Let’s Get Cracking!

March 18 – 2019 Hello from the Canadian Okanagan valley,  in particular Penticton BC where I live. 

Spring is arriving in the valley this week.  Temperatures are slightly below zero at night also but frost and cold temperatures are losing their grip on Okanagan and Skaha lake quickly.

The snow on my front yard is retreating and with the onset of temperatures like 15 expected this week, the ice on the lakes is noisy.  Yesterday walking along the Okanagan lake seen below, the ice made a loud noise similar to when you add milk to your rice krispies cereal. Snap, Crackle, Pop but much, MUCH noisier.  Occasionally a really large piece would crack and move away from the shore, making me jump.

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American Robin from Pexel

I have noticed the birds have returned from their down south holidays, and I even spotted an American Robin when I drove to Summerland last week.

Seasons sneak up on us in the valley,  and that I believe will be the case this year. Next week bikes will emerge from garages, gardeners will be starting seeds, and people will be washing cars in driveways.

Just like the Okanagan lake is cracking, and moving ahead to the spring temperatures – I need to get cracking for the optimism and longer days of spring. I will be out there in the sun walking along shore again today.  I hope you enjoy my slides from my walk yesterday, featured below. 

Dear reader – what is happening where you live? Does the longer days of sunlight in spring spark you into action? Thank you for reading and I look forward to replying to any comments. 🙂

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Waiting for another chance for life

What does a transplant mean?

Life.  Memories. Stories. Freedom.

I’m hoping for another chance for freedom again.  Thanks for watching.

Also a big shout out of thank you to everyone today who liked and commented on my blog post. It was very uplifting for me.

Happy Friday.

 

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Sailing against the wind

For months now I have had trouble finding the words I wanted to share and missing the encouragement from readers of my blog when I write more regularly.

As readers are aware, my kidney transplant from 1987 lasted until September of 2018.  Then I resumed dialysis after a wonderful interruption that lasted 31 years. (mental jig). Now my week includes dialysis three times a week, each lasting about 4.5 hours.

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me doing hemodialysis

How easy it is to sail with the wind behind you,  that wind is silent and strong; the wind of small activities that push me away from the keyboard. Activities like a little cleanup, a small walk, eat a snack, or even reading a book.

Today I decided to sail against the wind, but not straight into the wind, that doesn’t work. In order to get upwind, I need to zigzag or I can’t overcome the downwind push.

I assume this is the struggle we all face but some of us are more disciplined and actually  accomplish through discipline everything we desire everyday. I have never learned to be that disciplined. I have learned the benefit of lists.  If I make a list, not a mental list, a written list where I can cross off tasks one by one;  that works well for me.

I also need to avoid traps.  Traps are activities that consume time and feel like I am doing something but I am not really.  Television is a big trap, so on days I want to accomplish something, I try not to turn it on during the day.

Fresh air and exercise are desirable activities for me as I endeavour to remain healthy to receive a new transplant.  This has been an amazing mild winter and all winter I have managed to ride my bike albeit I am so bundled up I look like a ninja.

wp-image-1453132257jpg.jpgI also have been doing some walking along the lakeshore or inside the hockey rink if the wind outside is too bitter.

Today I jumped to the keyboard, avoided the lure of reading (and deleting) of email and decided to quickly create a post to begin 2019.  Yes I do know today is February 1 (blush).

My desire is to stay connected to readers, to share comments with readers, and continue where this blogging leads. It would be exciting to sign on one day to share happily that I have received a new transplant.

I look forward to resume spending time each day reading and commenting on other blogs and hopefully posting a few blog posts of my own. It’s up to me to move against the winds that distract me so that I accomplish what I desire.

Thanks for reading 🙂

 

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My Tranplant story in interview

Recently the organization responsible for all types of tranplants in my province, British Columbia, celebrated 50 years.

I was suggested by someone to be interviewed as my kidney transplant lasted 31 years, july 1987 to September 2018.

Today my interview was posted online at the Facebook BC Transplant page, I hope you will enjoy reading it.

As always i am grateful for your comments and feedback.

http://www.transplant.bc.ca/about/news-stories/organ-donation-transplant-stories/50yearsoftransplant-david-folstad

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Too Much Make Believe

My grass is thick, and emerald green now – I am 60 years old and part of me can’t understand where time has flown. I am now also reliant on dialysis three times a week – about 15 hours per week hooked to a machine for the illusion of health but the reality of continuing life.

Life and Random Thinking

I planted grass in my back yard nearly a week ago. Not sod. I threw an abundance of grass seed and covered it with lawn soil and then I did a little jig before I watered it, hoping the grass fertility gods would bless my bare ground.

I have been faithfully keeping it moist and I wondered to myself I could have bought sod and then just watered that for a few weeks.

It dawned on me, I wanted to see the little blades poke up because I actually planted grass. Sod is wonderful, but it is make believe if you think you planted grass. Sod is laying down a rug, not planting grass.

Way too much make believe out there.

Teenagers are growing up thinking they “did dishes” when all they did is load the dishwasher. Make Believe dishwashing.

All ages  are thinking they made breakfast when they popped…

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Get Ready to Sing

Two days from now I will be 60 years old.  Old enough I think to be considered a “senior” but not “old” (I hope).

I can’t claim to have aged as well as my sweetie Susan, she takes better care of herself I suppose.

A get-together with friends looms, as does an opportunity to give a short speech. But there is so much to say.

Arriving at sixty itself is such a gift. If I hadn’t received the gift of kidney transplant 31 years ago, I would have missed out decades of life, the birth of my son, travel, and so many terrific friends.  I am so grateful to that family for their amazing gift.

I feel so wealthy. The wealth of having people in my life. I have amazing friends and wonderful family. I have peace in my life and my days are filled with contentedness mainly.

As I look down on the plethora of plastic flamingos on my lawn, I will be counting my blessings.  This birthday for me is a milestone, not because of the years of my life, but because of the blessings of my life and the gathering of family and friends.

Looking back and looking forward also- Get ready to sing! 1, 2, 3. Happy Birthday….

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Article: In British Columbia, a burgeoning wine region that’s showing its muscle

In British Columbia, a burgeoning wine region that’s showing its muscle

http://flip.it/eTtJxU

Something different today, The Washington Post article highlights my corner of tne world, and I live smack dab in the middle of the valley, where the traffic is least and the beaches are best.

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Unsure what kidney dialysis means?

I am fairly certain that Kidney Dialysis is not widely understood. I started hemodialysis recently and a high school friend sent me a text understanding that my days on earth were numbered! I was pleased to advise them that reports of my demise were false and I planned to enjoy life for the foreseeable future and beyond.

Dialysis is done when the kidneys stop working, or in my case when my kidney transplant stopped working as well. If not for dialysis to extend my life I would be seriously sick right now. But dialysis is not the cure, and people do die on dialysis after years if they do not receive a transplant kidney which does a much better job.

Dialysis removes the poisons and removes the fluids that otherwise the kidney would handle automatically. Hemodialysis involves removing those fluids from the blood.  The patient’s blood is pumped through an artificial kidney over and over for 4 hours and cycled back into the patient. The process is relatively painless, and you need to do it 3 times a week. In between times you have to limit food and fluids so the work the artificial kidney has to do on the next treatment is not excessive.

I do dialysis at my local hospital and everyone there is really good at their job and helps the patients manage through their needles and treatment.

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So the message is I suppose that kidney dialysis is keeping me alive while I wait to hopefully find another transplant kidney.  Another very important message is how overwhelmingly grateful I am to my previous donor and their family for their gift to me of the past 31 years. There is no doubt that I would not be here alive if not for their gift. I am in awe thinking of the difference to my family and to myself that their gift made.

My previous donor was deceased and their identity is unknown to me, therefore I thank them and their family and I thank also everyone who agrees to be an organ donor. Nowadays living donors are increasingly more common in addition to being registered to be an organ donor for when you die to help someone else.

Dear Reader – please be an organ donor, and let your family know your wishes 🙂

In BC, Canada you can agree register as an Organ Donor online in just a few minutes right here.

 

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Please Don’t Let me Die, Until I’m Dead

I came up with this title about two weeks ago. At the time I was feeling weak and tired, a continuation of what has been happening with my kidney transplant from July 1987.

I began hemodialysis last Wednesday. My family and friends stand strongly with me that this was the right decision, as difficult as it was for me to accept.

This transition to hemodialysis was an unavoidable wall I heading head-long toward. My kidney function had continually diminished gradually and the slide had to stop to protect my health. It was unavoidable.  I was tired, weak, and carrying a heavy weight of fluid – the first dialysis run I did of two hours removed two litres of fluid, more ahead to be drawn out slowly.

But that’s not why I am saying “Please Don’t Let me Die, Until I’m Dead“.

You see Two weeks ago I was thinking that sometimes people dealing with health issues can be excluded and shelved as a person.

These were my thoughts two weeks ago that I wrote down.

  • I am retired, but only from work, not from life. I am still contributing to my community, I volunteer and I even do seasonal work that adds to my income.
  • My 60th birthday looms just days away but I am not avoiding challenges. I am going to keep challenging myself and choose challenges that I am NOT certain to succeed at. The uncertainty makes the win special.
  • I am setting goal to smile and laugh more every year.
  • I am a seasoned toastmaster yet not seeking out opportunities to speak. I am a Toastmaster to fully be myself, I will open the door to new speaking opportunities.
  • I am not settling for less, I will be positive to others and myself and supportive to my own health.
  • I will not stop living until I’m actually dead, so please don’t treat me like I’m dead already.
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Me and Annick, who is friend and advocate for Registration for Organ Donation

Now two weeks later and these words I wrote down then are even more meaningful, as I strive toward better health while succumbing to the necessities of medical treatments.

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recent pictures with my son in the back yard

DEAR READER:  I am a devoted fan of many bloggers who are living their lives without regrets and stretching their strengths and experiences. I want to encourage you to do the same – don’t sit back too comfortable,  Live today, and tomorrow and you don’t stop living until you are really dead.

Please comment, I am learning always and I want to know what you think and your ideas and suggestions on what I can improve.

 

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Two Thoughts in my head today

2013-07-02 16.30.07.jpgThought #1 – Life seems to be all about change and in my life I have initiated many new interests or employment in September, I guess that is when I am open to new challenges. Do you have a time of year when you take a plunge and investigate something different for your improvement or entertainment?

If you want to leap from your routine, you need to break your routine.  What would you  like to change or improve?

September is a great time to try something new and different. I  always recommend visiting a Toastmasters Club near you – you can visit as a guest for free to see what it is all about. Click for more information here What’s in Toastmasters for you? 

Is there a club near you? Check by clicking HERE. The hardest part is getting started. I have heard it said that a Challenge once started, is a challenge 50% completed.  Starting is the hardest part, I have to overcome my personal inertia and then just keep the ball rolling.

Embrace a challenge for six months, I would love to hear what you are going to do and then hear back from you in six months. 🙂

sweet 8It seems that way with writing posts also. I sit down to write and then I am not going to stop even if I veer off in a totally different direction, which I did today and now that is a lead-in to my other thought.

My 2nd thought —-This post was initially going to be about a saying I heard talking to my Uncle K yesterday.  The saying was “Eat dessert first“.

I rolled this over in my mind and realized that most of my life I have missed dessert, and done so deliberately.  I was out to lunch with a friend and they all ordered dessert and it seemed so natural to them that you include dessert when you go out. I guess I always look at dessert for special occasions only, but today is a special occasion – it will never be repeated and tomorrow is unpredictable.

The saying “Eat dessert first” is probably from the attitude that life is short, don’t miss out on the best part (i.e. dessert).

At some point, I believe practicality needs to be set aside. 

There is  a time to gradually change a lifetime of depriving yourself of whatever your dessert means to you.

There is a time to avoid regrets and say yes to yourself, fighting that lifetime of being practical and frugal, or just loosen the chains a tad. Dessert means different things to people and how you define dessert is up to you; that dessert could be a travel bucket list destination or new car or learning to ride a unicycle; or it could be a lake swim in the rain. Enjoy your life while you are able.

Here is an expression for you – Fill your boots! 

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what rain?

 

 

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