Friday, September 20, 2013

Alzheimer's Association Walk

Tomorrow morning, September 21st is the Alzheimer's Association walk in the Springfield area. It's purpose is to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer's disease for patient care, support, and research.

My father died from this disease and it is a truly devastating disease. He was a sweet, brilliant man who lost all control of his brain functioning bit by bit until he was not able to feed himself or even get out of bed. It was  most heartbreaking when he got to the point where he could not even recognize us.

Any one of us could get Alzheimer's. It develops slowly so you might not even know you have it. it cause the deterioration of healthy brain tissue. This leads to a decline in brain function which causes difficulty in functioning in day to day living. There are drugs and therapy which can help prolong functioning but research is needed to find out about the causes, prevention, and possible cure.

I will be walking with other people who care about ending Alzheimer's and wish to help raise the necessary funding to do so. Please join me or donate a few dollars to the Alzheimer's Association.

Lucky Bird Poop

Yesterday a bird pooped on me. I was riding my bike out on a trail when it happened so I couldn’t even wash it off. Then I thought, oh I think I heard that it is good luck for a bird to poop on you.

Not true! My day continued to go down hill after that. I read my horoscope and it was not a  good one. The computer program I was using would not work.  I turned on the oven to make lunch and smoke filled the house. The last time I baked, tomato sauce had spilled over and was now burning off the oven bottom creating a huge stink as well as smoke.  

The mail delivery did not bring me a check I was expecting. It did bring a much anticipated new purse. It was wrapped tightly in a box and when I pulled it out it, I created a 2 ½ inch scuff. I was so disappointed! 

The afternoon brought news that our friend who was fighting pancreatic cancer did not have a successful surgery. He had a bowel obstruction that could not be repaired and was given a feeding tube.  

I got in my car to go pick up a few groceries but it wouldn’t start. I called our mechanic and he said it sounded like the battery and he could stop by on the way home and try to jump it. He arrived at 5:30, tried to start it, and said it was the starter. He hit something under the hood with a hammer and we got it started. He said I needed to take it to his shop because it might not start again but he had to go home. I left it running in my garage while I called every one on my contact list to get a ride back home. No one answered their phones. My husband was at a bank function where you cannot use your phone and it was the commute from work/ dinner hour so no one else was available I guess. I decided to drive it over to the shop and take a taxi home and that worked just fine. 

After a dinner of scrambled eggs and toast, my oldest son called and told me his apartment had been robbed this afternoon and all his computers were stolen. He makes his living from working on his computer so this is truly bad news. He called the police and the pawn shops will be watching someone trying to sell his computers. However, he wants to come to live for awhile. Not sure if this is a good thing or bad but what can you do? 

I had a mostly sleepless night last night – upset stomach and nightmares.

Although today is a little depressing; it is cool and rainy outside and I am really tired; I am feeling a little more hopeful. It could be the xanax I took at 5am this morning to get back to sleep but I think I overlooked all the good things that happened yesterday.  It was a beautiful sunny day, I had time to take an enjoyable bike ride out in the country, I received a lovely anniversary card from my mother, I have a really nice, talented mechanic, today is my 33rd wedding anniversary, I am healthy,  it is a whole new day and I have a whole new attitude. 

May we all have a happy and peaceful day today!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fat and Middle Aged

Well I just found out that I am obese. I thought I looked OK.
I had my 6 month check up on Monday morning. I have high blood pressure and have to see my doctor every 6 months. I am on several medications for high blood pressure and I watch my salt intake. We were hoping it would start to go down but my blood pressure is high and I am gaining weight. Can you believe it? I ride my bike for an hour 5 times a week. I watch what I eat. I don’t understand how I can be gaining weight. 

My doctor is checking my thyroid to see if it is functioning correctly. My exercising is good. He says that maybe I am not aware that I am eating too many calories.  Since I do not want to go on a diet or join Weight Watchers, he has advised me to see a dietician who will analyze my current food choices and recommend the changes I need to lose weight. He also said that due to my history of high blood pressure, I might be eligible for lap band or gastric bypass surgery. I will be researching those surgeries in the days to come. 

I am waiting to hear the results of my thyroid test before I call the dietician. I am pretty sure she will have me start with a food diary. Yuck!  

Monday afternoon I joined the YMCA. They were having a week long special where the yearly fee was waived if you signed up. Plus, you can quit with 2 weeks notice. Perfect! I was thinking that I needed a place to work out when the weather starts getting bad this fall and winter. I have been twice and I love it. I am learning to use the weight machines which will help me build muscle and protect my decaying bones.  I can ride their bikes while watching TV and/or listening to my Ipod. I also have access to the pool and pool exercises and group floor exercises too. I am thinking the yoga classes will help me relax a little. I’m hoping to get a little more socializing too. It’s all good!
More exercise and relaxation will help but I still need to lose a few pounds. 

Now I need to get my couch potato husband to join me.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hollywood Adventure

We went to Hollywood yesterday! The Hollywood Casino in St. Louis that is!   It was Harrah’s Casino until last November when it was purchased by Penn National Gambling, Inc. and renamed Hollywood Casino. We go there whenever we are in town. We enjoy a little gambling. It's fun!

Anyway, we were not in town but Hollywood offers free bus trips to the casino from several cities in the area. It is a very relaxing day if you are careful not to lose too much money! Springfield schedules trips to the Hollywood on Sunday and Wednesday mornings and Saturday evening. Free! You pay nothing for the ride. All you need is a Hollywood Marquee Rewards card.

We took the Sunday morning trip. It was our second time. The bus leaves the Capitol City parking lot at 8:50 and returns at 5PM. It is a perfect time to sit back and relax, drink some coffee, chat, or read the paper. The bus is large and comfy and there is even a restroom stall at the back of the bus. It stops in Litchfield, IL and Livingston Park on the way.  

We had the Sunday Champagne Brunch at the Eat Up Buffet. It is all you can eat plus champagne for $19.99 per person. There is a breakfast section, salad section, carved meat and side section, Chinese section, and a dessert section. Delicious!!! If you gamble enough there you can win rewards to apply towards the cost of the meal. There are other restaurants for lunching but some are closed for construction. 

Right now the Hollywood is undergoing a lot of construction so some of the restaurants are closed and the layout of the casino changes daily. The hotel part does not seem to be changing. We have stayed in the hotel a few times and it is very nice although it could probably use some updating. You can easily win free weekday nights by gambling. Be sure to use your Marquee Rewards cards to earn freebies. 

After brunch we played blackjack, roulette, and slots. My favorite is the Wheel of Fortune game. I lost $50 dollars but I played for 3 hours. It was fun. I am not a big gambler and I am not a very good gambler. I set a budget and I stick to it, However, if I am having a really good time I will get carried away and spend a little more.  Sometimes I win but usually I just break even. 

Riding the bus back is very relaxing. You can have a few drinks at the casino and not worry about having to drive home. You can read a book or even take nap. 

I highly recommend it! Takes your mind off all your problems as long as you are careful not to overspend so just take a good book, travel pillow, and as only much money as you want to spend!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Middle Age and the Empty Nest


I am sooooooo depressed!    I knew it was coming!   I just didn’t know how much it would hurt! It is so unfair! I am already trying to cope with the ravages of middle age and the changes it brings. Now I have to adapt to life without children.


I am retired. I have spent the last 13 years caring for my home and family and working at home on my eBay store. I live in the Midwest. I have two sons – one in Florida and one in Las Vegas. So far away!


I just don’t know what to do with myself. I am still a young 57 year old. I have been married for almost 33 years.


I am suddenly undecisive. Should I start a new career? Should I get a job? More hobbies?  I enjoy my freedom from having to work but I need a new purpose.


My friends tell me that it is best to do nothing when you are undecided. Perhaps I should think about what I like to do and what makes me happy. Another friend said I should get a puppy to replace my sons.  I’m not sure I can make that kind of commitment.


Time goes by so fast!