Friday, October 22, 2010


I read this today on Yahoo. 

ATLANTA – As many as 1 in 3 U.S. adults could have diabetes by the year 2050, federal officials announced Friday, in a dramatic revision of earlier projections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 in 10 have diabetes now, but the number could grow to 1 in 5 or even 1 in 3 by mid-century if current trends continue.
"This is alarming," said Ann Albright, director of the CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation.
The agency's projections have been a work in progress. The last revision put the number at 39 million in 2050. The new estimate takes it to the range of 76 million to 100 million.
An estimated 24 million Americans have diabetes currently.

Anyone out there heeding this warning!  

Okay then, why is this occurring  in these numbers.  I'm always concerned because the cost of healthcare goes up when Americans get sick.  And since I pay for my healthcare, my healthcare has more than doubled since 2002. 

Yet, I do not have diabetes.  But I have noticed with the increase in my premiums every year my blood pressure is rising instead.  Why is my blood pressure rising?  A few reasons I can point out.  First, I did have a personal trainer at one point but as my healthcare rose, I could no longer afford the trainer.  I did have a gym membership at one point, but as the cost of my premiums for healthcare rose, I could not longer afford the monthly membership at the gym.  My blood pressure at one point was perfect, now it's in what is referred to as "white coat" numbers.  And yes my weight has gone up as well.  

I'm blaming it on myself because I am not a disciplined as I once was and I'm older.  No excuse.  Whether I have a personal trainer or a gym membership or not is no excuse for my numbers to rise.  This is what I am now telling myself today.  After all each day is the first day of our lives. 

Still, what is wrong with the over all picture of the state of health of Americans?  

From this report, not good.
And so much so that for most of us I'm sure no one really knows where to begin to turn it around anymore.   Yet the information out there is plentiful, and we all know as I do the only way to remedy this situation is to simply eat the right foods and "move our butts."  

Yes, it's as simple as that and sometimes I have to shake my head in utter disbelief because of the solution. 

Mindful living, mindful eating, a mindful existence of what we are doing at any given point in time in our daily life.

In other words, watch what we put into our mouths at any given moment, watch what activities we embark upon at any given moment, and if things aren't feeling right inside (fear is always a hindrance) then try to act upon it before it can grow into something that has reached a point where only medications will keep it in check. 

If we know our numbers whether it's blood pressure, cholesterol, or blood sugar and we see that they are rising, then we do need to get off our behinds and actually do something to counteract what is happening inside.   Although a high HDL is good, and that is one number we want to see rise.  Mine at last count was 71 only because I made a concerted effort to eat those foods (fish, nuts, seeds, veggies, fruits, etc) that would bring that number up.  And by golly, it worked.  71 is a high number for HDL but it is telling me the cholesterol I do have in my body is protecting me and not clogging up arterial walls. 

Again, all it takes is a simple mindfulness attitude that could probably eradicate 75% of the illnesses occurring in our nation. 

When I go shopping I often watch what others buy, and often I am tempted to tell the person behind me if they really should be drinking those oversized bottles of soda?  Maybe instead they could opt for something like ... plain old water...or flavored water.  

Or maybe that Sunday pot roast could instead become a Sunday chicken breast (no skin, no fat) or a nice fish fillet, preferably salmon or what is becoming more popular baramundie.  How about filling up our plates with veggies and whole grains?  If we need to eat something sweet, dark chocolate (65% and above) is going to do us a lot more good than that bag of Fritos.  Even a nice glass of wine occasionally during the week will add to our overall health (reservatrol for the heart) rather than that sugary fruit juice or sugar laden soda. 

Mindful shopping is something every American needs to adopt when they shop!  There's is so much to be found in the vegetable and fruit sections, and simply keep away from the middle aisles where all processed foods are located.
I'm opting to turn these numbers around for America...because well it's kind of embarrassing to say the least that we Americans are getting a reputation for not being smart enough to stay healthy when all it takes is a little mindfulness. 


Monday, October 18, 2010

Did I See Dead People?

There are some things that cannot be explained, reasoned out, or rationalized.  Well, maybe so but after yesterday's occurrence I'm still trying to figure out how things happened in the way they happened, and I still can't figure it out.  Especially since someone who was with me and is quite logical, rational, and practical is having the same difficulty, i.e. coming up with an explanation that  makes perfect sense.

My friend and I took a nice drive through the Connecticut countryside, specifically toward Bethlehem, Connecticut.  I wanted to visit a place called The Abbey of Regina Laudis, which is located in that town.  I wanted to show my friend this place knowing how he enjoys places with a lot of history, and also that he enjoys anything that falls within a spiritual context.

The Abbey of Reginas Laudis is not difficult to find....take Route 6 then Route 61, then a left off that road and in less than five minutes down that particular road take another left and you're there. 

For more information and background on this location just CLICK HERE

We drove up into the parking lot which is on top of a hill.  We exited the car, with my PeekaPoo on her leash we began to walk down the hill toward the chapel.  I had been here before many years ago and wanted my friend to see this chapel which when one enters takes you back into another time period.  

We were only a few feet from the car when we saw three people coming up the hill; two women and a young girl and they were walking toward what we presumed was their car to leave.  

They smiled at us and at my dog.  There was something about the little girl who could have been no more than ten or eleven that caught my attention.  She did not look well.  On one wrist she wore a bracelet but it looked like the kind of bracelet patients wear when admitted for hospital care.  Also, there was a very dark black and blue mark around her left eye.  She smiled at my dog but raised her hands in the air ensuring she would not touch her.

We said hello to them and then proceeded down the hill, and into the foyer of the chapel where we stayed no more then ten seconds, then proceeded through an opened doorway leading into the chapel area. 

As soon as we entered I noticed three people sitting in the front seats.   I held my dog tightly in my arms, and I sat two or three rows in back of them.   

The middle one turned and I recognized her as the young girl, and then recognized the two older women, the same people who moments before we had greeted in the parking lot at the top of the hill.   

To myself I said how did they get here so fast, in fact how did they get ahead of us?  It appeared they had been sitting there awhile because they immediately got up and left.  

We left as well and once outside did not see them anywhere on the grounds, as if they had vanished into thin air. 

At this point I did not make any comments about what I had seen.  It was when my friend made comments about them that it reinforced inside my own mind that what I had processed, which was their presence inside the chapel when seconds before we saw them heading for their car that this wasn't any figment of my imagination.

Believe me we tried to come up with a sane explanation for this whole occurrence, yet neither one of us ever said outright that this might be something that can't be explained away. 

I sit here now as I blog about this and am still trying to resolve inside my mind how these three people had ended up in the chapel before us.  

First, they were headed in the opposite direction, second, they did not follow behind us down the road toward the chapel, and third when we left the chapel we saw no car leave unless there was another exit.   

All quite confusing, as well as curious, and makes me wonder if perhaps I had  seen "dead people."

And of course with a writer's mind I immediately come up with a 'behind the scenes' scenario of what really might have occurred.

The young girl was in the hospital, and had died, and had been greeted by two of her relatives, perhaps her mother and an aunt, or a grandmother and an aunt, both who had passed on and now were showing her soul its way back home. 

En route they decided to stop at The Abbey of Regina Laudis, and what better place for a soul to rest its "weary soul"? 

I'd like to think the scenario has some relevance.  I'd like to think that at times we the living may be privy enough to learn about what occurs on the "other side," or what is in store for us in the hereafter.  Oh yes, I will be going to see Clint Eastwood's new movie,  The Hereafter!

My late husband, my parents, my in-laws,  and all my aunts and uncles have passed on so I'm thinking how nice it can be that I will get a chance to see some if not all of them again. 

And when I do I may just suggest to them as we hopefully make our way back through the pearly gates, let's stop and rest a bit at a place called The Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut.

I think they would all enjoy that visit. 

I know I would.  

Monday, October 4, 2010

Anorher Cold Rainy Day

I have plenty to do but you get to a point you don't know where to start.  First, I need to get my summer clothes into storage, bring out the winter ones.  I know once I get started it'll be okay.  Inertia is the problem.  Or the fact that when I stop to do these things, I'm not productive with my writing.  And if I'm not productive, then there's no monies coming in from that source of income.  I did have a small income from selling books on but that whole system was put out of commission through life circumstances and I'm sure has removed all the books by now.  If I want to do that again, it means going through all the boxes and listing the books and assigning numbers...which took me six months to do in  the place.  Something I no longer have the inclination to do now.

This is probably one reason I decided to have a glass of wine, something I don't normally do when I'm alone.  Wine is for enjoying with others.

If there was a dance tonight, I'd probably go to that only because once I'm on the dance floor I don't have to think about anything other than the music or where my feet are going.  Needless to say I take every opportunity to go dancing, so much better than popping anti-depressants, which for me any my circumstances is not the way to go. 

While driving back from my chiropractor today I suddenly had the feeling of becoming uprooted and not knowing exactly who I was or where I was going.  This sense of disorientation went along with  my morning.  Upon awakening I felt a lot of angst that actually radiated outward to my feet and hands.  The only remedy I found for this was to tighten my body which  helped to dispel these feelings.

Once I'm up I usually busy myself with getting breakfast, doing wash, taking my dog for her walk except today it was cold and rainy and I'm not such a diehard that I can do this especially when my body always remind now how old I am and how old I'm getting. 

One really does have to be in the right frame of mind to be productive I think.  I wish I could do like others simply sit here and create my stories.  Except right now I have my own story that keeps swirling inside my brain and I'm not sure the best way to tell it.

I finished typing in 62 letters written by my mom to my dad starting in 1937 through 1943 possibly 1944.  Most were during 1943.  As I read the letters the slow realization of what happened during those months while my dad served in the Army is now eating at me in a way that I'm not sure what to do with this information.   They've both passed on and there is really no one to ask.  All those mentioned in these letters have also passed on and all I can do now is to make up my own conclusions to why mom was the way she was.

Talk about unlucky stars!  She refers to her "unlucky state of being" quite often in these letters.  Knowing what I do know about her I'd have to say she was right on the money.  Born into a family of 10 plus, orphaned at the age of 4, living inside an orphanage until age 16 she met my dad and married him in 1938 at the age of 23.  Five years later he's off to war, then returns in 1945, and I and my sister are born in 1946.

From these letters my father was discharged based on some medical problems but I think also because he felt my mother could not live without him.  All of her letters reflect this, each letter expressing her downhill slide into a debilitating depression that would peak after my birth. 

At four years old in a way I lost my mother to this a debilitating mental illness known as depression.  One day she disappeared for a while where she underwent the type of psychiatric treatment that in today's psyche world might be regarded as barbaric at best, i.e. the electric shock treatment. 

My mom it seems through these letters was determined and made it her purpose to let the draft board as well as whoever else could help my dad get a discharge know she would have a nervous breakdown if my dad did not come home soon   She actually stopped eating, stopped going out, stopping living. 

It worked.

Except she in fact ended up having that  nervous breakdown brought on by the stress of going through what she needed to do to convince them all so that my dad could get his discharge.

In her letters she could not sleep.    I still remember her telling me one night she had sat up all night looking out at the night sky, unable to sleep.  I was twenty at the time. 

She never freed herself from that depression that would dwell within her up until the day she died in 2003 at the age of 86.

So now I'm not sure what to do with these letters.  I will put them into a book, for they do tell a lot about my dad, my aunts, uncles, cousins, and how life was for them during those difficult times. 

I now am going to go through my dad's letters to my mom which total over a hundred.

Their lives were greatly disrupted by the men of that time being called to serve, asked to make asacrifice; a sacrifice that ensured today we aren'tnot speaking another language and that we live in this country in relative peace and harmony.

Except I now often wonder what kind of person my mom would have become if (1) the flu epidemic hadn't killed my maternal grandfather, and tuberculosis hadn't killed my maternal grandmother, and (2) if the war hadn't taken my dad. 

I'll never know of course. 

Oh yeah, I did discover that at some point I had a stepgrandmother on my father's side.  I have no idea who that was.  Some day I may find out.  Unfortunately, the brothers and sisters on both side feuded quite a bit especially as they became old, ending up most of them not speaking to each other.  The cousins scattered.  No real connection was ever maintained.

Probably another reason why after reading these letters I feel quite uprooted and scattered myself.   When I became a widow most of those I had any connection with, those  connections disappeared as well.  I think as we age we find we have neither the energy, the inclination, nor the strength to re-connect to those who once made up our pasts.

Okay, I finished my wine and now I'll go watch Dancing with the Stars!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Rain Rain Go Away!

It goes without saying that I know we need this rain, but c'mon!   Enough is enough.  I need the sun!  Yes, I could take my dog for her walk in the rain, but somehow coming back home with a wet dog is not what I look forward to doing.  

Plus cloudy days cloud up my mind and starts to remind me of the colder months coming, and even colder ones where I will be somewhat housebound because of the weather. 

Maybe, just maybe I need to start thinking about what I should do at this point...stay here in CT where we are never bored by a weather than can affect our moods to the point where we don't know if we're coming or going.  Or move to a warm rather stable environment where I know I can go out 90% of the time and get my required amount of Vitamin D.  Hey, I'm in that age group where bones are actually affected by what I do, what I eat, and even probably how I think. 

I do need to make my way out there today despite the rain, and at least it will get me out and away from these four walls that seem to close inch by inch. 

It's true we can do nothing about the weather, but we can do something about where we experience that weather.  
Mmmm, this morning the Today Show showed sunny (90% of the time if not more) Arizona, specifically Lake Havisu where one can actually cross over the London Bridge.   I remember that area while visiting my son while he lived out there and one of the things I will always was sunny 99% of the time, in fact while I was there 100% of the time. 

I remember all the RV's making their way out that way and thought to myself....someday....someday I'm going to do just that.  

And today is one of those days where that vision becomes clearer and more focused in my mind.  

Lake Havisu....someday I come!