Tag Archive | sharing

Persistence brings progress…

Muriel2017

photo by Chandra Joy Kauffmann

I’ve been working hard at recovery since I had my hip replaced in late March. Am I neurotic? Perhaps. I’m probably also one of those ‘A’ personalities who is driven.

I’m not the type to buy an Exercycle and then just use it to hang laundry on. Nor will I enroll in an exercise class and lose interest. So, I used my bike regularly about five days a week and attended both Tai Chi and ‘Joint Works’ exercise classes and never missed if at all possible until — I was in so much pain I could hardly walk (prior to this surgery).

After I got my new hip, I did my assigned exercises diligently, returned to my exercise classes before I was able to do all the moves the rest of the class did, and got back on my Exercycle before I could lift that right leg over the centre. I had to walk around the bike and get up on the left, and began with very few rotations, which I slowly built up. With time I was able to lift that right leg over the centre — barely, but it was progress. Bravo!

I love baths. My whirlpool jets are set to hit directly at my arthritic joints. The warm

drawing of woman in tub

I love baths

water is wonderfully soothing. After three months, my surgeon said I may bathe again. A dear friend came over (just in case I needed help) and I made it! If I were a drinking person, I’d have celebrated with champagne! That was a real biggie….

I hadn’t been able to travel for well over a year. Gleefully, I

Susan& Michael

Michael and Susan at their front door

planned a visit to see the new home my daughter and son-in-law had built the year before. It required two airline flights each way, but I made it! I also climbed 17 stairs (Susan counted them) to see their upper floor. Since it was my birthday while I was there, my San Francisco contingent joined us. We celebrated. It was fantastic.

SM, Spa Day

Being spoiled rotten — facial and foot massage

Everyone spoiled me. My Chandra and grandson Remy gave me a facial and foot massage. Chandra noticed I hadn’t trimmed the last three toes on my right foot. True. I couldn’t yet reach them and wasn’t happy with having them done at the pedicure shop. (They’re into esthetics and that’s not what I need.) My loved ones took care of that too.

Hamming it up

Hamming it up

After my return home, now and then I begin to feel, in spite of my continued hard work, I haven’t made any new progress. Then something happens. One day I discovered I WAS able to reach and trim those three toenails on my right foot by myself. It was so exciting, I sent an email to my kids to give them the news. This too was a biggie.

Little by little, I keep increasing my exercises, and now and then I get a new or unexpected reward. I’m now up to 4:20 miles per seating on my bike, and am doing 70 steps each time on my stepper. I continue attending exercise classes, and my loyal pedometre counts my steps when I walk each day. I’m building them up too.

I’m not done with little miracles yet. When I bathed yesterday, I was able to get into my higher-than-average tub without using my arm to pull my right leg up and over. Yeah! Another step forward….

Why am I telling you all this? So you won’t ever give up.

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No gifts please….

,

As a child, I never had a birthday party. Not that my parents didn’t allow it but because I

clown

I once made a clown costume

wasn’t comfortable about having one. To me, it felt like ASKING for presents and that embarrassed me. Instead, I became known at school for throwing annual Halloween parties — costumes required. It was great fun.

  1. At that time none of us knew you could buy ready-made outfits. Maybe
    tutu

    Lois wore her tutu

    they didn’t even have them, who knows. We all made our own using crepe paper, sewing the seams by hand. You did have to be careful how you moved, they tore easily. It was also a good idea to wear clothes underneath — just in case. Lois was the only one who took ballet lessons, she always wore her tutu and would dance for us. If I recall, her dancing improved some each year.

Muriel Age 60

My 60th invitation, a crazy hat party

At 60, I decided it was time to celebrate the day I was born. I invited friends to help me enjoy the event at a restaurant lunch where one looks out at the water. What to do about gifts? Daughter Susan made my invitations which stated I had enough ‘stuff’, therefore ‘no gifts please’.

The years flew and 70 came along. My children insisted another celebration was in order. Again, we stressed ‘no gifts’.

Occasionally we gain a little wisdom with the years, and when 80 came along last year, I agreed with my offspring another party was appropriate. To reach the venerable age of 80 is certainly worth celebrating. However, this time I asked friends and family to make a donation to my favorite charity instead of a gift. They did. It was extremely pleasing to know more was donated in my honor than I could possibly have afforded to give on my own.

This year my family gathered at Michael and Susan’s home in Nevada. It was the best birthday party yet — made even more so by Joe, a dear Los Angeles friend who began our day by having bagels, smoked salmon and cream cheese, along with a big Happy Birthday balloon, delivered right to our door high up in the mountains.

We celebrated all week and while we were together visited Virginia City where we posed for the photo below. Note the funny faces we all purposely made for the camera. We had a ball and laughed a lot. I am the ‘Madame’ sitting in front, holding a large money bag.

Virginia City Family Photo Framed, 6-5-17

The clan gathers for my 81st. I still enjoy wearing a costume

Celebrating a birthday? Have everything you need? Don’t want friends or family to spend money on gifts you don’t want? How about it? Suggest a gift to your favorite charity instead. Non-profits are struggling. Why not make the one you like best benefit by your special day?

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Became a Bag Lady

Muriel from Blog I used to say I didn’t want to become a bag lady. But it has happened — and the kind of bag lady I am is good. I have a place to live. I enjoy my apartment, the building I live in, my neighbours, my neighbourhood and my city. I also love my children and my grandson. I’m a lucky lady. That’s why it happened! I want everything I enjoy to still be here for my loved ones and others after I’m gone, so being a “bag lady” is just fine with me.

When I shop for food, I buy a couple of this and a few of that, and almost each different fruit or vegetable is placed in a separate plastic bag. I reuse the larger bags for garbage, but the smaller ones aren’t big enough for that, so I began taking a dozen or so bags back to the market to reuse over and over again. It works!so there will be a tomorrow

Having just returned from visiting loved ones in California for a couple of weeks, (where I was spoiled rotten) I came home to an empty larder. A major food shopping expedition was in order. First things first, thus after picking up a book waiting for me at the library, I visited the nearby greengrocer to stock up using my own plastic bags. When I got home, I placed my heavy purchases into my new shopping cart to wheel up to my apartment.

Well, it isn’t exactly a “new” cart, it used to belong to my neighbour, who parks right behind me. Someone left a recycle_logo_copycart he liked better than his own in our car park with a sign reading “free”. I happened to be in my car while he was exchanging his and I noted his cart looked sturdier than mine. He graciously hauled mine out of my trunk, placed it where someone else might take it, and loaded his into my car. By the time I got back from my outing, mine had already been claimed by another neighbour. What can be better than that? That’s what I call recycling!

Can any of this be reused?

Can any of this be reused?

We do a lot of recycling in our building, which delights me. We share and exchange books and magazines, plus other things we no longer need. I have a great little cot a neighbour was trying to get rid of. Big Brothers had refused to take it. I saw her reluctantly wheeling it back to her apartment and asked if she was trying to get rid of it. Yes and yes, she would be most grateful if I could use it. I use it often and share it with friends when they need one as well. It folds up flat for storage under my bed when not in use. It is recycled, shared and constantly reused!

Or will we be buried in garbage?

Or will we be buried in garbage?

After knee surgery, I was told to adjust the tension on my Exercycle and increase it gradually. The tension was the only thing that didn’t work on my solid old bike. It was important that I use one and use it properly, but since I’m not good at fixing things, I decided to buy a new one. I put up a sign offering the used bike to anyone who wanted it. A new neighbour agreed to take it off my hands. I was grateful.

Now that I know him, I know he CAN fix anything.

Now that I know him, I know he CAN fix anything.

“I can fix anything,” he declared. (Now that I know him better, I can vouch that what he said was, indeed, true.) I have a new bike and someone is using my old one. I’m happy about that.

When I was very young, I had an older neighbour who was extremely frugal. She never forgot that her father, in Europe, got into financial trouble and the bailiffs locked their dressers so the family could not get anything out of them. She sewed well and when her sons burned holes in her tablecloths, (everyone smoked then) she’d cut out the burned sections and make kitchen curtains out of them. When the sun faded parts of those curtains, she’d cut them again to make handkerchiefs with the salvageable fabric. In those days, I thought she went too far. Today, I realize that what she did was great for our environment. I was just too young to realize it.

I now carry plastic containers with me whenever I go out for lunch in case I want to bring some food home. That way, I save the use of additional containers and the restaurants I patronize appreciate it too. I reuse bags and paper. I don’t buy anti-bacterial soaps or cleansers. (I make my own cleanser using baking soda, vinegar and water.) I try to use things until they are worn, and give serviceable clothing I won’t use anymore to others.hug the world

Hey, I’m doing my part to save the world! I hope you are too.

 

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”

Native American Proverb