Health and Caregiving

A Healthy, Happy Life – What’s it Take?

These last few months have me pretty pensive.  I was sad for my mom.  She has lived the last few years in a pretty lonely and unsatisfying condition.  And now that her life has ended, I just wanted MORE for her.  More friends.  More fun and enjoyment.  More life.  When we are living, we should be LIVING!  So, it has me thinking.  Because I had my DD so late in life, I will be aging as she ages.  And I want to age well.  I want to be healthy enough to live.  I want to have friends and be social and have fun.  I want to have fun with my family and enjoy doing things with my DD.  But, that will require that I am healthy.  So, what’s it take?  What do we need to do to stay healthy and happy in our late 40s (where I am now), our 50s, our 60s and beyond.  After all, I will be pushing 60 when my DD graduates from high school (good Lord…) and I want to still be active and enjoying my life with her as she goes through college.  I realize I won’t be able to do what the 38 year olds are doing (and let’s be real, I probably won’t want to be doing what the 38 year olds are doing), but I want to be a good mom who is there for her and who can still do what needs/wants to be done.

So, it has me thinking…what do I need to do RIGHT NOW to make this happen?  What can I do EACH DAY to make sure that I am ready for that future life I want to lead?  Let’s see:

Start building a stronger network of friends.  I am working on that.  I have three friends currently who I feel like are THERE for me.  Two have children close to my DD’s age and I’m hoping we can all stay friends throughout their childhoods and on up to see them as grownups.  But, I need more than that.  I want a wide network of friends.  I have friends but I feel like I’m not very good at making time to spend time with them (especially those who don’t live here where I live).  I’m not good at setting aside time to really enjoy them.  So, that is something I need and want to work on.  Girls weekends.  Family trips together. In addition, I want to be more active in my church.  I want to establish better friendships there as well.  I want a community.  So, that is one thing that I need to continue working on as I go through this year and beyond.

Be more healthy.  I am not talking about losing weight (although that would probably be a good idea as well), but just exercising and eating better (more regular meals, less coffee, more water, etc.) and taking better care of myself over all.  I need to make a doctor’s appointment to get an annual exam (which I haven’t had the last couple of annuals – I use my DD as an excuse, but it really is just something I dread…I don’t want/can’t take any more bad news health-wise for anyone, but especially ME, so I avoid it).  I need to get into the dentist and get my broken tooth fixed and my teeth cleaned.  I want to start doing yoga regularly.  I want to do the a 21 Day Fix challenge to get my sugar and carb levels under control and start developing some muscle mass again.  I am currently suffering from what I am pretty sure is a Guttate Psoriasis.  My strep throat a couple of weeks ago must have triggered it.  And I know that not eating healthy is a contributing factor to these maladies.  I also need to model healthier behaviors and habits for my DD.  She is going to need to eat healthy with her heart issues.

Live it up!  I often turn down opportunities to go out and do things and have fun.  I’m not sure why.  I want to spend time with my DH doing fun things.  I want to do fun things as a family.  I want to enjoy each other and our lives to the fullest extent possible.  We have a bad habit of sitting around when we have time with each other.  On our computers or iPad.  When we should be out and about doing fun activities with each other.  So, that is what I want to focus on – making memories.  And lots of them.

Those three will be my main focus to start this focus on the future me by focusing on the present me.  I will do these things in honor of my mom who often said she wished she had done more when she had the chance, who longed to have a community of people around her and who was constantly telling me to take care of myself.  I love you Mamma!

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday – Being More

Being more is NOT doing more.

This is a reminder to myself as I often forget to consider who my doing is allowing me to BE.  I’ve been doing a lot lately and sometimes that helps to be a better me, but sometimes it ends up making a worse me.  So, I need to start considering what my doing is really producing.

I’ve followed the Abundant Mama for a while no and I love her “Ban Busy” project.  I’m sure she isn’t the only one with such a project, but I happen to have followed hers.  I have fallen off the Ban Busy bandwagon as of late, but its something I want to really work toward making it more possible when the Fall rolls around.  That seems to be the time when things really start to bog down for me.

I’ve been forced to “Savor Slow” the past few days because of my illness.  But, I realize that was probably the result of being way to busy and not restful enough the past few weeks.  So, now that I have a month or so left in the summer (!) I plan to savor some slowness right now and organize myself to be able to do it even when school and work and all the other things that come along with the Fall kick in late in August.

What about you?  Are you a slow goer or a busy, busy bee?  I think there are speeds in between and there are also times when we have to be a busy, busy bee.  But, being aware and making those choices consciously is pretty important.

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday

Life throws another curve ball…striiiiiiiike!

For those just joining my life adventure… the plan was to be here at home until after church tomorrow then head to my mom’s in Vallejo for a few days, then my in-laws in Bakersfield for the Fourth, then another few days at my mom’s while my DD stayed with my in-laws.  THEN, I realized that our church’s family camp out was the weekend following the Fourth, so I decided not to leave my DD at my in-laws and just stay at my mom’s until Wednesday of that week, come home and then go on the camping trip on Thursday through Sunday (first camping trip – more on that later).  THEN, yesterday, I tried calling my mom’s and the phone was busy.  A few hours later, my sister called and my mom was at her house.  It seems that her backyard caught on fire yesterday (!).  They have a wood gazebo that my dad built and a wood deck and the next door neighbors had a nice wooden deck as well.  I guess those burned.  The house seems okay – just a few melted siding pieces and some melted rubber around the back french doors, but there will be no electricity until Monday at the earliest and the insurance adjuster can’t come until Monday.  So, my sister got my mom yesterday and took her to her house thinking she would be able to go home today.  But, no luck there.  Now, she is going to my mom’s to pick up the necessary things for a few days away and I’m driving down to my sister’s to pick up my mom and bring her here for a few days.  Hopefully, her electricity will be back on by Monday and we’ll head back down there on Tuesday.  But, with this, we will probably skip the trip to Bakersfield (I’m sure my mom will be completely exhausted after this few days) and just stay at my mom’s until we leave to come back here before camping.  If the electricity is not back on, we may just head to the Bay and stay in hotel (insurance covered hopefully) so she can have hospice come there and bathe her and check on her.

Sigh…serious curve balls here folks.  Last week was pretty good overall thankfully, so I’m feeling ready to deal with this.

Always an adventure…

Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth

The truth is out there…this much I know, thanks to X-Files.

Tuesday Truth

Today is relatively relaxing day.  I volunteered at Vacation Bible School this morning (in the nursery, which is really pretty easy), had a meeting with a colleague over coffee for the hour before DD was done at VBS and then we came home.  She ate lunch and then the neighbor kids came over and they’ve been playing ever since.  So, I’ve been playing catch up on email, housework and other stuff.  But, I’m feeling like I SHOULD be doing something more.  I guess that is my own problem.

My first truth today is that having a neighborhood full of kids is both good and bad.  Good in the way that its happening today – they allow my DD to stay entertained without me having to work at it.  Bad in the way that it happened yesterday – a load of kids come over, eat my snack food, drink my apple juice boxes and make a mess of my DD’s room and then leave.  So, today they “pinky swore” (my DD’s words) that they would help clean up whatever mess they made.  And they’ve only asked for water so far.  I love knowing where my DD is and being a host to other kids, but sometimes it can be too much. Yesterday was one of those days.  Today is better.  So far.  It could still get worse though.  We’ll see.

Second truth, my husband was right.  I am an old lady in my television viewing.  I’ve mentioned before about my Murder She Wrote obsession.  I also love Matlock and Diagnosis Murder (thank you Hallmark Channels).  At my mom’s recently, I rediscovered The Love BoatGolden Girls.  I love them all.  I try to watch newer television, but it just doesn’t have the same appeal to me (although, I am DVRing Aquarius because of my love of X-Files and David Duchovny, despite the whole sex addict thing – I am hoping I like it).  So, yeah, my TV viewing would totally work in a retirement home.  Oh well.  I’ll live with it.

The last truth is that summers here are hot!  We’ve been lucky so far but this week we’re going to hit over 100 and a little north of us it is predicted to hit 111!  Ugh.  Today was only 98 and it was hot enough.  Tomorrow at VBS is water day, so my DD will be cooling off in the park during the a.m.  She had a bit of a meltdown tonight, so we talked about taking rests in the afternoon and coming in earlier at night.  Hopefully, it sticks.  It is hard to be six and want to hang with the other kids in the neighborhood.  But, I’m pretty sure none of them get up at 6:30 – 7:00 a.m., which is what she does, so she is fully exhausted a little earlier than they are (although, I’m pretty sure the other 6 yo was also pretty exhausted by 8 p.m. when I made her come in – he was in a mood).  So, we’ll try again tomorrow.  I want her to learn WHY I want her to do things, so this seemed like a safe way to learn a lesson.  Hopefully, it was learned.  We were supposed to go see Inside, Out today with a friend and her daughter, but her daughter has 103 fever and cough, so that was a no go.  Hoping her daughter gets to feeling better soon. Nothing worse than being sick in the summer time!

That’s it – what are your truths on this Tuesday?

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday

And so it begins…officially summer.

I know that I’ve talked a lot about summer already but today is what I consider to be my PERSONAL start of summer.  We dropped my husband off at the airport in Reno this morning and he will be in Michigan for seven weeks working a summer camp.  So, I’m officially on my own.  Which is what the summer is usually about for me (since this is his 15th year working the camp – not always seven weeks, but almost always).  In a way, it is a productive time for me, especially when my DD has activities going on.  But, this summer is going to be a bit different.  Since my mom is having to figure out new caregivers (what a long, strange trip this has been) or hopefully will be moving into an Assisted Living facility later in July and I’m trying to help out by saving her some money by staying with her BUT my DD goes a bit stir crazy at my mom’s after a few days (rightfully so – it is hard to do much of anything while staying with her because she can’t walk well anymore and gets tired very easily), I’m trying something over the next few weeks.  So, here is my schedule:

This coming week, we’re doing Vacation Bible Experience at our church.  I say “we” because I volunteer.  It has been, by far, my DD’s favorite week of the summer for the past two summers.  Hopefully that holds up this year.

Then, a week from tomorrow, we will head to my mom’s house to stay with her as it is her caregiver’s last day (she is traveling for the rest of summer and then concentrating on Real Estate selling when she returns).  We are going to stay there that week and then head for Bakersfield that Friday.  My SIL is hosting a Fourth of July BBQ and pool party at her house and we’ll stay the night in a hotel on Friday, hang out with my in-laws on Saturday, go to the party on Saturday night, stay in the hotel again on Saturday, hang out a bit more with my in-laws and then head home WITHOUT my DD.  I’m going to leave her there for that week to hang out with her baby cousin and her Gigi and Papa and Aunt and Uncle!  She seems super excited about it and it will give me a chance to be at my mom’s for another week without the DD guilt.  🙂  We’ll go and pick her up the following Friday and possibly stay another night there if my mom feels up to it.

So, we’ll see how all this works out.  That saying about the “best laid plans” is definitely forefront in my mind right now, but I’m going to go ahead and go for it.  Wish me luck!


Wordless Wednesday

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

This past week was a busy one.  We started it out in Bakersfield at my in-laws and then I took the train to my mom’s for the weekend.  Not much in the way of pictures, but I did take a few:


My tray table on the train.  I love that you get to leave them down at all times (versus planes where you have to put them up for take off and landings) and the seats are so much more spacious on the train.  If it were cheaper and more convenient, I would take the train a lot more.  But, from our hometown, it only comes through at 3 a.m., so you have to take an Amtrak bus (which isn’t horrible, but it isn’t the train) then get off and switch to a train in Sacramento.  And it is also expensive if it isn’t just me traveling – the car is much cheaper and more convenient.  Especially our Prius!

We also had a chance to go out on the lake in our boat on Monday.  I must admit that I like being on the boat because of moments like this:


The problem is that when our DD is along for the ride and my hubby is fishing, these are exactly that – only moments.  I have to keep DD entertained (we did get a chance to go swimming in the lake, but it is tiring) and we’re constantly moving to new fishing spots.  If I could spend an afternoon like this, it would be the best.  But, DD had more fun this time than last time.

Enjoying_the_water Lake_girl.

Overall, it was a good day and a nice last trip to the lake before my hubby leaves for seven weeks for work.  😦  By the time he gets back, there may be no more lake left with the way the drought is going here in Nor Cal.

Lake Oroville drought

These are from a year and a half ago and it has only gotten worse since then.

So, there is my last week in some pictures.  Are you sharing on Wordless Wednesday?  Post a link in the comments below.  I’d love to come by!  Have a great week!

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday

Read, relax, swim, repeat.  That’s summer.

At least I hope it is.  I’m looking forward to a couple of months of not HAVING to do a ton of stuff.  I have some things I would like to accomplish, of course.  But, really, I want to do a lot of reading (I have a lot of books that I am excited to read).  I want to relax, whether it be in front of a TV screen watching shows I haven’t been able to invest in lately or just sitting by a lake or on the beach or more active relaxation like getting out and doing touristy stuff.  I also want to swim.  Bean loves it.  I love it.  The dog loves it.  So, we should do more of it.  I’m thinking some river visits as well as poolside relaxation is in order.  And then I want to repeat all that.  Over and over.

What about you? What is your summer plan?