--KREN   31,567
30,000-39,999 SparkPoints
--KREN's Recent Blog Entries

New Blood Pressure Guidelines

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I saw this news back in December and just came across this article about it.

In a nutshell, here is what the new guidelines recommend:

among adults age 60 and older with high blood pressure, aim for a target blood pressure under 150/90.
among adults age 30 to 59 with high blood pressure, aim for a target blood pressure under 140/90
among adults with diabetes or chronic kidney disease, aim for a target blood pressure under 140/90.

Read the entire article to get the full picture. I'm 65 but still aiming for blood pressure below 120/80. I do think these new guidelines will help because I won't stress out if I'm a little high!

Also, I've read in several books on blood pressure, as well as on WebMD and the Mayo Clinic site, and in the instructions for every blood pressure monitor I've ever seen, that to properly take your blood pressure you should -
Sit quietly for 5 minutes. No talking, no moving. Even 2 or 3 minutes makes a difference. Try it, using your own BP monitor at home.

I also read that only 4% of doctors' offices abide by those instructions. Maybe that's why so many of us have "white coat syndrome", meaning that our BP is high when taken in the doctor's office.

At my clinic, a nurse comes out and calls your name, then you follow her down about 100 yds. of hallways. Of course, she's 19, busy, and walking as fast as she can. As soon as you reach the examining room, she plops you down in a chair and takes your blood pressure!

I talked to my doctor about it and once we were through with our examination time, he took my BP again, himself. Even with talking to him all that time, my BP was 40 points lower than when the nurse took it.

Just something to keep in mind.

Worrying too much about your BP can give you high blood pressure! LOL.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOLA_LALA 2/5/2014 9:33PM

    I'm 62, and it takes medication to keep my blood pressure at or slightly below 120/80. Great information, Karen, and well synthesized! You illustrated very clearly and nicely just what a huge difference the circumstances of getting one's BP checked can make. Last time, I was busily engaged in an animated conversation with the nurse about her little boy, and the reading was high as a result. It can make that much of a difference!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SMITHKRISTI 1/24/2014 12:29PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
GABY1948 1/23/2014 10:28AM

    I am like you, I am 65 also and do not want mine over 120/80 and when I live healthy it is always way lower than that, and I am thankful for that~

GREAT information, Karen! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANDREAG89 1/23/2014 9:24AM

    Very good information. Thanks very much!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LADYRH 1/23/2014 6:36AM

    emoticon great info

Report Inappropriate Comment
KICK-SS 1/23/2014 1:17AM

    About a year ago, I saw my doctor and was told about the same as you had in your blog - I went in because my med was giving me some issues. They took me off my medicine (HCTZ) and told me then that there were new guidelines for bp - especially for that in older adults (I'm 75). (I was only taking 1/2 of a 25mg pill at that).

I do check my own blood pressure. When I sit down to take a reading, I take two readings (at his suggestion) . the first being about as soon as I sit down, then wait the 5 minutes (which I don't always sit still that long) but at least 3-4 minutes later and its lower than any of the above recommendations. When I first sit down, the reading is probably an average of 140/75 or so... As I sit, the lower number doesn't change much, just the top one - and it's usually less than 130.

And I feel SO much better without taking any medication too... it's made a world of difference.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FLAMENM 1/22/2014 10:28PM

    I'm lucky my NP takes my blood pressure several times. And it's always lower as the appointment does on.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CATHOLICCORGI 1/22/2014 9:00PM

    Intersting...thank you for sharing this! I began my lower carb eating plan a week and a half ago, and the past four days my BP has been 116/74 or so. I know this is good, but I am on a small dose of HTZ. If it stays like this through the weekend, I think I am going to talk to my PCP about it. Sure would be nice to be off one med!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    I'm surprised at the new guidelines. I try to stay 120/80 too but also have white coat syndrome. I always have. So I take my B.P. chart from home with me when I go and have had a ambulatory blood pressure machine done before to prove my point. At night my B.P. can get to around 90s. It is the highest when I do things I hate like vacuuming. LOL.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FISHINGLADY66 1/22/2014 8:46PM

    Great information. Thanks. The last two times I went to the Dr. my blood pressure was 145/90. Great for me. I think I'm getting it under control finally.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ACIMPEGGY 1/22/2014 8:40PM

    I had thought 140/80 was 'borderline.' This info is good to know. Thanks!

emoticon (PS you're 2 years younger than I am. I'm on 2 BP meds.)

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAW_OH 1/22/2014 8:18PM

    I didn't know this. Thanks!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 1/22/2014 7:16PM

    What she said emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
EXOTEC 1/22/2014 6:37PM

    But it's great for the pharmaceutical industry, which would just love to sell you products to reduce it!

Report Inappropriate Comment

WHERE to Cat Nap?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cats sleep wherever they want!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LADYRH 1/19/2014 4:58AM

    Really Cute

Report Inappropriate Comment
FISHINGLADY66 1/18/2014 9:31PM

    Oh how cute. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MORTICIAADDAMS 1/18/2014 11:44AM

    That was really cute!! I love cats!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PB4WEGO 1/18/2014 10:51AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
LAC936 1/18/2014 10:48AM

    Loved them. The kitty on the stove was funny. It must have still been warm.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PDSLIM 1/18/2014 10:42AM

    My guys pick he oddest places too.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ELMA1913 1/18/2014 9:34AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
MARITIMER3 1/18/2014 9:21AM

    Love them - thank you

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZEEDRA 1/18/2014 9:06AM

    Judging from the condition of my sheets when I wake up these days I think I've taken some of those positions during the night! Thanks for posting!

Report Inappropriate Comment


Saturday, January 04, 2014

Sydney helping her Mom make fresh salsa!

Don't those veggies look delicious? Low calorie, low fat, high nutrition!

You never heard anyone say, "I think you have too many veggies in your diet", did you?

Here's to a happy, healthy New Year!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOLA_LALA 2/5/2014 9:39PM

    What an adorable picture of a future healthy, happy cook...and some future delicious salsa, too! Thanks for bringing it to us ) Hope the salsa was great - the ingredients look perfect!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSANNAH31 1/9/2014 10:30PM

    Yes, vegetables are the BEST!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZEEDRA 1/6/2014 10:21PM

    Lovely presentation by beautiful granddaughter. So...you can get salsa that doesn't come in a jar???
Seriously, though...I have friends who get together every year and make antipasto. Whenever I get a chance to go to Costco, I look for a large jar...yummy.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ERIN1957 1/6/2014 5:58AM

Great pic!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FISHINGLADY66 1/5/2014 9:09PM

    emoticon those veggies look so delicious. I have a son in law who will not eat any veggies or fruits. I couldn't live without my veggies.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GABY1948 1/5/2014 7:44AM

    I am definitely in agreement with you and a "veggie" at heart! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LADYRH 1/5/2014 6:26AM

    Great reminder Karen

Report Inappropriate Comment

    The produce section is my favorite in the grocery store. I spend most of my time there.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 1/4/2014 9:51PM

    Absolutely never, lol!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ACIMPEGGY 1/4/2014 9:13PM

    Love it! (and you)

Happy, happy!

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEMETERSCO 1/4/2014 6:54PM

    She is beautiful. Fresh salsa sounds yummy but then I'd want tortilla chips....

Report Inappropriate Comment
UMBILICAL 1/4/2014 5:26PM

  luv em.

Report Inappropriate Comment

My True Christmas Story

Saturday, December 21, 2013

I have posted this here in past Christmases, so I apologize if anyone is getting tired of hearing it!

One year, after my sons had gone to live and work on their own and Christmas was approaching, I was looking around trying to think of what to buy my husband for Christmas. After I while I realized I was really trying hard to dream up a gift for him. I knew he’d be having an even harder time thinking of what to give me.

This got me to thinking about the whole meaning of giving and of Christmas. I’ll try not to make this terribly long, but this is the idea that came to me and what we actually did for Christmas that year -

My husband was a Game Warden. He often confiscated game killed illegally. What happens to it? We tried giving it to facilities like orphanages, but too many government and health regulations kept that from happening. So he always had a list of people he found who were down on their luck and needed food for their families. Most were country boys who could come retrieve the game and dress it and prepare it for eating. This included venison, wild duck, goose, quail, doves, sometimes fish.

Many of these people in our rural area supported their families off the land, too. They hunted and trapped and sold hides. So Jim would also stop when he saw a hide-bearing animal on the roadside - hit by a car - retrieve it and give it to someone so they could sell the hide. This little extra money made a big difference to some families.

Christmas was close and Jim found a huge raccoon that had been killed so he took it to the house of a construction worker who had hurt his back and was out of work. He knew the man would get a nice sum of money for it, enough to buy a few groceries for his wife and 5 kids. The next week Jim stopped by the man’s house and the kids came running out to greet him. One little boy said, “Mr. Jim. Thanks so much for the raccoon. We haven’t had meat in a long time.”

When Jim told me this, we were both horrified. These people were not only eating something most of us wouldn’t, it was a road kill, intended for the hide sale only. But they hadn’t wasted any of it! I’ve eaten roasted raccoon and it’s ok, but not what I look forward to having for dinner, and certainly not when it’s picked up off the roadside.

So here is the plan I put forward to my husband: This year we will not exchange gifts. We will use the money we would have spent on each other and we’ll buy groceries for this man’s family. The important parts of this are:

1. We are not just giving food to a poor family at Christmas. We are doing this instead of giving to each other. You and I will NOT exchange gifts.

2. We will not tell anyone about this.
A part of the Bible that has always made a huge impression on me is Matthew, Chapter 6, Vs 1-7. To put it in the vernacular - Do your good works in secret, don’t blow your own horn. You can read it here: tiny.cc/verse

There was a friend at our house when we were discussing this. He did not like the idea because this man was often arrested for one thing or another - misdemeanor crimes. Jim knew lots of people like this and helped them feed their families anyway. They knew if he caught them breaking the law, he’d take them to jail and then take some food to their families. We talked about it for a while and before he left, our friend added his own money to the contribution.

SO, on December 23rd, I left work early and went to the grocery store. I mentally prepared meals for that family of parents and 5 children - 7 days worth, and bought everything that would be needed to prepare them all. That included a turkey dinner for Christmas day and dessert and candy for the kids. I had more than one grocery cart filled. Christmas Eve morning Jim delivered the entire load, including cash we had collected from our friend. I didn’t go.

He came home crying. The gratitude of the entire family just overwhelmed him. It overwhelmed me, too. The father came to our house later to thank me himself and tell me how hard times had been and what this meant to his family. I can’t tell you the deep joy that filled me that Christmas. It was THE most wonderful Christmas I ever had. It became a tradition I repeated many times, but that first time was the most awesome.

So why am I telling you about this now? I want you, most of all, to hear the SEQUEL. The very next year, this man and his family were in better shape. He came to our house again, to let us know that he and his family were doing the same thing for someone they knew that was in bad shape! He was so thankful to us, not only for the gift of food and money, but for the gift of the GIFT. Of seeing the GIFT in action. I went on to hear, in subsequent years, how the GIFT was being passed on, throughout a community of working poor, and yes, people who were often in our jail for one thing or another. Still people with families to feed and needs to be met.

Even though we didn’t tell anyone what we did, the word spread around, mostly through a community of people that most good citizens ignored or wouldn’t associate with. I still hear about it now and then, 25 yrs later. I certainly still reap benefits un-imagined from it. The memory of that first time still gives me chills.

That’s my Christmas Story.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRANJERRY1 12/31/2013 6:28AM

    Karen, was lovely reading this……
God Bless you for the action to touch so many lives………..
This is indeed the true spirit of Christmas

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZEEDRA 12/28/2013 1:49PM

    I remember the story, Karen, but don't stop telling it...there might be new people reading it.
I thought I was getting a notice when a friend created a new blog but I'm not. I'm glad that I decided to check. And glad my list of Spark friends isn't long. Easier for me with my kind of brain to keep track.
Here's to all your good memories of Jim!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PROVERBS31JULIA 12/23/2013 12:53AM

    It's a great experience for you (and by the way, I *LOVE* the freesia photo in your background - I'm breathing deeply now wishing for a scent of it!! Ahhhhh)...

It's sad that so many take the "Christmas" message and make it a one day only thing, when I believe it should be year round... as much as possible. And you are so right to just keep the matter private, instead of tooting your horn. There's that saying I keep seeing around on Facebook etc., something about Giving to those who could never repay you. But those good works DO ripple out across the neighborhood, the country, the universe...


I hope you have wonderful visits with your family and friends during this time of the year.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GABY1948 12/22/2013 2:51PM

    This is a beautiful story and I am glad you posted it again! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BELTONWALKER67 12/22/2013 10:25AM

    A beautiful story and one that we never get tired of hearing. This is the true meaning of Christmas and a gift that just keeps growing as many people will be sharing their part of the story through the years. Thank you for sharing at this very special time of the year. Merry Christmas!

Report Inappropriate Comment
AWESOMECHELZ 12/22/2013 7:47AM

    While reading your blog, I felt tears forming in my eyes and heart. I was preparing a Christmas lesson today for Sunday School, ages. 8-11, and your story touched my heart and it is something that I can share with them, with the lesson. Thanks for sharing this with us today.

I live alone and have no family, and often feel stressed prior to Christmas day. On Christmas day itself, no matter what's happening in my life, I always feel the Spirit touching my soul and peace. I know God is there with me, for me. So I can't wait for Christmas day and I thank you for sharing your Spirit of Christmas. God bless you. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LADYRH 12/22/2013 7:37AM

    Karen what a beautiful gift that is still giving 25 years later. This is the true meaning of Christmas/ Thanks for sharing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
IMLOCOLINDA 12/22/2013 3:16AM

    What a beautiful story about the true meaning of giving. Thank you so much for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JENNY888 12/22/2013 1:14AM

    Such a beautiful story. I'm really glad you posted it again Karen.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAHLAD1 12/21/2013 9:20PM

    Such a wonderful Christmas story! God bless you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MORTICIAADDAMS 12/21/2013 9:16PM

    We have done something similar. We also like to keep a low profile about it. I worked with a woman who had a house full of children and a disabled hubby to support. They were poor and ate everything - even things I've never heard people eat before, like starlings. People would take them all kinds of dead animals and she would cook them. Raccoon, possums, carp, etc. She was a wonderful cook actually but many of us were afraid to eat what she prepared as we were not sure it is something we would want to eat. LOL!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FISHINGLADY66 12/21/2013 5:54PM

    That's a wonderful story Karen. The biggest Wonder is the truth and caring and giving that you did. This world would be much better off with more people like you. God Bless you.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Megan and the Scorpion

Friday, December 13, 2013

My GD Megan practicing her Scorpion!

Youth is a beautiful thing, isn't it?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRANJERRY1 12/31/2013 6:24AM

    Wow…. amazing agility…… I had learned a dance called Bharatanatyam and did similar steps…. some 70 odd years ago…..

You said it, youth is beautiful.

May the Lord Bless the child with health and long life.

Mani emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BECKYSFRIEND 12/15/2013 9:41AM

    makes me ache just looking-she's amazing

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUDY1676 12/13/2013 10:50PM

    Amazing and beautiful! IF I could get in that pose, I would probably be taken to the hospital!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 12/13/2013 8:47PM

    Sorry, couldn't do that even in my youth!

Report Inappropriate Comment
AKHEIDI 12/13/2013 5:57PM

    I did that once. ONCE! lol

She's a beauty!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GABY1948 12/13/2013 1:37PM

    It sure is! Makes me hurt to see her do this! She looks healthy! Good for you guys instilling health in her so young!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CAT-IN-CJ 12/13/2013 1:37PM

    Afraid I'd have to be rendered unconscious to get into that pretzel.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PJSTIME 12/13/2013 12:40PM

    Beautiful but I couldn't have done this even when I was young. I hope she continues to keep in shape she will never regret it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FISHINGLADY66 12/13/2013 12:05PM

    You have a lovely GD. I don't think I could have ever done that. emoticon Youth is a beautiful thing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZEEDRA 12/13/2013 10:35AM

Unfortunately, I have Scorpiophobia. I have a fear of bringing my knee any higher than my hip and my feet any higher than my knee as well.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MORTICIAADDAMS 12/13/2013 10:10AM

    Excellent!! My scorpion died a long time ago. LOL.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VEGIBIKER 12/13/2013 9:53AM

    wow. Yeah - I don't think I'll try that one. Youth is pretty awesome

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 Last Page