Return to USA From Trip to France and Germany

I just got home to USA yesterday, from a trip to France and Germany with my son and daughter in law.  I thought I would give you a little outline of the trip and then write more and share pictures in another post next week.





We drove to Williamsport, PA and caught a plane to Philadelphia.  From there we flew to Paris, France.  We were all tired; but we rented a car and my daughter in law drove through the busy Paris streets.  She is much braver than me.  The traffic is crazy there.  Cars just weave in and out, and so do people on motorcycles and bicycles.




The GPS was different on the rental car and we had a little trouble understanding it to find the Eiffel Tower.  I liked the architecture as we drove through the streets.  There were many windows and little balconies with intricate wrought iron railings. We parked and walked to the Tour Eiffel.  It was very unusual, and very tall.  🙂  I took pictures that I will share with you in the next post; so be sure to check back next week for the next installment of my adventures in France and Germany.


Kaiserslautern, Germany

Later that day we drove the rental car to Kaiserslautern, Germany.  It was about a 5 hour drive.  We got to my Grandaughter’s house about 9pm their time.


Twins were in bed

I didn’t get to see the 8 month old twins that are my great-grandchilden, or their big brother 3 year old William until morning; because they were in bed.


Getting settled in and resting

The house my granddaughter and her husband (who is in the service) live in was very large; and my son and daughter in law slept in one room on the third floor and I slept in another.  Their children slept in the lower level.  We were all very tired and settled in pretty quickly to get some sleep.  I slept on an air mattress; but it was pretty comfortable and I was glad to be able to stretch out after the cramped 5 hour drive from Paris.


Meeting the twins and visiting

The next day we just visited and met the twins, Alana and Xavier.  And I renewed my acquaintance with 3 year old William.  The twins were adorable and so is William.  I can’t wait to share their pictures; but I haven’t downloaded them from my phone yet.


Birthday party at Yabadoo

I will be glad to write in more detail what we did and share some pictures; but for now I will just tell you what we visited.  We went to a birthday party at a place called Yabadoo; which is a children’s indoor play park.  The birthday party for a friend of William’s.  They have some things that are different from children’s parks in the USA.  I will be showing you pictures of some of what was there, also.


Ludwig van Beethoven house

Another day we went to see the home where Ludwig Van Beethoven was born and raised.  It had a lot of history there, and was interesting; but a lot was written in French and we didn’t understand.  Still it was interesting seeing the history and the pictures.  We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside; but I have some of the outside of the house and the garden.


Nanstein Castle

We went to Nanstein castle ruins the day before we left for home.  It was fun to explore all the different rooms and look at the rock formations, etc.  And the views from the ruins were awesome.  Even though it isn’t all there anymore; there is enough left of the castle to spark your imagination of medevial times.  I got lots of pictures and will be sharing some them with you in the next post.


Smiling donkey statue

There is a smiling donkey statue that I fell in love with.  I will show you a picture of his wonderful smile.  I wanted to go see some other sites nearby; but there just wasn’t time.


Heading home


Paris, France to Miami, FL

We drove back to the DeGaulle airport in Paris.  We left at 2am Wednesday morning; their time.  After driving the 5 hours back to Paris, we found there wasn’t any more seats on our flight, so we had to change our plans and wait for another flight that went to Miami, FL.  It was a very long flight and though the accommodations were business class and pretty nice, I was uncomfortable a lot of the flight.


Miami to Philadelphia, PA

Then after a three hour wait in Miami; we took a flight to Philadelphia that was not as long; and I was happy to have a window seat.  It was beautiful taking off at night.  The ground looked like a black piece of material with sewed on jewels, as we ascended.  I tried to take pictures but forgot to take off the flash so they didn’t turn out.


Philadelphia, PA

When we got to Philadelphia; we had to wait til morning for a flight to State College.  We rented two small rooms at the airport and got about 5 hours rest.  Then we took off for State College airport in the morning.  That flight was only about 45 minutes to an hour long.  It was so good to see State College; which is really close to home.  I have some pictures of that flight.  I had a window seat in it also.


Philadelphia to State College, PA

It was good for me to go see other countries and I enjoyed meeting my great grandchildren twins; but it was wonderful to come home.  There’s no place like home.


There’s no place like home.



Thanks for reading.  Please feel free to use the comment section below.  Stop back next week for the sequel and more pictures and details.  I love company and my door is always open.


At your service,













Health Benefits of Owning Pets

Health Benefits of Owning a Pet







Do you own a pet? A dog, a cat, a bird, a horse, a mouse? The list could go on and on. Some prefer a life style without pets. But there are many health benefits of owning a pet.


I found this on WebMD:

(I added photos)


Allergy Fighters







“The old thinking was that if your family had a pet, the children were more likely to become allergic to the pet. And if you came from an allergy-prone family, pets should be avoided,” says researcher James E. Gern, MD, a pediatrician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.


However, a growing number of studies have suggested that kids growing up in a home with “furred animals” — whether it’s a pet cat or dog, or on a farm and exposed to large animals — will have less risk of allergies and asthma, he tells WebMD.









Date Magnets






Dogs are great for making love connections. Forget Internet matchmaking — a dog is a natural conversation starter.



Dogs for the Aged



“Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is an animal in the home,” says Lynette Hart, PhD, associate professor at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.


“Their caregivers also feel less burdened when there is a pet, particularly if it is a cat, which generally requires less care than a dog,” says Hart.


Walking a dog or just caring for a pet — for elderly people who are able — can provide exercise and companionship. One insurance company, Midland Life Insurance Company of Columbus, Ohio, asks clients over age 75 if they have a pet as part of their medical screening — which often helps tip the scales in their favor.








Good for Mind and Soul



In one study, stockbrokers with high blood pressure who adopted a cat or dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than did people without pets.


People in stress mode get into a “state of dis-ease,” in which harmful chemicals like cortisol and norepinephrine can negatively affect the immune system, says Blair Justice, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health and author of Who Gets Sick: How Beliefs, Moods, and Thoughts Affect Your Health.






Studies show a link between these chemicals and plaque buildup in arteries, the red flag for heart disease, says Justice.


Like any enjoyable activity, playing with a dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine — nerve transmitters that are known to have pleasurable and calming properties, he tells WebMD.







Good for the Heart


Heart attack patients who have pets survive longer than those without, according to several studies. Male pet owners have less sign of heart disease — lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels — than non-owners, researchers say.


For more information or to read the whole post:


My current pet:


I have a pet parakeet named Tweety.  I inherited him from my mother. Pictures below are: 1. Tweety,  2. My mother and Tweety,  3.  A very bad selfie of Tweety and me.



Tweety is quite a character. He gives me kisses on my nose with his beak. He loves to talk to himself in mirrors. He likes to watch videos of himself; and comes flying over when you get out the cell phone. He likes to take a shower at the kitchen sink and expects me to sprinkle water on him. He likes to make intricate designs on the edges of paper, magazines, catalogs, etc. with his beak.


And he and my great granddaughter just love each other. They have a connection. She gets excited and waves her arms around when she sees him. Sometimes he sits on her head. He never lands on my head.










Dogs detecting cancer?


I have heard that some dogs seem to be able to detect and warn against cancer. I have a friend who had breast cancer. She said her dog would always sit on that side and nudge or paw at the affected breast before she even knew she had cancer.


Animals saving people?


There have been many stories where pets have saved their owners lives. I found this video on YouTube.



Nursing Homes and assisted living facilities recognize the connection
between health in the elderly, and being able to connect with pets. Some have a resident cat; or have cages with birds in. They encourage people to bring friendly dogs in to interact with residents. The residents look forward to the visits and enjoy the interaction.  The dogs love it too.  If you have a calm, friendly dog; you might want to consider contacting a nearby facility to see if you and your furry friend can provide this service.


There are advantages and disadvantages to owning pets. You must weigh them for yourself; taking into consideration your current situation. If you do decide to get a pet; be sure that you are in a position to take care of it properly. Choose your pet carefully to fit your lifestyle, living arrangements, and level of care required. Research the care of the pet you choose, so that you will understand the commitment, and be better able to decide if the pet is a good match for you.


For me, the work and responsibility required for most pets, fades in comparison to all the benefits of owning a pet; but it still is dependent on what life style I have at the moment. Use common sense and think it through thoroughly, before choosing the pet that is right for you and your family. Then, when you have made an informed choice; enjoy your furry and feathered friends and the benefits to health they provide.





Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you found something of interest.  Come back again soon.  I love company; and my door is always open.


You may find this post of interest also:

Grandchildren Keep us Young


At your service,



























Grandchildren Keep us Young




Children’s children are the crown of old men;

and the glory of children are their fathers.

Proverbs 17:6



Do you have any children or grandchildren? I find them to be blessings from above. Not only that; but they may make us feel younger. They bring so much joy into our lives


I have a great granddaughter who is seven months old. She is such a joy to me. She has filled me up with so much love; and helped to fill a void from the death of my parents. When those bright, happy little eyes, set that gaze on me; I just melt. 🙂








Oh no, you say, not another proud grandparent bragging about their grandchildren. (well there may be some of that) But I want you to be aware of how wonderful it is to share those gifts from God with our children. The time flies by so fast. It seems like only yesterday that her mother was that small. Sometimes, I get a glimpse of her in her sweet daughter’s face.


What I am trying to tell you is; if you have grandchildren; or great grandchildren; don’t let the time slip by. Make time to be with them. Offer to babysit. They will only be small once. The time can never be recaptured. Relationships must be built while they are small; or you will not have one when they get older.






Maybe you are saying; “But they get on my nerves. I’m not feeling good enough to take care of them. It’s been so long since I held or changed a baby. I don’t know if I can take care of a child anymore.” I understand. I felt much the same way; but I overcame, and I’m so glad I did.







My advice is to start in gradually. Have the mother visit with the baby; but when she does, hold the baby, offer to change a diaper; or mix a bottle, etc. Then after you are confident that you can do these tasks; offer to watch the baby on another occasion while she goes shopping for just an hour or so.


You will gradually gain back the confidence you lost. Remember, you can do anything for just an hour. Even if the baby cries for the whole hour, you know it is coming to an end. 🙂 As you grow more confident and start to form a relationship; you can increase the time you are left alone with the adorable little sprout.







My great granddaughter has brought so much joy into my life. I laugh a lot when she’s with me. She is so funny and we have so much fun together already, and she is only seven months old. Everything is extremely interesting for babies. Everything is new and exciting. We lose that excitement as we grow older.


When we get to retirement age; we have a tendency to not see a lot that is right in front of us; even if we aren’t clinically blind yet. But believe me; I see this baby, and her excitement is catching. I look at things with a different perspective when she is around.





If you have pets; the interaction between the child and the pet is something to behold. You may have to step in sometimes so no one gets hurt; but it is so fun to watch.


My inherited parakeet, Tweety and my great granddaughter love each other. They love to just sit and stare at each other. As long as she doesn’t try to grab him; Tweety is fine with staring back at her with their faces about 6″ apart. He doesn’t sit on anyone else’s head; but he sits on her head sometimes.








She has a cat at her home; and she is learning to be gentle with him; and fortunately he is gentle with her, too. It has been studied, and children who grow up in homes with pets have less allergies than those from pet free homes. Isn’t that strange?  Here she is with her kitty.



 Laughter is so good for us; and seeing the world through the eyes of a child can make us feel younger. Our health could even improve; because the laughter and the joy child brings is so good for us. We will become so engrossed in entertaining our captive little audience of one, that we may forget our own pain and discomfort. And we won’t have time for complaining while we are caring for another.



Sometimes as we get older, we draw more into ourselves. We don’t enjoy going out much anymore; and having people in is more work for our tired aching bodies. But withdrawing is not the answer.


Though it could be more comfortable to just stay at home, it isn’t good for our sense of self worth; and we need positive interactions with other people. There is only so much we can do as far as housework, etc. and then we find ourselves sitting in front of the television; begging it to put an end to our boredom with limited success.





Grandchildren can shine a very bright light into that dark place of withdrawal; if we allow them in. How long has it been since someone looked at you with such interest in their faces? How long has it been since you have been the center of attention in someone’s life, even if only an hour or two? How long has it been since you have had someone depend on you and look to you for their needs? We need all these things to feel complete. Grandchildren can provide all that and more.


I also have a set of twins (great grandchildren). They are in Germany because their dad is in the service. I am going to Germany toward the end of this month, courtesy of my son and daughter in law; to meet them. They also have a big brother, that I haven’t seen for a while. I’m so excited to meet them.







Here is a picture from Christmas time.  They have grown a lot since.

So if you have children, grandchildren or great grandchildren; don’t lose this time with them. It is a once in a lifetime chance to build a relationship with them. It is a time to experience the joy of their presence. You won’t be given the chance to experience them at this age again. The time will slip by and it is unrecoverable.


Spend time with your children whenever you can. Get to know your grandchildren and great grandchildren. Brighten their life as they brighten yours. Give of yourself and your time. Be young again through your relationship with a little bundle of joy. You will be repaid by toothless smiles, slobbery kisses, sticky hugs, and eyes that speak of love.




Doll gets kisses.

 Grandchildren keep us young



At your service,








Complaining and Criticizing Kill

Yes, complaining and criticizing kill.


At this point; you may be saying, “No they don’t. I complain and criticize all the time and no one dies because of it”. I will explain this statement later on in this post. We will see if you have changed you mind after reading.


Does this sound familiar?


You get up on the wrong side of the bed. You don’t even know why; but you are just in a bad mood. Or maybe your day was going okay; but one unfortunate thing after another happened; and you find yourself complaining to anyone who will listen. Then you begin to criticize someone involved in the unfortunate situations, or criticize yourself. Does this sound familiar? “How could he do that to me, after all I’ve done for him?” “How could I be so stupid”; or “I have no idea why I would do that”, etc.






Before you know it; you are caught in the web of complaining and criticizing. Ask yourself how you feel when you are gripped in this negative spiral? Are you stressed? Are you angry? Are you upset? Yes, you answer, the situation made me that way. But how much impact would the situation have on your day; if you had handled it differently?


We don’t always have control over what happens to us; but we always have a choice of how to react to what happens. Well, you say, “I don’t really have a choice; I just get angry or upset, and I have to let it out somehow.”


To some degree that may be true; but you can learn new ways of handling that stress or anger. You don’t have to lash out with hurtful words. (It doesn’t make the situation better, or solve the problem) It is not necessary to complain about what happened to everyone you see. ( It is like re-visiting the pain of the original incident over and over again)


How do I learn to react more positive?


  • Delay your reaction. Count to 10, 20, or even 50 before reacting.


  • Walk away, if the situation permits. Sometimes putting distance between you and the offending situation or problem may be helpful. Other times it is not feasible.




  • Realize this situation or problem is outside you. Don’t bring it inside by rehearsing it with complaining and criticizing.



  • Forgive others, and yourself for being delinquent or disinterested. Our lives are busy; we sometimes don’t do things we should do; and we often do things we shouldn’t do. We are far from perfect, and require forgiveness often.


  • Be aware of your “self-talk”. We can talk ourselves into, or out of being upset, by our self-talk. Ask yourself, “Is this really as important as I am making it at this moment?” “How can I handle this situation in a positive way?”


  • Try to understand your own feelings; but don’t try to ascertain the motives of another person. It is highly likely we will ascribe an erroneous motive; one the other person never even thought of. And if we ascribe the motive in our mind; it becomes real to us; even if in grave error, in reality. If we don’t always know our own motives; how could we possibly know the motive of another person?



  • Ask yourself why. “Why is this upsetting me?” “Why am I so angry about this?” Keep your questions personal and about your own feelings. Don’t try to figure out why others do what they do. You will have enough trouble trying to answer questions about yourself.



  • Tell the offending thoughts and words to STOP! Then replace them with positive words and thoughts.




  • Decide you will not let this incident ruin your day. Nothing can make you miserable unless you let it.


How does complaining and criticizing kill?


It kills joy.


It is not really possible to have joy in the midst of complaining and criticizing. Until it stops, your joy is squelched, or killed.



It kills relationships.


How many marriage relationships are sacrificed on the altar of complaining and criticizing by one, or both partners? How many friendships are lost because of this negative habit? How many parents have lost the love, or respect of their own adult children; because of all the complaining and criticism they indulge in.


It kills positivity.


Complaining and criticizing are both negative. When we are indulging in these habits; it is impossible to think positively. Our positivity has been murdered by negativity.


It kills motivation.


Complaining and criticizing is a very draining activity. It leaves little room for positive motivation. Our motivation is squeezed out, until dead.



It kills thankfulness.


Who can be grateful for what they have; if they are always complaining about what they don’t have? The “have nots”, trample on the “blessings” until they render them dead.


It kills hope.


It is hard to feel hopeful when we are engrossed in complaining and criticizing.  We lose hope for anything to be better; because the future is clouded with the storm clouds of these two habits.



It could kill us.


Stress is compounded by complaining and criticizing.  Stress has a negative effect on our health. Over time it can cause all sorts of health complications; which could contribute to our demise.



Complaining and criticizing doesn’t change the situation. It doesn’t solve the problem. It doesn’t make you feel better; in fact you will usually feel worse. If we stand back and really evaluate the usefulness of these two habits; we will have to conclude that we would be better off without them.


Perhaps, it isn’t realistic to think we can totally eradicate them from our life; but we can certainly cut back the amount of time we allow ourselves to indulge in these two destructive habits. There are many more positive ways to spend our time. And there are many ways our voices in more positive endeavors.



Have you changed your mind from the beginning of the post? Do you see how these negative habits can kill? Do you see how they can have a destructive impact on our lives and on the lives of those we love? Do you think it is worth trying to replace these habits with more positive habits and actions?


I would appreciate your comments below. Please ask any questions you have, and I will answer to the best of my ability.


At your service,















How I Lost 20 Pounds



I am not a person who loses weight easily. Some people just cut out the snacks and they lose. Some lose by cutting out soda. Others may be able to lose by cutting down on bread and white flour. A diet high in protein drops pounds for some. None of these methods work for me. I have found something that does. In this post I will share with you, how I lost 20 pounds.


With the stress of both of my parents being ill, and dying within the previous year and a half to two years, I had packed on some extra pounds.  These pounds were in addition to the 20 extra pounds or so, I had already been carrying around for a few years.


Fortunately, I was able to dress in ways that covered up most of my weight gain. Though people may have noticed I gained some weight; most would be shocked to know just how much I had gained.







I dreaded going to the doctor and stepping on the scale; because I was ashamed of the number it brought up. I don’t ever tell anyone what I weigh; but the dreaded scale revealed what I was desperately trying to hide.


I think I surprised some of the nurses (much to my chagrin); because they would put the weight on the scales lower than it needed to be, and they would have to move it up. Ugh. I would diet for three weeks to a month before the appointment; only to lose a few pounds. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Surely I’m not alone.


My weight loss method is not speedy; especially after I have lost the first 10 pounds. In fact, I find that my body adjusts to the way I am eating, and I stop losing and go on a plateau. This is very frustrating; because I am sticking to the diet just as I was when I was losing; but with no success. I think this may happen to others as well. It is a critical time; because the discouragement often leads to giving up and scraping the diet.


I have found some strategies to deal with this plateau:









  • Realize the plateau is temporary and wait it out. It may be our body adjusting to the new weight.  A couple to three weeks and the weight will start to drop again.

  • Add more exercise than you have been doing. This burns more calories and may contribute to jump starting weight loss again.

  • Change what you have been eating. Use a little different tactic. Sometimes our body will be fooled into starting to lose again, by our change in eating habits.

  • Take a week off; and eat normally (just don’t overdo). Then start back with a new attitude. Maybe our body will follow suit. You may gain a couple pounds during your week off; but they may fall off quickly and take some others with them.



Another problem I deal with in sticking to a diet is that I get hungry for those foods which are not allowed. People solve this problem in different ways. Some are very determined and willing to sacrifice their favorite foods on the altar of lost pounds. I find after three weeks or so (when I go on my plateau); I tend to lose that resolve.


My way of handling this problem is by strictly observing my diet for 5 days (or 4 if it works out better), and then take two or three days off of the diet. During this time; I eat whatever it was I was hungry for all week (within reason).


I don’t overdo, and have a whole pizza, hoagie, or a 1/2 gallon of ice cream. I don’t buy a whole box of doughnuts, and eat them all through those two days. I don’t eat a whole bag of potato chips, or cheese curls, or down a whole liter of soda. I use discretion; but I indulge in whatever I have been hungry for during the two or three days off from my diet.





During the time off, I generally do gain 2 to 3 pounds. But I find that these pounds usually drop within the first couple days of my diet. That leaves me with two or three days to lose more weight. So normally (when not on the dreaded plateau), I am still ahead, for the week, by a couple pounds.


How did I manage to lose 20 pounds?



As I mentioned, I don’t lose weight easily; but there is one diet that has always yielded some weight loss for me. It is an old diet from the 70’s, developed by a doctor named, Dr. Herman Tarnower. Yes, that’s right, the old Scarsdale Diet. It has stood the test of time. Many are still using this rather simple diet to drop pounds.


The Scarsdale Diet has an added benefit of fast weight loss during the first couple weeks. This jump start to your diet wets your appetite to lose more. The diet boasts of a weight loss of  up to 20 pounds during the first fourteen days. I have never had that good of results; but when I was younger, I may have lost 10 to 12 pounds in the first 14 days.


My daughter and I decided that we really don’t lose more than a pound or two in the second week of the diet (which is just a repeat of the first week) So we cut it down to one week on the diet, and then one week off, and then back on, etc.


I tend to lose 5 or 6 pounds during that first week. (Sometimes 7 or 8 if I’m lucky)  Which is still a good loss for one week. Then after a week of being off; I would find I had gained back 4 or 5 of the 6  to 8 I lost. Also each time I went back on the diet; my body usually decided that it would cut a pound off of my regular loss. So, I found, cutting down the days I was off of the diet yielded better results for me.



My journey to losing 20 pounds.


I went on the Scarsdale Diet a couple weeks before Thanksgiving in 2016. I was on the diet for the whole week the first time, and off 3 days (I think) I knew I needed to be off for Thanksgiving, because I was having a family dinner, and there was no way I was not eating with them. 🙂  If I remember correctly; that was a 5 day diet with two days off.


So I skipped the first day of the diet; which is more or less a protein preparation day. The second day (I call fruit salad day) became the first day of my diet. Then I skipped the last day of the diet to fit my schedule.


The same thing worked out well around Christmas; and I was able to be off on Christmas day and my birthday (the day after). New Years worked out well too; and I started out 2017 ten pounds lighter. It felt so good; but I had so much more to lose.


Since I decided that the first day of the diet wasn’t really necessary, I proceeded to cut it out completely. I went to a 6 day diet; and then to a 5 day diet; with weekends off. This has been working well for me.


I did go through a plateau (as mentioned above); and I tried suffering it through; but I was stuck at 16 pounds for a couple weeks and then at 18 for a few weeks. I tried exercising more; but the bad weather was limiting getting outside.  Finally, I adjusted my eating. Since I wasn’t really losing; I figured I had nothing to lose. (pun intended)


For one group of 5 days, I ate a lot of protein. I boiled some eggs and added skimmed milk and a little extra meat. The next week I made cabbage soup, and celery soup and added that to my diet. I also drank some milk and started a snack of an apple and nuts at 3pm.




This week I was surprised to find that I was down the two pounds, that I couldn’t seem to lose!


Yay! I can now say that I have lost 20 pounds!


That may not mean much to you; but it means a lot to me. And I can see a difference in my body and the way my clothes are fitting, too.



You may be wondering if you will be able

to lose weight using the same method.



Everyone is different; so I can’t guarantee that this diet will work the same for you; but the original Scarsdale Diet has proved itself over the years; with weight loss being achieved by many. How much you will lose depends on how closely you follow the diet; and your own body makeup.


You can’t expect to lose if you don’t adhere closely to the diet. My advice would be, for the first week or two at least; you would be better served to follow the diet (or at least the first week of it) for maximum weight loss.  If it seems to be working, keep doing what you are doing.


After that, if you want to play around with it; you may come up with what works best for you. One thing I think you will notice, while on the diet, is that you will feel better. I notice less bloat, gas and heartburn; and I have more energy.


If you decide to use something close to my method;

I have some other advice.


  • Use common sense on your days off of the diet.

  • Don’t binge sweets or salty snacks.

  • Limit high calorie foods.

  • Limit sodas and other high calorie drinks.

  • Remember, you will be able to have the offending food or drink on another time off.

  • Weigh in. Be aware of how many pounds you are gaining.

If you gain too much on your days off; you will have to lose more before you are actually dropping another pound. For example:


Suppose you had lost 10 pounds, and on your days off you gained 3 pounds back. You have to lose those 3 pounds before you start to lose more than 10 pounds. If you gain more than 3 pounds; it will be harder to lose more pounds, above what you have gained. This could result in your weight remaining the same. Which is counterproductive to your ultimate goal of continuing a steady weight loss.







For your information:


During the time I have lost this weight, I have used a teaspoon of coconut oil in my coffee. I have also drank eight glasses of water; and one to three glasses of cider vinegar water a day. I am not sure if these actions contributed in any way to increased weight loss; but in the interests of complete disclosure; I thought I should mention them.


If you are interested in reading the book by Dr. Tarnower,

I found a couple used at Amazon.  Just scroll down

and click on the Shop now button:



If you are not interested in the book:


This is the one week plan I took from the Original Scarsdale Diet.






Scarsdale Diet Day One:

Breakfast: Coffee or tea with sugar substitute and a half of a grapefruit and a slice of protein bread (same all days)

Note: I don’t use sugar substitute since I hate sweet coffee

Lunch: Assorted cold cuts with tomatoes (sliced, broiled or stewed) and coffee or tea

Dinner: As much broiled fish or shellfish as you like along with a slice of protein bread, unlimited salad &grapefruit


Note: I use coconut oil and brown my fish and season with lemon. I often skip the bread and grapefruit.


Scarsdale Diet Day Two:

Lunch: As much fruit salad as you like with coffee or tea

Dinner: As much lean, broiled hamburger as you like & unlimited tomatoes, celery, cucumbers or brussel sprouts, with coffee or tea


Note: I sometimes swap brussel sprouts with either asparagus or green beans.


Scarsdale Diet Day Three:

Lunch: As much tuna salad as you like with a grapefruit and coffee or tea

Dinner: As much broiled lean pork as you like along with unlimited green salad, with coffee or tea


Note: I hardly ever have pork on hand, so I substitute chicken or fish. Also, I love mayonnaise on my tuna salad and I indulge. I love tuna salad day.


Scarsdale Diet Day Four:

Lunch: Two eggs any style, cottage cheese, string beans or tomatoes, and a slice of protein bread, with coffee or tea

Dinner: As much broiled, barbecued or roast chicken (with skin removed) as you like along with unlimited green beans, spinach or green peppers, with coffee or tea.


Note: I usually don’t make barbecued chicken; but I often sprinkle my chicken with hot sauce.


Scarsdale Diet Day Five:

Lunch: Assorted low fat cheese slices, unlimited amounts of spinach, and a slice of protein bread,  with coffee or tea

Dinner: As much broiled fish or shellfish as you like along with unlimited salad, & a slice of protein bread, with coffee or tea


Note: I love cheese day. I steam fresh spinach if I have it. It goes great with the cheese. I buy the mozzarella (part skim) sticks or farmer’s cheese usually. I often skip the protein bread, except at breakfast. If I am extra hungry before bed, I have a piece of toast.


Scarsdale Diet Day Six:

Lunch: As much fruit salad as you like, with coffee or tea

Dinner: As much broiled or roast turkey or chicken as you like with unlimited salad of tomatoes and lettuce, and a grapefruit, with coffee or tea


Note: It is best to use all fresh fruit for lunch; but I usually start with a can of fruit cocktail and then add fresh apple and bananas and any other fresh fruit I have on hand. Sometimes I use half a can of pineapple, too.


Scarsdale Diet Day Seven:

Lunch: Cold or hot chicken or turkey, tomatoes, carrots, cooked cabbage, broccoli or cauliflower and a grapefruit or melon, coffee or tea

Dinner: Plenty of broiled (grilled) steak, all visible fat removed before eating along with a salad of lettuce, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes and Brussels sprouts, with coffee or tea


What am I doing different?


At this point in my journey, I am cutting out the first and last days; and sometimes the second day (fruit salad) I have found I don’t digest red meat very well; so I don’t mind missing the day I have the hamburger, or the day I have the steak (which I don’t usually keep on hand anyway).


I feel free to exchange fish for chicken, or the other way around. I substitute chicken or fish, for the pork most of the time.  I also exchange green beans, spinach, asparagus, cabbage, and broccoli, according to what I feel like eating or have on hand.


Please keep in mind that I have re-arranged the orginal diet for my own purposes.  I am not telling you to follow my plan.  I am only relating what has been working for me.


I would, however, recommend the Orginal Scarsdale Diet.  If adhered to, it has a proven record of weight loss in those who have tried it.  It has been around for forty years and still being used by many.  That’s a pretty good record, don’t you think?


I hope this information is helpful to you.  I bring you information as I see it; and then it is up to you to decide if it is useful for you, or how it may be useful for you.  Any decisions about your own diet is for you to make.


Thanks for dropping by.  Come back again soon.  I love company, and my door is always open.


Please feel free to express your thoughts in the comment section below.  If you have any questions; I will be glad to answer to the best of my ability.


At your service,












DIY Homemade Soups Are Delicious and Healthy

Soup, Vegetable Soup, Lunch, Dinner, Hot


Making your own homemade soup is easier than you think. The taste is so much better than store bought; and DIY homemade soup is healthier for you.


I love making my own soups; and I love eating them even more. That’s why I decided to share some of my recipes, and tips I’ve gathered along the way.


Homemade soups are better for your health.


Soup, Stew, Dish, Meal, Healthy, Dinner

I found some information on canned soups verses homemade on the internet at this location:

I will give you a quick synopsis. If you want more information; you may go to the site above.


Sodium – Manufacturers add sodium as a preservative and flavor enhancer. The healthiest soups contain 360 – 600 milligrams of sodium per serving, but one cup of canned soup can contain 800 or more milligrams of sodium! Since a typical can holds at least two cups, a bowl of soup may pack a day’s worth of salt.


Fat – A one-cup serving of a cream-based canned soup may contain 7 grams of fat,. Worse yet, the fat in these soups tends to be saturated fat, which is known to raise total blood cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.


Bisphenol A (or BPA) is a component of the liner used in some cans. This chemical has been associated with reproductive abnormalities and a heightened risk of certain cancers. BPA can leech from the liner into the food.


What are the benefits of homemade soup?


  • Gives you complete control over the ingredients and how you prepare them.

  • May save you money compared to canned soup.

  • You can cook a large batch of soup, then freeze small portions for meals that you can heat quickly.

  • Choose broth instead of cream for less fat

  • Broth-based soups are typically much lower in fat, but if you still love the taste of “creamy” soup, there are several healthy alternatives. For instance, add extra pureed vegetables, such as potatoes, squash, and beets to the broth. Evaporated milk and even low-fat or fat-free plain yogurt are also great substitutes for cream.

  • Lemon juice and vinegar will brighten the flavor of your soup without adding sodium.

  • Herbs add flavor, antioxidants, and vitamins.


These are my own tips:


I saute onions, garlic, celery, and carrot (add mushrooms and bell peppers if you like) I use this as soup starter for all my soups. If I think I will be making another soup within a few days; I make double what I will use in preparing the current soup, and refrigerate half of the starter for making another kind of soup later in the week.


I use bouillon for flavor; and since it has salt; I add very little salt and taste frequently for adding just the right amount. Sometimes use just a little season salt instead of table salt. I usually use Himalayan Pink Salt, which is said to be healthier than regular table salt, because of it’s mineral content.


I use herbs for flavor, allowing for less salt, etc.


I use garlic and onion powder for seasoning to better control salt content.


I use fresh or frozen vegetables mostly, instead of canned. However, I do use chopped tomatoes, when tomatoes aren’t in season; and canned beans.


I often make extra, and freeze meal size portions for quick preparation, at a later date.





If I’m dieting; or want to eat light; I like to make a simple celery soup or cabbage soup.


Celery soup:


Soup Greens, Celery, Vegetables, Food


(Starter used for all soups)

1 to 2 cups celery (cut very small)
1 cup onion (cut very small)
1/2 cup carrots (cut very small)
1 green bell pepper (cut very small)
2 teaspoons minced garlic

4 cups of water
Powdered chicken bouillon to taste
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
dash of hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon of mustard (if desired)


Saute onions, peppers, carrots, celery and garlic in a pan with coconut oil (my choice) olive oil, or canola oil until vegetables are glassy. Then add water, bouillon, tomatoes, oregano, salt, pepper and hot sauce.

Cook over medium heat until soup reaches the desired consistency. I like to cook mine for at least an hour, and add water if I need too.



Cabbage soup


Cabbage, Vegetable, Plant, Food, Healthy


My cabbage soup is pretty much the same as the celery soup; except it has 1/2 a head of cabbage and less celery.  I cook the cabbage in the water and bouillon until wilted, then combine ingredients.

Note:  The two soups may be combined to make a delicious cabbage and celery soup.


My version of minestrone soup

Minestrone, Soup, Vegetable Soup

Soup starter as above
Powdered beef bouillon to taste
1/2 cup of couscous
1/4  to 1/2 head of cabbage
1 can of cut green beans
1 can of black beans
1 can chicken bouillon
2 to 3 cups of water
Teaspoon of parsley
Teaspoon of oregano
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste

Shake of garlic powder

Shake of onion powder



Prepare starter as above until vegetables are glassy, then add water, bouillon, and couscous and cook until al dente. Then add cabbage. Cook over medium heat until cabbage wilts. Add the remaining ingredients and continue cooking until soup reaches desired consistency and flavor. I love to cook mine a long time, if I have the time.



I love mushroom soup. I know. Creamy soups are more fattening; but they are so good and satisfying. I never thought of making my own mushroom soup until I tasted some homemade at a restaurant. It was so much better than the canned version. So I started making my own.


Mushroom soup.


Food, Food Amp Drink, Meal, Eating


Soup starter as above.
Small box of fresh mushrooms (chopped) (Canned may be substituted)
1 can of skimmed evaporated milk
2 cups of water
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
1 tablespoon of butter
Shake of garlic powder
Shake of onion powder
Teaspoon of oregano
1/2 teaspoon of mustard (if desired)
Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare soup starter as above. When vegetables turn glassy, add butter and mushrooms and cook a little while longer. Then add remaining ingredients, and cook until soup is done. This soup must be watched closer and cooked at a little lower heat because it has a tendency to scorch. If it does, it is ruined.

Note: If you like the consistency of the canned mushroom soup; you can let it cool and blend in a blender for the creamy consistency. I like the chunky better myself.


Okay, I know cheese is fattening; but it tastes so good and goes so well with broccoli. And so I love to indulge in some broccoli cheese soup sometimes. It is such a great comfort soup.


Broccoli Cheese Soup


Broccoli, Green, Young And Vivacious


Soup starter from above
2 cups water
1 teaspoon powdered chicken bouillon
1 can of skimmed evaporated milk
1 tablespoon of butter
Fresh or frozen broccoli chopped
Shake of garlic powder
Shake of onion powder
Teaspoon of oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Shake of hot sauce
Shredded Sharp or American cheese to taste (I prefer sharp) At least half a cup for flavor.


Prepare soup starter as above. Steam broccoli in a small amount of water with the butter and some salt and pepper. Add to starter, add remaining ingredients (except for cheese) and cook until flavor is blended thoroughly. Add cheese, stir in, and cook over low heat until melted. Watch carefully, because this soup will scorch easily.


Everybody’s favorite is homemade chicken noodle soup. I also like chicken rice soup.


Chicken Noodle or Chicken Rice Soup


Soup, Chicken Soup, Eat, Food, Court


Soup starter from above
4 cups of water
2 tablespoons of chicken bouillon
2 cups of diced cooked chicken

Noodles or rice
1/2 cup V8 juice for flavor
Shake or two of hot sauce
Shake of onion powder
Shake of garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare soup starter as above. Boil boneless chicken breast in water with bouillon and salt and pepper. When it is cooked through, remove from water, cool and cut in to chunks. Use the bouillon water to cook noodles or rice al dente. Brown the chicken chunks in butter or a little oil. Combine all ingredients together and cook over medium heat until flavors are blended, and noodles or rice is well done.


These recipes are my own. That’s why I called this post, “DIY (do it yourself) homemade soups are delicious and healthy”. I don’t really measure, so I just guessed.


Have fun with them. Add or subtract ingredients to your own taste. It is easier than you think. And homemade soups taste better and are better for your health. I hope you enjoy making and eating them.


You can’t really mess these soups up, unless you burn them. There’s not much you can do once that burned taste gets through them. Just add salt sparingly and taste often. Be aware that bouillon adds salt and so do canned tomatoes or broths.


I have a lot of other soup recipes; but I will save for them for another post. I love the fresh homemade tomato soup, that I make, when I have an abundance of tomatoes in season. It is so much better than the canned! Check back when they are in season. I hope to post my tomato soup recipe mid summer. I may post some cold soup recipes,too. And a good beef vegetable soup to use your fresh garden produce.


Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section. If you have a favorite DIY homemade soup, please share with us.


At your service,









Organize, Prioritize and Minimize

 Alphabet, 3D Albhabet, Letters, Colorrganize    Alphabet, 3D Albhabet, Letters, Colorriotize  Alphabet, 3D Albhabet, Letters, Color inimize


I am currently struggling to get more organized. I am willing to bet that there are others like me. I like to be organized; but I have trouble sustaining it. Therefore let us learn together how to organize, prioritize and minimize to realize success.


Have you ever noticed how being disorganized holds you back? Or that it seems like you take one step forward, and two steps back?


Disorganization is a huge time thief. I will make a confession. I have always suffered to some extent with this character flaw. It is something I really want to overcome.


So come with me while we explore this subject further.  I am hoping that this post will spur me into action; and at the same time some of my readers, too.




You may be disorganized if:


  • If you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed much of the time.

  • If you avoid inviting guests or panic at the prospect.

  • If there are moldy monsters growing in your refrigerator, and it is nearly impossible to find the food you looking for in the maze.

  • If the back seat of your vehicle resembles the garbage bin at a fast food restaurant.

  • If there is usually a stack of mail on your table or desk.

  • If you find yourself shuffling through bills, looking for that one that you know is due tomorrow, without success.

  • If it seems like you just had something yesterday, and today you are hunting all over the house for it without success.

  • If you have stacks or boxes of old magazines, catalogs, and outdated miscellaneous.

  • If you have a junk room and several miscellaneous junk drawers.

  • If you walk into the kitchen and find a sink full of dishes and cluttered counter tops.

  • If there is a stack of dirty clothes in your bedroom.

  • If there are stacks of clean folded clothes on your dresser, or dryer.

  • If your computer work space is cluttered with papers, notebooks, pencils and papers, with no apparent order.


Cluttered, Desk, Dirty, Education


  • If you often forget important things like doctor and dentist appointments.

  • If the calendar is always on the previous month.

  • If you plan to do 5 things in a day and only get 2 or less done.

  • If interruptions throw off your whole day, and you have trouble getting back on track.

  • If you feel that, if you bring one more thing in the house, you will have to move out.


I could go on and on; but I want to concentrate on why we want to become more organized and some strategies for becoming more organized.


Why should we become more organized?


Stress, Pressure, Anxiety, Angst


  • Lack of organization causes stress.

  • Being disorganized leaves us with a feeling of being overwhelmed

  • Since stress has a negative effect on our health; we may experience better health once we get more organized.

  • A cluttered life contributes to a cluttered mind.

  • A cluttered mind results in forgetting things and losing things, which causes more stress.

  • We will not need to panic when someone calls to say they are coming right over.

  • We won’t feel our heart drop to our feet when company asks to use our bathroom.

  • We won’t want to crawl in a hole when the refrigerator door is opened.

  • We won’t need to hurry and clean the piles of mail off of the table to make a space for someone to sit their plate down.

  • We won’t be embarrassed when someone needs to move all the garbage aside to ride in in the back seat of our vehicle.

  • We will have more time for relaxing or spending time with family or friends; if we are not spending the time hunting something we have lost; etc.



What are some strategies for becoming more organized?


Plan ahead.


To Do List, Do, List, Tasks, Pen, Plan

Make to do lists. Write down what you want to remember. Keep a calendar of upcoming events, and check it regularly. Make a habit of looking at the calendar or your cell in the morning and noticing what day it is. If something is coming up in a couple days or a bill is due; write a note and put it where you will see it. Plan to pay your bills ahead of time.


Keep a clean work area. 


Apple, Mac, Computer, Desktop, Mouse

Make a habit of putting everything away when you stop working in the evening.  But, if it doesn’t get done the night before, do it before you start work in the morning.


Make your bed.


The Bridal Chamber, Interior, Bed


Have a morning routine and make smoothing your bed covers a part of it.


Clean your refrigerator regularly.


Refrigerator, Food

If you can’t do it all at once; tackle a shelf a day until it is clean.
Organize it so that your food and condiments are easy to find. Date leftovers and dump in a few days. The moldy monsters will no longer control the inside of your refrigerator.


Wipe Counters and stove and wash dishes.


Chefs Kitchen, Luxury Home

Wipe counters and stove, and wash the dishes immediately after making a meal, or at least right after eating it. If you clean while you are cooking, there will be much less to do afterward.


Tackle mail.


Chest, Luggage, Sepia, Mail, Send

Incoming mail is the bane of my existence. The best advice I’ve heard, is to throw away junk mail immediately. Organize the remainder, and pay the bills as soon as you get them. Mark catalogs and magazines with the date received; so you will know when to toss.


Organizing clothing.


Shirt, Clothing, Clothes, Textile


Wash clothes regularly, fold and put away immediately. There is nothing worse than wanting to wear your favorite blouse and find it is either still in the wash, or you can’t find it in the piles of clothes you neglected to put away.


Clean your bathroom regularly.


Bathroom, Sink, Mirror, Apartment, Room

The best time to wipe things down is right after you take your shower. Mirrors clean very easily with a coat of steam meeting a dry towel. Clean the shower immediately after getting out and dressed. It’s so much easier. When you wash your face and brush your teeth, wipe the sink and counter as well. Brush the commode out right after your morning routine.


Tackle clutter.


Living Room, Clutter, Chaos

Keep only what you need. Donate the rest. I know sometimes it is hard (and I am not good at this one); but what we lose in possessions, we will gain in peace of mind and an uncluttered home.


Clean the garbage out of your car.


Classic, Oldtimer, Car, Vehicle, Old

Make a habit of taking the garbage out of the car each trip. If it doesn’t build up, it is much easier to deal with.

Find a home for everything.


American, Books, Boxes, Box, Dictionary

If everything has a particular place it belongs, we are more likely to put an article away, which cuts down on clutter.


Put things away after using them.


People, Man, Men, Male, Adult, Person

If you have to walk to another room to put something away; do it. You will be repaid by not having to look at the clutter.


Come up with a schedule of household chores.


Time Management, Business, Planning

Write down the chore and a time it should be done. If it is possible, delegate some of the chores. No one person should be responsible for everything; unless they are the only one living in the house.


Regularly clean and organize cupboards, closets, drawers, and linen closets.


Retro, Vintage, Kitchen, Cupboard

You will gain back the time you spent organizing, from the time you no longer have to spend hunting something you have misplaced.




Office Stuff, School, Note, Pen

Make to do lists and prioritize.


  • Prioritize according to what is most important.

  • But do things first, that can be done quickly, when possible.

  • Divide larger tasks into smaller, more manageable segments.

  • Schedule some free time to handle interruptions.

  • Write in breaks for exercise and relaxing.

Cartoon, Child, Comic, Comic Characters



Get rid of “stuff”


Flea Market, Stand, Cup, Glasses

Our lives are full of too much “stuff”.  So we buy containers to put the “stuff” in; and then there is more “stuff”.  It is so much harder to organize, when there is so much “stuff” to organize.  We need to minimize the amount of “stuff” we have.  Imagine how much better your life would be if there weren’t so much “stuff”.


  • We need to sort through our possessions, and get real with ourselves.

  • Keep only what we need.

  • Donate the rest to “Good Will” or one of the other Charity Organizations.

Box, Charity, Catholic, Church, Poor

  • You can have a yard or garage sale if it makes you feel better to get a little extra cash.

  • Put the things, you don’t need; but can’t bear to part with in a box, and if you haven’t opened it in a year, donate the box.

  • Sometimes souvenirs hold a special place in our hearts.  But could we take pictures of the souvenirs, then donate, and keep the pictures?

  • It is important to imagine your life without clutter, to make this adjustment of getting rid of the “stuff” we don’t need, less painful.

Living Room, Interior, Homes, Houses

I haven’t gone into a lot of detail in this post; but there is much information on the internet about organizing, prioritizing and minimizing.  If this post has sparked, in you an interest in becoming more organized; get serious, research, and begin to change your life for the better.


Thanks for stopping by.  Come back again soon.  I love company!


Feel free to leave a comment.  I will answer all of them to the best of my ability.


If you are interested, please check out these posts:


Conquering Procrastination

Ten Personality Traits That Hold You Back


At your service,