Scared Straight

I’ve not written in a bit, but it’s time to get busy about it again. Here’s what has prompted my new resolve: I went to see my doctor last Thursday, and the results of my blood work and visit there were alarming and disappointing. My weight is up. My blood pressure is up. My glucose levels and my A1C results were astronomically high.

My doctor wants me to check my glucose daily, begin diabetes education and begin on daily insulin. She also wants me to increase my level of physical activity, and if there is no improvement in six weeks, then she wants me to see a heart specialist.

Argh! Now it’s difficult not to wallow in self pity; especially because I brought it all on myself with my sloppy lifestyle choices. BUT  I’ve decided to not do that. Instead I am going to keep asking the question, “What’s the next step?” For instance, my first answer is to test my blood twice daily for glucose levels: once when I first wake up in the morning and about two hours after dinner in the evening. Another step is to get my diabetes education class(es) scheduled OR begin my daily insulin, whichever my Doc helps get into place first.

I will ask myself that question many times a day. Perhaps my next step will be to eat a nutritious, balanced breakfast. Or to get up and walk around for five minutes, before I sit down again. Or to walk down the stairs to the basement and do some laundry. Or to check that my meal and snack portions are a healthy size and not king-sized.

How do I live this life in a manner that will be good to my body, mind and soul? I believe I have hit rock bottom, and my last check up has scared me straight. So luckily I am retired and can take the time to learn how to live my healthiest, most productive life from here on out. It might sound odd, but I’m actually happy to be here. I haven’t felt good for a while now, and now I know why. And I have an action plan taking form, so it feels very encouraging.

Well, I’m tired, so that’s it for today. Hang in there with me, dear reader. This life sure is an adventure, and I’m excited to see what form the future takes as I bring this all to God. I love him; I trust him. And I know that nothing can happen to me that he does not allow. Thanks be to God!

Donna

January 20, 2017

On this day of the inauguration of the 45th President of the United State, I choose to talk about the five stages of dealing with grief:

Denial–No he did not friggn’ win! Those were my exact thoughts as I laid my head on my pillow in the early morning hours after the election in November. This is a nightmare. It cannot be happening. And for the first time in my 61 years, I felt ashamed of my country. Ashamed of those who chose to not vote. Ashamed of those who I believed had blinders on when they cast their vote.

Anger–They say anger comes next, but I jumped right into bargaining.

Bargaining–I keep hoping that the electoral college would stand up and protest the results.

Depression–This followed very quickly on the heels of denial. If I could, I would have slept through the next four years, so as not to experience the train wreck that I fear is our future. Fear being the operative word here. This is the first time since 9/11 that I have experienced genuine fear for our country.

Now Anger–This has been the longest lasting of the stages for me. But I’m tired now. Tired of wasting my energy on anger. At a local restaurant today I overheard two young white men trying to convince an elderly couple that Hillary’s lost emails would prove that she was providing money to support ISIS. After I wiped up the coffee I choked on at that point I said, “Hey, you two, that is white supremacist propaganda. Lies! That is hate talk at its worst.”  The two young men looked at me sheepishly and left the restaurant.

So that’s what I’m choosing to do with my anger. If I see or hear anyone spouting racist, feminist, bigoted lies, and especially white supremacist crap, I will no longer remain silent. May God help me and direct me in this personal crusade.

Acceptance–Here is the next stop for me. I’ll get there, because when all is said and done I do respect the office of the presidency. You won’t hear me say, “He is not my president.” Why? Because I am an American, and for all that America has meant in the last 200+ years, good and bad, our democracy is still a beacon of freedom in this world. Using the transitive property: I am an American: he is the 45th president; therefore, he is my president.

May God help us all to heal and to survive this presidency.

Donna

January 17, 2017

In the last week, I’ve reworked chapters one and two of my novella, Confirmation. I’m quite happy with chapter two, but I still don’t like chapter one.  At this point I will just keep moving on and let that first chapter simmer while I work ahead. I can tell that the first and the last chapters are going to be the toughest to pull together. I’ll have to spend some time praying about it.

We took a break from our Hello Fresh meals last week, so I fell back on some old favorites: pea soup, meatloaf with baked potatoes, and salmon patties with sweet potato. It was a very comfort foody week. Tomorrow we receive our next Hello Fresh order. I’ll let you know how that goes.

We watched some really good movies this week: The Magnificent Seven, Jackie, La La Land, Fences, and Arrival. Although some were hard to watch, the stories were well written, and the characters were well developed.  A great movie viewing week.

And so it goes. I’m staying on track as much as I can: writing more and moving more. I hope to contact Disney tomorrow, so then I’ll be on tract there, too.

Until next time, Dear Readers, God bless you.

Donna

January 7, 2017

Confession time: I have not been cleaning my house. There, I said it.  Cleaning is bloody hard work, and I have not had the energy to do it nearly often enough. I try to get Molly Maids in once a month to get the floors cleaned, most things dusted, kitchen cleaned and bathroom cleaned. But it’s been Christmastime and the money just hasn’t been there. So in an effort to be more active, yesterday I cleaned my toilet, tub and bathroom sink. And today I vacuumed through the house. I have heard that one should clean from the top down. We have a comfy Cape Cod house, so I started upstairs: two bedrooms, the bathroom, the landing.

Next, I vacuumed the stairs. I just hate that job! But with my relatively new and lightly used Shark vacuum it is so much easier.  I bought myself the Shark a year ago for Christmas, and I’ve probably used it less than a dozen times since then. I LOVE my Shark! (Thanks for telling Mike how much you liked using one, sister-in-love Julie!)

Finally, I vacuumed the downstairs: kitchen, entryway and living room.We took Christmas down yesterday, so it was a good day to clean up the living room. (I’m a little sad about not having the pretty colored lights in the living room for eleven months. Can’t help it…December birthday…I like sparkly, colorful things.)

I am a sweaty, tired mess. My back is sore, my knees are aching, but I’m still smiling from ear to ear. It feels good to have aches and pains from activity instead of from inactivity. It just feels so satisfying.

I hope this “dirty” post doesn’t gross you out, Dear Readers. My year of slug-like living, post-retirement is over. It feels good to be getting engaged in life again. 🙂

Thank you for reading, and God bless you!

BTW: I worked on my book for three hours on Thursday. It was so fun and frustrating at the same time. More to come next week. And next week I hope to contact Disney Vacation Club (DVC) and ask some questions about using our points to go to Disneyland Paris next year. I get so excited thinking about it that my stomach gets queasy.  🙂

January 4, 2017

In an effort to try more adventurous meals and to introduce new and different flavor combinations into our diet, Mike and I signed up for Hello Fresh meals. We’ve been at it now for several months, and it has been a huge success.  We are learning so much about how to put together Disney-dinner quality meals. Now if you know me at all, then you know I LOVE booking one meal a day in the parks when we’re at Walt Disney World. People may complain about the expensive food in the sit-down meals at Disney, but I believe you get what you pay for. We have not been disappointed, as a matter of fact, we have felt pampered and sated after our Disney meals.

All that to say, we had Hello Fresh Cranberry Turkey Burgers tonight with Green Salad, and it was scrumptious!

  • turkey burgers with a few herbs and spices, chopped shallot, and Panko crumbs mixed in
  • potato buns with a mayonnaise/cranberry jam mixture spread on them
  • and spring mix lettuce with dried cranberries and pecans mixed with balsamic vinegar and EVOO.

No lie, you guys, this is a keeper of a recipe which I will do again on my own.  Mike, too, was so-o-o into it. It only took 15 minutes of prep time, and 35 minutes from when we started, we sat down to eat.

For us Hello Fresh is a little pricey at $69 for 3 meals for 2 people, but it’s really easy to skip a week if the funds are tight, or we’re going to be out of town, or if we’re cooking up a storm ourselves because of holidays or out-of-town guests.  And BTW you can also order meals for 4 people, rather than 2 people if you have kids at home.  We usually have left overs, enough for Mike to have it for lunch the next day…but not tonight. We hoovered it up like it was our last meal.  🙂

Seriously, if you’re a foodie and can swing it, give Hello Fresh a try. We’ve had fab food and excellent customer service. hellofresh.com

On a different note, the cat’s Christmas present arrived today.  It’s a LUUUP litter box.  I’m so excited, because I detest scooping every day.  UGH! Google it or YouTube it, where you can actually see how it works.  I’ll let you know further down the line how it goes.  Mary Ann (our peculiar, prickly pet) immediately hopped into it and tried it out.  She looked very smug when she was finished, but looked a little insulted that she couldn’t manage to kick some the litter out on the floor. I found myself wanting to laugh in victory. Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!

That’s it for today, dear readers. May you be blessed until the next time.

Donna

January 3, 2017

Today is back to everything day. Back to school, back to work, back to the business of life. From the time I was in grade school, I inevitably became depressed at this time.

I was born in December, and it is by far my favorite month of the year:

  1. Week 1-my birthday
  2. Week 2-my brother’s birthday
  3. Week 3-my other brother and sister-in-love’s wedding anniversary
  4. Week 4-Christmas
  5. Week 5-New Year’s Eve

It is party, party,party all month long and I love it! Think about it…a reason to have a piece of cake every week for 5 weeks.  Woo hoo!

And then comes January. Blah! There’s an 11 month wait for December. I would trudge back to school or back to work, pressing down and hiding, as well as I could, the depression that threatened to engulf me. And the only way I could pull myself out of the deep was to find the next thing to look forward to, like maybe, Valentine’s Day.

All that to say that in my second January of retirement, guess what? No depression! Total shock right? 😉 I have time to write. I have time to be purposeful about walking more without taking time away from my desk. I have time to research for our trip to Disneyland Paris next year (Yes! I can finally say next year, as we go in 2018. [Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.]) I have time to listen to David Suchet (my favorite Monsieur Poirot) narrate the Bible in a One Year through the Bible program.  You can google it at “David Suchet Reads the Bible.”  But I just downloaded the app on my i-Phone and I’m digging it at just 3 days in. I have time to think about what I want the rest of my life to be. I want to finish strong whether it’s tomorrow, 5 years from now or umpteen years from now.

So here’s to us. May 2017 be a year of love, healthy challenges and standing up for those who can’t. Thanks for reading, Dear Readers, Dear Friends! I got nothin’ but love for ya!

Donna

PS: Thank you to all my friends and family who made this year’s Christmas and New Year’s celebrations truly blessed, and magnificent. And thank you to the King of kings for his unconditional love and self-sacrifice.  God is good all the time!

New Year, New Goals

Hello all,

It has been awhile since I’ve posted.  Today is Thursday, December 29, 2016. I am feeling particularly inspired today, (Thank you, Holy Spirit and caffeine!) so I want to write down some goals for my life and my blog.

I retired a year ago, and when I did, I gave myself one year to just NOT. Not get involved, not commit myself, not say, “yes”. One year to sleep, read, watch mindless television, spend time with the cat, and experiment with new recipes with Mike (my honey). It has been a peaceful, delightful, self-indulgent year. Well the year is up at the end of 2016. So now what? Well…

  1. It’s time to start planning for our next Disney family trip. Our plans are tentatively to meet at Disneyland Paris in the fall of 2018. So it’s time to start saving for flights, tickets, meals, and general fabulous-ness. This particular goal means I don’t have to change the name of this blog. Yay!
  2. I want to write Monday through Friday with holidays off. Sometimes I’ll write in this blog. Sometimes I’ll write on one of my three book projects: a) Confirmation: a coming of age story that takes place the Michigan’s Copper Country, b) A WWII love story about an American soldier and an English beauty who meet in London during the war, c) A Hallmark story type of tale about something I once heard at a Women of Faith conference; “You have your most important work still ahead of you.  Because if you had already accomplished it, God would have taken you already.” Now we may never know what the work is, but God knows.  It may be as simple as one word you say to someone that impacts them in a significant way. It could be anything at all.
  3. I want to walk more.  Be it around my kitchen table or in my porch for 5 minutes at a time.  I just want to move more. I’ll even count time cleaning and picking up around the house.

That’s it for now. Oh, and my definition of failure will be “I’ve only failed if I’ve quit.” Each day, each breath is so precious.

Here’s to you, dear reader. May you find peace and enlightenment in this next year. God bless us everyone.

Donna

Pilgrimage to better health to meet Mickey. A 14 month Quest.