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Stitches Out

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The last three mornings the sky has been mostly clear, but there have been some high thin clouds that catch the sun before it comes up, sort of like some sunsets when the same thing happens. It makes a nice sunrise with the really colorful clouds to start and then later some of the big clouds show up turning white on top to show you how big they are.

Today I got the stitches out of my vertical scar and a piece of tape over it to hold it together for as long as it lasts – the doctor said about a week. I got no tape the last time, so maybe I'm running out of skin. I told him that I was impressed because I didn’t see where he got all the skin to sew things back together and I thought he did good work. He surprised me by being really appreciative, but maybe I’m just a graceless clod. I didn’t expect him to take much notice.

We went down to Sam’s club and I looked for sausages but all they had was Jimmy Dean patties, with 24 costing $6.38, or 53 cents for two. That would turn our money raiser into a money loser because we usually get about $150 in tips, and the sausage alone would cost us $150. With the pancakes, syrup, butter, plates, napkins, propane, and silverware we would be in the hole even if the organizer gives us $100, so it’s Costco for the sausage.

TOPS is coming up, and then we have to lay out the trip north. Joanne, the BW’s youngest sister, wanted to visit us in Milwaukee, but lives in Cleveland. We could visit her, which solves her problem completely, get a large motel room in Niles or two rooms, and let her stay overnight there, or work out something with Louie. I recall it being a pretty long trip from Milwaukee to Mishawaka and Niles, so I need to look at all the distances and we’ll figure out what to do tonight.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALEXTHEHUNN 8/20/2010 3:47PM

    Hope your fundraiser and your healing both go well.


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MS.ELENI 8/19/2010 10:12PM

    My nose looks yucky but should heal in a few days. We had to go to a memorial service tonight and Bill wore a long sleeve shirt to hide all the blisters.
Your fund raiser sounds like a lot of work. Good luck on getting the stuff you need at a good price.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 8/19/2010 9:29PM

    It's nice that the doctor was appreciative. Maybe he doesn't run into many gracious pateints?

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MRDPOLING 8/19/2010 4:56PM

    I hear they are growing skin in laboratories now. Perhaps you could put in for a skin upgrade? emoticon

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Kiwanis Time

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Yesterday I got to our Kiwanis meeting a little before seven, and Vicky had set up a table in the restaurant for us. Her excuse was that a big meeting was scheduled for the room we normally use. I put the podium at one end of the table, and we had our meeting in the middle of their breakfast crowd, which wasn’t very large. I know we have been light this summer – some people working early hours and others on vacation all the time, so I counted and we only had eight members there. On the way out I looked into the room and counted ten people having their big meeting. I think we need to find another place to have our meetings.

After the meeting I took both cars to McBee’s for servicing, and the Camry needed a light bulb. The Stratus got an extra brake adjustment and cleaning for the rear brakes, and I scheduled Friday for a small leak in the valve cover seal.

Then I went to Nelson’s to inventory what we had and what we needed for the Triathlon breakfast on the 29th at the “Y”, figuring somewhere between three hundred and four hundred breakfasts. I left a message for Gene at the Community Center, telling him to get three more boxes of sausage for me (we only had 90 on hand, so another 600 would be about right), but after I got home he called and told me that they didn’t have anything delivered now. They buy their supplies at Costco and everything costs half to a third as much. He told me that 10 pounds of onions were costing them sixteen dollars, and they get 10 pounds at Costco for six dollars. When I asked him specifically if they had bought sausage from Costco he did say that they hadn’t yet, because the Country breakfasts have been stopped for the summer.

So I gave the list of supplies needed to John Papuga, who has a debit card for the service checking account, and he promised to check the prices at Sam’s Club while I checked Costco.

I took the BW with me, and we shopped at Costco. Actually, I just walked in and got the prices for Jimmy Dean fully cooked sausage links, and she shopped, so we did leave with some groceries and I ate a few samples while we were there. Then we went to GFS, and their sausages were the same price as the Jimmy Dean sausages, but the Jones cost nine dollars for 40 links instead of eight dollars for 48 links. I need to check with John to see if Sam’s club is any better, but I think we have an expected price. I’ll need to refill one propane bottle – two are three quarters full, and one is nearly empty – but maybe John can get everything else. We will see.

Tonight I go to the Tarpon Springs Kiwanis Club meeting at the café on Lake Tarpon to help keep the attendance up. They have our federal and state representatives both scheduled to speak at one meeting. We have had both of them, but only once, by accident, have we ever had two speakers at one of our meetings, and that was only because one of them misunderstood Liz, who is our speaker person now. The two speakers make the Tarpon Springs group nervous that they will have a small crowd.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRDPOLING 8/18/2010 8:25PM

    I have heard of Kiwanis but have no idea what it is.

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MS.ELENI 8/18/2010 5:51PM

    Do you ever have a do nothing day. It is better to be busy that do nothing so I do applaud you

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S3XYDIVASMOM 8/18/2010 3:36PM

    You sure do fill up your days.

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My Ten Year Struggle

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The bad news is there's no easy way to lose weight. When I first started I followed the advice in the book "Live Longer Now" published about 1974. No sugar, no salt, no fat, no caffeine, no cholesterol, and rove. Actually, four oz of flesh a day were permitted but no milk or cheese - eat lots of greens for your calcium and keep the protein down to preserve your kidneys. I read in one book that you should try to keep your protein down to 40 grams per day if you have kidney problems, which I did for a while. When I tried to eat that way there was a horrible backlash from the cook, not verbally, but she knew how to fix the food we ate. It got to the point that I eventually refused to eat anything that I hadn't cooked. I'm used to being miserable, so I survived OK after a while, but the BW couldn't understand how I could eat the things I made.

I made bean soup, which was one pound of dry beans, three pounds of carrots, three pounds of onions, plenty of garlic, and one smoked turkey drumstick to give it flavor, along with a couple of bay leaves and some crushed red pepper. Believe it or not, Ray and Cecelia put away a few bowls and liked it just fine. It was about as much vegetables as beans, and it always came out very thick. I would throw in whatever we had around, such as celery or turnips, maybe cabbage, or something green such as broccoli. Because the BW complained about the smell in the trailer I bought a two burner electric hotplate which had one low burner. I would set it up on a table outside under the awning and let it cook. It was an advantage anyhow because the gas stove was always a little too hot for simmering with the lid on the pot. I would turn the low burner down about as far as it would go after the pot got hot and just let it simmer for two or three hours before pulling the drumstick out and picking out the bones and skin.. Then I threw the meat back in the pot and we ate the result. The company added salt, but I did without.

I also made my own bread using nothing but whole wheat flour, yeast, and water. You need to know how to make a sponge (a wet soupy batter) to start things off. It wasn't easy, and I had to buy some big Mexican clay tiles for the RV oven, but I did learn to make my own bread. Without added salt it rose exceptionally fast, so you needed to pay close attention. I also did a mean stir-fry which was almost all vegetables.

The net result was that I didn't worry about calories at all, but, except for the bread, the food I was eating just didn't have a very great caloric density. I had enough to eat, but it wasn't what I had been exposed to before. No high calorie anything. The fat want away by magic until I had another health problem. I eventually got off track for a few years and gained some of the weight back.

When I joined TOPS later I kept a log and counted calories. I had to give up eating in the evening, which is another habit that makes you miserable when you quit, at least for a while. I was down around 1200 calories whenever I got serious about losing weight, and that was what it took for me. Roy M. Wolford had a crew who all got along on 1700 calories forever, and there is still a group that follows that discipline. They want you to be fully nourished on 1700 calories per day, and they have some different foods they throw in to get the full nourishment. They're also always hungry, but think they will live a lot longer.

After a while I got my total cholesterol down to 102. The LDL was 55, but the HDL was only 31, and my internist wanted it higher. I started eating more fats, and the total went up to 131, but the HDL was still only 34, and he wanted to see a minimum of 40. Then, from reading another book by another cardiologist, I decided to eat more monounsaturated fats, so I started eating nuts and avocados and using olive oil to make vinaigrette salad dressing. That got me up to a total of 126 with an HDL of 41 in September of 2006. My last reading was 114 total, 40 HDL, and65 LDL, with triglycerides of 43. That’s pretty good, and it’s a lot more fun to have real salad dressing, nuts sometimes, and avocados in your salad or guacamole for dip. Having some fat makes things taste better.

Also, I find that if I stay pretty busy I don't have time to eat at random times, and the urge to snack goes away after 10 minutes or so if I just wait. Keeping your mind off food helps, if you can do it. I still tend to want to snack when I’m reading a book or watching TV, but if it gets too bad I open a stick of sugar free gum.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PANFRIEDTROUT 8/20/2010 12:30AM

    That is an amazing story of self*discipline and determination, especially given the fact that it covers 10 YEARs ....

I'm glad your HDL is up and that you can finally enjoy certain foods.

Have a great weekend!

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S3XYDIVASMOM 8/18/2010 12:37AM

    I appreciate hearing how your diet has evolved. The beauty of it is that you found something that you can live with and in the long run that is what is most important.

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WATERMELLEN 8/17/2010 8:49PM

    This is quite a tale of determination and discipline: impressive!

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MRDPOLING 8/17/2010 8:16PM

    Wow that is an amazing telling of your 10 year journey.

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MS.ELENI 8/17/2010 6:42PM

    You are sure right about it not being easy. You are more disciplined than most people and even you struggle.
Counting calories seems to be working for me if I can keep the calories down. Staying busy is hard for me
I wish I could chew gum but whenever I try it my dentures pull out.
But you are doing great.

I checked Bill and he got zapped over 40 times. He has blisters all over his arms. Is your dermatologist up on 19 near Queens pizza???

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A Nice, Uneventful Day

Monday, August 16, 2010

Today was a nice day – no rain, nice walks, no hurricane coming, and no unexpected bills. I called my internist for a new prescription, ordered a kit for the October class, ten extra books, and 50 medical record forms from AARP, and cashed a $55 rebate check. Later on I got an e-mail notice that I was a member of AAA for $64, so I called and checked. I had two memberships; the first try and the second both worked. After a little discussion I got the first membership cancelled.

I struggled with what I will do for a program for TOPS Thursday, and finally picked two of the Sparks articles – “10 Tactics for Overcoming Sugar Addiction” and “Study Spills the Secret to Weight Loss-Surprised?” One or the other should easily take up 30 minutes if we read it and let people discuss it as we go along. I was going to take some home made jam and crackers along for a sample tasting and tell them how to make it, but it was the BW’s idea and she has too little to share any more. I would have to make a batch myself and lock it up somewhere to do that.

None of the articles will be a surprise to anyone, probably, so maybe I’ll look up games and see if there’s a game everyone can play. I don’t know why I volunteered now.

The BW was remarking on the unsatisfactory motel we had in Lexington the last time we went north, so I told her that she could pick out the places to stay this time. That turned her on a little, and she kept trying to read the whole book to me and asking questions. I hope it turns out well.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRDPOLING 8/17/2010 6:36AM

    Nice of you to let BW pick this time. I am sure you two will have a great time.

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MS.ELENI 8/16/2010 8:47PM

    It doesn't matter what you do for a program. I think it is good you voluteered.
Spark does have some great articles for sure.
We don't travel much but I use AAA and the web sites to check out motels etc. I probably pay too much but am afraid of the cheap places.
I always do the research and plan the routes we go. Now that Bill has GPS we use both. The last little trip we made I got the last laugh as his GPS gave wrong directions. Rare but it can happen

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A Pointless Blog

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I read someone’s blog this morning where the low was either 49 or 59, and the high 99. Here the low was 79, and I thought it was really great. The high is only about 93, but the humidity tends to run around 90 per cent or higher, which makes you want to stay in the shade with a breeze and not too many clothes if you’re outside. The skin on my arms has the consistency of wet tissue paper from a combination of sun damage and old age, so if I just rub against something a flap of skin flips back, the blood flows, and I get another scar and a dark marking from the blood under the skin, which never is completely removed. From web research I get the message “wear long sleeve shirts” as the only treatment, which isn’t really a treatment.

With that advice as the preferred treatment, I bought a bunch of long sleeve shirts, which I can’t stand to wear, but when I cut the grass, which I did this morning, I now wear a long sleeve shirt. The lime tree is especially nasty with its needle sharp thorns, but I was able to finish up today without losing any blood, even though it has scratched me several times before. I started just after seven, when it was light enough to see, and finished while it was still cool, but the long sleeved shirt was still soaked. I wore it outside my pants, and the only dry part was the tail at the back. I don’t know the reason for that pattern, but maybe it was because I have to bend forward to push the mower.

I edged and blew the driveway, street, and sidewalks, and, just as ALEXTHEHUNN predicted, it gets easier each week. If we were living in the desert I could get up early and finish without showing the effort, but then we couldn’t go to the beach on foot. After 11 years covering three countries several times, this is the only place the BW would come back to, so this is where we settled. I guess there’s no point to this blog.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALEXTHEHUNN 8/20/2010 3:51PM

    I'm glad that edger thing is actually working out for you. I like how your blogs frequently remind me of how much I enjoyed Florida.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 8/15/2010 11:40PM

    I've spent my whole life in a semi-arid environment. I doubt I could adjust to the humidity. So when I retire, I'm going to throw my snowshovel over my shoulder and start walking south. When I encounter someone who asks me, "What is that?" I'll stop and live the rest of my years there. (Not an original idea, I'm afraid.)

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    My god those black flies. They bite and it hurts. Don't get those down here. Forgot how much those buggers aggravated me.

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REXTINE1 8/15/2010 8:55PM

    I grew up in Ohio and spent 35 years in Indianapolis. There were many times we came down her in the summer and found Florida weather more agreeable than Indiana, but we tended to be on the coasts. It's hard to find a perfect place, which is why we lived in a travel trailer for 11 years and a park model and small motorhome another. We would go north in the summer and south in the winter. Going out on the Olympic peninsula or Door County or north as far as Wawa (about 600 miles north of Toledo) took care of the heat too. Unfortunately, the black flies tended to take away some of the charm of the far north.

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MRDPOLING 8/15/2010 6:44PM

    The afternoons here in the Ohio Valley right now are horrable for temp and humidty. I couldn't imagine having to be out in it wearing long sleeves. Mega Sweating!

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REXTINE1 8/15/2010 4:29PM

    I do OK in the mornings because I get out before it's fully light and stay out of the sun. If you're close to the water it's a few degrees cooler, and in the shade, without working hard, it's very pleasant. In the winter it's fine except when a cold front comes through. It gets cold enough to freeze once in a while, not necessarily every winter but sometimes. I still don't walk with a coat or sweatshirt most of the time in the winter. It may be a little chilly to start, but you do get too hot after a while if you wear too much.

The killer is working in the sun in the summer. I pity the roofers and road crews. You work up a sweat without realizing it.

Comment edited on: 8/15/2010 4:35:13 PM

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MS.ELENI 8/15/2010 3:57PM

    I can relate to bruising.My skin doesn't tear.But do to the coumidan I take I always have bruises. The more bruising I know my blood is too thin etc.
I bet your neighbors love your lawn mover at 7 on a Sunday emoticon
Bill was outside earlier pulling some weeds out of some of my plants and it was 90 in the shade. So it was much higher in sun.
Glad the long sleeve shirt helped. When I worked in power plant a lot of the guys wore long sleeve shirts as they said it insulated them from the heat. Didn't work for me.I wore sleeveless shirts for many years until some idiot decided it was a safety violation.So then I made sure my sleeves were very short.

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    It's interesting you mention that about FL. I have hopes to retire to SW FL someday and its met with a lot of "you'll hate it" from people that lived there, visited there, etc. They all complain of the humidity and never ending summer. That sounds like a good thing to me. I could do without the rain though. I'm a sun worshipper. For now, GA works OK, it's pretty damn moderate, although we've had a particularly hot summer (which is OK by me). Our lows are around the mid-70's, highs in the mid-90's, but I'll never complain. Lows in the 40's (or worse, highs in the 40's) will get me bitchy. That happens in the "deep south" from time to time.

OK, pointless comment. I'm off to go play outside. Thanks for the post!

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