Thursday, May 31, 2018

Throwback Thursday

Our pets are such an important part of our lives.  They are family, and we remember them forever when they pass over.  Susie was my first pet.  I was five years old when she joined our family.  I was twenty when we had to make the difficult decision to let her go. She had a brain tumor, and the night time scared her so much even when we left the light on for her.  She would howl all night.  I guess in her own way she was letting us know it was time.  I still find myself shedding tears for her.  I loved her so much.

Susie with me on Easter Sunday.  She had been hit by an oil truck when she was a year old.  The vet managed to save her, but had to take her leg.  She was never handicapped in any way.  Used to run and play like any other dog.
Susie greeting me when I get home from riding my bike.  It used to break my heart when the kids used to laugh at her because she had three legs.  Luckily, Susie never understood why they were laughing.
Susie was always ready to give you a smile.  All you had to do was her.  "Give me a smile, Susie", and she would grin from ear to ear.

Tiny was added  to our family a few years later. From day one she was a daddy's girl.  After dinner he would grab his 6 pack and head into his room with Tiny at his heels.  No one would see hide or hair of her for the rest of the night.

 Tiny with dad.
 Tiny on grandpa Edward's lap.
 Tiny and Susie with me. 
Tiny and Susie celebrating Christmas.  Gosh, I miss these babies so much.  

I've had so many pets throughout the years that it's impossible to honor all of them.  Some wee just passing through, but they all left their mark.  But the one who left their mark on my life as much as Susie is my Miss Minga.  Saved her and her siblings from an abusive owner when they were only a few weeks old.  Gave her siblings to good homes and kept Miss Minga .
 Baby Miss Minga
Miss Minga with her mom, Noodles.  Noodles was smart as a whip.  If I had been able to keep Noodles, I definitely would have, but she would come to visit, but then insist on going back home. Sadly she was hit by a car in front of our home.  I will never forget how Miss Minga sat in the window and stared out at her lifeless mother.  
Miss Minga was always at my feet.  I had little rug beds set up in all the areas whee I sat.  This was next to the chair at the dining room table where I sat.
Miss Minga waiting for me to sit in the rocking chair.
This was the last picture I took of her.  She had a stroke shortly thereafter, and I had to let her go.  Broke my heart, but I didn't want her to suffer.  She was 23 years old.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Tuesday Morn

Good morning everyone. We had a quiet Memorial Day yesterday, just hubby and I.  It was really cool outdoors, but it  didn't rain.  We had enough of that the day before.  I used to put some burgers on my grill pot and make some potato and macaroni salad (for me. Hubby doesn't like salads) and for him I'd make some gondulas and rice.  That was our Memorial Day meal.  But yesterday I did something a little different, and we both enjoyed it.  I seasoned some boneless breasts with Harissa, garlic powder, salt and pepper and grilled them on my grill pot.  For our side I made the following which I have been wanting to try so I headed to the fruit stand early in the morning to buy the cilantro and dug into my Indian Spice box.  Hubby really enjoyed it...and he is pretty fussy.
Ingredients: Green beans, potatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, mustard powder, cumin, red chili powder, turmeric, coriander, asafoetida, cilantro, salt and white pepper.

Had a Psych marathon on Hallmark Drama so after running out to the store for a few items, I found myself parked on a heating pad  in front of the television for most of the day.  I got in quite a few good belly laughs.  Sean and Gus are so crazy.  Sure did need a few laughs.  Only had two hours sleep the night before.  There wasn't a part of my body that didn't back, my elbows, shoulder, knees, collarbone, even my toes.  And when all that died down a little around 3 am, my tummy started.  Full of gas.  Painful gas.  Got up and made some fennel tea, and that seemed to do the trip.  Fell asleep a little after 4 am, then got up at 6 am.  No matter what time I go to sleep, how many hours I get, I still wake the same time every day.

Later in the evening we were both in the mood for something sweet, but I wanted something fruity, but not a plain piece of fruit.  So I made an apple dessert which was simple to make and so yummy.

I sauteed sliced apples in Smart Balance light butter, then added cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla. Once carmelized it was done.  No sugar added.  A perfect and satisfying dessert for someone nearing their monthly weigh in.  

I've been having a hard time with it lately.  As soon as I reached my goal, all motivation left me, and it's been a struggle maintaining since then.  It seems that I'm one of those people who must have a goal in sight in order to succeed.  Once reached, my mind tells me there is nothing to work for anymore.  But there is.  My new goal is maintaining, and that's what I have to focus on.  To be honest, I'm feeling rather anxious about facing the scale in June.   May was a long one and it's been 5 weeks without a weigh in.  I think that's going to be my first step in the changes I make.  When I was working towards goal, I weighed in every week.  I'm guessing I have to start doing that again.  That scale holds me accountable and starting in June it's time to go back to the weekly weigh-in's.

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Monday Morning This and That

Good morning everyone.  Happy Memorial Day to those who are celebrating.  No plans here.  Will put some flags on the graves of my loved ones who served via Find a Grave., and then take a moment of silence in honor of those who gave their lives for us.  

 Dad in the back.  Didn't he look like Elvis Presley or is it just me that thinks so?

It was gorgeous on Friday.  Packed my bag and headed for the park.  Brought my lunch, Prevention Magazine, 'Moon Watchers Companion' by Dona Henes, and my Kindle Fire and headphones so that when I tired of reading I could listen to "The Sophia Code" by Kaia Ra and practice some 'Earth Breathing' exercises by Reginald Ray from Sounds True Practices.  

It was such a beautiful day.  The sun was shining, there was a slight breeze.  Everything was so green.

I don't use my Kindle to read books very often due to neck issues.  Strangely, it doesn't bother my neck to read a book, but to read a Kindle?  Within minutes I am feeling pain unless I hold the Kindle up in front of my eyes.  Despite this, I still download books I cannot resist.  Basically free books.  A long time ago I had joined a site Daily Free Books, and each day they email me a list of books that are free for that day.  On Friday they offered  'The Simple Uses of Herbal Teas, and Indian Spices: The Many Different Ways of Using Herbal Teas and Indian Spices' by Devika Primic.  The book provides information on a number of Indian spices and various herbal teas. I was familiar with many of the spices as I love to  use lots of spices in my cooking but was good to learn  about some others that I have not tried.  I believe in, and use  aromatherapy and alternate medicine which is why this book interested me in the first place, and the paperback version is $36.  This was free.  Couldn't ask for a better bargain.

Last week hubby had the misfortune of losing his phone.  A Samsung S7. He went into check cashing to get a money order, laid it on the counter, then forgot it. Remembered it not even 5 minutes later, went back, and it was already gone. No one was in the store which means  that whoever found the phone had to have run out without completing their business because there was just no time. But, the joke is on them because the truth is, they  really didn't get something for nothing.

First of all, they can't open it. He had put facial recognition on it.  So first off it going to cost them over $100 to unlock it. Plus, hubby had dropped it several times and the screen was badly cracked and the crack was traveling.. A new screen costs a little over $300. He'd been looking into turning it in towards a new one because it was so expensive to fix. So, with the insurance he had put on it, he was able to get an upgrade, Samsung S8, for a little over $200. And the crook is going to have to pay about $400 for a used phone that they could have purchased new for $300 or less. Proof that crime doesn't pay.

Did some de-cluttering on Saturday.  It's so hard for me in many ways.  I hate to get rid of anything, but with us planning a move, hopefully soon, it's a must that I do some clearing out.  Nothing gets thrown away, though.  I put magazines, books, and knicknacks in the lobby for neighbors.  Makes me happy when I see everything disappear. 

One thing I noticed that did hurt but made me quite uncomfortable feeling it was the crunching in my back when I sat in the chair and bent over to clean out the bottom bookshelf.  A sign that my spondylosis is getting worse.  Have to do my best to stop it now in its tracks. 

Sunday was a rain out.  Didn't make it to church.  Wasn't the kind of day to walk there or stand around waiting for the bus.   I have a hard time with umbrellas lately.  My fingers get stuck.  I think I hold it too hard.

Have a wonderful day.  Be safe. 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Sunday Selections

I always consider Brooklyn the best of both worlds.  I'm close enough to the city to enjoy what it has to offer and still enjoy what I lost when I left the country life.  Brooklyn is beautiful.  There's no way around it.  Oh, yes, there are some real eye sore neighborhoods, but even they are changing as the millennials continue to flock to our borough and forever change it.  Gentrification has become a force to be reckoned with.  Mom and pop stores are being forced out and replaced with high priced establishments that cater to the new inhabitants.  Houses are being torn down and high rises built in their place. Land is at a premium. And rents? Forget about it.  Going through the roof. 

I'm really wanting to move, but affordable housing is so hard to find.  Housing is being built, but it's basically for those with a higher income than me.  And the price these owners are paying to build these high rise monstrosities which are destroying the Brooklyn skyline is to promise so many apartments to the lower income and elderly.  Well, offering 5 apartments in a building of 350 when there are thousands looking is not quite a fair deal if you ask me.  

But, for now, I am going to concentrate on the beauty before it is gone.   Took these pictures on the way to the park Friday.  Absolutely gorgeous area to live, and so far, one of the last holdouts.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Saturday Thought of the Day

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.  Beautiful people do not just happen.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Friday, May 25, 2018

Friday Roundup

Hard to believe, isn't it?  An entire week has passed by in the flash of an eye.  It's been a quiet week for me.   It's been up and down with weather, starting with a beautiful Monday, then a rainy Tuesday, and finally a steady flow of more than one day of springlike weather.  In fact, it's going to be summer weather today, 85 degrees and sultry, so at this point, I am pretty sure I am going to pack my bag and head to the park.  

On Monday I had an experience with synchronicity.  I guess that's what you can say it was.  The previous Monday I had left later, but ended up making it just as dance was starting, and despite back problems, I couldn't stop myself from joining in.  Told myself that I would only do what I could, but then once I started, I just HAD to do every dance.  Paid for it the next day, too.  Pain was back in full force.

So this week I decided to leave the house even later.  It worked, too.  Got there 20 minutes before meditation was about to begin and sat down on one of the benches in the hallway to wait for dance class to be over.  Then it hit me.  No music.  What?  Surely Cynthia had not given them that long of a break.   She's a go, go, go facilitator which is why I love her.  Turns out that dance class had been canceled at the last minute.  Cynthia had called in sick, the ONE time she has called out in a year, and they could not get a replacement in time.  Had I gone earlier, I would have ended up waiting for an hour before meditation begins.

Tuesday I stayed in.  The sun was shining brightly when I got up, but by 10 am the clouds had taken over, and it was obvious the rain was coming.  Wednesday I decided to take off from class.  We have no classes next week so I decided to take this extra day for my back.  When I return in June I want to be able to put my all into it without worrying about kind of damage I will do. 

Got two new crystals this week. Really do have to stay away from the Wednesday evening flash sales.  Definitely going to make a conscious effort this week.  I mean like, where do I put them all.  You wouldn't believe how many I have.  They just look so pretty and I have such hopes in using them, that I cannot resist. 

Flourite slab.  Helps align and balance the upper chakras.  Use for focus, clairity, and positive energy.

Indigo Gabbro palmstone.  Works to bring balance to every area.  Enhances energy work and intuitive abilities.  Inspires focus and mental clarity. 

Made a nice chicken salad for Wednesday.  Just didn't feel much like a hot dinner.  I make lots of use of that Purdue cooked chicken breasts and always keep on hand.  Served it with some sliced tomatoes and cucumbers drenched in the Sesame Ginger dressing I love so much. 
Purdue grilled chicken strips, diced some celery and red onion, added a dollop of mayonnaise, and sprinkled in some black pepper and curry powder.

Last night we had grilled chicken and yucca with red onions.  I love yucca and it is a very good anti-inflammatory.  My mother-in-law had terrible arthritis in her knees.  She was 86 then, and it all seemed hopeless.  Then, I turned her on to yucca.  However, one cannot eat enough of it, so to get a therapeutic dosage, I take two yucca capsules every day.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Throwback Thursday

Changes throughout the years.  You can see that by the 4th grade I was already taking care of myself, getting myself ready for school. Notice the sloppiness of my hair. This was when mom really became distant, when she took on her second life working during the day and spending evenings with her boyfriend, leaving me home with my alcoholic dad.  If only we could have a do over!  (Sigh)  If only mom had been a mom.  Perhaps my life would not have been filled with so much turmoil.  Perhaps I would have grown up with some self-esteem and not made so many poor choices in life.  And then again, perhaps I would have made the same choices.

When I look at these pictures, I get very emotional.  All these years I though mom hated me, but all these years she kept this one private picture album in her drawer for over 40 years so no one would see it.  Until she left home for the hospice for the last leg of her journey.  Then she brought it out for all to see, leaving it on her bed. 

Four years old


First Grade

Second Grade

Third Grade

Fourth Grade

Fifth Grade

Sixth Grade

Seventh Grade

Eighth Grade

Ninth Grade
High School

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wordless Wednesday--Sleeping Ancestral Spirits

Old Settlers Burial Ground in Massachusetts.  Burial site of my 10th great grandfather, John Prescott, founder of Lancaster, MA.  Sleeping or not?   The orb says not.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Living with Chronic Pain

Tuesday morning.  No classes today.  Plan on taking it very easy.  Just trying to heal.  Went to meditation and arts and crafts yesterday, and as much as that music was calling out to me, I did not participate in dance. This back pain is lingering on and on and on.  It's been a few years since it lasted this long....and both sides to boot.   I had an old hairline fracture of the lower spine, and arthritis set in.  As the doctor said, "Your lower back is riddled with arthritis.  And it is only going to get worse"  Just what I didn't want to hear....although I already knew.  I've been suffering off and on for many years now.

It's kind of funny the way it happened.  I may be a city girl now, but I was a country girl until I turned 26.  I was about 19 when I went night fishing for carp with a group of friends.  It had been fairly quiet up until I felt a strong tug on my line.  Strong wasn't the word for it.  I was actually having quite a struggle.  My friends offered to help, but I wanted to reel this one in by myself.  Then it happened.  My feet slipped out from under me, and I fell onto a pile of rocks.  Never had I felt such stabbing pain.  I lay there as my friends reeled in a 25 pound snapping turtle.   

I was taken to the ER and later released.  "Badly bruised back" was the way they put it.  It wasn't until 30 years later when a hospital in New York did Xrays and discovered that I had actually suffered a hairline fracture back then.  Ironically, the Xrays showed I had had back surgery at some time in my life.  You can imagine how I felt when 5 doctors come to examine my back.  Scary moment.  And all confirmed back surgery I never had, but no scar.  A past life maybe?

My carpal tunnel is also acting up, more thanks to yoga.  We had to turn our chairs backward, lay our palms on the seat, and do our stretching exercises that way.  No wonder my body fell apart.  Some of us just can't do yoga.  Have a feeling the strain in my quadricepts is due to yoga as well.  But, in all fairness, I cannot put all the blame on yoga.  I've been living with pain for years now.  Fibromyalgia and osteaoarthritis have been taking turns kicking my butt, but, by golly, I never let them win.  Never give up.

I don't take any prescription meds and only alternate Aleve with Tylenol Arthritis and Copper Fixx cream.  It works great and best part it doesn't have that pain cream smell.  I also use a heating pad, hot shower on my back, simple exercise, and walking.  In alternatives I take Turmeric, Vitamin D3, Krill oil, pro- and pre-biotics, and Yucca pills.  I was taking Glucosamine, but when I discovered it can elevate blood pressure, I stopped taking them. 

With that being said, I wanted to tell you about a book I have been reading.  It's awesome, and once I start reading, I couldn't put it down.  In fact, I was so engrossed in reading that I almost missed my stop the other day.  Glanced up just in time.  

Karen Duffy is a model, actress, and a writer.  In 1995, she  was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, the growth of inflammatory cells that form lumps in different parts of the body. Duffy's brain and spinal cord were affected, leaving her partially paralyzed. In this book she describes dealing with her ongoing incurable disease and constant pain by using humor and acceptance of her condition to cope. During the start of the book she says "pain that changes you" when you realize that pain is not going away, and you're just going to have to live with it.  I have come to that realization.  I kept hoping that one day I'd get up pain free, but that's just not going to happen, and I have to live with.  I think I've done a pretty darned good job of it.

Duffy says that one thing she has found helpful to herself and  recommends highly to others living with chronic pain is to give. Whenever your own condition allows it, helping others   will give back to you in such a way that it will feed your soul as nothing else can. She also talks about the importance of getting up and moving, walking as much as your body will allow, daily if at all possible,but at least three times a week if you can't do daily.

This book is an inspiration.  If you or a loved one suffers from chronic pain and illness, you owe it to yourself or to them to purchase a copy to help you or them feel like they are not alone.  Using a sense of humor, she makes this delicate subject a very enjoyable read.  And very inspirational.  

A few quotes from the book.

"Be the best person you can be because this is what transforms a sufferer into an endurer".  Powerful words for sure.

“Pain is intensified from trying to control the uncontrollable. Acceptance and resilience have made me stronger.” 

"The disease that's keeping you holed up in the house began in your past, but your future is yours, so start moving in the present."

"Concealing an illness is like keeping a beach ball under water."  It's a struggle, yes.  I really hate to complain, so when people ask how I am feeling, I tell them I feel okay despite the fact that inside I am hurting.

"It's a mistake to do nothing just because you can only do a little.”

"The only way to reverse the problems caused by all the sitting is to get up off your keister and get moving"

“When things are easy, you miss the chance to learn how tough you are.”

And one I find especially meaningful:

"The ability to walk without pain is a gift that we don’t have anymore. Being able to walk with pain and not give up is a superpower. It's hard. But no one said being a superhero was easy”