Tuesday, July 21, 2015

As I've come late to diagnosis of my fibromyalgia, I am coming to the realization that there's so much bullshit around the diagnosis, medication, and knowledge base of fibromyalgia.  There's a lot of similar traits that I've seen in many people with fibro.  Many of us have survived abuse.  It's a gross generalization to say that every person with fibro is the same, but I've noticed it's a common trait, often.

I'm in several support groups on Facebook.  I even started my own, which has been growing leaps and bounds, in just a few months.  It's been an adventure.  It's difficult sometimes to reckon with people like me, who simultaneously might forget to bring their butts if they weren't attached, due to fibro fog or some of that brain fog that goes with so many auto-immune disorders, people who get ticked off and then forget why they're ticked off, people who are simply ticked, sad or depressed because they're dealing with the results of PTSD-induced auto-immune symptoms, and people capable of deep love, support, kindness and gentleness, too.

I know with my depression and sadness that it's very much a tidal thing, as it ebbs and flows. Sometimes, I get triggered because I read something or there's my weirdness with hairbrushes and sometimes just talking about it, can get me in a funk.  At this point, though, my funks are very short-lived.  I get down.  I get funky with it. I move on.  I meditate.  I count blessings.  I feel very much like an explorer in a oft-visited cave. I spelunk through it on out to fresh air, sky and sunshine. 

When I start thinking about my blessings, that's often all it takes.  I'm breathing.  My children are healthy.  My husband is darling. 

One of the things that comes up for me a lot is when I read Facebook game things like, "If you could change anything in your life, what would it be?"  Sometimes, my mind heads right to that sore spot in my life, when I was so brutally abused. Then, I realize all the people I've helped and spoken to and for, and I know I couldn't have done that without that sore spot, without those wounds.  Learning to tend for wounds of the psyche remind me to be humble and that I am loved deeply.

The mother in me comes forward and cares for me.  She reminds me that I'm OK.  She reminds me that it's over now.  She reminds me to breathe.  She strokes my hair and off I go.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Well, I'm looking at trying a dill pickle recipe, shortly, because my cucumber plants are going nuts.  I was realizing, too that my squash are about to wax prolific, which reminded me of my mother's and my favorite relish.  My mother is the source of most of my canning recipes and inspiration, though, I have tried a number of variations as I've gone because I love HEAT in my food and she doesn't. I think living in California with access to so much Mexican culture and food changed my New Hampshire palate, for which I am glad.  When I have pictures of this in a month, I will edit the post and put them in here.

Mom's Zucchini Relish

10 cups cut squash (yes, you can use any squash like zucchini, summer squash, mexican squash, or even patty-pan squash) I've cut it by hand, but honestly, I think grated is better for consistency and you can use a food processor to do that.
4 cups of chopped onion
5 Tbsp uniodized salt (canning salt)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp celery seed (I've also used mustard seed in lieu of this, but I don't like it as much)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp tumeric
1.5 cups white vinegar (I've used some balsamic vinegar in here because it's delicious!)
3 cups of sugar

Mix squash, onion and salt into a non reactive bowl or crock.  Cover and leave overnight.  Drain the liquid out and set aside.  In a large pot, mix the rest of the ingredients together and then add in squash and onions mixture.  Simmer for 45 minutes.  Pack into sterilized jars and seal.  Run in hot water bath for about 15-25 minutes with jars under water.  Remove and let cool.  This should make 6-7 pints. Because I never use a lot of relish at once, I typically use half pint jars for this.

How can I change this up?
Possible alterations include using jalapenos or serranos (I'd substitute at least 6-10 for a bell pepper and use seeds for more heat) and tossing in a Tbsp of hot pepper flakes.  I have also just tossed in a half dozen hot peppers and it really wouldn't do much other than add some heat.

I've also just used red bell peppers, as well as red, hot peppers that are starting to dry, so it's prettier. The green is OK, but I like the color of the red. It reminds me of summer in the winter.  I've also used more than just the two bell peppers. Usually, if I'm using zucchini, I have enough green color, but if I've used some yellow squash, I typically have used green pepper, with a red and an orange pepper.  I like the look of it and I like the fact that you get the color without using food coloring.

You could substitute honey for the sugar, if you're feeling that ambitious.  It seems like about two cups of honey would be sufficient, using this site as a guide.  It's not going to brown, but it will add a little liquid to the recipe.  I would guess that you can cut the vinegar down by a quarter cup and up the honey to 2.25 cups and you'd maintain enough acidity for keeping botulism at bay.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

I don't think I realized how difficult it is for other people to can stuff.  I really am constantly surprised by people who say,"Oh, my jam came out like cranberry jelly and I could hardly get it to spread" or "Mine became pancake syrup." I used to make canning errors, but over the years, I've gotten very good at fudging it. I made a triple berry jam, like my mother used to make from blackberries, blueberries and strawberries.  (She used raspberries.) The recipe on the little sheet in the pectin box basically had blackberries and blueberries in equal parts to sugar for jam, but strawberries were their own category with measures that weren't easy to ration to blackberries.  I made an executive decision, however.

I didn't have a lot of strawberries, so I just used the recipe for the blackberries and blueberries because it was a double batch and there was no way it that pint of strawberries was going to really adversely affect the outcome.  I think the recipe for strawberry jam called for about half the strawberries and sugar that the blackberries/blueberries did, so I used the more dominant amounts of berries to sugar ratio to determine my recipe.

It came out perfectly. The strawberry flavor was just enough to soften some of the seed bitterness of the blackberries.  My mother typically used raspberries, but she also has a HUGE patch.  I literally wait with baited breath for my mother to bring me a jar of her raspberry jam.  It doesn't matter that it's the full sugar stuff.  You can taste the freshness of the berries.  She literally goes out, picks, and then cans it.  You can't beat that!

I also recommend canning the same day, but if you can't,  you can wait until the next day only usually with wild berries.  I don't recommend it, though.  Plan on a long day.  Pick in the morning and can in the evening. Strawberries you pick at a place in summer usually HAVE to be canned that day or they start to go.  Blackberries and blueberries are a bit more hardy, depending on how squished they get in picking or storage containers.  I typically try to put blackberries in a container that is wide, but not deep, to avoid squishing them too much.

Also, when a recipe tells you to hand crush the berries, feel free to ignore that and run them through the food processor.  It gives a better consistency to your jam and really can save your hands and wrist.  If you've already spent the day getting attacked by brambles, you will thank me because crushing them by hand with a pastry cutter sucks, as does a potato masher.

Almost any fruit can be combined with other fruit.  There are likely any assortment of recipes on the Internet.  The best recipe I ever found was plum-pear jam.  It seemed like it would be weird, but it was delicious.  It tasted like autumn, in the best sense.  It tasted like something that would go well with a bit of sharp cheddar on a good cracker.  It was that awesome.

I recently made nectarine, strawberry, blueberry jam.  It sounds weird, but it was really good.  The berries accented the nectarines beautifully.  The thing with nectarines and peaches is that you usually have to add some acidity to the mix, so I had about 2/3 of my jam mix from nectarines, so I used 2/3 of 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or 4 teaspoons to add enough acid to the mix. It came out beautifully.

My husband was mad as hell it had nectarines in it AFTER he ate it.  I had to use up the fruit, so I did and just didn't mention it to him.  He was mad that I'd tricked him into eating it. I just laughed and said, "Suckah!"  My daughter thinks it's pretty darned good, though she also loves the mixed berry I made, too.

I'm going to try to pick more berries between storms today or tomorrow.  I noticed the patch we hit has a ton of fruit again, this morning.  YUM!

Remember, you have to use the pectin for jam AS INSTRUCTED.  If you want a low sugar jam, you need to use a low sugar pectin.  Freezer jam maintains more of the freshness of the fruit and uses less sugar than regular jam, and there are also low/no sugar pectins for freezer jams. Not everyone has the freezer space for such frivolity, I realize.  If you want to make jarred jam low in sugar, you must by the low/no sugar pectin.  What sweetener you use is up to you.  You must also use low/no sugar pectin to use agave or honey, or it won't come out.

I hope this helps. :)



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My mother taught me to can.  I am teaching my daughter to can, too.  My garden is starting to hit its stride, thus, my three cucumber plants went completely bonkers and I had a pile of cucumbers to contend with.  There's only so much cucumber salad any one family can eat, so while I was a pound shy on cucumbers to make a triple batch of my mother's bread and butter pickles, I added more onion and off to the races I went.

The recipe is here. I put dried hot chile's into a few bottles, but other than that, here's the recipe from my mother.


BREAD AND BUTTER PICKLES


6 lbs. cucumbers (about 4 inches long) thinly sliced, do not pare
4 large onions, sliced
2 green peppers, sliced
½ cup salt—do not use iodized salt
5 cups cider vinegar
5 cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
2 tablespoons mustard seed
2 tablespoons plus two teaspoons celery seed
16 whole cloves (I used a teaspoon)
Mix together the cucumbers, onion, green pepper and salt in a large bowl or earthenware crock. (Can use stainless steel pot, but not aluminum) Cover vegetables with with small ice cubes. Cover with a weighted plate and set aside about three hours. Drain.
Meanwhile, blend vinegar and remaining ingredients together in a large kettle.
Add drained vegetables and set over medium heat. Heat thoroughly, but do not boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden or stainless steel spoon.
Pack into sterilized jars and seal.
Makes 8 pints.


Friday, April 24, 2015

Racism isn't dead

After recently watching episodes of, "Wire" I am finding it difficult to not be surprised about the recent death of Freddie Gray.  I am horrified, nonetheless, but not surprised. 

It boggles the mind how stark our world is becoming against the backdrop of old hatreds, like racism of whites against blacks, the rich versus the poor, the police versus criminals, and women versus men.  I am sad that the gray areas that we have often found in these wars of absolutes are dissipating and it makes me so angry.

Education feels like a precious bottle of aged wine, spilling out of a bottle and to the floor, where it slinks down a drain to never be tasted. I believe it takes an education for the mind to handle grays and not jump to the absolutes that are so easy to sling on like a belt or shoe. It's like when your child tattles on her sibling and says, "He always does or says that."  You know there's no way in hell that your child could always be leaving his underwear on the floor because you've seen evidence of his underwear hitting the basket occasionally.

In the same way, there's no way that all white police officers attack black suspects inappropriately. On the other hand, the times that you do find that underwear on the floor is no less disgusting with its little racing stripes and soaking wet from a kid drying off from his bath over it.

I can't imagine what it's like to live in that level of fear, however, when those types of immoral things happen because I'm a ginger.  I've been given dirty looks because I'm a white girl in a diverse neighborhood, but I'm good at softening the hardest heart with a smile, a cookie or a learned phrase in the appropriate language like, "Thank you."  

Incidents like the Baltimore police department's recent behavior make it more apparent to me than ever that there needs to be a "Consumer Reports" overview group for things like Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Michael Brown in Ferguson and the Eric Garnder shooting in New York, so that we make sure that our law enforcement is behaving above reproach.  The ubiquitous nature of these shootings and the reactions people are having to them reveal that more than ever, we need to be sure that these types of things are not getting by without review by someone,  who has no vested interest in the outcome of that review.

My experience of living in the south is that racism isn't dead, but hidden.  You can color me stunned for the numbers of times that people assumed because I was a blue eyed white gal that I was amenable to racism, when in fact my silence was, simply being appalled and left wordless by the exposure.  We need to root out all of the hiding places it lingers in and root it out willingly and talk about it, so we have a chance of eliminating it from future generations.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Autoimmune disorders in real life

One of the things I'm finding out about having fibromyalgia is how interrelated everything in our bodies is. Autoimmune disease leads to more autoimmune disease, so that co-morbid conditions are really the norm.  If you have this, you are more likely to have this and this. It's freaking creepy, honestly.  I feel like I'm always waiting for another danged shoe to fall and it blows.

I have Hashimoto's thyroid disease.  I have fibromyalgia and the associated IBS.  I have diabetes.  I have fractory chronic uticaria (hives brought on by auto-immune reactions).  These are all auto-immune issues.  Two out of four of those can kill you (Hashimotos and diabetes).  The other two can make your life freaking hell with pain and itching. (fibro and chronic uticaria)

I've gotten the first three managed, finally. Now, I just have to get off prednisone and on immunosuppresants to stop the raging itching and I have to wait for the latter to build up.   I swear, when the hives are present, it looks like my husband gave me two black eyes because my eyes are ringed with welts.  My husband said I remind him of a Trill from Star Trek. (Google Jadzia Daz)  My hives though, aren't limited to the sides like that.  I get red lumps everywhere!



I get hives clumping on my ears, so I'm standing there scratching my ears in this very cautious and fervent manner that looks like I'm a raving lunatic. If you were to shave my head, it would look like my brain was not protected by my skull because I get so lumpy!  A friend, who also suffers with this stuff said, the boobs covered with lumps is horrifying.  I find myself trying to surreptiously rub my hivey boobs and trying to make it look like I'm just adjusting my bra. Yeah!  That's the ticket!

As if the other diseases weren't indignities enough, I think the most humiliating is the middle-of-the-night back hump on a door jamb.  I get leaned up on a door jamb to get the middle of my back and I catch myself in a mirror, looking like I'm screwing the hell out of the doorway backwards. I just roll my eyes, and I'm screaming in my head, "Fuck it!"  The cats think I'm a little weird, but I feed them and pet them, so they put up with me.  My backscratcher periodically shows up from hiding from whereever   I stuffed it last and I put that thing to task, regularly.  Some women are really into a BOB (battery operated boyfriend).  I am really into my back scratcher.

It's taken so much time to figure things out and track down information.  I feel like the Fates.  I feel like I've been handed scrambled strings and I'm trying to weave a life out of them.

You get so much information, advice, anecdotal evidence and general bullshit to wade through.  The information you have to determine if it's medical or commercial because someone's always trying to get you to buy their crap because it's going to fix everything.  The advice you have to decide if it's well-meaning, but worthless or medical and useful.  Trust me, when I tell you, being desperate means you'll try everything once. The anecdotal evidence you have to compare to teensy weensy widdle studies done all over the world with minimal results and larger studies with better results.  The general bullshit is just that.

Getting through that pile of strings and putting together the fabric of a life is a source of outrage, frustration, and occasional breakthroughs.  Much like gambling, with its occasional reward, people with autoimmune disorders are constantly on the lookout for those occasional clinks of coins hitting the slot machine tray.  My coins are things like yoga, meditation/prayer, exercise, and my family and friends.

Clink, clink, baby.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Pinterest

I just discovered Pinterest.  As one person said upon hearing this, "You, of all people?"  Yeah, I know.  I just keep all my recipes that I like on my computer.  Ones I've made, I print a copy of and stick in a plastic sleeve in a 3-ring notebook in the kitchen.  Ones that have never quite made it from my computer to my table, are stored in limbo on my computer.  If I need a fancy cake or something, I look through those first, after reviewing my usual suspects.  I have a few key books I review.  I haven't yet figured out how to deal with recipes stuck on my kindle and I have like 500 cookbooks on there.

Some women are shoe whores.  I am a cookbook whore.  Don't judge me!  I found this recipe and made a lot of adaptations.   The crust recipe is absolutely untouched because it's delicious.  Of course, I use whole wheat flour, because while you can take the hippie out of California, you can't take the California out of the hippie.

(Derived from Betty Crocker's Red Spoon Collection, Best Recipes for Chicken, 1989, ISBN 0-13-073065-3)

Mexican Chicken Pot Pie

3-4 cups of cooked chicken (3-4 skinless chicken breasts)
1 can cream of something soup (I prefer cream of mushroom, but in a house of fungi haters, I use low-cal cream of chicken.  I have also used cream of celery to good avail.)
1 cup of sour cream (substitutions include a cup of nonfat yogurt or a cup of nonfat sour cream or half and half of each)
1 can of chiles, drained and/or a half cup of chopped jalapenos or bell peppers
1/2 cup of chopped onion
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup of green onions
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tsp chile powder  (may be omitted for lightweights or increased for chile heads)
1 tablespoon cilantro
Optional:  1/2 c. chopped spinach, grated zucchini or summer squash

Crust:
2/3 cup of shortening
4 cups of flour (I do half whole wheat and half all purpose unbleached)
1-2 tsp of salt ( I use less salt)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1 1/2 cup of warm water

Preheat over to 400 degrees.  Make the crust first by cutting the shortening into flour, salt and baking powder until mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Stir in water with fork until dough comes off the side of the bowl and rounds into a ball.  On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough just until smooth.    Cover and let rest about 15 minutes.

After the dough has rested, roll it out about 1/8"-1/4" thick.  The original crust recipe was half the recipe I put up, but that was never enough, so I always double it, so therefore, the recipe above :)  I use an 13" by 9" pan.

Put your dough in your pan with a good 4-5 inches of dough hanging over the sides.  Put the chicken on the bottom.  Now, take the soup, sour cream, chiles, onions, oregano, chile powder, and veggies and mix together over medium heat until hot and cooked through.  Then dump over chicken.  Sprinkle cheese and green onions and cilantro over chicken mixture.  You're going to pinch off one end of the crust, so stuff doesn't leak out.  Then you're going to pull and pinch the dough together on top.  Then either knife or fork through the crust a few times to let steam escape.

Put your little stuffed pouch o' dough in the oven to bake 45-50 minutes until the crust is a golden brown.  I like to serve this with salsa.  Although some ranch blended with cilantro on a nice green salad is good, too.






Monday, August 11, 2014

I've been feeling like crap the past couple days.  I overdid on Saturday.  I've been keeping track of my sugars and fighting through the prednisone, but I way overdid on Saturday, so I've been paying.  Yesterday, I spent most of the day cooking and enjoyed it, but I was so exhausted.

My sugars are pretty nuked, but hey, it's prednisone.  I see the specialist tomorrow, so here's hoping.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Today started off at 550AM.

I woke up with a round or two of IBS.  We dropped Genny off at school, went to breakfast at Cracker Barrel.  I had eggs, bacon, and whole grain harvest pancakes.    I used a combination of maple and no sugar syrup and ate half the pancakes.  It was a lot of food.

I dropped Mike off at work, dropped Russell at the pulmo for his allergy shots, then, I got my favorite drink in the entire world, iced sugar-free cinnamon dolce latte from Starbucks.  I had started hiving before that, but I seemed to get worse after, so suspicious of the syrup.  I grabbed water and jerky for Russell and I, while we waited on Genny to get off school.  With his stomach issues and the several times I had been to the bathroom thusfar, I figured I'd better eat some protein. Then we picked her up and I took them to lunch at an Indian Buffet.

I've eaten there before without much trouble, but towards the end of the meal (I'm pretty sure I ate my weight in nan, vegetable rice, and onion pakora) I started realizing I was going hoarse and my throat was closing.  I quietly got the kids stuffed into the car, messaged Mike and drove the couple blocks to his work to have him drive me to the hospital.  Tonight, I told Russell if my throat is closing, that he should drive me to Dad, next time.

Six benadryl later, I got to the hospital, I took my sugars two hours after I ate, and they were like 161, which wasn't bad, so I piggybacked a little bit of insulin on because they gave me a couple shots of steroids and benadryl and made me down some tagamet type stuff (a lot of the belly meds have a form of antihistamine in them).  After I rested for an hour or two, while Mike took the kids away to Walmart to get Genny's school supplies, I messaged him that they were going to release me in a bit, so he came back and eventually, took me home.

I slept for five hours and I had a hamburger on two slices of ww bread from last night, a giant bowl of salad, two celery sticks and a probably a half cup of almonds Mike brought me along with a bit of sf candy to deal with my sweettooth from the steroids..  I wasn't very hungry, after I woke up, but I ate anyhow.  I think that's just kind of me being used to my diabetes.  I really wish I hadn't.  My after sugars, even with some jiggling was 275, so I took insulin for that.  Then, the most recent test was 195, so I took insulin for that, too.
I'm going to take my metformin and hope for the best.  Not looking forward to steroids tomorrow.
___

So I am here at 230AM, not sleeping and starting to sprout hives across my scalp and face.  I'm so desperate.  No one understands what it's like to suffer under the itchy uncertainty of hives.  Not knowing, if it's suddenly going to affect my breathing, speech or general features.  It'd be nice, if I could at least be wearing long sleeves and not be in the hell that is August in Tennessee.  Humidity of 94%.

I can't breathe well in that, even when uncompromised.

My doctor wants me to lose weight, but I've got to take steroids again, just to survive.

I'm beyond desperation.

I pray our Heavenly Father keeps me safe, keeps my weight down and holds me up, when I can't do that myself.   I'm tired.  I'm scared.  I'm sad.

I called the emergency room and told them my hives were coming back and asked if it was OK to take my steroids earlier than anticipated.  I was told yes by the nurse and to take benadryl for another day or so, along with the tagamet.

Please God, keep me safe with the tools at my disposal.  Amen!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Fasting sugar was 150 again.  Gah.

I had an almond butter and jam sandwich.  I slept a lot. I slept from 12-330, 5:30-830, and 1130-300.  Yeah, it was erratic and I was sooo tired from it.  Two cups of coffee didn't make much dent, sadly.

After a couple hamburgers and a bunch of salad, I went to bed.  I had to piggy back on some insulin (175 and 195 sugar) and then, I woke up at midnight, hungry, so I had a couple chobanis.  My sugars were 92, so I overshot a little.

My hives were horrendous after dinner head to foot, so six benadryls later, I conked.

I'm writing this for Thursday, even though it's Friday. :P

I have to get up, drop Genny at school, drop Mike at work, take Russell to breakfast and then to a couple of doctor appointments.  Then, I need to swing back to get Genny from her first half day and pick up some school supplies and grab her brother and lunch.

I'm going to try Indian food and hope it works out for my splurge.  I found the dessert seemed to set me off last time, so going to forgo that and try to stick to rice, nan, and entrees.

My weight is up again.  I don't know why.  I'm not eating like a ton, but I guess I'm not moving lots and lots either.  I'm looking forward to Genny being gone, so I can get stuff done.

Pain upon wake up was pretty nominal, so like a 3, but the fog, was severe, like a 9.




Wednesday, August 06, 2014

I woke up at 1230. Fasting sugar was 151.  To be fair I slept for 13.5 hours.  I went to bed last night about 1030 because I had to take a lot of benadryl for some really bad hives.  I'm still pretty hive-coated, so meh.  Brunch was whole wheat bread and a slice of  bologna.  My feet are still pretty swollen, but not quite as bad as yesterday.

Exhaustion-wise, I'm feeling pretty wide-eyed and bushy-tailed.  One would hope after that much sleep, I would be, too. Today's tired rating puts me at a 1.  I'm still a little foggy-brained, but mostly pretty good. Pain is another matter.  I slept on my back for several hours, so I'm at an 8 in pain. My low back is very stiff and sore today.

_________

I had a couple cheapy hamburgers because I was ravening, which caused hives and two benadryl down.  Had Tuna melts for dinner with salad.  Going swimming.

In the middle of the night, I got up to take my meds and had a couple of chobani.  I checked my sugars after the two and it was only 129, so I guess I woke up for a reason.




Tuesday, August 05, 2014

So I am going to keep a food/caffeine intake and "how are you feeling" journal for a couple weeks.  I have a friend who's been really into this vitamin program and while I take vitamins (prenatals if you must now) because of my leaky gut, I've been feeling kind of crappy this summer.  Between taking a ton of benadryl on a daily basis for the hives reaction I'm having to foods I eat and a reduced dose of thryroid, I'm wiped.

Last night, I got about 8.5 hours of sleep.  I'm still pretty exhausted.  I've started off today with a cup of coffee, my meds, some pretty bad swelling in my feet and an almond butter sandwich.  I toes feel like they're swelling, too.  (After I ate my almond butter sandwich, I took a 3 hour nap.  I really was tired.)  I also drank my diet root beer without caffeine.

My sugar after breakfast and coffee was 226, which can make a person tired and I think that played a part, but waking up tired sure didn't help .  I should have done a fasting sugar before my , but forgot, but that indicates I was probably fasting at over 150, which my doctor wouldn't be happy about and well, neither am I.    I did forget to check before bed last night, so I'll work on that tonight.  When I woke up from my nap, three hours after eating, my sugars were pretty stable at 132 and my edema got better from the water pill.

I wasn't sure if I'd given myself my longacting insulin, so I just took that because apparently, I did not. :)

Yesterday, I slept a lot, but I did a lot of canning last night, putting up 16 pints of freezer jam. :)  Today, I'd like to put a bunch of squash into a brine or parboil it for freezing.  There's also buckets of wash to get through.

It's overcast, so I'm feeling draggy and foggy-brained from the fibro.  On a scale of 1-10 for exhaustion, today is an 9 at wake up.  My pain is a 4.  My feet and legs hurt from the swelling and I'm a little stiff.  After nap, the exhaustion is down some, to more like a 4.  Still yawning, my brain is still struggling to come up for air, so still feeling wiped.  My pain is still at a 4, as my edema is making my feet hurt and my body feels like a front is coming in, for lack of a better way to explain it.  I just feel a little bit like a person living under a heavy blanket, like I'm trying to come up for air.

I still have some hives.  Took 2 benadryl at 530.  Hoping it doesn't make me go swimming back under the sleepy blanket.

Dinner of Thai Green Curry Chicken on brown basmati rice did not make me hive, surprisingly enough.  I was worried because there was some kind of weird citrus something in the curry paste.  After dinner and dessert, my sugars were 156, but that means I can swim and not pass out. I am feeling more alert.  Making dinner was kind of a production, but it was delicious and I used a lot of the fresh peppers from the garden for it.  Sometimes, I wonder if I could possibly grow enough garlic and onions to keep this household going.

Took 2 more benadryl at 930, and I don't have hives, but my lips are swollen really really badly, so I took another 2 at 1030.

I'm more alert now at 930, so exhaustion is like 5.

Tomorrow, I want to hoe the greenbeans out and put in leafy spinach or lettuce with some rabbit deterrent.

At 1AM, my sugars were 151, so I piggybacked some insulin on and went to bed. :)






Friday, June 13, 2014

I'm having some kind of food reaction.  It's been getting so freaking bad.  I mean sometimes, I get dots that look like bug bites, but aren't.  I mean they're itchy, but they fade away.  I had a friend joke that I should play connect-the-dots.  I found a pink pen at the time, connected them, and then sent her a picture.  We both snickered.

Other times, I get giant continents of hives reaching toward each other like watching the continental plates in reverse, where it's all slowly going back to Pangaea.   Mind you these aren't just for show hives. These are excruciatingly itchy and painful and extended at one point from my ankles to my scalp.  I found my back scratcher and was going to town because by far, the worst spot is the center of my back where the bra hooks are. Mike would come by and scratch my back for me and I'd moan like a porno track.  I have had moments where I have been quite pitiful, feeling like I'd happily take the chance of being accused of doing something sexual with a fence post, just to get my back scratched.  Around home, I've taken to free-boobing in camisoles because the bra on that spot just makes me holy crap itchy and then having to pull the damned things off and remove the tags.

My skin, over the course of the past month, has taken on bizarre and ever-changing textures and degrees of pink and fire engine red.  I joked with the emergency room doctor that my body is a canvas for hive art.  He was taken aback and then, started shaking his head and laughing.  As miserable as it is, laughing helps me not want to flay myself.  Buffalo Bill would be so happy in a Wendy-coat.

I'm going into day five of steroids, after just losing the last seven pounds put on from steroids a few weeks ago.

Then I had a thought, when despite steroids, a holy crap-ton of antihistamines later, my lips began to swell. The only time my lips have swollen in my whole life due to an allergic reaction is from citric acid or oranges.  I remember distinctly being about seven years' old and after lunch on the kickball field feeling my lips swelling and having to go off the field, fuck up the teams to the dismay of my classmates and go see the nurse.  After a few rounds of that, my mother talked to the neighbor, who was a lunch lady at my school.  They went round and round on the menu and discovered that the school added citric acid to fruit cocktail to keep it from browning. (Can you imagine food so freshly canned that it needed that?)  I got fruit cocktail without citric acid from then on.

My mom would load me up on benadryl until the reaction ended.  In those days, my pediatrician, Dr. Purington was at least a half hour drive away, and the hospital was about an hour away, so my throat would have been closed and I'd have been dead by the time she ran me to either location so she treated at home.

I've been mostly treating at home.  First I was using three zyrtec, per the allergist, who informed me that I don't show "true" food allergies.  Translated that means that the leaky gut from my fibro is letting food sensitivities re-erupt.  I went off that and was taking benadryl.  I had a doctor tell me that the only reason I shouldn't take more benadryl is if it was knocking me out.  No such luck.  I've been generally taking it every two hours when it's bad. I suspect I'm waking up after 4-5 hours because I need another round.

After the first lip swelling incident, I started reviewing the food I'd eaten that day.  Nothing with citric acid.  Nothing with oranges.  Then, I checked my splenda coke.  I've been so proud of the fact that I've gone off aspartame and just to splenda to help my fibro.  Not far into the ingredient list was the evil citric acid. Dammit!

Mike made me splenda sweet tea with cardamon. I have a big vat of it in the fridge.

Yesterday, the hives were more like dots again.  Today, I'm hoping they'll fade entirely.

___

Meanwhile, in the realm of everything else that could go wrong with my health, I found this big hole in my cpap hose.  The past month, I've been sleeping all the damned time. As soon as my head hit that bed, I was out and I seemed to be no good to anyone unless I had 12 hours of sleep, plus naps.  This has been going on for a month or more.  I'm used to sleeping seven to nine hours and feeling pretty good.

I got up after five and a half hours and did chores like a crazy person.  I cleaned places I haven't cleaned in months.   I weeded the garden.  I did laundry.  I did floor boards.  I picked up all sorts of stuff.  Lately, I had hardly been able to move around the house just from the bed to the chair and back.  To do all that stuff, means that true sleep has returned.  Two nights running now, I am waking up after four or five hours and doing all this stuff, including this blog post, and then crashing for a few more hours, waking refreshed, rested and ready to roll.

My entire household would like to have me duck-taped to the ceiling or wall. Ha! Sucks to be them!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I am thunderstruck by spring.  I mean, there's that whole adoration of my husband that happens this time of year.  He has been humping anything on my body (and I want him to) like he's a sex-starved single male baboon at the zoo lobbing feces at the tourists in boredom and suddenly, the zookeeper brings him a ravishing she-baboon with a pink bow on her head.  It's freaking spring!

Our love-life aside, spring in Tennessee is just like a post card.  There are all of these homes that scream neglect and sharecropper tossed between mansions of some country music mogol or some master of old that seem ill-placed interspersed between vegetation and dilapidation. Blooming dogwood looks wonderful in any yard with its big, creamy, floppy flowers floating in the air like the peace one finds in a Japanese tea garden. Forsythia in bushes everywhere, sculpted and not.  Magnolias bloom like Georgia O'Keefe paintings, flowers like huge biblical revelations of life after death.

I find myself eyeing over thickets hugging fences and looking for the sign of blackberry blossoms and poison ivy.  I'm finding places to put strawberries as groundcover in my front bed amongst the bulbs -- daffodils, crocus, hyacinths and the occasional wild onion.  Every newly mowed lawn smells like a slice of freshly sliced vidalia onion and I find myself leaving the windows open to inhale it.

The true revelation of the South is the azalea bush.  I saw some with buds with the petal colors starting to show through the edge of the outer green.  Pinks, reds, oranges and whites like cotton candy at a carnival will explode here for weeks and then just as suddenly, fall silent and die out.  While it continues, it's as if to give a distraction from that awkward stage where the trees are starting to leaf, but the forests aren't yet completely green and dark with decidiuousness.

In a month, it will be lilies everywhere, wild in ditches and in carefully constructed yards with mulch and bricks. Someone somewhere will be selling them from their house and their yard will have a fence that does not require posts because there are lilies to support it.

I find myself watching people's porches for chairs that look like they will be used and thinking about what I will do with Genny this summer, how many of my chairs will be used, if Mike will ever fill the umbrella stand with the sand I finally convinced him to buy, swimsuits and flipflops.

Spring is that harbinger of summer, much as this winter seemed to go on like the nightmare you can't wake up out of for a while until you are good and terrified.

We covered up a few plants, as we are trying to get the garden in, but Mother Nature keeps stamping her feet and keeping Old Man Winter around for her pleasures before she laces the flowers of spring into the hair of summer.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

General Internet Etiquette for G+ and Facebook

  1. Do not post amber alerts about missing kids, if you haven't verified that the child is "still" missing. That's just stupid and inconsiderate.  You freak a lot of people out for no good reason.  I always check those and I always find that the kid is safe and sound or dead.  That's messed up.  Check that stuff before you flop it out there on the internet.  
  2. Do not post stuff quasi-weird garbage and waste my time, if you haven't actually researched it to be true, telling me that you haven't verified it.  I will unfriend you so fast you'll feel like the last kid picked in gym class.
  3. Do not go whole-hog nuts posting your crap into my feed about your Libertarian, Teabagger political view, if you know I don't want to read that crap.  Just set up people you'd like to send that garbage to and be so kind as to not send it to me. I was guilty of it and then I started getting a dose of my own medicine and realized that it truly sucks.  Join a group of like-minded people and let that come through your feed and you can post all day long to your groups.
  4. Don't post 10-30 inspirational pictures a day in my feed.  I know you're going through emotional turmoil, but honestly, if I wanted that crap, I'd get one of those balloon posters that says, "Inspiration" on it, like I should be inspired by hot air balloons.  I think they're really cool, but I can't say I think of those as inspiring.  After the first five inspirational quotes from the Dali Lama, I'm totally done.  He's cool.  He's awesome, but for the love of turnips, turn down the volume.  Pick a couple that are essential. Print them out.  Put them on your wall.  Please keep them off mine.
  5. Don't post anything on anyone's feed that you would mind your grandmother hearing come out of your mouth.  If it's a little risque, then just message it.  I have had ex-boyfriends in front of my children, husband, and in-laws, make reference to how I looked in spandex 20 years ago.  My in-laws, parents, husband and kids don't need to know about who I had sexual intercourse with before I met my husband.  My husband knows it all already and he's politely not expressed jealousy, but if you keep that crap up, things can change.
  6. Do not post vague references about your state of depression without explaining it.   "I"m so depressed" should be followed with "because my kids are driving me nuts" or some other explanation.  I don't mind helicoptering you a little, but work with me a little.  That vague stuff puts me over the edge and ticks off about everyone else I know.
  7. When you put pictures of yourself and your friends on the Internet for me to see, give me an explanation of what you're doing and with whom.  I actually like knowing what you're doing and I enjoy going through your pictures.  I have so many friends I've met via the 'Net that I know your story, but I may not know your face well, nor do I know your family.  It's nice when you tag and explain a little.  It gives me a face to put with the personality I've known for 10 years.  
  8. I hereby declare that all pictures of the old Willie Wonka and all cute meme's associated with it, are fucking banned.  Enough said. (That goes for all cartoon characters from Looney Toons, too!)
  9. Take the time to spellcheck what you say.  If you're on your phone, I forgive you.  If you're on a computer, you're a lazy douchebag.
  10. If you must rant about something, do it in your damned blog or have it as a note for a specific audience and warn me.  I will brace myself and commiserate as appropriate.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dear Manufacturers of Clothing for Females under 20,

Please consider the fact that most schools require that straps be the width of a dollar bill, skirts must be no higher than a dollar bill above the knee and that they can't just throw leggings under it or whatever at a lot of schools, especially here in the Bible Belt of the Volunteer State, where I exist with my secret identity of Liberal California Hippie Chick, hiding amongst some Seriously Scary Baptists.  

Additionally,  I am tired of her saying, "Mom, I can't wear that to school" because she's got really long legs and that dollar bill doesn't begin to make that short mini-skirt skort work.  When she was 3 feet tall, that skort length worked -- not so much now.

So, when you make clothing for someone's daughter, realize that if it were your daughter you wouldn't want to purchase a wardrobe that only crack whores use and neither do I. 


  • Make shorts with a little more length, make skirts with some length -- even adjustable with ribbons or buttons -- and for goodness' sake, do the same with dresses. 
  • Please do not make the neckline too low either because she doesn't have the chest to pull it off just yet and if she did, she would be completely mortified to show it off.  
  • Do not produce something with spaghetti straps and claim it's for school because I'd get a lot of phone calls if I took your word for it. 
  • She wears camisoles as undershirts NOT regular wear unless she's in the house and going to bed. I cannot and would not purchase something missing a strap either for school.  I'm not getting the kid expelled.  
  • Think uniform coverage, but with cute designs, details and fabrics.  


Additionally, if I can picture a 60 year old hooker in it, my daughter isn't wearing it. Thus, a spaghetti-strapped, low-cut tank top with animal print and sparkles, won't touch my child's skin, nor will a dress that's short enough to see her navel, nor spandex, for the love of all that is holy. Unless the cleavage is covered and it's long enough for her to bend over at the waist without anyone seeing her Hello Kitty underwear, it won't be purchased. I'll just sew a few.  

Deplorably yours, 
Ruby, A pissed off mother and devoted seamstress until she's 18 and can legally make her own choices

Monday, July 15, 2013

You know those vague, awful emails that the world is going to end or that we're on the edge of catastrophic, mass genocide?  My mother sent me a version of this fallacious one, which I easily found in Wikepedia, snopes, and other true/false sites.  I read the email thinking, "What a load of crap!"

This is what I sent her:

Mom, this is bs.  Snopes and other sites have information about this.  I do not think that putting an Islamic symbol is any different than claiming foods are kosher.  There is no way that communities like that would take place in the US, nor have they.  This kind of article demonstrate a common logical fallacy, a call to authority.  "The basic structure of such arguments is as follows: Professor X believes A, Professor X speaks from authority, therefore A is true. Often this argument is implied by emphasizing the many years of experience, or the formal degrees held by the individual making a specific claim. "   The truth is that that doctor didn't say it, nor is he from Germany.  It was written by someone else, who didn't have much in the way of a pedigree of authority, frankly, as he was a Canadian and a blogger. 

The Truth:  Dr. Emanuel Tanay is real and a holocaust survivor but he did not write this article, nor is he German.  This is an opinion piece that appeared on the web site of  Paul Marek, who wrote it in March 2007 under the title of "Why the Peaceful Majority is Irrelevant."   Click for original version of article.
Dr. Emanuel Tanay, the son of Jewish dentists, was born in Russian occupied Vilna in 1928, which is now part of Lithuania,  according to the personal account of his life in a Polish ghetto during the Holocaust.
Marek's article was apparently altered and posted on several reader and comment boards on the World Wide Web. Some altered versions include Marek as the author and cite Tanay as the original forwarder of the story.  

^This is where I stopped because pitching a fight with someone who is going under the knife for both heart surgery and breast cancer in the next two months at the ripe old age of 72, deserves not to have dumb political arguments with their kids.  I think that merits a "Get out of political arguments free" card.  

Here's what I didn't say to her, but what I'll say to you:

I also think that many of us would actually stand up and do.  I still go, with my walking sticks and children, to pro-choice rallies.  If it's wrong, we should all stand up and say so. That's our right.  That's our duty as Americans.  If we don't vote, don't write letters to our representatives, we aren't in fact, represented.  I think it's more important to instill the idea that every voice counts and that every voice needs to speak in our children.  I think showing them a copy of the letter you sent to your Congressman counts for more.  I think dragging their butts in the cold to stand witness to legislators, who are attempting to pass legislation that most of their constituents do NOT agree with, is excellent practice. I think taking them to their legislators' offices and showing them how to find that information online, is also excellent practice.

However, sending stuff like this is also something I don't care for -- it's slanderous, it's full of falsehoods, and the logic stinks.  Read further on logical fallacies:  logical fallacies. It's not Muslims that are wrecking our economy.  It's very rich guys who have every intention of staying that way and are manipulating voting areas by the people they contribute money to and voting rights(limiting people's voting access in numerous ways), funding anything that would in effect avoid making them pay the taxes they should.  I dislike that heartily.  We're struggling to pay our bills day-to-day and a lot of families are in the same boat.  We lost our house when the stock market tanked and Mike lost his job along with a 3,000 people at his company.  There still are no jobs in Nevada, as they sport a nearly 20% unemployment rate.  Bush bailed out the banks, when he should have let them fall on their faces and just let the FDIC do its job.  The banks are continuing to rack up record profits and throw bonuses to their vp's, and they're more slippery than eels in oil.

I think that moment of silence in schools is there so that anyone can silently pray or whatever they want.  The pledge of allegiance isn't going to disappear and that mentions God.  I don't think it means only a Christian god, or a Jewish god, or an Islamic God, but just God.  

I also think that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.  If you're loud and proud, you get heard and you get the grease needed to shut you up.  I think that goes for ALL Americans.  Be loud, be proud, BE HEARD!

I think the only way  to be both a responsible American and a responsible parent is to show your family what a responsibility being a voter and being an American is.  I've shown my kids.  They've written their letters. They called their offices.  They are the next generation of activists, actively watching, calling and participating in their country's process.  They are Americans that are both proud and of whom I am proud.  My husband, who never voted before, votes now.  He knows that his vote counts.  

If I've fucked up everything else in my life, I've made three intelligent voters in my life, who understand that voting is a privilege and that a free society requires vigilance to be maintained. 

If my mom and I have disagreed politically, I think she can be proud of the American and the voter I've become and the voters I've taught.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Fat Kid in a Chocolate Factory

I have started seriously looking at bariatric surgery.  I had them run my insurance even.  It turns out that Mike's company's insurance has a rider that doesn't cover bariatric surgery.  In talking with friends, it seems I can probably appeal that on the basis of my medical conditions.

I have a half dozen friends who have had the surgery and only one who has actually done most of what she's supposed to on it, but she's new to it and a practicing Mormon.  There is a second friend who comes close, but she does drink, occasionally, which you're not supposed to do because it goes straight to your bloodstream without passing Go or collecting $200. A third is kind of close, but she eats all things sugar-free and is on a heart monitor. I guess on a heart monitor, I'd go on the straight and narrow sans booze or crap of any kind until things were more stable.

I also realized that thanks to my mother, I don't eat poorly.  I eat whole grain everything, even in stuff that shouldn't probably have whole grains, like lemon pound cake.  Even there, my mother rarely used whole grains in baking and I actually do.  I usually use half and half.  If there's a way to puree vegetables into it, I do. I have friends who complain that they're more regular after they leave my house.

I have three friends here in Tennessee, who've gotten the surgery and there are some disturbing things I am seeing.  It reminded me of things I saw with another friend.  After surgery, it is essential that you do not return to your old eating and exercise habits.  Just because you can eat cake, doesn't mean you should.  Just because you can get away without regular exercise, doesn't mean you should  The surgery doesn't cure your crappy eating habits, it just makes it a lot more difficult.

I went with my three friends to a Russell Stover chocolate factory yesterday at their demand and behest.  I hadn't planned on going and had hoped they might forget and they didn't.  I had all three of them in the van and there was a unanimous demand that we go to the chocolate factory.  I guess if had been See's chocolate or Godiva, I might have been more enthused, but Russell Stover isn't my idea of actual chocolate I'd lose sleep over.

We go to the factory.  I watched as my three friends circled out on a mission to find the specific chocolates of their choice.  One of them was wearing a heart monitor.  One of them had a leg infection.  The third is morbidly obese like I am and had been diabetic before her surgery.  I picked out a bag of chocolate covered cherries because is basically one of my favorite treats (dried cherries) with dark chocolate (better for you than milk) and sugar-free black licorice.  I picked up a few other things for the kids and headed for the cashier, where I spent less than $20.  I saw a wooden-handled umbrella with a brass release button for $5 on the way out and that's when I was completely gaga and had to have something.  I know I'm getting old, but geez, an umbrella?  It reminded me of my mother commenting that she was turning into her mother when she saw some enormous head of garlic in California and just had to have it.  She then put it back, realizing that hauling a head of garlic back on a plane was crazy and that, indeed, she had turned into her mother for a moment.

I had to have that damned umbrella with Russell Stover's logo and crappy chocolate on it.  It's been pouring here for five days solid pretty much.  It's July in the South, and I'd been cold from being drenched to the skin.  I wanted a big enough, wooden-handled with brass release umbrella for five bucks.

I went with my new umbrella and Mike to the car and waited for everyone else to come out.  And waited.  Genny came out next with a stuffed animal and a candied apple.  Then my friend with the heart monitor came out with $85 of sugar-free candy.  I was floored. This wasn't Godiva or Ghiardelli's or See's.  This was freaking Russell Stover's.  She has the same hideous gas issues I do with sugar-free anything, so she'd rather have hideous gas from so-so candy.

Then came my last two friends.  They both had big bags like my previous friend.  They'd clearly spent similar amounts.  They're married.  I happen to know he keeps a stash of candy.  Most of what I saw from said stash was sugar-free, but still, I looked at that behavior pattern and thought, "Wow, I'm glad I made a different choice than that."

I guess I see that kind of behavior as destructive and self-destructive.  Five morbidly obese people go into a candy factory and the three with gastric bypass surgery meet the expectations of the cashier.  My impression of the reasoning behind that is because the "dumping" syndrome that occurs with that choice will make them sick enough to expel it and they've managed to trick the system, rather than use the tool of bariatric surgery to make better choices.

I remembered a different friend from many years ago who started regaining weight after the initial loss from surgery and wasn't exercising and had lots of excuses and ended up diabetic again.  I could totally see that happening to me.  I am AFRAID of that happening to me.

Yesterday's experiences and observations made me sad and scared me.  I don't want to be someone who eats too much crap she shouldn't, doesn't exercise sufficiently, and remains morbidly obese three years post-surgery.  I'm already making better choices.  I mean if the worst snack choice I can make right now involves low-fat yogurt spinach dip and whole grain crackers, I think I'm doing well, not perfect, but better.

I shouldn't be the weird one with whole grain buns, pasta, and veggies, in that situation.  I just shouldn't.

I hope that after I finally am able to obtain surgery to help me, that I will use it as the gift of health that it can be and that I will lose weight, continue to set aside bad habits, and work at exercising as regularly as I possibly can, doing whatever I can.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

There's been a load of shit flying ever since Paula Deen's deposition over an employment dispute.    This article at CNN is one of those flying fecal chunks.  I kept thinking, did you actually see the deposition?
It is interesting after looking at the actual context of her deposition that this editor went toddling off down the road to hop on the bandwagon.  Paula admitted to using the word at a time when it was thought to be culturally appropriate.  Everyone learned after that that it wasn't cool, and she was included in that.  I think after living in the South some, that while I do not approve of that word or the racism it represents, that I understand that past a little.  I think things like that need to be set in their time in history.  Her deposition does that.

My mother told me to never use that word and I don't think it's passed my lips.  I grew up in the North.  Anyone other than folks of Northern European heritage were an anomaly, but a welcome one from the doldrums of being like everyone else.  I always thought race was less about color than culture anyhow and I always have loved finding out about other cultures and sharing in the food and customs.  I love languages, different food, and learning about how customs and language shape the way people think (or vice versa).

Race to me is a misnomer.  Race seems like it should matter and it doesn't, it's just a physical attribute which no one can change or share.  Because you are born with dark skin and can trace your roots back to Africa, so?   The bright white uniform against dark skin might be crisp-looking because of the contrast.  I know the white linen jacket, tshirt and pants worked for Tubbs on Miami Vice.  (Hubba, hubba) A lot of men with dark skin like sleeping with women with very white skin, like I have, because they like the contrast of colors. So?  I think liking the look of something isn't racist.  I personally love the deep coffee brown color my half Mexican son gets with sunshine.

Culture on the other hand, is such a totally different ball of wax because then you're getting information that matters on a multitude of levels. You're getting clothing, colors, language, attitudes, food and sharing.  It's intimate though and sometimes, the physicality of race makes people assume things about another's culture without pursuing the intimacy required to actually learn things specific to the person in front of you.  Just because I'm white, for example, people in Tennessee have often assumed I agree with them on things regarding tea party politics and abortion.  In a very red state, I guess that's possible, but that is also racist. Weird, huh?






Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dear Sacrum,

Please just knock it off. I could barely walk today and that sucked toad balls.  My back feels like you're jamming ice picks up my spine.  This behavior SUCKS!

Knock it the hell off.

Thanks,
The Brain

___

Dear Brain,

Would you keep the racket down?  My gosh, how's a woman my age supposed to rest with you whipping by at 90 mph?

Due to your excessive work ethic, we would really enjoy eight hours uninterrupted sleep in which we weren't playing work taxi for Russell or trying to get one more hit in at Mechanical Turk or worrying ourselves into a coma.

Please shush!

Thanks,
The Body

___

Dear Sandman,

Do you think you could get off your ass and drop a beach on me, so I can get some uninterrupted sleep?  Between my body, my brain, the kids and my insomnia, I could really use more than a four hour stretch.  Oh, and could you drop that beach on me, AFTER I've had some naked time alone with the husband?

We'd both really appreciate it.  I'll even bake for you.

Thanks,
Ruby








Wednesday, February 06, 2013

I think I inhaled 10 lbs of chocolate last night and almonds.  Oh, so many almonds!  Yeah, that's my PMS thing, even as I head into menopause.  Today, chocolate had about as much appeal as any other food.  I still wanted almonds, but I think that's just a genetic defect on my part.

I didn't have the explosive anger fit I usually do, though I thought about it a lot.  I did lay out Russell, but I did it gently and just told him to please not be disrespectful or unkind to me.  We talked it out like adults.  I didn't shout, wax insane or anything.  OK, well no crazier than usual. The angels wept.  The demons pouted.  OK, not really, but I have been drinking a lot of caffeinated beverages, which really solves most of the world's ills, I'm sure of it.

Mike and I have been having "dates."

It's so weird.  We've been playing Ingress on our phones.  We go to all these places, hack the portals, grab a burger in between and the whole time, we're chatting with each other, joking, laughing, copping a feel, and finding some romance in our lives.  There's been some discussion of dropping the oversized bean bag in the back of the van, putting curtains up and obtaining knee pads, but I don't think I could appropriately explain the curtains and bean bag to people Mike carpools with, without convulsively laughing and blushing like a teenaged girl.

I'm back to the sewing table making blankets for a few people, this evening and over the week and weekend.  I have jewelry ideas floating in my head.  I've got a garden planned.

My wisdom of the day is this:  Never let an asshole ruin your whole day. Assholes are made to be wiped and then clothed and sent on their merry way, hopefully less full of shit. 

Mothers have been doing it for millenia, so I'm thinking they have the right idea.



Sunday, February 03, 2013

I've been feeling very distractable lately.  I know I should be focusing on certain things, but I'm more interested in winging it for right now.

I usually always have a plan.  I'm still in plan formulation.  My plan was to get a full-time job and do that, but dude, I so don't want to do that.  I think I'd be happier doing part-time until Russell gets his license.  Of course, getting him to do so, has mostly been a knockdown drag-out fight.  He likes being chaffeured around.  This is the kid who always wanted to feel special and he was my first and he's always been special. I've always had to do so much for his health and now, for his job.

I hope he stops needing me so much.

I'd like some time for myself.  I'd like to be able to schedule time with Mike that didn't involve having to figure out when we were picking him up and dropping him off.

I'm stuck in a bad health cycle.  I'm going to my doctor tomorrow to discuss things.  I want to see what he thinks my priorities should be.  Basically, my game plan is get my fibro under reasonable control, look into and obtain bariatric surgery, then see if Genny's independent enough not to need a momma taxi much to be as wildly successful as possible.


Sunday, January 06, 2013

I got a myofascial massage on Friday, two days ago, and man, all that agony that had built up over the holidays move off.  I keep moving and expecting something to hurt, but it doesn't.  It's just plain weird.

I feel twinge-y, like things are still sore and swollen, but if I give it a day or two, it won't be.

I'm thankfully away from holiday foods.  Whatever I was eating over the holidays gave me back 10 pounds, but that's just melting away, now.

I'm just tired all the time.  It's not my sugars much.  Mostly, my sugars are well managed, but I got into the "I hurt, so I stay up all night" thing and now, with a new job starting in a week, I need to get to a more reasonable bed time.

I think my sleep gets interrupted some with the kittens.  They come visit at night looking for my hands and nudge me to pet them.  The one little girl kitty is apparently a Maine Coon and is getting to be HUGE, even though, she still sucks on blankets and thinks she's a kitten.  I swear that cat has big dishpan paws.  She thinks she's cute and dainty.  Well, cute is true, but dainty?  Not so much.

I know EXACTLY how she feels. :)


Sunday, December 02, 2012

Today is great in lots of ways, except my body is having a FUCK day.  I'm Christmas decorating, listening to Christmas music, eating yummy foods, and hanging out with my Hubby and Girl.  The Boy is at work.  We're heading to Costco, where Hubby and Girl will endeavor to hit every sample table in the joint.

My fucking body cringes at the thought of having to go anywhere other than the motherfucking couch or bed.  My fucking shoulders are screaming, "FUCK YOU!" at the top of their joints.  My hips are fucked and rigid like sheets of fucking glass.  My knees are a concoction of shrapnel and ground glass chunks and sand, so every step is a delightful fucking foray into an abyss of neverending pain.  I will be in another fucking wheelie cart and I'd rather gnaw off my fucking arm.

The fucking clouds are coming in and Mike says a storm is coming.  My fucking barometer of a body apparently fucking agrees.

I was frustrated because I really wanted to take out my fucking nutcrackers and put them places.  I ran out of sugar and started to get fucking cranky telling Genny where to put stuff and took my fucking sugars and realized I was fucking hungry and heading into insulin shock. When Hubby told me to fucking get seconds of soup off the stove, I wanted to cry and scream, "FUCK YOU!" I groaned inwardly, wandered into the kitchen, and got my own fucking seconds.

I have all these fucking things I want to do and my body would rather curl up in a ball on a heating pad, loaded with ibuprofen in semi-safe doses and my motherfucking vibrating neck pillow.

Then, good night, moon.

Fuck you, body.  Fuck you, pain.  Fuck all agony, everyone.



Thursday, November 08, 2012

OK.  I participated in marches, protests, wrote letters, phoned legislators.  I donated money to the party of my choice that most accurately portrayed my views.

I have many intelligent people who are conservative that I count among my friends.  I respect and love them.  I think that the current state of the Republican party serves them poorly.

I am sad that Fox News is allowed to persist in their misinformation.  My hope is that Fox will go the way of similar outlets like, "The National Enquirer,"  and become a source of laughable stories, quickly dismissed and put back "on the rack."  I think there's a place for intelligent, well-argued conservatism.  Unfortunately, their portrayal of them as a "news source" for the conservatively minded is bullshit and their presentation of themselves as intelligent reporting for conservatives is probably the one thing that any future Republican candidate should see coming and run screaming from the room when approached.

Their reliance on misinformation  makes a mockery of that and in no way resembles intelligence or a well-structured argument.  Somewhere in my educational elucidation, I had an English professor discuss the logical fallacies.  I am so very dependent on reason.  It's a part of my psyche to make sense of things.

I do think that logic is not faith nor is faith logical.  In politics, I don't  mix the two.

My experience of Fox is that they resort to all of the logic fallacies that crumble before what makes sense -- ad hominen, non sequitur, etc. discussed here.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy) The fact that it is so easily made fun of by Comedy Central icons, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, is because they simply make no sense.  That lack of sense-making is why it's hilarious to watch them be made fun of.  It's kind of like poking a trapped animal with a sharp stick, which I think is where much of the rancor of this recent election comes from.

My hope is that as Americans that we pressure the hell out of our legislators to find MIDDLE GROUND.  Yes, it's nice to push your way because you can..  However, I think it's far more gracious to include your enemies into your circle of friends, so that they can learn that you are both human, afterall.




Saturday, November 03, 2012

I have found lyrica.  I don't like the idea of crawling into a bottle for relief, but that bottle is a lifeline.  It's saving my life a day at a time.

This week I finally was out of pain sufficiently, after a pretty hefty flare, to go to the pool.  I did the aqua-aerobics class. The teacher kept trying to put me in some therapeutic group and I thanked her and declined.

The problem with a "therapeutic" group in my experience is that it's a bunch of old ladies, who aren't really trying to huff and puff.  I need to huff and puff.  I want to huff and puff.  Just call me Wolfy, baby.

I finally just asked the instructor, if she'd just let me do my own thing.  I adapted stuff to work with my body size and abilities.  Being that my shoulders were feeling pretty ripped apart still from the flare, I just did it smaller and simpler.

--

Currently, I am working on an edit that is making me tear large hunks of hair out.  I swear the level of illiteracy in people is simply astounding.  No, "abliverate" is not a word.

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Some day, I'll sleep at night again.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Via http://www.invisibleillnessconference.com

1. The illnesses I live with are: fibromyalgia and arthritis, along side of some others.  These are the ones that cause me pain.
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2011 and 2000, respectively.
3. But I had symptoms since: 1986 (fibro)
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: limited mobility.
5. Most people assume: I'm lazy or incapable of a lot, rather than asking me.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: getting up, showering, and dressing.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: House
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my grabber
9. The hardest part about nights are:sleeping and pain.
10. Each day I take 15-20  pills & vitamins. 
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: have tried yoga, stretching, aquaaerobics.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: visible
13. Regarding working and career: I want to be able to work and handle a 40 hour a week.
14. People would be surprised to know: I continue to write a lot that I don't post.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: the incessant pain.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: work retail
17. The commercials about my illness: are always about drugs.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: 
19. It was really hard to have to give up: the idea of running a marathon.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: beading.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Run a marathon.
22. My illness has taught me: more patience.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: I hope you feel better.  The drag is when the touch me and I want to yell, "PLEASE DON'T TOUCH ME!"
24. But I love it when people: offer to help and follow through.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is:I love you. You're not alone.
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: I love you.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: always having to explain it to people and the shock on their face when they realize just how painful it is.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: my husband pet my hair.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I have nothing to lose.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: like I am not alone.

Monday, July 02, 2012

The move to Tennessee continues.  There was a phoenix burning of things a few weeks ago.  I purposely haven't tried to keep track of the date.  I don't think that there should be an anniversary for such a thing.  Let the old horrors die.  Nurture new life and new happiness.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

There's been a lot, at times, that I haven't cared for from my in-laws.  When Mike and I first got together, well, they were downright mean at times.

Mike's grandfather was never mean.  He never lost his temper with me or the kids.  He was kind.  He treated Russell with love and kindness from the get-go.  He always hugged me good-bye and he called me, "sweetheart."  He did small thoughtful things.  While he never spoke a lot, he usually showed you that he thought the world of you in a small gesture or a kind phrase.  That was just Pop's way of doing things.  I felt like one of his loved grandchildren.  I felt like a princess around him.

In the past few years, he's been in a state of decline.  We were at a casino and he was out of it for lack of a better phrase.  I made a small joke and he asked me to repeat it, so I did.  He clearly didn't get it, even though it wasn't any great feat of wit on my part.  And I wondered.  At a later time, we were visiting him and he seemed a little fuzzy-brained.  He also had a hard time getting around.

At one of Mike's brother's weddings, Mike had to escort him down the aisle to his seat because he couldn't get there on his own.

Today, my parents came to visit.  They gave me a star sapphire ring that my father bought for my grandmother, when he was in Vietnam.  Attached to it was a small note in her writing explaining that fact and that she wanted me to have it.  She knew it was my birth stone.  On top of that, there was a small hair clip with my name on it.  I don't think I normally would put something in my hair at my age, but I did today. I cried when I saw the note about the ring.  I felt the touch of my grandmother's love from across time and I just missed her terribly in that little bit of time.

As my parents got up to leave for the evening, Mike's brother called saying that Pop didn't have much longer and that they didn't expect him to make it through the night.  I guess he passed around midnight our time.  I miss him, too.  I wish sincerely that we could go to say goodbye to him . I always have appreciated Mike's grandparents because I miss mine very much -- Pop, in particular, reminds me a great deal of my mother's father, for whom I named my son.

Tonight, I miss Alice and Lyman.  I'm glad for their peace, though.  It was as if Alice sent that ring with my parents because she knew that today Pop was going to meet her for the first time.

This post is in memory of Alice, and particularly, of Lyman, who both are loved and both of whom made such marks on my life and the lives of others, in ways that others may not see, but in ways I see every single day. May I live up to the high standards they set for me and honor their memories by the way in which I live my life and love others, and of course, the way in which I love both of them.