47 rhymes with heaven. . . But not purging.

Well, that was just silly. But it made me smile. So.

Four days since my last post. I had a bit of a stomach thing going on this weekend. Did not feel like doing a damned thing. Seems, though, I have managed to purge myself of whatever it was, ’cause I’m feeling fine now.

Fine enough that I went grocery shopping.

I’m not one of those people who hates grocery shopping. In fact, I kind of enjoy it. I like checking out what’s fresh, what’s on sale and discovering new foods to try.

But today was a trial.

I swear every dough-head in town was in Superstore this afternoon. They parked their carts in the middle of every aisle I went down – and looked peeved when they were asked to move.

They stood smack-dab in front of the dairy coolers, doors open while they chatted on the phone, completely mindless that other shoppers wanted in.

They blocked the aisle ends so no one could get past while they stood there, gazing skyward in search of God only knows what.

They man-handled the produce to the point of obscenity. Seriously.

What I had set out upon thinking it would be a leisurely afternoon of browsing for groceries turned into an exercise in frustration.

Some days.

Glad I purged that out of my system!

My 43rd day of purging– sorta kinda

Physically here’s what I’ve gotten rid of over the past couple of days.

  • Old flyers for pizza and hamburger joints – these, aside from being out of date are not good for us to have around when we’re trying so hard to lose weight, eat healthier and get in shape. I’ll admit I was sorely tempted as I leafed longingly through them before tossing them – all that ooey, gooey cheesy goodness just flaunting itself in front of my tearfilled eyes.
  • A beer can, a beer bottle and numerous candy wrappers, chip bags and takeout coffee lids while out walking. Doing this makes Tim cringe – he thinks I’m going to contract some horrible disease or something. I’m wearing gloves, for Pete’s sake and I wash them when I get home. It’s not like I’m checking those bottles and cans for a little sip – sheesh!
  • Another pound. Losing weight is so much harder than it used to be. Still, a pound is a pound and I’m happy that my efforts are paying off. And I’m extra happy because Tim took me out for supper to The Keg for Valentine’s Day. I only ate half of everything I ordered, but it was still a LOT of calories. Mostly of the fat kind. I just keep channeling Oprah and her wheel barrow full of butter.

Now, for some other stuff I need to get rid of.

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The debate over changing Canada’s national anthem so that it’s gender-neutral. All I can say is:  How is this even an issue?

Political correctness and feminism. That’s how.

I think both of those causes are worthy and necessary. And a lot of really good changes to society have been advanced as a result of people championing them. Changing our anthem is not one of those.

As far as I’m concerned it’s petty, and specious. A small group of ‘concerned’ women who have deemed it their mission in life to exact a meaningless change to something that reflects who we are, and more importantly, speaks to our national pride. They say the lyrics exclude and deliberately fail to acknowledge that women have played as important a role in Canadian history as men.

Bullshit. It’s an anthem.  noun 1. A rousing or uplifting song identified with a particular group, body, or cause. (Google on-line dictionary). In this case that group would be Canadians – all of them. Which I’m pretty damned sure when we all sing it at public events we’re including everyone who is a Canadian. Be they indigenous, immigrant, black, white, pink, purple or green. Whether they are gay, straight, queer or any derivation thereof possible. Whether they served as a soldier, a line cook, nurse, mother, father or field hand. If you’re Canadian this song is for you. And it should be left alone.

If some people feel the need to be offended by the use of ‘in all our sons’ command,’ then they should feel free to sing whatever word they wish to substitute whenever they sing the anthem – if they can get past their self-righteousness, that is.

We are, after all, a democracy, and we will support their right to do so. Because that’s what Canadians do.

41st Purge

pexels-photo-235474.jpegThe weather has been very odd the last few days.

First, it’s blisteringly cold. Then it warms up to the point it was raining last night. Today it’s bloody cold again.

I get tired of saying, ah well, winter in Alberta, but really.  . .

Today I started an aquafit class. It was a lot tougher than I thought. Trying to force foam dumbbells through the water while holding them at waist height is not as easy as you’d think. A couple of times I felt like I was going to lose control and one or both of my arms would just go rocketing up out of the water and I’d look like a drunk synchronised swimmer. Thankfully, our instructor seemed to know exactly when we’d reached our limit and she’d let us have a millisecond of rest.

Another thing that’s way hard in the water? Jogging. Fast. She had us do the equivalent of wind sprints all the while exhorting us to keep our shoulders back, our heads up, our backs straight and our stomachs in. Seriously. Water torture.

Never mind my whining. I enjoyed the class and I’m looking forward to continuing.

You know what else I enjoyed? Getting the senior discount! I don’t want to brag or nothin’, but I saved 75% of the regular cost. Ha, ha. Take that. I think I’m going to like being 60.

Well, I’m trying to convince myself that I will. Think young to stay young.

Day 41 of The Purge

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Confession: I don’t think I should say this blog is about purging anymore. Although.  .  .

Tim and I talked about purging yesterday. It didn’t go well. More in a bit.

The last four days were what I consider ‘good’ days. The weather was decent; I got some great walks in (Tim even came with me once).

We took some dance lessons on Friday night. Learned the two-step, which I pretty much knew how to do, but they taught us how to twirl and do the cuddle. We need more practice, but we had fun and met some nice people.

Saturday was an incredibly lazy day. The most I did was make this weight watchers loaded cauliflower bake. We visited with some friends in the evening and I wanted to give this recipe a try. It was actually very good. Lo-carb and (fairly) lo-cal. The important thing is it had cheese and bacon in it.

Sunday, I spent the morning on the phone.  Easy to do when you have seven siblings. Then Tim and I indulged ourselves and went to Cora’s for brunch.

I never used to be a Cora’s fan, but I tell you, I sure am now.

After our leisurely brunch – where the subject of purging raised its ugly head – we went for a long walk in the cold, but very sunny afternoon. Lovely.

So now about the purging.

And it occurs to me that I have discovered another way that I am actively purging, but I’ll get to that after this.

While we were waiting for our meals at Cora’s we began discussing the future. As in three years from now when Tim retires again.

One of our main plans is to have our house completely retirement ready. All repairs and reno’s done so that we don’t have to spend our time, energy and limited income on doing them when we have nothing but time on our hands.

To do that we have to really clean house. Tim and I have VERY different ideas about what that means.

I would like to get one of those rent-a-dumpsters and just go to town.

Tim is all for saving every thing. He considers all the stuff we’ve accumulated over 39 years together as’ history’.

You see the problem.

The more we (I) talked the more agitated he got. Finally, it got to the point where he told me he wasn’t going to talk about it anymore. Which annoyed the crap out of me. So I asked him what could we talk about. Nothing, he said. So, what, we’re just going to sit here staring at one another? I asked. I guess, he said.

So that’s what I did. I made my eyes as big as I could and I stared right at him. He was studiously ignoring me, but he finally had to look in my direction. The second his eyes caught mine he started to laugh. You’re such a jerk, he said.

After that we had a great time. However, I wisely left the subject of purging alone.

Now, the way in which I am actively doing some purging is while I’m walking. I get so tired of seeing garbage on the street and walkways and I always complain about it.  Last week I decided to stop complaining. Instead, I pick it up.

Fort McMurray is a wonderful town for having an abundance of garbage cans and receptacles on its streets. And for the most part its citizens are very good about using them. Still, there is always some garbage littering the ground. Generally, it’s plastic stuff. Stuff that won’t break down or biodegrade.

It’s such an easy thing to do to bend down and pick it up and carry it the few feet to the next garbage can.

There you have it. It won’t save the world, but it’ll keep a little more waste out of the river and the trees and maybe it’ll save a bird or a fish.

Gotta love the urge to purge.

Purgey, purgey, purge. Day 37

 

I’ve been busy getting back into the swing of things. Thank God I’m no longer working! I’d be completely useless. That’s not to say I haven’t been busy – I have – it’s just that I seem to require frequent rests in between chores.

My purging right now is focused on health and diet. Tim and I are both seriously over-weight and out of shape. On Monday we both started restricting calories, eating healthier and doing some form of exercise every day. This has not been a painless process.

Going from what was a very high-fat diet to one low in fat, high in protein, fibre and vegetables has taken some serious adjusting.

Then there is the restriction of alcohol to be considered.  . .

Even before our cruise with the all-inclusive drink package that came with it (which we took full advantage of, let me tell you) we were in the habit of having at least two drinks/day.

We had convinced ourselves that a couple of drinks a day wouldn’t hurt us – they were,  in fact, actually good for us. They helped us relax, they provided us with time to connect at the end of Tim’s work day, and, because we needed to believe there was some good in drinking every day we bought into some ‘research’ that said consuming one to two alcoholic drinks per day was shown to have numerous health benefits.

If we were running a marathon every day, maybe. All it did was help make us fatter, lazier and less interested in being healthy.

We have not completely sworn off booze. Oh, no! We like it – a lot – and we especially like consuming it when we socialize. It’s just our approach to it has changed. We will reserve the pleasures of imbibing for those special occasions when we’re with family or friends.

And we will not needlessly or purposely create ‘special’ occasions.

Exercise has been a challenge, too. It requires us to get up quite a bit earlier than we’ve become accustomed to. We each have a half hour routine we do in the morning. It’s a good way to start the day – grunting and groaning, huffing and puffing – but we definitely have more energy and a more positive attitude when we’re done.

Trying to fit some form of exercise in to our evenings is more of a challenge. So far this week we’re 0 for 3. We’ve decided that swimming would be a good choice. It’s just getting our carcasses to the pool that’s the problem. This morning, because we both slept in and missed our workout, we’re definitely committed to going. Maybe. Hopefully.

I’m proud of us, for recognizing that our lifestyle was seriously unhealthy and for choosing to make changes. Change is never easy, and I find that the older I get the easier it is to convince myself that it’s unnecessary and pointless.

Following the death of my father this attitude became constant and predominant. What was the point, I asked myself. If life could be taken from someone as big, strong and gregarious as our father, someone who did not drink to excess, someone who either walled, biked or golfed every day, then why should I concern myself with having a few drinks or doing nothing more strenuous than taking a stroll around the block now and again?

And then I thought of what dad’s reaction would have been to me thinking like that. He wouldn’t have chastised, judged or reprimanded. He would have simply given me that look that said “come on, Kathy Marie, you know better than that.” And then he would have probably said, “let’s go for a walk”.

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And I begin again. . .day 36 of 100

Well, really that should be day 19, because I missed a whole bunch of days while I was busy cruising through the Panama Canal!

What an absolutely amazing experience that was! We saw six countries in 14 days.

Had a ton of fun on the ship – from eating and drinking to dancing, playing Deal or No Deal, eating and drinking, watching great entertainment every night, playing numerous games of backgammon and Racko, eating and drinking, visiting exotic ports of call and swimming, soaking in hot tubs and enjoying meeting so many nice people – we did it all.

Aside from some mild sea-sickness I enjoyed every moment of it.

I’d guess the only purging I did while on our trip was of the reality kind, as in I left reality at home. Cruising really is the great escape.

It’s very expensive to have your phone on all the time – $7.00 a minute to make a call, plus roaming charges. Internet is available at the bargain price of $1.00 per minute – if you buy the 15 minute/day package. So the only thing I used my phone for was the camera and to hold my room key. It was actually quite liberating.

I thought I’d be able to blog while we were in port but I was so busy with excursions and trying to keep to deadlines, plus the fact that I didn’t travel all that way to miss out on the sights, that I simply decided blogging could wait. I’m glad I made that decision. The last thing I want is for this blog to become an obligation, something I feel anxious or uptight about doing.

Today, I knew I was ready to get back at it. I wanted to sit down and get my thoughts out.

So let the 100 days begin again.

Here a few photos from our fabulous trip.

Day 17 – 18 — I’m not gonna be able to purge no more

Yesterday and today have been taken up with getting ourselves to Miami where we will embark on Friday for our two week Panama cruise. I can’t wait to leave.

Being able to purge is really not feasible, considering that we had to be very particular about what we packed.  If I toss anything out it could lead to catastrophe.

But if I had to say I’ve purged anything over the  last two days it would be: Stress and anxiety. Stress because getting ready for a trip is always an ordeal – did I pay the all bills that need paying; did I remember to pack everything; did I get all the documents in order that we need for the trip? Anxiety because, well, even though I’m getting better at letting shit go I still have to keep working on it.

Yesterday though I was quite pleased with myself. After making sure the suitcases were finally organized and packed once and for all, I laid down for a nap, and then I went for a walk. It was such a beautiful Alberta chinook-y day that I couldn’t resist.

Dad and I talked and walked and enjoyed the sunshine.  I saw a friend at the post office who I hadn’t seen in ages and we had a wonderful conversation. It was so nice to see her and get caught up on her life.

Then, before I knew it, it was time to head to the airport. After nearly  7 hours of flights and a two hour stop in Toronto, we landed in Miami. We’re only here for one night and then we embark on the Norwegian Star tomorrow at 2 pm. It’s been a good day of getting to know our cruise mates a little better over food and drink (and a little synchro swimming by my husband and one of the other guys at the hotel pool).

To the lady who yelled at her kids to grab their towels and then barked “we’re leaving” all I can say is: lighten up, life’s to short to not enjoy every moment of it whenever you can.

Bon voyage!

Purge, the 16th

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Photo courtesy Google free images

I’m discovering that purging can take many forms.

Today’s purging involved finances. Tim and I are now at that stage in life when we want things to be super simple, and that includes our money (what little we have, ha).

The topic of money is such a volatile one. We all want it, we want LOTS of it, and we don’t want to have to worry about it. We have different ideas about money and what it can do for our lives. Some of us, like me, are savers, and some, like my husband are spenders.

Some clarification: I am a saver, but I am also a spender, but the way I choose to spend my money is much different from the way Tim chooses. Tim is a spender who likes the idea of saving – it just happens to clash with his wants, needs and desires. So, fundamentally, we have opposing views when it comes to what we should do with our money.

What I think money can do for me is: Provide me with a secure, comfortable, well-established and maintained home; take me on vacations to warm places every winter for two weeks or longer; allow me to indulge my grandchildren, son and daughter-in-law when I want to; give me the opportunity to plan trips with my family; provide a little for those less fortunate than we are. That’s not a complete list, but those are probably the most important things on it.

Yesterday we had to go to the bank and make some decisions on the best way to ensure that we’re getting the biggest bang for our bucks as possible. In the past this could lead to some pretty heated arguments between Tim and I. But yesterday I made the conscious decision to not get upset just because Tim’s and my opinions don’t agree. I think he did, too, because it was actually pretty painless. And I think we made some pretty good decisions.

Or, maybe it’s just that we’re getting old(er) and realize that some things, like money, just aren’t worth fighting about.

Day 15 of The Purge

Today was `blue` Monday.  That day in January when people tend to feel more depressed, more blah, more blue, than any other day of the year.

I know I certainly did. I didn`t know it was blue Monday until the radio announcer mentioned it as I was driving on my way to see my doctor. I looked over at Tim and said `well, that explains a lot.` He didn`t say anything back.

I purged my blues by going to get my hair done this afternoon. I`ve been feeling kind of dragged out and just plain old-looking lately, and going to see Agnes, my hairdresser (I love that I can say that!) was the perfect remedy for my blues.

I`ve been seeing Agnes for over 20 years. I don`t know what I`ll do if she ever retires. Just go grey and get myself a bowl, I guess.

I was her only customer today and we spent the afternoon talking about our families, books, the fact that we`re getting older and fatter and not too happy about it, and a million other little things while she transformed me from frumpy and glum into stylish and cheery. The Cointreau she put in my tea might have helped just a little bit with the mood change!

If I ever have enough money to have indulgences – let alone satisfy them – I think the one thing I`d definitely splurge on would be a personal hairdresser. And I would hope that hairdresser could be Agnes.

Day 13 and Day 14 — Purging along

I didn′t get around to blogging yesterday about my purging efforts. Not that there was much to write about, though.

We were supposed to leave yesterday morning to get home early so that we could do some packing and errands prior to us leaving on our cruise. (I am sooo excited for this cruise!) However, there was a power outage in our building and we wound up having to stick around much longer than we planned. Tim even got stuck in the elevator once!

When we did finally get on the road it was 4:30 which put us in BA around 8:30. We went straight to the hotel where my DIL had planned a surprise birthday party for our son. We stayed til about 11 o`clock and when we got home I was so tired the last thing on my mind was to sit down and try to write.

This is what I purged yesterday: some face care product samples that I`d got at The Body Shop a while ago. I didn′t care for them, but I was forcing myself to use them because they were free and well, I felt obligated. Which is a little crazy, I know. So, yesterday when I was packing to come home I saw them and I thought throw these out! For a millisecond I considered not doing it, but then I walked over to the garbage can and let ′em go.

I also tossed my poinsettia. Every year I buy one and every year I say this year this thing is going to live. And every year it dies. I try to nurse them along, but it never works. I keep them around usually until Spring and then I plant them out in the garden and hope like hell that they`ll make a miraculous recovery. It′s never worked. So, I spared myself all that watering and agony and just dropped the poor thing in the trash. At least it will turn into compost.

Today, which is day 14 was a busy day. A birthday dinner for my son and his family. Shopping, dealing with a shattered patio window and problems with my brand new front door.

We spent a good chunk of our day getting things ready to go on our cruise. The purging involved in that has been weeding out what not to pack. I tend to pack light, but I′ve never cruised before and I`m a bit nervous about exactly what I need to take.

I began with just about every item of summer clothing I own, plus a few new things that I′ve bought in anticipation of our adventure. I plan well, and know that I`ll be doing some hand washing, but, holy crap does it ever seem like a lot! My stomach is in knots and will be until we are on our way.

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