Monday, September 26, 2016

Meal Planning

After months of not feeling great, this past week, my skin started itching like crazy - especially (of all places) my wrists.  I couldn't help scratching and I'd look down and see they were welted and flaming red from the itching.

Also one night this past week, I got lazy about dinner and ate Frosted Flakes for dinner - and then had flan for dessert.  (Costco has flan in tiny glass jars - it's delicious!).

The next morning, I asked J. to help me use his glucose meter to test my blood.  He took a look at the strip and said 'you need to see a doctor'.  250 was my number.  He HAS diabetes and said 'I've never had a number that high'.  Next morning 225.  I ate incredibly carefully all day - next morning was 170.  I emailed my doctor to request he order the blood work and I went on Friday morning - the results are back and it's pretty much 'for sure' that I'm diabetic.  I also have very high triglycerides (while both my good and bad cholesterol are in an OK range).  I already take 2 anti-statins every day.  I have an appointment with the doctor on Thursday afternoon and anticipate adding a glucose meter and meds to my daily routine.

The high tryiglycerides combined with high blood sugar are a part of 'metabolic syndrome' - which puts me at high risk for heart disease and stroke.  Which doesn't surprise me but with my family history, it's a huge issue.

I searched immediately for meal plans and found - seems like the answer to prayers. Clicked on 'Diabetes' and found multiple meal plans in various calorie ranges.  Used the tool to know how many calories to consume and selected the plan.  It seemed great!

I am making a grocery list for J. so he can go to Winco this week - and clicked on some of the recipes.  The first meal called for 'low sugar plum spread'.  TEN POUNDS of plums; 6 apples....cook them and then run them through a food mill.  Add sugar substitute (or sugar) and make a jelly. Seriously?  There is no way I am making from scratch jam.  Maybe when I retire...but now?  No way.

Lunch was 'Shrimp Bisque'.  I love bisque soups - but once again....maybe on a weekend I could make it...

I need to find quick, easy options to help me eat better and that's what's been so hard.  Pretty much ALL the things I've done to eat better are things that are increasing my triglycerides.  Nuts are my go to snack - they are mostly a 'no'.  Coconut oil is a no.  Butter - which I use because margarines are processed oil and gross - is a no.

I think when I see my doctor on Thursday, I'm going to ask if I can see a nutritionist.

If we hadn't spent a lot of the weekend painting (and HUGE kudos to hubby who finished taping off all the stairs!), then cooking all weekend would have been fine - but on weekends like this, it's impossible to make fresh jam and shrimp bisque.

The painting yesterday worked 'cuz my legs are sore.  And I did get on the treadmill, too.  I am determined to move more and will be up at 5AM tomorrow to give myself time to get on the treadmill for 20+ minutes.  Starting slow but starting.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

28 Years and Counting, My Love

28 years ago this evening, I met my Prince Charming!  Happy Anniversary, sweetheart!  Thank you for making all my dreams come true - including many I didn't know I had.

When I tell friends how you pack my meals for me; do all the laundry; keep the homestead running; get my car washed and gassed up as needed; help me with errands; do pretty much all of the shopping for pets, house and food....while wrangling a 23 year old young adult and keeping him on task and on track as well, they say 'not my husband'.  Or 'my husband wouldn't do any of that'.

I am so blessed - I really, truly am.  While it's hard to be working still, it's OK - because you make it easy.  There is no workload from the home front 'cuz you handle all of it.

Thank you, my sweet - you are my one and only and only I know how truly, deeply blessed I am to be married to you -

You are one in a gazillion and the blind date 28 years ago was the best decision I ever made.  Right up there with marrying you!

About Work

'It will never be completely easy. Whatever “it” is. For every moment of bright brilliance there will be many more moments of wading through deep marshes in thick fog wondering WTF is actually going on. Hang in there.'

Saw this on Facebook last night and it really resonates for me as related to work.

There's a lot happening on the work front and I don't write about work much 'cuz you just never know.

Change is always incredibly hard and we are trying to change our culture.  It's an uphill battle.  There are a great group standing beside me pushing a ginormous boulder up a steep hill - pushing as hard as we can all day, everyday.  It's exhausting.  It's even more so when there is a much larger group on the other side of the boulder pushing in the opposite direction.  Because there are many more of them and because they are on the side of downward motion, it's easier for them to push down.  Harder for those of us pushing up.

We are tired.  I've been re-reading materials and reminding myself that we knew going in this would be a very hard, long process but geez.  It's more troublesome than I expected.  Factions are created and the angst is growing by leaps and bounds.  Every little thing is a battle royal and what used to be simple is now not.

I know my role and my responsibility and I know I have to keep plugging away at it.  Keep pushing up as hard as I can with all the people standing beside me - and keep encouraging others to see the direction we're going will result in the betterment of our students - and ultimately, that's what we're all in this for.

I'm having strong flee responses lately and with a job possibility looming for next year, it has me unsettled - and I'm not good at unsettled.

It will get better.  Wading through deep marshes of fog wondering WTF will become the 'new norm' and someday, we will be at the top of that hill.  I know we will.

If the marshes don't kill us.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

We Are Actually Doing It

Really!  What?  FINALLY painting the stair risers!  I'm sure a professional painter would tsk tsk some of the work....for example, we realized there's a 'bif mark' from the piss poor paint job the builder did on the trim and we didn't see it before we started.  We should have sanded it down a bit but we didn't.  We will add that to the list of things to 'touch up'.  We also need to use some wood putty to patch the 'break' in the trim on the stairs that's been there since the dawn of time - something that every time I look at it, I'm irritated we didn't catch it during the walk through - sixteen years ago. Let it go already, Majah!

But thanks to the Sure-Line edger, it's not terribly hard and it's getting done.  The stairs down into the family room are done and four risers on the stairs heading to the 2nd story are also almost done.  We haven't killed each other and I'm tamping down my 'do it my way or die' tendencies as well as the slight perfectionist in me that comes out during manual labor.  It's been two years since we did the floors and I just want to get it done.  It couldn't look any worse than it has -

H. - who promised me he owed me four hours of labor for the money I advanced him to go to the movies earlier this week - went to Santa Cruz with friends.  I didn't mind the unexpected Santa Cruz trip - a long-time friend of his is visiting from Ireland (he lives there now which was news to me) and a bunch of friends decided to head to the beach.  Concert tonight and they are spending the night at someone's house.  Those kind of unexpected adventures are the ones you just have to seize the day on and I honestly had no issue with him going.

What I did have a HUGE issue with is when he left the house for '20 minutes' to go help some friends get air mattresses, etc. (for the overnight stay camping out on someone's floor) out of their attic. The 20 minuets turned into an hour and 45 minutes - time he could have been here helping and working off the advance he got for the movies.

To say he got reamed when he got home is putting it mildly.  The old patterns come back in a flash - he doesn't keep his agreements; doesn't respect the people he lives with; gives more care and attention to relationships of people he barely knows than he does the two adult parents he lives with.

I know 23 year olds are the epitome of selfish - but geez that kid pushed my buttons big time today.

He won't be home until mid-day tomorrow at the earliest so we are painting as fast as we can (for us) to see how much we can get done before he's home.

I think we will tape off the rest of the stairs today/tonight (hopefully) and paint in the morning (hopefully).  We're on a roll!  Let's keep that momentum going!

Chloe's insulin dose has been increased and she had a day at the vet having her levels read all day. She isn't feeling too well today - lethargic.  I was cleaning the treadmill in the family room (which I was on for a quarter mile this morning, by the way) and she walked over to the rug by the back door and peed a gallon - TWO FEET FROM ME.  No warning, no whine to go out - just said 'I need to pee so I'm going to'.  Grrrr.

She's not well and it shows.

We're trying to decide what to eat for dinner.  J. had the idea to go out - but I'm hot, sweaty and still in my PJ's technically (though it looks like a tank and shorts.  Boy shorts.) so I need to get dressed. Thai food sounds delicious and at least with no H., we can keep it less expensive.  Take out, I think.  I'm never in the mood to go out and it saves tip and beverages - so it's the frugal option as well.

More later.  We'll see how far we get on the stairs tomorrow and I will report back.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Clouds with Wind

This morning started off shattered.  I was up and downstairs by 5:25 and took Chloe out.  Fed her, out again and then headed to my computer with a hot cup of coffee.  Heard something shatter...and then heard something else shatter....and again...and again.  Ran into the kitchen trying to figure out what was happening - and had a moment of 'crap, I think our china hutch just tipped over'.  I saw glass on the landing and realized it was H.'s favorite heavy glass 'stein' that we got him in Cancun a few years ago.  He was on his way downstairs and dropped it.  Thankfully, it was empty and 'dry' vs. full of chocolate milk or the remains of chocolate milk.  Poor kid had tears in his eyes about the mug and had to endure the wrath of his mom who reamed him for having it upstairs.  Once again, violating the rule of 'only water' upstairs.  The carpet in his room is DESTROYED because of him taking food and drink up there - and he ignores the rule.  So he got no sympathy from me about breaking the glass 'cuz if he hadn't taken it upstairs, it wouldn't have happened.

J. got up to help 'cuz the glass went everywhere.  On every stair; in the entry way up to the landing; all over the landing; into the kitchen; down the stairs into the family room.  What a mess.  Great way to start the day for all (not).

J. took Chloe out again post clean up and came back in saying 'wish I hadn't washed my car on Monday'.  'Why?', I asked.  He replied 'it's raining' and then I heard it!  A brief, very large down pour!  It was awesome!  Stayed cloudy and cool until noonish or so - it was great to feel a little coolness in the air.

Now my weather app has the wind symbol showing and unusually, it's so windy that our satellite TV keeps losing the signal.  Survivor starts in 40 minutes and we have sporadic outages of broadcast. Dang it!

I have a workshop on the legal aspects around technology in schools and then in the office for a couple of hours at the end of the day tomorrow.  Off on Friday again!  H. was advanced $ to go to a movie with friends so he owes me work on Saturday and we are going to tackle the stairs.  He has a class on Friday (just one) so I doubt we'll get much done that day but I will try to be motivated enough to get the taping process started.

The big news is Angelina and Brad are splitsville and I'm sorry to hear that - I'd really hoped they would make it.  Rumors of him cheating with someone else - the female lead in his latest movie - and Angelina hired a private eye to prove it.

Glad Survivor is on (and wind seems to be dying down a bit).  We've been missing our regular programs and J. has been a trooper about all the Life Below Zero and baking shows I've been rewatching over and over.  Oh! and Law & Order.  Always.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Beauty Day

I've needed a haircut for a couple weeks - and decided I wanted to branch away from the JC Penney styling salon experience.  I feel for those stylists - new, learning, making minimum wage in a salon that hasn't been updated for decades.  It's just not a fun experience and while I've rationalized 'it's not too expensive' and 'it's just hair', I was looking for something a little 'nicer'.

I headed to ULTA - the store.  And their hair salon.  Got a great cut from a lady about my age who also has short hair.  Felt right at home right away.  Nice cut and a new product that provides a lot of volume which I need.

And on the way out, I met the brow guy and had my first ever eye-brow wax and shaping.  My brows are so sparse, I never felt the need to groom them via wax but he convinced me and I must say, I'm glad I got them done.  Lots less time staring into the big makeup mirror in our bathroom attempting to pluck stray hairs - and looking into that light leads to a halo effect for many minutes after when I close my eyes - so maybe regular brow waxing is the way to go.

Tomorrow morning will be the true test - can I fill them in on my own and make them look decent. Fingers crossed.

We did look at houses briefly yesterday - they looked a lot like the homes we visited in Reno.  Design concepts apparently don't vary much.  The single story was perfect for us - 4 bedrooms plus a 'flex room' we would use as an office - but the bedrooms are really tiny.  That's the trend now, too.  Space in the living area and keep the bedrooms really small.

We weren't tempted 'cuz I think we both agree Tracy is not where we will retire - though one of us already is retired in Tracy - but that won't always be the case.

We also trekked to OSH and Kelly Moore to get the supplies we need to start painting the stair risers. Company's coming over Christmas and the risers have been awaiting paint since the floors were installed TWO years ago - geez, I can't believe that.  I'm a little worried that upon painting, it will be painfully obvious that the entire house needs painting - it really does.  But we're just going to work on the risers and the trim up the stair case and maybe a little bit of baseboard touch ups.  And some wall touch ups.  And maybe a door.  When my cousin (one of the visitors) reads this, she is going to be so concerned that I'm painting my house for her visit - when really, I'm painting our house 'cuz it needs it and her visit is just the icing on the cake to get it done.

J. turns a young 67 tomorrow so I'm heading into the kitchen to bake a carrot cake and check on the pot roast that's in the oven.  I have a meeting tomorrow until 5PM so I'm baking tonight - and we will probably eat it tonight.  He won't mind -

B. heads back to Ft. Campbell tomorrow via bus.  He called very briefly on Friday evening - called the house phone so I would answer and he sounded just wiped out.  We had a really bad connection and we ended up getting disconnected - but we reconnected long enough to say our good nights. He was calling around 7:30PM our time, had been up since 4 and had to get up early on Saturday for the actual 'live fire' exercise they were doing all-day Saturday - so I really wanted him to get some sleep.
Live fire went fine - I was so relieved to see his Facebook messenger show 15 minutes at around 5PM last night after being off for 22 hours.  Facebook is great at keeping people connected - and reminding you just how long it's been since someone you care about has been online.

I took a phone survey and was surprised at the end to hear 'this survey was paid for by the Republican Party' - waste of their money since every answer was anti-them.  And Donald.  Especially Donald.

Adding potatoes to pot roast and getting the cake mix stirred up (no, I'm not making a cake from scratch.  I considered it and if I hadn't spent a couple of hours getting beautified and grocery shopping, I might have tried to) and in the pans ready to bake as soon as the pot roast comes out.

Another Monday looms.  Ugh.

Saturday, September 17, 2016


Bless J.'s heart - one of his projects the past couple weeks has been going through all our vinyl albums (we have 100's.  Lots.  Tons.) to get them inventoried and then take them to Rasputin records. He phoned Rasputin and the guy said basically 'keep your expectations in check'.

Now we know why.

J. decided to take just 50 on the first trip.  The guy refused 33 of them.  Kept 17 he wanted to research.  Researched and came back - gave 10 of them back - and bought 7.  So from 50 down to 7 - and we made.....wait for it.....$1.50.  Yes, that's a decimal between the 1 and the 5.

So now we have 100's of remaining albums we are just going to donate somewhere.  The hospice donation in Jackson takes pretty much everything - and I'd be willing to drive up there and then go get a great chicken dinner at the casino and come home.  Trying not to play - I haven't played there in many months - just to get rid of all the albums.  Maybe twist hubby's arm to ride with me so two of us can unload all the albums and then we can go have a nice dinner together.

I think we will also call our local library to see if they would accept them.

If we had a new house to decorate, I'd be tempted to use them as a wall covering - like on Trading Spaces when Hildy used compact discs to cover a wall.