Friday, December 30, 2011

Holy Cow--We finally Signed.

A notary came by our house tonight (yep-someone does house calls). She brought all of the paperwork and we finally have our 6 month waiting forever to close house. Now my mind is churning with ideas and stuff and wondering what we will be able to do first. What we need to pack. What we need to get rid of of. What we should have sorted in the last six months and did not....eek ;0)

My weight went up a touch more...T-2 and counting of devil may care-itis then it is back on track for this girl. My clothes seem to be a touch tighter and a bit of a belly bump has returned (not that I didn't still have one from my skin sag anyway). My energy level is MUCH better.

David is sick. He seems to be having a rerun of his bladder/kidney deal from last year. Thankfully this time we caught it early and he is back on antibiotics before his fever got too high and I had to take him into hospital. He seems to not be feeling good while I am feeling better (perhaps there is only so much feel good our house can handle?)...that is a kidding dry humor kind or sarcastic comment in case you didn't catch it.

I might be here and then again I might not..depends on how crazy the moving gets.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Post Christmas Weight Gain

Wowza a little unfill has been fun but as with all things fun there is a price to be paid. I have been able to eat much more than I could at the .2 tighter fill level. I am pretty sure this is a good thing. I know I feel a whole lot better. I am definitely feeling ahead of where I was last year at this time.

Good stuff: I can eat meals out without mentally getting a fix on where the bathroom is and carefully thinking through whether I will be able to drink the water or have a drink before my meal. I still have to stop eating at the designated 1/2 cup but I can take things slowly and have a little wiggle room with a bite or two above that level. I can eat steak again!!! I can eat fruit and vegetables much more easily.

Not Good: I have not changed some of my more calorific habits-like the big frappacino and some of the desserts that I was able to slip past my band and get away with because of the only little amounts of meals. It is Christmas time and there are many sweets to choose from and misbehave with. I have gained back up to 167. I can feel this weight gain in my jeans.

The plan: The good far outweighs the not good. I am going to roll with this and improve my actions in the new year. The game plan is to hit David's diet plan hard. His plan is really not far off the band rules really. high protein, fruits and vegetables. Avoiding grain and grain products and sugar. I still have a few more days of fun and I am going to enjoy them to the fullest before I cut down on my precious peppermint syrup. I think I will be allowed the sugar free version if I can stand it.

So how has your eating been over the holidays? What are your plans for the New Year? Where are you in this weight loss journey. For so long my year end reflections of past were rarely ever realized and now I make steady progress that can be marked from year to year. I am sure the band is deserves part of the credit but I think this blog, the blog community support and a readjustment of my thinking all contribute.

Happy almost New Year everyone!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Settling In:

Ok..yesterday was sublime. Pills and coffee for breakfast. a one egg omlet for lunch with a sprinkling of cheese. Dinner was a 2 inch ground chicken and beef meatball with quinoa and egg mixed in to hold the meat together. There was also some grated zucchini in there. I had a small pile of salad, 3 cooked carrot slices and a piece of broccoli. While I cooked dinner I ate a few raw carrot slices. I made a home made balsamic vinaigrette dressing to go on the salad and had a 2 inch round of crispy bread with cheese sprinkled on top. I had my whole family over (11) so bought a cheesecake at Costco and I did have a slice of that for dessert.

Although I wanted to have a glass badly I skipped the predinner wine (just not worth risking a repeat of last night) but I have my lovely screwtop Fantasia wine sitting in the fridge for later (much later) today if I fancy some.

The best part is that with this little unfill I am sitting two pounds lower than I was when it was tight. Imagine can actually get a tiny unfill and drop a couple of pounds. I will still have to be vigilant and make the right food choices but today...this new unfill level is good. not too tight, not too loose..but JUST RIGHT :)


Monday, December 12, 2011

Holy Moly The Tights Returneth

Today was a touch manic and I am hoping todays tightness was a result of that or just some time of the month pre-tightening thing. I should have taken a clue when I had my morning coffee and was still full at lunchtime. I had a second coffee (and yes I know I should have had some solid protein at this point but...(Because Linda and Theresa are totally on target I think with their advice).

1. I had to get David's birthday presents.
2. My parents arrived in town with no prior notice
3. My cousin came into town
4. My uncle needed a visit
5. All shopping had to happen before 2:45 pm when Grace came home from school.
6. The hospital visit had to happen after 3pm and before 5:15 pm
7. We had a dinner reservation for David's birthday at 6pm.
8. I really wanted one..and didn't want any food.

I accomplished the shopping in the given window. I picked up Grace just as she got off the bus. We grabbed our coffee and her after school snack at Starbucks. I also purchased a banana. I drank on our drive to the hospital and then during the visit ate 1/2 the banana (thank goodness for my stash of Ziploc bags. They hold a half a banana leftover beautifully.

At 5:15 we launched into the traffic and headed towards home and our wonderful area foody restaurant (Hall Street Grill). They have employed a new chef and he is....AWESOME. I had a small salad, half a serving of Rockfish with capers, onions and a balsamic reduction (it was delish). Grace and David had dessert that I sampled. Graces Orange cheesecake with apricot reduction and caramel sauce was the single most delicious desert I have ever had in my LIFE!!!

Ok now to the tricky part:

I have had trouble before the unfill with drinking alcoholic beverages. I thought it was the vodka, then I thought it might be the orange juice. Tonight with my fresh unfill I decided to give a pre-dinner drink a try. I had a warm apple cider drink (with rum and brandy). It went down smoothly. I thought dinner was going along just fine until I got in the car (offering up a second thank goodness for my stach of Ziplock bags!). It appears that I still cannot drink a pre-dinner drink. My next strategy is to try drinking a full 30 minutes before the meal. If that doesn't work...and I cannot believe I am going to type this....I will have to become one of those alcohol free people.

Yes you read it correctly...I will not give up coffee or food for thin-ness but I am willing to give up the sauce. :)

Ok...if you are susceptible to food porn look away now. I have included a picture of the best dessert ever invented. I am now scheming on how I can recreate the thing in my own kitchen.

The description from Hall Street Grill:

Foie Gras and Orange “Cheesecake” foie gras and cream cheese panna cotta, shortbread crust, apricot compote, caramel. It is rich, sweet and flavorful. I also melts on your tongue.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

So That is What Eating Is For Others?

Ok that is a bit of an exaggeration but holy moly can I eat and have I been hungry. I have frankly steered clear of the iron pill for the last couple days (after the almost stuck thing). My other drugs go down OK.

Breakfast is still pills and venti Peppermint Mocha Frap. I eat more lunch and I am hungry for it now. Today it was a spinach salad, whole boiled egg, generous tablespoon of cottage sliced carrots and a slice of cucumber plus a little parm. cheese sprinkled on. I swapped my afternoon venti peppermint mocha frap for a tall skim one and now I am like a heat seeking missile for some dinner....

I am skeered of the weight gain. I lost 4 pounds on the day I couldn't eat. Since the unfill I gained a pound each day for two days in a row. I know this is normal but was still a tad freakish. Today the weight gain stabilized stopping at a lovely 162.6. I am hoping I can keep this white-nuckled grip on my weight for the long term.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Weird Retightening and the Polar Express

Now here is weirdness. I got up early and Grant (my grandson) and I walked in the freezing cold weather for a morning cuppa coffee. I had my venti peppermint mocha frapachino and it was good. Grant packed along a ziplock bag of lego guys and lego bikes/skateboard to play with while I drank down the coffee and took my meds (and yes still on the daily regime..except for the Tuesday fiasco). I sat and did the drinking and pill taking slower than yesterday but still the iron pill did not go down nearly as smoothly. I got it down in the end but there were a few dicey moments during our walk from Starbucks to the Grocery store when I felt awfully close to launching that final pill back out again.

Tonight we are going to take Grace and Grant to a special Christmas train ride they have at Hood River. We get to ride on a train and they will read the Polar Express story and serve hot chocolate. We will leave right after school and be home late. Grant is spending today with me and will spend tonight as well.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day 2 Post unfill-

I forgot to weight myself this morning (Oh I sliding down the slippery slope already?). :)..

I had my morning coffee and pills went down a treat as they did yesterday.

I lunched on a cheese box from Starbucks at 2:00 pm. I ate all of the cheese, three of the crackers and one apple slice. I saved one cracker, the almonds, cranberries and remaining apple slices for later. I ate them at around 4pm.

When my at around 5:30 I had two bites of a fresh carrot and two big bites of a tasty apple. These tasted so good.

For dinner-we were at Costco. I had a couple of samples and 1/2 a hotdog.

Evening-A skim peppermint mocha frap.

Ok...I'm still kind of hungry. I think I might have to start thinking more about bulk foods again. The fruit and veg was great. The hotdog not so much. I am still enjoying the ease in which I can get my pills and food down but I am worried about the ease in which I can get FOOD down :)

So far OK...


My uncle is still in the hospital and had another drain tube but in today. Two weeks ago they moved him out of ICU onto a regular ward. The problem is we got too used to the on the spot care he received in ICU. The standards are MUCH lower where he is now. My aunt is killing herself doing so much of the work the nurses should be doing. The physical therapists only come in sporadically and no one bathes him except my aunt. Last night his feeding tube ran empty for ages and we finally had to tell them it was empty. I am not sure if the problem is that the nurses are overworked with 4 patients to one nurse or if they are just not managed well or what.

We have been told he will be moved to a rehabilitation facility and we went and checked it out the other day. One of the nurse managers explained their rehab organization and plan to us and showed us around the facility. She was very nice and the place was pretty impressive. It does mean that she will be further away from my house but still a reasonable distance.

The Never Closing House:

The paperwork is going but the bank says that we have to start from scratch on our loan again and things will not close for 30 days. I guess we can go get a tree and decorate here. We will be in the rental for christmas. I did walk through it again yesterday. It is still what I want to live in. I love it and can't wait to get the move going.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Post Unfill and Post Dinner Update-

It is absolutely amazing what a little food and drink does to one's attitude. I am SO much more comfortable. I had a salad, a bite of coleslaw, pan fried fish and three french-fries. I have to say that the salad was by far the best of the evening. I also drank my water and even though it had ice in it went down smoothly right before the food came.

Soo..the big lessons thus far:

over-restriction can sneak up on you. First you stop eating salad, then you stop drinking water before a meal but none of these things hit all and once. I just gradually restricted myself more and more in order to 'keep the peace' of my goal weight. I did after all get bread back on my menu and who was I to consider the ability to eat bread as too tight. Over time one by one these little things added up to lots of coffee and little food. Even then I carried on but when I would be ravenous in the evenings and then suffer from acid reflux all night I finally had the last straw and went in to address the problem.

So this unfill is providing me with a little reality check. Does an expanded diet of good for me foods out-weight my internal drive to feed myself and my stomach space. The Nurse practitioner felt that it was unusual for someone who had been at my level of restriction for so long to come in and ask for an unfill. It had been 9 months since my last unfill and a year since my last fill.

I am a tad scared but I am going to give this looser restriction a good try. I am really going to have to think through what I eat and when now. If I can eat more at my meals I think some of the morning and afternoon coffee is going to have to shrink while my meals are going to have to grow vegetables :) Wish my luck! I know I told the nurse practitioner that doing this right before Christmas scared the bejeebies out of me.

Well...I am sitting here at 10:30 and kind of hungry. I want to go eat something but I do not want to go to bed with food in my stomach. I am hoping that tonight I get an acid reflux free sleep.

Oh What a Difference 0.20 ML Makes.

My appointment was wonderful!! We talked it over and the nurse practitioner was a little hesitant to take just a little out (in the end 0.2 ml) but she listened to my wishes. I love it that both my surgeon and this NP are great like that. She was really concerned about the acid reflux and agreed that my stoma might be irritated. She pulled out all of my fluid and sat me up (with needle in port) to swallow down two cups of water. Man it felt good to gulp again. She did this to make sure any debris that might being hanging around in my pouch or even in the stoma itself would wash through. She then refilled me to 7.6 ml just .2 less than before the visit.

i feel SO much better. So far I have stuck to liquids but just taking my pills with a post unfill coffee was heaven compared to before the unfill.

Yesterday was pure hell by the way. I had a morning coffee but spend the remainder of the day barfing up that coffee plus whatever dinner had not already beed unstuck the night before. It was not pleasant and not a good place to be while studying for a math final. I did not do very well on said final but will probably take the class over again someday to get the knowledge into my head.

Did I say I was feeling MUCH better? :) I am looking forward to dinner :)...Hopefully I will be able to eat a bit but not suffer anymore :)


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Unfill Appointment Made-and Hell Night

I was up all last night trying to dislodge dinner and suffered from night three of acid reflux. I am really, really over this amount of fill. Geez as some have said to me...."unlike you Tina..we eat"...I have been willing to sacrifice a heck of a lot for sitting with my weight at goal. I eat very little but when a girl can't even keep her coffee down at breakfast somethings gotta give.

Although it might seem like I barf a lot I really don't. Perhaps three or so times a month when I do stupid stuff and am in the throes of tightness on the run up to my period. After a great week of just the right amount of tightness I have come to the conclusion that this perfect for a week and tight for three is just not going to cut it anymore. It is time I stepped up and did some of my own work (eek I am scaring myself even typing this)...see even after a year at goal the old insecurity is there. Can I control this beast or has the band been doing it for me....My appointment is at 10 am tomorrow morning. Today it is all liquids I am afraid and I'm not sure even those are going to go down easy.

I have a math final tonight (and I cannot wait for the class to be over!!!). My head has just not been in the game and the instructor has not been very good. He has been nice enough but is crap at teaching stuff (I know I am a tough audience). Soooo test is tonight and I really don't even care much how well I do...and that is just not my normal self.

I just want to knit and eat again :)


Unfill Decision Made

After a week of perfect restriction I have had two nights of horrendous acid reflux and the tights. I am calling tomorrow to get a tiny unfill. I will check back in when the deed is done...wish me luck and the self control I will probably need to stop from growing out of my lovely clothes.....nail-biting going on as I type..OK between types.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Who Me? Missing?

I have been in an Etsy funk for the last few days. I don't know what came over me but I have spent my days either shopping the miles and miles of Etsy pages or sleeping. I do fit in a visit to my uncle and aunt most days as well. I seem to have finally noticed and done some snapping out of my Etsy problems as of today (Not one peek at the place so far today). It is not even like I am buying anything. I have made a total of two purchases is the whole week-long Etsy extravaganza. The first was some vintage knitting books (some of which are a gift) and the other was four vintage clothing patterns. I am really digging the vintage clothing thing lately and got a couple of skirt patterns and two dress patterns (from the 50's and 60's. Now I just need to stop looking at the stupid website and make something!!

The weight has been good.

The restriction has been good.

I have been taking my iron and vitamins like a good little girl.

My head just needs a little straightening out :)

By the way Thanksgiving went off quite nicely. The array of foods selected to meet the historical needs of each attendee were excellent. I had bits and tastes of each thing but not too much of one thing. We had a nice uncomplicated visit with friends and family and it was all nice.

For the first time David, Grace and I did a big black friday shopping adventure. It was crazy busy and I don't think I will do it again but it was good to get out and experience the hedonistic commercialism of the day :) We are almost ready to mail both of the two parcels we send off with Christmas gifts to family afar early. I now have to get a Christmas letter written and cards done and can then coast into presents for my daughters, husband and grandson.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pre-Thanksgiving Festivities.

My first ever pecan pie is in the oven baking. I used the Dear Abby recipe freely available online. David made the crust (because he is wicked awesome at it). He used Julia Child's technique and a personally experimented recipe from Julia and other friends advice. Here is the list:

2 cups all purpose flour
8 oz of butter
2 t salt
4 T heavy cream
1 T vodka

put the flour, butter and salt into a bowl and use a pastry cutter to make it crumbly.
add in the cream and vodka. Dump the whole mixture out on the counter and squish it against the counter with your hands (basically squick the crap out of it). when it is well blended make a ball and roll it out. This recipe makes two pie crusts.

I altered the pecan pie recipe a touch-I added twice as many pecans. I chopped some up and put them into the syrup mixture and then took another cup and decorated the top. When it comes out I will post a picture.

I will also take a picture of the feast tomorrow..I imagine I will not be eating much of it given the last two night-time adventures however...There will be 14 lovely adults and children to visit with and David is making some lovely leek and potato soup for me and any vegans among the group.

Lets talk important food now :)

over at Fat Fish in a Skinny Sea Rachel told a story of her hilarious because it is so true adventures in trying to get the ingredients for a pumpkin pecan pie. It is really funny isn't it how certain foods at holidays are so very important to us. I think the turkey is important, the gravy made a certain way is vitally important and mashed potatoes are important. My aunt says that candied sweet potatoes are super important (I bought some and she is going to make them tomorrow). My cousin thinks the pecan pie is important (hence I am making that for him). Since David is British and several of our other friends are British..they have no such foody ties to Thanksgiving. Christmas however is a whole other thing.

In 2009 we spent Christmas at my mother-in-laws in the UK. I had a similar Pie breakdown to Rachel . I didn't even imagine that no one would sell canned pumpkin in the UK. I had access to the pan and everything else needed but..the canned pumpkin was just not available. I have tried to cook a real pumpkin in the past and make it have the same texture as the stuff you can get in a is not the same so I took a pass and spend one Christmas without pumpkin pie. It bugged the crap out of me but guess what..I didn't die. I am still here and I am not even making a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. I will do one for Christmas and that is enough. Over here David and his friends make sure they have a Marks and Spencer Christmas pudding ready and a tin of Birdseye custard. I think both of these are just plain old icky but it would not be Christmas for him unless they were on the table.

Update: My pecan pie burned on top before it finished in the middle. $#%$#%$...I don't even like the thing but am feeling the need to go make another one just to prove to myself I can do it.

For dinner we went out to the Spaghetti Factory. I have not been in several years. That place used to be pretty band unfriendly. Huge portions...and then of course there is the whole pasta thing. For the past few weeks I have had a craving for Mizithra and browned butter spaghetti. It used to be my favorite dish they served there The Spaghetti factory has adapted and I actually had it tonight but not on pasta...on spaghetti squash. It was divine!!! Tasty...ORgasmic :). So repeating nighttime tights!! It seems to be settling down in my tummy quite nicely thank you very much :)...yummmy sigh of contentment.

If you don't have a Spaghetti Factory near you you can make it yourself (and I plan to)...just bake a spaghetti squash in the oven with butter. Brown some butter in a pan, fork the Spaghetti Squash (so that it is pasta-ish into the buttered pan. Sprinkle on finely grated mizthra cheese and freshly chopped parsley. You can garnish with a bit of fresh pepper too.

Now to conquer that blasted pecan pie and clean house :)


Well Thankful has Gone Down the Toilet!

Ok so I have not posted a thankful since the 17th and it is now the 23rd. Um..I guess I kind of lost the plot.

So remember when I was in New York and having trouble keeping meals down..yeah well it has been almost exactly one month since then. A relatively PB and stuck free month (with the odd stupidity barf thrown in for good measure). Well guess what has reappeared for the past two nights? yup you guessed it..I am fine with my morning coffee, fine with lunch (today was 1 scrambled egg with cheese). For dinner I took my aunt downtown and we walked around in the rain and wind (it was kind of exciting even though I don't think she agreed) looking for a new place to have dinner. The three of us..aunt, grandson and I finally stopped at Pastini (she was so worn out and soggy by the time we got there she just said..yes lets eat here). She had a vegetarian pasta dish. I ordered spaghetti and meatballs and Grant ordered broccolini (I love broccolini). We shared..I had about one meatball and about two bites of pasta. it was delicious. It sat fine...We left Pastini and walked quickly back to my class. My aunt waited for me while my daughter took Grant home. Dinner was fine..I felt fine. I went with my aunt up to the hospital..I visited...dinner was fine.

I left for home at 9:30 pm (dinner ended at 6:00). It was there I could tell but still feeling fine. I got home...changed into a robe sat down on the couch watched a little TV surfed the Etsy a little..and guess what decides it is no longer fine? My #$%#% dinner..thats what. from 10 until midnight I worked on getting whatever it was that managed to stick at such a stinking slow pace out. the meatballs were tender. I chewed the crap out of the pasta...everything that came back was small...stupid tights.

I had a similar experience last night. wasn't too hungry and then whammo starving. I had a piece of cheese toast...twice. pht...

During the day things went SO well...I even managed to get a full iron table down without breaking it in half and had NO iron burps...pht. I guess this month it is a case of the night time tights?

thankful...days 18-23. I am thankful for all of those people on this planet who inspire me:

band bloggers

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Just Keeping On Keeping On

My uncle is doing much better. He has to recover and they don't know the extent of the damage to his pancreas but everyday they take out more tubes and he stands up a little more frequently and for a longer time.

I have taken my vitamins everyday but two. I just could not face the iron tablets on Friday and Saturday but I took the rest. I am still really tired and having difficulty getting up in the mornings. My aunt put me onto a new drink-sugar free green tea with with citrus by Sweet Leaf. I took a whole slow release iron pill with it this morning without breaking it in half. I went through OK. Yesterday I took the same one but broken into two pieces and spent the rest of the morning burping up the nastiest iron taste on the planet.

On Thursday we are hosting 14 for Thanksgiving. We have our bronze breasted turkey. David made a menu and grocery list last night. He has already made one cheesecake and is planning another tonight. The bread will be mixed and set to rise over night for baking tomorrow. I am slotted to make a pecan pie (with his crust). I am not sure where everyone is going to sit and if we have enough plates to eat off of but I am sure we can figure it out.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Exit Interview-Finally

Well holy moly despite my indecision and trepidation about what would be included in my exit interview today I was pleasantly surprised. I was in a round about way offered another job. After I pulled my chin up off the table I pitched that I go on as a courtesy faculty member for a period (that means no pay but campus privileges). I debated long and hard about the pros and cons of cutting ties all together or keeping my foot in the ring but trying to balance my life and work better. The fewer distractions I leave on my desk the more I can focus on what is already there. I have always had a difficult time saying no to things and there is much that is positive about the work I was doing here. On the other hand It would be smart of focus on a few things and get them done...hmm what was that book I just read called again?

After a discussion with David and much thinking and even more thinking after the meeting I think I will stick to the courtesy situation for now and pitch to my paper boss (the one I respect and like) that in exchange for this I work distantly on another stem project with him and begin writing up a few selected articles from the grant I just walked away from. That second part might not be acceptable to them. For some reason they seem to think that when someone leaves a position there is a requirement that they forget everything they ever saw or learned as far as data is concerned. I know better but apparently this misconception is stuck in their minds.

Either way I am all good. I have said my piece and I believe my boss managed to pull off the 'good terms' situation he wanted. Now I need to craft/draft a contract without pay for myself and figure out how to balance all of this and still do all the other stuff that I want (like the knitting store among other things of course). By the way..this boss of mine...he raises fleece bearing goats and was very interested in selling me some of them :). I of course told him about the store.

There was some post meeting talking with a former colleague (who is a great person) and David...and this leads me to today's grateful post.

soo..todays grateful Day 17: I am grateful for people who offered a listening ear, gave me space to cry, gave me support, gave me advice and were just plain old kind to me during all of this job quitting and career crisis/changing/brainstorming/figuring out gig. Yes again I am talking to you! Comments were left...because you are my bandster and boobs girlfriends, my roomie at Boobs was the bomb when I blew a gasket and blubbered on my bed :) David as usual managed his often very annoying but the right thing to do support without advice. My colleague, my family..oh this list goes on. I am gaining peace about the whole decision making thing and I am glad!!!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Blood Work Is In

I got a call from the doctors office today. Do you know that if you don't take your vitamins they threaten to haul you in for iron infusions and such? I am apparently even lower on blood than I was in June. This doesn't really surprise me as I already told you I have been pretty tired and in a funk of late. I am still being good with the vitamins but will call her office tomorrow and see what she wants me to do.

All my other blood work was fine this time except for the already stated Iron and vitamin D. Apparently all Oregonians and most other people suffer from low D (especially in the Winter months). My daily vitamins contains 200% of the daily suggested amount so I should improve on that score as well.

I had a real lapse in eating last night and totally paid a price for it. My uncle had his pancreatic cyst drained. It was a very risky procedure and although it was the right thing to do (really the only option). No one wanted to do it. The surgeons didn't want to, the gastro guy couldn't because the cyst made it impossible for him to put the tools down into his stomach. and the radiologist (who didn't attend the group meeting and were ultimately nominated in his absence) Didn't want to. As stated in my last post I am grateful to them because they did a great job but...and a big but here...all of the stress and emotions of the whole thing caught up to me I think. I hit the house very hungry (well at least that is what my head was saying)...and quickly pulled a container of peanut butter cup Ben and Jerry's out of the freezer. Thankfully my daughter had had a few stabs at the thing but what was left I downed quite quickly. I deluded myself into think that since it went down quite nicely that I would be fine.

..yeah at 3am I had one of those lovely cases of acid reflux from hell. I got up a few times but finally gave up at at 3am sat in my chair for an hour messing about on this computer. I went back to bed at 4 and only woke up to say goodbye to my daughter for school at 7am. I promptly fell right back asleep and slept like I was dead until 11:30 am. David obviously came into the room dressed for work and left but I didn't hear a thing.

After I woke up I dashed to the hospital to find my uncle having tubes pulled out. He can now get up to go to the bathroom himself, sit in a recliner, totally aware of who we are and where he is. It was such a contrast to the last months that I was blown away! They are talking of moving him up to the regular ward in a couple of days.

My aunt and I went to the cafeteria for a quick bite at 1pm and we talked about how we both had the urge to celebrate with food! Boy we have problems in our family. We both turned to healthy things. If nothing else my uncle's experience has made us both aware of how important it is to take care of yourself. She had a salad and I had 1/2 a cup of chicken noodle soup.

Needless to say this evening..there is and will be no more ice cream in this house for quite some time to come. If I want a frosty treat that bad I will have to return to the protein drink.

Day 16 thanks: Girlfriends are the best. I was never a big friends kind of girl as a child and teenager. I have always been more of a serial monogamous best friend kind of person. As I get older and more mature I am finding that it is perfectly wonderful to have lots of girl friends :) I am grateful for all of online banded blogger girlfriends (yes I mean you!!), my local bunco girlfriends (oh we laughed a lot tonight at bunco), my neighborhood girlfriends, and finally my family but I really like you as a girlfriend friends. We cry together, say the right things to each other, say the wrong things to each other and patch it up, drink coffee together, shop together, share our struggles and successes. Girlfriends are priceless.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

And Day 15 arrives.

I am thankful for the radiologists of the VA hospital. They put up a bit of a fight because the procedure was risky but my uncle has a drain installed and has lost more than 18 pounds and 6 liters of pancreatic fluid out of his abdominal cavity. He is breathing much better and sleeping solidly for the first time in ages.

His nurse made a joke after he was back in his room and settled in that he had just undergone the VA wieghtloss plan. It was a long and stressful day but turned out well.

On the Band front:

I have taken my vitamins and meds like a good girl since Friday. There have been difficult moments but so far...taking my prozac in the morning and if there is still room or the pills go through my stoma nicely I will chase it with half of my iron tablet. Before I eat lunch or if I am thirsty at midmorning I will take the other chopped bit of iron tablet and chew on my gummy vitamins.

If I have been good and gotten it all down I am free to eat lunch. Who would have that that withholding food from myself until after meds would do the trick??

I am still pretty tight and contemplating getting a tad of an unfill. My thinking is that if my vitamins and mineral balances continue to be a problem I will have to take the unfill...if that unfill means I gain some weight so be it but no more than 170 and I will do my best to eat better but low cal so I can maintain my weight and just run with a looser band. So far the pills are going down and I can tolerate the tightness. I have had a few problems here and there with PB's...oh corn why art thou so evil :).


Monday, November 14, 2011

Thankful Day 14

I am thankful for people who touch your lives and are kind, invested, and interested. I had lunch with a colleague today. He is laid back but worries about his kids. We talked it out. I hope I made him feel better. We talked about my ex-job..he made me feel better and inspired me. At the hospital the dialysis nurse, the RN, the med student and the doctor and the hospice counselor all asked how my weekend was. They asked how we were holding up in this hospital gig and then complimented my aunt on her caring and helpfulness and kindness to the staff.

Welll this is a funny thing. I wrote this post last night and thought I published it but here it sits. I guess today's thankful is:

I am thankful for the draft function that automatically saves my posts when I absentmindedly forget to actually hit publish after all that typing.


Getting Ready

1. Getting dressed takes a lot more work than it once did. Don't get me wrong this isn't a complaint but I changed into three outfits on Sunday morning, put on makeup saturday night and looked in the mirror several times on each day checking fluffing and asking Davids opinion. The question I ask myself is why? Why didn't this occur to me before. In this conversation with myself I think the answer is kinda complicated. I think I avoided looking at what I had done to my body and if I didn't look I didn't face the problem. I think I was so depressed by how I would look in clothes that I just put on the same old uniform each day and didn't try anything new. My uniform was slacks or jeans, a t-shirt or tank top and a blouse or cardigan to drape over my fat. Was I fooling anyone. Yes...myself I think. Finally I don't think I had the energy at that time to mess with any of this overly much. I was tired...all of the time.

2. Yesterday we went shopping for Christmas. We have stuff to send to my parents house with two of my daughters this Thanksgiving. We will be staying home and celebrating with Nichole, Grant, Nichole's boyfriend, some family friends. I only wish we were in our new house to do it but it seems we are destined to spend this holiday on the carpet and cooking in a small kitchen. We also have stuff to get into international mail to sent to the UK. We got some Oregon cards too!! :)

3. Getting things done is still at the gather and sort stage. I cleaned out another box of stuff from my old office yesterday. I managed to throw away 50%. My goal is...cutting the clutter by 50% I hope I can keep it up!!

4. My uncle was scheduled for a procedure for Tuesday. They are trying to relieve some of the cyst he has developed on his pancreas so they can start trying to figure out the extent of work that will need doing on his pancreas. He is in pain and the cyst is pushing all of his internal organs into tight quarters. Last night they told my aunt they would be doing it today and then this morning when I rushed down to be with her while they did it..they went an cancelled the thing. sheesh...It is back on for tomorrow or Wednesday. I hope they do it soon and he can start moving forward towards recovery.

5. My daughter is having trouble getting things done :) I am starting to see a theme in our home...We are going to work together I think to improve ourselves.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Getting it Done

I went to the office supply store today...ohh I love a good office supply store. I now have a expandable folder and some pretty files to create year long calendar. I have always dreamed of getting all of my birthday cards done ahead of time and then when the calendar changes mailing them so that all of my family and friends get a card from me. This has always been a dream..never a reality. Most of the time I send just cards to my nieces and nephews and most of the time they are late. Well now thanks to the Getting Things Done author I will have a year long calendar set up with a month set up day by day and the remainder set up a month at a time. I think I will use post it notes if something is date specific.

David got refill stickers for her label my labels will be lovely. Now I have to do the not so fun part--sorting through the crap. I have started and even sorted a little more last night but there is soooooo much to go through. I am determined.

Day two and I have now taken my vitamins and meds like a good compliant girl. So far...I still take the prozac in the capsule with my breakfast coffee. I opened them and OMG they were awful. Worse even than the iron drops. So...basically my morning meal consists of coffee and pills. I have started taking the vitamins for lunch. I break up the iron tablet into three pieces and sit and drink something (today it was diet orange soda but yesterday it is water) and then chew up my two gummy vitamins before I am allowed to eat anything. Again the pills temporarily fill me up and I have to linger much longer over my lunch that I normally would.

Tonight a couple of friends of Davids from work, and the two of us are going out to a swanky restaurant here in Portland call Beast. It has a tasting menu and according to the friend is a place to learn a ton about culinary artistry. I am the designated driver and will attempt a report tomorrow.

Friday: Thankful for veterans who were given yesterday as a holiday but still had to work. My aunt said..isn't it funny that kids get Veteran's day off but veterans have to work. She is so right. With the amount of time I have been spending at the hospital I have learned that there are many veterans who go into the hospital without any family. These guys spend long periods of time with only nurses and doctors to communicate with. Although they get the best care that I have ever seen medically it is sad that many do not have friends and family to look out for them and keep their spirits up. War is a nasty job and I am thankful to those who do it even when the decision to participate in said wars may or may not be their own or just.

Saturday: I am thankful for office goods. Retail therapy and office goods are mood lifting :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tired but doing something about it

I went to the doctor today for a bit of a chastisement. Remember back in June when I was told I needed to start taking my vitamins and iron and such? Well umm yeah..I didn't. I have been really run down lately, tired, depressed...just no oomph at all. Well the doctor re-told me that I was down two pints of blood low in a bunch of vitamins and minerals (b-12, iron, D)...This time I was a good girl and went right out to find the vitamins and I have officially taken my first dose this evening. She took another blood sample and will let me know what it says. I predict it will be even worse than last time (based on how I feel).

So the winy part where I defend my stupidity is next: I am tight and taking the plethora of pill she wants me too has been really hard. I have a heck of a time just getting the prozac down. Well...I sorted that out while I sorted out the vitamin situation. I asked the pharmacist if I could dump out my capsules..and I can. Tomorrow morning I will try my first dose of powdered prozac. I will then chase it with 3 grown-up gummy-vites (that have 200% of the recommended b-12 and about as much D). I will chase these with a cut in half iron tablet (that liquid was just toooooo nasty to try again). I will get one of those monthly pill boxes tomorrow when I go out for files (see the next paragraph) to get my life sorted.

I finished the Getting Things Done book I mentioned a month or so ago. I am now in the action stages. The first step is to gather all of my life's crap and sort it quickly into time needed to complete categories. I also sorted mine into knitting, mathy, needs doing right now, stuff to read sometime, and math class (that pile didn't fit on my stacker). I sorted through all of my piles in the living room and cleaned off my bedside table (after 9:30 pm tonight even). It is time I got my life back in order don't you think?
No more woulda shoulda coulda's and much more got it, did it, doing more.

November Thankful:

Day 10: I am thankful for the doctors that my uncle has pulling for him. They are talking about surgery now but it is all very risky and scary. I have never seen such a great group of people collaborate like this. I only dream of this kind of collaboration in my work.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hungry-Walking for Food

Day 9: I am thankful for all of the people who may be unrecognized but do nice things everyday just because.

Oh I am full...I am old school full. Stuff I have learned today:

1. My medication definitely tightens my band. I ran out and only took one pill this morning. I was about to go get a refill when I discovered I was out of them and my doctors office was closed. I saved the last one for tomorrow.
2. I remember that full feeling and I kind of miss it but glad I only have it occasionally.
3. I am totally glad my band is there for me.
4. We walked to another nearby strip mall tonight and then back to our closest business area to get the mail and stuff. I am glad that in our new lifestyle includes walking. I put in about a mile or two and worked towards earning the dinner I have now sitting comfortably but fully in my lower tummy...yumm.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Weekend and knitting store brain dump

Day 6: I am grateful for my aunt and her ability to see the gray in life.

Day 7: I am grateful for friends who invite me to lunch and a visit.

Day 8: I am grateful for nurses who offer good care to patients in need.

I spent Sunday and Monday on a quick trip to the town where my aunt lives to help her load up some more things from her home, pick up mail and stuff. I managed to get in a little more antique store shopping (found a very cool dress from the 60's that I want to copy a pattern from), some vintage buttons, antique hangers and talked to my aunt about selling me some of her shelves/display pieces to put in my store (when we finally get moved in). With an end in sight I have started thinking about what we will do furniture-wise, what I will call the I will decorate the shop...some possible classes...etc.

I will tell you more as my ideas solidify but it will definitely be a mixture of antique and new knitting and spinning materials. There will be a selection of UK goods (and hopefully some direct from the spinner and dye-er UK yarns). I also hope to find some antique spinning wheels.

I am thinking of offering several kids learn to knit classes, using knitting and crocheting to embellish clothing and home-goods. etc. Grace is excited and has been drawing possible logo's for me. I have a name figured out but can't tell you all until I have gotten my domain name sorted. There will be a webpage and facebook links so watch out :)


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Penny For the Guy

We are living in the US but the holiday period that shifts my husband to a bit of homesickness every year is today. Guy Fawkes Day. He talked about it every Independence day and has for several years wanted to go home during this period so he can celebrate.

We have yet to make it to the UK in November but our lovely friends who are also UK expats and a few years ago they began saving some of their fireworks from July 4 until tonight. They throw a party and we go. We are looking forward to dropping a penny for the guy on the way in the front door, burning a few sweat sock-guys in effigy in the patio fireplace, eating, drinking and visiting with our friends and neighbors (British and non-British alike).

Happy Guy Fawkes Day.

Day 5 Thankful: I am thankful for David's steadfast partnership. He is not a very demonstrative guy but he is solid and steady and sometimes that is much more important and needed.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Crazy Friday

1. What’s on your desk between your monitor and keyboard? (if it’s a laptop – what’s on your desk in general)

I don't have a desk anymore :) and I like it thank you very much. I have a desk in my house..there is nothing on it but one envelope and the computer. The chair however is piled with winter coats that everyone has been too lazy to hang up in the closet. All of my non-work these days is done on a laptop in a chair with no deskiness.

2. What’s on your mind right at this moment?

I need to go get my coffee and go to the hospital. I am developing a headache because I slept in and then have been goofing around on my computer instead of getting on the road.

3. What’s in or on your nightstand on your side of the bed?

My 'nightstand' is two book shelves and way to full of crap to list it all. I have a bowl of pens and pencils (a big one), jewelry laying around, a lamp, post its, magazines, books, change, a book light and a few pairs of glasses. hmm now that I write this I notice that i have made my nightstand into a desk..hmmm what does that imply? that I like working from bed? now what does that imply? :) haha.

4. What’s on YOUR Christmas wish list (let’s assume you’d get what was on it)?

To finally close on our new house. Furniture items for that house. a trip somewhere warm.

5. Repeat question: Summarize your week in real life and in blog land.

I had a very stressful week (parent crap of which I cannot talk on a public forum). In my retired status I have managed to fill my days with business (I think it is a major personality flaw of mine). I went every day down to the hospital, had my grandson for a sleepover, Halloween festivities...etc.

I have blogged everyday and the epiphany of thankfulness I had on Tuesday has really refocused my week. I am working really hard and looking for things to be thankful for instead of moaning (I am really a natural pessimist I think).

I have done some reading this week but been horrible with the commenting. Just a few here and there. I have noticed that she who does not comment gets fewer comments herself...hmm is that the key to the people who get 40 comments after every post?

Day 4 Thankful post: I am thankful for Starbucks: venti peppermint mocha frappacino with chocolate curls. (I know this is not a very dignified one but geezz I need a little caffeine to start my engine).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful November Day 3

A PHOTO RERUN: Last year the day after Thanksgiving the whole family went to a Christmas tree farm and harvested Christmas trees. This was a photo from that day.
From left to right in back: Jamari (Cinda's BF). Cinda (daughter number 3), David (Husband), Me, Meghan (daughter number 2), Nichole (daughter number 1), Grant in her arms and Grace in front (daughter number 4).

Day 3: I am grateful that I have four very sensitive and understanding daughters who each have a distinct personality and various likes and dislikes. They each genuinely like each other and enjoy spending time together and with us.

Today's wrap up-my grandson, Grant, spent the night yesterday and I learned the power of thankful thinking. Just writing down my intentions seemed to impact how I viewed the rest of the day. Now don't get me wrong....I still gnashed and thought over the cracks but...I could at least see the things to be thankful for in sharp focus. Grant and I walked to Starbucks, watched school house rock together, went down to the hospital to visit with my aunt and had lunch with my parents and aunt and Cinda (daughter number 3). I always feel like I am Charlie Chan when I name them that way but it is how I can help you understand who they are :))

While I drove home Grant fell asleep and by the time I got home I was so worried about him having an accident that I made him go potty when we hit the house...well the nap was done after that. We chilled and watched a little TV. Grant and I went with Grace to choir practice and he played a little, I knitted a little, we colored in his Go Diego Go coloring book. We ate some Halloween Candy and we took a couple peeks in at Grace singing. Oh..we also petted a really cute dog.

We then stopped at the grocery store to get Grant replacement for his lost pacifiers (he still holds them while he sleeps at night). and some food for dinner. We came home, ate...he had a little pre-poop accident in his pants and my wonderful husband cleaned him up (I had just eaten and my gag reflex was working overtime)....shudder....Grant took a bath and then he put on his pajamas and crawled into the little cocoon bed I made for him on the floor next to where I sleep. We read a dinosaur book and then he fell asleep.

After a little TV, David and I also went to bed and we all had the best nights sleep in a long time. In the morning Grant woke up and hopped into my bed for a cuddle (he was very cute and said.."ohh I snuggle with mama in the mornings"). and then we got up and left for his preschool.

After a calm (he loves his school) preschool drop I went up to the hospital to check in on my aunt and uncle. My uncle had a fever spike but the meds kicked in later in the afternoon to bring his temp down. I took my aunt to my house for a shower, laundry and in for a few groceries. She impresses me with her strength and kindness.

We waited for Grace (daughter number 4) to get out of school and then went back to the hospital for a quick visit and then back down to grants preschool to pick him up. The three of us went and got dinner at the grocery store and had a picnic back in my oldest daughter's dorm room. Grace Grant and I watched a little Wild America on DVD and then walked over to my class where we met Nichole (daughter number 1) who watched the kids while I went to class. Grace and I are now home..she is in bed and I am typing this probably boringly detailed post for yall :)

All in all a very nice couple of days when you think about it from a thankful perspective :) :)


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Longer I Live the More I Figure out I have Learned Little

1. Halloween and candy are evil.
2. I still let discord with my mother disturb my attitude, mood and sense of self-worth.
3. When I let the discord bug me the Halloween candy seems to scream all the louder.
4. I have wonderful children and a grandchild and need to focus on the positive instead of the negative.
5. I have a wonderful husband who is there for me.
6. The number of positives outweigh the negatives to such an extent why do I continue to let the cracks impact me so greatly.

arghghgh :) I think a little thankful November is in order:

Day 1: David is a great feet warmer.
Day 2: It is a joy to watch School House Rock with my grandson. Three really is a magic number.

Pictures worth a smile:

Grace amongst the leaves
a fall crow in the leaves

Grant with a silly face.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Holding Pattern

After a bit of a sitting on the edge of our seat day on Friday my uncle has continued to take us on a bit of a roller coaster ride. The surgeons were talking intervention on Friday as his temperature was going up and no one could figure out why. Everyone was too afraid to intervene and put off doing anything once again but then miraculously his fever came down and he seemed to have make an improvement. fever is back. Who knows why? they don't but there will be yet another meeting on Tuesday to talk over with the whole team (he has quite the team working on his various body parts) how to proceed. My guess is that we will leave with yet another consensus that more time needs to be given for his cyst to mature (I know I am being waffly know one of those situations where you don't want to say too much in a public forum but enough to let you know what is going on here).

My food is messed up..I had one meal today and two coffees plus some candy and a couple of cookies. Not good..nothing to be proud of. and likely to cause a weight loss tomorrow (wrong feedback for not doing what I know is good for me). I ate better on Saturday but still not what I should be doing and I know it. I was really not in a good frame of mind today. I did not haul myself out of bed until almost noon and then it messed the rest of the day up. The dark and rainy weather is not helping my attitude or mood for sure. The scale was a touch down but not yet on the low of 161.

Tomorrow is Halloween. Grace is excited and is either dressing up in her pioneer costume or as a peacock. She went to a harvest party today in the pioneer outfit. She is prepared for either costume as Cinda gave her the peacock gear and with black stretch pants and a turquoise fleece I found tonight and the pioneer outfit is from her Oregon trail reenactment from last spring.

bleck...just feeling blecky ..not up not down...just can't be bothered to feel anything. Not sure what is going on but obviously worth working on. It if funny isn't it that although I love being thinner now...I like the ease in which I can find and wear clothes but getting this control over the body part of my life has really not solved all of my moods. I intellectually knew that the one thing was not the root of all problems...but somehow down deep I think I deluded myself into thinking it would.


Friday, October 28, 2011

BYOC..Its Friday

1. When did you begin blogging? Do you plan to do it a long time or do you think you’ll stop after a while?

I began blogging almost four years ago (I cannot believe it has been that long!). It is funny really. I have never been a journal keeper or consistent at anything really. This blog has become quite the marker in my life. In a way it matches my weightloss...finally stuck both out for the long term. Do you think the theme about most things is slow and steady? :) I have sort of taken that on as my motto in life these days.

2. What do you enjoy more - blogging yourself or reading other’s blogs?

I like both. Somedays I just cannot wait to get some profound thing down that has been rolling in my head or some event that has occurred and I start drafting the blog post even before I am near a computer. At other times I read a blog post that touches me, makes me feel close to another blogger, sympathize with their words or even be inspired by a break through or struggle. I also LOVE reading the comments people post..both to others and to my own posts. Sometimes the real gem is in a comment.

3. What’s the biggest thing blogging has taught you? Biggest surprise about blogging?

hmm I agree with Read...that you can connect with other people that you have never met. Even more odd I sometimes wonder if I connect more with them on the computer than in real life. I am sorta shy really and my experience at boobs was a tad overwhelming...but that brings us to number 4.

Also-read number 1. That whole long term thing is pretty powerful in my head :)

4. Have you met any other bloggers in real life – solely because of your blog or theirs?

I have met several both at BOOBS and when they came to Portland or I travelled to other places. I find that the one on one meetings are the most fun (but that might be my nerdy inability to handle socializing in crowds well). see above.

5. Does your blog have a general theme as in one topic or do you cover everything and anything?

I focus on my lapband but of course weightloss is not a single item issue so everything creeps in. I keep some stuff to myself if I am concerned it will hurt anyone I care about. See below for more on that topic :)

I have another blog-We did it-I am lame at staying on top of it. For some reason weight-loss has been a topic I can stick with better. I am planning on opening a knitting store so my brain is working on yet another blog/webpage to accompany that adventure.

6. Are you public or anonymous? Whichever you are – do you ever wish you were the other?

I am public, open and at times I wish I was anonymous. I do keep stuff back because I know 'people; who know me read this. Of course if you don't have something nice to say about someone you might as well keep it to yourself right? I wish I could keep this motto better in my off-blog life :)

7. What’s your best blogging advice for a new blogger?

Keep at it. Be yourself and be honest that is what we really want to hear about and what we will connect with. It is also what you need to do so that you can use this as a record for your life. Don't worry about how many people follow you or don't. there are plenty who are lurking and think of this blog for yourself. A place to get your thoughts and feelings out and keep a record. I cannot tell you the number of times I have gone back and discovered a pattern to my behavior that needed changing or just recognizing so I didn't feel so bad about it. THis blog has done wonders to help me examine myself..warts and all.

8. Does anyone in your real life read your blog/know its address? Do you wish they would or wouldn’t?

Goodness yes. I have friends in my neighborhood, extended family members, is sometimes pretty creepy to think about. My husband reads it sometimes even. Everyone has been very supportive and nice about the blog. Again this knowledge sometimes causes me to keep things back but hey...I don't need to say everything do I? :)

9. Do you enjoy blogging or do you view it as a chore? How often do you blog?

I do enjoy it. If it were a chore I wouldn't do it. I blog sometimes a few times a week, sometimes every day and other times with week gaps. I have actually increased the regularity over time because I have figured out that the venting and looking back is so beneficial. I do tend to blog more when stuff is happening around here either with my band, eating or life events. I will let days go by when things are boring or too busy to take a moment to stop and type an entry.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...

The good: I walked into my uncle's hospital room at 9pm and he said hello and was awake and perky. He still cannot talk very well with his breathing tube in but he communicated quite well with his face, eyes, hands and even attempted to note. It was great to seem him doing so well. There is one more week before they can really intervene but we will know more about the plan on Friday.

I did very poorly on my first math exam. The teacher said that my running out of time was no big deal and that it would all even out in the end. He then handed me the exam and it was horrible! I made a bunch of stupid mistakes, was just plain wrong on one of the problems and didn't finish two of them. each missed question dropped my test score by another grade....blech. Apparently I need to re-new my focus on that aspect of things.

Well the tightness of last week has transformed into an empty tummy. Today I was starving! I could eat anything that moves! My tummy is growling right now but of course I am scared to eat anything because it is bed time....going to go to bed to survive it I guess.


Monday, October 24, 2011

My Coffee is Ruined!!

Remember when I said in my last post that the coffee in New York was not as good as it is in Portland...I came home and had a hot cup of peppermint mocha (cause Autumn is really here and it was fecking cold). Note the use of that non-dirty word my Irish pals taught cup of coffee was just as sharp as it was in New York. I think they have changed to a Winter blend and I for one don't like it. I might...get ready to hold onto something or sit down now....have to start making my coffee at HOME!!!

I will let you know how long I last and if, when i buckle tomorrow, it is still bad enough to put such crazy thoughts into my head.

The rest of the day was as usual my normal crazy whirlwind kind. I drove Grace to school, then went to the jeweler to get my newly resized wedding and anniversary rings back. I am now settled at a size 5 ring (I do love this yes I do). I also picked up some toys for my uncle to fiddle with in his hospital bed.

I then went down to school to take the test I skipped on Thursday. I thought I was doing very well but they stopped me 2 questions before I was done. I am not very happy about it and find it hard to believe that the instructor stopped my classmates on Thursday. I will talk to him after class tomorrow night. I studied my backside off and still didn't feel very comfortable going into the test. I will need to work harder I guess.

After the test I ran up to the hospital and with a mask on for germ protection visited my uncle. My aunt washed his new toys (a rubics cube, a koosh ball that lights up and an expando tube thing that makes noises but takes a little bit of muscle to pull open and push closed). Apparently providing small toys to patients in ICU helps them focus better and recover. He did seem to like the ball and made motions as if he were about to throw it. He did a bunch of passing it back and forth and when the nurse told him he should squeeze it to strengthen his hands he did. He also winked at me and mouthed a few cuss words at one point.

My uncle had to go in for some tests so I took my aunt out on a few errands, lunch and a quick stop at one of my favorite knitting shops.

I then headed home arriving just after she did and managed to spend the rest of the evening until just now (10pm), cleaning up the various messes the two of them made while I was gone, having a little hair coloring session with Cinda (we both used henna and I did not get any hives!!!). Prepping dinner for tomorrow, making Grace's lunch for school and finally cooking up a batch of cinnamon spice pumpkin seeds. I also organized Grace's notebook (her old system was just not working). Does anyone have any hints on how to get your 10 year old more organized???

I did not do my math work so will have to do it in the morning nor did I sit down or take a nap..or any of the things I wished I could do earlier today :(....I guess I will have to be satisfied with productive.

My band behaved herself today: breakfast hot peppermint mocha, Snack: A wee little candy bar, lunch: 1 cup of vegetable split pea soup and four bites of Marion-berry pie. Dinner: two small pieces of naan bread Pizza with spinach and eqqplant. Dessert: one garlic cheese curd and 1 cup of orange juice.

I managed all of my pills plus some sudafed and tylenol. I felt much better today and even better this evening. No upset tummy or too tight band at all.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mystery Solved

I had a second disaster day needing to run to bathrooms with colleagues ( I love making friends with nurses as they are so cool with something so small as a little throwing up). These women were also VERY interested and nice when I told them I had a band. I have just spent the last four days at a Grounded Theory research conference. Grounded Theory is a theoretical research method where you take a bunch of data (from interviews or any other place) and use it to figure out and document a groups main concern and then document a theory about how the group works to resolve the main concern. The conference is filled with people who study any kind of subject (nurses, psychologists, business people, educators, etc.). We just like using the method of data analysis. The people I do this research method with are the best...and the kinds of professionals I dreamed working with when I was a lowly grad student planning a career in academia. This dream was not realized in my field as I have found for the most part the colleagues I have ended up with (not all but many) have been very difficult to work with and the hyper competition, control and ego has been disappointing.

So I have 'retired' but these fine students and colleagues make me regret giving up higher ed altogether. I am scheming about ways to have my perfect working and business life..Oh no don't you worry the knitting store is still a go but I don't want to walk away from all these wonderful researchy people either.

Back to the band-So two of the worse tight days I have had in ages were Thursday and Saturday. I was truly thinking Sturday about how quickly I could get a little unfill and viola the problem became apparent. I have picked up some bug and am coughing with a stuffy nose. the flu/cold thing washed over me last night while in the coolest bar in the west village. The west village was a LOVELY place to visit and I definitely want to go back during my next New York Visit. I am taking it easy and only have liquids and medication today (tylenol and sudafed).

If the last few days continue in any way next week I am for sure going in for a little unfill.

The list follows of all the fun stuff I did and saw in New York-

1. found out one of my colleagues reads this blog (kind of embarrassing but cool at the same time).
2. Met with 20 of the smartest student theorists I know.
3. Met with four of the greatest experiences grounded theorists I know.
4. Walked in Central park
5. Had drinks, coffee and then lunch in the trump tower.
6. visited Tiffanys for the first time and bought a ring to treat myself, a necklace that matches for David to give me for Christmas, and Grace her first tiny little piece of nice jewelry.
7. Sat in a cool lounge bar in the West Village.
8. Hung out with three gals from Ireland and one from Australia who were so smart and fun. The Irish girls taught me that 'whats the crack' just means whats going on, 'Feck off' is not a dirty word and 'hurling' is a good thing in Ireland :)
9. Saw a film being shot on the south end of Central Park.
10. had warm Bailey's (very tummy soothing and tasty).
11. Saw a really cool and inexpensive hotel in the West village called the Jane-I will stay there sometime. It has shared bathrooms but they were immaculate (believe me I am picky).
12. Had a great hotel in Secaucus this time and rode the bus in to the port authority and out again by myself...was a bit scary at first but was also quite fun.
13. Found the New Yorkers are quite friendly and nice. Even bus drivers (i think friendlier than they are in Portland).
14. Starbucks coffee and service are much tastier and efficient in Portland.
15. I still LOVE walking neghborhoods in New york. The upper East side is excellent as is Hells Kitchen and the West Village.
16. There is still so much yet to be seen..I don't think I will ever get tired of that lovely town.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why Do I Never Learn?

Of course the tights have hit again and my brain has seemingly gone as well. I have been fairly careful. I had a bit of indigestion last night (a gift following an 8pm ice cream cone before I got back to my hotel). I was awake until 2am burping it and woke up off an on all night going back and forth in my head between the tummy troubles and phantom bed bugs that I imagined in the bed. I swear sometimes my imagination is just ridiculous. At one point I nearly jumped out of my skin when I thought I felt a soft warm lump move under the sheets (it was a lumpy sheet...nothing moving).

7:30am came way to quickly given my poor sleeping and I hopped on the New Jersey to New York City bus...a quick 15 minutes and I was in and walking up to the conference hotel (yes with a coffee stop). The walk took longer this morning than the bus ride.

I had my coffee and took my pills with no problem. I had a fiber bar (one of the lovely and delicious freebies stockpiled from BOOBS). I will give you a full name and review tomorrow when I dig the wrapper out of the depths of my purse. I went to lunch at a nearby deli and shared a rueben with a colleague (it was a stupid beast of thing and way to big for any human to consume..even two of us). I went for a walk around Central Park and then back for a second coffee and more conferencing...Note..all food items were fine even the somewhat fatty corned beef.

So dinner..yeah well dinner was not so good. Only one of the 4 women I was dining with knew that I had a band. Before we were done..well they all knew (I figured it was better than saying I had food poisoning). Anyway...I had a vodka and orange juice chased by three mozzarella cheese sticks. I picked carefully thinking these would be a safe-ish choice. yeah..not so much. I wasn't sure before we left the restaurant but you know..a good walk usually does the trick. not this time. I had to stop in a planter while my colleagues walked on and then again at a bar (thankfully I made it in and down the stairs in time). I felt better and we went to see Pricilla Queen of the Desert on Broadway and I did OK but by the time we got out of the show my tummy was complaining again (a bit odd now cause usually it is on with the stuck thing or off...not some wait and see place). I ended up ducking into another bar on my way (thankfully alone this time) to the bus station to go back out to my hotel. Finally I purged whatever it was offending my poor tummy or stoma and although I feel a bit acidy now I am doing ok (at 1:30 am this time).

So..What is the deal with that? I keep trying to be grateful for the episodic crisis stuck episodes but there are this one...when the embarrassment is a bit high. I know that this band keeps me from gaining weight. I know that if I loosened it I would likely gain at least 5 pounds. I know that most of the time I am just fine. It is just at these slap me up on the side of the face times that I question my restriction.

It is worth it. I did tell the women I was with about the band (and I always tell people who ask point blank). They were curious and nice about it all (they were all in medical related professions which helped).

Embarrassing to say the least however.

Oh did I say yet how much I love New York City? I do...stuck episodes and all.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New York Bound

I am off to New York for the rest of the week. If anyone is up for a lunch or dinner I can be reached at (or my cell from the boobs list). if you want me to call just email me your number.

If anyone wants to do a swanky tasting menu at some cool place I am game, drinks..I am game, yarn stores..I am game.

Just contact me.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday: Getting Stuff Done

At Barnes and Noble I picked up one of those self-help books I have always turned a sour face towards. it is called: Getting Things Done. Before I lost the weight I felt like I got more done than I do now. I think it is because I have so much more energy now that I have too many possibilities that I just ignored before. Well I have never been one to shirk on opportunities (unless they involved dirt or exercise before band). Well now even those options (except the sleeping in the dirt kind) are no longer off the table.

Anyway...I think I need some help on how to organize myself so I can get more out of my time spent. I know productive people and I don't feel like I am one of them. I am only in the first chapter but the book has already offered up something that is good. The author says that if we don't write down what we need to get done (and he says like specific stuff) our short term memory will keep chewing on it until we do. All of the brain chewing and thinking is a waste of time that could be better spent actually getting some of the tasks done. I believe that I am totally guilty of this and sat right down last night and made a short list of 'stuff' that needs doing. I just picked one task (finishing up the job quit). I have two bucket items to complete and I will complete them today.

:) Coffee time.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Skilled Shopping

David and I were blessed with a free Saturday. Grace left to stay the night at a friends and David and I debated staying home and getting some work accomplished...but quickly rejected that idea to go out and about Portland and shop.

When David and I were dating 11 long years ago we did a lot of shopping. We went to book stores, to technology stores, to furniture stores. We sometimes bought but at that time we mostly just looked and dreamed. We dreamed about a library, a house, and a life together.

Today we relived a bit of our dating days and skipped and dipped about town. We started our afternoon hopping down to the hospital to visit my uncle and take my aunt out to lunch and a twirl around an antique mall (she has been at the hospital and still has a long haul ahead of her as does my uncle). It was a totally cool antique mall and I got some great ideas for my future knitting shop. The three of us had lunch at the antique store deli.

We took my aunt back up to the hospital and took off for a look around Fry's (Davids idea of computer geek heaven). I do protest but always find lots of interesting stuff to look at. Today we found a USB car power splitter (so both David and I can charge our phones at the same time or charge and listen to music at the same time). I also got an external DVD player to hook onto my laptop and David got a new computer keyboard. We also picked up a couple of books on R (stats software).

We then went to Crate and Barrel (My top shopping choice). We had a look around and dreamed about what kinds of furniture might or might not fit in our house that seems to be never or ever?? closing. We then walked around the rest of the mall and looked at clothes, cookware, the Apple store, Saks etc.

We had dinner at a bar (had good food but most kids allowed :))...The bar had lovely Tapas. David had three and I had one and a nice Vodka and orange juice.

On our way home we stopped off at Barnes and Noble and did a bit more dreaming among the books. I looked at the small business section and the knitting section (of course) and David looked around the cookbooks.

We came home for a walk around the neighborhood and stopped off to peek in the windows of our 'house in waiting' to do some final dreaming about furniture and shop fittings placement.

Tonight we have had a sit around with a little Words among friend back and forth play on our laptops and I watched a couple of episodes of my new favorite series life unexpected (a netflix series find). I don't know what this says about my taste in TV as I have watched all of season one and didn't really pick up on the geared for teenage viewers thing. is about a teenager but I am much more interested in the sappy interchange with the parents and the unconventional dysfunctional family stuff. I guess I just like TV fluff? :) Anyway..I think it is really good.

All in was a great day.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Day was OK

I finally moved. I coffeed, I walked. I did a bit of work, prepped dinner and put it in the oven (I have to brush up on my stay at home domestic Goddess skills). I then went down to see my aunt and uncle at the hospital.

The highlight (Ok the fact that it is done not the actual doing part). is that I moved out of my office. My aunt rode down with me and we packed up everything and shoved it into my car. I did my usual Thursday night grandson daycare duties and took my aunt tot he grocery store, and then back to my math class. After class finished (8:30 pm) I went back to my office and cleaned off my computer and packed up what little stuff remained. Tomorrow I can drop off a few books to another colleague's place and turn in my keys...I feel cleansed :)


Must Move

I am having trouble getting out of bed. I just bet I had this problem last year. Have I said that I hate rainy weather yet? There is no light coming in my room in the mornings so as far as I am concerned no reason to wake up right? I guess it is time for another coffee and walk eh?


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday Toes-day

I don't really have a huge amount to say today. i stayed home this morning (kind of my first real day of unemployment). I went back to bed after Grace and David left. Got up at 9am (yes i appreciated the decadence). I then went for a walk to get my coffee and then walked and took my pills until it was all gone.

I have been kind of sluggish and depress-y again but Cinda (nursing student daughter) suggested I get out and go for a walk even though the weather has turned cruddy again. Sooo..I took her advice and it really helped my day. I came home and did an hour super clean session before my first two students came for a math tutoring session.

I then had some lunch, did my math homework for my class and hit the road to get stuff for my aunt and go see my uncle at the hospital. My aunt had a window leak (it has been pouring buckets here). I went to the motor home supply store and got her some caulk and stopped at the hardware store for a caulk gun. I also picked up some sticky weather stripping in case the caulk didnt work. I also dug out a battery so she could get her radio working. After a gas-up and a double drive through for coffee (they messed up my first order!!!).

I drove down to the hospital and saw my uncle (he is much the same today but waking up a bit more). He is not happy about being on the ventilator and gets very agitated whenever he wakes up. This is a good sign but of course difficult to watch him struggle. I played the man and wrangled the caulk gun to seal my aunts motor-home window. It is quite fun to sometimes do all those things I usually pass off to David or some-other man to fix for me. The whole time I had visions of my uncle chewing me out because it is not a perfect seal by any means. It is however funny how I felt close to him in a sense in helping my aunt fix (no matter how crudely) her place to stay while he is trying to get better.

I took the bus down to the university to pick up my grandson and hang out for an hour in horrific rain. We both were soaked while waking from his daycare center to some other buildings on campus. I took him out for dinner here because after we could walk to my class without going outside again. We ate and then played with the shells, glass and rocks I picked up on Lake Michigan. He has a really good time sorting them and then pretending that they are little people.

I went to my math class and learned some cool mathy stuff and the walked out into the rain again to catch the bus back up to the hospital, my uncle, aunt and the parked car. A quick 20 minute drive home and I am now sitting in my robe with my soggy feet steaming in slippers.

All in all it was a good but sorta busy day. I dropped one of those six pounds this morning.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Glimmers of Good News

1. I am not a particularly hard core US citizen. I do not hang flags by my front porch and I do not sing "Im Proud to be an American" for all to hear. I just have to say something about the Veterans Administration Hospital. I have been VERY impressed by the care my uncle has received during the last several weeks. The nurses not only have given him good care they have explained everything about his treatment to his family. In addition everyday teams of doctors come through and check on him. At least two doctors out of the team talk individually to us to let us know how things are going. There is a surgeon team, a renal team, and the general team who are all working together to coordinate his care. These doctors meet together and talk with the nurses taking care of him to discuss next steps, progress and concerns. In addition to all of this his family are invited to a family meeting every Monday to go over his condition and talk about decisions made and next steps.

On top of this stellar medical care the hospital staff just show they care about families. Today while my aunt and I were coming back from lunch his doctor stopped and talked to us again to update us on information that came in during the last hour. Just after that one of her old nurses from weeks ago stopped us to ask how he was doing and took extra time to ask how my aunt was doing. All in all the care that I have seen form everyone at the VA hospital has been well above the care I have ever seen at any other hospital and any care that I have received. Now I know that my uncle is very ill but man...this stuff is impressive.

(a bit of a soap box minute). The VA is supposedly the model the US would take on if we were to ever adopt any sort of socialized medicine model. If this is that model sign me up. I would jump in a heart beat.

Ok now the good news part...His condition is improving (finally). We are afraid to relax too much because things have been very up and down up until now but he had a scan that showed that the waiting is finally starting to pay off. He still has a long way to go but we are hoping that this news stays positive from here on out.

2. I am up 6 pounds. I think some of it is water and some of it is driving, not sleeping enough and overall not taking care. I might also be suffering from Chicago bloat from perhaps a drink or two, popcorn overload, and alcohol consumption. I a so grateful I was too full to eat any of the Ben and Jerry's :) Goodness knows how many additional pounds that would have added.

3. I have visions firming up about what I want to do with my life :) ...I am thinking knitting store. Have I already said this? Our new house allows commercial space in the basement. I love to knit...I am scared of the business aspects of it but I already have my creative wheels turning. I am anxious to have the stupid house finally close so I can firm up these ideas and attend to them more seriously. Best of all David likes the idea too.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Uncle Illness Update--and A Fun Picture

My uncle is still quite ill. He has been sedated a lot this weekend so I drove my aunt to her place (four hours each way) to pick up some more of her things, sort through her mail, and go through some things at the antique store she owns. She sold me this awesome old school telephone and my cousin took my picture with it. Coolio eh?

We went overnight with lots of calls to the hospital to check on my uncle. Cinda also went up to sit with him some while we were gone. He was mostly sleeping but woke up this evening when we stopped in to see him. He is doing better but still has a long way to go. The condition he has might take months of waiting and healing in the hospital. I love having my aunt here but wish it was under better circumstances. Think good thoughts for my uncle.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Chicago Photos...Finally and Backwards from Sunday-Thursday

On Sunday Lynda and I took a cab out to the University of Chicago campus to see one of Frank Lloyd Wrights designs and all of the other beautiful architecture around campus. We took an MP3 tour first and then had a wonderful guide take us around the Frank Lloyd wright house. Both were excellent tours. We have a much later Wright designed house in Oregon and it was really interesting to see one of his really early ones to compare. Lynda kindly shared this photo with me...She is good don't you think?

Another photo by Lynda. I think this is the chapel bell tower and the one above is a tower on the U of Chicago seminary.

After a stop for lunch we walked over to the Museum of Science and Industry and out to the beach on Lake Michigan. This part of town is really lovely. The lake was very ocean like. There were shells and beach glass to pick up and a lovely calm set of waves to watch. Another picture brought to you by Lynda.
Another of Lyndas photos-This one is a lovely closeup of the beach on Lake Michigan. I picked up that cool piece of beach glass and took it home with me!
I took this photo standing in front of the museum of science and facing north. We skipped the bus for a ride back into town and took a little stroll over to this part of town. It was very residential but nifty to see.
The giant mirrored Jelly bean...Oh yes and I am there in front. Justine took this picture for me.
Jen at the meet and greet on Friday Night. She is the one who made my wonderful header above :)
From Right to Left: Justine, Catherine and I at the meet and greet. I had been drinking a little and cannot remember who took this picture.
More meet and greet photos from Friday night. Again from right to left are Read,Lisa, and Lynda my roomie.
At Frontera on Thursday. I sat next to Read (you can see half of her face here), then next to her was Deb who had the ceviche (and it was delicious cause she shared). Finally that is the wonderful Jen at the end.

Final words: I have tasted most of the items from the swag bag (protein bars, Pirates booty, Jenny Craig goodies, the Mary Kay Make-up, the lovely keychain and the luxurious pashmina). I have not yet had a chance to try out the protein drink packs yet. The protein bars were all very good and I have saved their wrappers to I can get them at home. I will post the names when I do so and even take a picture or two. I plan on ordering the head bands...they look totally awesome!

I am totally bummed I did not get a chance to talk to more people. The only flaw in the entire weekend was that there was just not enough time to talk individually to so many people who I have adored and followed for both a short and long time. I came to the BOOBS weekend with fears that I would not know someone who knew me or worse yet that someone I follow like a stalker would not know who the heck I was. I really don't know if that happened because everyone was SO Friendly! and nice! There were many times when the group thing was just too overwhelming and others that were just perfect.

I LOVED the city tour and Lynda's and my nerds visit the U of Chicago time. I loved shopping with Justine and a little drunken walk with Read. I wish that I could have seen Tessie Rose sing but am glad we at least got to chit chat for a while at the bar(s). I had a great time talking to Deb about Chicago and having a too late at night breakfast with (hmm I know Read was there and Dawnya...and I think um..well I had had a few drinks and I know there were way more of us than three but please forgive me my brain lapse.

Justine: I have not eaten the Fruit and nut yet but the peanut butter cup was hijacked by Grace. I only got 2 squares. She knew better than to put one little finger on my fruit and nut. She says thanks so much for the prezzies. She LOVED the keychain and book. I am still slowly reading the mags...thanks so much for them and the wander around Chicago!

OH..and Damn you Lynda for introducing me to that popcorn. It is gone and most of it went down my throat!! How can something taste so good!!! I had an awesome time on Sunday and cannot wait to go back to Chicago to see more. I will forgive you the popcorn because you were such an awesome roomie and tour guide.

I am sure there is more to say...and I will have to do it later. I will give you all the epiphany updates tomorrow :)