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. Summer Goals!

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali. This is the week I started my true relaxation and “detox” from stress, including occasional half-cup-of coffee days. I’m writing here and there, but I have no set deadlines this summer.

I do have goals, though. Staying healthy and not feeling stiff or pained every day are two of the biggest. The issue came up last week when my boyfriend and I went on a four hour drive to the memorial for my best friend’s husband. I get stiff just from sitting in a car for those few hours, and we came back the next afternoon.

 Friends are also family.

It was an emotional visit, but this visit was also very life-affirming. I’ve known my friend since age 13. We know so much about each other and have seen each other through some really hard times. We’ve been separated many times by circumstances and distance. Her second husband recently became ill and was hospitalized at the end. He was one of the best husbands in my opinion, even though I only met him once. She loved him very much, and everything she said at the memorial just showed she was full of appreciation for her time with him and relief that his pain was over.  In other words, she was not a basket case at all.  Her husband, whom she has known five to six years and been married to for three, had been sick in the last two years.  Near the end, he developed a rare disease, calciphylaxis, and was in the hospital for most of this last year.  It breaks my heart, but in talking with her I could see that she wasn’t dwelling on the sorrow, and instead was focusing on the wonderful times they had together.  I want to make sure to go and see her or spend time with her more often.

After returning, I’ve been setting a lot of appointments this week.  Routine stuff, and I made it to yoga twice in one week!  I felt great after yesterday’s class, but I feel sore today, so maybe I just have to get used to it.  I also went and tried out a place called Stretch Zone that does assisted stretch.  I decided I’d go back, so I purchased a month’s package to see how I improve after that month.  “Spend all you have for loveliness,” someone said, somewhere.  I used to spend it on vacations and concerts, now I am having to invest in being healthy and a whole person.  In my opinion, well worth it!  It’ll make my next vacation more enjoyable.  I also took my furbaby to get a haircut yesterday.  Yeah, he knows he’s handsome. 🙂

Beside that and binge-watching The Handmaid’s Tale, I’ve been working with a narrator to get Detours in Time onto audio, and after that, Undercurrents in Time as well! I’m trying to finish the Malachi manuscript, but I find I get pretty stiff when sitting in the same place for too long (as mentioned above).  Sometimes I stand near the kitchen counter and type.   I will be posting some brief excerpts in the next week or two!  In reading, I’m alternating between a Kindle book and its audio. That seems to work with my goal of not being too still. Please pray for me so I can get this book finished!  I think I am incorporating a good plan to keep moving.

I hope you all have a great week and are enjoying your summer. Happy Pride month to those of you who are, or have a friend or loved one that is, LGBTQ.  Happy summer to all!

“I Can Do This!” 2018 Focus

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Graphic made at canva.com ~Explanation below~

You may have guessed (or already know) that my keyword for this year is “Energy.”  I have many goals, and I am at a point in my life where I need to make them happen.  I don’t want to wait for a better time.  Even if it takes years to reach a goal, the time to start is now.

My morning mantra will be- “Let me get moving.”  That’s a great start for energy.  Of course, I’ve charted out some things I have to do.  Stretches to get limber and not feel old or sore all day.  I intend that to become like second nature to me.  Then the list goes on.

I’ve done this because I read somewhere that a resolution is nothing without a plan.  This is so true!  Working a full-time job can tire a person out.  Yet, I want to reach for more than a Mon.-Fri. workplace.  I need energy to do that.

I do hope the graphic is visible and easy to read for all.  In a nutshell, it lists what I want to become a regular part of my mindset and my daily routine in an attempt to generate more energy for my goals and to affect the world around me.  I truly believe this works.  I mentioned the morning stretches, because “Let’s get ready to move freely,” is better than “Crap, my back is sore, I HAVE to get up.”   Gratitude, music to help me get going.  Singing in the shower, expressing love to my family, asking God to inspire me to help someone else today.  Complimenting others I work with, using a 5 to 1 positive ratio for my interactions with students.  Then, there’s time to do what I love:  reading daily, a writing routine (not necessarily daily but when I am moved), blogging on my goals/progress or mindset once weekly and adding the flash fiction blog entries once or more weekly, avoiding work e-mail at home, and being thankful for it all.

My discovery of a focus keyword for this year was inspired by an entrepreneur on social media.  Mindset is such an important thing!  Truly, when you must do something physically challenging, they say to find a focal point.  Why can’t it be a word?  If you are interested, this blog post sets my intention to make Energy my focus and explains why this might help me greatly:  A Word for My Intentions

My Exercise Evolution, Pt. 5. Escape #amwriting

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I am tired and not sure how much longer I can do this.  So, I let my leg straighten out.  I don’t even get an evil eye from the instructor, although we were supposed to hold the bent-leg pose for two minutes.  Thank God.  No judgment here.  And that is how it should be.  I am competing with no one but myself.  I have nothing to prove.

“You know your own body and limits,”  the instructor says.  She tells us to modify and gives us options.  This is how it should be.  Gone are the days of kick-boxing and countless ab repetitions on the floor to some Britney Spears song.  My body complains at times, but my spirit is soaring.  That’s because, what makes my spirit soar is quite different than what used to.

I could go down the list of names of maladies my chiropractor labelled me as having, in addition to the surgeries and digestive issues, but I won’t.  What’s important is that I am doing an exercise that is good for all of these maladies, while at the same time, relieving stress.  This is what I need right now.  Sorry, but I feel my age today and I’m visualizing myself as a tin man.  It’s not always like this.  But what’s important is that I got off the couch, because the aches will still be there whether I push through them or not, but I will end up much healthier this way.

You may think this is a sad post, but let’s shout in celebration because I did show up, I tried, and I’m all the better for it.  Not only did I take away a release from stress, I also left with a new favorite musician.

The music on our instructor’s playlist included a artist who speaks to me with his instrument.  So, I asked her for the artist’s name, and now I have a new favorite song to play in the morning so I can be calm on the way to work.  His name is Garth Stevenson.  My favorite of his songs is “A Love Song.”  It starts slow, includes a lot of waiting, a lot of added whimsical instruments (reminding me of the fairies in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”) and a *violin that is deep, a piano that is light and airy, and a melody that tells it’s own story, making me at once want to cry and leap for joy.  All of this relaxes me, I am not sure how, maybe because it provides me the perfect escape.   I feel as if I could hide up somewhere in the highest notes of this song, dancing as if my body had no aches or creaks. The violin speaks to me and carries me away like an easy flowing river, making me believe it and see it happening.  Perhaps heaven would be like this for me.  (Further research by my fellow blogger informs me this instrument I’m hearing is a double bass.  I’ve always loved stand-up bass, cello, violin…)

Joy is when you find the thing that touches your emotions most and makes you feel free.  Up high, untouchable, unjudged, I would be invisible in each high note, floating like a fairy dancing on air.  You could only see me if you can feel the music.  See what I mean.  Music takes you away.

I may have digressed there, but the music is important.  Your bills, road rage, past memories and work obligations of tomorrow should not matter when you are doing yoga.  You also should not be focusing on your limitations.  Sometimes it takes the right song to take you away from that.   It may be a different song for each of us; I have found my song.  🙂  ❤

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Of Yoga, Food, and Family.

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Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Diana at parttimemonsterblog.com.  Of course, we’ll make mine iced, as pictured above, unless you can stand my a/c being set at 72 degrees.  Woo, it’s scorching outside.  If we were having coffee today, on 7/15, I’d tell you:

*It has felt like a busy week, what with Monday and Tuesday being taken up by teacher training on dealing with tough or troubled kids.  It was a serious topic, but the fun was in role-playing that they gave us, the fact that I took this training with two good friends, and the opportunity to go somewhere for an hour lunch with my teacher friends.  (Teachers get 30 minutes for lunch during the school day, but when walking your kids to lunch, something always delays it).  So, I turned to comfort food to make the heavy topics in training more bearable.  We ate at Stan’s one day, and at Olive Tree Mediterranean the next.  I love their gyros!  Since I promised last week that I’d talk about food, here you go.  🙂

gyro-1194724__340  I’m pretty sure I promised last week to throw in some talk about food, so this is the perfect week for it!  I had fries with lunch both days.  Most likely, I’ve gained a few pounds, though I don’t weigh myself.  I noticed gain in the way my clothes fit.  Oh well, summer is a time to relax, so I’m relaxing my diet.  🙂  Then, Weds. night, Mom brought home ribs for dinner!  What could I do but appreciate her offering of dinner.  🙂  Ah, summer is great, but my stomach is delicate, and she is traveling by plane next week, another cause for unhealthy eating, so she and I have a little pact.

*Wow, we’re on the family topic already!  Mom’s been complaining about her back lately, and she broke her arm in late May so she’s not working and not as active.  Anyway, our pact is to eat salad as much as we can until she leaves on her flight to MN next week.  We’ll start with the Loop tomorrow; they have a Gorgonzola Walnut salad that is to-die-for!  I could use more salad, myself.  French-fry-girl is not an identity that I want to keep.  I have to be proud of my mom, though, as she still goes to exercise class at the senior center 2-3 times weekly.  On the subject of family, my son started a new job Weds., and hooray!  It is close enough that I don’t have to drive him.  He seems to like it, too.  It may or may not be long-term, but he is enjoying it right now.

*Family and yoga sometimes go together!  I went to chair yoga with my mom Thursday morning at her senior center.  It was enjoyable and gentle.  I’d just gone to yoga at my usual studio Weds. night which was relaxing and focused on hip-openers.  Chair yoga is just as it sounds, but I could feel the stretch in my legs.  You also don’t have the issue of balance that some of us suffer.  It wasn’t painful at all, and I’m sure you can modify according to your abilities.  I do that in regular yoga all the time.  The class is given by a lovely woman named Jeannie who has a blog at yogafromanatural.com, and she said she reads my blog, so I’m giving a shout out to a fellow blogger and yoga lover!  That’s the only yoga I did this week, so far, but it fits in with my twice or more a week goal.  I suppose I’ll take the dog on a long walk today and get a little cardio, perhaps.

Of course, the book marketing is still going on.   This week I wrote a post about my main characters in Detours in Time.  See it at    https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/detours-in-time-main-character-intro/  I am now listed at circleofbooks.com, and they are tweeting about my book.  Sales have tapered down, but it is vacation time, so who knows?  I do have 5 reviews now!  They altogether average four stars. 🙂  I’m learning book marketing.  In a webinar, one author says to find out which books are selling and write that type of book.  That’s not my creative process.   This is art, and I write what comes out of my mind.  My book is lightweight sci-fi that is not graphic, with a little humor, moral questions, what-ifs, and future curiosities.  Love it or leave it.  I love what I do.  ❤  There is a link to my book on this book graphic and also in the closing signature to this post, if you are interested.

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This graphic is also on the postcards that I ordered, which I take with me to various places like Starbucks and the bank; they make it easy for me to mention my book and my “authorhood.”  🙂  Sometimes it’s fun, and it makes me talk to people!

So, how was your week?  Feel free to share with me, and visit Diana’s coffee share at https://parttimemonsterblog.com/2017/07/08/weekendcoffeeshare-in-which-i-am-back-again/  You can add your own blog coffee share to her Inlinkz button (the blue froggy).  Have a great weekend!

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare, Feels Like Summer!

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Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Emily at nerdinthebrain.com. If we were having coffee today on July 1st, I’d tell you that:

*I still drink hot coffee, despite how warm it is outside, and that warmth seems to glide through the windows.  Heaven help me though, I cannot thrive in a blacked-out room.  There are some days I’ll put an ice cube or two in my coffee, though.  How about you?

*It’s been another week of book promotion and finding people who will review my book, which means contact numerous book bloggers.  You know, I did a LibraryThing giveaway, and I keep wondering when those reviews will trickle in?  I should not be so hasty, though.  This book is at least twice the length of the books I have published in the Made for Me series.  I just don’t know what to expect, and I felt like I started ahead of time as needed.  Oh well, start sooner next time!  Got it.

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I’ve been doing more visual promo graphics for Detours in Time with Canva, and I posted a few here:  https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/detours-in-time-visual-book-promo-fun-with-canva/  I plan to make a visual book post once a week here.

Here is one that sets some character background:

DetoursMemeMilt1 look fifty,

Find a few more here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/detours-in-time-visual-book-promo-fun-with-canva/

*I have not been writing much because of all the promo attempts and writing author interviews.  Okay, that is writing.  I haven’t been doing the fiction writing that I love. I did, however, write a short story for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers prompt.  Check it out:  https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/06/26/fffaw-the-search-ends-at-daylight/

I also wrote an eerie short story last night.  I am not sure when I will drop it on the world, but I had to get the thoughts in writing, and I feel better for doing so.

*Other than that, there has been a lot of family time.  My mother and my son currently don’t drive, but I think things are coming together.  At any rate, I get to spend a lot of time with them and our dog this summer.  I also had a little getaway with my boyfriend for his birthday weekend.  I wrote a short post on these happy glimpses of summer as well:  https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/summer-glimpses-beyond-book-stuff/  This includes my goal of yoga two times or more a week, which I’m proud to say I am doing!

*I spent an hour yesterday visiting an elderly lady from my church.  I volunteered to do this; I do a few volunteer things through my church.  I was nervous when I first started visiting two years ago, but she is so kind.  She has memory problems, but she is in a really nice Assisted Living community.  When I got there yesterday, one of the directors had been urging a few of the wheelchair bound patients to move down the halls in their chairs.  She had been doing that too, so I continued to wheel her around.  She loved it.  Movement is so good for anyone’s mind.  Then, we sat out back in the shade, just a short while.  She seemed so much happier than usual.  I am glad she has some good days, but I can even tell on not-so-good days that she is so appreciative of my visit, and she offers help to any others there; though I don’t think she could get up and fetch a glass of water, by gosh, she would try.  That’s part of memory, forgetting  certain things you can no longer do.  I learn so much about attitude from her.  I learn a lot about the mind, as I have learned from the nervous breakdown of one of my family members.  I am not an expert on the brain, but I am learning that some things can spark a healthier brain, and I am learning to listen, even when things don’t make sense.

So, there’s my week in a nutshell!  That kind of fits, whith my hazelnut coffee!  How was your week?  Leave me a comment, and go and check out other coffee shares at http://www.nerdinthebrain.com/weekendcoffeeshare-the-one-with-a-big-ol-announcement/

Perhaps you will share your own?  Click on the link up button and follow the steps.

Have a great week!

If Yoga Were a Guy… (My Exercise Evolution cont’d)

 

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It’s been over a month.  I don’t know why, but I let stressful times keep me away when there are crises in my family and stress at work.  Then my shoulders get all these knots.  I really shouldn’t stay away.  Yet, coming back is a sweet homecoming.  The music and the essential oils beckon me and make me feel welcome.  Despite my tense body, I never feel guilt.  So I imagine yoga is this sweet guy with a Barry White voice, telling me, “Hey babe, the door’s always open.  So glad you’re here.  You’ll be glad you came back.”

Let me honest, I have no idea what he’d look like, except that he’d be fit and his hair would be out of his eyes.  He’d be wearing a light colored short-sleeved t-shirt, and yoga pants.  Okay, maybe not yoga pants, but those long, lightweight pants that yogis wear.  If yoga were a guy, he would:

*Not notice the few pounds I’ve  gained

*Not state the obvious, that my muscles would not be so tense if I just made sure to show up even during the taxing times, and I would not have gotten sick if I used the yoga to help me destress and stay healthy

*Play a lot of Dave Matthews, you know, for atmosphere.  That, and whatever else he seems to play that relaxes me so.

*Keep those candles lit and the lights dim.  Let’s not make it obvious how off-balance I am. Instead, he’d:

*Lend me a hand for balance when I need it.  Bring me an extra block without saying anything or pointing me out

*Let me linger a little while after savanas.  That’s right.  He wouldn’t kick me out, because he’d understand that I don’t just come here to whip my butt into shape, I come here to escape the outside.

*Invite me to come back in a few days or say something that makes me want to be more of a regular, not because I feel guilty, but because it feels SO good being here.

Truth be told, most of my instructors are female.  However, yoga is neither male nor female.  So I can imagine it any way I want.  What’s most important is that I keep going back.  🙂

While we’re using our imaginations here, I think it would be fitting if he gave me a half hour massage after each class.  I don’t live far from the studio, so I could just cruise home and drift into bed afterward.  What completes the fantasy better than a full night’s peaceful sleep?