I lost count!

I seriously just cannot, for the life of me, remember how many weeks post-revision I am now! How wierd is that? At first, you’re thinking…. this early post-op stuff is ETERNAL!!! Oh, for 1 more week to pass and stuff to be easier! Then the week passes, then two, and before you know it – and then you find yourself at week TEN!

Wow! Time flies! Okay – I can admit it – it hasn’t all been fun. I’ve hated admitting the fact that I’d turned into a mindless scarfer again! As a DS post-op no less! How and when did that happen?! I can’t believe how easily it was to revert to my pre-DS eating ways – and I didn’t even know I had! Really!

I can also admit that it still kinda hacks me off when the food police points those things out!

I mean, HELLO, I know! I know, I know, I know! I’m supposed to know! I teach this stuff! I know it forwards, backwards, sideways, and upside down!

Yet, I still do the stuff I’m not supposed to. Like scarf. Like take huge bites. Like forget to eat. Like forget to drink. You know – all of the stuff I lecture on day in and day out!

Lord – I’m so bad!

BUT… I will say, it’s going better. While I’m still not exactly thrilled at the prospect of eating – I mean, there’s no warm fuzzy involved there, so there’s no real pressing desire to do it – I am doing a better job of getting more protein in, and getting more veggies in – and hallelujah! – even salad! (I’m sorry – I really do love it! Especially caesar salad – which we had last night with tilapia – yummy!)

This morning – soon, actually – I have an appointment with my PCP. I was trying to remember when the last time I saw her was… um, it’s been YEARS. Well, I run into her in the grocery store now and then, and I saw her when she was helping care for my Mom when she was declining. But for me? For an actual appointment? Um, yeah, years. Bad me. I usually just call up her MA (who is an AMAZING woman) and say, “Hey, Danielle, I need labs! Can you put in the order?” And sure enough, she has it taken care of in no time at all. Well, this time I have to actually go in – you see I have to have another surgery – this time on my left ankle – and I need an annual (you know – female type stuff) exam, and so I’m going.

This is a new place to be in. Seven years ago – before my DS, I saw this woman, my PCP, nearly weekly – sometimes more often – because of the myriad health problems I had. That and managing the 23 prescription meds I was on back then took a concerted effort, as well. She was a vital part of my day to day life.

I still think the world of her. How could I not? Here she is, this teensy, weensy, petite, about 5 foot, 95 pound (with five extra post-partum pounds) – and she GOT IT that I needed WLS, that I needed DS – specifically – and has been nothing less than a champion for me.

You know – I oughtta high tail it out of here and swing by and pick up flowers for her. Just to remind her that I haven’t forgotten. And to say thanks again. Cause, dang, I’m so thankful.

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YarnFest!

There are a couple of really well – I’ll just say it – brilliant ladies that go to our church. They’ve taken some initiative and put together a really great idea! It’s called YarnFest. Here’s the low down:

Join us for two evenings of connecting, creating, and exploring ideas around friendship, yarn, and reaching beyond ourselves.

Come meet some new friends

Come and learn to knit

Come to hear ideas about reaching out to the homeless in our community

Come to explore what God may want to do in and through you

Everyone is welcome… young people, both men and women – who have taken up knitting as a new hobby or might like to, those with young families who would love to be able to finish a project but find no time or not enough skills, older folks who love to knit and would love to teach others…

Long story short – some knitting pals and I get to be a part of this great idea! We’ve decided to start out by making a very simple knit hat. It will be able to be finished in the course of the two evenings that we meet, and then it can be donated to a ministry that gifts those in need in our community with just this sort of stuff. Cool, huh?!

If you read this blog and live in the Portland area or thereabouts and want to join us – email me or post a comment and I’ll give you directions to where we’re meeting! All are welcome to join in!

Bad Eating Habits Can Alter DNA

Bad Eating Habits Can Alter DNA

Monday, January 19, 2009 9:13 AM

Human genes remember a sugar hit for two weeks, with prolonged poor eating habits capable of permanently altering DNA, Australian research has found.

A team studying the impact of diet on human heart tissue and mice found that cells showed the effects of a one-off sugar hit for a fortnight, by switching off genetic controls designed to protect the body against diabetes and heart disease.

“We now know that chocolate bar you had this morning can have very acute effects, and those effects can continue for up to two weeks,” said lead researcher Sam El-Osta, from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.

“These changes continue beyond the meal itself and have the ability to alter natural metabolic responses to diet,” he told Australian Associated Press Friday.

Regular poor eating would amplify the effect, said El-Osta, with genetic damage lasting months or years, and potentially passing through bloodlines.

The study’s findings were reported in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Copyright AFP

Bad Eating Habits Can Alter DNA

Bad Eating Habits Can Alter DNA

Monday, January 19, 2009 9:13 AM

Human genes remember a sugar hit for two weeks, with prolonged poor eating habits capable of permanently altering DNA, Australian research has found.

A team studying the impact of diet on human heart tissue and mice found that cells showed the effects of a one-off sugar hit for a fortnight, by switching off genetic controls designed to protect the body against diabetes and heart disease.

“We now know that chocolate bar you had this morning can have very acute effects, and those effects can continue for up to two weeks,” said lead researcher Sam El-Osta, from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.

“These changes continue beyond the meal itself and have the ability to alter natural metabolic responses to diet,” he told Australian Associated Press Friday.

Regular poor eating would amplify the effect, said El-Osta, with genetic damage lasting months or years, and potentially passing through bloodlines.

The study’s findings were reported in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Copyright AFP

My chickens are hilarious!

They think no one is looking… that no one knows they’re stealing cat food. Oh, but we know! So do the cats! Caleb (who could be a stunt double for Garfield ANY day) is particularly unamused. But – the truth of the matter is this: the cats are afraid of the chickens – so the chickens eat the cats food! Here’s sweet Henrietta. Poor baby! This morning I went out to let the girls out of the coop and give them a little treat. Everyone raced out of the coop and I opened the big door, and there’s Henrietta – perched up on the roost – pretty high up, to be honest. I talked to her for a minute, then got out of her way – it looked like she was getting ready to hop or fly down. And off I went… I had a doctor’s appointment this morning – a long one!

When I got home at noon I went out to let the girls out of the chicken yard so that they could free range. They went giddily running into the yard and I did a quick head count… “Where’s my Henrietta?” I asked Millie. She squawked at me and then ran off to find bugs. So, I thought – “I should check the coop.”

What should I find? Poor Henrietta! Stuck up on the roost – right where I’d left her – HOURS earlier! So I lifted her down and put her out into the yard.

She pretty much spent the entire day very quietly. Yesterday, honestly, she was far more active – and loud. Today she pretty much hung out close to the coop. Her closed eye does open just a teensy bit now – hooray! And her bald spots are sporting little bits of new feather growth.

Did I remember to announce to the world that Crayon is laying now? Here she is with Rooth. Crayon’s eggs are a slightly pink tinged very pale tan color. And they’re pretty darn big! Like 2.25 ounces. Wow! Some day, I suppose, we’ll name the Welsumers. I think that would have to be precipitated by our being able to tell them apart… So – since we’re not there – here’s one of the five Welsumers! LOL!

Ducky is a riot – she actually poses for pictures. She’s so cute!

Here’s another of the Welsumers… Isn’t her coloring lovely?

And here is super goofy Angel. Angel is the California White with blue eyes. At least I think they’re blue. She also has the distinction of being one VERY curious chicken! When I put the camera down to her eye level she comes charging closer – trying to figure out just what exactly that thing is!

Hence, I get some truly hilarious pictures of her!

Today is one of those days when being out in the yard with the girls was just the right thing to do. Especially after hearing that I need another surgery – one that will require me to put NO weight on my left foot for at least a month. Sigh. Thanks to the girls, though, I was able to end the day with more than one laugh!

It’s ALL my fault!

Night before last I volunteered to go and make sure the girls had found their way back into the coop, onto their roosts, and tucked themselves in for bed. We’d just come in from running errands, so I grabbed a flashlight and headed out. I was just a few steps from the back door when I turned the flashlight on and thought, “Does this thing work?” I hit it a couple of times it got a tad bit brighter, and so I proceeded.

I went out to the coop, and tried to open the big – people sized entrance – door and because of all of the rain and moisture, it was swollen shut, and I couldn’t get it open. (And John has shaved it down a couple of times already! Dang – we need warmer, dryer weather!) So I went around to the little run – where there’s a window into the coop above the chicken door, and peek through – and got a head count. Only – it was dark in there – and my flashlight wasn’t so strong, and I kept losing count. I finally stuck my head through the chicken door and tried counting again – but again, I wasn’t sure. I finally thought, “Sheesh! It’s not like they don’t just put themselves to bed every night!” and so I figured it WAS 15 I’d counted and went back into the house.
Yesterday morning I went out to let the girls out into the run. I opened the chicken door, said my good mornings to them, and was just outside of the run when I spied Henrietta racing toward me – from around the end of the coop – on the outside of the run! I looked at her and said, “How’d you get out here?”
It was then that I realized she was drenched, and cold, and shivering, and one of her eyes was closed, and she looked more than just a little ruffled.
OH MY!
She didn’t make it into the coop the night before! She’d spent the night OUT!
Here’s Pepper giving me the “BAD chicken Mom!” look:

POOR Henrietta!

Oh my word! I gathered her up into my arms – where she gladly tucked her head against my shoulder, and took her inside. I once again commandeered Pepper’s indoor bed (which she honestly doesn’t give much of a rip about – she’d much rather sleep with her people!) for a temporary chicken hospital.

Once I had a chance to hold her and dry her off a bit and warm her up considerably, I was able to get a pretty good look at her.

First – her left eye is closed – for some reason – not sure exactly why, but she won’t open it for anything.

Next – she’s a little bald on that left side, too – around the ear.

And – she’s got a couple of pin prick places with dried blood.

She was missing a few bigger feathers on her shoulder – but not much. There was no blood or injury anywhere else. My deduction – she’d hidden in the blackberry bushes and somehow managed to get some pin pricks from the thorns.

POOR BABY!

Jess and I had noticed on the weekend that she seemed to be losing some feathers on her undercarriage – and I chalked it up to a potential oncoming molt. From what I’ve read not out of the question.

So – here are the pictures…

She really just is loving being held and doted on – yeah, what chicken doesn’t?! But honestly, a little more than normal.

I would move her back out with the rest of the girls if that eye weren’t closed. I can just see them going after it and that’d be the end of that. So, she’s an indoor chicken for the time being. I’m considering letting them all out to free range today and then letting her do the same – only staying close and supervising to make sure Henrietta doesn’t get beaten up. We’ll see…

I gotta admit – we’re so fortunate, though. We have racoons in our yard NIGHTLY. We see them ALL the time. When it snowed so much -we all saw how many racoon tracks there were around the coop -they were sure interested in getting in there! (My husband is such a genius – he did such a great job at constructing the coop!) Henrietta – by all rights, could have easily been a racoon snack, or an owl snack (there’s one that hangs out on the side of the house), or a coyote snack (been sightings in the neighborhood recently), or a big cat snack (one of those sighted recently, too). But she merely had a run in with a blackberry vine. Wow. She’s one lucky chicken!

Vitamin D Deficiency in Infants and Nursing Mothers Carries Long-Term Disease Risks

Vitamin D Deficiency In Infants And Nursing Mothers Carries Long-term Disease Risks
ScienceDaily (2008-12-29) — Once believed to be important only for bone health, vitamin D is now seen as having a critical function in maintaining the immune system throughout life. The newly recognized disease risks associated with vitamin D deficiency are clearly documented in a report in Breastfeeding Medicine. …

read full article
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081216161058.htm

It’s a little bit scary…

I admit it – it’s something that apparently everyone should be comfortable with – but I’m not! I’m not good at it. Well – I am for other people – just not so much for myself.

I think – to be perfectly honest – the root of that discomfort has to do with the fact that I don’t really – when it comes right down to it – know how to dress myself.

Yes, I’m talking about shopping.
I should interject here that I am the offspring of an accomplished shopper. If it were possible for a person to have a degree in shopping – my mother would have had a PhD in it and her practicum would have been breath-taking. I know I was a bit of a disappointment to her – being that I grew up HATING shopping. I must have more of my Dad in me than she bargained on… cause he hated shopping, too.
I had to go today. There was a memorial service tonight, and my baggy jeans just don’t cut it in the dressed appropriately for the memorial service genre.
Why did I only allow myself 35 minutes to shop?
But, for 35 minutes, I didn’t do so bad.
First – can I just say that it doesn’t fill me with confidence when I walk into the Rack and look around and realize everyone BUT ME looks exactly like they know what they’re doing and are completely comfortable with it?!
I admit it – I stood there for a good minute trying to decide which area I’m supposed to shop in. The jeans I had on at that moment were a size 16 – so that’d put me in the plus size section. But they were baggy… so maybe the regular section. But I’m short (really short) – so does that mean I go to the petite section? I was standing there looking from one section to the next when my eye alighted on a black t-shirt that I thought was cute… I bet someone with a PhD in marketing knew that would happen!
Of course – then the big dilemma – which size?!
I circled the rounder looking at various sizes before it hit me (not the rounder – an idea!) – I could try stuff on! So I picked up one or two of the shirt I liked in different sizes and moved on.
I waffled between slacks and skirt for some time before I decided to take some of each to the fitting room.
And I eventually grabbed a couple of sweaters to try on, as well.
So off to the fitting room I went.
Guess what!
I tried on size 12 jeans.
THEY FIT. Like – easily. Like – maybe they’re a little bit roomy. BUT – they’re also a foot too long for me, so I put them aside. (Plus, they were totally not on the appropriate for a memorial service to do list!)
Before it was all said and done I made my Mamma proud!
Remember the cute black t-shirt? I chose a size Large – I don’t know, I’m a little too busty for a Medium and the XL was woefully too large. Here’s the tag for it:

Yep – it used to be $28, then got marked down to $15.90, and I paid $9.97 for it. Not bad, huh?!

I ended up buying two skirts – cause I couldn’t find a shirt – maybe blouse is what it’s really called that would be appropriate for skirt – but thought I might have something at home that would work. The first one is a plain, black, just-below-the-knee length very attractive skirt. It started out at $78.00, got marked down to $19.97 and then had the 60% off the lowest price sticker, meaning that I paid $7.99 for this lovely little skirt! It was a size 14, by the way – I don’t know – I think I was afraid to buy a 12, and I know it’s a little big, but well, it’s what I bought. This, by the way, was the skirt I ended up wearing this evening – and it worked out beautifully.

And the third item – the second skirt, which was a cream, gray, and black patterned skirt of about the same styling as the other – and really is quite pretty. I thought I had a blouse that went with it – but I was wrong. Dang it! BUT – this one had my Mom smiling down from heaven giving me my shopping gold star for the day:

Yes, this skirt started out at $348.00, got marked down eventually to $89.97, and has the wonderous 75% off last marked price sticker on it! I paid $22.49 for it. WOW!

So – it was with quite a bit more confidence that I left the Nordstrom Rack than I entered it!

Next assignment: jeans that fit!

Shhh…. Don’t tell her I blogged about her!

This is my beautiful daughter.

Last evening – okay, actually late afternoon, she did something to completely change the demographics of our household. I’m still reeling a little bit…

Yes, folks, we are now – officially – a three licensed driver household.

Oh my!

How did that happen? I mean – I know I say this too often in my life – but she really was just 2 the other day… beautiful, amazing, full of life, and going a bazillion miles a minute – and TWO. How did 16 happen so quickly?

She’s been hinting for MONTHS that she thinks she should be driving an adorable butter yellow VW bug – one of the new ones.

She has all of the confidence in the world that she will have a perfect driving record and never have a single mishap – may it be so!

She wants to do things like… drive to church for youth group all by herself.

When I was 16 I drove to Los Angeles from Portland by myself for the first time. Why am I so uptight about her driving the four minutes down the road to church? Okay – honestly, the trip to church doesn’t worry me so much. It’s the trips – well – pretty much EVERYWHERE else!

I asked a friend today – who is the mother of five children – three of whom are licensed drivers – if she ever got over the feeling of impending terror. She thought a minute, paused, and then said, “Um… no.”

I think part of what makes the whole thing so – well – daunting – is the fact that she’s young for her grade – and she’s talking about COLLEGE – like seriously. Like, “let’s fly across the country (ACROSS THE COUNTRY!) and check out this really cool college in the Spring, Mom & Dad!”

I don’t think I’m ready for her to grow up quiet yet. Can’t I have a rewind on a couple of the years? She is – quite possibly – the best kid on the planet, and I don’t want her growing up and going away. There – I admitted it. I’m already starting to miss her.

So… don’t tell her I blogged about her. I don’t think she’d be amused.

Eight Weeks Post-Op

So I broke down and did my measurements today.

Here’s the results – changes since December 8, 2008 to today:

Neck: – 0.5″
Bicep: – 1″
Forearm: – 0.5″
Chest: – 1″
Waist: – 3″
Hips: – 3″
Thigh: no change
Calf: no change

WOW! I’m so surprised!

I did weigh myself the other day, too. (I’m just getting over the stomach flu, so I kinda forgot about weighing today.) I now weigh 167 pounds, meaning I’ve lost 23 pounds since surgery.

And this is how much extra room there is in my jeans… yeah, that’s why they can go on and off without unbuttoning and unzipping them, and why I gotta yank them up so many times a day.

I guess this means I’ve got to face facts and find something a little more appropriate in size!