No one ever called me the Fun one.

Who knew I would need to put Fun on my to do list? I am seeing a Health Psychologist and she suggested I find time to do Fun things. I am a homebody. No one ever called me the Fun one. When I was a kid and visiting my Grandparents in Saint Louis, my family would be going out to do something Fun on the last night and I choose to stay home with Pop and Gram and watch TV. I never liked going to my friend’s house for sleepovers. Once, I was invited to a party and I told my friend that I wanted to stay home and pull dandelions.

I am beginning to feel like I need to get out and do more. My tendency is to say no. I guess I need to start saying yes.

“What would Julia do?” I am asking myself this question more and more. Julia is my niece who is living an amazing life. I blogged about her before. She said her secret is to fill her day with Fun things. I am starting out with the goal of doing one Fun thing a week, and see how it goes. Baby steps for me. This week I have been invited to a neighbor’s pool. I met her walking in the neighborhood. I am connecting with someone new. I think there are bonus points in that!

Vicky Perry and I got together for 2 Grandmas and A Microphone. The topic was doing Fun things! We talked about jumping into the ocean, riding bumper cars at the Fair, taking tango lessons from a Russian instructor and Pickle Ball. Maybe, I am becoming the Fun one!

What do you like to do for Fun?

Love,

Mary

A Good Night’s Sleep.

I am so grateful when I have a good night’s sleep. I know it is so important if I want to feel my best and have sustained energy throughout my day. It is frustrating when I don’t sleep well and feels like a waste of time laying in bed at night, not sleeping, and waking up tired. I was talking about sleep at OutdoorFit last week and one of the ladies suggested I take a Benadryl. I knew it wasn’t the answer for me but I had gone too many nights without sleeping well so I decided to take one. I slept better but I woke up groggy and had to rely on a cup of coffee to get myself going. I have been reducing my caffeine consumption so I don’t want to wake up feeling like I need a cup of coffee. I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner. I know alcohol is a sleep disruptor. I am now drinking 5 ounces instead of my usual 8 ounces. I am making small changes which are making a difference. I didn’t give up the wine and coffee completely because that would make me cranky.

I have been trying different routines to help me sleep. Here is the latest one that is working!

Bedtime Routine

A hot cup of Mineral Calm and a scoop of collagen protein.

(Protein is great for immune function and muscle repair. It is good to take it at bedtime. There is regenerative work going on while you are sleeping.)

1 Stress Relief (Ashwagnda)

1 Chewable Calcium Magnesium

1 Pure Rest (Melatonin)

2 doTERRA Serenity

It might seem easier to pop a Benadryl but I don’t wake up groggy with my new bedtime routine.

Here is a link for the products that I use.

I know so many of us struggling with getting a good night’s sleep. I hope this is helpful.

Love,

Mary

I am so grateful for naps.

Sophie at 3 months is a challenge. We are involved in a love hate relationship. She doesn’t listen to me very well unless she wants to. We go for multiple walks a day. I try my best to keep her head up and away from the ground, but most of my time is spent pulling rocks or sticks out of her mouth. She gets annoyed and starts pulling aggressively on her leash. If my husband is with us, he will say “off”, and she drops the leash. If it it just Sophie and me, she will growl at me and she tries to bite me. I will tell her no but she keeps at me. The other day, a man was walking past us on the street and I asked him if he had a deep voice. Could he please tell Sophie “off”? He wasn’t open to disciplining a cute puppy.

The Monks of New Sketes, the authors of The Art of Raising a Puppy, advise the owner not to yell or get angry at their puppy. I am really trying. Who is in charge here, Me or Sophie? My red Patagonia OutdoorFit jacket is now Sophie’s walking jacket. She loves nipping at my sleeves. I keep them taped up so the down feathers don’t fall out. Patience is a virtue.

I know Sophie will be an amazing dog and companion. I am committed to her training. She does bring joy and happiness wherever she goes. We have met many people walking in the neighborhood who probably would not have stopped to say hello. Sometimes I stop them because Sophie knows everyone loves her and she needs to say hello.

I am so grateful for naps and she loves her crate.
Peace.

Love,

Mary

Meet Sophie the Golden Retriever.

We have a new puppy, and I am back into mothering mode big time. I decided to let some things go for awhile. I stopped 2 Grandmas and A Microphone and writing blog posts. I have not been posting much on social media unless it included a golden retriever puppy named Sophie. If you don’t care about cute puppies then it is probably best to sign off now.

This is the story of the arrival of Sophie. As many of you know, I have a special needs son named Thomas. He has always been around Goldens. We have had 4 Goldens and a wonderful dog named Kelly. Kelly was half golden and half Chesapeake Bay retriever. When Tom looks at dog books he is interested in Golden retrievers. 2 and 1/2 years ago, our last Golden, George died suddenly of cancer at the age of 7. It was very sad for all of us. Thomas talked everyday about how sad he was about George. My family and I had thought of getting another dog, but my husband wasn’t ready to move on from George. For me, there was something freeing about not having a dog. The house was clean. We could leave and not have to worry about George. Then the pandemic hit, and Tom is home all of the time zooming his programs. I thought this is the perfect time to get a dog. I told Tom that George is his dog angel and he needs to start praying to George to bring us Sophie. Thomas wanted a girl dog. He likes girls. There is a young lady down the street named Sophie. She got a golden a few years ago for Christmas and named him Tom. Tom the golden has the same birthday as Thomas. We thought Sophie would be the perfect name. Sophia means wise. It is good to have a smart dog. Tom started to pray to George, the dog angel and I started to look for a good breeder.

I found Jane Pappler from Redlion Kennels. I gave her a call and left a voice mail. I also emailed her to tell her about Tom and that we were looking for the perfect puppy. Jane called me back. Normally, I would not have answered the phone. I usually don’t answer a strange number. This time, I did. “Mary, this is Jane from Redlion kennels. Would you like to talk about Golden Retrievers ? ” She asked us if we could wait a year. She was receiving 30 calls a day since the pandemic hit. I said I could but I really wanted a puppy sooner. Well, guess what? She bumped us up on the list. George the dog angel was helping us find Sophie.

We picked up Sophie January 12th, at 7 weeks old. Our world has changed. I am so glad that I am not a single parent. My husband is in on the puppy parenting. She sleeps pretty well through the night and she is house broken. I don’t trust her yet but she cries at the door to go out. I started reading The Art of Raising A Puppy by The Monks on New Skete. I love their philosophy and it has been very helpful. The Monks are very grounding. It is so important to have a well trained dog and we are working on it. Sophie is sitting. She is a smart dog. I hope you get to meet her soon. She thinks everyone loves her.

Love,

Mary

Thank you George.

Honesty, Integrity, Authenticity and a Project.

Vicky Perry and I just completed the 9th episode of 2 Grandmas and A Microphone. What started out as a conversation on a bench by the marina grew into what we are now calling a project. I looked up the definition of a project. It is “an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim.” I love a good project!

Vicky and I are 2 Grandmothers having open and honest conversations. . Honesty, integrity and doing my best at being authentic have always been my priorities. Our talks the past 9 weeks have reaffirmed the importance of these qualities for me. I need to add kindness to list as well. I feel life works so much better that way.

I also know I expect honesty from people. I am hoping the leaders of this country will step up and lead with integrity. It is a real problem to me when individuals don’t act that way. As I mentioned in the videos, dishonesty and distrust literally makes me feel sick to my stomach. I am learning to manage all of the stress and agitation through meditation, breathing exercises and taking great care of myself. I eat well, and of course, I exercise. Have you heard of OutdoorFit?

Be Strong – Be Healthy – Be Powerful

I hope our videos are inspiring to you. Here is Episode 9 of 2 Grandmas and A Microphone. Vicky and I are learning the technical aspect of creating these videos. We will get better. We ordered microphones for episode 10!

Vicky uses washing her dishes as a spiritual practice. What a great idea… You feel better and your dishes are clean!

I would love to hear from you. What is important to you? How are you taking care of yourself?

Thanks for reading.

Love,

Mary

It is time for the healing to begin.

“We each have our own part to do in the healing of our country. That’s our individual responsibility.” Victoria Perry

Vicky and I got together for 2 Grandmas and A Microphone #8! So many emotions have come up for me these past 8 weeks. I have spent way too much time feeling agitated and annoyed. I get triggered by other people’s opinions, especially when they don’t agree with mine. I can feel the agitation take over my body when someone is offended by what I have said. Hopefully I am done. I only have control over myself. I have committed to feeling better. This week, I began meditating twice a day. It has been so helpful. In the morning, I spend 10 minutes being quiet and asking God what he wants from me today. It is amazing the focus and peace it brings. In the afternoon, I lay down and do Wim Hoff breathing plus a 10 minute guided meditation. I am spending a total of a half hour a day activating my parasympathetic nervous system. There is still a part of me that feels like I am wasting my time. I bet I scroll through social media 30 minutes a day. Which one is a waste of my time?

Here is 2 Grandmas and A Microphone #8

What did the episode bring up for you? Do you have the same common grounds that Vicky and I do? Was there anything you disagreed with? Don’t worry, I know how to breathe through the disagreement.

How are you taking care of yourself during these stressful times? Exercise is always a great way to deal with your stress. I would love for you to come to OutdoorFit. We are online as well as working out outside. We just started an 8 point plank challenge. It is not too late to join us.

Love,

Mary

Be Strong – Be Healthy -Be Powerful – Be OutdoorFit

I have a gum chewing addiction.

I am working on reducing my stress so I will feel better. I actually have been feeling nauseous at times lately, and I have gained a few pounds. Five years ago, I began playing around with intermittent fasting. I would drink bulletproof coffee in the morning, workout, then come back and have my breakfast. In the beginning, I would feel nauseous and a bit woozy before breakfast. It took about three months to adjust to my new protocol. Once I adjusted, it was actually quite amazing. I started to lose weight. I dropped ten pounds, which was the menopausal weight gain I was beginning to think was impossible to lose.

Back to now. I have been feeling off and have been wondering whether my bulletproof coffee, intermittent fasting routine was the cause. I reached out to my friend and creative Holistic Health Counselor Jessica Shepard. I have known Jess for years and we actually bonded over bubble gum at a health conference. I gave Jessica a call and told her what was going on with me. She asked if I had been doing my breathing and meditation. Usually, when I need it the most I stop. She felt that my issue was not my diet. I also talked to to her about my gum habit. I knew she would understand. It is not a pretty story. I love to chew gum. Usually after lunch, I pop a piece of gum in my mouth and get on with my chores. I might be outside for hours gardening and chomping on my gum. It feels like it is a way to get rid of tension. According to Jess, “The gum is an immediate distraction and deceptive tension reliever which actually causes more tension.” Who knew?

Gum chewing can also screw up your digestive system. Chewing sends a signal to your brain that you are eating food. Your body starts to produce enzymes to digest the food. After a period of time, you begin to overtax your digestive organs and they stop producing the amount of enzymes that you need. I am not going to get into artificial sweeteners in gum because at least I was chewing Pur Gum with Xylitol instead of aspartame.

It is so important to focus on being strong, healthy and OutdoorFit. I haven’t had a piece of gum since our call. I have been using Fennel essential oil instead, I’ve gone back to Wim Hoff breathing, meditation and a 30 second cold shower. I feel so much better. I feel like I just shared a deep dark secret with you.

Vicky Perry and I were live in our 2 Grandmas and A Microphone Facebook group. We talked about stress, agitation and coming in second in a spelling bee. Vicky loves words and has always enjoyed spelling.

We tried going Live on Instagram, which didn’t work as well. We will figure it out for next week. Please head over to the pages to like and follow.

Love,

Mary

2 Grandmas and A Microphone #2 The Environment.

 

It all started this week when I watched a you tube video of Rich Roll and Erin Brockovich. As you know, Erin is the queen of clean drinking water. As a trainer and a health coach I tell my OutdoorFit ladies to drink lots of water. My goal is a gallon of water a day. I would like to think I am drinking good quality water. I have a filter under the sink and we also use water filter pitchers. After watching the video, I decided to check the quality of our drinking water through our water company’s website. Who knew their were so many chemicals in H2O? It was very overwhelming. I am looking into a water filter system for our house. I think it is very sad and disturbing that you can’t rely on the quality of your tap water.  We are fortunate that we can afford to buy water filters for cleaner water. What happens to the people who aren’t as fortunate?

I was at a small dinner party a few weeks ago. I asked for a glass of water. The host offered me bottled water. I said I am sorry but I try my best not to use single use plastic. “She said have you read your water bill? You don’t want to drink the tap water.” Single use plastic is a whole other conversation, isn’t it?

This brings me to 2 Grandmas and A Microphone #2 The Environment.  Time for more research, especially with the presidential election coming up. My main concern is the environment and climate change. Vicky Perry and I decided it was time to go deeper. In the past, I would never speak up about these issues. I am a 9 on the Enneagram which is the peacemaker. I don’t want to deal with conflict, but this is too important to stay quiet.

 

Here are links if you want to go deeper in the conversation.

The climate engagement advisor board webinar .

Kiss the Ground is streaming on Netflix.

Vicky’s source for where the candidates stand on climate change.

What is your biggest concern this election? I would love to hear from you!

Love,

Mary

 

“We can disagree without being disagreeable.”

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

 

A powerful cup of coffee with a friend.

Today, I had coffee with a friend. We sat on a bench overlooking a marina on the Shrewsbury River. I noticed there was a small boat with a Trump, “Make America Great” Flag. This started an interesting conversation about having a voice and voting.

I decided to open up to my friend. I knew she would still be my friend at the end of the story. It is not an easy one to tell. Here goes. President Trump has changed my life. I have never paid much attention to politics. To tell you the truth, most of the time I would ask my very smart husband who he was voting for. I would ask how are you answering the questions on the ballot. He would reply something like,Yes, Yes and No for the third one. I trusted Dan’s judgment. He is very detail oriented. I would usually vote the same way because I knew he had done his homework.

Dan and I didn’t agree on the Presidential election 4 years ago. There was a part of me that just couldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton. My friend asked me “why I couldn’t vote for her and I could vote for Trump”. That was a hard question to answer. I realized that I look to men for leadership more so than women, I am embarrassed to admit.  I was appalled when Hillary said you could put half of Trump supporters into the basket of deplorables. However, when Trump imitated a person with cerebral palsy and called people stupid I let that slide. Why? Do I expect more empathy and compassion from a woman? Probably so.

I have changed quite a bit in the past four years. I no longer ask my husband how he is voting. Dan was never comfortable with the situation. I guess he put up with it because he loves me.  I am no longer a Republican. I am now registered as an Independent. I don’t want to be affiliated with either party. I am paying attention. I care about this country. I care about climate change and renewable sustainable resources. I care about the quality of our food sources. I care about medical freedom and being able to choose what is best for my body.  I want a President with integrity who prioritizes all of those issues as well.

Knowledge can come from unexpected sources.  I am grateful that I have started to pay attention and I learn from my mistakes. It is important.

I will be open to voting for a woman. The best idea might just be to elect Grandmothers to run the world! A Grandmother is wise and knows how to speak her mind. She can be tough and would think long and hard before sending her grandson and granddaughter off to war. What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Love,

Mary

“A vote is never an intelligent vote when it is cast without knowledge. Just doing what someone else tells you to do without any effort to find out what the facts are for yourself is being a poor citizen.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Get out the Rolling Pin! Alice’s Flatbread.

I have been cooking from Alice Waters’, My Pantry. Normally, I am thrilled if I can find 3 recipes in a cookbook that I enjoy. I’ve already found 3 in Alice Waters’ book, and there are so many more I want to try. They are great and easy to make. Last week, it was Oat Pancakes. This week it is all about flatbread! I don’t eat much bread. On the weekends, I might enjoy it as a treat. I love making my own because there are no plastic bags involved and of course it is delicious!

Sunday, we had pulled organic chicken and flatbread for dinner.

Here is Alice’s recipe.  

Alice encourages you to try different flours. I used organic white. It is really important to buy organic flour. (You don’t want your flour sprayed with glyphosate.) Spend a few more dollars, support the organic farmers and yourself!

2 cups flour

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup warm water

3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together. Stir in the water and the oil. Knead briefly to form a soft moist dough. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Do you have a rolling pin? It is time to get it out!  Divide the dough into 16 balls. On a lightly floured surface roll each ball into a 3 x 6  inch oval. My flatbread didn’t roll into perfect 3 x 6″ ovals. It is okay.

Alice uses a cast iron pan and medium heat to make her flat bread. I used my griddle and it worked fine. Cook 2 minutes, flip and cook 2 more minutes. Wrap flatbread in a kitchen towel to let the bread moisten with the steam.

I put my leftovers into a glass pyrex dish.  They were all gone the next day.

Enjoy!

Mary

“Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own.”