Sunday, March 31, 2019

Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone

A year ago, I was dreaming about moving into my own apartment. Now I have lived here for a few months less than a year. I have not looked back. How could I? It was a good move for me and my situation. Until I moved I felt like my life was over. That I was just waiting to die. I felt unhealthy and depressed. Now I am feeling energized almost every morning. I get up and say to myself, "what shall I do today?" A big perk of living alone is the freedom to do whatever you want to do every day. I admit to spending a lot of time on the computer. Not just social media. I have been working on my family tree for a number of years. Just recently, I went back to Flickr and I enjoy that site too.

I understand that some people do not like being alone and need people around them. Actually I live downtown in a small city and there are people all around me. In my apartment building, with 32 apartments, it is like living in a neighborhood where you know everyone. For the most part, we all get along and are friendly. It is not the type of place where someone is at your door all day long. For me though, I have always been an introvert and being alone has never been difficult for me. I love it and never get bored by having nothing to do. Mostly because I never have nothing to do. I am always working on something.

I had been seeing many inspirational posts about living the life you desire, you must step outside your comfort zone. Comfort zone? What is that anyway? I have learned that your comfort zone is not the same as mine or anyone else's. It has to be defined by YOU! I had to confront my comfort zone little by little. I could not just do it all at once. Make a list of what you would like to be doing in your life in the next five or ten years. Then cut it down into little steps by each year or months. Find the first step and then pursue it.

The comfort zone for me, for many years was being a wife and mother. Staying home and not working out in a regular job. Once my son was grown up and I was on my own, life was never easy for me again. I should have found some direction for my life at that time but I got sidetracked by marrying an alcoholic........and I did not even drink! What was I thinking? I did manage to get out of that and went on. My life though was to be difficult and it was usually due to financial complications. Waiting until I could draw my Social Security then allowed me to step outside that comfort zone (which was not very comfortable!). Having my own money made a difference.

Your goals do not have to be very big or outlandish. Like saying you want to marry a billionaire or become a rocket scientist. It can be simple like wanting to meet someone to go out to dinner or to movies with. Or signing up for volunteer work or getting a part time job. I have been taking my goals off my list as I accomplish them and then add new ones one. I had some major issues that I needed to get done as soon as possible so that is where I began. Now I am finding it easy to step out of my comfort zone. Try it!

Copyright © 2019 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2019  Kathleen G. Lupole

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Storing Bananas Longer

Rabbit loves his banana treats!

It is no secret to anyone who reads my blog or is a friend of mine on Facebook or Twitter that I have a "house rabbit" for a pet. One of the favored treats of pet rabbits is bananas. Yes, they certainly love them! My little bunny boy is no exception. He wants it every morning. Now the house rabbit "rule people" will warn you about feeding bananas or any fruit too often. That is because it technically is a sweet for them and can rot their teeth. Well.......Rabbit does not comprehend that explanation very well. So I give him a little piece of banana in the mornings. 

Banana Bag

Since I eat low carbs, bananas are not something I eat much of. So buying bananas for Rabbit is not a food I can share with him. I started off by wrapping one in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator to store. One banana can last him 3-4 days and that is a long time for storing one. Most times, I ended up throwing it away. Sonny bought me a banana bag for me to try. I could not believe how great this thing works! No more wasting a banana.

Bananas don't last long!

I just put the whole bunch in the bag and make sure the vented side, the side with netting on it, is on top and the ties are pulled tight to close the bag. Then put it on the bottom shelf of my refrigerator. It slows down the ripening process for as much as two weeks. I am thinking of buying a second one for storing salad greens for Rabbit. They don't last very well in anything else even though I have tried everything. I watch YouTube videos on various methods and tried them all. But since using this Banana Bag for bananas, I have hope that the other one available for lettuce would work too. They say the banana bag works for apples, cucumbers, carrots and more. I need to try it.

Storing a black, cut banana for Rabbit!

I never knew that black bananas were still good. They are though. Another thing I didn't know was that I could cut a piece off from one and leave it in the skin and put it in the refrigerator and it would stay good. Now I am not wasting money by buying bananas that go bad fast. Most of the bananas in the stores are green anyway, so putting them in the banana bag makes them last even longer. 

Just fine for rabbit or human!

After reading the reviews on Amazon on the Banana Bag, I want to warn you to buy the one that is sold by Carol Wright. The others seem to have negative reviews as to being a cheaper knock off bag. Another thing some of the reviewers are mentioning, the ones who didn't like it, is that they say the bananas do not taste the same after being in the bag. Well, I never noticed any difference in the taste. The only reason I can think of that occurring is because they are staying firmer longer, even when the skin spots or turns brown. We like them just fine and I have not noticed them not tasting as good after being in the bag. I believe they get sweeter, as they get softer.

Vent side

I have not had to throw even one banana away after I started using the Banana Bag. For me that is a big savings. I hate to throw away any food. No fruit flies! Love the fact that there are no more fruit flies in my kitchen. From now on I will always use the Banana Bag for my bananas.

Now I can buy bigger bunches!

Storing the bananas in the refrigerator was something I had just started doing with one opened banana and I wrapped it in plastic wrap. But not long after that, I got the Banana Bag and it proved to be the best storage of bananas immediately. I could not believe how good it worked. I had never heard of one before so I was surprised. Give it a try and see what you think. I hope you like it too. 

In the refrigerator

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Copyright © 2019 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2019  Kathleen G. Lupole

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Adjusting To Life With New Dentures

My Denture Process

I told in a previous post, Surviving Dental Work, about my experience of having my teeth extracted. I should have called it something like The Pain of Having Teeth Pulled or something like that. I did not want to make it sound extreme. It was though. I would say it was the hardest thing I have ever gone through. My boyfriend, Sonny, said when I came out into the waiting room after having them pulled, that I was going into shock. Maybe I was. I remember I was shaking a lot. I can never remember feeling like that before. I was so thankful that he was the one going with me that day. In the car as we were leaving, I could see his concern for me on his face. He took good care of me then and the days afterward.

Our favorite diner in Cortland, NY.

Almost four weeks later, I went back for my dentures. When we left there we stopped to eat at a little diner, Hydes' Diner in Cortland. We always stop there if we are in the area. I tried to eat some chicken noodle soup, but could only eat the broth. Even though the noodles were a very soft homemade type. I discovered after doing a lot of research online how to adjust to using my partial dentures. The most important fact is that dentures are definitely NOT like having a new set of teeth! Absolutely not! The other fact is that every single person's experience with them will be different.

Keep dentures in water when not wearing!

Your dentist will tell you to come back for adjustments to them. That is important! You must go back every time you experience discomfort or pain with them. I went back a few days later and he ground them down in a couple of areas and I am doing better with them. Another thing is you need to wear them! I know people who have dentures but never wear them. You will not adjust to wearing dentures or eating with them if you never wear them. I still do not wear mine all day long. I put them in when I am leaving my apartment. But I take my denture cup with me, just in case I cannot tolerate them. I still am not eating with them yet. So not going out to eat in public as of yet.

Tools for dental care I use.

Brush your teeth after everything you eat. Use dental floss daily on the teeth you have left. I use an anti-cavity mouthwash without alcohol after I brush. Brush your dentures following the instructions from your dentist. I do not use anything but my regular toothbrush and toothpaste to clean them. And do so, every day. Put a towel or washcloth in the sink when taking them out or putting them back in. Then if you drop them they won't break or anything happen to them. One very important fact from my dentist was to never let them dry out! If you take your denture cup with you, make sure you have water in it. I carry the denture cup in a plastic container with a tight lid, just in case I need to remove them.

Scrambled eggs and avocado is a soft food.

As for eating with the dentures. Well I have not mastered that yet. I try to eat soft foods with them, but end up removing my dentures. I am nowhere near being comfortable with them. That is why I am trying to wear them for longer periods of time. Eating with them though is a problem. I am afraid of choking on something because I am not chewing very well. I am determined to conquer this because when I have them in, I like the way I look. They make me look so much better and it makes me feel good. I like to wear lipstick and had not been wearing it for years, since my teeth had gotten so bad. I did not want to draw attention to my mouth.

Not worried about hiding my teeth in a picture anymore!

To be honest here, the dentures feel like you have a mouth full of plastic or something. I think when I talk my voice sounds different. I know after my adjustment period, I will be happy with them. But it is not as easy as it sounds when you are thinking about getting all your teeth pulled. You do not realize how the whole process works. I had some good advice from some of my Facebook friends who have gone through this. They helped me a lot. I did not have any other option really. So I will keep working on these dentures and hopefully will be eating normally in a few months. I will keep updating my progress here.

Copyright © 2019 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2019  Kathleen G. Lupole