Weekend Coffee Share, The Health Edition

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com

Enjoy your favorite beverage and stay for a chat in the air conditioning; it still feels hot and sticky out there!

It has been another week on the job, and many evenings I came home with sore feet and legs.  Gladly, I made it to yoga Wednesday night, which helped!  I feel really busy now, as I am trying to creating challenging lessons and projects, and working on proofing the final chapters of the audiobook for Detours in Time.

Do any of you take statins?  If you’re reading this and thinking, that’ll never be me, or that’s for old folks, overweight folks, yada yada yada, I once thought that too.  I wouldn’t call myself overweight, though I am at my highest weight non-pregnancy.  I am fine with the way my clothes fit, but a gain of a few pounds will send off an alarm for me.  My mother and I might go on a diet together as she is not happy with her weight.  She is retired and many social events for her center around going somewhere to eat ‘good’ food, and she really enjoys it.  For me, I am going to try and add an extra night of 20 minute cardio.  My default last year was to do 2 cardio nights/day and a one hour yoga session once a week.

So, my weight baffles me.  I thought I was a healthy eater.  Four years ago, I was 15 pounds less and I don’t think I exercised more or did much that was different.  A year later, I had gained maybe 5 of those pounds, and was told, “Your cholesterol has continually gone up and now is at a level that requires you to take statins.”  So, I did, but probably at half the recommended dose.  This last year, I got really lax at that and would forget.  Result? Cholesterol went up; the doc wanted me to double the dosage.  I did it for a couple nights, but then added blueberries to my morning cereal and sometime, soy lecithin in liquid form.  I decided to stick with one, as it seems I feel effects when I increase the dose.  Effects such as hands that feel even stiffer than my arthritis causes in the morning, and feet that feel terribly swollen at end of day.  Am I stupidly not following directions or rebelliously taken my health into my own hands? I am trying to eat healthier, and likely should work harder at that. 🙂

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Along with all of this, I have been slightly cutting down on coffee consumption.  I’m having half a cup today. My other doctor agrees this is a good move, as I tend to get benign cysts.  I had read up on that elsewhere, too.  Not to mention the sources I have read about decreasing coffee if you have arthritis.  I actually hope it is the statins causing my soreness and not my arthritis getting worse.  Come on, I have 11 years to go until retirement!

So, I am trying a few things.  My one glimmer of hope, something I think I can actually do, is to add the cardio session and increase my exercise to four times a week.  That doesn’t even factor all the walking I do around school.  I bought a foam roller, but I left it on the floor and it got dog pee on one end.  My little furbaby is getting older too; he is eight years old.  I walk him at nine p.m. and I am in bed by 10, so it is hard to give him another outing.  He seems unable to hold it until morning now.  The foam roller should be good after the bleach dries.  Ugh.  The money I spend on exercise ‘equipment’ includes the super thick knee pad for yoga that I take to class with me.  My consensus: worth it!  Using bleach and cleaning up after the dog: worth it.

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I hope you all have a great week, and I think you for listening to my obsessing over health!  I hope you are well and have enjoy our coffee visit!

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Weekend Coffee Share. Busy Times Call for Dog Snuggles and Positive Thought.

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com

Today, I’m wondering why little, harmless things seem to make me sore. Sitting at the computer for too long, wearing some cute flats to work, sleeping on the wrong side. I’ll be okay if I stick to my self prescriptions of exercise, yoga, and chiropractic care. (I’m on the Gazzelle as I type on the phone). Still, sometimes life and work get in the way.

At any rate, age and schedule woes aside, I have much to rejoice over. Attitude might be almost half of starting to feel better, so let me get on that track and avoid telling you how many essays I need to grade! Positives: 1. All I have left is a test, then I’ll be done with my current class for teaching Gifted! 2. Spring break starts in seven days! 3. Despite a busy week, part of my extra efforts were due to being invited to talk at my school’s Literacy night about my books, writing process, and writing inspiration. Cue random auther event photo:

This was me at my first book signing in Nov., 2018.  (So, it’s recent).  I don’t have a photo from the Literacy event yet, but I can say it went well.  I had a plan and wrote some things down.  I gave away one of my kids’ books in a drawing.  I also read from Detours in Time, having kids comment and answer questions about what I read.  They participated, and during question times, some adults asked questions.  One of them was about my writing inspiration (family, my dog, nature). I spoke about the kind of person I am and how thrilled I am to see a book with my name on it.  My principal told me afterward just how much energy came out of me when I talked about my writing and inspirations.  It was truly a compliment.  I was pleased to do this, and it tickles me to think I may have inspired a young writer!

With the past few books, I have been thinking about the lessons one could learn from my books and what topics of thought I could provoke when they read my books.  I believe I moving closer to producing writing that is meaningful besides being entertaining.  One reader recently called my sci-fi writing “social science-fiction.” I like that.  I think I’ll stick with it!

Simply put, life is challenging and my legs and feet are tired, but I love life, and I love what I do! I came home after Literacy night and snuggled up with my dog, who was glad to snooze next to me, calming me and easing away the excitement and any uneasiness I’d had about my day.  Life is good!  Have a great week, my friends.

Find out more about Detours in Time at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711ZW6XF 

If interested in other books, such as the book for young readers, From Lost to Loved, A Stray Dog’s Tale, click on the author name when you go to the book link above.

 

Best of the Year. Dec. 6-11. #2018BOTY

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Image from Beaton at Becoming the Muse Blog

This is my second post for Best of the Year.  My blogging habit involves forgetting for a few days, so I am posting a few days at a time.

6. Album-Imagine Dragons, “Evolve”, which includes “Whatever it Takes” and “Natural.” I am not really up to speed on new albums.  When it comes to music, I know what I like, and I stick with it.  However, I do listen to the radio at times, and Imagine Dragons is one of my favorite.  Specifically, “Whatever it Takes” is a favorite.  It motivates me and makes me want to do things, not just getting out of bed, but making a difference in this world.  I love the lead singer’s voice, and the lyrics just pop.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOsM-DYAEhY

In fact, I’m playing it right now to get my plans for the day in gear!

7. Experience- Sailing in RI.  I wrote a blog post on it this summer in July or August.  My dad and his firned in RI took us sailing past Naragansett Bay and toward the ocean.  It was a little scary, but quite inspiring.  Sometimes things that scare you can really wake you up to life.  That, and it was a beautiful day with awesome sights!

Sail37095898_10212769026329507_8157927827677642752_n  RI2018.37420295_10212814253380155_4076472461292470272_n It was sunset by the time we got back, and what a beautiful sunset!

8. Meal- Lunch in Amelia Island at a quaint little seafood place.  Sadly, I have not been trying new things much.  My stomach over-reacts to certain things, so I am pretty careful.  However, there is one meal I remember fondly.  It was a lovely day, and we sat outdoors.  I had a club sandwich with blue cheese potato salad, something I don’t eat often, and the potato salad was of a kind I have never tried.  It was scrumptious!  I was having weird stomach issues and afraid to eat seafood, but this lunch was great.  I splurged and had a lot of calories in that lunch.  The friends I went with are all retired teachers, and we were having a lot of fun that day, shopping and lunching.  Then, one of them starts throwing fries on the ground for the birds.  🙂  Those birds were having a party…

9. Drink- Orange is the New Crack. It’s kind of like an Orange Julius for adults.  This accompanied my meal at Amelia Island with my friends.  Doesn’t the name explain itself? Can you believe I only had one?

10. News Story- I avoid the news. The only news stories I can recall made me cry this year.  But I appreciate those that bring me to tears of joy and hope; one example would be the kindness and humanity that arose out of the fires in Malibu, CA in November.  People were stuck in their cars with the fire blazing around them; they could not get out.  However, groups rescued many left behind animals and took them in.  People risked their lives to help others.  One of them, a garbageman whose boss told him to cut his route short and go home, instead checked on the homes of some of the elderly residents he knew.  He ended up rescuing one 93-year-old woman.  Thank God for those with a heart!   https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/17/us/camp-fire-garbageman/index.html

11. Purchase- Gazelle.  It’s an exercise machine that does not require electricity.  I purchased it in case we had another homebound/hurricane scare this year, which I am glad to say we didn’t!  Two years in a row we had them, and I gained weight due to comfort eating.  I am at a point where I still think I look just fine, but I do not need five more pounds.  Guess what?  I use it twice a week, don’t have to brush my hair like I would for the gym, and I can read while on it in relative peace and quiet, unlike my exercise experience at the gym.  Which reminds me, I need to cancel that membership….

Thanks for reading!  In a couple of days, I will have a few more for you!

 

Weekend Coffee Share. “Generating Heat” #amwriting

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Happy Saturday, everyone, and welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at  https://eclecticali.wordpress.com  I haven’t done one of these in a while, in fact, the last time I did one my coffee was iced.  Of course, that normally wouldn’t mean anything since I am in Florida, but this past week, we’ve been going through a cold spell.  I’ve been indoors a lot, writing very little since my desk is by a drafty window.  I’ve been reading and watching Netflix, though.  I’ve been wearing layers and layers every time I step out.  We got down to the upper 20’s one night, even!  No snow here, but they did get some flurries in Tallahassee.  However, we got our share of ice.  Hence, my title, “Generating Heat.”

To generate heat, one must burn calories.  Funny, to do so also generates energy, so it all fits with my word for the New Year!  I’ve decided, instead of making a New Year’s resolution, I will focus on a keyword for the New Year:  Energy.  While I’ve had very little writing focus due to my drafty window (and the holidays) this last week, I wrote a post on my New Year’s focus word that you may view and read here, if interested: A Word for My Intentions

During the week, I attempted to visit a senior woman from church that I visit regularly.  She is in a nursing home.  Since social interaction is so beneficial, they don’t keep their patients holed up in their rooms, which is great.  However, there had been a few patients with flu symptoms, and visitors were not allowed for a few days. These things happen, I suppose.  Flu has been going around.  I can only imagine how rough that would be for elderly patients who aren’t completely mobile.  I was able to get out to get together for dinner one night with my work buddies.  It was fun, and the Italian food was excellent.  Other than that, I was indoors a lot this last week.

At any rate, in the spirit of generating energy so that I can be positive toward others, I’ve been going to more challenging yoga classes.  I haven’t even fallen down, but I sure do modify in every class.  You see, my ‘Energy’ goal will hopefully bring about better health, and even mental health, as far as positive mindset.  Positive thinking generates positive results, right?  Yes, I believe it does.  I also, having time on my hands this Winter Break, have to force myself off the couch or chair with upbeat music.  Monday, my choice was Sister’s of Mercy “This Corrosion” and then  “Danza Kuduro.”  “Danza” speaks for itself.  It is used in Zumba classes across the world, I am sure.  I used to do Zumba, and it was great exercise.  I get aches and pains these days and focus on low-impact yoga, but a 10-12 minute interlude at home is a good break in my day.  It is so upbeat, and I even remember a few of the moves from Zumba class.  Now, “This Corrosion” may not be anything you’ve ever heard of.  The Sisters of Mercy is alternative and may be even considered Gothic/Industrial, but this song was on the soundtrack for The Restaurant at the World’s End,  a funny, yet dark movie with Simon Pegg and a bunch of alien androids and a few other humans.  That’s what brought the song back to my memory.  Pegg’s character was my favorite of the humans, such a troubled, yet adventurous soul. His character even wears a Sister’s of Mercy t-shirt through much of the movie.  Anyhow, I used to dance to this sort of music, as well as 80’s New Wave, in my youth.  So, when I dance to it, I flail like an idiot, because who can remember how they danced 20-30 years ago?  I also reach down to get my dog to dance with me.  He barks the first time, then puts his feet up the next time I reach down.  It is glorious fun, such an energy builder, and thank God no one can see me!  But the dog…he may be secretly filming with a hidden camera… Oh, who cares!  It is all for the sake of being silly, and laughter burns calories too!

Music will definitely be my go-to source of energy.  I have made a pact with myself to do things that feed my energy.  My hope is the results will be a renewed energy in my job and focus/energy for writing.  My writing certainly needs to be more focused.  I don’t know how I ever got Detours in Time published in 2017, but I did.  I had a lot of help, and that is the way a professional does it.  I have written a sequel, and it is going through revision and beta-reading now.  In fact, I fleshed it out from 45,000 to 61,000 words this November.  That was my NANOWRIMO accomplishment on a small scale.  It definitely will be published in 2018, but I will need to keep my energy and focus going!  Most of what I have written lately has been flash-fiction, one of my first loves in writing.  However, one day I had thoughts running through my head about a character in the sequel whose life and goings-on I want to follow, whose story I want to tell.  He is young, a survivor, and still learning who he is.  I spent a few hours on the day of New Year’s Eve getting some of his story in writing.  We don’t control these ideas, do we? I already have a 4th installment in Norrie’s story from Made for Me, but I haven’t touched it after writing 4,000 words three months ago.  She will come to me later with more of her story.  I really sometimes believe that is the way it happens!  Writers, I am not alone in this feeling, am I?  I’d love to be more organized, but, I’ll have to go with what works for my brain.

It feels like I’m meandering here, but besides some of the brief writing “possession” and lack of focus I’ve experienced, I’ve been enjoying Netflix and went to two movies over Winter Break.  This is a big deal; I hadn’t been to a movie since Wonder Woman or Dr. Strange.  Not sure which, I may have my order mixed up; it was whichever came out last summer.  I didn’t even get out to see the new Bladerunner, and I am such a rabid fan.  I know I was busy writing in November.  No worry though, it comes out for Netflix in January and I already have it on order!  I took my mom to see Thor:  Ragnorok last week, and she loved it for the brawny Thor character and the powerful women it depicted.  She didn’t get the mythology and back-story, but I loved it all.  On New Year’s Eve, my sweetheart and I saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi.  It was a great movie!  We were in a theater with reclining seats, and I had drank a hot toddy with dinner; that may have been a mistake, but anyway, I got the gist of the movie, and I enjoyed it.  On the homefront, I have had time for Netflix and my ongoing obsession with Haven.  Audrey has come back again!  Seriously, I love this show, but my favorite was when everyone in town thought it was Christmas in July all brought about by a snow globe.  That one definitely had a Stephen King feel to it.  I’ve also already seen all of Season 2 of Glitch.  There seem to be plot holes galore, maybe because they’re saving things for the next season,  but the setting and the whole idea of second chances is quite intriguing.  I also hear there are more Black Mirror episodes.  That one really makes me think.  I have to be ready when I watch it.

Truly, I do look forward to warmer weather.  My dog can’t even enjoy his walks these days.  He does his business, then turns back toward the house.  I owe him a dog park visit come warmer weather!  Being indoors a lot, I am reading too:  still reading Outlander, the Fiery Cross, alternating between Kindle and Audiobook.  It is so long.   I’m over halfway done though, and I’ll feel very accomplished when I finish! Sometimes I take a break to read one of many books on Indie publishing, marketing, or writing.  Perhaps my word for 2019 will be Focus!  Nah, too soon to decide that.

Thanks for visiting my Weekend Coffee Share!  You may read other coffee shares and/or submit your own at https://eclecticali.wordpress.com/2018/01/05/weekendcoffeeshare-the-library-was-loud-and-this-weekend-will-be-quiet/   clicking the blue frog icon to enter yours.

That’s the gist of my week.  How was your week?

 

H is for Hiking. #AtoZChallenge

Mon.TrailShot1.16995997_10209124369295359_6999787220647151004_n They won’t stop and pose, so here’s a sneak photo, I call it a sneakie!

Everyone is getting along.  There is plenty of fresh air and movement, no time or need for talk to fill the space, though I throw some words in now and then.  My son replies in one-word answers.  He doesn’t talk to me much lately as he has entered adulthood, but the trail does not require much talk anyhow.  Our dog is happy as a jumping bean and my son is the one holding his leash.  They are capable of the same pace; I lag behind, and that’s okay.  They have youth ahead of me.

The hike through a local trail has been an excellent way to spend family time.  Especially when my son didn’t have a job and needed to get out of the house.  It’s a good thing for my dog any day, he loves to run, sniff, explore, and to do it all with his human companions is just golden to this loyal canine.  My son has bever been overly enthusiastic about having this dog, yet they are totally compatible on the path, neck and neck.  I must add though, that my son doesn’t wait too long for the dog to sniff and I interject about that at times, but it’s all good.

Now, my son’s employed again and a bit more independent.  Not to mention, he gets a lot of exercise while working.  He may not need the hikes so we may not be taking as many.  I may just have to store this in my bag of tricks for any day in the future when he feels down and needs an excursion.  In the meantime, I may be spending more time at the dog park.  Bixby loves to run and sniff with other dogs, and we haven’t been in a while.

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**The AtoZ Challenge theme for my blog is “Who I am.” Yes, it’s wide open.  In April, I will blog from A to Z to include little tidbits about me, poems I’ll share, and stories. Each day I will write something based on the next letter in the alphabet.  It’s been fun so far, yet it has really given me a chance to pause for reflection as well.

Want to know more about the A-Z blog challenge?  Visit http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

Out and About, “Echoes of My Neighborhood,” Almost-November entry!

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10-29-16 Bixby’s tail is down; he doesn’t like all the remaining debris from Hurricane Matthew either.  It’s eerie walking by and hearing something rustle inside the stack of branches, and the debris has been all over the place for three weeks.  It seems they are slowly getting it cleared away. Our walk was otherwise very pleasant, though. He even met a dachsund mix that was very friendly!

Since I missed pilates, I took to foot with Bixby for the 2 mile round trip to the post office.  I am determined to stay resilient and healthy, so I had to do something.  What happens right away? Bixby makes a mess on a neighbor’s lawn. Luckily I had a “poop bag,” since rules say I must use one. However, I won’t carry that thing all the way to the post office! A return home to dispose of it and wash my hands puts me off time, so I instead go the other way for a shorter walk, and now I must drive to the post office later. I could’ve just left it, but would I be fined? What are the consequences? I hate that rule. However, if I was the neighbor, I’d likely be unhappy with someone leaving their dogs mess on my lawn too.  At any rate, walking the other way provides some interesting sight-seeing and is a far different view from the walk to the post office.  I’ll share that one at a later date!

Walking gets my brain going.  I’ll start thinking,   This is what it would be like if we run out of fuel and no longer have the use of cars.  Could I handle it?  I’d like to think so.   The geography of “my side of town” would change drastically, though.  It would certainly decrease.  It’s neat though, as you walk along, you notice things you normally just breeze by when traveling by car.  I can walk fast, but not so fast I can’t notice my surroundings!

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Above is a family-owned meat shop that has been a mainstay in my side of town for years.  It’s really neat to go inside; there is a small country store feel to it!

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The view on this route is lovely, although nature is fenced in.  It is well-manicured and evidently belongs to the owners of this particular neighborhood.  A fenced in forest, quite interesting.

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This is one of the retirement communities in our area.  There are probably three on this road.  Bixby stopped to sniff this lovely foliage, but would not pose once I got the camera out.  I won’t complain since he is usually quite cooperative!

I only took a few pictures, since my main objective was to get a good, brisk walk. Much as a girl can do that while stopping every few minutes when her canine companion needs to sniff something or mark his spot.  He is a wonderful companion, though, and he gets me outdoors a lot.  These longer treks get boring with no one to talk to, so Bixby solves that dilemma.  Well, he doesn’t talk, but he does communicate.  He gives me those looks, he stops, he notices things that I don’t and takes me to another level of living.  God bless him.

“Echoes of My Neighborhood” is a weekly blog topic started by Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha at http://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com.  You can find some of her “Echoes of My Neighborhood” posts at http://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com/category/travel-2/dubai/echos-of-my-neighbourhood/  Jacqueline lives in Dubai and has quite an interesting neighborhood!  You should go and check out her blog.

 

 

Yoga, Stream of Consciousness, My Exercise Evolution, Pt 4

I like the pained look on this woman’s face in the photograph.  Not because the yoga hurt me, but because my stressed out body was not ready to let go of the stress and relax this time.  I want to be honest, and this photo totally represents my attitude tonight.  I didn’t feel too evolved, but in actuality, I guess I’ve evolved to be able to not push myself too far.

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I hate Triangle.  This is what I was thinking when the instructor told us to set up for our triangle pose.  Then, I immediately felt guilty for my negative thinking.  Sadly, I’ve fallen a little out of tune with my exercise routine, but perhaps for good reasons.  I obviously don’t have the attitude I had built myself up to, and I really need to work to get it back.

I am , however, going to give myself a free pass and just thank myself for showing up to the class tonight.  I knew it would help me, and it did, despite my almost losing my balance and falling once or twice, needing to modify my lunges.  So I modified.  I went easy on myself; it’s been a rough few weeks, with a hurricane passing through, a family friend dying, and the ex-husband in town for a few days.  My emotions have been pulled, and I had cause for anxiety with the ex-husband based on his last visit.  Now it’s all over.  The ex went back home, the funeral has happened, the hurricane dispelled.  Yet I am still at the bottom of the well.  I need to work on coming back up.  I was very mindful to remind myself of that all through class.

On a brighter note, here’s more on the topic of wandering minds during yoga: why do so many instructors use phrasing such as, isn’t that a yummy stretch?  That is mostly used by female instructors, I’ve noticed.  While I haven’t had that many male instructors, there is one most memorable instructor who would say, “Feel that stretch, isn’t that delicious?”  This was said in his beautiful Calypso or Caribbean accent.

“No,” I said, honestly.  It wasn’t delicious as his hand holding my leg steady was, or as his honey dripping accent, or as, let’s say, chocolate.  That’s the part I didn’t say. 🙂 He just chuckled when I said that and let up a little.  I wasn’t being mean, I half smiled when I said it so that he knew, it wasn’t him.  It was me.  I loved having him as an instructor.  But alas, he was just a sub that night, as he normally would teach the early morning class, one I could never make.  At least he wasn’t pushing us to empty our minds.  He must have known the delicious comment was pretty suggestive.  Hey, it made me think of chocolate, or his awesome accent, all things I find very relaxing.  Unfortunately, I no longer attend the studio where this man with the wonderful accent instructs; it is just part of life changes.  I had to choose somewhere closer and I do truly love the new studio I currently attend.

I am not complaining about the wording used by instructors; I love the yoga community.  But calling any of these stretches “yummy” just accentuates the fact that I am not at home eating the goods I am trying to stay away from.  If you are an instructor who wants us to empty our minds, please don’t use the word “yummy!”  I do have to add, though, it always makes my busy mind chuckle while I’m in a resting tree, downward dog, or even pigeon pose and I hear such comments.  Thank you, dear yoga instructor, for giving me that inward chuckle, for coming by with your relaxing scents, and for playing that wonderful music.  I really needed it tonight.