Archive | April 2020

Daily Bread #108

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This is our quarantine pool.  It won’t be full of family and friends for awhile, like it has been at times in other summers, but I am grateful that it was warm enough to swim in it this week.  There are definitely worse places one could be sheltering in place.  It is important to stay grateful for some of the blessings we have.  I know I have more than my share right now even while we face some frustrations like a broken dishwashers.  I lived most of my life without one, so it really isn’t so bad and when it is safe to do so we can afford to have it repaired or replaced.  It is only 5 years old.  Is my memory faulty or did appliances used to last much longer than they do today?

Memory is funny.  Quarantine brain is a running joke among my facebook friends as we forget what day it is.  I wrote this poem after a conversation with my 30 something daughter.

When I Was Young

When I was young

We hid under our desks

For fear of the atom bomb

Now I hide in my house

Afraid of disease.

When you were young

You practiced lockdowns at school

For fear of bullets flying.

Now the schools are closed

And very safe one would think.

 

When I was young

The only homeless people I saw

Were hobos riding the rails

And long haired hippies

Looking for crash pads and revolution

When you were young

Tent cities crowded the streets

Of every city you saw

So much misery and poverty

And no one seemed to care.

Now there is some concern

But only to contain the viral

Spread of this dread disease

 

When we both were young

We went to concerts and rallies

We gathered with friends

And only robbers wore masks

Except for the Lone Ranger I guess

But he was the exception.

There are no exceptions now.

 

What will your children say

If you have them

About when they were young?

Will there still be long days at home

Writing sidewalk messages to the world

Grandparents and teachers on video

Unable to give kisses or grades

I’d bake the kids some cookies

But I may be out of flour.

 

It is a blessing to be old.

I hope you are really old someday.

Your children too

If you have them.

I kept to my calorie burn goal again this week and realized that I am back up to the amount of daily walking I was doing before my knee surgery.  And now a lot of it is on hills and trails, something I couldn’t do before my new knee.  Another thing to be grateful for.

I am also eating more, because of the extra exercise, and I am still recording all the calories I consume.  I guess some on the veggies, but I still weigh meat, cheese, and sweet potatoes, and I carefully count the calories in bread and the occasional cookie or other sweet.  My food scale lives on my kitchen counter.

I am VERY close to another “goal weight” which I think will be the last goal I will set as it will move me out of the “overweight” category into the “normal” range.  I am still suspicious of those charts, but given that I started out as “morbidly obese” it feels like quite an accomplishment.  I actually hit that number this morning, but my average for the week is 1.7 pounds higher.  Since I decided to use my average weight for each week to monitor my progress, I am sticking to that method.  Therefore, I will need to be that little bit further down before giving myself a rousing cheer.

Be well!  Stay safe and healthy!

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 108784 steps last week for 44 miles.   I ate approximately 11445 calories and burned 15169 for a deficit of 3724. My average weight this week is down .6 pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 171.1

When I Was Young

When I was young

We hid under our desks

For fear of the atom bomb

Now I hide in my house

Afraid of disease.

When you were young

You practiced lockdowns at school

For fear of bullets flying.

Now the schools are closed

And very safe one would think.

 

When I was young

The only homeless people I saw

Were hobos riding the rails

And long haired hippies

Looking for crash pads and revolution

When you were young

Tent cities crowded the streets

Of every city you saw

So much misery and poverty

And no one seemed to care.

Now there is some concern

But only to contain the viral

Spread of the dread disease

 

When we both were young

We went to concerts and rallies

We gathered with friends

And only robbers wore masks

Except for the Lone Ranger I guess

But he was the exception.

There are no exceptions now.

 

What will your children say

If you have them

About when they were young?

Will there still be long days at home

Writing sidewalk messages to the world

Grandparents and teachers on video

Unable to give kisses or grades

I’d bake the kids some cookies

But I may be out of flour.

 

It is a blessing to be old.

I hope you are really old someday.

Your children too

If you have them.

 

 

 

Daily Bread #107

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I have become quite the hiker.  There isn’t a whole lot else to do.  At least the fire roads near our house are open and not crowded at all.  It is a real blessing.

My goal this week was to burn 2000+ calories every day.  I did it!  Mainly with hiking/walking, but also with some time on the stationary bike.   I also did a few sit ups and push ups every other day or so.  Exercise can be fun and I believe it is also helping keep me healthy.  I really did up my game this week with 20,000+ more steps than last week, with an average of 5+ miles per day.  I am down only a little over a pound rather than more because I also increased my calorie intake.  I did enjoy that too!  This week I also dipped down to a number on the scale that I haven’t seen since my mid-30’s.  My weight loss curve has definitely begun to “flatten” in the last several months, however,  as I near the end of the “losing” journey and shift completely to simple maintenance.

Flattening the curve is a good thing.  A life-saving one in fact.

Two poems I wrote this week:

First, a kind of fun one.

Heel

I scraped my heel

Walking down a hill

Or maybe it was up

I can’t remember

 

I was well prepared

Thick socks and boots

Hiking sticks to lean on

It didn’t matter

 

Hills come

And we go up or down

Defying or giving in

To gravity

 

The view was worth it

At least I think it was

Because with time

My heel will likely heal

 

Isn’t that what we want?

Isn’t that why we were born?

To climb the hills

To accept the challenges?

To live our lives

Without regret?

 

Preparation always helps

But scrapes come still

I climbed a hill

But it seemed a mountain.

I’ve got the scars

To prove it.

 

And now a more serious one:

Virus

This virus isn’t new

Not really

The sickness has been here

From when the first white colonists arrived

To this green and healthy land

 

They took possession of the earth

Not caring that it wasn’t theirs

They drove compassion out

Down a trail of tears.

They sent justice on the road.

 

They brought the poor of Europe

Here to work their fields

Then stole the souls from Africa

Leaving their own hearts behind

Frozen tight in greed.

 

The beat’s gone on

The infection’s spread

200 years and more

Walls are built and borders closed

While vigilantes roam

 

It’s time to pause it really is

Take stock in measured order

Heal the sick and feed the poor

Find some shelter for all souls.

A vaccine to prevent this evil

 

We’re all in this together

A lesson we must learn

Before this virus kills us all.

A pandemic isn’t easy

But we WILL find a cure

 

We are well stocked on food for awhile, thanks to a Costco 2 hour delivery which actually came the same day and within an hour and a half of ordering.  It was a minor miracle, as it has been taking a week to get “same day” deliveries.  We ordered 2 gallons of milk and gave one to the insta-cart shopper who said he could use it.  I don’t drink milk and no way could Anne drink two gallons before it went bad.  We also tipped generously, but it also felt good not to waste food when so many are hungry.

Be well!  Stay safe and healthy!

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 93507 steps last week for 38.7 miles.   I ate approximately 10906 calories and burned 14434 for a deficit of 3528. My average weight this week is down 1.3  pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 170.5

Virus

This virus isn’t new

Not really

The sickness has been here

From when the first white colonists arrived

To this green and healthy land

 

They took possession of the earth

Not caring that it wasn’t theirs

They drove compassion out

Down a trail of tears.

They sent justice on the road.

 

They brought the poor of Europe

Here to work their fields

Then stole the souls from Africa

Leaving their own hearts behind

Frozen tight in greed.

 

The beat’s gone on

The infection’s spread

200 years and more

Walls are built and borders closed

While vigilantes roam

 

It’s time to pause it really is

Take stock in measured order

Heal the sick and feed the poor

Find some shelter for all souls.

A vaccine to prevent this evil

 

We’re all in this together

A lesson we must learn

Before this virus kills us all.

A pandemic isn’t easy

But we WILL find a cure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heel

IMG_4938I scraped my heel

Walking down a hill

Or maybe it was up

I can’t remember

 

I was well prepared

Thick socks and boots

Hiking sticks to lean on

It didn’t matter

 

Hills come

And we go up or down

Defying or giving in

To gravity

 

The view was worth it

At least I think it was

Because with time

My heel will likely heal

 

Isn’t that what we want?

Isn’t that why we were born?

To climb the hills

To accept the challenges?

To live our lives

Without regret?

 

Preparation always helps

But scrapes come still

I climbed a hill

But it seemed a mountain.

I’ve got the scars

To prove it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Bread #106

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I saw this on one of my walks.  People are leaving positive messages everywhere these days it seems.  This is a good thing.  Sometimes good things come out of hard times. And the message feels right. “This too shall pass.”  It doesn’t always feel that way and it is easy to feel despair and lose hope.

Poetry definitely helps.

Poem:

Old Leaf

The old leaf rattling down the street

Doesn’t yet know it is spring.

Dry and brittle, energy spent

It looks for a place to rest.

That gutter maybe

Or under that bush

Somewhere safe from the rain

Or a virus in the air

Whatever is lurking

On the other side of fear.

 

Once you were green

And spring felt eternal

You lolled in the grass

And got drunk on the sun.

 

You won’t feel this spring

Like you did in years past

Please find you some shelter

As you wait for this strange

Lonesome winter

To pass.

 

What also helps is just sticking to it, carrying on.

Reflecting on the Passover and Easter stories can also help.  The plague will pass over some of our houses, although the sounds of grief from our neighbors will echo down through the centuries.  The Egyptians are always remembered at the Seder table. And after 3 days, or 3 months, the stone will roll away and we will be reborn into a new life.  Not the old one.  Not the one filled with consumerism and callousness toward the vulnerable. No, hopefully into a kinder, more compassionate world.  That is my prayer anyway.

I did suffer from some food anxiety this week.  2 hour delivery from the grocery stores takes at least a week, and they don’t have everything you order.  We have plenty of staples to sustain us, soup and canned beans, rice, protein bars, and pasta.  But being able to control what I eat has become very important to me, and I started to stress out about not having enough veggies and protein to stick to my food plans.  The delivery came, however, and I have relaxed again.  We are now well stocked with cod, chicken, pork tenderloin, and fresh and frozen veggies. Getting some Thai food via Grubhub also helped cheer me up.

Thai food is apparently less salty than the Chinese we had last week.  My weight is back down, despite a couple of cocktail parties via zoom where I enjoyed martinis.  I am running out of garlic stuffed olives, and am rationing them, but I have plenty of gin and maybe a jigger of vermouth.  No worries there.  Who needs vermouth anyway?  We also got some wine delivered for Anne and showed the required ID and our gray hair through the kitchen window.  We are both WELL over 21!  Our son dropped off some TP and coffee for us on the porch.  We now have all the necessities of modern life.

Gratitude.  This could all be so much worse, as I know it is for too many.

Be well!  Stay safe and healthy!

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 72610 steps last week for 30.3 miles.   I ate approximately 10115 calories and burned 13593 for a deficit of 3478. My average weight this week is down 1.6  pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 169.2.

Old Leaf

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The old leaf rattling down the street

Doesn’t yet know it is spring.

Dry and brittle, energy spent

It looks for a place to rest.

That gutter maybe

Or under that bush

Somewhere safe from the rain

Or a virus in the air

Whatever is lurking

On the other side of fear.

 

Once you were green

And spring felt eternal

You lolled in the grass

And got drunk on the sun.

 

You won’t feel this spring

Like you did in years past

Please find you some shelter

As you wait for this strange

Lonesome winter

To pass.

 

 

 

 

Daily Bread #105

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Last week I posted about a trail that was too steep for me.  This week we found another way, and I reached the top.  Someone hung two swings where you can sit and enjoy the view.  They made me a little acrophobic so I didn’t get on one, but the view was amazing as was my sense of accomplishment.  I am so lucky to have had my knee surgery when i did because now I can go on hikes when there is nothing much else to do while we shelter in place.  We are using delivery for groceries because although I am fairly healthy now, my age alone puts me in a high risk category for serious complications from COVID-19 as well as a lower priority for a ventilator if needs exceed the number available.  Even when just walking around, we are advised to cover our noses and mouths.  My purple bandana still serves.

92262968_10220895137835771_7119867651374972928_n These are definitely unusual times and I am not at all sure that we will ever get back to what we once thought was normal. There are some good things happening.  Governments are renting hotel rooms to house people without homes.  People are being released from jails and prisons early.  Why did we have so many non-violent offenders behind bars and why did we ever ignore all the people forced to live on the streets?  Now we finally appreciate grocery clerks and farmworkers because we know we would not eat without them.  They have always been essential.  Maybe we should be paying them more.

I do worry that the November election may be delayed. Our President has killed people, right on 5th Avenue like he bragged about, and I am really afraid about the callousness to suffering and death that he displays.  He is either stupid or evil; most likely both. I am also really glad to be in California and also proud to be part of a faith that went to virtual worship nationally even before California shut such gatherings down.  Listen to the scientists not the politicians unless it is very clear that the politicians are listening to the scientists.  I like having a rather nerdy governor.

I am getting used to the way things are and will be for longer than we may expect.

I wrote this poem to keep my spirits up.

Live your life

Live your life

Such as it is now

This isn’t ending soon

The world grows smaller

Shrinks down to a neighborhood

A house, a room, a prison cell.

Our connections are more distant

But deeper too

As we share the fear

The grief, the loss.

Howling in the night

We find some small release.

 

Live your life

Such as it is

While you have it

While you can.

Relish the sunshine

Savor the flowers

Bursting with spring

They are

What your soul needs now.

Talk to your neighbor

From a distance of course

Help them if you can.

We are all refugees now

There is no escape.

There are no borders

Anymore.

This is the whole world

A planet in pain and fear.

 

Live your life.

It is what you have

For now.

Enjoy each day, each moment

Find a way to laugh

To smile.

Courage will come.

This isn’t ending soon

I hope not for me

Or for you.

This is the time to focus on what we can do, not on what we can’t.  The weight management program I have been in is a practice, a lifestyle, built on thousands of separate decisions which when taken together make a difference.   So too, a community responds to a pandemic.  Thousands of individuals make decisions that affect their entire community and even the world.

My weight went up a bit this week, but that is nothing for anyone to worry about.  We have bigger fish to fry – um – I mean bake.  I am getting at least 10,000 steps in every day – if it is raining too hard outside, I just do them in the house. This is not the time for mall walking. I am also doing 30-40 minutes on the stationary bike most days.  My exercise level and calorie deficit were both up slightly this week from the week before, so if it was simple math, I would have lost rather than gained.  The difference might be the amount of salt I ate last week and some water retention that went along with it. That Chinese food delivery order was delicious and well worth a small gain, however.  There are thousands of decisions as I said.  Some are worth it and some aren’t.

We are all  learning what matters most as so much of our former life has slipped away.   I miss our adult children the most.  I knew I was lucky they all lived close by and we could see them often. Now they might as well be thousands of miles away, but am glad we can stay in touch via the phone and video chats and they are all healthy and still employed, at least for now.

I’ll end with the messages I hear so often these days, from family and neighbors, strangers and friends.

Be careful out there!  Stay home if you can, wear a mask, wash your hands.  Be safe.  Stay well.

Love to you all!

L’Chaim!  This week’s stats: My Fitbit report shows 87053 steps last week for 34.7 miles.   I ate approximately 10269 calories and burned 14276 for a deficit of 4007. My average weight this week is up 1.7  pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 167.6.

Live Your Life

Live your life

Such as it is now

This isn’t ending soon

The world grows smaller

Shrinks down to a neighborhood

A house, a room, a prison cell.

Our connections are more distant

But deeper too

As we share the fear

The grief, the loss.

Howling in the night

We find some small release.

 

Live your life

Such as it is

While you have it

While you can.

Relish the sunshine

Savor the flowers

Bursting with spring

They are

What your soul needs now.

Talk to your neighbor

From a distance of course

Help them if you can.

We are all refugees now

There is no escape.

There are no borders

Anymore.

This is the whole world

A planet in pain and fear.

 

Live your life.

It is what you have

For now.

Enjoy each day, each moment

Find a way to laugh

To smile.

Courage will come.

This isn’t ending soon

I hope not for me

Or for you.