Monday, January 31, 2011

Follow the weight loss

You can follow the weight loss blog at Downward Diva's here.

Check out this talented young man

Go here to see Jordan McCabe doing his amazing talent.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What Do I See???

Lately there has been a lot of awards being passed around and following the rules of answering questions before passing it on to other bloggers. One of the questions was brought to mind today by my friend Caterpillar over at Musings and Confessions of a Wandering Mind. The question was, "when you look into the mirror, what do you see"?

Answering that question conjures up a lot of emotions, memories and thoughts of how it could be different. It is so easy to think about how it would be different "if" I had done this or that. A lot of "if's".

Actually I see a man that has come a long way and experienced more than I like to think about. Some good and a lot that was not so good. Fortunately I feel that I have grown stronger and better living through those times and today I see a man that requires little in this life and just wants to enjoy peace and minimal comfort. Sure, there was a time that I wanted huge houses and lots of things but now I see that all that accumulation of stuff only complicates my simple life.

Also and more important I see a man that before last June was drawn into myself until I encountered the blog world. Since last June I have discovered so many new friends litteraly all over this small world. We share our joys, our sorrows, our needs and give compassion and kind words when needed. I see a man that is grateful for all the new friends I now have and thank them for helping me feel like a better man for knowing them. That's what I see.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Short & sweet today. I am thankful that I received the motivation to start my healthier lifestyle, which I have already started, but will go into full action this monday. Before too long I hope to feel more energetic and pounds lighter.

Colors for Life

To spotlight the upcoming biggest loser challenge that will begin on Monday January 31st I wanted to apply emphasis to the real importance of fruits and vegetables in a way that you may not have thought about them before.

Green Foods - Broccoloi, Kale, Leaf & Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Cabbage & Brussels Sprouts.
Green foods are especially good for the circulatory system. They contain many minerals and B-complex vitamins. Some phytochemicals found in green foods are sulforaphane and indoles that are very powerful anti-cancer compounds. Researchers have tried to use these as isolated phytochemicals but find that they only work while in the whole food form.

Red Foods - Tomatoes, Watermellon & Red Cabbage
Red foods contain many phytochemicals that reduce free radical damage. The phytochemical called lycopene is especially helpful to prevent prostate problems, and reduce the effects of sun damage on the skin. Lycopene is the phytochemical that make the red foods get their red color.

Orange Foods - Carrots, Pumpkin, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Apricots & Cantaloupe
The orange foods have the carotenoids that help prevent cancer by repairing the DNA. As our mothers told us, carrots, and other orange foods, are especially good for our eyes, and help with night vision. The deep orange foods help our bodies get the vitamin A we need, without getting excess that can lead to osteoporosis.

Green/Yellow Foods - Yellow Corn, Green Peas, Collard Greens, Avocado & Honeydew Melon
This combination of green & yellow foods contains the carotenoids lutein & zeaxanthin that help reduce the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. These foods are also helpful in reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

Orange/Yellow Foods - Oranges, Pineapple, Tangerines, Peaches, Papaya & Nectarines
These foods that are orange & yellow in color are high in antioxidants, especially vitamin C, and help to improve the health of the mucus membranes and connective tissue. They help prevent heart disease by improving circulation and preventing inflamation.

White/Green Foods - Onions, Garlic, Celery, Pears & Chives
White & green combination foods contain a variety of phytochemicals. Garlic and onions contain allicin, the anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal phytochemical, and they can act as a poor man's antibiotic. Add garlic and onions in your meals to reduce the effects of potential toxicity of high fat meats. Celery has many minerals, expecially organic sodium, that keeps the fluid in the joints healthy.

Red/Blue/Purple Foods - Red Apples, Beets, Blueberries, Strawberries, Cranberries, Prunes, Concord Grapes & Blackberries
These dark colored red/blue/purple foods are very rich in powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins that protect again heart disease by improving circulation and preventing blood clots. They have many anti-aging phytochemicals that keep the blood circulating reducing the effects of the Standard American Diet rich in trans fats and processed foods.

When you make a salad make sure you have a variety of different colors. Strive to get at least 5 colors on your plate. Use fruits to balance the rest of the colors needed. This way you will get closer to the 8 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables required, and you will get the variety of nutrients you need daily. Hope this helps.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday Birthday

All I needed was motivation

I have been wanting to do better about we weight gain, loss, gain pattern for some time now and it appears February will be the start of a new leaf for me. You see I have always known what I needed to do, what I needed to stay away from, but I let circumstances rule my attitude and made wrong choices.

One of the points I have gotten from my new book "Made to Crave" by Lysa TerKeurst came out of scripture. 1 Corinthians 10:23; "everything is permissable -- but not everything is beneficial". So basically I can have that brownie or bag of chips but they would not benefit me, therefore my decision will be not to indulge.

This all may come as a shock to my wife but I have to do what I have to do. I will still happily cook anything she wants and help her in any way I can but will work on portion control and will concentrate on fruits and vegetables as my primary source of food. Not saying I am going the vegetarian way even though I did that for about 4 years and managed quite well.

So my friends this experience will begin next monday the 31st and I am really looking forward to the challenge. Again the site to visit and get on board is my friends over at Life in the Carolina Mountains and her email address is .

Biggest Loser, Blog Version

There has been a lot of blogs regarding the need or desire to lose weight and the only real problem with doing that is being held accountable. Maybe we have a solution to that situation and it involves my friends over at Life in the Carolina Mountains. Starting Monday, January 31st we will begin our weight loss program and will post our weight and goal. If you would like to participate check out their blog and then email her at and she will get back with you.

I am personally excited about this and will be posting another blog stating what I plan to do specifically to lose my weight goal. Join me and feel better about yourself.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I can feel their pain

This morning my wife blessed me with funds to visit her favorite place and get a pedicure. It was my second and certainly won't be my last.

The lady that was taking care of me was talking with another employee at one time and I recognized it to be Vietnamese. I asked her where she came from and she said Vietnam. I told her that I had spent 19 months there back in 1968 through 1970 and spent most of my time in Qui Nhon.

Her next statement moved me when she said she was born in Qui Nhon and later moved to Saigon. I shared with her that I had spent time at the Ghen Rang Orphanage and enjoyed being with the children who were products of sexual relations between GI's & Vietnamese women. Basically they were outcast and no one really cared about them except Catholic Nuns that ran the orphanage

She then opened up and said that she was mixed as well and never knew who her father was. It hurt hearing this knowing how all this happens. I have seen on line that the orphanage I visited was one of the orphanages that were airlifted out of Vietnam in 1975 when Saigon fell. From what I have read there were many families waiting for them so hopefully they were joined with good families.

She indicated that she was only 5 when she was evacuated out of Saigon and had to walk over dead bodies getting out of there. She said the memories of the scene of death bothered her for some time but she eventually put it behind her and moved on.

When she explained to me how it hurt to know she was thought of as nothing and disposable it hurt me as well being part of the group that was over there. I just don't understand why we can't seem to go into a foreign country without somehow messing it up in one way or another.

Of course I can't think back to that time in the orphanage without first thinking of the little blonde hair and blue eyed girl being held by one of the girls that worked on my compound. She was looking so cute and yet she was part of the disposable group of children. All I can do is hope that she was indeed airlifted out of Vietnam and now lives with a loving family. For today I have been there and yes I do feel their pain.

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Favorite Supermarket

This area where I live is loaded with Food Lions, Lowes Foods, Piggly Wiggly, Save A Lot, Walmart and Harris Teeter. I know there are other chains but this is what is available to me. There are times when you want or need something in particular and you search and just get so frustrated because no one seems to have your item. With all of the above listed it is true with the exception of Harris Teeter. I am one of the, you might call weird shoppers, that get entertained just walking around in a superior super market. I love seeing items that I have never seen in say Walmart. Linda and I had a unique shopping experience last Saturday. We had been unable to find 2 things in all the stores in Roanoke Rapids which include some of the same name stores in Rocky Mount.

If any of you watch the Food Network surely you have seen someone use tomato paste in a tube. They talk about how awesome it is to be able to squeeze out just what you want, screw the cap back on and put it in the fridge until the next time instead of wondering how you are going to keep the remains of the tomato paste can you opened and took a tablespoon out. I didn't have an immediate need but I want to own one and that was our first find at good old Harris Teeter.

We also love roasted turkey all during the year with whole berry cranberry sauce. I looked everywhere for a fresh turkey breast with the pop out timing button and all I could find was frozen meat. That was the next item we looked for and sure enough they had one that I promptly cooked in my Flavor Wave oven when we got home. Harris Teeter is located in Rocky Mount where I work. The only problem is that it is on the other side of town and it takes about 20 minutes with all the traffic lights to get to it but when I do I get instant gratification.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today I am sooooooooo thankful for a computer that works. The people that do our computer repairs did an outstanding job of getting mine repaired quickly and I am so thankful since my computer is unique in our office. I have all the service history records in mine so yesterday the guys had to go out into the field with less than the information they usually have but they seemed to manage quite well.
I was fortunate yesterday to have one in our sales office that was available so I could keep up with my blog checking from time to time. If I get too far behind it seems to take me forever to get caught up because I do try to read everyones blog and let them know I am here.
Yesterday I was also thankful for NC's weather. It started off cool but by early afternoon it was hot enough in a vehicle that A/C or at least an open window was necessary.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The rest of the story

It was 1995 and everything was going just peachy working for a gentleman who lived in Nashville, NC and had started his business out of his home. I will back up for a second and state that I personally started with Office Machine Service and Sales back in 1980. At that time the main emphasis in the office machine industry was typewriters.
I can still remember unloading trailer loads of typewriters to be unboxed, set up and delivered to some school typing room. At the time we were the only company in our area that even tried to service typewriters and had many counties with many schools to maintain.
The first year I started with the company it was time for schools to be out for the summer and I would go with a team in a van loaded with an air compressor, solvents and rags to clean each machine and repair anything wrong with it to prepare for another year of service. I didn't even really see the company's shop until the summer cleaning was completed. We used a product called Fedron to clean platen rollers which is the black roller that the paper rolled around. In later years we heard about how dangerous that stuff was and wonder if we have any internal problem due to using that stuff without gloves.
As the years passed by copiers became popular and we stated selling and servicing copiers and building up quite a clientele that covered most of eastern North Carolina. That brings us to 1995 when the owner was approached by a large company wanting to purchase our small company.
After negotiations a deal was made and we were no longer employed by a small family. They were also buying other business and consolodating into one larger business. It was at that time that two of the technicians did not want to stay and be a part of this large firm so they opted to leave. I stayed. I was service manager and since this huge firm had it's own service manager I was demoted to glorified delivery man. It had it's good days and bad days depending on the location I had to deliver and the weather.
While I was being bored delivering machines the other two guys had decided to start their own business with no capital, no parts manuals, just enthusiasm to make it work. They got a contract with a local school system that allowed them to get their first year rolling. Little by little they grew in the company it is today covering most of eastern North Carolina like the original company did.
In 1999 they finally decided everything could be delivered out of the Raleigh location so that ended my job but at least they gave me a 6 month severance package for my 20 years of service.
After leaving I had fun selling log homes for a few years and then had a job doing grocery store sets which put me in a different town each day and had friday and the weekend off which was nice. The miles started to get to me so in 2005 I approached my old friend who was one of my technicians back in the old days. He wanted me to come on board and be service manager for his 5 technicians so it was like a reunion. So that's how Quality Office Equipment Co., Inc. came into existence. There are 12 people employed here including the boss & his wife. It is great place to come to every day. I am blessed to be able to say that.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's Award Time Again

Woke up this morning to find out I had received another award, this time from Bruce over at JADIP. Thanks a million Bruce and you folks need to pop over and pay him a visit if you have not been there.
Now I suppose I need to follow some rules and answere 10 questions & give it to 3 worthy bloggers.
1. If you blog anonymously, are you happy doing this? If you aren't anonymous, do you wish you started out anonymously, so that you could be anonymous now?
When I started I did not know what I was doing & only found out later that quite a few bloggers prefer to remain anonymous. Now after doing this for about 7 months I am satisfied to remain open the way I am.
2. Describe an incident that shows your inner stubborn self.
More than once I have made a decision based on my immediate feeling and stuck to it later wishing I had given it more thought because I made a family member feel bad and I felt bad too.
3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
I see a 63 year old man that wishes he had made better choices along the road of life and wishing I was 20 lbs lighter.
4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?
Micholobe Ultra
5. When you take time for yourself, what to you do?
I still like to walk along or in the woods.
6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life?
I want to retire with my wife in the mountains.
7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person or always ditching?
I was always shy & underachieving
8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what would it be?
It was watching my mother in her later years receive her GED in cap & gown.
9. If is easy for you to share your true self in your blog, or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people and events?
Other people and events.
10. If you had a choice to sit down and read a book or talk on the phone, which would you do & why?
Talk on the phone because I like to stay connected to family members and a book has to be very special to keep me in it.
The 3 recipients to receive this award today will be:
Annah over at Red Means Go who never fails to make my day with her unique ability to create fantastic art and keep me coming back for more.
Belle at Tales from a loser and honestly I don't know how she has hung onto that title since she is on the other end of the spectrum from that kind of person.
Jamie Jo over at Lord make me a saint is a special friend that has 5 of the most adorable children which she home schools and if you visit you will find that she is such a joy to visit time and time again.
Please made a point to visit these special people if you haven't already. Thanks again Bruce.

Monday, January 17, 2011

House sitting in Sicily

A sweet cousin of mine recently had the joy of house sitting for a family in Sicily on of all things, a winery. Her husband's father was born in Sicily so it was a treat for both of them to be there and experience their culture that has not been contaminated by McDonalds & Burger King. To look at the villages is to see what was seen hundreds of years ago which is unique in this world today. These are just pictures I pulled from Google but you get the idea. They have an active volcano there that was spewing ash on the property she was looking after. Enjoy the scenery. It is about the size of South Carolina and is what you see when you look at a map of Italy with the island at the end of the boot.

A sad post

Lilly has not been seen for over a week now and we are afraid something may have happened to her. She was so happy getting love between our house and Linda's mothers house behind us. In fact Linda's mama had pretty much claimed Lilly as her kitten and invited her into her house for hours at a time. She is grieving at not having her to give her company.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Prayer Request

A blogger friend of mine, Nicole, asks for prayer. Check out her request here.


What makes my kitchen work

I do a lot of cooking and love every minute of it so to make my life easier it helps to have useful items around to simplify the projects. I guess the most used appliance I have is my 8 qt. pressure cooker. What makes it so nice is that you never hear it until the job is done and it beeps to let you know that the cooking is completed and it automatically switches to warm and will depressurize all by itself. Work really great for dishes that call for cooked chicken . Cooking a whole chicken instead of pieces costs less and it's all electronic. Just punch in the number of minutes and press start. It will let you know when its done.

My Flavorwave oven is the next most used for meals done quickly. I used it today with the extender ring to cook a turkey breast and it was done perfectly in a little over an hour. I can take steak frozen solid and be eating juicy delicious steaks in only 30 minutes. With infra red and convection everything cooks faster and better.

As my new blogging daughter would agree, what is a good kitchen without an effecient opener for wine bottles. This one has a straight pointed tip instead of the curved tip so it more user friendly and works great on synthetic corks.

My German V-Slicer has been with me for about 20 years and slices just as good today as it did when I first bought it. The only piece I have had to replace is the handle up front in the center that you use to hold the veggies and avoid slicing your fingers. With it I can slice thick or thin, slice strips thick or thin. If I have an onion on the holder and use a knife and make 3 or 4 slices in the opposite direction of how it will be on the slicer and use the think vertical blades I get a perfect fine dice every time. Not pictured it also came with a slicer that does waffle fries. One of the best investments I ever made.

My Vita Mix is the real work horse in my kitchen. It is not a blender. It is so powerful I can take wheat and turn it into flour, regular sugar into powdered sugar, fresh veggies into hot soup in only 8 minutes, frozen strawberries or any fruit into ice cream. My wife's favorite is to take fresh fruit (grapes, apples, kiwi, blueberries, banana, orange without the peel, "baby spinich") and some ice cubes and make the best fruit smoothy with the added benefit of the spinch and you cannot taste the spinich. You've probably seen Montel Williams advertise his version of the same machine on TV. It really is as good as they say.

One of our most used daily items is our Keurig coffee maker. Above it is pictured the top of the K-cup that goes into the machine and that particular one is Kona coffee from the big island of Hawaii and my favorite. You simply raise the lid, pour your cup full of water in the top, lower the lid and then raise the front handle which causes the water to flow into the heating chamber and lets you put your choice of coffee or tea into the K-cup holder, lower the handle and press the top button and 2 minutes later you have a perfect cup of coffee every time. No mess and no pot with coffee that gets wasted. You can also purchase models with a water resevoir that allows you to make numerous cups before having to refill with water.

Last but certainly not least is a staple here in my kitchen and that is the Crockpot. This is what I use when I don't have time to stand over a stove. It is also a device that can turn simple ingredients into something special. One of the many dishes I prepare is what I call easy chicken which is simply 3 or 4 chicken breasts or it can be other cuts covered with a mixture of cream of chicken soup and cream of celery soup. The chicken is fall apart tender and the sauce that happens is heavenly.
Sure I could live without some of these appliances but life would not be half the fun.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Welcome a new member of our blog family

Great news everybody, my middle daughter has decided to enter the blog world and her new blog is up and running. Go here and check her out. She did an awesome job of designing her blog and I am very proud of her accomplishments.

She is an animal rescuer and you will see a picture story of one of her rescues. Make sure you leave a comment to encourage her. Oh, her blog title is puppy kisses.

A Peaceful Saturday Morning in NC

Good morning blog family. We have had our share of fun with the last couple of posts and that is all good. Everyone needs to smile at funny times and I really had to stretch out on some of that craziness.

I have been reading through all the blog posts this morning and I am I happy to report that there was mostly positive posts all over the blog world that I follow and that makes me very happy. Of course there are friends out there that are still struggling but with a good attitude and hope for the better days ahead.

Rocky is so excited that the weekend is here and has Linda & I to hold him and play with him. It must be a really lonesome time during the week when he is here all by himself but I suppose he spends a lot of that time sleeping in Linda's recliner. We have to be prepared when we get home because he greets us and is so excited to see us that he pees wherever he is when we touch him. So, there is always a cleanup period after the greeting but that is OK because we love him.

Was sad to find out from a blog friend that John Dye died recently. He was a very good actor and a key role on Touched by an Angel, one of my all time favorite shows. I have spend many times watching that show and crying like a baby at the end. Must get that from my dad. I can still remember seeing him cry watching Bonanza. He was a softy and I guess it's in the genes.

Not much on the agenda here in chilly 30 degrees NC today. It seems to take something really pressing to drive us out into the cold these days but by the afternoon it should be warmed up enough to venture out and get some much needed sunlight.

Know without a doubt that each of you are special to me and have done so much to help me through what could have been a bleak holiday season. Your friendship has truly helped me and by doing so has helped my family and that is really a blessing. Thanks again & have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, January 14, 2011

OK - Last picture request for this week

I don't know why you would want it Lolamouse but here is Jake Gyllenhaal for you.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Because Belle Asked for it

Belle, I tried but could only find bad pictures of Harrison Ford on horseback. This will have to do for now.

Horses are Beautiful

OK indulge me just a little. I had to have a little fun with the first 2. Enjoy