Autumn = cozy & Nostalgic for some.

 NOSTALGIC PHOTO OF MY DAD & AN OLD STAGE GOACH: HISTORIC TOWN OF BARKERVILLE

I’ve begun tweaking my blog hoping to improve the content and the layout as I learn. Suggestions are welcome.

Dawne Groves, an instructor at Whatcom Community College, encourages bloggers to make posts interesting.  In addition to that wisdom, during the 2015 Chanticleer Author’s Conference In Bellingham, WA  a corporate marketing expert, Steve Lundin,  offered a unique approach on ‘Branding for Writers.’ He said, “You are your brand.  Write about what excites you. And then you’ll connect to people who are excited about the same things.(I’m not giving advice to writers here.)

This sounds like fun to me. Before fiction writing kidnapped me, many things fascinated me. Now I continue to search for time to get back to some of them.

  • Drawing, watercolor painting, knitting, making cards, music, reading
  • Travel to Scotland, Pioneers & their history in Canada & the US
  • Organization, Healthy Food & good recipes, what is GMO?
  • Obesity & weight loss surgery, Being assertive & informed when needing Health Care

Next Sunday I’ll post a survey asking blog visitors & subscribers “what interests you.”  I might eventually have a page for writers, & a page for those who want to read about other things. Or you can read both.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Those who look forward to Thanksgiving with loved ones &/or friends, enjoy! Those who can spend a quiet time with a good book, a movie, a hike, enjoy also! Every day is special.

Gratitude List

Autumn Trees in the Pacific Northwest

On those days when grumbles surface, catching them before they rule the atmosphere, challenging the negative with the good things often brightens the day, lifting me out of a funk into a different place. While blogging tonight, the list got longer and longer, so I’ve left many big and small things out. Had to quit somewhere!

Below is the gratitude list I could think of tonight …

-Husband, Children, Grandchildren, Brothers and their families
-Friends and Freedom
-Continuing Community Education
-Continuing Writing Education
-Kindness received and given
-Reading and writing
-Music
-Social networking with readers and writers, Connections
-Imagination, Problem Solving
-Walking
-Logical mind, even though one tracked & at times absent

Fresh nutritious salad

-Fine Doctors to keep me ticking … and walking … along with access to great health care
-The Internet, Computers, Printers
-Universities, Colleges, and Libraries
-Telephone calls, and long conversations with loved ones and friends
-Cell phones.  What ever did I do without one?
-Television, especially PBS, and Radio
-Relatively good hearing
-My Prius automobile, and my husband’s Highlander 4WD ( we usually keep cars for 15 years)
-The dogs, King & Buddy (Yellow & Chocolate Labs)
-Gasoline
-Food, fresh, organic when available, Good well water
-Vegetable garden provided by husband in the summer
-The 24 minute drive through beauty to get to the outdoor swimming pool
-Pain medication, Vitamins
-Minimally invasive Surgical techniques to solve many problems
-Memories, Bird songs, Breezes, Boat rides
-The present moments
-Large bodies of water, lakes, oceans, rushing streams
-Photographs that quick start memories

Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau AK

-Mountains, Glaciers, rain forests
-Trees, bushes, berries, flowers, grasses
-Autumn colors, Sunsets, Clouds, Blue sky, Rain, Snow
-Crocuses signaling the arrival of spring, and Pussy Willows
-Change that challenges
-All the senses, taste, smell, touch, see, hear and the 6th sense, intuition
-Compassion given and received
-Love, given and received
-Hope, Faith, Trust, Destiny and believing there is a purpose to all things, as in order in the chaos
-Freedom from practicing religion and respect for those who do

-Struggles.  Ouch.  Hate to mention this one, but all internal change, spurred by struggles, provided learning, an increased capacity to feel, to love, to reach out.  Didn’t learn much while having fun.  The hard times had a purpose.  They did pass.  Often understanding followed. But didn’t understand when in the midst of a struggle so eventually learned to wait it out.

The entire gratitude list is woven into the evolution of my soul.
Would love your comments and additions to the list.  Have a good week all.

TIME, WHERE ARE YOU?

BODY MAINTENANCE AFTER ??? YEARS OF AGE

Before: Prior to August Surgery

After: Taken in November 2011

Phase one: August 11 2011 gastric sleeve surgery provided a fighting chance to overcome lifelong obesity.  Appearance was not the issue.  Large gals can be beautiful. But as a nurse, I could see signs of health issues arising that might soon become irreversible.  Since the surgery I enjoy an energy surge, healthy lab reports, and a multiple of other benefits of weight loss.  Here are before [Aug] & after [Nov[ head shots. No, you don’t get to see the rest of me until I’m done shrinking.

Phase two:  I need a third hip prosthesis revision.  This is in no way typical, but the complications from the first surgery 11 years ago (infection) required further surgical interventions, but provided ten years of great mobility.  However, for every pound I carried, the load on knee and hip joints tripled.  Do the math.  I wore my poor baby out.  So February 23, if plans progress, the third hip prosthesis and I will shake hands—joined at the hip so to speak.

MY PASSION

 I’m a writer.  I want to write.  For readers and friends who read my blog who are not writers or authors, there is a difference between the two terms.  A writer typically is unpublished.  An author has published works waiting for readers to honor his or her craft by purchasing their stories, essays, or poetry.

But body maintenance and bookkeeping for two home businesses, plus domestic responsibilities have ensnared me in a time warp, gobbling up writing time (including this blog. But I love the connections with people, so what’s a gal supposed to do?)  Add the surge of energy directed at recapturing order in my home.  Most important, I love my husband, children, and grandchildren and friends.   Well, I love the dogs, too—I think.  But husband is their master and all I have to do is snuggle & coo at them.

Every problem has a solution.  The idea came quietly as I relaxed in Juneau with grandchildren.  When I got home, I juggled financial priorities, rented a low cost off-season room in a local B & B two days a week, and  left my home environment.  And wrote.

I’ll let you know if the seclusion works.  The wisdom in the writing world recommends writing every day.  I agree.  Hopefully, my two days will be a jump-start to new habit forming disciplines, guilt free.

Bloggers usually have a schedule for posting.  I don’t.  If I find something interesting, beautiful, funny, or informative—whatever it may be—I will post randomly as I’m moved or as time allows.   I would be honored if readers subscribed to my blog so they wouldn’t miss anything (smile and a wink.)  I strive to keep the blogs short, as your time is likely more valuable than mine!

Peace!

A Cup of Assertiveness, Anyone? One Lump or Two?

A fun Photo: Barkerville old gold rush town. Summer 1966

I know.  The photos have nothing to do with the post.  But they are fun photos taken by my folks the summer after our wedding. Enjoy!

Assertiveness.  Yes, I would admire the skill. I remember years ago during a state inspection of a nursing home where I worked, feeling like a balloon,  air swooshing out of the stem, when someone gently said, “I can see you are upset.” Why did that calm me? Where does one find such a statement in the face of another’s anger?

Where does one draw the line between asserting the needs and wants of the true inner you, versus giving to loved ones or others when it brings you pleasure to give?

Whether or not we follow a doctrine or a religion, our culture is influenced by spiritual ideals.  Older women grew up during a time when expectations for women or wives were different and struggled either for or against women’s lib.  I chuckled when I read the home economics class advice given to girls in the fifties. We’ve come a long way.

As a caveat for having gastric sleeve surgery, a tool to assist with weight management, after my psych evaluation, the doctor agreed with the assessor and mandated psychological therapy for a year.  I’ll honor one more of six group sessions, and then I’m back to being me.  They can’t take the surgery back, (done Aug 11) so I’ll practice the assertiveness they so much encourage me to learn, and say, “I wont be attending any more sessions for a while.”

Barkerville old gold rush town - Dad beside stage coach. Summer 1966

Counseling can be about issues surrounding poor self-image, not being true to who we are (assuming folks know who they are), always yielding, and unsatisfying relationships—all believed to be the villains in the battle against obesity.

Recent research reveals the scientific basis for obesity, and society hasn’t caught up with the evidence. Yes, resulting psychology issues are involved, but genetic structure, hormones, and brain chemistry—shown through modern pet scans—tell a different story. The villains unmasked are dieting, yes dieting, and/or junk food—both guaranteed to set up folks genetically disposed, to experience obesity running full steam ahead.

Don’t misunderstand.  I believe counseling can help many if they are ready. (Can I see heads nodding?  ‘She’s not ready.’)

I am content, often living in the moment, connecting, giving, loving, not judging, (except against group therapy for me) and occasionally exploding under the self-generated pressure of needing 36 hour days.  I leave the re-shaping of my soul in the hands of the creative power of the universe—and inevitably I see growth and change according to life experiences.  Why would I tinker with the plan?

Autumn Breezes Bring Change, or When Life Throws a Roadblock, Can We Find a Detour?

The picture has nothing to do with the post but I like it. My granddaughter in o4.

Autumn breezes blow in change.  Swimming for exercise started yesterday.  In an outdoor pool.  Brrrr. But the water is warm and the walk from the change room to the pool is short.

The first attempt after surgery August 11, revealed the top step was too high for my worn out hip implants.

Like many things in our lives, the hurdle could work as an excuse.  Swimming usurps 3 hours of my day driving to the pool followed by the swim, shower, fix hair, and get home.  Life without exercise is not an option, so the brain got busy with a solution.

The home health supply store ordered a metal medical footstool with a grab type handle that would not float. Perfect.

New problem.  How am I going to cart all that stuff into the change room? My right hand needs to operate a cane.  Aha. I went to a department store and bought a rolling duffel bag.

Swimming day arrived. I filled the duffel with swimming things, purse, water bottles, and stowed the footstool upside down on the top, using a bungee cord. Stares and smiles followed the bag lady strolling along the resort sidewalk.  A tall, dark and handsome man with a great aura asked if he could help.  I thanked him and said I had it all figured out.

After the swim, the same kind man, his wife and child shared the hot tub. The conversation thrilled me. A Spaniard now living in the US and working in Canada, he praised the US as the example of freedom for the whole world, and much more that I wont post here. He talked of his belief that wonderful things are in store for mankind.

The conversation was reward enough and lifted me, but I also had my trusty laptop in the rolling duffel bag, and went to the resort’s spa lounge and wrote for an hour.

Now all I need to do is find someone to do my housework and the bookkeeping,  in arrears, so writing can continue.  My brain is working on that.  My husband is willing to help, but I have to (shudder) ask.  But if the motivation is high enough … well, who knows.

Hope you enjoy the changes October brings. Would love to hear your stories  reflecting  your  detours around a problem.

Health Care Gratitude: Hip Replacements Keeping Us Walking!

Perfect place for a picnic

Ten years ago, family and friends helped me overcome my fear and an orthopedic surgeon gave my mobility back when he replaced both hips. Unfortunately, one of them became infected and required three additional surgeries, but ended with a favorable outcome.  Those who cared for me, besides my family, remain in my memory to this day.

  • The nursing assistant who turned my pillow in the middle of the night (aaaaahhh, sweet!)
  • The RNs who wrote and monitored the care plan, administered medications, IV’s, treatments, watched over me in recovery room, changed my sheets when the teensy fracture pan didn’t do the job … I tried to warn her … and we both laughed until the tears flowed.
  • The lab personnel, The Infection Control Physician
  • The Pharmacy personnel, The Home Health Teams
  • The Dietary departments, The housekeeping staff
  • The Supply clerks who make sure everything needed is at hand
  • The x-ray personnel,  the operating room Personnel
  • The anesthesiologists
  • The Physical Therapist, The Occupational Therapist
  • The ward clerks, receptionists and The volunteers
  • The nursing home (actually the one in which I worked. Now the human resources director was at their mercy!) They cared for me when I wasn’t quite functional enough to head home and burden the family when the 4 hospital days expired.  (Better the days expire than me!) They greeted me, lining the hall, and clapping as the stretcher rolled by.  My room had a poster of a hunky man on the ceiling, and balloons hung in the corner.  Lots of sayings on the walls.

Yes, I am concerned about health care in the United States.  Especially for those who don’t have access. But in the eye of the health debate hurricane, there are the core folks who give their all for the ill and injured.  Thanks to them and their families.  Because most families are the extension that keeps them available, and functioning, often sacrificing time and family functions, while their loved one must run to the aid of others.

Blessings to all who need the services of these great folks.  The world according to health care is like entering another sphere of existence. But the door to walk back into our former life is there for most of us.   For those who are still in the midst, I hope you feel like you are being touched by angels. Does anyone have a positive story to share?  A special health care professional to describe?

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