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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Happenings in My World


Hello everyone, I hope this post finds all of you happy and healthy. Health is such a wonderful gift. If you have it please cherish it. If you don't have it, remember that you are worth looking after and do what you can to keep it or improve it. I'm learning all this myself. Some of us are slow learners but every one of us can learn.

Over the past several weeks I've been back to the grindstone doing everything I can to get my blood sugar levels down. I'm exercising each and every day, taking my medications faithfully, testing my blood glucose levels, going to sleep earlier, trying to make sure only good foods are prepared and served and just generally trying not to get overly stressed.  I have some days where my sugar levels are doing very well and other days where it is very high even though I do all the right things. For example, last night before bed, my blood glucose was 5.7 (normal). This morning it was 7.5 (slightly over normal).  After a breakfast of cold cereal with fibre, 1% milk and 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds it soared to 17.5! That is unreal. My blood glucose is always higher in the first half of the day.  Even if I eat my usual breakfast of oatmeal (with cinnamon, goji or strawberries and flax meal) my blood glucose is still at about 11 or 12 ml. I still think that is way too high so I've been experimenting with exercising on my stationary bike after each meal. I am better at it some days and not so good on other days though I keep on doing the best I can and feel that it will all help make a difference.  (I already know that eating vegan helps but I am not quite that disciplined.  Perhaps in time with all the changes I've made over time I will end up with a totally vegan diet but for now I still eat a bit of cheese, dairy and chicken/meat/fish).

My doctor wants to increase one of my medications but I am resistant to the idea.  I know that increasing medications is not going to solve anything in the long run though it may help in the short term. That is why I am now exercising every single day rather than a few times a week. I will give it a bit more time and then go back and see the doctor to discuss with her. In the end I may increase the medications but first I want to try everything else possible to correct the problem.

I LOVE pansies.
In addition to that I've gone for my annual eye check and discovered that I had a retinal tear in one eye.  I was very shocked but apparently it comes with age and affects some people who are quite myopic which I am. There can be some very bad consequences of an unchecked retinal tear. In my case, I went to the eye doctor on a Wednesday afternoon and by Thursday morning I was at the retinal specialist's office. By Wednesday morning of the following week I was at the downtown Vancouver hospital getting eye surgery.


I didn't really have time to ask a lot of questions as the eye specialist was and is super busy. I found out he is one of the best in town (I didn't know of him before I was referred) and suffice to say that the surgery went well. There was no pain from all the light beams directed into my eye. What I did find a bit painful was the pressure on my eyeball from whatever was used to keep my eye open. It wasn't exactly painful but the pressure exerted on the eyeball was making my eye fatigued and sore.  By the time the doctor was finished zapping my eye I was so happy!  I return to his office in a month's time for followup.  Everything seems fine afterward, though I've noticed I tend to get eye strain more than I did before. Perhaps this will subside in time.  All I can say is that I am grateful the problem was found and corrected in record time.


It poured heavily on Sunday

In the meantime, I've been keeping very busy this Spring with a myriad of things: planning and preparing my small garden, buying a new patio table, Spring cleaning around the condo (declutter my drawers and closet shelves, wiping down the kitchen), taxes, paperwork, running to different doctors, reading, and life in general. Of course most of you know that the simple tasks of planning and preparing meals and blood glucose monitoring takes oodles of time.  So all in all, I am keeping rather busy.

Starter plants waiting for their pots.
The Paradise Guest House
Weekend in ParisBecause I've read a lot of books early this year I've decided to increase my reading goal for the year from 25 to 30 books. It's no problem as I've got hundreds of books on my "to read" list. It is just a matter of finding some of them at the library or the second hand (thrift) store.  I may have to increase the goal again before the year is out since we still have 7 months left in 2014.  I'm reading at a leisurely pace.  In fact I haven't been doing any reading for a few weeks so today I will pick up a couple of library books (the two you see in the photos). They look like light, fun reads.

Last but  not least. I've dug out a work-in-progress.  It's the African hexagon flower crochet throw/blanket I intended to give as a Christmas present in December 2013!  I've managed to sew all the hexagons together now.  By laying it on my double bed I can see that I still need a few rows of flowers and I've run out of the yarns I've been using. I either have to carry on in different colourways (perhaps too much difference in shading) or try and find more yarn (easier said than done though I could perhaps order on line).

My hexagons are randomly placed and are not all identical. I've used 4-5 shades of yarn in different order and have sewn them together without much thought.  It is too time consuming to keep laying the throw on the floor or my bed to see how to arrange the hexagons.

I still have to fasten the ends at the back and add another row before deciding whether to buy more yarn and continue.

I'm pleased with the overall effect. 

Right now I am experimenting with the yarn I have on hand to finish adding one more row.  I can then see whether what I have on hand will work or whether I need to buy more yarn.  After seeing how heavy the throw is getting I might skip the idea of making a cover for a double bed. But, you never know, I can always change my mind.

Chicken cacciatore is bubbling away on the stove.  This is something I never make but am tired of eating baked and roasted chicken so I thought a change would be fine. I don't generally eat much pasta  and thankfully it doesn't tend to cause any huge blood glucose spikes. I almost decided on boiling some steel cut oats for the foundation of the meal but I'll save the oats for breakfast.

I think tomorrow's menu for lunch and dinner  will be a nice green salad with canned salmon and a hearty vegetable stew.

Keep well everyone. I may not be posting for awhile as I'm going to be busy catching up with friends and work and relaxation around the house.

Joining in with My World Tuesday

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Trip to Town

Hello friends,

I had to make a trip downtown on Wednesday.  My destination was the Eye Clinic at St. Paul's Hospital in downtown Vancouver.  It was my first time to the clinic and the first time I've been downtown for quite some time.

I managed to snap a few photos of the sky and some reflections which I share in this post.  Unfortunately I was running a bit late for my appointment so I didn't get as many photos as I wanted.





It got a bit windy before I left the house and a bit cloudy. I thought it was going to rain but it turned out to be a rather warm day; nothing too unbearable and certainly a lot better than I was expecting.

We've just come through a long weekend. It is always a long weekend on the last Monday before May 25th in Canada and is called Victoria Day, honouring Queen Victoria's birthday.  It also marks the unofficial beginning of our summer season when camping enthusiasts begin their camping season in the many camps and parks.  In my area (Vancouver/Lower Mainland) it usually rains on this long weekend.  Though rain was predicted and heavy clouds gathered, it actually didn't rain. Quelle surprise (what a surprise), lol.

Enjoy!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Moon View

Hi friends, 

These moon shots were all taken within a few minutes of each other in different locations. 







Happy Skywatch Friday.

If you haven't read my post about Elvis, please read here.

Enjoy your weekend!

Note: Dear Bloggers, I've temporarily disabled the mobile device view while I check out some things. If you are on a mobile device and have problems viewing (post and side bars) please let me know.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Around Town on a Small Bus

These photos were captured as the sun was going down and in a moving vehicle, hence the graininess.

 I hope it adds to the atmosphere, lol. 

Under the train tracks for the Light Rapid Train system (LRT). 

Science World, a great educational centre is the globe on the left. It lights up like a diamond at night.

BC Place, venue for concerts, trade shows, sporting events, etc. is seen just under the LRT rails

Dramatic shot of the sky
 
On the outskirts of Chinatown. We are at the backside of the Dr. Sun Yet Sen Garden

Entering Yaletown, a newish neighbourhood in Vancouver. This is a southwestern view along Pacific Blvd.

One blurry shot of the heart of Yaletown and one of my fav streets. This used to be a warehouse district.


A famous breakfast place so named because the original location was so small you rubbed elbows with your neighbour. This isn't the original location and it appears to be bigger tho I haven't yet been inside.

View after sundown. This is looking west at English Bay in the West End. You are looking at the Pacific Ocean straight ahead.

A few palm trees at the waterfront. The temperature in Vancouver is milder than most parts of Canada so palm tress can grow here.
Joining in with Our World Tuesday today.
 
If you missed my post from yesterday, please click here.

Thanks for your visit!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Thoughts on Africa


Hi friends,


Lately, I've been hankering to go to Africa again. I haven't been there for what seems like ages.

Mainly it's because I've been helping this young man named Elvis to get a university degree. I'll be honest and say it has been a lot for me to take on in addition to all my other obligations.  But we are so close to the finish line. Elvis has one more term to go and then he is expected to finish his Diploma in Clinical Medicine & Surgery in Kisii, Kenya. His mother is a single parent of several children and though she works it is barely enough to put food on the table for Elvis' siblings.

Elvis as a teen

Someone who graduates with a diploma in Clinical Medicine & Surgery is the first clinician that a patient or client comes into contact with when they enter a health facility.  In some cases graduates of the program also manage and administer the health programs and hospitals, especially in rural areas.

Elvis just starting out as a university student.

Elvis in his lab coat.

I'm putting out a request to the universe through this blog to help Elvis to finish strong. If you can help contribute toward his living expenses of $100 (US) per month or his graduation fees itt would be a true blessing. 

For those that wonder whether your donations can make a difference, they really do. In this case you are not sending funds for food needs or clothing, you are actually helping someone finish training to get a job and to help others. Kenya really needs skilled workers and I hope soon that Elvis will be joining their ranks.

God bless you for any help you can provide. You can find a donate button at the top
right of this blog. Click on the "Go Fund Me" information.

I'm hoping that after Elvis graduates I might be able to save for a trip to Kenya once again.
I would love to do more to help the widows that I've been helping over the years with food and household needs like jiko stoves.

Thanks so much.
Have a wonderful weekend. 
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Day for Planting

The weather continues to be a bit unsettled here. After a couple of glorious days I really thought the heavy rains were a thing of the past but i was wrong.

Sunday was very gray and the rains came down quite heavily. I couldn't do any of the gardening I planned. 

What a difference a day makes. The sky cleared up considerably on Monday and I started planting my container garden.

I made some progress but I still have a lot to do.


This Solomon's Seal below is one of my favourite plants in the garden and one of the few perennials that I planted and kept for years. 


These hostas are a new addition to the garden. I planted 12 bulbs last year. Some in container boxes and some in the garden plot. Only 7 of the hostas sprouted this year.


Petunias are something I usually buy in a hanging basket but this year I bought a bunch of starter plants and put them in one of my colourful pots. It was a lot less expensive than purchasing a hanging basket which I never hang anyway as I've got no where to hang it.




This green leafy thing is sprouting. I can't tell if it is a plant or a weed. Does anyone know.

Joining in with Our World Tuesday this week.

Happy May!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

It's Raining, It's Pouring ~ Again

After my post here, we had one more nice, sunny day. 

Perfect weather.

Now we are back to rain. 

The weather is about 8 degrees cooler today than it was last Wednesday. The forecast ahead sounds pretty good. It is rain mixed with sunny days and temperatures a few degrees warmer than today.


I planned to work on the garden this weekend but it was just too wet.

I have managed to plant kale and brussels sprouts. My few perennials are also doing well.  There is a lot of work to do even with a small garden and so many containers.  Every year I dread the planting. It isn't easy to get the big bags of soil up into the patio and out into the garden and I have to jump up onto the retaining wall to plant.  I think I would enjoy gardening a lot more if I have a house with street access.

I'm not really complaining because I absolutely love having a real garden even though I live in a condo in the middle of the city.  It is nice to see things growing and to have a few birds drop by to visit.

In other news, I had a pleasant surprise in the mail when a long time friend sent me early birthday wishes. Her daughter, a mutual friend and I, were all born within a few weeks of each other and she likes to remember all of us.

My friend sent me two butterfly plates made locally. The card is cute too.

I don't make a big deal out of my birthday and I don't like others to either.  I'm not sure if this is because birthdays after the age of 16 were not celebrated in my family.  In fact, only certain birthdays were celebrated in a major way; ages 1, 7, 10, 12, 16 were the ones I remember. (Well I don't actually remember my first birthday party, lol. I just heard mom talking about it a lot as it was the first birthday of her firstborn and was special to her).

I am totally opposite to some of my friends who remind me weeks in advance of their upcoming birthday. But when someone does something quietly for me in remembrance of my birthday, it touches me a lot.


While I was out shopping for starter plants on Friday night, I was blessed by this awesome sunset.

I tend to miss out on beautiful sunsets here as they aren't visible from my patio and I'm often home at the sunset hour.

~~~~~

I noticed that many people are still having terrible weather and my wish for you are some perfect days ahead.

Though we are back to rain here I am not too down about it. It only takes a few beautiful days here and there and the promise of more ahead, to keep me happy.


Have a wonderful week ahead wherever you are.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May is Here

May is here

May is here

Thank God May is here, lol.


The month of May has arrived and with it the beautiful warm temperatures and lovely skies.

 



I was supposed to go on brief holiday early next week but had to cancel.

If the lovely weather keeps up at least I won't feel deprived.

I hope you are all having a gorgeous start to your May.

Joining up with Skywatch Friday

African Music & Happenings