Tag Archives: Home

Hello. My name is Leslie and I have heart trouble and dropsy.

To any of you that ACTUALLY do have heart trouble or dropsy, I beg your forgiveness if I offend you.  I am sorry.  Please know that I mean not to ridicule you and your medical issues.

My issues are psychological in nature.  I drop my butt in a chair and I don’t have the heart to get back up again.  Unless…..there is something going on in my craft room and then I’m magically cured.

As many of you know I have been a truck driver for 12 years.  I have traveled all across the 48 states of this vast US of A and I’ve seen every ocean that surrounds this great land.  In that job my home was not, in fact, a home.  It was a way point.  A stopping over point.  A place to be for a week or two or maybe even a month.  Around tax time it was my place for a couple of months.  I crammed everything I had to do in that short period of time.  Do the tax work, clean my house from top to bottom, and nearly blow my stack quite often when the oft lamented refrain coming from my husband was “I’m hungry.  What is there to eat?”.

Home was somewhere I really didn’t want to be.  Home meant non stop work.  No relaxation and enjoyment of any kind.  This house has never been “Home”.  It was not where my heart is.  It was about as “safe a place to fall” as a motel/hotel room.  When we bought this house on New Years Day of 2003 I had plans to put my stamp on it and make it home.  Now it is 2014 and that has not yet happened.

I fully retired from truck driving in November of 2013.  It is now, mid January of 2014, that I am getting to the place where I am ready to begin the “Nesting” and turning this house into a home.  First I have to clean it.  And this is where the heart trouble and dropsy come in.

Every winter I follow the Flylady way of cleaning house.  It has served me well.  Put me on a much needed schedule.  Helped with my time management issues.  I still follow Flylady and her plans of action.  I want to tell you about a website I use IN ADDITION to Flylady.  It is Clean My Space and it has a ton of information there that has inspired me to get up off my butt.

I finally got motivated to begin.  A week late on the Flylady Zone.  But I’m motivated to get started.  Last week was the main bathroom.  This week is the master bedroom.

This is my bathroom BEFORE.

Bathroom BEFORE

Bathroom BEFORE

And here is the bathroom AFTER.

Bathroom AFTER

Bathroom AFTER

Yes.  The toilet wand is still sticking out of the toilet.  Let me tell you, that little tip has been a good one for me.  I’ll add the Clean My Space bathroom cleaning video and you can see why the toilet wand is still there.  When the floor dries I will put everything back.

On this site you will find recipes for DIY cleaning solutions.  I went out and purchased a cleaning caddy and some empty spray bottles.  I restocked up on alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and baking soda while I was at the store.

Cleaning caddy

Cleaning caddy

DIY DEGREASER:  50% dish washing liquid and 50% vinegar.  I used a store bought cleaner a long time ago and decided to reuse the spray bottle.  I ended up having to trade it up for a new spray bottle because the old one had some issues with the spray mechanism.

DIY Degreaser

DIY Degreaser

This degreaser is also supposed to work on soap scum and the cruddy buildup on the shower floor caused by bath gels and hair conditioners.

I rate this DIY Degreaser and soap scum cleaner a ****.   4 out of 5 stars.  If, and when you use this, turn the fan on in your bathroom.  The vinegar and liquid soap causes fumes that will make you cough.  The slipping around on the shower floor I did from all the slippery soap was all that was needed to clean the gunk off the shower floor.  Not much elbow grease was involved in getting the shower clean.  Watch the bathroom cleaning video.  You  have to leave this stuff on for several minutes and let the solution do its work.

DIY All PURPOSE CLEANER:  2 Tablespoons of liquid dish washing liquid to a bottle of water.  Again, I used a long empty store bought cleaning product as the spray bottle for this cleaner.  This bottle worked and I didn’t have to change it out for a new one.

DIY All Purpose Cleaner

DIY All Purpose Cleaner

I rate this DIY All Purpose Cleaner a *****.  5 out of 5 stars.  I sprayed it on the toilet, the bathtub, the sink and counter, the trash can, and the rolling cart.  By the time I was finished clearing the stuff off the counters and putting things away I was ready to wet a microfiber cloth and begin the scrubbing.  This made my cleaning so easy.  A quick wipe up with a clean microfiber cloth and everything was clean.

DIY DISINFECTANT:  50% alcohol and 50% water.  I used a new spray bottle for this solution.

DIY Disinfectant

DIY Disinfectant

I rate this DIY Disinfectant a *****.  5 out of 5 stars.  Spraying this solution on the toilet handle, light switch, fan switch, tub and sink faucets and handles.  Everything was sparkly clean and hopefully germ free.

DIY FLOOR CLEANERsort of.  1/3 bottle store bought product and 2/3 water.  I put this solution in a new spray bottle.

DIY Floor Cleaner - SORT OF

DIY Floor Cleaner – SORT OF

I would rate this as ****.  4 out of 5 stars.  My linoleum floors tend to get a sticky feel after a couple days with any store bought floor cleaner.  That includes the Swiffer brand stuff as well.

Window Cleaner – NOT DIY.

Window cleaner - NOT DIY

Window cleaner – NOT DIY

Give your mirrors a good spray with any window solution and let it set while you do your other cleaning chores.  Add some more if the glass dries.  Clean with paper towels and buff with a microfiber cloth.

Before I went into my bathroom and began the cleaning process I had to get the light bulbs and light fixture clean.  I have been meaning to do this the entire time we have lived in this house and I keep forgetting.  I only remember AFTER I’ve turned the lights on.  I did do it today and used the All Purpose cleaner on the bulbs and fixture.

Clean the light bulbs and fixture

Clean the light bulbs and fixture

My house now smells of liquid dish soap.  I’m so glad I did not purchase what the rest of the world is in love with.  Dawn.  I can’t stand the smell of that stuff.  The Ivory I use is quite potent in and of itself right now.

What do you do to motivate yourself to do household chores?  Does it come easy to you because you have a routine?  If so, let me know what your routine is.





What are your days like?

Sometimes this job of mine can get boring. Well not exactly boring. It just seems like real life “Groundhog Day”, as in the Bill Murray movie of the same name. Except we don’t have lessons to learn to stop the cycle.

What is your life like? What are the things you treasure about your life and look forward to? What things in your life do you grit your teeth at and power through to get the job done?

Yes, I’m bored. I’ve, more than likely, jinxed myself with this post but I would like to know.

Time to get back on the road to Opelousas and get loaded. You all have a great day today.

Glycemic Index Diet

I have checked several websites and have taken information from all of them.  Maybe my own worst nightmare, but something is going on.

First I went to WebMD and had a look at what they had to say about the Glycemic Index diets.  You can check out their site here – WebMD Glycemic Index Information.

The next place I went to was The South Beach Diet website since it was recommended by our family doctor several years back.  This is basically the Atkins diet but a little less restrictive.  Meaning you eat more than just protein foods.

Then I remembered the television commercials for Nutri-System and Jenny Craig.  They all tout a breakfast, morning snack, lunch, mid afternoon snack, dinner, and a little something just before bed.

I went in search of finding recipes for this new way of eating and any other guidance I could disseminate (totally take out of context) and use it as my own.

I went in search of recipes.  My mind was made up already that the foods would be rice (which I abhor), fish (yuck and double yuck), and tons and tons of chicken (gag me with a spoon).

I first found the Prevention Magazine website for Glycemic Index recipes.  There were recipes for more than just chicken here.  I lingered and read through several of the recipes.  Most of the ingredients I already  had at hand and thought I’d give it a try.

There is also another site for recipes.  Glycemic Gourmet is the website I found.  The first recipe I chose to make was for Pork Tenderloin and Veggies.  This actually is good.  I used Fingerling potatoes in place of the small new potatoes.

Next meal I tried Prevention Magazines Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Apple Skillet.  This one I didn’t have brussel sprouts so I used broccoli instead.  The thyme and cinnamon combination didn’t work for either Joe or myself.  If I do this recipe again I will leave out the thyme.

Next I clicked on the “Nutrition” link at Prevention Magazine to see what they had to say.  I got lost in the videos they have and totally forgot why I had gone to this site.  They do have some good ideas for snacks during the day.

Okay, now here is how I have taken all this good information and created my own mish mash.


One cup (8 oz) of a Bran or Bran Cluster cold cereal.  Something that is not dry and tasteless, is crunchy and the word BRAN has to be in super large letters on the cereal box.  This is only MY screwed up way of doing things.  Not scientific or anything.  I’m still rebellious here and if this thing is going to work it will work in spite of my nonsense.

One banana, or two good sized strawberries sliced atop the cereal, or 1/4 cup of blueberries, or 1/4 cup of raspberries.  Whatever your berry favorite is.

Milk….for me only enough to make the cereal begin to float.  Joe likes his cereal swimming in milk.  I am not a milk fan.  Don’t care for the cotton mouth, back of the throat mucus strings that happen.  I avoid milk.

One piece of Orowheat Health Nut bread, toasted then approximately one tablespoon of Nutella spread on the bread.  Any kind of whole wheat bread will work.  By the way, Joe has put the kybosh on his toast having Nutella on it.  He sticks with plain old butter.

Mid Morning Snack:

I’ve got heartburn from the bran cereal by now and am not the least bit hungry.  On with it though.  So the snack I prepare for Joe and myself – oh by the way….Joe said “I have to eat again?” when I brought him this snack.  Can you believe it?!  He, the man who is hungry all the time asked “I have to eat again?”

1/2 of a big bunch of grapes.  Joe got the other 1/2.  Each of us had one Mini Baby Bell Lite wheel of cheese to eat with the grapes.  These settled the heartburn I was having from the bran cereal.


Honey cured ham slices (hey, the nutrition places say “Deli Meat” and we got it from the deli of our grocery store) quantity of three thin slices, a big leaf of iceberg lettuce, two thick slices of tomato, and two slices of dark pumpernickel bread with a schmear of mayonnaise on each  slice.

We did purchase multi grain chips.  The recommended amount was 11 chips and I stuck with the recommendation.  They don’t taste bad, a bit dry.  Good crunch to them and no salty taste.

Mid Afternoon Snack:

10 cherries and 10 Dry Roasted Almonds.  Again, I got from the man who is always hungry “Again?  Seriously?!”


The first night was the Pork Tenderloin and Veggies.  The recipe is for 4 people.  I cut it in half for the two of us.  Normally, I would make the full recipe and save the left overs but our cranky refrigerator is untrustworthy.

Bedtime Snack:

Yes, I included a bedtime snack.  For Joe – 2 small scoops of Fat Free Vanilla Ice Cream and for me two small scoops of Rainbow Sherbet.  The scoops are about the size of golf balls.

End of the first day.  I was pleased, except for the heart burn with the bran, and I was not over hungry by afternoon so I did not have to eat everything that was not nailed down.

The next day.


8 oz of Cherrios.  I know these won’t give me heartburn.  Joe had Shredded Wheat Mini Bites.  1/4 cup of blueberries in each of the cereal bowls along with the individual amounts of milk, a piece of Health Nut bread toasted with Nutella spread – Joe had butter.

Mid Morning Snack:

A strawberry flavored Dannon yogurt for each of us.  Joe’s turned up nose at the yogurt I proffered three “Fit For Life” brand wafer cookies (miniature Pop Tarts) to help him choke down the yogurt.


Another deli sandwich with lettuce and tomato.  Along with the customary 11 chips.

Mid Afternoon Snack:

9 Club Crackers.  Three slices each (being the same size as the Club Cracker – approximately 1″ wide and 2-1/2″ inches long) of Cheddar, Swiss, and PepperJack cheese sliced less than 1/4″ thick.  “I can have these?!  Really, I can have these?” was Joe’s gleefull astonished response to the snack.  “Yes, and no more than what you have on this plate”.  I laid the law down!


The Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Apple Skillet.  I’ve already told you that this was not something high on the “I would make this again” list.  We did manage to eat it.  Even with the recipe cut down to 2 portions it was a lot of food.  Frankly, we didn’t eat it all.  We both were too stuffed to eat it all and the rest went in the trash.  Not good enough to save for later (my opinion only – don’t take my word for it).

Bedtime Snack:

Once again the golf ball sized ice cream.

The next days have been much the same.  Breakfast has been old fashioned oat meal (two servings per the package directions to prepare) 1/4 cut of dried blueberries in the boiling water before the oats are added.  This morning it was dried cranberries.  A tablespoon of real butter (the milk went over in the fridge) the next lower shelf is considerably cooler but the milk jug won’t fit there.  Joe put Splenda Brown Sugar on his oatmeal and I put one teaspoon of regular sugar on mine.  We each had a piece of toast.

The Mid Morning Snacks have alternated between the cherries and almonds and the grapes and Baby Bell cheese.

Lunch has been more of the deli sandwiches and 11 chips.

Dinner….okay.  I had two small sirloin steaks that I coated with fresh ground pepper, a bit of Kosher Salt (not supposed to have salt but….) and a tablespoon of worchestershire sauce.  Put the salted and peppered meat in a gallon size baggie, add the worchestershire sauce.  Rub it all around for a bit and put it in the refrigerator for about an  hour.  Grill the steaks on a George Forman Grill, nuke a fresh sweet potato in the microwave for 5 minutes (of course poke it with a fork before you turn the microwave on) and some “Brocco-Beans” which is a combination of frozen broccoli and green beans.  Didn’t have enough of either one to make a full serving so I combined them.

Then the before bed snack.

I made tacos last night.  97% lean ground beef.  To it I chopped up one medium sized onion, two cloves of garlic, julianne sliced 1/2 of one carrot, chopped one stalk of celery, diced up 1/2 of a green pepper.  When all of this was cooked done I took half of the mixture and put it in a container to later go in the freezer for another meal.  To the pan I added one teaspoon of taco seasoning.  Chopped up some lettuce, diced 1/2 a tomato, grated a bit of cheddar and pepperjack cheese, and used Multi Grain tortillas to make the tacos.  Pretty good if I do say so myself.

Another thing I did was one Johnsonville HOT and one SWEET Italian Sausage.  Removed the casing, chopped into 1 inch slices and cooked thoroughly.  To that I added 1/2 of a chopped green pepper, yellow and zuchinni squash (1/2 of each) julianne sliced, one medium onion chopped, two cloves of garlic smashed and chopped then one can of Italian Stewed Tomatoes.  Put this all in the skillet with the sausage and let simmer until the vegetables were done.  This would be scooped over whole grain fettuccine noodles and a salad on the side.

Portion sizes are considerably smaller than what we would normally eat.  This time I’ve used the USDA recommendations of a piece of meat to be the size of the palm of one’s hand and the remainder of the plate to be filled with cooked and raw vegetables.  The Brocco-Beans and 1/2 a nuked sweet potato and a cold salad.

Okay.  Now you have it.  Please check these websites out for yourself and you make the determination of how you want to do this.  The USDA recommendations are 5 fruits and 5 vegetables a day, or is it just 5 fruits and vegetables a day.  I’m never sure.

Needless to say, the dishwasher goes twice a day  now instead of just the one time.  I’m becoming Mrs. Cleaver in the kitchen with the attitude of Rizzo from Grease.  I don’t like to cook anyway and now it is twice a day.  The food is good, besides I love fresh vegetables and fruits.  Joe is acclimating to this new way of eating and I’ve heard less and less “What’s for supper” or lunch, or breakfast, or anytime during the day.  That is a plus.

Oh, and you CAN pop off to Burger King, Arby’s, McDonalds, or any other fast food joint once in a while.  So this is how I’ve done this.  I don’t actually, physically, see the weight loss but the scale indicates it.  I do feel better, don’t have the headaches after eating and I’m no longer sleepy after eating a meal.  Plus I don’t crave a bag of potato chips, candy, cookies, a bowl of M&M’s, or anything like that any longer.

Please, make sure to do what is right for you and don’t follow what I’ve done as Gospel.  I can lead you down the wrong path.  Maybe not intentionally, but I do have a tendency to do that.

Have a great weekend – Leslie