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I'm never bored. If I'm not knitting or spinning, I'm gardening or reading. Always up to something!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Telomere Effect & Healthy Aging

I've just started reading a new book I borrowed from my local library called The Telomere Effect by Nobel Prize Winner Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD and Elissa Epel, PhD. Pronounced tee-low-mere, these little end caps on our DNA are greatly responsible for the quality of the lives we lead. We, in effect, wear down these caps, however long or short there are to begin with, with each day we live. They are necessary for cell division as they kind of hold things together when the DNA replicates itself when the cell divides. Our old cells die and are replaced constantly by new cells. Telomeres also contribute small pieces of themselves in the process to keep our DNA from becoming damaged. There are many things about the length of our telomeres that we can control. Some we cannot. "Genetics loads the gun, environmental factors pull the trigger". Scientists have discovered that we have more control over the way we look and feel than we thought.
There are ways we keep our telomeres stable and possibly build them back up.  First on my personal list is exercise. I'm making an effort to participate in water aerobics classes. I'm starting with twice a week with the goal of three one hour work-outs per week. With MS it can be difficult to get to the gym. In my 30's I squeezed an exercise bike into the bedroom of my small apartment. In my 40's and 50's  I worked out at a Curves salon. I believe it's the way I've been able to stay on my feet this long. I also work outside in my garden and even push the lawnmower around. I do my grocery shopping and carry heavy bags every week. I don't have a housekeeper and so far, nobody has volunteered to clean the bathtub.
This book does not reveal an instant fountain of youth but the status of our telomeres helps explain why some of us stay healthy into old age and some of us age more rapidly. More to come.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

I have many things in my home that belonged to my grandmother. When I take them out of closets, cabinets or drawers to use them I think about her and how much I miss her. I had Gram in my life until I was 47 years old...I will not know the joy of watching my grandchildren pass into middle age...I had Gram past the time when she even knew who I was. This little vase has "made in Japan" printed on the bottom which, to me, indicates that it was from the 1950's. I remember that she stored it in the mudroom that opened to the backyard in a cupboard with other items of no importance. Will anyone care about my little "dime store" vase when I've gone on to the big garden in the sky? I hope so.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Potting up Begins

 From left to right:

Angelonia -  "Serena White", Coleus - "Redhead", Superbells - "Dreamsicle", Cape Daisy - "Margarita Sunset" in a plastic planter I bought quite inexpensively from Home Depot. I cut drainage holes and put a layer of sand in the bottom. They all require or tolerate full sun. It's very cool in Connecticut today but it's time to get going. We'll see how they do.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Do you Love Springtime?


Ever consider it might be something other than the weather? I'm seeing yellow everywhere I look. I can't say I've ever loved the color. I might have even said I can't wear it. Can't live with it anywhere in the house - not on walls, furniture or even an accent pillow. But recently I've been obsessed with yellow since enjoying the dance scene from "Beauty and the Beast"....that yellow gown! Now I see it everywhere in nature and I'm looking for a way to add some sunny color to my life. Elderly, sick people and babies don't like it (too much actually makes babies cry!) Apparently, it's too stimulating and can be overpowering. However, yellow is considered an optimistic color. Ever notice how much yellow is in a perky "Get Well" arrangement? It's used for signage on streets and highways because it's more visible than white. It's been said to improve concentration - do you focus better when you use a yellow legal pad? That's probably why. One article I read states that it improves metabolism. I would have to see proof of that. Yellow icing on my cupcake so the color would negate some of the calories? Apparently, yellow is having its moment in home dec and the fashion industry - used with CAUTION! However, according to Zillow Digs, home with white painted kitchens sell for $1,400 less than homes with yellow kitchens. Something to keep in mind for the future.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Ah, My Sweet!

I have a sweet tooth. I mean, it's bad. I'd love to buy jelly beans more than a day before Easter but I can't have them in the house. I love chocolate but I can control the urge to dig into a wrapped bar of dark chocolate. But the sugar in a jelly bean calls to me in my sleep. How anyone (President Reason, for a specific "one") can have a jar of fruity or spicy little bean-shaped deliciousness in front of them on a desk is beyond my ken. I've lost more than 10 pounds since last summer and would like to drop another 10 before the warm weather demands that I put the bulky sweaters away. I recently found a sweet that I can enjoy without guilt. And it doesn't elevate my blood sugar, inducing the desire for even more sugar. And I admit that I love pumpkin in any form, including coffee. So here's my sweet indulgence: It's called "One Point Pumpkin Pie". When you calculate the sp's it's officially 2 points on the current Weight Watcher's plan. I make one every week and have a slice with my afternoon coffee. I enjoy it and you might, as well. So here's the link: One Point Pumpkin Pie I hope you enjoy a bit of sweetness as much as I do! (Whipped cream extra...)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Resist the Cold!

When you just can't take one more day of cold, winter-like weather.....RESIST!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Celebrate Spring!

Monday is the first day of Spring. The mounds of snow I peek around before pulling onto the main road more resemble the icy tundra of January. The grass was beginning to grow before the blizzard last week. I know it's still under there. The fig tree that has spent the last 4 months in my unheated garage knows it's Spring. It's beginning to unfurl the little leaf buds at the branch tips.

My youngest grandson turned five last week. Last year we took him out to lunch and for an afternoon at the playground on the beach. You never know what the season will bring. It's always a surprise. 

Turning 5 was a surprise for this one. The numbers sneak up on you. Ask me how I know.

At the Hartford Flower and Garden Show I bought a Spring potpourri jar with a pussy willow ring to bring a bit of hope inside,

made a couple of loaves of Ina Garten's Irish Soda Bread (here's the link to the recipe),

and kept on knitting my "Fireside Pullover" pattern by Jane Richmond. And my "Emiliana" shawl by Deborah Hannes,

and remember to be thankful for the warmth of my home and family while we celebrate a 5th birthday tomorrow and the coming of the new season.

Somebody else will be glad for the warmer weather.