Hallelujah – A Good Night’s Sleep! Here’s How…

After three years, last night I had nine hours of good sleep where I laid my head down and woke up nine hours later. Hereโ€™s how I got to this point.

So, it’s been about three years since I can remember having an effortless, good night’s sleep. Where I would lay my tired head down and just simply fall asleep and stay that way for the whole night. This post is about the journey to getting back to that simple necessity of good night’s sleep. Something I will never again take for granted.

Sawing logs? Catching flys? Funny phrases for sleep. But, sleep had lost it’s humour for me. It had eluded me and I was getting desperate. I had been told to go to bed around the same time every night. No screens in the room. Darken the room. Sleep in a separate room from spouse and pets. Fan beside the bed. No liquids after 8 pm. Lots of exercise and fresh air. Bamboo bedding. Cool room. No caffeine past noon. I have done it all. I had even duct-taped over any annoying little green LEDs – like the one on the heat pump. Still no sleep.

After three years, last night I had nine hours of good sleep where I laid my head down and woke up nine hours later. Here’s how I got to this point.

It started in my book club this past winter when a friend was saying that her aunt was seriously suffering with shingles and that we should all get vaccinated against it. Making a mental note, I called my doctor’s office for an appointment to get the prescription for the vaccine. The appointment would take place five weeks later. Ugh. Life in Nova Scotia with a shortage of doctors.

Five weeks later, I now need to wait a few more weeks because I have since had the covid vaccine and there needs to be at least four weeks between jabs.

So, two weeks ago, I called down to my local Pharmasave to make an appointment for the shingles vaccine. I was put into the following week on Wednesday which was a week ago. All this to say, it was a journey just to get to the place where I would learn the real trick.

After getting the jab, the very nice and kind pharmacist had to observe me for fifteen minutes or so to ensure that I was okay. In that time she asked these words, which will be forever in my mind as the key to unlocking the mystery…

“So, is there any other health concern that I can help you with today? (or some such phrase which gave me the opening to ask about my overwhelming, at this point, issue with not sleeping. You see, I had a sponge brain going on. I was forgetting things and misplacing things. I was putting things in the freezer that didn’t belong there – like a fresh bunch of broccoli. I was lacking energy, grumpy, and reaching for carbs and sugar to fill the void. And who knows what else was troubling me below the surface.)

So, I said back, “well, actually, yes there is something”. Trying not to cry, I said, “I haven’t been sleeping well for the past three years. I sometimes have whole nights of no sleep where I alternate between laying quietly and just keep hoping for sleep to come, and reading. I am getting desperate because I am also bipolar so sleep is very important to ward off episodes and anxiety.” I was nearly crying. She was nodding profusely and looking at me with big, kind, intelligent eyes. She professionally asked about any other meds I might be taking.

She said then, “Are you taking magnesium?”

“Yes, I’m taking the big horse pills from the bottle with the green lid.”

“I would recommend magnesium glycinate for you because…blahba-de-blah – my sponge brain couldn’t recount those words if I tried. With her vastly educated tongue, she explained why magnesium glycinate works best.

I’m thinking, “Preaching to the choir. You had me at ‘recommend'”.

I blurted out, cutting her off: “Sign me up!”

“I compound capsules of it here. Everyone here, (she waved her arm in the direction of the whole pharmacy), is taking it. I’ll make a few and you can give it a try. 200 milligram capsules and take max of 600 mg per night.”

That night I had five solid hours of sleep, up for a quick pee and then three solid hours. Each night has been progressively better and as stated, last night NINE solid hours. Thank effing jeesus.

So, this morning I wander out into my living room and sit on the bay window bench on the aqua afghan my sis made for me. I look out the window and it’s odd. For some reason I’m facing the opposite way that I normally face. I usually always look north down to the bay. This time I raised my face to the south west and there, quite aptly, was a rainbow.

Proactive, Positive, Helpful

Si Se Puede ~ Yes We Can!

Staying sane during the COVID-19 lockdown?  So, what I have been doing is in the title.  Just keepin on keepin on, but, also thinking of how I can help with our bottom line.  In so doing, I have found peace in the little tiny things around my house and yard.  I have learned to be alone.  Dance in my undies.  Breathe deeply and easily and BE HAPPY for each deep easy breath.

Last week, for the first time in my 54 years of life, I successfully baked sourdough (bread made from natural, live yeast – active dry yeast from the grocery store being hard to come by due to hoarders) bread.  My good friend shared her culture with me (she left it in my garage for me), I ‘fed’ it and using her shared recipe, actually made a delicious loaf on my second attempt.  The first wasn’t bad.  The second was amazing.  Little ole me.

I am also sprouting seeds – many, many seeds. And vegetable ends and stuff.  So very cool how much we can grow right on the windowsill, from the veggie ends…

Yesterday, the sun shone so hubby and I were out in the yard (we have a large in-town lot with a park behind us (this is my video about growing a meadow instead of a lawn: https://youtu.be/KjqEJHNQSRs).  He pruned the big trees to allow more sun in.  (I pointed to the branches to be pruned and avoided the sweat pouring off of his brow).  We then made another vegetable bed by stacking materials lasagna style: drenched paper/box board, newspaper, compost from our old pile, leaves from under the hedge, more compost, more leaves and lots of water.  This will sit for a few weeks now until it is warm enough plant the seedlings.  Sitting will help it all to decompose slightly more and will bring the worms. (Worms are good says Mark Valencia of Self Sufficient Me: https://selfsufficientme.com/)

It was a gloriously warm (plus 9 folks – celsius – so, balmy! lol) and the sun was so pretty so, I hung all of our bedding out on the clothesline and it baked in that week but pretty light.

Lots of simple but lovely activities that help me to feel productive, proactive, helpful and, ultimately, happy.

What are you up to these days?

A Buttertart and a Kiss ๐Ÿ˜˜

A hastily eaten homemade buttertart leads to an unexpected ‘meeting’ ๐Ÿ‘„

It was 1997 and we were living just North of the North Beaches of Toronto.  Yes, okay, we were actually in Scarberia, but, whatEVER.  We were there because Dean was attending a school called iti: Information Technology Institute, downtown Toronto.  (We had just spent three years above the Arctic Circle.)

With my two older sisters and Mom just a couple of hours drive away, and me without a job, I would travel down there each week or so to visit them and their families as well as to go see Mom. Mom was in a nursing home suffering with Pick’s Disease (basically, the same symptoms as Alzheimer’s) and was almost completely non-verbal by that time. She was, however, in fine physical condition, a fact that played with our minds. She could walk for ten miles, no problem, yet, she didn’t know us and she couldn’t speak.  It was hard.

Mom loved chocolate milkshakes. I would pick one up and while she worked away on it silently, I would drive to a park so we could go for a walk. Those times were very sweet but heart-breaking at the same time.

Deepak

In those days, we were all reading Deepak Chopra: QUANTUM HEALING; THE SEVEN
SPIRITUAL LAWS OF SUCCESS; AGELESS BODY, TIMELESS MIND; and PERFECT HEALTH. Eva, Amy and I would discuss the concepts at length and do our very best to incorporate the thinking into our lives.  So, when it became known that Deepak Chopra would be speaking at a nearby venue, we were overjoyed and quite excited about the idea of attending his talk.  We got tickets and eagerly awaited the big day.

(Now a days, good ole Deepak is friends with OPRAH and ergo, thus, therefore quite famous.)

On the day of the Deepak talk, I drove the couple of hours to Eva’s house and arrived at her door to find her in the middle of finishing off a second batch of her world famous (okay, not WORLD famous, but potentially…) home-made buttertarts.  They were little individual pastry cups filled with a gooey mixture of butter, raisins and brown sugar. Mom had taught Eva how to bake when Eva was a girl.  Mom had been an amazing baker and could whip up a pie or a fruit crumble, a cake or a batch of cookies pretty quickly, from scratch. Let’s not forget Mom’s sugar pie. Neighbours would lean in and whisper to each other about it, their knees weakening as they spoke. It was mouthwatering and the stuff of dreams. ๏ฟผNever under estimate the power of a French-Canadian’s sweet tooth!

I asked Eva why she wasn’t ready and she explained that there was a death in the family of a friend.  She needed to drop off some buttertarts to the grieving family after the talk. Could I take a tray in my car and she would pick up our other sister Amy and meet at the venue. Okay, sure, I said.  I took the tray of precious buttertarts.  That was my first mistake.  I laid them on the passenger seat.  That was my second mistake.  Backing out of her driveway, I headed down to the talk.  It was about half an hour away.  The buttery sweet smell in my car was overwhelmingly mouthwatering.  My stomach began to grumble.  I salivated a little as I looked at the tray of buttertarts.  Oh my they were beautiful little items. The aroma of the fresh baked, still warm buttertarts was torture. Breakfast had been hours ago.

Playing the radio, I tried to distract myself by singing loud and off key to all the radio songs like Tanya Tucker’s remembering our family sing-songs featuring this very song:

Delta Dawn what’s that flower you have on?
Could it be a faded rose from days gone by?
And did I hear you say he was ameetin’ you here today
To take you to his mansion in the sky
She’s forty one and her daddy still calls her baby
All the folks around Brownsville say she’s crazy
‘Cause she walks downtown with a suitcase in her hand
Lookin’ for a mysterious dark-haired man….

It wasn’t helping.  Now there was drool spilling out of the corner of my mouth.  I pulled up to the parking lot attendant window and was permitted into the lot.  I then reached over and grabbed a buttertart, and,

put

the

whole

thing

into

my

mouth

Oh my god it was good.  It was incredible!!!  My eyes rolled back into my head.  The pastry was flaking all over my lips and down my chin.  But wait, was that Deepak CHOPRA getting out of his car right there???!!!  Holy shit.  It WAS Deepak.  I swiped at my mouth.  I stopped the car, and while chewing furiously, rolled down the window. Deepak Chopra was walking over to me because I was waving at him with both arms like an idiot.  He probably thought I was choking and that he would have to save me.  He is an M.D. after all. My mouth bulged with buttertart.  My lips could barely contain the delicious crumbs. The dark and mysterious Deepak was at my car door but I still could not speak due to the god-damned delicious buttertart that I was still masticating furiously.

I did the only thing I could do.

I opened my car door.

Climbed out and threw my arms around Deepak Chopra, getting a whiff of his spicey, exotic cologne.  Then…moving slightly back from him, I looked into his deep, piercing, intelligent yet peacefully dark eyes as my crumb-coated lips somehow met his.

He was obviously accustomed to women throwing themselves at him.  He wasn’t the least bit flustered.

At this point, the remainder of the buttertart was in my cheek and I was able to say something completely asinine:

Oh my god, I LOVE your work, Deepak!!  You are an amazing writer!!  You are doing wonderful things! You have helped me so much!  If I wasn’t happily married…

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

His response:

Okay, okay.  Calm yourself.

His hands motioned me into relaxation and I nodded and smiled at him with crumbs falling out of my mouth.  (Attractive?  Most definitely Not!) I moved my car to a spot and berated myself for making such a fool of myself.

His talk was riveting.  He stood at the edge of the stage and for two hours spoke about his books and his theories on life and health.  I was really glad, by then, that I had eaten a second buttertart after kissing Deepak Chopra on the lips.

tabby tongue
Yum!