#AtoZChallenge2019 ~ Theme Reveal

Me In The Middle


This past November 2018 I took part in the Nibvember 2018 Challenge.  Day 27 prompt was Lettering and I came up with the design below.  It’s easy to see where my inspiration came from as I’d participated in the A to Z Challenge in 2016. So, feeling the call to try once again for A To Z Challenge 2019, I decided to sign up for this years using this design as my inspiration.

day 27 lettering (c) Image by Mary Lou


My theme for 2019 A to Z Challenge is:

  April World Holidays from A to Z



There still time to sign up!  Here’s what it’s all about:

A to Z Challenge 2019

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Me in the Middle of Thinking SPRING!

Spring at MonticelloWatercolor and Ink pen sketch of a view at Monticello ~ Home of Thomas Jefferson

(c)  Mary Lou Q

I have been in the enjoiment of our delicious spring. the soft genial temperature of the season, just above the want of fire, enlivened by the reanimation of birds, flowers, the fields, forests & gardens, has been truly delightful & continues to be so … indeed my experience of the different parts of America convinces me that these mountains are the Eden of the US. for soil, climate, navigation & health.”  (Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Volney)


Thinking about Spring starts me planning my next visit to Monticello, the Home of Thomas Jefferson.  Everything comes alive on the Mountaintop and seems to say that , just like Spring is a sign of Hope and New Life, so is Monticello a sign of Hope and New Life for our country.  Thomas Jefferson was a complex man and my favorite president.  Everyone seems to claim him for their political agenda yet he doesn’t quite fit the mold of labels.  He thought freely and with vision, and because of him and those who set our country on this great adventure we’ve continued to endure.  Monticello is a reminder of this for me. Continue reading

Me in the Middle of Piano Solos ~ Chopin

Last Fall I took a course in Mindfulness Meditation ~ Transcendence, Well-Being and Positive Aging ~ with the OLLI at UVA (Osher Life-Long Learning Institute). It emphasized the benefits of maintaining a transcendent mindset through meditation.  One of those attending the class mentioned that he was offering a course in Spring called ‘Piano Solos’.  I thought to myself that this sounded like the kind of course that would be perfect to follow up the meditation course.  And it is!

The instructor is 82 years old and plays Chopin by memory!  I haven’t been a real fan of classical music.  Just dabbled in it every now and then.  It does have a transcendent quality about it that I’m finding very relaxing.


Chopin Monument ~ Paris

The more interesting part of the class is learning about the composers who wrote this genre of music.  In many cases they were genuises.  Frederic Chopin was 7 years old when he wrote his first symphony and 8 years old when he first performed. “He was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for solo piano. He has maintained worldwide renown as a leading musician of his era, one whose “poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation.”[1]Wikipedia He was 39 years old when he died, probably of pericarditis aggravated by tuberculosis.

One of the many nice things about positive aging is having the time to learn more about the many things you didn’t have the time to learn about during your busier, younger years.

Frederic Chopin ~ Romance


Me in the Middle of Sleep Apnea and Weight Gain

I’m making peace with my weight!  I surrender!

Surrender #1

When I was first diagnosed with Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea I was actually relieved.  This explained a whole slew of symptoms I was having over the years.  When the pulmonologist told me some of the benefits of receiving treatment with CPAP, I was particularly happy when she said I would most likely drop some weight.  As she explained, sleep deprivation and oxygen deprivation causes weight gain over the years if Sleep Apnea isn’t treated.  That was enough to motivate me to stick with the whole plan, along with the promise of increased energy and better sleep.

Me in the Middle of Sleep Apnea (Part I)

As my treatment went on I was receiving different takes on this whole weight gain/weight loss thing associated with Sleep Apnea.  Sometimes, I was told, obesity can be the cause of Sleep Apnea.  Once you lose the weight you may not need the CPAP treatment anymore.  Sometimes, obesity has nothing to do with you having Sleep Apnea and the reason is more about facial structure.  It turns out that, in my case, it was the latter.  Good thing because no matter what I did, I wasn’t losing weight.  It was staying stable along with my commitment to healthy eating and exercise.  Better to maintain and not gain, right?

Then came the second stage of my Sleep Apnea experience.  I learned I had developed worsening symptoms of AVNRT which is a form of ventricular tachycardia.  Heart rhythm problems can be aggravated by Sleep Apnea over the years.  A cardiac ablation took care of the AVNRT and I was put on an increased dose of blood pressure/beta-blocker medication.  This caused a pile on of TEN more pounds in a span of one week.

Me in the Middle of Sleep Apnea (Update ~ Part II)

weight gain

So!  I’m making peace with my body and my weight.  I’ll continue to take care of myself and be grateful for the quality of life that I’ve received now that I’m getting treated for OSA.  I’m not going to stress out over every pound I put on or get excited about every pound I drop.  Life’s too precious for that.

In two decades I’ve lost a total of 789 pounds.  I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.

~ Erma Bombeck ~

Seize the moment!  Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart. 

~ Erma Bombeck ~

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