Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunny Day!

Yesterday was one of those perfect cycling days here in Tennessee! Bill wore his bike shorts for the first time in a long time and headed for the open road. I grabbed my tripod and little Elph 350 HS camera and took off after him to get more shots of him on his ride and to improve my technique. This time, I chose a picturesque background, pulled the truck way off the road, set up the tripod, my zoom and also set my camera on high speed burst to shoot multiple pictures just by holding down the shutter button. Just as he comes into view in my shot, I press the button and shoot.

This way, I have multiple shots to choose from that I can edit and publish. Another change I made this time was to shoot the image with more area surrounding Bill so I would have more options when it came to cropping.
After he zipped by, everything went back in the truck and I chased him down to get a good ways ahead of him and do it all again.
The weather was so nice that while I was waiting for Bill, a whole group of cyclists came by and I managed to get a shot of them too!
The next thing I worked on was the way I take videos of him. The first video we made was just shot hand-held and I wondered if it would be smoother on my tripod. The first attempt at this was a major fail! LOL! He was missing from most of the shot! After flipping the truck around and racing ahead of him again, I did the hand-held method and was able to catch him a lot better. I am definitely not a professional and do  much of what I do by trial and error. And of course, had to have the flat of the day! LOL!
Looks like we'll be looking into those tire liners we heard about. But I enjoy photography and I love my subject ;). So now I guess I will go put that video in our editing program and have something new to share with you next time.

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Gifts and Granola Rounds...

Bill came home from work the other day with a surprise! Debbie, a friend of ours, found out about my decorating our little camper with a beach theme and couldn't resist buying these for us.
I can't wait until it is in our driveway and I can start putting our finishing touches on it. Thank-you so much Debbie! We will think of you when we use these.
A few days ago, my sister-in-law, Melissa, shared a recipe on Facebook for "No Bake Energy Bites". Bill thought they looked good, so I bought the ingredients to surprise him. I thought these might be something he could bring along with him for a snack while he pedals. When he saw the ingredients, he said, "Why don't you bake oatmeal raisin cookies instead?" Since the Energy Bites had a laundry list of ingredients, I didn't want to waste them so looked online to see if there was a recipe for oatmeal cookies with coconut in them. There was and with that as a starting point, I made lots of changes and here is what I came up with.
                                           Bill's Granola Rounds
1 Cup Butter, softened                                  1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/4 Cups packed Brown Sugar                     1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar                                  3 Cups Rolled Oats
2 Eggs                                                          1 Cup Semisweet Mini Chips
2 Tablespoons Milk                                        1 Cup Shredded Coconut
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract                         1/2 Cup Raisins
1 3/4 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
3 Rounded Tablespoons Ground Flaxseed

Directions:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and coconut sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs then stir in the milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, chia seeds, ground flaxseed, baking soda, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture until well blended. Stir in the oats, chocolate mini chips, coconut and raisins until evenly distributed. I do the last bit of mixing with clean bare hands to get it nice and mixed. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
The parchment paper makes for easy cleanup. These came out a little darker with the whole wheat flour. After a minute, remove to a wire rack and cool completely before storing in airtight containers.
Of course, these trash your kitchen, but the cleanup is quick and these are very tasty!
When Bill called on his way home today, I told him the first batch of cookies was just coming out of the oven. He said, "What! Cookies! You are so bad!" I said, "No, I meant to say "granola rounds". LOL!" These are delicious and the coconut sugar has less effect on your glycemic levels, the chia seed provides protein, fiber and antioxidants, and the ground flax seed is a good source of omega 3 oils and fiber. The eggs come from a local farmer and the whole wheat flour is from wheat I grind myself so I feel like these can compete easily with store-bought granola bars. I think I will make a bunch of these in April and freeze them to take with us when we leave in May. I will be searching for more recipes for meals and healthy snacks. If you have a good recipe, feel free to share it with me. Thanks for reading and give these a try!

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Baby, It's Cold Outside...

This weekend was a cold one indeed! A big snowstorm was predicted, so I made the obligatory trip to WalMart for milk and bread. LOL! Here in Tennessee, the roads are very hilly and curvy with drop-offs on some of them so they are very careful when it comes to snow. Bill got off early from work on Friday so went into the shed to spend time on the wind trainer. A few weeks ago, he could only do 30 minutes on it as it is different than riding on the road. This time he was able to do over an hour!

So he was very happy with that! Since it snowed all day on Saturday here, he was again on the wind trainer and did another hour.

Then we worked on our computers to add updates to our Facebook page and connect with people. Sunday arrived crisp and clear and we got up and got ready for church. When we arrived, no one was there! So we had some lunch and came back home. Since it had warmed up a little, Bill decided to take to the road!

He was able to get over 13 miles in before the cold was just too penetrating. I think I came up with a temporary solution to the cold feet issue anyway. We have a small oil-filled radiator electric heater going when it's cold and I propped his shoes up on it while he was getting ready. He started out with toasty feet and his feet weren't numb with cold this time. He has lost over 25 pounds now and continues to do well slowly developing his muscles and endurance. Thank-you all for praying for us and please consider supporting us this summer.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

New Video!

When I was out on the road taking pictures of Bill on his bicycle, I shot a video of him coming up the hill near us. After this, he went on to do over 30 miles more! So proud of him. It took me a while to figure out the video editing program we have, but after over 3 hours of work, enjoy!

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Cold Weather Riding

It was cold this past Saturday, so Bill bundled up a little more for his ride; bike shorts, bike pants, two pair of wool socks under his sneakers and a long sleeve shirt under a sweatshirt. A wool balaclava topped him off.
We still have the Shepley sweatshirt that we got as a gift while I was the Snacklady there...ahh, good times.
Anyway, Bill asked if I could photograph him at different points in his ride. I waited about 15 minutes for him to get a head start and started out. I drove past him and continued on for a few miles and waited by the side of the road. As soon as I saw him coming, I jumped out of the truck to get his picture as he whizzed past.
I drove past him again and waited and did it again. I'm definitely going to need to practice this, got a nice picture of scenery, but missed him completely! LOL!
One more time and caught him this time.
Then it was time to go home, it was so cold my battery in the camera died. Note to self, bring second battery and keep it warm! Also, while I was going through pictures for my other blog, DollhouseladysBlog, I found some pictures I had forgotten about. Here's one of Bill when we went to REI to pick up his bicycle a few months ago.
So much has happened since then, Bill is thinner and stronger and we now have a camper to sleep in on the trip. We continue to trust God for our strength and resources. Thank-you for reading.

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Slimmer Bill and More Typing!

Bill has been slowly increasing his time on the wind trainer after work each day. He spent 52 minutes on it today and is starting to see muscle definition in his arms and legs. He's been continuing with his diet and has lost about 22 pounds total. I have lost 12 and have noticed that I can't eat as much as I used to (thank goodness! LOL!) Here is the slimmer, trimmer Bill!
Since the holidays are over and all the Christmas decorations are packed away, I pulled out my old journal to continue typing into my computer. Here is a picture of it, sometimes I'm amazed it survived this long.
I pulled up Word and searched for the 13 pages I had already typed.  The pages were gone! I thought, "No worries, I saved it to a disk..." I put the disk in and tried to open it. Well, that was blank too! Gremlins for sure. So I have started typing it again and have about 7 pages done so far. Good thing I'm starting early! I want to be able to type the whole thing and insert dates and pictures so I will have easy access to it when it comes time to add sections to the blog this summer. Please continue to pray for us as we prepare for this trip. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 and More Training

Whew! This weekend was a busy one! The weather was cold but not rainy or real windy so Bill got some training rides in.
He was able to do 13 miles on two of the days and 18 on the third.
Fortunately, we are not competing as far as weight loss because he is definitely winning!
We also spent time working on a fundraiser at . This has been a learning experience for me but I was able to work my way through it and together we got it done and it went live yesterday. Since so many people have asked us for our email address, Facebook address, blog address, and the fundraiser address, we decided to create a business card with all these things on it that we can give to people who would like to keep in touch with us.
Good old Vistaprint had some nice affordable options. The picture on the card was from the first trip across America 27 years ago. It was taken in South Dakota in front of the Little Brown Church on the Prairie. The Facebook page was also started and we are almost up to 40 likes already! Yay! I'll put all of these addresses at the end of this post so that you can follow along however you choose. I spent a little of my Social Security check to redecorate the inside of the camper. Just a couple of rugs from Walmart, some wallpaper border, and a new bedspread. Also found a cool thing for the wall over the bed.  Nope, sorry, it's a surprise! LOL! Since we will be living in the camper for 5 months while Bill cycles across America, wanted to make it more cheery and homey. So stay tuned for more updates and thank-you for reading.

Facebook page, Twice Across America
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Friday, January 1, 2016

Dieting and Losing

When Bill and I started to prepare for this trip we knew that we both needed to become, well let's just say, a little lighter! (maybe not just a little! LOL!) So we have both been eating less and watching what we're eating. (Yep, I watch that food go right in my pie hole! LOL!) No, seriously, I have been being good...except for Christmas, a girl has to have a few treats, right? I only gained 1.5 pounds over Christmas and that was quickly lost. So I have lost 9 pounds so far. (Does it count more if you lose the same pounds over and over again? Just kidding!) When Bill started on November 1st he weighed in at 262.2 at 6'1". As of yesterday, he is down to 247.2 and not any shorter! LOL!; and for those of us who are math challenged, that's 15 pounds! He would like to lose another 20 pounds before May which I am sure he will achieve with no problem. He wanted to share pictures of what he eats so here we go! For breakfast, he has 2 granola bars and a mug of tea with honey.
For lunch he goes all out with his salad. 
Once in awhile he might have a sub or substitute something else for the salad. Don't be afraid to break your diet routine once in awhile. You'll get to eat something you like and it will not hurt your diet plan. If you try to become too restrictive, you'll find you'll have a lot of cravings.
Supper is a 1 ounce serving of Ningxia Red which is a delicious, fruity dietary supplement.
This is a Young Living product that includes "100% essential oils in a powerful whole body nutrient infusion. This is used daily to sustain energy and to fortify and replenish key nutrients." Bill takes that after his evening training which he has said, "Takes the edge off." He finds it easier to skip the evening meal than breakfast or lunch. Sometimes, he would actually rather have this for supper,
but he has a lot more willpower than I do! LOL! After he loses the next 20 pounds, we will probably start with just vegetable and meat for supper with a limited amount of carbs. During the trip he will be able to eat anything he wants since he will be burning between 2000 to 4000 calories a day. Meanwhile, since blogging doesn't burn nearly that many calories,
I'll still be eating salad. 
Next time, I will talk more about the ups and downs of the training routine.
We use other Young Living Products too and if you are interested in finding out more about this, just contact me.