Tag Archives: taking care of yourself

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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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

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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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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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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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

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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Senior-hood Reminder

AboutKidsHealth

I worked out in the yard yesterday evening, cutting down what we call, “Weed Trees.”

These were too close around our burn barrel, so I wanted to clear the area.

The first step was cutting down the ‘trees’ and throwing them into a pile away from the barrel.  I did that, but got really hot and tired. When I started to come in, I noticed I had teeny, tiny burrs all over me. I tried to brush them off while out in the yard. Now I know where our elderly dog, Molly gets them. They don’t come off easily.

I spent another half hour pulling the burrs off my shirt, jeans, and finally, shoes.

In the night I had two bad Charley-horses. I haven’t had one of these since I was pregnant – a hundred years or so ago. They were so bad I thought I would have to wake up my husband, but thankfully, I could let him sleep.

This morning I was limping. My husband massaged my calf and I put on muscle relaxant stuff. I’m already walking better.

I  will take it easier today, and will do some yoga stretches later today.

I HATE being rudely reminded of my senior-hood.

 

 

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Take Time

sayingimges.com

I rewarded myself for prevailing over my technology challenge this morning by spending some time in my art room. I’ve spent part of three afternoons up there and it really does my heart good. When I’m playing up there with my favorite music playing, all the stuff that is bothering me goes away. My heart and mind rest and I can simply enjoy playing in the paint trying to make the images rattling around in my head come out on the piece I’m working on.

The last three days I’ve been making a new set of note cards. I finished them today. They are drying.

Tomorrow I’ll take pictures, share them with you, and then list them on my new Etsy site, ArtworthyNoteCards.

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We’ve Been Spiralized (if you’ll pardon the expression)

HungryGoddess.com

 

 

I’m probably the last person on the planet to spiralize a veggie. I’ve made cauli-rice and I’ve cooked spaghetti squash, but just spiralized my first yellow squash last night.

My sister-in-law, Mary Lou, told me that she had done it recently and she thought it was very good. Somehow, in my mind I was waiting to ‘process’ some and freeze it just to eat in place of spaghetti or noodles.

I used my spiralizer (above) for the very first time and it worked like a charm. I sauteed the squash in some olive oil, added some seasoned salt and pepper, and some garlic powder. It only took a few minutes to cook. My husband doesn’t like to ‘fight’ with spaghetti or anything like that, so I cut the ‘squash spaghetti’ into bite-sized pieces and served.   I put some on my husband’s plate, along with nice roast beef slices, and asked him to try it.

To my surprise, he said, “This is okay. What is it?” Around our house, this amounts to a judgment of ‘we can eat this again.’ (Not ‘YUMMY!” but it’ll work.) I can now look forward to serving this under recipes that call for spaghetti, angel hair pasta, or even noodles.

As far as our new ‘son’ (we’re hosting a 16-year-old soccer-player from Italy for the next school year, starting in August), I’ll ask him to try it. If he likes it, we’ll all try it with spaghetti and meat balls or a stir-fry. If he doesn’t, it won’t be a big deal to make some actual spaghetti for him.

Tonight I’m trying zucchini!

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Filed under DIET!, getting the lard off, Keto Eating Plan and Recipes We Like, taking care of yourself

Decision: Miracle or Euthanasia?

iStock by Getty Images

As Lynn Moody – my wonderful massage therapist – and I walked up to her spa location, I asked her if there were any upper age limit on who could get a massage. She laughed when I told her that I felt at least 180 years old this morning and that everything I had hurt. I asked her to either perform a miracle or euthanize me –

My husband and I have had a labor-intensive week or so, with my  spreading 16 large bags of cedar blend mulch on the ground under the raised bed planter boxes in my square foot garden after several sessions of weeding; our hauling bricks, laying bricks and then shoveling potting soil into the finished planter, our doing yard work, etc.

Adding insult to injury, one of our cats tried to jump in my lap while I was sitting at the computer yesterday, missed, and grabbed my hand with her claws on the way down. When I FINALLY was able to detach her claws, her back claws stuck into my leg. Both my hand and my leg are slightly swollen. For some mysterious reason, my right ear lobe has also been swollen – though I can’t blame THAT on the cat, AND I had a crick in my neck.  I was actually moaning a bit trying to get onto the massage table…

Happily, Lynn not only found the really sore spots I knew about, but also the ones I hadn’t realized hurt! At the end of my hour-long massage, I sighed in relief. She had, indeed, performed a miracle.

I’ve been drinking lots of water since I came home, trying to increase the chances of my relief lasting as long as possible. If I can get a good night’s sleep tonight, I will be a happy camper tomorrow.

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Ready to Plant More!

This picture gives you a good idea of how our raised bed, square foot garden is set up. You can see the six boxes. Each is 4 foot square. Each has a sprinkler in the center with hose connecting the boxes to one master control that irrigates the garden each morning for 10 minutes. Each box is divided into ‘squares’ by running wire in two directions. You can also see that there is fencing around the garden to keep out large critters. It also has chicken wire running around the bottom for little critters.

The rains lately caused an explosion in the garden. The plants were spilling out of the top over the sides. I couldn’t see the squares anymore. It took me three days to get things harvested, washed, and either put in the fridge or distributed to friends. I finished cleaning up the garden this morning so it’s ready to plant some new things. My husband and I will see what is available in the coming week that looks interesting.

We have about 5 heads of lettuce that might still make. The green part of the onions is over my head. :0)

I think this is zucchini squash. I also have some cantaloupe plants.

The jury is still out on whether sweet little plants like these that are dotted around the garden are weeds or spinach. I’m hoping for spinach. Time will tell.

This sweet little guy is celery, transplanted from sprouting in the kitchen. I cut off the end of some celery I bought at the store and put it in water. It’ll be fun to see what happens.

I keep telling you about Mel’s Mix, the soil alternative I use instead of real dirt in my garden. I buy peat moss, vermiculite, mushroom compost, barnyard compost, and cotton burr compost from the local co-op and put each ingredient in one of the garbage cans. I then put the ingredients in the correct ratio into our portable concrete mixer.

This is easy to use and mixes things SO much better than I was doing before with a shovel in my wheelbarrow. When mixed, the mixer will move down to dump the ingredients into a bucket, the wheelbarrow, or whatever, and I transfer it to the garden boxes.

I’m hoping we’ll find something fun to plant next week. Fingers crossed!

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Getting the Lard Off Progress To Date

The short answer – I’m down 43 pounds and 47.7 inches. 

Longer answer –

We decided to stop Nutrisystem, figuring that we have learned the lessons they have provided, and now it’s up to us to use them. We had gotten to the point where we were pretty much doing our own thing anyway, and are basically eating poultry or fish, lots of raw veggies and salads, fruit, and nuts.

I’m gathering some nice recipes for the chicken and fish. I’m working at this slowly because particularly at this time of the year, we’re doing a lot outside and I’m too pooped at the end of the day to start a new recipe. We eat a lot of what we call, “Main Meal Salads,” (basically chef salads) for dinner.

One surprising thing was that I’m having to work out a new dosage of thyroid replacement medicine since I’ve lost the weight. (I had Graves Disease and my thyroid was radiated, so I have none. My life now depends on replacing what my body can’t supply anymore.) Finding the right dosage is a bit like growing nerves – slow, gradual, and painful. Having too much or too little thyroid hormone results in basically the same symptoms – and all of them are extremely annoying. So you try a dosage for 6 weeks, get another blood test, change the dosage, try again. The symptoms remain until your brain is happy with the dosage. No shortcuts. We THINK we have the correct dosage now – at least most of the symptoms have decreased at this level.

My exercise efforts are hit and miss despite my best intentions. I’m working in my raised bed, square foot garden, plus weed whacking in the yard, weeding flower beds, etc. By the time I do several sessions of that in a day, I’m too lazy to try to exercise. I have finally learned the big lesson that being active is NOT the same as doing established exercises. The movement is good, but you’re not working the same muscles in the same way as you do when you exercise.

So, I’m feeling guilty a lot, but my priority right now is working outside when I can. When I get things to the stage where I’m basically maintaining my plants, I’ll do better on the exercise – PROMISE. (Okay, I know you’ve heard THAT before…. :0) )

I’m hopeful that when I report again at the end of May, I will have reached 50 lbs off and whatever inches I can manage. Here’s to a better job of getting the lard off!

taolife.com

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Ahhh!

Massageaholic.com

There is no way to tell you how much I look forward to my monthly massage. Lynn Moody is my massage therapist. She is SO good. She listens. She can feel with her magic hands where you have knots, sore spots, stiffness and take them away. I can trust her to FEEL when what she is doing is too much. She knows what to do to ease whatever you walked in with.

I’m not sure if I particularly needed her today or if she just was able to reach me particularly well, but I feel really great right now.

I used to feel that massage was a total luxury. Now I consider it a taking-care-of-myself thing.

If you haven’t tried masage therapy and live in the Greenwood/Fort Smith/Hackett area, call Lynn Moody and make an appointment. It’ll be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. Her number is 479-629-7601.

If you live outside this area, FIND someone and start feeling better soon.

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Getting the Lard Off Results – as of March 2019

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I have a whole list of excuses, but – bottom line – I didn’t make much progress this month – except on finding some good, healthy recipes that we can eat on a regular basis.

To date – since my lardiest – I’ve lost 43 pounds and 44.2 inches. 

My goal is to lose another 30 pounds or so to get to the place where I can quit trying to get taller and my BMI chart is singing ‘hallelujah,’ – or at least, ‘you’ve come a long way, baby.’ Whatever inches that go with that will be much appreciated. I would love to get to the point where I don’t have to worry about ‘getting into’ clothes. I don’t really care what size it is. I would just like to be able to walk into a regular department or other clothes store and be confident that I can find my size and that the garment has a reasonable chance of fitting.

The biggest goal, though, is health. I’m newly determined – since the death of my brother this month – to do everything I can to improve my health as much as possible. That means a healthy weight and lots and lots of moving.

I’ve used lots of excuses re getting off my duff, too. I’m TRYING to do something different each day to keep getting my body’s attention. I’m already more active than usual, getting my veggie garden started and general working in the yard stuff.  But I use THAT as an excuse to forego my scheduled exercise. (I know, it’s pathetic, but there it is.)

I’m going to try to get started with getting on the elliptical trainer in the garage today. I’ll just worry about today for now.

Hopefully, when I report to you again at the end of April, I can say I’ve made some real progress.

All appendages crossed!

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Shingles

Health Central

My husband had Shingles in about 2004. He was in intense pain for about 8 weeks, with it still hurting to cough, sneeze, or laughs for weeks after that. Here is information about Shingles –

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shingles/symptoms-causes/syc-20353054

When the first vaccine came out, we jumped at the chance to protect ourselves. I don’t ever want my husband to suffer like that again, and I sure didn’t want to get it. We were vaccinated – being told that would protect us for life.

Then – they amended that to say you were lucky if you were protected for 5 years. This meant our protection was gone in 2009! We jumped on the information when a new 2-dose vaccine was announced. The problem is that there is quite a shortage of the vaccines. You have to call around and list your name several places to get the first vaccination, and then HOPE you can get the second within the six month time period for it to be effective.

We lucked out, getting out first vaccination in January. We were due for our second one mid March, but had to wait a week or two (which was still amazing) to get the second one.

The first one the whole back of my arm swelled up, nice and pink and sore and hot, with a hard knot in the middle, if I were brave enough to touch it. I felt as if I had been run over by a bus for three days afterwards.

We both got the second dose yesterday morning. This time The spot on my arm is much smaller, about the size of a 50 cent piece, with the hard knot in the center. It isn’t hot this time, only pink and sore. I feel again like I’ve been run over by a bus. I slept Wednesday afternoon and then all night Wednesday night. We got up today and I was feeling faint. I had quite a bout of feeling nauseous and sick, faint, etc. and then managed to get that under control and went to sleep in my chair again.

I got up long enough to make us a sandwich for lunch and held that down fine. We did the few errands that were have-to’s and then I felt well enough to watch a movie I’ll tell you about tomorrow.

We’re going out to pick up Chinese for dinner. I’ll hit the hay early again and hope I’m feeling more like myself tomorrow. At least this time I know about how long I’ll feel terrible.

I really think it’s worth it for the protection it gives – hopefully another five years without worry we’ll get Shingles.  It is truly an awful disease where caregivers are helpless to do any good and it seems to last forever. A few days of feeling yucky is a small price to pay.

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Progress in Planting

Raised-Bed Square Foot Planters in the Garden:

Yesterday I weeded one of the six raised bed square foot garden planters. It’s 4 feet x 4 feet.

Today we bought two bunches of Sweet Red Onions and I got them planted. Since they’ll stay where they are until they are ready for harvest (August or after) I planted them without stringing strings across to make ‘squares’ for planting. I just tried to give them room enough to expand to be good-sized, small sweet onions. I spread some fertilizer in the planter and then watered them.

I think they’ll make it through any freezes we have between now and spring, but, just in case, I can spread a king-sized sheet over the planter for protection.

I’ll try to weed one planter each good day, so hopefully they’ll all be ready to receive plants soon.

 

_____________________

Greenhouse:

 

Two of the covered seed starters had water beading on the inside – a good thing.

 

This one was dry, even with the cover. I sprayed the plants with water again and used a different cover. Hopefully, it will hold the moisture in.

I’m not sure how long it takes for the seeds to sprout. I’m like a kid waiting for Christmas!

I’m planning to cut back our rose bushes today, plus give the wisteria some phosphorus fertilizer.

 

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The Verdict is In

My husband gave it the Basic Broccoli Soup a try and doesn’t care for it. I think it tastes really good. If you’re interested, here is the recipe –

Basic Broccoli Soup – Dr. Kris Verburgh, The Longevity Code

Basic Broccoli Soup 

¼ cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped  (I used minced garlic from a jar)

4 cups water

1 pound broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces

2 vegetable bullion cubes (I used chicken)

Pepper

Finely chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the water into the pan and add the broccoli, bouillon cubes and pepper. Simmer for about 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and blend the broccoli with an electric mixer or immersion blender to puree. Serve with parsley.

Tip –

You can also add 1T dried basil, 1 bay leaf (removed before blending), and 1 small, chopped onion, for extra flavor. (I did this)

You can also make the soup thicker by using more veggies – for example, substituting 1 lb 10 oz of veggies for the water. ( I’m thinking I’ll add spinach leaves to this next time.)

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Broccoli Soup Experiment

 

I’m making soup today – for the first time – ever. I know, since I’m older than dirt, this is probably a surprising statement. My mom made a few dishes that were absolutely spectacular, such as spaghetti sauce, chili, and some casseroles; but mainly, she cooked from many boxes and cans. We always ate Campbell’s soup.

I told you we were impressed when we read The Longevity Code by Dr. Kris Verburgh recently, and that there were a few really basic recipes in the book. One was “Basic Broccoli Soup”  and that’s what I have cooking now. When my timer goes off in about 15 minutes, I’m supposed to use an immersion blender (I actually HAVE one!) to puree the broccoli.

I expect my husband will be UNDERwhemed, since he only eats steamed broccoli because he knows he should and because I fix it and put it on his plate. I really don’t expect him to do more than taste it, but one can hope. I’m mainly fixing it for ME because I love broccoli, and like the idea of being able to microwave home-cooked soup and eat it for a meal or a snack any time I would like.

If this recipe is good – or can be tweaked – I’ll post it here.

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Exercise?!

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I missed my exercise yesterday, but I just finished what I was SUPPOSED to do yesterday – yoga and abdominal exercises – so I got my gold star on my desk calendar.  :0)  I’ll have to keep going through Saturday this week to get everything in:

  • Monday – elliptical trainer
  • Tuesday – yoga and abdominal exercises
  • Wednesday – walking video
  • Thursday – Wii Fit Plus ‘games’
  • Friday – dance video

I told you yesterday about a book that impressed my husband and me – The Longevity Code.  He included several recipes, and we got the ingredients we could yesterday. I ordered almond meal today and hope to have it by Friday. As I try these recipes, I’ll post ones we’ll make again to see if you would like to try them, too.

I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful day.

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The Longevity Code

 

I’ve just finished reading and taking notes on The Longevity Code by Kris Verburgh, MD.

My husband and I found it very interesting because it discusses why we age, and what – if anything – we can do to slow the process.

He suggests supplements to add if you’re not taking them already, plus discusses what foods to avoid to be as healthy as you can for as long as you can. He is NOT selling HIS supplements or special foods from HIS source – a thing that would have turned us off.

Some of his suggestions we were doing already. He gives a few recipes to get you started on eating in a healthy fashion that you can add to things you are already doing.

He doesn’t claim you’ll stop or reverse aging, or any nonsense like that. He IS suggesting ways you can improve your health.

We found the book impressive and interesting. We got the supplements we weren’t already taking and went shopping for some basic supplies today. We plan to start implementing many of his suggestions right away.

We figure – What can we lose?

 

 

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The Long View on Our Diet and Exercise Efforts

gif-finder.com – Use Your Blinker

Over a year ago I was at my heaviest. My joints hurt. I didn’t exercise, and didn’t even want to THINK about it. I was depressed. My clothes kept becoming too small. I couldn’t shop at regular stores for clothes anymore. My digestion was poor. I was on a lot of medications. I dreaded going for doctor appointments, and especially having to get on the scales.

My husband and I tried low carb, and we did some good, and then we started Nutrisystem in April of last year. It was May before we could get our act together on eating, and even longer for me to start trying to move more.

I measured and weighed this morning. We’re still trying to lose what we gained during the holidays and our son’s visit, but we’re getting there. I looked at where I was at my heaviest for inspiration and motivation today.

Since my heaviest, I’ve lost 39.2 pounds and 47.7 inches. I’m trying to exercise daily and consciously get up and move more during the day. I love being at my computer, but between sessions I get up and DO something – like my exercise for the day, or another session on the great purge of my house I started last year. I’m now on Phase II and am working in the pantry today.

I want to lose another 30 pounds so I’ll be in the ‘healthy’ range on BMI and insurance charts. I’ve improved my numbers on blood tests a lot since I’ve gotten serious about trying to get healthier, and so has my husband, who has Type 2 Diabetes. (His blood sugar was 84 this morning!) We have gotten better numbers on our cholesterol, lipids, etc., and our doctor is nodding happily. (We hope she’ll do so again at our 6 month check-up on Monday)

I want to have GOOD numbers on blood pressure, blood tests, etc. And I would LIKE to improve my strength, balance, stability, flexibility and more so I can do what I’d like to do for as long as humanly possible. It would be great if I could lessen joint pain, too.

So – even though we’re not back to where we were before the holidays yet, the long-term difference is good.  We both weigh significantly less than we did at one point. We’re healthier than we were over a year ago, and we’re taking better care of ourselves.

My husband is reading something on his Kindle that is catching his attention about health – something that used to be quite unusual for him. He said that people whose waistlines were 80% of their height lived, on average, 20 years less than folks who had more moderate waistlines. He also read that salmon is good for us, and asked if I would fix some.

It’s now on tonight’s menu!

 

 

 

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Turning Over Several New Leaves

5 Ingredient Banana Nut Muffins – The Leaf Recipes – Nutrisystem

LEAF ONE:  My husband and I decided that we would stop the regular Nutrisystem program for a while. Due to our doing our own thing and our son coming home for a three-week visit, we had an over-abundance of NS meals we needed to eat. The Nutrisystem people were kind enough to honor our request for a hiatus in shipments until the first of March. We since have made another big decision: we’re going to stop the regular programs we were on in favor of ordering A LA CARTE for each of us. This way we can get what we want and not have things we’re not crazy about, but have paid for to eat. I also priced what we plan to order in March, and we’ll save significant money. Win/win.

LEAF TWO:  I’ve decided to try more of the flex meals and snacks, cooking more than I have been – (other than comfort food things, such as beef stew.) Some snacks I’ve been eating are bothering me and I want to have healthy snacks on hand. I already eat a lot of raw veggies at lunch, so I’ve been scrambling a bit. Today I fixed “5-Ingredient Banana Nut Muffins” from the Flex Snack Group of Recipes on The Leaf, a part of the Nutrisystem website. The muffins are cooling on the counter as we speak. I’m hoping they’ll be yummy.

My husband was asking that I fix chicken tonight, so we bought some boneless, skinless chicken breasts while we were out. Tonight I’m going to try another new recipe, “Baked Chicken Tenders.” 

“Baked Chicken Tenders” – The Leaf – Nurtrisystem

LEAF THREE:  You’ve probably heard me say this before, but I’m saying it AGAIN – I’m going to try to get into my new routine of daily exercise.

This morning I did 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer in the garage. I’m trying to do something different each day to make my body sit up and take notice. Tomorrow I’ll do half an hour or so of yoga and abdominal exercises. Wednesday I’ll do a walking video. Thursday I’ll do Wii Fit Plus, particularly for the balance and reaction time games. Friday I’ll do my new dance/exercise video. Exercise on the weekends will be optional – or will be make up days for anything I missed.

I’ve been stuck at 30 pounds and 30 inches off for quite a while, mostly due to my own failings. I would like to continue on from here, making some good progress again.

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