My health hacks…

This door led to our riad, only a short distance from the souk in the Medina in Marrakesh, Morocco, in March 2014.

As most of our readers know, I spend a lot of time researching every interest that comes to my mind. It’s not unusual for me to spend hours each day when something new piques my interest, which is more often than not. At times, I find myself so engrossed in a topic that hours can fly by, to my amazement, when I stop for a break.

Again, one topic in particular, as our regular readers know, is health and well-being. No, I am not a purist. I subscribe to specific modalities to which others may not agree. I am okay with that. It boils down to a few simple realities: sleep, diet, exercise, sufficient water, minimal alcohol, and harmony in my daily life with minimal stress.

I strive for the optimal benefits from these basic principles, but, like many of us, I falter from time to time. However, my next meal, exercise session, and night’s sleep is an opportunity to begin again, never feeling guilty for slipping, knowing I’m one step away from returning to my chosen path.

My recent goals have included improving my heart health, regardless of the outcome of my cardiology appointment tomorrow afternoon and what is to come in the future regarding the condition of my heart valves, which is precarious at this time and cannot be improved by lifestyle enhancements.

However, whatever treatment I may face down the road can only be successful if I continue improving my overall health daily. Over this past year, I have improved several aspects of my health. Although, at times, I went kicking and screaming, all the while knowing what I had to do.

Today, I will share some “hacks” with you that, without a doubt, have helped me substantially:

  1. Sleep – I have never been a sleep-though-the-night kind of person. Invariably, regardless of what I do, I wake up five out of six nights wide awake, anywhere from 2:00 to 3:00 am, feeling alert and unable to go back to sleep. But in the past several months, I’ve adopted a new state of mind when this happens…I don’t worry about it; trying to get back to sleep. I have trained myself to let my mind be free of concern, implanting the knowledge that eventually, I’ll be sleepy again and have sufficient hours of sleep for excellent functioning during the day without feeling sleepy. This state of mind has changed everything. I always fall back to sleep with seven to eight hours of good sleep. Sure, I have to sleep later, which may not work for everyone, but as a retired person, generally, I do not need to get up at 7:00 am or earlier.
  2. Diet – Since November, when we were in Ecuador and I was desperately struggling with Afib around the clock, I’d read repeatedly that losing weight can help reduce the incidences of Afib events. Over the past several years, since I had cardiac surgery in 2019, I’d gained about 25 pounds, creeping up slowly, partly from medications, partly from being less active, and partly from eating portions that were simply too large. Even on a keto diet, one can overeat and gain weight over time. I cut back on portions, and slowly, since November, I’ve lost about 22 pounds with five more to go. In the meanwhile, in November, I went on medication for Afib and have not had an event since then. I try to eat organic when possible, healthy meats, fish, and poultry, along with healthy fats, and every evening, I have a bowl of Fage Greek Yogurt.
  3. Exercise – Although I tried exercising in Ecuador, the Afib was a severe deterrent before taking the medication. Once we arrived in Nevada in mid-December, I committed to working out as much as possible while keeping the Afib in check. Recently, I escalated the program by adding an app called Better Me with guided exercises suitable for me. I am only on day nine of a repeatable 28-day program. Wow! Is this working for me! In this short period, I’ve noticed a considerable improvement in my stamina and flexibility. I’m still walking but have found ways to increase my daily steps, making reaching my 7000 daily goals much more manageable. For example, this morning, when I was folding and putting away the dry clothes from the drying rack in the second bedroom, I folded one item at a time and walked to the drawers or closets where that item was meant to go. By doing this, I added 1000 steps to today’s goal. Soon, we’ll walk to the market in the Village for more steps, and when we return to the condo, I quickly walk around the center island in the kitchen. It takes about 18 times to add 1000 steps. That sounds like a lot, but we usually listen to podcasts that occupy my mind.
  4. Sufficient water – I quit drinking coffee and flavored zero-calorie drinks a month ago. Now I only drink room temperature water, I never liked drinking water. I always reached for flavored drinks with lots of ice. But I am already feeling better and less bloated and have a better sense of when I am thirsty. No, I am not drinking gallons of water since I am not forcing it. Also, I eat a lot of vegetables, most of which have a high water content, and those, too, count toward a daily goal.
  5. Minimal alcohol – If I have wine, I don’t drink more than one average-sized glass (last Friday night was the exception) of a non-sweet wine such as a Cabernet, Merlot, or Pinot Grigio. There are carbs in wine, and I don’t care, or need, to use my daily allotment of 20 to 30 grams by drinking wine, nor is it healthy to drink more. I am having no ill effects from the one glass.
  6. Harmony in my daily life with minimal stress – I avoid stressful situations at all costs. That doesn’t mean I am unwilling to work through a stressful situation. Since Tom and I get along so well, our daily lives are relatively stress-free. We talk, laugh, and have a good time. But sometimes, things happen over which I have little to no control. During those times, I could feel my heart rate increasing and cortisol (the stress hormone) running through me. Those times, I realized how significant stress reduction is to maintain good health.

I don’t have any easy answers on how to live one’s best life. Nor do I rely upon “internet” suggestions on what we “should” be doing. Those suggestions change almost daily, and it’s impossible to decipher what is suitable for each of us. Even medical studies can be misleading when sponsored by companies trying to convey a message to increase sales of their less-than-ideal products. One must be very careful about the modalities they adopt based on skewed studies and opinions not backed by science.

When I say this today, I especially wish every one of you to “Be well.”

Photo from ten years ago today, March 4, 2014:

The sunlight in the open courtyard of our Moroccan riad provides a welcoming warmth as we acclimate to the cooler weather. For more photos, please click here.

Day #231 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Home grown dental care…

Tom checked in at the reception desk at the dental office while we waited outside with no indoor seating areas. The dental office was located on the hospital grounds.

Today’s photos are from this date while living in Savusavu, Fiji, on the island of Vanua Levu For the story and more photos from this date, please click here.

Today’s historical photos put a smile on our faces. What an unusual experience we had on the day in Fiji when Tom had a raging abscessed tooth requiring immediate attention! Our landlord explained there was a dental office located across from the hospital parking lot. Otherwise, it would have required a four-hour round trip drive to the next closest dentist.

Tom was his usual cheerful self even under these troublesome circumstances. 

Appointments weren’t required. We contacted Rasnesh, our usual driver, to take us the short distance to the hospital grounds where the dental office was located. Rasnesh explained he had been seeing this same dentist since he was a child and was happy with the care he’d received, giving us peace of mind.

As it turned out, Tom did indeed have a bad abscess revealed on the x-ray, and the doctor recommended either pulling three teeth in that area or Tom taking antibiotics. In three months, we’d be in New Zealand, where he could be treated as needed. The dentist gave him three prescriptions; two antibiotics and one for high dose Paracetamol (Tylenol).

The treatment room was spacious and seemingly well equipped.

When we proceeded to pay the dental bill, we couldn’t stop giggling. We walked across the parking lot to the hospital’s pharmacy to discover the prescriptions were “free.” In both cases, we offered to pay more, explaining we were tourists. Still, their national health care system, which included visitors, refused payment, handing over the neatly wrapped medications. Wow! The x-ray, exams, and the time with the dentist came to a total of US $2.76, INR 204!

Within three to four days, the pain was gone. Still, once more, he needed a round of antibiotics two months later when the pain returned while we were waiting to board a cruise in Sydney, Australia (see that post here) ending in New Zealand, where finally, he had the one abscessed molar pulled (see that post here).

We could only hope for sanitary conditions.

We both had a cleaning appointment scheduled before we left South Africa in 2019. Still, after my open-heart surgery, the dentist refused to work on my teeth due to the risk of infection, possibly after heart surgery. Thus, I haven’t seen a dentist since 2018. Tom kept his cleaning appointment in South Africa in 2019. Once we return, we’ll both head to our fantastic dentist in Komatipoort, 20 minutes from Marloth Park.

While in lockdown, I had an abscess which seems to have resolved after taking the same antibiotics Tom had taken for his. No prescription is required in India for non-narcotic prescriptions. Hopefully, it doesn’t return, allowing me to have it treated when we get to South Africa, whenever that is.

Luckily, he didn’t have one of these dreaded injections.

In the interim, we are cautious with our teeth, frequently brushing with our Braun battery-operated toothbrushes, using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide every few days, continuing with our usual regime of “oil pulling” using organic unrefined coconut oil. Here’s a US scientific study on some of the health benefits of oil pulling using coconut oil.

In addition, we both floss after each meal using brush picks and dental floss. Hopefully, these preventive procedures will help us make it to our dentist in Komatipoort in many months to come. Of course, there’s no substitute for quality dental care by a licensed professional. For now, as with everything else, we do the best we can.

The used sponge on the sink could instill a degree of concern for sanitation. Then again, we Americans may be overly concerned about germs.

On a side note, at the end of yesterday’s post, two of our kind readers wrote, “Why don’t we live in a holiday/vacation home in Mumbai as opposed to staying in this hotel?” For their comments and our responses, please click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

We certainly appreciate the comments and questions and fully understand the basis of such questions. But, in reviewing our responses, you’ll see how staying put in this hotel makes more sense for us right now. All those wedding guests cluttering the corridors without face masks yesterday have since checked out in the interim. I was able to walk without issue this morning, much to my relief. Yesterday, I stopped walking halfway through my daily goal when countless guests were not wearing face masks.

The bill for the dentist visit was surprising at FJD 6, $2.76, INR 204!

At the moment, Tom is watching the Minnesota Vikings football game played yesterday in the US. We’ll see how that goes!

Find comfort in the small things.

As we entered the hospital’s pharmacy. We only waited a moment for service. The medications he received were already packaged and ready to go. Only the label was added with Tom’s name and instructions. 

Photo from one year ago today, November 9, 2019:

There was no post on this date one year ago. We had just arrived in Minnesota to be with family, and we spent a hectic day.

Day #227 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…A published story from 7 years ago today…

Jessica L. Grain Brain Success Story

Today’s only photo (please excuse my redundancy) is again repeated from our post on this date in 2013 when Dr. David Perlmutter (one of many research studies here at this link) posted a story about my success with a low carb/keto way of eating. For our full story from that date, please see our link here.

Today’s story is by no means intended to “toot my own horn” or elicit praise or recognition from any of our readers. My purpose is solely to inspire others who may have been considering some lifestyle changes to improve health, reduce symptoms of inflammatory disease and reduce the likelihood of cognitive issues often affecting seniors and, in some cases, those in mid-life or younger.

If only one person reads today’s post and is inspired to read and follow Dr. David Perlmutter, the New York Times Best Selling Author of the books listed below, my message would be worthwhile. I apologize for the repeated story for those not interested, but perhaps you may pass on some of this priceless information to someone you know or love.

Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers (2013)Brain Wash: Detox Your Mind for Clearer Thinking, Deeper Relationships, and Lasting Happiness (2020)Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain for Life (2015)The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan: Boost Brain Performance, Lose Weight, and Achieve Optimal Health (2016)Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment (2011)

All of these books may be found at Please click the Amazon link on our site for ease of purchase. You pay the same prices for products and services if you visit our advertisers on our site. We receive a tiny commission from Amazon when our readers click on any of our links. These commissions help offset a small portion of our annual website expenses. However, we are in no manner involved in the sale of Dr. Perlmutter’s books or services.
After the publication of Dr. Perlmutter’s first book and having had such outstanding results from his (and other medical professionals) recommendation that ultimately provided me with the health I’d need to be able to travel the world, I contacted him. He is a highly regarded board-certified neurologist and MD.
He replied promptly and asked if I’d be willing to write the story here for his site. I was excited and pleased to do so. This was not for any financial remuneration, but hopefully, my story would inspire others, like me, who were subject to a wide array of hereditary inflammatory diseases which had impacted my life for many years, which I’ve shared here ad nauseam.
His prompt reply after the publication of his first book, Grain Brain, thrilled me. Surely, then, he wasn’t as busy as he is now. He does regular podcasts on YouTube and Facebook, most of which I have listened to while walking recently and over the years. For those interested, here is the link to his YouTube page.
He’s an excellent writer and speaker and has provided considerable research and relevant information about COVID-19 and his ongoing research on the functions of the human brain, Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline and disease, and how it’s impacted by our diet, inflammation, and lifestyle.
Many of us have experienced some cognitive decline while aging after an accident or injury or have observed it in our aging parents, loved ones, and friends. His books and podcasts can be an invaluable resource for information and education.
If you’d like more information from our post on November 5, 2013, please click here.
Have a superb day!

Photo from one year ago today, November 5, 2019:

Pirate ship attracts tourists at the port in Bermuda. For more photos, please click here.

A stunning discovery…Everything has changed…

In Madeira, Portugal, five years ago today, we wrote: “Nothing like a view from the veranda at dusk.”  For more details from that post, please click here.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland 
The Royal Cork Yacht
Club, founded in 1720, is widely recognized as the world’s oldest yacht club.
The club plays host to Cork Week, Ireland’s largest and most prestigious
sailing event, held every two years and attracting boats and sailors from
around the world. There is still a very strong tradition of sailing in many of
our coastal towns, and you can either hire small sailing boats for your own use
or sign up to sailing courses in towns such as Schull and Baltimore.”

In an effort to avoid complaining and becoming known as a “whinger” or “whiner,”  I haven’t disclosed here quite how bad my recent situation has been.  My painful legs and arms made walking or performing the simplest of tasks unbearable.

Yes, I walked everyday recording steps on my fitness tracker but each step took everything I could muster.  Also, I wasn’t noticing any improvement after all the walking up the hill, up and down the stairs, and throughout the house.

I’d mentioned this to Tom but didn’t emphasize how severe the pain was.  I didn’t want him to worry any more than he’d worried already.  As of several days ago, I was imagining life in a wheelchair along with an end to our travels.  Desperately, I tried not to keep mentioning it.
A summer rose in Madeira.
The only relief I had was when sitting or lying down.  When I was cooking or hanging laundry I could barely stand in one place.  I was trying hard not to let this get me down but I was teetering on the edge.

Each time we’ve grocery shopped or took off sightseeing, I could barely get my legs to move.  My arms and shoulders ached.  I did arm and shoulder exercises to no avail. Getting dressed took everything I had.

Each day I contemplated what we were having for dinner and how long I’d have to stand in the kitchen to prep the items.  I let carrots spoil when I couldn’t imagine peeling them while standing at the counter.  I know I could have asked Tom for help but good grief, it’s been over five months and I’ve needed to be more independent.  How would this ever improve?

I wrote to the cardiologist and he assumed something was wrong with my heart and I needed to make an appointment with a cardiologist.  But, my heart is fine.  When I’ve walked up the hill in front of the house my legs burned beyond description.  My pulse was exactly where it should have been.  I wasn’t out of breath any more than Tom would have been.  He’s very healthy!
Lush greenery, blue skies, and the sea create a colorful scene in Madeira.
At a loss, I didn’t know what to do.  Subsequently, I started reading the medical literature, kindle books, and reputable information by world-famous and highly regarded cardiologists and physicians…not public opinion, not forums, and not heart-related blogs.

After weeks of research, I discovered what I’d expected, that as much as 30% of patients stopped taking their prescribed statins due to side effects.  In the US, over 28% of people over 40 years old are on statins.  How much money Big Pharma has made!

Prior to the discovery of my cardiac issues, I was a stench naysayer about statins, having read volumes about them.  I’d pull out my statin “soapbox” from time to time (when appropriate) and express my views.

But, when suddenly I was a cardiac patient after triple bypass surgery, the first drug they gave me was a statin, comparable to a drug called Crestor in the US but known as Zuvamor 40 mg in South Africa.  
Rooftops, power lines and terraced hills are a common sight.
When I questioned the doctors expressing my aversion to statins during my followup appointments, who are often funded by “Big Pharma” they insisted the drug would save my life.  Frightened, while not feeling well, I acquiesced and took the daily dose.

Every day that passed, the pain escalated and I came to the conclusion it was the statins, for the very reason I was vehemently opposed to this class of drugs.  Conducting more research I discovered it takes 77 hours or more for the drugs to leave one’s system.

On Tuesday night, I took the last pill deciding I was done with statins.  If, and I mean, if, I believed that they’d protect my health, I might be worried about stopping.  But, after considerable research, I feel at ease knowing I am doing the right thing.

Please keep in mind my decision to stop statins in no way is a suggestion you do the same, nor am I soliciting any medical advice. Each of us must become well educated as to what works for us with the support of medical professionals you trust.
Banana leaves along the road.

That’s the keyword…”trust.”  I noticed in the medical report I received from the surgeon (upon request) that he stated I’d had a heart attack.  I did not have a heart attack and asked him to amend the report accordingly.

This morning, less than 77 hours since I stopped the drug, I got out of bed, hopeful.  Alas, after moving around I noticed an 80% improvement in the pain in my arms and legs.  I’m anticipating that as more and more of the drug leaves my system, I’ll continue to feel more relief.

This morning we grocery shopped and for the first time shopping since the surgery on February 12th, never once did I think about pain in my arms and legs.  Once back at the house I easily put away the groceries while Tom helped as usual.  

Previously, I had to pull up a chair to the open refrigerator to put things away.  Today, I easily bent over the under-counter fridge to load the vegetables in the drawer.

With few homes having clothes dryers, railings on verandas become clotheslines.

Am I taking a risk?  With no conclusive evidence that taking statins prevents heart disease, I don’t think so.  But, if I am taking a huge risk, quality of life is most important to me.  Living in a wheelchair due to side effects from a drug is no quality of life for me, especially for our lifestyle.

You may say, try another statin.  I appreciate the concern.  But side effects are many regardless of the brand name and even lower doses.  I’m done.  Done and happy to be so.

My legs are weak but now instead of walking gingerly and favoring the pain, I can begin to walk with confidence and finally build some strength.  No, I’m not totally 100%.  That will take time, especially at my age.  But, I will continue on this path with optimism and hope for the future. 

Thank you for listening…

Be well.  Very well.
Photo from one year ago today, July 26, 2018:
This giraffe was having a “bad hair day!”  The hair on the female giraffe’s ossicones is usually short and straight up.  For more photos, please click here.

Stormy sleepless night…Musings of life…What does homemade toothpaste have to do with anything?…

Ingredients for making the toothpaste recipe (see below).

Sleep was elusive last night as we both tossed and turned most of the night. I’d be surprised if I’d slept three hours, Tom a little more. Nothing, in particular, was on our minds as we both commented on several occasions how we were still awake.

Famous words to a loved one during a fitful night, “Are you awake?”

Wait 10 seconds, ask again, “Are you awake?”

“Yes,” they reply after the second inquiry after which you realize you may have awoken them with the question, “Did I wake you?”

“Oh, no,” we say, “I’ve been awake for hours.”

This type of dialogue is not uncommon when receiving a phone call during the night. Why do we always say, “No, you didn’t wake me.  I’ve been awake for hours.”

When following a recipe I place my laptop on the counter to easily follow the instructions.

Funny, we are, we humans. Regardless of our country of origin, or languages spoken, our learned behaviors, we often respond similarly all over the world.

Finally, this morning after reading a book on my phone for over two hours I dragged myself out of bed feeling exhausted in body, alert in mind. What’s that about? 

In part, I believe a sense of joy over the gift of another day of life triggers my brain into full-on mode as I begin another day the moment my feet hit the floor. 

That’s not to say each morning we awake with an over-the-top cheery disposition although neither of us is grumpy in the morning, or at most other times of the day. 

We attempt to live by these principles, although unspoken in their exactness, exercised in our daily lives:

Gratefulness.  A natural segue to happiness.

Appreciation.  A natural segue to a great relationship.

Organization.  A natural segue to maintaining a sense of responsibility.

Faith, humility, and reverence. A natural segue to maintaining a sense of peace and acceptance of the immense impact of a higher power in our lives.

Perfection? Not on the menu. We are subject to the flaws and foibles we continually allow to flow from our beings, in essence, that which makes us unique and vulnerable. 

Combining all the dry and wet ingredients separately, made the final mixing easier.

We love that vulnerability and in this life, we make an effort to find humor in our flaws, our peculiarities, and at times our insane rituals.  We each, in our own way, possess a series of things we say, things we do, and ways in which we respond to one another. 

For us, this uniqueness makes our 24/7 existence not only tolerable but highly entertaining and meaningful. The fact that we travel the world living in one country after another, is almost incidental. It’s the day-to-day that shapes our lives and contributes to our personal growth and well-being.

What does making toothpaste have to do with all of this? I suppose one could say it falls into the category of “organization” in taking responsibility for our health in yet one more simple way.

Finally, I put the liquid ingredients on top of the dry ingredients and mixed them thoroughly.  I didn’t need to use a blender or food processor.

Today, we share yesterday’s photos of that quick and easy process of making toothpaste which we’re happy to report proved to be more effective, better tasting, and better feeling in the mouth than we’d expected. 

Here’s the recipe from Dr. Josh Axe, a renowned and highly acclaimed natural medicine doctor. More on Dr. Axe is located here

We prefer not to pack glass containers. This BPA-free contained we had on hand was perfect.
Dr. Axe Homemade
Mineralizing Toothpaste

2 minutes
Serves: 30
4 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp xylitol powder
20 drops Cinnamon or
Clove essential oil
20 drops Peppermint
essential oil
30 drops Trace Minerals
1.     Put all ingredients into bowl and mix well
together. (You can also use a food processor for this)
Remove homemade
toothpaste and store in glass jar with a lid. If it starts to dry out, add a
bit of water
To keep the packing weight at a minimum, I only packed the items we may have more difficulty getting in Bali, the next vacation home in our journey.  I left out the baking soda which is easy to find in any country.

Its delicious tasting and forms a solid paste easy to scoop from the container with a small spoon.

May you have a day filled with gratefulness, appreciation, organization, and faith.

Photo from one year ago today, March 24, 2015:

A year ago, we attended the Princeville Artisan Fair in Kauai and thoroughly enjoying the experience as we met and later highlighted one of the talented vendors.  For more photos, please click here.

We left Minnesota 1000 days ago…One year ago…Final costs of 77 days on the island of Madeira…

This flower appears to have the face of a fluffy white lamb. Notice the eyes and nose. We didn’t see this until after we uploaded many photos from our visit to the Cairns Botanic Gardens.

Today is 1000 days since we left Minnesota on October 31, 2012, to begin our new lives, our worldwide adventures, our foray into the unknown. We’d marked the calendar that long ago for the 1000th day, at the time unsure if we’d ever reach it. (Some time ago, we mentioned posting our 1000th post which is different. We began posting seven months before we left so these are two distinct dates).

We had no clue when we posted today’s reminder for the 1000th day if we’d tire of traveling, find our health prevented continuing on, or if we found it financially impossible based on costs and inflation throughout the world. None of these concerns have impeded the joyful continuance of our travels.

On the return drive from Cairns, we stopped to check out this roadside stand.  We didn’t purchase anything when they only had fruit.

We are as enthusiastic in this life now as we were 1000 days ago. The fear is gone with knowledge and experience in its place. We truly feel like experienced travelers and yet, we still have so much more to learn, to see, to explore. 

Many of our readers have been with us since the beginning and we commend you for your loyalty, diligence, and input. What a gift we receive every day in knowing you are there!

We’d driven by this Farm Market many times on our way back and forth to Cairns, deciding it was time to stop to check it out.

Is it possible to imagine that some mornings I load my laptop, connect to the internet and start the app I use to upload this site without a clue as to what to put down in words and photos?

Can you imagine that some mornings when I study the folder on my desktop entitled “photos to post” that there’s only a mishmash of unrelated photos I’ve yet to upload for lack of relevancy to a particular another batch of photos?

Their meat case was filled with many pre-seasoned and pre-coated with flour and breadcrumbs, none of which work for us. But we purchased a few packs of bacon, chicken, and spinach wrapped chicken breasts.

Do I panic?  Not at all.  Do I say to myself, “Gee…I wish I didn’t have to do this every day?” Not at all. My little brain goes to work either from a morning conversation between Tom and me, a tidbit on the news, or at times a light bulb moment popping bright within my field of vision.

Sure, the day could come when the slate is blank and literally not a word, a thought, an urge, or a nuance will waft through my head to reach my fingers on the keyboard, which are usually itching to be in action. That could happen. In reality, someday, this will happen. But, it’s not today.

We hadn’t seen cherries in a long time.  Some veg is organic and others are not which is not evident by signs posted.

Can you imagine that the photo file is nearly empty and we don’t feel like going out on a sightseeing expedition? That’s a relatively common occurrence. Why wouldn’t it be? Do any of us have enough “share-worthy” information combined with photos to share every day of our lives? Hardly.

Neither of us is into “selfies” which eliminates an entire category of photo taking. Nor, am I continually updating my Facebook page with the “photo of the day or moment.” 

This package of crocodile is AUD $15, USD $10.91. Next time we stop by that store, I think we’ll buy one of these and try it.

On Facebook, I tend to post a photo of an inanimate subject that I find interesting such as in today’s photo at the top of this page that I “saved” from the Cairns Botanic Gardens” to post. 

We aren’t quite ready to try eating kangaroo and these sausages contained sugar and wheat.

The main photo was my favorite from the gardens tour day, saved in the same manner that one may save that last tender morsel on their plate to eat as the very last bite…a reward at the end for our patience?

There’s a lot of things we could do today. Sylvie and Andy purchased chaise lounges which they placed next to the pool so we could lounge there for our dose of Vitamin D, as opposed to sitting in a chair on the veranda. We couldn’t be more pleased with the kind and caring attention they’ve given to our needs and wants. Today, we could lounge by the pool for a while.

Tom put his hand out to show illustrate the size of this huge sweet potato.

We could take a drive to a new area further from Trinity Beach to return with hundreds of new photos which could see us through days of posting or, we could make several short trips to unseen spots in the area, although we seem to have already thoroughly scoured the immediate area.

Don’t get me wrong. We love getting out and taking photos. It’s getting us out the door that is always the challenge when it’s so easy to do nothing, one of our favorite pastimes. And doing nothing is not really doing nothing. We seem to be busy all day even when we stay home with the intent of doing “nothing.”

We purchased some of the bacon in the rear middle of this case.  Once cooked we realized that the rind was still attached and we had to pull it off like a long leather boot shoelace. Otherwise, the bacon was nitrate-free and delicious. As shown, many of the items for sale are pre-seasoned and coated.

I can imagine that many of our retiree readers totally get what we’re saying here today. Life doesn’t always consist of busy, meaningful, and active days filled with new discoveries and revelations. And, many otherwise quiet days end up a flurry of activity.

So, we’ll see what the day brings. I imagine that tomorrow when you stop by, you’ll see something new and shown for the very first time as we strive to do each and every day. 

Ibis are commonly seen birds in Australia.

Happy day to all of you whether you stay in, head out on a walk, or on an adventure. It all matters.

                                               Photo from one year ago today, July 28, 2014:

As we were fast approaching departing Madeira, we posted all of our final expenses as we do when getting ready to leave each country. For details of those expenses, please click here.

Out and about…Always discover something new and interesting…Joined Coast Fitness…

This pretty restaurant, L’únigo (misspelled in TripAdvisor as L’Unico) is rated #3 of 16 restaurants in Trinity Beach. We’ll try this one also. The sun peeked out for a few hours yesterday!

With dense fog and pouring rain impeding the view of the ocean and the horizon, we’ve decided not to go on the road trip along the ocean that we’d tentatively planned for today. 

With the intent of taking photos of the scenery along the coastline to share here, we’ve decided to wait until the next sunny weekday. We prefer not to travel on busy weekends fighting traffic and crowds when we can just as easily travel on weekdays.

I stepped out of the car to take this shot. Tom reminded me that passengers on the ship had told him that the ocean is murky at most beaches in Australia, as opposed to the clear crisp blue waters of Hawaii and other islands. Here’s an article about the murky waters surrounding the Great Barrier Reef.

However, yesterday when we took off for me to join a fitness center, we took a drive and stumbled upon a fabulous area with photo ops we look forward to sharing here over the next few days. With wifi limitations and the overall poor signal, we can’t post as many photos as we had in some past locations when we had free unlimited wifi.

Coast Fitness is the closest health club and although modest, it certainly will do the trick. I’ve always found that a health club must be conveniently located in one’s place of residence. It’s hard enough to make oneself workout on a regular basis, let alone having a long distance to drive. 

View of the mountains from Trinity Beach.

Working out, although obviously beneficial, requires a degree of self-discipline that I’ve always found to be challenging. Once I’m there and warmed up, it’s all good. 

Unfortunately, Tom has to drive me wherever I’d like to go. The car rental required an extra USD $23.22, AUD $30 per day to add me to the agreement. It just wasn’t worth spending an extra USD $2066.58, AUD $2670.36 for me to drive myself to the grocery store and fitness center during the 89 days. 

There are warning signs along all the beaches in this area in regard to stingers and crocodiles. We’ve seldom seen anyone in the water or lounging on the beach.

It’s not like Tom has a lot to do to prevent him from having time to drive me around. He brings his phone loaded with books he’s reading staying entertained while he waits. Also, driving a stick shift left-handed and on the opposite side of the road wouldn’t have been ideal for me. In essence, I’m happy I wasn’t included in the agreement.  It would not have been pretty.

As we exited the car at Vasay Esplanade, we were excited to see restaurants along the street. Trinity Beach Beachfront Bar and Grill which we particularly liked for their menu is rated #4 of 16 in TripAdvisor. We’ll try this one soon.

It took no more than 10 minutes to pay the required US $177, AUD $230, for the next two months and get my membership card. Not wanting to pay for the third month, my membership will end two weeks before we leave Trinity Beach on September 8th. During that final two weeks, I’ll do the workout at home.

This morning’s view at 10 am.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to find a facility on the tiny island we’ll be living on in Fiji after we leave here. I’ve already begun searching, contacting various resorts for possibilities, hoping to hear back before too long.

We can’t see beyond the yard.

I hadn’t realized that I’d feel so out of shape when I started yesterday’s routine. I can only attribute it to the fact that I was sick during the final month in Kauai, never working out, and then did a less than stellar attempt on the ship when we were busy socializing each day. 

Now I’m totally committed to go to the fitness center frequently and give it everything I have. It’s amazing how energized and strong I’ll feel after a few weeks. 

The modest entrance to Coast Fitness.  Although unassuming, it has excellent equipment, everything I can possibly use.

As we left the fitness center, Tom, with his keen sense of direction, decided to take us on another drive toward the ocean. Little did we know we’d stumble upon a quaint oceanfront area of Trinity Beach we hadn’t yet discovered. I practically squealed with delight as we parked the car.

The pool at Coast Fitness wasn’t particularly appealing. With the pool here at the house which we’ve yet to use with the mostly cloudy weather these past few weeks, we won’t be using this pool.

Even Tom, who doesn’t get quite as excited as I do, couldn’t get out of the car quick enough so we could wander along the ocean boulevard, Vasay Esplanade, checking out the scenery and the various restaurants and their menus. We found enough restaurants in that one location to satisfy us for weeks to come.

The equipment is up-to-date and adequate.

However, we’ve yet to dine out since we arrived. What can I say? We’ve so enjoyed making our meals and, with Tom losing weight like crazy, it’s pointless to dine out and spoil the momentum. Perhaps soon, we’ll visit one of these appealing options.

We’re content, feeling settled in, enjoying the area. We’ve begun looking ahead to the future when we still have holes in our itinerary that we need to fill. We’ve waited long enough and currently are considering several options. Once, we’ve booked the next round, we’ll certainly be sharing the news here.

Have a warm and wonderful day filled with sunshine in your life, if not in the skies.

                                              Photo from one year ago today, June  24, 2014:

This was the first time we’d seen these Angel’s Trumpet flowers as we drove in the mountains of Madeira. Later, I saw these in Kauai when I toured the Princeville Botanical Gardens to discover that these flowers are used as a hallucinogenic by certain cultures. For more details, please click here.