Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Socks on New Year's Day.
He found a way to get my undivided attention. ha.
He's also healing quite nicely and we didn't have to go to the vet!

I feel chatty today, so get comfy or leave now. lol...
You might want to pack a lunch, too. 

I heard some interesting facts about resolutions on the news this week.
1.  50% of Americans make New Year's resolutions!  
2.  Only 20% keep them!
3.  It takes 6 weeks of doing something new before it becomes a habit.
4.  The most popular resolutions are to become healthier, 
loose weight, reduce stress and find true love.

Last year my resolution was to be healthier and I actually did it!
Mainly it was to drink more water and the results were amazing.
I lost 12 pounds.....mostly water retention.  Yes, you have to
drink water to loose water!  I felt better overall (was having
frequent UTI symptoms) and lost the puffy look in my hands. 
My rings are now so loose they are spinning around on my fingers.
Same thing for my watch on my wrist!

As I thought about this year, there is something I have to deal with
and that is stress.  I have let it affect me in several negative ways!
This year was incredibly stressful and I internalized it all.
I've mentioned before that I love to look up meanings to dreams
and my dreams about things like turtles, eggs and rain
all point to things like tears, fragile emotions and wanting
to hide under a shell.  Yep....it's a problem and my 
subconscious knows it, too!

But the biggest clue was my teeth!
Three years ago I went to the orthodontist because my teeth
grinding had been shifting my teeth in a very noticeable way.
18 months and $6000 later, I had a lovely smile,
even better than ever.  To keep it that way, I asked
for permanent retainers. Well, guess what...even with
the retainers, I have managed to sleep with my jaw 
clinched so tightly that I have begun moving my teeth again!

I went back to the orthodontist for help and today was able
to pick up my new front wire retainer to repair the damage.
Thankfully I caught it fairly early and I won't have to wear it
but a few months.   

Now I need to work on some jaw clinching and teeth grinding 
solutions!  I found some online that I'll try like a face massage
before bed and paying attention to relaxing
my jaw as I fall asleep.  

And removing what stress I can from
 my life would help too, of course. 

So, did you make a resolution or choose 
a word for the year?  I want to hear all about it!

In other news today...

It's COLD here!  12 degrees!  (-11 C) 

Today was back to work and day programs for the men!
The boys were home for 16 days and although it was
wonderful, I was happy to send them off this morning
and have a lovely, silent bit of solitude.

A rare occurrence...all 14 cats were in the house today.
It's the cold weather, of course!  
They did venture out through the cat flap at will to do their
business and have a game of tag, though.
I guess it isn't too bad if the sun is out and you're
wearing a fur coat. haha.

My current snack obsession is dried tart cherries.
 OK....enough randomness...and if you're still
reading, thanks for that.  You're a trooper! :)
Back to photography and minimal words tomorrow!


  1. No resolutions, yet .. but I can report that Carl NEVER wants to leave Cocoa Beach and the ocean! Take care, think about having a full body massage .. maybe it will help?

    1. Maybe a resolution to move there. haha Why not? Or at least visit more often. :)
      Love the massage idea...

    2. Confession: I have been considering a move to warm, balmy weather. Carl and I lived just outside Orlando from 1998 to 2005 when we picked up and followed my grandchildren to Bend! Carl has never quite forgiven me for that .. Smiles!

    3. Well, I can see all the benefits of being near the grands! But the beach! Oh my! haha.

  2. Oh Betsy I am so sorry to hear that you are a jaw clencher too, I am, I know one thing and that is stress is the trigger for sure and until you manage the stress you will buying retainers left and right, it just a fact, maybe yoga, meditation, talking things out with someone, telling yourself to leave the worries at the bedroom door, lol, I have found ways to almost eliminate my jaw clenching, but its something each person must deal with personally, and mine really went away when I gave up caffeine, its a common denominator to stressful actions especially night stress, I know you love your coffeee so that would be very hard, I did too, but I like my teeth more, lol, good luck finding the answers,

    1. I find myself clinching my jaw during the day, too! lol....Maybe if I became a crier it would be better. At least I'd let it all out. :)
      The caffeine is interesting with you...glad you figured out what was causing yours. Did it also keep you awake? I don't drink it past 4pm and always fall right to sleep...so I'm not thinking it is that. Besides, I know what is causing it...it's people. A certain few....either they are cruel, controlling or whatever....some people you can't get away from and some you can. haha. And it probably doesn't help that I have three autistic young adults in my care. lol.....I'm sure my stress level is already high and then there isn't any emotional reserve left to deal with other crap. Learning to manage what I can is going to be the key, I think.

    2. I was a coffee drinker for long time and never had trouble sleeping, but it did, help when i gave it up, I think the fact you know what the trigger is for your stress you are half way there to finding answers, I try to imagine putting my stress in a box each night and lock it
      ( in my imagination, lol, ) I then think of things that calm me, its a little strange but it helps, I hope you find some answers Betsy, I really do,

    3. haha....I have some people I'd like to lock in a box! lol.... Actually, whatever works, right?

  3. We all have so many stresses, don't we? And they can weigh heavily.
    I know your life is very stressful. First, congrats on the 12 pounds! Continuing to do what you're doing will certainly help too. A friend's cousin had issues with clenching/grinding and, like Laurie, she found cutting back on caffeine and practising calming exercises helped a lot.
    I love meditation and yoga. I have had to modify my yoga as it is hard to get up and down from the floor but I find just sitting quietly and calming the constant thoughts racing through my head helps. And the key is not to try and stop those thoughts - that does not work. But to let them come and dismiss them as soon as possible while musing on calmer scenes/thoughts. That's why people often use a candle flame to focus. Or music. The key is to doing it every day so it becomes a habit like brushing your teeth. Also the bubble "exercise" helps... which is to put those encroaching thoughts into a bubble and releasing it. Sounds silly, but it works.
    Also cutting back the amount of screen time - computer/TV - helps. I try but I'm an addict, I fear, on that front. But I am trying.
    I am so glad you have your furry babies because I think that helps - love Socks perched on the computer - ha!
    But also you might consider talking to someone on a regular basis - be it professional or a friend. Internalising is deadly - your body/mind needs to rid itself of that continued pollution.
    And I think we need to give ourselves more pats on the back. You're a terrific person and you do so much for others. You need to do some RAKs for YOU!
    Love and hugs... and a shoulder if you want it... Suzie xoxoxo

    1. Maybe Socks is telling me to walk away from the computer. lol.... Actually, I've reduced my online time a TON in recent months....

      Kitties always help...I do agree...such sweeties. Maybe I need more of them.... Tiger will bring me one if he gets wind of this!

      Internalizing is very deadly and I know that is one of my biggest issues. I've been giving this a lot of thought...goes back to my childhood when my mom would rebuke me when I cried. As a result, I'm very stoic...not a crier at all. I'm sure that has not been healthy.

      Yoga actually sounds fun. Anything to relax. I know when I lift weights I feel better...less headaches, too.

      You know some of my stresses, Suzie...big ones...not easily overcome or dismissed. Sigh!

    2. Pilates is very good too - I almost liked it better than yoga and friends of mine say they have switched over to Pilates for various reasons. It's funny because when I used to attend yoga classes, just lying on the mat in a semi-darkened room, listening to chanting music, was a huge benefit and very relaxing - before even doing the poses. Some nights I just wanted to ask my instructor to let me lie there for the hour. Ha!

      And if you don't wish to attend a class, there are amazing videos out there too. Very helpful. Just plain ol' stretching videos are great too. But be prepared that when you are on the floor... you will have kitties on top of you! :-)

    3. Kinda like that relaxed lovely feeling when you got get a hair cut and they shampoo your hair...ahhh...I wish they would never stop.

    4. Definitely. There is nothing like that feeling. Scalp massages are delicious.

  4. Now you've posed a problem, too much information. I'll have to go and have a Baileys and think about how to reply. . . . back soon.

    A jaw-clencher eh? I found the problem with women here is they have trouble keeping their mouths closed. . . . .just saying.

    1. I've never had a problem keeping my mouth closed....but I don't think I have any English blood in me either...haha.

    2. Maybe Irish Cherokee Scottish girls are more quiet. ha.

    3. Was it really TMI? You should have seen what I edited! Didn't think I got TOO personal, though!

    4. I felt chatty today too, but when I later read what I'd posted earlier today, it sounded whiny. That wasn't what I'd intended. *sigh*

      You are in my thoughts and prayers as far as the stress level. We all have our own struggles to deal with and I often find myself groaning within over the events of the past four years. I'm not sure now whether it's children that give us gray hairs, husbands, or our parents. Maybe a little of each. ha ha! Oh, my goodness...

      Resolutions are always rolling about in my brain. I know I should drink more water too, but it's so hard.

    5. You see? You are worrying about TMI. Don't! I was but jesting, fair lady. You know I have a weird sense of humour.

    6. Martha, you're allowed to be whiny...it is your blog afterall. haha. Yes, all those people can give us gray hairs....or scowl lines....or crooked teeth. haha.

      I'm hooked on the water now....keep trying....It's a habit now and I don't even think about it.

    7. Keith, oh, don't I know you are a jester!

    8. I resolve not to be whiny. Or at least try.

  5. Glad socks is back to stay.
    Very sorry about the stress you endured and I hope it eases completely for you.
    I am a bit of a tooth grinder too . . . .

    Well done about the weight control ~ I heard lots of water is a great help . . . . :)

    1. Well, it wasn't weight control, really...or why I did it...just a side benefit, I guess.

      I didn't know you grind your teeth! Nasty habit....lol....

    2. Yes I do grind my teeth sometimes . . . but rather lightly and not all the time and only when I am upset about something . . . I guess it is a way of relieving nervous tension.

      I like tour smile so much and your man has done a great job ~ love the whiteness of your choppers . . . . :)

    3. My man? lol....oh, he's contributed in his own way to the grinding! hahaha.... Or do you mean my orthodontist?

      the whiteness....crest whitening strips. ...then peroxide for the upkeep. Simples! Do the british whiten their teeth? Americans are obsessed with it.

    4. I meant your orthodontist . . . . . but too funny about the 'contribution to the grinding' . . . .oh dear . .
      British do not whiten as frequently . . . . but I can understand why you like to whiten . . . . . looks so much better. OK Crest whitening strips and peroxide . . . . . better not use bleach . . . . . rofl

    5. Don't whiten as frequently? How often do you do it? I think the strips last about 6 months.

      No, no bleach. ha.

  6. Can I just say... bacon and mushroom-topped pork chops? Oh YUM!

  7. My solution to relax me and help me fall asleep....I have a cassette of lovely piano music...(which I love) and before I've played both sides I'm usually asleep or so sleepy I take off the head set,

    1. That's so great it works for you. I always fall right to sleep and sleep all night...that has never been a problem for me. The Mister, however, is a different story! lol....

  8. Love to see the pictures but enjoyed the read too! And I didn't think it was TMI....as you recently told me...there's lots to share :-)

    1. And look...you're back! Did you post? I'll have to come and look! :)

    2. Not yet...but almost there lol And thank you for the encouragement!

    3. Make sure you let me know when you do, ok?

  9. The dreams are interesting and something I enjoy researching as well. Sometimes when I'm stressed or need answers I look forward to going to bed and sleeping in hopes I have a dream or two that will give me a clue as to what is really going on. ha, kinda weird, I know!

    No resolutions for me and the only word I can think of is MOVE! as in moving to Colorado in a few months? Some 'nibbles' on the house business. Yay!

    As for stress? I think mine is here to stay so I'm going to have to figure out a different way of thinking about it. After all, what is life without a challenge or two, or ten?! ha :)

    1. No, I don't think that is weird at all....and you're the only other person I know that looks them up! It's incredible, really, how accurate it can be....amazing, really. And it does explain what may be eating at you. Yes, my stress is here to stay, too...when it's people you can't always cut them out of your life. But I can figure out how to better deal with it...at least without ruining my teeth or health.

      MOVE is a lovely word. I'm so excited for you!!!

    2. Some mornings I wake up and think bummer I slept all night and no dream! lol I guess I should be thankful for a good nights sleep? :)

      I think we need to have a for real coffee date sometime. I'll bet we could talk for hours!

      Thanks for being excited with us! Not everyone is. I find that hard! and hard to understand when they know it wasn't just a fly by night decision. (shakes head) whatever, I guess. Sometimes you just have to go around people and move on.

      Like I said before today - In the hour of His most difficult trial His (Jesus') LOVE overcame his FEAR of what loving would cost him. That's what I would like to do as well. I do not anticipate it to be easy, but I know it's possible. Does that make sense?

    3. Or what's worse...you remember the symbol you want to look up in the night but have forgotten it by morning! ha. Ugh.

      You better make that a really, really big pot of coffee. :)

      Can't imagine people not being excited for you. Wait...yes I can! haha...oh dear. I am learning that instead of having people manage me, I need to learn how to gracefully manage them. The first step is realizing you are being managed.

      Yes, that makes sense...and what a great example that is to us.....perfect.

  10. I left my comment in Keith's territory. Oops.

    1. Yes, you did, but he doesn't seem to mind. :)

    2. The first time I wrote it, it flew away into cyberspace never to be read, ever. Not sure how I did it. Laptops are quite magical and mysterious.

    3. yes, they are. Or maybe it was Keith being protective of his spot. haha.

      At least my comments here are going into my email inbox now. For days they didn't and I wouldn't see a comment until I refreshed my post. Crazy!

    4. This particular one flew away without me ever publishing it. Poof! It was gone.
      Maybe I could get a job as a magician.

    5. That's a great idea! A whiny one! ( I kid...really...kidding. hahaha.)

    6. Now you're cracking me up,

    7. Well, you'd have to have something unique to distinguish yourself from all the ordinary magicians!

  11. Congratulations Betsy on the weight loss, my problem to losing weight is having a man in the house all day long, I do much better when food is not mentioned from morning 'til night.
    Love that kitty Socks, so sweet.
    Yes, the British are also on the white teeth kick, my cousins asked if I could get the whiteners cheaper in the States, and mail it to them. Of course it's illegal to do so, so they buy it on their own side of the pond.
    I had retainers when I was in my mid twenties, but no longer, my teeth have stayed straight all these years, but I don't teeth-grind.
    Watch old episodes of Last of the Summer Wine on PBS, every night at 10:30 here in Middle Tennessee, I laugh so hard, falling asleep is never a problem, the stress of the day just melts away ~

    1. Well, try drinking 8 glasses of water a day. You have to stay home to do it because a bathroom needs to be readily accessible. If you sip tea or coffee all day, like me, you might be retaining fluids and not even realize it. I was amazed. And I feel so much better....didn't even realize I was dehydrated.

      Funny about the teeth whitening over there. I'm sure just being imported makes them a bit pricey!

      Last of the Summer Wine...I'm going to have to look that up! :)

    2. Be careful, Last of the Summer wine is addictive! My daughter lived for a while in Holmfirth where it was filmed, she used to watch them filming the series from the window in her flat.

    3. Really? Well, that's very cool!

  12. Stress is hard I know like Suzy say all of us have to battle with it!
    Hope you sleep better fir your teeths.
    I dont make resolutions now.Always I forget them:)
    You are more organized than me:)

    1. Yes, we all have stress....too bad, huh! Sigh!

  13. I agree with Helen's comment. A massage, on a regular basis, is a wonderful way to relieve stress.

  14. Looks like you have heard every piece of advice out there!
    For me......every day is like a clean slate....start all over again...and again.....
    Best of luck with all that.....
    Linda :o)

    1. Yes,...every day is a fresh new day. One day at a time is all we can do!

  15. Wow, got yappy today
    Here at your bay
    The 14 cats must have kept you warm
    So you could write up a storm
    Seems the avg. resolutions are things all could find
    If they didn't wait and got off their behind
    Magic day, pffft to that
    Want something done it's done by the cat
    Stress can be killer though
    For the most part I just let it go
    Hard on the nerves with that
    So I lie on my bed of nails mat
    That sure lets it go
    And doesn't hurt high or low
    Water can do wonders indeed
    Although i pee way more at my feed
    But that is sure the way
    To get better at ones bay
    I'd be paper thin
    If I didn't eat cashews at my bin
    Only fat I get most times
    That would be scarier than mimes
    Damn things aren't cheap though
    But that everyone sure does know
    Ugg to the teeth as well
    Oil pulling has made mine swell
    Just have to take it day by day
    And do things to make triggers go away
    Or step by step
    And then get back your pep
    In my case I get stabbed once a week
    But then i don't leak
    So what the heck
    I think this is all the yapping I'll do on deck

    1. haha...leave it to you to make me smile
      as you go on and on for more than a mile

    2. and this retainer is not keen...
      makes me feel like I'm thirteen.
      lol...I can't swallow and I can't talk
      so I won't eat and I won't balk.
      I'll be quiet and extra skinny
      when I get done with this mini
      teeth fixing saga.
      I'll also go gaga.

    3. one thing for certain is when it's in place
      there is no grinding at any rate.
      I get rubber bands added in a few weeks,
      my oh my, won't that be neat?

    4. hmm best bet is to stop that grinding
      Then there will be no more teeth binding
      Must be a way
      As rubber band mouth is quite the scary sounding display lol

    5. Rubber bands will only be for a few weeks
      then I'll have nothing but straight teeth inside my cheeks.

  16. Betsy...I don't grind my teeth but I do clench my jaw and tense a lot of muscles when I'm having problems sleeping, which is a lot. I love reading my Dr, Oz magazine, and he recommends tightening and releasing your muscles from your toes to your forehead. Haven't tried that yet. An old bit of advice I had pertaining to the tensing in my jaw and neck...relax your tongue. Sometimes it actually works!

    I'm really stressed out with my lack of sleep. Best advice...going to bed at 11 and getting up at 7...no matter what. Last few nights, bed at 11, falling asleep around 4 and getting up at 7. Dead to the world. Trying.

    Jane x

    P.S. Love that you are taking the kitties in...so cold.

    1. I've heard about relaxing your tongue...and if I catch myself clinching my jaw, I have tried this. A little harder if you do it while your dead asleep and don't know it! I've always slept swell, though. Boy, in bed at eleven but asleep at four is awful. But you have some worries, I know. Hugs....

  17. @ Betsy - crumbs .. 68 comments - and that's great Socks will still be around .. resolving you to resolve yourself. Stress is a 'bummer' .. and difficult to relieve, get out of ... so pleased the water diet helps - I drink loads of water .. and I get lots of exercise too! Good to read about the rubber bands only being around for a few weeks ... I grind my teeth but I suspect (and know!) I've reached the tender age where to 'hell and begone' ... so somewhat don't worry about it. 14 cats ... boy are they lucky critters ... but lovely to think about though ..cosy and warm with you. I have one major thing ahead which should give me a new lease of life ... coming up before Easter and Spring and Summer sunshine ... losing weight is good for that .. cheers and I do hope life is easier in 2015 - being healthier and feeling teethy is a good start ... big hugs - Hilary

    1. Yeah, the water is great and I'm so glad I stuck with it and feel so much better! I had just never drank much before....big difference. I need to come over and see what that major thing is....if it's on your blog, that is!

  18. Congrats on succeeding with last year's resolution! Teeth grinding is a difficult one! hope you figure it out!

    1. I'm not sure I've ever seriously made a resolution before that, much less kept it. Lol....

  19. Betsy, I hope whatever your stresses... they are less this year. You've made me think I need to add the water increase to my list. LOL! I'm on a mission for healthier this year... slowly, but surely. Keep those kitties warm. Brrrr... it is cold across the country. blessings ~ tanna

    1. Yes, add water...you will be amazed, especially if you are trying to loose a few pounds!

      Bitterly cold here and snow....the state is practically shut down. Except the mister is still going to work...hospitals don't shut down. Ha.

  20. I don't remember if it was the dentist of the chiropractor who showed me a simple way to unclench my teeth. You rest your tongue on the back of your upper teeth, which causes your jaw to loosen up. It really works!

    1. Yep....I do that! But when I'm asleep, my mouth has a mind of it's own! haha.

  21. I think that relieving stress may be one of those things that is easier said than done, so I wish you well in your resolution. Perhaps these chattier blog posts is one mechanism for achieving that goal. I know that I do not mind chatty Betsy at all. :)

    1. Well, thanks Yuji! I don't really chat all that much, do I? But I agree it might be therapeutic in and of itself!

      Are you buried in snow? We got about 4-5 inches with more to come tonight. I think you got more than us. Brr...it sure is cold!

  22. 6 weeks to create a habit is true, particularly in exercise & physical therapy (of which I've had more than my share).

    I've heard that Botox works on TMJ so ask the dentist about it for jaw clenching.

    Meditation and yoga are truly great for stress reduction and you'll be stretching too.

    1. Interesting stuff...thanks! Never heard about the botox...

  23. i did not make resolutions this year...i made a few intentions...and we are already putting effort toward those...
    def trying to cut some stress....only 2 more classes til done with my masters...and those are this summer
    what a relief...

    happy new year b

    1. I think cutting stress would be a good intention for you....def. :)

  24. Nice to 'hear' you chatty. Love to hear all your news and chat. I was lucky enough to meet my 2 kids and dil at the San Diego Safari Park yesterday. My 30 yo daughter was shaking her head and told me I was getting more like grandma every day chatting with everyone. Hey, if you don't chat how do you find out that the new tiger exhibit is getting ready to put their younger gals into the breeding mode and we'll see more of the big baby cats? They are so big and gorgeous. You would love them, Betsy. They just aren't as prolific as your kitties were. Maybe they would pay you to consult on cat care? Taria

    1. Oh, that sounds like fun! I haven't been to the zoo since the boys were small and it was an unbearable hot day and I don't even think the big cats were out to be seen! Sounds like you had a really fun day! Cat consulting would be really fun! Although I only know how to get them OUT of the breeding mode. lol....

  25. Wish you all the best Betsy! And a lot less stress..easier said than done! Btw..I read to the end:)

    1. You're sweet to read to the end, Betty! Hope we both have a year of less stress and more happiness! xo


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