Friday, August 31, 2012

Article #210 Health Challenges

          It seems some of the challenges that come with aging are changes in your physical body. Suddenly you aren’t as agile, flexible or have the endurance of your earlier years. Just reaching down to pick up a piece of litter can entail at trip to the chiropractor’s office or worse. What an adjustment, in many senses of the word. You feel the same age inside, but your outside physical body has gone through unexpected mutations.
            Wrinkles replace smooth youthful skin, bulges of fat deposits appear in strange places on your formerly trim body. It’s time to face the realities of aging and take action to preserve what you do have left in the way of joints that still work, etc. Time to start or continue a regular exercise program of some type.
            Explorers throughout recorded time have been searching for the Fountain of Youth that would magically restore the looks you used to enjoy and take for granted. That fantasy doesn’t exist. It’s time to take stock of your physical condition and do what you can to slow down the effects of aging. Losing weight, exercising and healthy eating are principles to build upon instead of some magic pill or elixir that promises to restore youthful energy and looks to your middle aged or elderly frame. A positive attitude can help immensely. Just take a look in the mirror at yourself and instead of frowning or critically judging what you see, be amazed and accept the you that has survived all the health and other challenges that life has thrown your way.
            I remember an optimistic individual, Camilla Kimball, who said in her biography that if she lived to be 70 years of age, she wouldn’t worry about her weight but would enjoy a piece of pie without guilt. Most women and many men are constantly yo-yo dieting as the pounds lost only reappear once the weight watching or increased exercise decreases. If your goal is better health for your aging body then you’ll probably be more successful by making proper diet and exercise a habitual health challenge for your life.
            I’ve always thought all grandmas were naturally plump with a smile on their face as they baked innumerable chocolate chip cookies for their appreciative grandchildren. Now I am the plump one. Take time to write in your journal your goals for your physical health, then do something about it. I am! NEXT TIME: Emotional Health

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cool Beauty

Every summer we have to make a trip to Northern Idaho to cool off and enjoy the greenness. 
Hubby loves to check out boat launch areas

I love photographing the reflections that are everywhere

Sure glad my camera is digital so I don't run out of film

This is the Kootenai River that runs into Canada from Northern Idaho

Would love to be canoeing in this peaceful area


Just at sunset the scenes are so peaceful

Our favorite getaway place 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

In Midway, Utah
Driving home in the Uintas

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Farmer's Market-Idaho

Outdoor market in Bonners Ferry, Idaho

 A real craftsman with wood

Good enough to eat 

We bought some purple tomatoes-so good

Monday, August 27, 2012

Barn Collage

We saw so many lovely old barns on our recent trip to Idaho
that I decided to make a collage of them to enjoy remembering.
Click to make it larger...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Who are the MORMONS?

To me during this election year, it's very interesting to hear the newscasts and specials trying to explain who the Mormons are as Mitt Romney is running for president. Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or as nicknamed the Mormons, it's difficult for me to listen and watch some of the bias explanations of who we are that have been broadcasted on TV lately. So, I've decided to devote some time on my blog posts to explain my FAITH.

A beautiful setting in Idaho Falls
While on vacation lately, we passed by the Idaho Falls LDS temple. As I think about the temples of our church now numbering 138 located around the world, they exemplify what makes us so different. We believe that we are restored church that existed in Christ's time and as established in Adam's time. In the Bible many temples are mentioned, yet there are no other churches that I'm aware of that have modern day temples to perform ancient ordinances as found in the early Christian church. Inside these temples work for the dead is performed as mentioned in the bible in Paul's teachings: 1 Cor 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

Idaho Falls, Idaho Mormon temple
There is instruction given in the temples on our purpose in life, where we came from and where we are going. Families are sealed together with eternal vows and commitments that will outlast death. Marriage is for time and all eternity. There is a patriarchal linkage between families as children and parents are joined throughout time by priesthood power and ordinances. Thus comes the great emphasis on family history work or genealogy for Mormons-gathering of names, dates and places of our ancestors so we can be linked to them. As Elijah says in the bible Malachi 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. Any questions about my faith, leave a comment and I'll respond.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Skywatch Friday

High Uintas in Utah

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Article #209 Morning Walks

            There’s something about arising before the sun, slipping into something comfortable to go walking outside, that starts your day off right. Especially in summer when I tend to hide inside by my computer in an air conditioned office most of the day working on writing projects. It’s too hot later in the day to enjoy being outside, but between 6 to 7 am the temperatures are deliciously cool and the neighborhood is so peaceful. I do meet a few other early morning walkers most with their dog/s and a plastic bag to take care of any important business.

            Morning walks are a time to clear my mind, reflect on life, meditate and receive inspiration and ideas for the day ahead. I don’t plug myself into tapes of talks or music because I want to tune in and commune with my Creator. It’s one of the few times of the day when I’m alone with time to think, plan or just relax and breathe in the fresh morning air. If you’re missing this opportunity to walk daily, it’s not too late to start.

            I see older individuals with canes and even walkers slowly progressing down the sidewalk giving themself the gift of continuing mobility or recovery from whatever ailment has visited recently. If physical disabilities limit your walking, at least go and sit on your porch and breathe deeply, clearing your mind of distractions and focus on journaling or meditating––whatever fills your well. Even casual weeding or walking on a treadmill  or using an exercise bike on your porch would be helpful to your health.

            So what if you’re not a morning person? Is it possible to walk outside in the evening after the sun goes down? No-generally it’s still too hot. I know some seniors who like to walk in air-conditioned or heated malls during bad weather. Another exercise that is gentle on an aging body, but full of benefits is water aerobics or water yoga. Being in a pool lessens the stress on body’s joints and gives you a gentle workout. What if you don’t like how you look in a swimsuit? Get over it. If you live in a retirement community, you’ll probably find people of all ages and shapes enjoying physical exercise and the accompanying health benefits. It’s not too late to do something today. Maybe your pet is just waiting for you to take them on a walk!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Blooming stages

Ouch!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Incommunicato...

On vacation and left my laptop at a hotel on the way-will pick it up tomorrow...so haven't been able to blog but will catch up in a few days. Have lots of great photos to share. Been 4 days without the internet-I'm going through withdrawal pains...lol! I'm in a hotel right now.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Skywatch Friday

Sunrise through smoke filled skies-Utah

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Article # 208 Healing Letters

Expressing your frustrations through writing a letter to someone involved can be healthy. It’s a safe place for you to work through your frustrations. but don’t send the letter. I wrote to a former spouse expressing my feelings about our divorce. After rereading my words, I wrote a response to myself from this person to try to see his possible point of view. This process may surprise you with new understandings.

When I was five years old, my father died in an airplane accident. There’s always been an empty place in my life. A few years ago, I decided to write a healing letter to my long absent father expressing my loneliness and longing to have him near. This activity helped me release many pent up emotions. Then, I decided to write a response from his viewpoint to my letter. It was enlightening to try to imagine his feelings about being suddenly separated by death from his family at age 29. How lonely he must have felt and wanting to communicate, but unable. This whole process was cathartic for me.

Instead of writing a letter you could just use your journal to examine the lessons or strengths you are gaining from a difficult situation. Say you are recently widowed. Your loss is great after years of loving companionship. You wonder how you will continue on alone. Try writing about these emotions in your journal. Then, write a possible response from your spouse’s viewpoint. What advice or comfort would your loved one give you? Is it possible for this time in your life to be full of personal growth that wouldn’t have happened if you were still together?

One of my friends wrote a healing letter to her recently departed husband as part of a local hospice program. She found it brought closure to the grieving process. Pent up emotions are not healthy, no matter what the loss is that you are experiencing. Own your feelings, then move on with your life with gratitude for the lessons learned and strength gained from the bumps in the road of life. The letters written are for your own healing and not to be sent to those involved or shared with others unless you desire to. Perhaps you’ll find the strength to talk face to face with anyone involved that is still around. Do you have a healing letter to write. Do it! NEXT TIME: Morning Walks

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

HOPE

I just recently bought this book from Amazon.com and I'm loving it. I'm convinced that too many of us hide our feelings; don't express them. This limits our growth and happiness as an individual and as family members. For some reason, I've always been interested in the study of Psychology and minored in it in college. I almost went for Masters in Social Work. but instead became a dance teacher. What a difference you say-not really helping others to express themselves through modern or creative dance gave me opportunities to develop myself and others' self esteem and confidence.

Later as my body aged, I could no longer teach or dance, but I've found fulfillment in writing and teaching creativity. So this book and the author's techniques for ART JOURNALING caught my eye. I'm enjoying exploring some aspects of my quiet personality that still need expressing. Growing up shy and self conscious, dancing helped me find parts of my personality to express. My life's experiences with the death of my father, divorce and other disappointments almost squelched my HOPE within. But always my FAITH and BELIEFS in God's plan for His children and realizing their potential has kept me going.

One activity I enjoy from my new book is answering the question: What do you feel right now? Then write down any words that come. I wrote HOPEFUL, then these words came: happy, peaceful, excited, trusting, expecting, calm, and prayerful. Usually I would have written LONELY, but I think I'm moving into a new phase of my life.

How about you? Willing to try this exercise? Leave your response in a comment. Buy the book, it's great. LIVING WITH FEELING: The Art of Emotional Expression by Lucia Capacchione, Phd.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Affirmations vs. compliments

I have a hard time with books or classes that want you to tell yourself untrue things and then try to believe them like: I'm a success at loosing weight or Everything I touch turns to gold. You get the idea. AFFIRMATIONS-thinking positively but not realistically. All of us are very good at self criticizing so maybe it's time for developing the ability to give positive true compliments to ourselves. An example:

1. BOOKS: Instead of my saying-well, you've certainly failed at trying to sell your own self published books VERSUS complimenting my efforts: I have to say you have really tried to sell your books and YOU HAVE WRITTEN FOUR OF THEM! plus helped other friends to self publish their own. That second slant builds and encourages me rather than tears down.

2. RELATIONSHIPS: Well for all your efforts, the rewards have been few in trying to get your whole family together for a reunion VERSUS  You had a wonderful time with those family members who were able to come and celebrate the new baby's blessing.

3. SELF IMAGE and WEIGHT LOSS: You've gained back most of the weight lost in the past few years and struggle with my eating habits VERSUS You are trying again to loose weight and am exercising more. It feels good.

I suppose you get the idea. We need to be our own best CHEERLEADER. Although it helps to have friends, family or spouse who do that also. The only person we can control is OURSELVES!!! A compliment or two can restore HOPE to our lives...

What are some COMPLIMENTS you need to give yourself? Write them in a comment.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cedar Breaks, Utah

Beautiful wildflowers in July
Cedar Breaks-10,000 ft elevation
Beautiful red rock country in Utah 

Cedar Canyon
It's the rocky mountains

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Visiting Caryn again...

Caryn's art room in their cabin's loft
Lots of storage and stuff!
She's still doing art journaling
Click to enlarge-in pencil, to be inked and colored

Friday, August 10, 2012

Skywatch Friday

Rain clouds at Panguitch Lake-Utah
Animals grazing in a meadow


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Article #207 Personal Journaling

There are many benefits to keeping a personal journal. It can be more than a diary of your daily activities. Writing slows down your inner dialogue so you can examine your thoughts and give voice to emotions that need releasing. Examining your feelings can be healing, as beneficial as a deep conversation with a dear friend or a spiritual connection with your Creator.

At various times in my life, I’ve found that journaling was a necessary tool for my personal survival. After my divorce, I needed a way to calm my troubled spirit. Expressing my feelings openly and honestly in my private diary helped restore my sense of value and self worth. Understanding and working through difficult emotions such as loneliness and abandonment in situations like divorce, death of a spouse or never marrying can be overwhelming, even if you are surround by others. Life is full of challenges and losses for everyone.

In adjusting to any difficult situation: i.e. health issues, death or relationship problems, there are definite stages of grieving to move through by journaling and/or counseling with a trained practitioner or trusted religious advisor. As defined by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her model “The Five Stages of Grief,” the process includes: 1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression, and 5. Acceptance. (Wikipedia)

First comes the stage called shock or denial for whatever it is that you are experiencing. Then examining your anger with self or others involved can move you to the next step of bargaining. i.e. Well, if I had done this or he/she hadn’t done this, I wouldn’t be suffering now. The steps don’t necessarily come sequentially, but can occur in any order. Just knowing that these stages of grief are normal is helpful. It is possible to get stuck in a stage like depression and never make it to acceptance. That’s when a trained mental health counselor and/or medical intervention may be necessary.

It’s important in journaling to not allow yourself to get stuck in self-pity. Be sure to look on the positive side of the lessons you are learning from the challenges you face. To get started, buy yourself a simple journal and reserve at least ten minutes each morning before starting your day to check in with your feelings. Don’t know what to write about, write about that. A good way to close each day’s journal entries is with gratitude. NEXT TIME: Healing Letters

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Baby Edmund looks out at his new world!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Family CELEBRATION

The day arrives for the blessing of baby Edmund Paul Ake
He will be given a name to be known on the records of the LDS Church

Baby Edmund, son of Rachel and Jeffrey with sister Lorien

Families gather at church for the special occasion

Happy Judd family 

Hatches preparing a family feast

Uncle Daniel with his son James and baby Edmund

Four of my grandchildren:l-r Emilee, Nathan, Heather + James
  
Son Daniel and his wife Tina complete this family