Monday, June 30, 2008

Positive vs. Negative--Which Will it Be?

So, is this glass half empty or half full? The negative personality sees it as half empty is what you'll say, right? The positive personality will always try to see the good in something.

I like this definition as found in an online dictionary: Attitude n. manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, esp. of the mind. Especially of the mind.

This is what is most important, whether you're trying to change something about your lifestyle habits ie. food, exercise or interactions at work, school, etc. How do you see yourself in your own mind? Are you charged positively or negatively?

I always thought of myself as a positive person. I laughed a lot, I listened to when other people spoke to me, I had good relationships with family, friends, and coworkers alike. Imagine how shocked I was about 4 years ago to hear a person, whom I considered to be one of my closest friends, tell my sister that I was very negative and that I needed to change my attitude. WHAT?!?! How dare she say this about me! I fumed about this for quite some time. "She's just jealous", I would say to myself. I had lost my weight by this time so it wasn't an issue and I'm glad that I didn't turn to food to make me feel better about myself. Her opinion didn't matter, other people saw me as positive, right?

I started to really listen to myself over the next little while and I started to see that I did have some negative tendencies. One thing I always had a hard time with was accepting compliments. How many times would I downplay an achievement? I was actually embarrassed that I looked good! How positive is that? Why tell someone that that pretty outfit I was wearing was on sale or, "that old thing?" So, I STOPPED apologizing and starting thanking people graciously for their kind words. "Yes, this is a flattering colour on me, thanks for noticing!" POSITIVE ATTITUDE

Towards the end of my career at Daimler Chrysler I was getting increasingly negative about what I was doing. I felt absolutely no achievement at the end of the day. The paycheque and time off with excellent benefits was all that was keeping me there. Could I really keep going like this and stay positive? Was this what I wanted out of life? NO! How blessed was I when the company offered buyouts not only to those eligible for retirement but also to junior employees like myself who wanted to leave? Extremely fortunate! What a positive step forward to any future plans when my request was accepted! How many companies offer an attractive package to leave them? POSITIVE ATTITUDE

Work hasn't been easy to find for someone who has spent almost 12 years in a factory but has a degree in English Lit with a Master's in Library Science! Now, I'll let you all in on something I wanted to announce at a later date. I applied to Teacher's College at the University of Windsor and have been accepted to the fall program! Now, you need to know that this is an extremely competitive program to get into. 200 or so positions, over 1000 applications. "What have I got to lose?" Never once did I tell myself, "don't bother, you'll never get accepted." Positive vibes over the months while I waited for the reply came in the form of a letter. "You've been accepted". POSITIVE ATTITUDE

So, this past winter I come across the Healthy You Challenge. I'm a first-time blogger and this has been such a great experience! I got a little sloppy in my lifestyle ie. exercise and eating. January had me at 32 lbs. over my acceptable weight. Here I am in June, 23 lbs. lighter, exercising just about every day and sharing thoughts, photos, recipes, ideas and ATTITUDES with people from all sorts of places, all kinds of walks of life, ages, you name it.

I now try to approach everything I do with a positive view. This is so true of my starting to run. Oh, in the beginning I said that I'd never be able to run 20 minutes. How could I know this without even trying? NEGATIVE! Oops! Try first, then decide whether you can or can't do it--POSITIVE ATTITUDE

So Pattie, in answer to your question, Attitude is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! Thanks for challenging me to do some writing apart from my update posts or garden posts. Lifestyle change is and should be a good thing and I hope that everyone can try to keep those positive charges flowing. When the negative rears its ugly head don't let it take over! Beat it over the head with a big stick! I have one in my backyard!!!


"It's Gone Daddy Gone"

Well, I took a break from my search on Sunday. I have a few more spots to look through but my feelings are that it's gone to that place where all things that we can't find go (anybody know where that place is?)

Saturday morning I went to the Great Lakes Lavender farm. It turned out to be a very pretty day to go out into the country. My mom and I drove there and took a little tour. Unfortunately for them, they lost approx. 50% of a specific variety as did some other farmers in Ontario. They didn't know why. You can see the brown bunches in this picture. I tasted a shortbread cookie made with lavender buds but wasn't crazy about it because it was slightly bitter. I did, however, get 2 new varieties of lavender! I just hope that we get a few days of dry weather so that I can plant them.

I was also honoured and very happy to get a comment from Christina to stop by her blog for a surprise. She definitely made my day by awarding me with my first blogger award. We share similar beliefs, are working on getting healthy and love our gardens. Wow, congratulations on getting 158 quarts of strawberries from your patch. I'd love to see some pictures!

Now, I need to choose 5 bloggers to award this too and it was hard to choose 5 because I'd like to give this to everybody who comments and lifts me up each week! But, 5 it must be so here they are in no particular order:

1. Susie We had such fun with our April challenge! She's the creator of wonderful awards and badges herself and helped me a lot with getting a bit more "techie".

2. Pattie A fellow gardener and a quilter! She has a wonderful attitude and has encouraged me to follow suit. I just need to work on my essay--today's the due date.

3. Katschi For taking a break from blogging but returning in the end. It's been tough for her this year but I'm so glad she hasn't given up on her journey to wellness! From a former line rat!!

4. Bonnie One of the first bloggers to comment on my fledgling blog. She's one of the gals I think I'd have a great time getting to know in person. We will have that coffee one day, I just feel it!

5. Sabine This lady has been through a lot with health issues but manages to get out into her garden. She has gone to the trouble of mailing a relative stranger (me!) a rhizome of her beautiful apricot iris!

Thanks to you all for brightening up my comment box. I could only choose 5 but you're ALL included. Here are the rules if you'd like to accept your award:

1. Pick five (5) blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.
2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Arte y Pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award (

Have a wonderful Monday and we'll see you tomorrow at HYC!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Later That Day...

After my post this morning I went on a run. It was 9:00 and the humidity was back with a vengeance! "They" are warning us of a very hot summer to come and I believe "them". It was hard but not like the last time I ran when it was humid. I would have cut my time by a minute but had to stop a few times to catch my breath. The humid air just knocked my lungs for a loop. So, I managed it in 48 minutes.

When I got home I was dripping wet--must have lost a half pound in sweat alone! I took a nice cool shower, used my Cherry Blossom products (Bath and Body Works--I love it! p.s. huge sale going on right now--Running Nan, what a coincidence that you mentioned all those coupons!) and went out to pick up a few things.

Now, here I sit having had my dinner after a fruitless search of the most obvious places. I may look again but I have to admit to being very frustrated and upset with myself for not taking better care. Thanks to all of you who commented today. All the tips and advice will be USED. I need to go through a lot of papers and just get rid of old stuff. I definitely need to institute a system like Lynn suggested and a little prayer has been said too (thanks Bev and Rebecca!). I know that I did a lot of cleaning and sticking things away because of the company I've had visiting this past month and if I sit back it just may come to me.

I will keep you posted and again thank you all and wish you a terrific weekend!

I'd Lose My Head if it Weren't Attached...

Did your mother ever tell you that when you would misplace things? Mine did, ever stating the oh so obvious.

I have been losing my mind over what I did with an important document that I received several weeks ago. I distinctly remember opening the envelope, reading what was in it, then telling myself "put this in an important place so you don't lose it". This was actually also stated in the very document--"put in a safe place". Well, I went to look in the "safe place" where I thought I had put it and guess what, it wasn't there! Help!!! I've tried to remember that day and all I can get is a picture of me opening it and placing it on the dining room table and then...

What do you do when you can't find something? I'm going to try for a run this morning to clear my head. I don't want to spend the entire day searching for this and I hate the thought of having to go to the office to start the procedure all over again ("oh, she's really professional, just received the paperwork and already lost it!")

Any tips?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bling Bling Bling!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI got to celebrate my 20 lb. loss with a spectacular fireworks display along the riverfront. As I mentioned in a previous post, Windsor and Detroit celebrate our freedom together with an amazing fireworks show on the Detroit River. It started out with our flags being flown by helicopter and was really moving! We are so lucky in North America and should never forget that there are so many people in the world that fight for survival every day.

Well, each week gets me closer to my goal. 15 more and I'm where I want and need to be! Whoopee! I hope that everyone else had a great week too. My eating has been pretty good although with my sister visiting this weekend there have been a few treats on the menu that aren't usually there! My exercise has gone well and I've been running 3 mornings in a row now. Each day I go a little bit farther and faster. This morning I ran 45 minutes straight. We'll see how it goes because the end of the week will bring us back to those hot, muggy temps once again!

I hope that everyone had a terrific weekend and I look forward to reading those posts later on Tuesday!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Clematis

Sabine, a fellow gardener (and Canadian!) was telling me that she was waiting for her clematis to bloom. I thought I'd post pictures of the four varieties I have growing in my front and back gardens.

The first two bloomed mid-May but should bloom again. The second two are at the back and are in full bloom now. The red is INSANELY huge and I'm going to have to come up with another plan for supporting it's weight. I have the tags with their breed on them but haven't the faintest idea where I've put them!

Can't wait to see yours!

What's Going On?

I've been pretty busy the last few days and the weekend promises to be just as busy so I wanted to do one more post before next Tuesday.

My sister is coming to spend the weekend with us. She's bringing a friend from work with her because on Monday, we in Windsor and Detroit will be starting the summer season off with the International Freedom Festival Fireworks. If I'm not mistaken, it is the biggest display in North America. It's so cool to be able to celebrate Canada Day and Independence Day together! Border cities can prove to be a pain (ie. bridge and tunnel hassles, traffic, etc.) but the positives far outweigh the negatives.

I've been on plan this week and need to remember that when they come! The hard part is always trying to get in some exercise because my routing tends to get thrown off. I also have a wedding to go to on Sunday so that will add to the busyness of the weekend. I just watched a video on Why The Weight and think you'll all enjoy it.

I did go strawberry picking again on Tuesday and picked slightly more than last time. I now have a freezer full of beautiful strawberries and shelves loaded with strawberry jam and preserves. If I do say so mayself, the jam is delicious! I spent all of yesterday and the day before cleaning and preparing them.

I've posted a little bit more of my "to be finished" project. I won't be coy with posting bits of it--on Tuesday I'll show off the whole thing. I took it apart from my working frame and was amazed by how all the colours work to create the whole.

I hope everyone has a great weekend doing whatever you're doing. See you all Tuesday!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Finish What You Start

It was a busy weekend! Much of it was spent in taking care of the strawberries. They froze beautifully! They'll be wonderful to have in the winter and I know that there are no pesticides in them. I also tried my hand for the first time at jam making. I quartered them and only mashed them a bit leaving it nice and chunky. I used half the sugar most recipes require and added pectin to make sure it thickened up alright and it too turned out great. I'm thinking of going out again today--I'll see how I feel after breakfast.

Now, you may be wondering what that picture is all about in this post. Well, it ties in with the title of today's post "Finish What You Start". I was having lunch with a girlfriend on Sunday. She's an avid knitter and is always making something for someone. She asked me if I had finished my project. What's my project you might ask? Oh well, I'm a cross-stitcher from many moons ago. My sister got me started on it 20 years ago and from my very first pattern I was hooked. I went into it whole hog. Not for me the simple little patterns. No, I went in for the large, complicated projects that took months, sometimes a year, to finish.

Well, I've finished all my patterns except for what you're looking at today. That blank space is all that is left of an enormous pattern of a famous piece of art. When it's unwrapped and I look at what I've done I'm amazed at the detail and broad range of colours that are in it. Come back tomorrow and I'll unwrap a bit more of it for you.

So, another goal for this summer is to finish that project. The HYC is going well for me and I've lost 2 more inches this past week. No weight but I feel great. I don't want to let the numbers rule me and I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing. I won't quit and I'll finish this "me" project too.

Is there something that you have sitting around waiting to be finished? If so, what's holding you back?

Let's finish what we start and have a great time doing it!

*SPECIAL NOTE: Simple math problem that I solved this week. Manuela+Heat/Humidity=Bad Run. I actually tried running again and had great runs yesterday and Sunday. Yesterday was the farthest I've ever run and I felt great! No humidity and it was cool so that may very well have been the problem. Nan, tried the skort and I didn't like it. Too clingy for me. Guess I'll stick with my shorts :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Strawberry Fields Forever"

What a bumper crop of strawberries there is this year! The cooler weather in the beginning has made for some gorgeous berries. Yes that's me in all my picking glory. I want you to know that I do clean up pretty well!

I picked 19 litres which is approximately 19 quarts. Most will be for eating, some jam and then freezing for smoothies in the winter.

I'll say one thing. It's good that they don't weigh you before you start because I ate, and ate and ate... Trust me, I had enough for me and the rest of you too!

Hey, you've got to see if they taste as good as they look!
Have a great day all!

Know Your Limits

It's a beautiful morning, although it promises to get quite warm today. I'm off to pick strawberries but wanted to post a short thought this morning.

Yesterday I woke up early feeling wonderful and thought that I'd try for another run. My previous attempt was on a warm, muggy morning and left me feeling tired and irritable. I started off really well. It was warm but the humidity hadn't gotten too high yet. After about 10 minutes I started feeling breathless, just like the last time. I was getting warm and NOT enjoying the experience. Somehow I managed to push through a 25 minute run but I just didn't have fun.

I'm beginning to think that I'll never be a true runner. Maybe it's the warm weather--who knows. I was bored and irritable even though I had my music going. I've decided that my outdoor exercise will consist of biking and walking early or late in the day. I'll have another go, maybe, with the running and see how it is.

Is there anything you prefer to do? Or do you make yourself do things that are supposed to be good for you even though you hate them? I think it's good to be able to accept that we can't do EVERYTHING and need to set limits for ourselves. As long as you're doing something, it's all a positive move forward.

And now, off to the strawberries!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

June Goals

Well, back to business. I must confess that when it came to my blog posts last week, much of it was consumed with setting up my party. I took forever playing around with various slide programs and trying to set up music to play at the same time.

The party was a success and I'm excited that so many of you showed up so I'm sending you a thank you once again.

I've joined the exercise challenge for June yet again. I'll enjoy this one more than the abs focused one (check out the sidebar). I'm also doing to blog parties which were the easiest to incorporate into what I'm already doing. If you're looking for something fun check out Blogger's Biggest Loser and Why Drive When You Can Walk or Ride. Thanks to Thinking Think and Grumpy Chair for chairing these challenges. I'm already having fun!

So, goals for June are to just keep at what I've been doing because I'm already seeing results! I'm happy to say that last week I lost 4 pounds finally getting me to 15 pounds gone and then some. I realized that I haven't been doing all the things I needed to and had to start practising what I preach! I know that I'm rather competitive and seeing the results of some of you out there really got me to thinking "Why not me?" Uh, 'cause you're not doing what you ought to be!

I'm already doing well with things like water (it's pretty much all I ever drink), eating (really loading up on fruits and veggies--ooh, I'm seeing cherries in the stores!). My focus always blurs a bit when it comes to exercise so I will:

1. Commit to going to the gym twice a week, by bike, to do weights and swim.
2. Continue with my home workouts using various pilates dvd's.
3. Do my June challenge faithfully 3x a week.

Well, should be easy right? I hope so because I've got some exciting things happening in the near future and I want to be at my best physically for them.

Good luck with your goals for June and into the future. Have a happy Tuesday!Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Monday, June 9, 2008

Thank You Ladies

Thank you ladies for making my garden party such a huge success! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

What a fantastic turnout! The weather was wonderful and you all look beautiful in your lovely summer outfits. I hope that we could do this again sometime!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Take a Walk in My Garden

Welcome to my garden party!

I have some snacks so help yourselves to the goodies.

Take a walk in the garden and breathe in the fragrance of the peonies. The roses have just started to bloom this week for your visit. They are old-fashioned roses and have a beautiful aroma that hints at romance. The irises are finishing their work for the year but soon they will be replaced with daylilies.

Enjoy your time in my garden and may you take a piece of nature'
s beauty with you throughout the rest of your week. *Lora asked and the answer is yes, these are all in my garden.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Garden Party Invite

I'd like to invite all those who visit every week to come to a "garden party" this Thursday. Stop by and "smell" the roses!

(My week has been good--results for May are in an earlier post)

Hope to see you all!