Tag Archive | Health

Appreciating the ‘Simple’ Things

I’ve lost count of how often I’ve said, “We’re living in crazy times.”

For anyone who has lost a loved one from this virus or is currently ill with Covid-19, I’m sure the words to describe it would be much harsher than ‘crazy.’

We’ve all experienced loss. As it is with this new virus, sometimes it’s unexpected and tragic, other times, it comes from a lengthy illness or simply because we’ve reached the age that our bodies shut down. But even when we have the chance to prepare ourselves emotionally for the moment we’ll have to let go of the person we love, we’re never ready. We don’t want to lose anyone we cherish.

Life never guarantees another day. That’s something else I’ve heard and said for as long as I can remember. The older I get, the more I appreciate the wisdom in being told to appreciate the simple things and enjoy every moment with the people I love.

Since there’s more than enough gloom and doom in the media, I don’t want this post to be about the negative aspects of what we’re facing. I want to express the good I see in being alive every day. In addition, I’d love to hear from you and know what you enjoy the most in your day-to-day living.

I love that first sip of coffee that’s waiting for me the instant I walk into my kitchen. I’m grateful for the electricity that continues to flow through my home, even when I’m sleeping, so that my automatic coffee maker comes on at the right time. And speaking of electricity–that alone is something to cheer from the rooftops!

I have hot water for my shower and to readily wash my hands umpteen times each day. Electricity powers my laptop, so I can continue to write, and it recharges my phone, so I can stay in touch with family and friends. It keeps my refrigerator cold, so my food doesn’t spoil, and it keeps the food in my freezer frozen for the long haul.

I have a sweet husband who’s happy to go out and do the grocery shopping and other necessary tasks like picking up the mail. As for me, I stay comfortably at home, writing. And what a blessing that is! I still get to escape with my characters to other times and places, and I’m graced with wonderful emails and messages from readers who thank me for taking their minds off the current issues. If that’s not a good reason to smile, I don’t know what is. Thank you, readers!

I have a loyal dog who gets me moving when I’ve been sitting too long. We may only go out into the yard, but at least I’m getting out of the house for a few minutes. He’s been overly happy lately, because I never leave him.

I bought the ‘Stay at Home Dog’ shirt months before this virus came to be. At the time, I thought it was simply cute, but now, it’s fitting. He loves being at home, and I’m thankful he’s here.

I have word games on my phone to entertain me when my brain needs a rest from writing, and jigsaw puzzles that I love to put together. The bigger the better. I even dug out some puzzles that I’ve had since I was a little girl. The photo at the bottom of this post is one of them. I try to challenge myself by not looking at the picture while I’m working them, but I still like to start by putting the border together. My son says I shouldn’t do that. He’s trying to get me to work them from the middle out, but I have yet to try that. With one exception… I found a border-less puzzle that not only didn’t have a border, it also had five additional pieces, just to throw me off! It was called an “Impossible” puzzle, but I’m happy to say that I mastered it. Such fun!

I’ve been taking the time to experiment with new recipes, and I’ve also cooked things that I hadn’t made in years. Like old-fashioned tapioca pudding. It’s so good when it’s hot off the stove! And if you want a wonderful treat, cook up some stove-top chocolate pudding and put it over vanilla ice cream. It’s delicious. Even better than hot fudge.

I’m grateful that I’ve not lost touch with my church friends. I sing in the church choir, and we’d been practicing for an Easter cantata, but of course, that didn’t happen. Still, we meet once a week on Zoom. We don’t sing, but we lift each other up in prayer and share how our lives are going. Eventually, when we can get back together again, we’ll sing the cantata. Easter should be lived every day of our lives, so even though the date might not be the ‘right’ one, the message always is. God is gracious and still in control, and though we might not understand why we’re going through these troubled times, He knows. His love never leaves us.

Maybe we all needed the opportunity to take a deep breath and slow down. Even so, I hate to see anyone suffer. I’d like everyone to be able to get back to work and doing what they love.

So, tell me what makes you smile, and what you love the most! We’ll get through this together and be stronger for it.

Growing Older

Growing up I often heard ‘older’ people make comments like:

“Every day is a blessing.”

“Every day above ground is a great, great day.”

“Enjoy being young, because it doesn’t last forever.”

And one of my favorites, “Just you wait…one day you won’t be so skinny.”

I think none of those truly sink in until a person reaches at least 50. Of course, ‘they’ say that 50 is the new 30. I kind of like that! As I get older, my body doesn’t like to work the way it used to. I get tired easier, and this last move proved to me I had muscles that hadn’t seen the light of day in some time.

I make a point to take good care of myself, eat right, and exercise, but no matter what I do, the clock keeps ticking. None of us can stop it, so why fight it? I wake up each morning thanking God for the new day, groan for a few seconds as I place my feet on the floor, then put a smile on my face and head for the coffee pot.

Yes, each day is a blessing and I’m using all my years of experience to write the best books I possibly can. I certainly relate better to ALL generations. It’s easier to understand every phase of life once you’ve reached it. In my mind, I’m only half-way through it. I figure I have lots more things to experience, and I’ll do my best to stay healthy so I can enjoy them. ¬†And though I’m not as skinny as I once was, that’s okay. I guess I’ll just use another one of those old sayings and quote, “There’s more of me to love.”

I once was a skinny teen!

I once was a skinny teen!

Older and wiser!

Older and wiser!

A Tribute to Dads

With Father’s Day just around the corner, I started thinking hard about my dad and the role he’s played in my life.

As an adult, I can look back at his life with a different eye than when I was a child. As a child, I knew I was special to him. He called me “Green Jeans” and to this day, the memory of his nickname makes me smile. From the time I was in the sixth grade until I graduated from high school, I had a bedroom in the basement of the house. We lived in northern Idaho at the time and my room was always very cold. He would frequently go to my room before it was time for me to go to bed, and lay on my bed to warm it. So by the time I went to bed, I was able to crawl beneath warm covers.

I was never aware of the difficulties he’d had to deal with. Sure I knew that there had been a bad thing that happened, but what child can fully understand a disaster that took away many of his friends and co-workers? In 1972, a fire took the lives of 91 men in the Sunshine silver mine in Kellogg, Idaho. My dad was a safety director at the mine at the time. He’d just returned to work there after several years away. Just writing about it wrenches my heart. I know that the memories still haunt him, but he’s devoted his life to training others in hopes that this will never happen again.

I’m fortunate that he’s still living. He’s 82, but I swear he doesn’t look a day over 60. We live far away from each other, but he’s in my heart every day of the year. He’s always been a bit troubled by the fact that I chose to pursue the creative arts instead of going to college. He’s the practical one in the family and wanted to be sure I could support myself. So, he wasn’t quite so enthusiastic when I wanted to move to Nashville to pursue music. Still, he helped me drive across the country in a U-Haul and didn’t complain.

Yes, Dad is practical, and smart as a whip. But bottom line, I believe more than anything, he wants me to be happy. Isn’t that what all parents really want for their children? Moms worry in different ways than dads. But I know dads worry, too.

I’ve read that more flowers are delivered on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. Dad’s usually don’t get flowers, (more like ties and after shave), but please be sure to give your dad a hug. That level-headed man needs it!

And if your dad has passed, cherish his memory. For those of you who are dads, don’t forget to hug your kids. And if you live in a cold house, maybe you can warm their beds for them. Most importantly, love them and teach them how to fly.

 

Me and Dad

Me and Dad

Good Health

I never thought I’d blog about ‘health’ but I want to put in my two cents on the subject.

First, I want to say right up front, that I’ve never really cared for exercise, and I have an incredible infatuation with sugar and bread. When I was younger I was blessed with a fantastic metabolism that allowed me to eat whatever I wanted and remain looking like a long stick. But when I reached my later years, all of that changed.

I’d been forewarned by many of my mother’s friends who would say, “Just wait ’til you’re older,” and I would laugh to myself thinking…’not me.’ Ah…how wrong I was! Now who’s laughing?

These days I have to think twice before indulging in my favorite chocolates or pastries. (Cream filled are the best!) But, I don’t deprive myself completely. As the saying goes, “everything in moderation.”

I have embraced my newly-found curves, but find that if I let my cravings get out of hand, I grow to an uncomfortable level. When I reach that point, I feel sluggish, and unproductive. Basically…unhealthy. I have little motivation, and want to sleep more than my usual 8 hours.

So now, I make a point to get on my elliptical for 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. I’m also lifting weights. I learned a routine from someone on TV, and since I don’t want to get up at 5:30 to exercise with her, I do it myself.

After I do my routine, I’m invigorated! It helps my writing, too. In fact, I’ve been keeping tabs on my writing time and word count. On the average I write 1,000 words/ hour. I spend my time on the elliptical plotting the next scene of my book. It makes the twenty minutes fly by!

This winter has been a bad one for illness, and as I posted before, I was sick for almost 5 weeks. I no longer desire to be as thin as a stick, but I want to be healthy. I want to live to a ripe old age so that I can see my grandchildren and even great-grandchildren grow up. I try my best to make healthy choices in selecting food, but still allow myself treats. And since my job requires me to sit and type, I make certain I get up and move, too!

So, here’s to health! If you have any helpful health secrets, please share them.

WRITE ON!!!

(And yes…that’s me in the red pantsuit. I loved it back then. Oh how times and fashion change!)

Those were the days...

Those were the days…