Saturday, August 29, 2015

Yes, You Can Imagine It...

 Not a funny post, because too many people here in the northwest are dealing with horrendous fires right now. Where we live, we are surrounded on almost all four sides by some of the largest fires ever recorded, though our valley is safe.

One small and very dear town where Shane and I lived for four years is possibly evacuating today due to the Okanogan complex fire and others bearing down on the town from all sides. Some of our friends are on standby to evacuate, some already have.  Our oldest was born there, and now both homes we lived in there...are possibly gone.  We won't know until the areas are opened back up.

The town where we both grew up has a giant fire still burning, which has caused evacuations throughout many places we remember from our past.  The neighborhood where my best friend lived, where we took long walks down the dyke and taught ourselves to type in her parents' camper.  The area where Shane's grandparents lived when his dad was a kid, and probably all the landmarks from that era, are possibly gone--again, we won't know until they let people back into the areas.

So many sad stories.  Every one is its own private tragedy, and every one means a family starting over.

The firestorm photos are hard for me to look at.  They take my breath away and bring instant tears, because I know what it's like.  My family's home burned to the ground on October 21, 1986, when I was 16. The house we had built from the dirt up, that my parents designed and our friends helped build.  The house that was our sanctuary and our whole world for 7 years, a lifetime to a child.

My mom was out of town on an extended trip to Washington, D.C. that month, so I had put out the cats, said good-bye to my dad, and my brother and I had gone off to school.

By 9:30 that morning, I was called into the gym, where the whole highschool was taking their SAT tests, to take a phone call from the sheriff's office telling me that our house was on fire and was a total loss.  They couldn't find my dad, so I got the news first. I looked outside and saw the billowing smoke from 20 miles away, and I knew that cloud was our home.

I will save the *whole* story for another time, but I wanted to share something.

For those who see the posts of devastation in the news, social media, etc., and say "So sorry, I can't imagine your loss," it struck me that yes, you can imagine what a house fire is like.  Here's how:

Look down at what you're wearing right now.  Jewelry. Clothes. Underwear. Socks/shoes. Anything you are carrying.


Now, close your eyes and imagine that those items are all that you now possess on this earth.

Now open your eyes.

Makes you appreciate everything a little more, doesn't it?

And yes, many people in the fire areas have been fortunate (and I use the term loosely) enough to have some warning and time to plan and evacuate, time to pack what is, and what is not, necessary.  Time to move livestock, or just open the gates and hope for the best. Time to take a picture and a long look and say goodbye to the house and the landscape, and leave.  And yes, it is "just a house", but until you've been through it, you can't really fathom the loss.

A peek at my story...

Our house in the beginning-- 1978

After much adding on, almost finished, early 80s.

View from driveway, 1982
Same view from driveway, total loss.  Sometime in 1988.  My whole life was in there.

Please keep the northwest in your thoughts and prayers.  So many people are hurting right now.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Panhandling in the Panhandle

The other day, I was driving with our youngest, and there was this guy standing on one of the corners by our mall, holding one of those cardboard signs that said something along the lines of  I don't have any money.  Can I have some of yours?

I won't bore you with a monologue on how I *feel* about panhandling versus busting your ass working for a living 6+ days a week, because then you might disagree and be like wow, you're really judgey, and I'd have to be all, well, don't read my blog, then, and then there'd be all this angst and we'd both think the other was being a jerk.

ANYWAY, there was this guy, for whatever reason, and it caused the following funny conversation in our car, after we went by.

Me:  Dude, seriously?  I thought panhandling was illegal in Idaho.

Teenager:  Isn't that why it's called The Panhandle State?

Me:  *laughing*  No.  We live in the Panhandle OF Idaho.

Teenager:  Oh.  Why is it called the Panhandle, then? I thought it was because of panhandlers.

Me:  Because Idaho is kind of shaped like a pan, and this is like the pan handle.

Teenager:  Idaho is the least pannish thing I've ever seen.  It totally does not look like a pan.

Come to think of it...she's right

Monday, August 3, 2015

Great. MORE THINGS to Cut Out of My Diet

I'm getting ready to go see a hormonal specialist doctor in the near future, because here's the situation.

Aside from the fact that I've been unsuccessfully fighting the same 30 pounds for about 10 years, I've been repeatedly told I "should get my thyroid checked", and I have like 9 of the 10 symptoms of hypothyroidism.

I have ranted about this before, but it's not helping, so here I go again.  I'm getting really tired of this.  I'm not used to losing the fights I fight.  When I set my mind to something, I ALWAYS accomplish it, so why the heck is this not working?  And, how does my weight continues to go UP?


My weight problems started after taking the diet craze pill called Metabolife (the original, really bad for you formula) way back in the mid-late 1990s, when I didn't actually HAVE a weight problem.  So, I'm not even sure why I tried it, because at that time, I had always maintained the same weight.  I bounced back easily after two pregnancies (where I gained 48 and 54 pounds respectively).  I liked my body then.  It was beautiful and curvy at a healthy 128-135 pounds.  It actually stopped traffic once in a terrific dress that I'll always keep as a reminder, though in those days, I always thought it could be better.  Just...why.

Back then, I could eat anything I wanted, within reason, and my weight would maintain.  Gain a few pounds, oops...cut back here and there over a few days and tah-dah--back where I need to be.  I never worked out.  I never dieted.  There's no history of obesity in our family, and don't give me that "'s just our AGE" crap.  This is not normal.

Fast forward to about 2004, when a year had gone by where we didn't have a scale.  I went in for a physical (that was last physical, but I digress), and found I'd gained 20 pounds.  I about FELL OFF the scale.

No.  That can't be possible, doc.  Move that slide-y thing back.  Back.  BaaaaaaccccckkkkKK.


Let me try it with my shoes off??

So, I bought a scale and decided to get a handle on whatever had happened to my body.

The End.


Ever since then, I have fought my weight.  I've cut various things out of my diet.  I have swum laps for hours and gone to the gym (ok, yes, sporadically, but as often as 6 days a week without weight loss...really???  That'll make you DEFINITELY QUIT GOING TO THE GYM ).  I bought an exercise bike and rode it to the moon and back, with no result.  Did Pilates.  Jumping jacks.  Run up the stairs and back down.  I have taken herbal supplements and multivitamins.  Tried to be like my Mom--read Back to Eden and stocked up on vegetarian cookbooks.  I have counted calories and done online help-me-lose-weight apps. I have been drinking hot water with lemon and honey in the morning forEVER.  I tried acai berry and apple cider vinegar.  I have cut processed foods, fast foods, GMO's, coffee, and all my beloved carbs.  I never eat any of the desserts I bake (if I bake at all anymore). I have gone on a more or less plant-based, whole-food diet, all organic.  Heck, I hardly ever even eat HOT food any more...Raw cucumbers or fruit again? YES because who doesn't love raw cucumbers every damn day?  We sort of tried to go a little bit vegan.  I work outside in the garden in the summer, EVERY DAY FOR 1-4 HOURS A DAY.  EVERY DAY.


Did I mention, every day?

I keep gaining weight.

What. The. Hell.

Oh sure, I'll lose a few pounds here and there, but as soon as I let up the relentless pressure of eating almost nothing and cutting out ALL THINGS THAT I LOVE, my weight floats up just as relentlessly.

Here's my life in a nutshell:  (yes...apparently I *can* have nuts, hahaHAHAAA  *weeps*)

Consume more than 1200-1500 calories in a day? = weight gain.

Any wheat products (even whole grain)? = weight gain (like 7 pounds in 3 days on vacation!! what the actual?)

Any processed carbs, even brown rice flour pasta or gluten-free vegan bagels? = weight gain.

Coffee with cream and sugar in the morning? = weight gain.

Other random things that aren't helping:

Alcohol.  Sugar.  Dairy (noooo, don't take my cheese and yogurt.  It's my last joy).

If I limit the above three things and cut OUT the former carbs/wheat/coffee weight will stay relatively the same, albeit 30 POUNDS HEAVIER THAN I SHOULD BE.  Oh sure, it will drift down a pound or two here and there, but if I let up for even a goes right back UP and we reset the clock and start ALL OVER.

So, to maintain, here's what I CAN have, based on my totally nonprofessional findings:


Yeah.  This is AWESOME.
I know, it LOOKS pretty.  But it's not that cool when it's ALL YOU CAN EAT.

So.  I'm getting started with some labwork as soon as possible, as well as the long-overdue physical, also partly because "you're not getting any younger" is one of the recurring themes when I can't sleep and my brain starts reminding me of cool stuff to not forget about at 2:45 a.m., or lists I should be making.

Part of me hopes it will turn out be something like my thyroid, and not that I have just epically failed at something that should NOT be impossible.  The other part of me will be really pissed if I've just wasted 10 years being 30 pounds overweight because of a hormone imbalance.

Sorry to go OFF, but I'm just so really totally sick of busting my butt (apparently *not enough*), eating nothing I enjoy, and getting on the scale to see the number has gone...UP.   again.


Somebody tell me I'm not a fat, epic failure today...I really need it.