Mending Fences and Building Relationships

Earlier this year I decided I was going to write more about life in my blog posts.  Vessels and Vittles started as a way to share my food-diet-health adventures, which are ongoing but as we all know… life is more than food.

Only problem, my life feels pretty nondescript, and rather average most days; I have a basic cycle of eat, sleep, work, church, draw, fixing stuff… lol… not necessarily in that order always…so I wasn’t sure what I was going to blog about…. until now.

“Come and listen to my story ’bout girl named Jan…”  [Sung to one of my fave oldie shows… the Beverly Hillbillies… lol…. for you youngsters.]

So, a few years ago, what attracted me to the little foreclosed white house on the corner with the overgrown trees and shrubs, was the 4′ white picket fence.  For some reason, it gave me feelings of nostalgia; which is weird because I’ve never lived in a house with a white picket fence. I guess I had sweet visions about a little white house on the corner with the white picket fence and all the wonderful things that would happen inside; like a tv family or something.11A58F99-07A3-4075-9A77-3370F7D89C82

Well,  I now live in this house that I saw … except, over the years, the white picket fence had become mulchy, wobbly, and Picket Patrol was my newly acquired role …. counting how many pickets had just fallen off as I drove to and from home each day.  With any bit of rain, or wind, I could be assured that at least some were hanging, dangling or flat-out on the ground.

One Sunday in December, out of sheer frustration, I took a quick picture of fallen pickets and when I got to my Connections class (a.k.a Sunday School) I asked the class teacher if he had ideas of how I could keep these pickets in place until Spring when I’d planned to have the entire fence rebuilt.

Stan, the teacher, had some ideas, he then asked another couple of guys in the class and before I knew it, they had decided to set up a time in the Spring to come rebuild the fence!  Yes, rebuild the fence for me.  I know… I was sort of stunned too. Really?  OK.  Since it was December, it wasn’t on the top of my list of things to do at the moment.

Let me stop here to tell you about this Connections class before I finish the story.  Anyone who knows me, knows I am an Artist, a bit of a Writer, I like to dabble in computer technology a bit, and more than all I am a Christ follower.  These days, that is enough to gain much slander and disdain, but that is not my concern.  Anyway, a little over a year ago, after visiting/attending several churches in the area, I decided one Sunday morning to just go to one that was closer to my house than the others I’d attended… that happened to be Summit Baptist.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Honestly, I had all kinds of preconceived notions about its size, cultural make-up, preaching, etc. etc. but when I walked in there and sat down, I immediately knew something was different.  My strategy when going to a new church was to get their much earlier than the service start time so I could go into the sanctuary, before the buzz of members, while it was quiet.  I’d go and sit, and pray, and basically see how things seemed, spiritually.  I’d say within 5 minutes, something in me just said this is where you belong. Seriously, I hadn’t felt that in a long time. As people started arriving, I waited to see what kind of response I’d get.  I was shocked.  Not only were they nice, but also friendly!  There is a difference you know.

By the end of the service I’d met a lot of people, and as I drove home I thought I really like it here…. but I hadn’t planned to go again right way. There were other churches near me as well. Then, I thought about this lady I met that morning with a bright smile and a kind face (my now dear friend, Mary Ann) who greeted me, asked about me, and invited me to her Connections class – they are called the Encouragers.  Long story short (too late, I know)…. I went back the next looking for Mary Ann and that class and that was it. I’ll blog more about this group and the church on another blog.

Back to the fence. A little more than a year later, this fence party is being planned.  I didn’t know what to expect, but I’d learned that several of the people in the class were participants in an organization called Builders for Christ where they go all over the country (and maybe world) helping to build buildings for churches and individuals in need of a structure. That was cool… I had no concern of their skill level or ability to do this project. I figured if they could build a church building then a fence should be a piece of cake.  It was a relief for me… as I had run into several ill-equipped contractors in my day.

Step 1:  I purchased all the pickets and my friends Mary Ann and Corky met me at the retailer and hauled all the pickets to my house, then they came a few weeks later and brought a friend, Sarah, and they painted all the pickets ( I pitched in when I could… I was working that day).  I was amazed by how they did that… .still amazed.

Step 2: Cliff, Corky, Lewis, Clark and Lynn showed up a couple of weeks later and they started building sections of the fence.  I was still amazed when I looked out there and saw the set up, and the precision.  I still couldn’t believe they were all putting in time, effort, and sweat to do this for me.Photo Aug 16, 9 32 41 AM

Step 3: This was fence building day.  Early Saturday morning… trucks and cars started arriving at my house.  I could tell, these were people on a mission, for real.  Folks, I can do a LOT of things but building a fence ain’t one of them. I felt so inadequate; I really wanted to know what I was doing and chip in but no skills here…so I provided the Chick-Fil-A mini-chicken biscuits. 😎

Neighbors stopped by, and even Quincy the dog came to see me.. along with is owner of course.. It was a great time for my neighborhood to meet some of the wonderful friends and see the Encouragers in ACTION.

Well, let me tell ya’ … about 3.5 hours later, the new fence was complete …. and it is beautiful (and sturdy) as ever.

Now, I mentioned Summit and the Encouragers class previously because as I watched this team of people working in my yard (from 9 years old to 80 years old) I almost felt like it was a dream.  I mean, who does that for you?  Really?

I can almost say, this is a life-changing experience. I know, it’s only a fence, but in a world, where division, altercations, hatred, negativity, racism, etc. is rising, I stood amazed by the amount of love that was being poured out that morning. It reiterated and reinforced my belief that family isn’t only the ones who share your physical bloodline, but it is also those who share the bloodline of Christ, which causes once complete strangers to not only worship together, but to share, work, serve, eat, weep, laugh, agree and disagree together in a broken world. These wonderful people are not only ‘the people I attend church with’ but they are brothers and sisters in Christ, these are people I serve alongside to minister and be a witness in a tough world.

Yes, I am a changed person because…. after all the hard work my brothers and sisters put in this past weekend, I can only say one thing….it looked liked a fence but it felt like LOVE. ❤️

Thank you Encouragers! 🤗  Love Overflowing!💕

Peace and Love to you!🌼

 

Sour + Greens = Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut might be one of those ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ Foods.  Although I go through seasons of eating it, I really like it.

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Definition from Miriam Webster Online

I was at Whole Foods a while back and couldn’t find the sauerkraut.  One of the employees there led me to what she said was the best she ever had.  Okay, I took the bait… and am glad I did.  2FEAA758-4314-4F90-816E-3068465B6B0FI wanted it because I’d had digestion issues and knew that fermented foods would help get my gut bacteria back in balance.  This is what she showed me.

I finally opened it… weeks after buying it 😏…. and expected to taste, well sauerkraut.  However, this was indeed… very good, fresh, not salty tasting, and not so overly sour.  The store employee was correct…. probably the best I’ve had.

Well, decided to share a bit of info about Sauerkraut I found online…8 Surprising Benefits of Sauerkraut (plus how to make it).

1. It’s nutritious. I kinda knew that…it is cabbage. Cabbage is good for you.  But look at all the other goodness in it:

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2. It improves digestion.

3. It boosts your immune system.

4. Read rest of article here… 8 Surprising Benefits of Sauerkraut (plus how to make it)

That’s all I’ve got today!

Toodles! 😘

 

I’m Bored…with food

I’m bored with food. 😒 Well, not really.  Actually, I still love food…. I’ve been loving it too much again though.  Haha!

It’s crazy how just a few weeks of enjoying your fave foods can make you lose your mind at the table and start packing them back on.  I also haven’t weighed myself in 3 weeks – THAT is a problem.  For me the scales is my accountability partner. I don’t think much has changed though, Clothes still fit and all. It’s just that the mind will tell you LIES, LIES, and MORE LIES all the while the pounds creep back on. The scales don’t lie.

Last month I went on a business trip for a week and ate out daily.  I was able to minimize the food damage by skipping breakfast and doing exercises in my hotel room every evening. … but I felt so sluggish after sitting daily and eating such a wide variety of foods.

When I returned home my routine was busted!  I’ve never really got back in the groove but I need to.  I’ve tried, but going out with friends here and there is sabotaging my efforts.  Sigh.

Looking back over the past few weeks I have figured out that a lot of my issue now is boredom with the food I’m eating.  I’m not wanting the go-to salads and vegetables that I’ve been eating so much of for more than 2 years now.  Nothing looks appealing except pizza, chicken wings, etc. 😂😂   I actually made a salad last week for dinner, took a few bites and tossed it all out.  Just wasn’t appealing to me.

So, I am currently trying to think of new foods, and new ways to prepare them.  If this is going to be a lifestyle change I need to really work hard to keep it fresh and satisfying, otherwise I will set myself up for failure.

Today was one of those days where I swear I had a tapeworm.  I just felt hungry all day.  Then it dawned on me that 1) I had not taken my vitamins in a couple of days, and 2) I’ve eaten much less protein this week. I could never be vegan etc.  I don’t eat much meat at all but a little keeps hunter at bay for me.

I couldn’t decide what to eat … I didn’t want to thaw food and cook it. So I made a PB&J (natural peanut butter, strawberry All Fruit spread on toasted sprouted breads) with a glass of Almond milk.  I didn’t measure, weigh, or count anything  just made it and ate it.  Then made another half….😣  😂  …not hungry anymore though.

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When I started my journey to get healthy and lose weight I realized it really was going to be a journey with ups and downs, and ins and outs, and good days and not so good days.  It’s all good. It’s life! Enjoy and learn from it all.

I’m thinking about expanding this blog a bit to include more about life and what we humans face while in these vessels. We’ll see. Until the next time…

Peace and Love to you! 😘💕

Summer Spread

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You will know when summer officially hits around my home because there will always be melon…. watermelon and cantaloupe. 😋.

Love watermelon especially… seriously, my summer Sunday routine includes church, then going to get a watermelon so I can cut it up and toss the rind for the Monday trash.

I buy seedless ones.  There are some watermelon purists out there who only buy the seeded ones.  I don’t eat seeded watermelons or fish with lots of bones for the same reason…. I hate excessive spitting during eating… too messy for me.  Just my preference.  When I was a little girl my family would drive from NY to GA and my dad would buy several big seeded watermelons to bring back home  …. and amongst them was always a couple of little “Sugar Babies” (small round seedless sweet watermelons) for me.

Watermelon has many great benefits.  Check it out here! Benefits of watermelon 🍉 

I also love summer food colors so I decided to do a mostly clean eating colorful food week.  When I do this, I like to include eating mostly raw, colorful foods, with low protein, and a smaller amount of cooked green veggies. This really helps when I need to have enough food to keep my energy levels going and my hunger down but also need to watch my caloric intake and do a mini-cleanse. Anyway, summer fruits and veggies do the trick.

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Watermelon, cantaloupe, orange/yellow/red peppers, sautéed green beans, sautéed spinach, and cucumbers

I will eat some protein because I’m not vegan or such, and eating a bit of protein keeps my metabolism fired up, and seems keeps my hair and nails in better shape. So, at some point in the week, I will throw a bit of salmon, or chicken on the grill…. a couple ounces per day is usually enough.

Try some of these summer foods… or any others.  So delicious!

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Love and Peace!

🌺😎❤️

 

Sneaky Little Pounds

It’s crazy how pounds creep back if I don’t stay diligent in my efforts to stay aware of my food choices.  Sigh. 😒

I am not in trouble yet but I  am see how and why folks lose a bunch of weight then slowly over the following weeks it creeps back on… sometimes more. Here is what I think happens:

1. There is an initial rush of excitement after losing weight.  Your body is in burn mode so you are granted the ability to eat a bit more without any changes to your weight.

2. While being on track, you probably are earning less sugar and carbs and your body has gotten used to it.  However, once you start eating a few more carbs and more sugar, your body will retain fluid, and worse, you get addicted to it again and start to crave it, where during weight loss you hardly thought of it.

3. You probably started exercising less and drinking less water.

4.  Basically,  you just quit paying attention…. eating more and eating out more.

I don’t know…. that’s just what happens to me. I get it, because I have done all of the above.  So, I have gained 3.4 lbs in the past three months  yeah, that’s not a lot but I need to reverse things now, not after I’ve regained 10 or 20… or 30+ pounds.

So, when you see this in my refrigerator… you know I’m back to business.

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It’s found to be a green veggie week for sure.  With summer foods coming back in it should be easier to get on track. I love veggies which you know if you have followed my blog. Going to do a lot of raw veggies this week to get a jumpstart.  The fiber fills you up and helps with detox.

I’m ready!  How about you??

Peace and love!✌🏽💕✌🏽💕✌🏽💕