Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Forward Progress

This is my theme of the week.

Tomorrow, my father has a much needed Prostate surgery and I have my first weigh-in after starting the Hudson & Simpson (WW) diet. I am more positive about my activity tomorrow than my father. He is having a bit of confusion today and thinks that tomorrow will not be a "real" surgery. We had a brief argument over the definition of the term "surgery" and then I just gave up because it wasn't worth the energy. I wish I would take that approach most of the time. Some things aren't worth arguing about when you know you are right.

I continue to focus forward and keep walking. I have decided that things with my Dad will turn out the way the cosmic forces want them to turn out. Sometimes you just have to let go and let someone else take the wheel. It relieves some of the stress.

The big thing for that I am on that I don't let the stress break my progress with the diet. I can't give in and have a half of pizza or a platter of nachos. I keep thinking about my goal for a slimmer summer and that seems to help keep me focused.

I have concluded that my Dad will be staying at my house over the weekend to recuperate. This isn't an easy sleepover either. My Dad complains that there isn't anything on TV if he can't find a western or a military movie with John Wayne. Ugh. He stayed with me for a week in December and I have to say I have seen enough Bonanza, Big Valley and High Chaparral episodes to last two lifetimes. My hope is that the cosmic forces see fit to throw a John Wayne Movie Marathon in this weekend. I will be able to get a lot done around the house and he will be as happy as a clam. I will be happy to watch the Super Bowl.

Focus Focus Focus!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ahhh Yes......A Diet

So remember my last post? I went on and on about living life and being as healthy as you can be? (Sigh)

After my routine physical, I am now joining forces with Jennifer Hudson and Jessica Simpson. Well, not really, but kinda. I have started Weight Watchers. Again. I say "again" because about 12 years ago it was incredibly successful for me. Back then, they didn't give you extra points for exercise or all the fruits/veggies you could eat. Everything had a point value and when you were were out. No extra somethin-somethins. You made due until you woke up the next day. It was tough, but it worked. I exercised every day except Friday and in 6.5 months I lost 60 pounds. Seriously!

My doctor advised me that my cholesterol was a little high (226 - but my HDLs were fabulous!) and further advised that a low fat diet was in order. This is where Hudson & Simpson (WW) enter the picture. I am back at it with the support of my loved ones and friends.

I have to wonder, however, if my higher cholesterol numbers could be the result of the very small....ok....heaping tablespoon size.....piece of birthday cake I had four hours before the blood work. I know I know! I knew it was important to fast, but without testing it....."who really knows?", I thought. Kinda like using your cell phone on an airplane. We could have been using them for years because it wasn't going to bring a plane down. So this was my train of thought at the time. My cholesterol wasn't high in Spring 2011 when I had my last check up. Hmmmmm....

All of that aside....I have decided to take it at face value and not ignore the test results because of my birthday "indiscretion". It will be good for me afterall.

Since I found out about the test results late Thursday afternoon, I had time to polish off the extra cake in one last glorifying binge. I have been a good little WW soldier since and doing my thing. I forgot how easy the WW diet can be once you start. It really does work and it isn't just marketing hype that Hudson & Simpson are spewing.

Now, will I look like either one of them after six months? Not hardly.....but I will feel better and turn some heads for just being me.

Ta Ta!

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Yesterday, I turned forty seven years old. I took the day off from work to take care of me. I had a couple doctors appointments to ensure I am healthy enough to see many many more birthdays.

Recently I have grown more aware of the importance of living the fullest life possible. Mainly it is because I am dealing with an aging parent who is growing weaker and will be ready for full time care in the next year or two. Death is inevitable for those who age and I wonder if it is easier to accept death at 80 than it is now?

The thought of dying and losing the life I have now is a sad one. I have seen friends face and fight cancer - fighting for the right to continue to live a life they do not want to lose. It may be a thought we all have at some point I guess.

So is it just a wearing down of the bodies and faculties that cause seniors to have an inner peace and surrender to death? Or is it simply a willingness to accept that their life has run its fullest course?

So I counteract all of these thoughts with regular check ups to make sure everything is running like clock work and according to my doctors everything looks good! Ok....well....I did get some grief about my weight. It is my only health flaw and struggle at the moment so I promised to do better! I isn't always easy but we have to do what we must to keep muddling through despite it all.

Today.....I will revisit WW and see if I can drop as much weight as Jennifer Hudson. I mean.....she makes it look easy so it will be easy.....right? Stay tuned........

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Doggy Dog Dog

My dog Kip is a hot mess. He turns three next month and still has a mean puppy streak in him. You can't really tell by this picture, but he is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. An energetic Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Can you see it? Ha! This was taken on a snow day actually and he was enjoying it as much as I did. 
As any dog does....he loves his Mama. He is very loyal and a faithful companion. When I have to take him to the kennel, the house gets eerily quiet and it is a bit lonesome. The big guy has "presence" and a huge heart. Just ask those who he loves and adores. They've been tackled many times.
I had to take him to the kennel tonight because I am heading out of town tomorrow. While he loves Pet Suites and they love him, he doesn't like for me to leave him. It made me a little sad this evening because he literally kept staring at the front door after I walk out of the kennel. How do I know? I peeked in a side window. He was standing there pulling on the leash looking at the door. Tugs on your heart strings....I have to say.
My big hearted guy will be just fine and I will see him on Monday. I am a lucky woman.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Didn't Do It

It wasn't me.
I would never do that in a million years.

Or so Lance Armstrong has tried to convince us or himself over the last decade. Kinda reminds me of Hamlet - Act III - "The lady doth protest too much, methinks".

As his world started to crumble around him several years ago, he kept protesting. He was defiant. He even sued people who attempted to blow his secret out of the water. Many other cyclists took the fall in outing themselves in regards to this doping scandal. Everyone else doped, but not Lance. Got it.

Some say this was much bigger than Lance Armstrong. Some say in his admission of guilt he should call out those above him who also knew of the regular doping cycles. Some say that this could also indite the International Cycling Union (UCI) because something this BIG - an American winning seven titles......worldwide publicity and huge corporate sponsors for the events.....brought a lot of new money to the sport than they ever dreamed possible.

What is really a shame is that in his greed for success he brought along a charity with him. A charity that has done marvelous things for a lot of children and adults who suffer from cancer. His good fortune in the sport of cycling drew people to him. People donated freely -believing in him - "the miracle on wheels". The guy who fought cancer and then went on to win another Tour De France title. The charity did wonderful things for so many and hopefully will continue on after a little house cleaning.

So now Oprah gets her hands on him. In an interview today, she said she is satisfied with the answers to her questions during the interview. I hope we will get a chance to see the "insistent and persistent" Oprah. I don't think anyone expects to see a "snowball" interview. I believe she will ask the questions that if given the chance....we would all ask.

A cheater never wins. Haven't any of the sports figures learned that by now?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cocktail Monday

I thought I would start something different on Mondays. Yes I know......cocktail stuff on Monday? Why not Hump Day or Friday? Isn't it too early in the week? What's wrong with you?

Pffffft.  :)

I have had a bit of an inventive streak lately with drink mixology so here is what is hopefully the first of many "Cocktail Monday" blogs - most of which will be original creations!

Whipped Berry

2 ounces Whipped Cream Vodka
4 ounces Cranberry Juice

This drink is so blind of the alcohol it is dangerous. Reminds me of those fruity beverages that I loved to drink as a kid. You get a whiff of the whipped cream vodka as your lips approach the glass and it also cuts the bite of the cranberry juice.

It is lovely.....just lovely.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Guilty Pleasures

Sunday mornings are my favorite mornings. I have no errands to run, no appointments or meetings. It's just me, my dog, coffee and the newspaper. Yes...a newspaper. Oh don't get me wrong....I do my fair share of perusing the "web world" for interesting news, sports columns, etc., but on Sunday morning it's different. There is nothing better to me than sitting down with a sizable cup of coffee and reading the paper in the morning. Unfortunately....unless I am on vacation, I only get to do this on Sundays.

Since I enjoy this so much, why do I call it a "guilty pleasure"? It certainly is an interesting choice of words that perhaps we all misuse. I enjoy my Sunday mornings. I don't feel guilty and I don't care what you think about it. So....maybe it is my "non-guilty pleasure". If this is true, then why do we even use the term "GP"? Do what you do and enjoy it when you do it. Right?

I think the problem is that we really don't allow ourselves to do everything we enjoy without attaching some kind of guilt to it. There is a time and place for everything. We all have obligations that we need to fulfill - jobs, parents, children....and we set time aside to do those things that require our full participation or concentration. So why don't we say......STOP.....tomorrow I am taking 2 hours to give something back to myself and I am not going to allow it to become a guilty pleasure. I and everyone around me deserve to have a happier me and by taking these two hours for me.....I am serving all of mankind.

Coffee anyone? :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

As Time Goes By

So raise your hand if your parents are over 75. I know there are a few of you out there who are now in the position of "raising your parents".

I have never had children so I have no earthly clue how to raise them and keep them safe. With that said, I do see however, the comparison between raising a child and dealing with aging parents who are in "Winter Solstice". I still have to make sure they are safe, secure, medicinally sound and manage their finances to the extent that they aren't giving money away to every charity that calls them on the phone.

I am in the unique position of being the only child to raise my two aging parents who live in separate households. Mom is better off than Dad.....mentally, physically and financially. Dad doesn't like Mom for any of those positives. Dad is cantankerous and has early onset dementia. Mom can be cantankerous, but has come a long way since she came to the realization that I am all she has now. Dad would love to continue to live like he is working full time, but realizes that the social security check is the only thing he has coming in so he has to "fake" it. Mom is on zero medications and Dad takes meds for his heart and blood pressure. Both of them live alone and both hate the words "assisted living" and "nursing home". Mom is uber prepared for her old age - POA, will and funeral arrangements. Dad has not given me POA, wants to be cremated and can't remember where he put the copy of his will.

(Cue the circus music)

I realize that I have spoken about aging parents before in an earlier post. In 2009, my Dad's medical conditions were just starting. The only thing I knew at the time was that this was the first parental challenge I would face alone without my brother. Time has gone by....quickly yet slowly. It has me looking down the road and thinking about tough decisions and how I will make them for my Dad with the little authority that has been granted to me. I don't want to have to think about broken hips or car accidents. I don't want to think about the point of no return and how will I will I get him in a facility that will allow me to sleep soundly at night. He doesn't realize that some of the decisions he is making is because of the dementia. He thinks he is fine. He thinks he can still drive. Luckily, he doesn't have a car. He eats at Bob Evan's once or twice a day. The man could live on blueberry crepes for the rest of his life, however it isn't the most nutritious thing.......especially with the extra whipped cream.

(Look I can juggle too!)

Doctors appointments at the drop of a hat has kept me scrambling with my job. Luckily, I have a boss who is going through something similar with his parents so he is understanding. Since I work remotely (from home), I have been able to catch up with work early in the morning or late in the evening, but there are still too many days I have taken off to go somewhere or to meet with someone.

So while my life is very much like a circus, I am learning the lessons of raising an elderly child. I am learning that it likely was not easy for my parents to raise me and my brother either. It had its ups and downs, trials and tribulations. I have to think that my parents also looked at child rearing as having a beginning and an end. I did leave home, go to college, got a real job, bought a house and lived on my own after all. I was not a child forever.

Our roles as parent and child have switched. I never thought it would be like this. As they grow older and weaker, I grow stronger. My parents.....especially my Dad.....will not be elderly forever. While there will be more trials and tribulations ahead, I feel satisfied knowing that I will have seen both of them off to their next life after death.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Will I See Snow......

...when I am 75?

It's a fair question to ask and ponder. Those of use who are lucky to live in the Midwest can recount many hair-raising winter weather stories from our youth. Yet these days.....and I would say in the last three years.....we have less stories to tell.

In the Cincinnati area, 2012 was the warmest winter season ever. Temperatures below 20 were rare and we received a total of five inches of snow for the season. Our average is approximately 22 inches. Yes......22 inches. My usual 1976 winter storm story has only been bested once with a storm we had in 2005 or 2006 (keep me honest folks) where we received 16 inches of snow in 24 hours.

Today we are seeing another warming trend along with some rain. Temps are projected to be hovering in the 50's and reach a high of 60's on one or two days over the next five days. Yeah....I guess you could why complain? Be thankful its not snowing buckets. Hmmm.

I guess the whole global warming thing has been my concern. A recent news story showed a graphical display of how warm the earth is getting over the last several decades. Apparently there are sensors located around the world that are sending back data to one central source. The temperature increase is disturbing to witness.

Which leads me to my question......will I see a snowfall when I am 75? Will the Earth's temperature heat up so much that snowfalls will occur so randomly that the "winter season" will take on a completely different meaning?

We may have reached the point of no return in regards to global warming. We can't say we weren't warned.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Stretch and Yawn

After a long - a very long - siesta away from blogging, I thought perhaps that I would just delete this blog since I had not written anything since July 2011, but after reading a few posts, I decided that I had an "investment" in this blog. It is an emotional, mental and almost spiritual investment that I don't want to lose by simply pressing the delete key.

So after a good stretch and a solid yawn.....I am back to use this forum as an outlet for my candid opinions and observations.

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."
Robert Frost