Coming Soon: Free Book

Coming Soon: Free Book
Planning to give away a book or two!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Can you handle more food?

I am not sure that I can. I have been meticulously weighing and measuring.  The food is separated into three meals and two snacks.  By the time that I have had the fourth eating of the day, I am full.  It leaves me getting hungry about 7:30 in the evening.  The last meal of the day is usually a lighter meal. 
Cell Photo by Trisha
Chicken Sausage and vegetables
Breakfast started out different as I sautéed vegetables in coconut oil and added chicken sausage.  I knew from day 1 that I needed to eat the snack at the designated time.  So mid-morning I had my cup of baby carrots and Almond butter.  I had never had almond butter before.  It is similar to peanut butter.  
Cell Photo by Trisha
Almond Butter and Carrots
The hint for this meal suggested serving it on top of a salad.  But the shopping directions called for Romaine lettuce so I decided today was lettuce wrap day.  Lunch called for a cup of cooked vegetables with ground Turkey. (There I am again being picky and cooking carrots is just so wrong.)
Cell Photo by Trisha
Turkey-Veggie Wrap with Carrot chips on the side
I drank half of the smoothie before I remembered to take the picture.  It would have been better with half of the banana and whipped cream instead of butter. Hmmm. I am not going to play with it this week but maybe in the future.
Cell Photo by Trisha
Banana-choc smoothie
Supper was late in the evening.  Dale had cooked chicken that came off the grill when we got home.  The problem was that he had pre-fried it with a breading on it.  Also, I was still full when we got home.  Chicken was on my evening meal plan along with green beans and tomatoes.  I topped it with the Balsamic Vinaigrette. 
Cell Photo by Trisha
Chicken-Veggie Wrap
I am not giving the full recipes for a reason.  This is part of a two week meal plan and training program that is for sale.  At the end of the two weeks, if I recommend this for people then I will give you the information where you can get this meal plan.

Day One of Fourteen

Monday I started "14 days of supercharged meals." I thought that I would share some of the meals with you.  I have decided that I really don't like vegetables all that well.  Maybe I will acquire a taste for them.  Breakfast was spinach and eggs cooked in coconut oil with a small tomato. I tried to make an omelet but it ended up more like scrambled eggs.
Cell photo by Trisha
2 egg omelet
The lunchtime salad included 4 ounces of cooked salmon, a cup of vegetables, and it was supposed to have chick peas but I couldn't find any so I used the alternative of kidney beans.
Cell photo by Trisha
Lunch with Salmon
The afternoon snack was 4 ounces of white meat with a cup of cooked broccoli an 1/2 cup cooked sweet potatoes.  No it is not cooked carrots.  I will do whatever I can to not eat cooked carrots.  They are okay raw but cooked is another matter.
Cell photo by Trisha
Afternoon Snack?
To top off the day, I had ground turkey with a cup of vegetables.  Most of the vegies were sautéed in olive oil.  The carrots I ate raw.  It is a texture thing.  I don't like the texture of a cooked carrot.
Cell photo by Trisha
Ground Turkey for Supper
This is going to be a challenge.  I am a lot pickier of an eater than what I ever thought that I was.  But when I started making the meals and found myself saying, cook this but don't cook that.  This is going to be interesting because I am eating about 500 calories more than normal.  I am having a difficult time believing that I can eat that much more and lose weight.  But I am going to try in order to break through my plateau. The meals are a combination of protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates.  My carbohydrates will be significantly increased but they are supposed to be the "healthy" carbs.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Audience participation at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival

I have two different outfits for the Renaissance Festival.  I fit into my burgundy dress again!  I was taking Sonjia up by the Unicorn to get a photo of the three of us. But she was afraid of the Unicorn.  Instead she hid behind me while this young girl went between Sonjia, the unicorn and I.

Photo by Trisha Field
The Doberman, The Lady and The Unicorn

I have never really understood the "fox-tail" phenomenon at the Ren Fest and obviously Sonjia didn't understand it either.  She had her fun sniffing people's tails as they went by us. My sister, her son and I took turns holding Sonjia. There are actors and actresses around the grounds.  Then there are enthusiasts that buy costumes.  Several of the shops sell pieces to enhance your costumes and your Renaissance experience.

Photo by Trisha Field
Yeah, all I need to do is smell your tail
My participation this year was Sonjia.  Our beautiful, chocolate red/rust Doberman with natural ears attracted so many people and other dogs.  

Photo by Trisha Field
Look G-ma a puppy!

"May I pet your dog?" "What kind of dog is it?" "She sure is beautiful and very well tempered." Were some of the most common questions and comments.  

Photo by Trisha Field
Baby - baby
In this sea of people, moving was slower because of all the people that stopped us to pet and give attention to Sonjia.  And she was a very well behaved young lady through the entire day.  When people asked how old she was, they were surprised when I said around a year and a half.  Many commented that she behaved more like a 4-5 year old dog.

Photo by Trisha Field
A Sea of People

Not all the dogs in attendance were smaller than Sonjia.  But I generally don't walk her up to other dogs.  I let people and dogs come up to us.  (Can you see the woman in pink in the back-ground intently watching the dogs?) Isaac and Tabatha heard a lot of comments throughout the day that Dobermans should not be allowed to come because they are such a vicious breed of dog.  I only heard one such comment.  But for the most part, I ignore ignorance when I hear it.  All people needed to do was to watch Sonjia interact with her surroundings and it would burst their bubble of ignorance.

Photo by Trisha Field
Hello new friend!
There are a couple of trails that go through the woods around the grounds.  Sonjia was a little disappointed because she wanted to run through the trails without her leash.  But in these woods she not only had to stay on her leash but she couldn't leave that trails and every dog knows that the best fun is off the beaten trail!
Photo by Trisha Field
The Fairy Trail

Sonjia wasn't sure what to think of the Queen Fairy with her big sparkling wings.  I had to sit beside the Fairy in order to get Sonjia to come near.  There were also a lot of mirror wind chimes hanging in this area.  The camera has picked up on one "spirit" floating above the Fairy's wing.  There were many sparkles of light glittering this section of the woods distracting Miss Sonjia.

Photo by Trisha Field
Sonjia meets the Queen Fairy

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Public Humiliation - The Stocks at the Renaissance Festival

This is one of the favorite stages at the Renaissance Festival.  For a bribe of $10.00 anyone can be accused of a crime and put in the stocks while being publicly humiliated. Oh don't worry, they have witnesses. It doesn't matter if the witnesses are real or reliable (in fact they are totally made up.)

Photo by Trisha Field
Isaac in the stocks
Isaac was chattering just a little too much and he ended up in the stocks.  They didn't have a shame board for talking excessively so they grabbed the first one they saw and made up the lies to publicly humiliate him.

Photo by Trisha Field
Here comes the bride

I was watching this bride around the edge while Isaac was being humiliated.  I think she was up to something but it back-fired on her. She wasn't on stage witness her new husband being put into the stocks.  They were both put into the stocks.  
Photo by Trisha Field
Who "framed" the bride and groom?
The bride was given the humiliating tag of "Nymph" and who stood up as a witness?  ... her Aunt!  And as the man setting up the witness fed her the lines, her dear sweet Aunt yelled out the words for everyone to hear.  Bless her little heart. 

Photo by Trisha Field
The Witness ...

The groom was charged with being a "Eunuch". No witness was needed they simply publicly humiliated him and made him sing.  (Oh yeah, everyone had to sing for their freedom.)  It was good to see that both the bride and groom were taking it well.
Photo by Trisha Field
They won't forget this wedding day!
Last year we took photos at a Renaissance Festival wedding.  There are a lot of weddings held at the Renaissance Festival. One key thing to remember if you are planning a wedding at the Renaissance Festival; "Audience Participation".  Actually, that fits for all of us.  More posts will be coming up to show how I participated.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Best laid plans

The best laid plans. I took off Friday because I needed to get a sidewalk laid before winter sets in. I had decided to redirect the rain gutter under the sidewalk.
Earlier this summer I realized that there was an old sidewalk that ran at a diangle. I have been developing a plan for working around it. 
Then today when  I started mixing the quickcrete I realized that it was old and bad.  But it was all that I had to work with. It isn't the best but I think once I get sand between the stones that it will look okay.
Cell Photo by Trisha
New Sidewalk

Friday, September 26, 2014

Autumn Colors

What is peak? I have always wondered that.  By the time that the news reporters say that the leaves are at peak, they seem to be past peak and blowing down.
The leaves around St. Cloud,  Minnesota are absolutely beautiful today.  The weather is supposed to be wonderful this weekend. So if you don't have any plans, take a drive.  Especially the back roads between Cold Spring and Avon, Minnesota. 
My favorite leaf photos and gazing are when the tops of the trees are red and the colors vary all the way down to the green on the bottom. Here are a few photos to tempt you.
Cell Photo by Trisha
Autumn Colors
Cell Photo by Trisha
Tree tops coloring everywhere!
Cell Photo by Trisha
Every color in one tree

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Life Balance

It is what we all seek.  A balance in every portion of our lives.  It is so difficult.  After all, there are only 24 hours in a day. 

I don't have children.  And although the three dogs take up some of my time it is nothing compared to the time taken by little human beings.  I can't figure out how families manage their time.  At the same time, I know many retired people.  Yes, people who no longer work and they still don't have enough time in the day. 

Tomorrow for a part of balance in my life, I am taking the day off to work on some fall projects. It has been a slow week at work and I don't always have those.  So it only makes sense to take advantage of the slow week in order to make time for a few of the other activities sitting on the back burner.

This is a busy weekend.  The dogs and I will be going to St. Cloud alone.  I need to shop for the food for my "Beyond Diet - 14 days of supercharged meal plans" that I will begin cooking on Monday.  Sunday I will be going to the Renaissance Festival with Tabatha and the crew.  I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Misty doesn't just run she bounces across the open fields.  Some of the times she will run into the tall grasses and all you see is her bouncing head popping above the tall grass as she figures out where she is at or going.
Photo by Trisha Field
Bouncing Misty Blue
Duchess and Sonjia are keeping their slim figures by running races (or chasing fast little Misty.)  Yes, baby boo can run circles around Duchess and Sonjia.  
Photo by Trisha Field
Mom & Daughter run together
I get the few rare pictures of them standing still.  I would like to get the three of them together with ears up and facing the same direction.  One day soon, I will get that perfect picture.

Photo by Trisha Field
Duchess (Mom)
It is such a pleasure having Sonjia back with us.  She is attached to me by the hip.  So it is difficult for me to get a photo of her away from me.  Shortly after this shot, she came running back to me again.  Just get out of the way when this 70 pounds of pure muscle comes running at you. 

Photo by Trisha Field
19 month old daughter ~ Sonjia
Mischievous Misty Blue is running with her mouth closed because she has managed to catch a mouse.  She isn't sure what she is supposed to do with it she only knows that she does not want to share it.  So she is prancing across the open field and away from everyone else.

Photo by Trisha Field
Mischievous Misty Blue
Sonjia wasn't very far away from Misty.  They fought back and forth until Sonjia took off running back to me.  I realized that she also had been running with her mouth closed.  This time Misty Blue was running with her mouth open.  Sonjia had captured the prize mouse and when Misty caught up to her she said, "I know you have the mouse in your mouth. I can smell it."

Photo by Trisha Field
Dog version of the shell game

Monday, September 22, 2014

Beating a Plateau

I have been plateaued at the same weight for way too long.  When I travel, I jump up 2 pounds and a week later those couple of pounds fall off.  But I am pretty well stuck at that main weight.  As with every plateau, my blood sugar takes a small hike up in the high 120's to low 130's. 

Cell Photo by Trisha
Simple but Delicious

Don't worry when you look at the size of this meat. I was sharing with three Dobermans that were drooling while they watched me eat! 
To help get through this plateau, I decided that I needed to learn more about the next level.  I have been eating a high protein/fat mix with less than 60 grams carbs on any given day.  I have known for quite some time that I need to learn what "healthy carbs" are and how they fit with my metabolism. I know that processed grains make me feel like garbage. 

A friend of mine highlighted Beyond Diet  Isabel De Los Rios is a certified nutritionist and an exercise specialist.  After reviewing some of her information, I decided that she would most likely have good information to help me get to the next level. 

According to her documentation, I am not eating enough calories or carbohydrates (complex carbs).  That has been something that I have been having a difficult time learning.  What vegetables and fruits are okay to eat together and in what quantities?  Some of the changes being recommended are a little bit scary.  But all change is scary, isn't it?

The other thing is that it is fall again.  I've noticed every year that this is the time of year that I need to consciously step up my exercise routine.  I am active enough in the summer but I start slowing down as it gets colder.  So I am making the adjustment to my exercise schedule at this time too.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Little Birdie in the Sky

I was out with the girls today and through the blowing wind I could hear hundreds of little birds in the tree.  Have you ever heard the excessively loud chattering of a tree full of birds?  That was what I was hearing in the middle of an open field with no trees around.  Their chatter was being carried on the wind.

Cell photo by Trisha
The birds like the new shingles
So it didn't surprise me too much when later in the afternoon I hear more chattering and looked up to see the birds sitting on the edge of the newly placed shingles.  I guess my roof is more than the talk of the people in the neighborhood. 

Hey! I just noticed that the windows on the East side of my house look a bit like cartoon eyes with big bushy eyebrows.  Smile!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Doberman Feeding Station

Dale went to the Swappers Meet this morning.  He found this $1.00 deal. It came without the bowls. So by the time I purchased bowls that fit it was close to twenty dollars.
It is an adjustable dog bowl holder. As you can tell,  Sonjia really appreciates being able to stand while she eats instead of bending way down to the ground.
Cell photo by Trisha
Doberman Feeding Station
Cell photo by Trisha
Doberman Feeding Station
Cell photo by Trisha
Sonjia Likes the new feeding station

Friday, September 19, 2014

Butter fingers make bowls of blessings

A local restaurant closed.  Dale loved their ice cream and he knew that had at least half a container left.  You know,  those HUGE containers. Sweet talking Dale talked his way into the ice cream.

I was transferring the very frozen ice cream into smaller pales per Dale's request.  He came to the kitchen table to help and when I turned around the pale went onto the floor and everything that I had scooped out fell onto the floor.
Cell Photo by Trisha
A little bit for everyone
Each of the girls got three scoops of Blue Bunny "Blue Ribbon Classics™ Ice Cream Strawberry Cheesecake". Dale was upset for a little while.  But his heart melted when he saw them enjoying their evening treat.  Normally he dishes up a bowl and shares a few bites with each dog.
Cell Photo by Trisha
So good that she'd do anything for it.....
Misty Blue liked it so much that she bent her nose just to get the last couple of licks out of her bowl.  After the rest of the ice was put into plastic gallon containers, Sonjia and Duchess came home with me.
Cell Photo by Trisha
Sonjia Snuggling with Mom & Grandma
I have a small love seat but they aren't happy unless we are all snuggled together on the small couch.  I can only lay that way for a short time and my back starts hurting.  But for awhile, the girls almost purr as we snuggle closely together.
Cell Photo by Trisha
Mom snuggling with Grandma & Sonjia

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Looking ahead 2 books ....

Parts of this book keep popping in my head and I am writing them down as they come to me.  That means I am writing it partially out of sequence.  (This is NOT part of the Goodwill Mystery Series. It is the first book after the series end.) The book is being written in journal form.  The woman writing the journal has accidentally left some blank pages in the journal.  Much later, she opens up to the blank pages and reflects with 20/20 hind-sight:

Ooops these pages stuck together. 
I will leave them blank for now and I may or may not fill them in later.
On the 41st day, the angels protecting the witnesses turned towards the witnesses, covering their eyes. Then the Glory of the Lord came upon the earth. Those that dared to look upon his Gory, both human and demons, found themselves before the judgment throne.  Without Jesus, they were condemned to perish.  Then the Glory of God lifted out of the sight of those on earth and thus began the final battle as Jesus came forth and removed Satan from the earth.  Satan did his best to fight back, throwing balls of fire at the earth destroying what remained of the things of this earth.

Powered by the prayers of the Children of God that congregated as God directed them, Jesus with his army of angels battled Satan while simultaneously protecting the Children of God.  All this was visible to the chosen witnesses even to the final minutes when Satan was bound and thrown into the abyss for a thousand years.
As we read today the things that Jesus shared with the disciples and others around him, we now understand the things they did not.  They were too close to living the life to really understand what they were being told.  This page will come at the end of 40 days of immense struggle, change and confusion.  Her writings on both sides will be very emotional.  This blank page she comes back to and fills in after the fact during her "ah ha!" moment. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Roof roof

Not the dogs barking!   The crew made it today to work on my roof! The front porch had been done with an emergency leak a couple of years ago.  Last fall, the lean-to shed was done with an emergency leak.  This spring in one of the late winter storms, bits of worn down shingle flew off from my roof.  I called right away to get on the schedule.  People must be doing a lot of home repairs because it was difficult to find a crew with time available.
West Side
The crew was timely, they worked hard with just a few breaks.  It sounded like they staggered the breaks.  There was someone working on the roof almost all day long.
Deliver "Truck" 2
I saw a small gas operated fork truck bring a pallet of supplies.  A little while later I saw this slightly larger fork truck delivering the shingles.  It must be a small town thing, don't bother loading it on a truck, just hall it half way up main street on a fork truck.
Delivery Truck 3
Then the partial pallet of shingles arrived on this oversized truck!  I had to laugh because they finally pulled out the big guns. There were a couple of long 2X4's and some flashing on the truck too.  The real purpose for the boom truck was to lift the shingles up to the top of the roof.
Boom and Power Lines
Evidentially, no one paid close attention to the surroundings because there are power lines surrounding my house.  It made it challenging but the boom operator was patient and did a good job.
South Side
If you look closely you can see the man on the roof showing the boom operator how much space he had to work with before hitting the wire.  It doesn't look he would be sitting in a blind spot but I guess the only one that knows that is the operator running the boom.
Boom and more power lines
It was a bit nerve racking to watch them unloading the shingles.  I can fly a small air-craft, I love flying commercially but I can't do a ladder and a roof of a house.
It beat carrying shingles up the ladder
Earlier this year, the mud-workers re-worked the basement wall.  In order to do that they needed to remove the (literally) half-rotten staircase.  There has been a ladder sitting in the opening for the last few months.  Now, once again, I have a set of stairs.  They are still steep but there is no way around that because it is a small basement.
New Basement Stairs
They finished just before sunset.  They added extra flashing around the top of the porch.  Do you see two colors of shingles? Yes, because the South section of the porch was almost brand new and I could not see paying the extra for re-doing good work.  But I was unable to get the matching shingles.  They weren't a style/color offered this year. :^(
South Side - Complete
They did a great job, don't you think so? Now I don't need to worry about the roof for a few years.
West Side - Complete
There were a couple of bad spots.  I don't understand why the last people that did the roof replaced about 80% of the roof with plywood sheets and not the last 20%.  The two places that weren't replaced was where I had periodic leaking problems. (Only in the hard driving rain.) 
North Side
These areas are now replaced, repaired and reinforced.  They also took the old antennae down along with an old satellite dish holder and replaced all of the roof vents. I think the next thing that I will need to do is have the house painted.  What do you think?  I am tempted to go with an almost white, light-blue but I doubt it.
North Side
Nick and his construction crew did an excellent job.  If you are in the Watkins area and in need of a construction crew give Nick a call 320-980-5997.