Putting it in writing.

Whenever I decide to eat healthier and move more, I find that accountability helps. I have tried Weight Watchers (now known as WW), Jenny Craig, and Noom but they don’t have enough personal accountability. I have decided that I’m going to need to be my own accountability partner – via this blog.

Starting Monday, January 2, I will be keeping track of my food and exercise and being my own accountability partner. Or I could set goals like this…

FeelingShelfish – my 5 minute book podcast

I started a 5 minute book podcast using Swell. Here is the link to the podcast about the books that got me started with my love of reading.


I hope you like it.

Thanks for reading.

How is everyone?

So, it has been a while since my last blog post. I guess you could say things have been a little busy here in Southwest Florida. I hope you all are well.

It has been 49 days since Hurricane Ian smashed into Florida causing major damage and 114 deaths from Lee County north into Charlotte and Sarasota Counties. Because the storm was so huge, it caused problems all over the state and then headed to the Carolinas for some more havoc.

Mike and I were very lucky. Although there is damage to the house, we can live in it. There are many people in our surrounding communities that weren’t so lucky.

Just when we thought hurricane season was about over – here comes Nicole. Oy! We had a rainy, breezy day. Those on the East coast of Florida weren’t so lucky. Did you all see the pictures of the homes washed into the Atlantic Ocean. So sad.

So, now that things are back to “normal” (really – you CAN see the normal if you look over the giant piles of debris everywhere) I plan to get back to reading and reviewing good books and talking about eating healthy and being good to your body.

After 46 days of erratic eating, I’m back to eating more fruits and veggies, lean protein, and fewer carbs. I’m looking for healthier recipes for Thanksgiving- including apple pie croissants!! Now that stores here have milk, eggs, butter, and fresh veggies – we no longer have to go on our evening grub crawl to find food trucks so we can eat. Next time you see a food truck, stop and buy something. If it weren’t for them a lot of people wouldn’t have eaten anything in the days after the storm. That is how bad things were.

So, hug your loved ones and enjoy every day with a smile on your face. Remember to be kind, especially to those who are in helping jobs. (Keep in mind, if you are dealing with storm aftermath, your local grocery checkout person, receptionist, public works staff are working to help YOU when they should be home getting their own situation fixed).

Be kind. Be patient. Be respectful.

Thanks for reading.

Feeling helpless

The past two days I have felt so helpless. We evacuated from the area that Hurricane Ian made landfall. I can only imagine what it was like for those who stayed. The storm was so big that it took HOURS for it to pass over Charlotte County and neighboring North Port.

Phone screen shot of Hurricane Ian on the Windy app.

I can’t believe how draining this whole experience has been. Almost a week of watching the storm. Then fleeing my home. Watching the news as the storm raged. And now, not being able to get any information has been mentally draining.

I’m so glad we left. I really am but I’m also having “survivors guilt” knowing that I didn’t go through what my friends went through. I didn’t have to hold my frightened children or pet(s) while the wind whipped parts of my home away or knocked trees down onto them. I didn’t watch as my entire neighborhood washed past my house in the waves like the Fort Myers, Naples area. I didn’t have to listen to 155 mile per hour winds.

I received a text from a friend at 8pm last night saying she, her husband and two kids are alive but their house is destroyed. That was the last I heard from her.

I have friends who manned the County shelter’s that I haven’t heard from since yesterday morning.

My Facebook and NextDoor feeds are filled with requests for welfare checks.

We did find out that our house is standing. It has some damage but, since cell service is so spotty, we haven’t been able to get photos yet. We are planning to try to head home tomorrow.

If you are able to, please consider donating to help my state. From the hardest hit communities on the West coast to the inland areas that have major flooding, we need help. There are many ways to donate but please be aware that there are some people who aren’t above scamming good hearted people who want to help.

If you want to donate, please investigate the charity. Here are some that were listed on the Miami Herald web page.

Florida Disaster Fund – http://www.volunteerflorida.org – 850-414-7400

Catholic Charities – http://www.catholiccharitiesdov.org

The Greater Miami Jewish Federation – http://www.jewishmiami.org

American Red Cross – http://www.RedCross.org

I’m sure there are more. I’m sure there are GoFundMe pages being set up as we speak. Thank you for your desire to help, but please check the charity out. I’d hate to see people who want to help get scammed.

Please pray for those in South Carolina, who are now in Ian’s path.

I hope you are all ok. I hope all of your loved ones are ok. Please, keep those prayers coming.

Books, crafts, and dieting will have to wait

Hurricane Ian

Until yesterday around 10am, when Ian decided he wanted to visit Southwest Florida, we had planned to ride out the storm at home.

When Charlotte County Emergency Management called for mandatory evacuation of our zone (B-orange), we looked on Expedia again and by some miracle, we found a hotel room up near Orlando. We decided to get out of Dodge. Run from the water (storm surge) hide from the wind. Even though Orlando is under the hurricane warning as well, a Cat 1 or 2 inland is better than a direct hit/landfall of a Cat3 or 4. We live right where the big M is on the picture above.

An almost 5 hour drive (normally 2 1/2 hours) without stopping for food or drink and we arrived tired and hungry. We stashed the cat in our hotel room and headed to Publix for some fried chicken and cat food, which we forgot in the rush to leave.

We’ve slept a bit and now are resting and praying for everyone.

When I woke up a few minutes ago, I looked at the weather and my stomach dropped. It looks like the worst possible scenario. The storm moved South and East and looks like a direct hit of a Cat 4, just like Charley in 2004.

I have friend that have stayed and I’m extremely worried for them. My coworkers, whom I have grown to love like a big family, are in danger.

I’ve been humbled by the friends who have reached out to offer shelter and money. You all are my angels. After all is said and done, we may need that help.

I ask for prayers for everyone dealing with this. I want to thank meteorologist Denis Phillips and Mike from Mike’s Weather Page for your calm, straightforward info. I want to thank Charlotte County Emergency Management for their guidance. Thank you in advance to the first responders. Thank you to the regular Charlotte County employees that have volunteered or been assigned to work the storm shelters. You are truly heroes.

Stay safe and PRAY!

Creator God, we ask you to calm the wind and the waves of the approaching hurricane, and spare those in its path from harm. Help those who are in its way to reach safety. Open our hearts in generosity to all who need help in the coming days. Amen.

Be kind. Check on your neighbors. Hug your family.

Somebody’s mother

If you go online or turn on your TV, you can’t avoid the news of Queen Elizabeth’s death this past week. After a 70 year reign, it will take some getting used to someone else in her seat.

Besides the tributes I’ve seen online, I’ve also seen people making cruel comments about the royal family. I guess these people are from perfect families. While I am not pro-royal and realize that there are problems among the family, I do have sympathy for them because, after all, somebody’s mother, grandmother, great grandmother, etc. has died.

I lost my own mother in 2021 and know that, rich or poor, royal or peasant, the death of your mother is not an easy time. Whether you are the black sheep of the family or the perfect prince or princess, the loss hurts. I, for one, will keep them in my prayers.

If you have lost a loved one, know that I am saying prayers for you as well.

Thanks for reading.

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Juicy Jersey by Lizz Lund

Juicy Jersey book cover

Full of humorous New Jersey stereotypes, Juicy Jersey is a crazy murder mystery. From the opulent home of a family of questionable means to the fun of the Jersey shore, you will enjoy following Mina Kitchen as she tries to figure out who killed the woman her dog-sitting charge found at a highway rest stop. An entertaining, light read – especially for this old Jersey girl.

Thanks for reading.

Going to the local pool has been great.

About a month ago, Mike (my husband) and I decided to start going to the local parks and recreation department’s pool. Except for the two weeks ago when I had the flu and last week when we went to a comic book convention, we have been going on Saturday morning. I was surprised how it helped my knees, hips, and lower back.

I looked up some water exercises and have been doing them. Check out this site for some good ones – pool exercises. I have even started doing laps back and forth. I am working up the getting into one of the lap lanes. That would a great.

Since we’ve been going, I’ve actually been able to take the stairs at work most days instead of the elevator. I’m proud of my progress and I am looking forward to more health benefits. Stay tuned for updates on how the pool exercises are helping.

Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com

Fredrik Backman’s Beartown series

If you want to read a series about a hockey town that has seen better days set in the forests of Northern Sweden, Frederik Backman has got you covered.

In the first book, Beartown, a sexual assault by beloved hockey player, Kevin, causes unexpected consequences in the hockey obsessed down. It turns out that the victim of the assault is Maya, the daughter of the General Manager of the hockey team, Peter Anderson. Even though Maya knows the rape accusation with tear the town apart, she finally decides to tell her parents a week after it occurred. They are furious and go to the police. The repercussions are wide spread and, to me, infuriating. To find out what happens, you will have to read the book.

Us Against You continues the story of the hockey town rocked by controversy. After the events in Beartown, it looks like the hockey team is going to fold. This makes the former Beartown hockey players who now play for the rival team in Head, very happy.

When a new arrival gives the team hope. With their fastest player, Amat, their lone wolf, Benji, trouble maker, Vidar, and the eager to please Bobo, the team begins to rally. As the final game approaches, not-so-innocent pranks between the two rival town come to a head and a tragedy occurs. The two communities begin to wonder if hockey will ever be the same.

The Winners (due for release in the US on October 4, 2022) is the third and final book. A terrible storm hits both Beartown and Hed, causing the destruction of Hed’s hockey rink. Those in charge of the Beartown hockey rink, offer to let the Hed teams practice at their rink. Of course, the town of Hed takes this as an insult. When a beloved barkeep dies during the storm, her loved ones come together for the funeral. This includes Maya, who went off to music college, Benji, who left town broken, and Amat, the former NHL hopeful who returned a humiliated recluse.

A journalist tries to get to the bottom of corruption within the hockey board of directors, a couple tries to save their marriage, and an angry young boy wants to avenge his sister’s death.

Both towns in this series are filled with interesting and unforgettable characters.

I hope you will read the series, as well as the rest of Mr. Backman’s wonderful books.

Thanks for reading!

My favorite health and weight loss podcast

I’ve tried most “diets”. From WW to Jenny Craig and more in between. It wasn’t until I started listening to The Chris Terrell Podcast that I started having success in losing weight.

During his weight loss journey, Chris followed the CICO diet. CICO stands for Calories In, Calories Out. He has lost 125 pounds! Amazing! When I am looking for some motivation, I listen to Chris’ practical advice on his podcast. Check it out here: Chris Terrell Podcast.

An explanation of CICO – For each pound you want to loose, you have to cut 3500 calories – either by eating less or by burning more calories through exercise. If you eat 500 calories less or burn 500 calories more each day for a week, you should lose 1 pound. Does that make sense. If you eat 500 calories less AND burn 500 calories more each day for a week, you should lose 2 pounds.

If you want to see how many calories you should be consuming each day, go to the Calorie Calculator.

Chris also offers coaching on his website Chris Terrell Coaching.

Give Chris a listen and spread the word!

Let me know if you have a favorite health, weight loss, and/or exercise podcast in the comments.

Thanks for reading!