Flush! Flush! Flush!

January 31, 2012 at 5:39 pm (Blood Pressure, Day to Day, Food News, Sodium Stuff) (, , , , , , )

Talk about beating a theme into the ground. This has nothing to do with toilets and everything to do with the fact that I need to flush my entire bloodstream and all the cells in my salty body with as much water as possible in the next few hours. I just had Olive Garden for lunch (thanks Beth!!) and even though I tried to eat as “good” as possible, it’s not good enough. Or possible.

First off, I would just like to say: WTF?? Why is there a twenty minute wait on a Tuesday at lunchtime?? The food is not that great. Every time I have ever gone I have had to wait. Seriously people, there are better places to eat! It’s one of the reasons, actually the main reason, why I never go there anymore.

Second, the menu. Out of curiosity I checked their web site to look for nutrition info. Most places, no matter how bad, pretty much list it somewhere these days, even if you have to search 7 pages and 15 links to find it. And usually the word “nutrition” is in the smallest possible print, at the very bottom of the corporate mission statement page. But no, Olive Garden had it listed right across the top of their site. One click, pick your item and read the chart. I guess they figure you already know what you’re getting into so here’s the ugly truth without a lot of fanfare and hoop jumping. Anyway, I was fine on the calories. I figured it would be medium to large damage to the daily intake. And I am pretty good at guess-timating the calorie counts these days. However, I completely and totally, utterly underestimated the sodium content of every single thing. Now I don’t believe for even one minute that Olive Garden has a team of Tuscan chefs in the kitchen cooking us up authentic Italian cuisine from the old country. But I didn’t realize how much preservative must be in those bags of entree’s to keep them fresh and microwave  ready. Here’s the break down:

Garden salad (one serving) with the dressing: 290 calories. Ok. Not the worst. Sodium: 1530 mg. What??? One thousand, five hundred, thirty mg’s!!?? Seriously?? For lettuce?? That dressing packs a hell of a punch.

One breadstick: 150 calories. Cool, I estimated 200, plus 200 for the sodiums. Ha. Try 400 mg’s. Thank goodness I only ate one. We had marinara dipping sauce too. That was 70 calories and another 400 sodiums. I literally touched the bread to the sauce without scooping so I think I am fairly safe there. I maybe only ate, like, 200 mg’s.

Chicken Scampi, lunch portion (luckily): 740 calories and another whopping 1350 on the sodiums. Must be those peppers bringing the totals down. Thankfully, again, I didn’t eat all of it, but Jimminy Cricket, that’s about enough for today and tomorrow.

I also ate the Andes Mint they give you at check time. Not counting it at all. And at this point today, it doesn’t really matter.I know the internet always talks about dining out and the hidden dangers to your nutritional sound diet, but I never thought it would be relevant to me. Poop. (Ha. Did NOT even plan that.)

Alright that’s enough about that. I bet you didn’t think you’d be reading 500 words of my daily food journal. If you are still reading that is. Again, thanks for sticking to the end. Maybe you learned something. Or maybe you are shaking your head, muttering, “Dumbass. No wonder you have high blood pressure idiot. Why do I waste my time with this site??” Well, shake it off. It’s over now. Lesson learned. The food was still good. The company was even better! Good friends ya know?? I can risk a sodium stroke for one afternoon to hang out with one of my peeps. Next time we’ll try something else. And I’ll be sure to write it all here for you.

I need to go and fill up my water bottle. Got a 600 ml container that I need to drink about 2 more of. Maybe even three. I’m taking my son for some knee pads. He made the volleyball team!! So proud. So happy. And they are working his butt off with the practices. He will be a string bean by summer! A long tall drink of water like he’s always wanted to be. I’ll post pics if he lets me. Then I’m heading to Jewel for that good bread. (Hope I can snag at least one little loaf) Then home. Now this is turning into a laundry list, also something I need to finish. I think my descriptive phrases have been aging me lately. The bee’s knees. The cat’s pajamas. OPP. Click the letters if you want to read that little gem. I sound like an old lady. That reality truck hits too hard. I may post again later, but I may not. Tomorrow is an actual leave-the-house-and-join-the-world day. More good news to come. It’s still 55 degrees but getting grey and ready to rain. Have a great evening! Later.

 

Advertisements

Permalink Leave a Comment

Running With The Doodie

January 31, 2012 at 1:10 pm (Blood Pressure, Body and Brains!, Day to Day) (, , , , )

Well that made me laugh anyway. Theme of the morning: Doodie and Immaturity.

And bread! I love it. I could eat it for every single meal for the rest of my life and be happy. My favorite food is toast. Seriously. Toast and butter. That’s it. Any time, no matter how I feel. No matter what else is available. It’s my go-to. It’s also kind of bad for you. I know this. So before anyone jumps on my comments and scolds me for the loaf genocide I commit every day, I concede. I have to give it up. At least give it up as my main food source. It’s made with all kinds of evil “white” ingredients. White flours and white sugars, etc. And of course, if you don’t know this, it contains ALOT of sodium. As comparison, milk and butter have a near 1:1 ratio of sodium to calories. Oatmeal, on the other hand, has zero sodium for all its calories. Provided you eat only the original flavor and from the cylinder carton. The instant packets are still processed with it. It’s kind of strange. You can’t taste it, but it’s there adding mg’s where you don’t need them. Bread though, actually has more sodium than calories. I think that is just wrong and so disheartening. Being low sodium almost forces you to eat less calories because the foods that contain zero sodium naturally, are almost all naturally good for you. There are exceptions or at least things that people could fire back at me and argue. Dark chocolate has zero sodium (Check those labels though, because some companies slip in a 10 or 15 mg, and you have to pick your battles here) and isn’t made with milk. Which is an extra bonus for me because I avoid dairy like the plague. Milk chocolate does contain sodium and sometimes alot because milk has alot naturally. See how that works? I have been spending twice as long at the grocery store in the last few weeks, and going more often, because of all this label attention and the fact that fresh foods do not last as long as processed foods. I know it will get easier and faster once I am totally acclimated to the ↓Na Club.

Anyway, the point of this post was that bread up top has ZERO sodium. And it’s made with whole grains and stuff. Another entire subject I could write another paragraph about, because I have to switch to those too. Brown rice, brown breads, orange potatoes, wheat pastas and the like. I cannot confirm the “rightness” or nutritional level and benefit of the exact grains in this particular bread because I don’t know that food group well enough yet. But I think it says it’s made with whole grain wheat, which I think is the good stuff. I can confirm at a later date if anyone really cares as I am currently out of my supply. I’m still transitioning slow on the whole grain thing because white mashed potatoes are so delicious. And what’s better with Chinese food than white sticky rice? Oh yeah, weight loss and low blood pressure. But, to get back to this bread.  At first I thought it was pretty gross. It is very noticeably without salt.  It tasted bland and flavorless. Almost “flat” tasting. After eating it for a few weeks though, I find it to be quite delicious and grainy. It’s my new favorite bread in the whole world. And you can buy it at Jewel. That makes it available to quite a large population. Try it if you can find it.

Tip for the tasty: Buy one first to get used to it. Then when you love it like I do, buy all the loaves that they have whenever you go. It sells fast I have noticed. I have even purchased the uncut version. I’m just crazy out of control for that bread!

Here’s the big finish. Literally. Tying together the doodie part with the whole grain part. You will know you are eating whole grains when you can enjoy their nutty, crunchy, complex flavors going in. Toasting, spreading, chewing, swallowing. And then you get the chance to enjoy them all again on the way out. Sometimes good health is NOT pretty. Whole grains have shells, exoskeletons, kernels, a hard outer coating that we, as humans, cannot digest. They call it roughage. I call it proof.

I’m going out into the 55 degrees for some of that exercise stuff. Have a great afternoon!

Permalink Leave a Comment

Because I Am Totally Immature

January 31, 2012 at 10:47 am (Day to Day, Random Images) (, )

As if this site needs more random images and postings. But I am going through my pictures and remembering why I took them in the first place. And what purpose they were going to serve to further this web blog. I can’t be sure of all my initial thoughts, but this one seems pretty straightforward. We were walking around the Cabela’s marveling at all the things we didn’t even know we needed and came across these toilet accessories. With the bonus creative name. Bucket not included.

Good morning everyone!!

Permalink 1 Comment

Well It Sure Feels Like A Brand New Start

January 30, 2012 at 7:45 pm (Blood Pressure, Body and Brains!, Day to Day, Exercise, Job Search, Losing the Fat, Skeleton Trees, Weather) (, , , , , , , , )

I know it’s not February first yet, but according to the air temperature it’s like a whole new season. We need to come up with some kind of phrase to identify this trend in unusual, possibly alarming, weather system changes. I can do 50 degrees all “winter”.  I’ll even take the occasional one day snow storm followed by three days of melt. However my little daffodil buds are getting confused. Here’s a picture of them looking sad and sort of green-yellow in the grey and dirty dirt. The ground is not ready for them to sprout yet, but the heat says, “Come on up! The air is fine!” But it’s not.

I shall monitor their early progress for you. Via words and more pictures. Although be prepared for this site to take another sucky turn. As you know, I pride myself on posting just about every day with brilliant and insightful, meaningful, inspiring words and positive vibes and energy to you and the world abroad. Uh. huh. Well, I post every few days. And it’s almost always positive. That won’t change. The new issue is that I may actually have something else that I will need to be doing, full time, and for a good amount of money. Hint hint. Cough cough. Ahem. If I ain’t being too subtle here. Something worthy enough to give up my day job as resident blobber, blogger, desperately searching for an outside gig. I will let you know by the end of the week if I can finally change my Facebook status to: Works. Period. Anyway, February is always my lucky month for work related stuff. That’s when I got my last job too. It’s weird when stuff happens like that isn’t it?

I’m about to go get some food with the family and have a margarita. Just one. And it will be small. Well, smaller. We have an awesome place very close by. And I checked my med info. Moderate alcohol is ok. One drink every week or two will probably be just fine. And FYI, in case you were wondering, I have my next doc appt. this week to check on those meds, and even though it seems unlikely, I really think I feel better. Like, not sick feeling. Clear headed and without any throbbing or eye and temple pain. Maybe that BP was killing me. Sometimes drinking the kool-aid isn’t always a death sentence. Hard lesson to learn. In just a few days, I have tried to overhaul my sodium intake and step up the exercise regimen. We, me, everything, that you eat for convenience or that comes in a processed package is LOADED with mg’s and mg’s of that sneaky sodium. I spent my last few days buying some snazzy new jeans and t-shirts to transition myself slim again. Thanks to the new spandex and technologically advanced textile manufacturing, my jean size didn’t change! And no one will ever see the tags that say “high stretch fabric” or “extreme tensile strength materials”. Those labels are on a big old garbage truck heading for the dump. And I purposely shopped for colorful fruits and vegetables today.  I think I shall be more boring to hang out with, but, I shall be hanging out a lot longer. Alright, one more picture because I like to take pictures of the skeleton trees. Later.

Permalink 4 Comments

WORDs!!

January 27, 2012 at 7:33 pm (Day to Day, Video Games) (, )

With Friends! It’s the new BeJeweled. It’s the new Pocket Poker. I am not nearly as good at it as some of the people I play with, but I try. The only person I can beat all of the time is my daughter. And some of the time, my mom. Everybody else pretty much kicks my @$$. But this was my best word ever. JIVE for 111. (One hundred eleven). That’s pretty good huh? If you play, drop me a line or throw out a comment,  and we can compare notes. I think I scored this word off my mom. My best game ever is below. 412. (Four hundred twelve). I know that’s probably low compared to some, but I was pretty happy. Sorry I have to rat out my friend Carole on this one. But in her defense, she was new to the game and since then she has gotten way better. She wins more often than not now. One of the friends I play with, but never win against, got over 500 in a game with me. That says just as much about me as it does her. A girl can dream though so I keep playing. Friday night! It’s getting crazy over here. I wonder if I can drink wine, or anything, with these new pills? I wonder if I should? I think I know the answer to that darn question. Words it will have to be then. Oh yeah. Turn it up! Words out.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Damn Nature! You Scary!

January 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm (Day to Day, Exercise, Skeleton Trees, Weather) (, , , , , , , )

I missed a few days there. Sometimes the weekends get away from me. And then whole weeks get away from me. I had the interviews. I’ve done all the legwork I am going to do for now. I actually started this posting before the one below it, so if it seems out of order or confusing, it’s because I failed to edit the things that already happened from the things that were about to happen. I will say that I am feeling better about the whole job thing. As usual, I underestimated the time it takes, the scheduling issues and the typical paperwork that goes along with actually getting hired for a job. It’s been well over 20 years since I had to do the whole formal procedure. So I continue to plug along.

And by plug along, I mean that I went to the doctor, and as I expected, he would not clear me for a few weeks. But he gave me drugs. And rescheduled me for next week. I am sure he does not believe that I will follow through with my care, but time will tell. He said the meds should make a difference within the week. I will let you know. I think my BP machine is way off from what their machine says, so when I go pick up my new prescription I am going to try the BP chair that they have in the drugstore. Don’t worry, I still had some pills left from my last attempt at controlling this problem, which I failed miserably at doing, so I am pilled up times 2. Last night and this morning. I guess I feel fine. I have to drive today so we’ll see how that goes. I was also given orders to eat low sodium. Watch that salt. Typical. No junk. The usual. He didn’t really mention the weight thing, but we both know…

The best part was the activity/exercise thing. He said I need to get active and get moving. But not crazy, strenuous, over-the-top, crap like I have been doing. Walk. He said. A light jog. But do not get yourself huffing and puffing, because guess what?? NOT GOOD for the BP yet. It’s too much. I have been given the ok to take it a little easier. It does no good to skyrocket your heart rate and BP when you already have naturally high numbers. I guess I could burst a blood vessel or faint at the very least. Once the BP is better, you can go back to the big stuff. I really do feel kind of stupid, because I should know better. But the cliches are true. I definitely stink at taking my own advice. But let’s move past this, because I hate dwelling on my own idiotic mistakes and I have other things to do today. One of which is returning some women’s blouses that make me look like a flowing pregnant middle aged dump. And unfortunately, I have to break down and buy some new jeans. I very nearly ripped the belt loop off of the one pair that is supposed to be stretchy. Now I have a big hole where the front pocket meets the loop and I am flashing the people with my white, pasty, roll of blubber that is trying to escape from the waist band. Not pretty.

So as you know, we had some snow over here. Came down on Friday and tapered off, leaving the cleanup for Saturday morning. We went to bowling and when we got home, at about noon or so, Stevie and I decided to go walk in the woods. We were just there, and we figured the trail itself wouldn’t be too snowed over because of all the trees. We were excited to be the only car in the parking lot, which was plowed so we thought that was a good sign. And as we started there was a set or two of footsteps, not brand new but visible, so we thought someone obviously already walked the trail and if we just follow their path we will be fine. As an extra precaution we made sure to make a huge mess where we were walking so we could always just turn around and follow our own steps back out. We were even careful not to veer off the set path too much so that we didn’t get confused later. Good thing.

We made it to the pine trees before we started losing the path. Above is the picture of the first bridge and the small boardwalk you have to cross before you get to the creek that Stevie was playing on last week. The creek is totally covered in snow now. Or it was. It didn’t even have any animal tracks yet. The creek is below. One with Stevie, one without. We liked the way the shadows were laying across the fresh snow.

As we continued to walk, the snow was thick in places and I’m sure we weren’t exactly on the path that the nature preserve people laid down, but it was close. When we got to the pine trees the footprints really got dim. But there’s only one way to go through and we knew where we were going forward so we kept at it. I’ll just throw in all the pics, as I type so I can use them and you can kind of see and compare from past photos if you can remember or care to search.

Just past the pine trees is an open area. It looks much bigger as you peer through the trees but when you get up to it, it’s not really open at all. The way the trees have grown and then appear to have died out there, they look like they are reaching for the pine trees. Kind of bending towards them with outstretched arms. The limbs were covered in snow and gave the scene an even more desolate feel.

It was so bright and sunny though, it was almost blinding. It should have seemed clean and happy. The sky was blue behind the trees and the air was warmer in the open areas. But it was really cold and shadowy under those pine trees and it felt heavy and dark. I was hoping we would not have to walk back through there because the way the snow was laying it was hard to see our tracks even though we were right there, practically still standing in them. As I look at the picture above now, I think of hula dancing and I can see, what looks like a face, in the tree that is right in the center. The more I look, the more faces I see. It didn’t look like that standing there in front of them. It looks like there are faces in both waving trees and then another one on the left side, along the edge of the picture, maybe a third of the way up.It kind of looks like someone is hiding behind the tree, peering out.

So we took the pictures, but we didn’t really see any of that as we were walking. We kept going to our favorite picture spot: The Path! The path of tall evergreen trees! This leads to a lake, which then leads to a nature out crop that goes into the marshlands that are really tucked away inside the forest preserve. Luckily we were far too lazy to walk all the way through. Another good thing. I am sure the next time we go, when I can wear gym shoes because the winter boots I have hurt my feet and ankles really bad, we will have pictures for you. Can’t wait huh? Yeah I know. Here’s more trees:

Well that one takes up alot of space. From here, if you go directly to the left, there is a very long boardwalk that takes you through the next part of the woods. And here is where we had our trouble. It seems who ever walked before us decided to stop just at this tree line and go back. At least that’s what we are guessing. No more tracks. But since the boardwalk can only go in one direction, we figured, what the hell. The path will probably be pretty clear as it kind of goes in a big loop. WRONG. Once we got to the end of the planked path, we followed the treeline to a little sitting bench that sits at a turn. We continued on for maybe 100 or 200 feet when we decided we were not on the path anymore. We were walking over branches and stumps and trying to not fall or twist an ankle. There were footprints, in single lines, going here and there, so we picked one set that looked like they were heading for the creek and started to follow them. We were now very careful to make as big a path as we could and to NOT veer off or change directions. At this point we could not see the bench anymore and we could not tell at all where we were in relation to the original trail. We know that there is a huge, brand new bridge structure that was just completed before winter, somewhere in front of us, but even going forward, we could not see any sign of it. And it’s really huge. Like, way bigger than it needs to be. It actually looks too big for what it is going over. And it’s a bright yellow, fresh wood color, that sticks out in all that pure white we were surrounded by. If I was cold before or my feet were hurting in those boots, those feelings were totally gone and being replaced by anxiety and a nervous feeling that we are truly lost in these stupid woods. I knew we had our footprints. And I knew we had hours of daylight left. But still. Standing there, looking around, trying to find anything that looks even slightly familiar, and finding nothing but more trees and no clear path, is a sick feeling. Far off in the distance we could see movement that looked like deer running. And they were. Because they were being chased by those same two dogs we had come across on the path last week. They approached us fast and friendly, sort of, but wary at the same time. Kind of like they thought we were going to try and catch them. They were German Shepard’s, brown and gray, and when we first saw them they really looked like wolves, or at least coyotes. But even though these dogs had tags, they still didn’t look healthy or domestic. They were skittish and briar tangled and looked wild a few days ago. They are either lost or they get to roam. Either way, they stayed away from us on this day.

I was pretty much done with taking pictures and kind of sorry I brought the stupid camera with at all. Now I had to carry it and we needed to make a decision. Keep plowing ahead hoping to somehow run across the creek and one of the bridges, and possibly running the risk of crossing back over tracks that we already made and following them in an endless circle, or just going back the way we came before we got even farther into the trees. Since we really had no idea which direction we were going and we had no map of the trail to generally guide us from the bench point, we decided the best way was to just go back. Even that felt nerve-wracking because it occurred to me that if it started to snow again, or the wind started picking up, our fresh new tracks could be brushed away in a few minutes. So we tried to go fast but in a controlled fastness that did not lead to panic. Here’s another picture of the trees with the nice blue sky that doesn’t look scary at all.

Usually it takes us about an hour to walk all around the 3 mile loop. Even with starts and stops. We were already out there for over an hour when we got past the boardwalk. The snow was pretty deep and it is a workout to walk in. Going back we were trying to hurry but we were getting tired and our feet and calves were aching in the same way they do when you walk on sand for a long time. Our pants were wet above the boots and starting to soak through and it felt colder and breezier. You would think borderline freaking out would keep you warm, but you’d be wrong. You don’t really think about being cold, but it’s not the same thing. Once we got to the boardwalk, we felt better. It was easy to follow the path we had made. Then we just walked, without stopping, all the way back to the creek and the first bridge. Finally. Now we could take a minute to stand there and laugh about how dumb it is, and easy, to get “lost” in the woods. Oh, and here were the people! Now they come. Here’s a man and a woman. Here’s two more guys. Here’s an old man and a woman. And here’s a whole family! Three adults and two little kids. All of them had cameras hanging around their necks like I did. We told all of them how far we went and how if they follow our tracks all the way until the end, they will abruptly stop in the middle of what seems like nowhere, and unless they are braver than we were, they should turn back at the bench. We practically ran out of the woods once we saw the nature building, but stopped long enough to take one more picture, before Stevie swished all the snow off the top:

So that ends my gripping tale of being lost in the woods for 2½ hours after the first major snowfall of our Midwest winter. FYI, in case you don’t live in this area, the next day it rained. And rained. We had about 45 degree temps. Thunder, lightning, the whole shot. All the snow got melted away. Except the really tall snowplowed piles. They just look like gray, dirty mounds of disgusting, scattered all around the neighborhood. Then it snowed lightly, again, to add a fine white powder to the top of the crap piles and dust the grass one more time before it warmed up (yesterday) and misted a fine rainfall over the whole mess, trying to melt it away for good. It’s sunny and bright right this minute and I am going to look outside… right now… and tell you that the snow that remains, is piled on yard corners, next to the driveway entrances, or hiding in the shade.

As usual this took way too long to type and is probably way too long to read all the way through. So, if you stuck with me this far, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I feel a story can’t be told in just a few sentences. It needs paragraphs and pages and many many run-on sentences to drive home my pointless points. Be glad that you don’t have to actually listen to me tell the tale. At least here you can just click off the site and be done with it. Good golly! Maybe I should put a quick sum-up at the bottom of the page for the people who skipped the middle and are just looking to see if we made it out alive.

For the scrollers:

STOP HERE!

Long story short version: Big snow. Went to the hiking trail. Followed a set of previous footprints until they disappeared. Took some pictures. Went off path. Then had no path to follow. Got lost. Saw some potentially rabid dogs. Backtracked. Saw more people. Made it out safely.

Does that short version seem too long? I don’t know anymore! I just want this to end! I must get up and get out. Later gators! The End.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Are You Down With OPP??

January 26, 2012 at 3:07 pm (Body and Brains!, Day to Day, Losing the Fat, My Mom) (, , )

Cause I’m DOWN with OPP! Yeahhh baby…Too bad the OPP in this post means:

Old People’s Problems.

I’m definitely down with something. How I must chuckle these last 24 hours at my naive and childish posting from a mere two weeks ago. You’ll recall, I claimed to be in denial about my weight issues and diet and exercise and such. And I was in denial, and clearly still am. You can read it here if you want or just move forward with this post because it’s really not that hard to follow. Click on the link right here.  FATTY BO BATTY IN DENIAL.  Anyway, that was just a poke and a tap compared to the major slap down I received yesterday morning.

As I have been merrily skipping through job interview after job interview in the last two weeks, I have been landing on an offer more than not. (Thank goodness. I needed the boosts.) For one position, I needed to go get a physical. In case you don’t know, I am a registered nurse, and my job does require a certain level of fitness to perform well. It’s not anything too crazy; ability to lift and bend, some physical strength and tone, good eyesight, hearing, no drugs, etc…pretty much an overall general well-being. And I have all that. Sure I’m a little porky, but I have the strength and the muscle tone under there. And I could probably use an updated eye exam, it’s been 2 years, but I read all the letters on the chart. So what do you think did me in?? My @!#$%^&!@ blood pressure!! Excuse my shift key!!

Like a record scratching to an immediate and ugly halt, the B/P done me in. No clearance. It’s too high. End of physical. Go to your doc. Get some meds. Get this form signed. Call us when you’re done. (Ooh…here’s a good place to put in a TV quote I’ve been keeping in the hopper): So Long, See Ya Sucka, Bon Voyage, Arrevaderci, Later Loser, Goodbye, Good Riddance, Peace Out, Let The Doorknob Hit Ya Where The Good Lord Split Ya, Don’t Come Back Round Here No More, Asta La Vista Baby, Kick Rocks, And The Get Hell Out!

It’s not even that high. I mean, it’s not good, but it’s not crazy, stroking out, in the hundreds, off the cuff high. But it’s too high for the doc to feel safe letting me pick up a bunch of heavy things. It’s all about the heart disease. The silent killer. And oh, by the way, you of all people should know better. Yeah. I got it. For real this time.

By some twist of fate, my mom had to get an x-ray, and she missed her first opportunity because she decided to drive around aimlessly lost a few days ago, and couldn’t find the health center. So we planned to be there at the same time and we could go to breakfast after. Well, it’s true what they say, you are never too old to need your mommy. A fact, my mommy reminded me of, as we sat in the vestibule area after we were both done. Moms do like to keep driving that point home whenever they get the chance. When the receptionist told me to go get a follow-up with my doctor because this one isn’t clearing me, and she handed me the form I need to get filled out, and told me to not worry, it happens all the time, I will tell you, I was stricken. And I am not ashamed, maybe a little ashamed, to say that I cried like the biggest baby in the whole wide world right in that atrium area, sitting next to my mom on a cozy little couch in front of warm toasty fire. It would have been quite the touching moment if not for my complete mental breakdown. In public. Kudos to my mom who didn’t even bat an eye. Crying loudly in the middle of a health center? Whatevs. Probably happens more than I think anyway.

So here’s the thing. What it breaks down to is that I am OLD. Older. It is inevitable. I have to lead the pack of my sisters and brothers down the path of old age and I DO NOT want to. Before you think I have completely lost touch with my reality and my mortality, I realize it is only blood pressure. It’s not cancer or an illness that will start the end of my life. It is a very common and very treatable thing that can be managed for basically the rest of my life. And I was in big time denial, because I didn’t want to take medication. Sometimes you need the help until the diet and exercise can kick in with some help. But guess what? Wasn’t really following any kind of good plan. My name is…and I am a dumb ass. Well, my eyes are wide open, and screaming for help. Hell, the high B/P is probably why they are screaming. But it still sucks being first.

I’ve noticed other stuff too. Like my close vision, lately, requires me to do the whole, move the words closer in or farther away from my face, until the letters come into focus. Sucks. Can’t see that tiny red print on a black background without a beam of light. Sucks. Sweating my pits off in a 75 degree room when everybody else is complaining its cold. Sucks. Night sweats. Sucks. Shorter periods, less cramps. Yeah! But longer or shorter in-betweens, kinda sucks. I keep track, because I’m sure I will have to eventually. Just like I should have been keeping track of my B/P. I figured it was fine. It’s been under the danger level when I do check it, but obviously the docs machines say different. And before my smarty pants cousin types in a “menopause” comment (again…thanks cuz…at least I’m still a little bit younger than you!! haha) I am sure that horror is looming ahead, but the B/P issue is all it’s own thing I think. Well, not a totally isolated thing. The added weight and the poor diet probably contributed greatly to the cause.

I have an appointment today. In about an hour actually. Not really looking forward to it. My doctor is going to yell at me. Why didn’t I follow-up a year ago?? Have we learned anything from all this?? Why are you still the same weight?? (Actually, I was being soft on myself there. I believe I might actually weigh more than the last time I was there.) Ugh! So embarrassing. Time to grow up. I think the phrase people like to use is, “Put on the big girl panties,” (not my fav but this site is for the people) and suck it up. It’s my turn to start contributing to the global health and pharmacological economy with my hard earned dollars.

Anyway, I am down with OPP. But not for long. Thanks Mom! I Love You! I am very glad you were there to see me crack open the giant egg of UNFAIR!!!

I will end with something funny, as I must always do, and because I just remembered what my mom said to me while I was balling my eyes out like a little bitch. And it wasn’t mean or anything, It was just my mom being consoling and compassionate. I need to come up with a word to describe her wisdom nuggets. Anyhoo, when I get upset, I usually don’t eat. It makes my stomach hurt too bad, and I usually can’t swallow. So I’m crying and crying, and I manage to sputter out a wailed, “Now I don’t even want to go to breakfast anymore. I’m too fat and it’s just gonna make it worse! Boo hoo. Sob sob.” Disgusting.

And my mom says, while she is patting my head and trying to stop me from crying, “Well, honey, missing one meal isn’t going to make any difference. Now come on.”

That’s funny right?? I thought it was. Is that what you expected she would say? What would you say to someone? I don’t even know. But it always catches me off guard. The laughs ensued. She followed that up with the basics: You just lose the weight, cut out the junk and exercise. Not all crazy exercise like you do, just simple. Walk. Don’t eat potato chips. This is a blessing in disguise. Blah blah blah. I know it. Still stings to have to walk the walk.

I’m going to wrap this up. I want to be back later to update, but no guarantees. I get to take my son to a high school registration/orientation meeting today that I cannot miss. Got to start getting him ready for the big school. I am so excited for him! It’s the next step! Everyone be safe out there. The weather is acting crazy again, and you don’t want to miss anything new on my site of silliness!

So…Later Gators. After While Crocodile. Adios Amigo. See yuh. Buh Bye. Seriously, enough. Toodles. And Cheerio. That’s it I swear.

Permalink Leave a Comment

View From the Back Door

January 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm (Day to Day, Weather) (, , , , )

In case you haven’t noticed… Or in case you don’t live in the Midwest… Or you don’t watch the news… Or go on Facebook…. Or go outside, after watching the news, and reading your friends posts on Facebook, because you live in the Midwest…

IT’S SNOWING.

It’s January. It’s winter. They told us. We expected it. We were ready. But still…we must talk about it. And take pictures! And I am no better. That’s one above. My kids have already played in it for about 2 hours. My BF is still driving in it trying to get home from work. That’s 65 miles away, or so. Takes about an hour, to an hour and a half, on a good day. He left at 3 pm. He texted me this message at 4:30, and I quote: “Ok this sucks royally!!!!” With four exclamations. I told him that he really can’t declare it “royally” sucking until about 6. That’s double the time, with a two-hour lead. It’s coming up on 6 now, and he’s been pretty quiet. I feel his pain, but I’ve never been a “driver” commuter. I always took the train. THAT sucks. I had a two-hour traveling bubble around me at all times. If you start at 9, you need to leave at 7. I mean, it was better than driving into the city every day and parking, but you end up being a slave to the train schedule. Nothing feels as helpless as watching your train close its doors and start moving away as you are frantically running up to it, pounding on its rubber sealed, tinted windows, while the conductor and the other passengers shrug their shoulders and think to themselves, “poor sucker.” Nothing makes you more aware of time, its every minute, and every second, then having a train to catch. Knowing the next one is 26 minutes from now, which puts you back 37 inexplicable minutes once you get to your car, that you still have to get out of the train parking lot and drive home, however far that may be. And all because  you left work just a few minutes too late and the elevator took forever and the bus was slow and the people would not walk faster or get out of the way on the sidewalks and stairs, and your ticket was bent and the turnstile was broke…hmm. I don’t even take the train anymore, so I’m just going to stop there.

6:20. No word yet. My dream the whole time I took the train (that’s 19 plus years of fantasizing) was to have a job, in a building, that had its own parking lot attached to it. One where I could drive right up, park, and walk in the door. Where I could carry many things, heavy things, or bulky things, because I wouldn’t have to haul them off a train and onto a bus. Or walk with them another mile to my workplace. Anyway, I called the hospital. Left a message. No call back. I will give them the benefit of Friday and the bad weather. But I sure hope its not me. I have more prospects next week. Drive-able prospects. So it’s all good.

6:30. I better end this now before I get sidetracked again. Dinner is almost done. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes, that I need to get mashed. Still no BF, but I’m sure he’s close. Here’s a picture of the backyard in case you forgot that the original point of this whole post was the snow. Later!

Driving Update: The BF did not get home until 8 PM. Yes. That would be a FIVE hour drive. And that’s not even the longest trip he’s ever had. One time he didn’t get home until 10. That sucks. Sorry honey. XO

Permalink Leave a Comment

View From the Trail

January 19, 2012 at 4:40 pm (Day to Day, Exercise, For Linda, For Lorraine, Skeleton Trees, Thank You, Unemployed Posts) (, , , , , )

The Nature Trail, that is. In my quest to exercise every day, but not do the same thing every day, and because I can be lazy and not feel like sweating or jumping around for an hour, I walk our local trails. Sometimes I run them, but it was kind of snowy and slippery and I didn’t want to be carted out of them on a stretcher. So embarrassing when the ambulance and firefighters have to come to the Forest Preserve, hike a mile into the woods, with all their equipment, to find me, and then basket me out like some dumbass who was running in the woods and slipped and fell and broke her ankle. Or leg. Or neck. This is suburbia! They didn’t sign up for that!

Anyway, this is the creek, above. And below are some trees. I will resist posting all of the pictures I took or that my daughter took. Apparently she shares my love of photographing bare branches as much as I do. I find walking to be the easiest exercise ever. This is Monday. Tuesday was The Firm (that makes 3 workouts now if you are keeping track–still looking mostly the same–still trying to curb the appetite and eat better). And I walked yesterday too, just around the neighborhood. Just to get outside. It was cold and deceptively slippery. The sun was melting some of the snow but not all of the snow. Just enough to leave that slick of ice that will drop you on your ass in a heartbeat, while also simultaneously wrenching out your back as you try to prevent the fall. I made it safely back home but only because I was very careful to NOT walk on anything that even looked like ice.

In other news: I still haven’t heard from the hospital. I can call tomorrow. I have two interviews next week that I’m pretty excited about. I have been trying to stay positive and concentrate on losing the chunk because it will help me in the long run to not feel negative about this silly stuff. I’d like to say I didn’t post yesterday because I was all up in the social and political censorship internet issues. Doing my part to keep this a cutting edge, raw and real website, filled with black humor and gripping information about life and the occasional boozing and swearing. Protesting to keep it free and available for you to read. And to protect my right to type any and everything that flows out of my brain into the atmosphere no matter how ridiculous or irrelevant. Even if no one actually wants it or reads it. I think the day was a success. I think the internet made its point. I never know how these things go. Smarter folks will have to argue that one for me. In the meantime my little site will be here if you change your mind. No. I was just seeped in the gloom of winter and joblessness. Feeling the UN-love from HR departments everywhere. At least everywhere in the Chicagoland area.

After I got back from my walk though, I really did feel better. There’s studies about the effects of sunshine on depression. I won’t bog down the paragraph with details, but if you feel bad, and you normally don’t, try going outside for about 10 minutes. It’s an easy, free, painless way to see if maybe you just need a re-boot. Nothing medical here. No belittling any real problems that you have. I always like to try the path of least resistance first before I drag out the big guns. I aim for 30 minutes and see how I feel. I would have stayed out longer, but I had to pee really bad and I didn’t want to risk the hold. Too much? Anyway, when I got home, I got the surprise interview phone call and then it was time to go to watch my daughter play volleyball. Too busy too worry then.

Here’s another thing that my cousin will love. The match was an away-game, and held in a gym that was so freaking hot I thought I was going to pass out. It was in one of those really old schools, the kind that look big from the outside but are even bigger on the inside. Three stories high and a basement, with painted, cinder-block walls, long hallways with high ceilings, and lots of recessed doorways and narrow staircases that give it that old-timey, asylum feeling. The gym itself was a compact room of shiny, wooden planks, with the bleachers hanging over the gym floor balcony-style. One wooden door, set into the back wall, lead into another little gym, with another set of balcony bleachers that you could access from the top or bottom. We parked on the wrong side of the building and had to walk through the whole school and then back outside again to get into the gym. No, not the gym, the “GYMNASIUM”. Carved into a giant stone arch, above a huge wooden, double door with leaded glass and black iron fixtures that we reached by climbing up, not one, but two, flights of concrete stairs, flanked on both sides by red brick, shoulder-high walls. Heat definitely rises. My palms were sweating. And I was wearing a T-shirt. Before we go chucking it up to menopause, let it be known that we were ALL dying in there. I’m counting that too for my exercise log. It’s like the sauna part after a good workout. I feel cleansed.

I might have more to type for later. But I’m making Jambalaya and it takes time, so I have to go. I already made brownies. And biscuits are in the hopper. I like to cook when I feel bad. It calms me down and gives me something exacting and tasty to focus on. When I post about rice pudding, you’ll know it’s time for an intervention. That’s my go-to, can’t-drag-myself-out-of-the-house food savior. It takes hours to cook and slowly bake and it becomes something more than just rice and milk and sugar. It’s like Bondo for your soul. It fills in the cracks and holes and keeps the bad stuff out until you can figure out a way to get it whole again. I haven’t made it in years and years, thank god. But the last time I did, these cousins of mine, the ones I speak of, were there with me. To sit, and wait, until it got dark, and share it with me. So I didn’t have to eat it all alone. I think about that sometimes. It was a moment that I truly needed help and they were there, like magic.

Sorry about that. This is what happens when you type every random thought that spills into your head. That had me tearing up over here, and it’s beautiful outside, and I’m happy and I’m all better now. On a funny note, now that I really think about it, all our names begin with the letter “L”. How weird!! Anyway, I love you guys. And if I never said it before, I’ll say it now: Thank you!! You guys are awesome.

Alright, really done now. I have food to cook, not so much because I feel bad this time, but because the weather is supposed to turn on us again and a big pot of food just feels safe and secure doesn’t it?? And I need to take care of a squirrel that won’t get off the bird feeder. He will B-BE taken “care of”. How can I get all my fab bird pictures with squirrels hanging around eating all the seeds? (Bird Alert! A blood-red Cardinal and a sky-blue Blue Jay are in my air space. Trying to get them in my camera and out to you. Spent an hour yesterday but I need more!) Also, my kids aren’t home yet so I should probably go see if they left me any messages on their whereabouts. Later Gators!

Permalink 1 Comment

All Hail the New York Giants!

January 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm (Day Quote, Day to Day, Football, Holiday) (, , , , , , , , , )

Madagascar! Alright Eli, I guess you want that Super Bowl pretty bad! Green Bay! What the heck were you doing out there? Did you just not want to play any more? Now that the Packers are out of it, I have to root for the Giants. At least for the next game. But I’m torn if they have to go against the Patriots. I know someone, who is great friends with a player on the Patriots, and even though both quarterbacks involved have SuperBowl rings, he does not. And it would be pretty awesome to get one! Last time the Giants and Patriots SuperBowled together the Giants won, so maybe this is payback year? As I have said before, I am a fan of football. And I will watch the games no matter who is playing, but it’s always a little more fun to watch if you have a vested interest. Usually that involves money and an office pool, but personal connections can be good too. Anyway, if you feel torn and need someone to root for, let’s go Patriots! And since Clay is out now and I have a special soft spot for the “50’s” (that’s usually the Linebackers position), the man to watch on the field will be Rob Ninkovich. Special shout out to Stephanie and all those friends and family that have far more time and personal interest in this win than me just being a fifth or sixth string observer. I always love it though when someone’s dreams come true!

On another losing football note: Thanks a lot Pittsburgh Steelers! I finally get a Terrible Towel and now it has to sit in the closet until next year! Boo!

On another note altogether…I think most people are off in some way today, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. And I always thought it was kind of the real working start to the new year. We all get that over-zealous, shiny, hopeful, stars-in-our-eyes, January 1 boost. But it’s a false start. And everyone needs another day to stop for a minute, reflect and re-group. By the third week of January, hopefully we all know where we’re going and what we want to do. And we are ready to buckle down for the longest part of the winter and get things done. All the while keeping one eye out for that break in the clouds that will take us back into the light of summer. And since everyone likes to lay down a quote, I’m going to join the party:

We must use time creatively, and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right. (MLK, Jr. 1963).

Time is what we are always battling in the end. Too much. Never enough. Take a little bit for yourself today if you can. One hour, one minute, one second. We can change the world! You all have a great Monday!

Permalink Leave a Comment

Next page »