Busy Thursday

Today started early but the blog didn’t. I had a 7:15 a.m. appointment with my neurosurgeon today. More tests are coming to figure out some pesky rib pain. They are so thorough, they read the entire story of me from my chart before they talked to me. I imagine they started early! The history of my spine issues began in 1995, when both I and my neuro guy were young. How great they look at the whole picture, since it is a story where one thing has deteriorated after another, so they need to know the whole thing. I love that. This is not the neuro who did my surgery.

The thought is the ribs are affected by the scoliosis that has developed over the past 25 years. They may be pinching nerves by now. An MRI will tell. Thank goodness for the miracle of diagnostic testing; IF your insurance company approves. C’mon, Aetna! I’ve got a lot to do! I’d like to be a little more comfortable.

While waiting for the x-ray at the surgical hospital complex (this group of doctors owns the whole complex), I was reading Michael J. Fox’s newest book, “No Time Like The Future.” I became very lost in his story.

His description of what the Parkinson’s feels like to his body is amazing. He talks of the amount of planning and execution necessary to walk from his office, make a right turn, another right turn, and a third is masterful. His description of the way his therapy may help him become a multi-tasker again is handled with such grace. My admiration of his fight and positive attitude has multiplied a thousand fold. The chapter, “What to Expect From My Back In The Future,” is so well done. His sense of humor has never wavered. His description of the tumor in his spine caused my mind to flash back to the discovery of my spine tumor. Mine was an arachanoid cyst, his was an ependyoma cyst.

Like mine, his reared it’s ugly head and there was huge risk if surgery was done or not. Either way is a crap shoot. Mine was entwined around the spinal cord, his was right down in the fibers or the spinal cord, and required delicate 5 hour surgery. Mine was an 8 hour surgery. The next day, my face looked like a cabbage patch doll. From lying on my stomach for eight hours and more, the fluids all pooled around my face, which was the lowest point for all those hours.

I was surprised at how emotional I felt while reading this part of the book. I thought it was “handled,” I thought since it was so far back in my life it wouldn’t affect me, but it did. I have often thought how lucky I was paralysis didn’t become my life; I’m even luckier today to still be moving independently. About every five years, I can tell there has been substantial loss of ability and movement with ease. It’s the way it is. I am confident the keen eye and steady hand of the doctors I have will keep me going for a long time. Michael J. Fox may not have that luxury, with his PD advancing so much.

I will read the rest of his story with gratitude, I will pray for him all the way. He has done so much for people with PD, and has done it with grace and humor. He is grateful to his wife for her upbeat attitude when his isn’t. They have had a family while fighting this battle; they have done good for the world while in the trenches. I salute them both, and their children, who are now adults.

While we relax tonight and plan for another day, be kind to your people. Be grateful for your good health. I’m glad the Babe and I started the Keto Diet in November. I’ve lost a little more than twenty pounds, and so has the Babe. Slower than we would have liked, but we’re still having progress. It will help us as we continue aging.

Be Kind, Let’s not argue about who did what in Washington, it will rile up your blood pressure. That’s bad for your health, and arguing only makes it worse. Goading people into arguing is ridiculous. Bad language is not the way. There is plenty of blame to pass around, and many people are guilty of very bad, reprehensible behavior. Pray for our great country. I want her to continue for another two hundred plus years. Let’s help her get there. We are American’s first. Let’s concentrate on that.

Countdown to Christmas

No, I’m not telling you to hurry and buy something. This isn’t about that part of Christmas. It’s about a subtle yet important part of the holiday for music lovers. I believe the backgrounds of all our lives has the same commonality; some of the most beautiful music of the world.

When I grew up in the late 1950s and 1960s, public schools still sang religious songs; God was present in all schools. Of course, we parochial school kids had more of the religious singing, but we all knew the songs we heard on television, radio, and retail stores since the 1950s. Yes, Muzak was around then. They also used it in work environments to increase productivity.

Maybe I brainwash myself when I write, I do so much better while listening to music. Today’s music to blog by is Ray Scott. He is a country artist, and I love his storytelling. You want to hear a dominant voice, a funny story, listen to Ray. He will have a new album soon, I’m in. And, as an old lady I knew once said, “He’s easy on the eyes, too.” She was a riot, so prim and proper, yet there she was, making observations you’d expect to hear from a 20 something.

So while cleaning the bathroom this morning, I was listening to one of my favorite traditions on Christmas; which sadly doesn’t happen anymore. I’ll save that one for later, but I sat down and listed some songs I think of at Christmas. They may not be on everyone’s list, but they’re around us. Too early (like before Halloween). One of them is “Deck the Halls,” by Omaha’s own Mannheim Steamroller. Chip Davis came out with this unique sound in the 80s, and is world-known for his trademark sound. I believe he doesn’t play concerts anymore, years of playing drums have caused some orthopedic issues in his cervical spine; I empathise with him. It must be so hard to give up what you love.

What is up for your Saturday? The Babe and I have a major cleaning of the house scheduled as soon as he gets home. I miss the cleaning ladies, but I don’t miss having a little extra money in my pocket. I’m using it for my online writing classes and tutorials. It’s all about compromise and imposing limits on yourself.

We’re cooking a bunch of chicken pieces to eat on salads over the next few days. The diet’s going pretty well. We both want to stay on it, and it’s easier with a buddy who cooperates with the plan. My ex husband was a thin wiry guy. Even before I was overweight, he made comments about my weight, a “should you eat this?” kind of guy. He ate constantly and just burned it up. The Babe’s not been like that in all the time I’ve known him. What a kind man he is. I always tell him, “You’re my favorite husband.”

Getting There, One Pound at a Time!

I read in my “Days of Healing Days of Joy: Daily Meditations of Adult Children of Alcoholics,” how we all make a difference. We can be an example of positivity in someone’s life; or we can be agents of hurt. There are four ways to do that. I’ve lived through all four, folks. And it’s so good to recognize those aren’t the way to treat people; and it for darned sure isn’t the way to treat yourself. Let’s work on these things the last seven days until Christmas. Make your world brighter. And some else’s, too.

  • Criticizing: It’s our not our business nor our place to judge other people. If you make rude comments in public about morbidly obese people, you’re wrong. Keep quiet. You can be totally wrong about “how they got like that.”
  • Insulting: Snide comments rob people of their dignity. Nothing gives you the right to blurt out things to another, especially in front of other people. It damages their self-esteem.
  • Name-Calling: You’re not “only kidding.” This is abuse. And you’re abusive. Knock it off.
  • Ignoring: Why be indifferent to someone? Why give someone reason to doubt their value? Who put you in charge? Ignoring people can lead them to question their own value. If you say, “Good morning,” to a homeless person gives them value and dignity. Try it.

Our thoughtlessness and bad habits have more effect on people than we think. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Especially during this time of Love and Joy. Be Safe, Wash Up, Masks Where They Belong; I’m looking forward to 2021, and I’d like all of you in it, too. See you tomorrow.

Monday Happiness

No, it didn’t even snow this much, but I thought the photo was pretty. While I was writing an article for our VFW Post 2503 Website, it fell gently at first, then the flakes fell faster. The article described our experience helping collect winter clothing for homeless Vets. With the snow today, I felt so happy for about thirty people who would have a nice, warm coat, several pairs of new socks, and water resistant boots.

I spent time today picking up a dress to alter for a girl my son works with. I haven’t done that for a while, but it’ll be a fun thing. It usually is. The weather was just wet and cold by then, snow melted. The pretty scenes are gone. It will snow more this year, I’m sure.

This Keto eating is going well, we both have more energy. However, it’s a lot of work! When you cook your own meals, there is planning, shopping, following recipes, searching for ingredients. We’ve tried to find smoked paprika for a few weeks. Finally, at the little Mom and Pop store in town. They usually come through. Thanks, Babe!

After I got home, I prepped tomorrow’s breakfast and baked it. Then it’s make something for dinner. Nothing much is quick any more, unless you have a salad with hard-boiled eggs, sliced ham, turkey, and veggies in it. That may be dinner tomorrow. Yep, we’ll make HB eggs tomorrow, and some more bagels. Those are weird. Melting Mozzarella cheese until liquid, you mix in some new “flour”, and mix up the stuff. I couldn’t get it to roll out very well last time. It was more like string cheese instead of a “rope” to create a bagel from. Practice will help, I’m sure. We can both tell our bodies are changing. The weight loss isn’t huge, we’re both about 10 – 15 pounds. But we’re not hungry, and are going to eat Keto for Thanksgiving, too. I’ll make sugar free cranberry sauce, loaded baked “cauliflower” potatoes, and loads of raw veggies. We’ll have Keto Pumpkin bars with real whipped cream. It should be a splendid feast.

Tomorrow, we’ll have more to visit about, it’s just a little before bedtime now and should have info on a mask mandate in our little town. We have a high rate of folks at our local church, causing everything to be cancelled in person. So sad. Take care, be safe out there.

Suddenly Sunday

And it’s not only Sunday, the start of a new week, but it’s the start of a brand new month. Knowing what promise a new month holds piques my interest. What grand things will happen with my book? Whatever happens, it will happen indoors, unless we have an unseasonably warm month. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings if that happened. We are ready for normal.

So we delivered a few bags of candy to our closest neighbor kids. We didn’t hand out treats to everyone, and not one person came to our door. I think lots of people found alternative fun for their kids. Unlike the large group at a party in New York. How risky! No one can say that is Trump’s fault.

Photo by Brianna West on Pexels.com

The Babe and I are following a modified Keto diet. It’s approved by our Doc. I can tell you I’m hungry; it’s been over three hours since we ate. I got hungry yesterday, too. I think that’s a good sign. I need to make another grocery store trip before we can really get going. I don’t want to throw away things I have, it’s wasteful. I bought a bag of “Cauliflower Rice.” I’m wondering what the Babe’s reaction will be to those. If they taste ok, fine. If not, we’ll try something else. If weight really falls off as quickly as “they” say, we’ll be in our old jeans in no time. Wouldn’t that be a splendid gift to give each other? I’ll believe when I see it, and I hope to. It’s nice to have a partner to share the journey with.

I love Cream Cheese. It’s on the list of foods. Heavy Cream! Allowed! Steak? Allowed! Pork Rinds? Yuck! I’ve never had a one and I highly doubt that will change, although they’re allowed. The Babe doesn’t even want any! I love vegetables, unfortunately some of them are too starchy. I can adjust. I think I will go on record as saying I think I’ll skip seaweed crisps. It just sounds wrong. Sugar is the enemy. The Babe quit smoking six months before we met, so it introduced him to another world; that of having to watch what he ate. He was trim (as was I) when we met. Contentment sometimes adds some weight. So does cancer treatment.

I have some tidying up to do to my Chapter Two and Three today. Thursday, November 5 is another ZOOM meeting with Sam Tyler, Book Coach. I’m coming close to being where I wanted to be, but I have the rest of the month to get there. Going to spend time in the studio today, coddiwompling. How’s that for a word of the day?

The photo above of the wooden spoons, painted different colors, was from a Panera’s I was in a couple weeks ago. I thought it was a fun work of art. Sometimes things just seem like they go together. Like Vegetable Beef Soup, Sunflowers in a Crystal Vase, Memes and Inspiration, Artwork and Encouragement, you just know when some things belong together. I’m using this attitude for my writing this afternoon. Sam, get ready for some reading! At least inside, it feels as if a breakthrough is near. I’ll let you all know.

Thank you for sharing some of this Sunday with me. I appreciate it more than you know. Hope to see you all tomorrow. Be Careful. Be Courteous. Be Calm and Rock On!