Black Friday or Abs Friday

Is this Black Friday or Abs Friday for you? I’ll confess that in my 65 years, I’ve ventured out to shop on Black Friday two times. That’s right two times. The fact I went a second time indicates I was coerced.

Routine Wins the Race

However, exercise is something I’ve enjoyed my whole life. Yet it is still easy to place it way down the list when prioritizing. Adding routine to an exercise program really helps though. And Friday is Abs Friday in my life.

Perfection is Not Attainable

I’ve accepted that perfection is not attainable…for me. When I miss an exercise day I’ve developed a few tricks to keep me on track.

  1. Add exercise to your other activities, like parking in the farthest parking space.
  2. Make exercise fun by finding what brings you joy while increasing your heart rate.
  3. Most importantly, forgive yourself.
  4. Tomorrow, a new day dawns

Get Out There

So whether Black Friday or Abs Friday is your thing, get moving!

Thanks for taking time to read my blog. Do you want to see me in person? I’ll be at Bok Tower Gardens on December 15, 2019 for an afternoon Introduction to Japanese Meditation. Click here to learn more and register!


How to Host the Imperfect Thanksgiving

Are you the one who hosts Thanksgiving in your family? If yes, I’ll bet you share my knowledge of how to host the imperfect Thanksgiving.

Siblings and Planning

My sister, Lila, and I were texting during the initial planning.

“Your house or mine?” I ask.
“It doesn’t matter to me but you hosted last year.”
“I’ll do it again so the dogs won’t be alone all day,” I reply.

Hunt for Obscure Recipes

Do furry animals color your decisions? They sure do mine. But anyway… The next communication with my sister was looking for a cranberry chutney our mother used to make. Mom is 91, lives with me and visits Lila occasionally. She doesn’t take a lot of interest in the menu at home, but a few days ago she mentioned the cranberry chutney she used to take pride in making every Thanksgiving. It’s very unusual and since I’m a super traditionalist for Thanksgiving, I don’t care for it.

Sure enough, Lila had Mom’s giant recipe file, and she emailed me the recipe. Just reading some of the ingredients was enough to make me shake my head; onion, vinegar, curry, and mace, oh my!

Email Communication Hiccups

At the end of the recipe email, my sister wrote, “I am bringing a pecan and pumpkin pie. If Wayne (my husband) wants pumpkin, I’ll bring that too.”

Do you forget to read all the words in an email, once you’ve read the part you are looking for? I do…. sometimes.

I noticed pecan and added “pie” after it. That left pumpkin pie. It was obvious to me two pies were coming with my sister and brother-in-law; one pecan pie and one pumpkin pie.

That’s exactly what I wanted since pecan pie is my favorite. Six email replies later, I realized she wanted to make one pie that was a combination of pecan and pumpkin. This seems understandable, since I’ve eaten the pecan-pumpkin pie before and should have realized what she meant.

Planning Outcome

Although I really wanted a pecan pie, in the end I acquiesced. After all the back and forth, there will be a pecan-pumpkin pie and a traditional pumpkin pie on the dessert menu. At least I think that’s right..

And don’t tell anyone, but I’m going to make a pecan pie either before Thanksgiving or after. Hey! It’s my favorite!

Here’s hoping this blog helped you learn how to host an imperfect Thanksgiving!


A Different Halloween Story

Today I’m going to tell you a different Halloween story that might make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Fade back to Monday

Three mornings ago, I checked my social media notifications and saw an odd Twitter recommendation. The tweet contained none of the usual hashtags, but reading it sparked a memory of a blood test result from a year ago. During a broad blood test that included checking for ferritin, a red flag indicated my reading was high… very high, double the ‘normal’ high. All I remembered about the talk with the doctor who discussed my blood test result was it was advisable to give blood. A second test three months later showed my ferritin level was still over the expected high number, but it decreased about 90% from the previous reading. They suggested I give blood three times a year.

Observe, gather information, then Act

My immediate reaction to the tweet about ferritin and the condition, hemochromatosis, resulted in an Internet search for more information. I was surprised to find out it can cause serious damage to the liver, pancreas, or heart if never treated. The condition is hereditary, suspected with high serum levels of ferritin, diagnosed by a positive DNA test, and treated solely by phlebotomy (blood letting or blood donation). Out of ten common symptoms, I identify with almost half.

Tuesday morning was my regular acupuncture appointment and I mentioned my ferritin levels to the acupuncturist. She also noticed the coppery color of my legs. Her suggestion was also to give blood three times annually.

Here’s the thing. My first blood donation a year ago did not go well. I was so dizzy, I almost fainted. I ‘forgot’ to do it again. Tuesday, I figured I was way past due for a blood letting. It also seemed I needed to talk to my current doctor about my concerns. Immediately after my acupuncture I took action.

  1. Dropped by my doctor’s office to book an appointment
  2. Drove to the blood bank and was able to donate almost immediately
  3. Received my cool Halloween T-shirt

Some Lessons Learned

First, always notice when something odd crosses your path. It isn’t happenstance. I believe it’s a higher power looking out for you. And who knows, maybe a cool t-shirt will be your reward. Oh and also, blood-letting and fear make for a different Halloween story.

I don’t know if I have hemochromatosis and probably won’t know for months. But I feel much better taking the initiative to follow the suggested treatment while helping others with a blood donation. It is one of the easiest ways you can help your fellow man. 

If you’re in Central Florida on December 15, 2019, I’m teaching an Introduction to Japanese Meditation class. Stay tuned for more information or even better,  sign up for my weekly newsletter. You’ll never miss a blog or an announcement.