challenge

60. With apologies

I know, it’s been a while since I wrote and I hate excuses as much as you do!

So I am not going to waste your time with excuses – I will just apologize to those of you who enjoy the written word as much as the vlogs. In the past couple of months I have done a lot of learning and a lot of looking at the world around me. As usual, I have come out of the time stronger than before. I have learned that people can just drop you in a heartbeat when it suits them, others can give you hours of unexpected time, some can hit incredibly hard times and still have a sense of humour.

I learned that one viewer visiting the broadcast can give us a great idea but if I do nothing with it it is just that… an idea. I am going to start our Free Bay page today! Free Bay is for viewers who have a sense of humour/humor and a post office box. Put your screen name and your post office box address (no real names) and then put what you would like to “collect” from fellow viewers. We have heard about fridge magnets, key rings, wines, cheeses and, of course, licorice!! To name just a few things that made us smile. We just thought it would be a fun thing to be able to send someone a ‘gift’

I have learned that even my hard-working camera can give up the ghost and die on me. When I thought of how many hours it had given me over the past year I cannot say I was surprised. I also didn’t feel like it was a lessor product. In fact, I bought the upgrade of my previous camera. It was fun to use and gave me a lot of good vids. I reward good behaviour! Even if the product dies of hard work. Pity it did it the month after the warranty ran out.

I always knew that the fall and winter would be harder on dear BeanBean. He is struggling a little more and I have had to increase his meds to compensate. It is a heartbreaking thing to do because each time I increase it I am equally lessening his time with me for there is a limit to how much I can give him. I am up to close to 3/4 of his total allocation, based on his weight. I am hoping that this dosage will hold him over the fall and winter because, if it does, then we might be able to stay together for  another year. Obviously, if I have to keep increasing it over the winter we will be running out of time together. So sad. We have come so far.

We have seen some wonderful growth from various members of the broadcast club. Lesley overcame her fear of the outside world enough to walk down her garden and close the gate. She looked over the fence and gave us the greatest smile! Roseann showed us a rare moment of total vulnerability as she struggled with a diagnosis of glaucoma over and above everything else she copes with every day. Jen is just weeks away from being married and found that the ability to make decision suddenly was missing.

I sit in awe of how this group of people have supported one another. How they, through their support of others, have grown. They have new understanding of each other, of their previous judgments and their coping skills. We are beginning to have a lot of people visit the broadcasts and thanking us for the positive contribution we are making.

For my part, I am amazed at how much difference we can make in our little world. One person at a time. We know people are paying it forward. We hear the stories.

 

YouTube Update – Week 60

Subscribers             3,882
Views                        126,698 from 171 countries
Blog views                7318
Non-Smoking Days    282 with a saving of $3,017.47



59. The battle of the bulge begins!

Yesterday I joined Jen and Jamie and signed up for MyFitnessPal (no cost). I trembled as I typed in my real weight. I cringed when I saw how far into the obese range I had moved. Reality is reality. Enough is enough. Yes, “the devil” in me says that going back to smoking would help me drop over 20lbs in a couple of months but we know that is not the way I am going to do it.

The process is interesting. The whole thing is automated and it works out what your ideal input is for the weight you want to lose. My goal is to lose a pound a week. Consistently. That would mean I could drop 50lbs I the coming year. That said, it does a clever psychological thing… it tells you that this is what you can eat without doing any exercise! If you add exercise you can add more things to eat AND STILL REACH YOUR GOAL. Clever!! I like that thinking.

It also doesn’t tell you what to eat. Freedom, is a good thing! It just calculates whatever you put into the system. Updates everything from calories to sodium. The only discipline I need is to put the truth in and be more aware. Aware, for example that a small apple has way more sugar than I knew. Education is another side benefit, apparently!

The one thing that surprised me yesterday was that I made it through the day without attacking the snacks – the super sugary, delightful indulgences!

I have just finished my 15 minute workout and asked myself what was different? Why did I made it through the day without eating the cookies or marshalmallows? Oh, I struggled in the last 40 mins but I hung in there. I then had a small eating need, just after midnight, but managed to just eat half a piece of bread with marmite – savory rather than sugary. Was it because I had a more balanced diet? One that I created because the system showed me where to be mindful? Interesting.

I also set up todays eating schedule before I went to sleep. Didn’t want to not know what to grab for because that is where the “quick” snack comes in to play. I have had the second half of my piece of bread this morning and will start the “breakfast” list in about an hour. It is not what time of day it is, it is about knowing I still have that much food available to me and STILL be under the goal. Good feeling!

I was surprised that I had incorrectly caculated the coffee situation. I had clicked on a store latte and last night I found out that the homemade version is way less. I had to go back and change the figures for yesterday.

I thought I would struggle to drink the eight cups of water. I decided that I would drink I cup every time I sat down at the computer. I needed to finish it before I started the next task. That made it easy to drink.



53. You are in the right place… at the right time!

I receive a lot of emails from viewers of our YouTube channel and one thing that I need to repeat, time and time again, is that you ARE in the right place and the right time.

 

Perhaps the most worrying this week was knowing that Coco, who is part of our TinyChat broadcast community,  had travelling to Oklahoma with her two sons just in time for the tornado. It took 24 hours to find out that she and the boys were safe but, with her usual up-beat attitude, she said it was good for the boys to learn what Oklahoma was really like. They are considering moving there.

 

Life brings us challenges and lessons. Sometimes we “get it” and sometimes we need to repeat the challenge or lesson until we “get it”. I am going through challenges at the moment – luckily they are not serious. I did not want to hear that my blood pressure was way too high and I know what caused it and what continues to push it up. I have taken some steps to reduce my stress.

 

I have to be grateful that we live in a time when medications are available to balance out things like blood pressure. However, one of the realities in my life is that I am now getting older and not able to do all the things I used to be able to do. I do a lot, don’t get me wrong! I just cannot do it all any more. A case in point was taking down the kitchen cupboard doors and repainting the first batch. I had not realized that, with arthritis, it was impossible for me to put them back on my own. It is almost impossible to lift, hold and level a cupboard door while holding a drill and screw…when you have arthritis. Actually, it made me wonder how I used to do it without.

 

The blessing in this is that one of my friends, Yvonne, noted that I had painted the doors but had not put them back up and she worked out why. She knows me well enough to know that asking for help is difficult for me. I have been self-sufficient for so many years.

 

I am really happy that I decided to take the time to repaint my kitchen cupboards while I save up the money to do a revamp of my kitchen. It has really brightened up the room. It is truly amazing what a difference a coat of paint and a some new hinges can do.

old cupboards

Old dishwasher & cupboards

new cupboards2.1

New dishwasher & paint job

 

YouTube Upate – Week 38

Subscribers             2693
Views                       69,513 from 136 countries
Blog views               3,834
Non-Smoking Days  131 –   saving of $1,401.08

Lessons learned: Learning to ask for help will help me get things done more quickly!

 

 

52. Red flags and the difficulty of telling the truth

I ventured across the border into the US yesterday. As usual, it was an interesting adventure. I had taken it really easy loading up the trailer – pack some, rest some, repeat until finished – and was feeling good.

 

I drove to Sumas crossing as it is the closest one to where I needed to go – Deming, Washington – and I also like the fact that the crossing is not as busy as the ones closer to me. Life was good. I was relaxed. I drove forward to the customs booth. “Nationality?” he said “Canadian but travelling on a British passport” I replied. “What did you say?” I repeated the words. He took my documents. Then he went into a tirade of words which I didn’t understand because I could not hear them over the burble of my Jeep’s V8 engine. “Could you repeat that please, sir?” Be polite, be patient and above all don’t get smart, Sal.

 

Omg, he repeated and I still didn’t hear. “I am sorry to have to ask you…” I was hanging half out of the window at this point, screwing up my eyes, trying to give him the body language to get him to understand his mumbling was not making it over the delightfully guttural burble of Mickey Blue Eyes (name of my Jeep). By now “he” was not amused. I knew he would send me in for vetting because they always do. What I didn’t know is that he had red flagged me for serious scrutiny for immigration “stuff” (not sure what the stuff was!!).

 

There is something to be said about being someone who crosses the border not too often but often enough to have a track record. The more senior guys, inside, took one look at their screen and said “So, you have become a Canadian! Why aren’t you using your Canadian passport?” I would have thought that was pretty darn obvious but held my tongue “Because I have not, as yet, applied for one”. “Why not?” Oh my, I wanted to scream “…because I didn’t know there was a necessity to do so when I still had a perfectly valid passport in my possession”. I took the safer route, “…because I didn’t make the time to do that yet”.

 

But not the end of my problems. Next the really nice man from the food and wildlife section was asking me what I had in the trailer. I listed off as much as I could in terms of apples, oranges, celery, a couple of avocado, cheese… then I faltered. I just couldn’t remember what was in my fridge. I wasn’t trying to be smart, I was struggling to remember and that made me more nervous. I apologized and used the age card “… gee, this getting older really does effect the memory. If I have forgotten anything it is not intentional, it is because I genuinely cannot remember” Then came the really embarrassing part “When did you load the trailer?” What could I do but tell the truth “A couple of hours ago”. “… and you cannot remember what you put in the fridge?!” I didn’t know how to answer that except with a very pathetic “… apparently not and I am embarrassed to admit that”. ‘I see we gave you a pamphlet on what foods you could bring into the States about a year ago. Why didn’t you follow that instruction?” Again, I resisted the “…because, obviously, I lost the darn thing!” and said sheepishly “I lost it”.

 

Notes to self:

1. Get your Canadian passport sorted out ASAP

2. Keep that allowable foods pamphlet in the trailer!

3. Find out why oranges can come from the US but may not return. Weird. Apples can but not oranges clearly marked that they come from the US. Anyone know why?!