of at least 2 snakes and a lizard taking up residence in there. Out they go!

Whatever your week has in store - 
Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, October 3, 2016

WEEKLY PLAN - October 3 - 9


See that number in the middle? That is the lowest I've weighed in almost fifteen years! I am thrilled with the number and am confident I can get the scales to go down even more. 

Welcome to another week and boy is this one going to be a doozy.  I've been working furiously to get as many blog posts scheduled for the month of October as possible. I spent all day Saturday and Sunday making cards for the Stampin' Up blog. That is the business blog that is more an 'immediate' income. Next, I'll be working on the  music blog for this week. First on my list is my interview with Bill Anderson and the review of his book, 'An Unprecdented Life in Country Music'. 

I won't go into the rest of the blog posts but believe me when I say I am going to be one writing fool between now and Wednesday night. To add insult to injury, I have the opportunity to pitch my Erotic Suspense, Death By Design, to the editorof Oghma Publishing out of Fayetteville AR. Ihave several friends published with them, including western author, Dusty Richards. They've even garnered movie deals for four of Dusty's novels.  My problem - the novel is in a file drawer and the filing cabinet is blocked by the work table, which can't be moved at the moment because I have a sofa bed in the way. Yeah... going to be a busy week. 

I have a conference next weekend. This will be my first big event since getting my dentures. Some days I do really well and others the bottom plate fights with me. The battle with the bottom plate may be testament to the two pound loss this week. 

I'm not sure there will be a recipe Wednesday. I want to do the Philly Pasta but we will see how today fleshes out.  In the mean time, tell me what's going on with you and...

Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


I'm a bit behind today. By the time I got finished with McAfee tech support doing  CPR on my computer I didn't want to look at this laptop the rest of the day.

So, instead of the new casserole recipe I want to work on, I'm testing a new-to-me product... Vegi Pasta by Barilla

According to their website, Barilla Vegi pasta provides one full serving of vegetables per 3.5oz portion*. Made with purée obtained from real vegetables

I'm always looking for more ways to get vegetables on Bob's plate and he loves pasta. You'd think he had Italian in his ancestary instead of German.

I'm still on the hunt for proteins I can eat easily. Frozen meals while not the healthiest also work best for me right now. Saturday night I picked up a couple of things from the grocery store freezer section, one of which:

First off, I can eat these! I ate 4 for lunch yesterday... nothing else, just devoured protein. So with two left, I decided to try a serving of the vegi pasta to with them. 

The verdict - I can't taste vegetables in the pasta at all. Healthier pasta without being made exclusively from spiral cut zuccini. 

Monday, September 26, 2016



Happy Birthday to me! I am officially 55 years young. Does not seem possible. To make this day even more special my darling daughter is 33. Again - where have the years gone?  Happy Birthday, Sue

Time moves forward whether we are ready or not. We do not have control over 'time'... but we do have control over what we do with the time we have. My daughter and I discussed this in form Saturday following the shooting at the mall just outside Seattle on Friday night. She sometimes shops at that mall.  The old saying 'a miss as good as a mile' does not comfort me at this point.

As I grow older I am more aware of how important taking care of 'me' is. So each day, I'm trying to do better. As you can see, the scale has not moved. Hmmm  However, I am wearing size 16 jeans with darts making them essentially a 14 that still required wearing a belt yesterday.  I am so use to not wearing pants with fastenings that after undoing the belt yesterday, I simply pulled my jeans down to use the restroom... and they slid right down! I see a week of testing out every pair of pants in my closet. Most everything is still piled on the bed from a closet organization that began a month ago. I've just been busy with business and not gotten back in there. That is my project for this week.

I also have a recipe for you on Wednesday. And talking about how the denture process has changed not only how I eat but what I eat and changes in flavor profiles.

Until Wednesday, Enjoy the Journey!

Friday, September 23, 2016

WEEKLY RECAP - Week of September 19

Today is the first full day of autumn 2016. And our high temp should reach into the low 90s. Hmmm

Yesterday, I was out of sorts. Not sure what was wrong except maybe my sugar was out of wack due to not enough protein. Since we bought a whole hog earlier this year I have an abundance of pork, as in that is almost all that is in the meat freezer. Except for my yearly purchase of lobster tails and the sweet potatoes I froze last year. I'm tired of pork. I also need to clean out the upstairs freezer before I can purchase bulk beef. Something I need to do in the next week or so. 

Otherwise, this has been a good week. I did get almost 9,000 steps in on Wednesday while going back and forth from the dining room table to the printer in my office putting my blog planner together. And I did a serious house cleaning on Tuesday. 

 As the temps start to cool down (and the weatherman says those temperatures are coming) I will be doing more work outside, burning calories as I pull weeds, mulch new beds for next spring and give the garden shed a major clean-out. I know for a fact I have a nice-sized lizard, a Black snake and a Garter snake. 

So that's been my week. How was yours?
Whatever your plans are for the weekend, Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, September 19, 2016

WEEKLY PLAN - 9-19-16


Can you tell Bob was home? Yep. When he's home I do not get on-line a lot. Scheduling this post is a bit difficult because I need to weigh in on Sunday morning so I can schedule the result to run the following morning. 

Okay, so yeah, I'm late today. I have a valid excuse... I fell asleep in my chair after I got home from errands and just couldn't move much when I woke up. You know that lethargic feeling you have after a nap. 

So I'm down a pound... again. Seems like once I hit a spot, then I seesaw back and forth. I really need to make this move if I'm going to be at my 175 or lower goal in time for the Ozarks Creative Writers conference. Did I tell you this is the 50th anniversary of the conference? So yeah, this is a special year. I've been attending twenty of those years.

Now that the AC is working again, and sadly still need the luxury in late September, I can get back on the treadmill and the Wii. While the treadmill is an easy one I'm going to have to force myself to work out before I put in the Super Mario game I bought last weekend. I've wanted the game for the Wii for several years but wasn't paying the outrageous price. Well.. I found a 4-pack Mario game - Super Mario All-Stars - (Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros the Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros 2 and Super Mario Bros 3) for half of what they are selling Super Mario 3 for. Happy Birthday to me!

I've spent the weekend rebuilding my blog board to better track where I have missing blog posts and am getting things in order. Unfortunately, I have a serious case of OCD and I can't dive into a project until every last detail is in place. So bear with me... I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel

Enjoy the Journey

Monday, August 29, 2016

Weekly Plan 8-29-16


And another pound up. Not sure how since I'm not eating a lot. Other than what I am eating is pasta and potatoes. I'm still on the journey to find an adhesive that will last more than a four or five hours (if I'm lucky) and not allow the bottom plate to pop loose as soon as I start chewing. I'm sure this will improve once the gums are done shrinking and I have the permanent set.

On the up side, I am eating a lot of fish. Tilapia is a healthy protein I can eat without my teeth. I am also eating oatmeal every morning, drinking almost nothing but water. Though yesterday, after my bottom plate had prevented me from enjoying more than my fish and mashed potatoes at Ruby Tuesday, I splurged on a small cola (mostly ice). Soda will eat away at the adhesive so I figured since the adhesive wasn't working anyway I may as well enjoy a soda. As soon as I got home and the groceries unloaded I cleaned the dentures and called it a day.

I've also drank only 1 small Starbucks bottle of coffee in three weeks, and no tea at all. They just don't have a taste. I'm guessing because some of our taste buds are in the roof of our mouth and that is blocked by the upper plate. 

We still do not have central AC in the house and won't have until Bob gets home Wednesday night. I just can't see paying for a service call (though Woolsey Heating and Air are very reasonable) if it's something Bob can fix - or at lElgin Heating and Cooling) and installing this system, I have confidence he can  at least determine what's going on.  In the mean time, I'm getting stuff done in the studio. Some of the organization is hindered by the fact the sofa bed is pulled out. That's where the cats and I sleep since this room does have it's own AC unit. 

So my plan for this week is to keep doing what I'm doing, hoping the heat will break soon and that Bob gets the AC fixed ( you know, just in time to not need it - however, the AC is also our central back-up heat for those early morning chills) so I can start exercising again. I am more than ready.

What's on your agenda for this week? I'd love to hear how you are mapping out your success.
Enjoy the Journey

Monday, August 22, 2016

WEEKLY PLAN - 8/22/16


So, I'm up a pound this week. I'm not worried though. I've added a bit of food into my diet over the past week. Solid food. But I held off on exercising. 

The teeth are doing well. The gums are healing. Last week I got the soft-liner for my temporary dentures and was able to finally use adhesive to secure them in place. Without any adhesive, the plates could bob around whenever I worked my jar. Chewing was impossible.

Saturday, I used polygrip for the first time and went to my favorite Chinese buffet for lunch. Teriyaki chicken was too dense. The gums are still tender and while the plates stayed in place, they still rubbed when I chewed.  I was able to eat the thinner sliced pieces of chicken and beef in their respective broccoli dishes. I also ate shrimp and imitation crab from the Happy Family. I tried biting into a crab rangoon. The filling was super soft and warm... squirting everywhere. LOL

I have two weeks to toughen up the gums so that I can enjoy dinner out with Bob. Our 32nd wedding anniversary is on Wednesday. Bob is on the boat until the 30th so we won't be celebrating until he comes home. Two weeks and counting.

This week is all about learning to chew again and getting on the treadmill.
What's your plan for the week?
Whatever you have in mind, enjoy the journey!

Monday, August 15, 2016

WEEKLY PLAN - 8/15/16

WEEKLY PLAN - 8/15/16


Happy Monday!

I am at the 1.5 week mark with my new teeth. So far so good.

Aspen Dental is a fabulous team of professionals if you need work done. While that may vary from office to office, they do have a standard to uphold. The day I was in for the impressions, the regional manager was in checking things out.

I have not been in ANY pain. The first couple of days I took the pain meds on schedule in case things started to irritate too much as the swelling went down from the extractions. But I've not taken any since. Though I did take a sinus pill today. Steady rains are keeping the mold count up a bit high.

My biggest issue were the antibiotics. As they cleared out my system I was constantly nauseated. I spent a lot of time curled up in the recliner in front of the fan with an ice pack. Keeping cool seemed to help.

With the teeth out I have noticed too major health things and one oddity.  The psoriasis is completely gone. I have not itched once. I also have not been needing the Vicks to try and keep my nasal passages clear at night to sleep. Until you do something about your teeth, you do not realize the health issues they can create. Trust me... go see a dentist. Brush regularly. Get your teeth cleaned. If finances are an issue, most dental offices now offer finance plans to fit any budget. And there are low income programs as well. My big bear of a husband had his teeth cleaned the day I got my impressions. Because of pain issues the last time, he had not had his teeth cleaned in years. And I'm not sure if we were married. We've been together 32 years this month. If he can, anyone can.

The oddity is that I have an extreme sensitivity to smells. Pollution and exhaust fumes in Springfield the other day were really hard to handle. Who knew!

Okay.. I've not been eating a lot but I'm not starving either... but check out that number on the scales this week. 175! I've dropped ten pounds. Will be interesting to see how that works once I can chew food again. I'm not living on jello, pudding or meal supplements. Last night I had a large Tilapia filet and some Teriyaki Lo Mein. Granted the noodles were chopped up super fine but was good to actually fix a plate of food rather than a bowl of mashed potatoes. Oh yeah that's my other thing. I ate Garlic Mashed potatoes and Stout gravy from Applebees both days I was in town last week. 

My challenge has been that I'm not a big sweet eater until Christmas rolls around, then bring on the Christmas cookies :-D  I'm a savory, meat/ taters/ crunchy vegies kind of gal so this part has been tough. But cry me a river. Tonight I'm flaking up a couple of steamed lobster tails and having more of that Lo Mein. 

Due to the low calorie intake, I've not been walking for exercixe. So no tracking the steps for a few more weeks. 

My next appointment is a few days away. Until then, I'm trying to do little things around the house that don't tax the energy.

Whatever you choose to do this week...
Enjoy the journey!

Monday, August 8, 2016



This is it. The moment I've waited years for... new teeth. Teeth that work and allow me to enjoy foods. Though, I'm sure that 'enjoy' part will take some time. But I'll be headed in the right direction.

Wednesday morning, I'll leave early to arrive at Wilson's Creek Battlefield in time for the opening speeches. They have a new history museum I'm looking forward to visiting. But more importantly, I hope to stand where a young drummer boy named Eddie lost both of his legs. An injury which would lead to his death at the tender age of 12 or 13.

While enlistees were suppose to be eighteen, drummers could be brought in as young as sixteen. Young Edward was a special case, taken on by the request of his mother. Her husband had been killed during a skirmish in Tennessee and she had no means to care for him. Remember, they thought this war would be quick and somewhat painless. Though in her request to the commander she did ask that 'if her boy should live', would he see to her son's safe return.

This story of Eddie the Little Drummer Boy is an entry in CIVIL WAR in Song and Story 1860-1865, published in 1889.  You can find out more about Eddie on my Ozarks Journal blog, HERE.

Next week, I'll let you know how I'm doing with my pretty new teeth.. and how many pounds I've dropped over the course of the early stages of healing.

Enjoy the Journey! 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Weekly Recap

While this bowl of oatmeal looks quite tasty, my food options for the next few days will have a lot less texture.

I'm scheduling this to post as I'm pretty sure I'm not up to doing much of anything this morning except take more pain meds and crawl back into bed. I'm typing this on Monday, Aug. 1 because yesterday (Thursday) I had all of my teeth pulled and my temporary dentures put in. For the first time in my life I have straight teeth and a smile I want to share. Unfortunately, my food choices for the next several days are very limited. The first four days will be anything that does not require chewing - broth, jello, pudding, etc. I've discovered cup o noodle soup from Campbell for the Kuerig. The broth packet now comes in the form of a K-cup and the noodle packet (very small noodles) are in a cellophane packet. I know I'm going to be sore for several days. After about day four or five, I need to start chewing stuff that doesn't require a lot but does start the callousing process of the gums. Oh joy.

With this in mind, I look forward to stepping on the scale for the next couple of weeks.
So my weekend is Ibuprophen, pain pills and food items I do not have to chew. But I know the few days of discomfort (okay, probably pain) will be so worth it in the end.

Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, August 1, 2016

WEEKLY PLAN - 8/1/16

I love a new month. I feel as if I've been given a clean slate. While last month was not bad, I really need to do better if I'm to be down the weight I want to be by October 9th.

This week, I'm trying to eat as normal as possible. I've made my dental appointment for the dentures for next week. I'm taking a day to visit Wilson's Creek Civil War Battlefield. Aug. 10 will be the 155th anniversary of the first major battle of the Civil War. Did you know that at the time, they expected the war to last no more than six weeks! I'm not sure if they were delusional, optimistic or just unaware of the true test they faced.

So, my monthly focus is:
1) Get new teeth
2) Enjoy research at Wilson's Creek
3) Learn to adjust to new teeth
4) Drop 8 pounds (for the month)

What's on your plan? Whatever you choose, remember, to

Enjoy the Journey!

WEEKLY PLAN - 8/01/16


I anticipated the numbers going back up after being away from home for three days. Worse than trying to stay on track with how I eat, my struggle is more with when I eat. 

Back in the day (yes, I went there), people ate at specific times of the day. Breakfast was usually before 8 a.m. whether the kids needed to be out the door for school, in front of the television for Saturday morning cartoons or dressed for church, breakfast usually occurred about the same time every day. Dinner (as opposed to lunch) was at noon. To top of the day, supper was on the table when your man walked in the door a few minutes past five. 

Now, most people start their day out at about the same time or earlier but the food choices are, more often than not, not as healthy. If we're part of the working class, lunch is still somewhere between eleven and noon. Then the food plan goes down hill from there. Very few of us have a set dinner time where we sit down with the family to hear about each other's day. We are usually eating much later, the food choices not the best and much larger. 

Like so many other aspects of our life, if people went back to 'the good ole days', I think we would be a much healthier society.. and probably more happy with ourselves. 

I think this is why I am more successful with my weight loss when Bob is gone. I have a schedule and I eat smaller, healthier portions. While I do try to keep a schedule, my hardest challenge is getting involved in a project later in the day and forgetting to eat that middle-of the-day 'dinner'.  But I am getting better.

For the next week, think about how you eat, when you eat, and what you are eating. Are there changes you could be making to your journey more successful?

Enjoy the journey!

Monday, July 25, 2016

WEEKLY PLAN - 7/25/16


I was 183 last week as well but storms prevented me from coming in and updating. Bob has been home since Wednesday so I was thrilled to not see a gain to the scales this week.

Going to be a crazy week. With the exception of today, I am traveling pretty much every day through Sunday. That means eating out. The other thing is, I have a few weeks yet before I get my dentures. My mouth is in an almost permanent state of discomfort in some form. So I'm not eating the roughage, like salads, that I so enjoy. There've been a couple of days where mashed potatoes were heaven-sent as far as comfortable eating goes.

I get the impressions done on Tuesday. I'm not sure how tender my mouth will be after that. Since several teeth are lose, messing with them in any form causes them to argue back. 

Since I leave tomorrow for the dental appointment, I'm not planning on dirty dishes so pizza on paper plates is what's for supper. I can only eat one fourth of a large DiGiorno. Normally, I'd eat an eighth and some salad but yeah.. not going to happen 

Bob goes back to work on the 2nd so I will have about a week of eating 'my way' before I get my teeth pulled. I'm pretty sure that normal eating is going to take some time while the gums heal. So until that happens, I'm doing the best I can and look forward to eating real foods again.

So this week... paying attention to what I order and doing the best I can as my mouth directs.

I should get a lot of walking in, as well. I didn't do much at all last week. For several days my right leg joint did not want to work. Just moving from place to place around the house required making sure there was something to hold on to. Then the past week, no issues! 

So here's the only thing I've done differently. I've not taken the Glucosamine since Bob got home. So I'm going to make sure I take my vitamins this week and see if the issue returns. I do know the glucosamine will raise my blood sugar levels (notice the first 6 letters LOL) and I really would prefer to not have the higher insulin levels. 

What's on your plan for the week?
Whatever you do, Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, July 11, 2016



Okay.. I'm not even going to pretend I understand that number in the middle. Up a pound? Seriously?

So more focus on the vegies/ fruits this week. And I'm adding the Wii beginning Wednesday to my workout. Today, the living room is full of stuff from the laundry room that is getting a deep cleaning. No place to put the Wii board. LOL

I will also try to add at least 10 minutes to the treadmill... taking my time to 40 min. 

What does your week look like?

Whatever you have in mind...

Enjoy the Journey!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Note: There was suppose to be a really cool graphic but apparently, Blogger has decided I do not need to upload photos for now. LOL I'll add the photo later.


Some days, I have more options than others. But there are always options. 

Do I get up? Stay in bed?
Eat breakfast? Just have coffee?
Get dressed in 'people can see me clothes'? Stay in jammies?

Do I eat a healthy breakfast? Or the donut I really have a taste for? 
Sandwich or Salad for lunch?
One scoop or two (because apparently the girl who was never big on ice cream now wants the stuff!)
Keep working at the computer or get on the treadmill?

Only I can make the choice on any of those points and so many others that come my way on a daily basis.

And because I have Options.. because I have a CHOICE... I can't blame anyone but myself for how I look, how I feel.. both in health and about myself... and what I do.

Think about your OPTIONS and make the CHOICES that are right for you...
Enjoy the journey!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Weekly Plan 7/4/16


Happy Independence Day!

Do you take a 'Free Day'? A day when you allow yourself to indulge in foods you try to avoid the rest of the time?

This subject was brought to the table on a recent episode of Good Morning America. The general consensus was... MODERATION!

When we do the extreme diets... plans that have us eliminating foods we love, we find ourselves 'falling off the wagon' then beating ourselves up over the experience. What follows is the 'oh well, I've already failed' attitude then going back into old habits.

Pledge to be independent from the myths, fads and diets.

Enjoy the foods you enjoy - in MODERATION!
Remember the food pyramid or the color wheel.
Eat proteins, carbs, fruits and vegies.
Go light on the sugar-loaded condiments and enjoy the TRUE flavor the foods have to offer

However you play today...

Enjoy the Journey!

Friday, July 1, 2016


19 mile mark

This is a sample of what I might have passed had I been literally walking the trail. I have hiked 21 miles thus far. This sight is very similar to my backyard. The walk is uneven and would be slow going. the advantage to the virtual walk is no danger of ticks (which are really thick this year) or snakes, such as copperheads, blending in with the debris of the forest floor. 

I did not walk as much this week as I'd planned. I spent the storm-free days trying to get as much done on the computer as possible. Dry days, my sinus' gave me hardship as the storm front moved in. Then there were the storms themselves.

I hope to be more focused about being on the treadmill this week. 

Unlike most of you, I will not be tempted by the backyard BBQ and all the food associated with the 4th of July weekend. Bob is on the boat and I will spend the 4th inside watching the fireworks from New York. There may be BBQ wings or a pulled pork salad in there somewhere. 

However you celebrate this weekend, remember that YOU are in CONTROL. Enjoy the foods and beverages you enjoy in moderation. Enjoy your family, friends and the taste of the food. Listen to your body and stop when tummy tells you enough. And if you do over-indulge, DO NOT beat yourself over the pleasure. Accept the move for what it was and start fresh on Tuesday.  But most important of all....

Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, June 27, 2016



Happy Monday, everyone!

I'm slowly getting back into the work flow. I'm still trying to get stuff put away in the new studio/ office. The challenge being is that I am severely OCD. I can't just put stuff anywhere - or in any fashion. I am getting there little by little.

I am also still dealing with the tendonitis in the right arm. While some days are almost completely normal, there are still some days I know not to over-tax the muscles and join.

I had gained a pound over the past week but not sure how. However, when I got on the scales this morning, the gained pound had disappeared. So while there is no lower number this week, I'm not still up. ::: thumbs up :::

I hope to bring you my first stop on the Appalachian Trail (Walking 4 Fun) on Friday. While I've been diligent about putting my numbers in my little notebook each evening, I've not updated my trail steps on the site.

FUN FACT!: Did you know you can gain steps riding the lawn mower? I racked over 5k in steps during my one hour of mowing last week. Hmm I don't think I can legitimately count those though.

I am pledging today to get on the treadmill every day. While I'm not striving to break records, I do want to work up to a minimum of 3 miles per day by the time I attend the writers conference in Eureka Springs the second weekend in Oct.

So as soon as these blog posts are up, I'm headed for the treadmill.

Whatever your plans for this week...

Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, June 20, 2016

WEEKLY PLAN - 6/20/16

Happy Monday, Everyone!

Okay.. that's a lot cheerier than I feel. I'm running on less than 6 hours sleep. Definitely a nap in my future.

I've tracked my steps most days but have yet to input them into the Trail tracker. Will try to do that in the next day or two.

I spent 4 days at a hotel last week doing some techno-spring cleaning. Deleted over 8,000 emails amongst several accounts!  I'm going through the email much faster now. Yay!

I've also lost 4 pounds! Hoping to keep that momentum going.

I had made a pot roast for supper yesterday and was planning to use the  recipe on here for Wednesday, however, as I normally do - I failed to take a picture of the end product. I'll work on that. In the mean time, I'll try to find a recipe to link you up to.

The heat is ramping up here in the Ozarks. I'm still battling the tendonitis and the occasional flare-up of the knee. So not a lot of outside walking nor treadmill work. I did work out in the pool at the hotel one day last week and plan to do that again tomorrow and Wednesday.

The big thing for me this week is that I FINALLY have a dental appointment to get my teeth taken care of. I'm going through Aspen Dental. I'll post a review when all is said and done. Tomorrow is just the FREE exam/ x-ray/ consultation then we'll go from there. Not looking forward to having all the teeth pulled but am excited to be done with all the teeth issues I've had most of my life to be over with!

How's your week shaping up?
What ever you have planned....
Enjoy the Journey


Monday, June 6, 2016


Appalachian Trail

Man, being back to work is such an awesome experience. I truly am a workaholic and am a much happier person when I'm DOING something. I can not sit idle. Being inactive makes me want to just sit around all day... even nap. 

When Bob is gone, I hit the floor running in the morning. I pause to put a load of clothes in the washer as I come out of the bathroom, make my coffee and jump right into business. I keep rolling from there. Sometimes there is an afternoon nap in my future. I've attributed that to days when I normally am not drinking enough so I try to remedy that the next day.

A scrapbooking friend of mine uses a website called 'Walking4Fun' to track her daily steps. The various virtual trails on the website encourage you to get your steps in so you can move on to a new trail.

Since this year marks the 100th Anniversary of our National Park system, I thought this would be a great time to join this 'virtual' adventure.

I've always wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail (National Park Service Link) and the Ozark Trail. has some excellent information for a real-time hike. I signed up today and am beginning my step counting with the Appalachian Trail. In reality, the trail is 2,202 miles long from Atlanta GA to central Maine. My body would never be able to hike this trail in real life but I can look for things via the internet along the way. 

This LINK will take you to a map of the trail with potential spots to check out along the way. Today, I will hop on the treadmill and begin just north of Atlanta at Amicalola State Park at  Springer Mtn. I'll try to include pictures or tidbits of the area along my journey. 

Whether you just to do a virtual hike, or hit the trails in real time, I encourage you to join me at Walking4Fun.

Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, May 2, 2016


HI Everyone.

I wish this meant I'd be taking a trip and not have internet for awhile. I'm actually having a Staycation.

After serious contemplation and soul searching, I have come to the decision to put all of my blogs and social media attentioins on temporary hiatus. JUST for the month of MAY. I have some health issues I need to contend with as well as household/ family things.

I am hoping, with rest, the health issue will improve and I can come back in June stronger than ever.

In the mean time...

Enjoy the Journey

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

THE WEEK AHEAD - brief hiatus

Good morning!

Sorry I wasn't here yesterday (Monday) I was running out of internet gig with my provider.. had to wait for the cycle to roll over this morning.

This week, I am off completely. My husband leaves on the 12th for 28 days. There is a lot of things we need to get done before he heads out. The ups side is that I will be getting in LOTS of steps and exercise.

First things first:

I am at 184...   So no weight loss for me. 185/184/135

I did spend 4 days in Eureka Springs AR. over the weekend. Eating at Myrtie May's restaurant 3 meals a day. The up side to that is they have an amazing salad bar. Though I did have to have a piece of Possum Pie on Saturday night (Chocolate decadence) So considering I did not GAIN is enough for me.  I also walked quite a bit on an uphill terrain.

Now to the change for this week.  I had posts planned and have to put them on hold. Bob leaves on Monday night for 28 DAYS! This is only a bit longer than the 21 we are use to. But when he does come home, he'll only be home 14 before the process starts all over again.

For this first trip, there are several things I need his help with before he leaves. So my internet time will be almost non-existent as we get the greenhouse ready for plants, my water tank hosed up so I can begin draining that (making room for water for spring rains) and getting my straw bales in place so I can get the direct-seeding done.

Next week I will introduce you to a new StepCounter I have found and LOVE! The best one I've purchased to date.

I also have pictures in the file to rejuvenate the Recipe Wednesday as well as new recipes to share.

Thank you for your patience. I hope you'll get out and enjoy the weather - whatever you are experience...

And Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, March 28, 2016



UPDATE: I am up 2 pounds from last week and 3 from 3 days ago! Seriously?

I'm writing this on Sunday night in an attempt to get my blogs up and running on time this week. Bob comes home Wednesday and life gets crazy. I will come back in tomorrow morning and update my totals.  I'm hoping I've lost enough to secure another $100 from Bob and I's challenge.  I have been eating more vegetables, more salads. Trying to up the fruit. I bought a cantaloupe yesterday. Just have to get it peeled and ate. Some days the simplest tasks are the greatest challenge.

I meant to get back to routine last week. the puppy has been keeping me busy.  All attempts to find him a home are failing. I have him posted on Missouri Paws Lost & Found as well as our nearest no-kill shelter. For now, he is happy being here. Go figure!

Meet 'Honey'. Well kind of. I was sure he was a HE. But then he got in the pen with my male Great Pyrenees and Bear was all over him. So I thought, okay, I missed something and he is a SHE.. nope. Honey is definitely a HE. What that says about my Great Pyrenees makes me laugh.

So instead of all the things I wanted to do last week, I was spending more time on FB than I've been in the whole past 12 months!  I'm still convinced he needs to go. I do not want chained to the house by another inside dog. Honey is definitely an inside dog. Loves the recliner, is house trained/ leash trained/ kennel trained and is good with cats. He even uses the litter box if he can not get outside.  I think the deciding factor is going to be when Bob comes home on Wed. night. Bob is a softie LOL. 

So my week ahead is to keep up with the vegies, add more fruits and hopefully get some garden time. If the weather would just warm up!

Whatever your week ahead...
Enjoy the Journey!