Last month my family celebrated my Cousin Raul’s 100th birthday. It was a great reunion of over 300 family members we had not seen in quite some time. We looked at old photos, took lots of new ones and shared a big Cuban meal together. It was quite a commemoration of my cousin’s long life.
This got me thinking, would I want to live for 100 years? I don’t think I do. My body is already quite tired of dealing with my multiple medical conditions. I can’t imagine living another 50+ years. That would result in an incredible number of blood tests, medicine, and doctor appointments. Of course maybe by then there will be some magical medical advances which would allow me to have a bionic body to rid me of my illness management.
During the party a family member gave a speech. He said the key to Raul’s longevity was that he stays engaged in life. Raul has continued to remain an active member of a social club in the city where he lives. At his reception, Raul accepted donations so light posts could be installed around the outside of the club’s building. Even at 100 years old he is involved in the process of restoring a community.
I believe it is not the quantity of years one lives that matters, what matters is the quality in how one lives. In The Bible, Ecclesiastes 5:20 states, “For he will not often consider the years of his life because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart”. Purpose is the key to having gladness in one’s heart. God has given each person special talents and circumstances to share with others. One should use these gifts to engage in life. As long as one continues to seek God’s will, life will be fulfilling.
I often get weary of dealing with my medical issues. Some days I feel like I cannot deal with all the daily activities of living while having to spend so much time on my health. But it is my faith in God and my relationship with others that keeps me hoping for what is yet to come. Whether I live another 50 years or just one more day, I will continue to follow God’s plan for me. My purpose will keep me going through any challenges I face in the future.
This recipe is a fresh alternative to the traditional potato salad. It is from one of my favorite chefs, Giada De Laurentiis.
- 1 pound orzo pasta
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
- 2 cups fresh arugula (about 3 ounces)
- 3/4 cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese (or feta cheese)
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 12 fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Watch how to make this recipe.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and put the pasta on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle the pasta with 3 tablespoons olive oil, toss, spread out, and set aside to cool.
Once the orzo is cool, transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. Serve.
Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
It’s already summer, time is flying by. Well, in my last update I talked about how this year is my year of ACTION! I am working towards my goal of living a balanced life with multiple chronic illnesses.
Beginning June 1st this month, I started a new approach to my spiritual life. I read the book “Writing Down Your Soul” written by Janet Conner. The book talks about writing from your subconscious mind. It explains the process of reaching one’s deeper thoughts through a spiritual ritual. This book has encouraged me to mediate on God’s word every night and practice writing from my soul. This has helped me engage in one of my goals, meditation. I feel a greater connection to my faith as well as a greater connection to others. I first use aromatherapy to calm myself, then read some scriptures from the bible, pray, then write. I call it my Awakening Ceremony.
The second action I have been working on is exercising more. I have been working up to two 15 minute sessions a day on my Simply Fit board. So far I have been doing it almost everyday this month. I have had some improvement with not feeling as stiff. Plus, my ankles have not been as swollen.
I am looking forward to seeing progress on these two goals. We will see what happens in the next quarter!
My father, a.k.a Superman, was a very intelligent man with a great engineering mind. He was passionate about his beliefs including his faith in God. He was a well-rounded individual enjoying art, opera, architecture, and poetry. He was skilled in repairing or building anything from home appliances, our garage, the computer, to the DNA molecule I had to make for a school project. Anyone who knew him would say he was rough on the outside but caring on the inside. They would also agree he was quite a character with a sense of humor. Well, he thought he was funny, anyways. Being a three-time cancer survivor, he still found things to laugh about during his treatments. So, to honor my Superman on Father’s Day I am sharing his top five profound sayings.
DAD’S TOP FIVE PROFOUND SAYINGS:
- “He’s got all his marbles but his bag is ripped”
He often expressed this when he thought a person was being illogical.
- “Don’t leave mad, just leave“.
He would say this when I was mad because he would not allow me to do something I wanted to do.
- “I see your intentions of killing the cow”.
He said this when he prophesied something bad was about to happen. It was funnier when he said it in Spanglish (Spanish and English together)
- “You got to laugh about something”.
Even in a most difficult situation, he still found something to laugh about.
“Don’t tell your mother!”
Of course he said this when he was about to something he should not be doing!
Recently my husband and I went on a beach vacation. For most people packing is rather light for a beach trip. You need t-shirts, shorts, bathing suit, sunscreen, sunglasses, flip flops, and a hat. For the person with Diabetes and other illnesses it is a little more complicated. To make it easier and more organized, there are a few items I use:
- A duffel or carry-on bag: I take a separate bag to carry all my medicine and diabetic supplies. In the bag I put my pump supplies: tubing, extra infusion sets, reservoirs, and insertion device. I put extra glucose monitor strips and battery charger for my glucose monitor. In addition I pack extra AA batteries for my insulin pump.
- Medimemo pill organizer: I found this box on Amazon. It keeps all the pills in a case that is easy for packing. I put all my pills for each day. I can also put extra pills such as Tylenol and anti-inflammatory pills.
- Insulin cooler: This keeps my insulin cool while we are traveling. This can be purchased on Amazon.
Even though it takes some extra packing, one with chronic illness can still enjoy a great trip to the beach!
Interested in joining a Chronic illness Support Group in Orlando? Visit my Support Group page to register: Support Group
Here is an easy meal I put together recently while my husband and I were on a weekend beach vacation:
Black Bean Salsa
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can corn
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 or 3 tbs. olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- Chili powder (to taste)
Additional Toppings: chopped tomato, chopped avocado, cheese and sour cream
Mix all ingredients together in bowl and serve with toppings:
Option 1: Taco salad. Add lettuce to bowl and cover with salsa and toppings.
Option 2: Put salsa and toppings in a soft tortilla and wrap it up.
Option 3: Add rice to make it a Burrito.
Serve with tortilla chips and a side of fruit.