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June 1st – Unlike Any Other

I’m not sure how to describe the events that seemed to…what’s the word…erupt?  today, so I’ll just say that, as the past few weeks have been producing what seemed like first a trickle, then a flow, and then an avalanche of gifts and synchronicities, the past few days have gone over the line into magic.

I’m a trainer for State government and, were it not for the salary, I’d probably stay in my job forever.  State pays, for those who don’t know, are nothing like Federal government pay scales, but I digress.  I truly love my work, but I can’t make a living at it unless I supplement with other streams of income.  A mere three or so weeks back, someone I actually reported to a few years ago showed up in one of the classes I teach and had the generosity of spirit to offer her name and title as a reference for another state job I’d had my eye on.

The following week, I won money (for the second time in less than a month) in the state lottery.  It wasn’t a lot, but it was a win.

Week next, I mentioned in one of my classes that I wanted to reforest the front 2-3 acres of my land, which would be good for the watershed, the air quality, and some sound abatement and privacy.  Within three days I had 500 baby pine trees.  As I told the story to my co-workers about how it felt as though a waterfall of blessings were being bestowed, I still had yet to see progress toward a betterment of my career/financial situation; but still, it felt as though a floodgate had started to part, and I was the grateful recipient.

Last week, after I had finished teaching a Grants class (not grant-writing, but related by virtue of the accounting that is part of the grant management process) I was sitting in the back of the classroom reading my students’ evaluations, when a man and a woman came into my empty classroom.  They said they’d been told to come and see if someone could help with a grant they wanted to apply for.  It was one they hoped would provide funding for turning a historic building into a social and temporary-residential facility for U.S. military veterans.  I could see that their hearts were clearly in the right place but they had never done this before and were as lost as a ball in tall weeds.

By the time they left, I had agreed to write their first grant free of charge, and to also go and speak about any part of my book I chose at their Rotary club meeting.  I put in a slip for several hours of Annual Leave (State-speak for vacation time) and we agreed I’d meet them at the Rotary venue and go after that to the VFW post.  During the days between when I met Robin and Ed, I reviewed the grant they were considering with the detail eye of someone who’s been teaching about grants for more than six years, and I dreaded telling them they were barking up the wrong grant.

Today was the big day, and while I managed to get out of the office right on time, go home and get the dog fed & out and get on the road in time, there was something a bit shaky-making about speaking in front of people who aren’t the “captive audiences” I deal with when I teach for the State.  The Rotary club meeting involved what I’d estimate to be around 30 people, which is not a big audience in my experience.  My voice didn’t shake (I don’t think) but I know the hand holding the microphone did.  I did a 10-15 minute talk on paradigms, and how those around aging (the subject closest to my book’s heart) can dictate how we age whether it’s what we’d choose or not, and that we do get to choose.

I forgot to use the giant Anatomy and Physiology textbook I’d brought to quote the authors (doctors & scientists, anyone?) about the fact that the real cause of aging and death are still a mystery; but I was truly honored when people came up to me and repeated back certain things I’d said and told me they were really going to start thinking about leaving their T.V.’s on anywhere near where they might fall asleep, that they’d start noticing on purpose how many “aging” related messages they were being bombarded with, and so on.

After the Rotary meeting, my hosts Robin and Ed and I were were off to the local VFW, where a beautiful building erected during the 1800s had become a gathering place and a refuge – not to mention a cause.  With 1/3 of my Masters degree in Historic Preservation under my belt, I had appreciation for details not everyone might; while at the same time, having been a general contractor, I saw and felt things I knew would need serious upgrades if not removal and replacement.  The strength of their hearts and dedication swept me, and I found ideas and energies I think had probably been hidden beneath the rules & regs of my State employment for years.

It’s hard to describe how, after having been married long ago to a Viet Nam veteran and hearing his stories, the memories of these men were so familiar, as though very little time had actually passed.  Was 1966 really 50 years ago?  The theaters of war had changed, but not the people, and not their stories.

If I were a wealthy woman, I’d buy these guys their building and then help them get it into the kind of condition it needs to be for the things they want to do.  As it is, all I can do is be their grant writer, advise them on the right way to keep their accounting in line,  and provide my ideas and enthusiasm.  Judging by the “Social Membership” with which I was gifted, along with the warmest hugs and hand shakes I’ve enjoyed in a long time, it felt like that’s enough.

If anyone reading this would like to donate to the refurbishment of the Augustine Inn in Middletown, DE or help these vets, please let me know, using the Contact link on my website, http://www.healthnutliving.com

Be well, and yes, I’m back and promise to keep up with you all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meeting a Hero – Joe Cross

Joe Cross and I March 22 2015As I said last evening on my Facebook page, I am walking a good 2′ off the ground. Yesterday, armed with my GPS and money for tolls, I took to I-95 North and went into Philadelphia to meet none other than Joe Cross, the Australian film-maker who gave us Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. If you haven’t seen it, I encourage all who’ve tried and failed to lose weight/get healthy/ditch the multiple prescription drugs healthfully to watch it.

Joe’s been a hero of mine ever since I saw the film and went on to subcribe to his website, juicingwithjoe. It was having seen his own and another “rebooter’s” transformation that prompted me to go out and get a juicer and really start optimizing my nutritional intake.

A “reboot” is what Joe and his community call a veggie/juice fast of anything from a few days to weeks. His own journey started with 60 full days of juicing-only; and before you protest, let me say he did it under the guidance of a fully qualified M.D. and the juicing he did was fresh, mostly-veggie (i.e. low in sugar). He followed that up with a diet of primarily plant-based meals, continued juicing, and ended up losing 100 lbs.

Joe would be the first to say that “one size does not fit all,” but I have found absolutely no research to support prohibition of including juice (an optimal ratio is 80% veg to 20% fruit) as a healthy way of getting in the much-needed micro-nutrients absent in a Western diet of fast this and over-processed that.

All that said, along with getting Joe’s signature on a copy of his latest book Fully Charged, I was honored to have him accept a copy of my own book, Young For Your Own Good, and I am excited to hear back as to what he thinks of it.


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BigFoot Rides…in Delaware?

These things look huge!

These things look huge!

OK…so, I knew I needed to get out and start running again.  A little history I talked about in the book:  I used to live in a little rental in the historic district of Dover, and even in the most bitter cold, I was out there on those nice, flat, well-lighted streets, greeting the transit drivers who drove by and waved, recognizing me in my red windbreaker and DelDOT-approved safety vest.  I trained for a number of months and finally entered a 5K.  I didn’t know until I arrived at Killens Pond State Park that the race was cross-country.  It had already been raining for some time, as up and down he hills I went, striding through dark puddles under which lurked tree roots that dared me to stay upright. 

Somehow, I did though, and when I ran uphill toward the finish line, I heard someone who was recording time look at a co-worker and say, “she’s 3rd.”  I had no idea what that meant until awards started being handed out and I had taken 3rd Place Women’s in my age group (50-59 at the time).  My then roommate was a letter carrier, and I drove back into Dover and met up to show her my trophy.  We laughed later at how, when I got out of my car splattered with mud and soaked, holding the trophy, she could have sworn she heard the theme from Rocky playing, and that’s pretty much how I felt.

Fast forward a couple of years, when I had built my house in the country west of Dover and was thrilled to discover that the little enclave of homes across the county road from me had an exact, one-mile loop, so I had started running again.  It wasn’t the bright streets of Dover and there were no transit drivers, but it was my new home….until things started to get weird.

One winter morning, for instance, I had gotten about 1/8 mile into the loop, and someone in a white sedan saw me running on the county road and did a U-turn to come back.  I had gone into the development and he pulled around me and abruptly turned into the driveway in front of me (and yes it was a distinctly male profile — I’m not being sexist).  I ran around the back of the car and continued on.  The next thing I knew, he had backed out of the first drive, driven just ahead of me and again, pulled into the driveway immediately in front of me. This happened one more time and I was on edge. 

Now, if this were the days of milkmen or newspaper delivery people who brought the morning news to the doorstep, I wouldn’t have been concerned, but something about this hit the pit of my stomach and not in a good way. 

Ask me how fast I can run. 

Well, that morning, knowing the families whose yards were unfenced wouldn’t mind, I would tell you I can do Mach 3 when I have to.  One neighbor who saw some of the drama told me later she could not believe how fast I was moving.  It took a few days for me to get past it, but I knew I couldn’t let one idiot ruin my routine.  Winter turned into Spring, neighbors were out earlier walking their kids, dogs, ferrets (yes, really) and I was enjoying my morning runs again.

Then another funny thing happened (note here that I have a rather peculiar sense of what’s funny)– I was on the “back stretch” as I called it, the last quarter mile which is out on Rte 8 when a neighbor’s Doberman apparently considered me something of a threat.  Now, I will concede I tell people I’m “118 lbs of raw, raging power” but c’mon, really?  …out on a major artery road that runs between Maryland and Dover, Delaware?!  This pup scaled a 6′ fence and before I could say, “I love big dogs” had me down on the pavement, and I was doing everything I could to have my body take the impact and not my head.  I know it sounds weird but I was not afraid of the dog — just of getting a concussion.

“Bro'”s owner was out his front door like a shot, grabbing his dog by the scruff with one hand and pulling me up with the other, and was clearly afraid.  We live in such a litigious society these days, I’m sure all he could think was, “this b***h is going to sue me and have my dog put down” but I told him, “I just need to go home.  I’m okay — he’s just doing his job….but I think you need a bigger fence!”  The guy insisted on driving me home and he did put a row of lattice atop the chain link (which looked rather ridiculous, but hey, whatever works!) but I have not gone running in my own neighborhood since that time.  The bruises on my ribcage and hip bones took weeks to heal and even lying in bed at night hurt.

I’ve let that scare me long enough.

This past week, ready for some inspiration to train again, wherever it works, the Governor’s challenge came out — Gov Jack Markell sponsors a 5K in September, and I have taken up the gauntlet.  It’s been years, and I’m not sure yet where I’ll run, but I will do this and keep this promise to myself to get fast and strong again.

Much love to all of you who are working on your own transformation as I am on mine –

Talk soon,

Sherry


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64 Trips Around the Sun

Signing Table Talbots 07 18 14This past Monday, I celebrated my 64th birthday, and what a year it’s been!

Most recently, closely following my first radio interview promoting the book, I did my first book-signing at the local Talbot’s here in Dover. For those of you unfamiliar with the chain, Talbot’s is a nice women’s clothing store, and having shopped there from time to time over the past few years, I had formed a cordial relationship with the senior sales associate, Alison. When I first told her back in late May that my book had come out, she was happy for me and almost immediately suggested having a book event right there at the store. After clearing it with store manager Wendy, we agreed on Friday, July 18th for the date.

If there was a glitsch in the preparations, it was only that the flyers I had printed up ahead of the event for the Talbot’s folks to include in shoppers’ bags weren’t ready until the Wednesday before the 18th; but the day itself went off like clockwork.

I took a day of Annual Leave from my State job, arranged to squeeze in a safe-driver refresher class I needed for the discount on my car insurance, and made a list of to-do items leading up to the 2:00 – 6:00 P.M. date with Talbots: put box of books in car; refresher class 9:00-12:00, cash from credit union to make change for cash sales; grocery store for cookies & bottled water; drugstore for small tray & paper napkins; downtown pick up small soft purse for cash; stop @ BB&C and let Dar A. know about event; Talbot’s 1:45 to set up.

When I got to Talbot’s, one of my posters was on a decorative easel right by the door, and Alison set up a lovely little table for me nearby where I could set my stash of books next to me and have a shelf for the cookies and water to offer those who stopped to talk about the book. Alison and Wendy both made me feel very comfortable, talking with their customers and selling/signing books. By the end of the afternoon, I had met not only some really nice people who were local, but women from neighboring Maryland and Virginia and one who is part of the theater & arts community in Manhattan.

To those of you for whom I signed books, I hope you are enjoying the read and that you’ll stay in touch and let me know if you’re making some changes for the good in your lives. I’m already drafting the 2nd and 3rd books around this subject and any input you can provide is of course most welcome. !

Meanwhile, back here in lovely central Delaware, Sherry has been a baaaaaaad girl where her exercise routine is concerned; and now that the book is out, I have no more excuses. Time to get back into my regimen, re-make it a habit, and establish some goals. This is an important year — completing 64 means I’m officially embarking on my 65th and I want it to be pure magic. Right now, that means putting on the cross-trainers I keep under my desk and getting out for a walk before I get back to work for the afternoon.

Take care & talk soon,
Sherry


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First Radio Interview!

Good morning from central Delaware on the lovely Delmarva Peninsula. Last night I had the pleasure of sitting for an interview with Michael Foster, one of the veterans of WVUD 91.3, the radio station at the University of Delaware. I arrived a bit ahead of Michael at the radio station and one of the students let me in, as it had started to rain. Michael, ever the gentleman probably arrived five minutes or so later and was outside waiting for me to arrive so he could let me in. When the students and I realized he hadn’t evidenced himself by 6:20, I went back out to the door and there he was. We had never met in person, but he looked to me exactly as his voice had sounded over the phone and on the air.

I had a mild case of the jitters, as my experience with public speaking has been confined to classrooms and occasionally an auditorium for my work; but Michael put me at ease and teased that perhaps there were no one listening at all. I knew better, having been assured by numerous friends that they’d be listening in, but the half-hour flew by and Michael’s facility for asking good, open-ended questions allowed me to talk about some of the more important concepts discussed in Young For Your Own Good.

Many thanks to Michael, as well as to those who have already given me feedback in text, email at the website and in person after the show. Michael feels there is another host who loves interviewing and highlighting paradigm-breakers, so there may well be another WVUD interview on the horizon. For now, though, I’ve got to make sure my dog Barney gets outside one more time before I get dressed and head into Dover to work.

Have a wonderful day and keep the questions and feedback coming in the Contact link at my website healthnutliving.com

-Sherry


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Memorial Day 2014 – Remembering and Looking Forward

This is an important day for all Americans, giving us as it does a platform for public recognition of and an opportunity to remember our fallen military, and to thank those who are now serving. My gratitude and respect go out to all those who count past and present military men and women among their friends and families. Freedom isn’t free. I thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

On a personal note, this week has been amazing, as it has marked the publication of a book I’ve been working on for fully twenty years, and my first, tentative steps into the world of website creation and (today!) blogging. For those of you for whom website creation is a breeze, I hope you’ll give me feedback on the site as I develop it. My plan/design is to have each page focus on some aspect of the chapters in the book. Everything from mindfulness to clean eating to quantum physics went into the book and I’ll be exploring what I hope you’ll find is very cool stuff. For me, research is an ongoing thing, and I will be offering new content as I find new things. My personal goal is to write a book a year for the next coming four years. I’ve gotten past the fear of launching the first book and feel as though I’m back at 2nd beach in Newport, R.I. and a wave has picked up the back of my surfboard and is driving me forward.

To those of you I know personally, thank you so much for having put up with my ranting, encouraging me through the darker spots, and offering your support in all sorts of ways. You’re right at the top of my list of reasons to be grateful.

Much love,
Sherry