Monthly Archives: April 2016

What I Learned: Hashimotos and Why Hit and Miss is the Best Consistency

girlbythewaterI have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

What that means is that my body is producing anti-bodies that are attacking my thyroid.  When I got blood work done a couple of months ago, it showed that my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) numbers were normal, which means my thyroid is still working.  My TPO ( thyroid peroxidase antibodies test) numbers were elevated, which indicated the problem.

At this point, I’m not looking at taking thyroid medication, but looking into nutritional options instead.

Now this is where it gets sticky.  Who do you trust?  How many “experts” do you consult?  Do you only accept the advice that is generally agreed upon, or do you go further afield?

I have made several changes in my diet and I’m seeing some encouraging results:  I have eliminated gluten from my diet, which isn’t as straightforward as it might seem.  (My multi-vitamin has wheat in it.  What?  What’s that all about?)  I’m also taking some vitamin and mineral supplements: ashwaganha, selenium and B vitamins. When I ran out of Vitamin D supplements, I could tell a difference in my health, so I bought some more and started taking them again.

There has definitely been  decrease in frequency and severity of my headaches.  And, I have more energy.

Izabella Wentz and Josh Axe have published quite a bit of nutritional advice for dealing with Hashimoto’s.  I have the most confidence in the areas where they are both giving the same advice.


Hit and miss exercise is the best consistency for my life right now.

I remember about a decade ago hearing a friend in her fifties say, “I thought I’d be farther along by now.”  I can totally relate.  I find it hard to believe that I’m still tripping over the same boulders that have been a problem for decades.  I can’t believe I’m still trying to establish consistent morning routines.  At my age.  I thought I’d be farther along by now.

But. Here I am.  Focusing on establishing foundational habits in my life: trying to get up out of bed when the alarm goes off.  Every day.

Which is why I’m giving myself grace on the exercise.  Some days it happens.  Some days it doesn’t.  I’m okay with that.  I’ve got, hopefully, a lot of time to establish exercise routines as well as all the other good habits I need to incorporate.

I enjoyed Gretchen Rubin’s book on habits, Better Than Before, more than I thought I would.  I got a little burned out on her books after reading two or three in a row.  It’s a great follow up to what I learned reading The Power of Habit.

BetterThanBefore Buy it now from Amazon

I signed up for Crystal Paine’s Make Over Your Evening course.  I felt like I had a good handle on my mornings.  I was making progress, moving forward, hopeful that I was on the right track and I was going to make it.  But, I didn’t have a plan for the evenings.  Honestly, it seemed like a goal for the distant future.

The course wasn’t what I expected.  I thought it would be a list of things to check off to make evenings more productive.  Instead, Crystal challenged my mindsets and beliefs.  Wow.  It’s amazing what some subtle paradigm shifting will do.

What have you learned this month?

(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  At no extra cost to you, a percentage of your purchase will go to support this site.)



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Flexing the Courage Muscles


Gutless. Spineless. Chicken-livered.

That’s me.

But, every once and while I surprise myself and do something courageous.  Usually I have to gear myself up for it.

A couple of weeks ago I sat in the car for about 10 minutes trying to psych myself up for a difficult conversation.  Writing a script in my head and practicing it helped.  I’ve done this with my kids before phone conversation that they’re dreading.  I give them a script and have them practice it on me.  So, this time, I parented myself.  And it worked. I pulled it off and it went well.

Introverts do better with a script.

IntrovertAdvantage Buy now from Amazon

When I first read The Introvert Advantage, I was excited to come across the term “phone phobia”.  There was a name for it.  And others had it.  That very realization helped me deal with it better.

Brené Brown talks a lot about courage.  It’s an essential ingredient for vulnerability.  Vulnerability, in turn, is an essential ingredient for whole-hearted living.  So, flexing those courage muscles is a good thing.  And, amazingly, the more you do it, the easier it gets.

DaringGreatly Buy now from Amazon

(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  At no extra cost to you, a small percentage of your purchase will go to support this site.)

What about you?  Flexed those courage muscles lately?

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10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy Bestsellers


  1. You can check them out from the a library instead.
  2. Your taste in books is individual.  Just because the masses like it, doesn’t mean you will.  The masses can be deceived.readcool
  3. Bestsellers aren’t necessarily the best books.  They might be well marketed.  They might have been released during  a “dead spot” with no significant competition.
  4. New authors need your support more than established authors.
  5. Get book recommendations from someone you trust, rather than a bestsellers list. (Modern Mrs. Darcy, Read Aloud Revival)                                                AnneBogel
  6. Read what your friends are reading.  They’re your friends for a reason– you have common interests and values.
  7. Check out Amazon and Goodreads reviews to find favorites in your favorite genre and books similar to your favorites.
  8. Take a good look at the people endorsing the book.  If you trust them, you can buy with more confidence.girlreading
  9. Best selling hardback books will eventually come out in paperback and sometimes, more economically, in mass market paperback.  If you are patient and vigilant, you might be able to catch the e-book on sale.
  10. Some bestsellers you will love.  Some are well written and sell lots of copies for good reasons.  Just be choosy.
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What I’m Reading April 2016


We’ve had snow here several times this month and it just feels wrong to be cold in April.

Some great reads and re-reads this month (plus a few that were abandoned and didn’t make the list).

Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Quick Lit for April.


livingforward Buy now from Amazon

Living Forward by Michael Hyatt

I think if I would have read Living Forward 25 years ago before I discovered Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, it would have revolutionized my life.  Reading it now feels like a good reminder.

This book is for you if:  you’re struggling with clarity, purpose, your life is out of balance or you’re flailing in some area of life.

This book is not for you if:  you have a good handle on life’s direction, setting goals and you’re making progress in areas you want to improve and grow.

That being said, I’m still a huge Michael Hyatt fan.  I listen to his podcast regularly and I highly recommend his book, Platform.

Natureofthe Beast Buy now from Amazon

The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny

The Nature of the Beast is the 10th book in Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series and I read it first.  Let me first say, I love an honorable hero.

As intriguing as James Bond movies are with all the fun spy gadgets and suspenseful plot lines,  I don’t like James Bond because he’s a playboy.

On the other hand, Jack Ryan is just as brave, clever and cunning, but he’s a great family man.  He has a solid, loving marriage and reads Dr. Suess to his kids.  Can’t rate much higher than that for me.

That being said, I love Inspector Gamache’s honorable character. I love the values he stands for.  I truly believe we shape cultural norms with fiction.  For all the talk of being politically correct these days, I believe Judeo-Christian values can co-exist with great art and I applaud anyone who can do both.

I also love the way Louise Penny has human nature nailed.  The intricacies, the complexities and the subtlties.  It’s all there.

StillLife Buy now from Amazon

Still Life by Louise Penny

Still Life by Louise Penny is the first Inspector Gamache novel and I read it after the tenth.

Still Life had everything that I loved about The Nature of the Beast except for one thing.

There was a small story thread in the book that bothered me.  Since I’m still wrestling with how to address it, I’ll leave it alone for now. There’s still a lot to love.  I’ll be looking for more in the series.

HandsFreeLIfe Buy now from Amazon

Hands Free Life: Nine Habits for Overcoming Distractions, Living Better and Loving More by Rachel Macy Stafford

I appreciate the author’s insights, love her writing and I’m taking her philosophy of life to heart.  One problem that makes it hard for me to relate to her is her age and stage of life.

I turn 49 next month.  I’ve been married 28 years. My oldest is 24 and my youngest is 16.  So, what she’s dealing with in her life is a totally different scenario from mine.

I read a lot from authors in their twenties and thirties.  Honestly, they have a lot to offer.  But, occasionally, it’s nice to hear from someone who’s done some miles.  Not that every mature person is wise.  Some people have been around the block but didn’t learn anything on the trip. But, I do appreciate reflections from thoughtful, observant people with years of life experience.

Partly stimulated by these thoughts and since I’m turning 49 next month I’m working on a series posts:  advice to my 19-year-old self, advice to my 29-year-old self and advice to my 39-year-old self. Stay tuned.

PenderwicksGardam Buy now from Amazon

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall

There’s no good reason that I am reading children’s literature at this point in my life.   My youngest is sixteen and we don’t have any grandchildren (yet). In spite of that, I can’t get enough of the Penderwicks.  The second book in the series is satisfyingly predictable.

PenderwicksPoint Buy now from Amazon

The Penderwicks at Point Moquette by Jeanne Birdsall

Usually “predictable” is not what you want in fiction, but predictable doesn’t ruin a Penderwick story. Still timeless.  Still engaging, quirky characters that are relatable.


BoysintheBoat Buy now from Amazon

Boys in the Boat

I’m reading this aloud to my 16-year-old son, and appreciating it even more the second time.  As inspiring as Joe Rantz is as a hero, the interwoven history of our country and Europe  at the time these events unfold gives the backdrop that accentuates the drama.

Penderwicks Buy now from Amazon

The Penderwicks

I’m reading the first book in the series to the teens in my carpool.  We’re all loving it.  I’m so glad I bought the kindle version when it was on sale for a couple of dollars a few weeks ago.

I haven’t joined the adult coloring book craze yet. But have you seen the new journaling Bibles?  Some of them are gorgeous.

What are you reading this month?

(Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.  At no extra cost to you, a small percentage of your purchase goes to support this site.)

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New Releases that are Getting Noticed


Journaling Bibles

My friend, Tina, tipped me off to the new trend of journaling in Bibles before Christmas.  At that time, there wasn’t much interest around here.  That has changed. Now, it’s taking off.  People are asking for Journaling Bibles and I’m having a hard time keeping them stocked.

Wide margins mean lots of room for journaling, art or doodles.

Some journaling Bibles come with lined margins.  Some have portions of verses artistically printed in the margin.

Personally, I think the Inspire Bible is gorgeous, and I’m particularly drawn to the one with the teal cover and the artistic edges.

Inspire Buy now from Amazon

InspireEdges Buy now from Amazon

InsideInspire Buy now from Amazon

JournalingBible Buy now from Amazon

EsvJournaling Buy now from Amazon

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Please Vote

One who does not vote has no right to complain


If you’re eligible to vote: please vote.

If you’re not eligible to vote: please pray.

If you’re not a praying person, then share this post and get others to vote and pray.

Primaries in Indiana are Tuesday, May third.


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