Blog or Vlog 365 Recovering Health and Fitness

Day 64 of 365 Blog or Vlog

It’s been a tough month.

In and out of the hospital.

Haven’t been able to get much done. Certainly no writing or even much study. Haven’t done any knitting. Still not able to do much walking.

Definitely need to make some changes. Some upgrades on diet, no more soda. Even knocking out the artificial sweeteners.

I’m working harder on getting the blood sugar into a better range. I’m also drinking more kombucha.

The kombucha was a key part of my losing over 100 pounds eight years ago. I’ve backslid since, but not all the way. The image below was from before that weight loss.


Blog or Vlog 365 Recovering Health and Fitness

Day 62 of 365 Blog or Vlog

Health Challenges and New Plans

I’ve been having a rough time. Not to get into details, but I have multiple doctor appointments coming up.

My primary doctor is probably going to adjust my diabetes medications this week. That’s been the roughest bit.

Rahn and I are going to go to the gym this week. I really need to start getting some more exercise and so does Rahn.

One issue has been more backaches when I’m on my feet too long, so I plan to put in some exercise time in the pool at the gym. Some time on the stationary bike is also in my plan.

Another thought is to just do some walking around the property, but the backaches are making that less attractive.

Sleep hasn’t been great, either. My eyes have a tendency to drift open while I sleep so light can easily wake me. I either need to wear a sleep mask or darken my room some more. Then there is the temperature in my room. I like a cool room, but not too cool. It was either too cold or too warm in my room last night, so I need to find a better setting on the space heater.

Blog or Vlog 365 Recovering Health and Fitness

Day 56 of 365 Blog or Vlog

President Regan’s “…nine most terrifying words in the English language – I’m from the government and I’m here to help” quote is still true.

President Regan Quote

From October 15 to December 7 every year is the Annual Enrollment Period, where you can change certain things about your Medicare. The deluge from “agents” (read: sharks) has the one upside that you can’t say you didn’t know about it.

The attempts to shock or scare people into changing things that may not be to their benefit can be overwhelming.

This is also when the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment for the next year is announced.

I just looked at the damage.

The Cost of Living Adjustment this year is a paltry 3.2 percent, when my real world cost of living has gone up by at least 10 percent on groceries, and 30 percent on gasoline. Neither of which are included in the official figures.

The premium for Medicare part B has a $10 / month increase. My agent tells me that part G generally goes up 3 to 7 percent yearly. I don’t know what the part D premium increase will be yet. I expect that my COLA will be swallowed up by increased Medicare costs.

A third of my social security income goes right back out to pay for my Medicare. I can’t do anything about it, but at least I have the coverage.

Blog or Vlog 365 Recovering Health and Fitness

Day 54 of 365 Blog or Vlog

Getting Back on Track

My progress on the 365 Blog or Vlog has fallen by the wayside. Time to fix this. My last post pointed out that I need to do a lot more writing.

We’ve been working on getting a number of things on track in our lives, so getting my blog project back on track fits.

Speaking of getting back on track, Rahn and I joined a gym in Sherman that has a Jacuzzi, pool and sauna. It is much larger than the one we tried before. It is also about 30 percent lower in cost. We don’t need 24 hour access, or the ability to use other locations, and those conditions let us purchase a less-costly package.

We plan to go a couple times a week. I’ll be using the stationary bike, and some low impact exercise in the pool. Rahn plans to get his strength back in his arms, chest & back. We’ll both be spending a good deal of time in the sauna and the Jacuzzi for the various joint pains we’ve collected.

Getting old is not for wimps.

I chose the wool socks picture because the fall equinox is this week, and I had better get going on making some new socks. It’s been so hot until this week that the thought of knitting wool made my fingers sweat.

Socks are the ultimate take-with-you project. I’ve knit them so many times that a pattern is not needed, they fit in the tote bag I use all the time, and people are impressed by the fact that it is possible to make a seamless item.

I need to be much more productive, so socks instead of Facebook makes a lot of sense.

Art and Music Art-earnative Life Farm Blog or Vlog 365 Homestead Recovering Health and Fitness

Day 45 of 365 Blog or Vlog


A lot of positive changes will be coming up here at the Homestead for 2023.

With my upcoming cataract surgery, I will have a key part of recovering Health and Fitness going into place. This will allow me to make headway on my art plans, and may even let me add a new musical instrument to my abilities.

Rahn has a pair of new instruments on layaway – a guitar and a bass. I’d like to get a saxophone, and being able to see will let me learn to play it. I may also see if I can get a new clarinet. I used to be pretty good at playing clarinet, and skill on a clarinet should translate to being able to play sax fairly quickly.

We’ve been discussing the layout for this year’s garden. I have the seeds I need, and will be getting some seeds started this week. Rahn will be getting a new top on what will be my main potting bench (hopefully) today. I still need to get potato, garlic and onion sets.

Plans for a more stable water source are also moving forward. Meanwhile; with rain in the forecast for tomorrow, I’ll be getting the water collection tubs put back in place today.

The new tool shed is progressing nicely. The walls are up, and Rahn will be starting to organize and store the tools in it. That will get some of the things that are currently in my Homestead Office relocated.

I got some warning that the pay structure at my work will be getting updated. While this may be good news, I have some ideas about making a new stream of income. I’ll be starting a new line of products to resurrect my Amazon Handmade store.

Rahn plans to build the new back deck today. I’ll be getting the video camera out and will take video of the progress. He also plans to relocate the security cameras for better coverage.

Blog or Vlog 365 Recovering Health and Fitness

Day 44 of 365 Blog or Vlog

A key part of recovering Health and Physical Ability is getting my vision back. I’ve had cataracts for a while and lack of financial help has made me have to wait for my Medicare to kick in.

I am very hopeful that the surgery will let me do all the reading and artwork that I have not been able to do in the last months

The ophthalmologist did admit the the severity of the cataract is such that the pre-surgery measurements may be a bit off, and my post-surgery eyes will need more correction than he thinks. Not a biggie, as long as it can be corrected and I can read, drive, and do all the things I need to.

Finally, I will be able to get the hordes of creative ideas out of my head and into the real world. It’s been getting pretty crowded in there. I do like having a lot of information in my head, but this has been getting to be ridiculous!

I expect that I’ll have to go back to using lists again once I can read.

Blog or Vlog 365 Recovering Health and Fitness

Day 20 of 365 Blog or Vlog

Updating from older blog. While this is a re-run in some respects, this does apply to recovering health.

Do you start the day with a mental or written list of things that need to be accomplished and then beat yourself up when you don’t get a quarter of them done?

Do phrases like “over-ambition and under-application” “lazy” and “poor planning” come to mind?

What if part of the problem is that your energy and physical ability are not up to the kind of production you really feel that you should be able to do? How can this be overcome?

Simply making shorter To-Do lists when this leaves out projects that truly need to be done is not a good answer. You may feel better at getting the abbreviated list complete, but you may end up with a sink over-flowing with dirty dishes, the car breaking down because it hadn’t gotten maintained, or an empty larder when the storm of the century rolls in and you hadn’t done the grocery shopping.

Recognizing that we really are able, competent, motivated beings is really the first step to fixing what is off. If you weren’t really able, competent and motivated, you wouldn’t feel anything wrong about not getting things done. ( You also would be unlikely to be reading this, but that’s another topic.)

The best answer is also the longer-term one: Get your energy and physical state into a higher condition, able to zip though your days and leave successes in your wake. We’ll leave that alone for the moment and address things that can be done right now. Today.

Here’s a starting exercise. Take out paper and pen and write everything you need to do. Work, Home, Personal care, School, Church, Outdoors, whatever. List it all. Need to shave your legs? Put it down. Move the furniture from the larger bedroom so you can set up a home office? Write that down. Need to call the electrician to wire the new office first? Make sure that’s on there. Someone left trash in the yard that needs to be picked up? Likewise.

Now we’ll take the list and categorize and prioritize.

First: YOU. Your hairdresser appointment, sleep time, shaving your legs, study time, reading a novel, exercise time.

There is a very valid reason this begins with you. If you don’t have enough sleep, feel disheveled, frazzled, and unprepared, none of the rest will get accomplished.

Second: YOUR FAMILY. Keeping the family going does require attention and action. Get the dishes done, the living room cleaned, get the groceries, etc. If there are youngsters, remember that they need to be given ways to help. Delegate chores as possible.

Third: WORK Need to remind the boss that equipment needs repair or replacement? Do so. A project needs to get done this week? Be doing your work when you are supposed to be doing your work. If you’ve put the first two in order, this is much, much easier to keep in mind.

Then add School, Church, Outdoors, any other categories you’ve created for yourself.

You may feel more organized right now and try running things on priority basis for awhile and see how that works for you.

A bit more organization may be helpful in some cases. Make up lists that have to be repeated – daily, weekly – various computer calendar tools are really helpful here.

If the howling demands of everyone else wanting to be first leaves you feeling that you need a old-time lion tamer whip and chair; create a time schedule. Rough blocking out of time is really far better than going down to quarter hours.

By now, you see that you can be more productive with just the energy and physical ability you have at present. Putting a few things in their places and creating some order will allow you to get more order in place on a gradual basis.

These small successes will actually improve your energy level.

Blog or Vlog 365 Recovering Health and Fitness

Day 19 of 365 Blog or Vlog

Updating from older blog This is some of my activities when I was first putting attention on recovering my health

Ever feel like you simply can’t get up to do something? It seems that my physical deconditioning is very nearly making that thought true.

While I had received the resistance band set just before New Year’s Eve, I didn’t start with them until this week.

To start, I am alternating using the resistance bands with sets of ankle and knee rotations while seated. I have also been working on getting the apartment fully cleaned and re-organized. While I had a friend come over to run the rented carpet shampoo machine, I also had considerable work to do to make it possible for him to do his part.

The place does look vastly improved! And I repeatedly got my heart rate up, while not getting too out of breath.

I did feel truly worn out last night, though.

Last night, I dreamed that I was able to ice skate again. I wouldn’t even be able to get skates on over my swollen feet at present. That is my first target: getting the swelling down. I may be able to move more easily if my feet and legs aren’t as swollen and stiff as they are now.

There are several ways that come to mind of accomplishing this, and I plan to use them together.


  • Get a “foot spa” to soak my feet and handle the dry skin.
  • Get a skin lotion that doesn’t irritate the over-stressed skin of my lower legs and feet and use it daily.
  • Once I get enough reduction in swelling, start using compression stockings to help it along
  • Exercise my feet, ankles and knees with the resistance bands.
  • Get my feet up on a stool while I am working on the computer.
  • Set aside time to use my spinning wheel every day. The treadling action on my wheel is very mild but persistent.
  • Change my 1957 Singer sewing machine over to treadle operation. Also set aside time daily to sew. The treadling action for a sewing machine is different, and a bit more intense than my spinning wheel, and involves the knees more.

The last two actions also have the benefit of getting a product.

Blog or Vlog 365 Recovering Health and Fitness

Day 17 of 365 Blog or Vlog

Updating from older blog

Water. Roughly two thirds of this planet is covered with it. It makes up most of our bodily tissues. In Colorado history, while fights and murders did occur over gold, more people died over contests over water rights than ever happened over gold.

We can die in a very few days without it, and good quality water is key to our health.

The marketing of bottled water gets pretty intense. However, the expense and hassle of dealing with innumerable plastic bottles (and the prospect of the waste of resources involved) make other options of ensuring high-quality water more attractive.

In doing a little bit of research regarding our municipal water supply, a laundry list of contaminants became a rising source of alarm.

I’m not going to get into a Chicken Little The-Sky-Is-Falling panic, but I’m not happy with drinking heavy metals with my ice tea.

While boiling and cooling can kill microbial contaminants, boiling water does not remove inorganic contaminants. In fact, because evaporation reduces the water volume, boiling water will actually concentrate inorganic contaminants.

I’ve been told by some of my acquaintances in alternative medical professions that I exhibit symptoms of reduced thyroid effectiveness. One of them characterized it as Functional Hypothyroidism. A quick online search returns many articles and resources covering this idea in depth.

With the fact that I have been exhibiting symptoms of lower functional thyroid activity, depressing it further is not something I want to do.

Given that reducing intake of these contaminants is a good idea, the question becomes how to go about it effectively?

Two methods that will result in pure water are distillation and reverse osmosis filtration. Reverse osmosis systems are not practical from a cost standpoint at present, and reverse osmosis systems for home use generally waste several times the amount of water that is actually produced.

The least contaminated of possible water sources can be presumed to be rain. The process of rainwater being evaporated and condensed, falling as rain is a vast natural distillation process. The question becomes how it can be collected, stored and used without becoming contaminated. I have several future posts dealing with this subject

A future post will cover some of my current sources of non-GMO seed, my small patio garden setup and plans, and my plans for clean, healthy food.

Blog or Vlog 365 Recovering Health and Fitness

Day 16 0f 365 Blog or Vlog

Updating from older blog

In re-reading my first post of this new blog, I realized that I mentioned weight and exercise.

I want to clarify my goals a bit. Weight loss is not my main goal. My feeling is that weight is just a number. I know that in doing what I want to do physically, a fair bit of weight loss will occur.

My main goal is to be able to regain my physical ability, resiliency, and basic health. This main goal of regaining my use of my body will allow me to be more creative and effective as an artist, and explains the title of this blog.

My planned path toward this goal does include attention to the following:

  • Eating high-quality, non-GMO, non-processed foods
  • Increased exercise
  • Improving the air quality in my home
  • Moving to an area that does not have as much air pollution
  • Growing a good deal more of my food
  • Obtaining a water filtration system that does remove fluoride
  • Finding and using herbal and vitamin supplements to handle high blood pressure and edema

In a conversation with a family member, he brought up the point that if I exercised multiple times a day, I could build up to a substantial amount of exercise even if I exercised for five minutes every hour I was awake.

So, there is some clarification.

In a future post, I’ll give some coverage as to why I’m putting attention on the fluoridation of water, and what I plan to do about getting it handled.