Sunday, February 28, 2010

The ultimate beginning!

I love beginning things at the beginning. You know... on a Monday, or Jan 1... I think today.. is the ultimate beginning.

Its a Monday.... its March 1st.....its the first day without Olympics..... and its the start of spring like conditions! Its the ultimate beginning for me.

I feel like we have made it through the winter. From now on, any storms that come our way... will melt within the week. March... is the beginning of the end of the cold and the snow. In like a lamb.. out like a lion... WHO CARES~because even if it goes out like a lion, the lion will melt away in days!

There are things to do.....I feel renewed and inspired to get back on track. Get outside and rake up those soggy leaves staining my sidewalks. I have to pick up all those sticks and branches littering my lawn~victims of nasty snowstorm and high winds. I have to eat all the frozen single servings of soup I made all winter. I can't eat soup in the spring.... its not right.

I bought my gym pass today... since it expired in January. I think its time to get moving again. I have spent far too long sitting.. this winter!

Welcome to March....

Olympic Hangover

I haven't really blogged for the whole month of February. Well, first off, because its February...yuck!!!.... and that's reason enough.

Second....... I have been obsessed with the 2010 Winter Olympics. Being a "winter" country, it just makes sense that we host and participate "large" in these Olympics. But the TV coverage has been fantastic and all the events have been amazing. The bad part of this all...we are on the far EAST coast, and the Olympics are on the West cost. So many events that are on well past midnight each night... and they are riveting... can close my eyes events.. I am exhausted. I start my morning with Olympic morning shows.....
cooking supper...eating supper.... cleaning the kitchen... Olympics on the kitchen TV (reserved for Oprah shows while making supper usually!)....
sewing, doing church crafts, laundry... Olympics on the basement TV.... bedtime.... Olympics.. Olympics....Olympics!
Today... the last day of the Olympics. Its the only day that I won't be watching the event. The one event, I don't care about. Hockey. I really hope Canada wins... but I can't watch. I have a hard time watching high suspense... high stress. I can stand it for about 5 minutes. I survived
a few sports like short track skating, snowboarding, lots of skiing events... but there are a few that I just can't watch. Curling and hockey are toooo long.. tooo suspenseful when the games are close or passionate!
My favorite event was the relay skating.. quick, action packed and spectacular.
I will be napping this afternoon so I can watch the closing ceremonies tonight.. starting at 9:30. What a great Olympics and a great showcase for Canada.
I have no idea what I am going to do tomorrow ... without the Olympics. (ok, maybe some housework.. blah)

Monday, February 15, 2010

February Grumbles softened by friends...

February is a hard month. I can't really explain, and I have a feeling that I don't really need to. February is full of unpredictable weather, treacherous driving, colds, flu and fevers.... cranky people and energy-draining cloudy days.

A great way to chase those February Blahs away is spending a weekend with friends. I did that last weekend when I went off on a Curling Bonspiel weekend to a small French community about 1.5 hours from my place.
My weekend was spent with 11 other women from my community, some were best friends, some were long time friends and others were fellow members of the club I belong to. We curled, we ate, we drank and we laughed. We shared stories... some fun, some sad, some informative. We started the weekend sharing one house, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 couches and one great big kitchen as three curling teams from Greenwood. By the end of the weekend, though, we headed for home, not as curlers but as 12 friends... 12 girls from all walks of life, 12 ladies with as many differences as similarities...
Although we curled most of the weekend, my memories will be of our mornings and evenings... sitting in a big circle around the kitchen. Sleepy breakfast chat... sharing snoring stories, rolling and not rolling stories...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bathing Suit Shopping

I have been scanning fashion magazines for the perfect bathing suit style for my body type. I found just what I need and its such a great fashion tip, I thought I better share it with all my similar shaped friends. Sorry Chantal... your not included in that club...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pick up Sticks

Just the other day, Terry and I drove to Margaretsville for a winter beach walk. The air was crisp but the sky was so blue.
When we tried to walk past the wharf onto the beach it was like a game of Pickup Sticks. Geesh. The big storm right after Xmas really made a mess of the whole wharf area. The road is completely washed away that leads to the Art Shed, and the beach is littered with logs, sticks and branches churned up from the depths of the ocean and flung ashore.
We find ourselves driving here often. It's calming and re-centering for both of us. This place holds so many memories.... our kids exploring, tip toeing up and over rocks, collecting, comparing and culling rocks before they were allowed to bring "a few" home. Terry is as bad as the kids for wanting to keep rocks from the beach. All of our nieces have grown up visiting this rocky beach, and many of my friends and family drive here in the summer to cool off.
One of the secret pleasures, for me, about sitting quietly on the uneven, ever changing beach in Margaretsville, is it reminds me of home.
My home in Cape Breton was a stones throw (literally) from this exact type of beach.
(my Mom and Dad's place in Victoria Mines. You can see a young Mollie tied on a rope in front of the shed, or is that the barn. I was always confused on which was the barn, and which was the shed)
Our view from the deck, the telephone poles line Hwy 28. If you were sitting on the deck, you always got a honk and a wave from passersby (whether you knew them or not).
I am not sure about any of you, but when I hear the word "beach", I would always visualize soft sandy beaches, with rolling waves. I used to feel cheated that I didn't live near one of those. Our "beach" was rocks, seaweed and dead jellyfish.
Its amazing how prospectives are different. My very first "real beach" visit was a visit to Shelburne when the kids were young. The beach was spectacular, with white soft sand, gentle rolling waves and warm gusty winds.
We walked the beach for miles and combed the sands, looking for treasures. Sand dollars and broken crabs, seashells. After a couple of hours on the beach, we piled into the car with our little bucket of treasures. The conversation was quiet, and I asked the kids if that wasn't the most beautiful and fun beach they had even been on. Their answer was "No, it was boring". Grampa's beach has way more stuff to do on it. This was so surprising to me. We had such an ugly, cold "shore" beach.

On my next hike to Dad's beach, I watched the kids tiptoe over the seaweed, looking for little creatures, using broken pieces of driftwood to turn the kelp. They dug for little rocks, smashing big rocks, looking for fossils. Terry collected flat rocks into a big pile and began skipping them along the water. This usually got the kids into the game, and I would sit and watch them skip rocks for seemed like hours. I am not sure how much of it was "more things to do" or was it more a sense of belonging. Ownership. This was our beach... we knew every inch of it, every flat rock and every fossil stamped into it. Every year was a new beach.. some years there was little pebbles all over the beach, other years, the beach would be swept clean and all that remained was huge flat smooth rocks with fossils imprinted on them.
This of my favorite, is Ryan's Rock at sunset. Note the smooth rocks and seaweed. It was a good beach day. These last few pictures tell a story...a sad one for me. Michelle (2001) sits quietly near Ryan's Rock. This day was "good bye" to our beach. We moved Dad to live with us permanently, and the house was sold. It took me almost 5 years before I could look at these pictures and even now, I cry every time.
Little orange dot is Michelle, making her way to Ryan's Rock. (Jill, that is your ferry, off on the horizon!) The little tiny speck on Ryan's Rock is Michelle...

Where Michelle sits is "our" beach. Stephanie and Michelle grew up owning this little part that no one else played on. Not many people walked past Ryan's Rock. My two little girls played for hours on the shore, and had to climb down a 30 foot cliff to get there. When they were 5 and 7, Terry and I dug a path through rocks, grass and dirt to make a little trail down. My mom would pack them a lunch and off they would go. Weird when I think now, of the dangers they were near, and yet, fully trusted them not to go in the water. I never once felt that they were in danger.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What I Know Now

My friend Cricket gave me this little book for my birthday and I knew I would love it before I even read it. The basis of this book is what would you write to yourself if you could send a letter to yourself when you were younger.
The book is filled with letters that women have written to their younger self... and there are some surprising letters. The women in the book range in age of mid thirties to seventies. They are athletes, politicians, business women, actresses, authors, photographers and singers.
I am not all the way through the book, but it is very thought provoking. Ever since I started the book, I have been thinking about what I would write to myself at a younger age.
For one thing, I would tell myself to do more kegels ;)..... and another would be not to freak out about the kids having tidy bedrooms. I think I will write myself a letter.... for fun..

What would you write to yourself?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Self Absorbed

Well, its truly been weeks since I have visited my blog. I have totally been focusing on me, myself and I (in that order).
My 2010 proclamation was all about me and my health. You know, time to take control of my actions, my exercise, eating habits.... me... me... me.

In the later part of 2009 I was taking care of myself using the "ostrich" method. I am sure you are all aware of this method... "the head buried in the sand" method where you don't step on the scale, you don't read labels, you don't look at the price, and in my case, you don't test your blood sugars. If I don't see it, it doesn't see me...
January comes along.. and my ostrich method turns into "If it tastes good, spit it out" method.
I begin reading labels, reading books, logging carbs, testing blood, and stepping on the scales. The Wii became our start to the day... Now you would think that all this care and attention to my health would be a good thing... but what I didn't consider was once I started looking, I would see how bad things really were. Sugars were out of control... higher than I have ever seen. Sugar addiction, strong and powerful and the scales were bursting into numbers they have never seen before...

Then the spit and vinegar in my heart to take care of myself hit the brick wall of self pity.. and it festered. Soon came the whining and feeling sorry for myself. Denial and excuses...... cheap & unreliable scales, old and low tech blood test strips. No time to exercise, my life is sooo busy (not). Then came "finger pointing" and "blaming others". Terry's fault, because he eats chips and chocolate, drinks pop... never gains weight... so I must be gaining for him.!!!!

My fun mornings of Wii Age and Balance tests, turned into begrudging walks to the basement to "weigh" in, and do the balance test that determines your "fit" weight. I really do love the Wii, I just hate the weigh ins. I watched myself gain weight over the month of January, instead of lose. Anger caused blackouts where I would find myself standing in the kitchen with a pink tinfoil wrapper in my hand and the faint taste of chocolate in my mouth, on several occasions. Little bowls of chips and other snacks would appear in my lap, while watching TV or reading a book. The whole time wondering why I was gaining weight... these things really don't make a difference... geesh!

Sleepless nights came more frequently, and I am almost positive, that while I blame these on "menopause", the true reason is the worry I do over blood sugar levels, scale numbers and whether I have diabetes or not.

January has ended... I weigh the same at the end of January as I did at the beginning. I don't enjoy January, and historically, I have a terrible time during January's dark days. I am glad its over and with February here, there is a relief of some sort. My health is no better, but I have settled into a routine now... more like a resign... I can't eat junk, I can't eat at night, or in between meals. I must exercise daily and I don't need "dessert" after each meal. Simple as that!

My sugars are settling down to normal highs and I am moving slowly towards acceptance. I am diabetic, even if its not "diagnosed" by a doctor. Family history + 5 years of pre-diabetic denial stages are now starting to take its tole. When I made the pact with myself in January to move towards a healthier life... this was all part of it. January was rougher on my head than it was on my body... Not having a doctor was my crutch and my excuse. February is the month I change that. I will have a doctor by the end of February... now that my blood tests are sitting on a nurses test, with a red tag on it highlighting those lovely sugar levels.