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The first “thrill” of MS is that it's not my fault and I couldn't have prevented it. The next thrill will be when they can fix it.

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day

Remember with a prayer or grateful thought today those who have given their lives in service of our nation. We don’t always have to agree with the motives of our government, but the men and women who have answered the call by desire or requirement at their time of service have represented you and me with courage and dignity.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Don't Make My Donut Healthy!

I haven’t updated in a while but I’m not going to write a “bring the blog up to speed” post either. I haven’t written because it’s been a rough month and If I can’t say anything nice… Suffice to say things are getting better.

Today I want to talk about diet. Stay with me here, it’s probably not what you think; let’s talk about balance. Let’s talk about donuts.

Weight Watchers is all about accountability but the focus is on balance and portions, not sacrifice. I know when we have spaghetti it’s going to be 12 points for dinner plus a salad, which is 2 additional points for a serving of balsamic vinaigrette and croutons. I don’t make “light” spaghetti or tell myself I can’t have it, I just plan to have 14 points for dinner. I think my greatest weakness in sweets and pastries is donuts and the easiest guarantee an eating plan won’t work for me is to tell me I can’t ever have a donut again.

My first job was when I was 16. I worked at a deli/Italian store until I was 18. Senior coworker, Jill, and I opened the store on Sundays. Part of the early Sunday was that a large tray of donuts came in that was sold form the glass case on the front counter. That tray always included two white-frosted crème-filled long johns. The customers had no idea that we ever had white-frosted crème-filled long johns to sell because the truth is we didn’t. Those 2 donuts NEVER made it to the case where the donuts were displayed on Sundays. If I brought the tray in when it arrived I took them off. If Jill brought the tray in, she took them off. Once we had everything set up for the first morning rush after church, there was about a half hour before that rush started and Jill and I got a donut break. It was always the white-frosted crème-filled donuts. They were NOT custard. They were crème-filled; just sugar and fat, the way donuts are meant to be.

32 years later those are still one of my absolute favorite donuts. They were the donuts Grandma always made sure were in the Thanksgiving donut box because she knew that was my guilty pleasure and that is the donut I get from Kroger as my treat after grocery shopping. They are 9 Weight Watchers points and worth every one of them to me. It’s a beloved donut that I like and it makes me think if the special treats Grandma made sure I had Thanksgiving morning and it makes me remember Jill and that special treat we shared on Sunday mornings.

Every 2 weeks when I go to the grocery store I plan my trip to get the most of the allowed bags to bring back on the bus, the most of the money spent for my groceries and the most of the energy to do my shopping. I also plan the most of my breakfast points with a coffee and a donut reward for my careful planning when I get home. I’ve found that even at Kroger, where they have trays of those wonderful donuts that take me back, if I don’t go early, the white-frosted crème-filled long johns will be empty trays.

My other top donut is the even more chocolate donut that evolved from the chocolate honey dip that I saved allowance to buy all by myself the first time I went to the store alone; the double chocolate frosted. I love the Dunkin Donuts version best, but I have had others that were good too. I’ve also had some sad double chocolate frosted.

Now, truth be told, I usually consider Tim Horton’s donuts to be the best. I love their walnut crunch donuts and give me a box of Tim Bits in the wide variety of glazed cake donut holes and crullers and it needs to be a small box because there is a danger that no matter how big I’ll finish the whole thing. I did say I had a donut weakness. But the one Tim Horton’s donut I find disappointing is their double chocolate frosted. There is no glaze on the chocolate donut, just frosting. I’ve seen or had the double chocolate donuts that have no glaze on the donut, even one from a Dunkin Donuts franchise! WHAT is that all about? Is it supposed to represent a healthier donut because it cuts down on the sugar? Really? We’re talking about a donut, not a granola bar. What part of FRIED DOUGH are we trying to make healthy?

Not healthy; just a dried out donut under the frosting

I don’t know one person, not one, who has ever eaten a donut and called it part of a healthy food plan. A donut is a treat. It’s one of the important every now and then things that keeps other food decisions in a healthy balance. But a donut is sugar and fat with maybe another thing added with very pungent flavor, like a serious fudge frosting, a total nut coating or a strong cinnamon to complement the sweet but flavor-consuming base. Donuts are supposed to be sweet and fattening if overeaten and just yummy with no concessions made to the health nuts du jour. If you want a totally healthy sweet snack, have fruit but if you’re selling a double chocolate frosted donut, rest assured no one is looking for any calorie-cutting and glaze the thing before you frost it!

National Donut Day is Friday, June 5, 2015. What is your favorite donut?? Will you make a point of indulging that day?

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Magic Chair?

Well, it sure has become spring in these parts! The crocuses have bloomed and finished and we have members of the narcissus family appearing, when it’s not raining it’s bright and the trees are beginning to bud and shower their happy pollen up my nose!

I’ve acknowledged before and it’s still true tart my allergies are incredibly mild compared to many people who suffer from them but it’s all personal perspective at any given moment. I’ve been mildly stuffed up but I can maintain my breathing without panting like a dog all the time but I don’t smell as well. That’s such a bummer because they had a couple of huge lilies at the senior center when our MS group met and I tried to smell them and couldn’t. Lilies are one of my favorite springtime scents. My chest and throat are a little gravelly buy while I can feel a little stress when I take a deep breath and my voice is a little raspy, I don’t have a sore throat or cough. I’m taking care of myself by keeping my area warm with the space heater and drinking my Gypsy Cold Care tea. I’m also getting a lot more sleep the past few nights!

I got a call on Monday from the medical supply place we ordered the lift hair from. The chair was in and could they deliver it this week, tomorrow?

Well, yeah!

We’d cleared the area where the chair was to go. It was going to replace the loveseat that the cats had ravaged. I don’t exactly remember the couch and love seat pair’s history in detail, but they far outdate me in David’s world and as he said, “they owe me nothing.” Rather than David trying to take the loveseat out on his own (NOT cool with me even if he’d been dumb enough o want to) we tilted it up on its side out of the way to take it out when we have help. The thing is, tilting it made it brand new to the kitty kids and they immediately started to find new places to prowl on the love seat they’d claimed as a scratching post.

For right now it’s keeping them from wanting to scratch the new chair!

I had to have a few tries to get the transferring to the chair procedure figured out. But by bedtime Tuesday I’d gotten myself into the chair and motored back into the fully reclined position. Fully reclined is my torso just lower than my feet, my lower back comfortably stretched and my legs and feet fully supported by the leg rest. I think I get why “zero-gravity” was a thing to my doctor. Part way thought a very restful night I’d moved the back up a little and Kaline slept in my lap for a while. I woke up after a very full and restful night and I had a very good high energy and low pain day. I slept on the recliner the next two nights and David and I both experienced long restful sleep nights. So at least to the foreseeable future we’re going to way of 1950s TV where married couples sleep in different beds and “don’t ask, don’t tell” what happens during the commercials. ;)

Now the Tigers just won an afternoon game against the White Sox walk off style and the chair is beckoning me to catch some ID before the Reds game.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Beautiful, The Happy, The Noble and The Abused

Yes, I need a non-rain day and some gardening tools!

The Beautiful

Preferably, that non-rainy day is sooner than later. I have ragged weed-rose stalks and dead leaves strangling the flowers in my back flower bed. But the crocuses are still beautiful, blooming in spite of them. It’s still MY flower. It blooms despite adversity. Abundance of snow? The crocus still grows, little green shoots waiting to be discovered as the snow melts. Snow on it again? The crocus still blooms. Cluttered area filled with obstacles and the crocuses still fill-in and burst with color. That’s me. Sometimes I feel the challenges are so cumbersome I’m smothered in snow like my calls will never be heard. Sometimes I just cry like I’ve been covered with snow again. And sometimes I just see the defeating clutter of difficulties all around me. But I force myself to learn, to grow and choose to bloom. I love my crocuses because they are my spirit-flowers.

Here are a couple closer looks at out fashion colors this year:

Bright yellows

The paler purples inside the purple and white striped petals

The Happy

Yesterday was a beautiful day, although it was still cold in the morning when I was waiting for the bus to take me grocery shopping. In the late afternoon it was a bit warmer, mid-60s, so I could got out to get the mail without the need of a coat over my sweatshirt. I’d opened up the front door so the cats could look out the “tall screen TV” so I took my camera with me to get a picture of them from outside. Trouble was that when I went around to the front of the house there were no cats in the door! I got the mail and came back in the back door. I went in door one onto the porch an locked it behind me. When got to the top of the porch ramp I looked in the double door window, where I usually see Marco waiting, and saw all three of the kids waiting to get onto the porch! I opened the door and Marco and Kaline went right onto the porch. Carla is a little more skittish about the power chair so she went out as soon as I was in.

Kaline by the door to outside

Carla on top of the cat tower

Marco was trying to get into the Christmas tree box and I didn't get a picture of him!

It was fairly warm on the porch and the fresh air outside smelled so good, I left the doors open until it got chilly later in the evening. Ahh, Spring!

The Noble

My fundraising for Walk MS is going slower this year, but I really thought it might. Walk is also later this year so maybe there will be more donations closer to the date.


My battle cry this year is EVERY DOLLAR IS HUGE. And it’s true! As I’ve said before, you never know which dollar will be the last one needed to help someone with MS afford a wheelchair or other assistive device, afford their medication or fund the nominal amounts we use to facilitate our self-help support groups. You could be donating the dollar that will complete funding for research that will diagnose the disease sooner or before the symptoms start to tear someone’s world apart. You could send a gift that contains the dollar that will by the last test tube that will unearth the cure. Even if it’s not that celebrated final dollar, the dollars underneath it are essential for that dollar to ever exist. See? Every dollar really is huge! If you can afford to even drop a cup of good coffee and a muffin, $5, it helps, it adds up.

If you want to repost my Walk MS link in your social media or even email signature, please accept my gratitude big time and copy and paste anything you’d like!

Click photo to donate
If we reach goal we'll turn off the account
I’m still working on fortifying that GoFundMe account for Sheri. I wish I could personally do more. Looking at it now I wish I’d chosen a different funding site than GoFundMe, there are others out there.

The Abused

I’ve seen GoFundMe abused too much. Most recently and notably a fund set up by someone to buy a man a car because he was walking to work ended up with him refusing 2 cars offered because he wanted a different one and now he has financial advisers because, with some media attention, he got way more than he needed for a car and kept all of it.

I have an issue with that because there are GoFundMe accounts, like the one I did for Sheri, that aren’t coming anywhere near goal and people donated to buy him a car, not make him wealthy. Considering that people who can barely afford it are likely to give what they can to help others, that's a statistical fact from data collected from giving, it’s just wrong to keep accepting donations for something specific after the goal has been met. It’s likewise wrong to keep all the overage. I’d have kept the first car offered and maybe enough for the first year of insurance on it. The rest I’d donate to another less funded GoFundMe account.

Donating to the next GoFundMe charitable account accomplishes 2 things. One: it keeps the faith in the GoFundMe idea by not taking donations from the poor to make one person rich. Two: the story of the person who made the news with a need that was met to overflowing with generosity passing that generosity on to someone else would give that account publicity and help fill its need. Helping others could have been passed on and on instead of filling one bank account. A story like this makes me less likely to give to accounts set up like the GoFundMe system. It’s sad because GoFundMe and sites like it really have helped people pay devastating bills like Sheri’s or start a business or recover from destruction like a house fire or flood. To see it abused, giving someone the equivalent of a lottery win without buying a ticket and strangers pay for it with their charitable donations, is just sad.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Review: Antiques Maul by Barbara Allan

Finished March 25, 2015

Synopsis on Good Reads

After her impossible-but-adorable mother quits the local theater group, Brandy Borne has a brilliant idea for keeping Mother out of trouble: open their own booth at the new antiques mall in town. But things turn grim when a body is found between the cigar-store Indian and the chamber pot. The local law believes that normally good-natured Brad Pit Bull, the victim's dog, mauled its owner to death. But Brandy and Mother suspect the hound has been framed. And as Halloween approaches, true terror unmasks itself when Brandy's young son, Jacob, goes missing. Now Brandy and her diva mom are on the hunt to find Jake before a devious killer can maul again.

My Review on Good Reads
3.5 of 5 stars

I read the first book in the Trash ‘n Treasures series, Antiques Road Kill, a couple years ago and found it to be a cute read with fun characters and a light murder-mystery. Antiques Maul is a natural continuation of those characters with main character and first person narrator, Brandy Borne, and her eccentric mother, Vivian, maintaining their booth, number 13, at the local antiques mall. The Borne women are once again involved enough in a murder that they need to solve it before they’re next!

I enjoyed the book as just what I expected it to be; a cute story and characters that made me chuckle. It didn’t have to be believable; it just had to make sense within itself. It was an entertaining light read.
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