February Reflection

“Never mistake activity for achievement.”   ~Coach John Wooden

February’s journey to Healthy Abundant Living focused on heart-healthy lifestyle. Are you walking along this journey with me? Let me know how you are doing by filling in the comment form at the bottom of this page.  Happy travels!


Clean eating:  For two weeks this month I have been traveling so clean eating every day, every meal was not as easy as it is when I am home. However, I was determined to be on the winning side and stick to my resolutions, although a glass of wine now and then was a relaxing side track.

Most of the time I stayed vigilant as to what I put into my mouth as well as why I was putting it there. I needed to stay cognizant of eating because of boredom or long layovers in airports, eating just because food was available especially at a buffet meal, or eating snacks just because I had them. Advise to me and to you: slow down and be aware of eating habits.

Be mindful of ‘what’ and ‘why’ you are eating. Click here for some tips to curb emotional snacking.


Exercise: Walking, and taking stairs whenever possible, was the exercise of choice for the two weeks I traveled. With so much hoofing I needed to be mindful of good posture — stand tall, back straight, eyes forward, chin up and parallel to the ground with shoulders relaxed.

However, this advice was difficult to maintain as I hiked the gorgeous 9 acres of indoor gardens of plants and flowers, waterfalls, fountains and a river running through it all at Music City’s Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, right next door to Grand Ole Opry.

Gaylord Opryland Resort is a spectacular, gorgeous resort situated on 172 acres and the largest non-gaming hotel in the United States, all under a glass roof.

It was not just a vacation, it was an experience!


Purge and organize:  Plastic bins that contain small bags, totes, and soft-sided luggage was my focus this month. The main reason that I chose this area is that my upcoming trip to Iceland is on WOW Airline that advertises really cheap flights. Yup, they are cheap until you begin to figure in the add-ons. Advice: Read the small print — booking fee $28, standard seat $10, a drink (including water) $2.60, trail mix $4.00 and on and on.

Carry-on luggage is a whole different matter. Here is how it breaks down:

  • One personal item sized 16.5″ x 7.8″ x 7.8″ (the size of a camera bag or small purse) is free.
  • A small carry-on 17″ x 13″ x 10″ (not much bigger than the camera bag) is also free. Measuring carefully I soon discovered that this is considerably (c-c-c-onsiderably) smaller than the carry-on of US domestic flights.
  • A regular sized carry-on that most US citizens are accustom to using can cost between $40 online when booking the flight to $100 at the gate. That fee is per leg!
Yardstick measurements show this bag to be 17″ high – Perfect for a couple of outfits and a few incidentals.

As you can see, the final flight cost is astronomical when you add in all the extra charges. To avoid the hefty carry-on fee, my travel companions and I decided to go with the itty-bitty small size free carry-on. Yup, that is the size of an under-the-seat bag and just enough room to contain a couple of outfits. We will, no doubt, wear extra clothing on the day of travel as there is no charge for multiple layers on your body. And, of course, it is winter time in Reykjavik requiring boots, hats, mittens, warm coat, toe warmers, insulated underwear… Guess I’ll wear the same outfit every day!

The reason for visiting Iceland in the winter is to witness the brilliant display of Northern Lights which have been prevalent throughout the northern climes the past few months. Hopefully, if we planned our visit during clear winter skies without rain or snow clouds obscuring the sights, we will come back with spectacular photos.


Building and Maintaining Relationships:

  • Four days with my sister at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Grand Ole Opry in Nashville along with close to 9000 cattlemen/women friends.
  • Five days in Iceland with sister, her husband, and my Scotland travel companion/roommate, Chrissy.
  • Spent time with NAPO-CT colleagues for monthly morning meeting with Board of Directors meeting in afternoon.
  • Book Club – reading Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Having a hard time getting into the plot!)
  • Volunteer at Bushnell Theater for the several showings of Book of Mormon.
  • Valentine’s Day lunch with daughter-in-law. She is a special woman and I love our time together.
  • Time with grandchildren is the best! No school days due to snow storms and holidays allowed for time to play legos, board games, reading, and movies.
  • Grandson was a delightful sailor in the elementary school production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr. Excellent job, sailor! Ice cream social followed with his devoted fans.
Josh Turner at Grand Ole Opry – What a voice! The night also featured the Gatlin Brothers, Carly Pearce, Chris Janson, Trace Adkins, and Carson Peters (a 12-year old fiddler/singer).

How are you doing with your resolutions? Sticking to good habits? Fill in the form below to let me know your challenges and accomplishments.

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January Reflection

“The difference in winning and losing is most often… not quitting.”  ~Walt Disney

January’s journey to Healthy Abundant Living looks like this:


Clean eating:  Thanks to the local Peapod.com online ordering and easy-to-schedule delivery service, I have been able to increase fresh fruits and vegetables into my daily diet while decreasing highly-processed foods. Ordering online eliminates the supermarket end-of-aisle displays and spontaneous purchases thus keeping food budget to a minimum. I have also taken advantage of Google to find recipes that spice up my life. Here’s one that will surely hit the spot during these cold, dark winter days…  Crockpot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup


Exercise:  Daily program:

  • Yoga
  • 30-45 minute walking program or stationary biking while watching UConn basketball
  • 2-minute leg workout and 10 push-ups (good start, but still need to develop the daily habit)


Purge and organize: This month I have been working in the bathroom closet. As I worked my way from top to bottom, I discovered a hidden bottle of Tea Tree Oil. Bummer…  I just bought another one. Benefits of periodic organizing are saving money, time and energy. Totally frustrating when I find something hiding in the back of a shelf that I just spent money to replace. Oh well, I won’t need to buy Tea Tree Oil for a long time.

Gobi – Leopard Gecko

Another benefit of organizing is the newly acquired space when unused items are removed and passed along to someone in need. The extra humidifier went to my grandson who now has a pet — a leopard gecko that requires a humid atmosphere. Take good care of him, Ty!



  1. Finished handwritten notes to those who touched my life during the holidays
  2. Breakfast Club with long-time female friends
  3. NAPO-CT regular monthly meeting followed by Board of Directors meeting
  4. Book Club at the library – this month tried to tackle The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison. Very difficult reading and abandoned my efforts part way through. Conclusion: I must be lacking in empathy as I just couldn’t get my head wrapped around the story line.
  5. Time for grand-kids:
    • Church play – Ev narrated; Ty was a camel; Ri, of course, was an angel
    • Bushnell Theater for lunch and Daniel Tiger production with one excited little girl
    • No school day is a perfect opportunity to build Lego village with a special boy
    • Picked up the two younger grand kids after a half day at school. This afternoon fun time was dedicated to craft project — using old paper to make cards, book marks and a mini scrapbook.
    • Special birthday celebration for a super 9 year old

Yup – still on track with resolutions. How are you doing? Send an email to let me know of your accomplishments this month. Just fill in the form below.

Gretchen Rubin, author of “Better than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits,” stated that achieving a goal is not the finish line but one milestone out of many where we can continually move in the direction we choose.

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