Sunday, November 18, 2012

Why don't I pay attention??

In the beginning of October (seems like a lifetime ago) I read a book review for "The Iron King" by Julie Kagawa.  Somewhere along the line (probably due to my weird love of Ireland, Irish Folklore and most things Irish)  I read enough Irish tales to develop a fondness for stories of the Fae.  So  I requested the book from my library and it was available pretty quickly. 

It took me awhile - in small snatches of time to read this book.  But I got sucked in to the lives of Meghan Chase, Robin Goodfellow (more commonly known as Puck) King Oberon, Queen Titania and Queen Mab and her son Prince Ash.  Meghan's journey to take on the Iron King as she learns that she is 1/2 fae - daughter of Oberon and learns to start to awaken some of her power.   Then as I finished the book , questions still unanswered, the last page was the "Don't Miss "The Iron Daughter" available blah blah blah.  I then looked online.  The Iron King is apparently Book #1 of the Iron fey series.  Yes it also says that on the cover - stop laughing at me Grace!!  There are 5 books and 3 e-novellas connecting them in this series!!  At least as of right now. 

So next time you wonder why it is I always seem to end up reading series fiction....

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I must admit that I'm going through some serious withdrawal right now.  Not from Sugar, Carbs or other foods ( I think I'm actually developing a sugar phobia) I am in serious need of some hockey.  The NHL is on strike. NASCAR is over, College football has only one more weekend left to play.  Hockey is supposed to fill this gap through spring.  I am desperately trying to convince my friends we need to take a road trip up to Albany to see the Devils farm team play.  High School hockey is starting soon - I may become the weird old lady in the stands with no kid to root for ( I still root for the Angie's HS)  I follow several players and ex-players on Twitter, I follow the Devils and the NJDevil himself , the mascot.  On Thursday several of them tweeted about a charity match between some Devil's Alumni and the coaches for the NJ Colonials the next day.  A $10 donation to the governor's wife's Sandy relief fund, a silent auction and bring some non-perishable food items for the Interfaith Food Pantry.  I called Curt - I didn't care if we had plans - there was hockey!!

I  ended up working late and being stuck in traffic ( how people can do rush hour traffic day after day and not turn homicidal I will never know).  I called Curt and arranged to meet him for a quick dinner at the Atlanta Bread Company in Morris Plains.  It took me an hour and 20 minutes to go 15 miles!!  Curt got there at 5 - thinking 45 minutes would be enough for me to make it - but NOOOOOO  I didn't get there until 530pm!!  Fortunately he thought to run into Shop Rite and pick up a few things for our food pantry donation while we waited.  Soup ( I had NE clam chowder - he had French Onion) and a yummy steak sammy later we were on the way.

Default title upload by motoblur

Not the greatest photo - I took it with my phone.  Some of my favorite players of olde showed up - Daneyko, Starkov, MacLean, Brylin, Dowd, Mullin, Marshall, Driver, Barr  (weird thing  happened - they got older?!  what's that about?) The Devil's coach DeBoer played as well (he and his wife came up with the idea and set it up in a week!)

Default title upload by motoblur

Default title upload by motoblur

From what they announced at the end of the game - they raised $44,000 for the relief fund , and what seemed like a ton of food!!  And I got to see some of my favorite retired Devils play a fun game!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Food Finds.

FIRST  let me remind you that I'm not a doctor, that I have these issues because I'd go too long between eating etc. etc.  Periodically (I'm aiming for weekly.. but this is me so grain of salt) I'm going to blog about foods that I have found to work well with my blood glucose issues.  By not causing a spike - they also don't cause in the quick drop in blood glucose immediately after.  And they are pretty healthy for non-vegans.

One of the issues I've encountered is that I have to be very, very careful eating white rice.  Especially the short grain white rice I get in the Japanese markets.  Jasmine rice, while super yummy seems to affect me for almost a whole day , not just after the meal I eat it at - I think it starts the pendulum swinging and it takes a while to stabilize my system.  One trick I have discovered (and I thought about it, because my grandmother grew up in a Japanese farming community and the farmers would mix their white rice with barley)  Is to mix about 1/3 white rice with 2/3 barley.  Barley is super low on the glycemic index, and it seems to temper the effect of white rice wthout changing the taste and texture too much.

I've been exploring other grains as well.  The "ancient grains"  spelt, amarynth farro etc.  I found this in Costco, and I love it!

Default title upload by motoblur

It's really yummy, has a nice texture and chew, cooks up faster than white rice.  The only thing I do is use just a bit less water than the directions.  Also, it's easy to make a single or double serving -not a whole pot.

It contains farro, barley, durham wheat, rice and whole grain oats.  A 3oz uncooked serving  ( I usually eat 1/2 to 3/4 of a serving) has 270 cal, 56 gr carb ( I get 30-45 in a meal thus the partial serving) 6 gr fiber and 8 gr protein. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

An Irish Country Wedding

Patrick Taylor's next book about the Doctors of Ballybuckleboo is out, and I got a copy from my library. ( Have I mentioned how much I love my library's reserve system?  I can put in my favorite authors - don't remember how many- and when a new book comes out by them , the library automatically adds me to the reservation list!)

I started reading it today, and it is as good as the previous books.  Too bad I have to work - or I'd be returning it tomorrow!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I finished a sweater for Anna's spawn

Default title upload by motoblur

Not the greatest picture - I took it at night and my CFLs aren't great for photos.  When I find out if I'm having a little alien niece or nephew, I'll weave a blue or pink ribbon through the eyelet border.  If she doesn't tell me (and I wouldn't be surprised if I don't find out until the Christening) I'll weave a yellow ribbon through.

I used a yarn called PJs from Knit One Crochet Two.  It's pretty neat - it is basically a really long thin strip of flannel.  It did give off some lint from the cut edges while I was knitting - hopefully (or not.. not real concerned about Anna dealing with lint) the lint calms down after laundering.  I have a  skein and a half left over (88 yds per skein) I may make a cap and booties if I have time.  Not time until she has the baby  it's due in March, but until my NerdWars dissertation is due on Dec 28th.  I have to make another 2 sweaters and one of the sweater is already committed to a matching cap and booties.  All three sweaters are with inexpensive machine washable yarn, because a big part of me thinks she won't ever use the sweater and they will end up in Goodwill.  I'm mostly making them to appease my mom.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Gym Is Open!

Yeah, I never really thought I'd say that either.  After Sandy blew through here, the majority of the Borough was without power.  (we lost cable for a brief time- but I needed to catch up on stuff on the DVR anyway... I was just pissed because it went out during Monday Night Football - and the 9ers were playing) Well, yesterday the gum got power back and today it was open!  For most of the week, it was really a moot point - I was working a lot of hours so really didn't have the time/energy to hit the gym.  Thursday, I had taken a day off (pre-Sandy) for a follow up appointment with my CDE, and I really WANTED to go to the gym on the way home.  Yes, WANTED.  I had a brief anxiety attack - that all the workouts I've done since August would be nullified and my liver would start acting up again, she tried to calm my fears - but those of you that know me realize that was an impossible task.

So this morning, Curt and I headed for the gym (me getting this diagnosis is probably the best thing for Curt's health!  He's been going to the gym a couple times a week, and from my cooking changing he's dropped just over 10 pounds... rat fink)  I did 45 min on the weight circuit and 45 min on the elliptical trainer. IT FELT AWESOME!!  I have reached that point that I told my Dr I would. When I was younger and in shape, I was addicted to the gym. Not a gym rat or muscle head, but I get to that point where I need to work out at least every other day or I feel crappy.  Both my muscles and my brain want the workout.  I almost got there last summer - but then when Irene hit and work went crazy I only sporadically hit the gym, and by November I was really only half assing it, then it turned into I'd feel guilty when the gym charges hit my account and would go once a month.  I now have an extra incentive to work out.

SO yes, I'm very happy I can get back in the gym.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Avoiding Brain Atrophy

Every once in a while, I decide I don't use my brain enough and it is in danger of atrophy. ( I wouldn't want to start rooting for the Chefs - sorry randy or gasp Jr -)   I had heard about Coursera on TED.  Coursera gives free online classes in a huge range of subjects by faculty of top universities. ( I believe it was co-founded by Stanford and Princeton - but didn't check so don't quote me on that) I kept meaning to check it out (much like I kept meaning to blog - and you see how that went for 3 months).   Then one of my friends (Fe's mom) said she was taking Intro to Logic.  I decided to take it with her - the only requirements were Algebra and Set Theory.  It was taught by a Stanford professor.

 I ended up dropping the class for a few reasons. 
1.  It was taking WAY WAY more than the 2-3 hours a week that it estimated.
2.  While I did get higher than an 80 on the homework (required to get a certificate of completion) it was by the skin of my teeth, 
3.  Here is my biggest complaint about the class:  I really feel that after the hard deadline for turning in the homework (there is the due date and if you are late you lose points for every day you are late - the hard deadline is when you get a 0 anyway) the professor should have posted the correct answers and some sort of explanation as to how one would arrive at that answer.  So if you say got 9 points out of 20 for a question (yup 9) there is nothing other than to ask in the discussion forums how to get the right answer.  Some students got the right answer but in different ways and you don't know which is the correct way.  In a live class you can ask the professor or see him after class.  And since clearly the next week is only going to build on something that you only grasp 45% of - you are going downhill quickly.
4.  Set theory wasn't discussed in the classes, but showed up in the homework and there was never an explanation of how set theory ties into Logic equations ( he did explain how Algebra rules translated to Logic) and you are left out there trying to figure it out on your own.

I haven't given up on Coursera.  I may even try another math class at some point in the future.  I am currently signed up for one class that will start at the end of November and one that will start in April.  They are both nutrition based classes, which given my newfound weird diabetes have a real relevance in my life.  I really encourage other people to check out their course offerings.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month.  The CDC says:
*Every 17 seconds someone is diagnosed with Diabetes.
*Diabetes kills more people each year than Aids and breast cancer combined.
*Up to 1 in 3 adults will have diabetes by 2050.

So, in August, I became part of the statistics.  I got diagnosed with a form of diabetes.  I'm not a type 1 or 2 - because it's me - I can't be normal.  I have really low numbers.  I need to get them up and more stable.  (Who knew you actually NEED LDL - I always thought that was bad)

I have attacked this thing pretty aggressively.  Because while this can't be cured, it CAN be managed and I want to control it so I don't have to pop more pills.  I think the thing that really shocked me into action is getting a copy of my bloodwork numbers.  Granted I'm not a Dr, and I don't know what most of those things even are, but I am pretty smart and I can learn.  The report I got gave numbers in the "normal" range in black and those outside that range in  RED.  My report looked like I just massively flunked an exam.  This was a lot more concrete than my Dr telling me I needed to lose weight and exercise because my numbers were trending wrong.

I now have my own personal CDE, Joanne.  A bit crazy, but cool. She's also an RN.  I met with her, got a blood glucose meter, eating and exercise plan.  I then went to 4 weeks of classes given by her and another CDE that has a PhD in nutrition- and her dissertation was on managing diabetes with diet.   I learned so much about the way your body processes your food it is kind of mind blowing.  I then went to work trying to beat my liver into submission. (Yes liver - it's trying to kill my pancreas)

I don't know for sure how much of a difference I have made until my next blood test on the 24th (yes 2 days after my birthday and Thanksgiving... joy)  However, I had a followup with my Dr 2 weeks ago.  He was very happy with the numbers I had so far.  Today was my follow up with Joanne.  She was very impressed. (She had predicted that I would manage this well because of my attitude in our initial meeting and through the classes)  She was very happy with my numbers - and could even see where they started trending toward healing.

I have officially since August 1st lost 34 pounds.  AND  3.5 inches off my waistline!