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Snow Tubing Gone Wild

I am from UPSTATE NY NOT to be confused with NYC please!!!  I will have some do/don’t for that in another blog.  In any case, when I was a kid, I used to lie in bed and PRAY for 12 inches of snow so that the schools would close.  Two reasons, I hated to get up and more than likely I hadn’t done my homework.  I was NOT a child who loved school obviously.  Alas, schools normally opened so I’d have to go to Plan B.  When my dad called me to get ready, I’d tell him I was sick.  He’d say “oh, feel better” and that was it.  Then my mother would come get me and basically say “suck it up, buttercup!”.  She knew when I was faking!

Then I married an Army man (no choice, he was drafted – remember those days?).  Our first duty station was Brooklyn, NY where I was introduced to my first roach.  I had NO idea that they even existed.  I didn’t care WHERE we were transferred as long as there were not bugs.  We moved to Anchorage, Alaska.  Whoa, talk about snow banks taller than me.  Ok, so I’m not that tall but they were taller than my husband and he was over 6 feet! 

My point is, I’m no stranger to snow but given a choice of living in NY or living in VA, I choose VA because they don’t have snow right????  WRONG!  My first winter here we had a HORRIBLE storm.  My friends in NY were laughing at me.  Yet, VA is not prepared for snow like NY was.  If someone says snow on the weather forecast, schools close; shelves in the stores are picked bare of groceries.  We’re not even talking an inch, much less at least 12!!!  Why didn’t I live HERE as a kid?? 

Well, it snowed this weekend.  It was a heavy, wet snow – actually great for snowballs or snowmen.  Not so good on the back when you’re shoveling.  So, what do you do???  You “suck it up, buttercup” and go snow tubing. 

Fun in the snow

The first run down was quite dicey.  No one told me to kind of lean back in the tube a little and hold my legs up.  You’re on your own at the top of the hill.  Well, I spun down the whole way!  By the time I got to the end, I thought I was going to get sick.  That was not an option for me so I got my bearings, talked to some people, learned the trick and did it again.  Once I got the hang of it, it was great.  However, one of the ladies (and I’m not really sure WHAT she did) as she was going down, fell out of the tube and hit her head.  I guess she won’t be tubing again any time in the near future.  She was alright but they took her to the hospital for tests to make sure. 

So, if you’re in a place that has a lot of snow, get out in it!!  I don’t downhill ski – I’d surely break my neck.  I cross country on occasion.  If you snow tube (which is really quite safe), please keep your feet up and lean back a little then enjoy the ride.  Just getting out and walking  (carefully) can be invigorating. 

Until the next adventure (I have another snow tubing date coming up), enjoy Winter. I mean, do we have a choice??

Comments/Thoughts are welcome and encouraged.

~Debbi

Life Reboot 2019

At the beginning of every year (I am kind of OCD and need a new year, new month, new week to start something), I evaluate the previous year to determine where I have grown and what I would like to work on for the coming year. 

The BEST
Let’s DO THIS!!!

Some people have words that they choose for the year.  I tried that one year.  My word was PATIENCE.  Whew, I will never do THAT again.  I was tested from the moment I made that decision.  My patience muscle was exercised to the max!!  I tried breathing IN with the good, OUT with the bad but it kind of turned into hyperventilating.  I gave up.  lol 

The  4 “F”s (or areas of life) to look at when creating goals.  They are:

          Faith – Start the day with devotions, perhaps keep a gratitude journal, find a small group of like minded people that you can be open with and grow spiritually.  Even if you are not a group person (like me), it helps. When trouble comes (and it will), know that there is a higher power at work; trust in that; tap into that power.  Never give up hope or let your joy be stolen.

          Family – Plan time with spouse and (grand)kids.   They remember memories that you make even if you do not have a lot of money to spend.  Time is more important that elaborate events or even money.  Plan a night with your spouse or kids.  Go outdoor (sports, hiking on trails, building a snowman, etc) or inside (board games, restaurant).  The most important part is reconnecting and making memories.  Take time to sincerely talk to one another and I do not mean through texts. 

          Finances – Get out of debt, go on a spending hiatus.  Think carefully about each purchase.  Do you NEED it or WANT it.  If you are able to buy anything you want without going into debt, kudos to you.  Go for it but most of us need a budget.  Perhaps you are planning for retirement or even a trip.  It was on the radio this morning that many people would rather sit in traffic than sit down to evaluate where they are in their finances.  You have to know where you are NOW so you can determine what it will take to get you to where you want to be.   

          Fitness – Do NOT be a couch potato.  Some of us have limitations but our bodies were made to move.  It keeps the joints lubricated.  Some insurance plans cover Silver Sneakers where they will pay for your gym membership.  Check it out! I am loving it!  Swimming is great for sore joints.  Remember eating is part of this plan as well.  I am a junk food person so this is tough for me.  I HATE to cook so I tell everyone if you are what you eat then I must be cheap, easy and fast.  I basically have a kitchen because it came with the house.  I made a plan for this though. 

You may rank the list differently and it is ok.  The objective is to make you the best you can be mind, body and spirit because we are made up of all three parts.  Do any of the above need a reboot?  It is never too late to start but the beginning of a new year always helps with my mindset – starting fresh.  Now that you have determined the area, make SMART goals. 

I did not always do this. In the past, my goals were vague.  “I want to lose weight”   This year, I drew a line in the sand and said 2019 WILL be MY year!  I set SMART GOALS – not resolutions.

What is the difference?  I looked it up.  A resolution is a firm decision to do/not to do something (often unachievable) whereas a goal is the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.  I understand there is a fine line here but, admit it, resolutions get broken quickly.  To me, it sounds like going cold turkey.  In my mind:  resolution:  I will not eat bad food vs. goal:  I can have a cheat day once a week (but only 1).  I can plan, stay motivated and still reach my goal.

Back to SMART GOALS.  It is not a new concept.  I have heard it many times and used it in work but not in life. So, what are SMART goals? 

S=Specific, M=Measurable, A=Achievable, R=Relevant and T=Time-Sensitive  For example: 

  • (S) Instead of saying I want to lose weight (I wish I was the weight I was 20 years ago and thought I was fat), I wrote “I wanted to lose 21 lbs.” 
  • (M) This is certainly measurable (ask my scale – at least it is not one of those talking ones).  I figured out how much I wanted to lose per month and the steps I would take to do it such as go to the gym and eat healthier.
  • (A)  Certainly achievable and realistic.  I mean not even GOD can make me taller now so no matter how much I do, I will still be short – no sense in making THAT goal!
  • (R)  It has to fit with an overall objective that you have for your life.  Yep, it is something that will benefit me overall.  I will feel better, help prevent diabetes (runs in family), help my asthma, have more energy and have less stress on my joints.  …and yeah, I will fit into those jeans!!!  Total win!
  • (T)  You need a finish line.  My time limit is June. 
VICTORY!

What areas do you want to work on?  Do you have a plan? Have you heard that a GOAL without a PLAN is simply a WISH? I am calling 2019 to be the BEST YEAR EVER!  With all the stuff that is going on in our world these days, we HAVE to remain positive.  I believe that staying positive is half the battle.

Comments/Thoughts are Welcome. I would love to hear from you.

~Debbi

Forest Bathing For Health

What???  Getting naked in the woods?  Ummmm, no!   For many seniors, that would be frightening in of itself…..although………..I’ve seen some really good lookin’ senior men….but I digress.  Oh, and no bathtubs required either.  So, don’t stop reading.

Do you ever get stressed?  I know, you’re retired, what’s there to stress about right?  I have a list if anyone needs ideas.  However, I’m sure most of us, at times, still have something that we stress about.  If not, you’re either dead (go ahead check your vitals) or not really of this world.

So what am I talking about here?  I’m talking about spending time in nature.  It can be as simple as a walk in a tree lined park or preferably walking in the woods.  It costs nothing to do and the benefits are countless.   In Japan, it is actually a form of medicine.

In 1982 Japan introduced a program called Shinrin-Yoku which means spending time around trees.  This is a brief You Tube video.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUfbMIGcxkM

that explains Shinrin-Yoku.  Don’t fall asleep watching the video.  It’s very calming.  There is even a coalition you can join to promote this practice if you’re interested.

This doesn’t mean that you’re walking or hiking through the woods with your head set on.  Not only is that dangerous these days with all the weirdos out there, it’s not the point of this whole process.  Instead, be in the moment.  Pay attention to how your body responds to the environment.  Listen to the birds and observe everything around you.  The environment doesn’t judge you.  It doesn’t care how much money you earn, what you look like (thankfully), what your gender or race is.  You can just LET GO and feel the freedom to just BE!

Forest Bathing

Me Forest Bathing

We are bombarded by technology today between the TV, cell phones, IPads, computers, fitbits and everything else.  Many people don’t even read real books.  They use a Kindle.  I understand there are benefits to that but where does it end?

Many times people don’t even talk to each other directly.  How many times have you emailed someone instead of visiting?  I admit I’m guilty of this.  I’ve seen people text each other from within the same house though!  How bad is that???  I have another article I’ll share about the “blue screen”

Sometimes we need to step AWAY from all this and get back in nature to relax and unwind.  You don’t need a lot of time to reap t benefits.  Start with 5 minutes if you have to.  It’s not wasted time.  It’s an investment in your well being which will only improve your day.

So, what ARE some of the benefits?  This is a compilation of several articles that I’ve read and just some of the top benefits.

  1. Reduce stress
  2. Increase Vit D (which most of us have a deficit of)
  3. Improve mood by decreasing depression and anxiety
  4. Immune boosting (via compounds released by many evergreen trees)
  5. Reduced blood pressure
  6. Improve sleep
  7. Increase energy

I don’t know about you, but I think the Japanese have it right.  Instead of reaching for a pill, this looks like good medicine.  I can tell you from experience that I DO feel better when I get out into the woods for a short walk.  I usually do about 3 miles but you don’t even have to do that.  I sleep SO much better too.  It just gives my brain a rest and allows my body to absorb some of the earth’s energy.  I love that it’s free too.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.  I’d love to hear from you.

Comments Please

~Debbi

Founder of Not Your Mamas Senior

Seniors Texting Code

Who says us baby boomers do not like technology? In our lifetime, technology has made huge strides and we have come to depend on it. Many of us have smart phones. I hate being tied to a land line. A cell phone allows us to go about our daily routine yet not miss a call (even from those telemarketers). We are able to connect with our families and friends effortlessly. For talented folks, we can power walk, talk and perhaps even chew gum at the same time.

Cell phones have made us feel more secure about walking, biking or doing whatever we enjoy. If we feel threatened, fall or just simply feel like we need assistance, we can get help with a push of a button.

We talk, we take (and send) pictures, we use Google maps to figure out where we are (I have NO sense of direction) AND we text. Text messages are typically short. Thank God for that because I have fat fingers and it takes me forever to text anything. I’m not sure how young people do it. Yet, have you heard many of them speak? I have seen them text each other from across a table!  Frightful!

Always texting

In any case, people often use abbreviations such as:

AFK – Away From Keyboard
BRB – Be Right Back
IMO – In My Opinion
LOL – Laughing Out Loud.
NOYB – None Of Your Business
TIA – Thank You In Advance
TMI – Too Much Information
WTH – What The Hell (or Heck if you do not swear)

However, us seniors have our own language. Kind of like a secret code that many young people cannot understand.  Such as:

ATD- At the Doctors
BFF – Best Friend Fell (or Funeral in some cases)
BTW- Bring the Wheelchair
BYOT – Bring Your Own Teeth
CBM- Covered by Medicare
CGU – Can’t Get Up
CRS – Can’t Remember Stuff (or S***)
CUATSC- See You at the Senior Center
DWI- Driving While Incontinent
FWIW – Forgot Where I Was
FYI – Found Your Insulin (and you thought it was For Your Information)
GGLKI – Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking In (not sure why you would share this)
GGPBL- Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low
GHA – Got Heartburn Again
HGBM – Had Good Bowel Movement (TMI if you ask me……)
LMDO- Laughing My Dentures Out
LOL- Living on Lipitor
LWO – Lawrence Welk’s On
OMSG – Oh My! Sorry, Gas
ROFL ACGU – Roll On Floor Laughing And Can’t Get Up
TTYL – Talk To You Louder (senior version of Talk To You Later)
TMV – Took My Viagra
TOT- Texting On Toilet (again, TMI…)
WAITT – Who Am I Talking To?
WMD – Where’s My Depends?
WTFA – Wet The Furniture Again
WTP – Where’s The Prunes?
WWNO – Walker Wheels Need Oil

Really?

Texting has really become an issue. Kids think nothing of texting while they are driving and WE (the responsible seniors) need to watch out for them. Really?  You can not wait to tell what you did previous night (or whatever).  I have seen it over and over as I pass a young person on the road because they are driving erratically. This has contributed to many accidents. Having said this, most of us do NOT text and drive. For me, I am either focused on my GPS, trying to remember where I was going next or watching for inattentive drivers.

So, get out there, enjoy life, take those pictures and keep the list of texting codes close so you don’t have to type all those letters!

Comments please.

~Debbi

Founder of Not Your Mama’s Senior (NYMS) LOL

 

Pickleball

Pickle what? I know. I said the same thing.

I’ve always enjoyed racquet sports. I learned badminton as a child. Loved it and became VERY good even if I say so myself. I progressed to tennis and actually bought my first tennis racquet with green stamps that my parents let me collect. Now, THAT takes you back doesn’t it? Lol Any kid reading this now is saying “WHAT?!?!”

Tennis can be trying. Well, at least for me. I’m just under 5’ and my ex is 6’2”. Oh, I got a workout and I’m sure we were a entertaining to those watching. However, I always thought the whole thing took some upper body strength which I don’t have. I still play (with a kids racquet) periodically but not often.

However, I saw a new game that folks were playing that looked like a combo of badminton and tennis, I was intrigued. Pickleball is played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes. It looks like a wiffle ball. It’s actually a combination of badminton, tennis and ping pong. The paddle is larger than a ping pong paddle and pretty light. Of course, the balls are very light.

In the photo is my bag and paddle.  Note:  Do not choose red.  If you want to match, it’s really hard to find a red sports bra.  Just sayin’.  LOL.  I purchased my stuff from: http://www.pickleballcentral.com/ because they had better prices than my local sporting goods store.

Pickleball Equipment

It can be played indoors or out although the outdoor balls are a little more durable since they are consistently hitting concrete. As with the other games, it, can be played single or doubles. Doubles does seem to be the most common. Personally, I LIKE doubles but I’m not used to it and have a tendency to hog the court.

So, how did this all come about? It was invented back in 1965, on Bainbridge Island (not far from Seattle, Washington). Supposedly three dads – Joes Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum created it to entertain their kids in the summer.

No pickles are used in the game and it seems like a very odd name. I was originally taught that it was named after Pritchard’s cocker spaniel named Pickles. He would chase the ball and run off with it and hide in the bushes.

Later I heard that Pritchard’s wife started calling it pickleball because the combination of different sports reminded her of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats. Which story is correct, I don’t know. I kind of like the dog one myself.

A pickleball court looks like a tennis court pretty much. The net height is also much like tennis rather than badminton. There is a 7 foot non volley zone in front of the net. It is referred to as the “kitchen” . I’m not sure where that term came from but I try to avoid it as much as I do my real kitchen. Volleying is prohibited within this “kitchen” to avoid spiking (unlike tennis).

To start the game, the serve must be made underhand (kind of like bowling). Paddle contact with the ball must be below the server’s waist. The serve is initiated behind the baseline (like tennis) and is made diagonally cross court and must land within the opposite diagonal court. After that, you continue to play, serve and score points. Points are scored only by the serving team. Games are normally played to 11 points. Obviously, there are more explicit rules to follow but this gives you a quick overview of the game if it is something you have never heard of.

If you don’t become too competitive, pickleball can be very social and that is good for your mood and depression.  It’s pretty low impact so it’s not too bad on your joints.  It’s not as hard on you as jogging.  I know I have a bad knee and one hip replaced.  It certainly will help you burn calories and if you don’t gorge on junk food afterwards, you can lose weight if that is something you’d like to do. I know I sleep better the nights that I play.

It has become quite popular and parks are now building courts specifically for pickleball. I know the retirement communities around me each have their own teams. It is something that can be played by anyone at any age and I am sure it will continue to spread until it is popular everywhere. Who knows – you might be the first to bring it to your area.

Please comment and let me know your thoughts.

~Debbi

Founder of Not Your Mamas Senior