Friday, August 9, 2013

Healthy Years

I was scrolling through some blogs today and this one caught my eye: Life Expectancy at Age 65

Now I am not 65. But it’s only a few years away so this was rather interesting. I took the map and added where I live up here in Canada (red arrow) and extrapolated the light green colour from the Northeast States (you know Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York and a couple of those little states!) and decided I must be in the green zone too.

(I couldn’t find the original map on the CDC siteso used the one the blogger posted. Thanks!)

This map wasn’t about how long you are going to live but the expected “Healthy Years” remaining past age 65.

In my case—green zone—just over 14 healthy years. Which means I should be healthy til I’m 79. Then after that its downhill.

The Heart & Stroke Foundation have launched the coolest commercials called Make Health Last. In the video they say that the majority of older people today will live their last 10 years in sickness. The video is split screen showing the same man living in health on the left and living in sickness on the right. It really is powerful.

Youtube Video:

As I work through planning retirement in a few years, all my hopes and dreams will be overshadowed by my “health”. 

Not just as a statistic but in the healthy lifestyle I’m following. Well 90% of the time anyway. Eating well to control my weight, being active, lowering stress, having lots of friends and family around. 

Right now I feel I’m good. I just need to keep it that way.

Cause I still have lots to see and do!


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Tuesday, June 25, 2013


A few years ago I bought hiking shoes. They were hard and unforgiving but did work great on rocky surfaces. I used them on a trip to Australia and New Zealand where I hiked up to the melting glacier beside Mount Cook. And yes those hikers were heavy. We had to scrub them clean in order to get back into Australia so we didn't bring dirt in from a foreign country.
Hooker Glacier, Mount Cook, New Zealand. February 2009
Over the past couple of years I have mostly been walking on paved pathways, but since taking up Nordic walking with my poles am trying out rougher ground. My poles collapse so I'll be packing them for our trip. They give an amazing upper body workout by pushing off while hiking. Great workout for the triceps.

With lots of hiking, walking, trekking planned for our upcoming trip to Ireland, I splurged on new hiking shoes. And what a difference a few years make. They are so lightweight. Lighter than my runners. They might look like runners but the sole is quite firm.


If only the weather didn't suck so much. We've had almost continuous rain and severe thunderstorms making it is hard to find an hour or so to actually get outside. But there are lots of mountains and glaciers and rocky paths to conquer. 

I'm on a mission! Onward.


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Friday, June 21, 2013

Travels With My Family

Woo Hoo. The weather is finally warm and sunny. Today is the longest day. The sun will set around 10:00 tonight and then the days will gradually shorten. Must celebrate!

Most of the time I am on my iPad and just realized I can actually create a post right here and now. Ok, don't judge. I'm quite technically inclined but really thought I had to use my computer :-( You know the good ol' Bill Gate's windows had me hypnotized.

I've been travelling. At the end of May, spent a fantastic week with my grandbaby, daughter and her hubby in Phoenix, Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. My DH came along too. I sorta, kinda forgot what it is like to have a 3 months old around. She basically controlled our trip (in a wonderful way). We would start driving in the morning when she napped. Pulled over when she needed to feed and basically had us all wrapped around her little finger. Loved (almost) every minute. The hour of screaming while I babysat one night was interesting. Ended up holding her for two hours when she FINALLY fell asleep. Was afraid she'd wake if I put her down. But there is nothing better than snuggling with a little baby.

Here we are at Salsa Brava in Flagstaff. 3 Generations.

We stayed at the MGM in Vegas and had the breakfast buffet. It was excellent although I only ate a tiny bit. It was one of the things I wanted to do though. Also saw a Cirque de Soleil show at the Bellagio. Funny but we ate dinner at the Bellagio and I ordered Meatloaf with Mushroom sauce. Yummy. But really, meatloaf? It was actually amazing. 

The heat just sapped my appetite and with all the walking I was down 5 pounds on arriving home and have lost another 3. Seems to be the same every year. Gain 10 pounds over the winter and lose it again each summer. At least I'm staying steady and approaching that magical 50 pounds lost. So close. For so many years just a few pounds shy of reaching that goal.

Life is good. In the throes of planning our trip to Ireland this September. Lots of walking and trekking. Going to get my new hiking shoes this weekend. That are so light. Can't wait to break them in.

And I will get back to finish my cross-stitch of "The Wedding". Have promised my daughter to have it done for her first anniversary. October 6th. But right now the wine is calling.


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Thursday, March 14, 2013

R.I.P. Elliot-Our Cat from Hell

The time has finally come. My daughter had to make the decision to put down her cat Elliot. He has been vicious off and on over the last few years and had to be put in the basement when company came. You couldn't pick him up or pet him unless he came to you.

He lived with me for 2 years and while outside one day another animal came into the yard. He was in full attack mode when I tried to get him in the house. The scratches and punctures needed antibiotics and it scared the crap out of me. Still have the scars.

Yet we hoped he was settling down and making some progress.
Elliot in quieter times.
A gentler time.
I think he's about 8 years old and my daughter has had him since he was a 6 week old kitten. As he got older, the wires became more crossed in his brain. He was taken to the vet to see if something could be done, but he went wild in the carry bag and the vet wouldn't take him out. Back home to wait for another appointment where they could drug him senseless just to be checked out.


It was not to be. He struck out at my son-in-law the other day and the new one month old baby was right beside him.


We cannot wait for something more serious to happen.

When my daughter told me, I cried. And cried some more when I saw him at their place later that night. He was nice as pie, rubbing up against my leg.

Another Cat from Hell episode over.

I am sad even though I know it has to be done. He was a great cat.

Just had to share some memories today, his final day.


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Friday, February 22, 2013

“The Wedding” Cross Stitch Project

Finally an update. The wedding came and went last October 6th. I knew by mid September I would never finish my cross-stitch project by then so put it away. I’ve been reminded a couple of times since and am ready to get ‘er done.

I estimate that the piece is about 75% done. I still need to finish the train of the dress, fill in the shading stitches, put on the beadwork, veil and finishing touches. From the last update, I finished the flowers, some of the train and ruffle around the bottom. Here is the latest picture. As far as I got last September 2012. But it was always going to be a work in progress.
Ruffle-September 2012
I had a few questions by e-mail and will post the answers here for others to see:

Rachel asked: “What colour and texture of the fabric did you use.” 
A: 32 count Lugana in Antique White. Ivory would also work well. Stitching is done over two squares. (Pattern suggests 32 Count Antique Green or Natural Linen)

Dinny asked: “Please tell me the number of squares for the bride from top to bottom.”
A: The Stitch count is 228 x 301 (h x w). The Bride is 22 squares from top to bottom (220 stitches). The groom adds another block of 10 stitches.

Here also are the colour conversions for the Grooms hair which I changed from Blond to Dark Brown
Blond Hair
Brown Hair
DMC 3047
DMC 435
DMC 3046
DMC 434
DMC 3045
DMC 433
DMC 420
DMC 898
DMC 801
DMC 801

Here also are the colour conversions for the purple bows (original pattern had blue bows).

Blue Bows
Purple Bows
DMC 931
DMC 3740
DMC 932
DMC 3041
DMC 3753
DMC 3042
DMC 3756
DMC 3743

Here is a link to the last update (July 2012). These pictures show progression (most recent to oldest):
Bows done-July 2012
Bows are added.
More of the dress takes shape and the bouquet is almost done. 
The bouquet begins to appear. 
The Bride takes her place beside her groom. 
Back to Stitching!

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Monday, February 11, 2013

I'm a Nana

The big story last week might have been snow. Lots of snow.

But for me it was something more monumental.

I became a grandmother—nana—gram—grandma. You pick the name. I'm not sure what I want to be called.

My daughter had my first grandchild.

It's a Girl. 

Baby girl was born on February 6th, 2013, weighing 7 lbs, 9 ounces. What a treasure and what a sweetie. My hubby was travelling with my son in Australia but returned this week. Sooo…

He brought baby UGGS for baby girl. 
UGGS are a bit big, but I know her feet will grow.
I'm reminded that I should follow the Golden Rule of Grandparenthood — "Keep Thy Mouth Shut and Thy Opinions to Thyself".

And lastly...

Life is good.


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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Keep Calm & Carry On

2012 was a great year. And I expect 2013 to be the same. And this title. Well, a new song called Carry On by Fun was playing as I drove home. Which reminded me of the British stiff upper lip at all times. The chorus goes like this

If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone
Carry on
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground
Carry on

So here's a small toast to everyone. That 2013 be your best year. That you "Carry On" and remain positive no matter what.
Cheers to a Happy, Healthy 2013!
This picture was taken at our post-wedding brunch last October 7th. No makeup. Relaxed and happy. Wedding hair intact. My SIL calls it that. Hair that doesn't move when you sleep in it!

I did a lot of partying over Christmas. I bought a lovely lace top and it was well used for almost every event. My weight stayed the same. I didn't wander in a sugar haze as in past years and actually enjoyed the fresh food and treats.

The only downside was an infected tooth which will require a root canal next week. The positive side is that antibiotics cleared it up initially but the only cure is a root canal. Another downer: while having a sip of wine last week, one of my new veneers fell off. I have it safely wrapped in a Kleenex, a $1000 piece of porcelain, ready to be re-glued back onto the tooth underneath next week while having the root canal. The positive side of this was that I didn't swallow said expensive cap and I have to be at the dentist anyway next week so will be able to kill two birds with one stone. I do have a funny looking smile with a missing tooth in front (no photos will be posted!).

Christmas was a whirlwind.
  • Dec 1st was a party with friends
  • Dec 7th was a party in Montreal.
  • Dec 15-17th was a weekend with my BFF in Hamilton and 4 different parties.
  • Christmas dinner at my daughter’s house. Hosting a Boxing Day buffet dinner for my hubby’s family (20 in various sizes and ages). Forgot to take pictures.
  • A spontaneous trip to Toronto to visit my brother and his family for a couple of days. Snowshoeing was involved (lots of fun) as well as a couple of bottles of wine, where said tooth fell out. Again, forgot to take pictures.
  • Watching all 6 episodes of Star Wars, a gift my son gave me for Christmas. From Jar Jar Binks, to the transformation of Anakin to Darth Vader, to Yoda, Princess Leia, Luke and Hans Solo defeating the Emperor. And good overcoming evil. Don’t you just love a marathon! 
  • New Years Eve was quiet. Just hubs and I, some movies, a dip in the hot tub and into bed by 11:00. Just no desire to see 12:00 flashing on my clock radio (or is it 00:00).
  • New Years Day. A bit non-traditional. No big dinner or brunch. We were off to my daughter’s house to paint the baby’s room. That was our Christmas present to them, to paint the room. She decided to choose TWO colours—a pale green and a pale mauve. It took longer than planned but it is done with a couple of touch-ups and ready for baby girl to make her entrance.

Time is closing in on me being a Gram—baby girl is due on February 12th.

Which is a tiny bit exciting.

It is colder than all get out this week and lots and lots of snow. Which is only good for my snowshoeing group which starts a week Saturday. Looking forward to getting out and enjoying the white stuff and not sitting inside moping.
First snowfall-Dec 21st. Another foot came a week later.
So what will 2013 bring? Well, I don’t have a crystal ball so will take one day at a time and try to keep a positive frame of mind. It is weird how far down we can be sucked if we let others continue being negative. And how much better we are when we stop and tell them "positive talk" only or just walk away. I do now.

I believe we get back what we give out into the universe. My goal is to send out happy, positive thoughts and actions and hope that the same is returned to me. No New Year's Resolutions for me but wishing you a wonderful and positive year.

Bring it on!

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