The First “Sea Day”

21 06 2018

05 June 2018

Today was a “day at sea” which means there were no stops in ports as we sailed from Nassau, Bahamas to Cozumel, Mexico.

Most of us ended up sleeping.  My oldest daughter Kelly didn’t get the sleep-in memo which means she was up and ready to have breakfast about the time the rest of us were just waking up.  I had plans to get up a 6 and go to the gym before breakfast.  However, since I didn’t set an alarm I over slept.  My body needed the rest so that part was good.  Not having breakfast with Kelly was not so good.

After the three sleepy heads finally got up and had breakfast, we went by the shore excursion place and purchased our excursions for Cozumel, Roatan and Costa Mayo.  After that we went to a way too long presentation on the upcoming shopping opportunities in the next three ports.  Barbara and I ended up leaving part way through as there was an 11am or was it 11:30am body detox seminar in the gym.  The Royal Caribbean app said 11:30 and the paper we signed up on said 11:00.  I figured the app had the most up to date information.  I was wrong.  We showed up 30 minutes into the presentation.  Oh well.  We got some good information. 

We caught up with the girls after the presentation and had lunch.  After lunch the ladies went and sat by the pool and I went to another seminar.  While it had a different title, it turns out it was the same seminar given by the other fitness person onboard.  Oh well.  After that I worked out on the elliptical and the recumbent bike for 25 minutes each.  I then showered and met up with Barbara for our paid consult and BMR test.  It actually told us several things.  The fitness guy then wanted to have us purchase their detox supplies.  Which since according to the numbers it would take me 12 months and Barbara 9 months to detox, we didn’t purchase them as the total cost fo the materials was about $2100.

After dinner we got piña colada’s in pineapples and went to see the OceanAria Aqua Show.  It was really good with acrobatics, diving and some comedy.   

Pineapple Colada

Until next time…





Our First Port: Nassau, Bahamas

20 06 2018

04 June 2018

Today we arrived in Nassau, Bahama’s. Our scheduled tour wasn’t until 9:45.  We got off the boat about 8am and decided to walk around town a little.   

IMG_0141After getting off the ship, the first thing we noticed was we could see fish in the water as we walked along the pier from the ship to shore.  Once we were in town, the people were all very friendly and all of them wanted to take us on a tour.  Many of them told us the many of the shops didn’t open until 10am.  I would think that since tourism appears to be the main thing in town, and since they know the scheduled arrival of the ships, they would be open shortly after the ship arrived.  I don’t know all the other things that go into making that decision though.


All decked out in my hair net and smock

 

 

 

We went on the Graycliff Chocolatier Factory Tour and Tasting excursion.  Since we were going to see where the chocolate was made, we had to put on a hair net and smock.

 

We got to see how cacao is harvested and what the pods look like. 

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Cacao pods

We also got to taste both white and dark chocolate.  Yes I know that white chocolate really isn’t chocolate.  Then we got to choose which type of chocolate to use to create our own chocolate bar.  First we had to polish the mold and then pour the chocolate into the mold.  At that point we could add cranberries, chocolate chips or shredded coconut to our chocolate bar.  When we were done with that, they took the molds and put the in a refrigerator to get the chocolate to set.  At that point we were allowed to pour some chocolate out on the parchment paper to make our own free form chocolate design.  The paper was cut around our designs and also put into the refrigerator.  They also gave us a marshmallow and a chunk of pineapple to dip in the chocolate and eat.

 

When the chocolate had set, they gave us bags to put our creations in to take home.  Given that it was 82-85 degrees outside, one of my daughters volunteered to take the chocolate back to the ship and put it in the fridge and then meet the rest of us for lunch. 

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We had lunch at a place called Señor Frog.  As you can see below, they have interesting ceiling decor with all the locations Señor Frog is located.

After lunch we walked down Bay Street and went in to almost every Jewelry store there.  Unlike Alaska, my lovely wife did NOT walk out with a new diamond ring.  At least not from this port.  There are three more stops on this journey.

My youngest daughter was trying to get some Tortuga Rum for a friend in Orlando.  Unfortunately, the liquor store we stopped in didn’t have it.  Looking on Google Maps showed a store about a mile down the road that apparently had some.  She and I walked there only to find that it was a store that sold Rum Cakes and NOT the Tortuga Rum she was looking for.  After seeing where this store was, I am glad I played the part of the over protective dad and didn’t let her walk there alone.  It was away from the tourist part of town, with many buildings vacant and curiously quite a few street lights that were missing.  Looking at the bolts and wires as we walked by, we wondered if this was damage from a storm or drivers who came up on to the sidewalk.  The hunt will continue in our next ports.

Tomorrow will be a day at sea with no port related information to report.  I have signed up for a couple of health seminars tomorrow and we are going to see about purchasing excursions for the rest of the trip after working out some things tonight.

Until next time…





Start of the Journey

18 06 2018

02 June 2018

I know this really isn’t June 2nd but I didn’t want to be updating the blog about being out of town while I was actually out of town. It may just be paranoia, but as a former coworker and friend said, “When they really are after you, paranoia is only smart thinking!”

I have been on a journey for over a year now. I will post more about that in a future blog post.

I consider my official start date of this journey August 1, 2017. We had recently booked a family cruise to the Western Caribbean and I was looking at some of the excursions. What took me somewhat by surprise was the fact that some of them had weight limits. Now this wasn’t the zip line or scuba diving where I know there are weight limits. This was playing and swimming with the dolphins. This sounded interesting but there was a weight limit. Those above 240 pounds could not participate. Since I was currently close to 300 pounds, it meant that my weight was going to be what limited me on this excursion.

I didn’t want my weight to be the reason I didn’t do the excursion. I had tried the gym, I had tried a nationally known weight loss program. Both worked, sort of, until I couldn’t afford to pay for them. I had gotten just under 270 pounds while working with a trainer. I had gotten down to 245 with the weight loss program. Neither of those were below the 240 that I needed to be under to do the excursion.

I knew that there were deeper issues behind my weight that simple behavior modification would solve. I decided to pray about this and ask God if this was the time for us to work on my weight. I was walking and trying to watch what I ate. The weight was starting to come off. In November my prescription for blood pressure medication ran out. I called the pharmacy to refill it and it was denied. It turns out that my medical insurance was now insisting that I see the doctor every 6 months while on long term medication. There was no way I was going to get in to see the doctor before Thanksgiving so I decided to start recording my blood pressure daily and see the doctor after Thanksgiving. I took my record of blood pressure measurements to the doctor and he was concerned. Not because my blood pressure was too high but there were several readings that were too low! With that diagnosis, I was officially taken off blood pressure medication.

In January I was going to the gym because walking when the outside temperature was below 50 was causing my hands and feet to be cold to the point of pain. I also got an app to start tracking what I was eating. I was stuck at about 270 pounds and was in a ± 2 pound band that I couldn’t seem to break out of. The combination helped me break through the plateau!

As I write this I am 56 pounds lighter than I was in August! Weight is no longer the reason for not playing with the dolphins! I can actually fit into an airline seat and bring the tray table down without having my stomach also resting on the tray table. It is amazing to feel the progress that has been made with God’s help. I did what I could do, watching what and how much I was eating as well as going to the gym. God did what only He could do. God removed my desire to sneak food and to eat something just so others couldn’t. God has also helped me ignore those tapes from childhood that told me I must clean my plate and to not waste food. I also no longer feel the need to eat leftovers just because they will go bad and have to be thrown out.

I am planning to blog more during this trip and maybe even include some pictures.

Until next time





Why God?

14 04 2013

This weekend was one of those sermons where I felt it was a message just for me. I am fairly certain that my pastor Mark Connelly at Mission Community Church didn’t write the message for me. However, God definitely used it to speak to me.

Maybe before I go too much farther, I should give you a little of my history. I don’t remember exactly when, though I am fairly certain it was before I was 13, I was diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter disese. This is activity-related pain that occurs a few inches below the knee-cap.

At the ripe old age of 13, I chose to have pins inserted in my hip to keep from getting arthritis at 13. This was due to a growing issue where the socket was growing faster than the ball causing the ball of my hip to move abnormally and cause great pain.

I did have one other major knee issue while playing sports. I was about 17 when playing softball. I planted my feet, swung and apparently had a fantastic hit. I say apparently because I did not lift my back foot to rotate and managed to dislocate my knee cap and tear ligaments and tendons. I do remember being pulled up from home plate to try and hobble back to the car to get some care. That little stunt got me several weeks in a hip to ankle cast.

Fast forward 25 years or so and my knee and hip issues decided it was time to make a reappearance. First we started with cortisone injections to try and “reboot” my knee (I love how my Orthopedist was able to communicate in computer terms). This worked for awhile but in 2008 I ended up having Arthroscopy done on both knees. This helped for a few years.

With the knee pain addressed, my hip decided to start hurting me. It turns out that at least partially due to the pins that were put in when I was 13, caused the cartilage in my hip joint to wear unevenly. So in July 0f 2011 I had my right hip replaced. You come to realize just how “special” you are when your orthopedist is excited about the antiques he is going to remove. That surgery went well and I am happy to report there have been NO issues with my hip since then.

Not wanting to be left out my knees started hurting before my hip surgery and again we tried the cortisone and then rooster-comb therapy. It didn’t work. X-Rays revealed that I was almost bone on bone in both knees. This resulted in a Bi-lateral knee arthroplasty procedure in October of 2011. Two major surgeries in just a few months apart! Not something I would recommend to anyone. Not only is it a physical drain on the body but it is a mental drain wondering if you are ever going to be done recovering from surgery.

After all of this several months go by and my foot just won’t stop hurting. By this time I have had orthotics for a couple of years and even had a special plastic ankle brace. This all do to the fact that my arch is collapsing. The podiatrist tells me that I have skew foot. Which means from the front it looks as though I have a high arch and from the back it looks like I am flat footed. The pain is caused by the ligament being stretched and my heel being a little off center. So in September of 2012 I have corrective foot surgery.

That brings me to the date of this post. My foot is still in pain and sometime during my knee recovery my knee caps migrated to the outside of my joint. This means that I am looking at one or two surgeries to adjust the knee caps and who knows what for my foot.

The other night a close friend of mine was telling the stories of all the jobs he has been “let go” from. The pattern seems to be that once someone he has witnessed to at work comes to faith in Christ, he is soon let go. So, I am wondering if I am maybe supposed to witness to someone in the doctor’s office or the hospital or maybe even the physical therapist’s office. Maybe I am not getting the hint and God keeps providing opportunities.

During the sermon, Pastor Mark told of a member with an amazing story. This story was how a member of my church has been carried through unimaginable pain and suffering. That isn’t the end of the story though. In spite of having her back broken twice and the numerous complications, she is being used by God in powerful ways to server others. Based on what I heard at the sermon on Saturday, I believe God is taking me through this season of pain. Like the lady in the story, I know that I would have NEVER written this pain and these surgeries into my life story. It definitely wasn’t in MY plan for my life. Like her and her husband, I know that I have cried out to God asking why.

Her story gives me hope that God can and will use this in some way. Obviously I don’t know what that is yet. Will it be used to coax others out of complacency into service? Will it be used to help someone else as they endure a similar season of pain? I don’t know. However, I have renewed hope that God will use this in some way. I may not know how He used it until I get to heaven. I just need to keep following Christ where ever He is leading and let Him take care of the rest.

Until next time





A Little About Paul…

8 10 2012
Welcome to my blog. If you are still here by the end of this post, please be sure to leave a comment so I know who I am writing to.
My name is Paul I was born a long time ago in a land far away. Not really THAT long ago but I will qualify for AARP in 2013. And whether I was actually born in a land far away depends on your definition of far. If you had to walk it you would think it was far away but you can get there in about 14-16 hours by car. I never tried getting there by horse so I have no concept of how long that would take.
I found God, probably more accurately God found me, when I was in high school. There was a evangelistic meeting and this girl I would have done almost anything for, invited me to attend. I did. I believe the speaker that night was Tony Campolo. At the end when he did an alter call, I felt a stirring in my soul that I needed to go forward. I looked to my friends who I THOUGHT indicated they would go up with me. However when I stepped into the aisle and started walking, there weren’t there. I went up anyway. My walk with Christ was sporadic at best. It wasn’t until I was desparately trying to study for a Calculus test in college that my walk started to have direction. These two guys from a campus ministry wanted to share the gospel with me in spite of my protestations that I had to study for a calculus test. I let them talk and recommitted my life to Christ on that bench that day. I know something miraculous happend as that was the ONLY calculus test I ever got an A on.
Shortly after that this stunningly beautiful young lady started hanging out with the group of folks I hung out with. After a couple of dates, I created an “application” to be her boyfriend. Thankfully she said yes! We have been married since 1986 have four awesome children. One boy and three girls.
I have been very involved with the church ever since we were married sometimes burning myself out because I just couldn’t say no.
Many years and tears later, I started attending Celebrate Recovery (CR) as I was sick and tired of being overweight and all the challenges that come with it. As I have been working the program, I have felt the urge/guiding/leading to start writing a blog. If you want to learn more about the Celebrate Recovery program, feel free to ask me or go to the Celebrate Recovery webiste.
This won’t be all about CR, nor will it be all about my walk with Christ. Though those topics will come up. I have several topics in mind such as my review of iPad apps, my surgeries, foster care and my love of things pumpkin.
If for some bizarre reason you want to keep up with me between blog posts you can follow me on Twitter @pfrogers63 or facebook facebook.com/pfrogers
Since you made it this far, I would appreciate you letting me know you were here by leaving a comment.
Until next time . . .







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