For the first 50 years of my life, my perfectionist self mistakenly believed it was all about knowing more, getting it right, planning, attempting to prevent bad things from happening, and keeping all of my chicks in a row. It took me this long to discover that the JOURNEY is all that matters. This quote from Gilda Radner sums it all up:

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Bad to the Bone

I'm 58 years old.

I make no bones about wanting to stay fit as I age - 


My determination is bone-deep.
Give me a challenge and I have to try to meet it.

When I was 50, I had my first bone scan.
It revealed that my bones were not as strong as they should be.
The doctor said it was probably because I am a petite woman
and it is common to have less bone mass than larger women.
I wasn't very concerned.  
We increased by vitamin D to normal levels.
I started jogging.

A repeated bone scan a 52 showed a slight improvement.
However, despite walking miles daily with my dogs and keeping active,
bone density scans at age 54 and 56 revealed more and more
bone density loss to the point of showing slight osteoporosis in 
sections of my spine.

I knew in my bones that I needed to do more.

I spent hours and hours online - 
boning up on osteoporosis.

(I am not a lazy-bones).

I knew I didn't want to take medication to build up my bones.

This is what I found:

The bare bones of the matter is simple.

Weight training makes your muscles AND BONES stronger.

For two years,  I have been going to the gym 4 or 5 times per week,
lifting weights for about 30 minutes each time.
When I began,  I couldn't lift much weight at all, but over time I
was able to lift more and more.  Each day,  I would concentrate on
different muscle groups.

I have also been active in other ways.  
I still walk the dogs.
I play pickle ball.
I play racquetball.
I do heavy yard work.

I have changed my diet too. 

I eat calcium-rich foods.

I limit my salt intake because when your body eliminates
excess salt from your body, calcium is also eliminated.

I take vitamin D and magnesium supplements daily.

I had another bone scan done last month.
I got a message from my doctor when the results came in.

"Great news on your bone density. It is significantly improved from your previous test.
No osteoporosis. Both hip and spine have improved.
Keep exercising and maintain your Vitamin D supplementation."

In just two years,  
I have increased the bone density in my lumbar spine by 4.5% 
and increased the bone density in my hip by 11.1%. 

It feels so good to see my efforts rewarded!

And the change is not limited to my bones.

The increase in muscle has enabled me to eat more
without gaining weight.
My clothes fit and look better.
(I wore a bikini for the first time in many years.)

The serotonin released when I exercise has made my
life better in so many ways too!

And for all of you out there that are still young and figure this 
is not something that applies to you - you're wrong.
The more you build your bones while you're young,
the better off you will be after menopause when you
start losing bone mass faster.  You will have more bone mass
to begin with.

Just as it's never too early to start strengthening your bones,
it's also never too late!

"To succeed in life you need 3 things: 

a wishbone,

a backbone 


a funny bone.

                                                             ~Reba McEntire

Monday, February 12, 2018

Long Goodbyes

Over the years,  I have been fortunate to have loved many pets.
Over the years,  I have said goodbye to many beloved pets.

Their lives ended for many different reasons. 

The thing they all had in common was this:
they all passed away very quickly.

I've never had a long good-bye - until now.

Our family currently includes 2 cats and 2 dogs.
Our oldest cat, Momo, was diagnosed with kidney disease over a year ago,
our oldest dog, Sami, has recently been found to be in the early stages
of congestive heart failure.

At this point, they are both doing fine.
However, we don't know how long this will last.

So, for now, we appreciate them more than ever.
We spoil them more than ever.
We go out of our way to make their days happy.
we take lots of pictures!

I want to remember how Momo always has a piece of long fur
stuck in her mouth.

I want to remember how Sami loves to share an orange with me every night.

I want to remember how Momo always lays on top of my knitting projects.

I want to remember the view from my kitchen window 
every day.

I want to remember the cute black spots on Momo's nose...

and her feet with wacky tufts of fur.

I want to remember Sami running and having fun...

and even barking.

I want to remember how Momo sleeps in the sun next to the catnip plant on the porch.

I want to remember how Sami loves Adam.

I want to remember how Momo always finds a piece of sunshine to bask in.

I want to remember how Sami and Halle are inseparable.

I want to remember how Momo loves to lay on the bench in front of the window.

I want to remember Sami covered in snow.

I want to remember how happy Momo makes everyone.

I want to remember how Sami hates to have his picture taken.

There are so many things that we have grown accustomed to over the years
that we just take for granted every day.  But not anymore.

I don't know when or how the end will come.

And I'll never be ready to say good-bye.

But I will forever be grateful to have this precious time
to have 
a long goodbye.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Annie at 23 - Then and Now (Happy Birthday!)

Happy Birthday, Annie!  Wow!  Twenty-three years old!

Birthday blogs have become a tradition in our family, and I have been racking my brain to come up with a theme that hasn't been done before.  I try to make each birthday blog special because I consider them a gift to my children every year.

This has been an eventful year for Annie.  As I was looking back through the photos taken this year,  I was reminded of those taken in years past.  I've taken A LOT of photos over the years.  I may not have a great memory for some things,  but I can pretty much remember most of the pictures I've taken of my kids.  For this post,  I had to do some digging, but I was able to find what I was looking for!

So here's Annie - then and now.

THEN we had a black cat named Molly. ⬆
NOW Annie has two black cats named Wells and Charles. ⬇


THEN Annie and Kerry had matching long-sleeve white shirts. ⬆
NOW they have matching sleeveless white shirts. ⬇


THEN we rode bikes on our street. ⬆
NOW we rode bikes in France. ⬇


THEN she made friends with the swan at our local duck pond. ⬆
NOW she made friends with the swans in Kensington Park in London. ⬇


THEN her dad played the part of the prince. ⬆
NOW there's someone else in the picture. ⬇


THEN Annie was proud to catch a tiny fish. ⬆
NOW Annie was proud to catch a BIG fish. ⬇


THEN Annie posed with Mrs. BIgge after her concerts. ⬆
NOW Annie's students pose with her after their concerts. ⬇


THEN Annie wore white sequins for her first dance recital. ⬆
NOW Annie wore white sequins for her senior recital. ⬇


THEN they posed for Easter in front of our front door. ⬆
NOW they posed for Christmas in front of our front door. ⬇


THEN we took a boat ride on Lake George. ⬆
NOW we took a boat ride on the Seine in Paris. ⬇


THEN she played in the band in Middle School. ⬆
NOW she directs the Middle School band. ⬇


THEN they posed for a picture with their dad. ⬆
NOW they posed for a picture with their dad.  ⬇


THEN we coordinated our outfits. ⬆
NOW we coordinated our sunglasses. ⬇

Time has gone by.  Annie has grown up.  

So many things have changed.

But in many ways, they remain the same.

May you have the happiest of birthdays!