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.

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?

Food for Thought: Obesity

Imagine paddling a canoe at dawn!

Computers, desk jobs, stress, arthritic joints, age and limited time supply the conspirators that challenge efforts to get healthy. There is an old saying “past behavior is a good indicator of what to expect in the future.”

Diets do work. Every diet out there works.  Less food in, more exercise, and the pounds drop off.  However, recent discoveries through PET scans of brain chemistry, wiring  and behavior,  point to the reasons behind a lot of addictive behaviors.  It is not so much the substance one uses to zone out that makes us reach for it, but the memory pathway of how it makes us feel.  Food actually overcomes a lack of serotonin (feel good chemical) … and kicks in an endorphin (another feel good Chemical) response.

Diets create an enemy within that lurks to correct an attempt to starve the body, and we, who fight this battle, need tools to help us.

We cannot totally abstain from food.  Throw in some genetics, some psychological layers acquired through life experiences, and the problem of obesity ranks high for steeling some quality of life and physical capability.

Each of us must find our own pathway … what works for us … our experiences, health and genetics are unique to us alone.  But to everyone who struggles, I’m pulling for you, along with pulling for me.   Never give up.  Hats tipped  to all who strive, but please know it is not a moral issue or a personal failure.  The chemistry is stacked against us, and knowing that really helps.  Ask any soldier … understanding that which fights against us can be a great  key to winning the battle.  And forgiveness, like charity, begins at home.  Love ourselves first.  And really, there is nothing to forgive!

Well, for a Wednesday post, this one’s hitting the presses a little late.   But I was busy gathering tools today.  Hugs.

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