Saturday, March 08, 2014
Today started with a note from my son on my bedroom door telling be the heat went off during the night and that he had a call in to the HVAC man. Like, I REALLY needed another bill - anyhow, he arrived late afternoon and fixed the problem and it was NOT terribly expensive, but a minor problem.
The weather has warmed up for the weekend with temperatures in the high 40s and low 50s - gray and cloudy day but still warm enough that the temperatures didn't drop too much and I didn't freeze to death.
I didn't lose weight this week and I didn't gain either. Staying the same is NOT ideal but also not a catastrophe.
Had a lovely breakfast and lunch today and plan on a healthy dinner too. My snacks were lovely fresh grapefruit, a banana, and an orange - made for a delicious and refreshing way to ensure I got my fiber. We will have at least 2 and maybe 3 veggies with dinner so that I will be in good shape with my fiber. I am also making sure to have enough nuts without too many - a small handful of almonds and Brazil nuts - high in selenium and other good nutrients as well as healthy fats.
I joined the Community Team this week and can't imagine why I hadn't done that sooner - maybe it was as simple as I really didn't think of it as a separate team and I often made comments, posted messages, etc. on the boards, often welcomed new members to the site and commented on blogs randomly outside of my TEAMS anyhow. I often look for posts and blogs with only 1 or no responses just because I know that I appreciate when other respond to me. When I read what the expectations for the TEAM are, I decided to join. I was welcomed graciously by many new friends and couple of people who have been friends for some time now.
SP isn't a static or stagnant place, it is one that is ever evolving and changing just as our bodies and minds are constantly in a state of change, renewal, and regeneration. I have read a few posts that suggest that belonging to more than one or two teams is a sign of GREED - a CRY for attention for our blogs, or something equally negative. I don't understand that view. I don't cry for attention - in fact, I mostly blog for a place to let my own thoughts run loose and ramble where they take me - sometimes those meandering, ramblings take me to new insights into what is going on in my life, and sometimes, they just take me rambling around and sight-seeing into a world of darkness and despair or enlightenment and joy. I don't blog daily, except when I do. I don't blog weekly, except when I do, but I always blog for myself and to share whatever MIGHT ring a bell or connect with someone else - not because I want attention but because it might lead someone else to discover something unique or worthwhile about THEMSELVES.
Each of you, my friends, is a unique and spectacular person who had the power to make a difference in the lives and hearts of others simply by BEING YOU. Each of YOU has something to share that is amazing and special for someone and it may be someone you love or it might be someone you don't even know yet. Allow yourself to be a beacon of light and hope in an otherwise scary world. Allow your kindness, special love, and hope kindle hope within others as well as deep within your own heart. Be blessed and a blessing to everyone you encounter throughout your life.
Sunday, March 02, 2014
I have gotten lazy about blogging. I don't like to preach = sometimes I do that when I am passionate about a subject. I don't like to whine - sometimes I do that when life is kicking me while I am down. I don't like to become negative - sometimes I do that when I am angry, hurting, or just frustrated. What I do like to do is be upbeat, positive, focused, and to impart knowledge, lessons learned, and interesting and useful tips in a fun, humorous, and positive way. So today, I am going to do an update, chat a little bit, and maybe succeed in doing what I like to do. So buckle up and let's go for a journey together and maybe laugh, cry, giggle, and celebrate the joy of our lives.
Nothing terrible has been going on in my life - I am healing slowly from my fall - doing PT and using the therapy pool to speed my healing. Weather continues to be WEATHER and a bit bi-polar and crazy this winter. I continue to grieve and celebrate the JOY of having Helen in my life, and through her and through grieving for her also celebrating the JOY of having had my parents in my life for so many wonderful years. Additionally, her dying and her living have enriched my world and my life. I am continuing to share my love with others and the pain is easing.
Our church has decided to purchase a new Paschal Candle for Easter and dedicate it to Helen. The women's group has donated $100 to the Book of Remembrance (that provides scholarships for women entering the clergy) in Helen's name. At our women's group yesterday, a good friend gave me a book that she has had for many years and a photo of my mother and her at a conference years ago before my mother died in 2001. She wrote a beautiful note in the book, telling me that she bought the book from my father when he ran the bookstore for the church and she really wanted me to have it. It is a "Travel Guide to Heaven" and I have been reading it and it is amazing. It is a book written by a layman but tied to scripture, well researched, and a conversational read to help with grief. She bought it to help her deal with her grief when her granddaughter was killed in a house fire many years ago.
My weight journey has been a bit up and down, but not horrible. I have learned a lot about the importance of not allowing emotional ups and downs and comfort eating to interfere with the overall direction or progress on my journey.
My son and I am both dealing with a lot of pain - his from his chronic conditions (stenosis & degenerative disk disease), mine from my fall and the slow process of healing through PT and water therapy (I don't much like to complain, but the cold weather does make the pain worse). I am doing my exercises and they seem to help some. I also find that I want to reduce the pain pills because they give me constipation and generally make me have less energy than I like to have. I am stretching them further and further apart especially when I am at home. That seems to be helping - PROGRESS.
I was really happy that I found some lamb chops and veal cutlets on sale - so often I can't afford them because they are so expensive but this time they both were on sale and I got enough for my son Ed and I for less than half their normal price. Feels like a real indulgence and I get a healthy meal that feels like super luxury and yet is good for me.
Tuesday, son Ed and step-nephew Dalton and I will be cooking for the Pancake Supper at church. We will have a Mardi Gras theme and live music and Ed and Dalton will cook the eggs to go with the sausage and pancakes. I will probably not be allowed into the kitchen with my cane but who knows where they will need me. They LOVE having the GUYS cook for these things and my GUYS love helping out. Don't always get to church but they have made themselves available for special occasions when asked.
Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and there will be an evening service starting our Lenten Bible study. I will be making an effort to attend the services and Bible study regularly.
My IEP season is starting and I will be writing them for the next couple of weeks - notices sent out - hopefully I will get them done BEFORE the new students return from the residential facility that has been closed - but expected to start having kids return about the middle of March. If I take care of those I HAVE now, it will be easier to play catch up when I get a suddenly new caseload.
My cat is curled on my feet right now and I feel good.
I have rambled on playing catch up on what is going on in my life - so NOW, I will ramble a bit about some health/eating ideas that have struck me recently.
One thought that came to mind is that we often talk about doing this journey - ONE STEP or ONE BITE at a time - but when it comes to messing up, making poor choices, and slipping up, we TAKE AN ALL OR NOTHING attitude and beat ourselves up too much, we don't understand that these slip ups and unhealthy choices are JUST ONE BITE, ONE STEP, or ONE MEAL and not the end of the world. LET'S start treating ourselves as if we are HUMAN and not evil messes. Let's start looking through the eyes of others who love us, who care about us, etc.
My new favorite food is mashed cauliflower - I had the NORMAL cauliflower today and my first thought was I wish it was mashed. I have always liked cauliflower cooked in a lot of different ways but the mashed is my new favorite - healthy, delicious and definitely my favorite now.
I stocked up on books in case we get snowed/iced in tonight and I will indulge in my reading and watching sappy movies on Hallmark Channel and PBS special that will entertain, enlighten, and bring joy into my life.
Just looked out and the temps are below freezing now and it looks like it will soon be another winter wonderland out there - a blessing covered in ice - LOL.
I am rambling and YOU dear reader are probably wondering what different drum I am marching to the beat of - well, I am marching to the beat of the drum that reminds me that everyone I meet in this world is on a journey of their own and that their journeys and mine while different are also very similar. We are all looking to maximize our lives, to find love, peace, kindness, acceptance, joy, hope, and to be the most spectacular people we can be. The odd thing is that EACH of us IS the most spectacular person we can be and we don't have to change, tweak, or abuse ourselves to BECOME spectacular, we are already wonderful and amazing, regardless of our weaknesses, our flaws, and our mistakes. We are perfect and complete JUST AS WE ARE - maybe we can become better, become thinner, become stronger, healthier, or whatever, but JUST AS WE ARE NOW, WE ARE ALL LOVABLE, SPECIAL, UNIQUE, AND WORTHY of love, kindness and joy. Instead of trying to become something we are NOT, maybe it is time we celebrated who we ARE and allow ourselves to be ENOUGH.
Be blessed and bless others with the gift of acceptance, love, and joy. Be blessed and bless others with the gift of understanding, kindness, and delight. YOU are the most spectacular YOU that you have ever been and YOU are enough, YOU can learn to BECOME who you are through all the challenges and obstacles you have been through and that you have overcome - celebrate those successes and the lessons you learned from them as well as the lessons you have learned from your so-called failures and mistakes as well.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
I have not been in a blogging mood lately. There have been a lot of ups and downs and all arounds in my world lately. I had a nasty fall and am using a cane to walk and dealing with lots of muscle spasms and pain. I have had about as much SNOW as I can take - it seems to snow nearly every day and Thursday into Friday, we got more than 2 feet of the white stuff, today is snowed again and we got about 2 inches more, tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday are all expected to bring a bit more snow with them too. Since before Christmas, we have only had one full week of school without delays or cancellations. I have dealt with Helen's death and all of the feelings surrounding it. I have dealt with the change in my classes due to the closing of the residential facility where most of my student reside. I have dealt with my fall and my son Ed's pain from spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. I have moved on. I have leaned on friends, family, my church family, and tried to get to the pool. I have cried, laughed, remembered, and shared feelings and hopes, and dreams with others. I have become frustrated, discouraged at times, and reached a sense of peace and serenity at times. I have generally been readings, resting, watching sappy old movies, and playing sudoku. I have been bored, tired, sore, and relieved.
In other words, my life goes on and on and on. There is nothing catastrophic or earth-shattering in my life. In other words, life is filled with living. None of these things excuse or account for my weight gain. By the same token, the weight gain is NOT the most important thing in my world. I have gained some weight - but not as much as I might have gained when LIFE GOT IN MY WAY in the past, but also not a big deal. I will lose it again and will continue to face challenges but my life is NOT my weight. My life is NOT the sadness, the joy, or the challenges - My life is a combination of ALL of these and so much more.
I feel like I am in a kind of limbo situation but in reality, I am NOT in limbo, I am trying to pretend, ignore, and escape from all the chaos swirling around me. I understand why some people are sucked into despair, depression, or even losing the will to continue - I haven't because there are too many people who have held onto me - both in person and on SP. I am not being smothered by the love, but I am being held onto. It is okay if I sometimes drift into deep sadness, worry, and fear, but I don't LIVE there, I climb back out and really look at my blessings - ironically one of my blessings is that I have been given the chance to recharge, heal, and escape temporarily from the day-to-day challenges due to that incredibly annoying snow and ice - it allows me time - and sometimes TIME is all that I need to heal and recover.
The memories and treasured moments continue to bring hope, peace, and love to me.
I wish each of you a blessed and precious rest of the weekend and suggest that each of you take a moment or two to share YOURSELF with those who love and cherish you - you don't ever know when those moments will be the ones that make all the difference in someone else's life.
Saturday, February 01, 2014
We had a wonderful celebration of my stepmother Helen's life today. We were surrounded by loving family members and church family, and the entire ceremony and service and luncheon were WONDERFUL and filled with love, laughter, tears, and more of what we would expect from our truly loved and loving friends and family.
My brother Vic spoke and he took a lovely and very different way of approaching the "memories" portion of the service - in fact when he was done, EVERYONE simply said there was NOTHING left to say. He didn't talk about Helen except about her relationships with everyone she encountered - and then he thanked the people who were there during the last 10 weeks when Helen was in the hospital - thanking the staff BY NAME who gave her such loving care, each member of the family for their loving time, gifts, cards, and kindness. He thanked the man who called Helen "MOM" who came in and emptied the trash and who told people he was PART OF OUR FAMILY - even though he never met any of us before Helen arrived at the hospital and his skin color was not the same as the "rest of his brothers and sisters" in our family. He mentioned by name the people who called and talked to Helen. He thanked the Pastor and the members of our church and described how amazing he found it that they visited her so often even though it was a 2-3 hour drive ONE WAY and the average age of the visitors was over 70. He thanked his wife and in addition to thanking her for being "there for him" he thanked her for being the BEST patient advocate the VA hospital had ever encountered - EVER. He thanked the veteran's organizations, my cousins, my sister and my aunt who visited. He mentioned his cousins and their wives and his brothers and made EACH of us feel as though not only had we contributed to Helen's joy but that we were IMPORTANT and special for doing so. He mentioned the little things like my bringing Mounds bars and peanut butter crackers to his wife and him when the pantry ran out and THOSE were their favorites (actually, I brought them each a Mounds bar today too - LOL thought it might help them survive the day). He mentioned Ed and his cookies and his face being the last that Helen recognized before she left this Earth. He thanked my entire family for embracing Helen and taking her into their hearts and never letting her go. He read his grandson's card to Helen (scribbled by a 4-year-old with a BIG heart who called Helen GREAT grandma and Helen's DIL JUST grandma - the card said, "GREAT grandma, I am sorry you are sick." and when his grandpa talked about his card, he proudly waved his hand so EVERYONE knew who he was. Vic named nurses who provided special touches of love and kindness (a kiss and hug, a smile, a gentle touch, the HANDSOME male nurse who Helen teased her DIL and me about when HE gave her a bath - saying how the male nurses were just more gentle with her and more careful not to scrub too hard - causing everyone to laugh about Helen's frisky nature. I can not even imagine how long he must have worked on that eulogy because it was PERFECT and the only person left out was HIM - he was there every day and so I got up and said it was perfect except he forgot ONE special person - HIM.
Lunch was wonderful and we did not leave the church until after 3:30. I hope I didn't leave it a mess, I tried to put things back at least somewhat but my brain was not very together so I will have to apologize tomorrow if it is a mess.
We had fruits, veggies, chicken, pasta dishes, dips, desserts, and everyone enjoyed themselves. We talked and hugged and cried, and really celebrated Helen. I was far from alone - everyone was wonderful and considerate. One of my best friends got very sick and was unable to attend. None of my side of the family was able to be there except Ed and me. Most of my friends were unable to attend, EXCEPT some of the special ones from church and my buddy who is also the school secretary. The people from the fitness center and pool sent a lovely bouquet of flowers however and we all appreciated that. I don't have hard feelings about those who were absent but was eternally grateful for those who were there. I was enveloped in love and kindness and surrounded by people who truly loved Helen. The pianist and the sax player GAVE their services as a gift to Helen, her family and me. The hymns brought tears to our eyes and many joyous memories of singing and playing music in Helen's room (oh that was ONE more thing my brother mentioned in the eulogy). Her granddaughter asked why we had to sing one particular hymn because when she first tried to play it, Helen asked her to play it again - seriously because she had never played it on the banjo before and kind of botched it the first time. Everyone was moved and there was laughter and joy in the church.
I am tired and heading to my room to rest and relax now.
Be blessed and a blessing to others too - one day your kindness may lead others to shower you with kindnesses unimagined in the present. Have a blessed day! a peaceful and carefree evening, and lots of love and joy.
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