Thursday, August 21, 2014

Happy Anniversary to US!

Tomorrow will be Steve's and my 39th anniversary! It almost slipped up on me. We haven't decided yet what we will do this weekend to celebrate but I'm sure we'll come up with something. Just taking a weekend off will be nice. A funny thing just happened though, I was working on my class's high school reunion and grabbed an annual off the shelf to check out some names I thought I might have forgotten. I pulled off Steve's senior yearbook instead of mine. I was leafing through, reading what people had written....which can be dangerous even after all these years, lol. Even though we had been going to the same school for nearly two years, I hadn't actually met Steve until the end of my Sophomore year and his Senior year. I wasn't expecting to see something I'd written in his annual but there it was in bright blue ink, "Steve, I never really knew you before this year but I'm glad I met you. You're a really sweet guy and I hope we'll be friends even after this year. Best of luck in everything you do. God bless, Sandy Jones." Aaaah, little did I know :) 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

I've had a set back on that new healthy lifestyle this week. I lost a dear, dear friend who is irreplaceable. Exercise would probably have helped my grief and depression but instead I found myself just wanting to sleep and forget. This too shall pass. I'm already getting better, ready to head out in a few minutes to feed the horses and go for my walk/hike (since it is cross country and over some hilly, rough ground.) With the sadness I've had over my friend's passing and also beloved entertainer, Robin William's death, I've been thinking a lot about depression this week. I've had bouts of depression in my life and panic and anxiety attacks as well. I woke last night with a thought. It's odd how that happens. I woke thinking about how I've felt this week, how it was beyond grief. In my humble opinion, depression is not caused by sad and tragic events in our life; no, it is a predator that feeds on our dispair. I thought last night about how I've been feeling lately, not just extremely sad about losing Huston but extremely critical of my entire life and how I live it. I realized that the depression was acting as a magnifying glass, making the bad things in my life, the areas where I feel both my life and myself are lacking look even worse, larger, more dominant. I was feeling like a failure which isn't very motivating to exercise and eat better and improve your life because you think, what's the use? And then, my friend spoke to me. I didn't hear him with my ears but with my heart and it was something he said to me once after I'd conquered one of those dark spots in my life that were keeping me tethered and it mirrored the encouragement and love he showed me on my less triumphant days. He said, "I've always known you could do it. I believed in you even when you didn't believe in yourself." I still cry remembering him speaking those words but I also know, because of his friendship and love, that I am not a failure. And I'm going to set out to prove that because I will not let him down. The voices that tell me I'm a failure, that I'm bound to fail and I will never succeed in my goals, well I know who they belong to also but they don't belong to me any longer. The only voice I'm going to hear in my head from now on is my own and Huston's and they both only have positive, encouraging things to say.
Huston was the most wonderful person. I was truly blessed by his friendship. He was a father figure to me, a mentor and teacher but most of all, my friend. A short story about something odd that happened on the day they laid him to rest: He lives a fifteen hour drive away so we didn't get to see each other in person very often but up until his stroke, which occurred exactly a week after he said what I quoted above, we spoke on the phone at least once a day. After his stroke, two and a half years ago, the doctors didn't think he would survive and then they said he'd never be able to communicate again. Two months later, I called his home to check on him and his daughter asked if I wanted to speak to him. His voice was the most beautiful thing, hearing it made me cry. Because of his failing health, our phone calls weren't so frequent after that but we still kept in touch. I would call him whenever I knew he was doing well and felt like a conversation. A little less than a month ago, he lost his great grandson in a car accident. I wanted to call but I didn't know what to say and I kept putting it off. Now, I regret that I didn't get to hear him say, "Well, hello, neighbor!" one more time. It was a little joke we had about the distance between us but how close we were despite it. Anyway....I said short story, right? ;-) ........ His daughter called me on Monday to tell me that he'd just passed. I didn't ask about when the services would be because I knew I couldn't attend. Thursday morning, I woke up sadder than I'd been, a deep, heavy pain on my heart. I went about my morning chores and even took my first walk in nearly a week, hoping to chase away some of the blues. I was just coming in from my walk. I'd dropped my phone down in the basket that I use to carry feed to the horses. I hear a phone ringing distantly. I start trying to get into the house quickly before realizing that it wasn't my ring and then I hear a voice, "Hello? Hello?" I pick up my phone and say, hello and Huston's daughter answers me back, "Well, hello, Sande!" I ask her if I called her or she called me and she tells me that I placed the call.....but I didn't. She starts telling me about the service planned for her dad later that day and how the response from his church and community has been so wonderful for this amazing man. I told her that I wish so I could be there to comfort them and she told me, "If you were here, you know it would be us comforting you." We cried and laughed as we remembered Huston. She said that cell phones could be spooky but as a friend later said to me, there are no coincidences. I think someone knew that I needed to touch base with Huston's family that day. I think he wanted to include me in the celebration of his life.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

           Huston Forest Jenkins, son of the late Isaac and Sarah (Evans) Jenkins, was born on April 3, 1924 in Bennett Spring, Missouri and passed away on August 11, 2014 at 12:40 p.m. at his home in Tunas, Missouri. At the time of his passing he was 90 years, 4 months, and 8 days of age.
   Huston was reared and did his schooling in the Bennett Spring area. After he finished his schooling he returned to work on the family farm until being drafted into the US Army to fight in WWII. After being discharged, he married Patty Smith on August 14, 1946 and to this union 3 children were born, who all survive him. Huston later moved to Kansas City, Kansas and worked at the Colgate and Palmolive factory. After 14 years they moved back to Dallas County to once again have a farm where he “milked cows and kissed horses.” He sold Fox Trotters throughout the nation and was a member of the Missouri Fox Trotters Association. He was also a member of the New Hope Baptist Church where he was a Deacon. He loved reading westerns, and in his younger years he enjoyed coon hunting, elk hunting, and fishing. 
   Huston was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Patty; four sisters, Pauline, Luvina, Ennone, and Myrtle; five brothers, Elvin, Ethan, Barse, Donald and Elmer; and one great-grandson, Christian Helm. He is survived by his son, Larry Jenkins; his two daughters, Wanda Jenkins and Nancy Jenkins-Braham; one brother, Cecil Jenkins; three sisters, Bernice Moore, Annie Cheek and Emma Frantz; three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind many friends, family, nieces and nephews that will all truly miss him.
   Funeral services will be conducted at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 14, 2014 at New Hope Baptist Church with Rev. Richard Prater officiating.  Escorts will be Ronnie Blecher, Henry Glass, Daryl Mabary, Billy Ankrom, Chester Hill, and Eugene Phillips. Interment will be in Pleasant Hill Cemetery under the direction of the Cantlon Otterness Funeral Home of Buffalo. Visitation will be at 1:00 p.m. Thursday at New Hope Baptist Church. Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and left with the funeral home.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

There is a BMI calculator on this site which is very easy to use. You put in your height and then there is a sliding scale for your weight which makes it easy not only to see your current BMI but helped me to see what weight I need to lose to in order to be "normal" jokes about the normal part. ;-) My high normal is 144 and low normal is 109. I still have a long way to go!

BMI Calculator for Adults

BMI is a number calculated using your height and weight. It is a fairly reliable indicator of body fat for most adults, with athletes and the elderly being two exceptions. BMI can be used as a screening tool to identify potential health problems.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Huston Jenkins, April 3, 1923 - August 11, 2014

Huston Jenkins and Mouse
The finest man and horseman I've ever known has passed over but I know he isn't in pain any longer and I know he's reunited with his beloved, Patty, and his great grandson, Bobo. I also like to think of him doing what he loved to do most and hasn't been able to do for over two years, ride his horses. He gave me so much in the short time we knew each other, he was a father figure, my mentor, my encourager, my teacher but mostly, he was my friend. He told me that he believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. He gave me the best advice I've ever gotten, "Whatever happens, stay in the saddle!" That has applied to a lot more than just riding in my life. He always said when one of us was leaving, "I'll see you here, I'll see you there or I'll see you in the air." I use to fuss at him for that and tell him not to say it but I know it's true and I know I'll see him again one day. I love you Huston; I always will. I'll see you in the air my dear, dear friend. 

A friend commented that she was so glad that he left me with such wonderful memories and Mouse. She added that he must really love me to let me have one of his precious horses. Actually, he let me have three of them and that was nothing short of a miracle, lol. The first time I heard his name, my friend Fran was helping me to find a horse and she said, "The finest horses you will find in the entire state of Missouri are raised by one man but unfortunately, you can't get one of his horses because he never, never sells them." lol When I called to tell him that I was coming to pick up my horse, he actually sounded disappointed, "You mean you're taking her?" he asked. I told him once though that he had no idea when he sold me Mouse that he was taking on a fifty year old to raise. Five years later, the year after he lost Patty, I took Mouse back to Missouri to visit him. He had been begging me to breed her again and so Steve and I decided to leave her with him for the next six months with the excuse that he could get her bred for us but really so Huston could enjoy her. We didn't leave empty handed or with an empty trailer since we took home Mouse's first born, Django (which Huston practically gave to me because he wanted me to have him) and Riley (because he'd saved Steve on the trail and Steve immediately said he wanted that horse). After Danny was born, Huston always claimed part of him. We'd planned on Huston training him but he had that first stroke just weeks before we were planning on taking Danny to him. I'm hoping Huston can look down from above and give me some guidance on working with my little sweet but wild (or rather spoiled) Dan

Another story about Huston and Mouse. I found out from his niece that someone in Europe had offered him many, many times over what I paid for her and he refused to sell her. He told them that he'd already promised her to me. We were sitting at his kitchen table sipping coffee after breakfast many years after that and I asked him, "You wouldn't have sold Mouse to them even if I hadn't been in the picture would you?" He dropped his head and said quietly, "They would have mistreated her." That's the kind of man and horseman he was.

Stumbles and Progress

The past week was a stressful one for me. I was a bit overwhelmed by work, projects, the illness of family and friends and the worry that provoked. My exercise and even my diet (or rather healthy eating changes to my diet) fell to the wayside because I was too tired, too rushed. I could look at the entire week as a failure but I'm not. It was not only a learning experience but despite the fact that I reverted back to a few bad habits, I found that I missed the exercise and the way it made me feel and I missed the healthy diet and the way it made me NOT feel....sluggish, nervous, bloated, foggy brained. So, in my mind, that is a major win. Now, I'm just waiting for the day when the diet is as natural and the exercise as essential as breathing in my life. That day is coming. :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Ridiculously Easy New 9-Switch Plan To Build Muscle, Not Belly Fat

New science has made it almost too simple to believe. But believe it: Trade the saturated stuff for the right unsaturated fats, and you'll get superior taste, crave less sugar, and actually build muscle rather than belly fat.

Friday, August 1, 2014

More from Prevention magazine....

Exercises To Tone Up And Lose Weight

9 Toning Moves To Slim You Down All Over

This Pilates-based workout, developed by Miami-based Pilates instructor Kris Belding, targets your midsection, arms, shoulders, legs, and butt for a total-body shape-up. Try to do the routine 3 or 4 days a week to start seeing the flat belly, full-body toning benefits.
1. SPINAL ARCH AND CURL Strengthens and stretches back, increases flexibility, and helps improve posture
Photos by Buff Strickland
START POSITION Sit straight on edge of seat, feet hip-width apart, knees in line with ankles, and palms flat on thighs.
MAIN MOVE Press heels into ground and contract butt muscles, sliding hands up toward hips. Gently arch back and look up while tightening ab muscles. Continuing to hold ab muscles in, round back, slide hands toward knees, and look down at ground. Return to start position.
TIP Do this exercise in one fluid motion. 

2. SPINAL DIVE Strengthens and stretches upper back muscles and chest muscles 

START POSITION Sit straight on edge of seat, feet hip-width apart, knees in line with ankles, and palms on thighs.

MAIN MOVE Round back and roll forward, dropping head between knees (pictured, inset). Tighten ab muscles and slowly raise head, arching spine so chest and stomach are pushed out slightly. Return to start position.
TIP Focus on moving slowly to help feel your back muscles working. 

3. SPINAL TWIST Improves back flexibility

START POSITION Sit straight on edge of seat, feet hip-width apart, knees in line with ankles, and palms flat on thighs.
MAIN MOVE Slowly pull in ab muscles. Twist from waist as you turn to left, while sliding right hand down right thigh and left hand up left thigh. Keep feet and legs still. Then, twist from waist as you turn to right, sliding left hand down left thigh and right hand up right thigh.
TIP Do the twists in one fluid motion. Twisting once to the left and once to the right is 1 rep. 

4. LEG FLUTTER Tightens midsection and strengthens quads

START POSITION Sit straight on edge of seat, abs in, and feet and knees together. Grip seat with both hands.
MAIN MOVE Lean back slightly (keeping knees together and back relaxed) and lift both feet 4 to 6 inches off ground. In a slow, controlled move, kick left leg out and back; then kick right leg out and back. Keep abs tight throughout exercise. This is 1 rep; don't stop between reps.
TIP If you have a weak back, put your hands under your hips and butt for extra support. 

5. LEG CIRCLE Strengthens lower ab muscle and quads

START POSITION Sit straight on edge of seat, abs pulled in, and feet and knees together. Grip seat with both hands.
MAIN MOVE Lean back slightly (keeping knees together and back relaxed) and lift both feet 4 to 6 inches off ground. Circle both legs to right 4 times and immediately left 4 times.
TIP Pretend your legs are stirring a tall drink.

6. SALSA SHOULDERS Increases flexibility and decreases pain in neck and shoulders

START POSITION Stand with feet hip-width apart, heels pressed into ground.
MAIN MOVE Hold arms out to sides with elbows bent at 90-degree angles, palms facing forward. Circle shoulders forward 4 times, then immediately backward 4 times.
TIP Keep butt muscles contracted.

7. BIKINI SWIRL Strengthens and stretches back

START POSITION Stand straight with feet hip-width apart and hands on top of head. Pull elbows back and abs in, press heels into ground, and contract butt muscles.
MAIN MOVE Without moving hips, circle rib cage 4 times to left, then 4 times to right.
TIP Pretend you're drawing a circle on the ceiling with the top of your head.

8. ROLL DOWN Firms abs

START POSITION Sit on ground with knees bent, feet hip-width apart, hands resting below knees. Press feet firmly into floor and contract thigh muscles.
MAIN MOVE Contract ab muscles, and slowly roll down to ground one vertebra at a time. Keep abs tight and roll back up, one vertebra at a time, to start position. Begin with 1 set of 8 reps; work up to 3 sets over the course of 2 to 3 weeks.
TIP Squeeze a rolled-up towel between your knees to help lift yourself up until you get strong enough to do the move unaided.

9. CAT 'N' HAMMOCK BACK STRETCH Strengthens and stretches abs and back

START POSITION Get on hands and knees, wrists in line with shoulders and knees in line with hips. Keep back flat, like a tabletop, and abs tight.
MAIN MOVE: Contracting butt muscles, round back, tuck hips under, pull chin toward chest—like a cat—and hold position for 10 seconds.

NEXT pull shoulders down and away from ears and slowly raise head. Keeping ab muscles tight, drop belly toward ground and arch back—like you're a human hammock. Hold for 10 seconds, then return to start position. Do 3 to 5 reps.
TIP Focus on "squeezing" the area under your shoulder blades when you arch your back to help do the move more effectively.

4 Weight Loss Rules from Prevention Magazine....

4 Weight Loss Rules To Lose Belly Fat

The Only 4 Weight Loss Rules You'll Ever Need

Low-fat foods are dead to us. Here’s how you should be eating.

Photo by Thinkstock
In the '80s and '90s, as Americans embraced "I Can’t Believe It's Not Butter" and sugary low-fat snack packs, obesity doubled. (As David Katz, founder of Yale University's Prevention Research Center, says, "There is more than one way to eat badly, and our culture is committed to exploring them all.") If you haven't already, go ahead and stop buying foods labeled "fat-free." Some more wisdom from the top nutritional experts in the US:
Photo by Thinkstock
Throw out the low-fat foods in your kitchen.
You can go back to eating full-fat peanut butter (the low-fat variety swaps some of the fat for sugar—a trade-off we now know may be worse) and topping your salad with olive oil and vinegar. (Too much sugar's no good; this is your body on the sweet stuffsr.)
Photo by Thinkstock
…with the exception of dairy.
Ditch fat-free dairy (especially yogurts that trade fat for sugar—some brands have as much as ice cream). Low-fat dairy is still a good bet, delivering the same calcium and protein for dramatically less saturated fat and fewer calories than the full-fat stuff.
Photo by Thinkstock
Make like the Greeks
And eat plenty of foods loaded with polyunsaturated fats. Research shows that eating polyunsaturated fats leads to gaining less fat and more muscle, compared to eating saturated fats. You know the deal: polyunsaturated fats are the ones in nuts, seeds, and fish.
Photo by Thinkstock
Go for balance
"It's all about making informed choices based on your personal preferences," says Gretchen Vannice, a registered dietitian nutritionist and the author of Omega-3 Handbook. "If you eat bacon a lot, you might choose low-fat yogurt for balance. What you don’t want to do is eat bacon and cheese and butter and ice cream and sausage and mayonnaise all in one day."