Archive | Women’s Issues RSS feed for this section

Serious about weight loss and lifestyle change!

11 Sep

This David King, Long Term Solution weight loss program is seriously important to me. https://www.davidkingfitness.com/lts/
I am losing weight, but being careful, rather than being impossibly diligent. On the other hand, I am really pretty happy eating this way. It keeps me full and not hungry. Did I mention CLARITY??? My mind is clear. Chrystal clear in a way that I had nearly forgotten. Was it ever this clear? I am not sure. Eating this way makes a huge difference mentally.

I am concentrating on me. I have completely changed my eating habits. I went through my granddaughters wedding weekend without cheating. It was a big day. All that food and all that excitement did not tempt me. None of the drinks or the hors d’oeuvres passed my lips. I think a lot of people would have found this hard. But, not if they have been in a program where all the bad carbs and sugar are completely cleared out of their system. That is why it is so easy, now.
None of the sugar demons that David King is always talking about are in my body. I don’t feel like taking a week off for poor eating, and gaining 10 pounds back. I want to continue my steady but slow weight loss. It would be nice to speed it up, now that I am home in the city. I went on a 40 hour fast starting last Monday afternoon and ending it with lunch on Wednesday. That helped things along. Fasting for 40 hours is powerful. I have done this 4 times so far.
I do not want to eat boring food. Every sort of ethnic food is my favorite. I am not sorry, I can learn to eat those things without the rice. I do love rice and that is the one food that I have chosen as my cheat food for David King’s Fat-Shocker program.

Though I went through a week of prep and two weeks of Fat Shocker I only lost 2 pounds and that is not much compared to what some people lost. But I did not exercise twice a day, as they said we should. I did not eat purely unsalted food. And I could tell that my body was getting thinner. Even though it was not as MUCH thinner as I once thought I might be able to do during the 2 week intense phase. Since I was on vacation it was modified. For me it just was not that intense. IN fact, it was fairly easy for me. Because I was so focused on the way of eating outlined in his program.
I want to get thinner and fitter. I used to believe that in order to get thinner and fit I must work out with a trainer. It does not work. It did make me quite fit, but I lost NO WEIGHT. For women my age, there is only one way to lose weight. The old fashioned way. Changing your diet. Now there are different types of diets. The fastest one by far is the Keto Diet.
But there is a huge downside. Once you start eating normally again, it all stops working and you gain the weight back. Some people gain MORE than they had lost.

The answer is David King and his Nutritious Keto programs one of which is The Long Term Solution. I recommend it highly. It has changed my life.

If my weight was to creep back up, I would be in serious trouble. So, I must adjust to never eating the way I ate before …never…again. That is sort of sad. But, I actually like the way I must eat most of the time. My clear mind and feeling of alertness reminds me to stay focused. All that soul food that I love so much is simply NOT good for me. Many years ago, I used to drink Coca Cola all day. I loved cokes. I could not imagine how I would ever give them up. But I did. 30 years ago, I gave them up and have barely noticed since. Every once in a while I have one. At the movies sometimes, but they simply do not taste the same. So, if I can give them up, I guess I can give up ravioli! And pasta of all kinds, rice and noodles and potatoes and quinoa, couscous and every type of starch that I have enjoyed, so much. No more toast at breakfast or popovers or popcorn in movies. Corn is just as bad as wheat for causing me to gain weight. It is all GMO. And I want to avoid that…
This is going to be a different lifestyle for me. But, there are plenty of things I can eat. Sandwiches are out. Hoagies and wraps and pita type sandwiches, pizza, and even quiche is all a ‘no no’. But if I can be thin, which I am NOT yet, but if I can, it will be worth it.

I did not realize how much I wanted to be normal size, because it was so out of my reach. Now I see that I can do this, after all. I am very grateful to my daughter, Helen, for arranging it.(For badgering me until I signed up, actually)
My whole mindset is changed. With my head so clear, everything makes sense. And I have become hopeful and happy. You never know what you REALLY think, until something happens to give you a bit of clarity. Sometimes that is a desperate change, sometimes it is subtle. My 25 pound weight loss has given me a huge incentive to keep it up. I want to see how long it takes to lose another 25. Let’s make it 12 weeks allowing for unforeseen events. 12 weeks from now is about Thanksgiving. If I could lose 25 pounds by Thanksgiving that would mean that I will have lost 50 total. And I would be at a normal weight.
Now that is an attainable goal. I can do that. There will be no reason to eat sugar. No cookies, not any holiday foods, except wild rice casserole, which I will not give up. But, that is also OK. If I can have that, then I can give up the other things people like about holiday eating. If there is a turkey, I would love to have some stuffing. I believe I can just go on eating as I am and do OK. Lots of artichokes. And an occasional martini to make it festive now and then.
So perhaps without meaning to I have become a tiny bit obsessed with this weight thing. Because it keeps my mind clear. Writing is first of all, my favorite thing. It makes me happy every minute that I am doing it. All the while I am losing weight, a couple of pounds a week. That is a goal that will keep on giving, just as the writing does, in it’s own way. What a happy and exciting time this is. I am so grateful for it!

My Granddaughter was Married to Her Sweetheart August 25th 2018

5 Sep

 

August 25th, Saturday 2018—The Wedding

Today I watched my first granddaughter get married.

Delilah married Alex Harris. They met in 4th grade. And today is the culmination of a courtship, many years in the making.

On waking in D.C. at Underoak, I noticed the lovely weather immediately.

Yesterday was perfect. Today was simply more perfect, if possible. The almost full moon last night was going to be full tonight. The temperature was moderate and the humidity almost nil. The warm air surrounded us like an ocean, and the sky was full of little clouds that floated overhead so ornately, I half expected cherubs to start appearing with tiny bows and arrows of love. All day the sun shone, the clouds played overhead, and every aspect of the visible earth was green and flower- filled due to the constant rains that had permeated the countryside all during August.


The morning I spent partly with my son, Robert and his son, Jack. I was toying with what to wear and what to take with me to my daughter, Lilla’s home. I Still had not decided if I would stay or not. And in the end, I did. But at that time, in the middle morning, I was still unpacking or at least putting away the things I unpacked hurriedly yesterday, returning from Newport. My room in D.C. was a wreck and I did not want to leave it that way. Lilla called me and in a fit of wedding hysteria, wondered why I was not there already.

So, I literally threw some things together and set out for Virginia, arrived in time to buy some Asian food at the market in The Plains, which I ate out on the porch. Everyone else had had sandwiches earlier and champagne and orange juice. There was little for me to do, actually; it was a question of my just being there. The afternoon passed fairly quickly, until about three o’clock, when we were to be ready for family photos. That took a while, but then we were through and had an hour to wait before it was time to go down to the “glen” or “glade” where the wedding was going to take place.

I went down in a golf cart with Ethel, their maid, and I sat in the front pew.  My ex-husband, Charley, and his wife, Julie were there, too. All of my children and most of my grandchildren were seated in those front pews. We had a chance to greet all the guests because the shuttle that was supposed to pick up the groom’s family was VERY late doing so. So, the entire wedding had to be set back nearly half an hour.

But it was lovely there in the glen, and cool.

The gorgeous, lush green setting was embellished with containers full of ferns and a bountiful arrangement sitting on a tree stump– with deep pink roses and foxglove and other flowers in such abundance– so glorious– exploding over the sides like a fountain of flowers. Twigs sticking out at uneven angles and lots of leaves spilling over the edges and cascading downwards gave the impression of movement. The floral embellishments to the unusually shaped wedding arch, designed and handcrafted by the bride’s cousin, Charley Hilliard, gave a magical look to the venue. Cleverly attached to the sides of the arch in an asymmetrical way, they carried the eye to the center of the arch where the bride and groom stood.

First the bridesmaids came down the aisle each on the arm of a groomsman. The last 2 had a groomsman on each side.  And after all of that, Elias glided down the grassy aisle with a garland on his head and a basket of flowers and petals to throw. An unusual and enthusiastic flower “girl”. Lilla and Chris have very interesting children.

Then from far away, the bride walked down the grassy path from out of the mist (if there had been mist) She was joined by her father at the back of the audience seated on the pews made of tree trunks sawn and treated to be smooth.
They walked together towards the altar, and once there, they were joined briefly by Lilla who came and kissed the bride and went back to her pew with Chris, her husband, father of the bride.

They were married by a judge.

I said, quietly, to Charley, “So they aren’t really married, are they?”

And he said, quietly, to me, “That is what my mother would have said.”

We kept silent.

It was a moving ceremony. Beautiful. Many, many tears…shed by the wedding party, the bride and the groom! (not to mention, all of us!)

It was a lovely ceremony with readings by a friend of the groom, and by the bride’s sister, Georgina. She read a poem by Edgar Allan Poe.

The bridesmaids wore pink tulle skirts with separate ecru lace tops, with some tummy showing if they let it. They looked ethereal, their outfits blending in with the floral and natural elements of the space.

The bride’s dress was very bare, and rather full of detail. The back was bustled slightly, and there was lace and many layers. And, she wore the veil! –the veil that was worn by my grandmother, when she married my grandfather. Mother did not wear it, but I did.  Both daughters, Helen and Lilla, wore it, too. And now my granddaughter, Delilah, was wearing it. It had developed a big rip in the train, and Lilla cut it shorter and trimmed it again with tiny pearls, as it had been before. Lovely to look at, the veil is light, airy. A simple net trimmed with pearls, it is unusual. There is a design of pearls on the back where it cascades down from the crown, and a separate row of pearls stitched horizontally across the back to enhance the look. I loved wearing that veil at its full Cathedral length, but Lilla’s cutting it made it more contemporary and much more wearable for a modern woman like Delilah. It suits her. The whole wedding suited her.

The blue of the sky and crying out of two owls during the ceremony, and the happy crowd watching as the new Mr. and Mrs. Alex Harris walked back up the aisle, now husband and wife.

They were married, and so…Let the party begin!

We had more family photos taken, and then we went up the hill to the house. Though I went in a golf cart most of the guests walked up a mown path between thousands of wild flowers. Spectacular!  I went into the yard above the pool where cocktails and hor d’oeuvres were being served. So many relatives and friends made if fun for everyone. We chatted and ate and drank. People were milling around, but not too many people. The entire crowd numbered about 250. A manageable size. And that perfect weather continued.


All sorts of relatives attended. We were missing two boys, but  fifteen of our grandchildren were there. And that was an impressive sight. They were all having fun seeing each other. All of them are lovely or handsome. They laughed and danced and talked and enjoyed each other. It was a very happy occasion, all in all.  And everyone was smiling. Only rarely does a wedding occur where both sides know each other and those who do not meld right in.


After what seemed a very long time, we all were summoned into the big tent for dinner. There was a main table for the wedding party and two separate tables for the older folk. Grandparents, for instance. Lilla and I had “seated” these tables not too long before the wedding. They looked marvelous.

Later, I saw my ex-husband Charley and his wife, Julie, get up and begin to dance, and I felt, just a twinge, a moment’s  regret at not having a partner myself. Then later, while standing and talking to Helen, I saw Julie motioning me from the dance floor. I went over and she said to me, “You both have such wonderful grandchildren, you should dance with each other.”

And so, Julie left the dance floor, and Charley and I had  a long and a very nice dance together. Apparently, it was “noticed.”  A guest came over to me later and said how nice to see us dancing. He did not know my ex-husband and I are friends. We are– in many ways– lifelong friends. I care about him and like so many things about him.

I thought of my own wedding, at nineteen years old, and my marriage. It suited me at the time. We are only able to do what we can do at any given time. I make no apologies for my previous faults when writing privately in my journal. Even though, if I were talking aloud to someone, I would probably make excuses. But that is not totally honest. And what I strive for now, is total honesty.

That perfect weather continued for the entire wedding celebration.

It was not too hot, not too cold. No wind; lovely clouds scudded by without darkening the sky, and everything was lush and very green, very unusual for the end of August. A rare day in a rare month in a rare year. As evening came and the sky darkened a full moon rose over the right shoulder of the bride and groom. A super omen for the happy couple. And it was breathtakingly beautiful to watch. Everyone was thrilled with the weather. It was a constant source of conversation because everyone recognized how lucky they were to have a weekend like that at the end of August. It will be interesting to note what the weather will be like on this day next year

                                                                    **


Copyright©.  2018 Bonnie B. Matheson

 

 

 

 

 

You can go home again, Bonnie Blue.

11 Aug

My bedroom is my refuge. It first became my room when I was 10 years old. Before that I lived in all the other upstairs bedrooms at one time or another. But they were all connected by a hall and were contiguous to each other and the hall. When in 1952, the addition my parents had been planning was completed, my room became the farthest one from any other. It was on the last north-most part of the house.

I loved being far away from the rest of the family and our nurse Renie. I had my own stairway and total privacy. There was a dog leg shaped hall that connect to my sister’s room. it was a long way from my room to hers. It was too far to hear anything from her room to mine or vice versa. My room also had a balcony. A balcony was something Juliette had. Princesses almost always had balconies. Princess Elizabeth came out on a balcony to wave. (She had not yet been crowned queen at this point). The balcony thrilled me deep in my soul.

 

My room went through several iterations. When I first moved in my parents tried to follow my wishes, but they simply did not understand what I wanted at all. However, they let me choose the wallpaper and the colors of things and they bought me a mahogany canopy bed. It has a curved top instead of square wooden tester. So I was not able to have curtains on the bed as I had dreamed about. Also the wall paper was so 1950s and so romantic it had nothing to do with the look I wanted. What I wanted would have been a room more for 18th century dark mahogany wood, bare hardwood floors of wide boards, white walls with woodwork panels painted blue and a chair rail and shutters at the windows. But that is not what I got.

Instead the walls were papered with a baby blue background color with sheer white flounced curtains held back with pink roses. It was a dream paper, for a little girl’s room And my curtains at the windows were the exact same sheer flounced curtains in the paper, and they were held back with pink silk roses just like in the wall paper. It was lovely. I did not get the floors I wanted but at least I was able to make them buy me a rug and let some of the hardwood show around the edges of an oval rug which was pink and blue floral design. My floors were almost blond and had narrow boards but at least it was wood and NOT carpet. I really did not like carpet.

Later as a teenager, I wanted the room to look like something I imagined in a Roman Villa (via Hollywood) and I asked to have it painted white. REAL white, not cream colored. This was in something like ’56 and NO ONE painted anything stark white. They did not understand what I wanted. What I got was a very pale creamy white, BUT NOT WHAT I WANTED. and they painted the walls this color but behind a double bed with a headboard there was a gold and white material papering the walls, and a french bed hanging from a small crown atop the walls and curtains swooping down from it. It was also romantic and very pretty and rather chic for a girl of my age, but it was NOT WHAT I WANTED. I did enjoy that room with all my friends, I spent hours there away from the family and just enjoying my music and my books. I loved the privacy.

Later that balcony became an occasional temptation for various boys. But it really did not cause much trouble because I was so “good” it never occurred to me to be bad. I thought about it but discarded the idea because I was afraid of discovery. So I lived in that room until I was married in 1961 at the age of 19. I was crazy in love with Charley and with the idea of being married. I wanted to leave my parents house so much I would have done anything to get out of there. But I was not trained to do anything. And I had a strong inferiority complex about being smart enough, educated enough and self confident enough to get a job.

What I did not realize was that I was extremely sophisticated and self confident about a lot of things other girls my age knew nothing. I was versed in protocol and knew how to throw a wonderful formal dinner party. I was comfortable with people of all different countries and could usually deal with thick accents and strange customs with aplomb. But all I really wanted at that time was to make love. That was uppermost in my mind because I had wanted it for years and years. At least 5 years since I was 14 and began to understand what a pleasure it might be. But as I have stated before, there was simply no way to experiment. That was forbidden, completely, in those days. No NICE girl allowed herself to become promiscuous or to gain a bad reputation. This was the great bugaboo. A bad reputation could NEVER be repaired. And I was to avoid that at all costs. And I did.

The irony of ironies is that I am back in my old room now, at the age of 76. I am living in my old house in my old room with my mother. That makes me sound like a terrible loser. However, I had a wonderful life over the years. I was married for 43 years and had 5 children who have produced 17 grandchildren for me. I have had several careers and some made me money and some lost my money. But they all taught me lessons. I enjoyed them all and basically, would not change anything. Though it would have been fine if I could have made money with a couple of the Internet based ones. But I did not.

Then I divorced and began writing a book which came out about 10 years ago.
I must write and so I have told the [family], “Look out, Mama is BACK!”

I am going to write and they are probably not going to like some of it.

One reason I am going on about my writing is that I have a real story to tell and my room is featured in that story. 4 years ago when I spent any time at all living in my old room it made me uncomfortable. I assumed it was because I wished to be somewhere else all the time. But finally as I spent more and more time here, I realized that part of the problem was the dingy color of the room. It had been redecorated after some years since my marriage. For years when my husband and I came back to spend the night, the room looked almost as it had when I left home. But sometime later they painted it pink. It had dusty rose painted walls and curtains and bed hangings and a back wall of a pretty chintz material.

Those curtains had blue flowers along with deeper pink ones, and I did not mind the print. But the walls were just plain dingy and unpleasant. I wished they were a color I liked. But the horrible idea of moving everything out of my bedroom, the closets and bookcases, moving the big furniture kept me from it. Then one day I was speaking of this and my son Robert said he had a man who could do it. I got a quote and agreed to do it. I had not moved up all of my things yet, so it was the absolute best time to do this.

As I was making my final move out of Barrsden Farm and staying those last few nights on the sofa there, Robert’s “man and a helper” were painting my bedroom. They moved the large furniture toward the center of the bedroom and covered everything with a clear plastic tarp. They took down the draperies and covered the wall that had material on it with plastic. They really did a great job. the color is best described as robin’s egg blue, though it is probably not that bright. But because blue reflects back on itself, it is a very vibrant bedroom. The color hits you like a splash of cool water when you enter the room. It is immensely satisfying to me. The color literally makes me happy. Just walking by my open door gives me a little boost of happiness.

Painting my room has turned out to be transformative. Everything about my life is better since that room became a special color of blue. The vibration is better. Better!!! It vibrates ‘positivity’ all the time. The change in how I feel about living here is remarkable.

If I had had any idea that a difference in the color would have so great an effect on me and my whole life, I would have done it sooner. That is why I love to tell people about this experience. Most people would not imagine that a color could change someone’s mood instantly. Who would have imagined that what really made me “OK” with moving up to Washington DC was how much I loved my room in it’s new color. If you are ever in a similar situation or maybe one of your children is unhappy for some reason. You might just explore the possibility of changing the color of the room. It is a nuisance, and it could be expensive, but my goodness; how effective!!

My bed and light streaming in from the balcony.

Because it was such a dramatic difference I urge parents to listen to their children about color. And for the good of adults reading this, I have learned that many people do not want to learn anything that is not compatible with what they believe they know already. So this is just something that worked wonders for me. Take it or leave it.

As I write this I can glance in the direction of my beautiful blue room and receive a little surge of pleasure just seeing the color. The room has eves on both sides which give it character. There is blue carpet on the floor which might be just ‘way too much’, except that I have spread an oriental rug on top of the carpet. it goes from the foot of the bed to a yard or so from the door where one walks in. That little 7 by 5 rug makes a huge difference by alleviating the total blueness of the carpet. And my nice queen size bed is centered on the North wall which has no windows. The french doors to the balcony are to the East and a dormer window facing West is on the opposite side of the room. There is a door into the very blue bathroom which has not been changed since 1952. It is all blue, the floor and halfway up the walls is all blue tile. The fixtures are blue too, except for the toilet which was replaced a few years ago with a white one. The bathroom is pretty tight because it was originally supposed to just be a half bath. When I begged my father to let me have this room for my own they had to figure out a way to put a tub in there too. And they did. But the toilet does sit a little under an eave in the roof. I am not sure what might happen if some tall man got up suddenly from a seated position, he might knock himself out.

I love my room. I love my life here in Washington DC. I enjoy that color more than I can say. And the lesson I learned is that a thing like an attitude can be transformed by color. The implications are amazing. Go for it!

 

**