Week #1 On Keto: How Goes It?

Well I have been on keto a week…sort of. My carbs are certainly lower than the average American, but I am not where I am supposed to be. My problem is I am in love with my iced coffees from McDonald’s. It is my start my day off right thing. I can’t drink black coffee, or any kind of coffee that doesn’t have flavor and cream. I was thinking, depending on carbs of course, that one way to start weaning myself off of coffee is to get a single serve machine and use my flavored creamer which is less carbs than my iced coffee at McD’s…I think. Other than that, I have done well!

Today was measure day, and while my weight had been 3 pounds down earlier this week, now it is only 1 pound down but that is still DOWN! My measurements were a little wacky. I find measuring very difficult. I have a picture that came with my nutrition journal, but I still think I missed a few measuring tape placements. Here is how it turned out though:

  • Neck is down 1/2 an inch. Not too likely to mess that one up.
  • Chest is up 3/4 an inch. Not good, but probably had more to do with placement on this one.
  • Bicep down 1 inch…I don’t think so.
  • Waist up 3/4 of an inch. boo!
  • Hips down 1/2 an inch…hoping that is right!
  • Thigh down 1/4 inch, I buy that one
  • Calf down 1/2 inch, maybe
  • Body fat down 0.2%, not much, but I will take it.

So overall for a first week I am happy. My weight, body fat and some measurements are down. I have done well eating vegetables and meat. I have done well avoiding carbs except for my addiction to iced coffees. At least it is McD’s and not Starbucks! Tomorrow I think I will start having mediums and not larges, and looking into how many carbs are in my creamer. There has to be a way to inch my way down. I cannot go cold turkey!

Photo by Harry Dona on Pexels.com

Oh and I haven’t had any carb cravings like pasta or rice or, in my case, potatoes. I have been very satisfied with what I have been eating. Breakfasts are a little difficult, that is where I am normally carb heavy, oatmeal, cereal, english muffin, bagel, etc. I don’t miss them, but I am struggling to replace them with something I like. This morning I had strawberries and pecans. I had some cheese on my plate but I didn’t like it.

I guess that about covers it. Can’t wait to see what happens next week!

My Introduction to Art

My First Foray

I started drawing when I was a kid, like most of us. I always drew a girl and then I was fascinated, not with the drawing, but with coming up with a story full of alliteration. The words were what I was interested in.

Then I got just a little bit older and I wanted to actually draw something that looked right. Mom bought me an art set, but the books were frustrating to me, what I wouldn’t have given for YouTube way back then! She even tried to enroll me in a course at the college during the summer. Sadly only I and one other girl signed up so they cancelled it. That really would have helped. My mom, meaning well, would critique what I had done. At 10 all you hear though is it isn’t right. So I was discouraged and quit.

It didn’t help that my personality was terrified of failure. I came from a family of successes. I never heard about the failures they had faced along the way, just the doing it right part. Sometimes I didn’t hear anything at all, like with aunts and uncles, I just knew they were successful at what they did. So what if I messed up? I’d feel small and like a failure and like I wasn’t a part of my own family. My personality couldn’t take that. And then…

“Just try it”

In my mid twenties I was having a conversation with a friend I had met on the internet. This was the toddler years of the internet, still no YouTube. I was on the phone with this friend and I was talking about how talented my grandmother was. She could paint, do ceramics, crochet, macrame, make candles, make Christmas decorations out of Pepsi cans, draw, she could do anything! She was amazing. “I would love to be able to paint like her” I said. My friend, an artist herself says to me, “Just try it. Go buy some inexpensive supplies and try.” She was my first real encouragement that I actually listened to. And I did try it and it turned out I could do stuff. Not all of what I did was good, but not all of it was bad either. It at least showed I had some talent. And I loved doing it.

From my mid-twenties to my late twenties I painted quite a bit, and drew some too. All just doing my own thing.

The Internet Grows Up

Finally we have YouTube. I had been away from art for awhile. We also had The Great Courses, and other lecture oriented sites. I decided to jump back in. But I didn’t want to do art so much to begin with as I wanted to do crafts. I had loads of supplies from my crafts and finally was in a position to go full tilt into art again. I could afford to sign up for Great Courses and take (still taking) a great drawing class. I thought why not go to the basics, I’ve never done them, it’s about time. I had the funds to get good supplies and even a nice easel, my old cheap one I couldn’t even figure out how to put together any more! And BOOM! I was at it again. I have paused on my class and been using what I have learned so far for an attempt at watercolors.

For encouragement I found doodlewash! Charlie and friends give prompts on what to paint each day. That has kept me active. And having the blog (going way back to that interest in language) has allowed me to show what I have done and how I am progressing. Sadly I need a lot of feedback to keep moving forward. But here I get that.

So that is how it went. I believe I have talent when you consider all the teaching I didn’t have. Now I am working on skill. Talent without skill (however you get that skill) really isn’t as great as people might think. I’ve played around with a lot of things now. But I find drawing, painting, and soft pastels are my favorite. It is joy. And I like joy!

Over the years…

Need Help with #WorldWaterColorMonth

I share these on both my facebook and twitter accounts. On facebook the hashtag automatically shows up so that I can be found. On twitter it does not. I am not, really really not, a twitter person. I tried putting a hashtag in the comment, but still nothing attaches to my painting. Just like everyone I want to be found. Well I suppose everyone wants that or why would they be here. How do I get my hashtag to show up on twitter when I share from here?

For those that are interested the answer is to put the # in the title. Then it shows in twitter and facebook! Yea!!!

Having a Bible Study Routine

Why It Is Important

Getting to know someone is a lot more than listening to someone else talk about them, or even having a discussion about them with others. And it is the same with Jehovah. Really if you want to get to know someone, to even become their friend, you have to spend some time with them.

Jehovah has made that possible by providing the Bible, a collection of books inspired by Him. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness.” So let’s talk about the word inspired for a moment. It isn’t like the movies here. Inspired here means that God either told the person what to say or He gave the person the specific thoughts and let them use their own words. But in every case it is God’s words and thoughts.

So why important? There is nothing Jehovah doesn’t know, including what is best for us. He created us and he knows what will make us happy. So getting to know him is really beneficial. But also he deserves the attention. In one way or another He is responsible for every good thing you have. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect present is from above, coming down from the Father of the celestial lights, who does not vary or change like the shifting shadows.” So it’s from Him, and he deserves to be thanked, worshiped and given the attention of a friend and father.

Where I Struggle

I am an up and down student/friend/child. I will do really well with my studies, and then I will slack off. But then I catch myself and get back to doing well again. We are after all imperfect humans. Right now I am at the struggle stage, which is a big point of me writing this, I have to jump back on the wagon again!

What Is the Routine?

Getting to know Jehovah is an everyday thing. There is just so much to know, so much we need to know we have to stay at it. And we forget so easily and don’t always pick up on stuff the first, second or twentieth time, we have to do it again and again.

  • First and foremost is reading the Bible everyday. I just read a chapter, unless I’m on Psalm 119, then I have to break it down. Or with other chapters that are shorter I might read 2. But the point is never to just read, but to try and get something out of it. Ask yourself questions: What was this about? How could I apply it to me? Who in this reading might I want to imitate? or not imitate? Why did Jehovah put this in here? What does it tell me about Jehovah? And so on.
  • I also do a daily text from our Examining the Scriptures Daily book. A short text meant to give us something to think about each day.
  • Twice a week I do personal study. Once for me alone, and once as a family. Pick a topic, research it, discuss it. A great place to find topics and good research is jw.org.
  • Then I prepare for my meetings each week, that is twice a week as well. How might I answer the questions in the Watchtower or Our Christian Life and Ministry workbook. And when I am there, try to participate.
  • Reading the magazines. We now only release magazines once every other month. Those are only 16 pages long. So, it isn’t a big task.
  • Prayer. This should happen throughout your day, everyday. Pray about everything! Give thanks, ask for what you need, ask for help, share your thoughts and feelings. Jehovah is interested! He cares!
  • Last is to spend some time each day meditating on what Jehovah has given us to think about. This isn’t a time to clear your thoughts, it is a time to focus them. Pick a topic, scripture, concern, and just think about how Jehovah feels about them. Think about how Jehovah has or will teach you about them. Focus on that topic and Jehovah.

So no small task, but really it only need take up an hour throughout your day. Maybe on study days an hour and a half. If you plan well. And I promise, truly I promise, it will better your life.

Also I would encourage you to visit our meetings. Right now in many places we are no longer meeting in large groups, but if you request a visit someone will be in contact with you and if possible will help you attend a meeting. These visits may be by telephone if the corona virus has caused a need for social distancing.

Now it is time for me to jump on my spiritual work! I hope you will take some time to do the same.

World Watercolor Month, July 4, 2020 Prompt: Quiet

#worldwatercolormonth

Boy did I struggle with this one. I thought of an old digital watch as compared to the analogs we used to all wear. But then I remembered how many people accidentally set alarms and couldn’t shut them off. Then I thought my dog again with tape over his snout as that is the only way you would keep him quiet. Then I thought of a meadow, but that has crickets and birds and other noisy little nature things. So finally, night through a window. I wish I hadn’t put in the stars. It was perfect before the stars. Oh well. It happens.

I really do like my moon though. Just enough grey to suggest craters without messing it all up.

Nahum: Pens!

I am a good boy. I am a good boy. I am a … Oh goodness give me that pen!!!

A Stick With A Juicy Center!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Ever since I was a little boy I have loved pens. They are so wonderful. I don’t know why, but they are. And when I get one, I forget “drop it” and “leave it” and even “do you want a treat?” It doesn’t matter how much mommy begs I just can’t let it go.

Now I will respond to human food, but even that is difficult. I mean it better be the good stuff! Mommy has tried patience, sweet talk, mad, and even top blowing up with steam out of her ears. She gets kind of red for that last one.

She says I can’t have it cause when it breaks the bits are pointy. But she also seemed a little perturbed the time I got the juicy stuff out. I thought it was cool though that she spent so much time on her hands and knees with me. Except she seemed way more focused on the little purpley black spots on the carpet than she did with me. Well, still, I had my stick!

World Watercolor Month, July 2nd. Prompt: Texture

#worldwatercolormonth

So my texture is the tree and the tread on the tire. Not anything to jump up and down about, but I gave it my best shot!

The first one I did was a stone wall with flowers and another stump. I seem to have a thing for stumps. Probably because in every other medium I have been lousy at trees, especially the bark. So I am a little excited I can do it in watercolor.