Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Better Late Than Never Thanksgiving Weekend Recap

(Source)

Happy December everyone!  I already had my rad butt posts scheduled so I couldn't do a proper weekend recap until today.  The Mr and I had a good Thanksgiving.  We started the day with a slice of light pumpkin pie and then walked at the park until we hit enough to burn it and a little more off.  
It was a nice way to start the day.  Despite having many things pre-made, it still took an hour before we could start enjoying the eats at 1pm.  I have given up on being able to do Grandma's noodles properly.  I think I'm going to have to learn to work the pasta machine I bought a year ago and run it through the fettuccini setting because they always look like an octopus trying to escape a pot.  I under seasoned the stuffing too which I just kind of threw up my hands and said 'oh well.' We had a goodly amount of leftovers for some college ball on Saturday.  

The Mr was kind enough to get the local paper with ads both Wednesday and Thursday but sadly, our lifelong tradition (which was already being abandoned by the fam) of looking at tons of ads for Black Friday is probably over with.  No ads from Best Buy or Target or any of the bigger stores.  I know they have online ads but that's not the same.  Just like some people still like the feel of a real book, some of us want real ads to thumb through.  So we enjoyed what will likely be our last pawing of the Black Friday ads.


Friday my friend was in town so we masked up and gabbed for two hours just us girls.  Not that I don't like her husband but it was nice to have it be us with such limited time.  We lucked out and there were flurries and now that she lives in a warm climate, it was a treat for her to see and you know it's always a treat for me!  I made up a little 'mini bar' bag for them to raid at the hotel which I'm told they both loved.  Our original plans (that I thought we had with her and her hubby) of going to a park and doing s'mores wasn't going to go to waste.  

After the Mr got off work, we headed to the park to go on a hike...


...and when we were done we found an available shelter with a fireplace and broke out the s'mores and diet hot cocoa.  



I grabbed some cushions and a blanket and we were there about 2 1/2 hours until there was nothing but ashes left.  I was quite the happy girl.  

To continue my happiness, the new old blow mold candles I bought on Ebay were lit up when we arrived home and we love them!



We were chilled to the bone though and had the fireplace on until it got to be about 82 degrees and some hot tea to thaw our niblets.

Saturday we both had some congestion that we are pretty certain was breathing in campfire smoke for 2+ hours.  I also need to deep clean the bedroom because it's dusty in there (guess who has a dust allergy) with zero motivation to do it.  So I feel like my turbinate's are constantly swollen and I'm anxiously awaiting this purchase to help.  We already use the regular version for preventatives but sometimes you have to break out the big guns when your usual suspects aren't helping.  We dug into leftovers and the Mr watched his football.  

We began Sunday with our new tradition, Dexter New Blood.  Anyone else watching?  Anyone else kind of unimpressed with the first three episodes?  Sigh.  I know they need to establish characters but it's hard to care about anyone more than those from the old series.  Thankfully, the fourth episode stepped it up a little so hang in there.  I think it's pretty obvious where it's going to go but it'll be interesting to see how they get there.  Just an FYI, they post it up for viewing at 12:01am Sundays.

I made brunch of eggs, kielbasa, toast and root veggie latkes.  I ordered flowers for Grandma's grave from Michaels and of course two of the ones I ordered were out of stock (which were on a short list of the few things they DID have in stock) so I wasn't super happy about that.  Grandma just has a sad looking poinsettia bush with no greenery but everyone is out of stock everywhere.  I apologized for it and told her I missed her noodles because mine sucked (insert what you know I said here.)   Then we walked the cemetery for 2 1/2 miles in the whipping wind and 40 degrees which felt more like 30.  So began the whole warm up process when we got home and I had stuff to do in the kitchen.  That evening, it was time to truly kick off the Christmas season by watching our favorite version of A Christmas Carol with some hot cocoa, the fireplace on and the tree plugged in.

That about wraps up our Thanksgiving weekend.  It was a great one with equal amounts of chilling and productivity and being properly carbo loaded in case I had to run a marathon on the fly.

How was your holiday weekend?  

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

My First Colonoscopy: Part Two (aka The Part You Hear About)


(Source)

If you read part one, you know how at under the age of 50 I came to need a colonoscopy without a family history.  This process is not a pleasant one but let me tell you something that I didn't know.  I don't do my research on butt snaking so the Mr and I both thought that once you hit 50 this was something you were supposed to do every year like a physical.  Nope.  Typically, if they find nothing in there and have no family history of colon cancer, you probably won't have to do it again for 10 years!  If they find and remove a polyp(s), likely 3-5 years before you have to do it again.  (Though my friend who has IBS had two removed and they told him 10 years which surprised me.)  If anything more pressing is found, you may have to do it once a year or every other year until they're sure you're in the safe zone.  Ultimately, it depends on the gastroenterologist but that is the basic guideline.  I sure wish I'd known that for 40ish years instead of thinking I'd have to get roto rootered every year as a punishment for the aging process.  Laugh all you want but I know others who thought the same thing.

Now comes the part everyone warns you about..."the prep."  Disclosure:  Most of this was written in the throes of the process so it's real talk.  If you're someone who can't handle colorful descriptions or clutch your pearls over anything you find 'offensive', you're at the wrong blog and should probably go to a blogger who caters to rainbows, unicorns and lies about how life is.  

Anyhoo!

---


When I saw this video a friend sent me tips I could use to prep for the prep, that bottle looked like a vat!  As someone who considers a good day of getting water about 16 oz, I was somewhat terrified.  When the Mr picked up my jug o' death at the pharmacy for a lucky $7 for the honor, I actually thought "that's it?"  Here's the jug against my hand for comparison's sake.

(Excuse my stumpy fingers- I've been sans fingernails for 6 weeks up to that point)


It looked way smaller to me even though it was a 4 liter deal.  That meant 64 ounces at 6pm the first day and the same the next day, stopping it a minimum of 2 hours prior to procedure.  (But 3 hours is the magic number because you may not be done by that time if you get my drift.)  8 ounces of prep every 15 minutes for 2 hours each day.  I can do this.  

Took 2 stool softeners at 5pm as directed then started 8 oz of lemonade-y prep every 15 minutes.  Because I added the crystal light lemonade pitcher pack, it was completely palatable which I was super thankful for.  I heard some stories about how putrid it was and this literally tasted like lemonade.  I used a thick straw which helped get it down quick.  After about 5 rounds, I emailed my friend asking how long it took to kick in.  I did feel some mild discomfort which I can only describe as it feeling like the solution was eating away at any waiting logs.  I popped an Altoid and it gave almost immediate relief.   She answered my email about 20 minutes later and during my response is when the urge to anally purge came about.

The first bathroom break being no worse than usual but it'll sound like a hissing demon is trying to circumvent anything solid and you will laugh uncontrollably.  Apologize in advance to your loved ones because they're going to have to live with strange noises for about 16 hours.   The second one came about 5 minutes later and it was like I ate a box of Colon Blow. https://youtu.be/Ku42Iszh9KM (God love Phil Hartman). After finishing the prep, you MUST hydrate.  People have passed out from dehydration and can get cold as a result too.  

For about 3 hours I made 15 bathroom runs spaced just far enough apart that staying in there if you don't have room for a chair in your bathroom wouldn't be healthy because sitting on the toilet non stop can cause problems.  I was able to sleep for about 15-20 minutes at a time before the alarming feeling of liquid hit the first sphincter to let you know you have no time to dawdle.  I am very thankful for the advice of my friend to wear adult diapers because while I didn't have an accident, it would've been extraordinarily easy to given its way harder to hold in almost pure water.  It gives a level of security you're not going to get wearing your regular undies and if you cough for some reason, forget about it.

Then comes the next morning where you transition to pee coming out of your butt looking the same coming out as it did going in.  This is what the doctor wants to hear and at this point, you just want it over with.  This is when hydration is critical.  I took a few sips of water and herbal tea between prep saving real hydration for after every bathroom trip.  You feel triumphant with every new fill up because the jug gets lighter and lighter and you feel like it is possible to complete.  Hang in there, it sucks and...uh oh...hang on.  


Slather up!  Before the sh*tstorm, apply some diaper rash cream or aquaphor to your crack to keep the stomach acid from burning.  You'll sleep better!

Mark it.  If you're doing the 4 liter prep, fill the jug halfway with 64 oz of water and mark the jug with a marker on all sides.  At least on mine there was no halfway mark indicated and you don't want to drink too much or too little the first day.

Flush with the lid down (obviously!  You're not an animal that leaves the lid up to get poo aerosol all over your bathroom on a regular day much less under these circumstances!)  Make sure to open the lid back up.  You're going to be peeing out of your butt and you'll need every second to make it there intact.

Stay hydrated.  I know you drank a ton of prep but have some tea or broth heated up and ready to sip in addition to water or clear Gatorade.  The prep says you can literally die if you don't and you don't want to see if it's just lawyer talk.

Have some hard candy to suck on in between when you get toward the second round of your prep.  (Like after the 3rd dose, it feels like the taste is embedded in your tongue even with a water chaser.)  I had Werther's and Altoids.  The Altoids helped with any discomfort/nausea from the initial first 5 doses where it's dropped into the colon and is doing it's job.

Schedule a late morning/early afternoon appt.  While you will have to fast all day the day before, many have you split the prep and because you have to finish by a certain time, this means if you have a morning appt, you'll need to get up in the middle of the night to start round two.  Schedule for noon or later if you want to give yourself the chance to sleep...in an adult diaper because at this point you are all liquid and should expect a potential leak.

Don't rest your hands/arms on your stomach at any time during the prep process.  This pushes anything inside... out.  Even if you just went.
 
A one bathroom household must yield all duties to the one with uncontrolled bowels.  If you're like us and have a one bathroom place, make it clear other members of the household are not to enter the bathroom for anything less than the nose cone of a bowel movement has breached the chamber or a very quick pee.  If TP gets to 1/4 of a roll, grab another in the name of preparedness.

It goes into the next day.  Also know that for some of you, it won't end with the prep.  When I was told they would "suction out any additional liquid" while they were in there, that didn't mean it was out of my system and hid in pockets of my colon.  I spent the rest of the night after a meal peeing yellow out my rump with the lovely addition of stomach acid from digestion.  If that doesn't make you slather your crack and hole with triple paste, nothing will.  Keep those gas x handy too.

I didn't tell you all of that to scare you, consuming the prep was nothing and that's the part I heard about the most.  I had two friends who had ZERO explosive 'rrhea like I did so it really is the roll of the dice how your system reacts.  One friend said she went to a restaurant after and was fine...I knew there was no way I could trust my system like that...and I was right.


Here's a list of what I consider absolute essentials to get through your prep as comfy as possible.  Between two of my good friends who had been through this before and the video, I'll give you a list of what I consider MUST haves for this process- a lot of it you probably already have on hand.

Laxative- It'll likely be on your prep list

Anti-Gas Medicine- You will NEED this and it will likely also be on your doc's prep list.

Zotz- For post-snaking gas which will be ungodly since they pump you full of air.  The baking soda center will give you immediate relief while waiting for GasX to kick in.  I didn't have these and I wished to God I did!

Ice Sheet- This was imperative to keep the prep as cold as possible.  Everyone says keep it ice cold to help with the taste and by the end of the 2 hours, it was as cold as when it was put on the sheet.  You will not have time to be running up and down the stairs or back and forth to the fridge to pour.

Crystal Light Lemonade Pitcher Packets- Even if your prep is flavored, it smells like where it's going through so trust me, this is a necessity!  One pitcher packet was all I needed.

Milkshake Straws- This enabled me to suck down an ounce per chug so it was very quick and felt like no big deal.  You might even get a little cocky until about the 6th or 7th serving.

Werther's Hard Candy (or any NON-RED/PURPLE hard candy of your choice)- don't chew it but you can suck on it to get the taste off of your tongue and to ensure you'll be able to drink lemonade (or whatever flavor you choose) again at some point in your life.

Altoids- When I felt the prep drop into the colon, I felt slight nausea and popping an Altoid gave almost immediate relief from the peppermint.

Your favorite hot tea- you may get cold drinking the prep.  Sipping on something hot a sip or two in between will stop that from happening.  I got cold afterward so it was nice to have on hand to warm my innards.

Chicken Broth- heat it up and see above.  Also, you're on a liquid diet the whole day so you'll need clear liquids.

Glacier Cherry Gatorade- They don't want you drinking ANYTHING red (or blue/purple depending on your gastro) so you can still get a cherry flavor without the color risk.

Adult Diapers- Not fun but when you're peeing out of your butt, risking that you'll have the sphincter control to stop that before making it to the bathroom is a gamble you don't want to take and Lord help you if you sneeze.

Water Wipes- Your butt is already going to be going through it, using a regular wipe with any trace of chemicals even if you run it under a faucet is not going to be fun for you.  These wipes are water and can be torn in half to double the usage.  These are not flushable!  Have a little zip top bag you keep in your bathroom trashcan to put the used wipes in and dispose of them properly.  

Trash bags-  Big ol' commercial ones.  Put one under your sheet in case you literally sh*t the bed during the night because again- liquid poo and one on the car seat for the drive to the docs because no one wants to clean that up should you need it.  Throw an old towel over your sheet too.

Triple Paste Rash Cream-  After your 10th trip in 2 hours, your crack will be ON FIRE.  Use this before for protection, before bed in between prep doses to soothe overnight and after it's over to speed healing.

Bidet- No, this isn't a necessity but we already had one due to the pandemic and it came in handy.  Overwiping no matter how soft the TP, can make you raw and you're in it for at least 2-3 days.  This one is cheap enough and can easily be uninstalled when you're done if you don't want a permanent bum gun at your disposal.

Swing back this week for the exciting conclusion of my colonoscopy and what song I sang with the nurse.

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Monday, November 29, 2021

My First Colonoscopy: Part One (aka Just Do It But...)

(Source)


For those of us "blessed" with personalities that lead us to overthink, worry, get incredibly anxious and the like, I have a bit of advice for you when you reach middle age...just get the damn colonoscopy.  I don't know if you were aware of this bit of information but this year, they lowered the age to get a colonoscopy to 45 from 50.   Go ahead sucky year...take more from me.

My doctor mentioned this whilst doing a piss poor job on her annual exam and asked if I heard of the poop in a box tests.  

(Literally IMPOSSIBLE for me to say that phrase without thinking of these guys.  Source)



I said I'd heard of it and she said since I had no family history of colon issues that would be an option until I get the drain snaked at 50.  I gleefully accepted that option.  Then I did my research at home.  I did NOT like what I was reading about this option and I couldn't imagine if she'd actually done her research about complaints people had that she would've been happy either.  For starters, the company she said they use allegedly has a very sketchy reputation according to reviews.  People talked about them spamming your email, mail and phone asking for very invasive information they had no reason to possess.  I also read that when you blocked their number, they would actually change the number they called from!  I experienced all of that so I can back up that experience.  It made it seem like the kit wouldn't come unless you answered them and in my case, despite not answering their calls, it came regardless about 10 days later.  I was in no real hurry to do it but then you know how when you decide you're going to buy a new car and you've picked out the one you want in your mind that you suddenly see it everywhere you go?  Same with this.  I'd NEVER seen a commercial for this company that I could recall but suddenly there it was not just on TV but the radio too.  Suddenly stories of colorectal cancer were everywhere when I didn't remember them being prominent.  I began freaking out that it was a sign from the universe.

I finally did the deed and mailed it away.  Obviously, I looked that thing over with a fine tooth comb and not a speck of blood and a shape so perfect I was sure it was going to go in a museum.  As I was looking for test alternatives to keep me going until I reached 50 so I wouldn't have to deal with that company again, I found them.  People on Amazon saying their docs confirmed the ones I was looking at on there were the exact same test they used in house (not the same as my test as it didn't tell you if it had polyps or not) and why not pay less?  Then you start getting into the nitty gritty and reading people who were cleared actually had issues and those who tested positive were negative.  How was I going to trust this?  I tried to put it out of my mind the best I could for a week.  Then I got the call from the nurse at my docs office who despite being given complete consent per their own forms to please leave messages on voice mail, says "call me back to discuss your results."  This is the third time I've gotten that message this year.

Do you know what that does to an anxiety addled control freak like myself??  I comb through the patient portal and it doesn't say anything about test results in the obvious spot but after some serious digging, I find the results...positive.  I start shaking and call back and of course she isn't available.  I leave a message saying I see the results in the portal and I'm freaking out.  She calls and says that yes, it's positive for polyps but the doctor wants to emphasize this doesn't mean I have anything worse and they will refer me for a colonoscopy.  (As I look in the notes later, that isn't quite what the doc said.  She said "it came back positive.  Refer for colonoscopy so she can get some answers."  So the nurse was the one who tried to calm my worst fears.  You can imagine the places I went and the spiraling that happened.  Now I was going to have to end up having the damn test anyway and guess what, because the boxed poop is considered screening, this bigger procedure was now going to be diagnostic which costs much more out of pocket because insurance sucks.  Like I haven't already paid out the ass (no pun intended) in other medical issues all friggin' year.  

It took just over a week for the test to be referred and then I was contacted for scheduling.  If I wanted twilight, I was going to have to wait 2 1/2 months for it in January.  Yes, because nothing says relaxing holiday season than obsessing over health issues you can't control.  If I wanted sooner than that, I could do it a month later but be under anesthetic or choose to do no anesthesia which I've heard horror stories about.  I was not happy about having to be put under but then again, I had an endoscopy done in 1998 under 'twilight' and was fully awake for the whole thing and I remember every second of it.  She said based on that alone, they would probably put me under for it anyway.  Great.  

It was an agonizing month wait.  I tried desperately to put it out of my head and the first two weeks I did okay with that.  The last two weeks, I could barely stop myself from crying trying to be strong in front of the Mr so he didn't think I was being extra.  (This got especially bad after the gastro group sent over their legal stuff telling me all of the things that could go wrong.  I was convinced I was going to die, wrote a death letter, prepared some meals to freeze including most of Thanksgiving so he could have one more holiday season of my food.  Yes, this is where our minds go for the anxious.)  The Mr's appointment for his annual was coming up and he knew based off of my experience that it wasn't worth getting the 'easy' way out because it wasn't really easy.  It's way worse on your mental state to have to go through 6 weeks of dealing with the wait, worry and what ifs.  

If you are the anxious type and that time is coming up for you, don't try to take the shortcut.  For me, if it was positive I'd need to get it done and if it was negative I'd always wonder and then it might've been too late just like the false positive and negatives I read about.  Obviously, I can't tell you what to do but it is a horrible thing to put yourself through mentally especially if you end up just having to have it done anyway.  At least if you have it done, they can remove any polyps which can't be done any other way.  Some of you may wonder about the part that everyone dreads more than the test itself..."the prep."  My friend who has horrible bowel issues sent me this video with some helpful tips.  I had several people tell me the 'explosive diarrhea' people warn you about never happened to them so it wasn't bad.

Come on back tomorrow to see what my experience with the prep was as I took detailed notes while going through it.

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Friday, November 26, 2021

What I'm Reading This Week #48

Happy Black Friday everyone!  Is that even still a thing?  I've never done that anyway but after seeing a bazillion "black Friday deals start now" a month ago and the shipping issues, I wasn't sure if people were waiting until now.  I've been done since October first, a month earlier than usual and I've been wrapped since then too so that is always a BIG relief to not have that to worry about.  

We had a nice Thanksgiving for two yesterday.  I've gotta say, I love being able to watch the parade without having to cut my viewing short to make like half the Thanksgiving dishes for 20 people.  (2-3 pies, mashed potatoes most years, stuffing, and sometimes an appetizer if they want my cheeseball.)  Technically, yes I still made all of those things and more but I did most of them ahead of time and froze them and the pies on Wednesday so it was nice to only have Grandma's noodles to make that day.  Still in a food coma and leftovers are on tap for tomorrow.

Now let's get to...





7 Tips to Help You Develop a Quiet Mind  (I know I need help on this front!)


Why Longevity Experts Say You Should Get in the Habit of Sitting on the Floor  (Welp, I need to make time to meditate too so I can kill two birds with one stone and plop my ass on a cushion.)

5 Ways To Heal Your Inner Child & Stand In Your Power As An Adult  (They have more power than you might think)

The Worst Self-Care Habits That Destroy Your Immunity  (Oh yay...good to know I tick every box.  *rolling eyes*)


How Long Your Leftovers Are *Actually* Good For (and Ways To Tell They’ve Gone Bad)


"These are tears of joy": 9-year-old brother gives emotional speech at sister's wedding (If you don't well up, there is a black hole where your heart should be.)

We don't have any plans that I'm aware of and thankfully since all of our Christmas stuff is up, I have that checked off my list.  Actually, I need to make some of our cookie doughs to give future me a break and freeze them.  Might have to bake one up for quality control purposes.  😝

What trouble are you getting into this weekend?  Putting up decorations?  OD'ing on leftovers? 
 
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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Hump Day Poll: This year's great debate

(source)

So apparently there's this big hub bub this year (because it wouldn't be modern society if we couldn't take something small and make a thing out of it) about what time people eat on Thanksgiving.  People are firmly in their camps and declare everyone else "wrong" whilst giving their list of 20 reasons why they are right.

When I was growing up, we ate at 1pm.  That tradition got wrecked when one of my aunt's MIL's decided to manipulate her family after 20 years of doing it the same way so that she could claim the 1pm spot.  Oh, my grandma was PISSED because the agreement was made when they got married and it had been working fine up to that point and to my knowledge, no one asked that it be changed.  Now the whole thing got thrown off and that branch of the family tree would eat at 1pm every other year at their other side of the family's while the rest of us had to wait until 4pm and then have to listen to them gripe about how full they were.  It got to the point I told one of them that they knew they were coming over so either eat less at the first place or STFU and stop ruining it for the rest of us who are now starving having to wait so long.    

(source)


Then when my aunt started hosting, it was moved to 2pm to which the purist in me was like "what's this horse crap!?!"  1pm was just long enough that you could have some toast and tea for breakfast and 'save up' for the big eat feast.  2pm meant you'd show up hangry- words would be exchanged, you'd load up on appetizers and still stuff down a plate and dessert and overdo it while listening to the extra younger family members slap their guts and talk about having to workout while dumping their third piece of pie down her face hole.  SHUT IT.  (I need to clarify that just because the holiday "started" at 1pm doesn't mean you ate at 1pm.  We had a chronically late family tree branch who were always a minimum of 30 minutes late then by the time they got settles, it was 15 minutes later or so which meant eating at 1:45-2pm on the good years.  It meant eating at 2:45-3pm on the bad ones or when appetizers ran out and we were like "screw it, start the line whether they're here or not.)

Apparently, many people eat from 4-6pm, some as late as 8pm!  I understand it's called Thanksgiving dinner but I never questioned it because I'd be full enough to not need to eat dinner but have another piece of pie or whatever leftovers we might get for a nibble later.  If I ate the way I do on Thanksgiving later, I would have to be strapped to a dolly and sleep upright like an astronaut.  (Like I did when we ate at 4pm on the every other year.)  

So since we're solo again this year, we're eating whenever the hell we feel like it which will likely be close to 1pm.  Last year we had light pumpkin pie for breakfast which felt amazing because we're like "NO RULES!!!!"  But then I also felt more full for the main meal so who knows what we'll do this year.  I don't care when people eat, just eat.  You do you.  There is no right or wrong...only opinions and they're like buttholes, everybody's got one. 

When do you eat for Thanksgiving?  (And is it different for Christmas or same time?)


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Monday, November 22, 2021

On Our Way Weekend Wrap Up

How do?  It's manic Monday!  Seems fitting when it's the Monday before Thanksgiving.  Even though the Mr and I will be solo again this year I still have so much I feel like I have to get done and prepare.  Lots of list making on the agenda today.  Thankfully, the Mr already got our Christmas lights up outside so that was already checked off the list Wednesday while it was somewhat nice weather wise.

We lucked out and found a place showing Ghostbusters Afterlife outdoors so we gathered up some blankies and finally saw the dang thing after getting constantly pushed back.  If you're an original Ghostbusters fan, bring some tissues- I was SOBBING and the Mr shed a tear or two as well.

Sunday we started the day with a hearty breakfast consisting of my new favorite, my version of The Original Pancake House's apple pancake.


I made oatmeal pancakes with chia seeds and added some cinnamon, cloves and allspice, used a bit of butter cooking spray with a tablespoon of brown sugar and a nuked sliced apple with this slicer so I didn't even have to do any work and it came together easily.  (That slicer saves SO much time for apple pie too!)  

After we filled up, it was time to put up...



...our tree.  

It seemed harder to get motivated to put up this year.  I think the tangle of lights straight out of both boxes had a lot to do with that.  I planned on having a lot more done but the best laid plans and all that.  I think since I've had to hold back on so much this month mentally that suddenly my holiday stress clock has unleashed.  So I'll work on getting more together today because I do want it done by tomorrow, that's for sure.

That's about it on our end!

How did you spend the weekend?

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Friday, November 19, 2021

What I'm Reading This Week #47

Happy Friday to you lovely people!!  I can't tell you how excited I am that it's the weekend since it's been a long week.  I can't believe a week from now Thanksgiving will be over.  I've got most of my stuff made and frozen so I only have to do Grandma's noodles from scratch the day of.  I'll make our apple pie the day before and I went easy on myself this year and got store bought pie crusts to unroll.

Nothing noteworthy on the eats front so let's just get to...




Doing Cardio Workouts Before Weight Lifting May Help Boost Muscle, According to New Study  (This is good to know!  Might have to break out the aerobic step or something.)

Can Drinking Water Actually Help You Lose Weight?  (Interesting note on the menopause study.)


Palm Oil Encourages Cancer To Spread Through The Body  (Courtesy of the Mr.  Well shit...this stuff is in EVERYTHING.  Start looking at the ingredients if your food comes boxed, jarred or bagged.)



Please give Amber's story a read  (This is heartbreaking.  She is a brave, strong woman who could use a little help.)

The Pandemic Clock Mirage  (A very interesting perspective that makes you think!)


85 DIY Christmas Crafts to Add Personality to Your Home in an Instant  (Fun stuff especially if it's cloudy and windy outside and you need a small project!)

Non-Rich People Are Sharing Subtly Obvious Signs Of Wealth, And Honestly, It's Pretty Eye-Opening  (As someone whose single mom had to scrimp and work two jobs as a kid I could definitely relate to many of these.  But having a wonderful husband who provides a good life for us, I admit, I forgot some of them.  😔 As Thanksgiving approaches, this article was a perfect reminder to not only be thankful for what you have but the circumstances some of us came from to appreciate what we may take for granted even more.)

This weekend we're transitioning over to Christmas.  I want most of it done as far as the tree and most of the living room done so I'll only have to do in the kitchen once Thanksgiving is over.  I'm ready to get into the holiday spirit with so much to be thankful for!

What do you have on tap for this weekend?

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Thursday, November 18, 2021

One Step at a Time


(pexels.com)



As I've mentioned many times, I am a worrier, overthinker and have a pretty thin skin which makes me perfect for being a half assed blogger.  (sarcasm)  I know much of that stems from childhood issues I'm still working to overcome.  I don't care to enter another year carrying the weight of a mental anvil on a chain while trying to swim.  For people who have a different mindset, they don't understand those of us who immediately think the worst.  They may consider us "drama queens", weak minded, lazy, incapable, etc.  Believe me, all things we've called ourselves and worse.  The fact is, those coping mechanisms stem from something.  A trauma.  It can be as horrible as physical and/or sexual abuse (which did not happen to me) or divorce, death of a close family member at a young age or bullying.  A myriad of traumas of what would be considered 'big and small' but all resulting in many similar underlying feelings so really, there are no 'small' traumas if it affects the way you move through the world and your ability to be truly happy.

I've been reading a few books lately in attempts to go through self therapy since going that route did a lot for us working on our marriage.  I was lead to this book through a 'Dear Abby' type column I was scrolling one morning.  It was talking about chronic pain and the connection to the mind.  I've already seen some improvement in an issue I've been dealing with for months.  As I was reading reviews for that book, two other books were suggested frequently by other reviewers: Deep Clearing and The Meaning of Truth.  The first as an aid to truly free your subconscious of the traumas you view your life through and the second being a how to guide to take what the 'Dear Abby' book mentioned and expand upon it.  (I haven't read Meaning of Truth yet but I'll review it when I do.)  I'm through the parts in Deep Clearing that you need to set the foundation and I can say it's very frustrating when you can't even do step one which is deep relaxation to get your mind in the proper receptive setting.  I'll get there but I at least understand some of the mechanics behind why I react the way I do.  So much of it brought back my Sociology and Human Ecology classes I took, I felt like I was in school again.

I had no intention of sharing this story but I figured if one person could benefit, it would be worth it.  

A family member emailed me and my initial reaction is to always brace because they don't really contact me out of the blue unless it's to invite us to something or a favor is requested.  I saw their name and I had just wound down for the night and was getting ready to watch a show with the Mr so I told myself I would answer in the morning.  I got up, put on some jazz to calm me and opened the note.  She was letting me know they were having full blown Thanksgiving and that they would raise a glass to us then moved on to updating me on stuff going on around the house, what they've been up to and asked what we'd been up to.  The Mr and I were relieved that we didn't have to turn down the invite but that a time was still given implying we were welcome to stop by.  I commented on all of the things she mentioned, asked questions and filled her in on what we were up to including 'more doctors appointments than should be allowed by law' since it seems like that's all we're doing, well, all year now.  I wasn't saying that to fish, it's a fact but honestly, that isn't something I typically reveal to people when they ask so it's out of the norm for me to admit.  I had to make myself vulnerable to even do it.  I also told her that we walked at Grandma's cemetery at least twice a week if she ever wanted to meet up outside.  (She works in a public setting and has an immuno-compromised spouse so we wanted it to be as low risk for everyone involved.)  She wrote back and addressed basically everything except the doctor comment and meeting up...the two things that required me to put myself out there.  Now this is someone who always wants to help or check on others and it was actually kind of strange out of everything she didn't comment on it.  She's said before she still has our anniversary gift and wanted to get together to get it to us so I found it odd she didn't at least say "yes, we can meet up somewhere!"

The Mr asked what she said when he came down later and I told him and he said he thought it was weird she didn't ask about the doctors because that's literally her thing and it was odd she didn't respond about meeting up even if it was to push it off to the future.  I told him I was glad he said that because I thought it was just me.  I didn't spiral too hard over it but I won't deny my feelings were a little hurt.  It brought up all of those feelings of 'why am I not worthy enough to worry about when you have openly shown other family and friends concern over a similar statement?'  'What did I do to make her not care?'  'Why didn't she acknowledge getting together when she's asked me before?'  Etc...etc...etc.  

That night, the Mr and I walked at the park and he brought it up and we talked.  We talked about how we felt in terms that related to the book we're reading like the emotions brought up initially (worthlessness, left out, not cared about) and then getting to the core feelings behind it.  A bit of abandonment though that feels like too strong of a word, maybe unloved?  Then before I let that feeling grow, I began talking about what it may be from her perspective.  As I mentioned, doctors appointments are her 'thing' and some of it not by choice.  In 2008, when she began her cancer journey, she wanted me there with her at her doctors appointment so I know she trusts me.  I offered to cut her hair before chemo because I didn't want her to do that in a salon with strangers.  Then, just as she was healed and finally got back to a semblance of a normal life, Grandma began to exhibit her signs of dementia.  Her life was entrenched in that for 8 years.  Not even a full week after Grandma died, her husband was in a dire health situation where she was flung into that and basically assuming he'd be dead by year's end.  By a miracle, he wasn't but it was a long year of recovery and worry.  Then throw Grandma's husband acting a fool with a woman, turning on the whole family and being mean and cruel until the woman and her accomplice were jailed.  But there she was...still standing beside him and finally got guardianship over him so every move he needs to make has to go through her.  She's still caregiving and is probably f**king EXHAUSTED after 13 years of being in chronic fight or flight mode.  If that doesn't change a person, I don't know what will.  Did I mention she's having her entire house redone that same week she emailed me?  

When I sat and listed out all of the bullshit she's been through between her own health issues she's currently facing (not life threatening but potentially life changing), I felt embarrassed that I ever felt shunned by her.  How can I ever ask why people haven't noticed that I've changed over the past 15 years if I can't notice they have too?  Putting myself in her shoes and the mounting load of BS that she has endured and honestly, chosen to take on in some cases, will change someone.  Plus, she's busy right now!  That has nothing to do with me and I'm sure the thought of making one more appointment to do something when she's already doing so much right now was the last thing she wanted even if it was with my sparkling personality!  

Could I be filling in the blanks to let her off the hook?  Yes.  But it's done wonders to calm me than decades of filling in the blanks thinking I'm a disappointment, unlovable or unworthy.  It was the first time I truly walked through the process in my head that maybe the first (or third) impression isn't the right one.  I have an inferiority complex and while people who don't suffer from that like to shove some cutesy quote in your face about how "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent" that buys you about five minutes of peace but does nothing to address the feeling of inferiority behind it.  

When you've lived with feelings of anger, repression, confusion, abandonment and fear of the unknown for almost 40 years, any situation regardless if it has anything to do with what originally set off those emotions bring one or more to the forefront.  If any of the above rings true to you and you want to begin to understand yourself a little better while maybe waiting for one of the above books because you're ready to tackle your subconscious, articles like this one, this one and this one can give you a place to start.

If you somehow got out of early or mid life unscathed or have much healthier coping mechanisms, kudos to you...but you're likely in a minority.  The best way you can support someone who hasn't been able to release their tortured inner child who bullies us most of our waking hours, is to listen.  I'm not saying being a therapist to your friend/family member, I mean listen without the intent to fix.  Sometimes just knowing someone is hearing us without reciting some sound byte or perhaps a "cheer up, other people have it way worse!" or "suck it up" was a favorite from my childhood.  That's not helpful.  It tells us we're a burden to you which now adds another problem to our plate and reinforces what we already think is true.  Think of how nice it is to be truly heard and give the same in return.  I'm beyond blessed that my husband and best friend do that for me in the most neurotic of times and I can never repay them for their kindness and understanding.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Hump Day Poll: Catching Zzzz's




How do you sleep?

Side sleeper?  If so, which side?  On your back?  On your stomach?   One pillow or two?  

I sleep on one pillow my left side but used to sleep on my right my whole life.   I can fall asleep on my back if I want to suck in the drapes snore.  No can do on my stomach unless I had to.  I always think two pillows staggered feels best when I fall asleep then I have a kink in my neck for a week and have to dig out the knot.

**Side note:  If y'all are the praying/good vibe kind, I'm having a procedure this afternoon that I have to be put out for which has me a little nervous.  Okay, a lot nervous.  If you could send some positive energy out there, I would be ever so grateful.  I'll get into it more next week since I have my posts all done for the week.  Thanks in advance!**

How do you sleep?   Side sleeper?  If so, which side?  On your back?  On your stomach?   One pillow or two?  

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Monday, November 15, 2021

Walking in a (somewhat) Winter Wonderland Weekend Recap

Happy Monday beautiful people!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend full of your favorite things!  I know I sure did...my honey and...



We got the puniest bit of snow but you know dang well I wasn't passing that up!  So off to the park we went after slapping on our thermals and my tootsies stayed cozy thanks to the thicker socks my bestie told me about.

While a little bit stuck, we knew by the radar we had about 45 minutes before it was either going to change to rain or stop altogether.


It was nice because a family was having a birthday gathering keeping each other safe outside in a shelter with a fireplace so we got to enjoy the smell of a fire which you usually only smell in the distance.  

We thought we'd hit the trail but it was mostly rainy back there so we cut back up to the asphalt but got to see the seasons co-mingling before gusty winds moved in later and the leaves are now all probably gone.


It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon all snuggled up and soaking wet by the time we were done.  I hope I get many more snowy days to enjoy with my best guy.  Nothing like walking in a (somewhat) winter wonderland!

How was your weekend?  Do anything fun and/or productive?

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Friday, November 12, 2021

What I'm Reading This Week #46

Happy Friday all!  I hope you had a wicked good week and are ready for some weekend tomfoolery!  We had a pretty low key week and I'm just ready to chill with my honey.  We got in a lot of walks again and some strength training but we were feeling it for sure.

It's time to get to...








A Psychologist's 3 Underrated Hacks To Dispel Nervous Energy  (Tis the season!  (Or for some of us...everyday.))


‘All in the Family’ was America’s family, warts and all  (I watch it a few times a week.  SO many lessons people could still learn by watching it- just like Archie eventually did.)

Absolutely do not change your voicemail greeting if you're lost without service (Good tips to know if anyone out there does some serious hiking)

Wil Wheaton gave a perfect explanation of how to separate problematic artists from their art (I absolutely agree with this!!  You have to make your OWN choice and by continuing to watch or not watch certain movies or listen to certain music doesn't mean you condone what they did/are accused of.  It's not anyone's business to condemn anyone else who doesn't agree with their decision either way, as well.)

Holiday Shipping Deadlines That Will Get Your Gifts There on Time  (Nope.  I don't trust them.  These are the same friggin' shipping deadlines they release every year and yet I remember very vividly waiting 4 months for something last year.  Etsy customers complaining in swarms about waiting weeks for something promised in a few days but got lost in the abyss that was/is the USPS with no tracking updates.  Heck, even earlier this year when I sent a card for my best friend to open on the morning of her wedding with 2 'cushion days' to spare, she got it 3 WEEKS LATER.  All of my Cmas packages are shipping out 12/1 and not through USPS because I actually want them to arrive especially since they've added time with their latest overhaul.  I know the other carriers are going to be overwhelmed too but I've had better luck with them being consistent.  I'm not telling you when to ship your stuff out but I sure as heck wouldn't follow these guidelines assuming you get anything you order off the ships if you haven't started your shopping yet.  Consider shopping small/local this (and every) year or you could have a bigger crap show on your hands than we had last year.  Obviously, I have no opinion on the subject!  Bwaahaha!)

Nothing on the agenda but maybe some cleaning.   Thrilling, I know.

Anything planned for your weekend?  Anyone putting up holiday decorations?

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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Hump Day Poll: The best everrrr

(I originally had a pic of a dessert then I wanted to lick it and I thought that would be rude to visually tempt people.)


The best dessert you've ever had.  What is it?

I've had so many which is obviously why I'm still trying to lose weight.  The first thing that popped into mind was the Sticky Toffee Pudding at Olde Angel Inn in Niagara on the Lake the first time we had it.  We had it again and it wasn't quite as good but I think we were rushed.  I also really love anything chocolate moussey like the dessert straight up or something like Cheesecake Factory's Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake.  Le drool.

Your turn!  Tell me what I'm missing out on.

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Monday, November 8, 2021

Getting Ahead Weekend Recap

Good Monday morning to you all!  Nothing like a saucy new week to get the blood pumping.  I wish I could say we had an exciting weekend but it was pretty low key.  On Friday we went to our new eye doctor.  It started out on the wrong foot but we were able to get in and tested and both passed with flying colors.  We've gone to the same guy for 25+ years but it was time to change and one of the tests he did (peripheral) that was always covered, we had to pay extra for.  It's not one they apparently run every year but we were both surprised we had to pay above and beyond for it.  Does your eye doc include the peripheral test?

Then we went to the grocery to grab a turkey and the next day it was thawed enough to cook so I did that:





Obviously, I FoodSaved that bad boy so we'd have the big part ready to roll for Thanksgiving.  I'll be making mashed potatoes soon so I can do the same with that.  My taters always turn out perfectly when thawed and it's so nice to just have to warm everything up and only stick to making the noodles from scratch.  I even bought our brown and serve rolls early and froze them because I wasn't counting on being able to find them closer to the day.  We had a hard time finding them last year so I just need to get the stuff for my cheeseball and we'll be ready to roll for the holiday.  Last year it was nice to walk the park after we ate to get the digestion rolling though I have to remember that I ended up needing Pepto and not to go nuts.  

I don't know what I did but Saturday morning my thumb hurt a little and as the day progressed, it got worse and worse to the point I couldn't type or even lift my phone.  I had an ice pack on it and took an ibuprofen but I obviously strained it somehow given how quick and acute the symptoms are.  I think I remember grabbing my 2 liter water bottle with it which probably overstretched it but I don't think it was that day.  I also responded on the phone to an email that would've been more easily written on a laptop due to length so between the two, it was not a pleasant weekend on the "what's my new pain this week?" front.

We got Showtime so we would be ready for Dexter's premiere last night.  I've been hiding all articles having to do with it for weeks because I didn't want to go in with any preconceived notions.  We picked up Couples Therapy that we watched earlier in the year after getting hooked on The Affair in Vermont.  Man, you look at the way some people speak to other people they supposedly love and it's atrocious.  Several outbursts made us gasp and made us so thankful we could never say some of the hateful things spewing out of this one woman's mouth.  Yeesh.

We're looking forward to this season of Dexter since we were literally 2-3 days behind them as they filmed in MA on our 25th anniversary trip the whole time.  I really hope they don't louse it up though nothing could louse it up more than the original ending.

(source)


What did you get into this weekend?

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Friday, November 5, 2021

What I'm Reading This Week #45

Friday...where have you been all my life?  We've been enjoying walks in the park this week because we can see the leaves are about to give up the fight.  It's been interesting to watch the Mr enjoy true Fall for the 2nd year in a row with his EnChroma sunglasses for his colorblindness.  Colors that I think look well past their prime, he marvels at so it's gotten me to look at the ones I would've not appreciated as much with new eyes.  

Here's a rundown of our food and workouts for the week.

Sunday- Last of the Beyond Backyard burgers (found out too late those apparently have more calories than regular Beyond burgers) and potato wedges.  Workout- walk at Grandma's cemetery for 3 miles.

Monday-  Walk at the park on the trail and asphalt loop.  Dinner was lentil spaghetti with low sodium marinara and meatless meatballs and salad.

Tuesday-  Workout was 2+ miles on the dog trail (because dogs beat humans every time) and dinner was switched to grilled cheese and tomato/chicken noodle soup and hot tea since we were chilled to the bone.

Wednesday- Workout was walk at Grandma's.  Dinner was General Tso's shrimp with caulirice and broccoli slaw.

Thursday-  Workout was walk in park.  Dinner was pork chop with apple almond stuffing and Brussels.





This Is How a Walking Coach Structures a 3-Mile Walk for Optimal Health Benefits (Great tips we'll incorporate for sure!  We've been doing trails lately which is new but definitely doing these for cemetery walks.)


Healthy Recipes from TOPS (When I was on a diet board back in the 90's, I always remember some of the ladies saying they did TOPS meetings.  Does anyone remember those?  I decided to look them up and they're still around! (Lasted longer than SP - sigh) I saw they had a recipe page and thought I'd share it for anyone whose interested.)

12 Ways To Sneak In Mental Health Breaks Throughout Your Day (Some pretty good stuff.  I especially like the red light suggestion...just don't forget to go when it turns green or I will honk at you.)

A Toxin Expert's Top Tips For Keeping Your Home Healthy This Winter  (I have to say, when the pandemic began we switched to these filters and holy crap, as someone with allergies, 95% of my sneeze attacks and itchy eyes are GONE.  A little pricey but worth it to save in tissues and not risk a sneeze pee.)

Praise: Why We Crave It So Much at Work and In Our Personal Lives, and How to Live Without It  (Sometimes we all need an 'atta boy/girl.'  Positive reinforcement is key for you to want to do anything well.)

Why All the Adult Temper Tantrums? (Everyone should read this.)

Your Health Checkup: Managing Your Anger  (Can you tell this is a problem for me/us?)

How to Quiet Creaky Floors in an Older House  (Mr- we need to get that spot by the dining room especially since we have access to the joists below and leftover adhesive!)


I'm sure a drive somewhere is likely in order since it'll probably be the last weekend with any color.  (womp womp)  Other than that, some football is in there for the Mr while the whites of my eyes liquefy.  Actually, I'll probably do some more exercises from this book we're both going through together because it's time to unleash some demons.  Don't forget about the time change this weekend! 

Because...

(Comment if you sang it like the rock star you are!)

Whatchu into this weekend?

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