Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The more things change

I always was an optimist. I say that knowing it isn't true. I spent many years of my life as a wife and mother of three beautiful children. I knew next to nothing about being a wife or mother. I fully expected that I would be given the respect of being a partner in the marriage and of being right in my ideas of raising the children. Alas, that didn't happen.

The person I married wed me with the idea of being the knight in shining armor and rescuing me from my terrible home life and training me to be a good person according to his standards. His mother, whom I came to love dearly, was his idea of the perfect woman. I didn't know this when we wed. I learned eventually. She actually was an unusual mix of the Victorian wife and woman, and of the modern woman. R, (not her name) fully believed that the man is the head of the house. But R didn't realize that the man she had married was a wonderful but shy man who wouldn't fight her to run things. He was an absolute delight and I loved him so much. But back to R. The Victorian view of things had the woman raising the children and preparing them for the next phase of their lives. Females were to be wives and men were to bring home the bacon. Then things changed. By the time I was married the wives and husbands were breadwinners. But some things didn't change. I was supposed to become his mother. Couldn't do it. And you know how when you run toward someone they back up? That's normal. I didn't know. The more I wanted to share in his life the less I was welcome. And at some point you just give up. After all, I was the one in the wrong, and he was doing his job, bringing home the bacon.

I am amazed at how insidiously the message sneaks into the interaction. The pursed lips, the boys only outings, the why don't you questions. Loud and clear to anyone who listens. I didn't. I thought that once I was married I was safe. That my husband and I would work out problems without anyone's feelings being hurt. Again, wrong. I lived in a constant state of anxiety and fear.

So I acted out. Badly. I hurt the kids. Terribly. I suppose I may have hurt him but by that time I didn't care. Paybacks are hell.

Now I'm getting my payback. My hope that we could be friendly coparents- a total no go. My hope to develop better relationships with the kids- somewhat successful. But this year, I'm a basket case and I can't seem to stop crying. I would love it if someone would say a prayer for me.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Age or beauty?

I am always looking at fashions and wondering if they are too old or too young. Some things spring right out to me. But others are harder to determine. Such as skirt lengths, heel heights, makeup colors. Etc. Here is one answer.  I've now got answers to some questions and questions I didn't have before. Long hair after 40? Well, what do you think? Blue nails? Cleavage? There are so many things going into putting ourselves together and the look we want to project. At least there are some folks with opinions.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


I've decided to look into the humor of my life and my aging. I have agonized over the loss of some things, struggled with the onset of others, and been angry at some things I can't do anything about. And where did that get me? Exactly nowhere. I'm still not living near my kids, and I still have back and knee pain. And I'm still diabetic. Damn!!!!!
Well, this Christmas looks to be depressing and I need to do something to stave off the pity party I was preparing myself for. I'm looking to find something to become a new tradition.  I've already figured out the menu for my non-traditional Christmas dinner. But I don't want to just sit around and watch TV or whatever. And if honey and I want to visit our gifts we'll have to go out to the driveway cause we are getting each other tires for Christmas.

Now I'm sure that bitching about Christmas is a waste of time because there are literally millions out there who can't even afford tires. So this year, one of the things I'm doing is donating as much as I can to relieve hunger. And I've decided that as a total animal lover I'm going to buy some dog and cat food and I have a small nice crate. I am going to donate these things to the local animal shelter. So that adds to the good holiday things. I'm going to keep a list almost like a Christmas list of gifts to buy. Honey and I don't have a lot of disposable money so the donations will take the place of some of the gifts we used to buy but don't any more.. And any gifts I do buy I'm going to try to shop at local businesses.

It's inevitable that things change as we age. I used to cook Christmas dinner for at least 8 people and this year it will be us two. I used to set up Santa on Christmas Eve and have trouble sleeping because I couldn't wait for morning to see the kids' faces. Well, now I am working toward having a rewarding Christmas by being grateful for what I have and the small ways I can help others.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Less Stress is a gift

Holiday Stress. Since becoming an adult it has been a joy killer every year. There are some ways to change that. When I was younger, I was busy cooking and entertaining family and though I loved it, I did stress over it. Now there isn't any more family to feed and I'm stressing about what I don't have. What a catch-22. So I checked out possible aids to joy. Here from MSN Healthy Living are:

  • Find support. People facing difficult family situations should set aside time to spend with their friends. Those who feel isolated or alone should take advantage of resources in their community or volunteer their time at a local charity.
  • Get some alone time. Even a 15-minute break can help you relax and relieve stress. Taking a brisk walk or getting some exercise can significantly improve your mood.
  • Set limits. You can't do everything, so do only what you enjoy. Allow friends and family members to share their ideas about what they would like to do during the holidays.
  • Reduce shopping stress. Set a budget and do not spend more than you intend. Don't let guilt, competitiveness or perfectionism send you on more shopping excursions than you would like.
  • Enlist help. Let your friends and family contribute to the holiday preparations.
  • Be realistic. Don't set your holiday expectations too high. Allow your loved ones to be themselves and set any conflicts aside for another time.
  • Reflect on the past. Honor and remember loved ones who have passed away.
  • Be organized. Plan meals, shopping lists and other activities in advance so you have more time to enjoy the holidays.
  • Remember what's important. Spend some time focusing on family, religious beliefs or traditions. 
I'm sure there are some others that people use. I'm going for a walk in the woods this weekend. Nature always helps me. Let's have a good, safe Holiday Season.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

I tried and tried

Antioxidant function of CoQ10

The antioxidant nature of CoQ10 derives from its energy carrier function. As an energy carrier, the CoQ10 molecule is continually going through an oxidation-reduction cycle. As it accepts electrons, it becomes reduced. As it gives up electrons, it becomes oxidized. In its reduced form, the CoQ10 molecule holds electrons rather loosely, so this CoQ molecule will quite easily give up one or both electrons and, thus, act as an antioxidant.[11] CoQ10 inhibits lipid peroxidation by preventing the production of lipid peroxyl radicals (LOO). Moreover, CoQH2 reduces the initial perferryl radical and singlet oxygen, with concomitant formation of ubisemiquinone and H2O2. This quenching of the initiating perferryl radicals, which prevent propagation of lipid peroxidation, protects not only lipids, but also proteins from oxidation. In addition, the reduced form of CoQ effectively regenerates vitamin E from the a-tocopheroxyl radical, thereby interfering with the propagation step. Furthermore, during oxidative stress, interaction of H2O2 with metal ions bound to DNA generates hydroxyl radicals and CoQ efficiently prevents the oxidation of bases, in particular, in mitochondrial DNA.[11] In contrast to other antioxidants, this compound inhibits both the initiation and the propagation of lipid and protein oxidation. It also regenerates other antioxidants such as vitamin E. The circulating CoQ10 in LDL prevents oxidation of LDL, which may provide benefit in cardiovascular diseases.

I read and reread and pondered this explanation. I have high cholesterol. I read somewhere that CoQ10 would help. Especially since I'm tired all the time and since my lipids are all over the map. Finally I hit on a solution to my problem of understanding of this explanation. It helps. It keeps some things from breaking down and keeps some things setting up. It regenerates some. And I'm going to try it. A trip to the drug store is in order.

I also have recently begun to see some changes to my body which accompany my change in diet. I've been getting salads from the fast food places. It's actually cheaper than buying all of the stuff and making my own. I use a dinner salad for 2 or 3 meals. For $6. Anyway, I'm still not eating enough fruits and veggies but I'm improving. I found a couple of great salads at Wendy's. Got to go there tonight.

I got a flu shot which gave me a reaction. I found out that that has happened a lot because of the combination of flu strains it works on. I got a prescription for a shingles shot but after so many people started getting sick and dying from steroid shots here in Tennessee, I decided to wait. But sooooon.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's a hard time


AllergiesI've had a hard time with the allergic season this Fall. I love Fall but there are times I'd just as soon skip the whole thing. I sometimes have trouble telling the difference between allergies and a cold. That is the way the allergies act in my body. I'm prone to being stopped up, coughing, sneezing, and being really tired. A cold right? Not necessarily. And if it's gone the next day, it must have been allergies.

In East Tennessee we have one of the allergy capitals of the world. I'm sure other folks think the same about their homes. But even the doctors here seem to think it's true. And I'm doing what I can to make it better. One of the things I can't do is drink orange juice(diabetes), use honey and lemon for the cough, and use a lot of antihistamines. My blood pressure is fine right now but it has been high and the best ones say to be careful.

So I'm into making myself feel better in other ways. Yes I do take Aleve. It helps with the back and knee problems but it also helps with headaches brought on by allergies. And I've started to drink non caffeine teas. And I take warm showers, not hot. And I think the best thing I do for myself is to add fruits and veggies to my diet. I have not been a salad lover. But I finally discovered that I like the salads I get when I am out to eat. So instead of buying all of the salad stuff and spending big bucks on full heads of lettuce, etc., I go to Wendys or another place with good salads and buy them there. The salads at some restaurants will last me 2-4 days. A salad that I pay $6 for will have meat on it, and will easily be divided into smaller side salads and there is often chicken or some other meat that can be used in a lot of ways. That is how I view the expenditure. And for that money I am also getting the vitamins and antioxidants that I need to fight off colds and help fight the allergies. That is, then, a recommendation from me to anyone who has allergies.

The recommendation is to do what you can to reduce the allergies, including taking meds. And then to coddle yourself. For some reason, I am comforted by little extras in my life. A good cup of tea, a special bubble bath, or just getting rid of something that causes stress seems to help me ignore some discomforts from my allergies.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Not getting any worse at least

Today I'm in a health learning mode. I've been overweight for so long that I am sort of used to it. Anyway, I'm fairly comfortable now. Except for a couple of things. Of course the Diabetes is a concern. And I am stuck with that. I looked at the chart above and guess what? I can improve the quality of my life if I drop pounds. No surprise there. The range of things that would change is a surprise. And I'm thinking. Hard.

Next there is the Monster Energy drink. I drink 2 of the drinks every day. I don't drink the sugared one but the lo carb. Still has sugar but tastes better than the sugar free one. Anyway. There is the same amount of caffeine in one 24 ounce one as there is in 7 regular sodas. And we won't talk about sugar if drinking the green one. I drink the 16 ounce ones and that means I'm getting the equivalent of about 4.4 sodas worth of caffeine. In each can. And I was drinking coffee too. That has to put a strain on my heart. I know it raises my blood sugar.

I've tried to stop caffeine before by going cold turkey. And I got headaches that were so bad I had trouble with my eyes. So. I'm going to try to cut down on the Monsters in another way. First, I have given up the second one. For the last couple of days I have had only one. And I am tired. But I don't expect to get things fixed overnight. Another couple of days I'll have only one and then I'm going to pour half in a bottle to keep for the second day. I've been getting sick to my stomach. I don't know if it's the caffeine or the allergies all us Tennesseans have. But I hope to get off the Monsters within the next two weeks. Back to home brewed teas with caffeine and coffee. At least the hit isn't as bad. I gave up sodas when I became diabetic because I don't like artificially sweetened drinks.

On Pinterest I saw a quote that I'm thinking of now. "Getting old is not for sissies". Yes.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Not giving up now

Short one here. I've been reading that caffeine is good for women. I've been reading that caffeine is not good for women. I've been reading that red wine is good for women. I've been reading that red wine is not good for anybody. I drink caffeine and I don't drink red wine. I'm overweight, bad back, bad knees, wrinkles, and out of shape. Am I doing something wrong, maybe. Could it be that instead of coffee I should start the day with 2 cups of red wine? What a concept.!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Please, please,please

I am taking some time today to make an information page to keep in my wallet and one to keep in my house next to the computer. I am making hard copies. This is important to me because of an incident that happened yesterday.

I called a friend and when she answered the phone I sensed something was wrong. She said "I fell" and didn't elaborate. I asked if she was up and she again said "I fell" and then I asked how she was doing she said "I fell and I don't know". I drove to her home not knowing what to expect. When I arrived, she was up and in her chair that she watches TV in. I had told her I was coming but when I got there she was surprised. Anyway, I found her to be somewhat incoherent. She was adamant that I not call the doctor and wouldn't give me any family names to call. But I did finally contact the rental office of the neighborhood in which she lives. I had to leave to finally be able to call someone.

What I am doing is making sure a paper is in my wallet that tells my phone numbers, emergency contacts, that I am diabetic, blood type, and meds I take. For the house, I am including even more. I'll have info on all of my history, Dr., health problems, allergies, phone numbers for me and all emergency numbers, meds, banking info, credit card info(but not the numbers), soc security number, home and PO box numbers, insurance info for health, home, and auto. If something happens to me that should be helpful to anyone who needs to care for me. I may include a living will with the page.

Yesterday, when I was forced by circumstances to leave my friend, I had no idea what to do. I thought of ambulance but don't know if her insurance covers it and no idea if she was bad enough to need an ambulance. But I felt personally responsible if she had been hurt again. Please, if you can, keep your info in an obvious place and instructions if needed.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I am a diabetic. I found out in May and I've been trying to come to terms with the needed changes to my life since then. Obviously the diet must change. And after I stopped eating all of the fatty sweets, my weight dropped a bit. But I have so much more to do. The easy part was dropping the fatty sweets. Every time I think blood sugar, blindness, losing legs and or feet, stroke, etc., sweets aren't nearly so sweet.

OK to the sweets I say gbye. But what do I eat? Being fat free usually means eating lots more carbs. But carbs raise blood sugar. Which is worse? Remember blindness etc. And now I'm battling chemicals. I need to raise my metabolism and exercise. Yuck. So I consulted a list of metabolism boosting foods. What a great idea. Except-----sweet potatoes, blueberries, yogurt,
apples, oats, lima beans are carb heavy. Avocado is high in fats. Lemon is not such a good idea by itself. Nor is cinnamon, ginger, or garlic. So now I must do what I have rarely ever done in my whole life. Plan meals and follow recipes. And oh yes, exercise.

That means I'm working at getting healthy. Slowly. We'll see how well this part goes.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Been a long time since Feb

All hell broke loose on me this year. But I have found that an old dog can learn new tricks. Such as snickering when I conquer a problem and giving myself a break before tackling the next.

And men don't change much with age.

And my mind didn't change much with age but my body sure did. So why does my mind still feel 30?

And why does a newly 67 year old woman look at True Blood for the hot guys? I guess that is one thing that doesn't change.

And What the Heck is there to watch on TV right not? Oh, that's right, another rerun.

And did you know that 8 track players and tapes are being sold as vintage? And kids don't know what a vinyl recording is.

Classic music is not the music of the 60's and 70's.

Damn I'm old.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The XG#*^)WTF Medicare and Social Security

I have found an activity that ages me more than all of the sunshine, smoking, drinking, and fat ever could. I mean dealing with the Medicare and Social Security Administration. I don't understand how to read the books and booklets they send out to those of us who receive Medicare and Social Security. So I went to an insurance man who set me up with parts A and B, part D, and a perscription plan. The parts A and B plus the perscription plan were to be deducted from my Social Security. The Part D came from my checking account.

I understand that now. After paying a bunch of money I wasn't expecting to pay. No one, and I mean No One, told me about the fact that the amount the Social Security Administration charges for medicare is tied to income tax. You see, I paid income tax for a building I sold. They didn't call it capital gain, though that is what it was. An inherited building. This was in 2009 that the building sold. And I thought since I put the money into trust for my retirement, I was safe. God, I must be really stupid. In 2011 my Medicare cost me 319.70 for parts A and B. My perscription plan started at $30 per month and went to $66.40. And I still paid from my checking account for the part D coverage. But I had no idea the change was because of my 2009 sale of the building. Remember that I put the money into a trust. I was paying well over half of my SS income for medical care and had to begin borrowing from the trust.

I understand that I am lucky. My SS is about $10,000 per year and I'm lucky to have that. In this economy, any income is a really good thing. However, again, I was paying over half for health insurance. I think if I had known exactly what was going on I would have used the health insurance more, just to justify the cost. And a lot of the problem with this is because I didn't get or understand the information about the payments. After the first half of 2011 I was trying to get by on very little money and I started asking questions. I found that no one knew enough about my situation at the SS office to really help me. It was all there in the computer except for the why. So, as luck would have it, a friend told me about her health insurance which was a whole Bunch cheaper than mine. When sign up time came, I changed over. Part D and the perscription plan is about one tenth of the original plans I was on. But that didn't change the SS payment. So I submitted a 2010 Income Tax form showing my significantly lowered income and after practically camping out at the SS office, my payment was lowered to where it should be. My blood pressure on the other hand has not come back down yet.

I'm writing this blog to accomplish a couple of things. One-----If you are on SS and Medicare, please know all you can about what money goes where. And if you don't understand, don't necessarily just ask one person. Ask a bunch of questions. The man who set me up on the original policy went out of business. Small wonder.

The second reason for this blog is----I needed to bitch. Hopefully it will help my blood pressure.

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I've found

I've found it's a lot easier to be high maintenance when someone else is paying for the maintenance.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

From MSN Health

Skimping on sleep stalls your calorie-burning
You'd think that more hours awake means more opportunities to sizzle calories, but the truth is that more sleep makes for a quicker metab. In fact, a single sleepless night reduces your resting metabolic rate by about 5 percent several hours into the next day, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. What's more, the morning after skipping sleep you burn 20 percent fewer calories from diet-induced thermogenesis — —the number of calories your body uses to break down and digest food.
As if that wasn't enough to encourage you to power down your iPad early, scientists have found that women consume 329 more calories, on average, after snoozing for four hours than they do when they sleep for nine. To keep your cravings in check while preventing your engine from sputtering, try to get seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

Metabolism slows with age, but there's plenty you can do about it
It's hardly a myth that many women pack on pounds after age 40. Although experts have attributed the average annual one- to two-pound weight gain to perimenopause and menopause, they really didn't know why it was happening—until now.
A new study in Cell Metabolism reports that the dip in estrogen levels that occurs with menopause reduces activity in important estrogen receptors in the brain that control how many calories you burn. Less estrogen, it turns out, equals a sluggish metabolism— — you burn 50 fewer calories a day. Your first line of defense: Hit the weight room. Regular weight-lifting (three sets of 10–12 reps of 8–10 exercises three times per week for 12 weeks) adds enough muscle mass to burn an extra 45 calories per day. That basically makes up for the hit your metabolism takes at menopause.

When you eat affects whether you're a super burner
Ideally, you want to keep your internal fat-blasting machine running all day long. So what makes it idle? Drops in blood sugar.
"The primary fuel for the brain is blood sugar, so when it drops, the brain takes steps to sustain sugar delivery so it can maintain normal function," says Dan Benardot, PhD, a professor of nutrition at Georgia State University. "The body releases the hormone cortisol to break down tissue, including muscle, and turns it into glucose to feed your brain." In other words, low blood sugar leaves you with less muscle, which makes your metabolism drag. The fix? Eat smaller meals with 100- to 200-calorie snacks in between to keep blood-sugar levels even.
Final tip: Have a light bite before bed. It's a myth that you should never eat after dinner, Benardot says: "Blood sugar fluxes about every three hours, so if you eat dinner at 6 p.m., blood-sugar levels are getting below normal at 9 p.m." Keep your metabolism cranking with a pre-bed snack— — such as peanut butter on a graham cracker— — and you'll be living the dream: burning calories while you sleep.

I am an absolute genius at coming up with good ideas and a total dunce at following through. OK. Post it notes are needed for this one-to remind me to exercise. I used to lift weights when I was young. I didn't do it to the point of growing muscle. But now, my metabolism is moving at a snail's pace and I am going even slower. So I must do something. I have never been this fat. I have never been this unhappy about the way I look. I know that after losing some weight the skin will sag and I'll look older. But I won't be couchbound. I'll be more able to get out and not be in pain. I've got to do this. I have got to.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Look your best-at any age


I am often torn about how I look. I don't remember a single time when I wasn't dissatisfied about my looks. From the time I was aware that there was more than one body style, fashion style, makeup style, etc, I have felt as if I were not doing something right. So I have decided as I prepare to turn 67 at my next birthday that I'll just try anything I want to do, wear, say, see, or feel. I've earned it.

I have a 41 year old significant other. He is a nice looking man who is more aware of the things I do than the way I look. Yep, I look old enough to be his mother. And I am old enough to be his mother. But I don't want to look old enough to be everyone's mother. So this post. I am suggesting a group of things that will be fun for me to try. And they will be useful for my self acceptance.

First. I need makeup. I have found that my skin has not weathered the vagaries of time very well. I have blotches, and splotches, brown spots and lumps and bumps. All on my face, chest, arms, legs, etc. Basically, anywhere the sun has touched. My excess weight has created folds and bulges. So now I'm back to makeup. Obviously I can't cover everything. But I think I can create a simple canvas. I've pored over the Advanced Style blog. I really envy women who have been able to extablish a style and enhance it all throughout their lives. Either my attention span is too short or I have listened to too many ugly messages. So, as an artist, I am approaching makeup as if I were a canvas. First I make myself look bland. Beige makeup to go with my pale eyes, brows, lashes, and hair. But I saw a woman on TV who has white hair with pinkish skin and she is beautiful. Once again I want to try things. But one step at a time. Beige skin. My eyes are often red and I am going to try to find a light eye pencil for the inner rim so I don't look so tired.

Makeup artists suggest pink lipsticks, pink blush, soft edges, etc for us older ladies. Well, if I look at fashionable older women, many still wear red lipstick, heavy eye makeup, etc. Tammy Faye Messner was one of my favorite women and she had a good sense of humor about her mascara fixation. I don't intend to emulate her but I have to say, her sense of comfort with herself is attractive to me. So I'll use some of the makeup tips from the makeup artists. And some things that just feel like fun to me.

I have also discovered that reminding myself of my blessings is a really good piece of makeup. The smiles of the pictured couple trump any makeup available. Happiness is the best revenge for a life of hardships. I don't think anyone can get to my age without hardships happening. Because of that I don't smile enough. I've never been a smiler. I don't know if it is inherited. Probably. But I think looking your best, at any age, has a lot to do with how hard you work to smile.