Bad eating is bad for one’s health

And in particular, MY health. That last post should have been the warning shot, but did I listen, oh no, I just munched away, happily ingesting fat. Then, since it was Easter, and I had strawberries, and I love cake, I made these amazing cupcakes with strawberry frosting. The cupcake recipe made 12 cupcakes; the frosting recipe enough for, oh, 36 cupcakes, so I put the leftover delicious fat and sugar in a bowl, and would eat a spoonful every now and then. It was just so good.  And the whole time, I could hear that voice saying, this is so bad for you.

Then (again I’m going to blame Easter) I fixed a lovely rib roast and scalloped potatoes. Nowhere does the Bible say the resurrection was celebrated with fat and sugar. But there I was, knee-deep in all of this good tasting food that was not good for me. I just kept sticking it in my mouth. Until…

Until…the pain started. During the night. I was miserable. One night, two nights, three nights. I knew what was causing the problem and the only way to stop it was to stop eating like I have been for the past week. I couldn’t even get out of bed this morning until 8 a.m. Terrible behavior leading to worse behavior.

Today it has come to a screeching halt. Back to my plant-based diet. Even that bowl of strawberry frosting will not lure me in to its sweet delicious creaminess as I remember the misery from which I have come. All that fat and sugar is just not worth feeling so bad.

My undoing via Whole Foods

20140419-114452.jpg

Does your Whole Foods make their own tortilla chips? These are my undoing. The store uses unsold spinach, tomato, whole wheat, and flour tortillas to make these, frying them in small batches. Fortunately, they are NOT a regular item.

When I happen to find them (and trust me, I check every time I go), I buy at least two bags. It is sinful.

They will have them in stock on a more regular basis as we close in on Cinco de Mayo, which is a really big deal holiday here in California.

Smart marketing by Barnes & Noble

I got a 20 percent coupon in my email from Barnes & Noble. They certainly have my number. I just finished my last book, and there are no more waiting in the pile.

Before grocery shopping this morning, I took a detour to that big box store and used the coupon, along with my member discount, to get these books:

20140418-122200.jpg

20140418-122221.jpg

Fences make good neighbors

Kathy’s post has a question about a broken board from her neighbor’s fence which makes me realize different places have different fence and yard rules.

In Fresno, where most homes sit on small suburban lots, the fences surround the backyards, and are shared by the neighbors. In our case, we share fences with three neighbors, and each fence looks a bit different and were rebuilt at different times. Each fence redo had to be negotiated with said neighbor as to how to share the material costs and/or labor.

Our southern neighbor is a rental property and the management company did the work and charged us for half the cost of materials. The neighbor’s cat tore the boards loose so as to get into our yard. The neighbor added an extra fence on her side to keep the cat in its own yard.

20140417-110752.jpg

The western fence is the newest. We shared the cost of labor and materials with the homeowner, but he selected the materials.

20140417-110955.jpg

The northern neighbor worked for Orchard Supply Hardware and has kept the fence in good repair.

20140417-111117.jpg

These neighbors recently moved and rented the house, using a local management company who seems to be on top of upkeep and maintenance. Hopefully they will continue to maintain the fence. I feel fortunate that we have good fence neighbors surrounding our small plot of ground.

It isn’t the best week

Hard week, and it’s only Wednesday.

The elderly, frail cat who adopted us many years ago, and who lived in our backyard all those years, is doing poorly this week. I assume his time with us is drawing to a close. My days revolve around his care.

I had hoped that our grandchildren would be visiting this week of Easter break, but due to the cat’s situation, we were unable for them to come. I sent packages to them for Easter. Here is Leeya with a puzzle that was in one of the boxes.

20140416-135747.jpg

My daughter was kind enough to send the photo of Leeya’s finished product.

The weather here is perfection- not too hot, not too cold-so it is wonderful to spend time outdoors. Even the old cat enjoys being in the backyard while I work.

20140416-140314.jpg

And when it all seems too much, here is where I can sit and enjoy these spring days, even though they are kind of hard right now.

20140416-140523.jpg

The lab rat gives blood

A few weeks ago I posted about a couple of health research projects in which Terry and I are participants. Terry’s involves strokes in regards to geographic and racial differences. Mine is for women teachers and involves cancer studies.

Here are two websites that can provide more information about the cancer studies.

California Teachers Study

Cancer Prevention Institute of California

This morning, bright and early, a delightful phlebotomist showed up to take my blood for more research. The blood will be stored, along with some of my statistics, for later study. My name is not attached to the sample and I will never hear what they found in the sample.

20140415-111341.jpg

It was easy, painless, and I feel like I’m contributing to what may be better health for a future generation of teachers. The phlebotomist told that the women in the study range from age 42 to over 100, and that the majority now are retired as the project has been in place since 1995.

Due to the large database and the amount of data collected, they have now started a study that compares a woman who gets cancer with one who does not but is of the same age and in the same area as the cancer patient. I think those results would be fascinating.

Missing my multitasking mojo

I have always been a multitasking phenom. I can listen to and keep up with four conversations at once. I can watch tv, work on the computer, and talk to Terry, all at the same time. I can cook, bake, prepare three or more dishes in my tiny kitchen in one afternoon.

Well, I COULD do these multitasking feats until a year or so ago. What has happened to my multitasking mojo? I can keep up with only two conversations now. I can watch tv and read, but conversation is lost. And cooking more than one thing at a time is getting to be difficult. What gives?

On Saturday I attended a luncheon with a group of friends. We stopped, on our way home, at a popular strawberry stand that I never get to because it’s on the other side of town. Taking advantage of this stop, I bought a flat of berries-12 baskets. Getting home with all these fresh berries late in the afternoon, I knew they needed to be processed immediately as they are a variety with short shelf life. I decided to make jam.

All other tasks came to a screeching halt for the rest of the day. I had to put all my attention to those berries and jam jar preparation. I should have been able to make caramels at the same time as it all takes place in the same space, but no, all I did was make 6 half pint jars of strawberry jam.

20140414-095921.jpg

So, what difference does it make that I didn’t make caramels? These bunnies are accompanying me to Ladies Who Lunch sans caramels.

Just empty bags. I’ll try to explain about losing my ability to get it all done. It’s a bit frightening, though, to think this may be the new normal for me.

20140414-100254.jpg