Published in the Rains County Leader on March 3, 2020:
At the beginning of this year, I wrote a column about mine and David’s intention to begin working out at a local gym in the hope of living what’s left of our golden years in better health. In keeping with my usual serious tone, I pursued the vital question of what to wear when I worked out. I received quite a bit of input from fitness fashionistas, but I ended up going with what I had, at least in the beginning.
After a few weeks of faithful gym visits, along with David’s interest in the new running shoes of some friends, we went shoe shopping and rewarded ourselves with fancy new shoes that feel really good on our old feet. The next week we added new sweat pants, so now we’re somewhat color coordinated. My outfit of choice is gray shoes with salmon/pink highlights and white soles, gray pants with a white stripe, and a large pink T-shirt that hits me about mid-thigh. It’s not high fashion, but everything is comfortable – and the place we go isn’t the kind of place where people go to be seen, at least not at the time we go. I have, however, seen a few interesting people and learned some things about fitness enthusiasts. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on January 21, 2020:
Every year between October 15 and December 7, Medicare open enrollment rolls around. That’s the period when people who have Medicare coverage can reevaluate and/or change their plans. David has coverage through the VA, so when the helpful reminders from every insurance company known to man begin to arrive in the mail, they end up in my to-do paperwork. I’ve been pretty happy with my carriers, so I usually ignore the pile until the deadline has past and then file it in what Dad used to call File 13.
This year was different, though. My supplement, the plan that covers co-pays and other things Medicare doesn’t pay, went up a few dollars as it does every year due to my advancing age. But my prescription drug coverage that had doubled in the seven years since I became eligible had doubled again in just one year. It was time to do some insurance shopping. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on January 8, 2019:
January is the time when everyone goes on a diet – or at least talks about it. Even the grocery store ads focus on items that have “Lo” in the description. I have to admit that, as the calendar rolls over, I have thoughts of eating better and exercising more, but circumstances usually conspire to derail my plans before they’re even made. Here are just a few reasons why the scale probably won’t go down this year, at least in January.
- I still have brownies, chips, and a few other goodies left from the holidays, and I was raised not to waste food. After all, there are starving children all over the world!
- I visited the close-out sale at Emory Food Mart where I found Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla, a Mrs. Smith’s Peach Cobbler, and an Edward’s Key Lime Pie for half price. Bargain shopping is good for the budget – right?
- January’s schedule includes Volunteer Dessert Day every other Wednesday at the Senior Center, Home Group Dinner and Bible Study every Friday night, a fund-raiser lunch after church on January 20, and the annual family celebration of Aunt Fay’s birthday at AJ’s Fish House.
- One of my retirement projects is to organize recipes I have collected over the years and others that I inherited from Mom. I know that, in the process, I’ll come across recipes I want to make because I didn’t have time to try them when I was working and others I’ll make because I remember them fondly from my childhood.
- I was excited when the new Anytime Fitness opened in Emory, but then I discovered that my health insurance doesn’t have the Silver Sneakers benefit. I know I could buy a membership, but since I’ll soon be unemployed…
- You might ask why I don’t use the perfectly good treadmill a friend gave me a few years ago. Well, it’s wedged into a corner in the middle bedroom that we euphemistically called a storage room, and I’m claustrophobic.
- Some people also mention that we live on a circle that would be a perfect place to walk. True, but there are several dogs that roam loose in the neighborhood, and I don’t run fast enough to get away from them if they should decide to give chase.
- David and I plan to spend more time on the road when I’ve retired. Part of the fun of taking your kitchen with you is cooking – and eating – all your favorite dishes.
- I always get at least one pair of new jeans for Christmas. My new Lee Riders are a size larger than normal, and the extra comfort gives me a false sense of thinness.
- Instead of going to the gym or walking, I plan to edit two books and write another one. All that sitting at the computer will probably lead to a writer’s spread and another size larger on next year’s new jeans.
So there you have it. I once figured out that, between ages 20 and 60 I put on an average of five pounds per decade. I managed to hold steady while I was in my 60s, but since I hit 70, I’ve been losing the battle. I know the most effective exercise when it comes to weight control is pushing away from the table, but that’s not much fun. If anyone out there has a miracle diet where you can eat the goodies, sit in your easy chair, and keep the pounds away, please let me know.
Buy at BookPros or Amazon
Published in the Rains County Leader on October 2, 2018:
Dr. Graves gave me this hot, heavy boot.
This past Wednesday was the six-week anniversary of my shoulder surgery. Thursday at 9:45 am I had an appointment with my surgeon for a post-op checkup. Since he had said I would have to wear my sling for six weeks, and since my physical therapist said I was doing really well, I was sure Thursday would mean freedom for me.
However, as the time drew closer, I began to worry. Five years ago I broke my ankle, and the same doctor took care of my injury. It wasn’t the kind of break that required surgery, but I had to wear one of those plastic boots that looks like something that should have a ski attached to the bottom. It was very heavy and uncomfortable, and I counted the days until my two-month checkup, sure I would be healed enough to wear a regular shoe again. After looking at my x-rays, he breezed into the examining room with a big smile. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on September 4, 2018:
I tried to think of a topic other than my health for my column this week, but there’s little else going on in my life right now. I’m almost three weeks post-surgery, and the worst of the initial trauma has past. Over-the-counter pain meds and a gel cold pack take care of most of the pain, and physical therapy has settled into a manageable routine. It’s still painful and hard work, but I’m making progress, and I’ve cancelled the contract on my therapist. Still, I have almost four weeks until my next appointment with my doctor when he will hopefully release me from my sling, and the little inconveniences of having my dominant hand bound up are driving me crazy. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on August 27, 2018:
Physical therapy began Wednesday, one week after rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder. I was excited when we received a call from the doctor’s office informing me that it was time to begin and asking where I wanted to go. I was also excited to learn that Lake Fork Physical Therapy is one of their approved providers, both because they are local and because I’ve heard great things about Paul and Angie. On the other hand, I was apprehensive.
When people hear that you are having a rotator cuff repair, they all have a story to share, either a personal one or the story of someone they know. Most of the stories I heard were encouraging, but a few not so much. The ones about how painful recovery would be didn’t bother me too much. I was already in pain, so I assumed the pain of surgery would be bearable. I wasn’t too worried about the discomfort of the therapy either, because many years ago I had several months of PT to treat a disk problem in my lower back. Nothing Paul did could be as painful as an elbow on a cramping muscle with the full weight of the therapist behind it – or could it? (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on August 21, 2018:
- There are a lot more things that require two hands than I ever imagined.
- I’m not nearly as ambidextrous as I thought I was. Even I have trouble reading my left-handed writing.
- I am even more clumsy than usual with one arm bound up, and a Grabber is an absolute necessity. Thankfully I have a very thoughtful friend who brought me one.
- Little things like capital letters, punctuation, and spelling aren’t nearly as important when you’re typing with one hand.
- When I’m working on a writing project I sometimes long for a quiet house and a clear schedule, but when it happens, I don’t like it very much.
- We have many friends who are gifted cooks and who are more than willing to share their gift with friends in need. I’m doubly thankful that a couple of months ago we bought a microwave that was built in this century and doesn’t “warm” everything to the consistency of shoe leather.
- Having people help you, whether it’s bringing dinner, stepping in to help take up the slack in your job, or helping you cut your meat, can be a humbling experience. It can also make a person feel very loved.
- David is an excellent caregiver, but he is also a very hard taskmaster – or lack of taskmaster. He won’t let me do anything or go anywhere if he thinks there is a possibility I might reinjure my shoulder.
- Kitty is not a good caregiver. Since I returned from the hospital, she has given me a wide berth, coming close only when it’s time for bedtime snacks. Even then she only gets close enough to grab a tasty bit before running over to David’s side of the bed to eat it.
- Six weeks is a VERY long time when that’s how long before you will be able to use your right hand – or your left hand if you’re a southpaw.
Barnes and Nobles https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tatias-tattoo-linda-brendle/1128875122?ean=9781945455827
Published in the Rains County Leader on July 17, 2018:
At the church where I work, there’s a twelve-month calendar on the wall behind my desk along with a multi-colored collection of dry-erase markers. The idea is that each staff member and each ministry uses a different color so it’s easy to see at a glance what’s happening on any given day. The problem is that we have no color key on the calendar, so we don’t always use the correct marker. One day last week, Pastor Jason came into my office to make note of a few days he is taking off in August. He stared at the calendar for a few minutes.
“I don’t remember what color I am,” he said. “I think I’m green.”
“It isn’t easy being green,” I quipped. When he looked confused, I continued, “You know – Sesame Street – Kermit the Frog.” (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on November 10, 2015:
Last week I talked about all the “national” months, weeks, and days that are on the American calendar. Specifically, I mentioned that November is National Family Caregiver Month and National Novel Writing Month. One very important month I didn’t mention is October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Some of the months are pretty low key or have limited media appeal, but with all the special events and promotions, it’s hard to miss this month, especially when 300 pound linebackers wear pink socks. (more…)