28-Day Life Overhaul: Day 6

I used to have asthma and other lung ailments when I was much younger. My mom spent many hours looking after me and, though asthma symptoms like difficulty in breathing can be very scary, I was never afraid because of her presence. Plus when I was young, I felt invincible. Death was something that only happened to other people. My asthma disappeared when I started running. My dad ran for years and I, naturally, wanted to emulate him. But even after he stopped due to bad knees, I continued and my asthma was a thing of the past.

Now that I’m much older, I no longer have that delusion. My mom got cancer but survived, my father died of a heart attack, and some friends have passed away, too.  No one is invincible. I mistrust my body as it gets older. I may have a forever-young mind, but not my organs. Because I know my body has its own tempo and trajectory, I respect it more now. I want to nourish it and care for it while I can still turn things around.

Getting asthma symptoms again now that I’m older is quite scary. My mom, who was my rock in every attack in the past, is thousands of miles away. I now live in a country with a climate very different from our tropical one. The meds offered here are different as well and doctors are quick to recommend ones that are too aggressive and with many side effects. I want to overcome this new phase of asthma by using more natural methods and cures that I believe, in the long run, will be better for my overall health.

When I first got revisited by the symptoms, I stopped exercising altogether. It was a knee-jerk decision based on fear. But then the rest of my health and well-being suffered. I couldn’t let that go on. So now, managing my asthma during exercise is going to be a priority and maybe a life-long concern. It teaches me patience for my body’s recent limitations, and forgiveness instead of anger over it. It reminds me to be gentle on myself, to be kind to my body. I will only have one and it will not last forever. Respect for one’s body is acceptance of its flaws and weaknesses, as well as recognizing its strengths. I can’t go back to languishing. I want to live with what I have and live happily.

Here’s day 6. I experienced an asthma attack while filming it and, instead of retreating to my bed, I decided to show everyone how I deal with it with breathing and relaxation exercises. I didn’t mention it here but I also do a lot of steam inhalation with a little peppermint or eucalyptus oil. And in case of excessive coughing due to phlegm production, I crush up garlic bud and eat it with honey. I also drink hot lemon water with cayenne pepper. This is my longest video of late. I hope you enjoy!

 

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28-Day Life Overhaul: Day 5 Driving Lessons

I’ll tell you next time about how my fear of driving came about. But now you know: I can’t drive. I’m 40-something and only now learning how to operate a motor vehicle. Bronne tried to teach me after we first moved here to Georgia but that ended in semi-disaster. Several friends offered to teach me since then but nothing came off it mostly because I wasn’t ready to be taught or they weren’t really ready to teach someone as scared as I was. And then a friend I recently made, Marilyn, told me she’d teach me. No many days of planning. No pep talk or soothing assurances to ease my fears. Just, “I’ll come by on Wednesday and teach you how to drive.” And she came by and that was the start of it. And on the day I was to take the written driver’s test in order to get my learner’s permit, she came by and I tried to wiggle out of it saying I wasn’t mentally or physically prepared to take it (I feigned not feeling well). But she wouldn’t have it and drove me to the DMV where I took the test and passed.

It’s amazing how my life has changed since then. Many people have told me that driving is mobility, that I’ll be able to get out of the house on my own and go to places without Bronne. But those things never were important to me. The change that driving has given me is more than mobility, it is FREEDOM, not from the confines of my home or the company of my partner, but from one of the greatest fears of my adult life. As I slowly free myself from the shackles of driving, other monsters have joined the roster of fears to conquer. They are all in queue waiting for me to face them.

So, the driving lesson part may seem boring to you drivers out there, but I hope you enjoy this episode anyway! 🙂 Thanks for watching!

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Break

Lovelies, my absence can be easily explained by two words: Spring Break

This semester has proven more demanding of B.’s time, so we really savored our week by just doing things together.  This involved a lot of watching videos, sleeping in, and, because I’m lucky my man enjoys a good bargain as much as I, thrifting in different stores.  Ergo, I’ll be sharing a lot of our treasures on this Thursday’s Thrift Trip.

As far as projects are concerned, I’ve been working on several things but got slowed down because of a badminton accident where my partner mistook my hand for the birdie. (Hahaha! Just kidding, Dilshad!)  It was kind of funny, actually, until the knuckle of my pointing finger started to swell up, and I couldn’t hold anything properly for a couple of days, including scissors and needles.

If somebody asks me what happened to my hand, I’ll spew a tall tale where I had to hit an angry bear across the jaw during one of our hikes.  This tells you how clueless I am about bears.  Or hikes.

Speaking of hikes:  B. and I went on a couple with friends.  This pictorial was taken from Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park (Whew! Long name!).

I love nature.  Trees, stones, leaves, mud… I love them all!  This hike, however, proved to me how “citified” I am.  Walking in the forest is so foreign to me it’s almost scary.  I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to do it alone.  If I got separated from my friends, I’d probably run around like a headless chicken into tree trunks.  Just screaming and crazy running-hitting trunks-then falling on my butt again and again.

Aside from Joyful, another doggy hiked alongside us.  Cy is a 160-pound black labrador puppy.  That’s right: PUPPY.

Kennessaw Park was doggy heaven for him.  It just rained so it was kind of muddy but he enjoyed getting dirty.  And, as soon as he spotted the stream, he ran towards it and happily frolicked.  Free bath.

Look at him enjoying the grass.  Hahahaha!

Here is an embarrassing moment.  We had to cross a small stream to continue our hike but we weren’t prepared to wade across.  I thought, “Oh well.  Maybe next time“, quite relieved because my boots weren’t tall enough for the water. But  I turned around and I saw our friends awkwardly treading the log to get to the other side.  Even Cy tried to do it but fell into the water (which I bet he enjoyed).  My heart jumped into my throat.

I’m scared of heights.  Unfamiliar stairs, bridges, cliffs — put me any place where there’s a chance of me falling and my legs simply freeze up.  So here’s me trying to cross the log.  I know it’s not that high and I wouldn’t die if I fell, but, really, I was scared to bits!  I was laughing the whole time but I was also sweating like a pig, my face flushed like a beet.

The bright side about this is B.  He never left my side and patiently coached me the whole way.  Another was Cy who kept trying to reach me as if he wanted to help me out.  Sweeties, them both. 🙂

Blue Knitted Hat and Gloves:  Roekl, thrifted back home
Purple Turtleneck Long Sleeves:  thrifted back home
Gray V-neck Tunic:  thrifted back home
Black Work-out Tights:  Danskin, $5 from Marshalls!
Purple Wool Knee-high Socks:  DKNY, $7 from DSW!
Black Boots:  thrifted back home

That’s all, lovelies! 🙂  Have a nice day!

MHL Thrifting Trip: Goodwill and Big Lots

Yesterday, I did something I’m quite proud of.  I went out all by myself.

You see, I could never leave the house when B.’s not here to drive me around.  It’s embarrassing to admit but I never learned to drive.  I’m terrified of it, and it was one of the fears I decided to get over while I’m here.  But having gone through a car accident a few weeks ago which totaled our beloved Scion XB, Snowy (he was like our pet), only made me more afraid.  Still, I promised B. I’d get driving lessons come spring.

Luckily, Goodwill is just a few minutes walk away from our place.  I’ve been there twice with B. but I’ve always wanted to go by myself.  Although he’s been patient and even enjoys shopping with me, when there’s nothing for him in the racks, I feel guilty about letting him wait for me .  So today, after B. left for class, I decided to go there after I finished a few chores.  It was like a reward.

Before I left, a little green doggy wanted to come along.  He said he’d hide in my bag so I wouldn’t look ridiculous.  But I told him to stay home and guard the apartment instead.  Then I gave him a snuggle-kiss and headed off to Goodwill.

Looking around at Goodwill, I realized just how much stuff people accumulate and discard. Had I owned the clothes on the racks, I don’t think I could have given them up.  They were in good condition; definitely could still be worn, and surely could be upcycled.  I bet some of the clothes and knick knacks were once gifts people pondered over to give their loved ones.  This reminds me of the movie, “The Grinch”.  Near the end, when the grinch revealed why the people in Whoville disgusted him, he said something like, “And do you know where all these gifts end up?  It all goes to me as your garbage!”  I guess it’s better that things end up in Goodwill.  At least they have a chance to find a new home.  But what about items that never get sold?  Where do they eventually go?

I bought 2 scarves for a buck ten each.  Do you like them?

I know.  They look like boas and that’s exactly why I love them.  I’ve always had a thing for feather boas but I don’t think I have the neck or the guts for it.  These furry scarves are great substitutes.  The aqua blue one is fabulous because it’s ultra soft and you can wear it in 2 ways.  I have a purple one just like it that I thrifted at home.  The red one isn’t as soft, so I might use it as material for a future project.  We’ll see.

Last Christmas, a crafty friend told me she bought her yarn at Big Lots for a dollar each.  Although I doubted the yarn would still be there (and besides she went to a different branch), I went to Big Lots before going home.  Lo and behold, I found piles of lovely-lush yarn!  They were selling for 1.50 each but I thought they were well worth it.  I bought all these:

I’m so excited!  I think I may do some macrame soon.  Incidentally, I love that lady manning the Big Lots counter.  When she saw my basket filled with yarn, she was impressed.  “Good girl!” she said.  It made me laugh.   I was grateful for her kindness because at Goodwill, the girl manning the counter was grumpy and kind of mean when I got confused with the card-swiping.  She looked at the people behind me and rolled her eyes.  So, Big Lots lady, you really made my day; Goodwill girl, grow up!

Yesterday’s outfit was:

Knitted dirty-grey bonnet: bought in Incheon Airport, Korea (Chris if you’re reading this, I wouldn’t have bought it without your help!  So thanks!)
Knitted green long sleeves: thrifted back home
Denim grey/black A-line skirt: thrifted back home
Black V-neck blouse: thrifted back home
Green tights: thrifted back home
Black slouchy boots: thrifted back home
Yellow bracelet watch: a gift from my mom’s friend
Blue gloves/mittens:  Roeckl, thrifted back home
A happy smile: my parents

In case you don’t know yet, if I say “thrifted back home“, it means the price tag was possibly less than a dollar unless I indicate otherwise. 🙂

I was excited to finally use this shoulder bag today:

I don’t know if it’s vintage, but I do know it’s a genuine Francois Marot.  I love this bag because it’s elegant and, though it doesn’t look it, really quite spacious.  I thrifted it for (don’t hate me now) less than a dollar!  I’ve been very lucky with Francois Marot bags.  I think I thrifted about 4 shoulder bags and 2 clutches all in great condition and all for less than 2 dollars.  I think it’s greedy to own so many Francois Marots, and I really saved them from the landfills in the hopes of selling them in the future.  Maybe.

That’s all, lovelies!  Have a wonderful day!