Wednesday, January 28, 2015

a confession

Don't get excited -- it's nothing shocking -- it's just that i don't enjoy 90% chocolate!  :-)  Anything over 72% tastes like bitter fat to me -- not chocolate.  To be honest, my favorite is the sugar-free Valor bar with cocoa nibs.  But 90% was the only thing in the house, so i stuck it in my bag and am having it for "afters" with a cup of decaf.

I'm on the road again -- stopped for the night in Muskogee, OK on my way to Texas (got a late start). After having a higher-carb day yesterday, i'm happy to be showing a "small" reading on the ketone strips.  ...Or maybe the carb-counts from MyFitnessPal were unreasonably high?  When I tallied up all the vegetables in the veal scaloppine (served over spaghetti squash) it came out shockingly high.

One of the interesting points of view that came out on the Low Carb Cruise last year was from Eric Westman --- he doesn't believe in subtracting fiber to get "net carbs."  He thinks we should count them all, and i tend to agree.  When you hear authorities claim that "non-starchy vegetable carbs don't count" you open the door to people eating TONS of squash or turnips or other such things, not losing weight, and then saying LC doesn't work.  LC DOES work -- but it's possible to do it wrong.

LC can be done wrong.  ;-)

LC with LOTS of ground almond baked goods is highly questionable.

LC with lots of non-starchy vegetables is not zero-carb, no matter what the Jaminets think.

LC with too much alcohol means you're using another fuel, not the fat and ketones you want to be using.

People can eat so much vegetation, it's no longer LC.  Yesterday i did just that.  Today I had a little coconut, a little onion, a little capers and pickles, and a little lettuce (with my chicken, ground beef, mayo and cheese).  This morning the keto-strip was no-trace, and this evening i'm back where i should be.

It's been a good day, despite finishing it with the "wrong" chocolate.  ;-)

Monday, January 26, 2015

eat WHEN?

A blogger whom i actually LIKE has recently been twittering incessantly about how breakfast-skippers are more likely to weigh more.  ...He's getting dangerously near the intolerable quality that keeps me from enjoying Authority Nutrition*!

Some people with weight problems actually have to rein themselves in dramatically to NOT eat, when they feel real hunger at inappropriate times.  At the end of a good long sleep, when their bodies have effortlessly slipped into fat-burning mode and they're gliding happily along on their own stored energy SOME YOYOS WANT THEM TO BRING IT TO A SCREECHING HALT BY EATING BREAKFAST.

THIS!  This is a perfect example of why i get so flaming mad at pseudo-scientific epidemiologically-based dietary recommendations.

People who have a difficult time NOT constantly eating are being told to eat when they're not hungry, because a bunch of skinny people from the 1970s always ate breakfast.  Oh yeah -- makes perfect sense.

Epidemiological studies mean absolutely bupkis unless the subjects share significant similarities with you and your lifestyle.  The college boys who most eagerly sign up for studies (to earn extra beer money their parents won't spring for) have NOTHING in common with any of the overweight people i know.  ...Oh, except for the beer-habits of some of them -- but then those people aren't really trying to lose their paunches.

It would be far more constructive for the breakfast-pushers to observe that eating FREQUENCY is far more significant than eating QUANTITY -- check out this little nugget:  Meal number is a purely cultural phenomenon.  Grazing is a stupid technique for health maintenance.  Snacking is moronic -- especially in a carb-based plan, because of the ceaseless hyper-insulinism and -glycemia.

Individuals differ, but it is in NOBODY'S best interest to constantly add to the stomach's contents.  Its design clearly shows that it works best when a "deposit" of food is delivered, and it is allowed to do a complete job of predigestion before releasing its contents to the rest of the system, giving it a rest, and then repeating the process.

Scarfing breakfast is an artifact of a purely artifical post-neolithic work schedule.  Fuel yourself before you go to the office, school, factory or field, because you won't have an opportunity to actually eat when you become hungry -- you'll have to wait till the bell rings, like Pavlov's dogs.  "People who skip breakfast eat more later" -- well OF COURSE.  The problem is not THAT they eat, it's what and when.  When the nutritionally-ignorant get hungry at 10 AM, they'll grab a pastry or candy bar instead of real food, and then eat again too soon when the lunch-whistle sounds.  When the savvy breakfast-abstainer does, s/he will get a handful of nuts, cheese, or a boiled egg if anything, skip lunch, and repeat the mini-meal later.  Big difference.

Me, i've only rarely been hungry upon awakening -- nausea attends any thought of eating!  And why should i eat?  I have ten pounds i could EASILY live on if i were thrust into a situation in which eating became problematic, like illness or emergency.  If things got really bad, i could spare thirty before my health would significant be impacted.  WHY should i worry about having a meal, when my body is happily running on storage?  The more stored energy i burn, the more metabolic flexibility i promote.

Bill should know better.
* truth be told, the VERY NAME puts me off, let alone his writing style.  ...and the ADVERTISEMENTS on both these guys' blogs.  :-P

Saturday, January 24, 2015

worst thing about restaurant food

We tried a new place last night before going to the theatre, and enjoyed it immensely.  We started with a shared appetizer, "pork three ways" which included some Italian-style smoked jowl, a rillette, and a terrine.  Both of us tried a different cocktail, which were beautifully crafted; i then went on to a nice pinot noir while J tried a different drink -- also delicious (we shamelessly sample each other's choices...).  As entree, he got steak au poivre and i opted for the rack-of-lamb special.  They were both very tasty -- good-sized servings of quality meat -- and as usual i didn't relinquish my plate till the bones were gnawed clean.  Then we had dessert, a banana pudding for him, and chocolate cake for me; for some impossible-to-understand reason, this restaurant did NOT OFFER COFFEE!  How weird.

Yes, i was "bad."  It was an allowed indulgence, planned-for in every respect (including pre- and post-fasting), but i was surprised at myself for inhaling it the way i did.  True, it WAS probably the best chocolate cake i've ever tasted, but why was it that compelling?

FAT.  The only significantly fatty food in our meal was in the smallish appetizer.  The lamb was too well trimmed for my taste, and J's ribeye seemed to have very little of the signature fat-pocket.

If we don't get enough fat in our meals, we have a biological drive to satisfy our needs with SOMETHING (also, in the wake of my head-cold-induced anorexia, my appetite has come back).  For those who haven't got the memo about fat vs. carb, ... a huge proportion of people in the food business are going to try to fill you up with the latter.

This is not the first time i've noticed the phenomenon.  Even fine restaurants frequently go too low-fat, because that's what they think their patrons expect.  "Scrappy" meat with too much fat left on???  Some customers will think they're being cheated.

We'll know what to do next time -- because the food was so good it deserves more visits.  We'll go there when we'll be returning home right after, so we can have our beloved after-dinner coffee!  :-)  We'll ask for the fattiest cut the kitchen has, when we place our order.  We'll probably also order the appetizer cheese-plate in lieu of dessert.  Once one knows the characteristics of eating-places, it's easier to maneuver in the territory.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

the "why" dictates details

Exactly WHY each of us discovers the need to limit carbohydrates in our diets dictates the WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and HOW....

Treating all low-carbers as a single demographic oversimplifies diet, and it's oversimplification which is the "enemy" in diet as in so many other things.

Most low-carbers are probably in it for the weight-control, but there are VERY many other kinds.  Diabetics reduce their blood-sugar and glycation issues through smoothing out the glucose roller-coaster and minimizing side-effect-laden pharmaceuticals.  People with neurological issues, from Alzheimers to migraines to excitotoxicity to epilepsy, find amelioration with ketogenic-level carb restriction.  Even high-level endurance athletes court a ketone- or FFA-based metabolism to improve their games.

I, a thyroid-borderline case with histamine issues, find LC very helpful to keep my system running smoothly, as well as using the paleo/ancestral version of LCHF to avoid problematic plant-based foods, and promote healthy aging.  I'll be a [GASP] sexagenarian in less than half a year!!!  ;-)

So what we should optimally EAT depends precisely on why we're "here."  Do you primarily need to lose weight?  Do you need to lower fasting blood-sugar or insulin?  Do you have an autoimmune problem?  Do you need your brain to run on ketones more than on glucose?  Do you need to eliminate gluten and simultaneously pursue a controlled-carb weight-control diet?  Do you have children whom you'd like to get off to the best possible nutritional start in life?  WHAT?

Define your problem, if you haven't determined your perfect diet already.  Find a similar person who writes online, with a similar problem.  Start with what works for them, and refine it to meet your own specific requirements.

Once you define what makes you feel GREAT and conversely, what makes you feel like hell, it's significantly easier to ADHERE to your ideal diet.  I tell ya, if my knee didn't give me problems when i eat whole grains, or if my gut didn't bloat with the wrong vegetation in it, or if my energy didn't tank when i indulge in certain foods, it would be MUCH harder to avoid an obesigenic diet!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

there's also such a thing as too little food

A certain well-known book advocates about 1200 calories per day as an appropriate amount for a woman, and about 1500 for men.  I consider this advice INSANE.  No wonder people get eating disorders, trying to follow advice like this, INEVITABLY failing (because it's grossly inadequate) and then blaming themselves for the failure.

In the infamous "starvation experiment" Keys fed his conscientious-objectors more calories than suggested above, comprised of "real food" which was available to the poor and to famine-victims in wartime Europe.  He made them hike, too -- not heavy workouts, but far from sedentary.  After a little time passed, his victims became neurotic, then psychotic.

Starvation kills ... long before one dies of starvation.  AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT MAINSTREAM DIETARY ADVICE REPLICATES.

Bodies do not function WELL on reduced-calorie diets.  Their little reptilian-brain control systems think there's something wrong, and they make a host of little adjustments for the sake of survival, which effectively reduce our quality of life.

We can accustom ourselves to functioning like that, but it totally sucks.  We get fatigued and stressed, our organs don't work optimally, and to combat the misery we compromise on techniques which help us to cope -- sugar, alcohol, tobacco, hedonic drugs, other kinds of "thrills."  We end up with "first world problems" which our distant ancestors would have laughed at.

This is one of the benefits of being on a low-carb, real-food regimen -- eating enough minimally-fattening foods to satisfy our appetites, we tend to be able to ingest enough energy so that our bodies DON'T think we're in danger of starving.  They DON'T perceive they're being operated on low-quality fodder which fill the belly without FULfilling nutritional requirements.

If we ARE running on a low-fuel light for a long time, we have to train ourselves to be able to ingest more -- if we jump right in, we'll only gain weight!  I'll always remember reading about those studies which had people on ultra-low-calorie diets for extended periods of time, and when the subjects added just a couple of hundred more calories per day they actually stored it as fat.  :-(  Because they trained their bodies to get along with less, nine hundred calories became a weight-gain diet.

That sort of thing is why i rant against MERE calorie-restriction as a weight-loss tool.  It IS possible to screw up your metabolism so badly that long rehabilitation is the only way back to health.  It's also why i get so angry and disgusted with naturally-thin people who accuse the overweight of lying about their diet-and-exercise reports -- OF COURSE it's easy to underestimate in food-records, but it's also easy to "do everything right" and still show no progress ... when the advice was wrong to begin with.

I have a sneaking suspicion that all the low-meat dietary advice a strong driver of constant hunger.  Wooo-like people excepted (who have physical issues with a too-high meat consumption), following advice for bare-minimum protein intake can leave some feeling ravenous.  If i, as the example i know best, don't get enough meat it doesn't matter how much of other macronutrients i ingest.  I. NEED. NATURAL. ANIMAL. PROTEIN.  No compromise possible.

We should all stop following other people's rules of what we should eat (and how much), and do a careful experiment on ourselves.  Only this provides a reliable set of instructions for our personal body-owner's manual.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

and apropos being nutrient-replete....

Here's a potential tweak for those who would like the damp their appetites -- take your "evening" vitamins an hour before dinner.

I've begun experimenting with this lately (when I remember).  You see, our usual dinner hour is 7:00, and sometimes my digestion hasn't progressed as far as i'd like when I starting thinking about bedtime.  Drinking my vitamin when my stomach is still processing dinner is, I think, less optimal than doing it on an empty stomach.  Ergo, i'm trying to do it earlier.

Last night, I really noticed that I wasn't interested in putting as much food on my plate as I frequently am.  Dinner was corned beef and cabbage, something I really enjoy.  I just felt i'd be satisfied with less than usual ... and I was.

I really do think that it's the nutrient pre-load that caused me to want less food for my evening meal.  All my life I really haven't been inclined to jump out of bed in the morning and eat something, so having my morning vitamin with nothing but coffee on my stomach has seemed appropriate, and doesn't seem to cause me to delay fast-breaking any more than usual.  Now, having my PM shot of vitamins and minerals before dinner, I perceive a reduced desire for alimentary intake. 

Just like having a shot of gelatin or collagen hydrolysate with my first cup of coffee in the morning makes me feel like I need less protein in my diet for the rest of the day, taking my vitamins when they have their best chance of being absorbed seems to reduce my other nutrient needs. 

This agrees with my long-held opinion that an insatiable appetite is based, at least in part, on inadequate nutrition.  I'm going to keep taking my Nutreince BEFORE my morning and evening meals -- it just seems right.

Friday, January 16, 2015


Didn't i tell you i'd find KindleUnlimited dangerous?   ;-)  I expect i'll continue my membership past the free trial.

Learning that Gwen's fave, "The End of Overeating" was on the free list, i checked it out after i finished Dr. Feinman's book, "The World Turned Upside Down" (which i gave four stars -- some of his chapters just seemed like casual blog-posts, of lesser quality than others).

One thing i have to say -- i think we'll only "get out of this mess" if people can be educated to understand that TREATS ARE NOT FOOD.

Treats are food-like substances (FLSs) which can be eaten, but which are not truly nourishing.  Oh, you can live on them -- for awhile -- but they do not fulfill the function of true food in the body.  They do not provide all essential fats, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and whatever else is in food which science has not properly studied (and thus we don't really know about yet), in forms which are readily absorbed and assimilated.

The author seemed to be trying to describe FLSs in such a way that he'd cause his readers to crave the junk.  He dwelt on the qualities of his subjects like a right-wing-nutjob Pharisee describing pornography!  The longing and cultivated horror were absolutely palpable.

I was unmoved -- and why?  Because i know that my body does not consider them FOOD.  When i crave a comestible, it's usually a rare (even raw) piece of red meat, or it's liver, or raw oysters.  I occasionally have irresistible urges for hot drinks, which can be "innocently" satisfied by coffee or tea.

I believe that we can only break the spell of FLSs if we are nutrient-replete, and have convinced our subconscious minds that although we can consume them, they are not true foods.  They are treats, and their hyperpalatability DEFINES them as things that should not be considered "part of this nutritious breakfast" ... or any other meal.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

ARE we eating more?

Every time I see statistics about how much more food we're eating now than we used to, my skepto-meter alarms.

I know there's some kind of calculation for "waste" but I wonder if it's realistic.  Have you ever observed how much food goes back to the kitchen at restaurants?  At some places, serving sizes are so outrageously large that even if people take doggie-bags home there's a lot of refuse.  The breads and chips automatically placed on the table but not eaten or taken; the half-eaten salads which mediocre kitchens and servers bring in an untimely fashion; oversized cloying desserts ordered and only pecked-at....

Many people take home carry-out boxes with their leftovers only to forget them in the car and throw them away when discovered.  I've observed an awful lot of carefully-wrapped-up tidbits which didn't seem nearly so appetizing the next day ... and so are discarded.  SO many on-the-road meals twice as big as they should have been, but the remainders left behind because of the impossibility of using them.  Kid-servings three times as big as their little stomachs can handle, and not really worth saving.

Then there's at-home eating!  How many of you throw away "past use-by date" items without even looking to see if they're still good?  I'm CONSTANTLY astonished when an electrical outage causes people to throw away frozen things which haven't even completely thawed!  What do those people use for brains?  Does it never occur to them to go ahead and cook those foods, then re-freeze???

An awful lot of food goes to waste after a living-history weekend.  Some of us make an effort to take away perishables before they spoil, but I don't know how many gallons of milk, dozens of eggs, partial packages of cheese and sliced meats, juice, and other leftovers are thrown out.  I'll bet there are lots of similar situations every day in the catering and private-club world. 

School lunches
Workplace cafeterias
Church potlucks
Lodge dinners
Office parties
Too-many-dish traditional holiday meals, where people eat leftovers of turkey or ham as long as they can stand them, and finally pitch week-old casseroles which only ONE of guests insisted on serving....

How often do you put things down the dispose-all, into the compost heap, or feed them to the dog?  How many grey furry packages have you found in the back of the refrigerator, so you didn't even know what you were discarding?  How many carry-outs with unwanted sauces, dressings and topping-packets -- after all, the grape jelly that came home with your breakfast leftovers was once part of the fresh-fruit market ... and the sugar commodity ... and the processed-food production stats.

I'm well aware that looked at historically THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS.  Used to be, the trencher-loaves used by nobility became dinner for the peasants ... not that this was actually a GOOD thing, but it goes to show you that AT LEAST waste was avoided wherever possible.  In fact, before modern cities caused the practice to be outlawed, people in earlier America ALWAYS kept pigs if they could, to eat the refuse from the kitchen in anticipation of them becoming part of the meal later.  The compost-pile is a comparatively recent innovation, to deal with part of the waste that backyard animals used to dispose of for us.

Nowadays, if a package is open, it can't be given away to charity.  Untouched restaurant food has to be used by the staff or discarded, I understand.

Society's desire for dietary variety causes us to buy meats and produce in impractical quantities, so that if we don't plan carefully it's horribly easy to let green things spoil in our kitchens.  I can't tell you how many packages of celery I've bought and used just a few stalks of, before consigning the limp gooey remainders to the trash can or compost bucket.  Halves of bell-peppers; forgotten bits of onion; moldy yams; sprouted and shriveled potatoes; disintegrating fruits....

I'm sure there are ways to amend this madness, but I don't know what it is.

But don't let the bean-counters tell us that we actually ate all that stuff -- we didn't.  The dump-rats and sewer cockroaches did.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

the urge to fidget

I reported that, during the lowest point of my head-cold, i could feel that my metabolism had slowed down -- this manifested as a tendency to lie still and think rather than sit up and read.  Since i had to get up and FUNCTION yesterday, i was pleased to find that my energy was not only equal to the mental and physical tasks required, but i was even inclined to fidget a bit while obliged to sit still.

Fidgeting is a sign that your body wants to burn "calories."  "Nervous" movements are part of the subconscious desire to expend pent-up energy as prompted by the SNS, i believe.  It's a good thing.

Spontaneous movement is the best kind -- it means that your body is able and willing to expend the energy you've consumed and/or stored.  On those days when there's an automatic spring in my step, i rejoice in movement, but when i don't FEEL like running around, i find it hard to believe that forcing myself to do so is a good thing.

Yesterday was good -- because it was cold outside and i was so recently under-the-weather, i got my husband to drive me to the courthouse (so i didn't have to deal with the shuttle between the parking-garage and my destination), and to pick me up afterward.  I was lucky in that the trial i was chosen to hear was very short -- it took only a couple of hours of the afternoon, and my fellow jurors agreed on the verdict quickly.  :-)  Nobody went to jail, and someone will get help who needs it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

nothing like a cold... promote fasting!  :-)  I haven't had much of an appetite for days -- in fact, the first 48 hours of this, i consumed nothing but coffee, clear broth, a little coconut-milk-based hot chocolate, water, and supplements.  My weight hasn't reduced much, though, as i feel significant slow-down of my metabolism.

My breath-meter for ketones, however, is topping out red.  (i ran out of the pee-strips, which report more precisely.)  Even after a higher-carb dinner last night -- which was primarily rice-crackers with duck-liver pate  and pickled beets -- i'm "in the red" this morning, proving that very-low-calorie diets can be ketogenic, even if there's a high PERCENTAGE of carbohydrate in them.  NOT something i'd want to do regularly, though!

I'm going to try to eat a little more today and see if i can get rid of the light-headedness (which may be related to the inflammation in my sinuses, too) before i have to report for jury duty tomorrow morning, bright and early (EEEEK).  ...Maybe if i sneeze on the judge i'll get sent home?

[evil grin]

Thursday, January 8, 2015

upside-down world, upside-down goals

Dr. Feinman writes, "Back in the adipocyte (fat cell), the level of ketonemia (ketone bodies in the blood) is sensed by receptors.  When the concentration is high, the ketone bodies turn off their own synthesis, that is, they inhibit lipolysis."  "In addition to this direct effect, ketone bodies stimulate insulin from the pancreas.  The effect is to feed back to inhibit lipolysis."

If he's got his biochemistry right (as I would assume), and interpreting things correctly, THE LAST THING A LOW-CARB DIETER SHOULD DO IS SUPPLEMENT MCT OR KETONE SALTS!

Do his observations come from starvation studies?  Are they designed to slow lipolysis to a necessary minimum in times of famine? 

Do they even apply, when adequate calories are consumed -- I would assume they still do, but if "common sense" were the rule in nutrition, then CICO would be "true" too.

In any case, this implies to me that AIMING for big numbers or dark colors on your ketone-measurement of choice is a mistake -- all you're doing by increasing ketone concentration with ketogenic substances is inhibit the breakdown of body fat for use in energy production.  (Of course, this does not apply if your goal with ketosis is CNS therapy.)

Going back to Dr. Atkins' goal of "being in ketosis" -- the purpose is to show the weight-loss dieter that s/he IS burning body fat for fuel, and no longer running on glucose.  Showing ketonuria (or ketonemia) is also a proxy that fasting insulin is within healthy bounds.

Anything beyond Atkins' ketone-goal is irrelevant ... IF your goal is fat-weight loss ... I think. 

my turn

...for a low-grade head-cold!  :-P  I'm certainly grateful that I haven't got the nasty flu-bug that many people are reporting.

This comes after about two weeks of higher-than-normal carb intake.  Yes, though i'm not scarfing down plates full of pasta and loaves of bread, I have had isolated small doses of wheat, corn and legumes, on top of some sugar.  And I seem to be paying the price with a tender throat, stuffy-head- and body-aches. 

It's a good day to stay inside, wrapped in a blanket -- the wind-chill is down near 0 F.  If I were still a working-stiff in the QC lab, I wouldn't think I had a good excuse to stay home, though -- my energy is normal as opposed to how I felt after picking up that bacterium at my son's farm.  Then, prying myself off the settee to go into the bathroom was a chore.

Since I went low-carb, I've been less likely to catch viruses.  This trend only improved when I strenuously avoided the "Neolithic agents of disease," and most of my incidents of malaise (like this one) have come after times of indulgence in them!

"Coincidence?  I think not!"  ;-)

Is it because glucose competes with ascorbate for receptors?  Because grains and legumes mess with our intestines?  Can't say.  But it happens with almost predictable regularity.

I'm going to treat the situation as an excuse to lie around staying warm, getting extra rest, and having every excuse to indulge in a coffee-and-broth fast.  Oh, IF I get hungry later (not even close now at 12:30), I have some of the leftover Pichelsteiner stuff -- it was tasty last night, and I suspect it will only improve with time. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

catching up with myself

Or "Whew: Part II"

Not only did our visitors keep me busy for over a week, but I've been exploring and planning how to use my new Christmas toy -- an electric pressure cooker.  :-)  The night before last, I prepared a boneless pork shoulder roast in it, and it was delectable.  I took the cooked meat out and in the juices I cooked some frozen veggies; my husband practically swooned with delight.  Tonight i'm turning the shredded leftovers into a version of Pichelsteiner stew -- I have every expectation that it will be a hit, too.

I've been reading like a maniac.  I usually do read myself to sleep at night, splitting my time between internet, kindle, and REAL BOOKS [gasp] -- between old fiction, new science, and writings about food of every era, i'll probably be well-occupied till springtime and beyond.

The thing that has me VERY excited right now is Dr. Feinman's new opus, "The World Turned Upside Down," which to my delight is available to read FREE with KindleUnlimited, on a month's free trial.  This could be dangerous....  :-)

So far, it's outstanding.  His students are lucky kids, because he's an excellent explainer.  I've long enjoyed his blog and sorrowed that he doesn't write more, but if he makes up for it with more books i'll forgive him.  I'm only a third of the way through -- i'll probably have more to say about it tomorrow!

Between that and George's interesting series about glucagon, I almost resent taking time off from reading to face the single-digit wind-chills blessing us this week.  But even though the cold wind made my ears ache as we walked between the car and the St. Louis Museum of Art, I enjoyed the hell out of our visit.  ...I wonder if I should try painting in the impressionist style...?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

counting my blessings

It's wise to sit down and think about the trouble we DON'T have, from time to time.

I have two dear friends with "hopeless" cancers, and i just read on Gwen's blog of an acquaintance of hers who was killed in an automobile incident.  Last night, J's brother phoned, and for the first couple of minutes i was concerned that he was calling to tell us that their mother was having health problems  -- she's not, but when they get to 89 (two years younger than MY mother), you start to expect the worst....

Despite my issues and history -- minor, in comparison with some! -- i'm damned lucky.  I have a roof and food, i'm as safe as anyone can expect to be, i have leisure and income enough to travel and do enjoyable things, i have mobility, loving friends and family, and all my senses.

..."Enjoying" a deep sense of humility right now....

Sunday, January 4, 2015

whirlwind week, good and bad news

Whew!  :-)

The kids JUST left, after being with us for a week....  Too bad it didn't snow for our little Texas visitors, but it probably made our running-around easier.  We walked all over the zoo and City Museum, ate all sorts of carby things (cuz ya CAN when you exercise), and had a great time!  My daughter has one of those bracelet-thingies that tracks her movement and sleep, then plugs into her phone to report in -- i may have to get me one....

We managed to get rid of almost all of the food gifts -- four thumbs up (in the American sense, it's a good thing).  ;-)  We're looking forward to being more disciplined again.

On a sadder note, ANOTHER of my reenacting friends has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  It always seems to be the "good ones" who get sick, doesn't it?  :-(  This gentleman is the small-farmer in northeastern TX, who raises Highland cattle and chickens -- they just built a new house on their 30 acres last year.  A delightful pair of musical old hippies....  This is the worst news that i've had in a long time.