LANAMFECI's SparkPeople Blog LANAMFECI's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Waiting on Change There have been a number of near misses from September until now. It may have been a case of saving the best for last. In two weeks, we will both be traveling north and east for an interview for which DH is a finalist. They insisted that I come too, so I think this is serious. What I know is that this is an hour away from the place where I want to run an educational fiber, textile and dyestudio, the vision I have been working on since I went to that career workshop last November. I am taking... Sun, 10 Apr 2016 17:01:31 EST Welcoming Change DH has stepped up his job search and things are beginning to happen. I am cautiously optimistic that change may lie ahead. That it is something about which I am optimistic tells me how different I am. Tue, 29 Dec 2015 11:45:38 EST Change Comes In Its Own Time Change comes in its own time. If you're hoping for it, it seems glacial; if you're not even thinking about it, it can fall suddenly. Sun, 1 Nov 2015 09:00:58 EST Still Restless Change is on the menu and we've ordered it up but the kitchen is taking its own time to serve this dish. Sun, 11 Oct 2015 11:34:52 EST Making It a Habit I think my summer of swim really ingrained the habit of beginning my day with exercise. So far I am making it to water aerobics indoors 3x/week and then taking good long walks at least 3 of the other 4 days. It just doesn't feel right without my 10,000 steps. Wed, 30 Sep 2015 11:21:54 EST Taking Steps toward Some Kind of Future So a couple of things happened this week. I actually spoke with my old friend from the summer of '79 for almost 2 hours on Wednesday. I think it was really great for both of us, because after 5 minutes of "so then this happened" we spoke pretty rawly and honestly about what was actually going on for both of us. Talking to someone you've know for more than 2/3 of your life can remind you of who you used to be and both of us are in a place in our lives where that reminder was welcome. <BR> ... Fri, 18 Sep 2015 21:10:25 EST What Should I Be When I Grow Up? There may be big changes coming, and they will disrupt the life I am living right now. If everything is out the window, what would I really want to do? And is asking that question an opportunity or an obstacle? Tue, 15 Sep 2015 10:18:04 EST Goodbye, Outdoor Swimming The saddest day of September has passed, the day when the outdoor pool closes. Of course this year it was during the middle of a 90 degree heat wave, but I do understand that they just don't have the bodies to staff it once school starts. <BR> Back to the indoor pool tomorrow. Thu, 10 Sep 2015 10:17:39 EST To Miko, with Love We made a very hard decision on Monday, to help our dear pug Miko on his way to a gentler, more peaceful place. He had many health issues, but until last Saturday was merely old. Then he had a seizure and while he recovered somewhat, his gait was changed and he was walking in circles and had a very hard time getting down from being up and vice versa. We took him in for evaluation to the best vet I've ever known, and she helped us realize that it was going to get worse, not better. <BR> <B... Thu, 27 Aug 2015 10:21:09 EST Summer of 1979 Maybe it started when DD was home in May, miserable after a break-up and moaning that she would be alone forever. Maybe that's what sent me back to my old journal--because I distinctly remembered feeling the same way, uttering almost the same words, at the end of my sophomore year of college, too. <BR> <BR> But that's toward the end of that particular journal, and I started reading backwards, which got me back to the summer of '79. For a particularly magical 10 days on our family summer va... Mon, 17 Aug 2015 10:11:53 EST Harvest Season We are in prime time for tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, squash and peppers in my garden. Somehow preserving the bounty always ties in with the start of school, even though school starts so early now. The veggies are ready earlier. Maybe it's another proof of global warming. Mon, 10 Aug 2015 20:56:23 EST Cresting the Hill, Part 2 Had a great conversation with my friend Betsy about "cresting the hill"--midlife disappointment, reassessment, etc. I liked her metaphor better, I think--in her words, we've been camped on a wide plateau for a long time and now we need to decide if we're breaking camp and if so, what direction we're heading. Mon, 3 Aug 2015 09:42:19 EST Taking Care of Myself I am trying to be a big girl today and I have already scheduled my mammogram. Now I am waiting for the colonoscopy receptionist to call me back for an appointment. None of this is fun, but at 52, I am willing to say it will probably do more good than harm. I felt differently five years ago. Mon, 20 Jul 2015 10:26:05 EST Cresting the Hill Today I am 52 years old. By any stretch, I have more years behind me than ahead of me. Time to take stock. <BR> <BR> Pros: <BR> I am happier and healthier than I was 5 years ago. <BR> I am no longer part of the Sandwich Generation. <BR> Our daughter is moving into adulthood in a generally pretty great way. <BR> <BR> Cons: <BR> I am an orphan now (see #2 above). <BR> I don't think I am in my geographic "heart home" and I want to change that. <BR> Still waiting for a World Series title in m... Thu, 9 Jul 2015 08:49:08 EST Working at Relationships This morning I've already had a good walk with my friend of almost 40 years, Camille. We met in gym class in high school (folk dancing). We had our ups and downs in our 20s, and there were about 2 years where we weren't speaking, but somehow we have both realized the value of this relationship and it's been very strong for the last 20 years or so. <BR> <BR> My own daughter (Camille is her godmother) had a falling-out this spring with a friend that she had made the first week of college. S... Fri, 3 Jul 2015 08:20:03 EST What Makes a Vacation? Is it just breaking out of your regular routine? Is it lounging and resting and only doing what you want to do? If it's the former, we just had a great vacation. If it's the latter, it was terrible, because it was very active, with little down time. But I went places I had never been before, sharing them with old friends and new, and stretched my skills as both a linguist and a traveller. Plus saw our daughter, happy and competent in a small German city. Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:34:43 EST Having the Conversation This week my boss and I finally said what we had both been feeling--that this was more of a partnership than a boss/employee relationship, and that maybe it was time to begin thinking of ways to formalize that. It was very validating. <BR> <BR> Now we have to figure out if we're staying in this area, in which case I will begin to buy into the business with a goal of full acquisition. If we're not staying, then things will remain as they are. Sun, 7 Jun 2015 10:11:52 EST The Vicarious Travel Nightmare So, our DD is now in Germany, very little thanks to United. She was supposed to leave Pittsburgh on May 31, arrive in Newark and fly overnight to Frankfurt. Due to weather delays, she left the 'burgh 7 hrs late, but the Frankfurt flight had also been delayed, so she made it in time. Then the Frankfurt flight was cancelled at 1:45 AM--no hotel vouchers, no food vouchers, no ground transportation--nothing. As she worked her phone in Newark getting rebooked out of JFK on June 1, we worked ba... Tue, 2 Jun 2015 11:31:43 EST Tying Up the Loose Ends Talked to my brother for quite a while yesterday. He has been doing both the physical and emotional heavy lifting cleaning out the property our grandfather bought 60 years ago. We have sold it to the neighbors because he and I both realize that maintaining two homes is hard work and the next generation is unready and unwilling to take on the burden. Plus it's hard enough dividing everything 3 ways within our own nuclear family--when you take it out to the cousin level, it's a recipe for di... Tue, 26 May 2015 11:40:27 EST External Motivation So I have had my Spark Activity Tracker for almost 4 weeks now. (Actually, I have had since January, but I had to buy a new computer for it to be fully operational.) I have found myself heading outside for another lap around the block just to get those lights fully glowing. I also find it interesting to see just how it classifies my workouts. I am burning fewer calories and getting fewer steps in a 1-hr water aerobics class than I was telling myself, or that even the manually tracked fit... Wed, 20 May 2015 20:38:32 EST Friends and Laughter Actually invited people over for dinner on Friday. Cleaned the house, prepared a great meal and then sat around the table talking and laughing for hours. What a good way to spend an evening! Sun, 17 May 2015 19:57:51 EST The Only Life You Can Save is Your Own I have been reviewing my goal board, and a year ago I vowed to lower my LDL, triglyceride and blood sugar numbers. Did great with the LDL and triglycerides, but my blood sugar continues to creep up just a little. Since I had gestational diabetes 20 years ago when I was pregnant, I have known for a long time that I was at risk for Type II diabetes. Both parents also developed it. <BR> <BR> Losing the weight will help. It may be genetically pre-determined, but it's up to me to not accept ... Wed, 13 May 2015 10:24:40 EST Water aerobics I want to give a shout-out to our water aerobics instructor, Judy. She teaches the class 3 days a week and always mixes it up so that we are using different muscles. This week I've done deep water and against the current in the Lazy River as well as the standard shallow-end of the pool water aerobics. I actually know I have oblique muscles in my core now! Fri, 8 May 2015 11:32:08 EST Me and My Spark Activity Tracker The $835.00 activity tracker, since I had to get a new computer for the tracker to work... <BR> But! I love it, and it keeps me honest about my movements. I want to make my daily steps goal, so if I'm short, I will head out and around the block just to get my full circle of lights. I think the Little Dog is beginning to dread it. Wed, 6 May 2015 11:32:53 EST Appreciating the Good Weather The past two days have been spectacular, weatherwise. Or maybe they have only been spectacular because this past winter was so brutally cold, icy and long. I guess that's why I have never wanted to move to a warmer climate. I'm not sure I would appreciate it if I didn't live through its opposite. <BR> My friend Camille and I try to walk together regularly a couple of times each week. We've been doing it for at least 20 years. Today we went to Edgewater, the lakefront park. The warmth ... Sun, 3 May 2015 10:10:24 EST Volunteering Why do I like working on volunteer events so much? Today I spent 3 hours arranging rummage donations for the Historical Society Sale on the Grounds. When I was done, the Pyrex and Fire King collection was beautifully displayed, ready for the collectors to snap it up on Saturday. I enjoy the camaraderie of being one of a group of people working on their own part of a larger whole--problem-solving, making witty comments, hearing news and knowing that we are all doing something for our commu... Tue, 28 Apr 2015 21:00:45 EST Grief and Joy As it finally warms up and turns to spring here, things are blooming and allergies are kicking in. The magnolias are my favorite, and I think we might replace some of the plantings disturbed by our midwinter supply line replacement with a magnolia or dogwood. I keep remembering that a year ago I would have been taking my Dad for a ride to admire the blooming trees and flowers. I miss him, but I feel glad to be mindful to appreciate the beauty in bloom around me. Sun, 26 Apr 2015 10:32:50 EST When You Have a Great Dad, You Can Pick a Great Husband Just a couple of weeks ago, unbeknownst to me, my dear husband took the ring that my Dad had worn all of his adult life (I think it was a 21st birthday present from his grandfather the jeweler in 1948) and had it cleaned. He brought it home and it was spectacular. Man, it had gotten cruddy... <BR> <BR> anyway, I slipped it on my wedding ring finger, taking off the 10th anniversary band that was the only wedding ring I had. It fit perfectly. Hubbo, who had given me a truly lovely 25th anni... Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:32:52 EST Small steps Met with attorney for the estate this week. We have a road map for settling things, and he is going to be the one that sends out the documents to my siblings for various claims, etc. DH found two old life insurance policies whose beneficiaries were a trust set up at a bank in 1967. The bank no longer exists under that name, and I have found no documents for this trust. I handed the policies and claim forms to Ed, and, as an estate lawyer, he knows how to go about tracking these things do... Sat, 7 Mar 2015 08:39:17 EST What's Next? Got through Dad's memorial service without drama. Each of us had old friends there, and my dad's high school girlfriend called to ask if she could attend. It was a delight to meet her and share her memories. Most of the over-85 crowd didn't make it because of the bitter cold, but Donna did. Very touching. <BR> <BR> Now my brother and I are working to settle the estate. To claim the life insurance, all three of us children must supply SSN and file a W-9 with the IRS. Since my sister use... Tue, 3 Mar 2015 11:41:44 EST Goodbye, my dear Dad As many have noted, Alzheimer's/dementia is a long goodbye. My dad's body finally caught up with his mind very peacefully yesterday. He had been falling this fall, which we thought was due to low blood sugar. By December, he was hospitalized for a UTI, and the five days in the hospital robbed him of his mobility. He was discharged to skilled nursing for "rehab." I really believed the first day he was there would be his last, but after 36 hours of semi-coma, he woke up and started eating... Sun, 25 Jan 2015 11:10:08 EST Worried Had supper last night with a former (university) student, who has always been one of my favorite people. She's turning 45 soon and woefully underemployed, actually qualifying for food stamps right now. I had forgotten that she wasn't actually that much younger than I am. She needs a good job, but even then she has student loans up the wazoo that she will be paying back far beyond retirement age. Her situation is similar to my best friend of 35 years, who has a 29 hr./wk. job she loves, bu... Tue, 7 Oct 2014 13:46:37 EST CSAs I am making a "lasagna" today out of all the vegetables from our Fresh Fork subscription. It will include green and yellow squash, various peppers, garlic scapes, mushrooms, ca uliflower and onion, all grown within 50 miles of here. I am adding mozzarella and the best Italian sausage, made from humanely raised local Berkshire hogs--but only a little, for flavor. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:24:12 EST Summer Update Dad's hospice program discharged him because he wasn't continuing to decline, or, as I put it facetiously, he wasn't dying fast enough. So now I'm in charge of incontinence supplies. His facility put him on the shower schedule, but that does not include shaving, so I have added that to my repertoire. What else can I do? We still have some laughs and enjoy each other's company. We have taken to finding a park near Lake Erie and sitting in the car with all the windows open watching the lak... Thu, 3 Jul 2014 11:39:29 EST Just Keepin' On Nothing much to report. Life is going on, the season may finally be changing--at least there are bulbs blooming in my yard. They might freeze tonight, though. <BR> <BR> We cooked two lovely stalks of asparagus from our very own patch and ate them as part of dinner last night. Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:46:07 EST Adolescence The root of the word "adolescent" comes from the Latin verb adolesco, adolescere whose past participle is "adultus". So when you have completed the process of maturing, you are an adult. <BR> <BR> Watching that happen with DD is so gratifying. Had a great visit over to Pittsburgh/CMU this weekend. She is so excited about her opportunities and really taking hold of the life she wants for herself. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 12:07:00 EST Happy Birthday Miko My beloved black pug, Miko, turned 13 yesterday, our St.. Patrick's Day pup. After a health scare last fall, he seems to be back on an even keel. Well, as even a keel as a blind, diabetic 13 year old dog can be on. Sometimes, between him and my dad, I feel like all I'm doing is managing decline. Tue, 18 Mar 2014 10:52:37 EST Come on, Spring! Thursday is the first day of spring, the vernal equinox. Love the light, but where is the warmth? Cleveland's St. Patrick's Day parade forecast is about 22F, with sunshine at least. I just want some warmth. Sun, 16 Mar 2014 11:33:07 EST Following Through on My Motivators With an ice/snow storm on the horizon, I made sure to get outside yesterday and today for some good walks, thereby fulfilling my goals to Walk More and Get Outside. I also did a little weeding, which I really had no business doing as the beds are still so wet. But I HATE that false strawberry stuff, and want to get it while I'm bigger than it is. Tue, 11 Mar 2014 12:37:17 EST Breaking Out With brilliant sunshine and above-freezing temps today, it was time to break Dad out of assisted living for a ride around town. We drove by all his adult homes in Lakewood, then went down to told neighborhood to see his grandparents' house, and back home again via the shores of Lake Erie. It felt great for both of us. Fri, 7 Mar 2014 11:51:15 EST Froze the snow shovel Duh! After using what is actually a big metal grain shovel to chip the ice off the steps, I put it back handy to the door. Right in line with the water dripping off the idiot gutter helmets so that the blade, shaft and handle are now clear-coated in ice. Hope there's enough daylight left to thaw it out. Wed, 5 Mar 2014 15:33:09 EST Enough with the Snow DH had to be at the airport at 6:30 am today on his way to Houston. We had yet another blast of wintry weather, so I shoveled our whole driveway and assorted walks by hand about noon, today after the snow ended. Mostly I pushed rather than lifted, and it was a dry fluffy snow. It was still a good workout. Luckily we are north of the monster storm threatening the mid-Atlantic east coast. Sun, 2 Mar 2014 18:45:37 EST Numbers Don't Lie Due to a new health insurance company at DH's job, all employees and their spouses had to submit baseline wellness info--ht, wt, waist measurement, and get a lipid profile and fasting blood sugar. <BR> Well, I did not like the numbers that came back. Overall, more healthy than not, but I need more HDL, and fewer triglycerides, and my blood sugar is shading into the pre diabetic designation. Since heart disease and diabetes run in the family, I must pay attention. <BR> <BR> Which I think wa... Thu, 27 Feb 2014 12:35:26 EST 1 Year Ago It's been a year to the day since my mom told me she was dying; she died the next morning, which last year was Valentine's Day. So there's the anniversary of the day of the week and the actual date, which will move--all ways to continue to be reminded. <BR> <BR> I'm doing pretty well with it. Dad is still with me, which is pleasing and a little surprising, honestly. And I say "with me" because my sister hasn't bothered to visit him in more than six months, and I haven't heard from her in ... Wed, 12 Feb 2014 17:25:18 EST Keeping an Even Keel With much going on in my life, I am grateful that most days I approach my life with contentment rather than anxiety, and that I can recognize anxiety as it starts to build, and cope with it. That's a big step forward from where I was even a year ago. Thu, 16 Jan 2014 11:01:23 EST This is My Me Space I've had to set my profile to private because DD searched my username and read all my blog entries and got quite upset with me. Here I was just using this as an anonymous journal, mostly for my own sake. I could just reset everything with a new username, but I would lose the entries, which matter to me. <BR> <BR> Just another lesson in how there is no meaningful privacy anymore. Tue, 7 Jan 2014 22:36:15 EST Steady as She Goes Met with the hospice nurse who also assessed my dad. Everything is squared away--including Tara getting the original card (I sent another directly to her, with a check) and my getting the original money back. But, she ordered oxygen for my dad as the exertion of getting to and from the dining room puts his oxygen saturation levels too low. <BR> <BR> Will he use it? Probably not. It's just another step of recognition that his body is winding down and that the end is coming. Sad, yet swee... Tue, 17 Dec 2013 12:35:44 EST Don't Poke the Bear In addition to living in an Assisted Living facility, my dad is also a hospice patient, and has been for over a year now. He has a wonderful aide who comes to bathe him three times a week. They also send a nurse, a chaplain, a social worker and a volunteer. I thought everything was fine. When my mom died, I called them to update contact information to list only me. I've met the nurse and the chaplain when they were visiting Dad, and spoken to the social worker a few times on the phone. ... Tue, 3 Dec 2013 13:07:43 EST It Worked Our revised Thanksgiving was so much fun! More laughter around the table than in the past ten years. Perhaps a new tradition is born. Sun, 1 Dec 2013 14:44:12 EST Creating New Holidays This is going to be a slightly challenging Thanksgiving. With Mom gone, and Dad physically unable to get into my house, it could be just three of us. Instead, we've invited our daughter's best friend's family, also a threesome. Mom Tracey also lost her mother this year, so we are both re-imagining holidays. Maybe this will be a transition, but maybe it will be a new tradition. Wed, 20 Nov 2013 20:43:00 EST