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.

Other Questions

Last week the preacher talked about Joseph and what a great guy he was. God picked him to be Jesus’ stepfather–which proves he was a great guy. I’m going with that interpretation because I like it. Also, because the only thing we really know about Joseph is that when he found out his fiancee was pregnant he decided to put her away quietly, so she wouldn’t be reviled. Then, when he found out she hadn’t been sleeping around on him, he took her into his home and didn’t sleep with her till after Jesus was born–that way everyone else assumed Jesus was his baby.

I like those two things.

But I wonder… why didn’t God tell Joseph when he told Mary? Why let Joseph have to deal with the stress of thinking that Mary had sex with someone?

The Star, the Magi, and Questions about Death

Preacher read from Matthew 2 today. I listened to the sermon, but what struck me about the reading was that it appeared that the star got the magi on the way but didn’t get them all the way to Bethlehem.

They saw the star, knew it was the king of the Jews and headed out. Then they went to Jerusalem for directions.

Then after they heard Jesus was in Bethlehem, they got back on the way and the star they had seen when it rose came and guided them in.

That sounds like in the middle maybe the star disappeared.

I also have to wonder why God let them go to Jerusalem. Since he gave them a vision not to go back to Jerusalem, couldn’t he have given them a vision to go to Bethlehem and not had Herod kill off all the under 2 baby boys in Bethlehem and the surrounding area? Why did Herod need to kill all those babies? I mean, yes, Herod chose to do it, but I am sure he chose lots of other awful things. Why did God give him the opportunity of that one?

Suffering and Pain

I have been considering for the last few Sundays (and I am unsure why it is only on Sunday, put perhaps that is the only day I slow down and actually think) about God’s view of suffering and pain.

Jesus came, knowing his life would be hard and his end would be horrible. God/Jesus was “good” with that. It was important and it was necessary.

When I moved to NewTown I hoped life would be perfect, but it is not. Somewhere along the way of this move I realized that God did not promise surcease of pain or suffering. He only promises that I can endure it and that he will be there with me through it.

I have often wondered if there is a point to pain and suffering. When we are experiencing pain is there something we need to learn? Are others supposed to learn from our suffering? Are we here as an example? And I don’t know. I’ve often heard people say so, but as I age I realize that there are many things I have heard people say that are not true.

Right now all I can say is that suffering and pain exist, sometimes because of our own choices, often because of the bad choices of others, and often because of “natural” things that (as far as I now know) have no human cause. Pain and suffering are here to stay–at least until Jesus returns.

Singing in the Hall

Quote from: proftowanda on March 20, 2013, 5:22:57 PM
Quote from: kaysixteen on March 20, 2013, 5:21:38 PM
Correct me if I err, but there was a time in American history where people singing to themselves in public was significantly more common, right? It is a common enough occurrence in old movies, esp. westerns, to hear this…

That’s not history.

That’s Hollywood.

from the CHE fora

Oh, so I’m Truman? Because I sing to myself in public–though not usually when I realize anyone is around. Then I just hum.

Crepes for Dead Day Brunch

I made crepes for Dead Day brunch. These are the recipes for fillings.

Crepe fillings

ONE
• 1 c applesauce
• 1/4 cup raisins
• 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Thoroughly mix apple, raisins, brown sugar and cinnamon. Heat in microwave on high for about 2 minutes. Spoon liberally (about two Tablespoons) into each crepe and fold. Serve with a topping of either maple syrup of left-over apple mixture.

TWO
Hazelnuts and bananas

THREE
• 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple – drained
• 1 11-ounce can mandarin oranges – drained
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 8-ounce carton of frozen whipped cream topping – thawed

Mix together pineapple, oranges, and vanilla extract. Fold in the whipped topping.

They are excellent tasting and smelling. I hope the crepes are as good re-heated.

aka receipt

Surprising News

Thursday I went to pick up my father at the airport in the Metroplex. After we were in the car he said, “I have something to tell you, but I will wait till you aren’t driving.”

As my father is a big kidder, I figured this was a joke and just moved on.

When we were sitting waiting for our lunch orders to be delivered he told me that the two-week trip I thought he was here for was actually a “I’m thinking I will move to Your Town” trip.

That was a shocker!

We have been looking into retirement communities, apartments, duplexes, and houses for rent.

He said he wanted somewhere where you could walk to the grocery store and some restaurants. There is a good place not far from my work where I could easily see him at least once a day and he could walk to 7 restaurants and a grocery story in two blocks, with sidewalks.

He didn’t like that place.

I like that place. I wouldn’t be worried about him getting lost or run over.

Where he wants to go is on the other side of town (about 4.5 miles from my house and 10 minute drive) near the mall. There are lots more places to go to, but there are no sidewalks and the traffic is constant.

I don’t think he will really end up walking to very many of the places he could walk to, but he might. Getting out and walking would certainly be good for him, if he didn’t get run over.

I am a little concerned that he will just end up staying in his apartment all the time. But I am also concerned that he will get out to walk somewhere and end up unable to return because he either got lost or he was too worn out.

However, this is the town he is most likely to be able to live in and walk to places like he wants to. It will work, I think.

I do want to take him to one of the complexes and then get out and walk with him to one of the restaurants for lunch. Give him a taste of what it will be like. It’s about a quarter of a mile to a half mile walk–which isn’t that far and he’s done it before. BUT he is out of shape right now and he’ll be walking that when it is very cold and potentially icy as well as when it is 100 degrees–which will not be good for him.

I don’t think it will actually hurt him; it will just be difficult. But it will be something that he can do on his own and that may help keep him alive because he enjoys being independent.

Probably before I take him to walk it, I should go and walk it. Then I’ll know whether the ground is flat or full of holes and can see how difficult it will be.

Checking on him will be more difficult at these apartments–as I will have to go there specifically to check on him, but that’s okay, too. He’s my dad and I love him.

God, please let him do the kinds of things he wants to do safely. Help him make good choices.

Gluten Free and Modified Food Starch

I am on the third day of a month of gluten free eating, to see if, perhaps, the additional aches and pains and (even more wishfully thought than expected) some of the weight I carry is a result of a wheat allergy. According to Quazi, one of the symptoms is bone pain. I wonder (hope?) that this might be the answer to most of my arthritis issues.

I just looked up gluten intolerance symptoms. The top 10 found me with:
1. Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.
2. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis.–I have two.
3. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pin point the cause of your fatigue or pain.
4. Inflammation, swelling or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips.
5. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and ADD.–I have recently been reading some on ADD and talking to R about it and I just don’t see how I really can have ADD. Yes, I have the too much focus and I forget what I was doing and do things at different times and… okay, yes, I have ADD.

It is the inflammation, swelling, and pain that brought me to this trial.

I have once again begun reading labels–which is a pain since I must switch from my glasses to my reading glasses–and discovered that about two weeks ago, or perhaps 2.5, I began eating “modified food starch” in the Velveeta blanco. Turns out Velveeta has potato in both types of the box cheese for queso. I hadn’t realized it. I’ve been eating that cheese about once a day for the last 2.5 weeks. Based on that finding, I am amazed that the last 2.5 weeks have been as good as they have.

To be clear to someone who may read this and not know, I am highly sensitive (or allergic) to nightshades.

I have been struggling with feeling ill but not actually being ill. Last Thursday I stayed at home in bed all day. And my allergies to the dog have been much higher, so that I’ve needed a benadryl after petting her and my hand felt like it had been scratched/cut with the itch inside of it. I thought it was ragweed, and that might account for some of it, but perhaps the Velveeta accounts for more. If so, I am grateful to know that I can get well quickly.

The problem for today is that I realized it had potato in it so I took 2 bendadryl. Now I am too fuzzy to do anything productive. I can’t even write poetry.

I was going to go vote, but then I recalled that I had forgotten my wallet at work, so I had no way to vote. I came on to school and plan to remain here until after the “My Best Lecture” series today. Then I will go vote and head home, as I am not being productive here.

My stomach hurts like I am hungry, even though I know I am not. I had a good breakfast and when I got to school, I had corn chips because I felt I needed to eat. Now I still feel that way and know that it can’t be hunger, so I am standing firm against eating something else.

I was going to write down my symptoms for the last few weeks so that I would know if it were a gluten allergy problem, but now that I know that I have been eating potato, I wonder if that is a good idea. Should I just stop the gluten-free diet and start it again at a different time? No. I might not do the diet and then I won’t know.

I know what my symptoms in general are–aching fingers (both my middle fingers have been swollen and incredibly sensitive, particularly at the lower joint and that whole part of the finger between the lower joint and the hand), knees popping, ankle pain, foot pain, arms, legs, shoulder pain.

So, I’m reading on an elimination website and it says 3 weeks. Then reintroduce the food one day at one meal and monitor for two days.

I can do that for gluten.

Three weeks would mean that on November 23rd I would have one meal with wheat in it.

Office

We moved offices August 1. Well, I didn’t, because I was still in the UK. But the stuff got moved. Not all my stuff, though. I had moved it out when the sewer pipe broke and my antique cupboard had been left in the crap.

Most of my stuff is still at the storage unit.

In my office I have my antique desk, far too small and short to work at, a small fridge on a wall table to get it up off the floor and where I can reach it easier. My tiny typewriter table, which is actually a very nice end table with my green sari over it. My blue chair. Love my blue chair. My brown rolling chair. My black rolling chair. Six boxes of books–either this semester’s or Nancy’s. And my paintings. One oil, two digital prints, and the watercolor original that the grad school left for the English department.

My office has 14 foot high ceilings. It is 13×9. They are going to build bookshelves for one of the long and one of the short walls. The long wall shelves are going to be 8 feet high. The short wall shelves will go under the window. Aside from my desk and fridge, there are probably three feet of space on the door wall that is available. The filing cabinets are inside the walk-in safe which is the department’s closet–and is in my office and takes up the other short wall.

I have modern furniture and an antique desk. I have modern art in plain black frames. I have a fragile gold and purple tea cup and a black and gold Art Deco bowl that Mom bought. I have a Pursuit mug with pencils and pens in it.

I need a rug. I was thinking red because I brought the red blanket here, but I could also have orange, which is the blanket at home. Both red and orange are in my blue pear painting. The grad office watercolor has red and purple, as well as the predominant blue. So red would work best for that. My tiny digital women’s faces pictures are mostly blue, with some purple, green, and red. So really red would be best. But the reds are all different and that is hard to match.

I found a red/orange/yellow rug at overstock.com that I like. It’s 7.7×10.5, which would cover most of the floor in my office and really would be too big. I didn’t realize it, but a lot of the floor will be covered by desk and bookshelf. So I really need something closer to 4×6. Even the rug I have at home, two colors of blue none of which are matched by the blues in any of the paintings, is even too big.

Funny Meme off Facebook

It said to google your name and “is a” so I did.

I’m an Akkadian misinterpretation for Babylon, though actually I am a city quarter.

My youngest son is a collection of small literary units. That made me giggle.

My eldest son:
Elijah is a loyal friend. When he holds you in his arms you never want him to let go. Elijah makes you feel beautiful about yourself <3. “Thanks for the blanket”….. ” That’s an Elijah. by luvnheartbeat February 14, 2011. 786 457. Merch. 6. Elijah.

And my husband? He is a time traveling dumbledore. But only three down he is a focused and realistic person. When you click on that link, it says that he is the guy you should throw your arms and legs around and hold on tight. LOVE IT!

3,900-year-old Suit of Bone Armor

relevant to Dielli

i09 has a post on the armor, with pictures and drawn images.

Archaeologists working near Omsk in Siberia have discovered a complete suit of bone armor that likely belonged to an elite warrior. Found in near perfect condition, the unique armor dates back to the Bronze Age.

July 30-August 3

Because I wrote a lot.

Wednesday, July 30
Got up early this morning. Went to Mindi’s hotel. She wasn’t there yet, though she arrived fairly quickly after I did.

They let her in her room and we walked all around the entire floor looking for her room. Turns out there are fire doors between where the main square is and where her room is. Two of them, I think.

Then we left. We went to the British Museum. We looked around. My leg was giving out, so we went to get tea at 2.50 and stayed till 4. Then we got up and walked to the Gourmet Burger Kitchen. We were really too early so we walked around, saw the Covent Garden shops, and then went back.

Food was good. We chatted for a while and then we both headed home.

I got home about 7 pm and worked on my t&p till after midnight. So I got 5 hours in today.

Thursday, July 31

Got up early today since I was supposed to meet Mindi at the British Library. Right before it was time to leave I read my email. She wrote and told me to meet her at the British Museum, since London had so many libraries.

So I went to the Museum. For the first time the buses were running behind and I was 10 minutes late when I got there, but I figured she would wait that long. I looked around, went inside, came back out, stood around. Then about 10:16 I texted her that I was getting on a bus to go to the Library and hopefully she was there.

Right as I was leaving a HUGE crowd came galloping up and it was so loud I could barely think. Very strange.

Then I caught the bus going the wrong way. Went out of my way by about 20 minutes.

By the time I got to the British Library it was after 11. I asked where the illuminated manuscripts were, since I figured that is where she would be, and they said the Treasures Room. So that is where I went. I went to the Treasures Room. I saw the manuscript that Christine de Pizan’s images are in and her book that she wrote with the Ladies in it.

I wandered around a bit but didn’t ask for any other directions. The library appeared to be a small shop, several cafes, and then reading rooms.

I sat around inside in case I saw Mindi and I sat around outside in case I saw Mindi. But I didn’t.

As I was leaving some ladies started waving at me like they knew me. I knew they didn’t know me, so I just ignored them—figuring they would realize I wasn’t whoever they thought I was. However, they were still waving so I took off my sun glasses so they could see I wasn’t her, whoever she was. One of them chased me down, which I hadn’t noticed, and said, “Charlotte!” I turned and said, “Excuse me?” and she said, “Are you Charlotte?” with a very British accent. I said I wasn’t and we parted ways. Apparently I have a British doppleganger too, not just a Welsh one.

I saw from my phone that I missed a call from Mindi. She called at 10:20, as the crowd came galloping in. She was at the library and would stay and look at stuff and then go off on her own.

So, at 11:30 I headed home.

I got home about noon, ate a sandwich, and then sat down to work on my t&p… For 13 hours.

Turns out that what I didn’t see, which is at the British library, is the Beowulf Manuscript. The Beowulf Manuscript is in a gallery. I wonder if it is pages—can I read Judith? We are going on Monday, August 4th to the Comics Unmasked. I NEED to see the Beowulf manuscript.


Friday, August 1
Got up at 8. Worked all day. I think Ron and I went out about 6 and took a walk for a while, but then we went in and worked again. I went to bed at 1 am.

What did I do? T&P stuff.

I emailed Deb about Director of Composition. She says she isn’t planning on stepping down. I emailed Laura about WAC; she said the same.

Got emails from Cole in response to my questions. Told me to think about “working toward” those. But Laura is younger than I am by a country mile. She’ll be chair eventually and I doubt she’ll give up WAC till then.

Hopefully the “fit” I stuck in there will work. Who knows?

I intended to go through all my emails today. All of them. In suanna@suanna.org I had almost 3,000. Now I have about 2,300.

I only managed to get through 800 of the ACU emails. I have over 10,000 of those saved. Really I probably need to go through more, but a. I don’t really see all of them when I am reading and b. They are dad-gum annoying. So I don’t think I am going to. At least not until I figure I have to.

Received an email today from the Science Fiction Research Association saying that my article in FemSpec was considered for the Pioneer Award. Wish it had won. That would have been cool. But it does feel like I’ve made the right decision to work with science fiction/fantasy… if I can just pull the rhetoric together/off.

Why, yes, I still feel like an imposter even though I’m not.

I haven’t eaten a lot the last few days, but mostly it’s because I sit at the computer and type all day. I hope my brain is working because if it’s not I’ll have wasted all this work on the t&p.

When I wrote Karen Cukrowski to ask if she would write me a little I was silly, very silly, and I realized how much I miss being silly. Ron’s not particularly silly. Maybe I need to be silly a bit more. … But I don’t see how I could be silly at work, so maybe not.

Read some research (it was related to t&p, I promise) on standing up, walking around, and touching the upper torso—but not the head—all relate positively to good reviews at the end of the semester. So does smiling and nodding your head. There. That’s my plan for linguistics. (Okay, maybe not.)

I did lose my 432 evaluations, because I don’t have them and Cole said in the evaluation that they weren’t good. (2014 one.) … So I guess I need to either look for them or do without them. I hope I can do without them because the others are not great anyway.

I looked at Lynette’s t&p and she’s got scores of like 4.8 in all her classes. Yes, I think she’s an amazing teacher.

While I’m not sure what exactly I need to do to get better, surely there is something. Less work? That would probably help. And really, if what they think of the class is what they think of it years later, then don’t I just need to stop being “you need to write” and start being “what do you need?” –Okay, probably not going to go that far, but I seriously need to reconsider. Maybe sit it on other folks’ classes to see what they are doing? I really should have gone to Nancy’s linguistics class.

Getting in a downward spiral here so I’m going to stop.


Saturday, August 2
Worked from 6 am till 4. That’s 12 hours of work on my t&p portfolio. I don’t know what I got done, but it must have been something.

At 4 we walked up to catch 17 (just at the end of the corner) and it came 2 minutes later. We walked about .5 miles from where it let us out and then we were in a shopping mall with a small flea market in the middle. Not really upscale, but not downscale either.

We met Bob and M for dinner at Gourmet Burger Kitchen. Bob had his camera. I don’t know what he was taking pictures of and we barely talked. M’s Meniere’s has come back—dang it! And she goes deaf when the pipe in the building makes noise, which hopefully it doesn’t very often.

I told her I thought I was going to focus on science fiction and rhetoric (a decision I made at some point this summer—yes, I know it is late in the career to be deciding that) and she thought it was a good idea.

ACU has apparently asked her to come to Oxford every other year. She said she thinks she has one more trip in her and that is probably about it. I think she is feeling very vulnerable with her illness. She is 64, which is hard to believe as much energy as she has. And when I typed that I realized she is the same age as my mom when she died and GOD, don’t let that happen.

She said the students go non-stop and think she should too but that she has to tell them she can’t. I guess I thought she was invincible and could do all they were doing too as I was a tick shocked at that.

She is collecting “pilgrim badges” or pins from everywhere she goes and she is going to get a hat and stick them on it. That’s kind of cool. I like it.

After we got back from eating, at 7:30, Ron wanted to go to bed, but it was too early. He was in bed by 9:30 though. I went to bed right at midnight, so I worked on the t&p today for 16 hours.

Sunday, August 3
I got up late today, not till 9. I said I would go for a walk but I sat down to work. I worked until 3:10. Then Ron and I took a walk to the Odeon Theatre. Guardians of the Galaxy is on there. It’s £10 each, so we definitely aren’t doing the 3D, which is even more.

Here in the UK it is rated 12A which means that anyone under 12 has to be accompanied by an adult.

We decided we would go back to the 18.10 showing (6:10) and Ron set an alarm for 10 to 5. Then we walked home and went back to work.

Today I began working on the writing part of the collegiality section. That means that I took all the snippets of emails from the 3200 I skimmed through and put them in a single blog post. If it were a real blog post, I probably would have cut it up into at least 2 sections and probably 7 or 8. It’s that long… I still may change it.

I can’t believe I spent 8 hours working and I only finished one post—that may need more work. But I do think it looks fairly decent. I told Steve Sherwood they basically gave us examples and said, “Go thou and do likewise,” which feels like I’m out dancing in the street. I was going to say naked but it doesn’t feel that bad.

–I vaguely remember that I didn’t just finish one post. I also went and added my Creative Works to the scholarship section. It counts. I think it should be written down. However, I don’t like the title Poetry for the page, so I called it Poetry where it was a subheading and Creative Works on its own page. Oh well. Not consistent. Think hobgoblins. (Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.)

I have tried to be consistent in most things and I have gone back and fixed things to be consistent, but mostly I’m trying to get it done and be done with it.

I’ve asked 16 people for letters. Four are from outside ACU. Three are from our department (maybe five if they count Nancy and Karen). Three are library. Two are grad school (or department, Amelia). I also asked Lynette Austin and Jeanene Reese. Or maybe I just meant to ask Jeanene because her name isn’t on my list. I’ll have to check. –I also need to find the Bible guy, at least the email I sent. Took me hours to write.

Ron mentioned it’s the first day we haven’t gotten on the bus. I asked if we needed to get on the bus to stave off illness. He didn’t think it was funny.

We stopped by the grocery store and bought chips, Nutella, and ice cream (Mars bars).

I think I’m going to have to stop at 8 hours for working today. That will be different.

Guardians of the Galaxy started off very dark. I thought it might turn out to be horrible, even though Darlene Beaman said on Facebook that she has a new hero instead of the Ents—Groot. I’m pretty sure Groot is an Ent. I also want to know why they didn’t pot every stick from Groot if it will make babies.

Anyway the movie ended up fairly well. I cried once.

–I got back and checked email. I had a second email from Linda Boyd. I was glad to hear from her. She is not teaching this year. They’ve been in Colorado visiting the grands. I think that is cool. I’m glad she’s still alive. I don’t write her often enough. Maybe I should stick a reminder on my phone or calendar or something.

She asked if I was keeping a journal of the trip, which reminded me I should keep up with this. So I came and updated. We’ll see how far back I can go and how much I can remember.

I’ve been typing for about an hour and I really feel like I should get back to work! However, I don’t just have t&p. I have to finish the second article for CEA Forum –and what happened to the one article they accepted? It seems to have disappeared. It’s not listed, which is odd. I wonder if I will have troubles with that.

Google Cache doesn’t have it but the WayBack Machine has it 4 times between September 2009 and June 2011. I took a screen capture of a piece of it. I have NO IDEA why it disappeared and whether they ever intend to put it back up. Why wouldn’t they have this on their site still? I mean, yes, they changed their site, but did someone just pull it down?

I need to contribute to the WayBack Machine, since it had it. $25. It’s probably worth more than that, but $25 they got.

Dr. Kent Brantly (ACU ’03) was brought back to the US (to Atlanta). He’s the first patient with ebola ever to enter the Western Hemisphere. Hopefully he will get well. Thank you, God, that he was well enough to be transported.

It’s now 11 pm. I worked for 2 hours on email, Facebook, and catching up the last 5 days of notes here.

One thing that would good is if I worked on the article for CEA Forum –even if they did lose my last one—and sent it out so that my CV isn’t lying. Also I need to put together the testing information for the iBook classes.

M recommended last night contacting and perhaps working with her and getting it published (or also published) in an education journal.

Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Stolen off Facebook. This is our Austinite fire-fighting, homeschooling dad, missionary friend’s recipe.

He says they are easy to overbake, which will make them crunchy.

Makes 6 dozen cookies

Preheat oven to 375°F

Beat until creamy:
3 sticks (12oz) softened unsalted butter

Add and beat until fluffy (about 3 minutes):
1½ cup light brown sugar
1⅓ cup white sugar

Beat in, until well combined:
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla

Combine in a separate bowl:
4½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sifted flour
1½ teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix dry ingredients into butter mixture with a spatula or wooden spoon until just combined.

Stir in (optional):
3½ cups dark seedless raisins or 3½ cups chocolate chips

Drop tablespoon-sized balls onto un-greased baking sheets. Smash, with 1” between mounds. Bake 14 – 16 min. until edges are golden brown. Centers will be pale!

Cool 2 min; transfer to rack.

July 23-29

Wednesday, July 23
This morning I got up and texted Angela about coming to the house to visit her either today or tomorrow. She said she was free either day.

When Ron got back from his walk—about 1.5 hours—and brought pain killers and soda pop, I left.

The computer said it would take an hour and a half and it did actually take that, even with me having to walk to two different stations. Of course, Forest Gate is only one long block from Wanstead Park, where I got off the Barkington train.

Angela picked me up at the station parking area and we were off. We put money in for 4.5 hours, but she said she didn’t expect to stay that long.

I bought a denimish skirt. I found some red shoes but didn’t actually try them on. I found a nice suit, same thing.

We ate lunch at The Slug and Lettuce. At the end of lunch, which we stretched out to an hour, I think, the baby woke up. I carried Josiah and we began our next round of shop tours. I bought a book on friendship in Plato and Aristotle, thinking of the Shakespeare paper, and she bought a book and a quiz game.

We went to a baby shop and a children’s bookstore. Finally she stopped in Poundland for milk. Josiah and I waited outside in the shade.

We got to the car but it was so hot I couldn’t put the baby in right away. We left the doors open to get some breeze. Then I tried to put him in the seat but it wouldn’t stay buckled. (It was hot and I was trying to keep it from his legs with the blanket, so that might have made the buckle too taut.) I ended up just holding him in the back seat the whole way home.

We hung out for several hours and I talked about my t&p and showed her mine and another example.

Jon came home early and we left for church, though planning to eat dinner first. We went to The N (needle? noose?) and food was excellent. A new pork menu item tempted me but I decided it would be too much food. However, it had nothing I was allergic to and the pork just fell apart. (Jon ordered it.)

Afterwards they brought me to the flat and we went to the Landseer. Angela and I each had a coke and shared a chocolate cheese cake. The cake was quite good, though served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which was odd.

I read the book London Lore by Steve Roud. Interesting, though lots of more modern ghost stories took up at least a quarter of the book.

They left around 10. Ron got home around 9:30 from Maker space.

Thursday, July 24
I slept in till 10. I had taken 2 Benadryl and apparently my body thought ten hours of sleep was what it needed. I did wake up enough to realize Ron was coming in and out of the house, but that’s it.

I put on the new skirt I bought in the charity shop in Brentwood, and make up, and fixed my hair. Ron was like, “Whoa! Where are you going?” I told him wherever he was going.”

We took a 1.5 hour tube trip out to a craft store on some edge of town. This place really is more like Houston than I think of it. People stay in their suburbs with their cars. Some people come into town to work, but most don’t.

We ate a very late lunch at Subway—almost 4 pm.

Then we went into the Outfit, which kind of looked like an outlet store, but didn’t have the prices to match. Ron bought two shirts, including one to wear to the cabaret tomorrow night. I bought a pair of off-white frilly socks to wear if I need them.

We got the second bid on the air conditioner.

Also, I called Morgan Stanley again and got my account information. That took 20 minutes, but it was worth it.

Ron went to Maker last night again. I don’t know what he did but he came back exhausted.

We talked about money for a bit and then I said I thought we should get the full replacement. I called to see when they could get it done… It looks like maybe not till Monday. I’m not happy about that. I’m going to call them back this morning.

The other bid for this part was more money, and these guys have worked on my ac for 2 years, but I don’t want the guys living in my house to be without ac for a full week. That’s cruel. It will be 99 tomorrow and 100 both days this weekend.

Ron went to bed and I stayed up till 2.

Before I went to bed I filed all the flex I could.

Friday, July 25
I’ve set my phone to ring so I can call and see what the ac people have to say.

Ron said I should file the Boots stuff for his glasses with Flex, too.

..I wonder if I filed my glasses stuff. I don’t think I did. That means when we get home I need to find it and get it done.

I went through my suitcase and couldn’t find the receipt from the third osteopath, but then I looked in my notebooks and it was in there. For some reason I thought it was several sheets, but it is only one.

I thought about taking pictures with the iPad. That might work. Otherwise I will have to find somewhere to scan the pages.

Ron went to get his head shaved; he had let it grow too long to do it himself.

I did a load of laundry this morning.

I also changed the sheet on our bed. It’s gotten dirty. The duvet cover has too—and they have another one—but I am not sure I know how to get those on and off. Plus, I wouldn’t have anywhere to lay those out to dry right now. I almost don’t have enough room for our clothes on the one drying rack and then the window/door rack.

I went to Morrison’s to get Coke Zero and DP. They didn’t have any diet DP. I went to several little shops along the way, as well as M&S, but no one had diet DP. Not even individual bottles. I wonder where he found the ones he brought home yesterday.

I went ahead and bought a cabbage because Angela’s baby class said that a cabbage leaf will pull out swelling and it was only 69p. I’ve had two on my foot so far and while it feels better because the leaves are cold, I don’t think any actual reduction in swelling is happening.

Turns out I left the door unlocked when I left, because I didn’t realize he had left the door unlocked when he left.

Ron is working.

I need to get started on my t&p again, although really that is what I plan to do tomorrow. …Work for hours, I mean. I wish I knew where there was a building with wifi, plugs, a/c, and comfortable chairs. (We have the first three, but not the last.)

I actually did work for 6 hours.

Tonight we are going to the cabaret. I put on my dress, shoes, and the cute little socks we got yesterday. It looked nice. I think I could also just wear the shoes without the socks, as long as we aren’t walking a long way.

Ron’s planning to Uber there and catch a cab home. That didn’t happen.

Saturday, 26 July
Worked 8 hours on t&p.

Ate at The Narrow with Jon and Angela. She was wearing a pre-baby dress! It’s Josiah’s 3 month birthday.

Sunday, 27 July
Worked 11.5 hours on t&p.

Went to the London Eye with Ron. He was disappointed. The glass is rounded and colored and distorts pictures.

We went to Wahaca for dinner. I had frijoles, chips, and two mini-tostados with chicken salad on them.

My foot hurt by the time we got home. I should definitely have wrapped it. Now my bum is sore from the last 5.5 hours of work.

What I wrote down in the trip diary is only 69 hours of work. But I don’t think I counted any of the reading I did and I didn’t always write down work, since we are supposed to be on vacation.

Considering that this weekend I did 19.5 hours of work, 69 hours doesn’t seem like much. I had to have done at least 100 hours. Or I wouldn’t be anywhere near as close (no matter how far away that is) to done.

Monday, July 28
I called Mindi’s hotel and figured out how she would get from Heathrow there and I emailed her that information.

I also told her how to get an Oyster card, and how much she would need to have on it to make sure she didn’t run out.

Further I told her how much time it would take me to get from my flat to her hotel (1.40).

Ron said I should tell her I will meet her somewhere, but I assume she wants me to come to the hotel because she’s never been in London before and she’s a bit scared. I would have been without Ron so I’ll make the trip to her hotel.

I worked on t&p about 16 hours today. Just when I think I’ve made progress, I find something else I need to fix.

Tuesday, July 29
I don’t actually remember this, but I am fairly sure, because it is about all I ever do, that I worked this morning. Ron and I were up at 6 and we worked till 11.

Then we went to meet our pick up for the Stonehenge trip. It was 40 minutes by bus and train. The train station closest was closed, so we had to walk 1.5 miles. We were booking it—which I was not impressed with as my ankle was still hurting.

Then the bus didn’t even show up for fifteen minutes. We were standing outside in the hot sun. Not fun.

We were the last to get picked up so there were no open seats. That was less than exciting, but Ron did end up with his feet in the aisle, sitting in the very back of the bus.

We had to get in line to get our tickets, since we “purchased” them with English Heritage.

The bathroom line was not long—Thank you, God.—Then we went and got in the shuttle, which is a little wagon of four or five cars and not air conditioned and not all the windows open. The road is a typical English road, meaning there isn’t enough room for the traffic to go both ways and people to walk, even though they do. That was exciting at times.

Stonehenge was much more amazing than I expected it to be, especially since we couldn’t get very close to it. But it was amazing. And the archaeologists they were interviewing… Ron said something and I told him to wait 60 years and they’d be saying something else. He started listening to it better (normally my problem) and realized that they were just making stuff up.

The exhibition is cool.

Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote that giants brought the rocks from Ireland. They came from 200 miles away (or more) and from northern Wales, but they came in on the boat, which would have been what they felt was Ireland… Except Geoffrey of Monmouth was from Wales, so that doesn’t make much sense. Unless Ireland was ruling that area at the time that the story was passed down, which is a possibility.

The blue stones (the center ones) were thought to have healing powers. But they also came from areas with streams and it’s quite possible that whatever minerals the blue stones have leeched into the water and it was healing. I saw a documentary on English treacle wells that turned out to have healing waters because they were full of iron or whatever.

Ron got some great pictures. I haven’t even looked at mine and I’m too tired to look at them.

We were supposed to get back in at 6:30 but we got stuck in traffic and we got off at Trafalgar Square at 8 pm. Then we went to Gourmet Burger Kitchen to eat dinner and went home.

I tried the camembert and cranberry panko-crusted chicken (the menu said crumbed). It was very good. It was good Wednesday night, too, when I ate it with Mindy. On the other hand, it was HORRIBLE when I ate it with M and Bob. They didn’t heat the cheese and they barely put any cranberry sauce on it. It sucked. I wouldn’t go back to that GBK ever and I’m glad it wasn’t my first visit. I would have been truly unimpressed.

Books I Read in London

London Lore: The Legends and Traditions of the World’s Most Vibrant City by Steve Roud… It tells lots of ghost stories from the 19th and 20th centuries as well as older stories. It also talks about May Day, many fairs, and churches. … Lots of old London stories, including St. Clements Danes church and the oranges and lemons rhyme.

July 16-22

Wednesday, July 16
I walked down to Morrison’s to get groceries. There are some interesting shops in that alcove.

I worked on my t&p quite a bit today. I’ve done 17 hours in the last 2 days.

Thursday, July 17
Ron took me down to the overground station to fill up my Oyster card, but I still had £30 on it, so I didn’t need to top it off. He left, to go to the Regis and work.

As I was walking home, I slipped off my shoe on the uneven sidewalk. I heard a crack, like bones. I stood there and prayed that it was a sprain, rather than a break and that the crack was just my arthritis.

I limped home. It hurt quite a lot. I iced it for about an hour.

Then I decided that I was going to go to the British Museum despite my foot hurting because that is what I had said I would do and Ron would think I was a wimp if I didn’t.

It was quite swollen, so I wrapped it in a scarf and wore my short boots. They were more comfortable than flats on my foot.

I walked about .5 mile—very slowly—and caught the 91 going to the British Museum. I had just passed the British Library when I got a text from Ron saying that he was on the way home… I ended up getting off the bus and going back to the flat.

He asked me if I was crazy, going to the museum with my foot all messed up.

He bought two fans to help make the flat cooler. Thank goodness! It is so hot. (I know it’s only about 81, but inside is about 10 degrees hotter.)

I went to bed early and slept a lot.

Friday, July 18
Ron went by to pick up his shirts at the dry cleaners and they’d lost one.

We went down to Morrison’s to find teriyaki as none of the three smaller stores I tried earlier had it.

We also went shopping for Ron some short-sleeved shirts. He bought one light blue one at Marks and Spencer. It was so hot in there, even though we went early, that we just went home after that.

We also went by the 99p store. We found two space guns, but nothing like what we originally wanted.

I made stir fry today for dinner. It was good. Ron even liked it. I made fried sticky rice.

He went to the Maker Space tonight and got some help with his costume.

Saturday, July 19
We went back to the 99p store and bought thread. We also stopped at the fabric shop and Ron found silver material. He needs to get his space costume fixed.

Ron had a lot of trouble threading his needles. He broke his threader. I pulled out my sewing kit. That didn’t help. He kept losing his stitches, as he was stitching a single thread without any knots. He got very frustrated.

We went around town to the costume shops. Thank goodness Mad World, which was very far away, had fans. I bought one, even though it was £7. There wasn’t much there in terms of numbers of costumes and very little to purchase. I did buy a light up space gun though. We now have 3 to choose from.

We also took the bus to Shoreditch to go to Retro Vintage. Ron was not happy when we finally got there and I barely looked at stuff. They were very expensive for second hand clothes and had very few in my size.

I worked on my t&p for 5 hours today. Ron thought that was plenty.

We ate at Benets on Brick Lane while we were out. We had a nutella crepe with marshmallows and a coconut milkshake (British milkshake).

Sunday, July 20
We started out to go to Mountain Warehouse, down near The Strand, because Ron needed a pair of shorts.

I suggested we eat lunch on the way and we ended up eating at a Mediterranean place. I ordered an omelette, which was quite good, despite looking terrible. Ron had the Greek chicken. It was apparently incredible. Oh, and I had fresh squeezed orange juice, a whole big glass, that tasted like you were sucking the juice right out of the orange yourself.

After that we continued down Holloway.

However, as we were almost to Old Holloway Station, we passed Vivien’s of Holloway. We went in. I tried on several dresses and bought an off-white halter top dress covered in cherries, single, double, and quadruple, with no leaves, one leaf, or two leaves.

We didn’t want to carry the dress around all day, so we took a bus back to the flat.

Then we decided to catch a different bus into town. We ended up on The Strand and Ron went into the place that is known for being a bigger Radio Shack, but for electronics only.

You can see Lyceum Theater from that corner.

Then we walked up to Mountain Warehouse. Ron bought a pair of shorts. We went next door and the cheapest shorts were £40. Ron did buy a shirt there, though. He’s been looking for nice, short sleeve shirts. This looked very good.

Then we walked around and around Covent Gardens. There were way too many people. You couldn’t see much and the shops (like Burberry’s) are out of my price range.

We left and there was a TKMaxx and other shops, but we didn’t go to them.

We decided we would go to the other Mad World Costume Shop. However, when we finally found it, it turned out to now be closed on Sundays.

Ron looked for a place to eat dinner and found Wahaca. It’s supposed to be the best Mexican food in London. They have several kinds of anejo tequilas (among others). They even had food I could eat—at least 3 different things. Yay!

After that we caught the tube home. Ron suggested catching a bus for the two stops to the house, but I thought I could make it.

I did, but by the end I was wincing in pain every step. Should have taken the bus.

Monday, July 21
Having overdone it yesterday, I decided that today I would just hang out in the flat all day. That is what I did.

We got up late, 10 am. Ron ordered us lunch from La Selecta about noon; then he went to get it. When he arrived they told him that they had seen the excellent review he gave them and so they discounted his meal. The food was delicious, though. I had the pita bread and hummus. He had the Greek chicken again.

Ron was waiting for his package from Lady Ada and for the delivery of groceries.

The grocery delivery was a bit odd as they sent us Vinto’s instead of DP Zero. Nothing alike, except for carbonation. We sent the Vinto’s back.

He got the package from Lady Ada. He asked for two 1-meter strips and they sent one 2-meter strip. He said it was fine, though. He’s going to use it for his costume belt, so it will light up and be cool.

I dyed my hair.

We may have gone for a walk in the evening, but I don’t think so.

Ron did set an alarm to get up at a reasonable time Tuesday morning (8 am).

Tuesday, July 22
I got up early and did the dishes. Ron got up when the alarm went off.

Ron wanted to get needles and red shoes for our Friday night date today. I had bought bus tour tickets, but those are good for six months. So, we ended up doing both. Well, I did the bus tours.

This morning he headed out to Starbucks or Nero (though he ended up at McDonald’s, which also had wifi and better chairs, he said).

I thought we were going to meet at 1 for lunch, but he thought we weren’t going to meet till dinner time.

I took the Original Tour yellow (person giving commentary) all the way round and then the red (similar sites but with recordings). The recordings were better than Edinburgh’s recordings, but I still got off after 4 or 5 stops to ride the Thames River cruise by City Cruises. It was a 35 minute cruise and quite nice—even though it was hot and sunny.

I thought I was going to be late, so told Ron that and he left at the time we had eventually decided on as a compromise (3 pm). I got to Trafalgar Square at that time, despite having to walk and gotten lost, because I caught a regular bus back to the square.

Because I then had half an hour, I went in the National Gallery and saw some Boticelli paintings and some religious paintings that I have pictures of in my iBooks.

Went back outside to wait for Ron and saw him wandering around the square. He had texted and asked where I was, but the phone hadn’t beeped (or I didn’t hear it).

We walked to Covent Garden to shop. It was less crowded than Sunday and we went in the Apple Store.

Nothing had red shoes in my size, so we caught the tube to Oxford Circus and then walked around a bit more. We found a China Town area which had lots of fans, from £1-5 for the same style, depending on the shops. I didn’t buy any more fans, though I thought about it.

We ended up at Debenham’s and my foot was about to give out. They had a reddish pair of shoes that Ron kind of liked and we bought them. I didn’t realize they cost £80! I hope they last forever.

We walked through the back of the shop and out the door to Meat Liquor, a restaurant with “real American style burgers and fries.” They were. I had the naked grilled corn with my meat burger. Then I had the peanut butter chocolate sundae. It was EXCELLENT. Very expensive cans of soda pop, though, £3.50 each.

Got home worn out and went right to sleep.

Weight and Measurements

I haven’t been getting on the scale at home because it sends my weight to Ron’s phone.

I also haven’t been measuring. I just figured if I was walking 6x week and working out 2x week I was okay.

I did realize at some point (maybe April?) that I was not losing weight and that I was going to have to watch my food intake. But I haven’t done anything about it.

Measurement discrepancies
Two days ago I decided I should take my measurements. It was the end of the day and my calf was 14. My thigh was 20. When I looked at the last time I wrote it down, those were both losses. Whoopee!

Then I put in my waist and it was significantly larger.

So I thought, I’ll get up some morning and take my measurements.

Measurement today compared
This morning I did that. My calf was at 15.5 and my thigh at 24. I’m not sure why the change. Did I do something wrong the other day measuring?

The difference between my measurements in November of 2013 and now (July 2014) is 11.75 inches gain. This is not muscle (except maybe in my legs and arms).

When I looked up pounds per inch, because I remembered losing weight and inches in a ratio, I found something that sounded familiar. 10 pounds = 1 inch lost

If I gained 11.75 inches, that would mean I have gained 117 pounds, which would put me at 280, which would, in fact, get me into my mother’s normal weight range. (Since we left Edinburgh I have been feeling like I look like my mother’s body shape. I never feel like I look good or skinny now.)

There is no way, even with stuffing myself in and size changes that the US has made so people won’t feel bad about being overweight (or bigger–but bigger only works for a little while or if you are a weightlifter), that I could still fit in my 10 jeans (even lapping over the top) if I had gained 117 pounds. (Plus the 10 jeans were after the size changes, so they wouldn’t be impacted.)

However, it does mean I have gained a lot of weight potentially with very little evidence of muscle increase.

Muscle increase
My legs, I will buy that as muscle increase. Why? Because my calves have no jiggle at all. I can’t pinch anything, not even at the top where there used to be a little excess.

My thighs now have more of that dimpling from cellulite, but don’t rub together (but they’re bigger?) and appear smaller…. Of course, it’s obvious perspective is an issue, but I still think my legs could be muscle increase only. I’ve been walking a lot here–even more than at home–and Edinburgh at least was very hilly. London is pretty flat. I feel like I ought to go climb stairs.

I have the same circumference on my arm and I will take that as muscle gain too because it is not as jiggly. Yes, it still has the floppiness, but not as much.

Clearly fat increase
However the 5.25 gain around my belly button cannot be anything except fat. And the 2.5 under my ribs the same.

Mostly belly fat
I am seeing that “more weight in the middle” thing.

I gained half an inch in my breasts and 1.75 in my hips. That is not good.

However, the really scary thing is that using the two waist measurements–under the ribs and at the belly button, I gained 7.75 inches.

Let me repeat that. In my waist alone (using the two measurements), I gained 7.75 inches.

I vaguely remember apple as being a bad shape to have, so I am going to look that up.

Apple shape
According to Mayo Clinic people who have apple shaped bodies (where most of their excess weight is in their middle/belly section) have metabolic syndrome.

Okay, that sounds bad. A syndrome is always bad. So I look that up.

According to Wikipedia (info at your fingertips), it is a disorder of energy utilization and storage. It does, in fact, make you look like an apple shape.

However, the shape is not the sole diagnosis factor. Instead you have to have at least three of the five symptoms:
abdominal obesity
elevated blood pressure
elevated fasting plasma glucose levels
high serum triglycerides
low HDLs

I have the first.

I have the second, but that’s because of the ADHD meds. When I’m off, I don’t have that. That might not matter for the syndrome; I don’t know.

I had elevated glucose levels when I was pregnant with Micah (as far as I remember the only time I’ve been tested), but they weren’t elevated enough for gestational diabetes. If that was not because of Micah, but me, then I have that.

I don’t remember my triglycerides, but I vaguely recall that my HDLs are higher than my LDLs–though perhaps not high enough.

So, I could have this. Basically, according to Wikipedia again, this is prediabetes.

Why didn’t someone tell me that when I was pregnant with Micah?

Prediabetes
According to diabetes.co.uk prediabetes, which I’ve heard more often as borderline diabetes, “almost always develops into type 2 diabetes.”

I am NOT going to get diabetes. I refuse. So what do I need to do?

Diabetes prevention and treatment
Still on the diabetes.co.uk website…

ALA
They say that ALA is a good antioxidant and helps diabetic neuropathy and reduces pain from free-radical damage. So maybe I need to add that. Anything that might reduce pain would be good.

Biotin
Biotin helps create an enzyme which is the first step in glucose utilization. That enzyme tends to be very low for folks with diabetes.

Carnitine, L-Carinitine, Acetyl L-Carnitine)
This helps the body use body fat.

They said that diabetics who use this get a rapid change and that their fats in the bloodstream (both cholesterol and triglycerides) may fall fast.

Chromium
They say it is crucial. That it improves glucose tolerance.

It can be in brewer’s yeast or as chromium chloride.

Exercise will also increase chromium.

They said, specifically, that it is important for people with pre diabetes.

Coenzyme Q10
Animals suffering from diabetes are low in this.

It lowers blood sugar levels and oxygenates the blood–which may help with retinopathy.

Inositol
Believed to play a role in reversing diabetic neuropathy.

Manganese
Commonly deficient in diabetics. Maybe a cause? Could be important for glucose metabolism.

Magnesium
Magnesium directly influences blood sugar level control.

Too low:
interrupts insulin secretion
increases insulin resistance

Vanadium
Using vanadium supplements may increase sensitivity to insulin, which is good/important.

There is a proved link between vanadium levels and diabetes.

Vitamin B6
Also known as pyridoxine, B6 improves glucose tolerance.

Vitamin B12
Helps reduce nerve damage.

Vitamin C
May improve glucose tolerance.

Vitamin D
Boosts insulin sensitivity.

Vitamin E
Oxygenates blood, fights toxins.

Increasing vitamin E may decrease risk of developing diabetes AND reduces risk of diabetic complications.

Zinc
Crucial for insulin metabolism.

Weird diet information
Still diabetes.co.uk…

Says that diets low in carbs and high in fats are healthier for blood glucose control and weight loss.

So now what?
Start with getting multivitamins and actually taking them.

Quit eating simple sugars (especially candy, ice cream, etc).

Eat more fresh foods or foods you make yourself.

In fact, I guess I am going to get up and make teriyaki stir fry for lunch right now.