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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I am now 60 years YOUNG!

Hi everyone!  Thanks for hanging with me through the last...ohhhhhh....well too long.  A lot has happened.  A lot of stress balanced by a lot of happy, healthy, memory making times.  I know I kept saying I was back and then did another disappearing act.  Let's hope I don't do that again.  I never know.

Most of you know that I had to quit working towards weight loss surgery.  It's tough to chew food to the consistency of baby food if you don't have enough teeth left to do it.  Yes, my teeth starting just falling apart and falling out.  It's been horrible.  I was diagnosed with sjogren's disease and one of the things it does is dry you up.  When they did the biopsy of my lip for diagnosis, they found no salivary glands in the sample.

I was working so hard to get there and had lost a bunch of weight in the process.  That put me down in the dumps for quite a while.  Having to give up that goal was terrible.

I've also had a few pretty bad flare ups with the fibromyalgia.  Most of you know I was diagnosed with that many years ago.  I go a while, often times a long while, with no problems, then SLAM I'm hit with a flare up.  Between that and the arthritis, I can quickly become a mess.

I had a knee replacement in May of 2013.  I can say it has taken away the horrid pain I was having.  I'm still trying things out with it.  I know I cannot get on my hands and knees.  And I forcefully learned to get off the ground.  Help!  I fell!  And I couldn't get up!!  My other knee is singing the same tune and I'm babying it.  I can't afford to get it done.  Plus, my left shoulder is terrible and should have been replaced almost a year ago.  When our medical coverage changed last October all these surgeries have been shelved.

We had two weddings since I've blogged.  One on New Year's eve and on in April last year.  Corry and Angel were married in their home with family present on New Year's eve.  Family includes a lot!  Not only does Corry have a lot of siblings, between them they have 8 kids.  Yes, the house was full.  Kris DJ'd and we had a karaoke reception after.

Rusty and Cait were married in April at a beautiful venue in Cleveland.  I think everyone who attended had a blast.  I've never seen a bride have as much fun as Cait.  And little Emmi was a doll.  She was so excited about "her" wedding.  What a memory making day we all had.

I'm thinking that should pretty much catch everyone up.  If I've missed things they'll probably come up in the blog one day.  I do tend to go on and on.


A 60th birthday is a wonderful occasion. 
You have crossed several milestones, 
but life just keeps looking for more 
Enjoy the bliss of sixty; 
enjoy the fruits of your labor. 
Surround yourself 
with your children & grandchildren
and tell them tales of the yesteryears. 
Relive the magical moments of life 
even while you look forward to 
new experiences. 
It's great to be sixty!
~~Oscar Wilde


Yes, I turned 60 on Monday.  I started the day out kind of in the dumps.  Little by little the family started checking in wishing me Happy Birthday.  Well I have to say my brother was first.  He called me 4 1/2 hours before the midnight hour.  lol  He wanted to be first and he was.  

When I went downstairs, Cliff surprised me with a bouquet of yellow roses and a gift card.  I was so happy! Yellow roses are my favorite.  He used to get them for me when we were first married 42 years ago.  I love them!!  

Corry had told me Angel and the kids wanted to see me and they were coming over around 7-7:30.  Cool.  I hadn't seen some of the kids for a while.  And then after Emmi got out of school, Cait let her call me to see if we were home.  Yep!  So Ms. Em brought me some things she had made at school.  She made a disco ball for me with glitter and jewels and had painted me a picture.  I love the kids' art.  If you come visit you'll find kids' art in many places.  And she also handed me a really pretty card they'd gotten with a gift card in it! Allllll-right!  I love gift cards!

A few minutes later, Dusty, Casey, and Kean showed up to pick up Dusty's cat crate we'd borrowed.  And I got to see them too!!  They visited a while and then left with Kennedy.  Everybody had their special place to watch the Brown's pre-season game.  lol  Dusty's hubby Leon is a Redskins fan so she rallied the troops to help her cheer on the Brown's.  Oops.  Her mistake.  Kean is a Pittsburgh fan.  When I told him he'd just have to fake it.....  lol  Not a good look!

The kids all played together with the cats and Nelly.  Commotion is normal in our house.  In fact, I thrive on it.  Angel and Corry had come separately.  He had the boys and Angel had the girls.  The girls stopped and got me a cake!  Purple decorations.  So pretty.  

During the day I got a text from Missy and got to talk to Adam about half an hour.  He's starting his PhD work at the University of North Carolina.  So proud of that boy.  He's done it all on his own.

Tonight, when I sat down to check my "other" file on Facebook, I started reading Birthday messages that I didn't even know were sent in my feed.  I guess we just flat don't get it all on our cells.  My cell was showing me about 20 messages.  My computer showed I had 100 greetings!  And that wasn't counting the few that were comments on someone else's post!!  I can't believe how blessed I am.  To have so many people out there wishing me well.  Oh my goodness.  My heart is full.  Thank you to each and every person for making my 60th birthday one of the most special days ever.  



Mama Sage

Saturday, February 15, 2014

And we always hope tomorrow comes

You know the other day when I had my blog half written and it just went away (my computer decided to restart after some updates and I missed the warning because I was so engrossed in my writing) my thought was first a bit of anger and then "I'll just do it tomorrow. Or the next day. Whenever the mood strikes again." I wasn't thinking about the things that have happened kind of close to home recently that should have made me realize that although we go through life with the hopes tomorrow will come, that sometimes it just doesn't.  

We were a little stunned a few weeks ago to hear that one of Cliff's classmates was out shoveling snow and died. Then my friend's mother fell going down a short two step stoop and broke her neck and passed away just days afterward. And then yet another member of my husband's class died while shoveling snow. Life isn't given to us with a guarantee of years. When it's our time, we will all be called home.

Then seeing the little post on facebook with the old ladies on the roller coaster. The first row was very obviously having the time of their lives. The second was having a good time but the third row back looked a little bored with things. I don't want to go through my life bored with things. I want to be in that first row. I want to have the time of my life. No regrets. I want to enjoy and to have fun and to appreciate what I have.

Sure there are things in my life I wish had gone differently. I don't think a truthful person around would say there wasn't. But what is, is. You can't change the past. You can't fix yesteryear. You also can't change things you don't have control of. And since I can't, I'm going to remember to live. I'm moving forward once again from here, where I am. I may not move like I wish I did. I may not have the stamina I once did. But I have a lot left here to work with. I'm not going to glide into the future, I am marching on with the vow to do everything I'm able and not watch others and think afterward, "Well I guess maybe I should've tried that because now I know I was able." If I find out I'm not able? Well at least I tried.


The last visit I had to the doctor, she told me to keep an exercise journal. Every extra little bend and stretch should be documented in a journal. Actually she told me to do it the visit before last. She called it homework. Well THAT wasn't happening said the teenager in me. And I didn't. This time I'm taking her seriously because I don't think she thinks I'm moving around much. And I am! Shoot. She's got me on five blood pressure tablets a day. Three different kinds!  All three are water pills. I've told her our potties are up...and down. We don't have a first floor bathroom. Just the trips up and down to potty keep me moving!!

Now that I'm actually paying attention, I've discovered that I have actually been doing a lot of the things I was taught (reminded of actually) in physical therapy. Never realized that I just do them without thinking as I go through my day. I still need to come up with some more things I can do to strengthen my thighs that doesn't wreck my hips. It would be wonderful to have that awesome bike they had at Edwin Shaw during my rehab after my knee replacement. I loved that thing and if they'd let me, I would have peddled my day away. The seat was a chair like seat that didn't put pressure on my tailbone and kill me. I just can't sit on the bikes that have a regular bike seat.


Don't stumble over something behind you...move on


I'm trying to get back to more writing. It's so relaxing for me. And such an outlet. I have two books I'm working on ... still ... and I'd like to finish them by Thanksgiving. Then I can print them up and gift them to my family like I'd hope to do the last couple years. Ah but life gets in the way and changes things. And I've learned that I just need to embrace the moment and go with it. My urge to write will never go away. And picking up from where I left off on these two is never a problem. When your heart is in it, it flows.


I'm getting back into my use it up mode with cooking. trying to learn to cook for two. I'm also trying to add more meatless meals. One of my other goals is work on controlling the carbs, but one thing at a time please.

Cooking for two is a real challenge. For the last thirty some odd years I've cooked for an army. Our family started growing with the birth of our first son in 1973 and it hasn't stopped growing yet. During the years all the kids were home, we rarely sat a table of seven. Our table was nearly always filled with not just our kids, but their friends. Then once they were married and started having families, we continued to grow. That growing isn't finished. I'm sure we'll grow a bit more here and I'll need to keep the cooking for many skills but when no one is here besides Cliff and I it needs to be toned down. Hard! I'm used to giant pans and huge bowls. This itty skillet and tiny pan are pretty foreign!

The meatless meals are coming for more reasons than one. It started when our one granddaughter who spends quite a bit of time here announced that she didn't want to eat meat. I thought Okay. We do a lot of meatless things. That'll work. Then my bloodcounts were all wacky last go round. I need to get a better handle on things again. So meatless meals more often will work into that fine.

And Cliff's sugar wasn't what it should have been. So the carbs need to get back into control too. We can do this. I do admit it would be much easier if it was summer. Fresh produce here in the winter isn't the best. I figure by summer when things are not only plentiful but have excellent flavor and better prices I'll be better at it. I'm considering the time from now until then as practice time and experimental time.

It's also giving me more of an incentive to get back to blogging. When I first started in 2006 it was to track how I was doing in the weight loss journey that I failed at. Well I had some success, but.... Well those blogs are history. Let's move on. I don't know how often I'll be able to, but I do want to blog my way through all this. I'll be praying my left arm and my want-to cooperate. Hard to type when you can't use both arms!


“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning,
but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
~~- Maria Robinson


We are going on a Disney cruise next December with our kids. I've been searching what all happens on Disney cruises and I'm super excited!! I've decided that since I don't know if we'll ever be fortunate to go again we are going to do it all. Except the shore excursions. I'm not really interested in that. And they cost extra money which we don't have. But on board there are so many fun things!!

One thing I'm excited about is doing the thing called "Fish Extender". I had no idea what it was. Now...I know! I'm making the extenders for all four rooms family will be in, five if my brother decides to go too. And if the room doesn't want to participate and do something for their extender gift to others in the group I get us in, I will! I love this idea. Each person in the group makes or buys a little goodie to gift everyone else with. You have a list of cabins and go room to room dropping your gift into the pockets of the recipient's fish extender. If you know me, you know I've already got a million ideas and me and crafty stuff? Well I can't just make one thing! I'll have to do more!

I'm also doing research to come up with an outfit for Cliff and I for pirate night. I know Rusty and Cait will do something. I'm pretty sure Lia and Dale, Cait's folks, will too. And my sister told me she has her outfit planned. It's going to be so much fun! And when I called Disney I found out they're doing it the day we go to their private island, Castaway Cay. Cool beans! Can you tell I'm excited!


I'm still buying in bulk. Yes, even though I'm shopping for two of us, I'm buying in bulk. I still have that save money instinct. It's still better to buy cheese at less than $3 a pound and put it into smaller portions. Lots of things fall into that category. When you come home with three or four things needing separated, sometimes it looks like it's a terrible, time consuming job. It isn't. Time it sometime. You'll be totally surprised how little time that job takes.

You know that doesn't just apply to that example. It actually applies to many things we procrastinate about. They look like mountains you're going to have to move with a teaspoon. But your spoon is usually bigger than you thought  and one spoon at a time it goes faster than you think.


Italian Sausage Pasta Skillet

1# whole wheat Rotini, cooked and set aside

2 links sweet Italian sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces and browned

To the skillet with sausage, add:
4 small onions cut in lengthwise strips
Handful of mushrooms
Sm zucchini, halved then sliced
Sm yellow squash same, halved then sliced
1/2 a red bell sliced thin
2 handfuls baby spinach
Can of Hunts diced tomatoes with red pepper and fennel

When cooked to your liking (doneness of vegetables is a personal choice), stir in pasta and serve. A nice sprinkle of your favorite shredded cheese turns it into something wonderful.


With hugs and love until next time
~~Mama Sage