Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Liebster Award: Get to Know Me and Other Bloggers!

The Liebster Award: Get to Know Me and Other Bloggers!

Fellow blogger, Kim Acedo of Transformation Wellness for Women, nominated me for the Liebster Award, which is an award for bloggers to recognize and get to know other bloggers.

I was asked to answer some questions and I get the opportunity to nominate other bloggers to participate. Check out the blogs I nominate at the end – their writing inspires me and I am committed to reading, tweeting and commenting on their blogs because I know how much it means to me when my readers tweet and comment on mine [hint, hint!].

Yours, Heidi

Here are the questions Kim asked me to answer:

1. What makes you happy?

Spending time with my family: kids and husband! I also enjoy yoga classes, stitching, meditating, reading and writing. But I get a thrill in my heart when people respond positively to my work. Motivating and/or inspiring people makes me very happy.

2. Why did you start blogging?

After I retired from my marketing consulting business I wanted an outlet and I wanted to create/be a part of an online tribe. And as we were getting ready to travel out of the country for 5 months, it seemed like it would be a great way to keep in touch with people and explore parts of my creative side. At the suggestion from my son, I thought I would develop a forum to help teach women how to mother their kids by sharing my experiences, but the blog is morphing into something new and different; I plan on changing the title soon. [Suggestions are most welcome!] I still want to reach/teach women, but now in a different direction from just focusing on motherhood.

3. What is the best thing anyone has ever said about your blog?

Recently I was invited to a yoga retreat because of a post. Receiving comments that are appreciative of my perspective and life experiences makes my heart sing.

4. What is one piece of advice you would offer or one saying you live by?

I used to say that “life was too short for shit,” but now I find myself thinking, “if not now, when?” Meaning what is holding me back from joy and love and connection?

5. What are your top three bucket list items?

1) To create an outlet to reach women through life-transformation workshops and seminars.

2) To finally find a business partner who wants to work collaboratively with me.

3) To maintain my health and weight loss through the rest of my life.

Short term goal is to have my ankle heal so that my husband and I can resume real hiking.

6. What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?

Drinking expresso and stitching! And of course because I am a woman, dark chocolate anything!

7. What is one product or service you cannot live without?

My smart cell phone/tablet.

8. What is your favorite U.S. destination?

Bottom line is that I love being/visiting any place in which my kids are living. But other than that, I love visiting New York City, where I lived in my 20’s and my father and his wife still live. If it weren’t for the weather (and money!) I could see myself living there again. Other places that I want to return to are Hilton Head, SC, anywhere in Hawaii, and Crater Lake, OR.

But I have to admit that I am loving our new home town of San Jose, CA. We just moved to the downtown area and exploring all that is within walking distance is exciting to me. After living in the suburbs for 22 years, while raising our kids, I am experiencing a re-found love affair for city living!

9. What two countries make you the happiest to visit?

Spain and Australia. I loved visiting both and would be thrilled to go back to either/both again

10. What is your dream destination?

I know it sounds corny, but at this age and stage of my life, I want to go with and where my husband and/or kids are. And I would love to get a chance to spend time in Greece and Portugal someday.

I now nominate the following bloggers to answer these questions as well. Reading their posts has inspired me and my writing. I hope they accept this award because I can’t wait to read their responses!

Lisa Owens of My So Called Glamorous Life, The Adventures of a Domestic Engineer!

Lorrie Goldin of Shrinkrapped

Jennifer Arlin of Still Life with Crockpot

Janelle Daniels of Thirty Plus Mom

Dawn Quyle Landau of Tales From the Motherland

Susan Macaulay of My Alzheimer’s Story, the joys and sorrows of an amazing journey

Melissa of Psychobabble

Thanks for reading! I’d love to get to know YOU more as well. Would you care to answer a few of the questions? Please comment below!

 

 



As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!

Buying a Bathing Suit Used to Suck!

 Buying a bathing suit use to a suck. It was a miserable, unpleasant experience that always left me selecting one that I hated the least. That all changed when I lost 55 lbs in 2011. It still isn’t as pleasurable as buying a new purse, but it is no longer traumatic. When I lost the weight, I didn’t do it to make bathing suit shopping easier. I did it because I didn’t want to end up in a hospital bed, weighed down by fat and medical problems stemming from being overweight, as my beloved aunt was that year.

Four years later my weight is still gone and I feel great but I am still getting used to my new body and what that means. Frankly I never believed it possible to lose that much weight, much less maintain it. I am embarrassed to admit that one of my apprehensions about our wonderful Australian sabbatical was that I would gain weight; to my amazement I actually lost weight while we were overseas. And one of my first thoughts after waking up from my three hour ankle surgery last November was concern about gaining weight. After a lifetime of dealing with food and weight issues, it takes time to retrain my mind.

One big adjustment has been buying a bathing suit. For years buying a new suit sucked. It was stressful because I never looked the way I wanted to. I never shopped for a suit in a store, preferring to try on suits in the privacy of my own home. I envied women who could walk in to a store and walk out with a bathing suit.

So you can imagine my panic when I found myself needing to buy a bathing suit on my way up to Tahoe for a long weekend with my son two years ago. We were heading up to spend some time together while my husband and daughter were traveling in Europe for her school’s choir trip. The house my son rented had a hot tub and by the time I realized I didn’t have a suit, we were too far away from home to turn back. As we approached Davis, CA I looked online and didn’t see any department stores listed, only a Target. I approached the store with a lot of stress and a pinch of panic thrown in for extra measure. You see while my new body walked in, it was attached to my old mind.

Within a few minutes of looking, I found a great looking suit, and lo and behold it fit—right off the rack! If you have ever been overweight, you can appreciate the flood of joy and relief I felt at that moment, standing in a Target dressing room, looking at myself in the mirror and loving what I saw. I wanted to run around the store, jumping for joy, but I knew my son was waiting in the car. So I paid for my new suit (and cute cover-up, because you know!) and strolled nonchalantly back to the car, as if nothing huge had happened.

But something huge did happen. I walked into the store with my old body image in my mind, but I walked out a new woman—one who can shop for bathing suits at Target! Now when traveling I no longer stress about packing pants or bathing suits (both of which used to be hard for me to find). I now travel lighter, figuratively and literally.



As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

Stupid decisions can haunt us all of our lives. We all have made them. I have, most with little or no impact. But back in the summer of 1977 I made a very stupid decision, and it has haunted me for years, decades really. That summer, while hanging out in Greenwich Village, I went up to the roof of a building in New York City with a stranger. It was stupid and dangerous. And it still haunts me because a few months later my dear cousin was found dead on the roof of another building in New York City.

I was at that age and stage when I didn’t think anything bad would or could happen, and certainly not to me or anyone I knew. But that all changed in October 1977 when my cousin was murdered and left to die on a rooftop near Columbia University – just three months after I was attacked on a rooftop in New York City too.

I wish I could say that nothing happened to me that night on the roof in NYC, but that would not be accurate. Many things happened to me that night. And, of course, I am haunted by the similarities to my cousin’s death a few months later.

The death of any relative is hard, but when it is someone you are close to, under circumstances that are relatable then it is terrifying. In many ways, I still am terrified. It is like the experience got into my nervous system, and just won’t let go. Maybe this is because I looked up to my cousin in so many ways.

My cousin was more like an older sister to me. She was the oldest of the 8 cousins, the beautiful, accomplished ‘rock star’ of the family. And she lived with us when she was 16, and I was 7. I still remember going with her to the temple on Friday nights and sitting with her by the pool on sweltering hot Dallas afternoons.

But I also remember the dark side of her stay with us: food fights and whispered secrets. You see my cousin lived with us because she was suffering from anorexia. It was live with us or be hospitalized – she was that sick. Her illness made a strong and lasting impression on me. I remember her hiding food in her napkin, tears, doors slamming, food thrown in frustration. That was also when I learned to ignore my body’s hunger signs, eating all of my food to please my mother.

Over the years, through adolescence, I always assumed that my cousin would be there for me, just as my family had been there for her. But all that changed in the fall of 1977 when we got that call and time stood still.

I don’t know why I survived, and my cousin didn’t. Why I got a lifetime of joys and sorrows and she didn’t. But even with the highs and lows, in some ways it feels as if my nervous system has been stuck on high alert all these years. I have been waiting for the next time the phone will ring, my world will turn upside down and finally that other shoe will drop.

I have talked about the death of my dear cousin over the years, but rarely, if ever, shared the details of what happened to me on the rooftop three months before. It was shocking and embarrassing and shameful. I was 17, innocent and so naïve.

The reality is that I survived a frightening experience that my cousin did not. It still haunts me and probably will for the rest of my life. And maybe instead of the other shoe dropping after all these years, I am finally ready to put it down. Maybe I am finally ready to give myself a break for living when she did not.



As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!

The Land of Disability

Last November, after my horrible fall and subsequent surgery, I spent 9 ½ weeks in a wheelchair, visiting a place that no one ever wants to go to: the land of disability.

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While I am not completely healed, I am back amoungst the able-bodied and I want to tell you a little bit about navigating in that other land.

Years ago, after my first (of three) ankle surgeries I spent six weeks on crutches, non-weight bearing on my injured ankle. It was tough on me and my family. I remember one awful day eating my lunch on the floor when I was alone as I could not get it from the kitchen to the table. After subsequent surgeries, I got a wheelchair and that made a huge different. But even in a wheelchair, life is very hard.

First of all, even places that say they are handicapped accessible often are not. I will never forget getting stuck in a restaurant bathroom that had a wheelchair accessible stall, but no automatic door opener. I couldn’t get out of the bathroom on my own, thank goodness my friend figured out something was wrong and rescued me from the ladies room. 

Without an automatic door opener, most in wheelchairs are stuck getting in or out of the bathroom. Can you imagine having to ask for help every time you need to go to the bathroom? Well that is what it is like for anyone in a wheelchair trying to access a bathroom that does not have an automatic door opener. How we define accessible matters.

Second of all, there are all sorts of great tools these days that can help those in wheelchairs, whether for a short time or for life. But knowing what they are and where to find them can be tricky.

Think about carrying things from one room to another, while in a wheelchair; it is not easy—you need your hands to move the wheels. Having a cup holder on the chair makes a big difference. And so does a Non-Slip Board & Drink Holder—the best tool I used!

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This amazing tool fit on my lap and allowed me to carry drinks, food, even my laptop around my house without spilling or dropping! AI no longer had to wait for someone else to help me to get something to eat or just take a cup of coffee from kitchen to family room. The handy dandy Grip Drink Holder (pictured above on the yellow Non-Slip Board) also helped.

Grip Gloves also helped as I wheeled myself around. As did a Safety Vest—which is great for anyone who spends time walking or biking along roads without sidewalks or adequate street lighting. I gave one to my husband who bikes to and from work.

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Fact is it is not easy to live in the land of disability. But with some helpful tools, it can be a little easier to maneuver around.

All of these handy items (pictured and described above) were provided to me by See and Be Safe, a wonderful online resource of products that assists the disabled as well as the able bodied. They design and manufacture high visibility accessories used by anyone in a wheelchair or who just wants to be seen on dark roadways. I think their visibility accessories make great gifts for the bikers in your family. Additionally, they sell grip products that help balance electronics and food on a non slip surface, making it so easy to move things around. If I sound like an infomercial, it is because I think this company provides a real service for everyone with their important products.

Bottom line is that I hope you never have to visit the land of disability, even temporarily, but the truth is that many of us might have to go there at some point, even if just for a short while. And if you do, knowing what helpful items exist will make a difference.

Full disclosure: I was not paid for writing this piece, but I was given these items to use when I was in my wheelchair. My husband and I are still using the Non-Slip Board and the Safety Vest. All opinions on the products are mine and mine alone.



As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!