Sunday, December 29, 2013

Not dead, but almost

OH thank jeebus that the holiday season is over.  I realized finally, FINALLY, this year, that I have 'issues' with Christmas.  Deep-seeded (seated?) wretched, I HATE CHRISTMAS feelings.  And while I know those feelings need to be explored, can I just take a moment first and say HALLELUIA (<--ha see what I did there) it's OVER!?!

So, to recap:

There was a wedding, and Mike was Best Man.  Looka my son!
Yes that's me in the green dress - running...?

(also he got his grades from his first semester of college and it was 2 A's, 2B's.  He thought maybe he wasn't as smart as he used to be.  He's stupid for thinking that.)

I was starting to feel a cold or something coming on at this point, but pushed through it.  This wedding took place outside (San Diego, but it was still cold) and here you should hear foreshadowing music. Then the day after this wedding Jeff and I left for Idyllwild, a wonderful, small mountain community about 1.5 hours away from SD.  I was feeling sick with a real cold by this time, but a romantic cabin!  A week with my husband!  A HOT TUB on the deck!  Both dogs!  I pushed through.

Yeah.  I was so, so sick.  I had a sore throat like never before, and recognized my old friend Chronic Sinus Infection.  I didn't realize until the 3rd day that the romantic comfy fires we had blazing were making me SO MUCH WORSE.  By the third day I told Jeff (croaked, really) that it felt like I had one of these in my throat:
I cried every time I swallowed.  It sucked.
He looked up an Urgent Care that was about 35 miles away and we got ready to go - on a whim he called the place just before we left and uh, Xmas eve, it was CLOSED.  So sorry you are deathly ill, move along.  We went to the town pharmacy and I bought one of everything and went back to the cabin.  I soaked in the hot tub (so romantic what with the honking and coughing and gasping and crying) which helped because of the steam. 
Christmas morning, 2013 *honk*
We spent Xmas eve and day watching AMC holiday movies and he drank his beer and I had soup and I felt SO very ill, it's hard to describe how awful it was.  My throat was so sore.  I was taking 3 advil, then 2 hours later 3 Tylenol, then 2 hours later 3 advil - etcetera.  Yeah, it was FISTFULLS of pain relievers but if I didn't do it that way I cried until the next dose.  I used my neti-pot and ugh.  We left the day after Christmas, 3 days early.
$1,500 spent on a vacation cabin for me to be sick as fuck.  I did get dressed (xmas eve, the day we thought we were going to urgent care) and we took the dogs on a short walk:

My ears felt like they were going to burst blood like in a horror movie and I thought maybe there were a couple of very angry cats covered in lemon juice and hot sauce in my throat.  Awful.
The day we came home we dropped the dogs off at the house and went directly to an urgent care (rather than the VA, trying to avoid a throng.) (that didn't work out as planned.) we waited 2 hours to be seen at urgent care, with me collapsed on Jeff's shoulder the whole time.  (surrounded by a crush of humanity that was equally as sick) (luckily there were no sick children, my god the misery that would have been for everyone).  Diagnosis?  Yes yes, bad sinus infection, but also?  Strep throat.  With canker sores and *pus* on my throat.  Scrip for amoxicillin and Flonase and off we went.
 And here is what I've looked like for the last few days.  Today I'm finally up this morning, but not planning on doing anything more than washing sheets and throwing used tissues away. 
I haven't been this sick since before I quit work.  I remember that last sickness - you don't forget shit like this.  CHILDBIRTH was easier- I at least got a kid out of that!  I've had sinus infections every year, but not like this.  This was one for the books.
I hate taking antibiotics.  I refuse to go to doctors.  In fact the urgent care doc I finally saw agreed with me, at first, that maybe just the Flonase (steroidal nasal spray, anti-inflammatory) would work.  She didn't see anything on my throat at first.  I asked her to look further back, where my ears/throat/sinuses meet.  That's when she jumped back like she'd seen her grandmother naked and made a screechy noise and said (pointing at me like I was a witch) PUS!  SORES!  and I said *croak* *wahhh!* and so, there ya go.  I surprised the doc.  Moral?  Have them look again.  It was at that point that she said "sometimes antibiotics are the only way" and I said "gimme" and that was that.
So anywhozle, I'm back, and I'm alive.  I'm so incredibly glad the holidays are over.  I want to plant my patio and buy a new bike at the Walmart and get some new dishes (I'm giving my vintage dishes away) and just get going on the new year.
BTW - there is going to be a full moon - a NEW MOON! on  January 1.  How very serendipitous.  This was a fantastic year, full of really, really wonderful things.  I moved from Maryland, spent a huge amount of time reconnecting with Mike, we live in a great apartment overlooking the pool, right on the river-bed, near the ocean, in San Diego.  My life is so very blessed. 

My patio this morning, 12/29/13
But December can kiss my ass.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Grain (and glucose) free diet crap update

Still working the no grains diet.  It is STILL about the best thing I have ever done for myself.

For anybody finding this by searching grain free, gluten free, paleo diet, zero carb diet - here are my factoids.  For the rest of you, go read this instead.

I started zero-carb eating on June 19th of 2013.  As of August 5th of 2013, I had already lost 25 pounds.  2 months, 25 pounds.  By simply cutting out grains.  This was my progress picture in August.  (Before pic is from prior year but I remained the same gigantic tub of fat for the entire year - scales don't lie.)

I've lost another 10 pounds since then.  As of today, I have lost 35 pounds.  I went from 185 pounds down to 150 pounds, from a size 16 to an 8/10.  By removing all grains from my diet.  My weight-loss slowed down in September, because I relaxed my vise-like grip on ALL THE FOOD - and I let myself have French fries, or rice along with my bacon cheese burgers.  I ate a bean burrito (or twelve).  I managed to prove to myself that I could maintain my weight-loss and still have SOME carbs.  But I am not satisfied with my weight yet, so I decided to crack down and get down to 145 pounds.  Reason?  ha, not vanity.  Or not ALL vanity.  I've had a front-row seat to watching my husband's parents' health take a nosedive - all of it exacerbated by their refusal to lift a finger nutritionally to help themselves.  I'm 5 pounds away from that goal.

ALSO - more to the point - when I started allowing even those few types of carbs into my diet, I noticed an immediate uptick in the following:
Rash - uncontrollable itchy skin, again.  In my elbow crease, on my back, on my stomach - it's horrifying.  Not alleviated by cortisone lotions or anything - only by clearing out the glucose in my system.
Insomnia - it's bad at the best of times.  With grains/glucose it's insurmountable, even with Ambien.
Gout - which can be caused by a fructose intolerance.  Also the foods that are typically thought to cause gout (raising your purine levels) have been proven to not necessarily cause it - red meat does not cause gout.  Neither does fat.  It's an inflammatory reaction in your system to something that your body hates and is allergic to.  In ME, high-fructose-corn-syrup (HFCS) is the cause of my gout - it is the absolute devil, it is evil, and I am very careful about allowing it in my system.
Depression - what carbohydrates do to my brain is not funny.  They function as fake dopamine and serotonin, for a small time.  Then they crash you into depression.  If you are prone to depression and you are fat, there is a reason.  The SAD (standard American diet) is BULLSHIT.  And it is killing you totally dead.

I refuse to be SICK when all I have to do is stop ingesting certain 'foods'.  I put 'foods' in quotes because grains are completely horrific for some people.  Carbohydrates are what cause obesity and diabetes - not fat or doughnuts or candy. 

Here I am just the other day:
I cut off my head because nobody needs to be subjected to my morning hair.  I am STILL 5'4", and 150 pounds.  I am still far to overweight to be called 'healthy' - yeah, the picture looks great but why do you think I chose THAT one?  I still have 2 chins, I still have a fat belly, my back fat still swells up around my bra straps.  But hey-yo - 35 mother freaking pounds, right?
Please - if you have realized that you may need to quit grains - if you have researched and come to the conclusion that a carb-free diet may be for you, if you are mostly BELLY fat and cannot lose it, please clicky the links in the linked entry.
ALSO - if you are researching depression, hormones, menopause - well, email me and I will send you some info, and some links.  I will direct you to places to DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH.  YOU can figure your way out of the hell you're in - your doctor most emphatically WILL NOT. 
Losing weight hasn't made my husband love me more (he adores me as I am! *snort*) (ack shoo lee, he does.) It hasn't made men flirt with me (I'm still 53 years old).  It hasn't made me richer.  Or any of that crap.  But the research I did on how my body reacts to certain foods and the subsequent changes I made in my diet has helped my HORRIFIC depression.  It helped me discover which anti-depressant would work for me, which I then demanded from my doc, which has since been MIND BLOWINGLY FANTASTIC for me.  Losing weight has helped my knees.  Eating this way means my skin doesn't itch.  My sinuses don't drip.  I never fart anymore.  On that subject - no, eating a mostly all meat diet will NOT make you poop all the time.  And it does NOT cause constipation.  Just FYI - veggies have all the fiber you need.  And your body uses almost ALL of the nutrients in the food you do eat, so waste production is minimal.  Energy wise - I wake up at about 6:00 am and actually get out of bed.  I'm able to walk 5 miles, 4 or more times a week - which helps weight loss AND dopamine production.  I'm able to be around (some) people and not want to claw my own brain out. 
YOU are the only cure for your health problems.  The internet is a valuable, gigantic tool.  USE IT.
Go here:
Scroll to the bottom of that entry, all the links are there.  It's worth it.  I wish I had started 10 years ago when menopause and depression started in on me.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

♪ A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown! ♫

HEY yo.

Who knows what this is?
Here's a hint:  "But somewhere in my wicked, miserable past,  There must have been a moment of truth" 
MAYBE you need another hint.
FA!  a note to follow SO!

Guess what.  The next Giant Meeting Of Government Contractors is going to be in MOTHER FUCKING VIENNA!  *ahem* I prolly should say it with prettier words because LORD that place is beautiful.

I am blown away.  Do you guys know how lucky I am?  I've been to freaking PARIS.  I went to Sweden.  Now I (might) go to Vienna.  VIENNA.  I have so much reading to do!  I know there was a gorgeous opera house.  It was (is?) a Monarchy, so there are castles to visit.  There are Vienna Sausages to eat.  It was home to FREUD, for chrissakes.  For a confirmed romance-novel-junkie like myself, this is the place where the upper crust went to balls and met their various Lords and Barons.

NOT TO MENTION, the Von Trapp Family home.  Do you know that story is real?  They really did flee the Nazi's and they ended up in Vermont, where you can go stay and hear all the family (new and whats left of the original) sing.  (Turns out the real Maria was a horrific bitch, who's surprised...)

I'll be researching.  I'll be reading and spreadsheeting and planning.  I'll have about 10 days mostly to myself to wander all over Vienna and Salzburg and wherever else I want to go.  Europe has the (hands down) BEST public transportation, and I have no fear.  I will walk and train ride and bus ride and be exhausted and holy cats y'all - VIENNA.

We aren't even sure Jeff is going to be going.  But I have confidence!
*my sisters are going to be SO JEALOUS!!  I am going to sing every damned song from that movie with GUSTO.  heh, I bet THAT's never happened in that town..*

Monday, December 9, 2013

Liebster Award - 10 questions with a crazy person!

I won a PRIZE!

You LOVE me!  You REALLY LOVE me!
I have seen these types of things all around the webz, and never even thought I would win one.  It is amazing to me that anyone reads my curse-filled diatribes - my made-up words, my CAPITALIZED FOR YELLING stuff.  *sniffle*

I was invited by Mulder Fan ( to answer the following questions.  I am so pleased that she would think of me, so thank you Mulder. 
So, because you know my answers will be titillating and scintillating and incredibly eeenteresting, here we go:
1) Where would you like to travel to and why?
Easy.  Ireland.  I absolutely LOVE the language (but haven't learned it except a really great, non-annoying gaelic accent that is totally not annoying.  At all.)  I love the faerie tales.  The lore.  I LOVE the music - it filters down and over through American Appalachian and Bluegrass. I love the small villages - I don't want to stay in Dublin, I want to go to a small village and stay for a week - get to know the people at the pub, at the grocery store, at the restaurants...  then move to another village and do the same thing in a different place for another week. 

2) If you could share just one book with the world what would it be?
ONE book!?  I weep.  I can't do just one.  So of course I break the rules in the second question:
  • Jane Eyre.  Good LORD, this book takes you on a journey-and only part of it is romantic.  She's sort of an anti-heroin - small, and plain - with no illusions about herself.  She starts out the step-child of a narc and by the end you are just amazed at where you and she have been and done. 
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  Written as a series of letters between a young-ish female newspaper writer and the people of Guernsey in the aftermath of WWll - I had NO IDEA about this part of the war, although I did know that English children were removed to the country to get them out of London (and evidently Guernsey) - this book is sweet, wonderful, and wide - there is a love story in it but it's not mushy at all.  I've re-read it a couple of times, and I'm thinking of trying to find the hard-cover.  PLEASE take a chance and read this. 

3) If you could talk to anyone from anytime, who would you choose and what would you want to talk about?
OH hell.  Honestly?  I'm still chewing on the mystery that is my life, and the lives of my DNA parents.  I'd talk to Kaye (my mother).  Or even Alex (my dad) - but you know, since this is MY fantasy I'd have rules like oh, telling the TRUTH and all.  I want to know what in the fuck really went down.  The mystery bugs me enough to really piss me off sometimes.  There is a little 'woo-woo' thrown in there too - I still have to relate some of that to y'all.  So getting answers to these damned mysteries is my fondest hope.

4)  What is your favorite recipe?
HA.  Since all I eat is meat and eggs anymore, this question makes me DROOL.  I used to make a bundt cake - a 'Harvey Wallbanger Cake' - that was to DIE for.  It's a vintage recipe from my mother's generation - it has vodka and Galliano in it and good lord, it's moist and stand back - you will have none left.

5)  What makes you laugh? 
Quick wit.  Puns, twisted song lyrics, Monty Python.  When I yell out 'Marco?!" in a store looking for Jeff, and three other people call out 'POLO!" because they all get it.  My dogs, the way they wag their tails and barkbarkbark and love people and ham.

 6)  Would you share 3 things from your 'bucket list'?  'Bucket list' is those things you would like to do before you kick the bucket (die). (more than 3 sorry)
Get to Ireland for two weeks or a month.  Find true lasting peace with my body and my brain. Stop feeling like an outsider.  Stop feeling broken.  Get our retirement "savings" into a place where I'm not terrified of getting old.  Hold Mike's babies.

7)  If you could start a museum, what would you want to collect?
My house was a sort of museum for decades.  I don't want to collect anything anymore.  But there are SO MANY things I find so lovely.  Anything from the 20's - martini shakers that look art deco.  50's 'Mid Century Modern furniture.  I would collect all the abused stray dogs ever in the world.  Foster kids being abused in the system and tossed out at 18 with no futures.  Fancy purses because I have a SICKNESS for a $400 bag.

8)  What memory brings a smile to your face every time you think of it?
I had spilled a diet coke on my shorts and yanked them off & tossed them in the dryer, tied a beach towel around my waist while I waited.  Mike (5-yrs old) came scittering around a corner, took a look at me and stopped dead and said "MOM.  Dance all shakey-shakey like a jungle girl!" so I did!  Felt like 'The Road to Bali' right there in my mother-in-law's kitchen.  Mike watched, nodded, and went back to his Legos.

9)  What Bookmark on your browser would you like to share?  People write their inner-most secrets on a postcard and mail it in.  They update it every week on Sunday.  It's haunting, sometimes funny.

10)   If you could take a class in anything, what would it be?
A writing class that didn't feel like a Narc Festival.  A Wicca/Nature Magic class that didn't feel like a 70's Love In.  I'd like to learn Gaelic.  Archetecture appreciation - not the HOW, but maybe the why and the woods and the materials and where the secret cupboards are in an English country house like Downton Abbey.  Classes are those things that make me feel ooogly because there are so many PEOPLE at them.  Maybe a class in how to be around people...?

Thank you Mulder.  That was fun. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Birthday Greetings from My Birthday!

Sorry to have gone a bit AWOL but it's been busy up in this berg.  But today is my birfday!  Sing and dance!

So far, my 40's and 50's are turning out to be the best times of my life.  I'm 53 today, and I've never been so calm and SANE (which, y'all know, is saying something).

I know - people (women) are always saying "My 50's are the best time of my life!" and when you're Cher or Suzanne Sommers, with money and natural talent and good looks, well.  SURE.  Your ANYTHING's are gonna be good.  But you know what?  It's really true.  Lookit how many of us (men too, Q - don't think you're outta this) have finally come to terms with so much in our lives?  Childhood trauma, failed and working relationships, the size of our asses, addictions, all of that.

It's wonderful.  It's freeing.  It's WEIRD.  Yo, I'm OLD.  Freaking FIFTY THREE.  That is a number I never imagined during my lifetime.  53.  Wasn't Aunt Bea something like 50? (Wiki says 57, but still)  It truly is odd how many things change while so many stay the same.

Por ejemple:  I still color my hair, still vain enough to not want grey.  But I go out of the house OFTEN without worrying about what I look like.  I go to the grocery store in my yoga pants and a sweatshirt almost every day.  It's weird and WONDERFUL to be so relaxed about stuff like that.  It just don't matter no more.  Wait - I mean, it matters sometimes!  But other times?  pffft.  I'm old, bitches, I don't HAVE TO worry anymore.

I loved raising Mike, he's the bee's knees.  But JEEBUS CHRIST ON A MATSO CRACKER I am so damned glad he's grown.  I love kids, love the way they play and the way they sound, but I also want them to go HOME at the end of the day.

I love holiday lights and stuff - OUTSIDE.  I am not decorating my house for about the 3rd year in a row.  It's awesome.  I don't feel like Scrooge, necessarily, I just have always sort of resented the frantic pace of the holiday season, and now I can listen to great holiday jazz (Ella Fitzgerald!  Frank Sinatra!) and not worry about plastic holly and the dogs eating the ornaments. 

It's the best of all worlds, this age.  I was terrified of it.  Who wants to get old?  But I am digging the hell out of my life these days.

WRT Jeff's parents:  Oh holy hell.  That situation is FUBAR.  They are old and ill and refuse to do even the most basic things to alleviate their own suffering.  There is still MRSA and blood infections and cellulitis and Grovers disease and edema so bad that her legs LEAK WATER.  They are in turns assholes and then vague and fluffy.  It's passive-aggression at it's worst and I have told Jeff I refuse to play anymore.  After all that rigamarole with the hosue cleaning (and they have commented more than once that the housecleaners did a shitty job!) and hospital rescues and all that - nothing has changed.  Thanksgiving was fraught.  I'm over it. 

And see?  I get to say that.  Because I'm old and I get to pick who/what/where I spend my time.  And I'm bitchy enough to enforce my boundaries these days!  When I was younger I wouldn't have been able to do it.  PLUS the drama would have fed my inner adrenaline junky. 

I need to put up a real blog entry, but this will have to do it.  I'm feeling too mellow to do justice to the story of the old folks, and there isn't much else to talk about.  Mike is taking me to lunch tomorrow!  He really IS the bee's knees.

I'll leave you with this: