Thursday, June 26, 2014

That wasn't how I expected that to go

I've gotten into the habit of taking our two doggies to an off-leash hiking trail nearby.  The trails follow a creek where the dogs can wade around and, most importantly, run their tails off.  They do much better when they are able to get their vigorous exercise.

Today, the kids didn't want to go with me.  Each one went to a friend's house, I loaded up the two furry friends and we were off.

Since I didn't have the kids with me, we took a more meandering route.  The trail was damp from the heavy rain we had yesterday and the creek levels were somewhat higher.  At one point, we crossed the creek and I got my shoes wet.  "Oh well."  I thought, and squished along.  The place where we crossed had a steep bank, but there were places where there was dirt packed into the spaces between tree roots that I could use as steps. 

The dogs and I spend about 40 minutes tromping around, splashing and watching for wildlife when I noticed that there were clouds rolling in.  For the last week, we've had bursts of rain followed by hot and humid weather.  I felt a cool breeze and figured we might get a sprinkle.  I thought it was time to turn back and head for the car.

As soon as I turned, thunder rumbled.  Peavey hates thunder.  He whimpered and looked at me with a worried expression on his face.  I called for the dogs to follow and started walking briskly in the direction we needed to go.

Five minutes later, when we got to the creek crossing, it was sprinkling.  I just waded across, trying to save time, and found I couldn't get a foothold on the bottom of the bank.  It was too muddy.  My feet just slipped.  It took me five full minutes to finally find a place where I could get a tiny toehold and grab a tree root to haul myself up that first couple of feet.  Then I was able to go from tree to tree.  My feet went out from under me once but I had a good hold on a tree trunk. 

I got my bod up to where we needed to be and continued on.  Then the rain got heavier.  I took an empty dog poo bag and put my phone in it.  Just as I put it back in my pocket it started to pour. 

The dogs were looking back at me, trying to shake themselves dry but seemed to be okay as long as we kept moving. The more it rained, the muddier the trail became. I had mud stuck all over the bottoms of my shoes, making me slip and slide around. 

This wasn't a Bear Grylls situation, but I was worried I was going to fall down.  I went carefully, but was still trying to go as fast as I could.  And it kept pouring. 

Squish squish, splash, stomp, scrape, whoa, goddammit!

That's what it sounded like as I was trying to get back to the car.  It took me 20 minutes to get us back to the car.  All three of us were dripping wet and had muddy feet.  I'd stayed upright and avoided injury.

We went home where I took off my wet socks and got into some dry clothes.  The dogs gave themselves a shake and settled down for naps.

The good side, I got in over an hour of exercise today.  My legs are complaining but I'm sure I'll sleep well tonight.

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  Use tea tree oil on your mosquito bites to keep the itching down. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

This makes me clutch my head

Last month, I was outraged, along with many other people, that a 3 year old girl who had been mauled by her grandfather's pit bulls was asked to leave a KFC because her face was disturbing other customers.  

I had a huge opinion about it.  I've worked in retail, I currently work at what is, essentially, upscale fast food.  I opined that someone behind the counter was approached by another customer and then went over to say to the grandma and the little girl with the eye patch that they needed to leave.  The grandma got media attention and her gofundme received over $135,000 in donations.  KFC acted swiftly and donated $30,000 to the little girl's medical expenses.

And that's another issue.  This child had her jaw broken, top and bottom, by the dogs.  She's on a feeding tube.  She CAN'T swallow.  But, her insurance company is refusing to pay for any costs attached to her tube or formula.  So says her grandma.  Money is very much needed because the insurance company (I hate medical insurance companies.  But, that's another blog) won't take care of this little girl.

This week, it's been reported that it was a hoax.  The grandma and little girl weren't even in the restaurant. read about it here

Now, there's the big tug-of-war going on in my heart. Even with insurance coverage, the co-pays and prescription costs have to be huge.  The patient share of the hospital bill is probably crippling.  The family probably needs a little assist.  That's understandable.

But, the people who gave with generosity and caring and love for a small child who wasn't kept safe by her family feel like they've been duped.  They're now questioning if the grandma is telling the truth about why they need the money.  Maybe she needs it for living expenses, or medication, or any of the other costs involved with caring for a child that needs extensive treatment.  A plastic surgeon in Las Vegas offered his services for free.  It's something the 3 year old needs.  Will he withdraw that offer because her grandma lied?  Will he then say that it's not the granddaughter's fault that her grandma lied and she shouldn't be denied care that will benefit her?  Because it's not her fault.

The fact that the incident didn't happen makes everyone question where the money is going.  Is it really going to her care or is the grandma going to buy a car?  If she is arrested, who will take care of this child?  Will she go into foster care?  Will she live in a hospital?  What will happen to her?

It's not the child's fault that her grandma did a bad thing for a good reason.

What's going to happen to her?  That's all I can think.

*sigh*  I'm clutching my head.

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  In the summer, if you are doing a lot of swimming, remember to deep condition your hair and lotion up your skin. Chlorine will dry everything out.  And don't forget your sunscreen!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I'm sorry, what?

I went for my annual physical week before last.   I saw the nurse practitioner, which I was fine with.  I had gone and gotten my blood drawn for the tests my doctor wanted to run the week before and there were some results that needed to be discussed.  I anticipated a discussion about my cholesterol level as high LDL runs in my family. 

First, I went into a little room to get my blood pressure (a very good number), weight and pulse (a little fast) recorded.  In the middle of the day, I weighed in at 194.  The most I've ever weighed was around 220.  That was when Zoe was 2 years old.  I used Weight Watchers and got myself down to around 185.  I was back up to close to 200 two years ago, then signed up for a boot camp through a mother's club I belonged to at the time.  One of the members ran our classes and I lost 15 pounds.  I've stayed there, as you can see.

The nurse practitioner told me that my cholesterol was high, my bad cholesterol was a little high and she wanted me to try changing my diet and activity level before we tried treating with a prescription. 

Then she said "You're weight concerns me, too."  She walked over to a BMI chart and pointed to the "over 30" section, which indicates obesity, "You're right in here.  I'd like to see you down here."  She slid her finger along and pointed to the number '145'. 

145?  50 pounds?  Fifty?  Five and zero?  Um.....

In my head I said "Seriously?  Are you fucking kidding me?"  

Then my reaction was that I wasn't sure why she was using the BMI indicator, since there's a lot of conflicting information out there about it.  However, in the 1980s, we used the 5-er calculation.  If you are 5 feet tall, you should weigh 100 pounds.  For every inch in height after that, add 5 pounds.  So, me at 5'4" should weigh 120 pounds.  There also the theory that when you add your measurements together, they shouldn't equal more than 100 inches.  36+28+36=100.  In the 1990's, Susan Powter liked to use a caliper measuring device to check how much body fat you were carrying and strive to get it under a certain percentage.  BMI came on the scene in the 90s and has hung around.  The oldest suggestion, the insurance height/weight chart, puts me between 131-151. 

According to any of these, I need to get myself down at least 40 pounds.  Hrm, okay.

This idea doesn't thrill me and I'm not sure I'm taking it very seriously.  Change my cholesterol?  Sure, no problem.  I can eat Cheerios or oatmeal or more fish and I'm fine with that.  But 40 pounds?  That's some serious work.  Not much pleasantness to it.  Although, it would make buying clothes a whole lot easier.

It's not that I don't know how to do it.  As a matter of fact, I know a bunch of ways to do it.  You can use the good, old calorie counting.  Helen Gurley Brown, the late editor of Cosmopolitan magazine suggested a level of 500-1000 calories per day with an increase in exercise to firm it all up.  She said that 5'7" at 145 pounds was pudgy.  I could go off on a long tangent about Helen and stuff I read by her in my early teens that had a lasting effect on my self-esteem (not in a super good way), but that's another blog. 

I liked Susan Powter, who said eat when you are hungry.  But, eat high quality, low fat foods such as vegetables, fruits. lean proteins, whole grains in place of higher processed foods.  Include 30 minutes of exercise  day, increasing as you feel you can, sticking with activities you enjoy and don't hurt.  Then toss in some deep breathing exercises and stretching. Don't stress it too much, do what makes sense. She didn't like the scale for your first several weeks of changing how you eat, but using your measurements or clothing size or how you're feeling.  Currently, I've got a 39 inch waist and 46 inch hips and I wear a size 16/18.  Of course, women's clothing varies so much from brand to brand, I wear a 14 in some brands and a 22 in others.

Richard Simmons believes in high quality foods in appropriate portions combined with exercise.  He sells some gizmos that make this easier. He gets that bigger people need very low impact movements and designs his workouts with that in mind.  I can't do his stuff, it's just too.....I don't know.  Richard Simmons-y.  I mean, I LIKE Richard.  I can remember watching his show on TV after school in 1979.  He showed up on General Hospital and Chips and a bunch of other TV shows, much as he does now.  He seems to have a good sense of humor about himself,  but I can't stand the workouts.  Sorry, Richard.

I've done Weight Watchers, as I said, and had great success with it.  I'm considering going back to it, but doing the meetings instead of the online program, because the last time I was on the WW message boards they were a total joke.  The women were mean and clique-ish.  Most people dropped out, leaving about 50 core people who liked to insult and drive out anyone new. 

I'm not committing either way.  What I am doing is upping my water intake, eating a big salad of spinach and kale once a day, cutting out red meat and processed foods and eating when I'm hungry.  I've started taking the dogs for walks every day in addition to all the running around I do at work.  I'm going to weigh myself at the end of the month and see if it made a difference.  If not, I"ll think about WW again.  If my weight and measurements have changed, then I'll keep on with what I'm doing.

If not, I'll try something else.

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  Don't fall for the suggestion that says you can make a mask out of plain gelatin that will clear out your pores.  Really, it just pulls out all the hair on your face, which hurts.  You want to pull out the hair on your face, I'm cool with that. Just don't do this thinking you'll get rid of blackheads.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Don't forget I wrote a book

It's called Red Lipstick and How It Saved My Life,  My Journal From the Year I Was Crazy.

Available at Smashwords

Now, if anyone wants to help me with creating cover art, I can get it up on Amazon.  Yah, I'm a dork who can't figure it out.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

An idea for a short film

As you all know, I work for a big coffee company that sells lattes and stuff.  This week I had some drama at the drive through window.

On Friday, a regular customer pulled up and said "I'd like to buy the coffee for the woman behind me because she's an asshole. She's been fucking with me all up and down Parmer.  I pulled out and there was plenty of room but she SPED UP......."  and there was more ranting from there.  She said she'd let me decide how to tell the mean lady to have a better day.

Next up is the mean lady. She's also a regular.  I tell her the customer in front of her bought her coffee and said to have a good day. 

This customer says "Oh, that's probably because she pulled out in front of me.  I had to slam on my goddamn brakes....." and there was more ranting from there.

Saturday comes around and the regular who did the buying of coffee pulls up. She asks me what happened when I told the mean lady that her coffee had been paid for.  I said that her replay was because of the pulling out in front of the other car incident.

"I did NOT pull out in front of her!" and more ranting from there.

Anyway, I got this idea for a short film that all takes place at a drive through window.  The above scenario happens.  Then the two women start buying each other more and more stuff.  One pre-pays for the other one's coffee for a week.  The next one buys for a month.  Next, comes a flower.  Then a bouquet of flowers.  Then balloons.  Spa day certificates.  Designer bags. 

At one point a really good looking young man comes and leans in the driver's side window.  The woman huffs, says "I'm going to be late for work.  Get in the car!" 

They keep responding "Oh she DID did she?  She bought me Kate Spade purse?  Well!  Two can play that game!  I'm going to get her a Louis Vuitton duffel bag!" 

Eventually, one of them says "So, what's going on with that WOMAN?" 

The drive through employee says 'Oh, she's really sick.  She needs a kidney transplant."

The movie ends with the two battling women lying side by side in hospital beds glaring at each other.


What do y'all think?