Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Saying goodbye...

I want to send prayers and good wishes to everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy! So many tragic stories and loss of life from Mother Nature's fury! It will take a long time to get back to normal so whatever we can do individually will help in the long run. I've read that the best contributions are money and blood. I would suggest donations of either go to the Red Cross where they are able to manage it best in times like this and you can be sure your donations will go to the right place.

Visiting the Tx kids Jan 2012
My next request will be for your prayers for my move to Texas at the end of November! After 16 1/2 years here in Michigan watching my 3 oldest Grandkids grow into beautiful teenagers, I feel the need to live closer to my youngest Grandkids and give them some memories of having family nearby. 

The older ones all spent nights at Grandma's and I was at most of their baseball games, soccer, volleyball and wrestling matches, which sometimes made for some hectic weekends trying to make it to all the games! The younger ones (Claudia 10, Kaz 7, Jude 6) have been living in TX for almost 5 1/2 years with only visits from relatives, so I decided to make the move! 

Heading out for Tye's b-ball game
I'm really going to miss my "big kids", (Tye 17, Bailey 14, Zach 13) but I hope to make it back to Michigan for the important milestones like Tye's High School graduation in May! Thank goodness I have photos of all the good times we've had over the past 16 years! 

Thank goodness for Facebook and Skype! I've been able to stay in close touch with TX this way and now will do the same with MI. I've got pictures of each of the older kids learning to use the computer at my house and now they are way more advanced than I am! I will also look forward to visits from them in the future!

Bailey--1st Homecoming Dance
I'm also going to miss my daughter and son-in-law (who got married this past April) and my middle son (father to the two handsome boys above)! I'll be missing my friends I've made in Michigan too, but again, the computer will keep us connected as it has helped me re-connect with even MORE friends from so many years ago!

It's kind of overwhelming to pick up and move at my age (64), but most of my life was spent moving from place to place and country to country, so I know I will adjust after it's all over with! You can get really comfortable with all your memories (and junk) around you after 16 years and it gets harder to just "pick up and go" like I used to! 

The apartment I want is not available yet, so I will be living with my Son and Daughter-in-law for a few months. After living alone for ....hmmmm....sooooo long, that will also be something to adjust to. I just read an article in the AARP Bulletin about a parent moving in with their adult child and it had some good tips for discussing certain things from the beginning (like not getting involved or interfering with the way they run their family or finances).

Couldn't have been closer to nature on the trail!
 I'll be making new friends and finding   new places to walk and take photos. Hope to find some avid bird watchers too! :) I will miss my Pollyann Trail here in MI, where I've walked daily for over two years. Nothing like having the beauty of nature and wildlife right across the street, but I look at it as another blessing I've had in my life! I've so enjoyed sharing the photos with everyone and have been inspired by the comments and praise.

 Discovering that trail did more for me than just providing the wonderful photo opportunities though. When I found out I had diabetes, I made up my mind that I was going to walk every day rain or shine to help myself lose weight and keep my blood sugar down. I don't know if I could have kept it up for 2½ yrs. if I hadn't had such a convenient, gorgeous place to walk I don't know if I would have gotten out there every day (eventually 2 times a day)! 

I'm just hoping I can maintain my very healthy habit of walking even if I have to drive to a place to walk. I've been researching a few places and have found that Bear Creek Park is only a few miles from where I'll be living, so now I'm looking forward to sharing new scenes with all of you.

Of course it's great that my business is online so I can take it anywhere without much disruption! That has been another blessing in my life. I started Minnie Pauz over 18 yrs. ago and she has been not only a source of income, but a way to express my feelings and to help other women laugh their way through a very trying time in life. And now I'm hoping to do the same with all the baby boomers who are past all the menopause stuff and on to bigger and OLDER problems! LOL! I am working on developing a site for the "After Pauz" bunch, but for now I have this page for you.

I would love to hear comments and advice from any of you who have gone through a "restart" at this stage in life! I thank you all for your support so far and hope to hear from you as I make my way from wintery Michigan to not so wintery Texas! :) Love, Dee

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

(from my newsletter this month)

In case you're wondering which Minnie Pauz cartoons are the most popular, this seems to be one of them! It's the most "Liked" and most "Shared" on Facebook this week.  I'm pretty sure it's because it's so relatable to almost all of us. One of the most common symptoms of peri-menopause, menopause and post-menopause is that we feel like we've lost (or are losing) our minds. Nothing seems to work like it used to and everything seems out of place. We can't find things and that's because we put things in strange places and when things are not where we've always found them....we feel like we're going crazy! Of course that brings to mind this cartoon (another very popular one).

 I'm wondering if YOUR favorite cartoon has a lot to do with which symptom has given you the most trouble? I've had women tell me that being able to have a good laugh about something they relate to has helped them get through it easier, but I've also had a FEW women that must have been suffering so terribly that they could find nothing funny in any of the cartoons. I think it has something to do with how each of us handle ANY problems in life and, for me personally, humor is my "bridge over troubled waters".

Is there something that helps you get through the rough times other than humor? I'd love to hear from you on this subject!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Middle-aged/Senior Gardening?

I've always WANTED to have a garden, but never wanted to do the work! Or if I was in the mood to do the work, I was living someplace where I couldn't put in a garden. I remember being impressed at my sister's garden many years ago when I visited her farm in IL. and it's always been one of those little nagging "bucket list" things (like learning to play the piano) that, at 64, I'm wondering if I'll ever do.

I still don't live in a place where I could put a traditional garden. The most I've been able to accomplish is buying a potted lily and digging a hole to put it in. My daughter helped me plant a Peony bush several years ago and I've managed to keep it alive. This year the weather was very weird--warm very early, then a hard frost after things were blooming--so it wasn't as great as last year. I still enjoyed the wonderful fragrance that only a Peony can give (just my opinion). I favor it over roses and even the lovely carnations that always take me back (mentally) to my first dance and corsage! Since this was the year of the Puny Peony in MY yard, I took a photo of someone else's beautiful specimen! I'm sure they wouldn't mind since I'm not providing any identifying information with it! LOL....this is why I always carry my camera! The one on the left was mine in 2011 and the one on the right is the way I WISH mine looked this year!

So...I've actually got a point that relates to the title of this blog...I have come across something that I think would be great for us older gardeners, well really ANY age, but especially anyone with bad knees or a bad back. It's called straw bale gardening and you could literally have a garden on a balcony or a deck with just a bale of straw, a little bit of potting soil and some seeds. I've found a very good site for beginners and experts to ask questions and share information and I think you'll find it as interesting as I have. The first part is reading but there are pages and pages of photos showing you all kinds of techniques and tips. I love the idea of not having to dig or weed or get down on the ground (sometimes it's hard to get back up!!). And it's just so NEAT looking! So let me know what you think and if you're a gardener at heart, like me or a REAL gardener!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Middle-aged or Senior?

It's another hot one today and at this point, I'm glad I'm in Michigan instead of my home state of Missouri or any of the other states where this heat wave is causing all the crops to burn up! It's only supposed to reach 97° in my area today. I can definitely tell the difference in how the heat affects me these days....I don't tolerate it well at all. I literally start swelling up like a blowfish as soon as the temperature creeps up to about 80° and it's already 89° at 11:50 am. 

I walked at 7:00 am today to make sure I got it done before the sun started beating down. Also went to the store to make sure I had a bag of ice and some nuts to snack on. 

I remember when I never even thought of seeing what the forecast was going to be and now I do it every day! With the internet, I can see what the weather is like anywhere in the world! Isn't that exciting? All of a sudden, in my head, I hear the phrase "all old people talk about is the weather and their aches and pains"! Uh oh....this is 3 paragraphs long and all I've talked about is the temperature, and I haven't even started on my aches and pains! LOL! 

The worst part is going to be going out in the heat to watch my Grandson's baseball game this evening! His team is in first place and I thoroughly enjoy watching him play. He pitches and catches and can play any position on the field! I'll definitely be taking an umbrella to block the sun. Thank goodness things will be cooling off by the weekend when they will be playing the league tournament...that could mean at least 3 games!

So, to answer my own question in the title of this blog, I think it's happened! I think I've ever so slightly creeped out of the middle-aged category and into the....wait for, I can't say it! Ok, let's do it this way.... I'm a baby-boomer, right? How about we call this the "Boomier" years (pronounced like junior)?  Oh yeah, I like that!! What are your thoughts?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Can walking solve all your problems?

Probably not, but this activity has a LOT to offer! For a 64 yr. old woman who's been walking nearly every day for 2½ years, I've got the tightest buns you could ask for! LOL! Of course, I was blessed with beautiful bum genes to begin with, but with everything else falling, dropping, collapsing and hanging, I am happy to announce that walking has given me buns of, well if not steel at least semi-hard rubber? A mostly inflated basketball? You be the judge! LOL! 

As for the other benefits of my daily walks they are: 

Physical....I don't know how I lived so many years without walking, but even though I was very sedentary and very overweight, I could not get myself out there on a regular basis. And when I did, it was maybe 10 minutes because my back hurt so much and I was out of breath very quickly. I was in the process of trying to get in the habit of walking every day when I found out I had diabetes. I didn't need any further motivation. 

At that point I was going to walk! As most of you who follow this blog know, I lost 53 lbs in less than a year and walking (along with eating a low carb diet) has become a daily habit. I was scared NOT to walk after reading up on diabetes, so I used the time to work my stomach muscles and clench my butt muscles with each step. Eventually, I could actually see and feel an improvement.

Other physical benefits have been to help with my arthritis and increasing my bone density, improving my breathing, lowering my blood pressure and by losing weight, my knees don't hurt anymore!

Emotionally.....When I reached day 30 of walking, I can't tell you how proud I was of myself! I almost couldn't believe it and by that day I was walking a whole MILE! Remember, I was 61 yrs old when I finally started doing something for my health.  I felt shameful during the years before when I KNEW I had to do something, but couldn't stick to any kind of routine or get out of my rut. It sounds crazy, but getting diabetes probably saved my life.

I can start out in the morning in a very poor mood, even feeling depressed, and once I've got my walking shoes on and I'm out the door, I feel better about myself and about the world we live in! I've read that..... "Walking 30 minutes a day boosted the moods in depressed patients faster than antidepressants research by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found. Walking releases endorphins increasing your mood and decreasing pain."

Spiritual.... there's something about nature that calms me and reassures me that I'm not all alone with my problems. Even if you don't have a beautiful place to walk (like I do),
 there's still the beauty of the sky, the trees, even the air around you can bring on a feeling of peace and serenity. That's how I felt in CA the few times I was there and I've never forgotten it.

Fortunately, I live right across the street from a nature trail so I've been able to see and hear a variety of wildlife on my walks. The anticipation of getting a glimpse of any of God's creatures has given me the motivation to get out there very early in the mornings when it is especially quiet and peaceful. Perfect time to pray and I've done plenty of that in the last 2 years.

Social..... I had become a bit of a recluse in the past 18 years. Not a TRUE recluse, but just not getting out to meet new people. I've spent all my time working on the computer and going to my grandkids' sports events, so with all the people who also use the trail for exercise and enjoyment, I've been forced to be a bit more social! I would say it has brought me out of my shell and it's nice to get to know people by name, stop and chat a little and pet their dogs. :)  

So I guess I wouldn't expect for walking to solve all my problems, but it sure gives me plenty of reasons to keep on doing it! And the #1 reason I will keep on doing it? Taking pictures! :)  AND to keep my butt in shape!

Other resources for walking:

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Are supplements safe?

Is anyone else confused about all the different "natural" supplements we are prodded to take as we try to eliminate taking drugs for every ailment under the sun? I started out by saying, "wow, I have to try that! and that....and that, etc." Then you start hearing that the supplements you bought "may not have all the benefits you had hoped for" due to many brands that don't use the part of the plant that has the helpful ingredients. Huh? Now we have to become detectives, scientists and naturopaths to just be as healthy as possible?

Even Dr. Oz's recommendations have become confusing. He gives SO many solutions for our health problems, that it's hard to keep track of what helps and what we need to avoid. My head is usually swimming by the end of his show! LOL! I do give him credit for bringing experts (ie: Dr. Mercola and Dr. Weil) with different viewpoints on to the show and having open discussions about controversial topics.

What are the most common natural supplements for menopause? According to WebMD they are the following (with a brief description of what to take them for and any cautions* you should observe: 
  • Black Cohosh
  • Flaxseed
  • Calcium
  • Red Clover
  • Vitamin D
  • Wild Yam
  • Ginseng
  • St. John's Wort
  • DHEA
  • Dong Quai
  • Soy
******Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any supplements you take. Remember: All supplements have potential side effects.
Supplements and herbs may interact with some medicines you take. They could boost or negate a medicine's effect. Or the interaction could cause other problems. Some herbs can cause allergic reactions.

Take a look at this page from the Office of Dietary Supplements for some very good general information

Monday, February 20, 2012

Put menopausal women back on medication!!

Jeez, I wonder what industry is behind THIS? 

"DENVER, Colo. – Memory lapses and changes in mental functions occur naturally as we get older. But for many women going through menopause, these memory lapses occur more frequently.
A recent report offers hope for women suffering with these symptoms. In a study published in Menopause, Feb. 2011, researchers at University of Pennsylvania found that atomoxetine (brand name Strattera), a medication for attention deficit disorder, may restore organizational skills and reduce memory difficulties in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women."

Now that so many women have chosen to go through menopause naturally (or on compounded hormone therapy), the drug companies have to find a way to get us hooked again like before the WHI study. A survey shows 58% of women stopped taking HRT after the results of a major trial were published in 2002.

This sounds like an afterthought to me....

Strattera was originally intended to be a new antidepressant drug; however, in clinical trials, no such benefits could be proven. Since norepinephrine is believed to play a role in ADHD, Strattera was tested – and subsequently approved – as an ADHD treatment.

Ok, let's find some way to use it to help all those confused and frustrated menopausal women!
I've got steam coming out of my ears, Ladies!! Did you see the possible side effects? Granted, every medication has a sometimes scary list of side effects, but usually it's not the very problem you're trying to eliminate by taking the medication! Do any of these side effects sound like your typical menopause symptoms?

  • dry mouth
  • tiredness
  • irritability
  • dizziness
  • sweating
  • decreased libido
  • increased obsessive behavior (that is the LAST thing we need)
  • weight changes
  • palpitations
Then the best of all...this would really make me want to take it to help with normal menopausal brain fog:

Occasionally after prolonged use some patients have experienced slow onset mild depression, tiredness and forgetfulness while using Strattera. There were also reports of this medicine causing indications of short-term memory loss from some patients

AND....look at this! To date, the potential for abuse of Strattera has not been researched extensively. The two studies that have been performed suggest that atomoxetine has a low to moderate risk for abuse, since it has a long titration time (meaning that it may have no effect on the user unless they've been taking it regularly for days) and does not produce strong stimulating effects like most other ADHD medications. Monkeys will not self-administer atomoxetine at the doses tested. However, rats, pigeons and monkeys trained to distinguish cocaine ormethamphetamine from saline indicate that atomoxetine produces effects indistinguishable from low doses of cocaine or methamphetamine, but not at all like high doses of cocaine. Check out Wikipedia for complete info.

I'd really like to know.....are you tempted to try something like this or are you fed up with the medical world only focusing on drugs as solutions?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Paula Deen and Diabetes

When Paula Deen announced that she has Type2 diabetes, it immediately caught my attention.  Since I was diagnosed with T2 in April 2010 I have become pretty well versed on the subject and have taken it very seriously, so I do understand what an impact it can make on your life. I also know that we're all different and require different combinations of diet, exercise and medication to manage this life changing disease, so there's no one answer to how to manage your diabetes.

With all of our concerns about weight gain during menopause and how our lifestyles can change after menopause, I feel that we need to stay on top of this and get the right information. I also feel that Paula had a great opportunity to help bring a lot of attention to dia

According to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3% of the population—have diabetes.  79 million more people are classified as “pre-diabetic.”

Deen (here in her "original" look) is in a very difficult position since she's a celebrity and waited 3 years to tell anyone about her diagnosis, which is her perogative. I don't even mind that she is a spokesperson for a diabetes drug, but I DO take issue with her (and the pharm company and the ADA) trying to position her as the "face of Type 2 Diabetes" when, even with her son's new, revised versions of her old recipes, because....she's still promoting recipes with more sugar, flour and starches than most diabetics can eat and still maintain a safe level of blood sugars. 

I am not bashing Paula, I do like her, but I think she's caught up in her own celebrity and where she was totally comfortable in her role on tv as a cooking celebrity, I don't believe she's at all comfortable with her role as a spokesperson for diabetes. She obviously does not understand it enough and is only spouting information given her by the drug company she is representing.

The media is not helping (because no one is talking to diabetics) by continually reporting that a diet high in butter has caused anyone's diabetes. Guess what Folks? Butter is a diabetics FRIEND! It's too many simple carbs (sugars, flours, potatoes) and too much high fructose corn syrup in too many prepared and processed foods, AND the lack of exercise that is causing a lot of the diabetes our society is experiencing these days. 

For any of you with diabetes who feel that you're not getting the kind of support you want and need from the medical profession or even the diabetes educators you've dealt with, join us on this forum.

Again....I don't care that she didn't tell "us" for 3 years and I don't care if she's using and promoting the diabetes drug, (she is partnering “with a reputable pharmaceutical company” as spokesperson for a $500-a-month diabetes drug (with side-effects that may include pancreatitis and thyroid cancer) but I do care that she's insinutating that she can still eat the way she used to when 99% of diabetics have to dramatically change their eating. She's not saying you have to make a choice between sacrificing many of the foods you love and you HAVE to start exercising, even if you're on medication. Even though her son has a tv show to "lighten up" some of Paula's recipes, but I just cringe when I hear them say these are "diabetic friendly" because they're not! 

I'm sure we're going to hear more from and about Paula in the months to come and I hope you will all chime in on the topic. I'm getting off my soapbox now and will go eat my steak and small salad for dinner! Perfectly healthy for a diabetic....even with the FAT. Notice there's no bread or potatoes included in my meal. :)