Category Archives: Uncategorized

Back in the Saddle Again

I’m hiding out in the bathroom. I mention this because it’s vital to my sanity at this time. I have both my daughters and the grand babies visiting and the oldest grandchild doesn’t want to take a nap. God help us all.  So while I’m the queen of my somewhat silent and tiny domain, I might as well fill you in on the latest.

I quit my job on July 1st. I had two doctors kindly explain to me that my job was killing me. So I’m in “recovery-mode” and doing much better now that I’m a not sitting for over 12 hours a day and getting some regular sleep. Both my neurologist and pain management doctors told me that I will have to make permanent lifestyle changes including NOT sitting for extended periods of time. I enjoyed working as a police dispatcher and have for a long time, but those days may be behind me now.  I’m not sure what to do next.  I guess the doors are wide open. 

Earlier this year, we added a second grand baby to the brood.  She is one of the cutest things I have ever seen.  She’s almost always happy and smiling. Her name is Stella and she’s definitely a bright, little star.  Jackson, her big brother is officially a toddler who is into EVERYTHING. I forgot about that particular joy and didn’t childproof the apartment quite like I  should have before everyone came down to the metroplex.  My bad. 

Let’s see… Aside from my medical issues, little has taken place that just floored me. However, the week before I left work, I lost my oldest sister due to stage 4 breast cancer.  It was the third time she had fought it in her life and this time it was just too much. She was just 69. I wish you could have met her; she was something else.  Stella kind of reminds me of her, which is a good thing. 

I suppose that’s really the major stuff for now. And as I have a bunch of time on my hands, you can expect a lot more from me in the days to come. 

Hope you have an outstanding day. Adieu.


Advertisements

Christmas Tidings

“Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special! How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food and beer…. Who’d have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment and spirituality would mix so harmoniously?” 
~Bill Watterson – The Essential Calvin and Hobbes~




I’m sitting in my bedroom blogging this evening as my husband spends a few hours with his parents and his sister. Because my sister in law is going through some serious health issues of her own, I have been temporarilly banned from the house. Stupid flu. 

This has NOT been a “normal” family Christmas. Daughter #1 worked today and is now crumpled up in bed feeling crummy. Daughter #2 has taken some Christmas food to my mother and gone to see her boyfriend and his family. They are getting older and I’m reminded of how my parents must have felt as my sister and I moved on with our lives. It’s bizarre and saddens me some. 

I was starkly reminded of the first Christmases Yoda and I spent together – days when we barely had a couple of dimes to rub together, not much else than that. Those were rough, but good days. Because of the move, cash is at a premium so we drew names for gifts. This was hard because as “mom” or “dad” you want to give your kids everything. This was the first year we had to really limit ourselves so Yoda would have gas money to get back to Dallas and some grocery and laundry money as well. The gifts we exchanged were small, but from the heart. I think this is the way it should be. Forget quantity… quality is a much better thing. 

(Sigh)

As I have been grounded today, I have spent some time working on my Smash Book. It’s a non-traditional scrapbook by K&C Company that my daughters got me hooked on earlier this summer. I added a few things from a couple of my trips to New York City, San Francisco, Inn of the Mountain Gods, St. Louis, and Dallas, TX. (I think I’ve been a few places, eh?) If you are wanting something a little different for a scrapbook, but don’t want to invest the time and energy in a full-blown big one, I highly recommend a Smash Book. Awesome stuff right there.  For me, each page is a reminder of how blessed I truly am. 

And speaking of blessings… I pray for you and yours a Merry Christmas filled with Christ’s love, faith, hope and truth. (Whether you believe in Him or not.) 
I’ll see you again on the flip side. 

All That & A Bag O’ Chips

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” 

― Julia Child


Every time I turn around there is some new “fad diet” or some commercial hyping a new piece of wonder-equipment.  I hear friends talking about Herbalife, Weight Watchers, Atkins, The Paleo Diet, The South Beach Diet or whatever is the name of the anti-fat game this week. (All trademarked etc.)  And I’m not bad-mouthing them though I’m sure it will seem this way. I know millions of folks have lost weight with them and I’m happy for them and I hope those people can keep it off. However, with some of these, I cannot see why I have to pay money to buy products to lose weight when God has given me natural, pure and healthy foods to eat. It’s the junk that kills. 
I have fallen prey to more than a few fad diets in my 40+ years. (The worst of which I don’t want to discuss, but cost me my gallbladder.) But about a year and a half ago it got real. It took me hitting the 200 pound mark to suck it up and face reality.  It took me hitting a size 22 to do so. Am I proud of those facts? No. It has taken me a year to admit it in a public forum.  Am I where I want to be? Not yet. But I’m getting there. I’m down over 40 pounds and 4 dress sizes and counting. Yay! Call me a happy camper. 
 I’ve been keeping it simple and I’m just calling it the Common Sense Lifestyle Change. 
First, let’s talk about FOOD! (Because we all like food.)

* Most of the foods I buy are organic or generally have ingredients I can pronounce.  I take my additives very seriously and try not to buy anything with hormones or anything that would gross me out if I were to watch how it was made. Very rarely do I buy things that aren’t “simple.” I’m probably about 85% vegetarian about now. I just can’t seem to give up my steak and seafood. Yum. However, I have tried being a raw vegan for a bit and I actually am probably closer to vegan than vegetarian… but for the love of seafood, steak… oh, and Texas BBQ. Mmmmmm. 


One of the main reasons for this is I have to be very careful of nitrates and preservatives in food because of the migraines they trigger. Makes me not so happy.  There are a lot of things in food that affect a lot of people differently. If you have health issues, you might have a food allergy or intolerance. It’s something to at least consider. 


* I generally measure out the foods I’m going to eat.  – Portion control. –  Once you are used to eating a pint of ice cream at a time (which I have done), you have to retrain your brain to understand what a “true” serving size really is.  That’s one of the reasons people are obese.  Learn what constitutes a portion and it gets much easier from there.

EXAMPLE: A chip-bender to the bottom of a 9-ounce bag is 1,260 calories sans the dip. So stick to 1 serving, about 15 chips—that’s 140 calories—or pick up some 100-calorie snack packs and save 1,120 calories

* Learn to slow down when eating and understand what “FULL” really feels like. There’s no need to finish everything on your plate. The first few times I left food on my plate at a restaurant, I felt really, horribly guilty.  (Starving kids in China…?)  But at the same time, most restaurant portion sizes are enough for two people. WHY would I want to do that to myself?  The sad thing is that I did that to myself for a long time. 


* DO NOT EAT IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION. If you eat in front of the TV, studies show you consume almost 300 calories more than if you ate at the table. 


* Last but not least, I don’t deprive myself. If I want some creme brûlée or dessert once in a blue moon, I will enjoy some. But I’m not going to go Banzai bat crap crazy and I’m not going to feel guilty. I will eat right the rest of the time and make up for it. No starvation. No binge/purge. Just pure, clean eating. 
Now, I know that I’m going to turn off a lot of people when I say the next word, but bear with me. “Exercise.”   But I’m going to add something to it… if you haven’t exercised in a long time, you don’t have to go to extremes starting out,  join a gym, do DVD’s, workout on the Wii or anything like that.  Ready? Cool secrets here:

* If all you can do is walk up and down a hallway of your house do it.


* From the hallway move to the driveway or the front sidewalk or maybe to the end of the block. (You get the picture.)  I used to tell my dad at 90 years old when he was recovering from a fall, “Just take one more step dad. One more step will get you stronger. What will one more step get you?”  

* From steps, move to a strength move of stairs or a curb.  Step up and down. If you need to hold on to something, do it. 

Something fun for cardio and to get the muscles engaged: Dance like there is no one watching. For Heaven’s Sake, put on some great tunes and get moving. It doesn’t matter if all you can do is sit in a chair and tap your feet and clap your hands or raise your arms. It’s SOMETHING. 

     Side note: It’s been said TAPPING YOUR FEET THROUGH OUT THE DAY BURNS ABOUT 350 CALORIES A DAY!!!!! Seriously… those who fidget have got to have an edge on the rest of us. 

Some of my favorite tunes while cleaning house (WHICH ALSO BURNS CALORIES:)
* Aretha Franklin – Chain of Fools
* Michael Jackson – Beat It
* Beatles – Twist and Shout
* Cameo – Word Up

* Fall Out Boy – Dance, Dance
* Fun – Some Nights
* AC/DC – Back in Black
* Toby Mac – Burn For You
* 3 Doors Down – Kryptonite

Again, those are just a few of the tunes I’ll throw on and then dance around like a loon. It’s all about getting your body moving. When you have some upbeat music on, vacuuming and dusting or moping the floor (or what have you) is not only a little more enjoyable, but goes faster and becomes a better calorie burn. 

Like I said… I’ve dropped over 40 pounds so far just using these little tips. You’ve probably heard it before, but I’m the proof that it works.  

There’s no need for anything other than eating right and moving your bod. 

“Diet food is for lazy people.” 
― Ice-T

Gasping for Air

For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
~Steve Jobs ~

When I was younger, I was impulsive – some would say rash, maybe thoughtless. I often made decisions by the seat of my pants and while some of that was sheer teenage rebellion, some of it was the deep seeded desire to do something “more”,  want something more, BE something “more.”  And the good Lord knows I got burned more than once. However, I learned through age and experience, grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It’s still grass and it may be growing over a septic tank. So I tempered that part of me, have learned to make sound decisions and as middle age has pretty much arrived, have found myself in a conundrum. 

Change – It’s rearing it’s ugly head and I’m oh-so-not ready for it. 

Empty nest syndrome is just around the corner; darling hubby’s job situation is about to make some really drastic changes affecting me and the kids and my elderly mother’s health is starting to decline – which also has a bearing on some other things going on. 

I feel out-of-control. And the more I try to control things the more out-of-control I feel.  I wasn’t anticipating on having my entire universe turned into scrambled eggs in one quick motion. I’m frankly, terrified. Too many changes are happening too quickly and decisions are going to start happening back to back to back and I’m honestly not prepared for them. 

Hopefully, the next six months will be much easier than my mind is preparing me for. However, while I’m generally an optimist, I’m also a realist. Like a fish out of water, I’m going to be gasping for air until I make it to a new tank.  

Why Yes… It IS in My Head

“And then a throb hits you on the left side of the head so hard that your head bobs to the right…There’s no way that came from inside your head, you think. That’s no metaphysical crisis. 
God just punched you in the face.” 

There are approximately 13 million Americans who suffer from a painful neurological condition called migraines;  it’s more than 10% of the population or 1 in 4 households.

I am one of those Americans.

It’s believed that migraine headaches tend to run in families and there’s a 70% chance that a child of a parent with migraines will develop them at some point in their lifetime. Wow.  I can’t say that knowing that years ago would have made any difference (as my mother has them.)  It doesn’t change the fact I have them.  I can’t say that I would have even been “prepared” for them. 

What can prepare someone for a monstrous pressure in the base of their cranium / brain stem which steadily becomes the feeling of a ball peen hammer hitting you upside the head repeatedly while at the same time crushing your skull in a vice? This of course (for me) is accompanied by other symptoms I don’t feel the urge to discuss at this time. TMI. 

The sad thing is… many people think folks with migraines don’t have a serious problem, they’re faking it, it’s “just a headache”… Gads… I could go on and on.  Consider this.  Migraine attacks can cause strokes, comas, aneurysms or death.  Each and every time someone with chronic migraines HAS a migraine we actually wonder HOW BAD it’s going to be. I’ve ended up at the doctor’s office / hospital getting injections to knock my ass out because it was that bad. 

“ We once saw a documentary on migraines. One of the men interviewed used to fall on his knees and bang his head against the floor, over and over during attacks. This diverted the pain from deep inside his brain, where he couldn’t reach it, to a pain outside that he had control over.” 
I wish I could describe that pain, deep inside the brain.  I’ve said on more than one occasion to my husband and friends that it would hurt less to run my head through a concrete wall.  It’s true. 

But did you know there are migraines where there is NO pain? A couple of friends of mine at work have these silent migraines. They don’t have the headache, but they have other symptoms. They are just as debilitating. 

There are 10 or more different types of migraine and many people have a combination migraine that sets in – which is what makes diagnosis and treatment so hard.  I have a tri-graine: Abdominal, Basilar and Transformed / generally without aura.  In a good month, I will only have a few. In a bad month, I have had 25-31 days worth of headache-hell. And months stack up. Fortunately, I’ve been running on the low end of this for a few months. I’m grateful. For a while there, it was f-ugly.

I’m on day two of this particular migraine attack – triggered by nitrates and yet another weather system that moved in. (I swear I could be a meteorologist.)  I read a blog post the other day where a woman was on her 112th day. My God. 112 days of wanting to ram your head into a wall or beat it against the floor because the external pain is controllable. I so get it. I feel ya sister. 

“His headache was still sitting over his right eye as if it had been nailed there.” 

I have run the gambit on prescription drugs – lemme tell you, some of that stuff is like taking candy. Just doesn’t work worth a darn. And the kicker is… REBOUND migraines / headaches. For the love of all that is pure and holy in this world. You think you got it licked and it comes back meaner and badder than the original.  Tylenol 3 and the “cets” do that to me… Lorcet / Percocet / Darvocet… etc. That’s a big no-no. I’ve been through everything from Imitrex to Maxalt and Treximet (which is the only thing that works for me right now. Dare I say, “THANK YOU, TREXIMET.”)  I also take daily preventative drugs that work okay, but still doesn’t solve the problem. Of course, I’m assuming the problem can be solved.  I don’t know that is the case. But I can hope. 

I’m searching for options. I’m looking at acupuncture, massage, herbal remedies, nape piercings, and other alternative therapies with no decisions having been made yet. I’m tired of the drugs. I’m tired of the migraines. I’m tired of being sick and tired of being sick and  tired and all anyone seems to want to push are pills. 

However, with that said… I really am tired (migraines tend to do that) and I need to get some rest. I’ll let you know how things go at a later date and what decisions I’ve made.  I have a feeling it’s all going to be a process of trial and error that will fall under my blanket of “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” 

Cheerio and ta-ta for now.

Source: MedlinePlus 

A Quick Update…

“THE EDGE, there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”
― Hunter S. Thompson

I swear there is a fine line between sanity and insanity.  For the past few months my schedule has been absolutely, positively, without a doubt, insane.  However, once in a blue moon there have been moments of clarity and in those moments I come up and take a breath of air and chew on a filbert.

So you do have my most sincere apologies for not hanging out and being social, such as I am. Sociality is relative, you see.

I’ve been working on the novel for the past few months.  It’s slow progress, hampered in part by life’s little intrusions and my own roadblocks.  Chapter Six is in the making though and I’m pleased with how far I’ve made it and the way the characters have developed. I know each writer has their own method of producing a piece, but I cannot write without a sound track. So, to clue you in to what’s going on right now….

* Michael Buble – Feelin’ Good
* John Heintz – Rain
* Secret Garden – Lore of the Loom
* Loreena McKennitt – Kecharitomene
* Rosie Thomas – All the Way to New York City
* Train – Drops of Jupiter

Quite the eclectic mix of tunes, but each song has some relevance to what I’m working on at any given point in time and carries over to the next section within a chapter.  So far, I’m up to approximately 20 songs I have used for this book. By the time I’m done, I am pretty sure I will be around 50. (Gad-zooks!)

Well, now that I have checked in for the time being, such as it is. I am off to Dreamland. I’ve pulled a few 50+ hour work weeks lately and am still adapting to the new migraine medicine dosages. This means more sleep is necessary. Bummer.  Ta-Ta for now…