Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Not the News I'd hoped for.

Good morning.  As you probably know by now, my palpitations have returned so I guess what we thought was causing them really wasn't. They didn't seem as bad as before, but by the time I got to the doctor;s office, the palpitations  were out of control. Seems the hospital didn't get it quite right.  There IS a problem.  It is called  Sinus tachycardia. The heart beats faster than it should.  The doctor feels this is caused by the overproduction of thyroid hormone.  I've taken the methimazole so long he feels it is no longer doing me any good and my Graves Disease has swung out of control.  We will know when the blood work comes back.

Until then I am suffering.  As he said, we cannot add or change meds until we know exactly what is going on.  Should be a couple of days.  I sure do hope we find answers soon. 

That's it for today.  My thoughts are just not with it today.  Please keep me in your prayers.

Monday, September 29, 2014

More Palpitations

Back to the doctor.  More palpitations.  Just when I was feeling normal again. This is getting so depressing. 

Monday This and That

 With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now. 

 Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy Monday, everyone.  I don't know about the rest of you, but this weekend went awfully fast for me. Such beautiful weather.  Nevertheless, I was looking forward to getting back to my regularly scheduled programming, starting today with my arthritis exercises.  The doctor told me to exercise as much as possible for the pain, but now my palpitations appear to be returning (I've already had two) and I don't know it I am going to be able to do it.  I'll have to call the doctor because it is obvious now it is not what we thought it was.

Well, I can say it now.  I was pretty darned scared last week.  I thought that was it for me.  When my heart began raising, the pressure rose to my head, and it felt like it would explode.  All I could think of was 'stroke'.  Fortunately, I was blessed, and it turned out to be something easily fixed.  But it really gave me some thought this weekend about how precious our lives are and how important it is to cherish every moment for we never know when it will be our last. 

And with that I'd like to leave you with the following.  We tend to get caught up with what we 'should' have done, or what we 'will' do, and forget that all we have is what we can do now.  We are only promised today. 

  Two Days We Should Not Worry

There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.
One of these days is Yesterday with all its mistakes and cares,
its faults and blunders, its aches and pains.
Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control.
All the money in the world cannot bring back Yesterday.
We cannot undo a single act we performed;
we cannot erase a single word we said.
Yesterday is gone forever.

The other day we should not worry about is Tomorrow
with all its possible adversities, its burdens,
its large promise and its poor performance;
Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control.
Tomorrow's sun will rise,
either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds, but it will rise.
Until it does, we have no stake in Tomorrow,
for it is yet to be born.

This leaves only one day, Today.
Any person can fight the battle of just one day.
It is when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternities Yesterday and Tomorrow that we break down.
It is not the experience of Today that drives a person mad,
it is the remorse or bitterness of something which happened Yesterday and the dread of what Tomorrow may bring.

Let us, therefore, Live but one day at a time.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Roundup

 Good health is a duty to yourself, to your contemporaries, to your inheritors, to the progress of the world. 

Gwendolyn Brooks

Happy Friday, everyone.  Another week is done, and the weekend is upon us.  It's been a crazy, worrisome week for me, to be sure, but I am so grateful that I am feeling better. I had no episodes yesterday, and it appears that my heart is fine, and next week I shall be back in my exercise classes.  I couldn't believe my blood pressure...130/85, a high normal, and the lowest it has been in a couple of years. Tears of joy almost flowed when the doctor told me. It means I must be doing something right.

The doctor went over all of my tests, and everything, including the physical he gave me, was normal. We went over all of my medications as well as the herbs and vitamins I have been taking, and it appears that my heart palpitations were caused by a combination of my stopping the Amlomidine and the addition of SAMe which I began taking because it helps pain.  What I didn't read, though, was that one of its rare side effects is racing heart and palpitations. I had already stopped taking it on Monday, and my last episode of palpitations was yesterday, so I guess it is pretty much out of my system.  I still have to continue with the Amlopidine, but this time if my feet and legs swell, I will be sure to call the doctor rather than doing it myself.

So, after the doctor I went to my Weight Watcher's meeting.  Lost .06 pounds.  Would have liked to have lost more, but at least I didn't gain. And, keep in mind, no exercise this week.  I'll be going to balance class this morning.  I love this class.  We sit on a disc balance cushion and work out.  It is so much fun.  

Yesterday's rain did not amount to the original forecast, and by afternoon it was clear, but it sure did catch me in the morning.  It came down in torrents after I left the doctor's office and headed for WW.  Of course, it couldn't have waited until I was on my way home.  Needless to say, I was pretty soggy when I entered WW.

Not much planned this weekend.  On Saturday I guess I will head to the bank to get the bill money for next week and then hunt for some kitchen curtains.  I have a pair, but to me, they are too white.  It's okay in the country when you don't have neighbors to peer in, but here in the city it is a different story.  Oh, I do pull the curtains aside during the day because I love seeing the plants in my window, but at night, when the lights are one, I don't care for having something too see through.

Otherwise, it will be a weekend to play catch up on all the things I didn't get to this past week.  I'm in the midst of packing summer clothes and getting out the fall, and  I still have a ways to go on my autumn decorating. Oh, it feels to good to be well again.

Hoping you all have a fantastic weekend.  I know I am.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday Ramble

 Spirit flows. If your heart is feeling good, it spreads the word and before you know it your whole body feels great. 

Terri Guillemets

Good morning, everyone, and a happy Thursday it is.  I am off to see my doctor this morning and hoping to get some answers as well as have my medication changed.  Darn this BP medication. It seems I have a bad reaction to all of them.  The Lisinipril made me cough, the Amlopidine made my legs and ankles swell (although they have me back on it until I see the doctor), and now I have been reading that Losartan can cause muscle cramps (which I have) and heart palpitations. Only have myself to blame.  I always had perfect blood pressure.  Of course, that's before I began eating myself out of house and home. It was only then that my pressure went up. 

Such a rainy day out there, but nothing is going to stop me from getting out of this house today.  I've been in since Monday. I was afraid of being caught out there.  These episodes can be pretty tough to handle. Tuesday was the worst day with one episode after another.  Yesterday I changed a bit in my diet--no coffee (which surprisingly didn't bother me), during the day I ate cheese, yogurt, tuna, grapes, and for dinner I had a lean pork chop and a plate loaded with veggies.  And I must say, yesterday I did feel somewhat better.  Only had episodes whenever I stood up.

Enough of that, though.  We all have issues, and I am not going to use this blog to whine about mine.  Don't ya just love this cooler weather?  I've been sleeping like a baby.  This is my time of the year, and already I've started reading some of the Halloween short stories I purchased for my Kindle.   Staying in has given me time to catch up on my reading and enjoy some quality time with Miss Minga.  I've also spent time surfing through the cookbooks I purchased at WW and found some wonderful healthy recipes that even hubby would like. It would be so nice if he liked veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower.  They are so healthy for you, and I have some fabulous recipes.  But, alas, after 22 years with this man, I know not to waste my time and try.  

Like the other day, that cabbage I made. It was so darned good.  It didn't even taste like cabbage, but would he even taste it?  No way.  That man is so stubborn and set in his ways.  But I love him and always will.

Well, that's about it this morning.  I've got be there by 8:45 am, and I've gotten Miss Minga spoiled.  She always expects me to spend some time sitting with her before I go.  Talk to you all tomorrow.  Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tuesday Ramble

Delicious autumn!
My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns.

George Eliot

Good morning on this first full day of fall.  My day wasn't so good, but I had a very nice evening as I welcomed the equinox.  Before I begin, thanks to all those who sent prayers and positive thoughts. Sunday night I had an episode of heart palpitations which went away.  I woke on Monday feeling fine.  Took my shower, fed Miss Minga, had a bowl of oatmeal, and started to put on what little make I still wear.  Then it happened.  My heart started beating so fast I thought it would jump out of my chest.  After a few moments it went away.  Then it happened again about 15 minutes later.  The third time it happened I went to hubby and told him I had to go to the hospital.

EKG was normal as was blood work and urine, so it wasn't my thyroid, and I was obviously not diabetic.  I am pre-diabetic and I was fearful that it may have crossed over.  My blood pressure, however, was 175/137, not good, but during the day it went down to near normal, and I still had an episode.  The end result is I am scheduled to meet with my doctor Thursday am, and he will give me a referral to the  cardiologist who I already met.  He said that without knowing what is causing it, we cannot treat it, so he is going to have me use a Holter Monitor for awhile to track my episodes. 

Dinner was so good if I do say so myself...and so very simple to make.

1 head green cabbage chopped
1 onion sliced
1 can low sodium chicken broth
2 tbs. butter 
Black pepper (You can add salt if you wish.  I don't use salt so I don't put it on my recipes)

In large skillet, bring the chicken broth and butter to a boil.  Add cabbage and onions and reduce heat.  Cover, reduce heat,  and simmer until cabbage is tender.   

 The chicken was also simple to make.  After rinsing, I sprinkled it with a little salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil, and paprika.  Put chicken in cooking bag and placed in the oven.  About 15 minutes before it is done, I always take it from the bag and allow it to get brown.  

There is a beautiful spirit breathing now
Its mellowed richness on the clustered trees,
And, from a beaker full of richest dyes,
Pouring new glory on the autumn woods,
And dipping in warm light the pillared clouds.
Morn on the mountain, like a summer bird,
Lifts up her purple wing, and in the vales
The gentle wind, a sweet and passionate wooer,
Kisses the blushing leaf, and stirs up life
Within the solemn woods of ash deep-crimsoned,
And silver beech, and maple yellow-leaved,
Where Autumn, like a faint old man, sits down
By the wayside a-weary.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Monday, September 22, 2014

Back Home

Normal EKG, blood work, and urine.  BP was sky high though.  175/137. Kept me all day to get it down.  Don't have any idea what triggered these episodes. I really thought it was the end, and I was scared.  Not ready to go yet.  Going off to rest now so I can welcome Autumn in in style  Talk to you all tomorrow. 
At the hospital. Heart racing. Please send prayers and positive thoughts.

Monday Morning This and That

 Then summer fades and passes and October comes.
We'll smell smoke then, and feel an unexpected sharpness,
a thrill of nervousness, swift elation, a sense of sadness and departure.

  Thomas Wolfe

Good morning, everyone, on this glorious day of the Autumnal Equinox.  Equinox means 'equal night'. Day and night are about the same length all over the world. At 10:29 pm EST summer will officially be over.  This year, more than any other year, it seems that it was never even here. And as much as I don't like the heat, I always feel a sense of sadness for all those things I had planned on which never came to fruition.  But this summer I accomplished quite a bit...the most important being the decision to take control of my body, to heal myself.  

This is a time to give thanks for the things we have, and I have so much to be grateful for.  I may not have much money, but I have the things that are important in life--love, my wonderful family, Miss Minga, new friendships, having enough to meet my basic needs, watching the sun rise and set, the beauty of the moon, the heavens, and last, but not least, all of you my dear Blogger friends.  All of you who have put up with my rants, my whining, as well as sharing in my joy.  For all of you I am forever grateful.

The Autumnal Equinox is also known as Mabon.   For our ancestors this was traditionally the time of year they rested after after their labors as the sun continues to fade in the sky.  My house is in the process being decorated in the colors of Mabon--red, orange, gold, brown, and russet. Still have curtains to hang and decorations in need of the perfect spot.  Dinner tonight will be roasted chicken, cabbage, and broccoli and cauliflower.  I'll make some wild rice for hubby.  

I never do much in the way of ritual on this day. I guess I am just not a ritual person. I usually light a few candles and talk with my ancestors.  I share with them both my troubles and my achievements, my pain and my joy. So tonight I'll light some gold harvest candles that I've been hanging onto for just this day and begin by saying a small prayer of thanks for the blessings in my life.  Later, in the quiet of the late evening, when dinner and dishes are done, and it is time to cozy up in my chair, take out my journal and make a list of my 'inner harvests', my achievements, and this year I have several.  I am grateful for my life and for the second chance I have been given.  My life is full.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Melody Beattie

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Roundup

 While we are living in the present, we must celebrate life every day,
knowing that we are becoming history with every work,
every action, every deed.

Mattie Stepanek

Happy Friday everyone.  And what a week it was.  My first week of working towards better health, and I have to say, I did everything right.  Yesterday was my first weekly weigh-in at WW, and guess how much I lost?  6.2 pounds. It felt especially good when we raised our hands to share positive news, and everyone clapped for me.  The good thing about it is I've not had to go hungry like some of the  diets I have put myself on.

Take one diet I started several years back.  A piece of fruit for breakfast, two slices of turkey on whole wheat (no mayo) for lunch, and veggies and small piece of meat or chicken for dinner.  I tried to do without snacks, but when I did snack, it was a piece of fruit.  Actually, the diet doesn't look bad, and I took off quite a bit of weight, but it got boring, especially the lunch.  So, eventually I ended up going on a binge, and guess which meal I chose to 'throw to the wind'.  Lunch, of course.  And once started, I didn't stop.  It was back to my old way of eating.  Boredom did me in.

Which is why I like WW so much.  One never gets bored.  You can eat just about everything and only need to be careful not to eat too much.  Now, winter may prove to be a wee bit of a problem for me because I hate winter fruits, but I'll work my way through it.  Even if I have make bake my fruits.

And exercise.  Who knew three months ago that I would be so into exercise and getting myself back into shape.  This week they had a party on Tuesday so no exercise, but at least I did get a 'good' hour in on Monday, and this morning I am off for flexibilty and mobility exercise. 

It really helps to see positive results from the changes I am making, but I do have to prepare myself for those 'plateau' weeks that happen to everyone working towards losing weight.  I can't get flustered and begin feeling like a failure.  That's a relapse cue for me, and I must be careful.

Well, that's about it for my week.  I'd say it was a good one.  Going to spend time this weekend looking into some healthy new recipes. The weather is supposed to be good, so maybe I'll take my books to the park.  See you all on Monday.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday Ramble.

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain.
  Vivian Greene

Good morning, everyone.  It's going to be another gorgeous day.  I'm off to Weight Watchers this morning.  Hoping to see some positive results.  They have me on 27 points per day with 49 bonus weekly points.  I've only used a few of the bonus points.   I like the fact that you never have to go hungry with WW.  That was always my problem with past diets.  A month or so into the diet, and I'd go on a binge...and after that I was off to the races.

Went back to the old Center yesterday.  Wanted to see my friends, and I enjoy the art class...even though it is only coloring a picture.  It is soothing and relaxes me.  I felt good when all my friends came round to welcome me back.  They were all concerned that I wouldn't be back because I had been treated so rudely on Thursday. I chose not to tell them I had found a new and better center, so  I explained that, at this point in my life, my weight has become detrimental to my health, and right now I have to concentrate on losing a few pounds.  Actually, quite a few pounds.  They are aware that I will only be attending on Wednesday.  I genuinely like them and feel badly that it has to be this way, but health and peace of mind come first.

I am just loving this weather.  Not cold, just cool enough for a sweater or light jacket.  I come alive in the alive in the chilly Autumn air. More energy and eager to do things. Hard to believe that next week summer will officially be over.  It's been a quick summer, for sure, and unlike last year, a rather comfortable one.  I am a wee bit concerned, though.  Some have forecasted a snowier winter than last year and have even ventured to say our first snow will appear next month.  Let's hope they are wrong.  

Well, that's about it for this morning.  As you can see, I've nothing exciting to share today, and there are a few things I hope to accomplish before I leave today.  Talk to you all tomorrow.

Have a good one.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hump Day is Here

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature
is that all of us tend to put off living.
We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over
the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are
blooming outside our windows today.

Dale Carnegie

 More fall decorating.  One of my end tables.  Those red candies are some of the hottest I ever ate.  I am totally addicted to them.

Good morning, everyone.  And a happy day to all.   Yesterday I went for Balance Class at my new center, but because they were having a party, the class was canceled.  I stayed and had a great time.  A comedian came in and told jokes and afterwards someone put on some old music, and we all sang along.  Wow!!!  How could I have missed this for so long? Last night I sat down and jotted down the pros and cons of each center, and I have to say, the new center won hands down.

Take yesterday, for example.  It was raining in the morning.  In fact, it was 'pouring' at the time I would have had to leave for the old center.  Usually, I would have ended up staying home because if I waited for the rain to stop. I would lose my seat and not be able to sit with my friends for lunch.  One time they gave my seat away by mistake, and I was seated at a table where no one spoke English.  Talk about an uncomfortable lunch!  At the new place, there are NO assigned seats.  You can sit alone if you choose or you can sit with friends.  Hence, I was still able to go in between showers.  I like having the option of choosing where I sit, and not depending on someone who is often in a bad mood to choose your seat for you.

The food at the new center is very good, and they are not stingy with it like the old center. Remember the lady who was hungry who they refused to give her a dish to go home?  In fact, after everyone is served, they will give you a huge portion to take home for only $1.  And no one is turned away hungry.  Someone sits at the exit with brown bag lunches for those who would otherwise go hungry.  They even offered me one as I left, but I refused.  There are plenty of others who need it.

So, tomorrow is Weight Watchers, and I am so looking forward to it.  I've been so good with points, I am sure I must have lost something.  I just don't want to hype myself up too much just in case.  I am feeling better, for sure.  I no longer have that bloated, over stuffed feeling to contend with.  

Well, that's about it for today.  Time to get a move on.  Going to the old center today for art class and to see the friends I made there so I have to get there by a certain time. Talk to you all tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tuesday Ramble

It's important to give yourself a gold star. Recognizing your achievements--big and small--is an important part of honoring who you are. Gold stars have the powerful effect of undermining and dethroning all the critical stuff you've heard about yourself.

Leslie Levine

This is part of my Autumn owl set.  Can't find where I packed the rest.  They will show up.

It's a rainy morning out there, and I am still trying to figure out what to do today. Had such a nice time at the new center yesterday.  I exercised, met some new friends, and had a wonderful lunch.  I don't remember being made to feel so welcome in the old place. Hubby told me I should stick with this new center since I was so happy with it, and forget about the other one, but I think one day a week to see my friends.  I was only going to attend on Wednesdays because I do enjoy the new art class, but I may go today as well.  They'd planned a trip in the new center, and balance class is going to be canceled.  Speaking of exercise....

It's been such a long time I did any 'real' exercise, and I have NEVER participated  in an exercise class. Usually my exercises included a few jumping jacks and some sit-ups, and those were done many, many years ago.  In recent years, my only exercise was walking, and I haven't done much of that anymore. So, I wasn't very limber to say the least.  But I think I did pretty well considering.  I did feel a charlie horse coming on when we began exercising our calves and my toes started to spasm when we did our foot exercises, but I worked my way through it. 

And by the time the music came on, and it was time to begin some mild aerobics, she'd say 'left leg to the side', and I'd put my right leg out.  They were moving so fast I just couldn't keep up, and it didn't help that my back was killing me.  But, the important thing is not HOW I did it, but the fact that I actually completed the one hour of exercise.  I am so proud of myself.

In all honesty, it has been a long time since I actually felt that sense of accomplishment. It makes you feel good when you do things for yourself.  It makes you feel better and want to achieve more things.  And with that, I will leave you with the following little tale from "Seeing with Our Souls"....

A seeker searched for years to know the secret of achievement and success in human life. One night in a dream a sage appeared bearing
the answer to the secret.

The sage said simply: "Stretch out your hand and reach what you can."

"No, it can't be that simple," the seeker said.

And the sage said softly, "You are right, it is something harder. It is
this: Stretch out your hand and reach what you cannot."

Now that's vision.

Joan Chittister

Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday This and That

Don’t worry about being worried. You’re heading out on an adventure and you can always change your mind along the way and try something else.

Tracy Kidder

Good morning.  Happy Monday to all.  Time marches on, and another week begins. I'll be starting at the new center today.  I was there on Friday for the enrollment process, and I cannot wait to begin.  They offer so much more.  Basically, they offer all that I need right now.  I'm looking forward to starting he arthritis exercises, but also mobility and flexibility, and balance.  The best part of it is the exercise program is overseen by a licensed physical therapist.  There was some exercise at the other program, but basically clients handled it.  Frankly, I feel much safer beginning an exercise regimen run by a professional than by a client who exercised to a video tape at home.

It's funny how we get locked into things and allow ourselves to get locked into something in the belief  that there is nothing better.  As a newcomer to retirement, I believed when others told me that they'd been to other centers and the one I was attending was the best. I wanted to believe them because I trusted them.  They'd been going to centers a lot longer than I, so when they told me this was the best, I stuck with it. And probably it is to them because they find joy in playing bingo and cards day after day.  I want something more.  
Started with my fall decorating this weekend.  Couldn't put it off any longer.  I've been yearning to do it, but with temps in the 80's it didn't seem right.  Now the temps are dropping and I am more than ready.
Every year I buy something new for my collection and this was it.
And I brought one of the oldies brought out of retirement.  Still have much more to do, but that's a start.  

Took a walk to the fruit stand on Saturday.  It was so nice and cool.  Fall was definitely in the air.  Bought lots of healthy stuff.  Noticeably missing was the low salt potato chips and cookies.  Plums and blackberries took their place.
Made a pan of oven roasted veggies.... 
...and had them with a small lean steak and salad.  

I've been sticking to it well, and surprisingly, on WW Points Plus you are allowed to eat quite a bit.  I wasn't hungry at all.  Please keep your fingers crossed for me.  I have to do this.

Well, it's time for me to get a move on.  Buses are totally unprepared for the school crowd and running late, so I'd best leave early to be there in time for exercise class.  Have a good one.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Roundup

 Live in rooms full of light
Avoid heavy food
Be moderate in the drinking of wine
Take massage, baths, exercise, and gymnastics
Fight insomnia with gentle rocking or the sound of running water
Change surroundings and take long journeys
Strictly avoid frightening ideas
Indulge in cheerful conversation and amusements
Listen to music.

A. Cornelius Celsus

Good morning, everyone.  Another weekend has ended, and what a week it was.  I end this week feeling good about myself...which is always a good way to start the weekend.  I am making some positive changes in my life.

To begin with, I have become a bit disillusioned with the senior center I have been attending.  Their current activity list is next to nothing, and I am tired of playing bingo for an hour every morning and then sitting around chatting for the next hour.  The woman's group has become so boring that I no longer want to attend.  The food, once delicious, is now bland and is either served overcooked or undercooked.  It has been busy this month, but that is because lunch has been a quarter.  Next week, when prices go up, many faces will be noticeably missing.

One of the interns did start an art group on Wednesday.  Actually, the center didn't invest anything in it.  The intern purchased all of the colored pencils and stencils to color in.  I really enjoyed this group.

And the regulars there have gotten so used to the place that they don't realizes that there is something better out there.  Whenever I mention that I wish they'd have more activities, they respond. "Oh, we have more to do here than anyplace else."  And someone like me, newly retired, believes them...until someone comes along and opens up my eyes that there is so much more out there.  So, after attending my first Weight Watcher's meeting, I walked over to the senior center located nearby and found myself immediately enamored and anxious to attend.

A typical Monday at the center I attend is bingo, playing cards, or dancing in the morning. At 11 it is either a boring group, playing cards, dancing, or watching 'The Price is Right'.  Such exciting activities.  I never stay in the afternoon because it is the same thing every day...dancing or playing cards. A Monday schedule in the new place includes strength and flexibility, arthritis exercises, and art class...which includes 'beginning acrylic painting'.  On other days they offer wellness group, jewelry making, board games, health presentations, etc.  And the food?  How does stir fry beef or jerk chicken sound to you?

In all fairness to the center, a lot of the lack of activities has to do with the people who attend.  They'd rather play cards or dance all day.  On the few times they brought in an outside nutritionist to teach us about eating for high blood pressure, they played cards and chatted away while she was trying to teach.  Only a small handful of us, and I mean small, paid attention to what she was saying.  The others were so totally rude.  

Speaking of food, I absolutely LOVED Weight Watchers and cannot wait for the next meeting.  I realized once the meeting began that I cannot do this alone.  Food has definitely become an addiction for me.  In fact, I couldn't stop the tears when I got on the scale.  223 pounds. No wonder I lose my breath and have problems putting my socks on.

This was dinner last night.  I made some chicken in a low sodium red sauce  and filled my plate with salad.  I'll have to let the rice and beans go until I get some of this weight off.

So, there you have it.  I'd say this was a good week for me, and when I raised my hand in the meeting and said, "Hi, my name is Mary and this is my first time here. I came because it is time to take control of my life," followed by the applause, I knew I had made some right decisions.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.  See you on Monday.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Journey Home By Willy Nywening

After reading "The Autumn of Her Life" I thought it would be a good long time before I found any fiction to hold my interest, but then I discovered "The Journey Home" by Willy Nywening is just that book.  I started following the FB page because I love the awesome feel goos quotes shared on there. Eventually I bought the book, and loved every page of it.  

The book is about a brother and sister who have been orphaned and focuses the struggles they have to remain a family unit and the  disappointments they face in life and how through the power of love, they were able to overcome them. From what I understand the inspiration for the book was her father who had been orphaned at a young age.  It's wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Such a feel good story, and in a world of violence, war, and pain, we need more stories like this.

From the book's description...

Our childhood is an intricate part of who we become as adults. Everyone has difficulty, despair and disappointment in their past. How we choose to overcome these challenges determines the course of our lives. Through it all, love has the potential to heal old wounds.

In a time when children were meant to be seen and not heard, young lives were not always honored. Jamie and Martha, a brother and sister who were tragically orphaned at a young age, find themselves shuffled between family and friends. Stripped of their voices and choices, they endure heartbreaking circumstances that no child should ever experience. Even though disappointment seems to be the only constant in their young lives, they struggle courageously to find bits and pieces of happiness in a world that is often cruel and spiteful.

Through it all, something pure and innocent within the children refuses to die. On their journey, they learn one of life’s most important and powerful lessons: the healing power of love makes life – and living – possible. While love cannot change the past, it is the key to redeeming an unwritten future. For Martha and Jamie, it is love that creates the true refuge that is home.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tuesday Ramble

Don't dig your grave with your own knife and fork. 

English Proverb

 A photo I took of the super moon last night.  It's not much, but  a normal moon would just be a wee dot on the picture.  

Good thing I got it when I did because this is what happened to it a few minutes later.

The house next door looks terrible.  They really should paint the outside, especially since they are selling it for 2 million dollars.  The inside is gorgeous.

Happy Tuesday everyone.  Had a great day off yesterday.  Got my meds and had a wonderful time  ploughing through the 99 cent store.  Good morning, everyone.  Well,  I boycotted the center yesterday as I said I would.  I am aware that I accomplished nothing by my absence which meant nothing to staff, but it made me feel like I was doing something.  And I did accomplish something.  I picked up my prescriptions, bought a window and shower curtain and rug in fall colors for my bathroom, and picked up the ingredients needed for my chicken stew.

My chicken stew last night was fantastic.  Ingredients included chicken legs, carrots, one tomato, potatoes, turnips, parsnips, string beans, onions, garlic, celery, Mrs. Dash's extra spicy to give it an extra kick, and sodium free chicken broth thickened with corn starch.  Topped it off with a slice of avocado.  Great dinner for Harvest Moon Night.  Dessert was blueberries with a dollop of light Cool Whip.

According to numerology, September is a 7/7 month.

September, 2014 = 9 + 2 + 0 + 1 + 4 = 16 = 7

2014 is a 7 Universal year

This mean September should be all about bringing balance into your life.  It is a time to create healthy new habits and to let go of those that no longer serve you.  Seems appropriate.  After last night's 'letting go' ritual I am looking forward to moving on to a healthier new lifestyle beginning with a new workshop I will be starting this Wednesday. 'Better Choices, Better Health Arthritis' is a 6 week workshop that will focus on diet, exercise, and stress reduction.  By the time I have completed I will have an action plan in place.  It's time that I take an active stance on my health before it spirals completely out of control.

I've also taken the intiative to set up my first session at Weight Watchers. I'm obese.  There, I've said it.  When I walk past a mirror or a store window, I don't like the reflection of the woman I have become.  How did this happen?  Better yet, how did I let this happen?  I remember a friend telling me that she was so jealous of me because I had a perfect figure.  That was 20 years ago, and I kept myself in shape up until about 6 years ago, then started allowing myself to go to pot.  My downward spiral actually began when I stopped smoking and started eating instead.  I didn't know how to stop. 

When I was working, I was actually doing much better than I am in retirement.  Although my day focused on computer work, I was constantly up and down walking to the front desk, copy machine, or just looking for an office to meet with a client.  I was always on the move.  I try my darnedest to get out and about every day, but when you don't HAVE to go to work, it's easy to find excuses to stay home.  And then it becomes a vicious cycle.  The more you sit and do nothing, the more you begin to hurt when you try to walk.  And the more your hurt, the less you want to walk. That is all going to end now. This is a promise I have made to myself.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday This and That

 As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, and if no man objected and no man rebelled, those wrongs would last forever. 

Clarence Darrow

Good morning everyone.  Hard to believe it's Monday again.  Seems time is moving faster now that I retired.  I had a quiet weekend.  Did my food shopping on Friday and went to Church on Sunday.  On Saturday I started out, but the humidity got to me before I reached the corner, so I turned around and headed right back indoors. It's nice out today and the humidity is low so I plan to get out and do something.  First, I do have to go to Pathmark for my prescriptions and then I think I'll shop for some new fall decorations.  I love buying something new to add to my collection each year.

Not going to the Center today.  To be honest, if it weren't for the friends I made there and the little responsibilities I have there, I think I would find somewhere else to go. I see quite a bit of unfairness and favoritism there, and that doesn't sit well with me.  When I see unfairness, I get frustrated.
However, the reason behind today's boycott is not the fault of staff at the Center...or perhaps it may be.

Each year the Brooklyn assemblyman throws a senior picnic at the Army base in Brooklyn.  It's a beautiful area with picnic benches, trees, and a wonderful view of the bay. I really wanted to go.  However, only a certain amount of tickets is allotted to each Center so not everyone gets to go, which I understand.  Our Center chooses to raffle them off.  We all sign our names on a slip of paper and they are place in a huge jar. Whoever's name is drawn gets to go.  Which is fair, and I have no disagreement with that practice, and if I lose, then I lose.  I accept that. 

What happens, though, is that people who NEVER attend the Center show up just to be a part of the raffle, and once the names are drawn, they disappear until the next raffle is held.  In fact, I overheard two ladies talking about how many Centers they have their name in and what they were going to do with the extra tickets if they should win in more than one place...and it didn't include refusing them.  They were going to make sure that ALL their friends got to go.  Unfortunately, all these extra names in the raffle make it harder and pretty much impossible for many of us regulars  to win. 

So, once again the names were drawn, and many people who we had never seen before won the coveted tickets. We are NOT happy campers. There must be something the Center can do to make it a little more fair their loyal clients. Perhaps it would take a bit more time, but look on the sign in sheets to see who does attend before allowing them to sign.   This makes two years in a row that I cannot go because a non-attendee has taken a spot.  I don't mind losing if it is a fair loss, if I saw my peers win, but they don't win either...and there was a lot of grumbling going on on Thursday. So, today is the picnic, and I guess you could say  staying home is my little way of protesting.  I know it means nothing to them, but it makes me feel as if I am doing something.
This weekend I used up the last of my floral scented candles. It's time now for the autumn scents of cloves, cinnamon, spiced apples, vanilla, blueberry cobbler, and pumpkin pie. Always brings me back to the time of innocence of youth. Grandma loved making her pies.  She didn't bake cookies or cakes, but she sure made some delicious pies.  

Tonight is the Harvest Moon. The Harvest Moon is the first full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, and is sometimes known as the Hunter's Moon,  Corn Moon, and the Barley Moon.  The menu I have planned for tonight includes a hearty chicken stew with  carrots, turnips, onions and potatoes, salad and seasoned rice on the  and a slice of apple pie.  Maybe I will even live dangerously and add a dollop of ice cream.

I found the following little ritual for letting go to share with you.  I posted it last year, but thought it was worth a repeat.  It has appeared on a few sites, and I have no idea of it's origin.  It calls for some Autumn leaves, but that doesn't seem too promising here.  Our leaves or mostly still green.  Maybe I will find something in the park. 

Find some autumn leaves, and mark on each one a symbol to represent what has been weighing on you.(for example a dollar sign for money issues). Meditate and focus on the issue, then burn or bury the leave to symbolize the release of all it represents. This ritual can be very liberating!" 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Roundup

Good morning and a very happy Friday to everyone.  It's been a strange week weatherwise.  Just when I am preparing for fall, illusive summer appears.  It's been absolutely dreadful out there, but at least the end is in sight.  Monday is supposed to be a cool down day. Let's hope they are right. 

I did some exploring on Facebook and discovered there's more to it than I once realized.  It's a haven for genealogists, and I have joined several groups.  I was especially glad to find some groups related to Irish and German genealogy, and through and the Irish genealogy group I stumbled across Keating Genealogy and joined.  My great grandmother came from Ireland, and I have really been at a loss in finding any information on her prior to her coming to the US.  She'd become one of my 'brick walls', and I'd come to terms with the fact that I may never know about her. 

On both Irish genealogy groups I met some wonderful people who steered me in the right direction.  This week I managed to trace my great grandmother to Clogheen, Tipperay, Ireland.  I now  know the names of her parents, Alice and William, as well as her siblings, Ellen, Mary, Daniel, and Bridget.  I also had quite a shock waiting for me. Something I never expect.  My GG grandfather listed his occupation as 'Traveller', basically another word for 'gypsy'. I'd always questioned why my year old great  grandmother would venture to America, alone.  She had the wanderlust of her family.  And perhaps this is where my independent spirit comes from.

I also joined a group totally dedicated to Christmas--arts and crafts, decorating, recipes. Already have save some fabulous recipes.  I absolutely love it, but in joining its sister Christmas card group I think I bit off more than I can chew. In the age of computers and high price of stamps, the Christmas cards we receive each year have dwindled down to almost nothing.  I miss the old days and the thrill of receiving cards in the mail so I thought it would be fun to join a group where we sent Christmas cards to each other. Little did I know that almost 200 people were going to sign up for it.  Guess I'd better get started now.

Well, I guess that's about it for this week.  I lead such an exciting life, don't I?  Here's hoping that you all have a wonderful weekend.  See you on Monday.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

You Can Bring a Horse to Water but you can't Make him Drink

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. 

John Powell

I am fit to be tied right about now. You all know the story of my god daughter and the abusive man she had living with her.   Well, at the present time he's sitting in jail, and hopefully he will be there for a good long while.  Turns out that not only was he physically and emotionally abusing my niece, but he was also sexually molesting her 9 year old daughter.  A real sicko he was. Hope he rots in prison.  And one could only hope that after a string of bad relationships, with this one being the worst, my niece would learn her lesson.

So, in the past two months since she turned him into the police, I've spent a lot of time talking to her and trying to help her build her self-esteem.  One thing I have stressed over and over again was the importance of spending some time alone, without a man, that she needed  time to heal before jumping back in the game. The healing process should never be rushed.  She should take all the time she needs.  Having been raised by a cold, unloving mother, and no father in the picture,  she attracts the same type of brutal, abusive men over and over again.  I suggested that it might be a good idea for her to seek out some professional  counseling for herself and especially for her daughter.   To jump into a new romantic relations right away means that she is not working through the things that have happened. 

Well, she 'yessed' me to death.  " Don't worry. I'm taking time," she says.

"So why do I see this budding relationship on Facebook?" I ask.  

"Oh, I am not in a relationship with him.  I know better. He knows I need time to heal.  He is just a friend."   

"Where did you meet him?" I ask.   

Her response, "on Facebook."  ON FACEBOOK.  She met her last man on Facebook. Has she learned nothing?

Obviously she hasn't, because despite all her denials, I checked out her  Facebook page last night and  the first thing I see is this man posing with all her children.  Her comment.  "I love this man.  He opens doors for me, he's good with my kids, and he goes to Church every Sunday. Never been happier in my life."  My gosh, it hasn't even been two months yet.  Doesn't she realize that it is only natural that a man is on his  best behavior in the beginning?   I'm not saying that there aren't good men out there, but given her track record, I'd be willing to bet this isn't the one. 

I can't quite put my finger on it, but there  is something about this man that is not kosher. He gives me the shivers when I look at him.   For several weeks now, I have checked out his homepage, and he has been professing his love for her.  Now suddenly, his home page has become ultra private.  Of course, that is not reason enough to dislike him, but my intuition is telling me that I'd best keep close watch on things.  I don't want that little girl getting hurt again.

So for now I remain silent and watch.  Fortunately, my niece is very open and not shy about telling all on Facebook so if anything should happen, I'll know.  And this is a promise I make right now.  If I get any inkling that that child, or any of her other children, are being hurt, I will be the first one to turn her in. 

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Autumn of Her Years

Every now and then a book comes along that I just cannot put down.  'The Autumn of Her Years' by Kathleen Kubik  is such a book.  I guess maybe it was because I saw a lot of myself in the heroine, Martha Scanlon.  The book deals with the pain of the loss of a first love (something we can all identify with), an unhappy marriage, the overwhelming love one feels when they finally find their soul mate, coming to terms with the loss of your love, and eventually moving back to where your life began and starting over.  One thing I would like to say.   I love the way the book ties everything together. One finds closure at the end.  No loose ends.

This is one book I didn't want to end. I know it would be awhile before I found anything to even come close to how this book was.  It's such a beautiful book.  I highly recommend it.


Never forget your dreams. Sometimes they get lost in the shuffle of everyday life. Don't let that happen to you. Love, heartbreak, and hope find a home in Kathleen Kubik's decades-spanning novel, The Autumn of Her Years. 

As a naive seventeen-year-old in 1959, Martha Scanlon's summer romance with an older boy brings her the joy and heartache of first love. 

Five years later, twenty-two-year -old Martha unearths family secrets that make her determined to live without regrets.

But by 1972, Martha finds herself trapped in her biggest regret of all: an unhappy marriage. Her decision to divorce threatens to tear her family apart, but Martha tries to find consolation in her new life in California. 

As 1981 dawns, thirty-nine-year-old Martha meets a man who may finally offer the love she thought was beyond her reach.  
Returning to New York in 2006, Martha finds comfort in the security of her reconciled family as she struggles to come to terms with the new life she must create for herself.

But when a special person makes an unexpected entrance back into her life, Martha slowly begins to realize that a woman may come of age at any age.