Thursday, September 12, 2019

So....I had to quit the job cutting vegetables at Albertson's, because of the arthritis. even though I was only working 5 hrs a day, it was really hard on my hands, my feet and lower back. 

I was kind of bummed to have to quit because I liked working in the back and especially happy that I wasn't working in the bakery!! Oh my goodness! That would have been a challenge for sure! At least I could snack on healthy stuff! :)
A few months after I left, the store was closed and all the employees were spread out to other spots. I hated to see it also because it was the closest place to run in and pick up whatever you needed. 

In September of 2017, I went to work on the weekends only, at Legend Oaks Rehabilitation & Healthcare facility, rightaround the corner from where I live. They didn't have anyone to do activities with the residents on Saturday and Sunday and since my other job was to drive the grandkids to school and pick them up during the week, the weekend was just what I wanted! 

This has almost changed my life! Honestly, I have such an awareness now of what the aged are going through. I've learned about dementia and alzheimers and about trying to help the elderly live with dignity and respect. I was hired to do activities on the weekend so we had Bingo, fun exercises, Spa Day, worship services, visits from comfort dogs, and music entertainment. Here's a collage of some of my favorite times and people! 

After two years of walking 2-4 miles a day at work and pushing 10-15 wheelchairs back and forth to activities or out to the patio for some fresh air and chit chat, I noticed that I was having back spasms that came from limping because of pain in my foot. I also had a burning sensation in my left elbow, so after a visit with several doctors, I found out I had a fractured toe, inflamed Achilles and plantar fasciitis on my right foot and tennis elbow on my left arm! I was off work for a month and it finally became clear to me that I wouldn't be able to return to work there because I would most surely just injure the same places. 

So now I'm caught up and the latest news is that I am moving back to Michigan in mid-October and will be able to "grow up" with my youngest grandchild (for now), who is 6! 

For those who have been following me on Facebook, there are plenty of posts of my kids and the latest of my two grandsons here in TX in 2012 and 2019. :) 

At my age now (71), it's time to find a place to settle down. I need to be near the kids and I guess I've seen what's to come in another 15-20 yrs., but I can't help but think about a cabin in the woods (with wifi, of course), wild animals strolling by and beautiful scenery to take photos of! Of course, I'll make do with what I have and enjoy being able to share with all of you! 

Leave your comments below...about anything I've written or about something in your life you want to talk about. I love hearing from you! ♥

If you thought 2 years was a long time between posts....

How about 3 years? Oh my goodness...I swear it's not Alzheimers! I've learned a lot about that topic since working at a nursing home for the past two years and will be hitting on the topic seriously in the next few posts.

What has happened in the last 3 years? Well, I've gotten older for one thing! I've entered my 70's for another thing! I'm now 71 1/2 years old!! And please don't try to trick me and say I'm 71 1/2 years young. That does not make me feel younger!! LOL!  I'll tell you what makes me feel younger...working in a nursing home! Now that I've mentioned it twice, I will catch you up on all that later, but first I will go back and catch you up from where I left off in 2016 (the last post).

I've had 3 new jobs since I last posted and I have to say, they've all been quite interesting, part-time, but every little bit helps, right? The first one was a crossing guard at a middle school. I had the best time making the kids smile in the morning as they were trudging to school and then seeing their bounding joy as they came the other way in the afternoon! LOL! 

I had to give that job up at the end of the year since I would be  driving my own grandkids to totally different school, so when I said my last goodbyes, the kids gave me hugs and we took pictures to remember each other by. :) It was a joy and I would recommend this job to anyone who wants a fun job!

My next job was at Albertson's grocery store and I actually started it while I was doing the crossing guard job since I could work inbetween the school hours. I worked in the produce dept. cutting up vegetables for the "take out" section. Not exactly sure what they called it. Here's pictures to explain. The first is my uniform, next is my work station and the result.
I've got to show you something else I did at Albertson's...making coleslaw! Oh my goodness! I never saw so much coleslaw in my life! LOL! Same with guacamole!!  

NOTE: i was trying to post more after the picture of the guacamole, but having trouble so I will post this now and come back to it after I get some help! :)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

It's been a long 2 years!

February 2016
I can't even begin to explain why I haven't posted on my blog since 2014. I'll probably just start writing and see where I end up! I will say that I never DID get to the gym like I was talking about in that last post! LOL As I read back over the last few years, I realized that a lot has changed from my original plans, my health, my job and of course, my jeans size!

Let's start with my original plans....I moved to Tx in 2012 with the intent to get an apartment of my own and be available to do things with my 3 grandkids here. I was on a waiting list for the most perfect place for over a year when I had such a bad flare-up of psoriatic arthritis, that I could barely do anything for myself. It took several months of trying different medications and different doses and combinations, and it was a blessing that I WASN'T living by myself! By the time it was under control, my Son and DIL convinced me to continue living here with them and that's where I am today. They have been searching for just the right house for their family and one requirement is a MIL apartment or suite. :)
2 years of this before finding a solution

My I mentioned, the main problem was the arthritis and it's never going to go away so with the help of my rheumatologist, I'm managing it pretty well.  Fortunately, the shots that help the arthritis also keep the psoriasis under control. That was a huge shocker back in 2005 when I first noticed that my scalp was itching and flaking, then my legs and back started getting really bad. Only about 10% of people with psoriasis get the arthritis too. No one else in my family has had this, unless it was in the past. In the middle of these afflictions, I was also diagnosed with Type2 diabetes so I had to change my eating habits and exercise to control my blood sugar.

My job....for 18 years my job was creating Minnie Pauz, which became my sole source of income. When I moved to TX and had the flare up of arthritis, it really hit my motivation hard and crushed my physical ability for a long time. I became depressed and just couldn't keep up with the website, newsletters and emails. Then my hard drive crashed and I lost all my editing programs and couldn't grasp the idea of starting all over. Since I couldn't get back to doing the mental work on the website, etc., I went to work as a server at McAlister's Deli!

First time I had done work outside the home in over 20 years and you know what? It helped me out of my slump! It was great to be communicating with customers in person and I realized my wonderful personality and sense of humor were still intact!! The only problem I couldn't handle the physical part! I was on my feet for 4-5 hrs. at a time, carrying heavy plates and lifting heavy chairs (like highchairs). As of March 2015 I was hired by my son's company to do part time administrative work at home, on the computer. :) I've decided to see if there's any interest in someone buying Minnie Pauz as an addition to their thriving healthcare projects. In case someone reading this is interested, contact me @

Regarding my jeans size....well, let's just say the sizes run a very wide gamut! Since 2010, when I was diagnosed with diabetes, until today, I have such a variety of clothes that change sometimes daily. What's with that??? :) I will say that in 2014 I got down to my smallest size in a long, long time and I'm not even sure how I did it!! It might have been when I was sick, so I guess I won't try that again! I'm up a few pounds now, but I'm finally getting back to walking every day so that helps me feel like I'm in control again.

So I feel like I caught you up on the last two years! Hope there are a few of you who are still following my blog. I would love to hear how YOU are doing! I've always enjoyed the interaction I've had with women I related to. Some of you were just starting to have symptoms of menopause when we first connected and now....well, my 41 yr. old daughter is having hot flashes! So let me know if you're still here! I've missed you!   Dee

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Learning to love exercise....NOT!

This is one of the first cartoons I did (maybe 20 yrs ago?) and it is still SO relevant! I still feel so resentful about HAVING to exercise! I wish it was involuntary like some of the other bodily functions that we have no control over! For instance, what if we were a few pounds over and our body forced us to head for the gym or our personal workout space just like we are forced to head to the bathroom when we have to pee? 

As I get older I become even more resistant to all the "advice" that comes flying at me via the tv, radio and, of course, the internet, but at the same time I realize that there are gems of information that I can use to benefit my health. Sifting through all of it and trying to determine what is valid and effective can give you a real headache! That's why I try to pull out bits of articles for you each month in my newsletter.

Just like all the "health food" and supplement tips....if you don't take the time to read the small print you're possibly wasting your time and money. You each have your own health radar that tells you when something sounds legitimate. You've also had experience with what works for YOUR body and I believe we are all becoming more self-educated which is to our ultimate benefit.  

As many of you know, I found walking to be the perfect exercise for me about 4 years ago, but it took literally one month of forcing myself out the door each morning before I started seeing the benefits. Even when I did notice that I was losing weight, could breathe easier and my back didn't hurt as much,  I still needed extra motivation to keep doing it. 

That's when I started taking my camera on my walks which provided a much needed distraction to what I consider very boring exercise! I know not everyone has a beautiful path to walk, but even everyday scenes and objects can become something special when you zoom in on it or catch it at the right time of day.  

Anyway, I'm getting off topic (which is what happens to me when I talk about photography). My point is that it's not easy to get healthy or stay healthy before, during and after menopause, so we have to keep talking, keep trying, keep searching for what works. I am a prime example of what happens if you don't pay attention to your health until AFTER it starts going downhill. It's so much harder to recover and you're more susceptible to illness than if you can "nip it in the bud" and take precautions like eating healthy (for YOU) and exercising regularly (at YOUR pace, with YOUR routine).  

Monday, August 05, 2013

The best shoes EVER and other favorite things!

For several months I have been having trouble with my feet because of a flare up of psoriatic arthritis, which causes not only very painful joints (of the toes), but also swelling. There's another element also and that is anything that touches the top of my feet is also very painful. I know, it makes you wonder how in the world a person could put anything on their feet, right? 

I was trying to deal with that same question until I found the perfect shoes! The only shoes I could wear up to this point were flipflops that had soft straps...nothing rough or rigid. Fortunately, I had several pairs of Wave Zone flipflops that I had purchased at Meijer's in Michigan, but they didn't give me the kind of support I needed. I was also considering these NorthFace flipflops, but I really needed more support and coverage.

So what are my perfect shoes (for now)? Skecher's GoWalk are so flexible and have the support I need, yet
so much easier to get on and off than my Nike walking shoes. Since I also have the arthritis in my fingers, I have trouble even tying the others. 
The GoWalk shoe is a slip on and so lightweight! They're also machine washable! I was excited about all the colors too, but unfortunately, the day I bought mine at JCPenny's, all they had was black. That's ok for now since they are saving me from a lot of pain! That makes it perfect for me!

As for another of my favorite things....that would be any Gloria Vanderbilt pants or jeans! OMG, I've never found anything with so many styles, so much comfort and wonderful fit! Whether it's jeans (in a variety of colors), capris or casual, lightweight pants, they fit better around this middle-aged bulge without the legs being so huge that two people could be wearing them! :) It was a joyous day when I got my first pair of button up, zip up jeans after YEARS of wearing only elastic waist pants! VG does make what are called "comfort waist" pants, as well as the "slimming" variety!

Here's the other good thing, you can find them online or at nearly every store you want! Kohl's, Bealls, Sears, etc. Just type in Gloria Vanderbilt pants into any search engine. The prices are great too!

As we get older, I'm finding that our needs change so much regarding our clothing and shoes, so I wanted to let you in on some of the great solutions I've found! Let me know if there's something you love and would like to share!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I finally joined a gym!

Are they even called "gyms" anymore? Ok, how about workout center? 
Fitness place? I don't know what they're called, but I do know that even a free membership is not enough incentive for me to start going, but I'm trying...I swear! Even went and bought 3 outfits to wear then ended up taking them back because I didn't want to look too "cutesy"! I figured I've got enough things to wear and I probably won't be there long enough to even get sweaty! LOL!

Since I got the (1) free membership (Silver Sneakers) with Medicare and since the orthopedic doc said (2) I should get some physical therapy for my knee that doesn't involve walking, and since it's (3) so freakin' hot here in Texas, I figured there's no time like the present!

Before I registered at 24HR Fitness (so I could choose odd hours where no one would see me struggling with the equipment or going into the pool), I bought a bike (since the doc said he's rather I bike than walk).

It was really a CUTE bike, but unlike the old saying "you never forget....", I will have to differ! Well, you don't forget, but you know about muscle memory, right? Mine didn't remember how to stay balanced! Just like everything else at this time of life--out of balance! 

Yes, that is my son holding the seat of my bike just like I did for him when he was 5!
So, I will let you know when (and if) I make my first journey to use the gym. I just know at 65 I've lost some muscle strength after having my walking routine interrupted for 5 months, so I really need to quit acting like a 5 year old and do it for the, for my health, I guess! :) 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Am I really on Medicare???

It's been 7 months since I moved to Texas and posted here. Why has it been so long? Well, I was promising myself to make at least one post a month, but after a quick "note" in February (about side effects of another drug for menopausal women), I woke up in the middle of the night with searing pain in my left knee. Seriously, I thought someone was cutting off my leg or something! How do you injure yourself while sleeping???

About an hour later I could finally stand up, but the pain was still excruciating and to make a  long story shorter, I spent the next 3 months limping, not knowing what was wrong with my knee (which was swollen too) and then having that injury make the arthritis flare up in my TOES of all places! That made it even more difficult to walk and to go up and down the stairs. I couldn't do my daily walks, which was very disturbing after walking nearly every day for 3 1/2 years to keep my weight and blood sugar under control.

But now I've been on medication for a week that has halted the arthritis pain, plus the knee pretty much healed itself. That was a relief after I had an MRI to make sure there was no injury that would require surgery. I've walked three days in a row now and am feeling so much better, so I thought I would attempt to do a little writing that doesn't involve a lot of whining! That's pretty much what I was doing for several months!

In the meantime....I had a birthday in April, finally hit 65 and still find it hard to believe!The kids took me out to a Japanese Steakhouse (my first time) and yummm was it good! 

Everytime I pull out that Medicare card (which has been quite often lately), I have to relive it over and over....I am 65 years old! :) I know, many of you say 65 years "young", but hey.....whatever! I keep thinking, based on my family history, I've probably got another 30-33 years left in me and I am trying very hard to stay healthy. It's hard because the older you get, the more things start falling apart!

I've been doing a lot of backyard birdwatching and practicing with the camera I got for my birthday. Still don't see the variety of birds that I saw in Michigan, but I still love trying to capture some great moments like this one of a White Winged Dove and others at the feeder: 
I'm also happy to be able to get outside and take pictures, although I have to get out there around 7:30 am before it starts heating up. Yesterday I met a gentleman who is 79 who also was getting back to walking and it reaffirmed that it's never too late to pick yourself up and start over. :) So, I will leave you with a few of my photos from this morning's walk and will promise AGAIN to try to post more often here and share my journey into the aging process. Maybe I should change the title of my blog to "From middle-age to seniorhood and all that inbetween stuff"! 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

If the side effects are worse than the problem.....

Federal regulators today approved a new drug to treat women experiencing pain during sex from menopause-related symptoms. The drug, called Osphena, is by Shionogi Inc., a Japanese pharmaceutical company whose U.S. headquarters is in Florham Park.

Osphena treats a condition known as dyspareunia, which is associated with declining levels of estrogen hormones during menopause, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said today in announcing its decision.

Less estrogen can make vaginal tissues thinner, drier and more fragile, resulting in pain during sexual intercourse. It is among the problems most frequently reported by postmenopausal women, said Victoria Kusiak, deputy director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Common side effects reported during clinical trials include hot flashes, vaginal discharge, muscle spasms and excessive sweating, the FDA said.

Osphena will also come with a boxed warning alerting women and doctors that the drug may cause the uterus lining to thicken, which is not normal for postmenopausal women. The warning will also include the drug’s low risks of causing stroke and deep vein thrombosis.