Monday, July 21, 2008
  Sad times around here lately.
One of Chris's really good friends had a stroke last week. This was especially scary news considering the father of another of Chris's good friends just died of a stroke a month or so ago.

We've had a few updates but, as we're only a few days out, I don't really know if anyone can figure out how well they'll recover.

He's flying to go see his friend this weekend. He kicked himself all day Sunday for not having gone this past weekend, but as of Friday we didn't know if it would be a good idea. You know, if guests would be allowed and all that.

The situation has made Chris get on my case a little bit about the exercise. See, I have high blood pressure. I have to take medication for it. The smallest dose they make of the medicine, but medicine nonetheless. As we all know, high blood pressure can cause lots of problems, including strokes.

The doctor assured me that it was not due to anything I was or was not doing; some people just have high blood pressure and have to go on medicine, he said. When I asked if I could possibly go off the medicine if I exercised more or ate better, he said no, probably not.

But this won't stop my closest doctor from enthusiastically recommending I exercise more. Even if the high blood pressure is genetic, Chris reminds me, exercise will do nothing but help it. Maybe make it go lower, but at the least help it to not go higher as I age. As it is, I usually only get a good cardio workout, like, once each week. I have good weeks, like when I am trying to start exercising as I should, but that's the norm. And that's not enough.

And I know he's right. He may be a pain in the ass, but he's right. And the fact he's so concerned makes me feel both loved and worried. "You don't want me raising kids by myself, do you?" he asks. No. Way to play both guilt and face-your-own-mortality in one hand, Chris.

So again, yet again, I make a deal with myself. Start exercising at least a few days a week. Keep it up for a few months, as I know very well that habits take anywhere between 3 weeks and 3 months to really stick. Let's see how I do.

Yesterday Sebastian and I went on a brisk, one-hour walk. This was in lieu of a run, which I did not want to do in the 94-degree heat. Tomorrow, however, I run. I have promised.
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I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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