Friday, October 31, 2014

All Hallows Eve


When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.

Author Unknown

Good morning, on this very special day, the Eve of All Hallows. This is truly my favorite holiday of the year. My house has been decorated and menu is in place. Didn't buy any candy this year because no children come to the house, and I usually end up eating it all. If, by the off chance my bell should ring, I've plenty of change on hand.  Besides, it's all about the ancestors today.

Lost another 1.6 pounds yesterday. That's 14.2 pounds altogether. I know I have said this before, but I am going to say it again, Weight Watchers works.


Took this picture of my church while I was waiting for the bus yesterday. The trees are finally beginning to change.

Set up my ancestor altar yesterday.  What you see is basically what I have left of my family...in photos.  I've included both my great grandfather and grandfather, my great grandmother, Constance Mary, aunts Bessie and Annie from Norfolk, England, my dad and his twin as teenagers, my dad, his twin, and I, and a few of my great aunts and uncles.  All pictures are from my dad's side.  All pictures on my mom's side burned in a fire, and there is no one left to help me replace them.  I do have copies of birth, death, and marriage certificates on my mom's side so I will place them on the altar tomorrow.  

Here's a little Samhain prayer I found on the internet. It has made its rounds so I am not sure where it originated.

This is the night when the gateway between
our world and the spirit world is thinnest.
Tonight is a night to call out those who came before us.
Tonight we honor our ancestors.
Spirits of our ancestors, we call to you,
and we welcome you to join us for this night.
We know you watch over us always,
protecting us and guiding us,
and tonight we thank you.
We invite you to join us and share our meal.


If you wish, you may want to recite your genealogy here.  This can include both your blood family and your spiritual one.  

With the gift of remembrance. 
 remember all of you. 
You are dead but never forgotten 
nd you live on within me. 
and within those who are yet to come.





Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

As we rise to meet the challenges that
are a natural part of living, we awaken
to our many undiscovered gifts, to
our inner power and our purpose.

Susan L. Taylor
Good morning, everyone. Well, the warm weather is gone, and the cooler temps have arrived. Can't say that I'm sorry. As nice as the weather was, personally, I like it better when I have to put on a sweater or a jacket. I don't like the fact that snow is in the forecast, though. I certainly do not want to be homebound like I was last year.

Went to the old center yesterday for art class and was almost ready to walk out. Seems yesterday was the monthly Atlantic City trip so there were few left behind to play bingo. So, as soon as I walked in, one of the women called out "There's another one." Very politely, I told them I was not going to play, that I had actually come to attend the art class. I heard the woman who called bingo say, "She doesn't have to go at ten. She can go at 11 like I do." She hadn't realized that she was on the mike when she said it. Well, they didn't want to take no for an answer, and the other woman walked over to my table.

She:"Why don't you want to play?" Me: "Because I don't want to play. I came for the art class."

She: "You can play bingo and go to art at 11." Me: "But I want to go to art now. I don't really feel like playing bingo."

She: "Why not?" Me: "Because I am bored with it. I am tired of playing it every day."

She: "Why are you bored with it? You play here once a week. Where else do you play? Do you play at home?" Me: (Now I am really getting annoyed). "I choose not to play, and you are not going to change my mind." I guess she picked up on the irritation in my voice because she walked away.

But not even five minutes later was back at my table asking the same questions, pressuring me. Finally I had enough. How dare she? I was so mad I felt like walking out and not coming back. Me: "Look, I came here to relax in art class. I didn't come here to play bingo. I don't want to play and that's that. Final. Now please stop pestering me about it."

She: (huffily) "Good bye" and she walked away.

I thought to myself, ''do I have a sign at my back that says 'bully me'? Pressure me a little, and I'll do whatever you want." There was a time that the woman could have easily talked me into giving up art for bingo. As a child, I'd been bullied throughout grammar school, and the bullying I was subjected to followed me through high school, I was the one nobody wanted on their team. I grew up believing that the only way people were going to like me was if I became a follower and did their bidding whether I was happy about it or not. In fact, most of my life was spent that way. I was everybody's doormat.

In fact, studies have shown that the effects of childhood bullying was still evident some 40 years later. And that's about how long it took me to admit that I had had enough and begin taking the necessary steps to change my life. Therapy, group counseling, furthering my education, leaving my abusive husband and starting over with two boys to care for...all were things I had to do in order to erase the effects of childhood. It wasn't easy, and it didn't happen overnight, but today I may be pleasant and nice to everyone, but please, don't let anyone try to push me around. Those days are over, and I am so proud of myself for not giving in yesterday. Each small step I take is a success.

And now, I must go get into the shower. It's weigh-in day, and I won't miss that for anything. WW is one of the best things that happened to me.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hump Day Greetings

 "When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive to breath, to think, to enjoy, to love. Good Morning and have a good day." 

Unknown

My money tree is really beginning to look like a tree now.  It is so tall.  I should transplant and set on the floor, but I worry about Miss Minga eating the leaves.

Happy Hump Day everyone.  The weather has been absolutely gorgeous, but starting today it's about to turn.  In fact, they were talking about the possibility of some snow over the weekend.  Not much, perhaps only a few flurries, but that shows how cold it is about to get.  Glad I got my winter jackets out and prepared myself.
My coffee plant hasn't grown much.  Guess this one will take its time.
Went to exercise yesterday. Loved the flexibility and mobility exercise, but I did have a little trouble with the balance class. Instead of the fun pillow which we use on Fridays, we were each given a different type of pillow which we place on the floor and stand on to do our exercises. I was a wee bit wobbly to say the least. It will take a bit of practice to say the least.

I heard from the nurse at my ex-job yesterday. My co-worker has resigned, and her last day will be Friday. That's so quick it sounds like a forced resignation to me. This is the co-worker I sat next to who did nothing and got all the praise while I busted my butt and got nothing. She played a huge part in the stress I was under and was an integral piece in my decision to retire. Sometimes it is better to just leave and cut your losses when there is no way around it....especially when your health is involved.

This plant is also growing out of control.  I want to get a hanging basket and train it to encircle the window.

Well, I'm off to take a shower now.  Heading out to the old center to do some coloring today.  Sounds funny that a 67 year old woman wants to go color, but I love it.  Takes me back to a simpler time in my life, a time when I had no cares, no worries, no health issues.  Ah, childhood.  Such a magical time.

Have a good one.  See you all tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday Ramble



A cloudless plain blue sky is like a flowerless garden.

Terri Guillemets

Good morning all.  Today is looking to be a hot one.  Well, not maybe summer like hot, but 70 is hot for October.  Today I'm off to the new center for some exercise so to get a good spot, I'll have to leave the house a little earlier.  I try to get out as much as possible.  I get depressed when I stay home too long.  It doesn't take much.  I'm so used to getting out and about.  50 years working.  And now that I finally let that part of my life go, sometimes I just feel lost because I cannot do all the things I planned on in retirement.  But, I'm not going to whine. I'm just going to knuckle down all the harder and get myself back into shape.


Took this picture while I waited for the bus yesterday.  Forgive the wires.  This is what you get when you live in the city. The sky was absolutely cloudless and oh, so blue.  I couldn't help but think what a miracle it was and how blessed I am to be alive to witness the beauty of our universe.

Remember American Bandstand?  When I look back over the years, and all the television I have watched, I have to say this was my all-time favorite show.  I remember racing home from school so I wouldn't miss anything.  I knew all the dancers by name, who was a couple, and who was breaking up.  I guess part of it was that my teenage years were spent pretty much confined.  My mom and dad grounded me for just about everything.  I realize now that that was their way of keeping track of me so they could go about their own lives.  So, I guess you can say I lived vicariously through the American Bandstand Dancers. 

Which is why I was more than thrilled to find a FB site devoted to them. All the familiar names popped up and stirred my memories--Justine Carelli, Billy Cook, Arlene Sullivan, Pat Molittieri, Ivette and Carmen Jimenez, Mike Balara.  They were superstars to us teens back then.  But, the fact is, as someone said, they just happened to be at the right place at the right time.  Anyone of us could have danced on that show. But, I loved them, and they gave me such joy.  Finding this site also allowed me to see how they look today, how they are handling the aging process, and, the fact is, they have aged just like me.  A few extra pounds, greying hair, wrinkles. And sadly, I learned that Pat Molittieri passed away in the 70's of a heart attack.  I also understand that Carmen's health is failing. Time marches on, and we are all subject to change.

I had planned on making a pork stew on Sunday so I bought some parsnips on Saturday.  Then, hubby's oldest sister took ill on Sunday, and I didn't get a chance to make it.  (She's okay now).  My stew takes a lot of time, and I knew I would be busy all week so I knew I had to use up the parsnips somehow so I used some of the things I had on hand and  came up with the following: 


 It was all very simple.   I peeled and sliced the parsnips and placed in a baking pan with baby carrots.  Added some olive oil and mixed so that everything was covered.  Sprinkled with black pepper for a spicy taste since I cannot have salt, and baked in the oven for about 25 minutes.  They were so good that I plan on making it again.

Well, that's about it today.  I'll be off to exercise this morning.  First time back since the dreaded palpitations.  Don't want to go through that again.  Have a good one.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Morning This and That

Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy.

Author Unknown


Good morning, everyone. Wasn't it an absolutely gorgeous weekend? Hope you all had a chance to get out and enjoy. Saturday morning I got up early, took care of some housework, and headed off to the park with my Kindle. After all that rain, it felt good to sit there and breathe in the cool, fresh air. Afterwards I went home and finished up packing my summer away and took the last of the winter out. Cleaned closets and drawers. Sorted through stuff and packed some for Goodwill. Unlike hubby, I don't hang onto things. You can't when you live in a small apartment. But, I do have to say, he is getting better. 
When hubby was working he was addicted to shoes.  Every time I turned around he was buying shoes. And he kept all of them in a box.  In the old place, we had plenty of room, but here he has all these boxes packed up in a black garbage bag.  Surprised me, but as soon as I mentioned it and asked what he was planning to do with them, he got up and got the bag to go through them and said he will be giving away most of them.  He doesn't need so many dress shoes anymore.  This is a big accomplishment for someone I consider a hoarder.  Proud of you, hubby.

Sometimes I wonder if he hangs on to all these ties, dress clothes, and shoes because he thinks he will one day be able to return to work...or else it giving it away reminds him of the finality of his career, that he will not be able to work anymore.  I know he would like to.  Not too long ago he got his CDL license so he could drive a cab.  He lasted two days.  It was 12 hours a day for such a measly bit of money. By the time he payed for gas and use of the car, he was earning only about $3 an hour.  That's why these drivers work such long hours 7 days a week.  It's the only way they can survive.  They have no social or family life.  And for someone like hubby who is so very sick, it would probably kill him. 

In fact, hubby is not really doing so good.  The doctor said his liver is deteriorating, and he would like to start him on some trial medication.  The last treatment he took for a year, and it made him so sick, only to end up finding out that it had failed. He's talking about signing the title of the car over to me so  that, even though I cannot drive it, I can sell it for some extra cash.  He's also worried about how I will handle it when he is gone.   I don't like hearing things like this.  I know it's wrong, but I prefer living in denial. 


Blood oranges.  My latest addiction.  So juicy and loaded with antioxidants that regular oranges don't have.

On Sunday, I went to church in the morning.  It was a wee bit cooler. What always amazes me though is that the church is only 4 blocks away, but it is always so much colder and windier there because it is closer to the water. Especially when I wait for the bus to come home.  I used to be able to walk it, but those days are long gone.  I'm hoping when I get more of this weight off I'll be able to walk again like I used to.  Came home and heated myself up the last of the veggie soup I had made.  Not many veggies left in it, but it sure warmed me up.


Well, that's about it for this morning.  Will be heading out to the old center for some bingo.  Talk to you all tomorrow.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Thanks

Thanks for letting me know everything was okay.  Marsha had commented that she was able to see the pictures, but was unable to see any of the print.  I discovered that the background I had chosen was no longer free so it hadn't taken and the writing blended in with the background so much so that you couldn't see it.  Ironically, it was the same Halloween background I had used last year.  Everything changes with time.

Testing

Thanks Marsha for letting me know.  Last night I put a Halloween background on my blog and it seemed to mess everything up.  Let me know if you can see everything now, including text and side bar materials; ie. followers and about me.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Roundup



Sometimes our thoughts turn back toward a corner in a forest, or the end of a bank, or an orchard powdered with flowers, seen but a single time on some happy day, yet remaining in our hearts and leaving in soul and body an unappeased desire which is not to be forgotten, a feeling that we have just rubbed elbows with happiness.

Guy de Maupassant



Good morning, everyone, and a happy Friday to all.  The rain has finally stopped, and it looks to be a beautiful day.  I'm off to the supermarket this morning.  It's shopping time again.  Spent last night going through my WW cookbooks and chose some new recipes to try.

Speaking of WW, I took off another 1.6 pounds.  That is 13 pounds since I started six weeks ago.  That's about two pounds a week.  That's a pretty good rate.  When you take it off too quickly, you tend to put it back just as fast.

Ebola has arrived in New York.  It was never a question of 'it'; it was always a question of 'when'.  

Not much on my agenda this weekend.  I plan on digging out my winter coats and taking them to the cleaners one at a time.  Not that I have so many...and with my weight loss, I may even have less.  In fact, my one heavy fall jacket was hanging off me.  Amazing what a difference 13 pounds makes.  I also have a few summer things that still have to be packed away.  I doubt very much I will be needing them anymore.

Don't you just love it when the temperature is cool enough that you need a sweater?  Or, the way it feels when the first heat of the season begins coming up?  Oh, it felt so good yesterday.  It was cold, windy, and rainy when I went to WW.  I was so cold when I was waiting for the bus to come home. And as I stood in the bus shelter waiting, the cold wind was blowing the misty rain into my face.  There was no getting away from it.  It always seems when it is too hot or too cold, the buses take their time.  My house was so warm and cozy when I got home.  Glad to be home, I quickly undressed and put on my comfort clothes for an afternoon of relaxation.

In choosing today's quote, I was reminded of a time many, many years ago when I was still a child.  I spent most of my weekends at my grandparents house.  The area hadn't been built up yet, and when I walked down the hill in their backyard I entered a small woods.  To a young girl, it was an amazing forest.  Well, one day I was wondering about and stumbled upon the most beautiful scene.  It was a small oasis in the midst of the trees. There was a lovely pond with the clearest blue water I ever saw.  It was surrounded by by wildflowers of every color and large white rocks. It was so quiet and peaceful, and I ended up spending most of my day.  

The next day I searched for my private spot, but never found it again. Almost 60 years have passed, but I've never forgotten my special place. It still remains in my heart.

Well, not much else to say except to wish you all a fantastic weekend.  Be sure to take some time for you.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

On a Rainy Thursday Morning

It is a glorious privilege to live, to know, to act, to listen, to behold,
to love. To look up at the blue summer sky; to see the sun sink slowly
beyond the line of the horizon; to watch the worlds come twinkling into
view, first one by one, and the myriads that no man can count, and lo!
the universe is white with them; and you and I are here.

Marco Morrow


Good morning, everyone.  It's another rainy day, but I'll be off to WW anyway.  Cannot miss my weekly weigh in.  And besides, I love the meetings.  Through the month of October we are working on change. And change is something I need to accept if I hope to continue on my new, healthy lifestyle.  

Yesterday I spent a good deal of time in tears.  As you all know. I follow several live animal feeds and only during the past several months have I begun following kitty feeds, especially Cute Foster Kittens.  Well , one of the little babies had a heart murmur that was only getting worse.  So, rather than see the little one suffer, they euthanized him yesterday.  Broke my heart.  Amazing how one can fall in love with an animal that you have only seen online.  RIP little Digit. 

Not much else to talk about today.   Yesterday was a lazy day.  I read and when my eyes got heavy, I slept.  I have to remember to put my drops in my eyes every day.  Sometimes I am not even tired, but I have to shut my eyes to rest them.  Dry eye syndrome.  Putting drops in in the morning is a habit I have to develop.

Well, that's about it today.  Keep your fingers crossed that I lost more weight.  Talk to you all tomorrow.  I would like to end this with a prayer for sweet Digit.

Eternal Spirit, we bring you our grief in the loss of  Digit and ask for courage to bear it. We bring you our thanks for Digit  who lived among us and gave us freely of his/her love. We commit our friend and companion Digit into your loving hands. Give us eyes to see how your love embraces all creatures and every living thing speaks to us of your love. Amen.





Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hump Day Ramble

 The entrance to the center yesterday.

Good morning, everyone.  We're in for a few rainy days here, and I'm not sure if I want to go out today.  If I do, it will be to the old center for art.  All we do is color, but it's fun.  Coloring is something I've always liked to do.  

Another picture of the center.

Went to the new center yesterday all set to get back into exercise, and guess what?  They were having their annual Halloween party instead.  It was nice, but I was unprepared for it. I hadn't been there is so long.  Would have brought my witch hat had I known.  Lunch was also disappointing.  At the entrance there is a bulletin board which lists the menu and activities for the day.  On the menu was turkey pot pie, green bean souffle, and moussaka.  Sounded delicious and my mouth was watering for it, but when they began serving, I discovered they had changed the menu and were serving some chicken and shrimp dish instead.  I don't eat seafood.  And there was wild rice and plain green beans. 

Everyone told me to go get my money back, but it was only $1.50, and the lady at the desk already has enough to do. And I was well aware that one of the little ladies who sat at our table,  didn't have anything to eat but a plain cheese sandwich. Of course, the center would never let anyone go hungry and would feed them whether they could pay or not, but when this women spoke, it was obvious she was too proud to ask.  In fact, she even gave me a hard time when I offered her my ticket, but eventually I got her to see it wasn't a handout. I had to make her believe she was doing ME a favor. I then went home and fixed myself a salad. Hey, all that food originally on the menu was probably calorie laden and full of sodium. 

And, although I had initially been so disappointed,  when I turned and saw that little lady chatting happily with the others as she dug into her food, I knew it had not been a wasted day. Giving really is better than receiving.

The Golden Ladder of Giving

1. To give reluctantly, the gift of the hand, but not of the heart.
2. To give cheerfully, but not in proportion to need.
3. To give cheerfully and proportionately, but not until solicited.
4. To give cheerfully, proportionately, and unsolicited, but to put the gift
into the poor person's hand, thus creating shame.
5. To give in such a way that the distressed may know their benefactor,
without being known to him or her.
6. To know the objects of our bounty, but remain unknown to them.
7. To give so that the benefactor may not know those whom he has relieved,
and they shall not know him.
8. To prevent poverty by teaching a trade, setting a person up in business,
or in some other way preventing the need of charity.

Maimonides

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Random Thoughts



Good morning, everyone.  Some rain heading in later today.  Yesterday  was cold, but it felt wonderful, invigorating.  The trees are finally starting to change.  Took picture yesterday, but from a distance it is hard to see.  

Yesterday I went to the old center.  It felt good to get out for a change, and I was looking forward to a quiet day.  Wasn't in the cards, though.  As soon as I saw her come in, I said to myself, "Please don't sit her at our table."  Unfortunately, I only said it to myself so no one heard my plea.  Next thing I knew she was tapping me on the shoulder and sat next to me.  Fortunately, she only comes once in awhile.  She has a job as a telephone solicitor.  She says that she 'feels old when she comes to the center."  So why come at all?

Margaret is the original 'Motor Mouth'.  She doesn't stop talking.  Yesterday it was all about her husband.  He comes to the center every day because he likes to attend the ESL classes and dance in the afternoon.  So, because he dances with other women, she started crying to everyone who would listen that he cheats.  And she went on and on and on for almost two hours about how he has been a ladies' man all their married life.  How can you tell perfect strangers all your personal business? Poor man doesn't even know...yet.  But you just know, though, that someone will tell him.  Word does get around.


Picture of the beautiful autumn sky I took yesterday. 


And finally, a few of my favorite quotes from some of my favorite people.
“In life there are journeys in which you must go,
sometimes the road is just unknown,
but trust you must your path is right,
even though there appears no end in sight.
The day you take that leap of faith,
is the day you step toward your blessed fate.”
 Jasmeine Moonsong
We have stories to tell, stories that provide wisdom about the journey of life. What more have we to give one another than our 'truth' about our human adventure as honestly and as openly as we know how?
 Rabbi Saul Rubin
Remember that imagination is the faculty of the soul and that when it suggests new pathways to us we are being invited to explore the territory of the soul in ways that will certainly change and re enchant us.
Caitlin Matthews 

Each man's life represents a road toward himself. 

 Herman Hesse

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.  

Virgil


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 cataracts...as 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.



Thursday, October 9, 2014

Happy Thursday



Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes. Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for those who have the vision to recognize it as such.

Henry Miller


Good morning, everyone.  We've been having some beautiful weather, and looks like today is another one of those days.  Actually, the past two days have not been cold enough for a sweater or jacket, but it's obvious fall is in the air.  I noticed that, despite the warmer temperatures, the leaves have begun to fall.  Not much yet, but enough to let you know the seasons are in the midst of change.  

Went to the old center yesterday and did a little coloring.  There are only three of us in the group, but that's okay.  The others just don't know what they are missing.  They prefer to play bingo and cards...day after day, week after week.  Coloring not only brings back that child in me, but also relieves a lot of the stress I have been under.   Wednesday is one day that I really enjoy going to the old center.

I was reading the above quote, and I saw so much of me in it...in that part that spoke of shutting our eyes and running away from things, and how it catches up and defeats us in the end.  I guess you might say I spent much of my adult life running away from my health, or better said, from illness.  I always thought if no one actually SAID it, it wasn't there.  Hence, I never went to the doctor because I didn't want to HEAR any bad news.  I prided myself on my good health, and, to be honest, I was in good health up until recently. I just didn't think it would happen to me.  It wasn't until I was close to retirement that all kinds of issues popped up--lung nodule, thyroid nodule, Graves Disease, Hypertension, chronic pain.  Just when I thought I was about to enjoy life.

But, hey, I still can, but only if I begin taking care of myself.  And I mean following up with all doctor's appointments as well as diet and exercise.  And above all, stop being my own doctor. 

Have a good one.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hump Day Ramble



Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom
and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way
to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments
are key moments, and life itself is grace.

Frederick Buechner


Good morning, everyone. Met with my new endocrinologist yesterday.  The good news is that, according to the blood work, my thyroid is stable, and she has stopped my medication.  If the palpitations should begin again, she will put me on a beta blocker.  She also said that I am pre-diabetic, but with proper diet and lifestyle, I won't need any medication for it. 

More good news is that I haven't had any palpitations in four days, and my blood pressure has been consistently normal. The bad news is that I still don't have any answers.  Perhaps the worst is over, but I sure would like to know.  I feel like I am walking on egg shells every day, just waiting for something to happen.  I just want to get on with my life.

So, today I am off to the center for art class.  I'm still not ready to begin exercising. I am doing everything I can to get myself back to normal.  I eat lots of fruits and veggies, little red meat, and drink lots of water.  I stopped drinking coffee a week ago, and is hasn't bothered me at all.  I was drinking a small glass of 2 percent chocolate milk daily for calcium, but noticed after drinking it, I had bad palpitations which lasted a few days.  So I stopped it, and haven't had a palpitation since.  Hoping it's not the chocolate, but it does seem suspicious.  And chocolate can cause palpitations in some people  Will have to talk about this when I see my doctor.  Thanks again for all your support.

Well, that's it.  Going to jump in the shower and have a little breakfast.  Have a good one.