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Bestefar and Musings

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Bestefar is the Norwegian word for grandfather. Today was my Bestefar's birthday. Were he still living he would be 105! There is a pciture of me in a bassinet with his arm in the picture. (I am named after both of his daughters, my aunts). I met him only once that I recall. I visited him during spring break during my sophomore year of college. By then, he was forgetting his English and I did not know enough Norwegian to communicate. We managed, though. I have a picture of him playing his accordion. I spent less than a week with him, but it was magical! I have lifetime memories, but I wish I had more!

He emigrated from Norway in the 1920s - not the best time to arrive here. He was a physical engineer and worked in shipyards during WWII, calculating the circumference of the smoke stacks for maximum fuel efficiency. That's as technical as I can get. No one would play dominoes with him because, in his marvelous mind, he could know what was in your hand within about 3 plays. His IQ was off the scale.

I wish he had taught Norwegian to his children, my aunts and father. But he did not. "We are Americans!" he said. So they grew up not knowing much about their heritage and their children (my generation) know even less.

I wish I had known him, really known him. I wish that many terrible things had not happened...But it is a combination of the good and bad that make me who I am. Deeply flawed with a strange relationship to food and to my body that SP is helping me put right, A person with enough emptiness that I can feel compassion when someone else hurts.

Regrets? I have plenty. I wish I had taken some good advice when I was younger. My life would be very different and much better.

Hope? Optimism? Drive? Determination? Stubbornness? Check. I have all that. I have within me and around me what I need to succeed. I also have the power of choice to make it so.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYSTERY4EVER 7/9/2011 8:49PM

    My mother's family had the same attitude about German - it was never spoken at home - even by those who had been born in Germany. They were Americans.

I try not to look back at the "what ifs". Even if we had made different choices, other things could have happened. We are who we are and we need to look forward.

You have made progress and you can make more.

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CARRAND 7/8/2011 8:00PM

    Your grandfather sounds like a very special person. You are lucky to have those memories.

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    I have often thought how different my life could have been if I had chosen other paths when younger. I agree with you in that we have become the people we are today due to those earlier experiences, both good and bad. We both need to learn to concentrate on and celebrate our good qualities instead of dwelling on the "what ifs."
Stay positive, my friend. This is not only a long journey - but is a slow one with a lot of learning about ourselves involved.
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ISHIIGIRL 7/7/2011 3:00PM

    Great blog Juneau. Looking back on our past mistakes only helps us to realize the lessons learned so we can move forward. You have made some mistakes but you have learned from those and are moving forward of your own accord. You will get there. You have patience and perseverence. Paige

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_LINDA 7/7/2011 1:45AM

    My father spoke German and wanted to teach us kids it, but my Mom forbid it because of their serious marital split. She spoke Cree but did not teach us either, not that she had any time working three jobs as a defacto single parent trying to raise three kids by herself. It would have been nice to have both languages. On the other hand, there are those who come to this country and do not embrace its language or customs, like my uncle, who is proudly German as a Canadian. He only listens and watches to German music and TV, associates only with his fellow Germans, and still asks how you say things in English in spite of living in this country for 60 years and having been in Germany only until he was 16, escaping from the aftermath of war. Its great to be proud of the country you came from, but honestly, Canada gave him his living and is now supporting his disability!! When he goes back to Germany for visits, he speaks German like a native lol, But my father, who got into Seventh Day Adventist beliefs associated with nothing but English speakers because of it and is losing his German.. But I do agree with your grandfather if you are going to live in another country, you had best be open to adopting its customs and practices, and at the very least, learn the language.. But you can still enjoy your own customs and beliefs as you have the freedom of choice to do so.
I never had the pleasure of knowing either of my grandfathers, who died long before I was even born. My father's mom also died before I had the chance to meet her, so I have only ever know one grand parent..
But its no point dealing with the past and regret over would haves and should haves. The only important thing is the here and now. Your present and future is all that you should focus on and be concerned with. You can't change your upbringing. But you have total control over what you are doing for yourself today. So get out there and strive to be all that you can be. You are important too.
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Beetle on my Mind and Discouragement

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

This morning, just outside the front lobby at work, I saw a critter on the ground. I squinted and realized, yes, I did see it right. It was upside down and stuck. One person watched and another took a cellphone photo as I turned it over with a stick. It was a very large brown beetle and obviously had a couple of injured legs. I helped it to the grass. I figured one of three things would happen: it would die and become compost, it would become food or it would recover. For some reason, I could not stop thinking about the poor thing. I did not feel particularly virtuous in a karma sort of way, but it felt right. Better than it dying under a shoe or dehydrating in the heat of the day.

There's a Weight Watchers at Work program at work. I didn't join. I can't afford it and the meetings overlap with my Toastmaster meeting. Several of the members work near me so I have the unenviable delight of hearing them "Monday morning quarterback" their weekends. I wish I understood why this makes my hackles raise. I wince when I hear them talking about "cheating" or eating "bad" food. Yet, I am also jealous of their success! I get thinking, "I'll show them!" and still I flounder. Today, it was more of the same only more so. I could not get away because I was trying to finish a time-critical transaction. I felt like crying.

A lunch date got cancelled. I had not brought lunch, which I usually do. I went to the cafe and had watermelon gazpacho and a wonderful salad. Instead of dressing, I used low fat cottage cheese. (For breakfast, I used Yoplait slim 50 yogurt instead of milk.) I took a short walk around the campus, and, yes, the tendon was sore, but it felt good to walk up and down the hills.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WONDEROONA 7/9/2011 11:47AM

    Just think of how good you'll feel once you get this tendonitis under control and can show them that SP is better than WW. You can do this. I will help you!! I will not let you fail!!

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CARRAND 7/6/2011 8:16PM

    I've never done Weight Watchers. I just love the feedback I get from Spark People. It sounds like you did a really good job with the lunch. It's so hard to stay on track when plans change, but you did it!

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MYSTERY4EVER 7/6/2011 4:18PM

    Think about what Weight Watchers gives you - support and a weekly weigh-in. You can get all that here on SparkPeople for free. The tendon will heal and you will get back to your walking. You can do this, you have done so well in the past.

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SHERRYJVP 7/6/2011 8:48AM

    I really can understand feeling like WW would help you and you can't afford to join. I want to join the Y so bad and hubby thinks we can't handle it. SP has really helped keep me motivated anyway...and free is always good. LOL. I am a lifetime member of WW and think it is a fabulour program. The personal contact is great and having a person weigh you in and remain objective is great...but you CAN do this. The advantages to SP is that it is 24/7, free and a lot more 1 on 1.
Hang in there, friend.

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Independence Day Eve

Sunday, July 03, 2011

I registered for the charity walk today. It benefits an organization that fights childhood cancer. The walk will occur on November 19. It will be at a different locale than it was last year, but I expect I will enjoy it just as much. SP policies do not permit me to mention it here, so if you are interested, email me and give me your private email address and I'll let you know the details.

I love the Fourth of July, even though I don't care for the noise of the fireworks that people use on the streets. I alwys stay home - my cats get quite freaked out. I am praying that the celebrations do not result in more fires - too many fires are burning already. I am also praying for rain!

I apply the thoughts about freedom to my SP journey. While I feel limited in terms of exercise, I am exercising my freedom of choice. I can and do choose what passes my lips - both words and food. We went shopping at Costco and I was able to nibble and skip as I chose. I have also chosen water over soda and I have increased the water - it is unusually hot here.

Keep your pets safe tonight! Enjoy your freedom!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 7/4/2011 9:42PM

    I decided to have caffeine-free diet coke for dinner tonight. I'm not sure why. I usually avoid sodas altogether. I couldn't even finish it. Water is definitely better.

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_LINDA 7/4/2011 8:01PM

    Great choosing water over soda. Its the only thing that will keep you feeling good in such hot temperatures. It was high humidex and heat here over the weekend too, and my large water drinking habit sure helped me from getting sick walking long distances in it! There is nothing really more refreshing and thirst quenching then water on a hot day! I would prefer no other beverage!
People are sure irresponsible setting off fireworks anywhere they please. It was lucky we have had so much water. When walking the pathways, I saw the remains of many fireworks.. They are sure hard on a poor pet's sensitive ears.. I love watching them though, the noise doesn't bother me.
Good for you signing up for a charity walk! Wishing you the best of luck with fundraising!
Enjoy your holiday and the reminder of the freedom it has given you!
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CHAOTICKITTY 7/4/2011 2:39AM

    In Canada , we celebrate on July 1st... and some people were setting off fireworks on my street and scared the heck outta me & actually made me quite nervous. :(

Totally fantastic that you choose water over soda. I need to kick my diet soda habit that I started back again. :( Water is so much better! :)

Have a great 4th of July. Keep safe.

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LIBBYFITZ 7/3/2011 10:20PM

    Yes I think many of us take our freedom for granted! emoticonchoice on the water over the soda!

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Bubbles, Taxes and Inflammation

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I dropped out of 3 teams today...sigh. Thanks to those of you who offered support last night when I mentioned I was going to do this. I view this as a temporary thing. If nothing else, curiosity will get me to rejoin and check in on my SP friends. I hope, rather, that I rejoin and jump in with full energy. In the meantime, I need to get my act together.

I have been doing tax research at work for more than a week. I LOVE the law but would rather read case law (judicial opinions) instead of statutes any day of the week. But I am BLESSED to be working, so I am not going to complain! Since this is not particularly interesting to me and it is frustrating when I don't find the answers at the first pass, I have to step away from the computer frequently (and load up on the caffeine - only a little joke!).

Speaking of caffeine, I have cut way back on my diet soda. Not by intention except that I decided not to have any soda until I'd had at least 5 glasses of water. I have been drinking more waterand less soda.

Last weekend, I bought a Conair thermal spa bath mat from my neighbor who's selling her home and retiring to FL. I used it tonight and it really helped my aching body. My tender Achilles tendon is still sore, but the inflammation is greatly reduced. BF is diabetic, so he tried it and his feet feel much better! I hope this stimulates his circulation.

Thanks for the Spark Goodies and positive thoughts!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATLADY52 6/30/2011 10:07PM

    You'll do fine. emoticon

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CARRAND 6/30/2011 9:48PM

    Cutting back on caffeine is a really good idea. I've given it up entirely and feel much better without it. I like your positive attitude! Working is not always easy, but it does pay the bills.

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WONDEROONA 6/30/2011 7:39PM

    Glad to hear you're still alive. LOL. I just haven't heard much out of you lately. Keep moving forward. Drinking your water, eating right, baby steps until you are healed. Even if you don't lose any weight, you may be able to maintain which is ALWAYS better than a gain. Please take care of yourself. emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 6/30/2011 2:09AM

    Way to go cutting back on the soda! So glad that mat is helping you feel better! keep up the progress! You are doing great!

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MISSY455 6/30/2011 12:59AM

    I dropped out of a few teams a few months ago. I found I was just spending too much time on the site, it helped. I am waiting for a new 5% challenge to start on July 16th, and then will be back to 5 teams. I will keep it at that!

I had tried to cut back on my diet soda consumption. Didn't do so well. I was trying to drink 3 glasses of water to every can of diet soda. That lasted for just a couple of days. You should be very proud of yourself, that is not an easy feat at all. I was drinking Zero Cherry (mostly) and filling in with the plain Zero. I finished what Zero Cherry I had in the house, and have vowed not to buy anymore. Am hoping I just don't replace it with the plain stuff. You have given me hope that this is something I can control. Thanks!

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LIBBYFITZ 6/30/2011 12:06AM

    emoticonThe foot spa / massage sounds very therapeutic! I hope your inflamed tendon heals soon. emoticon

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Leaving Doesn't Mean I Don't Care

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In the next day or so, I will leave a few teams. Not because I don't care about my SparkFriends or the focus of the team, but for myself. I am on overload in far too many areas of my life and I need to take small steps towards restoring balance.

One team seems to need more involvement than I can fairly give. How can I help others when I am paddling backwards on my own Spark journey? I have gained nearly 10 pounds in the past 2+ weeks and I cannot let that continue.

In other news - the shoulder feels great. The wrist sprain is still there, but not nearly as painful. Worload is nuts, but I am so grateful to be working, I can't complain. Fires everywhere, including beautiful New Mexico (I grew up there). People are evacuating and abandoning their pets.

I could go on. We all have our own songs to sing about life!

Now it's time to log off and get some sleep!

As I drift off to sleep, I pray for the safety of the fire fighters and their support staff, I pray for rain and I pray for people and issues I care about. Thank you - gratitude is part of prayer and I am grateful for you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYSTERY4EVER 6/30/2011 5:05PM

    This is about YOU. You need to do what is best for you. Be selfish of your time and energy. Glad your shoulder is better.

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TEENY_BIKINI 6/29/2011 8:14PM


Do what's best for you, gorgeous.


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CARRAND 6/29/2011 2:06PM

    Just blog once in a while so we know you're OK. We all care about you.


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DAWNGW 6/29/2011 12:33PM

    Take good care of yourself Juneau! I will also think good thoughts and prayers for the firefighters. I think rain is on its way, let's hope it makes it to NM!


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_LINDA 6/29/2011 12:23PM

    Good idea cutting back with your busy life. You need to focus on yourself, healing, and getting back into it. That is so sad all those fires and people leaving their pets :((
There are fires here too, but not near where I live. People need rain in so many areas and yet the only ones getting it don't need it :((
Hope your week goes better.
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LIBBYFITZ 6/29/2011 7:51AM

    emoticonI agree it is important to do what you feel you can cope with. Lets hope it rains soon!

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