Category: ABOUT

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Another year around the sun – ‘what you think, you are’

“You’re not what you think you are, but what you think, you are” -William James So today marks that all important date – not that important to me but a worthy tool, my birthday. I’ve never been big on birthdays – (I mean never since I’ve been an adult). We didn’t make a big fuss when I was a kid over birthdays either, but certainly, as a kid birthdays seemed pretty important. As I’ve gotten older and wiser, birthdays have become a good time to reflect and consider activities of renewal. I’m only a few years away from the big 60 and so the inclination might be to start thinking in terms of concerns over “aging” but this isn’t the outlook I want to embrace for myself or for others for that matter. Age is nothing more than a number. How can a number define me or anyone else? To accept or act like there is a disadvantage to getting older is to embrace the idea of limits and limitations for yourself and others. Instead of thinking of how old myself or another person is, it is really about the significance of becoming more aware, more wise and knowing. Advancing in a manner measured by years and numbers doesn’t have to define a cycle of anything short of improvement. Instead of thinking, advancing years, just think ‘advancing’ and, defining ‘advancing’ in terms of forward movement and motion, is a good thing worthy of gratitude for each moment in life. I think back at my younger years when I didn’t seem to know how to be grateful for the moments. The moments, hours, days and years just seemed a culmination of bad things. I would dwell on the things that went wrong instead of finding the little things to be grateful...

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Mrs. Ball – One of a kind Teacher

‘A teacher affects eternity: he can never tell where his influence stops.’ –Henry Adams Education: The latin root of the word education means “to lead out” As you may know from other posts on my website I grew up on the little island of Grenada one of the Windward Islands in the West Indies. Mom home schooled myself and my brother for my early childhood but eventually when I was about 9 or 10 I think, I was enrolled in the primary school, Westmoreland. I was initially placed in 3rd form which I think was a year behind for my age. I guess overall I did well but my maths was a little behind. The school decided to move me into 4th form but I had to get tutoured after school by Mrs. Ball in Maths. I don’t remember much about the what I learned in the tutouring other than it being Algebra and that it involved me standing beside her desk as she instructed me. Imagine being new to a school, then new to a more advanced class and then learning that somehow letters have some mathematical meaning. Learning this from someone you are terrified of -well it was a do or die Maths experience for me. I wound up doing quite well in Maths overall after I got the hang of Algebra and Mrs. Ball really was instrumental in my understanding and appreciation of the subject. Every student of Mrs. Ball’s was affected for eternity. She may have terrified us in our youth but I think we all appreciated and respected her immensely as we have aged to adults. Mrs Ball was a teacher with an overload of personality and I doubt that there was a single student who wasn’t terrified of her and simply wanted to do...

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Living in the ‘now’

Living in the ‘now’ is living in the present. Think about it, ‘now’ is a ‘present’. I can’t do anything about yesterday or tomorrow but I can make the most of this moment in life now. For the last couple of years I have really been more conscious of the active decision to do my best to be true to living in the ‘now’ and being grateful for the fact that now is a present worth cherishing. This doesn’t mean that I don’t prepare for the future. I go to work to make a living to pay my rent and I tend to be the sort of person prepared for unexpected situations that may arise. This doesn’t mean I focus on the preparation it’s just that being prepared is a part of of my well-being.. I don’t worry about what could go wrong I just focus on making the most of now. A friend of mine gave some good advice to consider: “Worry is ingratitude in advnce” Advance worry – such a waste! Recently I had a situation. My vehicle was in the body shop and the work was done on a Friday. The shop owner convinced me that I should come Saturday even though he was only open a half day. He swore that he was open to noon every Saturday. I live 3 hours north of the body shop and in the back of my mind I was preferring the idea of going down on Monday not Saturday but I had told him I would come. I drove for 2 hours before I get any phone reception so I left before 9 am and called him as a soon as I got reception which put me about an hour away from his shop. There was no answer so...

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Adopted – what does it mean?

I do know that I will ever forget about the moment when I was informed I was adopted. I don’t remember how old I was, somewhere between 8-12 years old I would guess. I do remember the absolute devastation of discovering that parents I knew as my parents were in fact not my birth parents. Now that I am older I wonder why I felt so devastated. Maybe I thought I was being told in preparation to be sent to someone else. I really don’t know why it was such an emotional blow to me. Part of the internal turmoil I experienced might have had to do with the fact that after I was told, I was also sworn to secrecy. No one must know for whatever reason. I struggled with the idea of having been adopted for much of youth I would have to say. It wasn’t a subject for discussion or questions it just was something I had to learn to accept and understand on my own. Please don’t think ill of my parents who raised me. This was all new to them too! In their generation (both of them were born in the 1940s) you just didn’t talk about things like this so really I am grateful that I was at least told. There wasn’t an instruction manual available to them on how to go about informing me so they just did what seemed right to the best of their understanding. My parents who raised me created me in so many ways and giving birth to me wasn’t necessary for this evolution to transpire. They gave me morals, values, ethics, love, joy and wonderful environment for that evolvement. As I grew older I came to think of being adopted as having been chosen rather than having been...

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Aircraft Maintenance (line or hangar)

I don’t generally mention my career path to people.  I generally say I work for the airlines and kind of move on in the subject matter if possible.  I am most certainly not ashamed of my career path and I love my job and career field.  So what am I talking about? I am an A&P (Airframe and Powerplant) mechanic.  I am also reasonably experienced in Avionics (Aviation Electronics).  In more recent years we are referred to as Aircraft Maintenance Technicians.  In other countries we are Aircraft Engineers.  Overall – the general public can’t relate to my career field! This picture probably describes it best: There is so much truth in this picture it is hard to even explain. … Somehow when you refer to yourself as an Aircraft Mechanic/Maintenance Technician/ Aircraft Maintenance Engineer .. you have some sort of status … All of the ‘titles above’ refer to the exact same profession but you can see that just by the variety in terminology for the exact same job – not an easy profession to explain and others to grasp. Whenever someone starts asking about my job and all the cool intricacies I start with the worst system in the entire aeroplane.  Every mechanic, engineer, technician out there has a similar dread for this system yet it is the one system that every passenger passively counts on inadvertently. Are you thinking flight controls, engines, hydraulics?  We don’t dread on those systems – there is no job worse on any aircraft (that has them) than the lavatory! I only mention this as a reality check! The title of my post mentions ‘line or hangar’ these are two completely different breeds of technicians.  Hangar & line mechanics are are both highly skilled technicians.  The hangar technicians are ones who tend to specialise...

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Almost a week of the Esselstyn Diet

This doesn’t look so bad for an essentially vegetarian diet.  Vegetarian with an Esselstyn twist that is!  The twist of this diet, is no oils -none!  No cooking oil, no oil in salad dressing and paying attention to packaging in purchases so as to not inadvertently buy a food group w/oil in it as can be found with canned beans and hummus in particular.   This was my creation for tonight. Left over steamed brown rice with beans and raisens and then cucumber, tomatoes and pomegranate seeds surrounding.   Quite good I must say. I had an appointment at the VA this morning – fortunately I thought to make a sandwich to take with me.   Bread ok at least the one I’m using, Ezekial 4:9 sprouted grain bread.  I had a slice of bread a couple of hours after dinner with hummus spread on it, chia seeds spread out and then the bean rice concoction. Filled the appetite as well as the accompanying cucumbers dipped in hummus. It take a little thought to stay true to the diet but the logic behind the diet appeals to me and the fact that it’s not about portioning or allowing the food to be a stress -at least no more of a stress than changing your diet with a complete and total makeover.  No Dairy, no eggs, no oil, no cheese, no ice-cream no milk …. can eat bread the Ezekial, or Aladdin’s pocket pita, etc flaxseed, multigrain, sunflower seed all considered good. I’m on the road.  The weight doesn’t show it yet -think it’s time to hook up with the gym too!

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Not into diets -but this one looks challenging enough to give it a go! (Esselstyn)

I’ve gained about 40lbs since my ankle surgery last July and that’s just not good for anyone especially someone who should be putting less weight on their feet not more.  Healing of this tendon transfer surgery means I need to go easy on the ankle and the added weight is not helping.  The lack of mobility for the last year was no help not to mention the last 3 years of challenges with the foot.  I’m definitely close to the goal of normalcy in walking but long story short, I need to lose weight!  If my scale is right I’m at 180 about 40lbs overweight at a minimum.  Ideally I would like to be under 140 lbs but will start with a goal of a 150.  I know my scale is slightly inaccurate but as long as I am using the same scale that hardly matters. My basic lifestyle in general has been, no sodas besides an occasional social soda.  No alcohol and no coffee.  I eat breakfast on a  regular basis.  Kashi crisp cereal with about 4-5 tablespoons of raisins and a banana and milk, no sugar.  The other meals of the day have been hit or miss and rarely anything to brag about!  So 1 good meal a day for breakfast and the rest a joke.  Did I mention I don’t like to cook or even prepare food? Yesterday I was speaking with my neighbour about a diet he did for the sake of his heart.  I don’t know how the subject came up.  I guess we were talking about heart stuff or something.  It was not meant so much to be a diet but rather a path to healthier heart.  I don’t have any fears regarding my heart and no abnormal indications in my blood work for...

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Writing 101 Day 4: (part 3)… other things gained

Continued from Part 2 As far as some things this experience has taught me.  Slow down!  Don’t rush!  I’ve had to move slower over the last few years.  I’ve witnessed the way those who don’t walk fast enough are rushed around and almost pushed aside by everyone in such a hurry. Did I used to be like that? I’ve been on the way to the checkout stand in a grocery store hobbling on crutches and using the shopping cart as my second crutch only to have someone in such a hurry rush to be in front of me -not realising or caring how much pain it was for me to even get to the line let alone stand in it. My speed has finally picked up.  I can walk (without any crutches) into a grocery store now and don’t have to park in the handicapped spot to do it.  I have learned to be patient and gracious.  I want to think I always was but now, every time I pass someone who is moving slower, I make sure I am passing them with respect and care and certainly don’t place myself in a position to make their situation harder. I know I am a better person for having had to slow down.  A loss of true mobility that I am seeing regained has given me appreciation and gratitude for so many of those simple things we take for granted.  The walks on the beach with my dogs is a highlight of one of the things my mobility and I enjoy but the grander picture of walking at all is something I no longer take for granted! (Assignment from Writing101) – Part 3 Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more. This doesn’t need to...

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Writing 101 Day 4: (part 2)… other things gained

Click here to read part 1 I’ve been practicing walking lately as part of my recovery plan.  A local beach, Crissy Field, has proved very therapeutic for both myself and the pups.  I can’t tolerate walking with shoes on the beach.  Much more painful.  Walking barefoot though is just about the right amount balance training (yes you do use balance muscles when you walk barefoot on the sand) for my foot retraining.  A day at Pt. Isabel last week (another large outdoor dogpark) reminded me of the absolute need to watch where you walk! Gopher holes everywhere as it turns out tweaked my ankle a bit in the walk but again making me stronger though cautious.  It did not put me back on crutches just made me realise I can’t rush the walking by overdoing it especially when it comes to uneven ground.  One day at a time seems the best foot forward!   Every experience we are faced with does help us grow and become better people.  I do believe that this is at least the opportunity given us when faced with those challenges that want to drag us down and incapacitate.  My next post will be about some of the lessons learned … (Assignment from Writing101) –Part 2 Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more. This doesn’t need to be a depressing exercise; you can write about that time you lost the three-legged race at a picnic. What’s important is reflecting on this experience and what it meant for you — how it felt, why it happened, and what changed because of it. Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.

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Writing 101 Day 4: (part1) Something lost …but …

About 3 years ago I started having troubles with one of my feet.  Heel pain mis-diagnosed as plantar fasciitis eventually became stabbing pain in ankle joint and concluded (almost anyhow) with tendon transfer surgery.  Tendon transferred from one of my toes to inner ankle.  Three years of lost/limited mobility and limited duty at work at times seemed like a never ending journey.  The light at the end of the tunnel approaches as I have finally been able to relinquish the 9+ months of crutches and two casts.  Walking has seemed much more normal though not completely pain free. The ability to stand for decent periods of time, and walk far enough to no longer need the handicapped placard on a regular basis is a true freedom that at times seemed out of reach. What good could possibly come from losing true mobility for practically 3 years? To be continued… (Assignment from Writing101) –Part 1 Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more. This doesn’t need to be a depressing exercise; you can write about that time you lost the three-legged race at a picnic. What’s important is reflecting on this experience and what it meant for you — how it felt, why it happened, and what changed because of it. Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.

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