Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Current Events

 

 

 

I never post my opinion about politics, religion or any variety of current events that might be controversial. That is just not my style or the message of this blog. But, my beloved Alma Mater is caught up in something so horrible, I have to speak out and give my opinion. For those unaware, Michigan State University is at the center of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal, along with USA Gymnastics, since he was a long time doctor in the Sports Medicine Clinic. In fact, it was recommended to me that I take my gymnast daughter to see him at one point. Thank god, I did not. There has been incompetent and tone deaf leadership, and our university president and athletic director have resigned. They are the first to go and will unlikely be the last. This is one Spartan who wants an accounting and a plan to move forward.

Now, there are accusations about the football and basketball programs and while separate from the Nassar scandal, suggest possible insular protection of athletes, even though as far as we know, legal procedures were followed. But, I will wait for the facts and trust that there is a way forward, even if it means beloved coaches must go as well.

Michigan State is a wonderful place, with caring alumni all over the United States and beyond, doing good things for the world. I do not believe that every Spartan should be villified for the actions of others, but we all bear responsibility to demand that changes are made. Sexual assault is a major problem in most college environments and while that does not excuse MSU, I hope we can be an example of how to support victims going forward. I'm angry, I'm heartbroken and at the same time, still hopeful that my university will make me proud in the end.

I have wonderful memories there. My husband and I met there and MSU is home to us. We can't let the bad guys take that away.

Go green.

 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Weekend in Photos

 

 

 

 

 

The weather was just about perfect; sunny, warm and lovely gulf breezes. And, we had company in town from Michigan, so the good weather was a bonus for them and us. Friday night, we started out with drinks on the lanai after a tour of our new house. We went to dinner at one of our favorite waterfront spots and it was great to catch up with all the news from home, as well as talk about our new life in Florida. After dinner we headed back to our house and were joined by some other Michigan friends for dessert and the second half of the MSU basketball game.

On Saturday, we met everyone at an art fair in downtown Venice. It was a beautiful way to spend a Saturday afternoon, even though it was really crowded (yikes! - that's me in the middle of the crowd with the pink sweater). We shopped for a while and then ended up stopping at a bar for margaritas, which was way more fun.

Another friend will be in town Tuesday and I'm expecting many more visits and meet ups over the next few months. It's Florida vacation season and we love it.

Happy Monday!

 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

A Healthy Lifestyle

 

 

 

I mention my diabetes now and then, usually in the context of substituting Splenda for sugar in recipes I post. But, today I felt compelled to post an update on how living in Florida for the past six months has been such a help in my daily diabetes journey.

For those not familar, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2010 with a combination of unhealthy eating, lack of structured exercise and genetics all contributing to a diagnosis at a fairly young age (49). I also had gestational diabetes with both pregnancies, so that was a predisposition as well. The diagnosis was scary, but I am a positive person and immediately started to count carbs and walk at least six times a week. I was determined to bring my A1C down and with medication was successful, but still not where I wanted to be.

Over the last eight years, I have slowly and steadily lost around 35 pounds, which I take as proof I am doing something right. But, as a nurse told me, my pancreas is tired and the most frustrating thing about diabetes is that what worked last year, may not work this year. So, I see an endrocronologist who constantly monitors my medication and lifestyle.

Some of the things that have helped me are adjusting my walking time to as late in the day as possible to combat my tendency to dump glucose at night and limiting my carbs later in the day. This means a bigger lunch and a small dinner. Also, stress is an enemy to me and I left my last job for that reason. You can't totally get away from stress, but I have learned to limit it as much as possible and do what is necessary for my peace of mind.

Florida is the perfect place for this lifestyle. I can walk nearly every day, with no worries about the weather. The locations to walk are varied and always scenic. Since we are "retired" we can adhere to any schedule we choose, so often, we go out for a late lunch or early dinner and skip unhealthy late eating. I have rediscovered yoga with a vengeance and enjoy the calm it brings, especially the practices on the beach. And, year around golf is now part of our lifestyle too.

My last A1C was my lowest since my diagnosis, so I would say that Florida and an active healthy lifestyle here definitely agrees with me.

Happy Thursday!

 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Snowbirds

 

 

 

 

It's that time of year in Florida, where the visits from friends and family from the northern states begin. Also, what we call the snowbirds; those who escape the cold weather and snow and live in Florida during the winter months, are also back.

I was really happy to hear from a Michigan friend who was helping her Mother move into her seasonal condo, just an hour north (Indian Shores) of us. She invited me to come for a pool day and I jumped at the chance to see her (and her mother). We have been having a little bit of of cold spell, especially in the mornings, but the day warmed up nicely and it was lovely to sit by the pool and even better enjoy the view of the gulf at the same time. The condo is steps from the beach, so we ventured onto the sand too and put our feet in the (freezing cold) gulf. We were treated to an impromptu barbeque later in the day, and eating outside in the sun is always special.

It occurred to me that I enjoy these northerner's visits for two reasons. First, they are little pieces of home, right on my doorstep and that feels good. Second, I really enjoy experiencing their excitement and appreciation of all things Florida; the sunshine, the palm trees and the feeling of being on vacation. It helps to see life with new eyes and really makes me appreciate that I am fortunate to live this beach life every day.

Happy Wednesday!

 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Back Home

 

 

 

All went well on my trip to Michigan. My parents are moved into a wonderful assisted living facility, we were able to keep them together and they are safe. It was hard, but at times like these, you do the best you can when making tough decisions. My sister (and my brother from a far) made a good team in the whole moving in process. There is still a tough road ahead, but for now, we can catch our breath.

When I arrived home, the only thing I wanted to do was become acclimated to Florida once again. I asked my husband to take me to dinner, preferably someplace on the water and I was a happy girl to have a rum runner, a beach bar burger and a lovely Florida sunset in front of me. Also going from -4 to 78 degrees can make a lot of things feel better.

I am a homebody and mornings at home with no place to be, are my happy place. When I woke up yesterday, all I wanted was to make coffee in my favorite mug and putter around in my kitchen, thus the photo of banana nut muffins. Baking is a comfort thing for me and after a stressful week, it was exactly what I needed.

So, for now, it's back to normal and I may even go to the pool today and read in the sunshine. Thank you so much for all the kind words, thoughts and prayers. This blogging community is something special.

Happy Thursday!

 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Start of 2018

 

 

 

I saw this New Year's prayer on Pinterest and it really spoke to me. This blog is primarily a happy and positive place. I rarely write about the hard things, even though I hope you realize that we all have our stuff that makes life difficult at times. I prefer to keep things positive and look for the good things in day to day life.

But, as 2018 starts, you will find me on a plane tomorrow headed back to Michigan (and the cold!) to help manage a situation with my elderly parents. Things have come to a head with my mother's Alzheimer's and the fact that my father is her primary caregiver. It will not be a trip for pleasure, but rather, one of life's hard obligations. The only thing I can do at this point is stay positive, patient and hope and pray for the best care to be found. I'll be back to the blog when I can.

New Year's blessings to you all!

 

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Michigan ➡️ Florida
family, books, gardening, palm trees, the beach, golf, up north, msu football, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, pedicures with my daughters, martinis, yoga

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