Hawaii 2010

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

South Beach Diet-Day #9 OOOPS!

So, I am losing about a pound a day without cravings. I met with my Dietician at Cardiac Rehab and bragged about it.....and she said I was losing too fast and a pound a week was safer. I told her that weight loss failures like myself really need fast starts to keep from getting discouraged. 8 lbs in two weeks seems so much better than 8 lbs in 8 weeks.

So, tonight we are invited out to dinner. One of the pleasures of being a Pastor in a prosperous nation is enjoying the passions of your flock. That is how I boat, ski, fly in small planes, and eat in expensive restaurants. Knowing that the big eating experience was tonight I promptly left home this morning without my yogurt. So, I went across the way to our cafeteria, (I will tell you why I live close to a cafeteria some day), and had an omelet with toast and hashbrowns.....you know, just to prepare myself for tonight.

I don't feel guilty, I am just going to start again tomorrow and extend the strict time an extra day. The dietician is probably right, like the turtle, slow and steady wins the race.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Joy of Dancing

Friends, it is very odd that I make my third reference to dancing in my first week of blogging. I don't dance that often, but music and dancing are first cousins so I want to suggest to those who have not seen Matt Hardings latest video that you go to You Tube and watch it. I am deeply moved each time I see it.

Matt has become as internet celebrity by traveling all over the world and filming himself to music doing what must be admited is a very corny dance move. His third trip, now sponsored by a gum company has a wonderful song called Praan that he dances to.

The amazing and beautiful thing is that he discovered in wildly divergent cultures that children and children at heart all love to dance and that dancing is an expression of gladness and joy.

I do not know how to embed addresses, but its on YouTube and his website entitled WherethehellisMatt.

I guess this echos my increasing movement in my faith to see all people as one, or at least to hope in that direction.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I think I'm Irish

A little over a year ago on vacation in Minnesota I bought a Low D Fipple Flute. There are lots of names for these instruments, Tin Whistle, Irish Whistle. The Fipple is the blowing mechanism that enables one to get a flutelike sound without the pain of learning to play flute.

There is a large and growing enjoyment of this instrument introduced to the world by Riverdance a couple of decades ago. You can join Chiff and Fipple or Praise Whistlers Abroad for Christians who love this instrument. You can download lessons, Irish music of all sorts, and learn the simple scales and fingerings to enjoy this hobby. Unlike the flute it plays sharps and flats with some degree of difficulty and is limited to two octaves, so you end up buying whistles in different keys. Then you enjoy them so much you begin to collect them, which is currently called WhoA, or some such thing, which I think means Whistle Acquistion Addiction.

I grew up playing trumpet, picked up guitar late in life and achieved a level of mediocrity that astounds me to this day......and now I add the hobby/passion of Irish Whistle. I carry them to work, I take them on walks, I irritate my wife with them, and occasionally play something so nicely that I astound myself to this day.

The uninitiated think its a toy....which is a burden whistlers have to bear.....a person who practices can learn amazing things. Just go to You Tube and type Irish Whistle and you will find hundreds of people seeking 2 minutes of fame using this instrument.

Why do I think I am Irish, because most of these songs have a mournful and yet hopeful sound, which the whistle produces beautifully..... and most of life contains both these elements.

The High D is high, and the lower instrument must be purchased online. I think the seed for this was planted when I performed a wedding in a backyard and about 20 folks brought in musical instruments and after the wedding I experienced my first Irish Session. It was something.


Monday, July 28, 2008

I Love (the) Food (Network)

I think we may be the only couple in America to eat at two places featured on the Food Network in one week separated by a thousand miles. Diners, Dives and Drive Inns featured Joe's Farm Grill in Gilbert AZ and The Shed in Ocean Springs Ms on one show. And we enjoyed them both.

So we had delicious BBQ and wonderful fried Catfish at Aunt Jenny's in Ocean Springs MS, and a huge seafood meal with a jumbo baked potato at McGuire's Irish Pub in Pensacola FL. Is it a surprise that I gained 3 lbs in a week. This allows me to mention in my first week of blogging my lifelong struggle with food, because I love food.

I weighed 180 lbs as a senior in High School, I was a 6 ft athletic type, the weight gain began in college and started with the invention of that cursed food of all single men. Yes, I'm talking Hamburger Helper. My roommates and I ate that stuff several times week in graduate school. So I spent a couple of years around 215, a decade or so at 230, and for the last decade or so between 240 and 250. Now that's a lot of weight to be carrying around, especially since it created the LUMP. You know, the Lump around the belly.

So, the one group of people I want to bop in the nose are those who glibly say, all you have to do is eat less calories than you consume and you will lose weight. Now that may be technically true, but in the real world there are a million opportunities to overeat just a little and very few days when you eat less than you need. I am not whistling Dixie on this fact, friends.

Around the beginning of 2008 I made a renewed effort to lose weight, motivated by the High School Reunion coming in July. I had gotten to a super Lumpy 250 a time or two, so with weekly exercise, and cutting down portion sizes, I managed to get off 12-15 lbs the first half of the year.

Now that the Shed BBQ became part of the Lump, I was faced with "Shedding" more weight.
Long story short, our friend Jill said she lost 15 lbs on the South Beach Diet....and although I already owned two books on the Glycemic index on my expansive bookshelf of diet books that worked for a while, I decided to give it a try. Today is day 6 and I am pleased to report that the book has done what it promised so far with its very simple set of rules. I have lost about a pound a day and have not been hungry. Hallelujah.....I'm "Shedding" weight.

Before and After pictures to follow at the end of my 14 day strict part of the diet.

Change Day

This is a week of transition for our family. Laura heads back to the classroom to teach another group of kids how to love reading. First grade is challenging and demanding and she is a wonderful teacher in every way. This means I am on my own all day and must try to help with dinner when I am home before her.

Brian our youngest son, returned from a Shakespeare Festival in southern Oklahoma where he acted in Henry IV and acted and sang in Guys and Dolls. He hopped a red eye to return to Brooklyn and NYC to continue pursuing his dream of stage acting. Its a city for the young and we hope and pray for his success and safety. He works at Planet Hollywood in Times Square and is hopping the economy will still support him as He returns to waitering.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Why people rebuild?

This is Aunt Martha Mansard Style home in Gautier MS. Her deceased hubby, Laura's Uncle Bud build it for a wedding present in 1975. Each Hurricane has decked the lower floor where her piano and organ studio and her guestrooms and washer dryer are located. It is our quarters when we visit. She said the piano bounced around in the water of Katrina like a cue ball in a washing machine. Presbyterian groups from all over the nation camped out upstairs and rebuilt the downstairs a room a weekend. She even put in an elevator lift for her aging knees. Taking care of this home and this large yard is her life in addition to church music. It is the link to her husband whom she misses. This is why people rebuild in Hurricane areas.

The two beautiful women in this picture has known each other for 50 years. They grew up next door to each other on this promontory. Both of the homes behind them were destroyed in Katrina and both rebuilt even better than before. Sherry's family camped there when her parents were young. This is why people rebuild.

Laura was raised in the tiny coastal town of Gautier Ms. The Mississippi Sound produces fish, industry, recreation and a unique lifestyle. Ingalls Shipyard which is now Northrup-Gruman is just six miles across the sound. The lifestyle is slow and wonderful. I confess, if Martha would sell me her home we would move there and wait for the next one.

If that were to happen I guess I would be Whistling Dixie again!!!!!!

Can an Ipod save your life?

My Ipod Classic is my chief therapeutic tool, and I am quite surprised to tell you so. Laura got me one last Christmas at the urging of our hip children. I bought her one a few weeks later.

First, I had no idea how many CDs were laying around in drawers under our old Stereo, at the Office, and everywhere else. Now they are all with me every moment in my manpurse. (yes, I carry a manpurse, which is a camera bag that has camera, Ipod, and the Diabetes tester and Nitroglycerin tablets.)

Then I discovered that you could buy favorite songs for a buck. I did...eclectic songs like "Kyrie Elaison" and "Love can make you Happy", and of course "MacArthur's Park.

So, here I am seven months later with 3703 songs, and only halfway full. I have Movie Soundtracks, a healthy collection of classical music, piano, and slow relaxations songs. I have many Christian contemporary works, and have developed a deep love for Celtic music of all genres, from Enya, to Moya Brennan, and the Irish music I have come to love.

I use it to help me sleep, to calm me when stressed, for my walking, of course, when I am the shopper of the week, and thankfully, last week, when we boarded a plan with two kids under three last week. Now that was a lifesaver!!!!!

I repeat, this is not a kids toy, it is an adult mood stimulator. Get one now. I am not just whistling Dixie on this.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Callaway 1968 Reunion Jackson Mississippi

Last week a bunch of 18 year old minds trapped in 58 year old bodies gathered for our 40th Reunion. We had a little over 50 of the 230 in our class plus spouses. The Committee planned two evening get togethers and a golf outing. Here I am dancing with Karen Gordon, who was and is a beautiful person inside and out, There was a real sense of togetherness we felt. The late sixties was a turbulent time and Vietnam loomed over us all. Assasinations were changing government and the world felt unstable. Our school was new, and we had no established cliques, so people just stepped up to form the sports teams and councils.

People still gathered first with those they knew, and eventually Laura and I gravitated to the Christian couples. But we all made the effort to make everyone feel welcome. I am very glad I traveled back to my southern roots to share this experience.
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Mamma Mia!....That was fun!!!!!

Laura and I saw Mama Mia last evening. It was a rush. We had enjoyed the stage play when it toured Phoenix, but the Greek Island location becomes the greatest member of the cast. I love the way that a well cut movie can create a sense of exhilarating celebration as did the Dancing Queen Scene. It was well acted, and the jokes translated well from the stage play. Pierce Brosnan tried so hard to sing like an 80s rock star and almost pulled it off. As one who has a voice that is close but not great, I felt sympathy for him. What can I say about Meryl Streep that has not been said, she is truly talented and made the movie. Loved the dancing. I think some days in heaven will be like the joyful abandon of a group dancing like this.

When the light came on I found myself surrounded by women, with just a smattering of guys. I laughed and said out loud. "I'm at a chick flik"........come on husbands, this was so much better than Dark Knight in terms of lifting your spirits.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Heart Disease is not fun

I have had two incidents of chest pain since I turned 50 and discovered that I had developed Type II diabetes. The latest occured right after tax day in April. I have been walking daily and doing supervised exercise three days a week. Both times I had a cardiologist enter the groin and place stints or do a ballon. Knowing that you have a tendency to plaque up tends to make you think about your mortality a good bit. In my work I see many elderly people face death slowly with many dibilitating problems. I hold the hope for a quick exit, but would love to extend it for a few more decades. Life is deeply enjoyable for me.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Joining the world of Blogging

Hello from Arizona,

I am setting up this blog to join this community that has provided me with interesting views of bloggers and a growing understanding of our world.

I enjoy thinking and reading about things, and perhaps will learn to think online with you as I blog about travels, things I've read, things I believe and hope for, hobbies I enjoy, and pictures I have taken.

Thanks for visiting