Monday, April 30, 2012

A Fun Survey

One of my favorite bloggers, Kathryn, at Good Life Road invited me to participate in a fun survey. I posted it to her blog as well as here. Join in and post your responses to this blog and hers. Have fun!

1.Excluding now, what was the best, most fun, or most satisfying time of your life? Why?
That would have to be a general answer since I have so many examples. The time that I enjoy the most are the days I spent exploring new experiences with my children and husband. My oldest son exudes excitement through is bouncy mannerisms—believe me, you cannot help getting excited when you experience his excitement, and my youngest shows his enthusiasm with his infectious laugh and wonderful sense of humor.

2. If you could do anything for a vocation regardless of what it paid (say you didn’t need the money) what would it be?
I would definitely become a yoga instructor. I would focus my teachings on how to life a full life and how to manage and live with chronic pain. Yoga has helped me so much...I want to give back!
3. What is one non-profit or charity organization that is dear to your heart? We have a no-kill shelter called TAILS in our town.  Why? They do extraordinary work. What sets them apart? They never turn animals away (also injured wildlife will be cared for and returned to the wild). They have many families that foster dogs and cats that need homes. They have a spay/neuter program as well. I appreciate that they always put the animals first. They take animals from emergency situations all over the U.S. They may not have the room, but they WILL find a way to care for these animals. And it is ALL non-profit.

4.If you could have a second home anywhere in the world and you could travel to and from free of charge, where would it be? My husband took me to San Francisco years ago, and I’ve never forgotten the beauty and the culture of the place! That’s where I’d like to spend a weekend. The highlight of that trip was buying peanuts in the shell and sitting in Golden Gate park feeding the squirrels. They would sit next to you and eat. I even had one crawl on me. I was careful not to touch the squirrel since they are wild, but they felt totally comfortable in the presence of people. (Unfortunately that can be dangerous for children who may not exercise caution around wild animals!)

5. If you’re feeling blue, or lonely, what are your favorite self-comforting activities? I love to get a cup of coffee and a good book and curl up on the couch, epsom salt baths in my claw-foot tub, or quiet meditation/yoga. One of these three will usually allow me to be more present with the rest of the day.

6.What is one big lesson-for-life that has personal meaning for you that you want to teach your child/children or that you just wish you had known sooner? That each individual learns and experiences the world differently through different filters.  Patience must be taught so that each child can learn and grow without fear of criticism. Once a child understands how he works, it becomes a treasure.

7.What are three things on your “bucket” list?
Become a certified yoga instructor, travel to the ocean with my husband and two boys, and just be a part of life even as I grow old.

8. Are you right or left handed? Right

9. What is your preferred method for getting in/staying in shape? Yoga

10.Describe your ideal vacation.
We would wake up early and drive to our destination. We would stop along the way to visit anything we wanted to that caught our interests (without concern about time). Enjoy each site to its fullest, then either find accommodations or rent a yurt! I prefer vacations that offer a little surprise along the way. I do not have any interest in the high-budget vacations such as cruises or guided tours of different countries.

11.What is a favorite place you’ve been to in your travels? My favorite place to visit is somewhere by water that has a lot of hiking trails. My sister’s home in GA with her family offers many of these fun activities as does the east coast and of course the west coast.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Art Game

Here's the Art Game again! Make sure you go to Dolly's blog and click on art game. Post picture to your own blog and let Dolly know! Have Fun!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My First Zumba Class

This morning I took a Zumba class. What fun it was! The class featured Latin music with a flair! I know it will take me a few times to get the routines down--not sure my hips can do all the wiggling that's required. I'm sure to find my stride after a couple of sessions.

After the class I spoke with the instructor about becoming a Zumba teacher. I was surprised that it only takes an 8-hour class to become certified to teach it. Something to look into if I find my groove.

I also liked that people (me included) adapted the moves to fit the individual. I kept my feet close to the ground (no jumping for me and my weak bladder--sheesh!), but maybe in time I can add a little bounce to my step. Any Zumba teachers out there? What do you think of the program? Just curious, here!

Friday, April 20, 2012

At it Again! Art Game!

There are so many points of interest the author, Dolly, shares. Please go and add to the picture, post it on your blog or website, and of course give credit to Dolly! I added the sparkles!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tips for Managing Chronic Pain

Because I have had chronic pain most of my life, I have become at expert at managing it (most days). I was actually surprised that I hadn't posted on this before, but after checking, I had posted a few ideas here and there, but this way, they are all in one place if you need to reference them. But before you follow these tips, get medical attention. Chronic pain is a symptom not to be ignored. Something serious could be going on in your body. OK, now that the public service announcement is out there, here goes:

1. Cold Wraps Fill a small baggie with ice (or use a gel freeze pack). Place pack in a cut-off stocking, or use a leg warmer (I had dug mine out from use in the 80s! Still works!) Put in freezer. When you need it you simply take it out and place on body part and tie ends. Because leg warmers are long, it makes tying the ends easy!

2. Hot Wraps: You need two hand towels, a gallon-size ziplock baggie, and some kind of a belt or sash to hold the prepared hot pack in place. First wet one of the hand towels thoroughly. Squeeze out the excess water. Place the towel in the ziplock baggie and close until you have one inch left. LEAVE THAT OPEN or the bag will explode. Now, put the baggie in the microwave and nuke for 2 minutes. In the meantime, lay out your other hand towel on the counter. Make sure it is flat and all the way open. When your towel in the microwave is finished, REMOVE CAREFULLY! You may want to use oven mitts. Open the bag away from you so you do not get steam burned. Place the heated towel on the other towel. Now take the two ends and fold toward the middle (meet the edges in the middle). Now fold the opposite sides in, but this time overlap them so you do not have any hot towel poking through. Place on your skin where it hurts. You may need to put it over a shirt or on top of your pants if the heat is too intense. If you don't want to hold it there, grab a belt or sash and wrap around you to hold it into place. This take a bit of practice, but in the end, it is definitely worth it!

3. Tennis ball: This is one of my favorites. I get horrible knots in my shoulders and hips. When I am in bed at night, I place a tennis ball under the body part that is having pain. I then relax! When I first started doing this, the pain was so intense, so I needed to start slow. First you may want to position the ball a little off center from where the pain is, and work toward centering it directly under the sore spot. Try it! (Don't fall asleep with it! I have, and when I do, mornings can be a bit ouchy!)

4. Yoga: But of course!!!! I find that meditation and restorative yoga works the best for pain management.

5. Walking: When I get a chance to walk, I usually do it by speed walking around the block a few times following my youngest son on his scooter. This really gets the endorphins going.

6. Dance! When my family and I turn on the tunes, dancing around can be a source of fun and love. It really feels great to let go and be a bit silly.

7. Beverage: 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 table spoon Lemon Juice, 6-8 oz. Grape juice. Mix and drink. I've noticed a cumulative effect with this. I take medications and supplements to manage my pain, and I'm always worried about liver damage. This drink supposedly is a liver cleanser. I do feel refreshed after drinking this every morning.

8. Epsom Salt Baths  I take these as often as possible. I use about a pound for every bath, then I soak for about 30 minutes.

9. Massage My hubby is so compassionate. He gives me wonderful massages any time I need them. Often without even being asked!

10. Sleep. This cannot be overstated. Sleep is really the best medicine for pain management, and unfortunately, this is where I have the most trouble. I leave the house for work everyday by 6:15, so I have to get up early. I sure wish at times to have just an extra hour. I do make up for it on the weekends though!

And there you have it. My top ten pain management tips. If you have any that you would like to add, please do! I'd be delighted to share them.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dealing with Chronic Pain

It seems that lately the weather in the midwest has not been playing nice. It is so hard to maintain a positive attitude when my muscles and joints are screaming. I have been able to cope (some days better than others), but I found something surprising yesterday and today.

I had a sinful brownie sundae yesterday (a weekly treat), and a small order of french fries this afternoon (rarely have french fries). It was amazing how much better I felt. Was it the endorphins from the fat, or do my muscles crave the extra fat that these two treats offered.

I have done research, and our bodies do need fat! Of course, this doesn't mean that I will be eating brownie sundaes for lunch or having french fries everyday, but I did find a couple of hours of relief which was a real blessing.  I'll take what I can get!

And above all, I find that rest and exercise offer more relief than most anything. I will keep my sites on summer. Warmer weather is usually my friend for sure!

Another Art Game!

Please join in this art game! Go to for details.
There are so many points of interest the author, Dolly, shares. Please go and add to the picture, post it on your blog or website, and of course give credit to Dolly! (I added the spider--yuck!) Have fun!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Art Game--Again!

Please join in this art game! Go to for details.
There are so many points of interest the author, Dolly, shares. Please go and add to the picture, post it on your blog or website, and of course give credit to Dolly! Have fun!
 I added Tinkerbell this time. Just can't help myself!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Art Game

If you haven't had a chance to go to this blog, please do!
There are so many points of interest the author, Dolly, shares. Please go and add to the picture, post it on your blog or website, and of course give credit to Dolly! Have fun!

If you haven't had a chance to go to this blog, please do!
There are so many points of interest the author, Dolly, shares. Please go and add to the picture, post it on your blog or website, and of course give credit to Dolly! Have fun!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Art Game--All About Lemon

Here's another Art Game from All About Lemon.  Here's my picture. I added the hummingbird. Make sure you post your addition to your website, and send your readers to this site:  Have fun!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Moving Forward

Living in the Midwest can be wonderful--the changes of seasons, especially fall with its beautiful colors and cool weather. However, it has its drawbacks to be sure. One of these drawbacks is the unpredictability of the weather patterns. This winter has been surprisingly mild by comparison, and this spring has been pretty warm. Although the last couple of weeks the Midwest has seen a decrease in the temperatures and an increase in my pain. I feel old lately. Moving around, doing yoga, working, it  has all become a chore, and of course with all of that, my depression takes hold of me again.

I spoke with a colleague (as well as a good friend) who was able to get me back on track. She reminded me that this weather is temporary and it's OK to have a bad day (or week). I also have to remember that there are many people who have medical issues way beyond mine. Many of these people show up for life and continue with their heads held high. So with that in mind, I will hold my head high, get through this slump, and remember that sunny, warm days are ahead.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Husband's Interview

This weekend, my husband, Jeff Whelan, was interviewed by blogger Kevin Gerald Rau about his new ebook, Space Orville. This was a really good opportunity for him to share about his book and his writing. If you're interested, take a peek!  Enjoy!