Friday, December 31, 2004

New Year's Superstitions

                              

This is the last day of the year in 2004. Time to pay bills, clean house, buy groceries and review the good and the bad from this year.

New Year traditions/supersitions...

New Year's Meal... Fish and shrimp for prosperity, black-eyed peas for good luck, rice for abundance in life, 13 grapes for each full moon of the year, something sweet for a sweet new year, something chocolate for love and to comfort the soul, bread to never go hungry, salt for a flavorful life, wine for a cheerful and joyful life. 

Clothes... Dress in white for a new, fresh start.. Wear red underwear for love. For prosperity, wear  gold underwear and wear something with pockets because you must always have money in your pockets at the stroke of midnight. Some people wear two pairs of underwear on New Year's Eve: one red and one gold. =.) I have looked for a gold bra and panty set for years and havent found it yet, so I will be wearing red instead. =.)

Home... Get rid of things you dont need to make way for the new. For good karma, give old clothes to charity on New Year's Eve. Even if it is only one bag full, God will reward you. On New Year's Eve, set out three Chinese coins under your welcome mat. On New Year's Day, bring the coins inside your home, tie them together with a red ribbon and hang them somewhere behind your door. Get rid of old dust rags. Sweep your entire house or apartment to get rid of old vibrations (even if you have carpet) and sweep the dust outside your home. Throw out the trash. Buy new rags, new broom, and mop but do not use them until January 1st. On January 1st, open all of the doors and windows in your home to let out the old year and let in the new year. Sweep your entire home to sweep in good luck and good vibrations but do not pick up the dust.

(Crystal Dragon Vision)

If you have some more traditions or superstitions, please include them in comments section below...

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Heart, Body, & Mind

   

Last night, I dreamed that my heart, my body, and my mind are at battle with each other. My body kept wanting to feel alive, my heart kept wanting to feel loved, but my brain kept trying to convince them that it is only trying to protect them from being hurt.

How can you protect us from everything? Yes, we have known hurt, and we have known deepest despair, but to overprotect us is not healthy. Stop hiding us behind the extra weight and allow us to break free from this Glass Box.

The people who want to hurt me when I am slim and  beautiful are not important. The men who want to use me only for your body are not important and are not worth my time. There is still hope that there might be someone out there who will take the time to get to know me for the beauty that lies inside myself, but even if I live the rest of my life alone, it is better than living my life with someone who doesnt love or appreciate the real me. 

The pages of my life are already written and no one can keep from me what is rightfully mine. 

In 2005, the reflection of love that is within me will break free from the Glass Box.

A dream is only a dream until it becomes a goal.

Keeping a public diet journal is very scary. When I started this journal, I was very committed to losing weight. This entry may sound harsh, but depending on others for support doesnt work, because most people dont stay and when AOL wanted to feature my journal, my friends got angry and left. Because I felt that I didnt deserve the honor, I turned down AOL to feature my journal. How I regret that. Perhaps next year, I will have another opportunity to be featured...

When I was doing well, I was on a roll and it didnt matter that no one was reading my journal. I depended on my own motivation and I was deeply committed. Then people started reading my journal. When I started having more and more health problems, I needed some support, but I think people didnt want to hear about my health problems, because as my health problems increased and my progress slowed down, my readers began to disappear.

I suppose a lot of my readers gave up on me, but even if I am back where I started, I havent given up hope, and the motivation within myself is what I must depend on if I am ever to reach my weight-loss goals. It would be great to have a friend whom I could depend on throughout this weight-loss journey, but I must accept that my greatest strength has and will always come from within myself.

     

Today, I got back the results of my blood tests. I am very low in calcium, and as expected, my thyroid's problems have tripled. My infection has spread into my bladder and into my ears. Back to more anti-biotics...                        

Monday, December 27, 2004

The Dreaded Weigh-In

  ....weighing in after the holidays... actually, I did well to lose a few pounds before the holidays, because if you go back to November, I have lost a pound. Yay moi. Still feeling unpleasantly plump, however... Must presevere and start anew.

God is a God of Restoration. Dont let a season of mourning turn into a lifetime of mourning. Dont let your tragedy turn into your identity. ~ Joel Osteen

Little STEPS bring big REWARDS.......~ Winivere2002

                       View Large Image

Images by Corbis...http://www.fotosearch.com/corbis/diet-and-exercise/DGT421/

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Words of Ram

Woman & Glass ~ Alan Goldstein Photography http://www.goldsteinphoto.com

My friend, Ram, is always playing the clown. It is a rare to none moment when he says anything serious. Much to my surprise, on Christmas Eve, he told me this...

There is something very different about you. You are very selective about your friends. You take your time to get to know someone until that friendship is earned, but once that friendship is earned, you become a lifelong friend. I never know when you are going to call, but it seems that you always call at just the right time.

What I have noticed about you is that no matter what happens to you, you always have hope. I really admire that.

http://www.cgmouse.com

Saturday, December 25, 2004

A Texas White Christmas

And then, God walked in... again... Imagine a tropical climate that never sees snow.   Today, God sent us snow!   How wonderful Thou art that on this day, You should bring this miracle to us...

The Christmas Story, Part 2.

            

When they were at the Census, it was time for Mary to give birth. Joseph and Mary tried to find shelter for the night.  Arriving at Joseph's ancestral home, they found it already full of other family members who had arrived earlier. While the exact reason space was not made for a pregnant woman is unknown, it probably indicates the house was full of elder members of Joseph's family, who had priority.                               

Mary and Joseph spent the night in a stable, surrounded by the ox and the ass, in a room that stenched of manure and filth.

And so, the Virgin gave birth to the Son of Man in the filthiest place in the world. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and she laid him in a manager where the animals chewed the cud of the miraculous flowers of spring. 

Up to this time, the kings of the earth and the people who were materialistic worshipped the oxen and the ass. On this glorious night, the first to worship the baby Jesus were the oxen and the ass.

Oxen Birth of Jesus by Powell Onager        

Friday, December 24, 2004

The Christmas Story/Part I.

Ecce Ancilla Domini (The Annunciation 

Ecce Ancilla Domini (The Annunciation)~Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to visit a girl named Mary. Mary lived in a town in Galilee called Nazareth. She was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David.

The Angel told Mary: Do not be afraid, Mary. You have found favor with God. You have been chosen to conceive the son of God by the power of the Holy Spirit. Your cousin Elizabeth is now with child and her son will prepare the way for the work of your Son.

To which Mary replied: Behold the servant of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to His will.

La Visitation ~ B√©atrice Van Ez - Le Perru (1954-    )

Mary was surprised to see that what the Angel Gabriel predicted was true. Her cousin Elizabeth was beyond her child bearing years, but she was with child.

Upon seeing Mary, Elizabeth said: Blessed are you among women. Who am I that you should come to me? The moment I saw you, the child within me jumped for joy, for even he knew that you are the one who was chosen.

And Mary stayed with Elizabeth until John the Baptist was born and then she returned to Nazareth.

In those times,when someone was engaged, it was almost like they were married, except they did not live in the same house. The engagement was a very serious commitment. In fact, the only way to break off an engagement was to get a divorce. Joseph was very disappointed when he discovered that Mary was pregnant. In those times, a girl had to be a virgin before she was married or she would be stoned to death. But being a reasonable and decent person, Joseph  decided not to let anyone know about Mary's pregnancy and he quietly planned for a divorce from Mary.

But as he lay there, sleeping, God sent the Angel Gabriel to him. And the Angel explained to Joseph: Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, Joseph, for Mary has shown great favor with the Lord. Mary has conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and she will give birth to the son of God and his name shall be Emmanuel, which means God is with us.

So Joseph did as the Angel asked and he took Mary as his wife. ~ Matthew 1:24

Stained Glass Windows of St. Joseph's Parish, 1535 Erie St, Racine, Wisconsin

Mary riding a donkey, led by Joseph

But it was time to register for the Census, so Joseph took his pregnant wife and placed her on a donkey and they traveled to Bethelem, because Joseph was a decendant of David and that is where he had to register. 

 

 

 

Mary and Joseph at the Census- mosiac from the church in Chora, Kariye-Camii

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Could this be Christmas?

Everybody at work is talking about the woman who killed a pregnant lady to take her unborn baby. Surprisingly, the baby survived the mutilation.

Also, my boss had a rat living in his truck. He set out pellets and the rat died inside his truck. Yesterday, he put on plastic gloves to go look for the rat. It made it's way into the insulation in his truck. He measured the tail at 8 inches long, not to mention the size of the rat. 

Seems that there are not very many people looking for work this week. Unemployment is up to 10.7. Today we only had five people come in to look for work.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Three Causes of Illness

I have been trying to recover from this UPTOWN FLU since last entry. I lost my voice for about seven days. I am finally able to speak, but I am still pretty sick. My coworkers kid me about it and make comments like:  Stop shouting!... or... I'll see if she wants to talk to me today... It's funny that when your voice goes, people dont know how to communicate with you. Somehow, you dont seem as much fun to talk to because they know you have nothing to say. =.)

My grandaughter Bella has been so sick also. She has had four ear infections already and the doctors say she may have to have tubes inserted into her ears. Oh so sad that she has experienced illness so early in her life..

The experts say there are three things that cause illness...

1) Malnutrition~ Some of us do not get enough calories and some of us to not get all the nutrients that our bodies need.

2) Dehydration~ Our bodies are made up primarily of water. We lose water from our bodies everyday by everyday body funcitons including breathing, and if there are other activities other than just being perfectly still, we lose even more water. Most of us do not drink enough fluids.

3) Stress~ My life is full of this! Need to take more time outs, more time to relax.

 

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Self-Image

La Mujer en el Espejo

If I could give you one gift, my friend, I would give you the ability to see yourself as others see you, so you would know how very special you are. ~ unknown

Do you love me because I'm beautiful, or am I am beautiful because you love me? ~ Oscar Hammerstein, II

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched ... but are felt in the heart. ~ Helen Keller

A weed is no more than a flower in disguise~ James Lowell

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run her fingers through it once a day. ~ Audrey Hepburn

A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, discipline, fortitude, and integrity can do a great deal to make a woman beautiful. ~ Jacqueline Bisset

Judge all things by their content and not by the beauty of its wrapping. ~ Joseph P Martino

A thorn defends the rose, harming only those who would steal the blossom. ~ Chinese Proverb

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart ~ Kahlil Gibran

Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.

Sex appeal is fifty percent what you've got and fifty percent what people think you've got. ~ Sophia Loren

We all have the extraordinary coded within us, waiting to be released. ~ Jean Houston

Thursday, December 9, 2004

WHO AM I??!

This entry is dedicated to a new reader who has raised personal questions about who I am...

  I am Win. I have two married daughters. Last year, they both had babies, so I have two grandaughters. I live about six hours away from them in a city in south Texas, a few minutes away from the Mexican border, but to me, Corpus Christi will always be home......                      

View of Marina

I moved to lower South Texas about four years ago, because my mother and my brother had not talked in 15 years. It was very hard for my brother to forgive my mother, but last year, I finally got them talking. Unfortunately, I lost a lot of money last year when I fell, and I havent made enough money so far to return to the area that I love. But then, I dont know where God wants to put me, yet.

I have always lived close to the ocean, but now I rent an upstairs one-bedroom apartment with a balcony and a view of the swimming pool. Big difference! Big! I miss the sailboats going by... Oh well... My companions are an African grey cockatiel named Tidbit  and a beta named Galileo.

Tidbit killed her mate the day before Thanksgiving the first year I lived here, so she is a widow. Galileo has never been married. =.) I guess we have a "three's company" kind of relationship.

For the past four years, I have been working for an employment agency. I am a job developer. I find jobs for people, I provide career counseling, I facilitate unemployment orientations in English and Spanish, and I am taking an online course to become a certified employment specialist, which I already am, but I will be one of the few to have the certificate. I like my current job, because it is only 40 hours a week. The first time I got off at 5:00 p.m., I didnt know what to do with myself, and to top it off, I get two whole days off every week on Saturday and Sunday. I no longer have to carry a phone or a beeper, I get to sleep all night without being interrupted, and I get to drive my car to work and back, period. WOW! What a big change for me!

Career: I have a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and I am a Qualified Mental Health Professional. My career has included investigations in child abuse, crisis intervention and suicide prevention, counseling in a jail, staff facilitator for youth substance abuse camps, case management and supportive counseling of the mentally ill and criminally insane, prison ministry, St Vincent de Paul Society ministry and crisis intervention, career case management of welfare recipients, and now vocational counseling and job development. Yes, I am and will forever be a Superhero.

 Once you become a Superhero, it is hard to be an ordinary human being. =.)

I miss my line of work and I miss the money, too, but I dont miss the crazy hours and the wear and tear on my car. At my last job, I wore out five cars in eight years.

Hobbies: I love fine art and I like to draw. One of my sketches made it to Washington, D.C., and I used to do a comic strip called "La Reina." I want to write and illustrate a children's book.

When I was in high school, I would design clothes and make them the same day.  I made all of my daughter's formal gowns when she was in high school, and the fashions that she wore when she was in a beauty pagent.  I especially favor the glamour fashions of the 1930's, 1940's and early 1950's and the fun fashions of the 1970's and 1980's. I used to make most of my clothes, and I have some material and patterns ready to sew up some fashions when I lose a little more weight.

In my youth, I used to run at the track  and I would workout six days a week,  and then, I would go dancing once a week....  When I was healthy and at top form, I could lift up to 210 lbs. That's a lot for a little girl. =.)

Life Lessons: I have survived physical abuse, incest, and sexual abuse in my childhood and in my adult life. I have been a single parent most of my life and we were homeless for almost 2 years. I have been close to death more times than I can remember. I had a life-death experience, and the doctors said that I would never walk again but I proved them wrong, time and time again! Yay! Because of my many health problems and the fall last year, my exercise program has become very limited, but I continue to work and I continue to serve the Lord by using the lessons that life has taught me to help others to lead more productive lives.

That is my life in a nutshell. I have no current boyfriend, although Richard Gere keeps calling me and bugging me at work, but he knows I secretly love it! AND... I do date, because I am not dead. =.) 

The dot beside the mouth in my smile is my beauty mark. LOL...

Thank you for visiting my journal, my new friend. I hope you will continue to visit, and I hope we will always be friends.

Besos,

Win =.) 

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Hypothyroidism

As requested, this entry is dedicated to the reader who raised questions regarding my problems with hypothyroidism...

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism around 1990, but I believe that I have had it since I was about 8 years old, primarily because I have had problems with my throat for as long as I can remember. When I was 10 years old, the doctor removed my tonsils, because he thought that was the problem, but the problems with my throat continue to this day and my immune system continues to be very low. Hypothyroidism can lead to mental retardation in babies. I am fortunate that I am not mentally retarded.

Hypothyroidism develops when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. The thyroid hormone regulates your metabolic rate, or the way your body uses energy. The thyroid gland also regulates many of your body systems, so a lack of this hormone can greatly affect many of your body systems and may keep them from functioning properly. 

Illustration of The thyroid gland

The primary symptom that you are concerned about is gaining weight with little or no extra effort... gaining weight no matter how much exercise and dieting you do, but other symptoms also include extreme fatigue, memory loss and/or forgetting things, constipation, dry skin, difficulty tolerating extreme changes in temperatures, your hair gets dry and thinner, and problems with your period lasting more than 5 days. Because I would bleed for approximately 28 to 29 days out of the month, I had to have my uterus removed, so I havent had a period since I was about 26 years old.

Many doctors have told me that I will never lose weight as long as I have thyroid problems. They have told me that I will have to take thyroid medications the rest of my life. Some symptoms I can ignore, but the extreme exhaustion is the greatest obstacle to bear. Hypothyroidism can lead to death if the extreme weakness and fatigue progresses to a lack of consciousness (coma).

Because my faith is strong, I try not to accept many of my health problems, but I do not recommend that for everyone, because not everybody has a strong faith in God. I believe in the Power of the Mind and I believe in the Power of the Lord. After my car accident, doctors told me that I would never walk again, but I believe that I died and came back to life for a reason. I have been close to death more times than I can remember. I am living proof that you CAN lose weight with a thyroid problem. I cannot count the times that I have proved doctors wrong time and time again and my problems with my thyroid are no exception.

Trying to lose weight with hypothyroidism is very difficult. The secret to any weight loss program is to keep at it. Exercising doesnt have to be extreme, but it should be a part of any weight-loss program. Walking works for me, but since the problems with my back, I havent been able to return to my moonlit walks. I am trying to find the belt people use to lift heavy things to see if using the belt will help me to return to walking but I havent found it yet and I am not sure if it will work because I also have arthritis in my hip joints.

Diet and exercise will forever be a way of life for me. Eating healthy is important and lowering your cholesterol is important, a double whammy for me, because I also have problems with my heart. Foods rich in good cholesterol are a good choice; foods rich in bad cholesterol are not. I also have IBS and acid reflux, so I also have to limit foods that have too much acid.

In the past, I had a client who was told that he would never walk again. He had pins in his back and he was in a wheelchair when I met him. It took a lot of work for me to help him to understand that sometimes you have to allow your mind and your faith to help you do the impossible. Today, that man is a walking testimony.

To date, my thyroid is not functioning properly, but I have proved to myself that it is possible to lose weight with a thyroid problem.  I do not know if I will be able to get to my goalweight, but I have not lost hope of reaching it someday, for I truly believe that with the power of your mind and with the power of God on your side, all things are possible.

Monday, December 6, 2004

HOLIDAY RECIPES

Gingerbread People Cookies
From Cooking Light



 

IMAGE: http://members.aol.com/recipedepot/disapearingmilk.gif

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
1/2 cup molasses
1 large egg white
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons dried currants
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour and next 7 ingredients (flour through cloves) in a bowl, and set aside. Combine granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer 5 minutes. Add molasses and egg white; beat well. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed until well-blended. Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Working with 1 half of dough at a time (keep remaining half chilled until ready to use), roll the dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a heavily floured surface; cut with a 2 1/2-inch boy or girl cookie cutter. Place gingerbread cookies 1 inch apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Arrange currants on cookies as buttons. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks.

Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla in a small bowl. Spoon into a decorating bag or a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag with a tiny hole snipped in 1 corner of bag, and decorate as desired.

Yield:  4 dozen (serving size: 1 cookie)

CALORIES 59 (15% from fat); FAT 1g (satfat 0.2g, monofat 0.4g, polyfat 0.3g); PROTEIN 0.7g; CARBOHYDRATE 11.9g; FIBER 0.2g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; IRON 0.5mg; SODIUM 38mg; CALCIUM 13mg;

crab salad: mix 3/4 cup mayonnaise (you may use low fat), 1 1/4 tablespoons curry powder and 1/2 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese until well blended.  Fold in 1/2 pound of cooked crab meat (you may substitute surimi or imitation crab) that has been crumbled into small pieces, 3 medium stalks of celery diced, 3 stalks of green onions chopped, and salt and pepper to taste.


"Tell me what you eat, and Iwill tell you what you are."  -Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste

chocolate chip cheese log

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
Graham crackers

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually add sugars; beat just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Place cream cheese mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap; shape into ball. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, roll cheese ball in pecans. Serve with graham crackers. Yields one cheese ball (about 2 cups).
 

ZESTY CHEESE BALL

INGREDIENTS:

  • 16 oz cream cheese
  • 1 jar shredded, dried beef
  • 1/3 cup zesty Italian salad dressing
  • chopped pecans
  • crackers

PREPARATION: Mix all, chill, shape and cover with pecans. Serve with Townhouse crackers. .