Covid Saskatchewan

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

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.  Unfortunately, that is not the case. There  is a false sense of security in knowing our co-workers, neighbours, and classmates.    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. 🥺

Keep Safe 💖

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.  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. 🥺

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. 🥳

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

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

World Kindness Day

Yesterday was World Kindness Day.  I am a day late, but if we have ever needed kindness in the world, it is now.   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.  But let’s face it – none of us are perfect and we have all had our moments this year.  We have also been on the receiving end of someone else’s bad moments.   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. 

This year, and every year, one of the most important things to remember is to be kind to ourselves.  We know what we are going through. We know how we are being affected by it. We know others are  busy dealing with their own struggles.  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. 🤗

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 🙂

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. 🙄

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. 🙄

Have a great day🌞

More Lessons (finally) Learned 🤦

It is so strange that we can hear the same truth repeated over and over in our lives and never really understand the meaning or importance of the message.

I was raised in a relatively loving home. The Catholic Church and her teaching were a foundation of our lives. I have read countless books on self improvement. Through all of my life, the concept of forgiveness and unconditional love has been brought forth time and time again. I thought I ‘got it’.

I have tried to be a good, caring person. I have tried to not be angry or hateful towards others. I have tried to not be vengeful or judgemental. I honestly thought I had a fairly good grasp on living a ‘good’ life.

Early this spring, I developed health issues that seriously impaired my life. I was driven to retire from my job (a few months earlier than planned) and to start living a healthier life. As part of my healing, I began walking – a lot! – on a regular basis. My walks gave me time to think and many of my thoughts focussed on peace. (Which coincidentally was the subject I had chosen to focus on in 2020).

Walking in itself did wonders for easing my stress level. Spending time in nature on a regular basis was relaxing and beneficial. I walked for my peace. I walked for my family’s peace. I walked for peace for friends and neighbours and strangers. While my health was my initial reason for walking, peace was the driving force that kept me going.

These past few days, while I still walked every day and enjoyed my time in nature, I have started to struggle to stay focussed on peace. There have been a number of things happening that I have been dealing with – ongoing issues with my daughter, my son’s upcoming wedding (which will involve spending a couple of days socializing with my ex-husband and his family), politics – specifically a provincial election which will once again result in a landslide win for a party led by people who have caused serious grief and pain to many – including my family, and with colder weather moving in, a return to having my husband watching his television programs in the livingroom. (I love my husband and I certainly want him to be comfortable on his days off, but personally I am uncomfortable with television programs the likes of Jerry Springer in our house).

All of these situations have cost me a lot of peace. I ‘block’ one disturbing thing out of my consciousness and three more things gnaw at me. It has become increasingly frustrating.

FINALLY I get it!

Peace is one of those things that you cannot just have and hoard. You cannot have peace and choose to share it with some, while withholding it from others. You do not get to decide who is worthy of peace.

For the last couple of days, I have been walking for peace – for myself, for my family, for friends and neighbours and strangers – but including and specifically for those who I had been previously trying to block from my peaceful consciousness.

I feel so much better. The more I walk for peace for myself and others, including walking for those who challenge my peace, the more peaceful I become. Seriously – how simple is that? 🤷

Wayne Dyer

Last night I read ‘Staying On The Path’ by Dr. Wayne Dyer. It is a collection of some of his popular observations and quotes. One that I had not come across before (despite being a huge Wayne Dyer fan) was “How old would you be, if you didn’t know how old you are?”

My first thought, if I was not looking in a mirror or considering how old my children are, was forties – maybe fifties. In reality, I am sixty-five but I was thinking more in line with what I have learned and done in life and what I have left to learn and do.

Then I just closed my eyes and just went by how I felt – no thought for my history or my potential future. When I thought along those lines, I felt timeless – age seemed totally irrelevant.

It is a really good question. “How old would you be, if you didn’t know how old you are?”

September Sunday

I am taking it easy today. I went for a walk with Kat this morning. She’s taking it slow lately due to a bum leg. I take her for a walk around our route, bring her home for a treat, and then go back for a brisker walk by myself.

Kat resting after her nap.

I snapped a few pictures in the garden while I was outside.

Our bell peppers are amazing this year.
Our jalapenos and other hot peppers are prolific.
Our Roma’s and San Marzanos are finally ripening
Kat has Tiny Tim tomatoes ripening faster than she can eat them.
A couple of our carrots have gone to seed. I have never seen that before but we have plenty of them and they are huge this year.
Out geraniums are still in bloom!

Time to rest and relax for a bit before I start supper.

Have a nice Sunday💐

Finding My Tribe

One of the ubiquitous phrases I have noticed on social media recently relates to ‘finding one’s tribe’. Since I am about as about as outgoing as your basic hermit, I didn’t really think this was a quest that I would ever embark on.

Today I realized that I am less of a hermit and more of a nomad. I have always had a ‘tribe’. As a child, I had my family and my fellow schoolmates. As a young wife and mother, I had my own family and my neighbours. As my children grew up and I became a solid member of the workforce, I had employers, fellow employees, suppliers and customers. When my children became even older, my tribe grew to include a parade of amazing and entertaining grandchildren.

With my retirement, my children and grandchildren getting busy with their own lives, and my siblings some distance away, I truly felt my tribe dwindling down to my husband and my little dog, Kat. Between work and golf for my husband, it was often pretty much me and my dog.

Except that, since I have started blogging, I have met many interesting and wonderful people on WordPress. I look forward to seeing their posts and I enjoy seeing that they have read mine. 🙂 I truly enjoy exchanging the random comments. I have met people I have much in common with, people I have something surprisingly in common with and some whom I find thoroughly fascinating because we seem to have nothing in common. 🤷

I have started meeting our neighbours and found that I once again enjoy the time it takes for a front yard chat. I even had one little neighbour over for a playdate with my grandson recently.

And I have started to meet and greet the regulars that I meet on my morning walks. There is one woman I have spoken to a few times. This morning, we had a lengthy chat. One topic led to another. I swear we have been living in a parellel universe for the past sixty-five years. I look forward to meeting up with her on a regular basis.

Whether I was searching or not, I seem to be finding my new tribe!

Kat’s Tribe😂😂😂