Psyching Up For a December Whole 30 Graduates


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Hellloooo! And welcome back. It sounds like y'all have had quite an adventure. Even though my husband and I tend to approach things differently (now there's a shocker!) we make a good team and, yes, it IS very gratifying. Glad to hear your kitty is OK after her tumble and is taking to her new home. We had "visitors" at our house when we moved in as well plus the cats kept bringing "friends" home- mice, voles (that one had us puzzled- couldn't figure out why the mice in TN all had little short tails), flying squirrels (the first one in the empty hot tub in our bathroom at 2 AM- did you know they shriek?!) and chipmunks (one of whom took up residence in the basement). We decided to use no-kill mouse traps because we were worried about catching a cat body part in them. We put globs of peanut butter in them and just dumped the critters out at a spot away from the house. They worked really well except for one big one that we had a hard time catching because his tail poked out of the end so the trap door couldn't close behind him; we went through a lot of peanut butter before we finally got him. We finally won the war but it took a while. I guess it's part of the joy of rural life! 

Like car repairs aren't a big enough pain in the tuchus! Our standard line in those kinds of situations comes from our sailing years: "It could be worse; it could be raining!" It's great that your splurge was just that and not a slippery slope! Yay! I had pizza last weekend and really enjoyed it but, surprisingly, it wasn't swoon-worthy and I thought it would be. As expected, no aftershocks from it so that was good but it will be easier to have the salad instead of the pizza next time or maybe a salad and a slice instead of two slices. We went out last Friday and I had some white wine (and lots of water) but still wound up with a giant sinus headache. Monday night I had some family drama to mediate so I poured myself a glass of organic, sulfite-free red wine to stiffen my backbone and did not even get a hint of a headache so it's starting to sounds like I have a sulfite sensitivity. I might test it with some dried fruit but that's something that can quickly turn into food with no brakes for me so...I don't know. 

I had a big ass salad for my lunch yesterday with a couple of slices of salmon and a couple of slices of prosciutto. I finally remembered to get the prosciutto and then the asparagus looked awful so I guess that combo is still waiting in the wings. The salmon is a little salty but very good. I'd definitely make it again and will send along the recipe. Last night I finally made that pot of chili I've been wanting to make and it is delicious. Perfect chili weather, too- in the 20's today and woke up to snow that was not supposed to happen. It's getting into the teens tonight then by Saturday will be pushing 60. Even the flowers are confused; I noticed that our daffodils are about 6 inches tall and they should still be snoozing. That meatloaf looks good but it looks like a lot of trouble. Let me know if it's worth it. I've been wanting to make one for a week or so but it's one of my hot, fast and cheap meals and I don't know if I want to gussie it up- also think the hubby would balk at the spinach in it. I had to look up counter onions! Sounds tasty; let me know what you think of them. Any plans for how you'll use them?

How nice that you could baptize your new kitchen with bone broth and beef stew! Good luck with the cleaning and un-boxing. We lived amid boxes for over a year because we were remodeling and, even though there are two kitchens in our house (it's like a mother-in-law apartment but we can't officially call it that because it's part of the house that's dug into the hill and there's no emergency egress from the "bedroom"), we couldn't use the one in the basement because the space was stacked to the roof with all of our stuff. We ate out A LOT! I try to save oven cleaning for a day/night that's really cold- like maybe tonight! Mine needs it too and it does get a little funky-smelling but not too bad. Thanks for the suggestion.

Cheers to you as well!


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Yes, the joy of rural life! Your tales of furry friends are very entertaining, right out of a children's picture book! No, I did not know that chipmunks would come in, that flying squirrels liked hot tubs, or that they shrieked. I might shriek too if a giant walked in on me when I was trying to take a nap/or a soak in an empty tub! I'm very interested in how that all went for you (and the big boy with the long tail) as this is all so out of my comfort zone. I've used a live trap once, and when I released the little mouse, it had pissed itself all the way to the release location. That's a lot of stress! Maybe I walked too far away, I remember just going and going. Poor guy! I read somewhere that most critters don't survive relocation. Whose research is that, and how do they know? Not sure...We lean in the direction of our PETA safe trap, but after a lot of reading, thought it might be more humane to get a clean, fast kill. I'm thinking that Kitty will spend the night in the mud room with her box and food and bed on the big night. Yes, we are still putting it's not a huge invasion, just a little scat here and there, and the cat sniffing around like a hunter. Today's mission is that Nom Nom recipe, but I'll make sliders instead of loaves (my husband may or may not turn his nose up at all that spinach, too, or, gasp, drown it in ketchup!), and then hand sewing curtains for three small windows in the bathroom. If I can get that done, I'm good. Every day we have to tell ourselves to stop and rest, and go to bed. It will all get done eventually...

It's been raining cats and dogs...and there's a little water coming in around the fireplace -- eek! It could be worse, it could be...flooding?

Your pizza not being swoon-worthy makes me think of how the palate changes...and MH's discussion about the super-normally sweet/salty/fatty qualities of non-compliant foods....could it be that our brains are remembering not just the flavor of old favorites, but the reward center explosion we experienced in earlier days? The jones as it got satisfied? Great that you didn't have any aftershocks from it! I hope your family woes are resolved now. If it should turn out that you do have a sulfite sensitivity, will that be a huge bummer, or, hard to avoid certain foods? It sounds like you know how to get sulfite free wine, and are avoiding dried fruits anyway (me too!). Amazing what we discover when we are willing to go to the trouble of these eliminations. Self knowledge! Freedom! There's no turning back, is there?

I'd love to know your version of a not-gussied up meat loaf...the loaf pans made the cut when I was packing, so I'm thinking as long as I kept them I should use them more often. I used to enjoy making lentil loaf, so when I'm a little more settled and ready to do some conscious re-intros that may be in the future, too. The meatloaf calls to mind my college years...Mom was not a cook, but meatloaf was in her repertoire. My stepdad was the cook, and an excellent one! I wowed my college roommate with tales of his amazing cooking, and brought her home with me one time. Mom greeted us at the door with a happy announcement that she had made her meatloaf. When she saw she was out of bread crumbs, she used falafel mix, and it was pretty awful. LOL

I'm not sure what I'll do yet with the counter onions, probably enjoy them as a side along with olives, and who knows, maybe they will be good on other savory things! As I get older I like onions more and more, so I'm exploring, as I hear they "cook" in the marinade. I do love the sweetness of caramelized onions, so we'll see how these taste!

Your house with two kitchens and a mother-in-law sounds like it has a lot of character! Ours has character, too, lots of it. We told our agent we didn't want a cookie cutter house, and so here we are. I'm reaching for as much zen mindset capacity as I have in me, living with all the boxes and disorder. One step at a time. The good news is that the bed arrived on Friday, (Friday was cuhrayzee) and it is paradise comfortable. I love it. The delivery truck wouldn't fit up our steep, narrow, curvy driveway, though, so the dudes had to carry everything up. I helped as much as I could, huffing and puffing along the way with them, carrying the smaller parts. It all brought out my inner Jewish mother, and while they were setting up I made them sandwiches. I'm such a dork, I know.

I'm back to 5 minutes of morning survival yoga. If the rain subsides a little, I want to make this my week to get back to early morning hikes/walks, and stretching. So carving out a space to sit on the floor will have to go into the fold of today's chores = ) 

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Oh, our critter population was crazy and it took a really long time to eliminate them. Of course, the cats weren't helping on a couple of different levels! They weren't killing the ones living in the house AND they were bringing new ones in through the cat door. I came home from an evening shift one night and my little girl and a chipmunk were walking down the hall together. Cute but we have a rule that our pets an't have pets! We've gotten pretty good at grabbing them with a towel and bringing them outside but I do always wonder if they can find their way back to their nest. I guess I just try not to think about it.

One more piece falls into place now that your new bed has arrived! We have driveway issues as well. It's long and steep then makes a 90 degree turn around a tree before it levels out and goes to the house. We've had to take our pick-up truck down to the bottom a couple of times to have things loaded into it because the delivery drivers couldn't make it up. It's even more fun when it gets a nice, thick layer of ice on it! 

Your Mom's falafel meatloaf story is hysterical! I pretty much just wing it when I make meatloaf- small dice onions and peppers, one egg/lb of ground beef, s&p, garlic, Creole seasoning and, since I don't use breadcrumbs as a binder any more, I've started putting (sneaking) a little gelatin in it to help retain moisture. If I'm not W30-ing, I like to put a little layer of ketchup on top or I'll season up some tomato paste and thin that out to spread on top. A friend of mine from way up in yankee territory calls ketchup on meatloaf a Southern abomination but that's what I grew up with and that's how I like it. Now it makes me smile every time I do it! I love lentil nut loaf. I actually have some in my freezer that I made for a veg friend that was staying with us. It's my mom's recipe and we used to serve it with brown rice, a big blob of plain yogurt and sprinkle some gomasio (sesame seeds ground w salt) on it- yum. So many off limit foods in there! 

I had a small crisis this morning when I realized I left my container of berries at home. I eat some almost every day and have some with my breakfast and save a few for lunch. The panic factor made me wonder if they've become a problem but I seem to be surviving and I haven't filled the gap with something less nutritious so maybe I haven't created a berry monster?? If sulfites are a problem, I don't think it will be a terrible thing but it's good to know so I guess I need to test it a little further.

I didn't get as much of a cook-up done this weekend as I would have liked but I have breakfasts and some lunches- I took leftover egg salad and dumped tuna into it so that will take care of today and tomorrow then I have turf & turf for Wednesday. Half of a chicken breast and few bites of leftover steak so all I need is a side dish to make it most of the way through the week. Instead of cleaning and cooking, we spent a big chunk of the weekend agonizing over my computer. Like your old Macbook, mine is no longer supported and I can't upgrade the OS any more. I didn't really care but we tried to install new anti-viral software this weekend and couldn't because of the old OS. My brother-in-law recently had his personal and business bank accounts hacked and they emptied both accounts so my husband was really keen on getting our systems better protected. After much deliberation, we decided to get me another Mac and it will be here Wednesday. I feel bad about spending so much $$ (even though my husband says not to) but I am pretty excited about it. New toy!

Here's to survival yoga and floor time! I spent a couple of hours on the floor last night watching TV and just moving. I should have moved a bit more this weekend but I did do some hanging and my shoulder is loving it.

Hasta la vista and stay dry!

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2 hours ago, hollysmokes said:

I came home from an evening shift one night and my little girl and a chipmunk were walking down the hall together. Cute but we have a rule that our pets an't have pets!

O.M.G. What a scene! Hilarious. :D

I approve of your berry habit. I'm trying to remember to put berries on my salad. For not-work meals, it takes a little extra planning/fussing since they're coming out of the freezer. One of the only things I miss about my old community was easy access to fresh, organic berries at TJ's. I ate a lot of berries in those days. As for the meatloaf, my mom was from the mid-south and her meatloaf had something tomato-y on it, too. I like that part! Thanks for the guidelines, I will try it out! I made the super-green sliders yesterday. I hadn't noticed that the grass fed beef I bought was really lean, and it felt like bison in my hands. I baked them in the oven, and they are pretty tasty, but they do really scream spinach. The texture is vaguely reminiscent of bread (hello coconut flour) which is kind of odd, but not unpleasant. My husband liked them, and made a Popeye joke. No ketchup, even, he just ate them cold out of the fridge, so they have passed the test. As you pointed out, they were a lot of work, but I kind of liked it. A double recipe made a LOT of food, which is awesome. I'm thinking about adding more produce to my beloved chicken apple recipe so will let that idea percolate.

I swear, we do live in a parallel space, even the steep driveway! We have two serious hairpin turns, and a third to get into our actual immediate driveway. The 15 foot U-Haul made it, barely! Our UPS guy is as sweet as pie, but a total bad ass on the steep roads, which I admire. I can really see the advantage to having a pick-up truck. Alas, if the time comes for a new car, I have my heart set on an electric, maybe a Fiat, with a charging station near or in the garage. 

Oh, computer woes! As you know, I whole-heartedly sympathize! Those villains and their built in obsolescence! You are so wise to heed the experience of your brother-in-law and make everything as secure as can be. Also, so good to make the switch before you'd be in danger of losing any data. Are you using an external hard drive to transfer all your files? Good things do cost money, I'm glad you're not fretting too much about it. You're worth it = ) I hope it's lightning speed and gives you that shiny new feeling at command central!

I never did get to the curtains, but together Hubs and I unpacked lots and lots of boxes. As soon as the rain subsides (could be days!) I'll transfer storage into the big plastic tubs I bought and get things out to the garage. Today I have to re-do all the exterior pipe insulation, especially at the well head because it's all falling apart and it will get into the 20s tonight and tomorrow. We will likely see our once-or-twice-annual snowfall at this elevation (we're at about 1,300'), and tons of snow at the higher elevations. It's magical, and definite cause for celebration for so many reasons, but makes me a little nervous...I'll try to enjoy it once all the pipes are safe!

Did I mention I've got a convection oven here? Do you have experience with those? So far I like it a lot. It's faster, as well as the induction stove top -super fast. The oven is small, proportional to the kitchen in largest roasting sheet barely fits in there! 


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Isn't it wonderful get things put in their forever homes and get the boxes out?! It sounds like you're well on the road to less chaos. We're only at about 550 feet. That was one of the first things we checked when we moved in- just for s*#!ts and giggles since we've always been at seal level. We don't have exposed pipes to worry about here but in New Orleans, everyone has to leave their water running if it's going to hit freezing so the pipes don't burst. I hope you came through your first freeze without mishap and the rain is slacking off. We were supposed to get rain all week but it's just drizzled here and there. It's been hitting 70 every day and, just for fun, tomorrow night it's going to drop into the 20's! Our only two weather choices lately are rain or freeze.

We we replaced out oven, my husband insisted that we NEEDED a convection oven so, yes, I have one but I don't use it very often and don't notice much difference when I do. My mom loves hers, though, and uses it frequently. If I didn't have gas (we're on propane) I'd want an induction cooktop. We've looked at induction burners for my cheese-making but, of course, to get one that will do what I want is pricey. I need to be able to dial in a temp and keep it there but most burners just have numbers and don't go as low as I need.

Your meatloaf burgers sound good. Wow, no ketchup! I keep meaning to grab some frozen spinach to keep on hand for adding to meaty, breakfasty things. I have some ground chicken so maybe chicken apple sausage w spinach for next week. Planning a saladus gluteus maximus for dinner tonight with some red snapper. I have a giant bunch of fresh dill so I keep making ranch dressing and we've really been on a kick with it. 

Not sure what's up but I'm having serious sugar cravings :angry:

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43 minutes ago, hollysmokes said:

Not sure what's up but I'm having serious sugar cravings :angry:

Me, too. I've been really looking at my habits in the last couple of days. I have been compliant, but in some less than great habits of skipping meals (there's the real problem), and eating too fast when I do eat. The other day I stopped myself several times from going astray. So starting today, I'm eating slowly, not multi-tasking, and vowing not to skip meals. I know that when I get the morning routine of conscious movement back onboard that helps things fall into place in a big way. It's just been too cold to get outside, but there's no reason I can't get my game on indoors, so, tomorrow it is. An earlier alarm! Yes, we survived our cold - like you, we had always been at sea level, and even though I had all the outdoor pipes wrapped up tight, Hubs felt more comfortable keeping the downstairs taps on, too!

I think it's fun to know what the elevation is! Do you know what the elevation gain is from the bottom of your road to the top? Are you still taking walks with your rock pal (is that what it's called?)

Let me know if you come to any conclusions about your sugar cravings...are you eating enough? Emotional trigger? Besides skipping meals, I can be triggered by panic, fear, worry, etc...and sometimes the opposite, a really good mood comes, and I want a treat. But I was so unbridled in the past, just about anything could trigger me.

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I think you nailed all of it! I skipped some meals last weekend then had dark chocolate peanut butter cups on my way home from the grocery Tuesday afternoon followed by fried mozzarella sticks for dinner. Wednesday I felt bloated and yucky and wanted to just eat all the things so I think it was a combination of bad choices. I snacked a bit yesterday afternoon but stayed away from sweets and anything else I thought might be a trigger (hello cheese!) and I feel better today. I definitely need to curtail my off-roading this weekend! I never did a really detailed cheese re-intro and I'm still thinking that fresh cheeses might not be my friend:(. Once I get back on track for a few days, I'm going to have some burrata and see how I fare. 

I need to take my favorite rock for a walk; it's been sitting outside feeling neglected but we had a 50 degree drop in temperature yesterday to go with the 4 inches of rain the day before and I think we have another 3 inches or so coming soon.  SO... I need to get my act together, stop skipping meals and move!

I've never looked at the elevation at the bottom of the hill, only the number of "flights" I've climbed after I go up and down a few times but it's on the agenda now! Also lotion went well but the jojoba oil has a very buttery smell that's a little weird. Details later; gotta run! New 'puter tomorrow, i think.

Have a lovely weekend!

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Hope you're having some fun with the new computer! I've never used jojoba oil before, but I think it's not supposed to have a smell. I wonder if it's gone rancid? If so, buttery is preferable to some other rancid oil smells I've encountered. Overall do you like the lotion? Do you like it enough to make it again? I had a breakthrough last week with my two-ingredient face cream. Instead of putting the shea butter on the double boiler and letting it slowly melt down to liquid, I nuked it for 10 second intervals just until it was soft enough to mixthe base oil and eo's with a spoon. It's got the best texture yet. Super creamy. I used sandalwood and ylang ylang. My hands are very beat up from the move etc, so I'm using it on my hands a lot too, and being good about wearing dishwashing gloves.

I finally got a nice walk in the new neighborhood. There's a little-used, very private trail that begins on a neighbor's property, but she's not very amenable to people using it. She wants a phone call first but never gets up before 10 :o and there are dogs. Might not be worth the bother! However, even if I hoof it up and down the road from bottom to top a few times, that's a good time right there...not the same as a trail hike as I will encounter cars occasionally, but I will keep exploring. If I'm willing to get in my car and drive 10 minutes I can hike in the National Park....but I just don't want to drive! To walk is perilous....but I'll figure it out in the coming weeks and months. Weeding and gardening will keep me busy pretty soon here, as everything is coming up now. Are your flowers still on their early route to blooming?

This morning I made a big double batch of chicken apple sausage patties, and also asparagus/olive scrambled eggs. I need to hide away W30 food I don't want to share b/c the patties are close to decimated! = (

Rain or no rain, I want to get out 4-5 mornings this week.

Oh, and the girl scouts came to visit on Friday. I bought several boxes to share and stuck all but one package in the freezer at work. I ate a bag of gluten free cookies all by myself. 4 oz. Eek! Not sure it was worth it, but I'm back on program. Later I'll make warm chipotle lime sweet potato salad from the Real Food Dieticians that I've had my eye on for a while.

Have a good week!

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Much anxiety over computer issues but they are slowly getting resolved and I may survive the experience! I think that the only major problem left is that my recipe software is an old version and not compatible with my new OS- as opposed to the new security software that wasn't compatible with my old OS! Grrrrrr! My poor husband has had to listen to me rant and rave, tell him to leave me alone then thank him for helping me NOT lose my mind and I think he's going to survive as well. I've learned a lot, got my bluetooth speaker FINALLY working off of my computer after a call to tech support, am actually getting my files and documents organized so I can find them and hope to have the new version of my recipe software to install this afternoon.

In spite of all of the computer drama I managed to get a chorizo sausage and veg hash together for my breakfasts and made a big batch of fish cakes that did double duty as dinner last night and some lunches for this week. I had some wild-caught cod that I got a few months ago from Costco because it was a great price. Unfortunately it got sorta spongy after being frozen so I figured I'd grind up the fish, add some eggs and mayo as a binder, season it up and turn it into fish cakes as a last ditch effort not to waste it and they're really good! I put a little too much preserved lemon in them but I can live with that. I made a batch of mayo with lime juice and garlic and used it in them and to dip them in. That's my lunch over a bed of cole slaw today. 

Thankfully I don't have access to Girl Scouts :) but I was offered thin mints twice last week and managed to decline so yay! They just looked like a slippery slope! I was determined not to skip any meals this weekend and almost succeeded. Friday night was a pretty light dinner and no protein but I wasn't very hungry and was OK. Saturday was good and I managed all three good meals in between bouts of computer-induced psychosis. We had a good breakfast yesterday and had a small piece of leftover sirloin steak with our eggs then decided to go out to eat lunch. I ordered sauteed spinach and a piece of grilled tuna but when it came out it was farmed salmon- gee thanks. I just can't do farmed fish. All I think about is them swimming in their own poop, jammed up next to each other eating GMO gawd-knows-what with red dye in it to make them look like real salmon. I ate the spinach. And had some liquid bread (craft beer). After that, I was pretty motivated to get some cooking done once we got home. I definitely didn't want to be at the mercy of the cafeteria at work this week. Fish cakes!

Bummer about your neighbor. Once you get more familiar with the area maybe you can find an alternate way to access that trail. Funny to think about you hiding food! Is that actually a good thing as your husband starts to see the W30 light? I was really surprised that mine was interested in the fish cakes last night and ate two! He dipped them in the garlic lime mayo and got a big pile of beets and dipped them in dill mayo. I'm having a hard time keeping ahead of the mayo demand right now but at least he didn't put ketchup on them!

I do like the lotion; it isn't too greasy and goes on well but it really needs a little scent. When I use it I add a few drops of grapefruit EO to it and really like it. One day I tried your lemon and sage mix and really liked that too. I think next time I'm going to add a mixture of orange, lemon and lime to the whole batch. The jojoba oil is VERY yellow and has a definite smell to it but doesn't smell rancid at all. I chose it because I read that it was closest to the sebum that your skin naturally produces but I may experiment with other carrier oils when I've used this up. I'm trying to convince my husband to use it as an oil cleanser on his face and head to try to fix some skin problems he has. We'll see how that goes; he won't even use lotion until his legs are dry and itchy but he is getting better about it.

Yay! Garden time will be here so soon. It's almost time for me to get seeds started. Our last frost date is at the very beginning of May and it would be great if the seedlings were all about 8 weeks old at planting time. It always sneaks up on me and I don't get them started in time so I am determined that I won't miss the bus this year. Our daffodils are still looking good and I guess they'll be OK as long as we don't get an ice storm or something equally traumatic. I can't wait to find out what you discover in your garden!


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Oh, the unwanted education that we get with these computer upgrades. I laughed (affectionately) to read about the dynamic with your husband. I can relate! Leave me alone. Help, please. Okay now leave me alone. I have to think it through for myself. That sounds like marriage as I know it! I'm also relating to taking respite from the madness by cooking up in the kitchen. A time to restore sanity, and nourish! A new computer is a virtual/mental form of moving residence, uprooting, very stressful. Deep sigh! I wonder, is there a new version of the recipe software that can read your files? We are creatures of habit aren't we? Recipes are as precious as family photos in a way, not to be lost! Are you finding out how flexible and adaptable you are? Is movement helping with your coping and mood?

Speaking of that, I woke up this morning with my 4-5 morning of movement vow. Just as I said I would, I got out on our steep hill. When I got to the top, I looked at my neighbor's no trespassing sign, and adjacent from there is an old car, and a somewhat inviting open space that looked like it would lead somewhere, but in the opposite direction of her property. Nothing like exploring a new trail! It seems to be an old road that has been overgrown from lack of use. No boot or animal tracks, either, from what I could see. I went up, up, up. Nice views up there, huge trees, and even some huge nests, probably ravens. Do you have ravens in your area? I noticed what appeared to be predator scat, probably mountain lion, so i didn't go very far, probably .2 mile or so before turning back. I'll go back with my trekking poles, for safety, but also for my knees on the way down. I'll also ask another (more friendly) neighbor whose property it is and get more information. But, it was FUN. When I came home I enjoyed my first proper yoga session since we moved, since last night we finally unpacked the last of the boxes that were making an island in the living room. We arranged the furniture, and I have a yoga space! Heaven. I needed that. I did get a whopping dizzy/spinning spell. Did I mention that during the move I began experiencing vertigo? If I look up. If I turn over too fast in bed. Getting up and down off the floor. I'm monitororing it...but it's going on 2-3 weeks now so I'm thinking about seeing a doctor. Any insight?

I'm with you on farm raised fish! Argh! Back in 2003 I had a big hives break-out after eating salmon tacos at a favorite joint, and determined that the salmon was farmed. It took me three years before I was willing to challenge it with any seafood. But it was a forever-end to farm-raised fish.  It's totally inhumane and unreasonable for everything you said. Just, no. Insert emoji with a tear in her eye.

That's cool about the jojoba oil being so close to the sebum of the skin. You'll have to let me know how it compares after you try other carriers. Using lotion to wash my face was a revelation several years ago. I tried it when I noticed that the expensive face wash for sensitive skin felt just like my body lotion. Makes sense not to use anything that makes a lather on your face. I hope your husband will try it. Now I use fractionated coconut oil with EOs - currently the same combo to match my face cream. Using the washcloth (with the residual EOs and oil) over my eyes is also extending the anti-microbial benefits to the base of my lashes - cleaner, less sandy/inflamed, a big plus. I love it that it's cheaper, just a few simple ingredients, and that I can make it myself. Win! Is your husband scientifically inclined? It could be an experiment. I know a lot of people find it counter intuitive to put anything with oil or pure oil on their face, especially depending on what the skin problem is. It seems we have to find our own way to these things, and own them. Is there a way to let it be his idea? That is always the best.

Oh, I know, hoarding the good food....I should be happy he likes the W30 food, and I just seems to never end, the kitchen time. I can't wrap my head around two people polishing off two lbs of meat in two sittings (I finished them at breakfast today...goodbye dear sweet cakes). And that was the last of the ground chicken until I can get back to town. Next up...probably chicken thighs to go with the chipotle lime sweet potatoes. Oh, I'm inspired by your fish cakes and the mayo you seasoned....I need to make some of that garlic lime manna, myself!

Seedlings! Oh yes, don't miss the bus this year, I want to know all about it! I have a greenhouse as I think I mentioned, but I'm inclined to iat, and dream of next year, and meanwhile, just watch what I already have here as it blooms. I'll keep you posted! There is a terraced garden down the slope towards the main road - the driveway we share with 4 neighbors winds around this terraced area and the greenhouse. For sure there are grapevines, and what look like live Christmas trees that he planted. There's lots of lavender. Also pyracantha, which I'm not sure how I feel about. Afew daffodils just came up, and I'm watching some kind of lily, that I think might be cala lilies, though they took another freeze last night. Closer to the house there is a crepe myrtle, and in the back three fruit trees that I'm watching with great curiosity - no idea what they are. The seller was not friendly...we never met him, but hear he was unhappy and unapproachable, so I feel shy to ask any questions, and don't mind the suspense. But next year I think I will make plans for that greenhouse, and by then I will be a more adept composter. Do you compost? I'll bet you do!! First-timer here, I have a bed of leaves and other brown matter out back, and am collecting my first bucket of produce/kitchen scraps. If you have any favorite websites or insight on composting I'm all ears. I'm just using a pile, and am about to buy a pitchfork. It gives me butterflies in my stomach, and that's not vertigo, LOL. I've LONG wanted to compost and reduce the garbage output, reduce our carbon footprint, slow climate change, even just a little, and of course feed the worms and other smaller creatures. Since it's winter I'll have to cover it with a tarp...I just know you have a lot on this! 

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You haven't mentioned the vertigo. My Mom's been having problems with it also so I understand how miserable it is; I think she's going to an ENT this week. I found several articles on-line when I was trying to help her figure out what was happening. I hope it resolves quickly; it makes me nauseous just thinking about it!

How exciting that you have a greenhouse. We set up a cafeteria table in the extra bedroom and have a heat mat and grow light on it to start the seeds but it's a problem if we have house guests because the light is on 12 hours/day. It's nice to have something at that height to work on and I'm really excited to start seeds this year. We (ME) didn't get our act together in time last year. I was still wrapped up in my Dad's death and the trip to Big Bend and just...couldn't. We wound up buying all of our seedlings and got some great prices on them but one of the heirloom tomatoes that is our mainstay was mislabeled and we wound up with a jillion yellow tomatoes. That won't happen this year and bought seeds at the end of last growing season when they went on sale so I'm all set. Our daffodils are starting to bloom! I saw the first flower yesterday when I was coming home- crazy! I love calla lillies; that's cool that you might have some. I want to plant some tulips among the daffodils but haven't gotten around to it yet. I did it once but only one of them "took" so I had one lonely scraggly red tulip for a couple of years before it finally gave up. Pyracantha has big thorns on it, doesn't it? 

Composting became a necessity for us and our garbage got complicated when we moved here. We don't have "city services" AKA garbage pick-up so we have to drop it off at the "convenience center" AKA the dump but we don't make a whole lot of garbage and only go when the recycling starts crowding out the cars in the garage. Anything stinky like meat scraps and wrappers goes in a bag in the freezer for later disposal and all veg scraps go in the compost bin. Coffee grounds and ground up eggshells get sprinkled all over the side of the hill. We always wonder what an archeologist would say several thousand years from now! We got one of these as a gift and really like it. We set it up pretty far away from the house because we didn't want to encourage opossums and 'coons to come close to the house (and the cat door) and haven't had any trouble. In New Orleans we just had a giganto pile behind our shed and that worked just fine but we didn't want an open food source for the critters up here. 

We're both doing some exploring! You're on your new trail (mountain lion scat is scary!) and I'm in my new computer world. I got the upgrade for my recipe software. It's installed and functional. I got all of the little connectors I needed to connect and sync my phone so it's updated now, too and there's a new external hard drive for back ups on it's way. I'm slowly but surely getting moved in :wacko: Thank goodness for fresh-from-the-freezer goodness. I had some stuffed bell peppers frozen so they saved the day dinner-wise last night. How were your chipotle lime sweet potatoes? Sounds good! I made sweet potato "fries' with duck fat and Japanese sweet potatoes this weekend and they were pretty delicious! They went really well with some slaw and a pan-fried sirloin steak. 

Question: does the fractionated coconut oil smell coconut-y? I'm trying to find a good approach for my non-science minded hubby to convince him to STOP soaping up his face and scalp. He's broken out and dry and peeling all at the same time. If it were me, I'd try anything to make it better!

My vet is coming to the house to check out my little girl and see if we can figure out why she's lost so much weight. I think my big boy took it from her! It's going to be traumatic for all involved and I have to be there because she won't let my husband come close enough to get her. I've been worried about her and finally got up the courage to call the vet. Denial wasn't working and I've done everything I can think of so it's time for the professionals. Wish me luck.

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It's a big day, the vet coming out to see your kitty...sending good wishes and calm vibes for you all! It's great that you gave yourself permission to make the call. Maybe whatever the worst fears are, are just that, and this process could uncover that -- I hope so! Denial is a safe refuge...until it's not, right? Sweet kitty!

Thanks loads for both of those links. The vertigo is either getting better, or I'm getting used to it. It's a fascinating process, that head tilting therapy...I wonder what can be done to urge the membrane to grow back that seems to keep the crystals in place. Oh! And the Pyramid Composter looks awesome! I have been concerned about animals, even though there's no meat/oil/bones, etc...and just looking at this, and watching the video gives me some peace of mind. I'm going to consult with my spouse, and sleep on it, but I really want to get one. That's amazing how you have adapted to not having garbage pick up. We're adapting in our own way, too, though it is not as extreme where we live. It's unincorporated, but the county does provide trash, recycle and yard waste pick up. At the new place, the cans live at the bottom of the driveway, so instead of carting them back and forth, all the neighbors (5 homes) who live up here, carry their output in vehicles. I don't mind so far, and it's nice not to have to worry about bears playing football with the garbage can -- we used to keep the trash can in the carport with a 4 inch ratchet strap tightly secured. Once I had a nightmare of a mama bear and cubs, and woke up in the middle of the night, heart pounding, to the sound of a bear pushing the heavy can (2-3 weeks worth of trash) across heavy gauge gravel, making a terrible racket and vibration that I must've heard in my sleep. Well, no more of that...fortunately the bears' sense of smell is so powerful that they know not to bother the recycle bin, even if there's empty cat food cans in there (one of us rinses them, the other one doesn't, can you guess?).

To my nose, the fractionated coconut oil does not have a smell. It's a little spendy, but probably less than or same as the jojoba oil. My husband is a super-lather face washer, and doesn't rinse it off enough, in my opinion, though I've never said anything. I really suspect this is the cause of "oily" skin...I mean, if soap dries it out, the skin produces oil, right? I learned that as a teen, using clay face masks. Oil city! I suppose if it were causing my dear one break-outs, I would offer counsel, too. I suppose it's asking too much of either of them to treat one half of the face in the familiar way, and the other half in a new way, and see what happens, or just cold turkey try something new.

Glad you're getting moved in and problems solved with the new computer! I still haven't made the chipotle yet...but I have chicken thighs thawing, and I hope after work I have the energy to make the chicken, and the potatoes......I'm planning to use this kind of seasoning on the chicken, sans the instant Pot

At this point it's feeling very homey, the way I want it...I have to patiently wait for the two chrome shelving units I special ordered from Lowe's - one for a big closet off the dining room, one for the pantry -- before I can finish things up. But we can relax and enjoy now! What a crazy 10 weeks!

I'll be thinking of your kitty - xo

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Kill All The Things!! Not sure why but, yeah :angry: and I can't even think of something that would make me feel better. I went to bed at 730 last night just so I could (figuratively) pull the covers over my head and not have to deal with anything!

The vet visit went pretty well and I'm the only one that bled unintentionally!  We all thought she would have to be sedated to draw blood but she was a champ. My little girl got pumped up with some IV fluids, B12 and a cortisone shot that will help if it's a couple of things and won't make a difference if it's the other things on the differential diagnosis list so it seemed like it wouldn't be a bad thing to do. Once we let her go she set a land speed record getting into the attic to hide and I didn't think she'd talk to me for days but she spent all night curled up right next to me- sweet baby.

Thanks for that recipe; it sounds wonderful- and different.

It's such a good feeling to get settled into a home- like a warm hug. Enjoy.

I'm going to take my bad attitude and try NOT to katt!



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So sweet that your little girl slept curled up with you, that is the best. She must be very comforted by you. Kitty love! By now has the cortisone had any effect, tilting the differential diagnosis one way or the other?

Oh dear Holly. By now, has the katt moment/day passed? I hope so! It's funny (but oh, not funny at all) that I had a *really* bad day yesterday, too, in the late afternoon. Was there something in the stars? There was a misunderstanding. Like an emotional car crash. I got my feelings hurt. It put me through my paces. I made it through a long night, and got up really early this morning and took action. Self care type action. And let the peace, insights and focus come to me, as does happen when I take care of myself, screw-my-head-back-on style. So, I renewed myself. Sigh. At one point it occured to me that there were gs cookies in the freezer at work, but I did NOT go there. I don't do that anymore. = )

That chipotle sweet potato salad is a-may-zing. I let it cool down a bit before I stirred the chipotle lime mayo into it, because I wanted it to be a little creamy, not melted. We both loved it and I will make it again. The chicken was good, too, and next time I will thicken the sauce with some arrowroot. Your fishcakes inspired me to make shrimp patties again and more chili lime mayo. Yum.

Feeling bad that he hurt my feelings yesterday, Hubs bought me the Pyramid Composter (we had decided to wait a couple of bill cycles first). Do you use the critter screen and/or the aerator, or other accessories with yours?

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Sorry for being MIA but it's been a rough few days. I should have focused on some self-love like you did but spent it beating myself up and making, generally, bad choices which just fuels the circle of beating myself up. Round and round I go where it stops nobody knows! I am trying to take action and make better decisions for myself but am still pretty down-in-the-dumps. Do you have a recipe or link for that sweet potato salad? I'm trying to focus on positive things and, of course, making good food is one of them. I didn't even want to eat last night, much less cook, but my husband grabbed the reins and fixed a big skillet full of veggies to go with a pork loin that we totally hammered in a sous vide experiment :( 

We need a new thread entitled "Whole 30 for Kitties". Ironically enough, it looks like my little girl's problems are food related (which I strongly suspected). Except for a slight possibility of it being lymphoma, everything else has been ruled out and IBS is what's left. In cats, the problem is directed against the proteins they eat and it causes leaky gut. There is no good way to test for it except for elimination diets. Sound familiar?? They say to try proteins that they haven't been exposed to but mine have had venison and duck (canned food) and rabbit (wild-caught) and I know fish is a problem so that doesn't leave many choices. I found a company that sells "alternative" meats for pet food and they have beaver tail!! Can you believe that?! They work with trappers so the whole animal gets utilized. Almost all canned cat food (even the "good" stuff) has carageenan in it so I need to eliminate that. Just like for us, bone broth is nutritious and gut-healing and, thankfully, she loves it and my big boy couldn't care less about it so he's not pushing her out of the way to get it. I've been putting a little extra collagen peptides in it for her, too, and I have some probiotics coming to sprinkle in her food. Until that gets here I've been adding a few drops of sauerkraut brine to her meat and I have the proper vitamin supplements coming so I can transition to raw food and away from canned. It's a process that I haven't been very successful with so far but I'm hoping...

We do use the critter screen on the composter but just use a short pitchfork to turn it periodically. A little furry critter of some sort chewed a little hole at the top of the door on the front of the composter where you pull out the good composted yumminess so I have a rock sitting on it to block the hole. My high tech solution that probably doesn't help but there's enough in there to share and I've never seen anything but snails in there. It's always fun to look in there at the plant life- seeds sprout! Eggshells take forever, though, so I don't put them in.

I'm rambling. 


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Welcome back, Holly, it's nice to read your voice. I'm sorry it's been such a rough time. My sister-in-law recently offered some of her favorite sage words from Anne of Green Gables, that tomorrow is fresh, with no mistakes. I am in solidarity with you. Same with the self talk...practicing not going there, connecting instead with the breath, the belly, the feet on the ground.

I am reminded by Toko-pa Turner that time-lapse photography of flowers blooming shows that they don't open in one continuous movement, but contract just before opening wider. Can we allow for alternating phases of contraction and expansion? This is in the context of exile, her chapter on Initiations by exile from her book, Belonging, Remembering Ourselves Home. 

As for potato salad, yes indeedy:

Elimination diets for kitties? She is in such good hands with you, mistress of Whole30! Beaver tails and all, wow. I feel relieved to know that since it is food related, there is hope for progress via experimentation. I didn't know, yet am not surprised, that there is carageenan in even the good cat food. I imagine that even a little bit of kitty gut health improvement will lift your spirits. So you are in a caregiver role. That is something I understand, and have deep empathy there.  


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Thank you so much for your kind words; I can really relate to the contraction and expansion. I haven't heard of Toko-pa Turner but will remedy that very soon.

As much as I read as a kid, I managed to miss out on Anne of Green Gables but I like that sentiment. Now if I can apply it to my cooking that would be good; I killed a meatloaf last night and I don't mean "killed it" in a good, rockin' way but in a dried up, cooked to death way:wacko: so maybe tonight I can try for no mistakes. Thanks for the recipe, too.

I got some powdered beef bone broth for my kitty and she totally turned up her nose at it but will slurp down the good homemade, pastured chicken bone broth. WalMart has a good organic chicken bone broth in a box so I'm going to pick that up on my swim home (yeah the weather is awful- torrential downpours for a couple of days to add to the totally saturated ground) and hope she goes for that. I need to apply the W30 rule about the scale to my kitty's W30. I need to weigh her to make sure I'm on the right track but I need to NOT obsess over it. I waited a week and she gained almost 1/2 lb but I know some of that is fluids because she was dehydrated when the vet weighed her and she isn't any more. The real proof will be if she's gained any weight when I weigh her next week.

Work is being insanely crazy at the moment and my head is totally not in ANY game right now so I'm struggling a bit but know that some self-care and good nutrition (even if it IS overcooked) will help. I made egg roll bowls for breakfasts this week and it took two days for me to realize that I forgot the sesame oil! 

Kitty caregiver signing off for now...


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You really are being deluged across the board. At our house, we offer you a hearty, sincere: "W O E !" with the head back, and the jaw dropped. Repeat until everyone in the room is doing it. (That's how we do it.) Kitty has high standards and discerning taste, I respect that. Woe aside, I have a good feeling about all of this. We know that when we go to the effort, it pays off in spades with discoveries, and improved health. Better days are on the horizon. I can't help but think that when those better days come, there might be an essay in there about taking W30 to a new level, with your beloved cat. But this is premature...I'm sure it's a situation you'd rather not be in. Good that she is no longer dehydrated! What day next week will you weigh her?

Toko-pa is a new way-shower for me. I listened to a series of podcasts, and now I'm reading her book. I know you have a ton going on right now, so it might not be good timing, but there is a livestream this Friday night 7-9 PST of a talk she's giving in Victoria, BC, that looks interesting. I'm going to tune in! You can find it on her website under events. If it looks appealing to you, it would be fun to compare notes afterwards! I know it's late for you in your time zone, but for the cost of $22 Canadian (about $16 USD) you can view it for a couple of weeks afterwards. Her offerings are really helping me. It's definitely the stuff of therapy, and for me, is not entirely unrelated to what we're doing here. But that is another story! It's also encouraging me to get back to dream journaling, and journaling in general, a very good thing.

I'm sorry about your meatloaf. Woe! Did your palate tell you that the egg roll bowls were missing sesame oil? Or your satiation level?

I'm going to make your mother's Moroccan chicken tonight! Yay! Last up was chocolate chili with yams and black beans (both, no his and hers this time...I'm calling it marital chili LOL) and I also made Nom Nom's kale sausage casserole, aka pizza pie. I'm also planning on trying out her orange dijon chicken soon. The freezer is stocked with ground chicken, like money in the bank, a good feeling. Oh yeah, I found a recipe I saved from MH for bangers and sweet potato mash with caramelized onions so that will be dinner soon, too.

You helped me get a grip on this weird thing about not (always) sharing the W30 cooking. Thank you for that. He has always been so disinterested, and at times I felt not appreciative, sometimes irreverent...but not so much anymore, and it's crazy to REACT, anyway. Especially when one is reacting to stuff from the past. Crazy. And I love him, so I want him eating well. I notice that the artisan bread I get for him is non-GMO but the tamales from Costco are not labeled, and are probably this is on my radar, too...



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The Moroccan chicken was a big hit. Also, I was so confused about the ground coriander seeds in December. Do you remember? The cumin at the Indian market, etc? All this time, I had ground coriander in my kitchen, I just went blank and dumb about it, and also just lost track of it in my spice larder. Coriander, or course! Anyway, it was yummy.  Thank your mum for me!

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Ohhh and I'm missing you, too! It's been rough.  I'm feeling better now but was working on a nasty sinus infection. I think it would have been much worse had it not been for clean eating for so long. All of the stress and lack of sleep caught up with me. Kitty care has been very challenging. Along W30 lines, I've only made one change in her diet at a time and waited 2-3 days before changing anything else and then she got worse:(. I had a major meltdown Saturday night and told my husband that I feel like I'm killing her. I know, I know...I'm doing my best.

So, the funny part: have you ever had emu meat? I was told to switch her to a protein that her immune system would not recognize so I switched to beef. Everything was great, I added a little probiotic in after a couple of days, everything was great, I added a supplement made for raw-fed cats and then everything went south. My new hobby is close inspection of kitty litter contents: liquid? soft? pee? poop? I'd kill to see a nice, normal kitty poop right now! So, back to plain chicken even though that's what she had been eating and lots of my good homemade bone broth. Then I remembered the organic farm/grocery up the road carried emu and I KNOW she hasn't been exposed to emu (as opposed to duck, rabbit and venison) so I got a pound of ground emu and introduced it Sunday afternoon. Thankfully, after a brief inspection, she decided it was acceptable but I can't afford to pay the 50% mark-up at that little store so I tracked down the farmer and he only lives about 30 minutes from us. I got called in to work Sunday so I had some time off Monday morning and went on a field trip. I got more ground emu, some pieces of neck (!) to make bone broth and a steak for us. It was interesting- very beef-like but crazy-lean and a little tougher. The farmer asked me if it was for pet food and I felt bad telling him it was so I got some for us to try. The funny thing is that he started raising emus because he developed that alpha-gal allergy to mammalian meats from a tick bite and couldn't find a reliable source of an alternate meat. I told him what I was doing and I guess he was sympathetic. Anyway, it made beautiful gelled, jiggly stock and she loves it but not sure if I'm making progress or not. No weight gain, runny poop but, by golly, she's not dehydrated! She laps up that stock like there's no tomorrow. She even pushed my hand out of the way this morning when I was trying to put a little more meat in her bowl. Now if I could convince my big boy to eat it and I could feed them both the same thing, I would be very grateful.

I haven't had a chance to look at either of those links you sent but I will; thanks.

I've barely managed to get some meals together and last night we each kinda fended for ourselves. My husband sautéed some peppers, onions and Brussels then crumbled in some ground meat and seasoning and asked me if that's what "we" call hash. I had to smile! Sure is!

The water is receding from everywhere that flooded but it's still crazy to look around on my way home and see tractors, driveways and lots of land still full of water. We lost power for a bit but nothing major and we're high enough that flooding isn't a problem. The sun was out yesterday and will be again today with some nice warm temps before we get another hit of winter. Can't wait to get home this afternoon, fix up my emu concoction, inspect the litter box then go bask in the sun for a little while. I'm hanging on by a thread but I'm hanging on.

The move unearthed your coriander? :DIs your new home feeling like home?

As always, thanks for being here.

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Hi there!! Thank you for checking in!!  - nice to see you and read your news! 

No, I have never had emu before, so i learned a lot from your story. That was very clever of you to track down the farmer, and generous to buy some for yourself, too. Yes, given his background, I imagine he was very sympathetic, and that you have his respect for the lengths you are going to for your beloved kitty. Is Big Boy not willing to eat the emu? Or is it still cost prohibitive given the price and the long drive? In other areas, when I'm working with someone in a helping role, and I'm 

3 hours ago, hollysmokes said:

not sure if I'm making progress or not

...I learned to tell myself that things are probably going better than I realize. Hopefully you will soon see well formed poops in the awesome that she is not dehydrated and is devouring the broth. I admire the scientific process you are managing. Kitty is so lucky, and so loved.

Oh, as for the caregiver link, you can skip it, but I'll give you the first line, which is the's a Caregivers' Bill of Rights, and was intended for dementia caregivers, so most of it does not really apply. But the first line does:

I have the right to take care of myself.

Isn't that an awesome reminder in the context of caregiving? I guess I'm here to say to you, and to ME, that a rough stretch does not mean we are doomed. I have been flirting with disaster lately, so I'm in that zone, not wanting to creep off the mission. The out of control state is my shadow. Lately, my co-workers are having a weight loss competition with weekly weigh-ins at work. The younger of the two is also taking contrave, and is quite competitive. The other one is doing it really just for support and accountability. I keep telling them they are more than a number on a scale! Anyway, on Friday, the go-getter young one offered me a taffy. I declined, as I always do, then I changed my mind. And then, what happened to me? The dragon was out in all her fury, and I binged on sugar for two days. :blink: 1 1/2 days but who's counting. I've pretty much recovered my good sense, but yesterday was an 11 hour work day, and I ate out twice, and had bread both I'm taking today off to unpack into my new shelving (the office, and the mud room) and to cook up some good food. I observed that it hurt me more psychologically than physically, as far as I can tell. I decided that any negative analysis is just an idea I make up in my head, and I am in charge. So I have taken charge. I know the time is ripe to create a new morning routine, to create the life I want in all this newness, so I have been journaling in the morning, and today I also spent a lot of time on the floor doing yoga and meditating. I'm recovering from a fall the other day - literally tripped over boxes, but I know it's partly because I haven't been exercising and so my body awareness is not as keen as it could be...I know I need to get up early, and get all the conscious movement in the early morning if I'm going to be consistent- there's just no way around that is what I'm working towards. Consistency. My husband hates to go to bed early, but I don't mind - it's what I need, and it's what I have to do.

I'm sorry that you've had a sinus infection - so does my husband - that is miserable. I've had my head in the sand and I'm embarrassed to say I didn't even know about the flooding in your area! OMG. I'm glad you're safe, and that you'll get some sunshine today! Hang in there Holly, this too (cat poop included) will all pass.

Yay for your husband's hash! Today I'm making MJ's Bora Bora fireballs with sunshine sauce, a favorite I haven't made in years. Also Lebanese hash soon, and apple chicken sliders....I picked up a ton of fresh produce from my local CSA so it's begin-again time. 

Will things calm down at work in the foreseeable future?


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Happy Monday, @LadyLisbette! I think I might be getting myself put back together a bit and am feeling a little more "normal" or, at least, what passes for normal. So many things you said in your last post resonated with me that I'd have to quote your whole post to mention them all but 

On 2/27/2019 at 3:12 PM, LadyLisbette said:

I observed that it hurt me more psychologically than physically, as far as I can tell. I decided that any negative analysis is just an idea I make up in my head, and I am in charge.

really hit home. Yes, exactly! I had two small slices of freshly baked bread slathered with butter Saturday and a little popcorn last night but I did not let my brain go down the punishment pathway. I ate it, enjoyed it and moved on. So sorry you had such a battle with the dragon. Yes, you (and I) are in charge! I hope you've recovered from your fall. Isn't it amazing how our bodies adapt so quickly to movement and balance and the lack thereof? I promised myself that I was going to get back on the conscious movement bandwagon this weekend but didn't. I feel like I've let myself down a bit by not starting the new month as I intended but I had a good weekend and a good cook-up so my head is in a better place and I'm grateful to be able to gather my wits and move forward.

I think I'm finally making progress on the kitty-care front and am hopeful that she'll come out of this alive. I think she's gained about a pound but things are not yet back to normal in litter-box land. My big boy is starting to accept the emu but prefers chicken so I have to feed them separately right now. It rained all day yesterday and winter has returned so he's unhappy with that because he doesn't like litter boxes. He'll pee in one if he's desperate but goes outside to take care of the rest of his business. It was in the low 20's this morning and we're supposed to see teens later this week. At least we had a couple of nice days with blue skies last week so both he and I were able to get outside for a while to soak up some sunshine! 

I guess your husband won't fall for going to bed early as "sleeping in on the front end"? My husband's always been an early bird and, over the years, I've become one as well. I don't think we made it until 9 all weekend! I mentioned that the time would be changing in a couple of weeks and his thought was that we never adjusted to the time change last November so maybe we'll actually be able to stay awake past 9 PM once it changes again. We stayed in this weekend and watched a bunch of movies. Have you seen "Atlas Shrugged"? We watched the first two parts yesterday and will probably finish it off tonight. Saturday we watched "The Homesman" and "The Resistance Banker" and both of those were really good, too. It was so nice not to leave the house except to pick up eggs, meat and vegetables. I made a big pot of greens, a little pot of hot dog chili and learned that if you saute beet stems and greens with your ground pork, you get hot pink hash for breakfast. I even enjoyed my cook-up for a change; lately it's just been another chore on my long list of things that needed to get done. 

It was good that you could take a day off of work. Hopefully your home-body day was as good for you as my weekend was. Ugh, the weight/number thing! I haven't been on a scale since I went zip-lining in Big Bend almost a year ago and plan on keeping it that way. Everybody keeps telling me I should just hang onto my little girl and weigh myself with and without her instead of trying to get her to stand still on the scale but I know what will happen in my head if I do. Leave the obsessing over the numbers on a scale to others; we know better and it feels good. 


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Ah! So good that you're finding your groove again, cycling around to a renewed place. Sounds like a mini-spring for you, personally, even when spring is nowhere in sight weather-wise, where you are...yet still a life cycle certainly is in progress. For Kitty, too, yay! Weight gain is good! Your efforts pay off. Isn't it funny how quickly people give unwanted advice when there is illness? I'm thinking about the know what you're doing. Advice is for the benefit of the advisor. Keep doing what you're doing - progress may be slow, but slow and steady wins the race. 

I've never seen any of those three movies. Ayn Rand has been on my radar since I was a kid - my older sister used to quote from her and talk about her all the time but I have yet to read her you recommend the movie Atlas Shrugged? I looked up the other two, and they both look great, especially the Resistance Banker, can't wait to see that. It seems we will never exhaust the amazing stories from WWII. Thanks for the leads. You inspired me about the beet stems and greens, that sounds pretty, and so nutritious. That's funny, I too have felt lately that cooking is a chore, and yesterday, had to force a little momentum upon myself to get things going...then I was fine, and it led to a big productive sequence of also cleaning and organizing my annex. (the tail end of the unpacking seems to be as tedious as the tail end of the packing up out of the old place, all the little stuff). I made potato onion soup, a tray of roast veg, and my coveted chicken apple patties.

If he is super tired, or we have an early alarm for travel or backpacking, my husband will sleep in on the front end, but I don't think that counts as sleeping in, more a survival thing. ... But if he's feeling fine, he's a total night owl. Alas, most Sunday mornings give me solitude, which is not always a bad thing, right? 

Oh! That day of my last post, turns out I seriously over-did it, so I have been in recovery, but I think I'm emerging in a good place. Yes, it amazing how our bodies respond so quickly! On that day, Wednesday, I hiked near my house (a bust, didn't like it, that's another story, but the trial and error continues) and came home to a 20 minute yoga dance DVD from the library - it was silly - I won't do it again, but it got me moving...then returning to familiar territory, did some core work on the floor and performed as I did last fall, before all the crazy moving stuff, and also added some new things. I finished up with kundalini yoga which includes some intense spinal work. I love the kundalini practice, I've been doing it for 25 years, have never had any problems, and have always felt it KEPT me from having back problems! But the next day I had a back ache that kind of scared me. I should not have done ALL of those things at once - I took Friday off and felt terribly guilty about it because I had already taken Wednesday off, too...I think it was/is a muscle strain, but I also got a few back spasms, so it caused me some fear. AND it caused me to slow down and get very serious about where I'm at and what I'm doing, etc etc...every day is a little better. All I'm doing for the time being is some gentle yoga. I continue journaling, and meditation.

On my Friday off, I watched a movie, too, Anonymous, another slice of hidden history. I liked it a lot!

How is your mother doing with the vertigo? Thank you for that link to WebMD - it validated what I suspected was happening. Holly, I finally did the DIY physical therapy recommended by WebMD, on Saturday night before bed, and it WORKED! I haven't had any spells since. And now I know what to do if it recurs, which it could. This was a bright spot that I needed, because I was feeling like I was falling apart. Not sure if this is relevant for her, but here is the link that guided me:

In the days after my last post, I noticed my joints hurting, so I think that was my sugar binge and a day of bread. Must remember that! It's abated now, which keeps me on my path!

I'm waiting on the heater guy since our heater died yesterday -- and I'll make eggroll bowls while I wait!

Here's to consistency, and solidarity!

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Happy Mardi Gras!

How is your recovery coming? Would an epsom salt soak or a massage help your healing process? I hate it when I get overambitious and overdo it- the best laid plans blah, blah blah :(  Definitely be gentle with yourself. Good to hear that your vertigo is better so you're not having to deal with that, too. My Mom's is better as well; thanks for asking. 

How did your eggroll bowls come out? Don't forget the sesame oil! I didn't get enough veggies in my breakfast this week so when I got home yesterday I steamed a bunch of haricot vert, tossed them in a little better butter and added them to what I had already fixed. I felt much more satisfied this morning; craving vegetables for breakfast isn't a bad thing! I love having lots of ghee products ready to go. I've been keeping plain ghee, browned butter ghee and better butter stocked up and they're great to have on hand for weeknight meals to give plain vegetables some flavor with NO effort. I'll need to make more better butter this weekend, though; I just have a dab left. I finally made the prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, too- twice. It's delicious but it was a bit of a pain in the rear end because my prosciutto kept tearing when I would try to pull it apart. I told my husband to remind me NOT to try to do it for a crowd. 

I have not read any Ayn Rand either and I've always wanted to. We haven't watched the third part of the movie yet but I've liked it so far and it made me want to read the book even more. I usually like to read the book first so it'll be interesting to see what the differences are between the two. She wrote The Fountainhead first so I might read it first even though they aren't related plot-wise; only philosophically. Her philosophy is...interesting. I agree with and like some of her ideas but would like to delve a little deeper. There is and I read a bit at lunch yesterday:

 from The Fountainhead: “To say ‘I love you’ one must know first how to say the ‘I.’”

That falls in line with much of what we've talked about regarding self care and self love, don't you think? It's the opposite of a Winnie the Pooh quote that I see often and drives me crazy: If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you. -AA Milne In my book, that's selfISH love- my $.02!

Anyway, consistency, solidarity (and not falling apart)! Cheers!

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