Tag Archives: Paul

Last Day of Beatles Year

The lyrics of “When I’m Sixty-Four” by Paul McCartney of The Beatles start, “When I get older losing my hair, Many years from now, Will you still be sending me a Valentine, Birthday greetings bottle of wine. If I’d been out till quarter to three, Would you lock the door? Will you still need me, will you still feed me When I’m sixty-four?” Tonight, I end my Beatles Year!

I start my new half-decade tomorrow. Such a delightful adventure!

Jessica and Matthew wedding 2011
Jessica and Matthew wedding 2011

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Weight – Keeping Steady

Katy Dickinson, 22 Sep 2022
Katy Dickinson, 22 Sep 2022

I am about three months into my weight maintenance program. As I wrote earlier, I started using the Noom program for weight loss and wellness in October 2021 and lost about sixty pounds by July 2022. Last month, I realized that Noom does not really offer a weight maintenance program, so I shifted to using the free Fooducate nutrition and weight tracker.

Fooducate is working well for me. I like that the home page displays how many calories I have left to spend each day, and that I can save a regular meal so I don’t have to reenter the information if I eat the same selections again. I am trying to keep within two pounds on either side of my target weight (and not to get stressed if my weight bounces up and down a bit).

One surprise with this health improvement journey is that in some areas, my skin has contracted at a slower rate than my muscles and other parts. Sometimes, this feels like being inside a deflating balloon. However, with regular walking and weight maintenance, my skin has continued to contract, so I hope to reach equilibrium in time. While losing weight, I bought successively smaller sizes of Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans – for sale prices – so I could compare progress. I started at size 18. In July when I reached my goal, I was a size 10 but have now shrunk to a size 8, at the same weight.

My son Paul and I put together list below for a friend who recently started a weight loss journey using Noom. (This only represents our experience – your mileage may vary. Use a program that works for your health and way of doing things and you will be more likely to stick with it.)

  • Remember to drink / log plenty of water daily, makes you feel more full (at least ten cups of liquid per day)
  • Drink water 30 minutes before each meal
  • Read the Noom daily lessons, take advice that makes sense to you, ignore the rest
  • Noom’s group discussion function can help you be accountable for taking regular walks
  • Figure out a portion size metric (volume vs. weight) that works best for you, stick to the one metric for simplicity
  • Weigh in every day, expect lots of fluctuations (even five pounds up or down in one week) because of water retention
  • Write down your key body measures at the start so you can compare later (bust, waist, hips, around upper arm and upper leg), and to help you know what size you are
  • Weigh in, & log water and food on Noom daily, even if you are frustrated, or stuck/ plateaued. Getting stuck at one weight for weeks or months seems to be a usual part of the journey.
  • Drink a big glass of water after you weigh in each morning.
  • If you are on vacation or away from a scale, you can just repeat you last weight each day to keep the pattern going
  • Buy some clothes that fit as you reach each new size so you feel good about making progress. Thredup online consignment and thrift store is a good choice – for both cost and fashion choices. If you don’t love a clothing item, or it does not fit properly, do not buy it. If you bought it online, return it! You need to be happy with yourself and how you look.
  • Buy clothes by measurement, not size. My key measures and shape are different than they were when I was last at my current weight.
  • Some Noom (and Fooducate) food database entries are unrealistically low or high in calories – I think these are user-entered. When in doubt, break it down – log not a whole “serving” portion but the components (for example: green salad “serving” may be made up of mixed leafy greens + dressing + croutons, you can find individual calorie counts for each)
  • Walk or exercise every day and carry your smart phone so the steps count, to give you a better idea of how much you actually move. I use the Apple Health app on my iPhone which can share information with both Noom and Fooducate.
  • Add extra exercise under Noom’s “Track More Progress” if you do yard work, or exercise without your smart phone
  • On Noom, you can set “weight loss speed” under Noom settings (three lines at upper left of screen) from tortoise to cheetah, in case you want to go slower or faster

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2 Summer Trips

John Plocher, Katy Dickinson, Loon Lake, Wisconsin June 2022
John Plocher, Katy Dickinson, Loon Lake, Wisconsin June 2022

Our family went on two short trips this summer. John and visited the Plocher family at Loon Lake, Wisconsin, in June. At the end of August, John and I and our kids took a road trip through Northern-Northern California, including a ride on the Skunk Train from Willets. John and Paul and I were in one car and Jessica and Matthew were in another.

Loon Lake, Wisconsin

Plocher family, Loon Lake, Wisconsin June 2022
Plocher family, Loon Lake, Wisconsin June 2022

California Road Trip

Dickinson family, Willits, California, August 2022
Dickinson family, Willits, California, August 2022

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Graduations

GTU Commencement 7 May 2022
GTU Commencement 7 May 2022

Spring is graduation season and this year, I joyfully walked the stage in-person for my Graduate Theological Union – Master’sTheology degree, as well as graduating three of my own student-mentees from the University of the South – School of Theology – Education for Ministry (EfM) extension program.

My GTU – MA and Master’s hood were officially presented online last year* but GTU offered the 2020 and 2021 pandemic-years graduates an opportunity to walk in-person this year. I was hooded by Associate Dean of Students, Dr. Wendy Arce in a ceremony at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley. I was also awarded the Interreligious Chaplaincy Certificate, as only the second person to complete the new GTU – ICP program. Part of ICP is completing a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), which for me meant working part-time as a Chaplain Intern for five months at Stanford Hospital during a pandemic surge. Several of us from Stanford Hospital – Spiritual Care Services graduated from GTU together this year. I was happy that my family which lovingly supported me during my long educational journey was present for my graduation.

Co-Mentor Karen LeBlanc, with whom I have led EfM seminars together for over twelve years, celebrated with me the graduations of Joel Martinez (graduated 2020, diploma presented 2022) and Beth Hopf at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (Saratoga, CA), and Mark LeBlanc (Karen’s husband) at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church (Cupertino, CA). Joel, Beth, and Mark faithfully completed four years of EfM study and theological reflection on the Bible, church history, theology, and ethics.

*Read my thesis here: “Range of Chaplain Engagement with Prisoners”

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Pandemic-motivated Weight Loss

Weight loss was a decision that came out of my experience as a Chaplain Intern at Stanford Hospital (September 2021 – February 2022). I worked there during a COVID-19 pandemic surge and as part of my duties, provided family support and decedent care for a number of patients whose comorbidities (including obesity, diabetes, and asthma) seemed to contribute to their early death. I decided to act on my doctor’s long-standing advice and do what I could to reduce my own potential for a similar end.

The most I have ever weighed was 212 pounds, in 2007. Starting in October 2021, I followed my son Paul‘s good example and started using the Noom program for weight loss and wellness. Paul and John are also losing weight and we find that doing so as a family is easier. So far, I have lost over fifty pounds. I have about fifteen to go before I reach the weight that my doctor recommends. I feel better and am enjoying getting new clothes (and having more choices in the smaller sizes). Attending a deathbed may seem like an extreme reason to lose weight but it made a big impression on me.

Read the updates: posted on 17 July 2022, posted 22 September 2022

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Boruca in the Rain Forest

Jaguar and hummingbird rain forest carvings, Boruca, Costa Rica, August 2021

In August 2021, John Plocher, Paul D. Goodman and I enjoyed a lovely vacation at Cielo Lodge in GolfitoCosta Rica during which we were delighted to visit the indigenous artisans of Boruca in their mountain village. We brought home two carvings to celebrate the 10th wedding anniversary of our daughter and son-in-law, Jessica Dickinson Goodman and Matthew Holmes. In a prior blog, I wrote about the Boruca carvings in balsa wood of nature, particularly jaguars (symbolizing male power and protection of the tribe) and butterflies (symbolizing female power and beauty). The symbolism of a butterfly and a jaguar to celebrate a wedding anniversary seemed right.

This is to consider another aspect of these carvings, the faces in the rainforest. In both the butterfly carving by Gabriel Leira (above) and the one by Markos Boruca (below), you can see a brown face with yellow, green, blue, white, and other colored lines highlighting the features. Our indigenous guide told us that these faces represent the Boruca people who are also part of the forest.

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Mexican Alebrijes, Boruca Masks of Costa Rica

Our family just returned from a lovely vacation at Cielo Lodge in GolfitoCosta Rica where, among other discoveries, I learned about the indigenous artisans of Boruca. The Boruca folk art wood carvings remind me strongly of Mexican Alebrijes. Many years ago, I started a collection of Alebrijes when I was a member of the Board of the Mexican Museum in San Francisco. Alebrijes are fantastical folk sculptures often originating from Oaxaca. They are carved from copal wood and other materials, then painted. Many times it is the carver who signs the piece but the painting is often done by the whole family. Many people were introduced to Alebrijes as spirit guardians in the 2017 Disney movie Coco.

In the Boruca village, our indigenous guide told us that the carving wood is from the fast-growing balsa and designs are often inspired by traditional masks from the Danza de los Diablos ceremony. The annual ceremony celebrates the Costa Rican tribe fighting off the Spanish Conquistadores. Devils are a common theme in Boruca carvings but there are also images from nature, particularly jaguars (symbolizing male power and protection of the tribe) and butterflies (symbolizing female power and beauty). The bright blue Morpho butterfly is a favorite.

Insect Alebrijes by Tribus Mixes, Oaxaca, Mexico

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