Monday, March 31, 2008

Today I did something smart

I've lost a total of 19 pounds in just under 5 weeks. I'm very happy with my weight loss, size loss, and flab loss.

Last night we did some BBQ and it was good! I had "just meat", and made Ron a cheddar burger. He adored it, his only request being the addition of some BBQ sauce. I can't find no-sugar added BBQ sauce anywhere so I will buy the "bad" stuff. I just won't touch it or put it on my food. Easy. It's been very easy to stick to my plan on my medication, even though the pills mess up my stomach occasionaly.

Anyway, Wednesday we are going up to Brenham. The Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory offers tours. They have samples and a cafe or something. Everyone will be indulging, except Heather.

So what do I eat? I love frozen treats, but I want to keep up the weight loss. Dairy gives me migraines. I need some kind of sorbet, a no-sugar added sorbet.

Guess what I found at Randalls today? 1 pint containers of no sugar added sorbet. I got 2 of the raspberry flavor. I can pack one in a little ice chest and tote it along with me. In the likely event they don't have anything I can eat, I'll take out my sorbet and eat it. Tasty. I tried it, it's good and only 5 grams net carbs. I can live with that.

Off I go to pick up and check on the plant babies.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I bought a can of fat today

Today was just a wild day. A good day, but a wild one. It started with a sausage patty for breakfast, as usual. I took my morning meds and ran out the door. Halfway to work, I realize I've left my purse at home. I'm feeling very thick-headed and slow. I didn't sleep well last night and had to take a couple of benadryl (our miracle knock-out pill).

What does my purse contain? My ID badge to GET INTO THE BUILDING. My keys so I can DO MY JOB. Most importantly, it has my PILLS. Ron was so awesome, all he said was "I'm just happy you realized it now instead of worrying you left it on the van." What a sweetie! I'm taking breaks here to gnaw on a hamburger patty.

We were supposed to leave work around 9:20. Our ride didn't get there until over an hour an a half late (which was good because Ron needed to stock some last minute items). We finally got to the bank. We were supposed to get home at 12:30, remember this.

At 12:30 PM, we got picked up from the bank. But wait, there's more. We have to find the other client and take her home first. She lives right over by where we work. Then we drove back to the grocery store. I ate my 1 ounce bag of pork rinds en route. That was it for my snacks.
Around this time, I got a call from my Dr's office. All my lab tests came back normal and I am in the ideal lithium range. I was hoping I could get my dosage reduced, but I have to keep taking 4 pills a day. But I can't because I don't have my PILLS!

I went to the dollar store and found a few little items I wanted. I am very fond of their woven plastic bags, they are very durable. I got a "junior" kind of a regular shopping bag size with a zippered top.

The only seating area at the grocery store, by the way, is in the BAKERY section. I am surrounded by gooey treats. They even have free samples. Suprisingly, it wasn't all that hard to resist, but I was getting hungry. So what does a dairy-nut intolerant low-carber eat?
I found "our" brand of pork rinds. They had the hot, the plain (I just ordered a whole case of them for myself to be delivered Monday), and something new. Salt and Pepper. I look at the label. It does have a little bit of MSG but it has garlic, onion, salt, and pepper in the pork rinds. I thought "What the hell" and bought a bag.

Oh, it is so good. They are Mac's snacks Salt and Pepper pork rinds. Here's a link so you know the ingredients and the bag's appearance: [URL="http://www.taquitos.net/snacks.php?snack_code=3183"]Macs Salt and Pepper pork rinds[/URL]
I ate about an ounce of them. I shared a few with Ron, warning him "If you like them tell me and I will buy you your own bag." He liked them of course. I ended up buying 5 bags total, one for him, the half-eaten lifesaver bag, and 3 spares. They have a good long code that expires in May.
I got a few spice items, some ingredients for my famous low carb pasta (I will be eating my meats and sauce over spaghetti squash). I use Dreamfield's. But I won't eat it right now, it ought to be delicious over spaghetti squash. I want to eat as "cleanly" as possible.

Now we're done. We wait over an hour for our ride home. When I got home I located my purse and took a nap. I finally ate something and took my pills.

I have to share a fun ritual I have when it comes to weight loss. Last time, I had someone take a photo of me next to 10 cans of Crisco - the amount of fat I'd lost. I lost 70 pounds.
Today I found some cheap trans-fat vegetable shortening. I picked up the can. It was big. It was also about 2 pounds and 10 ounces. I did the math and realized I had lost over 6 cans of the stuff IN ONE MONTH. I was so thrilled I bought the can of shortening just to keep around. If I get discouraged, I can look at it and say "I'm doing great, I lost 10 of these" or however many increments I've lost.

I think everyone doing low-carb should do this. It's incredible to actually SEE the fat lost. Last time, I bought one can for each increment I lost and I was getting overrun. This time, I think I will just have the 42 ouncer and a 7 pounder. It's so much fun to hold the can and realize I've lost six and two-thirds of them.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I need a new off day!

I had a busy day for me. Wakeup at 6 something (on my day off!), then eat, no medication, go to the lab for my blood test. We got a straight trip so I sat at Starbucks for half an hour, looking at the things I can't eat. I don't miss them or the way I used to feel.

At about 8:10, I went across the parking lot to the lab. We've used them before, they're good. An older Asian lady drew my blood last time. Today I had several tests. I figured they would cost about $200. They did. The lady who drew my blood this time was excellent, very fast. I think it may have to do with the schools here. In California, it seemed like everyone had trouble taking my blood. Out here in Texas, they're very efficient. Fat arms, skinny arms, they get it done on the first stick. Amazing. I had a bag of pork rinds to eat after my test so I could take my Lithium immediately.

I was finished an hour before our pickup, so we took the bus to Walmart instead of waiting. It was a nice straight trip with a friendly driver. Ron bought me breakfast (eggs ala carte, large diet soda), and asked for an earlier pickup which we got. Alright! I had an hour and a half.

I experienced a short and bloody battle with some depression. I managed to beat it down, and I realized when I cut my Lexapro in half, it was more like 3/4 and 1/4. I took the smaller pill. Don't do that again, Heather.

I'd been thinking about getting a small "Tabletop" style grill. I finally decided to get it. I got 2 kinds of charcoal, lighter fluid, matches, tongs, electronic meat thermometer, wood chips, and the grill for about $30. I called it a good deal. I had to get some driver candy, my bags were getting pretty pathetic and very light in the chocolate department. I got about $12 worth of candy. I didn't have much money or time left after all this so I just got "my" soda, tuna-flavored cat treats for Ron (to give to the cats), and some facial things for me. I like them, they're good for my skin.

All my makeup is "out of code" by now so I think I'll make an inventory of what I like, throw it all out, and buy the "favorites". I don't want to get infections from old makeup. Ick. No rush, though, I hardly ever wear makeup (but I do want to look nice in the photos Mom and Dad will take next week).

I keep feeling like I need to be doing things for their visit, but I'm not going to let myself get hysterical over preparation. I'm going to clean up as much as possible, take my pills, tend my garden, get my rest, do my job, spoil my cats, and love my husband.

I woke up four pounds lighter today. Yes! I was very happy. I figured I'd lost the weight, I just wondered when I'd see it. Hopefully I'll continue to lose at a nice clip until PMS time rolls around again. I figure I have at least 2-3 good weeks ahead.

I ate very clean today and even got some veggies. I need to do dishes again! Laundry! Sweep the house! Wash the bedding! Cook something for tomorrow and take a shower before it gets too late. Some "off" day. And this is taking it easy.

We had a few minor neighbor problems this week. The little boy on one side kept knocking his ball over the fence, banging on the front door, and asking for it back. When it happened twice in one day Ron had a talk with the parents. He also mentioned that the property line wooden fence (this was my idea) is very old and will cost a lot of money to replace. If the kids knock it down than Ron and the landlord are going to have to pay for it (meaning, the landlord will take it out on them). They were quite agreeable to letting the kids play on the other side of the house, away from our fence. Very nice people.

The other people are ususally very quiet, but she does daycare, he is a contractor, and their visitors are ALWAYS parking to block our driveway. I went out and told them they had to move, because we had a ride coming. She said OK. 5 minutes later it's still there. I was not happy. Ron, even less happy. He went outside swinging his long white cane somewhere between a putter and a baseball bat. He said he could hear the car owner literally running down the driveway and jumping in the car before driving away. Had he found the car he would have complained to the owner. But they knew they were in the wrong, they are just too lazy to park in a regular spot. Rude rude rude. They do like the cats, which I remind myself is no small thing. They are raising the kids right (except for the parking thing). I just wonder why people who have so much "traffic" bought a home with a small driveway and minimal street parking.

After we got home I played in the garden a bit, then it was off to Starbucks for Ron and Randalls for me. I got some nice-looking fresh sausage (for the grill), drinks, and some seasoning. We got home around 3. I wanted to go straight to bed, but Ron wants to find some computer software. I dug around in the garage for a while until the wasps showed up. I told Ron, he begged me to come inside, and I did. THEN I took my nap.

I woke up and came straight here. That was my day - busy! Hope you're having a good one.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The mental health system fails again!

The article's from the Houston Chronicle

href="http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/metro/5648203.html">http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/metro/5648203.html

Boys thrown off Dallas bridge remain in foster care
Their mother, who's in jail on charges she injured her sons, was turned away from psychiatric care the night before the incident, family says
By JEFF CARLTON
Associated Press

DALLAS — A judge issued an order Tuesday keeping two boys whose mother is accused of throwing them off a highway overpass in foster care.

Outside the courtroom, new details emerged about their mother's mental decline, with family members saying she was bipolar, off her medication and had been turned away from a psychiatric center the night before the incident near downtown Dallas.

The 8-year-old boy, who was on life support, is in critical condition in the hospital, but is "improving daily," Marissa Gonzales, of Child Protective Services, said. He has a broken arm and other injuries, his aunt said. His 6-year-old brother is already in foster care.

Their mother, Khandi Busby, remains jailed on charges of injury to a child and attempted murder. Her bail was set at $2 million.

Witnesses said she threw her sons on March 12 from an overpass 22 feet onto Interstate 30 traffic lanes during morning rush-hour traffic, then jumped over herself.

John Turner, Busby's father, said he witnessed his daughter throw the boys over the railing before leaping after them. The whole incident took about four seconds, he said.
Busby tossed the older brother first, then the younger and "then she went over head first," Turner said. "I was speechless."

Turner said his daughter was diagnosed as bipolar last year and had recently stopped taking her medication. The night before the incident, he tried to get her committed to a psychiatric center but was turned away because she didn't have proper insurance coverage.

"Things happen, people get depressed and sometimes if you don't know how to bounce back and you don't have the support you need, you just lose it," said Busby's sister Khalilah. "She was out of her mind."

The judge's temporary custody order keeps the boys in foster care under the authority of CPS. A status hearing on their custody is scheduled for May 27

End of article.

The mental health system is a joke. The woman was suicidal. She had a diagnosed psychiatric disability. She asked for help. She didn't get it.

She did screw up by going off her medication, but could she afford to see a doctor? We searched for nearly a month before I found a good doctor who accepted uninsured patients.

Why, then, are we so surprised when things like this happen? As far as I'm concerned the system threw that family over the overpass.

I'm going to go pray right now for all the other families dealing with this. It could so easily have been any of us.
It was an odd, odd day. First off, we had to ride an hour out of our way (total) on the way to work. Why? To pick up a guy after his booty call. His very large girlfriend was wearing a "Barely covers it all" nightgown. She opened the door, wearing the nightgown, and gave the client a long passionate kiss as he left.

Ew. I'm sure people think the same thing about me and Ron, but I'm not parading around in revealing clothes, sticking my tongue down his throat either. The guy had a fit because the driver didn't want to take the "client's" route. "I drive this way all the time!" he yelled. Both Ron and I thought simultaneously, "You're not driving now." I mentioned we were the next stop and we had to get to work, while he was going home (he didn't dispute it, proving it was a booty call - home is not where the woman is?). The driver said something to the client in spanish and the client shut up.

We got to work an hour late because of the love doctor. Fortunately, we made the delivery. Ron and I agreed we will go with an earlier pickup to avoid incidents like this. Who needs it?

When we went to Cracker Barrel, a waitress came over and asked Ron for help. Her mother in law has just gone blind from diabetes. She had a little bit of blurry vision, made an appointment to get her eyes checked. While driving down the freeway she suddenly went blind and that's it. She will never recover her vision. She's not even 50. Ron will mentor her and connect her with agencies that can help.

As I stared at my half-pound hambuger, minus bun, extra side of bacon, I couldn't help but be happy I'm already eating this way. I wish I could convert everyone to the low-carb lifestyle before it's too late for them too.

My weight is the same today but I'm OK with that. It tends to stall a bit after a migraine.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I whine

I started my cycle AND I woke up with a hideous migraine. Apparently, I can't eat sesame oil. It was so delicious, too. I'll see if Mike at work wants it. I'm giving him some collards tomorrow anyway.

I was bad enough that Ron made me stay home. Instead of lasting 12 hours, it only lasted about 7. My phenergan did the trick of knocking me out during the worst of the headache, and I never really got queasy.

It's a nice day that I don't really get to enjoy. When I woke up, I weighed myself (for fun), and I was down a pound. When I discovered my cycle had started I knew why.

I don't have much appetite but I ate some green beans, took my pills, took my painkillers, and took my ginger root to help with cramps and keep me from getting sick (from all the pills). Ugh. Tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Man's Best Friend

I like the fact that I'm capable of change. I love the fact that I reverse bad choices and snap judgements, if the facts warrant a change of heart.

I'm talking about the neighbor's dog. He lives behind me. When he first moved in, he barked all the time and I couldn't stand him, but after a week he settled down. I started giving him "quiet treats" - he'd be quiet for a while, I'd praise him and give him a treat. Pretty soon he didn't bark at us at all. Ron brought up a good point, he's our guard dog too. No one's coming over the back fence with him in their yard.

Plus, I got a look at him and he's so ugly he's cute. Obviously the people have him because they love him.

Ron and I have a nice routine now. If we're both in the backyard and the dog is quiet, we'll give him a treat. He loves the routine. When I start clicking my tongue, he sits by the fence. When we see each other, he gets up, tail wagging. He's not a bad dog at all.

Ron and I spent some time in the backyard. Neighbors are barbequeing and everyone's enjoying the mild weather. The pit bull a couple houses down is barking his head off, constantly. I think the poor thing is lonely, driven mad by the smell of roasting meat, and territorial because the owner sees him as cheap "security".

We couldn't help but compare the two dogs, praise "our" dog, and laugh as the cat went and sat right by the fence. Of course he barked. It's a cat. Then the cat lay down and started cleaning hmself, but our guy settled down quickly.

I'm glad he lives behind us now.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Why did I get up this morning?

I'd like to think I am a loving, understanding person right now. I'm not even angry, I'm just a little hurt and disappointed.

Let me tell you about my day. I woke up at 6 AM to go to work. We were supposed to finish at 12. It looked like a pretty good day. We had a very nice driver and even though I ran out of driver candy she didn't mind.

We got to work. I'm doing snacks, I help Ron. He left his cart in an odd place and kept asking me where it was. I told him nicely every time. I help him with sodas. Right about the time I should be doing crackers Ron asks me to put the creamer in the coffee vending machine. It's a very fine powder and he always ends up filthy when he does it.

We have an API 223 coffee machine. It is an excellent machine. It has about 8 various bins. Each bin holds a different coffee powder or complement (cream and sugar). Certain items have to go in certain containers - for one, it's programmed that way. They also have special motors to help whip (stir quickly) the beverage. If you order something like French Vanilla, it's going to drop the powder in the hot water, whip it quickly to blend, and squirt it into your coffee cup. The machines are expensive and difficult to repair.

I open the machine, and discover, to my horror, that Ron has placed ground coffee into the French Vanilla dispenser. It's mixed and when the button is pressed, it dispenses a thin grayish beverage with coffee grounds on top. They look for all the world like roach droppings. I'm horrified. We can't sell this!

I tell him. I try to scoop it all out. It doesn't work, the mechanism inside the canister makes it impossible to empty it from the top. I get a spork. Over an hour passes. In the meantime, Ron is raving angrily about a "God who would let him make a mistake like this." I have to endure it. I finally tell him "I feel like I'm being punished because you are angry at God. You are very angry and I can't help but feel a little attacked." He assures me he's angry at God and tones it down somewhat.

He calls the repairman, who's out making calls. He can swing by on the way to another appointment, at 12 maybe. Or later, he's not sure. Ron says, please come when you can.

We have to put our ride on hold. That means - who knows when we'll get home? Ron is insisting he must stock all the pastries, do the soda, etc. I finally tell him, that's fine but I'm starving. I need to eat. I don't give him a choice and I go get the one thing I packed in my lunch (chef salad) because we would only be there a few hours, right?

Oooooooh. I help Ron with everything. He says, once, that I'm a big help. I take out the dumpster. I check all the sell-by codes. I never do get to do the crackers because he's got me running so much.

The repairman comes out around 1. He shows Ron how to remove the whole canister. I dump it out, the contents were a total loss. He shows Ron how to put the canister back into the machine. They do it a few times to make sure he's got it.

I'm starving again. After all, I only brought a salad. But what does a dairy-peanut-chocolate-artificial colors-intolerant person eat? I ate a bag of BBQ pork rinds, unfortunately they had sugar on the label. I can't sell the plain ones fast enough so that was it. Oh, and Slim Jims. I was very impressed with the slim jims. I ate 2 small ones with my lithium and I didn't get sick. They helped hold off my hunger for quite a while, too.

Finally, 2 PM, we can go. Our ride arrives at 3. We get home around 3:30. I check on my plant babies, they are fine. When I come in the house Ron is demanding to know the location of the BBQ he brought home from work. I tell him clearly. He tells me he doesn't want to look around. I tell him, I'm on the freaking toilet, you'll have to wait. He finally looked where I told him and found it. All he said was, "OH, it is here".

Thank you Heather. I'm sorry I'm so demanding Heather. I know sometimes I act like you have to jump every time I yell frog, no matter what. I know that isn't fair to you and I'm sorry. I won't even get angry at God and rave at him because I know it bothers you. My issues with God are personal and I won't drag you into them, forcing you to listen to my ranting for hours a day. Since I figured this out, I will try to appreciate you more and understand you had the same lousy day I did. It isn't fair to make your day worse just because I'm frustrated.

When I got inside, I took a nap. I only slept about an hour because Ron was banging around angrily, running into chairs, and opening and closing the front door. He knew I was trying to sleep, but I guess he figured "Taking care of this business" was more important than my need to rest. When I told him he woke me up, he said he was done and I could go back to sleep now. I told him, my body doesn't work like that. He got all huffy.

I organized my side table. I counted my spare change. I fixed myself some dinner. Tasty turkey breast sauteed in olive and soybean oil. No veggies, I was bad. I figured my carb count was up anyway from the bbq pork rinds. I even drank most of my water.

I then decided to make Ron his favorite, tuna and egg salad. He was asleep. After I boiled the eggs it took me 40 minutes to peel them. The eggs are fresh and they tend to stick to the shell. I heard Ron woke up and I told him 3 times, I'm making your tuna and egg salad. On at least one occasion, he said "OK".

Once I was nearly finished, except for the mayo, I heard cellophane rattling. I said "I hope you're not ruining your appetite for the tuna and egg salad! I'm almost done making it!"

He starts bitching. He just ate a bag of peanuts. He didn't hear me say I was making it. I should have "Clarified" it with him, meaning I should repeat myself until he says he heard me. Excuse me, do you know how long that would take? And when I do it, he complains that he's "not that deaf". I'm sorry, it's not my fault you didn't hear me.

Then he gets all pissy again and starts raving at God again. Ugh.

Why did I get up this morning? I'm going to go bag up some driver candy. At least they appreciate me.

Friday, March 21, 2008

It bears repeating.

I posted this on a message board to a woman who wanted advice "Keep me from cheating on my diet!"

This was my reply. I like it so much I'm putting it here too (WOE means, way of eating which is preferable to the word diet).

"You are not a bad person because you are overweight. You made bad choices. Eating the way you have has made you unhappy and miserable.

Remind yourself of this: Yes, I could eat this but it will just make me unhappy in the long run. I will hate myself, feel bad physically, and get even heavier. I deserve to eat something helpful instead.

You have to look at why you are doing it as well. To fit into those jeans? To get someone (Dr, husband, freind) off your back? Because you don't want to shop in the women's department (anymore?). There aren't any bad reasons to start, just remember the main one. You should remember first and foremost, you are doing this for your health. If you set deadlines, if you see yourself as a bad person, if you do it for someone else, I don't think you'll do as well.

I take the approach: I'm doing this because I want a healthy active life. To be brutally honest, I don't want to end up like my mother-in-law. I want a good quality of life. If I started because my parents are coming to visit, because my husband is complaining about my figure, or I'm tired of wearing those jeans I don't think I would be doing half as well as I am now. I do it for me. My health. How fast I lose is irrelevant as long as I am eating clean (no cheats), staying active, and drinking my water.

I am far, far, less tempted to cheat now than I was the last time when I had an unreasonable goal and did it because I wanted to look hot. I have to ride the paratransit service (for people who are too disabled to ride the regular bus). I see what will happen to me if I don't take care of myself. It'll be me in that extra-wide electric scooter, gasping for breath, unable to take 2 steps on my own. I'll be so fat I won't even be able to fit into some of the vehicles. I'll lose one limb at a time and my kidneys will go. I may go blind from diabetes. I'll spend all my time going to the doctor and no time on the things that bring me joy.

The only thing I have to do to prevent that future is to stick with my WOE. It's easy for me when I think this way. Of course you will be tempted. But you shouldn't be doing this to "be skinny". "Skinny" is a lot of hard work for what? Some construction workers to stare at you? A label on a pair of jeans? Remind yourself you are doing it for your health. Sometimes I use vivid images: The cupcakes are full of broken glass, etc. I'm in vending , one of the absolute worst jobs for cheating. I have to pick up, touch, smell, and see all the bad foods I love. I have to put them down and say "NO" too. Generally, after I do so, I see a massively obese person walking by, eating a candy bar."

I know I will do very well because I have the proper attitude. It doesn't matter how fast I lose, as long as I'm improving myself.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

"Woman".

Overall, I had a great day. I went to work, helped Ron, went to the nice grocery store, and got more proscuttio (sp) and some smoked salmon. I rolled them up together, they were as delicious as I'd dreamed and then some. We had 3 great drivers and 2 great rides today. Metrolift may have rejected me, but I get a disabled bus pass at 50% off. Not bad. Even though it's spring break, I was still able to get my nap when I got home today. I lost 2 pounds, too. I assume it's PMS water weight.

I think I may have picked up a rotavirus or something. Ugh. I still have an appetite, no nausea, but the cramps, chills, and other have been pretty uncomfortable. I must have run to the bathroom over half a dozen times with the symptoms. However, I can still eat.

Speaking of uncomfortable, we had a horrible ride. When we got in, the client was sitting in the front seat. Her "man" was sitting in the backseat. Like us, he was about 20 years older than her. We have ridden with them twice before, the man is incredibly overbearing and rude. She is very quiet. We got in.

The man was manic, it was immediately obvious to both of us. He kept talking incessantly, making comments on everything we passed. He acted like we were great freinds, calling us his "neighbors" (we live at least a mile apart, thank God). We didn't "join in" so he had a lengthy and intense conversation all by himself. It was very wearying. He had nothing to say, but he sure acted like it. Most of the ride was consumed with his complaining about a bad trip they had a while back. Like we want to hear it. If you don't like my blog, you can navigate away from it. You don't have to ride with it for 45 minutes in a very small minivan cab. Ugh. Especially when you know he's bipolar and unmedicated.

What made it even more exciting was his attitude towards "Woman". That's what he called his companion. "Woman! I'm going to send you back to Africa!" "You stupid woman!" And worse. He cursed her repeatedly and was incredibly ugly to her. Ron commented "God made both of us, we're all equal" but the man stated that women were not as good as men (if he'd had the vocabulary, I believe he would have said "inferior". God put men over women, he claimed. Ron refuted that. The man began screaming at "Woman" again. I wanted to take her to the Women's Center. If he's acting that way in public what happens when they shut the door? It was absolutely horrible.

If she killed him, I would acquit her. That says it all.

Other than that I had a wonderful day and it really helped me appreciate Ron. I don't like having to go up to 4 lithium tablets a day but I'd rather commit suicide than be like that man we saw today.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Metrolift said no to me

Today was an odd one. I had trouble sleeping last night, and woke up manic. I didn't want to pick fights, spend money, or anything but God, I wanted to talk! Poor Ron. Poor Metrolift driver.

Speaking of, Metrolift denied my application. I'll just keep riding with Ron then.

Anyway, we got to work, filled them up. I wanted to make sure that we had plenty of good food if the threatened severe weather arrived. No one wants to go out in the rain, they'd rather hit the vending machines instead.

It was windy and overcast but no severe weather yet. I'm still up a couple of pounds, but I figure when my cycle starts that'll all balance out.

I had an odd experience yesterday. Ron and I caught our ride. The driver mentioned I looked better, what was I doing? I have lost most of the "jowly" and the double chin, which makes me happy. I don't care so much about my butt as long as my face looks good. After all, people look at my face. I want them looking at a healthy face. I never wear makeup and I'm not vain. Really, it just makes me happy to know that I look healthier.

So, I told her I'd lost weight, how much, and how. The client in the front seat got very upset. We'll call him Frank. Frank started raving about how I was going to kill myself eating that way and that we needed carbohydrates. I did shut him up when I asked him why my cholesterol dropped 100 points on Atkins. He loves eating a certain breakfast, he confided. It has pancackes, eggs, toast, and hash browns. Only a few dollars!

We've ridden with him before, so I asked him a question: "What is a diabetic on his way to dialysis doing telling me to eat pancakes and toast?" "I just adjust my insulin" he replied sullenly, and continued to tell the driver that eating a high-carb, low-fat diet was the only way to safely lose weight. In addition to being in kidney failure, and 100+ pounds overweight, this guy also has badly ulcerated feet. He can hardly walk anymore.

After he got out, I simply reminded the driver to "Take advice on what to eat from someone who's healthy, not someone with one foot in the grave." She nodded.

Today was another odd experience. On the way home, I gave the driver his candy. We picked up another client at a very expensive apartment complex. As soon as she saw the candy bag, she picked it up.
"OH, that's so nice of you to bring candy for us clients!"
I told her, no, it was the driver's candy and I'd given it to him.
"You don't mind if I have a piece, do you?"
Yes, I do. It's for the driver. He has to work 14 hour days.
Oh, come on. At least 5 minutes of begging on her part (this is a woman in her late 40's at least, if not older). I told her, if you want candy, you can go to Walmart and buy it. Candy is cheap, there's no reason you can't afford it on your own. Especially living at "Plush Point" I thought. She began calling me names. Yes, I agreed with her, I am a terrible, horrible, mean person who won't change her mind.

She sulked all the way to our house. She wasn't slow but she had some mental issue going on. She made very odd, inappropriate jokes. She made one to me and I just stared at her. "You don't find it funny?" No, I said, I didn't. She looked at me. I looked at her. "I won't make anymore jokes to you then." (Was I supposed to be hurt, I wondered?) OK, I said, that's probably a good idea. She muttered something under her breath as she turned around.

I don't care what she thinks of me. What I think of a grown woman begging for candy like a toddler, name calling when she doesn't get it, when she's got enough money that she isn't working and living in a fancy apartment building isn't very flattering either. Besides, she doesn't know what disabilities I have. You shouldn't be name calling and making rude comments to people you don't know, especially ones you know are disabled in some way. She kept trying to interrupt our (Ron and myself) conversation, too. Ron had to tell her to butt out.

I mean, I'm dying to repeat these experiences. If I did have any other way to get around I would. Agh.

However, yesterday I bough some proscuitto. I think I spelled it right. I love the stuff. It's low carb and so delicious and flavorful. I bought a third of a pound. I'm a little sad now that I only bought a third of a pound. I've eaten most of it already. I went to Randalls and got some interesting frozen veggies (low-carb of course). I like the sugar snap pea/water chestnut/yellow wax string bean combo. I just de-mushroom it before I heat it up. I might start saving them for some broth, maybe but I just cleaned out the freezer. Anyways, delicious veggies. I got some True Lemon and True Lime powder too. It's a very good and cheap way to make my own flavored waters.

I'm eating all the right things, taking my supplements. Ron and I hung my turquoise lace curtains today (what a circus!). Thank God I love turquoise, I don't want to change them around anytime soon. I had to rearrange all my furniture but I came up with a better floor plan for my living room area (it's only about 90 square feet). I have a turquoise chair, black loveseat (the white cat loves to sleep on it), my rocking chair, side table, and storage bench ottoman. It looks great and doesn't feel crowded.

In the midst of all this, 4 teenagers came up the driveway to the house (remember, we don't own a car so it never looks like we are home. I opened the door. "Sorry, I don't want any." The teens stammered a bit and asked to use my phone. Odd. Didn't one of them have a cell? I said OK. I shut the door and got Ron. He took the cordless out to them. He introduced himself and said he'd dial the number. They gave him a bad number. Ron offered the phone and one teen made a brief call, then hung up. They gave the phone back and left. It was about 3 in the afternoon.

I have been told that sometimes kids who rob houses will come by and ring the doorbell first. Maybe that was the case. Why so many kids together? I must have counted 4-5. We didn't let them in the house but both of us found the experience odd and disturbing. I trust Ron's instincts completely and he said they were up to no good.

I'm glad we've proven unpredictable. Any thief would die of boredom in my house anyway. This computer cost me $100 at a pawn shop and I doubt they could get the exercise bike (purchased used, at that) out the door. We have no electronics - I say all my treasures are in heaven.

All in all, it's been an ODD day. Huh. The wind's picking up. Ron was ranting about false alarm weathermen earlier. It's payback time. I hope the plant babies are OK.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

This is a symptom

Last night I had a mini-meltdown while mowing the grass. I just started sobbing over nothing while Ron was out there doing something to the mower. UGH. Sometimes I hate this disease. I had to remind myself, I am not a weak person. I have an illness. This is a symptom. You can be certain I took my extra Lithium last night.

It got even more exciting when Ron rolled the mower through the house while putting it away. I had lovely grass tracks all over my tile floor. Agh. He was helping, though, so I didn't yell at him. I just asked him to please never do that again. Nicely, even.

When I woke up, he told me he'd accidentally spilled bacon grease on the kitchen floor (he'd made us both bacon) and he "Couldn't get it all up". Thank God for my pills. I almost slipped a few times but I didn't have enough time to mop. I put my mop bucket over the worst of it so I couldn't slip again.

Now I had bacon grease and grass stains all over the tile. Time to go to work. Our ride was late and we rode around for a while, when we got to work we only had about a half hour to get everything done. It was quiet, all the machines were OK, so I helped stock some sodas. Race outside for my next ride, to Walmart and medication refills (all the pills). That ride was late, too.

Anyway, we got to Walmart and I had almost 2 hours to shop. I checked out the garden center and got some pepper transplants. I am having no joy with starting my own this year. I don't mind "cheating", so I got a few.

I had a very limited budget so I couldn't get the driver candy I wanted. But I did get some lovely carnations, only $4. I love carnations and I have resolved to buy myself a bunch every time I see some "good" ones. Why wait on someone else? I deserve something pretty to look at. I'm glad I got them. When they go to Jesus, I compost them, so they still stick around.

I found some good precooked chicken strips and some ham chunks. Add that together with some bacon, maybe a hard-boiled egg, and WHAM you've got a great salad! I had an excellent lunch. I got some more salad greens which was a good thing. The ones I had were starting to turn (compost pile again).

I saw some really cute knee-length shorts in the Misses department. It's nice to know that by the time it gets really hot, I'll be able to wear them comfortably. I can't wait to buy them.

I'm avoiding the whole dairy department. Many times, a dairy product has triggered a migraine. Yesterday, we got pizza and I just ate the topping. This morning, I woke with a headache, the variety I call "Next Time I'll Be A Migraine!" I don't need any migraines, ever, so I will stick to my calcium-magnesium-zinc supplement and avoid all dairy products.

I was pretty much done after all that so we waited and waited. Finally we got home. Time to sweep and mop. Thank God that's over. I was going to weed but I'm pretty tired. I may lie down for an hour or so and then tackle it.

Tomorrow we have to get up at 3AM to get our deliveries. Ick. Good news, we go straight home after work and it isn't a long day, just an early one.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The third element

I've noticed I'm a little too energetic lately. I've been talking more and having terrible, vivid, nightmares. If I hadn't spent this week's budget I'd probably be spending it now, too.

Thank God for lithium. I've gone up to 4 lithium a day (breakfast, lunch, and 2 for dinner) as of yesterday. In a few days I'll be back to me.

Thanks to low-carb, I don't have any side effects either. I thank God every day I have lithium (the third element on the periodic table). I can have a normal life.

The battle of the bowl - I clean a toilet

I've been fighting with the hard water stains in my toilet bowl. I couldn't bend over without dizzy spells, so it was fairly grim. It was clean, but it had the mineral stains. I can't have icky hard water stains in the bowl when Mom and Dad come to visit!

Since starting a low-carb lifestyle, the dizzy spells and other symptoms have gone away. I can finally get in there with my pumice stone and haul on those stains. A few weeks ago, I drained all the water out, applied the Clorox toilet bowl cleaner, and let it sit. Ron forgot I was cleaning the toilet and flushed it, so I wrote off that episode. The minerals were still solidly affixed.

Take 2, this morning. I woke up and I knew Ron wouldn't be up for hours. I did the same thing, drained the water, Clorox toilet bowl cleaner. A couple hours later I went after it with my pumice stone. I was able to get 90% of the minerals off. Thank God, most of it looks great now. But the back part, above the hole, is still adhered.

I hit it with more clorox (after draining), waited a couple hours, scrub scrub. No joy. So, I tried "The Works", it's a cheap toilet bowl cleaner that claims it gets off hard water stains. I'm going to give it a few hours and see. The stains are already appreciably paler, so they should flake off when I get it with my pumice stone.

Ah, the exciting life. I'm an optimist, though. I told Ron "It's nice to know it's our toilet. I may have to clean it but it's ours."

Don't worry, I'll get 'em. If nothing I have works then I'll try some CLR. Then I'll put one of those blue things in the tank to prevent more stains.

I'm glad I only have one toilet to clean.

I talk about shoes

I've had this question for a long time. It plagues me every time I see it and I always want to put it in my blog.

Why, in God's name, would a woman wear high heels to Walmart?

Yay. My furniture just arrived. Ron and I can assemble it when he gets home.

Back to the heels. I don't get it. They are painful. They ruin your feet. Why?

I like the suggestion I got from a Nigerian cab driver. He told me he could tell I was happily married. "Oh, how?" "You are wearing comfortable shoes." he replied in his beautiful accent "The women who are trying to catch a man always wear the painful shoes. The women who are happy with the man they've got wear comfortable, practical shoes."

That theory makes as much sense as anything. I thank God every day I work for a man who doesn't care that I wear sneakers to work. I have to wear a men's size 9 W to avoid pain. NO, I don't have anything weird on my feet, I just have broad feet. The women's wide shoes hurt my feet. If it hurts, I don't wear it (with one exception at an extremely formal wedding we attended, my gallant husband gave me a foot massage all the way to the reception). Lucky me! He understands.

Admittedly, he does like the click-clack of high heels but he doesn't want me to hurt myself trying to please him. When I was at Walmart yesterday (the poor pharmacy people are swamped!), I stopped by the shoe department to see if they had anything reasonable in a mens 9W sneaker.

I was thrilled to find the "Johnny" sneaker in my size, and it fits great. No pain, no constriction. It has excellent padding and arch support. It was only $10 for the pair. Then, I saw the "Silver Series" with a velcro closure. Nice and very plush, the padding feels like an ankle massage. Again, $10. Normally I spend between $20-40 for a pair of shoes (always athletic shoes), so even if these "crap out" on me in a few months I can just get a new pair. I have to wear sneakers to work so it's great to find something comfy and practical. On my off days, you'll find me in a sandal or a comfortable mule-type slip on.

The last pair I got, from Payless (the cashier was manic), only lasted about 6 months, and they cost me $25 before tax. Now, I am heavy so that was surely a factor.

But YAY! Cute, well-fitting shoes for $10 a pair! I love it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Reader Discretion advised - disgusting images

Don't eat before you read this. It's pretty awful. No, I won't give you a visual of me, naked, first thing in the morning on the scale. :)

It was funny this morning when I weighed myself. I checked the scale - 216. I was so tired I couldn't remember if that was a good thing. :rofl: I had to check my little notebook. Then I said, YAY! I'm down a pound and a half. I even lost a quarter inch off my waist and my period is due in just a few days. Amazing. I'm doing exactly what I need to be doing.

As you know by now, we ride the paratransit service. Work is somewhat near a terrible public housing project with an awful reputation. One of my pivotal images, whenever I consider cheating, is this:
The "client" of the service used a power wheelchair. She is extremely obese, at least 400 pounds or so. She is wheezing from the effort of pushing the joystick on her wheelchair. If she were standing up she would be about five feet tall. She can't close her legs because they are so bloated. She was wearing a skirt. I could almost see "her treats" and God knows I didn't want to.

Her lower legs were encased in dirty, unraveling surgical dressings. They were stained with discharge, and were peeling off as I watched. You could tell she didn't have all of her feet. I begged God not to let the bandage unravel until we got off. Thank Him, He listened.
That, to me, is the most graphic and horrifying image of what eating sugar and (bad) carbohydrates will do to you. That could be any of us. That could be someone reading this post right now.

And it was totally preventable!

This morning, on the way to work, full of my low-carb sausage patty and a strip of bacon, we made another pickup. On the paratranist service it's like a carpool. Anyway, we made another stop.

It was an extremely obese woman in a power wheelchair. Sadly, it wasn't even the same woman as the other time. She can't close her legs. Thank God this lady was not wearing a short skirt. Her lower legs are encased in (clean!) surgical dressings, gauze topped with Ace Bandages. She's going to the low-income clinic.

Not an hour later, a guy at work offered me a cheese danish. I described that woman to him and asked him if he wanted me to look like her. No, he replied, shocked.
THEN DON'T YOU EVER offer me another one again!

I've been urinating a lot today, hopefully I'm about to lose some more. I'm focusing on my health, but I like watching the numbers drop too. I bought a pair of shorts "In my size" last year, size 22W. They were really sized for a 20W and I couldn't wear them. The shorts and I had a great time today, and I plan to wear them until they're too baggy to fit.

Another good bonus is the fact that I'm losing my constant need to suckle on a soda can. I've had a very modest amount for me. When I'm thirsty, the first thing I crave is water now.

Isn't it great?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

How is it funny?

Why is it funny for postal workers, who gross about 3 times what we do combined, to grab at merchandise on my husband's cart and make "jokes" about stealing it? It must have happened at least 5 times while I was present. They found it hysterical. We didn't.

They actually SEE my husband, blind, barely able to work since his stroke, half-paralyzed on one side of his body, useless right arm, laboring away to fill the machines and they think it's OK to steal from him? One guy actually told Ron he HAD stolen something off the cart, ha ha ha. How is that funny? I robbed a blind cripple, ha ha ha. I'm going to hell for breaking the 7th commandment, too. That's even funnier.

Or they ask if we have anything free today. I say, no. We had to pay for it, sorry, so do you. The people who do get the free stuff don't ask for it. I give to them because they are good people and they don't care if it's a day or so out of code.

I don't get it. I think it is very evil and sick. Thank God I'm taking my pills or I really would have gone off on a couple of them. They seem to think we're making tens of thousands a month. We make about 2K a month between the two of us. The average employee there makes about $40-60K a year. Translated, like I said, they make between twice to three times what we do.

Onto happier subjects, I didn't gain any weight, and I lost 1/4 of an inch off my waist. That was awesome. I ate right all day, although Heather, you bad girl, didn't drink all your water yet.

I liked the oil and vinegar yesterday so much I bought 2 cruets, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. It made for an excellent salad, too. I'd been craving green chili salsa too, so I found a good one and ate that with pork rinds.

When my stomach acts up, I drink my Pepto straight from the bottle. I have unused 2 T dose cups as a result. I used it as a portion cup for the salsa and had enough salsa to flavor over 1 cup of pork rinds. It didn't mess with my blood sugar, either.

That's it for today. I want to check on my plant babies soon.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lead us not into temptation...

My parents are coming to visit. I only have one "good" chair in the living room. I decided to get a matching loveseat to go with it (the Lillberg) at IKEA. I thought, it'll be OK. Sure, I commited some awful food sins in the cafeteria but I'll be fine, they have breakfast.

My husband and I use the paratransit service, the "short bus" to get around. No big deal, right? Well, they came half an hour early (we were ready though) and we had a straight trip. That meant we got there an hour before the store opened.

I had brought drinks in my big canvas tote bag, so I just opened one. We waited and waited some more. I told my husband about the bottle vending machines IKEA has installed (I bet they make some good cash off of those bad boys). I even read him the product selection. How funny, IKEA has a Pepsi contract and we work with Dr Pepper.

By the time the store opened, I was starving. I ran upstairs. Ron needed to use the bathroom. OK. He comes out. "I don't want to stand in line, can you bring me the food?" Sure, I told him. He gave me some money and I got a tray.

I don't know how your IKEA works but ours funnels you past the desserts before you get to the "Lunch Lady". I stared, eyeball to eyeball with chocolate mousse, chocolate cake, and cheesecakes.

THANK GOD CHOCOLATE AND DAIRY GIVE ME MIGRAINES NOW! I was so hungry...
I got 2 breakfasts. Now breakfast is a good deal, $1 for about 8 ounces of scrambled eggs, 2 thin strips of crispy bacon, and about a cup and a half of potatoes. I used to love those potatoes.
I have to carry, not one, but 2 trays of the stuff to the checkout. They have cinnamon rolls and pancakes. As I approach the checkout, I see muffins and crossaints.

I made it. I got 2 drinks (diet pepsi for me, DH loves the lingonberry drink).
When I got to the table, I scraped all the potatoes (not one bite, although tempted) onto HIS PLATE. He's got carb-blockers. They work for him. He's in maintenance. I doubt even the sugary fruit drink will affect him.

I ate my eggs, bacon, and diet pepsi. I did my shopping. I bought the loveseat and arranged to have it delivered. I got other stuff and considered accessories. It's 2 hours later. I'm hungry again. I finish all my business. I'm really hungry.

I call DH "I'm going to get a hot dog or two without the bun and come get you some lunch". I'd left him in the cafeteria - he hates shopping. He looked at the loveseat, liked it, knows how to assemble it now, back to the table
.
"Don't get the hot dog, just come up. Maybe they have something you can eat." No, I told him, I'm getting the hot dogs. If I see something delicious upstairs, then I can always save the hot dog for later.

As I'm standing in line for the hot dog, I'm tormented by scents of cinnamon roll and giant images of same on the billboard right above my head. "What would you like?" asked the cashier.
"Three hot dogs with no buns, please." She was happy to do it.

When I got upstairs, I didn't see anything appropriate for me. DH wanted meatballs with brown gravy and french fries (He's stayed at 150 eating like this for years) and carb-blockers. I hit the salad bar, which was actually quite excellent. I saw endive, radiccio, and various colored lettuces in the salad mix. It was awesome, especially with a drizzle of olive oil and some red wine vinegar. I'm getting those for home, by the way. DELICIOUS.

[Big sigh] I survived! And my waist is a quarter-inch smaller today!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I'm a monster

I am a monster, a heartless tyrant undeserving of the love I've been giving. I don't know why he forgave me but he did.

Frosty the kitty likes to sleep in the laundry room. For such a small place (maybe 18 square feet), he's found several good sleepy spots. This morning I left the washer open and dirty clothes inside. I hadn't run the load yet. I do this fairly often. Once I caught Bubba-cat sleeping in the washer, with the lid open.

When I came home hours later, with my new tshirts, I shut the lid to the washer and placed the bag of tshirts on top. Hours later, I decided to wash them. I opened the door to the laundry room.

Meow

What was that, I wondered. Hm. I heard it again.

Meow

Where's Frosty? That's his meow but I don't see him. Huh. I called his name.

Meow

I looked all over and couldn't find him. The meowing seemed to be emanating from the washer. I opened it up and there he was. I'd locked the poor baby in the washer for hours! I immediately gave him a can of his favorite food and apologized profusely. He forgave me, thank God. He knew I didn't mean to do it.

But I still feel terrible.

Virtue is rewarded

I woke up a half-pound "heavier" but my waist is back down 1/4 inch. I'm happy. I was even happier when I measured under my ribcage and I'd lost 3 inches of flab. Yeah!

I'm not eating enough vegetables, so I had a salad with my breakfast. It went fine. I had a nice big breakfast, and off to work. Ron said I was "A big help" which I love to hear. We got the milk and I was busy! I wore a pedometer to work today and just at work I logged over 5,000 steps.

After work we went to the bank and I got paid! Coolness. We walked (!) to the mall and I de-carbed a Wendy's hamburger. Ron's in mainenance so he got chili with a saltine cracker crumbled up. Me, I think ew but he loves it.

I was able to resist all the sugary "treats" at the mall, and went to Footlocker. I found AWESOME 100% cotton tshirts at 5 for $20. They had turquoise! I adore turquiose. I know I misspelled it. Anyway, it made my day, cute new tshirts. It's a good reward for losing these 10 pounds, and I need some anyway.

After the mall, we went to hell. I mean, Sam's club. I had to buy candy bars. Hundreds of candy bars. Good thing I ate at the mall, huh? Ron planned it that way. While we were there, we bought Ron some Glucosamine and me a big tub of pork rinds (he was happy to buy them for me), on our dime of course. The business bought lots of candy bars. We had a great ride home.

When we got home, I walked up to the convenience store. It's about 2 miles round trip. I got 2 diet A&Ws (I'm out of cherry cola diet rites), and a big drink for the ride to IKEA tomorrow. I was glad I went. Let me check my pedometer. 10,731 steps so far, and I still need to work in my garden and check the mail.

I'm going to go do that now.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A nice Monday

I had a very productive day yesterday. I cleaned up the living room and bedroom, and rewarded myself with a nice hot bath. For the first time in years, I didn't have to worry about overheating. I felt great, relaxed only. Ahhh. I love low-carb living. Ron was thrilled. He "loves what I've done with the place". I even got together a giveaway bag with my old fat clothes to give away. I figure I can walk over to the drop box (about a mile away) and drop them off, get a diet soda, and walk home. It's a good half hour workout.

I had a nice Monday. I had to get up at 5 something, and go to work. I took a big tote bag full of books to give away. I'd made myself a good breakfast, 2 sausage patties (they are fast and I like them). I misplaced the book I was reading but I'll try to find it later. I was able to give my shrimp to the other blind vendor. I hate to throw it out but I won't be eating it again. One migraine is enough for me.

I met the new owner of our sandwich company. He's a nice guy, I like him. You can tell he takes pride in the business. When I got back I was able to help a customer find the perfect breakfast item which always makes my day. Snacks looked pretty good, I just need candy bars soon. I helped Ron a lot.

When we left, Ron told me he'd made a trip to Cracker Barrel. They have over a dozen low-carb items on the menu, makes it really easy to find a tasty meal. I got the meat and eggs, just that. Ron had a good time with his chicken fried steak and eggs. After we paid, we saw the driver waiting outside (that never happens!) so we ran out and went home. Just in time, too. It started pouring.

I brought in the plant babies and was DELIGHTED to see that my New Zealand spinach has finally sprouted! I'd planted four seeds with no germination, it seemed. I knew they liked cold temperatures to germinate so I had them outside. Apparently, it worked, because one sprouted. Yaay!

Barky doesn't bark at me anymore. I sweet-talked the dog in the rain for a few minutes, and threw him his rawhide treat over the fence. Poor thing, out in the rain. He likes me, though. Good.

All the other plants look great. The carrots are being stubborn, they won't be big enough to eat by the time Mom and Dad get here. Bummer. Well, at least we can eat all the other things.

Tonight I need to cook off the carne picada beef I bought. I'm feeling uninspired, though. I don't want the same old, same old. I'll have to figure out a way to add variety without ruining the meat or the carb count. Good luck.

I've lost a total of 10 pounds in just under 2 weeks. YAY!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Happy Saturday

Yay! I woke up, weighed, and measured. I was down to 219.5! I had to check it twice. That means, I'm down 8 pounds in less than 2 weeks. It got better. Measuring time - I'm down a quarter of an inch to 40 inches! My goal of course is a 30 inch waist and a weight around 145 pounds.

That was awesome. I ate my sausage patty, took my pills, and went to the Super Walmart. I found a cute red pepper plant that I really liked, so I got it. I chatted with a few nice people while I was there and had a good time. I got another grow light an a tray for seedlings.

Off to the food department! I took the plunge and bought the 3-pound carne picada beef. It is very thin sliced strips of beef. You saute them. It's tasty, and it had some fat onboard so I know it's "balanced" for me. My biggest problems on this food plan are getting enough fat and remembering to spread out my vegetable intake (not to mention, eating the veggies). I got some more salad mix, mayo, eggs, stuff like that. Total cost, even with the grow light, is about $50. I plan to cook off all the carne picada beef tonight and freeze most of it.

Ron is completely addicted to my tuna and egg salad. Very easy to prepare: 8 chopped hardboiled eggs, 3 (six ounce) cans oil packed tuna, drained. A dash of Mrs. Dash seasoning, and mayo to taste. He loves it! I like it but not as much as he does, and since he's willing to peel eggs I end up making a lot of it. He does a better job than me.

We went into work. Our ride was late, wonderful. We had about an hour and a half to get everything done. I got snacks done, but I need to get more candy bars. When I was at Walmart I got smart, and bought myself a couple of their sausage on a sticks. Tasty! I wasn't hungry until it was about lithium time. I ate half, took the Lithium. I didn't get fatigued like I normally do and was able to skip the nap.

When we got home, I rearranged the living room/den area. It serves the function that a Great Hall did in the old days. It's not a bedroom, not a kitchen or bathroom, it's the main common area in the house, where you entertain (when Mom and Dad come to visit in 2 weeks). We don't usually entertain. Anyway, I moved "my" chair and ensured I still have a good view of the TV. Got rid of some clutter/junk, finally trotted out that rug and the anti-skid pad, and measured. I'll be getting a "Lillberg" sofa from IKEA sometime this week, well, actually a loveseat. I'll get the black covers so everything matches (I have the Lillberg rocking chair). I have turquoise accents and lots of natural solid wood. It'll look great. I just need to "do something" regarding curtains but like I told Ron "I'm not afraid to get on a ladder now". Before low carb, the side effects would have kept me firmly on the ground.

I love this way of eating just for that. I'm not super hungry right now, but I "can" eat in about an hour (just in time for Lithium #3). Tomorrow I stay home, and probably try to organize more. I know I have more turquoise lace curtains hiding somewhere. I just need to find them. And the hot pink curtains I have over the front window clash with the orange paint on the house.

Off I go to correct my weight in Fitday.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Yes? No? Or wait?

Today, my "Day Off" was supposed to be relaxing. I'd just get that Metrolift business out of the way first and then...

I woke up at 4 AM, to be told by Ron they'd rescheduled my trip. My new pickup was 7:30. I went back to sleep until 6 or so, but I had nightmares about broken scales and such. Not enough to make me think I have to go up on my pills, but enough to let me know my nerves were showing.

I got up and packed a snack. I ended up eating a sausage patty, 1.5 scrambled eggs, and a hamburger patty. That held me for hours. I also drank an insane amount of diet soda. I got picked up and we rode around for an hour, picking up other people. When we got there, it was "hurry up and wait". It was freezing outside, but luckily we didn't have to wait outside. It just added to the whole experience. I had to hand over my ID card, which the paranoid part of me didn't like. I was told I'd get it back during my interview. We were taken from one room into another, and had a lecture/Q&A session. That lasted an hour. THEN the interview. She asked me some questions, realized I'm married to Mr. B, and confirmed it. I did, telling her "Don't hold it against me!" with a grin. She was very nice, and she remembered Ron fondly.

We were all done. I should look for something in the mail. Am I in? No, she doesn't decide that. I have to wait ANOTHER week or so to find out. AGGGGH.

I had to wait outside a little bit (but I brought my Hot Hands) before I got my ride home. I never needed to get into my snacks although I drank a whole liter of Diet Dr Pepper. Again, same people on board, ride around for an hour. By the time I got home, I was exhausted. I ate (wasn't hungry but it was lithium time) and had a great nap with Bubba-cat, who was already stretched in the bed.

I just woke up. Ron's taking his nap. He went to work while I had all my fun downtown. I understand why they do the process this way; one of the women I rode with is already completely disgusted with the service and planning on taking the bus instead. If they made it too easy, they'd go bankrupt.

It would have been nice to hear "Yes" or "No" today, though. I'm reminding myself to give it to God. I will.

Later on, I'm going to plant some more lettuce and "Beet-leaf chard". I'm sure glad I covered everyone outside last night, it was miserably cold all day long. I peeked when I got home and they all looked OK though.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Feels like 34

I didn't cover my plants earlier because I wanted them to get a good drink and all the "sun" they could get. I took a nap when I got home. When I woke up, it was cold, too cold for "The Babies". Now, almost anything can get categorized as one of my "babies" but for now it's plants.

It's pouring rain. It's windy. It feels like 34 degrees. That's not counting the extra chill when I'm soaked from the freezing rain because I need both hands free to cover the babies.

I went outside and covered everyone. I'm going to keep my frost covers dry from now on - they're impossible to use wet. I covered one tomato plant thus: A large 55 gallon heavy duty "contractor" bag over the tomato cage, then an old coat over the plastic bag. Other plants were covered with fleece blankets, old pots, and buckets. I got thoroughly drenched but all the babies are nice and snug.

Remember when I said I wouldn't plant the 6-packs and herbs I bought because of the impending bad weather? Well, a couple years ago I bought restaurant type plastic trays, the kind you get at a fast food place. I put all the potted babies on that and brought it in. It's a bit crowded but everyone's happy.

I told the plants "I'd only do this for you." I mean it. Now it's dark out, my winter coat's in the dryer, all the babies are snug, and I'm not afraid of the forecast low.

It's going to be fun getting ready for Metrolift tomorrow. Brrrr. Thank God I still have some Hot Hands left.

Metrolift tomorrow

Well, I was up a pound and a half this morning. Not encouraging. My waist size is the same, though. I didn't drink 64 ounces of plain water, 2/3 of it was flavored no-calorie water. Maybe that was a factor. I've noticed, though, that my weight seems to spike right before I lose. I wonder what I'll be tomorrow.

I packed my food to bring to work today. I didn't even eat it all, yay. About the only thing I felt I did badly was the fat. As I was eating my lunch at Papas BBQ, (I got a chef salad), I realized my meal had hardly any fat. I didn't trust their salad dressing so I brought my own. The smoked turkey, while delicious, was lean. No cheese because of my migraines. Just meat and chopped romaine and iceberg lettuce. Yum, yum (sarcasm). I've been ruined by my Earthbound Farms Organic baby lettuce mix. It's so savory. This reminded me of eating foam peanuts. I only ate a cup.

When I got home, I took a half hour walk. I've got my Metrolift interview tomorrow morning. I don't have any bottled diet sodas! Aaach! So, I walked to the conveinience store and got some, walked back. It's a nice half hour workout, and I'm drinking some delicious diet root beer.

When I got home from that, I checked on my plants. Almost all of my beans are up, including the old seed I planted. Yay. I have a carrot seedling or two, I see it as the carrots cultivate patience. I got my seed from Frank Morton! Yay! Now I can grow Devil's Tongue Lettuce and Merlot leaf lettuce, along with my "Beet Leafed Chard". I plan to plant those as soon as my peat pots are ready.

The tomatoes look great too. I just need to cover everyone who's frost-sensitive because it's getting down to 34 tonight. Brrr. Luckily I found that old bedspread in the garage. That's the nice thing about the collards, they aren't frost-tender. They just keep on growing. By the way, interesting note: The collards I planted in the "tilled" beds are not doing 1/3 as well as the collards that went into the "untilled" layer beds. I just layered the soil amendments on top of that soil. The plants seem to love it. I'm just sorry I dug up bed 2. I don't think I did the plants a favor.

I'm trying to be kind to the neighbor's dog. I feed him treats (rawhides) when I'm out in the yard, if he's a good quiet boy. He didn't even peep until I started baby-talking him today, then it was a short yelp. We can't see each other but I think he knows I'm good for treats. He got his treat. Like Ron says, he's got our back. NO ONE is coming over the back fence.

I decided to give my basil seedlings to someone at work. I'd rather plant more leafy greens at this point and time, and I can always start more. I found at least 200 more Jiffy Pellets in the garage the other night, so I don't even need to worry about them.

Oh, and I found out why certain of my lettuce seedlings were faring poorly. BUBBA is sitting on them. Bad kitty. He's got a big butt, too. I need to insert more popsicle sticks in the soil, I'm sure glad I bought another couple hundred at that dollar store. I just love my popsicle sticks.

I figure this batch of lettuce seedlings I plan to start will be the last. Summer is brutal here, and the lettuce bolts. All the ones I plan to start are heat resistant, somewhat, but I'm counting on my Malabar spinach and such to hold me through the worst of summer.

Off to get my nap. I have to get up between 4 and 5 am.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Knothole

I bought some purple petunias today at Walmart. I'm not glad I lost my antipsychotic, but I was glad I went in today. I got some good driver candy, once I got over the fact that Walmart was out of the big bags of the little plain Hershey bars! Those are the FIRST thing that the drivers go for when I give them their candy! I got an extra bag of the Farley chocolate mix, 2 of those ought to substitute for the Hershey bar.

I also got a big bag of individually wrapped Lifesavers. Those used to be a big hit when I worked in an office. I'd keep them in a bowl on my desk; people loved them. So, that's a good thing. More of the snickers, milky ways and such too. I had them all down on my list.

Boy, the cashiers love the candy. I'm so glad I started giving it to them too. I may have 2 transactions, other than that I'm pretty easygoing (if they don't mind my chatter). I like to think I'm making everyone's day better.

They even had my meat on sale, the frozen hamburger patties. Those are so easy and delicious. By this time, I was getting a little hungry so I bought 2 sausage on a sticks. One for me, one for Ron. He sure loved his. I didn't think I could eat the whole thing, but pretty soon I had.

After we got home I got a mild headache and decided to take a nap. I felt kind of run-down. But hey, I've lost 7 pounds so far. I'd bought a monster bunch of turnip greens. I have 2 seedlings I'm going to be planting out. I wanted to make sure I like them before I started more. They're good, but not oh-I-must-start-more delicious. They taste like a cooked green.

I was able to take a good nap today. I noticed yesterday that we've a knothole in the fence we share with "Barky". I realized he was getting wild over things he saw in OUR yard. Ron was about to throw out a nice-sized piece of plywood so I used it to cover the knothole. The dog's been a lot quieter since.

We're going to have some miserable weather for the next couple nights, so I'm not planting my petunias just yet (or the marigolds or the chives). I'll keep them in their pots and bring them in nights, then put them out during the day. According to weather.com, it should be much more favorable weather next week.

I'll be glad when I get over this run-down feeling (low-carbers call it "Induction Flu"). Tomorrow should be fun, we're going to a good BBQ place. They have good chef's salads with lots of meat. Yum. Then I'm going to the "Nice" grocery store to maybe get some more veggies and organic salad dressing.

Off I go to water my carrots.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I woke up 2 pounds heavier, but no migraine. I figure I'm retaining water because I know I didn't get enough water yesterday. My bicycling muscles were a little sore (I did 20 minutes of intervals the night before the migraine) so maybe they're a factor too.

When I measured my waist, it was half an inch smaller! Yeeeha! I'm still not quite a comfortable Walmart 20W but it's close. I was able to wear the jeans all day and not think "Oh, God, I'm being strangled" like I did not even two weeks ago.

So I'm down at least 5 pounds, we'll call it, and 1.75 inches thinner in my waist. That's good. I felt very wise today because I ate 2 sausage patties for breakfast and brought snacks - a cooked hamburger patty and 1 cup of my cooked pork strips. Yummy. When I got hungry, I ate them. My hunger was well controlled and I decided "I could eat" at Walmart (more on that). I got a plain double hamburger and threw the bun to the grackles in the parking lot (grackles are little black birds). The grackles had a good time and so did I. It turned out to be a good thing, we rode around for over an hour before we got dropped off. Hey, I can't complain, it's the next thing to a free ride. I found it very interesting that after I ate all the food in the morning, the afternoon and evening were hunger-free. I had to eat just now to take my lithium, and I was getting hungry. I try not to eat late at night now. I had a good salad with chopped red bell pepper and a tasty fried hamburger patty. "They" do say to get all your food in the morning. Yum.

Last night I started freaking out. Why? Because I lost my Risperdal refil. I even checked the trash can outside, it's not there. God only knows what happened to it. I tore up the house. Ron was very kind about it and that's where the Walmart trip came from, except the pharmacy was so backed up they couldn't fill it. I'll be OK tonight but I plan not to make a habit of this. It's the first time, ever, I've lost my pills. I was really impressed at how nice Ron was about the whole thing.

I figured out how to keep a disaster from happening again - keep the refills in the medicine cabinet until I'm ready to move them to my table. The table works for the current pills. I also plan to bring more cooked veggies with me when I'm out. I don't like eating them all at once. Well, I don't mind eating them all at once but they could spike my blood sugar. God knows I don't want that.

My side effects from the "cocktail" of mood stabilizers and company are all still gone. It's so nice to pick up something I've dropped on the floor without a horrible "head rush". The grogginess is pretty much gone too. I just hope I'm not too sharp for my Metrolift interview on Friday.

I'm going to go work on cleaning out the garage. I keep my weights in there and I'd like to get at them easily.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Another pound, another migraine

Yeah. I woke up a pound lighter, at 222 (my God, I typed it out loud), but with a migraine! UUUUUUGGH. I managed to medicate myself with some coated asprin, antidepressant, (couldn't take the lithium because I have to take it with food and I was queasy), ginger root capsules, and Head on! I love that stuff. It made me barely functional.

Our sandwich guy was fired for insolence (I'm not surprised), so we had someone "new" coming. Who? I probably needed to wave him in to the proper driveway. Plus we had donuts coming in too. Our sandwich delivery person turned out to be the owner of the company, a very nice asian lady with an atrocious accent. She wanted to put in her side of the story, I listened, but nodding was KILLING my poor head. I'm going to give some unidentified basil starts to Zelda at work, I was able to talk to her too. I don't see a major pressing need for basil right now in my garden, and I've got plenty of seed (that I can identify properly) if I change my mind.

I hate it when I start seeds and forget who's where. My Malabar spinach is easy, they're very distinct seedlings, even the "seed leaves". Lettuce, too. It's pretty indentifiable, I just figured out I have more romaines than I thought I did. Yay. And my red-veined sorrel sprouted today, too. My "Cream of the Crop" squash seeds came today from Jung. I'd about given up on them. I started a Jiffy strip soaking so I can start more lettuce tomorrow.

So what about the migraine? I took a 2 quart pitcher with me (just in case I vomited). I managed to be mildly useful today, and half an hour before our ride was due, I inserted my phenergan suppository. The Phenergan are amazingly wonderful for me, they help take the pain and nausea away, making it easy for me to sleep off the headache. I love the stuff.

It's a good thing I used it. Our driver played "I can't find you" driving back and forth as I waved at her, then excuses about "The computer said it was an apartment complex" (no the computer had the correct instructions). She couldn't even pronounce one of the street names. So, I had my test. This woman's delayed my curling up in bed by half an hour. I have a bag of driver candy. I suspect she was playing games, or God forbid, that stupid. What do I do? I gave her the candy. We got a quick ride home at least.

I covered up all my plants before I took my nap, and I'm glad I did. I got everyone, marigolds, lettuce, and tomatoes. I brought all the potted things I haven't planted (waiting on the cold fronts to move through) yet into the house, and they all look happy, even in the 30 mph winds. I managed to eat a little (half an omlette from yesterday) and take 2 lithium so I won't freak out.

Then I curled up with my ice bag. When I woke up, I was actually hungry. That's a huge deal. I ate a hamburger patty and some cooked mustard greens with butter. "I could eat" about now, and it's about time for Lithium #3. Gotta keep the brain happy.

I am so thrilled that my mood stabilizers are not screwing with my weight loss! I'd heard horror stories, but I can't go off my pills. I would die. But if I stay fat, I'll die. Horribly. God has blessed me, I'm laying this right at His door.

Down 5.5 pounds in 6 days. Taking mood stabilizers, antipsychotic, and an antidepressant? Amazing. Thank you, Jesus.

I can deal with the migraines, I figure it's just withdrawal from the crap and/or detox from all the toxins stored in the now-shrunken fat cells.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Cardinals in the red-tips

I've got cardinals in my red-tips. I have large red-tip photinas next to the house. I've allowed them to grow and keep a natural form, while maintaining the pathway to the side yard. They're nice and dense (but no space for muggers, etc. to hide in them) so the birds love them. I've got a blue jay, a couple of ring-neck morning doves, a flock of sparrows, and the cardinals. They all visit on occasion (they like to look in on me while I'm posting or internetting), but it's been all cardinals, all the time the last few days. I find them adorable. They're a cute couple and smart enough to stay away from the cats. I'm sure the love the organic bugs in my yard, too.

I did an inventory today and two marigolds were "total losses" black to the roots. I pulled them up and put them in the compost pile. When I was at Walmart this morning I was assaulted by marigolds, they just kept jumping in my cart (I got a six pack each of "Bolero" and another orange "Safari"). Poor Heather. Since I like eating parsley (I chop it and put it in my salad), I decided to get a pot of it. I like the jiffy pots, I can just rip off the sides, compost them, and plant the works. I just got the eyeball from Mrs. Cardinal. She's cute. Parsley takes FOREVER to sprout. I tried once, I got it to germinate, but it took weeks. I'm all for instant gratification impulse gardening purchases on occasion so I went ahead and got it and a chives (chives are great, and very low carb), in addition to the marigolds.

Speaking of lowcarb, I got more eating vegetables today than I normally do. I went with a head of the purple cabbage (organic), and nice red pepper (not organic, but I washed it well). That's in addition to the chopped frozen broccoli, chopped frozen mustard greens, zuccini (sp), and fresh organic mixed baby salad greens I already had in the fridge. That's a lot more than usual for me!

I made a great garden omlette with 1/4 c each of the chopped cabbage (it turns green in cooking, or at least mine did), red pepper, and broccoli. It was very good. My appetite is getting tamed somewhat, I'm not so ravenous all the time. I guess I needed more protein in my diet.

I tried to eat a little mozzarella cheese yesterday and I woke up with a terrible headache today. I won't do that again! It was disappointing to me to see that all the hams were loaded with sugar. It was like: pork, dextrose... aw, man. I'm getting away from sugar, make it easy for me! But the food processors don't want to loosen their grip on my wallet, so I have to cook my own food from fresh. I am SO glad I've already started a veggie garden.

Oh, my beans are sprouting, even the 3 year old seed. I'm glad I gave them a try. Green (or purple) beans are very low carb and delicious. I'm trying to eat/grow various colors of vegetables, because the arguments about their cancer-fighting properties just makes sense. I also love eating brightly colored food. The only downside is the fact that I'll have to focus on covering my lettuce, tomatoes, beans, and marigolds tomorrow because we've got another cold snap coming. I think my carrot seedlings will be OK. I know the root crops are pretty frost-hardy. I just need to start some more lettuce to make up for the ones that didn't make it, but I'd like to wait until my seed comes from Frank Morton. I'd love to grow some vivid purple, heat-resistant lettuce. The red romaine didn't do so well in the cold, either, so I've got to do more of it also.

We're definitely getting some wild weather tomorrow. It's going to be exciting getting my deliveries and meeting the "new guy" on the sandwich route. Ron and I are keeping the trips to a minimum.

That's it for now!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

"Lillberg"

I just finished watching the movie "Pitch Black" for probably the 6th time. I love the movie, it's probably my "most favorite". It's got everything, a good plot, excellent characters, good themes. I hate to write about it for fear I'll "ruin" it, it's that good. I explained a little about the movie to my Dad tonight, I think I did a good job of illustrating the movie without ruining it. It's my perfect movie.

A little voice in my head says "If you like the movie so much, you should sent an email to the writers and director". I may just do that. At any rate, I'm always thrilled to see it in my program guide on the Sci-fi channel. When I get a DVD player, I'll buy the DVD.

I noticed today that my side effects aren't as bad as they were before I started Atkins. It's very nice to see. I'd almost do it just to reduce my side effects. I can bend over and change position suddenly without feeling like I'm about to black out. No stomach pains, and I'm way less groggy, too.

I brought a little insulated "lunch pail" with me to work and ate everything I brought. Tomorrow, we're going to Walmart so I won't pack anything. I want to get some more meat. Yum, yum.

I cleaned up the living room some in preparation for Mom and Dad's visit. I'm about ready to go buy a couch. I plan to get a "Lillberg" from IKEA. I have the Lillberg rocking chair and I love it, so I know the couch'll be a winner too. I especially like the design on the cushions, there's minimal area for the cats to scratch, and the covers are inexpensive, washable, and replacable. Lots of solid natural wood, in birch even. What's not to love?

I'm just happy with everything today. Ha Ha. That's a good thing. I took all my pills today so it's "for real". 2 of my Malabar Spinach sprouted, and I'm still waiting on my New Zealand spinach. They'll be great when the hot weather hits and all the lettuce is bolting.

I don't have much "organizing and cleaning" type stuff to do before Mom and Dad visit, just: Clean up side yard, clean up living room, tame "the pile" in my bedroom, and hang some curtains. Not bad for a month's work. At least I know I can get up on a stepladder now without the dizzy spells, long may they stay away.

I got all my stocking done at work and took out two dumpster loads. I only had one postal worker try to tell me how to do my job. They don't seem to grasp I have one boss, Ron, my husband.

Ron had a hell trip from Metrolift coming home from Starbucks. They rode him around so long, in a vehicle with bad shocks, that he got violently carsick, by the side of the road. Poor baby. He's sleeping it off.

I noticed that I've lost about 8 marigolds total from the frost we had, and another couple lettuce transplants. It's sad, but I can grow more. I just need to keep better track of who's who. I got my pepper tray turned around, and God only knows which is the jalapeno and who's the frying pepper. Won't I have fun finding out? I'm a spice wimp!

Off I go to input my "eatings" into Fitday. Have a good one!

"The perfect combination"

I didn't sleep well last night.  The Claratin was alive and well in my system.  It will probably come as no surprise to you that I would...