My progress

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Turning over an old leaf

At my age, I can't very well expect to say I am trying to turn over a new leaf, hence the title.  I am decidedly NOT a morning person.  My husband is.  I am, by nature, a night owl, and always have been.  Two of my children are night owls,
though our son, takes after his daddy, not just in looks, but in sleep habits.  So why on earth, am I trying to force myself into arising well before the dawn?

Some of you may know that I am living with Hashimoto's disease.  Essentially, my thyroid is in the process of slowly being destroyed by my own immune system.  It's perfectly treatable, synthetic hormones are readily available and inexpensive, but if left untreated, can wreak havoc on your life.   It can cause depression, brain fog, lower your metabolism, lead to weight gain, etc.  I was tired of being tired all the time.

On meds, I feel much better.  This is a good thing.  I no longer want to sleep all day.  But I still have a hard time getting up in the morning, despite a reasonable amount of sleep the night before.  I also noticed that my cycling has not been improving.  I am still slower than I would like, and that the groups I ride with(behind? chase?) would prefer too.  It bugs me.  A lot.  To the point of often putting me in a dark self deprecating mood that can last all day.  I am unsure if this moodiness is thyroid related or something else, but it has become time to DO something about it.

Since I cannot change others, I guess I have to change ME.  So I've set the alarm for the ugly hour of 5:00am, and asked DH to make sure I am up by then if he goes riding before 5:00.  That way I have an hour to myself to use the Bowflex, to try to add some strength, especially in my legs.  The Bowflex is safe to use without a spotter, and though not as "good" as freeweights, it still will provide a challenge, and hopefully will permit me to improve some muscle tone, and shed some fat.

I am also pushing myself to ride more.  Like cycling great Eddy Merckx said  "Ride lots."  Or was it "Don't buy upgrades, ride up grades!"  I am trying to do both.  Or at least what passes for hills around here... This involves an hour or so around midday, concentrating on cadence and speed.  Plus doing the local bike shop Saturday coffee rides, so I am forced to ride with folks faster than me.  I am hoping it all helps.

Perhaps I will see you out on the road some time.  If you've got a bike buried in your garage, consider dusting it off, tuning it up, and going for a ride.  You might surprise yourself!

Friday, October 17, 2014

A sign of Fall

Jonathan apples from Missouri via the Louisburg cider mill.
What to do with all those apples before they go bad?  Time to peel and dry them. any excess that won't fit in the dehydrator will get sauced.  I think I will have about 3 more full 6-tray batches to dry.  I hope I have enough freezer tubs for the excess applesauce.
One large box of Jonathan apples #2 grade.
Monkeys hard at work, making apple strings to eat (or dry!)
The peeler didn't remove all the peel, but that's OK.
Hey ma, dog loves apple! Please!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A cascade of FAIL

 Ok, most of you have heard the news that Ebola is in the US, and in Dallas specifically.  What you may not be aware of, is the epic quantity of suck and fail that has come about from all this.

1.  A man from Liberia who had extensive close contact with an Ebola victim was allowed to fly to the US with minimal screening.

2.  When he went to the hospital complaining of being sick and having a 103* fever, he was sent home with antibiotics, despite telling the intake screener that he had come from Liberia.

3.  A couple days after that, when he was catastrophically sick, (ie: projectile vomiting, etc) he was transported by EMS to the hospital, where they decided to keep him in isolation.

4.  Although the hospital staff did their best, he died.  Unfortunately, not before infecting at least 2 other persons, both staff nurses who treated him.

5.  It is obvious the minimal protocols of paper mask, cotton gown, gloves, tape and face shield are INSUFFICIENT to prevent transmission of Ebola.  Nurses have complained that they had no instructions, that contaminated waste (bedding etc) was allowed to pile up to the ceiling, and that apparently the pneumatic delivery system for samples was used to send Ebola-contaminated samples to the labs.

6.  Staff treating the first patient, were not restricted in movement or contacts.  Patient #2 spent close time with her boyfriend.  He was recently admitted to hospital for observation, after the nurse-girlfriend came back positive.  Oh, the CDC says they are 'monitoring' all of them (folks who had contact with Ebola) twice daily, with temperature checks.  If that is true, then how in the hell did patient #3 FLY TO Cleveland on a commercial jet?  And then FLY BACK to Dallas only hours before she was found to have a fever (and tested positive for Ebola)!  Did her CDC tester fly with her? *(Actually latest info says she knew she had a low grade fever at the time she boarded the Frontier jet for Dallas...)

7.  Seriously, it is beginning to sound like a bad game of 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon!  Only this time, it's 6 Degrees of Ebola, and it can kill you, dead right there, DRT.

No, I don't think it's time to break out the HAZMAT suit, or hunker in the bunker.  Not yet, anyway.  But it IS time to consider what would happen if this disease gets out of control in this country.  Time to make a plan for you and yours.  Game it out--how would  you deal with a workplace environment, schools, going to church, buying groceries?

No plan is perfect, but some sort of plan is better than standing around, wondering WTF to do next!  Stay safe out there everyone.  Don't panic, that won't help anyone.  As Reagan once said, "Trust, but verify" everything you read, or hear.  The .gov is heavily invested in self-preservation, NOT necessarily YOUR preservation.  Never confuse the two.