Heather on July 21st, 2011

I was a Killer Ukulele player in Elementary school - star  in the school band! Sometime during the middle school years the ukulele got broken but the memories lived on, I suspect they have have gotten even better.

Strumming in Hawaii

I have waxed nostalgically about my musical talent with the Ukulele for years so when we were in Hawaii in 2010 Dave bought me one as a memento of the trip. I got to pick it out & apparently I have bought cars faster than I bought my new Ukulele.

Well -here we are a year and a half later and after dusting the case for the umpteenth time I decided to devote summer campfires, sunrises  & sunsets to relearning the fine art. I downloaded cords, music & a tuner so I am good to go.

I apologize to my family & friend as your campfire time may be less enjoyable for the next month or so but look to the future when we can actually have sing – a -longs!!

IT COULD TOO HAPPEN! (I can still pick “English Country Gardens” without a pause.)

I had better finish packing up, we head to camp in a few hours. I am so excited!


I ordered 6 books on Amazon yesterday about writing fiction & non fiction. I’ll list them next blog. I think my Ukulele playing might help my subconscious with the whole writing process – BRING OUT MY CREATIVE-ARTSY SIDE!

Heather on July 7th, 2011

I said – STAY TUNED so here it the big reveal….

Let me take a sec and give you some background. Since I sold my business & moved with my husband to Greenville, I have been trying to figure out what to do, how to spend all of the free time I suddenly had as a jobless, newly christened empty-nester. Home renovation filled the first year and school filled the second year. I loved school. The challenge of getting my brain muscle back into tip top shape  was a challenge but I had a good year with my grades getting better as the year progressed. I looked at my schedule for the 2011/12 school year and the department wanted me to take classes  5 days per week and maintain a B average. I do not want the stress of a 5 day – 3 hour round trip commute. To maintain a B average I would have to give up my life – just not going to happen folks – life is way to short.

Last weekend all my children were here for the July 4th weekend and we brainstormed, the theme being, “How to keep Mom (that’s me) busy & fulfilled in rural Maine”. The consensus was  I NEED to commit to writing my book. I have skirted around this for years, writing in fits & starts. This is an unknown for me; I am apprehensive and wonder what will flow out from my depths but only time will tell.

Lets make a list of the +++’s

  • I live in the perfect place to write. Most famous authors move to places like this to write. Primitive, wild, elemental. Great to draw inspiration from.
  • I can write anywhere, so  traveling should not interfere.
  • I have the time.
  • I am a voracious book reader – that’s got to help, something must have rubbed off!
  • I have you to keep me in check & disciplined.

the – - -  ‘s

  • hmmm, can’t think of anything, EXCEPT the fear of failure but when has that ever stopped me.

I’ll take the summer to put the outline in place, maybe buy some “How to write a novel” self help books.




Month 1 will start September 1st & this blog will be my online diary of my trials & tribulations.

Want to join me, share my pain, finally write a great American novel?

Let’s do it together!




Heather on June 3rd, 2011

These past few months have been a blur.

kayaking Wekiva River in Florida

  • Dave and I became registered Maine Guides (so the New Year’s resolution has been accomplished).
  • I finished up my spring courses & did well!
  • Did a bit of traveling to visit family.
  • Had our annual girls week (worth a blog on its own).
  • Got to see the Endeavor space shuttle launch.
  • Home renovations continue and as the weather warms up we are working on finishing touches.
  • Grass is finally growing, plants are in the ground.
  • AND now what?

I am sitting at my computer, at my blog site, for the first time in months, with nothing pressing to do. Well almost nothing – Okay, I am waiting for another coat of urethane to dry  and I need to get started on the new bathroom closet BUT  waiting for “Paint to Dry” – that can take forever.

You know what happens to me when my mind is Idle?

I think

YES!! I know this is dangerous.

I am not thinking about the trivial stuff like what should I make for dinner?

Nope -

  • more like meaning of life stuff
  • or an amazing business idea
  • or an epiphany


Heather on March 20th, 2011

Dave and I are in month 3 of our New Year’s resolution (also known as 1 more thing off of the bucket list).

To become  Registered Maine Guides

If you have read  previous posts, you know this has been a life long journey. We truly have a  love and appreciation of the outdoors and the tradition of the Maine Guide.

By the end of February we were working our way through 2 feet of reading material  & I was obsessing on details.

  • I’m pretty good with a map & compass but how many more ways are there to navigate if you lose your compass & back up compass or are in an area where the compass doesn’t work?
  • So many animals, birds, trees – what if I can’t identify the scat of a Lynx?
  • Don’t get me started on ducks – my heart starts racing just thinking about ducks.
  • Guide friends are saying, “know your lost person scenario” all the while shaking their head – conveying doom & gloom.

So, on my school break last week, Dave & I did a 4 day intensive prep course with the Maine Outdoor Learning Center and it was worth every $$.

My biggest fear was fear of the unknown – not knowing what to expect on exam day and not being properly prepared.

John, Greg & Tammi did an excellent job of sharing their knowledge and helping us prepare for the exam. Tammi even scheduled our exam dates with the State.


March 25th is the BIG day for me! I’m feeling much calmer now that I know what to expect.

Winter has flown by… We are having a blast studying together,quizzing each other, trying to stump each other.

We have spent 29 years together sharing our love of the outdoors and exploring new territory.


Heather on February 2nd, 2011

As you know one of the TOP New Year’s resolution’s is to lose weight!

Are you  at the point where you are becoming discouraged & losing ground.

My husband, Dave,  blogged some good stuff on Facebook & I thought I would share it. It is in response to a comment on a diet that aired on Oprah. (keep reading – he has some good insight and compares caloric intake to your checking account!)

You probably all know my philosophy by now -  but is basically all about moderation & exercise and YES discipline is required. I am not perfect – that’s a given! I can always exercise more, eat less & lose a few pounds.

My family teases me because I have the “half”  philosophy, My cup is half full in my outlook on life but when I want to indulge in a little non-essential “intake” like wine or a cookie – I’ll have 1/2 a glass or 1/2 a cookie.I don’t feel deprived & the HALF philosophy keeps me satisfied.

So here is Dave’s response – check it out….

I’m sorry, but have to comment on this one. I’ve spent my entire medical career listening to this topic – diet! Bottom line, no one gets it!!! None of the diets proposed over the years, water diet, South Beach, Atkins, Weight Watchers an…d the like, have a success rate of sustainable weight loss in more then 20% of the people who enroll. The only uniformly successful weight reduction method is surgery – period!

But why do these fad diets fail? The answer is simple. They propose extreme measures that are difficult to follow long term and don’t “educate” people of the basic physiology of weight balance and energy stores. [Even Oprah has been unsuccessful to achieve and maintain her ideal body weight over the years.]

Our bodies need energy. We have two categories of energy needs, one to maintain basic life processes and the other to meet energy demands. Basic life processes energy is the energy necessary to breath, sit, think, sleep and do the limited physical activity necessary for daily life. This is called our Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR. The other energy demand needs are based on extra physical activity we do from day to day.

Our BMR is relatively fixed in our genetics but does vary a bit from person to person. We can’t alter our BMR. It could be as low as 800 cal/day or as high as 2000 cal/day. Thus the skinny person who can eat anything and the obese person who gains weight just looking at a piece of cheesecake. But, live with it, you can’t change your BMR!
Energy demand needs changes as our physical activity changes. Play sports, go hiking, skiing, work-out and the like, our energy demand needs will increase.

Our individual weights are like a checking account. If you make more deposits then withdraws, the balance goes up. If you make more withdraws then deposits, the balance goes down. Also, there is an interest rate to consider. This relates to how efficient each individual person is at extracting calories from food. This efficiency is engraved in the stone of our genetics and cannot be changed. Some of us can extract almost all energy from any particular type of food, they are efficient bodies but have a “high interest rate!” Some of us cannot extract as much of the calories from any particular type of food and they have a “low interest rate!” Thus the skinny person who can eat anything and the obese person who gains weight just looking at a piece of cheesecake.

Still, the basic formula holds true: deposits – withdraws = balance!

Another fact to consider is the bio-availability of the calories in any particular type of food. This relates to how much energy the body must put out to extract the energy contained in the food we eat. This is where some of the “fad” diets come into play. Carbohydrates are basic sugars that are easily broken down, easily absorbed and easily stored and thus have low energy requirements for processing. Fats, meat and vegetables have either low energy or complex energy that requires more complex processes to breakdown, absorb and re-assemble and then store. [Fat actually has the most energy demands for this process!]

Now consider the energy demands of exercise [and this will really kick you in the teeth!] Exercise actually requires very little energy. When I spend 35 min on the StairMaster and literally run up and down the Empire State Building, I burn about 300 cal! That’s the equivalent of a glass of skim milk!! To loose a pound of fat, you need to have an energy deficit of 2000 cal or you need to run up the Empire State Building about 6 times!!! It becomes very clear that it is much easier to avoid the deposits then it is to make the withdraws!!

Bottom line – if you want to loose weight, eat less and exercise more! Unless people understand this equation, they will fail at any attempt to loose weight, as history has shown.

Recommendations: change you lifestyle and mold you life to meet your objective. Take a look at your eating habits, your physical activity and your weight and try to understand your individual BMR and interest rate. Work to make fewer deposits and more withdraws. Don’t get caught up in the latest “fad” that ignores the science of weight balance. Educate yourself!! [Flashback to a previous blog!] Avoid carbs, too easy to extract and store that energy. [Essentially don't eat anything white!] Eat fat, fat has got a bad rap. It only accounts for 10% of you blood cholesterol, genetics account for the other 90%. It takes a lot of energy to convert diet fat to hip fat. [Topic for a future blog!] Eat meat!! Also, avoid artificial sweeteners. [Especially corn syrup!] They stimulate the appetite and alter your metabolism to promote fat deposition. Drink water.

Remember, live in moderation. Cut back a bit on your total caloric intake and increase your total caloric output. Initially this can be easily done by eliminating artificial sweeteners, cutting down on carbs and choosing low calorie foods. You can still eat a delicious diet including the occasional piece of cheesecake. Find a calorie counter [there are many web sites where you can create an account and log in your daily food intake and track your daily caloric intake - it'll blow your mind!] Park your car a half a mile from your work and walk the extra distance. Trust me, when you get to work, you’ll feel energized! When you get home, the walk will melt away the tension of dealing with all the bull at work and you’ll feel better. Drink lots of water and take a multivitamin. Check your weight weekly [not daily] and make alterations to keep yourself on track. 2-3 lb weight loss per week is considered healthy.

Personally, I recommend getting a Wii. This technology gets you off the couch and will help burn off a few extra calories. The games are fun with friends or lovers. [Promotes social interaction rather then sitting glued to the latest sit com, eating, like a zombie!] The yoga routines are excellent for loosening up those stiff muscles often the cause of so many common complaints of low back pain, neck pain, sore joints and achy muscles. Some of the cognitive programs helps tone the mind and “exercise” or neurological processes.

OK, I’ve pontificated enough for one day! Still, after 25 yrs of practicing medicine, one gets tired of listening to the weight discussions of dogma. If you want to do it – do it! If you don’t, then accept who you are and find peace with that.

“Have a nice day!”

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