Category Archives: Blog

Hercules and Keto

12 Labours of Hercules screenshot

That was my day yesterday, researching more in-depth on Keto and playing The 12 Labours of Hercules. We started Keto again yesterday, January 2nd, and I found myself wanting to eat just for the sake of … eating … I guess, so I distracted myself by finishing achievements in this super cute little game. I am trying not to buy anymore games until I’ve played more of the ones I already have. I’m assuming I got this game on a sale at some point and wish I’d gotten the others as well. They’re great for distraction and when you don’t want to deal with a super involved ‘break out the notebook so you can keep track of your characters’ kind of game. The graphics are cute, the game play (on some levels) takes a *little* strategy and the achievements come easy. There’s three more games in the series and I WANT THEM ALL! You have to gather resources: food, wood and coin. You need food to keep your energy up for gathering and building. You use the wood to repair bridges and eroded or otherwise destructed bits of pathways so you can finish your tasks. Sometimes you have to free prisoners who, in turn, work for you giving you extra man-power to complete your tasks on time. You also free other Greek mythological peeps who, also, become part of your team. It’s a simple yet, to me, satisfying game to play and it did the trick to keep me out of the fridge!

Since starting this post I’ve had to quiet and play with a crying baby while his mother took a shower, get lunch for 4YO and sit for discussion with one of my kids. This is why I rarely blog anymore … no quiet time to devote to a post.

Anyway, I wanted to talk Keto for a bit. All five of us are doing it but not in the same way. Three of us are doing no more than 20 carbs a day. One is trying to stay under 50 a day and the other is limiting themselves to 100 carbs a day. So! I’m cooking for 20 carbs a day and the other two can do whatever with the rest of their carbs. I’m using a guesstimate on how many proteins I need. I do not know my body fat percentage, nor do I care to if I’m honest (shudder!) so I’m using a min/max based on approximates to determine how much protein I can eat without kicking me out of ketosis (once I’m in it, that’s VERY important). You multiply your weight in pounds by 0.6 to get your minimum and by 1.0 to get your maximum amounts of protein per day. Going under your minimum can cause you to lose muscle and going over your maximum can kick you out of ketosis. I stayed well under (and over!) yesterday so I’m on the right track with both carbs and protein. What worries me is the amount of calories I ate yesterday.

My day end totals yesterday were 1,741 calories, 19.5g (net) carbs and 159.8g protein. If I’d remembered the amount of chili that makes a serving correctly my totals would have been 1,512 calories, 17.25g carbs and 126.8g protein. I wish I hadn’t goofed on the chili because those calories feel high to me. I’ve read calories aren’t the MOST important thing to watch on keto, that following keto properly tends to keep you from overdoing it on calories. But, 1,741? If I want to lose weight, isn’t that a TON? I’m confused and disappointed in myself and, try as I might, couldn’t find a definitive one-way-or-the-other answer on this after at least two hours searching JUST for that answer last night. Frustrating!

Lazy Keto chicken and steamed broccoli

Breakfast was a slice of quiche, lunch was (2 servings) of chili and the above picture was dinner: Lazy Keto Chicken and (overly) steamed broccoli. By the way, I’m not sure if my vision is messing up or if I just took a bad picture. I’m changing some settings in my phone and, hopefully, it’ll help. Anyway, I also had three cups of coffee, each with a tablespoon of heavy cream and two drops of liquid sucralose and, after dinner, made pesto keto crackers and ate three of those. I *really-super-badly* wanted a cheddarwurst last night but that would have added another 200 calories, 2g carbs and 8g protein. UGH. I love eating cheddarwurst at night. I really, really, really do! But, not enough to give up my coffees.


I started this post several hours ago. Should have been posted at least two hours ago. Such is life. I have laundry waiting and need to eat lunch. Have a happy!


Limbo the bimbo

I was sitting at my desk late last night holding Doc while watching videos. He was on my shoulder and turned so he could also watch my screen. I looked at him, tired and slightly swaying in my arm, and leaned in to tell him, “You look drunk”. Glued to the video we were watching, he picked up his arm and punched me right in the eye. Hard! It was so perfectly timed I laughed in surprise. He immediately spun his face around and gave me the dirtiest look. I swear, he may only be six months old but, sometimes, I’d swear he understands exactly what I say and do. 4YO, as smart as she is, can be a complete goofball. I was feeding the fish this morning when I sneezed. She spun around and yelled at me, “WHAT’S GOTTEN IN TO YOU??” and left me speechless for a moment. I dunno, dust? Allergies? Maybe it scared her. Who knows.

A few weeks ago (within the last couple months?) I asked Bear, 4YO’s dad, why they didn’t help out much around the house with dishes, household laundry, picking up, … He thought a moment and said they didn’t have to, that I was here. Think I’ve washed dishes twice since then. It struck a nerve pretty hardcore! That said, Britt, 4YO’s mom, has really stepped up and washes dishes several nights a week now. How cool is that? I need to get back to doing chores when they need to be done instead of this hit-and-miss thing I’ve been doing. Mike went back to work in September after being out for over a year and I’m still struggling to find ‘normal’ again. I know it’s there but everything feels like a great big bowl of limbo. I detest that feeling!

Speaking of limbo, oof. We’re selling our house to Bear and Britt. The bank sent an appraiser out to look at the house and property and, whoo_boy, there are things we have to fix before we can sell it to them. The front porch has exposed wood and some of it’s bad wood. This we knew and had planned to replace because it really does need it. When talking to Bear about the porch he said not to worry, that he’d take care of it when he could. The bank says NO. The concrete steps to the porch need work also. One of them is crumbling on the side (and by crumbling I mean the part where it meets the wall of the ‘stoop’ has crumbled away so much you could stick a garden trowel into it easily. When we planned to replace the porch we were going to extend the porch over where the steps are and build new ones. Bank says to fix them. All of this makes perfect sense to me.

The small garage has to be scraped and painted. That one surprised me. The big shock, however, was the big building. When we bought the place people came by just to tell us that building wasn’t built with enough supports for the roof (IIRC) and said it wouldn’t last another year, to not put vehicles or storage items in it. That was over 11 years ago. We even had a tornado come through and it’s still standing. The fact that it’s still there surprises us, too! We’ve been wanting to replace it ever since we bought the house but, money. It takes more than we could spare so it’s still there. I wrote that building off years ago because it wasn’t in our long-term plans. We knew we wanted it replaced before Mike retired but it wasn’t until a year ago that we started giving it more thought in terms of, ‘do we want to keep a building there or move the replacement elsewhere on the property’ kind of thought. The bank wants the big building torn down.


That sucks. It’s November and not the most ideal weather for painting, but to tear that building down now? Ho_lee smokes! Bear’s going to talk to the bank and see if they’ll give him extended time to take care of the building and go ahead with the loan. If not he’s hoping switching from a FHA (?) loan to a conventional will do the trick.  I do not understand the difference in these types of loans but I hope this works as long as it doesn’t put Bear and Britt through too much trouble.

The house we were wanting to buy, the one I had my heart set on, is pending sale. It wasn’t my dream house but it had so much to love. A fireplace in a cozy living room. Two bathrooms. Double recessed ovens with a cook top. Glass fronted cabinets with recessed lighting INSIDE in the kitchen. Enough bedrooms so Mike and I could have one of OUR OWN! It’s been over three years since we’ve had our own room!!! Two acres for Mike to putter around on, something he adores more than anything. Dude loves to be out in the yard! Closets! Every single bedroom has a nice sized closet! Tons of built-in storage through-out the house. An enclosed all-weather porch with a big deck out front. A balcony on the second floor out back. A basement for more than just heavy appliances and storage. We wanted to put my consoles, a TV and couch in one of the rooms in the basement. Oh, it was such a sweet house and not too far from where we are now.

Seeing the house was pending sale felt like a gut-punch. Oh wells, on to bigger and better, right? Hopefully this house will be in Bear and Britt’s name soon and we can start working on getting a new one. I really don’t like this limbo feeling at all. I want normal again and I want it fast. We’re getting there, I just need a bit more patience.

I’m a little high maintenance sometimes

This year has been rough on the financial front so I’ve been cutting corners wherever I can and looking for more ways to bring our bills down. We eat a LOT of chicken now because it’s cheaper than other meats around here but it’s versatile, can be cooked in so many dishes! Right now I’m really into *foil packs cooked on the grill, too. They’re easy to do and save on the electric/gas bill. Also, the grill doesn’t heat the house up like my oven does! This is important because we’re not running the air conditioner if we don’t have to during the day. Doc becomes miserable when the inside temp hits around 85°F so I turn the AC on to cool downstairs off for him when it’s about to get that hot inside. What’s hitting me the hardest (and, boy, is it HARD) is not turning my computer on in the mornings. Actually, for the last five weeks I’m made sure not to turn it on at all for a 24 hour period each week (did I mention that’s HARD?!?!?) and to only have it on three-five hours a few more days during the week. I do give myself carte-blanche to have it on all day and game when I can at least twice a week.

Another thing I’m doing is hanging laundry to dry outside. I started this a week ago and have done 19 loads of laundry. I don’t hang undies outside so of the 19 loads, three have been dried in my dryer. I only have one line to hang on and it was at our chain-link fence. I’ve noticed a few pick marks from the top of the fence line on our sheets and tee shirts so I asked Mike if he could move the clothesline for me. Turns out, whoever put the poles for the clothes line up cemented them into the ground. Well cemented! I shrugged it off and started wondering if we could put something on top of the fence line that would protect the clothes … I know, I think in crazy from time to time.

Mike’s the kind of guy who plans lots of ideas and buys materials a little along, hoping to eventually find time to see these ideas to fruition. He and Goose are enlarging the back deck right now with wood he’s had in the building for a few years for instance. When Goose broke our sink a few months back he went out to the building and got the sink he’d bought for a kitchen remodel he’d been planning and replaced the broken sink on the spot. He can pull all sorts of tricks from his sleeve because of his way of buying things a little along!

Apparently he’s also been planning to enlarge the fence around our back yard where Boo (3YO) and the dogs play. Yesterday he and Bear moved the fence from next to the clothesline and enlarged it to encompass the yard behind our big building/garage. I’d show you a picture but he’s embarrassed that the new fence is three different levels in height. He used what he had on hand to enlarge the fenced in area and, what he had, was different types of fencing. I think some of the fencing he used he’d originally planned to go around our garden and that’s why it’s not chain-link. Either way, it fixed a big problem for me and I’m happy with it. When we have the money we can buy more chain-link and make the new fence match and look better.

I’m hoping he has more clothes line in the building and can get a second line up on the poles. Would make laundry go a bit faster if I could hang two loads out at the same time!

Anyway, I had no idea my request would cause so much work but that’s generally how it goes. I’m a little high maintenance in my desires it seems! I’m hoping to see a sizable difference in our electric/gas bill soon. We’re on a bill pay system where they average our yearly usage and charge us an ‘expected usage’ amount each month. They refigure the ‘expected usage’ amount a few times a year and adjust it when necessary. When Bear and Britt moved in four years ago that amount skyrocketed up. I wish I’d started working to get that bill down sooner!


*If you’re unsure what a foil pack is its meat and veg, seasoned and or marinated and wrapped in foil in individual portion sizes to cook in the oven or grill. I suggest using a heavy-duty aluminum foil but if you don’t have it, regular foil works, too.

Too self-absorbed

I most certainly could not say “everyone” is too self-absorbed, seemingly lacking in the ability to give one iota about anyone other than themselves, but I can say I see it more and more. I think the reasons behind the behaviors of those who don’t appear to consider others is varied, far too many to even begin to list, but that doesn’t make it any better for the people in need who are ignored. Not even a little. It still leaves them alone with no help.

That’s where Mike was yesterday morning. Alone on Highway 59 headed home from a delivery in Omaha. It’s not that there weren’t others around him, it’s that no one stopped to check on him when they saw this happen.

Mike's semi truck on its side after the wind blew it over and off the road.

That’s a whole lot of truck right there. No way did someone blink and miss seeing the wind blow that big rig over and off the road. The trailer itself, I think, is 53 feet long. The cab (tractor part) is a double bunker, it’s BIG. The cars behind him kept going. The cars coming at him (on the other side of the road) passed without stopping.

Close up of Mike's semi on its side, windshield completely gone.

He was stuck in his seat belt, hanging there, for a good ten minutes before he was able to cut himself loose. When his truck flipped and hit the ground he closed his eyes, bracing for the impact. He said he felt bits of glass and dirt spray his face. He slid in that truck, on its side, for 70 feet. No one stopped to see if he was okay. No one even bothered to call emergency.

How self-absorbed do you have to be to not only keep going, but not call for emergency help to come and check on that driver?

Underside of Mike's trailer that was facing the road when it flipped on its side.

This is what the people coming up behind him saw. How can you not, in the very least, call 911? He could have been a driver who had a heart attack. He could have been someone who, after being blown over, had a panic attack that led into an asthma attack. When his boss brought him home from the hospital he smelled like diesel fuel. The ‘what-ifs’ are mind boggling. Stupefying. How can people not care about another person that much?

Mike called 911 himself. He wasn’t hurt too badly. His shoulder looks pretty banged up and he hurts, but he walked away from that accident and I am so thankful! I’m so extremely glad it wasn’t worse. It’s not just that I’m upset no one stopped to help my husband. I am, don’t get me wrong. What gets me MORE, though, is that no one stopped to help a person obviously in need. My husband, your husband, Uncle Joey, doesn’t matter. Another human being in need should have mattered to someone.

I should point out that when Mike and his boss were headed home from the hospital, they stopped back by the truck. Two people did stop then and ask if everything was okay. I think those two people are awesome!

It’s possible that someone did call for help as they drove past Mike. When the sheriff responded Mike got the impression that he was the only one to call for help. There could have been other calls and the sheriff only referenced Mike’s call.

Picture showing the area around Mike's accident, just open fields.

This is where Mike’s accident happened. Nothing around but open fields. I suppose the definition of desolate could be up for interpretation but there’s a lot of Iowa that comes pretty close. Though, I’m not sure “bleak” is fitting for Iowa in the summer (Iowa’s beautiful when the fields are lush and green!). Still, my point is that if any of those drivers who didn’t stop to help thought someone in the neighborhood (of the accident) would come help, ….. not happening.

Those people who, for whatever reason, couldn’t find it in themselves to stop and check on Mike, I’m angry. So so angry. But don’t think for a second that I don’t hope like crazy that, should they ever find themselves in an accident, someone stops to check on them. I can promise you that I would stop to help. I couldn’t not.


Adapting, that’s what we’ll call it.

I knew this ‘no sugar’ thing was more than likely going to be a bust but I was hopeful we could pull it off. I figured if we could make it through February then it’d be easier to keep it up and continue into March and so forth.

Big fat hairy HA.

I did so good in January, trying to cut sweets and grains. It wasn’t perfect but darn near! I noticed I didn’t have nearly as many headaches either and thought, well, if I keep this up and the headaches don’t return, maybe sugar or grain could be a trigger. It’d be neat to know that, huh? Only, once the “no sugar” became official, it’s the only thing I’ve wanted. Sugar on top of sugar with a side of sugar.

The failure has been so hard and so complete I’m scrapping it. Cutting back is the new black for us. I hope. It feels more like rationalizing than not but this is my way of adapting so that awful ‘you suck, Failbo’ feeling will go away. It’s defeating and it makes sense, to me, that in order to start moving forward again, I need to take a few steps back first.

The kids have no desire to cut sugar out. I’ve heard ‘ … since we’re cutting out sugar I’ve cut back on candy…’ and I think that says a lot. That sentiment is held house-wide. Moving on I’ll focus on meals, make them as healthy as I can and hope they don’t have massive binge-fests upstairs between meals. If I can do that, let go of trying to control every thing they eat, then I can put more focus on myself. Worked great for me in January so I believe I can assume it will again.

I’ve been super down this week, consumed with all of the above and then some, but this video here has flat put me in an amazingly great mood. Cracks me up every time I watch it so I wanted to share it with you guys.



Is that not the best thing in the history of ever?