Category Archives: taking care of yourself

Thoughts on a Thursday 10-24-2019

Alma Maghakyan – LinkedIn – Imgend.com

I’m in awe of people who can create .gifs like this.  You can almost HEAR the rain!

I just came back from having a glorious massage by my therapist, Lynn Moody. She is so kind and caring, as well as a master at finding all the tight, sore spots, knots, etc. and making them go away. AHHHH! If you’re in the  Fort Smith/Greenwood/Hackett & surrounding area, call for an appointment. Her number is 479-629-7601. You’ll never stop thanking yourself.

I’m working on another wooden plaque using the Unicorn Spit stain/glaze. I think I’ll have it finished by the end of the day. I’ll take a pic to post here.

I will never be an exercise ‘enthusiast.’ I don’t look forward to it, and still have to be determined to make these sessions priorities on my daily to-do list. But I have to admit that I’m still shocked that my BODY told me it missed my exercise sessions on Monday, when our dogs got into a fight and my day was spent trying to tend to our smaller, elderly dog, Molly, instead of anything else. (She is stronger each day, is eating and drinking and able to go outside with me. Whew!) My BODY complained about my lack of exercise! I felt sore, stiff, and creaky Tuesday morning, and MUCH better after I did my NOW usual time of 35 minutes on the elliptical and 35 or so minutes of stretching yoga. So my attitude has changed from “SHOULD” to “NEED.” This is a sea change for me, and I’m pleased to recognize it.  So today is gloriously physical with massage, elliptical trainer, and yoga.

I’m looking for a good beef stew that fits my keto-macros needs and will be accepted by my husband, who truly loves traditional beef stew I’ve always made, full of potatoes, carrots, etc. I tried one recently while our son was still home. My husband ate one bowl, said, “hmmph” and wasn’t interested in eating more of it. Our son and I ate the rest, thinking it was really pretty good, but until I find one my HUSBAND determines is YUMMY, the hunt continues. I’ll get more serious about the hunt right away because our temperatures are dropping around here, and my husband is looking for comfort food.

I wish you a happy, healthy Thursday.

 

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Yoga as Therapy

Animated GIFs

 

After acting like a slug most of the day due to my back reminding me that I MIGHT need to remember my age, I did a S-L-O-W careful yoga session this afternoon.

After initial protest at lying flat on my mat, my body slowly breathed a sigh of relief. I didn’t do my normal routine today. I just did what I though I needed, doing several poses over and over again, feeling my body finally start to loosen up.

I knew yoga was good for me in general. As we age our bodies stiffen up. We tend to hunch our shoulders, and protect ourselves from possible harm by moving more slowly, shortening our steps, tensing up if we feel our balance might be in jeopardy.

Now I’m beginning to consider the therapeutic value of my yoga stretching. When I’ve overdone and my back is yelling – as it was today – I spent most of the day trying not to move so much. Resting is good, but it seems that if I had made it a point to do the yoga stretching this morning, rather than waiting until late this afternoon, I might have had a more comfortable day. Food for thought, anyway.

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Slug-Fest

The Spectator

Today I’m emulating the celebrated slug.

Yesterday I overdid, trying to get all of our tomato plants cut up, pulled out, and relocated to an uncivilized part of our property. I accomplished all, except for the final weed-whacking and clean up around the two brick planters – AND before we got the rain last night, so that was good. What WASN’T good, even with doing my yoga stretches afterward, was my body decided to remind me – YELLING LOUDLY – that I’m not as young as I used to be.

This morning my husband slathered arnica gel all over my complaining back. I also took 2 Tylenol. I’m still walking around feeling every one of my hundred years or so, so I’m going to take things very easy today.

We got the rain I was hurrying around about. It was a glorious storm with wind, lots of rain, lightning, and a truly wonderful, rolling thunder. We don’t think we got any damage, for which I’m grateful.

A nice, sedentary day is planned, with only a couple of errands and a haircut for me, otherwise.  I foresee a S-L-O-W, careful session of yoga and a nap in my future today…

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This Old Broad is Moving!

Awesomelycute

I did 35 minutes or so of yoga stretching this afternoon.  This is DAY 37 of daily yoga practice and I’m not having to MAKE myself do it. I can’t say I really look FORWARD to it, but I DO feel better afterwards and I can FEEL the progress my body is making as I breathe into the poses.

 

Penn Fitness Warehouse

I did 25 minutes on my elliptical trainer this morning. I’m trying to do 20 minutes daily. If I reach that point and am feeling good, I continue.  I’ve also decided that if I’ve reached the point where I having to MAKE myself do much more, I stop.

I just finished an hour out in the yard weed whacking and then blowing off the debris from our sidewalks, porch, and driveway pad.

So I’m feeling pretty good about my efforts to move the lard today. :0)

Tonight I’m making some spaghetti using Rao Marinara Sauce and hamburger meat. I’ll make elbow macaroni for my husband and son, since my husband doesn’t like to fight with spaghetti and my son will eat whatever. I’ll make zoodles (zucchini noodles) for me.

I hope you’ve had a good day, too.

 

 

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Thoughts on a Monday – 10-7-2019

Jeff Jett

Our weather is perfect today – sun shining and 73 degrees F.  Just gorgeous!

We went shopping this morning. Ever since then I’ve been working to get my second Etsy shop opened. It isn’t completely finished yet. I’m back to the drawing board on banners. I don’t like the way any of the ones I made looked. But if you’d like to see it without the banner, the shop is called, Totably Yours.

Last week was a 12-Gold-Star week  (7 for yoga practice and 5 for elliptical.)  I’m now doing a new exercise regimen I started yesterday, doing 20 minutes on the elliptical trainer every morning and yoga practice for 35 minutes every afternoon. I’m thinking about adding either Annoying Leslie’s Walking Video or a Dance Video in the middle several days, but we’ll see. The cooler weather is making me want to move more, so I’m looking forward to a good week. :0)

I’m heading upstairs to work on a new banner now.

I hope that the weather is such where you are that YOU feel more energetic these days, too!

 

 

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Bird Hunter Smoke

This is Smoke. She adopted me at the vet’s office several years ago.

She is quite the hunter, while Abby, our lap kitty, prefers demanding cat treats and sleeping upside down in one of several spots around the house or in a convenient lap.

This morning my husband came downstairs to start the morning – feeding animals, starting coffee, etc, while I took a quick shower.

Smoke tried to dash into the house from the garage. She had a sparrow type of bird in her mouth.  A lot of thrashing around ensued, with my husband coming out the winner, but having landed on the garage steps on his rear end, and having scraped his arm in the attempt.

My husband is all right, thank goodness. The cat is okay, too, and is enjoying time in my husband’s lap as I type.

We have agreed – or at least he SAID he agreed – that next time this kind of thing happens, he should let the cat win the fight and we’ll deal with the bird, or mouse, or vole, or mole, or whatever TOGETHER, and that his parts are much more important than the annoyance of Bird Hunter Smoke bringing wildlife inside….

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Thoughts on a Saturday 9-28-2019

Amazing Things – Linda Orrell

Progress Report – Lardage

  • Weight Loss – 43 pounds to date. 
  • Measurement Reduction – 45 inches to date.

I lost a pound yesterday, but it was a RE-loss of a pound that was gone and regained. I’m working with my MACRO daily to try to get the right percentages of carbs, protein, and fat. This morning I ate an avocado and put heavy whipping cream in my coffee, resulting in over 1/3 of the fat I should have for the day. I don’t really like avocados, but I’m impressed with how good they are for you. They are high fat, which kept me away from them before. Now I’m looking at them as a relatively painless way to get a lot of the fat I need (other than my own, homegrown). I like the fact that on CarbManager.com I can ‘test’ what I plan to eat for each meal and see what happens to my numbers BEFORE I make a mistake. I can then modify my plans. Wonderful!  Ultimate goal is to lose another 30 pounds or so.

Flipkart

I have a good start on my efforts to move more. I have been doing yoga stretches daily now for 26 days, and I just started my elliptical trainer 3 times a week. Since Gold stars on my desk calendar are a really good motivator for me (one for each yoga practice and one for the elliptical) I’ll be adding stars # 8 and 9 for the week today. I’m doing 35 minutes on the elliptical at a regular pace, listening to my MP3 player, basically just trying to zone out and do the time right now. Later I’ll think about doing a couple of intensive (for me) times in there. I try to make changes slowly – trying not to make this body rebel and go on strike for a couple of days in protest – hopefully culminating in more and more of my week spent in moving myself around in ways that will help my strength, balance, and flexibility.

The Guardian

It looks like fall will officially begin here in Arkansas on Thursday of next week, with highs in the 70’s, according to the weather people here. I HOPE they are right, because my energy levels rise when the temperature and humidity decrease.  I’m more than ready for fall.

Daily Dose of Flowers

Today is a quiet one for us. I’ll do my elliptical, my yoga, and plan to spend time in my art room again. Yesterday I tried my new crayon melting tool. I had fun, but am only making glorious messes at this point. I’ll enjoy playing with it again today.

Fill your day with things that bring you joy.

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Thoughts on a Thursday 9-26-2019

Animals | HowStuffWorks

We’re having a quiet, soft rain this morning. I can HEAR the flowers, grass, and trees saying, “Ahhhhhh”

Centre of Excellence

I am leaving for a massage as soon as I finish this post!  I’m REALLLLY looking forward to it. Lynn Moody, my massage therapist, is a true miracle worker.

Since it’s raining, I’ll concentrate on inside stuff today, plus my elliptical trainer and yoga.

I’ve been showing you gorgeous melted crayon art lately. I ordered two melting tools recently, and I’ve been watching YouTube demonstrations on different techniques. I’m like a kid at Christmas, waiting to be able to play with them in my art room!

I hope that YOUR day is relaxing and fun.

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Thoughts on a Monday 9-23-2019

cheezeburger.com

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF FALL!!!!! It’s raining here today (Ahhhh!) and cooler – at least for now, and I am one happy camper. :0)

Shop NZ

We had 5 hummingbirds at the feeders while we at the dining table this morning. A truly beautiful sight to start our day.

 

Laughtard

It’s DAY 21 for my daily yoga practice. Yesterday, after I had spent time weed whacking and then blowing the debris off the concrete areas, I was really tired and sore. As soon as I had finished a bottle of water and cooled off a bit, I did my yoga session, and it HELPED! Since I’m old and out of shape, my back stiffened up before bed, but I’m encouraged that I could FEEL it helping yesterday.

It’s DAY 6 on my getting-serious-about-keto efforts. To be honest, I’m not really sure where I am. The scales aren’t showing anything. I’ve been staying way under the 20 grams of carbs I’m allowed daily, figuring that even if I screw up on portion size or forget to add something, I should be coming out well. I’m really happy with the CarbManager.com carb tracking website.  It’s easy to use and I can quickly add food, water, or exercise from my computer or my phone.

123RF.com

Fingers crossed I will see some tangible results on either my scale, with my measuring tape, or both in the near future.

 

Our doggies seem calm after their fight yesterday morning. I will never know what started the fight. I’m just grateful that both doggies are doing fine today.

I didn’t make it up to my art room yesterday. I will try to get up there and play today.

Sleeping Should Be Easy

 

Our son, who lives and works in Thailand, came home after my husband’s stroke to help us through all the testing and the aftermath of the stroke. He will probably go back to his life soon. I’m am SO grateful that he wanted to be with us during this time. He has been a rock. SUCH a generous, caring man!

I hope you enjoy the first day of fall today – doing good things for yourself, feeling good, and finding great reasons to smile.

 

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Carb Counting

email from Marsha Koenig

We have been making a lot of changes in how we eat over the last year or so.

It started with wanting to lose the lard. We chose Nutrisystem and had some success, but got tired of them dropping our favorite choices and so wanted to try to continue on our own, eating more real food.  We are trying to cut out sugar as much as possible, mainly due to my husband’s Type II diabetes, but also just for general health improvement. We are also eating a LOT less starch, pasta, bread, etc. We are trying to eat more raw veggies and fruit, plus nuts.

For the past several months, I’ve been trying to eat Keto based low carb meals. We vacillate on how well we do. My husband is cooperating, but eats too much fruit, cookies, and other stuff,  and doesn’t really care about trying to get into ketosis, since he’s basically the weight he should be now. I’M the one who still needs to lose the lard, going for another 30 lbs or so.

The thing I used in the past with success is MyFitnessPal.com.

When I started doing keto, things got a bit confused for me. If I stay at the 20 grams a day level for carbs, the program says I’m not eating enough calories. I’m not really sure what to do about that. I can probably just continue to use it, record my eating to make sure I’m at the 20 carbs level each day and ignore the message. I would like to find a carb counting program that is more tailored to keto, if possible.

I have a great source of recipes, not counting the good sites online, and that is Simply Keto by Suzanne Ryan. I’m re-reading the background material again, trying to get and stay motivated. The recipes are delicious. They’re not a whole lot of work and don’t require a bunch of ingredients that are difficult to find. I have truly never found a recipe book which has recipe after recipe we like.

Tonight I’ll make her ‘Sausage,Cheese and Egg Bake”

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Thoughts on a Tuesday 9-17-2019

Cindy Basnett Thurman

Yesterday was a productive, good day. We

  • got and installed a new battery on our truck
  • got and installed a new hose length between the main water  line in the well house and the main line to the front yard irrigation system
  • finished cleaning out the veggie garden raised bed boxes
  • gathered tomatoes
  • did a session of yoga
  • bowled and enjoyed ice cream with good friends in the evening

Today I’m feeling really lazy – ready for a break.

I’m going to do my yoga for the day this afternoon and play in my art room. I’m going to enjoy more of my book and maybe fall asleep in my chair.

I hope that you recognize your need for a break to rejuvenate, too.

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Relaaaaxing Jaw, Relaaaaaaxing Face…

RantNOW

I just gave myself a gold star for today. I just finished yoga practice # 3 for the week (#9 since I started my renewed practice after sloughing off for several months.) Things ARE getting a bit easier. My husband and son are both being quite supportive of my efforts which makes it nicer. My BODY, though, is the one I’m really listening to. I’m feeling it start to GIVE after I breathe into the various stretches. It still is uncomfortable when I first get into each stretch but then eases off more and more quickly.  I’m feeling looser and relaxed when my practice is over. I’m sleeping better. :0)

Pinterest

“Yoga is 99% Practice & 1% theory.” ~ Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

 

DoYouYoga

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” ~ B.K.S. Lyengar

starcasm.net via Pinterest

“In truth, Yoga doesn’t take time – it gives time.” ~ Ganga White

 

Bamboo Garden Yoga

“Yoga takes you into the present moment, the only place where life exists.” ~ Unknown

Whenever I practice, although I’m doing my own thing right now, I remember Cat Kabira from my “Gentle Yoga” DVD saying, “Relaaaaaaaaxing Jaw……. Relaaaaaaaxing Face…..”

AHHHHHH!

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Thoughts on a Tuesday 9-10-2019

 

 

I’ve told you that my priority has shifted from ONLY trying to grind through my endless to-do list to making SURE I have some fun each day and getting exercise.  This is the latest therapy to come from my art room.  I wish you could see the sparkly nature of it. The leaves are done with clear glitter glue, but on the blue tee the paint turns a really nice, sparkly green.

I will earn my second gold star for the week, doing a nice long session of ‘old lady’ yoga stretching this afternoon. Since I sloughed off for so long, I have essentially started over, (starting again last week) but I AM beginning to feel a bit looser. I’m particularly feeling it in my mid-section (!) when I walk.  My husband sits in his recliner reading as I practice my stretches. We both laugh at my ‘Rice Krispies body’ – with all the audible snap, crackling and popping as I change positions.

I am MUCH happier since I decided that life is too short to only do fun things ONLY when the list has been accomplished.  Now I’m accomplishing a reasonable number of things, but also feeling better health-wise and happier in my heart.

I have told you that our son is here, having traveled to be with us from Thailand where he lives and works. He is helping us find our new normal since my husband’s stroke in July.  Even with the health scare, it’s a joyful time when he is here. I love our talks, his wonderful sense of humor, and his gold-medal-winning hugs that fill my heart to overflowing.

Mother Nature is still teasing us with HINTS of the coming fall, allowing us to enjoy having the doors open in the mornings to catch a wonderful breeze and then joyfully frying us like eggs in the afternoon with heat indices of around 100 degrees F.  My raised bed, square foot garden is breathing its last, even with our irrigation system. It’s just too hot for them. It’s too hot to start fall plants, as well, (it’s at least a gazillion degrees in our greenhouse) so we wait for relief. My husband wants me to try to grow strawberries next spring, so I’ll start reading everything I can find on that.

I  hope that YOUR Tuesday brings you something that makes you smile.

 

 

 

 

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So Do It

Kurt Vonnegut via Cathy Ruggiero

In the last post I was telling you about a change in perspective about how we feel about Mondays.  I have also changed my perspective on day-to-day priorities.

I always have a to-do list that is frequently longer than my arm. There are lots of things I feel that I should do in any given day. Some are ‘have-to’s,’ but most of them are just ‘should’s.’

For years I have tried to get as many of the things on the list done as I could and THEN given myself permission to go up and play in my art room, or do exercise. Most of the time, the art room, exercise, and/or playing in my garden or flowers got lost in the shuffle.

Since my husband had a stoke in July (he’s better and better every day), things got to the point where I felt guilty if I didn’t rush in the bathroom. Yes, it was that bad. Our son came home, gave us perspective, space, compassion, understanding, strength, wisdom, and lots and lots of hugs. This has been priceless.

Since he isn’t in a hurry to go back home, I have had a chance to rethink what I need to do now that the initial scare is over so that I can handle whatever comes next. My big change in priorities is to get REAL about what really needs to be done from the list. I ask myself, what is the worst that will happen if I don’t do this today? If I can handle the answer, it’s priority number is lessened. I have decided that I need to do everything in my power to be strong enough for both of us – particularly when our son needs to leave. So now time in my art room, time for a session of yoga, time to play in my garden or my flowers are things near the top of the list.

This morning I went up to my art room and finished painting my latest tee shirt. (I’ll post a pic when it’s dry.)  I have just finished my first yoga session of the week, giving myself a gold star on my desk calendar. :0)

I still have plenty of time to tackle the ‘have-to’s’ for the day, but I’m feeling more at peace because of the time in the art room, and healthier and looser because of the yoga session. If I’m as strong as I can be, I can handle whatever else comes our way better.

taolife.com

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Yoging

Amazon

On Tuesday of this week I renewed my yoga practice after sloughing off for a number of months. Excuses abound, but I KNEW it had been doing me a lot of good. I felt the progress, the loosening of my muscles, the relaxation. Tuesday I finally decided that I needed to take better care of myself and that started with practicing yoga daily. My husband’s question every day now is, “Are you going to yoge?”

Since I’m a bit age-challenged (I’m 72) and basically enjoy mostly sedentary pastimes, I really have to MAKE myself exercise even though I’ve proven that I actually feel better having done it.  As a former student, then teacher – I learned the motivation of the Gold Star. It STILL works for me. I can be really tired from working in the yard and I look at my desk calendar, seeing 5 stars for the week – lacking the 6th – and I go practice my yoga to be able to add the star. Stupid – Silly – but I figure whatever works….

SO – Since I ‘yoged’ Tuesday through Sunday this first week of renewed practice, it’s a 6 STAR WEEK!  :0)

 

DoYouYoga

“It’s not about being good at something. It’s about being good to yourself.” ~ unknown

I’m basically starting over, having sloughed for such a long time, but I am already seeing a bit of progress. I can again touch my toes. I do have to bend over and really breathe into it, but

g-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y lower with each long breath so that eventually my fingertips touch the mat.  It takes me almost a full minute of lying on my back for muscles to stop clenching, but I am relaxing a bit more quickly each day. I am still a wonderful model for the old Rice Krispies advertisements – snap, crackling, and popping my way into each new pose, but I AM able to get into them. The worst is sitting with my legs spread out to either side and then trying to bend forward. My “Gentle Yoga” instructor, Cat Kabira, bends forward and lays her forehead on the mat. Yeah. Right. I bend forward and the insides of each leg start screaming immediately. I am taking Cat at her word, that stretching as far as you can into the pose and breathing into it will bring rewards, whether you can touch your forehead on the mat or not….

 

India TV

“Inhale the future, exhale the past.” – unknown

The big thing I’m noticing is that the stretching in all directions and forcing myself to relax – eventually – makes me feel better. It used to be that I would stretch and some muscle or other would cramp. That is not happening now! This is a benefit of the practice before, but I’ll take it. I still hurt when I stretch, but NO cramping! Hooray!

 

YouTube

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.” ~ unknown

I’ll have to admit that I’m interrupted in my practice more by my own laughing than anything else. My husband never fails to remark at all the popping sounds my poor old body makes. I simply look at him, then can’t hold it in any longer and start to laugh. I tell him that he can make fun when HE is there beside me trying to do it, too. That usually results in his going back to reading on the tablet. :0)

 

Pinterest

“The pose begins when you want to leave it.” ~ unknown

As we age, balance becomes a problem. We tend to start shuffling our feet a bit or walking more tentatively, rather than striding as we used to. I have found that the yoga practice results in my feeling more steady, feeling my muscles work as I walk or stand.

 

Facebook

“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.” ~ unknown

I may always be creaky, but I’m really going to try to keep this going. I need to be as strong, flexible, and reasonably balanced as I can going forward. These ‘old lady stretches’ are really helpful – assuming that I actually continue to get down on the floor and DO them.

 

Pinterest

“Just breathe.” ~ unknown

NEXT week will be a 7 gold star week!

 

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Thoughts on a Sunday

Jayanand Govindaraj via Robert J. Bennett – LinkedIn

 

Hello!

I’m getting a late start on blog posts today because our Internet keeps going on the fritz.

My main thoughts today were to play ‘fruit-basket-upset’ with my priorities for the day.

We got groceries this morning, and I put a roast in the crock pot for tonight.

THEN, when the Internet wasn’t cooperating, I went up to my art room – a thing that got lost in the shuffle yesterday – and started painting another tee!

NEXT, I’ll get my yoga practice in for the day, and

THEN I’ll tackle the weed whacking and clean up after my husband mows later.

Anything ELSE that gets accomplished will be gravy.

 

I hope that YOU are having a great Sunday, too.

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Therapy

Bruderhof Communities

Playing in my art room is therapy for me. An escape from anything that is bothering me. A way to work out feelings. A joy in experimentation.

We converted a third bedroom into my art room several years ago. I helped my husband put up extra shelves all the way across one wall. We got extra stand-alone shelves and a drafting table advertised in the newspaper. We put up a few more shelves on another wall. I converted the closet into a supplies area. We put up another large table that is as long as one wall.  There is a ceiling fan from which I hung a cute mobile of merry-go-round horses.

Years ago my husband and son got together to give me a present of a lot of my favorite songs on CDs. I have a player up there, so I can fill the room with glorious music – some of which I danced to as a teenager a hundred years or so ago – and lose myself in the world of music and paint.

The only limitations is my imagination and my ability to make my visions come out on whatever I’m trying to paint. Lately I’ve been having ideas for tees on which I have spots that won’t come out in the wash. Since I’m a slob, I seem to have a never-ending supply of tees that can use a face lift.

Yesterday I finished another.

 

Lately I am trying to do things each day that make me stronger.  I’m getting back into exercising, monitoring what I eat more carefully, working in my flowers when the weather isn’t lethal, playing in my art room, spending time with our son, walking outside several times a day, and reading.

The result of all this is hopefully a stronger, happier, calmer me. I don’t have to be able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound, but being able to handle whatever comes as well as possible would be good.  I am in DAY 4 today. So far, so good!

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, aging, Attitude, building good habits, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, fun in my art room, Giving New Life to Old Tops, Health Alert, Lewis Art, playing in my art room, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Thoughts on a Wednesday

2 STAR art

Right now I feel about 110 years old thanks to the fact that I HAVEN’T been doing my yoga as I should have for far too long. Yesterday I finally decided to get started again. My poor body could really tell that it had been awhile, creaking, groaning, snap-crackle-popping as I did each new stretch. I felt better afterward, but stiffened up again overnight since I used muscles I haven’t bothered with.

I have a haircut this afternoon, but THEN I will do another good session of yoga stretching out each and every part slowly – breathing into each stretch and holding it. I really am promising myself I will do this every day. I had made good progress before, FINALLY able to touch my fingertips on the floor while bending over from the waist, for example. I’m pretty much starting from scratch right now, but I have proved to myself that I feel better, move more easily, and have improved balance when I practice yoga regularly. And this old broad has started again! REALLY!

I also felt my spirits lifting even as I walked upstairs to my art room yesterday. I turned on one of my CDs and shed years as I listened to old favorites. I started painting another tee, giving it some new life. I’m looking forward to getting up there again this afternoon. I’m promising myself to do THIS as much as possible, too, as I can handle whatever better after giving myself permission to play a bit. :0)

So far, Hurricane Dorian has missed some of my good friends in Florida, and for that I’m truly grateful. I have several other friends I’m monitoring as the storm moves up the East Coast, hoping that they, too, won’t suffer from this awful storm. It has hurt too many good people already.

I hope that your day brings YOU joy, too!

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Folding Myself into a Paper Airplane

Pixabay

I can’t tell you how long it has been since I did a session of yoga. I will be generous to myself and say a couple of months, but it’s probably longer. I have given other things priority over yoga practice, even though I KNOW I need it. I have lots of excuses, but I finally decided that today was the day.

I have just finished a session, and I have to tell you that I feel better than I did.

I do “Gentle Yoga” – sometimes using a set of DVDs by this name put out by sixtyandme.com with instructor Cat Kabira.  This is a group of yoga stretches and poses for people who are NOT yoga people – people who are a bit age-challenged like I am (I’m 72) who have likely have health or injury issues, or, who, like me, are generally stiff, sore, and too sedentary for their own good. I call it “Yoga for Old Broads” and I love it. The instructor is very forgiving, non-judgmental, NOT super-perky so you have the urge to squeeze her neck. She stresses to just do what you can do. If you stretch in the way she is telling you, even though you can’t fold yourself into a pretzel, you are doing good for yourself. The stretching in that direction, holding the pose and BREATHING into it will finally result in your body GIVING a bit, stretching out, relaxing.

Today I just did some of the poses on my own. I wanted to take my time, do what occurred to me to do, holding the poses as long as I could. BOY! My body was telling me that I had been neglecting it!  Everything was difficult today. I really worked slowly, easing into things, breathing a lot, trying to relax. I could really tell that I need to do this every day as I was doing before other things took precedence around here. Everything I have is stiff and sore. Even lying on my back hurt for a minute or so!  I snapped, crackled, and popped as I stretched each part of me out, one area at a time.  I spent half an hour today and feel better now for it.

I will try to make time for this every day now. I have AGAIN learned that my health and ability to move and relax is super important – maybe now more than ever.

If you haven’t tried “Gentle Yoga” I highly recommend it.

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Working on Creativity

2 STAR art

I am doing two things for myself this afternoon –

THING ONE – I’m going to do a long, slow session of old lady yoga this afternoon, stretching every part I have as much as possible.

THING TWO – I’m going to start painting another stained tee that needs new life due to my slobbiness.

I hope that you have a nice afternoon planned.

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Living Fully

Victoria Erickson – Wild Woman Sisterhood – via Tetiana Shevchuk – LinkedIn

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Filed under Encouragement, Favorite Quotes, taking care of yourself, Think Life Differently

Thoughts on a Sunday

Wildlife Lovers via Sherry Dellaria McGrath

Good morning!

First, I feel guilty that our weather is pretty nice today. My thoughts are full of the people in the path of Hurricane Dorian. I am hoping that the hurricane will take a sharp turn and just give  people a lot of rain and maybe some wind and THAT’S ALL. Fingers crossed.

Second, I’m reading as much as I can find about strokes. We were extremely lucky with my husband’s. It affected his speech and his walking, but both are improving by leaps and bounds. I learned that changes in personality and behavior are common. He is experiencing hair-trigger anger, lashing out suddenly. Most of the things I’m reading say that these changes are usually temporary and fade with time. Our son is home, helping us all keep much calmer in dealing with this.

Third, I’m happy to be finished with August and beginning a brand new, hopefully cooler month. Fall has always been my favorite season. I love being able to throw on MORE clothes, rather than being too hot. I love fireplaces, hot cocoa, the rich colors all around.  I love cleaning up the yard because things STAY done a lot longer. :0)  I love sitting outside in the evening with a hot cup of coffee, enjoying the weather, watching birds, and more. Ahhh!

Fourth, our son had me laughing so hard my stomach hurt. He decided that our goldfish are playing basketball in their aquarium.

He described in elaborate detail how the fish were sucking up one of the pieces of gravel, then swimming over to the bathtub with the piece of gravel and then spitting it into the bathtub. When I laughed at the idea, he puffed up, trying to imitate the goldfish – but actually looking a bit like a chicken – acting out the playing of the basketball game. I laughed and laughed.  This is one of the MANY reasons I am thankful he came home to help us through the health challenge. He brings compassion, love, calmness, strength, and an absolutely fabulous sense of humor.

So happy Sunday, happy September!

I wish you a day filled with good things.

 

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Ahhhhh!

Getty Images

I used to think that massage was an indulgence.

For 8 years I did the medical transcription and bookkeeping for a busy 8 general surgeons office in Fort Smith. I routinely worked overtime, trying to keep up, sometimes working 10 and 12 hour days. I gradually got to the point that I was so messed up that I was unable to pull my shirt over my head at night. I finally saw a doctor and he recommended several things to help me, one of which was massage. Happily, there was an exercise place very near the medical clinic, so I started going every day after work, and once a week I got a massage. Gradually, I regained my health.

I stopped getting a massage because I told myself I was better, and it was really expensive getting a massage weekly. I had stopped working at the clinic and didn’t want to drive to Fort Smith (45 minutes each way).

I don’t remember how I met Lynn Moody, my miracle working massage therapist here in Greenwood, but I am thankful every day that I did. I now get a massage once a month, and I cannot say enough about how much I get from it. When you find a good massage therapist, you can fully relax, knowing you’re in good, caring hands. You can talk or not talk. I use this time to catch up with Lynn, since I consider her a good friend, as well as a miracle worker. I leave feeling relaxed and able to tackle whatever happens in a much better frame of mind.

A good massage therapist finds all the places that you didn’t even realize were tied in a knot. She listens and focuses on areas you do know about. I definitely need my massage once a month, but I don’t get like a pretzel anymore, so sore I can’t raise my arms, for example.

If you have erroneously considered massage therapy a ‘luxury,’ an ‘indulgence,’ putting it in the category of ‘things-you-can-do-without,’ I hope that you will reconsider.

It is now one of the main things I do to take care of myself –  part of my healthcare. It would be one of the LAST things I would stop doing if I really had to start cutting things due to money difficulties.

If you are in the Fort Smith/Greenwood/Hackett area in Arkansas, thank your lucky stars and call Lynn Moody.  320 South Coker Street, Greenwood AR. 479-629-7601.

If you live elsewhere, ask your friends if they know a good one and get started.  Your body will thank you.

Love Being a Massage Therapist

 

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A Nice Wednesday

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

Jeff Jett posts these wonderful photos on LinkedIn. He is an avid supporter of wildlife and wants to do what he can to help preserve wild animals and their habitats. I don’t know who took this fabulous photo, but it’s one of the nicest I’ve ever seen.  Great way to start the day, isn’t it?

The high temperature for the day here in Greenwood, Arkansas is forecast to be only 88 and no rain. (Fort Smith, about 9 miles from us, just had the most rain EVER for August, and the month isn’t over! The usual rainfall for the month is 2.59 inches. This month we’ve already had 11.13 inches. Needless to say, this much rain has caused many problems, and is one of the times where it is GOOD to live on top of a ridge line. (We won’t dwell on our getting our electronics fried in June due to being on top of this same ridge line.) We are hoping that the temperatures will continue to ease and that we can again enjoy being outside.

Our son is still with us, after my husband’s health scare. Thank goodness he can work from anywhere, so he is able to keep up with things he needs to do while helping us create the ‘new normal’ around here. One of the things we’re trying to do is walk around our yard after we feed our animals in the evenings. So far, our results are a bit iffy (The first night my husband opted to mow the lawn with the riding mower while our son and I walked. Last night we made it around the yard once, with my husband stopping to pull weeds or fix things every few steps.) We will continue our efforts – the goal being to get him moving, doing at least a bit of exercise each day, and hopefully enjoying the weather while we’re doing it.

While creating a ‘new normal,’ I’m redoubling my efforts to get myself as healthy as I can – and staying that way – so that I can handle whatever challenges the future brings.  I’ve become lax on my exercising (this time using the excuse of my husband’s health challenge), so I’m going to start with a session of yoga today. I will try to do SOMETHING exercise-wise daily, plus try to get my husband to walk in the evenings.  I’ll also try to do something for myself each day – whether it’s playing in my art room, like I did yesterday, painting a tee –

 

 

working outside in my flowers or veggies, enjoying a good book, or – like tomorrow – having my once per month massage.  I’ll continue my efforts to lose the lard.

I hope you’re having a beautiful Wednesday.

 

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, taking care of yourself, Thoughts on a ________

Fighting Through the System

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

Now that we’ve gotten some answers and a plan for my husband’s recent stroke, I’m having to dive into the pool again, trying to get reasonable help, rather than putting up with the runaround.

Our primary doctor and the neurosurgeon said he needs to be seen by a neurologist for circulation questions in his legs and numbness on the bottom of both feet. (He is a Type II diabetic.)  I finally got a call this morning from a neurologist’s office, giving us an appointment. I was simply speechless when she gave us an appointment for the first opening – almost the end of FEBRUARY!  Our son’s reaction was, “you’re kidding, right?” My husband’s reaction was, “I’ll be dead by then.”

We have access to a portal where we can contact the nurse of our primary. I consider this a miracle because the nurse is a true gem. She usually gets back to me by the end of the day I leave the message. She has worked tirelessly for us since my husband’s stroke, trying to help us get us the care he needed. I am hoping that we can get a referral to another neurologist who can see my husband in a more reasonable amount of time.  We are supposed to be getting tested (I think an arteriogram of his legs) very soon.

The reason I’m writing this is to again stress that each of us has to be our own health advocate. 

WE are the ones who care the most, and have the most to gain – or lose – by our attitude and effort. We need to keep pushing wherever we can to fight our way through whatever system is in place to get what we need.

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Relief

Credit – Gardiner Family Chiropractic

We had two more doctor appointments today and finally have answers.

Last month my husband had a stroke. His speech and mobility were affected. He is stronger every day, getting better and better. Our son came back from Thailand to help us deal with this. Getting answers as to what my husband needed to prevent another have been quite an ordeal.

The short answer is that what we have been doing for the last two weeks – baby aspirin and Plavix – should be all that is needed. Neurocranial surgery is not needed. No invasive procedures are needed. We have some issues remaining that require referrals to other specialists, but the big worry is now fading away. We can concentrate on the day to day and get to our new normal now.

Lessons learned:

  • Stay at the ER until you have talked to the ER doctor – no matter what. The fast referrals will come from the ER doc. If you leave, you are at the back of any line for any appointment, procedure, test, etc.
  • Be the squeaky wheel. You can be polite, but keep the procedure going. Call or write the people who can make things happen. If they say someone will call, don’t depend on that. You are in charge of your healthcare. You are the one who can keep the focus on the problem, actually GET seen, GET answers, GET help.
  • Don’t try to deal with life-changing things alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends, neighbors, relatives.
  • Be ready when someone else needs YOUR help – help in whatever way you can. It is ALL good.
  • Try your best to stay calm and do the best you can where you are, with the tools you have. It’s all you can do.
  • BREATHE

We are lucky. We can do this.  Such relief!

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CHILLIN’

That Guy Steve

The second load of laundry is in, the groceries are put away. We’re going to devote ourselves to CHILLIN’ today.

Hope YOUR day is wonderful, too.

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Filed under Cherishing the Quiet Day, Family, taking care of yourself

Happy Saturday

Brightside

We are enjoying a nice, quiet Saturday.  Our most stressful thing today has been trying to program our thermostats upstairs and downstairs. :0)  We THINK we have it done now.

We don’t have anywhere we have to be, so we can do a clean-up of details. I’m going to try to do a quick session or two of weeding flower planters and pruning roses, plus checking on the garden. I’ll keep the sessions short and drink lots of water in-between.

It’s good to be able to enjoy the calm today. Our son is with us. All is good.

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Prepare

About Signs

Having a health scare is just that -scary.  Trying to get help for it is a character-building exercise at a time you’re under great stress. Once the initial hurdles have been jumped over, another of life’s realities rears its ugly head – you have to take charge, doing whatever is necessary to get the help needed.

Yesterday was a case in point. I have almost no tongue left because of biting it so many times while I was on the phone making my way through the bureaucratic maze, trying to get tests scheduled and appointments made.

I had been told we would receive calls regarding where and when we should show up for tests and referrals to various specialists. I was given a card with a phone number to call in case that didn’t happen. I was to use it if I didn’t hear anything in a week.

When I called the number on the card, I found that the ‘referral department’ doesn’t actually handle referrals – they give you phone numbers to call – one of which was the ‘scheduling department.’ It turned out that the scheduling department didn’t actually schedule the tests, they ‘authorized’ them. I received another number to call to actually schedule the tests.  The finally scheduled group of added tests will help the specialists figure out what is needed and who should do it.

You get the picture.

It’s bad enough to go through the health scare. The problem is compounded when you finally realize that even though you HAVE TO go through the maze – endure the system – in order to get help, you are your own best advocate. You have to steadily, persistently, keep pushing until you actually get the needed tests scheduled, the actual appointments scheduled to see the specialists, get the results of those, the plan of attack to fix the original problem, the guidance on how to best care for the person who is sick and isn’t in a position to deal with this.

We are thankful. Our son – who lives and works in Thailand – wanted to come to help. He did and is here. He is keeping us calmer, more able to slog through the mazes, phone trees, delays, frustration, attitudes, and emotions, actually injecting some much-needed humor, as well as calm strength.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises, Family, taking care of yourself

Nice, Quiet Sunday

Brightside

We’re enjoying a quiet day here.  Days like this have been few and far between lately, so we’re concentrating on being very thankful.  We’ve been out, errands have been run, no big plans for the day. Mother Nature is trying to boil us in oil outside, with a heat index this afternoon of 110-115 degrees F., so we’re content to enjoy our cool home and maybe even catch a nap this afternoon.

I’m going to try to make some time to play in my art room today. I have a couple of ideas rattling around that I’d like to try. I’ll play my MP3 player, shut out the world, and enjoy! Ahhhh.

Happy Sunday to you, too! :0)

 

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Goal

Shlreline Primitives via Carol Auclair Daly

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