Showing posts from January, 2007

Did you know...

that it has been estimated that a pound of body fat contains a mile of capillaries?

So, my heart is happy this week. One mile less to pump the blood.

Nothing measly about a mile of capillaries!

I should blog something

But life is so quiet. Nothing much to blog about. Much to pray about. Go pray!


I just have to share, because I've had several days of boring eating and tonight's dinner was anything BUT boring.

All on the HG strict diet:

Curried chicken: I took a dozen frozen drumsticks and put them in a large roaster pan, drizzled olive oil over, salt, pepper, chopped green onions and curry powder. Stirred it all around so that the pieces would get coated. Baked until done (about an hour) at 400 degrees Farenheit. The house smelled SOOOO GOOOOD!

Then I removed the chicken pieces to a platter. Added a cup of water to the juices/curry stuff in the bottom of the pan, and then poured it all into a small skillet. In skillet I added another tablespoon or more of curry powder (to taste), whisked in a dollop of sour cream and then a sprinkling of guar gum. I brought it just to hot (so the sour cream would not separate) then poured it over the meat on the platter.

On the side I sauteed mushrooms until almost done, with a few drops of lemon oil (I just sprayed cooking spray …


Today is one of those days of dreary damp cold that slices with a sharp wind through coats and mittens and scarves. The air is heavy with wet: more a threat than a promise. Not quite cold enough for snow flakes, yet not raining either. More like little balls of sleet and misery clanging onto sidewalk, face and roadway alike. A city kind of day, the sky as gray as the underfoot pavement, as gray as my mood. A picture of dreary.

All things green are sodden, and muddied from yesterday's ice. And some confused crocuses have pushed their way into the world, fooled by Kentucky's schizophrenic winter weather, days of delusional spring temperatures keeping us all sick and making days and weeks like today all the more torturous for their memory.

A day for scarves and blankets and a pot of chocolate in the thermos. Kids sipping gladly after an aborted attempt at out-of-doors exercise. A day for a nap.

Books, lasagna, etc.

I've plowed through most of Omnivore's Dilemma, and that fine. I've sort of figured out his whole point and am having trouble mustering the energy to finish it, although in order to be fair, I must. Ho hum.

I've also plowed through the Kievan period in my Russian History book. (Riasanovsky)

Fr. Justin gave me a book by Serge Schmemman about two centuries of his maternal family's history. Happens to be the family of St. Juliana (my patron saint) as well. All of it very fascinating.

At least one time-waster romance novel thrown in for some R&R.

OK, enough about books.

Going to confession is good. House blessings are good. Made an extraordinarily good lasagna yesterday that I fed to my new priest and his family after the house blessing. The thing that made this lasagna so good was that it was not runny and did not fall apart. It was big. I used a container and a half of cottage cheese and three eggs. I cooked the whole thing slow in a 300 degree oven for …

Some Thoughts

My bad day yesterday had absolutely nothing to do with turning 37. I don't think 37 is all that old, and as far as it goes, I'm looking forward to the decades that are ahead in my life, should God choose to grant them to me.

What's really been crowding my thoughts and feelings lately has been this feeling of burden. The burden is chronic illness. What does it mean to my life to have three overlapping and exacerbating chronic conditions that affect me every day? And today I'm NOT going to be polite and brush it off, so as not to bore my blog readers with it...again. Today I'm going to be honest.

I've been grieving. Grieving the loss of dreams, grieving the loss of hopes, the loss of energy, the loss of plans, the loss of being the way I wish I could be. Grieving the frequent pain and the frequent lack of enenrgy to do more than the bare minimum each day.

And there is no where to turn with this grief, and it's palpable every day. Some days are like…

I'm in a funk

Just thought I'd share. I'm so very very full of sunshine these days, donchaknow? (Sarcasm). I hate my birthday.




This must be why it's so hard to loose weight.

:-) Well, that and the birthday cake I plan on making later on. :-) :-) :-)

I just can't decide what I'm in the mood for.

Comment Settings

I changed comment settings at the request of two of my readers. Sorry about that, I did not realize I'd had comments on such a restrictive setting. Now anyone can comment. More spam, spam, spam, spam....

So, comment away! It's what I live for, after all.

Low Back Pain tips

I am realizing that I am in a certain danger of falling into this thinking trap that is so easy to fall in to: Defining myself by my problems and illnesses and wearing those things proudly on my sleeve, as a way to define myself, get attention, make things go my way, whatever.

How does one live with several chronic overlapping conditions and not have this happen? Perhaps just recognizing this temptation/sin is the first step in doing something about it.

So, all that said: I learned some helpful things for my degenerative disc disease at the Chiropractor the other day. In other words, a few little things I can do to avoid making low back pain worse. Thought I'd pass these along since I know many folks suffer from low back pain for one reason or another:

Get a Swiss Ball and sit on it, thighs should be parallel to the floor, feet firmly planted. Make very very slight movements front to back and side to side, and in circles like a belly dancer. But very very slight. These l…

A Note of Gratitude

As much as I've been moaning and complaining here lately, I just thought I'd mention a few answered prayers, and say how grateful I am:

--A ride so I can take my daughter to her Honors Band practice session this Friday.

--A ride for some appointments I have next month

--The fact that my new schedule is working out so nicely with my energy levels and time.

--That my daughter's doctor gave us enough free samples of her meds to last until we get health insurance.

--That I was able to use some of the savings on the meds to go to the chiropractor yesterday (much needed!).

--The fact that the blower on our furnace is now blowing beautifully. Last week it was grinding and not blowing once the temp inside hit 64 degrees.


So, today we are going to bundle in cold weather sleeping bags and read books and sip hot bevara…

Where are all the Farms?

As I've mentioned before, I'm plowing my way through The Omnivore's Dilemma. Love it and hate it. I woke up this morning with a nightmare of a pig chewing Ariana's ears off. Horrible.

I'm currently fascinated with the idea of taking a set-in-stone grocery budget and at least running some calculations on how much (as in, what percentage) sustainability can be purchased by making some alternate cooking choices. Now, mind you, my cooking already has some severe limitations, and already does NOT contain any prepackaged meals, the big exception being mac-n-cheese boxes and ramen noodles which make up at least some of the kid's lunches. (They prefer it when I make the mac from scratch. Maybe I should take a hint and get hard core about that one more thing.)

So I'm knocking about on the internet, seeking to find some local sources of decent meat and eggs and the farms are all a hundred miles away. Are there any local sources of meat and eggs? If so, WHY do…

Hungry Day

Every once in a while I have what I call a hungry day. For whatever reason, my usual amount of food just does not suffice. Perhaps this is hormonal. Or perhaps it is in response to an accumulation of a sufficient number of days in which I have eaten at a slight caloric deficit, and this is my body's way of INSISTING that it wants me to weigh what I weigh and not a drop less. My brain on the other hand, would like twenty pounds gone. Unfortunately, on these hungry days, my body usually wins. And no, it's not cookies. I lost track of my calories somewhere around mid-afternoon in a huge protein craving. So I made some soup and have been noshing on that and rye crackers, trying to do as little damage as possible while satisfying this urgent need for protein, warmth and calories.

It probably would do better not to put fat on those rye crackers, but's winter and I'm HUMAN.

In addition to being hungry, I feel like a little old lady today. Sore, stiff, frum…


Resolved to stop reading junk lit and start furthering my education. That is, after all, why the public Library system was developed.

Currenlty in my book basket. Plowing through multiple things at once. Need a speed reading course.

From Under the Rubble, by Alexander Solzhenitzyn
The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan
The History of Russia, by Riassanovsky Fr. P. Reardon

Crazy? Yah, I think so.


Today in the gospels I read the words of Christ Jesus when he said that it is better to go through life with one eye than into hell with two eyes, and so if the eye causes one to sin, one should gouge it out. He went on to say the same about if your hand causes you to sin it would be better to cut it off and go into Life maimed than into hell physically whole. Tough words. Violent words. Violent repentance.

And then there's that verse about the Kingdom of God coming in violence and violent men taking hold of it. More tough words. And this afternoon on the phone, a friend of mine asked me what my take on that verse was. I recalled this morning's gospel reading.

I also recalled an incident at the county fair when I was a kid: Ten or eleven years old. I went on a ride called "The Octopus" which had extendy arms and seats that spin and the arms go up and down and the seats spin and the whole thing is also spinning. Quite a whirl. Quite a thrill.

Unless, tha…


I'm a flylady washout. I really am. I learned some stuff from her, though. I also have the book that originally inspired the Flylady that I inherited from my Mother-in-Law, may her memory be eternal, called Sidetracked Home Executives. Yes, I'll admit it, I'm a S.H.E.

So I've been thinking about what a good routine would look like for ME, according to the structure of MY day, and MY life...not something somone else would impose upon me. We are, after all, each of us unique. This is something I've been working on for years. Getting better year by year. But not perfect. Never will be.

I like a tidy and clean house but tend to have a cluttery "shabby chic" personal style. Can the two go together? Since I"ve been getting slowly better at house keeping over the years, I think the answer is "yes". To hear me talk, my friends might conclude that I live in a total stye. This, naturally, is not the case. I guess I run my housekeepin…

A Day Gone Awry

I got sick at Vespers last night and had to leave early. Nothing major, just a blood sugar crash and over tired. Sometimes I think that I push myself too hard to make all the services. Who am I trying to impress?

So today I decided it would be best to stay home from the Blessing of the Waters, and work on my Sunday School lesson, so that I could go to Vigil tonight and of course make it to Liturgy in the morning. Besides, I have to teach Sunday school, so I'd better be there tomorrow morning.

Well, I sat down with my box-o-stuff to make drawings and flannel graph pictures of the story I'm telling and I am so totally OUT of the right kind of paper and am missing half my markers. Sigh. So, no drawings this morning. When am I going to get it done?

I can go to the store this afternoon (dh has the car at liturgy this morning) but that will leave me very tired. It always does. Will I be able to do the planned shopping (groceries and markers and paper) AND do the artwor…


Finished the Temple Grandin book this morning. Very good reading, and I learned so much about animals and their behaviour patterns, what makes them tick, etc. I love learning new things.

I went to the library web site and put that Anthropologist on Mars book on hold, along with Omnivore's Delimma and some stuff on Russian history.

I decided to do some house cleaning today and so after the kids were done with school, I shopvac'd the dining room and actually washed the walls. I was able to do most of that work seated, but still ran out of energy faster than I wanted. I was thinking about what I'd read while I was working, and it occurred to me that one reason I hate housework so much is that it makes me hurt. No animal likes to do something that causes physical pain. But I have plenty of hausfrau guilt in me, so there it is. Maybe I would be a neat nick if I had a real life and normal energy levels. Too much of the time I look at something on the floor and think: …

Pointless Drivel

Well, the Christmas decorations are put away, and the living room is rearranged. That's always one of my favorite things to do. I'm convinced that we moved so much when I was a kid that I don't really know how to deep clean a room, but that's not really true because I KNOW my mother taught me what to do. Maybe I just don't like doing it. Maybe I don't quite have enough energy. So whenever I need to get a room really clean I end up rearranging the furniture. This summer will see us in this house for ten whole years! At least the kids are old enough to be helpful. Shop vac-ing is fun when you are eight and getting paid to do it.

Today is the start of a new semester. My oldest is off to school and my other three are dutifully getting their school books out. Meanwhile, here I sit, in my jammies and a cup of coffee and my blog screen open. So very responsible of me, isn't it?

Just about killed myself yesterday with getting the living room done, so to…

How I'm doing

Not so good.

One of the symptoms of fibro is depression, and that is what I've been fighting for the past few weeks. And an evil headache that does not want to leave.

I did a blocking test, which is like the "Crazy Ivan" of the guai protocol...I upped my dose to see if I'm blocking on something like shea butter. Shea butter is a plant product but butters are supposedly salicylate free or low enough in sals not to be a problem, and supposedly won't interfere with guaifenesin's activity on my fibro...but I got's me lots of dry skin and stretch marks and so I've been using it heavily.

So, I'm doing a blocking test. Upped my dosage. Today will REALLY tell, because I'm not using the shea butter today. If yesterday was any indication, I'm NOT blocking, because the thing I'm looking for is an increase in symptoms. If I were blocking my symptoms would stay the same.

Yesterday was miserable. I was in alot of pain and by the time I got …

How to Pray?

What do you do when an impossibly evil person like Adolf Hitler or Saddam Hussein dies? Do you do as Saddam's executioner and mentally dance a jig around their dead body? Or do you weep at the prospect of another human soul who is perhaps in hell? Or do you say a prayer and somehow ask God's mercy, even for such a one as this? Even while wondering if such a prayer is merely a useless gesture on your part?

How does love your enemies fit in with all this?

I didn't plan on starting my new year with tears streaming down my face over the death of a brutal evil dictator. It's all the drudgereport's fault, I suppose, for putting his dead face surrounded by a hangman's noose on the website.

But he's dead. And God made him. And Christ died for him even if he spurned that fact. Even if in this life his life was an extension of hell. Perhaps he needed to die. He probably did. And we humans can take life so easily, just like he did. What a mess.

God have…