Sunday, March 1, 2015

Selfies over 60

Patti over at "Not Dead Yet Style" blog just posted a fun piece about selfies. She quoted Helen Walmsley-Johnson's article in the Guardian entitled, "Why Older Women Should Become the New Selfie Generation". The writer stated that 71% of women between the ages of 50 and 64 are "entirely happy with the way they look", a full 8% higher than the 18 to 34 group who are posting selfies all over the place. She says that "perhaps we should lead by example and show that growing older is a wonderful, liberating opportunity for re-invention, to let go of some things while embracing others."
My garden's covered with 6 inches of snow, my knitting's not very interesting and I'm not baking or cooking anything pretty or inspiring, so here we go. I started taking selfies 10 years ago. Before I started shoving the camera into my husband's hands while on vacation so I'd have some kind of proof that I was actually there. "Here, take my picture." resulted in self-conscious poses in hurried moments. "We're going out to dinner, I'm gussied up and the hair's not too frizzy, take my picture." There were, prior to this move, very few pictures of me from year to year. I don't think I'm much more or less vain than most women but frankly, I don't want to be surprised when I see a picture of myself. Even my mom looked at pictures of herself taken at my wedding 10 years ago and wanted to chuck them. I guess selfies are a way of evaluating the aging process. Like Mayor Koch, "How'm I doing?" I can't count on hubbie or the kids. They see me through lenses that reflect who I am to them. And that's the way it should be.

Friday, January 30, 2015

8 Myths about Autoimmune Disorders

 I am not a doctor, nor do I give medical advice. I just finished my lunch. Not this beautiful basket of fruit from my garden. It's January and it will be months and months before I can grab a fresh fig from my tree every time I notice a ripe one. My lunch today, as most days was a blueberry smoothie. I use coconut milk and coconut oil, frozen wild blueberries, stevia, raw protein powder, ice cubes and water. Spin it all in my ninja processor and voila, a thick and yummy shake. Sometimes I substitute a chunk of frozen pumpkin and some cocoa powder (a little cinnamon to add some bite). It made me recall a conversation I had with a stylist in the salon I go to when I was having my gray touched up just yesterday. I'd noticed she'd lost a lot of weight a couple of years ago and has gained it all back. She asked me about my health so I asked her how she'd been. She began by telling me she'd regained all her lost weight plus more - she's up to 270 pounds and feels awful. She's been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and her thyroid is "shot", whatever that means - she did not elaborate. She had expected synthroid to help her drop 20 pounds quickly, which it did not. She needs medicine to sleep because of the pain and she yawned as she told me how tired. she was. It was an opening so I took it. I quickly explained that I have MS (I think she already knew), that I've mostly been off of wheat and other grain since last May. I also take synthroid and have for years. It keeps me free of symptoms of the thyroid hormone deficiency but it didn't help me lose any weight. I explained that my triglycerides were down 40 points and she could see that although I'm much older than she, I'm certainly in better health, regardless of my autoimmune disorders.

Like many people, this lady wanted a pill, a magic bullet to fix what's been coming on for many years. That would be a wonderful thing but, unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Although I've been working on various aspects of my diet and lifestyle for some time now, I recently discovered Dr. Amy Meyers when she offered an on-line seminar free to anyone who registered. You can still get it but now it's for sale. Dr. Meyers has a new book out, called "The Meyers Way". Here's what she has to say about autoimmunity. I want to print it on a card that I can hand out when I meet people that marvel at my health.

The 8 Major Myths about Autoimmune Disorders:  1. Autoimmune disorders cannot be reversed. 2. Your symptoms won't disappear without harsh meds. 3. When you treat an autoimmune disorder, the side effects are no big deal.  4. Improving digestion and gut health have no effect on the progression of an autoimmune disorder.  5. Going gluten-free won't make any difference to your autoimmune disorder.  6. Having an autoimmune disorder dooms you to a poor quality of life.  7. When it comes to autoimmune disorders, only your genes matter; environmental factors do not matter.  8. Your immune system is what it is and there is nothing you can do to support it.

I no longer take medication to control my ms symptoms because what symptoms I have are residual from my initial attacks. I was using a cane 10 years ago. I don't even keep it in my car anymore. My symptoms are mostly limited to balance issues and some burning in my feet. I take supplements, limit wheat and other grains to special occasions. I limit my sugar intake. I exercise regularly. I've had gut issues my whole life. I keep them under control by avoiding antibiotics unless they're absolutely necessary and taking probiotics regularly. My dad had Crohn's disease, discovered he had a dairy intolerance and cheated constantly. Now I suspect he also had a wheat intolerance.

It will take medical doctors 10 to 20 years to catch up. It's tragic but true. At least now we know we can take much of our health issues in our own hands and there is plenty of information out there to help us.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Big Snow is Coming...

Heat up some coconut milk and brew some chai


The weather is keeping us in

Work on a sturdy sweater

What else can you do?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ready for Color in the New Year

Christmas knitting...neutral and wearable

Charcoal cables for my daughter
Blue Barley hat for my son
The granddaughter wanted owls
Her boyfriend got a Sockhead hat in Knitpicks' Thunderhead

But look at what's coming! Soft, rich, sophisticated COLOR! Not hot and flashy, not neon, baby pastels or candy colors... ...just lovely, warm and wearable!

Monday, December 1, 2014


 Spinning wool as soft and as white as Santa's beard.
 Grandchildren with chubby cheeks to kiss.
 Flowers from my husband celebrating the day we met.
 Rows of owls on the brim of a hat, waiting for little button eyes.
 Summer spinning, finally plied and skeined.
 Apple sour cream pie for Thanksgiving.
 Fluffy plied yarn, ready to knit or dye.
A little red felted bird to keep me company while I spin.
I hope everyone takes time to enjoy the wonders of the season.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Gifts from the Heart

 Herbed Sea Salt (Sala Moia)
Course natural sea salt, whirled in the food processor with chopped garlic, fresh sage and rosemary from the garden. Spread out to dry for two days stirring occasionally. Store in clean glass jars.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Make your own Hydrangea and Herb Wreath


First, I bent a wire coat hanger (which happened to be white) and bunched up branches of Sweet Annie that I bought at Rhinebeck. I wrapped as I went with green, light gauge wire, bending down branches and cutting off stray bare pieces. Then I pulled bunches of flowerettes from my Lime Light hydrangeas and wire them in small bouquets around the herb wreath with the same wire in one continuous strand. If you plan to make a hydrangea wreath, wait until around the end of October when the flowers have changed color - before they dry out completely. There are some brownish petals but most are still full of water - where the "hydra"angea gets it's name. My wreath is drying in my unheated garage where it's hanging out of direct light. I plan to give it a good spray with some extra hold hairspray before I bring it in to hang in my craft room. The Sweet Annie will scent my craft room deliciously!