Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Sunday Field Report . . .

Before I start with my Field Report, I want to tell you that I will be attending a local candlelight vigil tonight to stand up against white supremacists and Nazis.  I've been urged by one of my family members to be careful - but I cannot not go. I am appalled about what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia.  It's not OK with me.  And, in the words of Jay Willis:
"What happened in Charlottesville is despicable and horrifying. But it's hard to call it a surprise, really. Long before Election Day, the people who now helm this administration were gleefully signaling that theirs would be a friendly one to people defined by hatred.

Right now, this country is stretched closer than ever to a breaking point, and it is exactly the America that Donald Trump promised."
 Here's the deal, courtesy of Facebook:

I WILL stand up against white supremacists and Nazis.

I say to you: If you ever wondered what you would have done in 1933 - you're doing it.

Vive La RĂ©sistance

Onward . . .

I'm going to talk about bodily functions in the second half of this post.  If those are TMI for you, consider yourself warned.

I'll start with a look at what's happening on the stands.  That should give you plenty of time.

My experiment of moving my Champagne Pink down to the basement has been successful!  The cooler temps down there have pretty much immediately returned the crown variegation to this plant.  Yay!!  And I'm quite enamored of how it's growing in such a lovely oval shape  :-)


There's some grooming needed, but, on the whole, if it blooms well for show it will definitely be making the trip to Starved Rock in November.  The Illinois African Violet Society is having a show this year after all!

The show and sale are open to the public at no charge on that Sunday.  We are also having speakers and a luncheon on Saturday - there is a charge for that.  If you would like to come, let me know and I will share the details.

Babies are sprouting!  Here's Tray 1 (and yes, those purply pink spots over on the left are my orchids  :-D )


There is a little bit happening here in Tray 2 - I ended up slicing that rotting leaf and giving it another shot.  You can see it bottom left.  I think the other leaves need a slice just to kick them into gear.


But down in the basement, not so much happening there.  I really think it's just a little too cold down there to effectively start leaves.  There is plenty of room in Tray #2, so I'm going to move some things up to that one and we'll see how that goes.


Alrighty then - that's plenty of space if you're not interested in what follows.  

I am progressing with the diet changes necessary since The Kidney Stone Incident.  The first three months after diagnosis really felt like a constant scramble for knowledge.  And then, once I knew what I needed to do, it was a fight to get the balance right.

The balance is still not there.  It's better - the pendulum is not swinging quite so far out on either side, but I still know that I need more vegetables, and I still know that I need more calcium.  And that's where today's lesson begins . . .

Getting enough calcium is still a daily struggle for me.

I'm having a daily yogurt now, though, so that's a great improvement! This was suggested to me by Dr. Frederic Coe, one of - if not the - foremost experts in kidney stone prevention.  He said that yogurt reacts differently in the body than milk does.  Not surprisingly, he's right.  :-)  I've done well with a yogurt daily, and usually I'm fine with some calcium-fortified orange juice each morning.  

I struggled with milk early on - even Lactaid - but I decided to try some calcium-fortified Lactaid milk again recently because I'm still not always getting in the 1,200 mg of calcium that post-menopausal women need daily.  Much to my surprise, I discovered that I could occasionally handle a full glass of Lactaid if I drank it with something like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  

Really???

Um . . . turns out, I can't.  (Seriously, turn back now.)

Here's how I found out:

A few days ago, I had a PB&J sandwich with a glass of Lactaid.  No ill effects!  Wow, I thought, looks like I really have built my tolerance back up!!  

Yesterday I had PB&J on toast with a glass of Lactaid for breakfast.  No ill effects.  Yay!!

So, I decided to see how it would go if I had my usual yogurt later in the day.  No ill effects.  Well, Hot Dog!!  

So I'm thinking this is great because if I could get both of those in every day, I'd be really, really close at 900 mg of calcium and the other stuff I'm eating that has calcium (orange juice and cheese) would easily make up the difference!  I mean yesterday I had more than 1,600 mg of calcium!  Yeah baby!!

So, this morning, I got up and went to the bathroom and although my stool was soft, it wasn't diarrhea.  And I thought that was excellent progress!  Yes, I'm talking about poo here, so again, if you've come this far, you were warned . . .

It's a gorgeous day here in Chicagoland today, so about an hour later, I decided to get some steps in my day by hoofing it around the retention pond.  It's one of my favorite places to walk - it's quiet and I usually see some great water fowl - today it was mostly the muskrats, and some young ducks  :-)

So, I'm toddling around the pond when intestinal distress (the likes of which I haven't experienced in quite some time) hits.  

I was about half way around - right at the "six of one/half a dozen of the other" place on my walk.  There was no faster way home.  I decided to keep going, so I sped up to get home faster.  When I got to the street and past the side pond, I cut across a field to get to my block even faster, but it was no use.  There was no stopping it . . .

I made it home for the very worst of it, unlocking both doors and punching in the alarm code while slamming the door and waddling to the closest bathroom.  The cleanup wasn't very much fun and it involved both showers, Tilex, a substantial number of paper towels, what seemed like an entire roll of toilet paper, and plenty of Clorox wipes with bleach.  

It was gross.  It was a mess.  It was embarrassing (thankfully I don't think anyone saw me and if they did, I had dark athletic shorts on). So, if it was a gross, embarrassing mess, why am I sharing it? I mean, really - who wants to read about shit like this (pun intended)?

I'm sharing it because this calcium issue is the one that I have struggled with the most on this kidney stone prevention journey. And because it's part of my journey, I know that there are likely plenty of  others struggling with it as well - there are a LOT of people of a certain age who can no longer tolerate milk.  It's something that often happens as we get older - we begin to lose that lactase enzyme that digests stuff like milk.  But we need calcium - all of us do, not just women.  When your body is sucking the calcium out of your bones because you're not getting enough in on a daily basis, you are at substantial risk for both osteopenia and osteoporosis.  

If I'm struggling with this, then so are many others.  And so I'm sharing this story because it might help someone else.

The problem appears to be with calcium I drink - specifically milk.  I seem to be able to get away with the calcium-fortified orange juice (6 ounces or less at a time), but that's it.  Yogurt doesn't affect me the same way milk does.  Neither does cheese.

I've done almost everything I can do to get more calcium in on a daily basis.  I really thought that my body had built up a tolerance for it again - for awhile I convinced myself of this.  But . . um . . . no.  I'm having a Noosa yogurt daily (well, not today because I want to go to that candle light vigil tonight and there won't be any access to a restroom - seriously, my body needs a little time to calm itself back down).  I'm usually having that calcium-fortified orange juice daily (4 to 6 ounces), and 6 ounces is 260 mg of calcium.  I been limiting myself to about 1 ounce of cheese a day again (this is helping the size of my ass and, as mentioned, cheese doesn't affect me like the milk does, but it's high in sodium so I really need to limit it).  It's about 290 mg of calcium (for parmesan).  That puts me at about 950 mg of calcium - without severe intestinal distress.  

If I don't want to have to take a pill, I've got to start making up the difference in foods that contain a lot of calcium (and don't contain other stuff I'm supposed to avoid).  These include vegetables like broccoli (1 C has 40 mg), and fish like salmon (wild caught which I think has about 50 gm for a serving).  I'm going to add raw almonds back to my mix; they are very high in oxalate, but if I eat them with my yogurt, the calcium binds to the oxalate and travels out of the body, rather than sticking around in the kidneys to cause problems there.  Raw almonds should really help because 12 of them (which is about half an ounce) has 70 mg of calcium. Having them daily with my yogurt will push me over the 1,000 mg mark (the recommended amount for everyone except post-menopausal women).

So, I'll be making the Salmon Cakes recipe with more regularity, and I'll run to the healthfood store tomorrow for some raw almonds from the bulk food bin.  I'm giving my body a chance to recoup today - I'm kinda afraid to eat much of anything else . . .

And, needless to say I suppose, I won't be attempting to drink Lactaid milk again any time soon ever again.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Post and Run . . .

I went to Stitches Midwest on Sunday . . .

I like to participate in Buffalo Wool's Mystery Bag, where you donate some skeins and get to buy a mystery bag for $20.  I did two this year and got a skein of Sexy, their laceweight.  Colorway is Afternoon Delight.


And a skein of Skies DK, which goes very nicely with two other skeins I got in a previous year!  Colorway is True North.


Then I shopped.  I ordered a sweater's worth from Leading Men Fiber Arts on their Callback base in the Dames at Sea colorway, which is a beautiful, deep blue. 

Then I picked up some MadelineTosh fingering weight at WEBS, in the Thunderstorm colorway - enough for a sweater:


Some of the most beautiful - and most interesting stuff I saw all day was at the shared booth of Magpie Fibers and YOTH Yarns.  Seriously - I think I'm about to start saying YouKidsGetOffMyLawn!!!  :-D  I just don't care for the current trend of neon bright colors and speckles everywhere.  Truth be told, I'm not all that keen anymore on most variegated yarns either!  Except for, you know, Socks that Rock, and even then I'm pretty choosy.

Anyway, this is Magpie Fibers Solstice base in the Desert Rose and Mesa colorways, which has both silk and cotton in it along with the wool.  I can hardly wait to get it on my needles!  I'm thinking another Copenhagen Calling.


Same here with the YOTH Big Sister in the Rosemary and Thyme colorways.  :-)  I'll have Copenhagen Callings in multiple colors!


My last stop of the day was at a new vendor - she had antique buttons :(and no website).  I could not pass them up. This was the point where my credit card lit itself on fire - I'd forgotten to notify the credit union that I was going to be at an event with vendors from all over the country.  Of course the computers can't tell you're at Stitches - they just see multiple purchases in a short period of time from all over the country.  I OK'd the texted fraud alert I received (handy, that!) and received confirmation that I could use my card, but apparently there is a time lag between the text and when they actually release the card.  I paid the button lady cash because I just couldn't let these go.


Pretty awesome, aren't they?  :-)