Friday Free-For-All! #ProteinBalls #Ladybug #Querying

I say this on Mondays and then again on Fridays. Time sure does fly by! Happy Friday and the start of another weekend.

I began a weight loss adventure around the first of October and used a plan called Optavia. I wasn’t extremely overweight but needed to lose those stubborn ten pounds I gained when I broke my ribs in 2019. So, going in, I knew (or hoped) it would be a short journey. By Thanksgiving, I had lost thirteen pounds. Doing a happy dance all around the Thanksgiving table! Then came the hard part. Going back to eating regular food and keeping the weight off. By the way, Sally Cronin features posts on her blog frequently that deal with nutrition, and I’ve found them to be golden. One of the hardest things we’ll do while in these heavy-skinned bodies is to learn what each of ours needs and provide it. It’s almost like an entity cohabitating within another entity. 🙂

But I digress. One of the main factors of any weight loss plan is protein. For several years, I’ve been purchasing protein bars from a Dallas company, Fittastik. They are absolutely perfect, except that they are expensive. My solution? Try to make my own. Thus I began my experiment.

Here’s my first attempt.

While they looked and tasted good, sadly, I didn’t have enough of some key ingredients to get the protein numbers I wanted. After searching through the internet and making a trip to the store, this is my second attempt, where I actually wrote everything down and knew the two key numbers, calories, and protein.

I’m still not 100% happy with the protein content, so I will up the protein powder in the next batch I make and switch out dried cherries for dried dates. If any of you have a recipe you’d be willing to share, I’d be most grateful!

On a completely different subject, I had an unusual visit from a little ladybug. Two things about this that struck me as odd. First of all, we are in the dead of winter, and second, I live on the fourth floor of an apartment building. I first saw her on a lampshade. I carefully removed her and placed her on a plant. That evening, she was up on my ceiling fan. Me being me, I had to get out my animal signs books and look her up. Here’s what it said:

If a ladybug lands on you, make a wish. It will be granted. (She didn’t) Structure a time each day where you can pray or meditate in silence and solitude. (That I already do) Something you thought was lost will be making its way back into your life. (Okay) Mother Mary is with you to guide you and console you, no matter what your religious or spiritual orientation. (I love that!) You’re shielded and protected from irritations, pestering thoughts, or annoying behaviors from others. (Yay!)

After seeing her on the ceiling fan, I haven’t had a sighting since. What are your thoughts? Do you pay attention when something out of the ordinary shows up?

This past Sunday, I got to enjoy an afternoon of music. It had been way too long, and I needed a fix, so I traveled to Mineral Wells, Texas, to listen to my good friend, Randy C. Moore and Jody Lee. It was SO much fun. Randy has a new song hitting the airwaves today, “Before Elvis.” It’s a true story song about his uncle who went to school in Memphis with Elvis. Take a listen and get ready to tap your toes. 🙂 Here’s a photo of me, Randy, and Jody.

L-R Randy C. Moore, Me, Jody Lee

On the writing front, I’ve pretty much hit a brick wall this week, but as things will do if you let them work themselves out, I now have a clearer idea of where I need to make some changes in my WIP and hope that gets me moving forward again.

I also did something this week I’ve never done before since I started down (or up) this writing path in 2013. I started querying agents for my completed manuscript, “A Beggar’s Bargain.” I don’t know what the result will be, but I felt compelled to try. Maybe that’s what the Angel card was all about on Monday. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

On the reading front, I’m currently doing a beta-read for another author and loving what I’m reading! Next up for me is from a new author for me, “Survival” by Lisa Harris. I’ll let you know.

Whatever your plans are for the weekend, I hope you remember two things: 1. You are a powerful creator! 2. We are all in this together!

Thanks for stopping by!

44 thoughts on “Friday Free-For-All! #ProteinBalls #Ladybug #Querying

  1. You have a full slate, Jan. We’ve got plenty of Lady Bugs here, too, and something called an Asian Beatle, which looks like a doppelganger of the Lady Bug. I wish you all the best as you search for a publisher.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you’ve nailed a key element of any weight loss situation. Can we keep those pounds off once we’ve lost them? For me, the exercise component is much easier than staying away from the wrong foods. I’ve developed a lot of self-discipline, but it’s a daily struggle. Traveling is more challenging because much of the day is spent in sedentary activities, and I eat more when I’m not busy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Traveling makes it almost impossible to stay on any kind of exercise routine, Pete. You are right, though. Exercise is another key component to maintaining weight and health. Thank you for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful newsy post, Jan! Congratulations on losing those stubborn pounds. Ten and below are always the hardest to get rid of.

    I normally get a few ladybugs each year in my office (on the day job), but I’m trying to remember what time of year they show up. They always make me smile when they visit.

    Glad you got your music fix, and I’m sending positive energy your way in searching for an agent. All the best, Jan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for visiting, Mae. I am going to do my best to keep the weight off and stay healthy doing it! Ladybugs typically show up in the spring, and that was another thing that made the visit so odd. Thank you for the good wishes! Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What an excellent post. I love the ladybug (and am now singing the Ladybug son non-stop), had never considered if I was short protein in my diet, and enjoyed the update on your writing. Good luck with the queries!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, Jacqui! Now I’ll be singing it, too. 🙂 For me to feel full and keep the weight off, I need protein. I love carbs, but they leave me wanting more. Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend, and thank you again for the fabulous review of Saddled Hearts!


  5. Congrats on the weight loss and the new projects, Jan! I LOVE ladybugs! A true delight when I see one. Recently, my sister told a friend about my passion for them and the woman made me “Ladybug” rosary beads and attached a note with the Mother Mary symbolism. Never knew the history between Mother Mary and ladybugs.

    And I always pay attention when something out of the ordinary shows up. It’s the universe’s way of telling/showing me something important. Have a lovely weekend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww, isn’t so fun to find connections to things, Mary? I love that you got Ladybug rosary beads. That is too cool! I agree with you about paying attention to signs the Universe works so hard to put in front of us. Thank you for stopping by! Have a great weekend!


  6. Hi, Jan,
    It is good to see you enjoying an evening of music. That always does me good.
    I wish you the best in shopping your manuscript to publishing houses. You will never know what will happen if you don’t try. And I like the story about the ladybug that showed up in the dead of winter. I too make myself aware of my surroundings and things that happen that people shun to look at or consider.
    Take care.
    Shalom aleichem

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment, Pat. Yes, music always feeds some deep primal part of me. 🙂 And you’re right. You never know if you don’t try with anything. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and leave a comment. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats on the weight loss, Jan! I am working on that too. It is hard to completely change your diet to keep it off. I just try to keep it healthy and cook from scratch. I love a lady bug found you. I always consider that good luck 🙂 Yay for looking for an agent. I keep thinking I want one but at the same time don’t want the stress of being on a schedule. Will have to work that one out. I am positive you will find what you are looking for! Xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good point, Denise, about being on a schedule and having time commitments. I would just like to get paid for all the work I do. I just got my 1099 from Wild Rose Press and my royalties for the year were just over $500. I wanted a publisher so I wouldn’t have to put money upfront to publish, but self-publishing is looking better all the time. 🙂 It’s hard. All of it is hard except writing the stories. I, too, like to cook from scratch and try to avoid processed foods. They are all so full of crap that doesn’t help our bodies. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. Happy Friday!


  8. I’m practically living on flavoured yellow split peas … a brand called BRAVE. high protein and fibre. Low calories and carbs. A lifesaver for me as i have to keep my calorie intake ridiculously low . well done on your fabulous weight loss! Have a wonderful weekend, Jan. Hugs 💕😊

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t have any recipes to share, except ones that might send your scale in the other direction! One protein suggestion I have is tuna. I keep a fresh batch of albacore tuna in water handy. I love the photo of you, L-R Randy C. Moore and Jody Lee, Jan!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol, Jill. I don’t want to send the scale in the direction I’ve just come. 🙂 Tuna is good protein, but not something I can grab with a cup of coffee or on the go. Thanks for the wonderful comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the photo!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have no advice on the protean ball front. Best wishes on the weight loss program. Also, all the best on the agent inquiry. That path will require patience and strong skin. I have always favored ladybugs and they are excellent for the garden. Thanks for keeping us up to date.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I hadn’t thought too much about when I ladybug shows up. I have heard to make a wish if one lands on you. I like what Sally said about them.

    Hope you have a fabulous weekend and good luck with the agent query.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I’m thinking maybe a meatball would have protein, and be good about now. Sally’s statement isn’t an old wive’s tale. Ladybugs eat aphids and you can buy them at some garden centers. Shaking a bag out over my roses really makes a difference.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol, Craig. You’re right about a meatball. Unfortunately, I am not that big of a meat eater. 🙂 When we lived in Coleman, we had a huge garden and bought ladybugs to help keep away the aphids. And it worked! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      Liked by 2 people

  13. The Irish for the Ladybird is Bóín Dé meaning Little Cow of God.. similar in other languages too. I heard an old wives tale that they clear the aphids and other pests in the garden and apart from making a wish when one lands in your life… it can also symbolise a clearing of harmful influences in your life… thanks very much for the mention of the blog Jan.. much appreciated… Well done on shifting that obstinate 10lbs and as you say keeping it off requires a bit of attention to detail…♥♥

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love that, Sally. I’ll remember the Irish name for Ladybug. They do clear aphids from the garden, but I like that they also symbolize clearing harmful influences in your life. You’re welcome for the mention. Your nutritional advice is golden! Thank you for visiting!

      Liked by 2 people

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