My Nifty Fifties

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to MY Nifty Fifties

At this writing, November 2017, I am 56.  I will be turning 57 this coming February, 2018.  So, why start a blog post about my “Nifty Fifties” when I am nearing the end of them?  Because that is the best time to describe them. 

How can I possibly describe how nice it is to be in my 50’s if I was only say, 51? 

How could I know if the next 8 years would even be “Nifty?”

Julie Lancaster-Whann

 My goal here is to try and give you some hints, tips, advice, direction, into helping you enjoy your 50’s, and looking and feeling your very best. 

I hope to appeal to women in their 30’s so that I can help them start doing some ‘Preemptive Strikes’ to help prevent those signs of aging too quickly.  (For example, start using a throat cream in your 20’s, and you won’t have that turkey waddle in your 50’s.)

I am no expert on anything in particular.  I am no medical doctor, I have no PHD’s, but what I do have is 56 years of taking care of myself.  Whether it be keeping myself informed, or my year’s of Cosmetic and Skin Care from representing Estee Lauder, Germaine Monteil, and Lancome.

I also grew up in a very educated family.  My upbringing, with parents in the medical field, was an education in itself.

I only want to pass on to you what I have learned and what I am still learning.

The world we live in is very toxic. 

It has been made that way by our corporations and the politicians that work for them, and the people that vote in these politicians. 

Every day I feel as if I am maneuvering a minefield of cancer causing carcinogens in the guise of our food, water, air, products we use on a daily basis….etc…

I just want to tell you what I know so that you can avoid the “legal” things that can harm you.

 But I also want you to enjoy life.  For all we know this is all that we will get.  So why not make the best of it and be the best that we can be?  We were not put on this Earth to pay bills and die.  We are entitled to ‘the pursuit of happiness.’

And so we shall….

Click Here for:  My Nifty 50’s Skincare Blog

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Blog Entries Will Start Here:

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April 20, 2018

Wondering if 50’s Really are Nifty??

Sciatic Nerve Pain, Why I am Sitting Down

(Blueberry Picking at Keel and Curley Winery last Weekend)

I wasn’t going to write about this until I knew that I was going to o.k.  Actually, I would have written about this if I were to find out that I WOULDN’T be o.k.  I just wanted to know something first.

About 5 weeks ago I was putting away the creamer in the pantry….  (And they say coffee will kill you.  NOPE, It’s the CREAMER!)  There was a step stool in the way and I did have to contort my body around a bit in order to bend down and put it away.  And as I was getting up I got to a point in my back where I could go no further.  This happened to me last year as well.  I had taken both dogs out, (this was before Sugar had died), and I was wiping their paws off before we came into the house, when all of a sudden as I was straightening up, I reached a point in my back where I could go no further.  I managed to open the glass doors and I literally crawled into the living room and tried laying on my back for about 20 minutes.

How I REALLY Feel About my Sciatic Nerve Pain

I was in so much pain that I couldn’t even get up.  I suddenly had flashbacks of that Life Alert commercial where a woman has fallen in her home and yelling, “Help!  I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”  I immediately regretted ever laughing at that commercial because all of a sudden I’m in the same situation! 

Moral of the story….. Karma’s a bitch!  🙁

Anyway, moving on……..

I managed to get myself up off the floor by sheer will and I just sat in a chair until I could move again.  I then took an anti-inflammatory and waited until that kicked in and I was able to move better.  So, for one week I was off my back and taking it easy until it healed.  That was last year.  When I hurt my back 5 weeks ago I was in a lot of pain for a week.  I couldn’t walk upright and I resembled more of a “hunchback.” 

But because I wasn’t walking upright and correctly I then aggravated my Sciatic Nerve which was WORSE than the back pain.  The Sciatic Nerve is inflamed and pressing on my spine.  So, back pain is now gone and I now have something new to deal with that I have never dealt with before.  For 3 horrible weeks I had the worst pain from my butt down to my foot, a SHOOTING pain!  Now I know what a shooting pain is though.  I never knew.  I have been in pretty good health throughout my life, most days I feel like I’m in my 30’s, but over the past year and a half I have hurt myself a total of 5 times!

(I know what a Dull Pain is, I know what a Throbbing Pain is, and now I know what a Shooting Pain is.)

The only time in my life that I was ever clumsy was when I was going through adolescence and that was me usually stubbing my long toes, tripping over my big feet, and falling and skinning my knees all the time. 

They do say that when we enter into menopause, (kicking and screaming), that our bodies do go through something similar.  If that is the case then that explains a lot.

I am much better, almost back to 100%, not quite though.  But I am back on the treadmill, I did go pick blueberries last weekend which required a lot of walking.  But I did plop myself down in the middle of a blueberry field when I needed to.  I’m back to working on projects and getting things done around the house, which I have neglected for the past month.  Gordon is a big help though!  I’ve also had two heating pads attached to my body for the past 5 weeks that I could not have lived without. 

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I did not go to the doctor about any of this I just dealt with it on my own.  I did my research online, diagnosed myself, and the only medication that I took was an over the counter anti-inflammatory along with taking natural anti-inflammatory’s such as Turmeric, Fish Oil, and even some herbs.

I did also research the treatment for Sciatic Nerve pain and it is just healing, heat, and Opioids.

NO on the Opioids!!  Yes on the HEAT!!!

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I realize that I am very lucky in the fact that my schedule is mostly mine to do with and that if I do hurt myself then I have the luxury of staying home and healing and not having to report into a regular job like most people do.  My injury has also coincided with all the backyard lanai extension work we are having done now.  I can just sit here at my computer, work on my website, and watch the men in the backyard.  I also can’t help but look at the back breaking work that they do in extending our lanai and wonder what they would do if they hurt themselves and couldn’t stand or walk very well?  I wish our country were kinder to people and cared more than we do.  But that is a discussion for another day.

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As for me, right now I am realizing that I may sometimes feel in my 30’s but I am NOT in my 30’s.  I am in my 50’s and if I want to live long and be healthy I also need to understand my limitations and do more to prevent any injuries in the future.

Our bodies are rotting, like it or not, and it’s our choice on whether we want to rot fast or rot slow.  I’m choosing very sloooooooooowly.  🙂

Julie

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Why I Don’t Always go to the Doctor

First of all, I have doctor appointments all the time! 

I see the dentist twice a year.  I have my annual pap and mammogram.  I have my blood work tested every 3 months, and I see our family practitioner 2 – 3 times a year.  I also see a dermatologist 2 – 4 times a year.

It’s not that I don’t like doctor’s, it’s just that I don’t like ALL doctors and I don’t think I have to go see one for every thing that comes up.

I did grow up in a medical family with a step-father that was a surgeon and a mother that was a medical technologist.  Even though I am not in the medical field the fact that I grew up around it was an education in itself.  I may not have heard from my parents the kinds of things that I would have liked to hear, like… “I love you.  We support you.  blah..blah..blah…”  But I did hear things like, “This is how you suture a wound.  Here is what you do if you are ever bitten by a snake.  And this is what you do if you ever have to preform a tracheotomy.”   You know, the truly important things that a child needs to hear from her parents.

I do remember watching television with my parents and every single medical drama where the t.v. doctors are performing any sort of procedure, my step-father would always tell us every single thing that they were doing wrong.  I also remember my step-father telling us how many patients that see him that try to get him to prescribe things like Valiums, etc.  He said that he lost a lot of patients because he would never write those prescriptions.  He may have been a rotten step-father but he was a good doctor.  I’ll always give him credit for that.

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I am also a bit wary when a doctor tries to push any pharmaceutical onto me.  Big Pharma has taken over and is encouraging doctors to push these drugs onto us so that they get more money, the doctor’s themselves also get nice benefits from Big Pharma in return.  Hence, the Opioids Epidemic.  The fact that doctor’s willingly prescribed such an addictive drug to their patients means that they don’t care about their patients.  That’s what happens when you make medicine a ‘for profit’ industry.  Used to only people that cared about other people would go into medicine.  Now you get this whole crop of people that are only in the business for the money.  You can thank Nixon for that!  When he made that deal with Kaiser Permanente making medicine ‘for profit.’

When I was at my dermatologist my regular doctor was called away on an emergency and I had to see a doctor that I had never seen before.  He was checking me over and noticed the scar on my belly button and asked how it was?  I told him that it sometimes bothers me because all my underwear seems to cut across it but that it was no big deal.  All of a sudden he whipped out some hypodermic needle aiming for my belly button.  I asked him what he was doing?  He said he was just going to give it an injection to help with that.  I told him, “NO!  I don’t want that!!!  I’ll just buy new underwear.”

But see how quickly they just whip out all their drugs ready to inject us over something as minor as my underwear cutting into it?

I only go to the doctor when I have to.  I also pay close attention while I am there and I look out for myself because I do not trust a ‘for profit’ industry to give a damn about me.  Neither should you.  So, do your own research on any drug before you start to take it and always know that doctor’s aren’t as smart as they used to be.  They are not the cream of the crop.  Most of them are average and only in the business for money, not because they care about you!

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March 22, 2018

My HEART HEALTH Results

On March 1st. I saw my cardiologist and had two tests taken.  They put me on the treadmill to see how my heart was functioning.  I passed with flying colors.  🙂  They then gave my heart an ultrasound where they took a look at it to determine it’s health.  I wasn’t given any answers that day, but they did schedule me an appointment on March 13th. to come back and get my test results.  I was nervous because it is in my family history to die early of heart attacks so when I showed up to my appointment I was pleasantly surprised to hear that my heart is good and that there is no need for any medication.  I just need to keep on doing what I’m doing.  🙂

Nice to know!

Julie

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February 7, 2018

February is Heart Health Month

I Saw a Cardiologist Today

Red Dress

On February 13, I turn 57.  57! 

That sounds so old, doesn’t it?  It’s funny but I’ve never considered myself to be old.  I mean, I have always felt so good, so I just didn’t think about it.  And I do still feel good.  But I can’t help but think back to my maternal grandfather’s death at age 57 from his second heart attack.  He was a very tall, large man, (around the middle), and he was a type 2 diabetic.  I used to watch him give himself injections at the kitchen table every day when I was a little girl.  I can remember when he first had to do that and would practice on oranges and grapefruits. 

Me, with my Biological Father, Charlie Aycock

And then of course there is the death of my biological father at age 43 from a massive heart attack he suffered at work.  So, I’ve got heart disease on both sides of my family.

I myself, have a lot of good things going for me.  My blood pressure has always been really good, I haven’t eaten red meat in 27 years, I have been taking a baby aspirin daily since I turned 40, normally I eat pretty good except I have fallen off the wagon a little bit over the past year because of our President and his ominous reign.  But I am getting back on the treadmill trying to tone up and shed a few pounds.  I drink red wine every day.  Normally I shun fried foods unless they are fried in olive oil.  And I floss daily.  So, what does flossing have to do with anything?  Well, they say it prevents heart disease.  But I’m going to take care of my teeth whether it has anything to do with preventing heart disease or not. 

There are many other factors that I believe contribute to a long life that I could list here, but I mainly wanted to talk about my proactive stance that I am taking to hopefully prevent my having a heart attack and dying prematurely.  To me, life is something to enjoy right now.  I don’t live for some afterlife, I live for this life.  I’m hoping to stretch it out as long as possible.

Today I saw a cardiologist for the very first time.  I showed up bright and early at 8:30 for my appointment, having been guided there by my Garmin GPS.  The doctor’s office was located in a lovely area with many lakes.  I tried to park in front of his office building but every car out front of it had parked cockeyed.  One car had taken up two spaces, another car was so close to the next space that if I had pulled directly into it I would not have been able to get out of my car.  So, I had to park in front of the adjacent building and I just hoped that they don’t tow my car away seeing as how I wasn’t a patient of that medical facility.  When I walked into the waiting room every patient sitting there must have been in their 70’s, which explained the bad parking out front.  I signed in and found a seat in the waiting room and sat down.  I had brought a book, (my theory on life is…just bring a book and make the best of it.)  I had never been there and I didn’t know how long anything would take, or how quickly I would be seen. 

The book I am currently reading is one that I bought a few years ago but never got around to reading, called, Being Dead is No Excuse, The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral, by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays.  Not only is it hysterical, but it is every person I’ve ever known in the south and their recipes. 🙂

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Nigella Lawson’s, At My Table

Actually, Nigella Lawson in her new book, At My Table, mentioned the book and recreated the “Stuffed Eggs” (which are really Deviled Eggs).  But her mention of the book reminded me that I actually already had the book but never got around to reading it.  So, I did!  And I sat in that waiting room and laughed, and laughed, and laughed, while reading it.  The Help, is another book/movie that I can relate to as I did grow up in the south.  I was that little girl depicted in that movie.  We had our black maids that would work for us.  I call them maids because that’s what they were called. 

Julie, Camp Fire Girl

My family were beyond the times though as we were very fond of them, our maids, and my mother even was the first woman in Dahlonega, Georgia to have a black co-leader for her Camp Fire Girl Troop, which I was a member.  This was in the 60’s in the south so that was progress!  She would even come over to our house to help plan our Camp Fire Girl meetings with my mother as a guest, and not as the maid.  I even played with her daughter in our playroom even though that was looked down upon by other southern families. 

In some ways my parents were archaic and in other ways they were way ahead of everyone else.  Race relations was one way they were decades ahead of others.  My brother’s and I weren’t brought up to be racist even though we lived smack dab in the middle of racist central!

But I am veering off topic here, as I tend to do in life anyway.  However, as I was sitting there waiting for some health professional to call my name, and between chapters of the book I was reading, I did get a good look around the waiting room.  I was the youngest person there!  At one point I wanted to stand up and lead my fellow aging brother’s and sister’s in some heart health therapy while we were waiting to see our doctor.  I wanted to tell them that an exercise that I do is to pretend I am conducting an orchestra, waving my hands and arms in the air conducting a symphony in my head.  And adding, have you seen those old geezers?  They are ancient!  And do you know why?  Because they exercise their hearts every day!  So, everyone, come on!  Let’s get our arms moving!  Yeah!  We’re young!  We’re vibrant!  We can beat this thing!  As long as none of you have to park your cars, then you guys ROCK!!!

Luckily for everyone in the room, my name was called after that and I was led to a scale so that they can record my weight.  152!  I’ve put on a few pounds!  I am 5’8 so I can carry that amount of weight but I prefer to be around 140.  My blood pressure was then taken to a room full of oohs and ahhs.  I do have great blood pressure!!!  And I’m bragging here! 

I was then taken to a room where I was given an EKG.  Yeah, it stands for something that I just don’t care to look up right now.  But, they recorded my heart rate which was perfect!  Again, more bragging rights. 

I adored my nurses that took down my information, they were very friendly and made me feel comfortable, but then the doctor came in…..  Oh, he was nice, don’t get me wrong, but he was from India, again, NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT, (the only Indian doctor that I know not named Patel), unless you have to carry on a conversation with someone whom you can’t understand a word they are saying???   I am NOT one of these nasty ‘speak English Only Americans’ that hate accents, but I just want to be able to communicate with whomever I need to whether they have a thick southern drawl, a northern (Yankee) accent, a Mexican that just crossed the border, or a man just off the plane from India.  I did my best to answer his questions as quickly as he asked them, but I am from the south and although my southern accent is mostly gone, my drawl is still there.  And I apparently talk too slow for these people. 

My doctor asked me a slew of questions which I did my best to answer.  In his queries of trying to find out my lifestyle in order to evaluate my heart health, he asked me what I did for living?  I said that I was “retired.”  He asked me what I retired from?  I told him that I have lived my life pretty much “retired from everything.” 

He then dumbfoundedly asked me what I then do all day?  I told him that I do whatever I want to every single day.  He then looked at me as if I were a “stupid person.”  I then told him that I married a man that would work everyday so that I could do what I wanted to everyday. 

So, exactly how stupid am I?

The doctor then piped down and devoted his attention to my heart health, which is where it should have been from the beginning.  🙂

When I finished with my appointment I was told to stand in the hallway and someone would make the appointment for me for my follow-up.  Which is me on the treadmill. That appointment would take 4 hours so I should plan for it. 

As I was trying to stay out of everyone’s way, in the hallway, I backed up against a soap dispenser and suddenly soap was running down my back!  I grabbed some paper towels from a paper towel dispenser and I asked an unknown woman if she would wipe the soap off my sweater?

She did!  Then I was on my way home!  Happy to leave that place!

But now I have to go back and do the treadmill thing.  I’ll let you know what happens!

Julie

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February 2, 2018

Diet Ocean Spray

I happen to be a borderline diabetic, but whether or not you are I do think it best to try and eliminate as much sugar from our diets as possible.  Sugar is EVERYWHERE!  I do my best to avoid it, and I still tend to get too much sugar.

There is a rule out there with dieticians that if a product has more than 5% of sugar, PUT IT BACK!  Don’t buy it!

I have adapted that rule as well.  I will state that on special occasions that I do eat sugar.  Holidays, birthdays,  etc….  But, I do tend to only eat a bite or two, not a slice or two.  That is the difference.

My DIET Ocean Spray Cranberry juices above, I drink every morning.  Usually filling that glass all the way to the top.  It only has 1 – 3 grams of sugar and because it is usually a combination of cranberries, blueberries, cherry’s, pomegranate, and so on…. I am getting a fully loaded dose of antioxidants.  Win!  Win!

Grapefruit Warning:  If you are taking any kind of a statin then do not eat or drink grapefruit.  It can interfere terribly with your medication!

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February 1, 2018

Baby Aspirin

If you are in your 50’s, and in some cases your 40’s, then you need to take a baby aspirin every single day! 

It’s a blood thinner and as we age our arteries can develop all sorts of plaque that can get clogged and then we can have a heart attack or stroke.  There are many things that you can do to help along these lines as well, such as using olive oil in place of other cooking oils, and we’ll get to food in time, but by taking a baby aspirin every day you are helping to keep that blood flowing as it should.

NOTE:  If you have acid reflux then I recommend the baby aspirin that is coated as opposed to one that is chewable.  The coated tablet will get further down into your system before the coating dissolves, which will not contribute to your acid reflux.

Part of My Morning Bathroom Routine

As we get older we start to take a few medications.  Sometimes it can be hard to remember to take them all.  That’s why that giant pill box with S, M, T, W, T, F, S, = Sunday, Monday,  Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, was invented.  To make it easier on us as we age to remember to take all of our medications. 

Well, I don’t take that many, not compared to a lot of people my age, but I’ve devised a way that I take my morning meds before I get in the shower, and after I get out of the shower.

I don’t like taking pill, after pill, after pill, after pill, so I take a few here and there throughout the morning.

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Florestor

For example, before I even get in the shower I take my Florestor, it is a probiotic.  It just helps to keep my gut healthy.  I also don’t hear all that gurgling that I used to coming from my stomach.  Some days it used to sound like some battle was playing out in my stomach, and very loudly I might add!  There are many different brands of probiotics so I would investigate which one you would prefer, and how much you want to spend on it. 

I was told by a health care professional that the Florestor brand was the best to take.  But I personally do not know that as I haven’t taken every single brand.  But I am passing that info along to you.

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Claritin

When I get out of the shower…..

I take a Claritin every day to help me breathe, although I am now looking into the Flonase to see how that works.  I developed allergies while we were living in Hawaii and in order to be able to breathe, Claritin does work nicely for me.  I’ll let you know about the Flonase soon.

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Baby Aspirin

Before I put on my body lotion I take a baby aspirin.  That’s how I never forget to take one.  I’ve notice that as I age I sometimes forget things so I try and incorporate important things into my morning routine and that way I don’t forget about them.

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Tums

1 Tums Everyday for Calcium

Before I leave the bathroom the last pill I take is a Tums.  1 Tums a day is enough calcium for me.  It’s cheaper than buying the calcium pills so, I chew the chalk tablets and I save a little money.  🙂

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My Kitchen Pills

As you read above I have my “bathroom” pills, and now I have my “kitchen” pills.

See my little mini Asian sauce bowl above?  I place my daily pills in it and I take them before and after I eat breakfast. 

The BLUE pill is my perscription Dexilant.  It helps my gut.  If I don’t take it then I can have terrible back pain that is connected to my stomach.  A.K.A. The Evil Twins = Back and Stomach.  I have some bacteria in my gut that causes it.  I had an endoscopy a few years ago and luckily all my doctor found was bacteria but the medication that he prescribed for me to take to rid my gut of the bacteria, I refuse to take.  Guess why?

The “side affect” from taking that medication is DEATH!  DEATH!!!  No thanks!

Seriously!  That’s what it says in the “side affects” column.

So my advice to you is to read all that miniscule information that you don’t want to read.  You may find it important.  I know that I sure did!

The other pills that I take are a Turmeric pill.  Turmeric is a spice used in food, mainly in dishes from India and the Middle East.  However, it is known to kill cancer cells.  We do use it quite a bit in our food but I take a pill everyday anyway.

Fish Oil

I do take a fish oil pill everyday as well.  I HATE IT!  It’s so big!  But I choke it down anyway.  My fish oil is not the richest or best quality, but it’ll do.  The best fish oil is located several layers down into the fish.  Drug stores don’t sell it and my insurance won’t pay for me to get the best, so I buy what I can, and I take that.  Better for me to have some fish oil than no fish oil.

Fish Oil can also help in lowering those Triglycerides.  My triglycerides are always a bit higher than they should be.

To me our health is sometimes a work in progress.  Just keep working at it!

Julie

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January 17, 2018

Miralax

Although this is probably not the most pleasant topic I do think it is important, especially for my age group.  I also think the fact that my grandmother made bowel movement inquiries part of her greetings when she would see us, makes it easier for me to talk about.

Grammaw Nellie Mae

(The Laxative Expert)

She would throw her arms out wide with a big smile on her face and gesture for me to give her a hug while exclaiming, “Gimme some shugah!!  I need me some shugah!!  (Shugah, in her very thick southern drawl, is sugar and that means kisses.)

She would then waste no time in going for the jugular, “Can I help you bring in your luggage?  And have your bowels moved today Jewlee?  Do you need to go grunt?”

When I was a little girl and I had to go to the bathroom I would tell my grandparents that I needed to go “grunt.”  So, it therefor became our family “potty name.”

My grandmother’s inquiries into our bowl movements were an everyday thing, “Good morning.  Did you get a good night’s sleep?  Are you hungry for breakfast?  Do you need to go grunt?”

If we don’t “grunt” on a daily basis then she is chasing us around the house with suppository’s in her hand exclaiming how much better we will feel if we can “grunt.”

(This was all before 9-1-1 and I do wonder if this would be considered child abuse by today’s standards.)  ??

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you can’t “grunt” then I recommend the Miralax.  I take it daily and mix it with whatever I’m drinking.  It doesn’t change the taste and it does the job.  🙂

Grammaw would be so proud!!! 

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January 15, 2018

My Nifty 50’s Skincare

I’ve started a new blog post that will be an extension of this one, My Nifty 50’s Skincare. 

I just wanted to spread out a bit.

Julie

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January 13, 2018

Emotional Health

You know, taking care of ourselves isn’t just about eating right, exercising, looking after our skin, it’s also about looking out for our emotional state.  People in Europe are actually living their lives and they look at us over here in America and they just scratch their heads at how angry we are.  Instead of enjoying our lives so many of us are sitting on our couches watching Fox News and complaining about everything.  Never have we had such an angry generation of seniors than we do now.  And Fox News has had a huge hand in creating it.

Fox News

Fox News is a political channel owned and operated by billionaire’s with their own agenda’s.  So do yourself a favor and turn off the t.v., or watch something that calms you down and makes you happy.  Enjoy your senior years.  Live your life.  When you have hate inside of you it’s like having a vile of poison in you, it will kill you eventually.  I’m not saying you have to love, or even like those you’ve been taught to hate.  Just stop the hate, for your own health and happiness.

Peace out,

Julie

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November 26, 2017

DNA

Our Parents, Grandparents, Great-Grandparents

My Parents, Charlie and Mary Keith, Rome, Georgia

Our DNA is a factor, one of many, that will determine our health, our traits, our personality, our quirks, our habits….

My biological father above, has red hair.  I didn’t inherit that from him.  I inherited my mother’s brown hair.  But I did inherit his light gray eyes and not my mother’s brown eyes.  Usually brown will dominate, but not in my case. 

My mother’s hair grayed very early in her life.  She had a full head of gray hair by the time she turned 30.  I too grayed early but not to the extent that my mother did.  Luckily for me the ‘red hair’ gene that I have counterbalanced that as red head’s gray late in life.

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I didn’t grow up knowing my biological father.  I saw him 1 day a year, always in the summer.  His mother, my grandmother, would come and pick me up at my maternal grandparents house, and take me around to see all of the relatives on their side of the family.  I remember an Aunt Potts, although I don’t think she was my aunt.  There was Tunie, (Patricia) she was Charlie’s sister.  I was very close to my cousin Jackie whom I would spend the most time with.  Jackie was Tunie’s oldest daughter.  And there was Charlie’s youngest sister, Jane.  Jackie and I would always stay in Jane’s room as Jane didn’t live there anymore.  I loved her room!  It was pretty and she had a nice full length mirror.

But for 5 minutes every year I would go and see my father at work.  He worked at Berry College, Mt. Berry, Georgia, and I don’t even know what he did to tell you the truth.  No one ever told me, and I never asked?  The meetings were always awkward.  We would hug each other, and he would introduce me to the other people he worked with.  Actually, he just said something to the effect that, ‘This is my daughter Julie.’  Then after about 4 minutes of talking, my Grandmother Aycock would take me back to her house for lunch, which was always a banana sandwich.  She herself would have a tomato sandwich. 

 I can remember always having fun with them.  They were very good to me.  My parents divorced when I was a baby.  I was mainly raised as a small child by my maternal grandparents and great-grandparents.  I was very happy with them.  So much love for me!

Me, October 1962, I’m 2 Here

(Off topic but I have been scouring thrift stores for year’s looking for those chairs in the photo above.  My grandmother loved to sit outside on one of those chairs.  That’s what I remember most about her.)

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I think they took it upon themselves to be my parents because Charlie was a deadbeat dad who didn’t care much for me, and my mother was busy going to college, working, and dating.

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So, what do my stories have to do with DNA?  Because Charlie died of a massive heart attack while at work when he was only 43.  I was 21 at the time.  Also, my maternal grandfather died from his second heart attack when he was 57.  I was 14 at that time.

DNA

I have in my DNA Heart Disease, on BOTH sides!

Although I don’t have heart disease, that doesn’t mean that I may not have a heart attack.

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I started taking a baby aspirin everyday when I turned 40.  That helps in preventing blood clots.  I also haven’t eaten red meat in 27 years.

So, in other words, even though I have some BAD DNA in me, there are things that I can do to combat that so that I can have a healthier life, and that’s what I am doing.

 So, familiarize yourself with your own family history if that is possible, and find out things about your families health that can help you determine a strategy for being healthy.

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Dermatologist

(I will write more about the importance of seeing a dermatologist on a regular basis later on, but I did want to tell this story.)

I Had a Mole Removed

Yes, that ugly thing is my belly button.

In November 2016, I had a large mole removed from my belly button.  It was not cancerous, but it was abnormal and my dermatologist thought it wise to remove it just in case it did turn to cancer later on.  The medical assistant had a very hard time numbing the area, she had to use two injections.  My dermatologist noticed that she had a very hard time cutting into my stomach.  She remarked that she had never seen such thick skin.  The consistency of the skin on my stomach is the same as on most people’s backs.

I asked her what that meant?

She replied, “You’ll never had a sagging stomach.”

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I was thrilled to learn that about myself.  I told my mother what I had learned about myself and I asked her if she was the same?  That made her think about herself and even her mother, my grandmother.  She then realized that none of us had sagging stomach’s.  Could it be because we have thicker skin that most people?  Hmmm…  DNA!

So, in addition to having some bad DNA, I also have some good DNA.

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But in familiarizing yourself with your family’s health history, also recognize your own health as it is right now.  Do you see a doctor on a regular basis?  If you are in your 50’s, then you need to.  Something that I have noticed about myself is that I tend to suffer from foot and legs cramps.  As far as I know, that is not in my family history.  Therefor, I am not going to ignore that and I eat a banana every day. 

Benefits of Eating Bananas

Bananas are a natural muscle relaxant.  If I can eat something natural, then I see no need to take any vitamin or medication for it.

FOOD IS MEDICINE, USE IT AS SUCH

I grew up in a medical family and I learned at a young age to eat certain foods that were healthy for me whether or not I liked them.

Kind of like when we are sick and we have to take our medicine.  It tastes awful!  But we choke it down and after a while we start to feel better.  So, sometimes I will eat things that I don’t particularly like, just because I know they will make me feel better.

Keep that in mind!

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The Real Me

Comfortable Clothing, No Make-Up, Glasses….

I took this selfie of me the other day.  My schedule is mostly mine to do with as I please and I do spend a lot of time at home.  I prefer comfortable clothing, no make up, but I do wear lipstick.  It not only moisturizes but I think it adds some color to my face and I like that. 

If I have some where to go then I do put on make up and fix my hair.  But when I am going to be at home all day then it just doesn’t make sense to go to all that trouble to fix myself up. 

I do take very good care of my skin though.  I always have.

And if you ever have the choice of buying make up or skin care, choose skin care.  If you have good skin then any cheap make up will look good on you.

I will go over skin care at a later time and in greater depth.  I’m looking forward to it actually.

Julie

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(This is a re-post from my personal blog February, 2017.)

Alcohol and Bone Health

I wrote in the past about how I fell over the dog gate and sprained my knee. 

The Infamous Dog Gate

(That is if you read my personal blogs), It was a very bad sprain, but I was doing very well in my recovery for about a week.  Looks like I got too confident and I was on it too much one day and that set me back to crutches and a knee brace. 

So, I was taking it easy, taking lots of breaks between just doing things around the house, so as not to overwork it.  I hadn’t gone many places alone because it was hard to get around.  I don’t have a handicapped sticker on my car, seeing as how normally I’m not handicapped, so I had to park far away.  Gordon was a big help and he was doing all the shopping.  But he is used to doing a lot of the shopping himself seeing as he works on the base, so he’s always running into the commissary and exchange for us.   I was doing what I could around the house but I also had to prop my leg up several times a day. 

2/13/2017 My 56th. Birthday

I had decided that I was just going to just make the best of it.  I had set up camp on the couch and I was having a blast working on the website.  I had so much material that I never got around to posting because I either forgot about some of it, or I went onto the next project before I could post the last ones, that kind of thing.  The creative juices were flowing and I was loving that part of it.  I was also enjoying all the t.v. series that I have on DVD and Bluray that I’ve been catching up on.  Seeing as how I was laid up I was going to make the best of it. 

At 56 our bodies don’t bounce back as quickly as they do in our teens, 20’s, 30’s and even 40’s.  But I do believe that the reason I didn’t break a bone was because of the amount of alcohol that I consume. 

The benefits of alcohol are starting to catch up here in America in the medical field.  In countries around the world drinking everyday is a natural part of their lives and very excepted.  The French drink an average of 3-5 glasses of wine a day.  Italian’s drink wine most everyday with all those delicious Italian foods they create, with the cooks having their small doses in the kitchen’s.  The German’s drink their steins of beer most days while the Irish have their Guinness in their pubs daily.  But if you drink everyday here in America?  You are an alcoholic.  Well, looks like I fit the description because I have two glasses of wine most every evening.  But, instead of being referred to as an alcoholic, I prefer the more appropriate wording of, Wino.

(Although Gordon and I do have about 8 mixed drinks per year, most of the time we are drinking red wine.  Although Gordon does drink beer most every weekend while he grills.)

The Benefits of Red Wine

Do NOT even waste your time drinking white wine as it has no benefits whatsoever except that it is alcohol.  (I’ll get to that in a minute.)  It is fine to cook with though.  White wine does make some excellent gravy’s and does accentuate the taste of my wine and cider punch that I make annually.  But when it comes to the benefits red wine is best.

Red Wine also has a benefit in the fact that it helps you to lose weight.  Yes, I said, LOSE WEIGHT!

Red Wine is loaded with anti-oxidents.  One of the healthiest beverages you can drink.

Now for the most important benefit of drinking alcohol on a regular basis.  Senior’s who drink around 8 glasses of alcohol a week are less likely to break a bone when they fall.  Which is why I believe I didn’t break a bone when I fell.

I did learn something important about myself because of this fall, I don’t have brittle bones.  That is good news to hear when I had just turned 56. 

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So, by all means drink up!  But do it responsibly.  It’s nice to pop a cork at the end of the day and sit down and relax. 

Enjoy the benefits and the pleasure.

Cheers!

Julie

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