My favorite folks ! :)

31 January 2009


The book club was fine last night. I so appreciate having a home where we can invite other people. Our last rented house was simply too small to have folks over.

We went to see "Taken" at the Village Theaters today. Duane & i both like Liam Neeson. It was a good movie, but very disturbing. I know human trafficking exists, but i find it very disturbing. The movie was very violent as well.

Yesterday afternoon i began to feel nauseous. It has continued today, moderate bordering on severe. I've taken a ton of ginger. I think i'm a bit more relaxed this time about possible pregnancy, because i either am, or i am not. We will get a + preg test, or i'll get my period. It may be some time before i get either. Still, i tried a HPT this AM, & it was negative.

I also have a splitting headache today. Besides the nausea, my sense of smell is more acute. But usually my breasts are sore, & that is not so. I sometimes wonder if it is all psychosomatic, i.e., when a certain amount of time passes i think, "I could be pregnant," my body automatically manufactures symptoms. The first failed pregnancy i had made me really angry. I was angry at my body for "tricking" me into thinking i could be pregnant. And again the second time i went thru that a little, but by then i was beginning to trust my body more. I accepted that i had been pregnant, even if the pregnancy failed.

I spent too many years believing that i was depressed & mental because
the doctors told me so. Early on in my life i knew that the problem was physical & needed to be addressed. But that is not how doctors work. When i presented a possible reason (hypoglycemia, for example), i had doctors tell me they "didn't believe" in hypoglycemia, later candida, & gluten intolerance, & chronic fatigue. Some tests they did returned "within normal limits," & they told me my fatigue & other symptoms were because i was depressed, & take these pills. But the pills never helped. And i don't know now if they ever even ran the tests that would give adequate info.

Granted, i did have emotional issues. My family was unhealthy, to understate a fact. I had no self-esteem, little practical training with which to face the world, no self-confidence, & poor boundaries. Depression was a given. However, i now believe it was driven by over use of multiple meds, chemical sensitivities, eating gluten & a vast array of horrible things (fast food, junk food, with all that goes with such "food" items including nutritional deficits), & many other issues.
It was not a simple problem. And i did not trust my body because when i reported what i was feeling, the docs told me that it was not so & i was mis-reading what i felt & that i was simply depressed.

I no longer trust the docs.
They were the liars not my body. When i cleaned my life & diet, the depression issues went away. I do have to give some credit to meds, when taking Topomax, i was able to make cognitive changes for the better, & began to get better. When i began cleaning up my life from fake foods & other chemicals & cut the gluten, i was no longer depressed in need of meds. I AM still tired. The chronic fatigue has been there since i was 15 years old, & it stubbornly won't leave in a few months, maybe not in a few years. But i no longer carry a cloud of depression. I have times when i worry, or feel sorry for myself, in short i have occasional temporary depression just like every other normal human. But it no longer gets out of perspective & runs me.

Whether or not we ever hold a child remains to be seen. But over all, thank you God, thank you God that i have reached this point & no longer have to struggle with depression, or depending on an undependable doctor to "make" me better. Thank you for bodies that are made to balance & heal. Thank you for real foods that nourish & provide & heal.

(This was intended to be a short entry!)


30 January 2009


I get a little discouraged when i read something "new" to avoid in order to be healthier. Right now it is dental fillings, watches, jewelry. But i don't have any of those things, & have not in a long time, & it didn't make these amazing health changes for me! I've also quit most commercial soaps, lotions, shampoos, deodorants/antiperspirants & so many others. Oh well, keep on keeping on.

Tonight we are having the "Book Club" from church. This month is A.J. Jacobs' book "The Year of Living Biblically." It is funny & insightful, tho he does remain an atheist. Our book club doesn't read all religious books. We've read "Marley & Me," & some of Stephen King, & a number of other things as well.

I'm very tired, doesn't seem like i did that much in trying to get ready for company. I was going to make an apple pie for tonight, but was just too tired. Made 1 bowl brownies instead. Need to go cut them soon.

I've often been sorry that i didn't do a better job of recording what happened with the pregnancy i had that miscarried (Kaylee). I know i had several negative tests before i had a positive one. I think i was at about 38 or 40 days before we got a positive test. I know my progesterone was low & had to do supplements. I don't remember having many symptoms, but i did start bleeding & have to do bed rest early in the 10th week. We do have an ultrasound, early on before we could see her development. When i miscarried, she was about the size of a kumquat. (That is from a pregnancy site, that compares the size of the baby to something folks can relate to.)

I'm 29 days today. That doesn't mean much, except for the past 4 months i've been 25-27 days. I've been late before tho, without being pregnant. Twice i'm sure i was pregnant, tho we never had a + test. The two i call "failed pregnancies" i was 40 & 42 days, but my sureness of the conception wasn't that i was late, it was the host of symptoms i was having. The last time, my sense of smell became so acute, i could smell a slightly sour dishcloth from another room, round a corner, & more than 20 feet away. And it was so strong & stinky to me i didn't know if i could stand it, & it didn't dissipate, nor did i grow accustomed to the smell.

I don't seem to have any symptoms, except in the evenings i've been a little nauseous & more "gassy," but that could simply be diet. I'm afraid to hope, but can't help but hope. I don't want to share this with folks as then i'll have to tell them when i'm not pregnant. But i can record it here, just in case. And of course i'll record when i find out i'm not pregnant & am disappointed.

I can still hope, tho!


29 January 2009

Things Unseen

Title like that deserves more mystery or spirituality, but i'm talking about hormones & energy fields!

Tuesday again i could not sleep, tho i did fall asleep for a couple of hours around 6AM. The previous week i had not slept at all. What did i do in common both days? First i had acupuncture in the AM both days, but i've had that before without problems. The other thing i did: use my laptop on my lap &/or chest for a few hours in the evening.

I've known for a while that using the laptop like this cause me problems. However, i have sometimes thought, "If i do it for just a little while it will be ok." And so it is, if i stick to under an hour in the AM. Twice now using it in the evening caused little or no sleep, & so accepting that the EMF &/or wifi is bothering me, i must not do it any more.

We got home last night & i was sooooo cold & could not get warm. Bar being very sick with a fever, i don't think i've ever been quite so cold & it was painful. I was near crying last night it was so bad. This has been escalating for a while now. It is my pattern to be warm in the AM, & get progressively colder as the day goes by. But i usually was not uncomfortable until the evening. But recently it has been earlier & earlier in the day that i get cold. Often i cannot get warm unless i go to bed & sleep for an hour or so. I'd discussed it with the acupuncture doc, Kathy, a couple of weeks ago. She feels it is both the fatigue & thyroid. My body isn't functioning efficiently enough to keep me warm. (I find that ironic seeing the amount of blubber i carry!)

I was so thankful for our Christmas gift on the bed last night, because sitting in front of the fire wasn't doing the job. Still it took me a while to warm up. I do hope this improves, or i may be spending a lot of time in bed.

Doctors tend to scoff at certain things, cell phones or lap tops effecting us. But they also used to scoff at things that are now well accepted (cigarettes causing health problems, bacteria causing ulcers). They still scoff at "normal" thyroid levels causing health problems. Things unseen do effect us, but a lot of folks don't want to believe it.


27 January 2009

All Over the Place

My thoughts are here, there, & everywhere today.

I started a blog for the family to use, to share stories & post pics & thoughts. It is less than a week now, but i'm underwhelmed by the interest. Sigh.

I've a fairly busy day scheduled today. It will be good to stay busy. Not a lot of money, but still good to keep going. I tend to get very lazy when i don't stay busy enough.

We do so want to have a baby, but i'm starting to give up hope. Still, every day that goes by i think of the things i'd want to share with our children. Today i was thinking about driving & how you need to be "present" every moment. Especially as so many people - drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians - all seem to function on "autopilot" & don't pay attention to what is going on around them. If i keep on having thoughts on what to teach our kids, by the time they are 2 they will have totally tuned me out! Oh mom!

Guess i've so much in my head that i can't think of anything.


25 January 2009

Quiet Sunday

Church today, & lunch with friends afterward.

I'm concerned about the direction of our church & the trend of the preaching.

We chose this church because it, without a doubt, loves Jesus. That is very important to us as many churches these days seem to be losing sight of that. The idea of "inclusion" bothers me. It is essentially saying that there is no sin, no black & white, & to an extent, that God didn't know what he was talking about, & we'll all just do what "feels good" to be our religion. It negates what Jesus did for us.

I'm not an extreme black & white person. Usually in life i see lots of shades of grey, but there IS black & white in the world.

However, our church appears to be erring on the side of exclusion. (We are the "white" all the
others are "black.") Our pastor seems to be saying that all the other churches are wrong, in sin/error, & until they change he will not talk to them or take part in any ecumenical activities. This bothers me very much. It seems to me that if other churches are falling into error, we need to be a "light on the mountain," to bring repentance. (However, as many churches as there are here, i cannot believe that all but one has "fallen.") But we cannot be that light if we simply say, "You are wrong, & until you admit it, i will not talk to you." Truth, that IS what our pastor is saying. I've heard enough of his homilies & discussions to know this. And, it seems to me that such a position is dooming our church.

Currently, Duane & i, in our 40s, are the youngest regular attendees there. (No, i'm wrong about that, there is a family that attends regularly. The girls are in their teens.) There are families with children who "belong" to our church, but they attend sporadically, maybe 2 or 3 times a year. It is not my position that we should be all inclusive & seek to preach only what makes us "feel good." That is not the gospel. But i also do not believe we should be so exclusive that we damn ourselves & our message to others before we speak -
because of the attitude behind them.

I don't know where this will go. I think Duane's attitude is, "Where else can we go? We'd better just make the best of it." I know there is no perfect church, but i am extremely concerned where this will lead us. And each week it is getting harder for me to make myself go.


24 January 2009

Mushroom Cloud

Ok, if you ever decide to make your own toothpaste/powder with both baking soda & hydrogen peroxide as ingredients, be prepared for a chemical reaction!

I've been making my own toothpaste with a mixture of 50% each of xylitol & baking soda. Then i added a few drops of peppermint flavoring. (May as well leave that out in the future, i never can taste it.) I like this better than any of the commercial pastes i've tried. Also, the xylitol seems to do a good job of cutting the baking soda taste. Sometimes i add a bit of water, too, if it seems too dry. Or if it seems too wet, i leave the lid off & let it evaporate - it is very dry here. The other day when i was mixing it up it occurred to me that hydrogen peroxide might be better than water for the mix. My teeth are very yellow (probably a result of my mother's overconfidence in/over use of fluoride). The H2O2 probably won't make a difference, but it can't hurt.

I mixed up the full container the other day, & added a little H2O2. It didn't bubble & fizz right away like it would with vinegar. I decided to leave the top off in case it was too liquid. When i went back to get it last night, it had fizzed over the top in a mushroom cloud! It is ok, & i like it better in this new concoction, but next time i won't fill the container so full!

Breakfast today didn't go so well, as far as timing. I got busy doing other things & totally forgot. We had oatmeal & raisins just after noon. Oh, well. Gotta keep trying.


23 January 2009


Titles are weird for me. Have trouble with them.

Duane's mom makes really good cabbage rolls. I've never cared much for cabbage, but i liked them a lot when i was still eating meat. However, her method uses "Minute Rice" & Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup, neither of which fall in my definition of "food." She was up last week & made them, & i watched her do it. I tried to encourage healthy alternatives for what she'd normally use, but she wasn't interested.

So i decided to try this weekend. I made the meat variety with organic brown rice for Duane. For my own i mixed minced mushrooms & some zucchini with the rice & cooked in a different pan. I made my own Cream of Mushroom Soup. It all turned out ok. Duane says it tastes different, but still ok. The flavor of the potatoes i used for mashed remind me more of my mother's potato pancakes than mashed potatoes. That's ok, i like them that way too!

Duane had a friend visiting today, so i took the time to visit with my friend Dawn. (Loved chatting with you today, dear!) I've also been re-connecting with folks i'd known a while ago, someone i went to massage school with, & someone from college. That has been fun.

All in all a good day (i even kept up with the dishes, my biggest challenge!) but am a bit tired now.


22 January 2009


We opened our Christmas present yesterday!

We didn't do a lot for Christmas. It was pretty simple, but after it was all over i realized it would be very nice to have another gift.

We don't heat our house a lot. In the winter it is typically about 60 F much of the day, & gets into the 50s at night. For a while i was putting my (massage) table warmer on Duane's side of the bed, but i had to take it off to use it & realized it would be nice to have the bed warmed. So i suggested that as a late shared Christmas gift we get a mattress pad that warms the bed. Duane was enthusiastic about the idea. So i ordered it, & it arrived a couple of days ago. It has a DC converter, so it doesn't have the "bad" electrical fields. We don't leave it on for long, either, but when i'm cold in the evening & can't seem to get warm, climbing into a preheated bed is heavenly. Before it would take me 45 minutes or longer to get warm enough to sleep.

So it is a lovely Christmas gift.

I did fairly well yesterday. Was sleepy early in the day, & then was awake enough to get things done, but tired, tired, tired. I wonder if it is a result of doing so much the day before. Also, i feel kind of stupid, but i didn't talk to the PT about the Chronic Fatigue & how that limits my ability to exercise. I did get a couple of naps in, & slept fairly well last night, so today is better.

We did follow the eating plan today, kind of. I made yogurt, fruit, & granola for us for breakfast, but about 11.30. Duane did like it very much. But he didn't finish it until nearly 1 pm, & so didn't eat lunch until 4 (or later) & so wasn't very hungry for dinner, so that kind of fell thru. But i tried, & i did carry it out. Tomorrow is a bit more ambitious. We will see how that goes.


21 January 2009

The Coming Battle

It is 6.20 AM. I've not slept at all. Doesn't look good for the day. Fortunately for me it is a slow day, but i usually drive going home. Don't know how that will play out.

Because of my ongoing fatigue (Chronic Fatigue, & chronic and acute Epstein-Barr), i've really struggled with making meals for us.

First of all, my mother honestly taught her daughters nothing about being prepared for life. I did not learn how to cook or bake or manage money or a household. (At one point when i began doing my own laundry she told me that was "her job" until i went to college! She didn't seem to realize that if i didn't learn those skills, going to college would not make it magicaly happen.) It seems like i've spent most of my adult life trying to acquire these skills, & that is not easy! Maybe these things come naturally to some people, but not to me. I really struggle to try & do every day things, and that is before i'm talking about chronic illness.

As an adult, i ate whatever i had on hand, randomly as i felt hungry. As i spent much of my teens & 20s being mildly anorexic, i don't always recognize hunger signals until my body is screaming at me. As time went on, i had a tendency to eat mostly junk.

These days i'd say 95% of what i eat is healthy, but i've not overcome the randomness of my eating. It has occurred to (not always so bright) me recently that part of my fatigue is not giving my body nutrients on a regular basis. Planning meals has been quite an uphill battle.

Duane is really no better at this than i. He did live at home until we married (he was helping his mom with his disabled father who died a couple of years before we met). Sometimes his mom would cook & he'd eat what she made. Other times he just kept frozen stuff in the freezer & would nuke it. He also would eat randomly, often waiting until he was faint with hunger & needing something NOW before he would fix it.

I'm ashamed, but that pattern has continued. The only way i will be able to do this is if i really plan in advance. I've tried before, however & even that only lasts a while before i'm worn out. Thus, my husband often eats nuked, frozen items & snack foods, while i eat a can of (organic!) beans or peanut butter & banana (both organic!). It is hard on my self esteem, as well. I compare myself to my MIL, who is a bundle of energy, or the wife Solomon praises in Proverbs, & i just can't see where i have any value at all.

ANYWAY, this situation had been concerning me for some time, & i didn't know how to adjust it. Quite by accident i came across my first blog, listed below as Changed for Good. I don't agree with her politics or her views on religion, but it is a wonderful view of the changes she & her husband have made doing the South Beach Diet. And, with the exception of using artificial sweetners, it sounds very healthy. She's got good info on different food items, & some yummy recipes.

And i wondered if Duane & i could do something similar. (The wonderful part of working in OC when we live in BB is that i get 4 hours of time with Mr. Handsome every week.) We had a very serious discussion coming down the hill on Monday. Of course, the fact that i eat nearly vegetarian diet (still have occasional fish) AND gluten-free doesn't help matters. Nor does the fact that Duane doesn't like most veggies & often times doesn't even want to try them. I tried to reassure him that we can learn to make them so they've lots of flavor, but he doesn't seem reassured.

Rather than start with something too overwhelming like the South Beach Diet, i think our starting point will have to be simply having regular meal times. (Does this sound STUPID or what? Who has to learn to eat regularly? We do, i guess.) Neither of us like breakfast, so of course we have to start there. Our breakfast will probably be at 10.30 or 11, & will be something simple like oatmeal & maybe an egg, or fruit, yogurt, & granola.

So that is the goal, starting tomorrow we are going to try to eat regularly. This shouldn't be rocket science, but it may be a real struggle.


20 January 2009

Oh, sigh

So much is in my mind, it is hard for me to know where to start. This is definitely a "this 'n that" post.

A friend, who will not be reading this blog, informed me she doesn't read any, not even her daughter's. That doesn't bother me, but it does make me wonder. Do you read novels? I know some people consider novels a waste of time. The two blogs i'm reading have been going a couple of years now, more actually. I'm in the summer of 2007, & finding about their family, etc. I figure if they have it on a public forum they are not opposed to me reading it. Part of me feels a little guilty i guess, but i find it fascinating, better than a novel. I can't help but wonder how it will play out, where their lives are going, hoping nothing very bad happens. It is rather like "The Never Ending Story," only better. I can't imagine checking into too many blogs, it would become like an endless spider web, each strand leading to 10 more, & ultimately overwhelming. But i'm enjoying the "stories" i'm reading.

I was thinking today about how much we take for granted. It is so easy to access so much info today. I'm imagining what we will be telling our grandchildren. My father & grandfather talked "of walking 2 miles in knee deep snow, uphill both ways to school." I can just see we'll be telling them we had only one phone, which shared a phone line with 5 other neighbors. I'd pick up the phone & have some old lady yell, "Is someone there? Who's there? This is a PRIVATE conversation! Get off the line!" We really did have that in our rual community until i was about 14. It was embarrassing trying to make a call, for you never knew if the phone was in use, or if someone would be listening to your own conversation. And if i talked longer than 3 minutes my mother would yell that i couldn't be on the phone so long, someone might want to call us or one of our neighbors. SOOOOO different from today's cell phones. 'Course, even today on cell phones others can listen if someone choses to have private conversations in large groups. Grrr!

I had acupuncture today. I do not like acupuncture, but i do like the results. Kathie, the acupuncture doc, tells me that 9 out of 10 people (or maybe even 99 out of 100) fall asleep during the rest time. I'm the odd one out. I don't relax easily at any time, not for massage, not for PT, not for acupuncture. I lie there, trying to allow the 50 minutes to pass well. I pray, & meditate, try to do deep breathing. Today i did almost get myself to drowse by counting all the different patterns i could follow in the 18 squares of the overhead fluorescent lamp. But somehow i can't let myself relax enough to "let go" & actually sleep. Rather than fight it, i find that it makes more sense to do something more constructive, i.e. pray, meditate, deep breathe, rather than try to
make myself relax.

Acupuncture was followed by Physical Therapy. I had a minor car accident in mid-December (not my fault!) & have been getting chiropractic & PT. It was such a minor accident, i can't justify more treatment, and i'm paying for the PT out-of-pocket to be reimbursed later, & we can't afford for me to do this much longer. Still, i like working with Kim (the PT) & it will be forcing me to do exercises i should have been doing all along. We do have a difference of opinion on the length of stretch time, but she's working with me on it. (She follows a myofascial theory, i hold to an "active isolated stretching" one.)

This is the first slow week i've had for some time. I have no one to see tonight, which hasn't happend, i think, since about Sept or Oct of last fall. So, i've the opportunity to attend a class i often recommend to my clients, but never have the chance to attend myself. It starts in about 20 minutes, so i'm nearly done now. It is a Feldenkrais class (Awareness through Movement). It is a mild exercise & self-therapy. I'd compare it to Rolfing, except it is noting as intense or violent as Rolfing tends to be.

I'm sitting in Starbucks typing. I'm not a coffee drinker (neither is Duane) so Starbucks is not on my usual list of hang outs. I'm drinking a Carmel Apple Spice hot drink. I'm sure it is loaded with sugar & lots of other bad stuff, but i'm not being too hard on myself. I'm spending $3, & have a place to hang out, & i figure a drink like this once a year can't hurt me too much.


19 January 2009

Starting our week

I wish this had more font choices. I like something more informal, looking. However, now i notice it doesn't matter what i choose as my font, it prints the same in the blog.

Our life is like this: We travel "down the hill" on Monday AM, & return home sometime Wednesday PM. We both have flexible jobs. Duane is a computer person & is able to do much of his work from home. I'm a massage therapist, & work out of a chiropractic office three half days a week. I'm also trying to build a practice in Big Bear, but that takes time.

Ideally, we would be able to stay home all the time. However, most people who live full time in BB have two, three, or four jobs to do it. We are full time in that our BB home is our only home. But we have to leave for a couple of days a week.

We tried this out first by renting a small house in BB (at a great $$$ savings over what our rent in OC had been) to try this out. It seems to work out well, & we have family we stay with (Duane's parents, tho there are aunts & uncles we could stay with too) when working in OC.

Another benefit, if we do have children is that my MIL wants very much to be a grandmama & would be more than willing to care for them a couple of days a week. (She has stated this, i am not assuming!)

And, the wonderful thing about living in the mountains in Southern California is that if we get sick of the weather, we can be "down the hill" & in warm weather in about an hour. Very different from where i grew up in Montana & the winter seemed to last forever & there was no escape. Strange thing, our growing season for when it is safe to put out a garden is shorter here than it was in the mountains in Montana.

Duane's more a dog person than cat person, but with this lifestyle a dog is not going to be a reality for us. The cats are independent, self-sufficient, & don't seem to care. They are more affectionate when we get home. I've noticed the weeks we don't leave they are much more indifferent to us. But our cats in general have "dog" personalities. Jazz loves to fetch, & they both follow us around quite a bit. If "the people" are upstairs, then they are somewhere nearby. The same if we are downstairs.

It is always hard for me to leave our home & our cats on Monday AM. It doesn't seem as difficult for them! Sometimes it appears they are trying to push us out the door, "Are you still here? Aren't you gone yet?" You see, they get treats as we are leaving . . .

Goodbye Sugarbear, until Wednesday PM.


18 January 2009

First Post

I'd never even read a blog until a couple of days ago. Came across one, the daughter of someone i know. She'd mentioned it in her Christmas letter. It was interesting, detailing the quest of she & her husband to get healthier with the South Beach Diet.

The second one i came across when trying to look up an old professor of mine.

For me, this blog will be a combo of trying to do a journal of our lives & keep track of things that happen; a record of our journey to have a family, whether we have our own, adopt, foster, or decide our family is complete without children. Also, i hope to lose weight, & handle the realities of cooking healthier as i also become healthier in general. I'll probably throw in stuff about our cats, my thoughts on my faith, my struggle with chronic illness, our home, oh, all kinds of things.

I should have started this a year ago, just before we bought our house. We call our home "Sugarbear" because it is in a small area between Bear City & Sugarloaf (divisions of the greater Big Bear area). A year ago we were in escrow, & took possession on 30 January. I'll write about Sugarbear another time.

I'm not really expecting anyone to read this blog, but if you do & want to check out our pics, they are at