Posts in the ‘Live’ Category

November 14th, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me!

More in my prime than ever!

More in my prime than ever!

I started this blog 3  years ago because my daughter was also blogging as a young married mama with her first child, and I thought it might be fun to blog together. But the responsibilities of motherhood and a full-time job soon eroded her interest in regular blogging. I kind of fell off the wagon myself. :)

But I enjoy writing and can use an outlet… and I think I have something to say. So, I’m going to work on re-establishing this blog.

I’m turning the big 6-0 tomorrow… and I’ve  never felt better! I will tell my story in coming posts, but suffice it to say, I am now in the prime of my life, more than ever!

I have found my life’s purpose and I am enjoying every minute of it.

I’ll be talking to you more real soon…

December 26th, 2011

Making Memories… New Kinds of Memories

Making memories at Christmas

Making memories at Christmas

To me, Christmas has always been about making memories that will last a lifetime. I already have a lifetimes’s worth of memories… hearing Santa’s jingle bells right outside my window as a child… and what about the year I heard him filling the stocking hanging over my head (we didn’t have a fireplace)?

Sipping eggnog with my parents while decorating the Christmas tree… my little brother almost deliriously yelling, “A crazy car! A crazy car!” one Christmas morning… the Christmas we had the front door open and short sleeves on.. in Rochester, New York. Another warm holiday in Florida at my retired parents’ house right after my brother’s (grown now) first wedding… with my dad doing Mae West impressions, all of us laughing hysterically while playing games..

Speaking of games, for years my siblings, parents and our families always got together sometime around the holidays, and games were always on the agenda… and we are a competitive group! I have many memories around playing games… my daughter Jenn & I ruled the Pictionary challenges!

The days both when I was a child and then when I had my own children living with me were filled with magical Christmases. Baking cookies, hanging lights, making and wrapping presents, hiding them or disguising them… but when my children grew up and we moved far away from each other, the magic evaporated almost in an instant. My siblings live far away too. None of us had the money to get together every year and each year our past memories seem a bit more distant.

Decorating the tree

Decorating the tree

My husband just doesn’t have the same feelings about Christmas that I do, and he misses his children and extended family too, as I do. I hoped that we would make our own magical memories, but somehow that never seems to happen. We  both long for something we can’t have and that we can’t quite find with each other. So mostly at Christmas I feel a little sad.

This Christmas was the first one totally without my mother, and that makes it even sadder, though honestly she hardly remembered our past memories any more anyway. But still…

But somehow, out of all this sadness, I managed to find that we HAD created some new kinds of Christmas memories this year. They’re not quite as sweet and certainly not magical like the ones you have with young children, but still nice, pleasant warm memories.

Little Button Pouches

Little Button Pouches

Out of my grieving period came an intense focus on creating my own handcrafted gifts for my loved ones, most of whom are far away from me. I worked like a crazy woman for 6 weeks and managed to create gifts I was excited to give away. My cousins and aunt included hubby and me in their annual low-key Christmas get together, which managed to actually be on Christmas this year.

And you know what? It was a wonderful afternoon… surrounded by loving family, plenty of humor and stories. And though their Christmas celebrations and memories are very different from the ones I’ve created over my lifetime, we still managed to enjoy each other’s company, had tons of delicious food and exchanged some very interesting White Elephant gifts. In fact, as you can see below, hubby and I scored the best gifts of the night!

So I guess I can say we created some very pleasant new Christmas memories this year. Would I rather have been with my children and my new grandchild, reliving all of our past joys and laughs? Certainly… but in lieu of that, this was a pretty good start on a new type of memory.

December 24th, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Family Christmas Portrait

Family Christmas Portrait

For my readers who celebrate it… here’s wishing you a wonderfully merry and joyous Christmas season! Here’s my pic of the day… my three furry children. I have a cat too, but no way would she ever pose with the doggies! :)

I envisioned this shot and didn’t think I’d ever get it… but here it is.

Although I am missing my loved ones this year… both those who live far away and those who have gone on to better pastures, I am feeling the Christmas spirit and some joy. Zumba and the love of our Z family and friends helped, as did the pure pleasure to dance. But also, I just love Christmas.

So me and my honey will be chilling tonight, maybe watching some White Christmas or Love Actually… chowing down on crockpot chili and looking forward to connecting with loved ones tomorrow.

Hope you do the same. See you after the holiday!

December 23rd, 2011

Catching Up

My loves on the Greenbelt

My loves on the Greenbelt

When I started this blog a few months ago, I was committed to it. But then life intervened. First, I went to visit my new grandson and his parents and aunt in early November. Only there 2 days, and I learned my mom had taken seriously ill and been hospitalized. Stranded in Texas by lack of financial resources and ridiculous penalties for changing airline reservations (plus wanting to milk every second with my Sammy), I spent the next 6 days stressed and distracted and not in the mood to publish here for sure.

When I returned home, my focus was all on my Mom for about a week… until she suddenly passed away. And after that, the grief and recovery.

Then, the holidays… and distracting myself with TONS of Christmas crafting. But I am emerging now from the cloud of stress, grief, and too much to do… and trying hard to recommit to daily attention to this blog, if to post my daily photos at least. And hopefully also to write, as that was my main goal in the first place.

But for now, I’ve caught up all my daily photos (which I was taking, even though I didn’t post them sooner!). You can see the more than 50 new photos on these pages:

Happy Holidays!

Kathi MacNaughton's virtual signature

November 13th, 2011

Challenges Upon Challenges…

I started my blog a little over a month ago, with high hopes… of creating, gaining insight and exploring new sides of myself. I had every intention of keeping up with it.

But a few things have conspired to prevent me from accomplishing those goals. First off, my online business has begun tanking, with a loss of a third of my monthly income, which has set me scrambling, trying to figure out what to do to remedy the situation. At the same time, it was incredibly depressing and discouraging, which in some ways has almost paralyzed me.

Jenn & Sam Hunt

Jenn & Sam Hunt

Secondly, I took a planned trip to Austin to visit my daughters, son-in-law and 3-month old grandson. That proved to be both wonderful and quite distracting and time-consuming… in a good way.

And then, 2 days into my Austin visit, my mom (who has end-stage COPD) took ill and was hospitalized in extremely serious condition. And I couldn’t afford to fly home immediately, nor did I really want to cut my visit short. Quite a dilemma, distraction and guilt-inducing situation.

Needless to say, posting in this blog has really slipped to the bottom of my priority list.  But… I have continued to take daily photos for the 365 Day Photo Challenge, and I WILL get them all posted one day soon. Perhaps as soon as tomorrow, when I intend to spend most of the day in vigil at my mom’s hospital bedside, mostly while she is sleeping.

Kathi MacNaughton's virtual signature

October 23rd, 2011

BSU Broncos Hot Air Balloon

Bronco Nation passion runs hot and heavy during football season here in Boise, and today we had a BSU Broncos hot air balloon fly right over our house! We’d seen this balloon a few weeks ago at a balloon festival in Ann Morrison Park. So it was cool to see it in the air, flying untethered. Go Broncos!

BSU Broncos hot air balloon

BSU Broncos hot air balloon

October 18th, 2011

On Living a Healthy Life

“The groundwork of all happiness is health.” -James Leigh Hunt

Not living a healthy life!

Fat Kathi on my wedding day June 2009

I am a nurse, by background, though I don’t really still work as a nurse (though I do still do health writing).  But once a nurse, always a nurse, goes the saying… And so, partly because of that, I have always been focused on living a healthy life. As I’ve said elsewhere, I plan on living a long life. But what’s the point of living long if you’re not healthy?

So, for many years, I’ve focused on eating nutritionally-balanced meals, being active and avoiding harmful substances. I won’t claim I’ve always been 100% successful, though. In fact, between 2003 and 2010, I allowed my activity to slowly decline and my weight to slowly rise. I was building a business, had a new home… and then moved 3 more times (across the country) and just experienced so much change in my life, I think I forgot to take care of myself properly.

By the end of 2009, I was 50 pounds overweight and starting to feel old for the first time in my life. Those feelings had to go! I hated how I looked and I knew I had to make a change. By that time, our financial situation was a bit better and so we joined our local YMCA.

I started working out like crazy, really focusing on eating much more healthy and I was able to lose 30 pounds in about 6 months. Not enough, but a great start. And I started to feel young again and just so much more energized… and healthy!

Getting Fit

Thinner Kathi

Me, 30 pounds thinner after Zumba

Since we moved west, I was less active than we were back east, where we country danced a few times a week and also took both karate (I’m a black belt!) and yoga classes. But one thing we did more of out here was walk. During the year we lived in Missoula, Montana (our dream home), we walked for at least an hour (often longer) almost every single day. When we moved to a small town in northern Idaho, we kept walking, though not as far or as often, because there just wasn’t much room to walk in this rural area.

Hardly any dancing in either location, though. As I discussed here, country dancing isn’t really that big in the locations we’ve lived in out west, oddly enough. We did take a few fitness classes in Missoula, but they didn’t stick.

But once we moved to Boise in 2007, we had lots more opportunities to bicycle, walk, ski and even do some light hiking, all within minutes of our home. So we kept doing that, but it wasn’t enough to keep the weight off or to feel really fit.

When we joined the Y, I took classes at least 3 to 4 times a week, mostly Zumba, but also some kickboxing. We also took yoga twice a week and afterwards would do 30 minutes on the elliptical and then some weight training. And on Saturdays, when hubby was working, I’d follow up Zumba class with about 2 hours mixed cardio and weight training. I was burning a lot of calories during the course of a week and it started to show. I also started to really notice my fitness and endurance improving.

Eating Healthier

healthy eating

Veggies are one way to eat healthier!

I’ve never had really bad nutritional habits since living out west. In the years I was a single mom raising two young children, I’ll admit we probably went the fast food route way too often. But not since we moved west. We didn’t have the money, nor did I have that much of a desire for fast food.

But when I really started to focus on nutrition in early 2010, I was inspired greatly by discovering The Biggest Loser TV show and starting to read some of their materials, which sparked even wider study. I realized that portion size was probably one of my biggest failings. I enjoy good food and I’m pretty sure I was eating way too much of it!

So my first change was to cut down on my portions. I also added more and more veggies to my diet. For many years, I wasn’t a big veggie person, but over the years, I’ve learned to really like quite a wide variety of vegetables. I made sure I got as close to the recommended 5 to 7 portions a day as I could. I also switched almost completely to whole grain products, including rice, pasta, bread and cereal. I favored sweet potatoes over white ones.

And I steered away from processed & prepared foods as much as possible. I love to cook, so making everything from scratch isn’t that much of a stretch for me.

And I’ve tried to add super foods like quinoa, pomegranate & blueberries and flax seed to my diet wherever I can.

Today

I’ve been in a holding pattern with my weight for about a year now. But I have to admit that I’m not as active as I should be, due to work and making excuses. I’d like to lose at least 20 to 25 more pounds, but I’d be happy even with 10 to 15 at this point. But I am grateful I haven’t gained any of the original 30 pounds back!

I’m still eating well and enjoying eating healthy too.

I’m reading a book, called Younger Next Year for Women and I love its philosophies. Highly recommended for other middle-agers (there’s a men’s version too, which hubby is reading)!

I’ll get there…

October 14th, 2011

Thrill the World Boise 2011 – I Am SO In!

Thrill the World Boise 2011

Thrill the World Boise 2010

Of course, you’ve heard of the Michael Jackson megahit, Thriller. And you’ve seen the video… and the zombie dance. Well, every October, a group in Boise holds a flashmob type event in the Boise Grove plaza where volunteers perform the dance from Thriller, dressed as zombies. It’s part of the worldwide Thrill the World event.

This year, I’m going to participate!

A friend of mine put out the invitation and my husband and I decided it would be fun. Seems there are quite a few of us Zumba zombies on board. It’ll be on October 29th, and hopefully there will be video I can post here later on of our own performance.

They are holding a number of in-person practices plus you can watch the video and download the choreography online to get ready. Here I come!

Here is a video of last year’s Boise Thrill the World event, just so you can see what I’m getting myself into:

 

October 13th, 2011

Daily Photo — Green Tea Mug

It’s funny how your tastes change as the years go by. For many years, I hated coffee… didn’t even like the smell of it… and I grew up with 4 coffee-drinking adults, so I had plenty of exposure. Never had any interest. But then one day, I went out on a date after my divorce and my date made fresh ground coffee and served it with milk and sugar. Wow! It was a revelation… I fell in love with coffee and have been drinking it ever since. But it has to be strong and fresh ground will always be my favorite. Oh yes, and milky and sweet.

For even longer, I hated tea. Could not abide the smell of it, the taste of it… blech!

But as I learned more about healthy nutrition and alternative ways to stay healthy, I began to be intrigued by tea.  And both my brother and daughter, Sarah, drank a lot of tea and seemed to love it. I did have chai a few times and liked that… again, it was sweet and creamy. I think it was Sarah who introduced me to green teas of various flavors and I found that the flavors disguised the “tea taste” and I could tolerate it better. I also started trying various types of herbal teas and liked many of them too, especially with lime or lemon juice added, and of course sugar (Truvia).

Green tea has many benefits, with lots of antioxidants, but just recently I read a report in Prevention magazine that said if you drank 3 mugs of green tea a day, it would help with weight loss. Since I have been trying to lose weight for 2 years, that intrigued me and I thought it was worth a try. I haven’t succeeded in drinking 3 mugs every day, but most days I make at least 2.

And I have to say, I’ve actually lost a couple of pounds in the last couple of weeks! So I’m going to keep drinking!

The other day, I found this great tea mug that I just love, so I had to have it. The paperweight it’s sitting next to was given to me probably 20 years ago now by one of my subordinates. It continues to inspire me to this day.

Green tea mug

Tea & Inspiration

October 9th, 2011

I Love to Dance!

Dance = Joy, Freedom, Friends

Dance = Joy, Freedom, Friends

I have always loved to dance… all my life. I love dance for what it brings into my life… joy, fitness, creative expression, and outlet for emotions, both good and bad, and freedom too. Dance is an important part of my life and my relationships as well.

As a child, I took dancing lessons… a bit of a late bloomer; didn’t start till I was in the 6th grade. I took jazz, ballet, tap and acrobatic lessons. Another girl my age was in all the classes with me and we got selected to appear on a local TV show, Skipper Sam that aired cartoons and showcased local “talent”. We did an acrobatic routine to a Herb Alpert chacha. The best part was all the candy we got as a reward from the show!

As I grew up, I danced whenever I got the opportunity, though the weekly lessons stopped. I went to tons of dances while in college and even took up disco with my first (to be) husband. We continued to dance throughout our marriage, taking both disco and line dance lessons.

When my children were very small, I fell into Jacki Sorenson’s aerobic dancing. It was pretty new at the time and a big craze. This was in the early to mid-80s when Jane Fonda was such an exercise maven. I loved the dancing during those classes… and it was fitness-oriented too, which was great.

Then I went through a bit of a dry spell after divorcing. I may have danced with my daughters in our house, but that was about it until the mid to late 90s when we went a few times to a new country place that taught line dancing, which I found intriguing, but never really pursued. But in 1998, I met my second husband and he was a country dancing addict. A match made in heaven! For 5 years, we danced together 3 or 4 nights a week… line dancing, two-step, country shuffle… even a bit of swing. We had a great time, but then we moved out west where you might think country dancing would flourish since it is the home of much country western music.

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October 6th, 2011

On Living & Loving in My Prime Years…

In my prime years with my husband

In my prime years with my husband at a party

Welcome to “In My Prime,” my latest online adventure! I’ve been living and writing online for many years now, over a decade. But I mostly have either done freelance writing for health sites (and others) or created my own content websites. I’ve done a few blogs along the way too, but they were mostly niche blogs that were either designed to make money selling something or that connected with one of my content websites.

This is the first time in a long time I’ve even thought about doing a more personal blog. But I have recently been reading and helping design my adult daughter’s blog, Orange You Sweet, and I have to say that it inspired me to jump into the fray myself. I do love to write after all, and I could use an outlet for expressing my many passions, frustrations and joys in the written word. Sometimes there are things that are hard to talk about with those close to me, or not time for.

I am after all a rather cerebral person who loves the written word. So I hope to use the pages of this blog as a sort of journal, but one that I feel comfortable making public. I hope that my thoughts and passions will be of interest to others. But I also plan to share things I find of value online, products I love to use and perhaps even projects and tutorials down the line. I don’t know… this blog will be a bit of work in progress, though I have tons of plans flitting through my head. :)

Who Am I?

You can read all the nitty gritty details of my life, thus far, in my About Me page. But to give you the short synopsis… I am a 50ish married woman with 2 grown daughters and an adorable new grandson, 3 dogs and a cat. I have a great, though high-strung husband whom I love dearly. We do wonderful outdoor things together all the time. We both have a passion for life that we don’t plan on quenching for many decades to come. We are healthy and fit and vigorous and don’t believe in giving in to growing old.

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