Losing Weight — Definitely a Work In Progress

Dearest Readers:

Today is another dreary, cloud covered day in Charleston, SC. We’ve had so much rain it is almost impossible to report how many inches our beautiful city has tolerated. I have lost count. At least my lawn is looking better and the zoysia plugs we planted appear to be growing a bit, this time. We also have a bumper crop of mosquitoes and ants. Ants have enjoyed snacking on my feet, so much so that I am hesitant to wear sandals much anymore. Such is the life of living in the South!

Last week, I did not write about my life as a Weight Watcher. I lost .06 of a pound, but I must say, inches appear to be falling off of me, and that is good! Yes, I am working out more, using my treadmill almost daily.

Last evening, I watched a program that is new to me. Extreme Weight Loss. http://abc.go.com/shows/extreme-weight-loss/video/PL55124937/_m_VDKA0_fno7e7bt?CID=google_sem_1. For two hours, I watched the struggles and accomplishments of “Trina.” I could relate to her story in a small way, due to the manipulations I endured with my mother. When Trina lost weight, I cheered. When I watched her stuffing her face with unhealthy choices — cookies in the early morning with a large glass of whole milk — birthday cake — and so much more, I became curious if she truly had the strength and commitment to lose her weight. At the beginning of Trina’s story, she weighed 290.1 pounds. She lost down to 149 pounds on day 270, only to gain 32 pounds at her next weigh-in. Trina is truly addicted to food — especially unhealthy junk food. Fortunately, at the ending of the show, she met her goal of 145 pounds and she truly grew into a beautiful flower. The question at hand is — will she keep it off? Unless Trina truly deals with her food addiction, I think not.

When I joined Weight Watchers, I was not totally convinced that I would stick to the program, and that I would achieve my weight goal. After seeing “Extreme Weight Loss,” I am convinced that my determination with Weight Watchers will be successful. Why?

Simple. With the support and encouragement I receive at Weight Watchers meetings, I have learned that I am not in this journey alone, and I have made many new friends, just by going to the meetings. While it is true, I do not need a program such as “Extreme Weight Loss,” since I do not have over 100 pounds or more to lose, like the guests on Extreme Weight Loss, I have discovered I cannot accomplish my goals alone. In all honesty, I wish I had stuck it out with Weight Watchers years ago — back in the days when everything had to be weighed and fruit was not encouraged. I tried other programs, only to lose the weight and gain it back. So much for learning something back in those days!

I do hope the guests on “Extreme Weight Loss” manage to keep their weight off, and NEVER EVER gain it back again. Chris Powell, the transformation specialist, is a motivational expert who gets a bit frustrated when someone weakens, such as Trina did. After last night, I do believe I am a fan of “Extreme Weight Loss,” because it is the type of show that teaches those suffering with obesity that they can change their behaviors and lose the weight. OK…in all honesty, I think they lose an amazing amount of weight a bit quickly…Yes, they exercise and they are supposed to learn healthy eating habits, but someone such as Trina seems to be a loose cannon who might slip back into her old habits again — much to the credit of a cruel, domineering mother who teaches her that she is unworthy, and a husband and family that truly attempted to trigger her old habits. One of the children rushed off to get fast food and root beer on one of the sound bites, only to bring it home and eat it while Trina watches. So much for a supportive family!

My husband attempts to trigger me, at times, by suggesting pizza or fast food, and when I mention “Remember, I’m doing Weight Watchers,” he steps back. I suppose he sees my dedication. He certainly knows how slowly I lose weight. Since joining Weight Watchers, I have grown so much — not in size — that is shrinking! I have grown as a woman…as a person…I have grown into someone who truly thinks twice about what I’m consuming. I suppose one could say Weight Watchers has become my life. Now, that I am a fan of “Extreme Weight Loss,” I will probably continue watching the program since it is encouraging. I do have a problem with the sound bites of where the guests get surgical procedures to tighten the skin, simply because the program only touches on this segment of the show. The end result is either a handsome or beautiful makeover.

Nevertheless, I will continue my journey — the Weight Watchers way. I am reaching my goals and soon, perhaps — my star will shine for me — the Weight Watchers Way!

What I’ve learned during my journey:
Healthy eating works. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
Record everything consumed either in a journal, or on the Weight Watchers e-tools site. This certainly helps.
When falling off the wagon — my reference to when I’ve consumed something I shouldn’t have consumed — I hop back on. I no longer beat myself to death by feeding negative thoughts. I replenish by whispering positive feedback…and for me, that is truly an accomplishment since as a child, my mother ridiculed me, telling me I would never amount to anything. She reminded me that I would never lose weight because I was ugly and didn’t deserve to be beautiful or worthy of love. I believe in the power of positive thoughts and feedback and I tell myself that when I fall down, I have no where else to go — but UP! Achieving my weight loss is reassuring me that I do deserve better things in life…just like my dad reminded me, until the day he breathed his last breath.

A few weeks ago at the Weight Watchers meeting, we discussed “anchors” and how anchors help us to continue our pursuit. My anchor is a simple one – something I read and repeat to myself daily:

“Success is failure turned inside out.
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are.
It may be nearer when it seems afar.
So, stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit.
It’s when things seem worse, you mustn’t quit!”


The last stanza is what I whisper to myself daily:
“So, stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit.
It’s when things seem worse, you mustn’t quit!”

I hope you will continue reading my saga with Weight Watchers.
Weight Watchers — “Because it Works!”

My Eyes Have It — FINALLY!

Dearest Readers:

To those who contacted me via e-mail, inquiring about the saga with my eyes and contacts, I’d like to thank you for your concern. I am happy to report when I went to the ophthalmologist in late May, I saw a different doctor. Seems my doctor moved to another practice, so I saw her partner. He checked my eyes thoroughly, looking back into the file to see and read notes. Then, he asked me, “Which eye was it that had a damaged cornea?”

Negative, frightening thoughts entered my mind, for a moment. He shook his head, looking again.

“What’s the matter? I thought my eye was getting better.”

“It is!” He exclaimed. “I don’t see any damage. You have two healthy eyes.”

I sighed! “Can I wear my contact again?”

“Let’s try one.”

Finally! My right eye was healed. No scarring. No damage. The cornea was healthy!

If you have followed my blog about my eyes, you will recall I have fought with an eye virus, an eye infection, a scarred and burned cornea, and an almost complete loss of eye sight since February 2013. For over four months, I could not wear contacts at all. In my right eye, all I could see was a blanket of gray, or a gigantic blur. Watching TV, if I covered my left eye to see out of the right, I could not make out images on the TV — not even the 52-inch in the den. At the doctor’s office, I could not read the eye chart — not even the top chart! Fortunately, my left eye was great, with good vision, but driving — well, let’s just say, I did not drive, except to get to the doctor’s office. All of my weekly errands were rescheduled for weekends, when my husband was home. I hated it. For almost four months I found myself practically homebound. Unable to drive comfortably. I did drive to Weight Watchers, that is — when I went. I did not walk, for fear I would not be able to see the sidewalk well and might fall. My independence was suddenly questionable. I confess, I am not a dependent person, so I remained at home, resting my eye. Hoping and praying that with each new day, I would see improvement. I did not.

The eye doctor had me on several medications. One of the medications resulted in burning my cornea, so she tossed that medication in the trash. During the four months of wishing and hoping and praying that my eye would heal, it did not. The doctor suggested a new course — over the counter Refresh Eye Drops and the prescription drug, Restasis. “Use them twice daily…and no contacts until I say so!”

That was the last time I saw my strict eye doctor in April. When I returned in May, I saw her partner, I believe he is the founder of the practice. When he shared with me that he could not find any damage to my eye, I was ecstatic! Hopefully, I could wear contacts again.

Today, I am pleased to report, I am able to wear a contact in my right eye. i have the thirty-day, soft type, and I am using them daily. I DO NOT SLEEP IN THEM! Although, reportedly, patients can sleep in them, but ‘eye conditions may occur,’ so I am being smart this time, not lazy. A new nightly ritual includes not just washing my face, brushing my teeth, moisturizing my face and body, I have a new ritual after washing my hands. I remove my contact. Place it in fresh solution, and I moisturize my eyes — first with Refresh drops. I wait about five minutes, then I open a Restasis vial and moisturize my right eye. When I awaken in the morning, the same ritual occurs, including moisturizing my eyes with Refresh and Restasis. After 30 minutes, I insert my eye contact.

I will never sleep in contacts again — even IF I am told that I might. While I do not know if sleeping in a contact causes eye problems, I am told that the eye needs to breathe and while sleeping in contacts, the eye might not receive the proper amount of oxygen. I do find it interesting that with all of the problems I had with my eye, all occurred with my right eye — the eye with the sleeping contact.

So, dear readers, to all of you I will say — you be the judge. If you wear contacts, please consider that you do not want to endure the problems I had. Nothing is more frightening than to have your eye sight slowly fading away. I had so many foolish questions dancing inside my mind:

*I am a writer – how can I write when I cannot see?” My mindset was a pity party, I suppose.

There were definitely additional questions I had, but I realized it was time to stop focusing on a pity party and pray that my eye sight would return. I am so blessed that my sight is back to normal now, and I only need to wear one contact. I still have reading glasses placed strategically around the house, and in my handbag. After all, a writer must be prepared.

The new contact is doing well. Perhaps because I am not sleeping in contacts at all, and I use the eye drops for dry eye syndrome twice daily. If you have dry eyes, you might consider printing a coupon from the Refresh website, http://www.dealsoff.com/refresh-eye-drops-printable-coupons/ read carefully how to use the vials and follow the directions 100%. Make certain you wash your hands before doing any eye care!

Lessons learned the hard way for me. I always wash my hands prior to any eye care, but I was negligent by sleeping in a contact. During this illness, my left eye was 100%. Right eye? Almost blind. Lessons learned. Please, follow my advice and NEVER…EVER SLEEP IN CONTACTS. It just isn’t worth an eye infection, eye virus, or conditions within the eye, especially with the cornea!

Let us all make a pledge to have Happy, Healthy Eyes!!!

Losing Weight — the Weight Watchers Way!

Dearest Readers:

If you are a regular follower of my blog, you are familiar with the saga I write and share about losing weight. I confess, I’ve had difficulty with weight gains, weight losses, all of my life. Now that I am an active and regular member of Weight Watchers, I truly believe I have finally found the key, motivation and determination to achieve my weight goal. No, I haven’t established a goal — yet, but as the pounds (and lots of inches) are finally decreasing now, I have a possible goal in mind. Someday in the near future, I will meet with my leader, to confirm that goal.

Today is Monday. My regular weigh in day is Thursday. Last Thursday I was a bit too tired to go to the meeting. This week, I will face the music, regardless how tired I am. Last night was another night of no sleep; however, it wasn’t due to my ‘circular thinking,’ but a lack of comfort in my home. When we went to bed last night, I checked the thermostat, discovering it was a bit hot in our home — 75 degrees. I tossed and turned, unable to sleep, I rose from the bed, strolled around the house a bit, noticing the thermostat read 77 degrees. We have our thermostat set at 71, so I was a bit suspicious. Rushing with thoughts of my household budget, I prayed that if something was wrong with our air conditioner, I had to be prepared to ‘juggle the budget’ once again. My husband is on furlough now on certain days of the week, cutting into our income. Thanks so much, Congress! No, I don’t blame Congress completely for my having to juggle a budget, but at least I am confident that I can make a decision. Congress — well, we all know they are members of the “Good Ole Boys” club and cannot have the courage to make a decision. As for the women in Congress, they are a bit outnumbered, so I’m certain their voices are not heard by those imbecile Good Ole Boys!

But, the discussion about Congress is for another time! Last night was a total lack of sleep, so at 3:45am I phoned our heating and air company. The temp in the house was steadily climbing — now 78 degrees. My chest was wheezing, my skin damp to the touch, and the fan in the room was a bit dusty, needing a good cleaning. Asthmatics have a dreadful time cleaning fans. The service technician arrived early this morning, just a few minutes before 9am. I was prepared to have an additional expense, so I sat in the kitchen, drinking coffee while Phil worked with the tech. We were lucky this time. The $84.00 service charge to come out to check our unit would be covered under the extended warranty since our unit is only eight years old. The capacitor was bad, so the tech replaced it, had us sign an invoice and presented us with a $0.00 fee! Thank you, God. Still, it is hot in the house – last check, the thermostat read 76 degrees. At least the air is circulating now and I can breathe better, along with my precious pups.

Mondays are usually my scheduled day to do extensive household cleaning, the usual weekly vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing floors, bathrooms, etc. Today, I have managed to talk myself out of this work, and I’ve talked myself out of jumping on the treadmill. I am simply too exhausted to “Move” today. This got me thinking — how do we cope when life gives us lemons, makes us depressed, and manages to convince us that ‘today will be a slow day?’

Last week, I exercised every day. Weeks, or perhaps months ago, when I started using the treadmill and other exercise equipment I have at home, my goal was to do fifty side bends, fifty ab crunches, and ten minutes on the treadmill. Energized, I increased all and can now do the treadmill at a faster rate for thirty, sometimes forty minutes. Today, there is no way, but I will find my motivation again. I am getting so many compliments now and that is truly my motivation. I have a goal to reach, and with the will of myself and the strength I get from God, I will achieve this goal.

Today, I’ve decided I must take baby steps again. Even though it has been a stressful day, I am sticking to the plan, just not the moving aspect of it. Oh well. Better days are ahead!

Today, it is my turn to share with all of you this simple statement — when you are exhausted, stressed, discouraged, or just not motivated, it is ok to take a day off. Tomorrow when the sun shines, you can strive to take baby steps for your success. My Weight Watchers journey has been a two-year struggle. I have had days and weeks when I cannot get motivated. I’ve missed meetings. I’ve eaten things I should not eat, but what I have discovered on this exciting adventure is even when I go off the wagon,’ I pick myself up, have a sincere discussion with myself, and I restart and re-energize.

Today is one of those days. I’ve never been one to eat at midnight, or to grab snacks. I do not have any junk food or snacks in my pantry or hidden in my home. I have fresh fruit ready always. Today, I am so tired that food or snacks does not interest me. I’ve told my husband that I am much too tired to cook dinner tonight in an uncomfortable house, so we will go out for dinner. No doubt, I will stick to my Weight Watchers program, in hopes tonight I will be able to sleep.

Today, I have decided I must:
*Drink plenty of water. I usually start every morning with a cold glass of water with lemon, just before I have coffee. Today, I did not do that. I suppose I was just a bit too worried about the household budget. Lessons learned – don’t worry, be happy. Life will get me by, along with the prayers and my belief in God.
*Track my foods online and on my Iphone. I’ve been a bit negligent about that lately. Lessons learned!
*Exercise – I strive for thirty minutes daily. On days like today, I have been one lazy, exhausted woman…and that truly is not my style. Lessons Learned!!!

*When God gives lemons, make lemonade. Don’t focus on the negative aspects of life, and we all have them…silly moments where we dare to eat something we shouldn’t — or we binge…Focus on the positive…the encouraging compliments of others. Don’t dwell on today was a bad day. As my father shared with me throughout my life, focus on the positive, not the negative. Lessons Learned!to
*Encourage yourself while knowing that gaining weight is a process where we put weight on over a period of time. Losing weight is the same process…it simply appears to take longer than we expected. Take weight loss one day at a time. Lessons Learned!

Today started as a bad day for me. Hot. Uncomfortable. Difficulty breathing. Now, I am focusing on the reality that even though the morning started in a bad way, the sun is shining. My home is getting more comfortable and although I am taking the day off and doing nothing but reading, tomorrow I will jump back on the band wagon while knowing that today did not shatter me to the point that I’ve eaten everything I should not eat. Eating takes exercise, and I’m too tired to eat today!

As for tomorrow, I will accomplish my goals. How about you? I’d love to hear your comments!

George Zimmerman — Not Guilty

Dearest Readers:

I confess to all of you, I did not glue myself to the George Zimmerman trial. After listening to the case of Casey Anthony, I promised myself I would not sit and watch those types of cases again, nor would I listen to another “not guilty” verdict.

When I heard the story about Trayvon Martin, his murder and the story of George Zimmerman, I decided I had a bit too many compassionate thoughts about this case and it was in my best interest NOT to listen to it, especially after I discovered that the jurors were six white females. As a juror on a few cases in Charleston, SC, I could not imagine how the attorneys chose only white females. Didn’t they need a male and one or two jurors of a different color? Please understand, I am not a racist. I am a white female, but that description of me does not make me a racist. Growing up in the deep South during the Civil Rights Movement, I chose not to be a racist. I believed in the goodness of people, not the color of skin. As a mother, I struggled with this case. The life was taken away of a seventeen-year-old young black man, and I do refer to him as a young man because he was. No, I did not Google Trayvon Martin, to see if he had a criminal record, and I did not Google George Zimmerman. There was enough on the news about him to last for his lifetime.

Nevertheless, there was a life taken during the questionable behavior of George Zimmerman. In my neighborhood, I am a Crime Watch volunteer. I feel blessed that I’ve never had to call 911 – yet, and I pray that in my neighborhood that will continue. I have seen kids, the age of Trayvon Martin, roaming the neighborhood at times…these kids were mostly white, and I recognized them, so I told them they needed to go home, not to get into something that could lead to trouble and heartache for their parents. I ask myself, what would I do in that situation? I have an answer. There was an occasion a few years ago where I heard sirens and noise. My dogs were barking, warning me that something was happening within my community. When the sirens got closer, I heard the gate to my back yard slam hard so, I opened the back door. Much to my horror, there was a police officer next to the back gate, grabbing a bag and a ‘suspect’ — a Latino in my yard. I was told to get back inside. For a few minutes, I was horrified, but the police had the suspect, so I prayed that I would be safe. I phoned the police dispatcher. When she realized, I lived at the premises, she shared the story that a Latino suspect had stolen something and the police were arresting him. I locked the back door. Would I have done something differently if the suspect had entered my home? The back door, at the time, was unlocked. It isn’t unlocked now. And, I have asked myself repeatedly just why George Zimmerman pulled a weapon. Was it necessary to take the life of Trayvon Martin? If he had to shoot, to preserve his own life, why couldn’t he shoot him in a different part of the body? I am not an advocate for guns, so maybe I am not the right person to ask that question, but, as a mother — I cannot imagine losing your child.

I understand there was some discussion during the case about child abuse. Perhaps one of the attorneys was playing the ‘child abuse’ card, but this case was NOT about child abuse…it was about murder…

Now, George Zimmerman is a free man. His freedom has come at a price. I doubt he will ever have FREEDOM. His name is probably mentioned in every household in America. I certainly know the case was a discussion every where I went. I stated on several occasions that I did not believe he would be found guilty.

“Why would you say that?”

“I’ve been on several cases within the court systems of South Carolina. I am one of the jurors that takes lots of notes and when we go into deliberation, I am one who truly voices her opinions about the case.”

Fortunately, I do not live in Sanford, Florida. I was blessed not to be on this case. My heart breaks for the Martin family, and I am curious as to how many jurors will become rich, just from their stories. When the books and movies are scheduled, I do not believe I will purchase, read, or watch. I’ve heard the name George Zimmerman enough. He’s a celebrity of sorts. Personally, I would like him to just fade away into the distance now, and live his life quietly, but I truly doubt that will happen. Just the name “George Zimmerman” gets a reaction.

I haven’t listened to the reactions this morning, and I am hopeful that nothing happens due to the ending of the trial and the words, “Not guilty.”

I said he would be found Not Guilty…basing my beliefs similar to the O. J. Simpson case, and we all know he was found “Not guilty…” but inside of my heart, as I think of Trayvon Martin, and I put myself into the life of a young seventeen-year-old, I believe the situation could be handled a different way. Didn’t the dispatcher of 911 tell Zimmerman not to follow him?

As for George Zimmerman, the free man, I cannot help thinking about how he sleeps at night. Will he continue to be a volunteer for crime? I hope not. I do know he has gained a considerable amount of weight during this trial. Perhaps the stress was a bit much…just think of the Martin Family. They lost a son. Was he innocent? Why was he walking in the neighborhood? I’ve heard these questions over and over again. Why was he wearing a hoodie? The answers — he lived in the neighborhood…it was raining… I do not believe he deserved to die.

Was this a racist situation? In my opinion, I haven’t followed the entire story to answer that question, but I do know that even in the Twenty-first century, racism still exists.

I have no comments for the Trayvon Martin family because I do not understand what they must be experiencing now. Grief? As a parent, I try to place myself in their shoes…What it must be like to lose your child, but I cannot relate. I pray they will find closure now, but how — just how does a parent stop grieving over the loss a child?

George Zimmerman –Not Guilty, I do hope he learned a valuable lesson from this trial, and I hope he will sleep at night and not wander around the neighborhood — looking for trouble — but I doubt it.

Antique Shopping — Melissa’s First Shoes

Last week while running errands, my husband wanted to know if I had additional errands in mind. Occasionally I enjoy walking through antique shops. A few years ago, one of my favorite shops was Hungry Neck Antique Mall, but it closed and now is Trader Joe’s. Driving along Coleman Blvd. in Mt. Pleasant, I’ve noticed a sign for Six Mile Antique Shop. I dropped by once, noticing many, and I do mean many, venues of antiques, trinkets and interesting items. Since I have a birthday this summer, I suggested dropping by Six Mile Antiques, just to see what they had. I’m interested in an antique mantel clock, one that chimes.

Years ago, I considered shopping in an antique mall a form of shopping for junk. Not anymore. Walking along the booths, my mind grew curious. To many people, antiques are simply junk that no one wanted anymore; however, to someone who appreciates treasures from years past, ‘junk’ and antiques are a silent story form that writers cherish. I glanced at tiny trinkets, glassware, silver, plates, cups, pictures and art. One person’s junk is another person’s treasure. How I wish I had the room, or the financial freedom to purchase so many of these treasures.

Shopping at an antique mall takes me back to the history of my grandparents, maternal and paternal. My mother’s parents I knew well, since I lived with them as a teenager. Grandma had many trinkets I loved, especially her ‘what not’ shelves, placed gently in the corner by the front door. Every Saturday, I polished it, removing the ceramic ladies, dressed in antebellum Southern attire, shining them with a toothbrush to keep them clean. Then, I polished the wood, hoping that someday I would have the what not shelves in my home — in memory of Grandma. Never did I get them, after her death.

My paternal grandmother had many antiques. Tiffany lamps, statues, porcelain vases, china, depression glass and silver. I did not have the pleasure to get to know my Dad’s mother well, since our family situation was dreadful. After her death, I managed to smuggle three pieces of depression glass, and a few pieces of silverware, dating back to the 1800’s. My mother busied herself with placing these inherited items into boxes, in route to the pawn and antique shops. When she turned to answer the phone, I found several items and rushed to my bedroom with them. Today, I still have those items. After my dad died, I kept his secretary desk that has been in his family since the early 1900’s and a beautiful wooden library table. These cherishable pieces have taught me to appreciate antiques.

Leaving my IPhone in the car, I walked along more booths, following the entrances to additional interesting areas. Glancing at china, cherishable depression glass, which I collect, dolls, jewelry, trinkets, or ‘what nots’ — stopping to look at an interesting pair of baby shoes.

Remembering when my son was little, there was a scuffed, well used white pair of baby shoes. The price was $18.00. I still had my son’s first baby shoes, somewhere, boxed up for preservation. I picked up the scuffed shoes. The leather was soft from little baby steps moving, bumping, falling, stumbling, and finally, walking, taking that first little baby step to independence. I turned the shoes over. Written in blue ink were the words, “Melissa’s First Shoes.”

The wheels of my curiosity began to race. Who is Melissa? Is she someone local? And why did someone give the shoes away? Why didn’t Melissa keep the shoes? Her first shoes. Melissa. Just who is Melissa?

My husband’s voice broke my trance. “I found a clock.”

“I’ll be there in a moment,” I said. “Look at these shoes.”

“Baby shoes. Who cares!”

“They’re Melissa’s baby shoes.”

“Whatever. Are you interested in seeing the clock?”

Hastily, I followed my husband. The clock is a steeple clock that chimes at the hour. It is beautiful. We tested it to make certain it worked and after a few minutes of bartering, we purchased the clock, for my birthday.

While boxing the clock, I went back to look at Melissa’s Baby Shoes once more. I showed them to the clerk. “Do you know anything about these shoes?” I asked.

“No…but look how scuffed they are.”

“Yes. Melissa obviously took her first steps to independence in these precious shoes. Someone actually took the time to write on the back of them, ‘Melissa’s Baby Shoes.’ Her first shoes. Why would someone give them away?”

The attractive, mature woman glanced at the back of the shoes, smiled and nodded.

“Poor Melissa.”

Thinking about those shoes and the name, Melissa, this week my curiosity continues. Someone actually cared enough to scribble, “Melissa’s Baby Shoes,” in blue ink on the bottom of the shoes. Now, those historical shoes rest on a shelf, in an antique shop. Where is Melissa? What happened to her, and why didn’t she, or a family member, keep those shoes, in her memory? Why would someone take the time to scribble her name on the bottom of her shoes — in memory of ‘Melissa’s first steps,’ only to have the shoes end up on a shelf, in an antique store?

Perhaps the title, “Melissa’s Baby Shoes,” is a metaphor for me, teaching me that to many shoppers, items in an antique shop are junk; but for me, these items are historical trinkets, taken from the life and memory of someone. Perhaps a clock, such as the steeple clock now sitting on my mantel, was a clock that a family had in their home for many years. Now, it will reside in my home, chiming on the hour, and I will cherish this clock for the rest of my life.

Still, the inscription, “Melissa’s Baby Shoes,” plays in my mind. Perhaps today Melissa is grown, with a family of her own. The shoes did not have a date, so my imagination can create a story about Melissa. Maybe she’s a dancer. Maybe she is someone, like me, who had precious items from her childhood tossed away, because no one cared. But for Melissa, I believe that someone did care enough to write “Melissa’s Baby Shoes” on the bottom, perhaps to remember Melissa and her first baby steps. Her first, unstable, but steady steps into the future. Maybe today, someone suffers from Alzheimer’s, forgetting the significance of Melissa’s first steps. I’d like to believe that Melissa was cherished enough to have the significant first steps of her childhood recorded in history, for others to know. Those tiny white shoes, with all the scuff marks and indentations of a child’s first steps will remain for someone to treasure. Melissa’s Baby Steps. So precious. So significant. Baby steps, leading to independence and freedom. Someone loved Melissa enough to preserve these moments. I hope Melissa’s Baby Shoes find a proper home. Melissa, if you are looking for your first shoes, contact me and I will be happy to share, “Melissa’s First Baby Shoes.”

Happy Fourth of July, America’s Independence Day!

Dearest Readers,

Happy Fourth of July…America’s Independence Day! Today, America will celebrate this tradition by grilling burgers, drinking beer, and other alcoholic beverages, because it is a tradition. Many will overeat, or gorge themselves with unhealthy foods and such. While it is true, I will celebrate, I will be careful what I intake, because, as you all know, I am actively involved with my Weight Watchers.

Today America celebrates our freedoms. While it is a true statement that many of our freedoms are questionable…negotiable…and…a bit controversial, we do have freedom to do what we choose. Let us hope we make the right decisions on this date, and every day.

I worry about our country, simply because we have a Congress that is hesitant to make decisions..that is — until they recognize that those decisions might affect their life, or pocketbook. Recent actions only prove that statement. Years ago, I respected our Congress…today, I’d love to have a deep discussion with them, to perhaps open their eyes to how their decisions, or LACK of decisions are affecting our country. Nevertheless, today is a day to celebrate while we still have soldiers in war zones, fighting for our freedom. On this date, let us hope we do not lose any troops in Afghanistan, Iran, or other war zones. Let us lift our hands to give thanks to our troops, wherever they are stationed. Let us pray that they will return to our Nation and to recognize that they have the respect and love of our Nation, so unlike our precious Vietnam Veterans had. Let us embrace them while recognizing that they are forever changed and will never be the same soldiers they were before serving in a war zone.

May God bless our troops and keep them safe on the Fourth of July. May God bring them home safely so we can say “Thank you for your service.” Then, may we embrace them and celebrate their safe return, just like we celebrate on Independence Day. Happy Fourth of July, let freedom ring!

July 2013 – Top 10 Workout Songs


The Top 10 Workout Songs For July 2013

Fort Wayne, IN – July 1, 2013 – This summer’s shaping up to be an excellent one for both Selena Gomez and remixes. The former wizard of Waverly Place pulls off a rare feat—logging two songs in this month’s top 10. Meanwhile, Kendrick Lamar adds a little grit to Emeli Sande’s breakthrough hit, and Tiesto layers both atmosphere and beats under a Calvin Harris and Florence Welch collaboration.

Here’s the full list, according to votes placed at Run Hundred–the web’s most popular workout music blog.

Selena Gomez – Slow Down – 128 BPM

Mika – Live Your Life – 104 BPM

Mike Posner – The Way It Used to Be – 128 BPM

Sean Paul – Other Side of Love – 120 BPM

Kelly Clarkson – People Like Us – 128 BPM

Emeli Sande & Kendrick Lamar – Next to Me (Remix) – 97 BPM

Calvin Harris & Florence Welch – Sweet Nothing (Tiesto Remix) – 128 BPM

Krewella – Alive (Cash Cash & Kalkutta Remix) – 129 BPM

2 Chainz & Wiz Khalifa – We Own It (Fast & Furious) – 86 BPM

Selena Gomez – Come & Get It (Dave Aude Club Remix) – 130 BPM

To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at RunHundred.com. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

Chris Lawhorn
Run Hundred
Email: Admin@RunHundred.com