My new friend…

28 02 2013

my new baby

is old like me, and yet the time I spend with her is treasured beyond words.  She is green and less than beautiful and blissfully all mine!

I jumped on her yesterday and road a while and felt that instant happy that always hit me as a kid.  There is nothing like a bike!  You can get around much faster than walking, allowing that I can actually GO places that my feet would have never taken me.

Several times in my life I used a bike as my main mode of transportation and often felt sorry for people who drove in cars.  I always got everywhere I needed to go feeling happy and challenged and alive.  I was part of everything around me and not closed off and isolated.

I have already made riding dates and can’t wait to get some armadillo tires for my bike so that I can feel unafraid to ride everywhere I need to go.   Actually that list of bike accessories is growing and I have decided that its somewhat like buying a Barbie.  There is no end to the buying possibilities once that first purchase has been made.

In order to make this purchase I spent hours surfing the web for information and am finding stuff too good not to pass on.   This is a video on the proper way to lock your bike.

I use public transportation and sadly have encountered pieces of bike still attached to the pole it was locked to more times than I can count.   Unfortunately even putting a pad lock on it doesn’t mean you will come back to find your friend is still there waiting.  If you love your bike as I do mine, you will want to feel as secure as possible when leaving it.

I am off to spend time with my new friend, hope to see you soon.

Sincerely, SB


One size does not fit all!

25 02 2013

I was blessed this week to be able to work and have earned enough that I thought I could find a semi decent bike to ride, so I spent yesterday determined to secure one.  Ended up coming home with Birthday cards and my next canvas, to make me feel better about not finding what I was looking for.

I searched the internet and then researched the ones that I found and since so much driving was involved, just picked those that seemed the most promising.  I managed to spend enough time lost to build up my determination to a frenzied level only to have it matched by the amount of depression I felt when I couldn’t possibly make what I had found work for me.

I don’t really get it!  The one thing that was pretty dependable about our childhood was every couple of years we got a new bicycle.  No one ever took us with and yet every time I just jumped on it and rode away.  They were all perfect!  I have borrowed other people’s bikes, and never found one that just felt really wrong and yet that’s all I found yesterday.  Bikes that were very wrong for my needs and abilities at this time.

Learning what doesn’t work is also good, even when it doesn’t feel so at the time.  I know now that bikes, like shoes really need to fit well if your going to put any miles on them.  To buy the right one I will need to go somewhere that I can try several that seem to fit my budget.  If I need to get a better deal I can shop on-line but ONLY after I have found the one I really want.

I do like the idea of buying used though.  Like clothing, you get to see how it stood up to the abuse the first person gave it.  You can’t really tell how good things will hold up with that new shine on them.  With all the miles I need to put on it, that will be the most important part of the fit.

There was a girl…

18 02 2013

with a pretty little curl right in the middle of her forehead, when she was good she was very very good, and when she was bad she was horrid!

I woke up this morning realizing that I had been really bad yesterday, horrible, awful, bad.  I didn’t work out thinking I would do it later and instead I ran off to meet the guy who will mentor me in this bike trip.

We had some very strong coffee and I really enjoyed our time together.  It was really good to get a chance to know him.  We have kindred spirits.

I gave him a gift of banana bread and he gave me a cookie, which I popped into my mouth immediately before he could suggest that I start with only half.  His gift was more special then mine.

By the time I got home I was laughing my behind off.  Then I was wishing I had stayed and spent some personal time with him.  After that I started eating everything in the house.  Every crappy cream filled, sugary, salty no no thing in the house was on the list.

When I realized that single handedly I had eaten a whole bag of chips, (eeek! all that salt!) I made myself take a nap to quit!  7 hours later I woke up and it was dark.  I wasted that day!  I wanted to get up and make amends for it by jumping back into working out and behaving, and yet I was really NOT wanting to.  My body was just not into that idea.

Finally this morning I put on the music and made myself move and I was really feeling how hard it was to push myself to do it.  I am getting pain in some mussels like my abs which I am usually very unaware of.  After my 40 minutes, I felt pretty happy with myself.

Then I took my BP and went to put it down, and actually counted it out and realized that I had SKIPPED 3 DAYS, before I started working out again.  No wonder my body put up such a fuss!  Now I am recommitted to doing this everyday and back to my healthier way of eating…Oatmeal anyone???

Memorials, memory’s, memorandums…

16 02 2013


I have tried to make this site Valerie free so anything that I ever said that might hurt anyone would be gone, but Valerie is as much a part of my mind and heart today as she was 6 months ago.  Everything that’s a part of me eventually spills out on these pages.

Val’s memorial was last night.  For those that worked so hard to make it happen, it is done now.  I know that you did it because you loved her best.

I was the only dry eye in the whole place.  I was watching the pictures of her life play over and over and grinning from ear to ear.  Those were good memories, and for a lot of them I was there.  I can’t think of her and be sad.  The gifts she gave me I have kept close to my heart.  They are not gone; those are still mine.

Getting to stay at the nice hotel and going to the beach with the kids; really special meals at renowned restaurants, the births of our children, us cleaning like the dickens just before inspections, and honestly all the most tragic horrid moments of my life, she let me share those with her.  I never through out my hand that her hand didn’t grasp it.

This woman knew how to live.  Everyone spoke of her smile and her big hair, but it was her bigger then life spirit behind it that made you know that smile was genuine.  She was glad to be here on this planet, glad to share her life with those she loved, and really happy that people were so moved by her presence.

Life isn’t lived in minutes but in Moments.  She set life on it’s ear, the same as any artist would, to make you stop and take a second look.  Valerie made me appreciate the gift of this life and I truly don’t believe I could have without her.  Her gift was making memories and bestowing them on others.  She didn’t take that with her, she passed that on.

Three days straight of working out…

14 02 2013


Back to painting again and heard from the boyfriend…it’s Valentines day!  Its stacking up to be a very good day.  If you’re here, I LOVE YOU!  Be good to yourself!  I am going to give myself the gift of a clean house and put the paint away for a while.  😀

See you again soon.

Check it

12 02 2013

DSCN0980 (2)I am a list maker and a goal setter.  I set goals for no reason other then to have one.  I like the process of breaking things down in my mind to small achievable steps and working on it.

This trip has me blissful.  I have a huge number of obstacles; I don’t have a bike, a job, any money, my health was worrisome, I probably couldn’t walk 5 miles in less then 2 hours, and I want to bike over 2,500 in 2 months, I can’t leave my cat, and we haven’t even started planning the trip itself yet.  This is great!

I have worked through the health issues for now.  My BP and blood-sugar should only improve with exercise, so I’m good.  Check.

Started working out…check.

Funding is up next.  Today an old friend is putting me to work, so I am out of here…yea!  Check!    God loves worker bee’s!



For three days now…

12 02 2013

my blood-pressure has been lower than it’s been in years, its gone from a high 10 days ago of 211/117 to  ~129/80!  Feeling pretty awesome about that, and determined to stay with my program to get healthy again.  Have basically added a half an avocado, garlic, vinegar, dill pickles, and fruit to my daily diet and dropped some of my meat.  Go Me!!!

Worked my behind off yesterday but when I get up in the morning, I start officially working out!  I have the workout clothes and music set out… Rocky is back!

OK it’s morning and I re-arranged the room with most of the furniture on the bed and worked out!

I took it pretty easy doing lots of slow stretches and moved carefully not to do anything that used my rotator cuff so I could test that injury and strengthen that arm without re-injuring it.   (Not trying to be a wimp here but don’t have time to wait for it to heal again if I am going to do this.  It was months before I could sleep without pain.)  After a 40 minute workout I feel Great.  Remembering now exactly why I used to do this.

BP this morning 126/67!  My body is giving me great feedback that this is exactly what I should be doing right now and it’s not too late!  I can reclaim everything I have lost.  Wooo Wooo!!!

My Brother and i

10 02 2013

took different gifts forward from our childhoods. In the last year I have been a personal witness to the most glaring difference and it’s become just as painful for us both, even though we chose different paths.

For most of our childhoods we were raised by a man who made the “truth” something held higher in his esteem than any other human trait.  He made our child hoods a living hell in the name of it.

He had his own business’s.  Always opening and closing them.  Running new ones to replace the old.  Rarely did he have less than 3 going at the same time.

We were told on a daily basis to lie to people.  Mostly  little things like He wasn’t around to take their calls, but there were things that we we’re witness’s to everyday that were constant reminders of the fact that he was less than honest with his day-to-day dealings with people.

My brother being the boy was more pulled into his business dealings then I, but even I knew that he  rigged things so part of his income never went on the books to avoid paying as much in business costs and taxes.

When he was given a credit card to buy supplies for jobs, he would also buy stuff for personal jobs he was doing around the house and he often kept tools left around job sites.  When we were old enough to handle the money we were expected to handle it in the same way.

In the privacy of his home though he demanded absolute honesty.  Nothing was to be hidden.  The truth would be routed out by any means necessary.  His favored way was a beating.  He would take both my brother and I in a room and start beating us till we broke.  If we had lied then we got the worst beating of all, “the liars whipping”.

This was a 200 lbs man who wielded a hammer all day long, wielding a belt most often but when that didn’t seem like enough to him what ever else he could find to up the pain, switches, planks of one by and even a horse whip for as long as he felt it necessary.

When it was me and it was going on, my mind could think of nothing but the excruciating pain but when it was my Brother in there, I would fervently be praying for what seemed like hours till it would come to an end.  Either way it was torture to endure it.

That gift I was telling you about.  Well my Brother learned a lesson about how to tell them.  Look we all lie.  Who hasn’t said “tell them I’m not home”?  My brother learned when you get caught in a lie you go down with it, take it to the grave and never give it up.   Watching it play out in his life is almost as painful as sitting there on that couch witnessing what caused it.

My gift.  I learned to take a grain of truth and wield it with laser-sharp precision.   Believe me, it too is damaging and I am no less horrified of the results.


She ain’t heavy,

9 02 2013


we were buds.  This was my favorite picture of her, because for me Valerie was bigger then life. She didn’t understand why people who didn’t even really know her seemed to love her so much.

She had this diva quality that said she knew her worth, but the thing that made her irreplaceable is that she showed you your’s. She was able to make us know it, without ever putting it into words. As someone who uses so many of them I know the problem with words is so often they are never convincing.

I want to be more like her. She saw outside herself. She really looked at the people she was with and experienced being with them. You knew she was there because she wanted to be with you, not just with someone.

Even when it was on the phone.  She wasn’t talking just because she wanted to talk…it was you she wanted to talk to.  She was the diva but the feeling she gave was that in that moment you were the gift, and for that you had to love her.

The pickle thing…

8 02 2013

I have been drinking water with fresh lemon juice in it for the last 2 days thinking the vitamin c couldn’t hurt.  Have taken 2 tbsp vinegar with 1 tbsp  of raw honey in a half cup of water once a day as well,.  Other than that I haven’t lifted my head from the pillow except to use the restroom.

I have taken my blood pressure and it seems a bit lower 152/97 but the bottom number is still too high.  If this all natural way is going to help I am primed for it … there really isn’t anything else in my system anymore.

I ate watermelon for breakfast and just had a sauerkraut sandwich on sprouted wheat bread…(which my cat went insane over) and a pickle. Turns out fermented pickles are not all that easy to find and they are a bit pricier then the other kind, but the extra work seemed worth it as I am thinking I should reintroduce good bacteria into my system.

They have to be refrigerated but not all the pickles in the refrigerator section are fermented…in fact I went to 2 stores that had none.  Public’s had them and an all natural sauerkraut as well so I got them both.   Most companies add preservatives and then pasteurize the kraut, which kills any beneficial  bacteria that ever lived in it.

I am eating pickles to bring down my blood pressure but high blood pressure isn’t something you want to mess around with.  It really puts a strain on all your vital organs and ups the chances you will have a stroke or heart attack.

While regular exercise helps lower blood pressure I am not starting an exercise program without bringing mine down to a healthier level.  It feels risky and I want to get healthy.  If my blood pressure isn’t in the acceptable rage by Monday I am off to the Dr for Med’s.  I don’t want to spend too much time playing with this …just hoping that I don’t have to go..

Just how much can what you eat regulate your health?  We seem to have 2 major opposing camps here…there is the group that says, you don’t need anything but a healthy variety of foods, taking extra vitamins and eating all natural and organic is a hoax; and then the camp that says the way food is processed now changes everything; you need to go organic when ever possible and supplement to get what we used to get naturally from our food.

I have done the all natural thing and gotten my health back before.  I’m still thinking its possible for me to do it now.

I was hearing Rocky music…

7 02 2013

Then I got this flu that’s been going around.  The first day of it I was feeling cursed but I am feeling a bit better today and choose to see it as God helping me to jumpstart my new eating plan with a fast and cleanse.  Wooo wooo …gotta head back to bed now… sitting up isn’t good.

Dill pickles anyone???

5 02 2013

I was told I should add dill pickles to my diet.  After some research I agree.  Dill pickles are healthy. For example, dill and garlic, both of which are popular in pickles, both have the ability to regulate bacterial growth.

Dill and other spices also contain flavonoids, which help you heal. Mustard seeds are good for digestion and turmeric powder is believed to lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease.

Fermented pickles have lactic acid which may help to lower fat in the bloodstream, improve circulation, and lower high blood pressure.  They also have good bacteria  such as Lactobacillus acidophilus which is also why I’m eating the yogurt.

Many pickles are made with vinegar’s    This healthy liquid has several positive properties in addition to its tangy taste. Vinegar is known to boost the immune system, ease digestive disorders, and can break down calcium deposits in a person’s joints.

In addition, vinegar is known to decrease high blood pressure, and help treat urinary infections and may be a good preventative for kidney stones.  It is even said to re-mineralize your bones, balance your blood pH, and fight infection. Vinegar is also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.  It inhibits the growth of the E.coli bacteria, and when used in conjunction with salt, which is common in pickling, the anti-bacterial properties are amplified.


I’m off to the store again!  See you soon.

Well it could be worse…

5 02 2013

Had a health assessment done as a starting place for getting ready for the trip. I am 54, 5’7″ tall, Weight 238 lbs, measurements, It’s ugly…no wonder I can’t fit in any of my clothes anymore, a fasting plasma glucose level of 127, overall cholesterol 180 which is very good considering all the rest, but blood pressure 211/147. No shit. I have taken it everyday for 4 days now at different times and it never got lower than 152/80 and 3 out of 4 days it was over 175/90.

I am obese, I am possibly diabetic, and my blood pressure is high enough to keep me in an emergency room till they could bring it down if I went. I am hoping that if I drop 50 lbs most of that should change.

They want me on medication but considering all the stress I have had lately and my poor eating habits, I think I will try all natural first. I am taking a baby aspirin to lower the chance that a clot will be a problem while I try to bring my blood pressure down.

I have a lot of work to do! The first is to try changing my diet and add exercise to my daily routine and then we will see where we stand. I spend all morning on the internet making a list of things I need to eat healthier and get my blood pressure under control.

Next thing was shopping. I spent $160.00 and expect that what I bought should last me several weeks. First I went to Whole Foods and bought flax, sesame, sunflower seeds and almonds as well as the whole grains Amaranth, triticale, Barley, Oat berries, wheat berries, Quinoa and Rye and plan to use those as much as possible in place of most of my protein and starches. I also bought Agave and raw unfiltered honey for sweetening, raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.

Then I took off to Publix for the rest of my shopping, the prices fit my budget better and I do love shopping there. The stores are clean, the shelves well stocked, the people are helpful and friendly, they bag the groceries and always place all my bags in my cart, and I don’t have to have a special card to get the discounts on sale items.

There I grabbed a whole chicken, a whole turkey breast, an Italian herb salad dressing mix, real butter, eggs, seriously sharp white cheddar, green tea, Ezekiel Bread, unflavored Greek yogurt, frozen mixed berries, raw carrots, melon, grapes, apples, lemons, baby greens, spinach, onions, Kale, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes and avocados.

Next I need to prepare everything as much as possible in single serving packages. Tonight I chop and prep the vegetables to make them simple as snacks to grab and eat. Potatoes are scrubbed and wrapped in plastic wrap for micro waving as needed. Tomorrow I roast both a turkey breast and a whole chicken, shred the meat and put it in single 3 oz servings and freeze them.

I need to mix whole grains into my morning oats. I used to do this and I believe the mix of quinoa, rye, barley, Oat berries, wheat berries, triticale and flax-seed should cook up well together. Once mixed and stored in an airtight container they can be cooked with water as is (about 1 cup of water to 1/3 C grain per serving and cook for 40-60 minutes). I also soaked them the night before, or quick chopped them in a bullet at the time they are cooked for faster cooking times and a less chewy more “normal” consistency. Those that don’t mix well with my morning Oatmeal will make great additions to salads.

I need to get off here and fix something for dinner. Exhausted…really don’t have the energy I used to have.

Will check in with you later.
sincerely, SB

Starting over…

4 02 2013

I am part of a community of people who are mental ill.  I am both inside and outside of it.  I have years of experience with being there  but feel safely outside of that downward spiral for now.  Those same years of experience have shown me ways to get myself out when life pulls me back there.

I am hurting and part of this trip is keeping myself out of that place of isolation again.  I need face to face contact with others to have a healthy functioning brain.  It’s a fact that being around people is the best possible way for your brain to build the connections it needs to be fully functioning.

Isolation alone is disabling and the worst part is it’s self-perpetuating. I truly believe that if anyone is helped by therapy it’s because of that face to face contact.

Tripping around on the web has made me realize just how isolated people are getting and how little they realize that alone contributes to their problems. The web is great for connecting to others but it will never be as good as a hand in your own.

I was the starting over queen before there was an internet and I am grateful. I see people who seem well supported and connected on here all the time that still seem locked in their misery and lonely. The fact that this is the way that they learned to reach out to others, I think in some ways hurts them.

So many try to reach back in loving ways but they seem to keep that feeling of insulation and isolation. It is safer to reach out for acceptance here because you control how much people know about you and how they are able to touch you, and that is exactly what keeps it from being enough.

Nothing they say can ring true when the voice in your head says “yes but you don’t really know me”. You are not building trust either because you haven’t let go of complete control of how they are able to reach back.

Some ways that people have touched me have hurt me, but overwhelmingly the majority of people I come in contact with haven’t and so many have touched me in ways I have never forgotten and have healed immensely from. If you never trust again that can’t happen.

I believe that this world isn’t the scary place we see in the news; that over all people are good and want to help others.   We are encouraged to look at how we are different but there are more ways that we are the same.  I believe that everyone deserves respect.  It’s only after we have been shown it, that we begin to look worthy of it.

This trip is going to push my boundaries beyond my safe zone again.  I won’t be able to see the same people again and again.  I won’t know anyone I meet for two months and it isn’t going to be easy so if you recognize me out there on the road with my bicycle and beads, please do say hello.

It would make my world feel smaller and more comfortable, safer to be in.

Hope to see you soon, Sincerely SB

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