Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Life Like a Flowering Bush

When I look now back at my life, I think of it as a flowering bush. We all start out as flower buds. Ready to go but first we must bloom and spread our petals. As we grow our beauty grows and our fragrance and features get better and better. We become the most beautiful things on the bush. 

Now let me explain a little about this analogy. The bush to me is our family. The flower is each one of us in our families. Now as all flowers grow somewhat alike most have very subtle differences that make them unique. People are like that, we may come from the same family but we are still different in many ways. My life long struggle with weight was pretty much unique to me in my family. Some of my family had a slight weight problem but most were slim and in good shape. One grandmother though, had a struggle just as I have had. But most everyone else was thin. In my family I have three daughters. Two of them have weight problems which they are doing their best to work on and one is of normal weight but has other problems.  Now let me get back to the flower bush analogy:

As the flower grows some of its petals start to fade a little. Eventually some of them start to wither and fall off. But as they do these flower can look at other blooms on the bush and see that they are starting to flower and become beautiful in their own right. (children). They start in their life cycle and go through the same experiences as the flowers that bloomed before them, and very soon they notice newer blooms starting to grow on the bush. (grandchildren). Life goes on and on in the bush. (family). The older flowers as they wither and die can find solos in knowing that the beauty of the bush will be maintained and that new flowers will bloom and die, but the bush will go on and on.   

As in the bush analogy, my family is growing and growing. We have three lovely daughters, 11 grandchildren, and so far one great grandchild. What a joy it is to an old man like me to be blessed enough to see them all grow and strive to become the best they can be. I am so proud of them all. Not a one is a bad person. Yes we all make mistakes but we are all doing our best to recover from them, pick our heads up and carry on. Our bush (family) is in great shape and the master gardner (Heavenly Father) is trimming and taking care of us just fine and we thank and bless him for it. 

Here is a link to the Blog of one of my grandchildren Brittany Powell. Please take a look at it.  Also she is involved in many other things so please also take a look at her U-Tube channel to see what she is offering. You may find it very valuable to you as well. It can be found by going here. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Getting a Passport

Well we did our first step to take our 50th wedding anniversary trip to England this summer. I filled out the application for me and Jackie to get our passports. Holy cow it costs a lot to get passport these days. $270.00 plus the price of getting a photo taken. 

We will get the photos taken the first of next month and then go down to the city hall, pay our money and put the applications in for processing. It is getting kind of exciting even though it is month off, it is something we have looked forward too for a long time. 

We both wanted to go to England to see the history there. We plan on taking a guided tour, and hope to see all the highlights of the place. Most of the tours go even up to Scotland so we will be traveling a lot. Jackie really wants to see Stonehenge, but I am more into seeing some of the castles. After all we are both decedents of royalty there and maybe we will reposes one of our old family homes. Ha Ha.  

Now that I have lost weight, I am quite confident that I will be able to do the walking that will be required but Jackie is quite worried that her back may cause her some problems. She is going to go back to the doctor and see if there is anything she can do or take to make it more possible to go and enjoy herself without having to not attend some things because of back pain. I hope she can get something fixed before we leave. 

We are getting excited and now all we have to do is pay for it. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Computers, Computers..PITA

Computers, I hate computers. Well I guess I should not hate them as I made my living for years working with computers. But really they are a convenience but sure do chew up a lot of my time these day. I recently upgraded my main computer from Windows 7 to Windows 8. All went well. I purchased the upgrade on line and down loaded it to my machine. It took over two hours to accomplish the task.

After it installed on my machine, I found I did not know how to navigate with the new operating system. There was no start button, No control panel that I could see, not even a way to bring the system down anymore. But I kept playing with it and finally found may way around and got everything working just fine.

Then I got a message that there were updates to install on my machine from Microsoft. Well I have always trusted that the updates would be find and let the machine update automatically. After I was done using the computer for the day, I decided to bring it down and back up to get the updates installed and re-boot the system. Guess what? It would not come up again. Just sat there with the screen kind of dimly flashing at me. There seemed to be no disk activity, no nothing. So even though I did not like the idea I held the power button down for 10 seconds and waited for the system to close. Then I hit the power button again and it started to come back up but hung just as before. OMG is my computer dead for good?

I am planning to get a new one with my IRS return if I get enough back but that will not be for a few months yet. I was panicked. I got on my other computer and searched the Internet for answers. As luck would have it and after a lot of prayers for help, I found some kindly person had posted what they did. This person said to press the power button and then after it tries to brink Windows 8 up, quickly press the power button again. I did and a recovery scheme came up on the screen that allowed me to restore back to where it was working without the updates that were put on. Man oh Man was I happy about that. All is fine now as far as I can tell. I have tested most everything and everything works as it should.

One of the first things I did after I got the system back was to create a boot disk on a USB drive and put it in my vault so if something like this happens again, I will have a better way of restoring the system. I should have know better and done that right away, but I was so involved in finding out how the system worked that I just had not got around to it.

So yes computers are needed today, but they sure can cause me a lot of emotional pain and are sometimes a real pain in the ass.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Just Pumping Along As Usual

Not much went on during the past week. I have been working on a Novel. Yes a novel. My family has been after me for a long time to write one thinking I have some particular skill doing that. For heavens sake, I don’t even read much for fun and novels are not at the top of my list. But I am giving it a try and have written a dozen pages or so and now find myself at the infamous writer’s block.

I have also been doing major updates to my regular personal web page. Go to if you haven’t been there already. I have changed it so that people who know me can get to some of my interests faster without going through many pages they have no interest in seeing. I think this layout will make it easier to navigate but I still have many linkage problems that I have to fix. But for some reason the server that I am hosted on is getting very finicky. It keeps giving me error messages that I do not understand and all my inquires to the support department have not been answered. My solution to the problem is to just keep trying and sooner or later the damn thing works. I really believe it is their problem and that may be the reason they don’t get back to me. I could call them on the phone but their support personal are Asian and any of you who know me, know I have a big time hearing problem especially on the phone and I can not understand what they are telling me most of the time and I have to ask them to repeat so many times I feel very stupid so I don’t like that and have to resort to e-Mail. 

I also converted all my 88mm video tapes to digital and put them on my computer. Doing that brought to light how much more power and hard disk space I need. So I am looking for a new computer. One that I can afford considering I will only pay cash for things like that and we have to save for our trip to England next year so the computer I want and the computer I can afford are two different things. 

As far as my health I lost another 2 pounds this week, but this morning at my unofficial weigh in on the bathroom scale I was up a little, but expect that by the time I actually weigh, I will lose again. I have only 14 pounds now to go to my goal, but I want to go under that so I have some wiggle room to maintain my weight. That amount is sure a lot less than the 140 pounds I had to lose when I started. Anyway I am still very happy with what I have done and would do it over again with no question. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Poster Child Me?

I went to a visit with my PCP (Personal Care Physician), yesterday. After examining me and going over my charts she said I should be considered a poster child for WLS. Every indicator is great. I was on a small amount of blood pressure medications and she even took me off that. I had been complaining that I was a little dizzy and after looking at my BP numbers she said my BP was too low and took me off even the small amount I was on. So now I  am not on any medications other than the dietary supplements I take on a regular basis.

What a wonderful change for me. I used to take over 11 different pills each night and several each day. I also had to take insulin shots 2 times a day. I am so glad that is over. She did however emphasize that I am still a diabetic. It is like being an alcoholic, you are really never over it, it will be part of your life for as long as you live. It is just under control and in complete remission. But I know if I let my guard down that it can and will come right back.

Now that the holidays are over and all the hubbub of that time comes to a close. Jackie and I are taking the decorations down and planning on other activities. But the weather here is kind of bad with all the cold weather and rain, so most of what we are doing is inside stuff. We plan on doing some touch up stuff and maybe painting our master bedroom and bathroom. We are going to rearrange some furniture and just make changes where we want.

I want to get back to doing more outside stuff on the yard and house and will start that in the Spring as soon as I can. One of the fun things I am doing now is taking some of the old….over 20 years old…. 8mm camcorder files from my old camera and converting them to files on my computer. The plan is to copy them on to DVDs and keep them for reference and passing on to the family. I have about half my library done at this time and hope to have it all done next week. One of the things noticed is how Jackie and my weight and appearance have changed over time. We were younger then of course and I had more hair, but really in some ways I look better now than I did then. In most cases, at that time just as I had retired from my normal line of work, I was at a low point in weight, but to be honest, I look much thinner now and I am not even at goal. Of course just after those pictures were taken I had a tummy tuck and that made a big difference in my appearance. Now that I have lost my weigh again the TT is still in effect and I look slimmer in cloths now than I did then. Naked, I am not so sure, now I am a lot like an old dried up prone. My butt looks like the craters of the moon. Not a good view.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Happy New Year!

As I start a new year I want to look back at 2012 and review the highlights of the year. I knew in 2011 that I would have weight loss surgery. It had already been approved by the insurance company, but there were a lot of test I had to do before the actual surgery. These test took an additional 5 months to complete and finally on May 9th I had the surgery at the Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, Washington. Dr. Jeffery Landers was my surgeon and he did a wonderful job as far as I am concerned. 

I had several problems before the surgery like Sleep Apnea, Diabetes, High Cholesterol, Asthma, High Blood Pressure, and others. My bones and body in general was starting to give out.  I had already had two knee operations and it was looking like I was well on my way to having them completely replaced. I could not walk more than about 50 feet without being short of breath. I could not bend over at all and pick something up, as it would cut off my ability to breath by the pressure it put on my lungs. I could not tie or put on my shoes or socks without being on the bed with my legs supported so that I could reach my feet. 

To clean myself after going to the bathroom, I had to dislocate my shoulder to get the job done and even at that, had to take many showers just to stay clean or I would have other problems best not documented here. Let me just say that I worry about those who are a similar size as me and bathroom problems associated with hygiene. 

Now all these problems are gone and I feel like a new man. I can walk, swim, ride bikes, and do just about anything I really want to do. I have so much energy and even look for things to do as I get bored very easily now, but Jackie is always willing to find something to help her with so I stay out of trouble. 

I can eat just about any food now without getting sick. That is of course things that are not off limits for me for the rest of my life, like high sugar items and chips and pastries, things like that of course. I could eat them, but there is a chance I would develop what is called dumping where you go into a kind of hyperglycemic condition which is life threatening and not a lot of fun, so the best thing to do is just not eat them. I don’t really like foods like that so it should not be that hard for me to keep away from them.

This summer will be Jackie and my 50th wedding anniversary. We are planning on going to England for 10 days or so to celebrate. Now I will be able to walk and see things without pooping out and having to stay on the bus. We are really looking forward to going and think we will have a much better time now that I am thinner. At least my poor feet and legs will appreciate my weight loss. In the next year or two we also plan on going to Italy. These two places are kind of on my “bucket list“. Not that I am planning on dying soon or anything, it is however at my age, a time to think of things like that you want to get done in your lifetime and I think a person should try to do some of the things they have thought about in their lives and do them while you have the health and time to do them. The only thing that holds us back is of course money. That will always be a problem for us as there never seems to be enough to do all we want. But planning like  this is half the fun.