Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday This and That

Listen! the wind is rising,
and the air is wild with leaves.
We have had our summer evenings,
now for October eves.

Humbert Wolfe

Good morning.  It's a beautiful morning.  I'm feeling so much better today. Stayed home this weekend and nursed myself back to health. It was only a cold, but I'm taking time to listen to my body now.  There are no more palpitations and my blood pressure is under control. It's near normal every time I test it.  In fact, when it was 116/64 I got a little nervous that it was too low. But, it was okay.  So I'd like to get back to exercising at least twice a week.  It is time I got over this fear. 

When the palpitations first began, my reaction was "Why me?"  For once in my life I was doing everything right--diet, exercise--but sometimes, despite our best laid plans, are lives go a little arwy.  After all, I'd been working hard on eating healthy--lots of fruits and veggies--and drinking plenty of water, but even so, it didn't fully prevent me from getting sick. That's because I 'really' wasn't doing everything right.  I was just telling myself I was.

One lesson I learned was NEVER stop a blood pressure medication without contacting the doctor.  About ten months ago when I switched doctors, I had one week without any medication, but no problems, so I figured it would be alright.  It was...for a week.  It was on about the 10th day that my body went haywire, and it took a good two weeks to get it regulated again.  

And, I also realized I had gotten a bit cocky with my sodium levels.  I'd started eating Italian sausages, telling myself that eating only one wouldn't hurt. Cooking two meals every day was getting to be a pain, so  I'd stopped cooking separately for me and began eating the same salted foods I cooked for hubby.  Not a good combination when one stops their medication as well.  

Today I know better.  I take my medication every morning and keep my feet up as much as possible so the swelling doesn't begin again.  And I still eat the same food I cook for hubby, aside from the sausages, but I take my share out when it's cooked, then add salt and allow his to simmer awhile longer.

Did lots of reading this weekend.   Discovered a new book by Crissi Langwell and purchased it.  Reminded me that I after I completed 'A Symphony of Cicadas: Sometimes the End Is Just the Beginning' I had gotten sidetracked and never read the next part, 'Forever Thirteen: Joey's Story' so I purchased that and reread Symphony of Cicadas to refresh my mind. Joey is Rachel's 13 year old son who dies with her in the accident.  If you are interested in stores of the afterlife, I highly recommend these two books.

Description of 'A Symphony of Cicadas':

Rachel Ashby thought she had it all. She was in the midst of blending her family with her fiancé, and mere weeks away from her wedding. After a lifetime of disappointment, everything was finally falling in place.

That is, until she was killed.

Cast into the afterlife, Rachel finds herself in a fight for everything she once held close. As she tries to remain near those she cherished in life, the layers of her life are peeled back to expose the imperfections and flaws that exist in us all. She discovers the human side of being human as she learns more about what it means to live than she ever knew in life. 
Description of 'Forever Thirteen'
What would you do if you died before you could ever really experience life?

This is Joey's story, a thirteen-year-old boy stuck on the other side of life and mourning the loss of everything he never got to be. Instead, he's just a short, chubby, geeky boy...forever. And he's certain that there's no worse fate. But when Joey takes a peek at those he left behind, he becomes aware of just how bad his best friend Cameron is taking his death - and how no one seems to be noticing. As the kids at school get more creative in their cruelty, Cameron plummets deeper into depression and self-destruction. Joey realizes if he doesn't step in, Cameron is going to do something he can't take back.

And there are limits, because there is only so much a spirit can do in the world of the living.

Forever Thirteen tells the tale of a boy who lived his life in fear of other people's opinions of him, dying before he understood that he was the one holding himself back. In his death, Joey discovers that it's never too late to make things better, and he learns just how strong the bonds of friendship really can be. 

Well, that's about it for now.  Going to go fix my oatmeal and then jump into the shower.  Headed to the old center today.  Hopefully they have some kind of group today.  I understand the man who came and showed clips of old music videos no longer comes.  I figured that once they booted him out of the room and gave him some tiny room in the back he'd stop coming.  Such a shame. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Roundup

 The greatest wealth is health.  


Good morning, and a happy Friday to everyone.  With the sun shining, this day already looks better than yesterday which, aside from the rain, turned out to be  one of those Murphy's Law days,  We all have them once in awhile, but made it all the more uncomfortable was the nasty cold I am nursing.  It all began when I was leaving the house to go to Weight Watchers.  I was all dressed to leave, and as I went to pull the front door shut, the door knob came off in my hand. I grabbed hubby's screwdriver, but  every time I thought I had it on tight it fell off again.  Hubby had already left for his doctor's appointment. I wasn't about to get the super because the time he got it together, my Weight Watcher's meeting would be over.  He's the nicest guy and always willing to help, but he is a perfectionist, and everything he does is done well, but awfully slow.

Eventually, I got the knob on tight and stepped outdoors. The bus was down the block.  "Oh, please let me make the light," I said to myself, but it wasn't meant to be. I don't move as fast as I once did.  There was another bus a few stops back so I stood and waited for it. There was a light rain falling, but it was windy, and my umbrella was absolutely useless.  By the time the bus finally arrived everything, including my hair, was wet.  Thank goodness it was warm outdoors.

So, I catch the bus and make my transfer with no problem, but I end up getting off at Bay Ridge Avenue rather than Bay Ridge Parkway.  Wouldn't have minded the walk but, as I said, I have a cold, and I was already wet.  Another bus wasn't in sight, so I ended up hiking it all the way there...which wasn't long, but when you are not feeling well and have back and knee pain, ten blocks can seem like an eternity. 

I stop for a minute to buy a game card because I know I won't be going out today or tomorrow, and this will give me something to do, then eventually arrive at Weight Watchers.  I took off 4 ounces.  Would have liked to have taken off more, but at least I didn't gain.  I sat down and as I reached for my shoes, a huge water bug scurried out from under the chair. Yikes!!!  But that is not the end of it.

After my meeting, I stopped into C Town to pick up a few items I need since I was already planning to stay in until Sunday to nurse my cold. But, when I get to the register, I discover that I left my wallet home.  Luckily, I  only needed a few items, and I always carry a few quarters around in case I don't have enough money on my metrocard.   So, with those quarters and the change I found at the bottom of my purse, I managed to swing it. Of course, the other customers were rolling their eyes as I counted out change, but patience is something we all have to learn.

So, that was my Thursday.  I'd say that was enough for one week.  Today I'm feeling pretty bad, and I don't plan on stepping outside.  In fact, I plan on staying in until Sunday.  This weekend will be one of rest.  See you all on Monday. Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday Ramble

"Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass...
It's about Learning To Dance In The Rain."

Vivian Greene

Good morning, everyone.  It's a rainy day here, and I feel a cold coming on, but there is nothing that will keep me from Weight Watcher's today.  I absolutely love the meetings.  I find them a cross between a classroom and a 12 Step meeting.  Our trainer is the teacher, and someone is always willing to share their story.  I love hearing how far others have come.  It gives me hope.

Went to the old center yesterday.  It's really nice to know that people miss you...and not because they had to cover my group or see one of my clients.  They missed me because they like me, and that is enough to make my day.  This is why I can't give up the old center totally.  Granted, I don't like how thinks are run, but I like my peers and enjoy spending time with them...but I also need the exercise.  So I made a schedule for myself--Monday and Wednesday at the old center, Tuesday and Friday at the new center for exercise, and Thursday at Weight Watchers.  Hopefully I will be able to continue once winter sets in.

The quote I chose today brings back some fond memories.  Hubby and I were new in our relationship when we decided to take in a movie on a rainy day.  The movie theater was located on a small cobblestone street, and there was no traffic.  We had just turned the corner when suddenly hubby handed me the umbrella, dashed out onto the street, and did a complete rendition, dance and all, of "Singing in the Rain".  He didn't care about what others thought.  His entire performance was for my benefit only, but everyone who had stopped to watch gave him a tremendous applause. He was drenched by the time it was over, and we decided it might not be the best idea to go sit in an air conditioned theater.  

We did zany things like that when we were young.  To see me out there playing as a child, one would never guess that I had two teenage boys at home. 'Follow the Leader' was our favorite game.  We'd  be walking about the Village and suddenly we would spontaneously jump into a game.  We'd follow each other around and around a parking meter, hop on one foot, or just walk in a circle.  People looked at us like we were crazy, but we had fun. We didn't care what others thought of us.

Somewhere along the line, we lost that playfulness.  Not that we love each other any less.  I guess we just grew up.  We went back to school, started our careers, settled down.  And life went on.

Have a good one everyone.  Stay dry.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hump Day Ramble

Autumn is the perfect time to take account of what we’ve done, what we didn’t do, and what we’d like to do next year. 

Author Unknown

Good morning, and a happy Hump Day to all.  It's been a rather unusual week so far, temperature wise.  With all this heat and  humidity, it seems that summer is struggling to return.  Some heavy rains due tomorrow.  Bring back the cool autumn breeze, and I'll be happy.

Went to the opthamologist yesterday. and it was just as I expected.  I do need glasses but will have to meet with the optomologist for that.  I have dry eye syndrome and well early  macular degeneration which probably stems from my age and high blood pressure and suspected glaucoma. No need for any medications at this time. Next appointment in December for a field test.  Remind me to bring sun glasses along.  Had no idea how those drops would affect me when I stepped outdoors.

Since my doctor is in the same building, I stopped by to get a copy of my blood work.  Basically, there were only a few irregularities.  My WBC and RBC were slightly elevated, but I was under a lot of stress that day. My thyroid tests were within normal range.  Hip, hip, hooray.  The only worrisome part is the pre-diabetes, but that can, and will be, controlled by diet.  No more sweets for me. 

Meanwhile, I made a curried chicken, potato, and carrots dish last night.  Turned out pretty good albeit a bit spicy.  I wanted something easy since the nurse was coming.

Speaking of the nurse,  to be honest, I didn't like her.  She seemed cold and unfriendly as she took my medical history.  I really feel that I would like to meet with a therapist to get some of the things I carry around off my chest.  I didn't feel like I could open up to her enough to ask for a referral.  Of course, it's only the first visit, so I'll see how it is next month.   Can't judge someone on one meeting alone. 

Well, that's about all I have to say today.  Not feeling very wordy.  Hope you all have a good one.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tuesday Ramble

Good morning.  Today I am off to see the eye doctor.  It's been a good many years. Yes, I have been very lax in taking care of myself.  My Kindle and glasses from Duane Reade have enabled me to read very comfortably.  Actually, I kept regular appointments when I attended the New York Eye and Ear Clinic, but when I left my old job, my new insurance refused to pay unless I had a referral, and, of course, my new clinic had their own eye doctors.

Speaking of insurance, my plan called me the other day to tell me they have assigned a nurse case manager to work with me.  Perhaps this is because of my recent hospital visit.  I was going to refuse but then thought twice about it.  Since insurance decided I needed it, I might as well see what it's all about, and plus, she'll assist me with all the social services available to me.  

This is another view of my block.  I think I live on one of the prettier Brooklyn streets.  Several of these trees line the sidewalks.  

This is a close up of some of the berry-like things which hang from the trees.

Don't you just hate double standards?  One for the public and another for those in positions of authority?  I've gotten used to police officers double parking or sitting in no parking zones for their morning break.  In fact, I really don't even mind.  After all, they put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe.  It's the others that really get me.

Take the other day, for example.  After Weight Watchers  I  was waiting for the bus and an ambulance pulled into the bus stop with its lights flashing.  The driver parked and left the lights flashing as she went into the laundramat with a bag of laundry.  Meanwhile, the bus arrived and couldn't pull into the stop. When the bus cannot pull up to the curb, those of us who are less mobile have a harder time climbing on.  Now, she may very well have been on her lunch hour, and if so has a right to use it to get her laundry down, but NOT to flash the ambulance lights and park in the bus stop.

And then yesterday really took the cake.  I had to go to Rite Aid, and since I was passing the subway station, I figured I would stop and put some money on my card. So, I go to the booth, and the clerk is nowhere to be seen.  Okay, so he probably made a bathroom run.  I'll wait.  So I wait, and wait, and wait, and then I see him.  He's not in the bathroom.  He's got the door to the booth open, and he's over there smoking a cigarette.  ON NY TRANSIT PROPERTY!!!!  Let one of us do it, and we'd get a summons and a $50 fine.  

Another one of my dishes.  I'm trying to substitute veggies for all the rice and potatoes I used to eat, and veggies can get boring.  So, I've been looking for little ways to make them more interesting.

This recipe calls for a head of cauliflower, red, yellow, and orange mini peppers, garlic, chopped onion, one can of diced tomatoes, I use Hunts w. basil, garlic, and oregano, black pepper, Romano cheese, and olive oil.

Place cauliflower, peppers, garlic, and onion in baking pan.  Drizzle olive oil over top and place in oven.  Heat until browned.  Add diced tomatoes, black pepper and cheese.  Mix and heat in oven for about 10-15 minutes.

Well, time to get ready for my appointment. See you all tomorrow.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday Morning This and That

 This is the front of my building.  Greenery abounds.

Happy Monday, everyone.  I don't know about the rest of you, but this weekend went awfully fast for me, despite being a long one.  Nevertheless, I am looking forward to getting back to my regularly scheduled programming.  That won't be until Wednesday, though.  Tomorrow I have an appointment with the eye doctor.  Once again this round of doctor's appointments begins. 

On Friday I went for a hair cut.  I used to always go have my hair done by the Dominicans because rumor has it that they are the best.  But now that I have found the Chinese, I wouldn't go anywhere else.  They treat you like a queen, and us women need that sometimes.  For $20 I got a shampoo, scalp, neck, and shoulder massage, and a cut. 

Remember on Friday when I said a new recipe came into my head?  Well, I made it, and it came out so darned good and quite healthy.  It calls for Whole Wheat pasta, broccoli, spinach,  sun dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and a wee bit of Romano cheese.  Steam vegetables, saute chopped garlic in olive oil, and then mix with the veggies and pasta.  Couldn't be any easier.

Spent most of Saturday reading Halloween stories.  It was raining most of the morning, so I just sat around.  During the afternoon I cleaned the windows and hung new curtains in the kitchen, put a new autumn table cloth on my dining room table, and swept and mopped floors.  It feels good being back to myself again.

Took this picture while I was waiting for the bus to go to church Sunday morning.  If you enlarge, you can see the moon hovering over my building. 

Speaking of church, I totally understand that the dress code has drastically changed from my youth when church meant dressing up in your Sunday best, and I accept the jeans, hoodies, and whatever else they wear.  But, I'm sorry.  Some people need to use a little more common sense when they dress for church.  About midway through the service, a woman walked in with her hubby or her boyfriend and moved to a seat towards the front.  She was wearing a very, very short blue mini dress, (and I mean mini), black fishnet stockings, and a pair of stiletto heels.  One wrong move and her entire butt would be showing.  Not very appropriate for the setting we were in.

And with that, I'm going to sign off now.  I want to head out early to the fruit stand so I have time to iron when I get back.  Have a good one.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Roundup

 Every one of us has in him a continent of undiscovered character.  Blessed is he who acts the Columbus to his own soul.  

Author Unknown

Happy Friday.  Another week is over, and a long weekend is upon us.  We celebrate Columbus Day, but was he really first?  What of the Clovis people, the prehistoric Native Americans who crossed the land bridge into North America some 20, 000 years ago? And what of Leif Erickson and the Vikings who settled in Greenland 1,000 years ago?

This was a good week for me.  Not one palpitation.  Perhaps they really were happening because I stopped taking the Amlopidine.  If so, lesson learned for sure.  Will always check with my doctor before taking things into my own hands. 

Went to WW yesterday.  Took off another three pounds.  That's 11 pounds in all. Not bad.  I see light at the end of the tunnel.  And, the good thing about WW is that  you never go hungry.  Nothing is off the menu, only in moderation with lots of fruits and veggies. I even ate an orange yesterday, and it tasted good.  It's been years since I ate one.

Afterwards, I did my grocery shopping.  Healthier menus are on the way.  Not that I haven't been eating healthy, but I will admit, I have allowed my sodium intake to increase, even to the point of eating Italian hot sausages. And less salt chips.  I see the word 'less' and think I can eat as much as I want.  Compound this with stopping my medication, and it's no wonder the palpitations began.  Of course, I have no definitive answer as of yet, but I do know that now that I have restarted taking the medication and cut a lot of unhealthy salty foods from my diet, I feel a lot better. 

Speaking of healthy recipes, last night out of the blue a new recipe came to mind, and I plan on trying it this weekend.  If it comes out, I'll be sure to share. I've also found a yummy looking cauliflower dish which I plan to tinker with and make my own. Whenever I find a recipe, I always use the basics and add my own touches.  First of all, I don't like everything.  If a menu calls for mushrooms, you know I am going to replace them with something else.  And because I don't eat salt, I spice everything up so you don't even know the difference.  

So, what's on the agenda for this weekend...besides cooking.  Well, this morning I plan to get my haircut.  Can't control it anymore. Now that I am older, my hair grows like a weed. Why didn't my hair grow like this when I was young and wanted it long? Maybe now that I no longer take the thyroid medication its growth will slow up some.

Saturday is going to be a rainy day, so that means indoors for me.  When I began having my palpitations, everything went on hold.  I've lots to keep me busy.  On Sunday church and Monday a visit to the fruit stand.  Such an exciting life I lead!  But, I am happy with my life.  I don't need any more than what I already have.

Everybody have a fantastic long weekend.