Tag Archive | pandemic

Daily Bread #111

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It is now the third week of real maintenance, of being a “normal” weight, one that feels comfortable. My intention is to stay a tad under 150 pounds for the rest of my life.  This will mean I will go up and down slightly week to week, which may be just as tricky as losing weight, but I will get into that routine too, because it is – well – the right time for me to do that.

I am still trying to burn 2000+ calories a day, but am doing it as an average now rather than daily.  That works too, if I pay attention to calories consumed vs burned each day.

The county I live in is relaxing some of the sheltering rules this week which means we can drive and park at some trails that are not within walking distance of our house.  Hurray!  Although I love that 6-7 mile loop we have been doing at least once a week for the last couple of months, it will be wonderful to cover some different ground for a change and also to spend more time on an actual trail rather than walking to the trailhead. We will continue to stick to fire roads until there is a vaccine.

My poem this week was about rainbows it came to me after I saw this on the sidewalk on a rainy day.  There were no rainbows in the sky.  Sometimes we have to make our own.

Rainbow

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There must be a rainbow somewhere

A silver lining in the clouds

It’s what they tell me anyway

Dangling hope amid despair

That fragile feathered creature

Spinning high above the flames

Sometimes I catch a glimpse

A flash of color

The warm breath of God.

 

Down here though

The days are long

The news disturbing

It’s an effort to go on

Sobs rise on winds of grief

And fear stalks my battered soul

Maybe my tears will drown the rain

And the rainbow will appear.

 

Be well, stay safe.  Look for the rainbows.

L’Chaim!  Week 3 of maintenance: My Fitbit report shows 96875 steps for 39 miles.   I ate approximately 11053 calories and burned 14278 for a deficit of 3225. My average weight this week is up 1.1 pounds from last week’s average for a total loss of 173.6.

Rainbow

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There must be a rainbow somewhere

A silver lining in the clouds

It’s what they tell me anyway

Dangling hope amid despair

That fragile feathered creature

Spinning high above the flames

Sometimes I catch a glimpse

A flash of color

The warm breath of God.

 

Down here though

The days are long

The news disturbing

It’s an effort to go on

Sobs rise on winds of grief

And fear stalks my battered soul

Maybe my tears will drown the rain

And the rainbow will appear.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

Little Things

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It’s the little things

That make me weep

The sunlight seeping through the fog

Two mourning doves on the deck

Looking out on the world

It’s the little things

We need

Here and now,

In this time, this place.

When death looms outside our doors

And in our neighbor’s breath.

 

It’s the little things

That make me smile

A rainbow drawn in sidewalk chalk

A delivery at my door.

A neighbor holding space

A howling in the night

That chorus of lament

Which strangely echoes

Hope inside the fear