Friday, November 9, 2012

Squirrels and Birds

I have been watching the squirrels and birds on my patio.  I am watching them now.  There are some new squirrels and they look small and very young.  I guess it was a good year for births.  I went to the store for new suet cakes and found them on sale at 99cents at BiMart.  I bought 15 of them but they won't last very long.

Sometimes it is fun to let life go by and see what appears on the horizon.  Sometimes it's not.  I didn't like the news of a new cancer tumor although very small.  The doctors and nurses are very nice to me in the clinics.  One never knows what will happen on the wards on the 9th floor.  The last time when I went to the hospital, it was for thyroid cancer.  I was there over the weekend and it was very pleasant.  Sometimes, there are angry nurses who can be rough on the woman patients.  That happened to me at the Portland VA Hospital but it was another nurse, a Vietnam veteran, who caught it when she switched off my meds.  I also caught my laxative pill on a side table instead of where it is supposed to be.  Since I was on pain medications and I have celiac disease, that could have been awful and it was but I got over it.  The vet nurse said that she was having back problems.  I was afraid to complain otherwise it would have been worse.  This time, I won't be such a push over.  I am hoping  nothing will happen.  

The squirrels fall every so  often but they don't seem to be hurt.  The birds are no longer flying into the patio windows.  I slid the screen over it and that stopped it.  I worry about the squirrels as humans often like to shoot them and for a while all of them disappeared.  I have no idea what happened as no one investigates possible murders of squirrels.  I remember one time when a neighbor in Redding, California started to trap and kill the cats.  I lost two of them and all of the feral cats which had been keeping the rat population down.  Then we were all flooded with rats.  A sheriff who investigated and found the culprit warned him that he would arrest him if he kept killing the cats.  At first the neighbor said he was catching them and giving them to the shelter but there was no record of his doing that.  He did stop but I missed my cats.  Things happen and I don't think my experiences were any different from others.  I didn't like that neighbor because he was also a peeping tom and all of us had to sleep with the blinds closed.  

Here in Portland, there are lots of squirrels and birds but I have never seen any feral cats or even domestic ones.  I am not near a stream as I was in Redding. I even have seen woodpeckers, crows and even a pair of ravens.  No loose dogs and cats.  That is certainly different from Redding.  In Korea, I never saw them at all and if they were to show up somewhere there is no doubt in my mind that they would end up in the soup pot or at least the dogs would.  Food is very expensive in Korea and everyone has gardens even on their patios.  I am glad I lived in other countries but glad to be home.  I even got to vote this last presidential election.  It is very difficult to vote when you live in foreign countries.  

My life is very pleasant and full of joy at the present time.  I can't send out any of my work as I might not be here to sign contracts should they come in.  My apartment is monitored and so are my financial records.  Someone tried to hack into my Google Page and email without success.  People who do that must be sad people as many of their victims have so little in the first place.  I am glad I have arranged for someone to keep an eye on things.  

A Buddhist master once wrote that everything in life is an opportunity to learn especially on one's spiritual path.  I have found that to be true.  I am a senior and have had a great life although I am in no hurry to leave right now.  I have never been more at peace and joyful as I am now. I am learning a lot from this latest cancer problem and who knows what is going to happen today. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Oh no!

I came bouncing in to meet my new doctor at the VA.  They change them as each of them are residents but are supervised by the same doctors.  I also came back from my cat scan and said to him that everything is fine with me and I assumed that everything is well in the cat scan.  He looked up and just said," no".  I was stunned.  Not again.  Cancer can't be back.  It's back.   

All of the doctors started to come into the room and talk with me.  It was a small spot in the top lobe of my right lung, easily removed but only by doing the same operation I had done on my lungs a year ago. It is small enough so I won't lose another lobe.   I would have the same team which is good because I do trust them.  I got the date I would have the surgery, November 16.  When the slow moving VA system suddenly speeds up and I find myself on a fast track I know it is because I have a serious health issue.  I am on that fast track now. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Documentary: Forks Over Knives

Last night I watched the documentary, "Forks Over Knives" and I was very impressed.  My main purpose in changing what I eat is my health.  I have had cancer more than several times and the surgeries to go with it. I have been lucky in that I have defeated it, but I wanted to know how I could improve my chances of not getting cancer in the future.  Doctors, although they saved my life through surgery, did not come up with any solutions.  This documentary does and it has plenty of science to back up the claim that a plant based diet will provide a healthy lifestyle.

I have already given up meat and this film tells me how right this decision is.  But what I didn't know is that dairy products are equally unhealthy.  There are massive studies that show this that I never heard of that is in the film. The other day, I thought if I added yogurt(Greek style and unsweetened) I would end up with a healthier diet.  I had already been buying organic cheese from Grocery Outlet for a nice price.  The next day, I could hardly move as my arthritis was in full bloom as well as muscle and joint pain.  I thought it was because the yogurt was not organic.  I now know it is because it was a diary product and I had eaten cheese that day as well.  I still eat cheese every so often which is alright for now and does not give me the pain I had before, but when I run out of organic cheese I am no longer eating it. I purposely keep the amount of dairy foods very low. Soon,  I am becoming a vegan for good.

The film does not mention organic foods.  I have chosen to include them because of health reasons and because organic produce taste better.  I now enjoy eating and even cooking far more in my kitchen than before as I am still eating one meal a day.  I am creating soups and other simple recipes that are vegan and taste good. 

When I ate the yogurt, I became hungry a short time later.  When drinking smoothies and eating one vegan meal a day I was not.  The film explains why we become addicted and hunger for prepared foods and how it affects the body.  I can say for a certainty that it is true.  I made some gluten free onion rings and was surprised how hungry I was a sort time later.  I don't get hungry as a rule and that is important for me in order to stay on my food plan.  I also got mad at the corporations that make prepared food knowing full well that people do not feel satisfied after eating their food products.  They over eat and gain weight.

I mentioned my food plan at the senior center the other day as someone had asked if I lost weight which I have.  There was a woman in her early 40's who said she could never give up the foods she loved.  I looked at her, grossly overweight so much that she had to be in a wheel chair.  I know that she does not love that food all that much because she is addicted, but I was hopelessly addicted too although not in a wheel chair.  I had to find my own way home.  Hopefully, she will too.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Blood Free

I am finally free of the blood after my stretching accident.  I am back to juicing.  I also have been drinking smoothies that I create for myself in my blender.  Before summer, I went to Value Village on senior day and found a brand new blender for 7 bucks and then I got 40 percent off.  It is the best blender I have ever used.  I especially like the blender container which is glass.

In juicing and making smoothies, there are several things those two ways of drinking one's meals have in common.  First, they  encourage raw fruits and vegetables and second, they encourage organic.  If one does not have the money for a juicer (I got mine off the Amazon for 44 bucks), then a blender does well.  I use both.  I like blenders because it is so much easier to clean and second, I get the entire fruit or vegetables and that contains fiber.  The juicer takes out the stuff one does not digest anyhow.  Still, I like both.  I have books that I have bought that have great recipes and hints.  I also get a lot of information and recipes off the Internet.  There is a lot of those sites for both juicing and blending(green smoothies).  I do recommend that one use the recipes because I have heard from others that when they try to make their own, they taste awful.  I have found that the tastes of both the juices and smoothies taste great. 

I have an exercise plan that I got from a physical therapist from the hospital where I go.  I am not doing it right now because of my recent injury.  I still find walking to be the best exercise and not boring.  I still don't incorporate exercises that well into my life activities.  

I get a lot of exercise from the trips I take with other seniors from the center.  It is all walking.  There is the Riders' Club that I take every month, but it is only once or twice a month.  The trips incorporate the public transportation system and Trimet gives us free tickets to participate in these trips.  After the activity that was planned, we often try different restaurants in the area.  All are low cost and for me, have a gluten free menu. The last trip I went on was this last Thursday.  It was a trip to the Portland Art Museum for a lecture and a tour of some exhibit.  Again, because of my age, there is no cost for any of it. Then we went to a terrific Asian restaurant that had daily specials for $6.95 and it could be ordered gluten free.  I had a meal with a side of rice.  It was a sauces with pineapple, tomatoes and other vegetables and some chicken.  It was very delicious.  

I journal every morning as part of my meditations.  I am reading THE ARTIST'S WAY by Julia Cameron and it is useful in unlocking the creative energies which is in everyone.  She wrote that the morning pages are essential for getting a focus on where life is leading us.I have been doing it for years but it is helping me with the issues that have come up with my new eating plan. 

Writing is an adventure or it helps to put excitement in my explorations.  It is not for everyone, but it works for me.  I have been discouraged over the years in this but I have learned to disregard these "crazymakers" attempts to dissuade me from writing and examining my environment both the inner and outer worlds.  To be honest, age has given me the courage to ignore everyone unless it is something that I think will help me enjoy life more.  Lots of good things happen in my senior age and some not so good such as not having the ability to absorb minor incidents such as what happened to be a few days ago.  I like my age although I would not have had any choice anyhow since the alternative is something I would rather not do as yet.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Taking a Sick Day

The other day, I did some stretching and reaching that resulted in severe pain.  I had blood in my urine and stool which scared me.  So I took a day off today and already the kidney seems to be fine and the other source has less blood.  By this Monday, if it is not totally gone, I will make an appointment at the Women's Clinic. This has never happened and I feel fine otherwise.

I know what the problem is.  I forgot how old I am.  I was thinking, at least unconsciously, that I was still a young person who could do something a bit outrageous physically and then recover quickly.  I am in my late 60's and I should have had more sense.

I enjoyed the day sitting in bed and even drinking tea on a tray. I made some soup on the stove and ate it in bed on a bed tray.  I like to pretend there is someone who is doing all of this for me.  

I was told yesterday at the senior center that there is a study that shows there is arsenic in the rice supply.  I looked it up and it is true.  I also looked up the diseases arsenic causes. I found out that my Britta table top filtering system is rated 'D' in comparison to other filtering systems. I won't be buying those filters again.

The World Health Organization of the United Nations stated: 'Drinking water rich in arsenic over a long period leads to arsenic poisoning or arsenicosis. Many waters contain some arsenic and excessive concentrations are known to naturally occur in some areas. The health effects are generally delayed and the most effective preventive measure is supply of drinking water low in arsenic concentration." Otherwise, stop drinking arsenic flavored water.  That is not always possible. 

I am including the quality of water because rice is grown in heavy amounts of water.  I began to see that it wasn't so much of a crisis of the safety of rice but of water in itself.

Diseases suspected to be caused or aggravated by Arsenic in drinking water by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Arsenic Rule Benefit Analysis, August 9, 2001

Lung cancer
Bladder cancer
Skin cancer
Prostate cancer
Kidney cancer
Nasal cancer
Liver cancer
Postneonatal mortality
Ischemic heart disease (heart attack)
Diabetes mellitus
Nephritis (chronic inflammation of the kidneys)
Nephrosis (degenerative kidney diseases)
Hypertensive heart disease
Chronic airway obstruction
Lymphoma (tumors in the lymph)
Black-foot disease
Developmental deficits
Arsenic is also suspected to contribute to various other cardiovascular, pulmonary, immunological, neurological, peripheral vascular and endocrine diseases but as with the above symptoms, the epidemiological study of diseases caused by Arsenic poisoning is only in its infancy.
According to a news report April 19, 2001, a team of EPA scientists at EPA's Office of Research and Development laboratory in North Carolina have discovered a possible, direct link to DNA damage caused by arsenic compounds. The research demonstrates a human cell's own metabolic responses to arsenic exposure produce compounds that cause genetic damage.
A National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report says the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has greatly underestimated the cancer risks of arsenic in drinking water, according to EPA officials, WaterTech online, 12 September 2001
Dr Azad of Hokkaido University in Japan has made the following classification of diseases caused by Arsenic in Bangladesh:
Initial Stage
Second Stage Depigmentation
Non-pitting edema of legs
Peripheral nephropathy
Final stage Nephropathy
Cancer of skin, bladder and lung
(In Bangladesh, the majority of patients are still at initial and second stages according to Dr Azad.)
Dr Azad also mentions the following additional conditions caused by Arsenic in drinking water, as reported from other countries.
Bowen's disease
Basal cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma
Enlargement of liver
Non-cirrhotic portal hypertension
Hearing loss
Raynaud's Phenomenon

All of the above data is from the website "The Arsenic Challenge"

I also found out that the area that I was raised in Southern California is one of the worst arsenic areas in the world.  I thought all of the really strong arsenic poisoning areas were in Third World Countries.   No wonder I have trouble with cancers over the years. Many of the governmental bodies as well as the United Nations all say that arsenic poison in the drinking water is a serious problem in many countries including the United States.

I did not have to watch any horror movies off Netflix while I was spending the day in  bed which is ironic since today is Stephen King's birthday.  The news was enough to cause straight horror and it was all true.  I spent some time sending copies of what I was finding out about water to Facebook and Twitter.

Well, I did find out that the water supply in Portland, Oregon is fine.  They will be adding fluoride soon which is another issue again.   Not all counties put the results of their water analysis on line.  Grants Pass, Oregon does not so who knows what is happening there. 

I am hoping I can get out of bed tomorrow and take out the trash.  I did not want to lift anything and carry it up the stairs today.  I also spent some time reading some murder mysteries.  I threw one in my give away book pile because it was so unbelievable, but if I had seen the issue of arsenic in rice and water in a murder mystery would I have discarded the book as too unbelievable?  Perhaps. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

More Surprises

Every since I started the juicing program, I have had surprises.  Currently, I now have softer skin.  Again, I was not expecting this and it is a nice especially for this senior citizen.  My energy level continues to grow.  I read the articles about the study that showed organic food is not healthier than regular food.  Well, Stanford is crazy.  Not having the pesticides and other chemicals in my body has done me wonders.

Sometimes, I get hungry and one juice that always turns off the hunger wars in my system is a few oranges and carrots, usually two or more.  I just go it by ear or taste buds.  If the orange is large then I use one.  If they are on the smallest side, I use two.  If I am a raging dragon of hunger, I use more too.  I use the same measurements for carrots.  It does the trick every time. 

Maybe, I am discovering the real reason for eating in the first place and that is to nurture my physical body.  I drank coffee because I felt a part of the human race.  I have been consuming the advertizing that goes with different foods.  I drank tea because it felt as if I was part of a British tea party.  I am a bit of a Anglophile so I felt comfortable with the mystique of a pot of tea.  I drank carbonated drinks such as Pepsi and Coke because I felt part of the younger crowd.  I was a member of the band, so to speak, of others around the nation and world.  I don't even watch television much and yet I had all of those advertisements in my mind.  To be honest, that sucks.

Organic produce is expensive, however when I went to the doctor yesterday, the nurse took my blood pressure only once.  Generally, when your blood pressure is a bit high, they take it again.  I usually have it taken more than once.  My blood sugar measured 99 in my last blood work.  I started having a level of 145 which classified me as a diabetic.  The last time it was measured, the level has been 110.  I tried to tell people at the hospital that I don't think I am a diabetic but to no avail. (Have you noticed that when you say anything to a medical provider, they automatically discount what you say.  The program, House, doesn't help when House says everyone lies.  I think no one believes you because it makes their job easier if everyone is put into little boxes of expectations-theirs not yours.)

I was not weighed and I am glad as I am no longer weighing myself in the morning or any other time.  I have been losing, but I get a little antsy if I don't show some loss everyday.

I have been making an effort to dress better than I have been doing in the past.  I used to wear sweat pants and a tee-shirt when I went out to places.  Now, I still wear them around the house, but I make an effort to be more attentive to my appearance when I go out.   I have doctors' appointments a few times a month and I go out on trips with the seniors.  I don't get to take all of the trips that are offered because they fill up quickly.  I missed going to see a lighthouse on the coast this month because it filled up before I could sign up.  I always get a lot of exercise when I go out with the seniors.  This month I am going to the Portland Art Museum and some sort of Spaghetti Factory. They always go by public transportation so I also learn how to use it.  There is no cost to the seniors on these trips except what we buy for lunch. 

My doctor does not approve of my juicing.  I think she did not know what juicing is all about.  She is a resident doctor who will be around for a short time.  I am hoping I get someone who is more knowledgeable next time.  I remember a time when none of my doctors knew anything about celiac disease.  Now, they do. In the meantime, I am continuing on my juicing adventure and fine tuning it as I go along.   

Sunday, September 2, 2012

New Taste Buds

I am eating one meal a day although smaller than past meals.  I juice the rest of the time.  What I have been discovering is that I am able to create my own juices instead of depending on the recipes that are in several books on juicing.  They turned out surprisingly well.  I also discovered my taste buds and to depend on them to find new and novel ways of juicing.

The other day I went to Grocery Outlet and found coconut milk as well as almond milk for one third the price.  Both were gluten free as well as organic.  I have never drank neither one of these juices before.  I bought one each and took them home.  My first glass of coconut milk was surprisingly thick and creamy and this is a drink with only 45 calories a glass.  I thought it was a bit bland, so I added an envelope of stevia (made from the stevia leaf).  I had run out of sugar and bought stevia after looking at descriptions of it on line.  It seems pretty safe and is not created in a laboratory.  I tried another glass and it tasted like a vanilla shake.  Well, I went out today and bought some Naked Juice on sale.  I added a small portion of the Naked Juice, Berry Blast, and it was a raspberry shake.  I now know if I get too hungry, I can have a shake without breaking my juicing program.

For dinner, I bought an organic onion and coated with corn flour that I had left over and fried it in olive oil, again left over from my supplies.  It was wonderful, like onion rings and I have not eaten onion rings for many years because I cannot eat gluten.  I used the onion rings for a meal and cut up the entire onion.

I still have some gluten free pasta left in the pantry and will be cooking them up for my one meal starting tomorrow.  I had some tomato sauce in the larder and will be using that as well.What is amazing is that I am satisfied with the meals so far.  I am eating what I want to eat and not what seems to be a great meal.  I was driving around Portland today and drank a bottle of Naked Juice instead of eating and it tasted good. Naked Juice is an acceptable alternative to juicing when you can't juice.  There is no sugar added and it is relatively organic. 

I am loaded down with watermelon and oranges and they are terrific to juice.  It is a gourmet meal in a glass. They are all organic except one of the watermelons (I bought two of them).  If the skin is thick, it is possible to eat regular produce.  I am staying away from the cantelopes right now because of the salmonella scare. There is another threat with mangoes from Mexico.  I haven't figured out exactly where my mangoes are with the possible exception of some I bought in an organic market.  They issued a bulletin stating their mangoes are not from the farms listed on the governmental alert.

When I was overeating, I don't think I paid as much attention to the tastes as I do now.  All of the produce that I juice are mostly organic and raw.  There is plenty of taste.  I don't add any sweetener to the juice although some recipes recommend stivia.  I find that I don't need to.  The juice is better than anything I ever bought from the supermarket and a lot more healthier.  When I eat my one meal of the day, I savor it greatly.  What is ironic is I am not having any trouble with being hungry.  Whenever I am hungry, I juice or drink my coconut "shake".  I would never have predicted this.  Life really is an adventure.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Gradual Wind Down to Juice Fast

I did not think of the option to gradually get into the Juice Fast. I did it at first because I had a pantry full of food and did not want to waste it.  I am not going back to my prior way of eating, so the food that I had would not be used again.  What was at first a economical decision turned out to be the best for me.  I have written before of the panic I felt when I finally got rid of all of my meat.  Now, as other things are winding down, I don't feel the anxiety. 

When I am out and about the community, there is so much to eat here in Portland, Oregon that is gluten free in comparison to other places. I am surprised that I spend my time looking for something to eat that would fall within my juicing guidelines.  Yesterday, I was at the Grocery Outlet and looked for some juice to drink in small containers and found a V-8 juice blend that was also fizzy.  It was a combination of fruit and vegetables without added sugar and it was surprisingly good.  It also satisfied my hunger.  I also bought a large carton of coconut milk and almond milk.  I have never tried them before.  Later at home I had a glass of coconut milk.  It seemed rich but bland.  I put a packet of stevia in and it tasted like a Dairy Queen vanilla shake.  I bought the two milks because the price was about one third of the normal price.  Last night as I was going to bed, I discovered I was very hungry.  I can't sleep when I am hungry and had a glass of coconut milk and that did it.

I slept well last night and I am glad I also took my vitamin pills. I also attributed to being able to buy some organic produce at Grocery Outlet for a much smaller price than the other stores I go to.  Organic is expensive but worth it for me.  I think it means that I will live longer if I eat organic than if I don't.  I got some very good prices on watermelon which is very nice to juice and oranges.  When the skin is thick such as citrus fruit, it does not matter if the fruit is organic since the pesticides can not get through the skin.  It is different for other fruits as apples.  That is why it is a very good idea to buy organic apples and they are handy for juicing.  In juicing it is important to drink vegetables but they taste better if some fruit is added.  I drank a juice of some watermelon and carrots yesterday that was very tasty.  I liked one also that was just watermelon and one lime (peeled).

I had a dream that I recorded a few years ago that I would be staying at my aunt's house in Grants Pass, OR in order to get my health on line.  I stayed for a year.  I remember I asked my aunt if it would be alright if I stay at her house for this reason.  She said yes.  Now, I feel as if I am living that dream. When I look out of my home here in Portland, I think often of my time spent as a child in Grants Pass with my aunt and uncle.  I had a dream about going to Korea that turned out to be correct as well.  There have been plenty of dreams that I have that turned out to be correct.  My oldest son, calls this magical thinking.  I call it enjoying one's life and not questioning the spiritual gifts one gets from time to time.

I have lost seven pounds since the start of this which is not changing all that much.  I did not expect to lose anything until I do the fast itself.  What I did get in return is the ability to walk up and down stairs without pain.  I feel so much better and when I am down which happens, it is not bad as it used to be.  I am continuing to read and write which are joys to me,  I take trips to explore my surroundings with the seniors from a center not far from me.  I visited a Trappist Monastery the other day which was very interesting as I am a fan of the Trappist monk, Thomas Merton.  I have read several books and poems of his.  I read "The Seven Story Mountain" as a teenager.

To me, this has proved to be an exciting part of my life.  Portland is a lot of fun from riding the sky tram from the VA Hospital to listening to music concerts in the many farmers' markets around the city.  It is very beautiful here too.  I am getting up in years, so I was astonished that the adventure continues.   

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Last of Other Things

It shouldn't make a difference to me that I am running out of certain foods, but it does.  On Sunday, I woke up in the morning to the realization that I no longer have meat left in the house and that I will not be going back to it.  Panic! I thought for a moment as I was waking up that I had nothing in the house to eat which is not true.  Still, being mindful is important so I just had to admit that yes, I don't have many things left in the house and it is in accordance to my own plan.I have plenty of food that is healthy for me.

I think I may have written in here that when I was young, there often wasn't any food to eat or food that made me sick.  I grew up in a dysfunctional family.  There was enough money and my father and mother ate well, but us kids often didn't have enough.  I made sure there was plenty of things to eat and drink for my own children growing up although with money problems such as child support didn't always come in it was difficult but it was done.   I didn't like the fact that I spent hard earned cash on apple juice so my kids would not drink the sugary drinks such as Kool Aid and then I found out years later that the juice was loaded with Alar, a chemical additive.  I have since found out that apples are loaded with pesticides and I buy organic; however, my kids are all grown up now.

So, when I saw that one more thing has disappeared from the pantry, I felt the same sort of panic that I felt when younger I did not have enough food to eat.  Ah, these things happen and I was not surprised to feel these emotions that morning.  I did write about it in my journal, however, and that made all the difference in the world.  This is a journey I need to take and that I am not facing starvation although I have dropped seven pounds since I started this.  There is a difference in starvation and trying to lose weight.  I just keep that in mind.  Things are much healthier for me when I juice and eat the food that I do now.  I feel better and I can climb steps without difficulty or pain.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

Giving Away Things

Because I no longer drink coffee and I don't want to go back to it, I have been trying to get rid of my coffee maker, grinder and Keurig Machine along with k-cups and bags of Starbucks coffee as well as coffee cups.  The Keurig is only a month old.  I needed more room on the counter for the juicers.  I decided to bring back the Keurig since I have not been able to give it away.  I have tried.  One man who drinks a lot of coffee said that he thought it would be too much of a life-change.  Well, I can use the Keurig to make hot water for my herbal teas.  As for the coffee, I have them in a bag in the closet with other coffee things and will decide what to do with it later.  The kitchen is much better now.

I wrote that I used the last of the bread yesterday.  I have been toasting it and the handle fell off a week ago.  It was hard but not impossible to use, so I threw away the toaster.  I have decided to throw away many things in my place that I don't use any more.  This apartment complex has a man who comes by the dumpsters every week day morning to look at useable things in case they could be still used by others. Residents are to place such things next to the dumpster and he will go through them and give away the usable things to such places as Goodwill and Value Village.  I have never lived anywhere with this type of service was available.  I have put chairs out there along with other things such as an entire dish collection when I decided to replace with just one set of dishes and to get rid of the odds and ends I had in my cupboards.  I put them in a box and the man took them to give away to charities.  I was ending up with junk in my closets and cupboards that looked good but I never used anymore.  

This giving away of usable things is new for me.  I have never done it before.  I usually keep things for years and never use them.  I was raised in such circumstances that few new things came my way.  Now, I live in an area that have excellent second hand stores, which everyone uses, because many of the things in those stores are new.  The prices are very good and there is senior citizen discounts.  In Value Village, every Wednesday there is a 40 percent discount on everything for seniors.  I used that store to get many of the things in my apartment.  I don't need anything else now.  

I also shop off the Amazon.  I tried other sources off the Internet without success.  The prices are good and I joined a "prime" club on the Amazon when I got my kindle from them. This gives me free shipping and handling along with two day delivery on anything that I order if it is under the prime heading.  I have bought kindles for my grandchildren for school.  I often just sit back at home and shop for things there and carefully read the reviews on each product that I consider.  I have been saved from a bad purchase many times.  I got my juicer on sale there after putting it on my wish list.  I am very happy with it.  

When I got out of college with my bachelor degree, I could not find work right away.  I was supporting my kids and the money from a scholarship had ceased.  I did housework to make ends meet.  I was surprised at the large amount of things the people I worked for gave away.  One time a woman whose family home had a swimming pool, was throwing away about 20 swimming trunks for boys.  I asked if I could have them and they kept my sons in swimming trunks for several years.  For me, giving away useful things was something another group of people did, not me.  I thought that woman was silly because her sons wanted new swimming trunks and she gave in to them.  I still do, but I can see now how good it is to get rid of extra stuff in one's home.  

I did not get rid of my coffee things, but I will keep them in the hall closet until I figure out what I want to do. As for the Keurig, I cleaned it last night and will be making tea with it this morning.  I am glad I kept it.  I did not regret giving away my dishes.  They were useful when I first moved here to Portland, but I bought a wonderful set of dishes from Goodwill on sale that were new.  It is nice to have more room in my cupboards. It is nice to have more room in my life.