Snowed In

Image by Robin Moreau

So what to do when we are snowed in? I hate the fact that the weather has been the topic of discussion. Boring…

My husband had this bright idea that he would shovel a bit of snow then pull out of the garage to take me to the store for potatoes. All I wanted was to make stew for dinner and I didn’t have potatoes.

Image by Robin Moreau

Well, we don’t have 4 wheel drive anymore and we are under 2 feet of snow that we usually don’t get.

His car got stuck. We shoveled for a couple hours and his wheels were spinning like crazy. I could have told him it wouldn’t work, but….well, you know. So I suggested some hot water. It worked a bit, but he started to spin. Then I remembered we had a bag of gardening soil. Seriously, I was so annoyed!

Image by Robin Moreau

So after a bag of soil, he was able to skid and burn rubber back into the garage. The chains from our prior Dodge didn’t fit either of our cars. So we decided to walk to the store.

Who’s dumb idea was it to do this?!? Mine! Why! It’s about a mile or so into town to nearest store. I’ve walked it before, no big deal. But in 2 feet of snow, it makes it much more difficult. My husband borrowed my son’s backpack and off we went.

Image by Robin Moreau

I’m not going to lie, by the time we got to the store my body was tingling in spots I didn’t know I had. I am no Pioneer woman. But I got my potatoes and yes, a BIG bottle of wine, 2 gallons of milk and some chocolate. He carried it. I carried the baguette he wanted for the stew.

Image by Robin Moreau

You never know you’re strength or how out of shape you are until you walk about 2 miles round trip, in 25 degree weather, in 2 feet of snow. My hips were killing me! And my feet. And my calves. I don’t have snow boots, I have rain boots. I think they are for looks. Well of course they are for looks. I buy for looks, not comfort. Not the best for walking long distances! Like I said, I am not a Pioneer woman.

Image by Robin Moreau

We ran into some friends who offered to give us a ride home but you know what? We need to walk and it was nice to get some fresh air after being cooped up. Why would I do that?

I wish I would have taken them up on their offer.

After getting home I felt like I was suffocating. I stripped my jacket, gloves, earmuffs, scarf, and rain boots off. I poured a glass of wine and started preparing the stew. It smells so yummy!

Image by Robin Moreau

Not sure what tomorrow will bring or the next day. I hope I can get to work at some point this week but it doesn’t look promising. Sigh.

We are suppose to get 8 inches over the next couple days. I can work from home, but I miss the interaction of everyone. The clouds are starting to roll in. Here it comes. Another snow storm.

The wind has picked up and it is FREAKING COLD.

Image by Robin Moreau

I guess I will grab a bottle, hunker down and pray for daylight! HA! More like grab a blanket, hunker down and take a nap!

Stay safe out there!

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Snow Angel

Well it is still snowing. It’s kind of freaky, crazy and peaceful at the same time. My husband measured and we are at about 20 inches.

Image by Robin Moreau

I felt like a little kid. I insisted on making a snow Angel. I have never made one, it was on my bucket list yet there was never enough snow to do so. But we do now!

I was a little sceptic at first, and my daughter told me to just fall backwards into it and I asked, what if I drown?” I was teasing of course, but hey, with my luck….oy!

Image by Robin Moreau

The final results:

Image by Robin Moreau

My snow Angel appears to have snow boobies. I don’t know how I managed it, but there it is. Full glory!

One more thing on my bucket list, accomplished. Lesson learned; live everyday to it’s fullest, no matter what the circumstances are. Yes, this much snow is a little scary when you’re not prepared for it. Yet I am thankful for a warm place to stay dry and food to eat, unlike those who do not have this luxury.

Yes, it IS a luxury.

Image by Robin Moreau

Cabin Fever

We are getting plummeted with snow. We never get snow, and if we do, it’s maybe an inch or so. After several hours, we are up to almost 10 inches.

Image by Robin Moreau

It was a stay at home work day for me and the staff due to the storm. I admit, I’ve been about 50% productive. The excitement of snow has retreated and I’m over it. I officially have cabin fever and I’m ready to go back to work in the comfort of my office and the buzzing of people having meetings and classes. The snowfall hasn’t let up.

Image by Robin Moreau

Due to the vass amount of snowfall, in such a short period of time, the Governor has called a state of emergency, my dog is in a state of excitement, and my hummingbirds are in a state of panic. The feeder is not frozen, surprisingly, simply covered in snow and I can’t seem to keep it cleared fast enough.

Image by Robin Moreau

Now what? I will plunge myself into what work I can get done. This is why I don’t have vacations…well staycations as some would say. Either way, I’m cooped up and the reality has set in and I am NOT liking it!

But there is nothing I can do about it so…..

Live, Love, Age

I’ve decided I don’t like this aging thing.

The creaking of my bones when I get out of bed in the morning is becoming a bit too expected. And mornings are like Notre Dame as my hunched over body beckons to retain its erect elasticity from lying in bed all night.

I think I want to be retired, but find myself pacing and annoyed when I can’t go in to work due to inclement weather. I’m like a child having a tantrum when told I can’t have something. I crave the business, the people and the organized chaos. I’d be lost without it, without them.

And speaking of weather….

Walking in the snow downhill to the mailbox at the end of the road is quite the adventure. I found myself staring at my feet doing the shuffle. Like this would ensure me from slipping. I find myself a little more “off” kilter as I age and I think I need to bring Yoga back into my morning routine. It really helps with balance.

By the time I made my way back up the hill, I was so cold my skin burned. And I wanted to make the loop two more times but my husband opted out and walking alone is boring. And my dinner was sitting in my belly like a rock.

And don’t forget the appetite. I’m really hungry first thing in the morning but as the day goes on, I swear my stomach shrinks and with every bite I take, it’s a torturous, uncomfortable symphony of white noise and feels like I swallowed bubble wrap.

And the question remains, what am I going to do about this aging thing? It’s not like I can send the yearly software upgrade back. No refunds.

I guess all I can do is eat less, exercise more, sparkle myself and love unconditionally. Find the inner peace to stabilize living and trick the mind and body of the aging process.

Maybe if I view the world once more like I did as a child, I will ignite the excitement of feeling young again. Like throwing snow balls, catching frogs or kissing the Easter Bunny.

And in 7 days it will be my half birthday. Yes, happy half birthday to me. That is a half year more of being thankful I’m alive.

Maybe I will bake half a cake.

Image by Robin Moreau

Snow Fall

It’s snowing for the first time this year. It’s not necessarily sticking, but I wish it would. When the snow piles up, the world gets eerily quiet and I enjoy it. It calms my mind, despite the cold.

As I’m looking out the kitchen window, the hummingbirds are fighting over drinks. When I gather with friends, I don’t ever recall fighting over drinks. Why would they? There is plenty to go around. When I step outside, I can hear them bickering.

The fireplace is humming, the flakes are growing in size. I wish I could stop time.

If only.

The Dying Heart

A tiny glimpse in the very beginning stages of a new piece of art I’m working on. The Dying Heart.

The Dying Heart – Image by Robin Moreau

I don’t believe following your heart is always best. I have heard this expression for many years and the older I get I am unsure of if it has meaning anymore. I think it can sometimes lead us to heartbreak, deception, and pain. Sometimes following our hearts is a long road that feels like a slow death.

The dying heart cannot tell you when its last beat will be. It can only tell you the pain and exhaustion it feels.

The heart tells us so much more than we realize. It tells us when we find love and with that love our heart swells. Swells for the one we cannot live without. Swells for the newborn we hold in our arms. A love thought never to be understood, until that moment.

Our heart breaks when we lose a loved one, or a friend. Losing someone doesnt necessarily mean death, loss has many variables at different levels. When loss occurs, the heart starts to slowly die. A loss we are never able to prepare for, whether it’s sudden, or over time. And the pain, so fierce it feels as though the depths of the ocean have grasped it tightly and squeezes until we surrender our last breath.

And surrendering means letting go.

And letting go is forgetting.

And forgetting is fear.

Our heart realizes it is only the beginning, until the end. And it patiently waits.

We lack the realization our heart needs rest. When we love our heart is content. When we cry, our heart is relieved, despite the pain. It rests.

As we age, our heart bursts with love and breaks with loss; enduring the most significant impact of waves that grows stronger, every year passing.

We fight the depths of its beats until the battle is mottled and we feel discolored. We grow weary, our heart fatigues. What battles, were once wars, are now nearly bickering until we froth no more.

No warning. No goodbye. It simply gives up. Flooded with love, it’s demise, broken hearted.

The Weight Loss

There came a point in my life, when I realized I was not as healthy as I should be. What was sad, is I couldn’t believe I had let myself go and I ignored it and refused to notice it until one particular day.

A little bit of history.

I had kids. I worked the night shift at the hospital because I didn’t want to put my kids in daycare. Which meant I ate all night and tried to sleep all day, but with kids at home, sleep was not an option until they reached school age. I gained weight. A LOT of weight. I was pushing almost 300 pounds. Fast food, sugary drinks, lots of bread and lots of desserts.

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Me, at almost 300 pounds – Image by Robin Moreau

Fast forward.

We moved to Washington and I secured a position at the local hospital. At the beginning of the move I promised myself I would take better care of myself and lose the weight. The kids were older, the weather cooler, so there was no excuse. Once I had made the decision, I was going to do it. I worked on the second floor so I started taking the stairs, rather than the elevator. I couldn’t even make it to the second floor without having to stop and catch my breath. Ridiculous.

I started going on hikes with the kids, and jogging in the park. I tried to jog. At first, I couldn’t even make it to 30 seconds without having to stop. I thought my heart was going to explode. But I stuck with it, everyday was a tiny bit easier. I’ve tried to lose weight in the past, but I always gave up. Even my own husband didn’t believe that I would stick to it.

I quit drinking sugary drinks and I limited my bread intake. I ate a larger breakfast, and I had a snack under 100 calories every couple hours. My dinner was my lightest meal.

The weight started slowly coming off. First 30 pounds, then 40, then 50. Eight months later, I had lost 80 pounds. I kept going. I lost another 20 pounds. Below is a picture of me 50 pounds lighter, with my Uncle Phil on the fourth of July. (May he rest in peace)

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50 pounds lighter. July 4th. This is my Uncle Phil. – Image by Robin Moreau

 

But I didn’t feel well. My chest was tight after I would eat, and I was sick at my stomach all of the time. My throat would sometimes feel funny, like I was going to catch a cold. Not scratchy, but puffy feeling. I finally went to the doctor.

During my check up she stated my labs were amazing compared to the prior year. I had dropped my cholesterol and glucose levels. She stated I had remarkably changed my labs to “text book perfect” on my own, just through my healthy habits. Then she sent me to an allergist.

After several blood tests and skin testing, I found out I was allergic to many, many things. I was allergic to many, many foods. She told me I would have to change my diet. But I had, and it was not enough. I cried. What would I eat?

I cried all the way home. My husband didn’t say a word. I went home and scoured over all the labels of everything I had in the cabinets. Everything had to be thrown out. I couldn’t eat any of it. I cried some more. Then I was mad. MAD.

After adjusting my diet, yet AGAIN, I lost another 50 pounds. People started to worry. They thought I was sick. But I have to admit, I felt fantastic! No chest tightness, no puffy throat, no nausea. I was allergic to most of the foods I had been eating.

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Before and after! Image by Robin Moreau

My weight finally stabilized and my anxiety eased. I learned to cook with the limited foods I could have. Which literally, was fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and certain meats. No fish, grains (except rice, corn and quinoa), no shellfish, no dairy, no eggs, no packaged, preserved anything. No eating out. I even had to watch my spices and teas. Thankfully I could eat nuts because my diet literally consisted of nuts.

My husband wasn’t happy with the diet change, but he lost over 100 pounds too. Together, we lost over 300 pounds! That was over 5 years ago and yes, we have both kept the weight off. Let’s face it, a person cannot gain weight off of meat, fruit and vegetables.

I get asked all of the time; did you have gastric bypass? No, I lost the weight the REAL way, diet and exercise. Determination.

Lesson learned here: Always listen to your body. You know it better than anyone. I am the healthiest I have ever been.

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My weight stabilized, 5 years later. – Image by Robin Moreau