Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Random Thoughts

Improvement wears many dresses...  

My wonderful 80-year young neighbor Mrs. C has been taking me walking again this week. This started Saturday when I cut class early so I could go to the Farmer's Market. She wanted to see if they had any "goodies. (I found some luscious spinach, mixed greens, purslane, and some budding plants at the Market.) Mrs. C and I haven't been walking in a long time for various reasons: my classes, she was hurting, weather was too cold, weather was too hot and so on...

Last Saturday, she complained how badly she hurt from that simple trip to the market and back again. After some discussion, she said she would think about going walking with me first thing in the mornings again. I really didn't expect her to call me bright and early Monday morning with her usual "Ready Freddie?" We went walking. 

We did again this morning. About half way around the library park, she had to sit down.  She encouraged me to finish my lap but hastened to tell me to hurry up about it or she would just go home! *laughs* So I went walking around the park, quicker than I usually do.  Needless to say, my legs were cramping fiercely by the time I was halfway finished, but because I was afraid she would get up and leave, I walked through the cramps. I'll probably pay for that later but I amazed myself that I could find that level within myself and walk through the cramping instead of stopping and whimpering like a baby. 

I reminded myself  when I began this journey two years ago, I couldn't walk around the park at a snail's pace without coming home exhausted. I had to stop at every corner of the park because the cramping was so bad that I wanted to fall down and move past merely whimpering into an ambulance for a ride home.  I hurt that bad. 

At the time, my various doctors explained that I had blood clots in my legs and arms and that caused the vicious cramp-burn-muscle knotting pain I experienced. At the time, only one doctor gave me any advice that I would follow that was not related to surgery. He told me to simply walk every day. 

 So now I feel a sense of pride about one of my goals because it's reachable. I feel like one of those pioneer women who gave birth one minute and  defended her home from marauding outlaws while saving her homestead from burning to the ground. 

Ok...may be NOT that good.  But I definitely understand that I have improved because of my lifestyle changes. I also understand that this journey of mine will never be an easy one because I crave carbs dressed as cookies and breads and rice and cookies and pasta and potatoes and cookies and cous cous and cookies and...Well you get the picture. 

Speaking of that, how come giving up smoking was so much easier than giving up carbs?  

The BC Life...
Otherwise Known as The Confessions of a Coffee Addict

Since I've moved to the percolator for our coffee pot, I have about a half hour every morning before it's finished. My old life used to be "Don't talk to me, don't ask me to feed you, don't ask me to do anything complicated like think about the day or ask me if I know where something is and don't wake up cheerful of all the gawd-awful things to do BEFORE COFFEE!"   

Some mornings I would give only one warning: "It's a two-cup day."  That meant don't do anything or ask me anything or even talk to me until I've gotten at least two cups of coffee down me first. And you would be safer if you let a half a pot get into my system before even breathing or looking in my direction. 

A dear friend who used to be a classmate called me this weekend and asked me, "Have you had your coffee yet?!?!?!"  Since she called me at 8:30 in the morning, her question was legitimate. And then she reminded me that I used be really, really bad BC. She remembered the days when I was trying to reduce my consumption of coffee down to something that was "reasonable" and how fellow classmates brought me cups of coffee before class so I would be "reasonable." 

Yeah, yeah, yeah...and that was a long time ago. I've changed. No seriously--I've really changed.

To give you some examples: This morning I went walking with Mrs. C BC.   Before our current drought initiated the severe water restrictions, I would water and sometimes weed the garden BC. I feed the cats and the birds BC. I start laundry or do a quicky load of dishes BC.  I read my favorite blogs BC. I answer emails and phone calls from students BC!

How's that for seriously changing from the coffee hag into who I am today? *grins at you*

Alright--I confess. I warn my morning statistics students with "I've only had a cup and half of coffee today--so I hope you had your protein because we're going to hit this hard and heavy so I can get that last cup in before it's too late for me to have any!"  

Nonetheless, there's still life before coffee!

Humongous Bead Give Away Reminder!
If you haven't signed up--please do so! The bead drawing is coming closer and closer to its finale! Go to Denise Yezbak Moore's blog and check out her huge, ginormous, bestest ever give away! The Bead Addict is screaming at me--actually pulling at my hair because I'm reminding all you beady readers there's still time to enter. She wants all these beads to for us to keep--but I believe in "What comes around, goes around." Since you've been generous with me--I'm spreading the news! 


  1. Okay, I'm still a BC woman, but mine is at least 1 cup before anything else. Although I will feed the dogs and let them outside to play while my coffee is getting ready.

    You have a great idea about the beads if you won them. Since there is so many, I would have to spread them around also...humm me thinks that I probably have too many now and could put together a huge pile and not even realize it. Well that time may come next time I'm in the craft room organizing yet again.

  2. I can do stuff BC but I'm not very congenial, ha. Glad you got to start walking again. Your next door neighbor sounds like a real hoot.

  3. after reading your blog for a while I have decided its time for me to get off of my big butt, and start changing my life style........I have been unemployed for a year and a half, I can't seem to change that, but I can try to be more active because I am not only turning into a hermit but a hermit that can hardly walk to her mail box with out being out of breath and having legs like this morning I put some fresh batteries into my cd player, and some Nora Jones, and took a walk, it wasn't a long one but it was further than the mail box which is at the end of the block.....I think I can do this! I made it home in one wobbly piece!
    thank you for inspiring me !

  4. hey Cathryn....I've noticed you have won a few give aways yourself recently, so I think you must have some luck of your own going on

  5. People 80 and over are fantastic ! They've seen and done so much, have witnessed so many changes in the world, in life-styles and in people in general, that they are keen in perception and in humor. You gotta love em, God bless them. :)

    Glad to hear your new healthier régime is working out so well. I know, I need to get off my flabby fanny and start totin' that bail and pullin' that barge (whatever that means). :D

    My hubby is quite a coffee fiend but he has started drinking half regular with half decafe in the mornings and totally decafe in the evenings. I don't really get on to him about all the coffee he drinks as he used to have a much more serious drinking problem and thanks to AA he hasn't touched the old Jack Daniels in over 8 years...I can't begin to tell you how wonderful it has been, can you hear the hallelujah chorus?

  6. I have switched to tea at the house and save my coffee for work. I've always been an early riser (thanks Dad) and started drinking coffee milk at 5, seriously 5, but I'm not a really, fully compatible human until about 10 and then only up until about 6 PM. Coffee is my humanizer. I used to drink tons, now I'm a one cuppa tea and one cuppa coffee girl and I'm surviving.

    Health stuff, don't get me started...UGH

  7. I need to start walking again. You are my inspiration.

  8. Great news on the real benefits you are seeing from walking and reducing your coffee. Not a coffee fan AT ALL and I take such weak tea that I can't be getting much caffeine from that!

    Thanks for faithfully visiting and commenting on my blog :)

  9. I don't speak to anyone before my coffee. I can be really ugly if I'm approached too early. BUT, I have limited myself to just one cup of coffee a day. But it has to have chocolate in it.
    I love all of your cats! How any do you have? I have 11!
    Glad you stopped by earlier. I'll be back.