And So It Begins πŸ˜‚

Every time I resolve to do anything that I feel I really need to do, the universe kicks in to say “OH NO YOU DON’T” – or maybe the universe, like an old friend of mine, just thinks I enjoy a challenge. πŸ™„

At the beginning of every new year, I resolve to focus on something that I feel I should prioritize in my life. One year, I chose to focus on ‘happiness‘πŸ˜‹. I clearly remember the universe tossing me many, many opportunities to be crushed by overwhelming sadness ☹️. Another year, I chose to focus on ‘kindness’. The universe promptly sent me every asshat on the planet. In 2020, I chose ‘peace‘ as my focus πŸ™„. Nuff said🀦.

This year, for the entirety of 2021, I decided to focus on ‘beauty‘. What could go wrong? I climbed into bed last night, mellowed out with a couple of beautiful, relaxing, guided meditations, and gently drifted off to sleep. The universe blasted into my sleeping conciousness and brought me a solid seven hours of the ugliest nightmares that I have experienced in decades. WTF???

I crawled out of bed this morning, feeling beaten and bedraggled. I dragged myself to the kitchen to let Kat outside to πŸ’© on the sidewalk at the foot of the back steps. Meanwhile, I got her breakfast ready and poured Dan and I each a cup of lukewarm coffee. (Yes we need a new coffee pot – tomorrow’s mission).

The rest of the morning passed well enough – I got dressed and pulled myself together, straightened up our room, made a nice breakfast of bacon and eggs. Finally, I straightened up the kitchen and started to wash the dishes. And – there it was!

A tiny sparkle of beauty to warm my heart and cheer my day.

I do not typically buy myself jewellery – if I was to buy jewellery, I probably would not buy it on sale – at Walmart. But I loved this little ring and I always love seeing it sit on my kitchen windowsill, just sparkling and shining and making my day a little more beautiful.

Universe 0 – me 1.

Have a beautiful day🌻

Goodbye 2020

This year is winding down. For all of the challenges of 2020, people are excited for all of the possibilities of 2021. I guess that is human nature!

In 2020, I made peace my priority. In a difficult year, this priority served me amazingly well. It brought me into retirement. It allowed me time for walking miles and miles around our neighbourhood with our little dog, Kat. It brought me hours of relaxing in our yard this summer. It led me to a new and inspirational journey within, through meditation. It provided me with countless hours spent with my husband – a luxury after years of Monday thru Friday/ eight to four-thirty while Dan worked twenty-four/seven shifts. In half an hour, it will see us relaxing in the comfort of our own livingroom while we watch son Dan and his soon to be wife Amanda marry in their own home – hours away from us. Once again, in this year of pandemic, we are grateful for technology!

My path to peace in 2020 πŸ’ž

All the best as you ring out the old and wishing you a beautiful 2021! πŸ₯‚

Why???

It takes a bit of effort to get there and stay there, but living peacefully is nice. In my mind, it is the easiest, happiest, most fulfilling, and most productive way to live. All good things come through peace. πŸ™‚

So… Why are so many people in the world today hellbent on being miserable, confrontational, and angry? This isn’t just a one situation thing, it appears to be the norm in so many situations.

1. Politics – Someone devotes years and fortunes to becoming a political ‘leader’. They make it to the top, are given the reigns of power to do good for a city, province, or country. What do they do? They waste their time and power fighting the ‘next’ election and attacking other political leaders. They are angry, miserable and unproductive and they encourage their supporters to be angry, miserable, and unproductive. Why? Is that what they were elected to office for? Should it get them re-elected? 🀷

2. Corporations and their employees – Most people spend countless hours of their lives working. A lot of these people spend way too much time battling with co-workers. Even the professional associations (unions, small business associations, large business groups) spend more time creating and encouraging problems between company departments and the people in them, than they do working to resolve problems. Why? Corporations cannot possibly thrive if no one is willing to work together, and yet it is a problem in virtually every corporation. 🀷

3. Families – There was a time when families stuck together. Most families – most of the time. Now days it takes nothing to shatter and destroy a family. Even families that are relatively unbroken can be made miserable by those members who are incapable of being reasonable and pleasant. There are so many people who go through life so busy looking for a battle that they cannot even get along with those who they should be closest to. Why? Your family should be your support system. You should be supportive of those in your family. 🀷

4. Society in General – In this day and age, why are there so many people who cannot seem to co-exist peacefully with others? There is a new protest every day. There are new radical groups every day, pushing for their rights and only their rights. There are groups formed for the sole purpose of being miserable. We had one guy here who started a Facebook page dedicated to posting photos of poor parking, to shame the ‘offending parkers’. He wanted people to get up every day and deliberately look for something that would annoy them. 🀦. Another group, I encounter frequently on social media lately, are those who demand the right to be offensive and they attack anyone who is offended by them. πŸ˜‚. Why? Why do so many people want to be so miserable, for the sake of being miserable?

I cannot imagine why so many people invest so much time and effort into being angry, indignant, bitter and the like. I cannot imagine what they get out of it. I cannot imagine what they think the payoff is for them – happiness, love, prosperity, health? Peace? πŸ™„

Meditation

With physical exercise becoming difficult to impossible since the snow and ice have moved into Saskatchewan, I have been spending more time working on my meditation. Mother always said “every cloud has a silver lining”. Meditation has become mine. 🌨️

I have tried meditation over the years. I even tried ‘walking meditation’ this past summer. My attempts were somewhat successful but, since I distract easily, the results have always been less than mind boggling.

Lately, I have been exploring different forms of meditation on You Tube. Most of them have peace and spiritual healing at heart, but I am amazed at the different methods I have come across.

I have come across Himalayan singing bowls, Native chanting and drums, and African voodoo beat (which is neither African nor voodoo). I find all of them deeply relaxing. I also find the pulse of these meditations very therapeutic for my heart and lungs – and even for soothing muscle cramps! 😳

I have found a number of guided meditations that I love. Most of them are infinitely relaxing and I find they do wonders at expanding my conciousness. These guided meditations have brought much healing, love, joy, and peace to my mind, heart, and soul.

This morning, I found a new line of guided meditations. I searched out meditations for long distance healing. I found one by Nicky Sutton called ‘Send Healing Energy Guided Meditation’. It is amazing – I think it is my new favourite. πŸ’– (If you get a sudden warm and fuzzy feeling, you are welcome – Merry Christmas 🎁)

I find that meditating with You Tube works better for me with ear phones. I am more focussed so the meditations are more effective. Dan ordered me a pair of Bluetooth ear buds for Christmas. They will be another step up in my meditating practice. I can’t wait to get them! 😊

Wishing all a peaceful day. If you need help creating yours – try You Tube meditation videos. A great investment in your health and well-being. πŸ’ž

Sunday Morning at Wally World

I got up this morning to the realization that we were virtually out of milk. Since I need some to make mashed potatoes for tonight’s shepherds pie, this was obviously a problem. Since Dan is working today, this was obviously my problem. I dislike shopping with a passion, but being the trooper that I am, I decided to take a drive over to our local Walmart.

I made it through the store. I got almost everything on my list, a couple of things that were not on my list, and a couple of skeins of wool and a new crochet hook πŸ™‚. I dodged the customers who were doddering up and down the aisle moving against the directional arrows (rebels πŸ™„). I waited patiently for the clerks to move their stocking carts out of the way so I could get past them. I skipped aisles I wanted to go down, just to avoid the families who were there with six kids and Great Aunt Mildred (what happened to one shopper per household? πŸ€”). I even smiled and said “no problem” to the woman who accidentally ran into my cart. All in all, I did fine. I managed to leave the store in a relatively decent frame of mind.

Then I got to the parking lot, found the Jeep, unloaded my cart, and went to leave it in the nearest cart park. That was the final straw. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE???

There were maybe nine carts in the. cart park. Every one of them was parked pointing in a different direction. An area that should have easily held thirty carts was jamb packed with maybe nine carts. It is +2 celcius today. For December in Saskatchewan, that is balmy. The Walmart parking lot was virtually clear of snow and ice. This cart thing was a situation created totally by shoppers who have just zero respect or regard for other customers or the store clerks who gather the carts and return them to the store. Seriously, I am a frail old lady (ok maybe frail is being a bit dramatic 🀧) but I am oldish and it took me all of a couple of minutes to pull out all of the carts and re-park them in an orderly fashion. It is not rocket science.

The thing is, the people who do that kind of stuff are the ones who stomp and pout through life, whining about how hard it is. Life might not be so hard for any of us if those asshats were not such asshats. But no, they don’t think of that! 🀯

That is my rant for the day. Have a good one. If you have to go shopping, make sure you mask up. If nothing else, there is a certain satisfaction to being able to surreptitiously stick your tongue out at the asshats you may encounter. πŸ˜‰

No one can tell…

Covid Saskatchewan

Covid has found Saskatchewan and things are not looking good.Β  The case numbers are insignificant compared to more populated areas around the globe but our per capita numbers are bad and getting worse.Β Β Β  This should not come as a shock to anyone here.Β Β 

People here have a tendency to believe that due to our small population and wide open spaces, we are immune to such things as global pandemics.Β  Unfortunately, that is not the case. ThereΒ  is a false sense of security in knowing our co-workers, neighbours, and classmates. Β Β  People in Saskatchewan know and trust the people around them. Covid has taken advantage of this lapse and spread through manufacturing plants and mines, schools, penitentiaries, health centres and seniors homes, sports teams, and families. It is here and spreading exponentially.

Our hospitals are filling up and our intensive care units are already over capacity. We must all do our part to stop the spread of Covid. It will be interesting to see if people actually start taking this seriously – wearing masks, following directional arrows, keeping socially distant, following official guidelines for gatherings and the like. From what I have seen so far, I think we are in for a long uphill battle. πŸ₯Ί

Keep Safe πŸ’–

Chronic Illness

I have gone from having asthma and occasional bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia to having full-blown chronic issues with my lungs.  I have joined the millions who have COPD and those who have bronchiectasis  (there may be millions of us as well – we just do not talk about it because we cannot pronounce it?).

Having chronic lung issues is miserable – as is having any chronic issue no doubt.Β  One is always ‘sick’ to some degree but there is no cure and no serious relief. Too soon, you get sick and tired of being sick and tired. πŸ₯Ί

The real kick in the pants is that no health issue, chronic or otherwise, can just stay in one body part.  Other body parts have to kick things up in a show of solidarity with the sickly part of you. With my lung issues, the sympathizer has been my sinuses.  Seriously – I struggle to breathe and my nose is permanently, continuously plugged. 🀦

Blocked sinuses do not sound so bad, but they are.   You resort to mouth breathing – your throat is always dry, you can’t eat without choking, and you get hiccups (WAY too often 😳).  You cannot sleep with blocked sinuses because you wake up gasping for air every time you close your mouth.   And finally, the pressure in your sinuses builds up to the point where your eyes, ears and brain jump in with their own sympathy pains.  🀬

Modern science has provided us with many means to deal with blocked sinuses.  There are a variety of vaporizers on the market (all of which annoy and agitate my asthma).  There are numerous OTC nasal sprays (which are basically useless).  There are prescription nasal sprays which are extremely effective (and cause massive nosebleeds 😐).   Then there is my personal favourite – the Neti Pot.   Pouring warm, treated water through ones sinuses is quite effective and brings about serious relief.  It is also messy, awkward and seriously undignified.  But what the hell – it works. πŸ₯³

My new best friend🌟
Kat is still my best friend – but she is no Neti Pot. πŸ™‚

Have a great day and stay safe (and healthy). Cannot stress the healthy part enough! πŸ’ž

World Kindness Day

Yesterday was World Kindness Day.Β  I am a day late, but if we have ever needed kindness in the world, it is now.Β Β  So, late or not, here goes!

2020 hasn’t been a particularly kindly year.   Everyone has been affected by the effects of a global pandemic – some obviously more than others – but suffering isn’t a contest.  It has been hard and we have all struggled at times.

We are always encouraged to be kind and we know that it is never acceptable to be unkind.Β  But let’s face it – none of us are perfect and we have all had our moments this year.Β  We have also been on the receiving end of someone else’s bad moments.Β Β  Right now, we just have to keep trying – to be kind and to give others a little more leeway when they are not as kind to us as we feel they could be.Β 

This year, and every year, one of the most important things to remember is to be kind to ourselves.Β  We know what we are going through. We know how we are being affected by it. We know others areΒ  busy dealing with their own struggles.Β  We need to take the time and make the effort to nurture ourselves so that we have it in us to nurture others.

It is okay to need kindness in these troubled times and it is ok be the kindness we need. πŸ€—

Really, it is okay! 😊

Breathe Easy

I have spent a lifetime dealing with breathing issues. Asthma, allergies, bronchitis, pneumonia, empyema, COPD, and now bronchiectasis. Acute attacks of any, or all, of the above can be triggered by seasonal colds or flus, air pollutants, stress, or the weather. One condition can lead to another. It is all rather stressful and varies from annoying to totally debilitating at times.

I have found things that are helpful in avoiding flare ups and dealing with them when they inevitably happen. Hopefully, some of these can help someone else (even with a seasonal cold or flu) or if anyone else has any suggestions, I am always open to trying something new.

1. Get active – keep active. I generally find that the worst thing for me is to spend any amount of time laying down. There is almost always something I can do to keep active, especially now that I am retired and away from an 9 to 5 office job!

2. Dress accordingly. I wear loose tops, especially when I am dealing with a severe flare up. I have a lot of camisoles and sweaters – my go to wardrobe!

3. Relax. Different people have different ways to relax. I have a few things that generally help me, depending on the day and time. I will take a walk, meditate (recently I have been spending time listening to ‘singing bowls’ on You Tube and that definitely helps my meditating), read, have a warm bath, or have a glass of red wine. I wouldn’t recommend self medicating with alcohol for any purpose but it definitely helps once in a while. And it is wine πŸ™‚

4. Laugh. Laughing helps a lot. I have a sister who sends me a humorous meme virtually every day. They generally involve flatulence 🀦 and they generally make me laugh. Thank you, Sis – way to keep me breathing.

5. Deep breathing. Recently I saw my specialist and he said while all physical exercise is good for the lungs, deep breathing exercises are particularly useful in maintaining lung function. He advised inhaling through my nose, pursing my lips and exhaling out of one side of my mouth. (This is helpful in releasing all of the air from the pockets in one’s lungs). So I tried it.

Breathe in..
Breathe out…

I showed my husband and he said I should alternate which side of my mouth I exhale out of. So I tried that…

The other side of my face doesn’t work. πŸ™„

6. Clean, fresh air. This one should be a given but, when you have bills to pay and your career takes you to office work in a construction company, that isn’t always a given. My advise here would be – if you are young, just starting out, and have vulnerable lungs – choose your career accordingly. A dusty, air conditioned office will eventually lead to serious problems.

7. Doctors, specialists, therapists, inhalers – whatever you need – get it and take it. The trick to respiratory conditions is to do everything in your power to control them and to avoid the acute flare-ups that cause permanent damage. On top of prescribed medications, I take a vitamin D supplement. Since I starting taking vitamin D, I seldom get a cold or flu, which is a good thing with my already compromised lungs.

8. When dealing with any health issues, what works for one person does not necessarily work for everyone. However, regardless of what health issues a person has, there are always things that one can do to make the situation better and things to avoid as they will make matters worse. Just keep trying until you figure out which is which for you.

Fresh air, sunshine and nature – breathe it in.

Bronchiectasis

I finally received all of my test results back and saw my specialist last week. Yea, I have bronchiectasis. (Because I couldn’t get something I can pronounce). 🀦

As diseases/conditions go, it isn’t the worst one to get. It is rather miserable since it makes it difficult to breathe, which is never fun (my bronchial tubes are swollen up from scar tissue and the like). It is chronic but can be managed with medication and exercise. I do have to go to the hospital for more testing and I am not thrilled about that. But, it is not fatal – so there is that. 😊

It is rather damp and chilly out today but I had better get out there and get walking. I have to work to get my lung function and blood oxygen level up. πŸ™„

Have a great day🌞