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



Friday, June 27, 2014

They're back!

My girl S moved with her family to Chicago and I've missed her but they moved back and I'm so excited. Even if we do live on opposite ends of the valley and don't hang out nearly enough.
Her husband wanted to come out to our end of town to look at a trailer so they made dinner plans with us. They came by the house and then we headed to Arriba. I took my own chips. It's not my first rodeo, ya know.

They were having happy hour margaritas but I had to get the skinny so it doesn't make me sick. It was worth it!

I had fajitas. Modified of course.

Did I mention how thrilled I am to have S back in town?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Almost done

I had my final visit with the eye doctor who did my surgery.
 
My primary concerns at this point were that I can see a stitch in the corner of my eye, I still have a little inflammation, and my eyelashes point down.
 
My last questions were if I can wear makeup, go swimming, stop wearing gel and an eye mask at night, and if I will be able to wear contacts again.
 
Yes, as soon as that last inflammation is gone, I can wear makeup. I can start using an eyelash curler since my eyelashes point down (and that won't change--boo.)
 
He tried taking the stitches out that aren't dissolving but they are flaking apart so I have to use a hot compress and wait for them to come out.
Not identical but so much better. (post-curling)
For the most part, he says, yes, I can do all those things. Except the contacts--he said wait until the cooler weather in the fall and then see my normal eye doctor to decide. They may have me do a trial period before making a final decision and he didn't want me to do it during the summer as that could set me up for failure. Hmm.
 
I'm grateful that things are better, that I can see, but I can't gloss over this...
 
It totally f-ing sucks that I have to go through two years of waiting and dealing with the effects of Graves disease and still have to look at myself. EVERY. DAMN. DAY. For the rest of my life, and see what these diseases have dealt me. Little things that maybe other people won't notice but will always be issues for me. The permanence is disheartening.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Too much food

It never (almost never?) happens to me. Most places modify so many things right off my plate that I get less food than I pay for. A few places give me enough (of the right types of) food to feel full and satisfied.

I've liked my few visits to Flower Child near my office. It doesn't look like a lot of did but it's a good combination of protein and veggies and sweet potato so it usually works for me. (Some days, I'm extra hungry. I don't know why. It just happens that I'm starving all day.)

Today I tried the soup, a bean and vegetable with a tomato base. I had the chicken with 2 sides instead of 3. Wow.
Flower Child lunch
The soup is filling. I took part of my plate to go. I can't even remember the last time I did that. Every place people usually end up with leftovers are the places that give ask the filler did I can't have. So I eat ask my food and leave empty handed.

I can't believe I'm writing about something so mundane. But there it is. My life. Reduced to something everyone takes for granted and I don't experience anymore.

I have leftovers!

thought it was cute but not so sure...
For dinner, I made zucchini noodles (zoodles) using my spiralizer with marinara chicken and green beans. The chicken was too shredded for this dish so I wasn't thrilled but it was alright.

And leftovers for lunch...

Monday, June 23, 2014

TSH is good

I went to the endocrinologist. He says TSH is on the high end. It looks like the low end to me but I guess it's backwards. Anyway it is at the range the doctor to see for patients with Graves disease. I kind of forget that he evaluates everything about my thyroid in relation to the Graves disease.

I don't have to go back in for six months. I'm not sure if that is good or bad...

Since I was up that way and hadn't thought to make lunch plans with one of my old work buddies, I went to Wokbox. I've already interrogated the owner so I know what I can have.
curry

Friday, June 20, 2014

Tree sabotage

Um, the tree tried to keep me from leaving work today. Mick is out of town on his Alaskan fishing trip so I left work a little earlier than I would have. My boss had left about ten minutes earlier. But I didn't get to leave because this...
Can't leave!
So I let the guys who were still there know. One was heading to a game so he had friends pick him up. The other lives about as far away as I do but in the opposite direction. I started calling tree removal services but there aren't many that will come out at 5:30 on a Friday. I found one on the fifth call.

In the meantime, the other guy was calling the boss, who wanted to know if we had people to pick us up. The issues (off the top of my head) with this short-sighted (but common suggestion apparently) is that I would not have my car for the weekend, I would have to have someone drive me all the way home to let out the dogs so I couldn't just go stay with someone nearby, and I would have no way to get to work on Monday. Someone asked me if I could just go to a bar nearby. One, the closest business is a half mile away so the nearest bar is probably about 3/4 mile away. And it is HOT out there. Second, what kind of plan is that? I can't stay at the bar until Monday. I have no one to let the dogs out. The bar will close and kick me out. Great sentiment but terrible plan.

So we waited and they came and took the tree and the boss came and paid for it and I went home and let my poor pups out.
Thanks guys!
It was late. I was hungry. I made this quickie dinner. It wasn't great but the chicken salad and the Kettle Crinkle Chips I ate with it were good. I wouldn't buy the pupusas again though. And I have some left that I kind of need to eat. Sigh.
What I ate

What I wore

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Gnocci

With Mick gone fishing, I'm just eating whatever.

So tonight was gnocchi with vegan Alfredo. The gluten free gnocchi is available at Sprouts or Frys; I got the sauce at Sprouts but I saw it in a "normal" grocery--I don't recall which one.

It was very rich. It definitely needs the veggies to break up the thick gnocci and the rich Alfredo. Yummy.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Must have been a rough weekend

I have been to the toilet three times already today. No wonder I felt so meh yesterday. I'm trying to think of what I ate. Was it the point of gluten free cookies and cream ice cream? The beef tacos? The blueberry coconut milk yogurt? The Friday night beverage of pineapple coconut juice with 1800 coconut tequila? The waffles, nectarines and sausage? The orange juice?

Could it be, as my naturopathic doctors suggest, stress related? Now that I've decided not to blog about people, it may seem that I have no stress, but in reality, I still hate people. I hate the stupid things they do, the way they don't own up to it, the excuses, trying to cover it up.

I hate that I am supposedly intimidating. That being intimidated by me is not viewed as a ploy, a deception, a manipulation.

I hate this game. The what is wrong with me game. It's tiring. Unending. Ridiculous.

Maybe it's time to detox. That might work on the food issues but not as likely on the people issues.
If only.
I've made comments to my hubby about the time he will be gone and I'll be home alone for 5 days. Yeah, I probably shouldn't let him in on how much I'm looking forward to my alone time. And it's not that I don't want him around obviously! It's complicated and probably beyond explanation here. The best I can do is say I have more control and less uncertainty. (In case you don't know me IRL, I should clarify this is not really related to my DH but some peripheral consequences of our life. Cryptic much?!)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Spiralizer

Check it out--I got it!
video
(Please ignore the mess and the fact I didn't realize I was being filmed.)

Here's the video I watched since it doesn't come with instructions:

It isn't the best quality but she talks about the different blades and is more informative than the other videos I watched.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Flower Child and groceries

The best new Fox restaurant is near my office--Flower Child. Many gluten-free options and a variety I can have! I did a 3 item plate with chicken. The three items are sweet potatoes, avocado beet salad, and garlicky greens. It was really, really good. The chicken is seasoned and cooked well and the sides are great.
Lunch!
I had a shopping trip also. It was mostly stuff I have had before and saw they had on sale. So these are my repeat offenders--things that are good enough to get again!



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Garden pasta

I'm getting stuff from the garden!

The harvest

The prep

The pasta dinner
Since I wasn't doing enough, I decided to thoroughly wear myself out and use the rest of the pork to make breakfast sausages from Food for Humans (nomnompaleo) and they were good.
Freeze and reheat!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cauliflower and kohlrabi

Since I wasn't home long enough to cook this weekend, I chose to go to lunch today.
First I went to pick up my increased Provigil (Modifinal) prescription (I take for MS fatigue.) As I feared, my price essentially doubled. Yay.
To make up for it (HAHA) I stopped at the bank next to deposit my $50 check I get for the drug trial visit. Big money baby, big money!
When I got to Flower Child, I asked about some menu items and decide to do almost the same as last time. I had the curry cauliflower instead of the veggies. It was good but I realized I should probably have more green on my plate so I might try the spinach and kale next time.
Flower Child Lunch
For dinner, I decided to make the sale chicken I bought on Friday from Whole Foods. I used a Namaste brands Homestyle breading and "fried" it in a little oil in my cast iron skillet, then baked it to get it cooked all the way through without over-frying.
The oven was already on because I was trying this kohlrabi sweet potato recipe (using parsley instead of rosemary so I didn't have to go back out to the garden in the dark.) I'm not sure if I had let my kohlrabi (from my garden) sit too long on the counter but they did turn out good for the most part. A few pieces seemed good but mostly....not. The sweet potatoes were awesome though. I also did leftover veggies. Mick liked it all except the kohlrabi.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Weekends wear me out

Oh, weekend. Where have you gone? Why can't there be more of you? Please be fatter.
Oh, ahem, excuse me. I'm just going to have a little breakfast. I mean, a HUGE breakfast. I love my waffles. My funny husband Mick says they are good but more filling than you would expect. Yeah, maybe because they are made with almond flour. No one is making you eat that many...
waffle, nectarine, blueberries, maple syrup, BACON, coffee and OJ
I made the bacon in the oven and it came out good but there's a short time between soft and very crispy. So we have very crispy bacon.
So the dogs were out of food. That means a Costco trip. On a Saturday. Boo.

Then we went to Kohl's to find a suit and things for Mick. Success! With a $10 coupon and a 30% coupon, it wasn't as bad as expected. Although finding exactly what was wanted... But I got a new, bigger purse so I can carry the things I need without rearranging my bag every time I have to get or put away my sunglasses or purse or wallet. And it was on clearance because it was yellow. The same purse in a neutral color was "on sale" for $75!

Sunday, we went to the in-laws for a swim party. I can't do any of that with my eye still wonky but we did let Teka play in the pool with the kids. My FIL made me a couple of burger patties that I ate with ketchup and plain Ruffles. I also had a cookie from my own stash.
This is how I feel!
After returning the dogs to our house, we met a friend at Kona Grill for a drink and dinner. We had some stuff to talk about. I had a revelation...on accident.
Hibiscus margarita
But first I was served this beautiful meal on a couple of banana leaves. Um, is that an issue for someone with a banana allergy? Well, I pulled them off the plate right away and ate the meal. I don't know if that was a terrible idea or not. I was hungry and too tired to fight.
Swordfish with a fruit (no banana) salsa, rice and green beans.
So as we were talking with our friend, I commented on how I had made choices with my career based on the uncertainty of how MS will affect me during my working years. That I can't have my own business or be a partner because, if something is going to happen, it may be sudden, without warning, and I won't know how long it will last, or if it will even be temporary.

I have not been able to pursue all the opportunities I could have because of my limitations with energy as well as the larger than normal amount of time I need out of the office for various medical and related appointments. Therefore, I cannot commit the time to work that is necessary for some of those opportunities I have had to let pass me by.

I didn't think it was a big deal at the time but Mick told me that it sounded like I "choked up" and got emotional even saying something about it. And then I felt very emotional that I've been compromised by this fucking disease. I'm surprised I said something to this friend to start with. I mean, we're friends but it's not something we talk about. Although I don't really talk much about it anyway. What am I going to say? It's just worrying about things I can't control. It's just complaining about symptoms that I have all the time in some form or another that probably won't ever completely go away, if at all. What's the damn point? Sometimes it's more frustrating trying to explain myself than to just "be fine."

As much as MS Warriors like to say that "I have MS; MS doesn't have me," I think MS gets the upper hand way too much.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Raise your hand if you love grocery shopping

I needed almond milk and Whole Foods had some one day sales do I made my list and went after work.
What I wore to work
I recently read on somewhere about tips to save money at Whole Paycheck, most importantly,  to pick up the flyer in store for coupons. I did find a few coupons that were worth using!
I have so many veggies coming up in the garden that I skipped the produce section. I asked the meat counter guy about the fish special, a paiche which he said was in between the flavor and texture of a whitefish and other strong fish. I got some and some chicken breasts.

My finds included the elusive but occasional Way Better chili chips. My Earth Balance mayo and So Delicious coconut milk creamer were on sale. I used coupons for a Kit's Organic "brownie" bar, Pacific baked beans, and some So Delicious Almond Milk ice cream bars. They had a different Food for Life bread (than Sprouts) that doesn't say egg-free on it but doesn't have eggs; it is also gluten-free, yeast-free, and all that good stuff. They no longer have the oatmeal bars I was getting (so sad!) but they had these Simple Squares I will try. And today's big find: RAMEN! Okay, it's not like your ramen since there isn't a seasoning packet (actually, they had those but I couldn't have the seasoning so....) but it is 5 "squares" of ramen noodles made with rice instead of wheat. I'm going to make ramen. I'm going to make ramen. I'm going to sing this while I make my ramen. I'm going to make ramen...
And Buckwheat "frosted" flakes in the back!
Alrighty, are you tired yet? What?! We've worked all day, we went to Whole Foods and read a hundred labels...let's keep going.
Trader Joe's is next door, so I went there next before heading home. Trader Joe's can be hit-and-miss but certain things are on my list there: quick cook rice, rice tortillas (the Food for Life ones at Sprouts are pretty similar but MIGHT be slightly better), some of the nuts, the coconut milk ice cream (the only strawberry version I have found!), unsweetened dried cherries, and that artichoke antipasta stuff.
I got Mick some "real" ice cream too...
Today, I also found coconut milk yogurt (blueberry and vanilla only), some tapenade, pitted kalamata olives, and some frozen leeks. Because who ever has fresh leeks when a recipe asks for them?
You're not exhausted yet, are you? Now, let's drive home. And make dinner. I made fish tacos using some guidance from Mark Bittman, How To Cook Everything, including the sauce. Then I mixed some cabbage and avocado for a "slaw." Mick didn't have that part; he used cheese instead. And some canned refried beans (these are Amy's brand; TJ's has some good ones too) on the side; I just added some salsa for more flavor. Mick doesn't really like fish tacos but the fish itself was very good.
paiche tacos

Monitoring part 3 of 3

I went to the research office and waited until L called me to see where I was; I was supposed to be at Dr. G's office. Oops. So I walked over.

This was my visit to fill out the paperwork with questions about the last 3 months, the last 7 days, and today. She took my blood and vitals and I peed in a cup.

Dr. G did a quick exam. He always seems to want me to say how great I'm doing on the trial, and by his standards, I am. I haven't had a (clinically defined) excaerbation. However, I'm not better or the same as when I started in my opinion. Oh well, I guess it could be worse. Or better!

I did "complain" of ongoing fatigue. I take 100mg of generic Provigil (Modafinal) which is basically a half dose. He strongly suggested that I was taking too low a dose and wrote a prescription for an increase to 200 mg. I guess it's worth a try. I hate relying on medication but I also feel I shouldn't make things harder for myself than necessary...

14. You hope the test of touching your nose and the doctor’s finger has some medical relevance, and isn't just a practical joke.

touching your nose
http://www.healthline.com/health/multiple-sclerosis/would-understand

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Squash

I love that I'm getting some decent veggies from the garden.

squash and peppers sauteed with garlic and parsley
Salmon and black refried beans

My dog is a mess. Like me.

Teka had the large bump on her head removed a week ago and she tore her stitches out last night. I called the vet to see if I had to take her in and they had me send a photo.
pobrecito!
The good news is she doesn't have to go back and have them redone. The bad news is it looks like that.
I'm using some of my scar cream on it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Chili dog

I went to delux with a coworker. He seemed a little fascinated with my questions to the waitress and my order. He order gazpacho because I did but I'm not sure he liked it. Cold veggie soup isn't for everyone. But it is for me--I love it! Then a bunless burger makes it a complete lunch.

At home, for dinner I had some leftover chili so I made a chili dog. Those are roasted radishes next to the sauteed squash--all the veggies are from the garden.
Chili dog. Like totally.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Flower Child

A coworker sent me an email about a new restaurant that opened near our office. It is owned by the same group as True Food, which I love. So I put it on my list.
 
Flower Child is cute and kinda loud. If the weather was cooler, the outside seating would have a lot of appeal. When youenter,  you order and pay, and are assigned a table. There is also a take out line.
While I waited in line, I was offered a sample of the seasonal lemonade, cucumber mint. They use real sugar, people. It is good.
 
They were very busy and the hostess let people on front of me know they would have a little wait for a table and to place their order. She asked if I would want to sit at the bar which was fine so she pulled me out of line and brought me to a cashier. I felt like I was cutting! So naughty!
 
The cashier was good with my questions. I had narrowed it down so she didn't have to check on everything. I decided on a mix and match.
 
The chicken is marinated in grapeseed oil, herbs and garlic. The chicken was very good.
 
She checked that the bok choy and sweet potato specifically did not have soy in the chili glaze and it, like the other items, did not. The sweet potatoes are fantastic.
 
The roasted vegetables are broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. I'm not a huge fan of cooked carrots but these black, fry shaped carrots were the best I've had. The rest was normal rotated veggies.
The beet, avocado, and citrus had a little crunchy lettuce greens mixed in. I really liked the combination of the golden beets and avocado.
Flower Child lunch
Overall it was a good meal. I think it could be less expensive for the amount of food (or more food for the price) but I would definitely come here again to try more items.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Reasons I can't sleep--harvesting corn edition

Last year, we had a massive amount of corn and the majority was harvested while I was at work. And for that, I am truly grateful. I can not overstate how grateful. I'd rather clean raw chicken--one of those tasks I do because I like to eat, but seriously, it's so gross. I need a sous chef. 
 
I have to digress a moment here (like I wasn't already!) and say, why does my phone suggest chicken-easy when I swipe the word chicken? What is chicken-easy? Is it a late night club for chickens? Is the bloggess' metal chicken Beyonce there?
thebloggess via pinterest
Anyhoo...
 
Mick and his dad just picked the corn and Mick asked me to shuck it. I was kind of avoiding it because we had some issues with those green worm things last year but...
 
Our harvest was small. And the corn is small. And at least a third had the tale tell sign of worm damage. Some were dead--we did such a terrible job growing corn that we couldn't even keep the worms alive. The only live green worm I saw was buried in. (top cob in photo) And there was a giant mauve worm. (in between cobs in photo) And then smaller pink worms near the tops of some cobs. (bottom cob in photo)
 
Apparently my phone does not like the word worm. It keeps changing it or offering suggestions for anything else. I hear ya but that's what they are, okay?
 
I took a photo for your viewing pleasure. We can have insomnia together.
I did not keep these...