Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bad Labs calls for Healthy Diet

Life has been busy - I recently had my annual labs drawn and the results opened my eyes to how poorly I have been eating over the last six months.  Yes, I am a vegetarian but an unhealthy vegetarian.  According to my labs I am anemic and pre-diabetic.

Now the pre-diabetic stuff is the extra 10 pounds I have gained in six months and the 10 pounds I need to loose before the extra 10.

So I started looking at healthy recipes that I could make quickly.  I found this awesome recipe for
Turnip and Butternut Squash Soup.  I love turnips and butternut squash so I had to try it - but, I made my veggie style.

Turnip and Butternut Squash Soup
2c Turnips, cubed
2c Butternut squash, cubed
1 medium onion, diced
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter
1 quart Vegetable broth or chicken broth
1 tbs honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat veggies with butter and olive oil over medium heat until browned and a little soft. About ten minutes. Add vegetable chicken broth and honey. Let simmer for about 20 mins until veggies are tender. Serve hot. Season to taste.
What is your favorite healthy soup?

Friday, October 02, 2015

Focusing on fall - Mums

Friday is football in the south. Tonight we drove to Jackson,MO. to watch our grand some play football. There is an awesome vegetable stand that sells gorgeous fall Mums.

The Big Man stopped today so I could just look, well just looking got me 6 mums for the front yard. 

Fall mums are a tradition. We had several that would come up every year. Last year. I had my grandson weed my flower bed and mums looked like weeds. 

Thanks to the Big Man we will be replacing the "weeds" with Fall Mums.
Do you grow Mums?

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Staring Fall with Focus - Simple Living

I have decided at the last minute to join a 31 Day-Writing Challenge. My focus for the 31-days of October is simple living. Every day of October you should check back to see how I am learning to live simple and focus on the moment. 

To help me remember and learn to enjoy the simple life, I will be reading Simply Tuesday with Bloom (in)courage book club.  

Ya'll know how I try and try to stay organized with my busy life, always looking for ways to stay find more time, to slow down.  I love my iPhone and my planner.  But, I often do not have them with me, especially when I am seeing patients.
So the Big Man bought me an Apple Watch. Today is day one with the watch, so I am undecided if the watch will be an organizational tool or a toy.  
Staring Fall with focus.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Finding Time For Me, In a Busy Season

This post has several links to great books - I am not a paid spokesman for any product. I simply want to share my thoughts on these great books and websites with you.

Yesterday was the first day of fall, a new season.  A season is defined by changes in the weather, ecology, and environment.  We often refer to times in our lives as seasons.  I have been in a extremely busy season for almost a year.  I have opened my own family practice as a new nurse practitioner, built and opened a boarding kennel with my husband, moved my 87 year old father in with me and tried to be a good Christian, wife, mother, and mom to my four-legged family.  I have not been very good to myself. I have quit running, quit practicing yoga, added fast food to my vegetarian diet, fallen behind on scrapbooking, missed Sunday morning church and rushed my time with God, I seem to be doing all the talking and very little listening. .In all the hustle and bustle, I feel like I am alone. In my business,  my family has become my sole support system, I have lost my sense of being in a community.

In a busy season we often overlook taking care of ourselves. Several months ago I picked Jessica Tuner's book The Fringe Hours.  I read when I can not sleep.  As I was reading, I realized I miss being creative. I tell my patients that they have to have balance in their lives, but I have lost my balance.
This week I started reading Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World, by Emily Freeman.  Yesterday, I stumbled upon an online book club, Bloom (in)courage. I am supper excited to find that the book club is reading Simply Tuesday.  So, I have made a decision. I am going to join Bloom (in)courage book club and spend some online time with a community of like-minded women.
Why an online book club?
I can read and post comments on my own schedule.
People I interact with come from a wider variety of places and backgrounds.
I will be involved with people who want to read the same genre

Have you ever participated in an online book club?
Want to join me? Go to Bloom Book club (in)courage and sign up today.

Happy fall, ya'll

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Finding Time For Me

I have been MIA for several weeks - life has been busy.  I was on call for 17 days. Being on call  means seeing 30+ patients a day, hospital rounds, and answering after hours call.  I found myself
working 16 hour days.  In my spare time I was trying to grade papers, keep my classroom discussions going, run the kennel, make sure Pops was taken care of and relying on the Big Man to take care of the house and our rescue dogs.  In the end - I was tired, miserable, and grumpy.

About 13 days into this crazy schedule the Big Man showed up in my office and announced we were going on a mini vacation - aka, I am taking you somewhere so you can sleep and not be disturbed.  Pick a place ??? Just in time a drug rep showed up in my office and suggested we go to Branson Missouri.  So, we made reservations, and decided we would travel without an schedule.

This mini vacation, also meant, I had to find someone to stay with my Dad, keep my dogs, and cancel borders.  What are a few more task...but on Thursday of last week, it all cam together,  we set off on our mini vacation. Branson Missouri bound - of course I slept most of the drive.
We had dinner the first night at the Dixie Stampede

We played Put-Put Golf
We rode the Branson Scenic Railway
I slept
We visited the Top of the Rock
I slept
It wasn't until Saturday morning when we started home that I begin to feel like I would be healthy again. 
Healthy means  - I wasn't going to fall asleep every time my bottom hit a chair, cry at the silliest things, or eat every piece of junk food I could find. 

I tell my patients everyday that stress is bad for you, stress can lead to chronic disease, stress can kill you...but, I wasn't listening.  So, today is a new day.  I spent Sunday at home, distressing.  I spent most of the day cleaning my studio, playing with dogs, a little cooking and a little scrapbooking (watch later this week for the scrapbook stuff0.

Our mini vacations is just what I needed to hit the reset button.
I am back - focusing on controlling my stress and finding ways to be healthy.
What do you do to be healthy?
~ Connie ~

Monday, July 13, 2015

When you Coummnity is Made to Look Bad

I live in a small town in Northeast Arkansas. I have lived her for 26 years. I truly believe that my little town is a great place to live - but lately the media has been focusing on the bad things that occur in our community.   Now don't get me wrong - we do have crime, I am not trying to cover up what has happened in our community. Every town / community in America has crime, but crime should not define a community -the people of the community define the community.

My favorite way to describe Blytheville is: "Blytheville may not have a lot of commercial things to offer, but Blytheville has a big heart."  I could list example after example of how the community has rallied to help out another member of the community. From simple bake sales to auctions to building a free clinic.

It is not just the local residents that care for each other, the local businesses and industry are active parts of our community.  Like Nucor-Yamoto Steel, Nurcor Steel Tenaris  and Lowes, who give both of time and resources. They are a huge part of our community. 

The community members know that Blytheville has has a period of decline, but they also know that Blytheville can over come anything.  Community member's big and small are working to revitalize Main Street Blytheville.  The Blytheville Ministerial Alliance works diligently to solve social issues and help build a stronger community.

So why is their crime in Blytheville? Like other communities in America, big or small, there is a segment of our community that feels hopeless and helpless. These members of our community lack the imagination to see a better life or the solid foundation to recognize that life is precious.  They often act out of anger, greed, or mental health issues (mental health is a whole other blog and then some - out mental health system is broken).

How do you change the image of Blytheville? How do you focus the media on the good and not the bad?  How long will it take to see a change?

Adding more police officers might keep residents safer, but the addition of police officers will have little impact on fixing the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness.  Lately our local elected officials seem to think that prayer is the answer.  I do believe that prayer can fix anything, but like the joke about God sending multiple rescuers to get a man off the roof - God has given us the intelligence, resources and tools to start fixing the issue, to rescue those need hope and help. We need to be active - this activity has start in homes and schools.

How long will it take to fix the social issues that lead to crime, a lifetime. Until then, pray that our elected officials use their knowledge and tools to help save those in our community that feel helpless and hopeless. Me, I plan to continue to focus on my community as having a "Big Heart" by continuing my work with the free health clinic and the local humane society and urging others quit talking about the issues and put your "Big Heart" to work, making Blytheville a better place to live and letting the world know - Blytheville is a good place to live.
~ Connie ~

Sunday, July 05, 2015

My Newest Obsession - Coop Dreams

A few weeks ago I was visiting the Chicken Chick I found  her post about a new reality TV show -
Coop Dreams.  Being a new chicken farmer (I guess that is what you call someone who owns backyard chickens) I set a reminder in my calender so I could watch the first show.

Getting home for work at midnight I decided to find the channel and set up the TV to record the first episode.  I had no clue the show would air at 5 AM...thank goodness for the technology to record TV shows.

So, first thing the next morning before my feet hit the floor I had to watch the first episode of Coop Dreams.   The Big Man watched it with me...the show was awesome.

We are struggling with where and how to build our feathered girls and boys a new coop.

As we try to incorporate the extra acres we purchased a year ago, into the land our home sits on we have encountered some water issues.  Deciding where to place our new coop, has been challenging.  Every time we decide on a location, we get rain, and we realize that location holds water or is all clay and the spot will not work.
We have finally decided on a location - no trees but we will build some shade into the structure.
This weekend my guys built me a bridge joining the two pieces of property - as you can see from the picture we had drainage put in a few weeks ago, that has resulted in me having to walk out to the road and back up the drive to the kennel to keep form walking in the mud.  I am so proud of the Big Man and the boys they built the bridge without out any plans, just their imagination.
If you notice the first telephone pole behind the bridge, that is the new location of the chicken coop.  We are going to have dirt hauled in before we start building so the girls will be out of the water, but we have a location!!!!! I am so excited. I can't wait to get the coop built - I also have a new swing that The Big Man is going to set up near the coop so I can have my coffee in the morning and watch the feathered children play.

We are also finishing up the youngest son's apartment.  That is the building you see in the background.  Stay tuned for the next couple of weeks as we work hard to build our little urban farm.
Do you ever wonder what to do with your land or your yard? For those that have chickens, any hints you want to share about building a chicken coop?