Tuesday, October 09, 2018

I Am Looking Forward To Fall and the Holidays

Beginning of fall colors in NY state

Fall is here. Holidays are coming. I am happy about both. Happy? More like excited. I can decorate. I can make a holiday for my friend, my son and I. Just like we used to have when he was younger. I used to go all out for Christmas all the years he was growing up. After his dad and I broke up, not so much. Now he lives a block away and we can celebrate holidays together again. Now living in an apartment building for seniors, I don't really expect to have trick or treaters for Halloween. But you never know, so I will at least buy a bag of candy, just in case. And then there is Thanksgiving! Which I am really looking forward to. I will write more about that is a future post.

Light and airy in my apartment

I am waiting for the fall colors to brighten up a bit and then I will take some good pictures to share the beautiful NY fall with my readers. As much as I loved the colors of the trees as they changed, in NY, it means cold weather is coming. Dark days and a lot of work in my previous house. I lived with wood stoves and an alternative energy system, which depended heavily on solar.....sun. Not easy at that time of the year. Being dark as early as five and sometimes earlier. Living here in my new apartment, this will not be a problem. I will have plenty of lighting and no wood stoves for heat. Snow removal is included in our rent here, so nothing I have to concern myself with.

The Parking Lot

The hardest thing, I believe I will have to deal with, will be walking with my rolling walker in the snow. I am guessing that my ramp and parking lot here will be completely plowed out to the surface. So it would not be a problem getting out of my building and to the parking lot. I have to believe the other parking lot behind the stores on Broad Street, will also be plowed out pretty good since it is a city parking lot. So hopefully, I will be able to use my walker all the way to the stores on Broad Street. Most of the time though, my friend will be driving me to the store. I would not take a chance on falling due to icy conditions.

Air Conditioner and Electric Heater

I will be exchanging air conditioning for heating. So I imagine my bills will remain the same. I have not done too bad on using air conditioning. I have it on all the time because I am always hot. So I like to keep my apartment cool and only turn it down when someone is here, who can't take it that cold. My maintenance man is going to put silicone on my windows when he takes out the air conditioner. I have not been able to open and close them myself. In winter, I would like to be able to open them at least a little bit. Need some air, even if it is cold.

Rabbit last year at the house keeping warm.

I am not too worried about being cold. My building is an old school building and built with brick. It will hold the heat well. I have a cedar chest full of afghans crocheted by my mother and these things keep you really warm. Plus I have heavy robes, nightgowns, sweaters and sweatshirts. Did I mention I am a hot person? Yes, usually I am too hot rather than too cold. The electric heaters are the baseboard type, so Rabbit can get as close as he wants. He seemed to like the wood stove in the winter time at my house. We are ready!

First sign of fall!

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018  Kathleen G. Lupole

Monday, October 08, 2018

The Flame of Love

Love is like a fire, if you do not stoke the fire,
the flame will go out. It needs tending, as love
will die without it. If it is not addressed daily,
it disappears. Taking it for granted, without a word,
never mentioning the L word, will kill it for sure.
Feeling unloved and insignificant is the most lost
feeling ever, so pay attention or you will feel that
way instead…...just a matter of time.

“I love you” is not that hard to say, though for some,
it seems to be. Showing love with little silly gifts,
cards, surprises, rides, meals shared, messages, phone
calls, just whatever you think of. Gets those love juices
flowing, into your heart and mind. Feeling love from
another fills you with love for them. It makes you feel
energized, positive, happy and joyful. It makes you thrilled
to just hear their voice or see them at your door.

Falling in love, that excited feeling you get at first,
may tend to fade, but instead will deepen. Deepens as
you learn every detail about your loved one. Learn what they
like and think. Put them first and they will do the same
with you. Never, ever take them for granted or expect them to know
……..to know how you feel if you do not speak. Deep kisses speak
more than words, but words are needed as well. Just a piece of paper,
a note, a text message, with the words “I Love You” say more than
you will ever know.

Why is it so hard to keep your love alive? Why is it so hard to
say what you feel? After your love of your life has left, will you
speak then? It will be too late. One person will come along who
will speak those words. Will do those little things. They will
develop a lasting love that is strengthened by constant tending of
the flame of love. Strong vibes of love reaching the inner deep
spots of the heart. Fighting for love after it is gone is futile. There is none
left. It is gone on to another. Another who is not afraid to show love.
Not afraid to say or write those magic words. Doing all those little silly
things, and some not so silly. That is how love is.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018  Kathleen G. Lupole

Monday, October 01, 2018

St. Andrew's Church and Cemetery

St. Andrew's Church and Cemetery, New Berlin, NY

Spending an afternoon in a cemetery? Now who in their right mind would want to do that? Well, me, for one. I love to spend a day in a cemetery. So one day in August, my friend took me for a ride and I never know where we will end up. It just so happened we were in New Berlin (NY) which is not that far from where I live. Yet I had never explored it before. This particular day we had lunch and then was driving up the street and we spotted this awesome church. Not only was the church beautiful, but the cemetery surrounding it was enormous. It was St. Andrew's Church and Cemetery on Main Street. As far as I could see, there were gravestones. I can't imagine how you would find someone you were looking for without some help from the office.

The small town of New Berlin is six miles from Norwich, NY, which is the county seat. It was formed from Norwich in 1807. The name was changed to Lancaster in 1820 and changed back the following the year to New Berlin. It is on the Unadilla River. The land this small town is built upon is rich in native American history. It is a pleasant town and most people drive through it on their way to another place. If you stop and browse a bit, you will find a historical treasure. The gem I found was St. Andrew's Church and Cemetery. It was the first Episcopal church in Chenango County, NY.

St. Andrew's was organized in 1814 by Reverend Daniel Nash, the first pastor. It was consecrated by Bishop Hobart in 1816. The original church building was torn down in 1847 and the church that stands today, was then built of stone in the Gothic style of architecture and was then consecrated by Reverend Andrew Hull. The cemetery is owned and cared for by St. Andrew's. 

The day we were here was a beautiful summer day and we spent some time driving through the cemetery. The grounds were vast and covered in gravestones as far as I could see. There were many old graves with some that were difficult to read. And others that were old, but so well marked that were as easy to read as if they were put in recently. 

I hope to go back there one day and take photos of some of the more unusual grave stones and monuments. They really are a work of art in some cases. The Victorian era, 1837-1901 was a time of elaborate tombstones and headstones and cemeteries evolved into a park like existence. Loved ones had started adding more to the headstones to leave a bit of information about the deceased. Some adding the sculptured designs which included their religious beliefs, their occupation, social class or other such notes. The Colonial era, was just the opposite fearing the afterlife.  

This is one of my favorite ways to spend a nice day. Though most of the cemeteries I like to visit are ones that have my own ancestors buried in. Having worked on my family tree for more than a few years now, I like to go to their graves and visit them in person and take my own photos. I have not found any of my family members in this cemetery as of yet, but who knows what or who I may discover in the future?

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018  Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Disability Independence With A Rolling Walker

katlupe at The Wolf Mountain Nature Center

Living with a disability is easier with the right implements made for your particular disability. Mine is my knees and my ability to walk. For years I struggled with my cane. I thought that was the best I would be able to do. I lived in a home that was not designed for someone that was disabled. When I moved into my new apartment in May, I suddenly discovered a whole new world open to me. I could do so many things that I never thought I would be able to do in this lifetime again. One of the problems of walking with the cane over a walker, is that the cane causes you to walk incorrectly. It would cause me to have hip pain later that night or the next day. At the time I did not realize it was related to the cane. Maybe I was not using it properly, but I did the best I could.

ProBasics Rollator

After I moved, I was gifted by a friend, a rolling walker or a rollator. I love it! I have written about it before on here. It gave me back my independence. I could not walk very far without having to sit down. With the walker, I can sit down anytime anywhere. The more I have used it though, the less I have needed to sit down. Maybe the cane caused me to need to sit more often because I was not walking properly. There are some days I do not use it in my apartment at all and then others when I need to walk from my chair to the bathroom.

Laundry Day!

I like to keep it close by and it is really handy if I am carrying stuff. I use it when I do my laundry and can put my small laundry basket right on top of the seat. I take it downstairs to the laundry room that way. Later on, I just take the dry clothing to the closet or the dresser to put away right on the walker. My normal routine is to put my laundry in the washing machine and then come back upstairs and wait till it is time for the washer to be finished. Then I go back to put the clothes in the dryer. If I am doing a second load, I put it in now, as I do not like to hog the machines in case others need them. Plus, there are times I start doing the wash and just don't feel like doing that second load. So it can wait till tomorrow. Sometimes it is just easier on me that way instead of doing it all in one day.

Seat up and basket below fits a lot of stuff!

My rolling walker is manufactured in China for ProBasics and I think it is very sturdy and I feel confident using it. I am able to go places with it that were difficult for me to get to. Now I feel free! I like the fact that the seat opens up and there is basket below the seat that allows for me to carry my camera, my purse, whatever I buy at the store inside. It is great. It has hand brakes so when I am going down my ramp, it does drag me down, but the hand brakes make it so I can go at my own pace, which is slow. Coming up the ramp, I am able to go pretty fast. Every time I use this walker, I thank God for making it possible for me to have one. I can honestly say I would be lost without it.

Carrying distilled water home from the store.

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Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018  Kathleen G. Lupole

Sunday, September 09, 2018

My Random Thoughts

The lobby at the front entrance of my apartment building.

I wake up early, free to do whatever I want. That is as long as I get Rabbit his handful of morning greens. He is doing binkys all around me as I try to make my way out to the kitchen. Turn the coffeepot on. Make my coffee. Drink the whole pot. Or pour it in the thermos. It will still be there later. No one to drink it up on me. I check my computer. I check my emails. Say good morning to my friends. Sometimes my adopted daughter, L, messages me to see if I am up. Needs her hair braided. She is just down the hall. She used to be my son’s girlfriend and just happened to be living in this very building that I wanted to move into. We have become pretty close now, even though they have been broken up for awhile and she has a new love in her life. It is fine with me, I understand exactly. Couples meet couples fall in love. couples fall out of love. couples split up. Not all, but it is a common cycle.

The steep stairs going out the front entrance!

It has been difficult for me trying to write my blog now. All those topics that used to appeal to my readers had to do with homesteading, self-sufficiency and self-reliance. None of those activities are a part of my life any longer. I am on to other goals and a completely different lifestyle. Some of the things I wrote about though, I still do. I still cook, I still am frugal, I still am caring for my pet rabbit and other things too. I remember all those days before I moved here wondering if I would even keep this blog going. I decided to do away with Solar Baby, my blog about living with solar, since I do not live with solar any longer. I have gotten so used to the grid electric, that I would not be able to get into writing an article about the solar. As my old life is fading, my new one is focusing on me more, not the lifestyle.

At the age of 66, I want to establish a life that is simple, focused on me and accomplish the goals I had set down on paper more than two years ago. I am doing that right now. After I got moved in and settled, I had to get my son moved near by. He is disabled and I look out for him. Not easy, since he an adult and can be stubborn at times. But it is extremely important to me that he is a part of my life. I still have a number of health issues to take care of and one I am working on tomorrow. My first appointment to deal with that. It is a good feeling as I cross out a goal that I have accomplished. Some of them I never thought I would.

The front doors to the street.

It took me a few months to finally get my apartment set up and bring my stuff from my house and include it in this small 338 square foot room. I have a storage area downstairs also. So that helps, but it is not that big. I still have canning equipment to pick up from my house and not sure if I will actually be canning here. I do not have much room or need for that much food. Maybe I will sell that stuff little by little over time. Some of my jars are from my parents and I am quite sentimental about those. It is best for them to go to people who need them and will use them. The same sentiment I had when I sold their home. My first purchase of canning jars was from a lady who had lost her husband a few months before and did not need to can as much food anymore. She was a little sad selling them to me, but she kept some for small canning amounts. I loved doing it and it is hard knowing I may not ever do it again.

Living in the downtown area of a small city makes it easier for me to do the things I need to do. Not having a vehicle is really not that hard since there is a few different types of public transportation here. They are much cheaper than a motor vehicle payment and related expenses. The bus is only fifty cents if you have a Medicare card, which I do. I just have not tried it yet. I was was waiting for a cool day. Now that fall is almost here, the weather hopefully will become cooler. Today it was. I could not stand to leave my air conditioned apartment the whole time it was so hot. I even dreaded going to the grocery store and I was riding in an air conditioned car.

I love the glass windows!

The one thing I have noticed is that your age is not what makes you feel old. It is either the way you live or not being happy and satisfied in your life. You can still have problems, illnesses, financial problems, family problems or a million other problems. You have to learn to deal with them so they do not overwhelm you. Set aside a certain time of the day to try to figure out how to take care of them and when that time is over, put those problems aside till tomorrow. My mom always said to make a list of your problems and under each one a list of the pros and cons of how to solve them. It has always helped me. Sometimes your problems are not as bad as you think. I had a friend recently step in and help me with some problems that I felt were strangling me. I was depressed and upset constantly. He stepped in a few days ago and WHOOSH! Like that, those problems are history! Thank you my friend, you know who you are!

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Low Carbs Does Not Leave You Hungry

Sausage Salad

Once again I am exasperated by a friend showing me a product she is going to buy to "suck her fat cells out." I say quietly, "all you have to do is eat low carbs." She ignores that and keeps talking about sucking her fat cells out. I tell her if she wants to lose that belly fat, there is a better way. Just stop eating grains and sugar. No pasta, no bread, no gingerale, no sweets of any kind. She says, "No gingerale?" With some people it is the bread they don't want to give up. I know how that is. I was the same way about bread. I loved it with cold butter. Now, I don't really miss it.

Bacon Satisfies Hunger

Yes people, there is no easy fix to getting rid of belly fat or any other fat. Nope. The only way is to find a low carb food plan that works for you. How many low fat diet plans are you going to start and stop over your lifetime? Too many. And you know why, don't you? Because you can not stay on them for very long. You start a diet and maybe you do lose some weight. Then you eventually fall off and start eating what you used to eat. Maybe being careful at first. But when the pounds start creeping back on, you say what the hell? Start eating what you want. Back to where you started before, but maybe with more weight this time. The sad part is the more times you do it over and over, the harder it is to lose it.

Scrambling Eggs

What most people don't understand about a low carb diet is that you are eating vegetables too. It is not just meat. Or just bacon and eggs. It does entail cooking, but you do not have to make long drawn out recipes with a zillion ingredients. I basically eat eggs with bacon or sausage for breakfast. And meat and salad for supper. Easy to do. While your meat is cooking, make the salad. If you don't mind leftovers, which I don't mind, cook up extra meat so the next few days it is even easier. After three days of eating low carbs, I will not be hungry in between. That means no snacking. If I need a snack, I will get one. I would rather eat a snack then to get so hungry that I eat something I shouldn't.

The famous 1 Minute Muffin

I like to carry portable food with me so I am not tempted. Especially if I am at other people's houses or out for the day somewhere, These foods can also be used for snacks if you need something at work or home. One is nuts and you can usually find them at any store. Convenience stores carry a large variety and the ones I usually eat are the smoked almonds. They come in little bags that can be tucked in a pocket or a purse and come in handy when you need them. I like pepperoni, beef jerky, pork rinds, string cheese, whipped cream cheese with salmon. Some of those would need refrigeration or an ice chest in your car if you are traveling. There are available some low carb crackers and things like that, but I cannot tell you anything about them since I do not use those.

Fresh Berries

Fruit sounds like a good snack. But if you are eating low carbs, other than berries, it is too high in carbs. Eating only 20 carbs a day for me about does it. It may not sound like a lot, but some days, I have trouble getting that many in. I like to make my own fat bombs using just cream cheese, heavy cream and one of DaVinci's sugar free syrups. Or some chopped up olives and grated cheese for a savory snack. The fat is what satisfies you so you are not hungry. Contrary to what "old school" medical doctors will tell you, fat is not the culprit. On the Ketogenic forum I belong to, the members always answer someone who says they are hungry, by telling them to eat more fat. So that is what I do, it works!

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Alone, But On My Own


For almost my whole life, I never lived alone. I used to imagine what it would be like. To not have to make compromises or do things the way someone else tells you or expects you to do. To be free and independent comes with a price tag, at least for me it does. It is learning to not count on anyone else to share things with or to talk to at those times when you want to talk. It is at those times when I most miss living with someone. I realize I need to give it time and gradually, I will adjust. There are many people in my life who I can talk with, but I was never a phone person. Picking up the phone to call someone just to talk is not at all something I would do. Sometimes I just want to know someone is there and cares what is happening to me. I remember my father had said to my mother that when she dies, no one will ask him what his blood sugar reading was that morning and even care what it was. I have only been alone a little over three months now. For most of the time I was busy organizing and decorating my apartment. Now it is time for me to branch out to my new community.

Norwich Post Office

I have been taking some walks around my neighborhood and down the street. I wanted to see that I could make it to the post office so I could purchase money orders there to pay my rent. I was able to and I walked around a bit afterwards. So I see that I can get there and back on my own. Not sure what it will be like in the winter with snow on the sidewalk and how my rolling walker will do then. I will figure something out. When I was out walking though, I met a man who is the editor of the Journal of the Chenango County Historical Society. He talked to me for quite awhile. He wants me to write something about the area I used to live in. I know a lot about the history of the area. Mainly because there wasn't much information about it when I was researching it. Just getting started on this project. I am excited about it. Very strange to me that I would just meet someone on the street like that!

City Parking Lot in Norwich, NY

In my life now, I have the time to devote to friendships, family and other projects and hobbies that I did not have time for before. When you are living alone there are so many things that you could not do when you are living with others. If you are not hungry, there is no one else you have to worry about. If you want to sleep all day and stay up all night, there is no problem. It will not affect anyone else. If I want to bring home a kitten or another rabbit, it is up to me only. Nobody to ask or beg because I can do what I choose. Life will be what I want to do when I want to do it and with whom. Nobody to ask permission of and I will never allow myself to lose control of my own life again. One thing I will never do and that is live my life dependent on another person for financial or emotional support. It gives them the control over you and your freedom and independence.

That is not to say I do not want romance in my life, even at my age. I want it, I enjoy it and sharing a part of my life with someone else. As long as it is someone I can trust, have fun with, laugh together and love, yes, love too. Just because you care for someone and love them does not mean you let them take over your life or give up your freedom. It is as Billy Joel sang in one of his hit songs, it is a matter of trust. "But wait," you say, "I thought you don't want to answer to another person?" No, I don't. But if I have a committed relationship that is exclusive to one person, I would not be doing anything to violate that trust. Nor would he. Living  alone, that trust would still stand. Does that mean I would never live with another man? Now I can't answer that right now. I change my mind constantly, so all I can say is that it is not set in stone.

The Guernsey Memorial Library

If you have been living alone for a long time, you probably think I am a bit over dramatic, but the truth is, if you have been married for a very long time and always lived with someone, it is a very different life, this living alone life. I have always been quite introverted and usually had a small handful of friends instead of a large group, My hobbies are basically things like genealogy, online research, shopping and social media, reading, writing, music, photography and my pets. I still have plenty to keep me busy and living in a new city has been fun for me. Exploring everything nearby, within walking distance. A bonus is the library is directly across the street! So I have plenty to keep me busy here. I have many more plans and goals to reach that I needed to be living here to do. I will get to them, one at a time.......little steps.

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole

Friday, August 24, 2018

A Walk Near My Home

One day last week I finally ventured out of my building and down the street. It was one of the best days here so far. Normally, I just walk to the Service Pharmacy store that is a short walk across the parking lot. This time I walked around my building and down the street. The Guernsey Memorial Library is across the street from my building. How convenient was that for the students? The library directly across the street from the school! I wonder if the students could go across the street during classes to use the references available there? I remember spending hours in my school libraries. I always have enjoyed being in a library. Going to the library is on my list of things to do soon. The smell of the books, the quiet of the room, the "shhhh of the library employees......ah, what memories they bring back. Some years back, my husband and I spent hours in the Vestal (NY) library. We would leave with arms full of books. I used to take cookbooks out and manually copy the recipes into our old fashioned computer (at that time, no Windows). Those were fun times for us.

The area next door to the library is an awesome park that I did not even know was there, until a few weeks ago when I rode by it in a car. I saw the paved path and knew I could maneuver my way with my rolling walker. I could not wait to explore this little park. It was even more than I saw from the car window. I had a good time there all by myself. Of course, I had a little brown bird following me everywhere. Such care has been taken in this park and the flowers uplifted my spirit tremendously. I love flowers and there was plenty in full bloom this day. I just sat there on my walker and took in the beauty of it. I sadly, didn't plant flowers at my previous home. I just planted food plants. I enjoyed all my wild flowers of which, there were plenty.

I am not saying that the city I live in is better than all others, but it is one of the best one I have ever lived in. I have four parks within walking distance of my apartment and there are more in other areas of the city. In the evening, even after dark, I see families out walking on the street with their children. The children riding their bicycles or whatever, following their parents. The people are friendly and will talk to strangers like they have known you all their lives. Very refreshing after some of the cities I have lived in. I have mostly lived in small towns or rural areas through out my life. Living in St. Petersburg, FL was beautiful but there was a lot of crime. We would hear gun shots often. And one time a guy chased me from my job a few blocks away almost to my house. I had to hide in the alley behind a dumpster near my house. I did not want him to know which house I was going to.

I feel very fortunate and blessed to have been able to move into this apartment. I appreciate it and thank God for answering my prayers to get it. It is peaceful and quiet most of the time. My neighbors are the friendly kind and everyone seems to get along as far as I can tell. The other day, I went downstairs to check my mailbox and came up to find the basket outside my door full of the green carrot tops for Rabbit! I was surprised and thankful, because he loves them.They are too much for me to buy just for the tops, since I cannot eat many carrots due to their carb count. He loved them! I have a feeling I know who put them there. Everyone in the building knows I have a rabbit for a pet and think it is unusual. But I have met many people who have had a "house rabbits" for a pet. I never knew any before I had Rabbit though. So maybe it is a new idea for others. They seem to be amazed that he can run free in the apartment and uses a litter box like a cat.

I have plans to be do many more walks around this city. I will always carry my camera with me since my rolling walker makes that easy to do. My purse and camera ride along in the basket under the seat. In some ways, having to use a walker makes life easier for me. It is a good way to get fresh air and to uplift my mood. Sunshine is good for me, I know. I have a tendency to not put myself out in those situations that I can't control. At home, I am safe and comfy. Getting outside has always been something I have to do. Even at my house, I used to sit out on the porch drinking my coffee in the snow, as long as the sun was out. Now I am looking forward to more of these walks. 

Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole