Tanning

I still get a tan every summer and I probably always will. I love the look and feel of it and I love to lie in the sun. These days, though, we all know better. This is what I do to avoid the dreaded skin cancer and other related problems. I start with UV 30 and then I go down to 20 then down to 8. I use lots of sunscreen and use an “after sun” lotion every evening.

My brand is Coppertone for sunscreen and for after soothe I use Sun Bum. This is not a commercial-I just like these brands., especially Coppertone. To me it has always smelled like the beach on a sunny day.

Do watch it, but also don’t miss the sun. It feels so warm and lovely on your skin and it is a great  source of Vitamin D as well. If you are fair, slather up. However you chose to do it,  get outdoors-ENJOY!

Because It’s Summertime!

Remember that song about “Summertime Summertime, Sum Sum Summertime?” Well, I must tell you that I not only remember it, I live for it. The hot weather suits me down to the ground and my old bones do not creak and I still get a tan. Oh, I know-that is no good any more, but I could care less. Heat is healing in my opinion.

So let’s all relax and make a smoothie-right?

Perfect and Perfectly Easy Fruit Smoothie

Take out your blender and put in a carton of your favorite yogurt, five ice cubes, and any fruits. I use blueberries, strawberries, a banana, and sometimes a little can of lite chopped peaches with liquid. I love peaches but they are very seasonal as you know. I guess I could freeze some. Maybe this year. Anyway, add you favorite juice, I use cranberry juice, and pulse until blended.

You can drink this, freeze it into pops, freeze it into “ice cream” or whatever. Just adjust the amount of juice. This is so simple and so flexible you will use it all summer.

ENJOY!

 

Daffodils

Back in the dim and distant past, last Fall I mean, I planted 50, yes, 50 bulbs and now they are all up and so very beautiful.

My daughter-in-law helped me to select both the bulbs and a good place to put them and boy, was she right. I look out my bedroom window and there they are all in three rows just looking back at me.

My first job, many years ago, was teaching kindergarten. When the daffodils bloomed in Spring I used to teach the kids this poem and we would make the flowers out of painted yellow paper plates and yellow muffin cups:

A little yellow cup,

A little yellow frill,

A little yellow star,

And that’s a daffodil!

Check out a daffodil and have a look-yes? Now go out and buy a bouquet and enjoy!

Love, Judith

Q and A from readers

Skating Uphill

April Issue-PINK (2018)

By

Judith Lawrenson

 

“It’s that time again, ladies-We are going to do a little Q and A from readers about some new trends and findings in the world of nutrition and health so get ready to listen up!”

The Uphill Skater

 

I love to get questions from Pink readers and those who are using my blog. I want you to know that before I answer questions, I spend a lot of time and care looking in to findings and new thinking coming out of the world of what I like to call “life health” research. I look at life health as the entire package that is the totality of each one of us so broad questions are my favorites because answers so frequently interweave. Here are some of the things readers have been asking/talking about lately.

First, there is a new idea about weight loss-naturally that is a frequently asked question. I found some interesting information in a recent (March 2018) issue of Better Homes and Gardens. I love this mag and have taken it for a long time. The article on eating healthy stated that the new norm is weighing once a week at the same time rather than every day or the old thinking of : “I never weigh. I just go by how my clothing feel.” A few pounds may not show in your elastic waist band pants and baggy Tee, but if you weigh weeky you can catch yourself. They also say that positive food thoughts are far better than negative ones. In other words, don’t think of what you can’t eat and dwell on your unsatisfied cravings. Instead, eat all you want of good things and a full tummy might not still crave that cookie. I like that. I am a positive person and things like that work for me. How about you?

Next, another frequent question, especially on the bog, is about new food trends. What is up with something different to eat. Well, the new thing yet again is salads. I can’t believe the things people are putting in salads and or mixing with greens. It used to be chicken, then beef, then shredded pork and salmon, shrimp, mahi and on and on. Now, try some seriously mixed greens including sprouts and dandylion greens. Add some shredded beets, edible flowers, and dried apricots and you are getting close. Now think about designer olives and orange slices combined with slivered almonds. If you think this sounds trendy, just wait until I start on the dressings! Look on line for some unusual combinations that sound good for your tastes and just go from there. Oh, did I mention cornmeal croutons?

I watch TV just like everyone else and I see the commercials for rapid weight loss and I admit that it is really appealing, but that is now contrary to new science. Yes, that 13 pounds the first month is so tempting may work and even more weight can be lost I am sure through those plans but I will tell you 2 things you probably already know. First, they are certainly not cheap, and second, it may not last. Regained any weight lately? I have and it isn’t pretty I can tell you. A growing body of new research is now suggesting that very slow weight loss is far more simple, lasting, and healthy. Changing as few as 10 calories a day for every pound you want to loose works long term and on that old “ongoing basis” we so frequently talk about. So 20 pounds-200 calories. The easy part is that when you loose the 20 you start fresh with 10, 20 or however many more you need to loose so you never go over those old huge calorie cuts that mean starvation and binging. Dividing your goals into sections, I think, is easier psychologically too. What do you think?

Finally, I am asked frequently for recipies. There are tons on my blog (www.skatingupkill.com) but there are also some really great apps out their for all kinds of recipe ideas. Gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, and on and on. You can also find regular stuff like taco pie, mashed potatoes, classic burgers, meat loaf, chicken fried steak and a variety of comfort foods. There are whole sites dedicated to cooking with different types of oils for example. One site or blog could not possibly contain the huge variety of foods to cook and ways to cook them, believe me! So, what are some good ones? Well, I like one called Cookbook Recipes, and I also like one just called “Eggs” but really best of all is simply to go to Google and type in what you are interested in cooking. You will probably get too much information but you will soon learn to narrow down and select. I have a ton of fun doing this and I hope you do to.

Farm to table and garden to kitchen give us all so many opportunities to eat heathy foods. I particularly love the garden ideas. I will talk a bit about this next month and share some interesting developments in container gardening. Stay healthy and always feel free to email me at jlresource@aol.com with ideas, questions, or suggestions.  Love, Judith

 

Cold Ugly February

 

Skating Uphill

By

Judith Lawrenson

February 2018

“February is cold and ugly, but to make up for it we have Valentine’s Day and a big President’s Day Weekend, right?”    The Uphill Skater

 

Yes, February is so very cold and we are all tired of it and know that it is not going away any time soon do we not? Well, yes we do. The question not becomes, “What are we prepared to do about it?” I for one am going to jump on it. I love Valentine’s Day and plan to think of something to do n the long weekend-so there. I know you get tired of tips and suggestions, but get used to it because here are some more-some ways to celebrate love and loved ones, good hearty foods, and something fun to do.

My husband and I were so poor on our first anniversary that we decided to just stay home and do nothing and not to even exchange gifts. We actually had such a great time, we decided to keep doing just that and we cherish the tradition. We long ago decided to do a big Valentine’s Day instead and we have kept that tradition too. One of our best ideas was to plan and prepare a candlelight dinner for ourselves. We actually used a cook book and made a lovely 4 course dinner and secretly wrote each other a love letter and put it under the other’s plate. We had such a memorable evening that we now do that frequently. So, suggestion 1 is to find a thing you like to do with someone you love and give it a special twist and maybe it will take hold. It is so empowering to a relationship to have traditions.

Now, something fun to do on a holiday weekend? Well, since this column is about living a healthy lifestyle in all of its definitions, let’s look at something healthy. If you are able, financially and time wise, by all means pack up and go somewhere. Get out of the house. Do whatever you can to do that. Go for a drive, go to a granny’s house, visit friends, whatever! If you can’t, don’t worry. There are still other fun things to do just for a change. Here is a suggestion I read in a children’s magazine years ago and have used several times. I set up a room in the house as a craft camp. I moved furniture back and put up a card table and covered the floor with a big blue drop cloth and we went to camp for the better part of 2 days. We were home, of course, so we had naps, meals etc. but all other time was spent in the camp. We worked with paint, clay, finger paint, leggo, big blocks and so on, but we also made a woven mat to hang on the wall and some other great crafts. My husband got behind it too and took the kids, and a couple of their friends who came in on the fun, out to the garage to make a bird house. What a hit!

We also have done sort of a cook/shop/learn day as we took our staycation. My favorite tool for this is an old “Kids in the Kitchen” type cook book called “The Please Touch Cookbook.” It is old but still available online. It is a ring binder type paper back and quite cheap, I think I got mine for $2! It has crafts, recipes that are ALL winners, and fun learning experiences.  There is even a section on kitchen vocabulary that I think every “learner” should know.

One of the best tips I found in this book was one we all should know. Read the entire recipe together first and then check the ingredients. Duh, you say? So, that means you have never misread a recipe or been half way through and discovered you were out of eggs? Come on-like any of us believe that.

There are tons of other books and suggestions out there. Take a minute and get your ducks in a row so that there are no surprises, then see how much fun you can have on a staycation. By the way, I have reviewed the suggested book on my blog www.skatinguphill.com and included several craft hints and recipes. Also, I need to disclose that I get zero $$$ for anything I mention or review-just so you know.

February is here now so bundle up and put on a happy face. Maker something different, healthy and tasty for dinner and pack a surprise lunch. Walk outside and open the windows whenever you can and let’s see if we can make it through until March. Remember that the days get a little longer and there is that bit more daylight as we move toward Spring!  Love, Judith

 

 

Negative New Year’s Resolutions

 

PINK Magazine

January Issue-2018

Skating Uphill

By

Judith Lawrenson

“Okay, now for something really different this New Year. We are not going to make positive resolutions, we are going to make “not” Resolutions!”  Hmmmmmm

The Uphill Skater

 

Well, I have finally had a thought for making those pesky and guilt producing New Year’s Resolutions work. No more sappy attempts or broken promises on January 2. I am done. In fact, am overdone. I refuse to be stuck in place any longer.  In fact, I am as overdone and stuck in one place as Donald Trump’s hairdo-so what about that?

You have questions about how to make 2018 a great year, and I have answers. I really mean it about the anti-resolutions. First, I am going to resolve NOT to call my mother more often, write more thank-you notes, or even lose 20 lbs. I have resolved that for untold years and here I still am. So, what is the lesson with that fact? The lesson is obvious. All this silly resolving stuff has not and does not work. I recently read that most resolutions (94%) are broken before Valentine’s Day. This is really bad of course if you have resolved to buy your Valentine a special gift, you understand! And so it goes on-I can never remember who it was who said that the road to Hell was paved with good intentions, but I think he/she was correct. Personally, I stand with YODA when he famously said to Luke Skywalker, “Just do. There is no try.”

 

Yes, I know that we all must try. Without that “try” hope there is not much left to hang on to, is there? All I am saying is that we should give ourselves a chance to move forward without being locked in to these same old things we have been doing what we perceive as wrong and get on with what we think we might really want to do on a new basis, a new timetable, and yes, a new chance. There is a buzz around now that seems to me to be pointing us all in that direction. I have my own politics as do we all, but honestly, I feel in life and times and hope for a better future that we can look up not down.

 

Okay, you say. Washington DC is a swamp. Or, you might be saying that you can’t button your jeans without lying on your back on the bed. Or, you might be saying that you desperately need to send a text to your sick friend, save more money, eat less ice cream, or any number of things that seem important. Even more important that any or all of those things is what you are actually going to do about it. Not try to do, but actually do.

My husband and I heard something on TV the other night that we found so disturbing we actually got our butts up off of the couch and found the email address of our senator and sent a message. I have only done that one other time in my whole life, but I did it when it really mattered to me. In all honesty, it turned out to be easy and what is even more surprising, I got a response-do you believe that? I am now on his list and I get emails from him. I am responding too.  This is new to me and I did it because I got mad-not a bad reason as it turned out!

Getting on with it, as it turns out or as I frequently say, as luck would have it, is actually good for your health too. It is good for your blood pressure and it is good for your stress levels. I am sure you can see why. You have done the right thing, eaten the right thing, said the right thing, and so on and so on. You are no longer sitting there stewing about, you have done something real.

This sounds a bit like I am saying that it is good, or maybe I should say better, for your health and general well being to do short term, anger related unplanned and random good things. But no, long term planning works too and in fact it can be your friend. It is that cool off period for that idea that seemed so good late last night or after a couple of drinks. It can also grow like a plant or hibernate like a bulb. I planted over 200 bulbs in my yard last fall and I can’t wait until this Spring to see what happens. I have also ordered a greenhouse. Yes, a real greenhouse. I saw it in a magazine and went off on a whim. I am so excited for it to arrive even though I am looking out at snow today. Finally, my other long term do was to get the kit from the ancestry place. When it comes, I am going to spit in the tube and see who my genes say that I am. Very exciting, yes?

This next year is going to be full of wonderful surprises. This nest year is going to be full to terrible disasters.  Which is your year? Happy New Year!

I know I said not to make big commitments, but do try this: Go to www.skatinguphill.com for old/new PINK articles, daily thoughts, recipes, and much more. Love, Judith

 

December, 2017 Merry Christmas-Whatever That Means To You

 

PINK Magazine

December 2017

Skating Uphill

Judith Lawrenson

 

“Merry Christmas-Whatever That Means to YOU”

                 Alternate Church Christmas Carol

 

Yes, it is actually true dear friends. Several years ago, my husband and I were invited to an alternate church service around Christmas time and we accepted. It was a most interesting experience I can tell you. And yes, the lead off carol was a tune called “Merry Christmas-Whatever That Means To You.” It was played on a big keyboard by a woman in a pirate costume and most of the people in attendance, not us, mind you, were dresses in some outrageous stuff. What a hoot, I thought, but as we drove home, my husband had a different take on the whole thing. He loved the fact that so many people gathered around this time of year to be together and share felllowship. After the sermon, the group spent nearly an hour discussing their many local service projects.  Who knew?

My point in all of this is to say something old, trite, and true. There are so many things in this world that really do matter. Why in heaven’s name do we spend so much time worrying and arguing about things that don’t? This is all a matter of opinion, of course, but still I would ask you to think about that a bit this holiday season as you meet with friends and family, party with office mates, attend services of your choice and decide whether or not you are going to say “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or Seasons Greetings.

Speaking of all those things reminds me of some memorable buffets and cookie exchanges. NO matter what you think or believe, the food is still really good, right? So, let’s talk a little about how to make the least of the most and enjoy while still being able to button our jeans without lying on the bed our backs. I wish I had tons and tons of fabulous, yummy calorie free Christmas food ideas, but the truth is I simply don’t, and I bet you don’t either, do you? It all tastes good, has sugar and fat, looks sensational and calls out to one and all. Anyway, I actually do have a little bit of a plan and here it is.

First, I would ask you to remember Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind. She was told repeatedly to eat something before the garden party so she would not appear hungry or greedy. Ha Ha, we all thought. That is really stupid. Well, no it isn’t. I like to eat a power bar and a cup of tea or a banana and some crackers or something before I go out to what I call a “pick up party.” I don’t mean where you go to pick up a date but where the food is all out and you have a plate and no will power. I know it is tough, but it does help a bit not to be starving when you arrive. This trick does not work at a dinner party where everyone sees what you eat and always urges you to eat more, of course. Especially if one of those people is your mother.

It also helps me in a backward sort of way to where something tight that buttons. I have frequently said that black elastic waist band pants are a girl’s best friend, but keep in mind that sometimes that best friend can turn on you and bite you in the butt-literally. Yes, you can breathe and walk around at the party, but when you get home all is revealed when you try to button up that lovely party dress you wore only once last year. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I mean, either.

My final holiday tip is very personal, and it involves the deep freeze and a change of heart. To keep from stuffing myself with really one of a kind things that only appear around the holidays, I would tell myself exactly that-this only comes once. To avoid that kind of thinking, I would ask the hostess if I could rather take something home for later. I would watch it at the party knowing I had something stashed for later. Yes, I know this sounds like someone with no shame and you are right, of course. My prizes were brought out of the deep freeze and enjoyed later, but you get, of course, that they still had the same number of calories, fat, sugar, etc. don’t you? Well, I finally got it too after I saw a Weight Watchers video on YouTube  about how people kid themselves into being 20 pounds overweight. Don’t you dare ask me why I so quickly ad clearly identified with it either.

Holiday tips are not worth the paper they are printed on unless of course it is in PINK Magazine. Holiday times are so unique and special and so not about food that the real things get buried all to frequently. To that end, I am going back to the beginning of this article to wish you a Happy Holiday, Season’s Greetings, Merry Christmas or whatever it all means to you. Christmas presents, trees, and decorations started coming out here before the Halloween Candy was even half gone, but I still remain undampened. I love Christmas and I love it’s meaning and purpose. I know it is not even the real date of Christ’s birth, and I do not care about that either. To me it is about rebirth as much as it is about birth and I look always toward a time when Peace on Earth  is a reality. We are assured that it is coming, so keep it in your payers. Love, Judith

SNOW and ever so much more!

My dear friends and readers-It is snowing here and I really mean snowing. The ground is covered, I can’t see my deck, and the trees are a Christmas Tree white. We have just returned from Fla. where the temp was 75 and we were walking on the beach every morning. Our little dog did not know what hit him when he went outside this morning.

We returned to the news, as I guess everyone must. Bombs in Texas, cities dropping out of the California sanctuary status declared by the state, Build The Wall!, no budget, and DACA again being shamelessly used as a tool for political gain. Congress facing yet another crisis over gun control and still another school shooting-no addressing the true cause which is mental health issues among our young people who are committing suicide at an alarming rate and more people dying of drug overdose that in our last three wars!

I would just like to put out there one thought. President Trump said in a campaign speech over a year ago that when our debt reached 24 trillion dollars, that was the tipping point-the point where we could never pay it off. This morning I heard a senator say that we are spending money at the rate of over a million dollars a minute. Last night a commentator declared that illegal aliens have defrauded the IRS by as much as 2.6 million dollars a year. Government waste is chronic. I could go on and on and so could you.

DRAIN THE SWAMP!

(Yes, I am bitter this morning because it is STILL snowing!)

Bad weather day!

It is cold here today. I wish you warmth wherever YOU are, but today we had light snow, freezing rain, and fog-yes, all in one day. The good news is that the trees are covered with ice and look like the most beautiful Christmas card you have ever seen.

So, on a bad day:

  1. Read a good magazine. I like Good Housekeeping or the Magnolia Journal
  2. Do a crossword puzzle. I do the one in my newspaper.
  3. Bake something. I am making the 2 ingredient Angel Food Cake. One can of crushed pineapple, (20 oz.) One box of Angel Food Cake mix-I use Duncan Hines. Just follow directions.
  4. Light a candle, put on some music and take a bath.

Boy, I feel better already? How about YOU?