Saturday, October 03, 2009
Yesterday I got a shingles shot in my left arm. I got a flu shot in my right arm. I had my knee x-rayed, and learned I will probably have to have surgery done on it.
I learned that my DH nor I need to get the H1N1 shot, because we are "too old to get it".
I also learned that I have Presby Esophagus. What is Presby Esophagus you may well ask? In layman's terms, it is "old esophagus".
The name comes from when the Presbyterian Church was first formed. They had their elders, who pretty much ran everything, and were old in age. They all sat together in an area specially built for them off to one side of the alter to make sure the rules were followed. Another name for "elder" is "Presby".
Therefore, elder esophagus = old tubing.
I have to see a specialist for my old tubing, and another one for my knee. Cripes!
I already KNEW I had old tubing. I mean, how can one NOT know, with the rest of the body getting old? I have arthritis, my fingers are doing the twist without the accompaniment of music, my hair is getting thinner and requires tons of mousse (don't get excited.....it's not the chocolate kind!). Clairol should give me free products by now.
I have vericose veins that look like a road map of Wisconsin, my bladder leaks, and my boobs are doing their best to move to Mexico because I refused to fill them up with silicone when that was all the rage. Come to that, I think it is still a rage, but I don't hear as well as I used to, and my bi-focals are getting a bit dim.
I joioned a SP challenge with the Port Angeles and Surrounding Areas team, which was to walk one mile a day for the month of September. Darcey, Kat, Shirley and the rest of the team have all been such strong supporters of me that I decided to take them up on the challenge during one of my senior moments.
I was not a walker until now. You can read my past blogs to learn more about my thoughts of walking anywhere. But I figured, what the heck........they've been good to me, so I might just try to get in 5 miles for September.
That turned my life around another corner. I put in 52 miles during the month of September, and learned to love the walk, the solitude, nature, the fresh feeling of getting stronger and stronger.
I began to play with the idea of doing a 5k walk. I mentioned this to my friend at quilt club last week, and she just happened to be signed up to register walkers this Saturday (now today) for the cancer clinic we have here in town!
Woo Hoo! This must be a "SIGN"! I would join those walkers!! Yippee!!! My other friend at quilt club, Sylvia (the wise one), reminded me of my knee and said "You KNOW of course, it won't do your KNEE any good!"
I ignore Sylvia and plan on doing the 5k.
The other plan I have been looking so very forward to is meeting my Spark team members live on Sunday. We plan on having a bag picnic lunch and go for a short hike. Now how much more fun do you need than THAT??!! I can't wait to meet my sisters in this "weight thing", as I call it, and give them all big hugs and have my picture taken with them all!!!!
Today I awoke to the sound of pitter patter outside. I do not have any toddlers, so the pitter patter can only mean one thing. Rain. Rain with Wind. Rain with Wind and Cold.
Scratch the plan for the 5K. I don't want to take any chances on not meeting my Spark team supporters tomorrow!
I go into the quilt room and start putting together an applique kit for a friend who has had some very serious heart problems, and is layed up. While she can't get on her machine, or do any fabric cutting, she has expressed a desire to do some applique.
I am listening to soothing music, going through my stash and cutting fabric for her. I have the pattern all opened up, so I know what is required for her kit.
My scraps baskets are scattered about on the table and around my feet, and I am having a good time thinking how much Donna will enjoy the quilt kit I am putting together for her, when I realize I am not feeling too well.
I shrug it off to standing too long, plop on the stool and continue with the kit. And continue with the not feeling well.
My chest is hurting very badly, my throat is sore, and I am developing a monstrous headache. I take some Aleve and Milanta, and continue with the kit.
I also continue with the increasing aches. DH comes in, takes one look at me, and says "Are you okay? You're white as a ghost." He gets the thermomenter, and sure enough, I have fever.
I am instructed to go directly to bed. I don't protest a lot, because I am really feeling pretty awful.
I hope it is just a bit of reaction to the shots on Friday. I sometimes get a reaction to flu shots, but it is not all that bad.
I want to go see my friends tomorrow so very much!! I have been looking forward to this for weeks. What a huge disappointment it will be if I can't go!!
Flu, flu, go away.............don't come back another day!!
I need to sign off and get back in bed.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I haven't walked much in my life. I did a stint there for a while of jogging, but gave that up with the help of winter.
Walking wasn't one of "my things". I am one of those who always looked for the nearest parking space at the grocery store, the movie theatre, quilt shops, restaurants......I spent lots of gas just driving round and round, waiting for someone to move their cars from the nearest space to the door.
Inside Costco, Safeway and any other place, I did more strolling than walking. Lots of stops along the way to look at this or that, and in the case of Costco, where they were serving food.
The food they were sampling was always my first thought whenever I went into Costco. I would plow right in, heading for the isle where they sometimes have chocolates or nuts to sample, then surf the isles for whatever else they were feeding the masses. I made certain that I tried everything, at least once, then would search out the next sample give away.
If I really liked what they were serving, I would sneak back for seconds and thirds. At times I would just stand there, waiting for something to finish cooking so I could get a bite or two.
By the time I left Costco, my basket laden with stuff I sampled and would probably allow to get freezer burned before I would eat it at home, I had eaten my fill.
My basket would contain those yummy chocolate covered caramel cashew clusters, mixed nuts, corn dogs, Ores and frozen pasta. Sometimes it even contained the stuff I had on my list, too!
The drive home consisted of thinking what I was going to make for dinner, and hoping that DH was hungry for an early dinner.
Getting home, I quickly put everything away, but not before I had some more samples from the goodies I dragged home with me.
Then on to making dinner. DH is one of those creeps who can eat anything he likes and still fit into his Air Force uniform he wore 40 years ago. Like I said.....he's one of those creeps. He really loves eating, but mainly healthy food. He loves his salads and veggies and fruit. He even loves those things more than he loves Oreos. Yep, a creep for sure!
Me? Just give me the buttered popcorn, the box of Oreos and the gallon of milk, and I have covered the entire food group.
But I have to pretend modesty and interest in healthy foods to keep him quiet.
So I make the stupid healthy dinner, all the while knowing the Oreos are waiting. I don't mean one or two of them, either, unless you are thinking of the sleeves filled with the delicious cookies. One or two of those will do just fine, thank you very much.
Then Bossy Daughter ruined it all. She pestered and badgered me into joining SparkPeople. Now mind you, I was happy , just living from cookie to cookie, and here she comes with this exercise and ideas of getting rid of our tonnage. Those of you who know her, know better than to argue once she gets her mind set that "we are going to do this!".
So I sign up, not thinking for a moment that this will change my life forever.
At first, I am all gung-ho for the workout videos. I thunder around my room, trying invain to keep up with Heather. I haul my lard from one side of the room to the other, and even get on the rowing machine (once I got it cleaned off and dusted), and uncovered the stationery bike, too. I am doing my workout, marking my food, and finding new friends. I even buy a big ball to roll around with. Oh, yeah, and the stretchy strap thing for exercise.
In a remarkably short time I am noticing that I don't huff and puff as much, and that I am making progress. I was soon able to do the squats without holding on to the desk top with white knuckles.
I began to look rather forward to getting up and in to the work out room, and the Oreos didn't call me as much.
I could even go to Costco sometimes without eating a single thing, and only getting what was on my list! Gradually, it was okay to not find the first parking place right next to the doors.
Then along comes this Spark Challenge with the Port Angeles and Surrounding Areas team. It is a challenge to walk one mile a day during the month of September. Darcey, Shirley, Cat were all in on it, and they have been such strong supporters of me since the beginning, that I forget myself for a moment and agree to join the challenge.
First, I need walking clothes! So off to Wal-mart I go, find the perfect workout outfits, and am ready to begin the challenge.
Next I pester DH to find a pedometer for me. He says he has a box full of them, finds one that only shows the miles walked, and turns that over to me.
I have my sneakers, new walking clothes and my dog, and I head to the street I live on. I walk one mile. It took 49 minutes, but I did it. the next day, I am on the street again, doing another mile.
I keep this up for about a week, then think "why not go a little further?", so I do a double lap. I did this one a bit faster........two miles in 48 minutes. Hey! That's a big improvement!
I begin paying more attention to the time and what is surrounding me. Since I live in the country, there is a lot of beauty to look at while I walk. My speed is improving. Now I do two miles in 30 minutes, easy. And the big steep hill is not nearly as long or steep as it used to be.
I begin to carry my camera, and take photos of what I see while walking. I notice birds flying, see eagles in the trees, and notice the late summer wild flowers become berries.
I watch the leaves on the trees begin to change their shade of greens, and then become yellow, orange and red. It is beautiful out here! My eyes are no longer looking at my feet, and I can feel the song in my heart.
I take my measurements once a week, and see that I am peeling off inches, my clothes are fitting looser, and my energy level is fantastic. I am also sleeping better at night, and food doesn't take up my brain space every single second.
I find myself parking further and further away from the front doors, and like the idea of walking faster, not only to the door, but once I get inside the stores. I buy only what is on my list, and ignore the freebies for the most part.
I am loving this!! I mean, really LOVING this! My life has gotten new fresh air pumped in to it, and walking the miles becomes a personal challenge for me.
I actually begin looking for 5k walk a thons. I want to do one of those! I think that would be great fun.
Darcey and Shirley help me find places to hike in my area, and I actually go to them and have a wonderful time. The trails do not tire me out, I can climb and I can stretch further than before. I LOVE being outside and doing this!!
I have walked 52 miles in September. I truly believed I would do well to get in 5.
I am not finished walking. I know the rain is coming, the cold and damp and the dark hours are going to extend themselves. I have committed to doing 25 miles in October; I wonder how many more than that I will actually do?!
There are trails I haven't explored yet, and I don't think that walking in the rain would be all that terrible. All I have to do is wear appropriate clothing, right? I have some old sweats that I can wear, too! Life is good.
Sure, I have a bad knee, (I am going to the Dr. about that this Friday), and some days I won't be able to walk. I shall miss the outdoors on those days. I will ride my stationery bike and look out the window as I pedal, knowing I will be back out there again as quickly as I can.
I don't need that close parking space.......heck.....I can WALK!!! Maybe that's why God gave me feet?? Ya think??
Thursday, September 24, 2009
On Tuesday, I nearly dragged DH out of the house and into the car. We were going to Sol Duc Falls and the Salmon Cascades if it killed him! He has avoided doing any exercise for too long, and besides I WANT TO GO!!! That settles things, right?
Ok, Grumpy says he'll be ready to go by 10:30. At noon, I am still waiting for him to get his butt in the car. By 12:30, we finally leave.
He is in a terrible mood. You'd think I just took away the remote to the tv from him! He insists on driving, which is not a good thing. I wrote about his driving before, so some of you know what I mean.
Today he is in his slooooooooooow driving mode. This is because he knows I want to get there. So he does his "Old Man Driving", cussing out the people who honk at him along the way. This isn't exactly the "pleasant Sunday afternoon drive" you might imagine.
So along we go, Grumpy cussing and me keeping my mouth shut. Why aggravate him any more than he is already doing to himself? Up to a certain point in time, that is.
I finally let him have it. I mean REALLY have it. I tell him he is a complete ass, and that I am tired of his words coming from the sewer and to KNOCK IT OFF RIGHT NOW!! I tell him I will NOT spend the day with a complete Jerk, and that he can jolly well turn the car around, drive home, get out and give me the keys so I can go!
I rarely tell him off, and when I do, he gets really quiet and starts to behave himself.
Until we get to Cresent Lake. There he poked along, with a big line of cars and logging trucks behind us. The logging truck driver honks his horn angrily, and that sets the Bear off again. I tell him to pull over and let the traffic go by. He insists the speed limit is 35, which he is doing, and they should all do the same. Truck blasts his horn again. Bear slows down! Now he is in a battle with a logging truck, for pete's sake! The truck gets right up to us, and really gives us a blast!! This time I yell at Bear to pull off at the next turn around and we will fight it out from there. He is yelling about the truck wanting to go over the speed limit and how HE is the one in the right...yadda yadda....cuss...cuss...when I spot a turn around, tell him to get ready, and I grab the steering wheel to the right and into the turn around we go.
Smoke is coming out of DH's head, flames are shooting out of his ears, and he is spitting out cuss words like I have never heard him do before. I can't help it...I start laughing. I am laughing so hard and can't stop, and he raises the volumne which makes me laugh till I am crying and gasping for breath. Finally I stop and realize the car is now quiet.
He has stopped his tirade, is looking at me with fear and says "Are you nuts? Are you totally crazy?" When I assure him I am in total control once again, he begins the drive. This time he is behaving somewhat, and we continue our trip. I have a smug smile on my face. Ms. Smarmy has joined us!
We arrive at the Salmon Cascades, and I am eager to get out of the car (do you wonder why???) and head off to the cascades. He has all his camera equipment in the trunk, so I just leave him to his own devises.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Salmon habits, here is the scoop. Typically, Salmon live for 5-6 years. They favor ocean waters , but do not begin life there. Salmon spawn in shallow, gravelly waters, with the female laying thousands of eggs at a time. Then the male fertilizes them. In order to get to their spawning place, they must leave the ocean and enter the stream from which they originated. These streams are in mountainous regions, and are very difficult to traverse, especially if you are a Salmon. The steps, or Cascades, as they are called, are often times very high and have white water rushing down, against the Salmon's direction. This is known as the "running of the Salmon". Salmon find their spawning place by smell, and frequently arrive badly beaten up and bleeding from being bashed about by rocks and water.
Here in our Pacific Northwest, a lot of haggling has gone on between the Fish and Game and the Native American Indians as to who has the rights to the Salmon. It has resulted in the Indians being allowed to place nets across the streams where the salmon run, which of course, decreases the amount of Salmon reaching the Cascades.
But some do get through, and it is a wonderous sight indeed to see them jumping the Cascades. If you look at my photos, you will see the Cascades and the Salmon. There is one photo there that is pretty bluish with shadows seen in the water. The shadows are the Salmon, resting before battling the next Cascade jumps. There weren't nearly the number of Salmon as there used to be, but the sighting is still wonderful.
I am taking photos and climbing all over the wet rocks to see more of the fish when I notice Bear has finally arrived. I show him how to get down to where I am, and he then spots a Salmon jumping. All his orneryness is now gone. He is now seeing one of the great miracles of Nature, and is at awe.
We walk a bit upstream, finding more and more Cascades, then make the decision to go on up to Sol Duc Falls.
The trail to the Falls alone contains enough beauty to last a lifetime. Again, take a few minutes to view my photos. I put them in order of the path, so you can travel along with me. Sometimes the trail is very smooth and quite level. Other times it is a bit steep and rocky. The Forestry Rangers have maintained it extremely well, though, and the biggest problem we have is to keep walking. We stop in so many places, all with breath taking beauty.
I see huge ferns growing right out of rocks, long ribbons of moss hanging from trees, and even see a grouse along the way. She clucks at me, warning me to stay on the path, because the woods belong to Her. Of course, she is right, and I obey.
It is a truly beautiful day to be here. The sun shines through the trees, creating sunshine and shadows. Little streams and waterfalls abound, while here and there are tiny touches of Autumn color.
We walk through The Ancients........very old, majestic, tall huge trees. There are some that have nearly completely turned to moss, creating a sense of time rarely thought about in our busy lives. One naturally becomes quiet with awe in this area. It breathes its reverence and holiness to all who come this way.
The forest is more like a jungle in most places, thick with underbrush, fallen trees, ferns, new saplings, all growing lush and dense. The air is incredibly clear and sweet. The sun is quite warm, and the shade delivers a welcome coolness.
We encounter a few people along the way, returning from the Falls. All smile and greet us, and all have a look of wonder in their eyes which seems to say "Wait till you see it!". Even the two babies we saw were quiety looking up at the trees high overhead, at peace with being held by their mommies in this beautiful Garden.
Hush now, for you can hear the Falls! Stop and listen for a few moments. Feel the mist upon your face as it filters through the trees, and feel the moist earth beneath your feet. This is a Holy moment. Embrace it with your entire being before allowing your impulse to quicken your steps to see the Falls takes over. Breathe it all in. Then, quietly, with great satisfaction, slowly beging the last of the climb.
Coming to the Fall's clearing is a breath taking moment. There, the beauty is again astounding. The white water rushing headlong to its' course as a heady rush of power permeates the entire area.
The Rangers have done a spectacular job building a bridge across the falls, along with decks going up the other side. Each has its own special views.
I walk along the built decks, then step off onto a trail that leads further up. I follow this trail along, the clear water spreading wider and wider. I wade out to photograph it, and the cool water splashes up on my legs. My hiking boots are water proof, so my feet don't get wet, and I am having the time of my life! Nothing exists for me but the wonderous of Nature that I am experiencing.
I feel younger than I have in years as the thrill of the wild outdoors surrounds me with Life. I feel my old excitement awakening, something that seemed to have died within me a long time ago.
I realize that as I have grown older, I have allowed my mind to "settle" into "getting older". It really isn't a matter of physical being that gets us old. It is our minds.
Since I started doing this Spark Thing, as I call it, I have done things I never thought I would ever do again. My body is getting strong and vibrant again, and I feel my attitude and outlook changing every day.
Sure, I still have some physical problems, such a my knee, but why let that stop me from living a full, vibrant life? I will see the Dr., and have whatever needs to be done to my knee done, and get on with finding more and more about the world I live in. And I don't mean by READING about those places. I mean to WALK, HIKE, SWIM them!
I don't mind the idea of dying, but I want to be fully ALIVE when I do! I want to end my life with it ALL used up, all ripped, teared, tattored and shorn. I am ON MY WAY!!!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
WOW. I didn't realize this much time has passed without me posting a new blog! See how life gets when you're having fun?!
I have walked 40 miles in my Mile A Day for September Challenge, and life has taken on a new meaning.
I am beginning to see the world as a wonderful place, even outside of my quilting and sewing rooms. Yes, Dear Quilters, there really IS a world out there that has nothing to do with fabric.........honest!!
I spent the day downloading photos from our day hike to the Salmon Cascades and Sol Duc Falls, both in the Olympic National Forest.
I'm not really good with the computer, so downloading photos is a real challenge for me. I did get some of the Salmon Cascades and a few of the trail to Sol Duc Falls on my photo pages for you to view, and hopefully by tomorrow you will have a lot more to look at, including the falls.
I'm pretty tired of sitting in front of the computer now, so I will hopefully do a decent blog for you tomorrow, complete with a "tour" of our hike.
Until then, Stay Well and Happy.
Monday, September 14, 2009
THIS is my darling, sweet, shy, mousy daughter. Can you tell from the photo that I am joking?
I have been really doing well with earning fitness points, and my body shows it. EXCEPT for my arm flaps.
Arm flaps are the nemisis of all women. They serve no purpose, they don't ask to come aboard, and just jiggle around. Unless of course, I put on an arm killing long sleeve top of one sort of another, which holds down the jiggles, but brings numbness to the fingers.
My flaps could qualify as wings. I am aware that if I hold my arms straight out from the sides and a big wind blows, I will probably take off.
I have seen all thos exercises that claim to make the flaps go away. I have read those articles that say your body chooses where to loose its' stored fat. Why is it that by doing all these exercises the flaps don't go down??
I can lose fat in my feet and ears, for Pete's sake, but whatever was God thinking about when He decided the backs of women's arms would be a good fat depository??
Maybe that decision falls under the category of Male Thinking and Getting Even.
So here is my situation. Bossy Daughter says I can't count any work out points for cutting my own hair, even though it causes me to keep lifitng those flaps for a good half hour, which is more torture than water boarding. No wonder I don't like getting my hair cut. I do it better than most people, but avoid it like the plague because of those damned heavy flaps.
Now I ask YOU! Don't you think she is just being plain ole MEAN?? I think so.
But I can't convince HER! Remember, she and Ms. Smarmy are on the same side. One yammers at me to do the right thing while the other just stands there, smirking in her perfect body. They both need sound slapping.
If I did that, though, I would lose favor in my son in law, (He who believes anything I do is just fine) too big of a risk. He is my main supporter, never finds fault in anything I do, and has the greatest smiles for me.
Sometimes DH sides with Bossy Daughter and Ms. Smarmy. Then I am in REAL trouble! I can't rely on Winsten or the catty girls to come to my rescue, either.
Yesterday I did three miles on my walk, bringing my walking challenge total for the month of September up to 26. Then I gardened for 3 1/2 hours, getting beds ready for winter. That in itself is no easy task, and my hands are destroyed.
Today I am getting out the rake and shovel and going to really clean my house, getting it all fixed up for Autumn. I will cut my hair today, and NOT count those points (even though I believe them to be legit!) and I will play the Oldies Rock and Roll loudly while I do all of it.
Can I wear the pedometer while I am working?? Huh? HUH? Pretty Please????
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