Tag Archives: Cinderella’s Castle


I have a confession to make. I am not a nice person. If you currently or have ever lived with me, than you know this to be true. I can be cruel and unsympathetic at times. I can be snarky and jealous and haughty and judgmental and gluttonous and lazy. Not always, but at times. I sometimes succumb to white lies. (They don’t hurt anyone, right? Right???)

Now don’t get me wrong; I am a redeemed woman of God, forgiven by my baptism, my belief/faith in God, and by the fact that Christ’s blood covers my sin. (Thank you, Lord, for building my faith as I pray for more of it!)

Martin Luther once said, “Sin boldly.” At times I have bent his meaning to suit my needs. I believe he meant to live our lives and not walk in fear of condemnation. We will sin, and through confession God will forgive. Praise the Lord!  I, however, have taken that grace for granted. How bad can it really be? Hmm? It’s just a white lie. One more (or ten more) chocolate(s) won’t hurt. Forgive me, Lord, but she really is a nasty piece of work.

I am not a nice person, and yet God loves me unconditionally. I am so grateful!

I know some people who appear to be truly nice. They always speak highly of others. They do charity work. They brighten up a room just by walking into it. They just seem to care about everyone. I hope I can be like that someday. God is still working on me, and I am content for him to do so.

Today I pray that all is well with you, dear readers. If you have troubles, then I pray that God will walk with you through them. If all is well, then I pray that you take some time to thank him.

God is good all the time! Meet you at the Kingdom.


PS: Hi to my cousin Val. It’s so nice to be back in touch after all this time.

PPS: I still miss Becky, a truly good person. xxoo

PPSS: I’m wearing my Mickey Mouse shirt today. It has a shadow image of him, and inside the image the castle from Walt Disney World shows through. It makes me smile. 🙂


Shocked Back to Reality (Get Real)

OK, here’s the deal. I stepped on the scale this morning, and received a huge shock. I have been living in denial…again. My weight has crept back up to an alarming number. I have been making some really lousy choices, and they have caught up with me. I love watching “The Real,” a talk show on the Fox network with a diverse group of young women. They hold each other accountable for “getting and being REAL” everyday.  I am going to GET REAL and hold myself accountable for every bite I take and for every step that I physically take.  I won’t do it to beat myself up; but to consciously make better decisions. I felt so good when I dropped some weight and was eating well and moving more; and I will strive for that again.

I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for today. Just a routine check-up to get my high blood pressure meds renewed. I called this morning to double check on the time, and they have no record of an appointment for me.  Now I remember very well calling and making an appointment, but my doctor’s office recently moved. I’m just gonna chalk up the mix-up to their move. So I rescheduled. You see, I am prediabetic, so I always have my blood sugar checked when I go in. I have to make these lifestyle changes before I am a full blown diabetic on meds. For now it is controlled with diet and exercise. (How long is that gonna last, if I keep making bad choices?)  So…here I go again.

  1. No more sugar (I am a full blown sugar addict currently out of control) Help me, Jesus! And he will!
  2. Keep my portion sizes down (Aim to quit before I’m stuffed…eat to live, not live to eat)
  3. Lots and lots of veggies (Aim to eat veggies throughout the day, not just at dinner)
  4. Water and more water (Less coffee and more water)
  5. Walking a bit everyday (Even if it’s just back and forth in my porch, or around my house in the AC on high ozone days when my asthma kicks in)

I must admit, Dear Readers, that I am feeling a bit discouraged, but not defeated. As long as I keep do-ing, (To quote Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.”), I am not defeated. All prayers and words of encouragement are welcome.

Let me know what’s up in your life. Really, I want to know.  Blessings on you!


Adventures in Cuisine

Meatless Monday ended up being Meatless Saturday, which was a blazing 90+ degrees with high humidity and ozone warnings. We had Chef Salads, and although our meal was meatless, I did include half a hard-boiled egg in each salad and a few cubes of cheddar cheese for protein. I had made Chunky Vegetable Chowder on Friday to have with our Friday Hammy Sammys, so we had the leftover chowder with our salad. Here’s the recipe. It makes a lovely summery, veggie soup.

Chunky Vegetable Chowder from Betty Crocker 30 Minute Meals for Diabetes

6 large servings 3 carbohydrate choices


  1. 1 tablespoon butter
  2. 1 medium green bell pepper, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
  3. 1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
  4. 8 medium green onions, sliced (½ cup)
  5. 3 cups water
  6. ¾ pound small red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (2 ½ cups)
  7. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme OR 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  8. ½ teaspoon salt
  9. 1 cup fat-free half-and-half
  10. 1/8 teaspoon of pepper
  11. 2 cans (14.75 oz each) cream-style corn


  • In 4-quart Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add bell peppers and onions; cook 3 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in water, potatoes, thyme and salt. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until potatoes and tender.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients; cook about 1 minute or until hot (Do not boil, or it will curdle).

Seriously, get this cookbook, Betty Crocker 30 Minute Meals for Diabetes.  It is fabulous!!

In an effort to educate our palates and try some new things to keep some spice in our marriage 😉 Mike and I made a curry together for the first time ever. Yes, we cooked it together. I found a relatively easy recipe at verucaspice.com. Here’s the recipe…and, oh yeah, it was delicious!

Indian Chicken Curry by Nirali Patel at verucaspice.com

4 Servings


  1. 1 pound chicken breasts, cubed to bite size
  2. 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  3. 1-8 oz can tomato puree
  4. ½ a red onion, fine chopped (1 cup)
  5. 1 heaping teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  6. 1 heaping teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  7. 1 Serrano chili, finely chopped (optional)
  8. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  9. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  10. 1 teaspoon ground garam masala
  11. ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  12. ½ teaspoon red chili powder to taste
  13. Juice of ½ a lime
  14. Salt and pepper to taste
  15. A little over 1 cup of water


  • Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and fry until they are golden for 6-7 minutes.
  • Add ginger and garlic and fry for 30 seconds, reducing heat to medium.
  • Add tomato puree and continue to cook for 6-7 minutes until a lot of the water has evaporated and oil starts to seep through the mixture.
  • Add spices (except garam masala). Fry spices in mixture for about 5 minutes.
  • Add cubed chicken and stir, coating all pieces.
  • Add the water and stir well. (Stir in the Serrano pepper here, if you choose to use it.)
  • Cook, partially covered for 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through. You can uncover and let moisture cook out if you wish.
  • When at desired consistency, add garam masal, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  • Enjoy!

I know it looks complicated, but it really wasn’t. And it was so tasty, and not at all spicy hot. I don’t think I’ve ever had the spices turmeric or garam masala in my kitchen before.  Turneric is so pretty…and tasty.  We didn’t use the optional Serrano pepper, but we will try it next time. Mike likes spicy hot foods, and I’m willing to try it once anyway.

As for progress on the rest of my quest: Joan and I have now been to the Rec Center to walk for 4 days.

  • Day one-I walked 4 times around the track…thought I was gonna die!
  • Day two-I walked 5 times around the track…pretty sure I did die for a minute there. 🙂
  • Day three-I walked 4 times around the track and quit because it was 90+ degrees and humid out, and I was going grocery shopping from the Rec center. I was fairly OK after the Rec Center, and circling around a stroke after grocery shopping.  I will not push that hard on such a hot and humid day again!
  • Day four-I walked 7 times around the track. After six laps I felt really good so I thought, “What the heck; I’ll do one more lap.” Then after my seventh lap, my feet, knees and back were VERY unhappy.

Tomorrow will be Day 5 at the Rec Center. I plan to be in the moment (not just thinking about getting it over with), and I will listen to my body, stopping at the first sign of actual distress.  And hey, 13 laps is a mile, so I made it over a half mile yesterday. Woop!!

Thanks for reading, dear friends! God bless your day









Pressing On

Day 411 in sweating it out to meet up with Mickey (19 days to go…only 19!!!)

Why is it so difficult to do the right thing?  I woke up early this morning to walk.  This is my fourth day in a row to do so.  Hardly earth shattering, right?  I swear, it was such hard work today.  I tried visualizing walking toward Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom.  No good.  I tried changing locale and visualized walking down Hollywood Boulevard toward The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  No good.  So I imagined walking from the bus stop toward Spaceship Earth at EPCOT.  Nope!  It was just exhausting.

BUT, Dear Readers, I did manage to push on and even walked a little farther than yesterday.  I was listening to Sabrina Carpenter on my iPhone, who is on the Disney Channel show Girl Meets World.  She has a song called The Middle of Starting Over which seems to be my anthem (my jam) just now.  I know the song is about falling in love, but it is so catchy and has such a great hook that I cannot resist it.  🙂  And with this exercise thing, post cancer diagnosis and treatment, I am in the middle of starting over.

So I will not be discouraged.  I will not stop my daily walks.  (Lord, willing and the creek don’t rise!)  I will persevere, for in only 19 days we fly to Orlando and our lovely time share at Disney’s Old Key West Resort.  I hope to get the chance to take a swim that first evening.  It would be bliss!

Why is it so difficult to do the right thing?  Because it just is, or as my mom would have said to me, “Do it because I said so!”  Please pray for me to have the stamina to see it through, Friends.  Meet you at the Kingdom!

Tuning Up This Engine

Day 409 in pushing through to make it to meeting up with Mickey

Today’s plan was to wake up early, again, and take a walk before work, AND to eat healthy all day.  So far, so good.  Waking up early is not so good, but I do feel more energy during my work day when I get that walk in in the A.M.  So tomorrow I’ll hit it again.  Imagining myself walking down Main Street USA on my way to Cinderella’s Castle is very motivating!  It made me push a little further today.

For breakfast I had a banana with peanut butter on it.  My peanut butter is crushed peanuts with no additives.  So delicious!!  My lunch was two boiled eggs, four mini-peppers and an apple.  For dinner it’s a half cup of wheat noodles with a cup of Mike’s homemade tomato sauce with lean ground beef added and plenty of raw, fresh veg.  Mrs. Bryan (one of Mike’s two bosses) gave us two baskets of tomatoes from her garden, and my wonderful Mike turned them into tomato/spaghetti sauce. Yum!

I have drunk 6 cups of water today and hope to get in three more cups before bedtime.

So it’s been a “treating myself well/nourishing my body/moving my body through space kind of day.  I feel good!

Meet you at the Kingdom!

BTW: My three-tooth bridge fell out today. It’s always something, isn’t it? I was chewing sugar-free gum and out it came.  My dentist told me not to chew gum anymore.  Guess I should have listened. PTLA!


Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party

Day 269 in my preparations to meet up with Mickey

Today’s plan actually happened last night.  I booked us for Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party.  So now on our first full day at Walt Disney World this October.  We will start the day out with an early breakfast at the Crystal Palace (or Crystal Cathedral if you prefer–that’s for you, Wayno!) at Magic Kingdom,  Then everyone can go wherever they want for the middle of the day.  Then we meet up at the Dessert Party back at Magic Kingdom at 9:20 pm and sit and enjoy warm and/or cool drinks and various desserts while we wait for and then watch the fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle.

In the middle of that first day, I have a date with Disney’s Old Key West Resort.  I want to swim, and I want to sit and sip a cool drink on the boardwalk at the marina.  I can just feel the sun warming my back as I read my Kindle.  I can just smell the local flora (and the chlorinated pool).  It will be magical.

Meet you at the Kingdom!

Blessed To Be A Blessing

Day 260 in my pilgrimage to the land of Mickey.

Todays’ plan was to attend Cafe Chocolat and keep all the plates spinning.  It was a wonderful day of laughter, tears, faith, fun, deeper friendships and the Word of God.  I came away renewed and forgiven.  Oh yeah, and exhausted.  I am sitting with my feet up with my newest furry friend. (Kitty…so soft!)

I am so grateful to God.  He is so faithful.  He showed up in a big way and blessed our time together.  And there was a miracle. I LOVE chocolate.  It is my personal crack.  It is an addiction that runs deep and is well-embedded.  And by the end of the retreat, I couldn’t even look at a piece of chocolate.  The smell made me feel sick to my stomach.  I would have never believed it was possible for me to reach a saturation point with chocolate; God gave me that gift today.  (I know it’s a very tongue-in-cheek miracle, however, for me it was a miracle none the less.)

Thank you dear friends and readers for all the support and especially the prayers.  I feel them deep inside me.  And thank you, Holy Spirit for the strength to see it through.

Meet you at the Kingdom!

“…to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”  Ephesians 1:6 New International Version (NIV)  Such EXTRAVAGANT GRACE!

Payday Two

Day 60 in my dance devoted to meeting the Mouse at the Castle

Todays’ plan was to face the scale again to see if making healthier food choices and moving more is having an impact on my weight.  This is early this month.  My weigh days are the 11th of the month; however, because we are heading out of town tonight I had to weigh early this month.

The good news is that I’ve lost another 5.4 pounds this month.  (Don’t you just love digital scales!!)  That means in the last 60 days I’ve lost 18.8 pounds.  That is a fantastic side-effect to living a healthier life!  And, you know, I feel 18.8 pounds lighter.  I know I have a lot more energy than I had 60 days ago, and it makes me super excited to think about what lies ahead.  (Anticipation…anticipa-a-tion is making me wait…keeping me waiting.  Come on, sing it with me…)  Gotta love Carly Simon!

Tonight I hope to do my 20 minutes of walking in a swimming pool in Green Bay.  I haven’t been in a pool for a few years, so I’m pretty jacked about it.  🙂  I’m pretty jacked in general.  Can you tell my coffee was caffeinated this morning?  🙂

Thanks for hanging in there with me, dear readers.  Love and peace to you all.  Meet you at the Kingdom!

Fun and Dandy Decision Day

Day 57 in my journey to meet the Mouse at the Magic Kingdom

Today’s plan is a fun one.  Mike, Jake, Emi, Eliza and I will sit down and make decisions about the trip to Walt Disney World.  We’ll decide which parks we will visit on which days.  And we’ll decide what three Fastpass+ attractions to choose for each park.  And we’ll decide where to make our lunch reservations each day.  It sounds quick and easy, but it takes much discussion and some give and take. For instance: some will definitely want to Fastpass+ Hollywood Studio’s Tower of Terror.  Me?  Not so much.  Some may want Cinderella’s Royal Table for breakfast (Yes, please!).  Others?  No way.  It will be a delightful mix of yup, nope, yup, nope, yup, nope.

A special shout out today to Jake Jarvi (Son) and Caleb Carlson (Godson)!  Happy birthday you two wonderful people!!  I hope you both have a perfectly lovely day filled with family and celebration.

Blessings to you, dear readers, on this the Sabbath.  Meet you at the Kingdom!


A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Day 38 in walking toward Mickey

To quote Mr. Rogers, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor.  Would you be mine?  Could you be mine?”  The sun is shining today in Lake Bluff, and we’ll hit the low-60s, temperature-wise.  So…here’s my plan for today: I will take a walk after work.  I think I’ll stop in beautiful downtown Lake Bluff  and walk those pretty streets again.  I will aim for a 20 minute walk.  Still not an easy thing for me!

I’ll try to imagine myself strolling up Main Street USA toward beautiful Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom.  That should put a spring in my step, and a smile on my face.  I need to work on really embracing walking, instead of trudging through it.  A walk is good, instead of evil, right?   🙂  I need to do some serious praying about getting some help to love exercise, because right now it’s still on par with Chinese water torture, for me.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”     Philippians 4:13 NKJV  Help me, Jesus!

Meet you at the Kingdom!