My Stove

The stove, metaphor for my life.

Four burners equals four priorities:

Children, wife, work. Wait, that’s only three? The fourth burner is for everything else: my elderly parents, the Lions club I serve community thru, my extended family, my friends.

Sometimes one of the first three get moved off, but I try not to let that happen. When I die I don’t want to regret short-changing those I’m most responsible to.

God and faith are the fuel for that stove, the natural gas that keeps me going.

Take care of your stove.

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Chill

This was the view I had recently. It was a 30-Hour Retreat. We got up early, almost like a work day to get there.

It's good to do for mind, body, and soul. Regularly. For your own well-being, and for others.

When you allow yourself to chill, it means taking pause, a bit of emotional and spiritual detente, giving your engine time to spool down from breakneck speed.

Chill. Out. GOOD.

Ingredients

I’m known for putting together rather eclectic meal combinations from time to time.

Might be my dad’s influence — peanut butter, bananas, some mayo, maybe with a pickle, was one of his favorite “dishes “(so to speak).

One of my lunches this week provides a good example: I found in various places in the fridge…Brussels sprouts, gnocchi, and ground beef from left-over hamburger.  Tossed in in a Tupperware, threw it in my work bag, and away I went.  At lunch time, I heated for two minutes thirty seconds in the microwave at work, voila!  Chow Time.

Crazy?  Well maybe, but it was delicious, and it used left overs in the fridge I felt compelled to gobble up.   This situation also provides some insight on a life approach that goes beyond the kitchen and meal prep.

Access your ingredients, consider your combinations, be creative, “re-purpose” as needed (“hamburger” becomes “ground beef”) make the most of what you have.

I feel like I’m in the Iron Chef competition every time I open the fridge to figure out what to take to work for lunch the next day.

The core skill-set is the same:  base knowledge, open mind, and creativity.

And then?

Well it’s pretty simple. Get some good. Make it tasty.  And what else?  Well of course, teach your kids.

What exactly?

It’s all in how you use the ingredients before you to make a dish, or the best of any situation, and put a little smile on your face.

 

 

Motion is Lotion


“Get UP!” That’s been my mantra the last several years.

I’d been a runner off and on since I was a kid, up until five years ago. Ran mostly for conditioning when I was young, then for health and weight management in adulthood.

I even ran a handful of half marathons and some trail runs too.  Was running pretty quick for me, feeling healthy, all good.  Then after our first kid was born, time constraints and age-related aches and pains forced me to change gears.  Not much running.

Two more kids tightened things up even more. I had to shift gears. Running went by the wayside.  I had to figure out how to integrate activity more throughout the day.  Exercise went from an hour run to sprinkling more activity continuously into my daily routine.

Stretching, counting steps, abbreviated kettle bell workouts in the garage after the early morning dog walks, three minute walk breaks throughout the work day: all these factor into more motion.   And as the saying goes, “motion is lotion.”

I got a step (and sleep )tracker a couple years back.  The UP Move by Jawbone was my choice.  One of the cheaper models, but still did what I wanted it to do.  I could now tell how much activity I was actually getting each day.  I make an effort now towards hitting a given Step Target most every day.  Even if it’s not completely accurate, there’s no doubt I increase my activity level to get to a higher number.   I’m able to dial in my efforts to get better, consistent sleep too.

More energy, more steps.  Steps translate to a higher level of mobility.  Better mobility means more activity, which gives me a path to find and maintain a better attitude, better health, better me.  And that’s all good for me.   Try it.  Get up and get moving.  Might be good for you too.

Misc Weekend

Trying to convince my three year old son to try dance class. NOPE. For that go anyway.

Back yard spruce. REALLY? Yep. A little goes a long way.

Beef cuts? Top serloin is close enough to tenderloin.

Chinese lady in the liquor store, 3 bottles of merlot? Dressed in earth tones, including a ball cap over shoulder length hair, never got off her iPhone.

“I don’t do swag” t-shirt on dude driving a red 328? Paradox of the valley.

The pink stretch hummer limo at the rose garden? Love the picture celebration location, in grandiose style.

Wife working half day Sunday means morning adventure time for the rest of us. Off to check out the new school where our oldest starts in 10 days. FUN!

Playground etiquette? Kids and I need to tune in.

New week underway. GOOD.

Homework In the Backseat

I was talking to a good friend last night about his two boys — his kids are several years older than my little three.  In particular we were comparing and contrasting the way the two approach school, homework, sports, and…time management.

One tidbit really rang true for me, and I think it will for most people:  the realization (reminder!) that focus is the key to productivity.

My buddy was telling me how his younger son typically will start doing his home work while he’s in the backseat on the drive home after school.  Lots of times, by the time they’re home, he’s finished (or nearly so).  Ridiculously productive kid.

FOCUS IS THE KEY TO PRODUCTIVITY.

Pick your most important task, and DO IT.  The pick another, and DO IT.  And another, and…wait for it…and DO IT.

I’m going to be like my buddy’s ten year old today.  Give it a try.  You’ll be glad you did.

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Friday Faves, Issue #36

This week’s list, this week’s inspiration for wanderings, figuratively and literally. ENJOY.

Destination of the Week:  The main city in a little country with a LOT of oil money. It’s a city, with a country name:  Kuwait City

Quote of the Week: “Don’t find fault, find a remedy.” ~ Henry Ford

Band of the Week:  Some call him “Satch” ~

Meal of the Week: This version inspired by the Hunger Games, try the slow-cooker version, on Low for six (6) hours. Beef and Plum Stew ~

Website of the Week: A website tailor-made for people who like to get after it in a GOOD way. Support jockopodcast.com AND get cool stuff via Onnit. HERE.

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REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome.  Love to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse there. My handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend!