New Authors for me

Saturday or Sunday we went to the library and I checked out 17 books.

Note: if you are a military wife, these are probably not good books to read.

Bring Him Home by Karina Bliss was a beautifully told tale about a woman whose husband was killed as the result of an IED and her husband’s best friend (and her own friend), their grief, and their love. It was a well-told tale and believable.

The Other Soldier by Kathy Altman is also a good story. A friendly-fire incident kills the woman’s husband and the man who deployed the drone goes to see her to try and make amends in some way. She is not happy about that.

Others:
Really enjoyed Cara Colter and Brenda Minton.

Lemonade Pie recipe

Lemonade Pie

Ingredients
1 (6 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust

Directions
In a large bowl, mix together concentrate and sweetened condensed milk. Fold in whipped topping. Pour filling into crust, and chill before serving.

From Karen M, who sent it this morning, directly after bunko! Bless her.

Stressed

I’m in the last day of PCA and am very stressed. I think it is somewhat because I haven’t talked to a lot of people. I also think it is partially because I bought Island in the Sea of Time and it has lots of rape and attempted rape. I know it’s a classic, but I may not finish reading it.

Thinking about pulling up a book I’ve already read to calm my thoughts some.

Also food is very limited around here when you’re by yourself. Arby’s, McDonald’s, the bar downstairs. Haven’t even walked to Cafe Du Monde.

12 = Plus Size

I just found out (officially and for sure) that US size 12 is a plus size. It makes sense when I look at my body in the mirror, but I definitely do not like it.

My Health

Appointments:
I’ve made an appointment for March 30 to see a new doctor I really don’t care to see because I need a new primary health care physician and the one I wanted wasn’t taking new patients. The nurse practitioner listened to R and that means I could probably make an appointment with her and be glad I did.

I called our old dr.’s numbers, which R said should get me to the new dr. Didn’t.

Karen C went to her doctor (the one I tried to get in with) and said she was falling apart and needed to do something. She got a lot of tests run and is excited that things are changing for the better. Carol E has been dealing with a skin rash since the wedding in August and it turns out to be an autoimmune disorder. (Why didn’t those same dr.’s figure that out before?)

I decided I should write them all down and do it here so I don’t lose it.

Head to feet issues:
No sex drive. Not just low. Just none. It’s enjoyable, but I don’t miss it physically. Weird, after my adult life being so different.

All joints ache some. Muscles too, though less often.

I’m slow to get things done. Even stuff I know I can do in x time takes x3. Even reading a book takes hours now, instead of a short time. (Since I don’t buy paper books, I don’t know how long per page exactly. I need to get a new book in paper and read it to test that. But, for instance, last night, I was trying to read a book I’d already read and it took me three hours not to finish it. It’s a fairly short, easy read.)

I’ll sit down to do something and find 15 other things to do and not finish any of them. I don’t even know why. I need to get over this, because I’m not getting my work done.

Hair is thinning. I know that’s thyroid, because on thyroid it gets thicker. But I also know I run in the low normal range and that I’m more likely to be hot (hot flashes) than cold (thyroid) now.

Lots of front right headaches.

My eyes are not as good as they were. The right seems to be worse than the left. They burn a lot recently, but I’m assuming that’s my recent illness. Of course, they burn right now and I think I’m better.

Jaw is getting worse but is nowhere near as bad as it was at 16 or 19. (Makes it low on the priority list.)

Neck. I’ve had pain, discomfort, for about three years. Won’t let chiropractors mess with my neck though. Usually I have a bump on the right hand side. I figured/hoped it was mostly muscle. All three of my siblings have had neck surgery. … Must be muscle because it isn’t there now. Have bone on bone sound when I turn it sometimes.

Right elbow is more sensitive since I hit it when I was carrying the table and fell down. However, it seems not to be a permanent injury because it comes and goes.

Hands… right thumb and middle finger have bumps and weirdness. The thumb just looks ugly. The finger, however, hurts when someone folds it down to give me something. This summer I felt like I had strained both my middle fingers, but the one on my left hand is fine now.

My right hand falls asleep very easily now. If I lay on my side and throw my arm over R, it goes to sleep. Driving in the 10 and 2 position it falls asleep after a few minutes, but the left one does not.

Back is mostly fine. Occasionally lower middle back pain.

Right back hip has been hurting since April 2014. Chiropractor in US put in right in a visit, but simply went back out again. Am I sitting wrong? I should see the chiropractor. Called have a visit at 2. Now it I can just remember all the exercises the chiropractors in the UK gave me. One of those actually helped. Dr. White’s, I think. The only one I remember for sure is the first guy’s.

Knees hurt often. The right more than the left. Both can slip out of and into place again. I’ve had some swelling of the right knee this year–enough for me to notice it and ice it. Don’t remember having done anything to it, but that was fairly close to when I fell carrying the table, so I might have injured it then. It’s mostly fine now (if I can stay away from nightshades and it isn’t cold and rainy).

Feet are the biggest issue, in terms of pain, probably.
1. Right heel hurts often. Right now, though, I can’t remember if it’s inside pain or outside pain. The skin gets really dry and starts scraping if I haven’t scraped it off. That’s new since coming to Abilene, so it’s probably the skin and dryness.
2. Right foot’s smallest three toes feel like they are in the precursor to numbness. They are getting better. They used to feel like a rubber band was tied around them. That started when the hip was really bad in UK and has gotten gradually better. (i.e., they still feel odd, but nowhere near as odd as they did.)
3. Left foot, have a bump of bone sticking up on the top, just body-ward of the big toe. It does not go away.
4. Flat shoes tend to hurt my feet. I feel like I am walking on bone.
5. High heels tend to hurt my feet. The balls of my feet, especially left, have too much pressure. Also when on high heels the left big toe always hurts.
6. Right toe joint (where big knot is on left foot) hurts when I move it.

Update:
Texted R for info on new dr. Got number. Called. Appt Thursday at 4.

Called chiropractor. Have appt at 2.

Called eye doctor have appt Friday at 2.

Wow. Writing all the issues down at least got me thinking about who I need to see about what.

Note: I have an April 30 visit with a dr for ADD and one in May. can’t remember who first one is (female). Second is Dr. Cusack. But don’t remember what day. Wrote them down somewhere, but not in my computer calendar. Not good. Hope they call to remind me. Gotta get better about that.

Osteoarthritis

I have osteoarthritis and had surgery for it in my jaw when I was 19. That surgery made my life significantly easier to live, though the doctor quit doing the surgery after a while because it made a difference for so few. I am grateful that I was able to have the surgery because it meant at least 33 additional years of eating and talking like an average person.

My OA, however, is now causing bone spurs in my hands and feet to form. I probably have similar problems, though not as advanced or at least not as visible, in my shoulders and knees.

What can I do for that?

Glucosamine chondroitin has been found to be effective for some people. I’ve been taking that regularly for about a month now. I think I am getting some relief in my larger joints from that.

Avocado-soybean unsaponifiables, according to Mayo Clinic, “is widely used in Europe to treat knee and hip osteoarthritis. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, and some studies have shown it may slow down or even prevent joint damage.”

In a study, 260 people aged between 45 and 80 with documented osteoarthritis of the knees, taking regular NSAIDs were given either 300 mg or 600 mg of ASU or placebo in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial lasting three months. Even though the duration of treatment was relatively short, there was a significant improvement in the measures of pain and function and a significant reduction in both the number of days taking NSAIDS as well as the overall dosages of NSAIDs required to control pain. Ad for supplement

So I need to get some of this. One problem with it is that Round Up (used on American soy crops) has a nightshade additive which can be adapted by the soy plant, according to one source here. So I want European soybeans… Wonder how I can get that.

Walgreens has a version of it, so I guess when I get out for Dad’s medicine, I will pick some up.

Found that Dasuquin for dogs has the ASU stuff in it mentioned above. Maybe I need to get some for Serenity, too.

Leptin Sensitivity

Here are some notes from a very long sales video I watched.

Leptin
What controls your body’s fat. High levels signal your body to let go of fat.
Women have 2x leptin as men.
BUT
1. Women 3x less responsive to leptin. “leptin resistance” (1 unique problem)
2. When dieting, leptin can drop 2x as fast 2x as men… leptin drops significantly, slowing your metabolism.
After baby, leptin problems get harder. Body hardwired to fight a losing battle with leptin.

Women have 2x as much leptin as men. It’s just almost completely untapped.
You can reset the way your body uses leptin.

from Venus Factor

NOTE: The first page has a transcript, without the pictures of women and the testimonials, that covers all the information the video gives. It also offers almost the same bonuses.

So what to do?
I don’t want to buy the information. I want to know the information. So I started looking elsewhere. Here’s what I’ve found…

Despite what the video says, it does look like a diet and exercise are required. However, the diet is mostly a low carb diet and exercise is fairly simple. According to this site, how and when you eat is as important as what you eat.

Eat a high protein breakfast immediately upon rising.
Don’t snack.
Eat 3 meals a day initially, though can be dropped to 2 later.
Don’t work out at breakfast time. (before or after)
Limit your carbs to 25 grams a meal. (No potatoes or rice.)
Eat lots of fat with your carbs.
Work out after 5 pm, if you want to exercise.
Eat supper 4 to 5 hours before bedtime.
If you have trouble falling asleep, do 3-5 minutes of body weight exercises (pushups, air squats).

Adrenal Fatigue

While reading on Leptin and on Jack Kruse’s website, I found discussion of adrenal fatigue–which I have been diagnosed with by the same practitioner who recognized my nightshade allergy.

Kruse said that adrenal fatigue is a brain problem and, while discussing other things, wrote:
“at its core obesity was an inflammatory brain condition of bad signaling”

Interesting.

I know my brain signaling is haywire because I have epilepsy (which is basically defined as brain signaling gone haywire).

from Jack Kruse

Mayo Clinic says adrenal fatigue is not a medical diagnosis.
Read more on adrenal insufficiency–which is a medical diagnosis– at the government’s website.

List of Nightshade Foods to Avoid

I found a new source, while looking at Leptin sensitivity issues, that gave a list of nightshade foods that made a lot of sense to other/additional sensitivities I have noticed:

What are Solanaceae? If you have an AI, DDD or DJD consider avoiding them:

A. American-grown soy! It has been hybridized with petunias, a nightshade, to be pesticide resistant (Round-Up)

B. All potatoes (NOTE: this does not include sweet potatoes because they are from the Marigold family)

C. Tomatoes (green are worse than any other type if you eat them as I do. The lycopene issue is offset by eating other red fruits of veggies. Watermelon for example blows tomatoes away as a source of lycopene.)

D. eggplant

E. sweet and hot peppers (including paprika, cayenne pepper and Tabasco sauce, but not black pepper)

F. ground cherries

G. tomatillos and tamarillos

H. garden huckleberry and naranjillas

I. pepinos and pimentos

J. Only the cape gooseberry is a nightshade (Physalis peruviana), Most gooseberries are not in the nightshade family. They are in the genus Ribes and are related to currants.

K. Blueberries, Strawberries, okra, artichokes, have some solanaceae toxin in them, but are not strict nightshades. If you have arthritis or another inflammatory condition you might want to rethink the ‘dogma’ that surrounds them. (kills me to tell you this too)

American grown soy will be a problem for me. Strawberries is sad, because I like those.

The source is Jack Kruse.

Ice Day

I am apparently counting on having an ice day tomorrow, as I put the cake pops in the fridge and haven’t graded the papers I need to grade before tomorrow morning.

Instead I’ve been surfing the net and learning that my dad’s family is descended from Swiss-Germans (or at least we both share common ancestors) and that my maiden name is fairly common in West Lothian, Scotland. Since my greatx5 grandfather’s middle name was McComiskey, it seems more likely that we are related to the Swiss-Germans through a more remote ancestor… I can’t imagine how a Swiss-German child would have McComiskey as a middle name else wise.

Joined the family “I am X” board on Facebook. Most of the rest are Scots, though there’s an Alabaman, too.

Need to watch student videos and work on abstracts for presentations/submissions.

Dad’s surgery

Dad had eye surgery today. It was on his good eye. I was terrified, thinking he would be totally blind if it didn’t work.

Apparently blind in the eye was so unlikely it wasn’t even on the paperwork–good.

Took 3x as long as they said, started 1 hr later. However, it is over and he seems to be doing well.

Took the 5 prescriptions to the pharmacy. Was given a new medicine from the doctor instead of the one dad has been taking. (Not the eye doctor–the stupid/favorite doctor.)

I’ve got class tonight and so does R, so M is coming over for pizza and to be with Dad.

Dad has an appt in the morning to get the patch off. He’ll still have to wear an eye cover for a week whenever he is sleeping. That will be tricky, as he gets up at random times and goes to sleep at other random times.

Glad I was able to cover my Monday and Tuesday classes. Hope Wednesday is relatively painless.

Too Nice

For a class I am teaching for the first time this semester, I think I have tried to be too nice. The students are pushing and pushing and I finally had to step back and say, “No. You can’t do that.”

I assigned two books. The total cost for those books is $14 plus tax. This is not an onerous sum, but I offered students the option to come read one book (fairly short and an easy read) in my office during office hours.

This is the week the other book is due. Several people asked for other books to read instead of those on the syllabus.

“I have this one I need to read.”
“I own one I haven’t had time to read.”
“I can’t afford to buy this book.”

During class, I said, “Okay, you can read that book you have.” I also said, “Go to this source for free books.”

However, after class I realized that one person already cheated on last week’s homework, which was to watch a movie they’d never seen. Instead he watched his favorite movie. (He’s the second quote up there.)

I also remembered, as I was getting frustrated about that, that the point of this class was to look at overt presentations of a topic in the texts. I have no idea whether their books are overt, but I know not all the free books are.

So I just sent a note saying, you can read the books on the list or you can read this free book. If you want to read anything else at all, you must send an email about it–even though I may have given approval during class.

Hopefully people will just go with the books I’ve approved.

Raquel’s Sandies

NOT DRY AT ALL.

This is Raquel’s (from TCK) recipe.

Sandies

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened

2 1/4 cups flour, divided

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup pecans,chopped

1 tbsp water/milk

1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit (180 degrees Celcius.

Cream butter for about 1 minute, just until whipped.

Add 1 cup of the flour, the sugar and the vanilla extract. Beat until completely combined.

Add the remaining flour, the water and the pecans. Mix thoroughly.

With your hands, form 1-inch balls and place on cookie sheet about 1/2 inch apart.

Bake for 20 minutes.

*When just warm enough to touch, remove from the cookie sheet and roll in the powdered sugar.

Let cool completely, then roll in sugar again.

*or just let cool completely and roll once.

Jenny’s Pomegranate Salad

I got this recipe from a friend at church after tasting her amazing salad.

Wild Berry Pistachio Salad

3 heads Romaine lettuce
1 ½ cups blackberries, rinsed
1 cup pomegranate seeds
¾ cup pistachios
12 oz feta cheese

Sweet Pomegranate Dressing

1 ½ cups vegetable oil ½ tsp. salt
¾ cup pomegranate vinegar ½ tsp coarse black pepper
1 ¼ cup sugar 2 tbsp. dried chives
½ cup water 2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix well. Chill. Toss with salad just before serving.

ENJOY!!

Note: I used pumpkin seed instead of pistachios. This is a huge salad. The small pitcher of dressing was 1/3 the recipe.

I got the pomegranate vinegar at United.

Raspberry Cranachan

For the Burns dinner Saturday night, we made Scottish Raspberry Cranachan.

Original recipe called for:
6 TBS porridge oats (steel cut oats)
150 ml whipping cream
6 TBS good honey (purchased from Natural Grocers for non-pasteurized)
4 TBS good single malt whisky
1 punnet of fresh raspberries (about 14 ounces)

We tripled the recipe, except for the whisky (which we only used half of) and the raspberries (which we could have used quite a bit more of). We had a few more porridge oats than we needed, but not a lot more.

This was supposed to make 4 servings originally, so when we ended up with about 14 small cups, that was good. They were gone after the first 3 tables went to eat, though, so next time we might should make a big tub of it. (Like the aluminum foil pan I took the full cups in.)

From allrecipes.co.uk, the recipe said:
Method
Prep: 10 min › Cook: 10 min › Ready in:20 min

1. Toast the oats in a hot dry pan over medium heat until browned and fragrant. Leave to cool.
2. Mix five tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of the whisky into the cream and whip until thick but still floppy.
3. Mix the rest of the honey and whisky into the oats. Layer the oat mixture, cream and raspberries into shallow individual bowls. Decorate with a little oatmeal and one raspberry. Serve chilled.

We skipped the mixing of the rest of honey and whisky into the oats. We thought the whipping cream was plenty sweet and potent.

Next time I make it, I would say probably 9x the oats and 9x the whipping cream, 3x the honey and 3x the whisky, and at least 3x the raspberries.

Having the rest of the honey and the whisky in the oats probably would have made the oats taste better. They would have been less crunchy too and, while I didn’t eat them, they probably were very crunchy. So maybe next time I will add some honey and some whisky to the cooled oats.

It’s a pretty dessert and everything in it except the whisky tastes good, so it should have tasted good, too.

R walked around to make sure that no children received this as a dessert. (Even with as little as we put in, for a wee one, the whisky probably would have been too much.)

SFF Christianity

Thinking about M Lackey’s Valdemar series, where she goes from Christianity as positive but minor, to only chastising the views that are Christian.

When we were reading Mark 9:2-13 it talked about Jesus’ clothes becoming dazzling white. This is an image from the Christian faith and Lackey uses it for the Heralds of Valdemar.

Something to think about, consider, bring up in class…

Thoughts from Our Wedding

I told R that I was going to be content.

His definition of content is “giving up for good enough, because it takes more energy than you want to expend to do something else.”

My definition of content is “a decision to accept and rejoice in whatever circumstances and work in and through and beyond those.”

Very different.

He told me what he remembers from our wedding service is that he said, “I ain’t going to stop love you for nothing.”

He has kept that vow.

Thank you, God, for 26+ years of blessings.

Church Today

From the Lord’ Supper comments:
I am in the presence of greatness every day because God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit is/are with me.

From the sermon:
What if the voice of God had spoken to you? Why to me, when there are others who long for it? I don’t know, but I am very grateful, God. Thank you.

I know God has spoken to me multiple times, though I only remember a few of them.

“an amazing relationship with God”
I have been blessed with an amazing relationship with God. I have not kept up my end of that relationship, but he is always faithful and willing to meet me where I am whenever I come back.

We all want to stay in the most enjoyable time/place/moment. We want to build a house and stay right in that awesomeness.
But we have to come down (off the mount of Transfiguration, Mark chapter 9) because there’s a cross that needs to be carried.

Jesus is our safe place.
He wants us to become safe places for those around us.

Question:
Jesus said (Mark 9:2-13) that Elijah has come. Is this reincarnation or an archetype?

When I am giving a talk:
I try to do too much at the same time. I wonder if I do that with my teaching as well? I need to focus on making my speeches short and about only one thing.