Thursday bits and bobs

The number one killer of women…..

The American Heart Association reminds us that February is heart health month.  As one who had a heart attack 15 years ago when I was 57, and a stroke five years later at age 62, I say Amen.

Fat Dianne

Fat Dianne

Thinner Dianne

Thinner Dianne

It could happen to you.

Most of my adult life, I have taken exercise and eaten a good diet.  The only thing I did wrong was let my weight creep up.  Year after year, my doctor warned me about my weight, and once at an annual physical, he yelled at me.  Finally, a few years ago, I took weight gain seriously, and have been on the Weight Watchers diet ever since.  Most of you know, I lost 40 pounds, reaching my first goal weight which was to return to 200 pounds.  There I have said it.  Now I am working on my second goal which is to lose 20 more pounds.  Even then, I will be at my weight at the time of my heart attack.

High blood pressure runs in my Mom’s family.  Her dad died at age 50 and she died at age 56. My younger brother had a massive heart attack around age 50, and a cousin, Sandy, died when her heart exploded…she was 45. Her mother reached her 60 birthday and died from a heart attack.  And so on.

 Prescription drugs probably keep me alive.  However, I continue to work on diet and eating right.  For one thing, David is tired of taking me to the emergency room.


John our handyman came by yesterday and fixed the kitchen drawer threatening to fall on the floor.  Later Kathy brought the gingerbread and fruit compote over as she told David she would.  John says he has another job for Troy when he is finished with our brickwork.  I suggested to Troy he wait until the weather improved to finish the brickwork out front. How wonderful to have all these helping friends in our lives.


My goal before I died was to get to the end of my family tree, which is a joke, because like the Internet, there is no end. However, this past week, I have been extending a couple of lines in my father’s mother’s tree.

Herbert, my English great-grandfather (I have four great-grandfathers, two for each parent), appears to have been a huge man with a great handlebar mustache. My cousin has a photo of Herbert standing in front of his diesel locomotive, and the engine looks small. Well, I suppose it’s Herbert.  I have a copy of a studio portrait photo taken six months before Herbert died and he seems a dignified fellow. Herbert’s uncle was a Civil War hero, and his son a Green Bay Packer in the early 1920s.

This week, I did some more work on Herbert’s tree and discovered that through his father’s line (he also had four great-grandfathers) he is descended from Governor Thomas Dudley.

The name might mean little to you if you are unaware of American history, but Dudley was the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony after John Winthrop.  Dudley was a Puritan, not a Pilgrim.  (The Pilgrims, left England owing to religious reasons, landed near Plymouth Rock in 1620 and came on the Mayflower.)  Winthrop and Dudley left England with their followers for business reasons, landing in Massachusetts in 1630. They founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Salem Massachusetts. Later, Thomas Dudley built the first house in what became Cambridge Massachusetts.

You can read more about Thomas Dudley and the Massachusetts Bay Colony here…

11 thoughts on “Thursday bits and bobs

  1. In awe of your persistence in overcoming all these odds — Congratulations! I knew you and David were watching your weight and eating healthfully but did not previously realize just how strong your reasons are for doing so!

    Don’t finish the whole family tree. I sort of feel like it’s not a good idea to finish ‘bucket list’ goals. You always should have something to look forward to! Plus one day your daughters and/or grands will be interested in it all and maybe you should leave a little bit for them to discover.

    (Or not. I’m just envious of all you’ve been able to find (and the fact that you have such illustrious ancestors!) — and, again, awed at your determination and talent in accomplishing all this great research.


  2. It comes as a shock when you realise the ‘sins of the fathers’ are being regenerated in yourself lol

    When my GP first noticed a rise in my BP she asked about family history of illness’ so I asked Mum and Dad and was amazed at all that had gone before me. Many cardiovascular problems – Hypertension, Stroke, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol levels, Arthritis being the main ones – no Ca (that’s on The Golfer’s side) so our children have a choice. One or the other – wonder which will get them lol

    All of my risk factors are controlled (except for losing those homesick kilos – you know the ones that go away and then return from whence they came!) If I could only lose them permanently life would be good.

    LOL We all have 4 Gt Grandparents – each parent has two parents – some of us are able to trace them, some can’t 🙂


  3. You didn’t look “fat” in the first photo. You look like a tall woman; someone who would be referred to as “statuesque”. It sounds like your family has a genetic predisposition to heart problems.


  4. Glad you lost 40 lbs and are determined to lose another 20. Good for you.
    As for the colony in Massachusetts, I visited Boston and Winchester once back in 1987. We have relatives there, and it might be a good idea to return and see if anything has changed.


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