The Last Rose of Summer

Peace rose- yellow rose with red-tipped leaves“The Last Rose of Summer” by Thomas Moore

‘Tis the last rose of summer,
Left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions
Are faded and gone;
No flower of her kindred,
No rosebud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes,
Or give sigh for sigh.

I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one!
To pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping,
Go, sleep thou with them.
Thus kindly I scatter,
Thy leaves o’er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden
Lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow,
When friendships decay,
And from Love’s shining circle
The gems drop away.
When true hearts lie withered,
And fond ones are flown,
Oh! who would inhabit
This bleak world alone?

I’ve known for some time now that this post was coming, but I’d selfishly hoped it would be just a while longer.

My beloved grandmother, Lila Richert Brady, died early Sunday morning at her home with my parents, sister, and brother-in-law at her side. She was 94 years old. Her final weeks were difficult, as her body and mind began to fail her, but she was quiet and comfortable in her last hours.

We’re feeling sad and a little empty, of course, but there’s also peace in knowing that she no longer struggles to breathe…to remember…to live. There’s also joy in knowing that she lives on in each of us. We have many years of happy memories to keep her in our hearts.

Memaw, as my sister and I called her, was a strong and intelligent woman who loved gardening, reading, quilting and cooking. Some of you might remember a few summers ago when, at the age of 90, Memaw grew her very first watermelon.

watermelon and small black dog

Memaw’s First Watermelon, admired by Daisy Dog

She was so proud of her crop and summoned all family members to come see it. Not eat it, mind you, just to see it. She did finally allow it to be sliced, but what stands out in my mind is the unmitigated joy she found simply in raising it. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

Memaw did not pass along to me her gardening and quilting skills, but she did pass to me her love of reading and writing. She loved to discuss books! Sadly for me, most of what she read was of the Harlequin or historical romance/family saga genres, but I made it through our discussions. Homemade biscuits helped. :)

We’ll miss her, to be sure, but she is at peace now and does not suffer, and that’s what matters most.

While I’m reporting sad news, I also have to mention and honor Daisy Dog, shown above anticipating her share of melon, had to be put to rest last week. Her health and mobility had declined to the point that the Ugly Decision had to be made. Daisy will also be missed greatly by the family, but again, we know she’s no longer struggling and that helps.

Fortunately, that’s the end of my sad news. Life does go on, but I wanted to take this day’s post to honor one of the strongest women in my life.

Rest in peace, Memaw. We will miss you and love you always.


Alphabet Soup: Give Me a ‘G’

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve played with the alphabet. If I recall correctly, ‘G’ is the next letter up in my series exploring different words and phrases that have helped me lose and maintain my weight.

the letter gI don’t think anyone will be surprised by my first ‘G’ word: gratitude. At some point early in this process, I realized that in the past, I hadn’t been applying my usual ‘gratitude in all things’ philosophy to weight loss. I focused on what I couldn’t eat instead of the abundance of healthy foods to which I had access. I grumbled about having to exercise instead of celebrating the fact that I could exercise. Gratitude thinking changed everything.

Another game changer was shifting the way I thought about goals. As I’ve written before, my goals used to focus on pounds lost. Period. My week was deemed “good” or “bad” depending on the scale results. Switching to action-based goals–results I could control–meant every week was a good week as long as I followed the plan. And I did!

I’m not even going to try to pretend that I embraced those ideas every single minute of every single day. There were–ahem!–moments. At those times, I tried to remember that I was good enough just as I was. Yes, I wanted to continue the healthy trek, but if I never lost another pound or dropped another size, I had value and worth at every size. Don’t I wish I’d realized that much, much earlier in my life?

Let’s see…gratitude…goals…good enough…yep, that about covers the letter ‘G’ for me. What other ‘G’ words should I consider adding?

This letter G is brought to us by Ganesha Balunsat via Flickr.

AIM: Food – It’s All in a Day

logo: Adventures in Maintenance with photos

The idea for this month’s AIM post comes courtesy of a reader who asked us to share ideas and recipes for meals. Rather than focus on a single meal, we decided to spread it out a little and cover the whole day by each taking a different meal or snack. If you want to read the day in order, start with Shelley, who is feeding us breakfast. Then hop back over here for lunch!

Now, y’all know my recipes are mostly of the chop-and-stir variety, and this is especially so in summer, when even looking at the oven or stove makes me hot. So I eat a lot of cold food in the summer–yogurt & berries, cottage cheese & fruit (usually pineapple), chef salads, turkey sandwiches, and so on.

One of my all-time favorite summertime lunches is nice cold tuna salad with a fresh-off-the-vine tomato. Even when I was at my heaviest, I couldn’t wait for the summer tomatoes to come in so I could have my favorite meal.

Tuna salad is one of those dishes that doesn’t really need a recipe. You can just toss a bunch of stuff you like into the bowl with the tuna, stir, and you’re done. My kind of meal prep! :) But I do have a general recipe I follow, sometimes adding a little less of this or a little more of that. Sometimes I toss in something random (a.k.a. it seemed like a good idea at the time). What follows is the simplest version.

Basic Tuna Salad, Cammy-style

tuna salad ingredients

  • 2 6-oz. cans of tuna, drained and fluffed
  • 2 boiled eggs, diced
  • 1/3 c. diced apple
  • 2 Tbsp. diced celery (or a tsp or 2 of celery seed)
  • 2 Tbsp. diced sweet pickle
  • 2 Tbsp. diced red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. salad dressing or mayo

Obviously, you can use more or less of any ingredient, or you can add other mix-ins, like onion or spices or olives or whatever. Just stir it all up in a bowl, cover and let it chill out in the fridge for a bit while the flavors get acquainted.

Meanwhile, chop or slice a nice fresh summer tomato and chill that for a bit, if desired.

tuna salad with tomato, celery and salsa

Lunch is ready! Tuna and tomato with celery and salsa–all cold, all delicious! A better blogger would have styled her Sunday midday meal a little better, but it was 1:30, and I’d been outside weeding all morning. I was HUNGRY! (Yes, I realize I had two tomato sides, but some days it just works out that way. As far as I know, there’s not a rule against it.)

This particular recipe makes 3 servings for me if I’m eating it as a salad only. If I’m making a tuna melt and having with a side salad (my winter go-to), the recipe makes 4 servings. Either way, it’s delicious and packed–I mean PACKED–with good-for-me nutrition.

nutritional info for tuna salad

A whole lot of protein for your caloric buck! This graphic is based on 3 servings, but when I go the sandwich or wrap route, I also get protein and fiber with the grains. It all evens out.

But what I really, really love about tuna salad (besides the taste, that is) are the other nutritional components:

tuna vitamins

Wowza! No wonder I was bouncy all day! :) And I’ll probably continue to be bouncy, because that’s my dinner for the next two days of Sally-sitting. but then I’ll probably take a couple weeks break from the tuna salad. Moderation in all things, you know. :)

If you’re not a tuna salad fan, my mother makes a chicken salad with pretty much the same ingredients. I hear it’s tasty. (Not a chicken salad fan.)

What do you include in your tuna salad?

Another bonus to this particular meal is that it’s FILLING! Good thing, too, because we don’t have a planned afternoon snack. If you get hungry, maybe you could snack on a little fruit and/or yogurt? :)

With that I’ll send you off to dinner, for which you have TWO options for where to start: Lynn or Lori. You can’t go wrong either way!

If you don’t really care about reading in order, you can still use the links below:
Lynn @ Lynn’s Weigh
Lori @ Finding Radiance
Debby @ Debby Weighs In
Shelley @ My Journey to Fit

aim logoAIM: Adventures in Maintenance is Lynn, Lori, Debby, Shelley, and Cammy, former weight-loss bloggers who now write about life in maintenance. We formed AIM to work together to turn up the volume on the issues facing people in weight maintenance. We publish a post on the same topic on the first Monday of each month. Let us know if there is a topic you’d like us to address!