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?”
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….
Blog Entries Will Start Here:
August 3, 2020
I just wanted to check in to tell you how my Nutri-System diet is going.
In two days I will have been on the diet for 2 weeks. I have not gotten on a scale. Number #1, because I don’t want to. And Number #2, because Brodie took my scale to weigh some car parts and it is all greasy in the garage. I have however, used other ways to judge my progress.
Measuring Tape: I do use a measuring tape. I was afraid initially to measure my waist and abdomen. But I did measure my hips and thighs. I don’t tend to gain much weight there, which is why I measured them. So, 2 weeks ago my thighs were at 19 1/2, and my hips were at almost 38 inches. But now, my thighs are almost at 19 inches and my hips are at 37 1/2. That is progress. I was also able to zip up a pair of shorts at the end of July that I wasn’t able to zip up in early July. Progress. Oh, those shorts do not flatter me at all! BUT, I got in them!!! 🙂
And after 1 1/2 weeks of being on Nutri-System I did measure my waist and abdomen. My waist was at 35 inches and my abdomen was at 37 inches. I need to loose a good 2 1/2 inches off each of those. I would love to loose more but I will be happy with just a few inches and then just go from there. I am tall so I can carry extra weight that shorter people cannot. I am almost 5’8.
But also understand that I am not on the Nutri-System diet totally. I am still eating some of our regular foods while incorporating the Nutri-System meals into my daily diet. Breakfast and Lunch is usually Nutri-System, but dinner is sometimes Spaghetti, or a nice big crunchy Salad. I am loosing some weight and I am doing it my way with some help from Nutri-System. Which I am very grateful for. 🙂
I will keep you informed as I go along. But I have noticed subtle changes in my figure. When I shower and bathe myself I just seem to feel a bit smaller. When I move around my body just seems to move a bit easier. The smaller I am the less sluggish I become. I just feel a bit more spry.
My ultimate goal is to lose 20 pounds but I would be extremely happy to lose 10-15.
July 24, 2020
The Rest of My Nutri-System Foods Have Arrived
Personally Packed For: Julie
(Wow! Slap my name on something and I am THERE!)
The rest of my Nutri-System foods have arrived. I’ve been doing the program for a whole 2 1/2 days….. 🙂
Some of the foods have tasted good, so far. And some are pretty gross!
What is great about the foods are that they are portion controlled and calorie controlled. They also have everything labeled, ‘Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Snack, Dinner, Snack.’
So, every morning I stroll over to my box and choose my breakfast, snack, Lunch, and Snack. Dinner is usually in the freezer for me to choose from.
I find it interesting that they will substitute some things that I order with ‘beef’ selections. They did this to me 12 years ago. I don’t eat red meat and therefor I don’t order it. Yet, they feel this need to give me beef meals as “substitutions.” You would think that if these people were actual professionals that they would notice that I don’t order anything ‘red meat.’ Yet it just never seems to register with them? I always end up giving those meals away to people that I know eat red meat.
I would probably like these meals more if they could be cooked in the oven. Most of these meals is for the microwave. I tend not to like microwave food. I prefer my food cooked either in the oven or on the stove top.
I do remove the foods that need to be microwaved and I place them into a glass container as that is safer. The plastic that the food comes in leaks toxin’s into the food when you microwave it. Perhaps that is why so many people have cancer?
As I stated before, I am still eating some of our family refrigerator foods, that I am fazing out. And I am replacing my daily diet with my Nutri-System meals.
I once read that we notice weight loss after 2 weeks, our family will see weight loss after 4 weeks, and our co-workers/everyone else will see weight loss after 6 weeks.
I will keep you informed as to how my diet is going. 🙂
July 21, 2020
I Just Needed a Little Bling
My Very Pretty $25.00 Earrings Set
When I am at home I do not wear a lot of jewelry unless we are shooting something for the website. But, most of my days at home I do not wear rings, necklaces, or bracelets, or watches. However, I always wear earrings because I just like that little sparkle around my face when I look in the mirror.
Oh, and not big dangly earrings, just something small and simple with a bit of sparkle. Well, I was getting a bit bored with my usual selection so I paid about $25.00 for this nice little set from the base exchange catalog. I am enjoying the hell out of them. It was just a little lift that I needed. The rest of the country may be out and about but Gordon and I are still in lockdown. We are putting safety before fun and doing our best to make being safe a fun thing to do. Investing in our mental health doesn’t have to be expensive, but sometimes we all need a bit of glitter in our lives. 🙂
July 21, 2020
My Nutrisystem Has Arrived!
These are the FROZEN Meals….
….the rest will arrive tomorrow.
How I Plan on Using Nutrisystem
For those of you that may be wondering, ‘what do you mean, how I plan on using Nutrisystem? Aren’t you going to just follow the program?’
Not exactly. First of all, all of the food hasn’t arrived yet, this is just my monthly frozen portions. My other food should arrive within a day or two.
We do have a refrigerator full of food that Gordon cannot eat all of it on his own. I am not about to let that food go to waste and not enjoy some of it even as I enter into this new diet of mine. So, I will start fazing out our home food while introducing this new food to my diet. Also, at least a few mornings a week I’ll eat Gordon’s eggs that he makes for me with a half a bagel in place of whatever muffin or pancake that Nutrisystem offers me. Gordon’s breakfasts are very healthy and non-fattening so I will have those occasionally.
Gordon also graduated from Culinary School so we will still be making some great dinners. Just not as often as we did before. Because I am interested in loosing some weight I turned to Nutrisystem because I just wanted to hand someone else the job of helping me loose between 10-20 pounds. I just didn’t want to think about it. I want my mind focused on other things and not planning and shopping and prepping meals. Also, we all came out of a lockdown with a good 10 extra pounds on us. And as I told Mackenzie, our son’s girlfriend who was in lockdown with us, I’m just tired of eating!
We did do a lot of cooking, food shopping and delivery from online, and a lot of eating! At the time it was fun and enjoyable, but now it’s time to get back in shape. At 59 and with a family history of health problems, I cannot allow myself to inherit their health issues. I need to protect myself from that, and one way is by loosing some weight.
Because my frozen foods arrived today I will be having one of my T.V. dinners tonight. I don’t know which one yet but I’ll let you know what I think of it. I will also try one of my breakfast’s tomorrow morning.
I will let you know how things turn out.
July 15, 2020
I Just Joined Nutrisystem, July 2020
My NON-Nutrisystem Breakfasts
Cereals with Fresh Blueberries and Dried Cranberries
Scrambled Eggs in butter and turmeric with Toast/Bagel
Eggy in a Basket in Pumpernickle
The food you see above is my usual breakfast that I eat most every morning here at home. (Not all at once.) 🙂 I do tend to eat very nicely for Breakfast. Cereals with fresh blueberries and dried raspberries. Also, my Eggy in a Basket cookie cutter feet in Pumpernickel Bread. I do tend to share most of my eggs with the dogs for breakfast. I will sprinkle my leftovers on their food.
It was about 10-12 years ago that I was at a weight of about 168. I was FAT! I was outgrowing my size 14’s and needing to buy a size 16. Well, I refused! So instead of investing in new clothing I invested in Nutrisystem. I believe that I was a member for about 3 months before I cancelled. But, I did lose down to a slim 14 from a slim to fat 16. I needed help! I can pretty much lose a good 10 pounds on my own but when it is over 20 pounds then I need help.
I need that boost that I get from somewhere else.
That is why I just re-joined Nutrisystem.
My Lunch of Whole Wheat English Muffins with Red Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese, Turkey Pepperoni and some Garlic Salt to taste.
I love those Almonds! I love Cheez-It’s with Peanut Butter
You can see the tower of Cheez-It’s in our kitchen pantry.
My Sprout’s Italian Sausage Pizza
(Medium sized. I only eat 2 slices for dinner and save the remaining 2 to eat for lunch over the next 2 days.)
This is just a snapshot into my diet over the last 5 days or so.
I don’t really eat bad, but I also haven’t really eaten good throughout this year. It pretty much started during our lockdown that I started eating things that I didn’t normally eat just because I was exposed to it by family members that were cooking it.
Breakfasts are usually very good and filling. I don’t consider myself an unhealthy breakfast eater. But lunch and dinner started to get very fattening and unhealthy and I need to get back to the eater that I used to be long before this Covid 19 pandemic. I have actually been eating a bit unhealthy over the past year, but this pandemic has accelerated my weight gain and I really do need to deal with that.
I do not know how much I weigh at this writing as I refuse to get on a scale. I tend to use a measuring tape. So, I’ll give you my measurements next time I take them. The reason that I joined Nutrisystem again is because I am at that point in my life where I need help. There is just too much going on around me, for me to do all this on my own. To me, Nutrisystem is all about putting laxatives and appetite suppressants into their foods. Also it is about portion control. Prior to my rejoining Nutrisystem I was so stressed out about the foods that I can eat, the foods that I can’t eat, what am I going to fix myself for dinner, OMG! Gordon is cooking something wonderful that I just can’t eat. Or can I? Maybe just a little bit of it?
This is why I decided to place my eating in Nutrisystem’s hands. It’s funny but the moment that I selected my menu and joined Nutrisystem and paid for my first month that I suddenly had this wave a peace come over me. Because I am just going to let Nutrisystem take it from here.
In a way it’s nice to place my eating into someone else’s hands and that way I can work on other things. Oh, I will have an occasional night off and eat something like lobster with Gordon, but for the most part I am going to devote my eating to the program so that I can loose some weight that will make me a better, healthier person.
Throughout my life when I have lost weight easily it is because I was so happy and preoccupied with other things that I didn’t think about food. But, living in a self quarantined situation where I am not having as much activity as I once did, is harder for me to deal with where weight loss is concerned.
We have planted our garden. We have done our yard work. It feels like it’s over 100 degrees outside. We only go outside to pick tomatoes or bell peppers and for the dogs to go to the bathroom. Most days we get lots of rain which then makes it humid and muggy.
It’s a Florida summer and that means being hot and miserable outside.
I decided that I am going to focus on our insides of the house, and the insides of my body where eating is concerned, and where the treadmill is concerned.
I’ll keep you posted.
July 5, 2020
February 13, 2020
At 59, My Last Year For Nifty 50’s
I haven’t written in this blog post in a very long time. Not because I didn’t have anything to say, I’ve just been busy doing other things and working on other posts. So far, we’ve had a very good year even though we have been in a pandemic for months now. This Coronavirus/Covid 19, tends to do the most damage to seniors. Both Gordon and I are seniors. But, he has had the luxury of working from home now during all of this and we have had the benefit of being able to have our food and needs delivered straight to our doorstep without us having to leave the house. (With the exception of must needed doctor/dentist appointments. Sadly, we have put those on hold for now.)
It has been a new experience ordering groceries online. What we miss about shopping in person was coming across a food or an ingredient that we had never seen or heard of before and bringing it home only for us to find out how wonderful that it is and how glad that we are that we came across it. Grocery stores are inspiring because you are surrounded by so much, and so many foods. It’s kind of like looking at it all as puzzle pieces and how much fun it is to connect them together to create something delicious.
There is this one exception though. While I was ordering our food for our big July 4th. dinner online I was shopping pickles and relishes and came across this jar of red pepperoncini stuffed with cheese in olive oil. They looked delicious! We opened that jar yesterday and my god we are in love!!! It is now a favorite and will be for the future. Meaning, next time I shop online I am buying as many of those jars as the store will allow me. 🙂
But, living through, and surviving a pandemic for the most of us has a lot of factors that all play a role in our well being. When I started this Nifty 50’s blog post I was mainly focused on our physical well being, and I still will, but our mental health also plays a major role here.
It’s a bit ironic that my childhood misery and survival has gotten me though this pandemic with ease. I have written about my abuse from my mother and step-father, and my being the new kid in school from all of our moving around while I was growing up, and how I survived all of it. Which is why this pandemic for me has been a walk in the park. All that moving around that we did taught me how to entertain myself. It also gave me peace to be alone. After all, to me, people were nothing but bullies to be tolerated. Bullied at school, bullied at home, my bedroom and my time alone gave me peace, contentment, and that led to my happiness.
And now here I am having to stay home and entertain myself. Staying home was never a problem for me. As I see it, what is out there is not all that great. Luckily, I have Gordon so I’m not exactly starved for company. And our son Brodie and his girlfriend Mackenzie stayed in lockdown with us. We had lots of fun, cooked lots of food, created lots of blog posts, and all of us gained our COVID 10 pounds each. Which is now a new problem for me to work on. As a borderline diabetic and having all this fat in my middle only makes things worse. Fat makes it harder for my body to produce the insulin it needs. Unfortunately for me, my weight all goes to my middle. If it went to other areas then I would not have these health issues. However, because I only tend to put on weight in my middle makes it the easiest to disguise. 🙂 Silver lining.
I will get to the loosing weight in a later blog post but for now I wanted to talk to you about how I have handled being alone at times throughout my life with no support system to help me out. Or at least I didn’t know how to find one.
From my 59 years of being an American and living in many cities, towns, and states throughout this country, coming in contact with many people along the way, and what with many of them loving to show me their worst selves, the one thing I know very well is how other people do not want to hear your problems. Sometimes, that includes your closest friends. I do think that now during this pandemic is an exception, but that won’t last long. Most people can only change their ways temporarily. They will soon be back to their old selves when they get tired of having to change. A good example of this is when you see so many people that are able to lose quite a bit of weight only to put it all back on a few years later. Doing something different for most people is only a temporary change. Their real selves always seem to come back, and usually in full force.
According to NASA human beings are devolving. I know that people are not as tolerant as they once were. Back during my Grandparents day if someone were to bump into them it was no big deal. They may have noticed, but just went on with their business with it not bothering them at all. Then during my parents age if someone bumped in to them they may not have liked it. They may have even glared at the person. But for the most part they didn’t do anything about it. My generation, if someone were to bump into one of us it would be common to hear something like this, ‘Hey, watch it!’ Now let’s bring that into 2020 and THIS generation. If someone bumps into one of them they will cuss you out, beat you up and pull a gun on you.
It’s like I said, it’s really not that great out there.
America is not a very good country anymore. I keep hearing people on T.V. saying that ‘We are better than this.’ Apparently, we aren’t. Because if we were then our people wouldn’t be doing such horrible things to begin with. I believe that about half of our country is pretty decent. And by “decent” I don’t mean great. I just mean decent. About half are really rotten. And 1/4 are decent. And the final 1/4 are good. It’s only those good people that I care to know. Sadly, sometimes they can be hard to find.
When I mentioned above that I learned how to entertain myself at a young age I also failed to mention that I also learned to create ‘happy places’ in my different homes where we lived. Whether it was my bedroom, or a section of a room. I made it mine. A favorite chair with a comfortable blanket and pillow next to a stack of favorite books. Even placing a few of my favorite collectibles around me so that I could touch them and feel them.
I cannot speak to those of you who may be facing eviction in the next few months on how to improve your mood through hard times. I also cannot speak to those of you who may be in physical danger and distress in your current living situations. Those things are way out of my league. However, I can suggest that those of you who are living with people that you don’t really get along well with in how to cope and get through. My mother, who is a narcissist was having trouble with my step-father, who was a psychopath, deceased now, but she used to tell me that when he would get into one of his dark moods that she learned to get away from him by going to another part of their house. She learned how not to let his rotten mood affect hers and bring her down. After all, the darkness was coming out of him and therefore it was his problem. (Although the Mary Keith that I know can generate plenty of dark unhappiness of her own towards people she doesn’t like.) And as you have surmised, I don’t have anything to do with my mother anymore.
I realize that it is hard to be around people that are mean to us. But sometimes we have no recourse and are forced to be in that situation. In that case we need to work on our selves in order to handle it if you cannot get away from that situation at that time. The best thing is to understand that the problem isn’t you. Oh, they will tell you that it is, but it isn’t.
Sometimes when I encounter a very rude person I will replay the incident in my mind and try and see if I did something to cause it myself? Did I cut in front of that person in line prompting them to say something rude to me? Did I say something that could be construed as being rude when that wasn’t my intention?
Talking through an encounter like that helps me to put things into perspective and then I am able to put the situation behind me and not let it continue to bother me throughout the rest of the day.
I also learned that instead of focusing on that one thing that was bad that happened that day, to focus on those 6 good things that also did happen that day. The only reason we remember the bad things so easily is because they are associated with adrenaline.
I believe it was mine, and my parents generation that turned to self-help books. I know that knowledge is power, reading is where you acquire knowledge and therefore why not read books that can help you as well as those that can entertain you? If you can’t order them online, or visit a library, if you have internet then I’m sure you will find many articles that can help to direct you to places that can help you with your particular situation. And always understand that you are never alone. Whatever you may be going through, you and several million others are going through the same things. Know that.
I would like to end this by saying that I believe the future is in isolation. And Gordon and I have been turning our home and our property into our sanctuary for over a decade. It’s just getting very dangerous out there and it will become even more dangerous because no one is solving our problems as a nation. Each Presidency just kicks cans down the road so the next Administration will try and solve them only to have them to kick them even further down the road. Thing is, those cans have reached the end and now we are dealing with that aftermath.
It is no longer safe for our children to walk to and from school. It is not safe for us to go for a walk, or a jog whether it be in the morning, afternoon, or evening, even in the best neighborhoods. Whenever I see a woman jogging alone with a headset on I fear for her. Those headsets prevent her from hearing her surroundings. You need to be aware of your surroundings. A predator may be right behind her but she won’t know it until he grabs her. A car may be approaching and veering off the road towards her and yet she won’t know it until it hits her.
I really don’t hold out much hope at all for my country or it’s people. No matter who becomes President. Oh, better to have Joe Biden in there than Trump, but Democrats don’t really fix problems. They just slap bandaids on wounds that need surgery. But, better that than Republicans that enjoy inflicting those wounds to begin with.
If you are holding out for some knight in shining armor to rescue you that will not happen. So get that out of your mind. I believe that it is up to us to create our own happy environment. If we can. Whatever that happy environment may be. That will be up to you. Remember Michael Jackson and his Wonderland? He literally had an amusement park on his property. He was a very sad and lonely person that he created a “Wonderland” just for himself. Perhaps we should take a bit of his advice and create our own. Whether it’s creating an art room in a spare bedroom, or turning the garage into a gym. Or just finding a safe and quiet space for yourself somewhere in your own home.
Also, for those of you approaching 50. It’s time to shed that pre-pandemic weight, that current pandemic weight, and that post-pandemic weight. We can’t just rely on medications to keep us going. We need to take some responsibility for our own health and say no to a lot of those foods that we love dearly but are just too bad for us.
I wish that my Grandfather had taken better care of his health. Then he could have been around for me to help me through my bad times. Whether I had confided in him or not, just being around someone nice that loved me would have made all the difference in the world and would have helped to minimize the power all the bullies had over me.
It really is going to be up to us to take care of our mental and physical health and well being. I think that we can do it together. I know that I want a good quality life. Everything that I need in life is right here in my home and property.
P.S. Just enjoy your life while you can. Everything in life is temporary, even good times. Also everything in life is always how you look at it. Learn to enjoy and appreciate that butterfly that just flew by, focus on nature’s little gifts. Those gifts are free. 🙂
I thought I would try a new way to brush my teeth. Hopefully a better way. I’ll let you know!
It’s a cold day today in Florida!
Anyway, I just came from my doctor appointment with my cardiologist and I learned that my heart is “PERFECT!”
That is the word that 3 people used to describe my heart, and 1 of those was my cardiologist.
It is at 70% which is the highest it can be! There is no 100%. 70% is the top! 🙂
Considering my age, 58, and my family history of heart disease on both sides, biological father and maternal grandfather, realistically I should have some problems, yet I don’t.
Now you see why I have the smile on my face above. 🙂
P.S. I just wanted to say that while I was taking my Adenosine test I was talking to the man giving me the test about heart health and I mentioned to him that I sometimes go around my house pretending as if I am conducting an orchestra because all of those conductors live very long lives because they exercise their hearts constantly.
He then scoffed at me as if I were ridiculous and said the only way to exercise a heart is by walking at an incline.
My biological father died at 43 from a widow maker heart attack. My maternal grandfather died at age 57 from his second heart attack. Realistically, I should have some sort of high blood pressure or heart disease yet I’m told my heart is “perfect.”
I believe that conducting a fake orchestra does help me. People are not as smart as they used to be. Doctors are not as smart. Teachers are not as smart. Astronauts are not as smart. Politicians are not as smart. Do your own research. Think for yourself. Believe in your opinions. Don’t just take the word of someone with a diploma who makes more money than you do. Chances are they don’t know everything.
November 5, 2019
Seeing my Cardiologist Today
The Adenosine Stress Test
Today I saw my cardiologist. He wanted me to have the Adenosine Stress Test.
Last year I did get on the treadmill for him and passed with flying colors, but this is a more intense test. Although I do not have any heart disease issues, it is in my family on both my mother’s and biological father’s side to have heart attacks at a young age. My biological father Charlie died at 43 from a massive widow maker and my grandfather died at age 57 from his second heart attack. I am 58 at this writing.
I was at his office for 4 1/2 hours today. I was told to eat a light breakfast and hydrate with plenty of water. (Funny but they don’t tell you how much to drink so my first test didn’t work because I didn’t consume enough water. I’ll get to that in a minute.)
No caffeine 12 hours before my appointment. Wear something comfortable and “button down.” I wore “zip” down.
What I am wearing above is a bit indicative of the kinds of clothing that I wear when I am at home, which was perfect for my stress test. Usually very sporty and comfortable. Kind of like tennis or golf wear. I also had on my tennis shoes and I wore a sports bra because they do place all these sticky things on my chest and below my breasts that they then attach sensor’s to.
Here are the Sticky Things to hold the Sensor’s
They also gave me an IV and shot electrolytes into me for the photos of my chest.
I brought plenty of books to read. I literally planned our entire Christmas dinner and it will be a Feliz Navidad! 🙂 Gordon and I both know that but my mind was going creative in all directions and I’ve literally planned our entire menu just by sitting there for hours thinking.
Gordon told me I look like Sarah Palin. 🙁 NOT a compliment!
Actually, that has nothing to do with the expression on my face above. I took that photo this morning before I left to go to the cardiologist. It’s funny but every one of my photos were of me smiling and then I came across that photo and just wondered what in the world I am thinking of? Is it dread? Is it no caffeine this morning? I just thought my expression was interesting. It’s as if I know something sub-consciously that I am not aware of consciously. (That happens sometimes to Empaths.) 🙂
Anyway, I go for my results in a few weeks. I’m hoping all is well but we never know in this day and age do we?
As a participant in this test I do think that there are improvements to be made in the general instructions for us patients. For example, telling me to drink plenty of water is not giving me an amount. It is giving me a suggestion. Had someone told me to drink one gallon of water, or half a gallon of water, then great! I then know what to do. But just telling me to drink lots of water boils down to my definition of what is ‘lots of water.’ I could have been out of there sooner had someone told me exact amounts.
I did successfully get on the treadmill and do what was required of me. Blood pressure is perfect, as always. 🙂 But we’ll see about all the other stuff, won’t we? I’ll let you know.
Bottom line: Our Nifty 50’s are not just about enjoying life at this age. It’s also about maintenance so that we can continue to enjoy our 50’s and even get to our 60’s with ease.
Do I like taking these kinds of tests? HELL NO! I do it because I know it is necessary. My health is important! I live for THIS life! And I want to be around as long as possible for me, my husband, my children, my dogs, my life!
November 2, 2019
On Becoming Invisible in our 50’s
A few years back I was watching an interview about a documentary that Director Elaine Madsen was working on with her daughter, Virginia Madsen, I Know a Woman Like That.
A portrait of women aged 64-94 and the extraordinary lives they lead.
(As taken from IMDB.com)
Virginia, her actor brother Michael Madsen, and their mother Elaine.
The documentary features an outstanding cast of women, Glorida Steinem, Rita Moreno, Lauren Hutton……just to name a few. I have always been a fan of Virginia Madsen’s. I always liked her because she was different. She looked different, she had the sexiest voice! I just always liked her. I also liked the fact that these beautiful strong women wanted to do a documentary on other beautiful strong women.
But what struck me as so interesting about the interview was something that Virginia Madsen said about ‘becoming invisible in her 50’s.’ And how most women once they enter their 50’s start to become invisible to other people. I got to thinking about that and I started wondering if I too was becoming invisible in my own 50’s? I understood exactly what she meant by that statement though. It was then that I thought back to something that a coworker of mine asked me many years ago when we were both working behind the Lancome cosmetic bay at Belk-Lindsey in the mid 80’s in Fort Pierce, Florida. His name was Jeff and we were very good friends. He was also gay. But one day we were talking and Jeff asked me what it’s like to have people stare at me all the time? I was so surprised by that statement that I remember saying to him, “No they don’t. Why did you ask me that?” He then said to me that I guess you are so used to it that it must be normal to you. That was when I started actually looking at the people that were looking at me. Most of the time I just carried myself with my head held high not bothering with my surroundings and not really even looking at other people, it just seemed like a waste of time to me. But when I started looking at other people I realized that they did actually look at me, men and women. I could enter into a room and most everyone would stop what they were doing and look at me. Jeff was right.
I also noticed that when I got pregnant and fat with Veronica in my 3rd. trimester that I was no longer getting the looks that I once got. White men quit looking at me, whereas black men and the local Hawaiian men continued to look at me as much as they did when I was slim. And women would look at me only to judge my size. The positive attention I once got from white people was gone and although I wasn’t treated as invisible, the attention I was getting was more negative than positive but I wasn’t invisible to them. I’m not saying that white people were mean to me because of my size, but they were so much more positive towards me when I was slim.
Which brings me to the question of whether I am “invisible”, or becoming “invisible” now?
At this writing I think the answer is no. But why no? Is it because when I do leave the house I try and look my best? I have my make up on and my hair styled? I usually wear something nice and comfortable. I always have on sandals or flip flops. I wear jewelry, earrings, watch, bracelets, rings….. In other words I try and look nice. But I’m not trying to look nice for other people. I try and look nice for myself. Everything I do I have always done for ME!
When I stay at home most days I don’t wear make-up or style my hair but I do wear lipstick and earrings. I like that sparkle around my face that earrings gives me. I also like that lift of color that lipstick brings to my face. I tend to wear comfortable but attractive clothing. I have never been one of those sweatpants/sweat shirt people. I don’t even think I have ever owned any sweats. Well, I do have a few sweat shirt jackets that I do wear when it gets cold outside. But they are generally warn just to go outside and take the dogs out. The orange dress that I am wearing in my profile photo above is typical of the kind of clothing I wear whether I am at home, or if I have somewhere to go. I enjoy comfort but not slouching comfort. I hate jeans and I haven’t owned a pair since college. I do have some jeans shorts though. And come to think of it I do have a pair of white jeans in my closet that I wear about once every 3 years. Oh, sorry. As usual I am drifting off to other topics and I need to bring myself back to the topic at hand.
Am I invisible?
I live in a state with many senior citizens. Even though I myself am a senior citizen, I am on the young side of aging. So, perhaps I’m not invisible yet because there are so many other people older than me? Place me in a state where the population is mostly young and then I most likely would be treated as invisible. I believe there are many factors here to determine whether or not as we age we become invisible sooner rather than later to other people.
I suppose if I am lucky enough to continue aging then I will eventually become invisible to most everyone and when that day comes I will still put on my make up and style my hair and wear something nice that makes me feel good because everything I do, I do for me. Not Gordon. Not the neighbors. Not for family or friends. Not for the dentist, or any of my doctors, receptionists, check out girls, bag boys, etc. I star in my own movie and I write the plot. When all is said and done all that matters is what is in our own head. What we think, and not what someone tells us to think. In my mind I look very nice. What someone else thinks about my appearance is irrelevant. Remember that next time someone treats you as if you are invisible. You are only invisible when you start to believe it.
September 26, 2019
Christie Brinkley, and Dancing With The Stars
Christie Brinkley age 65, Dancing With The Stars Promo Photo
I have always liked and admired Christie Brinkley. Although until this moment I’ve always spelled her name wrong. I believe I have it Christy on my blog post, but none-the-less, we all know who she is no matter how many times I misspell her name. Christie was signed on to this season of Dancing With The Stars. I have to say that I have never watched an episode of this series but, I have watched some of the routines on Youtube or various news outlets that have featured some of the dancers over the years. Like Jennifer Grey for instance. Or Marie Osmond, etc. But, when I found out that Christie would be on this season I was seriously considering watching it.
Christie is 7 years older than me and I did grow up seeing her pretty smile on her pretty face since I was a teenager. Although she wasn’t my favorite model, she was just always out there on most every magazine cover, always smiling, looking beautiful and sincere, always happy, upbeat, confident.
I LOVED Glamour Magazine growing up!
(Especially the “Glamour Dont’s”)
I even visited the magazine with my school group when we went to New York in 1981. I went to the American, Business and Fashion Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina and as a school trip we went to New York. Where else would a bunch a fashion students go other than the fashion capital of America?
The models that I remember the most:
Dayle Haddon, Cheryl Tiegs, Christina Ferrare
Probably Cheryl Tiegs most Famous Photo
I adored Susan Dey (Laurie Partridge)
I actually kind of had her look for awhile in Junior High School.
Me, Julie, 7th. grade Charlottesville, Virginia
(Never have I seen a more perfect looking person EVER!)
These are the models/actresses that I grew up seeing in magazines. Reading about. Admiring with envy. Not jealousy. Envy is healthy, jealously is unhealthy.
Actually my most favorite model I cannot find a photo of her. She was in Glamour Magazine quite a bit. I think her first name was Shawn. She had short hair. I could relate to her as I had short hair myself for a time.
Me, Julie, Senior Portrait, 1979
Christie Brinkley Sports Illustrated 1980
No matter who my favorite models were Christie was always out there. EVERYWHERE! I always thought she was so beautiful but I just couldn’t relate to this blonde California girl. I did tend to favor the darker haired models and actresses.
But there was always something about Christie that made you like her. She always seemed to be so upbeat. She was always positive. Always seemed to be in a good mood and trying her best to get other people to also be in that good mood. I also think that when she married Billy Joel and starred in that video Uptown Girl, that made her more well known.
Billy Joel, Uptown Girl
(Oh, and p.s. My son is a mechanic, and his girlfriend Mackenzie is originally from New York from a very prestigious family. So they both relate to Uptown Girl.) 🙂
Christie then went on to have Alexa Ray Joel, with Billy. She continued to model, he continued to perform. Sadly they divorced. I think this was Christie’s 2nd. divorce.
As I understand it she then went on to marry a horrible man that she was in a helicopter crash with. Richard Taubman. But, a happy son emerged from that union, Jack Paris.
And then in 1996 she went on to marry Peter Cook. A descendant of Captain Cook, who discovered The Sandwich Islands, Hawaii. 🙂 They had a daughter together, Sailor. They did divorce in 2008.
Christie may have been a bit unlucky in love, although I don’t think it’s any fault of her own. She is the one that seems to value the commitment, but not the men that she has married. But, she always looks to that rainbow. And her rainbow is Alexa, Jack, and Sailor.
Christie with Jack, Sailor and Alexa
She loves her children and does her best to be close to them.
That is apparent!
Christie Brinkley, excited to do Dancing With The Stars
Christie Hurt, Sailor Taking her Place
It was during a rehearsal of a routine that Christie Brinkley and her partner, Ukrainian-American Val Chmerkovskiy, were doing when she tripped over his shoe and fell, breaking her wrist. Although I cannot find the photo of him sticking his leg out for her to trip over, I think a better routine should have been thought out prior to. After all, Christie is 65, a senior citizen. I do blame the choreographer for her mishap.
When I first saw this, the first thing I thought of was, Christie hun, I think you should be drinking more of your Bellissima than you do.
Bellissima is an Organic Wine by Christie
When a senior citizen drinks more than 8 glasses of alcohol per week, they are less likely to break a bone when they fall. And it is when a senior falls and breaks a bone that their health starts to deteriorate.
When I saw the video of Christie falling I was at first surprised that she broke anything. It didn’t seem like that bad of a fall. (I’ve had worse falls than that and I didn’t break anything.) After all, that floor where she is practicing is most likely made for dancers. We can plainly see that it is a wood floor. It will have some give, also because it’s for dancers it probably does have some special foamy cushion underneath it so that it will be a bit bouncy and better on a dancer’s lower back. After all, dancers fall all the time. They get bruises, sprains, injury’s, and even sometimes break a bone in extreme cases. I know that Paula Abdul was addicted to pain killers at one time because of all her injuries from cheer leading and dancing.
Of course now everything is so much more extreme than it used to be. Dancers were the ones that aged so beautifully because they were always in shape, dancing kept them fit and healthy, Cyd Charisse comes to mind.
Cyd Charisse (1922- 2008)
She was a famous dancer/actress and I certainly enjoyed watching her movies when I was young.
She kept fit up until she died.
But, getting to the point of why I am even writing about Christie and her fall to begin with. Wendy Williams, who has some gossipy T.V. show, said something very terrible about Christie and her fall. Claiming that she faked the broken “arm” (wrist) just so her daughter Sailor could be on the show and take her place. Wendy Williams is a kook that has no business even having a T.V. show. Sadly, I have seen her show about 3 times in my life. And not by choice either. It’s when I go in to get my yearly mammogram and I’m sitting in that main waiting room as we enter the building that they have this huge T.V., and all the seats are facing it as if we are in a movie theater. I guess I must always schedule my appointment at the same time her ridiculous show is on. (I think the girls behind the main check in desk like her and that’s why programs like Wendy William’s are on that T.V.) I usually just take a book and make the best of it until I’m called in for my turn at the boob smooshing machine. 🙁
Christie in the Hospital Rocking a Paper Gown
When I saw Christie fall I was surprised that she broke her wrist as it didn’t seem like it was a bad fall, but I never doubted for one minute that she broke her wrist.
She is after all 65 years old. She may look 35 on the outside but on the inside she is 65. She is very healthy and fit for her age. She does work out, exercise, she is very active, a vegetarian, her weight is very healthy. And yes, I’m sure she has had lots of plastic surgery. But she still has 65 year old bones and who knows how healthy and flexible they are? DNA does plays a role in our longevity and health as well as how we treat our bodies, and what we put inside of them.
Christie was very excited to do Dancing With The Stars. She is a very competitive person but not in a mean way. Sure she wants to win! But she isn’t mean about it. She is a genuine person and that is what I love about her. If someone were to ask me what is the worst thing I can say about Christie? That’s easy! She is a show off!
Exibit A! 🙂
But so what? Most celebrities are. And if that is the worst thing I can think of to say about her? That makes her a pretty good person!
I wish her luck, longevity, happiness and success.
Oh and Christie, try drinking more of that Bellissima of yours it’ll help in preventing future bones from breaking. 🙂
Note: What will most likely happen now that she has broken her wrist is that even though it may heal, she will most likely have bad arthritis in it. That also tends to set in when people break bones in old age.
(Yet another reason to drink up!)
My Recent Fall September 13, (Friday the 13th.)
First of all, I am not the slightest bit suspicious where superstitions are concerned. Bad things have happened to me throughout my life on non-superstitious days so I don’t see it as some bad omen. But, on this past Friday the 13th. I did my very first SPLIT! At 58!
Doing a SPLIT was never on my bucket list, but I can now say that, “Yes, I can do a split at 58!”
What happened was that one of my new rescue dogs urinated on the floor between the kitchen nook area and the hallway to the bedrooms and laundry room. I cleaned it up. It was a big area. When I finished cleaning the area I tried to step over the large area as it was still a bit wet from my cleaning it all up. I was wearing flip flops. When I tried to step over it I stepped on the wet tile and my foot started to glide forward. I had no control over it!
So, my front leg just sort of slid forward and my back leg was still stationary but my crotch just kept falling toward the floor. And then it landed! I scraped by arms and legs up badly on the way down because I was scraping against this tall metal shelving unit that I have there. Once I did land on the floor there was no where for me to get myself up. I was kind of trapped in the hallway area. I just had to scoot, and scoot, and scoot, until I had some room to get up.
I did have a doctor appointment that morning, and a Best Buy appointment that afternoon, along with some shopping I had to do. The point is that yes I was hurt, scraped up, and even bruised, but I was o.k. in the fact that I was able to get up from my fall, get ready for my day, and I was o.k. A bit sore, but fine. I do wonder if all the wine I drink has something to do with the fact that I wasn’t as hurt as I could have been?
Alcohol does play a role in our good health, so consider it, indulge, and enjoy!
STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION 🙂
Veneers and my Catawampus Smile
(My Temporary is on here.)
August 10, 2018
Tennis Ball/Wall Does the Trick
Every now and then both Gordon and myself suffer from muscle spasms in our neck/shoulder/back areas. He usually rubs out mine, and I usually rub out his. BUT, when we are alone a tennis ball does the trick. Just maneuver the tennis ball to the muscle spasm area and then just move your body up and down along the area, straightening out the spasm. If you’ve ever seen the bear from Jungle Book rubbing his back along a tree to scratch it, that is what I am doing here.
Always Look to Nature to Educate Us
(Although they are scratching their backs.)
I haven’t taken any headache medicine in over 15 years because I realized that my headaches were tied to my muscle spasm’s in my neck, shoulder and back areas. Usually the spasm areas are in 3’s. So, I use my fingers to find the spot in my neck area. Sometimes it is on the back of my head. I then press very firmly with my fingers and try and stretch out the muscle that is in spasm. Once I’ve done that area I get the tennis ball and place it between my back and a wall. I then will move my body up and down while the tennis ball presses firmly onto that spasm. It is very painful!!! That’s when you know you’ve found the muscle. I then lower the tennis ball to the middle of my back and move my body up and down to locate that sore spot. When I find it I rub that area out and then take a break. If the spasm hasn’t gone away totally then I try again. But, be careful not to bruise the area.
Sometimes it’s worth it to have your partner to move their fingers up and down your neck, shoulders, and back in order to locate the muscles in spasm. When you locate the spots have your partner to rub them out lengthwise and even sideways. It will be very painful but muscles like being in spasm that’s why there is “muscle memory.”
Sometimes you don’t need a pill for everything. There are things you can do naturally to help relieve your pain.
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.
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!!!
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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!
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!
February 7, 2018
February is Heart Health Month
I Saw a Cardiologist Today
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. 🙂
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!
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!
February 1, 2018
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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!
January 17, 2018
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!!!
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.
January 13, 2018
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 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.
November 26, 2017
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.”
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.
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!
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.
(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.
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.