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The Box

Monday, June 17, 2013

I could not concentrate at work this afternoon. BF called to tell me a box had arrived. Puzzled. I have not ordered anything, did not expect anything. Then he read the name and return address.

My heart stopped and I almost reached for my nebulizer. My brain stopped thinking and it was as if all of my thoughts were in a mental windstorm, blown about and impossible to connect.

The box is from Mother. She sent me to live with my dad at the end of 7th grade and, other than a wonderful surprise of seeing her at my high school graduation, we've had no contact in about 40 years.

Despite the canyon she put between I us, I have always yearned for things to be different. The broken relationship, the cycle of abuse and neglect have never changed that.

Is there a note? What could it be?

I have not looked through all of the contents, so there could be a note, but it does not appear likely. The box is stuffed with hundreds of postcards. Last fall, my eldest younger sister contacted me through FB, said Mother asked if I still collected postcards and wanted my address. I answered affirmatively though I did not expect anything to come of it.

I am amazed that she remembered I collected postcards in grade school and am floored to receive this treasure. The postcards belonged to gramma (yes, that's how she wrote it). Some were her dad's. Now I know what my grandfather's handwriting looks like as well as my great grandfather's. The cards are from exciting familiar and unfamiliar places. Some have writing I can read, some are blank and some are faded beyond legibility. I've found two relatives I never knew existed!

I will send a card, but only after I compose, discard and recompose until I achieve just the right words and tone. Is this the last time I get to send her a card that she might actually read? Is it a door ajar for a bittersweet final attempt at healing our long-severed relationship? As near as I can guess, she is in her late 70s and, before my aunt died, she said Mother was in failing health. I have to assume it's the smoking because she smoked even before I was born and, to my knowledge, never quit.

Even if all I have is this tangible legacy handed down through generations, I am humbly grateful.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATLADY52 6/18/2013 4:36PM

    emoticon Hoping you can connect with your mom. emoticon

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BYEFATNANNY 6/18/2013 3:33PM

    This is thrilling news. It was a lovely thought no matter the outcome. Best wishes. emoticon

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CMRAND54 6/18/2013 10:32AM

    What a wonderful thing for your mother to send you. I hope you can reach some healing with her.


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_RAMONA 6/17/2013 11:28PM


I can't imagine...


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DESERTDREAMERS 6/17/2013 10:09PM

    Wow, what a blast from your past!

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AMDODSON12 6/17/2013 9:55PM

    I am glad that you learned of "New" family members. It is great to be able to touch a piece of your history.

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Jack, KBs and Paleo

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Late yesterday, I learned that my eldest cousin is back in the VA hospital. He has prostate cancer, the same thing that killed my dad. The latest news is that he now also has T-cell leukemia. I am devastated. Please pray for Jack, Norma and the caregivers.

I actually lifted my KBs for a few minutes today. Back to beginner status since I have not been doing anything for so long. It felt good. I am following the advice I keep reading about starting small, doing what is do-able.

BF made a fantastic salad for my lunch today. Chicken, bacon, kale, spinach, red bell pepper and broccoli slaw. I ate half of it for lunch and the rest at dinner. Paleo works for me and it will work even better as I make better choices (still learning).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIMBERLY19732 6/13/2013 10:07AM


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CAROL_31649731 6/9/2013 3:22PM

    Praying for your family . . . and interested in following your progress with the Paleo diet. I'm going check into it! emoticon Carol

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_RAMONA 6/7/2013 12:31PM

    I'm so sorry to hear about our cousin! Sort of makes everything else seem even more relevant doesn't it?

Prayer for you all!

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ULEWIJ 6/7/2013 12:06AM

    Sorry for your cousin :(

Yay for the Paleo...it's really amazing how much better it makes you feel right? I'm really losing my taste for any kind of processed foods

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CATLADY52 6/6/2013 5:54PM

    Sorry to hear about your cousin. I hope he is getting the best treatment available. emoticon

emoticon for getting the KBs started again. emoticon All you need is to try it out!
emoticon emoticon

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KELLIEBEAN 6/6/2013 8:29AM

    I'm sorry about what your family is going through. They are in my prayers.

You keep taking care of yourself! That salad sounds really good!

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Cat Treats II - But Seriously! (A Shout Out to _Ramona)

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

I told several people my hilarious and true story about eating cat treats last night (see my previous blog if you missed it). A coworker said "meow" as she walked past my desk and said she meant to pick up catnip for me on her lunch hour. BF asked me this evening if I wanted wet cat food on my salad. It was fun! I have not laughed that hard or that often in a very long time.

In a quiet moment, though, I thought about it. I suppose eating a few cat treats and not realizing I've done so until the taste buds' message to the brain told me those were not peanuts in my mouth is the ultimate example of mindless eating. Really?! I thought I had gotten past that! Introspective thought on this point will continue...(Thanks, SP! Before SP, I never knew of the concept of mindless eating.)

I recently started making more Paleo choices and have been amazed at the differences some rather small choices have made. One of my Sparkfriends is _Ramona and she is blazing a wonderful Paleo path and has been generous in sharing her knowledge and experiences. Her comment about my cat treat experience was truly mind-blowing. She said her pets are on a Paleo diet. It never occurred to me to do that with my cats, but, in a broader sense, it sure makes sense.

That is just one small example of _Ramona's contributions to my SP journey. She has shared from her heart, her experiences and her knowledge - she embodies the spirit of SparkPeople. It is not a hyperbolic statement when I refer to my "SparkFamily". My heart is full. (My tummy is also full - I had a glorious salad for dinner: kale, spinach, broccoli slaw, chicken and bacon.) My taste buds are satisfied and have (mostly) forgotten the cat treats.

emoticon Thank you, SparkFamily!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_RAMONA 6/7/2013 12:40PM

    One of the commentors below reminded me that my DD used to eat cat kibble if she could get her tiny little hands on it... she thought it quite the treat, LOL!

You know I was teasing about the worst thing about the kibble was that it is not paleo, right?

Seriously though, I saw similar changes in the cats when we started buying kibble that was closer to waht the eat naturally with no grain fillers... drop in weight, more active and alert, less water drinking (I have one cat that I think was heading for diabetes), MUCH better fur quality, no more bad breath, eating less... doesn't really surprise me. I've found some recipes for homemade cat food, and when I'm not so busy trying to feed us (HA!), I'll try my hand at that, too, lol.

Kepp goin' my friend... you're onthe right track for yourself and doing well.

(oh... and don't build that pedestal too high... my balance isn't any better than yours... though Paleo HAS improved THAT, too!)

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GRAMMAP1 6/5/2013 11:12PM

    That is cute..and funny. That hasn't happened (yet) to this cat lover, but when it does, I will not be able to say, "I pioneered the process." lol emoticon

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63KEEPONGOING 6/5/2013 9:21PM

  So funny. Thank you for sharing. emoticon

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    Sometimes when coworkers get "catty", we offer to set out the bowl of Meow Mix emoticon

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How Many Calories Do Taste-tations (Cat Treats) Have?!

Monday, June 03, 2013

I returned to my mostly Paleo diet today after being miserable the last few days. I had all kinds of digestive issues and nearly left my job on Saturday. I was irritable and moody. I had decided I would save money by eating what I have in the house (a year's worth of cereal, months of beans, rice, lentils).

The financial situation is not improving. Thanks to some financial abuse, it's actually worse this month than it was before. But I need to take care of myself in some ways! My mental acuity was back today and that is confirmation that I am doing the right thing. The digestive issues are history.

I was so busy today, I forgot to eat an apple or banana for an afternoon snack. I was starving when I got home. I headed for a handful of peanuts (no almonds in the house), unscrewed the jar and threw a small handful in my mouth and discovered they were the oddest peanuts ever.

My two cats love Taste-tation cat treats. I do not.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TUDAFD 6/5/2013 3:28PM

    One of my cousins used to love doggie treats better than cookies! emoticon

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GAYLE-G-63 6/5/2013 10:03AM

    We all have those days...

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FITANDFIFTY2 6/5/2013 12:37AM

    Oh my goodness,, what a taste that must have been !! Sorry!!

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ALICIA214 6/5/2013 12:31AM


I have couple of friends who snacked on dog food thinking it was meat loaf, probably looked good after a couple of beer....


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LJCANNON 6/4/2013 2:10PM

    emoticon According to the package that I looked at, they are about 2 Calories apiece. About like a Tic Tac, I guess? I didn't find any of them that were Paleo approved though, LOL!!

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CATLADY52 6/4/2013 2:00PM

    Not recommended for repeated use by humans!?! emoticon I think you might find getting the almonds gives you better results.

(Either that or get used to the taste of Taste-taions.) emoticon

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CMRAND54 6/4/2013 1:44PM

    Oh wow! I never tried cat treats, although my son used to eat dried cat food out of the cat's bowls while the cats were on the high chair eating his Cheerios. I don't think it hurt him in the long run.

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*RENEAT* 6/4/2013 1:05PM

    My son used to sneak the cat's dry food all the time when he was small... not my personal choice! I hear your stress and frustration - there is never enough money to go around these days but it sounds like you still have your sense of humor which is definitely a priceless commodity! Hang in there!

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HFAYE81 6/4/2013 12:12PM

    emoticon Oh my goodness!!!

I hope everything gets better for you. I know how it feels to be in a financial meltdown emoticon

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HEALTHY-SPARK 6/4/2013 9:35AM

    I'm glad to read that you weren't eating the cat-treats. :-)

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_LINDA 6/4/2013 1:51AM

    So glad you are feeling better! It has to be a priority to look after yourself above all others in your household. After all, you are the sole breadwinner. What would all the others do if you were too sick to work?? They need to be thankful to have that roof over their heads!
Cat treats for snacks, eww, did it at least have hairball control? ;)
emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Urk! Had a friend once that used to eat Milkbones - none of the others, he said Milkbones were the best.

Hope things get better for you soon emoticon

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_RAMONA 6/3/2013 10:58PM

    {{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}

Besides the taste, the worst thing about those cat treats is that they are likely not Paleo... cat food is notoriously FULL of grain fillers (our cats are so much healthier now that they, too, are on a Paleo diet).

Just breathe my friend (and put the cat treats on a different shelf than the people food), and take it one day at a time (I hear your frustration). Even though I know money is tight for you, one thing I would recommend, is to try and get a lot more fat into your diet... buy a large jar of coconut oil (do you have access to a Costco? They have a large jar of virgin oil for an amazing price) and add a few tbsp. of that to your day (I just eat off the spoon... 3-6 tbsp. a day). It will do miracles for your mood, your mental acuity, and really help to control your appetite. Keep fruit consumption low.

We are not all that different, you and I. I think a lot of your health/mood issues may be because of hormone imbalances, and the coconut oil really helps, as does keeping fruit consumption down. Paleo is not as easy a fix for everyone as it is for some. For others (like me), the macronutrients really need to be tweaked to eliminate cravings and to really bring the appetite down. For our family, we find eating Paleo is much cheaper because we actually eat A LOT less.

...and you know, eating the grains and legumes is not outside the realm of possibility. Sure it's not strict Paleo, but if you can work your way around to finding the time to prepare them a la the instructions according to Weston Price (you just need to neutralize phytic acid and other anti-nutrients), you can use up the food without disrupting the benefits of eating Paleo. Most Ancestral foodists don't eat grains and legumes because it's just easier. Here are some links you can look at:

Fear and Loathing at the Dinner Table

How to Soak Grains for Optimal Nutrition

Soaking Grains, Legumes, Nuts and Seeds

Reducing Phytic Acid in Grains and Legumes

Hang in there! You CAN do this! I'm glad to see that you are fighting for your place at the top of the list.


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ACIMPEGGY 6/3/2013 10:10PM

    So funny! Is it really true, dear friend? If so, I'm not sure if they'll help or harm the digestive issues!

Have a better day tomorrow...it's not a Monday.


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PEG2584 6/3/2013 10:08PM

    Thanks for the laugh! It really sounds like something I would do.

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A Salute and a Cart of Paleo Goodness

Sunday, June 02, 2013

I intended to walk today, but my foot is just too sore. It hurts behind the ball of the foot. It was hurting on the arch earlier.

Grocery shopping today was successful. I spent about what I expected to and have a fridge full of Paleo goodness. Yes, I am returning to it because I felt so much better eating that way. The financial pressures have not lessoned, so we will see how it goes.

While I was at Grocery Outlet, an older very thin black man came by with his daughter. He was wearing a ball cap that let the world know he is a WWII veteran. I thanked him for his service and told him I appreciated it. It matters not that I was not even alive back then. He was surprised and said I was welcome. After they proceeded down the aisle, I thought about our brief conversation. At his age, I am sure he grew up when white women would never have called him "Sir" as I did. It's sad.

I hope my comment in some small way made his day. Seeing him and having the courage to speak to him sure made mine. I am not sure why that was so emotional for me except that he may be the last WWII vet who crosses my path.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROL_31649731 6/9/2013 3:20PM

    Your foot pain does sound like the beginning of planter fasciitis. Especially upon waking in the morning, it would be a good idea to do stretches & massages (you could research specific ones on the internet) before it gets so bad you need to see a podiatrist. Sometimes you can nip it in the bud, so to speak, if you catch it early. And God bless you for having the courage to speak up for our veterans.

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WINNIE-POOH 6/3/2013 9:05PM

    God bless you. I know that made his day in so many ways. emoticon

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CATLADY52 6/3/2013 3:46PM

    They are slowly dying off. emoticon

Keep up with the Paleo thing for a month and tell us how it is going. emoticon

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RFJSJ50 6/3/2013 1:40PM

    It's the little things like that that people treasure in their hearts and remember forever. You are a good person!
I'm trying to get back to healthier eating also, but it's difficult! I'm craving sweets and drive-thru junk!
Hope your foot is soon better and you can get back to walking. Are you doing any strength exercises? You might want to check out the Chair Exercise Team here on Spark for times like this.

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MOVEITMARY 6/3/2013 12:36PM

    When I was traveling at Christmas I met a fellow in the airport, who every time a soldier would walk by he would jump up and shake theirr hand and thank them. It touched my heart.

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CMRAND54 6/3/2013 9:59AM

    You are such a sweetheart. My Dad was a WWII Veteran and he died this spring at 99 years old. There aren't too many of them left.

I'm glad you are sticking with the Paleo diet since it makes you feel good.

Is your foot pain planters fasciaitis? That really hurts. The doctor suggested I put ice on my arch when I'd been out walking. It seemed to help. Eventually it goes away.

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NONIE_C 6/2/2013 11:20PM

    This touched my heart, as you often do emoticon

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