Countdown to Ida

In less than two weeks, Mike and I will be in England with Emi and James and, oh be still my heart, little Ida. We have not been in the same room with them for seven months, half of Ida’s lifetime.

I know it’s not unusual to only see one’s grown children once or twice a year when they live a distance away. I have friends here in Chicagoland, who only get to visit with their son and his family living in California once a year. We only saw Jake once or twice a year when he lived in California. I understand that. I don’t feel sorry for myself that the distance is so great; I am just determined to enjoy every minute that we have together when we are together.

When our children were born, Mike and I dedicated them to God and asked that he would lead them and guide their steps. That he would use them to further his kingdom in whatever way he saw fit. It’s been interesting to watch that happen. It was quite amazing to see how independent they became. At one point Jake lived in West Hollywood, CA, and Emi lived in York, England. Both were pursuing dreams and taking on life with both fists. Both have benefited greatly from their experiences. God most certainly was with them each step of the way. When you live out there on the raggedy edge, your faith grows. You learn to rely on God, because sometimes he is literally your only option. Both to this day exhibit great faith.

Anyway…all of this to say, I am looking forward to some quality time with Emi, James and Ida. I pray that God will guide us and bless this journey and visit. There’s so much I want to remember to share with the baby:

  1. Mike’s family’s knee bouncy tune: “Ta tee, ta toolun tilloon, ta toolun tilloon, ta la la lay…”
  2. The song that my Finnish grandfather taught me when I was just a young girl: “I know three little sisters. I think you know them, too, for one is red, one is white and the other one is blue…”
  3. The magic trick my English mother taught me, “Two little dickey birds sitting on a hill, one named Jack and one named Jill…”
  4. One of my favorite children’s books, “There’s a Nightmare in My Cupboard.”

So much fun, so little time. 🙂 So, Dear Lord, please bless this journey, and help us to live each day to its fullest. Let us all cherish our time together, and when it comes time to return, let us all look forward to the next time we can visit. Thank you, Lord, because we know you go before us. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Peace out, Dear Readers, God bless your day.




Quoting from

“Portion Control Using the Plate Method

Keeping Your Food Portions in Line with Your Diabetes Management

Managing portion size is one of the best ways to control your eating habits and lose weight. That may require breaking some stubborn habits, though. Most people are accustomed to filling up their plates based how hungry they feel. However, if you have diabetes, you must think about the quantity of food you eat at each meal. Many people with diabetes find the plate method to managing portion sizes a helpful gauge when eating at a restaurant or other outing.

Though the plate method won’t be as accurate as counting carbohydrates, it will help you keep your food intake in general line with your overall diabetes management plan. Here’s how it works in three easy steps:

Step 1:

Take an average sized dinner plate and divide it in half. In one-half place non-starchy vegetables such as: spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, romaine lettuce, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, beets and peppers. You can make a salad from a combination of these vegetables or just serve any one by itself. About one cup of raw vegetables is considered an appropriate serving size. One cup would be about the size of your fist.

Step 2:

Divide the other half of your plate in half again. In one quarter place your protein source, such as: 3 oz. of lean beef or pork, 3 oz. of skinless turkey, chicken or fish, tofu, eggs or cottage cheese. A 3 oz. serving is about the size of a deck of cards.

Step 3:

In the last quarter of your plate place your starchy foods such as: bread, potatoes, corn, beans, rice, tortilla, cereals or oatmeal. Serving sizes range from ½ cup of rice to a baked potato about the size of your fist.

The plate methods works best when you use a 9-inch plate versus the standard 12-inch dinner plate. While this method helps keeps portion control in check it is best used when you are away from home and can’t measure your food carefully.”

Sources: Create Your Plate. American Diabetes Association.

I tend to use this method currently. I realize it’s not as effective as actually measuring carbs, proteins and fats, however, I find it an easy way to keep track of portions. I will continue to use this method at least until I meet with a dietician for diabetes education.
I still need to call and make that appointment. Perhaps tomorrow.
Blessings to you!

Waiting for Weight

I heard on one of the doctor TV shows last week that a study shows that it is a good idea to weigh yourself every day. Apparently this way you keep honest with yourself about your eating habits and your exercise regime. I think this is a great idea for those who are at or near their healthy weight.

However, for those of us who are big girls (boys), it may not be the very best idea. Case in point, I have been scared straight (no disrespect to the Scared Straight program) by my last visit to my family physician and by my recent diagnosis of diabetes. So a week ago today, I began paying very close attention to the variety of healthy foods that I am eating and especially to the portions of said food. I bought a Fitbit Alta HR which let’s me know by vibrating on my wrist, when I’ve been sitting too long. So to make a long story short (I know, too late. 😉 My habits have changed drastically for the better.

Because I heard that it would be good to weigh myself every day, I did so.  First five day? Down, down, down more than ten pounds, which may give you an idea of how very much I have to lose. News flash: well over 100 pounds to get to a healthy weight.

Yesterday, my weight stayed the same. Today I am up six tenths of a pound. Now my usual reaction to a gain has been to say, “Well, crap, what use is it to even try!” Then I would go to the nearest sweets outlet and gorge on cakes and candies. Since I have been scared straight, that is no longer an option. Now I am faced with a conundrum. Do I keep weighing myself every day, and find a new coping mechanism for dealing with temporary weight gains? Or do I weigh myself less often, weekly or monthly, so I’m not faced with that possible problem daily? I’d really like to check in with friend Wayno. He is a family physician/general practitioner (I don’t know the difference.) I might just have to give him a jingle this week. If I do, I’ll let you know what he thinks. In the meantime, please weigh in (excuse the pun, with a nod to Linda Vallier who tickles us everyday on Facebook with a new pun) with your weighing habits. Every day? Or somewhat less often?

Thank you faithful Readers! It means a lot that you read these.

Donna     PS: Thank you to my son Jake and daughter-in-love Eliza for the iPhone accessories for early Mother’s Day. How fun! A personal fan that connects to my phone, which is gonna be so great in church this summer and a karaoke mic that works with my phone. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I already sent my daughter Emi and grandbaby Ida a video of me singing Happy Little Working Song from the movie Everlasting. This thing is a blast!

Metformin & a Memorial

April 25, 2017: Today is my first day on a drug called MetFormin. I am taking it in an attempt to get my blood sugar regulated. I have taken one of the two daily prescribed pills for today. *sigh*

When I was pregnant at the age of 24 for Jake (my firstborn), I had gestational diabetes. My OB/GYN told me that if I didn’t change my habits, then I would be a full blown diabetic by the time I was 30. As it turns out, he was wrong. It took until I was 60.

Now, I have not been an out-of-control eater, who didn’t exercise, every day of every year since then. At times I have attempted to lose weight (and have lost 100’s of pounds in my life) by taking better control of my food choices and by exercising more. But inevitably I would fall off the wagon, slip into my old ways and gain the weight back. That is where I find myself once again.

I am not beating myself up with this. I am living in the moment and taking whatever the next step is. Today that next step is beginning to take MetFormin.

For more activity today, 1) I bagged up more clothes to give away, 2) I am doing another load or two of laundry, which means trekking up and down the basement stairs, 3) I went up to the farm and took a sauna, which for this Finnish girl is cathartic and Zen-like, but for this big girl is a lot of work, 4) I washed dishes, 5) I left the house to go to the bank for Mike and 6) I started wearing a new Alta HR Fitbit which will vibrate when I’ve been sitting too long.

April 26, 2017: For my new Fitbit, I’ve set as an initial goal of 2000 steps a day. I will build on that, but in my current undernourished state I really must take it slow. I surpassed 2000 steps yesterday, and so far today I have 2,350 steps.

I left the house this morning to meet with a dear friend to help plan her husband’s funeral service. Susan is a woman of tremendous faith, and it is encouraging to see the God of that faith providing her with the strength to move forward. We cried. We laughed. We sat together for an hour and shared as we put the service together.

When we finished, she went off to meet with others who will help her in this transition. I went into the church office and worked on the bulletin for the memorial service. Two hours later I left with things in pretty good shape. After discussions with our pastor, and a few tweaks of added info, the bulletin will be ready.

By the time I left the church, I was famished, and because of my diabetes was feeling a bit shaky. Starbuck’s to the rescue! I purchased a Protein Bistro Pack and noshed my way home. A Protein Bistro Pack includes: a hard boiled egg, 2 small bits of cheese, 3 apple slices, a few grapes, a biscuit and a packet of peanut butter with honey. It’s a handy, nutritious filler-upper, and to me it tasted like nectar of the gods! 😉 Try it sometimes for a quick fix for lunch. Be careful with the peanut butter/honey though if you are diabetic. I just use a tiny squeeze for the flavor.

Well, I seem to be starting to ramble. So that’s it for today. May God bless you and keep you until we are together again.


Being Accountable

The thing that bothers me about blogs, is that they seem so narcissistic. “This is me. This is what I know. This is what I do. Me, me, me, me, me….blah! I think of that each time I make an entry here. Even I get tired of reading about me, thinking about me, examining me. I am not writing this blog because I NEED an audience. I am writing this blog to keep myself accountable for the choices I am making everyday. Will I really move more? Will I really take control of the portions that I eat? Will I really make better food choices to actually feed my body and not just stuff myself with empty calories? Will I really test my blood glucose every day.  So this is my way of being accountable.

In that vein, let me share that I am having a very good day. Two meals consumed so far, nutritious and appropriately proportioned. Activity? I vacuumed the living room, changed the 4 ink cartridges in the printer, bagged some clothes to give away, worked the cat litter (Ugh!) and I plan to do some laundry today.

Now, why is this still called a Disney blog? Because it is a wonderful motivation for me. We had planned to go and spend four days at Disneyland Paris in the fall of 2018; however for our same amount of DVC (Disney Vacation Club) points, we can spend 8 nights in a Grand Villa at Walt Disney World in Florida. I want to be able to enjoy that time as much as possible. Watching my first grandchild (Ida, sweetest and smartest baby girl!) discover all things Mickey is a very exciting prospect! And sharing that time with the family? The best! I will use some visualization of that reunion when things get tough; it will help me to carry on. It may sound ridiculous, but Old Key West is my “laughing place.” (“Everybody has a laughing place, a laughing place to go-ho-ho.” From the movie Song of the South. Hmmm… no wonder I like Splash Mountain so much.) When I finally get there, I exhale and truly relax.

My latest Disney discovery is a book titled, “the easy guide to your Walt Disney World visit.” I really like it because it is snippets of info, rather than long tomes and epic-sized missives. In the Twitter universe where we want our info fast and short, I find this book very appealing. I highly recommend it; check it out.

Enough for today. Love and peace to you dear readers with prayers for our great country and the world.


Scared Straight

I’ve not written in a bit, but it’s time to get busy about it again. Here’s what has prompted my new resolve: I went to see my doctor last Thursday, and the results of my blood work and visit there were alarming and disappointing. My weight is up. My blood pressure is up. My glucose levels and my A1C results were astronomically high.

My doctor wants me to check my glucose daily, begin diabetes education and begin on daily insulin. She also wants me to increase my level of physical activity, and if there is no improvement in six weeks, then she wants me to see a heart specialist.

Argh! Now it’s difficult not to wallow in self pity; especially because I brought it all on myself with my sloppy lifestyle choices. BUT  I’ve decided to not do that. Instead I am going to keep asking the question, “What’s the next step?” For instance, my first answer is to test my blood twice daily for glucose levels: once when I first wake up in the morning and about two hours after dinner in the evening. Another step is to get my diabetes education class(es) scheduled OR begin my daily insulin, whichever my Doc helps get into place first.

I will ask myself that question many times a day. Perhaps my next step will be to eat a nutritious, balanced breakfast. Or to get up and walk around for five minutes, before I sit down again. Or to walk down the stairs to the basement and do some laundry. Or to check that my meal and snack portions are a healthy size and not king-sized.

How do I live this life in a manner that will be good to my body, mind and soul? I believe I have hit rock bottom, and my last check up has scared me straight. So luckily I am retired and can take the time to learn how to live my healthiest, most productive life from here on out. It might sound odd, but I’m actually happy to be here. I haven’t felt good for a while now, and now I know why. And I have an action plan taking form, so it feels very encouraging.

Well, I’m tired, so that’s it for today. Hang in there with me, dear reader. This life sure is an adventure, and I’m excited to see what form the future takes as I bring this all to God. I love him; I trust him. And I know that nothing can happen to me that he does not allow. Thanks be to God!


January 20, 2017

On this day of the inauguration of the 45th President of the United State, I choose to talk about the five stages of dealing with grief:

Denial–No he did not friggn’ win! Those were my exact thoughts as I laid my head on my pillow in the early morning hours after the election in November. This is a nightmare. It cannot be happening. And for the first time in my 61 years, I felt ashamed of my country. Ashamed of those who chose to not vote. Ashamed of those who I believed had blinders on when they cast their vote.

Anger–They say anger comes next, but I jumped right into bargaining.

Bargaining–I keep hoping that the electoral college would stand up and protest the results.

Depression–This followed very quickly on the heels of denial. If I could, I would have slept through the next four years, so as not to experience the train wreck that I fear is our future. Fear being the operative word here. This is the first time since 9/11 that I have experienced genuine fear for our country.

Now Anger–This has been the longest lasting of the stages for me. But I’m tired now. Tired of wasting my energy on anger. At a local restaurant today I overheard two young white men trying to convince an elderly couple that Hillary’s lost emails would prove that she was providing money to support ISIS. After I wiped up the coffee I choked on at that point I said, “Hey, you two, that is white supremacist propaganda. Lies! That is hate talk at its worst.”  The two young men looked at me sheepishly and left the restaurant.

So that’s what I’m choosing to do with my anger. If I see or hear anyone spouting racist, feminist, bigoted lies, and especially white supremacist crap, I will no longer remain silent. May God help me and direct me in this personal crusade.

Acceptance–Here is the next stop for me. I’ll get there, because when all is said and done I do respect the office of the presidency. You won’t hear me say, “He is not my president.” Why? Because I am an American, and for all that America has meant in the last 200+ years, good and bad, our democracy is still a beacon of freedom in this world. Using the transitive property: I am an American: he is the 45th president; therefore, he is my president.

May God help us all to heal and to survive this presidency.


Pilgrimage to better health to meet Mickey. A 14 month Quest.