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“You mean I really have to start walking?” Selfie, ©Brenda Coffee, 2010

Have I told all of you how wonderful I think you are? How much I value and appreciate you? The kindest, wisest, smartest women in the world read my blog, and I’m so grateful. You leave me such great messages and emails of support, and when you don’t agree with me… Like good girlfriends, you let me know that as well, but you give me alternatives to think about. 

For all of these things, I value, appreciate and love each and every one of you.

In my last blog, Cheese Enchiladas or a Broken Hip, I wrote I was having a hard time getting motivated to start walking. According to my doctor, my bones are “significantly thinning,” and I need to walk. His parting words were “Don’t fall.” Before that moment it never occurred to me a broken hip could actually happen to me. 

Your comments have given me a dose of reality. You’ve shown me I need to get over my dislike of walking and just do it! 

I’ve survived things you couldn’t dream up in a million years; I’ve always been the poster girl for diet and exercise, so it’s been baffling—even to me—that I’d turn a blind eye to the very real possibilities of a broken hip because I don’t like to walk. Sure, I use the treadmill three days a week at the gym, but that’s not enough. I read where 40% of people never fully recover from a broken hip. They’re in pain; they limp, or they’re on a walker or a cane for the rest of their lives. Some even die from complications of a broken hip!

I’m taking this seriously, girlfriends!

I’m researching treadmills, motor size, consumer reviews and have asked my trainer for his input. I’m looking at new and used treadmills and hope to make a decision in the next week. I have an empty room that’s perfect for my workout room, yoga mat and hand weights. 

Thank you, Mithra, for suggesting the podcast, “S Town.” It sounds like something I’d love to listen to while I walk, so I’ve subscribed. If I want to watch an episode of a television show, I’ll watch it on my iPad so I don’t incur more cable/black box charges. I’m not crazy about earbuds, so I’d like a speaker for my music and podcasts…. Any suggestions, you wise women?

Annie and Lulu have already given me a “paws up” on this. The guest room plus my “workout room” are upstairs and have been off limits to the girls. They like to shred rolls of toilet tissue when I’m not around and get stuck under the beds. This week I took down the baby gate at the foot of the stairs. Like two little rockets they launched themselves up the stairs and then, in unison, looked at me like, “What’s taking you so long?” They’re beside themselves with excitement and curiosity at the prospect of spending time there.

Thank you, again, dear friends! Sometimes I inspire you, and other times you brighten my world and inspire me. You’re the best!

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Hi Girlfriends,

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Here you will get a glimpse into the lives of other women, learn how they handled things life put in their path like divorce, the death of a spouse, serious health issues, low self-esteem, addiction and how to reinvent yourself after a major life change. You will find like-minded women and relevant conversations about finances, fashion, sex, books, music, films and food. We feature interviews with inspiring women along with straight-talk and bold conversations to reawaken your passions and make life count.

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42 thoughts on “THANK YOU DEAR READERS”

  1. Brenda, I use noise canceling headphones that cover my ear. I don’t like using earbuds either. I walk every day because my dog also needs the exercise and I listen to podcasts. Your commit above Cheese Enchiladas or a Broken Hip reminds me of one I made 10 years ago when I turned 50. Said I was going to be in the best shape of my life. I was told I needed a knee replacement, I decided to do a bodybuilding show instead of having a knee replacement and got 3rd place. I did have a knee replacement a couple of years later because my gait was off and causing back problems. Now that I just turned 60 I have those thoughts again to be my best, not to do another show but to look like I kinda could. I have a lot of work to do. You can do it and I can do it!!!!

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Sherry! I’ve been to your website, so I know you’re in great shape. That’s impressive! I’ve always worked out and other than creepy arms and neck waddle, I’m in great shape. Actually if you put a bag over my head, and I wore gloves, I could pass for a woman 30 years younger. I have no midriff bulge and no cellulite. I just need to keep my bones strong. xoxo, Brenda

  2. Hey Brenda,

    I walk a circuit (almost) every day with my small fur baby, and it includes a small hill. Some days, I feel like I have to do it in stages, other days, I’m like powering up it. My energy levels fluctuate and for what reason, I have no idea (perimenopause???). Thing is, my friend with a treadmill told me a long time ago that road walking and treadmill walking are 2 different things. Apparently pounding the pavement is better because of the slight jarring, which encourages bone density which you don’t get on a treadmill. Which leads me to my next point….

    I want to delicately broach something that one of your commenters said from your last post, and that was about controlling your dogs. You were saying that taking them for a simple walk was very difficult because they were unpredictable and too strong for you. You also reveal in this post, that left alone, they will rip up the toilet paper. Darling, I am going to encourage you in the nicest way to get a dog behaviourist to help you with them. These girls should not be ruling your life. You are their Master. They are here to live with you. It can be done. We had a Boxer from a pup and I swear in the first 6 months of us bringing him home, he drove me to depression, and our neighbours to distraction. So we got in a dog behaviourist. It took time. It took patience. It took training – mainly training US how to train HIM. But we got our lives back AND a dog who we loved and who could be trusted not to wreck the house while we were out. Also, we had small children. Turned out, our dog saw our children as part of the pack and was competing with them. I know that’s probably not applicable to you. There are things that behaviourists know about the psychology of dogs, which seems simple to us, but is actually a different language, one that we need to learn in order to obtain Mastery. Our Boxer loved the training, because he knew his place in the pecking order and this gave him security in his place, and the bad behaviour stopped. We loved him and treated him like a Prince of Dogs until it was his time to pass over the Rainbow Bridge when he was almost 13. We were all there to farewell him and our daughter held his head in her lap as he went peacefully and without any trauma. A more Noble Prince will never be found. But this is only because we had to learn to construct order in our home that we could communicate with him. In Dog Speak. You should be able to take them for walks. You should be able to take away the baby gate. You should not live in fear of what you will find when you get home. These girls have come into your life for a reason. Be their Mom and show them who’s boss. A good behaviourist will show you how. I had no idea either, but I learned and I can tell you that through the experience I am also very confident if a large dog approaches me now. Since his passing, a beautiful little abandoned dog came into my life and is now my soul companion. He would have approved of her and loved her too. Blessings. Xxxxx

      • Hi Jean, You and TJ are right on the money about not letting our pets be the alpha being in the household. You can read what I wrote to TJ, but except for walking Annie when squirrels are around, we’ve cleared up all of their and MY bad behavior! Thank you for weighing in! Brenda

    • Hi TJ, Thanks for the input… You can tell me anything! I agree that we shouldn’t let our furry family run us. I took my girls to “finishing school,” and they no longer tear up the toilet paper… I shouldn’t have made it sound like they still do, and because I rarely went upstairs, the baby gate was a permanent fixture I never thought about. Since I’ve been making that upstairs room ready to be a workout room the gate’s down, and the girls run up and down the stairs in the morning to explore, and then that’s it for the rest of the day. Walking is another issue. Lulu is a dream to walk even if she’s together with Annie. Annie is another matter. Even Nanny Bee has issues with Annie if a squirrel appears on their path. I probably should have another lesson to get that tweaked in. Thanks for the suggestion! I’m glad you got another dog. Like you, my dogs are my only companions. What would we do without them? xoxox, Brenda

  3. I second TJ’s comments. However, if outside walking doesn’t become an option, I’d suggest treadmills for the dogs, too! Smaller, inexpensive treadmills. My German Shepherd/Australian Cattle Dog mix loves the treadmill. I could walk him all day and not put a dent in his energy. But, an hour or more at 5 mph brings him joy and a settled mind. Your dog trainer/behaviorist could help with treadmill training.
    A word of caution to everyone, don’t ever leave your dog alone on a treadmill. Especially if you can’t train them to be on it unleashed. They could be seriously injured if they fell. Also make sure they’ve “done their business” before their run. 😉

    • Ooh, Andrea!! Great idea about the treadmill for dogs, but I hear you about having a dog trainer help with training. As I wrote to TJ, except for walking Annie, all of “our” other behavioral issues are fixed. I probably should have the trainer readdress her and me when she’s on a leash. Thanks for the great suggestion. I’ll research it! Brenda

  4. Brenda, Go to Best Buy and get the JBL wireless speaker. It connects wirelessly to your iPad or phone. You can put pandora or Spotify apps for free and have a wonderful walk on your treadmill. It has a fantastic sound.

  5. So excited about your new rumpus room! Let’s talk decor, shall we? Mirrored walls are great for some, discombobulating for others. (I am always caught off guard to see my grandmother working out with weights.) And thanks for the shout-out. After you finish S Town, let’s Skype.

    • Hi Mithra, As usual you’re hilarious and have something to offer that’s right up my alley. Not to worry… No way will I mirror the walls although I do have a punched tin, Mexican mirror that used to be in my photography studio when I lived in the Spy House. I’m thinking it will lend a little something to one wall without having that wall-to wall-look. I’ve always wondered about mirrors over the bed… For starters, I’m blind as a bat, so it wouldn’t “do anything” for me, plus I’d be afraid it would fall and guillotine me! Skype!!! Yes! Love that idea!!! xoxox, Brenda

  6. Since my DH just had surgery on his left hand/thumb joint, I am the dog walker, and I will say once our relentlessly pulling dog pushes me past my limit (about one short walk), I keep him on a short leash at my side and he gives in. So I have to agree that consistent (tiring) work would probably get some results, although I expect he will go to his grave as a puller.

    RE: not wearing earbuds. We have a Bose Soundlink Mini II and it helped me survived the many hours we spent finishing off our basement. I am not sure I would have gotten through the endless painting and trim work without my podcasts and music. Highly recommend!

    • Hi Laurel, Some dogs are definitely more aggressive than others, and some humans are not as skilled as they should be as walkers. Annie falls into the first category, and I’m in the latter. I think I’ll stick with Nanny Bee and do my walking on the treadmill. Thanks for the Bose suggestion. I’ll check it out. When I lived in the Spy House on the Hill, I redid all three floors and 6,400 square feet. I started redoing the house when I was in my 20’s. Sometimes I turned on the radio and other times, I turned on our small, portable, SONY TV that usually lived in the kitchen. I loved that TV! Come to think of it, I don’t know what happened to it. I’m grateful for the suggestion. Hope hubby’s healing well. xoxox, Brenda

  7. I hear ya! I had knee surgery after an accident that tore the cartilage off and floated it behind the knee. My husband had two hip surgeries….he is on the golf course and said it was the best thing he ever did for himself. I was walking 5 to 8 miles a day…two miles….home….two miles….home….1 or more later in the day. I would rest between walks. NOW THAT THE SNOW is here, I will go to the University near my home to walk. They have an indoor, PADDED track. No cracked or raised sidewalks and no cars nearly running me over (biggest issue). I walk around the track worry free in a controlled climate. It usually means I have to do all my walking at once…but the bathroom is nearby…and the water fountain…and benches/

    • Hi Lisa, A padded track!!! Wow! That sounds very joint friendly and with the climate control… I’m betting you’ll get spoiled. And 5-8 miles a day is REALLY impressive. Raised sidewalks can be a problem if we’re not paying attention. We have lots of oak trees in our neighborhood, and when the acorns fall, they can be problematic if you’re not watching for them. They want to roll under your foot. Thanks for reading and leaving me a comment. Take care of that knee! Just the description gives me the shivers! Brenda

    • Hi Marita, Annie and Lulu both have Gentle Leaders, and they’re wonderful. Nanny Bee suggested them! Thanks so much for leaving the suggestion because I might not have known about them! xoxo, Brenda

  8. Hey Brenda! I started walking this year and I’m trying not to stop doing it in the winter, which is coming in very early this year. I’ve lost 15lb. and I don’t want to undo that! But, I love cooking and it’s difficult in the winter to not make fattening dishes. I really need to get it together this winter! My husband just had a knee replacement and it has been a nightmare since. Not because of the knee but because he had a lot of blood clots and spent 3 days in the hospital having them beat out of existence! It has slowed his recovery but, he will survive!
    This aging stuff is not all that pretty but, considering the alternatives….

    • Barbara, Your husband’s blood clots… Those are scary!! I don’t care where a blood clot is located, they’re dangerous. I’m glad they got them under control and he’s doing better. You’re right about aging… It’s not for sissies, is it, but I’m so grateful to still be here!! You lost 15 pounds? That’s a real achievement. Today at the gym I did arm exercises with two, 15-pound weights, and they’re heavy. Brava, but I hear you about gaining it back. I think we all have a tendency to eat comfort food and stay indoors in the winter. xoxox, Brenda

  9. I thank you for your humor, thoughtful and provocative thoughts, great ideas and gentle reminders that none of us are getting younger. Your resilience is an inspiration. Get the treadmill but also walk in nature. My therapist reminds that it is a perfect time to be PRESENT. Look at the trees, flowers, birds, sidewalk cracks, but most of all look up at the sky. Blue or gray, it is a lovely reminder that we are not alone under its umbrella. Sorry, gotta run. Need to take my babies, Boop and Che, Yorkies-Extrarodinaire, for a morning walk in the California sunshine. XOX

    • Hi Holly!! I love your comment and it’s an important one I need to remember. Walking indoors isn’t a substitute for being outside and appreciating nature. I used to get outdoors, daily, when I lived in the Texas Hill Country, and before that, I dug for artifacts in Mexico and Central America. Now that I live in the city, my lifestyle has totally changed. “We are not alone under its umbrella.” Beautiful sentiment. Thank you! xoxo, Brenda

  10. Yay, you! Onward now! I have a great little speaker that I can hook up via bluetooth with my iPhone and then play podcasts on it. The brand is Anker and its affordable. I also, like Holly, encourage you to walk outdoors and get some great Vitamin D while enjoying the sights and sounds. I’m amazed that so many of my creative inspirations for my products come from even a short walk out in nature. Good luck!

    • Hi Jean! Thanks for your suggestion, and I love your blog! So funny… I just read your post about getting off the beaten path! “Oh, shut up!” Really great. Yes, I need to get out in nature more often. I used to be the opposite of you…. But then I succumbed to some things that weren’t on your list, and they stopped me from being quite so adventurous… At least when I’m alone. xoxo, Brenda

  11. I’m so glad that you feel motivated and are taking this seriously! Now, I’ve got to pay attention and do the same. Love you, dear Brenda! XOX

    • Hi Sweet Lady!! I think I’ve found a treadmill… Have spent the better part of the week, online, reading reviews and going to places where I can actually walk on them and see what they’re like. Reviews are handy things, but my word… It’s easy to walk away with the impression there’s something wrong with everything. Perhaps we should form a walking encouragement club… We could have rewards that motivate us to stick with it…. Sticking with it is the hard part. I love you as well, dear Val, but then you know that! xoxox, B

  12. Bravo to you. Walking is good cardio, good for the back (it moves your spine gently), and good for keeping your bones strong. If you don’t want to fall, work a bit on balance, too. Stand on one foot while brushing your teeth. Do other balance exercises (on your toes, on one foot, eventually with eyes closed). They take only about a minute and the payoff is huge.

    • TOF, Great suggestions! Balance exercises while brushing your teeth! I work on balance at the gym, but as we age, we probably need to make more of a concentrated effort to work on it more. Core exercises are super important as well. If we have strong stomach muscles, it helps us catch ourselves if we trip or something whizzes past and catches us off guard, like dogs, bees… I have a friend who’s always said she wants to “remain in control of her spine.” I always thought that was an interesting was of putting it, but the older we get, the more relevant that becomes. She swims, daily, and does yoga. She’s a great example of how staying limber has paid off. xoxo, Brenda

    • Hi Sue! I totally agree! We broaden our circle of friends and learn so many things we otherwise wouldn’t have access to knowing. Blogging has been such a gift. I’ll see you soon on your blog as well. xoxox, Brenda

    • Sandy, We’ll just work at it in increments until we build up our strength and endurance. We need some motivation, but I think having the threat of breaking a hip hanging over our heads is a pretty powerful incentive, don’t you? xoxo, Brenda

    • Sandy, That’s not a bad idea… In an earlier comment, I mentioned that to MamaVal. Even though avoiding a broken hip is an incentive, what if we had a reward for staying on track and meeting our goals? xoxo, Brenda

  13. Hi Brenda – I just wanted to comment that hip fractures don’t have to be caused by a fall, they can also be spontaneous as in turning your body in a bad position suddenly due to a pet blocking your path unexpectedly. A few years ago my cat triggered a movement that left me with a fracture in my pelvis at the hip joint. Not only did it take 2 months to get a confirmed diagnosis, I had to walk on my fracture for 9 months till it healed (?)as I was unable to use a wheel chair due to severe rheumatoid arthritis. I suggest you check with your physician to see if you qualify to receive Prolia injections every 6 months. I had tried every medication, treatment,exercise available with no success until Prolia became available and in less than 5 years my spine has improved to the point that I may come out of severe osteoporosis into osteopenia in the next 2-3 years. My hips are improving at a slower pace, but are improving none the less. Exercise helps definately but some of us need more help. GOOD LUCK!!!

    • Brenda, I had no idea that could potentially cause us to break a hip! Woah!! What a serious ordeal you’ve been through. Thank you for leaving this valuable comment because I’ve wondered how successfully one could reverse the damage of severe osteoporosis? My bones are in good shape except for my hips. I’ve read up on Prolia. I’m currently back on Boniva. They’re similar but have different side effects and upsides. If you’re interested, here’s a link I found. Thank you, again!!! Heal well and good luck to you as well. xoxox, Brenda

  14. I’d like to recommend Zumba. It’s a 45 minute workout. It helps your brain (learning and remembering new movements), it’s cardio, and it helps strengthen your bones by some stomping and jumping. When I first started I experienced some weight loss which inspired me, so then I started being more careful with my diet. I lost about 15 lbs. It’s the only exercise that I’ve ever enjoyed; I started in my 50’s. Previously I’d have classified myself as not capable of dance, rhythm, etc…
    There’s also a nice sense of camaraderie in some classes. We’re all in it together! Lots of the women in the class are moms, but quite a few are well into their 70’s. My current class has an older guy who comes regularly.

    • Hi Patricia, Zumba!!! I haven’t heard about that in a while, but that’s a terrific idea! I love music, have rhythm and you’re right that it’s fun being in a class with other people. As soon as I sign off I’m going to see if I can find a Zumba class near me! Love this suggestion!! Thanks so much, Brenda

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