Isn’t it fun to discover while making plans for international travel (is flying to Canada international travel? Of course it is, but it feels like going to a large room in one’s house that is lovely but seldom used.)

International travel, as I was saying, and discover that your passport expires in five days?

Lots of excitement. But saved by a phone call to our son, who said, “RushMyPassport!”

Ok!  And I feel the excitement build. I go online (of course) and fill out a questionnaire and give my credit card number.

Oops! I didn’t save the questionnaire. I cal RMPassport  and am informed that a different online questionnaire needs to be filled out–a Government one. Oh my.

Back to it–do it and print it. (Printer was still working then.) Along with four other pages. I also print a checklist of what I need to put in my pouch. The checklist is not a government sheet but a RMP sheet.

No, I’m not a kangaroo. It refers to a UPS pouch, available at any UPS drop-off station. (Not.) And I ask myself: is it really a pouch, and not an envelope? But it’s still a mystery to me.

I have two snapshots of my head done appropriately: top of head not cut off, color of eyes showing and sneer on my lips. The sneer is not what I was aiming for. I was attempting to smile, in a friendly way. I also need a check to the Department of State (U.S.) and my old passport.  Hm. I see my hair was retreating 10 years ago.

Now! I call a telephone number and a man leads me through my checklist and I check it for the second time. I sign the State Department sheet and the RMP sheet. I need to copy my itinerary for July and August. Our daughter, Sara did the July part and our daughter-in-law, Karen did the August part. Now the printer acts up. Does it not approve of international travel, or perhaps it was the State Department. Practicing voodoo on it, it coughs up the documents. Why does it groan so?

I’m ready!

But where is the UPS drop-off station? I drive up and down Wauregan Road in Brooklyn. No such thing in sight. Bernie says it’s in Danielson. Oh. But Sunday I find the other Danielson one, lurking in the dark under Bonneville’s Pharmacy’a porch. It looks abandoned the way Bonneville’s does. All closed up and out of business.

No pouch so I put my items in a large envelope and affix the mailing label with many warped pieces of sealing tape. My fingers keep getting stuck in the tape.

But it’s done and I put it in the drop-in box.  Whew! Any week now I’ll be getting my passport.


The New Smoking

It must be nice to be normal, that is to not have fibromyalgia. But then, I decided long ago that fibromyalgia was a blessing. In disguise, of course. .Big disguise, clever disguise, nearly impenetrable disguise. And it took me awhile to discover it, I admit.

But since sitting is the new smoking–it’s one of those sayings you need to approach backwards–I am way ahead of my peers, my cohort. I would rather they be neck to neck with me in our devotion to exercise, including strength training. I’d like to have a lot of people to approach one hundred with, to see who’s the last standing. Or last hunched over in a wheel chair.

I’m more aware of all this as I live in a community of older folks and I have the unpleasant unwanted task of watching them start using a walker, then a wheelchair and then disappear. I have a fear that I might be like them. I’m having trouble getting back my energy after spending the month of February in our house. And now I’ve taken on the task of a new i phone. It feels heavier than the eight pound weight I use to work on my biceps.

All will be well, Elinor. Just do your weights and your walk, and…yoga, too. And exercises for my legs so I can get rid of a sore muscle, and doing the plank to get my core to work better. Is that it? No, my legs in general need stenghening so I can walk further.       Hmmm.


Since January I have been meditating. I’d tried it in the past and it didn’t work. Some days i’m calmer than others. Some days I seem to receive or formulate or discover sound advice.

I have trouble sometimes deciding what to do. Since I’m retired, there are endless things to do instead of one clear thing: get ready for class. Or get ready for a meeting. But it was clear then what I was to do each day.

It’s been different for a long time now and all my elaborate lists of to-do’s doesn’t help me on some days. Meditation can help me focus. For example, there are the four exercises I can do regularly to help my body. With Fibromyalgia, I could do endless exercises. I could exercise eight hours a day. But that overwhelming thought keeps me from doing any exercises.

Instead, I used my meditation time to get an idea of how to straighten out my day. I miraculously came up with only four exercises.  I can do four exercises to keep myself going. And of course, I add a walk or a yoga class and I started doing the Plank in January. I do very well with it so I need to keep going. For those of you who don’t know this exercise position, the Plank is using your hands/arms and feet to hold yourself into a rigid plank, above your mat. I started with a modified version with my torso being held up on my forearms. And then I have my weights that I lift, trying for every other day. I HATE it when I can’t do something with my arms, because I have let them become weak.

And meditation is calming. I use it during the day sometimes to settle myself down. Do I recommend it? Only if you are willing to put in the time. And have the time to be patient.

I’m looking forward to trying the walking meditation this summer when I’m in Prince Edward Island with no one to see me moving like a zombie. No, not a zombie. Like one meditating.