Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Is it Spring?

It might be.  :-)  I'm hoping the worst of the cold weather is gone.  They say that you should wait to plant annuals here until after May 14th - that that's the date after which it shouldn't freeze again . . .  until winter  :-D

Spring has taken its own sweet time this year, but as you can tell from the photos, things are finally blooming here, and I have the glimmering hope that spring might truly be here to stay now.

The update on the Ovo-Pescetarian front is pretty good.  You'll recall that I set the intention that I was going to love being an Ovo-Pescetarian and wonder why I didn't do it sooner.  Well, manifesting that is going great because I really do like it!  And, I'm finding it pretty simple to stick to.  Yay me!  Of course it doesn't hurt that in the first six weeks of the Strict Program for Three Months I have lost 19 pounds.  This week is the seventh week, and I am on track to be down again on the scale.  This is very encouraging and I hope that in another six weeks, when I go back to the doctor and have more blood work done, that my cholesterol will show the results of my work.

Only one bothersome thing - the dietitian who worked with me to tailor this program specifically for me - she left the practice.  I emailed to get my sixth week appointment, because we were supposed to meet and discuss the sustainability of this going forward, etc. and see if we needed to tweak anything . . . and I got a bounceback email.  So, I checked in with my doctor (which, although he is awesome is just not the same thing). 

Here is what I wrote to him:

Hi Doc - I was supposed to meet with the dietitian again this week as I'm half-way through the Strict Program for Three Months. She wanted to see how I was doing and talk further about the Program and see if I felt it was sustainable going forward, etc., but I received an email back today saying she is no longer with the practice. So - I figured I would just check in with you instead. The program that she created for me is pretty much being an Ovo-Pescetarian (no meat, no butter, no more than 6 egg yolks a week, no more than 1 ounce of cheese a day (and for me, no poultry)). Doing that as well as continuing with the anti-inflammatory diet I was working with (no sugar (except for fresh fruit) and no highly processed food) is somewhat draconian - I'm pretty severely limited in what I can eat.
 
HOWEVER - it's going pretty well, and I'm not really having any trouble sticking with it. I've navigated a number of fine restaurants and also sourced some casual ones where I can get food I can eat, but most days I bring my lunch. As of last week (the fifth week) I have lost 19 pounds.   I lost more than 10 pounds the first week - so I know I must have been holding on to a lot of water. I hope that when you check my blood in another 6 weeks, that my cholesterol will be looking at least a little better.
 
I did celebrate my birthday - she said I could do that - and if I ever needed additional proof that sugar causes me to have severe bowel issues (i.e. diarrhea of the extreme kind), I have it now . . . and it only took half a cupcake. I've learned (the hard way) that I must have protein for breakfast, otherwise I run the risk of passing out around 10 o'clock when I stand up. I never actually fell over (which is good, because I think that if you lose consciousness at work, they pretty much have to call 911), but it was touch and go a couple of times. As long as I have protein at breakfast, though, I'm fine.
 
I'm using my Fitbit to track my steps and activity, and she suggested that I not attempt to count Weight Watchers points while learning this new way to eat, so I have been tracking calories on the Fitbit site. I'm staying usually between 1200 and 1500 calories a day. Also am trying to work with the percentages she gave me and ranges Fitbit has, of approximately 50% carb, 25% fat and 25% protein. I find that I'm often over on the fat and under on the protein and carb, but I think that's because I eat a lot of natural peanut butter and use olive oil now for cooking and on things like whole wheat pasta. I keep trying to get things more in line, but at least it's healthy fat. That's it - that's everything I would have told her.
 
I feel that I can keep going on the program that she created for me - certainly for at least the next six week, and likely longer, as I feel pretty good so far. I'm sorry she's gone because I really liked her.

And he said:

WOW! thanks for the update sounds like you are doing a great job with the program and really working hard to stick with it.

Keep doing what you are doing and lets regroup in 6 weeks and see where the labs are at
.

I have an apppointment for mid-June to meet with the doc again - he wants me to come in and talk about everything, as well as have more blood work done.  It should be an interesting appointment  :-)

In the meantime, I just keep moving forward.  Forward into spring  :-)

Monday, April 29, 2013

119:365 Go!

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Taken this morning, and by this evening when I got home, the blossoms are already more than open and petals are falling on the ground. So beautiful, but here for such a short time . . .

Pay It Forward Update

To my two Pay It Forward folks:  Michelle and Candy.  I know it was a year on April 26th.  I didn't forget.  I'm sorry it's taking me so long.  And it won't take much longer.

:-)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

118:365 All By Myself . . .

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An entire tree full of blossoms, and this one skinny little branch - growing out of a spot that it should not be growing out of - with one glorious Magnolia blossom. I LOVE it! :-D

Saturday, April 27, 2013

117:365 Something to Spin

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And FINALLY I am caught back up. At least I had a few interesting photos in the past two weeks. Just been stupidly busy. This is some fiber I picked up back in March - just had the opportunity to photo it. Merino and Bamboo - not a usual choice for me, but I try to challenge myself from time to time :-)

116:365 Some Glitz . . .

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A little black dress and a Clapotis shawl made out of ribbon yarn (never again . . . ). A friend will borrow them for a special eveninng.

115:365 Get Set . . .

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It's so close . . .

114:365 More!

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And then I won a table centerpiece at work today :-D My office is looking very pretty!

113:365 Happy Birthday :-)

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These are my birthday flowers. The light in my office is REALLY yellow, so I had to mess with the color to get it close. The bouquet is huge and really, really pretty :-)

112:365 Like a Postcard :-D

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FINALLY - a sunny day. Still cold, but at least it was sunny. The Wrigley Building the Tribune Tower, a water taxi and a Wendella boat :-)

111:365 House of Amani

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This is an African violet specied plant. i have tried to grow it before . . . it's slow going. I'm very intrigued by the name! I think that's why I keep giving this one a try.

110:365 Fair Trade Beads . . .

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I guess my ARM was in focus . . . still, it's lovely - a birthday gift from one of my cousins. Made in India - fair trade :-) I love it :-)

109:365 Streptocarpus

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This is another gesneriad - a cousin to the African violet. I sure wish this plant had more than one blossom per bloomstalk. It's really beautiful, but I'm probably not going to keep it . . .

108:365 On Your Mark . . .

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My magnolia, which is huge, is trying its best to bloom. It hasn't helped that the temps have dropped enough again that I had to drag my winter coat back out . . .

107:365 Biscuit Blanket!

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Cotton, and very, very cute. You put biscuits inside to keep them warm (what I usually use a tea towel for :-D)

106:365 Flotsam and Jetsam

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Memories . . .

105:365 Finally! A Bulb Blooms!

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Spring, trying its best . . . in front of my house.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

104:365 Cozy Corner . . .

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This is my mom's old sideboard in a corner of my dining room - it opens up! Some corners of art, an old piece of Celadon, some wine, a welcome . . . Sometimes I eat in here all by myself because it's such a welcoming room :-)

103:365 In the Garage . . .

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I have no idea why I thought taking a photo of this and a raggedy trellis would be meaningful . . . I got nothin' today, I'm afraid.

102:365 From the Platform . . .

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The retention pond near my home. A lone goose floats on the muddy rainwater. I'm starting to think spring is never going to come . . .

Thursday, April 11, 2013

101:365 April Showers . . .

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Another sick day at home - shot off the deck.

It's raining . . .

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

100:365 Hiding in Plain Sight

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I walked out on the deck just to get a breath of fresh air, and this little guy hopped through the hedge and stopped, hoping I wouldn't see him, I guess. He didn't move a muscle.

There are a ton of rabbits in my yarn - it's like bunny NASCAR back there all summer long :-D

99:365 Den of Insickquity ;-D

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My sofa, in the sunroom - my own little sick nest. The rapid strep test was positive and I am down for the count, complete with Advil, giant horse pill antibiotics, as much water as I can drink (and it's not easy :-S), and some ginger ale. It's the No-Fun Plan for sure :-(

98:365 A Winner

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This was actually taken on April 6th. Woke up this day (Monday) with what I thought were allergies . . . by the end of the day I was well and truly ill, and I discovered a couple of days later that I never got a shot off . . . so I'm going to use this one.

This is Petrocosmea kerrii. Petrocosmeas are cousins of the African violet. Apparently this plant is difficult to grow - but it's growing quite well for me :-) The judges liked it - it won Best Other Gesneriad in the Illinois state show :-)

97:365 Pretty in Pink

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I was so tired after the show on Saturday that I grabbed this shot at the very end of the day. It's a Russian hybrid called Zima Ulbaetsia.

96:365 Rob's Wagga Wagga

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It was a blue ribbon plant and it won best in class for semi-miniature trailers :-)

95:365 Show Hopefuls

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These are the plants I took to show  :-)

94:365 Oh, Come On . . .

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It's two nights before show and there just are not enough blossoms open on this plant :-S

93:365 Sox Win!

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Second game of the season - the scoreboard going off with all the fireworks every time the Sox hit a homer isn't nearly as impressive during the day :-D But it's still a lot of fun!

92:365 Underwater . . .

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Finally a sunny day in Chicagoland - but still stupidly cold . . . the reflection off of the Thompson Center against the City and County Building - made me think of being underwater . . .

91:365 Noodles . . .

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This is Penny's Noodle Shop on Diversey. I had my tax appointment and shot this from a very cold L platform while I was waiting to go home.

90:365 Magnet World

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The front of my refrigerator is not metal - thus my magnets are on the side of a filing cabinet in my office :-) They all hold happy memories.

89:365 Blue Lace

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This is on its way to becoming a lace stole :-)  It's Wollmeise in a one-off colorway (a "We're Different).  It's knitting up beautifully, but I am again reminded of why I don't really like to knit with Wollmeise . . . it's splitty as all hell.