Category Archives: Personal

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.

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.


A week of attempts and failures

'homemade' peanut butter on a slice of nut and seed loaf

I’m eating this as I type, something I’ve been longing for all week. Monday we picked up a jar of unsalted dry roasted peanuts to make sugar-free peanut butter with since we’re pulling sugar from our diet. I have a beast of a food processor, a Hamilton Beach we picked up, maybe, six years ago? Eight? Dunno, but so far it’s handled almost everything I’ve thrown at it with ease, unlike the cranky-older-than-dust-so-I-don’t-want-to-do-much model we were replacing. (I never use it for shredding because it’s not the best at shredding!) I was told I’d need to run it for seven minutes or more, giving my food processor a break after each minute, to get the peanuts to release their oil and turn into a smooth textured peanut butter. I did it in five, if I’m not mistaken, and the motor never showed any signs of getting too warm.

If you’re interested in making your own sugar/salt free peanut butter, I didn’t add anything to the peanuts: no oil, no water, no nothing! Just processed the peanuts until they were smooth. Very simple!

I had everyone try it and most seemed surprised that it wasn’t bad. Britt, however, the most hardcore lover of all things sweet, didn’t like it. She didn’t say she didn’t like it but, … she didn’t say anything at all. Her eyes grew wide and she stayed silent. On the slice of nut and seed loaf, I liked it but not at first. That first bite took a bit of adjustment but by the third bite my taste buds were happy. Considering these, both the peanut butter and its use on the nut and seed loaf, a win.

Because, really, I need to find something to be a win this week.

Tuesday was rough around every edge. I had no energy to cook and a most serious craving for pizza. Those two slices threw my own personal ‘no gluten/no grains/no sugar’ thing right down the toilet. As did the left over piece I ate the next day. Mike made the most amazing peanut butter oatmeal cookies I’ve ever eaten this week. While they were gluten-free, they weren’t sugar-free by any means. I wondered last night just how many cookies I’ve eaten this week and I think the number is too high to count.

Total. Fail.

I thought having the cataract surgery would instantly erase all the pent up frustration I’ve had over not seeing, should the surgery work. Surgery worked great but the frustration is starting to bubble over rather than “poof” into nothingness. I’m saying “frustration” when I think it’s closer to anger, really. Seeing the state my house is in may have been the tipping point. I’m so stinking tired of having to pick up after my adult kids. I’m also just as tired, no, more tired, of them not doing much to help out around the house.

I’ve just deleted three big honking paragraphs of ranting on this subject. You’re welcome.

Anyway, I don’t know how to get the point of needing everyone to pitch in around the house across without having a tantrum of my own. So for now, I’m not saying too much about it for fear I’ll launch into a screaming tirade and not be able to stop. Mike still hasn’t been released to go back to work full-time and has only been getting one or two runs a week. Money worries exacerbate everything else, I think. I’m the one having the problems staying focused on our ‘no-sugar’ and ‘keto’ things this week. The kids pretty much eat what they’re given in terms of meals. Though, I hear some mad snacking is going on upstairs …

Oh, and did I mention the fail-beets from Monday night? Beets are supposed to be nutrition power houses, especially for your liver (which can be a great thing when trying to regulate blood sugar levels) but they taste like dirt. Super-earthy! Britt loves them but the rest of us? I detest them. I roasted beets Monday night and almost couldn’t get the last bite of mine to stay down. Great for you or not, I’m not buying beets again. Was utter-fail to the point I felt severely punished as I ate them.

I haven’t started next week’s menu plan yet because I’m dreading it. It needs to be very inexpensive and I should probably use more of what I have on hand, even though most of it isn’t keto-friendly (Basing ours on 20-50 grams of carbs daily, some wanting 20 or less and others 50.) I have quinoa, brown rice, gluten-free pasta, sweet potatoes, … foods I really should go ahead and use since we bought them but foods that don’t mesh well with low-carb. It’d save on the grocery bill if I do and, I think, that may be more important this coming week.

Other than the peanut butter, none of this is what I expected as we started the next phase in our better eating plans. I’ve come close to telling everyone that I don’t care if they eat sugar or not, to eat whatever they want. That’d be a lie, however, so I’ve kept those angry bursts in my head only (until now, haha).

I need to get myself in order or this whole month is going to earn the name “Failurary”.



Feels like I’ve got my life back!

I can see the stars in the sky again!

I don’t remember how long it’s been since I’ve been able to see them, whether it’s been weeks or months. Time ran together for me on some things, in part, because I didn’t realize I wasn’t seeing them when I couldn’t see them. If that makes sense. It wasn’t until the first week in December, best I recall, that I started grasping the idea even that my vision was worse than I realized. Hard to understand what you’re missing when you can’t see it to miss it.

My cataract surgery on my right eye was Thursday morning. I was terrified! The last few moments before being wheeled into the operating room I spent on a gurney in a hall way with a towel over my eyes, crying. This hospital has volunteers who stay with you during this time, something I had no clue about. When my volunteer leaned over my head, so close her chin brushed my forehead (above the towel that was covering my eyes) it startled me. When she spoke to me and grabbed my shoulders, an attempt to comfort me, I nearly had a heart attack. The (super nice) woman was very hard of hearing and, well, she speaks LOUDLY. It’s a wonder I didn’t crap myself to be honest.

The surgery went fast and I could see clearly a few moments after it was over. Seeing all the grey in Mike’s beard made me cry (and touch it, repeatedly, until the nurses started cracking up). I was overwhelmed with how much I could see and how clearly I could see. It was just as overwhelming “seeing” how much I hadn’t seen. Like, for instance, the state of my house.

HO. LEE. COW! Filthy. Just, filthy, grimy, dirty, messy, cluttered, …. Ugh.

I’m slowly hitting the hot-spots, so to speak, to start cleaning my house. It’s going a lot slower than I’d anticipated as something’s triggered that awful joint and muscle pain again. I felt it set in over the weekend and thought at first it was because I was doing too much. Starting to wonder if it’s the eye drops, as silly as that sounds, the one I started the day of surgery.

I have four different drops total, one being my normal pressure drops and the other three being antibiotics and steroids because of the cataract surgery. My doctor instructed me to squeeze my nose at both tear ducts for a minute after putting the third drop in to keep it from affecting me given it’s a steroid. I may have thought that sounded a bit daft and, you know, haven’t done that. So, … maybe it’s those drops? My glucose readings have been high since starting them, too.

Dunno. Sounds just as hokey to me as it does valid.

January 2013 snowstorm

January 2013 snowstorm

Yesterday I watched the snow fall, something I couldn’t see happening the last couple of times it snowed. I could tell it was snowing when looking at the amount on the ground get higher (getting pelted in the face every time I stepped outside clued me in as well) but I couldn’t see the flakes as they fell. I stood on the porch a bit yesterday in complete amazement watching it snow. The newness is starting to fade a bit, the wonderment lessening, but I’m still so happy to have my good eye back it’s not funny. My bad eye is scheduled for cataract surgery on the 17th. I won’t get any central vision back in it as that’s gone forever but I should get peripheral back. Hoping that will help to lessen the queasiness I get when wearing reading glasses, too.

Though, that may be as hokey as the drops triggering the chronic joint pain.

Either way, I’m excited and ready to do this! When we went to the zoo last June I couldn’t see most of the animals unless they moved (was half due to cataract, other half due to the inflammatory disease being back). I hated that trip because I felt like nothing more than a burden. I’m excited for our annual zoo outing this June and can’t wait to see … well, see everything.