DRAFT TODAY, POST TOMORROW: Some posts may be in draft status until I (aka procrastinator extraordinaire) get around to posting them.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Agility class

 We ran twice through the course.  There were a lot of switches.  Teka missed her weave entrance but they both did the weaves very well.  After the chute, as she went over the jump, I pulled hard to the right, then said switch to the #7 jump.  It was a little awkward but worked okay.  I stayed on the near side of the dogwalk and later, the instructor showed that we could front cross before and run on the wrong side, making the next couple of jumps potentially easier.  Teka also slid off the table the first time, she was going so fast.  I did a front cross after the tunnel and called her name while front crossing to put her over the #18 jump, wrapping to the #19.  I had the best results when I kept running past the last jump instead of saying go on.
start jump in front to A-frame, circle to jump to weaves to chute
dog walk to jump (r) around to jumps (back, middle, front) to teeter, middle jump

Eat that Frog!

We have restarted our book club at work.  Or started a new book club.  Either way, our current book is Eat that Frog!  I knew I was going to be in the car for at least eight hours in two days, so I got it on audiobook CD from the libary.   It was 3 CDs, a very easy and quick "read."  I thought quite a bit of it was review of things other people have said, but it was a good reminder.

Since I listened to it more than a month before our club meeting, I checked out the hard copy from the library for a quick review.  Here are the highlights:
  • If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.  (Do the worst thing on the list first.)
  • If you have to eat a live frog at all, it doesn't pay to sit and look at it for very long.  (Don't put off the hard task.)
  • It is the quality of time at work that counts and the quantity of time at home that matters.
He suggests scheduling blocks of time, using a time planner, and making every minute count.  He also talks about shoulds versus musts and labels tasks: A for must do, B for should do, C for nice to do, D for delegate, and E for eliminate.  That's all nice and good, but nothing new....

Using the quick list method with the rule of three method, he had questions like what are your most important business/career, family/relationship, financial, health, personal/professional development, social/community goals and what are the three biggest problems or concerns.

If you want a review of every similar book out there, this is the synopsis for you.

Upsetting or something.

I made the porridge as it was written, with pumpkin seeds, but using ground flax seed since I have it.  It seemed weird putting whole pumpkin seeds, but I tried it anyway.  It was terrible.  I will have to get pepitas or sunflower seeds and try again.  Seriously, it was gross.  I'm throwing those pumpkin seeds away.  I had an apple with honey peanut butter instead.

My prescription for Provigil has increased in price again.  To $459.67.  WTF!  I can't believe that I am paying over $400 for this!  I'm tempted to take it even less than I do now--I tend to skip it on days I don't work or at least once on the weekend anyway.  On the upside, I'll hit my maximum deductible faster.

I didn't have long for lunch after getting my prescription, so I picked up an ice tea and went to the office to eat my frozen dinner, Organic Bistro Salmon.  It's pretty good, and it's one of a very, very few frozen foods I can eat, but I was pretty hungry soon after.  I was worried that it made me feel bad, but it's possible that I was already feeling kind of not good, and there's really nothing in it that I can't have.  I don't know what the hell is wrong with me.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chili throwdown

Someone in my office decided the next throwdown should be chili, so I made a new recipe on Saturday.  I didn't expect it to win (and I didn't!), but thought I might get some comments to help make it better.

Three others brought chili, so I asked each about their ingredients to determine if I could sample them.  One used beef broth, one used barbecue sauce, and one used flour, so that's zero of three I tried.  A couple people brought cornbread and someone brought a corn dish, but it was started with a cornbread mix, so those were out.  Some awesome person brought Fritos, so I had those with my chili, along with a salad with dressing I keep in the refrigerator.  Someone in the kitchen was really surprised to see me eating the Fritos; we read the ingredients and I joked that I won't starve to death since I can eat Fritos.

I asked about the chili, what I could change to make it more "chili" and didn't get too much help.  I think my husband is looking for that darker color that comes from beef or beef broth, so I might have to mix the meats or something.  When I told one person that I used spicy chicken sausauge from Sprouts, she told me she uses their sausage with some red pepper flakes and half a can of pumpkin and some chicken broth and serves it over pasta.  That sounds pretty good to me.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Productively exhausting

My friend K offered me her spoon yesterday, after she was done with her cereal, just in case I ran out of energy.  I ran out of spoons yesterday and kept right on going, all the way through today.

Against my wishes, I got out of bed this morning, did a few things around the house, and get ready to go bowling.  K made some "cereal" and gave me a portion yesterday, so I had that for breakfast.  I made it too soupy, but it wasn't bad.  I think it needs something sweet in it, maybe fruit or something or maybe I'll try sweetened almond milk next time.

When bowling, I usually walk up to the line, stop, find my mark and throw the ball.  My mark is very close to the foul line so I haven't figured out the moving ball throw that everyone else does.  I also do more of a lunge than the leg to the side thing that everyone else does.  I wanted to be more fluid in my movement, so K worked with me to change my starting position and my "mark" so that I could practice.  I think it will help but it seems so akward.

We had to go get gas before we met our friends for lunch, so I dropped Mick at Home Depot to return a leaky garden hose and went to get gas.  All the lines were about the same length, but the line I got in had the two slowest gas pumpers ever.  I almost changed lines, but I almost backed into someone who came up behind me, so I stayed put.  Hmmph.  While I was pumping gas, the attendant was talking to the lady on the other side of the pump about how he worked at a company for 18 years (after being at another company even longer) and, when he left, he took his retirement money out and spent it all last year, some on his girls.  Wow.

We went to a new Thai restaurant for lunch where I was told they don't use soy in any of their curries.  I had pumpkin curry with chicken with medium heat, and it was very good, with a nice amount of spice for me.  The pumpkin seemed to have part of the skin on the pieces, so I picked them out and ate parts of them.  The curry sauce was drinkable it was so good.  The ice tea was meh; I would get hot tea next time.

Mick and I had a list of errands to run, so we headed to Moon Valley to check on our pecan tree we've been waiting for.  N has been helping my husband and was there; he said the trees were coming in next week.  He checked to see if they had any ixora that was recommended for the shady spot between my roses by our front door.  He came back with one and said it was in terrible shape, but the best they had, so we could have it at no charge.  We paid for our buy-one-get-one Moon Juice that Mick is using on the trees and left.

We returned the cat food I had purchased for Jill right before she died; we bought some toys and training treats for the dogs.  We went to Target for some shopping, not everything I needed to look for there, but we got a baby shower gift (not on the registry--the worst registry I've ever seen; I know they've registered elsewhere but it was seriously all diapers) and some cleaning supplies.  We headed home and I laid down for a little rest while he took the dogs out.  And then we're off!

We went to J's for an Oscar party without the Oscars.  R made smoked pork butt, bacon wrapped venison, and chicken with soy in the marinade; he made another batch of non-soy chicken later, so that was my "dessert."  The pork was fantastic, the chicken was very good, and the venison was good.  I got my veggies, too; I had some salad with my meat.

We got home around 10, so I did the very minimum possible.  Good night.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


We're having a chili throwdown at work Monday, so I wanted to make a trial batch.  I used this Ellie Krieger recipe, with some minor adjustments.  I used an orange bell pepper instead of red, spicy chicken sausage instead of beef, and a can of chili beans instead of black beans.  I also added an extra chipotle chili, a teaspoon garlic powder and a 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

It was spicy and pretty good, but Mick thought it was "alright, it didn't taste like chili."  Hmm, my chili throwdown is going to be terrible.

Garden Update


chard, turnips, beets, eggplant

The eggplant has flowers!

Celery is developing (back), parsley and cilantro (front)

lettuce (red Romaine) to be harvested, radishes, carrots and bell peppers

arugula, and a tiny spinach coming up

tiny lettuce and radishes
flowering kale (we think) and onions

Climb to Conquer Cancer at South Mountain

at the top
We have done the Climb to Conquer Cancer a couple of times and we talked some friends into coming this time.  We walked up the paved side and came back down the National hiking trail instead of riding the bus down.
me and the girls

Our total hike ended up around 8.5 miles.  I found some it to be pretty difficult--I'm so out of shape or out of condition or whatever.  I felt like I might have gotten a little too much sun and not enough water (or Gatorade).

not one, but two allergy alerts!

We went to Red Robin for lunch on the patio.  I got a guacamole burger with no bun, no cheese, no mayo, and fries with salsa.  The waitress confirmed that the sweet potato fries are not safe because they are coated.  I had a skinny margarita which was pretty good, if small (compared to the regular margaritas).  We talked a little about my blog and my husband decided that I could call him Mick instead of my husband or DH.

We dropped everyone off and headed home.  My FIL and MIL were coming over to help Mick with some yard work.  While he was waiting for them, I cleaned house and did laundry, although I was so tired from the walking and hiking.  When they arrived, I went outside and cleaned up the doggie poop.  It was too hot for that--I felt so tired and a little head-achy!  I got a lot done this afternoon but I'm so beat. Now dinner....

Friday, February 24, 2012

Public speaking

I get very nervous about speaking in front of a group, especially people I don't know.  I was asked to do a presentation that others have already done.  I asked someone who does a lot of public presenting nationwide for some tips.  I did my homework.  I practiced a little.  I sweated, but I was wearing a jacket to cover it up.  I stumbled answering a question.  But the audience members told me that I made a boring subject interesting, that I did a great job presenting, that they appreciated my presentation.  Whew.

Since I was out in Scottsdale, I met a friend, S, a previous co-worker who I meet for lunch occasionally.  We decided to meet at Indulge Burger.  I've heard good things about it in the gluten-free groups.  I had a bunless chicken sandwich with salad and salsa.  It was kinda terrible, overcooked, disappointing, but edible.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It was unexpectedly awesome. It was terrible.

I am still having after-effects of something I ate a couple days ago, and today was the worst of it I think.  Since I had a confrontational meeting and wasn't feeling well on top of that, I decided to go out for lunch although I had brought something.  Knowing that True Food is an allergen-issue person's haven, I headed over, but the parking lot was full and busy and I decided to leave.  I was wandering, but in my car, and I ended up at Bertha's.

Bertha's was packed, so I went to Smarty Pants to see if I could find some black slacks.  I didn't find any in the size 8 section, although I picked out a few others; on a whim, I decided to pick up a couple size 6 pants.  The size 8 paints were too big, and I bought a pair of size 6 pants!  They had a little stretch in them but they fit very well.  I'd call them pants more than slacks, but I can definitely wear them a lot to work.

I went to Bertha's and they have changed their soups to the spring soup menu, so they didn't have "my" chili.  They have a Friday soup that I might come back to try.  They also have re-done their menu and it says that their chicken is marinated in pesto sauce, so no more chicken for me.  They also roast their turkey there, so I had the roasted red pepper and goat cheese salad with no pesto, adding turkey.  I should have told them no sun dried tomatoes--I am coming to the conclusion that I really don't like them.  Other than that, the salad was very good, but I can make that myself, so I may be taking a Bertha's break for the spring.

coconut aminos = "soy sauce"
I was thinking about trying the panang at True Food, so I got that Thai craving in my head.  So when I got home, I looked at a couple of Thai "peanut sauce" recipes I have and went to work.  It started with almond butter, but I didn't have enough so I added cashew butter.  Then I added canned coconut milk, ground ginger, garlic, "soy sauce", lime juice, sirachi, red pepper flakes.  It ended up more like a satay peanut sauce, so I kept working on it, adding more coconut milk and sirachi.  I cooked the sauce with some chicken.  I sauteed some carrots, red peppers, and cactus and added it along with some rice noodles.  The sauce got better, but it never got to the point that I loved it, and I didn't really like the rice noodles or the cactus either.  My husband thought it was good although the carrots weren't soft enough for him and he didn't like the cactus.  He told me several times that the carrots weren't cooked enough; "I'm sorry" must not be the right thing to say since it didn't stop his redundancy.  Despite that, he claims he will eat the leftovers.

"being authentic means never having to say you’re sorry. Or always having to say you’re sorry."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Agility class

Part 1: start in front, go to right
The first part of our course was a two jump lead out and a front cross into the tunnel.  I used a pivot coming out of the tunnel to basically slingshot her over the first jump, around the back of the tunnel to go over the other jumps.  I did another front cross to head in the other direction.

Part 1: layering behind the tunnel
The second time through the course with Cassi, I did not have time to cross after the tunnel so I was still on the left of her when we needed to head to the second tunnel, and that worked just as well for her as the other way had worked.

Part 2 (starting at the cutoff jump on left) 

I called switch to the tunnel and rear crossed, then called her name while she was in the tunnel to get her to come back toward me.  Then I turned and pivoted around the two jumps, going to the teeter.  The tunnel to the jump was a little awkward but it worked.

After the teeter, we moved to the weaves.  They were 2 sets of 12 in a row, so 24 weaves.  Cassi did them very well both times; Teka did them perfectly the first time but popped out near the end and popped back in the second (and retry) time through.  It was so awesome, I let her end there.

What I'm eating now

I picked up some Spice Hunter Jamaican Jerk Salt Free Seasoning, on sale, at Sprouts.  I put some on both sides of two pieces of chicken and pan sauteed them in olive oil.  Once browned, I added some vegetable broth and water and covered until cooked through.  It was not spicy at all but it was very tasty.  I served it with mashed potatoes.  I used Yukon Gold (my favorite for mashed potatoes).  I mashed the cooked potatoes with 1/2 cup of the potato liquid, a little Earth Balance soy free spread, some salt, rice milk, coconut milk creamer, and a lot of pepper.

I have tried several Enjoy Life brand cookies; so far, the gingerbread cookies are my favorite.  They are awesome with some almond milk and Kahlua.  There were some NEW! cookies: Crunchy Sugar Crisp Cookies.  Wow, I did not think that allergy friendly cookies could be so yummy.  Maybe I'm just delusional since I've been eating this way for a now and haven't had real sugar cookies in so long, but really, they are really, really close to real sugar cookies.

Hot or not

shopping day
work day
I had so much trouble deciding how to wear this dress to work.  I have to wear tights or pantyhose with skirts, so I wore tights and boots, and a jacket and scarf.  I don't think this was the look I wanted to end up with, but I was told it was cute.  I think I'm going to try again with lighter tights and jacket next week.

Someone also complimented me on my cheekbones--I've heard that I have great ones so I'm glad they aren't covered in fat anymore!

But I looked so good.

I started my blog pretty unceremoniously three years ago.  I'm up to three followers!  If I ever get up-to-date, I'm thinking I should go public.  I'm boring enough that anyone who runs across it will probably keep going rather than stay, but it could be interesting.  And I would be able to search my blog if it were published.  Decisions.

I started my blog as another attempt to keep a journal, a recommendation by Matthew Taylor.  I was seeing him because of terrible pain issues that seemed super random.  I don’t want to live a mediocre life...It's draining.  He helped me cope with the pain and deal with some of my back issues.

Seven years ago, this month, I was numb from the ribcage down to my toes.  I saw a neurologist recommended by my friend.  I bypassed going to a doctor because I thought that I had done something to my back--the last time I had numbness was after my second back surgery.  (The back surgeries were due to a car accident that left me with a fractured spine.)  The neurologist immediately suspected MS, and said a few tests would be done to rule out other issues.  As we all know, every possibility was ruled out and I have MS.  I remember this month every year.  My husband's brother got married in Las Vegas at the Venetian.  I stood up for his wife.  She paid for us to have our hair and makeup done and I looked stunning.  No one could tell that something was wrong with me.  I was numb.  You can't see numbness.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Productive-ish holiday

Re-e-e-e-ed Robin
I met my friends at Red Robin for an early lunch so that K and A could get back to work.  We went to Red Robin, another location, and asked the waitress several questions since she was very helpful.  I decided on the grilled chicken sandwich, no bun, with unseasoned french fries and sides of salsa and guacamole.  I decided against the skinny margarita, but maybe next time, along with some sweet potato fries.

J volunteered to go shopping with me so we went to Kohl's to find a few things I'm missing in my current wardrobe.  She helped me pick out some things and gave me great feedback on the things I tried.  She took a few photos for her blog.  I ended up getting a couple of dresses and shorts, a pair of jeans (Levi's 525), and a top, as well as 3 pairs of boy-short underwear.  I did not find any slacks for work, but the dresses make up for it.

We were parched when we were done, so we went to Ground Control and had lattes with Kahlua (since they were out of Frangelico), hers with milk and mine with almond milk.  Yum!

She headed back to her side of town and I returned my too-large sports bras to Sam's Club.  I picked up a couple of casual tops while I was there.

My husband had leftover lasagna so I had a can of Amy's vegetable soup for dinner with some rice chips and green ice tea.  I completed my monthly survey and I'm working on the mail and bills.  Never ending!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mixed reviews

After bowling, we went to a new restaurant, Caballeros.  It got mixed reviews: everyone who had one of the pork dishes (I had the chili verde) thought it was very good, and everyone who had a burger thought it wasn't so much.

we did not buy this tequila
We took a detour to Total Wine and then went to our house for games and hanging out.  Our neighbors came to visit and talk about diet.  R is on a restricted diet and M does it with him; it includes no sugar as well as the gluten/dairy restrictions.  M has shared recipes and they are generally modifiable for me, using soy substitutes for example.  I follow her on Pinterest and have collected a good number of recipes (or passed on to her) through pinning.  While we're not on the same path, I appreciate the similarities.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pickled radishes

My radishes decided to be ready all at once, mostly.  As soon as they are picked, they start getting soft, so I thought I would pickle them.  I looked for recipes and they all say pickling spices but I don't know what that means!  A friend sent me some recipes so I kind of put them together for my try at pickled radishes.  I put them in apple cidar vinegar until I could get the spices.  I got some dill a couple days later and added a bunch.  The next day, I found pickling spices in the "bulk" jars of spices at Sprouts (NOT in the big bulk bins) so I got a little and added to my jars of radishes.  I waited and then tried one.  Oh.  That was terrible.  Unsavable.  Blech.  Waste of radishes.  So sad.

Friday, February 17, 2012

We love visitors!

I took today off so we could have my husband's parents' out of town guests over.  The men put up the patio fans and played cornhole.  We watched F-16s fly over and drank margaritas. I made lunch for (only) me while what my in-laws brought for lunch "to make it easier for me" reheated along with leftovers from the other night.  I kind of would have liked to make lunch for everyone, but I guess I get it.  I'm full of margarita.  TGIF.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I was invited to lunch with my department and they chose Zinburger.  It's my time to have some red meat, so I thought that sounded like a good enough idea.  I spoke with the waitress about my issues and was assured that the beef burgers are only beef.  For the seasoning, I gave her the list to check: soy, yeast, eggs, wheat, diary.  The fries (ordered separately) are not gluten-free.  I had a green ice tea and a mushroom burger with no bun, no cheese, and no mayo.  I thought about getting a salad on the side, but their salads were pretty expensive, especially on top of a $14 burger.

The burger was fine, and I left full.  But like my previous meal out this week, I was not really satisfied.  If I were to go again, I would consider getting a salad instead of the burger.  (For anyone who is not restricted, this place would be a calorie-fest; apparently, they have amazing milkshakes.)

Pasta dinner

I spend a lot of time on food blogs and I noticed that a lot of the time, the recipes are not your standard weeknight fare.  I typically make salmon or chicken, with seasoning or a sauce, and rice or potatoes or pasta, and a vegetable or salad.

Someone in my office was eating spaghetti for breakfast earlier this week.  I used to do that all the time--go to Babbo's and get the spaghetti and meatballs special, eat half and have the rest for breakfast.  Yum.

I found spicy chicken sausage (not in casings) at Sprouts and cooked it, added a can of Muir Glen diced tomatoes with basil, and some almost cooked Fresh and Easy rotini rice pasta.  I covered it while I made my salad and grated a little goat cheese mozzarella (I'm not sure I'm supposed to be eating it, but I have it, so I had a little.)

I thought it was fantastic.  It will make an excellent breakfast.  Even without the cheese.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Last night, perhaps understandably, I did not want to do a lot of housework.  I had not done as much as I meant to over the weekend, but I knew I had several days before I would have company.  Anyway, last night, I did some as I have a schedule in place this week so my house will be clean Friday when we have our out of town guests over.  This morning, I did a few more things before heading out to work.

I had an appointment at lunchtime that was a little out of my normal lunch area, so I found that there were a couple of Thai restaurants I could try.  I went to the one that seemed most convenient.  Thai Basil had some outdoor seating as well as the crowded indoor seating, so I said I could take either and was seated inside.  They almost immediately put a salad and glass of water on the table; I waited and asked the waitress what was in the dressing.  She said "you can't have that" and took it with her when she left.

I asked about one of their signature dishes, Thai Basil with chicken.  She said it could be made without soy and there was no wheat.  When it came, it had a fried spring roll and a dish of sauce.  I couldn't get anyone to come by, so I didn't touch them or anything touching the spring roll.  When she came back, she said "you can't have that."  Um, if that's true, why is it on my plate?  The meal was essentially chicken and veggies with basil, but appeared to have no sauce, and a side of plain jasmine rice.  It was fine, but I left feeling annoyed.  I wasn't overly full but I felt like I probably ate enough but I wasn't satisfied.  I hate that feeling.  Maybe I'll try the other Thai restaurant next time.

There was something that happened today that really upset me.  I'm trying to say that I'm being overly emotional because of Jill, but really, I'm just shocked at the things people do and I don't understand their motivations.  I think I'm a pretty understanding person but I don't know how I will forget about this one.  (semi-update: I think I understand why it happened, but I'm not sure if it's better or worse than my original feelings or thoughts.)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Jill cat

Jill started peeing blood this weekend, so I knew it was time.  She has been eating less, losing weight, had a leaking cyst on one side of her face and was tearing up the other side of her face.  She had dental issues, allergy issues, potty issues, ear infections.  She was just a mess.  She's always been a mess.  So I was really surprised when I called the vet to make her final appointment that I was suddenly crying.

A couple of ladies in my work office had told me I looked stressed, and I thought, wow, this hair style is really not working for me.  But after I broke down in tears, I realized that I must have been dreading making the call.  I cried several times before I finally got home.

My husband was already home and he had taken her out to the back yard to roam.  She's always liked smaller spaces so she tried to stay close to the wall, which of course, made us nervous.  He let Cassi out, then Teka, and they both checked her out.  When it was time, we took her to the same vet where Kachina went.

The vet was very sweet, told us about her 2 cats who died of Valley Fever (cats don't do as well as dogs, not that all dogs do well either), and she was crying over Jill.  She thought we took good care of her.  As Jill stopped breathing, she stuck her tongue out.  The vet put it back in her mouth and notice a purple mass under her tongue.  She was worse off than I thought.  It was her time.

I'm still shocked at how upset I am.  She was the least favorite cat I've ever had, but I took care of her as my responsibility.  I know it's terrible to say, but she's been aloof, messy, sick, scared, frustrating....  And I know that I'm a little upset that I may not have another cat again.  I've had cats for more than half of my life; I've had Kachina and Jill for almost half my life!

I entered a contest for gluten-free products (flour, brownie mix, pancake mix, and pizza crust mix), so here's the linky link to gluten free frenzy.

Friday, February 10, 2012


I was still feeling emotional this morning and a coworker brought me into a conversation about how thin I am, and I should stop losing weight, and I kinda lost it.  I started crying and showed her my allergy test results, pointing out the graph for the bananas, and then talking about what the hell is amaranth, and she said "It's like you have to throw out all the research you've done, and start over, do more research.  It consumes your life."  OMG, that is exactly how I feel right now.  She gave me a hug and some sympathy (or is it pity?).  I felt guilty for being self centered, especially first thing in the morning.

So, what is amaranth? 
Later, I had a phone call with someone in another office, and she told me that she's allergic to something but hasn't been tested, isn't sure what it is, but every once in a while she gets the numb lip thing.  YES, my lips are still numb.  I can't remember if they have been numb all the way since Wednesday (now known as banana oatmeal day.  National Banana Oatmeal Day.  If it's capitalized and says national, it's an official day, right?  You better celebrate it next year.  Happy banana oatmeal day!  I'll be at home under the covers, now that I'm scared of banana oatmeal.  That would be an awesome villian in a movie, wouldn't it?  Can't you just see this giant blob of banana oatmeal tearing up NYC?) or if there was a break in there somewhere.  (Okay, that was a really long sentence with multiple sentences inside it--I hope it doesn't give you nightmares of Alien or something.)  I guess that really still doesn't tell me if it's the banana or the oatmeal.  *sigh*

I had a meeting with someone else and ended up crying again; she even gave me a hug.  I went to lunch nearly right after that, and since I needed a run to the dry cleaner, I went to Babbo.  They had my previous favorite for the lunch special--Italian sausage pasta.  Well, you know what?  That's what I had, with gluten-free pasta.  I don't know what's in the sausage, I didn't ask, and I ate it.  It was spicy yumminess.

This will seem completely unrelated, but just wait--it's not.  I love the bloggess and occassionally will check out one of her commenters blogs.  I don't know why I do this--so many of them are super awesome and then I have to follow their blogs and it's just more to read in my "spare" time.  (where "spare" is defined as any time I can put off doing something else so that I can read the bloggess and her hilarious friends.)  Today, I had to read the post about why she can't get any work done, so that I could also use that excuse.  Alas, it is not useful in my office.  They won't let me have cats or watch Dr. Who.  It's terrible, right?

So one of the first comments had a link to his post about things he would rather do than eat light mayonnaise.  How could I resist?  While that post drew me in (I will not participate in that crazy scavenger hunt list), it was the bromance with a news anchor that has me atwitter.  Really.  Pun intended.  (Am I having a bad hair humor day?)

I keep thinking that I should be on Twitter, but I'm not, because it would be one more reason to not do any work.  Not at the office, the other "work" I do outside of work, like taking care of my house and my health and shit.  Literally shit--dogs and cats and toilets, oh my.  The more you know, indeed.  Is it just a coincidence that his website is called mental poo?   I think not.

Then he says "..and a Twittermance was born (trademark pending)".  And I'm hooked.  I must get a Twitter account now.  (But am I funny enough, do I have anything interesting to say in less than 140 characters, will they like me?)  How else will I ever have a Twittermance (patent pending) or a bramance (that, I assume, is the feminine of bromance; should I pend a patent?) without an account?  I already have blog crushes, which I assume are like foreplay for a Twittermance.  I need lots of bramance and/or Twittermance since my husband does not understand why I'm completely emotional about my food issues.  (I think this is a man thing.)  So maybe you'll see me on Twitter.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


My student, K, started by reviewing my allergy results, then going through her questions.  Some things that I have not been eating regularly did not show as allergens but she said that was normal; she is Celiac and wheat doesn't show for her even if she eats it right before the test.

it's for breakfast
The big terrible news is that I cannot eat bananas!  I have been eating Glutenfreeda oatmeal for breakfast most days; the box of six packets has three flavors, including banana.  I will have to give away the packets I have left--I have been purchasing these by the case from Amazon in order to save money.  In the future, I can order the other two flavors separately.  I also use bananas in smoothies and "shakes" pretty frequently, and no more banana milk either.  I was really looking forward to trying banana "ice cream" so I'll have to delete that idea from my brain.  And I get bananas in my produce box every two weeks, so I have just updated my preferences to exclude them.

bananas. and cranberry?
The test graphs have 2 bars.  The lighter colored bar, IgG, is the (where I have some positive readings) which are "gut" and the darker colored bar, IgE, (where I *thankfully* don't have positive results) is the "antiflaxis."  Essentially this means the darker colored bars are what people call allergies and have symptoms where they can die, and the lighter colored bars are the ones that everyone thinks are not serious since you can't die (you just wish you could) or worse, it's all in your head.

She reminded me that I had coffee and dairy the night before my test, so I thought it was interesting that "whey" was off the charts but coffee was not.  Although I'm not allergic to coffee, I'm supposed to limit my coffee consumption due to its inflammatoryory properties.

Goat milk and cane sugar
I'm still a little confused because she pointed out that I had a response (within the 0 to 1 column) to the goat milk and shouldn't consume it, but when we talked about other items to which I had similar responses, she thought I should just try them after eating clean for a month.  Hmm.

Another student, C, was present for the appointment, and he was actually the one who did my treatment today.  It was weird to get a Castor oil massage treatment for my shoulder from a guy.  He noted that the pectoral muscles tend to contract when we spend a lot of time hunched in front of a computer and they talked some about ergonomics.  They suggested I be aware of balancing both sides, like if I am leaning to one side, then lean to the other, or carry things on both sides.

They also did "blocking" which was not at all what I thought it would be.  It is a way to gently realign since I'm lopsided.  With me laying face down on the table, he picked up my feet and moved my legs to different positions, then put my feet back down.  Then they put rolled up towels under each leg; on the right, it was closer to my hip and on the left, it was closer to my knee.  The towels stayed in that position until after the massage therapy was complete.

K reminded me to schedule the appointment with the "chiropractor" they recommended.  I won't be able to go back to Dr. H (I only saw Dr. H on the way out) for 3 weeks, so I may be able to fit another appointment in--we'll see.  I felt very good when I left but found that I was having some additional pain within an hour, maybe a residue of yesterday's breakfast.  I should mention that my upper lip has been numb since sometime yesterday.  This happens occassionally and when it first happened, several non-medical people thought it was an allergy thing but the doctors in my life at the time said no.  I wonder...

Pecans and carrots.
Now that I've been wondering for a while, I wonder if it's the oats.  After reviewing my results with my husband and talking about the confusing conversation with the student, I think I need to:
  • 1. talk to the doctor (in 3 weeks!)
  • 2. find an allergist or nutritionist to make sure I'm getting what I need in my diet
  • 3. cut out everything that shows any bars in the graphs (I'm not even sure that's possible)
  • 4. get another allergy test done (pay for another blood test), maybe in the next year (since the tests are somewhat not accurate, as evidenced by the wheat and egg graphs conflicting with my August test).  *big sigh*
He is really upset that I am saying that my life sucks, fuck my life, and crying and stuff.  Well, I'm fucking pissed that my health sucks so much and I'm so tired of my body betraying me.  Yeah, I know my life rocks in some ways, but I'm in pain, I've been in pain for the majority of 2 days, I can barely walk right now because of it, and I have to go throw out half of my food.  AGAIN.  So, yeah, I think at least part of my life sucks a little.  I know, at least I have food to throw out, at least I'm finding out what's been wrong with me for years now, blah blah blah.  Anyway, FML. Or at least my health.  I'll work on the gratitude tomorrow.

Armadillo Grill (again)

I was invited to lunch (on the boss) with a group, and we went to Armadillo Grill.  It has that sports bar vibe (they were showing horse races in the bar area today) but the food is better than sports bars.  There is still not much I can eat (sports bars and buffets--not my friends, I'm telling you) but they usually have some variety of salmon in parchment on their specials.

Today's special was with wild rice and veggies and a sauce.  My version was with a lemon butter sauce, white rice and seasoned veggies.  It was very good and I ate it all.  Seasoning makes me nervous, and the rice was not all that white so I wonder if there was broth I should be nervous about (or maybe it was the lighting), but it tasted good and I was already having pain.  Grr, pain, grr.  Their blackberry jasmine unsweetened green ice tea is yum.  There were a couple desserts ordered for everyone to share.  Everyone but me.  sigh.

I got back to the office, and the person who is most offended by my dietary restrictions (yes, you read that right, my diet totally inconveniences him) left me some bottle caps or whatever that candy is called.  Although the ingredients don't list anything I'm allergic to, it lists 3 or 4 artificial colors, as well as some questionable what is that stuff ingredients.  Oh, yeah, I don't LIKE gummy type candy, with few exceptions.  So I had to explain (when he asked) that I don't like that type of candy and that would actually be somewhat important, nearly as much as the ingredients.  I'm a terrible person.  And the worst dinner guest ever.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wildflower Bread Company

The ladies in the office invited me to lunch, and the birthday girl chose Wildflower Bread Company.  I have looked at their menu and did not find anything readily okay for me to eat, besides several vegetarian soups that may or may not be served the day I go.  I decided to do more homework and found that I can have a few things:
  • Serrano grape dressing (all other dressings contain at least soybean oil)
  • Sante Fe Pepper Soup
  • Vegetarian Black Bean Soup
  • Vegetarian Chili
  • Vegetarian Lentil
  • Salmon Caesar (kind of: it would only be salmon, lettuce and capers; no mushrooms, no croutons or bread, no dressing or cheese)
  • Wildflower Salad (no dressing or bread)
  • Dinner Balsamic Salad (no dressing or bread)  
I decided I could get the pick two if they had a soup I can eat with the wildflower salad, or I could get one of the salads and add salmon.  (The chicken is NOT safe.)  When we arrived, I noticed a soup listed that I had not seen so I found the manager and asked if I could see the ingredient list.  He immediately took me to the counter and found it for me--and the Vegetarian Masala Tomato Lentil (dairy free, gluten free, vegan) with no bread is safe for me.  I had the soup and wildflower salad with the serrano grape dressing and a green ice tea.  The salad was fine, the dressing was good, and the soup was very good.

When I refilled my ice tea, I found the manager and thanked him for his help.  (Holding my award) I'd like to thank Allergic Girl for teaching me to find the manager to ask food issue questions, and the manager for being so helpful when interrupted...

Extension trial update: Month 8, Part 1

While I was traveling for work, I received several calls from my new care coordinator, "B", for the extension drug trial in which I am participating.  He told me the window for my visit with Dr. G and getting my blood work done, etc.  I told him a couple of days to try to schedule with the doctor and Sonora, and told him that Wednesday did not work.  He scheduled my appointment on Wednesday.  I had forgotten to put my appointment with Dr. H on my calendar, so it was good that he didn't schedule that day, but I feel that he was not listening.

There were a couple more calls to confirm.  I was confused that I was seeing this doctor since I usually see Dr. M quarterly when he runs through the tests with me, but I didn't think I was seeing Dr. G during the extension trial.  B confirmed that I was seeing Dr. G.

Although my appointment was at 9 so I thought I wouldn't get much work done, I decided to go into the office before going to Dr. G's office, and it was a good thing.  B called to let me know that he was running late because his patient was running late, and asked me to come a little later.  I arrived and he seemed unorganized, unsure what he was doing with the binder, and I think he was still working with the other patient as well.

He found his checklist in the binder and asked some indecipherable question about getting my labs done.  I thought we were going to Sonora next, but he didn't schedule it.  I was shocked: he knew (and said again) that I was a "hard stick" (as he called me) but he didn't schedule it.  He thought maybe we could go back to Hope and someone could do it, but he didn't have any confidence in his ability since my previous coordinator (who he indicated was good) was unable to do it.  I asked if we could do a walk-in at Sonora instead of scheduling but he, well, first, didn't realize that I don't pay for it, they do, and second, didn't know what he was supposed to take for billing.  (I mentioned that they billed me last time and they aren't supposed to.)

Dr. G took me to a room for some simple (lame) questions, but he had to leave the room to find B and I heard the doctor kind of letting B have it--he didn't provide the right pages for the notes, he didn't mark the pages the doctor was supposed to fill out, he didn't fill in the part he was supposed to fill in...

B was apologetic for "inconveniencing" me, as if I'm not inconvenienced EVERY MONTH by these appointments or even EVERY DAY by having MS.  I'm really mad at myself for being so damn polite about it.  He has NO fucking clue how much of an "inconvenience" it is that I have to go back tomorrow--he'll schedule this "first thing in the morning" so that I'm still in my "window" for the visit.  My choice was go back today (when am I going to work?) or go after 7 am tomorrow. 

I took an hour out of my workday to go today.  Tomorrow, I have to be in Tempe for Dr. H by 9:30, and will probably be out of the office for 2 or 3 hours.  I promised to be on a conference call at 9 so I was hoping to be parked in the garage for the doctor's office by then.   Since I have class tonight, I'll be getting home around 10 and then back up super-early to go to this appointment he scheduled (not at Sonora, at the research center, so we'll see if I end up at Sonora anyway).  My drive for the day will be "east California" to North Phoenix to Tempe to Arcadia to "east California."  That's not an inconvenience--it's a punishment.

I don't think it's unreasonable that I'm totally furious about this, but maybe I'm overreacting since I barely got any sleep last night either.   I've been having a LOT of trouble with my laptop lately not being able to load webpages, although sometimes some work fine some of the time.  It took me a half an hour to complete my Amazon order which included a medication/supplement I take and the attachment for my Foodsaver.  I was frustrated and a little angry that I couldn't get any real help (and my PC is fucked too) and I can't figure out how to fix it.  (Although my IT guy gave me some ideas today, so we'll see if I can fix it "on my own.")  I have so little productive time that it is really frustrating to be left to deal with things I don't understand because I haven't been left (or allowed?) to deal with them before.  Grrr.

I got some energy around 10 (he was already asleep!) so I worked on stuff I needed to get done but keep putting off because I have no energy by the end of the day--I washed and dried all the mason jars, cleaned the kitchen, did some laundry--you know, the exciting stuff.  When I went to bed it was nearly midnight.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The last days of Ptolemy Grey

I'm a fan of Walter Mosley writing so I may be biased but I really liked this book. I listened to it almost constantly when I was in my car. Mr. Grey's battle with dementia is described with such vivid detail of his earlier memories and his battle to live life on his terms. It was engaging. The characters are amazing. This is definitely worth reading.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Worst dinner guest ever

After bowling (terribly), we went to Cafe Zamora in Avondale.  I was there once before, when I was just learning about my diet restrictions.  So today, I asked about the chips; the first girl left to check and never came back and the second girl said that they make their own chips and fry them separately.  So I had some chips and their awesome garlicky salsa.  Then I had a 3 taco plate--one each, chicken, fish, and shrimp--with rice and beans, no cheese on the beans or chicken taco.  It was excellent and I had enough left for another meal.  We also took some chips and salsa to go.

I think it's funny, but I'm only 3 of the 5!

Later, we went to our friend's house to watch the Superbowl.  I realize that I'm a horrible dinner guest now, but I ate a big lunch, had dinner waiting at home if needed, and had chips and salsa to munch on.  Plus, they like me!  She made posole and went through the ingredients with me.  The only questionable ingredient was the organic chicken broth, which contained yeast extract.  After all my research, I still don't know if I can or cannot have that.  So I thought I wouldn't have any, but later I gave in.  Because I love posole.  My husband doesn't, but I (heart) posole.  And it was good.  And I had some of the chips and salsa from Zamora's.

I realize that I my dietary restrictions make some people uncomfortable and make some people curious.  I know some people want to help and some people want to ignore the issue.   I know that it's not so simple as eliminating one thing from the menu.  I realize that I am the worst dinner guest ever.  But it's not impossible to feed "one of us" a tasty meal, and if we can't eat what you have, be graceful like my friend when I thought I wouldn't eat the posole, and don't make a big deal about it.  There's always next time.  There is a next time, right?  And an Amazon wishlist...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Addicted to Pinterest

According to this, I'm happy, elegant, peaceful and patient.

Friday, February 3, 2012


I got one and can't wait to use it for freezer meals and salad in a jar!