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Write the Best Book for 2019!


Do you make New Year’s resolutions?

I used to. Then I found myself never keeping them. The problem is, I would make resolutions that were nearly impossible, or not desirable, to keep.

I would make the same one as everyone else, lose weight. I would exercise more, doing really well, and then I would just stop. So I stopped making weight loss a resolution. And then I discovered why resolutions don’t work, at least for me. I would make resolutions I hated! In order to have a successful resolution, you have to be committed to it. Just like anything in life, if you want it, you will make it happen. Until then, it won’t happen.

Such is weight loss. I won’t have to make that resolution this year, because I finally wanted it to happen and am committed to it! I have been determined to get “back to me” since the end of May. I have, as of today, lost 27 pounds and 10 ounces. No, I don’t take anything to lost weight. I believe in the old fashioned way, losing it on my own. I gained it on my own.

I have downsized portions at meals. After a period of time, I noticed I didn’t want to eat more, I was full. I think my body adjusted to my eating habits. If you eat a lot, your body wants a lot. But if you eat less, your body wants less. I increased the amount of vegetables I eat a day. I love veggies! In the summer when we have our garden in full swing, I am in heaven! I have fresh veggies at my fingertips! I eat them all day! I have also increased the amount of protein I eat. Protein is very good for you and it is filling as well. I love hard boiled eggs and there are 5 grams of protein in each egg. I eat them almost daily. My favorite meats are chicken and salmon, which are very good when dieting too! We never fry anything. Eating fried foods is so unhealthy for people. We grill all summer long and in the winter we bake or use the air fryer. We also eat homemade soups in the winter. I make my own broth to add to soups, using our homegrown herbs. Canned broth is so full of sodium! I will never buy that again. I have also learned to make creamed soups. I don’t do it as often as I should, but I am working on it. I am already looking forward to summer and the garden! Thankfully, we still have many frozen veggies from the garden still in the freezer. Green beans are my favorite! My weakness is not sweets. I have never been one to eat sweets. I like chips, crackers, anything salty. I just pointed out how bad that is for people. So, I quit eating them. I only have a cheat day when we take the boat out fishing. We take snacks along. Chips and crackers seem to just jump in the fishing bag I pack! Other than that, I never eat them. You can’t eat the chips and expect to lose weight. Menopause has not been my friend. I have struggled for years now, not sleeping all night and that seemed to lead to more eating. I finally have a handle on it and I feel so much better.

I also exercise. But, I don’t kill myself doing it. Losing weight is 80% diet and 20% exercise. I focus a lot on the 80%. I do pushups, weights and squats. I also enjoy yoga. I don’t pay for exercise, I look up videos on youtube. I also love to walk all summer long! Here it is the last day of 2018 and it is not exactly walking weather. That is what I have a treadmill for. I have to say, I don’t really enjoy the treadmill. It is very boring. 30 minutes seem to last forever!

I have about 10 pounds to go and I will be back to the girl I used to know. I knew if I didn’t lose the weight now, it wasn’t likely to happen. I am not getting any younger. The older you are, the harder it is to lose weight.

But, I was determined. I have grandkids to play with. I love running and playing with Peeps and Rowen! Losing weight has made it so much easier, and I am much more agile. We are expecting another grandchild in June! Nene and Papa are so excited! Nene plans to keep on dieting and playing with the grandkids! I don’t want to be on the floor playing and I can’t get up!

No, I don’t make resolutions. I believe in living life one day at a time, enjoying every minute, doing what is right for me. If I want to change something about me, I will. And I have. The rest of my life has been a huge blessing. I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful daughter, a terrific son-in-law and of course, the grandkids Peeps and Rowen, whom we adore! They are the light of our lives!

I saw this somewhere today and fell in love with it! My goal for 2019 and every year after.

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one. 

Happy New Year everyone. Stay safe and warm tonight!

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Get a Flu Shot!


I am sorry I haven’t written in a while. The holidays have kept us very busy, but that isn’t the only reason I haven’t been in touch, we have had some kind of awful flu!

Last Thursday started like any day in the Gilliland house. We got up and went to work. Unfortunately, that was the only normal part of the day.

While I was at work at Golden Oaks, I began to get a headache. Within minutes, the average headache was throbbing so badly, I wondered if I was having a migraine. I have never had a migraine before, so I wasn’t sure. I also began coughing a lot. Coughing isn’t unusual for a cold, so I thought maybe I was catching one. I took ibuprofen for the headache. It did help dull the pain, but it did not go away entirely.

I made it through the day and went home. I spoke with a couple of friends on the phone, worked around the house, took Shiloh, our rat terrier, out to play a bit and heated up leftover hamburger soup for supper. In this time, I noticed I was feeling worse. I had chills and body aches setting in.

I changed into my winter pajamas, slippers, my favorite fuzzy socks and a bathrobe. I curled up under my electric blanket on the recliner. I just couldn’t get warm.

Jeff walked in the door from work and said he had a sore throat! He was also chilled, but had been outside so he thought that was why until he couldn’t get warm. I am sure if anyone had walked into our house, they would have roasted! We had the heat turned up pretty high!

Our conditions only deteriorated as the next couple of days passed. Neither one of us could work Friday. We were either in bed or in our love seat recliners. We both had very bad coughs. I thought I was going to cough up a lung. My stomach and back muscles hurt badly from coughing so hard. I finally managed to cough up some phlegm. Jeff couldn’t do the same. It really didn’t seem to matter though, I kept coughing. Mucinex didn’t even help our coughs. That made me worry because it usually does help. I was terrified of contracting bronchitis again. I had bronchitis almost 5 years ago. I vividly remember how much that hurt! I didn’t want that back.

I did have diarrhea a few times one day, but luckily that didn’t last. We both hurt so bad all over, we could barely get up to use the bathroom or get something to drink. We stayed hydrated though. That is so important. We drank juice, water, 7 up or coke and ate grapes, oranges and soup. I have to say, soup didn’t seem to taste good. I ate a little and couldn’t finish it. Jeff never even tried it.

Jeff was doing a little better by Saturday morning, but he still hurt all over. He could get around better than me though. I was down yet. I coughed a lot less though, which was a huge relief. By this time, coughing brought tears to my eyes. My nose starting running though and wouldn’t stop! I went through two boxes in 24 hours! My nose is still raw.

Finally, this morning, we both felt much better. We still don’t have much of an appetite. I have avoided the recliner and the bed today. I just couldn’t handle laying down in bed or laying back in the recliner anymore. I have been sitting up today on the kitchen bar stools trying to get strength back too. I was sure I would have bed sores if I laid around another day. After a while, I just couldn’t get comfortable no matter if I laid on my back or my side.

I don’t remember ever being sick this long unless I had strep throat or bronchitis. I am not sure what we had. It wasn’t just the flu or a cold, it was a mix and it was very painful. Influenza A is going around right now. Maybe that is what we had. I looked it up and we had the symptoms, but we didn’t go to the doctor to be tested, so I can’t say we had it.

We didn’t get the flu shot. We won’t make that mistake again. We aren’t getting any younger. I never want to feel this badly again. So, from here forward, we will be getting a flu shot every year. I hope everyone gets a flu shot. I don’t know if it would have prevented us from catching this strain or not, but it maybe would have prevented it from being as severe.

I hear of those that die from the flu every year. A young boy from Beatrice recently passed away from the flu. God bless him. I have been keeping his family in my prayers.

When I hear of people dying from the flu, I never think it could be me. Until I was as sick as I was. No, I wasn’t go to die, or at least I didn’t think so. I wasn’t having breathing problems, thankfully. But, I did worry. Our symptoms were different every day. At one point yesterday, I was so miserable, I nearly went to the hospital. I have to be bad to consider that. But, thankfully, within a few hours, I began to improve so much! This morning when I woke up, I felt great! I still had a runny nose and a bit of a headache, but that was all.

We didn’t do anything today but rest. I didn’t want us to do much for fear of a relapse.

Please get a flu shot. Encourage your family and friends to do so too.

Life is too precious not to!

 

Thankful for the Music in my Life


I have been musically inclined since I was in grade school. I played the clarinet from the 5th grade all through high school. I still have my clarinet. Every once in a while, I get it out and play the school song! I have it memorized. I wonder how many times I played it in high school? Countless times.

When I was young, I had an organ. I don’t remember where it came from, but I loved it. I would play many songs on it. My favorite was Silent Night. A perfect song for this time of year. And, it wasn’t hard to learn!

It was a very small organ. The keys were numbered. I had a book full of songs, with the notes also numbered. I was so glad I could read music. I know what a whole note is, quarter note, eighth note and what a rest is, and how many counts the to rest. Whether it is 4 or 2, and so on.

I have missed playing music! I am a bit rusty after all of these years. But, I can still read music. I learned from two of the best band directors ever! I began playing the clarinet when I lived in Tekamah. I was in the 5th grade and began taking clarinet lessons from Joe Chapman, the band director at Tekamah-Herman school. I continued playing there through my freshman year of high school. We moved to Oakland in August of 1978. I was leery about playing in the band at the Oakland-Craig school. I was used to a large band, of over 90 band members. When I came to Oakland, there were maybe 30 band members. I almost quit. I am thankful every day that I didn’t quit. Bryan Johnson was the band director. He turned a small band program into one of the best around! My senior year, district music contest was in Tekamah. Contest is the bands from the same district each playing in front of a group of judges, hopefully getting the highest honor, a superior rating. It is also small groups competing for the same honor. I was in a small group. There were three clarinet players, me included, and one saxophone player. I had not competed in a small group before. To say I was nervous is an understatement. We began playing the piece we had practiced for endless hours when my worst fear happened. A pad underneath one of my keys on the clarinet fell out! I had to stop us. When a pad falls out, the clarinet won’t play one single note! Mr. Johnson fixed it. I asked if we could start over and the judge said no. We had to start where I stopped us, which was about 12 measures into the song. We nailed it after that, but I was sure we wouldn’t get a superior rating and it would be because of me! When I walked out the door, who did I run into? Mr. Chapman! He had been standing outside the door, listening to us! He told me I did the right thing and we would get the superior. He was sure of it. He also told me Mr. Johnson is a great band director and Oakland was lucky to have him! We did get a superior and so did the band, for the first time ever in Oakland-Craig’s history! I cried that day. I was so happy. It was a day I have never forgotten and never will.

Mr. Johnson passed away six years ago and Mr. Chapman passed away recently. I was blessed to have known them. And blessed that they guided me throughout my band years. I will cherish my memories of them always.

I have wanted an electric keyboard/piano for years. I think of my organ all the time, and I missed it so much that I had to have one. I wanted to learn again. I want to keep the music in my life, not just listening to a radio, but playing it through my fingers! So, I bought myself one for Christmas. I ordered a book to help me learn more. I also have spend a lot of time on youtube learning songs. The first song I wanted to learn was Amazing Grace. Then I played Jingle Bells and Silent Night for the Christmas season, and Silent Night in memory of my organ that also sent me on this journey. I have a lot to learn. I will never by no means be a pianist. I am doing this for me. Music has always been important to me. I want to continue playing and learning. I may get my clarinet out again soon!

You are never too old to learn!

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

My Grandma Sundquist’s Christmas Cup


I have certain possessions of other family members that have passed on that I treasure dearly. They don’t have a dollar value, but they do have a memory value. Memories don’t have a price tag. They are priceless.

When my Grandma Sundquist passed away, I was blessed to receive a few items that belonged to her. The one I enjoy this time of year is a coffee cup.

What is so special about a coffee cup? First of all, it was my grandma’s. Secondly, it is a Christmas cup. I enjoy drinking coffee during the Christmas season from her cup. That may sound silly to you. But, I can picture her drinking coffee from this cup. I can’t say that I remember that. I don’t. I wish I did. So, I use my imagination. I have such wonderful memories of her! And, yes, she enjoyed coffee or hot tea in the mornings. I am not a hot tea fan, but I love coffee! I am enjoying a cup at this moment from grandma’s cup.

This morning, while drinking coffee, I have been taking a trip down memory lane. Grandma would hang a stocking for each of her grandkids on the hand rail of the stairs. I love stocking gifts. Jeff and I still put something in each other’s stocking! But, the stocking at grandma’s was so special, because it came from grandma! I also remember getting pajamas from grandma. I don’t know if kids today consider pajamas much of a gift, but I did. I actually looked forward to getting new pajamas!

I hope all of you are making memories this year, and reminiscing of the years gone by. I find myself reflecting back to all the Christmases I have been blessed to have, and all of the people I shared them with. Especially those that are gone now. The love shared and the memories made with them are precious. I believe that is how we keep them alive, in our hearts, minds and our soul. Never to be lost, always to be cherished.

I wish all of you the Merriest of Christmases! Hug your loved ones and make the best of memories! God bless all of you!

My grandma’s coffee cup. Photo credit/Denise Gilliland, Editor and Chief, Kat Country Hub.

Rules to Live By


7 Rules of Life

  1. Make peace with your past so it won’t disturb your present.
  2. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  3. Time heals almost everything. Give it time.
  4. No one is in charge of your happiness, except you.
  5. Don’t compare your life to others and don’t judge them. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  6. Stop thinking too much. It’s alright not to know the answers. They will come to you when you least expect it.
  7. You don’t own all the problems in the world

Busy, busy, busy!


4 days and counting! Is everyone done shopping for Christmas?

I am not! I have one person to buy a gift for, Jeff.

Every year, we go through this. I ask and ask him what he wants for Christmas, and every year, he says he doesn’t know. I was going to get him a coat. But, not now. Whitney and Tri gave Jeff a gift card to Cabelas specifically for a coat. I am back to square one, which is no where.

We are going shopping. Anybody that knows me is aware of how much I detest shopping, especially at Christmas time. I am an Amazon girl! But, it is too late for that! So, shopping it is. I am sure the crowds will be unreal! It seems like every time I go shopping, everyone else knows I am coming, so they all pack into the stores I am going to!

I also have to buy yarn, so look out Hobby Lobby! I am coming! I have two baby blankets to crochet! I am so excited. Our daughter, Whitney, is pregnant. Her and Tri are expecting their third child June! Whitney’s best friend, Ashley, a second daughter to us, is expecting a baby in May! She is having a boy, so I know the color of yarn I am buying to make his blanket. Whitney and Tri aren’t finding out what they are having. Since they already have a girl and a boy, they don’t want to know. They have all they need for this baby, boy or girl, so they want to be surprised this time. So, I am buying some neutral colored yarn for this blanket. I already have the pattern picked out. I am going to use the same pattern for both of them. I need to get started right away! I see many, many hours of crocheting in my future. I wouldn’t have it any other way! I am up early every morning, crocheting something! I enjoy the peaceful time of the early morning, relaxing and crocheting before beginning the day. I am excited for both of our girls! These two babies are sure to be friends for a lifetime!

I actually think I will enjoy this shopping trip! And, no matter now much or little fun it is, I am spending it with my husband. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Plus, we are going out to eat. Not fast food! Not a fan of that stuff. But a romantic date night out! So, shopping stress will be worth every minute!

Have a great weekend. There are only two weekends left in 2018. Enjoy them. Have a Merry Christmas. Make precious memories!

A quote for Me!


Quotes

I am stronger because I had to be, I am smarter because of my mistakes, happier because of the sadness I have known, and now wiser because I have learned. (not my quote but it is me)

Christmas Blessings to All


How time flies!

Is it just me, or does time fly by faster now?

Maybe it is my age. I don’t know. It just doesn’t seem possible that Christmas is five days away! Where did summer go? We really didn’t have much of a Spring or Fall. Today is the last day of Fall. Winter begins tomorrow. We have already had cold and snow. I think they need to change the beginning and ending days of the seasons. Mother Nature seems to have her own ideas as to when each one will begin and how long each season will last.

We have also been blessed so far this December. The weather the last several days has been beautiful. I have enjoyed many beautiful walks lately. The sunset last night was a sight to behold. I love capturing nature’s beauty in a picture. I look at the photos and am reminded how beautiful life is, how precious life is and how none of us should take a moment for granted.

I enjoy every part of my life. I am blessed and very thankful for all I have. I am not talking about material items. I am talking about the people in my life. I have been married to the love of my life for 22 years! We have been together for 24 years. Another reference to how fast time goes by. I remember when we were dating. I remember vividly the day he proposed. A snowy December day, Jeff proposed to me on a bridge at the Troll Stroll in Oakland. I cried and said yes! Every day since has been a treasure. I am also blessed to have a daughter that is also my friend. We talk every day. She is also happily married, has two beautiful children and is expecting their third child in June! Jeff and I are so happy for them! We are also very excited to welcome another grandchild into our lives. Our son-in-law, Tri, is a great dad and he is also very good to us. Does life get better? I don’t think so. Penelope and Rowen, Whitney and Tri’s kids and our grandkids, come to stay with us quite often. They sure keep us busy, but we love it! Watching them grow is cherished blessing. I don’t know how it got started, but I call Penelope Peeps! I haven’t nicknamed Rowen, other than to call him Rowie sometimes. I think every grandparent thinks their grandkids are the best, and they are right, they are!

When I look back, I realize every part of growing, every part of our lives, from adolescence through adulthood, plays a part in who we are as we get older. The trials and errors of life determine who we are as we get older. Hopefully, we become wiser as we get older. I hope I am. I try anyway. I have heard some people dread aging. Why? There is only one alternative to aging.

As President George H.W. Bush said, “The goal is to die young as late as possible.”

God Bless all of you! May Santa give all of you the joy of Christmas.

 

Quotes


I wonder how many families feel this way???

The more dysfunctional, the more some family members seek to control the behavior of others.     

The Christmas Season


What is your favorite Christmas show/movie?

Mine is Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer! I have watched it at least 3 times this year! I don’t doubt I will watch it several more times before Christmas Day. I have the dvd and also have it on the dvr. I watched it on tv too. Jeff teases me because I am watching the commercials too and wouldn’t have to. I don’t mind. I have watched it with commercials all of my life!

I also enjoy A Christmas Story. I like the humor behind it and who can forget the lamp in the window!

Who can forget Christmas Vacation? I believe Clark Griswold has been the inspiration for many who light up their houses for Christmas! A Griswold Christmas would be a memorable one indeed.

There are so many Christmas shows to choose from. Hallmark has so many shows to watch, I don’t know how anyone can keep up! I have only caught a few of them this year.

Christmas is an amazing and wonderful time of the year. The Christmas spirit seems to spread to everyone, bringing joy and happiness to everyone it touches.

Unfortunately there are those that aren’t blessed with the Christmas spirit. Not because they don’t like Christmas, but because life has been hard on them in any number of ways. Maybe they have lost a loved one, or lost their job or maybe they don’t even have a home. There could be any number of reasons that someone doesn’t welcome Christmas. There are those that hurt so much that Christmas compounds their pain. I don’t doubt that many of us have felt the same pain at one time or another during Christmas. I know I have.

There are many ways to give back, to help those in need. I try to do what I can. We have been giving to the local food bank. I do believe in giving back, helping those in need. I don’t do it to feel good about myself, I do it because I have had hard times. I know how it feels to be in a dire situation. I don’t want others to suffer too. I can’t help everyone, but every little bit counts. I can’t stand the thought of people, especially children, going hungry.

Let’s keep those in need in our thoughts and prayers this Christmas season. Let’s keep those suffering through the loss of a loved one in our prayers this Christmas season. Let’s also do this year round. People need help and prayers every single day, not just at Christmas.

God Bless all of you.

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