Tales of Two- thoughts on books….

I love books and words and ideas using that particular medium. Historical fiction fascinates me. It often tells of a time years beyond my ken. This summer, I’ve run across two stories of women being wed at a young age and their experiences. One is set in the early 1800’s and is across Cook Inlet. The other begins in 1892 in Tennessee. ‘Tatiana’ and ‘Maude’.

Maude’s life was tumultuous. The author writes for Maude, ‘I’d already been an orphan, a wife, and a mother. Now I was a widow. I was only three months past my sixteenth birthday.’ She eventually remarries. The two are not entirely compatible, Maude is often unhappy, but things manage to work. They had several children, battled disease, loss, the Depression, and war. She was a survivor and brought strength to her family. I thought this quote was a good synopsis of Maude’s story: ‘I think now God gives each one of us a measure of happiness for our lives, and some are allowed more than others. It’s like the ration stamps that were handed out during the war, so much butter, so much sugar, and then no more. I also think that sometimes the good stretches are so good that it must count for double time…

Tatiana was a child of two different cultures. She runs away from her Russian father to remain a Dena’ina Athabaskan. It was not easy for this beautiful educated girl to adapt to the harsh life of surviving one day at a time. Her only companion was a boy she hardly knew, her father sent bounty hunters after them, and she had to defend herself many times. Yet, Tazdlin loved her, she was cherished, and continued to learn and then to instruct. This beautiful thought is near the end of the story of Tatiana. ‘Regardless of the invisible forces, no single person, couple, or tribe of that day could have accomplished what they did together. Tazdlin’s unmatched skills and physical abilities complimented Tatiana’s unique penchant for higher morals, making them a historically unique force for good in that land.

As different as the two stories are, they are remarkably similar in many ways. The main characters had to leave beloved families in their early teens to join with an older young man. Both women were loved by their parents. They often had to fight the persecution of being a woman in a “male” world. Changes were rapid and often harsh. Items of a monetary value were scarce and both women used their creativity to bring money in. Each woman remembered lessons they had learned from their mothers and taught new generations. The youngest of these women’s children were males with mental difficulties. In each story, faith was an important part of the lives of Tatiana and Maude.

Each story was written by a descendant of the main character. ‘Maude’ was scribed in a typical conversational chapter format from memories Donna had of the stories Maude shared. ‘Tatianta’ is a story told to a modern reader like none other I’ve read, or remember reading. In both, oral tradition brought these adventures thru time to today. Donna’s daughter asked her to write down Maude’s story, Rachel was asked a question by her daughter, which led to the crafting of ‘Tatiana’.

I often caught myself writing down thoughts from these incredible tales of two women. I could relate to facets in each main character. I also found this a comforting reminder: No matter what the differences in time and culture, people are pretty much the same.

Move it!

One of my very favorite songs about women and what happens to us as we get older…

I admit it, I’m older, overweight, and silvering. Normally, it is mostly ok, but now even my skirts are too tight! I’ve gained more since I’ve been taking care of mum. Cafeteria hospital food for almost a month, deliciously bad choices, added to a smidge of exercising takes a toll on a body. So does intermittent sleeping. The glucose levels haven’t been very good either. I think, when my A1C was tested a few weeks ago, it was at 8.7. YIKES! One of my good blogging friends recently found he was Type 2 and contacted me for some help/advice/a push in a right direction. I know the things I am supposed to do, so I think I was a good person to ask. So was he.

Bill sent me a link to a free site to help organize food intake, energy output, and the like. I’m entirely grateful, but not exactly impressed so far. I’ve been using it for two days and I’m sore and not hungry….although, those almonds I bought tonight are sooo good! Which are good things, but it isn’t an easy tool to use.

Most of my life as a person with Diabetes, I’ve measured carbs. Not calories. This site does calories. There is a spot for carbs, but you need to enter the info for the food to get it…I think. There is a spot to enter just the calories (MATH!!!), so I’ve done that instead. It is really hard to look at something and know I am supposed to eat 44 carbs a meal (one ounce of almonds is 7 carbs) and on the 1200 calories I’m supposed to use for this chart…well, it changes the picture a lot! Let’s look at a normal egg fried in a pan with no additives. I have one almost every day for breakfast. 78 calories and less than one carb. Talk about frustrating.

Then, there is a section to add in exercises. I rather like perusing the choices. I can choose the thing I feel I’ve done and poof, it tells me how much energy I used doing that particular exercise. I was a tad annoyed to not see sex listed. I am sure I’ve seen this three letter word in many work out lists. I mean, it is a good way to encourage people to move, right? (A definite lack in this list, though.) There is also a spot for strength stuff. I often use small weights while I use this biking tool I found in mum’s basement (I haven’t gone out on the bike Smart Cookie helped me with. I injured myself on the damn thing. I’m healed now, so probably Friday I’ll go out again). Anyway, the arm things I do are not in the list. Or at least, I don’t think so. There is a ‘bent arm barbell pullover’, which sounds like a strange way to put on a sweater. Or the ‘Front Barbell Raise, Standing, Medium Grip’. Maybe this is a sex position not found in the books I shared earlier???? No matter, I know I do strength stuff and I hope they’ll show something in the weeks ahead. I don’t do much, yet, but I am doing something!

THEN, I found out when you go online, the app scrolls your information to anyone on the site! How annoying. If I wanted people to know I was attempting to start an exercise program, I’d put it on WP. Sheesh. To continue:

One of the things I’ve discovered is how hard it is to not get a low blood sugar when I monitor carefully and when I exercise. Those mean I need glucose, which is calories, which need burned off, which mean I’ve messed up my chart and often I get a headache from the low! Vicious. The good part is, this is an experiment. And to encourage me to (I hope this works, it isn’t a book, I’ll do a lot of things for a book…….) to do a whole week, I bought this swimsuit. It is a tad too small (I bought it on sale), but losing a little bit will help it fit tons better. (The cat isn’t a part of the water costume.) I figure if I do one week, the next won’t be so hard. Maybe. I have 5$ on my Amazon account, I might get an ebook the second week…Gotta get through the first one, first!

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Wish me luck and a lot of stick-to-it-tivitness!