What we say about ourselves….

blog beautiful old


A friend on facebook posted a link to an article about fashion models and their working conditions… and it got me thinking.. about what we say about ourselves.

I’ve recently heard a beautiful friend of mine complaining that she has wrinkles etc.. she’s quite attractive, but she’s also over 40 and has some lines on her face.  She’s kind, funny, and sometimes a little absent minded — and she’s a wonderful person who makes an honest effort every day to make the world a better place.  In short, she’s a beautiful human being inside and out — She’d never criticize anybody else the way she criticizes herself.

That’s what really made me think about womens’ expectations.  She communicates her internalized ideals of beauty every time she criticizes herself for not meeting them.  The thing is, those ideals are simply not realistic.  When we age, things sag — I’ll be 44 next weekend, I know a bit about sagging.

If we, as women, are serious about changing society’s expectations that we all be walking clothes racks with perfect faces, 160 IQs, a challenging job that is also rewarding and well paid, and the perfect set of kids and a devoted spouse, we need to start with ourselves.  We need to stop criticizing how we look, we need to stop talking down how our lives are going and we need to start appreciating who and where we are in our lives.

Nobody has enough money, nobody is the “perfect” body shape, nobody has “perfect” kids and a “perfect” spouse — why do we expect that we need those things to be satisfied with who we are?

What we say about ourselves matters, to the people who love us, to the daughters who learn from us and to ourselves because it reinforces the negative things we think…

I’ve been thinking about this since my “Of Scars” photo shoot..

of scars, me..


That’s me… the Of Scars folks don’t use photoshop to “fix” our images… that’s how I looked that day — without a shirt on.  It’s me, all of mea and I’m beautiful…. or, at least not ugly — and I know I’m smart and brave.  I know I’m a loyal person who tries hard to do the right thing and to be a good person.



That’s my mom… If, in 26 years, I can be as wonderful as she is… I’ll be blessed.

Try, just for today — to avoid saying negative things about yourself.


Why eat more soy??


Andy and I have been eating more soy and other healthy things… it’s been a week and, so far, so good..

We decided we needed to be more healthy — and, that we didn’t need to contribute any more to the environmental problems caused by commercial production of meat.. so, we’re mostly off it..

Andy has been a pretty healthy eater for a while now — he hardly eats anything sweet, although he does cook with plenty of fat and salt.. because, it makes stuff taste good..

A while back we reduced our carbs — no carb wraps instead of bread, for the most part, whole wheat products etc.. I mostly stopped drinking soda at home.. I’ll still drink it on occasion, but I’ve cut it down significantly.

Last week we went grocery shopping as an adventure — and bought organic tofu, silk, the least chemical-filled veggie burgers and other yummy stuff..

We discovered that our meals were just as satisfying and generally quite tasty — I won’t claim that our plan has been perfect — we’ve had a frozen pizza and some microwave popcorn for late night snacks — but, generally we’ve been eating healthy.  We agreed that it was kind of silly to expect a veggie burger to taste exactly like beef — rather, if it gives us the same general satisfaction without the negatives attached to red meat — and, it’s been working.

A few things we’ve learned so far — firm tofu needs to have the liquid squeezed out of it, then it can be marinated and stored for quick food.. I’ve known for a while that I like hardboiled eggs as a snack.. but, I’ve figured out that I like either tuna salad or egg salad with some lettuce on a low-carb wrap as a dinner.. it’s yummy.  We also bought the stuff for Mulligatawny Soup — and miso soup — which has worked well for a quick meal.

And — it’s worked, so far.. I’ve been feeling good — and lost another 3 pounds this week.

This week I bought more tofu, silk, greek yoghurt and a variety of fresh stuff… I’m also making iced tea to drink when coffee isn’t so tempting and ice water is too boring… I bought some black beans so we (Andy..) can try to make black bean burgers.

This week is also Thanksgiving, and I plan to eat a moderate amount of all the yummy stuff Andy’s family will have on the table.. because, this isn’t an absolute thing — instead, I think of it as soy is the default protein.. which works for me.

The Jungle song… by Andy…

Jungle Song

Andy sent this to me a couple of summers ago —

Last post about Madison…

I was on my way home from the UW pharmacy (it seems folks don’t get sick or need stuff on the weekend in Madison, at least according to Hil’s home health folks… hmmm) — Andy knew I was a bit stressy…. so, I get the following in a text:

A: “I think the mail carrier is having an affair with one of the girls across the street”

Me:  “Lol… I hope so..”

It wasn’t until we were on the way home that I found out that Andy didn’t know that Rochelle IS the mail carrier…

He knew that Lindsey and Rochelle live across the street, but he hadn’t met them yet.  He saw Rochelle deliver Hil’s mail and saw the mail truck parked across the street for a couple of hours… He put the two together and figured there was hanky-panky going on — when there was really domestic tranquility…

Oh, the excitement…

Things are calm and good for the moment… especially since Andy is here.. he really is (to quote Oliver, who always gets it right) the stable goat to my Seabiscuit.

This morning Hil told me she had chills — not something you want to hear from a 90 year old in poor health… She also had some blood in her catheter bag, and the combination was concerning.  After a phone discussion with the official Ross nurse (i.e. Mom), I called Hil’s home healthcare folks.. wanting to avoid a trip to the doctor’s office..

The home health nurse came over about noon, flushed the catheter, took her vitals — everything was about normal.  The nurse said that it was quite possible that a blood clot in the catheter could cause her to feel a chill — but, there were no other indications of an infection, so it wasn’t quite time to panic.  After discussing it with her clinic, Hil’s nurse came back to draw blood..

Pro-tip.. there is a white board on Hil’s refrigerator with the numbers for the home health folks.. they work weekends, will come out and do the first line of checking, blood draws, urine samples and the like.. they’ll take them to the clinic and get results back for you — and, generally, the doctors at the clinic can be persuaded to provide simple prescriptions over the phone..

While I’m on the subject of prescriptions – Medicine Shoppe will deliver and the one on Monona has Hil’s card on file.. If you call them, give them her Dean Rx number, she might have coverage… hmm..

The home health folks just called, and we need to keep an eye on her catheter bag, getting worse by tomorrow evening would be reason to go to the ER.. which, of course, we don’t want to do..

So, keep your fingers crossed, Hil wants rare roast beef for dinner tomorrow night… I’m hoping it won’t be from the hospital food service… sigh.

My last solo day in Madison…

… started early — like, 4 am early  — Hil needed a trip to the bathroom… after that excitement, I went back to sleep for a while, only to have a dream that we (Mom, myself, Emily and Shirley) were caring for my Grandpa Charlie and had somehow disconnected his catheter bag… and were fighting about it — the four of us never fight… I’m thinking  it may be time for me to go home… I’m glad mom will be here later…  I’m a philosopher, not a nurse…

Pro-tip of the day… prune juice, don’t forget it… because Hil won’t ask for it.. On a related note… the walker doesn’t fit into Hil’s bathroom — but, she can make it by using the sink and the washer/dryer… we figured out that it’s easier to get her pj pants up if she faces the dryer and you work from the side.. trust me on this one…

I’ve taken to hanging out in the living room when Hil says she wants to nap — the neighbors are kind of interesting — don’t be surprised to see Rochelle deliver the mail :)…

Also, Hil’s wifi has a secret password that isn’t on the document on her laptop — or, any variations of her name, or anything else… I don’t know  how to fix it.  Her ipad and computer work fine, but unless you get Lindsey to help you sort it out, your new computer can’t access her network… Brian and Linda’s works in the den… ask them for the password.

What’s new in Madison, you might ask??

Jim dropped by with treats for Hil — all kinds of yummy stuff to suck on :)…

When he was here, he said he mentioned the idea of a senior apartment or assisted living to her — and she didn’t freak out about it.  She also has a book with lots of the options by her chair, so she can look at it as she’d like.. Jim knows her well enough to drop an idea into conversation and leave it at that — let her think about it and make her own decision… no surprise there.

Susan sent two boxes of books for Hil to read — they’re on the coffee table in the den — if you visit,  you should check them out. There are lots of good titles..

Pro tip — Hil loves Culvers vanilla shakes… usually a small is enough for her.. to get to Culvers take Huxley down to Manley, go right on Manley until it hits Sherman (you can’t go any further on Manley) then right on Sherman and then left at the lights by the grocery store… it will be on your left.

Madison is a confusing town — don’t get lost :).

Generally, I’ve been doing pills, food and the nebulizer treatments together.. so, with breakfast, lunch and dinner she gets it all — then she can nap, read or whatever between times and we don’t have to worry about forgetting things.. She does an extra nebulizer treatment before bed..

Usually, breakfast starts at about 7 — lunch is in the noon range, dinner between 5 and 6ish and bed about 9 or 10…

Pro-tip 1 — give Hil your cell phone number and keep your phone handy when you’re upstairs or in the living room — that way, she can call you easily.. the system has worked well so far, but — remember to check her cordless phone on occasion, she’s not particularly good about hanging up.  The visiting nurse knows that if she calls for an appointment and gets a busy signal, she should just come by.. Also, leave a note on the front door and leave the door unlocked when you expect her, just in case you don’t hear the bell.

Pro tip 2 — the automated vital signs machine will talk to you at 9:00 AM… be ready… Hil will need to get up, move over to the machine and get on the scale attached to it.. then it will prompt her to put on a blood pressure cuff and a finger oxygen monitor — then it does it’s thing and asks a couple of yes/no questions and sends the information to her clinic.. after that, she’ll probably want a nap..

Also, Hil’s good friend Denise is now in hospice — Linda is with her and reports that Denise is comfortable today, resting with her cat by her side.. I hope Denise passes peacefully —

That’s all from Madison today — it’s a beautiful day here — the visiting nurse should be here soon, then lunch.  While Hil naps, I’m going to run out to the store for a couple of things…