The lost art of loving a mundane day💛

Maybe it was an article I read or the times in my life sitting at a patient’s bed in their last hours of life. It comes to me at different times, usually when I’m thinking about the future. As I age, my husband too, even our cat, I know that someday it won’t be the three of us anymore. During times of cuddling in bed, we three, I often feel sad, even though we’re memory making. I think to myself, someday I’ll pray for a mundane day like this..

One day as I’m sitting and balancing a budget that may include hospital stays, or medication, or surgeries, I’ll pray for a mundane like this..

One day when my tire goes flat on the interstate, I’ll look back to my many mundane days and wish to be right in the middle of one again like this.

I’ll reflect on the times life was easier–barefoot on gravel, sand between my toes, caught in the rain, cold pop, fresh bread, extra time, a door held open, a simple thank-you, more than one available, in stock, and think mundane is anything but dull. It’s the time between hectic and nothing. It’s the place I gravitate back to when I’m overwhelmed. It’s the moments I reflect on when I wonder about my life and time passed.

Next time you’re out running errands, forgetting to eat lunch, grabbing pizza for supper, and having to pull into a gas station and fill up, remember that someday you’re going to look back on a day like this and want to live it all over again.

Mundane by definition is dull –no excitement. So, no chaos, no worry, no negative emotion beyond the scope of dull, no pressure, no hurry, no punch list, no schedule, no appointments, no nothing. Just dull, everyday, stuff. That one day in the throes of hectic, or pain, or overwhelmed, or hurried, or late, or heartbroken that you’ll pray for just one more day of.

Over the years I’ve lost several friends to death–long before their time. I’ve sat by a few of their bedsides on their last day and none of them spoke of wealth, bank accounts, their car or home, clothing, vacations, social media account likes/comments/follower count, looks or figure, politics or religions. Each and every one of them that could still speak in their last hours spoke of love, love for their children, parents, spouse or partner, and friends. Each of them spoke of how they would miss get together’s, birthdays, weddings, and births. Asked what they’d do different or wish for if they could? It was always another day, any kind of day of just hanging around, talking, eating a meal with family, and enjoying the simple act of doing nothing but nothing being everything in that moment.

So as you go about getting back into going out, or traveling, or increased work hours, or socializing and everything that encompasses those things that are not dull or lack excitement please remember. That somewhere behind all the glitter and the glory of friends, and parties, and social soiree’s there is the peace and reflection and oh so lovely comfort of the days we’ll grab onto someday (maybe in our darkest hour)– and that’s those days that we’ll remember as mundane.

“The mundane and the sacred are one and the same.” ~ Alan Watts, “What Is Zen?”

Easter on the Farm

Easter Sunday in the 70’s –growing up on the farm.

Nowadays, people seem to think the first day of Spring or at least by Easter Sunday that winter should be finished. That isn’t how I remember things growing up on the family farm in the 1970’s. Oh yes there were Easter’s where we could wear our new spring dresses and patent leather shoes. But many times Easter fell at a time where our world was filled with snow and cold. And then the most asked and answered question would be — “how will the Easter bunny get through all the snow?” He always made it—that’s for sure!

Prior to the day I would have watched any and all of the religious programming on television put on by our father for our viewing pleasure–Billy Graham, Robert Schuller, and Oral Roberts. Oh, our dad loved his evangelical preachers. My most enjoyed part of any of what showed up on television at this time of year was Jesus of Nazareth. Which I still watch to this day some 45 years later. Before the big day mom would shop for all our favorites including beef short ribs or sometimes ham–which were meats that she really knew how to bake. Of course her Easter table always had scalloped potatoes, sometimes scalloped corn, carrots, peas, and store bought buns warmed up. What we had for dessert escapes me right now. Often times, especially when I was younger, our grandparents would be our dinner guests. Dad would be able to take an extra long nap in his chair and supper would be leftovers from our Easter meal.

And yes we got Easter baskets that usually held a hollow chocolate bunny, plus a big cream egg (fruit & nut or cherry) in a box, and mom would hide jelly beans all over the dining and living room. It never took me long to find most of them–window sills and dining room table lol.

My earliest memory of Easter was when I was 8 years old and had written a letter to the Easter bunny. Low and behold when I woke up he had answered my letter with muddy🐾 prints and a basket of goodies. Easter time growing up is a wonderful memory for me and one I reflect back on each and every year as the holiday arrives. Though we didn’t have baby chicks or bunnies on our farm, springtime was a time of renewal in this special place. The land after a cold, wet winter was renewed and ready for new crops. Cows began calving and our barn cats began having kittens. The first flowers I would see and smell were my grandmother’s tulips–she loved red and yellow ones. Spring rains, longer days, warmer days and nights, and the return of the robins and whippoorwill are all things that I think about when I remember all of my Easter’s on the farm. 🐣🐇🐄 🐑

Happy Easter!!

Happy Easter!

Table setting 2– all from Target (Threshold and Hearth and Hand collection)

Table setting number 1 (Target Threshold and local florist and local primitive gift shop)–I think this one is really Spring like and less Easter, so I’m going with #2!

Our Easter dinner is going to be:

Ham with a brown sugar mustard glaze

Hasselback potatoes

Roasted Brussels sprouts

Glazed Carrots

Parker House Rolls

Lemon Cheesecake

Whatever you’re doing this coming Sunday–have a wonderful make memories kind of day be safe and be well! 🐝

Subscriptions/One-time Pay Content

Something new that I’ve been working on for my blog is content that is private that a reader can pay for and a downloadable guide to an organized life. The first thing ready to go is my personal blog! My organizing guide will be available for a one-time download starting May 1st.

I’ve recently created a blog about my life and years long healing process that contains the following topics:

childhood trauma, sexual abuse, rape, abuse/neglect, family estrangement, health issues, miscarriages, alcoholism, drug addiction, living on the streets (how I survived two years of homelessness) domestic abuse, my recovery, living sober, surviving then thriving, college after 40, and the overall repair of my life and mental/physical health.

With a one-year subscription you will get access to all the blog posts that I create in a year with the year starting at the time you begin your subscription. Currently I have 3 lengthy posts made and I anticipate I will have 9 more written this year and then after this year I anticipate there to be several more. Again, your subscription starts the day you subscribe and runs 12 months with at least 9 more posts to be written. Once you have paid I will send you the link/password for my personal blog. Please allow 1-2 hours after payment for me to get the notice regarding your subscription. Thank you! E M A I L M E livingsmply@gmail.com

Disclaimer: all opinions, statement, content is my own. This is my personal story not intended for personal use by anyone and not to be copied or used from this site without the author’s written consent. Please consult your family medical professional for all health and mental health concerns and issues.

© Kim VanderWerf  [Tend], [2009-2021]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kim VanderWerf for her blog Tend with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

What did we spend our stimulus on?

That’s the question everyone’s asking everyone–or almost everyone around here. So I’ll tell you what we spent ours on. First let me say, we were not in the position like many hundreds of thousands of people where we had back rent to pay or we were in the position of having to go without eating to pay the light bill. We are fortunate people in that we both have jobs that kept us working, we do not have children–yes we do have a high maintenance pet, but other than ourselves and him to provide for that’s it. We are in good health. So, no doctor bills, co-pays, er trips, or other things to stress over health-wise at this time. Neither of us are on medication which at least at my age is a miracle. And for that I’m also grateful and take absolutely nothing for granted. We would never have been able to not pay our rent–it’s just that simple. In the area we live in there is basically nothing halfway decent to rent. The apartments we live in are the best one can get vs. absentee landlords/bad neighbors or neighborhoods units otherwise available in this small town. If you think that means we live in a brand new spacious unit–we do not. The building we live in is almost 30 years old and really needs an update. High rent, a nice view for us, but absolutely no way we could have not paid rent even if it was the law and risk eviction when all was said and done. So, I’m thankful our jobs kept us working throughout because that was our number one priority. With our rent comes heat, water, garbage pickup, and a garage. We are lucky to have something that provides our heat in the winter for us.

A lot of people struggled with getting Covid-19 or having a family member get it and miss work or lose their job altogether or worse. We are ever so grateful that we’ve been in good health throughout. No Covid-19 tests–thank goodness– because we’ve never exposed ourselves or been exposed to it that we know of–we’ve always followed all the protocols/laws. For some that probably hasn’t worked, but thankfully for us it has. In saying that I mean my husband has wore a mask and gloves to work everyday and every single person at his work, including most of management, has had Covid 19 or been in quarantine because of being exposed. Many of his co-workers have avoided stores and restaurants etc. because of mask mandates, but we’ve enjoyed shopping and meals out and many other activities with requirements of social distancing/masks since last spring. Again, neither of us getting sick, missing work, or having to be quarantined. Masking up doesn’t bother us in the least (we’ve traveled in countries where masking is essential as soon as the annual flu season starts) and for us–we’re living proof that something we’ve been doing is working.

Both of us will be one of the last to receive the vaccine because we’re both healthy, we both have food allergies and we’re both allergic to penicillin. In the case of penicillin I’m not sure it matters, but right now our physician has told us to wait and see. Neither of us has ever had a flu shot–I won’t ever get one either for personal reasons, but we will submit eventually to the vaccine because we intend on traveling and I’m sure it will be mandatory at some point for that.

We did not expect the stimulus check any of the times that it arrived. Let’s just say we had our doubts and just didn’t plan on it. We lost money in our 401K when the pandemic first hit and we used money out of our savings for essentials when we were on lock down and everything but the local stores and online closed. We bought canned goods just like most people who could afford them and stocked up on non-perishables that were going out of stock. We didn’t go crazy for toilet paper–I actually purchased a bidet that fastens to the toilet and it’s worked great! We recently donated all the can goods (24 cans of various veggies) that we bought during the first stay at home/lock down of 2020 to our local food pantry. All the cans had been kept clean and safe and most had two years before they expired. It may sound quite privileged to some that I won’t eat processed or canned foods, but I won’t. I also don’t want my husband eating them. That said with all of the uncertainty last year we bought some things reserved if the end of days came lol. They did not so we donated them right away this year to our local food pantry.

So, getting back to the stimulus checks we weren’t counting on. When they came we held on to the first two not knowing what was to come regarding vaccines, worse economy, work, etc. Of course like everyone else our amounts were based on the financial thresholds set by the government. We were paying our bills and affording food and when January 2021 hit we were both working overtime to play catch up with our savings, retirement, and things we need to take care of in 2021. We both know how privileged we are to have jobs and to have kept working and not have to pray the stimulus bills passed. So when the last one did we added it to the first two and put some into our savings that was drained some by purchasing masks and gloves and foodstuffs and the rest went to:

CSA share-bi weekly from a local farmer (veggies throughout summer/fall)

1/4 hog local farmer (14-15 packages of pork)

Share in the community garden (small plot)

Money donated to our PD K-9 department

Gifts for different occasions throughout the year–local shops

Donation of two copies of a local author’s cookbook to local library

Personal purchase of cookbook by local author

Meal out at a local restaurant

Donation of $ to local food pantry

Donation of $ to our church for families/individuals in need (rent assistance fund)

Donation of $ to a local shelter for victims of domestic violence

Donation of bird seed to a local park/rec area

Had Covid 19 never happened the things we donated to and have now taken part in would have been paid for out of our pockets from wages earned. We have donated to the places above for years, just not every year, and sometimes just what we could afford.

We know we could have paid extra on bills or bought things for ourselves or apartment/future house but we did not because as I said above it was money we never planned on. Although we’ve been affected by Covid-19 like everyone else to one degree or another we have been working overtime to make up for some of the financial loss. We’re happy we’ve been able to help others with some of the money we received. We are looking forward to receiving veggies from the CSA we joined and some fresh pork from a local farmer. In our minds putting some of that money toward organic food was once again an investment in our health as well as helping to keep the local farmers that have provided for us in years past in business. For us and for them–win win!

So, that’s how we spent our stimulus money!

Have a great weekend friends and enjoy the lovely spring weather if you can.

Be safe and be well! 🐝

Sneak Peek –Simple Living & Organized Guide

Introduction:

What’s in it? Organizational tips for months Jan-Dec for your home and home office.

Why do you need it? This easy to reference organizational guide helps you build a system in your home that keeps on giving. Once you have some of my tips in place you will not have to revisit those steps again unless something changes in your household.

Will I have to buy a bunch of new things to make all you are offering work? Absolutely not. You won’t need to buy anything. Every year I buy a simple planner and always use pen and paper or my phone to store lists, plans, tips, my calendar etc. on. I operate and stay organized daily from a desktop calendar, planner, and phone. If you don’t have the items in the tips I mention, I have included suggested resources below each month. They’re just suggestions–buy whatever is best for you.

And yes, I really do use shoe boxes. This may seem strange, but it works so well. All in one place and nothing gets lost. That’s the most important thing. Make it something convenient and easy and you will use it every day. Coming May 2021 for $5.00 a download.

Daylight Savings?

Are you fond of an hour less sleep for hours longer daylight or no?

Some fabulous recipes for leftover Easter ham

Have a fabulous weekend!

© Kim VanderWerf  [Tend], [2009-2021]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kim VanderWerf for her blog Tend with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Don’t forget to set your clocks back!

Daylight Savings Time starts Sunday March 14th. Do you like this change or would you rather we not use DST anymore? I know it makes hubby and I extra tired for about 2 weeks, messes up kitty’s eating schedule, but it is what it is and we make the best out of it..

Low Carbs & Heart Health

Taking care of my health with special attention to my heart is #1 to me. Heart disease and obesity run in my family on my Dad’s side. I recently lost an uncle to heart disease–so I’ve got to be serious about it. I was skinny until my late 20’s and by my early 30’s was 30# overweight. A lifetime of eating junk food, drinking soda, high carb diet, and alcohol had nearly ruined my health. By 42 I was 50# overweight and out of breath and unable to even ride a bike anymore. I put my foot down and started my journey to healthier living.

Almost all of us would love to live a life of eating everything we want to, all the things we love to the extreme, without ever having a single worry about the consequences. My lifelong addiction has been sugar. I love candy. When thinking about the holidays, my first thought is holiday candy. Christmas–lifesaver books, candy canes, assorted chocolates, and chocolate covered cherries. Easter–jelly beans, marshmallow eggs, creme-filled eggs, and chocolate bunnies. Valentines Day–conversation hearts. Halloween–snack sized candy and snicker pumpkins. It’s probably been about 15 years ago now that I started to believe I was going to end up a diabetic. I went out and bought a glucose tester and started measuring my blood sugar 3 times a day. I was two years into a plan to improve my health from no more smoking and drinking to eating more fruits and veggies and exercise. Around 10:00 am every morning I’d get the shakes–hence I began to think I was diabetic or leaning towards that diagnosis.

It was late Feb, early March, coming up on Easter. Every day I would grab a handful of jelly beans, because giving up candy (my beloved) never crossed my mind. Every day for a couple of weeks I’d been eating roughly 15-25 beans–most of them past 8:00 at night (reading in bed). I would buy the big bags sold at Easter and of course a few smaller bags of the black jelly beans. My blood sugars were a tad bit high at 10:00 a.m. but right back to normal the rest of the day. By the following year when those Easter Jelly beans were being sold again, a light bulb went on one day, when after not having 10:00 a.m. shakes for several months, I was back to having them again. What was I eating or drinking that was causing this to happen? I eliminated everything before I even considered the jelly beans, but alas I had to consider them so I lowered my amount to 10- 20 a day and none at night after dinnertime. Everything went fine until years later when I went back to reading before bed and munching on jelly beans. This time my shakiness was at different times and I was starting to get concerned.

After seeing a physician and going through the fasting/blood tests where everything, thank goodness, checked out–I wrote it off as hormonal. But it wasn’t folks, it was the unbelievable amount of sugar in jelly beans. In eating just 15-25 jelly beans a day I was ingesting 25 grams of sugar = to 6 tsp. of raw sugar. Jelly beans were just one of the things I was eating packed with sugar. The worst thing, I’ll give you that. Fast forward to three years ago and me ugly crying because I bought some jelly beans and had decided to portion them out vs. eating every day. I would eat 5-10 every other day. This worked better but it was very hard to limit myself–very very hard. When I realized that I would have to give up jelly beans–the one candy I’d loved my whole life, I was devastated. So yes, I ugly cried about how unfair life was and that I didn’t feel like going on anymore if I couldn’t even eat a jelly bean or two every year. This may sound over dramatic, but at this point I had given up smoking, drinking, restaurant food, and a lot of the different snacks I loved. I got through it friends and today? I buy the occasional bag of jelly beans and I limit myself to 3. A bag lasts me a few months and I’m not tempted anymore to overeat them and face the consequences from them. The last thing I want or need at almost 57 is diabetes, high cholesterol, or heart disease.

Don’t get me started on my love for buying things for my husband–goodies, or learning how to make cheesecake (his favorite) or all the ways I’ve helped to make him overweight… Putting the brakes on his eating goodies, sugar laden treats, and such has been horrifically hard. His mother had late in life diabetes, heart disease, and his father high blood pressure and one of those big hard stomachs men get. Ya. Hubby has that too and the direct cause for that big hard stomach>> carbohydrates–nothing else. Look up visceral fat if you want to know what I’m talking about. Huge health problems can come from having a belly like that. Apart from his tummy, hubby is a fairly fit guy. That I’ve loved almost to death with sweetness, literally. Do your hubby, friends, family members and neighbor (wink wink) a favor and stop killing them with kindness. Eating a diet high in carbohydrates is bad when you’re young, but in your 50’s and older it’s a killer. It’s a proven fact that smoking, drinking, added sugar (diet high in goodies), bad fats, and processed foods increase your chance of getting breast cancer (women) prostate cancer (men).

Edit- Hubby wanted me to edit the part about him because he thinks I was too hard on myself…o.k. I was. Truthfully, I’ve lectured my husband for years and years about his carb intake, to no avail. After awhile it was up to him. He’s a grown man and had to figure it out himself. I did buy him sweets occasionally and for that I feel responsible. Thankfully, I am not a baker (never have been) otherwise we would really have issues to deal with. His wake up call is/was the visceral fat and on his own he has placed limits on his carb intake these past few years and is doing better. Lookout everyone this spring because he and I are starting a walking program to work his belly right off and to get me back in shape and back on my bicycle. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight so now it’s time to get limber and fit!

Life isn’t fair and no one ever said it was. You have but one body and the last thing in the world you want is to be too late in the game to correct an issue. Had I continued on with my love of jelly beans–lived in a state of denial, today I would be telling my story from a diabetics perspective.

Slowly but surely I have reduced my sugar intake by about 80% and by doing that I’ve reduced my anxiety (also lifelong) by about 80%. Physically and mentally I’m a new person and it’s all because I stopped supporting bad habits, stopped ingesting cups of sugar every day for comfort or out of habit, and started caring about myself (for the first time) and started feeding my body what it needed not what I wanted.

See the links below regarding comfort eating and anxiety. Don’t be fooled thinking your comfort food or comfort activity isn’t killing you if it involves bad food choices or sugar. Sugar increases anxiety>>>carbs are bad for anxiety. Until next time, be safe friends and be well!

Caloric content women over 50

Livestrong link for carbs & NIH Hearth Disease

Comfort Eating??

This Is Exactly How Sugar Can Mess With Your Anxiety—and What to Do About It

Lawson’s Legacy by Gloria Dawn Book Review *****

Lawson’s Legacy by Gloria Dawn is a wild west cowboy tale of two friends and their very different lives as they live side by side in western Canada. I was completely captivated by the characters in and the story of Lawson’s Legacy and loved how the author incorporated her own experience as a cook’s helper on a ranch into the story. This gave depth to the storytelling and enhanced the rich descriptive sentences throughout the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed Lawson’s Legacy by Gloria Dawn. I was emotionally invested in the characters early in the book and really enjoyed the pace of the story, trials and triumphs, love and romance, and the way the author chose to deal with very delicate subjects throughout the book. One of my favorite books of 2021, a real page turner, and solid historical romance you won’t soon forget. I highly recommend Lawson’s Legacy book #1 from Gloria Dawn’s Blue Canadian Rockies series.

Reviewer’s notes: this was the first historical romance (fiction) outside of Janette Oke’s (Inspirational author) many, many books (I’ve read them all & own the movies!) that I’ve ever read. To keep things interesting I often choose books outside of my personal preferences “just to see.” I’m almost always surprised and throughout the last four years reviewing books, I have added many new genre’s to my favorites list. Prior to Janette Oke, I’d always considered historical romances as soft porn. Not my cup of tea at all. I specifically chose Janette’s books based on the fact they were released under Christian fiction. Lawson’s Legacy, although not Christian fiction, could be. I enjoyed this book, gave it a five-star review on Amazon, have now read it twice, and would recommend it to anyone that loves historical fiction (this one dates back to the mid 1800’s early 1900’s) with a side order of romance.