Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Losin' It!

Oh, the time has come to proclaim it...I'm LOSIN' IT!!  By "it" I mean my weight. YEA. It is happening. I don't know the exact number, it is between 2-4 pounds, but I can say honestly that I feel lighter. My pants are beginning to slide around a bit when I walk; not a lot, but a bit. I can say I have more energy than I did a week and a half ago. I am also able to say I'm not where I need to be, or where I want to be. It's coming, but it's taking it's time.

I buy a lot of my clothes online through a consignment shopping site called  I love it actually, and I decided to do myself a big favor. I bought several pieces of clothes that I found really appealing, and they had to be just a little tighter than the clothes I'm wearing now, so that when I do lose a bit of weight I'll have something to wear to work without looking frumpy and dumpy. No one wants to look frumpy or dumpy, and everyone wants to wear fine new clothes!  Gotta say, it's a WIN. So, I have a new pair of size 16 Levi jeans that are new without tags. They still had the little tape strip down the front though. I'm in between the 18 and the 16 at this moment. I was a 16 for many years, and somehow it just got away from me.  These jeans are awesome, and I'll wear them in about 2 weeks. I can't wait to do that because not only will I have these new jeans, I have about 12 pairs of nice dress pants that I forced myself to keep when I gained weight. I typically give the old clothes or tight clothes to Goodwill. NOT THESE...I paid full price for most of my dress pants. I just couldn't see the value in letting them go.  When I go under the size 16 I will have the strength to give them away, and I will give them up to charity. I will feel good about it, and someone will be happy. They really are nice.

It's been 10 days officially. and I'd bet I am right there in the middle of where people are who go on this diet. I'm not one to lose weight too quickly anyway, so I'm OK with just having lost a few pounds. That's a few more than I had packed on, and it's a few less than I have to shed now. I'm hoping to keep it up, and shed 4 pounds every 10 days for the next...say...100 days.  I'd like that a lot. By the day Spring hits I'll have lost 15 pounds for sure, and then another 15 by Summer. It can happen. I can be PRETTY and SLIM FIGURED again - - YEA!!  (too much?) 🙆

The biggest changes I've noticed is the way I sleep. I think I feel better, so I rest better. I drink more tea, I drink less coffee. I have absolutely no bread or cane sugars. If I get sugars it's from the fruits and natural juices. Oh, I have to tell the truth, OK, I do have 2 pieces of 72% cacao chocolate, and that has some cane sugar, but the sweetener I use for the "mush" and other foods is Stevia, and I don't make a habit of that...just enough, or under enough.  I use a bit of organic "Half and Half" once a day for the coffee, and 2 tablespoons on the "mush" (which is made like oatmeal, but it's with flaxseed and pumpkin puree).  I throw a few raisins and walnuts in it, and bam...good food!  I love this diet. I'm never hungry, although people told me I would be. Reuben insisted I would be. If I get close to it, I simply pop a few carrots, an apple slice or two, or I eat a handful of raisins. I can do this! I know I can do this. It's taking me a long time to say, but I'm finally, finally losin' it. YES.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Nothin's Kickin' My Butt Yet.

January 16, 2017, just about 5 days (if you include the 16th) I began the Paleo Diet. Some people call it the Caveman Diet, it's where you're allowed all the animal proteins such as steak, chicken, eggs, lamb, ground lean beef, bacon, pork chops, ham, and of course fish of any kind.  I don't think crustaceans are on the "allowed" list.  You can eat veggies, fruits, nuts, and all the dark chocolate you want (less sugar) and yes, my favorite, coffee.  Now, I will have to be honest with you, I cheat ever so slightly on the no dairy rule. I do allow myself about 2 tablespoons of half-and-half in the mornings for my coffee, but after that, I'm good.  Five days without bread!  Five days without cereal! Five days without binging on sugar and carbs while I type at this very same computer!  I'm not lying, I would have a stack of gummi bears, potato chips, maybe a big canister of party peanuts...chomp, chomp, chomp, all night long. I'm fat, I mean, I'm 190 pounds at 5'6", but I'm not grotesque.  All that changes!  I've already started feeling more energetic and I'm only five (5) days into it. WOW. Imagine what 30 will do!

I went to my kitchen cabinets and looked through them. Did I surprise myself? No, I was the one that bought all the crap I bought before January 16. I was the one driving to the store, parking my car, walking into the store, pulling out a cart, filling it up with things that were never good for me, and going to the cashier to pay good hard-earned money to hurt my body. No body stopped me. Why would they stop me? I'm an American, I'm an adult, I can buy whatever I want. That's the fact...I can buy whatever I want. So, why not buy what I should be buying, and eat what I should be eating, and do what I should be doing, and get off this fat butt of mine, and lose not only weight, but several inches in the process?  That's exactly what I'm doing now! (Thank you very much) 😊

(I just found the emoji feature on this blog forum. That changes so much.)

Alright, so there I am standing at the cabinets in my kitchen. Open doors 1 & 2.  I see candy, lots of it too. Christmas candy that was bought on sale less than a month ago, and I went wild with it. I bought so much of it. It's as if I thought I had to. I don't even know why I did it unless I use the reasonable somewhat acceptable excuse that it was on sale, and hey, it's good to have a little sugar in the house. Well, I gave it to the ladies in the office at the school where I teach. They didn't have the same convictions as I did, not yet, they're holding out to see how I do on the Paleo before making any long term commitments. I don't blame them. I was exactly the same way. People have been talking about this diet for years, but I've held off, thinking it would be impossible to drop breads. It isn't.

Open doors 3 & 4.  Though doors 1 & 2 had more than just candy, there wasn't much in them other than cookies, packaged treats, boxed pastries like Pop Tarts and Keeblers. I don't know about you, but I don't need that now. I don't, and I won't, so that's that. I have to get fed up with it, and when I do, I step all over it.   Doors 3 & 4 had all the other bad things that are white: pasta, rice, wheat flour, sugar, bread...even if it is 9 grain bread, it's bread, and it has grains; nine in fact.  When you can't have any grain on a diet, 9 is 9 too many.  No more pasta, (5 boxes of various types) no more rice (2 packages, 3 boxes) and no more grain whatsoever..there goes the tortillas, the loaves, and the boxes of cornbread mix, muffin mix, brownie mix, and cake mix.  I am dumbfounded by how many boxes of grain and sugar filled things I had in my house just lurking and waiting on my hands to pull them out of their tombs; they were given to the neighbor.  She likes stuff like that, most people do.

Cabinet 5 had nothing but beans! I must have had every damn bean in that thing.  Pork and beans, black beans, kidney beans, charro beans, chili beans, red beans, even a can of black eyed peas I was thinking about eating at New Years. GONE.  Oh, you say what? Yes, and the peanut butter, Nutella and Trader Joe's Cookie Butter...GONE. Heartless woman that I am, I am no longer buying cheese, milk, dairy creamer, sour cream, whipped cream, cream cheese spreads or fake butter.  What in the world will I eat?  Good stuff.

I can have bread, just not breads made out of grain. I can make it at home, in a bread maker, or in a loaf pan. I can use almond flour, tapioca flour, even coconut flour. I will buy raw cider vinegar, no yeast, baking soda, eggs, and sea salt.  If I want flavor I can add vanilla, bananas, nuts, zucchini, and other stuff. Who needs grain? Dogs don't need it; all the best dog foods are all grain free. You feed cows and pigs corn and other grains to fatten them up for slaughter. You feed chickens corn to fatten them up too. Why would I want to do that to myself? I have for sooooo very long, and I simply won't do it to myself another day. Nope!  I kick my own butt, I don't need food to do it for me.

Shopping list:  Well, it's too long to record here, but go up and down the produce aisle in your mind. Go up and down the meat aisles. Go up and down the seeds and nuts bulk aisle. I'll buy raisins, dark chocolate, and like I said, I can have a little sugar, but if I can use Stevia I'll do that.  It's a big big change, but it's one that is long in the making. I should have done this 10 years ago or more. I tend to be a bit stubborn when it comes to being hard on myself, but believe me, I'm doing this for me. I want to work that horse, ride him soon without feeling fat and unbalanced. I want more energy to ride longer and stay at the barn longer. I want to be able to say yes more than I have in the past when someone asks me if I'm feeling good...yes, I'm feeling great now.  Five days in and two pounds down, but there's so much more to come off. I want to lose 40 pounds all together.

When I meet the goal I'll have a little ice cream. I'll have a little celebration, or perhaps a bit of a cheat. There's just no reason to do that now. I don't want to ruin what I've got going.  There's no one else to kick my butt but me....and I'm good at it.


I am not the least bit ashamed to admit that a year ago, in January 2016, I was not sure I wanted Donald Trump to be "my president". In fact, I remember laughing at the fact that he was being serious when he said he would run. I think I was narrow-minded and perhaps thinking too much in the box when I conjured my first impressions of him. It wasn't his hair that did it, but that is a rather strange piece of mop-top (if we had to be honest) now, isn't it? I think what I was thinking at that time, or what I remember thinking, is that he won't make it past the General election, so there's no reason to worry about him.  I didn't vote for him in the General, and I was really surprised he won! I was elated to find out this past November that he won the Big Prize, because I don't know if my heart could take it if Hillary Rodham Clinton had won. She is such a waste of space! In my opinion, and probably that of millions of others, she's a murdering bitch piece of shit that don't need to be breathing right now, but that's being polite. If I really wanted to verbalize my opinions about her, I wouldn't hold back.

Trump? Really? Well, OK, let's talk about it. From the day I first heard his name, sometime in the 90's, I thought he was the guy that killed the Canadian Football. He was the guy that outbid every contractor in NYC and he was the guy that started a ridiculous reality show that set people up to be humiliated on air. I watched the show 2 times and said to myself "No, he's rude, he's arrogant, and we can't all be rich and semi-famous for being rich and semi-famous."  I wasn't impressed.  As time went by, and through this past year, I've become impressed.  I've become more than impressed, I've become convinced that he may be the one guy on the planet that can actually do what needs to be done if he can stay alive, and not be shot for his work, words, and deeds.  There are so many whack jobs out there trying to make a name for themselves, or trying to push their New World Order agenda, that his life may be in constant jeopardy. We'll have to add a few extra prayers for him now and then.

When the debates came, and he wouldn't (or couldn't) stop harassing Hillary, I was amused. I'm not going to lie. I was Twittering "Bitch stop lying!" and worse. I was screaming at the television and hoping he'd bring up the leaked emails. I was hoping he'd dominate and bust her chops more, but he was a gentlemen and held back most of his disdain for the former First Lady.   Sadly, the only time the word "Lady" is every associated with Hillary is when the word "First" is tagged with it. She's no lady. She's a witch, and a practicing one at that. Well, no worries...from what I understand, Pence and Trump are both born again, they can pray a hedge around themselves and the wrath of her kind can't touch them unless and until God wants that to happen as part of His plan.  Obama was most assuredly in God's plan. God used him to divide this nation, to bring about prophecy, and fulfill His promises. Just days before Trump stepped up and took office the Satan-lovers in the Obama camp wrecked havoc as they saw fit, but God protected Israel -- and He will always protect Israel.

The ONE thing that got my vote for Trump in the Primary was his stand on Israel.  Ben Carson was a good choice too, as was Huckabee. There were a few good people to choose from. I knew I didn't want another Bush. I didn't want Cruz, and I didn't want Rubio. Cruz is a great guy, but he's Canadian born, and I just have an issue with that....since our LAST president was Kenyan born, I have a real issue with it.  The stand Trump took for Israel was the clincher. I wanted to believe him. I watched, and I listened, and I cried when I heard that he stood up during this past week's Peace Conference (not at it, but during it) and he said he would do everything in his power to stop the 70 nations from coming against Israel, he wouldn't honor their forcing of a two-state solution, and he wouldn't back the UN in the future. LOVED that...that was that. He will be a good friend to Israel, and possibly spare America from REAL punishment from God. Trump, like me, takes God at His word when He stated in Genesis that He would bless those who bless Israel, and curse those who curse her.

Mike Pence is from Indiana. I spent 4 good years there. I loved that place. I loved that man when he was our governor. He and the man he replaced, both fantastic!  Trump and Pence make an amazing team, and I have to be honest with you, I was short sighted then, but looking toward the brightest future we've seen since Reagan, and I have to add, it may even be better.  We're going to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.

Go Trump.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Paleo, Paleo, Where For Art Thou, Paleo?

My new life, my new diet, my new way, my new challenges - here we go.  My son is a Paleo Diet eater, he looks good, so maybe it won't be so bad.  My best friend is a vegetarian, and there's absolutely no way I could do that. I'm not fond of diets, never have been a conformist in any way. I've always had to beat my own drum, even if the beats sound very familiar to someone else's drum.  I don't listen to anyone else telling me what I need to do, it has to be MY decision.  OK, it's my decision now; I'm going Paleo.

I remember when the Paleo Diet was called the "Cave Man Diet" because apparently you're allowed to eat just about anything they ate back in the way-back day. If they caught it, if it lived, if it was hanging off a tree, or growing out of the ground you can it. That's nice and all, but I'm also throwing out the lectins.  Lectins are (according to Google) "any of a class of proteins, chiefly of plant origin, that bind specifically to certain sugars and so cause agglutination of particular cell types."  Well, of course they are!  Did you catch that? What the hell is an agglutination, and really, I don't care what it is, I don't want my sugars or anything else doing that inside of me. Keep your lectins!

Lectins are found in tomatoes, potatoes, all beans, nuts, soys, any grain whatsoever, and that last one is the saddest bit of news I've ever had to type out in public.  If coffee or chocolate had lectins I'd say screw it, and die, but they don't. I can have all the dark chocolate and all the coffee I want! Take that LECTIN!! In your face!  But I digress.  Giving up grain products is part of the Paleo / Cave Man Diet too, but it allows tomatoes, and it allows potatoes. I'm choosing to let them go; just one more thing to not have to worry about in my digestive system. That area of my body hasn't been properly clean in years, and it's about time to start.

About nine years ago I started the new year with the resolution to lose 30 pounds in 60 days or something silly like that. I jumped feet first into the gambit. I swam in the lies. I was all over it for about a week before my body decided to shut me down with an unforgettable gallbladder attack. Seems you're not really suppose to go cold turkey when you're old, and you haven't properly prepared yourself for that big of a change.  What a set back! I was in the hospital for over 4 days due to complications; which of course is an entirely different blog spot, remind me to tell you what happened. I was on really really good drugs for most of the duration and I do actually remember some of the stupid things I agreed to with the nursing staff.

Again, I digress. I'll get around to letting you know how this thing works out, and when I do you'll either decide to do it as well, or you can have fun laughing at me, with me, because of me, it doesn't matter, I'm doing it!  I'm not looking to lose 30 pounds in 60 days this time, more likes 40 pounds whenever it decides to come off, but I'm going to chip, chip, chip at it until it does come off...without chips, chips, chips too! I'm going to do it one egg, one side of green beans, an apple here and there, carrots for snacks, and chicken! I'm doing the chicken thing! If I can eat all the chicken and eggs I want I should be good. I was all about those beans and tomatoes yesterday. I couldn't wait to pile on those red chunks and scarf...until I found out that lectin THRIVES in tomatoes and more so in BEANS.  What the hell? Well, it's true, and there's not a thing I can do about it. This cave woman is not caving in. I'm not allowing it, I'm saying no, and there's not a gallbladder in me now to argue! Ha!

Tonight Laura and I went to the barn to love on the horses, then we drove to Crest to get a few days worth of good from the Earth eatin'.  On the menu for the next few days will be:  eggs, turkey, chicken, beef, avocados, apples, carrots, grapes, spinach, salad (premix), pumpkin seeds, walnuts, raisins, dark chocolate, coffee, my one downfall - half and half in small amounts, and green tea. Lots of green tea will be made in the Stringfellow house my friends....strong green tea!  Raw honey is good too, but I already have it, and Reuben told me I can eat peanuts, so there's that binge too. I'll allow it as I'm just that much a rebel. I can't do anything 100% properly, it wouldn't be me if I did. There, I have my one dose of half and half, and my handful of raw peanuts. Oh, you don't like raw peanuts? You think they taste like plastic? OK...I'll eat yours, I have no issues with it.

Paleo, here I come!!  I'll keep my calendar handy so I can write down any substantial weight loss. Maybe once a week I'll weigh in. Seems like a plan. Keep reading, you'll probably find something you can relate to.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The American Mustang in My Life: Norman Brock Stringfellow

Ever since I was a kid I wanted a Mustang. I never dreamed I would actually have one, owning a Mustang isn't like owning a domesticated horse. A domesticated horse, such as a Quarter Horse, Paint, Tennessee Walker, or any number of other breeds, have one thing in common: they have been handled by humans since the day they were born. Their parents were born in captivity, their ancestors too, and that can make a huge difference in the social and emotional make up of a creature.  Think about this way; would you go out and find a wolf pup to raise in your house? Taking on a non-domesticated animal has certain challenges. I wanted to be up to accepting them without compromising the animal's experience. I didn't "own" a Mustang until I was 55 years old. I don't own him now, I have adopted him. There is a difference.

His name is Norman Brock Stringfellow today, but when he was born he was dubbed #10612979, a bay colt born to a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) captured mare probably under the age of 6. If she had been older than 6 she wouldn't have been kept once she was rounded up. She would have been treated, allowed to foal, and then returned to the herd she came from. Norman's number was shortened to #2979 when he was tagged at the facility where he was born. He was born in captivity on May 11, 2010, at the Herd Management Area holding facility called Broken Arrow in Fallon, NV. He was one of many bay colts; nothing really all that special, and certainly nothing stood out about him as the next few years passed. He was chosen or picked to be trained at a northern Nevada prisoner camp, a place where wild burros and horses are taken to be gentled and adopted out, but Norman wasn't adopted out. Somehow he had been dubbed a "hump back" and was either left untrained, or wasn't given the full training as others were. He was passed up on adoption day, and then returned to another holding facility, and onto yet a third, the Pauls Valley holding facility in central Oklahoma.

Once at the Pauls Valley BLM area #2979 was taken to two more places to be seen and examined by would be adopters. Though he would stand taller than most American Mustangs at 15.2H, and he had both back "socks" of white, as well as a star, stripe, and white snip on his dark bay face, he was not chosen at either. Perhaps it was the hump back that kept him from being picked, or perhaps the BLM had grouped him with more flashy horses and not enough adopters had shown up to pick him on either occasion. I like to think that God had other plans for Norman, and that he was saved for the day I would happen to ramble onto the premises this past October 11, 2016. I think Norman knew something was up before I knew, but however it happened, it did in fact happen, and before the adoption-ending noon bell rang, Norman was being loaded onto a trailer and being carried off to be trained by a professional TIP, or Training Incentive Program trainer.  He was adopted by ME and he was no longer a wild horse. He was on his way to being...well, domesticated.

I wasn't going to the BLM that day to adopt anything. I wasn't expecting to adopt, I wasn't thinking about adopting.  I was there to look at horses for my daughter Laura who had wanted to adopt one soon enough; she wanted to train one to become her mounted shooting partner. She and I took the day off, the 2nd Tuesday of the month, as that is when adoptions take place at the BLM in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.  I went to help Laura. I wasn't going to find the love of my life; it just sort of happened.

When we pulled up to the gates we saw a few others standing around, waiting for the adoptions to take place. We had never been through the process, so we were hanging back and watching. We weren't participating, we were just viewing to see what would happen, how it would happen, if it happened, and why it happened. There was a woman there with her young blond daughter, the girl was about 11 years old. We watched as she galloped back and forth calling to the horses. She was home schooled, and her mother wanted to show her the animals up close, as sort of a field trip. There was a man with his wife as well, she was smallish, and seemed a bit timid around all of the barricaded animals; she looked as if she feared at any moment one of them would jump the 6 foot fencing and attack her. Nothing of the sort would ever actually happen, but she stood close to her husband just in case.   Her husband, a wealthy car-dealer from another state, was eager to find the exact horse that would make him happy. He wore an arm sling, a trophy of the effects of finding a horse that wasn't exactly the right horse.  He and his wife had decided to bring a horse back to the BLM facility in fact, one that didn't work out for him.  The man was open, fun, and smiling at all of the horses, going from one to the other, hoping to make eye contact and know instantly that he had found his match!

There was another set of people there too. There was a man, his wife, and her young adult daughter, who looked to be around 18 or so. The couple were quiet, and moved about, watching the daughter, and listening to the eager man wearing the sling. It became obvious by counting the trucks and cars in the parking lot, that these two couples had come together in a truck with a very large trailer. The fact that the quiet man had the keys in his hand, led me to know that he was the owner of the truck and trailer. This meant one thing to me, he had to be a trainer, the other man was the buyer. The man with the sling bought or adopted horses, and the quiet man trained them. I figured this out about the same time that Norman decided to put his large imposing head over the fence and onto the top of my head without warning!  "He likes you!"  said the quiet man; that point was obvious to everyone now, as the horse continued to press himself closer to me, and through the rails of the fence.  If he had arms he would have reached through the fence and grabbed me, probably holding me against his chest, it was quite interesting how Norman would not allow other horses to come near me. Using his body, his tail, his voice, and his feet, he kept all of the others away, and stayed as close to me as he possibly could. To the quiet man, who was now smiling, and sticking out his hand for an introduction, this meant that #2979 had found his match, whether or not I was obliged to return the sentiment.

"Hi, I'm Tim Brock", said the quiet man now standing in front of the larger than life horse who was refusing to release me from his gaze. I introduced myself, and listened as Tim explained that for the past few minutes he was considering taking #2979 as a TIP horse either for Jeff, the man with the sling, or just because, as he felt that the horse had more potential than others. He hadn't made up his mind, but he was thinking about it. Lauren, his step daughter, who is also a TIP trainer, had a few others in mind, and the boring big bay gelding wasn't one of the ones she wanted.  Jeff didn't want him either, he was too big, and there was that hump or high wither that didn't interest him. Laura, my own daughter, laughed at me and said, "You know, you already have your adoption application in the BLM  system, so you could take him."  I smiled. I didn't do more than that, but I did smile.  It was then that Tim explained to me how the TIP program worked. Seems he was being paid by the Mustang Heritage Foundation to train qualified horses at the BLM; ones who would then be adopted. If I wanted Norman, or as he was named #2979, all I had to do was say so. Tim would take him to Missouri where he lived and operated, train him for two or three months, and bring him back  all ready to go!  It would only cost me $125 to adopt, and whatever to bring him home, but since he'd be back to pick up others, it shouldn't be much.

Was I hearing this correctly?  I was being asked if I wanted to adopt this massive 1100 pound horse, the one standing a good hand taller than the tallest horse I would ever want? The horse that for some odd reason found me more attractive than the others at the gates that day, and the one that wasn't even all that...different. He was in fact rather ordinary if you had to be honest about it.  The Mustang I had always dreamed of owning would be smaller, around 14.2 hands maybe, and he'd be bright colored, maybe sorrel, maybe roan, he could possibly be a bay, but with a broad blaze and four white socks. This horse was staring at me, and in that moment I realized that he was absolutely perfect. There wasn't a single thing wrong with him; even his hump backed wither seemed to be saying "at least your saddle won't ever fall off".  I told Tim yes, I would adopt the horse, and yes, he could take him to Missouri to train. The only thing left to do was to let the BLM guys know, because they're the ones who actually take the money!

There's more to the story of course, and I'll save that for another blog post, but suffice it to say that on that day, October 11, 2016, #2979, a big beautiful bay American Mustang gelding became my new best friend; and naming him after the city of Norman, Oklahoma was easy! It was that or Boomer. His middle name is Brock for his trainer Tim, and of course he bears my surname.  When Gary, the BLM hand,  cut the nylon tag with the number on it from Norman's neck he handed the tag to Tim, who then handed it to me, symbolizing that Norman was no longer wild or captive.  Norman was now adopted, I think I cried in my soul.  He deserved to be loved, and on this day he demanded it.  Thank you God.

Most photos by Karin O'very (Tim's wife)


Actually they shot all of us!

Brandi Simons (Photographer) and Shasha Gill (Hair/Make-Up Artist) got us ready for a really fun shoot for an uncoming PEOPLE magazine.

Confessions of a Writer

The man in this picture was not only a writer, he was an orator - a speaker of great power and prose. He was Temple Lea Houston, son of the great Sam Houston, our country's legendary hero. So why would I be interested in this man - well, besides being talented both as an orator and a writer, he was Oklahoma's premier lawyer of the frontier. I don't know the exact count, I used to know the numbers, he represented the little guy, the downtrodden, the poor - and without asking for much in terms of payment, because he was set from his father's wealth, Temple Houston brought true legal justice to a group of people who otherwise would have faced jail time or worse - a noose, if he hadn't been gracious, generous, and giving.

That said, I also think the man was really hot and when I first found out about him all I wanted to do was read everything I could about him, trying to weasel my way into his life long enough to really get to know him intellecturally. I used to tell people that my main goal once I actually got to Heaven was to track this man down. The fact that he's now had over 100 years to get to know the territory up there gives him at least a fighter's chance - but I do have time on my side. Eternity is indeed - eternal.

I think the statutes of limitations has run out on what I am about to confess - and if you've read this story before somewhere, it may very well be that you have relatives in Western Oklahoma who have sent it to you after a version of my tale was recorded in the papers - making it legend itself. Truth can be stranger than fiction, and in my case, in this case, it is in deed quite strange - but I had my reasons.

It was at the time that I was reading about Temple, getting to know him through one of the only two books written about his life - Glenn Shirley's book "Temple Houston: Lawyer with a Gun". I found myself mesmerized by the very spirit of this compelling pioneer who would not only choose to leave the life of luxery that he had been given, but to avoid politics in general after having been nominated for such high offices as senator, govenor, even once being asked to run for the vice presidency - he declined. After getting to know him, knowing that his temper was a firey hot as his silver-tongue oratories, he made the right choice. He would have been arrested probably for outrages in public that you and I would consider manic at best - firing guns in the courtroom for instance, bringing snakes in baskets to public schools to prove which ones bit and which ones didn't - you just can't do that anymore without licenses and surety bonds, letters of recommendation, and all the red tape Houston would have thrown out the door as being unncessisary.

I wanted to know the man, I wanted to hold his gun, wear his hat, sit at his desk, breathe in the air of the city he lived in - which at the time of his death was Topeka, KS, but he lived in Woodward, Oklahoma for many years prior to the actual event of his demise. To think that the museum of history in Woodward, OK was not only NOT displaying his things, they were saying they wouldn't be getting around to organizing them either.  What I did wasn't exactly criminal, as I was not told I couldn't be on the premises, I was never asked to leave either. I simply didn't leave when they ladies closed down the museum for the night.  I set out the tables in a fine and organized way, still in the back room, as I felt that there may be cameras in the front lobby. This being 1987 or so, I wasn't sure what type of technology to expect. I wanted to be safe as possible, but do as much good as I could.

When the ladies returned the next morning to open shop, the display I had created using almost all of Temple's belongings at the museum, were in fact in order and on display - even if only in the backroom.  I was careful to use gloves, and I recorded everything in a fine and meticulous fashion. The only thing I didn't use in the display was a book owned by Temple Houston, one he had personally drawn in. I took that book home, again, not breaking any laws because it was never mentioned (or warned) that I could not. I returned it after I had cleaned it properly, so that it too could be displayed.  When I returned it I looked the front desk clerk in the eyes, handing it to her, and I said "I believe this belongs to the museum."  She looked at me with a sparkle in her eyes. It had been a few weeks since I had organized the display.  She took the book easily, gently, and she said to me "Why, yes, it does belong here. Was it a good read?"  I answered that it was. She then said "Thank you by the way, the display couldn't have been more tenderly created."  I smiled back at her, not wanting to betray myself, and I said..."Well, I don't know what you mean, but if I did know, I would say you're welcome."

How did I manage to evade the ladies that day, you may ask? When they went to close the museum I was the last patron. I excused myself to use the bathroom, then called out "good night" before retreating to the men's restroom. There was a bell on the front door, so I let the door close before sneaking back to the men's restroom. They never looked in the restroom for me, I never came out. It wasn't exactly against the law, but I wasn't exactly going to take the chance.  

Back At It

Size does matter!  I am a size 18 now. ABSOLUTELY too fat for my liking. Others may like it, they may be "comfortable" in their bodies at that size, but I am not. I have decided that I've let this thing go on too far. I'm not only heavier, I'm not happy about it. That's why I've decided to stomp on this thing and get my "Me" back. I'm 55, 5'7" and I weigh 200 pounds. There, I've said it out loud, and I can't take it back. I bet if I were 100% honest with myself, I'd say I weigh 204, but today we'll just say 200 and go from there. I need to, and I want to, lose 50 pounds.  I am pretty happy at 150. I look good at 150, and I'm not too skinny at that weight.

I moved to Indiana in 2010. This seemed to be when I began to let things slide. I really just sort of stopped taking care of what I allowed into my house in terms of food. I was the one buying it. I don't blame anyone else. I eat whatever I want, whenever I want, and it's really taken it's toll on my body. I moved back to Oklahoma a couple of years ago, but I didn't make any diet changes.  I ride horses, and I've seen the difference when I'm in the saddle. I have in fact, stopped pushing my horse(s) because I am no longer balancing in the saddle the way I should. I will begin the posting routines again, and get those thighs working as soon as I can. My current horse is an American Mustang, and he's not ready for me to canter. In fact, I just received him from the trainer last week. He's ready to walk and trot, but the weather hasn't been good enough to explore. It will be!! We will make this happen.

So, what I've decided to do is this:  Cut out as much high fructose corn syrup as possible. I'll cut back on most sugars as well; there just doesn't seem to be a need for it. I'll get plenty of sugar through fruits and vegetables. I'll have to use half and half for the coffee, but that's OK. I was shocked to find out that the high fructose corn syrup is a chemical(s) that our brains doesn't recognize, therefore it can't be processed well in the gut. The good bacteria is lowered and it can't combat it. There's evidence to show that fat is stored because of this, and I'm not willing to let my body suffer any longer than it has. I'm FAT, and not happy about it.

When I'm not fat I ride better, I walk further, I lift more, and I don't complain about going up stairs or carrying my luggage. My boobs are in the way now, and I can't always see my feet when I need to. For a former gymnast this is a problem. I used to be able to see my feet by standing on my hands and bringing my feet over my head and in front of my face. Where I won't be doing that again, I at least should be able to glance down and not see boobs and belly fat obstructing my view of my tennis shoes.  There are a few things that I will do, and if you want to, you can follow along with me, as I plan on keeping this blog up for a while, and making it a daily or almost daily event, showing off how I plan on losing my weight, and keeping in shape.

Since I don't really exercise all that much, other than riding my horse, and walking the halls (and stairs) at the school I teach at, I will be adding several things to my diet, and taking things from my diet, in order to fully achieve my goals of losing weight and looking better in about 90 days. I'm not pushing the date, but it's about 90 days from warmer good riding weather, so that's a good goal.

FIRST:  Giving up sugars will be the hardest part, but I'll substitute by adding fruit, vegetables and nuts. Not all fruits are good for you, so I'll stick with apples, grapes, strawberries, blue berries, and probably cantaloupe.   For nuts, I'm a big almond fan, and I eat quite a few peanuts, so that has to change to less dense nuts such as walnuts, which have  great antioxidants anyway.  For veggies, nothing beats a bowl of baby carrots while you write. I can also see me eating more squash, spinach, peas, green beans, and black beans. I'm not opposed to black beans and tomatoes for dinner.

SECOND: adding herbs that are known to curb appetite and promote good health.  Green tea extract, or EGCG and Caralluma Fimbriata are two very good supplements you can buy over the counter and both are inexpensive. You don't need to go to a fancy place, or order them online from a club. Wal-Mart carries them both, and I bet quite a few stores do; just be sure to get pure extract without fillers.  The other thing I'm adding is a good strong probiotic; one with at least 10 billion units, I may opt for more, we'll see. I prefer the liquid type, but they sell it in pill form as well.

THIRD:  water, water, then more water, but of course if you know me, you know I drink coffee in the morning as well. I'm not giving that up, but I am giving up creamer. I will use an organic half creamer, one without sugar, and all should be fine. I drink water now, but I've let it slack off. I remember drinking 2 bottles in the morning, 3 bottles at night (or the equivalent) and then tea in the evenings. I have been really lax with my water intake, so that changes immediately. I don't do cold water. I know I drive my friend Jeannie crazy, as I don't have ice in my house. Since I don't drink soft drinks, I don't do ice. I also know that cold water makes your body work harder, but I don't like colder water; never have. I'll do the room temp water, and more hot teas than I have been.

There we go. Day 1 in motion. When Laura gets home we're going to the store to get what I need. I'll let her keep the foods she wants, but we're throwing out the junk - - done!  Viva la 150!!  YEA.